Blog :: 01-2011

JUST SOLD! 461 Orchard Drive, Madison WI

JUST SOLD! 461 Orchard Drive, Madison WI

JUST SOLD! 461 Orchard Drive, Madison WI

Alvarado Real Estate Group congratulates happy new buyers as they move into an incredibly resilient Madison Westside neighborhood. 461 Orchard Drive was lovingly cared for by the same owner for many years and is ready for some changes, energy efficient updates and green features. Sold for $176,000 this home features 3 bedrooms, 1 bath upstairs and a half bath in the lower level, gorgeous backyard, and a one car garage. It was one of those "This is it!" moments as the buyers walked in the front door. Sometimes you know right away.

Are you thinking of buying or selling? Contact us today for information and to have that important first conversation. It is crucial that you and your agent connect and that it is a good fit to create a successful transaction.

3553 Heather Crest, Madison WI 3 BR Home For Sale

3553 Heather Crest, Madison 3 BR

3553 Heather Crest, Madison WI

The Lustron home shows us that sustainable features are not just trendy today but have a history in these enameled steel prefabricated homes that were immensely popular and highly promoted from 1948 to 1950. Hang your pictures with magnets...think out of the box because this is not your typical 3 bedroom home. The space is efficient and the location is absolutely perfect. It is hard to find a 3 BR home with 1217 square feet in the Sunset Village area at this price! (Click here for current price and all photos).  Enjoy an actual neighborhood with a city feel.  You can walk to restaurants, book store, grocery stores, ice cream shops, coffee shops, bagels, yoga studio and all the shopping you could dream of.

  • 3 bedrooms, 1 bath
  • 1217 Sq. Ft.
  • Historic Lustron Home

Heather Crest Madison Property Features & Updates

  • New carpeting, 2007
  • New stainless steel dishwasher, refrigerator, stove, 2007
  • New doorknobs and deadbolts and baseboards throughout
  • New screen door
  • Complete bathroom remodel, 2007
  • Kitchen totally remodeled in 2003 and includes a built-in
  • wine refrigerator, Corian® counter tops
  • Storage shed new in 2009
  • Furnace new in 2004
  • Washer & Dryer replaced in 2002

Sunset Village Neighborhood Features

  • Walk Score 80 (Very Good)
  • Great Neighborhood Association, Sunset Village
  • Walking distance to Hoyt, Quarry, Oscar Rennebohm and Lucia Crest Parks
  • Visit the Sequoya Library on Tokay Blvd.
  • Close to many restaurants, shopping and local attractions
  • Minutes from Downtown, UW Campus, Capitol & Beltline

Madison School District Information for 3553 Heather Crest

For a showing of this great home please contact us by calling one of our team members at Alvarado Real Estate Group. 608-438-4315,

It's all about the Down Payment in Madison's market!

Save for Down Payment to Buy a Madison WI Home For Sale

Saving for a Down Payment

While Madison WI's real estate market presents challenges for many, it still remains an optimal market for first time home buyers and investors. Reasonable home prices, a healthy inventory (search Madison homes here) and still low interest rates create a winning combination for those looking to make the leap from renter to owner. Many of the Alvarado Group's featured listings are a perfect fit for first time home buyers.

As a result of tightened lending standards, however, securing a healthy down payment is even more important than ever. The days of zero-down loan programs are a thing of the past and more money on the table upfront can mean a faster approval for your loan and, perhaps, a better rate.

While you should be sure to leave some cash reserves in place to handle unexpected costs associated with your new home, there are several steps you can take to start building a sizeable down payment. Here are some worthwhile suggestions:

Set up an automatic savings plan

Every financial advisor will tell you that when money comes directly out of your paycheck and into a savings account before you even receive it, you will hardly notice the difference. For most, this was money spent on mindless discretionary purchases, anyway, from a daily latte to random online shopping -- chances are, you won't miss it at all.

Sell something

You might have a high-ticket item in your possession that you really don't use or need -- perhaps a boat, motorcycle or even an extra big-screen T.V. Cashing in any collectibles or assets can free up funds to go directly into your down payment savings.

