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By Joseph Roraff | Agent in Onalaska, WI
  • Kind pushes to roll back flood insurance hikes

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in La Crosse, In My Neighborhood in La Crosse, Home Ownership in La Crosse  |  March 10, 2014 3:37 PM  |  306 views  |  No comments
    Flood Insurance Presser
    Buy Now

    Peter Thomson, La Crosse Tribune

    U.S. Rep. Ron Kind is backed by local officials and community members Friday while speaking at the house of Teresa Secord (second from left) at 428 Liberty St., located in La Crosse's North Side flood plane. Kind discussed flood insurance legislation passed by U.S. House earlier this week.

    March 08, 2014 12:00 am  •  BETSY BLOOM bbloom@lacrossetribune.com
    (13) Comments

    Teresa Secord recently learned the annual flood insurance on her North Side home could rise from about $540 to $1,440.

    She got a letter soon after that, correcting the amount — to $3,678.

    Her home at 428 Liberty St. has never flooded, never even had water in the basement, in the 17 years she has lived there, Secord said. It’s an expense she can’t afford, she said, and one that makes the house virtually unsellable.

    With almost $4,000 tacked on to the annual cost, “who is going to buy it?” Secord said Friday. The sale of a neighboring property fell through, she said, when the prospective buyer was quoted a $4,500 price for flood insurance.


  • Is it a buyers market or sellers market in La Crosse WI?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in La Crosse, Home Buying in La Crosse, Home Selling in La Crosse  |  October 23, 2013 3:41 PM  |  278 views  |  No comments
    This is a loaded question. Click here to read a great article on the housing market. Below is the best way I have seen buyers market explained...

    "A situation in which supply exceeds demand, giving purchasers an advantage over sellers in price negotiations. Buyer's Market is commonly used to describe real estate markets, but it applies to any type of market where there is more product available than there are people who want to buy it. The opposite of a buyer's market is a seller's: market a situation in which demand exceeds supply and owners have an advantage over buyers in price negotiations.

    During the housing bubble of the early-to-mid 2000s, the real estate market was considered to be a seller's market. Property was in high demand and was likely to sell even if it was overpriced or not in the best condition. In many cases, homes would receive multiple offers and the price would be bid up above the seller's initial asking price. The subsequent housing market crash created a buyer's market in which sellers had to work much harder to generate interest in their properties. Buyers expected homes to be in excellent condition or priced at a discount and could often secure a purchase agreement for less than the seller's asking price for the property." - Investopedia.com

    Right now there is a lot of Inventory in La Crosse, but houses that are priced right sell quickly. If you are looking for a deal out there it probably won't happen or you will be waiting quite some time before you find that perfect place on the perfect price.
  • 10 U.S. cities with the highest taxes

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Home Buying, Investment Properties  |  March 2, 2013 12:00 PM  |  235 views  |  No comments
    Tax season is here and, according to a recent report, American families in the nation’s largest cities will be shelling out 15% or more of their income, and that doesn’t even include federal taxes. The report, released by the Office of Revenue Analysis of the Government of Washington, D.C., reviewed the estimated property, sales, auto and income taxes a family paid in 2011 in the largest city in each state. The differences were stark. A family of three earning $75,000 in Cheyenne, Wy., paid just $2,808, or 3.7% of its income. In Bridgeport, Conn., that same family would have paid $16,105, or 21.5% of its income, excluding federal taxes. From a review by 24/7 Wall St., these are the U.S. cities with the highest tax burdens:

  • Millennials Expected to Dominate Housing Market by 2020

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Home Buying, Home Selling  |  March 2, 2013 11:51 AM  |  209 views  |  No comments
    housing marketThough the housing market has made significant strides over the last year or so, many experts believe it will continue to improve in the short term. However, new data also shows that it could continue to do so decades into the future as well. A combination of baby boomers aging into retirement and their children maturing into more secure financial standings could encourage significant improvement in the national housing market through 2030, according to new data from the Bipartisan Policy Center.

    For instance, boomers who are approaching their retirement age or have recently passed it now number some 78 million people. They are expected to become interested inrelocating in their post-career lives, which will lead to more home sales nationwide as they not only move into new properties but sell their old ones. In addition, the children of baby boomers -- known as millennials or echo boomers -- may soon have the financial wherewithal to wade into the market for the first time in their lives, particularly as the older members of that generation gain stronger financial standing. There are roughly 62 million people in this age group nationwide, and it's believed that before the decade ends, they will make up between 75 and 80 percent of all homeowners under the age of 65.

