Tag Archives: keefe real estate lake geneva

Letter from the Chairman

At the close of this year, I will be ending my 40+ career as the Chief Executive Officer of Keefe Real Estate.

It seems pretty incredible for me to say that, and even harder to imagine. However, my son Tom will be taking the reins, and I couldn’t be more proud or confident in his capability and desire. He will continue the family legacy but will shepherd our company into the new millennium and initiate new corporate frontiers scarcely imaginable all those years ago. It’s hard to recall or even imagine the evolution of real estate values from that time to today, but suffice it to say, I remember several milestones from long ago, like buying my first home in Geneva Bay Estates for $52,000, or my Dad purchasing

Michael Keefe of Keefe Real Estate, Inc.
Michael Keefe of Keefe Real Estate, Inc.

a spectacular home on the lake in Williams Bay with 300+ feet of lakefront, four or five acres of land, with greenhouses and a beautiful boat house for $325,000. And, by the way, he felt that he paid too much! If that were listed today, I’m pretty sure it would sell in the eight figures. For those who doubt the long term value of what we sell, it’s helpful to have that perspective. Being involved this long in a family company translates to a lot more than dollars and cents.

Keefe Real Estate is and always has been a home to me and many of our employees. Close associates from the early days are largely gone now, but many of their children and grandchildren are still close and some even work with us today. The wonderful memories are treasures that will never leave me, and I’m sure the same will be true for Tom and his colleagues. I still get calls from my Dad’s old buddies and children of his friends inquiring about something or the other, or just stopping by to say hello and touch base. This is always very special to me and continues to delight even as it becomes less frequent.

Keefe Real Estate
Michael Keefe and Tom Keefe


I will continue to be involved in the company as a member of the Board of Directors, and Tom has seen fit to share some office space with me. I intend to continue to show up to offer solicited, and probably unsolicited advice, and remain very active in the development side of our business as well as the management of the numerous commercial properties I have in the area. Tom will also benefit from the ongoing role that our long-time President, Steve Beers, will play in the company.


From the outside it may not look dramatically different but, believe me, there is a lot going on behind the scenes keeping our real estate company in the forefront of a very dynamic industry.

See you on the water, or in the halls of our office. I may even write a guest column now and then.

-Mike Keefe, Chairman of the Board | Keefe Real Estate Inc.

A Time to Give

Keefe Kares check presentation to LG Food Pantry
Members of the Keefe Kares Team present a check to the Lake Geneva Food Pantry #GivingTuesday

Here at Keefe Real Estate, we feel that it is important that we give back in a tangible and meaningful way to help improve the quality of life in the communities we serve. Though giving back has always been something we value, we started Keefe Foundation, Inc. in 2006 as a matching funds program. Since then the Keefe Foundation has evolved into Keefe Kares, a program that is now so much more.

A big part of fundraising efforts by the Keefe Kares team at Keefe Real Estate, goes towards supporting the local food pantries in Walworth County. These local shelters help support families and individuals in Walworth County who may be going through tough times.

“I can’t thank you enough for your support. Your generosity means so much to the nearly 200 people and children we serve each year; gifts like this help families stay together and get back on their feet.” – Twin Oaks Shelter

How can you help? Contact your local food pantries in Walworth County to learn more about supporting families in need during the holiday season.


Lake Geneva Food Pantry

First Congregational United Church of Christ
715 Wisconsin Street
Lake Geneva, WI 53147

WC Resource Center Food Pantry
N3252 Hwy H
Lake Geneva WI  53147
Wednesdays 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.;
Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Serves all of Walworth County

Mount Zion Christian Church
2330 Hwy 120
Lake Geneva, WI 53147
Saturday –  9 – 11 a.m.


Chapel on the Hill
N2440 Ara Glenn Drive
Williams Bay, WI 53191
Emergencies only. No regular hours.


