Thursday, May 31, 2007

Detailed Minneapolis Market Updates

Recent Real Estate Statistics for Minneapolis - Calhoun area

Due to Minneapolis encompassing a large area of real estate, the local Realtor association has created 11 areas in Minneapolis in order to better organize the sale data.

The Calhoun region, including Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, Cedar Lake, and Uptown is denoted by the number 300 in our multiple listing system. Following is some year-to-date (YTD) sales information.

  • Average Sales Price : YTD the average sales price is $318,315. In 2006, it was $425,885. That is a decrease of 25.3%!
  • % of Original List Price Received : currently sellers are getting 95.4% of the list price, where in 2006, sellers were receiving 97% or more.
  • Average Days on the Market : it is taking 156 days for a home to sell in the Calhoun area
  • New Listings vs. Closed Listings : YTD there have been 656 homes listed for sale, up 20% from 2006. At the same time, only 152 have closed this year, which is down 11.6% from 2006.

As you can see, the market has cooled a little in the Lakes region of Minneapolis. Price has been the determining factor it seems on getting a home sold. I will be posting updates every couple months as the new data is released so you can get a better view of how the market is progressing as the year goes on.

Look for my breakdown of the other 10 Minneapolis regions over the next week or so.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Minneapolis Market Update

Wondering just where this market is heading? Well the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors just released this statement regarding current market conditions.

"The song remains the same from week to week in the spring Twin Cities housing market. New listings are flat relative to the previous year while buyer activity declines further. New listings for the week ending May 19 were 0.7 percent behind this time in 2006, posting 2,656 new units. Of these new listings, only 301 were new construction, bringing the new construction share of our total current inventory to 16.1 % compared to 19.7 % one year ago. Newly signed purchase agreements (pending sales) were down 21.5 % from the same week last year, continuing the trend of significant declines seen in recent weeks.

The residential market discord reflects a period of widespread recalibration of home values, lending standards, housing affordability, supply-demand dynamics, and construction activity; and the climax of this is depressed consumer confidence relative to real estate. The frenzied boom we saw from 1998 to 2005 was so extreme that it necessitates the market correction currently underway. The uncertainty surrounding our shifting market causes angst for both consumers and REALTORS® alike, but the adjustments now taking place will inevitably lead to long-term health and stability to our market."

So next time you read about how the sky is falling for real estate, just remember that this, too, will soon pass. Sooner than later, all will be right again in the wonderful world of real estate!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Top 10 Ways to Trim Your Insurance Bill

Insurance bill got you down? Well, don't let it! Here are some ideas to think about to beat the increasing cost of home ownership:
  1. Shop Around : Get referrals from friends and family and make sure to request price quotes from at least 3 companies. Look online too, you might find a great bargain. Also check out their complaint history with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (
  2. Know Your History : When you call for a quote, the first thing the agent does is download your CLUE report to view past claim history on your home. For a small fee, you can access this report before you call and challenge anything the insurance agent says that you know is wrong.
  3. File Fewer Claims : If you have had a previous claim, and now have a small one, think about taking care of the repairs yourself. Too many claims could cause your rate to go up, or worse yet, get dropped.
  4. Cover more Yourself : Raise your deductible and you could see your premium reduced by 25%.
  5. Maintain Good Credit : Good Credit = Good Rates, it's as simple as that.
  6. Bundle Polices : You can save 10-15% by having your auto insurance on all vehicles with the same company that insures your home.
  7. Improve your Home Security : Add up the discounts...if you have smoke detectors, a security system, sprinkler system, alarm monitoring service, etc, you could get an additional price break on your premium.
  8. Seek Discounts : If you don't ask for a discount, you may not get one.
  9. Review your Policy once a Year : Over the course of year, you might have bought a couple big ticket items that need to be added to your policy. Separate insurance riders might be needed for computers, jewelry, art work, musical instruments, etc that are not covered on the standard policy.
  10. Document your Valuables : Have all your belongings photographed and downloaded to a flash drive, then placed in a safety deposit box or a separate fire box. Make sure to also write down anything that cannot be photographed. This will serve as proof to the insurance company on what you really had. The last thing you need is to haggle over your engagement ring that the insurance agent says is worth half of its true value, just because you didn't take the 5 minutes to document its existence.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sometimes... must walk through many doors to see the path ahead.

