Buying Tips

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

Found 171 blog entries about Buying Tips.

It's that time of year for our annual real estate predictions. Here are 7 key reasons why we see low inventory and strong prices for Madison and Dane County in 2023. 

2023 Dane County real estate predictions

On the demand side

Rapid population growth

Dane county is already the fastest-growing region in the state, and according to the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission, our population is projected to grow by more than 200,000 residents over the next 30 years. 

National reputation

For the second straight year, the city of Madison was recently named by Livability as the #1 best place to live in America. It's rankings like these that have put Madison on the map. In a mobile culture like ours, where people can choose to live and work from just about anywhere, Dane County has

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In a low inventory market like ours -- where finding and buying your dream home takes time, skill and effort -- it's whenever the perfect opportunity presents itself. It could be in the heart of the spring selling season, during the cooler fall season, or in the dead of winter. You just never know when. 

Our clients Roger and Jennifer just learned this lesson, when their perfect home became available right before the Thanksgiving Holiday. Yes, their home search took a little longer than they were hoping for, but they're so glad that they remained patient and persistent and had Chris Venden guiding them along their journey.

As Jennifer told us the other day, "Our new home is absolutely perfect for us. We're so glad that we didn't settle, this home is

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Lately we've been hearing from more people in the Madison area who are hoping to buy a foreclosure as an "instant equity", "fix and flip", or a long-term "buy and hold" investment. But the reality is that there just aren't aren't that many foreclosures out there, which the numbers from the Wisconsin Circuit Court database make abundantly clear: 

Madison WI foreclosures October 2022

Will foreclosures rise from here?

We don't expect a significant rise in foreclosures anytime soon, and for three key reasons:

  • Lending practices have improved significantly from the practices that preceded our nation's foreclosure crisis 15 years ago, so there just aren't that many bad loans out there. 
  • Most homeowners right now are locked into a low interest rate and a low monthly mortgage
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You could be waiting for a long time, and perhaps, many years. 

Buying your Dream Home

Why do we expect prices to remain elevated?

The big reason is consistently low supply.

And one huge factor driving low supply is our region's rapid population growth. Dane County is currently the fastest-growing region in the state, and according to a recent study by the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission, that trend will continue. The study projects the county's population will grow by more than 200,000 residents by the year 2050.

And yet there's very little new supply in the pipeline to accommodate that growth.

Yes, Dane County has added hundreds of new housing developments over the last decade, but most of that new construction has been for apartments, not homes

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Recently a friend called us and asked for a referral to a trusted lender. Her daughter Emma, a first-time home buyer, was already talking to a mortgage lender. But Emma wasn't getting the time and the information that she needed to better understand the mortgage process.

So we referred Emma and her mom to Karen Wedvick from Wintrust Mortgage. And as it turned out, Karen's approach was exactly what Emma and her mom were looking for. Karen gave Emma a great introduction to the mortgage process and helped Emma map out all of her next steps. 

Emma's story is a common one. With so many lenders to choose from in the Madison area, sometimes it can take a little time to find the right fit. 

At Mad City Dream Homes, we're always available to refer you to

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Congratulations to our fall buyers, who are making the most of this new season in real estate:

  • To Ted and Kelsey, who purchased their home in Stoughton for $4,900 below the list price. 
  • To our client Brenton, who bought his near west side condo for $9,000 below the list. 
  • To Chad and Samantha, who purchased their east side home for $10,000 below. 
  • To our client, Mason, who bought his move-up home for $14,900 under. 
  • And to Dan and Erica, who moved into their dream home in the country for $24,900 under the list. 

All 5 of these stories are great examples of how good planning, local expertise, and skillful negotiation are so beneficial to buyers in today's market. And why having a strong buyer advocate can make all the difference. 

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Would you have peace of mind?

Would you have financial peace? 

And would you be excited? 

We often ask our clients these 3 questions as they consider a big purchase. When they answer "yes" to all three, then that's a sign that they're about to make the right decision. 

These questions are a reminder to us that we all have important questions to address in every season of life. And there's no time like the holidays to reflect on the ones that help us choose a new and better direction.

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For many people, owning a home is about one or more of these aspirations: 

  • creating a future, and creating memories
  • laying down roots, and raising a family
  • breaking bread, and connecting with community
  • connecting with nature, and nurturing creativity
  • enhancing health, and having a sanctuary
  • building wealth, and creating prosperity
  • aging in place, and aging with dignity

Depending on your priorities and your stage of life, homeownership can mean many different things. So, what does homeownership mean to you? We would love to hear from you and help you explore the possibilities. Contact your Mad City Dream Homes realtor to get started. 

buying a home in Madison WI

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Where will you choose to live? What type of home will help you live your best life? Where are the opportunities and pitfalls in today’s market? We're here to help you plan for your future. Contact your Mad City Dream Homes realtor to get started. 

what does your future hold for you

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Madison WI Buyer Representation

When you're interviewing buyer agents, we recommend asking open-ended questions and then letting each agent talk.

For example, you might try asking open-ended questions like these:

  • What advice do you have for me as a home buyer?
  • What will you do to help me find and buy the right home?
  • Can you tell me a little bit about your customer service philosophy? 
  • What's going on in the market right now? 
  • And what is the market like for the type of home that I'm seeking to buy? 

When each realtor responds to your questions, are they trying to sell you, or help you? Do they launch into sales mode and ask you to sign a buyer agency agreement? Or do they ask you questions of their own in order to learn more about your needs and how they

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