General Area in Madison>Question Details

David Payne, Home Buyer in Madison, WI

Question regarding Madison, WI area

Asked by David Payne, Madison, WI Thu Jan 1, 2009

Is it a common practice for the seller to contribute towards the buyer's closing costs during the current real estate climate?

We have heard great things about all of the Madison School Districts but noticed through searches that you can get more bang for your buck in East Madison versus all of the other surrounding areas. Can anyone tell us about the East Madison area? Are the schools excellent there as well? Why would someone be willing to pay quite a bit more to live in places like Middleton, Verona, or Waunakee?

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi there. I'm not a broker so I can dispense advice freely. :) I've lived on the near east side for 8 years, and I think the reason property values are lower over here is that the east side is less ... well ... *polished* than the west side. There are certainly clean, safe neighborhoods on the east side, but there are also some dicey neighborhoods too, which is not something you generally see on the west side. The neighborhood we live in, the Atwood/Marquette neighborhood, is fantastic. The homes are charming, the neighbors are friendly and involved, and we have great stores and restaurants and a beautiful lake within walking distance. (We're in the E09 area on MLS.) As for schools, for elementary-aged school kids, the Lapham/Marquette district is excellent. The others in the area are fine, but not as good as Lapham or, say, Van Hise on the west side. If your kids are older, I'd say West High is better than East. I'm sure that has a lot to do with the property values as well. Anyway, hope this helps. We love this area but will be selling our house soon and moving to the near west side for commuting reasons. We'll really miss this neighborhood! Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 30, 2009
Good question. I am seeing this become common practice more in this current market. Sellers are either giving home warranties or closing cost credits during the sale of their home. This is not happening every where but is common.
The reason for the pricing difference is mainly due to the school districts being rated better in Verona, Middleton and Waunakee than the East side of Madison. Schools are a very important aspect in the home search processes, especially for families.
The East Madison side is nice and there are areas that are better than others. Most of the development and conveniences are on the west side of Madison. Sun Prairie is on the north east side of Madison and has pretty good schools and less expensive than the west side but more than the east side. Again, the reason is due to conveniences, but mostly due to good schools.

Charlie Wills
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 1, 2009
As a former teacher, I'd like to add that there is no such thing as the perfect teacher, classroom or school. A child can flourish in most environments as long as there is good parenting going on at home. Be a classroom volunteer for more input in your child's classroom and school day.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 12, 2013
I like Charlie Wills answer, but as Donna & Dan said, we aren't legally allowed to comment on specific neighborhoods as real estate agents. If discounts are important to you, feel free to check out the link below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 9, 2012
Those brokers...just trying to sell stuff instead of hanging around drinking coffee and eating doughnuts. Grabbing people at the bus station and forcing them to sign Offers to Purchase, sometimes without even showing them one single house!!!

Jobs are easy to get here. Just stand in line, fill out the form, it is Easy Peasy. Do you want the executive suite or are you more the entrepreneurial type? Big monthly salary or huge annual bonus?
Will you work 3,4, or 5 days a week?

East Side Ghetto...right. Reel Truth might be a Fisherman. If only pants really did catch fire.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 2, 2012
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 23, 2012
Eastside is the ghetto actually
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 23, 2012
Hello David,
Madison is a great place to live.
In the current real estate market Seller are more willing to help Buyers with closing costs, home warranties, condo fees & even taxes. Every Seller is different and their motivation is different.
As real estate professionals we are not allowed to give our opinions on schools or neighborhoods.
Wisconsin has a great web site to research schools. ( To learn more about neighborhoods, we suggest contacting the local police department, they will give you all the statistics so you can make a well informed decision on your home location (
As real estate professionals we think about reselling your home when we help you purchase it.. The more desirable the neighborhood the better resale will be. This is why buyers are willing to pay more for a home in other locations. Please visit our website to search all homes in Madison and surrounding areas or call us at 608-770-1140.

Donna & Dan
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 2, 2009
I think that the difference is in the style and age of each community. Many people choose Middleton and Waunakee because there are newer homes as well as newer schools. The near east side of Madison has classic architecture along with neighborhood haunts to eat, drink and be merry.

If you like older homes that have been updated along with proximity to the lake, co-op and lots of restaurants the near east side is great. If you need a larger, newer home in an up and coming area then the west side is good as well. It really is about what type of home and location you like.

Hope this helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 1, 2009
Madison Magazine did a review of the schools and neighborhoods and suburbs a few years ago. Check out the link below speaking to the issue you are asking about.

I would also advise you to find the census information at with demographics, crime statistics, etc. to help you decide where you would like to live and send your children to school.

It's a personal, financial, & where you may work that usually influences someone what neighborhood they want or can afford to live in. The best way to decide what the schools are like in an area is to visit them personally yourself. Take the time to do this with your children and you may be able to get your best fit from their reaction to the school. Hope this helps!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 1, 2009
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