Community Partners And Projects

Monroe Street Chocolate Walk Raises $3600 for Henry Vilas Zoo!

The Monroe Street Merchants Association

Supporting the Henry Vilas Zoo

As you can see from the photo above, our fun and fearless leader, Sara Alvarado, is standing with the Monroe Street Merchants Association as they present funds raised from the 2017 Monroe Street Chocolate Walk to the Henry Vilas Zoo!  The Alvarado Real Estate Group happily participates in the association because it is all about supporting community, buying local, and making Madison a great place to live, work, and (clearly) play!

If you haven't been to the Henry Vilas Zoo, plan your visit today! You can also become a friend of the zoo by donating to help preserve animal habitats, care for the animals, and provide education to the public!

 

Baby, It's Cold Outside! Time to winterize your home

Whether you love winter in Wisconsin or wish you could head south, you’ll soon be grabbing that shovel and building snow people. Avoid costly repairs, stay safe and be ready to get warm and cozy with these tips.  

 

  • Test, replace batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices.

  • Seal leaks around doors and windows.

  • Check roof for missing, damaged or loose shingles. (Be careful up there!)

  • Insulate your attic

  • (especially in those beautiful old homes).

  • Drain outdoor faucets and hoses, shut off water to outside spigots.

  • Inspect and clean chimneys and fireplaces.

  • Clean and repair gutters.

  • Clean leaf, yard waste. Check City of Madison yard waste pick-up schedules.

  • Reverse ceiling fans.

  • Service snow blower, find your shovels, clean out and reorganize your garage.

  • Add salt to a bucket for slippery spots, walkways and steps.

  • Sharpen skis and ice skates and dust off boots!

  • Tune up heating system and winterize air conditioner.

 

***SPECIAL OFFER***

CLICK HERE to get a $25 discount off a furnace cleaning and check and/or a $100 off a home energy audit from Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning.

You'll be asked to sign up for our #REALestateTALK list, which you'll have to do so we can send you the promo code (and you can unsubscribe after that if you wish).

 

 

 

Madison Businesses Stepping Up for Diversity and Inclusion

Co-Owner of Alvarado Real Estate Group, Sara Alvarado, shares the work being done in the business community with Malik Anderson at The Madison Times.  

Local Businesses Learn to 'Step Up,' Prioritize Diversity & Inclusion

The Madison Times, July 31, 2015
Step-Up core planners and co-creators (left to right): Amy Kesling, Haywood Simmons, Tania Ibarra, Sara Alvarado. Photo credit: Step Up: Equity Matters
Step-Up core planners and co-creators (left to right): Amy Kesling, Haywood Simmons, Tania Ibarra, Sara Alvarado. Photo credit: Step Up: Equity Matters
"Oftentimes, assumed differences inhibit people from realizing their similarities with other people, especially across social borders. These workshops allow people to safely explore, communicate, and unlearn their inner biases." 

Local organization 'Step Up: Equity Matters' aims to create safe spaces for the community to learn how to talk about race. Sara Alvarado, co-creator of Step Up, explained that oftentimes workplaces forget to bring people of color into the conversation of lack of inclusivity in those environments. Alvarado, alongside co-creators Amy Kesling (Sustain Dane), Haywood Simmons (Motivational Expert, Phitness Plus), and Tania Ibarra (Latino Professional Association of Greater Madison) make up their core planning team.Step Up, which partners with the YWCA and receives support and training from their Racial Justice platform, encourages people of all backgrounds to begin conversations about race among their own communities. allowing them to move beyond the initial discomfort of talking about a contentious issue. Alvarado hopes that more businesses will start and continue to consider these conversations as valuable and necessary in working towards equity and inclusion in the workplace.

Alvarado contends that diversity in the workplace is more than just checking off boxes, it's about "bring[ing in] people who have something to add to the company." For example, Alvarado, Kesling, Simmons and Ibarra each bring unique skill sets to the organization to convey to others the importance and benefits of creating an environment that's comfortable for all people. Each core-planner's personal and professional experience informs their contribution to the discussion of how to talk about race and how to combat racial biases.

Part of why these conversations don't naturally happen is due to a common misconception. "Often people [of color] feel they are unvalued, but on the other side, white people feel they [people of color] don't want to be involved in that environment," Simmons said. Oftentimes, assumed differences inhibit people from realizing their similarities with other people, especially across social borders. These workshops allow people to safely explore, communicate, and unlearn their inner biases.

