• Summer to Fall: Get the Most Out of Your Outdoor Space

    In Wisconsin, we learn to enjoy every moment we have in our outdoor spaces before the inevitable snow flies. As the nights get cooler and the leaves start to turn, many people start packing up their outdoor furniture in preparation for “hibernation”. There’s still plenty of enjoyment to be had in our outdoor entertaining spaces though – aside from grilling out for the big game. Here are some tips to get the most out of your deck, patio, or back yard this Fall season. Think cozy… Fall is for s’mores and sipping hot cider – or for having some warm cocktails with friends. These things go best with a crackling…

  • Don’t Let These Common Myths Keep You From Buying a Home

    There are many misconceptions about the home buying process that keep first-time buyers from entering the market. Fortunately, they are often just that – misconceptions. Let’s explore some of the more common myths surrounding the home buying process that keep many first time buyers on the sidelines. You need perfect credit to qualify for a mortgage… This might have been true many years ago, but the introduction of government-backed loans and more forgiving underwriting practices have opened homeownership up to more prospective borrowers. Consider FHA loans, which are mortgage loans backed by the federal government. FHA loans are available to borrowers with credit scores as low as 500. Some conventional…

  • Neighborhood Spotlight: Nakoma

    When it comes to desirable Madison, WI neighborhoods, Nakoma tops most home buyer lists. With a great near-west location, lush tree-lined streets, and some of the finest examples of architecture in Madison, it’s easy to see why. It’s hard to imagine Nakoma as a “country suburb”, but that’s exactly how it got its start in 1915. As cars became more accessible to average families, and they were willing to move further from the city center, suburbs like Nakoma grew in popularity. Nakoma’s developers took additional steps to ensure comfortable and convenient living for new residents, like creating Madison’s first private bus line. This gave residents a quick and easy way…

  • July 2019 Market Update

    Halfway Through 2019 Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going?   The first half of 2019 surprised housing markets across the country as, contrary to what experts had predicted, mortgage rates fell. This is welcome news for home buyers and home sellers alike. For buyers, more will qualify to buy homes and their monthly payments will be lower. For sellers, the increased number of qualified buyers means more competition which typically translates to faster sales. The current drop in interest rates is particularly important for sellers now, as rate increases over the past three quarters seem to have tempered the seller’s market which has existed since August of…

  • Five Reasons You Need a Realtor

    Welcome to the 21st century – the consumer-empowered, internet-fueled, DIY era, where people feel that they are able to tackle most of life’s obstacles on their own. Consumers are increasingly savvy and budget minded – something we see often in the real estate market. Any given neighborhood will surely have a few “For Sale By Owner” signs in yards – promising potential home buyers a friendly, easy, and inexpensive alternative to dealing with real estate agents and “red tape”. While we are all for the empowered consumers who can handle things on their own, remember that buying or selling a home is a tremendous financial transaction with real-world legal obligations and outcomes.…

  • An Easier Way to Save for a Down Payment?

    If you’ve given even a passing moment’s notice to Wisconsin politics lately, you’ll know that we have a new Governor, and a new state budget in the works. One of the items that Governor Evers is hoping to pass with the 2019-21 budget could benefit prospective home buyers. This item is called the First-Time Home Buyer Savings Account (FHBSA) and it could give first time buyers an easier way to save for a down payment on a home. In an effort to address the rising costs of home ownership and large student loan balances that many of today’s first time buyers are carrying, the FHBSA would offer savers an easier…

  • Summer Events Are Here!

    One of the reasons people love to call Madison and the surrounding Dane County area home, is that there is always something to do! Madison is a “community driven” city and not a moment of our precious summer weather is wasted. On any given weekend during the warmer months, you can find a festival or family-friendly event to get you out and about. We’ve provided a list of event highlights for the coming months, but this is by no means an all-inclusive list. If you’re looking for something to do – whether it’s a fitness boot camp or a cupcake tasting – check out Destination Madison for all of the area happenings.…

  • June 2019 Market Update

    As the awards continue to pile up, we at Restaino are proud as ever to call the Greater Madison Wisconsin area our home! In a May 2019 study, Madison was ranked the No. 3 city for jobs, social life, and affordable living after college graduation. The study was conducted by Apartment List and reported in the May 22 issue of USA Today. It analyzed the city’s population of young adults, unemployment rates for young adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher, affordability of rent, nightlife and recreational activities, and ease of meeting new people. Apartment List aggregated their data and then compared the numbers for 75 cities with Madison coming…

  • Relocating to Madison – The Restaino Way!

    If you’ve considered a move to Madison, WI you’re not alone! Madison consistently ranks high in National reports that evaluate cities for livability – it’s a great place for families and recent college grads alike. Recently, it was voted the #1 city for jobs, social life, and affordable living after college graduation. Whether you enjoy the lakes, the free zoo, fab restaurants and micro-breweries, the UW scene, or downtown arts and culture, Madison has something to offer everyone. If you are contemplating a move to our area, I can help! Did you know that Restaino & Associates (my broker) has a full time relocation department? We know Madison inside and out,…

  • Community Spotlight: Evansville, WI

    If you’ve lived in the Madison area for any length of time, you’ve probably become familiar with some of the surrounding suburbs. These smaller communities can offer the best of both worlds if you’re willing to take on a small commute to work every day. You can benefit from the close knit community of a small town, while being just a short drive from all of the amenities that a large city offers. One city that fills this niche is Evansville, WI. Located just a short drive south of Madison, Evansville is one of the fastest growing communities in Rock county. It’s convenient location as a mid-point between Madison and…