Tuesday, July 30, 2013

(Guest Post) What Are Milwaukee Homes Selling for Now?

Sometimes you get a great opportunity to help others in your area. Well if you are living in Milwaukee and wondering about selling your home in the near future, "What can I expect to sell my Milwaukee home for?" Our new friends of Zillow.com gave us a little insight to that question. Our neighborhood of Brown Deer for a single family home is right around $129,500, according to Zillow, at this time. If Max and I decided to sell, we'd be looking at around a $39,000 profit after our initial investment of $80,500 and around $10,000 of improvements  And that's just at the average home listing price. Who knows, an appraisal might say something else. That makes for a really nice down payment on another home.

Anyways, be informed. You always want your home to sell well but do not set yourself up for disappointment. Know your neighborhood. Watch what similar homes are selling for in the area.
By: Tali Wee of Zillow.com

Thinking about selling a home in Milwaukee? Before considering buying or selling a home in the Milwaukee region, review the statistics of home values throughout Milwaukee county, examine the listing prices of homes verses their sales prices and compare these numbers to the state of Wisconsin and the United States. Having this information on hand gives real estate consumers greater understanding of their initial investments and potential listing prices for their current properties.

According to the Zillow Home Value Index for Milwaukee, home prices are estimated at $91,600 as of June 2013. Prices are on the rise in comparison to this past winter when the median home value dipped down to $84,000. This was an all-time low for Milwaukee real estate since 2008. Luckily for home owners, Milwaukee’s home values are rising at a steady pace of 1.6 percent year-over-year.

The list price of a home is the dollar amount that homeowners expect for the sale of their homes. The current median list price for homes in Milwaukee is $100,000, an increase of 16.4 percent from last year.
List prices are often set by the seller’s agent who best understands the market value of the home. However, due to multiple offers and bidding wars in competitive markets, the final sale prices of homes can fluctuate significantly from their initial list prices.

The current median sale price in Milwaukee is $116,500. The higher sale prices are good news for sellers who are receiving more for their properties than originally expected. The median sale price has also increased 5 percent year-over-year.

The neighborhood with the highest median list price of $669,000 is Northpoint. The neighborhood is located right on the shores of Lake Michigan, which inflates home prices.

For mid-range real estate in Milwaukee, check out Riverton Heights, where the median list price is around $82,500. Although it is a bit farther away from the beach, most who live in Riverton Heights are higher-income urban families, upper-scale singles and young married couples. Location, including whether a neighborhood is family-friendly, is an important factor when gauging a home’s value.

Purchasing a home in Milwaukee is less expensive than homes in the state of Wisconsin. The statewide Home Value Index is $141,600. The median list price of Wisconsin is $159,900 and median sale price is slightly higher at $172,600.

These numbers suggest a less competitive market across the state than in Milwaukee, where the list prices are significantly lower that the sales prices. Therefore, selling a home in Milwaukee may be quicker and homes may close higher than the seller asks.

So, how does this compare to the national housing market? As of June 2013, the median sale price of U.S. homes was $214,500 with a median list price of $199,900. This figure is significantly higher than Milwaukee, but note that highly affluent neighborhoods and individuals are included in the data.

Almost half of the population of Milwaukee owns a home. These homeowners should be relieved to know that 56.4 percent of Milwaukee homes have increasing values, which is a 23.3 percent increase from last year.

Based on the home value trends in Milwaukee, selling a home now is of better return than just one year ago.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

LPB - Curtains (pun intended)

After living in our house for almost two years, we finally got around to putting curtains in our living room. I found a pattern from Target that I liked and since we were getting married, put it up on the registry (free stuff is the best stuff).We luckily got one set from my friend Grace and I purchased the other set with a Target gift card also from the wedding.

We put the first attached the brackets higher than the window to make the ceiling feel taller as spoken about at Apartment Therapy. Everything was going swimmingly until...

Right before we finished hanging the curtain rod, Max, who was standing on the couch instead of a chair, twisted his ankle, fell onto the coffee table and almost fell on a screwdriver. Thank the Lord he didn't. Turk knew he was in pain and began to lick him to make him feel better. Sometimes it's crazy how intuitive animals really are.

The rest of the day we spent in urgent care making sure he didn't re-break his ankle again. Sad news was he did trigger his hairline fracture but it wasn't severe. Here he is rollin' like a badass at Target while we waited for his pain medication.

After all that, we have lovely curtains in our living room. I'm loving the Moroccan print!

Do you like the mix of brights, neutrals and patterns?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

LBP - Storming The Door

Unlike many people in the United States a storm door is not a necessity and their homes look super adorable with a nice door. Well here in Wisconsin, we don't get that luxury. Our harsh winters make storm doors almost, but not absolutely, a necessity. If you have an exterior door in awesome money saving condition with great weatherstripping, it isn't a necessity.

We have a decent standard steel door with a foam core for warmth. It does the job.

So why do Wisconsinites tend tend to have storm doors? Well storms door tend to create a tiny pocket of air in between the two doors and keeps some of the heat from escaping. 20-40% depending on how energy efficient your current door is. Also, ever gotten blasted by a -20 wind chill after being in a nice warm house? Sometimes its nice to get a semi-cooler blast at first at about 30 to 40 degrees. On the other hand, we have hot summers and having a variance for that much, you like to get a breeze in the house as well while keeping the bugs to a minimum.