Simmons added that ignorance and blame allows people to make excuses for themselves, avoiding important conversations on race and losing opportunities to grow and connect with others: "Our workshops are about making people uncomfortable, but making them uncomfortable using vulnerability as a place for growth." James Phetteplace, Director of Information Technology at the Willy Street Coop, had only positive things to say about his experience with Step Up: "[The] facilitators are highly skilled at presenting and discussing difficult subject matter, and creating an environment that values courage, action, and commitment."

For Alvarado, the ideal situation in any business or place of work would be transparency about its own shortcomings with equity in the workplace, and also about its efforts to make diversity and inclusion a priority. The ideal is that a business "Walks it, talks it, and breathes it. It realizes it's not perfect," said Alvarado.

Simmons views the work the core planning team does as important and empowering for people, and feels optimistic about the influence it will have on the individuals and organizations involved. "We have the tools to get these conversations going. There is hope," he said.

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Do you want to get involved in the Step Up Movement? Join the email list here: sign up! [youtube]https://youtu.be/Id-4VgrDxhw[/youtube]
It is a safe place to learn and grow and we invite you to be a part of the solution at www.stepupforequity.com.

Looking for a Farmers' Market in the Madison WI area?

We have the best Farmers' Markets around. There is NO question about it. Madison WI Farmers' Markets are incredibly well attended and the number of neighbors that visit and purchase food, flowers, plants and more are growing each year. If you are like many of us and committed to providing healthy, local and organic food for your family than you need to know all of the places you can visit during the week to ensure your home is full of the right foods.

In an effort to support our local Farmers' Markets and encourage all to shop there more frequently, here is an easy schedule for Madison neighborhoods.

Sunday

Northside:      2817 N. Sherman Ave., 8:30am-12:30pm

Monona:          Ahuska Park, E. Broadway, 9am-1pm

Westside:       Edgewood High School, 2219 Monroe St., 9am-1pm

Southside:      Labor Temple, 1602 S. Park St., 11am-3pm

Monday

Southside:      2524 Rimrock Rd., 2pm-6pm

Tuesday

Southside:      Labor Temple, 1602 S. Park St., 2pm-6pm

Middleton:     Greenway Station, 3pm-6pm

Eastside:         Wil-Mar Center, 953 Jenifer St., 4pm-7pm

Wednesday

Westside:       Hilldale Mall, Segoe Rd., 7am-2pm

Downtown:   City-County Building, 215 MLK Jr. Blvd., 8:30am-2pm

Thursday

Middleton:      Greenway Station, 8am-1pm

Southside:      The Villager Mall, 2300 S. Park St., 2pm-6pm

Fitchburg:       Agora Pavilion, 5511 E. Cheryl Pkwy., 3pm-6pm

Friday

Southside:      The Villager Mall, 2300 S. Park St., 2pm-6pm

Saturday

Downtown:    Capitol Square, 6am-2pm

Westside:        Hill Farms DOT, 4802 Sheboygan Ave., 7am-1pm

Westside:        Hilldale Mall, Segoe Rd., 7am-2pm

 

TOP THREE reasons to buy local at the Farmers' Market:

  1. Buying Fresh, Eating Healthy. When you buy fresh produce based on the season you have the opportunity to eat foods that are harvested at their peak and the fresher the produce, the better it is for you!
  2. From the Farm to your Table. Buying directly from a Farmer is a good way to learn about what you are buying, how it was grown and it is the best way to support our local Farmers.
  3. Help the Environment. When you buy in a store that gets their produce from another state please remember that the cost to the environment includes the transportation, packaging and energy costs to keep the food fresh. When you buy from the Farmers you are helping save in many ways.

48th Annual Orton Park Festival - August 22-25, 2013

Orton Park Festival, Madison, WIThe Alvarado Real Estate Group will again be a proud sponsor of this year's Orton Park Festival August 22 - 25 in Orton Park. The 48th annual Orton Park Festival will again be hosted by the Marquette Neighborhood Association.

The festivities begin with Family Night on Thursday featuring kid's activities and a family oriented performance by the Cycropia Aerial Dance Team.  The rest of the weekend is going to be filled with a variety of musical performances, so don't forget to wear your dancing shoes!

