Wisconsins full time residential real estate agent focused in waterfront property; luxury lake homes, lake homes, vacant lake land and vacation homes or second home opportunities . There is no place like "WISCONSIN LAKES". If lake living is what you desire then Lake Country is the place to be!If you are thinking about buying waterfront property in Wisconsin,a little time invested in learning about waterfront living will pay back sizeable dividends in matching your expectations to realities.

The magic of Wisconsin’s lakes - The LAKE COUNTRY

There are many reasons people fall in love with Wisconsin lakes. Spectacular sunrises and sunsets, good fishing, a tour of the water in a favorite boat, a beautiful backdrop to enjoy scenery and explore nature, a place to reflect or just get away from it all. With more than 15,000 Wisconsin lakes, there are many types and sizes of lakes all with their own unique character and natural assets.

Your best source for Lake Country Living is Lisa Bear.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

10 Tips for Moving with Pets

Moving to a new home can be stressful on your pets, but there are many things you can do to make the process as painless as possible. Experts at The Pet Realty Network in Naples, Fla., offer these helpful tips for easing the transition and keeping pets safe during the move.

  1. Update your pet’s tag. Make sure your pet is wearing a sturdy collar with an identification tag that is labeled with your current contact information. The tag should include your destination location, telephone number, and cell phone number so that you can be reached immediately during the move.

  2. Ask for veterinary records. If you’re moving far enough away that you’ll need a new vet, you should ask for a current copy of your pet’s vaccinations. You also can ask for your pet’s medical history to give to your new vet, although that can normally be faxed directly to the new medical-care provider upon request. Depending on your destination, your pet may need additional vaccinations, medications, and health certificates. Have your current vet's phone number handy in case of an emergency, or in case your new vet would like more information about your pet.

  3. Keep medications and food on hand. Keep at least one week’s worth of food and medication with you in case of an emergency. Vets can’t write a prescription without a prior doctor/patient relationship, which can cause delays if you need medication right away. You may want to ask for an extra prescription refill before you move. The same preparation should be taken with special therapeutic foods — purchase an extra supply in case you can't find the food right away in your new area.

  4. Seclude your pet from chaos. Pets can feel vulnerable on moving day. Keep them in a safe, quiet, well-ventilated place, such as the bathroom, on moving day with a “Do Not Disturb! Pets Inside!” sign posted on the door. There are many light, collapsible travel crates on the market if you choose to buy one. However, make sure your pet is familiar with the new crate before moving day by gradually introducing him or her to the crate before your trip. Be sure the crate is well-ventilated and sturdy enough for stress-chewers; otherwise, a nervous pet could escape.

  5. Prepare a first aid kit. First aid is not a substitute for emergency veterinary care, but being prepared and knowing basic first aid could save your pet's life. A few recommended supplies: Your veterinarian's phone number, gauze to wrap wounds or to muzzle your pet, adhesive tape for bandages, non-stick bandages, towels, and hydrogen peroxide (3 percent). You can use a door, board, blanket or floor mat as an emergency stretcher and a soft cloth, rope, necktie, leash, or nylon stocking for an emergency muzzle.

  6. Play it safe in the car. It’s best to travel with your dog in a crate; second-best is to use a restraining harness. When it comes to cats, it’s always best for their safety and yours to use a well-ventilated carrier in the car. Secure the crate or carrier with a seat belt and provide your pet with familiar toys. Never keep your pet in the open bed of a truck or the storage area of a moving van. In any season, a pet left alone in a parked vehicle is vulnerable to injury and theft. If you’ll be using overnight lodging, plan ahead by searching for pet-friendly hotels. Have plenty of kitty litter and plastic bags on hand, and keep your pet on its regular diet and eating schedule.

  7. Get ready for takeoff. When traveling by air,check with the airline about any pet requirements or restrictions to be sure you’ve prepared your pet for a safe trip. Some airlines will allow pets in the cabin, depending on the animal’s size, but you’ll need to purchase a special airline crate that fits under the seat in front of you. Give yourself plenty of time to work out any arrangements necessary including consulting with your veterinarian and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If traveling is stressful for your pet, consult your veterinarian about ways that might lessen the stress of travel.

  8. Find a new veterinary clinic and emergency hospital. Before you move, ask your vet to recommend a doctor in your new locale. Talk to other pet owners when visiting the new community, and call the state veterinary medical association (VMA) for veterinarians in your location. When choosing a new veterinary hospital, ask for an impromptu tour; kennels should be kept clean at all times, not just when a client’s expected. You may also want to schedule an appointment to meet the vets. Now ask yourself: Are the receptionists, doctors, technicians, and assistants friendly, professional and knowledgeable? Are the office hours and location convenient? Does the clinic offer emergency or specialty services or boarding? If the hospital doesn’t meet your criteria, keep looking until you’re assured that your pet will receive the best possible care.

