Mad City Dream Homes Real Estate Blog, Madison WI

If you've been thinking of selling your Madison area luxury or historic property, you've probably been wondering how your real estate agent can begin to tell the full story of your home through a standard MLS listing. After all your home has many more amenities and features than can possibly be communicated through the MLS. The MLS allows for only 512 characters of descriptive text, so how can your agent even begin to tell your home's story with this limitation in place?

This is both the challenge and fun of selling high-end and historic real estate. There are actually many strategies a good agent can employ to tell the full story of your home. A few of these tools are covered below.

Six Tools for Telling the Full Story of your Historic or Luxury

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Are you the type of person that prefers vintage, old-school homes? Then you'll be very interested to learn about our new historic home listing at 2809 Columbia Rd in Shorewood Hills, Wisconsin. This authentic, prairie style home was built in 1916 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The photo to the right shows this home in an early promotional brochure for Shorewood Hills real estate (see photo center left). This home offers a combination of features that is unique in Shorewood Hills. The house resides on a double lot with mature trees and gardens and features a separate cottage in the back yard. The cottage can be used for a variety of different purposes - as a studio, as a guest house or mother-in-law suite, or as rental income.

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Our listings sellThinking of selling your Madison home or condo? It's a seller's market this year and prices are rising. With lower inventories and increased demand, many Madison area sellers are learning they can win back much of their equity that was lost during the real estate downturn.

So how can you knock your sale out of the park? Below are 5 ways you can maximize your selling price in this year's market. The first two tips focus on market analysis. The last three tips involve specific marketing strategies.

5 Tips for Selling at a High Market Price

  1. Know the months of inventory in your neighborhood. Your listing agent can assist you with this when he performs your market analysis for you. Neighborhoods with low months of inventory are prime locations for
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The pendulum has swung for Madison real estate. It's a seller's market this year. Many Madison listings are receiving multiple competing offers. Homes and condos are selling quickly. And they're selling for higher prices.

So what's a buyer to do? Below are ten tips to help you land your dream home in 2013.

Ten Home Buyer Tips

  1. Don't rely on open houses as your method for finding a home. Buyers this year are learning many new Madison listings are selling within days of going on the market, even before the first open house!
  2. Don't limit your search to distressed properties. The inventory of bank owned-properties and short sales is shrinking, and many other buyers and investors are already combing over these listings.
  3. Don't assume the condo
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We posted earlier this year how Downtown Madison condo prices were set to rise in 2013. As we make our way into the Spring buying season, we are in fact seeing prices rise in many areas of Madison, and especially downtown. The inventory of condos for sale in Downtown Madison is much lower than in previous years, and sales are up significantly. Consider these numbers for the first 3 months of 2013 which come from our review of data from the South Central Wisconsin MLS:

Dane County condo sales were up by a whopping 59% from the first 3 months of 2012, but even more startling downtown sales were up by 89%.  That's right, during the January through March time period, downtown condo sales totaled 34 purchases versus 18 the year before. We expect this pace

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The 2013 Wisconsin Film Festival takes place from April 11th to the 18th at the Sundance Cinema on Madison's near west side and at various venues in Downtown Madison. Believe it or not, this year marks the 15th anniversary of the festival, which has quickly become one of Madison's signature annual events. 

This year's film fest offers an excellent opportunity to take in some great cinematic entertainment in two great areas of town. Visit the Great Dane Brew Pub after a show at the Sundance, or dine at one of many other excellent restaurants in the Hilldale area.

If you're hanging out Downtown, kick back and relax at one of the many fine food and drink establishments near the center of town. This weekend you have dozens of movie and restaurant

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Thinking of building a new home in Madison, Wisconsin? You're not alone. Housing starts in the Madison area are up by more than 75% through the first two months of 2013. And we see the trend toward more home-building continuing throughout the year.

Here are a few reasons why:

  1. The inventory of existing homes is at its lowest point since 2005.
  2. Foreclosures continue to decline rapidly, which well help to keep inventories of existing homes low.
  3. Demand is high. Madison homes are selling at their fastest pace in the last 6 years.
  4. There is a large, pent-up demand for real estate, which suggests we'll continue to see robust sales in the year ahead. Contrast this to the last several years when home sales were at depressed levels and consumers
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One of the great gems from the city of Monona is the Aldo Leopold Nature Center located at 330 Femrite Drive just off Madison's East Side. The nature center offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the outdoors and learn about the environment. If you enjoy getting out into and learning about the natural world, be sure to add the nature center as a "must see" destination to your list of Spring activities.

This Saturday, March 24th, the center will host its annual Maple Syrup Fest from 1:00 to 3:00 PM. This is a fun, interactive event for the whole family. Learn how to tap a real maple tree, and taste the fruits of your labor!

While you're out and about on the East Side check out the spring thaw along Lake Monona, and if it's warm enough, grab a

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Thinking of selling your Madison home or condo? Keep this in mind as you prepare for your sale: When buyers view online listings, first and foremost they are drawn to the visual elements of each home. The listing photos and the video create the first impression and the lasting impression for each listing. They evoke the emotions that will either help or hinder a sale.

A well-staged home with eye-popping photos and a professionally-narrated video will receive immediate and strong interest from motivated buyers. A poorly staged home with a poor visual presentation will receive a lackluster response.

The good news for you is you can control the outcome of your sale. With the help of our interior designer, you can get your home in prime showing shape.

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Downtown Madison is known for its wide assortment of arts, entertainment, shopping, food, and drink establishments. It's also a great place for kids. One great example is the "Kids in the Rotunda" artistic series held each Saturday at the Overture Center from September through April. Performances are held at 9:30 AM, 11:00 AM, and 1:00 PM. The series offers a wide variety of shows in a kid-friendly setting. Music, dancing, theatre, storytelling, and magic are all a part of the line-up at the Overture Center. The Irish Trinity Dancers are the featured performers this Saturday. Arrive early and be prepared for a truly entertaining show!

Another great family destination is the Madison Children's Museum at 100 N. Hamilton Street on the Capitol Square. The

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