Friday, September 28, 2012

Open Houses: September 30, 2012

19100 Rutledge Road - Deephaven
3 bedroom/3 bath
SqFt:  3,850
OPEN:  12:00 to 2:00

Welcome to Beachcomber, in the heart of Deephaven! This new home brilliantly combines the white, gabled architecture this area is known for, with modern, contemporary design, creating a home perfectly suited to this neighborhood. New and interesting details are used throughout, this includes a cantilevered entry roof to welcome you inside and a vaulted family room to encourage you to relax and enjoy your surroundings. Whether it’s time with family, or curled up in the window seat with a good book, you’ll enjoy sunshine from morning until night. The house is wrapped in windows and features a spacious, open floor plan. The kitchen, dining and family rooms all complement each other, allowing easy movement from one room to the next. On the second floor, the loft, overlooking the family room, allows you to nestle into the treetops in your own home and is down the hall from two junior bedrooms, a full bath, and a master suite. The master suite features a vaulted ceiling and windows on three sides. The master bath features a free-standing soaking bathtub and walk-in shower. It is bathed in natural light, providing a spa like experience. The home also features both a front deck and dining patio to allow you to enjoy the close proximity to Lake Minnetonka and Deephaven Beach. Well equipped with Thermadore appliances, a wine cooler, Marvin windows, Koehler faucets and Corian countertops. >>> We called this home Beachcomber due to it’s unique location near Deephaven Beach on Lake Minnetonka. We used the spirit of Beachcomber to guide the design, focusing on light, openness and a relaxed approach to living. Kick off your shoes and stay awhile! -Chris Guerrera, Risk Architectural Design, LLC

Click HERE for more information.

6841 Chaparral Lane - Chanhassen
4 bedroom/2 bath
SqFt:  1,947
OPEN:  12:00 to 3:00

Main Photo

This home is a MUST SEE! The seller is an interior designer and has done a beautiful job updating this home. ALL NEW Siding, Windows, Stainless Steel Appliances, Furnace, Water Heater & more! Walk to Chanhassen shops & parks!

Click HERE for more information.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Weekend Happenings: Quilt Show and Art Crawl

CAQC "Fall Splendor of Quilts" Quilt Show
Chaska Community Center
1661 Park Ridge Dr.
Chaska, MN 55318
Sept 28-29, 2012
Cost:  $6.00

Over 200 quilts made by Chaska Area Quilt Club members on display along with a small quilt auction, exhibit of challenge quilts as well as 16 vendors and quilt shops. International award-winning quilter, Sue Spargo will lecture on Friday Sept. 28 and Saturday Sept. 29. Lecture free with $6 admission.

Eden Prairie Art Crawl
Eden Prairie Art Center
7650 Equitable Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Sept 29-30, 2012
Cost:  Free

Eden Prairie Art Crawl

Visit the studios of local artists exhibiting all types of art work. Meet local artists, tour the Art Center and find unique gifts and artwork.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Kitchen Space Planning


Every kitchen functions differently. Beyond the basics — providing a place to store, cook and eat food — the kitchen serves as the new “great” room in the home. Depending on how you use the space — how you live your life — you will set goals for the kitchen design. For example, if you rarely cook at home but desire a beautiful space to entertain, you will make different appliance and floor plan choices than a family who needs to accommodate growing children, or a couple that cooks gourmet entrees.

“If a client comes to me and says, ‘We are a family that loves to mess around in the kitchen together,’ that is something very different than someone who says to me, ‘We do a lot of entertaining,’” says Deborah Pierce, principal, Pierce Lamb Architects, West Newton, Mass.

Before embarking on a kitchen remodeling project, define your lifestyle. What do you need in a kitchen? What appliances, cabinets, surfaces and extras are on your wish list? What needs to happen in the kitchen on a daily basis? Where does your kitchen flunk out in functionality? What works well in your existing space? Download and complete the Day in the Life of Your Kitchen Questionnaire to help determine your kitchen needs.

If you think big-picture, you’ll avoid the biggest mistake: “Looking at the kitchen as a set of parts rather than a whole,” says Mary Jo Peterson, principal, Mary Jo Peterson Inc.

This is because the kitchen has evolved from a utilitarian space to a household hub. We want more from our kitchens—we want them to really work for us and, at the same time, provide an appealing backdrop for all that happens there.

“Kitchens have become the main gathering area of the house, so clients are requesting kitchens that are functional but beautiful,” says Jorge Castillo of Jorge Castillo Design in Miami, Fla., and Shaker Heights, Ohio. “We are basically putting a family room, breakfast room and kitchen in all in one space.

Modern kitchens simply do more than their traditional predecessors.

Pierce says that the generous kitchens of the 1990s and early 2000s, “a period where kitchens got bigger and bigger,” introduced possibilities to this former food-cook space. “During that time, we had the luxury of including more in our kitchens—the sky was the limit,” Pierce says. “That gave us a chance to rethink the kitchen in a way that wasn’t happening before.”

Essentially, that meant re-evaluating the traditional work-triangle: refrigerator, sink and stove. Now, designers plan kitchens based on “activity centers” or “zones.”

