Tips to get the most out of the website.

Tips to get the most out of the website.

Over the years has become a go-to source for prospective buyers looking to find their dream lake home in the Northwoods. Users appreciate the abundance of information on the lakes and the ease of tracking the new listings.

There is, however, so much more you can squeeze out of the website.  

Users can...

Sign up for mailing notifications: 
Options are Immediate, Daily, or Weekly notifications. We don't want you to be bothered more than you want to be bothered.  If you are just getting your feet wet with the idea of buying a lake home, a weekly notification will probably suffice (Weekly notifications are sent out every Sunday morning).  If you are getting pretty serious about your search, but can't spend your whole work day looking at lake properties, maybe a daily notification would be more appropriate (Daily notifications are sent out at 5:30 every evening). If you are determined to buy a property and not miss out on the next opportunity than you should be on the Immediate notification list (sent out within 10 minutes of a property being listed).

Sign up for lake notifications:
You may have a particular lake that you grew up going to that you consider "your lake", or maybe you love the lake that your friends have a place, or - after researching all of the lakes on - you have a list of favorites that you would like to live on. These are all reasons to sign up for lake notifications. You don't have to sift through all of the new listings to make sure you aren't missing out on a property on the lake you desire. Just sit back and wait for the notification to come in (which gets sent out within 10 minutes of being listed).

Set a Notification Search Criteria:
Perhaps you don't want to limit your search to a particular lake (or lakes), but you do have some parameters to your search. You are already familiar with searches that allow you to filter by price and area. Gold Bar Realty steps it up a notch by including lake and lot information categories as well. You may know that you want to find a home priced between $600,000 - $900,000 with at least 3 bedrooms, a garage, 150' of sandy lake frontage, and on a lake that is at least 200 acres with a clarity of at least 10'. allows you to create that search and be notified of it. Again, you don't NEED to be scouring the listings trying to find the perfect fit (I know it's fun for some of you). You can simply set your search criteria and wait for the right properties to come available.

Save Searches:
If you are like me and have the tendency to constantly change your search criteria, you may want to take advantage of Saved Searches. You may have one search saved that focuses on your house criteria, another search that focuses on your lake criteria, another search that focuses on location, and perhaps a holy grail that combines all of them into one. You can save as many searches as you want and save time by simply clicking on the saved search instead of constantly changing the criteria.

Identify Favorites:
Once you get familiar with all of the tools the website offers, you will start to appreciate the "Dashboard" that puts YOUR search at your fingertips.  It's in the dashboard that you will see any listings or lakes that you have marked as a "favorite". This makes it easy to refer back to the listings/lakes that you thought would be the best fits for you. Maybe you want to show your significant other or your kids or your friends. It's easy to do, too. Each listing has a little star that can be selected. Clicking the star sends the listing straight to your favorites. With lakes, you are automatically selecting it as a favorite when you sign up for notifications on the lake. 

Show/Hide Accepted Offers:
Do you ever get frustrated seeing properties of interest just to find out that they are already under contract? With you can simply check the box that removes these listings from the search results. Some buyers would prefer not to spend time or energy on listings that are no longer available and instead focus on the opportunities that remain. 

So far, we've only talked about website tools that are available to every user of the site. For those of you that sign up to be a client of Gold Bar Realty, there are a couple of more tools available that can take your search to the next level.

Property Reports:
Having a listing pique your interest is one thing, but getting to the point where you're comfortable enough to seriously consider it can take more time and research. In a market where properties are selling quickly, buyers are forced to react with speed. Unfortunately, when you are 3, 4, 5, maybe even 6 hours away it can be really difficult. My goal with property reports is to provide our clients with firsthand information of the property to put an answer to some of the question marks that you may have. What is the frontage like? Is there a garage? How many steps are there to get to the lake? Are the neighbors close by? Is the basement as nice as it looks in the pictures? Etc. Etc. We spend a lot of our time previewing listings to gather this information for you. Oftentimes there is a video to go with it as well. This is an opportunity to get the good, bad, and ugly on properties. It's not uncommon for the property report to shed light on aspects of a property that make it less appealing. That's ok. It's better to find that out from home than to make a long drive only to be disappointed. Other times, the property report and video will reaffirm your beliefs about a particular property and motivate you to schedule a time to make a trip up. This feature is only available to clients of Gold Bar Realty because there are real estate disclosure laws in place that basically say that agents are working for the seller until there is a contract in place with the buyer. The good news is being a client is painless and ultimately a very good thing. You can contact me to find out more about it.

Sold Searches:
This is a tool that can really help get you calibrated to the market that we are in. The search is set up like other searches that you are familiar with, but the difference is that the only results are properties that have already sold. How is this helpful, you might ask? Prices have increased over the last few years and most buyers understand this. They are willing to pay a "fair" price, but not an "exorbitant" price.  So, let's say you found a property on one of your favorite lakes. You are interested but have no idea if it's priced fairly. You can use the sold search tool to find other properties with a similar home size, in a similar area, on a lake with similar features that have sold within the last 6 months (or 3, or 1, or whatever you set the filter to). When you see these results and the sales prices to go with it, you will feel more comfortable with the current pricing and more confident in determining what a "fair" price may be. Of course, we'd gladly help you with this as well.

We love hearing all of the compliments on the website and we're glad that it's been helpful to so many buyers. We believe, though, that many users are only scratching the surface of what the site is capable of. If you are interested in any of the tools listed above and a more complete Gold Bar experience, please reach out to us so we can make sure you are set up to take advantage of the tools available.

In the meantime, Happy Browsing!

Posted By: Adam Gohlke - March 14, 2023, 5:49 p.m.