High Water Continues Into Fall 2016


If you have any connection with waterfront property in Northwestern Wisconsin, you know that the high water conditions persist. It all began with an upward trend in the water level below ground and then built from the numerous heavy rains that fell throughout the Summer months. We won’t likely see “normal” water levels for another year or two.



What does that mean to any of us? Well, some will be pleased that cropped trousers are still in fashion. Others will be glad for the new wetlands and wildlife habitats that have been created. On the other hand, some folks are mourning the loss of the land at their properties that used to be called “beach” and can’t find enough high ground to get their docks out of the water. But worse, we fear that many of our mature trees that used to reside along the water’s edge will be lost because they are now “up to their knees” in water.


One thing we know for sure, we don’t have any control over any of it. Every day there is something beautiful and something to appreciate here. But every day something changes. Such is life! – Wanda Boldon


Changes in Long-Term Ownership

The last "dock day".

The last “dock day” can be bittersweet.

One trend we’ve been experiencing lately is an abundance of people who have owned their property for 20, 30 and 40+ years and have decided it’s time for a change. Some have suddenly found themselves alone and can no longer care for the property by themselves. Others are just deciding that they need to sell in order to simplify their lives or to relocate to be closer to family.

Similarly, we’ve also had the honor of helping family members who’ve lost a loved one and face the challenge of selling a property that was a big part of the life of the person who is no longer with them. This involves respecting the wishes of the person who has passed away as well as the feelings of those they’ve left behind. They’re put in a position to find someone they can trust who can guide them through the process and we need to earn that.

For whatever the reason, it can be a sensitive time and a difficult transition for clients. It’s a great feeling to be a resource for them as they work through this change. We not only offer support and information about the selling process, but also provide references for services they may need to make it happen.

One interesting observation is that these properties tend to have been well cared for and are in great condition. There is a lot of pride that goes into owning and tending a property for the better part of your life. It’s a pleasure for us when we get involved! We enjoy representing quality homes and cabins and the next generation of owners is lucky to “inherit” these gems. Here are a few of our newest listings that fall into this trend. – Wanda Boldon

Rooney Lake - $289,000.

Rooney Lake – $289,000. Owned for 28 years.

Sand Lake Township - $285,000

Sand Lake Township – $285,000. Original land purchased in 1940.


Yellow River - $215,000

Yellow River – $215,000. Owned for 30 years.

Why a Cabin in Northwestern Wisconsin?


As we watch the magic of Mother Nature happen right before our very eyes, it seems so obvious to us why a person would want a cabin in Northwestern Wisconsin. So it was interesting to me when I recently met a nice couple in our office asking themselves out loud why they would want a cabin in Northwestern Wisconsin. “What would we do?”, they continued, as they volleyed their own answers back and forth, right before me. I wish I could have had a recorder to capture all of their candid and refreshing answers! I’ll make an attempt to recap what I heard.

  • Do Nothing! It would be so nice to have a place where we could go to do “nothing”, maybe have a nice view and a quiet setting.
  • I would like to fish. I wouldn’t need to be on the finest fishing lake, but it would be nice to have several options where I could take my boat and catch some fish.
  • It would be fun to have a place to go grab some food if we don’t feel like cooking.
  • We could have a place that is simple and suits just the two of us. But we could also have a place for guests to sleep, in case we would invite another couple for a weekend.
  • I would like some cute shops where I could buy a scented candle or some special candy.
  • We would walk and ride bikes on a trail or on some lesser traveled roads.



And as they finished their think-tank session, they knew they were in the right place. I could have told them that! – Wanda Boldon


Fall Prep for Cabin Sellers

It’s that time of year when we start to prepare our properties for the change in seasons. Screen porches are being closed, boats and docks are coming out of the water, and for some, entire properties are being shut down for the winter. But if you already have or are planning to put your bait in the water to try and find the right buyer for your place during the Fall season, you have a different kind of checklist. Here are a few things to consider.


  1. Be sure you have great photos of your land and/or frontage before the leaves fall and the lakes freeze over. Buyers looking in the winter months will feel comforted by seeing a great representation of “what lies beneath” during our non-frozen months.
  2. Identify the clean-out cover for your septic tank. If you get an offer that requires an inspection, a yard full of fresh fallen leaves (or snow) may make it difficult to find.
  3. Double check that your plowing and shoveling service is in place for the season. Your property will be shown more often if it’s easy to access.


  1. Keep your blinds and shades open so that the first impression is still light and bright upon entering. Check your lightbulbs and replace any that are not doing the job. The coming months can get pretty dark. You don’t want that working against you.
  2. Test your locks and door knobs to make sure they’re in great working order after increased summertime use. You don’t want to lose a valuable showing because we couldn’t get inside. (If you have to jiggle the key three times to the left and then pull up on the knob in order to enter, you may want to make an adjustment.) Be sure your agent has keys to any buildings that are padlocked for the winter as well.
  3. Embrace the change in seasons with your décor. If you want someone else to fall in love with your cabin, you need to show that you still love it too!

