More than just real estate

10 Reasons to Buy a Home in 2012

Is 2012 your year to become a homeowner? Most people who choose a New Year’s resolution typically pick a goal to achieve or habit to break, but 2012 may be the year that they resolve to buy their first home.

The reasons for first-time home buyers to invest now just keep adding up. Setting goals and adopting good habits, such as saving more, reducing debt and improving credit scores, will put first timers in a good position to get what they want in the New Year.

Here are 10 reasons to invest in real estate in 2012: (more…)

Christmas Fun Facts

You’ve trimmed the tree, gazed at light displays and prepared your home for the bevy of guests who will visit this holiday season. While you may have knocked out all your Christmas traditions, there may be much about the “most wonderful time of the year” you don’t know about. While waiting for Santa to come down the chimney this weekend, impress your family with these fun Christmas facts:

  • US scientists calculated that Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world’s presents on Christmas Eve, travelling at 650 miles a second. (more…)

Happy Hanukkah!

Today begins the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah. This ancient Jewish celebration is filled with history and tradition, and dates back to before the Torah was written. Here are a few fun facts to share throughout Hanukkah over latkes and a rousing game of dreidel.

  • Hanukkah is a Jewish celebration commemorating the military victory of the Jewish Maccabees over the Greek-Syrians. Hanukkah also commemorates the re-dedication of the Second Temple in 164 BCE.
  • Hanukkah can be correctly spelled many different ways, including Chanukah, Chanukkah, and Hanukah.
  • Hanukkah starts on the 25th of the month of Kislev.  But because the Hebrew calendar is lunar rather than solar, it can fall anywhere from November to early January on the standard calendar.
  • The nine-branched candelabrum used on a Hanukkah is a misnomer; it is actually called a chanukiah. The menorah is actually a seven-branched candelabrum. (more…)

Southeast Wisconsin’s Can’t-Miss Light Displays

It’s a tradition that must be crossed off the holiday to-do list every year: Hop in the car and go see the Christmas lights! This simple pastime gives us the chance to stop in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and travel back to our childhood years, nose squashed against the car windows, fogging up the glass and gazing at the shining beauty of the neighborhood’s twinkling light displays. Whether you’re Clark Griswold or Ebenezer Scrooge, it’s hard not to get that warm holiday feeling when on a leisurely light-display drive, and here inSoutheast Wisconsin, there are a few major displays you just can’t miss: (more…)

Home Sales Up 24.3% in November

Home sales jumped 24.3% in November in the 4-county metropolitan area, marking the 5th month in a row that sales have increased.  The increase represents 968 sales compared to 779 a year ago.

Although 968 sales in November was decent for a late-fall month, the statistical leap is primarily due to the contrast between the 2010 and 2011 markets.  We saw a large fall-off in sales beginning in June of 2010 that continued through the rest of the year, due to the expiration of federal tax credits.

A significant change in the market did occur, however, on the listing side that may have an impact on sales prices in the coming months.  (more…)

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