Friday, October 20, 2017

Fun Weekend Activities

Are you looking for a fun Halloween activity this weekend? Look no further we have two ideas for you. The Zoo is celebrating fall color and things that go bump in the night. They are hosting AllZooWeen where you can enjoy up-close encounters with both cute and creepy critters. From bats and tarantulas to tigers and tapirs. You can also purchase  a pumpkin either to bring home or to give to the animals to enjoy.
HallZooWeen Activities:
  • Creature Features – 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m.
  • Story Time in the Bee Hive – 10:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.
  • Creepy Crawly Animal Encounters – 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. & 2:30 p.m. – MN Lodge
  • Family Education/Craft Activity – 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Tropics Plaza
  • Live Music – 11:30 a.m., 12:330 p.m., & 1:30 p.m. – Penguin Commons
  • Close Encounter Animal Photo Opportunity – 10:30 – 11:30 p.m. – Monk seal stadium
  • Tropical Reef Skeleton Dive Show – 10:30 a.m. – Tropical Reef Tropics Trail
  • Conservation ‘Scarousel’ – 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Hay Maze at the Wells Fargo Family Farm
  • #HallZooWeen Photo Challenge
  • HallZooWeen-themed Wings Financial Credit Union World of Birds Show -Target Learning Center

Learn More:

If you or your kids can’t wait to go trick or treating you can

Join 50th & France for the 35th Annual Pumpkin Fest! Trick-or-treating in the area, including Halloween and fall-themed activities for kids will be happening. West 50th Street between France Avenue and Halifax Avenue will be closed with activities. 
  • Starting at 10 a.m. - Trick-or-treating for kids 12 and under at 50th & France businesses. Businesses will have Treaters Welcome Signs. 
  • 11 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. - Activities throughout the area including cake walk, petting zoo, balloon twisters, face painting and more.
  • 12:45 p.m. - Costume Contest on West 50th Street. 
There will be complimentary parking in 3 ramps: North, Center and South Ramps along with surface lots off Ewing Avenue and Market Street.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Best Cities for Millenials

We made the list! Minneapolis is number 17 and St. Paul is number 23 on the Best Cities for Millennials. Here are the highlights from the Penny Hoarder:

No. 17 — Minneapolis

Female jogger crossing Minneapolis' famous Stone Arch Bridge over the Mississippi river.
jimkruger/Getty Images

Affordability Rank: 24

Millennial Happiness Rank: 3
Economy Health Rank: 19
Things to do: When you think of Minnesota, you probably don’t think of the beach. But once the ice and snow thaw, you can find true Minneapolis millennials at their favorite summertime haunt: The Hidden Beach on Cedar Lake. Once you’re done roaming through the trails leading away from the “beach,” find a farmer’s market with local specialties, or join a brewery tasting tour group. The Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum is the perfect spot to appear culturally literate on a first date.

No. 23 — St. Paul, Minnesota

"Cathedral of St. Paul, Minnesota, illuminated for the Centennial celebration"
LawrenceSawyer/Getty Images

Affordability Rank: 25

Millennial Happiness Rank: 5
Economy Health Rank: 23
Things to do: Dig into authentic Italian food and goods at the famous Cossetta’s Alimentari, or take a historical tour through the Wabasha Street Caves — as seen on the History Channel — while learning about the infamous history of St. Paul. The Como Park Zoo and Conservatory has beautiful gardens to admire. Locals flock to The Bulldog, which serves up both German and local brews. I mean, the city’s official website has a brunch guide…. Just sayin’.

No. 24 — Rochester, Minnesota
Affordability Rank: 10
Millennial Happiness Rank: 25
Economy Health Rank: 22
Things to do: Get your daily dose of caffeine with locally sourced coffee and tea at Kutzky Market, then grab a beer and pizza for lunch from Forager Brewery. For a fancier feel, sip on a custom cocktails at The Doggery — a Prohibition-era speakeasy (no, sadly, I don’t think dogs are allowed). For some exercise, travel along the 12.5-mile Douglas Trail and enjoy the “rural scenery, traversing some of the richest agricultural land in Minnesota.”

