Sold Upper Eau Claire Lake home. 50300 Peninsula Rd, Barnes, WI

Beautiful, move-in ready 3 bedroom 4 bath home on premier Upper Eau Claire Lake, one of NW Wisconsin’s clearest and deepest lakes. While the elevation to the lake front is high, the lake view is gorgeous and the setting is private and wooded.

Sold by Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin Realtor.  $394,000. 

Thinking of buying or selling? Contact Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin, 218-590-6634. Or, email: jeanhedren@edinarealty.com

The art of finding your dream home: How to narrow down three important criteria

Key Insights

  • Home type is important. Consider the difference of each space, and how they would work for you now versus in the next 10 years.
  • Think about your location priorities: What’s important to one homebuyer can be completely different from the next.
  • Home features are important, too! Narrow amenity options down by considering what you have now, and how you’d like to see that change.

Home type: How to decide between a single-family home, condo or townhome

We admit that in today’s market, the majority of homebuyers and sellers tend to focus on single-family homes. But condos and townhomes can also be a great fit for your family in the short-term or for the long haul.

When deciding what type of home is best for you, here are some questions to consider:

Do you want full control over updating the space? If you plan to knock down walls to create an open floor plan, or if you love to landscape, you might consider a single-family home. Condos and townhomes are usually managed by a homeowners’ association, or HOA, that could limit or regulate your interior and exterior modifications.

Is convenience a large factor in your decision? Although a condo or townhome can be regulated by an HOA, that’s not necessarily a negative thing. In addition to regulating the space, an HOA may provide amenities such as a pool, workout facility, security patrols or lawn service.

So, if you’d like to relax after a long day of work (rather than worrying about setting up sprinklers to water the grass), a home such as a condo or townhome run by an HOA might be something to consider. Just keep in mind, the services from the HOA are not free. You’ll usually be required to pay monthly dues to your HOA.

Whether you decide on a single-family home, condo or townhome, remember — research from the National Association of REALTORS® shows that homebuyers are spending an average of 10 years in a home — so think not only of the home you want now, but also of the property that will suit you for the next several years.

Location: How to decide on a city or neighborhood

Some people prefer to vacation in a relaxing rural cabin, while others want to be in the heart of Uptown Minneapolis. Similarly, everyone has different preferences of where they’d like to settle in to buy a home.

When deciding on a location, consider these factors:

  • School district
  • Commute time to work
  • Safety

Think about what matters most to you, and the type of life you want to live. Rank the list of above criteria in terms of importance, then be sure to follow that list as you consider different areas to live. Remember: While your goal may be to find a home that checks every box off your list, you may have to narrow down must-have items versus nice-to-have amenities.

Home features: Certain features are must-haves for buyers

Just as some location criteria are important to certain buyers, home features can be just as important to others. Do you want the ease of walking into a turnkey home that doesn’t need any new appliances or updates? Or are you excited by the potential of purchasing a fixer-upper that could require months (or even years) of renovations?

Be sure to think about the key features that you’d like to see in your home-to-be, including:

  • Number of bedrooms or bathrooms
  • Status of appliances, possibly with warranties
  • Wallpaper or paint
  • Flooring: Hardwood, carpet or tile
  • Washer and dryer in a dedicated laundry space

Keep in mind that many requirements may stem from things you don’t currently like about your living situation — and that’s okay! There’s no better indication of what you need than knowing what isn’t working for you now.

Carefully consider what you have (or don’t have) now and generate a list of changes and upgrades you’ll need in your new space.

If you’re ready to purchase a house, or if you’d like expert help in deciding which type of home is right for you, reach out any time to get started. Call Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin, 218-590-6634.

Buying and selling a house — how do I time it perfectly?

Need to sell your current home and buy another? You may be wondering how to time it just right, so the sales align — or if you should be buying or selling your home first.

Here are the pros and cons of each decision with insights you can use when determining whether to buy or sell your home first.

Selling a home first

You sold your house! Now what? Here’s the inside scoop on the pros and cons of selling your home first.

