6 ways to make a great first home selling impression

You won’t have a second chance to make a good first impression. When everything in the front of the house is in perfect repair, buyers will think your house is obviously well cared for. 

  • Your front door can be your home’s focal point. Replace an old door with peeling paint or dated hardware with a new steel door. Or, salvage the door with a fresh coat of paint and new hardware. Satin nickel, black, and bronze are the trends.
  • Wash windows inside and out and remove screens for added sparkle.
  • A garage can make a big impact. Replace or paint the door.
  • Don’t overlook the front porch. It’s an iconic symbol of American living. Stage a rocking chair or outdoor table and chairs.
  • Driveway. Repair cracks and clean up oil stains. If budget allows resurface the driveway.
  • After dark. Portable outdoor lights aimed at the house or a beautiful tree offers a low-cost, high-impact effect.

Selling a home in NW Wisconsin? Send me an email or give me a call at 218-590-6634. Or, email me: jeanhedren@edinarealty.com. I’ll be happy to provide a current price analysis to give you an idea of what your home will sell for in the current market.

What are the three most important features of your dream lake cabin?

We all think differently. The property that’s perfect for you might not be perfect for me or for anyone else.

Those three most important items might be the type or size of lake, the perfect swimming beach, other recreation activities, the cabin style that best fits your lifestyle, the number of bedrooms, the garage size, distance from home, and certainly your budget.

Make a list of what’s most important. Trade-offs may be necessary within a particular price range. If you find the cabin and lake of your dreams, what are you willing to trade off in your price range? Keep in mind that even if money is no object, you’ll still need to make choices and trade-offs.  For example:  a quiet lake that’s good for paddling and wildlife watching may not be the type lake good for waterskiing and jetskiing.  It’s tough to find both in the same lake.

Start your lake home search at my website www.JeanHedren.com Jean Hedren, Edina Realty, NW Wisconsin. Or give me a call at 218-590-6634. 

It would be my pleasure to help you find the lake, home or cabin, or lakeshore lot of your dreams. Northwest Wisconsin including Douglas, Bayfield, Washburn, and Sawyer Counties. Communities: Gordon, Wascott, Minong, Barnes, Solon Springs, Trego, Spooner, and others.

Sold beautiful Lower Eau Claire Lake home. 14088 E Sunny Shores Dr, Gordon, WI

Welcome to the sunny shores of Lower Eau Claire Lake. Beautiful, fully remodeled 2 bedroom lake home in a private 3+ acre wooded and landscaped setting with 175′ of lake frontage on this crystal clear lake. Includes restored mid-century guest cabin, boat house, 2-car garage with workshop. Sold. Full property details: 14088 E Sunny Shores, Drive, Gordon, WI

Curious about this NW Wisconsin lake home or other Gordon WI real estate? Call Jean Hedren, Edina Realty. 218-590-6634. Or, email: jeanhedren@edinarealty.com.

Tips for a NW Wisconsin real estate market in transition

I have several buyers who are patiently watching the MLS listings for an especially good deal.  I’ve also been passing along listings that seem like a good fit.  Sometimes buyers have been ready to move quickly, and that’s paid off.

Other buyers were busy with work and family commitments, and they needed to wait a couple weeks before we could schedule a showing.  Sometimes that still works out.  But other times I’ve requested a showing and learned that another buyer has just made an offer that’s already been accepted.  Notice a pattern here???

I’m a Realtor, and of course you’d expect me to say that right now is a great time to buy or sell.  But the thing is, right now that’s especially true.  Consumer confidence is up, we’ve been seeing some promising economic indicators, interest rates are still low, and our Northwestern Wisconsin real estate market is moving faster than the snow was melting this spring.  (April 25 update: snow is gone, lakes are mostly open.) That’s good news for buyers and sellers alike.

If you’re a seller, you’ll still be facing some competition.  There’s a lot of inventory out there, and it’s important to have realistic expectations about what your home, cabin, or land is actually worth in today’s market.  But prices are more stable; homes priced correctly for the local market are selling quickly. Homes priced on the high side are languishing.

And if you’re a buyer, here are some tips to keep in mind during this transitional market.  Even if our market here in NW WI isn’t white hot, it’s at least warming up enough so you’ll need to let go of certain assumptions that are no longer valid.  If you find something you like and it’s a good value, don’t assume no one else has noticed it and come to a similar conclusion.  Instead, please call me so we can schedule a showing now.

If we go take a look and you like what you see, don’t assume you’ll be able to think things over for even a couple weeks before you take a second look.  Someone else with similar tastes may have also seen this home or cabin for the bargain it is.  By the time you’ve taken two more months to think it over, their moving van could already be backing up to the front door.

Finally, here’s one last bit of advice.  Pursue perfection, but prioritize your wants and needs.  Now, not all of my buyers have the same dreams.  Some, for example, want a sandy beach, while others want a small quiet lake that’s better for fishing and watching wildlife.  But when you do find the location that’s just right for you, you can always remodel the bathroom or replace that pink carpeting in the guest bedroom.  Know what matters most, and know what you want so you’ll be ready when you see it.

