Thursday, March 29, 2012

Weekend Happenings: Something For Everyone

If you're hanging around the Twin Cities this weekend for the start of spring break instead of flying off to some warm locale, there is plenty for you to do either in our neck of the woods or deeper into the city.

Lowry Nature Center - The Science Of Flight
7025 Victoria Drive

Victoria, MN 55386
Saturday, March 31, 2012
9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Cost:  $5.00

Blast off into an afternoon of fun as we make our own rockets and launch them skyward! We'll take ordinary two-liter pop bottles and transform them into water-fueled rockets that will reach heights of over 100 feet. Learn through experimentation about the science of flight and aerodynamics and adaptations for flight in nature. Each participant should bring their own two liter pop bottle to turn into a rocket to launch.  Call for reservations:  763.694.7650

Celtic Woman
Xcel Energy Center
St. Paul, MN
Sunday, April 1, 2012
5:00 pm
Cost:  Tickets starting at $39

Celtic Woman vocalists Lisa Kelly, Chloë Agnew and newest member Lisa Lambe along with violinist Máiréad Nesbitt capture the hearts of fans across the country. A true celebration of Ireland with an unforgettable signature style, Celtic Woman perform unique renditions of Irish standards, classical favorites and contemporary hits.

Coldwater Tours
Mississippi National River & Recreation Area
120 Kellog Blvd.
St. Paul, MN
Saturday, March 31, 2012
2:30 pm
Cost:  Free

Rangers will lead free hour-long tours of the site. The National Park Service is restoring the Bureau of Mines, a 27-acre site situated between Minnehaha Falls Regional Park and Fort Snelling State Park. Learn more about our current activities and restoration efforts, the site history, property information, and what will happen in the next project phase.

Sports:  Lacross & Hockey
Xcel Energy Center
St. Paul
Swarm:  Friday, March 30 at 7:30 pm
Wild:  Saturday, March 31 at 7:00 pm
Cost: Ticket prices vary

MN Swarm vs Calgary Roughnecks
The Minnesota Swarm is a professional indoor lacrosse team that competes in the Western Conference of the National Lacrosse League (NLL).   Watch them as they take on the Calgary Roughnecks.

MN Wild vs Los Angeles Kings
Enjoy the beautiful Xcel Energy Center while taking in a Minnesota sports tradition. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

5 Tips To Freshen Up A Home You Want To Sell

Home sales are slowly recovering, but it’s still a buyer’s market. Before you put your house on the market, you need to do a few things to make it more attractive to potential buyers.

“Most buyers aren’t going to have a lot of extra money, so they’re not looking for a fixer-upper,” says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List. “Take care of the little things to get your house in tip-top shape.”

Hicks says there are five areas where you should concentrate your efforts.

Paint the place

“This is a great thing to do and it will really freshen-up the house,” Hicks says. “It will make it seem a lot brighter and potentially bigger, especially if you’re transitioning away from dark colored walls.” When choosing a color, don’t go too wild. Hicks says earth tones are popular choices for both the interior and exterior walls.

Use landscaping to boost curb appeal

Most of us don’t go in our front door anymore. Potential buyers do. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to create a whole new landscaping plan. But make sure the grass and flower beds in the front yard look really nice. Add mulch. Remove weeds. Hicks' advice is to keep it “simple, clean and neat.” She says a well-landscaped yard can add 7 to 14 percent to the value of your home.

Spruce up the kitchen

If you’re going to make improvements to the house, this is a good place to start. Hicks says you can typically get an 80 percent return on investment for kitchen remodeling. But again, keep it simple. You don’t want spend tens of thousands of dollars on a lavish kitchen makeover. She suggests updating cabinets and countertops. New cabinet fronts are about 30 percent less than replacing the cabinets.

Bathroom makeover

This is another area that can turn off potential buyers because a bathroom remodel is expensive. Consider making simple improvements that have a good payback. For example, re-glaze an old tub. “That can make the bathtub look like new again without having to replace it,” Hicks says. And it should only cost a couple of hundred dollars.

