Awesome places to live in Madison

This past week I've been pretty busy with buyer clients. I worked with three fairly different types of people: lakefront buyers, a downtown condo buyer, and a guy looking in Oregon (just south of Madison).

For the couple looking on the lake, they really would like to buy a house but not have to spend a million dollars. In my experience, most lakefront homes in the Madison area start around $350,000 to $450,000. In fact, last year (April 13, 2008 to April 13, 2009 according to the south central Wisconsin multiple listing service) homes on Lake Kegonsa ranged from $415,000 to $665,000, Lake Waubesa ranged from $349,000 to $660,000, Lake Monona ranged from $417,000 to $1,300,000, and the highest range of lake front property went to Lake Mendota, ranging from $559,000 to $2,700,000.

I've always grown up near water and been impressed with the ability of lakefront property to give a tremendous sense of calm. As one agent in my office says, "You can just tell if they are 'lake people' when they walk into the house because they walk right up to the window facing the lake." I think I must be one of those types of people because I have a tendency to do just that when viewing lake property.

Another one of my favorite areas of Madison is downtown. Downtown Madison has an incredible vibrancy to it. Living downtown means that you can walk to the farmer's market, state street, Badger games, and more. If you like cities and the urban culture that it offers, then downtown Madison is the place to be (one of my favorites). You can catch a show at the Overture center, a parade around the capitol, or just browse the unique shops on State Street. This past winter I even did a snowshoe race with some friends by the capitol. It was quite an experience with my Alaskan style snowshoes. Although living downtown is not for everyone. If you like a little quieter community, then consider just outside of Madison.

My other friend was looking south of Madison in the Oregon area. This is an area that I know well, because I graduated from Oregon High School in 1997. I grew up in the Madison area, then moved away for a while and then ended up back here in 2005 to be closer to friends and family. Oregon is a quiet community of 8721 people. One guy I know was looking in this area because he works in the Fitchburg Technology center. He wanted a close commute but also liked living more in the country. We found some nice homes that he liked just off Hillcrest Ln.

Whether you are looking at lakefront property, downtown condos, or just south of Madison in Oregon, there are a number of good options for housing in the Madison area. The key is finding out which community best fits your needs. As I typically say to my buyer clients, "think about this home in terms of what you can't easily change. For example, do you like the lot, the floor plan, the neighborhood, the proximity to work or recreation? You can always change paint color or ugly countertops, but there are other things that are much more difficult to change." If you need some help working through some of these various options, feel free to contact me.

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