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Housing Heatwave: Why Now is the Time to Take Advantage of the Market

The housing market is hot for buyers and sellers. According to the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors (GMAR), home sales were up 5.4% in June. Since June of 2014, sales are up 29.8%. Realtors say it's because supply is low and demand is high.

"The last couple of years have been pretty good. This year has been absolutely white hot," said Mike Ruzicka, president of GMAR.  

The market is good for buyers too because of extremely low interest rates. In some cases, rates are below 4%. Ruzicka says that's why first time buyers are flooding the market. He says homes under $350,000 are doing especially well.

“It’s basically free money right now. You’re getting low, single digit interest rates, which we haven’t seen,” said Ruzicka.

Even millenials, who are typically more likely to wait, are taking advantage of interest rates. According to the National Association of Realtors, 71% of millenials say student loan debt is delaying home ownership. The same survey found student debt postponed four in 10 borrowers from moving out of a family member’s house after college.

However, those facts seem to be out the window as the market positions itself perfectly for young homeowners. New parents, Krissy and Kasey Kaderly, are some of the young people taking advantage of a hot market.

“It was fun, but it was stressful. You worry a lot. A lot of unknowns,” said Kasey.

While student loan debt wasn’t a hindrance, finding the right mortgage was. Kasey owns a web design business, so proving- what the bank considers- steady income was difficult. The couple also found difficulty with the quick pace environment in a seller’s market.

“It was just very competitive. We would literally find homes, we’d want to go look at them, and they’d be sold that day,” said Krissy.

Their realtor, Mike Kollmansberger, encouraged them to be patient. The two said they wouldn’t have found a home without him.

“They went through a scenario that a lot of buyers do; missed out on a place, made a couple of offers, before they ended up getting what I think is the right place for them,” said Kollmansberger, a real estate broker with Shorewest.

“People who are seriously looking right now, it’s important that you get out and see things right away. Don’t wait a week and then call to make an appointment.”

It was tough to do, but for the Kaderlys, it paid off.

“I had like three gray hairs pop out of my beard instantly, and the last time that happened I had my daughter. That’s how I can compare the stress,” said Kasey.    

Another tip, Kollmansberger says, write a letter. If you can’t afford to offer more, be sincere about what you’d do with them home and why it’s a good fit for your family.

According to both Kollmansberger and Ruzicka, the first step for serious homebuyers is to consult a realtor. That person will help potential buyers understand it is possible to buy a home, despite potential setbacks. Realtors will help buyers find the right location, set parameters according to budget and recommend banks. While the Internet can be helpful, according to experts, it shouldn’t be the only tool used when buying a home. That’s because popular real estate websites often show listings until the closing date, meaning browsers may be looking at homes no longer available.    

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