Q1 – March 2021 Housing Market

Featured

As the prophetic Bob Dylan once said, “The Times They Are a-Changin’.” The truth is: markets can be volatile. While the future of our evolving economy is unknown, an apocalyptic frame of mind is counterproductive. Remember, as of March 2021, all ‘year-over-year’ numbers and percentages will reflect the difference between today and the beginning of the pandemic; please pause before drawing conclusions based on comparisons to black swan event derived data points. The following are highlights from recent housing market press releases regarding national and metro-Milwaukee area trends.

National Highlights:

Month-over-month, existing-home sales fell in all major regions of the country, but were up 12.3% year-over-year, and the median existing-home sales price hit a historic high of $329,100.

March Existing Home Sales, National Association of REALTORS®

Existing-home sales fell in March, marking two consecutive months of declines […]. The month of March saw record-high home prices and gains. While each of the four major U.S. regions experienced month-over-month drops, all four areas welcomed year-over-year gains in home sales.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest declined 2.3% to an annual rate of 1,280,000 in March, a 0.8% rise from a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $248,200, a 13.5% increase from March 2020.

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.08% in March, up from 2.81% in February. The average commitment rate across all of 2020 was 3.11%.

Simmons, Quintin. “Housing Market Reaches Record-High Home Price and Gains in March.” NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Metro-Milwaukee Highlights:

Normal spring increases in sales activity, coupled with relaxing COVID-19 policies, created a very busy March real estate market as buyer demand continued largely unabated in the face of rising home prices and mortgage rates. Existing home seller and new construction activity continue to remain below levels necessary to bring the market back into balance, pointing to a busy and competitive buyer market in the coming months.

[…] While many homebuilders are working to increase their activity, the cost of lumber and other materials and a backlogged supply chain continue to limit new home construction and have increased costs substantially. New methods of construction, including 3d printed homes, could speed construction and reduce costs in the future, but realistically are several years away from making a measurable impact in the market.

Zielinski, DanMonthly Indicators

The most inciteful graphs to note in the above Local Market Reports by MetroMLS & ShowingTime, are the “Year to Date” figures. In Q1 of 2021, compared to Q1 2020, we have seen fewer new listings, but technically more closed sales across Kenosha, Racine & Walworth Counties. Also noteworthy: median sales prices have gone down, in the month of March 2021 compared to March 2020, throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.


Sellers: If you have considered selling, but are stuck on the thought, “where would I go?” reach out to your agent about ‘lease-back options’ and ‘post-closing agreements.’ You may be able to live in your home after closing, until you find your next one. I would not wait to sell until next year, however, because 1) interest rates will eventually go up and decrease the number of buyers in the market, and 2) my magic 8 ball is broken. So. There’s that.

Your free, instant Home Valuation here: HomeValuationzByAnnie.com

Buyers: If you want to take advantage of the current interest rates, but aren’t sure whether or not your credit will allow you to: reach out to lenders (yes, more than one; shop around) ASAP. Inquire about potential credit repair programs to set you on the fast track to the closing table with the best loan. I would not wait until next year because there is no way interest rates are staying as low as they are forever. This market is not for the faint of heart, sure, but do not be scared, be prepared. Have a plan, and a plan B… and maybe a plan C, for where and how your moving; consider renting if crossing state lines, staying with family for 3 – 6 months, or even look into buying a duplex or multi-family home to live in.


If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember: it is Spring! Take time to soak up the sun and admire the budding life outside, you wont regret it.

All the best,

ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT
KEEFE REAL ESTATE  |  LAKE GENEVA, WI 53147
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL   azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com
OFFICE   262.248.4492  |  www.keeferealestate.com    



Sources

Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are a-Changin’.” “The Times They Are A-Changin’ (Fort Nowhere)”www.youtube.com. 2019-12-12. Retrieved April 24, 2021.

© 2021 “Local Market Reports.” MetroMLS® & ShowingTime®. All Rights Reserved. April 24, 2021.

Zielinski, Dan. “Monthly Indicators.” FlexMLS® & Metro MLS®. April 24, 2021.

© 2021 “March Existing Home Sales.” National Association of REALTORS®. All Rights Reserved. April 24, 2021.

Simmons, Quintin. “Housing Market Reaches Record-High Home Price and Gains in March.” National Association of REALTORS®. April 22, 2021.

February 2021 Housing Market

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What a difference a year makes! Last February, coronavirus was a soft murmur, not a screaming headline, and the economy was booming… Change may not always be welcome, but it is part of life. Learning how to ‘roll with the punches’ has proven to be a useful skill these past 12 months. February 2021 was a continuation of the most recent trends in the real estate market, with low inventory, but more sales at higher prices.

February 2020 Flashback Quotes:

“Home showings increased substantially in February as a result of current economic conditions,” February 2020 Foot Traffic, by the National Association of REALTORS®.

“Consumers continue to drive economy, forecasts retail sales will grow 3.5 percent to 4.1 percent,” February 2020 Monthly Economic Review, by the National Retail Federation©

“Fortunately for the U.S. economy, job creation was again strong in January when 225,000 net new payroll jobs were added. We expect the strong foundation for the U.S. consumer sector to keep overall economic momentum positive for the U.S. this year,” February 2020 U.S. Economic Outlook, by Robert A. Dye, Ph.D. and Daniel Sanabria of Comerica.

The Kenosha, Racine and Walworth County Local Market Reports by MetroMLS & ShowingTime, are below, as well as that of my hyper-local, Lake Geneva area market. Throughout Southeastern Wisconsin, there were fewer new listings coming onto the market, but more homes being sold, at higher median sales prices (with the exception of Racine County, which had a slight -1.1% decrease in median sales price) in February 2021, compared to last year. Also, note that we have all seen a drastic decrease in number of days on the market – year to date and year over year.


Notable Reads:

The National Association of REALTORS® released their February 2021 Commercial Market Insights ©, with tons of useful information. Follow the link for the latest!


Why might this be? According to our Monthly Indicators publication, by Dan Zielinski of FlexMLS and Metro MLS, we’re amidst an adjustment period, where the housing market is stabilizing.

Mortgage interest rates ticked a bit higher in February but remain below their February 2020 levels. Interest rates may rise a bit further in coming weeks, but according to Freddie Mac chief economist Sam Khater, “while there are multiple temporary factors driving up rates, the underlying economic fundamentals point to rates remaining in the low 3 percent range for the year.” With rates still at historically low levels, home sales are unlikely to be significantly impacted, though higher rates do impact affordability. […]

For homeowners currently struggling due to COVID-19, government agencies are continuing efforts to help those in need. The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced they will allow homeowners with loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to receive an additional three months of forbearance, extending total payment relief to up to 18 months. Qualified homeowners must already be in a forbearance plan as of the end of February.

Monthly Indicators by Dan Zielinski | Mar 15, 2021 | FlexMLSMetro MLS

Next, I investigated the difference in showings across our tri-county area, compared to last year, using the Target Market Analysis by ShowingTime®. The more I thought about it, the more sense it made: of course there were technically more showings in February 2020. With our current low inventory, there were simply less homes to see in February 2021. Interestingly enough, you’ll notice an uptick in showings for listings over $600,000 since last year. This is definitely something to pay attention to!


Recent Market Reports:


Sellers: It is still a sellers’ market, but we do not know how long it will last. Interest rates have already gone up a little. If interest rates continue to rise, this could negatively affect buyer demand. This is the time to list before anything changes.

Your free, instant Home Valuation here: AnniesHomeValuez.com

Buyers: It is still a good time to buy! Mortgage interest rates are still relatively low, but they have creeped up. This is crunch time, if you want to buy a home in 2021. Have your pre-approval ready to go, before seeing homes. Be flexible, and do your research on comparable home sales.


The silver lining around the past years’ pandemonium has to be the renewed importance of “home.” Clearly, a house is much more than plywood and nails. As more jobs go remote and kids attend school virtually, the more crucial it is to love where you live. If home is where the heart is: have you found yours?

Happy (ALMOST) Spring!

ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT
KEEFE REAL ESTATE  |  LAKE GENEVA, WI 53147
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL   azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com
OFFICE   262.248.4492  |  www.keeferealestate.com    



Sources:

February 2020 Foot Traffic, by the National Association of REALTORS®

February 2020 Monthly Economic Review, by the National Retail Federation©

February 2020 U.S. Economic Outlook, by Robert A. Dye, Ph.D. and Daniel Sanabria of Comerica

Local Market Reports by MetroMLS & ShowingTime

Monthly Indicators by Dan Zielinski of FlexMLSMetro MLS

Target Market Analysis below by ShowingTime®

February 2021 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report, by Sabrina Speianu, Realtor.com®

U.S. housing market takes breather amid bitterly cold weather by © CNBC LLC

Zillow Market Pulse: March 12, 2021, by Matthew Speakman of © Zillow, Inc.

February 2021 Commercial Market Insights ©, by the National Association of REALTORS®

January 2021 Housing Market

Featured

Southeastern Wisconsin’s residential real estate market generally cools down with the temperature. Winter months are often marked by decreased buyer activity, as well as fewer homes entering and leaving the market, as new listings and sold homes, respectively. This winter, however, buyer demand and activity have remained high. While inventory decreased in January 2021, both sales and sales prices were up – Nationally, Regionally and Locally.


