Thursday, January 27, 2011


Today's blog post is our favorite type - a congratulations to one of our sellers.

Mike and Beth, congratulations on selling your home! We wish all of our sellers could be as easy to work with as you have been. Good luck with your move and enjoy your new state.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Things to Do Around Monroe

Those of us here in Cheese Country are always game for something to do. Will we see you at any of these events in the upcoming week?

~ The Monroe Chamber of Commerce Business After 5 event will take place at Orchid International this month. Come learn all about the new technologies in development at Orchid. The event goes from 5 until 6:30 tonight, Wednesday.

~ Come down to the Monroe Theatre Guild Community Arts building Downtown on Thursday evening from 6 to 8 pm for another Clean Up Night. Can you push a broom or move a chair? You have just the skills needed to help with the ongoing renovations at MTG. Other construction skills are always welcome too! If Thursday doesn't work, how about Saturday from 1o until noon? Come for one or both and have fun while helping out a great cause. Community support at these work days helps MTG to reduce the costs for the renovations, so contribute this way if you can't comfortably give financially to their campaign for an improved building.

~ Lace up your hockey skates! Head down to Freeport any Thursday evening for the rest of winter for a free hockey night. Read Park in Freeport is home to an outdoor ice arena, and Thursdays from 6:30 until 9 are reserved for a pick-up hockey game. There is no cost for this, but you must sign a waiver before playing. Contact the Park Department at 815-233-6114 for a waiver.

~ Homegrown talent is something we have an abundance of here in Green County. Come out to MAC this Friday and Saturday evening to the Showcase of Talent. Showtimes are at 7:30 both evenings, and tickets are $10. Purchase your tickets in advance or at the door. The Showcase of Talent is hosted at the Monroe High School PAC this year. If you can't make it, tune in to Big Radio as they will be broadcasting Saturday's show live on the air.

~ We here in Cheese Country really support each other, so come out to Flannery's Wilhelm Tell Club on Saturday starting at 4 pm for a musical event that is raising money to help the Kleeman family of New Glarus get back on their feet after a devastating fire earlier this month. The Kleemans lost both their home and their business in this fire, so come enjoy some music and camaraderie, bid high on the silent auction items, pick up some raffle ticket and do what you can to help.

~ You know we always are up for a good pancake breakfast. Immanuel Lutheran Church on Pearl City Rd in Freeport is hosting their this week. On the menu are buttermilk pancakes, sausage, applesauce and beverages. Unique to this breakfast is the fact that it also a booksale, so browse the selection before or after eating. Adults $6.50, children $5.

~ Sports, sports and more sports. Yes, the Packers are going to the Superbowl, but don't forget about all our of local youth athletes. Come out and support the home team in any of the upcoming games or matches.

~ Thespians, are you ready for the auditions for Monroe Theatre Guild's upcoming production of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown"? Auditions take place on Thursday, February 3 from 5:30 to 7:30 and on Sunday Feb. 6 from 1-3 at the MTG Community Arts Building in Monroe. There are roles for four men and two women over the age of 18 (must be out of high school).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Property of the Week

Quality, location and style - this 3 bedroom tri-level has it all! Start with the location, a great spot near the golf course and schools. The backyard is private and quiet, a country feel while having all the town amenities. The landscaping was redone this spring to open up the yard while adding areas for shrubs and flowers. The entire yard has been fenced in with high quality materials: coated steel in the front, vinyl privacy on the side and heavy vinyl coated chain in the rear. Newer steel siding means that you won't need to plan for expense for many, many years.

Walk inside, and you will continue notice the quality. Large stone fireplaces with oak mantles, new oak trim through the entire home, Techline shelving, heavy duty laminate in the kitchen, tile floored entrance...the list keeps going. The comfortable, open floor plan flows easily from living room to kitchen and dining to the bright, south facing sunroom. There are two fireplaces on the main floor, one in the living room and one in the kitchen. Upstairs, there are two bathrooms including an en suite master bath. The master bedroom also has an attached three season porch and closets with Techline shelving.

On the lower level of the property, there is a large family room with more Techline shelving and a gas stove. The laundry room also has lots of storage with the shelving, and there is another separate storage room as well. The homeowner is including a home warranty for your peace of mind. Many updates have been done just this spring, so come take a good look at this one!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Snow Shoe Walk and Wine Tasting event

The Friends of the Cadiz Springs State Recreation Area are once again sponsoring a Snow Shoe Walk and Wine Tasting event this winter.

If you don't snow shoe, hikers are welcome to participate in this event as well. If for some reason we get another snow melt, this event will transform to a winter hike instead of snow shoe walk.

Tickets are on sale now for the February 19th event. The walk starts at noon and snow shoers will enjoy the trails through the park while stopping to sample wines at various tasting stations. The wines are sponsored by Brennan's Market, and they always bring a nice variety.

Tickets are $20 per person, and children under 15 are free. To purchase tickets or for more information, email or call Larry at 608-558-2289.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Real Estate Market Statistics for Green County for 2010

2010 has drawn to a close, and now we can get our first look at solid numbers regarding the strength of the real estate market here in Green County in the last year. I pulled this chart because I found it interesting when we compared 2010 not only to 2009, but also to the years prior.

