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Homes for Heroes

Homes for Heroes in Wisconsin!

Homes for Heroes is a national program dedicated to providing extraordinary savings to heroes who provide extraordinary services to our community each and every day, when they buy or sell a home.

HeroesInWisconsin.com_-300x222.jpg?width=300Who Qualifies?
-Active Military
-Healthcare Workers
-Law Enforcement

What are the savings?
Savings will depend on the sales price of the home. As an example, a $300,000 house would receive over $3,000 in credits and discounts from all the participating affiliates and vendors involved.

What does it cost me?
Nothing because it's FREE. There is no cost to you. All costs are covered by your local participating vendors.

Can I buy any home and in any area?
Yes. This is not a government program with limitations or restrictions. This is the private sector giving back simply as our way to say Thank You for all that you do every day.

Are there any other benefits or savings after my transaction is done?
Yes. Through the "Friends of Heroes" Network participating vendors will offer discounts on various other services such as moving, storage, pest, lawn care, plumbing, electrical, cleaning and remodeling to name a few.

Are there a lot of extra applications, forms or some future obligation?
None. The Homes for Heroes Promise is:
-No hidden fees 
-No red tape 
-No catch

How do I find out more?


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Short Sale Real Estate Agents in Fitchburg, WI 53711

Fitchburg, WI Short Sale Real Estate AgentsAre you looking for a Fitchburg Wisconsin Short Sale Realtor®or real estate agent? Rock Realty is a real estate brokerage that specializes in Short Sales and Bank Owned Foreclosures in the Fitchburg WI area.


My name is Michael Collins, broker for Rock Realty. I have completed the Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource training and have been given the SFR designation through the National Association of Realtors®. Feel free to contact me directly at 608-921-8536 for help with any of your short sale questions. I have helped many Fitchburg home owners with their distressed property needs.

REALTORS® who have earned the SFR certification know how to help sellers maneuver the complexities of short sales as well as help buyers pursue short sale and foreclosure opportunities. The certification program includes training on how to qualify sellers for short sales, negotiate with lenders, protect buyers, and limit risk.

A Certified Distressed Property Expert® (CDPE) is a real estate professional with specific understanding of the complex issues confronting the real estate industry. Through comprehensive training and experience, CDPEs are able to provide solutions for homeowners facing hardships in today's market.

What is a Short Sale?
A short sale occurs when a lender agrees to take less than the amount owed to payoff a loan as an alternative to foreclosure. Lenders know that it will cost them a significant amount of money to take a property back. The Realtors® at Rock Realty can often convince them that they will be better off financially if they sell the property now rather than taking the home through foreclosure and trying to sell it later. So, a short sale can actually be good for the bank. It can also be good for the home owner, as it is typically better to perform a short sale on their Fitchburg property instead of letting it proceed to foreclosure.

If you are considering the possibility of a short sale for your Fitchburg Wisconsin home and have further questions, feel free to visit the short sale information page below.

Is a Short Sale right for My Home?

Additional Short Sale Information

Rock Realty SOLD Short Sale Listings
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PDF Version of this article - 10 Underwater Homeowner Options

Slipping toward foreclosure can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and loss of self-esteem. Don’t give up. There are options available to help millions of homeowners rescue themselves from the brink. Since it is crucial to act before a foreclosure takes place, now is the most important time for you to review the following options and solutions.

As a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), I am trained in assessing all foreclosure alternatives and pursuing the best solution for your own financial situation.

1) Short Sale


A short sale allows the homeowner to avoid foreclosure, minimize financial damage and move on from a burdensome, unaffordable mortgage. In many cases, a short sale allows the borrower to qualify for a new mortgage in just 24 months, as opposed to five years or more after a foreclosure.

A trained real estate agent can help facilitate a short sale with your lender if you have three qualifications. First, you must show some type of financial or personal hardship. Second, you must have a monthly shortfall, meaning your monthly expenses are greater than your monthly income. Finally, you need to prove that your debts are greater than the value of your assets (certain investments, property, etc.). These requirements may differ per lender, so check with a distressed property specialist for specific information from your mortgage company.

