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The best nature parks and camping spots in and around Bayfield, WI

If you are searching for the best weekend getaways in Wisconsin, look no further than Bayfield, WI. With its incredible lakefront location surrounded by thriving natural areas, the area presents outstanding destinations for countless outdoor adventures. Below are five of the best places in the area worth heading to for an unforgettable hiking or camping trip:

Frog Bay Tribal National Park

Just a few miles outside of Bayfield in Red Cliff is Frog Bay National Park, the nation’s first Tribal National Park! This beautiful park boasts a protected 300 acres of tribal lands in the watershed and stretches over 3/4 mile along Lake Superior’s shoreline on the Red Cliff Reservation.The park includes a gorgeous 2-mile-long hiking loop through a moss-covered boreal forest with a stopping point at a beautiful sandy beach. The park provides views of the Apostle Islands including Oak, Basswood, Hermit, Raspberry and Stockton. Almost all the park’s infrastructure including the trail system, interpretive signs, and bridgeswere developed through careful planning by local tribal staff. It’s a great place for any season!

Houghton Falls State Natural Area

Located just south of Bayfield, this 76-acre scenic nature preserve is named after the charming low-flow waterfall that is best visited during the spring. But even if your trekking plans fall on another season, there is plenty of natural beauty to appreciate here. Break out the snow shoes and enjoy some winter hiking.

The preserve protects Echo Dells,a sandstone gorge that dates back to the Pre-Cambrian era. The picturesque 1.5-mile trail leads to Lake Superior and is surrounded by lush growths of yellow birch, hemlock, white pine, and white cedar trees.Breathtaking views of where the lake meets gorgeous brownstone cliffs.

Pets are welcome as long as they are leashed.Bikes, horses, ATVs, and snowmobiles are not allowed.

Big Bay State Park

Hop across Lake Superior and head to Madeline Island to explore this 2,350-acre State Natural Area. With four miles of shoreline, 1.5 miles of sandy beaches, a mile-long boardwalk, more than seven miles of hiking trails, and a plethora of outdoor sports and activities to enjoy, you will likely need an entire weekend to make the most of this trip.

In addition to hiking and exploring the area, visitors can swim, kayak, and go fishing on the lake. The 60-site campground welcomes campers of all ages, with 15 sites fitted with electrical outlets. Picnics are also a great idea if you are not planning to stay on the island overnight.

Pets are allowed here, with the usual requirements to keep them on a leash and under control.

South Shore Campground

This 18-acre campground located just outside of the quaint little village of Cornucopiahas 8 pull through RV sites and 5 tent sites nestledin a peaceful forested setting. Only a mile from Cornucopia’s famous sandy beaches and Ehler’s General Store, it’s the perfect setting in which to explore the South Shore. It’s also just a quick jaunt from Meyers Beach and the Sea Caves- a great place for swimming, beachcombing, kayaking, and relaxing.

Copper Falls State Park

Ahour south of Bayfield brings you to another exceptional northern Wisconsin waterfall sightseeing area. Featuring hiking trails constructed as early as the 1920s, Copper Falls State Park has plenty of stories to tell any avid outdoor adventurer.

More than a handful of exciting discoveries await every hiker or camper here – from log buildings dating back to the 1930s, to the naturally made lava flows, gorges, and a variety of waterfalls.

Hang out at Loon Lake to go swimming, fishing, and canoeing to your heart’s content. Explore 17 miles of trails that are accessible on foot, on a bike, or in skis or snowshoes. There is just so much to experience at Copper Falls State Park that you will probably head home already planning your next visit.

Leashed pets are allowed in all areas of the State Park except the Doughboys Nature Trail.

If you want to make outdoor adventures part of your regular routine, finding a home in the Bayfield area is a great way to make it happen. Let Windseeker Realty show you the best homes for sale in the area. Call 715.779.5000 or email Agent(at)WindseekerRealty(dotted)com to learn more.

Wisconsin’s most impressive architecture

Wisconsin is no stranger to exceptional achievements in architecture. Historic homes and buildings, as well as avant-garde modern structures abound here, adding another dimension of character to the Badger State.

If you are looking for the most Instagram-worthy places to visit in Wisconsin, this list of Wisconsin landmarks will give you a good head start:

The Apostle Islands Lighthouses
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is home to a proud collection of historic lighthouses – six of which were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, collectively known as the Apostle Islands Lighthouses. These included the two lighthouses on Michigan Island (built in 1857) and those located on Raspberry Island (1862), Outer Island (1874), Sand Island (1881), and Devil’s Island (1891).

Black Point Estate and Gardens
Lake Geneva, WI

This magnificent summer mansion is a beautifully preserved icon of the earliest days of Lake Geneva’s historic reputation as an opulent summer getaway destination. Built in 1888 in the eye-catching Queen Anne style, the Black Point Estate is hard to miss against a backdrop of mature foliage and clear blue skies.

In addition to the stunning summer cottage, the estate also features a lovely garden area and event lawn.

Trips to this architectural and historic landmark are available exclusively via private tours courtesy of the Lake Geneva Cruise Line.