Clean or replace carpets

Obviously, you’ll want to clean a dirty carpet. But if it’s badly worn or there are stains that won’t come out, you need to consider replacing it.

The bottom line

You want your house to be as good as or slightly better than the neighbors’ houses. But don’t go overboard. The most expensive house on the block is often the hardest to sell. In this market, a house that appears to be neglected is even worse.

Source:  Life Inc. on Today online

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weekly Market Update: March 26, 2012

In another sign that the six-year long housing slump could be coming to an end, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) reached 28. To put that in perspective, it went from above 70 in 2005 to below 10 in 2009. The HMI has not seen 28 since June 2007. This and other landmark data points are coalescing to signal calmer waters ahead. That's not to say you should expect double-digit annualized appreciation, but both buyers and sellers are displaying the sort of confidence that is fluttering through the rest of the economy.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending March 17:

• New Listings decreased 1.3% to 1,406
• Pending Sales increased 23.1% to 1,029
• Inventory decreased 27.5% to 17,088

For the month of February:

• Median Sales Price decreased 1.4% to $138,000
• Days on Market decreased 9.0% to 145
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 2.5% to 90.6%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 35.2% to 4.7

Source:  Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's A Good Time To Refinance

For homeowners who have been waiting for interest rates to fall even further before refinancing, it might be time to pull the trigger on a deal. Rates are moving up—and could stay higher for a while, experts say.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage climbed to 4.08% for the week of March 22, up from the record low of 3.87% it hit in February, according to Freddie Mac. Rates on 15-year loans were up to 3.30% last week from the record low of 3.13% reached earlier in March.

While rates still are below where they were a year ago, some economists say they are likely to keep rising throughout 2012 and into 2013. That means your window of opportunity to lock in a rock-bottom rate might be closing soon.

Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the Mortgage Bankers Association all are projecting that rates will keep ticking higher this year and beyond. Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association predict the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will reach 5% next year.

The biggest culprit in rising rates: the spike in yields on 10-year Treasury notes over the past two weeks, which mortgage rates generally track. This comes as investors who stashed their money in Treasurys as a safe haven are beginning to sell and move into riskier holdings now that the U.S. stock market and European economy are looking a bit healthier.

Rates could go even higher if the Federal Reserve's so-called Operation Twist, which temporarily pushed down long-term interest rates, ends in June as planned, or if inflation rises, eroding the value of bonds.

Good News, Bad News

"It's a good-news, bad-news situation. The economy seems to be finally getting its legs back under it, and as a natural course interest rates are going to be back up, too," says Keith Gumbinger, vice president at mortgage-data provider HSH Associates. But if the fledgling economic recovery falters, rates could hold steady or go back down, he says.

If you wait until the end of the year to refinance, and the average 30-year rate goes up to 4.7%—as Freddie Mac projects—you will be paying $1,877 more per year on a $400,000 mortgage than if you refinanced at last week's average rate.

An adjustable-rate mortgage might be a good choice if you plan to move soon, since it allows you to lock in an even-lower rate for a fixed period, typically five years, and presumably sell your home before it goes up.

Refinance deals vary depending on your financial situation and location, but borrowers with excellent credit scores typically qualify for rates below the national average.

Not all homeowners should consider a refinance, of course. If you aren't planning to stay in your home for long, refinancing into a 15- or 30-year loan—or even an adjustable-rate mortgage—could cost you more in the end, since you might not recoup the one-time costs that come with refinancing, says Doug Lebda, chief executive of LendingTree.

Such costs typically include an appraisal, credit check and processing fees from the lender, altogether typically 2% to 4% of the loan amount, LendingTree says. That is on top of any so-called points, or origination fees.