  • Upside: By selling first, you’ll likely feel more financially secure as you begin searching for homes to buy. It can be helpful to know what kind of money you’ll walk away with at closing so you can set a responsible budget for house #2 and feel confident that you can get approved for your next mortgage loan.
  • Downside: There’s more to think about than just the money you’d acquire from a sale, though. Consider this: The inventory of homes for sale is low (though new listings are starting to rise) and it may take longer than you think to find your next home.

Some homebuyers are comfortable with the idea of finding a “Plan B” home as a temporary option while they search for the perfect place to after they sell their house.

Plan B options for temporary housing include:

  • Renting a house or townhome for the short-term
  • Renting an apartment month-to-month
  • Moving in with generous family or friends during the interim
  • Booking an “extended stay” hotel or inn, which tend to have a usable kitchen area

If you’re in the process of selling your home, and you’re concerned that you might close on your sale before finding your new home, you’re not without options. Together, we can discuss the possibility of negotiating for a later closing date when accepting a buyer’s offer. This will help you gain more time to find your next property.

Buying a home first

It’s also possible to buy a home before you’ve placed your existing home on the market.

  • Upside: By buying a new home before you sell your current home, you can search on your own terms and put an offer on the home of your dreams — rather than being tied to a timeline.
  • Downside: If you buy a new home before selling your current property, you’ll have to have enough cash on hand to cover the down payment for house #2, and you may end up paying two mortgages until your first home sells.

If you choose to buy first, be sure to save up as much money as possible in order get approved for a second mortgage and have peace of mind as you commit to paying two mortgages for the short-term (or possibly longer). You’ll also want to work with a real estate agent who is committed to helping you sell quickly.

Adding a contingency when buying

If you want to buy first, but avoid two mortgage payments, you can try to add a buyer’s home sale contingency in the purchase agreement of your new home. This contingency states that the transaction for the new house is dependent on the sale of your current property.

A seller may perceive a contingent offer as weaker than a non-contingent offer. In a sellers’ market, you may have a more difficult time getting the seller to accept a contingent deal.

Should I buy and sell a home at the same time?

This is a pretty common scenario, especially for homeowners who don’t have a “backup plan” — like the option to move in with family or friends for a few weeks or months.

At first, this may seem like the best-case scenario. Here are a couple of things you might not have considered about coordinating a new home purchase and a property sale.

  • Upside: You can time your moves to coincide. This will allow for a seamless transition from one house to the next — packing up a van and relocating a few miles away is about as easy as a move can get.
  • Downside: It can be a challenge to stage your for-sale home and keep it clean for showings, all while touring other homes, making offers and negotiating coinciding closings.

So, what’s the best plan?

Unfortunately, there’s no cookie-cutter answer to this question. All homeowners are different, with unique finances, timelines and other logistical factors (like school and work schedules, family trips, short-term living options, etc.) that can impact what’s smartest for them.

And, homes are different, too! In an area without many homes for sale, sellers can accept an offer on a home in just a few days or even hours — while sellers in a higher-inventory market, or who price their homes too high, may wait months for just one offer.

All in all, the perfect option for one seller might not work for a different seller, even if they live on the same block. No matter what, we can weigh all your personal and financial factors to determine if you should sell your home first, buy a home first, or buy and sell at the same time.

Key points and next steps

Ready to get a move on buying or selling a home — or both? Call Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin, 218-590-6634.

Baby, it’s sold outside

In many states, winter brings inclement weather and overall dreariness to the landscape. Winter is also considered the “slow” season for the real estate industry, as people may not be moving and selling quite as often as during the spring and summer months.

However, buyers during the off-season are often serious and want to move in as quickly as possible, so it can still be a good time to sell. Here are five tips for getting your home in shape and making it as appealing as possible during the winter months:

