8/1/14 Milwaukee Condo Foreclosures Short Sales

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

How attractive are foreclosures and short sales to a condo buyer?

Bottom line. Buying a foreclosure or short sale can be a long, drawn out affair. Definitely not for first-timers.

Goal #1 of a buyer? Find a condo that meets current actual needs – at a reasonable price – on your own time table.

So why can’t that happen with a short sale?

Cuckoo time table goes out the window.

Cuckoo time table goes out the window


Because the tables are reversed. The bank, not a seller, owns the property. The buyer making the offer waits, and waits, and waits (catching the rhythm here?) for months, often six months, at the behest of the bank. The buyer time-table goes out the window and must be completely open-ended, usually playing havoc with decision making.  A more typical length of time between offer and closing on a conventional purchase is six weeks.

By the time the bank gets what it’s owed on the property, you could probably find something well priced in the open market. Plus, there simply aren’t that many condo foreclosures in Milwaukee. When the bank finally decides to accept an offer, it still must grind through its own internal processes toward a closing. Attorney advice time? Strongly recommended, adding to final buyer costs.

And even after closing, that buyer is still left with a property that could need work before occupancy, remembering that no unit maintenance was done during the long foreclosure process, even within a condo building with ongoing, routine maintenance.

Buy in haste, repent at leisure. Forget scoring the  – questionably in the long run – best deal in town. It’s challenging enough to find a unit to like and want to live in, without the obstacle course set up by the foreclosure process.

7/4/14 Should I rent a Milwaukee condo from a condo owner?

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

If you’re thinking about renting a Milwaukee condo, as opposed to an apartment, keep this in mind.

Typically, the goal of an owner is to sell, not to be a landlord. If the property remains on the market for sale during the life of the lease, you’ll be expected to accommodate showing appointments from potential buyers. That means keeping your place presentable. (Of course, that’s how it looks all the time, right?) So try and negotiate a lease stipulating no property showings, at least until the last month of the lease, if you’re not re-upping.

Also, be aware that condo association rules govern rentals. A minimum one year lease is standard, and often requires prior approval. As a resident, you’ll be expected to follow association rules, as laid out in those condo documents. Make sure you know the scope of what you’re getting into before signing on that dotted line.

On the condo tour

On the condo tour

Want some help finding a rental? Shoot me a message with your anticipated monthly rental range and move-in time, approximate location, or whether you’ll be bringing along a Fido or Miss Purr. If you’re unfamiliar with Milwaukee, I do offer a free, no obligation, area tour.


5/1/14 Rent Milwaukee Condo on East Side, 1 GA parking included-RENTED!

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014


$1195 per month. One underground parking space is included in the rent. Twelve month lease required. One month security deposit required.

Quiet, three storey, conveniently located, Upper East Side building at corner of N.Farwell and E.Belleview. On the #30 bus line, handy to UWM, a few blocks to grocery, shops, and the beach.

The accessible building has a locked lobby door, an elevator, and a coin operated laundry facility. The rent also includes heat, water, and trash collection.

Third (top) floor, north-west facing corner unit. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath. Living room and hallways feature maple flooring. Newer windows with side screen ventilation, and wide windowsills.  Window treatments included. Mature evergreen trees soften views.

Both bedrooms have newer berber type neutral carpet and floor to ceiling double closets, some with built-in shelving.

Kitchen features GE Profile refrigerator, stove, and microwave. Sink with disposal, maple cabinets, under cabinet lighting, hinged breakfast bar, and easy care floor. Window air conditioner in living room.

Unit offers multiple storage options. Double closets in both bedrooms, closet at entry, double closet in kitchen hall, built-in glass-fronted China cabinet, plus linen closet in bathroom hallway.

One pet (no exotic) 10 pounds, or under, will be considered with an additional $50./per month.

For more information about this or other rentals, or for a private showing, please call Paul Kurensky 414 – 807 – 7599

2222 Belleview #305 built-in China

Glass-fronted china cabinet at breakfast bar


2222 Belleview #305 Kit sink

Breakfast bar, maple cabinets, sink with disposal









Sunny, west facing bedroom

Sunny, west facing bedroom


BA has wood floor, ceramic tile shower

BA has wood floor, ceramic tile shower


Wide window sills and sliding windows for ventilation

Wide window sills and sliding windows for ventilation


Bedrooms have neutral berber carpeting and double closets

Bedrooms have neutral berber carpeting and double closets




3/14/14 Get a $1K credit on Third Ward rental by May 1- New Photos! – RENTED!

