Madison's "Lake City" boasts elegant homes & condos located on Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, Lake Kegonsa, Lake Waubesa, and the beautiful Yahara River.

Docks on a lake at a vacation home in Dane County, Wisconsin

Thinking of buying a vacation home in Dane County, Wisconsin? With beautiful lakefront homes, peaceful farmettes in the countryside, and sprawling lots where you can build a dream property, you’re simply spoiled for choices. However, buying a second home is different from buying a first home. These are some tips to help you find the perfect Dane County vacation home for your lifestyle and budget.

Location is Key

Where do you see yourself enjoying the perfect escape? Do you want to be next to the water so you can enjoy water sports like fishing, swimming and kayaking? Close to the city so you don’t have to drive too far to stock up on the basics? Or maybe you want to be in a secluded spot in the countryside where you can luxuriate in peace, quiet…

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Chairs on a dock overlooking a lake at a Dane County waterfront home

Waterfront properties in Dane County are highly sought after for their stunning lakefront or riverfront locations. But what can really make your waterfront home stand out is the design inside and out. Whether you’re planning on selling your waterfront home, renting it out as a vacation home or renovating an older property for personal use, these design trends can take your Dane County waterfront home from simply functional to fabulous.

Picture-Perfect Windows

Part of the appeal of living on a lake or river is having incredible views of the water. Large windows allow you to see the beautiful scenery outside and provide plenty of natural light. Floor-to-ceiling windows are a great way to maximize your views, as are sliding glass doors. If you…

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Canoeing on beautiful Lake Monona in the summer

There’s no better way to cool off on a hot summer day in Madison, Wisconsin than heading to one of our beautiful lakes. The cool water and breezes are absolutely divine and the views are even better. If you’re looking to beat the heat, these are some of the top things to do at Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, Lake Kegonsa and Lake Waubesa.

Go on a Boating Adventure

Madison’s lakes offer plenty of opportunities for boating, from sailing to kayaking, canoeing and speed boating. If you don’t have your own boat, Madison Boats has three locations where you can rent a variety of boats including pontoons, fishing boats, kayaks and stand up paddle boards. Capitol Boats is the place to go for speed boat rentals and captained charters.

Cast a Line And See…

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One of the most common requests we get from newcomers to Madison is about our lakes, and how to buy a home on one of them. By far, Lake Mendota, the city’s largest lake, seems to be the most popular and most homebuyers assume you need at least $1 million to buy lakefront property.

Au contraire, our water-view lusting friends. Just today, we’ve found three homes and a gorgeous buildable lot for sale on Lake Mendota that you can purchase for less than $650,000 – two of them for a lot less!

 

$320,000

Condo living does offer perks, and a condo at The Cove offers more than most. How does private lake access and a boat slip right on Lake Mendota sound? But, that’s only the beginning of what this home has to offer.

Lake views, underground…

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We get a number of calls and emails from homebuyers who want to live the lifestyle inherent in the City of Four Lakes moniker. In other words, they want lakefront living and contact us for advice on which lake is the best, which has homes in certain price ranges and more.

We’ve found it impossible to name which lake is the best – they all have their advantages. One of the most popular lakefront neighborhoods however, at least among our clients, is Spring Harbor.

Tucked onto the southwest shores of Lake Mendota, and up against the City of Madison’s western boundary, the more-than 400-acre Spring Harbor neighborhood is an active lakefront community with a lot to offer.

History buffs – listen up

Hickory Hill House was established as an…

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When you have a schedule that accommodates staycations far better than vacations, you may be the perfect candidate for a second home in Madison. Think “Lake Mendota” instead of “Lake Como,” and you’ll see where I’m going with this. Not only will you not need to learn to speak Italian, but you’ll be lounging around your lake home instead of spending hours in an airplane.

Many Americans with the means to do so are finding that “getting away” doesn’t have to mean “far away,” according to the Wall Street Journal’s Candace Taylor. The trend toward buying a vacation home in the same general area as the permanent home makes perfect sense to some. “They say the key to relaxation is a change of scenery, even if it’s just a few miles from where they normally…

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view off a lake mendota pier

There’s nothing quite like the lifestyle afforded by living on a lake – a lifestyle intertwined with nature. If you enjoy boating, lakefront property is ideal for you. But, even as investment property, lakefront homes offer a lot to the buyer, fetching top dollar as a vacation home or as a full-time rental.

Like any unique setup, however, lakefront property does come with a few disadvantages. It can be demanding to those who are not prepared. However, if you love nature or are looking for a good investment, lakefront real estate does not disappoint.

Your backyard

Scientists have been telling us for years how much healthier it is living within view of a body of water, but that’s not all lakefront property affords. Your backyard becomes your…

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Lake Mendota pier

Living by the lake is dream for many Wisconsinites and for good reason – it’s relaxing. That’s not just an opinion, either; it’s a fact: “Studies indicate that being in a coastal or marine setting causes a six point increase on the 100-point happiness scale compared to urban settings. This is a greater happiness boost than reported at other nature settings such as farms, mountains, or woods,” says Zachary Slobig, writing in Psychology Today.

 Think a lakefront home is out of your budget? You might be surprised how affordable, with low mortgage rates to help, your dream of a stress-free life may be.

 Lake home buying, however, does have its share of special considerations, and it’s important to consider these to make the best choice when you…

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The busy spring and summer home selling season is about to hit and buyers can’t wait. Right now we have a list of folks who are craving lakefront living and Lake Mendota is the one Madison lake that's most frequently mentioned. There’s a lot to consider when you decide to sell waterfront property so if you’ve decided that 2016 is the year you’ll sell your Lake Mendota home, read on.

Pricing your Lake Mendota home

The method real estate agents use to determine a property’s current market value won’t work with waterfront property. It can’t – it involves comparing one home to others that are similar in age, size, amenities and location, among other criteria. Waterfront properties aren’t tract homes, so how does one compare the incomparable? From the…

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View from Lake Kegonsa, Fall of 2010This beautiful photo of Lake Kegonsa in all its fall glory was taken last weekend from the clear blue waters of Barbers Bay near Colladay Point on the western side of Lake Kegonsa in Stoughton WI. I was struck by how calm the waters were and how clear the skies were - an absolutely perfect day for a lake excursion in what is not quite the middle of October. Pretty amazing considering some of my friends and clients have already stored their boats away for the winter.

A few things you'll want to know about Lake Kegonsa: Lake Kegonsa is located a mere 15 minutes from downtown Madison WI at the end of the chain of lakes. It is 3,209 acres in size with a maximum depth of 31 feet and boasts some of the best fishing in the area including Muskie, Northern Pike,…

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