Author: austinsolomon

Home Buyers, Home Tips

Rent To Own Vs Buying

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A lot of buyers have heard of a land contract or more commonly referred to as a “rent to own” when they’re thinking about buying.

So, let’s dive a bit deeper into what is a “rent to own” purchase option and how does it differ from purchasing a home outright.

A land contract or rent to own purchase option is a contract between a seller and buyer that essentially outlines a purchase plan with X number of payments at $X rate per month.

An easy way to think of a rent to own contract is a vehicle lease. A car dealership will lease a vehicle to a buyer if they make their payments, they can use the car and those payments are accumulating and being applied toward the purchase price. At the end of the lease, the buyer can buy the vehicle outright, lease another or finance the remaining portion.

Rent to own contracts are very similar. They establish a plan for the buyer to make payments that are applied or deducted from the purchase price. The main difference is there is not a lender or bank in the equation, the seller is assuming that role and risk. Sellers know that and often factor that risk into the monthly cost.

From the seller perspective, they may not be willing to take on that risk. That is why many sellers prefer to sell outright to receive their funds in full without receiving monthly payments and potentially having legal concerns arise years down the road.

Rent to own purchase options may seem more attractive to some because they don’t have the lender piece in the puzzle with “stricter” guidelines for acquiring a loan. That may be appealing to buyers with lower credit or little to no down payment saved up. The buyer may still have a good income and can support a monthly payment, but are not able to get a loan from a lender or bank.

The concern arises if you cannot make your monthly payments to the seller, the contracts are often written in a way that allows for the seller to recoup their property, leaving the buyer in a “rental-like” situation, making payments for years but not gaining equity in ownership. All land contracts vary, but it’s highly recommended to have a real estate lawyer draft and review a land contract prior to signing.

One of the first steps in buying a home is figuring out the financial piece. What can you afford? Can you obtain a pre-approval and loan at this time? Are there a few steps you can take over a few months to improve your credit?

If the finances aren’t in a place needed for a purchase right now, it’s still helpful to connect with a good lender who can help identify opportunities for you to improve your credit and that will result in a better rate down the line.

We hope this resource is helpful to you. If you have questions or want to learn more, please contact our team.







Home Tips

The Inside Scoop on Radon

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We’ve all heard a lot about radon, but what is it and should you be concerned about it?

Radon is an orderless gas naturally-occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. The gas is colorless and odorless ,which is what makes it challenging to detect without a radon test. You can either do a self-radon test with a purchased kit, or you can hire a professional to test the radon level.

In this area, it’s not uncommon to have radon is your basement or lowest level of your home. Throughout Marathon County area there is a higher granite concentration than in other areas and that allows for natural decay into radon that may seep into the basement through the foundation.

Low amounts of radon are considered to be “safe levels” and that is at or below 4.0. Anything above that level is considered to be a “higher level” of radon and can be addressed with a radon mitigation system.

A radon mitigation system essentially uses a fan system to pull air from the soil / ground and exhausts it outside through PVC pipe. In addition to that, cracks and other openings in the foundation are recommended to be sealed in order for the system to operate effectively.

After a radon mitigation system is installed, oftentimes the installer will come back out a few days after and conduct a radon re-test to make sure the system is working as planned.

If you have concerns about radon, you can read more information about radon on the EPA website at:


Home Tips, Real Estate

Things to Improve Around Your Home

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Are you scratching your head thinking, “What can I do around my house?”. That’s a great way to use some free time, especially if you have projects ready for you. Or maybe they aren’t even things you’ve thought of before.

Here are a few suggestions that can really improve a space, appeal and overall improve the value / impression when you’re ready to sell. Even if you’re not ready, it’ll be helpful down the road when you are ready.

1.) Freshen up the colors. Have a room that has wallpaper or a dated color? Now would be a great time to update the room with a modern and neutral feel. Painting is relatively inexpensive and can really impact the rooms ambiance.

2.) Modernize the fixtures. Have some older handles, light fixtures or accents in a bathroom or kitchen. Maybe it’s time to update those. Again, this is a relatively inexpensive project to take on, but it makes a big difference!

3.) Clean and Organize. Closets, extra bedrooms, etc. This is a great project to build-in some additional storage shelves that can make your closets organized and tidy. You’ll thank yourself when this is done! If you want to go above and beyond, paint the added built-in shelving too!

