Blog :: 2010

JUST SOLD! 2645 East Lawn Court in Madison WI

Congratulations on your new Madison home!Congratulations! Alvarado Real Estate Group is happy to announce another successful sale on Madison's East Side! This home sold quickly - 38 days - for $125,900 by Sara Alvarado.

2645 East Lawn Court is absolutely the sweetest home & incredibly maintained! Two bedrooms on main floor, hardwood floors, open floor plan from kitchen, eating area to living room & updated bathroom. Kitchen features newer appliances, new flooring, new sink, tiled counters. Lower level finished with amazing detail. Great bonus room! Ceiling fans in almost every room, updated electrical, loads of shelving in basement & garage. Beautiful deck, fenced yard. The Sellers did a fabulous job getting their home ready, keeping it clean and making sure they said yes to all showing requests.

2645 East Lawn Ct, Madison WI

JUST SOLD! Congratulations!

 For more information on selling your home in Madison's real estate market - contact Sara Alvarado today, 608.438.5005,

4904 Spaanem Ave. - 3 BR Madison Home For Sale

4904 Spaanem Ave., Madison WI

4904 Spaanem Ave., Madison WI

Alvarado Real Estate Group is marketing a new Madison area listing: this 3 bedroom ranch home at 4904 Spaanem Ave is on a spacious lot backing up to the Monona Golf course. Open floorplan, hardwood floors and natural sunlight. Enjoy a perfect backyard that is fenced, offers lot's of space and access to the golf course. The two car garage has new doors and siding! Remodeled lower level offers a 3/4 bath, guest room, rec room plus a lot of storage!

The front bay window in the living room creates beautiful natural sunlight. Kitchen is open to the dining room and features a built-in microwave, gas stove. Enjoy the proximity to parks, schools, shopping and easy access to beltline, downtown, and more!

One year home warranty included!

To view more photos and for the most current price - visit the Alvarado Group mls data page

  • 3 BR, 2 BA, 1540 Sq. Ft.
  • Newly remodeled lower level
  • Fenced yard, adjacent to golf course
  • Walking distance to parks and schools
  • 2-car garage

Property Features and Updates:

  • New dryer in 2009
  • New washer in 2008
  • Lower level remodeled with 3/4 bath and family room in 2008
  • New vinyl in lower level in 2008
  • Gas stove new in 2008
  • New garage siding in 2008
  • New garage door opener in 2008
  • New roof in 2006
  • New disposal in 2005
  • Newer windows throughout (age unknown - not original)

East Side Neighborhood Features:

  • Walking distance to Quaker, Stone Bridge, Lake Edge, Acewood, and Edna Taylor Conservation Parks
  • Walking distance to Nuestro Mundo/Frank Allis Elementary, Sennett Middle School, and La Follette High School
  • Golf the Monona Golf Course and use the backyard entrance for cross country skiing throughout the winter too
  • Visit the Pinney Library on Cottage Grove Rd.
  • Close to many restaurants, shopping and local attractions
  • Minutes from Downtown, Capitol & Beltline

Madison School District Information for 4904 Spaanem Ave.

For a showing of this home or if you need any further information please contact Alvarado Group at 608-438-4315 or

Family Fun on New Year's Eve in Madison WI

Madison New Years Eve Party

Take the kids out dancing!

There is so much to do on New Year's Eve and I could list a number of hot spots in Madison to celebrate a brand new year but I'm a mom with two young boys and without a doubt our favorite event is U.S. Bank's New Year's Party. (If you really are just looking for that list of hot spots...this link will take you there).

Thank you for letting me take this moment to say THANK YOU all for a great year in 2010. Everyone on our team at Alvarado Real Estate Group has been blessed with amazing clients. And we are blessed to work with each other, to learn together, help others and do our part in creating strong communities, healthier homes and inspiring change for a better planet. So let's celebrate Madison style!

