Thursday, December 17, 2009

About that new $6500 tax credit

Much press has been given to the first time home buyer's tax credit, but the newest incarnation of the tax credit includes another very interesting element - the $6500 tax credit available to current home owners.

Not every current homeowner will qualify for this tax credit. Here is a summary of who is eligible:
  • You have lived in the home your currently own for at least five consecutive years of the last eight years. This is very important detail that can help those home owners who have had to relocate for work purposes and who have been unable to sell their former home yet.
  • You are purchasing a home for your primary residence. It does not matter if you are purchasing a traditional single family home, a condo, a townhome or a half duplex as long as it will be your primary residence. Investment and vacation properties do no qualify.
  • Your income must be less than $225,000 for a married couple or $125,000 for a single person to qualify for the full tax credit. If your income is between $225,000 and $245,000 for a married couple or $125,000 and $145,000 for a single person, you will receive only a partial credit.
  • The home you are purchasing must be less than $800,000.
  • You must have an accepted offer to purchase no later than April 30, 2010 and you must close on the property no later than June 30, 2010.
As with the first time home buyer's tax credit, the amount of the credit is based upon the purchase price of the home. The tax credit will be equal to 10% of the purchase price of the property up to a maximum of $6500. If you are purchasing a property that is less than $65,000, your tax credit will be 10% of your purchase price only.

You will need to live in the home for at least three years. If you live there for less than that, you will need to repay the full amount of the credit.

This tax credit is exciting because it helps not just young families move up in their homes as many of these programs normally do, but it also help empty-nesters and retirees who want to downsize.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Things to Do Around Monroe

~ Come to Heritage House in Monroe tonight for the Young Professionals of Green County for a Holiday Happy Hour starting at 5:30. There will be Holiday Martini and appetizer specials. The YPs are also adopting a family in need this month, and they will be collecting donations tonight. Donations of food, cash, baby clothing and educational toys are encouraged. See YP website for details.

~ Prost! Baumgartner's in Monroe is having their holiday party this Friday evening from 7 pm until midnight. Enjoy oysters on the half shell, traditional Glugg, cheese and more.

~ Toffler's in New Glarus is hosting a CD release party for area artist Beth Kille. There will be live music and no cover charge for this event which starts at 9 pm on Saturday.

~ There is still time to see Monroe Theatre Guild's annual production of A Christmas Carol. Showtimes are 7:30 pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, as well at 2 pm on Sunday.

~ MTG's Stage Right youth program has a workshop on Saturday. Junk Puppets is for kids ages 8 through 12. Children will learn the art of puppet making combined with recycling as they use traditionally recycled and throw-away items to make their art. $18 for members, $21 for non-members, 9 am until noon.

~ Green County Humane Society has a fundraising event this Saturday. Pet Photos with Santa takes place from 10 am until noon at Monroe Auto Sales on the west side of Monroe. Bring your pets to be photographed with the big guy, and while you are there, pick up some treats at the bake sale there at the same time. Donations of baked goods are welcome; please contact Angie at 325-9600 for more information. Remember, the Humane Society is always in need of donations and dog walkers (see their website for a wish list), so chip in to help out the furry friends there this winter!

~ The Monroe Farmer's Market is starting up again! The first market of the season is today ~ Don't miss this weekend's Winter Market! Stock up on root vegetables, jams, jellies, baked goods and more at the farmers market on Monroe's Downtown Square. With a nod to the weather, the market moved indoors for winter, and it will be held in the lower level of Das Baumhaus from 9 am until 2. The next one isn't until January 16, so stock up now.

~ The Bel Canto Singers will perform a concert at 7 pm on Sunday at St Victor's Catholic Church in Monroe. Bel Canto is known for their rich vocals, and they will be teaming up with an organist, trumpeter and saxophonist for this performance. $5 admission.

~ Congratulations are in order for five Brodhead area ballerinas who will be onstage at the Overture Center in Madison this weekend for the annual Nutcracker performance. The girls, all students at the BHF Dance Academy, are Emily Beauchel, Nickole Becker, Carly Benton, Abby Jo Harnack and Rachel Jorgensen. There is still time to purchase tickets for the performances by contacting the Overture Center Box Office. Way to go girls! All that hard work really paid off for you. Break a leg!

Property of the Week

This week's featured property is a three bedroom home in Browntown.

Space, space and more space. Need more space for the family? How about space for the workshop and big boy toys? This three bedroom home on 1.13 acres has everything you need. The rambling ranch has a unique floor plan that includes the all the basics - living room, dining room, bathroom, bedrooms - along with an eat in kitchen and an enormous rec room that has a wet bar and half bath.

Privacy is yours when you relax on the the secluded back porch. Overlook a landscaped yard and miles of valley without seeing the neighbors.

The enormous detached garage is large enough to park two semis with room for more, so bring on the big boy toys! You are near the Cheese Country trail for riding an ATV or snowmobile and only minutes from Cadiz Springs for fishing. Trailer the boat a short drive up to Yellowstone or take the camper and spend the weekend. This garage has room to store all of these and more, more, more!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Food for Fines

The Monroe Public Library is doing a food drive to benefit both the local food pantry and those of us who *ahem* support our public libraries by not being so prompt in returning things.

Food for Fines runs now through December 19. For every non-perishable food item or pet food item you bring in, the library will forgive $1 in fines. There is no limit, so give generously and get all those fines waved magically away.

I know our family will be contributing a tidy bag of items during this promotion...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Things to Do Around Monroe

If you have finished digging out from yesterday's blizzard and can think ahead again, here is a look at what is happening in our area in the upcoming week:

~ On Friday evening, the Monroe Arts Center plays host to the Community Sing Along starting at 7 pm. Patrick Beckman will play the piano, and the audience will be directed by the Allen Redford, Director of Choral Music at Highland College. Songs will include traditional holiday fare such as Deck the Halls, Jingle Bells, White Christmas, Silent Night, and Joy to the World. Prior to the singing, there will be a reception from 6 until 7 to close the annual holiday Silent Auction. It will be your last chance to bid on great items in this annual fund-raising event.

~ Trolley Rides will leave from Monroe's Downtown Square this Friday evening to highlight the entrants in the annual Holiday Lighting Contest. The trolley stop is on the southeast corner by Das Baumhaus.

~ No time for holiday baking? Stop by St John's in Monroe for their annual holiday cookie and candy sale. A huge variety of goods will be available including traditional Swiss bratzeli and much more. All cookies are $6 per pound, stop in any time between 8 am and 1 pm.

~ Freeport Public Library has a children's book drive going on through December 15. Bring in a new or slightly used children's book for donation to local non-profits to distribute to children in need in the Freeport Area.

~ If the kids are looking to give their Santa lists to the big guy in person, he is making some local stops this weekend. He will be at the Monticello Fire Department from 11 am until 1 pm on Saturday, the Monroe Public Library from 10 am until noon and 1 until 3 pm, the Lena Fire Station from 8 until 11 am, the Freeport Public Library at 10 am for storytime and from 2 until 4 for visiting, McConnell Historical Society at 1 pm.

