Author: austinsolomon

Real Estate Investing

Investing in Real Estate

No Comments

You’re thinking about starting to invest in real estate? Maybe rental properties, fixing and flipping or vacation rentals / Air BNB properties. . .

How do you come across a good deal? What is even considered a good deal? What is the best time buy or sell investment properties? If you’ve asked yourself any of these questions, you’re in the right spot!

Investing in real estate is something anyone can do, but not everyone does well. If you are licensed and in the industry day in and day out, it may come easier to you. If you are not, partner with a full-time agent who is a local expert on what is going on in the market. They can help you build your portfolio, whether that is starting with a few duplexes, single family homes or other investment properties.

Most people grow their portfolio over time, so don’t be intimidated by getting started, it always takes one to get started. Another benefit of partnering with an agent that can help you look for and purchase investment property is connecting with a few different types of lenders / loan officers. For some projects maybe a commercial loan is more attractive and fits the purpose, for others, maybe a residential loan is an option.

If you’re purchasing in cash, there is more flexibility around the condition you’re able to purchase. If you have the skillset or partnerships to rehab homes, the condition may not be much of a concern for you.

For example, if a home is in major disrepair with issues that may cause value / funding concerns, the seller and agent probably would agree the ideal buyer will need to purchase the property in cash for the transaction to go through. This may help the buyer  leverage a more competitive offer price, given the lower number of cash buyers in the marketplace.

So, why do people invest in real estate? Historically, real estate is one of the few assets that appreciates (instead of depreciates). It is dependent on the market, economic conditions, and other factors that are outside of our direct control, but what industry isn’t.

Depending on your strategy, it can be a great way to build recurring income while maintaining  value and equity.

For example, let’s say you purchase a single family rental property for $50,000 cash and put $10,000 into it. Your investment up front is $60,000. Let’s say you’re able to rent the unit at $700 / mo for a year, that is $8,400 gross income and of that let’s say you pay some in taxes and some on repairs so you keep 75%, equaling $6,300. Let’s say you hang on to this rental for 10 years, assuming the same assumptions as above, you would have made $63,000 plus you decide to sell the rental for $65,000 totaling $128,000 in 10 years. That’s a pretty great return in a decade.

Now that math is used just as an example. There are far more factors that go into an investment purchase, but it’s used as an illustration to explain the concept.

If investing in real estate sounds like something you’d be interested in, our team would love to help! Contact us to learn more!

Home Buyers

Starting Your Home Search

No Comments

It’s finally starting to look like spring in Central Wisconsin and you’re thinking about moving? Amidst everything that is going on around us, the steps for getting started on your home search are the same, just the method may vary slightly.

So, where do you start?

Whether you are buying your first home or your fourteenth, it’s a good idea to start by connecting with a local expert real estate agent in your area. Connecting with a Realtor early on can help best prepare you for the road ahead. You can start browsing online, but the truth is, if you’re serious about buying, you’ll want to have an agent lined up and a few things in order so you’re ready when that dream home hits the market.

A good agent will take the time to understand what you’re looking for. They can set-up a brief 30-minute buyer consultation to learn more about your goals, what you’re looking for in a home and what’s really important to you in your next move. Right now, that may look like a video conference or an introductory phone call, but the conversation is the exact same.

If you’ve already found your dream home and want to take a look, a Realtor can certainly show you the home.  Chances are, with how quickly the homes are moving in the spring, it’s a good idea to be prepared on the financing side of things, so you are ready to put in an offer when you find that right place.

If you haven’t talked with a lender or loan officer, your real estate agent may have a couple of local partners they can recommend, or if you have a good relationship with a lender already, it’s not a bad idea to start the conversation early on. That way you feel comfortable and confident on what you can afford and what may be outside of your budget.

Many first-time homebuyers are worried about having their credit pulled multiple times if their don’t find a home within 90 days (the timeframe most pre-approval letters are valid, 90 days). If this is a concern of yours, talk to your lender. They may be able to give you a soft-credit pull or pre-qualification letter (instead of pre-approval letter) that estimates what you would be approved for, without requiring a full credit pull.

After you feel confident and comfortable with your monthly payment, looking at houses becomes a lot more enjoyable. You worry less about the cost and focus on what you want in a home within your means.

