Tag Archives: Keefe Real Estate

Welcome Diamond Mortgage

Earlier this year, Keefe Real Estate entered into a strategic partnership with Diamond Residential Mortgage Company.  Diamond has been a part of the Keefe family over the past two years and, moving forward, they will become an increasingly more prominent part of our office.

Christine Clark, Division President, and her team at Diamond have developed relationships with many of our agents and have already worked a number of deals with them.  In addition to our agents trusting Diamond, the Keefe leadership team has gotten to know Diamond’s senior management team and both are excited about this partnership.

Christines new pic
Christine Clark, Division President


Diamond began on the foundation of creating a more family-orientated business.  This family-focus made the partnership between Keefe and Diamond an easy decision.  Both companies are family owned and share similar missions of providing top notch service to customers, while making a difference in the communities we work in.

Additionally, Diamond provides a focus on creating products that agents AND customers are asking for.  To top it off, they provide great service and ease of access.  We couldn’t ask for better partners to help both businesses move forward.

DiamondRMC-LOGOkeefe real estate delavan elkhorn lake geneva

We’re looking forward to a strong partnership with Keefe and Diamond!




Ring in the New Year

If you're still searching for the perfect New Year's Eve plans, look no further!


The Geneva Inn

Enjoy a relaxing New Year’s Eve with the Geneva Inn.  Indulge in a luxurious six-course menu, celebrate with a midnight champagne toast and stay the night in one of The Geneva Inn’s beautiful rooms. Full package details below:

New Year’s Eve Package

  • Accommodations for one night
  • Delicious six course dinner
  • Jazz music by Walter Thomas from 9pm – 12am
  • Champagne toast at midnight
  • Continental breakfast from 8am – 10am

Call (262) 248-5680 for rates and availability

 Santa Cruise

Santa Cruise

The Santa Cruise departs from the winter harbor, located at Gage Marina/Pier 290 at 1 Liechty Drive, Williams Bay.

Enjoy spectacular holiday lights along the Lake Geneva shoreline on your way to see Santa Claus at his North Pole Hideaway.

More information and pricing can be found here

Pier 290


From 9pm – 1am, Pier 290 is the place to be to ring in 2017!  Check out everything included in their Celebration Package below:

  • DJ from 5pm – 9pm
  • Open “call” bar from 9pm – 1am
  • Michael Whalen Band 9pm – 1am
  • Late night snacks
  • Party Favors
  • Midnight cruise includes an open “call” bar and music
  • Champagne Toast
  • Balloon Drop and Streamers

New Year’s Eve Celebration Package – $75 per person (all-inclusive). Call ahead for group rates (262)-245-2100

Cafe Calamari

Cafe CalamariNYE

Enjoy all of the luxury Cafe Calamari typically offers, plus a special New Year’s Eve Menu.

Call now for reservations – (262)245-9665

Lake Geneva Country Meats

champagne 2

Sparkling Wine Tasting
11:00am – 3:00pm

Discover Champagne, Cava, Prosecco and American sparkling wines at Lake Geneva Country Meat’s annual New Year’s Sparkling Wine Tasting.

Cheers to a prosperous New Year!



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

CAUTION: Construction in Lake Geneva!


We have some information on the upcoming and current road construction projects in downtown Lake Geneva per the City of Lake Geneva Street Department. 

In regards to the project on Hwy 50 from the Water Department up the hill to St. Francis, the road will not be being shut down nor closed to thru traffic at any time.  The signs directing you to find an alternative route are there just to help alleviate some traffic from the road during construction time but 90% of the work being done will be done on the side of the road, not on the roadway itself.  When it’s time to pave the new lane, the plan is to work overnight again not causing any major road closings during peak travel times.  Once the work is complete there will be 2 lanes with one center turn lane.

The other project that has caused some disturbance is on South Lake Shore Dr. between Stone Manor and Maytag Point.  This road work being done is for a water main and they expect the work to be complete by the end of June.  It is advised to use caution when traveling this road, especially headed southbound, as there are some rough spots and deep potholes.


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Realtor.com’s Deena Weinberg writes and article tell home buyers what to expect and look for when purchasing or selling your home in the fall months… 

THE REAL ESTATE MARKET is open 365 days a year – yes, even on holidays – but there are cyclical trends to the marketplace. Some of those ups and downs are based on mortgage interest rates and housing availability, but some are based on season.

