1930's Charmer / Madison WI Real Estate

Close to the ever popular Atwood neighborhood, this 1930's charmer is full of that “near east side" character, but at a fraction of the cost! You’ll love the arched doorways, original wood floors, baseboards, doors, art deco door knobs/escutcheon plates, telephone nook, and YES, there are wood floors under the carpet upstairs! [wds id="7"]

A warm and inviting sunroom connects to the large deck, which overlooks a HUGE sunny, fenced in yard. Mature, fruit bearing Gala & Macintosh apple trees in the front yard create nice privacy from the street.

Some updates include refinished hardwood floors & fresh paint, newer windows & insulation, driveway, roof over sunroom, new carpet in sunroom, newer high efficiency washer & dryer. The kitchen boasts newly installed can lights, a new dishwasher, garbage disposal & Corian countertops.

Oh, the places you'll go! Walk to the following:

La Taguara (a DELICIOUS family owned Venezuelan restaurant- highly rated!) Pedro’s Mexican Restaurante Brother’s Three Bar & Grill Lazy Oaf Lounge Boulders Climbing Gym Gardener’s Bakery Retail Outlet (In case you ever wonder where those amazing smells are coming from) Hawthorne Elementary School & playground. The school features multiple playgrounds for kids of all ages and stages, as well as an open field and blacktop games. You can actually see the school from the house- it’s basically across the street. several major busline stops Walgreens The Vinery Stained Glass Studio Madison College Carpenter Ridgeway Park- A great little gem, tucked back against the peaceful Starkweather Creek path! This park features an open field and playground equipment, plus the city’s first-ever walking meditation labyrinth, all right along the bike trail. Starkweather Conservation Park Thurber Park Walking, Running & Biking paths! (see the Carpenter-Ridgeway Map/Guide here)


House Facts $225,000 / 4 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms / 1.5 car garage / 1964 finished square feet

Swing by our open house on 6/18 from 11-1! Showings also begin on 6/18.

For Sale By Owner: What I'd Do Differently

For Sale By Owner FSBO Homes In Madison WI real estate

My husband and I had just tied the knot. My domestic urges must have been in overdrive, because within days of the wedding, I found a house on a Madison "for sale by owner" website that seemed so perfectly us.

I had been combing the Madison WI MLS as a matter of habit -- but I had gone to only a handful of open houses, and I really hadn’t moved from curious to serious. We loved the Schenk-Atwood neighborhood, where we were renting an apartment. However, we also wanted to keep our mortgage affordable and not sacrifice our lifestyle in order to pay our housing costs.

Unfortunately, everything in our ideal area that even came close to our comfortable price point needed an incredible amount of work! We’d seen The Money Pit  -- and we had been warned of the ways a fixer-upper can take over your life (for better or worse), so we were focused on our first home being as move-in ready as possible.

In the end, this two-bedroom house a little further beyond our ideal area held all of the charm we were looking for -- plus a kitchen and bathroom that were both generously sized and updated. As seasoned apartment dwellers, we thought two bedrooms seemed like more than enough space, and we were willing to overlook the lack of garage for the large basement and walk-up attic. One fast month later, it was ours, and we were moving in! A happy ending!

Now, I'm armed with 6+ years of life experience and a real estate license. I can look back and offer the following kernels of wisdom to “first-time-homebuyer me” and others.

Lessons I've learned:

1. Know your priorities. We sacrificed on location to get the house we wanted for our price. Was this a good decision for us? Probably. We’ve been able to comfortably roll with life’s punches (several job changes, new babies, travel opportunities) thanks to a very affordable monthly payment. However, location is the one thing you can never change about your house, and this will absolutely top our criteria for our next purchase. We really miss being in a more walkable area, and have some new family-related neighborhood priorities. I also think my husband will insist on a garage next time around! There will always be trade-offs; it’s about weighing them and making the best choice for you and your lifestyle. Make a prioritized list of your wants and needs at the start of your search and use it to keep yourself honest.

2. Hire a "Wisconsin Registered" Home Inspector. We asked a family member who is a licensed professional home contractor to look at the house for us. He helped us go into the purchase with our eyes open about some of the home's potential issues. But, even if he had pointed out every defect that a home inspector would have found, we wouldn’t have been able to use his findings to negotiate with the sellers, per the state-approved Offer to Purchase contract. This basically meant we bought our home "as-is." When we go to sell our home, chances are the buyer will want a formal inspection, and we’ll be on the hook for issues that may have been present in the home when we purchased it. The money spent on a qualified home inspector pays off up front in negotiations and down the road in peace of mind. A professional home inspection and report is in the best interest of every buyer.