Work Zones
The kitchen should include work zones for the following:   Foods. Storage for groceries, including non-perishable items, refrigerated and frozen foods   Dishes, Etc. Space for dishes, glasses, cutlery and odds-and-ends, such as scissors or desk items   Cleaning. An area for recycling/waste management with recycling bins and trash cans, and space for household cleaning items   Food Preparation. The main work area with access to utensils, knives, small appliances, cutting boards, mixing bowls, etc.   Cooking. Where you’ll find pots, pans, bakeware, cooling racks, etc

Additionally, a kitchen might also provide spaces for these activities:

Entertaining. An island, peninsula or other bar area that can accommodate stools a serve as a stand-or-sit space for cocktails or dinner. Or, an entertainment configuration might include a conversation zone with lounge chairs and a low table or versatile ottoman.

Dining. A place where family can eat breakfast together, or where a household can host holiday dinner (depending on goals for the space).

Working (Home Office). Either dedicated work station or hidden features like a drop-down touch-screen computer.

Source:  HGTV Remodels

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Weekly Market Update: September 24, 2012

On September 13, the Federal Reserve announced its third round of quantitative easing (QE3). This time, it took the form of $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) purchases each month. The goal is to bolster the stock market by diminishing returns on MBSs. This will make equities more attractive, which will provide capital to corporations, who should in turn hire and therefore spur consumer spending. If successful, that job creation and spending will resonate into housing consumption and reinvestment. New jobs fuel housing demand which alleviates underwater homeowners and supports home prices. Here's how we rounded out the week.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 15:

• New Listings increased 4.0% to 1,360
• Pending Sales increased 18.4% to 978
• Inventory decreased 29.5% to 16,479

For the month of August:

• Median Sales Price increased 14.8% to $178,000
• Days on Market decreased 23.9% to 107
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 4.2% to 95.1%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 41.5% to 4.2

Source:  Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Monday, September 24, 2012

HGTV's "Bang For Your Buck" Expert Discussion

Designer Monica Pedersen gives advice on what to do when selling your home. Real estate expert Elizabeth Sincox weighs in on Monica's advice – sometimes the two agree, and sometimes they don’t.


Best thing to do:

Monica: Freshen up your home’s curb appeal with mature landscaping and dark-brown mulch or simply invest in two oversized urns to accommodate year-round plantings.

Elizabeth: Also, clear away cobwebs around the door. You can only make one first impression.

Worst thing to do:

Monica: Spending money on plantings that won’t survive through the seasons. Flowerbeds filled with dead annuals don’t say much to buyers during the fall and winter months.

Elizabeth: I disagree with my friend here. I think a few flats of flowers go a long way and are so much more inexpensive. Landscaping can cost thousands of dollars and you won't see a return on your money for a few years.

    Exterior Lighting

Best thing to do:

Monica: Installing large-scale exterior lighting to dress up the front of your house.

Elizabeth: Agree — get rid of cheap, rusted coach lights. So many people forget about exterior lighting.

Worst thing to do:

Monica: Miniature exterior coach lights can look cheap. Elizabeth and I agree that this is one of our major pet peeves. Our best advice is to grab the lights you think you need and then look for the same lights but three times bigger. Lighting needs to reflect the scale of the front of your house and not just the wall space next to the front door. It is worth a few extra dollars.

Elizabeth: Amen, sister!


Best thing to do:

Monica: Reface or replace worn kitchen cabinets.

Elizabeth: Yes and no. Reface or paint old cabinets for sure. However, replacing can cost thousands of dollars.

Worst thing to do:

Monica: Repainting unsalvageable cabinetry to save money. A new coat of paint can only go so far. Elizabeth and I disagree on this one. There is an abundance of affordable cabinetry out there for someone who is willing to get their hands dirty in order to get a return on this investment. The hunt is half the fun.

Elizabeth: Older cabinets are most often solid maple or oak. If you have to, replace only the doors or have a carpenter add a trim frame to the outside then caulk and paint the cabinets. It will cost hundreds verses thousands of dollars.

Kitchen Appliances

Best thing to do:

Monica: Invest in matching kitchen appliances. All black, white or stainless steel will give a kitchen a current look.

Elizabeth: I agree. New appliances every 10 to 15 years is a good idea.

Worst thing to do:

Monica: Spending too much on one high-end appliance thinking buyers will complete the rest.

Elizabeth: I concur. Unless you are planning on staying in the house for seven to 10 years, you won't get your money back on the designer appliances.

Bathroom Fixtures

Best thing to do:

Monica: Get rid of outdated bathroom fixtures like pink toilets and seashell sinks.

Elizabeth: I agree. Please, no colored tubs or toilets. It will only make your real estate agent’s job a lot harder.

Worst thing to do:

Monica: Remodeling an outdated bathroom and leaving a colored bathtub in order to save money. Reglazing a tub costs around $300 in most parts of the country and can save the day when it comes to keeping costs down for a remodel.

Elizabeth: Buyers love white toilets, tubs and sinks.


Best thing to do:

Monica: Refinish worn hardwood floors.

Elizabeth: Yes, if you have yucky carpet over hardwood floor pull it up. Hardwood is always a plus.