To see who else made the list check it here: 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending October 7, 2017

Many potential buyers are simply not on the market during this time of year, as
school-aged children settle into routines and the gainfully employed focus more on
end-of-year goals and holiday planning over taking on a big move. But not all
buyers are equal. Consider instead the first-time buyers with no children, relocated
employees, investment buyers, bargain hunters and those with generally fewer ties
to established routines.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending October 7:
• New Listings decreased 1.3% to 1,395
• Pending Sales increased 4.1% to 1,103
• Inventory decreased 16.6% to 12,378

For the month of September:
• Median Sales Price increased 7.3% to $246,800
• Days on Market decreased 12.3% to 50
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.6% to 98.1%
• Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 16.7% to 2.5

Information Gathered from MAAR
Publish Date: October 16, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016

Friday, October 13, 2017

Happy Friday the 13th!

It’s that spooky time of year! Here are a couple of fun things to get up to this weekend.

The Trail of Terror opens today. It is the largest Halloween event in the Midwest. With 8 different “Spine Chilling” attractions you can find the perfect scare for you. If you enjoy paintball you can come play End of Days Zombie Paintball. They’ll also have a fun running dead 5K next weekend that you can prepare for. To see everything or buy tickets check out their website:

For those of you looking for a less scary option you can check out Sever’s Fall Festival. It is celebrating it’s 21st year.  Come enjoy the corn maze, obstacle course, corn pit, petting zoo, and magic show all for the price of admission. This year’s them is Sever’s Down Under and will have you searching for 6 pictures of “Sever Dundee” while looking through the maze. To buy tickets or see a schedule of activities check here:

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

5 Ways to Light Up Your Walkway for Halloween

Welcome trick-or-treaters to your home with a lighted walkway on Halloween!  There are many commercial holiday lighting products you can buy, but Halloween is about kids—making decorations and making memories. So I’m suggesting some fun walkway lighting crafts to create with your kids.
Each of these calls for adding a candle for light. You can choose real candles, but the flickering, flameless type that are battery powered are very safe and won’t blow out.
Halloween Luminaria

You can make beautiful outdoor lanterns starting with a simple brown paper bag. The rest of the supplies for these lighted decorations are easy to find, and the process is simple. Make one finished luminaria in advance to show your kids and get their imaginations flowing to come up with their own designs. Click here to find all the instructions! In addition to walkway lighting, another idea is to spell out a Halloween-themed word or short phrase with the luminaria on your front lawn. Think along the lines of “Boo!” or “Magic” or “Scary Night.”
Mason Jar Luminaria
Another luminaria lantern uses mason jars or other similarly sized food jars. Gather enough for both sides of your walkway, add sand, candles or glow sticks. You can also cut small tissue paper pieces in light yellow, orange and darker orange. Lightly glue them to the outside of the mason jar. When lit, this produces a multi-colored, dimensional glow. Click here for instructions and several designs for mason jar luminaria.
Mini Jack O’ Lanterns
Make a pumpkin path! Buy enough small pumpkins to line your walkway. Carve each with a simple design and add a flickering candle. Roast the seeds and enjoy a delicious snack!  Click here for a simple recipe.
Cemetery Pathway
Create multiple tombstones to line your walkway. Decorate with “Rest in Peace” signage and spooky epitaphs. Prop each against a small brick pile or large rock. Set a flickering candle at the base to light the tombstone stone. Click here for needed supplies and instructions.
Ghost Lights
Glowing “gallon” ghosts welcome guests along your walkway on Halloween! Create different expressions on each milk jug ghost and light inside.  Click here for “ghostly” directions!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending September 30, 2017

Few cities and neighborhoods – around the nation and locally – are turning heads
as hotbeds of new housing inventory. Residential real estate markets that have had
a hard time dealing with a reduction in the number of homes available for sale are
now also struggling to keep up with new listings levels from last year. While it's true
that builder confidence is up, it will take time before any sort of new development
spawns a significant change in trend direction.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 30:
 • New Listings decreased 4.9% to 1,382
 • Pending Sales decreased 0.9% to 1,160
 • Inventory decreased 16.0% to 12,728

For the month of August:
 • Median Sales Price increased 6.8% to $252,000
 • Days on Market decreased 14.3% to 48
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.6% to 98.5%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 16.7% to 2.5

Publish Date: October 9, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016
Information gathered from MAAR

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Waterfront Home Tour

It’s the Coldwell Banker Burnet Waterfront Home Tour weekend. 
This Sunday, October 8th from 1 -4pm come tour homes with Lakeshore, River Frontage or Deeded Access.

