radon readings in Dane CountyThat is the question!

Some homeowners do the laundry in the basement, some have finished basements with offices or playrooms for the kids, others have a Master bedroom suite or a guest room in their finished lower level. But over the years I've had dozens of clients buy or sell homes without testing for radon gas. One of my clients, who was concerned about radon because she had small children, had gone to the trouble of testing for radon twice in two homes she purchased during the last 10 years. She then tested a third time when she bought the home that she is now in the process of selling on Madison's West Side.

The test had been negative for radon gas when she and her husband purchased the home years ago, so when they received an offer recently that…

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5209 Burnett Drive, MadisonLake & City Homes is proud to announce (albeit belatedly) that we've added some wonderful new functionality to our Property Details page: Microsoft Bird's Eye View. Microsoft Birds Eye View is a terrific tool that provides an aerial (or "bird's eye") view of any property for sale in the South Central WI MLS. Take my newest listing located at 5209 Burnett Drive in Madison, for example. Microsoft Bird's Eye View shows you where properties are situated in relation to each other, in relation to streets and avenues, and gives you an aerial overview of the density of trees and other greenery in any given area. You also have the ability to zoom in and out.

Microsoft Bird's Eye View is an especially good tool for looking at Madison lakefront homes or real…

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1622 Meadowcrest Lane, MiddletonIn a mad scramble to add as many bells & whistles to our flagship Madison real estate site as possible we neglected to announce that we added some important new functionality to our Property Details page: Google StreetView. One of the unique characteristics of Google StreetView is its ability to get a 360 degree view of the surrounding street outside any given property.  Check out the screenshot of the Google Streetview for 1622 Meadowcrest Lane in Middleton. Not only does it give you a ground-level view from the street so you can “walk” (virtually, of course) down any street and check out the surrounding areas, it also allows you to "grab" the picture with just one click of your mouse and manipulate the view. This is a great time-saver because it negates…

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hot tubA client recently posed this question, "Do you think if we got rid of the hot tub it would help?" Translation: Would getting rid of our hot tub make our property more attractive to buyers?

The client suggested she freecycle the hot tub. In fact, she thought she'd have no problem getting rid of it by the weekend. I don't know a lot about hot tubs (I've never owned one) but I wondered how she'd get rid of it so quickly if it was so undesirable. Afterall, it was already Thursday when she made the suggestion. Then again, that hot tub (see photo) wasn't looking so hot. It actually made her newly refinished deck look a little shabby. Then she mused, "I don't think anyone even wants a hot tub anymore. It costs a fortune to keep it running in the winter and…

8220 Views, 11 Comments

ABC News Good Morning America recently named Madison, WI one of the top 10 places in the country to buy a home. The following statistical data was provided as positives for the Madison WI housing market:

  • Median Home Value: $207,600, down 4% from a year ago.
  • Property values are flat compared with five years ago.
  • Houses cost an average of $113 per square foot.
  • Buyers are paying 3% less than listing price.

As always, such statistics have to be taken with a grain of salt as they are based on a very broad area (in recent years Madison has been expanding in several directions at a rapid clip). It is also important to note that Madison, WI is comprised of a wide diversity of different neighborhoods, North, South, East, West, and downtown,…

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East Side Sales Comparison Jan to July 2009 vs 2008Yesterday I discussed how home sales were up a respectable 12.63% in July 2009 vs July 2008 on the West Side of Madison after six straight months of year-over-year declines. The question I posed was whether this signals a turnaround for the housing market on the West Side of Madison? The jury may still be out on the West Side but a clearer picture could be emerging for Madison's East Side where sales of single family homes have been up for not one but two consecutive months. After five straight months of year-over-year declines ranging from 7.35% to a whopping 35%, sales of single-family homes on Madison's East Side were up 3.05% and 29.63% in June and July 2009, respectively, compared to June and July 2008 (see chart below). Could a turnaround in the…

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January to July 2009 vs January to July 2008

After sales plummeted each month from 4.1% to 27.62% during January-June 2009 compared to the same period in 2008, sales of single family homes on Madison's West Side rose a respectable 12.63% in July 2009 compared to July 2008 (see chart below). Could this be the beginning of a turnaround in the Madison West Side housing market?


Other highlights:

  • The volume of homes sold on the West Side of Madison from January-July 2009 was down 7.67% (to 819) vs the same period in 2008.
  • The average price of a West Side Madison home was down 8.64% (to $274,097) from January-July 2009 vs the same period in 2008, making West Side homes more affordable.
  • The volume of listings was down 11.55% (to 1,547) from January-July 2009 vs the same period in 2008,…

2510 Views, 2 Comments

Lake & City Homes Realty is proud to announce a new page called All Today's New Listings designed to help you quickly focus in on the newest listings to go on the South Central WI MLS during the previous 24 hours. Simply go to the Listings tab (or the Buyers tab) at the top of the home page and choose "All Today's New Listings" from the drop-down menu or choose the link entitled "ALL Today's New Listings" under Popular Searches on the right-hand side of the home page.

Be sure to check this new listings page frequently - that way you'll be one of the first to know about the latest property listings (homes, condos, and other real estate for sale) to go on the South Central WI MLS and you'll be seeing those listings before they hit the national listings…

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search the South Central WI MLS by waterfrontLake & City Homes Realty is proud to announce that we've expanded our MLS Search to include a dedicated Search By Waterfront page!

Choose Your Waterfront Options

Choose from a variety of waterfront options such as water frontage or water view, on a lake, river, or other type of water, whether or not a dock/pier is included in the sale, and how much frontage you need with your lakefront property.

Choose Your Location

You can choose from a list of locations that updates dynamically depending on what's currently available on the market. For example, if there are properties for sale on (or with a view of) Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, Lake Kegonsa, or Lake Waubesa, any or all of those lake names will show up in the list of locations. Of course you can…

15328 Views, 5 Comments

Boomers will represent 25% of the total U.S. population by 2010. Although most baby boomers prefer to stay in their own homes as they age, an increasing number - an estimated 1.2 million households intotal - plan to move to "active-lifestyle communities", according to arecent study by the National Association of Home Builders and theMetLife Mature Market Institute. As a result, as boomers get closer to retirement they're expected to have a huge impact on housing trends.

What's an active-lifestyle community? Generally it's considered an attractive, resort-style community that's restricted and specifically geared toward active adults aged 55 and over. Such communities often seek to emulate the amenities found at luxury resorts, such as golf, fitness…

1803 Views, 7 Comments