“We actually set a new sales record for February.” That is a direct quote from Jean Stefaniak, the WRA (Wisconsin Realtors Association) chairman. That’s BIG news in my opinion! People always say to me that no one sells their home in the winter months – this just shows, that yes, YES they do!
Across the Wisconsin state the sales of existing homes were up in February despite increased prices and the cold winter weather. For February, home sales rose 1.2% compared to the same month last year in 2018. Although February typically counts for 5.1% of the annual sales volume – if you break that down by 12 months a year… that’s pretty good for “no houses selling.”
What this also tells me is that this 2019 year will be another great (read: busy) year. Mortgage rates are still low and there are still LOTS of home buyers out there. Competition does get more fierce in the spring and summer months – do you have an awesome Realtor working on your behalf?! Contact Elysian Realty in Green Bay, WI and De Pere, WI for all your home buying and home selling needs.
Selling your home in Green Bay, WI or De Pere, WI? Contact Elysian Realty!
Before we get into what a VA home loan is, we should start with where it came from. The VA home loan was created in 1944. The United States government did this to help service members, veterans, and
eligible surviving spouses become homeowners.
Not sure what type of house you want? No problem! A VA loan can be used to purchase a single family home, a duplex, a condo, a manufactured home, and can also be used for a new build. Keep in mind that if you purchase aduplex with a VA home loan you will be required to live in one side. Notice that I didn’t mention investment property. That’s right, a VA loan is specifically for an owner occupied buyer.
To understand the full scope on what the requirements would be to qualify for this type of loan, it’s best to contact your lender or someone at your bank. If you want some references for a couple of local mortgage lenders in Green Bay, WI, contact me.
To name a couple of the many benefits of VA loans are the lower interest rate than the typical conventional financing, and ZERO down payment. You also don’t need stellar credit. Again, talk with your mortgage lender about the credit score requirements. An even bigger bonus with the VA loan is no PMI payments (private mortgage insurance). While the Department of Veterans Affairs doesn’t issue the funding, the VA does insure it.
Fun fact: The VA has helped more than 22 million veterans achieve their dream of owning a home. Are you next?
I get it, you have a house and it’s full of furniture, memories, trinkets, kid toys, etc. I completely understand! But do you know who doesn’t always understand? BUYERS!
You don’t need to impress me when selling your home, but you need to impress potential home buyers. Do these quick fixes when your home comes on the market.
- Pack up unused items in your moving boxes! You’re moving anyway, get a head start!!
- Hide belongings in your suitcases and luggage.
- Hide stuff under your bed. Seriously, I know lots of sellers that do this, especially with kid’s toys!
- And this tip should be self explanatory but that’s not always the case: U-S-E your closets, built in cabinets, garage storage space and basement storage space.
- And finally, if it’s really stuff you don’t use or need, perhaps think about donating it. Don’t have time to drive up to Goodwill? See if they’ll come pick it up, or even put it on Craigslist for FREE and gift it to somebody.
As of January 1st, 2019, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have rolled out new limits on the loans they back.
Previously, the FHA’s loan limit was just under $295k, at $294,515. This will increase to just under $315k, right at $324,827 – that’s almost a 7% hike increase! This will be the new “low” as for other counties across the US that are in a higher price tag area (think counties in California or New York, NOT Brown County, WI), the loan limit can reach $726,525.
The new VA loan limit will be $484,350 and it was previously $453,100. This loan limit will be applied to all counties in the US but for 199 higher-cost counties. Again, NOT Brown County, WI.
This is good news for home buyers and for home sellers with a higher priced home in question.
For more details on these types of loans, contact your mortgage lender or banker. If you need any referrals, contact me! I’d be happy to give you a few great lenders to choose from!
Are you or someone you know in need of some home repair? If yes, then don’t miss this opportunity! TitleTown 2019 is a partnership between NeighborWorks Green Bay, Trinity Lutheran Church, and Work Camps. People of the community who are eligible for home repair/projects are the elderly, low-income, and disabled families.
Some of the home repairs include:
• Porch repair/construction
• Step repair
• Exterior painting
• Interior painting
• Wheelchair ramp repair/construction
• Mobile home skirting
To apply online for this amazing opportunity, go here
Want to save some money? Sure you do! Do some or all of these hot tips to help save on your energy costs for your home.
