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June 4, 2021

2021 Top Ten Home Improvement Projects for ROI


Who doesn’t love a good home upgrade?! At some point, trends go out of style, things need to be replaced or you might just be ready to change up the look of your home. If you are looking for upgrades to make that will get you the best ROI, then this is the list for you! Here are the top ten remodeling projects to get the best return on investment according to Remodeling magazine’s 2021 Cost vs. Value Report.

Garage Door Replacement

·         Avg. Cost: $3,907

·         Avg. Resale Value: $3,663

·         ROI: 94%


Manufactured Stone Veneer

·         Avg. Cost: $10,386

·         Avg. Resale Value: $9,571

·         ROI: 92%


Minor Kitchen Remodel

·         Avg. Cost: $26,214

·         Avg. Resale Value: $18,927

·         ROI: 72%


Siding Replacement | Fiber-Cement

·         Avg. Cost: $19,626

·         Avg. Resale Value: $13,618

·         ROI: 69%


Window Replacement | Vinyl

·         Avg. Cost: $19,385

·         Avg. Resale Value: $13,297

·         ROI: 69%


Siding Replacement | Vinyl

·         Avg. Cost: $16,576

·         Avg. Resale Value: $11,315

·         ROI: 68%


Window Replacement | Wood

·         Avg. Cost: $23,219

·         Avg. Resale Value: $15,644

·         ROI: 67%


Deck Addition | Wood

·         Avg. Cost: $16,766

·         Avg. Resale Value: $11,038

·         ROI: 66%


Entry Door Replacement | Steel

·         Avg. Cost: $2,082

·         Avg. Resale Value: $1,353

·         ROI: 65%


Deck Addition | Composite

·         Avg. Cost: $22,426

·         Avg. Resale Value: $14,169

·         ROI: 63%





May 27, 2021

4 Things Homebuyers May Be Looking for in Their Next Home


When starting a home search, buyers have an idea in their minds of what they desire most. While most people have different lists of what they are looking for, some common things find themselves on the minds of buyers most often. Here are four of the most common things buyers may be looking for in their next home.


Location is important to just about everyone. It’s something we all need to consider for several reasons. Young families may be looking for a safe neighborhood for their kids to play in, as well as a home that is in an area with good schools. For most working adults, their daily commute to work plays a big factor in where they will look for a home. Whatever the main reason, homebuyers desire location above many things.

Extra Rooms

This home feature may have historically been less important, but now it is more important than ever. With a big part of the population working from home, people are looking to have a home office. Some companies may be slowly bringing employees back to the office, but many other companies remain remote and could continue to stay that way in the future. Spare rooms have other great uses too, such as a playroom for the kids or even a home gym.

Updated Spaces

Outdated home features can be a turnoff to certain buyers. Most people aren’t a fan of dated features like colorful carpets or popcorn ceilings. A large number of buyers want their new home to be move-in ready and don’t want to spend the money replacing outdated features.

Backyard Space


Backyards can offer a lot of functionality to a home. No matter what kind of lifestyle a buyer has, a backyard is a great space for just about anyone. Whether a buyer wants space for a big garden, hosting guests or for kids to run around and play, a spacious backyard will fit all of those needs.




May 19, 2021

Wisconsin Real Estate Report – April 2021


Four months into the year and home sales haven’t slowed down! The number of home sales in April 2021 was 6,935, which was an increase of 14.6% compared to April 2020. Statewide listings were down 29.5% to 18,970 while the median single-family home price rose 9.9% to $235,000. Houses sold quicker this April compared to last April. On average, homes are on the market for 85 days, which is 14.1% less time than April of 2020.

Even though the median home price is higher this April compared to last, mortgage rates remain low at 3.06%, keeping housing more affordable. Home sales were expected to be up this April compared to April of 2020 but “the increase in sales was particularly impressive given the very tight inventory situation in the state,” according to Mary Duff, 2021 Chair of the Board of Directors, WRA.

Source data provided by the WRA



Posted in Market Reports
May 5, 2021

Designing Your Bedroom to Get a Better Night’s Sleep


Having a hard time getting a good night’s rest? It may be partly due to how your bedroom is designed. There are some simple things you can do right now to change up your bedroom to help you get a better night’s sleep.

