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5 more things you need to know before buying Door County real estate:



  • Working with a seasoned REALTOR like myself (going into my 3rd decade!), enables you to take advantage of my vast amount of knowledge which aids you in the purchasing decision.​
  • In Wisconsin, a REALTOR is a member of the Door County Board of REALTORS and as such, participates in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  A REALTOR is an extension of the seller through this association with the MLS and therefore, represents the seller.  You can, however, contract with an Agent to represent you in a Buyer Agency Contract.  I highly recommend this. 
  • In hiring a home inspector, you should choose one who does inspections in the area where you are purchasing.  The home inspector’s job is to point out problems that could require costly repairs now and down the road.  We have excellent inspectors in Door County, and typically the Inspection Contingency addresses structural, mechanical and safety and health issues.  If you need any testing performed (ie:  radon), you must mention that in the “Testing Contingency” in the Offer to Purchase.  This is not covered in the “Inspection Contingency”.
  • Aim for a property you can actually afford.  Have an initial consultation with a REALTOR to discuss your buying power.  It is a total waste of your time and the REALTORS to look at properties that are too expensive…..not to mention how unfair it is to the Seller who takes the time to prepare the property for your viewing. 
  • In my opinion, there has never been a better time to buy Door County real estate.


Basic Septic and Soil Testing Information

by Connie Erickson
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When buying and selling rural Door County properties, it is a good idea to have a little background on private waste disposal systems.  Below are nine facts that I’d like to share with you:



  1.  A soil test is good forever.  However, you should always verify with the Door Sanitarian as the location is determined during the testing and if something (i.e.: garage) was put in or on the location suitable for the system, the soil test may need to be re-done.
  2. A Sanitary Permit is good for 2 years and if there are no changes, it can be renewed.
  3. TMC tanks are steel septic/holding tanks that were put in from 1970 – 1990.  These TMC tanks may fail sometimes within 5 to 7 years.  All steel tanks have a shore life expectancy.
  4. Holding Tanks cost about $5,000 to $8,000 to install.
  5. Even with the new 2000 rules, the County is still putting in 40 to 60 holding tanks per year.
  6. A new conventional septic system may cost somewhere around $7,500.
  7. An at-grade system should cost $8,000 to $10,000.
  8. A mound system should cost somewhere around $12,000 to $15,000.
  9. In order to retain a restrictive flow agreement, the waste disposal system needs to be installed no earlier than 1980.


by Connie Erickson
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Location: Downtown in Sturgeon Bay
Dates: Mar 15 2014 


​O’Sturgeon Bay will be green for a day. Bring your clan and enjoy the parade.  DETAILS!

Door County Septic System News

by Connie Erickson
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According to Connie’s conversation with John Teichler, Door County Sanitarian:

There are approximately 15,000 on site waste disposal systems in Door County.  Every three years a maintenance report form must be completed by a WI Licensed Plumber on all systems and submitted to the Door County Sanitarian’s office.

The Door County Sanitarian’s office is in the process of performing a complete inventory on all waste disposal systems in Door County and they are currently, approximately 86% finished with their review.  They anticipate being totally finished by October of 2015.  The Door County Sanitarian’s office has discovered, through the testing, that 30% in the entire comprehensive survey are failing.

In the mid 1900’s the installers stopped putting in steel treatment and holding tanks.  The TMC tanks (steal) are all failing.  Any holding tank which is 17 to 20 years old will most definitely fail the testing criteria.  Prior to 1974, a soil test will be necessary.  If a soil test is necessary on a property owner’s property, the Sanitarian’s department does alert the owner ahead of time.  Prior to 1967, ANY type of system was installed with no requirements for soil depth, soil suitability, or soil absorption.  With ANY type of system installed before 1967, the soil absorption system may not be suited for the soils on the property, and may be a failing on site system. 

I found it interesting that replacing “part of” the system is an option in some cases.  With some of the concrete tanks, primarily located in Southern Door, the center wall deteriorates and may collapse within 10 to 12 years.  For a cost of around $800, if discovered early on, these tanks can be repaired and the life span increased substantially.

John Teichtler also spoke about the plastic tanks which are currently being installed in greater than 48” depth of soil and Teichtler said that these tanks could last forever!!!