Worst thing to do:

Monica: Installing hardwood floors to make a sale. This is a costly and timely endeavor. Save some money and install beautiful pre-engineered wood and laminate floors. Elizabeth has some strong views on these types of floorings that only tell me she needs to get out of open houses and spend some time at home improvement stores or better yet visit the set of Designed to Sell, where she might change her mind on their look and value.

Elizabeth: Monica darling, I have had buyers actually tell me they would have bought the house if only it had real genuine hardwood floors. Laminate floors aren't fooling anyone. We all know they’re not real.

Straighten Up

Best thing to do:

Monica: Declutter and clean. Use professionals for jobs like window washing, carpet cleaning and configuring storage spaces.

Elizabeth: If it's dirty clean it and if it's broken fix it. Leaving a to-do list for the buyer could end up costing you $20,000 to $50,000 in the negotiations, whereas having it fixed by a handyman might only cost $2,000.

Worst thing to do:

Monica: Shoving everything into a closet before the open house. Buyers want to see what kind of storage they are getting and a crammed closet only says not enough.

Elizabeth: I totally agree. I tell my sellers to start packing. Box it up and get it out. Kids don't need 75 toys; let them pick out a few favorite things and pack the rest away.

Coordinating Hardware

Best thing to do:

Monica: Match hardware throughout your home.

Elizabeth: I say hardware and fixtures.

Worst thing to do:

Monica: Mixing brass and chrome or brushed nickel on doors, hinges and faucets — ugly!

Elizabeth: Yes, but be careful because these items can add up. Go for something moderately priced, since you won’t get your money back on super-expensive hardware and fixtures.


Best thing to do:

Monica: Install inexpensive, low-pile neutral carpeting when a good cleaning won’t suffice.

Elizabeth: Agree. If it smells, if it's ugly or if it's ripped, it needs to be replaced.

Worst thing to do:

Monica: Installing colored or boldly printed carpeting because it is a cheap fix. Look to save money by using neutral remnants — every carpeting store has them.

Elizabeth: Carpet is cheap and it makes a room look fresh.

Neutral Colors

Best thing to do:

Monica: Bring in some of the year’s neutral color trends with a coat of paint. Your walls will look fresh and buyers will get the impression your home has been updated as they recognize popular color trends. Also, using trendy colors makes finding staging accessories much easier.

Elizabeth: A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a room.

Worst thing to do:

Monica: Painting your kitchen the red you’ve always wanted. Save the drama and buy a cute pair of red shoes instead.

Elizabeth: I also want to say a few words on wallpaper. It is a very personal thing. If you’re looking to sell, choose paint over wallpaper.

Source:  HGTV

Friday, September 21, 2012

Open Houses: September 23, 2012

8205 Kelzer Pond Drive - Victoria
5 bedroom/5 bath
SqFt: 4,856
OPEN:  12:00 to 2:00

Nestled on the tranquil shores of Kelzer Pond, this custom built Sondergaard Forcier home features designer touches throughout. Enjoy the pond views and warm, sun-filled rooms perfectly designed with family and entertaining in mind. Good food and good company are two of life’s greatest pleasures and this Gourmet Kitchen is where it all comes together. Expertly crafted cabinetry, granite counters and a beautifully tiled backsplash combine to create this kitchen that can truly be called the Heart of the Home. Just off the kitchen is the Three Season Porch with a cozy fireplace. You will enjoy relaxing with your morning coffee or watching the sunset from the privacy of this space. The Great Room features a wall of windows, custom cabinetry and a gas fireplace. This open floor plan is perfect for evenings with the family as well as entertaining. The home office is hidden behind a set of French doors just off the foyer. A wall of custom stained book cases has been built-in and extra storage can be found in a closet. This office will work just the way you do while inspiring creativity and enhancing your productivity. The second floor is where you will find the Master Suite with its tray ceiling and private bath offering spa finishes from the large Jacuzzi tub to the walk-in shower with dual heads and the built-in linen cabinet. In addition to the loft space found on this floor, you will also enjoy a private guest suite and two junior bedrooms with a Jack-and-Jill bath outfitted with enameled wainscoting, private vanities and walk-in closets. Well equipped, the lower level walk out has been expertly finished with a spacious family room featuring a wall of custom built bookshelves, an entertainment center and a stone fireplace. The focal point of this Billiards Room is the antique bar that has been thoughtfully refinished and installed. The large, flat yard is the prime spot for a pool! The Watermark neighborhood enjoys a private estate setting and offers its residents walking and biking trails along with community parks. To schedule a private showing or for more information, please call 952.470.2575

Click HERE for more information on Kelzer Pond Drive.

6841 Chaparral Lane - Chanhassen
4 bedroom/2 bath
SqFt:  1,947
OPEN:  12:00 to 2:00

Main Photo

Click HERE for more information on Chaparral Lane.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Living The High Life

Luxury real estate is reaching new heights.

Developers are betting big on residential skyscrapers, building them at record-breaking heights—with record price tags to match. Changing the skyline in New York, London and Dallas, the tallest new residences will stretch over 90 stories, with at least one penthouse asking over $100 million.

