公主的成年礼大臣调教A lighter, easier to digest, more frequently updated version of my website, antonhomes.com. Insight on buying and selling a home in Madison, WI, all with a touch of something special.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Movin' on up

Just like you need a new home every once in a while.I moved my blog.From about November 09, you will find my new blog integrated into my new website, www.benanton.com.

Come on by for a visit.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Like when you buy Mums, that's it.

When I help buyers find a home they will often hear me refer to a home as being "maximized."For the most part this means that every opportunity to make additional living space, a better kitchen, updated baths, and cutesy finishes has been taken.What sometimes surprises them is that I think this is a bad thing.
You see, if you buy a home and hold it, your home will simply appreciate at the rate that property appreciates in that market.If you buy a home that has already been maximized, that is what you will do.If you buy a home that has some simple needs, ugly wallpaper, needs a little sprucing up in the kitchen or bath, and you do that work, then your property will appreciate not only as much as the others around it but also exponentially based on the sprucing up and improvements.
Think about buying Mums. You want to pick a plant that looks healthy, has a nice pot, a nice color but has not fully bloomed.You want to get the most out of that plant.
Now, not all investments in a home return exponentially, or more than they cost originally, but most simple updates requiring more sweat than equity do.
So as you shop for a new home, and you walk into one that has been maximized, have a look around and get some ideas.They did all the things you should do to the "Grandma House" that I will hope we uncover in our search.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Oh, Oh, Oh it's Magic!

Choosing the right Realtor can be tough.This town is lousy with them.When enrolling Lola at her new daycare I was told that there were 3 other Realtor parents.Rather than be comforted by the director's words, as I am sure she intended, I thought that it limited the daycare as a new client source.

Choosing your second Realtor is even tougher.So your home has been for sale for 6 months and no takers.You are dissatisfied, you feel lousy about the whole thing.You love your home and everyone else should too.Selling a home can be hard on you, it calls to question your beliefs, opinions and perceptions about the market, your home and its value.

So why should you choose me to be your second Realtor?I have no magic skills, I cannot defy physics or manipulate the economy.I use the same MLS as the other Realtor.I have the same open houses, signs, and business cards.I don't even drive a fancy car (it's kind of my badge of honor.)What I do have is a track record of success.Often that success means selling a home.Sometimes that success means creating a relationship based on communication and trust that can weather the storm of a slow market place, too many showings and not enough offers, dissatisfied tenants, hurdles, hassles and all the other mess we may find ourselves in.When you consider a listing agent, the relationship is key.If you feel a disconnect, find an agent that you mesh with.In this new normal, the agent-seller relationship is key to negotiating the deal in as painless a manner possible.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I just for the first time in about 10 years havea turntable set up. This has nothing to do with real estate by the way. At first I hooked it up wrong and when I dropped the needle there was no sound. But then I listened closer, even putting my ear adjacent the stylus . You could hear it, without any amplification at all.Kenny Rogers and the First Edition's Ruby. It was

magical. I got goose bumps.I have thousands of albums and 45's, even a jukebox. I think it's time I enjoyed them more often.What does that mean to you and how we might relate in a real estate transaction?I think it means I am a little old fashioned in a good way.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Where there is smoke...

I just finished installing all new smoke detectors in our 5 apartments. Now keep in mind that each of the apartments already had them, just fine ones in perfect working order.
I was complying with a new law passed in Madison, WI. They now require hard wired or 10 year battery detectors.

I am already required to have the tenants sign a form stating there are detectors in working order at move in.This new law, a law that cost me several hundred dollars will accomplish only that, my spending several hundred dollars.

The family that introduced and sponsored this law after the death of a loved one had good intentions but like any plan, after the city of Madison got its hands on it, those intentions turned into meaningless, over-reaching legislation.

The moral of the story is before you choose to do business, know that where you do it may make it more difficult.Here are a few of the other rules specific to Madison.
You may not use criminal history to decline a rental application.
You are required to pay interest on a security deposit.
The fire department may at their choosing and without permission or warning enter your home for periodic inspection.
There are more that escape me.Don't get me wrong, I'm not bitter. Just keep these things in mind if you ever, A. Become a landlord.or, B. Speak ill of a landlord.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Credit Crunch

It finally happened. As one who generally feels immune to the inane chatter of the local and national news it took some time, but I have fallen victim to not one but two national threats; swine flu and the credit crunch.

2 plus weeks after the pig flu I am feeling much better but my cash reserves are more guarded than ever. One of the things that allows people to make money in real estate is called leverage.Simply put you control an entire asset but it only cost you 20 percent down.I have played this game quite well and am far from any kind of difficulty and atthe same time I am going to have to change my game plan to buy my next property.

Dear Chase Bank,
I, and people like me, are not the problem. My credit score is 815 and just because I did a good job showing Uncle Sam how much money I "lost" in real estate last year is no reason to punish me. Perhaps if you left these decisions up to people rather than an equation we would not me in this mess. People are harder to lie to than equations.
Much Love,
So anyway. Moving forward, anticipate that credit, even secured home equity credit will be more difficult to obtain. Tighter loan to value numbers as well as debt to income ratios could be your downfall. Keep more cash on hand for emergencies and planned large expenses. In good times and in bad, cash is king.

Incentive equals motivation?

My wife Sandy and I are already homeowners so why should we not be able to take advantage of the governments offer for an 8000$ tax credit? I say it's a bunch of hooey and if I were not reaping the benefits of the credit on the back side I would be angry.So here is the deal. If you qualify, buy a house so next year you won't be angry like I am now.

There is no time like the present to buy a home. On an starter home that $8000 amounts to almost 10 percent. Even if we are not at the bottom, do you really think you could lose 10 percent by buying now versus a year from now. I say it would be tough, even if you tried. .If you are any where near ready, team up with a broker an get to work.