Pulling the Trigger

Expect your refinance to take 60 days or longer to close, compared with 30 days before the housing crisis, Mr. Gumbinger says. If borrowers rush to refinance, lenders could experience a logjam that could slow down processing times even more. But it isn't likely that a further slowdown would jeopardize a borrower's ability to lock in a rate, he says.

John Ruben, a 54-year-old chief operating officer at a hotel workers' union, checked mortgages rates online multiple times a day for months before pulling the trigger and refinancing his $321,000 home in Bethlehem Township, N.J., earlier this year.

He had calculated that refinancing would be worth it only if he cut a percentage point off his current 5% interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan. When rates dipped, he refinanced at a 4% rate through a mortgage banker—saving about $150 a month on his payment.

Says Mr. Ruben: "I'm glad I locked in when I did, because now they're going up again."

Source:  Wall Street Journal

For Sale: 4BR/2 1BA Single Family House in Chanhassen, MN, $500,000

Presenting Another Beautiful Home from Stafford Family Realtors

7210 Gunflint Trail ~ Chanhassen, MN

Nestled on a private lot, this home features a Great Room floor plan w/a beautiful kitchen featuring cherry cabinetry & millwork, a main floor office & Master Suite w/sitting room.  Walk to neighborhood parks!

For more information please visit for a private showing please call 952.470.2575

For Sale: 5BR/3 2BA Single Family House in Chanhassen, MN, $869,000

Presenting Another Exceptional Home from Stafford Family Realtors

2061 Pinehurst Drive ~ Chanhassen, MN 

 Exceptionally Beautiful listing in Demand Pinehurst!  Nestled on a half acre lot.  This home features Chefs Kitchen w/prep Island & Breakfast Bar, GE Monogram Appliances, Master BR w/fireplace, 3 BR's w/en-suite Baths, main floor M.I.L. Suite, 2nd floor Laundry & Loft.

For more information please visit for a private showing please call 952.470.2575

Friday, March 23, 2012

Open Houses: March 25, 2012

2710 Northview Drive - Victoria
5 bedroom/5 bath
SqFt:  4,183
OPEN:  12:00 to 2:00

Sited on a preimum lot with pastoral views in Victoria's newest neighborhood. This beautiful home shows like new construction with four bedrooms up including a private princess suite and Jack & Jill Bath and a Loft. The lower level walk out was professionally finished by Sondergaard Forcier.

Click HERE for more information on Northview Drive.

2484 Gunflint Court - Chanhassen
5 bedroom/4 bath
SqFt:  3,585
OPEN:  12:00 to 1:30

Only available do to relocation, this Longacres home features a Great Room floor plan with a Gourmet Kitchen offering cherry cabinetry, granite counters and refinished hard wood floors. Other features include a main floor Office, Private Master Suite and fully finished lower level with a custom entertainment center, fireplace, wet bar and Exercise Room. Walk to one of the two neighborhood parks and enjoy the close proximity to the City of Chanhassen and Village of Excelsior! To schedule a private showing, please contact Stafford Family Realtors at 952.470.2575.

Click HERE for more information on Gunflint Court

7210 Gunflint Trail - Chanhassen
4 bedroom/3 bath
SqFt:  3,074
OPEN:  12:00 to 1:30

Nestled on a private lot, this home features a Great Room floor plan with a beautiful kitchen featuring cherry cabinetry & millwork, a main floor office & Master Suite with Sitting room. Walk to neighborhood parks! Please contact Eric Stafford at 952.470.2575 for more information on the short sale.

Click HERE for more information on Gunflint Trail.