U.S. Bank Eve's fireworks finale will take place over Lake Monona at 10:05. Best viewing is from the Lake Monona bike path between Monona Terrace and the Lake Shore.

Madison's Best Family Friendly New Year's Highlights - for more info on tickets click here.

U.S. Bank Plaza - Downtown Madison

1 South Pinckney 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Concessions provided by Sunprint

  • Main Street Wisdom 6:00 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.
  • Kiddie countdown with hats, horns and confetti 7:30 p.m.
  • Complimentary 20th U.S. Bank Eve birthday brownie and cup of hot chocolate in the Sunprint Café at our Madtown Party. 6:00 until supplies last!
  • Get a temporary airbrush tattoo or balloon hat creation, then step into our photobooth to record your New Year's look 6:00 - 9:30 p.m.
  • Design your New Year's savings goal visor and START to save with a new piggy bank 6:00 until supplies last!
  • See the Spec-can-ular, eco-friendly holiday tree
  • Take a tour back in time on the Holiday Trolley, which leaves every 15 minutes beginning at 6:30 p.m. at our Webster Street entrance. Last one boards at 9:30 p.m.

Monona Terrace

6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. 1 John Nolen Drive Concessions Available

     Grand Terrace

  • Truly Remarkable Loon 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

     Hall of Ideas

  • Learn how to Tango, Conga, Salsa and Merengue from 6:05 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

     Madison Ballroom

  • Rick Wilcox's Magic Show at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

     Mid Level

  • UW Space Place Photo Show
  • Fly a US Bank Plane

     Olin Terrace

  • View wonders of the night sky on the Olin Terrace through telescopes operated by UW Space Place volunteers.

     Exhibit Hall

  • Gomeroke: Kid's karaoke with the Gomers Band from 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.
  • Big Inflatables
  • Obstacle Course
  • Little Bounces
  • Take a ride on the Circus Train
  • Enjoy fun and games in Madison Parks hands-on village
  • Take part in our 9:30 p.m. Balloon Drop Countdown!

Madison Children's Museum

6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (Madison Children's Museum website) 100 North Hamilton

Join a sing-a-long led by Ken Lonnquist at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the 2nd Floor Celebrations Room.

  • Make a masterpiece on MCM's new paint wall.
  • Play in the shadow room.
  • Be part of creative crafting in MCM's permanent, collaborative collage.
  • Get your face painted, walk through the rooftop garden or enjoy refreshments at Bean Sprouts Café.
  • Countdown to our early New Year's in the main hall at 8:30 p.m.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Olbrich website) 3330 Atwood Avenue

  • Holiday Train
  • Flower Show
  • Bolz Conservatory
  • Temporary Tattoos
  • Henry Vilas Zoo Animals in the Conservatory
  • Wii and Xbox Game Station
  • Strolling magician Tom Krzystof
  • Games and prizes
  • Color your Savings Goal and decorate your new piggy bank, while supplies last!

Prairie Athletic Club and Sun Prairie Ice Arena - New Site!

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Prairie Athletic Club website) 1010 N. Bird St/655 Athletic Way

Ice Skating - Bring your own skates, rent for just $2, or rent for free with a donation of two non-perishable food items for the food pantry.

  • Swimming
  • Gym Games
  • Temporary Tattoos
  • Bouncy Castle
  • Cakewalk
  • Design your New Year's Savings Goal
  • Snakes Alive! in Studio 2 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Concessions and raffle to benefit Sun Prairie Youth Ice Hockey Association's Capital Campaign to build a new ice rink

Keva Sports Center

 8312 Forsythia Street, Middleton (Keva website) 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

  • Open play sports including soccer, football, yard games, tumbling, parachute, basketball and more!
  • Concessions
  • Hats and Horns
  • Temporary Tattoos
  • Raffle
  • Inflatables for tots and pre-teens from Fun Play
  • Design a cookie or your New Year's savings goal (while supplies last)
  • Coat Check and Cubbies Available

So where will you be? Wherever you end up on New Year's Eve - and even if you stay home and get the kids to bed early please know that we will be wishing you all a Happy Happy New Year! We hope that 2011 will be full of happiness, peace, friendships, laughter and lot's of LOVE! Best wishes from your friends at the Alvarado Real Estate Group!

