Madison WI Real Estate Blog

How to Sell Your Luxury Home in Madison

Once a property hits a price tag large enough to be labeled as "luxury" the process for selling becomes a bit different. If this describes your home, selling it means you need the right agent, the right listing and the right marketing.

Choosing your Luxury Real Estate Agent

Not all real estate agents work with luxury properties. However, just because an agent has never worked with a luxury property doesn't mean they won't try to take your listing on. When it's a high dollar home, some agents can become blinded by the possibility of a very large commission.

As the owner of the home, you need to be aware that hiring an agent with experience in selling luxury homes in Madison will go a very long way. Luxury listings require a different type of marketing than an average home, which not all agents are able to provide.

Make sure to interview the real estate agent you're planning to hire before singing any paperwork. Ask them questions, such as:

  • How will you go about marketing my home?
  • Have you sold any other luxury homes in the Madison area over the past year?
  • How much do you plan to spend on marketing my luxury home?
  • Will you hire a professional photographer for my listing pictures?

Make sure you ask any other questions you may have before you hire the real estate agent right for selling your luxury home.

Getting a Great Listing

Your agent will make a huge difference when it comes to the type of listing you will have. If they don't plan to hire a professional photographer or don't have one on staff, you may not get the type of...

Upcoming Event: Madison On Tap

The 4th annual Madison on Tap event will be held this year at the Alliant Energy Center. This is the largest craft beer festival in the area with more than 150 types of craft beer and over 70 breweries on hand. You can enjoy all kinds of samples and plenty more at this fun event.


With more than 70 breweries on hand, there will truly be something for everybody. Some of the top breweries coming this year include:

  • Abita Brewing Company
  • Alesmith Brewing Company
  • Ballast Point Brewing Company
  • Boulder Beer Company
  • Cider Brothers
  • City Lights Brewing Company
  • Evil Twin Brewing
  • Furthermor Brewing
  • Great Lakes Brewing Company
  • Lake Louie Brewing
  • New Glarious Brewing Company
  • New Holland Brewing Company
  • Southern Tier Brewing Company
  • Stone Brewing
  • Two Brothers Brewing Company
  • Upland Brewing Company
  • And Many More!

There will be plenty of beers available for sampling and some breweries will bring limited edition choices for the event.

Music, Food & Fun

Along with the beer, there will be plenty more at this year's Madison on Tap event. Primitive Culture will be performing throughout the event and plenty of great food will be on hand. You can also enjoy all kinds of games including Kan Jam, Corn Hole, Crown Hole, Ladder Golf and more!


Tickets are currently $35 if you buy them before February 25th. After that date, they go up to $40 and if you wait until the day of, the price will be $45. You can also purchase VIP tickets for $55 if you get them before the end of February 25th. Designated Driver tickets are also available for just $10.

The general admission tickets will...

Upcoming Event: Madison Build, Remodel & Landscape Show

This weekend, Josh Lavik & Associates will have a booth at the Build, Remodel & Landscape Show at the Monona Terrace Convention Center. The show will last three days and will give all in attendance the opportunity to connect with experts in many different areas. Whether you're looking to buy or sell a home or you're interested in home improvement advice, this is the event for you.

Event Highlights

Throughout the show, there will be several excellent events you can attend including:


A number of seminars will be held covering many different topics from geothermal heading for your home to outdoor living space. Get expert advice on the project of your choice by attending one of the many show seminars.

Monona Terrace

As the only convention center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the venue for the Madison Build, Remodel & Landscape Show is something special. Enjoy this legendary building with incredible design features found all throughout.


Throughout the show, many beautiful landscapes will be on display from companies throughout Madison. Enjoy the displays from Olson Toon Landscaping, The Bruce Company, Moyer's Landscaping and more!

There will be plenty of great things to enjoy all throughout the show this year. Along with the many seminars and landscapes, a number of home improvement and remodeling companies will be on hand to answer questions and provide information about the services they offer. You can also come out and visit the Josh Lavik & Associated booth for information about buying or selling...

