Madison WI Real Estate Blog

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, ApartmentList.com 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
  • ...

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 ...

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: http://trhome.org/wish-list/

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...

Top Shopping Malls Near Madison, WI

Madison offers a number of great shopping options all throughout the city and the surrounding area. Whether you're looking for high-end options or local boutiques, you'll find it within the city. Here are some of the best shopping malls to enjoy in Madison.

West Towne Mall

Maybe the best mall in Madison, West Towne Mall is very convenient for those looking to complete their shopping at one place. You'll find everything from fashion to sporting goods here. The anchor stores include Dick's Sporting Goods, JCPenny and Boston Store.

Other stores you'll find at West Towne Mall include H&M, Pottery Barn, Ann Taylor, Buckle, Williams-Sonoma, Aeropostale, The Limited and much more. The mall also offers a food court and a few good dining options outside of the mall.

East Towne Mall

A very large and very popular mall, East Towne Mall offer anchor stores including Boston Store and JCPenney. This mall also includes Victoria's Secret, Barnes & Noble, The Gap, Bath & Body Works, Children's Place and many other shopping options. You'll find a food court here, along with many sit-down restaurants nearby. Some other large chain stores are also found near the East Towne Mall.

Hilldale Mall

If you're after a local shopping experience, Hilldale Mall is a better choices for you. Macy's and Metcalfe's Sentry Foods anchor this upscale mall, which is filled with specialty shops. You will find all kinds of items here including music, shoes, clothing, jewelry...

Top Holiday Events Coming Up Near Madison

The holiday season is one of the most popular times for great events throughout Madison, Wisconsin. From checking out the beautiful lighting displays to meeting Santa, there are plenty of great events to enjoy this year. Here's a look at some of the top holiday events coming very soon to the Madison area

Downtown Madison Holiday Open House - November 24th to 26th

From 9am to 4pm all three days, you can enjoy all kinds of family fun for the holidays. This event will include plenty of shopping refreshments and special offers from merchants. Enjoy Trolley Rides, Family Shows and all kinds of other Activities.

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas - November 21st to 26th

The Overture Center for the Arts will host the How The Grinch Stole Christmas musical with all the hit songs from the original animated series. It will be narrated by Max the Dog and will provide plenty of holiday fun.

Evansville Holiday Craft Fair - December 2nd

The 34th annual Holiday Craft Fair in Evansville, Wisconsin will be held on December 2nd from 9am to 3pm. There will be all kinds of items from collectibles to edibles to textile art to pottery and more. Santa will also make a visit from 12:30pm to 2pm and admission is just $1. The event will be held at JC McKenna Middle School.

Children's Holiday Party - December 10th

The...

Do Home Sales Just Stop When Snow Starts Falling?

Often, as the snow starts to fall, you'll start to hear that the best time to sell your home has ended. Many will start to say that it's a difficult time to put your home on the market, but this isn't completely true.

Selling your home in Madison, during the winter, comes with plenty of great advantages. Whether you need to sell or you just want to sell, it's still a great time to list your home and here's why.

Higher Chance of Selling in the Winter

A massive real estate chain conducted a study that actually found homes in the winter sell for a higher price and are more likely to sell. This even included those areas with very cold winters, such as Madison.

Less Competition

One of the reasons homes sell better in the winter is the fact that others sellers are considering the same thing you're considering right now. They may be thinking about waiting until the spring to list or they may even take their home off the market until the spring.

This means, in a market that already favors sellers, you'll have even less competition. You could end up with multiple offers due to the lack of homes on the market.

Some Buyers Have to Buy Now

Just because the snow has started falling doesn't mean buyers stop shopping. The winter is a very popular time for those looking for a home and some have no choice. Maybe their job is moving them to Madison or their lease is about to be up. Buyers are very motivated in the winter, especially with the possibility of an interest rate hike coming early in 2018.

