Community Partners And Projects

Rhumba 4 Rainbow- Sponsored by Alvarado Real Estate Group

Join us at the 13th Annual Rhumba 4 Rainbow!

Get your cha-cha on this Friday, October 5 for a great cause! Rhumba 4 Rainbow is a wonderful fundraising event that supports the Rainbow Project, Madison-based nonprofit organization that "serves families with young children, primarily ages 10 & under, in Dane County, Wisconsin, and the surrounding areas. The Rainbow Project provides individualized and responsive services within a variety of settings. Services include short and long-term counseling, prevention and early intervention."

 

More from Sara Alvarado on why we love to sponsor this event:

Creating safe places for children who experience trauma is important to the well being and healing process of the child, but also to the community as a whole. All children deserve to feel safe and cared for and the Rainbow Project focuses many years of experience and love on just that. They depend on the support of the community and we believe in doing what we can to show our gratitude for all they do by supporting them with our sponsorship and participation at the annual Rhumba 4 Rainbow event. We also love to dance, so it is a win-win! Join us at Rhumba 4 Rainbow to learn about all the ways they are making a difference for children in Dane County and enjoy a night of dancing, a robust silent auction and connections with people that are making Madison a better place. 

Tickets to the event (including parking passes and sponsorship options) are still available! Come dance the night away- we'll see you there!

Community Spotlight: The Road Home Madison

Our Community Spotlight today is on one organization with whom we have strong ties: The Road Home

Here is a little more information about the organization and why we support their mission to eradicate homelessness in the Madison community:

The Road Home

The Road Home Dane County (formerly known as Interfaith Hospitality Network) opened its doors on April 26th, 1999 as an overflow shelter for families who could not be served by the existing shelters in Madison, Wisconsin. Since that time, the organization has expanded its programming to transition families into stable housing. The organization currently serves about 150 homeless families with children each year in Dane County. 

Supporting The Road Home

The Board of Directors

Kate Weis, one of the Broker Associates at the Alvarado Real Estate Group, sits on the Board of Directors for the Road Home. We wanted to share with you Kate's perspective on volunteering with the organization:

Every day in real estate, we work with families and homes. It is a tremendous honor to serve on the Board of Directors of The Road Home as a representative of The Alvarado Group to help further the organization’s mission to provide homeless children and their families affordable, stable housing. Every family deserves a home.

 

Sponsorship- Homes for Families Breakfast

This year, the Alvarado Real Estate Group is sponsoring a table at the Homes for Families Breakfast, held at the Alliant Energy Center on November 09, 2017, from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. 

The program includes presentations from The Road Home staff, board members and program graduates, a video about our work, and a direct appeal for financial support. "The breakfast is the culmination of an entire year of donor development work and is intended to raise operating funds (over one-third of the annual budget) to help the organization reach its goals for homeless families. Supporting this event provides additional financial resources towards helping homeless families in our community.

Connect with The Road Home on Facebook, Donate, or Volunteer for this amazing organization serving homeless families in the Madison area.

Community Organization Spotlight: The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Dane County

Our Community Spotlight today is on the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). We are happy to support this organization through fundraising and volunteer efforts, led by one of our agents, Susan Stoehr. Learn more about this incredible organization, and how you can support the local chapter in Madison!

Type 1 Diabetes

Susan Stoehr, one of the Broker Associates at the Alvarado Real Estate Group, has been supporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation since her daughter, Emma, was 9 years old.  That is when the family discovered that Emma had the disease. Since that diagnosis, Susan, Emma, and their family and friends have raised thousands of dollars for JDRF by participating in the yearly Gala and the One Walk. Susan describes why she continues to support JDRF:

At age 9, while on vacation in Florida, my daughter Emma was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  We learned then that this disease is a life-threatening autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin - a hormone essential to the ability to get energy from food. It strikes both children and adults suddenly and changes life as they know it forever. It cannot be prevented and there is no cure.

Many people with Type 1 diabetes, including Emma, receive life-saving medications and therapies which allow them to live full and happy lives. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation contributes a considerable amount of funding to efforts aimed at the prevention and treatment of the disease worldwide.

JDRF

"JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our strength lies in our exclusive focus and singular influence on the worldwide effort to end T1D.

Vision: A world without type 1 diabetes

Mission: Accelerating life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications"

Dane County JDRF One Walk: September 24, 2017

JDRF One Walk has one goal: to create a world without type 1 diabetes (T1D). We know you want to make a cure a reality too—and we can't wait for you to join us!