2061 Pinehurst Drive - Chanhassen
5 bedroom/6 bath
SqFt:  4,788
OPEN:  2:00 to 4:00

Click HERE for more information on Pinehurst Drive.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Weekend Happenings: Home Improvement and Design EXPO and Macy's Flower Show

Home Improvement and Design EXPO
Maple Grove Community Center
12951 Weaver Lake Road
Maple Grove, MN 55369

Saturday, March 24, 2012
10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Cost:  $6 or print FREE passes online at

It’s time! Get ready, get set and GO! It’s time to get those home improvement projects in action. Windows, Doors, Siding, Patios, Hut Tubs and more!  Come meet the professionals with expert advise in the home and design industry. Meet Minnesota’s BEST Builders, Remodelers, Landscapers and other home improvement professionals all under one roof all in one weekend .  See the latest products and services and gather free tips, ideas and information to start your project off the RIGHT way!

The Home Improvement & Design Expo is for you, the practical home owner who’s ready to tackle that next big home improvement project. The show emphasizes the key elements that will help you make your home a "MASTERPIECE." Local and national experts in construction and architecture cover everything from A-to-Z for your home improvement needs. If you're serious about your investment in your home, then you owe it to yourself to come to the EXPO, and stop, shop, and compare. Find the home improvement specialist who’s just right for you.

Macy's Flower Show - Brasil
Macy's Downtown Minneapolis
8th floor Auditorium
March 25th through April 7th
During Store Hours
Cost:  Free

Take a trip to Brasil – no passport required! Step into our Gardens in Paradise and be swept away to a bold, lush, tropical world inspired by the vibrant plants and flowers of Brasil.  Stroll through beautiful gardens & landscapes inspired by Carnaval, lush tropical rainforests, timeless Colonial Brasilia and Brasilian landscape artist Roberto Burle Marx. Plus, don't miss our Bouquet of the Day series created by some of America's top floral designers!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

For Sale: 5BR/2 3BA Single Family House in Victoria, MN, $479,000

Presenting Another Gorgeous Home from Stafford Family Realtors

2710 Northview Drive ~ Victoria, MN

This beautiful listing in Victoria's new neighborhood, Rhapsody.  Nestled on a premium lot, this exceptional home features a Gourmet Kitchen w/ over sized granite island, hand scraped walnut floors, 5 BR's, Jack & Jill Bath & princess suite, LL walkout professionally finished.

For more information please visit for a private showing please call 952.470.2575

Greenhouses: Low Budget to High End

My grandpa was an architect by trade and an avid gardener in his spare time.  So naturally, he designed and constructed his own greenhouse.  He used cedar framing and plexiglass.  It was pretty low tech but I loved going in there.  The smell of fresh soil and flowers along with the humid warmth even on a chilly day made it a great place to hang out.

It looks like my grandpa was a trendsetter. Today, greenhouses come in all shapes in sizes.  There are greenhouses for the very small yard and ones to host an afternoon luncheon.  You can own one for a couple hundred bucks, or spend well over $100,000 with all the bells and whistles. 

If you're an avid gardener, especially here in Minnesota, a greenhouse should be on your list of "must haves".  We assembled a gallery of different types and sizes of greenhouses for you.  Maybe you'll put one on your project list this year.

Low Budget Options

These greenhouses are low cost (under $500) and portable.  They can easily be set up in a day to get you gardening right away.  If you live in an urban environment, this may be just the option for you.

For the Hobbiest

If you like the idea of starting all your plants from seed and you have the space but not a lot of extra cash laying around, the next greenhouses may be just right for you.  They assemble in a weekend, can hold a good amount of plants, and won't break the bank.  They require a level spot but do not require an installed floor.

Focal Point

For those who firmly believe in combining form and function, here are some gorgeous greenhouses for you to peruse.  These greenhouses become more of a focal point for your garden than those above.  Many have a foundation, decorative elements, unique designs, motorized vents and, as you might guess, come with a higher price tag.  But they sure are fun to look at!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Weekly Market Update: March 19, 2012

Buyer activity: up. Seller activity: down. That could soon change if sellers begin to increase their activity levels entering the spring market. They've understandably been a tad shy lately, but the changing landscape is starting to register with well-informed homeowners looking to move. Buyers have shown that they refuse to let one of the most attractive purchase environments pass them by. As activity revs up this spring, not all segments will benefit equally. Which is exactly why the numbers are so central to assessing both the breadth and depth of market recovery.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending March 10:

