• Summer to Fall: Get the Most Out of Your Outdoor Space

      In Wisconsin, we learn to enjoy every moment we have in our outdoor spaces before the inevitable snow flies. As the nights get cooler and the leaves start to turn, many people start packing up their outdoor furniture in preparation for “hibernation”. There’s still plenty of enjoyment to be had in our outdoor entertaining spaces though – aside from grilling out for the big game. Here are some tips to get the most out of your deck, patio, or back yard this Fall season. Think cozy… Fall is for s’mores and sipping hot cider – or for having some warm cocktails with friends. These things go best with a…

  • Don’t Let These Common Myths Keep Your From Buying a Home

      There are many misconceptions about the home buying process that keep first-time buyers from entering the market. Fortunately, they are often just that – misconceptions. Let’s explore some of the more common myths surrounding the home buying process that keep many first time buyers on the sidelines. You need perfect credit to qualify for a mortgage… This might have been true many years ago, but the introduction of government-backed loans and more forgiving underwriting practices have opened homeownership up to more prospective borrowers. Consider FHA loans, which are mortgage loans backed by the federal government. FHA loans are available to borrowers with credit scores as low as 500. Some…

  • Neighborhood Spotlight: Nakoma

      When it comes to desirable Madison, WI neighborhoods, Nakoma tops most home buyer lists. With a great near-west location, lush tree-lined streets, and some of the finest examples of architecture in Madison, it’s easy to see why. It’s hard to imagine Nakoma as a “country suburb”, but that’s exactly how it got its start in 1915. As cars became more accessible to average families, and they were willing to move further from the city center, suburbs like Nakoma grew in popularity. Nakoma’s developers took additional steps to ensure comfortable and convenient living for new residents, like creating Madison’s first private bus line. This gave residents a quick and easy…

  • Market Update – August 2019

    More of the same… only better! As was widely predicted, the Federal Reserve announced on July 31 that they were cutting the Federal Funds rates by 1⁄4 of one percent. The move, which has been widely anticipated for weeks, was described by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell as “an insurance policy against potential speed bumps for the economy, including rising trade tensions and a slowdown in global growth.” While cutting the Federal Funds rate doesn’t have a direct relationship to home mortgage rates, the “trickle down” effect of lowering borrowing rates for banks eventually lowers their overall cost of doing business. This hits the streets where we live in the form…

  • Can You Save Money With a “Fixer Upper”?

    Many real estate markets around the country are seeing an increase in home prices, along with a shortage of available inventory. With competition strong, and prices high, you might be tempted to save some money by taking on a home that “needs a little love”. The popularity of DIY type shows on various cable channels makes it seem so easy – and almost fun. You might be drawn to the idea of putting in a little sweat equity, to gain real equity down the road, and you’d get to put your own personal touches on the home. Sounds like a great plan, right? Before you jump on the home renovation roller coaster, take a…

  • Restaino in the Community

    Spring and summer are busy times in the real estate market. While we love being busy with our buyers and sellers, we are also busy giving back to various causes throughout our community. Being connected to the communities we serve is just as important to us as the homes we sell in them! Read on to learn about some of the causes we’ve been involved with so far this year. Most recently, some of our agents and staff volunteered their time with Habitat for Humanity of Dane County. They were able to help with landscaping, painting, and even framing a home – and they had so much fun! In June,…

  • Market Update – July 2019

    Halfway Through 2019 Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going?   The first half of 2019 surprised housing markets across the country as, contrary to what experts had predicted, mortgage rates fell. This is welcome news for home buyers and home sellers alike. For buyers, more will qualify to buy homes and their monthly payments will be lower. For sellers, the increased number of qualified buyers means more competition which typically translates to faster sales. The current drop in interest rates is particularly important for sellers now, as rate increases over the past three quarters seem to have tempered the seller’s market which has existed since August of…

  • An Easier Way to Save for a Down Payment?

      If you’ve given even a passing moment’s notice to Wisconsin politics lately, you’ll know that we have a new Governor, and a new state budget in the works. One of the items that Governor Evers is hoping to pass with the 2019-21 budget could benefit prospective home buyers. This item is called the First-Time Home Buyer Savings Account (FHBSA) and it could give first time buyers an easier way to save for a down payment on a home. In an effort to address the rising costs of home ownership and large student loan balances that many of today’s first time buyers are carrying, the FHBSA would offer savers an…

  • Summer Events Are Here!

      One of the reasons people love to call Madison and the surrounding Dane County area home, is that there is always something to do! Madison is a “community driven” city and not a moment of our precious summer weather is wasted. On any given weekend during the warmer months, you can find a festival or family-friendly event to get you out and about. We’ve provided a list of event highlights for the coming months, but this is by no means an all-inclusive list. If you’re looking for something to do – whether it’s a fitness boot camp or a cupcake tasting – check out Destination Madison for all of the area…

  • Market Update – June 2019

    Home Sweet Home   As the awards continue to pile up, we at Restaino are proud as ever to call the Greater Madison Wisconsin area our home! In a May 2019 study, Madison was ranked the No. 3 city for jobs, social life, and affordable living after college graduation. The study was conducted by Apartment List and reported in the May 22 issue of USA Today. It analyzed the city’s population of young adults, unemployment rates for young adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher, affordability of rent, nightlife and recreational activities, and ease of meeting new people. Apartment List aggregated their data and then compared the numbers for 75…