One trend that’s caught our attention lately is buyers with a focus on retirement. Buyers of just about all ages will utter the word…retirement. It’s been an interesting turn-about. During the recession, we all-but-lost the category of buyers who’d hoped to buy a place here to enjoy during retirement. They either couldn’t sell their homes in the city to make the transition or they weren’t thinking about retiring, with all the uncertainty that existed. Those reasons, along with a myriad of others took them out of the picture for us.
Now, they’re back – and have taken shape in unexpected forms. It’s expected that someone in their mid-to-late 50’s would be thinking about how they’d like things to go when they decide to retire. Many plan to sell their large home in the city, where they raised their families and buy something here that’s more modest. They crave the pace, peace and lifestyle that our area offers. And yet, they’re still close to their family and friends in the Twin Cities. They often plan to buy something in the sunbelt for the winter months as well. This is all expected. Normal.
What’s not expected is to hear people in their 30’s and 40’s with very young children projecting the very same things for themselves. Their mission is to buy something now, work on it, make it their own and enjoy it as their family grows. Interesting.
For those of us who already live and work here, it’s easy to picture the transition – far down the road, as it may be. For those who’d like to jump in, here are a few properties that offer some nice features for retirement life. Contact a CENTURY 21 agent if you’d like to take a closer look. We can answer a lot of questions about “life Up North” as well! – Wanda Boldon
MLS# 1507201 Overlooking Birch Island Lake $299,000
MLS# 1509380 Dunham Lake $275,000
MLS# 1509278 Prinel Lake $275,000
When the time comes to sell your property, there are many things that swirl through your mind. For a lot of people, the first thoughts relate to the overall “letting go”. Homes, cabins and even recreational land are attached to memories, that in turn, keep us attached. It can take a long time for some people to get through this initial stage. There’s nothing wrong with that!
After that hurdle is cleared, the practical stuff begins to surface and that’s generally where we come in. We help owners by doing research and analysis to arrive at an appropriate price for the current market. We also help owners understand what kinds of things they can do to prepare the property for sale. A good agent will explain the most valuable timing and strategy that applies to the situation. Every situation is different.
One thing that CAN happen at this point is for an agent to become overzealous about making a sale and earning a commission that they exclaim they have a buyer who is perfect for your property and will cut their commission if you agree to enter into a single party listing agreement for that buyer. We’ve seen this very scenario several times this year.
In one instance, the seller agreed and waited 30 days for this buyer to come forward. The buyer never materialized. After that, the seller decided they didn’t want to be represented by that agent and chose to start over with another agent. They lost 30 valuable days on the market and the momentum that goes along with being new on the market.
Another example is a family who entered into a similar agreement. In this case, the buyer did materialize and the buyer did make an offer that was accepted. Then they backed out. A few months later, the same buyer came back, with hat in hand and offered to purchase the property for $50,000 more than they’d originally agreed in the first offer. This left the seller suspicious and question the true value of their property. They stepped back from the whole process to get some answers. An entire year went by before they felt comfortable with the right agent for them.
If we could offer a “do over” for these sellers, we would have a conversation about the power of the market. We would explain that the excitement of being new on the market, where many buyers and agents have access to information about their property, leads to a better Offer price, a more solid, qualified buyer and timing that establishes boundaries so that a closing date is set. The original motivating factor for the sellers in these situations was the dollars saved in reduced commissions. We contend that it ultimately cost them more. – Wanda Boldon
Prinel Lake near Webb Lake, WI
Celebrating the Fourth of July in Northwestern Wisconsin is a natural! In fact, we call it “the Superbowl of Up North”, because it’s the holiday when our area swells with people and activity. Families gather and friends reunite in our beautiful surrounds to enjoy a day off work together. For many though, it’s become more than a day off work. It’s generally a few days. This year, the holiday spanned a full week, flanked by two beautiful weekends and it seemed that many people took advantage of the opportunity and took vacation time to make the most of it.
Many of the Lake Associations in the area plan and organize a boat parade to bring neighbors together in the spirit of the holiday. Young and old get together to create a “float” that is worthy of the occasion and then motor around the perimeter of the lake to greet those watching from their docks and boats.