(all photos on this blog copyright 2006-2007, Jennifer Kirby)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Lowry Hill Historic Home #4

This weeks featured Lowry Hill home in Minneapolis is 1203 Mount Curve Avenue.

Built in 1895, the home was designed by James Mcleod for A.D. Arundel. It is a most intriguing homes as it is set at an angle on this corner lot, causing it to easily stand out from its neighbors.

The Classical Revival, or NeoClassical design can best be visualized by the full-height porch, dominated by the fluted, Corinthian columns. The vibrant color of the brick flows well with the white trim.

From this photo taken in 1974, one can see a couple changes to the front facade. The roof dormer window has been changed, as has the front door location. Originally located to the side of the front porch, it is now at the center, adding to the symmetrical nature of the home.

The last recorded real estate sale of the home was in 1998 for $550,000. It has approximately 4300 square feet and five bedrooms/ four bathrooms.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Essentials of a Listing Agreement

If you are thinking about listing your home with a local Minneapolis broker, know that Minnesota law has a couple requirements of the listing agreement. Here are a few things to look for:
  • In Writing - all listing agreements must be in writing
  • Legal Description - while in some cases the address might work, it is best to have the full legal description of the real estate you are selling to avoid any confusion. It has been know to happen, though it is rare, for the wrong lot to be sold.
  • Price - make sure it clearly states the listing price and any additional terms. Don't forget to spell out in writing what personal property you are excluding from the sale.
  • Negotiable Commission Clause - most listing agreements will have a paragraph that states what the agreed to commission will be, and that the commission is due when a ready,willing, and able buyer is brought to the table.
  • Expiration Date - well, you have to know when the agreement ends, so this one is straight forward
  • Dual Agency Disclosure - this provision will explain how dual agency will affect the representation of all parties. A seller can either choose to accept it or deny it.
  • Closing Services - the listing agreement must have an area that states who will be taking care of the closing, the broker or the seller.

Of course, there are so many more things that happen during a real estate transaction other then just the listing agreement. Make sure to choose an agent that will keep you apprised of events and decide on an appropriate following up system that fits your schedule.

Monday, May 21, 2007

To Basement or Not to Basement...

...that is the Question.

If you are thinking about selling or buying a home in the near future in and around Minneapolis, then you might want to think about this one itty-bitty item. The basement.

Does one exist? And if one does, is it finished?

I am seeing alot of homes of the market that have unfinished basements. The problem I see is that they are being listed for the same price as homes with completely finished basements. With the market so saturated with homes, an unfinished basement home should really be priced well under any comparable homes where they are finished. The amazing thing I see is that a finished basement adds more square feet, sometimes around 1000 more, so you would think a home with less sqft would automatically fetch less. Sadly, it is just not the case.

When pricing your home to sell, really put yourself in the buyers shoes. Would you want to pay for a home where the work has been done for you, or pay someone in the next 6 months to spend weeks in your home plumbing and wiring, pounding nails in sheetrock, smelling paint fumes,etc, not to mention the fact you will have to come up with a way to finance it.

When you are buying a home, can you really justify paying more for a home with less square feet? And will you be able to get a Home Equity Line, if any equity exists?

I for one advise my buyers and sellers to take these questions into consideration. Yes, the market has changed and home prices are dropping, a fact some sellers are having a hard time stomaching. But if you really need to sell your home, what matters most is pricing your home around the current competition. If 5 homes are for sale on your block, but you feel yours is the best one, why not price yours as one of the lowest. Buyers will start to compare and when they see your home is superior, yours just might sell like a hot cake!

