Lake & City Views

We could tell you that moving in the winter in Madison is challenging. We could also tell you that it’s messy. But, why would we? If you’re a native you’re not afraid of winter weather; in fact, you celebrate it.

Moving during winter in Madison is, however, a bit different than your typical spring or summer move, and if you aren’t using a professional moving company (something to consider since they typically discount their prices in the winter), you’ll no doubt need some tips to get the process done safely, smoothly and successfully.

1. Pack an essentials box

You’ll need a box or bag full of essentials and a spare spot in the trunk of your car for items that you may need during the move and during the first few hours in the new home. Leave

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Beer Tour - Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/flash716/2798306275/Hop Head Beer Tours has been providing safe and fun craft beer tours in the Madison area since 2010. They have become very popular with adults and provide something unique to do with friends, family, or as a couple. Here's what you can expect when you take a tour with Hop Head Beer Tours.

Not a Party Bus

The tours provided are not like a pub crawl or a party bus situation. Instead, they visit brew-pubs and breweries in the form of an educational experience. Of course there's still great beers to sample, but these tours are more for the beer connoisseur, not your average beer drinker.

The Tours

Hop Head Beer Tours offer bus, bike and charter tours every month which vary based on availability. They offer both public as well as private tours of

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Going over our blog posts from the past year we’ve learned that some of our most popular involve homes currently on the market. Hey, we get it. Even if you’re not in the market for a home, it’s fun to take a look at what buyers are clamoring after, what home prices are doing and being nosy by looking inside other people’s homes, even virtually.

We’re seeing a bit of a trend this week – CONDOS! Always a popular option for those on a budget, condo living also offers a sense of a carefree life, sans the snow blowing and landscaping chores. All three of this week’s most popular homes for sale in Madison are condos.

 

Lots of privacy on the Northside

This week’s most popular home for sale in Madison is a condo in the Cherokee community. Located

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For Sale: 4BR/3BA Modern Masterpiece on 3.5 Acres in Cross Plains

Rare opportunity to enjoy a beautifully designed, custom-built 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home on 3.5 beautiful acres just a few steps from the center of town in beautiful Cross Plains! Custom-built in 2015 by highly regarded Design Shelters, this ultra modern 2-story home features an open floor plan with 18’ ceilings in the great room, gorgeous whitewashed oak engineered hardwood flooring, linear gas fireplace (with adjustable fan control and custom limestone hearth), fully-equipped gourmet kitchen, and many high-end finishes such as natural quartz countertops and marble backsplash, soft closing cabinets and drawers in the kitchen (and all bathrooms!), Restoration Hardware brand bathroom

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Theatre, Music, Dance and Comedy in Madison

Madison Opera

Fans of the still incomparable Charlie Parker won’t want to miss the Madison Opera’s presentation of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird on February 10 and 12 at the Overture Center for the Arts (201 State St.). Follow Bird’s spirit as it returns to Birdland to compose his final masterpiece as you thrill to the “. . .pulsing, jazz-infused score,” according to the New York Times. Grab your tickets now at madisonopera.org.

Paula Poundstone at the Barrymore

“On February 11th, I insist on going to The Barrymore Theatre in Madison, Wisconsin to freeze my a## off in solidarity with the people of Wisconsin,” says comedian Paula Poundstone. If you’ve caught her on NPR’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell

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coach with headphones on

With so many folks wanting to buy homes and so few homes available to purchase, it’s tough being a home buyer in Madison’s current real estate market. It’s frustrating as well for us to watch our clients fall in love with a home only to find out someone else beat them to it.

There is a solution, however. While it doesn’t always work, it does often enough to consider it if you truly want the home: submit a backup offer.

What is a backup offer?

The actual backup offer consists of a contract to purchase the home and a backup addendum. When signed, these documents will automatically place you in first position should the current buyer not consummate the purchase.

While there are benefits to submitting a backup offer on a home you’ve fallen in

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broken railroad tracks

 

Real estate horror stories abound on the Internet but, in reality, most transactions flow smoothly to a successful close. Sure, there are plenty of spots along the way rife with problematic opportunities and, if you’re buying or selling a home in a managed community, those opportunities abound.

At last count, there are more than 350,000 homeowner associations (HOA) in the United States. Collectively, this represents more than half of the owner-occupied households in the country, according to HOA-USA, Inc. So, the chances are good that the home you fall in love with may just be governed by a HOA.

The HOA, in a nutshell

A homeowner association is a legal entity, of which all homeowners are members. It is governed by a group of elected

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dock on a lake in Maple Bluff WI

Living on a lake in Madison comes with lots of perks, as residents of the Village of Maple Bluff will attest. The year-round vistas and lake activities, however, are just the beginning of the list of Maple Bluff’s attributes.

The lake in question here in Maple Bluff is Lake Mendota, (northwest of Madison for you newcomers). Here, residents tend to be a bit older than those in many other suburbs and well established in their careers.

Maple Bluff is officially a village, yet mainly considered one of Madison’s more upscale suburbs (only 10 minutes to get downtown). It’s made up of five communities, all but one of which were developed in the early 20th century. This means you’ll find homes of varying vintages, from the 19th to the 21st century.

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This month and next we’ll start receiving our tax documents – those W2 and 1099 forms that let Uncle Sam know how much money we earned in 2016. As a Madison homeowner you’ll receive additional documents as well, most notably IRS Form 1098, which your lender is required to deliver to you by February 15. Because it lists how much interest and PMI you paid for the year it’s an important form, so keep it in a safe place until you’re ready to do your taxes.

The interest you pay on your mortgage is one of the largest tax deductions for homeowners. You should be able to write off all mortgage interest, up to $1.1 million and may even be able to deduct the interest you paid for a second home (speak with your accountant).

By the way, the total amount of

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It’s a brand new year and Madison is kicking it off in style with a ton of fun things to do.

January 3 through January 8

Jersey Boys

More than 22 million theatergoers have seen Jersey Boys and now you have a chance to add to that number. Enjoy the Tony®, Grammy® and Olivier Award-winning Best Musical telling the true story of The Four Seasons. You’ll hear some of their biggest hits, like “Oh, What a Night,” “Sherry,” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” It’s happening on stage at Overture Center for the Arts in downtown Madison and you can purchase tickets online.

January 6 through January 8

Madison Home Expo

If you plan on making renovations to your home in 2017 you won’t want to miss the 19th annual Madison Home Expo. Here you’ll find

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