La Pointe, WI Real Estate News

By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  After a Long Decline, Madeline Island Real Estate Prices Appear to be Stabilizing   Following a long period of falling prices, it appears that home values on Madeline Island may be stabilizing.  Trulia statistics indicate that the fairly steep fall in prices since January 1, 2012 has begun to level out. At the same time, listing inventory has begun to rebound since February 22, as sellers are beginning to return to the market in anticipation of the spring and summer tourist influx to the Island. In addition to the statistics reported by Trulia, there are signs that buyer interest in Madeline Island is picking up.  Showing traffic has been unusually brisk in our Madeline Island Realty office since the beginning of 2012. It's too early to predict the rest of the year, but signs point to...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  More Prospective Madeline Island & Bayfield Buyers Seem to be Coming from Southeast Wisconsin   We're noticing a not-so-subtle trend among prospective buyers inquiring about Madeline Island and Bayfield, Wisconsin.  An increasing number of those new buyer prospects seem to be coming from the southeast part of the State of Wisconsin. Not long ago, the vast majority of our buyer pool came here from Minneapolis & Saint Paul or from Duluth, Minnesota.  That appears to be changing gradually.  We're seeing more and more buyer prospects from Madison, Milwaukee and south central Wisconsin. A local Islander used to label our summer homeowners on Madeline Island as "the Minnesota Millionaires".  That was an exaggeration, of course.  Not everyone who buys on the Island is a millionaire.  But it ...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
SALE PENDING Signs Have a Way of Making the Phone Ring   I suppose it's a matter of human behavior that real estate buyers watch each other and they tend to move when they notice others are buying.  There's no shame in admitting that we are all influenced to some extent by what others are doing. One of the things I've learned from over twelve years in real estate sales is that real estate markets go through drought spells.  When things are slow, it can seem like an agonizing wait before the market picks up again.  But once something sells, other would-be buyers take notice. I received a phone call last week from a prospect who has been watching the Madeline Island real estate market for over a year now. She contacted me in mid-January about one of our listings, but I heard nothing furt...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
Estate Sale on Madeline Island March 17 & 18 - 351 Old Fort Road, LaPointe, Wisconsin   The owner of the Brittany Cottages at Coole Park will be holding an estate sale next Saturday and Sunday, March 17-18, at 351 Old Fort Road, on Madeline Island. Among the treasures available for purchase will be collectibles, housewares, some tools, sewing supplies, fabric, craft supplies, office supplies, rugs, linens, artwork, picture frames and more. The sale is scheduled to run from 10 am until 4 pm, on both Saturday and Sunday. Mark your calendar for this Madeline Island event!    
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By Eric Kodner, Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island
(Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes)
An Overseas Buyer Finds one of our Listings on Zillow and Makes the Phone Ring   I haven't had a lot of nice things to say about Zillow in the past, but I have to give them credit for what looks like a promising buyer inquiry.  Today, I received an email from an American citizen living in the Malay Archipelago region.  He has been browsing Lake Superior homes on Zillow and came across one of our Madeline Island waterfront listings that he found intriguing.  Apparently, this buyer prospect first found us on Zillow, but he has also been watching our virtual tours on YouTube and elsewhere.  The virtual tours seem to have gotten his attention.  I can tell when a buyer prospect has looked at a property tour many, many times..they always seem to be very familiar with the home's interior, in ...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  While Your Recreational Property is Off the Market this Winter, Buyers are Purchasing Someone Else's Home or Cottage   Quite a few Madeline Island vacation homeowners decide to take their home, condo unit, cabin or cottage off the market during winter months.  Many owners of second homes (as well as some real estate agents) believe the idea that you can sell a vacation home during winter is pure fiction, something like believing in the tooth fairy or using your Ouija board to predict the future.  As a result, these folks tend to pull their property off the market sometime around Halloween or Thanksgiving and then they wait for the flowers to bloom in springtime before they even think about relisting that property for sale. The problem is, when you pull your property off the market, it...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Yes, Madeline Island Homes DO Sell in Winter   It doesn't happen all that often, but properly priced (and well-marketed) listings on Madeline Island do sell during the winter months.  When an offer comes in on one of our home listings, it's cause for celebration.  And while any time of year is a great time to make a sale, a serious offer is even more welcome in the month of January. The prospective buyer tells us she found this listing on our Madeline Island Realty website.  She and her husband also viewed this home quite a few times on our YouTube channel and they tell me they scouted the home's exterior using Street View in Google Maps. I was at the WRA Winter Convention when this offer came in.  