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 22nd

Family Night

  • 5:30 - Snacks, kid's activities, parade
  • 7:45 - Cycropia Aerial Dance "Circus Quercus"

Friday, August 23rd

  • 5:15 - The California Honey Drops
  • 7:00 - Paul Cebar
  • 8:30 - Cycropia Aerial Dance "Circus Quercus"

Saturday, August 24th

  • 12 - Pioneer
  • 1:30 - Count This Penny
  • 3:00 - The Midwesterners
  • 4:15 - MNA Auction
  • 5:15 - The Kissers
  • 6:45 - Jon Dee Graham & The Fighting Cocks
  • 8:30 - The Bottle Rockets

Sunday, August 25th

  • 9:00 - Jazz Brunch
  • 12:00 - Black Marigold
  • 1:00 - Mini Art Auction
  • 1:30 - Chicago to Madison Blues Jam with John Primer
  • 2:45 - Orton Cake Walk (Near Playground)
  • 3:00 - MNA Auction
  • 4:00 - Lake St. Dive
  • 5:45 - Big Sam's Funky Nation

Jazz in the Park, Lake Wingra - Saturday June 15th, 2013

Jazz in the Park, Madison, WI

Once again the Alvarado Real Estate Group will turn out as one of the proud sponsors of this year's Jazz in the Park at Lake Wingra on Saturday, June 15th, 2013. Sara, Carlos, Julie and Brett will be giving away balloons around 5pm so please come say hi! The Dungeon Monroe Neighborhood  will host this annual celebration in the midst of one of Madison's most magnificent parks. The day kicks off with a 5k run and a chance to clean up the beautiful Lake Wingra alongside your fellow Madisonians.  We hope you'll stay for the afternoon to spread out a blanket and picnic lunch or dance in the grass to four bands playing some of the area's best jazz music.

Jazz in the Park activities will run as follows:

9:00 AM - 5K Run for Wingra - Cancelled

10:00 - 12:00 - Lake Wingra Clean Up

3:00 - 5:30 - Family Fun

  • Fire Truck visit
  • Log Rolling
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Kite Flying
  • Lake Education

3:00 - 9:00 - Four Bands

  • 3:00 - Jazz All Stars
  • 4:00 - Edgewood Jazz Ensemble
  • 5:30 - Clif Frederickson
  • 7:30 - Madisalsa

Photo courtesy of www.dmna.org/?

Sara Alvarado is announced one of In Business's 40 under 40 most promising young executives in the Madison WI area

Sara Alvarado In Business magazine

Congratulations to Sara Alvarado, President of Alvarado Real Estate Group, for her recent accomplishment of making it into the 2013 Class of 40 Under 40: Dane County's Most Promising Leaders.

"For 13 years, In Business has celebrated the successes of rising business stars in our annual 40 Under 40 issue, and each year we have marveled at the vast richness and diversity of the young candidates. The competition is stiff. Not only are we looking for examples of business success and moxie, but also for people who demonstrate a firm commitment to the local community through board involvement, volunteerism, or other activities."

alvarado in business photo

"It is a huge honor for me to be part of this group of young leaders, and I like to emphasize the word young! My parents raised me to always be looking at the whole picture. I have never had my work life, personal life, volunteer life in separate compartments. My life is my life and when I feel strongly about something and feel the need to get involved, I jump in. Luckily with the real estate business my husband and I have created, we have figured out how to make it possible to be very involved in our community through the passions, time and resources we can give. It is how our family chooses to live. To be honored by the In Business community for not only leading in business but also in our commitment to our community feels wonderful. I hope it encourages all business professionals to look closely at where they can give back in a meaningful way. Because giving is really a huge dose of receiving."

M&I Bank is offering a unique Neighborhood Home Loan Program

M&I, soon to be BMO Harris Bank, is offering another fantastic financing option called the Neighborhood Home Loan Program (NHLP), which is a 30 year, fixed-rate loan with as little as 3% down with NO PRIVATE MORTGAGE INSURANCE! Potential clients would also be able to receive a $1,600 closing cost credit from M&I Bank if they open a Portfolio Checking account and establish auto-pay for their new mortgage.

Typically, NHLP is an income restricted program, however, there is no income restriction when utilizing the program for the purchase of a home in a "low" or "moderate" income census tract (defined by the Federal Government based on census data). This program can be used on owner-occupied single family homes, duplexes (with 5% minimum down), or condos that meet Freddie Mac guidelines.

NHLP loans can also be utilized by borrowers buying a property in Dane County who make under $65,500 gross annual income. Borrowers under this income limit can use this program to purchase owner-occupied homes that are not located in "low" or "moderate" income census tracts. These borrowers buying outside of a "low" or "moderate" income census tract would be eligible to receive a $1,100 closing cost credit from M&I if they open a Portfolio Checking account us and establish auto-pay for their new mortgage.