The Misunderstood Winter Home Sales Fact

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A Closer Look at the Schenk-Atwood Neighborhood

Found on the Near East Side of Madison, the Schenk-Atwood neighborhood has certainly changed over the past few decades. This was once a blue-collar area with a few local businesses, such as A to Z Rental and Klinke Cleaners. However, the transformation has happened and this eclectic neighborhood is now known for as a vibrant place to call home.

Attracting a Younger Crowd

The Schenk-Atwood neighborhood has become very appealing for younger home buyers due to the many new businesses opening in the area. Local shops and plenty of unique restaurants have popped up making it a very cool place to call home.

The neighborhood does provide some diversity, however. It's still known for businesses, such as the Monona State Bank and others that may appeal to an older demographic. Many of the businesses throughout are locally owned, which is attractive for a wide range of home buyers.

Real Estate is Affordable

Along with the many things to do and places to go throughout Schenk-Atwood, the real estate prices are rather affordable. An average two to four bedroom home will sell for about $180K. Many of the homes are historic, as well.

The real estate makes this neighborhood a top choice for just about any type of buyer. Many of the business owners are in their 40s or younger, while plenty of families are moving in, as well. It's an appealing neighborhood for singles, professionals, families, couples and just about any other buyer on the market.

Plenty of Events

The ...

Best Historic Sites Found Near Madison, WI

Madison is filled with history. There are plenty of great stories surrounding the city and many excellent historic sites to visit throughout. Here's a look at some of the best historic sites near Madison, WI.

Unitarian Meeting House

Frank Lloyd Wright is a huge part of the history of Madison. The Unitarian Meeting House was designed by him in the 1940s. His family was a part of the congregation here and the structure is nothing less than magnificent. The building is found in a natural setting and offers design elements including wood, copper, limestone and glass. The Unitarian Meeting House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Mansion Hill

A small enclave found to the north of Capitol Hill, Mansion Hill was the first prestigious neighborhood in Madison. It was established in the mid-1800s with Victorian architecture throughout. The most prominent historic mansions are found here with styles including Victorian, German Romanesque Revival and Italianate.

Governor's Mansion

Found in the Maple Bluff area of Madison, this executive residence is located on the waters of Lake Mendota. It's a great example of Classical Revival architecture and provides nearly four acres of land to go along with the home.

The home itself stands three stories tall and was built in the 1920s. It was a private home until the state acquired the property in 1949. The home was used to house governors after an earlier mansion had been sold to UW-Madison. The home has 34 total rooms and you can take tours throughout the spring, summer and through the holiday season.

Wisconsin...

Top Upcoming Events for November 2017 in Madison

November is when it all starts. The Holiday Season is nearly here and many unique events are already on the schedule. Here's a look at some of the best upcoming events for November 2017 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Art & Craft Fair - November 4th

Held at Cambridge High School in Cambridge, WI, this Art & Craft Fair will last from 10am to 3pm on November 4th. Come out and get your holiday shopping started early!

Vegan Chili Cook-Off & Raffle - November 4th

The Madison Masonic Center will host this Vegan Chili Cook-Off & Raffle event from 5pm to 8:30pm on November 4th. Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for students and $5 for children under 12. A cash bar will be provided and plenty of chili sampling will be available, along with vegan hot dogs and desserts.

Christmas in the Country Craft & Art Show - November 11th

From 9am to 3pm, the Christmas in the Country Craft & Art Show will be held at Deerfield Elementary School in Deerfield, WI. This event will provide plenty of art and craft items for gift shopping. Lunch and refreshments will be available.

Holiday Craft Bonanza - November 11th

From 9am to 4pm, Mount Horeb Middle School will become the home for the Holiday Craft Bonanza on November 11th. This event will include plenty of fun, items for sale, a bake sale, a silent...

A Closer Look at the Midvale Heights Neighborhood

Found between Mineral Point Road and Beltline Highway, Midvale Heights is the largest neighborhood, by area, in Madison. It covers a total of 857 acres of land, which used to be prairie land filled with oak trees and tall grasses.

This well-established neighborhood has plenty to offer. It's a great location to enjoy some of the best attractions offered in Madison. Of course, Midvale Heights also has its own things to do, places to go and great restaurants to choose from.

