Madison and Dane County homes for sale and events. 

Nov. 24, 2015

Madison Area Christmas Tree Farms

Madison WI Christmas Tree Farms

2015 Guide to Christmas Tree Farms in Madison, Wisconsin

Check back as we add more to the list! 


The Bruce Company Garden Center

Precut Christmas trees, Living Christmas trees (to plant later), Christmas wreaths, Christmas boughs, garlands, mistletoe, live reindeer, Christmas decorations, trees bagged, trees tied, tree shaking provided, free tree trimmings, gift shop, restrooms

2830 Parmenter Street, Middleton, WI 53562. Phone: 608-836-7041

Hann's Christmas Farm LLC

We have a gift shop, wagon rides, huge haystack with tunnels and a bell tower, maze for the kids, Santa and Mrs. Clause on the three weekend after Thanksgiving, free cider and much, much, more fun!

Hours: Open November 1st through December 24th including Thanksgiving Day. Hours are 9am to 5 pm

CaPaul's Christmas Tree Farm

Gift Shop Handmade Wreaths/Garland Live Reindeer. We are a family owned and operated Choose - N - Cut Christmas Tree Farm founded in 1984. There are thousands of beautiful Christmas trees to choose from that are outstanding in their field. This is a great place to keep a family tradition alive or start a new one. Come out and take a stroll among our trees. After you have chosen that perfect tree, browse in our gift shop and enjoy a free cup of hot apple cider. You will find a unique gift for that special someone or the perfect ornament for your tree. As always, make sure to stop and visit our 2 reindeer, Holly & Ivy!

Come and Visit Santa on these dates: 11/28, 11/29, 12/5 and 12/6.

Jensen Trees

Family owned and operated for more than thirty years, we absolutely love growing trees here at JENSEN TREES!  Located conveniently on the west side of Madison, just three miles west of West Towne Mall.  JENSEN TREES is easy to reach so you can spend your time pleasantly walking in our woods finding the perfect tree!  We have thousands of trees to choose from and a variety of accessories and decorations to assist you in the Christmas season.


Mistletoe Tree Farm

We offer cut-your-own and precut Christmas trees, fresh wreaths, table centerpieces, table baskets and porch pots.  We also have our own garland/roping that we make.  Custom orders of garland available. Just tell us what lengths you need.

We grow Fraser Fir, Balsam Fir, Canaan Fir, Colorado Blue Spruce, Norway Spruce, and White Spruce.

Santa spends his weekend with us. We offer free hot cider for our customers as well.

Our tree harvest opening date for 2015 is Saturday, November 28th.   We will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 10am - 5pm.  


Ottman Family Christmas Trees

As a family-owned business, our tree farm represents collaboration between different generations; carrying on a proud tradition of producing quality Christmas trees, wreaths, garlands, and boughs.

Hot Chocolate, Apple Cider, Fresh Popped Popcorn and a Photo Opportunity on a Vintage Sleigh are some of the offerings here at the Farm


Stricker's Tree Farm 

Located 1.5 miles east of Highway 51 from Stoughton, our farm is a beautiful 63 acre property with four tree lots.  We started planting in 1991 and first opened in 1997.  We offer several kinds of trees including balsam, fraser, canaan (fir) and pines (short and long needle) and balsam wreaths.  We provide rides to the fields, shanking, saws and twine.

Enjoy free warm apple juice and cookies.  Come and join us and meet our new puppy Sadie.  OPEN Fri, Sat and Sun starting November 28 from 9:00am until 4:30pm. Pets are welcome.

Summers Christmas Tree Farm

Pine, Spruce and Fir trees are available for the Holiday Season.  You will find wreaths to hang on your front door, garland to deck the halls and fresh boughs for everything from your table to porch planters. 

The season begins the day after Thanksgiving and continues right up through December 24, open every day from 8-5pm.  Precut trees are also available for the less adventurous. 

A Christmas store shimmering with holiday gifts.  Take some time to browse for everything you will need to decorate your home from floor to ceiling.

