Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Things to do around Monroe, WI

~ Take a tour of the old world at the annual Amish Quilt Auction. Bid on hundreds of handmade quilts, Amish made furniture, collectibles, and even horse implements. Bake sale and hand made ice cream made with a diesel engine featured. The auction is on Saturday at the Amish Schoolhouse - corner of Hwy. 104 and Atkinson Rd.

~ Turn your trip to the auction into an adventure. Bicycle there by joining the ride sponsored by Bombay Bicycle Club, and the Earth Rider van will bring your purchases back for you. Meet at Earth Rider in Brodhead at 8:00am for the ride. Pace 12-14 mph; Distance: 24 miles; Route: Moderate.

~ Come to New Glarus on Saturday to celebrate the 108th Anniversary of the New Glarus Fire Department. This fundraising event will feature bucket brigades, water fights, children's activities and live music. There will be food stands throughout the day, and there is a steak fry in the evening.

~ If you are experimenting with gardening this year and are curious about how to put up your bounty for winter, consider attending the food preservation workshop sponsored by UW Extension. This one day workshop is from 9 am to 3 pm at Pecatonica High School in Blanchardville. There is a $25 per person charge that includes preservation publications that you will be able to take home. Contact Bridget Mouchon at 328-9440 to register.

~ Fore! Join the YPs of Green County for their annual golf outing this Friday. Registration is required, so get over to their website to print out the form and get it in. $45 per person includes 9 holes at the Monroe County Club, beer on the course, and dinner. Tee time is 5:30.

~ The Green County Entrepreneurs Monday at 6:30 PM at the AmericInn Lodge conference room in Monroe. This month's speakers is Kate Walker from the Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation.

~ The free outdoor movie in Cedarville this Friday evening is "Calamity Jane". The movie starts at dusk, and there will be series of shorts in addition to the main feature.

~ Downtown Freeport will be happening this weekend. Friday evening is Brats, Beer & Blues at the Freeport Art Museum. Saturday, it is Cruise Night. Classic cars will fill the downtown lots. Starting at 7, the drivers can cruise around downtown Freeport as the roads closed to other traffic. Spectators line the street light a parade to enjoy the show. There is also a burnout contest, winners judged by applause and amount of smoke.

~ Don't forget about the great farmers markets happening in the region: Monroe, Monticello, Paoli, Belleville, Orangeville, Lena... Come out, meet your producer and get some great food straight from the source.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Property of the Week

This week's featured property is a Cape Cod home in Monroe.

This adorable Cape Cod in excellent condition is waiting for you!

Clean and bright, this home has 4 bedrooms with gable nooks, 1.5 bathrooms, hardwood floors, an eat-in kitchen, dining room and a spacious living room.

The newer roof, Energy Star furnace, central air and water heater means all you need to do is bring in your furniture and start living. Great location by hospital, a garage and a nice yard to boot. Home warranty included for your peace of mind.

Don't miss this one!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Helping local disaster victims

Our hearts go out to all the victims of the recent flooding in northern Illinois. Brenda's sister lives in Pearl City, and we have been hearing first hand about the flood conditions there.

We would strongly encourage all in the area to do what they can to help out. The Northwest Illinois chapter of the American Red Cross is operating two shelters and responding to needs in the area. Donations to that organization is always helpful.

Unfortunately, we have been unable to find a comprehensive list of volunteer needs and contact information online, but the basics certainly apply. Food to the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Contact local churches for volunteer opportunities. Call your local city hall to inquire about volunteer needs. Try calling the Freeport Housing Authority to see if they have opportunities for people with construction skills to help out. Clothing and household items will be needed for those who have been devastated by the flooding and lack adequate insurance.

An afternoon spent helping others, a bag full of food, a few clothes that you don't wear often, that rarely used kitchen appliance that you received as a wedding gift, the spare bed that was left behind after the kids moved out - all of these are pretty minor in the long run, but could make a world of difference in the life of someone else in our area.

For residents who are working to clean up after the flood, we encourage you to read the safety information from the Stephenson County Health Department before you begin.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Free Clothing Exchange this week

If you are cleaning out the closets in preparation for fall or if your family could use a little help with back to school shopping this year, the Free Clothing Exchange happening this Saturday at St Victor's in Monroe could be just the thing for you.

Sponsored by the Catholic Daughters of America, Grace Lutheran Church, Hope Evangelical Free Church and community member, the Free Clothing Exchange is looking for people who need help this preparing for this fall and winter, people who have clothing to donate or both.

The Free Clothing Exchange will operate on a simple honor system...donate what you can, visit to obtain what your children need, try to keep the room orderly.

Come browse for clothing from 8 am to 1 pm this week Saturday at St Victor School in Monroe (1416 20th Ave). You do not need to donate in order to attend as a consumer. All items are free to those Shopping for their families. It would be helpful for you to bring your own bags/boxes/laundry baskets for your items.

