Madison WI Real Estate Blog

Want to Sell Your House? Better Photos Make a Big Difference

If you've been struggling to sell your home in the past year, maybe one reason is the photographs of your home. I know it seems simple, but the photos chosen for your home send a very direct message to a potential home buyer. In my experience, most home buyers and agents searching through home listings online, tend to do so very quickly. What that means is that you have ONE chance to make a great first impression with great photography.

For example, take a look at the photos below from some recent property listings (not listed by us!). Would you buy these houses? If so, would you pay a lot of money for them?

Seems a little sideways!

Nice blurry kitchen

This doesn't seem too bad, just a little dark

Yeah, these are probably not the best photos that will bring top dollar to any home seller. Part of choosing a great listing agent is knowing that they will take great photos of your home and present your home in the best light possible.

Below are a few photos that we have taken at one of our listings to help the property show at its best.

Bright and inviting with a nice red border!

Bright and staged rooms


Land Contracts and Rent-to-Own

Looking for a land contract or rent to own?

As a Realtor in the Madison area, I often have people contact me that are looking for a land contract or rent-to-own possibility (hereafter referred to as LC). Since I have received this question recently, I thought I would explore my thoughts on the topic, as well as some of the pros and cons from various perspectives.

Why would anyone want do a land contract or rent to own?

From the seller's perspective - At the core of this type of agreement is essentially a seller financed transaction for the buyer. As a home seller, you might consider a LC if you want to sell your home. This could be an attractive option if you know that traditional bank financing might be challenging for the buyer. On the one hand, this is good because you can open up your home to more potential home buyers and ideally get a better price for your home sale. On the other hand, would you really want to make a loan to someone that could not get approved by a regular bank? In most single family and condominium transactions, there is still plenty of money available at traditional banks for those with a decent credit score and stable debt to income ratios. But let's say that you own a condo without majority of the units sold to owner occupants, then you might consider a LC and offering terms that a buyer could not find on their own. Or if you are trying to sell a business or commercial property that seems risky to banks, you might consider a LC. Or if you are simply trying to make a return on your equity, you might consider a LC to receive a guaranteed return on your money rather than placing in an alternative investment. As a home seller you will probably need permission from your current mortgage holder or need to own the property free and...

Cherokee Gardens Condominiums

Why do people live here?

Living in Cherokee can be a great place for many people. Most notable, is that the Cherokee Golf Course is home to PGA winner Steve Stricker. This peaceful community is on the Northeast side of Madison and is popular among many retired people seeking quality affordable living. Others may enjoy the well maintained landscaping or relaxing next to the two outdoor pools, or golfing at the Cherokee Country Club. One interesting thing about Cherokee is that many of the condominiums were built in phases over the past 40 years, which makes it a unique mixture of homes.

What's the neighborhood like?

It tends to attract people closer to retirement age. Most of the units are 2 or 3 bedrooms that start in the $110,000 to $160,000 range. Bump the price over $160,000 and you will likely find more space (over 1500 square feet), a newer building (built within the last 10-20 years), an elevator, and maybe even find yourself right on the golf course.

What's going on nearby?

Definitely check out the Cherokee Country Club. As a member you get access to golf, tennis courts (both indoor and outdoor), a fitness center, and raquetball.


  • Madison Metropolitan School District
  • Gompers
  • Blackhawk
  • Madison East
  • Waunakee School District (some of the condos are listed in this district, but most are Madison)

Now you want to find a home here?
Search homes for sale in Cherokee Gardens Condomimiums