Thursday, March 6th, 2014
Desirable Third Ward rental available May 1. If rented by May 1, receive $1,000 credit towards first month’s rent. Negotiable lease period.4th floor, 2 BR 2 BA, 2 storey loft unit with wall of east facing windows illuminating kitchen, living (19 x 11), and dining area. Sliding door and transom to balcony (4 x 16). 401 foyer thru BA2 to BR2, LR401 BBar thru LR to BR2, loft
Two bedroom suites, one on each level. Lower , walk-thru BA with shower stall is located between entry foyer and 2nd BR. This (13 x 13) carpeted BR has a walk-in closet and also connects with living area.Upper carpeted MBR (12 x 17) MBA lofted suite also features the unit’s second balcony, plus two, Jack and Jill style walk-in closets, and the laundry room.401 MBR sliding door to balcony401 Upper second entry into laundry
401 MBR from laundry room
Two hallway entry doors, one on each floor of the unit. Foyer entrance with additional workspace and double closet. Upper entrance into utility/laundry room.
401 MBR suite MBA Jack and Jill
Kitchen features granite island breakfast bar, stainless appliances, and maple cabinetry. 401 LR to Kit, BBar
See floorplan for additional layout details.
Two floors of living space

Two floors of living space

401 spiral connects floors
Pets allowed with a deposit. Parking available per month in heated garage with car wash bay.
Building amenities in the Gaslight include elevator, and both fitness and clubrooms. There is a secure street level lobby entrance. Attached GA entry into lobby and elevator area.401 secure street entrance
Please call Paul for an appointment to view.


3/1/14 Milwaukee condo rentals. Milwaukee condos for sale. Milwaukee condos property management.

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

At CondoMilwaukee.com, my locally based business, I receive inquiries every week from potential condo buyers and condo renters.


I also assist condo owners with renting out their units, for a reasonable, one-time finders fee. A rental option helps with monthly expenses while owners relocate, their ‘for sale by owner’ condos linger unsold, or they can’t afford to sell at current market values.


Interested in renting out your property to one of my inquiries?

Milwaukee MLS offers a residential rental service, listing properties available for short, or for long term lease. Condo Milwaukee has immediate access to that latest information available, updated daily.


Interested in exploring the possibilities of setting up a property management plan?

As well as arranging rental leases, I also offer property management services.

I specialize in a menu of management options, personalized for each condo owner’s needs.
This service is especially helpful when a condo owner lives out of town.

For a monthly fee that varies by situation, this includes, but is not limited to, such options as:

* house sit vacant units

* act as liaison between owner and tenant

* check potential renter history and employment

* perform minor maintenance tasks

* arrange services for regular maintenance or required repairs

* oversee maintenance and repairs

* inspect unit on move-in, move-out

* handle emergency situations

* offer current information about comparable units for sale or for rent


You can contact me using any of these options.


Rental info on website:


Cell: 414 – 807 – 7599

E-mail: paulkurensky@CondoMilwaukee.com

Check out my Linkedin profile here:


If your unit is already listed for sale with a real estate agent, please disregard these possibilities.

2/13/14 Milwaukee Lenders and Realtors speak

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Today, at a meeting of R.E.A.L., lenders reported an upward trend in applications for mortgage pre-approval.  The consensus was that, as far as they were concerned, it was business as usual, and that the much discussed new ‘qualified mortgage’ wasn’t all that much different than the process they’ve always followed strattera adhd. So they urged agents to advise buyers not get their backs up about required documentation. The information required of potential buyers was essentially the same as before. And, the increase in applications suggested to them that activity will pick up in spring, that is of course if it ever arrives. The attendant at the filling station was muttering today, in the midst of a snow squall, that he really wanted to get his hands on that groundhog.

At the same meeting, realtors shared stories about their recent experience with buyers and sellers, agreeing that openness to questions about the process were the key to a successful relationship. This reminded me of the wisdom of a dedicated kindergarten teacher who observed to me that for her each new September brought in a whole new group of children whose only similarity was their age, that every child seemed to break the mold of students in the previous class.

It’s the same thing for me with clients. Just because after twenty years in it I’m overly familiar with the wonderful world of Milwaukee real estate doesn’t mean that they are. So if it seems as though I have too many talking points, the goal is to draw out the questions that buyers, especially newbies, may not even know they have. Some imagine that it’s cut and dried, assume that they know the roadway. Those folks often land into some unanticipated potholes, run into roadblocks. It’s so important to get to the place where it’s comfortable to ask those ‘stupid’ questions all of us are afraid to ask out loud. It’s a hackneyed phrase but it likely will be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. So negotiate it, smoothly, with all the expertise you can find.

When waiting takes its toll

Waiting, taking its toll



2/8/14 A Mortgage Loan, or Water Under the Hoan?

