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Jan. 22, 2020

Weekend Events

This Weekend in Wisconsin:  

LAKE HOME AND CABIN SHOW, DINO-LIGHT, AND WATERTOWN BRIDAL FAIR!

 

LAKE HOME AND CABIN SHOW

 

Alliant Energy Center

1919 Alliant Energy Center Way - Madison, WI 53713

Information: 952-471-1192

Event Date Detail

Jan 24, 2020 - Jan 26, 2020. Fri 2-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-4pm.

 

Event details

The Lake Home & Cabin Show is Wisconsin's ONLY show that specializes in vacation homes and the second home lifestyle. Whether you already own a second home, hope to someday own one or just want to immerse yourself in the warm decor and passion of the "up north" atmosphere, you'll want to start every year with a trip to the Lake Home & Cabin Show.

 

Check out more events in Wisconsin.

Click on Event title to see more info.

 

South Central

January 24, Comedy Night, Monroe

January 24, Free Beer Friday Presents: Hillsboro Brewing Co, Sun Prairie

January 24, Friends Trivia, New Glarus

January 24-26, Lake Home and Cabin Show, Madison

January 24-26, NARI Remodeling Expo, Middleton

January 25, 6th Annual Craft Beer & Wine Tasting, Lake Mills

January 25, Atomic Ice Fishing Derby, La Crosse

January 25, Baraboo Winterfest 5K Fun Run, Baraboo

January 25, Cabin Fever Fest, Beaver Dam

January 25, Hugh Jass Fat Bike Series, Waterloo

January 25, Ice Formations Hike Series, La Farge

January 25, Live Music at Timber Hill Winery, Milton

January 25, Rock River Bierfest, Mayville

January 25, Trace Adkins, Wisconsin Dells

January 25, Winter Extravaganza, Fort McCoy

January 26, Dino Light, Madison

January 26, Watertown Bridal Fair, Watertown

South East

January 24, Teddy Davenport & The Cushions, Brookfield

January 24-25, Waukesha Janboree, Waukesha

January 24-25, West Allis Winter Week, West Allis

January 24-26, Schnee Days Winter Festival, Elkhart Lake

January 25, Arts and Artisans Studio Creations Sale, Waukesha

January 25, Braise Restaurant’s Snowshoe Event & Dinner, Jackson

January 25, Candlelight Ski/Hike, Delafield

January 25, Downtown Oconomowoc Chili Fest, Oconomowoc

January 25, Hardwater Freaks Annual Ice Event, Milwaukee

January 25, Owl Prowl, Kansasville

January 25, Racine and Kenosha’s Best Bloody Mary Bar Crawl, Racine/Kenosha

January 25, Totally Tubular 80’s Party, Wilmont

January 26, 40th Annual City of Sheboygan Falls Fire Department Brat Fry, Kohler

January 26, Bridal Fair of Washington County, West Bend

January 26, Great Lakes Farmer’s Market, Racine

January 26, Indoor Triathlon, Pleasant Prairie

January 26, Milwaukee Coffee and Donut Fest, Milwaukee

January 26, Milwaukee’s 14th Annual Chili Bowl, Milwaukee

Central

January 24, St. Paul Winter Carnival, Stevens Point

January 24, Wausau/Rothschild Gun Show, Rothschild

January 24, Winter Brew Fest, Wausau

January 25, Health Fest, Marshfield Mall

January 25, Langlade County-Wide Snowmobile Ride, White Lake

January 25, Sip and Paint, Neillsville

January 25, Winter Fest Stories & Crafts, Wausau

January 25, World Championship Merrill Ice Drags, Merrill

January 26, 3 Redneck Tenors, Spencer

January 26, IRONBULL Winter Triathlon, Wausau

January 26, Wine Wine Dinner, Stevens Point

Northeast

January 24, Lagers for the Library, Appleton

January 24, Tour the Town Art Walk-Gallery Night, Fond du Lac

January 24-26, Blue Man Group, Appleton

January 24-26, Oshkosh Restaurant Week, Oshkosh

January 24-26, The Home Expo, Green Bay

January 25, Cabin Fever Fest, Fond du Lac

January 25, Candlelight Ski & Hike, Two Rivers

January 25, Ice Golf, Neenah

January 25, Indoor Rummage Sale & Craft Fair, Oshkosh

