Green Homes

Live green, Vive verde: Basic H2 Cleaner

Welcome to our new series of blog posts called Live Green, Vive Verde. Here at the Alvarado Real Estate Group, Live Green, Vive Verde, is an important part of our business! We want to show you how you can incorporate eco-friendly products, services, and actions into your life and home, to not only enrich your health and well-being, but to also preserve the environment and reduce the carbon footprint on our beautiful communities across the greater Madison area (and beyond).

Our first post comes from our friend and natural/healthy living consultant, Anke Johnson! We hope you enjoy this new series and we look forward to bringing you more Live Green, Vive Verde posts moving forward!

Loving the green in a bottle of Basic H2!

Basic H2 is a bit of a miracle in a bottle!  From earth and people friendly to really economical, it's a product that you can feel really good about using!

If you're smart enough to have bought a home from Alvarado Real Estate Group, then you got one of these gems in your welcome bag because they think being green is pretty important too!  

Dr Forrest C. Shaklee introduced Basic H in 1960 (Basic H2 came in 2006 to make it even MORE green!), which was a product way before it's time.  At the time when many non-earth friendly products were being introduced because they "worked better", Dr. Shaklee created a product that not only worked as well or better than these products, but was also gentle to the earth as well as to the people exposed to it.  

Basic H2 is also so versatile, that it can be used in all areas of your house.  It is typically diluted into 3 strengths; windows/mirrors, general cleaning, and de-greasing for those harder jobs. Because Basic H2 is so concentrated, your small 16oz bottle will make 5,824 bottles of Windex!  Imagine how many plastic bottles and sprays are saved from recycling and landfill, and how much money you can save, literally thousands!!  And because Basic H2 is safe for your family and pets, you can be rest assured that everyone's health is better for it.  If anyone in your family has health issues such as allergies or asthma, Basic H2 is a great choice to help decrease any environmental impact that may be adding to the illness.

If you have any questions about Basic H2, or if you'd like to know more about some of Shaklee's other fantastically green and effective cleaners for dishwashing, laundry, and more, please contact Anke Johnson at 608-467-0008 or email  Anke is passionate about helping to keep things green, one bottle at a time!

Cheers, Anke

Anke Johnson ~ Consultant and Coach for Healthy Living, Equestrian Confidence and Connected Riding Practitioner

How to get involved with Green Madison?



Green Madison is a citywide effort to educate and inspire Madison residents to reduce energy use in their homes, businesses, and schools. As an added incentive, Madison is one of 50+ cities competing for a $5 MILLION prize from Georgetown University that will go to the city that makes the biggest reductions in energy use. Here's how to get involved today:

  • All Madison residents are invited to take part in Cool Choices, a city-wide online sustainability game. Do you turn the lights off when leaving a room? Bike or walk instead of driving? Recycle on a regular basis? You're invited to share the sustainable choices you're making with fellow Madisonians in Cool Choices! Register, create a team, and play to save money, reduce energy use, and win prizes from Food Fight Restaurants, Colectivo Coffee, or even a 2016 CSA share!
  • Madison homeowners, did you know that energy efficiency improvements can cut utility bills by an average of $400 per year? During this competition you can host a house party to receive a free energy assessment, recommendations for practical improvements, and follow-up assistance applying for rebates on any energy efficiency improvements you'd like to make.
  • Madison landlords and tenants, Green Madison has a team of experts to highlight existing energy efficiency resources available for multifamily buildings! In partnership with Project Home and Focus on Energy, we are serving as a streamlined point-of-contact to help multifamily building owners with rebate programs, free energy assessments, contractor selection, and quality assurance. Project Home is a local nonprofit that provides energy-saving and health-and-safety improvements to make a long-term impact for residents, neighborhoods, and communities. Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities' statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program. Together, the Green Madison team can help reduce energy consumption in the City's multifamily housing stock for years to come.

