There’s this thing about the dark of winter that makes me want to do a certain thing that I know to be detrimental to both my health and my rapidly … Read more

Christmas Vacation

I never met John Hughes. He apparently owned a condominium in Williams Bay and was a frequent breakfast patron at Daddy Maxwell’s, which should put the two of us on … Read more

The Hunt

How I wish I were a doctor. When you’re a doctor and you travel, you get to tell people what you do. You’re a doctor. That’s what you do. It … Read more

Oh September

Without the weather, what would we talk about? When I meet someone new, what would I open the conversation with? If I couldn’t say, what a day! or, cold enough … Read more

South Shore Club Sales

I watch the million dollar shows on television. I used to think I liked those shows, because they portrayed Realtors as being cool and hip, and Realtors have, since the … Read more

Street Signs

My oldest friend had a birthday yesterday. He’s not old, he’s my age, but it was his birthday and he is the person who has been my friend longer than … Read more

On Markets

When a real estate market is slow, the fundamentals matter. The price per front foot, price per square foot, of the land, not house- this isn’t Beverly Hills- it matters. … Read more


I took my car in to be fixed. The mechanic was nice enough, the dealership shiny and large. Emblems and logos, everywhere. I normally sit in the lounge, where they … Read more

San Francisco Endorsed

There are old maps that were drawn by those important men who lived a long time ago in Nantucket. The maps show these entire United States, and Nantucket encompasses most … Read more

Of Loyalty

A marriage can really only work if both parties have some leeway to say things that the other person may not like, without fear of devastating reprisal. For instance. If … Read more

Labor Day Weekend

Back on Wednesday with all sorts of riveting commentary. For instance, did you know that all the cool people are at Lake Geneva? I spent Saturday aboard a most beautiful … Read more

Open House

There was a time in the town when the towns people who had chosen real estate as their profession held houses open, for the public to see. The sales people, … Read more

Memorial Day Weekend

There are things that must be remembered on Memorial Day Weekend. First, this is a weekend to remember. Not to remember what it’s like to grill and to boat, nor … Read more

Hollybush Sells

There are many reasons to sell your house. For instance, if you live in a small house and you’d really like to live in a big house, you sell the … Read more

The Flowering Tree

The mighty Oak tree. For all of the moving I’ve done, and all of the land that I’ve called home, I have only owned one prized Oak tree. The trees … Read more

Lake Geneva Sales

Many years ago, I decided to buck the most important trend in real estate salesmanship. I decided that I didn’t like every single sale. Contrary to current mass email form, … Read more

Lake Geneva Auction

If you are a seller of real estate, particularly the luxury brand of such, arriving at your wits end is not an uncommon scenario. Luxury real estate, by its very … Read more


The first person we meet in the movie “Low and Clear” is JT Van Zandt. He has a famous father, but that’s not important. He’s calm, reserved, and he loves … Read more


In Some Town, Illinois, a Realtor is walking into his office. He’s done this every day for years, parking in his spot, walking down the sidewalk, up the steps and … Read more

Bike Lake Geneva

I liked it when I was young. Back then, I thought my parents refusal to buy me things was part of some master plan carefully engineered to teach me responsibility. … Read more

Ice Is Out

I suppose a better person wouldn’t have to do what I have to do. But, alas, it goes something like this: Today, we must guess. Not for prize, but for … Read more

Good and Bad

In all things, there is good and bad. Some call this the silver lining, but I’ve never seen, with these two eyes, an actual silver lining on anything. Like if … Read more

Geneva National On Fire

In basketball, the head fake is a pretty important variety of fake. It’s usually best if accompanied by a bit of a shoulder shrug, some elevation of the tops of … Read more


Of myself, there is very little that I don’t, or that I won’t, share here. I tell you about my struggles and about my successes. I tell you of my … Read more

Lakeside Thanksgiving

I think it’s good that we give our Federally mandated Thanks next week. It’s good because I have had harvest decorations up around my house for a month or so, … Read more

The War

It was still warm when everyone told us it would be cold. They said that the cold would come from the north, which is where everyone already knew it came … Read more

Aspen Lane Sells

There’s a generally acknowledged acceptance of community. If we haven’t yet moved to a community, be it a town or a subdivision, we search for such a community populated by … Read more

Abbey Hill Sells

A few short years ago, there was a fire. Abbey Hill, the wooden alpine-styled condominiums on the hill near the stop and sock, suffered a casualty. The cause of the … Read more

North Shore Sells

When that one guy went to Alaska to live, he chose a spot with straight trees. Had he been truly rugged, he would have chosen a plot with crooked trees, … Read more

November Markets

I recognize that from time to time, or all the time, I sound like a broken record. I say the same things over and over again, disguised with different words … Read more