2) Reinstatement

A reinstatement is the simplest solution for a foreclosure, however it is often the most difficult for homeowners to achieve. The homeowner simply pays the total amount past due (including late fees) to the lender. This solution does not require the lender’s approval and will “reinstate” a mortgage up to the day before the foreclosure sale.

3) Forbearance or Repayment Plan

A forbearance or repayment plan involves negotiating with the mortgage company to allow the homeowner to repay back-payments over a period of time. The homeowner typically makes current mortgage payments in addition to a portion of the back-payments owed. This option requires lender approval.

4) Mortgage Modification

A mortgage modification involves the reduction of one of the following: the interest rate on the loan, the principal balance of the loan, the term of the loan, or any combination of these. These changes require lender approval and typically result in a lower payment for the homeowner and a more affordable mortgage.

5) Rent the Property

This option does not require lender approval, but does require the homeowner’s ability to rent the house for enough money to cover the monthly mortgage payment.

It is important to remember that there may be unexpected costs associated with the maintenance of a rental property in addition to the monthly mortgage payments. Homeowners should take this into consideration when deciding whether this option will work for them.

6) Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure

Also known as a “friendly foreclosure,” a deed-in-lieu allows the homeowner to return the property to the lender rather than go through the foreclosure process. Lender approval is required for this option, and the homeowner must also vacate the property. Deed-in-lieu can potentially lessen the damage to a credit score and future loan eligibility, and sometimes the lender will forgo their right to pursue a deficiency judgment, meaning the homeowner will not be responsible for further payments.

7) Bankruptcy

Many have considered and marketed bankruptcy as a “foreclosure solution,” but this is only true in some states and situations. This does not require lender approval, but you must have non-mortgage debts that you claim as a hardship.

Entering bankruptcy can be a risky and costly process. Be sure to seek the advice of a qualified bankruptcy attorney when pursuing this as an option.

8) Refinance

As opposed to mortgage modification, refinancing means you will be acquiring a new loan based on your current credit standing. If you have already missed mortgage payments, your credit score may make it difficult to find a loan with cheaper payments.

9) Sell the Property

Homeowners with sufficient equity can list their property with a qualified agent who understands the foreclosure process in their area. Unfortunately, many homeowners in today’s market have experienced a decline in home value and may owe more than what the home is worth.

10) Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

(Military personnel only)

If a member of the military is experiencing financial distress due to deployment—and that person can show that the debt was entered into prior to deployment—he or she may qualify for relief under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The American Bar Association has a network of attorneys that will work with servicemembers to help qualify them for this relief.

Pull Yourself Back From the Brink

If you are on the edge, you have no time to waste. Call me today; I’m here to lend a hand.

CDPEReflectionLogo-300x300.jpg?width=300Place Your Confidence in CDPE

With the right assistance, the stress of facing foreclosure becomes manageable. CDPE- designated agents have received the knowledge and training necessary to assess all possible foreclosure alternatives and pursue homeowners’ best options. A CDPE- designated agent attends several days of intensive, thorough training on foreclosure avoidance and how to help facilitate a short sale efficiently and ethically. The highly regarded CDPE logo means you are working with the most informed, up-to- date resource available.

Michael Collins, CDPE, SFR, BPOR
Broker - Rock Realty

If you are wondering if a short sale might be right for your home, please visit our Short Sale Home Evaluation page.

Is a Short Sale right for my Wisconsin Home?

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photo credit: QuidnuncQuixot via photopin cc

Home Prices in Madison Show Improvement

Lots of good news about the Wisconsin real estate market has come out over the past two months.  Home prices are beginning to improve, homes are selling a bit quicker and foreclosures are down.  All of this points to improvement in the real estate market.  Listed below are some facts about prices in Madison based on various parameters.

Overall, home prices have been growing steadly since April of 2012.  The following chart, provided by Trulia, shows the average sales price across all types of homes

Home Prices in Madison picture 1

Although home prices have not returned to the average of $196,000 like it was last year, it is getting close. When comparing home prices at different tiers, Madison is staying ahead of the rest of the state in all three tiers.  The following charts are from Zillow.  This first chart points out two facts.  First, the average price for a home in Wisconsin in the upper tier is around $232,000.  However, for Madison the price is approximately $295,000.  This points to the continued growth in the Madison area.  Secondly, while the average price in this tier only increased 0.2% for the state of Wisconsin, in Madison the price improved by 1.6% 

Home Prices in Madison picture 2

For the middle tier pricing, the average price in Wisconsin is $142,000 compared to $187,000 in Madison.  This tier has also seen an increase from the last quarter, although not as strong as the higher tier.