If you are able to donate, the following items are needed are needed in size infant through adult:

Shoes/Boots/Snow boots/Tennis Shoes
Coats: Fall & Winter
Hats & Mittens & Snow pants
Socks/Under garments/Tights
Tote bags/Backpacks/Duffle Bags/Pencil Cases
Scout Uniforms
New School Supplies

Items being accepted are to be clean and without stains. Footwear should be new or with light wear.

Items donated can be dropped off at St. Victor School, 1416 20th Avenue, Monroe WI on Friday, July 23 1 to 3 PM & 5 to 7 PM, or Saturday, July 24 Morning 10 AM to Noon. If you have items to donate, but cannot drop off at these times, email or phone Susan at 608-851-9137 to arrange a pick time and site. At the end of the day, anything useful that remains will be boxed and donated to various other programs in need, St. Vincent De Paul, Easter Seals, or other charities.

Volunteers are also needed for this one day event. If you can help out, please contact or phone Susan at 608-851-9137.

Friday, July 23, 2010

How effective is print advertising?

I was working on a continuing education class today when I found a nugget of information that was too startling not to share.

Before I share the statistic, let me share a little background. Whenever Luis and I list a house, we always talk with the potential seller regarding print advertising. We do pretty much no print advertising. There is a reason for this. Three years ago, we did quite a lot. However, we decided to keep some statistics ourselves on the return on investment for our print advertising. Care to guess what that return was?


It was rather surprising and sobering, and we consequently discontinued doing print advertisements for ourselves and special ads for our properties. We warn our sellers that we do not do prints ads for this reason. Buyers are not looking for homes in the paper; only the sellers look there. We don't even have a good return on open house advertising in print. At the last two open houses we hosted, one had zero percent attendance because of the print ad run by our broker and the other had only one couple out of six list "paper" as how they heard about the open house.

So, today when I found the following statistic, it both surprised me and made perfect sense.

More buyers found the home they actually purchased from a yard sign rather than from an advertisement in a home magazine.

1%of buyers found the home they bought through a home magazine. 14% found the home they bought through the yard sign.

It is interesting food for thought for home sellers, is it not?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Property of the Week

Time to move on up? Here is the perfect home for a growing family. Expand your living space with the finished lower level family room and wet bar or move outdoors to enjoy the 24x18' cement patio with 6' privacy fence and the yard. This 3 bedroom ranch has had updates to kitchen and bathroom, plus the Energy Star furnace, air conditioner and water heater are all just 5 years old. Come take a look today!

Annual Monroe Arts Center Photo Contest

Local shutterbugs, it is time once again for the annual Monroe Arts Center Photography Contest and Exhibit.

Everyone is welcome to enter, and there are two classifications this year, Junior (under 18) and Adult. This year’s contest and exhibit will feature three categories, which are Landscape, Portraits, and Unclassified.

Participants may enter no more than two categories and a total of two photographs. All photographs must have been taken after January 1, 2009. They must be a minimum of 8 x 10, a maximum of 16 x 20, and must be framed and suitable for hanging in MAC’s Frehner Gallery. The entry fee for this contest is $20 per photographer and the deadline to enter is Friday August 20, 2010. Participants are not required to be Wisconsin residents.

Photographs entered in this contest will be on exhibit in the MAC Frehner Gallery from September 3 through September 24. An opening reception and awards presentation for this exhibit is scheduled for Friday September 3 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM in the Monroe Arts Center Frehner Gallery. First, second, and third place ribbons will be given in each Category and Classification based on merit and number of entrants. Cash awards for the Adult Classification are $125-for Best of Show, $75-1st Runner-up, and $50-2nd Runner-up, and cash awards for the Junior Classification are $50-Best of Show, $30-1st Runner-up, and $20-2nd Runner-up.

For Photography Contest entry forms or additional information contact the Monroe Arts Center office at 608-325-5700

Friday, July 16, 2010

Did you get these chain emails?

There have been a couple email rumors going around regarding new federal legislation and the potential consequences for home owners. We thought it would be helpful to address these issues on our blog today.

Rumor: The new federal health care bill requires an additional 4% transfer tax on homes sold.

Fact: The new federal health care bill has a 3.8% Medicare tax for some high-income households with net investment income.

Starting in 2013, this tax applies only home households with adjusted gross incomes of over $250,000 and would only be charged on home-sale proceeds that exceed the capital gains exclusion of $500,000. If filing individually, these figures change to incomes over $200,000 and home sale proceeds over $250,000.

Rumor: The energy bill that Congress is working on would require home sellers to obtain an energy audit or make energy retrofits before selling.

Fact: The bill as written at this point would require new construction to be energy-labeled, but it does not allow states to require new ratings when the homes are sold. did a nice job answering this question with references on their website earlier this year.

If you come across any other rumors about these issues or others regarding changing rules for selling or buying a home, please ask our Facebook page, leave a comment, or drop us an email. We will check into it for you. We are here to help with all types of real estate questions here in the Green County area.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Things to Do Around Monroe

Such choices this weekend!

