June 2014

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60 BRAVA MAGAZINE | JUNE 2014 Finally, some good news on the home front: "Whether you're buying or selling, now is a really great time to enter the market," says Marcia Howe, senior vice president, mortgage, at Monona State Bank. Ron Restaino, owner and broker at Restaino and Associates, agrees. He says the long winter had people hunkering down instead of venturing out to look, but the arrival of warm weather has sparked new life in the Madison real estate sector. Mario Mendoza, a general practice attorney at Murphy Desmond S.C., says that, thanks in part to the extended frigid winter temperatures, Dane County home sales were 16 percent lower in April this year than in April 2013. "That is greater than the 11 percent drop which has been reported statewide," he explains. A cause for optimism is the 4.6 percent increase in median home price throughout the county in March, which remained unchanged in April. "This is a good sign the market is continuing to recover from the ravages of the recession," Mendoza notes. Historically low interest rates, funding programs and a boom in new developments also are helping Madison OVTLI\`LYZHUKZLSSLYZMLLSJVUÄKLU[PU BUYING & SELLING POWER Howe says people always ask her about the best times to buy or sell a home. "I think the best time is when you feel you're ready for it," she says. Five years ago, says Restaino, distress sales such as foreclosures were more common, and all real estate companies suffered. The pendulum of buying power has swung. "If your house is priced right, in relatively good repair BUY? SELL? NOW! BY JEN BRADLEY "Find out what you can buy before you shop." –Marcia Howe, senior vice president, mortgage, Monona State Bank and in the right price point and location, you're likely to get multiple offers, often within a matter of days," he adds. Homes with dated interiors or in need of large repairs won't sell as fast, but still have their own niche market. Jason DeNoble, of Hart DeNoble Builders, believes the condo market is on the rise, especially for condos that feel like a single- family home but offer the perks of community living such as exterior maintenance. Thanks to the recession, condo sales had been in a slump. In the last eight months, however, the tide has [\YULKZH`Z+L5VISL¸>L»]LZLLUHIPNPUÅ\_ in those who have been able to sell their home and the prices are still really good for building," he says. "We've also attracted every age group, and quite a few people who travel a lot for work." DeNoble says buyers are looking for functional homes that can be customized to their liking, which makes them feel like they've got added buying power. He's found success in that option at his Bentley Green condos, developed in collaboration with Temple Construction, ^OLYLOVTLV^ULYZJOVVZLHSSÄUPZOLZZ\JO as appliances and cabinets, and also can work ^P[O[OLI\PSKLY[VKLZPNU[OLPYJVUKVÅVVY plans to create a unique space. Geography also matters, says DeNoble, who's sited the condos at Hawk's Landing on Madison's popular and fast-growing Far West side. Restaino, who agrees on the importance of location, says the Near East and Near West areas of Madison are the current hot spots, and even the Downtown market is hopping. There are pockets of interest all over, in a variety of price ranges. Local knowledge is key: Restaino says working with a realtor who knows the area will help buyers act fast when a house is SPONSORED CONTENT

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