Dark Colors

You may prefer brighter paint colors in the living spaces you spend your day in, but your bedroom is the place where you should consider something a bit darker. We aren’t saying you should paint your walls black, but some darker blues might have more of a calming effect on you compared to walls painted white.


The lights we have in our room can play a role in our ability to fall asleep as well. As opposed to bright lights that illuminate the room, opt for warmer colored lights that are softer on the eyes when it’s time to wind down. You can also try using darker lamp shades to decrease the amount of light given off by your lightbulbs.

Window Treatments

Most people close their blinds at night for privacy and to block out any light that could shine through your window. However, when you want to sleep in later than the sunrise, you may want to consider using blackout curtains. This will keep your room darker than conventional blinds or curtains so you can have a sounder sleep without the sun or bright lights waking you up too early.

Remove Clutter

Do you ever have a hard time focusing on tasks when your house is messy? Having a cluttered bedroom can have the same effect on your sleeping habits. By keeping your room clean and having an organized space for each of your items, you won’t be anxious thinking about your cluttered bedroom when it’s time to go to bed.


Last but not least, your room should be comfortable. If you are waking up with back pain or feel like you’re tossing and turning to get cozy, it may be time to invest in a new mattress. While you’re at it, you might as well buy bedding that makes you feel comfortable too. To add to the comfort level in your room, get a rug to lay on the floor so you have a soft surface to walk on.






Posted in Home Tips
April 23, 2021

Wisconsin Real Estate Report – March 2021


2021 started off hot in terms of home sales. The number of home sales in March 2021 was 5,874, which was an increase of 0.8% compared to March 2020. Statewide listings were down 36.9% to 17,175 while the median single-family home price rose 10.3% to $229,900. Houses sold quicker this March compared to last March. On average, homes are on the market for 90 days, which is 15.1% less time than March of 2020.

Wisconsin home sales saw a new record for the month of March. Inventory continues to be low as we’ve seen in previous months, which has had an impact on the median sale price. WRA President and CEO, Michael Theo, stated: “Even with significant housing price pressure, Wisconsin housing remains affordable, but the window to get a great mortgage rate may be closing, so working with a REALTOR® who is experienced is important.”


Source data provided by the WRA


April 21, 2021

Five Reasons Why You Should Work with a Realtor When Buying a Home


Whether you are looking for your first home or looking to move into a new one, buying a house is a fun and exciting time! There’s no feeling quite like moving into a place you can call your own. However, the home buying process can be stressful at times. Everything that is necessary before you can step foot into a new home can be a lot to handle on your own. If you are trying to decide if you should work with a realtor to help you navigate the home buying process, take these five reasons into consideration.

Home Search

The internet and apps are helpful tools to help you find a home. You can set your search parameters to filter homes you like, receive alerts, etc. Though, finding new listings that hit the market is much easier than it used to be, it still can be a time-consuming process. Once you have a conversation with your realtor about what you’re looking for, they will be on top of it to find the right home for you. It’s their day job so let them do their job so you can continue to do yours without having to worry about your home search.

Area Experts

Not only will your realtor help you find the right home for you, they will also find you the best location. There are many factors when finding a home other than the home itself. There are things to consider such as your commute to work, how good the schools are, the safety of a neighborhood, etc. Depending on which of those factors matter most to you, your realtor will take that into account so they can find you the best home in a location you’ll be happy with.

Market Knowledge

The knowledge and experience realtors have when it comes to the real estate market is such a valuable tool to you as a home buyer. By understanding the market, your realtor is going to know what a fair price is when putting in an offer on a home. This will help you make a good investment and not overpay for a home.  


There are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to buying a home. Luckily, realtors are able to navigate through it all and negotiate on your behalf. Even if you consider yourself a good negotiator, realtors have the background and experience to know what they should be requesting from a seller. Their market knowledge is going to help get you the best outcome at the end of the negotiation process.

Emotional Buffer


Buying a home is an emotional process. There are times when it can be very stressful. You may get emotionally attached to a house, put an offer in and end up losing out on the house you really wanted. Rejection is not uncommon when it comes to searching for a home. It certainly can be discouraging when it happens. On the other end of the emotional spectrum, you may be so excited to get into a new house that you make the rash decision of overpaying, which you may regret later. Whether you’re feeling discouraged or overeager to get into a home despite the cost, your realtor is there to make sure your emotions don’t get the best of you. They want to get you into the home that’s the right fit for you, but they will take the emotions out of the equation, so you are happy with your purchase down the road.