In New York, the current chart topper at 870 feet is New York by Gehry at 8 Spruce Street, a rental building in the Financial District that was designed by Frank Gehry. The 76-story building's first residents moved in last year, but coming soon is a building with residences even higher up. Under construction in Midtown is One57, a condo building with a hotel that will have apartments as high as 90 floors up, or just over 1,000 feet.

"From here you have all the icons of New York," said Dan Tubb, One57's director of sales, looking at a wall-size screen that shows a simulated view of the upper floors' helicopter-like vistas. But One57's moment at the top may also be brief: Plans are in place for a nearly 1,400-foot-tall condo and retail complex on the site of the former Drake Hotel on Park Avenue and 56th Street, according to people familiar with the project.


Many of the newest residential skyscrapers are marketing overseas, aiming to attract wealthy foreign buyers. At least 10 units in One57 have gone into contract with Chinese buyers. For foreign buyers, buying into a newly constructed building in New York is easier than getting approval from cooperative or condominium boards, says Edward Mermelstein, a Manhattan-based lawyer who advises wealthy Russian and Eastern European clients purchasing real estate in the U.S. "There's another level of anonymity," he says.

The race to the top is happening in cities around the world. Soon to open in Tel Aviv is Meier-on-Rothschild, a 37-story building that will become the city's tallest residence, designed by architect Richard Meier. Martin Franklin, the founder and CEO of Jarden Corp., parent company of brands including Crock-Pot and Sunbeam, says he decided to buy an apartment on the 30th floor there, partly because he liked the design and because "views in tall buildings are very important." One of the building's penthouses is still on the market for $50 million.


A two-story apartment in the Shard, London's tallest building that's expected to be mostly completed later this year, could hit the market for an estimated £50 million, or about $80 million. (The building, which has 10 residences, also has offices and a hotel.) Princess Tower in Dubai recently became the world's tallest residential building with 763 apartments going up 107 stories, or 1,358 feet, according to the Council on Tall Buildings.


Living at 1,000 feet does have drawbacks. Outdoor terraces are generally impossible above 40 or 50 stories, because of the wind. Though most of the new buildings have walls of mostly glass to capture the views, the windows only partially open at the highest floors. Experts say that while asking prices go up with every floor, views improve only marginally above a certain height, depending on how tall the surrounding buildings are. "People are paying for the status and the exclusivity of living on that next higher floor," says Nancy Packes, a New York-based residential development consultant and marketer who has worked with many skyscraper developers. "There's a psychological component to living on high floors in a building. Even though views don't change materially."

Michael Berman, who owns car dealerships in Chicago, moved from the suburbs to a four-bedroom condominium on the 57th floor of Chicago's 92-story Trump International Hotel and Tower in 2009. Though he was one of the building's first buyers, he wasn't interested in living on one of the very top floors, noting that 30 years ago he and his wife lived in a different high rise and often lost the views on a cloudy day.

The one downside Mr. Berman noticed about living in Trump Towers, which houses the highest residences in the U.S., is that opening the windows means letting in a swift breeze, and on the windiest days, the usually ultrafast elevators slow down somewhat. "But everything else more than makes up for it," he says, noting the building's five-star restaurant below and optional hotel maid service.

Thomas Guss, a New York real-estate broker who currently has a $39 million penthouse listed in a 19-story building, the Centurion, says he typically warns buyers that the taller the building, the more it naturally sways toward the top. "Not many people think about that until the first storm comes." Mr. Guss says a 45th-story rental unit he owns in the Financial District has views of the Statue of Liberty—but waves appear in the bathtub during thunderstorms. "A lot of people are very uncomfortable with that," he adds.

Source:  Wall Street Journal

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Weekly Market Update: September 17, 2012

You fill the pot with the water and you turn the stovetop on and you wait. You watch it and you want something to happen and it seems to take an exceptionally long time. All you want to do is add the noodles or the white rice or the frozen vegetables. And you wait. Because it's important to wait until the water is roiling along in what is seemingly chaotic motion but is really the perfect environment for what is meant to be within it. This is our current housing market. It's been an undeniably good spring and summer, and now we wait to see if the fall showcase is just as good if we mix in the right amount of inventory, sales and days on market.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 8:

• New Listings increased 2.2% to 1,273
• Pending Sales increased 24.2% to 940
• Inventory decreased 29.6% to 16,458

For the month of August:

• Median Sales Price increased 15.2% to $178,600
• Days on Market decreased 24.0% to 107
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 4.2% to 95.1%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 42.0% to 4.1

Source:   Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Monday, September 17, 2012

4 Big Design Turn-Offs of Home Buyers

Certain dated design features in a home can really make some home buyers cringe. Could your listing have one of them?

A recent article at AOL Real Estate spotlights a few pet peeves of home buyers when touring homes today. Among the items making their list:

1. Popcorn ceilings: The speckled ceilings can attract dirt and be impossible to paint. Plus, if the home was built prior to 1980, the ceiling may contain asbestos and need to be tested by an inspector.

Fix it: Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix for removing popcorn ceilings; it can get messy. It’ll have to be scraped off and the ceiling then will need to be repaired. Plus, you’ll want to have it tested for asbestos before scraping. Home owners will likely want to consider hiring a professional to do this.

