Conquer 2020. Tips to Achieve your New Year’s Home Resolution.

As 2019 comes to a close, it is a great time to start creating goals for the new year and fresh decade ahead. Your new year’s resolution may include buying your first home, or perhaps selling your existing home to buy your next. Your real estate ambitions may seem overwhelming, but are achievable if you stay organized and keep your finances on track. Here are some advisable tips to put you on a clear path to achieve your home ownership resolutions.

Get a head start on your Buying Objectives.

  • Assess your finances and examine your budget.

– Determine how much of a down payment you can afford and what you will be able to pay for a monthly mortgage payment. To calculate your estimated monthly mortgage payment, try using our mortgage calculator. If you currently rent, you may be pleasantly surprised to find that your monthly payment may be less than your rent.

– Talk to your local lender about interest rates, loan programs, and even down payment assistance programs. Once approved for a loan, ask your lender for a pre-approval letter. The letter is valuable because when you submit an offer on a home, you can show the Seller that you are a serious buyer that can afford to purchase the home.

– Look at your monthly bills and expenses to determine what items you could cut back on. Sacrificing or curtailing expenditures on subscriptions and restaurants are two easy ways to save money.


  • Beat the spring rush.

In general, there is less home buyer competition during the winter due to kids being in school and wintry weather. Historically, home prices also start to rise around March, as it is the time of year when the real estate market gains momentum. The Oconomowoc real estate market tends to follow this national trend. The graph below illustrates the seasonal pattern of median housing prices in the entire Southeast Region of WI. The tight housing market reiterates the idea that beating the spring rush can help reduce intense buyer competition and tall prices, as much as possible.

Source for Data: “Wisconsin REALTORS® Association: Wisconsin Housing Statistics.” WRA,


  • Determine needs and wants.

Make a list of what you need and want in a home. It is recommended to keep an open mind and consider making compromises on your wants, as housing inventory for the most part, remain limited. For example, houses in Oconomowoc for sale, priced below $300,000, have not been staying on the market for long due to solid demand. Things to take in account is the area you would like to live in, local school ratings, local amenities, and commute times. Even if you don’t have school-age children, school ratings can highly influence demand and resale value of your home.


  • Set notifications to be alerted when new listings pop up on the market.

Be one of the first to know when a new listing that meets your criteria, hits the market. Our team of realtors can sign you up directly with the MLS system to be notified, instead of you having to rely on third-party websites that may have delayed or less detailed housing data.


  • Declutter.

By decluttering now, you will not feel rushed when the time comes to relocate. It will also reduce how many boxes and/or furniture you will have to transfer on moving-day. In addition, if you are planning to sell your current home, decluttering can amplify buyer appeal.


Prepare for a Successful Sale.  

  • Make a great first impression to Buyers.

When a buyer walks into your home, you want them to focus on the attractive features your home offers, instead of having them be distracted by minor flaws and exceedingly personalized spaces. Making a few small fixes can help allure potential buyers. Things such as burnt out light bulbs, outdated lighting fixtures, running toilets, old carpeting, and bright or dark painted walls are a few things that can be easily changed. Your REALTOR® should be able to tell you what repairs and replacements are worthwhile. If you don’t want to make changes, consider offering a credit to Buyers such as a flooring credit.


  • Get an idea about pricing.

Talk to a REALTOR® to get a ballpark of what your home could sell for. They will be able to tell you what similar homes in your area sold for, the average number of days on the market, and the amount of competition for similar homes in your area. Contact us to request your complimentary market analysis, at no obligation.


  • Plan to maximize showings.

Starter homes especially are in high demand, so it is best to have your home ready to show immediately after is goes active on the market. One strategy to maximize showings, is to have your REALTOR® hold an open house shortly after listing your home.


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