April 2020

Found 12 blog entries for April 2020.

For most buyers, financing is the first thing to think about when buying a home. A changing economic climate due to COVID-19 has begun to affect financing for some loan programs. Plus, the financing process has moved entirely virtual. Dave Leeder and the team at Inlanta Mortgage are helping many of our clients navigate these changes. Below are some of their top suggestions for buyers based on the current circumstances.

A buyer holding the key to their new home

As always, you should start the mortgage pre-approval process early. Ideally, you should have your pre-approval before you begin your search. This will help you understand which loan programs may be available to you, and how much you may be able to borrow for your new home.

Then, be sure to keep your lender up to date with any

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We're more than a month into this pandemic and we're learning many of you are still moving forward with your plans to buy your dream home. You have important, personal reasons for buying at this time, and you're committed to buying in a manner that respects social distancing. As we continue to assist many of you during the pandemic, we thought it would be interesting to share why some of you are choosing to buy right now, at a time when others are putting their plans (or being forced to put their plans) on hold.

Why People Buy During a Pandemic

Why you're buying a home or condo during the pandemic

Here are some of the main reasons why many of you are choosing to buy right now, even though there's so much uncertainty in the world around us. 

1) You want your own safe haven

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At the time of writing this article, the sun is peeking through rain clouds on April 22, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. It’s been about a month since Gov. Tony Evers issued a Safer at Home order amid the COVID-19 pandemic, so celebrating this conservation milestone without a public gathering feels strange yet necessary given the circumstances. 

However, we can still connect with nature on our own or with those who live in our homes while following the latest social distancing guidelines.

Public Health Madison & Dane County recommends:

  • Walking, hiking, or biking while being safe;
  • Maintaining a physical distance of at least 6 feet from anyone you may encounter while you’re out;
  • bringing along a cloth face covering;
  • And finding
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Virtual tours have quickly become an indispensable marketing tool for sellers in our new era of social distancing. As we adjust to a new market, we're learning many buyers are comfortable using virtual tours as a substitute for the traditional walk-through. They're using virtual tours to learn about the features, flow, and condition of a property. And in many cases buyers are writing an offer without ever setting foot in the home.

Virtual Property Showings by Mad City Dream Homes

4 types of virtual tours

There are several types of virtual tours, each with its own advantages. Here are 4 different technologies which we're making available to all of our home and condo selling clients right now. 

Full-motion video tours

Starting at the front door, a full-motion video tour takes buyers through

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Homestead Title's drive-up closingWhen you think of closing on your home, you might envision yourself signing paperwork around a big conference table, followed by getting the keys to your new home. Just like most parts of the real estate buying and selling process, the closing process has been adjusted to keep you safe. Read below for the many options Homestead Title is giving our clients for closings. They also have shared tips for buyers and sellers who will be closing soon.

A new venue for closing - your car!

Some title companies have made minor adjustments to the closing process by offering clean pens, scrubbed tables, more distance between parties, and limiting the number of people attending closings. Homestead Title has gone a step further to protect clients, offering

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A few days ago one of our buyer clients was elated to learn that her offer for a west side condo was accepted. This may seem hard to believe, but there were 8 other buyers who wrote an offer on the same property. You may be wondering, how is it possible that we're seeing so many competing offers at a time like this? It doesn't make sense that this would be happening during a pandemic.

The answer is, it's all about scarcity. Here's a quick look at how scarcity is shaping our market this Spring. 

scarcity in the Madison WI real estate market

Scarcity in the Dane County condo market

There are fewer buyers participating in the market right now - and fewer sellers, too. Here are the trends we're observing in the Madison area condo market. 

The under $250k condo market is highly

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Cliff Insurance SignWhen it comes to saving money, reviewing your insurance may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Dennis Cliff of Cliff Insurance Agency thinks differently. Insurance is one of those things that most people set and forget. But, there are often opportunities to save, or increase coverage if your situation has changed. Even during this time of social distancing, Dennis and his team can help you evaluate your options.

 

Dennis Cliff

Dennis got into insurance after a family member had worked in the industry. He felt it could be a good fit for himself. Dennis purchased the former Wilson-Boylan Agency in 2003, after working for a decade at MetLife.

When it comes to insurance, the sweet spot is finding the best coverage at a reasonable cost. Cliff Insurance

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Many of you have a lot more interest in the real estate market than you did just a month ago, so we'll be sharing much more info on how the market is evolving in the weeks and months ahead. We've just published our latest Madison condo report here, but here's a shorter version of where the condo market is right now - and where we see it going.

Madison WI Condo Market April 2020

Here's a quick summary of the March condominium market:

  • Madison condo sales were up 12% from March of 2019. 
  • The condo price per square foot increased by 10% in March and 8% year-to-date. 
  • The number of expired listings and the average days on market were very low in March. 
  • New condo listings decreased to the lowest level since 2003. 
  • Accepted offers also decreased. This was due primarily
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Debbie Lea virtual staging exampleMany parts of the real estate process can be done virtually, including staging. Staging is an important part of the home selling process. A staged home tends to have better listing photos, which attracts more buyers and helps it sell faster. For a while now, a home's first showing has been on the internet. But in this unique time of social distancing, listing photos and a virtual tour may be the only ways a buyer can see your home before writing an offer. It's more important than ever to showcase your home through great staging, photos, and a virtual tour.

 

Debbie Lea

Debbie Lea of Showcase Home Stagers has been helping clients virtually for years, so staging a home without ever stepping inside isn’t a new challenge for her. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic,

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We know a lot of you have questions about how the Madison area real estate market is evolving, so we'll be sharing a lot of good information with you in the weeks and months ahead. This begins with our Madison single family home report, which will be updated regularly and is linked here. Below is our short summary of the latest trends and our perspective on how the market is changing. 

Madison WI Real Estate Snapshot Spring 2020 

Here's a quick summary of the March single family home market:

  • Madison home sales increased by 19% from March of 2019. 
  • Accepted offers increased by 22%. 
  • The number of expired listings and the average days on market remained near historically low levels. 
  • The number of new MLS listings entering the market was the lowest total in the last 18 years.
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