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Mad City Dream Homes Real Estate Blog, Madison WI

Madison mortgage rates have been falling, even though they are predicted to rise above 5% in 2019. As of this post, the rate for a 30 year fixed rate loan in Madison is below 4.5%. For a look at current local rates, contact our friends at Great Midwest Bank and Johnson Bank.

Even when rates do rise above 5%, they'll remain attractive when compared to rates over the last few decades. For example, take a look at the graph below, which shows the average 30 year mortgage rate dating back to April, 1971. Over this time period the average rate for a 30 year fixed rate loan has been above 8%, which is far above current rates.    

 

Tips for buyers and sellers while rates are under 5%

If you've been thinking of buying later in 2019, we recommend you

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As "the only Waunakee in the world," this growing village north of Madison is known for its close-knit community, abundance of parks, and convenient location.

Take it from Ellen Schaaf, who has lived in Waunakee for 18 years and has been the executive director of the Waunakee Area Chamber of Commerce for the last 13. She grew up in Madison and started the house search after she got married and had her first child. "What was important to us was a forward-thinking, smaller community close to things, and Waunakee met that bill for us," she said. Schaaf is passionate where she lives, citing the village's small-town feel that's close to the big city.

This special "essence" of Waunakee is what called Brent Bickel to move here to start a new

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Unfortunately, some sellers do misrepresent or "under-represent" property defects on their real estate condition report. And it happens more often than we'd like to see. Based on our experience, failures to disclose are most likely to happen with For Sale By Owner and Limited Service listings. 

One fairly common omission is a seller's failure to disclose previous water intrusions. We know this because some water problems can be easy to detect. Mildew, water stains, soft wood, and elevated moisture readings are all signs of previous problems. When a seller does fail to disclose a water issue, that's a tip-off to be on the look out for other issues, too. 

 

How to protect yourself from sellers who under-represent

One way you can protect yourself

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Here's a quick look back at the December Dane County real estate market, for both single family homes and condos. Let's jump right into it...

Dane County Single Family Home Update - Dec 2018

New Dane County single family home listings were the lowest ever for the month of December. A total of 211 new listings entered the market, a decrease of 12% from the year before. 

 

A low influx of new listings is keeping the inventory of active listings low, too. As of January 11th, only 1.5 months of supply were available for sale on the open market. 

 

Last month, a total of 265 accepted offers were recorded in the MLS - a decrease of 17% from the 321 accepted offers recorded in December of 2017. 

 

Single family home sales were also lower

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We recently listed and sold this condominium in the Town of Westport for $10,000 above the list price, which far exceeded our clients' expectations for their sale. The two biggest reasons for our clients' success were the staging and photography plans that we included in the marketing plan. The "before and after" photos below show the dramatic, positive impact that our stager and photographer had on this listing.

Living room photo before and after staging

The photo on the left shows the living room before the staging process began. The professional photo on the right shows the living room after our client worked with our preferred stager, Debbie Lea. 

 

Enhancing a listing with aerial photography

Next, we took our marketing to the next

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At Mad City Dream Homes, we create an individualized marketing plan for every home and condo we sell. Each property has its unique selling points, and our marketing plans reflect that. We design our marketing plans to maximize each client's return on investment.

Customized marketing solutions

Every successful listing begins with a good plan and a great team of professionals to carry it out. Below we share a few examples of how our team customizes our marketing according to the unique needs of each client. 

Staging an occupied home

The most effective way to increase a property's value is to stage it under the guidance of a qualified professional. This is why we connect you with Debbie Lea, the best professional home stager in the Madison

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Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) gets a lot of attention -- and deservedly so -- for the mid-century modern homes and buildings he's designed in the Madison area. But less than 8 years after he attended civil engineering classes at UW-Madison, so did another "Frank" who would also become a prominent 20th century architect in a much different style.

Perhaps best known for designing what is now the Governor's Mansion and several other Period Revival homes in Maple Bluff, Frank Morris Riley (1875-1949) helped shape the look and feel of many of Madison's premier neighborhoods, including University Heights, Nakoma, Shorewood Hills, and along Sherman Avenue and Wingra Park. He also designed the Brittingham House in the Highlands, which is now the official

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Over the years it's been our observation that the most successful real estate agents assume a strong sense of ownership over their career. These agents know it's not the market that determines their path. It's what they bring to the market. So, how much ownership are you assuming for your real estate career?

You can answer this question yourself by taking a look at the foundation upon which your career is built. Are you continually building and reinforcing your foundation in real estate? Here are 5 ways you can build your own solid foundation and take control of your career.   

5 ways to own your real estate career 

1) Cultivate a positive mental attitude. Many successful agents work constantly on their positive mental attitude which sustains

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You may have heard BMO Harris Bank recently eliminated all of its brick and mortar loan officers. BMO lenders, who once worked out of individual branches, now work out of a call center. Now all customer interactions with a loan officer take place online or over the phone. The face-to-face meeting has been eliminated at BMO.

BMO adopted this new customer service model because it costs less than the old model. It's also a response to evolving consumer preferences, which place a premium on speed and efficiency. Will BMO have a thriving mortgage business 5 years from now? We'll be watching to see how their new approach to service plays out. 

Our thoughts on face-to-face meetings

We understand why companies like BMO are eliminating the

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For a little insight, check out our graph below, which shows the number of accepted offers during the first 11 months of 2018. As the numbers below show, buyer activity is strongest in March, April, and May. Year in and year out the best time to sell is late winter and early spring. If you're planning to sell in 2019, this means the time to start preparing for your sale is right now. 

How to prepare for your 2019 listing

Here are 4 steps you can take right now for a successful listing in 2019. 

1) Contact your favorite Mad City Dream Homes agent. Your agent will help you select the right price point, customize your marketing plan, and identify low-cost cosmetic updates that will improve your home’s value.

2) Schedule your professional

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