Housing Statistics by Quarter in Green County, WI

Number of Home Sales

2005    -    438
2006    -    399
2007    -    370
2008    -    298
2009    -    325
2010    -    317

Median Price

2005    -    $137,750
2006    -    $152,400
2007    -    $139,900
2008    -    $131,050
2009    -    $127,000
2010    -    $127,500

I am very hopeful that things are coming back to normal. Our median home price is only $10K down from the normal of 2005, and it grew, though slightly, from 2009. This shows nice stabilization in our prices and hopefully heralds the end of decline on the market as a whole.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Property of the Week

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

Just renovated! All new flooring is in this investment property just off of Monroe's historic Downtown Square. New furnace, new water heater and other improvements make this a good buy. 2338 square feet on the main floor will accommodate any business. Use the upper level for your business as well, or turn into apartment for your home or a rental. Off street parking spaces in the covered portico. Opportunities abound with this property!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Survey for area entrepreneurs

Green County Development Corporation is looking ahead to the next year and a project to help developing entrepreneurs get their businesses started on a solid footing. To help determine where the largest needs are locally, they have put together a short survey. If you are currently a local entrepreneur or are thinking of starting a small business here, please take five minutes out of your day to complete this survey and provide important information to GCDC.

Complete Survey Now

Thanks for taking the time to help get this project off the ground. Please spread the word about this survey if you can.

By the way, if you are a current or aspiring small business owner in the area, don't forget about GCDC's monthly Entrepreneurs and Inventors Club meetings!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Housing Outlook for the 2011

Wisconsin Real Estate Magazine has an in-depth report on the economic and housing outlook for Wisconsin in 2011.

We'll let you read the full details for yourself, but here are a few interesting quotes:

"But house prices are now roughly in line with fundamentals like incomes, interest rates, and rents. For example, for much of the 80s and early 90s national house prices were about 3 to 3½ times the median household income. During the boom the ratio peaked at about five, but now we are back in step with historic norms."

The bust has been very difficult for our nation, but the rate of increase in the early part of this century simply was not sustainable. Having prices back to historic norms is a very good thing for our nation as a whole.

"Wisconsin’s economy and housing markets are continuing the recovery we noted last year. Statewide, our unemployment rate is 7.8 percent, 2 points below the national average. Even our worst-hit metropolitan areas like Janesville and Racine are outperforming the really hard-hit labor markets..."

This statistic is not helpful if you are one of the 7.8 percent. However, as a whole, it speaks to the robust nature of our economy compared to the rest of the nation. Confidence will help growth, and growth is what we need to fully recover from the recession.

"Some of our smaller metropolitan areas like Eau Claire and Green Bay, though still affected, have seen less of a boom and bust cycle than the rest of the country, and nothing close to the highly volatile markets in states like California and Florida."

This echoes something we have been saying for years: real estate is nothing but local. Just because there are enormous declines in Las Vegas or entire subdivisions nearly vacant in California does not mean that buyers here can expect to get houses for half of their 2006 values. And no, cash offers don't mean sellers will accept 50 cents on the dollar either.

"Housing prices in Wisconsin, as elsewhere, have stopped their decline and appear to have stabilized. "

Again, this is something that we have been seeing locally. Prices do appear to have stabilized across the board. The challenge now is to help sellers accept the reality of today's fair market value instead of longing for the pricing of four years ago.

We do recommend reading the entire report. It is a very readable work and a very informative one.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Things to Do Around Monroe

Come out, come out, wherever you are! Time for an update on what is going on in the area in the upcoming week:

~ New Glarus hosts their annual Winter Veteran's Rally. Events start Thursday evening and go throughout the weekend.

~ There will be live music at both Baumgartner's in Monroe and Toffler's in New Glarus this Saturday evening. Baumie's will feature blues with Glenn Davis. Toffler's has The Rowdy Prairie Dogs.

~ Film noir fans, take note of the upcoming series at Lindo Theater in Freeport. "Maltese Falcon" is showing this Saturday at 1 pm and 7 pm. The event is in conjunction with Highland Community College, and each showing will have an introduction before the movie and a discussion after. $5 per movie or $20 for the entire series. Other films to be shown in the series this spring will be "Double Indemnity", "Murder, My Sweet", and "The Third Man". Purchase tickets to the entire series, and you'll also get tickets to the bonus showing of "Swing Time" in April.

~ LeRoy Butler is speaking at the Monroe Chamber of Commerce dinner on January 20. The event will be at Peppercorn Banquets and Catering (aka The Mansion). Tickets are still available: $50 for Chamber members, $75 for non-members.

~ Tickets are on sale now for the Monroe Community Showcase of Talent at the Monroe Arts Center. The show takes place later this month on January 28 and 29.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Property of the Week

This week's featured property is a 3 bedroom home on 40 acres.

Not a drive-by! Designed by an award winning local architect, this artisan built home overlooking a private valley on 40 acres lies tucked behind 10 greenhouses.