~ Monroe Lego Club meets this Saturday from 10 am until 1pm at the Monroe Public Library. This free event is open to Lego-lovers of all ages. Children under 10 must have an adult in the library. Bring your creations to share. Bricks are provided; please do not bring your own to prevent mix-ups.

~ Opening night for Monroe Theatre Guild's production of A Christmas Carol is Saturday evening. There will be a 7:30 show this Saturday, as well as Thursday, Friday and Saturday of next week along with 2 pm matinees on this Sunday and next. Tickets are available at the door, $12 for members and $15 for non-members.

~ After you warm up your singing voice at the MAC, switch gears and head over to Leisure Lanes in Monroe on Saturday evening. They are hosting a Karaoke night with DJ Jackie Lee in Spirits Bar and Grill.

Property of the Week

This week's featured property is a commercial building in Monroe, Wisconsin.

Here is your chance to own a piece of Monroe’s history dating back to circa 1865.

The historic Lanz Building is a rare property with over 14,000 square feet on 3 levels located on corner lot in Downtown Monroe. This location is ideal for your business or non-profit, a well traveled corner between Turner Hall and the Square. There is newer electrical, 16” solid masonry walls, exposed brick walls, 11’ ceilings on main floor and 9’ ceilings in basement. The building is loading dock capable, and there is underground parking available. For your customers or employees, there is plenty of parking available thanks to street parking on two sides and a large public lot to the rear.

This building is easily divided inside with multiple exterior access points. Whatever you are thinking - restaurants, retail space, art gallery, museum, office spaces or anything else - this space is wide open and waiting for someone with a vision.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Argyle Integrated Environmental Studies Plant Sale

Argyle has a cutting edge program in their schools nowadays, the Argyle Integrated Environmental Studies program. As a fundraiser, the students are currently doing their annual Native Plant Sale.

The students have harvested over fifty varieties of native seeds this fall during their fieldwork. They will be planting these seeds and raising the seedlings in their greenhouse over winter. You can purchase single species trays, custom trays and collection trays. Each tray has 32 healthy plants in 2 inch pots and will cover 50 to 100 square feet of garden space.

See Species Available

There is an order form link from the species page or contact Les Bieneman to order. Ready-made collections will cover many options: Tall Grass Prairie, Woodland Edge, Rain Garden, Butterfly Garden, and Rock Garden.

Native plants require significantly less care than non-native species, and they attractive native species of birds, butterflies and animals.

The Annual ALEA Native Plant Sale provides funds to support Integrated Environmental Studies throughout Argyle School (4K-12th grade) with field trips, new scientific equipment, supplies for the greenhouse and educational curriculum.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

November Market Report

First, the number of single family homes that sold in Green County in November of 2009:
  • 19 homes sold in November of 2009,
  • The homes were on the market for an average of 88 days,
  • The average sale price was $111,000,
  • The median sale price was $133,047,
  • The highest priced property sold was $265,000,
  • The lowest priced property sold was $59,000.
Things have not changed very much when compared to November of 2008:
  • 21 homes sold in November of 2008,
  • The homes were on the market for an average of 76 days,
  • The average sale price was $136,242,
  • The median sale price was $121,000,
  • The highest priced property sold was $450,000,
  • The lowest priced property sold was $55,000.
It is nice to see the average days on market dropping down from the 95+ days that we saw earlier this spring.

I find it very positive that the November statistics are similar to where they were last November. Given the way that the market slowed down so much in the early spring of this year, it is great to see things holding steady again. The average sale price is lower, which is reflective of both the fact that prices did drop in our area in the last year as well as the fact that the First Time Home Buyer's Tax Credit was a great incentive that encourage a number of former renters to take the leap into home ownership in recent weeks.

December is historically a slower month for real estate sales, so I am curious to see how this year shapes up. Interestingly, one home has already sold in Green County this month, and it is

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Things to Do Around Monroe

~ The Monroe Clinic Volunteers have their annual Christmas Festival on Friday in Founder's Hall. On December 4 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., stop in for a bake sale, lunch stand, Clare’s Closet gift shop items, a silent auction as well as coffee and sweets. All proceeds benefit the scholarship fund.

~ If you are in Shopko this Friday or Saturday, stop by to listen to music provided by students of the Green County Piano Teachers Association. 155 students and 8 teachers are participating in a Piano Play-A-Thon.

~ Did you register for Kookaburra's annual Cookie Contest? If not, there is still time. If you are not a baker, stop in to taste the cookies and fudge entrants between 10am-3pm, and be sure to check out the fun new inventory of culinary goods and gifts while you are there.

~ New Glarus will host the first Tour of the Arts, showcasingworks by emerging and established artists, each one hosted by a different business or retail store. Maps of the artist locations will be available at the New Glarus Chamber (Depot Building on Railroad Street) starting at 10 a.m. There will also be traditional Swiss holiday treats and other sweets at the Swiss Church Cookie Sale, Santa at the Anderson Mall and horse-drawn wagon rides downtown.

~ Tthe Monroe City Band Christmas will have a concert on Sunday, December 6, 3:00 p.m. at the Methodist Church. Admission is free, and there will be cookies after.

~ Juda Fire Departments holds their annual Big Gun Show this Sunday from 8 am until 3:30 pm. Buy, sell or trade at 100 tables of guns and gun related times. $4 admission at the door, will all proceeds helping the Juda Fire Department to purchase life saving equipment.

~ St John's UCC Church hosts Deutscher Weihnachtsgottesdienst this Sunday at 2 pm. This German-language sermon is believed to be one of the few of its kind still conducted in the US. There will be a retelling of the Christmas story using lessons and carols with several native speakers taking part in the reading.
~ The Monroe Theatre Guild’s Youth Choirs have their fall session concert on Sunday, December 6th at 7:00 PM at Monroe Arts Center. Both the Junior and Senior Choirs will be performing traditional and non-traditional Christmas songs. The kids are sure to entertain music lovers of all ages. Doors open at 6:30 and admission is by donation. Come fill the house with supporters of these young singers.

~ Are you ready for TubaChristmas!? Come to Lincoln Mall on W. Galena Avenue in Freeport at 11 am on Saturday for an hour-long concert of your favorite Christmas carols played by local and regional tuba and baritone players.

~ Also in Freeport this Saturday is the annual Luminary Walk at Okadale Nature Preserve. From 6 pm to 9:30 pm, the woods will glow with the light from hundres of luminaries. Enjoy an guided hike through the paths where special guests along the way will share their stories with you. Treats and music await in the Lodge, and the Children's Holiday Giving Store will be open. Admission is $6 for adult, $4 for kids 4 through 11 years for this enchanting event.

~ The Green County Area Entreprenuers and Inventors Club meets this Monday evening from 6:30 until 8:30 at Barb's Kitchen (710 16th Street, Monroe). Barb Newcomer and other Food Entrepreneurs will talk about their businesses and sharing a commercial kitchen. Tours and samples available. Event is open to the public and free.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Get your tickets now

Tickets are currently on sale for the Monroe Theatre Guild's upcoming production of "A Christmas Carol." Do you have yours yet?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Things to Do Around Monroe

Happy Thanksgiving! Are you looking for something to do after the traditional dinner is finished?

