MILWAUKEE -- The three rules of real estate: location, location, location, have new meaning.
Newly obtained data obtained by TODAY'S TMJ4 & 620 WTMJ from Milwaukee's Fire and Police Commission reveal that 344 MPD officers and 157 MFD firefighters now live outside of the city limits. That averages out to about one in five in each department.
"Some people literally move two doors down or across the street into their desired municipality," realtor Betsy Shock tells TODAY'S TMJ4. "They say Wow,I'm not required to live somewhere anymore. We naturally tend to [a particular town or city] for entertainment or amenities and we want to be closer to that."
The restriction was first lifted by Governor Scott Walker in 2013, which prompted many city employees, including police officers, firefighters and MPS teachers, to leave then, even as the rule change mired in court for three years.
Shock says she along with her colleagues at FirstWeber Realtors have had several calls from MPD officers ever since the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled against residency requirements on June 26.
"I think they're moving south (to places like Greenfield and Oak Creek), for sure," Shock adds, "There are people who move out of the county because of lower property taxes."
The good news for Milwaukee is that as people are selling their homes here, there is high demand from prospective homebuyers.
According to the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors(GMAR), 2,313 listings have been bought so far in 2016. That's more than this same time last year (2,047) and 2014 (2,015).
Additionally, GMAR reports that many neighborhoods have reached, or are close to, pre-recession levels.