10 Maintenance Tips for New Madison WI Homeowners

Moving into a new home is indeed one of the most exciting times of your life. That's why it's important to start out on the right foot and start caring for your home - and protecting your investment - right away. Living in Madison, WI - the greatest city ever - we get the benefit of four seasons! Which means some extra maintenance and a watchful eye as you care for your home. If you are still searching for the perfect house, we have a great search tool for you: search Madison homes here.

Our clients often ask us what are the most important areas of a home to consistently maintain so our team at the Alvarado Real Estate Group has come up with 10 key trouble spots to watch for. If you regularly check on these areas you might be avoiding larger, more expensive, problems down the road:

  1. Windows and doors - Be sure to regularly check seals around all your doors and windows to keep drafts out. This simple measure can result in big savings when it comes to your heating and cooling bills. We highly recommend an energy audit with a Focus on Energy contractor.
  2. Safety devices - Check all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries twice a year. Also, keep small fire extinguishers in appropriate places. A great tip is to make sure you change your smoke alarm batteries at daylight savings!
  3. Roof - In early fall, check around vents, skylights and chimneys for cracks or leaks and repair or replace tiles as necessary.
  4. Gutters - Keep gutters clear of leaves and debris to prevent clogging, and always make sure they drain away from the house.
  5. Fireplace - Have a chimney sweep assess any fireplaces to check for cracks and creosote build-up that can cause chimney fires.
  6. Filters - Clean or replace furnace filters once every month or as needed. Check and clean the dryer vent, air conditioner, stove hood and room fans regularly.
  7. Air conditioner - When you cover your outdoor furniture for inclement weather, be sure to cover your air conditioning unit as well.
  8. Refrigerator - Test door seals to ensure they are airtight. If you have a coil-back fridge, the coils should be vacuumed twice a year.
  9. Faucets - Check for leaks in kitchens and bathrooms and replace washers as necessary.
  10. Siding and paint - Look for cracks or peeling areas. Repaint or replace caulk as necessary.

These are just a few home maintenance tips to be aware of. For more information, feel free to contact one of our team members and feel free to pass these tips along to your fellow new homeowners or make comments if you have more tips to share!

JUST SOLD! Madison East Side 3 BR Ranch

805 Bewick Drive, Madison WI

Congratulations! We are excited to announce the sale of 805 Bewick Drive in Madison WI. This 3 bedroom ranch home was listed at $158,000 and sold for $151,500. Incredibly well maintained ranch in a well established, sweet East side neighborhood close to Sycamore Park. There were many updates and one of the best features is the amazing fenced backyard, a beautiful pond w/fish, gorgeous landscaping, and a patio for entertaining. The Sellers did a great job staging the home for sale!

Congratulations on your new Madison home!For more information on selling a home in today's market, contact Sara Alvarado at 608.438.5005 or

Getting Your Madison Home Ready to Sell

Dane County WI home for sale

Every detail counts!

First impressions are everything. When you are selling your Madison WI home you have control over an important selling factor - condition. Here is a list of important improvements and staging tips that can make a HUGE difference in capturing a buyer's interest and getting you top dollar! 


Some homes have too much color or wild colors and need to be neutralized. Some homes are too stark with white walls everywhere. Give rooms some color. Touch up paint. Make the home move in ready.

Light fixtures

Outdated light fixtures give the buyers a perception that the home needs to be updated and create the impression that bigger items like the roof and furnace may also need updating. Spending $50 - $300 updating light fixtures is a smart move.

Kitchen and bathroom hardware

Changing the knobs and handles on cabinets and drawers can make an older kitchen newer without having to replace cabinets.

