Weekly links: Feb. 2

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From our blog:

For our listings, visit LaCrosseFineHomes.com. We listed two more this week!

Must read/see. For more fun reads, give us a follow on Twitter (@LACFineHomes):

From La Crosse Fine Homes Group pinterest: Give us a follow and we will follow (and repin) your home ideas!

We hope everyone has a great weekend and if you have any suggestions, comments or questions, contact us!

La Crosse Fine Homes Group, LLC., of Keller Williams Realty

Real estate terms to know

 

So you want to buy or sell a home? Here are some words to know:

 

So you are entering the real estate world? Whether you are trying to buy or sell a home (or do both!), you need to familiarize yourself with the lingo.

You don’t want industry jargon to confuse you and keep you from missing something crucial. Here are 15 real estate buzzwords to keep you in the know.

1. Home inspection

This is the chance for the buyers to have the home inspected by a third party.

2. Closing

The final step in a real estate transaction, a closing is the transfer of the title of the property for money or other considerations.

3. Down Payment

The down payment is the amount of money that a buyer pays upfront in order to purchase a property. This amount is typically between 5% and 25% of the value of the property.

4. Escrow

When a third party holds property, cash and the property title until all conditions of the property agreement have been satisfied. The third party, likely a lawyer, will then hand over the assets to the respective parties, as outlined in the agreement.

5. Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac

The Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) are two government-sponsored enterprises that purchase mortgages from lending institutions. Their purpose is to promote stability and affordability in the housing market.

6. Lien

A lien occurs when a legal claim is put on a property in order to receive payment for debt or for services rendered. The holder of the lien can sell the property in order to recover the money owed. Points Mortgage points are upfront charges the lender may add to the overall price of the mortgage. One point is equal to 1% of the total amount of the loan.

7. Prequalification

When a potential buyer is screened by a lender or third party to see how much the buyer can borrow as well as the terms of the loan. This is purely informational and does not obligate the lender but it is a great place to start to figure out your budget. 

8. Pre-Approval

Pre-approval from a bank locks in an interest rate for a specific amount of time. It comes after prequalification. It is an in-depth process that requires a potential buyer to provide a lending institution with proof of income and debts. The lender will most likely check your credit report in this process.

 

Weekly links: Jan. 19

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From our blog:

For our listings, visit LaCrosseFineHomes.com. We listed two more this week!

Must read/see. For more fun reads, give us a follow on Twitter (@LACFineHomes):

From La Crosse Fine Homes Group pinterest: Give us a follow and we will follow (and repin) your home ideas!

We hope everyone has a great weekend and if you have any suggestions, comments or questions, contact us!

La Crosse Fine Homes Group, LLC., of Keller Williams Realty

New rules for automated trash pickup

Trash day can be tricky. It can be hard to keep all the rules straight. Here is some information from WKBT-La Crosse:

Both Onalaska and La Crosse are in the process of rolling out a new way to get rid of your garbage, and along with the new process come need-to-know changes for residents.

Harter’s Quick Clean-Up company is contracted with both cities for automated trash pick-up. Onalaska launched its program at the start of January, and La Crosse has just begun to set out the new bins for its residents. It’s a slow-going process that city officials say will get more efficient over time, as residents become more accustomed to it.

Placement of the new bins is the most important. The carts have to be three feet apart. Don’t put them right next to your garage or too close to a car, buildings and light poles.

Full implementation of the program in La Crosse is scheduled for the beginning of February, once all city residents have received their new bins. Starting on the first Monday of next month, garbage trucks will no longer empty old garbage cans – they’ll only be picking up the new ones.

If you’re looking to get rid of your old garbage cans, you may leave them out on recycling day for Harter’s to pick up. City officials say to make sure you mark them with a sign so drivers know which can to throw away.

Winter selling tips

Have you put your home up for sale? Are you worried about showings during the winter? Here are some tips on how to prepare a little extra for a winter home showing:

Have a parking plan: Make sure the showing agent knows where the best place to park is. If you have a driveway, shovel. If you have a path to your front door, shovel. If you have a sidewalk, shovel!

Turn on the lights: Counter winter’s cloudy and short days by turning on all of the lights in a home for each showing. Have the front lights on even if there aren’t any showings that night in case someone drives by.

Have a place for shoes: Prospective buyers may arrive at the front door with shoes coated in snow or salt. You could have slippers or disposable booties available, along with a bench or chair, if there is room for one, where a visitor can sit and easily remove or put on their boots.

Watch for odors: Homes can get stuffy in the winter. Use a room fragrance if needed, but nothing too strong. Cleaning more often than you think you should is also good.