Upcoming Event: International Festival 2018

More than 30 free performances will be on the schedule for the International Festival 2018 . The event will be held at the Overture Center for the Arts and will provide plenty of incredible culture and heritage. In addition to the performances you can enjoy incredible world cuisines, arts, crafts and so much more.

The International Festival is all about art and culture. It's a community event perfect for those looking to indulge in all types of different cultures. There will also be many local businesses on hand.


The list of performers is rather long with more than 30 taking the stage this year. These artists call Dane County home and will put on quite the show at the Overture Center. The list of performers for this year includes:

  • Ali Jamnia
  • Dana
  • Cris Plato Trio
  • The Handphibians
  • Last Gaspe
  • LuLu Swing
  • Madison Maenerchar
  • Mesoghios
  • Red and Black
  • Sadira
  • Swiss Alphorns
  • Bratovchedki
  • Yid Vicious
  • Zaibas Lithuanian Dancers
  • And More!

There will also be special presentations from Microlending with Working Capital for Community Needs, International Reach-UW Madison and Literacy Network's Bhutanese Refugee Mural.

In addition, you can attend Ladysmith Black Mambazo after the event for $25. This special performance will include plenty of fun and will be held at 8pm in Overture Hall.

The Vendors

Along with the performers, the event will include a number of vendors for arts, crafts, food and more. The list of vendors includes:

  • Akarim African Enterprises
  • Cafe Costa Rica
  • East Timor Action...

What Timeframe can you Expect When Selling a Madison Home?

When you're ready to sell a home in Madison, Wisconsin, you'll likely want to know what to expect. One of the biggest concerns for sellers is how long it will take to get the home sold.

Currently, the statistics show the average home will spend about 30 days on the market. This is very, very low compared to the history of the local market.

What if my Home isn't Average?

Maybe you think you have a home that's not average, so you're hoping it might sell a bit faster. It's very possible to sell a home very fast, if it's well-maintained, isn't in need of renovations and has been staged well. Homes located in desirable areas will often sell even faster.

Now, on the other side of things, if your home is considered a luxury home, it may take longer to sell. The luxury real estate market isn't the same as the average real estate market. Often, luxury homes take longer to sell because the market for these homes is smaller.

How will the Price Impact how Fast my Home Sells?

The listing price is one of the most important factors in selling your home quickly. It seems like a lower price would get your home sold faster, but this isn't always the case. In fact, a lower listing price could make buyers think there's something wrong with the home.

Just like the story of Goldilocks you need a listing price that's just right. If the price you set is too high, you'll scare off buyers. If it's too low, they may think something is wrong with the home. Finding that perfect middle ground will ensure your home sells for a fair price and quickly.


WI57 | The Real Estate News | Josh Lavik | Keller Williams |1/10/2018

Josh gets right into the hot market in Sun Prairie and talks about a few new listings. He also covers some of the more established and very popular neighborhoods found in Madison. One of the properties he mentions is right off of Atwood Avenue.

Josh also talks about some of the research he's been doing on the lakefront homes found throughout Madison, Wisconsin. If you're looking to buy or sell in the Madison area, contact our team today.


A Quick Look at the Universities & Colleges in Madison, WI

If you're considering moving to Madison, you may not have considered the Universities and Colleges located within the city. Even if you're children are only in preschool and you have no plans to go back to college, the universities and colleges still matter.

Often, universities include attractions open to the public and regular events. Some colleges will also offer events and attractions. In addition, if you settle in Madison for the next 15 years, you could have children headed off to college. In-state tuition is often far cheaper and most parents love the idea of their children staying close to home.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison

The largest option is the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This university is a world-class research university and more than 43,000 students attend classes every year. In addition, it's home to the Chazen Museum of Art and offers a number of athletic programs as a part of the Big Ten Conference and the WCHA.