Directions:  Take Madison’s South Beltline, Highway 12 to exit 250 at Airport Road.  Turn left on Airport Road for 3 miles, then left on Rocky Dell Road.  Summers Christmas Tree Farm is the second farm on the left.

Sun Valley Christmas Trees, LLC

Located in Oregon, WI

We grow ‘organically grown’ (non-certified) Fraser Fir, Balsam Fir, White Pine, Scotch Pine, Colorado Blue Spruce and Black Hills Spruce.  We have all of these available in our field for you to ‘cut your own.’  Inside our barn we sell select cut Fraser Fir and Balsam Fir.  We are dedicated to serving the needs of our customers each and every day.

Sunset Acres Tree Farm

Located in Stoughton, WI

Offering economical, locally grown Christmas Trees on a “Choose and Cut” basis for families in Southern Wisconsin.

Christmas Season begins Thanksgiving Day and runs through December 24th or until we are sold out.  We are open 9 am to 4 pm daily.


Madison Top Realtor Keller Williams


Nov. 20, 2015

Santa in Madison Wisconsin + Holiday Events For The Family

It's that time of year! The holiday season has arrived and we've put together your one-stop resource for family events and Santa sightings in Madison, Wisconsin


Holiday Fantasy in Lights - Olin Park 

November 14th - January 3rd

Fun & Free! Drive through display at Olin Park.  Details here

Holiday Fantasy in Lights Madison



Sun Prairie Fire Truck Parade & Tree Lighting

November 27th

lease join us for the 2015 Fire Truck Parade. The parade will feature trucks from Sun Prairie and neighboring communities with lights and music! Check their event page on Facebook for details. 

 Sun Prairie WI Firetruck Parade



Polar Express Comes to Madison

November 27th - 29th.

Dancing chefs, singing elves and a special gift from Santa himself – all of this awaits you and your family aboard THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride departing from Middleton, just off the Beltline Highway. Join the festivities on this round-trip train ride to the North Pole – in your favorite jammies of course! Full details on their website

Polar Express Madison





The Edgewater Madison Tree Lighting & Ice Rink Opening

November 27th - Events all Weekend!

he Edgewater Ice Rink will re-open for the 2015-2016 season on NOVEMBER 27, 2015 DURING OUR 2ND ANNUAL TREE LIGHTING AND ICE RINK OPENING CELEBRATION.Be sure to join us to see Santa light the tree, enjoy skating all day and create new memories to last a lifetime with your family and friends. Truly a unique Madison experience and tradition! 

There are plenty of activities ALL weekend long! Be sure to visit The Edgewater's website for details and a schedule. 

Edgewater Madison Ice Rink


Downtown Madison Holiday Open House

November 27th - 28th

9:30 am - 4:00 pm, State Street & Capitol Square. Holiday Fun! Great Shopping! Family Shows and Activities, Trolley Rides & Welcome Bags, plus Special Offers and Refreshments from Participating Merchants.

Full details here.

Downtown Madison Holiday Open House


American Family DreamBank Holiday Open House

November 27th & 28th and December 12th

Hop the Downtown Holiday Trolley and head to DreamBank with the family for free hot cocoa, a holiday craft workshop and photos with Santa! Crafting and cocoa are available all day. Santa will be visiting from 10 am – 1pm (on 12/12 Santa will be here from 1:30-4pm). Here’s a holiday tip: Don’t forget to grab your welcome bag of shopping coupons on the Holiday Trolley – courtesy of DreamBank!This is an open house style event, no registration is required! Pictures with Santa will be first come first serve. Your name will be added to the list as you arrive! Details here.

Santa American Family DreamBank


Victorian Holiday Weekend in Stoughton 

December 4th - 6th

The air is brisk. The sound of carolers fills the air. The eyes are treated to some lovely one-of-a-kinds found in the many locally owned boutiques and galleries lined up and down Historic Main Street. The laughter and light-hearted excitement permeates the City as we make ready for this festive holiday weekend. Activities include Horse Drawn Carriage Rides, Santa's Workshop, Illuminated Fire-Truck Parade, Christmas Carol performances, Main Street Caroling, Breakfast with Santa & the Holiday Lights Display. 

Full details here.