Visit to get involved with Green Madison today!

Teachers and educators can get involved through the Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program (KEEP). KEEP is supporting Green Madison by promoting a professional development opportunity for Madison-area teachers. Registration deadline for teachers is October 6, so act quickly! Benefits include: one FREE Graduate Credit with registration; knowledge about how you can make a difference by increasing energy efficiency in your school building; an invitation for successful program graduates to apply for a $100 mini-grant to put their plan into action! Contact for more information or visit

For Alders/city leaders: Green Madison is an effort to reduce energy consumption in the City of Madison and help our City become more sustainable so that future Madisonians can enjoy the same beautiful community that we do. What's more, the City stands to win a whopping $5 million to put towards future sustainability efforts! As part of the Georgetown University Energy Prize, Madison is competing against communities around the nation to see who can reduce energy consumption the most through the end of 2016.

As a leader in our community, we hope you will take this opportunity to help us spread the word about this exciting opportunity for our city. Please encourage your constituents, friends, and neighbors to take some of the following actions, and don't forget to lead by example! You too can play Cool Choices and host an energy house party!


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21 Hiawatha Circle, Madison, WI - 3 BR Home For Sale


21 Hiawatha Circle. Light and bright ranch in desirable Nakoma overlooking spacious Hiawatha Park. Here's the opportunity to own a bit of history: first Certified Whole House Green Built home remodel! Incredibly energy efficient with charm! Hardwood floors, open floor plan, lower level bedroom/office plus bathroom, gas fireplace, dry basement, very well cared for and updated. Mature trees and a lovely patio in the back yard make it a perfect place for entertaining. Move in ready.

  • 4 BD/ 2BA, 1502 Sq.Ft.
  • 1 car attached garage
  • Next to Hiawatha Park
  • For current price and more information, click here


21 Hiawatha Circle - Property Features

  • New washer in 2011
  • New water softener in 2011 (rented)
  • Replaced central air in 2008
  • Replaced kitchen appliances in 2006
  • Replaced furnace in 2006
  • Beautiful hardwood floors
  • Bamboo flooring in office
  • Gas fireplace
  • Lots of natural light
  • Shed in backyard


Nakoma Neighborhood Information

Nakoma was platted in 1915 as a picturesque suburb in the country with winding roads, its own water system, its own private bus service and substantial lands set aside for parks, tennis courts and a golf course. It was one of the most prestigious neighborhood's of its time as it is today. Some of the finest examples of Colonial, Greek, Tudor Revival, French Provincial, and Prairie style homes are located in Nakoma. The older, historic neighborhood is also home to Thoreau Elementary School, Nakoma Country Club, and easy access to the University of Wisconsin Arboretum.

School District Information for 21 Hiawatha Circle

Thoreau Elementary School

Cherokee Heights Middle School

West High School


sara 2013 photo croppedThis home is marketed by Sara Alvarado, Broker / Listing Specialist - The Alvarado Real Estate Group. For a showing of this home or to discuss selling your home, please contact Sara at 608.438.5005, or


1204 Birch Haven Circle - Monona Home for Sale on the Water!

Gorgeously Remodeled Monona Home on the Channel (2007 NARI Showcase home)! Everything has been replaced & remodeled. Open living area, great for entertaining features Brazilian cherry floors, gas fireplace. Extensive list (granite, maple cabinets, Anderson windows, etc) of detailed updates available via email & onsite. Living in a like new home with all the upgrades yet surrounded in Monona's mature community on the Lake, enjoy the yard, huge 2nd floor patio w/ beautiful views, the water & Monona Schools.

  • 4 BR, 3 BA, 2,700 Sq. Ft.
  • Completely remodeled
  • On the Lake Monona channel
  • For current price and more property information, click here.