2. Carpeting everywhere: Many home buyers today have a fondness for hardwoods over wall-to-wall carpeting. Carpeting can show spots and dirt, which can serve as a quick turn-off to potential buyers who prefer the more polished look of hardwoods.

Fix it: Have the carpet professionally cleaned if your seller can’t afford to swap out the carpet for hardwoods. Make sure the carpet is spot-free and looking new. If sellers are willing to spend some money, they might consider installing hardwoods on just the first floor or in just the dining room (pre-finished laminate can cost less). This allows the home to be marketed as having hardwoods, which could possibly draw in more potential buyers who won’t consider a home without.

3. Brass fixtures: Shiny brass fixtures are viewed as out-of-date by most people’s standards nowadays. More on trend is satin-nickel or oil-rubbed bronze finishes.

Fix it: Big-box retailers offer plenty of affordable lighting options nowadays to make this an easier, more budget friendly do-it-yourself project with big impact.

4. Vanity lighting strips: The Hollywood-style strip with a line of bulbs of rounded lights hanging over your bathroom mirrors can also quickly date a home.

Fix it: Find a lighting fixture that has shades for each bulb in a finish that matches your faucet. It’ll make the bathroom look more contemporary.

Source:  Styled, Staged, and Sold

Friday, September 14, 2012

Open Houses: September 16, 2012

1725 Martingale Lane - Victoria
4 bedroom/4 bath
SqFt:  3,734
OPEN:  12:00 to 1:30

Pulled from the pages of a Pottery Barn catalogue, this beautifully finished home features custom finishes throughout. Enjoy the warm, sun-filled rooms perfectly designed with family and entertaining in mind. Good food and good company are two of life’s greatest pleasures and this Gourmet Kitchen is where it all comes together. Expertly crafted cabinetry, granite counters and slate tiled backsplash finish off this inviting space. This is truly the heart of the home complete with an informal dining area featuring a built-in buffet. You’ll enjoy curling up with your morning coffee in the large nook with bay window. The Great Room features a wall of windows, cozy gas fireplace, cherry wood bookcases & entertainment center making this space perfect for relaxing with the family or entertaining with style. The formal Dining Room is the perfect space for holiday meals with family with its vaulted ceiling and beautiful large windows. Adjacent to the two story foyer is the well appointed home Office. Tucked behind a set of enameled French doors, this office will work the way you do while inspiring creativity and enhancing productivity. The second floor is where you will find the Master Suite with its vaulted ceiling and private bath offering spa finishes from the large soaking tub to the large shower and heated tile floors. There are three Junior Bedrooms located on this floor with a Jack & Jill bath and a private ensuite. In addition, you will also find the spacious Bonus Room perfect for movie night or playing Wii. The unfinished lower level is a blank canvas that is ready for you to finish to your liking. Nothing compares to spending time outside and screen porch and large deck are the perfect additions to this home. Nestled on a private lot within walking distance to Victoria Elementary, you will enjoy the spectacular sunsets and long southerly views 365 days a year. For information on pricing or to schedule a private showing, please call 952.470.2575

Click HERE for more information on Martingale Lane.

1655 Field Drive - Victoria
4 bedroom/4 bath
SqFt:  3,893
OPEN:  12:00 to 2:00

Expertly crafted by Lennar, this Cornell floor plan features designer finishes throughout. Enjoy spacious, warm and inviting rooms built with family and entertaining in mind. With a charm reminiscent of Cape Cod and offering a lovely porch that spans the entire front of the home, this property invites you to slow down and relax. Step into the stunning two story foyer with its cherry hardwood floors and enameled millwork. Adjacent to the foyer, nestled behind a set of French doors is the Home Office with large windows to let in the natural light. The extended Dining Room is perfect for large dinner parties but can be easily converted to a separate Sitting and Dining Room. This Great Room floor plan is where two of life’s greatest pleasures come together; good food and good company. The Gourmet Kitchen features handcrafted cherry cabinetry, a large center island, GE Monogram stainless steel appliances, walk-in pantry, granite countertops & a slate tile backsplash. This is truly the heart of the home complete with an informal dining area, planning desk, and built-in granite buffet with glass-front cabinets. You’ll enjoy watching the sun come up with your morning coffee from the wall of windows offering long, uninterrupted views that overlook a picturesque pond. The Great Room features a cozy gas fireplace and a wall of cherry wood bookcases & entertainment center making this space perfect for relaxing with the family or entertaining with style. The second floor is where you will find the spacious Master Suite with its vaulted ceiling and private bath offering spa finishes from the large soaking tub to the tiled shower and heated tile floors. There are two Junior Bedrooms that share a Jack & Jill bath and a third bedroom with a private en-suite ¾ bath. In addition, the loft offers a homework nook with desk that is perfect for studying. The unfinished lower level walkout offers the opportunity to finish to your liking. Nothing compares to spending time outside and the large deck is the perfect addition to this home. The deck overlooks the peaceful pond creating a wonderful space to entertain or just relax. The owners added additional footings and posts to support a hot tub on the deck (under the pergola). Nestled on a large, family-friendly lot within walking distance to Victoria Elementary, this is truly the perfect place to call home. High School Students attend the new, state of the art Chanhassen High School. For information on pricing or to schedule a private showing, please call 952.470.2575

Click HERE for more information on Field Drive.

