Blog :: 04-2010

What is a Madison WI Real Estate Broker doing in the dirt?

Growing Power

Will Allen, Growing Power

Visiting 2 acres of greenhouses and learning all about soil, fish farming and worms is not the typical day for a Madison real estate broker. I was able to turn my phone off for a couple of hours and really tune into what makes Growing Power such an amazing place. It isn't just Will Allen that makes it such a great place; it is his inspiration that permeates the place.

As a business owner I learn from everyone and from every organization every day and that is how I constantly strive to be better. Getting involved with what lights me up in the community is how I stay inspired. Even during our busy seasons, I know that if I let myself drown in real estate, I will do just that, drown.

Two years ago I started meeting with a group of passionate educators and community members who were ready to see a new kind of school in Madison WI. With my Nuestro Mundo Community School experience and my passion for healthy living, working and learning spaces I found myself making the time for the many meetings it takes to start a school. As our vision for the school became clear and our connections within the Madison community presented themselves we started to grow Badger Rock Middle School.

Our culturally and environmentally sustainable charter school is part of a large project with Center for Resilient Cities and Growing Power and will be built on 4 acres of land on the South Side of Madison WI across from Badger Bowl. Urban agriculture is a main ingredient thanks to the land that the school will be built on and our friends at Growing Power.

The planning team takes a trip to Growing Power for a tour and a collaborating meeting with Will Allen

The three things that are made very clear at Growing Power are:

1) Production - this place is about producing and distributing what is grown

2) Education - students learn, then learn to teach and teaching is the best way to change the world

3) Community - creating neighborhood through growing makes a community strong

And as a Realtor it is very clear to me the true importance of community and strong neighborhoods. People want to be a part of a something bigger. We all want to live in healthy environments and strive to eat healthy foods. We want to be friends with our neighbors and feel safe in our homes. I am fascinated by neighborhoods that hold their value in a depreciating market but am not surprised by it either. Those communities stay strong because of the schools, the block parties and the camaraderie to stand up for their neighborhood when they need to.  Keep it up Madison!

Will Allen, Growing Power

Don't Lose the Right House in Madison WI's Tax Credit Race

Racing to meet the April 30 tax credit deadline

In your race to meet the Tax Credit April 30th deadline, take some tips from the Alvarado Group and plan your time well

Buying a house isn't always easy and as a Madison real estate professional I have always believed that the best approach in working with Buyers is to let them find a comfortable pace at which to guide them through the process. Everyone is different and every home buying process is different and that has worked great. Until now.

Now, we all have ONE date - April 30th!

If you have not written an offer yet, or if you are in an accepted offer but still getting through contingencies, here are quick home buying tips that you need to know today!

  • Don't fight time. Plan your time, be in control of your time and create time to make this happen. If you have to reschedule activities and push them into May, do it. Don't try and fit it all in. You will cause yourself unnecessary stress. Buying a home takes time. Take a day or two off from work. Once you find the right home, the negotiation process of offers, counter offers and amendments back and forth take time, inspections take time, meetings with your lender take time. Explain what is going on at work and get the flexibility you need to make good decisions through the process.
  • Write a solid offer. You've found the right house (phew!) and now it is time to submit an offer to the Seller. Before writing the offer it is important to know the market. If you've seen 10 homes and this home is the best for you because of the perfect yard and it's close to your work then it holds more value than those other 9 homes. Don't lose sight of that. There is competition out there, multiple offers are being submitted. If you are looking to submit a low ball offer because you want a 'deal' then it is time to consult with your agent. Know how many days the home has been on the market, have the Sellers rejected prior offers, is there a competing offer looming and have you analyzed the comparables? You don't want to leave money on the table. You're not going to write a full price offer on a home that has been on the market for 200 days. So what are you going to offer? Plan well. Work with your agent to create a strategy. And then make each move thoughtfully.
  • Understand the process. Yay! You have an accepted offer, you can relax. WAIT! STOP! This is when it heats up and you have more on the line. It is important to read through the offer with your agent so you understand what could go wrong and where there are potential problems throughout the process. Understand the inspection process so you aren't forced to submit a notice vs an amendment. And if you are going to submit a notice, understand what the consequences are and what your choices are. Don't let the contingency deadlines jeopardize your opportunity to buy. The contingencies are there to protect you, but they have the ability to do just the opposite.

Work closely with your agent and you can find the right house, negotiate a great offer and work through the process with as few problems as possible. Notice I didn't say with NO problems. There will be problems. But if managed properly, there won't be devastating problems.

Good luck!