I chose a Larson First Impressions Full-View Clear glass and screen storm door from Menards. What the website doesn't show is the fact in-store you get to chose your choice of three tempered glass inserts, color of the finish of the actual door and a handle style. We got the white finish with a two-line glass and aged bronze (oil-rubbed bronze) handle. I wanted to be able to still see our door (eventually we will paint) and any wreaths I might (and will) hang.

From these photos, you can tell we installed these in mid-March. Max and Mark tackled the installation which was actually pretty quick and painless.

After unscrewing the old storm door, they used the same fitting and installed the new door.

Mark did the screwing while Max held the door frame steady.

Let's be honest, you follow the directions and magical things happen.

Max put the finishing touches on the door frame and added the door handle.

After all that. Here we have our new door!

Here is the before with the old door circa summer of 2012. It's has a very country bumpkin look to it and it did absolutely nothing for warmth for us. 

Flash forward from March to July. Here is our after July 2013. Much cleaner lines and much less dated. Looks pretty snazzy with my herb wreath. 

And although we currently have the full screen in because it was summer, it was very nice when it was cold out not to get blasted by the cold every time I went outside. I say, win!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

LBP - The Bedroom Lamps

So this "Lost Blog Post" was pretty much a year in the making. Seriously. Lost for a year. Wedding planning pushed this bad boy back so far I almost forgot about it! I redid these lamps in June or July of 2012.

Here we go!

I found these brand new, matching Target overstock lamp bases at Goodwill for $12.99, retailing at Target for around $24.99 (sorry its been a year later and now they are no longer online, this is similar).

Although the lamps were black, I knew a quick coat of spray paint would make them match wherever I finally decided to place them. Final place decided would be our master bedroom.

The Goodwill stickers were on the ceramic base quite well so I used the paint and adhesive remover Goof Off to remove them. You can find it in the paint section of any major home improvement store. Goof Off uses citrus extracts to break down the gunk and it sort of just wrinkles and falls off. A quick wipe with soap and water made it a clean surface to start.

Before painting, I covered the electrical base with a plastic bag and sealed it with painter's tape.

I wrapped the cord as well with painters tape.

I hit the lamps with my Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover 2X Coverage Primer that I've used in various other projects. I love it. It does a great job. I put on two coats just to make sure my coverage was even and there were no operator issues.

With all DIY projects, sometimes you have a little fail. I didn't anticipate how large the over spray would have been with the spray cans and my cords got covered in primer. Oops! From now on, I will always put the cords in a bag as well!

Overall, I love the results! I added two lamp shades I already had and they are just perfect accent for reading in bed with the hubs.

I love the warm ambiance they give the room now!

What paint mishaps have you had while DIYing? See another LBP in this photo?

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Real Life

It has been awhile. I will very honest. I just haven't been in the mood to blog. Since this is not my job, just a creative outlet, I just have been taking a break. Max and I have been focusing on our relationship, time with family and ourselves.

Little life update, I got a 4.0 my first semester back to school at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Not too shabby for a kid who never really focused on school until now. All this makes me very excited for my potential with web development. The web was definitely my first love and it seems I'm coming full circle to my 16 year old self and saying, "Hi, I was here all  along. If you would have just followed your instinct, you'd be way more successful already." Well 16 year old self, I guess the best thing I could say back is, "You live. You learn. You change. You grow. You thrive." Although I am backtracking in a sense, I have never been a truer version of myself then right now; focused and hardworking. I have Max to thank for a lot of that. He definitely compliments me to make me want to strive for more.

Another thing, I have actively starting volunteering for my sorority again. I have always been a more active alumna but its a little different this time. Along with being the president of our local alumnae association, I recently sponsored a woman go through the alumna initiate process. For anyone thinking it, yes, you can become a sorority woman as an adult and its a wonderful experience to share (ask me for details)! I have also been recently appointed as the chapter adviser for a local collegiate chapter of the sorority and that has definitely been a new challenge, experience and joy. I can't wait to see what the women accomplish this coming school year. And did I mention that our convention next summer is at Disney? So pumped! So look out for these ladies on the St. Norbert's campus. They will be the fierce ones in royal purple, pure gold or their LBDs.

They will take after their adviser soon enough.

Max has been getting quite into cycling as of late as his big hobby. As well as on his own, he's been going on weekly cycling club rides. He has been losing weight and I'm very proud of him.

Max and I have been reassessing things a lot as well. We have been prioritizing and doing some heaving pre-family planning. We both have decided we are ready to have kids but there are always a few things to get in order. We still are not a 100% sure yet, but we have been thinking about finishing up our updates on this house, getting the house reappraised and then putting it on the market to see if we can make a profit. The house has only two bedrooms and we want two kids. We know we could still build a third bedroom in the basement but we aren't sure we want to do that. Will this be the end of the "Parkland Project". Definitely not. No matter where we live, we will always have some projects to work on and share. We just might not live on Parkland Ave. anymore and that's okay. We have been looking at houses/jobs in different parts of Milwaukee and other cities we feel would be a good fit for how we want to raise our future kids.

So on that note, I will do my best to update you all on our projects. I have been documenting everything its just getting around to writing about them. I vow to be completely caught up on posts by fall. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, which you should because I'm awesome, you will see we've still been working on the house and still documenting but I just haven't gotten around to posting. The biggest thing we have begun has been tearing out the rest of the carpet in our home, refinishing the 60+ year old red oak hardwood floors, repairing some of the damage and installing new matching hardwood in the home's addition. Oh and some tile, did I mention that too? And some build-ins. Lordy! Max and I are busy!

So bare with me, good things are coming! Hopefully more giveaways for all of you as well. We all love free stuff!
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