The three bedroom, three bathroom home is filled with light, built-in storage, quality details, and natural woods. A two story atrium overlooks organically maintained valley - nature lover's paradise! Quality abounds in the details in this home from the variety of natural and rare woods used to the construction details like 12 gauge wire in the entire home or the solid red elm siding.

Paradise awaits outdoors. A hot tub sits within steps of the house and overlooks the entire valley. There is a cleverly created outdoor amphitheater that has is ideal for concerts or performance art. Host gatherings and spend time at the large fire pit. This is a perfect retreat, available fully furnished. With private entrances to the main house, two bedrooms and the lower level, this home would be ideal for a bed and breakfast or for housing a home business.

Ten greenhouses sit between the house and the road. These are part of the current owner's herb business. Take over this turnkey business and start your own work at home adventure. Combined with the natural land and over 180 berry plants to establish a CSA, small vineyard or market gardener. This property is ideal for any hobby horticulturist. Rare plants, over 350 species of herbs and established grapevines dot the landscapes.

A second building site with separate septic, electrical and driveway are also on the property. This is presently the site of a concrete pad with a mobile home. This is currently leased to a caretaker in exchange for property management and greenhouse assistance.

This is a rare opportunity to own a unique home and parcel of land within minutes of Monroe. Do not be fooled by driving by - this one is a true gem.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Help the Red Cross locally

Green County Red Cross is having a training event for volunteers on January 22 and 23. This event is for people who are interested in helping with the Red Cross Disaster Action Team.

The Disaster Action Team is on call after hours to assist victims of local disasters such as fires or flooding. If you are able to be on call is one out of every four weeks, have a desire to help people in a disaster situation and the ability to work in stressful situations while being caring and compassionate, are willing to work with a team to provide the best assistance to people affected by disaster, the Green County Red Cross needs you.

The training takes place at the Swiss Colony West Facility at 851 1st Ave in Monroe. There is an overview from 8:30 am until noon on Friday, then more specific training on shelter operations from 1 until 4:30 pm. On Saturday, there will be training on casework procedures all day from 8 am until 5 pm.

If this is something that you are able to help with, you can register via email or phone: or 877-618-6628 x254.

Giving back to the community is always a good thing.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Things to Do Around Monroe

Don't let the cold winter weather keep you at home this weekend. Here is a sampling of local events and things to do:

~ Come down to the Monroe Theatre Guild's STAGE building tonight from 6 until 8 pm for a clean up party. Construction is well underway with the renovations there, and help is needed with some general tasks. No special constructions skills or ability required. If you can move a chair or pick up some trash, you have the skills MTG needs tonight.

~ The Jimmy's are playing at 8 pm this Thursday at Toffler's in New Glarus.

~ Movie night! Come to the Goetz Theater in Monroe or the Lindo Theater in Freeport to enjoy a movie this weekend. The Goetz is showing Tangled, True Grit, Tron Legacy and Gulliver's Travels. Head to the Lindo to enjoy Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Fighter, Gulliver's Travels, How Do You Know, Little Fockers, Tangled, The Tourist, Tron Legacy, True Grit, and Yogi Bear 3D. Check the theaters' websites for showtimes.

~ Toe pick! SLICE in Monroe has open skate times this weekend. Practice your figure 8's from 5 until 8 pm on Friday or 3:45 to 6:45 pm on Saturday. The cost to skate is only $5. If you don't have your own skates, rentals are available for $2 or purchase a $10 discount card for unlimited free rentals for the skate season.

~ This Saturday, the Freeport Public Library is holding a Free Book Day. Stop in between 11 am and 2 pm to pick up a copy of Playing with the Enemy. The author, Gary Moore, will be on hand to sign copies as well.

~ It is not too late to register the kids for winter basketball programs through the Park and Rec departments in both Monroe and Brodhead. The 2nd and 3rd grade program starts in Brodhead on Saturday, and registrations must be turned in by Friday. In Monroe, 3rd to 6th grade program starts on Monday. Call the local Park and Recs for more information and registration.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Property of the Week

This week's featured property is a split-level ranch in Monroe.

Bring the family home! This comfortable split level home located on a quiet street has all you need. 3 bedrooms, main floor laundry, living room with fireplace, family room, refinished wood floors, generous storage area, 2 car attached garage, spacious eat-in kitchen, bright rooms filled with natural lightening. The landscaped yard has plenty of room for kids, grandkids, pets or more gardens.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Opening at Frehner Gallery

There is a new exhibit opening at Frehner Gallery in the Monroe Arts Center this week.

Mixed Media Time Four is, as the name implies, a exhibit featuring mixed media works by four artists. The artists each take their experience in painting, drawing, or photography and then add found objects into either the main work as embellishment. The result and then each add elements of found objects either into the main field of work or as an embellishment for framing. The result is mixed media works on great interest.

The artists, Randall Scott Zuber, Russell Gardner, Richard LeDuc, and Jim Salter, are all from the Green County and Dane County area. They work in media of acrylics, oils, photography and ink drawings.

The opening for this exhibit is on Friday evening from 5 pm until 7 pm. There will be an artist's talk at 5:30. Refreshments will be provided, and this event is free as are all Frehner Gallery exhibits.