If given a choice, most people would not say that they prefer November. There’s not much to November. In the progression, August is summer. It is filled with all sorts … Read more


If you pick a basket full of mulberries, you’re in luck. You have a tremendous basket full of mulberries! Your basket full will look luscious, and the contents will glisten … Read more

Old School

I’m not a big fan of the term “new school”. In the same way, I don’t like “old school”. I mean, I do like the part where Frank shoots himself … Read more

Abbey This and That

Google tells me this: Since peaking in the early 1800s, use of the word “abbey” has declined steadily and thoroughly. I would assume the television show would have caused a … Read more

The Backyard

My appetite for the written word isn’t as voracious as it should be. Truth is, I read lots. I read lots and lots. But I don’t read too many books, … Read more


The boy and his dad. It’s sweet, really. The boy isn’t so much a boy as he is a man, old enough to be one anyway. He’s playing catch with … Read more

South Shore Club Heat

The SSC now has just two developer owned lots left, those at lot 6 and lot 32. Priced at $595k and $649k respectively, they are fair lots and they will … Read more

1530 Lakeshore Sells

The problem with being in the real estate business is that if you’re doing it all the time you lose sight of pretty much everything else. I can remember days … Read more


I spend most of my written capital giving advice to buyers. I tell them when it’s a good time to buy, when it’s the right house to buy, when they … Read more

September Schedules

Boating in the summer isn’t very difficult. Neither is walking down the shore path in the morning in whichever direction offers you coffee. Sitting in a lawn chair, watching the … Read more

Rising Tides

There are too many assumptions made in the statement that claims a rising tide lifts all ships. First off, tides are anything but stable. They are predictable, sure, but they … Read more


This rain is getting to be entirely too much. I’m not a farmer, though if you caught a glimpse of my strawberry patch you might be willing to consider a … Read more

West Main Street

I’ll live my entire life without buying Waterworks tile. I have dabbled with buying a Waterworks faucet or two, but even in that I’ve backed off in the later innings … Read more

Southland Sells

Last summer, on a particularly sunny, remarkably humid day, I walked into that house for the first time. It wasn’t much of a house, and the land was wide but … Read more

Lake Geneva Vision

In certain price ranges here for certain sorts of properties, the buyer doesn’t need to possess any real vision. Chances are, if you’d like a nice enough home for around … Read more

The Natural Pool

The business of making pools is, well, pretty big business. A rapidly growing segment of the pool market is in so called “natural” pools. The concept of fixing nature is … Read more

The Route

The roads in Manitoba are really quite simple. Some of the roads run North and South, while the other roads run East or West. This is the entirety of the … Read more

The Transaction

There was a time, not all that long ago, when I bought old houses and did my best to fix them up. I can’t say that I enjoyed this, but … Read more

1014 South Lakeshore

All homes generally do one thing well. In the game of real estate, it’s usually that one thing that makes a house valuable, or otherwise desirable to at least one … Read more

This Weekend

This is either an extremely exciting week, an extremely busy week, or an extremely depressing week, a soul crushing span of five work days. In the winter, it’s easy to … Read more

Escanaba Vacation!

It would be easy to confuse this day with any other that came before it. It’s gray in the sky and cold in the air. It’s wet underfoot. It’s snowing … Read more

Abbey Springs Sale

No one would say that Abbey Springs is an architectural gem. I suppose that’s not entirely true, as people once bought bright blue PT Cruisers and they drove them home, … Read more


It’s raining again. Sitting in a dark house, with stone walls and large timber framing that reaches from wall to wall, exposed. There’s rain outside, pittering and pattering against the … Read more

Swimming Lesson

It wouldn’t have been that hard to find me. The sun was out, the grass was growing, my orange and white Simplicity lawn tractor had at least fifty cents of … Read more

Vista Del Lago Sells

When a market is down, I have absolutely no problem kicking it. I also don’t like to make excuses for market segments, as I’d rather try to identify the problems … Read more

Lake Geneva’s Wintry Week

There are trout streams in Iowa. They snake through the hills of Iowa’s Driftless, emptying mostly into each other and then into the Mississippi, pushing south and collecting all sorts … Read more

Merry Christmas

Apparently I bought one of those cameras that only adds 20 pounds to the oldest male in the picture…

A Housing Investment

For as long as there have been economists, there have been those who tell us that owning a home is a bad investment. This is a popular point of view … Read more

Fall Work

I had this impressive stack of firewood delivered last June. My wood guy delivered the cut oak and dropped it in a pile at the top of my gravel driveway. … Read more

The Geneva Lake Pier

On a cloudless day, the summer sort that make even the most ornery people feel like considering a smile, there is little reason to walk onto a pier and romanticize … Read more