It's official! President Obama signed a bill on 11/6/09 extending the $8K tax credit for first-time home buyers and offering a new credit of up to $6,500 for some existing homeowners. Please see our Tax Credit Overview to find out what it means to you.

This week the Senate reached a tentative deal to extend the $8K tax creditfor first-time home buyers which expires November 30th, 2009. It will be votedon in a cloture vote (ie it has been added to a bill currently on the Senatefloor to extend federal unemployment insurance benefits) which is scheduled forMonday, November 2nd at 5pm. Its passage remains uncertain.

Theagreement would extend the existing credit for first-time home buyers, worth upto $8,000, while offering a new credit of up to $6,500…

4103 Views, 17 Comments

Happy Halloween from Lake & City Homes Realty! Check out this amazing pumpkin carving website and choose your favorite from the pumpkin carving gallery. Then comment on anything you see in my blog (including this post) and you'll be eligible to win a $10 sign-up promo code from (no affiliation). The drawing will take place at Lake & City Homes Realty on Friday, November 6th, 2009.

When I realized that the creator of these amazing pumpkin carvings, Scott Cummins, only spends 1-2 hours on each carving, I was inspired to figure out how I too might start working smarter, not harder! So, whether you're buying or selling, here's some tips (as opposed to dirty tricks!) for working smarter in today's real estate market to get the kind of results you…

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The Dane County Waterbody Classification Project (aka "Shoreland Zoning") is a county effort that could impact approximately 57,000 properties located throughout Dane County. It would impose new regulations, higher costs to property owners, and possible negative impacts on property values for all properties located within a defined area known as "the shoreland zone". The shoreland zone in Dane County's villages and cities would be extended from 75’ from the water to 1000’ from lakes and ponds and 300’ from rivers and streams. This initiative would also impact the way Realtors represent properties and provide proper disclosure. The County is continuing with this effort despite the lack of good data that it will have a significant benefit to the lakes and…

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Madison WI schoolsLake and City Homes Realty is proud to announce the addition of demographics to its flagship Madison WI real estate website! Three new batches of neighborhood-specific information now appears under a new tab, "Get Local", conveniently located on all our Property Details pages. As a result, we think our Madison real estate site truely qualifies as a one-stop shopping destination for those interested in buying Madison area real estate!

As you can see in the screenshot to the right, our new Get Local tab has three distinct information groupings:

  1. Nearby Amenities
  2. Nearby Schools
  3. Neighborhood Information

Under the Nearby Amenities tab, the names of businesses are shown along with the relevant business category and approximate distances from the subject…

3016 Views, 9 Comments has once again put Madison WI on one of its Best Places lists, this time for the 20th best place to launch a small business startup. Madison, with its population of around 561,505 has an estimated 14,654 small businesses, defined as businesses with between 1-49 employees. Madison usually fares well in such rankings due to its relatively low unemployment and highly educated population and this time Madison's well-developed transportation system and moderate weather were also cited as pluses (note: some might beg to differ on the latter!).

Other reasons that Madison WI was chosen one of the best places in the nation to launch a small business startup:

  • The UW-Madison runs a Small Business Development Center and has a ready supply of…

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The countdown to the November 30th deadline for the first-time homebuyer's tax credit is underway and the debate rages on as to whether the $8K tax credit should be extended and even expanded. In a recent poll of 1000 real estate agents conducted by Weichert, 97% favored extending the tax credit (the majority want to extend it until 12/31/10). Below we share other illuminating statistics from the Weichert study and two other recent polls about the first-time homebuyer's tax credit:

  1. proof positive of the degree of success the tax credit has had thus far

  2. the positive impact on sales that extending the credit is projected to have

  3. the perceived negative effect on the housing market that not extending the credit is likely to have

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We've all been there. Whether it's sharing an apartment with a total slob, enduring your upstairs neighbor's cowboy boots (don't you just love hardwood floors?), or the sheer awkwardness of still living at Mom & Dad's, there comes a time in life when you really, truly need your own space. So to encourage all you first-time homebuyers out there to get cracking on that $8K tax credit before it expires November 30th, here's a comedic take on that annoying roommate of your's.




To get started on the path to home ownership and take advantage of the first-time homebuyer's $8K tax credit by November 30th, please call Lake & City Homes broker/owner Jolenta Averill at 608.230.5553 today. It's late in the game but if you act fast, you can still get in …

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As both a Realtor and consumer, it would be hard not to notice what an overwhelming success the first-time homebuyer's $8K tax credit has been both nationally and on the Madison real estate market. Both homebuyer interest and housing sales shot through the roof before the ink was even dry on the legislation. Although lower prices and historically low interest rates have certainly been a huge draw, it's clear the $8K tax credit is primarily responsible for consumers' renewed interest in homeownership in the midst of the massive mortgage meltdown and ensuing housing crisis.

But progress may come to a screeching halt unless Congress extends the credit through 2010. Without an extension of the legislation, many people will miss out. Those who couldn't…

2821 Views, 1 Comments

radon readings in Dane CountyThat is the question!

Some homeowners do the laundry in the basement, some have finished basements with offices or playrooms for the kids, others have a Master bedroom suite or a guest room in their finished lower level. But over the years I've had dozens of clients buy or sell homes without testing for radon gas. One of my clients, who was concerned about radon because she had small children, had gone to the trouble of testing for radon twice in two homes she purchased during the last 10 years. She then tested a third time when she bought the home that she is now in the process of selling on Madison's West Side.

The test had been negative for radon gas when she and her husband purchased the home years ago, so when they received an offer recently that…

8419 Views, 2 Comments