As the traffic flows North for the holiday weekend, many people will be seeing orange – a lot of orange! Yes, road construction season is well underway and we are seeing our fair share of it right here in paradise. The most “in your face” zone for us is right outside the doors of our office. The Highway 70 round-a-bout is under construction and it’s understandably caused a bit of confusion for folks as they drive through. (Is this how the term “circle jerk” was born?) Luckily, there is a turn option that allows you to turn right into our office parking lot. So if you want to come see us, you’ll be able to drive right in. However, if you want to leave, you might hear the tune to “Hotel California” swirling around in your head. Don’t worry though – there is a way out! You can take the frontage road South and jump back on the Highway at Southwinds Plaza. Plan for a one minute delay.
Like road construction and jumpsuits, not all orange is scary though. The scarlet tanagers are back for the summer and they stand out like a lovely flower in the treetops. I was lucky enough to have a moment with one this week as I was walking in the woods near Danbury, WI. Stunning! Keep a look out for orange and have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend! – Wanda Boldon
In comparing this calendar year with last calendar year-to-date, the condition of the area’s real estate market seems to be improved! At this time last year, 101 homes had sold, with an average sale price of $141,192. After digging into what has happened this year so far, 131 homes have sold with an average sale price of $171, 286. That shakes out to the following: we’ve sold 23% more homes with the average sale price being 18% higher.
If you’re trying to get your arms around “what defines our market area”, we embrace real estate from the Grantsburg, Siren, Webster, Danbury, Webb Lake, Spooner and Minong areas. It’s a large piece of geography to cover, but we love it all!
Before you go popping any corks, bear in mind that this is a small sample and can be greatly skewed by a few sales. Here’s the work we have ahead: there are 603 homes on the market right now with an average list price of $222,970. That’s about an 18 month supply. If we follow the Japanese business philosophy of Kaizen and practice continuous improvement, we should be well on our way to popping a cork sooner than later. – Wanda Boldon
Based on the level of activity in the area last weekend, our fishing opener was a great success! There were plenty of beautiful and not-so-beautiful fishing boats being pulled behind an equal variety of vehicles. Who said you need to be fancy to catch a fish? You just need to be smarter than the fish!
This year, the fishing folks had to maneuver some unusually high water conditions. Our lakes are lapping at the brim, leaving trees and what used to be beaches under water.
Conversely, we are suffering from a very dry Spring – looking for any sign of rain that we can squeeze out of Mother Nature. I talked to a group of fishermen who were pulling out of Crooked Lake after a long day of fishing. They said it was hard to come up to the cabin and not even have a campfire. But I saw their pile of fish and they couldn’t have been too sad. They clearly belonged to the more smart variety of fishing folks! – Wanda Boldon
Springtime porch sitting and watching the sun go down at the end of the day is a favorite past-time at our house. The open views through the woods allow you to see things that you would never be able to see once the leaves fill in. The openness also allows the sun to stream right to the spot where we sit and wait for our dose of vitamin D. After the winter, we have such an appreciation for even the smallest amount of warmth and find ourselves saying over and over, “I can’t believe how lucky we are!”
Once the leaves are out in full, it will all change. Yesterday was the first day that the delicate veil of green appeared in our vista view. Tiny little itsy, bitsy leaves are starting to appear. Dave poetically described them as green pearls hanging from the branches. Soon it will become a green curtain. Until then, we’ll appreciate every day that we get! – Wanda Boldon
Based on local builder availability, you could begin building your dream home or cabin as soon as the end of the summer! But first you need to have a great lot that is deserving of your dream. Here are a few special lots, in a wide price range, that are ready for your vision. Click on each to get more information. Take a look and see if you don’t agree! – Wanda Boldon
Minong Flowage, MLS #888468
This is a large lot on the Minong Flowage and one of the nicest we’ve ever seen. With over 200 feet of frontage and an easy slope to the water, it would be deserving of something quite impressive!
Clam Lake, MLS #880742
This lot on Clam Lake has a 1/6th interest in a 30 x 80 storage building and a connection to a mound septic system. Great perks for a great start.
Matthews Lake, MLS #807465
Matthews Lake, MLS #807462
These two lots on Matthews Lake are right beside each other and have over 300 feet of frontage between the two of them. The elevation is level and the frontage is visibly perfect!
Prinel Lake, MLS #886738
Pristine water quality and impressive pines make this a really special setting on Prinel Lake! It’s near trails for even more fun off water.