January 25, Paul Bunyan Snow Fun Day, Lakewood

January 25, Winterfest, Appleton

January 26, 5th Annual Bingo Bash, Omro

January 26, Chocolate Fantasy, Fond du Lac

January 26, Skate the Bay, Oshkosh

Northwoods

January 24, Basket Weaving-Snack Attack Basket, Land O’ Lakes

January 24-26, Women on Snow Weekend & Tour, Eagle River

January 25, Blizzard Bash, Phelps

January 25, MECCA Candlelight Ski & Snowshoe, Mercer

January 25, Phillips Flurry 5K & 10K Showshoe Race/Run/Walk, Phillips

January 25, Sno-Goers Snowmobile Cookout, Mercer

January 25, Winter Fun Day, Frederic

January 25, Winterfest & Candlelight Hike, Superior

January 25-26, Phillips Winterfest, Phillips

January 26, St. Joseph Annual Ice Fishing Contest, Amery

January 26, Wild Instincts Wildlife Bowl, Rhinelander

Posted in Community Events
Jan. 21, 2020

Wisconsin Real Estate Report – December 2019

 

Let’s take a look at how the Wisconsin housing market is shaking up! Compared to December of 2018, the number of home sales in December 2019 was 5,705, which was an increase of 14.8%. Statewide listings were down 11.9% to 22,145 while the median single-family home price rose 10.1% to $197,000. Houses were selling quicker this December compared to last December. On average, homes are on the market for 96 days, which is 6.8% less time than December of 2018.

Source data provided by the WRA

Curious about the value of your home?

 

Posted in Market Reports
Jan. 16, 2020

5 Types of Home Inspections to Know

 

Most buyers and sellers know that a home inspection is an essential part of the purchase process. But in real estate, there's more than just one type of inspection to consider. In fact, there are dozens. 

Whether you're purchasing a new home or investment property, selling your current home or trying to build equity in the house you're already in, here are the top five inspections you should know about.

Prepurchase inspections are the most common. They include a full assessment of a property's systems and structure, and they offer the buyer a full report of any repairs or issues that need attention. The buyer can use this report as a negotiating tool to have the seller address any repairs before closing or to lower the sales price to reflect the necessary repair costs.

Prelisting inspections are performed to give sellers a checklist of repairs to consider before listing the home. They can also help them gauge how much to list their property for, given its condition.

Feature-specific inspections are performed on a home's various features or systems. Some examples include inspections for swimming pools, septic tanks and wells.

Termite or wood-destroying insect inspections are needed if wood-eating pests are common in your area. Damage from these bugs can lead to costly repairs. Often, a buyer's inspector will recommend a termite inspection if they see specific signs of damage.

Municipal or COO inspections are required by municipalities to show that a newly constructed home or a home that has undergone major renovations is fit for occupancy. A municipal inspector will focus on the home's electrical, plumbing, building and fire code compliance to issue a certificate of occupancy.

Get in touch today if you'd like to learn more about a specific inspection process and how it could impact the value of your home.

Jan. 9, 2020

Curb Appeal: 4 Fixes for a Lush Lawn

 

The colder months are notoriously hard on foliage -- and subsequently, curb appeal. Fortunately, spring is just around the corner, and that means now is the perfect time to prep your lawn for its revival.

Try these easy fixes, and you'll have lush landscaping in no time.