Established Real Estate of Midvale Heights

Many people started to move into the Midvale Heights area in the 1940s, especially right after World War II. This was a time when many couples were looking for homes with a yard and several bedrooms. They wanted a place to raise a family and Midvale Heights was that place.

The neighborhood started to be developed around 1947 and development lasted until about 1870. Today, Midvale Heights is filled with both ranch and split-level homes. Many residents have been in the neighborhood for a long time, while new families have also moved in.

Shopping, Dining & More

Midvale Heights offers all the necessities with a HyVee Grocery Store found at Odana Road and Whitney Way. It's also a great place for eating out with several excellent restaurants, such as La Taqueria El Jalapeno, Luigi's Pizzeria and even the Market Grille inside the HyVee Grocery Store. In addition, residents enjoy coffee at EVP Coffee and ice cream at the Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream. Plenty of shopping and dining options are...

Top Yoga Studios Found Near Madison

Yoga has become incredibly popular, recently. It has been around for more than 5,000 years and many people are practicing it today.

With yoga taking over, many yoga studios have started to pop up around Madison. Here's a look at some of the top options for yoga near Madison.

Inner Fire Yoga  - 5003 University Avenue & 777 University Avenue

Inner Fire Yoga has two locations and provides a great place to practice yoga. They offer plenty of discounts for those just getting started and they are one of the most popular places for hot yoga in the area.

This yoga studio is known as a place for excellent teachers and a great facility. They offer both hot and cold yoga and cater to all skill levels.

Dragonfly Hot Yoga - Locations in Downtown, Middleton, Sun Prairie & Fitchburg

Catering to people of all skill levels, sizes and ages, Dragonfly Hot Yoga is the place for beginners. Your first visit will actually be free and a first-month membership is just #40. They even have a new student guide to help those new to yoga understand what they are getting into.

Earthview Yoga  - 834 East Washington Avenue

Earthview Yoga is found above the Festival Foods on Washington Avenue. It's a great spot for those looking to enjoy a large facility with a variety of classes. First time students can enjoy the introductory rates for the first month and anybody can take advantage of the drop in rate. You can also get special discounts for five-class, ten-class or twenty-class...

Neighborhood Spotlight: Mansion Hill

Younger home buyers have started to show interest in older homes, which has brought Mansion Hill into the spotlight in Madison. While this is known as a glamorous neighborhood, it's also one of the most historic areas in downtown Madison. The neighborhood is found between Capitol Square and Lake Mendota.

While Mansion Hill is the name of the neighborhood, this area of downtown has also gained nicknames, such as Big Bug Hill. This nickname came about back in the 1960s due to students flocking to the area when they didn't have to live on campus anymore.

A Prominent Neighborhood with a Touch of History

Mansion Hill is home to four Victorian Mansions found on the corner of Pinckney and Gilman Streets. This area of Madison is known as the place with the most intact Victorian homes in the city. While many were replaced with apartment buildings, some were saved due to the neighborhood becoming Madison's first historic district in 1976.

If you're just visiting the area, the Edgewater Hotel offers something special. It was built in 1948 and offers plenty of guest rooms, dining rooms and conference rooms for those visiting. Another option is the cozier Mansion Hill Inn, which is a very luxurious Victorian Bed & Breakfast found on North Pinckney Street.

While there are several great historic buildings and homes throughout the neighborhood, it's still known for students. Many UW students have left the older apartments for the luxury high-rises within the area. Langdon Street is still home to a number of fraternity and sorority houses, as well. Some students enjoy living in the older homes throughout the area, too.

Historic, Yet Appeals to Younger Buyers

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WI57 | The Real Estate News | Josh Lavik | Keller Williams | 9/13/2017

In the recent episode of Real Estate News, Josh Lavik discusses a few hot condos found in the Downtown Madison area. He also discusses a few affordable properties more suited for first-time home buyers or investors. 

Along with the properties Josh discusses in this episode, he also mentioned an upcoming event on October 21st for those looking to get into house flipping and real estate investing. Contact our team for more information on the event and make sure to contact us if you're looking to buy or sell a property in the Madison area.