Liquidate investments

Liquidating stocks, mutual funds, savings bonds or other investments can also help. Cashing in any extra assets will only add to your growing down payment sum.

Look into government programs

Talk to your WI real estate agent or mortgage professional to see if you may qualify for a special home buyers program. For example, HUD's Good Neighbor Next Door program offers teachers, police officers, firefighters or other public servants extreme discounts on homes in certain neighborhoods.

Don't be afraid to ask

If there is an event coming up in your life that friends and family will most likely get you a gift for, don't be shy -- let people know you are saving to buy a home and would appreciate a check. Loved ones will be more than happy to contribute to this cause. If you're fortunate enough to receive a very sizeable gift, however, let your real estate agent know; lenders may want to know how your down payment was funded in order to make sure you can handle monthly mortgage payments on your own.

These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg. Please contact the Alvarado Group team for more detailed information about securing a down payment, and be sure to share these ideas with others (real estate tips via Twitter) you know who may soon be making the move to homeownership!

1133 Velvet Leaf Drive, 3 BR Madison Home For Sale

1133 Velvet Leaf Drive in Madison WIThis two story home is a WOW! Alvarado Real Estate Group is proud to market this spacious home on Madison's West Side. As you enter you are surrounded in natural sunlight from the 2-story high vaulted ceilings and extra large windows. There is an open feel throughout. This home is only 10 years old but the Sellers still have made some great improvements in the past couple of years like new hardwood floors through the entryway, powder room & kitchen and new granite counters. One of the benefits of the floorplan in this home is the 2nd floor offers 3 bedrooms (master bedroom has a master bath and walk in closet) plus a bonus loft area that can be used as a playroom, office or guest room. The main floor features a spacious kitchen with eat in kitchen, sliding doors to the back deck plus a 1/2 bath and formal dining room. Huge lower level rec room is great for entertaining on game day!

For more photos and current price visit the MLS data page.

  • 3 BR, 2.5 BA, 2377 Sq. Ft.
  • Granite counters
  • Hardwood floors
  • Bonus room in loft area

Velvet Leaf Property Features & Updates

  • New hardwood floors in kitchen, power room, foyer and hallway 2010
  • New granite kitchen counter tops in 2010
  • New light fixtures in the kitchen and master bathroom in 2010
  • Fresh coat of paint on main and second level in 2008
  • All mechanicals and appliances 10 yrs old

Valley Ridge Neighborhood Features

  • Walking distance to Elver Park. Close by several other neighborhood parks
  • Great neighborhood association:
  • Close to Jefferson Middle School and Memorial High School
  • Close to Point Cinema and Market Square Theater
  • Visit the Meadowridge Library on Raymond Road
  • Close to many restaurants, shopping and other local attractions
  • Minutes from Beltline with easy access to downtown

Madison School District Information for 1133 Velvet Leaf Dr.

For a showing of this great home please contact us by calling one of our team members at Alvarado Real Estate Group. 608-438-4315,

5315 Brody Dr., Madison WI Condo For Sale

Madison Westside Condo for Sale

5315 Brody Drive, Unit #103 in Madison

Easy living and your monthly payment will be less than rent! Alvarado Real Estate Group presents a great 1st floor condo with patio doors that open up to your own outdoor area (easy to let your dog out). This one bedroom condo has a flowing layout, lots of closets with a walkthrough to the bathroom. All appliances are 5 years new, great paint colors and a built in desk area in the front closet. Green living combines energy efficiency and space efficiency! Easy commute to the UW and Downtown and all the great things that the Madison area has to offer. 

For more photos and the most current price, visit the MLS data page.

  • 1 BR, 1 BA, 717 Sq. Ft.
  • Updated kitchen with newer appliances & countertops
  • 1 underground parking space included
  • Swimming pool and a wooded setting

Madison Condo Property Features

  • New roof in 2010
  • Fresh paint in 2006
  • Built-in desk area in 2006
  • All new appliances in 2005
  • New countertops in 2005

Westside Madison Neighborhood Features

  • Great wooded area surrounds the condo
  • Close to Middleton shopping & local restaurants (visit
  • Walking distance to Spring Harbor Park, Owen Conservation Park, and 6 other neighborhood parks
  • Visit the Sequoya Library on Tokay Blvd.
  • Close to many restaurants, shopping and local attractions and bike paths
  • Minutes from Downtown, UW & Beltline - great busline to the University available

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

Room Staging to Help Sell Your Madison WI Home!

