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.

Real Estate Investing

Investing in Real Estate

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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

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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!