10 reasons to hit the right home selling price

Pricing your home right from the start can result in a quicker sale. 

  1. Strategic pricing that’s based on a thorough, up-to-the-minute market analysis. If our price is too low, we leave money on the table. If our price is too high, we leave your home on the market unsold. Later, it’s likely to sell for less than it would if we priced it correctly from the start. A strategic, fact-based listing price that helps your home get noticed and sell more quickly for the best possible sale price.
  2. Each new listing creates a buzz in the local real estate community. The right price will attract more Realtors to show the house. The right price will generate more calls and email inquiries.
  3. Homes tend to sell closer to the asking price during the first few weeks on the market, resulting in a higher price in a shorter time.
  4. Fewer mortgage payments and less interest paid means more money in your pocket.
  5. The right price sends the message to the buyer that your home is a better value compared to others on the market.
  6. Less time on the market means less time keeping the home ready for showings.
  7. In a fluctuating market, it is better to sell now as prices may decrease even more.
  8. The longer the house sits on the market, buyers may think there is something wrong with the house.
  9. Keep your ultimate goal in mind – selling now means moving on with your life.
  10. If there are no showings, the price is too high. If there are several showings but no offers indicates good marketing, but buyers will react to overpricing when they step into the house.

Request a free home evaluation. 

It’s 2019. Where’s your new up north cabin?

If you’ve resolved that this is the year to buy a new lake home or cabin in northwest Wisconsin, then it’s time to get started.

If one of your new year’s resolutions was to find a new lake home or cabin and get moved in before Memorial Day weekend, well, then I am a little concerned.

Here’s why: It may take us a while to find the lake and the cabin that are just right for you. Figure a little negotiating before you have an accepted offer, and then typically about another 60 days before the actual closing can take place. (With new banking regulations that have recently gone into effect, the few exceptions are generally cash offers with no inspections or other contingencies. They can usually happen faster.)

So if you’d like to enjoy weekends at your new cabin this summer, it may not make sense to delay your search until May or June. If you want to actually own that cabin by May or June, then the time to get started is right now.

If we get underway quickly and things happen fast, there’s still one situation when a late spring could complicate your plans. That’s if you’re buying a three-season cabin that has its water turned off in the winter. You’ll probably want an inspection, and it’s hard to inspect a cabin’s well, septic system, and plumbing without turning on the water. But even then, I’m usually able to help buyers and sellers work things out.

And if you’re buying a year-round lake home or cabin, the best time to buy is… Year-round. So if you’re ready to turn those up-north cabin dreams into reality, give me a call now at 218-590-6634. Or, you can reach me at jeanhedren@edinarealty.com.

What type of mortgage loan works best for you?

What type of mortgage loan works best for you? 

Your mortgage loan consultant will be able to discuss the best mortgage loan program for you. Basically all mortgage loans belong to two main groups: conventional and government.

Conventional loans

Two types of conventional loans:

  • Fixed rate: Traditional type of financing. The interest stays the same for the full term of the loan, typically 15 or 30 years with predictable and stable payments.
  • Adjustable rate: An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) interest is linked to a financial index, such as a treasury security, so the monthly payment can vary over the life of the loan, usually 25 to 30 years. There are lower initial payments. Some ARMs can be converted to fixed rates generally after the first 5 years.

Government loans

  • FHA loans, which are insured by the Federal Housing Administration, are typically designed to meet the needs of first-time homebuyers with low or moderate incomes. FHA loans can be approved with a down payment as little as 3.5 percent and a credit score as low as 580.
    Often called “helper loans,” they give a boost to potential borrowers who may not be able to secure one otherwise. For this reason, FHA loans have maximum lending limits. Talk with your lender to see what the FHA loan limits are in the counties where you are searching.

    And remember, because the agency is taking on more risk by insuring FHA loans, the borrower is expected to pay mortgage insurance both at the time of closing and on a monthly basis, and the property must be owner-occupied.

  • VA loans, backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, are guaranteed to qualified veterans and active-duty personnel and their spouses. VA loans can be approved with 100 percent financing, meaning VA borrowers are not required to make a down payment.Unlike FHA loans, borrowers do not have to pay mortgage insurance on VA loans.
  • USDA loans, backed by the United States Department of Agriculture mortgage program, are intended to support homeowners who purchase homes in rural and some suburban areas. USDA loans do not require a down payment and may offer lower interest rates; borrowers may have to pay a small mortgage insurance premium in order to offset the lender’s risk.
  • WHEDA: Low down payments and below-market interest rates. Interest rate is fixed for 15 to 30 year loan term.

Ready to enter the buyer’s market?

Need help financing a new property? Understanding the loan types is step one, but you’ll need the help of a qualified expert to get you into your dream home.

Reach out today to get help connecting with a trusted, local mortgage specialist.

Start your property search at www.JeanHedren.com

Someday it would be great to have a place up at the lake. Someday…

In all the years I’ve been in this business, no one has ever told me they wish they’d waited another ten or fifteen years to buy their lake home or cabin.