Dell’s Mill
Augusta, WI

See what life in Augusta was like back in its days as a grain and flour production center. Built in 1864, Dell’s Mill used to be a popular gathering place among the area’s farmers, where bonds across the community were made as they waited for their grinding to be done.

Dell’s Mill now houses a museum that operates from May through October. Even if you visit during the winter and early spring months, the place will give you plenty of picturesque views and angles of the structure and its unique features like the dam and water wheel.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin
South of Spring Green, WI

Frank Lloyd Wright left a lasting legacy in American architecture, so it is only fitting that his estate belongs in a list of Wisconsin’s finest architectural landmarks.

Home, studio, and sanctuary to one of Wisconsin’s favorite sons, the Taliesin is recognized not only in the Badger State. In addition to being listed on the United States’ National Register of Historic Places and designated as a National Historic Landmark, it is known around the world as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Taliesin is now open for a variety of guided tours, ranging from in-depth tours around the entire estate and more condensed highlight tours designed for visitors of different ages.

If the Taliesin caught your interest and curiosity, you can also sign up for a two-day tour from Madison to Racine that takes you to Wright’s best-known creations in the state.

The House on the Rock
Between Dodgeville and Spring Green, WI

This off-beat tourist attraction simply defies explanation – from its eclectic selection of buildings and exhibit rooms, to the varying stories behind its history. But this takes nothing away from the House on the Rock’s reputation as one of Wisconsin’s architectural marvels.

The building features a total of 14 exhibit rooms, with attractions ranging from model airplanes and miniature circus displays, to a 200-foot-tall “sea monster.”” The place really goes from interesting to flat-out weird rather quickly.

But the main highlight every visitor must see is the Infinity Room. Extending 218 feet out and suspended over verdant tree tops without any supporting structures underneath, this remarkable structure is sure to make hearts race.

MecikalskiStovewood Building
Pelican Lake, Schoepke, WI

This National Historical Site effectively preserves and showcases a definitively American house construction. Featuring eighteen-inch sections of cedar logs laid out to resemble a stacked woodpile, stovewood architecture is distinct from log cabins where the timber runs the entire length of the walls.

The Mecikalski Building is notable for its sheer size, which provides a prominent canvas to showcase the distinctive architectural style. Its multiple functions as both personal and commercial properties also make it a genuine artifact that is particularly relevant to Wisconsin history and culture.

The Pabst Theater
Milwaukee, WI

Named after German-American brewer Frederick Pabst – the man behind one of the most popular beer brands in the United States – this historic concert and performance venue was built in 1895. Hosting around 100 events every year to this day, Milwaukee’s “Grand Olde Lady” is currently the fourth oldest continuously operating theater in the country.

The 1,300-seat facility owes its outstanding acoustic qualities to its German opera house-influenced interior design. A stunning two-ton Austrian crystal chandelier hangs over the auditorium to add a sophisticated focal point to complement the main stage. Outside, its German Renaissance Revival-style construction is a highlight of the East Wells streetscape.

Discover more about Wisconsin’s best features and attractions with Windseeker Realty, the Bayfield Peninsula area’s most trusted real estate team. Call us today at 715.779.5000 or email Agent(at)WindseekerRealty(dotted)com to learn more.

How to avoid taxes on capital gains when you sell your home

Every homeowner wants to maximize their profits when they sell their home. It is essential to understand how taxes on capital gains apply when selling real estate.

What are capital gains?

The profits you earn from selling assets such as your house or car – as well as stocks, bonds, and other investments – are capital gains. These amounts are taxed only after the asset is sold.

Taxes are not levied on assets that are actively earning or appreciating while they are held by investors. The only exception applies to mutual funds – investors in mutual funds may be charged for capital gains when shares of the fund’s holdings are sold.

How are capital gains taxed?

Two types of tax rates apply to capital gains levied on real estate sales, depending on how long you have owned and occupied the house:

  • Short-term capital gains taxes apply to assets held for less than a year. Short-term gains are taxed at the same rate as your regular income, which makes these rates higher.

To find out what tax bracket your income falls into, click here.

  • Long-term capital gains taxes apply to assets owned for longer than 12 months. These are generally lower, capped off at 20% as established by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. In some cases, you may even qualify for a full exemption, or a 0% tax rate.

How can you avoid or reduce taxes on capital gains when you sell your house?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows exemptions of up to $250,000 in capital gains for single homeowners. For married homeowners filing jointly for exemption, up to $500,000 is excluded from the taxable amount.

These exclusions apply under the following conditions:

  • You owned the house for at least two years within the last five years prior to the sale of the property.
  • You occupied the property as your primary residence for at least two years – whether consecutive or non-consecutive – in that same five-year period. (Persons with disabilities, military service members, and members of the Foreign Service or intelligence community are exempt from this rule.)
  • You have not claimed any capital gains tax exclusions for another property that was sold two years prior to the current home sale.

Any property owner who is subject to an expatriation tax (individuals who renounce their citizenship) are not allowed to claim any of these exclusions.