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Top Options for Family Fun Near Madison, WI

Madison provides plenty for families to do, enjoy and have fun with. The Greater Madison area has so much to do from excellent attractions to unique events that it's hard to get bored here. Some of the top options for family fun throughout Madison are found below.

In the City

Plenty of attractions in the city will provide something great for both kids and adults to enjoy. Some of the top choices include:

  • Madison Children's Museum - A great choice with an indoor play area, plenty of exhibits and all kinds of fun for all ages.
  • Wisconsin State Capital - Head to the observation deck and see the city from one of the best spots for a great view.
  • Dane County Farmers Market - The largest producer-only market in the entire country, this is a great spot for everybody to enjoy.
  • Henry Vilas Zoo - Hit up the zoo and enjoy the polar bears and the fact that it's one of the only free-admission zoos in the United States.

Outdoor Fun

Parks are always a good choice outside, but Madison also has plenty of Lakes and beaches for outdoor fun. You can enjoy kayaking, canoeing, fishing and even paddleboarding on Lake Monona, Lake Mendota or one of the other area lakes. In addition,...

Top House-warming Gifts People Actually Want

A house-warming gift is a nice way to help invite someone into their new home. However, it can also be a burden if you give the owner something they won't use, don't want or feel pressured to put up somewhere in their home.

If you know someone that has moved into a new home, this list is for you. Maybe you're that someone. If so, feel free to forward this list to your friends and family, along with a few things you might actually appreciate.

Gift Cards

Always a very appreciated house-warming gift; if you give a gift card to a local restaurants or store, it will allow the new owners to check something out locally. This is a great way to help them celebrate this momentous occasion in their life.

Succulent Plants

Flowers don't last long, other plants could be a burden, but succulents are very easy to take care of and can be great for the interior of any home. Jade, cacti, aloe vera and other plants requiring very little care might be the perfect choice for a house-warming fit.

Fire Extinguisher

Practical, yet often forgotten, the fire extinguisher is a great gift for a new homeowner. Even if they already have one, they can always use another for the second floor or garage. This is a great gift if you're looking for something more practical.

Bottle of Wine, 6 Pack of Beer or Bottle of Liquor

If the homeowner enjoys wine, beer or liquor, you've got the perfect gift idea. There's nothing better than receiving something you enjoy and something...

How to Have Proper Home Seller Etiquette

We've discussed home buyer etiquette before, but what about sellers? While the buyer is working on his/her etiquette, shouldn't the seller be doing the same? The answer is yes and here's a quick look at what sellers need to know about property home seller etiquette.

Don't be there During a Showing

While you probably want to see the potential buyer's reaction to your kitchen renovations, it's not something you need to see. Most real estate agents will tell you that you don't need to be there, nor should you be, during a showing or open house. It's not even good etiquette to be lurking in the shadows as buyers won't feel nearly as comfortable if they know or even think the seller is there.

Listen to your Real Estate Agent

When your agent tells you something needs improved if you want to sell the home faster, it's not a personal attack. It's advice from a professional working in your local market day in and day out. They know what sells and your agent is only trying to help. Listen and you might get that home sold faster.

Remove the Pets

Not everybody loves dogs and cats like you might. Even pet lovers don't want to smell them in a home they are considering buying. When you have a showing or an open house, take the pets and get out of dodge.

It's even better if you can board them or keep them elsewhere during the entire selling process. This will allow you to clean the home and keep the pet odor out while you are going through the process.

Let your Real Estate Agent Handle Showings

You may run into someone that...

A Closer Look at Black Earth and Mazomanie Suburbs

Found about 20 miles to the west of Madison, WI, Black Earth and Mazomanie are two of the top suburbs. These suburbs share a school district, provide a close location to Madison, are rooted in unique history and offer a small-town feel just outside the bigger city.

Black Earth and Mazomanie were established as villages in the 1850s. The rolling hills, beautiful views and historic downtowns have made these communities very popular for those moving to the Madison area. Both are found near some of the best trout fishing in the area - in Lake Marion and the Wisconsin River. They also share the Wisconsin Heights School District with small class sizes for all grades.