Highlights from latest Existing Home Sales Report, by Quintin Simmons, National Association of REALTORS®

  • Nationally:
    • “Existing-home sales rose in January, marking two consecutive months of growth”
    • “Total existing-home sales […] increased 0.6% from December to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.69 million in January.”
    • “Sales in total climbed year-over-year, up 23.7% from a year ago (5.41 million in January 2020).”
  • Regionally:
    • “The Midwest inched up 1.9% to an annual rate of 1,570,000 in January, a 22.7% jump from a year ago.”
    • “The median price in the Midwest was $227,800, a 14.7% increase from January 2020.”
  • Notable Quotes:
    • “Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist [said,] ‘Sales easily could have been even 20% higher if there had been more inventory and more choices.’ “
    • “Whereas much of the economy has suffered due to COVID-19, the housing sector has been one of the few bright spots, according to Yun.”
    • “In NAR’s latest quarterly report, released last week, home prices in every tracked U.S. metro area increased during the fourth quarter of 2020.”

Highlights from latest January 2021 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report, by Sabrina Speianu, Realtor.com®

  • “National inventory declined by 42.6% over last year.”
  • “Nationally, the typical home spent 76 days on the market in January, 10 days less than the same time last year.”

As far as our local market goes, MetroMLS & FlexMLS had the following to say in the latest release of Market Reports:

January started well for the housing market, with healthy buyer demand and strong market fundamentals. A robust increase in housing starts in December points to an active year for new construction. Still, higher material costs, especially lumber, and a limited supply of buildable lots will temper the number of new units.

[…] The Mortgage Bankers Association’s January research estimates approximately 2.7 million homeowners with mortgages are currently in forbearance plans. Some of these homes may eventually come to market. But given the strong appreciation in most market segments in recent years, these eventual home sales are likely to be mostly traditional sellers. However, a modest increase in short sales and foreclosures at some point this year would not be surprising.

Market Reports: January 2021 by Dan Zielinski, MetroMLS & FlexMLS

Below are the Local Market Reports, by MetroMLS & ShowingTime, for the tri-county area of Walworth, Kenosha & Racine Counties, as well as my hyper-local market (Lake Geneva – Delavan – Williams Bay municipalities). As you can see, the National and Regional trends mentioned above are also reflected here. We have all seen less New Listings, more Closed Sales, and higher Median Sales Prices – across the board.


Notable Reads:

Check out what Ramsey Solutions predicts will happen in residential real estate this year: Housing Market Forecast 2021: How Hot Will It Be?

For more on the commercial side of the market, read the latest report by National Association of REALTORS®: January 2021 Commercial Real Estate Market Trends and Outlook


Sellers: How do low interest rates, low inventory, and high demand affect you? It means you’re more likely to have more buyers interested in your home, willing to pay higher prices. What are you waiting for!? Take advantage of this sellers’ market while it weighs so heavily in your favor.

Buyers: If you think you’re going to buy a home this year, do yourself a favor and start the process now. Get a hold of your local lender, first, then your realtor. Whether repairing your credit or just updating your pre-approval, cross this bridge first. It is a competitive market out there, and you do not want to leave financing to the last minute – trust me. Once that’s started, have your realtor set you up on an MLS search and check the market, at least once a day. Changes are happening rapidly, as you will see. You can do this! Persistence, Preparedness, and Patience are key!


Did you know: You CAN buy a home if you owe the IRS back taxes. Find out how here: Can You Buy a House if You Owe Taxes? by Credit.com ™, Inc.

If January set any precedent for the year to come, we’re in for quite the ride in 2021. Remember, be proactive, not reactive. As renown British scientist, Charles Darwin, once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.”


Follow this Link for Your Copy of the Keefe Real Estate 2020 Annual Market Report

Search for Your Next Home HERE

Contact Me for Your Complementary Home Valuation + Strategic Pricing Analysis


ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT
KEEFE REAL ESTATE  |  LAKE GENEVA, WI 53147
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL   azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com
OFFICE   262.248.4492  |  www.keeferealestate.com    



Sources:

Existing-Home Sales Tick Up 0.6% in January by Quintin Simmons, National Association of REALTORS®

January 2021 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report: Fewer Options for Buyers as Prices Rise and Sellers Hesitantly Step into 2021 by Sabrina Speianu, Realtor.com®

Market Reports: January 2021 by Dan Zielinski, MetroMLS & FlexMLS

Local Market Reports by MetroMLS & ShowingTime

Housing Market Forecast 2021: How Hot Will It Be? by Ramsey Solutions

January 2021 Commercial Real Estate Market Trends and Outlook by National Association of REALTORS®

Can You Buy a House if You Owe Taxes? by Credit.com ™, Inc.

December 2020 Housing Market

Featured

& Year-End Review

Typically, December is a slow month for real estate. The holidays and new year are seen as dedicated time to rest and recuperate; less activity allows us all to reflect on the past year and prepare for the next. Not this December, however; 2020 was an anomaly to the very end.

Sabrina Speianu, Sr. Economic Research Analyst for Realtor.com® said, ” […] December housing data release reveals that home buyers and sellers were much more active this holiday season compared to last year. Home listing prices continued to increase at double-digit rates compared to last year, fueled by buyer demand, which also continued to snap up homes at a rate almost two weeks more quickly than last year.” (December 2020 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report: Number of Homes for Sale Hits a New Low).

Our local metro-Milwaukee area multiple listing service, MetroMLS echoed a similar message in their latest Monthly Indicators release:

December is normally one of the slowest months of the year but strong buyer demand across most segments of the market, buoyed by near-record low interest rates, continue to drive a healthy sales pace in the face of a new wave of COVID-19 infections and a softening jobs market.

[…]  With low mortgage rates and strong buyer demand in most market segments, the housing market of early 2021 looks to continue the trends we saw in the second half of 2020. Low inventory and multiple offers on in-demand properties and market segments are likely to remain common while the market waits and hopes for a boost in new construction and a surge in home sellers to help provide more balance to the market.

December 2020 MetroMLS Monthly Indicators

Below are the Local Market Reports, by MetroMLS & ShowingTime, for the tri-county area of Walworth, Kenosha & Racine Counties. You’ll notice double digit percentage increases in new listings AND closed sales for December 2020, compared to December 2019. Median Sales price was also higher, across the board. On a hyper-local level, the Lake Geneva/Williams Bay/Delavan area saw a slight dip in the number of new listings, but also the greatest increase in median sales price — which makes sense!

Finally, I wanted to take a more cumulative look at our tri-county area this year. Using the data from Wisconsin Housing Statistics, by the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association, below you’ll see the Number of Home Sales and Median Sales Price for the Kenosha, Racine & Walworth County areas in 2019 compared to 2020. The pandemic impacted our market, significantly, in April and May. However, we surpassed the number of homes sold, and median sales price, every month from June onward, compared to last year.

Hindsight is 20/20! The numbers are in, and the charts don’t lie. Clearly, 2020 is not 2008, and we’re not having a housing market crash. The global pandemic impacted every corner of the economy, including real estate… but only briefly. Interest rates are low, demand is high, supply is low and prices are trending upward — but most importantly, we’re not imploding. All’s well on the real estate frontier.

Sellers: There are still buyers out there! Buyers that weren’t able to get what they wanted in 2020 are going to stay in the market until interest rates increases – which will eventually happen. Don’t wait to list your home, if you don’t have to. Take advantage of this seller’s market!

Buyers: Interest rates are still low, and prices have seemed to stabilize (see last chart above). If you want to buy a home in 2021, get your ducks in a row — ASAP. Have your realtor set you up with an MLS search, and check out all the active and sold homes in your desired area and price point, often. Call your lender and have your pre-approval ready to go before you start seeing homes. This is a “you snooze, you lose” market, so be prepared.

In sum, bring on 2021! Feel free to reach out and ask if you need anything…

Stay well,

ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT
KEEFE REAL ESTATE  |  LAKE GENEVA, WI 53147
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL   azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com
OFFICE   262.248.4492  |  www.keeferealestate.com    



Sources:

December 2020 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report: Number of Homes for Sale Hits a New Low by Sabrina Speianu Sr. Economic Research Analyst Realtor.com®

December 2020 MetroMLS Monthly Indicators by MetroMLS

Local Market Reports by MetroMLS & ShowingTime

Wisconsin Housing Statistics by Wisconsin REALTORS® Association

November 2020 Housing Market

Featured

With the holiday season upon us, we have finally seen a very slight slow down in the housing market, ending last months’ record-breaking five consecutive month-over-month gains. That being said, compared to last year, we’re still on fire, in my opinion. Let’s take a look at the November 2020 market, starting Nationally and narrowing our way down to our hyper-local market.

The NAR (National Association of Realtors) just released their monthly Existing Home Sales report, with the following Key Highlights:

Existing-home sales decreased in November to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.69 million – down 2.5% from the prior month, but up 25.8% from one year ago.

The median existing-home price was $310,800, 14.6% more than in November 2019.

Total housing inventory declined from the prior month and one year ago to 1.28 million, enough to last 2.3 months at the current sales pace – both record-low figures. Homes typically sold in 21 days.

Existing-Home Sales Decrease 2.5% in November by Quintin Simmons

Under Regional Breakdown, the report also states, “Existing-home sales fell 2.5% in the Midwest to an annual rate of 1,590,000 in November, but up 24.2% from a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $239,100, a 14.6% increase from November 2019.” We are in line with the national trend, it would appear, but next we’ll see how we fare, specifically in the Tri-County area.

The MetroMLS and ShowingTime, released their November 2020 Monthly Indicators and Local Market Reports recently. Here are a few highlights:

November saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average top 30,000 for the first time, while mortgage rates reached new record lows again. These new records have provided encouragement for buyers to move forward on home purchases, which continued to remain strong overall for the month.