April 13, 2021

Starter Home – Which is Best For You?


When it comes to buying your first home, there are options for the types of homes you can buy. You could buy a single-family standalone house, a townhouse or a condo. Of course, as with most purchases, there are pros and cons to each option. Let’s review some of the pros and cons of these options so you can decide which is best for you.

Condo or Townhouse

Pro: You can often find condos and townhouses that are much cheaper to buy than detached homes.

Con: With either of these two options, you typically have to pay some type of homeowner’s association fee. So, even though it may cost less to buy, your monthly payment may end up being close to what you’d pay if you bought a house when you add in the HOA fee.

Pro: If you are looking for the feeling of community, then a condo or townhouse is the right choice for you. Since you are in close proximity to your neighbors, it’s easier to get to know them.

Con: If privacy and space are at the top of your priority list, these may be bad options for you. When you live in a condo or townhouse you share walls with your neighbors, which can be a little noisy at times.

Pro: Don’t want to mow your lawn or take care of snow removal? Then you’ve made the right choice! A lot of HOAs will cover a lot of the exterior maintenance of a property so you won’t have to worry about handling it.

Con: Rules and regulations come along with living in a condo or townhome. Your HOA may have restrictions on things you can change about your place and some even have rules on what kind of pets you can have if they allow you to have one at all.


Pro: One of the best parts of buying a house is that you can make it whatever you’d like! You can renovate the interior, plant a garden, put solar panels on the roof, or anything else your heart desires. There may be a few restrictions, but far less than if you bought a condo or townhouse.

Con: Houses can be a lot of work. You will be responsible for any maintenance such as lawn mowing or snow removal. If something breaks, you will need to fix it yourself or hire a professional to come to do the work. These costs can add up so you may want to have a separate savings account you put money into to cover any of these unexpected expenses.

Pro: A house offers you more privacy than a townhome or condo since you won’t have to share walls with your neighbors.

Con: Any changes you want to make to your home will require either an investment of time, money or both.

Pro: Along with privacy, a house offers you a lot more outdoor space. This gives you more space for your kids to play, pets to run around or a place to have cookouts with family and friends.

Con: Since houses generally have more space, you are going to have a higher utility bill.


At the end of the day, you should buy is whichever style home you think will best fit your lifestyle. If you don’t want to spend the time or money on maintenance and you enjoy being part of a community, then a townhome or condo may be the right fit for you. If you value privacy, space and the ability to modify your home to your liking, a house might suit you better. Whichever you choose, you can search listings on to find what you’re looking for!




Posted in Home Buying
March 31, 2021

Simple Guide to Garage Organization


It often is a habit that our garages become a dumping ground for items we can’t quite find a place for in our home. These things we pile up in our garage will eventually add up and make our garages messy. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your garage organized and hopefully for good.

Clear Out and Clean Up

First things first, you need to do a clean sweep of your garage before you start to rearrange everything. The easiest way to do this is by pulling everything out of your garage and sorting through everything. There are surely going to be things you no longer need and can throw away or donate. Once you are down to the items you are going to keep, start putting everything into piles with similar items so they are easy to find when you give them a place in your garage. Before you start putting everything back, make sure you clean up. Clear up the cobwebs, wash any windows and sweep up all of the dirt that’s accumulated over time. Once everything is clean, it’s time to make a plan of how to organize!

Group Everything

Putting everything in their own group will both make everything more organized and make items easier to find. An easy way to do this is to buy bins to place items in. You’ll need different sized bins depending on the size of the items you are grouping. If you prefer to keep things out of sight opt for solid color bins over clear bins. Either way, it’s always a good idea to label each container.

Make Use of Shelving

Keeping items on the floor of your garage can make it look messy, and those items may also be susceptible to water damage. Consider installing some shelving units! This will not only keep things off of the garage floor, but the shelves will make much more room to hold containers and bins, giving your garage a much more organized look.

Hang it Up

If you have a lot of big items in your garage or even a lot of small items, your garage can become cluttered pretty quickly. Don’t be afraid to use storage solutions on the ceiling or walls of your garage. Hang up some hooks or a pulley system to store bikes during the winter months. For those awkwardly shaped items like rakes, shovels or other tools, you can place hooks on the walls that will hold these things.