Oh, and if you are reading this and saying..."but that means pricing mine $10,000 less than my neighbor", well, think about this. If your home sits on the market because it is overpriced for 5 months, and your mortgage payment is $2000 per month, then you just spent that $10,000 in monthly payments. Wouldn't you rather get out of the home NOW, instead of agonizing for 5 months, only to end up in the same place financially?

Just a little food for thought. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Photography 101

How Photos of Your Home can Kill the Deal

Your Realtor knows how to market a home (hopefully), but they may not know how to properly take photos. Have you looked at the photos of your home currently on the web? You might want to if you want your home to sell.

Too many times I look through the MLS at photos of homes and wonder what the agent was thinking. MLS photos are like looking into the soul of your home. If they are out of focus, out of season (snow photos in the middle of summer), tilted, etc, buyers surfing the web will most likely pass your home by and not even look at what else your home has to offer.

Take a look at these living room photos. The room is small to begin with and I had to press myself to the wall just to get the first photo. The results make the room look even smaller.

Now, take a look at the second picture. It was taken with a wide angle lens attachment to my camera. It not only makes the room feel larger by getting more into the frame, but you can now see that furniture actually fits in the room!

Interior photos are not the only place where it can be difficult to get the shot you want. Exterior photos are just important since usually the first photo a potential buyer sees is a photo of the front of your home.

I was out and about in St Paul the other day and thought the James Hill house would be a good example of what I am talking about. The home is huge, sits close to the street, and is surrounded by a cast iron fence, so getting the home in a shot is quite difficult. Here are the photos with just my camera, and then again once I add the wide angle lens attachment.

So when interviewing an agent to list your home, ask them what kind of camera they use, if they have a wide angle lens, or additional flashes to highlight important features. Also make sure you inspect the photos put into MLS. Don't let the photos be of poor quality. Your agent might be marketing your home well, but if the photos don't draw in Internet buyers, then everything else just doesn't matter.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Salon Secrets 101

Best Place to get a Haircut or Enjoy a Massage south of Minneapolis

When you move to a new location one of the hardest services to find is a place to get a good haircut. Or, in the case of us women, a place to get highlights, color, and more. I got lucky when I first moved to Minneapolis. Needing a cut very badly and also a highlight (my roots were showing terribly), desperation took hold and I went to a place around the corner.

That place turned out to be a Godsend...Cole's Salon.

As soon as you walk in, you know this is a well run establishment. Computers run the show and the receptionists know who you are it seems before you walk through the door. While prices might be a little higher than a small shop, I think what you get is worth it. Customer service is great in every aspect and that is the number one thing that I look for in any business.

Another service I love is a section completely devoted to kids, including a play area. The mural on the wall makes it fun for kids.

They offer:

  • Pedicures / Manicures
  • Waxing
  • Haircuts
  • Perms / Highlights
  • Styling
But don't forget to check out their Spa Services!

  • facials / peels
  • massage
  • make-up application
Hint for the guys out there - Get your special lady friend either a Full Day of Beauty or a Half Day of husband purchased the Half Day for me and it was WONDERFUL. The hot stone back massage was worth every penny!

They have 5 locations in Eagan (2), Apple Valley, Burnsville, and Savage. Visit their website for packages and detailed lists of everything they offer.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Lowry Hill Historic Home #3

This weeks featured Minneapolis home is located in Lowry Hill at 1712 Mount Curve.

The oldest house on its block, this home was built in 1906. It was built for L. S. Donaldson by Kees and Calburn with obvious influences from the Prairie school of design.

The home has some wonderful architectural details that would cost a fortune to replicate in today's homes. The front porch is absolutely beautiful with its drip molding and ornate trim. The chimneys even have similar drip molding and trim at the top.

The last recorded sale of the homes was in 2000 with a purchase price of $2.825 Million. Taxes alone on the property are around $42,000 per year! But with the unbeatable views, I am sure that is a small price to pay. The home has about 9500 square feet and 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Lake Harriet Day Trip in Minneapolis

If you are looking for a great place to enjoy this summer there is no need to look past Minneapolis' own backyard. Stop by Lake Harriet where you can enjoy swimming, fishing, walking, music, and much more. The Lake has 344 acres of water and 67 acres of land. With almost three miles of trails available, the park could be crowded but you would never know it.