Stoughton Wisconsin Victorian Holiday





Breakfast with Santa - American Legion, Stoughton

Come have a pancake breakfast with Santa at the American Legion, 803 N. Page Street! All you can eat pancakes, French toast, scrambled eggs, sausage, milk, juice and coffee! The Stoughton High School Madrigal Singers will per- form every hour, and proceeds from the event will go toward the music pro- gram. $8 adults, $4 for kids under 10. 

This event is part of the weekend long Victorian Holiday Celebration.  Be sure to get the entire schedule at the Stoughton Chamber of Commerce.

stoughton breakfast with santa 


Christmas In The Village - McFarland

December 4th - 5th

Horse Drawn Carriage Rides, Christmas Carols at the Bonfire with Santa Claus handing out candy and opportunities for picture taking, Lighting of the Community Christmas Tree and FREE Apple Cider, Hot Chocolate and Popcorn. Also this year is the holiday parade of Fire Trucks! 

Full details here

Olbrich's Holiday Express

December 5th - 31st

Large-scale model trains wind through a holiday scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias, fresh evergreens and exciting LEGO® displays in Olbrich's Holiday Express: Flower and Model Train Show.

Visit Olbrich's website for details. 

Olbrich Gardens Holiday Express


Santa at the Village Center - Waunakee

December 5th - 1pm to 4pm

Crafts, cookies, cider and Santa! A great family afternoon! 

Details here

Santa in Waunakee Wisconsin


Children's Theatre of Madison - A Christmas Carol

December 12th - 23rd

As Madison'??s finest holiday tradition, this is an event the whole family can enjoy. A mark-it-on-the-calendar and get-a-little-dressed-up kind of date. Step back in time to Victorian England for a wild, seasonal ride. It'??s the journey of Scrooge from curmudgeonly miser to all-around good guy. Music, dancing, and plenty of Bah Humbug! John Pribyl returns to play Scrooge and James Ridge directs this, our signature production.

Tickets and details at the Overture Center's website.  

Children's Theater of Madison 

Breakfast with Santa - Monona Parks & Recreation

Saturday, December 12th

Join Monona Parks & Recreation’s annual Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 12 and see the Monona Community Center transformed into a winter wonderland.  Reserved seating is available for 8:00, 9:00, or 10:00 am with pre-purchased tickets.  Enjoy a breakfast including pancakes, french toast sticks, sausage links, bacon, apple sauce, milk, coffee, and dessert. Santa and Mrs. Clause will be available for photos throughout the morning.  The Friends of Monona Senior Center have a special arts and crafts present-making workshop, and there will be horse drawn carriage rides (weather permitting)

Pre-purchase your tickets on Monona's website.

Santa Monona WI 

A Very Huckleberry Christmas - Huckleberry & Persimmon

December 12th - 3:30-6:00pm

This is a great event for toddler's at preschoolers! Decorate cookies and your very own mug.  Plus photos with Santa!

Visit their website to buy tickets. 

Huckleberry and Persimmon Madison



Breakfast with Santa at Henry Vilas Zoo

December 12th-13th from 8am-9:30am

Join Santa for Breakfast at the Glacier Grille in Henry Vilas Zoo's Arctic Passage! Tickets $20/adult and $15/child.  

Henry Vilas Zoo

Arctic Passage Henry Vilas Zoo Santa

Polar Express Day - Henry Vilas Zoo

December 19th

Sip cocoa while watching The Polar Express! 

Henry Vilas Zoo


PJ's and Pancakes with Santa

December 19th - Edgewater Hotel

Join Santa Claus for a fantastically fun holiday breakfast buffet for the whole family! Stay in your jammies to come eat and take photos with Santa and his elves in The Grand Ballroom from 9AM – 11AM. Traditional breakfast buffet (eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes), as well as a pint-sized pancake buffet for the little ones. General admission and open seating. Stay for photos with Santa immediately following breakfast! Visit the Edgewater for tickets. 

PJs and Pancakes with Santa Edgewater Madison



Check back often! More events will be added as we find them! 


The Real Estate Guy team wishes you a wonderful holiday season! 





