Monday, February 29, 2016

Kid Friendly Home Decorating Ideas!


Sunday, February 28, 2016

What Do I Look For in New Construction Homes? Southeastern Wisconsin

by: Michele Lerner, author

Q. I’ve been looking for a home to buy in my area for several months, but there’s not very much for sale that I like. My REALTOR® suggested I look at a development of newly built homes. I hadn’t really considered new construction homes, and I don’t know how to make sure I’m buying a well-built home that will keep its value over time. What do I need to look for in a newly built home?

A. I’m glad to hear you’re working with a REALTOR® who has suggested looking at both newly built and existing homes, because it can be helpful to compare these two types of housing. Newly built homes offer the advantage of better energy efficiency, the latest home designs, new appliances and systems, and the opportunity to personalize—although builders vary in how much they allow you to customize.

A REALTOR® should be able to give you some insight into different builders in your area; agents often talk to each other about their experiences and their clients’ experiences with various builders.
You should also take the time to research the reputation of builders online and visit communities they have developed. Keep in mind that the larger the builder, the more likely you’ll be able to find a complaint or two about them. The important thing is to see if you can find out how any issues have been addressed.

When you visit a new housing development, you should talk to residents about their home, the neighborhood and the builder. If there are developments by this builder that are complete, it would be helpful to visit them, see how they’ve stood the test of time and talk to homeowners there about their experiences.

Shopping for a new construction home also is different in many ways from shopping for a resale.
First, you’re often looking at floor plans and a model home rather than your actual future home. When you visit a resale, you know what you’re buying, and you can see the community around it. Take your time at a new home community to discuss the future plans for development within the community and in the surrounding area so you can get a feel for what it will look like.

When you visit a model home, it also is extremely important you ask the sales professional onsite or your agent to explain which features are standard and which are options. Model homes are used to showcase the best possible upgrades and options, but adding them to your home might be out of your reach financially. Discuss the options you like with a sales professional so you can get an estimate of what they might cost.

After you narrow down your search and choose a model that you like, be sure you find out if that model can be built on the lot you like—and if you can add the optional features you prefer to that particular floor plan. Not all lots and floor plans will be able to accommodate a sunroom addition or a three-car garage.

Determine where in the development you would like to live based on future plans. While it may be lovely to face a meadow or woodlands, that area could be slated to become a school or shopping center down the line.

While you might expect any new home to be perfect, you should hire a third-party home inspector to check your property thoroughly and attend all the inspections that the builder holds.

New construction homes typically come with a warranty, so you should make sure you understand what the warranty covers and find out how the builder will address any issues you discover after you purchase the home.

Remember, a REALTOR® can advise you on all the decisions you’ll need to make when you opt for a newly built home.

Michele Lerner, author of “HOMEBUYING: Tough Times, First Time, Any Time,” has been writing about real estate and personal finance since 1990. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, MSN Real Estate, Fox Business, The Motley Fool, Bankrate,, The Washington Times and Daily Finance.

To help you navigate through the New Construction Process Call/Contact Jodi Toebe RE/Max Realty Center.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Ten Chimneys historical building in Waukesha County , WI

Ten Chimneys, home and retreat of Broadway legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, is open to the public as a world-class house museum and a national resource for theater and the arts. Almost all of the estate's d├ęcor and collections are intact and remain unchanged since the Lunts first assembled them in the 1930s and '40s. Ten Chimneys is a National Historic Landmark, and a "Save America's Treasures" project site. Open through Nov, Tue - Sat. Admission $28–$35. Children under 12 not permitted.
Call 262-968-4110.
Thirty miles west of Milwaukee, Genesee Depot, Waukesha County.