  1. Reseed and fertilize. Have bare or thinning spots of grass? Take the time to reseed now, and use fertilizer to encourage new growth. Be sure to scrape any bare patcheswith a rake before seeding, and keep the area moist until it begins to sprout.
  2. Look for problematic slopes or shaded areas. Sometimes large, shady trees or steep inclines can hinder lawn growth. Step back and analyze your yard for these potential problem areas. Consider planting fescues in shady zones, and look into hydroseeding in sloped regions.
  3. Use sod to patch extensive dead areas. If the cold weather has killed large swaths of the lawn, resodding may be your best bet. You can install sod anytime of year; just make sure to water it often until it sets.
  4. Consider xeriscaping. Xeriscapingis the easiest way to weatherproof your lawn no matter where you live. It's also super-low maintenance and low cost, and it can be a big selling point if your home's in a hot or arid climate.

Whether you're planning to sell your property or you just want a great-looking home, your lawn -- and its health -- is going to play a big role. Take care of it, address any problems now and by spring, you'll have an outdoor oasis you'll be proud to call your own.

Posted in Home Tips
Jan. 6, 2020

Home Inspection

 

A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. If problems or symptoms are found, the inspector may recommend further evaluation.

 

What will my home inspection include?

The standard home inspector’s report will review the present condition of the home’s heating and cooling system, interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, the foundation, basement and visible structure. Most inspectors will provide you with an on-the-spot written report detailing their observations. The inspection will also usually detail the types of systems in the home and some general maintenance suggestions.

 

Scheduling a home inspection:

The home inspector is usually contacted as soon as the Offer To Purchase has been accepted. Most contracts allow for 10-15 days from acceptance for the inspection contingency. Most inspectors are available within a few days, which allows enough time to discuss the results and prepare any necessary documents.

 

How long will an inspection take?

A home inspection, on an average size home, will typically take from 2-3 hours. Large homes and any testing will add some time. Your inspector will recap the inspection with you and point out any areas of concern. Most inspectors will provide you with a copy of the inspection, while others will send a copy within a few days. Be sure to ask your home inspector, in advance, what type of report will be issued and when it will be provided to be sure you will be able to meet any contractual deadlines.

 

What will a home inspection cost?

Costs of home inspections vary. Most are around the $300-$500 range. If additional testing (such as testing for radon or lead based paint) is requested in your offer to purchase, there will be an additional cost. Most inspectors will want payment in full either before the inspection or before they provide the report.

 

Why have a home inspection?

The purchase of a home is probably one of the largest single investments you will make. You should learn as much as you can about the systems and condition, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep the home in good condition. It is important to know about any major repairs before you buy so that you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties.

Dec. 17, 2019

4 Home Improvements With High Returns

 

Remodeling your home can be a great way to increase its value and ensure you get good returns when it comes time to sell. But before you go tearing out your floors or adding another bedroom, take note: Not all projects are created equal. In fact, according to recent data from Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value report, there’s a pretty big discrepancy between which projects deliver high returns and those that don’t.
 
Want to make sure your remodels are worth the effort? Here are some top options:
 
  • Get a new garage door. It seems simple, but replacing your garage door is the most value-adding project you can take on. On average, it delivers returns of more than 98 percent upon resale.
  • Focus on curb appeal. Upgrades to exterior areas saw serious growth over the last year. Wood deck additions increased over 18 percent in value, while stone veneer installation value was up almost 14 percent. 
  • Replace your entry door. Don’t bother sprucing up old doors. Replacing them with steel models can deliver a whopping 91 percent ROI. And at an average cost of $1,471, they’re one of the most affordable updates for your home.
  • Upgrade your kitchen. Minor kitchen remodels continue to be a top value-adding project. This year, the average small remodel adds about $17,193 to your home’s value and recoups more than 81 percent of your costs.
You might want to rule out projects like backyard patios, master suite additions and major kitchen remodels -- they’re notorious for low returns. If you’re looking to boost your home’s value and increase its marketability, focus your efforts on projects that improve aesthetics and add ease and convenience instead. 
Dec. 12, 2019

Winter Moving Tips

 

Buying a home during warmer months is certainly more convenient when it comes to moving into that new home of yours. You don’t have to worry about snow or freezing temperatures affecting your move. Tracking that snow into the house is also an issue you don’t need to consider in the spring, summer, and fall months. To make your winter move easier, here are a list of tips to keep in mind!