• New Listings decreased 0.3% to 1,450
• Pending Sales increased 20.9% to 995
• Inventory decreased 24.3% to 17,899

For the month of February:

• Median Sales Price decreased 1.4% to $138,000
• Days on Market decreased 9.1% to 145
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 2.6% to 90.6%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 35.8% to 4.7

Source:  Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Monday, March 19, 2012

Clearing The Air: Radon

Most of us put time and attention into making our homes look and feel warm, comfortable and safe.  But one of the most important comfort and safety factors is something we can't see.  The quality of indoor air can make all the difference between feeling healthy and alert and feeling groggy or even ill.  Fortunatley there are ways to prevent air quality problems or fix them when they occur.

One of the most serious indoor air problems in the Southwest metro area is radon gas.  You can’t see, smell, or taste radon, but it could be present at a dangerous level in your home.  The Surgeon General has said that radon is second only to smoking as a cause of lung cancer.  Test kits are inexpensive, readily available at hardware and home improvement stores, and testing takes only a few minutes.  If your test is over 4 pCi/L, there is cause for concern, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Radon comes from the soil. Radon is produced from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. Uranium breaks down to radium. As radium disintegrates it turns into radioactive gas...radon. As a gas, radon moves up through the soil and into the air you breathe.

While radon is present everywhere, and there is no known, safe level, your greatest exposure is where it can concentrate-indoors. And where you spend most time-at home. Your home can have radon whether it be old or new, well-sealed or drafty, and with or without a basement.

High radon exist in every state in the US. In Minnesota, one in three homes (1/3) has radon levels that pose a significant health risk. Some factors that further contribute to Minnesota's high radon levels include:

  • Minnesota's geology produces an ongoing supply of radon.
  • Minnesota's climate affects how our homes are built and operate.

James Hunt, one of the owners of Quality Heating and Air Service, Inc. in Shakopee, says, "Some houses in Shakopee have had over 16 pCi/L.  It's amazing the number of houses that have had it."

Radon can enter a home through the floor and walls -- anywhere there is an opening between the home and the soil. Examples of such openings include dirt floor crawl spaces, unsealed sumps, cracks in slab-on-grade floors, utility penetrations, and the tiny pore spaces in concrete block walls. A basement, of course, provides a large surface area that contacts soil material.

Hunt says newer homes are built with a vapor barrier under the basement concrete, with drain tile that collects the gas.  In older homes, however, "open sump pits funnel radon gas into the house.  That's a big health hazard."

Radon levels are often highest at the entry point-typically in the lower part of a building. As radon gas moves upward, diffusion, natural air movements and mechanical equipment (such as forced-air ventilation system) distribute the radon through the home. Radon gas becomes more diluted in the upper levels of the home because there is more fresh air for it to mix with.

Greater dilution and less house vacuum effect occur when the house is more open to the outdoors, as during the non-heating season. This generally results in lower indoor radon levels in the summer compared to the winter.

Understanding how radon moves through the home environment helps to explain why timing and location are important factors to consider when conducting a radon test.

There are many companies in Minnesota that can help with mitigation of Radon.  The Minnesota Department of Health has a webpage devoted to mitigation companies.    With the cost of an average mitigation being $1500 - $2000, there is a substantial savings by doing it yourself. Click here for link to resources for do-it-yourselfers.

Source:  Refine Your Home magazine by Laura French, and Minnesota Department of Health: Radon in Minnesota Homes

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mortgage Rates Keep Dancing With 'Record'

Mortgage rates in the U.S. declined over the past week as rates continued to hold near record lows, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of mortgage rates. For the week ended Thursday, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.88%, compared with 3.9% the previous week and 4.88% a year ago.

Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.13%, compared with 3.17% a week earlier and 4.15% a year ago. This shorter-term mortgage is a popular option for refinancing, and the latest rate marks a new record low in the survey, which has tracked the 15-year fixed since 1991.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, averaged 2.81%, compared with 2.83% the prior week and 3.73% a year ago.

To obtain the rates, 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages required an average 0.8 point payment. Five-year and one-year adjustable rate mortgages required an average 0.7 point and 0.6 point payment, respectively. A point is 1% of the mortgage amount, charged as prepaid interest.

Source:  The Wall Street Journal

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

3 Hot Trends For Kitchen Remodeling in 2012

Mulling a kitchen remodel but want to keep costs low? You’re au courant with today’s trends that emphasize options and high-tech wizardry at affordable prices.

Trend #1: Remodeling scales back

A new focus on moderation and value has entered the remodeling mind-set. Trends that are likely to show up in your kitchen next year include:

You’ll repair your existing appliances instead of replacing them, extending their life with good maintenance and care. If you’re replacing cabinets, you’re likely to build around your current appliances rather than choosing new models.

You’re scaling back your cabinetry purchases, with an increased emphasis on kitchen storage and functionality over elaborate decoration. For example, rather than stacked crown moldings throughout the kitchen, you’ll put your money into practical roll-out trays and drawer organizers.

Small-scale kitchen projects are big news. Changing out cabinet hardware, replacing a faucet, and refacing your cabinets upgrades your kitchen without major expense.

Trend #2: Simpler, warmer styles dominate

Fussiness and excess have faded away in favor of pared-back looks that present a more timeless, value-conscious style.

Cabinet decoration continues to streamline. For example, massive corbels, once fashionable as undercounter supports, will give way to sleeker countertop supports and cantelivered countertop edges. Stacked moldings will pare back or disappear entirely. Elaborately glazed finishes will yield to simpler paints and stains.

Kitchen finishes will continue to get warmer and darker, and feature natural and stained woods. Walnut especially is growing in popularity.

Laminate countertops will continue to surge in popularity, especially in contemporary design. The latest European-inspired laminates offer more textured and naturalistic finishes than ever before. While exotic wood kitchen cabinets are out of reach for most home owners, glossy, look-alike laminate versions can be had for about one-third the price.

Trend #3: Technology expands its kitchen presence

Many of the techno products and trends that relate to your smartphones and tablets have just started making their way into your local showrooms and home centers.

Appliances will be equipped with USB ports and digital screens so you can display your family photographs and kids’ artwork.

Smart, induction built-in cooktops ($500-$3,000) remember your temperature settings as you move your pans across their entire surface.

One light finger touch is all it takes to open the electronically controlled sliding doors of your kitchen cabinets — a boon to people with limited mobilities. You’ll pay 40% to 70% more for cabinets with electronically controlled doors than standard models.

You’ll be able to use your smart phones and tablets to control lights and appliance settings from anywhere you have a wi-fi connection, as well as to shop for appliances from major manufacturers.

You’ll be opting for LEDs for your recessed lights, under-cabinet task lighting and color-changing accent lighting. You’ll see more LED-powered pendants and chandeliers from major manufacturers as inefficient incandescent bulbs continue their march toward extinction.

A wide selection of affordable microwave ovens with convection and even steam features gives owners of smaller kitchen spaces more high-end cooking power.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Weekly Market Update: March 12, 2012

The last six years or so have been tough on home prices, and even the most optimistic prognosticators say it will take another six years for median sales prices to approach the halcyon days of assured annual value increases for home sellers. Generations of stable home price increases gave way to a boom-and-bust cycle that would have made the sock puppet blush. As we enter what should be an active spring market, our communities would do well to focus effort toward creating healthy, happy homes. With those in place, prices will rise again.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending March 3:

• New Listings decreased 23.2% to 1,402
• Pending Sales increased 29.7% to 940
• Inventory decreased 22.9% to 17,818

For the month of February:

• Median Sales Price decreased 1.1% to $138,500
• Days on Market decreased 9.0% to 145
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 2.6% to 90.6%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 36.5% to 4.6

Source:  Minneapolis Area Association Of Realtors

Monday, March 12, 2012

Garage Doors With The Look Of Wood At A Budget Price

New die technology lets fiberglass doors mimic wood grains so closely that only a professional eye can tell the difference. But unlike wood, which is vulnerable to heat and water and must be painted or stained every few years, pre-finished fiberglass garage doors are impervious to the elements and require almost no maintenance.