Clean, Clean, Clean

A deep cleaning will make the home sparkle. Be sure to clean cobwebs in the basement, high ceiling corners and around the mechanical equipment.

Pack and organize

You are moving so don't wait until the last minute to start packing. If you start moving things to a storage area now (or create an organized space in the basement, garage or storage shed) and de-clutter your home, it will look bigger and feel more spacious to prospective buyers. No one can do this for you so if you are overwhelmed with what to spend time and money on, hire out the repairs and cleaning and spend your time packing and organizing your home.

Remove big pieces of furniture

Again, the goal is to make the home feel bigger and spacious.

Replace Appliances

Buyers see new kitchen appliances and are immediately wowed. It is always nice to have a new water heater, but a new refrigerator and stove is a better buy if you are trying to capture a buyer's interest.


The curb appeal is a huge aspect to the emotional draw for buyers. There are times a buyer is scheduled to see a home and when they drive up to the showing they decide they don't even want to go in.

Window coverings

Updating window coverings with simple curtains can warm up the room and soften a vacant home.

New flooring

Sometimes it seems it would be easier to replace the carpeting after you've moved out but the initial reaction of old and stained carpet or ancient vinyl flooring can be a big turnoff for buyers. If you can't replace the carpet at least let the buyers know in writing when they come to the home that you are willing to replace the carpet or get the carpets professionally cleaned  prior to close or provide a credit for new carpet. Changing vinyl flooring in kitchens and bathrooms can make a big difference and is worth looking into.


Talk to us about help with staging your home using our services or local experts that provide accent pieces, wall hangings and even furniture to dress up your home. Here is a great blog post about Green Designs in helping you sell.

Maintenance checkups

Have the furnace cleaned and checked, the air conditioner, fireplace/chimney and have a plumber come over and repair any leaky faucets or loose toilets (here is a list of our preferred vendors). Providing the potential buyers with these reports and receipts of a well maintained house will go a long way.

It may feel like a lot of work and even a substantial amount of money to prepare your home to sell it. However, if you put your home on the market for $250,000 and you are getting showings but no offers, you are getting feedback from the market. 

The three most important factors in selling your home are:

  • Price
  • Location
  • Condition

Of those three factors, what do you have control over? Price and Condition. So if you aren't getting any offers you now have a couple of options: one is to lower your price. Most likely your next price adjustment will be a minimum of $5,000. But it may mean changing the price to $240,000 (a $10,000 adjustment). Consider keeping your home at $250,000 and investing $3,000 into improvements and you'll make more money and your house will sell quicker! 

When you first think about spending $3,000 to sell your house it sounds like a lot doesn't it? But when you think of lowering the price from $250,000 to $245,000 because you haven't had any offers and your house has been on the market for 60 days that seems reasonable. 

Of course it is all perception. I challenge you to consider this perception when thinking about properly preparing your home for current market conditions. 

It is never to soon to call Sara Alvarado when you are thinking about selling your home. Call 608.438.5005 or email

Top 10 Reasons to List During the Holiday Season

Many people are calling now to talk about listing their Madison area home at the beginning of the year. Maybe mid January. Some are even talking about selling in the Spring and requesting consultations. This is great to have such proactive Sellers willing to start preparing their house for showings so far in advance. No matter what month it is, people are always asking, "When is the best time to sell?" The best time to sell your home is when you need to/want to/are ready to sell. Period.

