Thursday, November 29, 2012

Weekend Happenings: Christmas Fun Near and Far

Chanhassen Tree Lighting Ceremony
7700 Market Boulevard
Chanhassen, MN 55317
Sat., December 1, 2012
5:00 pm
Cost:  Free

 Tree Lighting Ceremony

Don't miss this annual Chanhassen celebration! Come out and enjoy the lighting of the holiday tree, refreshments, live reindeer, gingerbread house displays, and of course a special visit from Santa Claus! This event is FREE and co-sponsored by the City of Chanhassen, Buy Chanhassen, and The Mustard Seed Landscaping & Garden Center.

Breakfast With Santa
Chanhassen Rec Center
Sun., December 1, 2012
8:00 am to 1:00 pm
Cost:  $8 for adults, $4 for seniors and kids 12 and under. All profits go to support local charities.

Breakfast with Santa

Join us at the Chanhassen Rec Center for some family fun and flying flapjacks! Join Santa for breakfast and have your picture taken with a real reindeer!  For more information, contact Kris Dahl at 612-338-4538. This event is co-sponsored by the Chanhassen Rotary Club and the City of Chanhassen.

Plymouth - Old Fashioned Christmas
Plymouth Creek Park
3625 Fernbrook Ln
Plymouth, Minnesota 55447
Sun. December 2, 2012
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Cost:  Free to the public

Step back in time with the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the holidays. Enjoy sleigh rides, musical perfomances and cookies. Co-Sponsored by the Plymouth Historical Society.

Target Holidazzle Parade
Nicollet Mall
700 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55402
every Thu., Fri., Sat., Sun. from November 23 until December 23
6:30 pm
Cost: Free; $9 hot seats

Target Holidazzle Parade
While New York City has its Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Minneapolis has the Target Holidazzle. Now in its 20th year, the parade draws crowds who happily stand on the sidewalks in the cold (or watch from nearby bars) as huge animated floats, local celebrities, and, of course, Santa Claus cruise down Nicollet Mall. This year should be no exception.  Looking to stay warm while watching the show? Check the event's website ( to purchase hot seats before they sell out. (Photo by Patrick Kelley Worldwide Photography) — By Jessica Armbruster, City Pages 

Grand Meander
Grand Avenue
from Dale to Fairview
St. Paul, MN 55105
Sun., December 1, 2012
8:30 am to 6:00 pm
Cost:  Free

Grand Meander

Grand Meander celebrates the holiday season with a full days worth of festivities for young and old alike, and has become known as one of the best Twin Cities holiday events. In the morning have breakfast with Santa, take a ride on a fire truck, and visit with Santa’s reindeer. In the afternoon enjoy the young art fair and Art at Ramsey, both displaying art by the students in and around the Grand Avenue area. You can also take part in trolley rides, soup tastings, and the community tree lighting! Don’t miss out on the best of the Twin Cities holiday events, Grand Meander!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

5 Tips For Settling Into A New Town

All your stuff is finally at the new house. Most of it is unpacked. You've started hanging your favorite paintings and filling shelves and table tops with your most cherished sit-abouts (that's Southern for tchotchke, y'all). Your chocolate lab Elvis has even found a favorite napping spot. So your new house is starting to feel homey, but you're not quite as at home in your new town. You miss your favorite coffee shop and the park where your daughter took her first steps. And you've got no idea where to go for a good, long run. But the truth is, even though you miss your old hometown, you're open to giving the new place a shot -- you just don't know where to start. Here are five important tips that will have you settling in to your new town in no time.

5. Be a Tourist

If you're moving to an unfamiliar location, treat traveling to your new hometown like you would if you were a tourist. Hit the bookstore or go shopping online, and arm yourself with up-to-date street maps of your city or town and the surrounding area as soon as possible. If you can, purchase a few guidebooks for the area as well. You can use the maps to figure out key routes, like the quickest way to get to work or school. The guidebooks will highlight sights to see and places to visit along with listing where to dine and shop. If you can't afford a guidebook or don't have time for this type of recon before the move, hit the town's visitor center or chamber of commerce once you arrive. Or, do it all online; many towns and cities host detailed Web sites brimming with information for newcomers.