Madison Top Realtor





Nov. 10, 2015

First Time Homebuyers - A 12 Month Guide To Your New Home

First Time Home Buyer Madison

A real yard, a home to decorate any way you would like and bigger rooms and closets.  Your dream of making a move from renting to owning is exciting to most first-time homebuyers.  It can also be harder to navigate than most expect.  The following 12 month checklist will help most first-time homebuyers side step the common mistakes, for example:  paying too high of an interest rate or picking the wrong home.



Check Your Credit Scores.  Get a copy of your credit report from a reputable source.  We recommend  The three credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, and are required to give a free credit report once a year.  If you check this ahead of time, you can avoid last minute mistakes and have them corrected before you make an offer.


Determine How Much You Can Afford.  Meet with a lender of your choice to find out how you can afford and what type of home you would like to own.  Your lender will look for a total debt load of now more than 43% of your gross monthly income.  This is called debt-to-income ratio.  The ratio will include your future mortgage and any other debt you may have.  This will include credit card debt, auto loan and student loans.


If you would like to look at this before you meet with a lender, there are plenty of calculators on the web that can help you with this such as this one.


Make A Down Payment Plan.  Most conventional loans do require a 20% down payment.  If can afford to do this, do it.  Your loan will cost less and you will get a lower interest rate.  Don’t worry if you can do the full 20% there are programs that can help.  FHA offer loans with as little as 3.5% down payment.  It will though require a Mortgage Insurance Premium, which will increase your monthly payment.  The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) can provide you a list of nonprofit home buying programs by state.  Check with Credit Unions and your employer, they may even have assistance programs to help you.


If you do plan a savings strategy, keep in mind that the banks like to see stable funds.  They like to see the funds stay in your account for 60 to 90 days before applying for your loan.  You can always use a financial gift from a family member or bonus you may receive closer to the time of your purchase.



Prioritize What You Want Most in Your New Home.  Deciding what is most important to you in your new home, for example:  how far from work are you? A big yard? Open floor plan? A quiet street with kids or no kids?  This will help you make a better decision on what type of home you would like to buy.  Remember, it’s a joint decision and it’s better to work this out ahead of time.  Make a list of must haves and what trade-offs you are willing to remove.


Research Neighborhoods and Start Visiting Open Houses.  This is where the fun begins.  Use a property search site such as to help you find out about neighborhoods, public transportation and cost of living.


Start visiting open houses to get an idea of the type of homes in your price range and which neighborhoods you like the most.  Seeing homes that you like will keep you motivated to continue reducing your debt and saving for your down payment. You may also use our home search at to search for homes and save your favorites.


Budget for Miscellaneous Home buying Expenses.  Some of the miscellaneous upfront costs could or will include:  a home inspection, title search, property survey and home insurance are just a few examples.  Cost can vary by location, but you can budget a couple hundred dollars.  You can start saving now for these expenses.


Start a Home Maintenance Account.  A good habit to start now is putting a little aside each month.  This will help fund any maintenance issues, repairs and home emergencies that may arise.  It’s enough to have to call a plumber, but to pay credit card interest can make another unnecessary monthly payment.



Collect your Loan Paperwork.  Banks require specific paperwork when it comes to mortgage loans.  Below is a list of what they will want:


W-2 Forms – or business tax returns if you are self-employed – for at least 2 to 3 years


Personal tax returns for the past 2 to 3 years

Your most recent pay stubs

Credit Card and all loan statements

Your bank statements

Addresses for the past 5 to 7 years

Brokerage account statements for the most recent 2 to 4 months

Most recent retirement account statements, such as 401 (k)

If you start collecting these documents, it can lessen the stress when it is time to get your loan.


Meet Your Lender and Buyers Agent.  Set up an appointment with one of our experienced buyer's agents. A Buyers Specialist will work in your best interest and will try to find you the right property regardless of the seller’s agent.  A Buyer's agent will also work you all the way through the closing process. And best yet, a buyer's agent is FREE to you.  They are paid by the seller at closing.

Meet with your lender. We highly recommend local lenders - it's best to avoid online lenders. It is important that you look for a Mortgage Broker that will look for competitive loan rate for you among multiple lenders.  A bank can only look at their own products. 