How about the calls we're getting to come and list their house NOW? Here are the Top 10 Reasons why some Sellers are Ready, Set, Go:  

  1. People who look for a home during the Holidays tend to be more serious buyers. Yes, you may have fewer showings then the month of May, but you KNOW that every showing during December is a motivated, serious Buyer. Who else is out looking for homes this time of the year?
  2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the Holidays and less competition means more money for you.
  3. Since the supply of listings could increase in January, there may be less demand for your particular home. Less demand means less money for you.
  4. Houses show better when decorated for the Holidays. (well, sometimes. Don't over decorate. And please, no smelly candles).
  5. Buyers are more emotional during the Holidays (and sometimes more stressed out), so the quicker they find the right house, the better. That makes for faster negotiating and can mean more money for you.
  6. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the Holidays. Relocating Buyers may be scheduling their holiday travel around the city they are moving to.
  7. Some Buyers must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons.
  8. January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees cannot typically wait until spring to buy, you must be on the market now to capture that market.
  9. You can sell now for more money and we will provide for a delayed closing or extended occupancy until early next year.
  10. You can still be on the market, but you have the option to restrict showings if necessary (for example, the day you're hosting a holiday party or the days your in laws are visiting).

If you are ready to sell and someone told you to wait until after the holidays - don't. Contact Sara Alvarado at 608.251.6600 or email and get moving!

The Best Local Holiday Shopping in Madison!

perfect photo thanks to Rachel Best Henley!

It is time to remember to SHOP LOCAL! And that isn't hard to do in Madison this year as there are plenty of great opportunities in our wonderful city. My favorite place to find local shops is at the Dane Buy Local website. Although, even easier, is checking out these great events that bring many local businesses together in one place for OUR convenience! Love it! 

Shopping Local for the Holidays

-          Dane Buy Local promotions, 11/19 - 12/31 -          Anthology Holiday Craft Lounge, 11/27 -          Arboretum Sale, 11/28 -          The Fair Trade Holiday Festival, 12/4 -          Glitter Workshop's Annual Craftacular, 12/11

Dane Buy Local Businesses Reward You When You Think Local First

Visit and appreciate the unique locally owned businesses in our area this holiday season, and you could be a big winner! From November 19th - December 31st, register to win prizes at 62 participating Dane Buy Local businesses.

You could win the Grand Prize of a local getaway at The Madison Concourse Hotel, with dinner, an overnight stay, and two tickets to a Forward Theater play! Over $6,000 in additional prizes will be given away, including gift certificates and merchandise! Look for the drawing boxes in locally owned businesses, and enter each time you visit. Visit more participating businesses to enter more often. See the map here for all 62 entry sites. We All Win When You Think Local First.

Anthology's Holiday Craft Lounge

Downtown Madison shopping now features a great holiday shopping event in the lobby of the Overture Center. You'll find 20 artists hosting from the Madison area. Mark your calendar for Nov. 27, from 10am to 3pm, at 201 State St in the Overture Center. Admission is a $1 donation or a can of food, both of which go to Second Harvest. The "make and take" crafty projects cost between $5 and $25. Kits will also be available if shoppers don't have time to linger.

Close to Home: Arboretum Local Products Expo

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum will be hosting its second annual "Close to Home: Arboretum Local Products Expo," celebrating sustainability, recycling and locally produced goods on Sunday November 28 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Visitor Center, 1207 Seminole Highway in Madison. Admission and parking are free.

Art, edibles and "green" gifts will take center stage, showcasing local enterprise and creativity that's "Close to Home." This second annual event has doubled in size with more than 40 vendors. New this year, shoppers can have custom gift baskets created on site incorporating their purchases, along with the option to have the baskets mailed.

Fair Trade Holiday Festival

This year's Fair Trade Holiday Festival is located at the Monona Terrace on December 4th, 9 - 4 pm and features more than 50 vendors of fair trade goods. Visit for details.

Glitter Workshop's Annual Craftacular

This year the Glitter Workshop's Craftacular sale will be held at the East Side Club, 3735 Monona Drive on December 11th from 10-5pm. Featuring more than 40 vendors this is a great place to buy gifts for your loved ones and help support local businesses.

Some of these events offer more information here.

If you are ready for a BIG present you can jump in the market and buy a new home for your family - start your search here! Work with our local brokerage, The Alvarado Real Estate Group and we'll provide friendly, professional and highly experienced Realtors to help you! 

