La Pointe, WI Real Estate News

By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  April 2014 Real Estate Market Status Report - Madeline Island   2014 has gotten off to a brisk start in the Madeline Island real estate market, with four closed sales in the first three and one-half months of the year.  This has unquestionably been our busiest winter since 2006, particularly in sales of single-family homes in the 54850 zip code.   Between January 31st and today (in the past eighty days) Madeline Island Realty closed over $1.1 Million in real estate transactions on the Island, with an average sale price per transaction of just under $300,000.  One of these four closed sales during the past three month was just under $700,000.   Telephone and email inquiries about existing homes appear to be leading the pack, with what looks like early signs of a resurgence in requests ...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Three Tips to Help Get Your Madeline Island Vacant Land Parcel Sold   We receive phone calls from owners of vacant land parcels on a regular basis.  This season, I'd say that vacant vacant land inquiries from owners wishing to sell are at the top of the list.   If you follow this blog, you've noticed that we write about real estate market conditions each month.  The market for existing homes in the 54850 zip code has been brisk over the past nine months.  By contrast, the market for vacant land appears to be stagnant.   When lots and land aren't selling, you have to get creative if you hope to succeed at selling your own parcel.  There's a solution out there somewhere, but I see very few would-be sellers doing anything differently.   For starters, here are three crucial tips that may ...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Don't Count on Riding the Madeline Island Ferry Until After Easter   The Ashland Daily Press  has made it official (via the Madeline Island Ferry Line) that travelers to and from Madeline Island should not expect to see ferry service resume until after Easter, at the earliest.  The demise of the "ice road" between Bayfield, Wisconsin and the Island has forced the resumption of windsled travel, but that doesn't mean that ferry service can begin yet.   The ice is so thick this year, perhaps as much as three or four feet thick, that it isn't possible to get across the bay just yet.  It will take awhile for that much ice to melt, or for spring storms or winds to break it up.   In the meantime, visitors to Madeline Island should count on riding the windsled (See the Windsled Schedule for d...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  American Home Shield Really Came Through for One of Our Clients   I like to write about good  news whenever possible!   We learned recently that one of our Madeline Island Realty buyer clients needed help with an issue that was fortunately covered under their home warranty policy with American Home Shield.  And AHS really came through for this buyer when they were looking for assistance.   I'm a big believer in the idea of a buyer being covered by a home warranty at closing and beyond.  Nobody's paying me for providing an endorsement here, but It's a good feeling to know that you've made the right choice by recommending a home warranty company that stands by their policy terms.   As a real estate broker in both Wisconsin and Minnesota, I know that service after the sale can be as impo...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
    Long-Term Unsold Listings - Why Are These Homes Not Selling?   What causes some homes to sit on the market for over a year, sometimes two or even three years without an offer?  And why do other homes seem to get snapped up in a much shorter time period?   I call these perennial listings, because they seem to show up every year  like the flowers that bloom in spring.  And the would-be sellers who own these properties often don't realize the damage that is done by having their property on the market for such a long time.  Perennial listings are most often found among vacation home properties (also called second homes) or investment properties and they are most often located in low-population density areas, such as recreational areas.   You don't often find perennial listings in primar...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  National Association of Realtors Confirms 2013 Vacation Home Boom   Some may say this is old news, but it confirms what we have been seeing in our own Madeline Island real estate market.  Vacation homes made up thirteen per cent of all real estate sales in 2013.  That's the highest percentage since 2006, when second homes made up fourteen per cent of sales.   NAR (National Association of Realtors) economist Lawrence Yun attributed the boom to stock market gains, referring to growth in equity investments which "has greatly benefited high-net-worth households".    The NAR report announced that 38 per cent of vacation home buyers bought with cash in 2013.  Fourteen per cent of vacation home sales were in the Midwest last year.  The study included a profile of the typical second home buye...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
