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Friday, November 20, 2015

Is Now a Good Time To Sell?

With December right around the corner, many homeowners are asking themselves if they should sell now or wait until the spring. Josh Lavik has the answers to all your questions in his latest CW57 Real Estate News Video!

Still not sure if you're ready to sell? Check out our Website to find out how much your home is worth. Contact us at Josh Lavik & Associates (608) 620-4234 for a home selling consultation or if you have any other questions about the process. 

We are here to create A Better Real Estate Experience for our clients!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

This Month in Real Estate: October 2015

The South Central MLS reports that the 586 Dane County sales reported for October are 18.9% more than 2014 and are the highest total for the month since 2004. This brings year-to-date sales to 6,950 which is 13.6% ahead of last year and on pace to be one of the top three years of home sales ever.

The median sales price in Dane County for October is staying steady at $230,000, as it has been year-to-date. This compared to the median sales price for the first 10 months of last year the South Central MLS reports there is a 4.6% increase. The median sales price in Dane County has demonstrated solid growth since 2012 and is exceeding the previous annual high of $218,000 set at the end of 2007.

For the month of October new listings have increased 4%, but the higher volume of sales continues to keep the number of homes for sale very lean. Only 3.06 months of active inventory is now available, compared to the 4.5 months just one year ago.

Across South Central Wisconsin MLS, sales increased 3.8% in October, making it 11.7% ahead of last year. The median sales price increased 7.2% as well for the month and 6.2% year-to-date. All counties are equally or exceeding 2014 in year-to-date sales and median prices.

With great interest rates still in place, pending the Federal Reserve's next meeting in December, and steadily rising prices, many buyers have recognized that waiting to act may cost more. Now is a great time to contact us to buy or sell your home!

For information about current market conditions, or to discuss the right time for you to buy or sell a house, contact Josh Lavik & Associates at 608-620-4234.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Saint Joseph Home Seller

Want to Make Your Home Sell Faster?

The history of the Saint Joseph Home Seller is quite interesting, and may be just the thing you need for a quick home sale. Saint Joseph is the patron saint of home and family, being Jesus' adopted father and always providing  a stable happy home. People believe this tradition started all the way back in the 1500s when St. Teresa of Avila, needed to find land to build a new convent. When she was having no luck finding the land she needed, Teresa told the nuns to burry consecrated medals of St. Joseph in the grounds of their convent and pray to him to help her find land that was big enough and cheap enough for her project. The prayers and burying the blessed medals worked as Teresa quickly found the perfect piece of land. Over centuries this custom has changed and instead of burying medals of St. Joseph people began to bury small statues of St. Joseph when they wanted to sell their home.

Even if you're not Catholic, if you want your home to sell quickly burying a statue of Saint Joseph might do the trick. After purchasing a small statue of Saint Joseph, you must bury it upside down in your yard. Legend says that the statute should be buried upside down so the statue will need to work harder to get out of the ground and into the home. The best place to bury the statue is by the For Sale sign, although people have had success burying it elsewhere in the yard. Once the house is sold the homeowner should dig up the statue and put it in a place of honor in your new home. You could also leave the statue buried in the ground to protect the new homeowners and help them find safety and comfort in the home. Some warn however, that leaving the statue behind will only make the property change hands again and again. 

For more information on the legend of the Saint Joseph home seller visit

For more information on home buying and selling contact Josh Lavik & Associates at 608-620-4234

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Rent Vs. Buy

Have You Ever Taken $1,000 and Flushed it Down the Toilet?

You may not have literally burned up $1,000, but if you're still paying rent, it amounts to the same thing. When you buy a home you own something solid, real, full of value. Building equity by buying your own home is one of the single most lucrative investments you can make.

According to the National Association of Realtors the gap between rental costs and household income is widening to unsustainable levels, and the situation could worsen. In the past five years, a typical rent rose 15% while the income of renters grew only by 11%. 