1105 Prairie Rose Way - Victoria
3 bedroom/3 bath
SqFt:  2,120
OPEN:  2:00 to 4:00

Nestled in the demand neighborhood of Savanna Valley, this beautiful Craftsman home features designer finishes and custom touches throughout. Thoughtfully designed, the open floor plan offers smart, sun-filled spaces that will live the way your family does. Good food and good company are two of life’s greatest pleasures and this inviting Kitchen is where it all comes together. Perfect for entertaining or family dinner time, the open space is accented by warm woods, a tiled backsplash and custom fixtures. This is truly the heart of the home complete with an informal dining area and center island. Enjoy your morning coffee while relaxing in the sun-filled Hearth Room with its cozy gas fireplace. The second floor is where you will find the Master Suite featuring a spa-like bath with a large Jacuzzi tub and spacious walk-in closet. There are two additional Junior Bedrooms located on this floor along with a loft. The unfinished lower level is a blank slate ready for your design ideas. Plans have been drawn up to finish the lower level or design your own! The heated garage is the perfect man cave! Nothing compares to spending time outside and the beautiful paver patio is the perfect addition to this home. Enjoy the south facing backyard and sunlight all year long. Perfectly located between the Victoria and Chanhassen, this home enjoys easy access to many wonderful amenities. Walk to Holy Family High School, the Victoria Field House & parks. You can also enjoy the charm of downtown Victoria along with all the conveniences that Chanhassen has to offer. For information on pricing or to schedule a private showing, please call 952.470.2575

Click HERE for more information on Prairie Rose Way.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Weekend Happenings: Junk, Corn Maze, Bike Ride

Canterbury Park
1100 Canterbury Road
Shakopee, MN 55379
Sept. 13-15, 2012
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Cost:  $9; $25 early bird ticket Thursday (enter the event two hours early for primo shopping)

Junk Bonanza

The twice-a-year Bonanza provides a gathering spot for purveyors and shoppers of vintage finds, beautiful antiques, one-of-a-kind and artisan-repurposed pieces. The three-day, indoor events each offer best-of shopping experiences and a day of hourly cash coupon giveaways, drawings and special appearances. Next up: The September show with more than 140 juried "junk" vendors, last year attended by more than 10,000.

1100 Canterbury Road
Shakopee, MN 55379
Saturdays, Sept 15 through October 28
10:00 am to 9:00 pm
 Cost:  $13

Severs Corn Maze and Fall Festival

It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes getting lost in a field of corn can actually be pretty fun. That's the theory behind Sever's Corn Maze, the oldest of its kind in the Midwest. Husband-and-wife team Sever and Sharon Peterson created their first maze in 1997 after taking some inspiration from European garden mazes commonly found on castle grounds. This year's theme is agriculture, and there will be fun facts posted at various points inside the maze. There will be plenty to do once you make it out as well, as the festival also hosts live music, barn animals, a pumpkin patch, pig races, a straw bale maze for kids, and the corn pit, where folks can sink themselves into a pool filled with 10,000 bushels of corn. by Jessica Armbruster, City Pages

Parade Field
400 Kenwood Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Sunday Sept 16, 2012
7:30 am to 2:30 pm
Cost:  $40

Parade Field

At this ride benefiting Minneapolis's park system, bike enthusiasts will be able to take in scenic views without the worry of motorized traffic. The event, which is open to all ages and skill levels, features 14- and 36-mile routes to be enjoyed at a comfortable pace, be that slow and steady or as speedy as possible. The longer course spans the entire Grand Rounds Byway System while the shorter course will take riders around Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun, and Lake Harriet. Participants will want to relax and mingle into the early afternoon, as the after-party includes a live concert by the Sweet Colleens and M.O.R.T., a free New Belgium beer, local food, vendor booths, and other activities.  by Jessica Armbruster, City Pages

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gallery of Outbuildings

I know, I know, when you hear the word "outbuilding" your mind automatically conjures up pictures of all different sizes and shapes of farm buildings...something like this.

But outbuilings have come a long way from the farm.  The definition of an outbuilding is:  "A building, such as a shed, barn, or garage, on the same property but separate from a more important one, such as a house."  And let's face it, who couldn't use more storage!?

Outbuildings have many uses.  They can be small sheds that house your mower and gardening implements, a workshop for the hobbiest in your house, a detached office for someone who works from home, or a storage barn for anything from your camper to your snowmobiles.  The possibilities are endless.

And so are the design options. People are putting just as much inspiration into the design of their outbuildings as they do for their homes.  You can make the exterior match or coordinate with your home, or go in another direction.  You can even make it look like it's still on the farm.  Whatever the size or style that you choose, remember to check the zoning restrictions in your area. Many associations govern the number and size of outbuildings you can have on your property.  And your city may have restrictions on whether or not you can house animals in your outbuildings, such as chickens or horses.

