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Monday, February 8, 2016

Have You Considered New Construction? 

Inventory is only at 2.41 months in Dane county which makes it a great seller's market and median sale prices are at their peak. However, many buyers are struggling to find an existing house that meets their needs. The good news is that you have options! New construction can be a great way to get everything you want in a home and it is becoming a more popular choice in this low inventory market.

New construction can sound like a daunting task and may sound stressful. The Josh Lavik team has assisted many new construction buyers go through the process with ease. Check out Josh's new CW 57 Real Estate News video to learn all of the benefits of new construction!
Ready to take the next step? Contact us today for more new construction resources or for help getting started! 608-620-4234

Thursday, January 21, 2016

This Month in Real Estate: December 2015


The South Central MLS reports that Dane County home sales finished 2015 as the second best year ever! This is just slightly behind the all-time record year of 2005. Sales in 2015 were up 13.4% more than 2014. The median sales price has also continued increasing 6.2% for the month and 4.9% for the year. The median price of $231,125 at the end of 2015 is now the highest year-end median, surpassing the previous high of $220,500 in 2014. 



2016 is looking up with the continuation of new household formations and job creation. This will continue to create high demand for housing. Millennials around the ages of 25-35 will impact the market as their personal financial condition improves. In 2015 they accounted for 1/3 of the national sales. 

In 2016 we will also see home values continuing to rise and increase equities. The Gen Xers around the ages of 35-55 who are in their prime earning years will be thinking about moving up. The Baby Boomers ages 51-70 may start thinking about down-sizing or retiring. They could enter the market as a double role of buying and selling. 



We also see the new construction continuing to improve with stronger demand by entry-level buyers and credit access improving for these buyers. Builders once again will be able to focus on affordable price points and welcome much needed inventory into the market. At the end of 2015 the supply of available homes stood at just 2.41 months, down one full month from a year ago. As a general rule. six months of inventory is considered a balanced market.  

Apartment vacancy rates will continue to be a historical low in 2016 and rents will rise faster than home prices. As a result it may become more affordable to purchase than to rent. 

According to the South Central MLS the Federal Reserve finally made a small increase in its rate in December, additional increases in 2016 are expected and will be incremental. They see mortgage rates rising probably to around 4.65%-5% by the end of the year. These increases may be helpful in motivating buyers and sellers who have been sitting on the fence to enter the market. 

2016 looks like it will be a healthy year in terms of sales and prices. While it may not exceed 2015 figures, a return to normal with fewer distressed sales and a more balanced market appear possible. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

We Are Hiring!!!

We are looking for an Administrative Assistant/Transaction Coordinator at Josh Lavik & Associates! Please review the job overview below and if you feel you're the right fit, submit your cover letter and resume to joshlavikandassociates@gmail.com.

Overview:
The client care associate (CCA) is responsible for all administrative support for clients of Josh Lavik & Associates.  This includes regular follow up with current clients, prospective clients, and all support activities for our sales agents.  The other primary aspect of this role is to be the transaction coordinator (TC) for all pending contracts.  This position is really to be the administrative support for the team.  This includes database management and support for all lead generation efforts of the team.

Location:
This position shall be in our office at Keller Williams Realty, 200 River Place, Suite 130, Monona  WI  53716.

Job Expectations:
  •  Oversee all contracts from the day a new client is obtained through the closing
  • Attend home inspections for all clients and assist with negotiated repairs
  • Work with our administrative team to build, manage, and implement all support systems for sellers, buyers, lead generation, database management, and back-office support
  • Be goal oriented and coachable to learn new things
  • Must be comfortable with technology and digital media
  • Experience with buying and selling homes
  • Ability to keep a database organized for smooth and consistent follow up
  • Comfortable working with spreadsheets and large task lists
  •  Great attention to detail and concerned about doing things accurately


Qualifications:
  •  Excellent writing and communication skills
  •  Ability to obtain a real estate license
  •   Must have a positive attitude and lot’s of energy
  • Comfortable talking on the phone throughout the work day and meeting with clients as needed
  •  Be able to type at least 40 words per minute
  • 1-3 years of administrative experience preferred


Compensation:
  •  To be determined based on experience
  • This is a full time position with bonuses paid for performance
  • No benefits are offered


About Josh Lavik & Associates:
Josh Lavik & Associates is a growing real estate team within Keller Williams Realty in Madison.  Josh Lavik started in real estate in 2005 and has consistently climbed the ranks to be among the top 10% of all agents within the Madison area.  His team has a concrete vision for the future and is looking to bring on more team members that share the same values.