Features of 1204 Birch Haven Circle:



  • Every room completely remodeled including new flooring, finishes, lighting, Oak trim and doors.
  • Brazilian Cherry, wide board floors with unique floor muffling system--10 year installation warranty.
  • Gas fireplace with Black Galaxy granite and Oak surround
  • Custom, hand-finished front entry door and garage service door
  • Baldwin lock set on front door, and new Schlage hardware on all doors
  • Andersen Door and window hardware and grids
  • 6-panel solid Oak doors and trim throughout
  • Metal staircase balusters with Oak railing
  • All new bath and door hardware
  • Garage completely insulated, heated and finished including drywall, texture, paint and new lighting
  • California Closets(TM) throughout home, including laundry and linen closets
  • Laundry Room with new front-load GE Washer, Dryer and Duratub Wash Tub


  • Andersen Windows
  • Dormers and front porch
  • 2-car garage with large attic storage
  • Massive rooftop deck with top of the line DuraDek(TM) and glass DuraRail(TM) railing system
  • New all-cedar siding
  • New stonework with engraved stone address block
  • New architectural style shingle roof with ice and snow shield and 30-year warranty
  • New Professional landscaping
  • 44' Wickcraft(TM) Dock with interchangeable cedar pallets and telescopic legs
  • 420 sq. ft. cement patio
  • All New outdoor lighting and power outlets
  • All new cement including driveway, patio, garage, porch, walks, and door/AC pads
  • Carriage style garage door with arched entry and openers/exterior keypad entry


School Information for 1204 Birch Haven Circle

Click below for more information on the schools:

Monona Grove High School

Glacial Drumlin School


Sara Alvarado, The Alvarado Real Estate Group


This home is marketed by Sara Alvarado, Broker - The Alvarado Real Estate Group. For a showing of this home or to discuss selling your home, please contact Sara at 608.438.5005, or


3512 Gregory Street, Madison WI - Bungalow for Sale

3512 Gregory Street, Madison WI

How many times have I heard clients say that they wanted a new house and yet they felt it was really important to be in an established neighborhood with mature trees and experience a true community? How easy is that to find in Madison? Practically impossible. With delight, I welcome you to this fantastic opportunity to own a 6 year young custom crafted Bungalow in the Briar Hill neighborhood that backs up to the Capital City Bike path just steps away from the Children's Park. As you walk through this home you'll notice the details of the extra wide trim, the tiled wood burning fireplace, gorgeous built ins, expansive windows and walk in closets. You'll also notice the 9 ft ceilings, fiber cement siding, light maple flooring and warm, welcoming colors.

The Seller worked closely with Drake Builders and the designer at Bungalow Pros to make this a dream home that fits right into the neighborhood. The layout creates easy and spacious living and even with all the great storage throughout (pantry and walk in closets) there is a large, dry basement with 8 ft ceilings that can easily be finished or just used for storage or an exercise area.

Open House on Sunday, August 26th from 12-3pm! 

 3512 Gregory Street Specs

- Offered for $375,000 - 3 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, 1592 square feet - No garage, gravel driveway - Large front yard and a back deck with private back yard - 2011 taxes: $7,789 - Clark House Design: - Built by Drake Builders

Living room: 19x14 Dining room: 16x11 Kitchen: 12x12 Back deck: 18x8 Front porch: 10x6 Master Bdrm: 12x12 Bdrm #2: 12x11 Bdrm #3: 11x11

Briar Hill Area School Information:

- Thoreau Elementary

- Cherokee Heights Middle School

- West High School


Sara Alvarado, The Alvarado Real Estate GroupThis home is marketed by Sara Alvarado, Broker - The Alvarado Real Estate Group. Why? Because she sold it ten years ago (when it was a 500 sq. ft. home) and she knows the neighborhood! For a showing of this home or to discuss selling your home, please contact Sara at 608.438.5005 or

Green Your Home, Madison WI Free Community Event

Alvarado Real Estate Group invites you to listen to the experts, ask questions and learn more about making your home healthy and energy efficient. We hope you can join us!