It’s just one more way to create memories with those who are important in your life. If you’d like to start making some memories of your own, we can help. Our CENTURY 21 team can find the right property for you. Don’t wait – it’s never too early to make an impression on special people! – Wanda Boldon
Last week, as I was driving down a rural road, on my way to meet a client, I witnessed someone in the ditch with a spade in one hand and a plant clump in the other. I don’t accessorize with a badge yet, so I didn’t stop. But a word of caution if you had similar ideas – “look, but don’t touch”. Wisconsin is one of a few states that has a wildflower protection law. It was passed in 1923 due to concerns of declining plant populations. If you’re caught you could be fined and charged with a misdemeanor. Ouch!
It isn’t just live wildflowers that are of concern either. Cutting dried wildflowers causes damage as well. Just one cut flower can reduce the number of flowers that return the following year. These little bloomers aren’t just there for our visual pleasure. They’re there to support entire ecosystems for pollinators, birds and small animals. Butterflies, insects and small birds depend on their seeds, nectar and pollen.
NOW is a great time to get out and enjoy the wildflowers cascading through the roadsides of Northwestern Wisconsin! Whether you’re traveling at the slow pace of a walk or driving your ATV to the nearest trail. Take an opportunity to “stop and smell the roses”. These little jewels will be gone before you know it! – Wanda Boldon
Most buyers want to kick off the summer season at their new cabin with family and friends. For us that means so much! We know what a joy it is to live Up North. Helping people find a way to spend time here makes us happy. Because of that, the CENTURY 21 Team worked morning to night during the Spring season, to help as many people as we could. It was a race to the finish line – Memorial Day weekend!
We’re pleased to report that what we suspected was happening, all along, was true. It WAS a good Spring market. Last year, 166 properties were sold in our market area through May 31st and this year, 193 sold!
In an effort to recharge for the “next round”, some of our dedicated CENTURY 21 Team members took a little break to enjoy the holiday with families and friends. Now we’re ready for the Summer Season! – Wanda Boldon
With more and more buyers looking at vacant lake lots, we’re fielding some recurring questions about what a person can do, once they get their hands on a special place to get away and enjoy. One of those topics has to do with camping.
Camping is a great way to get to know your spot – to understand what trees should be spared when it comes time to build, get a feel for the terrain and how a structure would relate to it. Plus, it’s just so darn exciting when you’re finally a member of “the club” that you want to plant your feet on the ground and stake your claim! “I have a place on the lake!”
Go directly to the nearest camper dealer. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. The next step in building your empire is to pull a camper on your land holdings and bring in some juice. (The electric kind. What you keep in your cooler is your business!)
It only seems like the American way, that once you own a property that you can enjoy it in your own special way. Right? Well…well…it’s just not that easy. Sure, you can find countless examples in the area of people camping, even glamping on their lake lots. Some have been doing it for years! They just go about their merry business and no one around them seems to quibble about it. So, in practice, that may be the case. But if you’re a “go by the book” person or at least want to know the rules before you break them, be aware that it’s not a free-for-all when it comes to Shoreland Zoning.
Here’s the gospel, according to the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance: “No camping unit shall be located within shoreland areas except in a permitted federal, state, town and county camp, a private campground or planned unit development, except that a camping unit may be placed on a private lot for not more than 30 days in any one calendar year without a land use permit for a private camping unit or a conditional permit…Camping units on private parcels cannot be issued a land use permit on parcels that have an existing dwelling or other structures for human habitation.”
If your wheels are turning with creative ideas on how to punch holes in and circumvent the aforementioned, you’re not alone. Just hold on to your “Get Out of Jail Free” card. – Wanda Boldon
This is what a “Top 10 Weather Day” looks like Up North!
Are you one of the lucky ones who already own a property here?
If not, now is the right time to get in touch with one of our professional CENTURY 21 Agents, who can help you find a special place Up North! We don’t charge any additional Buyer Fees and are ready to help you. There’s a place here with your name on it. Let’s find it together! – Wanda Boldon
We’re anxiously awaiting the day we can officially declare “ice out”! It won’t be long. A fragile film of ice on the surface of our lakes is slowly sinking out of sight. It’s a more gentle, less dramatic transition than we typically experience. But it brings the excitement of all the things we like to do when the water is open – a sort of annual baptism!