Buying a home is 23% cheaper than renting nationwide and now is the best time to buy since 2012. This is calculated by an assumed 3.85% mortgage rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan with a 10% down payment.

The New York Times has used an assumed 30-year fixed rate mortgage with a 20% down payment for their reference. With these assumptions buying can be up to is 36% cheaper than rent. 

This month on CW57's Real Estate news Josh discusses renting vs. buying. Check out the video below and keep updated with Josh's monthly segments for more information about real estate topics and trends.

Affordability of Home Buying

If you can afford a rent payment, you can afford a house payment. A simple formula determines how much house you can afford. In general, 28% of your total income can be used for a mortgage payment (principal and interest only). Taxes, insurance, homeowners dues and other variables increase your monthly payment and reduce the total loan amount for which you can qualify. 

Annual Income:

$45,000..................................... $ 1,050
$50,000..................................... $ 1,167
$60,000..................................... $1,400
$70,000..................................... $1,633
$80,000..................................... $1,867
$90,000..................................... $2,100
$100,000................................... $2,333

Pros and Cons of Rent Vs. Buy


  • Only committed to a short term lease
  • Fewer financial strings
  • Property tax and maintenance are built into your rent
  • No upfront costs

  • No Personalization
  • No Tax Benefits
  • Rent may cost more than Mortgage payments
  • Rent payments can fluctuate

  • Investment
  • Renovations - Home Improvements
  • Tax Benefits
  • Mortgage payments potentially lower than monthly rent
  • More Stable Living Situation

  • Upfront costs - typically 20% down
  • Property Taxes
  • Responsible for Home Maintenance

Renting vs. Buying is all dependant on your personal situation. If you feel now is the right time for you to buy or want more information, contact Josh Lavik & Associates at 608-620-4234.

Monday, October 19, 2015

This Month in Real Estate: September 2015

Home sales in Dane County for the month of September look very much like they did for the last two years. The 567 reported sales are six less that 2014 and 7 more than 2013 reports the South Central MLS. What does not look the same is the year-to-date total. For only the third time in the last ten years, Dane County has exceeded 6000 home sales through the first three quarters of the year. 2015 is out-selling 2014 by 12.5% and is on pace to be the second highest on record. 

With the supply of active inventory in Dane County continuing to be lean - only 3.2 months in September - it is no surprise that median sale prices continue their rise as well reports the South Central MLS. For the month, the median sale price of $238,000 is 5.8% higher than one year ago. Year-over-year, the median sale price is 5% higher ($230,000 compared to $219,000).

Strength is also evident throughout the eight county primary market region of the South Central Wisconsin MLS. Sales - monthly and year-to-date - were up in Columbia, Dodge, Green, Iowa and Rock Counties. Like Dane, Grant and Sauk County reported September sales just slightly lower but are ahead in year-to-date numbers. All counties reported median sale prices equal or greater to last year for September, and for the first three quarters of the year. 

Throughout this region, home sales are up 12% and the median sale price is up 5.5% for the year. The supply of active inventory for the overall region stands at 4.49 months, a bit more balanced than Dane County.  
So what can be expected in the fourth quarter? One constant that we can always depend on will be a change in the weather. Yes, cooler temperatures are coming and with it a cooling of the market pace.

But the influencers of buyers' decisions to act are still very prominent. Interest rates that we expected to be higher by now are still hovering around 4% or below. However, it appears to be almost certain that the Federal Reserve will finally take action in December - action that most likely will create an upward pressure on mortgage rates. 

As we stated above, lean inventories are having an impact on prices. With prices rising, it may be better to act sooner than later. Recent consumer confidence levels seem to support a decision to act now. The September Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index reported that consumers' belief in now is a good to sell and to buy is up for both and that confidence in employment and finances is up as well. 

For information about current market conditions, or to discuss the right time for you to buy or sell a house, contact Josh Lavik & Associates at 608-620-4234.