Next to spring, fall is the busiest season for home buying and selling. Autumn offers certain benefits to home buyers, including year-end tax breaks, pleasant weather conditions for moving and a wide selection of homes for sale. Read on to learn the advantages of buying in the fall.

Year-End Tax Breaks
Come September and October, people start to think about what year-end tax breaks they might be eligible for. Fortunately for home buyers, owning a home can yield great dividends in tax returns. For example, both mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible from gross income. Furthermore, if you have prepaid some interest before the due date of your first payment, and if you close your loan before the year’s end, that interest can also be deducted.

Please, Mr. Postman

Send me news, tips, and promos from realtor.com® and Move.

Getting Ahead of Mother Nature

Buying a house before the deep freeze of winter sets in is very appealing to most home buyers. No one wants to worry about icy roads, snowstorms or blackout conditions on moving day, nor is it fun to move in sweltering summer heat.

School Year and Holidays
By wintertime, kids have settled into school, established friendships and become involved in extracurricular activities. Moving in summer would be least disruptive to your children’s schooling or social calendar, but autumn is next best. Also, by moving in fall, you’ll be settled snugly into your new home before Thanksgiving and the winter holidays.

More Home Choices
While home demand is not as keen in fall as it is in spring, it’s still high, so competition can be high, too. Fall buyers and sellers tend to be motivated to move, unlike the window-shoppers who sometimes come out in spring.

You may experience pressure to buy, due to the quick turnaround of houses on the market, but you’ll also benefit from the broad selection of homes available. In fact, between September and December, you may be able to visit several open houses in a single day, and listings will be updated frequently. Therefore, to make sure you don’t miss out on your dream house, it’s a good idea to regularly check listings and check in with your Realtor.

Fall Home-Buying Tips
Given the home-buying competition and the short, pre-holiday timetable in autumn, you may be tempted to place a bid that is out of your price range, for fear of losing the home. Before you make an offer, know what kind of house you need and what you canrealistically afford, and stick to your budget. You may want to explore prequalifying for a loan so that you’ll be ready to act when you find the home you want. And as always, whatever season you buy in, buy at the best time for you and your family, and hold out for the right house – there are always more homes to see and to choose among.


Lake Geneva Hope Walk

Do you know somebody affected by breast cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer.  And if you’ve met someone going through treatment for breast cancer, you’ve seen how long the journey is and how strong the women are that are fighting it!  We’ve experienced the amazing courage it takes to beat breast cancer within our own family at Keefe Real Estate.  That’s one of the reasons why we’re proud to be a Gold Sponsor for the Lake Geneva HOPE Walk.


The Lake Geneva Hope Walk is a non-competitive walk that raises funds to fight breast cancer. The Hope Walk started when a group of women all realized they knew someone very close that had suffered from breast cancer. They decided to create a fundraiser to help less financially able women in their fight against breast cancer. Each year the Hope Walk has grown to include more and more individuals that come from all over to join in the walk and the fight against breast cancer. This year proceeds go to the Aurora Health Care Breast Treatment Assistance Program. This program helps educate women and defrays medical expenses for uninsured and underinsured women for mammograms.

Are you ready to get involved in the Lake Geneva HOPE Walk?

Here’s how you can participate:

Date:  Always the Last Saturday in September – September 27, 2014
Location:  Library Park in Lake Geneva
Time:  Start between 7-9:00 a.m.  Due to the nature of the lake shore path, there will not be a mass start.
Distance:  Choose your own adventure! :)  Click here for distance options.
Cost:  $35/person with advanced registration or $40/person day of walk.

Registration fee includes t-shirt for the first 300 registrations, snacks, beverages and you’ll support a great cause. Proceeds go to the Aurora Health Care Breast Treatment Assistance Program.

Special Event Information:  Pinwheels – in honor of, or in memory of someone you know that’s battled breast cancer.  Pinwheels are available for a $5 donation.

Face of Hope Contest:  If you’re creative, crafty or clever, this is your chance to shine.  Show up decked out in your best breast cancer awareness costume and make a statement. This year’s Face of Hope winners will be included in the advertising for next year’s Lake Geneva Hope Walk.

lake geneva hope walk winner
2013 Face of Hope Winners – The Humphrey Family

We’re proud to sponsor such an incredible event!  If you’re walking in the Lake Geneva Hope Walk this year, we’d love to honor you.  Feel free to email any of your photos taken that day to socialmedia@keeferealestate.com and you could be featured on our Keefe Real Estate Facebook Page!  Helping in our local communities is the heart of Keefe Real Estate.   Our agents and staff go over and above to support the causes and communities near & dear to their hearts!  Spoiler alert… Keefe Kares… stay tuned for more information!