A sample computation of a real estate property asset’s capital gains

Determining the total amount of capital gains from a sale involves more than just the difference between the original purchase price and the final selling price. To compute for the actual amount of your capital gains, you need to determine the cost basis of your home purchase. This total comprises:

  • The original purchase price
  • Taxes and fees paid at the time of purchase (typically between 2% to 5% of the purchase price)
  • Additional amounts spent to add value to the property (e.g. upgrades and renovations)

For example, you bought a house 10 years ago for $150,000, paid an additional 3% in taxes and fees (amounting to $4,500), and spent $50,000 on home improvement during your stay. These make the cost basis for your capital gains $204,500.

Original purchase price $150,000
Closing fees and taxes +         $4,500
Home improvement expenses +       $50,000
TOTAL (Cost basis) $204,500


If you were able to sell this house for $700,000 this year, you earned a capital gain of $495,000.

Final sale price $700,000
Cost basis from purchase –     $204,500
PROFIT (Capital gains) $495,000


This means if you are married and filing jointly, your household is fully exempted from paying any capital gains taxes. Your total capital gain falls fully within the $500,000 exclusion that the IRS allows.

However, if you are a single homeowner, $245,000 out of your $495,000 capital gain is still subject to tax.

How are investment properties affected by the capital gains tax?

Investment properties are subject to the 1031 Exchange provision, which enables real estate investors to earn a profit without paying any capital gains tax.

Section 1031 of the IRS code allows the exchange of “like-kind” properties. For example, exchanging one retail property for another retail property is allowed, but trading it for a rental property is not.

Ready to dive into the process of selling a house? Get in touch with Windseeker Realty and get top-rated professional guidance from the leading real estate experts in Wisconsin’s Bayfield area. Call us today at 715.779.5000 or email Agent(at)WindseekerRealty(dotted)com to learn more.

How to find out how much house you can afford

When considering the question “What do I need to buy a house?”” the first thing that comes to home buyers’ minds is how much money they need to put out.

Thinking about money matters, especially for major, life-changing purchases like a house can be daunting, but do not let it stop you in your tracks. Read this guide for effective tips you can take to stay on track of your home buying goals.

Option A: Calculate on your own

  • Step 1: Determine how much income your household generates
  • Do you know how much money you make every month? Consider all of regular sources of income, from your salary to any additional earnings and revenue from sources such as investments or even alimony, if applicable.

    If you are married or are sharing the household (and you plan to continue sharing the new home you are planning to buy), combine your monthly income to get a more accurate base amount.

  • Step 2: Identify and add up your total monthly debt payments
  • Determine how much you pay for relevant debt obligations. These include any of the following:

    • Outstanding credit card dues
    • Student loans
    • Car payments
    • Child support obligations, if any
    • Other notable loans

    Note that regular utility bills, such as electricity, cable, telephone and internet services, and pest control costs are not included. Lenders generally do not consider these when evaluating your credit rating.

    If you are paying rent, exclude this from your computations, too. This expense will no longer apply when you buy your own home.

  • Step 3: Apply the 28/36 rule
  • Lenders generally use this standard to assess borrowers’ creditworthiness. It should also guide budgeting and debt management for your household.

    The 28/36 rule simply means you should spend no more than 28% of your gross monthly income on housing expenses (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance). In addition, the household’s total debt (including housing costs) should not exceed 36%.

    For example, for a household that earns $45,000 annually:

    $45,000 ÷ 12 = $3,750 monthly household income

    To compute for 28% (or 0.28):

          $3,750 x 0.28 = $1,050

    To compute for 36% (or 0.36):

          $3,750 x 0.36 = $1,350

    This household can therefore afford a house that requires monthly mortgage, tax, and insurance payments not exceeding $1,050. But these buyers should also make sure that the total of their debt obligations, including what they pay for the home, is not more than $1,350 each month.

Option B: Get a mortgage pre-approval from a lender

If you have already made up your mind about buying a home, a faster way to get a clear estimate of your purchasing power is to apply for a lender’s mortgage pre-approval.

This process entails a lender’s thorough review of your financial and personal records, based on documents such as:

  • W-2 statements from the previous two years
  • Income tax returns from the previous two years
  • At least two recent pay stubs, preferably indicating year-to-date income
  • Proof of additional income, such as bonuses or child support payments
  • Statements of assets, such as investments and retirement savings
  • Credit report
  • Proof of employment
  • Social security number

Your mortgage pre-approval will come in the form of an official letter from the lender. The letter indicates the estimated amount that you are qualified to borrow, as well as the terms that apply to the loan.

In addition to providing you with accurate information to guide your home search, you can use this document to convince a seller of your ability to pay for their home. Just be sure to pitch your offer within 60 to 90 days – the typical duration for which pre-approval letters are valid. Otherwise, you will need to request a new one.

Bonus: 3 more essential tips to keep in mind

  • Save up for a substantial down payment
  • While planning for your mortgage budget, aim to pay a large down payment up front. At least 10% of the home price would typically suffice, but if you can build it up to 20%, you will be in a better position to get lower interest ratesand even a shorter loan life.