Open Houses this Sunday, November 21st, 2010!

12 Quinn Court, Madison WI home for sale


12 Quinn Circle, Madison Home For Sale

Come visit 12 Quinn Circle this Sunday from 1-3pm. Priced at $269,900 this 3 bedroom home is tucked away in a peaceful neighborhood, 1 block to Esther Beach on Lake Monona, the bike path & just minutes to Downtown Madison and features many updates and green features.  Click here for a virtual tour!

- 3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms, 2224 Square Feet - 2 car attached garage - Screen porch & deck overlooking gorgeous fenced yard

The updated kitchen features a gorgeous granite island creating the perfect dining experience & open living space that everyone raves about. The large lower level sunny family room features a gas fireplace, french doors, surround sound and a walkout to the wooded backyard & 6 person hot tub. It is hard to decide which is better, the kitchen or large screened porch with amazing views. Meet Kathryn Wunnicke for a lovely tour of this home from 1-3pm or contact her for a private showing: 608.279.8887,

2922-2924 Traceway Drive, Madison area Duplex

2922-2924 Traceway Drive, Madison WI Duplex for Sale


Open Sunday, November 21st from 1-3pm, the Traceway Duplex is an excellent opportunity for an owner occupied income property within walking distance to Aldo Leopold Elementary School. Offered at $210,000 - $215,000.

Each unit has: - 3BRs, 1.5 baths. Owner's unit = 1453 square feet - Screened-in porch with fenced backyard - Private entrances - Attached 1-car garage - A one year home warranty!

$70,000 renovation just completed includes new energy star low E windows, a new roof, and the owner's unit features all new flooring, new countertops, refrigerator, stove, microwave vent and new water heater. Each unit also features brand new fireplaces and flue liners.

Meet Darcy Haber at the Traceway property or contact her to schedule a private showing: 608.358.6180,

2922-2924 Traceway Dr. - Madison Duplex for Sale

2922-2924 Traceway Drive, Madison WI Duplex for SaleThis is the opportunity you have been waiting for!  Own for less than renting, and build equity in this freshly renovated duplex presented by Darcy Haber, Alvarado Real Estate Group!  Both spacious units offers many green and energy efficient features: all brand new energy star low E windows, new roof, open concept living room/dining room area, wood-burning fireplace, screened-in porch, full basement, fenced yard and a one-car garage. Owner's unit also has a new stove and refrigerator, a bonus room in the basement, all new flooring, and a tile entry. Value Range Price: $210,000 - $215,000, for mls data info and more photos, click here.

This property is owned, and has been renovated by, Project Home and is made available to purchase through the NOAH program (Neighbor-owned Affordable Housing).  See guidelines below.

  • Each unit has:
    • 3BRs, 1.5 baths. Owner's unit = 1453 square feet
    • Screened-in porch with fenced backyard
    • Private entrances
    • Attached 1-car garage
    • A one year home warranty!

Traceway Property Features

$70,000 renovation just completed including:

  • New energy star low E windows
  • New roof
  • Owner's unit features all new flooring, new countertops, refrigerator, stove, microwave vent and new water heater
  • Brand new fireplaces and flue liners in each unit

Neighborhood Features

  • Around the corner from Aldo Leopold Elementary School (no street crossings)
  • 2 different shopping centers within a half mile include restaurants, groceries, bakery and more
  • Aldo Leopold Park and playground one house away!

Buyer  Eligibility and other Guidelines

Buyer must be a first-time homebuyer, and must owner-occupy one unit while renting out the other. Buyer must be under 120% of Dane County median income which equals $96,000 a year for a family of four. Subsidies available for lower-income buyers. Renter must be under 50% of the Dane County median income and rent on the unit cannot exceed $847 per month.

Please contact Darcy Haber to schedule a showing and for more information: 608.358.6180,