Vacant Land Sales Will be a Sign of a Sustained Real Estate Recovery   My friend and real estate colleague, broker Liane Read (whose company, "Sea to Sky Premier Properties", sells real estate in Canada's Southern Gulf Islands, including Salt Spring Island) writes an excellent blog about her area market.  I just finished reading her exceptionally well-written April 2014 Market Report and I happened upon something she wrote which I agree with one hundred per cent.   In her most current market report, Li wrote "I've always thought that raw land sales mark the turn into a true sellers market".  And the same holds true for our real estate market in the Apostle Islands.   In 2012 and 2013, Madeline Island buyers were searching for existing homes almost exclusively.  Prices for vacant land (i...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Madeline Island Ice Road Coming to an End for the Winter Season   I received unofficial news that the "Ice Road" from Bayfield, Wisconsin to the Town of LaPointe on Madeline Island is nearing its end for the 2013-14 Winter season.  Warmer temperatures and deteriorating beach approaches on both ends of the ice road have taken their toll on the ice road during the past couple of weeks.    A winter storm warning is in effect for the Chequamegon Bay/Apostle Islands area, including Bayfield and Madeline Island, with snow accumulations predicted to be up to a foot of wet, heavy snow.  The Madeline Island Ferry Line page on Facebook has predicted that the windsled will be running tomorrow, April 4th.  And Islanders have been told to get their cars to the mainland at the earliest possible opp...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  My First Showing as a Newly-Minted Real Estate Broker   I got my Broker's license just one year after becoming licensed as a real estate agent.  I had made the decision to open my own real estate office almost from the moment I earned my salesperson's license.   At the beginning of my career as a real estate broker, which was just over fourteen years ago, I didn't have very many listings.  So I started out by showing the listings of other offices.   I remember that first showing very well.  A couple from suburban Saint Paul, Minnesota walked into our office on Main Street and they pulled one of our three-panel color brochures out of a brochure holder on the reception desk.  They began flipping through the pages, browsing our in-house listings.    The woman announced to me that she and...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Less Competition Means Opportunity for Madeline Island Home Sellers   The dramatic drop in property inventories on Madeline Island over the past eight months has created an opportunity for would-be sellers.  The declining inventory of available homes for sale translates into less competition for Island property owners hoping to sell.   The last eight months have produced eight dwelling sales on Madeline Island, in addition to two closed commercial property sales and two pending sales.  The resulting reduction in available homes for sale has not been limited to upper-bracket properties.  Four of the recent Madeline Island residential sales during this period closed at prices under three hundred thousand dollars.   Less competition should result in a reduction in long-term unsold invent...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Seasonal Marketing is a Bad Idea in the Vacation Home Market   You see this fairly often in the vacation home market in the northern United States, north of the Sun Belt.  Sellers will put a second home or vacation cabin on the market during spring, summer and autumn, then take it off the market during winter.   The idea behind this strategy is the claim that "nobody will look at your listing in winter anyway".   For some agents, particularly seasonal agents who don't want to work all that hard during what they perceive as the "off-season", this makes sense.   Pulling your listing off the market during winter and then starting all over again with your marketing in the spring months is just plain foolish.  When you list your vacation home, you hire an agent to pull out all the stops, t...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Why Discount Brokerage Models Don't Work in Most Vacation Home Areas   A customer whom I've exchanged emails with for nearly two years finally approached me the beginning of this year, wanting to list his property.  After a pretty thorough discussion of the local market and the likely prospect of achieving a sale, this fellow asked what our commission rate would be to list and market his property and to bring the transaction to the closing table. After I quoted him a commission figure, the tone of the entire conversation changed.  The customer's response was basically that he expected us to bring him a wealthy buyer who'd pay a home-run price, all for a commission that amounted to a pittance. I promptly told this customer that we don't offer "discount brokerage" in our market area.  D...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
    Coming Soon to the Market - The Best of Northernmost Madeline Island   Part of what I like best about my job is the opportunity to bring unique and exceptional properties to the market.  There's something truly exciting about representing a property that becomes available maybe once in a lifetime, a property that truly qualifies as a remarkable buying opportunity. At Madeline Island Realty, we've been fortunate recently to represent and market several of Madeline Island's most outstanding properties, including "Woods Manor" on Nebraska Row and 351 Old Fort Road (The "Brittany Bed & Breakfast Inn" property at Coole Park).  It's no coincidence that the owners of such exceptional properties chose Madeline Island Realty to sell their homes.  And it's also safe to say that we know what b...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
