Life is Better at the Lake

On Thursday, July 25, d’aprile properties once again held its Lake Geneva Boat Tour event! Because a majority of second home buyers in the Geneva Lake market reside in the Chicagoland communities we serve daily, this annual tour is a fantastic opportunity to better acquaint our Illinois-based agents with the area, and enjoy a fun day together in the sun.

Our day began at the Lake Geneva Yacht Club, who served as both our boarding location, and the event space for our after party! Our gracious hosts provided their pier, so that all in attendance could climb aboard The Walworth, also known also as the U.S. Mailboat. The ship is an extremely versatile setting, hosting a variety of special events such as weddings, anniversary parties, and business meetings. Tonight, it would play host to approximately 100 real estate professionals, all looking forward to seeing all the beauty and excitement that Geneva Lake has to offer.

Our agents were treated to an hour of refreshments, cocktails, and plenty of crisp and clean lake air, which was good for the senses and for the soul. The entire party then disembarked in order to take a private tour of Black Point Manor, a one-of-a-kind architectural masterpiece sitting on five acres, with a private lagoon, perennial gardens, and 464 feet of level lake frontage.

The listing is presented by our very own Wendy Murphy, and is currently offered at $8,495,000.

Back on the boat, our d’aprile properties team members enjoyed a beautiful sunset, before heading back to the yacht club for a private open-deck cocktail party, where they dined and danced the night away.

This amazing event is one of the highlights of the d’aprile properties calendar, and we want to thank all of our partners and attendees who combined to make this year’s tour a wild success. We’re already looking forward to next year!

What To Do In Wisconsin This Summer

Photo by Emre Kuzu from Pexels

While there’s fun to be had in Wisconsin year-round, spring and summer are particularly action-packed. Whether you’re in town for beautiful beaches, family fun in the Dells, or you’re a full-time resident looking for something new to try, check out our curated guide to summertime festivals and special events, all coming soon to Wisconsin.

June 22-23
Cedarburg Strawberry Festival
This 34th annual festival celebrates the strawberry, with live music, arts and crafts vendors, wine and beer tents, live music, and strawberry-centric food. The Cedar Quacker Race pits 500 rubber ducks against one another and is held at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. each day. Washington Avenue in Cedarburg, WI.

June 22
Midsummer Fest
A festival honoring the earliest immigrants to Southwestern Wisconsin, this event includes demonstrations of blacksmithing, rope making and others, plus traditional Norwegian food, horse and wagon rides, scavenger hunts, and hiking. Norskedalen Nature Heritage Center in Coon Valley, WI.

June 28
Comedian Jim Gaffigan
Jim Gaffigan is a three-time Grammy-nominated comedian, actor, writer, producer, two-time New York Times best-selling author, Emmy-winning top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling father of five. He is known around the world for his unique brand of humor, which largely revolves around his observations on life. Crystal Grand Music Theatre, Wisconsin Dells, WI.

June 27-29
Wisconsin State Button Show
Whether you’re looking for arts and crafts ideas, costuming or sewing materials, or you’re a serious button collector, this three day event at the Sheraton Madison Hotel offers vendors, educational displays, and even a juried button competition. Madison, WI.

June 28-30
Wisconsin Comic Convention
Featured exhibitors will display collectibles, magazines, anime, cosplay, apparel, and of course comic books at the Wisconsin Center. Stars like Sean Astin (Sam) from The Lord of the Rings, Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura) from Star Trek, and Ray Park (Darth Maul) from Star Wars are the featured guests. Milwaukee, WI.

July 4
Fontana Fireworks
The Village of Fontana ignites their annual fireworks display over Geneva Lake. Spread out a blanket and find a perfect spot to watch at The Abbey Harbor lawn. Fontana-on-Geneva Lake, WI.

July 11-14
Elkhorn Ribfest
This national rib competition includes four days of rib sampling, an artisan vendor area, carnival rides, live music, and an opportunity for you to weigh, too, via the People’s Choice Award ballots, available in the t-shirt booth. Elkhorn, WI.

July 18-21
Country Thunder
This year, Chris Stapleton headlines Wisconsin’s premier country music festival. Other big names include Jake Owen, Tim McGraw, and Lonestar. Twin Lakes, WI.