Officail website:

For more information on Waukesha County, WI  Real Estate
Contact Jodi Toebe RE/Max Realty Center.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Oconomowoc, WI Events & Attractions for 2016

Oconomowoc Events & Attractions for 2016

The Oconomowoc Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors a number of events throughout the year, including a Summer Farmer’s Market every Saturday from May through October, Indoor Winter Farmer's Market partnered with Greener Oconomowoc November through early April, annual Golf Outing in June, the 5K Run/Walk in May or June, and Glow Golf in early fall.  On select Thursday evenings in the summer, the Badgerland Water Ski Show Team presents free shows on Fowler Lake.  The American Legion Band and free outdoor concerts are held throughout the summer at the Rhodee Memorial Band Shell sponsored by the Oconomowoc Park and Recreation Department.  Oconomowoc’s annual Halloween Parade, sponsored by the Oconomowoc Lions Club and Christmas parade, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, celebrate the holiday seasons.  A number of other events, sponsored by different organizations, take place throughout the year.  See a more detailed list below or visit our events calendar for a comprehensive listing.
In addition to the local links below, Oconomowoc is in close proximity to hundreds of popular Wisconsin destinations. Please consult the Wisconsin Department of Tourism for more information.

Events & Attractions

  • Chili Fest - 2016 date is January 30 from 9 am to 5 pm, Chili Tasting is noon to 2 pm.  Location is downtown Oconomowoc.  Sponsored by Downtown Oconomowoc Business Association.  For more information, visit
  • Spring Gallery Night - 2016 date/time TBD. Location is downtown Oconomowoc. Sponsored by Downtown Oconomowoc Business Association. For more information, visit
  • Summer Farmer's Market – Saturday mornings.  2016 dates/time TBD.  Location is the south muncipal parking off of East Wisconsin Ave.  Sponsored by Oconomowoc Chamber of Commerce.  For more information, click here.
  • Memorial Day Ceremony – 2016 date is May 30.  Rhodee Memorial Band Shell - Lac LaBelle.  10 am, parade to follow.  Contact Pat Furno at 920-474-4017.
  • 11th Annual Yellow Brick Road 5K Walk/Run & Kid's Fun Run - 2016 date is June 4, beginning at the Village Greem, Oconomowoc .  For more information, click here.
  • 23rd Annual Chamber Golf Classic - 2016 date is June 20.  Oconomowoc Golf Club on Brown St (Hwy P), Oconomowoc.  Sponsored by the Oconomowoc Chamber of Commerce.  For more information, click here.
  • American Legion Band Concerts - Wednesday evenings beginning at 7:30 pm. 2016 dates TBD.  Rhodee Memorial  Band Shell - Lac LaBelle.  For more information, visit the American Legion Band website at or contact Oconomowoc Parks, Recreation & Forestry Dept at 262-569-2199.
  • Friday Night Concert Series – Rhodee Memorial Bandshell.  2016 dates TBD.  For more information, contact Oconomowoc Parks, Recreation & Forestry Dept at 262-569-2199.
  • Moonlit Movies – 2016 dates TBD, location is Fowler Park.  For more information, go to
  • 4th of July Parade & Fireworks – 2016 date TBD.  Parade begins at 4 pm, Roosevelt Field to Fowler Park.  Concessions at Fowler Park until fireworks begin at dusk.  For more information on the parade, visit the parade website at For more information on the fireworks, contact the Oconomowoc Parks, Recreation & Forestry Dept at 262-569-2199.
  • Midweek Farmers Marketplace – Wednesday evenings, 4 to 7 pm.  2016 dates TBD.  Location is The Village Green, Oconomowoc.  Corner of Main St and Wisconsin Ave.  Sponsored by Oconomowoc Chamber of Commerce.  For more information, click here.
  • Festival Week - For a list of the week's events, click here.
  • Historic Mail Boat Tours at City Beach – 2016 dates are August 15-19.   Docks behind Lake Country Life Enrichment at 1 pm and 6 pm.  Sponsored by Shorehaven.  Check the calendar for more information, click here.
  • Kids Fest - 2016 date is August 16, time is 9 am to 1 pm.  Location is Roosevelt Park.
  • Kids Day - 2016 date August 16, time is 1 to 3:30 pm.  Location is City Beach.
  • Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts – 2016 dates are August 20 & 21, time is 10 am to 5 pm.  For more information, call go to
  • Light Up the Lake Boat Parade & Fireworks – 2016 date is August 20. Lac La Belle City Beach 8:30 to 10 pm.  For more information, contact Bonnie Lewis-Tschannen at
  • Fall Festival - 2016 date/time TBD. Location is downtown Oconomowoc. Sponsored by Downtown Oconomowoc Business Association. For more information, visit
  • Halloween Trick or Treating – 2016 date TBD.  Business Trick or Treat, Downtown Oconomowoc and all outlying districts from 1 to 4 pm, sponsored by Oconomowoc Area Chamber of Commerce.  City Residential Trick or Treating from 6 to 8 pm as determined by the City of Oconomowoc.
  • Halloween Parade – 2016 date TBD.  Beginning at 4 pm, downtown Oconomowoc to Roosevelt Park.  Sponsored by Oconomowoc Lions Club.  Contact Rich Schulte Sr. at 262-567-5411 for more information.
  • Fall Gallery Night - 2016 date/time TBD.  Location is Downtown Oconomowoc.  Sponsored by Downtown Oconomowoc Business Association.  For more information, visit
  • German Christmas Market - 2015 dates are November 27-29.  Location is downtown Oconomowoc.  Visit their website at more information.
  • Christmas Parade - 2015 date is December 5.  Begins at 3 pm, downtown Oconomowoc.  Sponsored by the Oconomowoc Kiwanis Club.
  • Winter Farmers Market – Sponsored by Oconomowoc Chamber of Commerce & Greener Oconomowoc.  2015/2016 dates are every Sunday from November 8, 2015 thru March 20, 2016 (excluding November 29th & December 27th), 9:30 am to 1:00 pm.  Located at Oconomowoc Landscape Suppy & Garden Center, N68 W37850 Country Trunk K, Oconomowoc.  For more information, click here.
  • Holiday Open House - 2015 date is December 5, time is 10 am to 5 pm.  Location is Downtown Oconomowoc.  Sponsored by Downtown Oconomowoc Business Association.  For more information, visit
To learn more about Oconomowoc,WI real estate contact Jodi Toebe RE/Max Realty Center!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Lack of Listings Slowing Down the Housing Market

