Monday, March 30, 2015

Take a Walk in The Park Day

Take a Walk in the Park Day




When : Always March 30th
Don't miss out on " Take a Walk in the Park Day". It is an opportunity for exercise and relaxation. Are you stressed out? A walk in the park is just what the doctor ordered. Its calming and therapeutic. Taken after a busy work day, it helps clear your mind and re-energize you. Or, take the walk during lunch and you will find the afternoon of work goes by quicker and easier.
A walk in the park will likely be the most enjoyable part of your day. However, make sure to do so with a clear mind and with your eyes open. In addition to avoiding a fall, open eyes will allow you to take in the beauty of nature's wonders: flowers, and trees, birds, and wildlife.
Tip: We suggest you take a walk in the park with a friend or your lover. It will prove far more enjoyable if you have company on your walk.

Origin of "Take a Walk in the Park Day":
Our research did not find the creator, or the origin of this day. But, ahh, what a joyful and soothing this day is filled with the beauty of nature!

Flower of the Day: Hydrangea
Recipe of the Day: Blueberry Teacake



Looking to buy or sell?  Let me know how I can help.
Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696, Guzanick@gmail.com,  if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.
See you at the closing!

New Listing in Oconomowoc


New Listing in Oconomowoc. Check out the 3D Showcase



Quality built, one owner 3BR ranch home situated on 1.1 acres. Original owner has updated kitchen, bathroom, windows, carpets and paint. Solid wood six panel doors, newer roof and furnace. Spacious living room opens to dining room allowing ample room for entertaining. Natural fireplace and hardwood floors in family room with patio doors overlooking large back yard with concrete patio. Lots of natural light. Check out the 3D showcase!

Housing Expectations for 2015

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Looking to buy or sell?  Let me know how I can help.
 
Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696, Guzanick@gmail.com,  if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.
See you at the closing!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

It's Time For More Female Leadership in Real Estate

Female Business leader standing in front of her team

 
Out of curiosity, I did a little research. I pulled demographics and surveyed a small group of people within the industry, all of whom are from different areas of the country and work at different companies. The results were mixed.I recently had a conversation with other real estate professionals about the industry’s lack of women in leadership roles. For an industry comprised of almost 60 percent women, this doesn’t make sense. I have been blind to this issue because I am fortunate to work for a broker who’s management team consists of mostly women. The culture within our office is also very diverse.
This is not an issue that only affects the real estate industry, but rather a workplace issue in general. Just the other day there was an article in the New York Times about the Ellen Pao vs. Kleiner Perkins case and the small percentage of women who are venture capitalists. The story also highlighted the lack of female leaders in Silicon Valley. I found this report by Catalyst, which is further proof that we have a long way to go in terms of female corporate leadership:
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Now, I believe there are solutions to this problem, not only at the company level, but also at the individual level. Let’s seize this as an opportunity. Here are some points based off of the research I did with my peer group, as well as some statistics I found:
  1. Many in my peer survey suggest that women are very motivated and have additional skills that can be great in leadership.
  2. Many real estate pros surveyed said there is a lack of female leaders at the brokerage level. When asked the average number of people in upper management at their brokerage, they said seven, and the average number of females in upper management: one.
  3. Some said that their companies have had the same people in leadership roles for many years (10 to 20 years or more).
  4. According to NAR, 57 percent of REALTORS® are women.
  5. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up 61 percent of the U.S. workforce; they earn almost 60 percent of all undergraduate degrees and 37 percent of all MBAs, yet many companies continue to lag in placing females in executive positions.
  6. Many people I spoke to suggested that some women are motivated to advance but they seem to get stuck in the middle management limbo.
  7. Several studies I read show that women are often held to a higher standard than men.
  8. According to the U.S. Census, women account for a little over half of the population.
  9. In 1980, the portion of female leaders of the top 500 companies was at 11 percent, and today, that number is roughly 18 percent.  That’s only a 7 percent increase – in 35 years!
As I look at myself and look back at my history, I see that I made a lot of sacrifices to get to where I am now. I sacrificed sleep, health, and having a personal life to run a business while simultaneously being a single mom. There were times that I only slept a couple hours a night. A lot of this was my own doing. I also didn’t have a strong support system, like family to help, a supportive significant other, etc. But why should I not be able to have it all? When there are 12 million single parent families in the U.S. as of 2014 – and more than 80 percent are headed by single mothers – working toward success both professionally and personally is clearly not uncommon.
I could go on and on about this, but I think it’s more important to stress that there is an opportunity here. Being the diverse and constantly changing industry that real estate is, there is plenty of untapped talent and ways to improve.
The best chance of changing obstacles in business is to tip the gender scales in leadership.
To all the women reading this: Become the leader of your own career and life. Be authentic authors of your own lives. Take responsibility for your professional development. No one has a greater investment in your success and satisfaction than you. Don’t depend on the traditional management structure of your organization to put you on the path to achievement. It’s up to you to direct and protect your career and to develop your own potential. You cannot afford to be passive or to accept roles assigned to you. Know what you want and why you want it, then be prepared to take action to make it happen. This means maintaining your focus on your goals in spite of any feelings of discouragement. Tell yourself this: I simply will not give up. If your goal is to become a leader and to help real estate industry become truly diverse, then don’t give up. Your leadership is most needed.
Our industry has a huge opportunity. The real estate industry can be the trendsetter; we can create a ripple effect that will carry over into other industries. Let’s not wait for this to happen, lets make this happen.
Looking to buy or sell?  Let me know how I can help.
 
Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696, Guzanick@gmail.com,  if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.
See you at the closing!
Brooke Wolford is a real estate practitioner with RE/MAX Results in Eden Prairie, Minn. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

10 Most Beautiful Towns in the Midwest

The 10 Most Beautiful Towns in the Midwest

These stunning Midwest towns provide New England household names with a real run for their money. With scenic views, gourmet dining, history and flourishing culture, these towns are charming escapes from the hustle and bustle of busy urban life. Whether you crave a quiet bed and breakfast, scenic lake boating excursions or an excluded artist colony, this list has your Midwestern travel needs covered.

Spring Green | Wisconsin

With its majestic rolling green hills on the banks of the Wisconsin River, it’s no wonder architect Frank Lloyd Wright built his summer paradise in the beautiful town of Spring Green, Wisconsin. Tour Taliesin, the renowned structure, which includes the Hillside Home School or take in an evening Shakespearean performance at the American Players Theatre. Wherever the day takes you, this quaint small town a mere 40 miles from Madison is guaranteed to charm and surprise.

Ephraim | Wisconsin

A trip to Ephraim feels like a nostalgic journey into a decade long past. With its charming inns, boathouses and picture perfect white buildings, Ephraim boasts old school charm with a picturesque seaside backdrop. Visitors enjoy daily boat trips from South Shore Harbor or a famous scoop from Wilson’s Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor, which recently celebrated its 100th birthday. Notable fact - since it’s founding, Ephraim has prohibited alcohol sales or manufacture within the village, marking its place as the only dry municipality in the state of Wisconsin.

Lanesboro | Minnesota

Nicknamed the bed-and-breakfast capital of Minnesota, Lanesboro is a paradise for the nature lover, culture enthusiast and foodie alike. Lanesboro boasts activities for the active traveler with its 60-mile winding Root River State Trail, coalescing with a spectacular waterfall at the edge of town. The internationally recognized Commonwealth Theatre, famous for its annual Ibsen Festival, acts as the backdrop for this creative community. With its serene setting, numerous fine dining options and artistic flair, Lanesboro boasts a vibrant and cultural quality of life for residents and visitors alike.

Grand Marais | Minnesota

This inviting and cultural vibrant harbor village is a renowned artist colony, a destination many creative call home for its infinite natural beauty and inspirational atmosphere. The town’s countless musicians, artists photographers and artisans provide endless artistic ambiance to what has been dubbed ‘America’s Coolest Small Town’ by Budget TravelMagazine. Whether you are watching Marais’s famous otters play on the dock or enjoying fresh Lake Superior fish al fresco at one of the town’s picturesque outdoor cafĂ©’s, Grand Marais is sure to charm.