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

Though Mr. Dodd and Mr. Frank have upped the ante for getting a mortgage, some of the basics are still the same. When those ownership bells start ringing in your ears, remember this list. The sooner, the better. It takes awhile to establish the good credit you’ll need when you apply for that mortgage loan.

Demonstrate that your finances are as sound as that house you’re hankering for. Take these steps toward your dream home.

Pay all your bills on time, all of the time.

Hold off on any other major purchases and debts, especially with credit cards.

Hold on to that well paying, steady job.

Start – and keep on – saving toward your down payment.

Don’t let your good intentions drift away, like water under a bridge. Get closer to a view from your downtown Milwaukee condo.

Water under the bridge

Water under the Hoan




2/7/14 What’s your QMIQ? What’s it got to do with a Milwaukee condo search?

Thursday, February 6th, 2014


The buzzword – or in this case, buzz letters – in real estate this year. They stand for ‘Qualified Mortgage.’ Very simply put, a mortgage that’s qualified or prepared, and for those qualified buyers issued, under an exacting process. The rules for this type of mortgage went into effect in January.

The advantage is the possibility of a lower interest rate and a more secure mortgage.

The disadvantage is the qualifying process itself. Not only more information but more detailed information must be provided to the lender before a final financing approval.

These new rules apply for condo loans, too. But there are other sound steps to follow, as well as applying for a loan. Get a copy of the Executive Summary for the condo association where you’re interested in buying, before you make an offer to purchase. You can also ask to review the condo docs., and minutes of association meetings. When you do make an offer, as part of the process, the seller should obtain updated documents for the buyer, though some might need prodding to follow through. Prod. It’s vital information.

The 'docs' a.k.a. Condominium Documents, a buyer's Bible

The ‘docs’ a.k.a. Condominium Documents, a buyer’s Bible

There’s a new hurdle, in the shape of the ‘Condominium Project Certification,’ set up by HUD (the federal Housing and Urban Development agency) to determine types of mortgage eligibility. To be completed by the management company or by an officer of the condo association, this details the number of units currently completed, owner occupied, or rented within a project. It also covers such details as litigation, commercial percentage, and delinquent condo fees and is subject to frequent revision, as these parameters frequently change. Some buildings don’t conform to guidelines for FHA warrantable condos.

I’ve attended seminars on this subject, and for the average or first time buyer, it’s complicated.

Your best move? Now more than ever, meet with a lender as soon as you start to think about an upcoming property purchase. Work out the financial details in advance to avoid delays and frustration down the road. Use your own bank’s lending service or meet with other lenders to learn all your loan options. I can recommend local lenders with whom I’ve had successful transactions who are up to speed on these new regulations.

When you do this up front, your condo search will be faster and more productive.



1/28/14 SOTM – State of the downtown Milwaukee condo market

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014
Gold Coast panorama

Gold Coast panorama

Here’s an update on current status of the downtown Milwaukee condo market, as of the first of the year.

Unit sales are up, by about 10%.

Inventory is still shrinking, and stands about half of what it was in 2011.

The greatest unit sales increase was in the $400,000 and under portion of the market. This accounted for just over 80% of the unit sales.

We are now seeing units that didn’t sell in 2011 and 2012, some of which spent a year out of the market as rentals, now being re-listed. And some of these are getting an offer to purchase within a relatively short time. One unit in particular, at an upscale building in the Gold Coast, first came on – then lingered in – the market in 2010,  was rented for a year, was recently re-listed and then had an A/O (accepted offer) in just 12 days.

Call me to discuss your own options, buying or selling, this new year. I’m always open to your questions.


1/20/14 Milwaukee condo home alternative

Monday, January 20th, 2014

A condo alternative is a single family house with more of an adult oriented floor plan plus the upgrades you’d expect to find in a condo.

Here’s one in the City of Milwaukee that’s newly priced – at $150,000 – to sell. It’s a model home, never lived in, built as part of a re-development that stalled out during the housing downturn. The developer is moving on and it’s an opportunity to buy a finished new construction house at once.

Lloyd ext main (Small)

In the recognized Josey Heights neighborhood, across from the Lloyd Street school, the Bayberry model features lower maintenance exterior hardplank siding, a 2 car garage, concrete walks, front yard landscaping, and a back yard. The interior has 9 ft. ceilings, oak woodwork, air conditioning, and a full basement of additional living space.

Lloyd ext chimney long

There are 3 bedrooms upstairs, including a master bath suite with balcony, plus 2 additional bedrooms and another full bath. There’s a handy half-bath on the main floor and a laundry closet upstairs. The floorplan includes a formal dining area, a den with gas fireplace sharing the kitchen, and an additional sunroom bay from the living room.

For more details, or to arrange an appointment to view the property, please call 414-807-7599.