There are funds for septic replacement systems available for families with an income of $45,000 and less.  It is called the WI Fund Program and it is for those systems installed prior to July, 1978.  In seeking funds, you must be an owner who occupies the property for more than 51% of the year.  The reimbursement is really slow to arrive, so if you are thinking about this, you should call the Sanitarian’s office to begin the process soon.  Some funds are also available for small commercial properties.  

The basic red flags to watch for which may indicate of failing system are effluent ponding or effluent standing in the observation pipes.  Current approximate cost to replace waste disposal systems are as follows:

Holding tank:  $5,000 to $8,000 (blasting will be the determining factor here and can +/- $2,000 to $3,000).
Conventional:  $6,000 to $8,000.

Mound:  $15,000 (also depends on soil conditions).

In-ground pressurized system: $8,000 to $10,000.

​At-grade system: $10,000.


by Connie Erickson
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Location: Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek
Dates: Mar 15 2014


9 am-noon

Free for families with children ages 3 to 17. Drop in any time for art making fun that correlates with the current exhibition’s theme in the School’s Guenzel Gallery.  DETAILS!


by Connie Erickson


Location: Door Community Auditorium in Fish Creek
Dates: Mar 7 2014 


Jump Rhythm Jazz Project is a multiple-Emmy-Award-winning performance and teaching company based in Chicago. Jump Rhythm Jazz Project celebrates the communal core of jazz performance, dancing, singing, and story-telling in rhythmically syncopated conversations to the beat-driven sounds of the blues, swinging jazz, funk, hip-hop, and world music. DETAILS!


5 Things You Need to Know When Buying Door County Real Estate

by Connie Erickson
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5 Things You Need to Know

When Buying

Door County Real Estate


1.  NOW IS A GREAT TIME TO BUY!  During the winter, there are less people visiting Door County; the leaves are off the trees, so you have more depth to your vision and perception; the interest rates are fabulous; and purchasing now can assure your enjoyment at the beginning of the Spring/Summer!  Door County’s real estate inventory is fairly good, and offers several opportunities.


3.  WORK WITH A LOCAL LENDER.  I ALWAYS recommend that a Buyer or a Seller looking to finance or purchase property go to a local financial institution.  After three decades in this business, I can almost guarantee a Seller or a Buyer looking to finance property, that if they don’t go to a local lender, they will have trouble and their transaction will most probably not close.  A good REALTOR can suggest several local lenders to which you should apply, and through which your transaction would close with relatively few kinks.

4.  LOOK FOR PROPERTIES THAT YOU REALLY CAN AFFORD!  I do not find that this to be a problem with a second home purchaser…they are very responsible regarding seeking financing and having a financial institution give them a pre-approval.  However, I have found this to be more prevalent of an issue with those looking to own a business up here.  It is ALWAYS a very important and necessary step to talk with a lender BEFORE one starts looking.  This sets the stage for a WIN down the line.

5.  GET PROFESSIONAL HELP!  Even though the Internet gives Buyers unprecedented access to property listings, the Internet cannot give the Buyer the insight necessary to make an educated buying decision.  Buyers are always better off using a local professional real estate agent.  I recommend discussing the benefits of Exclusive Buyer Agency Representation.


by Connie Erickson
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Location: The Ridges Marshall Cabin in Baileys Harbor
Dates: Mar 8 2014

​10 am and 2pm

Learn about the natural history and habitat needs of the Eastern Bluebird and build a nesting box for your own backyard. $15/family includes materials for one bluebird house. $8 each for additional kits. DETAILS!


by Connie Erickson
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Location: The Clearing’s Jens Jensen Center in Ellison Bay

Dates: Mar 1 2014 - Mar 2 2014 


More than 580 students will participate in The Clearing’s 2014 Winter Program and many of them will exhibit original works and class displays during this exhibit. Art, fine crafts, nature studies and projects created during the two month long Winter Program of more than 100 classes will be featured. DETAILS!

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Contact Information

Photo of Connie Erickson Real Estate
Connie Erickson
Door County Realty, Inc.
Po Box 340 - 4027 Main Street
Fish Creek WI 54212
Office: 920-868-2075
Toll Free: 888-678-3949
Fax: 920-868-2425

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