How to Improve Your Madison WI Home for Prospective Buyers

Show Ready Home

The goal for any home seller is to sell their property quickly, while investing as little as possible in renovations. One of my favorite things is walking through homes with my Seller clients and discovering all the great ways they can increase their home's appeal and sales price with a limited budget and a little effort. The key is to focus on the prospective buyers experience on their first visit.

Curb appeal

First impressions are everything and this has never been truer than in today's market. To leave a positive impression on buyers, take care of any exterior maintenance issues before buyers arrive, such as power washing walkways and patios, cleaning your gutters, touching up peeling paint, replacing broken light bulbs, edging and mulching beds, and adding fresh annuals. Some free things you can do include polishing your front door hardware and sweeping away pesky cobwebs. Remember that the buyers might be standing on your front steps for a bit while their Realtor is accessing the key and opening the front door.


Give your kitchen a mini facelift on a budget by repainting your cabinets instead of replacing them. For a more contemporary look, consider a semi-gloss espresso brown. For a more traditional look, opt for a semi-gloss creamy white. Complete the makeover by adding new hardware. Considering professional help? Ask your local painter if they can spray a lacquer finish on your cabinets. This treatment is more expensive than painting the cabinets yourself but the result looks like a factory finish.


Give an outdated bath a pick-me-up by replacing your existing lighting, faucets and hardware with updated styles. Make sure the caulk around bathtubs is fresh, and color coordinate towels, hand soap and shower curtains.

Family room

Make your fireplace or great view the selling feature, not your entertainment center. Chances are, your family room is currently centered around the things you do everyday, such as watching television. Before showing, rearrange your room to showcase the architectural focal point of your family room.

Dining room

Keep the dining room decluttered and streamlined so buyers can imagine how they can enjoy this space with their families. Before showing, make sure to remove any knick-knacks and extraneous items from your china cabinet or sideboard. A rule to follow: pack up any items that are smaller than a softball, such as salt and pepper shakers, wedding cake toppers and small figurines.

Living room

Make sure you are selling your space, not your stuff. Give this space a less-cluttered look by keeping no more than three items per surface. For example, go with a piece of art and a pair of candlesticks on the mantle instead of your favorite collection.

A little bit of work and preparation can go a long way toward selling your home sooner. For more tips and advice, contact the Alvarado Group for a no obligation consultation. And, if you have a friend trying to sell, please feel free to pass this on. Get other home selling tips via Twitter.

Happy New Year from the Alvarado Real Estate Group

It is 2011! I can hardly believe it. But everyone says that, right?

As many of you ponder and reflect on 2010 and dream big for 2011 I hope you'll take a moment to be grateful for this present moment. January 1st is usually a calm day. The phone doesn't ring much and our National holiday gives us some time and space to breathe deeper, relax and enjoy our family and friends. I love that about January 1st!

I'm grateful today for an amazing family and a wonderful team to work with. Everyone on our real estate team is blessed to be so committed and active in the community, doing what we love and living our passions. That is what life is supposed to be about! And the fact that I can surround myself with people living their dreams and making a difference in our world is incredibly inspiring.

If you are dreaming of a move in 2011 please think of us. Give us a call and we can talk about the pros, the cons, what the market is like in your neighborhood and how we might be able to help. The process of selling and buying a home starts with a conversation. We are different in that we feel like our job is about getting to know you, not just selling you a house. You don't have to know what your plans are or even if you are for sure going to make a move or not. We talk through it with you and help guide you in a way that feels right for you. Some people walk in our office ready to list their home right now! And others call to talk about moving into the right school district when their oldest is only three and they still have many months before needing to be in the right place for Kindergarten. With respect, experience and personal attention to what you really want and need through the process - we are here for you.

Thank you for your business, for your referrals and for your commitment to our community. It takes a village! 

Happy New Year from your friends at Alvarado Real Estate Group!