    A big down payment can also help you avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI is a measure lenders use to protect themselves from instances of borrowers defaulting on their loans.

  • Budget for closing costs and other recurring costs of homeownership
  • Set aside 3% to 5% of the purchase price for closing costs. These include home inspection, appraisal, homeowner’s insurance, and title review fees – all of which are essential in finalizing the sale.

    Start budgeting for recurring expenses for your home, too. Cover the essentials such as water, electricity, and internet bills, as well as routine maintenance (HVAC, pest control, etc.) and repair costs.

  • You do not have to spend the entire amount
  • Remember: The right home for your needs does not have to be the most expensive one that you can afford. If you find a house that costs less than the maximum amount you can borrow, save the extra money for future renovations or emergency needs. 

New to the home buying process? Click here for Windseeker Realty‘s first time home buyer guide. For more useful tips, in-depth market insights, and top-rated professional real estate services, contact our local experts at 715.779.5000 or Agent(at)WindseekerRealty(dotted)com today.

Romantic Weekend Getaways in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is mostly known for its farms, forests, beers, and dairy products. But beneath this curtain, America’s Dairyland is also gifted with a great variety of romantic escapes. These range from cozy, candle-lit fine dining restaurants to breathtaking small towns where you and your significant other can enjoy quality time.

If you are in the midst of planning a romantic weekend getaway in Wisconsin, scroll down below to see some of our recommendations.

Bayfield

Bayfield is not without romantic charms. One may even argue that Bayfield is an ideal setting for a romance movie or novel, with its gorgeous coastal setting and small-town appeal. It is also worth noting that some of the most romantic spots are closer to home.

Activities in Bayfield for a romantic weekend:

  • Take a private cruise on Lake Superior around the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. There are many local outfitters that offer rides or charter sailboats. Pack some wine, cheese, and cold cuts, then head out before the sun sets for a spectacle in the sky. Check out Bayfield.org for recommendations.
  • Experience stunning views and luxury at Old Rittenhouse Inn, Wisconsin’s first Country Inn and gourmet restaurant offering 20 guest rooms in 2 Victorian homes and a private cottage.

Washburn

From Bayfield, head South on State Highway 13 and enjoy the scenic views along the way.

Activities in Washburn for a romantic weekend:

  • Pack a picnic and check out the great sandy beaches along the way. Bayview Beach and Friendly Valley beach. Stroll down the beach as the sun sets and feel the sand between your toes as the waves gently crash on the beach.
  • Head South of Bayfield to Houghton Falls State Natural Area. An easy hike through the woods and along the falls to the waterfront. Sit on the Brownstone ledge and watch the ships sail by.
  • Make a reservation at Good Thyme Restaurant & Catering. Enjoy a glass of wine and a spectacular meal. You won’t be disappointed!

Madeline Island

From Bayfield, head to the Madeline Island Ferry landing at the end of Washington Avenue. Take the Ferry across Lake Superior and get ready to explore!

Activities on Madeline Island for a romantic weekend:

  • Head over to Madeline Island and go on a nature hike in Big Bay State Park. Keep the pace relaxed and pack a nice picnic to enjoy once you and your partner find a lovely spot.
  • Rent a scooter and explore the 14 miles long by 3 miles wide Island. There are miles of sandy beaches or trek the hiking trails in the Town Park. Don’t be in a rush for any of your activities and enjoy Island time.
  • Picnic at the beach. Check out Joni’s Beach. Just 2 blocks from the ferry landing, Joni’s beach includes a sheltered picnic area. There are a dock and a beautiful sandy beach. Watch the ferries come and go as you enjoy a picnic on the beach and sink your toes in the sand.
Plan a romantic getaway in Wisconsin on the Bayfield Peninsula

Explore homes for sale in Bayfield, WI to be closer to all the romantic getaways Wisconsin has to offer. Contact our team today to get started.

Things to do in Bayfield WI: A 2-day Itinerary

Bayfield, Wisconsin is one of the most underrated destinations in the country. It has everything: from picturesque sceneries, a rich local history, and a unique culture worth getting to know. Moreover, Bayfield is an emerging destination for green tourism. It boasts the largest number of Travel Green Wisconsin-certified businesses in the state.

If you are only here for a short while to explore real estate options, this two-day itinerary will allow you to get to know this city we call home.

Note: The best time to go to Bayfield

To fully appreciate the culture and nature of Bayfield, we highly recommend visiting during the summer or fall, but don’t discount our winter wonderland!

Day 1 – Arrival

  • 9 AM: Start the tour to the area by visiting the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, the first Travel Green Wisconsin-certified establishment in the itinerary. Get some maps to understand the lay of the land. While you are here, check out the observation tower or head outside and explore the center’s trail system.

    From here, you can continue on to Whittlesey Creek National Wildlife RefugeOR cut the trip to the center short and proceed to the next activity.

