Madison Homeowners, Staying Local On The Fourth Of July

Summer is the time of year that so many people in Madison plan their annual vacations.  They pack up the car and drive to those sought after destinations that seems to be offering the most fun or relaxation.  As you probably know, the fourth of July is usually one of the biggest vacation weekends and weeks of the year.

Things are going to be different for many Madison homeowners and residents this year as they take a closer look at their gas expenditures and look for some fun and relaxtion a little closer to Madison.  Luckily, we live in a fantastic city, that really knows how to throw an AMAZING fourth of July celebration!  So feel good about staying home, saving money on gas, being green and having a WONDERFUL time right here in your hometown.

Take a quick look at some of the upcoming events happening this week and weekend right here in the Madison area.

July 2nd – Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra kicks off its summer concert series on the square with some great music followed up by fireworks.

July 3rd – Live Reggae at the Edgewater with no cover.  The band Gibraltar Rockets will play from 5 to 7 PM.

July 3rd and 4thDeforest 4th of July Celebration with beer tents, the Freedom Run, live music and fireworks.

July 3rd and 4th – Monona Community 4th of July Festival with an Art Fair, Carnival, Food and Beer Tent, Hole in One Contest, Live Music, Crafts, The “Wife Carry Race” (HOW CAN YOU MISS THAT!!) and fireworks.

July 4th – Elver Park Fireworks in Madison, they start around 9:30 PM.

July 6th – Visit the Theatre in the Woodsto see Ah, Wildnerness.  it will be the 4th of July in 1906 in a small Connecticut town right here in Wisconsin!

Also, for a more detailed listing of other area fireworks visit nbc15 for the 2008 schedule

Happy Fourth of July!!

Madison Homeowners, Tips To Combat The Rising Fuel Prices

Summer is here and it is hot!  I can hear the screams of joy by some and the sighs of disgust by others.  For many this is the time of year that their electricity bills soar as they run their air conditioner units almost 24/7 in an attempt to keep their Madison homes cool.  Unfortunately, as the fuel prices rise so does the electricity costs, making it even more costly to stay cool.   Between the oil, gas and electricity expense, many Madison homeowners are feeling a bit pinched financially.  I therefore wanted to share some ways to keep your home cooler while saving some money and minimizing your impact on the earth’s atmosphere. (Yeah a chance to be green!)

Some passive cooling techniques for your Madison home:

1. Try to prevent the heat from entering your home.  On very sunny days, keep the blinds closed.  You can also plant bushes and trees in strategic places so they provide extra shade for your home and direct breezes towards your Madison home and windows.

2. Look into some heat reflective film for your windows where the sun shines the strongest.  This will help keep the temperature down in a big way.

3. Keep in mind that the accent pieces on your home should be lighter in color so they will reflect the sun rays.  Examples of this are shutters and roof shingles for the next time they need to be replaced.

4. Utilize fans to circulate incoming breezes.  This is much less expensive than running an AC.  (Also when done in conjunction with an AC for those days that an AC is a must for you, it can minimize the amount of time it has to run.

5. If the heat is really getting you down, just remember you own a home in Madison.  Chances are it will be snowing again before you know it!

Are You Painting Green in Your Madison Home

Since it is Spring, and there seems to be many people buying Madison real estate and moving to new homes these days, I thought I would share another green decorating tip. This one is about painting.

We all know that paint is not the most environmental friendly to produce and that it needs to be discarded of properly to avoid causing environmental contamination. With that being said though, we all still need paint so that we can make our Madison real estate investments look and feel like home!

The last post included a link to the mod green pod, which offers some great green paint products. But on top of that it is also important to ensure that we don’t buy more paint than needed. HGTV has this great paint calculator you can use before you start your next project. Check it out before you start painting the next room in your Madison home.

Cleaning Up Your Yard in Madison, Important to Your Real Estate Investment

So the weather is great, everyone is a bit happier and without a winter coat (FINALLY!!)! Another highlight, the Madison real estate market is picking up.All the signs are pointing to the start of the spring/summer season. With this season, comes the yard clean ups that are so very important in protecting your Madison real estate investment, your home!

Performing your yard clean up is important for all homeowners, but especially important if you are trying to sell your Madison home. I would encourage all Madison homeowners to take advantage of the Spring Leaf and Garden Waste Collection that is being provided by the city of Madison. It will continue until May 2 and pick up times are dependent upon your Madison property address. Take a look at Madison’s site for more details.

If you happen to miss the pick ups or have a need to drop off the waste yourself you can do that as well. There are 3 locations available to Madison city homeowners;
• EAST: 4602 Sycamore Ave.
• SOUTH: 1501 W. Badger Rd.
• WEST: 402 South Point Rd. (Brush will not be accepted)

All three locations accept the following;
• Leaves,
• Grass clippings,
• Garden debris,
• Flowers and other plant waste. The sites will also accept
• Shrub trimmings shorter that 18″. Tree and shrub trimmings longer than 18″ are considered brush. Brush is accepted at the 1501 W. Badger Rd. and 4602 Sycamore Ave. sites only. Do not bring brush to 402 South Point Rd.

Good Luck and Enjoy the Warm weather while performing your Madison yard clean up! And for all the home sellers in the Madison real estate market right now, don’t forget the importance of curb appeal!

Worthwhile Renovations When Preparing to Sell

I am often asked the same question by Madison area home sellers, “what home repairs hold the most value?” It is a very natural question as everyone is trying to get the highest return on their investment. Who wouldn’t?

And with this same question that comes from seller to seller, comes almost always the same answer from me. Buyers are looking for a clean, well-priced home with updated kitchen and baths. Now please understand that I am not necessarily suggesting that everyone interested in selling their Madison area home run out and perform major renovations on their kitchens and baths. I do understand that this is not necessarily realistic. I can however offer some advice that may set you apart from your competition in this competitive Madison area real estate market.

•1) Make your home show ready by always keeping it clean inside and out. This is a must in every market, but it is extremely important during a time when Madison real estate inventories are high. Buyers have a lot to choose from and you don’t want them to get turned off because you fell behind on your spring cleaning.

•2) Bold colors are in this year. With a little bit of money, you can give your Madison home a little makeover with bold colors on the exterior and interior. Since the appearance of your kitchen and bath is generally the most crucial to your sale with a Madison buyer, start with a paint job in those rooms first.

•3) Madison area buyers are “greener” than ever! If you do decide to renovate your kitchen or bathroom, research eco-friendly materials that will set your renovations a part from your Madison real estate competition. In the bathroom you can put in a green faucet and shower head that conserve water and give your bathroom a luxurious modern look. You can also use recycled eco-friendly glass tiles. They come in bold colors and are usually made form 100% recycled glass. An extra bonus…they also clean easier that most other tiles. Another cool touch you can add is recycled glass door knobs. They also come in great bold colors that will compliment those recycled glass tiles.

You can check out GetWithGreen.com for more great tips and eco-friendly home repair materials.