Nashville | Indiana

A certifiable food and art-lovers paradise, Nashville provides its visitors with everything from the freshest and most inventive farm-to-table eateries to a dynamic sprinkling of galleries and craft studios throughout town. Known as the ‘Artist colony of the Midwest,’ Nashville provides year round antiquing, music and theatre venues and artists working out of their quaint galleries. A town has two iconic covered bridges and but three traffic lights, Nashville is sure to delight with its Midwestern charm.

Stockholm | Wisconsin

This Swedish-founded town came to life in the 1970s, when artists began to flock to Lake Pepin and the Mississippi River for a quiet and serene place to create. Soon after, travelers followed to explore the towns bustling art galleries and shops, bourgeoning foodie scene and creative local festivals. Don’t miss a visit to The Stockholm Pie Company, a popular local eatery with every pie you could possibly imagine. Finally, if you visit around the summertime, be sure not to miss the Midsommer Swedish Festival which boastsScandinavian foods, maypole dancing and a remarkable evening bonfire.

New Buffalo, Michigan

Beautiful lakeside New Buffalo offers the perfect vacation package: endless water activities, upscale dining and stunning Lake Michigan sunsets. An idyllic sleepy town spot with a post ‘resort town’ feel, New Buffalo’s yacht dotted beaches and numerous art galleries make it an easy choice for a family destination. One of the main draws of this quiet town is the Southwest Michigan Wine Trail, a collection of wineries offering the fruit of their vines for highly acclaimed public tastings.

Lake Geneva | Wisconsin

An iconic romantic getaway for Chicago city dwellers, Lake Geneva offers the very best of a Midwestern resort town for adults and kids alike. The town serves as a launching point for popular boat tours of the lake which whiz past some seriously jaw-dropping lakefront homes. Lovers of land can take a hike around the 21 mile perimeter of the lake and soak in its stunning views. Whether lounging in the lake during warm summer months or skiing the slopes during the wintertime, Lake Geneva’s classic charm will lure just about any traveller.

Madison | Wisconsin

Even with a population of over 200,000 people, Madison maintains its small town feel, providing endless charm and fascination for locals and visitors alike. Centring around theUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison, the town maintains a youthful feel given its literally hundreds of college bars, bookstores, music venues and affordable niche foodie spots. In the winter months, hundreds of people flock to the surrounding lakes for ice-skating, ice-fishing and cross-country skiing. It is during the warm summer months that the city comes alive, with popular weekly farmers markets, outdoor concerts and boating events on the four lakes surrounding the city.

Galena | Illinois

The rolling hills, historic charm and scenic roads of Galena, Illinois make for the perfect destination to unwind and recharge your batteries. Take a stroll down historic Main Street and feel as though you’ve gone back in time. With its stunning architecture inspired by French Colonial and Greek Revival, over 85% of the town is a preserved national historic district. The 18th U.S. President General Ulysses S. Grant called Galena home before leading Union troops into battle during the Civil War. A scenic town with a rich historic past, today’s visitors enjoy Galena’s numerous fine dining options, bed and breakfasts and old world charm.
Looking to buy or sell?  Let me know how I can help.
 
Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696, Guzanick@gmail.com,  if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.
See you at the closing!
By The Culture Trip

Friday, March 27, 2015

So Much for Downsizing

A recent study by Bank of America Merrill Lynch found that nearly one-third of Baby Boomers and seniors are choosing to buy larger homes in retirement instead of downsizing.
The report seems to point to an interest in larger home specifically that have extra bedrooms. One-third of retirees surveyed say a top reason they wanted to upsize was to have a home large enough for family members to visit. When adult children, grandchildren, and other family members are scattered around the country, the homes of retirees tend to function as a meeting place for extended families, particularly during holidays or summer vacations.

Only 51 percent of those surveyed actually did downsize, citing greater financial freedom (64 percent) and lowered maintenance duties (44 percent) among their top reasons for doing so. The remaining 19 percent moved to a similarly-sized home.
Some retirees may be looking for something more than just a guest bedroom, however. The multigenerational household trend is evident in the study, with one in six (16 percent) retirees saying they have a "boomerang" adult child who has moved back in.
The study also underscored the importance of keeping a close eye on this population segment, noting that while growth in the number of households across all other age groups will be less than 2 million, the number of age 65+ households in the U.S. will increase by nearly 11 million.
"How and where our nation’s aging population chooses to live will have widespread implications on the way homes are designed, the resources people will need, and how communities and businesses nationwide should prepare," says Andy Sieg, head of Global Wealth and Retirement Solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Looking to buy or sell?  Let me know how I can help.
 
Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center
262.490.3696, Guzanick@gmail.com,  if you have questions about
 buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.
See you at the closing!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why You Should Pay Attention to the Home's Furniture Lay Out

Why You Should Pay Attention to the Home’s Furniture Layout


One thing that occasionally gets overlooked when preparing a home for sale is furniture layout. I’ve been in many homes where I’ve felt that something wasn’t quite right about a certain room as soon as I entered it. Not anything obvious, but more of an indescribable sense of confusion for lack of a better word.
If you’re planning on selling your home, here are some questions you should ask yourself about your current furniture layout:
• Does the room look off balance?
• Is the flow of the room disrupted?
• Does the layout impede pathways?
• Is the focal point of the room concealed?
• Does the room feel “boxed in” rather than open?
• Is there too much furniture in the room?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might want to take a look at your furniture placement. This is where a professional home stager can help you.
At a recent staging consultation that I carried out, there were some issues with furniture placement. The space in question was an open concept living room/dining room/kitchen. If you take a look at this BEFORE photo, you’ll see that some changes were needed.
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Now let’s ask the questions about this space:
Question #1: “Does the room look off balance?” Although you can’t see it from this photo, the dining area was directly behind the sofa. This area was comprised of a small round table and four chairs along with a small dining hutch. The living area was weighted down in comparison with too many pieces of heavy furniture, which made the overall space look off balance.
Question #2: “Is the flow of the room disrupted?” The large sofa split the space between the living and dining areas in half, making the room look smaller and broken up.
Question #3: “Does the layout impede pathways?” The pathway to get from the dining area to the kitchen was tight due to the length of the sofa. As well, the pathway between the sofa and loveseat to reach the seating area was cramped.
Question #4: “Is the focal point of the room concealed?” Absolutely. In this case, the focal point of the room was the fireplace. With the current furniture configuration and the large TV, the fireplace did not take main stage.
Question #5: “Does the room feel ‘boxed in’ rather than open?” Yes, you can see this from the BEFORE photo.
Question #6: “Is there too much furniture in the room?” Yes, from a staging point of view there was too much furniture in the space. While living in a house and not considering selling, you’re obviously going to arrange your space to suit your needs as was the case here. Due to the amount of entertaining the home owners did, they required more seating. However, now that they were going to sell, they needed to make some changes.
So here’s what we did…
We removed the sofa, moved the loveseat over to where the sofa previously was, and brought in a chair that was being used upstairs in the master bedroom suite. Fortunately, this chair matched the loveseat so we were in luck. While we were at it, we removed the TV for good measure in order to also help open up the space and make the fireplace the main attraction.
Once the TV was gone, we brought in a glass console table that was previously in the basement to help ground that area, yet not detract from the fireplace.
Now take a look at the AFTER photo …
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Photo Credit: Charlene Storozuk, DEZIGNER DIGZ
In the AFTER photo you’ll see how the space is more open, there’s flow, and the fireplace now takes its place of prominence as it should. This photo was taken before any styling took place. You can see how different the space looks already and that’s without any decorative accessories, an area rug or small glass tables.
The way your furniture is arranged while you are living in your home should be configured to suit your needs and to work with your intended purpose for the room. However, remember that if you’re going to sell anytime soon, you should always ask yourself some important questions about furniture placement.
Looking to buy or sell?  Let me know how I can help.
 
Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center 
262.490.3696, Guzanick@gmail.com,  if you have questions about
 buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.
See you at the closing!

By Charlene Storozuk, guest contributor

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

3D Showcase of New Listing in Oconomowoc Check it out.



JUST LISTED $189,000 Oconomowoc MLS# 1410834 Fabulous affordable 4BR, 2BA home! Updates galore in this must see home! They include kitchen cabinets, flooring, countertops, carpet, paint, so much to mention. Spacious LR, large BRs & BAs on main and upper floors. LL is finished. Beautiful front porch, fenced in backyard with stamped concrete patio for your entertaining. Close to schools, parks, walking trail and shopping. . Call now to view this home! Looking to buy or sell? Let me know how I can help. Contact Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696, Guzanick@gmail.com, Your Local RE/MAX Realty Center Agent. Let me know, your questions of Buying or Selling your Home. I will guide you toward your next home. www.HomesWithStacey.com See you at the closing!