    And in particular, it's likely that as these potential buyers become interested in the market, they will turn to potentially less-expensive properties which are currently vacant, the report said. As those are scooped up, values will generally rise nationwide and therefore encourage more sellers to enter the market themselves, meeting demand. Overall, it's believed that by 2030, the nationalhomeownership rate will climb to as much as 60 percent.

    The national average home value is expected to continue improving in the next year or more at least, as low interest rates persist in pulling more buyers into the market. That in turn encourages competition for a small number of properties and lures prospective sellers into listing their properties for sale.

  • Freddie Mac: 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Averaged 3.51%

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Home Buying, Financing  |  March 1, 2013 9:56 AM  |  206 views  |  No comments

    Good stuff from Tess Tynes writing for the WSJ...

    By Tess Stynes

    Average fixed mortgage rates in the U.S. fell over the past week after remaining mostly unchanged over the past month, according to mortgage-finance companyFreddie Mac FMCC +5.28%.

    Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said mortgage rates eased somewhat last week though economic data continues to show signs the housing market is improving, including reports that the number of existing and new home sales during February hit the highest levels since July of 2007 and July 2008, respectively.

    For the week ended Thursday, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.51%, compared with 3.56% the previous week and 3.9% a year earlier. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.76%, versus 2.77% a week earlier and 3.17% a year ago.

    Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, averaged 2.61%, compared with 2.64% the previous week and the 2.83% rate set a year earlier.

  • Struggling homeowners turned to short sales in 2012

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Home Buying, Foreclosure  |  March 1, 2013 9:53 AM  |  191 views  |  No comments

    Struggling homeowners increasingly turned to short sales to get out from under mortgage debt last year.

    There were nearly three times as many short sales as there were sales of foreclosed homes in 2012, according to RealtyTrac. Foreclosures accounted for 11% of all sales, down from 13% a year before. Meanwhile, short sales rose 5% year-over-year, accounting for 32% of all home deals.

    "We're seeing fewer of the most disruptive sales, the [bank-owned foreclosures], hitting the market but there are still a lot of distressed property sales," said Daren Blomquist, spokesman for RealtyTrac. "They're shifting to short sales, though."

    In a short sale, homeowners sell at a price that is less than what they owe the bank, and the bank agrees to absorb the loss. Typically, a seller has to demonstrate some kind of financial hardship before the bank will approve the deal -- and forgive the unpaid debt. The bank then sells the house, typically at a better price than it would have gotten had the home gone into foreclosure.

    During the fourth quarter, the average discount on a foreclosure was a whopping 39%, while the average short sale sold for 23% below market, RealtyTrac found.

    See more at:
  • Home Prices Rose 7% in 2012

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Home Buying, Home Selling  |  February 27, 2013 7:51 AM  |  143 views  |  No comments
    By Kerri Ann Panchuk • February 26, 2013 • 8:01am

    Home prices rose 7.3% last year, according to the latest annual report from Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

    S&P released the results Tuesday, showing its national home price composite rising 7.3% in 2012, while the 10- and 20-city composite indices posted annual returns of 5.9% and 6.8%, respectively.

    After reporting some price decline in November, the December 10-city and 20-city S&P composite indices reported gains of at least 0.2%, finishing the year strong.

    In addition, nineteen of the 20 metro statistical areas experienced year-over-year growth, with only New York prices retracting, S&P said.

    "Home prices ended 2012 with solid gains," said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "Housing and residential construction led the economy in the 2012 fourth quarter. In December's report all three headline composites and 19 of the 20 cities gained over their levels of a year ago. Month-over-month, 9 cities and both composites posted positive monthly gains. Seasonally adjusted, there were no monthly declines across all 20 cities."

    Early in 2012, the national composite hovered at a lower level before surging in the second and third quarter and then slipping slightly in the fourth, S&P noted. In addition, both composites reached bottom in March and experienced monthly and year-over-year gains in December.

    However, S&P suggests the 2012 price appreciation data shows housing on the upswing, but its strongest gains may have already been reached.

    On a city-by-city basis, Atlanta and Detroit posted their largest annual increases of 9.9% and 13.6%, respectively. Dallas, Denver and Minneapolis saw prices rise the most year-over-year since 2001, while Phoenix continued to soar with prices rising 23% annually and the state posting eight months of double-digit annual growth.

    - See more at: http://www.housingwire.com/news/2013/02/26/sp-home-prices-rose-73-2012#sthash.8Z9cc75e.dpuf
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