We highly recommend the Joe Long Team at Waterstone Mortgage. Our buyer's agents have done multiple transactions with Joe and his team and they are wonderful to work with.  They are knowledgeable in all types of loan products and downpayment options.  




Get pre-approved for your loan.  If you have been following this timeline, your credit scores, paperwork, and down payment should be on track.  You have researched your lenders and buyer agents.  Now it is time to start working with them.  Now is the time to get pre-approved for a mortgage.


Make an appointment with your lender and bring all your paperwork.  They will run a credit check on you and will let you know how much of a loan you’re approved for.  It at times make sense to borrow less than the maximum amount the lender allows.  This will allow you to live comfortably.  Draw up a budget that includes mortgage payments, insurance, maintenance and everything you may have going on in your life. 


Start Shopping for Your New Home.  Now that you are pre-approved, start shopping.  Your Buyer’s Agent will be able to target homes in your price range.  This way you won’t waste your time looking for homes you can’t afford.




Make an Offer on a Home.  It could take4 to 6 weeks to close on a home.  If you have a firm move out date, make sure to leave enough time to deal with any problems that may arise to delay closing.


Get a Home Inspection.  One of the first things you will need to do after you get an accepted offer is to have a home inspector look at the property.  If the home inspector finds something that may need repairs, that is an example of something that could delay closing.


In The Last Month


Triple Check that all your financial documents are in order and review all lending documents before closing.  The home stretch!  If you have been keeping your documents up to date and your down payment is in reserve, the last final steps are the easiest.  Reviewing your mortgage documents can be the most difficult.  Your agent will help you through them.


Get Insurance on Your New Home.  Don’t forget to secure your insurance before closing.  You will need to bring proof of insurance to closing. We recommend Laura Beck Nielsen at Farmer's Insurance.  


Do a Final Walk-through.  You will usually do a final walk-through of your new home a day or two before closing.  This is to make sure the home is in the condition you and the seller agreed upon.


Get a Cashier’s Check or Bank Wire for the Cash Needed at Closing.  Make sure to get an exact amount of cash need for closing.  You should get that a few days before closing.  Once you have this you can secure a cashier’s check or arrange to have the money wired.  Personal checks are not accepted.

That is it!  Congratulations on Your New Home!


 Madison Top Realtor


Posted in Buyer Resources
Nov. 4, 2015

A Charming Madison Bungalow to Call Home

1606 Steensland Rd, Madison Wisconsin - For Sale! 

1606 Steensland Dr Madison For Sale

Calling all bungalow home lovers in Madison! We have just listed a charming, spacious and recently updated bungalow on Madison's northeast side.  This home features 3 bedrooms (2 up and 1 down), sun porch, nicely sized kitchen, dining area and open floor plan.  The yard is just enough to enjoy the outdoors and entertain, but not hard to manage for Madisonians busy lifestyles.  Speaking of busy lifestyles, this neighborhood is convenient to plenty of amenities - by foot, bike or bus. 

And what's even better? It's so affordable! Check out the full listing details for 1606 Steensland Rd here

Your first chance to see this property will be during the open house on Sunday, November 11th.  Bring your pre-approval letter and be ready to make an offer! Need a lender? We highly recommend Joe Long with Waterstone Mortgage. Contact Joe for a quick pre-approval!

Here is Why Our Seller Loves Her Home

"I love my home's charm & character, the open floor plan and how bright it is with its many windows. It is big enough to have space, but not too large. Easy to keep clean and maintain. I also enjoy the outside space with large trees and landscaping. And I love the three season porch! The neighborhood is quiet and family friendly with many activities within walking distance such as the gym, cafes, library, restaurants and Warner Park.  The lake, too. As for schools, Emerson Elementary is a great school - wonderful teachers & principles, diversity, lots of events/opportunities to get involved & small class sizes. I love both the north side of Madison and my home!"

Neighborhood Amenities

Grocery Stores: Pierce's Northside Market & Copps. 