Check out the Streetcar that travels from Linden Hills to Lake Harriet. The restored line takes you back in history and is another fun adventure for your day trip. The rides are seasonal so be sure to check out their schedule before you go. The #1300 I photographed below is on the National Registry of Historic Places.

According to the Minneapolis Park and Rec website, "Music has been part of the scene at Lake Harriet for over 100 years. The current band shell is the fifth music facility since 1888 and its design echoes the history of the area. The first music pavilion, built in 1888, was destroyed by fire in 1891. A new one was built, but in 1903 it, too, was destroyed by fire. The next pavilion, built in 1904, featured a classical rooftop. It was destroyed by a windstorm in 1925. In 1927, a temporary bandstand was erected and remained until 1985 when the current band shell was constructed." See photo in filmstrip for current bandstand Pavilion.

You might wonder why I took a photo of the restroom. Well, this women's restroom, as well a separate male restroom building, are actually quite historic. In 2002 they were restored to their original appearance and are the oldest two building in the Minneapolis park system.

If you have time, walk around some of the neighborhood streets that surround the lake. There are some beautiful examples of French Provincial, Colonial Revival, Tudor, Prairie, and Craftsman home design.

View some turn of the century photos of life on the lake: Swimmers and Row Boats, the second pavilion in 1895 and the third in 1904, the path around the lake in 1910.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Oh, the Taxes just keep Coming!

I would hope by now you have heard the latest news in Minneapolis. Once again our legislation is looking for ways to fund future projects, and in this case our roads. Now, I have no idea on possible alternatives because right now my brain is hurting just from the news.

It just passed today to increase the cost of gas by adding a 5 cent gas tax to what we already pay. Currently 28 cents of our gas price is state taxes. Here is what is also attached to the bill that you might not know about:
  • another 2.5 cents increase would be allowed at anytime
  • the Metro sales tax will increase by another 0.5 cents

What does this mean for you? How about an yearly increase of $300-500 per year in what you spend currently for gas.

What do you think? Do you support an increase or do you say, enough is enough?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Hummingbirds in Minnesota

Now that Spring is here and hints of Summer are starting to bloom, one of my favorite past times is to sit on the deck in the early evening and watch the Hummingbirds buzz around me. They sound like a large bug zipping back and forth, but when they land on the feeder, they give you just a few seconds to see just how beautiful they really are.

It is amazing that a creature so small can survive. Here are a couple facts about them that you may not be aware:
  • Hummingbirds wings move in a figure eight pattern that allows them to hover and fly in different directions.
  • They do not migrate in flocks, but fly alone.
  • The reason they look like a blur when you see them is because their wings beat 50 times per second.
  • Hummingbirds cannot fly until their body temperature reaches 86 degrees.
  • To survive, they must drink twice their body weight every day
  • Eggs are small, about the size of a Jelly-Belly
  • Keep your feeders out each year...Hummingbirds have excellent memory. Those that visit you this year were most likely the same ones you saw last summer.

Hummingbirds can be seen very often in rural and suburban areas, but are also spotted in big cities like Minneapolis and St Paul. No discrimination here...they just go where the food is. They are most attracted to red flowers. Try Pentas, an annual in the north that can be dug up and brought indoors for the winter. Treat them like a house plant till the next spring and them present them to your yard again after the last frost. And make sure to watch the water level of your feeder. Hummingbirds can drain them in just a few hours when hungry!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Funding your Fixer-Upper

