A Sign You’ve Chosen the Best

When you see a beautiful CENTURY 21 gold post sign on a property, you know the owners cared enough to choose the very best to represent them in the sale of their property.

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It’s not easy caring for and keeping those gold posts beautiful. We’re lucky to have someone who looks after them for us. The care and custody of our gold posts is in the hands of Mr. Pumper, who takes pride in what the gold post stands for. He keeps them clean, organized and freshly painted, so that when it’s time to install one on your property, they look their best.

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It won’t be long until the frozen tundra keeps us from installing our beautiful gold post signs and they’ll go into hibernation for the winter. Mr. Pumper will let them rest for a few months in the sign garage and will come back to check on them in the Spring. During that time, we’ll use their cousins, the metal step-in signs to showcase our newest listings. But rest assured, at the first signs of ground thaw, they will all be replaced with a beautiful gold post sign. – Wanda Boldon

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Great Properties For Sale – Intimate Lakes

We’ve met a growing number of buyers recently, who are seeking a more private setting on a quiet, smaller lake. This is refreshing because properties on smaller lakes can sometimes be seen as a weak sister in comparison to those on larger lakes. The appeal these buyers are drawn to includes the fact that one can do almost all of the things on a smaller lake that can be done on a larger lake, there is generally less boat traffic, there is usually less developed property on the lake (which translates to more natural views and less people), they have a sense of more safety for younger members of the family as they grow and start to operate boats on their own and an item that rings true for a lot of people – they’re less expensive!

We have a nice inventory of listings on smaller lakes that offer many, if not all, of these benefits. Here are a few great examples.

Many of us think this cutie pie on Lucerne Lake is one of the best lakeshore values available right now. When you close your eyes and paint the picture of a “cabin”, this is what you see – knotty pine interior, wood burning stove, a deck overlooking the lake and a clear lake with a sandy bottom.

MLS# 895856 Lucerne Lake $124,000

MLS# 895856 Lucerne Lake $124,000

This cabin on Pear Lake is an Opportunity. (notice the capital “O”) The owner has spent some time updating and breathing some really positive life into this cabin. There are only a few things remaining to finish the vision. With 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, it’s perfect for invited guests. The fireplaces and screen porch are assets as well.

MLS# 1502350 Pear Lake $160,000

MLS# 1502350 Pear Lake $160,000

If you’re looking for a legacy cabin – one that will stay in the family and create memories for generations to come, check out this place on Pine Lake. It offers all the benefits of a small lake, but is near many large lakes, restaurants, golf and trails. The welcoming interior has the perfect blend of home meets cabin and your family will want to linger, no matter what time of year!

MLS# 897828 Pine Lake $164,900

MLS# 897828 Pine Lake $164,900

There is no bad time of year to look for a special place to call your own. Our CENTURY 21 agents are experienced, full-time professionals. Let us help you sift through the choices and find the perfect place for YOU! – Wanda Boldon

It’s Time to Vote – For a Great Lifestyle!

1After a long and grinding political campaign season, it’s finally time to vote. It will be so quieting to wrap it up and move on to the pleasantries of everyday life! The political system in our country allows us to have differing opinions and ways of living, yet still function together as Americans under the same umbrella of laws and standards. It’s an ingenious model that seems so modern. Some things really do stand the test of time!

Life in the Northwoods echoes that so beautifully. The wide range of people, interests, viewpoints and lifestyles is ever-present. Yet, the appreciation for what we have here is not lost. For example, on any given day, I can run into a variety of people on the route where I walk. Usually, it’s just me, a few deer, squirrels and some woodpeckers. But earlier this Fall, I was greeted by bear hunters with their hounds, who respectfully made sure their dogs were under control and didn’t scare the daylights out of me. Then just recently, I encountered an elderly man, who, by his build, looks like he could have served in the Marine Corps. He was just trying to log a mere 13-15 miles while the sun was still out. And this Summer, I met a couple who were fishing from the roadside, while their little dogs kept watch nearby in their van. It was an outing for the gentleman who was in a wheelchair and wanted some fresh air and hopefully a fish fry for dinner.

We’re all different, but one thing that we do have in common is the love for this great lifestyle. If you’re ready to vote for a great lifestyle for yourself, we’d love to help you find a place that you can call your own. Our CENTURY 21 agents are here to help guide you through the process. Fall is a great time to get out and look, so give us a call to get started. – Wanda Boldon

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High Water Continues Into Fall 2016

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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.

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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.

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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

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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?

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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.

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

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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.

Outside:

  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.

Inside:

  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

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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!

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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!

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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

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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