~ Come to Downtown Monroe on Friday evening for the annual Lighted Holiday Parade. The parade kicks off from the middle school starting at 6 pm. This year's theme is "Frosty and Friends". Many of the entrants will be creative in their use of lighting, and generators are donated for use by PDC.

~ New Glarus lights the Community Holiday Tree this Friday evening at 6:30. Come downtown for all the festivities and join your neighbors to see the magic of the lights.

~ Turner Hall is the setting for the local Christkindlmarkt. This old world holiday shopping event has its roots in the markets dating back to 1432 in Germany. Stop by the Grand Hall between 9 am and 4 pm either Friday or Saturday. There will be a variety of fiber and fabric arts pieces, candles, soaps, floral arrangements, decorations, Scherenschnitte, Kerbschnitte, Holzschnitte (traditional Swiss-German crafts) along with a European cafe and Swiss baked goods.

~ Come to Flannery's William Tell restaurant in New Glarus this Saturday to enjoy live music by Amber Skies starting at 8:30. Amber Skies plays everything from americana to rock. Amber Skies is a popular local band with roots in Belleville.

~ Coffee house night in Freeport! Higher Grounds is hosting a Turkey Jam. Enjoy great music from Aaron Whalen, Nate Yeske and Dustin Hyatt, and Anneliese Schrader. Admission is $5 which includes a $1 coupon. This is our favorite Freeport coffee shop, and a very comfortable place to spend time.

~ Stopy by the Monroe Middle School this Saturday for "Shop for the Cure." Sponsored by the Green County Relay for Life, all proceeds from the day go to the American Cancer Society. There will be more than 40 independent local consultants, vendors and crafters offer a wide variety of gift items, making this a great place to work on your holiday shopping. The day will also include door prizes, raffles, baked goods, and a light lunch.

~ The Family Movie at Lindo Theater in Freeport this Saturday morning will be Planet 51. Bring the kids for a fun movie experience. $5 per person, and the kids will receive a holiday gift.

~ Stop by the Monroe Arts Center to view the items for this year's Silent Auction. This annual event supports all the great programming at MAC. There is usually everything from Dr Najat's honey to framed art pieces, special event dinners in your home to gift cards to local businesses. There is always something for everyone and every price range.

~ The Mighty Richland Players Dinner Theater will present A Christmas Madrigal: Handel and Gretzky" on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This laughter filled show will feature songs and comedy from the Renaissance era. Bring your appetite as dinner will be an English groaning board (roast beef dinner). $40 per person, call 815-819-1310 for ticket information.

~ Pick up your tickets for the upcoming Festival of Trees or performance of A Christmas Carol. The deadline for tickets for Festival of Trees is Monday at 10 am; contact Pam at the Chamber to reserve yours (3257648). A Christmas Carol will be performed by the Monroe Theatre Guild the second and third weekends in December. This year, all children under 12 are free with an adult ticket thanks to the generosity of Scrooge (aka John Bauman).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Local Money

Have you heard of Monroe Money or Monticello Money?

Both of these area communities have special programs where area residents can purchase certificates to be spent at any one of a number of local businesses. Monroe Money may be purchased at the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and can be spent at any Chamber of Commerce member business.

Monticello has Monticello Money, and the certificates can be spent at any of the Monticello Business and Professional Association members. Monticello Money may be purchased at the Bank of Monticello's Main Street location or at the Village Hall.

Monticello is doing a special Black Friday promotion to encourage people to shop locally this holiday season. Monticello Money will be 10% off on Friday, November 27.

Monticello Money or Monroe Money also make great gifts in and of themselves. Both can spend these at any member businesses. With lists of members that include hair salon, grocery stores, bowling alleys, repair centers, gift shops and much, much more, there will be myriad options for the lucky recipients.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

First Time Home Buyer's Tax Credit Extended

President Obama has signed the extension of the First Time Home Buyer's Tax Credit. This is exciting news because this bill also expanded the parameters of the Tax Credit, allowing for larger income maximums of the people receiving the credit. Move Up Buyers are also considered in this tax credit. People who have lived in and owned their primary residence for at least 5 years are now eligble for a Move Up Credit of $6500. Here are all the details as explained by the CEO of Coldwell Banker, Jim Gillespie.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Things to Do Around Monroe

Another weekend is closing in. Have you made your plans yet?

~ The Young Professionals of Green County are busy in the upcoming week. This evening, come to a Business Showcase at Country View Equestrian Center on Clarno Road from 6 until 7:30 pm. Get together again on Monday evening for a Trip to Italy Wine Tasting event at Vince's Pizza. The business showcase is free; the wine tasting has a choice of an appetizer, entree or both along with the wine tasting for $9.99 to $18.99 depending on your choice. Both events are helping out the Monroe Women's Club, so bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to the toy drive if you are able.

~ Farmer's Market enthusiast! The first Winter Market is this weekend in the lower level of Das Baumhaus on the South side of Monroe's Downtown Square. Stock up on root vegetables, jams and jellies, baked goods and more. If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, it will be easier than ever to serve some local foods thanks to the new Winter Market. There will be two more winter markets this year: December 19 and January 16. Free coffee and punch.

~ Bring the kids to the Tree Trimming party at the Monroe Public Library this Saturday from 11 am until 3 pm. Make an ornament or five in Santa's Workshop, enjoy a story in the Story Corner at 11:30, 12:30 or 1:30, and stop in the Cookie Corner Cafe to refuel. Grown up elves, cookie donations are welcome!

~ Do some more of your holiday shopping at the Brooklyn Arts and Crafts Festival. This Saturday from 9 am until 4 pm, browse the vendors at the Brooklyn Community Center and find the perfect home-crafted gifts.

~ Lindo Theater in Freeport has a Family Holiday Movie series this November and December. This weekend's movie is A Chipmunk Christmas: 3 Alvin and the Chipmunks Holiday Featurettes starting at 10 am. This movie is free!

~ Stone Ring is playing at the Monroe Arts Center this Saturday evening. There is still time to purchase a ticket or two and enjoy an evening of wonderful music in the Gunderson-Stiles Concert Hall.

~ Famous Fossil Winery hosts another of their weekend movie events. This weekend focuses on not becoming a wine snob. Watch the movie "Enjoying Wine" and learn about how to relax and have fun with wine.

Festival of Trees

Help out four local non-profit groups while having a good meal and entertaining evening. Sounds like a win-win situation, doesn't it?

The annual Festival of Trees is coming up quickly. This event is scheduled for December 5 this year. The silent and live auctions are always great fun, and all proceeds will benefit either Monroe Theatre Guild Stage Right Youth Theatre, Green County Humane Society, Green Haven Family Advocates or Green County Habitat for Humanity.

Entertainment this year will be provided by the Monroe Theatre Guild Stage Right Youth Choir. Forty members of the youth choir will perform a variety of songs at 7:30 with the live auction following their performance.

The evening takes place at Peppercorn Banquets and Catering starting at 6 for cocktails and 7 for dinner. Contact any of the charities to purchase tickets (and this way your favorite gets a little more of the proceeds) or contact the Monroe Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are $40 for the evening, and they include the entertainment as well as the dinner (chose from prime rib, rosemary chicken, butternut squash ravioli or stuffed mushroom ravioli).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Things to Do Around Monroe

So, what is going on in the upcoming days?