4. Volunteer

If your children are moving to a new school, try to find some time to volunteer for school activities. This will help you get to know the school and help you understand any problems your children experience as they get oriented to a new routine. If you don't have children, you can still volunteer. Go online to find out about area nonprofits that can use your help. Many cities also have local service organizations, so you can help your new community in a variety of ways. Not only will you get the satisfaction of helping others, but you'll also be socializing with and meeting other volunteers -- like-minded but diverse individuals who could be potential new friends.

3. Read the Paper

One of the easiest ways to get the scoop on your new hometown is by reading the local paper and any other regional periodicals you can get your hands or eyes on. You can find many of these types of publications by the rack -- and for free -- just outside the grocery store or pharmacy. But you can also find their Web sites, too. If you don't know the names of any publications, links should be available on the city's visitor center Web site or chamber of commerce site. And don't stop there. Does your new neighborhood publish a newsletter? Does the local moms club host a Facebook page? All of these will provide valuable information about community events, clubs and organizations you can join, and restaurants and retail spots you can visit

2. Go to the Library

OK, this hint should speak for itself, really. Who doesn't need a library card, right? If you want to consolidate the suggestions from the previous page with granting yourself access to a host of other reading, viewing and listening materials, just visit the local library. It's truly the all-in-one stop every newcomer should make. There you'll be able to read all the local papers and magazines that are published in your new hometown. You'll also be able to peruse the bulletin board to find out about a variety of community-sponsored activities, local organizations and clubs. You'll also have access to popular reading materials and DVDs to keep you and your family entertained as you get adjusted to your new home. And if you live in a college town, take a trip to the main library on campus; colleges and universities often offer lending privileges to local residents for a modest fee.

1. Host a Housewarming Party

If you're fortunate, your new neighbors will have already greeted you as you moved in or shortly thereafter. But perhaps you moved in during summer vacation or the middle of the holidays, and you haven't had time to meet anyone. A fun way to get to know the other residents on your street is by having a housewarming party. And you don't have to limit the guest list to your neighborhood. Invite some people from your workplace and some of the parents you've met at your kids' schools. People often feel obligated to bring something to a housewarming. If you want to avoid having your guests spend money on unnecessary gifts, ask that they each bring a card listing three favorite things to do or places to go in your community. You'll learn more about your new town and your new friends all at the same time.

Source:  TLC Home

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Weekly Market Update: November 26, 2012

This year, there's a lot to be thankful for beyond the traditional holiday bird. Home buyers can be thankful for record-low mortgage rates. Sellers can be thankful for the possibility of getting more money in less listing time. Some homeowners are thankful for the housing recovery because it may alleviate underwater situations. Tryptophan doesn't seem to be slowing buyer and seller optimism.

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

• New Listings increased 11.4% to 1,046
• Pending Sales increased 9.8% to 843
• Inventory decreased 29.4% to 14,770

For the month of October:

• Median Sales Price increased 14.8% to $175,000
• Days on Market decreased 25.2% to 103
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.5% to 94.5%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 40.1% to 3.7

Source:  Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Monday, November 26, 2012

Should You Stage A Home For The Holidays?

This time a year I am often asked by real estate professionals and stagers whether they should stage their client’s homes for sale in a special way for the holidays.

My answer? Yes.

It’s absolutely essential that we stage according to the season we are in. Here are some suggestions to consider:

Keep it warm

The key to staging for the holidays is to keep homes warm and inviting. Prospective home buyers will not take their time to explore the home if they are cold. This is especially important to keep in mind if a property is vacant. I recommend making the investment to keep the home heated during the cold months.

Keep it light

This time a year our homes become darker. Therefore, use ample lighting throughout the home. Make the investment to make sure timers are on in every room.

Keep it basic

As you may have heard me share before, how we live in our home is and should be different from how we sell a home. That certainly applies when it comes to holiday decorations. Remember, you want home buyers to see the home, not allow decorations to grab their attention away from envisioning what it would be like to live there.

