Buying Tips

Buying a Home in Madison & South Central Wisconsin: Real Estate Buying Tips

Found 124 blog entries about Buying Tips.

Congratulations to Dan Miller's friend, Lois, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday! Lois stays positive and active but she also credits her ability to stay in her home - her sanctuary - as key to her longevity and health.

living your real estate dreams

The real value of homeownership

Owning a home is about more than owning property. It’s about quality of life and quantity of life, too. 

Do you know someone who’s in search of their dream home? Our team is here to help you, your friends, and your family live out your dreams at every stage of life. Let’s have a conversation about your real estate dreams and goals. We'll help you explore all of the possibilities!

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Madison area home prices are rising by double-digits in 2021, which has some first-time home buyers sitting out this year's market with the hope that prices will be falling significantly soon. We don't believe this is likely to happen. 

building equity with your home

Local trends favor more appreciation

Based on local supply and demand trends, we see prices rising. On the demand side, our population of home buyers keeps growing year-after-year, as Dane County consistently ranks as the fastest growing region in the state. Persistently low supply also points to higher prices: Dane County home building has been operating at subdued levels for the last 15 years, while new condo construction has been almost non-existent. 

Building a home has also become a much more expensive

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This spring it's not uncommon for listings to receive as many as 10, 20 or sometimes even 30 offers. And when this happens the offers become extremely competitive. Of course buyers are competing with their offer price, but they're competing in some other key ways, too. Here are 4 key terms that many winning offers share when the bidding is especially fierce. 

Madison home buying tips for 2021

The most competitive offers in 2021

Buyers are waiving their home inspection contingency. When the competition is especially fierce, some buyers are choosing to forego a home inspection. This isn't something that we advise our buyer clients to do. Nonetheless, offers without home inspection contingencies are relatively common when listings attract a dozen or more offers. 

Buyers are

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Realtor Jake Johnson Mad City Dream HomesCongrats to Jake Johnson and his buyer clients who just negotiated an accepted offer for $30,000 below the list price. These days we hear so many stories of properties selling for $30,000 over the list, but this transaction is a great reminder that every negotiation is unique -- even in this year's low inventory, seller-friendly market. 

In this case Jake demonstrated a solid grasp of local market conditions while using his communication skills to build rapport with the sellers and negotiate a favorable outcome for his clients. Needless to say, Jake's clients are ecstatic!

Jake, we appreciate how you represent your clients at such a high level as you capably guide each buyer to their dream home.

For those of you who are in need of a great buyer

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Home building is proving to be a good option for some Madison area home buyers who are opting for a new construction home in one of the area's emerging neighborhoods. The appeal is two-fold. Buyers get to choose their own customizations and finishes. Plus it can be easier to purchase a brand new home due to less competition in the new construction market.

If you've been challenged by our low inventory market, evaluate your options and check out the properties available in some of the area's newest subdivisions. Who knows, you might find just what you're looking for in a new construction home.

Thinking of buying or building a new construction home? Here's our overview of over 50 emerging neighborhoods in the greater Madison area. Contact us to

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When it comes to hiring the right realtor, it can be very beneficial to reflect on a few good questions before choosing your agent. By asking the right questions upfront, you can feel confident that you've chosen the right agent to guide you along your buying or selling journey. With this spirit in mind, here are 4 key questions buyers and sellers should be asking before partnering with a realtor in this year's complex market. 

real estate agent interview questions

Four key realtor interview questions in 2021

1) As a seller, how should I price and market my home in order to take full advantage of this year's market? 

2) As a buyer, how can you help me find my dream home when supply is so low? 

3) What strategies do you recommend for writing an offer to purchase in this year's

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Having weathered a year of the COVID pandemic, it's not hard to see the many ways our lives have been affected. For some homebuyers, job changes or furloughs may have decreased the amount of home they can afford. Other potential buyers have shifted to more self-employment work and aren't sure how that affects their financing. Patrick Averill of Thompson Kane has been helping many of our clients secure financing during this unique time. He recently shared a few insights with us about the current lending climate.

Q: How has the lending market changed with COVID? Is it more difficult to secure a loan?

Patrick Averill of Thompson Kane

Patrick: Due to COVID, underwriting guidelines have become more strict than they used to be. More up-to-the minute income information is required

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At some price points, cash offers and escalating prices have made it more difficult for financed buyers to be competitive - especially if they’re only able to put 3-5% down. But, there are ways buyers can stand out in this situation. One way to appear more competitive in a tight market is through your lender. Dave Grauwels of Guild Mortgage helps many of our clients. He recently chatted with us to share how he and his team help his customers go through the offer process with a competitive edge. Read his top three strategies below.

Dave's Tips for Being Competitive as a Financed Buyer

Dave Grauwels of Guild Mortgage

  1. Get your pre-approval underwritten so your offer is nearly as appealing as cash. If a buyer starts the pre approval process early in their search, we can
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Are you looking for a home in an established neighborhood, but can’t seem to find any options? We rounded up a selection of established neighborhoods that consistently have a good amount of inventory available. From communities with historic bungalows to houses in growing neighborhoods with a wide variety of inventory, these neighborhoods have options for many types of buyers. Check out the neighborhood profiles for each community to see all the latest listings.

Photo of Grandview Commons neighborhood

Are you searching for your perfect home? Contact one of our experienced agents for a consultation. We would love to help guide you through the process of buying your dream home!

Birchwood Point - Located on the far west side of Madison, Birchwood Point is near shops and dining in Madison

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15 ways to write a winning offerIf you're buying in 2021, your offer to purchase will likely be up against offers from other motivated buyers. Below are 26 ways you can make your offer stand out from the competition and be the one that gets accepted. Of course the strategies you use will depend a lot on the type and condition of the property, your level of motivation, and how much competition you have from other parties. 

26 Ways to Write a Winning Offer

#1: Submit your mortgage pre-approval from a reputable, local lender. A pre-approval from an out-of-town or big box lender can create doubt in the mind of a seller. For example, we've seen sellers disregard offers from buyers who are pre-approved by an internet lender. Give your seller every reason to believe your pre-approval is

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