The campus is also home to the School of Medicine and Public Health, the Discovery Building and so much more. Visiting the campus will also give you an opportunity to enjoy the Allen Centennial Garden, Wisconsin Memorial Union and the Babcock Hall Diary Store.

Check out some of the UW highlights here.

Edgewood College

A Catholic college found off the shores of Lake Wingra, Edgewood College is the only independent liberal arts college in Madison. About 2,800 students attend the school every year and it has a lively campus.

The school has become...

What's the Reality Behind those 'Must-Have' Features?

Homebuyers should always create a list of the features they need and want in a home. However, it's also important to go through a bit of a reality check before you start shopping for a new home in Madison.

While a needs and wants list is a great tool for you and your real estate agent, you cannot use this as a recipe for your dream home. If you try to do this, you'll be disappointed with your search. Here's a quick look at some of the in-demand home features throughout Madison.

Multiple Bathrooms

Most buyers are looking for homes with multiple bathrooms. However, many of the older homes in Madison don't have multiple bathrooms. You could find one that does have a second bathroom, but this may be something you have to create out of a different room in an older home.

Main Floor Family Rooms

It's not easy to find a main floor family room in Madison. Most likely, these family rooms are going to be found in a new construction home or an older home that has been remodeled.

Finished Basements

While many buyers want a finished basement, these are not exactly a normal feature in Madison. Some basements don't have the drain tile or sump pump necessary and many have water problems. However, basements can be finished, if this is something you really do want.

Other in-demand features include:

  • Single-level homes
  • A garage
  • The right school district
  • Walkable neighborhoods
  • Formal dining room

If you think you have to have every single one of these features or even a large amount of them, you will be...

Top Home Loan Types Found in Madison, WI

For most home buyers, taking out a loan or a mortgage will be necessary. With that said, it's important to understand the most common types of home loan you will find when shopping for a home in Madison, Wisconsin. Here's a look at the top choices for your mortgage.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage or ARM

The ARM is a very popular choice for a home loan because it provides a low teaser rate. It's best for those looking to buy a home, but not looking to stay for more than five or maybe ten years. This type of mortgage can also work well for those struggling to qualify for a fixed-rate loan. It can also be refinanced into a fixed-rate loan in the future.

An ARM will have a rate that will remain fixed for a few years, and then can adjust after that. It can adjust up or down, depending on the market rate.

Fixed-Rate Home Loan

Maybe the most common type of home loan, the fixed-rate loan is straight-forward and easy to understand. You're quoted a rate that will not change over the life of the loan. This means, your mortgage payment will never change. As long as you don't refinance this type of mortgage, your payment will always be easy to predict.

VA Loans

If you're a veteran of the United States military, you likely qualify for a VA loan. This loam program is open to anybody serving 90 consecutive day during war time, 180 days during peacetime or 6 years in the reserves. You may qualify for a no money down mortgage with this type of loan.

FHA Loan

The FHA loan program or Federal Housing Administration loan program offer a lower down payment...

Upcoming Events at the Overture Center for the Arts

The Overture Center for the Arts provides plenty of unique and fun events all throughout the year. They hold everything from top comedians to ballet presentations. Here's a look at some of the top upcoming events at the Overture Center for the Arts.

FrostiBall 2018 - January 27th

This premier night out event provides a fun evening for couples to enjoy with the Upbeat Orchestra, plenty of great cocktails and all kinds of art enthusiasts under one roof. The event helps to benefit the Overture Center for the Arts and will provide plenty of fun.

Tickets range from $75 just for the ball or $150 if you want to attend the after party. DJ Pain 1 will provide entertainment starting at 11pm for the after party.

GobSmacked! - February 8th

An incredible and very popular a Capella group with beatboxing will perform at the Overture Center for the Arts on Thursday, February 8th. This group has sold out shows across London, Edinburgh and Hong Kong before making their way to the United States.