[…]

Showing activity remains higher than the same period a year ago across most of the country, suggesting that strong buyer demand is likely to continue into what is typically the slowest time of year. With inventory remaining constrained in most market segments, sellers continue to benefit from the tight market conditions.

Monthly Indicators by MetroMLS

Kenosha, Racine & Walworth Counties each experienced an increased number of closings/home sales as well we double digit percentage increases in median sales price (November 2020 compared to November 2019). While Kenosha County had a 1.1% decrease in new listings, both Racine and Walworth Counties had more listings in comparison to last year. Year-to-date, we have had less listings but more sales across the tri county area.

Are we slowing down a bit this holiday season? Yes, but not by much! I’m still doing showings and writing offers, taking listing appointments and writing contracts. Christmas is 3 days away! I am in no way complaining! If you are interested in learning more about what NAR has to say about this fast-paced market and where it’s going, I implore you to you read 3 Trends Driving Hyperactivity in the Real Estate Market by Melissa Dittmann Tracey.

Sellers: Buyers are still actively looking, during holiday season. If you are considering selling and think you have time – be aware that rates will eventually go up and demand will lesson. That is just bound to happen. We don’t know when, but change is upon us. Why risk it? List it.

Buyers: If you want to take advantage of the amazing interest rates, but don’t know if you’re ready? Just call a lender and get the ball rolling (email me if you want my list of preferred lenders). We do not know when interest rates will go up, just that they will eventually go up. My suggestion is to find out where you are currently, asap; knowledge is power!

Please have a safe and happy holiday season, and remember: Flexibility is security! Feel free to reach out and ask if you need anything.

Stay well,

ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT
KEEFE REAL ESTATE  |  LAKE GENEVA, WI 53147
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL   azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com
OFFICE   262.248.4492  |  www.keeferealestate.com    



Sources:

Existing-Home Sales Decrease 2.5% in November by Quintin Simmons

Monthly Indicators by MetroMLS

Local Market Reports by MetroMLS & ShowingTime

3 Trends Driving Hyperactivity in the Real Estate Market by Melissa Dittmann Tracey

October 2020 Housing Market

Featured

The first full month of Autumn continued the record breaking trends of this unprecedented year. From the Country-wide outlook, down to our narrow Southeastern Wisconsin vantage point, October 2020 was a profitable month for real estate.

Existing-home sales continued to trend upward in October, marking five consecutive months of month-over-month gains, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All four major regions reported both month-over-month and year-over-year growth, with the Midwest experiencing the greatest monthly increases.”

Quintin Simmons, NAR

The Metro-Milwaukee Multiple Listing Service, aka MetroMLS, elaborated on this atypically active market.

October continued to be busier than the calendar normally suggests. Buyer activity remains higher than normal for this time of year, while in many segments of the market housing supply remains much lower than one year ago. Multiple offers remain a common occurrence in many areas, keeping housing hot while the temperatures continue to fall.
New Listings in the Milwaukee region increased 9.1 percent to 2,068. Pending Sales were down 42.1 percent to 872. Inventory levels fell 5.4 percent to 3,535 units.
Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 10.2 percent to $255,000. Days on Market was down 28.6 percent to 25 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months’ Supply of Inventory was down 4.3 percent to 2.2 months.
Mortgage rates dropped to new record lows again in October, helping to offset the monthly mortgage payment increases caused by the rise in home prices seen in many segments of the market across the country. While prices often dip a bit in the winter months, continued buyer demand may temper any price retreats this year.

Monthly Indicators by MetroMLS

The Local Market Reports below, created by MetroMLS & ShowingTime, back up these claims with real numbers. Clearly, October 2020 was one for the books. While the number of new listings in Kenosha County were down, in comparison to 2019, there were more new listings for both Walworth and Racine Counties. Regardless, the tri-county area (Walworth Kenosha & Racine Counties) saw double digit percentage increases in closed sales and median sales prices.

Personally, I had several closings that initially went under contract at the end of summer (August/September), and one quick close. Typically, once school starts, the number of buyers requesting showings substantially decreases, but not so much this year. Yes, I am technically less active than I was in say July, but this market has remained competitive, long past the normal time frame.

Sellers: I implore you to investigate for yourself. Look at the statistics, you can find them everywhere: it is an exceptional sellers market. Assess your long term goals and act accordingly, because no one knows how much longer the housing market will remain so heavily in your favor. Specifically, as we head into Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, be aware that #1: nothing is more welcoming than a home decorated for the holidays, and #2: the buyers that are still looking right now are very serious.

Buyers: there are more of you actively looking to purchase real estate right now; be prepared to offer your ‘highest and best,’ but stay firm in your financial morals. If you feel more comfortable having a financing contingency and a home inspection, then include them in your offer–whether or not your offer is accepted, you still have to sleep at night.

One truth that remains forever true: holiday season means the year is almost over. This year has been full of lessons, but my biggest take away was: preparedness. Having goals and strategies are essential to financial health, but real security is only achievable by flexibility. Feel free to reach out and ask if you need anything. Stay well,

ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT
KEEFE REAL ESTATE  |  LAKE GENEVA, WI 53147
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL   azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com
OFFICE   262.248.4492  |  www.keeferealestate.com    



Sources:

Existing-Home Sales Jump 4.3% to 6.85 Million in October by Quintin Simmons of NAR

Monthly Indicators by MetroMLS

Local Market Reports by MetroMLS & ShowingTime

September 2020 Housing Market

Featured

What a year it has been. September 2020 showed continued strength in the real estate market, despite the pandemic. The MetroMLS released their ‘Monthly Indicators,’ this past week with positive news.

Strong buyer activity has continued into the fall, which is normally the start of the seasonal slowing of the housing market. With stronger buyer activity in the market this year and the continued constrained supply of homes for sale, speedy sales and multiple offers are likely to remain a common occurrence and will keep the housing market hot even when the weather is cooling.
[…]
While mortgage rates remain near record lows, The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that lending standards are tightening, which makes it a bit more difficult for some buyers to qualify. At the same time, unemployment remains substantially higher than a year ago due to COVID-19. Despite all this, buyers are out in full force this fall, showing amazing resilience in the middle of
a pandemic.

Monthly Indicators by MetroMLS

In our hyper-local market, of Kenosha, Racine & Walworth Counties, all our numbers were up in September 2020, compared to September 2019. Increased median sales price, more new listings, and more sales. Below are the ‘Local Market Reports‘ by MetroMLS & ShowingTime.

Nationally, in regards to last month’s market, Realtor.com stated,

“Homes are sold at an increasingly fast pace when compared to last year, and prices remain at all-time-highs into September. Inventory continues to be constrained by stronger than normal buyer demand and little new inventory.”

September 2020 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report: Heightened Summer Housing Market Activity Spilling Over into Fall by Realtor.com

Overall, like last month, I’ve been on more showings and written more offers per buyer accepted offer, in September. I see new listing after new listing go under contract within days of hitting the market, later in the year than I am used to seeing, as well.

My message to all is to stay in tune with this evolving market. More jobs are going remote than ever before, which means more city-folk are moving country-side. This means competition and higher housing prices. Sellers: be aware that increased demand and bidding wars may lead to local buyers stepping out of the market soon. If demand decreases, prices will follow suit; if you want to list your home, do so before the holidays. Buyers: interest rates are still low, but you will need to be ready to act, and prepared to compete, when the right home hits the market. Get your pre-approval now, and check on the inventory in your local market often. Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for an MLS search update.

ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT
KEEFE REAL ESTATE  |  LAKE GENEVA, WI 53147
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL   azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com
OFFICE   262.248.4492  |  www.keeferealestate.com    


Sources:

September 2020 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report: Heightened Summer Housing Market Activity Spilling Over into Fall by Realtor.com

Monthly Indicators by MetroMLS

Local Market Reports by MetroMLS & ShowingTime

August 2020 Housing Market Update

Featured

The hot summer market continued to sizzle last month, in our hyper-local market, the state of Wisconsin, and Nationally.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®,

“Existing-home sales continued to climb in August, marking three consecutive months of positive sales gains, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Each of the four major regions experienced both month-over-month and year-over-year growth […]”

Existing Home Sales Report by National Association of REALTORS®

The MetroMLS echoed this positive message for the Metro-Milwaukee area, within which I reside and work, for last month.

“The housing and stock markets continue to be the leaders in the economy. In August, showings remained at strong levels while housing inventory remained limited, continuing the competitive bidding market we have seen in recent months. With the stock indexes at or near record highs as mortgage rates remain near record lows, signs point to a busy fall housing market.

[…]

Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased by 12.4% to $281,080. Days on Market remained flat at 28 days. Buyers felt empowered as Months Supply of Inventory was up 20.8% to 2.9 months. As we look towards the fall, we usually see housing activity slow down as the back-to-school season begins. But, this year is far from normal. While uncertainty remains on what effects the upcoming elections and any seasonal resurgence of COVID-19 may have on the financial and housing markets, the healthy housing demand we see today will create significant tailwinds in the near term”

Monthly Indicators by MetroMLS

Finally, as far as market reports go, the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association had similar things to say in regards to August home sales, in our tri-county area of Kenosha, Racine and Walworth Counties.

“According to the monthly WRA home sales report that was released on September 21 , a new three-month record for the most Wisconsin home sales ever was set in the months of June, July and August.

In Walworth County, the number of home sales in August 2020 was 4.1% lower than in August of last year, while the median home sale price increased by 7.9%. Through the first eight months of 2020, the number of home sales in Walworth County is down by 3.9% compared to the first eight months of last year, while the year-to-date median home sale price is up by 11.1%.