Monday March 26th 2012 at 6pm Goodman Library, 2222 S. Park St. in Madison


Our Panel includes:

  • Green Madison Advocate: Alicia De BarrenoGreen Madison Green Madison Program

    Green Madison helps City of Madison homeowners and businesses achieve significant energy savings, while increasing the comfort and durability of your home and business. Personal assistance, generous cash incentives, and hassle-free financing makes Green Madison the go-to energy-efficiency resource for Madison homeowners and businesses.

  • Green Building: Leah SamsonMadison Enviormental Group-Samuel Madison Environmental Group

  • Landscape Architect: Steve WhaylandKen Saiki Design, INC in Madison, WIKen Saiki Design

    Steve helps design and manage site planning, stormwater management related, and LEED/sustainable design projects.  Steve enjoys working as a civil engineer with the landscape architecture firm Ken Saiki Design, using an integrative, collaborative and creative approach to excellence in site planning and design.  Ken Saiki Design has astrong reputation for: quality landscape architecture & site design, and are good people to work with.

  • Solar Expert: Lincoln TiceFull Spectrum Solar in Madison, WI Full Spectrum Solar

    Lincoln has worked for Full Spectrum Solar for more than three years, beginning his career in renewable energy after graduating from the UW with a Biology major in 2008.  He has installed over a hundred Solar Electric (photovoltaic a.k.a. PV) systems, as well as many Solar Water Heating systems, and learned a lot about what makes for a good solar site.  Lincoln's specialty is designing the array for optimal energy production, long-term durability and strength, and an aesthetically beautiful solar installation that is economical.

  • Energy Raters: Laura Paprocki

    Trinity Enviormental Logo Environmental Engineer & Energy Consultant Trinity Enviromental, LLC

    Laura has worked in numerous areas of environmental services - including an environmental health and safety manager in manufacturing facilities, an environmental engineer on site during demolition and remediation, and home performance consultant working with both new construction and existing home improvements.  She is the owner of Trinity Environmental - an engineering firm whose residential focus is helping....

    o Homeowners understand how to achieve the best return on their investment regarding home improvements o And also helping builders construct high performance homes that co-exist with their natural surroundings

    She is an infield verifier for numerous green building programs both local and national - helping homeowners and builders achieve green and energy efficient building certifications.

    Steve PipsonHome Performance Specialists in Madison, WI RESNET Certified Energy Rater & BPI Building Analyst Professional Home Performance Specialists

    Steve Pipson knows homes from the inside out. Having worked as a journeyman carpenter, project manager, architectural technician and college instructor, he brings over 25 years of experience in the trade to his energy evaluation work. Friendly, knowledgeable and a bit of a "house detective," Steve is passionate about conserving resources and helping clients make improvements to their homes that ultimately improves their bottom line and lessens their impact on the environment.


 Please R.S.V.P.. for this event so we know how much pizza we need! We hope you can come.



Just Listed! 2534 Kendall Avenue, Madison WI - 3 Bedroom Home for Sale

2543 Kendall Ave.

Wonderfully updated home on Madison's Near Westside boasts a newer kitchen with soapstone counter, hickory cabinets and great appliances!   This home retains all its charm with arched doorways, natural woodwork, brick fireplace and original crown molding.  Relax on the patio overlooking the terraced backyard.

o 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1468 sq ft o 2-car detached garage o For current price and more photos, click here.

2534 Kendall Avenue Property Features

Recent Updates Include:

  • New Lifetime guaranteed roof (transferable to new buyer) on home and garage
  • New gutters and downspouts
  • Completely renovated kitchen
  • Upgraded electrical box
  • Whole house insulation (translated to huge energy savings)
  • Anderson windows with tilt-out feature installed house wide (except for sunroom)
  • New backdoor installed
  • Deck off back door rebuilt
  • Reworked basement plumbing
  • Furnace control board replaced (installed in 1995)
  • Backyard retaining wall installed
  • Patio installed in back yard
  • Added 7'x7' shed for storage
  • Rainbow Systems Play Structure
  • New electrical outlets in Master and 2nd Bedroom
  • New A/C unit and water softener installed
  • All outlets have been upgraded to GFCI
  • Most overhead lighting has been updated (bedrooms & downstairs bath have not had updates.)