When you participate in your local JDRF One Walk, the money you raise supports life–changing breakthroughs that give hope to everyone impacted by this disease. And, you'll have a great time doing it! That's because you'll walk with a committed community that is passionate about doing whatever it takes to help turn Type One into Type None.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that strikes children and adults suddenly. It has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle—and it's serious and stressful to manage. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D and there is currently no cure. But there is something you can do to help. Please register to walk with us today. We can't do it without you.

From Susan:

Please support us and donate to our Walk fundraising campaign. Your gift will make a difference for millions of people affected by this devastating, life-threatening disease.

Thank you for your support! 

Sign up for the Dane County JDRF One Walk, or Donate to Susan and Emma's team!

2017 Java Jive- A fundraiser for the Dane County Rape Crisis Center

Helping our clients buy and sell homes is what we do. Creating the vibrant communities that our clients want to live in, is why we do what we do. There are many organizations in Madison and the surrounding areas of Dane County that advance equity, ensure community safety, highlight diversity, and improve quality of life through research, direct services, and support. The Alvarado Real Estate Group is committed to supporting these organizations and their work to improve the places where we live, work, and play. Because it matters!

Today, we want to highlight one of those organizations: the Dane County Rape Crisis Center  

The Dane County Rape Crisis Center

Serving Dane County since 1973, the Rape Crisis Center (RCC) provides services to survivors (and their family and friends) of all forms of sexual violence, including recent sexual assault, past sexual assault, incest (past or present), sexual harassment, and sexual exploitation. These services are provided free of charge and include crisis intervention and support via the 24-hour Helpline (608-251-7273), the Spanish language line La Línea (608-258-2567), short-term counseling, support groups, medical and legal advocacy and accompaniment, community education and outreach. RCC also operates Chimera Self-Defense Designed for Women, and Safer Bar.

Supporting the RCC

Sponsorship- 2017 Java Jive

This year, the Alvarado Real Estate Group is donating a silent auction item to the 22nd Annual Java Jive, one of the organization's largest yearly fundraising campaigns. This event is held at the High Noon Saloon on Sunday, September 17, 2017. If you love coffee, this is the event for you, with admission earning you a free mug and access to some of the best coffee in Madison, provided by local shops and roasters. To reserve your spot (and your mug!) today, please go here

Our creative and fun silent auction item made by Rachel Glaza...

Volunteering

Rachel Glaza, the Team Manager at Alvarado Real Estate Group, is also one of the Rape Crisis Center's 24-Hour Helpline Volunteers. Here's what she has to say about her experience:

Being a Helpline volunteer has put me in direct contact with victims (and members of their support network) who are going through very difficult situations. It's given me a whole new perspective on community safety, on supporting neighbors and friends, and especially, on supporting organizations like RCC who, day-in and day-out, advocate for justice and safety. 

If you are interested in donating to RCC, volunteering for RCC, or attending the 2017 Java Jive, be sure to check out the links provided.

 

 

Monroe Street Festival 2017 - stop by the Alvarado Real Estate Group table for a balloon!

Please join us on Saturday for Monroe Street Festival! 

We will be at a table set up in front of our office at 1914 Monroe Street giving out balloons and answering any real estate questions you may have! Come say hello!

Here is a schedule of the events:

 

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.

----------------------------------
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!

Willy Street Fair 2011

willy street fair, madison wiAnother great year to be one of the sponsors for the Willy Street Festival, hang out with our neighborhood friends and past clients and enjoy one of the best Madison area festivals!

Come join the fun on September 17th and 18th, 2011!

This is not just for Near East side neighbors, the Willy Street Fair is for everyone in the Madison area and people come from all over Dane County to celebrate the last days of Summer. The entertainment and fun is everywhere you turn with 6 stages of entertainment, a crazy fun parade at 11am on Sunday, award winning local & national beers, a large variety of foods, hand made arts and crafts and all for a good cause - to support the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center and Common Wealth Development.

Alvarado Real Estate Group is a supporter of this Fair and will have a booth, so come visit us to fill up your water bottle with ice cold water and check out our inventory of great listings in the area. We continue to be actively involved in supporting neighborhood events like these because it is what creates strong communities. Over and over again we meet with clients that want to move into a community, not just a house. It is what makes a neighborhood desireable and helps people feel a part of a community and not just a homeowner on a street. And we all benefit from that in many ways.

