It has been a scorcher, this week.  In Wisconsin, we hear that once or twice in July usually and maybe once in August–but, never in June.  Well, as I look out over the fields, the grass is dry and the landscape seems to be running several weeks ahead of schedule.  For all my lake friends, that means lake weeds on their shoreline.

Having a lake poroperty is a joy, but takes a great deal of effort to maintain.  The putting in of piers and caring for boats and maintenance of the shoreline is what makes a property grow from house to estate.  There is nothing as scenic as waking to a sunrise or ending the evening with a sunset over your frontage.  So my hat goes off to my friends on the Lake.  Enjoy the beauty and thanks for your hard work.

Happy Hunting

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Moonlit Movies

As an adult, we all allocate our time between our work, our family and our community.  Typically, our work is the source of income to allow us to give back to the other two.  In my community, we have an event in the summer that draws folk from all over the area to sit in the park and watch a family friendly movie under the stars.

Moonlit Movies has grown to be a wonderful time of fun, fellowship with facepainting, baloons, waterskiing shows and a great movie.  One of the great parts of selling real estate is that you get to promote your own home town.  I have to admit mine is a great one.  the folks that organize these events still see the value of being together and inexpensive entertainment.  If you are in the lake country area, check out the moonlit movies website,,   I assure you it is an awesome way to spend an evening!  See you then.!/photo.php?fbid=10151460136735217&set=a.10151460136730217.833224.402069395216&type=1&theater

Happy hunting

Posted in buying short sales, Dodge County Real Estate, lake country home sales, Lake Country Real Estate by Michael Smith, oconomowoc home sales, Uncategorized, Waukesha County Luxury homes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

School is Out

Here in the Midwest, School is finally out for the summer.  My Kids are planning for their first day to sleep in.  My daughter is starting her summer job.  My son is planning for his time with buddies and my youngest is awaiting the arrival of four chickens.  My wife is acting as concierge for this adventure, and we are laughing at the flurry of activity that awaits.

Summer is a great time for planning for grown ups as well.  Many job and home decisions are made during the summer.  As a person buying a home, it is important to be settled in prior to the beginning of a new school year.  Your realtor can help you to analyze the various school districts in your area and also assist in showing the features of the various towns and suburbs.

As a home seller, it is important to plan for keeping you home show ready.  Gardening, cleaning and traveling are all issues that appear during the summer.  If one stays on top of it, showings are but minor interruptions to your funfilled summer adventures.

Summer is great.  Life slows a bit, people relax and changes appear like the beautiful summer flowers.  Be prepared to enjoy your summer and if you are buying or selling a home, Allow the summer to be your friend.

Happy Hunting


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Watermelon-A look inside

It is another beautiful day.  The sun is bright, its warm our kids finished school so yes–it is officially Summer!!! One of my favorite sumer delights is Watermelon.  Watermelon is that fruit that is fun, messy and good for you.  But, often, you can’t tell a good watermelon by the outside.   In my house, we were taught to tap the outside and listen for a hollow sound.  If the sound is hollow, then the melon is sweeter.

It is not a one hundred percent, but I have had pretty good luck with it.  As a realtor, it can be the same thing.  Homes can be a bit a surprise from the outside.  I have listed and shown homes that from the outside we were wowed–but then once inside we were much less than impressed.  Conversely, I have walked into a plain home to find the inside exquisitely decorated and amazingly beautiful.

When buying or selling a home, it is important to take the time to look inside and out to make sure it is a fit.  Many homes need minor updating and cosmetic changes. If one can see past  the minor changes, they will see extraordinary value.  Conversely, as a seller, if you can take an average home and with minor improvements make it a palace, you will greatly improve its chances to sell at the best price possible.

Lastly, obtaining a home inspector is a great way to assure you are receiving a value.  Their expertise and knowledge will help to avoid any unwanted surprises.  As you are enjoying your summer and the summer real estate market,  pick your home wisely and make sure it is as “Sweet” on the inside as it is lovely on the outside!

Happy Hunting

Posted in buying short sales, Dodge County Real Estate, lake country home sales, Lake Country Real Estate by Michael Smith, oconomowoc home sales, Waukesha County Luxury homes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


The great part of Summer and fall is that God and Nature are having a great time making things beautiful.  For a homeowner, the assistance can do wonders for “sealing the deal”.  I tell my clients that 1st impressions are critical. If a potential buyer sees beautiful Gardens, they assume a beautiful and well cared for home.  If the opposite is true, so is the impression of the potential buyer.

As a seller, keep your Garden in mind as you prepare for a showing.  If they are wowed when the walk to your door, they are primed to be wowed as they enter.

As a buyer, If you look at a home with lovely landscaping–do not be afraid to take it in and enjoy it.  Also, ask if you are willing to do the work to keep that beauty that attracted you! Gardens are awesome, Gardening is a great but demanding hobby! If you love it, then use it to sell your home!

Happy Hunting!

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Distressed Propertries=Stressed Buyers and Sellers

When I started marketing distressed properties–foreclosures and short sales the market had just began its downward spiral.  The year prior A national Bank had eight (8) application for short sales.  Now some 4 years later, 1/3 of the market is distressed.  Property values have claimed a great portion of real estate equities, and economic reversals have left many families in a position to lose their homes.

As a realtor, It has become apparent that this current market is an exceptional opportunity to find great values in home purchases.  In the distressed market, the major tools to achieve that end are patience and tenacity.  Many Sellers lose heart as their homes sit with accepted offers for months while banks decide their fate.  Home buyers also feel the strain of the accomodations of buying properties “as is”, vacant and on the banks time schedule.  From where I sit, I can offer two pieces of advice.