July 20
Jimmy Buffett
Are you a Parrothead? If not, here’s your chance to get a taste of “vitamin sea” when Jimmy Buffet sets sail at the Alpine Valley Music Theater. Lawn and VIP seating available. Elkhorn, WI.

July 20-21
Maxwell Street Days Flea Market
More than 650 vendors display their crafts, produce, plants, tools, and more. Mukwonago, WI.

July 26-28
Shake the Lake
This three day music festival at Lake Lawn Resort also features a bags competition, food trucks, activities for kids, and headlining bands Who’s Bad (a Michael Jackson tribute band) and Journey Recaptured, a Journey-inspired band. Delavan, WI.

August 1-4
U.S. Open Chainsaw Sculpture Competition
Top competitors from Tennessee, Minnesota, Alabama, Japan, and Germany will show off their chainsaw skills. Beyond the matches, there will be demonstrations, social hours, bounce castles, and family-friendly fun at the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum. Eau Claire, WI.

Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful…


We live in the Midwest, and let’s face it – while the nation’s heartland boasts the best people and some truly breathtaking surroundings, the weather in winter months can be a bit… fickle. When you consider that we typically don’t thaw out until well into March or April, the kickoff to the real estate season often begins under a blanket of white.

You want to put your home on the market early, to maximize its selling potential. But by doing so, you may be presented with unique challenges brought on by the season. Cold temperatures can keep customers away from open houses. Shoppers are forced to remove their shoes, or subject themselves to the dreaded plastic ‘bootie’. Worst of all? That beautifully landscaped front yard, one of the key selling points to your property, may be buried under a foot of white powder.

So how can you be sure that people see the true beauty of your home, when all of its curb appeal has been greedily pocketed by Old Man Winter? You put your faith in your d’aprile realtor, that’s how! An experienced agent knows that first impressions can make or break a sale. It’s their responsibility to ensure that your potential buyers are WOWED by the interior of your home as soon as they step inside. 



Yes, your flashy contemporary kitchen or your enormous master bedroom closet may get mouths watering, but first you have to get people inside the door. Believe it or not, the entrance to your home can make or break a shopper’s opinion in the first few seconds. A bold splash of welcoming color or a strategically placed piece of artwork can be candy for the senses and will leave shoppers hungry to see more. 

By allowing your dedicated agent to help you stage a dynamic foyer, you’ll create the perfect way to greet your visitors by stimulating their senses and tapping into their emotions. Consider the following:

A Warm Invitation: What better way to make an impression in harsh winter than by making guests feel cozy the moment they enter? Consider defining the entryway with a bold color (such as rich red or mustard yellow) that will exude a warm welcome. From there, a nice runner just inside the doorway will draw individuals immediately in, then lead the way to all of your homes amazing interior amenities.


Photo Credit: Pinterest

Engage the Senses: Give your foyer’s wall space a bit of character by adding an eye-catching wall display, or position an ornamental mirror to catch the light and bring sunshine into an otherwise drab hallway. If seasonally appropriate, try sprucing up a stairway banister with garland or holiday lights. Blank spaces come off cold, but well-positioned points of interest will allow people to experience your house as a lived-in home.

Get Organized: Nothing will ruin the mood of an engaged and excited open house participant like a foyer cluttered with coats, or whose floor is lined with other people’s soaking shoes. Maintain order with a combination of hooks, racks, or bins to store all those coats, scarves, and boots. If you’re willing to go the extra mile, add a touch of simple hospitality with a small bench for people to sit on while they discard their winter layers.


Photo Credit: Let’s Move!