Looking to buy or sell?  Let me know how I can help.
 
Contact  Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696, Guzanick@gmail.comYour Local RE/MAX  Realty Center Agent.  Let me know, your questions of Buying or Selling your Home. I will  guide you  toward your next home.
See you at the closing!

Making an Offer

Making an offer

Making an offer.. 

You are all excited, you found the perfect house and then.... comes the offer.  A written proposal, designed to cover all aspects of the purchase agreement.  Once accepted, it becomes a binding contract.  The offer details the property's address, sales price and closing date. It must include provisions for any required and requested inspections and clearly state all financial obligations regarding mortgage, deposits and taxes.  

Call me, my job is to know the changing laws and requirements.




Looking to buy or sell?  Let me know how I can help.
 
Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696, Guzanick@gmail.com,  if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.
See you at the closing!






Tuesday, March 24, 2015

4 Indicators Show Rising of Millennial Buyers

4 Indicators Show Rising of Millennial Buyers


The millennial generation is inching their way into home ownership. These millennials, born from the early 1980s through the late 1990s, have largely delayed their entrance into home ownership, saddled by debt and high unemployment in the aftermath of the recession.
Here are some indicators that are making economists the most optimistic:But economists are getting optimistic that the millennials are emerging into home ownership. Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist, said earlier this year that 2015 will mark an opportunity for younger buyers to enter the housing market, which will fuel a stronger housing recovery.
  1. Rising employment: The unemployment rate between 2007 and 2010 among millennials surged to 14 percent (the population as a whole was 9.6 percent), according to Alan MacEachin, the corporate economist for the Navy Federal Credit Union. But as of January, the millennial unemployment rate had dropped to 9.3 percent. The improvement in employment for this generation will bring rising incomes that may push more toward home ownership.
  2. Moving out: More millennials are moving out of their parents’ homes and forming their own households. New household formation is back up to pre-recession levels. Household formation rates generally take three years to recover after a major drop – like seen in the recession, according to researchers at the University of Southern California Lusk Center for Real Estate in Los Angeles.
  3. Low mortgage rates, greater credit availability: Millennials have said that one of the biggest challenges to home ownership is saving for a down payment. Mortgage rates are still near historical lows, which is opening the doors for some. Also, several government programs are helping to increase mortgage availability for first-time home buyers. For example, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now requiring as little as 3 percent down payments for new conforming loans. The Federal Housing Administration has lowered its insurance premiums, which has helped make the loans more affordable to first-time buyers.
  4. They desire to be home owners: Young adults say they want to buy. Thirty-two percent of millennials recently surveyed said they were saving for a house, according to a Bank of America/USA Today survey conducted in November. The real estate brokerage Redfin recently found in its own survey that 38 percent of millennials said they’d be willing to delay their wedding or honeymoon in order to save for a down payment on a home. What’s more, a new Goldman Sachs’ infographic shows that 93 percent of millennials say they want to own a home in the future.
Looking to buy or sell?  Let me know how I can help.
 
Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696, Guzanick@gmail.com,  if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.
See you at the closing!

Source: "Millennials on the Home Ownership Path," The New York Times (March 6, 2015)

Just Listed in Oconomowoc




JUST LISTED $189,000 Oconomowoc MLS# 1410834
Fabulous affordable 4BR, 2BA home! Updates galore in this must see home! They include kitchen cabinets, flooring, countertops, carpet, paint, so much to mention. Spacious LR, large BRs & BAs on main and upper floors. LL is finished. Beautiful front porch, fenced in backyard with stamped concrete patio for your entertaining. Close to schools, parks, walking trail and shopping. . Call now to view this home!
Looking to buy or sell?  Let me know how I can help.
Contact your local RE/MAX  Realty Center Agent Stacey Guzanick 262.490.3696, Guzanick@gmail.com,  if you have questions about buying a house or selling one. I can  guide you  toward your next home.
See you at the closing!