Sure, it’s good to be prudent. And hard-working couples, especially those with with young children, may not have a lot of extra time or money. Someday, after they’re retired and their children are grown and gone, they’ll have plenty of both.

But instead of waiting for someday, right now is a great time to begin building memories at your cabin or lake home. And at this stage of your life, there’s no need to skip directly to the luxury lake home where you plan to live out your retirement.

If you’re ready, I’d be glad to show you a couple of those dream lake homes; I’m listing a few of them right now. But I can also show you some surprisingly affordable alternatives. You might call them “starter cabins.”

Sure, you may need to make a few compromises. But when your kids grow up, they won’t remember that the kitchen in your cabin didn’t feature high-end stainless steel appliances. They’ll remember roasting marshmallows and making s’mores down at the campfire. They won’t remember that your cabin wasn’t on the biggest lake with the biggest muskies. They’ll remember the four-inch bluegills they caught from the end of your dock.

Maybe someday is today. And if this year is the year, it’s not too early to get started right now. Here’s why: It may take us a while to find the lake and the cabin that are just right for you. Figure a little negotiating before you have an accepted offer, and then typically about another 60 days until the actual closing can take place. This means that if you’d like to start enjoying weekends at your new cabin this summer, it may not make sense to launch your search in May or June.

To learn more about the cabins and lake homes for sale in NW Wisconsin, call Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin  at 218-590-6634.

Resolved to sell your home? Don’t delay until May.

It’s February. If you’ve resolved that it’s time to move on to the next stage of your life, then I’d like to suggest you don’t delay until May. Get started now.

Around here sellers, buyers, and even Realtors can often think a little too seasonally. Summer might be the only time of the year we can grow tomatoes in northern Wisconsin, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only time of year we can produce real estate sales.

Today’s lake-home market is no longer just a summertime surge. Maybe it’s because buyers are now eager to enjoy their new homes all year round. In the fall there’s hunting, fishing, paddling, hiking, biking, and ATVing. In the winter there’s skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and just relaxing by the fire. Every spring, long before the water is warm enough for swimming, we’re blessed with months of weather that’s perfect for enjoying the great outdoors in other ways. (Well, OK. Two months.)

Serious, purposeful buyers are on the hunt now. At this very moment they’re getting pre-approved, researching lakes, and reaching for their checkbooks. So if you’re ready to move on to the next stage of your life, there’s no reason to delay until May. Keep in mind, too, that listing your home today doesn’t mean moving out next Tuesday. Even after we’ve done a little negotiating and you’ve accepted a buyer’s offer, more time will elapse before there’s an actual closing. Typically, unless it’s a cash offer with no inspections or other contingencies, that’s about another 60 days.

If things happen fast, could you end up moving while there’s still snow on the ground? Sure. But it’s really no big deal. (And on this I speak from experience.) Moving in the winter or early spring is nothing to be afraid of—especially if you’re paying someone else to load up the moving van and drive it away. Of course, if you’re leaving most furnishings behind, then moving will be less of an issue anyway.

Selling a year-round lake home or cabin, the best time to find buyers is… Year-round. So if you’d like to learn more about what your home is likely to sell for in our current market, call Jean Hedren, Your Edina Realty NW Wisconsin Realtor, at 218-590-6634. Or, you can reach me at jeanhedren@edinarealty.com.

Buying a lake cabin – deciding where in NW Wisconsin?

Deciding where to buy a vacation home or retirement home in NW Wisconsin?  What you can learn from our dashes back to Minneapolis/St Paul, MN.

My husband and I moved to Northwest Wisconsin 16 years ago, when we were nowhere near ready to retire (we’re still not).  Our work has required both of us to make occasional trips back to the Twin Cities for meetings.  We also get down to the Cities now and then to visit relatives.  Even if your situation is different, there’s a lot you can learn from our dashes back to the city.

Elsewhere on my website, I’ve shared many great reasons to consider Northwest Wisconsin.  We have lots of great lakes, streams, trails, public land, and more.

To get here from Minneapolis/St Paul, we can head north on I-35, hang a right at Hinckley, and be in Minong before we know it.  From there, we’re almost home.  From the Twin Cities, it’s an easy 2.5 hours.

So if you’re looking for a vacation home or retirement home, then what do these occasional dashes to the city have to do with you?  Everything.  The same thresholds will still be there.  But they’ll instead determine how much enjoyment you get from your new cabin or lake home.  If your drive time is beyond a certain threshold, then there will probably be fewer weekends when you get away to your weekend getaway.

Planning to move up here for good when you retire?  Welcome to the neighborhood!

If places like Minong, Wascott, and Gordon aren’t yet on your radar, they should be.  Same with the Minong Flowage, St Croix Flowage, Whitefish Lake, and many other small to large lakes. Barnes and Solon Springs is just a bit farther and offer Upper St Croix Lake, and the Eau Claire chain of lakes. Under the lakes and rivers tab above, you can find out more about these lakes.

Please take a moment to explore my website and find out more about the lakes and rivers of Northwest Wisconsin.  Then drop me an email or give me a call at 218-590-6634.  I’d be glad to show you what’s available in our neighborhood.