 

Dress for the Occasion

It’s the winter, so it’s definitely going to be cold outside. Even though you will be warmer from moving around, you are still going to want to dress appropriately. Check the temperature before your move to determine how much you will need to bundle up. If the temperatures are really low, you will want to wear a winter coat. If you have a warmer day (living in Wisconsin, the 30s feel pretty warm for the winter) you can probably get away with a jacket. Gloves aren’t a bad idea either!

 

Keep an Eye on the Weather

As mentioned before, you will likely have to deal with snow, freezing temperatures or even both. When you are planning your move, check the weather forecast prior. You may be able to find a day that is a little warmer than others or a day that does not have snow in the forecast. It’s the easiest way to make your winter move a little more comfortable. The last thing you want is to be moving in a blizzard!

 

Clear the Walkways

Moving heavy objects, especially in slippery conditions can be very dangerous. You don’t want to end up with an injury because you slipped on the snow or ice while carrying your belongings into your home. Be sure to shovel your sidewalk and driveway to avoid the snow being a factor. Salting your walkway is also key to avoid icy, slippery conditions.

 

Turn Off the Heat

Your doors will be opening and closing constantly during a move. This makes it hard to keep warm air in the house, which will cause your furnace to work extra hard to try and heat your home. To make sure you aren’t racking up a high heating bill, turn off the heat until you are done moving everything into the house.

 

Protect Your Floors

Constantly moving in and out of your home will lead to a mixture of snow, dirt and salt being tracked all over your floors. Whether you have carpet, wood floors or tile, this will surely do some damage to your floors. Lay mats outside your entry doors and also put down cheap plastic tarps to protect the inside. Your floors will thank you!

 

BONUS TIP: Keep Hot Chocolate or Hot Cider in the Kitchen

 

Going in and out of the cold all day will definitely make you chilly. Keep some hot drinks such as hot chocolate or hot cider in the kitchen to drink so you and the rest of your moving crew can warm up a bit throughout the day!

 

 

Dec. 3, 2019

Advantages of Selling During the Winter

 

 

When the weather is cold and snowy, people tend to stay indoors, curled up next to their fireplace to keep warm. So, why would they want to go out into the frigid weather to shop for a new home when they can wait for temperatures to heat up to start a home search? Though, you may think your home is a lot less likely to sell in the winter, here are some of the advantages you have to get your home sold.

 

Less Competition

People tend to have that perception that their homes won’t sell in the winter, so they are less likely to list. They might think that the weather will deter potential buyers or that the busy holiday season won’t allow people to fit a showing into their schedule. This bodes well for you if you are brave enough to list your home during the colder months. The less competition for you, the better!

 

Attentive Agents

Since there are less homes on the market, your real estate agent is more likely to have less listings than normal. This means they have more time to devote to the listings they do have, such as yours!

 

The Internet

Not many people enjoy going out in the cold weather. However, you don’t necessarily need to when you are shopping around for a home. The internet gives us almost everything we are looking for at our fingertips. Buyers can search online websites such as firstweber.com to find the home they are looking for. Of course, they will want to take a look at the home in-person before making any decisions, but they can do most of the searching on their mobile devices.

 

More Serious Buyers

During the winter months, home buyers tend to be more motivated to make a home purchase. When the weather is warmer, you tend to have more people who are window shopping rather than actually considering a home purchase. If a buyer has to trudge through freezing conditions and interrupt their busy holiday schedule to take a look at a place to move to, they must be pretty serious!

 

Time Off

 

Sure, the holiday season generally has people running around hectically, but that’s not always the case. A lot of people have more time off during the holidays, especially if their vacation time doesn’t carry over into the new year. This gives people much more time to browse the internet to try and find their dream home!