One home that you can see is 2864 Pelican Point Circle, Mound, MN 55364:
3 Bedrooms | 3 Bathrooms | 4,011 sq. ft. | 3 Car Garage | $689,000

Right down the road is 2890 Pelican Point Court, Mound, MN 55364:
3 Bedrooms | 3 Bathrooms | 3,372 sq. ft. | 2 Car Garage | $635,000

Come see these and all the other homes that are on tour. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Tired of Tan Walls?

Tired of tan? Getting gloomy from cool gray? Make warm gray your new go-to neutral.

You may have noticed that gray is everywhere these days when it comes to home design and . Just about every product and material supplier I talk with is rushing to bring more gray products to the market. I'm noticing a bit of pushback, however, from homeowners who either are growing tired of cool gray hues or find them too cold and somber.
For those folks, I've been recommending warm gray as an easy-to-use neutral. The best way to spot warm gray paint colors is to gather a selection of grays together and compare them. You'll notice some veer cooler (with a blue cast) or warmer (with a hint of brown).
Shown here is a sampling of warm gray paint colors. From left to right: San Francisco Fog from Kelly-MooreDolphin Fin from Behr, Mindful Gray from Sherwin-Williams and Cape May Cobblestone from Benjamin Moore.
There's nothing gloomy about this gray bedroom. The walls are painted a medium warm gray that adds just the right amount of contrast against the beautiful white trim. It's a neutral palette, but because the colors are neither overly warm nor too cool, it's a fresh, soothing space.
A warm gray wall color is a terrific alternative to pure white, which can sometimes feel too sterile, or a cool gray, which might register as chilly in a space with lots of hard surfaces, such as a bathroom. The color palette seen here is fairly restrained, but the different shades of warm grays play well together and add variety and visual interest.
Here's a more modern bathroom with our featured color on the walls. The medium warm gray serves as a bridge between the dark tiles and the white elements in the room, softening the palette nicely. The wood elements add a good dose of warmth and also help soften the contrast between dark and light.
Warm grays play well with a variety of wood tones. Because our featured hue has a nice earthy quality to it, it adds an organic vibe to a room, especially when paired with natural materials such as wood and stone. This living room features a variety of different textures, but they are tied together well through the use of warm gray neutral hues.
If you prefer a softer palette, or your room lacks an abundance of natural light, go for light warm grays. The wall color seen here is almost an off-white, but that small hint of warm gray adds a cozy quality.
Oftentimes homeowners default to white walls throughout the house because they want to play it safe, or they are overwhelmed by the paint color options. If you don't have the time or energy to audition a bunch of paint colors for your home, find a light warm gray and make that your default hue. You can always add punches of color here and there via accent walls, textiles and decorative accessories. Or keep the palette supersoft and neutral, as in this bedroom. You really can't go wrong with light warm gray.
For those with interesting furniture, furnishings or artwork to show off, keep your walls a light neutral so they don't compete for attention. A soft warm gray is a nicer, more inviting alternative to stark gallery-white walls.
One thing I love about warm grays is how they change color throughout the day. In warmer light - during sunrise and sunset - warm gray colors will appear taupe or brown. In the cooler light of dawn, midday or dusk, or in cool artificial light, the color turns a purer gray. That's why I advise homeowners who are testing out paint colors to view the hues during various times of the day, in the changing light, before making the final selection.