For the holidays we decorate our homes to celebrate our faith. When staging a home for a sale, my suggestion is to keep the faith-based decorations to a minimum. For example, you might choose to display a Christmas tree, a nice wreath on the door, and a centerpiece on the table.

Keep it clean

In one way, staging a home during the holidays is no different from any other time a year. It is always important and essential to keep a home clean and free from clutter. Keeping it clean can be more difficult during the holiday season. Snow and rain may cause your home to quickly look untidy during a showing.

Keep it neat outside

“If you can’t see it, you can’t sell it.” Truth is, we start selling a home before the home buyer enters the home. It is important to look at what greets the visitors from the curb. This time a year, there are snow, branches and leaves that can turn the focus away from even the most beautiful home. Is the home easily visible from the street? Is it well-lit? Is the driveway clear of snow? Once you have cleared the area in front of the home, you may want to add colors by putting a pot of colorful flowers outside and maybe invest in lights.

Source:  Styled, Staged, & Sold, by Barb Schwarz, ASP, ASPM, AB, IAHSP, is the creator of Home Staging® and the CEO of She is the IAHSP founder and chairwoman of The Board of The International Association of Home Staging Professionals® and Foundation.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving 2012!

We are so very blessed and thankful to have our friends and family.  Many blessings to you and yours on this Thanksgiving Day.

Eric & Sharla Stafford

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Add A Window Seat

If I had to think of one word to describe a window seat, I would have to say "cozy".  When conjuring up an image of a window seat, I envision pillows, soft light, a book, a blanket and of course, sunshine spilling through the window.  What a perfect spot to watch nature, read a story, chat with a close friend or even take a nap.  Window seats add instant charm and character to a house while giving you much needed storage space.  Adding a window seat in your home can help to eliminate that "spec home" feel making it feel more like a custom home.  Think you don't have the right space for one?  You don't always need a bay window or a bump out.  Check out these pictures of some great window seats and see if you can make space for one (or two) in your house.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Listing - 3819 Tonkawood Road in Minnetonka

Presenting another Exceptional Home from Stafford Family Realtors:

For Sale:  4 bedroom/4 bath Single Family Home for $515,000

A New England charmer on Tonkawood of Minnetonka

Open House Tuesday, November 20, 11:00 to 2:00!

New Listing - 8455 Gallery Parkway in Victoria

Presenting another Exceptional Home from Stafford Family Realtors:

For Sale: 4BR/4BA Single Family House in Victoria, MN, $519,000

Built by K. Hovnanian, this beautiful home features upgraded finishes throughout. Enjoy the warm, sun-filled rooms perfectly designed with family and entertaining in mind.

Weekly Market Update: November 19, 2012

Housing continues to be a bright spot in the national economy. Locally, we enjoyed more sales and additional seller activity. As prices firm up, some sellers will be lifted out of unenviable positions while others will receive a confidence booster. That's a good thing, since buyers at some price points are struggling to find inventory. Additional evidence of turnaround will come by way of days on market, the average ratio of sold to list price and absorption rates generally under five months.

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

• New Listings decreased 9.0% to 1,015
• Pending Sales increased 11.3% to 883
• Inventory decreased 29.1% to 15,007

For the month of October:

• Median Sales Price increased 14.8% to $175,000
• Days on Market decreased 25.3% to 103
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.5% to 94.5%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 40.5% to 3.7

Source:  Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Monday, November 19, 2012

Top 10 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends for 2012

Glossy Finishes and Fixtures

Shimmering surfaces, shining fixtures, high-sheen finishes, and perfectly placed lighting accents are a prominent personality trait of current kitchens. This kitchen is a fine composition of stainless steel, walnut wood veneer, and light reflecting off a vast Calcutta gold marble island top. Lights dotting the floor at the base of the island create a soft glow along the recessed toe-kick. Wood floors appear to glow with the shine of time-worn care and polishing. However, it's the sheen and shimmer against creamy walls and warm wood that breathes life into the interior space. Design by Jed Mac Kenzie, CKD; bulthaup by Kitchen Distributors, Inc., Denver, CO; Photo by Scott Hasson.