~ Monroe Arts Center is auditioning local talent tonight and Saturday morning for this season's Showcase of Talent. Come to MAC tonight after 6:30 or Saturday between 9 am and noon.

~ Come see the newly completed Downtown Square in Monroe this weekend and join in the festivities as the Downtown businesses celebrate with an Open House event all weekend. Enter to win one of four gift baskets valued at up to $1000.

~ If this gorgeous weather holds, it will be a perfect weekend to get outside and enjoy a fall hike at one of the local state parks. New Glarus Woods, Cadiz Springs, Yellowstone Park, Donald Park just north of New Glarus, all have miles of hiking trails ranging from easy to moderate. Get the bike out for one last ride on the Badger State Trail or Sugar River Trail.

~ Live music is at Toffler's in New Glarus this weekend. Enjoy an evening out with soloist Mark Harrod.

~ Remember to sign the little kids up for Monroe Theatre Guild's music and movement classes this Saturday. It is exciting to see them start offering classes for the younger set, and these should be fantastic. Full scholarships are available; contact Suzanne for more information.

~ The International Lantern Festival in Freeport this Saturday is an event to help promote cultural understanding and diversity. This celebration of hospitality, diversity and charity will feature local choirs, children's cultural activities, decoration of a giant community lantern and more. Make your own lantern in advance with directions from the website, or participate in a lantern making event from 5:30 to 6 pm. At 6, join in a parade of lanterns through the park, culminating in the final musical performance about 7 pm. Donations for the food pantry are appreciated.

~ Saturday evening, bring your favorite dish to the Broken Barn in Orangeville for Recipe Swap 2009. Make a dish from scratch, bring copies of the recipe, and come share. There will be judging and the top 3 dishes win a prize. This event is to benefit the local food pantry, and admission is 3 non-perishable food items per person. Please do RSVP so that they can plan enough seating and utensils; contact information is on their website.

~ If you enjoy the Badger State Trail, consider joining the Friends of the Badger State Trail. Their annual meeting is this coming week, November 18, at 6 pm at the DNR offices in Madison on Fish Hatchery Road.

Property of the Week

This week's featured property is a commercial building in Monroe.

This is a great investment property with potential for whatever you need. There is over 4400 square feet of commercial space here, or you could take the 2066 square foot second floor and make it your residence with plenty of room in the 2338 square foot main floor for a business. You could also easily convert this spacious stone building into apartments. Elevator to all floors. This property is conveniently located a block off Monroe's beautiful downtown square. New furnace, new water heater and other improvements make this a good buy. Property is being sold as-is.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Upcoming at the MAC

The Monroe Arts Center has some interesting events coming up.

Father Klarer will be speaking at MAC tomorrow, Wednesday, at noon in Welsley Hall for a free brown bag lunch event. The focus will be Victorian England, Charles Dickens, the script for Monroe Theatre Guild's upcoming performance of "A Christmas Carol," and the writing process Fr Klarer went through when adapting the story for the stage. Fr Klarer gifted MTG with an original adaptation for this holiday classic, and it will be performed for the first time this December by MTG. Follow along Fr Klarer's blog for all the backstage information on the performance and how it is coming together.

While you are at MAC for Fr Klarer's talk or to view the newest exhibit in Frehner gallery, which I highly recommend as it is fabulous, be sure to pick up some tickets to see StoneRing in concert in Gunderson Stiles Concert Hall at MAC on November 21. We've had the pleasure of listening to this Madison-area Celtic band in an intimate setting before, and they are simply wonderful. The four member band plays classic acoustical instruments and sings a variety of Celtic songs from ballads to rebel songs. Tickets are $22 and $17 for members, $25 and $20 for non-members.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Joining the "Go local, go independent" movement

Frequent readers know that we are strong supporter of locally owned, independent businesses. We are joining their ranks.

Towne Square Realty has always been locally owned, but we've been part of the Re/Max family for a while now. Our company decided to return to our roots and go independent again as of this month.

This move gives our company more flexibility to serve our clients to the best of our abilities. We still advertise our properties in all of the same venues and all of the same website (including the Re/Max site and all of the other major franchise sites thanks to the wonders of internet data exchange).

Go local, go independent!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Things to Do Around Monroe

~ There is an opening reception for the new exhibit in Frehner Gallery at the Monroe Arts Center on Thursday evening. "Looking In, Looking Out" is an exhibit by Lake Mills artists Karen Ragus and Leslie DeMuth. The show features artists working within a contrast of styles, a contrast of inspiration, and a contrast of imagery, but with a shared passion for color, mood and personal expression. The reception is from 5 until 7 pm, with a talk by the artists starting at 5:30 pm.

~ Did you get the kids enrolled for Monroe Theatre Guild's Stage Right Youth Theatre workshops this weekend? There is still time to enroll, so call Suzanne as soon as possible. There are two workshops for kids ages 7 and up this weekend, and two for kids ages 4 through 7 next weekend.

~ UW Extension is offering a free webinar for local farmers this Friday from 8 until 10 am in the new Justice Center. The topic will be on dealing with issues in the fall harvest, weighting the pros and cons of letting the crops dry naturally in the fields at the risk of potential mold development versus harvesting earlier and dealing with the costs of mechanically drying. Pre-registration is requested; call Mike Mayer at 328-9440.

~ Famous Fossil Winery is having Wine Movies and Cheesecake on Fridays and Saturdays this November and December. Enjoy a free wine-themed movie, pick up a slice of homemade Famous Fossil Cheesecake, and enjoy an evening out. This weekend's movie will be A Good Year; next week's is The Secret of Santa Vittoria.

~ Baumgartner's has live music this Saturday evening. Glen Davis will be playing blues starting at 8 pm. It should be a great event. Stop by Baumgartner's tonight for their Wednesday night Baby Back Ribs special!

~ Get some of your holiday shopping completed this weekend at the Brodhead Jaycees Arts and Crafts fair. Browse the many vendors all day on Saturday at the high school. Food will be available on site as well.

~ You can eat pancakes all day long in Freeport on Saturday. The United Methodist Church is having a pancake breakfast, and the Silvercreek Museum is having a pancake supper.

~ Monroe Arts Center hosts the final Sunday concert for fall on Sunday. Chicago pianist Mark Valenti will perform a series of works by Schubert, Stravinsky, and Debussy starting at 2 pm. Tickets are free for MAC members, $10 for the general public and will be available at the door.

~ Edler Glass Studio in Cedarville has their annual open house on Saturday and Sunday from 10 until 4. Watch the art of glass blowing, view the exhibit pieces and browse for something special to take home.

~ Small business owners, make plans to attend a workshop on financing options at Blackhawk Technical College Monroe's campus on Tuesday evening. The subject of the workshop will be Financing Opportunities for Small Business. Learn the myths and truths about small business loans, grants, financing and more. The cost is $10 and pre-registration is required. Call 342-1038 to register.

~ The Young Professionals of Green County are hosting a socializing and networking Happy Hour at Flanagan's Shenanigans on Tuesday, November 10 starting at 5:30 pm. Free snacks, drinks specials. The YPs are doing a Toy Drive for the Monroe Women's Club in conjunction with this event, so please bring a new, unwrapped toy if you are able.