Warm grays, like all good neutrals, work well with any design style. This transitional-style dining room looks super elegant clad in a light warm gray. Like the first example, the color provides just the right amount of contrast against the white painted woodwork, but it's not an aggressive, in-your-face kind of color - it allows the woodwork to stand out. If you want more drama, go for a darker warm gray hue. If you want a soft and airy, barely-there wash of color, go for a lighter warm gray.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending September 23, 2017

Last year's national chorus was about how high buyer demand, a sunny economic
outlook and enticingly low mortgage rates were propping up sales and prices in
spite of low inventory. That refrain is still common enough, but regional changes
continue to become more pronounced, whether due to weather, differing
employment expectations or varying new construction outlooks. Let's look at how
our unique local market is performing.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 23:
 • New Listings increased 1.7% to 1,465
 • Pending Sales decreased 1.5% to 1,081
 • Inventory decreased 16.5% to 12,765

For the month of August:
 • Median Sales Price increased 6.8% to $252,000
 • Days on Market decreased 14.3% to 48
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.6% to 98.5%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 16.7% to 2.5

Publish Date: October 2, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016
Information gathered from MAAR

Friday, September 29, 2017

What’s Happening this Weekend?

Can you believe it’s going to be October this Sunday? Here are some thing happening this weekend.

It’s the last weekend of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. The theme is Oktoberfest and that means a lot of polka and beer. Polka lessons are happening 3 times a day and Schell is letting you sample 5 flavors and learn about how their beer is made. To learn about all the other fun activities for the festival check out their website:

It is also Twin Cities Marathon weekend. Family events are happening throughout the day on Saturday with the 10 mile and full marathon happening on Sunday. Everything will be on the State Capitol Grounds in St. Paul. Anyone wanting to participate or cheer on the runners should plan ahead for traffic. I35 W is going to be closed in both directions starting at 10pm tonight (Friday) until Monday morning.

Here are the other events happening that you should prepare an alternate driving route for:

Twins vs Tigers – Saturday, Sept. 30 @ 6:10pm
Twins Vs Tigers – Sunday, Oct. 1 @ 2:10pm
Vikings vs Lions – Sunday, Oct. 1 @ 12pm
Gophers vs Maryland Terrapins – Saturday, Sept. 30 @ 11am

Wild vs Stars – Saturday, Sept. 30 @7pm

Thursday, September 28, 2017

5 Newbie Mortgage Mistakes That Are So Easy to Avoid

Can’t wait to cozy up in that cute Colonial, but anxious about signing up for your first mortgage?
We get it. Buying your first home is a big stinking deal. But with a little know-how, it’s easier than expected to make smart mortgage moves and save big bucks over the course of your loan.
By avoiding these mistakes, you can put your home-buying butterflies to rest.
#1 Finding Your Home Before You Find Your Mortgage

Tax papers stored in a home office
#2 Not Comparing Loans Correctly
#3 Falling for Marketing Gimmicks
#4 Not Budgeting for Your Craft Beer and Yoga Pants
#5 Not Knowing How to Eyeball the Paperwork
  • The APR (see No. 2 above)
  • The interest rate
  • The monthly payment
  • The loan terms, such as a 30-year or 15-year mortgage, adjustable rate or fixed
  • The total cost of the loan
  • Cash amount you’ll need at closing