Most importantly, when it comes to make your entryway a scene-stealer, put your faith in your devoted d’aprile real estate expert. They have spent years training themselves to see homes without bias, through the eyes of a potential buyer. With their guidance, you can guarantee that buyers will come through your doorway wanting to see more, and leave it ready to make an offer.


d’aprile Locales – Pier 290

Welcome to ‘Locales’, a series that highlights vendors, businesses, and organizations who stand out in their respective communities through their passion and purpose.
May we introduce you to: Pier 290
THEIR STORY: No one knows the history of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin quite like Gage Marine, who can trace their roots back to 1873 and the launching of the original Lady of the Lake. President Bill Gage realized quickly after taking over the family business that, in order to please both the lake locals and visitors alike, you need to provide them all with the perfect spot to gather for good food, good spirits, and spectacular sunset views. Mission accomplished: with the opening of Pier 290 in 2012, he quickly accomplished this tasteful trifecta of lake living.
Just stepped off your boat and looking for a craft cocktail to quench your thirst after a long day on the lake? You’ve come to the right place.
Looking to grab a quick bite while watching all the boat and jet ski action on a summer afternoon? Pull up a chair, they’ve got you covered.
Maybe you’re in search of the right place to simply sit back, exhale, and watch the sun trail off below the horizon?  A candle-lit table awaits.
The point is – no matter what your reason is for stopping by – no one offers a better view of lake life than Pier 290.
WHAT’S HOT:  Checking out the menu, it’s hard not to gravitate toward the Chilean Sea Bass, served on a sauté of tomato succotash and veggies, glazed with sweet Thai chili sauce. Wash that down with Pier 290’s house cocktail, the Happy Ending – vodka, fresh lemon, lime and orange, a dash of bitters, and topped with Squirt over ice.

PIER 290

1 Liechty Dr

Williams Bay, Wisconsin 53191


#daprilecares – Homes For Our Troops Honor Walk!


This past Saturday, d’aprile properties was proud to take part in the Honor Walk for our flagship charity campaign, Homes For Our Troops!
Homes For Our Troops is widely recognized as one of America’s Top-Rated Veterans and Military Charities for seven consecutive years. A privately funded nonprofit organization, they build and donate specifically adapted custom homes nationwide to post-9/11 veterans with significant injuries.
Our agents and their families, along with our partners at Midwest Lending, joined together as a family to walk a 5k in various locations around the Midwest, in order to raise money for this incredible organization. The weather was perfect, as everyone enjoyed a fun-filled day of family fun.


A special thanks to our good friends at our very special ‘Finish Line’ celebration locations, including Pier 290 on Geneva Lake, Cortland’s Garage in the northwest suburbs, and Vines on Clark in the heart of Lakeview.
Until next year!


Happy to Rock the Boat!

On Tuesday, July 24th, d’aprile properties hosted our third annual Lake Geneva Boat Tour!


Thanks to our good friends over at Gage Marine, over 100 of our agents from all across Chicagoland boarded the beautiful and historic Lady of the Lake for a tour of all the amazing lakefront properties that this southern Wisconsin haven has to offer!


Our Fontana, Wisconsin office team played host, educating all of our visiting agents on the Lake Geneva market. After all, a majority of vacation home buyers in the Midwest market reside in the Chicagoland communities we serve daily. City and suburban agents can partner with our Fontana team to ensure that all of our clients find the home, investment property, or vacation getaway they’ve always dreamed of!


A great time was had by all! We can’t wait for next year!



Luck O’ the Irish…On a Boat!

d'aprile properties and Gage Marine

There’s an old Irish blessing, one that always hits close to home with us here at d’aprile.  It goes like this:

Whenever there is happiness 
Hope you’ll be there too, 
Wherever there are friendly smiles 
Hope they’ll smile on you, 
Whenever there is sunshine, 
Hope it shines especially for you 
to make each day for you 
as bright as it can be.

Sigh – sometimes it seems like that kind of positivity and good cheer is in small supply.  Good thing it can almost always be found by joining hands with your friends and neighbors, and supporting the community that surrounds you!  

d'aprile properties and Gage Marine

On Saturday, March 11th, d’aprile properties proudly took part in the Naperville St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  Agents and staff – along with their families – braved cold temperatures and joined the nearly 10,000 people on hand to celebrate the holiday.  With our own office right down on South Washington Street, we felt it was our duty to help bring some good luck and cheer to this fantastic downtown neighborhood.  