~ Register for Chef Stef Culberson's Gifts from the Kitchen workshop at Goosechaser Farm next week. This popular class will be offered three times this year, twice at the farm and once at Kookaburra's in Monroe. Each participant will take home four wrapped and packaged gifts, all ready for giving.

~ Next Wednesday, November 11, MAC is auditioning local talent for the Annual Showcase of Talent Variety Show starting at 6:30. Groups or individuals, singing, dancing, instrumental music, comedy and more are all welcome. A second day of auditions is scheduled for Saturday morning, November 11.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Austrialian Wine Dinner

The Dining Room at 209 Main in Monticello is having an Australian wine dinner next week, November 12. The dinner will feature speaker Rebecca Loewy from Old Bridge Cellars, and there will be a custom menu for the evening.

Guests will enjoy the following:
  • Procuitto wrapped shrimp with antipasto relish with Kilikanoon Mort's Block Riesling '08, Clare Valley,
  • Smoked gouda tartlett with crispy shallots d'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne '08, McLaren Vale,
  • 5 spice & galanga pork wontons with shiitake mushroom glaze with d'Arenberg The Custodian Grenache '06, McLaren Vale,
  • Lamb loin with herbed root vegetable gratin and red wine jus with Penley Phoenix Cabernet Sauvignon '07, Coonawarra,
  • Braised beef shortribs with balsamic tomato reduction sauce, pancetta,and garlic mashed red potatoes with John Duval Plexus Shiraz - Grenache - Mouvedre '06, Barossa,
  • Honey sabayon with fresh berries & ginger orange shortbread with Chambers Muscat NV, Rutherglen
Reservation are strongly encouraged as seating is limited to only 40 guests. To make your reservation, please call The Dining Room at 209 Main at 608-938-2200. The cost is $70.00 plus 5.5% tax and 20 % gratuity per person, payable at the time of reservation.

This will be a great evening to learn a little more about Australian wines while enjoying the superb food an ambiance of The Dining Room.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Owners of vacant homes, this one is for you

This is a repost of a blog from last winter. The message is a valuable one for owners of homes that will sit vacant for any period of time this winter.

Vacant Houses + Wisconsin Winters = Potential Disaster

It seems to happen every year. A seller has a vacant home and does not get there to check on things regularly because of being busy or being out of the area. The homeowner assumes everything is fine because the furnace was running and the heat was set somewhere in the 50 degree range.

Until the unthinkable happens. A power outage takes out the electronic pilot. Something trips a circuit breaker. A weird fluke interrupts things and the furnace stops functioning. Even if the homeowner or a neighbor is checking in once a week or every few days, a home can sit in the bitter cold for days without anyone knowing.

No heat in these Wisconsin winters means one thing for a home - frozen pipes.

This does not need to happen. There is a nifty little gadget called a Freeze Alarm. It is battery operated and sits in the home, monitoring the temperature. If the temperature falls below or rises above parameters set by the homeowner, the freeze alarm will call for help.

Freeze alarms are not cheap; models can run over $400. However, a basic model can be purchased for under $100. Freeze alarms are easy to locate online, and offers a variety of them. You will also have to maintain a basic telephone line for the freeze alarm to call out on. There are other models that turn on a special light in the home when the temperature falls below a specific level. These models are less expensive, but you need to have nearby neighbors willing to keep an eye on things for you.

Even with those expenses, a freeze alarm can be a bargain when balanced against the cost of repairing burst pipes and the damage they can cause.

Don't be caught unaware this winter.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Things to Do Around Monroe

Boo! Are you looking for something fun for this trick-or-treat filled weekend?

~ Bring the little ghosts and goblins to Monroe's Downtown Square for the annual Halloween Parade. The parade begins and ends at Monroe Middle School. Children of all ages (and parents if they are so inclined) should line up at 3:45 for the 4:00 pm step off. Trick or Treating hours for Monroe begin after the parade and go until 8:00.

~ Wisconsin's Area 51 is celebrating this weekend. The UFO Capitol of the World - aka Belleville - is celebrating UFO Day this weekend. There will be the annual UFO Parade, a Fun Run, a pet costume contest, children's games, a craft fair, a Haunted Forest, pumpkin carving, food fair, and a Monster Costume Ball. Join in the festivities all day Saturday in Belleville.

~ Curious about the new Justice Center for Green County? There will be a dedication ceremony and open house this Saturday. The dedication ceremony will be at 10 am, and there will be building tours until 1 pm.

~ Toffler's in New Glarus is having live blues and classic rock music to go with their costume party this Saturday evening. The Mud Angels take the stage at 9 pm.

~ Monroe Theatre Guild hosts another of their member's only movie nights on Saturday evening with a showing of the classic Psycho. The showtime is 8 pm, and tickets are $5 at the door. Seating is limited, so call to reserve your seats, 325-1111. Concessions will be available, and all the popcorn you can eat is only $1. Not a member? No problem. Individual memberships start at $15, family memberships start at $20. Get your yearlong membership, and you'll be guaranteed reduced ticket prices for all MTG productions and access to movie nights and other members only events.

~ SLICE has their annual Annual Pumpkin Ball and Costume Contest on Saturday evening. $5 per person will get you ice skating, live DJ, dancing, costume contest and more. Rentals are available, and the concession stand will be open.

~ The Green County Entreprenuers and Inventors Club meets this Monday evening starting at 6:30 pm in the New Glarus room of the Monroe Hospital. This month, Dave Babler, Dave Mosher and Dave Smith will speak on entrepreneurs sharing resources to reduce costs and benefit all. Contact Susan at GCDC if you have any questions: 328-9452.

If you are new to the area and wondering about Trick or Treat hours for your community, a good place to contact is your local city clerk: Albany (862-3240), Brodhead (897-4018), Monticello (938-4383), New Glarus (3 pm until 8 pm), Albany (862-3240), Argyle (543-3113) or South Wayne (439-1011).

Holiday parade

Can you believe that it is almost November already? The 8th annual Lighted Holiday parade in Monroe is pretty much just around the corner.

Monroe Main Street is currently accepting entries for the parade, which takes place on November 27 starting at 6 pm.

Community groups, businesses and other organizations are encouraged to submit entries as soon as possible. The deadline is November 19. All you need to do is download the entry form from Monroe Main Street's website, fill it in and submit it to Barb in the Main Street offices in the Wisconsin Community Bank building or email Tom.

Lighted entries are obviously encouraged, and Precision Drive & Control is generously donating generators on a first come, first serve basis again this year. Entrants need to contact PDC directly regarding generators.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Things to Do Around Monroe

Hopefully this gorgeous fall weather will hold for another weekend!

~ Monroe Theatre Guild hosts a Business After 5 event for the chamber and a general public open house this Thursday evening. Come by the Stage to see the updates to the building and learn about MTG's upcoming events. Pick up your tickets to Singing on Sunday and Craig Tuttle for either Friday or Saturday evenings, or sign up for one of the upcoming theatre workshops for children or adults.