It couldn’t be more appropriate, then, to welcome a special visitor to our area who has written and experienced the peace of being “saved” by wild water swimming. InaNewLight Gallery, just south of Webster will be holding an artist reception on April 3rd from 5:30 – 7:30pm for Andrew Fusek Peters, an English author and photographer who has devoted his professional career to capturing and celebrating the power of water to soothe our souls. For more information about this special guest and event, visit their Event page.
If you’ve driven by the Gallery and often wondered what it’s like inside, don’t hesitate to stop. Even if you can’t make it to one of their special events, it’s worth checking out. If you’re like me, you’ll find it almost spiritual inside.
The work that’s being done there is so healing for the kids they touch.
And if you can’t wrap your heart around that, you’re still likely to appreciate and enjoy the beautiful and creative artwork that’s displayed and available for sale.
It’s no surprise to most of us, the healing properties that exist all around us in this special area we’ve chosen to call “home”. But it’s sometimes a surprise to find it extends beyond the obvious. – Wanda Boldon
We live and work in a beautiful sandbox. It’s special and unique to any other place – and uniquely complex as well. After over 25 years of helping people buy and sell their “sand castles”, we’re a valuable resource for all things real estate…in OUR sandbox.
Over the past year or so, we’ve witnessed a cast of characters from outside the area attempt to play outside THEIR sandbox. Agents arrive, escorting wide-eyed buyers to one or two properties, never to return again to complete the mission. We’ve also watched as agents from hours away list properties for those who want to sell, only to provide minimal and incorrect information about the property and to collect marketing photos with a drone. It’s hard to watch when we know these buyers and sellers are having a less than great real estate experience.
We suspect that one reason people choose to work with an agent from outside the area is that they may know the person from a previous real estate transaction. They have a level of comfort and trust with that person. Another reason is the stereotype that an agent from the city may be more sophisticated and knowledgeable than the “jack pine savages” who live in the woods. Unfortunately, the irony of this reasoning surfaces after they’re too far along to change course.
One head-shaking, recent example comes from an interaction one of our CENTURY 21 agents had with an older couple who were ready to sell their long-term lake property. Come to find out, they owned two 100 foot parcels at one time, and were encouraged by a carpetbagger to survey the two parcels as one lot. The rationale was that the larger parcel would appeal more to buyers, because most people are looking for privacy. Shame on that ill-informed agent who would likely cost this trusting couple $100,000 in the end! Our CENTURY 21 agent is still trying to help unravel that mess.
Major assets, like real estate holdings are not child’s play. It’s worth the effort to slow down and find the right person to help you with your goals. Interview your potential agent so you can understand their experience, strengths and motives. Like a good sandbox experience, find someone who shares (their knowledge), plays fair and isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty for a good end result. And make sure they’re someone who doesn’t throw their shovel. – Wanda Boldon
Working as a Realtor in the Northwoods is a great opportunity to live “the good life.” We enjoy a variety of work experiences including time outdoors with our customers in a beautiful, natural setting along with a team-oriented environment in our iconic log office.
We’re fortunate to have the sophisticated resources of CENTURY 21 – the most powerful and recognized real estate corporation in the world, and yet offer the care of a hands-on family owned and operated business with long-term dedication and success.
Our goal is to provide wonderful customer experiences by being the real estate experts in our market area, taking a leadership role in helping our clients and customers reach their goals and by being the most effective real estate sales force in the area.
CENTURY 21 Sand County Services, Inc. is a place where you can learn from the best with one-on-one training, get support as you grow and become as successful as you’ve always dreamed!
We’re always looking to add new agents to our Team and with over 25 successful years in this market, we have a wealth of knowledge to share with new agents. Why feel like this at work…
…when you can feel like this?
If you’re interested in a career in real estate, give us a call. We’d like to help you live “the good life” too! – Wanda Boldon