Tickets range from $25 to $50. The show will feature the reigning world champion beatboxer Ball-Zee, along with many others.

International Festival - February 24th

A wonderful festival celebrating the culture and heritage of many in the community, the International Festival will include 30 free performances. The performances will come from artists that call Dane County home. Enjoy cuisines from all around the world, check out the incredible arts and crafts and take in the many great shows. 

RAIN - A Tribute to the Beatles - March 7th

celebrating the 50th anniversary of the release...

The Madison Planning Commission is Back to Work

After taking the holiday season off, the Madison Planning Commission is back to work with plenty of projects to consider. They went into the first meeting since the holiday season began on Monday, January 8th and here are some of the projects up for approval.

Madison College South Campus

Located at 801 West Badger Road, this project includes a south Madison campus, which will be built in phases. Due to a grant from the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates, the project will end up being a full 75,000-square-foot campus.

The project will take up about 4.35 acres of land and will include demolishing the current building to make way for a new two-story building. It will include classrooms, academic support space, wrap-around services and social services. Construction is expected to start sometime this year.

Brennan's Market Site

Located at 5533 University Avenue, the Brenne's Market site offers a place ripe for development. Realm Real Estate Development, LLC has proposes creating a mixed-use space with 52 apartments and 8,100 square feet of commercial real estate on the first floor.

Neighbors have voice concerns about the project's size and the traffic it could bring to the area. They have also stated they would like a larger buffer between the building and the street along University Avenue.

After the concerns from neighbors, the project was adjusted to include 56 apartments, 5,600 square feet of commercial space and 89 parking stalls. The developers also increased the setback for more green space with about 30 feet of it from the street to the building.

After making the adjustment, the Spring Harbor Neighborhood Association stated they will not oppose...

Which Madison, WI Buildings are the Tallest?

Madison, Wisconsin is filled with tall buildings; some commercial and some residential. Skyscrapers going up in Madison stared back in 1915 when the Churchill Building was completed. This was followed by the State Capitol, which was completed in 1917.

While the buildings in Madison cannot be massively tall like in other cities, it hasn't stopped developers from trying. Madison has a building high restriction, which keeps buildings from rarely going above 160 feet. However, the tallest building ever proposed as the Archipelago Village Tower, which was proposed at a height of 570 feet. It will likely never be constructed, however.

Due to the boom of high-rise buildings throughout the mid-to-late-2000s, the list continues to change. However, right now, here's a look at the tallest buildings in Madison.

Tallest Buildings in Madison, Wisconsin

The tallest building in Madison is the Wisconsin State Capital. It stands 284 feet tall with five floors and was constructed in 1917. Outside of Milwaukee, it's the tallest building in the State of Wisconsin, too.

Other Madison buildings standing more than 160 feet tall include:

  • Van Hise Hall on the University of Wisconsin-Madison Campus - 243 feet tall
  • UW Engineering Research Building - 184 feet tall
  • UW Atmospheric Oceanic & Space Sciences Building - 180 feet tall
  • State Office Building - 177 feet tall
  • University Square Office Building - 164 feet tall

All, except...

WI57 | The Real Estate News | Josh Lavik | Keller Williams |12/13/2017

In this episode, Josh discusses the New Construction Promo going on right now. He also introduces a property on Jackson Street, which was gutted down to the studs before renovations made it into a nearly new choice on the market today. He also introduces another property found on the East Side on Atwood Avenue.

Josh also introduces a loft-style condo found just south of Downtown Madison and another very affordable single-family option found in Stoughton. If you're looking to buy or sell in the Madison area, contact our team today.


Top 4 Financial Resolutions for the New Year

If you're considering buying a home in 2018, getting your financial house in order should be high on your list. Even if you don't plan to buy or you just purchased a new home in 2017, it's a good idea to go into the New Year with a few financial resolutions. Here are a few of the top financial resolutions to consider for the New Year.