Starting at 10 AM, children and adults of all ages lined the parade route, most decked out (appropriately) in all-green attire.  But everyone was wearing a smile as they partied throughout the afternoon, watching as more than 100 lively and colorful floats passed them by. 

d'aprile properties and Gage Marine

d’aprile properties partnered with Gage Marine of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin on our own float for the festivities, looking to bring a little bit of that “Lake Life” attitude to the suburbs of Chicago.  Gage provided the boat (a Bennington Pontoon), and d’aprile created the promotional design  With the spring season well underway, we wanted to show the crowd that now is the perfect time to turn that dream of a home on the lake into a reality!

Gage Marine is a one-stop shop for boat sales, pier services, lake tours, and fantastic food & drink.  We here at d’aprile are proud to partner with Gage in our mission to show Chicagoland all the beauty and family fun that a life on Geneva Lake can bring.  

Let Gage Marine and d’aprile properties help you and your family Get On the Water this Summer!

Get on the Water with Gage Marine!

Welcome to d’aprile digs – a blog series where we highlight business and organizations that celebrate local color and character.

Have you ever taken a moment to imagine a life on the lake? The apparent wind, filling your sails as you head out towards the horizon. Ice cold drinks on the deck, set to the soundtrack of laughter from family and friends. A summer sun, slowly setting over sparkling blue water. A life on the lake is one spent with a smile, at peace.

At d’aprile properties, we strive to help our clients achieve their dream, in whatever form it may take. And our office location in Fontana on Geneva Lake provides us the opportunity to do just that – help Chicagoland residents realize their goal of a life on the water. But lake living goes way beyond property – it’s a lifestyle, an opportunity to getaway for rest and relaxation in a place that feels like home. And no one embodies all of the character and culture that Geneva Lake has to offer quite like Gage Marine.

Just two weeks ago, d’aprile properties was a proud part of the Chicago Boat, RV, & Strictly Sail Show, which took place at McCormick Place in the heart of the city. We partnered on a booth with Gage Marine and owner Bill Gage, in order to ensure attendees that – whether they were interested in moving to the lake or simply visiting – they could rely on this partnership to help them see it through.


No one knows the history of Geneva Lake quite like Gage Marine, who can trace their roots back to 1873 and the launching of the original Lady of the Lake. Back then, there was no road system along the shore, in order to provide access to the area’s lavish resorts and beautiful lakefront homes. Instead, visitors and residents alike relied on Gage, and their fleet of excursion boats, to reach their getaway and take advantage of all the amenities that life on the water had to offer.

In keeping with this proud tradition, anyone who stopped by the ‘All Things Gage’ booth at the Chicago Boat Show were quickly introduced to what a full-service marina is truly capable of. First and foremost, they sell boats – from Whalers and Chris Crafts, the modern sleek of the 2017 Master Craft to the classic beauty of the ‘62 Streeblow, Gage has it all. We’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…



But Gage isn’t content with simply selling you a boat. They’re selling an adventure, an all-encompassing experience of class and customer service that is second-to-none. From custom-built piers and in/out valet service, to the best maintenance and mechanical services available, they ensure that you’ll make the most of your substantial investment.

Now, maybe you’re not quite ready to own your own boat.  No problem! Simply take advantage of the Gage Marine Boat Club, where all you need is a reservation and a desire for some fun in the sun. You and your family can jump right into the clean, fully-fueled boat of your choice, and spend a day on the water anytime you like.

But let’s face it – in the end, lake living is all about spending time with loved ones, and Gage Marine offers a wide assortment of family-friendly activities.  The Wake Experience offers fully interactive lessons in wakeboarding, surfing, or skiing – ideal for individuals or the whole family.  Sign the kids up for Summer Camp, where they will spend a full week learning how to live on the water, while you enjoy a little peace and quiet.  Or simply head down to Pier 290, Lake Geneva’s only lakefront restaurant farm-to-table, for “Good Food, Good People.”

As you can see, the term ‘Lake Living’ means more than just a house along the shore.  In Geneva Lake, it’s a state of mind – an opportunity to immerse yourself in a community who takes immense pride in its location, its lifestyle, and its people.  Trust d’aprile properties to help you find the perfect lakefront property to call home, all throughout the year.  Then allow Gage Marine to start you off on your adventure, providing your family with enough cherished memories to last a lifetime.