Investors: Can You Flip In Sun Prairie?

For the last couple years, the risk of flipping a home was as scary as setting sail with holes in your boat. Buyers where scares, days on the market where long, and prices where falling. You could find good deals to buy, that was no problem, but could you resell them?

I am hesitant to say it, but I think in certain markets, now is as good of a time to flip a house as any.

Why do I say that?

Well, just yesterday I stopped by for a visit with a past client and friend who bought a house with me in January of this year. The house sits in a great neighborhood in Sun Prairie, WI. It was “grandma and grandpa’s house”. Everything, I mean everything, was stuck in the 70’s. However it was so clean and cared for you could eat off the floors. The house needed a lot of updating, but he was up to the challenge.

Four months later you wouldn’t recognize the house. Walls are gone to open up the kitchen to the living room. The green avocado refrigerator has been replaced by sparkling new stainless steel appliances. The old dingy cabinets have been replaced by tall white cabinets, including a great counter top choice to boot. The list goes on and on; new hardwood floors, lighting fixtures, bathrooms, doors, painted trim, and more. All in all $15,000 worth of improvements.

Plus, get this, he did almost all of the work on his own. I have to mention that, because I was blown away by his skills. Not to mention, that is part of the reason he kept the cost of the remodel down to $15k.

So let’s get to the bottom line numbers. He bought the house for $125,000. He put $15,000 worth of improvements in. For a total of $140,000 into the entire project. I am confident that I could sell this house TODAY for $175,000. In fact I have buyer looking in that neighborhood right now and has missed out on two other house from buyers bidding higher than the list price. I think I could have him an offer by this afternoon for $175,000.

That’s a $35,000 gain! Do you see what I see? Now, just might be the time, for the person that knows what they are doing, to start buying, fixing, and reselling for a profit.

If you are considering this move, may I suggest you work with a REALTOR in your market place. Make sure that agent can help you find the pocket in the market, where inventory is low and demand is high, able to offer suggestions for improvements, and provides sound advice to navigate your way through the transaction. Remember that market is still a little rocky, so it’s best have a professional on your team.

Best wishes!


5 Top Real Estate Stories in 2011

In 2011, we experienced one of the most volatile housing markets in American real estate history. Things we never anticipated happened. Events we were sure would take place didn’t. Today, we want to review the five headlines we think had the biggest impact in 2011.

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Sellers: 4 Reasons To List Before The Holidays

I have heard a lot lately ‎”Should I wait until January to list my house” -or- “Why should I list now?”

Here are my top 4 reasons why I think you should list now instead of waiting until January or February.

1) the home shows best during this time of year – it is decorated the best now.

2) there is less inventory on the market this time of year, after the first of the year more properties will come on the market, therefore, more competition.

3) relocation buyers are coming to visit during the holidays, during the mid-term break.

4) it takes a couple of weeks to get the marketing up and running, by placing the property on the market now, you will be out in front in January, assuming it doesn’t sell during the holidays.

Lastly, I will leave with a story about a Seller who called me in early December last year. He called to tell me he wants to take the house off the market for the holidays and put back on after the first of the year. I told him he could do what ever is best for his family, but I strongly encourage him not (for the reasons above). He said, “I trust you Neil, and if you say so, we’ll leave the house on the market”. Well on December 27th he accepted an offer that was $2000 less then full price and $3000 more than the price he was going to reduce to on January 2nd. Needless to say, he was happy he left his house on the market over the holidays.

I hope this helps you when deciding if you should list now or after the first of the year. And if you are listed now and thinking about taking the house off the market for the holidays…don’t!

Home Sales Up in October as Median Prices Fall

MADISON, WI – For the fourth straight month, Wisconsin’s monthly home sales outpaced last year while median prices continued to fall, according to data released by the WRA. Existing home sales increased 13.5 percent in October compared to October 2010, and median prices fell 7.8 percent over the same period to $129,000. Visit the WRA website to read the full report and find monthly and quarterly housing data for your county.

Tips for Short Sale Success: Do Not Forget the Buyer

Short sale success does not stop at educating the seller as to their loss of mitigation options and then successfully negotiating with the seller’s bank to accept a short payoff. Today’s complex real estate market warrants more.  Having negotiated many successful short sales, I have found one aspect of the short sale process that needs serious attention: Educating the buyer regarding the proper short sale procedures.

Educating the buyer and setting the correct expectations is imperative to a successful short sale transaction. Nothing is more discouraging than successfully negotiating a short sale only to have the buyers walk from or not be able to close the transaction. The following are some precautionary and educational items to consider which would avoid such buyer fallout.

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It’s Simple: Now Is the Time to Buy a House!

“The millionaire says to a thousand people, ‘I read this book and it started me on the road to wealth.’  Guess how many go out and get the book? Very few. Isn’t that incredible? Why wouldn’t everyone get the book? A mystery of life.”  – Jim Rohn

Mr. Rohn explains that if we want to make the right financial decisions in our lives, we should depend on the same sources the wealthy read. This past month four different iconic financial resources said the same thing:


Here are all four resources.

Forbes Magazine: The Next Mortgage Crisis

Wall Street Journal: It’s Time to Buy That House Now Might Be the Best Time Ever to Buy a Home

JP Morgan Market Insights: Housing: A Time To Buy

Enjoy reading them!!

New Sheehan Park Softball Building Donated and Built by Trachte Building Systems

Trachte Building Systems in Sun Prairie donated a new multipurpose building with secure storage, concessions are and new restrooms.   As a result of this kind donation to meet the parks needs, a new product was born.   Trachte now has a model that can be reconstructed and sold to additional parks nationwide.  The original model will always be here – born in Sun Prairie, WI!  For the more on this click here –

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