How Much It Could Cost You: Enough to send your future kid to college. Seriously, over the life of the loan, you could end up paying tens of thousands of dollars more in interest and fees than you need to.
Why People Mess This Up: If you don’t have your financing buttoned up before you find your dream home, your desire to win the bid could influence you to offer a higher price and overpay on a mortgage because you had no time to shop around. Getting your financing all set before you feel the pressure to make an offer gives you time to qualify for a more attractive loan and gives you the confidence to make a fair offer because you’re a qualified buyer.
How to Avoid It: Start talking to lenders at least three months — maybe even a year — before you start house hunting. Time-consuming tweaks like paying down debt or improving your credit score can have a dramatic effect on overall mortgage costs.
How Much It Could Cost You: Just like No. 1 above, you could overpay by tens of thousands over the life your loan.
Why People Mess This Up: First-time buyers often get seduced by a low interest rate and don’t take into account the cost of fees. A lower-interest loan could actually cost you more than one with a higher rate because those fees can be steep enough to outweigh the interest savings, says Matt Oliver, senior loan officer with Lund Mortgage Team in Glendale, Ariz.
How to Avoid It: Compare loans by the annual percentage rate, or APR, not just by interest rate. Each lender should give you a document aptly named “loan estimate.” The APR will be listed there (if it’s not, you don’t want that lender). The APR combines a home loan’s interest rate with closing costs and other fees like points (which is why it’s usually higher than the interest rate), then converts the overall costs to an annual percentage. This gives you an apples-to-apples comparison so you can understand what you’re paying over the life of the loan. You’re welcome!
How Much It Could Cost You: More than enough to buy a good used car (or at least enough to cover Uber fees for a few years).
Why People Mess This Up: ”Lenders use advertising hooks like, ‘We pay your mortgage insurance,’ or ‘You don’t pay the closing costs,’” says Casey Fleming, mortgage adviser in Silicon Valley, Calif., and author of “The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage.” Don’t be fooled. “You still pay those costs,” he says. “If you’re not paying in cash, you’re paying it in the interest rate.” Fleming estimates those costs can add a quarter point to an interest rate, which as an example, translates to $9,203 (the difference between a 4% interest rate and one that is 4.25%) for a mortgage of $176,000.
How to Avoid It: Block out the noise. Shop for your mortgage according to trusted recommendations and reliable reviews, not slick deals that sound too good to be true.
How Much It Could Cost You: Time and money for the things you love to do, like meeting friends over a pitcher of the newest session beer, then hitting the gym in the morning to work it off.
Why People Mess This Up: Lenders qualify you for what you technically can afford on a spreadsheet. They’re looking at your monthly debt-to-income ratio. They don’t look at what you spend your disposable income on: your passions and hobbies. So homebuyers often end up with a mortgage payment they can only afford by scaling back on the things they enjoy.
“One homebuyer may be a homebody, like to cook, and have no pets to pay for,” says Dave Jacobin, president of 1st Mariner Mortgage. “Meanwhile, a second buyer with the exact same income and debt situation might travel every weekend, enjoy fine dining, or shop a lot. Lenders can’t look at that.”
How to Avoid It: Track your spending monthly, so you really know how much you spend. Factor fun into your future when deciding which mortgage offer is the best fit. “Two years into your home purchase, you want to be happy you did it,” says Jacobin. “You don’t want to be mortgage poor.”
How Much It Could Cost You: Thousands of dollars in surprise closing costs.
Why People Mess This Up: Because the paperwork seems so freaking daunting. But good news: As of October 2015, new mortgage rules require lenders to send you paperwork that actually makes sense.
This new paperwork comes in two different documents. It’s much easier to scan and understand than the old paperwork, which used to be the model for everything bad about tiny legal print.
1. The loan estimate will come first. Here are some key things to look for:
2. The closing document will come at least three days before you close. It should look just like the first document, but instead of estimates it will have final numbers. If you see any increases or additional fees you weren’t expecting, question the lender immediately. Because if it shows even a tenth of a percent interest-rate jump you weren’t expecting (say 4.1% instead of 4%) — and you don’t question it — that could mean a difference of almost $3,700 on a $176,000 mortgage.
How to Avoid It: Watch for those docs. Review and compare them. And, most importantly, don’t be afraid to speak up if you spot a surprise. Now, how easy was that?

Alaina Tweddale with

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending September 16, 2017

According to the National Association of Home Builders, there is a rising demand in
the new-home market spurred on by ongoing job and economic growth, the
continuation of attractive mortgage rates and increased consumer confidence. And
there does appear to be a notable increase in building or announced building
projects around the country. Builder confidence tends to equate with more
construction starts, which would be welcome news in an era of low inventory.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 16:
 • New Listings decreased 5.7% to 1,536
 • Pending Sales decreased 7.1% to 1,084
 • Inventory decreased 16.5% to 12,740

For the month of August:
 • Median Sales Price increased 6.8% to $252,000
 • Days on Market decreased 14.3% to 48
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.6% to 98.5%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 16.7% to 2.5

Publish Date: September 25, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016
Information gathered from MAAR

Friday, September 22, 2017

Happy first day of autumn!