The housing crisis is finally in the rear view mirror as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery. Home values are up. Home sales are up. Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen dramatically. It seems that 2016 will be the year that the housing market again races forward.
However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory. While buyer demand looks like it will remain strong throughout this winter, supply is not keeping up.

Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:

Calculated Risk:

“Low inventory is probably holding down sales in many areas.”

Capital Economics:

“A lack of housing inventory continues to drive developments in the market. As demand has slowly recovered, low inventory levels have weighed on home sales.”

Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic:

“Many markets have experienced a low inventory of homes for sale along with strong buyer demand... These conditions are likely to persist as we enter 2016.”

Doug Duncan,Chief Economist at Fannie Mae:

“Several factors point to constrained housing affordability in 2016, particularly for first-time home buyers, including slow single-family supply response and limited inventory of starter homes on the market.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR:

“Sparse inventory and affordability issues continue to impede a large pool of buyers’ ability to buy, which is holding back sales.”

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling, now may be the time. Demand for your house will be strong at a time when there is very little competition. That could lead to a quick sale for a really good price.

Considering selling your home?  Contact Jodi Toebe RE/Max Realty Center.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What You Don’t Need To Hear From Your Listing Agent

For Buyers, For Sellers

  1. Set the market value on possibly the largest asset your family owns (your home)
  2. Set the time schedule for the successful liquidation of that asset
  3. Set the fee for the services required to liquidate that asset

An agent must be concerned first and foremost about you and your family in order to garner that degree of trust. Make sure this is the case.

Be careful if the agent you are interviewing begins the interview by:
  • Bragging about their success
  • Bragging about their company’s success

An agent’s success and the success of their company can be important considerations when deciding on the right real estate professional to represent you in the sale of the house.

However, you first need to know that they care about what you need and what you expect from the sale. If the agent is not interested in first establishing your needs, how successful they may seem is much less important.

