Although there are hundreds of miles between them, you may be surprised to learn that there are many similarities to be found between Austin, Texas and Madison, Wisconsin.  Aside from the fact that both cities hold the distinction of being the capital of their state, both cities are also centers of education within their states, both have a solid standing in the arts, and both enjoy an economy that is strongly rooted in technology.  With so much to offer to their residents, it is no surprise that Madison and Austin are among two of the most desirable cities in the country to live.

Getting Educated in Madison and Austin

Ranked by Forbes magazine in the #2 position of top education cities in the nation, Madison has much to offer to its residents in…

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Home sales in Dane County were down 20% in March compared to March 2008, according to sales figures released today by the South Central Wisconsin Multiple Listing Service.

Sales data show that 320 homes and condos were sold in Dane County in March, compared to 403 sold in March of 2008 and 552 sold in March of 2007.

For the first quarter of 2009, 684 homes were sold in Dane County, a 25% drop from the 921 homes sold the first three months of 2008 and 45% below the January-March sales of 1,244 homes in 2007.

The average sale price of a Dane County home in March dropped more than $29K, or 12%, from $243,368 to $214,049.

The median sale price also fell in March, going down $13,500, or 6.4 percent, from $210K to $196,500.

The number of new listings in…

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To my growing community of visitors and regular readers out there:

Here's wishing you a very Happy Easter and a Happy Palm Sunday to the Greek, Russian and Armenian Orthodox! It looks like it's going to be a beautifully sunny day in Madison WI for an Easter egg hunt...

After nearly three months of being live, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Real Estate Webmasters (my web designers) and to wish them a very Happy 5th Birthday. Your support and guidance have been invaluable in getting my new venture off the ground and climbing the Web 3.0 learning curve. May the next five years bring you as much, if not even greater, success!

As always, many heartfelt thanks to all my clients, friends, and visitors out there who are reading this.…

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I thought it might be interesting to take a quick look at how the housing market for Dane County in January and February of 2009 stacked up against the same months in 2008 by pulling some data from the South Central Wisconsin MLS. After all, it's important to examine at the facts when we're hearing so much bad news about the economy and the housing market day in and day out. As the old saying goes, all real estate markets are local - so we really need to be focused on data specific to our local market in order to understand what's really going on.

Here's how the numbers stacked up for Dane County (all data, unless otherwise specified, includes single-family homes and condominiums)*:

Jan 2009 vs Jan 2008 - Dane County

The number of listings…

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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act recently enacted by the United States Congress provides Dane County first-time home buyers with a $8,000 tax credit. The current legislation supercedes rules that were enacted back in the fall of 2008. Here are the top ten facts to know about the free $8,000 credit:

1. Available to Dane County first-time home buyers (a first-time home buyer is someone who has not owned real estate in the last three years).

2. Available for all principle residences including single family homes, condominiums, townhouses, and owner-occupied residential income property.

3. Home must be purchased between January 1st, 2009 and December 1st, 2009 inclusive.

4. The credit does NOT require repayment.

5. The full amount of the credit is…

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After what has amounted to a real dry spell, this week has reaped more calls about  income property than about any other type of real estate in months. Specifically, I've been getting a lot of calls about owner-occupied income property. My question is: could this signal the beginning of a turnaround in income property?

There were 87 income properties sold in Madison in 2008. That's an implied absorption rate of about 7.25 properties sold per month. The median sales price was $233K. So far this year, there have been 7 sales of income property in Madison at a median price of $191,666. So the median price is down and so far this year the absorption rate is down too. At the moment it's .583 properties per month. Admittedly not very impressive. But it's…

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Here are the latest local and national statistics for home foreclosures:

Home foreclosures in South Central Wisconsin (Dane, Columbia and Iowa Counties) increased 71% from January '09 to February '09, according to data released today by RealtyTrac, an online foreclosure tracking firm. The February 2009 total of 333 foreclosures was 141% higher than February 2008 total, when 138 foreclosure filings were recorded in the three county area.

In Dane County, 288 homes had foreclosures filed in February 2009, a 51% increase over January 2009 and 120% higher than February 2008. One out of every 732 housing units in Dane County received a foreclosure filing in the month of February.

Foreclosure filings jumped 11% last month for the entire State of Wisconsin,…

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"We do not cut corners, we round them.” 

The motto of Parade of Homes builder Yehuda Elmakias, owner of Elmakias Homes, is a perfect metaphor for his reputation for quality, attention to detail, and ability to closely communicate with clients. From ideas and drams to design, construction and completion, not only does Elmakias complete his homes on time and within budget, he makes every effort to exceed clients' expectations in the process. All of the following features, which come standard with every Elmakias home, illustrate Elmakias Construction's in-depth understanding and commitment to superior quality construction and finishings:

  1. Green-Built & Energy Star Certified (assuming customer cooperates with user guidelines)
  2. Acquisition of all customary…

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A survey of agents in the HouseHunt network shows that first-time home buyers accounted for 65 percent of all buyers, up from 46 percent in the first quarter of 2008. 

HouseHunt CEO Michael Bearden said he believed the trend would continue for the remainder of the year. Typically, first-time buyers account for about 40 percent of the market.

“Our latest national survey tells us that qualified first-time buyers are taking advantage of home prices not seen in five to seven years in many areas,” he said. “Affordability is no longer a major issue in many areas across the country – especially in those metro areas where prices spiked dramatically between 2003 and 2006.”

Please visit our Madison homes under $200K page to see daily updated prices and…

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"Lake, City, Lake." You know it as the City of Madison's trademark. And now it describes the content on our website more accurately than ever before! 

Lake & City Homes Realty is proud to announce eight new search shortcuts for quickly locating new waterfront listings in Madison WI and its surrounding communities. All eight shortcuts are accessible from the homepage of First, there are daily updated listings and prices for Madison lakefront homes. These are properties in Madison or elsewhere in Dane County that are either situated on a lake or on a river and which include actual water frontage, be it 50' of water frontage all the way up to 300' of frontage or more. Secondly, there are daily updated prices and listings for Madison…

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