Restaurants: Manna Cafe, Banzo, Cafe La Bellitalia and Ale Asylum

Gyms: Anytime Fitness, outdoor space at Warner Park

Outdoor Recreation: Plenty of nearby dog parks, community parks and Lake Mendota. 

Community Festivals and Events: Northside Farmer's Market, Warner Park events, Sheridan Triangle Community events.

For full details on this Madison home for sale and all of our listings, start your search here

Top Madison Realtor








Posted in Homes For Sale
Oct. 25, 2015

Why You Should Buy in the Next Three Months!

Are you like many renters, waiting until you know the time is right to buy? The next THREE months are the best. Here's why:


We're not just saying you should buy a home for no reason!


1) Low mortgage rates

2) Declining home prices and

3) Homes that are lingering on the market


The spring and summer home buying season was a tough one for buyers this year.  Increasing prices and low inventory pushed the home prices up.  If you are a fall or winter buyer, you should see less competition and lower home prices.  


The biggest challenge the fall and winter buyers will face will be the limited number of choices.  The housing inventory has already peaked for this year creating less choices for the home buyers.


Buyers have the opportunity to lock in their interest rate, which for the last 10 weeks has averaged below 4 percent, according to Freddie Mac.


Below are some other factors showing a slowdown in the housing market:

·         The median home prices dropped 1% month over month in August (prices are still up 6% year over year)

·         Homes may tend to stay on the market longer.  The median days on market are 80, up almost 7% since August.

·         The mortgage applications have dropped 6.7% week to week.

In addition, if you're renting you've likely noticed the cost of rent rising.  In many areas, including Madison, it is now less expensive to own then to rent. And if you're worried about that downpayment, there are many programs available, even with no downpayment. 

Ready to get started? Search our site for the latest home listings

Madison Top Realtor



Posted in Buyer Resources
Oct. 18, 2015

How To Choose A Top Madison Realtor

When you sell your Madison Home, how do you find one of the Top Real Estate Agents in town?   There are so many and it can be a daunting task.  
You ask for statistics, reviews, track record and you ask a series of questions.  
Second you look how their properties are presented.  Top real estate Agents in Madison, have teams and resources to do a professionals job in presenting a home to the public.  They do more and spend more in promoting their listings.  
They spend more to get found on the internet.  If you found us online, then there is a good chance many others will find us and in turn find our homes for sale online! In fact, over 94% of buyers look for homes online.  
Look for the company they align with.  A good agent backed by a top Real Estate company such as Keller Williams is unbeatable.  
Real Estate Guy is ranked in the top 5 percent of agents and has been for many years.  Currently, our sold homes are on the market for just over 40 days.  The average for the MLS - and all companies in the area is closer to 100.  We also average 96%-98% sold to list price ratio.  We sell your home faster and for more money, and we don't just say it, we can show it. 
We are a team of full time professionals. Why hire just one agent when you can hire a team of five who specialize in each part of selling your home?  
And we are associated with Keller Williams Realty, the largest and fastest growing Real Estate company in North America.  Large means more resources.  better training and guidance, coaching programs and technology. 
Why choose anyone but Real Estate Guy?
Get started with your FREE instant online home valuation at  OR search for your next home at
Top Madison Realtor


Posted in Selling Resources
Oct. 13, 2015

Preparing Your Home For Spring Sale in Madison

Fall Home Maintenance Madison


While the fall market is still a great time to sell your home -- less competition, more serious buyers and potential higher prices -- we understand some may need to wait until spring.  There's plenty you can do now to have your home ready to go when the spring market starts in February. Want to get the most value out of your home?  Take a look at your home from a prospective buyer and think what would make me not put an offer on your home.  You have plenty of time to tackle some of those projects and below are 5 Fall Projects that you can do now to be ready for the spring market.

Before you begin, be sure to check the current value of your home at Mad Home Values! You can also search for recent home sales in your neighborhood on our site at

Update Your Curb Appeal - Curb appeal is important.  It is the first impression that a buyer will have.  Make sure bushes are trimmed, lay fresh mulch, replace or repair walkways.  Remove dead plants and trees.  If need be, pressure wash driveway, sidewalk and house and also repaint house.  Also recommended is putting a fresh coat of paint on your front door.