Ask your agent for tips as well, because every property is unique. We want to help you succeed and are happy to help with suggestions to put you in the best position to sell. – Wanda Boldon

Middle McKenzie Lake Tram Ride

resized tram2

Way before any of us knew how to say “pontoon boat”, glaciers moved through this area to form our lakes, making hundreds of sandy bowls in the ground. Sandy bowls have edges – and some of those edges are higher than others, aka “high elevation”. There are definitely benefits to owning a place with higher elevation versus having a level lot. I live on a lot with some elevation. I like it because I can sit on my deck on a summer morning, still dressed in my pajamas and not worry about putting on a show for the parade of boats that drive by. I’m sure they appreciate that too!

resized tram3

But some buyers aren’t keen on owning an elevated lot, thinking how hard it will be to trek up and down the stairs with small children and coolers full of refreshments. The wonderful answer to that dilemma is the tram. I’ve seen many iterations of this over the last 20 years. None really inspired me to take a ride. “No thanks, I’ll take the stairs.” The wait is over! I’ve met a tram I can really sink my cooler into!

resized tram


With a 750 pound capacity, offering a smooth, quick ride to the lake, this tram at our newest listing on Middle McKenzie Lake will change the mind of the most adamant “low elevation” person. Click on the link below to take a ride! – Wanda Boldon



Cabin Buyers are Getting Short Changed

We pick up on trends as the year goes on and like to share meaningful observations, if they can be helpful. This year, we’re seeing something that’s a surprise to us – an uptick in buyers showing up to look at cabins with agents from outside the area. It blows our minds that these agents have the time and inclination to work 1-2 hours outside their primary market area. That’s their choice, if they don’t have enough business at home. But what the buyers don’t understand is the huge disservice being rendered to them by choosing someone to “help” them who doesn’t have the breadth and depth of knowledge of our area as each and every one of our CENTURY 21 agents.

As simple as life can be Up North, we manage a list of complexities in real estate transactions that never hits the radar for agents from other areas – aka “civilization”. It starts with finding a proper fitting property for the buyer. This is a bigger deal than meets the eye. We truly care about the kind of experience buyers want to have at their cabin and knowing the personality of a neighborhood or the vibe at a particular lake isn’t something you can sift out of an MLS sheet. The process then moves on to navigating special lending and zoning issues. Clearing hurdles and hassles is one of things we do. Getting to the closing table shouldn’t wear you out!

Anyone can find a shiny pony. Real service should offer more than that. Sadly, buyers don’t know what they’re missing when they never experience it to begin with. But the thing that may be of largest concern to buyers is overpaying for a property – really overpaying. If your agent isn’t personally involved on a daily basis with the ebbs and flows of a marketplace, how can they possibly give sound pricing advice when it’s time to make an offer?

We understand there are trust issues involved in making such a large purchase and that’s likely the driving force behind why buyers come with an agent they already know. But it seems to me that a small leap of faith on the front end could save some bumps in the road, now and later. – Wanda Boldon

It’s Open Season – for a Hunting Property

Fall hunting seasons are right around the corner! The time is right to make an appointment with a CENTURY 21 agent to find the perfect place for your sport. Here are a couple of options to get you in the mood!

This 19 acre property overlooks a small lake. (Did someone say “duck hunting”?) It has plenty of comfortable space for your crew, with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. The tuck under garage has been closed off and could be a storage room for your gear or a great place to process your deer.

Smith Lake, $175,000, MLS 904911

Smith Lake, $175,000, MLS 904911

If you want the ultimate hunting camp, this property on Webb Creek Drive is going to get you excited. It has 132 acres of prime hunting land and a 1200 square foot cabin that really sets the stage for a traditional hunting camp experience. The open floor plan gives you the flexibility to create sleeping, eating and recharging areas that are tailored to your needs. The current owners think a competitive game of pool is a good way to wind down and relax after a rigorous day of hunting!

Chicog Township, $260,000, MLS 901105

Chicog Township, $260,000, MLS 901105

Whether you’re looking for a full blown hunting camp or just a great piece of land, we have more nice options for you on our website at www.c21sandcounty.com. The hunt is on! It’s not too late to find and close on a property that’s right for you. – Wanda Boldon

Real Estate Market Update

Our Fall real estate market is underway! We’re seeing the signs of summer winding down, with more properties coming on the market and more buyers coming to look at the new inventory. The timing is “spot on”. We look to mid-August for the Fall frenzy to begin and this year is no exception!

Keeper resized

If you found that you didn’t use your property as much this year, it’s a great time to put it on the market. Make an appointment with a CENTURY 21 agent now, and we’d be happy and honored to include your property as a new listing on our weekly Property Tour!

The timing is also ideal if you’re a buyer. Our Fall inventory will become more plump over the next few weeks and there should be a nice variety of properties to choose from. But don’t wait to get the ball rolling. With recreational properties, often times buyers are looking to secure the same characteristics in a property. So you won’t be alone in trying to score the best property available! Connect now with a CENTURY 21 agent, and we can help you stay on top of the latest and greatest places to hang your hat.

In the meantime, be sure to squeeze all the pleasure you can out of our last few weeks of “true summer”. It’s everything it’s cracked up to be! Enjoy! – Wanda Boldon

How to Get a Higher Priced Offer

For every $1,000 of perceived defect, a buyer will ask for a $3,000-$5,000 reduction of the asking price. There are ways to pre-empt that from happening!

Before you put your property on the market, pause and ask your CENTURY 21 agent to do a walk-through with you. It’s a great opportunity to find areas where you can improve your odds of getting a higher offer.


If you have spaces that you’d planned to improve, but didn’t get around to finishing the project, take the time to finish! It will be worth your while and will save a buyer from scratching their head during a showing, as they wonder what your “vision” was for the space.


Perhaps there are areas in your home that don’t comply to current building codes or would be flagged by the buyer’s insurance company as “uninsurable”. Understand that those items may cost you more in the end than if you address them in advance.


You may have areas of deferred maintenance, like a deck that needs a fresh coat of stain or a broken window that was never replaced. Most buyers don’t want to inherit those projects and will express that lack of desire by either offering a much lower price than would cost to actually do the fixes or by not even writing an offer at all!

Don’t risk getting a lower offer. Call a CENTURY 21 agent for help before it’s time to sell. We’re here to help you have a great real estate experience! – Wanda Boldon