When it comes time to start the remodeling process for your Minneapolis home, the biggest obstacle is deciding how to fund it. Not everyone has equity built into their home, which would help offset costs, so here are a couple ways to pay for your next real estate project.
  1. Cash-Out Refinance - the best choice if you have the ability to piece together funding from different sources, like cash, family loans, etc. After all is said and done, the first mortgage can be refinanced, thus tapping into the increased equity you created by improving the home and giving the ability to pay off any creditors.
  2. Credit Cards and Store Loans - if you have a small enough project that can be financed by a credit card, this might work for you. Some home improvement stores offer cards with up to a $30,000 limit, which are interest free if you pay them up to a certain date. If you know you can pay off the card before this date, then you can save all the interest that has accrued. Remember, only do this if you can pay it off!
  3. Home Equity Line of Credit - while these loans usually carry a higher interest rate, they are great for smaller projects. A line of credit has the money available to you, but allows you to draw out the cash as you need it. A Home Equity Loan gives you all the cash at once. Remember though your home must appraise for the amount you borrow.
  4. Construction Loans - five years ago, these loans might have been hard to find, but today many more banks offer them for remodeling projects. They are great for large projects and we used one for the last historic home with remodeled. It is only a short, temporary fix for financing because when construction is complete, you will have to refinance both this loan and your first mortgage into one. Remember to ask the lender if they can construct is so the construction loan rolls over into a permanent loan, thus saving from having to pay two sets of closing costs.

Any of these will most likely work for you, but remember to check with your financial advisor and loan officer on what will be the best fit for you pocket book. The last thing you want to do is choose the wrong type of financing, then find out you are short on funds to finish the project.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Lowry Hill Historic Home #2

This weeks showcase Historic Home in Minneapolis is located at 25 Groveland Terrace.

Architect Frank B. Long designed this home which was built in 1894 as his own personal residence. When it was built, it had a wonderful view of downtown Minneapolis.

The home is a simple representation of the Richardson Romanesque style so prevalent in Minneapolis and St Paul older homes. It was built with rough cut masonry stones and has the common circular tower. While the porch fits in nicely with the home, it is not original to the home. View this 1896 photo of the home as it was originally designed.

The building is currently used as a Gallery for local Midwestern artists, with exhibitions in the main house and carriage house too. Visit their website Groveland Gallery for more information.

View this 1910 photo of Groveland Terrace. The first two homes have since been demolished and replaced with less appealing buildings. The third home back is 25 Groveland.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Alert from the Department of Agriculture

Emerald Ash Borer Alert.

Firewood recently found at a Menard's store by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture was improperly imported from a supplier located within a quarantine area for emerald ash borer. Emerald ash borer is a destructive insect pest that has killed millions of ash trees in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Ontario, Canada, and so far has not been identified in Minnesota. If you have purchased firewood from any Menard's store since last summer, burn it immediately to destroy emerald ash borer eggs, larvae or pupating adult insects that could be in the firewood. You can direct any emerald ash borer questions to the City's Natural Resources Division at 952-953-2571.

(Alert courtesy of the Apple Valley website)

Monday, May 7, 2007

Chicago No Longer the Windy City

I think the new Windy City should be Minneapolis. After a weekend of storms that only produced high winds (at least where I live), it would be befitting.

I moved from Florida because I didn't want to be in the path of hurricanes anymore. Seems like they followed me here to Minnesota. Hurricane season officially starts in April so why not break the mold and debut in Minnesota?!

I was sitting by my upstairs window yesterday when a 10 foot piece of metal siding hits the window, then proceeds to do some acrobatics in the air, before crashing to the ground on my sidewalk. You've got to be kidding. I would say the winds yesterday were equivalent to a Tropical Storm or Category 1 hurricane winds. (at least from the flying debris)

Oh, now I remember...up here they are called Tornadoes. Where is Jim Cantore when you need him? Here's a bit of good advice, if Jim (from the Weather Channel) shows up in your town, leave right away. He is always in the path of a storm and most of the time your town is destroyed and he is the only thing standing. Enjoy your spring!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

The New Attic

Five things to Consider if You are Looking to Convert your Attic into Living Space

Many homes in Minneapolis and St Paul were built before 1950. They are typically a 2-3 Bedroom homes and only have 1 bathroom. The hidden treasure they do possess is an attic large enough to be transformed into usable space. The most common renovation is adding a master suite, including a full size bathroom. Before you jump in, bring in a professional to analyze the space and take the following into consideration:

Height - you don't want a space where you constantly hit your head against the rafters, so make sure you have at least 7 feet of headroom. Look into adding dormers or gables to add needed space and don't forget to check into city building codes for any height restrictions in your area.