Interior use of Concrete

Concrete brought into the house is prevalent in several contexts. In this master bathroom, concrete is at the center of the primary focal point. The floating pomelle seppele vanity cabinet surrounded by recycled glass tiles is the foundation for a concrete countertop with integrated sinks. The concrete surface brought to a high shine nearly belies the material, and in hue, it contributes to the overall brown-gold palette. Original exposed brick and Lava rock, along with the contemporary application of cement brings a certain unity to the space. Design by Kirsti Wolfe, Kirsti Wolfe Designs, Bend, OR; Photo by Paula Watts Photography

Color Infusion Behind Glass

A simple painted wall with glass panels overlaid creates a sleek sheen of color with the smooth surface complimentary to shimmering appliances and gleaming countertops. A cook top wall has become a calm cool focal point in this family kitchen. Beautifully, a contemporary palette was incorporated into the space, and the cool dove blue wall covered in glass, combined with warm wood floors, white Carerra marble, stainless steel, and taupe quartz stand out as defining color ingredients to this Scandinavian/Danish approach. Design by Yuko Matsumoto, CKD, CBD, Altera Design & Remodeling, Walnut Creek, CA; Photo by Douglas Johnson Photography

The White Kitchen, Reinvented

The white kitchen has been called many things - classic, contemporary, clean, sparse, but one thing can be said; it's a consistent in kitchen design. White has never entirely gone away, but neatly and cleverly reinvented itself to remain in the archives and future of home kitchens. There are a number of ways that white continues to make an appearance, in hues ranging from snow white to varying shades of creamy, muted, milky tones.This combination of colors and textures is a strong representation of the reinvented and renewed white kitchen – strong, sleek and superb. Design by Martha Beckermann, Kitchen Concepts by Martha Beckermann, Kitchener, ON; Photo by Jesse Brennemann

Suspended Lighting

Suspended lighting allows for a number of outcomes, and in kitchen design the result is dangling focal points that drop light onto defined areas of countertop, dining surfaces or flooring. The result can also be artistic pieces of sculpture that contribute to the visual appeal of a space, exuding light, glimmer and glitz. With angled spotlights running along a track to serve as hard-working partners to the suspended lighting, the shaded fixtures are allowed to play the role of prima donna in the forefront and become the place where the eye goes upon entering. Design by Mary Lou Kalmus, Designing Edge, Calrendon Hills, IL; Photo by S. Kezon / Chicago

Symmetry in Design

A strong sense of symmetry enacted in room design creates stability and balance. If not a mirror reflection of itself, the space should possess components and pieces that act as counterbalance to the one another. A large framed window anchors the wall behind the sink and open cabinetry, glass door cabinetry and open wire doors draw the eye up and around the well-composed room. Symmetrical placements within design generate purpose and contentment. Symmetry as a design trend appears rooted to remain, simply translated into contemporary applications and with current styling impacting change. Design by Earl Lawson, V6B Design Group, Vancouver, BC; Photo courtesy of V6B Design Group

Repeating + Complementing Shapes

Starting with a particular shape and repeating it in various sizes, colors and textures adds a continuum that is soothing, easy to accept when you enter the room. It's a principle that other areas of design are tapped into as well. In this bathroom, the square captures our attention with the travertine floor, glass mosaics in the shower, extending upwards to the windows that so nicely fill the peak of the ceiling. Design by Marcio Decker, AKBD, Home Concepts, Reno, NV; Photo by Varient3 Productions

Traditional Technology in Non-Traditional Spaces

Sometimes there's a way to start with a traditional item; in this case an appliance and apply or install it in a unique way and have the result be a solution to a large challenge. This kitchen began with the inflexible obstacles of plumbing, venting, and openings, which were not to be moved. Fridge drawers are integrated and incorporated into the sleek and clean lines of the cabinetry and overall space. A steam oven is added where the sink plumbing existed. And technology remains tucked conveniently away, while offering a solid functional solution to space challenges. Design by Jens Birkkjaer, CKD, Denca, Calgary, AB; Photo by