    Why More Agents Refer Clients to Us Than to Any Other Local Firm   Last week, we were contacted by another Minneapolis & Saint Paul area real estate agent about property on Madeline Island.  We are contacted by Twin Cities agents, Madison (Wisconsin) agents, Milwaukee agents, Chicago agents and others in the real estate industry on a regular basis.  This was our second such phone inquiry from an out-of-area real estate agent in the past thirty days, and our third since the beginning of the year.   Why does Madeline Island Realty receive so many referral calls and inquiries from real estate licensees?  Maybe it's because we practice real estate the way it is practiced in major real estate markets.  We understand that buyers and sellers want the same level of real estate service and c...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Real Estate Market Report for March 2014 - Madeline Island Real Estate   March of 2014 has marked our sixth consecutive month of strong home sales on Madeline Island.  The market highlights of these past six months are as follows [all statistics appearing in this market report are properties listed by Madeline Island Realty]:   - Nearly $3.5 Million in sales on the Island over the past six months - Average monthly sales approaching $600,000 per month - Eight Sold & Two Pending sales over the past six months - Three recent closed sales in the $700,000 to $800,000 price range     Leading the pack among property categories most in demand during this period were waterfront homes.  Sales of vacant interior land have been slow to respond to the market upturn, but in the past week we posted ...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
    Agents Who Don’t Publish Sales Stats May Not Have Any Stats to Publish   Have you ever thought about this?    Why would a successful real estate agent not  publish their sales statistics?   The answer shouldn't surprise you.  If a real estate agent hasn't got anything to show for their efforts, they talk about something else. Changing the subject is a last resort, but sometimes it actually works.  Some prospects don't think to ask an agent what they've sold lately, or what percentage of list price it sold for.   Is a real estate agent's track record important to you?   You bet it is.   Your discussions with any  real estate agent must  incude questions about that agent's recent sales volume and related sales statistics.   Remember, a real estate agent will ask you to show him (or he...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
    Realtor Magazine Reports Strong Demand for Luxury Homes and We Agree   Yesterday's "Daily Real Estate News" on the Realtor Magazine  website included an article entitled "Polar Vortex Hasn't Frozen Luxury Sales".  The article went on to report on the nationwide rise in median home prices for homes priced at over $500,000. We strongly agree.  In the last six months, Madeline Island Realty has closed three luxury home sales over half a million dollars on Madeline Island.  In fact, our average dollar amount among luxury home sales in the over-$500,000 bracket during the past twenty-four months has been over $900,000.  The Realtor Magazine  article goes on to quote a real estate industry spokesperson who states, "The luxury  (homes) market is unique".  The same is true about buyers of l...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Wisconsin Court of Appeals Issues Major Ruling on Zoning Jurisdiction   This Wisconsin Appelate Court ruling seems to have the attention of everyone on Madeline Island.  In late 2013, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals issued a ruling (in the case of Hegwood vs. Town of Eagle Zoning Board of Appeals) which will likely have a significant impact on shoreline property owners in the Town of LaPointe.  In a nutshell, the ruling effectively negates town zoning jurisdiction over property in shoreland areas (defined as within 1000 feet of a lake or 300 feet from a navigable stream).  The ruling would hand over zoning control exclusively to Wisconsin counties in those shoreland areas, with towns having no jurisdiction within the shoreland zone. The Town of LaPointe has responded to this ruling by ...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Here's What's Really  New in Madeline Island Real Estate for 2014   The latest issue of the Island Gazette  includes a brief article promoting one of our area competitors, mentioning a "new state-of-the-art website", "new signs" and a "new location". We respect our competitors and understand their excitement about making changes.  But we feel it's important to talk about what is truly "new" in the Madeline Island real estate marketplace this year, and to talk about what really matters to real estate customers and clients in our market as we begin 2014. New to the Madeline Island real estate market is the fact that buyers have returned to the real estate scene  in our community.  After four years or more of relative inactivity, home sales in LaPointe, Wisconsin have rebounded strongly....
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Here's Why That "Free Market Analysis" Could Cost You Dearly   When a real estate firm advertises "we will do a free market analysis for you", take a moment to think about what that really means.   First of all, the vast majority of real estate brokerages offer a no-cost market analysis. We do so as well.  Most brokerages, especially in a market where new listings have become scarce, are reluctant to charge for the privilege of a listing appointment.  And that is exactly what a listing appointment is, a privilege. By pitching a listing appointment, that agent or brokerage is asking you to sit down with them and open a discussion which could lead to listing your home for sale.  After all, talk is cheap and there's certainly no harm in discussing things, right? Real estate company train...
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