Enjoying the Summer in the Suburbs

The summer is a fun time in Black Earth and Mazomanie. It's the time for enjoying the splash pad, the many local parks, incredible biking and hiking trails and so much more. Of course, with Madison just 20 minutes away, it's easy to enjoy summer in the city, too.

Summer in Black Earth also includes the Field Days event, which includes plenty of great entertainment, all kinds of fun for the entire family, a beer tent and so much more. Mazomanie is home to the Wild West Days, which is another popular event for everybody to enjoy. It has actually been running for 60 years with a Truck & Tractor Pull, fireworks, live music, food, a carnival, a beer tent and so much more.

Year-Round Attractions to Enjoy

While Black Earth and Mazomanie are fun in the summer, the excitement carries into every season of the year. Living in these suburbs provides residents...

Top Madison Events for Oktoberfest 2017

Madison loves to celebrate and Oktoberfest is one of the top events of the year. It's full of great beer, great music and plenty more than just one simple event over one weekend. There are plenty of great choices throughout the Oktoberfest season to enjoy. Here's a look at some of the top events.

Oktoberfest - September 22nd to 24th and 28th to 30th

For two weekends, you can enjoy Oktoberfest in downtown New Glarus. This event is found about 40 minutes from Madison, but well worth the drive. It's one of the main festivals for Oktoberfest in the area and sponsored by the New Glarus Brewery. Enjoy live music, plenty of beer, the first tapping of the Octoberfest beer from the brewery, wagon rides, food and plenty of fun for the kids.

Barktoberfest - September 24th

Held at Westside Park in Cambridge, Barktoberfest is a free and fun event for those with dogs. It will feature a rescue ground with plenty of food, raffles and plenty of fun. Pet costumes will be necessary if you want to win a trophy from one of the three categories: Most Original, Best Theme and Kids & Dogs. Vendors will be on hand and plenty of dog demonstrations will also be a part of this event.

Oktoberfest - September 23rd

Another Oktoberfest event will be held at Creekside Place in Evansville. It will run from 6pm to 10pm on the 23rd with plenty of fun to enjoy. Over 70 craft beers will be on hand from more than 50 breweries with plenty of great food from local restaurants. It's $35 to get in if you buy your ticket in advance or $40 the day of. This will be the 7th annual holding of this Oktoberfest event and promise to bring plenty of fun.

Isthmus OktoBeerFest - September...

Fitchburg: A Very Bike-Friendly Place to Live

If you're looking to relocate to the Madison, WI area or you've been looking for a new community within the area, Fitchburg may be the right fit. It's a healthy, vibrant city to live in with plenty of biking options. This bike-friendly place to live provides a little bit of everything for those enjoying getting around on two wheels.

Fitchburg was actually designated by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bicycle Friendly Community. They only give this designation out to communities committed to improving the area conditions for biking, along with providing education in the area for those looking to enjoy cycling. The city was only one of eight in the state to get this designation.

Fitchburg is not only bike-friendly, but it's also very healthy, which is a huge part of the biking culture. If you love to ride your bike, Fitchburg may be the right place for you to live.

Biking in Fitchburg

Outside of the normal riding down the street in your new Fitchburg neighborhood, there are several ways to enjoy biking in Fitchburg. Some of the best bike trials in the entire state of Wisconsin run through Fitchburg. It's also home to three local bike paths and three state trails.

Trails and Paths to Enjoy in Fitchburg

With plenty of places to bike in Fitchburg, you can enjoy it as a hobby or a way to get around. Some of the most popular paths and trails include:

  • Cannonball Path...

WI57 | The Real Estate News | Josh Lavik | Keller Williams | 8/16/2017

In the recent episode of Real Estate News, Josh Lavik discusses the inventory shortage causing a seller's market currently. He also discusses how single-family homes on the lake have gone up in value over the past five years.

It's certainly the time to sell, but if you're looking to buy a condo our team can help. Contact us today if you need help buying or selling a property in the Madison area.

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