Elkhorn Food Pantry
14 W Geneva Street
Elkhorn, WI 53121
Monday –  9.- 11 a.m.
Wednesday –  9 – 11 a.m.
Friday –  9 – 11 a.m.
Serves only people in Elkhorn Area School District


St. Catherine Catholic Church
125 Pearl Street
Sharon, WI 53585
Call for appointment


Delavan United Methodist Church Food Pantry
Delavan, WI – 53115
Food Pantry Location: 7.17 miles from Walworth Hours: Wednesdays 9:00 am – 12:00pm and 1:00pm – 3:00pm

St. Andrew’s Catholic Church
7th & Walworth Avenue.
Delavan, WI 53115
Saturday  –  8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
262-728-4438 or 262-728-6567 (Emergency #)


Twin Oaks Homeless Shelter
W9665 US Highway 14
Darien, WI 53114
262-882-3662 (For Shelter residents only)


2861 Austin Street – Village of East Troy Garage (rear)
East Troy WI  53120
Tuesday – 7:30 – 11 a.m.
Thursday – 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Friday –  9 – 11 a.m.


Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry
United Methodist Church
518 Booth Street
Genoa City, WI 53128
Thursday –  9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. or by appointment
262-279-6448 | 262-279-3270


Corner Stone Church
1553 Church Street
Lyons, WI 53148
Call for appointment Only


Immanuel United Church of Christ
111 Fremont Street
Walworth, WI 53184
Friday –  2 – 4 p.m.
Saturday –  9 – 11 a.m.

(Fontana, Walworth, & Zenda areas only)


National Guard Armory
146 West North Street
Whitewater, WI 53190
Wednesday –  9 am – noon. Thursday –  9 am – noon. Other times by appointment. Wheelchair accessible.

About Keefe Kares:

Under the Keefe Foundation, Keefe Kares collects and matches funds from our agents and employees. Based on guidelines it has established, the Keefe Kares Board then distributes these funds to charitable 501 c 3 service organizations. Keefe Kares members also volunteer their time. They serve on non-profit boards and committees, coach or mentor others, and provide hours of service to local charities and their events.

To finish each year, the foundation hosts an annual Keefe Kares Celebration to acknowledge the hard work of the organizations that we support. The event includes silent and live auctions, food and entertainment. Though the annual event is a part of the funds that we collect and distribute each year, the primary focus is on celebrating the communities that we support.

To learn more about Keefe Kares visit our website at www.keeferealestate.com/keefekares

Keefe Real Estate Charitable Foundation

Keefe Voted Best Real Estate Company in Walworth County for 4 Consecutive Years

The votes have been tallied and the results of this year’s Best of Walworth County Businesses are in!

best of walworth county real estateWith over 1,000 votes Keefe Real Estate continues to hold the Best Real Estate Company in Walworth County for the 4th consecutive year!  “We’re honored to be voted the Best in Walworth County again,” says Chris DeVincentis, managing broker.  “Our agents are so in tune with helping their clients and customers.  And we’re behind them helping with the administrative side of the business.  We’re truly a T.E.A.M.  Together Everyone Achieves More!”

With 7 offices, Keefe Real Estate serves all of Southeastern Wisconsin in all aspects of real estate.  From land development to residential real estate and commercial real estate, our Realtors have the best training, most experience and have an incredibly detail-oriented team supporting them to make sure your real estate transaction moves to closing as smoothly as possible.

To connect with one of our Best of Walworth County Real Estate Agents, call toll free (800)690-2292 during business hours, or reach an agent live via the Live Chat here on our website!  We’re happy to answer all your questions and help you and your family with your real estate needs. 

It’s an honor to serve as the best real estate company in Walworth County for 4 years running!  We appreciate your business and look forward to exceeding your expectations in your next real estate sale or purchase!

Yes – Curb Appeal IS a Really Big Deal when selling your home

If you’ve watched HGTV for hours on end, or you’ve followed real estate websites you continue to hear the gurus talking about how important your curb appeal is.

Well, we’ve got news for you… Curb Appeal IS a really, REALLY big deal! 

curb appeal selling my house lake geneva wiIt is especially true when you’re trying to sell your home in Southeastern Wisconsin.  Real Estate involves more than sticking a sign in the ground and hoping the right buyer drives past at the perfect time and writes you an out of this world offer.  Truth:  Real estate doesn’t work that way.  It takes planning and work to get your home ready to list and then marketed to the fullest.  With that said, we want to help you with a few tips to help your curb appeal so the buyers will follow through and request a showing to see more!

1.  Maintain the roof, chimney & gutters!  Make sure you don’t have any missing shingles and that the roof isn’t at the end of it’s life.  The same can be said for your chimney, no missing bricks and if any of the mortar is loose, have a chimney professional come out and tuck-point it.  With gutters, make sure they are cleaned out (we don’t want to see last years acorns growing into trees out of your gutters.)

