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Children’s Museum of La Crosse

by Judy Gull

Children are fascinated by the world and all the wonders it has to offer. From science to arts and crafts, kids are always eager to learn. The Children’s Museum of La Crosse is a place where these fascinations can take flight.

The Children’s Museum is a hands-on learning environment where kids can ask questions and have them answered by participating in experiments and activities. Knowledgeable staff members are also there to help and to answer any questions kids and parents alike may have.

The exhibits in the museum are constantly changing, bringing in new and exciting experiences for families to enjoy. Currently you can take your kids on a Mr. Potato Head journey. The classic, beloved toy takes children on adventures in space, under the sea, through the jungle and on an archeological dig. Special demonstrations and classes are given several times a week at the Children’s Museum. They cover a range of subjects from science experiments to pet therapy to simple hands-on fun.

While main attractions may vary from season to season, there are plenty of fun exhibits that remain at the museum to be loved again and again. Kids can try their hands at bridge building, or operate a “kid crane.” You will learn about airflow, dinosaurs, police officers, fire fighters and nature, all in one fantastic museum.

The Children’s Museum of La Crosse is open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays noon to 5. Admission is only six dollars and the museum has a membership program where you can pay a low, yearly fee and get free entry for the rest of the year.

So what are you waiting for? Grab the kids and bring your curiosity, The Children’s Museum of La Crosse awaits your wide-eyed and smiling explorers for hours of educational fun.

Grandad Bluff

by Judy Gull

590 feet above the town of La Crosse, Wisconsin is a greenery-covered mesa. It stands to the East of the town, as though watching over its citizens, timeless and unchanging. Grandad Bluff has indeed stood over the La Crosse area through the ages as it’s almost as old as the Mississippi itself. In fact, its formation may have directly impacted the Mississippi’s course as we know it.

Any timeless monument makes a mark on the people who live around it, or who visit the area. Mark Twain, for one, thought the bluff significant enough to mention in Life on the Mississippi. Grandad Bluff is significant because it embodies both the stoic beauty of a mountain and the exotic visual appeal of a mesa.

Mesa formations are characterized by their flat, table-like tops. Sheer cliff walls reach skyward, ending abruptly at the tabletop. Atop Grandad Bluff are a multitude of trees, which gives the mesa a look befitting its namesake: a grizzled, noble grandad.

One of the best things about any mesa is the uninhibited view they afford those with the gumption to climb them. Atop Grandad Bluff you will enjoy views of La Crosse, the University of Wisconsin and the Mississippi River weaving through the land.

For the city of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Grandad bluff has become a beacon of community pride. Many of the area’s festivals and gatherings take place in its shadow. Through snow and sun and rain, Grandad Bluff stands, watching the life of the citizens of La Crosse decade after decade.

In 1912 they opened Grandad Bluff Park. Here you can enjoy covered picnic areas, hiking trails and, of course, the spectacular views.

It’s common knowledge that home improvement is more than just a weekend pastime. Taking the time to update a home can dramatically increase its livability and value. However, many homeowners are hesitant to make changes; putting off new cabinets because they’re not sure about the material, or wanting to make their home more energy efficient but not sure where to start. Luckily the Greater La Crosse Home and Builders Show brings together seminars and exhibitors that can answer all your home renovation questions. Whether you want to remodel the kitchen or revamp your yard, this event is a great opportunity to meet area contractors in person and get all your home renovation questions answered. Event officials have gathered over 90 different local and national exhibitors and a great line-up of seminars.

One of the great things about the Greater La Crosse Home and Builders Show is that you can learn about a do-it-yourself home project from a seminar and meet local vendors who can set you up with all the tools and materials you need to begin. You can sit in on McKay Nursery’s “Low Maintenance and Edible Landscaping” seminar and then visit their booth for pricing information specific to your landscaping needs. Or, talk to the guys from Beyer Custom Cabinets, who’ve been in business since 1987, about replacing or resurfacing your current cabinetry. Not only will you receive expert advice on anything from tile-setting to roofing, you come away from the event with hundreds of ideas for your home.

This three-day event will be held in the ballroom and South Hall of the La Crosse Center off of Hwy 53. Admission is free for children under 12 and $5 for adults. With warmer weather just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start planning those home renovation projects and the experts at the Greater La Crosse Home and Builders Show are there to help.

Low Interest Rates and Low Prices Make a Great Time to Buy!

by Judy Gull

Foreclosures and falling prices combined with rock-bottom interest rates have turned many would-be home buyers into new home owners. According to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index hit home prices hit a new record level of affordability. Of all new and existing homes sold during the last three months of 2011, 75.9% could have been comfortably purchased by families earning the national median income of $64,200. It was the highest percentage recorded in the history of the index, and a big increase from 72.9% just three months earlier. And while it’s possible for home prices to continue to drop, it’s perhaps more likely that they will increase again as economic recovery reaches more sectors and more people realize that now is a great time to buy a home.

