January events at Merrick and Perrot State Parks

The winter can be sort of slow when it comes to fun events for the family. During the summer, there are all sorts of weekend festivities, but those typically slow down during the winter.
So, here are a couple events happening at Merrick State Park and Perrot State Park.
Both are in January and both require park stickers. You can find more information about the stickers here.
learn to fish
Jan. 18: Learn to Fish from 10 a.m. to noon at Merrick State Park. This is being held during the Winter Free Fishing Weekend, so no fishing license is required. Stop by the south boat landing for a short presentation on ice fishing equipment and techniques and how to stay safe on the ice.
winter fest 2014
Jan. 25: Winter Fest 2014 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Perrot State Park. The dogsled team is back and horse-drawn rides will be available.
Hope everyone has a great time at both activities. Let us know if you have any other winter events/activities!
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Weekly links: Jan. 12

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From our blog:

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

Must read/see:

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

January home tips

Now that the deep freeze is behind us (sort of!) here are some things to check around your home for our monthly home tips:

jan

Just in case you forgot about previous months, here they are:

November

December

Also check out our home tips section for more tips and tricks!

Have a great day!

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

By lacrossefinehomesgroup Posted in Home tips

Weekly links: Jan. 5

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From our blog:

For our listings, visit LaCrosseFineHomes.com

Must read/see:

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

Cold weather home tips

This just in: It is going to be cold this week. Negative temperatures are going to be the norm Sunday through Tuesday.

weather

We start our cars a couple minutes earlier, we wear more layers, but do we really prepare our homes to weather a cold spell? Here are a couple tips:

Winter storms are upon us and it’s not too late to protect your home and avoid potential damage.

1. Keep your pipes warm. Some of the most expensive winter damage comes from burst pipes. Even if the rest of your house is warm, the water in the pipes in your attic, basement, crawl space and in the back of cabinets can freeze. Wrap the pipes in the cold parts of your house in insulation, and open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.

2. Avoid ice-dam damage. Another cause of winter damage is from ice dams. This happens when the heat inside your house causes water to melt in the middle of your roof and then refreezes near the edges, creating a dam that can lead to leaks in your roof and damage to your ceilings and walls. If you have icicles hanging from your roof, that may be a sign that ice dams are forming. To help protect against this problem, keep your attic cold — no more than 5 degrees to 10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature — by sealing holes from light fixtures and ceiling fans to prevent warm air from escaping into your attic.

3. Protect the outside of your house. If you have time, clean your gutters so water doesn’t back up and freeze. Check downspouts and make sure water will be diverted away from your house. Trim any low-hanging tree branches that can freeze, become brittle, snap and damage your house or power lines. Use weatherstripping or caulk to seal drafty windows and doors. Disconnect garden hoses.

4. Check your roof. If a lot of snow accumulates, your roof could collapse — especially flat roofs or the roof over porches and additions. You shouldn’t have a problem with average accumulations or dry snow. But if heavy snow starts to build up, consider getting a roof rake with a long handle so you can remove packed snow while you are on the ground. Going on the roof to shovel it yourself could damage the roof (and possibly you, too).

5. Keep two emergency kits. Keep one kit in your home and one in your car. In case the power goes out, stock flashlights, extra batteries, a battery-powered radio and some extra cash on hand. The Red Cross also recommends stocking a three-day supply of food and water for everyone in your house, a first-aid kit and a seven-day supply of medications. And don’t forget to have extra food for your pets, too.

In case you get stuck or stalled in the cold for a long time in your car, keep a shovel, windshield scraper and small broom, some energy bars and water, extra hats, socks and mittens, booster cables, and emergency flares and reflectors, recommends Tod Pritchard, emergency preparedness coordinator for Wisconsin Emergency Management. Also keep some road salt or cat litter, a first-aid kit, a car charger for your phone and electronics, a battery-powered radio and flashlight (with extra batteries) and a sleeping bag or blanket. Also keep your gas tank at least half full during the winter.

6. Buy a carbon-monoxide detector. One of the biggest winter dangers is carbon-monoxide poisoning, caused by improper ventilation of furnaces, generators, charcoal-burning or propane-burning devices or wood-burning stoves. Pritchard recommends keeping a carbon-monoxide detector on all floors of your home.

