Mad City Dream Homes Real Estate Blog, Madison WI

If you spend any amount of time looking for properties on the internet, it won't take long before you stumble across a few listings with some really suspect photos. Even in this day and age, there are plenty of listings out there which break many of the rules for good real estate photography. So much so that there is a website that is devoted entirely to the subject of terrible listing photos.

Check out the 3 sample listing photos below. How many rules does each of these pictures break? 

Bad Photo #1: Family Room

This photo was produced by an amateur using amateur equipment. The lighting is poor and the image is not crisp. The room is not professionally staged. It's full of holiday decorations and clutter. And is that Fido's chew toy on the

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Holiday Express and LegosHave you heard this at your house? One of the many great things about Madison is if you have an interest in a hobby or activity, there will be opportunities to share it. If you have Lego-lovers in your family, you’ll be thrilled to know that Olbrich Gardens has combined their annual Holiday Express train exhibit with the popular toy bricks! Each year Olbrich Gardens invites the Wisconsin Garden Railway Society to display model trains during the holidays. The trains vary by the day. Hundreds of beautiful poinsettias and other holiday garden themes surround the sets. This year, the surrounding villages are constructed with….you guessed it….Legos. Visitors are sure to enjoy the Victorian homes, ships, and even Star Wars themed portions of the exhibit.

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When is the best time to buy a home in Madison? Conventional wisdom says to buy in the springtime. Year in and year out our local real estate market is busiest during the warmer months and slowest during the winter holiday season. There are many in the real estate industry who refer to this time of year as the "REALTOR Holiday", which runs unofficially from Thanksgiving Day through New Year's Day. 

The spring and summer months are the most popular times for buying in our market, but there can be some challenges that come with buying during the peak season. Shopping in the spring or summer market means you're competing with many other buyers at a time when homes are selling very quickly. If you don't act quickly yourself, you could lose your ideal

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Not long ago this question would have seemed ludicrous. Just a few years ago, a large number of Madison condo developments were holding onto a very large number of unsold units. Demand was low. Many consumers were wary of buying into the condo market and were opting to rent instead. In some areas, such as in Downtown Madison, there were over two years of supply sitting on the open market along with a large amount of shadow inventory lurking behind the scenes. And so condo prices fell, and they kept falling, until they bottomed out in 2012.

That's when we began to see big changes in the condo market. Suddenly for many consumers it was cheaper to buy than it was to rent. Condo purchase activity picked up considerably in 2012 and then moved much higher in

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Interested in buying a distressed property in Madison or the surrounding Dane County area? Mad City Dream Homes has all the tools you need to quickly identify foreclosures and short sale properties. Read on to learn how you can use our search tools to locate short sales and REO/bank-owned homes in the Madison area. 


Example: Searching for Madison Foreclosures 

  1. Go to our property search page.
  2. Type Madison into the Location filter.
  3. Go to the Foreclosures filter and select REO/Bank Owned.
  4. Click Refine Search.

Our search page will then display a list of REO/bank-owned foreclosures in the city of Madison. Note "REO" stands for "real estate owned" by a lending institution.  


Example: Searching for Madison Short Sales 

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Here's a quick mid-year review of the 2014 Madison area real estate market, courtesy of our sister site,

  • Madison area home and condo inventory has been trending lower over the last several years. One reason is the sharp drop in foreclosures. 
  • Home and condo sales are below the levels from last year, but remain historically strong. 
  • Home building is trending above last year's pace, but remains well below the levels from the over-heated market in the mid 2000s. 
  • With lower inventories and good demand, prices for homes and condos are trending higher. 
  • Both homes and condos have also been selling more quickly. 
For more information, you can check out our free market reports on the foreclosure…
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Searching for real estate by school or school district is easy with our suite of property search tools. We show you how with two simple examples below.

Example 1: Homes in the Middleton-Cross Plains School District

Let's suppose you're interested in homes in the Middleton-Cross Plains school district. Here's how you can focus your search in 4 quick steps:

  1. Go to our property Search page.
  2. Scroll to the School District filter and select Middleton-Cross Plains
  3. Customize your search according to your preferred property type, size, price, and number of bedrooms/bathrooms.
  4. Click Refine Search.

Our search tool then presents all of the properties in the Middleton-Cross Plains school district that meet all of our your defined criteria.

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What does the new year hold in store for Madison, Wisconsin real estate? Based on our review of objective market data, we expect the 2014 Madison real estate market to be another good year for local home and condo sellers. Read on for more info:

2014 Madison Real Estate Predictions

  1. Madison home and condo sales will continue at strong levels, but will decrease from the levels of 2013. The 2013 real estate market was a perfect storm for local sellers. Low prices, rock bottom mortgage rates, and several years of pent up demand combined to create a huge influx of buyers in 2013. These market forces are still at play in 2014, but not to the extent of the previous year. Our pending home sales data suggests strong but moderating sales in the months
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Although Madison mortgage rates rose in May of this year from rock bottom levels, rates continue to trend in a favorable direction for anyone thinking of buying or refinancing a home.

Mortgage Rates from a Historical Point of View

This data from Freddie Mac trends mortgage rates dating back to 1992. Mortgage rates for 30 year fixed rate loans are currently well below 4.5%, putting current rates among the lowest for any time period in the last 22 years.

View Madison WI Mortgage Rates Updated Daily

Great Midwest Bank publishes its mortgage rates daily and online here. Looking to closely monitor rates? Sign up for the Great Midwest Bank mortgage rate watch.

Upcoming Changes in the Mortgage Market

Mortgage underwriting guidelines will

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Wondering what the homes are selling for in your Madison area neighborhood? Or what the condos are selling for in your development? At Mad City Dream Homes, we make it easy for you to track the prices in your local market. Read on for a few simple tips that help you stay on top of the prices in your target location. 

Identifying Sold Listings

When you use Mad City Dream Homes to search for sold properties, you'll see results that display a red "SOLD" banner in the bottom left hand side of the listing.

You can then select a sold listing to view the full listing details. For example, you can view the sold date, the sold price, the virtual tour and photos, and the detailed description for every sold listing on our website. 

Search for Sold

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