"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 LakeAndCityHomes.com. 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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Something to ponder over your morning coffee this Monday morning: a whopping 45% of all U.S. housing sales in Q4'08 were categorized as "distressed" (foreclosures and short sales).

Clearly the housing situation in the U.S. is serious and getting worse with each passing day as the economy deteriorates. Last week President Obama introduced a comprehensive plan to address the situation. Here are the salient points to understanding President Obama's mortgage bailout plan:

  1. only owner-occupied homes will be eligible for mortgage assistance (2nd homes and vacation homes are ineligible, as are speculative buys and properties that were bought to "flip")
  2. purchasers who did "liar loans" will be ineligible (includes no doc loans in which no income or…

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DC foreclosuresLake & City Homes is pleased to announce a new tool for daily updates of Madison WI distressed property, including all Madison  short sales, foreclosures and REOs (bank-owned properties). Although the foreclosure rate in Wisconsin is considerably lower than states such as FL, NV, MI, OH, IL, and CA, Wisconsin still has a ready supply of distressed properties for those looking to pick up a good deal. According to RealtyTrac, the foreclosure rate for Madison is 8,749 in the nation. There were 103 foreclosure filings in Madison for the month of January 2009. There are currently 190 foreclosures in Dane County.

Although Wisconsin's foreclosure rate is rising, it is considerably lower than other states due to far fewer sub-prime and Alt-A loans being made to…

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DC foreclosures







A new search snippet for Madison WI distressed properties was just added to the Lake & City Homes Realty website. This shortcut search is in accessible from the homepage and displays updated listings and prices for all Madison WI  short sales, foreclosures, and REOs (also known as bank-owned real estate). Even though Madison WI has a very low foreclosure rate compared to many U.S. cities, it still has its fair share of repossessed properties. So check out some of the amazing deals on offer in the Madison WI housing market. In some cases prices are the lowest we've seen in a decade! In addition, rates have fallen below 5% and there is the added incentive of the $8K tax credit for first-time homebuyers who purchase by 12/1//09.…

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Today we'll learn details of President Obama's $75 billion homeowner stabilization initiative. So far we know from reports that the plan would reduce mortgage payments to 38% of borrowers' income and, with government assistance, further reduce mortgage payments to 31% of borrowers' income through government write-downs of principle. Homeowners "at risk" but not currently in default on their mortgages would also be eligible for assistance. Low rates will be guaranteed for a period of five years. Reports by MSNBC are that borrowers would receive incentives for keeping their mortgages current and that lenders would receive payments for helping homeowners restructure their mortgages, as well as receive incentives for keeping borrowers' mortgages current. More…

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I wanted to give you an update on the stimulus package. After weeks of debate and negotiations, Congress and the administration reached a deal on the $787 billion stimulus package on Wednesday and approved it Friday.

The final bill is pared back from the original House-approved bill, which was needed to garner approval from three key Republican senators. The bill passed the House Friday by a 246-183 vote; the Senate passed the bill by a 60-38 vote that evening. President Obama is expected to sign the bill today.

On Feb. 10, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced the administration's Financial Stability Plan, which provides up to $2.5 trillion to revive the financial markets. Scant details were provided on the entire plan and particularly on how the…

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The new tax credit for first-time homebuyers that's included in the economic stimulus package was far less than the $20,000 the homebuilding industry wanted. Analysts expect the credit of 10 percent of the value of a home, up to $8,000, to provide only a modest boost to the battered U.S. housing market. Last year, Congress enacted a $7,500 tax credit for first-time buyers, but that had to be paid back over 15 years and the impact on home sales was negligible.

The tax credit is part of the economic stimulus package expected to be signed soon by Obama. It was scaled back from a Senate proposal of $15,000 and is limited to first-time buyers who act between January 1st, 2009 and December 1st, 2009. First-time buyers are defined as those who haven't owned a…

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Madison's Capitol BuildingJust released employment figures show the U.S. economy shed 3.6 million jobs from December 2007 to January 2008, including close to half that figure in the last three months alone. The unemployment rate now stands at 7.6% nationally and, in case you hadn't heard, at over 10% already in several states. And the list is growing.

But fortunately jobs aren't disappearing at the same rate in every real estate market.

As reported by Ajilon Professional Staffing, there are still areas around the country in which the unemployment rate is low and the job outlook relatively strong.

Led by Madison, WI, Ajilon calls them "10 Cities For Job Growth in 2009". They are:

1. Madison, WI   
2. Washington, D.C.   
3. Boston, MA   
4. Richmond, VA   
5. Milwaukee, WI   
6. Pittsburgh,…

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