Closing Your Vacation Home for the Season

As summer turns to fall, many of the residents with second homes in SE Wisconsin will start to close their homes for the season.  Most often people head to warmer climates, or the lake home isn’t conducive to using in the winter while the kids are in school and the weather is blustery. PhantomLake

Leaving your lake home alone can become an expensive proposition if things go wrong in your absence. And more often than not, things do go wrong.

Here’s a few tips to help you avoid having emergencies arise while you aren’t using your vacation home.

Turn off your furnace and air conditioner to save money!

Turn off your main water shut-off valve!  Water, both in the liquid and vapor state, is your biggest enemy. The water in regular household plumbing supply lines is under significant pressure. If a pipe or washing machine supply hose bursts, thousands of gallons of water can begin to flood the home. Imagine the nightmare if you lived in a condo and the water lines above your unit burst. The damage would unbelievable.  Also, make sure to drain the water lines so the pipes don’t freeze!

Drain the hot-water tank and water softener! Pour non-toxic antifreeze into all toilet bowls, sinks, tubs, showers, washing-machine drains and floor drains. This antifreeze can often be purchased at recreational vehicle or marine supply houses.

Call a plumber to shut off the water outside your home! It is entirely possible for the plumbing line on the street side of your main shut-off to freeze and burst if it gets cold enough inside the house during your absence.

Turn off all non-essential electrical circuit breakers. Only leave on those circuits that control security lighting. Electrical fires can and do happen even when an appliance or fixture is in the off position.

Empty all perishable food from your refrigerator.

Turn off your natural gas or propane supply valve outside your house if at all possible. Contact your local utility company or fuel supplier for help with this job.

Notify your local police and fire departments before you leave. Be sure they know how to reach you.

And if you’re planning on selling your home, over the winter months, now is the time to connect with a Realtor so you can get beautiful outdoor photos while the grass is still green and there’s still lush foliage on the trees.  Once the snow flies, it’ll be months before you can showcase the beautiful landscaping you’ve worked so hard on.  Contact a Keefe Real Estate Agent now to start building a file that will help market your home better when you’re ready to sell! (800)690-2292

Lake Geneva Music in the Park Schedule 2014

Lake Geneva Music in the Park

2014 Schedule for Lake Geneva Concerts in the Park is out!

One of the joys about living in SE Wisconsin is all the wonderful activities we have all summer long!  Many of the things to do around Lake Geneva are family friendly.  A great opportunity to spend a beautiful evening enjoying music and overlooking the lake is at the free concerts in the park.

Lake Geneva Concerts in the Park are on Thursday nights, all summer long, from 6:00-8:00 p.m.  Flat Iron Park is where you’ll see the live entertainment in Lake Geneva.  If you’re not familiar with where Flat Iron Park is, it’s the triangle shaped park between Wrigley Drive and Center Street (in front of Sprecher’s Restaurant).  Just look for the gazebo!

This summer’s line up is sure to have something for everybody!  Bring your lawn chairs or a blanket, pack a picnic dinner (or get carryout from any of the local restaurants (Sprecher’s Pub, Gino’s East, or Popeye’s are all right there) and bring the whole family.  The music will be great, and you can’t beat the views being along the lakeshore!

Here’s the Schedule for Lake Geneva Concerts in the Park 2014

Thursday, July 3rd – Project Two Music

Project Two will take on downtown Lake Geneva with an exciting evening of Rock Broadway hits! Hear a variety of tunes from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to ABBA and the “Rock of Ages!”

Thursday, July 10th – Peter Guerin Show

Peter Guerin is actually three unique performances.  The Crooners – Frank & Dean, Juke Box Days and of course Elvis!

Thursday, July 17th – Local Favorites Mark & Gretch

Mark , Gretch & Jo offer a unique hybrid of a high energy vocal group, professionally produced sound tracks & live instrumentation.  You’ll be delighted to hear tunes from the 30’s & 4o’s, swing & big band, 50’s & 60’s Bob, Rockabilly and Motown all the way up to current pop, rock & country!

Thursday, July 24 – Another Local Favorite The Mr. Myers Band

Mr. Myers plays Caribbean Rock – a mixture of Reggae, Calypso, Jimmy Buffet, Beach music and their own originals.  Featuring colorful steel drums, percussion and strong vocals, Mr. Myers entertains a wide variety of audiences!  Bring the kids down for some fun songs and even a limbo contest!