In Racine County, the number of home sales in August 2020 was 4.4% higher than in August of last year, while the median home sale price increased by 18.4%. Through the first eight months of 2020, the number of home sales in Racine County is down by 0.9% compared to the first eight months of last year, while the year-to-date median home sale price is up by 8.9%.

In Kenosha County, the number of home sales in August 2020 was 2.9% lower than in August of last year, while the median home sale price increased by 13.0%. Through the first eight months of 2020, the number of home sales in Kenosha County is down by 2.5% compared to the first eight months of last year, while the year-to-date median home sale price is up by 7.4%. […]

Wisconsin Housing Market Records Record Sales for Summer by Wisconsin REALTORS® Association

Metro MLS. Report © 2020 ShowingTime

Why are we seeing positive things come out of a market in the midst of a pandemic? One of the major contributors is mortgage interest rates for home loans.

“The all-time low for mortgage rates was set in mid-September, averaging just 2.86%. With record-low mortgage rates, prospective home buyers can significantly decrease their borrowing costs.”

Mortgage Rates Edge Up, Still Near Record Lows by National Association of REALTORS®

Another noteworthy contributor to this uptick in the real estate market is our decreasing unemployment rate.

“In Walworth County, the unemployment rate dropped from 6.6% in July, to 5.4% in August. These figures compare favorably to the national unemployment rate, which was 8.4% in August […]”

The State of Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development report

Overall, it has been one heck of a summer. Personally, I have experienced incredibly high buyer demand and frustratingly low inventory. This has resulted in many more offers written compared to offers accepted. More than once, I have had buyers be outbid by cash offers with a quick closing date more often than I am used to. It also meant I took the same buyer out on more showings than it usually takes to get them under contract. I’ve experienced many pre-listing appointments where the potential seller is “just curious,” and/or folks that want to “wait to see what happens,” with the market, the economy, and the country overall. Lastly, I’ve seen new listings go under contract within DAYS of hitting the market, and upwards of 10 showings the first day or two of listing.

All things considered, my message is very similar to last month. Buyers, if you are at all serious about purchasing a home, you must be ready to jump. Get your pre-approval ready to go, and check your MLS search frequently; when the right home comes onto the market, you will have to get in there ASAP or you’ll miss out. Sellers, the lack of inventory means when your home is listed, you better be ready to move; it is very likely that your home will sell quickly.

ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT
KEEFE REAL ESTATE  |  LAKE GENEVA, WI 53147
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL   azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com
OFFICE   262.248.4492  |  www.keeferealestate.com    


Sources:

Existing Home Sales Report by National Association of REALTORS®

Monthly Indicators by MetroMLS

Wisconsin Housing Market Records Record Sales for Summer by Wisconsin REALTORS® Association

Mortgage Rates Edge Up, Still Near Record Lows by National Association of REALTORS®

Metro MLS. Report © 2020 ShowingTime

Mortgage Rates Edge Up, Still Near Record Lows by National Association of REALTORS®

The State of Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development report

July 2020 Housing Market Update

Featured

Wow! The July real estate market came in with a bang and left with a boom (and I don’t just mean the Independence Day fireworks, although those were astounding). If you thought we were setting ourselves up for failure, by comparing this year to last year, given the fact that 2019 was such a good year for real estate and the overall economy: you were wrong. The housing market in July 2020 was actually BETTER, year over year, in more ways than one!

The WRA recently published: July 2020 Home Sales Report: Record July Home Sales Push Prices Up. Specifically, stated, “Wisconsin’s existing home sales hit a new record for the month of July, which increased prices by double digits, according to the most recent monthly analysis of the state housing market by the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (WRA). Sales of existing homes rose 7.6% in July relative to that same month in 2019, and the median price rose to $226,400, which is 10.4% higher than July 2019. On a year-to-date basis, sales are now only slightly lower than this time last year, with sales in the first seven months of 2020 just 1.9% below the same period of 2019, and prices are up 8.4% to $213,000.”

In this month’s edition of Market Reports, by Metro MLS, they elaborated on this trend.

Healthy buyer demand and constrained supply continue to be the story for much of the country.  Nationally, showing activity in July remained substantially higher than a year before and multiple offer situations are a frequent experience in many markets. With the inventory of homes for sale still constrained, a competitive market for buyers shows little sign of waning.

[…]

While the number of unemployment insurance weekly initial claims have been far lower in recent weeks than their peak in March and April, more than 1 million new claims are still being filed each week and more 31 million were claiming benefits in all programs as of early July, compared to fewer than 2 million in July 2019. Despite this significant economic impact, home buyers remain extremely resilient. With mortgage rates remaining near record-low levels and home purchase mortgage applications up from a year ago, high buyer activity is expected to continue into the late summer and early fall market

Current as of August 10, 2020. All data from Metro MLS. Report © 2020 ShowingTime

Specifically, when we look at the charts below for Kenosha, Racine & Walworth Counties, as well as the hyperlocal market within which I work mostly, Lake Geneva – Delavan – Williams Bay, you’ll see these jumps in productivity specifically. The tri-county area had more sales July 2020 compared to July 2019 across the board!!! Each individual county was still down in new listings, but my local market went up. Finally, aside from Kenosha County, median sales price also went up in the month of July.

What is this saying overall? I believe we are seeing an influx of city-folk moving out to their favorite rural vacation destination full-time, given how many businesses have switched to remote function. I do not see this trend lasting forever. Listen up Potential Sellers: this is the hottest sellers market in recent history and we do not know exactly how long it will last, but only that it will not last forever!!! Potential Buyers: interest rates are at historic lows! Again: we do not know for how long only that it will not be like this forever.

July has come to pass; enjoy summer while it lasts. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses, as few and far between as they may seem.

My July bloomed with accepted offers, vegetables from my dad’s garden, and funny memes.

ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT
KEEFE REAL ESTATE  |  LAKE GENEVA, WI 53147
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL   azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com
OFFICE   262.248.4492  |  www.keeferealestate.com    


Sources:

July 2020 Home Sales Report: Record July Home Sales Push Prices Up

Metro MLS. Report © 2020

June 2020 Housing Market

Featured

Here in Wisconsin, the month of June represents carefree summertime livin’: grilled food, festivals, long holiday weekends, and plenty of sunshine. June 2020, however, was marked by civil rights protests against police brutality, violence, job loss, business closures, and month FOUR of this COVID-19 plague. During difficult times, I hold on by committing myself to find the silver lining. More than ever, having a home to stay in, for safety’s sake, is of the utmost importance.

In an article by Matthew Speakman of Zillow called, “June Existing Home Sales: Making Up For Lost Time” the national statistics for the month of June were layed out:

June existing home sales rose 20.7% from May to 4.72 million (SAAR), according to the National Association of Realtors, the largest ever one-month increase in the series’ history. Sales were down 11.3% from June 2019.
The median existing-home price for all housing types in June was $295,300, up 3.5% from June 2019 ($285,400).
Total housing inventory at the end of June totaled 1.57 million units, up 1.3% from May and down 18.2% from one year ago.

By Matthew Speakman on Jul. 22, 2020

You read that correct: the percentage increase in home sales from May to June 2020 broke records. There were also more homes listed in June (compared to May 2020). In comparison to last year, the median sales price is higher, but there are less new listings. One might take this to mean that nationally, the real estate market is improving overall, and maybe the worst is behind us.

Locally, the metro-Milwaukee Multiple Listing Service said the following about the Southeastern Wisconsin June market in their Monthly Indicators:

“While much of the country was working on a phased reopening of the economy
in June, real estate activity continued to strengthen as well. Nationally, June
showing activity as tracked by ShowingTime was up notably from the COVID-19
depressed levels in recent months but was also up from June 2019, reflecting
pent-up demand by prospective home buyers.

[…] While buyer activity continues to be robust, seller activity continues to be a bit
softer, with fewer homes being listed for sale than a year ago. Many housing
experts believe sellers remain reluctant to list their homes due to continued
concerns over COVID-19, which was beginning to see a resurgence in June.
Until sellers regain confidence, housing inventory will continue to be constrained
during what is expected to be an active summer selling season.”

All data from Metro MLS. Report © 2020 ShowingTime.

The local market analyses below are for the Counties of Racine, Kenosha & Walworth, plus one for the Lake Geneva – Delavan – Williams Bay Area. Personally working mainly in Walworth County, I have seen buyers demand skyrocket. Meanwhile, potential sellers are ‘waiting to see what happens.’ Not all of them, I had some new listings. At the start of this pandemic, several people told me they anticipated home values soon – which is incorrect. Clearly, they were wrong! As the basic business principal of supply-and-demand implies: with more demand (from buyers), prices (for homes/sellers) go up, not down.

Thinking of buying or investing in real estate? Call a lender asap. Work on your credit score even! At the end of the day, if a home is accurately priced and in decent shape, the home will go under contract fast.

Ready to sell your home? I would find a place you can stay before you list. An empty home always sells faster. Also, get your market analysis, even if you want to wait to sell, just for frame of reference.

Stay positive, stay healthy & reach out! ❤ , Annie Z.