Other plusses of fiberglass garage doors:

  • Won’t warp, rot, or rust
  • Insect-proof
  • Lightweight
  • Available in many prefinished colors
  • You can paint them (but you’ll have to repaint every couple of years or so)

Although the energy efficiency of insulated fiberglass and insulated wood doors are practically the same, the initial cost can be worlds apart.

Most 16-by-7-foot fiberglass doors cost about $1,800 installed, while hardwood doors start around $2,500 to $3,000, then zoom up from there depending on wood and style. Your local garage door contractor can help you explore your faux door options.

What’s the downside of fiberglass garage doors? They can crack with age and are more expensive than other low-maintenance options, such as steel garage doors ($750 to $1,200).

Source:  HouseLogic

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Open Houses: March 11, 2012

2484 Gunflint Court - Chanhassen
5 bedroom/4 bath
SqFt: 3,858
OPEN:  12:00 to 2:00

Only available do to relocation, this Longacres home features a Great Room floor plan with a Gourmet Kitchen offering cherry cabinetry, granite counters and refinished hard wood floors. Other features include a main floor Office, Private Master Suite and fully finished lower level with a custom entertainment center, fireplace, wet bar and Exercise Room. Walk to one of the two neighborhood parks and enjoy the close proximity to the City of Chanhassen and Village of Excelsior! To schedule a private showing, please contact Stafford Family Realtors at 952.470.2575.

Click HERE for more information.

2650 Northview Drive - Minnetrista
4 bedrooms/6 bath
SqFt: 5,547
OPEN 3:00 to 4:40

Enjoy the tranquil "Up North" setting of this private estate. Nestled on 45+ acres of maple forest with 1500 feet of lakeshore on Whaletail Lake. This stunning home was thoughtfully designed by Michael Huber & built by Erotas. Offering breath taking spaces, long views and an amazing attention to detail, this home is truly a Northwoods retreat. Offering many opportunities for recreational boating, fishing & hunting.

Click HERE for more information.

For Sale: 5BR/2 2BA Single Family House in Bloomington, MN, $393,000

Presenting Another Exceptional Home from Stafford Family Realtors

9617 Morris Circle ~ Bloomington, MN

Nestled on a quiet cul-de-sac lot, this sun filled home offers an open floor plan 
w/generous room sizes, 4 BR's up & walkout lower level w/kitchenette & exercise room.

For more information please visit for a private showing please call 952.470.2575

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Celebrity Listing: Jon Huntsman Sr.

Jon Huntsman, the Utah governor turned ambassador to China turned an almost presidential candidate, is—apologies to Creedence—a fortunate son. His father, businessman Jon Huntsman, Sr. is a billionaire and profoundly generous philanthropist who has given more than a billion dollars in donations over his lifetime. So when Jon Sr. invites Jon Jr. to go skiing for the weekend, it's no surprise they spend that time in a massive mansion in one of America's premier winter destinations. Located on a 60-acre bluff overlooking downtown Park City, the 20,000-square-foot spread includes 12 bedrooms, 16 baths, an indoor swimming pool, an utterly massive detached garage, a game room, and a gym, along with cavernous entertaining spaces. The ultimate in Park City living, just minutes from Deer Valley Mountain Resort, is listed for $49.5M.

Jon Huntsman Sr.

Jon Huntsman Jr.

Sources:  Wall Street Journal and