  • 11 AM: With a map on hand, it is time to see the some of the sights. Check out Houghton Falls State Natural Area. Stop by Friendly Valley Beach and Bayview Beach and dig your toes in the sand.
  • 1 PM: Time for a late lunch. There are plenty of options to choose from, including the Fat Radish, Pier Plaza, and Manypenny Bistro, just to name a few.
  • 4 PM: End today’s adventures with some down time at the Bayfield Maritime Museum. It is open until 4 PM from Sunday to Thursday and until 7 PM on Friday and Saturday. Here, you will learn everything there is to know about Bayfield’s maritime heritage− all 163 years of it.
  • 6 PM: Make your way to your lodging in Bayfield. If you have yet to make a booking, there are several outstanding accommodations in the city. Check out Windseeker Rentals for availability for some great vacation rental options.

Day 2

  • 9 AM: After breakfast, it is time to visit Bayfield’s most popular tourist destination, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, located just off the coast of Bayfield. Book a guided kayak trip ahead of your stay with either Trek & Trail in Bayfield or Lost Creek Adventures in Cornucopia. Or check out Apostle Islands Cruise Services and their Grand Tour for a great overview.
  • 1pm: Head over to Madeline Island on the Madeline Island Ferry Lineand grab lunch at one of the many dining options in the island, such as Grampa Tony’s, Cafe Seiche, Farmhouse, orthe Pub Restaurant, then grab a cup of joe at Mission Hill Coffee House.

    After lunch, explore more of what Madeline Island has to offer. You can shop for trinkets and souvenirs, or just soak the sun before you head back to Bayfield.

  • 5 PM: It’s time to head back to the mainland. Board the ferry, and check out the great dining options in Bayfield before you retire to your lodging. You have been out all day. You deserve to rest. Tomorrow, it’s a new adventure.

Day 3 – Departure

  • 9 AM: That is two full days experiencing the sights and local life in Bayfield. Before you head back home, you have the option to make a side trip to Kickapoo Coffee for some local brews, pick up outdoor gear for your next visit to Bayfield, and visit a bookstore to find a good book such as What Goes ‘Round, which sells pre-loved books.

Time to make Bayfield your home

We hope you had a dazzling 48 hours in Bayfield, just enough to make you fall in love with the city and leave you wanting more. To explore more homes for sale in Bayfield and on the Bayfield Peninsula, browse our website for the latest listings or contact us today.

Essential Steps in Selling a Home

Are you planning to move into a new home soon? If yes, selling your current house might be on the table. It is a process to consider whether you are relocating or if you simply find your home no longer suitable for your needs and lifestyle.

Like buying real estate, the process of selling a home requires several layers of preparation for a successful sale. Scroll below to find all the essential steps to selling a home in Bayfield County, WI.

  1. Hire a real estate agent
  2. To sell your home for the right price and fast, the services of an experienced and local real estate agent are needed. It is imperative to find a realtor that counts your neighborhood as one of their areas of specialization. This way, the pricing and marketing strategy for your property will be more localized.

    Ask people you know who have recently sold their homes for referrals. You can also opt to go online and search for local listing agents. List down a couple of prospective candidates, then invite them to a one-on-one interview.

    Get to know potential real estate agents before you hire one of them. Ask about their experience in the field. What is their work and communication style? When was the last time they sold a house, and for how much? How much do they charge for their services? If you are at a loss for questions, this article will help you interview a real estate agent.

  3. Gather all necessary documents related to the house
  4. As you will be transferring the ownership of the house to a buyer at the end of the selling process, take the time to collect all important paperwork tied to the property. This includes the following:

    • Homeowners insurance information
    • Property tax information and statements
    • Deed of the property
    • Title report
    • Mortgage information

    Keep these organized in binder and place it somewhere you will easily remember. Sales transactions can be delayed or even completely derailed when important documents are missing. This article provides more information on documents you need for the sale.

  5. Prepare your home for sale
  6. Preparing your home for sale involves a number of smaller (but no less important) tasks. We recommend creating a list of things to do to make sure you cover everything. Include the following in your checklist:

    • Check the property for faulty features and make the necessary repairs
    • Improve the home’s curb appeal
    • Repaint the interior and exterior walls if needed, neutral colors are best if repainting is needed
    • Deep-clean the entire property
    • Remove personal effects and belongings from plain sight that you don’t want seen by prospective buyers
    • Address and remove bad odors

    If you have pets, make sure to eliminate fur, dander, and other odors. This will help avoid trigger allergic reactions among potential home buyers.

    If certain parts of your house are outdated, consider making upgrades. Dated tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms can be deterrents to a fast home sale. Old, ratty furniture and appliances may need to be replaced as well.

    Some issues that need repairs are harder to spot. Invite a home inspector for a professional opinion that will help make your house move-in ready. In WI buyers typically pay for all inspections and testing. Ask your realtor if this step is necessary.