Weight - a contractor will be better able to assess the situation but you want to make sure the lower floors and foundation can support any additional weight created by adding dormers, gable, etc.

Structure - remember your new floor was once the ceiling below so it may need to be reinforced before you start laying a new floor and adding walls on top of it. Check with your contractor on ways to balance the existing structure with the new added elements.

Insulation - most likely your current attic is not insulated, nor does the framing give enough depth to hold rolled insulation. The contractor might need to re-frame the beams completely, or add larger beams to what is currently there.

Clearances - when you are thinking about what will fit into your new space, like windows and doors, don't forget to include measurements for framing and trim. A common mistake is to push everything as high as it will go, but forget about fitting in the basic trim around a door.

An attic renovation at first glance might seem like an easy task. But trust me, there is a lot more to think about then just putting up some walls. You want to make the space usable and hassle free. Don't be afraid to add a dormer or new gable. It will cost more but the over all appearance inside will add real value to your home. Really think about how the bathroom plan will function. If you do it the wrong way, it might decrease value in your home when it comes time to sell. What ever you do, the best advice is to ask a designer to walk through the area with you and get some ideas. An in-house consultation usually costs very little, but can do a world of good!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Top 10 Ideas for Best in Show Listing

If you are thinking about selling your home or currently have it on the real estate market here in Minneapolis, the single most important thing you must do is have your home put it's best foot forward. Here are some tips on how to win the "Best in Show" award and get your home sold!
  1. Turn the Lights on - if your agent calls to schedule a showing, immediately turn on every light in the home. Not only does it benefit the buyer so they don't have to turn them on, but it literally lights up the house and give it more warmth. Your goal here is to make the buyers feel like it is already their home.
  2. Fix the Front Door - the first thing they see is the doorknob. If it is rusty or just looks worn, replace it with a brand new fixture. This goes for the kick-plate on the bottom of the door as well as any door knockers. Get rid of the doormat and add flowers too. Again, make it as inviting as possible.
  3. Paint the Walls - please, please, not use flat paint! Flat paint shows every fingerprint, smear of dirt, and water mark, not to mention any wall repairs you have painted over. Check your walls for hand prints if you have kids and wipe clean. Better yet, paint the walls with a semi-gloss for a touch of shine. We all know that shine (bling) attracts purchasers!
  4. Stage It - if your home is vacant or you don't have the best furnishings, spend the extra money and have a professional stage your home. The money you spend up front could save you thousands in mortgage payments as your home sits on the market if you don't.
  5. Clean Everything - buyers will look in every nook and cranny so make sure your garage, shed, attic, toilets, sinks, basement, are clean and free of clutter. Buyers will not like it if they cannot access areas due to excessive clutter.
  6. De-Clutter - I know you like your collection of dolls or model planes, but your buyers might not. Do not be offended. The goal is to sell your home, and to do so, you must get rid of anything that makes the home still look like it is yours. The buyers cannot see it as "theirs" if your stuff is all over the place!
  7. Empty the Closets - no, cleaning up the house by shoving everything into the closets does not work. Buyers will look behind every door so it is extremely important for closets and pantries to be organized and clean. You want them to see room enough for their possessions.
  8. Bake Cookies - yes, I know it might be cheesy, but buyers love it. I have been looking for a home for my family and when a seller takes the time to bake cookies and leave them on the counter, it just makes me want to look at the home more. Oh, and my two year old loves it! Just don't put out burnt cookies...that leaves a bad impression.
  9. Put Out the Good Towels - before you leave your home, always put out fresh new, fluffy towels in the kitchen and bathrooms. It adds a feeling of cleanliness and a touch of luxury, especially if you have a nice jacuzzi tub in the master bath.
  10. Put the Kids Toys Out of Site - I have kids so I understand the hassle of picking up the toys. But if you want your home to show great, kids toys in the living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms are just a no-no. Instead, neatly organize the toys in a closet before you leave and only leave out a few key pieces. Explain to your children the reason and ask for their help.