~ The Cedarville Historical Society is showing a free outdoor classic movie this Friday evening at dusk. View "Comin' Round the Mountain", a Bud Abbott and Lou Costello comedy as to main feature, and selected shorts will be shown before it. Popcorn, soda and candy available at 1950s prices.

~ Get out the bikes again for another Bike the Badger Trail Explorers Ride. The group will leave Freeport and bike to Monticello on Saturday. Join the Friends of the Badger Trail on this 46 mile ride, and complete one leg of the trail for this year's Bike the Badger patch.

~ If that ride is too advanced, consider the Smart Cycling for Trail Users, also sponsored the the Friends of the Badger Trail. Get the confidence you need to ride safely and legally on recreational trails and roads. The course covers bicycle safety checks, fixing a flat, on-bike skills and crash avoidance techniques.
Recommended for adults and children above age 14. Register by calling 608-897-8300 and bring your bicycle and helmet to the class. The class is free but a State trail pass ($4) is required.

~ It is Christmas in July on Monroe's Downtown Square this Friday through Sunday. There will special sales, decorations, snow and music.

~ ~ The Stephenson County Fair is going on all weekend at the fairgrounds in Freeport. From 4-H judging to grandstand events and demolition derbies, all the classics are here. Are you up for something special? Participate in the American Barnstormers Flying Circus! The vintage New Standard D25 can hold up to four passengers (plus the pilot) and is perfect for a family flying adventure - there is no minimum age for flying. Go all out and sign up for the Stearman flight. This is a trainer plane, and for 30 minutes, the passenger will be able to fly. The pilot will handle take off and landing, but once in the air, the flying is up to you. No flying experience is required. Interested? Call 863-899-4322 to sign up.

~ Calling all Pink Ladies and T-Birds! Grease is playing at Highland Community College this week and next on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

~ It is Bastille Day in Belleville this Saturday. Who knew we celebrated that here in Green County? The day is full of family events: K-12 talent show, live music, tours of the tunnel, wine and cheese tasting and more. The event starts at 11 am with the live music running from 3-10 pm.

~ Tret Fure is playing at the Monroe Arts Center this Saturday evening at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $17-25 and can be purchased through the MAC box office.

~ There are many other options to enjoy live music all over the area this weekend. Baumgartners, Tofflers, Turner Hall, and New Glarus Hotel will all feature bands this weekend. Brodhead also has their Twilight Music in the Park Sunday at dusk.

~ There is a concert and dinner at the Piazza this Saturday evening. The Piper Road Spring Band will play bluegrass starting at dusk. The potluck theme is Call Any Vegetable, and the potluck starts around 6:30. This is a pass the hat event with a recommended contribution of $10-15. If you haven't been to a concert at this country estate yet, give us a call and we can walk you through the details. Piazza concerts are magical.

Have a great weekend in Cheese Country!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

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.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Congratulations on becoming the newest owner of a building in
Monroe's Historic Downtown, Faustino!

Marc, congratulations on selling your building, and best of
luck with your next endeavor!

It was great to work with both of you.

Whether you are hoping to sell something like Marc or are looking to purchase just the right property like Faustino, give Brenda or Luis a call or check out our website to send us a message. We are here to help with all of your real estate needs in the Green County area.

Friday, July 9, 2010

June 2010 Green Cty Wi Real Estate Market report

Regarding the number of single family homes that sold in Green County in June of 2010:
  • 29 homes sold in June of 2010,
  • The homes were on the market for an average of 106 days,
  • The average sale price was $143,386,
  • The median sale price was $128,000,
  • The highest priced property sold was $322,000,
  • The lowest priced property sold was $27,000.
Let's compare with June of 2009:
  • 32 homes sold in June of 2009,
  • The homes were on the market for an average of 159 days,
  • The average sale price was $148,459,
  • The median sale price was $140,957,
  • The highest priced property sold was $375,900,
  • The lowest priced property sold was $43,000.
Many of the numbers are holding steady against this month last year, but it is great to see that the average days on market is significantly lower again.

Six homes in the over $200,000 price range sold last month. Considering how hard this price range was hit during the last year and a half, it is good to see some signs of life in the higher priced market.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Property of the Week

This week's featured property is a 10 acre parcel of land in between Argyle and Blanchardville.

No covenants! This 10 acre lot near Yellowstone State Park and Yellowstone Golf Course will be the perfect place to build your dream. Plan your home to enjoy the long views of the countryside. The lay of the land will accommodate a walk-out if you like, and all utilities are at the road.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Congratulations on your first home, Cori! We hope that you will spend many happy years there.

If you dream of a photo of standing in front of your first home in the Monroe, WI area, give Brenda or Luis a call or check out our website to send us a message. We will be happy to work with you to help you find just the right home, whether it is your first home or if you are upsizing or downsizing.