We hope to see you at the Fair!

FREE Home Buyer Education Classes

Great Home Buyer classes for people looking to buy in the Madison WI and Dane County areas..and for FREE?! Space is limited so please call Project Home at 608-246-3737 for more information or to register.

Classes will be held Tuesday July 12, 2011 AND July 19th, from 6:00 pm to 9:30 p.m. Homebuyers must attend both sessions in full and a 1 hour counseling session to be scheduled individually. Classes located at Project Home's Training Center, 1922 S. Stoughton Road Madison WI. 

The First Time Home Buyer Education classes offered by Project Home and GreenPath, Inc. allow first time home buyers to learn about homeownership in an environment that encourages questions and protects the potential home buyer from being solicited. They learn about the pros and cons of home ownership, money management skills, credit issues, how to choose a realtor and lender, down payment assistance programs, shopping of a home and obtaining financing.

We began this partnership in April 2011 and in the first 3 months of classes we have had 67 individual participants in 50 households. We are reaching the populations targeted - 96% are first time homebuyers and approximately 74% are at or below 80% of County Median Income and therefore may be eligible for most down payment assistance programs.

To receive funds for most down payment assistance programs, potential homeowners must complete education and/or counseling. This program is designed to meet the National Industry Standards for Home Ownership Education and Counseling created by the National Advisory Council of NeighborWorks® America. Our course is 7 hours of face-to-face group education and 1 hour of 1-on-1 counseling.

The Housing Center is a joint venture between Project Home and GreenPath Debt Solutions to expand and sustain affordable home-ownership in Dane County. 

Project Home is a local non-profit organization offering help to Dane & Green County residents for the last 40 years. Project Home's mission has been to improve the quality and affordability of housing for low-to-moderate income residents. With the rising cost of housing, utilities, and building materials, it is difficult and expensive to tackle the repairs that all homes need. Project Home provides services that will improve homeowners' comfort, safety, and reduce energy bills.

GreenPath Debt Solutions is a nationwide, non-profit financial organization that assists consumers with credit card debt, housing debt, and bankruptcy concerns. Our customized services and attainable solutions have been helping people achieve their financial goals for 50 years.  The Madison office has been serving local customers for 12 years.  Ellen Bernards has been a housing counselor and housing educator for the last 7 years and was the 2010 recipient of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling's Individual Counselor of the Year award.

This information provided by Ellen Bernards, GreenPath Debt Solutions. Thank you Ellen for all you do!

Monroe Street Office Opening Soon!

We are excited to announce the opening of a second office for the Alvarado Real Estate Group at 1914 Monroe Street on Madison's near Westside just one block west of Trader Joe's!

This is an important location to us for many reasons. We are a neighborhood based, local real estate company and community is at the core of our business. Opening our first office as an independent brokerage in 2008 on Madison's near Eastside gave us a community that has been very supportive and created wonderful success for the company but with all the business we do all over Madison, now it is time to grow!

The Monroe Street area has always been a place where we work, live and play and therefore a perfect fit for our business to move into as well. We look forward to stronger partnerships with other local businesses in the area and a Westside base for our agents that already live and work in the area that will also cater to our clients.

So when is the Grand Opening? That will depend on how the renovation goes, we're shooting for August! And we'll be sure to have a HUGE Bash! Stay tuned and thank you all for your part in supporting our business. We couldn't do it without you!

La Fete de Marquette 2011 - Madison WI

La Fête de Marquette 2011 is coming soon! Come celebrate French Music & Culture starting July 7th through the 10th on Madison's Eastside (South Dickinson & E. Washington). We love co-sponsoring this event because it helps the Wil-Mar neighborhood center and also because it is a great opportunity to bring our community together for some serious summer fun!

Music, Dancing, Food and Friends make La Fete one of Madison's hottest summer events. And it gets better every year!

In its sixth year the free music event, which attracts thousands, celebrates French culture and benefits the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center, will be staged from July 7 - 10th. The French-themed event occurs on or near Bastille Day (July 14th), the French national holiday.

See the La Fête de Marquette Schedule and bios of Performers.

Music

Musicians from throughout the French-speaking world including North and West Africa, French-speaking Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean will perform throughout the weekend. Artists with roots in the New Orleans, Cajun and Zydeco traditions will again perform primarily on Sunday, Le Jour de Louisiane.