2.  Maintain your windows & trim!  We all hear about spring and fall cleaning.  Well the time is now, when you’re planning on listing your Wisconsin home for sale to wash all your windows, inside & out.  Let the light in and showcase the home you are so proud of better.  You’ll also want to make sure that all the exterior trim is in good condition.  If you’re seeing peeling paint, buyers are thinking “needs too much work” even if you’ve completely renovated your entire kitchen, baths and family room inside.

3.  Get the grime off!  While it may have been very low on your priority list (if even on the list at all) now is a good time to have the exterior of your home power washed.  It’ll show how nice your siding or brick exterior is.  It’ll also get rid of any unsavory mildew that has potentially sprouted on the North side of your home that doesn’t get the sun.

4.  Make your entrance welcoming!  Now would be the perfect time to update your front door.  Install something as nice as you can afford.  Buyers appreciate a high end door that features a window or transom windows on either side.  While you’re working around the door, pick up some classy new house numbers that are easy to see from the road and look polished.  Lighting is also a major contributor to curb appeal.  Make sure your yard light is in tune with your entry, whether it be a porch, or along your driveway.

5.  Upgrade your mailbox!  With so many options on the market these days, a cheap, dented metal mailbox will give the wrong impression about your home.  Sometimes, neighborhoods have a uniform look and you’ll want to comply with what the standards are.  Take a visit to your local home improvement store to see what options would look best when you’re looking at your home from the street as buyers will be doing.

FrontPorch1By spending the time to get your Southeastern Wisconsin home polished and ready before you list it for sale, you’ll be pleased to see the buyers being more committed and writing you a stronger offer.  What is a “minor repair” in your eyes as a homeowner, spells $$ to buyers.  And unless you are selling your home as a fixer upper, buyers want to get the best value for a home in excellent condition that they can move into immediately with their family!

If you aren’t sure which projects are most important to help your home show better and sell higher, get a professional opinion from a Realtor.  We see houses everyday, 365 days a year for a living.  We know what buyers are looking for, what they expect and what’s unacceptable to them.

Call one of our local offices toll free (800) 690-2292 or start a Live Chat right here on our website.  With Keefe Real Estate being the largest, most successful real estate company in Walworth County, we have the most experience and are happy to help you sell your home successfully! curb appeal donts

Southeastern Wisconsin Real Estate Update

The real estate housing statistics have been compiled for the housing numbers in Wisconsin through May.  Looking specifically at Southeastern Wisconsin, real estate has shown a slight uptick compared to a year ago and over last month.

se wisconsin real estate

According to the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association, the Southeastern Wisconsin region, has experienced a 15% growth in the number of homes sold this May compared to May 2012.  Year to date in 2013 (January – May) total growth of 12.8% higher than we were last year at this time.

Because Walworth County has the lakes area, we also took a look at specific statistics for this region.  The vacation home market impacts the sales price of local properties especially around Lake Geneva, Delavan Lake, Fontana, Williams Bay and North of Elkhorn in Sugar Creek and LaGrange townships.  In May, 137 homes sold in Walworth County.  That’s the same number we had last May as well. The median sales price for homes in Walworth County that have sold in May was $157,900 – up from $147,900 in May of 2012.  However, figures are down 6% from April 2013 in Walworth County.

Lake Geneva and Southeastern Wisconsin Real Estate Summary

This means that having a pulse on the local real estate market is more critical than ever.  You hear reports on national news both on television and online about how the market has dramatically increased.  And while overall, our local market has shown steady signs of activity, there’s nothing like the statistics to help you understand what you are looking at for buying or selling your home.

Thus, having a REALTOR® help answer your questions and help you to determine the value of your home in our local market compared to the statistics of what has sold recently is more imperative now than ever.  The market changes and having a professional work on your behalf that has a detailed understanding of the real estate market in your community as well as understanding your property specifically will benefit you more now than ever.

Keefe Real Estate has 7 offices throughout Southeastern Wisconsin to best serve you.  Abbey Springs, Burlington, Delavan, Elkhorn, Geneva National, Lake Geneva (Downtown & the business center next to Walmart.)  Contact your local Keefe office to speak in detail with a REALTOR® about your property or what you are searching for.