~ Monroe Lego Club is meeting again this fall and winter. The first meeting will be on Saturday in the meeting room of the Monroe Public Library from noon until 2 pm. Kids are welcome to come and build with other lego enthusiasts. Legos are provided, so please do not bring your own bricks to build with in order to prevent mix-ups, but bring creations to show if you would like. Kids 10 and under must have parent with them or in the library building at all times. Email Lisa if you have any questions.

~ Dad's Corn Maze is offering Pumpkin Carving on Saturday. Pick out the pumpkin of your choice and let your artistic side have at it. Wander the maze before or after carving.

~ Green County Habitat for Humanity is still working on their home build in Monticello. Stop in at the site on Summett Ave in Monticello to help out. Contact Cathy for more information.

~ SLICE is open for public skating this weekend. Bring your skates or rent a pair, then get out on the ice for some exercise and fun. Open skate times are 5 untiil 8:30 Friday evening, 6 until 9 Saturday evening and 4 to 6:30 on Sunday. Plan ahead for Halloween! SLICE is hosting the 2nd Annual Pumpkin Ball and Costume Contest. $5 per person for ice skating, live DJ, dancing, costume contest and more.

~ On Sunday, there will be a Native American Artifact Show in the gym of the Monticello School from 8 am until 2 pm. The show features authentic American Indian and Pre-Columbian artifacts and Indian cultural items. This show is hosted by the Badger State Archaeological Society in conjunction with the Central States Archaeological Societies.

~ Head out to one of our local, independently owned restaurants or cafes this weekend. In these economic times, supporting local businesses and restaurants makes a huge difference in keeping these businesses around. Craving a casual coffee shop atmosphere? Hit Fat Cat Coffee Works, Caribbean Coffee and Cream, or Perks. Looking for good old fashioned diner food? Try Corner Cafe or M&M Cafe. Maybe you want to enjoy some local foods or beverages? Cafe Claudeen, Pancho and Lefty's, Creamery Cafe and Barrett's Brick Cafe all feature some of the bounty of Green County. Going gourmet? The Dining Room at 209 Main or Deininger's can accommodate your palette.

Property of the Week

This week's featured property is a three bedroom home in Browntown.

Space, space and more space. Need more space for the family? How about space for the workshop and big boy toys? This three bedroom home on 1.13 acres has everything you need. The rambling ranch has a unique floor plan that includes the all the basics - living room, dining room, bathroom, bedrooms - along with an eat in kitchen and an enormous rec room that has a wet bar and half bath.

Privacy is yours when you relax on the the secluded back porch. Overlook a landscaped yard and miles of valley without seeing the neighbors.

The enormous detached garage is large enough to park two semis with room for more, so bring on the big boy toys! You are near the Cheese Country trail for riding an ATV or snowmobile and only minutes from Cadiz Springs for fishing. Trailer the boat a short drive up to Yellowstone or take the camper and spend the weekend. This garage has room to store all of these and more, more, more!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Computer Recycling Drive

Computer Heroes in Monroe is sponsoring a recycling drive for unused electronics this week.

Throwing away computers and other electronics can release hazardous chemical like mercury, lead, and cadmium into the environment, potentially contaminating both soil and groundwater. Residents of Monroe may bring their old computers and unused electronics to Computer Heroes, secure in the knowledge that the materials will be properly disposed of and recycled if possible by Resource Solutions.

There is no charge for the following items: LCD (flat screen) computer monitors, computer mice, CPU’s, laptops, keyboards, computer cords, circuit boards, UPS power strips, scanners, printer cables, printers, telephones, cell phones, fax machines, VCR’s, DVD players, remote controls, & stereo equipment. There will be a small fee of $10 for CRT computer monitors and copiers. Large televisions or appliances may require an extra fee. Please contact Computer Heroes for a price quote if you don’t see your item listed.

You may bring in the electronics to Computer Heroes on W 6th St in Monroe (near Monroe Furniture and Kutter Harley Davidson) anytime between 8 am and 5 pm this week.

Kudos to Josh and the crew at Computer Heroes for teaming up with Resource Solutions out of Madison and providing such a valuable service for those of us here in Monroe!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sellers and Short Sales

"Short sale" is a phrase that has been mentioned often in the news over the last year or so. We have found that though most people have heard of it, there is confusion over exactly what it is.

If a homeowner is in a position of needing to sell a house, but the current value of the home is less than the mortgage, that owner is in the position of needing to sell short. Sometimes sellers will bring money to the closing table from savings to cover the shortage. Sometimes sellers will be able take out a personal loan to cover the shortage. Other times, the seller will ask the bank to write off the extra amount, take a loss. It is this third instance that the media keeps talking about.

There is no such thing as a typical short sale, but all short sales have one thing in common: they take extra time. There are things that sellers can do, however, to shorten the amount of time it takes.

Before a bank will agree to a short sale, they need to gather certain data from the homeowner. They need documentation of the hardship the seller is experiencing, the reason why the seller is in trouble. The bank will need a complete financial statement from the seller to document that there are no liquid assets that could cover the loss and that the seller is unable to continue paying the mortgage as it stands. The bank will have to order an appraisal of the property to determine current value.

If a seller is proactive and starts talking with the bank as soon as listing a home at a short sale price, the process will be a bit quicker and easier. Buyers are not always willing to wait in limbo for three months or more for the short sale process to be completed. Also, there are no guarantees that short sales will go through at the price that a buyer accepts. A bank might determine that the house is worth more and reopen negotiations.

Some people find financial matters hard to deal with, especially when they are experiencing hardships. Procrastinating and ignoring these issues, though, will not make them go away. Instead, it can cause delays in the short sale process that prevent a short sale from being able to happen in a timely fashion and result in the home going into foreclosure instead.

Sellers, if you are facing a situation that might require you to sell short, it is better to be open and up front with your bank and your realtor.
When hiring your realtor, ask how familiar with short sales he or she is. It is a more complex process requiring more work of your realtor, and an realtor with short sale experience can help the process go more smoothly. Start the process with your bank as soon as possible. Contact the bank, explain the situation and request that they send you the packet of documents you will need to fill out. When you get the packet, tackle it immediately; it really will be a weight off your shoulders.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Things to Do Around Monroe

Another weekend is approaching quickly. Do you have your plans ready?

~ Monroe Main Street hosts a webinar on Green and Sustainable Downtowns on Thursday, October 17 at Wisconsin Community Bank over the lunch hour. Contact Cara at Green County Extension to register: 328-9440. Cost is $12.50 for the webinar, and that includes lunch.

~ John and Lisa over at Inn Serendipity are hosting a Sustainable Living in the 21st Century workshop on Friday and Saturday. Nationally recognized in the green movement, they are an incredible resource in sustainability and going green. This workshop covers buying a farm property, sustainable gardening, renewable energy, divirsified business planning in a rural setting and raising a family on the farm. There will be resources on getting started and a hands-on tour of the farm, gardens, a strawbale greenhouse under construction and various renewable energy systems. Registration required, $30 per person. Call Lisa or John at 608-329-7056 for information and registration.

~ Toffler's in New Glarus has special events for the weekend's football games. Saturday they are playing the UW game on the big screen, and come in on Sunday for the Packer game and a free nacho bar.