Look for someone with the ‘heart of a teacher,’ who comes in prepared well enough to explain the current real estate market and patient enough to take the time to show how it may impact the sale of your home.

Not someone only interested in trying to sell you on how great they are.

You have many agents from which to choose. Pick someone who truly cares. Contact Jodi Toebe RE/Max Realty Center.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Final 2015 Housing Numbers Now In

Final 2015 Housing Numbers Now In

How did we do in 2015?

The National Association of Realtors
“Overall, a resilient U.S. economy and very solid job growth in recent years made 2015 a great rebound year for the housing market.
Existing-home sales were at the highest pace (5.26 million) since 2006 (6.48 million) and the Pending Home Sales Index came in at an average of 108.8, the highest annual reading since…you guessed it: 2006 (111.7).”
The National Association of Home Builders
“With the December report on housing starts and permits, preliminary totals for 2015 are now available. Total housing starts at 1.11 million were up 10.8% in 2015 compared to 2014. Single-family starts were up 10.4% to 715,300. All four census regions also experienced increases in single-family starts for 2015.”

What can we expect to start 2016?

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist
“All indicators point to this spring being the busiest since 2006…
Demand for for-sale housing will grow and will continue to be dominated by older millennials, aged 25 to 34. This demographic has the potential to claim a third of home sales in 2016 and represent 2 million home purchases.”

Call a Professional!  Jodi Toebe RE/Max Realty Ceneter! 

Monday, February 22, 2016

EASTLAKE VILLAGE at Pabst Farms Oconomowoc, WI

Eastlake Village features a variety of classically-designed, single-family homes. All 170 lots are sold.

The popular community is ideally located across from Summit Elementary School and the YMCA at Pabst Farms. Residents can walk or bike to the grocery store and convenient shops at Market Place at Pabst Farms.

Best of all, residents love the unique connected lifestyle. Neighborhood events include the annual 4th of July children's parade, block parties and summer pig roast.

For more information on Homes for sale in Pabst Farms call someone that lives there...Jodi Toebe RE/Max Realty Center!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Welcome to Our Community! Oconomowoc, WI

Welcome to Oconomowoc, population of approximately 16,004, where natural beauty and hard work have resulted in unique communities of safe streets, excellent schools, quality health care, progressive government, a prosperous economy, and an overall high quality of life.

Tucked in the rolling, lake-filled countryside of northwest Waukesha County, the area includes many lakes and amenities where “Life comes naturally here.”

Oconomowoc, “Where the waters meet,” is the area’s center of commerce and industry. Settled in the 1800s, the city today is a mix of small town charm and 21st century opportunity. The historic downtown has undergone a revival, and Wisconsin’s largest master-planned development is rising on the city’s outskirts. Helping retain and attract businesses and families are municipal services that include modern police and fire departments, low-cost municipally owned utilities, and some of the states lowest tax rates.

The area’s real estate market continues to grow. Existing housing offers diversity ranging from historic lakeside homes and traditional houses to modern condominiums and in-town apartments. There’s also plenty of available land on which to locate your dream home, and skilled contractors to build it. Several nursing homes and senior housing complexes meet the housing need of the areas elder residents.

Residents show their commitment to their neighbors and community through active participation in their local schools, centers of worship and civic groups. Respect for the environment and community pride area part of every- day life here. Whether you are an area visitor, a new family looking for a place to set down roots, or a business seeking a place to expand, come discover a promising future in the Oconomowoc area – where, “Life comes naturally here.”

Find out more information about the Real Estate Market in Oconomowoc, WI from Jodi Toebe RE/Max Realty Center

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Wisconsin Housing Statistics

Wisconsin Housing Statistics

Sales estimates for the state are provided by the National Association of REALTORS®, which seasonally adjusts quarterly sales figures. All county figures on sales volume and median prices are compiled by the WRA and are not seasonally adjusted. Median prices are only computed if the county recorded at least 10 home sales in the quarter. Beginning in 2010, all historical sales volume and median price data at the county level have been re-benchmarked using the Techmark system, which accesses MLS data directly and in real time.
Find out the number of home sales and the median price of a home by county. Simply select the region from the map below and then select the county from the list of counties within that region.

