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Today's Mortgage Rates in Wisconsin

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates plus current home buying and refinance advice for Wisconsin residents

Buying a home in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is one of those rare places that's rapidly becoming more popular, but still has affordable home prices. Especially if you're considering the university hub of Madison or up-and-coming Milwaukee and its suburbs, buying a home in Wisconsin can be a great investment. But, before you get going, there are a few real estate-specific laws Wisconsin home buyers should know about. In Wisconsin, only a qualified attorney is allowed to provide a home purchaser with legal advice. By law in the state, real estate agents, realtors, closing agents, and loan officers cannot give such advice. Both buyers and sellers will require their own lawyers to guide them through the buying and selling process. And it is rarely a good idea for both parties to share a lawyer. After all, the two sides have different interests, needs, and priorities. In The Badger State, there may also be certain property tax assessments and homeowners association (HOA) costs that become the buyer’s responsibility after an offer has been made and accepted. The only way to avoid these is to state otherwise in the sales agreement. State law requires that a seller provides the buyer with a completed disclosure report on the property’s condition within 10 working days of any offer being accepted by the seller. This has been the case since 1992 [Wis. Stat. Chapter 709]. However, questions still arise as to what issues need to be disclosed. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so it would seem are property defects. A seller may feel that a damp wall in the kitchen is a minor defect not worth reporting, whereas the buyer could find it a dealbreaker. So every buyer should make sure they go through the disclosure document with a fine-tooth comb. And, if there are any queries, then they should as their lawyer to raise them. As in every state that has such disclosure requirements, relying on these documents can be risky. Many prefer to commission a licensed professional to carry out a home inspection.

Refinancing a home in Wisconsin

Wisconsinites are generally helped rather than hindered by state laws concerning mortgage refinances:
  1. A 2013 act allowed the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) greater flexibility over refinances
  2. Another law says you can repay your existing loan early without any penalty when you refinance (Wisconsin chapter 428.207 Prepayment)
  3. And yet another law obliges lenders to record your settlement of a secured debt in a timely way (2013 Wisconsin Act 66)
All these have made life easier for homeowners who decide to refinance. Of course, Wisconsinites are still subject to federal laws. But they’re as free as those in other states to find a great refinance deal and carry it through with few barriers.

Refinancing due to divorce

One group that can have problems are those who wish to refinance during divorce proceedings. These sorts of issues are common across America. One scenario involves the spouse to whom the court awards the marital home falling behind with mortgage payments. The lender goes after the other spouse, who assumes the court order lets him or her off the hook. But it generally doesn’t. In Wisconsin and elsewhere, court orders are binding only on the parties to a case. And those don’t include lenders. As far as they’re concerned, their contract with the people who signed the mortgage application still stands. If a situation like this ever affects you, you may have to work with your lender to avoid harm being done to your credit score. And you should get back into court to resolve the issue, perhaps by forcing a sale of the home.

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