  9. Prep your new home for pets. Pets may be frightened and confused in new surroundings. Upon your arrival at your new home, immediately set out all the familiar and necessary things your pet will need: food, water, medications, bed, litter box, toys, etc. Pack these items in a handy spot so they can be unpacked right away. Keep all external windows and doors closed when your pet is unsupervised, and be cautious of narrow gaps behind or between appliances where nervous pets may try to hide. If your old home is nearby, your pet may try to find a way back there. To be safe, give the new home owners or your former neighbors your phone number and a photo of your pet, and ask them to contact you if your pet is found nearby.

  10. Learn more about your new area. Once you find a new veterinarian, ask if there are any local health concerns such as heartworm or Lyme disease, or any vaccinations or medications your pet may require. Also, be aware of any unique laws. For example, there are restrictive breed laws in some cities. Homeowner associations also may have restrictions — perhaps requiring that all dogs are kept on leashes. If you will be moving to a new country, carry an updated rabies vaccination and health certificate. It is very important to contact the Agriculture Department or embassy of the country or state to which you’re traveling to obtain specific information on special documents, quarantine, or costs to bring the animal into the country.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

10 Tips for Moving with Children

 

Have a Family Meeting

Get the Kids' Feedback on the New Home

Purge Before Packing

Organize a Moving Sale

Research the New Place

Make Room Plans

Do a Site Visit

Host a 'See You Soon' Party

Map the Move

Be a Tourist in the New Place

Friday, July 25, 2014

Keeping Pests Out Of Your Home: 10 Pest Control Tips From Walker Management

 

Bugs

We’re not talking about your noisy neighbor or your annoying uncle Fred.  These are tips to keep those pesky pests and insects out of your home.  You know all the pests you love to hate like roaches, ants, spiders, crickets, scorpions and mice.   Here are 10 great tips to help prevent pests from ever entering your home:

  • Keep the floors clean: wipe up any spills immediately using soap and water not just a rag. Clean the entire flooring at least once a week and the kitchen floor at least twice a week.

  • Take out the trash: every day, do not leave trash in your home overnight. This includes all trash cans not just in the kitchen.

  • Keep fruit in the refrigerator: especially when ripe.

  • Keep the sink clean: wash dishes daily. If you cannot clean the dishes, then at least fill the sink with soap and water.

  • Keep a tight lid on things: make sure all food and beverage containers kept outside of the refrigerator are tightly sealed. Keep bags of cereal, seeds and grains in a sealed container.

  • Keep things dry: make sure the bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms are dry.  Fix leaks immediately and wipe up any spills or splashes at once.

  • Keep pets clean: brushing, bathing and using flea and tick protection on your animals, especially indoor/outdoor pets.

  • Seal up the house: use caulk to seal up any cracks on baseboards, cabinets, pipes, ducts, and fittings inside the home. Check outside and caulk all door frames, window frames, roof joints and any visible cracks on the exterior surface.

  • Keep the outside of the home free and clear: do not stack wood next to the home and do not leave piles of leaves laying around the yard.  Keep any plants cut back so pests cannot climb up and access your house. Keep gutters free of leaves and other debris that may harbor insects.

  • Watch what you bring into the home: many people unknowingly bring in insects or insect eggs when buying fruits and vegetables. Boxes or bags used to bring home these items can many times harbor pests or eggs. Once in your home, they multiply and can cause infestations. German roaches are especially prone to be brought in this way.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

15 Painting Tips to Paint Like a Pro

 
Primer comes before paint.
Tempted to skip the primer? Primer not only provides a good surface for the paint, but it also brings out the paint’s true color.

  Paint like a pro.
Painting is your chance to show off your skills. Use an edge pad for clean lines around doorframes, ceiling edges and corners so your walls look great — down to every last detail.

Create a sticky situation.
Paint won’t stick to the wall if you haven’t taken the time to prep. The surface must be clean, non-glossy and in good condition. 

One gallon at a time.
How much paint will it take to cover your walls? The pros recommend one gallon for every 400 square feet. Covering textured, rough or unprimed surfaces may require more.

Dry days make good painting days.
Moisture in the air keeps water-based paint from drying. Skip the humid afternoon paint project and slow drying walls won’t wreck the rest of your day.  

Put your sandwich bags to work.
Slip a small plastic bag over your doorknobs and tape the edge to avoid getting paint in places it wasn’t meant to go. You’re so resourceful.  