Wisconsin Realtors Association conventions have always been pretty lucky for me.  I rec...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Buyers Are Using Google Street Views to Preview Madeline Island Homes   Many prospective buyers may not realize that they can get a street view of Madeline Island homes for sale (or many property listings across the United States) simply by using Google Maps with Street View.     You'll need to create a Gmail account, of course.  And you can set up Google Maps once you've done that.  Not all properties will have street views available.  But it makes sense to search Google Street View before you drive three or four hours to look at properties in a vacation destination area like ours. Here's what I found when I did a Street View search for one of our listings at 2865 North Shore Road, LaPointe WI: The street view photo wasn't taken in HD and it certainly isn't all that sharp or detailed...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
The Real Estate Buyer's Bill of Rights   The four important items listed below constitute what I call a "Buyer's Bill of Rights"   You have a right to choose your own buyer’s agent and to be represented in a transaction by your own agent.   You have the right to know about all the Madeline Island homes and properties that are currently available for sale, not just the listings that a listing agent wants to tell you about.   You have the right to request a home inspection before you commit 100% to buying a home.   You have the right to work with a full-time real estate professional, not a part-timer or a hobbyist or a seasonal agent who works four or five months per year.   I recall speaking with an area agent last autumn who boasted to me that he was able to keep both sides of the comm...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Breast Cancer Recovery Offers Breast Cancer Recovery Retreats on Madeline Island   An organization located in Madison, Wisconsin is offering summer retreats for women breast cancer survivors on Madeline Island and in Door County, the Wisconsin Dells and in Eagle River. Breast Cancer Recovery is hosting two "Infinite Boundaries" survivor retreats for women on Madeline Island this summer.  The first 2012 Madeline Island survivor retreat will take place on the Island July 19-22 and the second will be July 26 through 29. The mission of Breast Cancer Recovery is to "provide environments for women breast cancer survivors to heal emotionally". The statewide Wisconsin retreat schedule for 2012 may be found here.  Online registration is available at http://www.bcrecovery.org.    
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Bell Street Gallery Website Features Photos by Eric Kodner of Madeline Island Realty   I was browsing websites of Madeline Island businesses when I came across the new website for the Bell Street Gallery. It was a delightful surprise to see a slideshow which features a handful of wide-angle photos that I took at the Gallery last September.     The Bell Street Gallery is owned and operated by Minneapolis photographer Steve McHugh and his wife Mary.  Steve is a professional photographer in the Twin Cities, which makes his use of our photos on the Bell Street Gallery website even more flattering! Last September, I posted about Praise from a Professional Photographer and included some of these ultra-wide phots of the Bell Street Gallery.  Steve McHugh emailed me to comment, "LOVE THEM, ho...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Search Facebook for a Real Estate Agent in La Pointe, WI   Looking for a Madeline Island real estate agent?  Search on Facebook by clicking here. You'll see a page that reads "Real Estate Agent Directory - FIND AN AGENT" Below that, you'll see "Find and connect with Agents". Enter "La Pointe, WI" in the box that reads "What area are you searching?"  Or enter 54850 (which is the zip code for La Pointe, Wisconsin/Madeline Island).  Then, click on "Find Agents".   Here's what you'll see:       Madeline Island Realty is the only real estate brokerage which appears when you search the Facebook Real Estate Agent Directory for an agent  in La Pointe, Wisconsin (54850 zip code). Thats's right..if you use the Facebook Real Estate Agent Directory to search for a real estate agent on Madeline Is...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Madeline Island – How to Get Here   I have lots of real estate friends all over the United States (and a few overseas) who periodically write me and say “love your photos of Madeline Island. Where exactly is this place?” So I figured the best way to explain where our northwest Wisconsin office is located would be to blog about it. The location of Madeline Island is pinpointed by a red arrow on the map below, which includes most of the continental U.S.  Our Island is located on the south shore of Lake Superior in the Apostle Islands, close to the northernmost point in Wisconsin.  Within a range of approximately five hundred miles of Madeline Island are several major urban areas, including Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Madison (WI), Milwaukee, Chicago and Winnipeg.   Also nearby are Omaha...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Stage Your Vacant Lot and Get it Sold, Part Two - Staging a Vacant Waterfront Lot   In my Part One post about staging a vacant lot, we discussed the idea of adding "curb appeal" to an undeveloped property.  The same solutions and benefits can be put to work on a vacant waterfront property. Perhaps the single most inexpensive improvement that can be added to a vacant waterfront lot is a staircase to the water's edge.  