~ Live music at Baumgartner's this Saturday evening. Fever River String Band takes the stage at 8 pm.

~ Dad's Corn Maze just east of Monroe has Flashlight Night this Saturday until 9 pm. Bring your own flashlight and wind your way through the twists and the turns of the maze.

~ The Monticello Lioness Craft Fair is Sunday from 9 until 3 in the school gym. There will be over 60 vendors on hand, and the Lionesses sell nuts every year as well. Don't forget your tickets for the raffle!

~ Plan ahead for next weekend! Monroe Theatre Guild has a lot going on at the Stage building. Get your tickets for Singin' on Sunday and Craig Tuttle, performing on Friday and Saturday evening. There is also a Stage Right Youth Theatre workshop on Saturday, Acting Essentials for Teens.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Property of the Week

This week's featured property is a commercial building in Monroe, Wisconsin.

Here is your chance to own a piece of Monroe’s history dating back to circa 1865.

The historic Lanz Building is a rare property with over 14,000 square feet on 3 levels located on corner lot in Downtown Monroe. This location is ideal for your business or non-profit, a well traveled corner between Turner Hall and the Square. There is newer electrical, 16” solid masonry walls, exposed brick walls, 11’ ceilings on main floor and 9’ ceilings in basement. The building is loading dock capable, and there is underground parking available. For your customers or employees, there is plenty of parking available thanks to street parking on two sides and a large public lot to the rear.

This building is easily divided inside with multiple exterior access points. Whatever you are thinking - restaurants, retail space, art gallery, museum, office spaces or anything else - this space is wide open and waiting for someone with a vision.


Are you looking for some spooky action to get into the Halloween mood? Visit our area haunted houses.

Okay, so they aren't all houses. Around here, we have a haunted barn and a haunted mill too. Still, they are lots of fun and some help out good causes to boot.

In Orangeville, the Old Haunted Mill is a tradition that benefits the fire department. It is open every Friday and Saturday evening from 7 until 10 pm. Park at the fire department, and purchase your $6 ticket there. The adventure starts there and continues at the mill where ghosts, goblins, ghouls and, of course, Beetlejuice, a classic feature here at the mill, will do their best to frighten you.

Try the Lena Haunted Barn as well. This one is two barn, actually, and a trail that comes around through outside. It is also great fun and a community fundraising event. Park at the Lions Park in central Lena to purchase your $7 ticket. You can wait for the buses that take you to the barns or splurge for the ride in the hearse. Personally, we have always found it worth the extra $5 per ticket for the hearse because of how much time it saves, leaving us more time for dinner before our adventure. Lena is unique for the slide from one barn to the other. Most haunted houses have one slide, but this one is huge and great fun. After you make it out, warm yourself by the campfire outside and enjoy the evening.

Finally, check out Mount Carroll's Raven's Grin. This one is a houses, and is delightfully spooky too. Reservations are recommended for this one, but you can just stop in if you are not worried about wait times. Raven's Grin is a private business, and it is open much later, from 7 until midnight seven days a week, and from 2 until 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday, supposedly the perfect time to bring the kids if they like a fright. Tickets are $12 for a tour that lasts about 1.5 hours, and groups are welcome.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Call to Action

The $8000 First Time Home Buyer's Tax Credit has been a boon to many across our county this year. However, this credit expires on November 30, 2009. The National Association of Realtors is encouraging people to contact their congressional representatives and urge them to vote to extend this credit.

Several analysts credit this program with helping home prices and home sale rebound in many parts of our nation. However, there is concern about what will happen when the credit expires. To quote a recent article in the Washington Post, "If the first-time homebuyer tax credit expires as scheduled on Nov. 30, many analysts expect a drop in home sales and prices, though they disagree on how big the drops will be. The situation looks even more dire once swelling unemployment numbers and related delinquencies and foreclosures are factored in."

If you would like to take action and send a message to your representatives, this link makes it easy for you. Put in your name, address and email address, and the system will send out a message to your representatives.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Things to Do Around Monroe

~ Green County Tourism welcomes Wisconsin Secretary of Tourism Kelli Trumble to the New Glarus Brewing Company Hilltop Site for a tourism meeting on Thursday, October 8. There will be a reception at 5 pm featuring the Bounty of Green County and local foods. At 5:30 Secretary Trumble will speak on the Wisconsin Tourism brand and Green County's relationship with it and culinary tourism. RSVP to Noreen at Green County Tourism.

~ Cycling enthusiasts, remember Earth Rider Cycling's Once in Blue Moon ride this Saturday. Meet at Twining Park in Monroe at 5 pm on Saturday to head down to the Orangeville Haunted Mill (20 mile round trip). If you prefer a shorter ride, meet at Clarno Lumber Parking Lot around 6 pm (10 mile round trip). The ride is free, but a trail pass is required along with lights. Costumes are optional!

~ Area farmer's markets are still open and teeming with local foods. Leeks, herbs, eggs, squash and much much more can be found at Monroe, Lena, Paoli, Belleville, Freeport markets. Know your farmer, know your food, and keep the local economy strong!

~ Rainbow Fleece Farm is having their 19th annual Autumn Fiber Extravaganza from 11 until 4 on Saturday. Come for needlefelting talks and workshops from artisans, spinning, knitting and more. Call Patty at 527-5311 for directions or more information.

~ Did you get your tickets for the Austin Lounge Lizards performance at the Monroe Arts Center this weekend?

~ Goetz Theatre is showing "Zombieland", "Surrogates" and "Fame" this weekend. Sky-Vu Drive-in is still open too! This weekend's features are "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" and "The Ugly Truth."

~ Guerin Chiropractic is hosting a free Trigger Points workshop on Tuesday, October 13. Luis and I attended one is September, and it was very interesting. You do not have to be a patient at Guerin to attend. The workshop starts at 6, and supper is included. Call Gloria at 325-2626 to sign up with a partner.

~ Looking ahead to next weekend, Inn Serendipity is hosting a Sustainable Living in the 21st Century workshop, registration required. Green Haven is having their second annual Scavenger Hunt Expedition.

Monday, October 5, 2009

New restraurant open in Monroe

Monroe's downtown is home to a new dining establishment as of this weekend. Many of us have been watching the old Wolf Office Supply building all summer long as the the new owners, Russ and Nadine, have been working hard on the renovations, turning it into a southwestern inspired setting for casual dining.

Pancho & Lefty's is now open for business.

I stopped in today after hearing raves for multiple friends who eat there over the weekend. The dining area and bar are not huge, but they are filled with comfortable tables and chairs. The decor and dark red walls lend to the intimate, relaxed feeling.

The menu sounds great, and the prices are all quite reasonable. The main entrees include steak, chicken, burritos, pulled pork, burgers and more. There are a variety of appetizer choices, including deviled eggs that I have heard are fabulous. Desserts are limited to a lime mousse with gingersnap crust or chocolate bread pudding, and both are affordable add-ons at only $3.50.

Pancho & Lefty's does serve beer, including local options from New Glarus Brewing Company. Russ and Nadine are making an effort to support the local foods movement. In addition to the beer, they have Roth Kase cheese and bread from the famous Monticello Yodeling baker.