Home Prices in Madison picture 3

Although the bottom tier in Madison has not shown as strong a price increase as the rest of the state, it is still moving up, which is a good indication.

Home Prices in Madison picture 4

When looking at homes based on size, there is even better news all around.  Homes at every size in Madison have shown increase in value over the past few months, as evidenced by this chart from Trulia.

No. Bedrooms

May - Jul '12

3 months prior

1 year prior

5 years prior

1 bedroom





2 bedrooms





3 bedrooms





4 bedrooms





All properties





Based on these figures, the average price across all home sizes has increased an average of 4.5% in the past three months.


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Front-Yard-e1357247853719.jpg?width=300We are happy to announce the closing on another one of our short sale listings, this time in Madison, WI! This was a Bank of America negotiated short sale. Bank of America has made many changes to make their short sale process easier and more efficient. Short sale transactions can be complex, but if you have an experienced Short Sale Realtor® the process is much more manageable.

This was a beautiful home, at a great price that the new owners are sure to enjoy! If you are thinking of selling or buying a short sale home in Wisconsin, our short sale specialists would be happy to assist you. Give Rock Realty a call at 608-921-8536.

Is a Short Sale right for my situation??

If you are considering the possibility of a short sale for your home and have further questions, feel free to visit the page below:

Is a Short Sale right for My Home?

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Foreclosure Listings
photo credit: BasicGov via photopin cc

Number of Foreclosures Showing Signs of Decreasing

The number of foreclosures in July 2012 is 10% lower than the amount from July 2011. Finally, it looks like the real estate market is making solid improvement. In fact, July 2012 is the 22nd month, in a row, to show a decline in foreclosure activity when compared to the same period from the previous year.

Overall, there is a 20%+ decrease in the annual number of homes being taken over by banks. The trends are taking place in at least 38 states as well as Washington, D.C.

As a whole, the nation is seeing that one home out of 686 homes is either in foreclosure or on the verge of repossession.

In comparison, Wisconsin shows one home out of 701 is facing foreclosure. Coupled with the news from last month that housing prices are on a steady rise; it does seem that the real estate market is getting back on the right track.

What does this mean for Buyers and Sellers?

In order to see how this is a good thing for both buyers and sellers, we have to look at the big picture. Fewer homes facing foreclosure would indicate that people who were out of work, or working at below average wages for their skill set, are now finding better paying jobs. The better jobs obviously are resulting in more money, aiding these families to get current on their bills. This would indicate the overall job market is improving. A better job market means more potential buyers that can purchase a home. That is great news for people who are in a position to sell a home.

The same type of facts has an impact on people looking to buy a home. An improving job market is good for those people that were out of work, fresh out of college or working at a job that was enough to pay the bills while they searched for a better option. More employment translates to more income, leading to more savings and an improved ability to pay for a mortgage.

What remains to be seen is the impact these improvements will have on the lending industry. One of the main problems that led to the real estate crash is the loose requirements that were in place allowing almost anybody access to a home mortgage. It is doubtful that mortgage lenders will return to those kinds of practices. However, it is a good assumption that lending rules will ease a bit in the coming months to help borrowers take advantage of the unprecedented rates that we have experienced for the last 3 years.

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Marshall Short Sale ClosingWe are happy to announce that last week we had another successful Wisconsin short sale closing, this time in Marshall. As you have likely heard, short sale transactions can be complex, and an experienced Short Sale Realtor® is a must.

This was a great home that the new owner is sure to enjoy! If you are thinking of selling or buying a short sale home in Wisconsin, our short sale specialists would be happy to assist you. Give Rock Realty a call at 877-774-7625.

Or, if you are considering a short sale for your home, feel free to fill out our no obligation

Short Sale Home Evaluation Form

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