Lake - Image Credit:

Blessed are Madisonites, with five lakes to call our very own. Whether your favorite is Kegonsa, Monona, Mendota, Wingra or Waubesa, our lakes offer us ample opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy life in Wisconsin.

Take a swim

Or, just laze around on the beach on a summer afternoon. With clean, Lake Monona water and lifeguards in the summer, B.B. Clarke beach is popular with Madison’s isthmus resdents. You can also fish, canoe and kayak here. The park and beach are located at 835 Spaight St.

Lake Mendota’s Tenney Beach (1300 Sherman Ave.) is probably the most popular beach. Large and well-lifeguarded, it also offers a swim rope and volleyball.

Launch the boat

With the exception of Vilas Park, all of Madison’s boat launches require a…

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One of the most frustrating issues I have with the Internet is that too many people think they’re experts. Especially when it comes to real estate and mortgage information and advice, novices have no business trying to counsel the public. So, after reading one particular article (on a real estate site, no less) that was filled with misinformation, I’ve decided to bust the common myths about private mortgage insurance.

First, an explanation

Private mortgage insurance, known as PMI, is a type of insurance that protects the lender if the buyer defaults. It is a requirement if you won’t be paying at least 20 percent of the loan amount as a down payment (unless you are using a VA loan, in which case there is no PMI required because the Department of…

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Affordable Updated Starter Rustic Ridge Home for Sale

As you know, all that glitters is most certainly not gold. But have we got a golden opportunity for you to own a beautifully updated, affordable starter home in desirable Rustic Ridge neighborhood on Madison’s East Side!

Move in ready! You’ll love this 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath ranch style home in Rustic Ridge subdivision on Madison’s East Side. This affordable, updated starter home features cathedral ceilings, hardwood floors, and wood-burning fireplace in the living room open to the eat-in kitchen, large Master bedroom with walk-in closet, updated full bath, and a second bedroom on the main floor. The third bedroom and half bath are located in the finished, walk-out lower level. Enjoy…

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Dog Park - Image Credit:

Judging by the number of animal rescues and pet-related businesses in Madison, we’re a bunch of pet-happy residents. It would be interesting to know the number of pets per household here in Madison; I imagine we’d be at the top of the list nationwide.

Just as they all go to heaven, all dogs need exercise. Yup ― even those that people swear are the ideal apartment dwellers because of their lack of the need to stretch their legs and run. Whether your pooch is a cuddly Maltese or an uber energetic border collie, getting outdoors with it (if you can stand the humidity!) is not only good for the dog, but for the person it owns as well.

The City of Madison offers eight off-leash dog areas in various parks. You’ll need a dog license to take advantage…

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That’s a good question and one that I hear frequently. With the proliferation of websites that claim to offer up local listings and then the dashed hopes when one learns that the “big’ sites like Zillow don’t offer ALL the listings, or feature listings that don’t exist, is it any wonder folks are confused?

In recent months, our Madison MLS, officially known as the South Central WI Multiple Listing Service (SCWMLS), has made some important changes that actually service real estate consumers better. That was a very happy day for us and our site visitors who love our website design, our real-time MLS data feed, and the accurate information we strive to supply about homes for sale in Madison WI and throughout Dane County.

Before they made this change,…

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Bottle of Wondermint

I always wonder if I’m supposed to give a warning when writing about liquor retailers, as they do on their websites. So, if you’re not of legal drinking age, please don’t read this.

That said, the rest of us occasionally shop for wine, beer and distilled spirits and Death’s Door Spirits is a local favorite. It’s no wonder, too, because they appreciate the value of keeping it local by working with local farmers in their distillery operation. Death’s Door’s juniper (for the gin), wheat for the white whiskey and coriander and fennel (for the vodka) are sourced from Brooklyn, WI and the barley they use for vodka is grown in Chilton. Buying your liquor from Death’s Door is like buying a bottle of Wisconsin.

Located in Middleton, Brian Ellison started…

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Lounging in the swimming pool

Even if you’re not in the market to buy a luxury home in Madison, it’s fun to take a peek into the high-end property market. The three most expensive homes for sale in Madison right now are stunning – each offering something the others don’t.


From the custom cabinetry to the open floor plan, there is so much to love in this elegant West side home. Built in 2008, it offers 6 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms in 7,851 square feet of living space. The home sits on a .41-acre lot.
Our favorite features include the amazing shower in the master suite, the floor-to-ceiling windows that let in tons of natural light, the wine cellar and the theatre. Don’t miss the outdoor entertaining area.

This home is offered at $1,650,000. See photos by clicking…

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musical instruments

Has the DJ killed live music? Not if you live in Madison he or she hasn’t.

Whether you’re looking for jazz, a loud and unique Irish band at a local pub, dueling pianos or a club atmosphere, Madison’s bars and restaurants have you covered. Here is a look at where you should go around Madison for live music.

The Frequency

What we love most about The Frequency is that it isn’t a huge venue; it seats only 125 live-music-loving customers. Second highest on our list is that they offer shows seven nights a week and features lots of local artists as well as national and even international acts. Add the selection of made-in-Wisconsin beers to the “keeping it local” vibe and The Frequency is a very Madison venue. Stop in for pizza and a beer and,…

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Summer is in full swing and nobody does this season better than Madisonites! Gear up, if you haven’t already, and have some fun in July.

Every Tuesday

Movies on the Water

You’re invited to the Edgewater every Tuesday this month for Movies on the Water. View “Rocky” on July 5; “Jaws” on July 12; “Best in Show” on July 19th and, on July 26, laugh yourself silly with Caddyshack. Movies begin at sunset. Learn more by calling The Edgewater at 608-535-8200.

Every Wednesday

Concerts on the Square®

If it’s summer it must be Concerts on the Square time in Madison. Every Wednesday for six weeks you can park your hiney on a blanket on the grass and enjoy live music at Capitol Square in Downtown Madison. Concerts start at 7 p.m. Check out the…

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Face palm. Common mistakes homebuyers make


When searching the Internet for home-buying advice, how many times have you been met with claims that the process is challenging, difficult, scary and complicated? It’s almost as if the agents who write these things want to scare you out of buying a home.

If you’ve chosen your agent wisely, the process of buying a home won’t be a mystery because you’ll know what to expect. Then, you can relax and enjoy the ride. This isn’t to say that there aren’t potholes in the road to homeownership, just that if you know about them ahead of time you can veer around them. So, today let’s take a look at mistakes uninformed homebuyers make so you can avoid them.

Buying the wrong home

One of the things I’ve learned in my business is that what many buyers…

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