Call any of our offices toll free at (800) 690-2292 or utilize the “Live Chat” here on our website: www.KeefeRealEstate.com

walworth county real estate market

Sales estimates for the state are provided by the National Association of REALTORS®, which seasonally adjusts quarterly sales figures. All county figures on sales volume and median prices are compiled by the WRA and are not seasonally adjusted. Median prices are only computed if the county recorded at least 10 home sales in the quarter. Beginning in 2010, all historical sales volume and median price data at the county level have been re-bench marked using the Techmark system, which accesses MLS data directly and in real time.

Why Lake Geneva WI Ranks 10th Nationally for Vacation Home Destinations

lake geneva wi barrons best vacation retreatsThe Lake Geneva vacation home real estate market ranks 10th in the nation for 2012.  Surprised?  Not us!

Recently Barron’s just issued their list for America’s best retreats.  Lake Geneva, WI came it at number 10 following Wailea, Hawaii.  There’s a lot of reasons why people begin the process of buying a vacation home in Lake Geneva.  While you’ve heard Lake Geneva referred to as The Hamptons of the Midwest, we’ve seen an increase in the number of vacation homes selling and their average sale price comparing the last few years.

lake geneva lakefront real estate agents
2012 Geneva Lakefront Market Share for Homes Successfully Sold

2012 was an election year, so anytime you face political change, the real estate economy is invariably impacted.  For this election, many people were sitting on the fence about purchasing their vacation homes.  They didn’t know what the impact would be of whomever became president.  Once the election was decided and several new tax laws were drafted, people began to realized they wanted to take action before those laws went into effect.  Thus creating a very busy 4th quarter with buyers making decisions and write offers, which has additionally carried over into 2013.

The average price of a Lake Geneva lakefront property for 2012 was $2.35M, with the highest property sale in many years being sold last year by 2 Keefe Real Estate agents.  The Folly closed for $7.1M second only to Casa Del Sueno for highest purchase price on Geneva Lake.  Keefe Real Estate also sold Casa Del Sueno in 2004 for $9.7M.

People are looking to purchase vacation homes in Lake Geneva WI for a number of reasons.  First, the charm and history of the lake provides endless opportunities for families to make great memories.  With so many resorts in the area, Lake Geneva provides a warm, community feel with first class spas, golf courses and sailing that rivals any coastal resort town.

In addition, people that are purchasing vacation homes in Lake Geneva, as well as on Delavan Lake, Lauderdale or Twin Lakes are looking at the income opportunities available by using their home as a vacation rental.  At Keefe, we offer service at an experiential level.  Keefe Resort Rentals offers full service vacation rental management.  They handle everything for property owners from marketing and finding guests to coordinating payments from guests and cleaning of the vacation property once the guests have left.

If you have been thinking about whether it’s the right time for your family to purchase a vacation home, we’re here to help you look at the market and find the best value for your family.  Connect with a Keefe Real Estate agent in one of our 7 offices by calling (800) 690-2292 or utilize the “Live Chat” here on our website: www.KeefeRealEstate.com

With Lake Geneva, WI ranking #10 for America’s Best Resort Towns according to Barrons, one thing is certain;  more people are going to be discovering everything there is to love about Lake Geneva than ever before.  Now, you have the opportunity to be a pioneer!SOLD_2012WalworthCtyVolume_LOGO

Keefe Real Estate Welcomes New Realtor

lake geneva wi real estate agents
Courtney Lorenz – Realtor with Keefe Real Estate, Lake Geneva

Courtney Lorenz has joined Keefe Real Estate, Inc.

Married to Mike Lorenz, both Courtney and Mike are graduates of UW Madison.  The couple is currently raising their family in Lake Geneva, WI.   They have two children; Elle 4 years old and Ivan who is 2 years old.  Mike is a Teacher and Offensive Line Football Coach at Badger High School.  Courtney & Mike both love to give back to the community.  It’s part of what makes Courtney want to help other families find the perfect home to settle into.

“We’re excited to have Courtney in our Lake Geneva Keefe office,” says Chris DeVincentis, Managing Broker.  “Courtney is so helpful.  I’m confident she’ll help her clients tremendously when making one the most important decision of their lives.”

Courtney Lorenz will be working out of the Keefe Real Estate office in Lake Geneva at 751 Geneva Parkway.  For help purchasing your first home, selling your property or finding the home of your dreams, contact Courtney at: (262) 248-4492.