Get A Home Inspection - The National Association of Realtors says the 77% of buyers have a home inspection complete before moving forward with their purchase of the home.   To avoid surprise during the sale of your home, complete one now and make any repairs that may need done in the winter months.  Buyers will use needed repairs to get a lower price for a home. Need a suggestion? We highly recommend Brad Acker with Acker Home Inspections

Replace Flooring and Paint Walls - Determine if your carpet needs replaced or just a deep cleaning.  If you decide they need replaced, consider replacing it with a hardwood or laminate flooring or one that may better appeal to a buyer. Inspect your walls. They may need cleaning or a fresh coat of paint.  Stagers recommend beiges, light grays and off-whites as the most appealing colors. 

Tackle the Garage, Basement and Attic - These areas can be a catch all for junk.  Use the fall weather to clean and organize your garage.  Install shelving, hooks and peg boards to hang bikes and organize your tools.  Pitch the junk and only keep what you really need.   For the basement, donate unwanted clothes, toys and make it look like a lot of space for storage.  These areas should look roomy, clean and well organized.

Consult a Stager - Buyers will need to imagine or see themselves living in your home.  They may have trouble doing this if you have a lot of personal items on display.  A Personal Stager can help by giving ideas on how to make your home flow more effectively.  They also may give advice on what and how to declutter the spaces. Updating bedding, shower curtains and towel can also give your home a more upscale look.  The Real Estate Guy team has our own stager if you would like a consult, please contact us.

Our listing specialist, Jen Johnson, would be happy to meet with you now and go over all aspects of the listing process to make sure you are ready for spring.  She can be reached at or 608-228-8671. 


Posted in Selling Resources
Oct. 6, 2015

How Does TRID Affect Me As A Buyer?


TRID October 3rd

TRID stands for Truth In Lending Disclosure.  If you're buying a home after October 3rd, 2015, these guidelines will affect your purchase - whether you are purchasing a home in Madison, Wisconsin or elsewhere in the country. The idea behind TRID is to make documents - specifically the ones that have to do with your mortgage - more consumer friendly. This is the first major overhaul in decades, but your Real Estate Guy team at Keller Williams in Madison has had in depth training and will make your home purchase under these new guidelines seamless.

As a buyer, the best thing for you to do is meet with a lender before you start shopping for a home.  Don't fill out one of those quick pre-approval loans online, actually MEET with them.  Ask if the lender will pass your file through underwriting BEFORE a home is chosen - this is a step further than just a quick pre-approval.  The underwriters will look at your credit and income history and clear up any questions they may have before you get started. 

Make sure your lender is well training on the TRID procedures themselves! Choose a local lender with procedures in place for TRID and select the loan program and stick to it.  If you are unsure of who to choose, we highly recommend the Joe Long Team at Waterstone Mortgage.  

Why pre-approve early? Simply, to avoid any last minute changes.  Prior to October 3rd, a lender could give you loan approval the day before closing.  With TRID, this will no longer be an option. You will now need to see your final loan disclosure three business days prior to closing.  

In addition, any last minute credits from the seller of the home you are purchasing will make the three business day clock start over. It is imperative to be sure your agent writes in plenty of time between offer and closing -- no less than 60 days is recommended.  And prompt appraisals and inspections are necessary.  

This may sound complicated to a new buyer, or even a 2nd or 3rd time buyer. The Real Estate Guy Team's buyer agents have been through multiple training sessions with both lenders and closing companies and their knowledge of TRID guidelines are second to none.  If you are ready to buy a home, contact us and set up an appointment with one of our buyer agents! Using a knowledgeable Realtor will help avoid any pitfalls that could delay closing of your new home.  

Start your home search with the Real Estate Guy Team today. 

Madison RealtorJoe Long Waterstone Mortgage


Oct. 6, 2015

Riverfront Paradise in Poynette

Welcome to Poynette!