Don’t make it too toasty: Keep the temperature at a comfortable 65 degrees during your showings (although keep in mind that a comfortable temperature for your thermostat can vary form house to house.) Potential buyers will most likely be wearing their winter coats when they tour the house so no reason to make them sweat.

Are you still on the fence about putting your home on the market during the winter? Give us a call and we can talk!

Things to do: Jan. 25 at USFWS Visitor Center

There are two activities going on Jan. 25 at the USFWS Visitor Center.

eagle2013From 9 a.m. to noon, there will be an eagle viewing tour. Preregistration is required. Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge (SUMRR) will be hosting several bald eagle viewing trips on each Saturday starting on January 11 through January 25th. February trips will be on: Friday the 7th, Sunday the 16th and Friday the 21st. We will leave the Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center promptly at 9:00 a.m. and travel to various locations along the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge returning by noon. February 16th will be an afternoon trip starting at 2:00 p.m. and turning by 5:00 p.m. There is no fee, but seating is limited so reserve your space today.

At 1 p.m. there will be a seminar “Unravel the Mysteries of the Common Loon” presented by Kevin Kenow, Research Wildlife Biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Kevin’s research has focused on issues related to conserving migratory birds and their habitats along the Upper Mississippi River and development of regional and national common loon conservation strategies. He has recently been using some unique technology to look at migration and foraging patterns of common loons breeding in the Upper Midwest, along with related issue of avian botulism in the Great Lakes.

La Crosse District Visitor Center and Offices are located at N5727 County Road Z, Onalaska, WI 54650.

Weekly links: Jan. 19

easelly_visual

From our blog:

For our listings, visit LaCrosseFineHomes.com. We listed two more this week!

Must read/see. For more fun reads, give us a follow on Twitter (@LACFineHomes):

From La Crosse Fine Homes Group pinterest: Give us a follow and we will follow (and repin) your home ideas!

We hope everyone has a great weekend and if you have any suggestions, comments or questions, contact us!

La Crosse Fine Homes Group, LLC., of Keller Williams Realty

New mortgage rules

New rules for borrowing went into effect Jan. 10.

These rules are to help ensure home buyers have access to safer mortgages that meet the stronger underwriting standards.

The two big ones to know are: 

“Ability-to-repay” rule: Mortgage lenders must ensure borrowers can actually afford their loans over the long term. Applicants’ income, assets, savings, and debt against their monthly house payments will be more closely scrutinized. Borrowers likely will need to produce “even more tax records, pay stubs, and bank and investment account information,” USA Today reports.

Qualified Mortgage: Borrowers who meet the ability-to-repay requirements will likely be eligible for a QM. QM loans must meet at least some of the following guidelines: They cannot contain risky features, such as terms that exceed 30 years or interest-only payments; carry more than 3 percent in upfront points and fees for loans above $100,000; or push a borrowers’ total debt above 43 percent of their monthly income unless the loan qualifies to be backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the FHA, or a small lender.

For more information on the roll out, check out the NRA page. 

Don’t forget to shovel!

Is there snow on the sidewalk in front of your home or place of business right now? Please shovel it.

Shoveling may seem like the last thing you want to do. It’s cold outside and the wind is blowing.

But, it’s better than getting fined.

In La Crosse, there will be patrolling: 

With the recent snowfalls, residents are reminded that he or she must clear the sidewalks of properties he or she owns of snow and ice within 24 hours of the last snowfall as defined in Section 5.08 of the City Municipal Code. If the property is on a corner, the curb ramps must be cleared as well. The City of La Crosse may issue a warning for non-compliance of this ordinance and if no action is taken will remove the snow and ice. The cost of removal will be charged to the owner of the property. A $50.00 administrative fee and $2.50 per lineal foot of snow and ice removed from the owner’s sidewalk will be assessed to the owner of the property.

In Onalaska:

The City requires that all snow and ice be removed from public sidewalks within 24 hours of any snowfall. In an effort to keep public sidewalks safe, the City enforces this requirement by first informing property owners who have not complied by mail. If the sidewalk is not cleared after a notice has been sent, the City will hire a private contractor to remove the snow or ice and bill the property owner.

Don’t forget about parking:

From November 1st to April 1st, between the hours of 1:00 AM and 6:00 AM you must be parked on the correct side of the street.EVEN days (date after midnight) park on the EVEN side of the street.
ODD days (date after midnight) park on the ODD side of the street

Fine table for non-compliance of alternate side parking:

 Initial Fine

After 10 Days

After 45 Days

 1st & 2nd ticket

$10.00

$20.00

$40.00

3rd, 4th, and 5th ticket

$20.00

$40.00

$60.00

 6th + tickets

$40.00

$80.00

$100.00