Bass Lake Swiss, MLS #879042
If you’re looking for acreage on water, here you go. Over 3 acres and 200 feet of beautiful sand frontage facing West on Bass Lake near Danbury!
Clam River, MLS #881139
More acreage on water, with 3.5 acres on the Clam River and access to Clam Lakes. Great fishing and boating are in your future!
The state of the local building market is an indicator of the overall health of an area’s real estate market. It seems like a good time to get a pulse check, so I caught up with one of the area’s most respected builders, Duane Hoefs of Hoefs Construction and then checked in with Dan Campion of Johnson Lumber to find out what they’ve been experiencing in 2015.
Hoefs is not only behind a few of the area’s iconic commercial buildings, including the Bremer Bank building in Danbury and Paradise Landing restaurant in Balsam Lake, but has also built and remodeled some of the area’s most prominent residences. He says that business has been much better this year compared to the past few post-recession years. Instead of the “go big or go home” mentality, he’s finding that people are choosing better products and higher end finishes that they can enjoy now and will hopefully help with resale value down the road. His clients are also getting more creative with interior choices that fit this area like using timbers and beams. He said their pipeline is pretty full, but that if someone was hoping to start a new home yet this year, they would likely be able to get things started in August.
Dan Campion confirmed that most area builders are booked until Fall, adding that he’s had the busiest winter he’s ever had in all his years with Johnson Lumber. He said they’re doing a few higher end homes in the $700,000 range, but that most people seem to be going smaller, choosing quality over quantity, with nicer finishes. The biggest problem facing our building market, according to Campion is the shortage of skilled and trained workers. Because of that, he’s starting a local high school program to introduce young people to the trades and give them a chance to build some skills. It’s a great example of how local businesses and professionals like Johnson Lumber and Dan Campion are committed to making sure our area has a strong heartbeat! – Wanda Boldon
Every Tuesday morning, this is our Team’s first meeting of the day – Property Tour. We all get together and view our firm’s new listings for the week.
Not bad for “just another day at the office”! Thanks for the sun and warmth Mother Nature! – Wanda Boldon
The Wisconsin Fishing Opener for general inland fishing is right around the corner! With 160 different species of fish in our waters, there should be plenty to keep any fishing expedition occupied. If you’re really serious, there’s still time to secure a great property on one of our better fishing lakes before the Opener on May 2nd. Take a look at what’s available!
Yellow Lake is the largest lake in Burnett County and is one of the most popular fishing destinations in Northwestern Wisconsin. It’s also connected to Little Yellow Lake and the Yellow River, which shares water with the St. Croix River. Can you say “fishing mecca?” We currently have two properties available on Yellow Lake.
882173 Yellow Lake $214,000
883763 Yellow Lake $199,900
The Yellow River also contributes to the great fishing environment on a few other lakes in the area, including Benoit and Lipsett Lake. They have great structure and shoreline for fish habitat and won’t disappoint your angling efforts. Here are a couple of properties that will delight your family and friends, even if they just want to swim and play instead of tossing around lures.
864982 Benoit Lake $299,000
886382 Lipsett Lake $349,000
If you’re interested in seeing any of these properties or would like to fish around for something a little different, just let us know. We’d like to help you find the right place for your goals. Happy Fishing! – Wanda Boldon
We’re calling today “ice out”, which signals the unofficial end of winter for us. That’s no foolin’ on this April 1st! Most of our area lakes are open and alive, but a few of the larger, deeper lakes, like Devils and North Sand Lakes, still have a thin layer of ice. The wind and rain we’re getting today ought to take care of what ice remains though.
To get you equally excited as we are, we’re sharing some pictures of area lakes that are open, along with links to properties for sale on those particular lakes. There are a lot of great properties for sale in Northwestern Wisconsin right now and if this gets you in the mood to have one for your very own to love and cherish, we’re happy to help you find the right match!
Happy Easter from Everyone at CENTURY 21 Sand County Services! – Wanda Boldon
Properties for sale on Ham Lake:
Properties for sale on Oak Lake:
Property for sale on Johnson Lake:
Birch Island Lake
Property for sale on Birch Island Lake:
Every year at this time, we all watch and wait as the sunshine works its magic on the thick layer of ice that developed on our lakes through the winter months. It’s so exciting to have the lakes come back to life and to see the water fowl and wildlife that it brings. We typically have ice out in the middle of April, but this year looks like it could be ahead of schedule. Here is a picture of the narrows at Webb Lake. The open water looks great! We’ll keep you posted on the progress or you can just keep your ears perked. When you hear the cheering sounds, you’ll know we have ice out! – Wanda Boldon