  7. Understand and comply with seller disclosure obligations
  8. Sellers have property disclosure obligations they need to comply withand it varies state to state. In Wisconsin, you are required to submit a real estate condition report to potential buyers. This document should include relevant information on the following:

    • Structural defects
    • Legal issues
    • Awareness of aforementioned defects
    • The duration of your stay in the house
    • Environmental problems

    You can ask your real estate agent to provide a blank copy of the form. The fully accomplished report must be given to the buyer no later than 10 days after accepting their offer, in most cases it is provided to buyers before the offer is made.

    Not all sellers, however, are required to make the report. For instance, representatives of the estate, conservators, or trustees are exempt from local seller disclosure laws if they never lived in the home. A caveat: they may be held liable if found that they knowingly concealed a property issue.

    Learn more about seller disclosure obligations in Wisconsin here.

Sell your home in Bayfield County with Windseeker Realty

In need of a realtor to help you sell your home in Bayfield County? Our team is well-equipped to represent you in the home-selling process. Browse our website to learn more about what we can do for you. When you are ready, contact us today to sell your home on the Bayfield Peninsula.

What to Know Before Buying a Home

Purchasing a house is a huge decision. It is one of the most significant investments a person can make in their lifetime. It is crucial for home buyers to make the necessary preparations to ensure you enjoy a pain-free and successful transaction.

To help avoid costly mistakes and have a stress-free home buying experience in Bayfield County, here are a couple of things you need to know before buying a home.
Adequate research is important

The first step towards a smooth home purchase is to do your research. This part is an aggregate of smaller tasks, which include:

  • reading about the local housing market;
  • identifying your target areas;
  • learning about the different types of mortgages available;
  • scrutinizing your financial capability; and
  • streamlining your list of must-have and negotiable features.

By the end of this stage, you should have a clearer grasp of  the type of house you want, how much of it you can afford, where you want to live, and what it will take to achieve your real estate goals.

Shopping and applying for a mortgage takes time

Finding the right loan from the best lender can be time-consuming. The market is saturated with many financing options, not to mention lending institutions.

If you have already done your research, you should have an idea of which loan to get. Past that, applying for a mortgage loan takes 45 to 60 days, sometimes even longer, depending on the lender and/or if any financial issues were uncovered.

With this in mind, it is highly recommended to shop and get pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin your home search. When you do start looking for a home, you can sweeten your offer by presenting your pre-approval letter, a document that conveys you are financially ready to purchase the home.

Read this article to better understand how time-consuming getting a mortgage can be.

Hire a real estate agent

Hiring an agent is highly recommended, regardless if it is your first or fifth time purchasing a house. Doing so is especially helpful if you are purchasing a property in a housing market that is relatively new to you.

The benefits of working with a skilled local realtor are manifold. These professionals have an expert knowledge on the local market. They can take a closer look at your options and help determine which one is the best deal.

Most experienced realtors also have a wide network of real estate contractors− they can easily connect you to the right person, whether it is a home inspector or an escrow agent.

There are many costs to buying and owning a home

The price of the house you are buying is not the only cost you will incur in the home buying process. There will be closing costs, which may or may not include the appraisal fee, lender’s title insurance, inspections and testing, and the like. Hence, we advise home buyers to adequately save up, not just to cover the down payment and other upfront costs.

The expenses continue well on to homeownership. If you obtained a mortgage loan, you will make monthly amortization payments after closing. Property taxes and homeowners insurance are also part of your responsibility. Some buyers choose to escrow these payments along with principal and interest for consistent monthly payments. There will also be utilities to pay for, such as water, sewer and electricity.

You do not always need 20 percent down payment

20 percent is what most lenders like. Paying a higher down payment for your mortgage has many benefits. It can mean lower monthly payments for you and even more equity in your home.

In reality, you can put as little as 3 percent down for your mortgage. There are loan programs available, especially for first-time home buyers and veterans, that help make this happen. Explore your options more carefully and ask your realtor for advice.

If you cannot make a 20 percent down payment, lenders will require a private mortgage insurance (PMI). This is a protection for the lender should you default on your mortgage loan. Rates range between 0.5 percent to 2 percent of the total mortgage loan annually. You will need to pay for the PMI each month, together with your amortization.

As this will impact your home purchase and your monthly expenses, ask prospective lenders about their PMI policies.

Explore homes for sale in Bayfield County, WI

Looking to buy a home in Wisconsin? We can help you find your dream property in Bayfield, Washburn, Cornucopia, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today, to start your home buying experience with Windseeker Realty.

The 5 best ways to spend a summer vacation in Wisconsin

With its astonishing natural resources and multitude of distinctive cultural attractions, Wisconsin is a wonderful place to enjoy a well-earned summer vacation.

Whether you are new to the Badger State or a long-time resident looking for fresh ideas, this list will come in handy for your vacation planning.

Explore the Apostle Islands

Located just off the Bayfield Peninsula is a cluster of 21 islands called the Apostle Islands. The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a natural area protected by the United States government.

These jewels of Lake Superior are picturesque living museums where tourists can see thriving habitats of natural wildlife, sandstone sea caves, and several preserved old-growth forests. A collection of historic and modern lighthouses also ranks among the crowd-pleasers here. Many of the islands allow recreational activities like camping, fishing, kayaking, and some hunting.

