Saturday, December 15, 2007

Skating Around

Whether you like blades or wheels, Monroe has plenty of opportunities for you.

The Roller Den is under new ownership. It is run by a fun family who puts enthusiasm into their establishment, making it a great time for the entire family. They offer both roller blades and old fashioned roller skates for rent or you can bring your own. They play a large variety of music and get everyone involved with games. It is good fun on a cold winter day. Stop in to see if you still remember how to skate backwards or do the limbo!

If ice is more your thing, State Line Ice & Community Expo offers indoor open skating every weekend through March. Come rent a pair of skates or bring yours and try out the ice. Warm up with some cocoa or warm pretzels in between practicing your triple toe loops.

If you prefer to watch the action on the ice, Monroe Youth Hockey Association is in the middle of their season. Come cheer on the Avalanche! Visit their website for a full schedule of events and come support youth sports in the area.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Property of the Week

This week's featured property is a farmette just outside of Monroe.

If you enjoy older homes and are looking for space in the country, look no further! This 8.49 acre farmette is waiting for a hobby farmer or family who wants to spread out. The classic square brick home has four bedrooms, a large farmhouse kitchen, formal dining room and living room as well as a family room/den. The current owners have lovingly cared for and restored this home, refinishing the wood trim to its glory. Hardwood floors gleam throughout the home, and two sets of pocket doors add to the period charm. There is a full walk-up attic and a full basement, giving you storage options galore.

Outside, a paradise awaits. Towering oaks and elms dot the lawn, and a double row of trees provide a barrier between the home and the road. The land has been turned into a homestead with everything you could ask for. 21 varieties of fruiting trees are growing in the orchard and 5 varieties of grapes are in the vineyard, plus there are strawberries, red and black raspberries, rhubarb and perennial herbs. A large open field awaits your horses or livestock. The sturdy traditional red barn has been immaculately cleaned and is waiting a new life. There are also two other sheds, a chicken house and a silo, each in good condition.

This property is a slice of country living in an unbeatable location. Located just three minutes from Monroe on Highway 11/81, you will never have to worry about being snowed in after a winter storm or wasting too much time ferrying the children to and from events. The motivated sellers are asking only $265,000 for this idyllic country estate.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Everyone loves a parade

The annual Holiday Parade is tomorrow, Friday, December 7. This is one of our favorites. In the last seven years, the parade has grown tremendously, going from a three minute blink-and-you-miss-it gathering to a fifteen or twenty minute event. We love the way it become an evening parade a few years ago. It is fun to gather on the Square with all the buildings illuminated, watching the parade with mittened hands clutching steaming mugs of cocoa from Cafe Claudee, Chocolate Temptations or Fox's Feathercreek Bakery. With the move to an evening parade, it became tradition for the participants to find ways to illuminate themselves and their floats too, adding to the fun. Precision Drive and Control even donates generators for use on a first come, first serve basis to help light up the floats.

The parade starts at 6 pm. Take a trolley tour of area homes before, during or after the parade. In previous years, the trolley tour just before the parade goes through with the other floats.

Stay on the Square after the parade for an evening of fun as well. Wisconsin Community Bank has children's activities and Santa reception following the parade. Stop in at Monroe Theatre Guild's new building, half a block north of the Square across the street from the library. They are having an open house afterwards. Exercise your vocal cords at Turner Hall where they will have a candle lighted tree and carol singing starting at 7 pm. If none of this trip your trigger, simply stay for dinner at any of the restaurants downtown. There is something for every appetite downtown, from fried rice at Chopsticks to quiche at Cafe Claudeen, hamburgers at Suisse Haus to gourmet offerings at Turner Hall's Ratskeller. Garden Deli, Bullets, Bonnies, Baumgartener's...there are many choices downtown.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Property of the Week

This week's featured property is a stunning renovated brick home on the Sugar River in Albany, WI.
This is a really unique home. There are many older homes in our area, but few have been redone like this one in Albany. The owner is a general contractor from the Rockford area who had the home redone for his family over 2005 and 2006. It was gutted; even the interior walls were redone. The plumbing, electrical, roof, tuckpointing, mechanicals and energy efficient windows are all new. You name it, it has been done for you.

The historic nature of the home was respected during the remodel. New oak floors gleam in the living room and dining room, and oak trim graces the home throughout. The downstairs features back to back fireplaces in the living room and library, both original to the home. The kitchen and first floor laundry both have extra-tall cabinets, making the most of the high ceilings. Three bedrooms on the second floor and a third floor bonus room will give you plenty of space for a family at any stage of life. The master bedroom suite has an attached sunroom overlooking the Sugar River and tree-filled yard. Put your writing desk, your treadmill or a chaise lounge in here and enjoy a cozy sanctuary away from the rest of the family. The attached two car garage was added on, and the seller went to the trouble of obtaining brick to match the rest of the home. Little touches like that show the care with which the renovation was done.

This is a special house awaiting a family to turn it into a home. The asking price is $280,000, and the seller would very much like to see this go to someone who appreciates older homes.