Thursday, July 31st – The Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra

LGSO is a fully volunteer ensemble comprised of musicians from throughout southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.  In the LGSO everyone from professional musicians to high school students come together to perform the world’s greatest music.

Thursday, August 7th – The Kal Bergendahl Project

The Kal Bergendahl Project (KBP) was formed in 2005 and is made up of several diverse musicians spanning southeast Wisconsin. The groups founder, Kal Bergendahl embarked on this project venturing to combine smooth soulful jazz with edgy funk.

Thursday, August 14th – No Concert! It’s Venetian Fest!  Come on down and enjoy the carnival and festivities!

Thursday, August 21st – The Groundspeed Bluegrass Band

Groundspeed Bluegrass Band performs a mix of traditional bluegrass and newgrass tunes – keeping the tradition alive! The bands four members blend banjo, guitar, dobro fiddle and upright bass delivering the unmistakable and original sounds of American Bluegrass!

Thursday, August 28th – The Grand Finale of the Season – Lake Geneva House of Music

The Lake Geneva House of Music presents its Intermediate Group student band (ages 9-12) performing a Beatles tribute.  The Advanced group students (Ages 13-17) performing a variety of popular American and British rock music hits!  These kids are terrific, come on down and show your support of our local youth!

If you’re looking for more great music around the lake, check out Pier 290 on weekends or Music by the Lake in Williams Bay!  We’re very fortunate to have such great talent and support for entertainment arts!  We hope you get to take in a great show this summer and help us support the performers!



Planning Ahead to Sell Your Wisconsin Home

Summer in Southeastern Wisconsin invites sunshine, blooming flowers, kids playing in the yard and fresh air!  Great change of pace from winter where we all hibernate for a few months.

lake geneva party

Taking advantage of all the beauty summer offers can reap your rewards (and profits) down the road if you find yourself listing your Wisconsin home for sale in the winter or early spring!  Here’s a few tips to help you plan ahead:

Take photographs of your gardens while they are in full bloom!  You can talk all you want about how your gardens won awards with the local horticultural society, but if it’s January and the gardens are buried under 2 feet of snow, it’s really hard for a potential buyer to visualize it.  So take photos now and when the time comes create a photo album or data sheet with pictures of your beautiful flowers.  It’ll add value and take any worry off the shoulders of buyers that don’t want a project the minute they move in.

Stain or paint the deck, pier or trim! With warmer weather and sunshine it’s a good time to stain or paint your deck, pier & trim around the house!  These projects often go overlooked until the weather is too cold to do anything about it.  If your deck or trim are in need of some attention and the possibility exists that you’ll be listing your home for sale, take action now!  Buyers are looking to move right in and enjoy the home so the more you can have move in ready, the more value they’ll see in your home.  Again, once you touch up the trim or stain the deck or paint the pier, get photos while it’s crisp, clean and fresh to help market your home in the winter months.

Sort through your personal possessions and simplify!  Summer is a great time for cleaning out things you’ve been storing with hopes of someday using… or things that found their way into your basement via friends, family or co-workers that insisted you “needed” it!  Yes, it’s also a great time for rummage sales!  So using the nice weather to simplify your personal possessions while putting things you don’t need in a rummage sale will put you light years ahead when the time comes to list your home for sale.  When you’re marketing your home, you want buyers to feel welcome and see how spacious your rooms are.  You want them to be able to envision themselves living there.  So minimizing your personal possessions while putting a little extra $$ in your pocket definitely helps!

lakeside deck for lake geneva real estate

To discuss your specific home and lay out a plan for getting your home ready to sell, connect with a Realtor to help you put all the pieces of your puzzle together.  There’s many steps that go into getting your home ready to sell.  The more preliminary homework you can accomplish, the easier it will be when the time comes to market and sell your Wisconsin property.

You can chat with an agent live via the Live Chat here on our website 365 days a year!  You can also call our office  toll free at (800)690-2292 or visit one of 7 Keefe Real Estate offices in Southeastern Wisconsin.  We’re happy to help make the process of selling your home smoother and add more profits to your bottom line!

Keefe Lake Geneva – (262) 248-4492

Keefe Burlington – (262) 763-5454

Keefe Delavan – (262) 728-8757

Keefe Elkhorn – (262) 743-1770

Keefe Geneva National – (262) 245-2380

Keefe Abbey Springs – (262) 275-5736

Downtown Lake Geneva Office – (262) 249-5441