New Home Under Construction

We are pleased to announce that construction is currently underway on a beautiful open concept split bedroom home within walking distance to schools.

Amenities include first floor laundry/mud room, open concept kitchen/great room with huge walk in pantry.  Master bedroom with large master bath with large shower, walk-in-closet and linens.  Roomy second and third bedrooms with full bathroom between.

Estmated completion Aug. 2014.
Directions to the property:
Lineville Road West to Right on Northwood to Right on Flowering Peach to Left on Luxury Drive.  House is on Left Side of Road


Thinking About Building?

Many times when you are looking to purchase and existing home, you become frustrated that you cannot find a home that fits your lifestyle.  Maybe, the floor plan isn’t as open as you’d like, or the kitchen is too small, or you don’t like the backyard, or perhaps you would like a first floor laundry, open shelving, or a large pantry.

It certainly is true when building new that you also must make choices and compromises but at least those choices and compromises are yours.  You can decide what features in your home are important to you—and we will help you do that.

If you are thinking about building here are a few reasons why you may want to consider PhD Homes:

PhD Homes specializes in building homes under $250,000.

We think it takes more thought and effort to be creative with a smaller budget and footprint.  We have a very talented designer to guide you through the process of creating a whole home you can be proud of—that meets your needs and isn’t the same old same old.

You can also count on us to find the most competitive pricing we can without sacrificing material quality or workmanship.

With PhD Homes, you will have access to a team member who is an appraiser and he can help suggest ways to get the most value out of your home.  For example, a two story bonus room properly done is often a smart way to add inexpensive square footage to your plan.  Or perhaps a well thought out basement will allow you to create additional useable square footage

PhD Homes works to make the process easy. 

We make sure all our suppliers and subcontractors are paid on a timely basis and give you lien waivers at or before closing so you don’t need to worry about a contractor’s lien.  Not all builders, especially larger builders do this as they often times use cash flow from one job to pay another job.  I know, as I have worked for large builders who often times did this.

We communicate honestly and openly with you and all of our trade partners.  We maintain frequent contact with everyone and do our best to think through the plan with you before construction begins so that there are no surprises and we reduce the possibility of costly change orders.

We can help you find a building site, obtain financing or even sell your home at a reduced commission.

If you are interested in building please give us a call.

Limited Service Closing Fee

Most realtors, title companies, financing companies, inspectors, appraisers, and other 3rd parties are used to dealing with listing agents when the property is on MLS whether the property is limited or full service.  So our realtors are dealing with calls or e-mails on amendments, contingencies, forms, scheduling and communications from 3rd parties whether the seller (or PhD) wants this or not.

Importantly, it is both in the seller’s interest and ours that the transaction goes smoothly through closing.  Our involvement helps ensure that.

Keep in mind a few things when evaluating the fairness of this fee:

First, we only charge this if the property goes to closing.  In other words, if we assist putting a deal together that is, for example, contingent upon a home sale or a variety of other reasons and the property doesn’t end up closing no fee is charged.

Second, compare this fee to the alternative.  First, most other real estate brokers charge a listing fee and a substantial administrative fee that together is thousands of dollars.  Our total fee including getting the property on MLS, coordinating the transaction including use of our earnest money account is less than $1,000.

Third, the coordination of a typical real estate transaction excluding showings is often very time-consuming.

Fourth if a seller (or even an unpaid seller friend, cousin, brother-in-law, etc.) with little real estate experience tries to handle all the issues that can and do come up as they work through the process and steps get missed, forms are improperly completed, deadlines are not met, etc. then this will eventually reflect poorly on PhD Homes & Real Estate and result in the likelihood of other agents NOT showing PhD properties which isn’t in the interest of us or our clients.

Finally, if a seller has another realtor that can help them with the transaction our suggestion would be to consider having them list the property.  Often the issue then becomes the national brokerage company will require a full service commission which will be much more expensive.

In conclusion, the clear advantage in working with PhD on limited service listings is a low entrance fee and a less than market closing fee with full service only paid at closing which can be negotiated as part of the purchase price.

Administrative Fees

Administrative fees.  Add on fees.  Transaction fees.  Processing fees.  Broker commission fees.

Well, let me say right off the bat that whatever you want to call it PhD Homes & Realty doesn’t charge add on fees.

You can read plenty of information on the internet about buyers who are surprised at closing when they see these additional and unexpected fees show up on the settlement statement at closing.

Why are buyers surprised?

Most buyers work with real estate agents on an informal basis and only sign an agency agreement when making an offer at which time there are several forms to complete and so the administrative fee clause is easy to miss.

Most buyers are under the assumption that the agent is working for free for them (the commission the buyers agent earns typically comes from the listing agent).

Sometimes the administrative fee doesn’t even show up on the good faith estimate provided by the bank when pricing the mortgage.  Rather, the buyers agent administrative fee first shows up on the complex settlement statement given to both parties at closing.

Finally, many agents of brokers (think large real estate companies) are not happy these fees are charged to their clients but cannot waive them unless the agent wants to have these fees deducted from their commission.


Seller Financing

Land Contracts have come back in vogue as lending standards have tightened. Land Contracts are a form of Seller financing. In a summary, the buyer pays the Seller in installments over a period of time until the total purchase price is paid in full.
In Wisconsin, a land contract buyer is deemed to have “equitable title” upon signing the land contract.
This means that, for all intents and purposes, the Buyer owns the property and the seller owns a right to get paid.
This is why the seller should think like a bank by asking for credit reports, payment history, income, assets and liabilities and require a non-refundable down payment.
Why would a seller offer seller financing as an option?
The short answer is: the seller needs the money, needs the sale, and needs it now. Most land contracts are structured so that the Buyer will make payment for a number of months and then make a balloon payment at the end.  A typical land contract might have the Buyer making 24 monthly payments of $1500 (principal / interest / real estate tax and insurance) and then paying the balance in full at the end of the second year.  If the buyer cannot make the final payment through refinancing the seller gets the property back and the buyer loses their down payment.
Why would a buyer purchase a property through a land contract instead of a traditional mortgage?
The buyer cannot meet the lender requirements because they have started a new job, are self-employed, went through a recent bankruptcy, or has insufficient dollars for a down payment
Certainly, a seller should have confidence the seller will be able to get financing at the end of the land contract. Keep in mind a buyer with poor credit is more likely to incur judgments or tax liens that could attach as liens on the property. Once this happens, the seller’s only way to remove those liens (in Wisconsin) is to have them paid or to foreclose on the property.
Finally, keep in mind only a licensed Broker or Attorney can draft a land contract on behalf of another in Wisconsin.