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Mad City Dream Homes Real Estate Blog, Madison WI

More clouds and colder temps mean this time of year can be a little gloomy for people. But fight your inclination to hibernate inside and head downtown Madison for some new surprises and old traditions. Many of these events also offer opportunities to "Shift Your Shopping" to support local businesses.

Shine on Madison

It all starts with Shine on Madison, presented by Madison's Central Business Improvement District and the Madison Community Foundation, which will feature more than a hundred events and numerous lighting displays from November 18 through January 7. Downtown will be illuminated starting at 6:08 p.m. Saturday, November 18, where Capitol Square meets State Street, during a ceremony featuring Santa and Bucky.

Be sure to arrive

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With Thanksgiving in a week, and Christmas not far behind, there are all kinds of opportunities to socialize, eat, drink and wear ourselves out. But it doesn't have to be that way!  Sara Ifert, a Health Coach at Go Simple Wellness, has several tips to make sure that we get the most out of the season (without regretting it in January). We invited her to share some of her tips for the season:
The holidays can be fun, but they can really take a toll on our health. It is super easy and common to get sick or pack on the pounds (or both!) during the holiday season. Taking an integrative approach, you can stay on track toward your health goals. Take a look at these tips for staying healthy while still enjoying yourself this time of the year:   1)
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Each house has a story to tell, but 21 State St., Mazomanie has many. So sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Built in 1865 along the Black Earth Creek, this Victorian Italianate home is filled with history and character, from its original ornamental plaster on the ceiling of the front parlor to its walnut curved staircase in the foyer.

Photographs of the property and its former inhabitants throughout the 19th and 20th centuries are framed throughout the residence as a nod to the past.

That includes Dave and Karisa Friske, who last purchased the home in 1996 and spent over a decade magnificently restoring it room by room in what is now a functioning bed and breakfast. They have also turned the adjacent carriage house built in 1909 into their

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doing business on a handshakeTypically when we meet with a home-owner about the prospects of selling their home the consultation is very low-key. We don't bring a sales presentation to the consultation. Instead we focus on understanding the seller's questions and concerns and then making sure we address all of them during our meeting.

Usually we tour the home together and discuss the simple cosmetic improvements that will improve the home's marketability and market value. We discuss the specific marketing strategies that are a good fit for their home. We also cover the latest trends in their local real estate market and a good list price for their property. Last, we discuss the fees that are involved with selling their home. 

By the end of our meeting the seller has a good

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As temperatures start to dip and stores bring out their holiday displays, it's only a matter of time before winter is here. This weekend you'll find activities in Madison that blend the seasons, from an indoor art fair and farmers market to an outdoor marathon.

Farmers Market

Get ready for a Saturday shake-up when it comes to the farmers market. November 11 is the last Dane County Farmers' Market of the season held Saturday on the Square before it moves indoors for the winter. So be sure to head downtown between 6:15 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. to savor a fall walk in search for fresh produce. Then the Holiday Market, featuring about 60 vendors, will move indoors to Monona Terrace from 7:30 a.m. to noon on November 18, December 2, 9, and 16. After that

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This Friday, Warner Park (1625 Northport Drive) is the place to be! Don't let the recent cold spell keep you home. The City of Madison is offering haywagon rides through the park. After the ride, warm up with a bonfire and the opportunity to roast marshmallows. Bundle up with your friends or family, and make plans to join the fun. The rides begin at 5:30, with additional trips continuing until 8:30 p.m. The cost to ride is $3/person, but riders under 2 are free.  

The rides will tour Warner Park and end at the community center. Then, after a visit to the bonfire, it's time to warm up (indoors) at the Warner Family Fun Night. For just $5, the whole family can participate. The night is a monthly occurrence at Warner Park, and offers the chance to enjoy

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Limestone bluffs can be spotted along Hwy. 14 near Cross Plains, and they are worth checking out -- especially off of Scherbel Road. 

That's where you'll find Festge County Park, which is 100 feet above the Black Earth Creek Valley. It's called "the gateway to the Driftless Area" for a reason, and once you walk to the stone scenic overlook you'll know why. There you'll find expansive views of farmland and wooded hills in a preglacial valley, which is described on a natural history marker featuring oak leaf symbols as a nod to the rare bur oak savanna located there. 

You'll also find mature hickory trees and a restored prairie with plants that pollinators love, including butterflies. And certain times of the year you'll likely also

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One of our core team values is to partner with quality and reputable service providers who deliver outstanding service and results. Photographer Beau Meyer is one of our partners who fits this description to a tee. Beau consistently delivers with eye-popping photos of every property he shoots. Below are just a few examples of Beau's work from some of our recent listings.

Interior Listing Photos

Here are some beautiful listing photos of kitchens, dining rooms and great rooms. This photo captures this wonderful view from a kitchen overlooking a great room and wall of windows. 

Beaut Meyer Listing Photo Kitchen and Great Room 

This picture shows a dining room, kitchen and great room all in one shot. 

Beau Meyer Dining Room Listing Photo

Here's a beautiful living room shot from one of our downtown luxury condo listings. 

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This holiday season, the best gift might be a basket of local cheese, crackers and wine. Or it might be clothing celebrating all that is good in Madison. You might find a book by a favorite author, an ornament of the State Capitol or a handmade item that can't be replicated. In any case, holiday shopping is in full swing, and local businesses are hoping to lure shoppers away from chain stores, and into the doors of small businesses.

It's part of a national campaign called "Shift your Shopping."  Organizers point to research that shows that every dollar spent locally multiplies its impact. Local businesses give back to the community at a rate almost three times that of larger chain stores. The money multiplies in job creation, support of other area

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There are more ways than ever this week in Madison to fill your brain with knowledge and curiosity. That's because the Wisconsin Book Festival and Wisconsin Science Festival are both being held throughout the city from November 2-5, which thousands of people are expected to attend.

This is the third year in a row that the festivals are happening at the same time, and there are over a dozen joint book events being held between the two, which the State Journal lists here. While the science festival events are also happening around the state, the book festival has grown so much in the past few years that other events are held throughout the year, culminating in this four-day celebration.

Science festival

Families can even get a preview of the

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