There are a couple of fun things to do this weekend. It’s the 2017 Studio Tour – Art Wander – Edge of the Big Woods. From Potters to Weavers, Painters and Illustrators, Stained Glass Artists,
Woodworkers, Sculptors and Jewelers, come visit the many talented artists. It starts today and continues through Sunday. For a map and a list of artists visit

Another fun event is Biscuits and Blooms. It’s a fundraising event at the beautiful Tonkadale Greenhouse to celebrate pups that have found their forever home and help those who are still looking. This family-friendly event is free to attend and features a silent auction, Wine wall, Food truck and an ice cream truck along with a photobooth and adoptable dogs. All dogs on non-retractable leashes are welcome. For more info check here:

Thursday, September 21, 2017

5 Ways to Boost Your Curb Appeal for the Fall Selling Season

Sellers looking to get the best price know that curb appeal plays a huge role in getting buyers through the door. Once the flowers fade and the temperature drops, however, it can be easy to overlook your outdoor space altogether. Here are five simple ways to make the most of what fall has to offer and give your home the edge it needs for a quick sale.
1. Improve Your Entry
With every potential buyer passing through your front door, your entryway is critical to a good first impression. Cleaning the door, sweeping the stoop, and ridding the area of dirt and cobwebs can be enough to improve the overall look of your home, but for maximum impact, lay a new doormat and replace or paint any rusted or corroded hardware, mailboxes, or light fixtures. If you’re feeling adventurous, painting your front door a different shade can be a great selling feature that can be done in an afternoon.
Traditional brick colonial dressed up for fall with colorful mums and harvest gourds
2. Let the Light Shine
While the outdoors is the natural habitat for all manner of insects, they don’t need to reside in your outdoor light fixtures. Dirty lights and windows will not only reduce your nighttime curb appeal but can also affect how much natural light makes it through to the inside of your home. A thorough cleaning of light fixtures and windows will boost the overall impression buyers have of your home and can affect their impression of the rest of the home. For added impact, place inexpensive solar lights along the border of any gardens or walkways to illuminate your yard at night.
3. Love Your Landscape
Given that landscaping can amount for up to 15 percent of a home’s value, keeping your yard in tip-top shape is more important in the fall than ever. Fall colors and cascading leaves may provide a romantic vision, but may leave a potential buyer focusing on how much raking they will have to do. When seasonal plants fade away, be sure to cut back the dead growth and ensure your yard is regularly raked. Even if your yard doesn’t require frequent mowing, be sure to edge walkways with a straight-edge for a clean-cut look, and add some quick color by placing pots of seasonal plants in gardens and on porches.
Raking fall leaves with rake
4. Whisk the Water Away
The fall tends to bring increased precipitation, which can be a deal-breaker for buyers if they feel water penetration will be a problem. To prevent pooling water, be sure the grading around the foundation slopes away from the house and use downspout extenders, if necessary, to move water out into the yard. Clean the gutters regularly, and take a good walk around your home after a heavy rain to identify any problem areas that may allow water into the house, like door and window caulking.
5. Don’t Overdo the Decor
Finally, while the bounty of fall can be used to enhance the beauty of your home, be wary of overdoing the decor. Too many Halloween decorations, for example, can easily detract from the beauty of your home. Try instead for colorful mums, gourds, and pumpkins in a variety of colors and sizes that can provide earthy variety without overdoing it.
Regardless of the weather, the fall is still a hot time to sell a home, and can be an incredible opportunity to make a lucrative sale. Keep in mind that most buyers will either view your home online or drive by before making a decision to visit, so a sharp curb appeal can help keep your home above the competition.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending September 9, 2017

For several years, residential real estate markets across the country were relatively
similar except for a few pockets of extreme price increases in the west and a few
areas of slower post-recession recovery in the east. Regional market diversion is
becoming more common. Natural disasters play a part, as do factors such as the
proclivities and incomes of a younger buyer pool.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 9:
 • New Listings decreased 3.1% to 1,690
 • Pending Sales increased 2.7% to 1,036
 • Inventory decreased 16.5% to 12,587

For the month of August:
 • Median Sales Price increased 6.8% to $252,000
 • Days on Market decreased 14.3% to 48
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.6% to 98.5%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 16.7% to 2.5

Publish Date: September 18, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016
Information gathered from MAAR

Friday, September 15, 2017

It’s Apple Day!