- Use your fans! You read that correctly, TURN THEM ON. It will help to circulate the air and keep it at a steady degree temperature-wise. And if you have the reversible blade kind make sure they are turned the right way! Summer months = counter clockwise. Winter = clockwise.
- Don’t be afraid to run your dishwasher. You’ll actually save on water and energy by NOT hand washing your dishes and letting your fancy machine do what it does best: CLEAN YOUR DISHES EFFICIENTLY.
- At night when leaving a room, turn off your lights!
- Wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot. And while we are on the washing clothes subject, if it’s a nice day outside, hang dry your clothes. Don’t like the way it makes your Sunday best look? Hang dry towels/socks/rags/sheets only then.
Living in Green Bay, WI I’ve noticed we have a lot of snowbirds. Like a lot a lot. Here are some tips on how to keep your home sweet home safe an dsound while you’re away.
- Hold your mail and/or your newspaper. If you have 5 papers laying all over your driveway, that’s a big giveaway.
- Get a timer for your lights. Something so cheap and easy makes this a no-brainer.
- If it’s wintertime, hire someone to shovel your driveway and sidewalks. This is good so your house doesn’t stick out as vacant AND the wonderful City of Green Bay or City of De Pere won’t fine you for snow covered sidewalks.
- Be careful of what you post on social media! I know you’re excited to be jetting out of town, how could you not be?! But just use caution with that you post for the world to see.
Whether you’re new to owning a home or have owned your home for years and years; here are some homeowning tips to get you and your home through the winter months:
- When was the last time you’ve had the insulation checked? Is it enough? Could you use more? When you read this and think to yourself, “what insulation?” Then it’s a good time to get that checked out. Your wallet will thank you when those lower heating bills come in.
- Make sure your gutters are cleaned out from all the fall leaves.
- Check on your down spouts and make sure they are connected, then point them away from your home.
- Take off hoses from your outside spigots and store them away.
- Bring in clay pots or turn them upside down (if you can).
- No matter the season, it’s always a good idea to test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. You should have a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home, fyi.
- Check your windows and doors. Any drafts coming in? If so, better pick up some weather stripping or caulk from your local hardware store.
- And lastly, but probably MOST IMPORTANTLY – is your furnace in good working order? Not sure? Get a tune up! Emergency calls are expensive.
Even in the winter months, buyers are still looking to buy and sellers are still looking to sell. So what can set you apart from the “cold” competition to draw in those buyers and have them choose your house?? Easy! Follow these hot tips for showings!
- Snow shovel and de-ice your driveway and front door pathway! I can’t stress this one enough. I’ve actually had a buyer slip on ice in a driveway of a home we were about to tour. I will tell you this: buyer was NOT pleased. And you don’t want a grouchy buyer looking at your house!!
- Shine bright like a diamond! On these gray and dark days you want as much light in your house as possible. Open those curtains and shades, turn on the lights.
- Don’t be stingy with the heat. Make sure it’s a comfortable temperature. I’ve been showing a home before (no, it wasn’t vacant) and the buyer cut the showing short, she was too cold and didn’t really want to keep looking. She didn’t give the house a chance, which was too bad.
- This one is a bonus one that won’t apply to every home seller – does your house have a fireplace? If yes, Turn. It. On. That can really set the mood! Cute and cozy home, what’s not to love? If it’s a wood burning one: PLEASE use precautions!
Want more HOT tips on selling your home in Green Bay and De Pere, WI? Click here
The new year is almost upon us – can you believe it?! It feels like the 2018 year FLEW by. The housing market for this year was an interesting one. (Yes, I realize the year is not over yet, but real estate-wise, it’s winding down drastically) But, let’s talk about what the word is for the 2019 housing market across the US.
With interest rates rising and expected to rise even more in 2019 that may cause some disruptions. Home prices have been rising, are currently rising, and are still projected to rise next year. SO with higher home prices and higher interest rates home buyers will have to find a way to adjust for the increase in fees; whether it’s to buy a less expensive house, or to get a second job to afford the one they want, or to not buy a house at all and simply save up. Less buyers out on the housing scene will affect the home sale prices – meaning, possibly less bidding wars. More contingencies may be used (inspection and appraisal are the 2 biggest).
So what kind of market will it be? A buyer’s market or a seller’s market? Right now, it’s looking like more along the lines of seller’s market but, and I mean BUT it will be less aggressive than the past 2 years. Or so it should be across the US, but for Green Bay, WI, I guess we will see.
Green Bay, WI and De Pere, WI Housing Market