tips, news, and information about or pertaining to first-time homebuyers

Realtor giving real estate advice to potential home buyers

The world of real estate is constantly changing, which can make it daunting for new home buyers (and even experienced buyers) to fully understand and navigate. There have always been misconceptions about the home buying process. As the market evolves, so do the myths, and 2023 is no exception. Let's debunk some of the prevalent myths circulating this year.

Myth #1: You Must Pay a Down Payment of 20% or More

Historically, a 20% down payment was the gold standard for purchasing a home. However, this is no longer universally true. While putting down a significant down payment can potentially help you get a better mortgage rate or avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI), there are numerous loan programs available for those who can't afford a hefty…

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Early last month, released their list of the top 75 metros in the U.S. for millennials. The criteria for inclusion fell into three categories: 

  • Jobs
  • Livability
  • Affordability

“Few metros offer the ideal mix of a strong job market, affordable rent and home prices and high livability scores,” claims Sydney Bennet, Apartment List’s research associate.

Madison, however, is one of only three others that offers that ideal mix, with a perfect score (A+). Provo, Utah and Pittsburgh were the other two.

Madison is a livable city

Although Madison came in third overall, we scored the highest in the livability category. Apartment List surveyed renters to come up with this metric.

They asked them about weather, access…

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On Saturday, we celebrated Armed Forces Day across the country. Here in Wisconsin, home to nearly 900,000 U.S. veterans, the day was noted with a Harley-Davidson Support the Troops Ride, military displays, a 21-gun salute and Echo Taps and more. A couple hours north of Madison, Fort McCoy held an open house celebration.

California’s attorney general Kamala Harris sums it up when she said “We owe our vets the support and benefits they earned while wearing a uniform.” We all know about the shoddy medical support these men and women have been subjected to. What may come as a surprise to you, however, is how few of our nation’s heroes understand the home loan benefit to which they are entitled.

Of our 21,369,602 military veterans, only 2.4 percent…

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Going over our blog posts from the past year we’ve learned that some of our most popular involve homes currently on the market. Hey, we get it. Even if you’re not in the market for a home, it’s fun to take a look at what buyers are clamoring after, what home prices are doing and being nosy by looking inside other people’s homes, even virtually.

We’re seeing a bit of a trend this week – CONDOS! Always a popular option for those on a budget, condo living also offers a sense of a carefree life, sans the snow blowing and landscaping chores. All three of this week’s most popular homes for sale in Madison are condos.


Lots of privacy on the Northside

This week’s most popular home for sale in Madison is a condo in the Cherokee community. Located…

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Affordable Updated Starter Rustic Ridge Home for Sale

As you know, all that glitters is most certainly not gold. But have we got a golden opportunity for you to own a beautifully updated, affordable starter home in desirable Rustic Ridge neighborhood on Madison’s East Side!

Move in ready! You’ll love this 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath ranch style home in Rustic Ridge subdivision on Madison’s East Side. This affordable, updated starter home features cathedral ceilings, hardwood floors, and wood-burning fireplace in the living room open to the eat-in kitchen, large Master bedroom with walk-in closet, updated full bath, and a second bedroom on the main floor. The third bedroom and half bath are located in the finished, walk-out lower level. Enjoy…

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That’s a good question and one that I hear frequently. With the proliferation of websites that claim to offer up local listings and then the dashed hopes when one learns that the “big’ sites like Zillow don’t offer ALL the listings, or feature listings that don’t exist, is it any wonder folks are confused?

In recent months, our Madison MLS, officially known as the South Central WI Multiple Listing Service (SCWMLS), has made some important changes that actually service real estate consumers better. That was a very happy day for us and our site visitors who love our website design, our real-time MLS data feed, and the accurate information we strive to supply about homes for sale in Madison WI and throughout Dane County.

Before they made this change,…

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Madison WI Capitol buildingMadison Wisconsin racks up yet another "Best City" award this month, this time for Kiplinger's "Best Cities for Young Adults". With a population of just over a half a million people in the Madison metropolitan area and an unemployment rate of 4.9% (the national unemployment rate is 8.2%), Madison tops out the list of best cities to live in for young adults in part because of its relatively low cost-of-living index of 108.2 (the national average is 100) and average rent of $849 per month for a one bedroom apartment (the national average is $959). The median household income for Madison, WI currently stands at $58,775 (the national median household income is $43,024).

More important than statistics, however, is the vibrant and energetic feel of Madison's…

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tiny houseToday Inman News announced the results of its 10 U.S. hotspots for smallest house sizes. Included in its top ten list were six cities located in the Midwest, notably the great state of Wisconsin. The list was based on the median square footage of homes listed for sale on during the month of September 2011. Note: not all homes for sale are listed on reported that the median size of homes for sale in Wisconsin was the 10th smallest in the country for the month of September 2011, at 1,669 square feet. Like the other top ten finishers (with the exception of our nation's capitol which only has two), Wisconsin's homes have a median of three bedrooms.   In addition to Wisconsin, the other Midwestern states cited as…

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not all real estate agents are Realtors!Are you interested in selling your Madison WI home? If you are ready to make a move, you are likely planning to hire a Realtor to help you with the process. After all, Realtors are experts in the industry and, as such, should be able to help you sell your home more quickly and efficiently. Before you hire a Realtor, however, it is important to know more about how to choose your Realtor.


While it is certainly possible for a Realtor with little experience to do a great job with selling your home, you are more likely than not to get the results you are looking for when you hire a Realtor with experience. In addition to asking about the Realtor's general experience in the industry, you should also ask about his or her experience selling in your…

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Parenting magazine just released a list of the top places to raise a family and Madison Wisconsin snagged third.

According to Parenting magazine, Madison Wisconsin is the third best city in the country for families.

Here are the results of the cities that made it into the top 10:

1. Arlington, VA
2. Austin, TX
3. Madison, WI
4. Ann Arbor, MI
5. Lexington, KY
6. Portland, OR
7. Spokane, WA
8. Scottsdale, AZ
9. Omaha, NE
10. Raleigh, NC

How did Parenting magazine determine the top 10? They surveyed mothers nationwide to determine the factors Mom consider to be most important when deciding where to make a home. Then they compiled a list of the top 100 cities by population according to the U.S. Census. Over 5,000 data points were gathered in 52 different…

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