Tomorrow Saturday, September 16th in downtown Excelsior is Apple Day!

It starts with the Apple of the Lake 5K and 1 Mile which is still open to registration. You can also volunteer if you sign up today. That is at 8am followed by the street fair from 9am-6pm. You can also enjoy an apple pie contest, a beer and wine garden, a pie eating contest and live music with a street dance. For a look at the live music line up and a schedule of events click here:

Thursday, September 14, 2017

If you're starved for the sounds, textures and moods of the great outdoors, bring the outdoors in!

We live in a fast-paced, plugged-in world. Many of us don't have the time to get outside and enjoy nature. This is unfortunate, as studies show that nature is an important part of our health and well-being. If you're starved for the sounds, textures and moods of the great outdoors, bring the outdoors in! You can integrate the natural world into your living space with plants, raw and natural materials, and even art.

In the Woodwork

Wood can be a fantastic and high-impact design element. A solid piece of wooden furniture which shows the grain and has a natural finish can create a calm, grounded atmosphere. Wooden chairs, like wicker and bamboo, can do the same. Chunks of treated wood make for great floating bookshelves, and whole tree stumps can be used as seats and end tables. You can even turn slices of wood into custom-made coasters.

Functional Flora

Growing indoor herb gardens is a popular, functional way to incorporate plants into your home environment. There are a great number of herbs which thrive on small amounts of water and sunlight, like rosemary and chives. If you're not sure of your gardening skills, you can start with one hopeful herb on a windowsill. If you're ambitious, you can plant up to 16 herbs in a shoe organizer or try growing vegetables indoors.
HomeAdvisor's helpful guide to gardening breaks down the needs of individual herbs, vegetables and fruits. It's important to do your research and know before you buy, so you don't waste time cultivating a weepy indoor garden.

Succulent Art

Succulents and terrariums are a low-maintenance option, as they require minimal attention to thrive. For a big-impact project, you can use succulents to create a living picture or wall. Living pictures are collections of succulents fitted into picture frames and held in by hardwire cloth. If you take this on as a DIY project, you can choose coordinating colors and arrange them however you like.


Perhaps somewhere in your house, there's a Ziploc bag full of seashells or a box of unique rocks you've collected during your travels. Out in your yard, there's a beautifully twisted twig or a perfect bunch of baby pine cones. Every one of these items is an opportunity to bring nature into your home. Incorporate twigs, branches and seashells by placing them among books and picture frames. Place stones, rocks and sand in vases and pair with a freshly plucked wildflower.

Pictures as Places

Hanging nature prints and art can make your room design more cohesive. A print of never-ending redwoods will draw attention to your forest-themed accents. A vast picture of the ocean or the view from a mountain-top will make a confined space feel more open and inviting. Take your own pictures from favorite places and vacations and have them enlarged to hang throughout your house.

Sound Therapy

The noises within a home are rarely natural. Your microwave beeps, your laptop whirs, your coffee pot sighs and your refrigerator hums. Perhaps the only natural things you hear throughout the day are your children's laughter and the rush of water in the shower.
The sound of moving water can have a calming effect and even lower stress levels. Find a way to integrate a fountain or small waterfall into your home, particularly where you need it most. A fountain by your desk, where you pay your bills and rifle through your emails, can help you focus and better manage anxieties.
You can use as much or as little nature as you need, in your decor. You may only want one tall, elegant houseplant in the corner of your living room, or you may want your home office to feel entirely like a beach. Whichever your preference, bringing these natural elements into your home can turn it into the relaxing escape you need at the end of a long work day.

Guest post by Lauren White
Lauren White is a freelance writer who enjoys reading, hiking and traveling. She can usually be found on an outdoor adventure with her boyfriend and little sister on the weekends.