2014, I’m confident the courts will rule in your favor regarding the residency
you deserve. Suffice it to say that the MPA has fought long and hard for this
change in law and despite the Mayor’s continued blatant failure to follow the
law, you will persevere in the long run. He will be left, once again, licking
his wounds, more worried about razing foreclosed properties and going door to
door with a ridiculous co-sleeping campaign, than dealing with the real issues
that make Milwaukee a safe place to live.
digress for a moment…………….
many years, while residency rules were in place, I helped employees from many
city departments move their families out of Milwaukee while they maintained a
legitimate residence within the city limits proper. Throughout the years, I
came to understand personally the issues and potential risks associated with
city workers doing this because IT WAS NEVER CLEARLY EXPLAINED BY ANYONE WHAT
IT MEANT TO ACTUALLY LIVE IN
MILWAUKEE! At that time, there were archaic guidelines from the 80’s and 90’s
that were still being used to determine an employee’s primary residence. It was
a so-called high stakes “game” that was being played where the rules were set
by Internal Affairs and the rules are always changing as they saw fit. It was
completely subjective whether or not an employee was living in Milwaukee and
THEY DETERMINED if a violation was taking place.
risk was the employees’ pension. It was not a lifestyle that many city employees
wanted to participate in, given this risk, even though many had thought about
it and wanted to do it.
the success and happiness of the families that actually decided to move out,
and in following up with the city employees about any regrets or mistakes with
their decision, I became one of those employees as well.
After a few
years of contemplating doing it myself and having seen the many other families
that had already made the move, along with researching the different
communities, my family decided it was time for them to move.
2002, my family moved out of Milwaukee, while I spent the last 6 years of my
career still living Milwaukee. They settled in the Town of Waukesha (excellent
schools, country living, low taxes and close enough, yet far enough away) and I
settled in around the Serb Hall area.
background in real estate, having helped these aforementioned families and my
desire to give my kids a better education, word must have quietly and quickly
spread because I had more city employees contacting me than ever before about
this whole “moving out of Milwaukee” issue. After hearing what I had to say
about the pros and cons, many city workers moved their families out, some did
As one city
employee put it, I had become the unofficial “underground”
to Gov. Walker’s passage of the residency law, and none of these issues and
concerns apply to anyone today who wants to make a better life for themselves
and their families.
But there are
still some important things that need to still be considered if you’re
contemplating moving out of Milwaukee.
been considering or have already decided to move out of Milwaukee, but are
waiting until the lawsuit is settled, that’s understandable. But there are
things you should consider doing right now that will put you in a position of
advantage when it’s time to” make the move.” Before I get into my 3 key points,
you must know that outside of Milwaukee proper, real estate didn’t take “as
big” a hit in value and currently prices are quickly moving back up and it most
areas, it is now a seller’s market. That means that, as a buyer, you will be in
somewhat of a disadvantage when it comes to offering a price on a property.
Just keep this in mind as you read on!
3 key points
The 1st and
best piece of advice I have for you is to get your financing preapproved.
local mortgage company and stay away from the online lenders or those who
advertise on TV and who require you to mail away your sensitive documents. Lender
preapprovals only last for 90 days, so it may seem a little premature to do so,
given the pending lawsuit, however, preapprovals are routinely extended if
nothing has changed in your financial life. Not everybody finds a new home in
90 days so having to extend the preapproval is “usual and customary” stuff.
preapproved starts with having your full credit report pulled to make sure
nothing appears on it that shouldn’t be and that your scores are where they
need to be. The “free” credit reports aren’t going to work in this situation.
You should have the credit report pulled from a reputable mortgage company.
Believe me when I tell you that these reports are completely different than
those “free” ones we all here about.
report pulled, the preapproval process begins and usually takes less than 2
days to complete. A full loan application is taken; including income and asset
verification and all is submitted to the lender. Once preapproved, the lender
commits to borrowing you “X” amount of dollars and sets that money aside for 90
days. If you buy within that time period, the money is available to you. If you
don’t, the preapproval expires and can be resubmitted WITHOUT A NEW CREDIT
REPORT for a fresh 90 preapproval.
The 2nd thing
that should be done is determining how much new home you can afford and where
you’d like to live. Obviously, Milwaukee isn’t in the equation for you, thanks
to Tom Barrett taxes and failed MPS, among other things.
where another conversation needs to take place. There are many factors that
need to be taken into consideration. The discussion will include things like:
what’s my time frame, how much house can
I really afford, what’s my current house worth, should I sell first and then
buy, am I even able to afford a new house, where are the best schools, etc.
situation is personal and these questions and concerns are best addressed
during a meeting. During the meeting(s), either in person and on the phone, or
both, a plan of action can be developed and put into place.
communities and neighborhoods will be determined and the likes, needs and
desires of the new property should be established. Once complete, any available
properties in the MLS (multiple listing service) that meet as many of your
requirements as possible will be emailed to you. The MLS system is the system
Realtors use to list and find properties.
entered into it, you will receive live updates about new properties that come
on the market and/or any price changes. The biggest advantage for you during
this step is going to be that you can now begin to effectively monitor and
visit different properties in desired communities and get to “know” the nuances
of each area and property you look at. It doesn’t hurt to get out there and
actually start looking at properties so that you are prepared and educated when
it’s time to write an offer.
thing that needs your attention depends on whether it’s determined you must
sell your existing house in order to buy a new one outside of Milwaukee. Many
times, this is the case because most people, including cops, can’t afford both
mortgages and even if they could, they don’t have the down payment money needed
to buy the new property. Buying in the surrounding counties is NOT at all like
buying a home in Milwaukee. There are separate and distinct considerations that
must be addressed such as well/septic, surveys, etc.
like these, my recommendation is to hire a full service Realtor at a reduced
listing commission. They are hard to find but do exist. I have several
reputable agents that I can recommend to help you sell your Milwaukee property.
time to buy, you should be using the services of an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent. By
using 2 different agents, one to sell your Milwaukee property and one to help
you with the new property, you avoid the potential conflicts of interest that
abound in the real estate world.
especially important when you are the buyer, specifically because the market
has turned in favor of the sellers, especially outside of the City of
Milwaukee. You are going to want to make sure your interests as a buyer are
being looked after, especially when the system is designed to protect the
seller’s best interests.
So to offer
a quick recap:
waiting for the lawsuit to be settled, your financing will have been
preapproved and waiting in the background.
have time to research your interested communities even further and will be
receiving MLS listings of properties that you can actually look at.
finally, you’ll have set yourself up with a full service Realtor to list your
Milwaukee home when you’re ready to do so and you’ll have a different Realtor,
who is an exclusive buyer’s agent, and probably several new properties that you’ll
want to look at while the lawsuit is settled.
decide the time is right for you to buy outside of Milwaukee, by taking these 3
easy steps, you will be in a much better position to get the home that you want
on terms that are beneficial to you as a buyer.