Here are some pictures showing the many variations of outbuildings.  Maybe one will suit your fancy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Weekly Market Update: September 10, 2012

Signals. They're everywhere. From the flow of traffic on Main Street to the movement of electrons inside a microchip, we take our cues from trusted indicators. Recently, housing data has been signaling increased momentum toward recovery. It doesn't really matter what signals you're watching either. From new starts, existing sales and prices to market times, seller concessions and the supply-demand balance, all signals point to healing. It won't necessarily be quick nor felt evenly across all cities or states. But the trend is your friend. And our friend is signaling a thumb's up.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 1:

• New Listings decreased 10.1% to 1,171
• Pending Sales increased 13.3% to 1,025
• Inventory decreased 30.0% to 16,676

For the month of August:

• Median Sales Price increased 15.5% to $179,000
• Days on Market decreased 24.1% to 107
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 4.2% to 95.1%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 42.7% to 4.1

Source:   Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Monday, September 10, 2012

9 Ways to Make a Kitchen Look Swank for Less

Costs for even relatively moderate kitchen redos can run well into the tens of thousands of dollars. Here are a few ways to enhance this focal point of a home on a budget.

According to Remodeling magazine’s latest Cost vs. Value survey, the average price of an upscale kitchen redo hovers about $113,000. Even the cost of a mid-range overhaul is a whopping $58,000.

However, sellers are rarely willing to invest the kind of time and money it takes to do that kind of remodeling job, especially one they’ll barely use before they move. But there are affordable alternatives to make this much-used gathering spot more appealing, both aesthetically and functionally. Here are nine easy-to-implement, easy-to-copy ideas for you to implement in your home remodel. Try one, two, or perhaps all of them!  

Reuse existing elements in the kitchen when possible. “We try to take a hard look before we start any renovation to see what can be salvaged,” says architect Talia Braude, AIA, LEED AP, whose firm Braude Pankiewicz Architects is based in Brooklyn, N.Y. For example, when Braude found floor joists that were too damaged to be structurally sound, she reused them as kitchen shelves, for which they worked perfectly. 

 ▪ Go with affordable cabinets, possibly a line with simple maple, cherry, or oak rather than exotic imported wood or lacquered fronts. Also, opt for pressed rather than solid wood interiors and shelves to pare costs. Because cabinets often represent 50 percent to 60 percent of a remodeled kitchen’s cost, saving here brings down the price, says Lou Manfredini, Ace Hardware’s “Home Expert” based in Chicago. But if possible, spend a bit more on quality hardware that will eliminate wear and tear when opening and closing doors and drawers. One good place to start looking for affordable cabinets is at IKEA, says Braude, which her client Orli Belman did when remodeling a kitchen in her Los Angeles home. Belman saved even more by purchasing cabinets during IKEA’s kitchen sale. Other alternatives include replacing the doors (and reselling the old ones), or repaint cabinets with a product like Ace Hardware’s Cabinet, Door & Trim Paint, an alkyd-based semi-gloss finish that yields a smooth, factory-like finish.  

Appliances are another huge cost factor in redoing a kitchen, and stainless-steel name brands are among the biggest offenders. Besides opting for less expensive black-and-white fronts and going with cheaper brands, Web sites like Craigslist and Overstock are good resources for new or little-used items others are trying to get rid of. Belman went those routes and found a double oven and refrigerator drawers on Craigslist, each for $400, when a construction project stalled. She estimates each would have cost about $3,000 retail. She also found an inexpensive but good faucet at Costco and discontinued Martha Stewart light fixtures on another Web site.  

▪ Changing a countertop or several can add an instant fresh look, but instead of replacing them with high-end granite, marble, or manmade quartzes, Manfredini suggests covering tired laminate tops with RustOleum’s highly durable Countertop Transformation product, a three-part system that transforms them into look-alike granites in five different colors. Belman also found affordable butcher-block tops at IKEA.  

▪ A new backsplash can make a huge difference, and there are many self-adhesive tiles that are easy to install for DIY consumers, including those with the hot metal look in vintage or modern patterns and a host of sizes, shapes, and colors, Manfredini says. Savvy home owners also should consider contacting manufacturers, many of which offer overstocked goods for far less. For instance, Heath Ceramics has been known to sell them for 75 percent off retail at its factory showroom in Sausalito, Calif.  

New lighting is one of the easiest switches to make and offers a big payback since it can make a kitchen look larger and highlight its best features, from a great island to kitchen table to new backsplash. Advise homeowners to locate new lighting under cabinets where main tasks are performed, within cabinets, especially glass-fronted ones, to show off cabinets and attractive contents, and over a dining table or island where one great fixture will shine, literally. When possible, opt for compact fluorescent or light-emitting diode bulbs to conserve energy, even though the initial price is higher. And if the bulb’s compatible with dimmers, it’s a great way to vary moods.  

▪ Though replacing an entire floor can be costly, time-consuming, and expensive, there are handsome options that will last and won’t break the bank. Durable and affordable options include Marmoleum, a sustainable linoleum, which no longer resembles what your parents or grandparents had but comes in hot colors and textures; old-growth bamboo that’s denser than new variations; and cork, another natural material that’s easily repairable if dings (or worse) occur. If a room is partly remodeled, often the floor can be saved with patching and restaining rather than replacing all of it, Braude says.  

