Thursday, September 30, 2010

Great Minnesota Fall Drives - Are you a leef peeper?

by Linda (minnemom) of Travels with Children

These crisp fall days are perfect for a fall drive and the fine spectator sport of “leaf-peeping.” If you’re up for a tour of the fall colors in Minnesota, consider these destinations:

Split Rock State Park
The North Shore Drive, north of Duluth along the shores of Lake Superior. The leaves were just starting to turn when we were there at the end of September. Combined with the views of Lake Superior, there are some spectacular sights to see. If you want to go beyond driving and see the leaves close-up, stop at Gooseberry Falls State Park or Split Rock Lighthouse and take a walk in the woods.

Fall Colors at Historic Forestville
Southeastern Minnesota. We were in the Preston area last weekend, and the colors were beautiful. Check out the paths near Historic Forestville, or find a gravel road and wander around for a while.
The Minnesota River Valley. Follow the Minnesota Scenic Byway for some beautiful views in the river valley. I saw a beautiful combination of green, yellow, and bright red there yesterday. For a great lookout point, climb to the top of Hermann Monument in New Ulm (check for fall hours).
Find your own: Check out the Minnesota DNR’s Fall Color Reports to see where leaves are at their peak color.

If you have your kids along, find a park and let them play in the leaves. Find some that are interesting. Make a pile and jump in with them. Then find somewhere to stop for a cup of hot chocolate on the way home.

Fall is the perfect time to get off the highways and enjoy the back roads. The combination of blue skies, crisp fall air, and beautiful fall colors is hard to beat.
Do you have a favorite fall drive, in Minnesota or elsewhere?Read more:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Great New Listings!!!

1735 Carriage Drive, Victoria
MLS: 3971695
Priced below market & loaded with designer amenities! Enjoy special features such as a Main Floor Office, 3 Fireplaces, a Gourmet Kitchen with extensive Granite countertops, Butler's Pantry & large Walk-in Pantry. Newly complete the professionally Lower Level with a 5th Bedroom, full service wet bar Bar & Family Room!

2012 Amberg Court, Chaska
MLS: 3971239
This beautiful former model home features a spacious floor plan & stunning finishes including walnut floors, soaring vaults, gourmet kitchen & main floor office. Perfectly located and offering easy access to shopping, restaurants, schools and the new 212 Medical Center.

5105 Hooper Lake Road, Deephaven
MLS: 3973860
Nestled on a beautiful, private lot in desirable Deephaven & the award-winning Mtka School District! This beautifully remodeled home has been totally updated from pillar to post including all tiled baths, hardwood floors, and new Stainless steel Appliances!

For more information on these listing or to check out all our listings, please visit

Return on Investment?

The return on that investment comes in two forms. First, you live in the house and so it provides you with a real flow of valuable services. The second part of the yield on investment is the capital gain you receive if the home appreciates and you sell. Gains are excluded from taxation if the property is a primary residence and the gain is less than $250,000 for a single filer or $500,000 for a married couple filing jointly.

Do the math. Four years ago, the monthly payment on a $300,000 house with 20% down and a mortgage rate of about 6.6% was $1,533. Today that $300,000 house would sell for $213,000 and a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with 20% down would carry a rate of about 4.2% and a monthly payment of $833. In addition, the down payment would be $42,600 instead of $60,000.