  1. Light it up.If it’s gray and dreary outside, make your home as bright as you can by opening blinds, shutters and drapes to let in as much natural light as possible. Turn on every light in the house as well, including closet lights and desktop lamps.
  2. Stay warm.Keep your home at a comfortable temperature, and try to warm it up before buyers walk through, so the HVAC doesn’t kick on and create excess noise. If you have a fireplace, light it—just be sure to place a screen in front of it and tend to it regularly.
  3. Create ambiance.A warm and cozy atmosphere is more than just temperature. Make buyers feel welcome by playing soft music, such as classical, light jazz or non-religious holiday music if it’s that time of the year. Offer cups of hot apple cider or cocoa as refreshments. Give the impression that every room is move-in ready by staging them with a specific mood in mind—set the dining room table for a romantic dinner or set up a spa-like experience in the master bathroom.
  4. Keep a clear path.Shovel snow off of the walkway and sidewalk—even while snow is falling—to make sure there’s always a clear path to your home for potential buyers. Also, consider shoveling a path from the street to the sidewalk to ensure they don’t have to dig their way through snowdrifts. Scrape and salt the paths for maximum safety.
  5. Be prepared.If you know you’ll be listing your home during winter, take photos of your home beforehand, so buyers know what the light and landscaping look like in summertime.

This article is brought to you by Jean Hedren, a Certified Residential Specialist

Low or no cost tips for keeping your home warm this winter.

This article was provided by HomeTeam Inspection Service. For more
information, go to hometeam.com. As winter is fast approaching, the
following tips can help homeowners to ensure their homes are well
prepared and more energy-efficient throughout the winter months.
  • Inspect around windows and doors for cracks and seal any openings with caulk or weather stripping to prevent air and water from getting into your home.
  • Have a professional evaluate the amount of insulation in your home to ensure it is properly insulated and will keep your energy costs down.
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they’re working properly.
  • Visibly check the fireplace opening for loose or missing bricks and have screens in place to protect against any embers that may escape.
  • Look for raised, loose or missing roof shingles and replace them, if needed, to prevent water from getting in and creating leaks.
  • Remove hoses from outside spigots and store them during the winter months.
  • Clean debris from gutters to prevent water from collecting and freezing.
  • Make sure all downspouts are pointed away from the foundation.
  • Have the HVAC units inspected and change furnace filters monthly for cleaner indoor air and maximum energy efficiency.
  • Program thermostats to lower temperatures while at work 
    or sleeping.

These simple steps can help homeowners maintain the overall health and safety of their home during the winter season.

This article is brought to you by Jean Hedren, a Certified Residential Specialist

Think safety while you’re away…

The holidays are an exciting time, especially if you plan on traveling. Whether you’re visiting family or going somewhere warm for the winter, it’s important to take security precautions when leaving your home unattended. The following are steps you can take to deter potential burglars from making your home a target this season:

Consider an upgrade.Locking your doors and windows is a good start, but if you don’t yet have a home security system, consider getting one. There are a variety of smart options out there now, from comprehensive systems to individual features, such as the Ring Video Doorbell, which detects motion and provides a view of your front door on your smartphone.

Put lights on a timer.A house that is constantly dark is a good sign to burglars that no one is home. Set indoor and patio lights on automatic timers. There are timers and smart light bulbs you can control via your smartphone, like the Philips Hue.

Combat the elements.If you live in an area where it snows during the winter months, hire someone to shovel and clear the sidewalks while you’re gone. This will keep snow from piling up if any falls while you’re away, which can fool potential thieves and make shoveling a less daunting task when you return.

Hold your mail.Another obvious sign that no one is home is when newspapers, packages and other mail pile up in your mailbox or at the front door. Put a hold on your mail or ask a neighbor to pick it up and keep it until you return from vacation. If you expect large packages to be delivered while you’re gone, consider having them sent to the store or an Amazon Locker.

Put social media on pause.You may want to post about your vacation plans or photos on social media, but wait until you’re back home. Letting everyone know before or during your travels is also letting them know that your house is empty.

Improved price Trego Lake 3 bedroom chalet. N8125 River Rd, Trego, WI

N8125 River Rd, Trego, WI. 3 bedroom, 3 bath, 3048 sq ft. Improved price $495,000.

Meticulously maintained cedar chalet with the best beach front on Trego Lake. This home has all the most desired features of an up north lake home or getaway including large kitchen, pantry, main floor master suite with jetted tub and large walk-in closet, two garages and bunk room, two gas fireplaces, workshop in lower level, sandy beach front, landscaped yard, and so much more. Plenty of space for family and friends. Just minutes to Spooner for shopping, restaurants, schools, and healthcare.

Call for showing appointment: Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin, 218-590-6634.