June 2020 in photos


ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT
KEEFE REAL ESTATE  |  LAKE GENEVA, WI 53147
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL   azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com
OFFICE   262.248.4492  |  www.keeferealestate.com    


Sources:

June 2020 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report: Key Housing Indicators Begin to Turn Around in May by Sabrina Speianu, Sr. Economic Research Analyst for Realtor.com

ShowingTime Showing Reports

Metro MLS. Report © 2020 ShowingTime

June Existing Home Sales: Making Up For Lost Time Matthew Speakman Zillow

May 2020 Real Estate

Featured

Southeastern Wisconsin on the Rebound

There are always two sides to a story. We have a global pandemic on our hands, but at least summer officially began today. There is no denying COVID-19 is still impacting our real estate market, but the latest stats indicate things are looking up. “Realtor.com®’s May housing data release reveals that the U.S. housing market likely reached its low point during mid-April, with constrained new listings and minimal price growth,” according to Sabrina Speianu, Sr. Economic Research Analyst for Realtor.com.

On Tuesday, our metro-Milwaukee Multiple Listing Service released their Monthly Indicators recapping last month’s market. Here’s what they had to say:

Market Reports: May 2020

While the effects of COVID-19 in the broader economy continue, real estate activity is beginning to recover across much of the country. According to
Freddie Mac, mortgage rates have been below 3.3 percent for more than four
weeks and are hovering near all-time lows, spurring strong interest by buyers
and lifting showing activity up 4% nationally versus a year ago in the final week
of May.
[…]

Buyers have been quicker to return to the housing market in force than sellers,
who have been showing a bit more reluctance to list their homes than is typical
for this time of year. But trends are improving and as states and localities
continue to moderate their COVID-19 policies, real estate activity is expected to
continue to improve in the coming weeks.

Metro MLS. Report © 2020 ShowingTime

As far as real estate in Southeastern Wisconsin goes, we’re still doing worse this year compared to last, but we’re better than last month. April 2020 market reports showed Walworth County was down 50.2% in new listings and 30.6% in closed sales, but up 9.4% in median sales price (compared to April 2019). Follow this link to see the April 2020 Real Estate post.

For the month of May, Walworth County went down 30% in new listings, 43.2% in closed sales, and 2.9% in median sales price. The fact that we had fewer closings, is a reflection of April’s drastic decrease in new listings – there were less homes available to be sold. The decrease in median sales price for the county surprises me, as I’ve seen more cases where properties go under contract for list price or higher, as the right-hand chart above shows (i.e., a 12.5% increase in median sales price for May 2020, compared to May 2019, in the Lake Geneva – Delavan – Williams Bay area).

The story here is a gradual trend upward. We have reason to believe a recovery is underway. Adding to this positive news, showings are up in my county, despite the global pandemic and less available inventory to view. According to ShowingTime, Walworth County had a total of 2,158 showings in May (2020), compared to 2,005 total showings in May of 2019.

You might be thinking, “MORE showings? How is that possible? And, what does this mean?

Personally, I have experienced a spike in demand from buyers in the past month and a half. I’m writing more offers, but facing more competition and not going to the closing table proportionally more often. I suppose there’s nothing like a quarantine to make people antsy and ready to move.

Able buyers: get your ducks in a row sooner rather than later. When the right home comes onto the market, you will need to act fast. In other words, call a lender, heck call two, and get your pre-approval done and out of the way. Also, be prepared for a potential bidding war. I have heard some say the COVID-19 crisis would cause home values/prices to plummet. I’m here to tell you this assumption is incorrect.

Potential sellers: do not miss this opportunity. We do not know how long the odds will stay in your favor. More showings combined with decreased inventory, means you’re statistically more likely to get an offer – and maybe more than one. Based on the principle of supply and demand, when demand is high, but supply is low, prices go up. Therefore, the current market is ideal for sellers right now more than ever.

Stay positive, stay healthy & reach out! ❤ , Annie Z.


ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT
KEEFE REAL ESTATE  |  LAKE GENEVA, WI 53147
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL   azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com
OFFICE   262.248.4492  |  www.keeferealestate.com    


Sources:

May 2020 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report: Key Housing Indicators Begin to Turn Around in May by Sabrina Speianu, Sr. Economic Research Analyst for Realtor.com

ShowingTime Showing Reports

Metro MLS. Report © 2020 ShowingTime

April 2020 Real Estate Housing Market Review: In the Thick of COVID-19

April 2020 Real Estate

Featured

Housing Market Review: In the Thick of COVID-19

The following charts are ShowingTime’s Impact of COVID-9 to Real Estate Showings in Wisconsin & in North America. They reflect the physical activity of our market compared to that of the entire United States, this year compared to last. April was a hard hit month for the whole nation. The month of May seems to be off to a good start for both, but overall Wisconsin is trending more active than the overall country,right now.


Our low-point so far in this COVID-19 pandemic, appears to be April. The Metro-Milwaukee MLS (Multiple Listing Service) just released their monthly report: Market Reports: April 2020. The numbers don’t lie. In Walwoth County, new listings were down by 50.2%, and there were 30.6% less homes sold in April of 2020 compared to last year. The median sales price went up 9.4%, and days on market went down by 6%; however, that doesn’t make up for the lack of inventory and closings. April’s inactivity is reflective of the worldwide shutdown, no doubt.


I started out with the showingtime data because it is hopeful. The Safer at Home order was reversed by our supreme court here in Wisconsin, so businesses are opening back up for the first time in months. There are a handful of precautions in effect in real estate, from COVID-19 consent forms to gloves and masks. While I feel tense and anxious, I can only concentrate on my own actions. I will continue to work safely, and follow the CDC guidelines on how to protect yourself and simply trust others do the same.

What if April 2020 is as bad as our market gets?

Stay positive, stay healthy & reach out! ❤ , Annie Z.


ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT
KEEFE REAL ESTATE  |  LAKE GENEVA, WI 53147
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL   azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com
OFFICE   262.248.4492  |  www.keeferealestate.com    


Sources:

Metro Milwaukee MLS: Local Market Update © 2020

ShowingTime: The Impact of COVID-19 on Real Estate Showings

CDC guidelines on how to protect yourself

Safer at Home order was reversed

Weekly Update – Walworth Co

Featured

Real Estate Market

Mid May, 2020

In the past week, I’ve had 2 closings, wrote 3 offers (1 was accepted), and scheduled 20 showings. Spring is definitely here! Sellers are accepting offers within days of listing their property’s on the market, as per usual this time of year.

…That being said, the elephant in the room remains… There is no way to avoid the trickle-down effect of Coronavirus on the housing market. Here are how showings have been effected in Walworth County, in a side by side comparison of the last 30 days compared to the same date range (4/13 to 5/13) last year, courtesy of ShowingTime.

Here is the Market Summary from the MLS for April 2020 vs. April 2019:

Despite less showings, home sales are only down 2.7% compared to last April. What’s significant here is the drop in new listings. You know what this means? Less Competition! We are still in a “sellers’ market.” There are simply not as many homes on the market as there are ready, willing and able buyers to purchase them. This has been the case for over a decade.

POTENTIAL SELLERS: When it comes to showings & property tours, seller’s can reduce risk of covid-19 exposure by:

  • 1) Leaving lights on so no one else has to touch switches.
  • 2) Require all visiting parties to sign a covid-19 disclosure release form before providing access information.
  • 3) Mandate gloves and masks to be worn by all visiting parties.       

Potential Home Buyers – If this quarantine has you hating your home, and you’re ready to move: fear not! There are options:

  • 1) Get a pre-approval FIRST! You don’t want to waste your time in a space you cannot afford.
  • 2) Get on an automatic MLS search that sends you homes that match your criteria as SOON as they hit the market.
  • 3) Take a Virtual Tour first, and THEN see it in person – with gloves and mask – before writing an offer.        try zoom or google duo

Follow these links to see the new listings and just sold properties:

Walworth County New Listings in Last 7 Days

Sold in Walworth Co in the Last 7 Days


OTHER INFO            

01. How long does coronavirus last on different surfaces? See CDC’s answer here.

02. WHAT YOU LISTEN TO MATTERS: My favorite podcast is “Afford Anything,” by Paula Pant. Her PSA Thursday episode on May 7th had an interesting synopsis of the current state of our national real estate market. Take a listen by following this link.

03. WI Business Owners: Here are the Reopen Guidelines for you!

I see recovery written all over the data coming out, what about you? Are my glasses too rose-tinted? I want to hear what YOU think! Reach out, let me know. Stay healthy… ❤ ALWAYS, Annie Z.

ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT    |    KEEFE REAL ESTATE
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com


Sources:

©2020 ShowingTime

Copyright 2020 by Multiple Listing Service, Inc

Weekly Update – Walworth County Real Estate Market

Featured

In the last 30 days, I’ve showed 41 properties. I have 2 closings on Friday, one of which is a co-listing of mine, the other is for a buyer. I have also written 2 offers, but neither made it under contract. Currently, according to the Metro-Milwauke Multiple Listing Service, there are 700 active single family and condominium homes listed in Walworth County; 164 of them are under contract, and 54 were just listed this week. Additionally, 33 homes and condos sold in the last 7 days, as well. According to ShowingTime, there were 339 showings scheduled this week, as compared to 301 showings last week.


Follow these links to see the new listings and just sold properties:

Walworth County New Listings in Last 7 Days

Sold in Last 7 Days


There’s no doubt things are picking up, as far as showings go; the problem that remains is lack of inventory. Buyer’s are out there – more than you would think. If you’re on the fence, I’m here to tell you the time has come! If you’re concerned about your safety, be aware that there are COVID-19 consent forms available, and you can require buyers and agents to wear gloves and masks. I have even been to a showing where I was told to wipe down anything the buyer touches with a lysol wipe – not a problem! If anything were ever a way to increase buyer demand, it’s quarantine. People are getting antsy.