7. Consider a generator. You may not have time to buy a generator before the next storm, but it’s something to keep in mind as you make longer-term preparations for the rest of the winter. A generator can help keep your heat and power — as well as your sump pump and your fire and burglar alarms — running. It can help prevent frozen pipes and keep you a lot more comfortable, too. An automatic standby generator, which immediately turns on after a power outage, may qualify you for a discount on your homeowners insurance, too.

Want more? Try these:

Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

How to prepare the home 

Let us know how you survive this storm!

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

November 2013 home sales

Yes, it is closer to 2014 then last month, but the November 2013 Wisconsin housing stats just came out!

Here are the state’s numbers:

statewide

Compare that to the West region:

localMore specifically, here is the La Crosse County home sales report for November:

la crosse la crosse 2

There are plenty of homes on the market. Feel free to see for yourself and give us a call!

Wisconsin home sales fell 6 percent in November 2013 when compared to November 2012, although total sales for the year remain ahead of 2012, according to the latest housing report by the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (WRA). Comparing the first 11 months, home sales were up 11.1 percent in 2013 over 2012. Prices were also higher in November, rising 4.7 percent above the same month last year, to a statewide median of $136,000.

It could be due to higher mortgage rates, steady rising home prices, or a heightened uncertainty of federal fiscal and health care policies as potential factors for the cool down. The combination of a short-lived partial federal government shutdown in October and continued uncertainty associated with anticipated health care expenses may have kept some potential buyers on the sidelines in November.

Despite all that news, many realtors still feel the market is still good. 

Weekly links: Dec. 29

easelly_visual

From our blog:

For our listings, visit LaCrosseFineHomes.com

Must read/see:

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

Time to de-stress

So the large portion of the holiday season is over! Save for New Years, most of our celebrating is done.

With a nice Saturday, today seems like a good day to relax and recharge.

However, here are a few quick tips to de-stress daily:

de stressThe most important is No. 1: Take care of your body. If you’re needing an extra hour of sleep, take it!

Anyone else have any tips for relaxing?

 

 

Why sell now?

house-christmas-lights

We posted earlier on why you should buy a home during winter , but there are just as many reasons to list your home during the same season. We posted 17 reasons, but wanted to touch on one of them.

If you are looking to be a buyer during the spring season, now might be the time to list.

Not only is the stress from the holiday gone, but there is a little bit of down time before spring break comes around.

When spring comes, there will be many new buyers flooding the market and multiple offers on one home. If you are a non contingent buyer, meaning you don’t have to sell your home in order to buy, it makes an offer more enticing to sellers.

So, if you can sell your home ahead of time, that will be you!

By selling now, you may have an opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the Spring, when many more houses are on the market for less money. This will allow you to sell high and buy low.

Does this sound enticing enough for you? Let us know!

Realtors feel market is “still good”

The information gathered  in the Realtors Confidence Index concerning transactions in November indicates that the market is “still good” although not as strong as before. Local conditions vary. There were reports of a slowdown coming from states such as New York, Iowa, California, Texas, Ohio, Delaware, and Florida, and reports of strong “micro-markets” from states like Wisconsin, Washington, Arkansas, and Indiana

Many REALTORS® reported that the increase in interest rates, the prospect of interest rates further rising in 2014, and higher property mortgage insurance for FHA loans have put off interested homebuyers. Meanwhile, conventional loans which do not require upfront PMI downpayments continue to be difficult to access due to stricter underwriting guidelines.

Lack of inventory, although eased somewhat compared to previous months, continues to be a drag on the recovery. REALTORS® reported the dearth of REOs that could augment supply for homebuyers, given that REOs are instead being converted to rentals by investors. With improving inventory and slowing demand, price appreciation has eased. Properties were also generally on the market longer than was the case a few months ago.

REALTORS® expressed anxiety about the effect of the Qualified Mortgage rules that come into effect in January 2014 and which are expected to further decrease credit availability. In coastal areas such as Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Missouri, Washington, Oregon, and Vermont, the steep increase in flood insurance rates was reported as the primary factor depressing demand. Another concern was the impact on consumer finances with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The modest job recovery effect of tighter fiscal spending remains as a major issue affecting the recovery.