Madeline Island is not included in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore but is one of the largest and most developed islands in Lake Superior. In addition to campsites and many beaches, Madeline Island also boasts of its own golf course, a diverse collection of dining and shopping spots, and even a thriving local arts scene.

Frank Lloyd Wright Trail

Celebrate the legacy of one of the most influential Wisconsinites in history. Born in Richland Center, WI and a University of Wisconsin alum, Frank Lloyd Wright is esteemed around the world for his contributions in the field of architecture.

Wisconsin’s Tourism and Transportation departments have partnered to create a designated driving trail that showcases nine buildings that Wright designed:

  • SC Johnson Administration Buildings and Research Tower (Racine)
  • Wingspread (Racine)
  • Burnham American System Built Homes (Milwaukee)
  • Monona Terrace (Madison)
  • First Unitarian Society Meeting House (Madison)
  • Taliesin and Visitor Center (Spring Green)
  • Wyoming Valley School (Spring Green)
  • AD German Warehouse (Richland Center)

The self-guided tour covers almost 170 miles from Racine to Richland Center, so take time to tour and appreciate each site at your own pace. Several accommodations, including some with direct ties with Wright, are available along the way.

Splash around at the “Waterpark Capital of the World”

Wisconsin is a state where nearly every city stakes a claim for being the capital of something. The south-central city of Wisconsin Dells is one of them, and its claim to fame is perfect for your summer vacation plans.

Wisconsin Dells delivers on its self-proclaimed “Waterpark Capital of the World” title with a jaw-dropping selection of indoor and outdoor waterparks. Some of the most notable destinations are Noah’s Ark, Chula Vista Resort, and Great Wolf Lodge.

Aside from waterparks, Wisconsin Dells checks a lot of boxes when it comes to recreational activities. The city also boasts of top-notch breweries and wineries, animal and wildlife attractions, and golf courses.

Be part of one of the world’s biggest music festivals

An annual tradition in the Brew City since 1968, Summerfest is an 11-day extravaganza that draws crowds that have been fast approaching the one million mark each year. The event even made it to the Guinness Book of World Records, setting the benchmark for crowd attendance in 1999.

Boasting lineups that feature world-famous musical acts and up-and-comers on a total of 11 performance stages, Summerfest today still ranks among the top five biggest music festivals across the globe.

Summerfest also covers a lot of ground with other attractions and activities. It truly is where the traditional state fair vibe blends with the global party crowd.

Go sightseeing on a refreshing waterfall tour

One of the most awe-inspiring Wisconsin vacation ideas you can add to your list is a visit to Marinette County. This northeast Wisconsin County is gaining national and global renown for an array of picturesque and accessible waterfalls, nestled in more than 230,000 acres of lush forest.

There are 14 gorgeous waterfalls to behold, all located within the Marinette County Parks System. You can explore any combination of these through a variety of tours endorsed by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. Novice hikers have nothing to worry about with these easy-to-tackle routes:

  • Enchanted Trails Tour – A scenic trail featuring Veteran’s Falls, McClintock Rapids, and Strong Falls. You will see interesting trails, picturesque bridges, and even islands at McClintock Rapids.
  • Hidden Falls Tour – A hike through winding trails will reward you with views of Four Foot Falls, Eighteen Foot Falls, Twelve Foot Falls, and Eight Foot Falls, as well as sightings of various native birds.
  • Rocky Trails Tour – While named for its challenging hills, taking this route pays off with magnificent views of Smalley Falls and the 50-foot drop of Long Slide Falls.
  • Log Jam Legends Tour – Stories say this river trail was instrumental in transporting logs cut from trees down to their final destination. Dave’s Falls and Bulls Falls are the stars of this route.

Learn more about Wisconsin and its excellent communities from leading local real estate firm, Windseeker Realty. Contact us to discover the best homes for sale in coveted northern Wisconsin locations like Bayfield, Washburn, and Cornucopia. Call 715.779.5000 or email Agent(at)WindseekerRealty(dotted)com today.

PAGE SUMMARY

With summer right around the corner, it is time to plan for a well-deserved getaway. Fortunately, Wisconsin has the perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural attractions for you to discover and enjoy.

The BadgerState offers plenty of opportunities and destinations to explore the outdoors. There are activities that celebrate a world-renowned hometown icon, too. Or how about spectacular live performances at one of the world’s biggest music festivals. Whatever you choose, you are sure to have a summer vacation to remember in Wisconsin.

Ready to jump into your next unforgettable summer? Read Windseeker Realty’s top five summer vacation recommendations here.

From cheese to Barbie: 6 fun facts about Wisconsin

One of the best things about living in Northern Wisconsin(Bayfield, Washburn, Cornucopia and beyond) is being closer to all that makes Wisconsin great. The State has a lot to flaunt and be proud of – from its breathtaking natural features to its many contributions to national and global culture, to its surprising number of fun and quirky claims to fame.