The fun part begins! Touring homes! From here, you can work alongside your agent to find the best home for you. That may include some virtual tours or in-person tours. You may tour a few before finding the right fit, or your first home may be the one. There isn’t a cookie-cutter recipe for finding the right place, so be patient and choose a Realtor you trust and enjoy working with!

So, if you’re looking this spring, fantastic! Our team would be honored to help you find a place to call home in our Central Wisconsin home! Contact us today to get started!


Team Member Highlight

Team Member Highlight – Allison Karlen

No Comments

New to The Solomon Group is Allison Karlen! She is local to the area and actually grew up in Mosinee, WI, graduating from Mosinee High School. If you’ve been following our team, you’ll notice that Allison and Dakota have the same last name… yes, they are married (newly) and we were excited to bring Allison on board.

Allison has always had a heart to help people and serve them where they’re at! She is great at discovering what they are looking for in a home, what they value and what they really need vs. want.

“What excites me about real estate is having the opportunity to help buyers and sellers reach their real estate goals. Watching my husband, Dakota Karlen, excel in his real estate career was extremely rewarding and inspiring. A few months after I began my licensing and have been serving clients ever since.”

Her career started in March of 2019 and has developed into becoming a member of The Solomon Group family in February of 2020.

Our goal as a team is to serve our clients well in everything we do from our first phone call with them to the closing day. Each step is so important to handle with care and integrity, those are two things we don’t take lightly.

On a fun note, one of Allison’s favorite places in the area is the Dells of Eau Claire. She loves hiking and spending time outside with friends and family, and of course, Dakota too. She loves good Mexican food! Have any favorite places around the area – please share them!

If you’re looking to buy a home, land or rental property, contact Allison! She’ll do a fantastic job helping you. She is flexible to meet with you when a showing best fits into your busy schedule. Call or text Allison Karlen at (715) 297-8334 or email at:

Home Buyers, Home Selling

How Do Realtors Get Paid?

No Comments

An age old question that comes up more often than you may think! How do Realtor’s get paid? It’s really a great question and that’s why I’ve dedicated a full podcast episode to that – listen to it on you favorite podcast app.

Subscribe to our podcast on SpotifyApple Podcast or Google Play. Search: “The Real Wausau Real Estate Show”.

Unlike most careers that have an hourly or salary rate that slowly grows over your tenure, Realtors get paid on commission. Commission in the real estate industry is often a percentage of the gross sale amount that is earned upon the successful closing of a home or land or real property.

For some, this is fantastic because there is no glass ceiling. The harder you work, the more you earn and the less you work, the less you earn. For others, this sort of income can cause anxiety and fear not knowing where the next deal is coming from… and I think that idea can be true in all of us in varying degrees.

Earning a commission-based income requires you to be thoughtful in how you’re saving / planning so you can sustain your business as an agent over your career. It can be exciting when you get that check after a successful closing, but realizing that your next closing is a couple of weeks or a few months out, will help you keep that “spending” mentality in check.

So… how much do Realtors actually make? Well, that depends too. It depends on the sale price of the home, their commission and a few other factors like area & location. In Central Wisconsin, with the homes being reasonably priced and the economic conditions staying pretty stable, I’d say about $40,000 – $60,000 would be a common average for a full-time agent. That may be quite a bit lower for first-year agents just getting in the industry or part-time agents that do a bit of business on the side, but that is just an average – remember that depends on a number of factors.

The location matters too. In larger cities, Realtors may make more per transaction and therefore they may not do as many deals but have a higher gross commission per sale so they are still making a decent wage. I’ve said it before but it really all depends!

If you’re considering the career, check out this podcast episode on what the career is like and how to get started? Maybe commission gets you excited because you like helping others and working in a sales environment.

If you have a chance to check out either podcast, or both, let me know what you think! I’d love to hear your feedback!

Brought to you by Austin Solomon | 715-212-4693 | Coldwell Banker Action




Team Member Highlight

Ranked #2 Nationally

No Comments

Our team is honored to be ranked #2 Nationally by Coldwell Banker for Small Teams by Total Units!

Thank you to all of our clients who’ve trusted us during their sale or purchase & a special thanks to each of our team members & office staff who’ve supported us along the way!

It truly takes a team. A special thanks to each team member – Austin Solomon, Dakota Karlen, Allison Karlen, Holly Hettinga and Angie Rhode for you work day in and day out!

Solomon Group Ranked #2 Nationally
Solomon Group Ranked #2 Nationally