Pancho and Lefty's is located at 1018 17th Ave on the east side of Monroe's Downtown Square. They are open for lunch and dinner, and are open all week including Sundays and Mondays. Bring the checkbook as they accept cash or local checks, but no credit cards.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

First Time Home Buyer's Tax Credit

60 days and counting for the First Time Home Buyer's $8000 tax credit...

This video is from last spring, but it does a nice job covering information on the tax credit itself. Time is running out, so if you want to take advantage of this tax credit, contact us today!

Things to Do Around Monroe

Here is our weekly look at events going on in the area in the next few days.

~ Frehner Gallery in the Monroe Arts Center has a new exhibit opening on Thursday evening. "Out of the Woods - Remembering Nate Roth" is a tribute to long-time area resident and woodworker, Nate Roth.

~ The Green County Humane Society has their fall garage sale/bake sale fundraiser going on. Located at Monroe Auto Sales, the sale takes place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

~ Bring your tastebuds to the Downtown Square in Monroe on Saturday for the annual Chilifest! This tasty tradition kicks of at 11 am, and will feature food and beverage vendors, artisans, bands and more. Have you seen how great the newly completely renovations to the north side looks? Come check it out!

~ The Orangeville Education Foundation has a 5K run/walk on Saturday morning. The race starts at the Jane Addams Trailhead shelter house, and runs along the trail, a flat crushed limestone surface accessible to all. $20 for race day registrations. Registration starts 7 am, and the race begins at 8 am.

~ Big Brothers and Big Sisters Tour de Cheese bike ride is also on Saturday. These 15, 30 or 60 mile rides begin at Spring Square and end at Minhas Brewery parking lot in Monroe. Same day registration is available for $40, and minors under 17 are free with a paid parent or guardian. Helmets are required. Registration is from 7 until 9 am on Saturday.

~ Saturday is also the day for Albany's annual Fall Festival. Come celebrate the changing of the season with your friends and neighbors!

~ Don't forget about the Monroe Firefighter's Pancake Breakfast on Sunday morning. Fill up on pancakes from 7 am until noon at the firehouse, and stay for rides and games. Adults are $6, children from 4-12 are $4 and kids 3 and under are free.

~ Come out to the Green County Entrepreneurs and Inventors Club meeting on Monday at the New Glarus room of the Monroe Hospital. This month will feature information and discussion on internet strategies for business.

~ Woo00OOOO00oooo! Get ready for the Haunted Bike Ride. Earth Rider Cycling is leading this evening ride on the Badger State Trail to the Haunted Mill in Orangeville on Saturday, October 10. Registration is not required for this ride. Gather at Twining Park, and the riders will leave at 5 pm. Contact Sharon at Earth Rider if you have any questions.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Take the Survey

Future Forward! is working through a series of surveys on life in the Green County area this year. Future Forward! is a local non-profit that is looking to retain and attract younger professionals in our area to keep Green County vital and competitive in the coming years.

In order to improve the life here for current residents and make our area more attractive for new residents, Future Forward! is assessing our assets and areas for improvement in seven key areas. They are doing a series of seven surveys over the year, one in each area. Two surveys are already complete, and a third is going on right now. Each survey ends with a drawing for a prize, and at the end, all survey participants will be entered into a drawing for an iPod Touch.

The current survey is about learning opportunities in the area. It is a quick survey, so please take a moment to fill it out.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"As-Is, Where-Is"

Usually when a buyer is purchasing property or a home, the seller provides a form called a real estate condition report. The seller is legally required to make no mis-representations about the property and its condition.

Sometimes, though, the condition report is not filled out or the contract contains a provision that states "The buyer accepts the property as-is, where-is. Seller makes no warranties, expressed or implied." This happens most frequently in the case of bank-owned properties (foreclosures) or when a personal representative fills out the documents for an estate, but it can also happen in regular transactions as well.

Buyers need to be very aware of what they are signing when they agree to an as-is, where is statement in a contract.

When a buyer agrees to an as-is, where is statement in the contract, they effectively lose their right to sue the seller later for mis-representation. This statement implies that the buyer is purchasing a property that is not in perfect condition and cannot rely on the seller to diclose any or all defects. Wisconsin Court of Appeals recently heard a case regarding a real estate transaction where the seller assured the buyer that the property had a clean environmental analysis, but where there was soil contamination. The buyer signed a contract with an as-is, where is provision. Because of the provision that the buyer agreed to, the court ruled that the buyer was in breech of contract when attempting to back out of the deal.

Buyers should tread carefuly with any offer that has an as-is, where is provision attached. Try to obtain any inspections or testing that could help determine condition prior to submitting an offer. Perfect properties rarely come with the as-is, where is language, so keep buyers need to be aware of any potential hidden risks.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Things to Do Around Monroe

Are you looking ahead to the weekend plans? Here is a snapshot of area events in the upcoming days:

~ Behring Senior Center in Monroe has a Brat Fest every fall, and it is here again. On Thursday from 10 am until 6 pm, you can stop in for single brats at $3 each or a meal for $6 (brat, chips, soda/water, and a cookie).

~ The Young Professionals of Green County are playing wiffleball and kickball with the YP of Freeport on Saturday at Little Cubs Field at 2 pm. Bring the whole family for a day of fun. Afterwards, some of the YPs are planning to head over to Cannova's in Freeport for dinner.

~ Bag Ladies in Monroe has an open house event this week from Thursday through Saturday. New fall purses are in, so come and browse.

~ Get your registration in for the collaborative class between Stef at Goose Chaser Farm and Laura at Kookaburra's in Monroe. The October 5 class will feature Oktoberfest foods. Who better to teach it than a native German? Brats, kraut recipes and much more including the beer. Also sign up for the Fall Foods class on October 11 where Stef will be cooking soups and stews.

~ Artisan Gallery in Paoli has a new exhibit opening on Friday evening. The opening reception of the 6th Annual Ceramics Invitaional Art Show is on September 25 from 5 until 9. The show will be on display through November 1

~ It is Oktoberfest weekend in New Glarus! Festivities kick off with a brew master from New Glarus Brewing Company tapping into a keg of their Oktoberfest Staghorn beer. There will be classic cheese fondue, a tractor pull, chainsaw wood carving demonstrations, and plenty of food and live music all weekend long.

~ Monroe Arts Center has Big Top Chautauqua’s “Wild Woods & Waters" coming to the Monroe High School Performing Arts Center at 7:30 pm on Saturday. The Blue Canvas Orchestra and singers travel to Monroe with an original musical theatre production highlighting the natural beauty and history of Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest. The multi-media performance features live music and songs by talented musicians, dramatic storytelling, and hundreds of breathtaking large screen, historical images.

~ Dance to beat of your own drummer. Oakdale Nature Preserve in Freeport will be the site of a Community Drumming Circle on Friday evening from 7 until 9. All ages are welcome and a variety of percussion instruments will be available or bring your own. Reservations are preferred by the day of the event; call 815-235-6114. $4.

~ Argyle has a Homecoming celebration this Sunday with a parade and high school football game. Come support the youth athletes! The parade starts at noon and kickoff for the football game versus Benton/Scales Mound is at 2 pm.