2009 has been quite a year. Whether I like it or not, it's not one I'm likely to ever forget! For me, the highlight was launching my own real estate brokerage in the midst of a housing crisis, a mortgage meltdown, and a near financial and economic meltdown the likes of which the United States hasn't seen since the Great Depression. And yet, despite the many challenges all that confluence of craziness presented, I can honestly say it's been a terrific year. A year of tremendous learning and yearning...a yearning to strive harder each day to make LakeandCityHomes.com the best resource for Madison area home buyers and sellers - bar none. My heartfelt thanks goes out to my Mom, my valued clients (both past and present), and to my growing base of site…

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We at Lake and City Homes Realty would like to send you warm wishes for the holidays, as well as wish you a Happy New Year!

Thank you for your patronage, for your participation on our site (including your entertaining and insightful comments on our blog), and for entrusting us with your business. We truly appreciate the opportunity to serve you.

During the holidays, especially in light of the challenging weather the country has been experiencing, we urge you to  drive safely (ie slow down!), make merry, and most of all, remember to love those around you - after all, 'tis the season!

On a personal note, I would also like to thank those of you who have expressed concern for my father who had a mild stroke last week. He was released from the hospital…

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register to view property detailsToday I received an interesting email from a visitor to my website who had just registered. I had tried to call her which, as you may know, is something I do with every person who registers on my website. I like to personally thank each and every person who registers on my site for their visit and see how the site is working for them. I get terrific feedback from people this way, have interesting and enjoyable conversations with people about what's prompting their home search, and in general learn a great deal about what people are looking for in the way of real estate. In fact I find that many of the choices people are making when it comes to real estate are linked to lifestyle choices (living on the lake, walking the kids to school, downtown Madison…

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In yet another one of its "best of the best" lists, BusinessWeek magazine recently bestowed another honor upon the City of Madison Wisconsin, ranking it the 25th strongest economy out of all the major metropolitan areas in the United States. 

Oklahoma performed well with Oklahoma City and Tulsa both landing in the top ten and Texas really cleaned up, grabbing five of the top 10 spots with San Antonio finishing #1.

Madison's government and education job base were cited as being "relatively recession-resistant" and home prices grew in Q2'09 compared to the same period a year earlier. 

Read the complete article for a list of the criteria used by the Brookings Institution to determine the overall ranking.

Here is the complete list of the 40 cities…

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Things are about to get harder for first-time home buyers who have their sights set on an FHA (Federal Housing Authority) home mortgage. Borrowers will soon be required to have "more skin in the game", according to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan. Donovan is scheduled to announce the following FHA policy changes when he testifies next Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee:

  1. increase up-front cash paid by FHA borrowers from the current 3.5% (one lawmaker is proposing 5%)
  2. raise the minimum credit scores for borrowers who receive FHA-backed mortgages to protect the FHA from the riskiest borrowers (the current minimum credit score requirement is a mere 500 out of 850)
  3. limit the amount of money sellers can kick in

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I'm against censorship as much as the next person but I've really had to do a double-take lately at the sheer number of insipid, vapid, and gratuitous comments I've been getting on my Madison WI real estate blog. I'm not referring to comments that any of my site visitors and clients have posted, of course, but the comments posted by other bloggers merely looking for backlinks. You know the kind of comment I'm referring to; the ones where you're showered with compliments about a post or your blog or website in general without referring to anything specific and without adding anything of any real substance to the conversation. So at the suggestion of my good friend and Davis CA Realtor Carloyn Gjerde-Tu (and at the risk of ruffling a few feathers in the…

20694 Views, 6 Comments