Re-invent your life by moving downtown

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Many economists and political pundits don’t paint a very flattering picture of home ownership right now, especially in the downtown Milwaukee market, where several developments have recently experienced financial hardships.

But don’t be so quick to buy into the hype. Buyers of all age ranges and demographic groups continue to flock to the city center and seek urban housing. The diversity of the buying public speaks to the overall health of the marketplace. While some apartment conversions have suffered slow sales due to style and layout factors – good design and high-quality finishes continue to sell very successfully.

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The reasons some buildings downtown have encountered challenges have less to do with the mortgage situation than with basic supply and demand.

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When a new development comes into the market, say a large building with 80 units, construction can take up to 22 months. During that time, buyers normally absorb the units. By staggering project creation in the city, the growth is controlled and digested by buyers keeping the supply and demand in balance. But in 2006 and 2007, several large conversions entered the marketplace, putting hundreds of units up for sale immediately. One day a building has 273 apartments. The very next day it is being offered as 273 condos.

It was a natural market response for the selling pace to slow, based upon burgeoning supply.

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The infusion of additional units does not mean downtown Milwaukee is over built. The creation of significant supply all at once has simply extended the absorption timeframe.

So, why do buyers come downtown? Re-invention. No matter where people come from, a move to downtown Milwaukee gives them a second chance and the ability redefine their lives, their friendships and how they embrace each day. 

Time and time again, I have had couples tell me how a move downtown has strengthened their relationships and ignited passion and romance in long-term unions. Single people find it easier to make friends and feel rooted to the community through ready access to events and volunteer opportunities. There is a contagious energy that comes from connecting with the people we pass on the streets each day.

Suburban life is a terrific option for many, but others tell me they felt stuck in a rut. We can get comfortable with predictability, the same friends, the same restaurants and repeated patterns, which may lack spontaneity.

A move downtown takes you outside the box and opens doors to new adventures. The quintessential condo environment frees you from the burdens of maintaining a home and saves time for discovering all that the city has to offer.

When people move downtown, it empowers the entire Milwaukee metro area. Those who move to the city center traditionally spend money in the neighborhood, which enhances small businesses and the arts. This economic circle invigorates the region and encourages corporations to move their headquarters downtown. The circle completes itself.

Now is the time for buyers to continue Milwaukee’s economic evolution and consider a move downtown, where re-inventing your life is more than a room with a view.

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