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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Beautiful luxury home in Madison, Wisconsin on Lake Monona

If you're in the market for a stunning luxury home, Madison, Wisconsin won’t disappoint. This picturesque city is home to some of the most beautiful and luxurious properties in the state. From sprawling estates with acres of land to chic downtown condos with breathtaking views, there's something for every taste and budget. We've scoured the local real estate market to bring you a list of 7 incredible luxury homes for sale in Madison, WI. Trust us, you won't want to miss out on these gems!

This stunning contemporary-style home sits on nearly 100 feet of lake frontage and offers breathtaking views of Lake Mendota from nearly every room. With 4 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, there is plenty of room for you and your family to spread out and enjoy. The…

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house puzzle

After more than a decade of strong seller markets, many people have faced the unenviable situation where they have to sell a home before they can buy a replacement home. In other words, they need the proceeds of their current home in order to move forward on a replacement property. In such competitive seller markets however, it's worth pondering some of the potential outcomes, good and bad, to thoroughly evaluate one's options.

It’s a bit of a catch-22: how do you buy a home if you have to sell your current home first? What happens if you sell your current home and can’t land a replacement property in time? As you can imagine, there are lot of ways this scenario can play itself out depending on the circumstances and flexibility (financial or…

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If you’re actively looking to buy a home in the Madison WI real estate market, you’re probably aware that it’s been a seller’s market for over a decade now. We know it’s easy to get discouraged because we know about buyers who have bid on our listings and lost out...for the third, fourth, or even the sixth time (true story). We feel fortunate that the clients we represent have never been put through a situation like that (also true). That said, it’s important to have a conversation with your Realtor about what it takes to compete in the event you pursue a home and a bidding war ensues. While Madison area inventory is not expected to miraculously improve anytime soon, there are a number of constructive ways to structure your offer that will…

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House in hand

A house is a complicated organism. Although you may have owned a home before, bear in mind that every house is different. Every house is unique and every house has its “quirks”. For first-time home buyers especially, there is a lot to know about your new home. That’s why we recommend that all our buyers attend their home inspection (using a WI registered home inspector) as an opportunity to learn as much as they can about their new-home-to-be. In addition to attending your inspection, it’s vital you study your inspection report and understand any recommendations your inspector makes regarding needed maintenance of your new home. You’ll want to make sure you also get answers to the following questions before you move into your new home:

  1. How many…

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At Lake & City Homes we absolutely believe that homebuyers should create a list of the key features they want in a home. It not only helps them remain focused, but it helps us, as their agents, narrow down the choices of homes to tour.

The problem with the wish list is that too many buyers use it as a recipe for their perfect home – assuming that there is a home out there with all of the ingredients necessary.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, with the depleted inventory of Madison homes we are currently experiencing (and have for the past seven years), our best advice to home shoppers is to replace your middle name with the word “compromise.”

In-demand Madison home features

The most popular features among the available…

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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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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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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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If you’ve spent the past few weeks or even months looking at homes for sale but haven’t found the one that’s just right for you, we have good news. Fall is actually one of the best times for homebuyers to shop.

The deals are better now

Home prices tend to peak in June and July. In fact, “May, June, July and August―account for 40% of an average year’s total home-selling volume,” Tian Liu, chief economist at Genworth Mortgage Insurance suggests at HousingWire.com. 

Not only does the volume of sales decrease when fall arrives, but winter and fall home prices inch down as well. Remember, there is often a difference between the list price and sales price of a home.

So, while list prices dip less than half a percent in fall, sales prices drop…

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