Buying Tips

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

Found 84 blog entries about Buying Tips.

You have made an offer to purchase and are going through the property inspection. The inspector finds an issue with the property, and now you, as the buyer, need to determine the next steps. I asked the Mad City Dream Homes team how they handle these situations, and they shared good advice for buyers to consider.

First: Know what matters.

Not every issue raised is worth pursuing with the seller -- especially in a fast-paced market, with low supply. “In some cases, buyers need to have a plan in place for simple repairs. The quick fixes are rarely worth risking the sale, especially when there is a line of buyers behind you, ready to buy the property,” says Tammy Steiner.

Maureen Moran agreed. “You really need to consider, what is a significant

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In the current economy, much is being said about rising interest rates. This has home buyers wondering what a mortgage will look like 3 or 6 months down the road. While you may hear conversation about climbing rates, this isn't time to be discouraged. Karen Wedvick, VP and Senior Loan Officer at Johnson Bank, says, "Mortgage rates are at such great levels. It's an excellent time to buy." 

Wedvick understands the fears buyers have about rising rates. She has watched the rates closely, and insists that they are still near historic lows. If you look at rates beginning in the 1970s, and compare them to current years, the evidence is clear. Even so, Wedvick's office has tools available to help bring more certainty to the buying process. Johnson Bank offers

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This year is shaping up to be a great year for people who wish to sell their starter home and buy a larger, more expensive property. The reason is the market for starter homes is very hot and very favorable for sellers right now, while the market for higher priced properties is more balanced and a little easier on buyers. 

Real Estate Market for Madison Move Up Buyers

How the Madison real estate market varies by price range

Take a look at this market data for Madison single family homes. Right now, 60% of all listings priced under $300,000 are under contract with an accepted offer. Above $300,000, only 30% of the listings are under contract. The market clearly favors sellers under the $300,000 price point. Above $300,000, there's less competition for listings, and buyers are having a much

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The Madison area real estate market is super competitive right now, especially for buyers seeking an affordable property in a popular location. For example, we were recently involved with one local sale which received over 20 offers to purchase. Below we share a few highlights from this sale which show just how competitive the market can be during the spring real estate season. 

competitive real estate market in Madison 

Signs of a competitive real estate market

Here are a few more highlights from this ultra-competitive listing:

  • Every offer (except one) was for at or above the full list price. 
  • One buyer submitted their earnest money with their offer. 
  • Over half of the buyers who wrote an offer also wrote a personal letter to the seller. 
  • One-third of the buyers specified
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The Mad City Dream Homes team believes local lenders are the most ideal partners to help you with your home purchase. Why? It’s because they often have more flexibility and a quick turnaround time, which can be the keys to a successful real estate purchase in the current, fast-paced market.

The team has worked with all kinds of lenders, and has learned a few things along the way. “I’m always amazed when we have to chase down a loan commitment,” says Chris Venden. This has happened when working with lenders that aren’t local.  They don’t always understand the quick turnaround needed in the Madison area, and they sometimes have multiple layers of red tape that need to be worked through before they can make a commitment. "There is nothing more

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Unfortunately, some sellers do misrepresent or "under-represent" property defects on their real estate condition report. And it happens more often than we'd like to see. Based on our experience, failures to disclose are most likely to happen with For Sale By Owner and Limited Service listings. 

One fairly common omission is a seller's failure to disclose previous water intrusions. We know this because some water problems can be easy to detect. Mildew, water stains, soft wood, and elevated moisture readings are all signs of previous problems. When a seller does fail to disclose a water issue, that's a tip-off to be on the look out for other issues, too. 

sellers who lie about defects 

How to protect yourself from sellers who under-represent

One way you can protect yourself

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Thinking of buying a home or condo in the Madison area? We've got three online tools that will help you reach your goals. Learn how to research building permits, research schools, and discover local neighborhoods with these 3 handy tools. 

Madison Home Buyer Tools

3 helpful tools for Madison area home buyers

City of Madison building permit database

Have you ever found yourself wondering whether or not a home improvement project was completed properly and up-to-code? The city of Madison has a database that allows you to view the permits pulled for any residential property in the city. When you have questions about an individual property, you can research its permit history by visiting this website:

https://elam.cityofmadison.com/CitizenAccess/

State of Wisconsin

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Who you hire as your buyer agent can make all the difference between success and failure in Madison's low inventory real estate market. Here are six ways a skilled buyer agent (or buyer agent team) can help you succeed in the months ahead. 

buying in a low inventory market

How a skilled buyer helps you succeed in a competitive market

1) Your buyer agent connects you with a reliable, local lender who goes the extra mile. For example, some local lenders will contact the listing agent and vouch for your financial stability when you're submitting a competing offer. Lenders who deliver personal service like this are worth their weight in gold. 

2) Your agent finds properties before they hit the market. A good buyer agent will identify "coming soon" listings before they hit the

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This year has been the most competitive real estate market we've ever witnessed in Madison. Due to persistently low inventory, many buyers have missed out on their dream home and are still searching for the right property, in the right location, and at the right price.

Fortunately the upcoming holiday season offers a window of opportunity for buyers who stay engaged with their search. That's because the market slows noticeably during the holidays, as fewer offers are written in November and December than in any other month of the year. Over the years we've identified two other market trends which show the opportunities available during the holiday season. For more information, read on below... 

Buying a Home during the Holiday Season

1) Competing offers are less common during the

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Sometimes it takes a turn of events for you to find your passion. For Grant Priehs, a move to Madison was the impetus to explore new opportunities and do what he loves.

Grant Priehs Madison WIPriehs left work as an Art Director at a fast-paced marketing agency and began a successful career as a handyman in Madison. His company, Honey Do Handyman Services, has provided a rewarding way to help others. “Every homeowner has a list of things they notice every day - small tasks or updates that they just never get to; their ‘Honey-do’ list. But when you’re selling your home, you don’t want to have potential buyers leaving a showing with a dozen things they’ve noticed,” he says.

Priehs enjoys helping people complete projects they may not have the time or ability to complete on

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