A seller’s market is when there is less than six months of inventory on the market. In the Madison area we have been facing a severe shortage of inventory for the last seven (!) years. What are the reasons for these market conditions and why are they persisting?

Perhaps more importantly, what can a good real estate agent do to increase your chances of landing a great property in a multiple bidding situation.

The first reason we’re in a seller’s market is obvious: there is precious little inventory for sale. The question on everybody’s mind however, is why?

Why is there so little inventory?

What are the forces that have caused inventory to dry up to levels not seen in more than a decade? Why is it becoming more and more difficult for…

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January 2 through January 7

RENT

It’s the 20th anniversary tour of this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning musical and it’s heading for the Overture Center’s stage. If you haven’t seen it yet, this event is a must-attend. Get the details and buy tickets online at overture.org.

 

January 5, 2018 to January 7, 2018

Madison Home Expo

If 2018 is the year you plan on sprucing up the old homestead, get to the Madison Home Expo for ideas, advice and inspiration. Enjoy roofing, home security, flooring, insulation, landscaping tips and bathroom and kitchen remodeling topics. It’s happening at the Monona Terrace Convention Center - Exhibition Hall and Ballroom. Admission for adults is $5 and kids under 18 get in free. Check…

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Kid on a snowmobile in the winter in Madison, Wisconsin

Do you realize that in just more than one week, the kids will be out of school for winter break? Yikes! What will you do with them this year? Time for a pre-holiday day trip to let off some steam? Or maybe just stick close to home. Read on for some ideas.

Get out of town

How about a day (or a stay) at Boulder Junction? The Winter Celebration is happening on December 30, with even more fun things for the family to enjoy. These include a guided cross-country ski adventure (equipment will be available), sledding, ice skating, wagon rides, music, fireworks and, best of all, complimentary hot cocoa and chili.

If you want to stay for a night or two, check out these lodging ideas. Boulder Junction is about 3.5 hours north of Madison.

Eagle…

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Young, growing families eventually get to the point where they outgrow their current digs. At this point they know they need to move up to a larger home but hesitate because of current market conditions.

Sure, it’ll be a snap to sell the current home; starter homes are in great demand right now. But, then what? Competition is keen in most price ranges in Madison, causing many would-be move-up buyers to hesitate.

The question of the season is: “Should we sell now while the market is hot and then rent until it cools off?”

The answer is: “Are you nuts? Have you any idea how much rents are increasing?”

Although rent prices are down on a year-to-year basis, they’re up on a month-to-month basis. In fact, the rent on a one-bedroom apartment…

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Through December 31

Zoo Lights at the Henry Vilas Zoo

Head to the zoo on Thursdays through Sundays for a warm beverage and a stroll through a winter wonderland of lights and sounds. Zoo Lights is open from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. and is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Learn more online at vilaszoo.org/zoolights.

 

December 2 through December 31

Olbrich's Holiday Express

What a show! From 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily (with restricted hours on Christmas Eve and closed Christmas day) you can view large-scale model trains in a holiday scene. And members of the Wisconsin Garden Railway Society will be on hand, showing off their trains as well. See the website for details.

 

Through January 2

Holiday Fantasy in Lights

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Thanksgiving is creeping up on us and if you want to dine out, and hope to get a reservation, you’ll need to act quickly. And, we have a few places you may want to call for those reservations.

Essen-Haus

For some Madison families, Thanksgiving dinner at Essen Haus is a tradition. They serve a family-style dinner with all the usual favorites, including stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, yams and more. “All of the sides are bottomless,” they promise on their website, “and you take the leftover turkey home!”

Adults eat for $22.95 while dinners for kids between the ages of 6 and 10 are $8.95 and the wee ones, age 5 and younger eat for free. Get additional details online at essen-haus.com.

 Essen-Haus is serving Thanksgiving dinner from 11…

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A couple of years ago I read a news story about a woman from China who bought an apartment in New York City for $6.5 million. She bought it for her two-year old daughter and plans to hold on to it so that when the child grows up and attends an American university, she’ll have a place to call her own.

Must be nice, right? How many of those 8,200-plus students who pay $9,000 to more than $10,000 to double up in one of UW’s 19 residence halls would like a sweet deal like this?

Let’s take a look at what the experts say.

Fears of creating a financially-dependent monster

Many parents worry about fostering financial dependency when helping their adult children financially. How your child deals with your generosity, however, has to do with his or…

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