coach with headphones on

With so many folks wanting to buy homes and so few homes available to purchase, it’s tough being a home buyer in Madison’s current real estate market. It’s frustrating as well for us to watch our clients fall in love with a home only to find out someone else beat them to it.

There is a solution, however. While it doesn’t always work, it does often enough to consider it if you truly want the home: submit a backup offer.

What is a backup offer?

The actual backup offer consists of a contract to purchase the home and a backup addendum. When signed, these documents will automatically place you in first position should the current buyer not consummate the purchase.

While there are benefits to submitting a backup offer on a home you’ve fallen in…

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broken railroad tracks


Real estate horror stories abound on the Internet but, in reality, most transactions flow smoothly to a successful close. Sure, there are plenty of spots along the way rife with problematic opportunities and, if you’re buying or selling a home in a managed community, those opportunities abound.

At last count, there are more than 350,000 homeowner associations (HOA) in the United States. Collectively, this represents more than half of the owner-occupied households in the country, according to HOA-USA, Inc. So, the chances are good that the home you fall in love with may just be governed by a HOA.

The HOA, in a nutshell

A homeowner association is a legal entity, of which all homeowners are members. It is governed by a group of elected…

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dock on a lake in Maple Bluff WI

Living on a lake in Madison comes with lots of perks, as residents of the Village of Maple Bluff will attest. The year-round vistas and lake activities, however, are just the beginning of the list of Maple Bluff’s attributes.

The lake in question here in Maple Bluff is Lake Mendota, (northwest of Madison for you newcomers). Here, residents tend to be a bit older than those in many other suburbs and well established in their careers.

Maple Bluff is officially a village, yet mainly considered one of Madison’s more upscale suburbs (only 10 minutes to get downtown). It’s made up of five communities, all but one of which were developed in the early 20th century. This means you’ll find homes of varying vintages, from the 19th to the 21st century.

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This month and next we’ll start receiving our tax documents – those W2 and 1099 forms that let Uncle Sam know how much money we earned in 2016. As a Madison homeowner you’ll receive additional documents as well, most notably IRS Form 1098, which your lender is required to deliver to you by February 15. Because it lists how much interest and PMI you paid for the year it’s an important form, so keep it in a safe place until you’re ready to do your taxes.

The interest you pay on your mortgage is one of the largest tax deductions for homeowners. You should be able to write off all mortgage interest, up to $1.1 million and may even be able to deduct the interest you paid for a second home (speak with your accountant).

By the way, the total amount of…

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It’s a brand new year and Madison is kicking it off in style with a ton of fun things to do.

January 3 through January 8

Jersey Boys

More than 22 million theatergoers have seen Jersey Boys and now you have a chance to add to that number. Enjoy the Tony®, Grammy® and Olivier Award-winning Best Musical telling the true story of The Four Seasons. You’ll hear some of their biggest hits, like “Oh, What a Night,” “Sherry,” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” It’s happening on stage at Overture Center for the Arts in downtown Madison and you can purchase tickets online.

January 6 through January 8

Madison Home Expo

If you plan on making renovations to your home in 2017 you won’t want to miss the 19th annual Madison Home Expo. Here you’ll find…

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