4.) Update outlet covers. Are your current light switch covers or outlet covers looking dingy and dirty? It’s something we don’t think about much but cleaning existing ones or buying some new clean plates (only about 15 cents each) can really clean up an area. If the actual switch or outlet is dated, you may need some electrical knowledge to get that part switched out, but for most of us, the plates are a good start.

5.) Basement time. Have you neglected your basement? Especially if it’s unfinished, it’s great to clean it up, maybe refinish the stone with a special paint or clean up the storage. Unfinished spaces that are clean are much more appealing while you’re living there and also, for future buyers when you sell.

6.) Last but not least, landscaping. If you have time to look at your home from the street level, analyze and think through, “What would I think if I saw this house from the road?” Maybe adding a few simple landscaping updates is in order. Or maybe it’s time to trim / cut down some dying trees.

The list could go on and on and on. There are a lot of resources out there, so thank you for reading ours. If you’re considering selling and want to get custom or personal advice on projects to tackle before your sale, give Austin a call at (715) 212-4693, or drop him a note below!

Coldwell Banker Action, Real Estate

Our Priority is Our Clients

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In light of everything going on right now, our team is committed to providing the best service we can to our buyers and sellers. Our priority is our clients. Together we are going through a unique time that we haven’t experienced before and we are committed to getting through it together.

Our team is here to help buyers and sellers reach their goals, while being respectful and aware of the unique health circumstances.

For buyers, we are still able to show homes, submit offers and successfully close on homes. With that being said, we are trying our best to optimize and leverage phone calls and virtual meetings initially to learn about your situation and from there, set-up showings to view homes you’re interested in. If you’d like us to preview a home for you, we’re happy to do that as well.

We are committed to using and leveraging the best technologies to make this time more convenient and also enjoyable for you.

For sellers, we are still able to list homes for sale. Again, it depends on your circumstances and goals. There is still a shortage of inventory on the market, making it a great time to sell. We have an aggressive marketing plan that helps you reach as many buyers as possible online with our professional photography, video tours, Matter Port virtual walkthrough technology and more.

We want to be socially responsible during this time while helping our buyers and sellers on an individual basis reach their buying or selling goals. Again, each situation varies so please reach out to our team if you question or want to connect further? Call or text Austin at (715) 212-4693, or fill out the form below to be in touch.



Real Estate

Spring 2020 – Market Update

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Hey everybody! It’s Austin Solomon! Coming to you with a quick video update on where the market and things are at.

I hope everyone is staying safe during this time and hanging in there and staying positive during this time. Obviously there is a lot of disarray and things going on and across multiple different industries. Obviously the coronavirus has effected the real estate space quite a bit so we’re doing our best to help people out and also stay safe during this time.

So I just wanted to send a quick video update just to let you guys know what’s happening in the real estate space. So, we’ll just use March as an example, I was doing some research and looking at the data.

In the greater Wausau area, there was about 500 showings the first week of March. In the second week of March, there was about 450 and the third week of March was 350 and then during the last week of March, we had 210 showings.

So, as you can see, the amount of showings has been dropping each week. As we move forward here… and it obviously makes sense. There’s a big push to stay at home and some people are sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see how this all shakes out.

For us as a team, as a company, we’re still able to show houses and conduct business and it really it’s kind of a tough place to be as an agent. We want to stay socially responsible and also, a lot of these buyers we’ve been working with over the last 3-4 months, they’re still looking for houses, still have to be in a place. and they’re still looking.

So really what we’re doing is person by person analyzing what’s the motivation, what’s their circumstance and how can we help them during this time. Anything that we can do and we can shift from being in person and move online, we are. We are doing Zoom meetings and a lot of calls, so we’re limiting the face to face interaction unless we have to.

Really, as a buyer, you could still purchase a house during this time and as a seller, you can still sell. Things are still happening and there are still people that are looking. It’s just kind of an individual comfort level. It depends on each individual circumstance and how can we best work around that.

Just wanted to share this quick market update video. If you guys need anything, let us know. Again, I hope everyone is doing well during this time and staying positive where we can and just thought I’d reach out and check in.

Hope all is well!

Brought to you by Austin Solomon, The Solomon Group, Coldwell Banker Action – (715) 212-4693.