 

Posted in Home Selling
Nov. 19, 2019

Keeping Warm in Your Home During Winter

Well, winter decided to come a bit early this year. While the temperature drops outside, your home cools down as well. You’ll definitely need to turn the heat up, but there are additional ways to keep warm in your home during winter months without breaking the bank with your heating bill.

 

Dress Warmer!

This is certainly one of the easiest ways to keep toasty during a chilly winter. During summer months you wear lighter clothing, shorts and t-shirts to keep cool in the hot weather. In the winter months, you will want to bundle up! When you’re hanging around the house, dress in layers. Throw on a sweatshirt and sweatpants to stay as warm as you can without having to turn the heat up too much.

 

Use Blankets and Throw Pillows

Wearing warmer clothes is a great way to stay warm in your home but blankets and throw pillows will help get the job done too! Not only do they keep you warmer, they double as decor during the winter months. They are also great for keeping you cozy while sitting on your couch and binge-watching Christmas movies during the holiday season.

 

Reverse Those Ceiling Fans

Hot air rises, which means you can put your ceiling fans to use by having them push that hot air back down. Modify your ceiling fans in the winter to run in reverse to bring the warm air down to the floor level.

 

Take Advantage of Your Oven & Stove

When you cook food at home your kitchen really starts to heat up. Cooking in the winter is a great way to both heat up your home and have a hot meal at the same time. If you don’t have small children or pets around, leave your oven open after you are done making your meal to let the hot air spread into your home.

 

Use Window Treatments

 

During the day, sunlight will beam through your windows and aid in heating up your home naturally. When the sun goes down, you will want to have window coverings that you can close to help lock in that heat and keep the cold out. Not only will this help keep your home insulated, window coverings are aesthetically pleasing as well.

 

 

Posted in Home Tips
Nov. 8, 2019

First-Time Home Buyer Frequently Asked Questions

 

The home buying process can be a bit overwhelming, especially for first-time home buyers. It’s one of the largest investments a person will ever make, so it’s totally normal to have a lot of questions along the way. Here are some questions many first-time buyers have when they are looking to buy their first home:

What Are the Benefits of Buying?

Buying a home instead of continuing to rent will give you some great benefits. When you rent, the monthly payments you are making go right to the landlord and you gain nothing from those payments. When you buy a home, you are building equity with each of those monthly payments on your mortgage. Some other benefits include tax breaks, freedom (no landlord to tell you what you can and can’t do) and appreciation in value. These are only a few of the many wonderful benefits of buying a home!

Is There a Difference Between Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval?

You tend to hear these two terms a lot when people are talking about the home buying process. A lot of first-time buyers are unsure of what they exactly mean. Getting pre-qualified for a loan is more of an estimate of what you might be able to borrow. It is not a guaranteed number since your information has not been verified yet. That’s why being pre-approved holds more value as a home buyer. When you are pre-approved, they base that off of information such as your credit score. It is a good idea to get pre-approved before you start house hunting.

Am I Ready Financially?

Homeownership can certainly be expensive. You have your upfront costs such as a down payment and closing costs. You also need to be financially ready for any repairs your home may need. You’ll want to answer a few questions for yourself before you can determine if you can afford a home. Do you have a steady job/income? Do you have enough in your savings account? Can you afford everything from mortgage payments to insurance? These are a few of the important questions you will need to answer for yourself to make your decision if you are ready to buy a home.

Do I Need to Put 20% Down?

Saving up 20% for a down payment on a home is difficult for most people and can certainly take a long time. However, it is not required to put that much down. You can put as little as 5% down if that works better for you. Your monthly payments will be higher, but it is still possible to buy a home with a down payment less than 20%

Do I Need a Real Estate Agent?

Hiring a real estate agent isn’t a requirement when buying a home. However, it is highly recommended. The home buying process can be complicated and overwhelming, especially for first-time buyers. Hiring a real estate agent will give you peace of mind knowing that they have the experience to help find you a home that fits your lifestyle within your budget. Buying a home can be a stressful process and hiring a realtor will relieve a lot of those points of stress, making the home buying process much more enjoyable for you.