In our Madeline Island community, many waterfront lots have a relatively steep bank, meaning that it's not always easy for someone standing on the building site to access the Lake Superior shoreline.  But prospective buyers want to get down to the beach, to experience being on the lake.  Buyers want an affinity to the water.  That is the very reason they are looking to pu...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Home Staging Works for Vacant Land Too - How to Stage Your Vacant Lot and Get it Sold - Part One   At first glance, this idea may seem far fetched, maybe even crazy.  But you CAN stage a vacant lot to sell. Vacant land needs staging in order to attract buyer attention. When a prospective buyer drives up to a "For Sale" sign on your lot or vacant parcel, all too often they are confronted by an uncleared mass of trees and undergrowth, with no driveway or walking path into the lot.  If there's no easy way for a prospect to actually see what they will be buying, most often they'll simply move on. We counsel our sellers of vacant lakeshore and interior lots that staging can mean the difference between a sale or no sale.  Here are some basic pointers for staging your vacant land lot or parc...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Good News to Begin 2012 - One of our Clients is Building a New Madeline Island Home   The best part of making a property sale is the happy ending.  When we sold a vacant lakeshore lot at 3720 North Shore Road, LaPointe in October of 2010, our buyers were dreaming of building a new home on Madeline Island.  Now it appears that dream is much closer to becoming a reality. My clients reported to me a couple of days ago that the well and sanitary system is in, electricity is on-site and they plan to begin construction of their new home on North Shore Road in the spring of 2012. There hasn't been much new construction underway on Madeline Island during the past year.  It's good to see a new dwelling project moving forward on the Island.  That means construction jobs for local tradespeople. ...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  2011 Was a Year of Change for Real Estate on Madeline Island   Reality began to set in last year on Madeline Island.  Real estate sales slowed considerably, prices fell and the F-word (foreclosure) became part of the vocabulary. To be sure, people are still buying and some sellers are still getting their property sold, but it's a different real estate marketplace today, at the start of 2012. I've said before that our Madeline Island real estate market tends to lag behind the rest of the midwest.  What appears to be happening now is that we're catching up with the rest of the nation.  In 2011, only a couple of upper-bracket homes on the Island sold.  The few that did sell were considerably reduced from their original list price. During the summer tourist season, homes and cottages pric...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  More Reasons Why Choosing the Right MLS Can be Crucial if you Want your Madeline Island Home to Sell   [Household income and median home price figures provided below come from the most recent United States Census data. MLS participation numbers from NAR Realtors Property Resource website.]   Hennepin County (where NorthstarMLS originates) median household income: $61,651 Median home price in Hennepin County (MN): $248,600 Hennepin County, Minnesota(NorthstarMLS) participant members: 13,500   Now let's compare the NorthstarMLS primary service area with that of SAAR..   Douglas County Wisconsin (where SAAR originates) median Household income: $42,656 That's 69% of the median income for Hennepin County, Minnesota Median home price Douglas County: $124,000 That's half the median home pric...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  A Madeline Island Basement Doesn't Have to be a Damp Basement - Some Ideas to Consider When You Build Your Madeline Island Dream Home   Like many communities across the country, you'll encounter a wide range of construction styles and an equally wide range of construction quality.  Some of our Madeline Island homes are built on piers, with no basement or crawl space (these are footed concrete piers poured into Sonotube forms with rebar inside).  They tend to be a bit cold in winter unless they are "skirted", as the underside of the main floor joists is exposed to the elements.  Others build on a footed slab (called a "grade beam slab") with no basement.  As building codes have grown stricter, we're now seeing more homes with full basements and proper drain tile.  A Madeline Island bas...
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By Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
(Madeline Island Realty)
  Before You List Your Madeline Island Property for Sale, Ask a few Questions   Any smart seller would at least ask a few questions of a prospective agent before signing a listing contract with an agent or broker, right? Here's a list which may contain a few questions you might otherwise miss:   1) Which MLS do you belong to? Some of our Madeline Island competitors belong to SAAR (the Superior Area Association of Realtors).  We prefer to place our MLS listings on NorthstarMLS in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Here's why.. Most of our Madeline Island buyers come from the Twin Cities metro area, not from Douglas County in Wisconsin. NorthstarMLS has nearly 14,000 members.  SAAR has (I'm told) fewer than 500 members.  When you belong to an area association/MLS, your listings appear in the IDX p...
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