Review Your Insurance Coverage

Often, there are holes or gaps in your insurance coverage. Whether you didn't get a large enough policy or your home has gone up in value, you could be carrying insurance that doesn't fully protect you.

Take the time to go through all your insurance policies, including home, auto, liability, health and even life insurance. You may even want to add long term care protection, if you're over the age of 55. As you look at the policies you carry, make sure you're fully covered. In addition, consider filling in the gaps by adding coverage you don't currently have.

Set Savings Goals

Maybe your goal is to be able to purchase a home by the end of 2018. If this is the case, you may want to set savings goals for the down payment, closing costs and other financial obligations you will be faced with.

It's a good idea to save for your emergency fund, as well. Since you'll have a new mortgage payment, it's best to ensure you have three to six months’ worth of bills in the bank, along with your down payment before you make a home purchase.

Create a Budget for Each Month

Starting the year with a plan will go a very long way when it comes to your finances. Setting up a budget, even if you make plenty of money, can help you to keep track of where you're spending money...

Top 3 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Costs Throughout the Winter

Wisconsin winters are known for driving up heating bills and making homeowners go crazy. However, you don't have to get stuck with high energy bills just because it's cold out. There are ways to keep your bills reasonable and reduce energy costs this year.

Install a Smart Thermostat & Climate Control

A smart thermostat will monitor the temperature of your home for you. If nobody is home for a large portion of the day (you're at work and kids are at school) why are you heating the home like everybody is home?

When you have a smart thermostat installed, you can set it to lower the temperature when nobody is home and increase the heat before anybody arrives home. Even dropping the temperature a few degrees when you're gone can make a significant difference.

In addition, you can take it a step further and add climate control to your home. This can allow you to keep the heat on in specific areas of the home and lower the temperature in those sections of the house when nobody is using them. Climate control can help reduce your energy costs and pairing it with a smart thermostat will give you a solid one-two punch.

Use Your Wood-Burning Fireplace

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, it can help you reduce the cost of heating your home. Light a fire and let the fireplace do the job and you'll be able to lower your energy bills throughout the winter.

Reverse your Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are not just for keeping you cool in the summer months. Most can be reversed...

WI57 | The Real Estate News | Josh Lavik | Keller Williams |11/15/2017

In this episode, Josh introduces a new promotion offering those looking to build $1,500 for furniture. In addition, he introduces a few new properties including a ranch-style home on the west side of Madison and one in the Atwood neighborhood.

Josh also talks about giving gratitude for all of the clients working with his team and introduces a few other listings. He has everything from a starter home to a penthouse condo on the market in this episode. If you're looking to buy, sell or build in the Madison area, contact our team today.


How can You Compromise During a Home Search?

Often, potential home buyers start the home search in Madison with an idealistic view on what they want and need. However, as the market has been favoring sellers for a while now, it's necessary for buyers to find ways to compromise if they want to find a good home, at a fair price.

Many home buyers in Madison have already missed out on properties because they didn't make an offer soon enough or the offer wasn't good enough. Making a few compromises can help you find the right property, at the right price. Here are a few ways you can compromise during your home search.

Consider a Higher Budget

Maybe you were pre-approved for a higher home loan, but you decided you didn't want to take the maximum offered. However, if you want the home of your dreams, you may need to expand your budget to support that dream home.

Maybe a Fixer-Upper Fits the Bill

While a fixer-upper can be scary, overwhelming and quite a bit of work, for some buyers, it can be worth it. This type of property may need some work, but if you can get it for the right price, the space can be transformed into the perfect option for your specific situation. In addition, there are some home loan programs that will not only financing the home, but also the repairs and renovations.

Set Your Priorities

Maybe you really wanted a very large house, but it's more important to be located close to the best schools and your place of employment. Considering a smaller home in the perfect location is one way to set your priorities and compromise on size or location.