Out with the old.
If the old paint on your wall is flaking off, it’s a good idea to buy a paint scraper and get it out of the way. Once all the old paint is gone, sand the surface smooth, prime and your new paint will look great.

Clean finish.
If you’re looking for paint in high-traffic areas, semi-gloss is the way to go. Shiny and durable, semi-gloss is a parent’s best friend.

 Give the walls a sponge bath.
Washing your walls from top to bottom is always recommended because paint sticks better to a clean surface.

 Don’t look back.
Once an area starts to dry, it’s best to leave it alone. Going back over it can leave marks and color streaks in the paint’s surface. 

Polka dots look good on fabric—not floors.
Unless you’re trying to paint your floor, we recommend covering it up with a drop cloth. It’s the cheap, easy way to save yourself a whole lot of irritation. 

Take away the shine.
Paint doesn’t always adhere to glossy surfaces. We recommend using a light grade sandpaper to take the gloss off the surface so your new paint sticks like it should.  

Turn in the brush.
Small rooms can feel gigantic when it comes to painting. A roller will do a better job than a paint brush in less time.

 Spare the wall plates.
Before you start, remove all wall plates and tape off light switches and electrical outlets. You’ll get high marks for professional-looking results. 

Patience is a virtue.
You’ve completed your mission to fix every imperfection with patching compound. Now, make sure it’s dry. Then sand smooth, prime, and you’ll have a surface good enough for any pro.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Decorating Hacks: Genius Makeovers You Can do In A Day

white dining room       

Display a Great Collection on a Dining Room Table

In the living room of an Atlanta house by designer Beth Webb, an elm plank table from Clubcu, which often doubles as a dining table, dramatically displays a collection of Chinese porcelains. "The pieces don't have to match, but they do have to play together well," Webb says.

Hang an Interior Curtain

In the kitchen of the same Atlanta house, a linen curtain runs on a track spanning the room and can be pulled "to conceal the mess of preparation," Webb says. Steel-and-glass casements frame views of the pool and garden. KWC Gastro faucet.

 

Mix and Match Your Bedding

"We call this 'the sailor room,' because we went all out with the nautical theme," designer Ken Fulk says of a bedroom in his Massachusetts vacation house. "The mix-and-match nature of the patterns and faded batik prints make it feel like it's a collection of old textiles brought back from a journey at sea." John Robshaw bedding. Antique cage lights hang from an antique metal four-poster bed that belonged to the previous owner.

 

Put an Antique in the Bathroom

The guest bath in Fulk's vacation home "feels authentic to the period of the house, but also clean and modern," he says. Pedestal tub and fixtures from Sunrise Specialty.

 

Paint an Inexpensive Piece of Furniture White

This Kansas City house's dining room, a former loggia, is "light, bright, and airy," homeowner and designer Zim Loy says. "I accomplished that with lots of white paint." She bought a beat-up old $60 table at an estate sale and gave it a fresh new look by the painting the base high-gloss white. Its curves echo the arms of the Barbara Cosgrove chandelier.

 

Cover a Wall with Plates

Loy discovered Hackerware on eBay — "there's tons of it, and it's so cheap!" — and started collecting it for the dining room. Covering the whole wall with plates has the same effect as "one big piece of art."

Wallpaper Your Vinyl Window Shades

"I had a roll of wallpaper in my office that was left over from a photo shoot we did, and I was about to put it in the trash when I thought, 'No, I can do something with this,' " Loy says. "Then I thought of the vinyl shades in our guest room. So I wallpapered them. You gotta go for it." The vinyl shades are papered in Pierre Frey's Espalier. The canopy bed was painted black to show off its silhouette.
 

Dress Up Hallways with Turkish Runners

In the second-floor hallway of a California house, designer Betsy Burnham overlaps Turkish runners from Rugs & Art, drawing the eye to a Moroccan-inspired reading nook. The vintage carpets "can transform a plain hallway into a decorated space," Burnham says. "A really faded, tattered rug is instantly Bohemian." The window seat is covered in Tibet woven silk from S. Harris. Pillows by Hollywood at Home; garden stool from Rolling Greens.


Move Seating Away From the Walls

"Float furniture away from the walls: It creates more intimate seating," designer Betsy Burnham says. She did just that in the living room of this California house. The console table separating back-to-back sofas is decked with vintage goddess figurine lamps and Chinese monkeys "for a Tony Duquette, William Haines flavor." Sellarsbrook rug, the Rug Company. Rectangular Cocktail Table, Baker.

