Whether you've used public schools, private schools, vouchers, or any other means necessary, you're now working on your residency at The Medical College of Wisconsin, and you need a rental property for while you're in the Milwaukee area. Great. Just like navigating the best schools, finding a suitable home is key for you and your family. Many residents will purchase a house and then sell it again, but let's take a look at some of the numbers involved so that you can make a decision based on your needs.

Buying a house will cost you some decent money. Houses near Froedtert cost anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000. If you have a family, you're going to want one that will cost at least $150,000. If you want a nice yard for the kids, then expect to pay closer to $200,000 for a three-bedroom ranch in the area. Sure, you can go all-out and pay Wauwatosa prices in Ravenswood, but since you won't be making your true salary until later on, it's a good idea to stay out of that kind of debt right now. Taxes in Milwaukee for a $200,000 ranch near Children's and The Medical College will run over $4,000 per year. Most of the houses will also need some work, and you'll never get 100% back on any updates you make, but let's just say you spend around $1,000 a year on that. Now your "investment" is starting to look a little more like a pit. Add in closing costs ($2,000) and interest payments ($4000/yr) for a house you'll have less than a four years, and it starts to make less and less sense, especially since you pay more in interest early in a loan, something the realtors and bankers seem to overlook.

After several years of use, you're going to have to sell the place again. Paint might not be enough to get it ready to sell. What if you need a $20,000 roof? And because you'll be busy getting ready for the real job of providing for your family where your career awaits, you won't have time to sell it yourself, so you can be sure to spend around $12,000 on a real estate agent to do the selling for you.

So, let's say you spend four years in Milwaukee going to school. You bought a $200,000 that stayed stable in value (because that's what they do in the area), spent about $18,000 in taxes, $18,000 in interest and closing, $4000 to $20,000 in maintenance, and then $12,000 in order to sell it again. Best case scenario, you'd get about $150,000 return on your "investment" of $200,000. Basically, you'd be paying $50,000 to live in the house for four years. What if the Emerald Ash Borer gets to a few trees on your property? $10,000 to take them down (and this is a REAL problem in WI right now). A new roof? $10,000.


I live near The Medical College of Wisconsin, and I've seen resident after resident throw money away in this fashion. Lots of new roofs, new rec rooms, and new debt for no real reason, since it's a three to four year stint, and that roof will last at least twenty years for someone else. Those people are spending as much as $100,000 on renovations for a house that will make another buyer happy but will never return the investment.

Instead of buying, you could rent the same $200,000 house for $2000 or less a month. The total for four years would be less than $100,000, but it would be locked in at that amount. I know, someone in the back of the room wants to discuss all the equity you build because you heard Suzy Orman talk about it. Yes, you might pay $1000 each month into the paying down of the debt of the house, and sure, it will be that much more your house when you sell it, but you paid the $1000 per month, so it's not like equity is built by magic. In an area where home values stay fairly constant, building equity in buying a house you'll only own for a few years is a total myth. You are an intelligent person who does not believe in myths, only value for what you spend.

If you want in on the best rental home available near The Medical College of Wisconsin, take a look here: http://satisfamily.com/resources/people-and-places/291-homes-for-rent-near-medical-college-of-wisconsin .

Jacksonville News

New Jax Witty

Articles, reviews, advice, and legitimate research to go along with some back-handed comments. Think of us as Jacksonville's mother-in-law.
  • How Long Does Google Take To Update Streetview After Taking Photos?
    19 Days and Counting

    We've all used Google Maps, and most of us have used the little yellow guy to access Google Streetview. In this mode, Google tells you when the images were taken. I'd never really questioned how long Google takes to get that new image onto the Google Maps website. Luckily, I have the data I need in order to figure it out for my own neighborhood.

    I have a camera that records each vehicle that passes my house. I don't normally look at the images, but I just happened to be testing the system recently. I saw a Google Streetview vehicle passing my house within the recorded images, and the timestamp means that I can accurately determine how long it takes Google to update one specific street (as long as I visit the site every single day to check on the progress). Even if it takes me a few days to figure it out, we'll get a good ballpark estimate.

    The Google vehicle passed my house on April 29th, 2019, which you can see in the image. A Monday at 10:53AM. As I begin this article (May 18th - 19 days), the streetview for my block has yet to be changed, but I'll update right here at the first sign of a change _______________________.

    It's actually odd that my block needs a new streetview, since the last one was done in December of 2018. The one before that had been March of  2011. So why was the Google car in the neighborhood again? Maybe it's because some areas of my neighborhood are still stuck in 2011. Perhaps the new images didn't all get uploaded properly in 2018, so I was seeing a do-over. I actually hope Google uses the new-new images, since my lawn had some disease issues in December of 2018. Come to think of it, since home-selling websites use Streetview, I wonder if there's a way to request a certain version or a retake for after your cousin moves his RV out of your driveway.
  • Roadside Knife Stand - Only in Florida
    My wife was driving through central Florida when she got to see something that surprised her, even though she's now lived in Florida for a couple of years: a roadside knife stand. I have to admit, I was even a little taken aback. My first question for her was whether or not she took a photo of the stand, which she did not. I'd seen oranges and other edibles before. Nuts, watermelons, etc. Shrimp, even. And you'll see people set up yard sales right out to the street, maybe with antiques (or just old junk). There was a place along Locust in Milwaukee where you could pick up a used appliance right from the sidewalk, which was a little odd, but you can apparently get cutlery along a state highway in Florida.

    My understanding is that anyone who sets up on public property along the road would need some kind of a permit to sell. Even the homeless in Jacksonville are supposed to have a permit to ask for money. I will assume that this guy had said permit from the local jurisdiction. If he didn't, I would not think that a knife stand would last very long along a state highway. Unless, of course, he was the off-duty local sheriff.

    If this man had been selling fruit instead of blades, he would have fallen under the Florida Cottage Food Law, which allows him to sell with:
    no license, inspection, or training from the ag department.
    That's good for up to $50,000 in Florida, and I am sure if you can make a little more than that in cash, no one's going to notice.

    I found some information about roadside fireworks stands and roadside flower stands in Florida, but knife stands were not really addressed. Probably because no one ever thought someone would sell knives along a highway in our state. However, I think that just about anything will be attempted at some point in Florida, so there probably does need to be some kind of regulation as to what can and cannot be sold along the roads. Like guns, exotic animals, and probably fireworks (which are basically illegal to shoot off anywhere in Florida). 

    The best bet is to resist your temptation to stop and check out the inventory. When no one stops at your (hopefully) illegal roadside stand, then you don't set it up too often in the Florida sun.