University Heights Neighborhoood Information

Neighborhood located at the west end of the UW-Madison Campus and is famous for its classic Victorian and modern homes.  Easy access to the UW Hospital, UW Campus, Regent St. Co-Op, and West High School.  Walking distance to Lake Mendota, Lake Wingra, the Henry Vilas Zoo, local business districts and bike and pedestrian trails.

Madison School Information for 2534 Kendall Ave.

Franklin-Randall Elementary  Hamilton Middle School West High School

Sara Alvarado This home is marketed by Sara Alvarado, Broker - The Alvarado Real Estate Group. For a showing of this home or to discuss selling your home, please contact Sara at 608.438.5005, or

OPEN HOUSES - Sunday, October 30th

4713 Declaration Lane

Madison's Eastside

11am - 1pm

Hosted by Adrienne Sella

4 Bedrooms 2 Baths

Spacious 1,739 sq ft hilltop 4 bedroom ranch!  Gorgeous updated kitchen with hickory cabinets, new appliances, breakfast bar and large pantry. New roof  '08. New furnace and central air  '07. New water heater  '11. Main floor laundry. Large master with private bathroom. Oak floors in bedrooms have been refinished. Spacious closets. Plenty of space to expand or for storage in the 1,739 sq ft unfinished basement.


2860 Big Blue Stem

Fitchburg - Swan Creek

12pm - 2pm

Hosted by Cathy Lacy

5 Bedrooms 4 Baths

This classic American Bungalow is exactly what home should feel like. Enjoy spacious open rooms with plenty of warmth & charm. From the LL theater room & main floor living room wired for surround sound to the prewired in home audio this home has the bells and whistles you\'ve been looking for. The cozy hearth room off the kitchen is a perfect place to relax with a good book and enjoy the warmth of your fireplace.


3771 Token Rd


1:30pm - 3:30pm

Hosted by Adrienne Sella

3 Bedrooms 2 Baths

Quiet country living on a 1/2 acre lot only minutes to Madison w/ low Burke taxes & Deforest schools! Quality built & meticulously maintained home. Gorgeous hickory floors. Living room has a brick hearth fireplace. Sunny & bright kitchen w/ breakfast bar & dinette. Family room in lower level has a built-in bar. Master bedroom w 5\'x11\' walk-in closet. Large deck & patio that is great for entertaining.



5202 Ninebark

Fitchburg - Swan Creek

2pm - 4pm

Hosted by Cathy Lacy

3 Bedrooms 3 baths

Less than a year old with a wonderful floorplan. The kitchen with its solid surface countertops and cherry cabinets will be a delight to prepare large and small meals. Plenty of backyard space for the kids to run, all located in a subdivision with bike paths and surrounded on two sides by conservancy. The upstairs laundry will make for efficiency on laundry day. The oversized garage will have plenty of room for toys and bikes.


5173 Fox Sedge Ln

Fitchburg - Swan Creek

2pm - 4pm

Hosted by Cathy Lacy

4 Bedrooms 2 Baths

Energy Star Certified so you can be assured you will have low energy bills. This nearly new home has all the features today's buyers are looking for. Amish made maple cabinets, hardwood floors. Plenty of room for a family in this 4 bedroom home. 1st floor bedroom and bath offer easy accessibility for visiting guests. Built by Home Comfort Co. with attention to every detail. Swan Creek offers walking paths, parks and is bordered on two sides by conservancy.

