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September 2017

There are 16 blog entries for September 2017.

The first week of October is packed with flavor and generosity in the greater Madison area.

Several local restaurants are donating a portion of their proceeds to causes that directly impact the community, and you can help just by filling up on some tasty food. So consider going out to eat with your family and friends during these three upcoming fundraisers.

Fall Food Cart Fest 

What: About 20 food carts from Let's Eat Out! will serve their menu items for $4. There will also be drinks for sale, yoga, and live music.
When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, October 1, 2017
Where: Breese Stevens Field, 917 E. Mifflin St., Madison
Tickets: $5 in advance, $10 at the door, $25 VIP
Fundraiser: A portion of all proceeds will go toward Carts for Community, which "uses

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In our August real estate update we've noticed an interesting trend in the Madison single family home market: New Madison listings have now quietly increased in 5 of the last 6 months. From March through August, listings are up 5% from the same months in 2016. This is a modest increase, but it's a step in the right direction toward a more balanced market which has enough housing supply to meet the needs of Dane County's growing population. We'll keep a close eye on listings in the months ahead. 

More Single Family Home News

All of our latest single family home statistics show it's still a strong seller's market in Madison. Currently there are only 1.9 months of single family home supply. Although this number is up slightly from 1.8 months a year

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The Madison area is beautiful in the fall. Leaves turn brilliant colors, pumpkins, apples and mums all hit their peak season, and area farms invite you to come and enjoy the harvest. This weekend, several of them are opening their fall festivities. We recommend you travel around town, and experience as many of these farms as you can!

Eugster's Farm Market: If you're interested in a full-blown farm experience, Eugster's the the place to be! The farm is south of Madison and east of Oregon on Highway 138. They feature a wide range of farm animals available for viewing, feeding and petting. They also offer a pumpkin patch and a corn maze, and additional special events throughout October. For those that want to just enjoy the harvest (and not hunt for it),

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Sit down with Steve Hansen at Summit Credit Union, and he will put you right at ease. He's the kind of lender that listens to you, partners with you, and helps to prepare you for a home purchase. "I really want to be an adviser to my clients,” he says.  “I can look at their goals and help them develop strategies to meet them." Sometimes this involves identifying the best mortgage options available. Other times, it can be figuring out how to reduce debt and save for a down payment.

"Having a down payment isn't always required, but it certainly makes the home buying process easier," he says. But so does having a pre-approval letter prepared for the moment you make an offer. "In this market, you have to move fast. If you have the pre-approval in hand,

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Although our low inventory market makes it possible to sell your home in any season, many home owners are planning their sale for next spring when buyers will be out in peak numbers. If your goal is to sell next spring, remember there's no substitute for planning and preparation. Take action on these 5 recommendations right now and you'll achieve great results in 2018. 

2018 home selling recommendations

5 tips for a great 2018 listing

#1: Contact your real estate agent to find out what your home is worth. While you're at it, discuss the simple cosmetic improvements that will increase its value. Then re-assess your home's value when your projects are complete. 

#2: Consult with a professional home stager and implement her recommendations. We recommend Debbie Lea from Showcase

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Today officially marks the start of fall, which means we're also in the midst of Oktoberfest. And whether or not you own a pair of lederhosen or know how to drink from a boot, you can still get in the gemuetlichkeit spirit.

The Isthmus OktoBEERfest is already in the books for 2017, but there are many other celebrations throughout the Madison and Dane County area that will highlight the German flavors and sounds of the season. Be sure to click on the event name for more details.

New Glarus Oktoberfest
When: September 21-24
Where: Downtown New Glarus
Live music, beer tent, food stands, craft vendors, farmers market, tractor pull, 5K/10K and 2-mile walk

Essen Haus Oktoberfest
When: Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, September 23
Where: 514 E. Wilson St., Madison

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The idea of opening a winery has been planted in David Korb's mind for a long time. It finally came to fruition in spring 2017 with the opening of Drumlin Ridge Winery, located just north of Madison between Waunakee and the town of Westport.

Korb, his wife Brenda, and their son Keenan eliminated their work commute by building the nearly 6,400-square-foot winery on one of the four neighboring parcels where they have lived for 27 years.

"Our home is just right out the back door," Korb said. And it's been the perfect spot to grow his dream.

He started making apple juice from their orchard in the early 1990s, and soon a friend suggested they make wine. Now there are over a dozen varieties of grapes growing on 3 1/2 acres of vineyards on the

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In this low inventory market a little creativity and elbow grease can make all the difference in your home search. One very effective way to find and buy a home is to send letters to property owners in your preferred location. If you're targeting a specific neighborhood or condo community, mailing letters is an excellent way to find properties before they get listed for sale. By being proactive, you gain the advantage over other buyers who rely on more traditional search strategies. 

buying a home through direct mail

Why personal letters work

Upon receiving your letter many property owners will be pleasantly surprised by the prospects of a quiet sale. It's like pressing the easy button. Suddenly, all of the stress and anxiety that come with the traditional listing could be

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From patching and painting to wallpapering and drywalling, Mike and Dianna McMaster have been busy updating the interior of their nearly 2,000-square-foot farm house at 501 Muller Road in the town of York over the last 15 years.

While they are ready to downsize, it will be tough for them (and their grown kids and younger grandchildren) to say goodbye.

"Being that we did most of it ourselves, it's a lot of blood, sweat and tears," Dianna said. "It's a house that we will definitely miss."


Built nearly a century ago in a nearby town, this 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house in northeastern Dane County just hit the market, featuring plenty of updates and stunning countryside views.

Main level

The biggest change came with the addition above

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Summer is winding down, but festival season isn't quite over yet. Especially when it comes to Madison's longest-running neighborhood gathering.

Bring the whole family to the 40th annual Willy Street Fair for free this weekend, from 2-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17.

You'll find a variety of music, food vendors, and eclectic entertainment along the 800, 900, and 1000 blocks of Williamson Street. Get there at 11 a.m. Sunday for the parade, and hang out for the raffle drawing later at 6:30 p.m. at the Third Lake Market lot.

There will be over 30 acts between the Main, Folk, Willy Beats, Kids, Culture, and WORT Underground stages, with something for everyone. For a full lineup, click here. All are welcome to join

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