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here in NW WI isn’t white hot, it’s at least warming up enough so you’ll need to let go of certain assumptions that are no longer valid.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. 

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

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.

Matthews Lake home sold in 11 days. Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin

Quality built and meticulously maintained 4 bedroom chalet on Matthews Lake. N10696 County Rd F, Trego. $410,000. Closed 9/7/18.

Represented the sellers. Our services included professional real estate and drone photography by Al Cambronne. Be sure to click on the tabs above for more information.

Thinking of selling? Call Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin, 218-590-6634. www.JeanHedren.com.

Home selling tip: Great photos will help your property get noticed.

Great photos matter. The difference isn’t just artsy or technical, and it’s a difference that really matters. 

Nearly all buyers begin their search online. In today’s market, they have lots of options. Their biggest challenge: deciding on a short list of homes they feel are worth seeing in person. Great photos increase the odds that your home will make the cut. In the old days, everyone talked about “curb appeal.” Online, great photos are the modern equivalent. Other than price, it’s the #1 thing we can do to help your home get noticed.

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.

Home selling tip.

Price your home right. A starting price that’s too high will simply take longer to sell and very likely at an even lower price. If the price is too high, many buyers and other Realtors will quickly move on to another property.

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.

Enjoy the fall colors while you shop for your NW Wisconsin lake home or cabin

Right now is a great time to find your new home, cabin, or recreational property in Northwestern Wisconsin.  Summer is over and autumn leaves are turning their brilliant yellow and red hues.  A smart strategy is to get serious about your search right now.

Beautiful fall colors in NW Wisconsin

Beautiful fall colors in NW Wisconsin

Fall leaves

Fall leaves

Here’s why:  If you’re planning to wait until spring before beginning or resuming your search, remember that a lot of other buyers are doing the same.  Sellers are very aware of this, and some have resigned themselves to not seeing much more activity until April. But once April arrives, they’ll be confident that more buyers will turn up in the months to follow. Home prices might even start a little higher and they’ll be less willing to negotiate on price.

Instead, if you find the place you’re looking for now and put in an offer, you’ll be in an excellent negotiating position.  Many sellers are eager to sell now so they can move on; your negotiating power is even better.  Some sellers will be glad to no longer be carrying those costs through the winter.

While interest rates are still very low, there is no guarantee they will remain at these levels. That’s one more reason to buy now.

This time of year, even Mother Nature is making it easier to find your new home, cabin, or recreational property.  The leaves are falling, and suddenly it’s literally much easier to see what’s out there.  Not only is this a wonderful time of year to enjoy the colors, lake homes and the lakes tend to be more visible.

But if you’re curious about properties you’ve seen online, I’d be glad to help you get a closer look.  To see my listings, go to www.JeanHedren.com.  You can search by county, community and even by the specific lake name. (I’ll also be glad to show you any properties in Northwestern Wisconsin.)  You can also check out my YouTube listing videos – Edina Realty Northwest Wisconsin Homes

There’s no better time than right now to find your new home, cabin, or recreational property in Northwestern Wisconsin.  The leaves are turning, our inventory of available properties is still good, and now is an excellent time to come take a look around.

Take your NW Wisconsin property search while enjoying the fall colors. Download my free NW Wisconsin property search app at www.JeanHedren.com

Jean Hedren, Edina Realty, NW Wisconsin. Douglas, Bayfield, Washburn, Sawyer County real estate. Gordon, Wascott, Minong, Solon Springs, Barnes, Hayward, Spooner real estate, and other NW Wisconsin communities.

Think outside the cabin box.

Maybe you’re thinking of buying a cabin up here in Northwestern Wisconsin.  And maybe, it could be that using or living in your cabin year-round is part of your long-range plan.

Your plan might be a good one.  But be realistic about whether your cabin is a three-season, 3.5 season, or four-season cabin.  In some cases, insulation upgrades and retrofits can be tough. If you are financing the purchase, lenders can be very specific about the type of cabin they will finance. Generally, they won’t finance a three-season cabin. But talk to your lender about what they can finance.

Be realistic, too, about how big that cabin is.  Even if it’s great for a long weekend, is it really big enough for seven days a week, twelve months a year?  Can even two people live in it without getting cabin fever?  Is there storage room?

Next, think outside the cabin box.  Can a new garage with a shop and extra storage solve those problems?  Can you add on?  (Don’t forget, though, to check your local zoning and waterfront setback regulations.  They could limit your options.)

I’d be glad to help you find a cabin for now—and maybe even for later.  And maybe your current cabin is the best long-term solution.  But if trading up is an even better solution, give me a call.  I can help you sell your current cabin and help you find a lake home that’s just right.

Start your Northwest Wisconsin cabin search at Jean Hedren, Edina Realty: http://www.jeanhedren.com/

N7730 Island Lake Rd, Spooner WI, McKinley Lake. Accepted offer.

Make this lovely 4 bedroom log home your year round home or getaway. More than 3000′ sq ft of living space, large chef’s kitchen, main level laundry, huge lakeside windows for great wildlife viewing, are some of the features. McKinley Lake is a great fishing and boating lake, and this home offers wonderful bird and wildlife viewing. Attached and detached garages offer plenty of storage and vehicle space. Minutes from Spooner and Trego, WI.

Property details: N7730 Island Lake Rd, Trego, WI.

Accepted offer.