Here’s a graphical breakdown of our showings, as well as a preview to the past month’s market summary, with a year over year comparison:

Like I said, clearly there are just less homes on the market (which makes sense, given everything that’s going on). In Walworth County, Active Listings are down 14.1%, and New Listings are down 15.3%. However, the number of closings/homes sold is only down 2.7%. What does this mean? It indicates buyers are still buying homes, despite there being less to chose from. We’ll see what the metro-MLS says when their Monthly Indicators report comes out in a few days.

Stay healthy ❤ always, Annie Z.

ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT    |    KEEFE REAL ESTATE
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com


Sources:

©2020 ShowingTime

Copyright 2020 by Multiple Listing Service, Inc

Weekly Update

Featured

Market Check-In + Spring Maintenance Tasks

Friday, April 24th marked 30 full days under WI Governor Evers’ Safer At Home Order, where all non-essential businesses were forced to close their doors in alignment with our nation’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. While real estate is considered an essential business, there’s no denying we have been impacted.

The Impact of 30 Days of “Safer at Home” in Walworth County:

From March 25th to April 24th, 2020, there have been 892 showings in Walworth County. Last year, during the same time frame, there were 1,769 showings. That’s a 50% drop in the number of property showings. Granted this number includes all types of property showings (from condos and single-family homes to commercial property and vacant land). Here’s a graphical breakdown for more clarity:

That being said, week over week, things are looking up. This past week (4/18 – 4/24) we had 242 showings, where as the previous week (4/11 – 4/17) there were 190 showings. Since a property takes anywhere between 30 to 60 days or more to close after accepting an offer, the overall effect on home sales is yet to be determined. However, so far, closings have only dropped to 92% of last years levels. Last year there were 113 single family homes sold in Walworth County from March 25th to April 24th, 2019. This year, from March 25th to April 24th, 103 single family homes have sold. Follow this link to see the listings: Sold in the Last 30 Days


On April 16th, WI Gov. Evers extended the stay-at-home order to May 26th. With that in mind, I thought it would be a great time to offer some spring maintenance tasks and projects to tackle while folks are still stuck in the house.

Springtime Home Maintenance Tasks

  • Clean out your gutters and downspouts
  • Pressure wash your siding
  • Inspect your roof & foundation – schedule repairs
  • Trim/Prune your bushes and shrubs
  • Schedule air conditioner cleaning
  • Clean your windows
  • Check for/repair holes in window screens
  • Reseal deck/porch
  • Paint your house – inside and out!
  • Switch out winter clothes for spring/summer clothes – don’t forget to make donation piles!
  • Spray insecticide along windows and doors, and remove bee hives!
  • Bonus Projects: Paint old tables, hang photos, add more greenery indoors!

Inspired by Spring Maintenance Checklist – More Than Cleaning by HomeAdvisor & Your Spring Home Maintenance Checklist by Family Handyman (houzz)


Slowly but surely, things are improving. As long as we each continue to do our part to stay healthy, we will make it out of this. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything – groceries, vendor contacts, or even just someone to talk to. I’m here!!

I’m here if you need anything, just let me know!

Stay healthy ❤ always, Annie Z.

ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT    |    KEEFE REAL ESTATE
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com 


Sources:

Safer At Home Order

extended stay-at-home order

Spring Maintenance Checklist – More Than Cleaning by HomeAdvisor

Your Spring Home Maintenance Checklist by Family Handyman (houzz)

4 Weeks Later…

FeaturedWalking My Dog

The Psychological Effects of Quarantine

+ Charitable Mentions & Employment Opportunities

It has been four full weeks since the President announced COVID-19 was officially a pandemic disease infecting people around the globe (see video that aired on March 11, 2020 here). The word ‘quarantine’ has officially become part of my daily vernacular, and fear of the unknown has spread like wildfire. From the economy to our school systems and interpersonal relationships: everyone’s day-to-day life has been impacted in one way or another. There are those that argue the changes taking place will be for the better in the long run, but there is no denying the pain and hardship this pandemic has caused to the majority of people.

for those of you at home alone, reach out... 'this too shall pass...'
Photo by Du01b0u01a1ng Nhu00e2n on Pexels.com

As far as our nation goes, specifically, according to the New York Times,

“At least 316 million people in at least 42 states, three counties, nine cities, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are being urged to stay home.”

“…Wisconsin: About 5.8 million people”

See Which States and Cities Have Told Residents to Stay at Home By Sarah MervoshDenise Lu and Vanessa Swales

I find myself obsessing over this virus’ short and long term psychological impact. After all, that was my major in college (graduated in 2009 from Marquette University). Specifically, I recall Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development. According to this theory, personality is determined by how he or she deals with life’s many crises. We should all recognize, there is one guarantee in life: change. The way in which one assesses, and subsequently deals with, the inevitable changes of life over the ceaseless forward motion of time determines a person’s personality.

His theory helps illuminate and clarify how an individual meets and processes intrinsic change and, by inference, may contribute to an understanding about whether or not an individual is able to rise to the task of making change for him-/her self in the world.

The Nature of Change: Finding the predictable in the unpredictable by Abigail Brenner M.D. of Psychology Today

I’ve been watching the press conferences from the White House, taking vigorous notes while watching news on the stock market, and, obviously, I’m still active in the real estate market. Never before has the world been impacted like this, all at once. We’re all on the same playing field; everyone will look back and remember how they handled the Corona Virus Pandemic.


Memories of the months I spent analyzing psych research data, on behalf of Dr. Kristi Nielson, have resurfaced creating an insatiable hunger to hear how people are handling all of this, mentally and emotionally. My awesome nephew helped me create a google doc where I asked folks to tell me his/her three favorite and three least favorite things about the quarantine, anonymously. I wanted to point out a few, but I hope to get more responses (please feel free to submit your answers by following this link).

Least Favorite Things About Quarantine:

“This is very isolating for those with family issues or who depend on their friends for support.”

“Losing track of what day it is”

“craving routine & earning money”

“I do not have the patience to be a teacher”

Thank you for your honesty…

Favorite Things About Quarantine:

“More time with Online friends”

“I’m not the odd ball. Apparently my lifestyle has a name – quarantine!”

“Online school is a lot more student-led, and we can do things at our own pace.”

“seeing my coworkers MORE! due to virtual conference calls”

Submit your anonymous response here, and see what others are saying!

I sincerely hope you are being safe and staying healthy, during this uncertain time. Reach out if you need anything; I am here for you. I’d like to help in any way I can.

On that note, I’d like to point out some amazing local charities and opportunities that are rising up out of this disaster, in hopes it brings light to your day. Although we are physically separated, we are all in this together.

Charitable Mentions:

United Way of Walworth County

Eat Well, Support Local Restaurants: Lake Geneva Area Take-Out by Visit Lake Geneva

Distance Dining in Walworth County by Visit Walworth County

Buy Now, Spend Later: Lake Geneva Area Gift Card Directory by Visit Lake Geneva

Six Ways to Support Small Business From a Social Distance by Visit Walworth County

Charity Navigator: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

GoFundMe: COVID-19

Employment Opportunities:

Amazon Jobs: Wisconsin

Working at ALDI

Temporary Positions at Brunk Industries

National Retail Foundation: Job opportunities for workers displaced by COVID-19

Job Listings on Facebook


If there are any other organizations/opportunities that deserve a mention, please feel free to mention them below. Let’s finish this fight strong! And, again, please don’t hesitate to ask me for help – be it groceries, prescriptions, or just a phone call. I want to hear from you. I want to be there for you, in whatever way I can.

Wishing you and yours a safe and healthy Weekend in Wisco, across this great nation, and beautiful planet… ❤ , Annie Z.

ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT    |    KEEFE REAL ESTATE
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com



Sources:

President Trump Addresses the Nation

See Which States and Cities Have Told Residents to Stay at Home By Sarah MervoshDenise Lu and Vanessa Swales

The Nature of Change: Finding the predictable in the unpredictable by Abigail Brenner M.D. (of Psychology Today)

United Way of Walworth County

Eat Well, Support Local Restaurants: Lake Geneva Area Take-Out by Visit Lake Geneva

Distance Dining in Walworth County by Visit Walworth County

Buy Now, Spend Later: Lake Geneva Area Gift Card Directory by Visit Lake Geneva

Six Ways to Support Small Business From a Social Distance by Visit Walworth County

Charity Navigator: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

GoFundMe: COVID-19

Amazon Jobs: Wisconsin

Working at ALDI

Temporary Positions at Brunk Industries

National Retail Foundation: Job opportunities for workers displaced by COVID-19

Job Listings on Facebook

The Impact of COVID-19 on Local Real Estate Practices

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Yesterday, Gov. Tony Evers issued an emergency order called “Safer at Home” in which Wisconsinites are instructed to remain at home with the intention to stop the spread of coronavirus, aka COVID-19, from 8:00 am Wednesday, March 25th until 8:00 am Friday, April 24th.

follow this link to read the full order by the Wisconsin Governor: Order #12: Safer At Home

Local businesses are to remain closed for the next 30 days, unless they’re considered an “essential service.” Thankfully real estate was declared essential, as were many businesses that support and serve our industry. However, the way we practice and participate in real estate transactions has transformed.

follow this link to see a full list of essential businesses here’s the full list of business allow to continue operations, although most with new restrictions, read the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation © 2020 article here

REALTORS® and their clients may still conduct the activities necessary to buy and sell real estate in Wisconsin during the time period covered by the order as long as they comply with the social distancing and other requirements in the order.