Reupholster Furniture with Old Curtains

"Everything in this room has a story," designer Podge Bune says of her Hamptons cottage's living room. "The easy chair is covered in my old dining room curtains, a Designers Guild fabric they no longer make."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tips For Buying A House

1. Don't buy if you can't stay put.

 

2. Start by shoring up your credit.

 

3. Aim for a home you can really afford.

 

4. If you can't put down the usual 20 percent, you may still qualify for a loan.

 

5. Buy in a district with good schools.

 

6. Get professional help.

 

7. Choose carefully between points and rate.

 

8. Before house hunting, get pre-approved.

 

9. Do your homework before bidding.

 

10. Hire a home inspector.

Monday, July 21, 2014

5 Pet-friendly Home Additions

10 pet-friendly home additions: Smart flooring (© Gina Callaway)
 
Linoleum flooring is becoming popular among designers because it has anti-microbial properties, it's easy to maintain and it is more environmentally sustainable than vinyl flooring, says Nancy Chwiecko, associate professor of interior design at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y., and author of the book "There's a Dog in the House."
Wood floors, too, are easier to maintain than carpet if you have a pet. Pick light to medium finishes, lower-luster glosses or distressed woods to help minimize scratches from pet nails. Keep your pet's nails rounded and short to prevent scratches.
If you prefer carpet, consider modular floor-carpet tiles from companies such as Flor because they can be replaced easily in case of accidents, Chwiecko says. Flor will recycle any returned tiles.
What if you have to move? There's no need to replace the floors, as long as they're still looking great.

10 pet-friendly home additions: Pet doors   (© Steve Lovegrove)

Pet doors  

If you work long hours or spend a lot of time away from home, pet doors can be a great way to make sure your dog isn't stuck inside the house for hours on end.
Pet doors can be pricey, costing between $80 and $500. But there's an array of options, says Jon Mortensen, owner of Seattle-based PetDoorStore.com, which sells thousands of pet doors each year. There are doors for walls, screens, windows — even sliding-glass doors. Some doors are activated by microchip for more security; others are built to withstand 50 mph winds.
What if you have to move? "It's possible you may have to replace the door, but not certain," says Sharon Berry, a managing broker with Windermere Real Estate in Redmond, Wash. "It's all between the buyer and seller." If the buyer asks you to replace the door, the cost ranges from $700 to thousands.

10 pet-friendly home additions: Latches on cabinets and toilets  (© Tiburon Studios)

Latches on cabinets and toilets

Childproof latches can be useful when you have a puppy or kitten that is fascinated with drinking or playing in the toilet or getting into cupboards. It's important to keep pets from getting into food, cleaners and medicine. Lysol-type cleaners, chocolate, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts and xylitol sweetener in gum can be toxic — even fatal — for dogs. Spinach leaves, potpourri and acetaminophen, the key ingredient in Tylenol, are extremely toxic for cats.
"Pets can chew through plastic bottles, so keep medicines away from your pets," says Dr. Patricia Olson, chief veterinary adviser for the American Humane Association.
Remember, too, that cats and dogs like to chew on electrical cords, so tuck them away, unplug them or use plastic covers that snap over them. Child gates are an easy way to keep your dog away from certain areas of the house.
What if you have to move? Childproofing isn't a detriment to home value, Berry says. Buyers can remove these features if they don't want them. Childproof latches can be removed easily, as can child gates.

10 pet-friendly home additions: Window screens (© George P. Choma)

Window screens

If you live in a high-rise with open windows, screens are vital to keeping your pets safe, especially cats.
"People have the misconception that cats have good instincts and won't jump out," says Dr. Louise Murray, vice president of Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in Manhattan.
During warm months, the hospital sees two to four cats a week that are hurt or killed in falls. She says that many people think that bars or child window guards will help, but cats can get through them. Cats will also jump from balconies and fire escapes, she says.
If you rent and do not want to spend money on permanent screens, you could purchase inexpensive, accordion-style screens that fit various-size windows.
What if you have to move? Most houses have screens, Berry says. There's no need to remove them if you sell your house.

10 pet-friendly home additions: Fence  (© hightowernrw)

Fence

"I think good fencing is vital," Chwiecko says. "You're going to have a happier dog, a happier family and happier neighbors."
Invisible fences can be a good option for people whose neighborhoods do not permit physical fences. But many pet experts do not recommend them because they can inflict pain, and some dogs test the fences every day. Some dogs also have also become more aggressive because they associate the shock from the fence with passers-by, Blake says.
If you have a physical fence, ensure it is in good condition and free of loose boards or metal that could hurt your pet or allow it to get out. Another tip: Keep benches and big rocks away from fences; they can be launching points for a dog to jump the fence.
What if you have to move? Good fences make good neighbors and make good overall sense to keep, Berry says.