Another reason to start looking for homes sooner rather than later are low, low interest rates. According to housing analysts, interest rates are near a 50-year low! As of mid-May, 2011, 30-year fixed mortgage rates had fallen to 4.63% - the lowest rates of the year. According to USA Today, the last time average rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage were this low was during the 1970s when minimum wage in Wisconsin was less than $2 per hour!

With mortgage rates at this level it makes a lot of sense to stop waiting and start shopping for your first home. If your family has grown in the past couple years and you need more room, or even if the kids have left for college and you’re looking for something smaller or closer to work, these interest rates make it possible to find a new home better suited to the size of your family. Of course, with many people scrambling to find a place to rent, it follows that now is the best time to invest in rental properties. Why wait? Stop by our office today for more information about buying the home of your dreams for a lot less money than it may take before long.

Winter Rec-Fest in La Crosse

by Judy Gull

Winter in western Wisconsin means sub-freezing air temperatures, Arctic wind chill blasts and blizzards that have the power to shut down the entire region for days. The good folks who call this seasonally frozen tundra home need something to look forward to have fun and stave off cabin fever.

Winter Rec-Fest in La Crosse provides residents and visitors with the perfect avenue for winter fun. Beginning in mid-January and running to early February, Winter Rec-Fest offers a diverse selection of frigidly fun activities, all designed to make citizens and visitors of all ages and interests happy.

It’s all about fun at Winter Rec-Fest. Thumb your nose at Old Man Winter, pitch in $2 for an all-inclusive button and embrace the season by participating in one or all of the events and activities.

The events kick off with the city-wide Snowflake Medallion Hunt. Then, you’ll want to get all your friends together and join in one of the competitive team sports tournaments, such as the Frosty Feet Kickball Tournament, Co-Rec Snow Volleyball Tournament or the One-Pitch Snow Softball Tournament.

Delve Into New Fun for 2012

* More than 230 hopefuls entered the Button Design contest this year, establishing a new record in Winter Rec-Fest history.

* Just when you thought Friday Night Family Fun night at Forest Hills couldn’t get any more fun, Rec-Fest organizers found a way! They’ve added games for the kids, a torchlight hike, fireworks, a snowman-making contest and a snow sculpture-creating contest.

* This year you will get to enjoy games, movies and food at the Hood Park Skate Day.

* Events brought back by popular demand from last year’s Rec-Fest include the Chicken-Que, the Frosty Feet Kickball Tournament and the Curling Event.

You can purchase your official 26th Annual Winter Rec-Fest buttons at the Green Island Ice Arena, the Parks & Recreation Office in the La Crosse City Hall, the Southside Neighborhood Center and the Black River Neighborhood Center.

For more information, like a detailed listing of show times, and activity registration and participation requirements, all you have to do is surf over to www.cityoflacrosse.org or call 608-789-7533.

For a detailed schedule of events for the 26th Annual Winter Rec-Fest, which will run from Wednesday, January 18 to Wednesday, February 1, click right here.

Don't Miss Out on New Listings

by Judy Gull

Here’s one more reason (as if you needed another one!) to “See Judy Gull For ALL your Real Estate Needs.” Follow Judy and she will guide you through a free service that can get you into your dream home quickly.

Like many other worthwhile pursuits, house hunting hides a paradox within its intricate, labyrinthine processes and procedures. There are a lot of fairly obvious good things, such as picking out your favorite neighborhoods, popping in to some open houses and mentally decorating your future new home. However, one of the primary and reoccurring difficulties many house hunters run into is trying to keep up with all of the listings of new homes that hit the market in a timely fashion.

Not anymore – if you have an email address, you can use this system.

Judy’s new home listings system is not only free, but also incredibly easy to start. All you have to do is go to this website, enter your email address and some of the criteria you’re looking for in your new home and voila! You’re set.

Within your initial email message, you will see a listing of each and every one of the homes that match the criteria you entered for sale at that time. After that, you will receive a fresh email every morning with new home listings, as well as any changes in previously listed homes.

It is not just anxiety or paranoia to think that you will miss out on your perfect home if you do not take an active role in the hunt. This service provides you with this opportunity and all you have to do is fill out a short form.

If you are still apprehensive about giving your email address to a website, here are some factors that might ease your mind. First, you can discontinue the service at any time. And, Judy Gull will not sell your information to any other website or entity.

So, if you’re house hunting in the La Crosse, Holmen, Onalaska, West Salem and La Crescent areas, give Judy’s new home listings system a try. You have nothing to lose and your dream house to gain!

