There’s no denying that Madison is a scenic city. Between twinkling city lights, rolling prairies, and miles of lakeshore…we kind of have it all (alright, alright… except maybe mountains… but we’ll take a good football team over a steep cliff any day!). 

For many people, the ultimate American dream includes a home with a view. Somewhere where they can kick their feet up at night, take in the beauty around them, and be thankful. As Madison Realtors, we know homes with views are highly sought after. But are they all they’re cracked up to be? What costs are hidden in these homes? We’ve sold a lot of lakefront properties throughout the years. It’s definitely worthwhile to understand these properties before you commit. Here are some things to consider:

What kind of lifestyle suits you?

Are you a homebody or do you prefer to be active within your community? Do you like to spend your free time outdoors or on the water? How much does a view mean to you? Usually, homes that are secluded or have acreage… aren’t exactly centrally located. Would a life nestled in the forest suit you… even if you had to trek 30 minutes into town? Think deeply about the lifestyle you’d like to live before touring homes outside the city.


For a deeper dive, read our article on Rural vs. Urban Wisconsin living

It Will Cost Ya 

Homes with views typically have higher costs involved.  Any waterfront properties might require flood insurance.

Typically, a home with a view will sell for top dollar. Even if the property isn’t maintained or modernized. Check out this recently listed 1.7 million dollar home:

5024 Lake Mendota Drive

This Colonial-style home needs some TLC to the exterior. It may simply require a power wash and a new coat of paint. But an expert inspector will definitely need to be required to feel confident of that assesment. The blue carpet and wood panel interior aren’t exactly what you’d expect from a home of this price. Especially when it’s located in an affordable part of the country. But the backyard sits right on the Lake Mendota shoreline. The new homeowners will have their own private dock. They will be able to watch the sun rise and set across frosty waters every morning. The view is the stuff of dreams.

This home isn’t a rare case. The price per square foot for homes with views will always be higher. But on the flip side, that could mean good things for your investment portfolio. Afterall…

Home Value Retention Is Stable

When you buy a property with an amazing view, you’re essentially paying top-dollar for the land. Not always the home.  So if you find a home that’s a bit of a fixer-upper… the possibilities for return on investment are high. Especially if you’re handy and don’t mind a bit of work! Even if the home is in perfect condition when you buy it… as long as you maintain the home responsibly, you’ll at least break even. Land with gorgeous viewsheds are stable investments

Where Should Search for a Scenic Madison Home?

Here are some gorgeous Madison neighborhoods with bountiful views:


The capitol building is the focal point of the Madison skyline. State-Langdon dwellers get to experience gorgeous architecture, a cascade of glittering city lights, and shimmering lakes from any rooftop. Downtown homeowners also get the added benefit of living smack dab in the middle of Wisconsin’s cultural hub. 

Learn more. 

Maple Bluff 

This neighborhood sits just above the isthmus. Maple Bluff is a waterfront community lined with mature maple trees and historic homes.  

Learn more. 

Shorewood Hills 

On the south beach of Lake Mendota, homesites in Shorewood Hills are forested and peaceful. 

Learn more.


Middleton is known for its green spaces and well-landscaped shopping and dining areas. 

Learn more.

Marquette/ Willy 

Marquette/ Willy is artistic and eccentric. It’s located on the thinnest point of the isthmus. Northern and southern lake views are just a few blocks from each other. This is a vibrant hub where art and nature collide.

Learn more.

Let’s tour some scenic homes! 

If you’re in the market for a new home let us know if having a view is important to you. We’ll set up a fun day of touring homes with a variety of different viewsheds!

Get in touch.