Of course,...

One of the Best Metro Areas for Millennial is Madison, Wisconsin

Millennials are quickly taking over the world of homebuying as they become older and start families. This has driven many to relocate due to jobs, affordability and the livability of a certain city. Madison may just be high on the millennial list, too.

Recently, released a list of the top 75 metro areas for millennials in the United States. They looked specifically at jobs, affordability and livability. This including looking at both the sales price for homes and the average rent price for the areas.

Madison came in at #3 behind Pittsburgh and Provo, Utah. It was one of only three metro areas considered to have a perfect A+ score for a mixture of job market strength, housing affordability and livability of the city.

At the Top for Job Market

Madison ranked very high for the job market and even Nerd Wallet thought so when they ranked the city at the top of the "Best Cities for Recent College Grads" list.

The Apartment List article shows strong scores for Madison when it comes to the millennial unemployment rate, median wages and wage growth.

A Very Livable City

The highest score for livability in the entire country from Apartment List was given to Madison, Wisconsin. They surveyed renters to come up with this score and asked about:

  • Nightlife
  • Community Activities
  • Access to Parks
  • Weather
  • How Safe They Feel
  • Relationship Opportunities

After tallying...

How to Handle Dogs During a Home Showing in Madison

It's not uncommon that you will find advice on real estate websites telling you to have your dogs boarded or at least have them stay somewhere else when selling your home. This advice isn't bad, but it may not be the most practical way to handle your dogs when showing your home in Madison.

Boarding your pets the entire time you're trying to sell your home will get rather expensive. It can run, on average, about $25 per night, as long as your dog isn't large. This could end up costing you as $500 to $1,000 if you boarded your dog throughout the entire time you're trying to show and sell your home, assuming it gets sold within about a month.

There are other options for your dogs. Some of the most common, yet rather inconvenient options include:

  • Taking them to work during a showing
  • Moving out and taking your dogs with you
  • Leaving them with a friend or family member

While these may seem like good options, you may not be able to take them to work, unless you want everybody to hate you and risk losing your job. Moving out may not be an option, as you may not have found a place to live once you sell your home, yet. In addition, asking a friend or family member to watch your dogs isn't always a good option.

Often, the advice you will find about showings and your dogs will have you believing buyers won't purchase your home if you have pets living in it. This isn't always the case, especially with the market the way it is today.

It's a Seller's Market & You're Driving

If you have a good to great home, you're in charge if you sell right now. The market is currently favoring sellers and buyers are overlooking...

How You can Give Back During the Holidays in Madison

The holiday season is the time to start thinking about shopping for gifts, decorating and preparing for time with family. It's also a great time to consider giving back to those in need throughout the Madison area.

There are several ways you can give back during the holidays all throughout Madison. This year, maybe it's time to trim the budget for presents a bit and help someone in need enjoy a hot meal, help a child actually receive a present on Christmas day or help in another way. Here are some of the best ways you can help others during the holidays in Madison.

The Road Home Dane County

An organization helping the homeless throughout Dane County, The Road Home Dane County helps families with children find a place to live. However, when these families find a place to live, as much as 90% of their income will be spent on rent. This doesn't leave much for those other things we all need to survive.

You can help out The Road Home Dane County by donating the following:

  • Diapers
  • Baby Wipes
  • Razors
  • Soap
  • Gas and Grocery Gift Cards
  • Dish Soap
  • Bleach
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Toilet Paper
  • And More!

Get a full list of the items they need, along with the donation location and the hours here:

Neighborhood House Community Center

Many families throughout Madison don't have a winter coat, glove, hats or other things they need to stay warm. The Neighborhood House Community Center has a number of programs to help those in need this holiday season. You can participate in the Winter Wear Drive, the Holiday Gift Drive or even sponsor a family for a thanksgiving meal. Find out more by contacting them directly at (608)-255-5337.

Middleton Outreach Ministry...