Interested?
  • Submit your resume and cover letter to joshlavikandassociates@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

This Month in Real Estate: November 2015


The South Central MLS reports that November home sales are up 13.6% over last year and 13.8% year-to-date. There are a total of 7,450 sales reported through the first 11 months of 2015, exceeding the annual totals for every year except 2005.  For November, the Dane County median sales price of $232,950 is 2.2% higher than November 2014. Year-to-date the median sales price is 4.5% higher than last year at $230,000 compared to $220,000.



New listings in Dane county increased over 13% this year with more growth projected for 2016. The higher volume sales continue to drive down available inventory. Currently there is only a 2.8 month inventory as compared to a 4 month inventory last year. The South Central MLS reports across the eight county primary market region, sales increased 10.1% for the month and are up 11.6% year-to-date. The median sales price has risen in each county, up 6.1% year-to-date.



Buyers who are thinking of looking in the spring, should consider starting now. Instead of risking higher rates in the spring you can lock in the current low interest rates. There is also less competition between other buyers now than in the spring market. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Winterizing Your Home

Now that the first snow is fallen the denial is over... Winter is here, and for most of us that means higher heating bills. To cut down on cost there are some easy tricks to winterize your home without breaking the bank. Popular Mechanics has come up with a comprehensive list of 19 Ways to Winterize Your Home.

  1. Cover Up Drafts. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5%-30% of your energy use. An option for covering the space under the door is a draft snake which you can either make yourself or purchase.
  2. Change Furnace Filters. Furnace filters should be cleaned or replaced once a month during the winter months. You can also consider switching to a permanent filter which can trap around 88% of debris instead of only 10%-40%.
  3. Run Fans in Reverse. Switching to a clockwise rotation makes it warmer since air pooled near the ceiling is circulated back into the living space.
  4. Winterize A/C & Water Lines. Drain any hoses and air conditioner pipes, making sure there is no excess water in your equipment. Turn off any exterior spigots and shut off your a/c.
  5. Turn Down Your Water Heater. Lowering the temperature from 140 degrees F to 120 degrees F reduces your water heating costs by 6%-10%.
  6. Install Storm Doors & Windows. This can easily increase energy efficiency by 45%, sealing the drafts and reducing air flow. They also offer better light and ventilation into your home.
  7. Keep Your Furnace Clean. A clean and lubricated furnace can save up to 5% in heating costs.
  8. Turn Down the Thermostat. Make sure you turn down your thermostat when no one is home to save on efficiency. For every degree lower the thermostat is set during the winter months saves 1%-3% on the heating bill.
  9. Use Window Plastic. Pick up a cheap window insulation kit to add a buffer against drafts.
  10. Use an Energy Monitor. This device indicates household electrical useage and projects your monthly bill. By seeing what you use in real time you can easily cut waste, potentially saving 15%-20% each month.
  11. Use Caulk & Weatherstriping. Small leaks can cost you up to 30% in your energy efficiency, covering up these small gaps around windows or doors can pay off.
  12. Dress for the Season. A long-sleeved sweater is worth about 2 degrees in added warmth, while a heavy sweater adds 4.
  13. Boost Insulation. Insulation is one of the biggest ways to save money on energy. Adding more insulation between walls, attic floor and basement ceiling can make a difference in energy cost.
  14. Insulate Your Pipes. This will reduce the cost on hot water as well as decreasing the chance your pipes will freeze. Also consider insulating your hot water heater.
  15. Seal Air Ducts. 10%-30% of air in an average system escapes from ducts. Sealing these ducts can save an average home up to $140 annually, according to American Solar Energy Society.
  16. Take Advantage of Tax Credits. There are various state and federal incentives to encourage the use of efficient windows and doors, insulation, roofing, HVAC and alternative energy technologies.
  17. Perform an Energy Audit. This can show you what pressing improvements needs to be made to your home in order to get the best results throughout the winter season. Check out our post on Energy Audits for further reading.
  18. Go Alternative. Get creative and use alternate energy technologies like solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling, biomass stoves or small wind turbines. There are many state and federal incentives to encourage this alternative route.
  19. Upgrade to an Efficient Furnace. If it's been a while since you've upgraded your furnace now may be the time. Although it's a large cost upfront, it will save you in the future. 
These simple upgrades can increase the value of your home when you're ready to sell. To discuss the right time for you to buy or sell a house, contact Josh Lavik & Associates at 608-620-4234.