2550 Hoard Street, Madison WI Home for Sale

This spacious 3 bedroom was just put back on the market. The past owners recently moved out and now there is fresh paint, numerous repairs have been made, it is clean and ready for new owners. Garden lovers heaven! The time, love and dedication that have gone into the landscaping make this sweet bungalow a special find. Interior features: laminate floors, spacious layout, newer windows. Exterior features: new siding, solar hot water system (with a new pump), rain barrel, built in patio fire pit, amazing rock garden, perennials, edible garden, bursting colors, and the backyard borders city park and bike path! The back addition (completed by previous owners) now has water pipes that heat up really well in the spring and fall and keep the floors nice and warm.  

Sit on the front 3 season porch and escape into your retreat home. Freshly painted, move in ready, 1 year warranty.

  • 3 Bedroom, 1 Bath
  • 1,155 SqFt Bungalow
  • 1 car garage, attached
  •  For current price and more photos, click here


Recent Updates & Features

  • Fresh paint 2011
  • Electrical system upgrade 2010
  • New toilet 2010
  • New solar pump 2010
  • Replaced sink, faucet & disposal 2007
  • Solar hot water heater panels and system installed in 2005
  • Gas water heater New 2001
  • New stainless steel siding 2005 with lifetime warranty
  • Windows replaced in 2005 (Living Room, 1999)
  • Refrigerator replaced in 2003
  • Laminate wood flooring installed 2001       
  • Roof replaced in 1999      
  • Edible landscaping includes: Raspberries, blackberries,  kiwi, apple tree, blueberries, strawberries, mulberries, currants, lingon berries, josten berries, & elderberries!
  • Tile work by Red Rose Mosaics
  • Backyard patio features high efficiency fire pit surrounded by gardens and borders the city bike path and park

 Neighborhood Features

  • Walk to area restaurants, shopping, grocery stores, Walgreen's
  • Walk to famous Ella's Deli
  • Easy commute access to Downtown or Aberg to Stoughton Rd.
  • Close to the bike path, bus routes and parks
  • Quiet, friendly neighborhood
  • Visit the Hawthorne Library on E. Washington Ave.
  • Minutes from Downtown, Capitol & Beltline
  • Walkscore of 68 (pretty good!) at

Madison School Information for 2550 Hoard Street

This home is marketed by Sara Alvarado, Broker - The Alvarado Real Estate Group. For a showing of this home or to discuss selling your home, please contact Sara at 608.438.5005, or 

217 N. 3rd Street, Madison WI - Home for Sale

217 N 3rd Street Madison WI

Spacious, charming, energy-efficient AND affordable house on the near east side?? Yes!! And it features a 2 car garage, huge 3rd flr vaulted master bedroom, original woodwork and wood floors! Fenced yard with perennials. Newer roof, deck, furnace, refrigerator and washer. Water heater and softener 2 years old and exterior painted in 2010. Average utility bill is $121/mo. Great southern exposure for winter sunlight. A hop over to Atwood and walking distance to schools and Willy St Neighborhood hot spots. 

  • 3 bdrms + office+ sunroom, 1 bath, 1766 sq ft.
  • 2 car detached garage
  • For more photos and information please check out the Alvarado Group MLS data page

217 N. 3rd Street Property Features & Updates

  • Original woodwork, hardwood floors
  • 3rd floor master bedroom with vaulted ceilings
  • Super efficient spray foam insulation under roof resulting in an average gas and electric bill of $121/mos.!
  • Fenced yard with Perennials
  • Water heater, water softener and fence replaced 2009
  • Exterior paint job completed in 2010
  • Newer roof, deck, furnace, refrigerator and washer

Near Eastside Neighborhood Features

  • Only one third of a mile to the heart of Schenk-Atwood neighborhood
  • Walking distance to schools and Willy Street
  • More great info - click here

This property is marketed and presented by Darcy Haber, EcoBroker. Please contact Darcy at 608.358.6180 or for a showing or if you have more questions!