Michael Theo President & CEO of Wisconsin REALTORS® Association

Conversely, while I and my fellow realtors are allowed to work, we are NOT required to. This is a HIGHLY contagious, and sometimes deadly, virus. We must continue to work remotely (while accessible, if necessary, we cannot work out of our office), maintain social distancing from others (6+ feet), wear PPE when going to public places, wash your hands/use hand sanitizer.


Restrictions, Options & Opportunities for

Sellers and Buyers

Showings

Real estate agents are being told by all sources (“Safer at home,” the WRA, NAR, and brokerages) to do work from home (instead of office). There are no more open houses, but virtual showings/tours are highly encouraged. When we go do out, we’re still supposed to follow ‘social distancing,’ and CDC prevention guidelines.

Be aware: some sellers are being forced to self-quarantine: you must protect yourself as well. This virus can live on surfaces, and they may not know whether or not their COVID-19 positive.

Buyers:

If you have a pre-approval from a lender, and have a secure job (not at risk for losing your job), continue to look online. Any new listings are likely serious sellers, whether trying to cut losses in the stock market by selling second homes, or moving). Write contracts with deadlines pushed further out. VA and even some FHA buyers (with jobs in “essential businesses”) are very secure in that they are government vs. mortgage broker backed.

Please note: President Trump did not cut mortgage interest rates to 0%, but rather treasure rates.

Sellers:

You can require virtual tours only. Of course, you could also pull the property off of market until the pandemic ends. We’ve been told to do virtual open houses, and to not open the open house to the public.

Please note: if you do not want to sell your home, you could look into refinancing your home loan given the recent cut in interest rates (not mortgage rates). ** I have heard from a couple folks that it took longer than normal to hear back from their lender, the refinancing process may take some time. If you decide to refinance, lock in your rate.

Under Contract

If you’re currently under contract, expect delays from loan processors, home inspectors, loan appraisers, and even the title company (due to register of deeds closing). Lenders are still up and running, just working from home, writing pre-approvals using today’s interest rate (I’d give you that % but I am not a lender – regulation Z), however, market instability causes mortgage rates to constantly change, plus they’re overwhelmed with the sheer volume of people re-financing their existing home.


Wishing you and yours a safe and healthy weekend. Have a great Weekend in Wisco! ❤ , Annie Z.

ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT    |    KEEFE REAL ESTATE
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com



During this time of pandemic panic, it is crucial to stay properly informed. THE source of accurate information, prevention and treatment of the corona virus can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.


Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

Photo by Travis Saylor on Pexels.com

Pre-Pandemic Status Market: February 2020

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The Metro-Milwaukee Multiple Listing Service gathers real estate stats for each month; they compile data points into graphs and highlight recent events to provide a comprehensive Local Market Update. The following is from their latest report, released Tuesday, March 10th***, regarding our hyper-local, Southeastern Wisconsin area for the month of February 2020.

***The Presidential Pandemic Address (regarding COVID-19) was Wednesday, March 11th

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. on Pexels.com

“As we progressed through February, the actual and expected impacts of COVID-19 continued to grow, with concerns of economic impact reaching the stock market in the last week of the month. As the stock market declined, so did mortgage rates, offering a bad news-good news situation. While short term declines in the stock market can sting, borrowers who lock in today’s low rates will benefit significantly in the long term.

[…]

The recently released January ShowingTime Showing Index® saw a 20.2 percent year-over-year increase in showing traffic nationwide. All regions of the country were up double digits from the year before, with the Midwest Region up 15.7 percent and the West Region up 34.1 percent. As showing activity is a leading indicator for future home sales, the 2020 housing market is off to a strong start, though it will be important to watch the spread of COVID-19 and its potential impacts to the overall economy in the coming months.”

Monthly Indicators: February 2020, by Metro MLS Report © 2020 ShowingTime

Take a second and re-read that; I don’t think anyone truly could see how fast and vast the corona virus pandemonium would arrive. The following charts echo the positive trend we were riding:

Showings were up, more homes were coming onto the market, and median sales price continued to climb. When this virus hit pandemic status, Americans were told to stay home and jobs were lost. Our country has endured a massive blow over these past two weeks that has reverberated down to our local community and economy, including the real estate market.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Now what? How are we faring so far??


It is definitely too early to tell. However, from March 1st to March 11th, a total of 76 single family homes were listed and 27 single family homes closed. Since then, from March 12th through March 23rd, only 54 single family homes have been listed, but 25 single family homes have still sold, regardless.

Photo by Burak K on Pexels.com

February seems so long ago. I’ll be curious to see the pandemic’s overall impact on the real estate market, once it’s all over. Primarily, I just want an end to COVID-19! Don’t forget: be prepared, not scared. Stay home if you can, be safe if you can’t. We will bounce back!!

Sellers and Buyers: there are still options during this unprecedented time, stay tuned!

Upcoming Posts:

  1. Effects of Quarantine on Local Real Estate Market
    • Restrictions, Options & Opportunities for Sellers & Buyers
  2. Honorable Charity Mentions
  3. Home Décor Projects & Spring Cleaning

How are you doing? How has this virus infected your life and/or loved ones? Let me know how I can help. Shoot me a quick email here (anniezrealty@gmail.com) or give me a buzz (262-215-1982) and keep me posted, please.

Looking for a reliable source of market information, aside from real estate? Check out Paula Pant’s Afford Anything, with special coverage during this official Bear Market.

Let me know if you found this helpful in the comments below, or shoot me a message on my socials!

Stay safe & healthy ❤ , Annie Z.


ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT
KEEFE REAL ESTATE  |  LAKE GENEVA, WI 53147
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL   azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com
OFFICE   262.248.4492  |  www.keeferealestate.com    


Data Sources: Market data from Metro MLS. Report © 2020 ShowingTime.

Other Market Resource Suggestion: Paula Pant’s Afford Anything

Weekend in …

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Wherever the Heck You Are STAY THERE!

Weekend in Wisco | March 22nd, 2020 | Annie Z Realty | Keefe Real Estate

Last week’s edition of Weekend in Wisco! went live on a Friday, instead of a Thursday, for the first time. To even mention any local events would feel criminal now. As of this week, Weekend in Wisco! has been suspended until further notice, in light of COVID-19.

Rest assured, there are many things to discuss! Here are several blog posts in the works:

  1. February Market Report (Pre-Pandemic Presidential Address)
  2. Effects of Quarantine on Local Real Estate Market
    • Restrictions, Options & Opportunities for Sellers & Buyers
  3. Honorable Charity Mentions
  4. Home Décor Projects & Spring Cleaning

How are you doing? How has this virus infected your life and/or loved ones? Let me know how I can help. Shoot me a quick email here (anniezrealty@gmail.com) or give me a buzz (262-215-1982) and keep me posted, please.


My mind is racing, but I am physically still and tense. Repeating in my head is the mantra: be prepared, not scared. Since the day this went pandemic status (Wednesday, March 11th),  I’ve done several virtual tours, an in-person property tour (of 2 properties) with a mask and gloves on, and hand sanitizer in my pocket. I have even done one virtual open house! On the 2 occasions I had to go into public places, I wore gloves, and used the hand sanitizer afterward. As of today, I’m only using delivery or drive up services (i.e., instacart), and only for necessities.

Additionally, from this point forward, I will require showings to be virtual, or with no more than 2, established clients at a time, if I’m 100% sure everyone’s healthy. This may change soon, as more advice comes in from my brokerage, Keefe Real Estate (which has been absolutely amazing, taking our weekly meeting online, keeping communication open and staff working remotely) and fellow agents.

Eventually, Weekend in Wisco! will return, but until then I just want to urge you: don’t panic. Do your part: stay home if you can, be smart if you can’t. Make a to do list of stuff you have previously said you “don’t have the time to do.” Get a hold of your loved ones, long lost friends, distant relatives, neighbors and friends – now is the perfect opportunity to reach out in so many ways.

Stay healthy ❤ always, Annie Z.

ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT    |    KEEFE REAL ESTATE
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com 


During this time of pandemic panic, it is crucial to stay properly informed. THE source of accurate information, prevention and treatment of the corona virus can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Weekend in Wisco!

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Weekend in Wisco | March 12th, 2020 | Annie Z Realty | Keefe Real Estate

The last few days of upset and out roar, with events being canceled all across the globe, and some countries enforcing quarantines, I’m reminded of the book (and movie) “Into the Wild.”

Happiness [is] only real when shared…

Christopher McCandless

Regardless of whether or not you get to see your favorite band live in concert, watch your favorite sports team play ball, or go on vacation, it is not about the places we go, but rather the people with which we share our lives. Remember: all of these actions are being taken to protect our loved ones.

If your plans are a ‘no-go’ this weekend, and you need to stay home, maybe call someone you haven’t talked to in a while! If you’re healthy, visit a friend or family member you’ve been meaning to catch up with. You could bake some cookies for your neighbor, write some thank you cards, read a book. There’s no shame in staying home to preserve the lives of those we love.


Wishing you and yours a safe and healthy weekend. Have a great Weekend in Wisco!

Here’s the forecast for this weekend…

The following are some events I have found happening in Walworth County this weekend (please note, these events may or may not be canceled, please follow the links for confirmation).

Friday, March 13th  

Saturday, March 14th

Sunday, March 15th  

Multi-Day & St. Patrick’s Day Events:

Geneva Steam Convention March 13th, 14th & 15th @ Lake Lawn Resort (Delavan)

DanceScapes’20 March 14th, 15th, 16th & 17th @ Barnett Theatre (Whitewater)

2nd Annual St. Pawtricks Day Party 9 am to 5 pm Tuesday, March 17th @ Lolli Pup Resort (Delavan)

St.Patty’s Day Open House 4 to 6 pm Tuesday, March 17th @ Avant Cycle Café (Lake Geneva)


Follow Link for this Weekend’s Sports Schedules

Open Houses:


But wait, there’s more! As per usual, there are plenty of other options of activities going on this weekend. These are just my fav’s… what are you up to?! Leave a comment ~ let me know! I’ll see ya around! ❤ always, Annie Z.

ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT    |    KEEFE REAL ESTATE
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com 


During this time of pandemic panic, it is crucial to stay properly informed. THE source of accurate information, prevention and treatment of the corona virus can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Other Things You CAN DO This Weekend, Instead:


Sources include: Visit Walworth County & Facebook Events

Weekend in Wisco!

Featured

Welcome! If you’re looking for something fun to do in Walworth County this weekend, you’ve come to the right place… Have a great Weekend in Wisco!

Weekend in Wisco | March 5th, 2020 | Annie Z Realty | Keefe Real Estate

Apparently, it’s spring already! Well, meteorological spring, at least! We’ve made it through another winter… Follow this link for the weather forecast.

Here are some great events I found in our neck of the woods for this weekend:

Friday, March 6th

  • 5 to 8 pm Eat, Drink and Shenanigans: Calling All Characters @ Monte Carlo Room (Elkhorn)
    • Dress as your favorite super hero, movie character, cartoon, historical figure, or athlete, and check out this annual event featuring more than a dozen vendors offering samples from local wineries, distilleries, breweries, upscale butcher chops, bakeries, gourmet food stores and more. Read article here…

Saturday, March 7th

Sunday, March 8th  


Side Notes:

The Best of Walworth County (2019): Fish Fry

For the other “Best of Walworth County” spots: follow this link

                      This event sells out every year!

                      February 27th through April 12th

Follow Link for this Weekend’s Sports Schedules

Open Houses:


But wait, there’s more! As per usual, there are plenty of other options of activities going on this weekend. These are just my fav’s… what are you up to?! Leave a comment ~ let me know! I’ll see ya around!

❤ always, Annie Z.

ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT    |    KEEFE REAL ESTATE
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com 


What I’ve Been Up to This Past Week:

see last blog with moving tips


Sources include: Visit Walworth County & Facebook Events

Moving Tips

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Overall, this most recent moving experience was… not fun. My place was a complete disaster for two solid weeks. I couldn’t find things I needed when I needed them. My daily routine was thrown out of wack! That said, I do have some pointers for those of you about to, or wanting to, move.

Disclaimer: Just like Spring cleaning, things are about to get ugly… Accept the chaos as part of a bigger, better picture: onward and upward…

#1. Designate 3 Bins (or Bags): a) Trash b) Donate c) Keep

Tossing or giving away items you no longer want, use or need will lessen the time it tacks to UN-pack and settle into your new destination.

Ask yourself: If I saw (fill in the blank) in the store now, would I buy it?

#2. Pack up the decor first.

To decrease my resistance to packing, I tackled the obvious, first. I do believe that taking down the items you see daily will serve as a subconscious prime to your brain to keep pushing through the process. Think of the snowball effect. It’s ok to start small!

#3. Make piles before boxing.

In order to whittle down the sheer mass of stuff you have to move, put all like items together in one pile, gathered from all the rooms, together. For example, you may have a stack of small post-it notes in the office, a legal pad of paper in the kitchen drawer, and another stack of in-between sized notepads by your bedside. As you go through these rooms, you add the notepads to the notepad pile. This allows you to put the notepad you never use in the donation pile, because you now know you’ve got 2 other notepads for future use.

#4. Use boxes you can move!

Don’t stuff a box heavier than you can pick up and move. Yes, you may hire someone to do the actual moving, but I found it useful to move the finished boxes into one common area. Doing so allows you to clean emptied out rooms, once cleared.

#5. Label boxes by room. (&) #6. Don’t tape the boxes closed until you’re done.

Basically, I went through each room, making piles of keep/toss/donate, then loading the ‘keep’ items into (room-labeled) boxes, and then moved the completed (but unsealed) boxes into the front entrance. I went in the following room order (after taking down all wall decor): kitchen, linen closets, 2nd bedroom, master bedroom, office & bathroom (…and then garage, but I almost forgot it).


Side Note: Don’t bother taking your clothes off their hangers – wrap large garbage bags around the hung clothes, and tie the bag at the top. Add a rubber band around the hangers to make it easier to pick up and move. See photo below for example.


#7. Keep your daily toiletries and several days worth of clothes in a big bag or laundry basket; do not pack necessities!

Having your face wash, makeup, lotion, shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, etc., will come in handy during the final days of packing, moving day, as well as the first day or two of unpacking. 

#8. Clean in a top-down direction (after move out is complete and before unpacking begins).

Dust falls down! Start with the ceilings (light fixtures/ceiling fans), then wipe down walls. Clean all cabinets, appliances, sinks, windows, railings, and counter-tops next. DON’T FORGET the outlets, light switches, and thermometers. Finally make sure to mop and vacuum the floors.

#9. Make a list of things you’ll need to do at your new location, but don’t wait to unpack.

Having a place to call your own is the cherry on top. There is a deadline for moving out, but not for moving in. Therefore, once you’re out of the old location, and into your new home, now is the time to catch up on sleep, and get back into your daily routine.

This is what stage I am in right now. While I wish I had a bunch of reveal photos to share, I am still proud of myself. I’ve have not done any decorating yet, however, I have unpacked the bare necessities, and that’s good enough for today. I’m was pretty banged up after that move… the hardest part is over, and I can finally catch my breath!


Here are a couple things that I think would’ve made the process easier:

A) Don’t buy bubble wrap – use packaging envelopes or anything soft you have to wrap dishes, plates, cups, etc. See photo below for example.

B) Don’t stop doing your yoga or meditation. I am still recovering from the disruption in my morning routine, and it has been over a week now.

C) To Prevent Injury : #1. Don’t Forget the Garage & #2. DO NOT KEEP items that will “sell quickly” at your old place, so you “don’t bother” the movers with items you’re not keeping.

I don’t think I incurred a concussion, but I did get an enormous goose egg AND a dozen or so big bruises. There wasn’t too much blood shed, but there were plenty of tears… and I even saw stars at one point! I fell down with a book cabinet and dropped a large table. I am technically fine, but my ego is/was a little wounded, for sure.


In the end, the outcome was worth the agony. Uprooting your home from one location to another is not easy! However, having a place to call your own is so gratifying. Hopefully, if you plan to move soon, you’ll find these tips useful.

Let me know in the comments below if you have any additional words of wisdom to add!!!

❤ always,

Annie Z.

ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT    |    KEEFE REAL ESTATE
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com 

Weekend in Wisco!

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Welcome! If you’re looking for something fun to do in Walworth County this weekend, you’ve come to the right place… Have a great Weekend in Wisco!

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Weekend in Wisco | February 27th, 2020 | Annie Z Realty | Keefe Real Estate

Multi-Day Events:

                      Friday and Saturday ONLY

  • Stolen Sisters @ Crossman Gallery (University of Wisconsin – Whitewater)

                      Ends Sunday, February 29th

                      February 27th through April 12th

                      This is the Last Weekend

                      Ends Sunday, February 29th

                      Call for availability 800-225-5558

                      Purchase tickets ONLINE ONLY ß follow link– cannot purchase on site


Heat wave a comin’! Follow this link for the weather forecast.


Here are some great events I found in our neck of the woods for the weekend of Friday, February 28th through Sunday, March 1st

Friday, February 28th

  • Fish Fry Season has Arrived! Check out all the local establishments serving it up:
    • Pier 290 (Williams Bay)
    • The Waterfront @ the Abbey Resort (Fontana)
    • Popeyes (Lake Geneva)
    • Evergreen Country Club (Elkhorn)
    • Hawk’s View Country Club (Lake Geneva)
    • Lookout Bar @ Lake Lawn Resort (Delavan)
    • Ye Olde Hotel Bar & Restaurant (Lyons)

Saturday, February 29th

Sunday, March 1st

Follow Link for this Weekend’s Sports Schedules

Open Houses:

But wait, there’s more! As per usual, there are plenty of other options of activities going on this weekend. These are just my fav’s… what are you up to?! Leave a comment ~ let me know! I’ll see ya around! ❤ always, Annie Z.

ANNIE ZAMBITO
LICENSED REAL ESTATE AGENT    |    KEEFE REAL ESTATE
PHONE 262.348.3253   |   262.215.1982
EMAIL azambito@keeferealestate.com  |  anniezrealty@gmail.com 


What I’ve Been Up to This Past Week:


Sources include: Visit Walworth County & Facebook Events

Weekend in Wisco!

Featured

Welcome! If you’re looking for something fun to do in Walworth County this weekend, you’ve come to the right place… Have a great Weekend in Wisco!

Weekend in Wisco | February 20th, 2020 | Annie Z Realty | Keefe Real Estate

Here are some great events I found in our neck of the woods for the weekend of Friday, February 21st through Sunday, February 23rd … enjoy!

Multi-Day Events:

                      This weekend (Saturday & Sunday, February 22nd & 23rd) ONLY!!!

                      Ends Sunday, February 23rd!

  • Stolen Sisters @ Crossman Gallery (University of Wisconsin – Whitewater)

                      Ends Sunday, February 29th

                      Ends Sunday, February 23rd!

                      This Weekend & Next Weekend – ONLY!

                      Ends Sunday, February 29th

                      Call for availability 800-225-5558