With interest rates still at or near historic lows, coupled with this lending option, you really shouldn't wait to make a move. Get into a new home before the holidays!

Where are the homes for sale that qualify for this great program? Call Carlos Alvarado today to find out. Or if you'd like to speak to our preferred M&I Bank lender about this program, please contact David Clem at 608.231.5675 or david.clem@micorp.com or visit www.bmoharris.com/dclem to apply online today.

7th Annual La Fête de Marquette - July 12-15 2012

One of our favorite events of the year is almost here! We hope to see you there.

La Fete de Marquette in Madison WI

Alvarado Real Estate Group is a proud sponsor of the 7th Annual La Fête de Marquette again this year! Come join the fun July 12-15.  The free music event located on Madison's Eastside (intersection of E. Washington Ave and South Dickinson St.) attracts thousands, celebrates French culture and benefits the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center. The French-themed event occurs on or near Bastille Day (July 14th), the French national holiday.  The event will include live music, food, Willy Street Co-op Annual Meeting & Party, Acoustic Café Breakfast, Festival Auction & the 1930's era Ferris Wheel!

We love co-sponsoring this event because not only does it help our Wil-Mar neighborhood center but it brings together our community in such a positive and FUN way!

For more information check out the La Fête de Marquette Event Schedule; it is jammed packed with greatness!

FROGBOX Madison WI - Tips for a Greener and Less Stressful Move

FROGBOX LOGOBy: Guest Blogger Matt Harbut, FROGBOX of Madison

1. Manage your time properly

Start organizing and packing at least one month before the moving day. Start with things that you don't use daily. Your ski suit, snow boots, winter clothes, most of the books, CD's and computer games and other things you can do without for a few weeks. Start slowly and dedicate an hour or two every day for packing. The most important step is to go through your stuff and sort it.

2. Be sure to have recycling bins and donation bags and garbage bags

Before you start packing, you need to get rid of things that you don't need. A good example are clothes that you haven't worn for the last two years and that are taking up space you could use for new clothing.  This applies to books, toys and home decorations.

3. Throw out the fridge

or at least a lot of it - Food and vitamins are not like good wine. They don't get better with age!  Go through your pantry, medicine cabinet and vitamins; throw away anything that has expired.  Be sure to check-out the Wisconsin DNR for pharmaceutical disposal guidelines.

4. The "Maybe Box"

Sometimes it's hard to let go. If you feel conflicted, put it in a "MAYBE box" that you have prepared especially for tough decisions. After a few days, go check in with your "maybe box". Your clarity will increase and you may see things differently.

5. Use existing containers, suitcases, etc for packing

Take a look at your home. You probably have some plastic containers, suitcases and camping bags that can be used for packing. Sometimes these bags are stored in the attic and they are full of dust; clean them and use them for your move.

6. For the rest of your things rent reusable plastic moving boxes from FROGBOX.  

They are easy to work with. Your belongings won't get wet while loading/unloading in the rain. They are not only eco-friendly (since they reduce cardboard waste) they are family friendly too- if you by accident have packed your child's most important stuffed toy... all you have to do is open the lid, take it out and close it back up. (You'd be surprised how often this happens.)

7. Soft Items

Do not pack all your towels in one big box. Use the towels to pad the bottom of each box when packing dishes and other fragile items. Use another towel on top and close the lid.

8. Label Every Box

Don't label the top - always on the side, so when you stack them on each other you can tell what's inside. When you rent FROGBOXes you get labels with your order but you can always just flip open the lid to see what's inside so the contents of you boxes will never be a mystery.

9. Don't let your junk mail move with you!

Use this as an opportunity to manage your mail with services like DMAchoice, OptOutPrescreen and Catalog Choice.   Feel good about simplifying your life, while saving hundreds of trees each year.

10. When choosing a mover...

make sure they're licensed and bonded, and have a great reputation. Call or email FROGBOX for a list of trusted Madison area movers.

11. Do it yourself moving

Consider renting the smallest van or truck that your things will fit into.  This will make loading the truck much easier and you'll save money and fuel.  If you have a small amount to move and don't own a car it might be a great opportunity to use a car share program like Community Car.  They have some roomy pick-ups and mini vans that are great for moving and FROGBOX customer get 50% off the Community Car registration fee.

12. Set a goal to unpack

Unpack a certain number of boxes each day in your new home. If you rent FROGBOXes you'll appreciate having a deadline for unpacking your boxes - sometimes a little motivation is healthy!. When you've reached your goal, make sure to treat yourself, you deserve it!

Good luck with your move and let us know if we can help!