It is hard to recall any Madison music event that could boast a more spectacular or more diverse cast of musical characters. Anders Osborne, Cyril Neville, Rosie Ledet, Glenn David Andrews, Walter "Wolfman" Washington, The Lost Bayou Ramblers and Papa Grows Funk are some of the heavy hitters from Louisiana. While BelO, Maraca, Bombino and Baloji are some of the global celebrities, set to converge on our fair city. De Temps Antan and Raz-de- Marée are two of the finest Quebecois groups from that culturally rich province.

La Fête's music director, Bob Queen, claims this year will trump all previous years in terms of quality, quantity and diversity of musical acts. "These are all world -class groups. Some are making their first trip to this country or region. Anders Osborne is not to be missed. He is playing with his own band (Sat. last) and then joining a group of legendary New Orleans players in a grand finale on Sunday. Glen David Andrews is Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews' 6'4" older cousin who may supplant his cousin on this year's stage. Critics have compared Andrews James Brown and Prince. Baloji from Belgium and The Congo is no slouch and his big band will be playing Millenium Park in Chicago and Central Park's Summer Stage (NYC) on his first U.S. tour."

Acoustic Café Breakfast

Another of the festival highlights will be the Sunday morning Acoustic Café Breakfast with a live stage show hosted by 105.5 Triple M's Jonathan Suttin and Kitty Dunn. The Café runs from 9 am to 11:45 am and will feature memorable acoustic performances by Quebec's Raz-de-Marée and Louisiana's Lost Bayou Ramblers. A wait-staffed breakfast of scrumptious quiche prepared by State Street's Barakas is the featured menu item and served to your table by East High School French students and participants of Wil-Mar's Teen program. Sponsored by Alvarado Real Estate Group (yay!).

La Tente De Danse

Because of the incredible, vibrant dance tent sessions last year, La Fete organizers have established a new large tent dedicated to Quebecois and Cajun dance. La Tente De Danse will offer a wall-to-wall dance floor with a stage for live music. Quebec's Raz-de-Marée (Tidal Wave) and Cajun phenoms Ryan Brunet et Les Malfacteurs (The Outlaws) will keep the tent buzzing. There will be a small ticket fee to support this new venue. La Tente De Danse is sponsored by RP's Pasta, MadCat Pet Supplies and Wisconsin Public Radio.

Food

As always, there will be incredible food and drink from a host of vendors including-- Baraka's, Nattspil, Lao Laan-Xang, Smokin' Cantina, authentic Cajun cuisine from Double S BBQ, Southern Style Seafood delights from HMI Catering, Jamerica, Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier, Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream and many more.

Willy Street Co-op Annual Meeting & Party

The Willy Street Co-op (presenter of the Fête) kicks off the celebration with its annual membership meeting Thursday evening, July 7th.  Featured that night are New Orleans' Papa Grows Funk boasting OffBeat Magazine's pianist-of-the-year, John Gros, in the lead. The incredible guitarist Bombino from Niger will show folks why he is taking the world by storm and reminding people of a Tuareg Jimi Hendrix.

The Willy Street Co-op's Annual Meeting & Party is open to the public after 7 pm or become a Co-op equity-paying member (for just $10!) at the event and get a FREE Dinner (including beverage) gifts and chances to win prizes.

Ferris Wheel

The vintage, 1930s-era Ferris Wheel (which was just added last year) will be back and provided a perfect escape (if needed) with picturesque views of the Capital dome and Fête de Marquette's colorful grounds.

This event has grown incredibly and attracts music lovers from all over the Midwest! Hope to see you there!

Marquette Waterfront Festival 2011

Another great event is coming soon to the great Near Eastside neighborhood! What do we love most about the Marquette Waterfront Festival? The music, the friends, the dancing, spending time outside, the beer? It is must be the combination! Here is the great description of this year's event from the Marquette Neighborhood Association website:

Yet again the Marquette Neighborhood Association is conjuring up two days of unsurpassed excitement for the Marquette Waterfront Festival. The community will celebrate atop the whip thin spit of land known as Yahara Place Park on June 11th and 12th . This is the 22nd edition of the event and there will be a totally sensational group of performers around representing our neighborhood and diverse regions of the nation and the World. The music will be joyous and raucous and sweat-inducing danceable. We ask that you please come both days to enjoy the show and the seductive breeze at Lake Monona's shore.

Saturday, June 11th, 2011 Waterfront Schedule

Sunday, June 12th, 2011 Waterfront Schedule

We hope to see you there!