3. Work with a buyer’s agent. We bought the home on our own, from a seller who was selling it on their own. While I don’t have a horror story to accompany this scenario, I do wish we had used a professional buyer’s agent to guide us through the process and help us pay attention to the details we overlooked. Sellers pay the buyer’s agent commission 99% of the time, so it makes sense to employ a seasoned buyer’s agent who can advocate for you and manage the paperwork and other details of buying a home, which can otherwise be pretty stressful. While we felt like we purchased the home for a fair price, now I know how much information should be used when determining market value, and we didn’t consider all of the pieces in the puzzle. When we go to sell our home, we will be subject to the market conditions and recent comparable sales when choosing a listing price and negotiating with a buyer, so it pays off to work with someone who knows this data when you buy.

I’m looking forward to finding our next home in the coming year or two and applying what I’ve learned to advocate for my family in the process. Our home has treated us well over the years, so I also look forward to giving it new life with its next owners!

Want to learn more? I welcome your questions and would love to apply my experience and professional knowledge to help make your next home-buying experience a positive one!

Madison WI Real Estate: Winter Update

Roost Realty For Sale Sign As I'm sure many of you know, the Madison WI real estate market is still going strong, despite the bitter cold! According to Property Trax, active listing inventory in Dane County hasn't been this low since 2006 (when comparing inventory on the 31st day of December, from 2006-2013):


Since we've been talking to a lot of home sellers on the near west side of Madison lately, I decided to pull a few quick numbers to share with them. The data is encouraging, and based on my experience, I assume this trend does not stop at the borders of the near west side. It's exciting to see the numbers holding strong, during what's known to be the slowest season in the year.

Accepted Offers since Jan. 1st= 15 and counting
Homes sold in 2013= 217
Current Active= 37
Months supply of inventory continues to dwindle in January, and is down to 2.46 , meaning it's still a seller's market. Months of inventory= # of homes currently active divided by the number of homes selling each month, based on a 12 month average.
If you're interested in obtaining more in depth market information about your neighborhood, or you're considering selling your home this year, give us a call--this is the time to start strategizing for your 2014 sale.

Mid-Century Modern Homes in Madison

We get a lot of calls from home buyers who are looking for unique or mid-century modern homes in Madison. And we understand why! We love unique properties -- homes with extra charm, mid-century modern lines, and other special details that make them truly stand out. Mid-Century Modern Homes in Madison WI Homes for Sale

Often, homes like this don't regularly show up in the MLS property search. But we're not deterred! We take matters into our own hands, turning into Madison real estate sleuths, working hard to track down the unique, mid-century modern homes in Madison that meet our buyers' needs.

Part of this involves turning to you. If you, or someone you know, owns a unique, mid-century modern home, and you're contemplating a move, we'd love to talk. We know you need a listing agent who understands your home's uniqueness, and who knows how to market its features properly to secure the best possible offer. That's where we come in. We know the Madison real estate market inside and out -- and our passion for vintage, unique, and mid-century modern homes means we're perfectly suited to help.

Here are a few tips for selling your unique or mid century modern home for the highest dollar possible:

1. 1950s and 60s home decor trends are back in a big way. We can work with you to turn your home’s “dated” features into today's trends that appeal to the buyers who are looking for something unique and vintage. (Here's an example of how to do that with dated bathroom tiles.)

Mid-Century Modern Homes in Madison WI homes for sale

2. Leverage your color palette! Let's identify the colors that work best with your home’s original features, then use that color palette to determine complementary wall and accessory colors that buyers will love.

3. For an instant facelift, consider painting your brick or stone fireplace.

4. Wood paneling can date a home and make a space feel heavy and dark. Refresh your space with paint and/or punchy wall art.

5. Vintage wallpaper can be beautiful! But it's very taste-specific. Consider toning it down with the neutral drapes and contemporary accessories.

6. Educate your buyers. If your home is unique, tell them how and why! From the type of materials used, to the history of your home’s design, or the credentials of it’s architect -- don’t leave anything out when selling buyers on your home's charm. 

Mid-Century Modern Homes in Madison WI vintage home furnishings

7. Make sure that your Realtor “gets it”, too. Your ideal Realtor will not only appreciate all that your home has to offer, but will be able to articulate its value to potential buyers. While it’s unlikely that every original feature in your home will be a mid-century gem worth saving, your Realtor should have an eye for vintage chic, and be able to help your home for sale reach the appropriate audience.

Just remember -- buyers are craving unique and mid-century modern homes. But not only do you need to know how to market your home to them, you need to show them why your home is special.