La Crosse River State Trail

by Judy Gull

La Crosse River State TrailLa Crosse River State Trail is a 21.5 trail along the La Crosse River, a tributary of the Mississippi River here in the La Crosse area. It is one of four state trails; the other three are The Great River, Elroy-Sparta, and the “400” state trail. Together, the state trails cover more than 100 miles.

La Crosse River State Trail links the Great River State Trail with the Elroy-Sparta State Trail. An active rail line runs parallel to a portion of the trail. The river trail was developed from abandoned railroad lines from the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad.

The trail’s countryside comprises prairies, wetlands, forests, streams, and farmlands. There are also a number of parks and campgrounds along the way. The trail itself is composed of packed limestone screenings and bridges. Bicyclists, hikers, anglers, and other outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the river trail from spring through fall, with snowmobiling and cross-country skiing popular in winter months. Guided prairie tours are available, and begin in Rockland.

La Crosse River State Trail connects the villages of Sparta, Rockland, Bangor, West Salem, and Onalaska, from east to west.

Sparta is known as the “Bicycling Capital of America” and Rockland is a small agricultural community.

Bangor was home to Winnebago Indians and later to Welsh residents. An inscribed sandstone cliff runs along Dutch Creek south of Bangor park.

West Salem’s historic locations include the Hamlin Homestead, which belonged to Hamlin Garland, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, and the architecturally-significant Palmer-Gullickson Octagon Home.

Onalaska is surrounded by wooded bluffs that overlook the Mississippi River Valley in the Coulee Region, which is known as a “driftless area” from the time when glaciers bypassed the region. Lake Onalaska is a four-mile wide reservoir on the Mississippi River.

The villages that lie along La Crosse River State Trail have a number of amenities for trail trekkers, including bed and breakfasts, motels, bike repair and service shops, and restaurants and cafés.

There are more than 100 camping sites along the La Crosse River State Trail which include shaded areas, electrical hookups, sanitary stations, drinking water, hot showers, a camp store, fishing pond, playground, and canoe landing. Veterans’ Memorial County Park & Campground is located between Medary and West Salem. State trail passes and camping permits are available through Wisconsin State Park System.

Sand on the Riverfront - Riverfront Park, La Crosse

by Judy Gull

After the success of last year’s event, CenturyLink’s Sand on the Riverfront is back in 2011. The fundraiser, hosted by Riverfront, a nonprofit organization that provides services for the disabled, will take place at Riverside Park in La Crosse August 19-21.

Sand on the Riverfront’s theme for the year will be “Sports of all sorts,” which will include a new event for 2011: a 3-on-3 basketball tournament on the 20th. Riverfront handed out awards to event winners in 2010, but with the organization accepting donations, everyone truly goes home a winner.

Riverfront has been helping disabled adults find employment and homes since it was founded in 1977 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Since then, the nonprofit has expanded to six offices throughout Wisconsin, employing almost 300 people to provide constant support for the state’s disabled community. The organization provides training, living support and recreational programs that allow over 1,700 disabled members of the community to live independently and find success in their lives.

Admission and registration to Sand on the Riverfront is free, but donations will be accepted and support of the Riverfront organization is encouraged. You can find out more about the Riverfront organization or CenturyLink’s Sand on the Riverfront for 2011 at www.riverfrontinc.org, or by calling 608-784-9450. Don’t miss the fun in beautiful downtown La Crosse!

La Crosse Housing Market Staying Strong

by Judy Gull

It’s no secret that housing and real estate markets all over the country have been hurting for the past couple of years, but there are areas that are improving and even showing evidence of growth. La Crosse, Wisconsin is one of those areas that continues to thrive, despite being in a recession. La Crosse has exciting housing trends, as well as plenty of spacious and comfortable living options to offer new home buyers.

In 2011, the La Crosse housing market has seen a sharp increase in median sales price. In January of this year, the median price was $125,500, but in just six months that number has risen to $143,000. With the median sale price climbing, potential home buyers should be encouraged to look for their dream home in the La Crosse area during the remainder of 2011.

Home sales in the area are down from a year ago, but considering that first-time home buyers in La Crosse were supplemented by the Federal Housing Tax Credit Program in 2010, the drop off is not a real setback for the market. In fact, home sales actually increased from May to June, showing that there may be more growth to come later in the year.

The declining unemployment rates in the area make La Crosse real estate a stronger market. According to the Wisconsin Realtors Association, the housing market should receive a healthy boost with more residents working. The state of Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is under the national average and with 25,000 jobs already added this year, things are definitely looking up for the state, the area of La Crosse and for Wisconsin real estate in general.

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

Contact Information

Photo of Judy Gull Real Estate
Judy Gull
RE/MAX First Choice
757 Sand Lake Road
Onalaska WI 54650
Direct: 608-781-7714
Fax: 608-783-4263