Here are six interesting facts that will make you love living in Wisconsin even more:

  1. Wisconsin is America’s Dairyland

    Leave it to Wisconsinites to make a nickname like “cheesehead” positive – and even a point of pride. The state’s history of prolific dairy production is so well-known and widely documented, even a local city – Monroe – has staked its claim as the “Swiss Cheese Capital of the World.” (Sorry, Switzerland.)

    Wisconsin’s cheese expertise has even made “pizza farms” a real thing. There are now five farms across the state that have opened a pizza parlor on their property – using their own fresh dairy and produce as the main ingredients to make unforgettable homegrown pies.

  2. The “Badger State” nickname comes from the mines, not the mammal

    Wisconsin is known to many as the Badger State, but this moniker has little to do with the animal.

    The true story behind the nickname is an homage to lead miners from the early to mid-1800s. Back then, these workers holed up in temporary caves, playfully described as badger dens. The name caught on and soon Wisconsin residents claimed the formerly derisive name as their own. Yet another impressive instance of Wisconsinites’ penchant for turning insult into identity.

  3. The great outdoors welcome avid adventurers with open arms

    When you live in Wisconsin, you can expect to spend as much time outdoors as you do in your home. The state overflows with so much natural beauty.

    Wisconsin has something for everyone. If you are into hiking and exploring nature trails and wilderness areas, you will love the fact that 46% of the state’s land area is covered by forest.

    If you prefer water activities like fishing and boating, head to Bayfield County, where miles of shoreline along Lake Superior guarantee hours upon hours of recreational opportunities. Across the entire state, there are nearly 7,500 streams and rivers, and almost 16,700 lakes – many of which were carved by glaciers from years gone by.

  4. Wisconsin is a state of many “capitals”

    Moving to Wisconsin? Leave your modesty at the door.

    This state will surprise you with a long list of towns and cities claiming to be the “capital” of something. Many even add “of the world” at the end their proud slogans, just like Monroe earlier with its claim for global Swiss Cheese preeminence.

    The selection ranges from legitimate to downright bizarre, but it all adds to the fun character that the state exudes. See for yourself:

    • Milwaukee: Beer Capital of the World
    • Green Bay: Toilet Paper Capital of the World
    • Sheboygan: Bratwurst Capital of the World
    • Wausau: Ginseng Capital of the World
    • Bloomer: Jump Rope Capital of the World
    • Mount Horeb: Troll Capital of the World
    • Eagle River: SnowmobileCapital of the World
  5. Wisconsin is also a state of many firsts

    These life-changing inventions and innovations have their roots in Wisconsin:

    • Kindergarten classes were first held in the United States in 1856 in Watertown, thanks to German-born Margarethe Schurz. The classes were held in German until the young children’s education model was adapted by Elizabeth Peabody for English-speaking kids in 1860.
    • If you have ever wondered who to thank for the joys of a sweet and creamy ice cream sundae, now you’ll know – Ed Berners, a soda fountain owner from Two Rivers, is said to have invented the delectable dessert in 1881.
    • September 1882 marked the first time that moving water was used as a renewable energy resource. The Fox River in Appleton, was the site of the first hydroelectric power plant ever operated.
    • An essential fixture in many modern kitchens, the blender is another product of Wisconsin ingenuity. The invention is attributed to Racine-based engineer Stephen Poplawski, who created the efficient chopping, liquefying, and pureeing machine in 1922.
  6. Wisconsinites have been shaping contemporary American and international culture as we know it for generations

    Some of the most influential individuals in American history are sons and daughters of Wisconsin. See if you can recognize these names:

    • Frank Lloyd Wright (born in Richland Center)– World-renowned icon in the field of architecture
    • Orson Welles (born in Kenosha) – Actor, director, writer, and producer, best known for the film Citizen Kane
    • Gene Wilder (born in Milwaukee) – Actor, screenwriter, and director, best known for portraying Willy Wonka
    • Liberace (born Władziu Valentino Liberace in West Allis) – Pianist, singer, actor, and once the highest-paid entertainer in the world
    • Les Paul (born in Waukesha) – Musician and pioneer of the solid-body electric guitar
    • Laura Ingalls Wilder (born in Pepin County) – Author of the “Little House on the Prairie” series of children’s books
    • Barbie (born in “Willows”) – The beloved fashion doll hails from a fictional Wisconsin city

Looking for excellent home deals in Wisconsin? Trust Windseeker Realty to connect you to the finest real estate options in Bayfield, Washburn, Cornucopia, and many more outstanding communities in the Lake Superior area. Call 715.779.5000 or email Agent(at)WindseekerRealty(dotted)com for inquiries.

PAGE SUMMARY

Do you know what a pizza farm is?

What do ice cream sundaes have in common with electric guitars?

Where is the Toilet Paper Capital of the World? And the Jump Rope Capital of the World?

Did you know that Wisconsin is home to some of the most influential people and inventions that have shaped the way people around the world live today?

The answers to these questions all have something to do with the fun and multi-faceted character of the Badger State. Learn why Wisconsin is such a wonderful and interesting place to live in this fun and informative piece.