Call Jodi Toebe at Re/max Realty Center to assist you with buying or selling your home!
Central Region North Region Northeast Region South Central Region Southeast Region West Region

Housing Stats by Month


Housing Stats by Quarter

Please Note: Data is updated daily; thus will not reflect the same numbers reported in press releases.

Median Price Annual Comparison - WIPrioryear2year…3year…4 ye…5 ye…6 ye…7 ye…8 ye…9 ye…Dec 2014Feb 2015Apr 2015Jun 2015Aug 2015Oct 2015Dec 2015$100,000$120,000$140,000$160,000$180,000
Prior year2 years prior3 years prior4 years prior5 years prior6 years prior7 years prior8 years prior9 years prior
Dec 2014$144,500$139,000$132,000$120,000$134,900$137,950$137,800$157,075
Jan 2015$135,000$126,500$123,000$119,000$128,000$133,800$130,000$150,000$156,000
Feb 2015$137,500$130,000$121,000$114,900$117,000$133,900$129,600$145,625$155,500
Mar 2015$149,000$137,000$134,000$123,000$122,900$135,900$138,500$152,500$161,000
Apr 2015$154,000$139,900$138,000$128,125$125,000$137,000$135,000$155,000$158,250
May 2015$160,000$150,000$144,900$137,900$136,000$144,000$145,250$156,500$165,000
Jun 2015$168,375$159,000$159,000$142,000$140,000$150,000$150,000$164,850$170,000
Jul 2015$163,500$158,000$155,000$142,000$140,000$148,000$150,000$162,500$168,500
Aug 2015$161,310$157,000$152,000$143,000$140,000$149,900$148,000$158,500$165,000
Sep 2015$155,000$149,000$144,300$135,000$134,500$137,500$141,550$148,000$163,000
Oct 2015$155,000$148,000$142,000$135,000$129,100$140,000$140,000$149,000$158,950
Nov 2015$150,000$145,000$136,000$129,950$133,000$136,950$136,700$140,000$157,500
Dec 2015$149,900$144,500$139,000$132,000$120,000$134,900$137,950$137,800$157,075
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Number of Sales Comparison - WIPrioryear2year…3year…4 ye…5 ye…6 ye…7 ye…8 ye…9 ye…Dec 2014Feb 2015Apr 2015Jun 2015Aug 2015Oct 2015Dec 201502,5005,0007,50010,000
Prior year2 years prior3 years prior4 years prior5 years prior6 years prior7 years prior8 years prior9 years prior
Dec 20144,8504,6634,3483,8683,4173,3143,2053,581
Jan 20153,3143,3773,5222,9262,6022,2012,0012,7493,645
Feb 20153,5223,4203,6903,2332,7152,8312,6103,4664,212
Mar 20155,5554,6735,1694,9223,8614,6433,5714,1505,740
Apr 20156,5145,4406,0085,4084,3656,3954,2454,8336,290
May 20157,8317,0977,4936,2065,0256,3545,2226,0537,351
Jun 20159,4767,8937,3777,0255,7066,6756,1826,3507,949
Jul 20158,8727,4057,4276,2075,1673,8106,1405,8216,993
Aug 20157,6957,3577,6756,6485,4024,1495,7505,8657,374
Sep 20157,0776,2536,1565,2034,9054,0305,3264,9335,133
Oct 20156,7296,4675,7555,6584,3263,7855,7224,6625,060
Nov 20154,8554,6254,8095,0203,9643,3505,1593,1044,428
Dec 20155,3214,8504,6634,3483,8683,4173,3143,2053,581
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Median Price - WI200720082009201020112012201320142015JanuaryFebru…MarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSepte…OctoberNove…Dece…100,000120,000140,000160,000180,000Month
    Number of Sales - WI200720082009201020112012201320142015JanuaryFebru…MarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSepte…OctoberNove…Dece…02,5005,0007,50010,000Month