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Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 17


by Connie Erickson
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Today’s buyer prefers quality over square footage.  In a recent study by the National Association of Home Builders, today’s home buyers are much more price sensitive then in the past and prefer quality over square footage.  62% of those responding to the study indicated they would give up square footage for high end amenities such as wireless home security or WiFi controlled utilities.  Even though style rates high on the buyer’s list (French doors, hot tub & separate shower), energy efficiency is important.  Energy Star rated appliances and energy efficient laundry rooms are appealing.  As far as location goes, 36% said they prefer outer suburbs, 30% said they want inner suburbs, 8% prefer the city life, and 27% want to be “out in the sticks”.  Outdoor amenities are important…buyers want parks, jogging/biking trails, and pools nearby.


by Connie Erickson
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Kitchen Trends for 2013

I recently read an article written by John Riha, author and columnist who has written seven books on home improvements as well as hundreds of articles on home-related topics.  According to Riha, contemporary kitchens are in.  When thinking of a kitchen re-do or building new think simple and more modern and less elaborate detail and trim.  Kitchen cabinets are dark or white…natural oak is out.  Multi-dimensional kitchen islands are a must.  These islands serve as food-prep areas, snack stations, wine storage, and display cabinets for art.  The kitchen island is essential for directing traffic flow within an open floor plan.  If your kitchen is small, Riha suggests trying a rolling cart to pull out when you need it.

Porcelain and ceramic slabs that look like stone, wood and fabric are the new materials for countertops.  One-of-a-kind tiles accents as well as glass tiles…clear glass panels over painted soft color walls are suggested for back splashes.

Appliances are disappearing.  Appliances are hiding behind wood panels and faux veneers.  Riha says GE’s slate and Whirlpool’s Ice White are “bucking the stainless steel trend, but don’t bet on stainless going away anytime soon – it’s still hot.”

Another trend is wide glass doors from the kitchen leading to the outdoors.

Source:  National Association of REALTORS



Housing Sentiment Improves

by Connie Erickson
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Housing Sentiment Improves

According to a February 8, 2013 blog posted by Regina Ludes, a Fannie Mae survey indicates “more Americans say now is a good time to sell a home.”  The blog reported this sentiment is up 12% from a year ago and that “nearly 41 percent believe home prices will increase over the next 12 months…”  43% of those surveyed expect their personal financial situation to improve over the year, while only 19% are concerned about losing their job.  Chief economist at Fannie Mae, Dough Duncan stated, “…the number of homeowners who are underwater is declining, reducing a barrier for those owners who need to sell their home in order to buyer a new one.”

Source:  Council of Residential Specialists


Home Buyer Statistics for 2012

by Connie Erickson
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I just read some interesting real estate statistics in the Jan. 2013 edition of the Wisconsin Real Estate Magazine and wanted to share them with you. 


According to the National Association of REALTORS, in 2011…


  • The typical home buyer was 42 years old.
  • That buyer had a median household income of $78,600 ($61,800 for first-time buyers and $93,100 for repeat buyers).
  • 65% of the buyers were married.
  • 16% of the buyers were single females (lowest share since 2001).
  • 39% of the buyers were buying for the first time and moving into a house that averaged 1,900 sq. ft. with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.
  • 90 % of all buyers nationwide and 96% of buyers under the age of 44 used the Internet in their home search process, with 41% saying it was their first step.
  • The typical home buyer looked at 10 homes over 12 weeks.


5 Low Cost Kitchen Re-Dos

by Connie Erickson
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5 Low Cost Kitchen Re-Dos

The kitchen is the focal point of many homes.  Here are 5 Low- Cost Kitchen Re-dos:

  1.  Hardware:  Replace cabinet hardware…handles, knobs, and hinges are a quick and easy update.  According to, an average kitchen is 200 sq. ft. with 30 linear feet of cabinetry, which equates to about 40 handles and knobs.  Costs per knob or pull is $2 - $20, making an investment of $80 to $800.
  2. Faucet:  There are numerous options.  Costs starting around $200.
  3. Lighting:  Adding LED under-cabinet light can have a dramatic effect for about $40.
  4. Organization:  According to Jamie Goldberg, a certified designer for National Kitchen & Bath Association, today’s Buyers choose functionality over elaborate decoration.  Practical storage like over-the-door-hooks, baskets in the pantry, drawer organizers, wall-hooks for pots and pans, and stackable shelves for cabinets will add appeal, typically for less than $100.
  5. Countertops:  Laminate can mimic the look of granite at a significant discount.  The approximate cost for an average kitchen (30 linear feet) of laminate countertop is about $1,575 compared to $2,400 for granite.

