Buying Tips

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

Found 73 blog entries about Buying Tips.

Imagine you've come across a new listing with a beautiful, recently upgraded kitchen. The kitchen space is perfect for you and your family, but you're wondering who did the work and whether or not permits were pulled for the plumbing and electrical. If the property is located in Madison, there's a great online tool you can use to get answers to your questions. 

City of Madison Licenses & Permits Webpage

The City of Madison Licenses and Permits Webpage helps consumers research building permits pulled for individual properties. To access the page, go to If this is your first time using the site, you'll need to start by registering for an account. 

Once you've registered for an account, select the

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It is odorless, colorless and has no taste, but radon is a naturally occurring gas that exists throughout Wisconsin, and its radioactive properties make it a health hazard. Fortunately, there are ways to detect it, and remove it from the air you breath.

Lindsay Mefford, of Madison Radon Testing, offers radon testing as part of a home inspection, or as an independently completed process. To do the test, a box (smaller than a shoe box) is temporarily installed in the lowest level of your home. It's installed in a way that prevents tampering. The box takes air samples every hour, and measures the radon content in each sample. After 48 hours, the box is collected, and the measurements are averaged. Madison area homes can fall into three categories. Either

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Which price ranges are most competitive in the Madison real estate market? One way to measure the competitiveness (or popularity) of a price range is to look at the percent of offers within the range that involve competition from multiple buyers. In the Madison single family home market, our accepted offer data shows properties priced below $350,000 are in highest demand. Within this range, the most popular price category is $200k - $250k where a full 50% of all accepted offers involve competition from 2 or more buyers. 

Most Competitive Price Categories in Madison

In the Madison condo market, condominiums priced below $300,000 are most popular with buyers. Our 2017 data shows condos priced between $250k and $300k are in highest demand, with 43% of the accepted offers in this price category

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There are times when neighbors don't agree on property issues. It could be a tree's location, and a debate about who can trim it. Or construction of a fence, and where it can or can't be placed. When these issues arise, it's helpful to have a surveyor.

Noa Prieve and his team at Williamson Surveying & Associates are well acquainted with these issues. His team helps residential property owners daily to define their property lines, and determine the best way to proceed with neighborhood issues, or additions to existing properties. Prieve encourages buyers to have a survey completed before they close on their property. "It can be as important as your inspection," he says. "Knowing your property lines protects you from encroachment issues, and, if done

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New Condos in the Madison WI AreaThe condo lifestyle is in high demand. From millenials making their first purchase, to baby boomers down-sizing into a new setting, people of all ages are embracing condominium living.

The market has changed a lot over the last few years, and today's buyers are learning it's highly competitive. One outlet for buyers is the new construction condo market. As a general rule it's easier to purchase a new construction condo because this segment of the market has fewer competing buyers. 

If you've been having a hard time finding the right condo in our low inventory market, check out the new construction options below. You might find the perfect fit in one of these growing condo communities. 

Do you need help finding the right condo? Contact one of our

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If we were to choose one word to describe the spring real estate market, it would be "over-heated". The spring selling season has been full of bidding wars and huge price increases. If you know anyone who's bought or sold this spring, no doubt you've heard a few interesting stories about our crazy market. 

But real estate is all about the seasons, and right now our over-heated spring market is giving way to a more balanced summer market. As the graph below shows, buyer activity decreases in June from the peak months of March, April and May. Plenty of real estate gets bought and sold in the summertime, but at a slower pace compared to the spring season. 

Summer Real Estate Market in Madison WI

How does this shift affect buyers and sellers?

If you're still planning to buy or sell in

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Home building is gradually picking up in the Madison area, as more buyers 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. It's also easier to purchase a brand new home because there's much less competition in the new construction market.

If you've been challenged by our low supply 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 60 emerging neighborhoods in the greater Madison area. Contact us to discuss

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In a real estate market that proves to be highly competitive, we encourage our clients to work with lenders that provide high quality service and efficient results. One of our favorite lenders is Patrick Averill of Thompson Kane. Averill has proven himself as a lender who consistently puts his clients' needs first, and who ensures they understand the lending process from start to finish.

"I take what I do very seriously. This is my clients' largest purchase, and often their largest asset. I do everything I can to make the process go as smoothly and stress-free as possible," he says. Averill is familiar with the competition many buyers face to get their offers accepted. He educates his clients on their financial options, their approved purchase range,

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Many buyers are getting sticker shock in this year's hot real estate market. They're realizing they can't get the home they were hoping for within their original budget. Some buyers are dropping out due to rising prices. Others are adjusting their expectations about the market and moving forward with their home-buying plan. They're doing this by "living in their payment, not their mortgage". 

Living in your Payment

"Living in your payment" refers to looking at your purchase in terms of your monthly payment, not the purchase price of your home. For example, suppose your original budget for buying a home was $300,000, but due to rising prices you're considering increasing your budget in order to find the right property. The chart below shows for every

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Competitive Market for Home BuyersHere's an example that demonstrates how competitive the Madison area real estate market has become for home and condo buyers...We recently listed a home for sale in a neighborhood with less than a month of supply. Seventy-five percent of the listings in this neighborhood were under contract and scheduled to close soon. This home was also positioned in a very popular price point. Everything we knew about this listing suggested the response to this home would be very strong. 

As it turned out this property had 30 private showings in 4 days as well as another 30 parties who attended the Sunday open house. By the end of the fourth day six offers were on the table.

Every offer was strong

  • Six of six offers were for above the full list price. The
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