Posted in Home Tips
March 17, 2021

Your Checklist of Crucial Home To-Dos


Cleaning the gutters and weeding the garden are tasks that come with regular, visible reminders. But how do you keep up with other necessary maintenance that might not be as noticeable? 

Here are some essential home maintenance tasks that are often overlooked.

Appliances: If you want your fridge, dryer, and other appliances to last you for the long haul with fewer repair calls, they need regular care and tune-ups:

  • Change and clean the refrigerator drip pan
  • Wash your dryer lint screen
  • Clean the condenser coils on your refrigerator
  • Change the water filter on your ice maker

HVAC Systems: Your heating, cooling and ventilation systems need consistent upkeep for better performance, which can help keep your energy bills lower throughout the year:

  • Clean the ducts and vents 
  • Clean or change your AC filters
  • Replace worn weatherstripping to help keep cool air in
  • Test your thermostat to ensure it's sending a signal 

Plumbing: Snaking the drain for a few hair clogs isn't enough to keep your plumbing system in working order. Be sure to also take care of these things:

  • Flush the water heater
  • Check your pipes for leaks
  • Test the water pressure on your sprinkler system
  • Check water levels on boilers

Safety Systems: To ensure your loved ones and belongings are safe in the home, do the following:

  • Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Test your security alarms and codes
  • Inspect your fence or gate for holes or vulnerabilities

Keep this checklist handy and run through it every few months to keep your home in top condition and your loved ones safe. Get in touch today if you'd like to talk about other ways you can help safeguard your investment. 

Posted in Home Tips
March 9, 2021

Spring Cleaning Guide



Do you feel that? Spring weather is in the air! As always, the start of spring is a great time to do a deep clean of your home. Most of us have spent a lot of time in our homes over the past year and may have neglected some of our cleaning duties. Sure, you are probably still cleaning your home regularly, but we are talking about cleaning everything from appliances to ceiling fans. Not sure where to start? Here are a few tips on some of the places you will want to focus on.

High to Low

When doing a deep clean you should always start from the top. Dust is bound to fall toward the floor while cleaning those higher-up places, so clean from the top down so you don’t have to clean the floors twice. Vacuum up those cobwebs you’ve been ignoring and dust off the top of hard-to-reach places like cabinets and ceiling fans. Once you’ve taken care of that, give your floors a good scrubbing. Even with rugs and doormats, we track in a lot of dirt from the outside, so it’s important to give your floors a nice wash.


Have you looked inside your refrigerator or microwave lately? Chances are, it’s pretty ugly. Cleaning your fridge will take the longest, so you may want to start there first. Begin by throwing out any expired food you’ve decided to leave in there longer than you should have. Then wipe down all of the shelving and drawers. Once you finish with the refrigerator, clean some of the easier-to-clean appliances like your microwave and oven. Don’t forget about your appliances outside of the kitchen! Your washing machine should be cleaned so it doesn’t leave an odor on your clothes. You’ll also want to clean your dryer by vacuuming out excess lint that didn’t stick to the dryer filter. You may even need to use a brush to clean it all out.

Cabinets and Drawers

We already mentioned cleaning the tops of cabinets, but the interiors will need to be cleaned too. They may even need a little reorganizing (looking at you Tupperware drawer). Pick an organization system that works best for you, so you don’t need to reorganize your kitchen cabinets as often. You’ll also want to take a look at your drawers, especially your junk drawer. When we don’t want things sitting on our countertops, we sometimes fall into the habit of tossing them in a drawer that we can close just so that it’s out of sight. Well, those things add up over time and can make our drawers a mess. Similar to your kitchen cabinets, decide what’s the best way for you to organize them and keep them organized going forward.

Closet Clear-Out


We meet again, bedroom closet. Now is a great time to go through your clothes to decide what you actually need to keep. Haven’t worn a shirt in over a year? Let it go! Okay, maybe a year isn’t long enough, especially since we haven’t been able to dress up or wear our favorite clothing items very often during the pandemic. But there are bound to be some things that you know deep down you will never wear again. Start making a pile of what you want to keep, donate or just throw away. Your closet will thank you.




Posted in Home Tips