All Blog Entries by Samantha Haas

Found 108 blog entries published by Samantha Haas.

When Nancy Breden bought her Spring Harbor bungalow along Lake Mendota six years ago, she saw its potential for being a “really cute place to live” -- especially with its cathedral ceiling, loft, boathouse, and spectacular view of the sunrise. 

In that time, Nancy has made some sweet updates to this 2 bed/1.5 bath property on 47 feet of waterfront, including wood flooring throughout the house and swapping out the garage door for French doors in the boathouse (which could be used as an office, art/yoga studio, or exercise room). 

“I've received so many comments from boaters passing by,” she said. “I think both updates helped with the appeal of this home.”

This fall she approached REALTOR Chris Venden to sell her home, who enlisted

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Hi! I’m Samantha Haas, and I joined Mad City Dream Homes as a photographer and writer in 2017 when our team had just started partnering with a local nonprofit called the Foundation for Dane County Parks. Through that collaboration, I have been able to document what it’s like to explore many of these special parks, forests, trails, and wildlife areas throughout the Madison area. 

Several members of our team -- and their dogs -- have been enjoying these parks, too! For example, Shelley Lazzareschi recently brought her dog, Tucker, to join our team meeting at Mendota County Park in Middleton, where we can take a break from our screens and enjoy the beautiful summer weather while social distancing.

Ann Raschein likes to go to Capital Springs Recreation

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Groundswell Conservancy began as a collaborative effort with the city, county, university, local nonprofits, and individuals nearly 40 years ago to protect Wally Bauman Woods (part of the UW-Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve) from condominium development along Lake Mendota. Since then, this Madison-based nonprofit has continued using a partnership mentality to permanently preserve hundreds of other special places throughout Dane County and the seven surrounding counties. 

College students with the Prairie Partners ecology restoration summer internship program crew remove invasive species at Patrick Marsh near Sun Prairie. Photo by Ben Jones.

One of more than 50 land trusts in the state, Groundswell Conservancy often consults the Dane County

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Preparing to sell a home can be stressful, but we're here to guide you every step of the way. 

One of our recent home selling clients said the experience working with REALTOR Dan Miller and the rest of the Mad City Dream Homes and RE/MAX Preferred team helped put her mind at ease during what could have been an overwhelming process. 

After nearly a year on a waiting list for an apartment in Lancaster, Judy B. got word in April that a vacancy was available. Suddenly it was time to sell the home she had lived in for 28 years in Madison. She had to downsize and move quickly, and especially with an injury that’s not so easy to do. So Judy reached out to a friend who is a real estate agent up north to see if he had any recommendations for a good local

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As rental rates and home prices rise in Dane County, it’s becoming more difficult for some people to find safe, affordable housing options.

Several local organizations are trying to bring awareness to these issues and make a difference in the community, such as Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, Project Home, and the Dane County Housing Initiative, which you can learn more about on our blog.

Our newest team member Ann Raschein works with compassion, diligence, and professionalism to ensure that all families have the opportunity to become a homeowner. She volunteers her time on the board of both Habitat for Humanity and Dane County’s Home Buyers Round Table, a group of industry professionals that networks, listens to speakers, and coordinates and

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Traditionally, GivingTuesday is held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving as a dedicated day of giving for nonprofits across the globe. And while that will still happen later in the year on December 1, 2020, #GivingTuesdayNow has been organized for May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. 

There are several local organizations that could use extra support in the Madison area, and we hope you consider donating when and how you can. Among them is Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, which is asking you to “make a difference from a distance” by giving $5 on 5/5. 

Typically in spring, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County is busy building and rehabilitating houses alongside volunteers and partner families. However,

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At the time of writing this article, the sun is peeking through rain clouds on April 22, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. It’s been about a month since Gov. Tony Evers issued a Safer at Home order amid the COVID-19 pandemic, so celebrating this conservation milestone without a public gathering feels strange yet necessary given the circumstances. 

However, we can still connect with nature on our own or with those who live in our homes while following the latest social distancing guidelines.

Public Health Madison & Dane County recommends:

  • Walking, hiking, or biking while being safe;
  • Maintaining a physical distance of at least 6 feet from anyone you may encounter while you’re out;
  • bringing along a cloth face covering;
  • And finding
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As we navigate the changes in our own lives brought on by the coronavirus outbreak, many people also feel compelled to help the greater Madison community. But how? 

While still maintaining social distancing and following precautionary measures regarding COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and the Public Health Madison & Dane County, there are several ways to get involved.

If you have the means to give, please consider making a donation to a local cause you support. There are nearly 3,000 nonprofits to choose from in Dane County, and several directly provide food, housing, and transportation options for our community’s most vulnerable. 

The United of Way of Dane County, in partnership

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The mission of Waunakee Neighborhood Connection is to provide programs and resources that engage neighbors to support and empower one another. It is best known for its “free store,” which graciously accepts certain clothing items, accessories, shoes, games, books, media, and other household goods and cleaning supplies. 

COVID-19 Updates 

  • (5/29/2020): Waunakee Neighborhood Connection reopened for donations and onsite services on May 27th using a phased approach with safety protocols.

  • (3/25/2020): Waunakee Neighborhood Connection is working with Waunakee EMS to coordinate a supply drive for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). If you or your company have any masks, face shields, paper gowns, or cloth gowns that could be donated for use by our
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COVID-19 Updates

The Lussier Community Education Center’s operations are continuing in their new form through summer. Its mission is still to be a place for people from different walks of life to come together, share gifts, and build community. That typically includes enrichment activities for all ages, games, art, tutoring, hot meals, a food pantry, farmers market, job clinic, radio shows, activism opportunities, and more. During these times, LCEC is practicing social distancing and social solidarity by continuing its food pantry program and K-12 summer camps in a modified way. 

  • (6/29/2020): Modified K-12 summer camps got underway today, and the Support and Solidarity Network continues to connect with neighbors and mobilize to meet specific
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