If patience and tenacity are not strong suits for you, there are many homes in the market place that are not distressed.  Find what you want and purchase it through the normal process.  Your agent can present you with many options that will be great value and great fits.

If you would like to purchase a distressed property, find an agent that understands the market.  Realty Trac, MLS and equator have resources to help, but none are better than an experienced agent to guide you through the twists and turns of forclosures and short sales.

Next, have your financing and  finances ready to go.  Most distressed properties, will require repairs and restoration.  203K loans and smart saving are two great tools to make the dream a reality.  Remember “Sweat Equity” is that.  Do not be afraid to ask questions and learn to do repairs.

Finally, realize thst the market has changed and most banks are pricing distressed properties agressively.  The offers will need to fall in line with the list price now more than ever.

Do not be afraid to speak open and honestly with your realtor so that he/she can help you get where you want to be.

Good luck and Happy Hunting.

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Moving–A love Story

It is that lovely time of year, Folks are out enjoying nature, seeing the country, exercising…Yep they are moving.  I joined the ranks of folks that have recently moved.  It was and is a continuing adventure.  Where is X; they broke what? But, I have to tell you that my recent move was a delightful experience.  It was delightful for three reasons:

1. My Wife is awesome

2.My friends were gracious and patient

3. The process was not rushed and the outcome ended well.

My wife stayed on each of us to prepare the entire month before the move.  Not saying we were overly cooperative, but, in the end her organization took this adventure and navigated it well.  She did not rush us, but she did marshall the project. That direction kept us on track and allowed the move to go smoothly.

Next, Our friends were amazing.  they brought bodies, trailers, food, laughter and encouragement to the house and allowed us to focus on the resettling of the property.  It would have been a nightmare without them.  If you are assisting friends in a move, realize you have come close to sainthood.  We will never be able to repay the kindness we were shown.

Finally, As we loaded and unloaded our possessions, we kept our expectations low, our tempers in check and our work ethic in tact.  The result was a successful and timely experience.  Nothing is ever perfect, but the process came close.  We are grateful and looking forward to this next stretch in the journey.

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Summer Again

It is Summertime again! It is time to enjoy the outdoors! Summer is also the height of beauty.  Gardens, trees and neighborhoods are at their height of beauty.  Summer is also the busiest time year for the sale of Real Estate.  If you are a first time home buyer or thinking of selling your home–It is a great year.  Rates are low and inventory is shrinking!  The Market is stable but showing signs of increasing values.  People are still looking for the best value for their dollars and Banks are still involved as sellers in a third of the properties.

The key is to price your home appropriately.  The second key is to make your home stand out.  the little things like removing clutter, putting out flowers and making the home bright are still the ones that grab buyers as they enter your home.

Enjoy the weather, have fun but if you are ready to buy or sell your home–this is the greatest year ever!!! I would love to help!

Posted in Dodge County Real Estate, Lake Country Real Estate by Michael Smith, Waukesha County Luxury homes | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ode to an Organ–I Corinthians 12 part 2

It is starkly obvious how important each part of our body is critical to the whole.  As I have been watching my mom’s health decline—I have seen how critical kidney’s skin, lungs, and appetites are. As I thought it through–the more hidden the part, the more critical the function.  Our brain and other organs have several lines of defense.  As ugly as organs are, they are what sustains our lives. 

In the body of Christ, it is the same.  The show is great—a great church service is so powerful.  But the a/v guys, nursery workers, greeters and those folks that collect offering, count heads pass communion all are critical to the churches life.  I am grateful to be a part of the body.  I pray that I will contribute to a thriving body and not be a carrier of disease or infection.  Help me Lord to care for your body.

God Bless You 

12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit…18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.


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W379 N8504 Mill Street Oconomowoc Wisconsin

W379 N8504 Mill Street
Beautiful Custom Home on 7 acres with every upgrade imaginable. Pastoral setting and private but close to the city.

4BR/3+1BA Single Family House
Year Built 1995
Sq Footage 5,000
Bedrooms 4
Bathrooms 3 full, 1 partial
Floors 3
Parking 2 Car garage
Lot Size 7.075 acres
HOA/Maint $0 per month

This is a beautiful home situated on 7 acres. Easy Access to 67 and 16 but scenic and private. Incredible spaces for entertaining and a luxurious walk-out Master Suite. The hardwood floors in the Living Room, Family Room and Kitchen are fabulous! You’ll find a Viking stove and Sub-Zero refrigerator in the beautifully styled kitchen. Appliances are included. 50×100′ pole barn, greenhouse and much much more. The views throughout the home are stunning.
Property Features

Central A/C Central heat Fireplace
High/Vaulted ceiling Walk-in closet Hardwood floor
Tile floor Family room Living room
Bonus/Rec room Office/Den Dining room
Breakfast nook Dishwasher Refrigerator
Stove/Oven Microwave Granite countertop
Stainless steel appliances Basement Washer
Dryer Laundry area – inside Balcony, Deck, or Patio
Yard Sauna  
Other Special Features

Beautiful Country Setting on 7 acres
Custom Home with a master suite that has a walk out patio
Appliances included viking range and sub zero refrigerator
Expansive pole Barn ideal for livestock or equipment
Beautiful views from every corner of the home–A must see!


Additional Photos

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Contact Info
Michael Smith
Remax Realty Center
(262) 490-1948
For sale by agent/broker

Equal Opportunity Housing

Courtesy of Michael Smith Remax Realty Center (virtual tour)

w379 N8504 Mill Street Oconomowoc WI, 53066    google map | yahoo map

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