housing

Google Streetview, Image from October 2015

The State of Wisconsin wants a rent-to-own company to stop operating here. Based in South Carolina, Vision Property Management draws people into deals to rent or lease houses with the promise of eventually owning them.

formulanone / Flickr

It’s hard not to see the many changes currently happening in the city of Milwaukee. From the torn-up streets making way for the new Milwaukee Streetcar, to the ongoing construction of the new Bucks Arena - the city is making a visible transformation, unlike anything seen in recent decades.

And it’s not just Milwaukeeans who are taking notice. U.S. News and World Report just ranked Milwaukee as one of the top three up-and-coming places to live in the country.

On the south side of Dallas, Nena Eldridge lives in a sparse but spotless bungalow on a dusty lot. At $550 each month, her rent is just about the cheapest she could find in the city.

After an injury left her unable to work, the only income she receives is a $780 monthly disability check. So she has to make tough financial choices, like living without running water.

Sue Vliet

Jackie Burrell is looking forward to living in a new apartment after the entire western section of Westlawn, the state’s largest public housing development, is torn down and rebuilt. Burrell said her unit, which was built in the 1950s, sometimes floods when it rains and mold is an ongoing problem.

Susan Bence

Milwaukee real estate prices are on the rise. According to a new report that analyzed apartment listings in major U.S. cities from June to July of this year, Milwaukee saw the highest average increase in the country.

One bedroom rental listings went from an average of $880 in June to just over $1,000 in July. That's an increase of 15%.

Sondem / Fotolia

Milwaukee County residents have not been able to apply for Section 8 rent assistance vouchers for the last fifteen years. However, as a result of changes in the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services Housing Division, the city now is accepting applications for the first time since 2001.  The application deadline is the end of the day today.

Phil Bernhagen

Turn on the TV just about any time of day, and you’ll likely to find a TV show about people doing home improvement projects. Many of them are trying to increase a home's resale value, and some of them are known as "house flippers," people who buy a home at a low price with the intent to turn a large profit on the property.

While it might seem like local home remodeling team John Kannenberg and Dave Jacob might fall into that latter camp, they believe their work in Milwaukee's North Shore is worlds away from "flipping." 

Ann-Elise Henzl

Milwaukee's old, abandoned structures can be an eyesore and a haven for criminal activity, and there is evidence that families sometimes live there.

Take the sprawling, former factory near 27th and Capitol.

"We know what's going on here but we can't do anything about it. All we can do is walk by and shake our heads," says longtime area resident Martha Freeman. She's seen the vacant structure deteriorate in the decade since its owners deserted it.

iQoncept / Fotolia

It’s a cliché to say that homeownership is the American dream. For generations, it was a milestone that people aspired to and generally went without question. But a storyline in recent years – especially following the burst of the housing bubble in 2008 – has been the reluctance of the millennial generation to adopt that version of the American dream.

Some factors that have kept millennials out of the housing market include waiting for job prospects and security to improve, paying off debts unique to their generation (such as student loans) and overall reluctance.

BillionPhotos.com / Fotolia

Last year ended on a positive note for Milwaukee’s real estate sector. The Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors reported the area had its strongest December for home sales since 2004.  It was the eleventh straight month home sales increased here.

At the same time, the latest numbers show some cautionary signs – especially for people trying to afford their first home.  Lawrence Yun is the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, and he adds some context to the discussion.

missty / Fotolia

Baby Boomers have been called the sandwich generation, often caring for their children and aging parents at the same time. Many people struggle to find the right way to talk with their aging parents about some tough family choices.

Many seniors resist a change in housing, even when they know they need to move. "It’s fear of going from a known to an unknown. You know the stores, you know the doctors, you know your neighbors. And then there’s the fear of the uncertainty of where you’re going. So what’s really behind it is not knowing what’s ahead,"Bruce Nemovitz says.

The Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors has released its July report on home sales for the four-county area, which includes Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties.

The report says 2,199 homes were sold in July, a 12.1 percent increase over July of 2014. Last month was the six month of positive sales, and the fifth month of double-digit sales.

The association says “buyers are out in force,” while sellers “are pricing their homes correctly,” resulting in a balanced market, in which neither the buyer nor the seller dictates a home’s price.

benjamin sTone / Flickr

Downsizing – no matter what the circumstances – is never an easy thing.

That’s especially true when it comes to helping loved ones who may be moving from their longtime family home into senior living or other arrangements. It’s something we have all either done, will do, or are doing right now – for our families or ourselves. 

Helping with that transition is the business of Wauwatosa native Anne Neafie. Golden Transitions specializes in estate sales – both to help downsize or to liquidate an estate.

Scott Paulus / Milwaukee Business Journal

The Milwaukee-based private mortgage insurer, MGIC, reported a fourth quarter profit yesterday. 

Bob Bach

Perhaps the most reassuring thing for some older adults and caregivers to hear is, "You are not alone."

Pages