▪ Buyers should consider redoing the layout if it doesn’t work, then save elsewhere rather than the reverse, Braude advises. If they install all new cabinets and appliances, but keep the same old, poorly functioning kitchen plan, they probably won’t be pleased. It’s better for them to gain a new layout and budget elsewhere — maybe keep cabinets — and later replace them, she says.  

▪ Even when budgeting, home owners shouldn’t forget to add in one or two splurges for a focal point and some kind of “wow” element to raise the level of the renovation, even if it’s a budget one, Braude says. Examples include handcrafted tiles with beautiful finishes, colors, and patterns, and a great island countertop, perhaps fashioned from a gorgeous CaesarStone as Belman and her husband chose to add.  


Friday, September 7, 2012

Open Houses: September 9, 2012

2021 Edgewood Court - Chanhassen
5 bedroom/6 bath
SqFt:  4,774
OPEN  12:00 to 2:00

Main Photo

Pulled from the pages of a Pottery Barn catalogue, this beautiful home features upscale amenities and finishes for the most discerning buyer. Enjoy the warm, sun-filled rooms thoughtfully designed with family and entertaining in mind. Perfectly sited on a half acre, private, wooded, cul-de-sac lot. Good food and good company are two of life’s greatest pleasures and this Gourmet Kitchen is where it all comes together. Expertly crafted cabinetry, granite counters, GE Monogram Appliances, a prep island and breakfast island make this the perfect kitchen for the most discerning chef! Complete with an informal, sun-filled dining area, this is truly the heart of the home. The formal Dining Room accommodates many occasions from a simple family meal to a grand celebration with a built-in Butler’s Pantry featuring a granite countertop and beverage fridge. The Kitchen opens to the sun-filled Great Room that features a cozy gas fireplace flanked by a built-in entertainment center and bookshelves. This is the perfect space for relaxing with the family or entertaining with style. French doors open to the main floor office, a spacious and private space to work from home. With its two-story wall of windows, the bright and airy Sun Room is where you can enjoy curling up with your morning coffee. This space can also flex as a kids play room, hobby room or Living Room for the Nanny / Mother-in-law suite which features a ¾ bath, walk-in closet, fridge & microwave. The second floor offers a private Master Suite with a vaulted ceiling and spacious bath with spa finishes including a large soaking tub, walk-in closet, heated tile floors, His & Her elevated vanities and tiled walk in shower. Three Junior Bedrooms, each with a private bath, are also located on the second floor with a Homework Desk tucked between the Bedrooms. There’s also a Bonus Room that’s just perfect for movie night, a good book or playing Wii. The unfinished walkout lower level offers an additional 2000 square feet to finish and use as you’d like. Located in the award winning Minnetonka School District! Excelsior Elementary, Middle School West & Minnetonka High School are within 1-2 miles of the home. The City of Chanhassen is desirable to families and businesses alike. The many festivals and events held throughout the year receive tremendous support from the local businesses; it is these celebrations of community that keep the small town feel alive in Chanhassen. For information on pricing or to schedule a private showing, please call 952-470-2575.

Click HERE fore more information.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Weekend Happenings: Not Done Yet

With Labor Day come and gone you probably thought you were done eating cotton candy and walking around looking at exhibits.  Not so.  This weekend holds several opportunities for you to enjoy some mini donuts.

Sept 7, 8m & 9
Cost:  Free

James J. Hill, one of the more colorful and controversial characters in Lake Minnetonka's history, brought his great Northern Railroad to the small village of Wayzata in 1857. Soon, Wayzata blossomed into a great tourist destination.

Every year, in September, Wayzata celebrates the turning point in her history with a series of events including; an arts & crafts fair, dachshund races, a coaster cart derby, children's activities, lots of food, a parade and much, much more!  And don't forget the hunt for the golden spike!

*Steamboat Minnehaha Departure Times:
10:40am, 11:40am, 12:40pm, 2:15pm, 3:15pm, 4:15pm

Check them out on Facebook.

Apple Day
Downtown Excelsior
Sat. Sept 8
8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Cost:  Free

Apple Day is a one-day street festival in Excelsior, MN. in its 28th year. Apple Day is a family-friendly festival that features about 120 pre-approved crafters, antiquers, collectors and miscellaneous in tents and stalls on the streets of Downtown Excelsior. The stars of Apple Day are actually the varieties apples that are grown in orchards around the Twin Cities region. Pumpkins, gourds, fall vegetables and other produce are also featured. The x-factor is how the spring and summer crops were affected by weather.

Antiques, collectibles, crafts, vintage items, fresh farm autumn produce, food, entertainment. Red Wagon and Doll Buggy Parade at Noon.

Steamboat Days
Downtown Carver
Sept. 7, 8, & 9
Cost:   Free

If you're looking for a small town event that packs a whallop, then head to Steamboat Days in Carver.  Steamboat days boasts 3 days of city-wide garage sales, a medallion hunt, 5K run/walk, kids games and activities, Carver Fire & Rescue water fights, a burnout contest, princess crownings, food vendors, beer tent, nightly music at the street dance, and an impressive fireworks display on Saturday night.  It is all topped off by the biggest 4 block parade you'll ever attend!  Don't miss it!

Check them out on Facebook.