Source:  National Association of REALTORS, REALTOR Magazine (Mar/Apr 2012).


Cost vs. Value on Remodeling Projects

by Connie Erickson
google map to real pro systemsCost vs. Value on Remodeling Projects

According to the National Association of REALTORS in an article published in their March/April 2013 edition, exterior home improvement projects recoup the most at resale.  The article noted that siding replacement gave an estimated 78 percent return (based on replacing with new fiber-cement siding).  Replacing one’s entry door with a steel door will bring an estimated 73% return at the sale and a $20,000 kitchen remodel has an estimated 71% return.  These estimates are based on National statistics and will vary depending on individual market areas. 


Top 5 Returns:

Siding Replacement (new fiber-cement siding) – Cost: $13,461 / Resale Value: $10,493 / 78% Return

Entry Door Replacement (steel door) – Cost:  $1,238 / Resale Value: $903 / 73% Return

Attic Bedroom Addition – Cost: $50,148 / Resale Value: $36,345 / $72.5% Return

Kitchen: Minor Remodel – Cost: $19,588 / Resale Value: $14,120 / 72.1% Return

Garage Door Replacement – Cost: $1,512 / Resale Value: $1,087 / 71.9% Return


Source:  National Association of REALTORS, REALTOR Magazine (Mar/Apr 2012).



by Connie Erickson
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NEW HOMES ARE GETTING BIGGER!  According to new statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau, larger homes are the new real estate trend.  This reverses the smaller home trend that began a few years ago.  Even though the average new home size increased, the average sale price of new homes decreased.  Newly built, single family homes in 2011 averages 2, 480 square feet, up from 2,392 square feet in 2010.


New Medicare Tax on Real Estate Begins 2013!

by Connie Erickson
google map to real pro systemsBeginning in 2013, a new 3.8% tax will be imposed on investment income.  This tax affects “high-income earners”, defined as single households with adjusted gross incomes of over $200,000 and married households above $250,000.  Capital gains are treated as investment income.

This 3.8% tax will be required to be paid on 100% of the gain from the following:

  • The gain from the sale of second homes.
  • The gain from the sale of investment and commercial real estate.
  • The net rental income from investment properties.

The gain from the sale of a primary residence will be paid on the gain exceeding $250,000 for single households or $500,000 for married households.


Information received from:  Wisconsin REALTORS Association, 4801 Forest Run Rd., Madison, WI 53704


Ten Tax Tips For Selling Your Home

by Connie Erickson
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Sellers commonly ask me, "What is my tax liability when selling my property?"   I refer them on to their CPA or financial advisor for the answer. The IRS recently put out "Ten Tax Tips for Individuals Selling Their Home".  I found this interesting and think you will too!


Real Estate Trends for Vacation & Investment Properties

by Connie Erickson
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The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) recently published the 2011 NAR Investment and Vacation Home Survey. According to this survey, vacation-home sales accounted for 10 percent of all real estate transactions last year and investment sales were 17 percent of the overall real estate market.

The median vacation-home price was $150,000 in 2010, while the median investment-home price was $94,000.

These real estate statistics described the typical vacation-home buyer to be 49 years old with a median household income of $99,500 and purchased a property that was a median distance of 375 miles from their primary residence. Investment-home buyers had a median age of 45, earned $87,600 and bought a home within a median distance of 19 miles.

Thirty-four percent of vacation-home buyers said they plan to use the property as a primary residence in the future, as did 10 percent of the investment buyers.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 17




Contact Information

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Connie Erickson
Door County Realty, Inc.
Po Box 340 - 4027 Main Street
Fish Creek WI 54212
Office: 920-868-2075
Toll Free: 888-678-3949
Fax: 920-868-2425

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