If you do the above items, and price it correctly, then your home should have no trouble selling. In a buyer's market, every little thing you do makes your home more appealing than the house for sale next door.

What ideas have you used to help get your home sold?

Friday, May 4, 2007

Lowry Hill Historic Home #1

The first featured Historic Home in the Lowry Hill district of Minneapolis is 905 Douglas Avenue

Built in 1900, the home is most likely similar to when it was first built, though the area surrounding it has changed greatly. Designed as a Colonial Revival mansion, the home has distinguishing characteristics of the style including full height column Corinthian capitals, dentils at the cornice with decorative molding, and a broken pediment above the door. The front door is also typical with its fanlight above the door and side lights.

The main home was recently restored to its former beauty and is currently listed for sale by Remax Results for $1,995,000. It boasts about 6500 square feet with 7 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms. The carriage house has also been restored and is currently zoned as a condo. Built in 1900 as well, it now has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and is approximately 1800 square feet. It is listed separate from the house for sale for $649,900.

If you would like to view the home, a real estate open house is available May 6, 1-3pm.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Minneapolis Homes of the Future

Some of the best ways to determine how homes will look in the future is to ask the source. Unfortunately, I am not the source, though I like to report current trends for housing, including luxury amenities for high end homes. This year the National Association of Home Builders took a poll of architects, designers, and manufacturers and asked them to provide a snapshot of what we could expect to find in the "average" and "upscale" home in 2015. Here is what you should expect to see in the near future:

Average Home
  • 2400 square feet
  • two story homes
  • 4 Bedrooms & 2-3 Bathrooms
  • One-story entry foyer
  • No lofts or cathedral ceilings
  • No more Formal Living Room, will now become a library or parlor
  • Nine foot ceilings on main level
  • Staircase in Foyer
  • Front Porch with Patio
  • Vinyl Exterior
  • Fiber-optic network
  • Master Bath will have tub and shower, with toilet in a separate enclosure

Upscale Home

  • 4000 square feet
  • Two Story Home
  • 4-5 Bedrooms & 3-4 Bathrooms
  • Two-story entry foyer
  • Two-story family room
  • Separate Library Room
  • Nine foot ceilings on main level and nine to ten foot ceilings on second level
  • Stone, brick, Stucco, or Cement exterior siding
  • Staircase in back of home
  • Outdoor Kitchen, fireplace, and audio equipment
  • Multi-zone HVAC
  • Instant Hot Water
  • Fire Sprinkler System
We are already starting to see some of these trends from local builders in the Twin Cities. Some home owners are updating their homes and already installing items like tankless water heaters, converting rooms into libraries, and adding natural elements to kitchens and bathrooms via stone and wood. Needless to say but 2015 will be here before we know it. I am more interested in seeing homes become more "smart" and using technology to its utmost potential. I guess we will just have to wait and see!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

St Paul is Green with Envy!

Ok, well I am sure St Paul is not too jealous, but Minneapolis was recently ranked in the top 5 cities worldwide for cleanliness. According to Forbes magazine who released the findings, "The study looked at more than 300 cities from around the world in terms of health and sanitation, including factors like pollution, water quality, waste removal, and availability of hospital and medical supplies." Minneapolis came in 5th place behind Calgary, Honolulu, Helsinki, and Ottawa.

Minneapolis is well known as one of the most environmentally conscious cities in the nation. I even believe a new bill passed recently that requires all future buildings constructed in the city to be "Green". Minneapolis also just released the Minneapolis Green Print which speaks about the efforts the city has been making to protect the local environment. Visit the cities website to learn more.