 Poynette Wisconsin River Home

Located in the Village of Poynette Wisconsin / Town of Dekkora Convenience & Serenity! 30 minutes to Madison! So many updates. Roof, mechanicals, hardwood floors, garage doors, and appliances less than 5 years old. Bathroom newly remodeled. Spacious kitchen with island / breakfast bar opens to family room with wood stove and river views. Concrete patio area, boat house and boat landing within 5 miles. One year warranty. Amazing value. You want to live here! Hurry!

View full details on this Poynette Wisconsin Home for sale.  

Home Features

Contact us to see this great home in Poynette today! 608-228-8671 or 

Search ALL of our wonderful homes for sale at Ready to sell your current home? Get a free instant online home report at  

Listing brought to you by Keller Williams Realty and the Real Estate Guy team.  Visit us on Facebook


Sept. 21, 2015

Pumpkins Patches to Haunted Houses! Autumn Events in Madison!

It's That Time of Year Again! 

Pumpkin Patches in Madison WI

Crisp leaves, cool air and warm apple cider season is upon us.  The Real Estate Guy team has made your one-stop guide to all that autumn in Madison has to offer! 

Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes & Apple Orchards

Schuster's Farm - 1326 Hwy 12/18 - Deerfield

Schuster's offers something for the whole family! Hay Rides, Corn Maze, Haunted Forest, Pumpkin Patch a play area - even pig races and a pumpkin cannon! Check out Schuster's website for hours, events and details. or on Facebook

Eugster's Farm Market & Petting Farm - Hwy 138 between Oregon & Stoughton

Eugster's Farm Market offers a U-Pick Apple Orchard and Pumpkin Patch, petting zoo and tons of fun! Don't forget to try their apple cider doughnuts!

Treinen Farm - W12420 State Rd 60 - Lodi

Treinen Farm offers one of the most popular corn mazes in the area - named one of the ten best in last year by USA Today.  This year's Fox & The Grapes maze is a must see! Hayrides and a pumpkin patch, plus the Zompocalypse is great for adults! or Facebook.

Treinen Farm Corn Maze 2015

Eplegaarden - 2227 Fitchburg Rd - Fitchburg

If you're looking for good old fashioned orchard, be sure to stop by Eplegaarden between Fitchburg and Verona. With over 14 varieties of apples listed on their site, you'll be sure to find everything you need for fall baking! A large pumpkin patch too! Check out their live bluegrass, haunted kids barn and hayrides.

Haunted Houses

Screamin' Acres - Hwy 138 Between Stoughton & Oregon

Opening in October! Located at Eugster's Farm Market in Stoughton and offering four attractions this one looks like a great time! Expect some spooks - their site states kids under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.  New this year is "Crawl Space," which accompanies the 3D experience "Side Effects" as well as "The Last Resort" and "Slaughterhouse."  Read the background stories to each at or on Facebook. Screamin' Acres prides themselves on offering Hollywood Style haunts.  Interested in acting -- they're hiring! 

Screamin' Acres Haunted House

Wisconsin Scaryland - 5305 Cty Hwy M - Waunakee

Three creepy experiences await you at Wisconsin Scaryland in Waunakee.  Brave the Westpoint Penitentiary, Containment and Big Chop Circus.  Amazing props and effects await you! Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult - no kid's haunts here! or on Facebook

Wisconsin Scaryland Haunted House

Additional Activities

Haunted Hustle - Middleton

Prefer to run without being chased by zombies? The Haunted Hustle is for you! Offering a full marathon, half marathon, 10k, kid's run/5k and stroller derby it's fun for the whole family and any athletic level.  Wear your best costume - over $2,000 in prize money is on the line! Register early at

Haunted Hustle Madison

Downtown Madison Family Halloween & Trick Or Treat - State Street

Wednesday, October 28th from 3pm to 6pm.  Fun for kids ages 12 & under! Create your Trick or Treat bag at the Dream Bank, create glow in the dark pins at Madison Children's Museum, have family Halloween pictures taken at the Overture Center, plus so much more.  Check out Downtown Madison's website for full details and schedule.  

Dane County Farmer's Market - Capitol Square - Madison

Summer may have ended, but the Dane County Farmer's Market runs up until Thanksgiving.  Be sure to visit on Saturday mornings to stock up on produce for the fall and winter months.


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