Fields of Real Estate Sales & Construction
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July Newsletter

July 2014



July 4th, halfway through a summer that has not really been summer like!  Our WI weather is a challenge, but we are used to it and have to enjoy the good days we do have.

Real estate sales are strong, as are other areas of the economy so that is good news! It is a great time to buy a house and a great time to sell.  Land sales continue strong as well. We have only 5 lots left in our beautiful Duck Creek Estates subdivision.  If you are looking for a lot, please stop out and see these home sites.  They offer everything a buyer could ask for.  There will be three Parade Homes in the subdivision.  All are privately owned. 

A will finds a way.

Orison Swett Marden

A negative outlook is more of a handicap than any physical injury.

― Christopher Paolini

If you have not been to our web site lately ( ), please check it out and view our new listings.  We have some awesome properties.  We would love to add yours to the list. Call us for details and summer specials for listing and buying.

Speaking of selling, here are some tips to help you realize the most profit from your home when you sell.

8 Ways To Keep From Committing Equity Killers

Hey you - the one putting electric green shag carpet in all the bedrooms or the one turning the dining room into a bedroom - without a closet.  The one transforming your kitchen into a homage to Arabian Nights.  Or the one painting all the walls black and replacing all the wood baseboards with Lucite.

What are you thinking?

Unless you're never, ever planning to move and are completely immune to the life changes and twists and turns that catch us all by surprise, you can't turn your home into a crazy house or make changes so severe that everyone but you will be turned off by them.  You can't.  Because when you get crazy with your home, you're giving away all your equity.

Yes, your home is your personal sanctuary.  You want it to reflect your taste and your style.  But if your design aesthetic is classified as "vampire chic," or if your idea of a fashionable home could be confused for a yard art sale you might want to take it down a notch.

Over-personalization is the great equity killer.  Your bright blue counter tops or strange floor plan configuration can be a turnoff to the average buyer."

Here are 8 ways to keep from committing equity killers.

1. Measure your family's needs against the "average" family's needs.

Don't know what the "average" family wants?  They probably want a fireplace, so before you go covering yours up, you might want to consider the ramifications.  If you really hate the fireplace, you can always configure your furniture so that it's concealed.  Your Realtor should be able to weigh in on smart—or not-so-smart—updates and renos.

2. Measure your likes against today's trends.

You may hate the idea of open plans, but not as much as you'll hate tearing down the walls you put up when you go to sell.

Have you ever wandered into an open house and wondered what the owners were thinking as you faced an ultra-modern kitchen or a futuristic fireplace?  These design choices will be difficult to sell to the average buyer with a more mainstream style.  It will take someone with a similar aesthetic to be interested in a home with such design specific features.  Keep that in mind when you contemplate any renovations.

If you just have to turn your dining room into a bedroom sans closet (which technically won't be considered a bedroom away), try to do so carefully.  If you protect the floor and also take precautions with the ceiling, HVAC, and any other critical elements in the room, you may be able to take the wall back down before you list your house with limited fuss.

3. Consider your neighborhood.

So you want urban style with concrete floors and exposed duct work but you live in a typical suburban single-family neighborhood?  That might not go over big.

Tamer changes that bring in an urban, sophisticated feel—and especially those that don't mess with the structure of the house—might be a smarter choice.  Concrete floors are fine, so long as you're willing to cover them when you sell, as your Realtor will undoubtedly recommend.

4. Be careful when changing out basic conveniences.

A three-car garage is a selling point.  A three-car garage that's been turned into an non-permitted Chicago Cubs-themed man room in a house with limited driveway space and no street parking…not so much.

5. And speaking of permits…make sure you get one.

Adding on without the proper paperwork can be a huge equity eater.  Non-permitted add-ons won't count toward square footage, which can affect your sales price.  An non-permitted addition or renovation can also cause your home to fall out of escrow once it's discovered by the seller.  And it will be discovered.

If you are considering purchasing a home with non-permitted square footage, you may have a problem with your appraisal.  When a home has a third bedroom that is non-permitted, it will usually show as a two bedroom in the tax records.  Because of this, appraisers will not value the home in the same way they would if the house had a legal third bedroom.  Instead, the questionable space will likely be valued as some kind of ‘bonus room.' In addition to appraisal issues, you may have problems getting a loan on a house with non-permitted additions if you are purchasing with specific types of loans such as FHA or VA loans

6. Make smart edits.

Just because you're always wanted a pool doesn't mean you should take up every inch of your yard to build one.  All pool, no yard could affect your resale value.

7. Trash the trash.

Live like a slob all you want, just not when you're selling your home.  Being messy and dirty will definitely affect your home sale.  And being unkempt to the point of destructive will only cost you.  For example, old crusty filters can harm your air conditioning unit, and a buyer will undoubtedly expect you to be on the hook for repair/replacement costs.

8. Don't indulge your theme fantasies for all to see.

Whatever you're style; it is fine for you … BUT please keep the personal decorations under wraps when you list your home.  Extreme homeowners are the one who uses their home as a showcase for their personal collections and favorite themes.  You don't want to be known as the weird house or the scary house.  Nor do you want to make changes to the home that would be so extensive and expensive to change back in the event you had to list your home.  If you're intent on personalizing to the extreme, despite the potential downside, it's best to keep anything that might turn off potential buyers to one space that can be easily be moved out when potential buyers are touring the home. 

If you would like a FREE market analysis of your home, we would be happy to do one for you.  We also offer Staging, which sells your home for 2-3% more than unstaged homes and in less time.  Staging WORKS!!!  It is a proven fact.  It is not expensive and it helps you start the process of decluttering you need to do when you move.  It makes your home as appealing as possible to buyers and gets you more profit.  What’s not to love about that?

If you want to build, we offer General Contractor services as well.  We are truly a one stop shop.  We have a custom home for you to view where you can see ideas that are new, innovative and exciting.  This is a home the guys will want to see just for the expansive garage alone!  It is a Craftsman style with many green features.  Just give us a call.

  ENJOY the summer, relax, have fun and be carefree.  Call us for any and all real estate needs or questions.  Our full time agents are here to help!


Fields of Real Estate Sales & Construction
N2657 County Rd N
Appleton, WI 54913
Office (920) 358-9003  Fax (920) 687-0358
Kris' Cell (920) 707-3002
Judy's Cell (920) 242-0423
Contact us for more details!