Tile in Totality

Tile is making its presence known in contemporary bathrooms; occupying more and more wall, floor and backsplash space. At the center of this master bathroom is a Japanese soaking tub, and with the bathing experience being a significant part of the client's lifestyle request, it deserved special consideration. Translucent recycled glass in a muted pine green shade for the upper and lower tub deck were paired with small mosaic tiles in colors meant to evoke a tranquil sunset. Linen-textured, sand colored porcelain tile flooring presents the foundation for a restful space wrapped in glass tile. Design by Bonnie Bagley-Catlin, Jackson Design and Remodeling, San Diego, CA; Photo by Preview First

Open Concept Bathroom

Open plan bathrooms are more prevalent than ever and are not defined or confined by size. With the design centered on the efficiency of a bathroom space with very little in the way of walls or partial walls, the user-friendly and efficiency aspects will be at the forefront of planning. This smaller bathroom was created as support for entertaining and with an entirely open shower and a minimalistic approach in product selection; the result is a stylishly sleek space. Eliminating a shower stall opened the expanse of the floor, making the entire room usable space. Design by Karl Champley, KDLA, Inc., Woodland Hills, CA; Photo by Carmel McFayden 2011


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Weekend Happenings: Jammin' and the Arts

Chan Jam 2012
Chanhassen High School Theater
2200 Lyman Boulevard
Chanhassen, MN 55317
Friday, November 16, 2012
6:30-10:00 pm (doors open at 6:00 pm)
Cost:  $5 at the door (bring a non-perishable food item and get $1 off!

ChanJam Performance

Come enjoy the music from local student bands.  All 10 bands are comprised of students from the three high schools around Chanhassen.  These ten bands will compete for a chance to play future concerts and other prizes. This is a professional show in front of friends, neighbors, and peers. 

Prizes will be awarded and include:
  • Trophies
  • Recording studio time
  • Gig at the Minnesota State Fair
  • Immortality on the Champions Plaque at the Chanhassen Rec Center!

All participating bands may be eligible to play at Chanhassen's 4th of July Celebration so if you like one or all of them you'll have a chance to see them play again.

Plymouth Arts Fair
Plymouth Creek Center
14800 34th Avenue North
Plymouth, MN 55447
Sat. & Sun., Nov. 17 & 18, 2012
Sat. 10:00 to 5:00, Sun. 12:00 to 5:00
Cost:  Free

The City of Plymouth in cooperation with the Plymouth Arts Council is pleased to announce the First Annual Plymouth Arts Fair.  There will be over 30 juried artists that will display, demonstrate, and sell their artwork. Enjoy entertainment for the entire family, including a special children’s activity area. Listen to talented musical performers that will be featured in showcase areas.   Be sure to register at the door and you may be one of the lucky prize winners.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Weekly Market Update: November 12, 2012

1.3 million. That's how many Americans were reportedly lifted out of underwater mortgage situations this year from rising home prices, according to the Obama administration's October Housing Scorecard. There's more going on than meets the eye here. Rising prices also help restore tax base, decreasing the likelihood of tax increases later. National GDP even benefits. When real estate is chugging along, things are good. And now, arguably more so than ever in the past four or five years, real estate is starting to chug again. It's not at full speed yet, but the open track ahead beckons.

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

• New Listings decreased 1.0% to 1,125
• Pending Sales increased 25.3% to 930
• Inventory decreased 27.7% to 15,434

For the month of October:

• Median Sales Price increased 14.8% to $174,995
• Days on Market decreased 25.0% to 103
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.5% to 94.4%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 41.0% to 3.7

Source:  Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Monday, November 12, 2012

Warm Your Feet With Radiant Heat

Any time is a good time to warm your family room, bathroom, and basement with radiant heat. While forced air systems heat the air, radiant heat warms people and objects. Although adding some radiance to your home is easiest when you’re starting from scratch—everything is easier when building new—upgrading to radiant heat when you’re remodeling will work, too. Here’s how to radiate warmth to your family room, bath, and basement.

Radiant Heat For Remodeling Remodeling With Radiant Heat

Heat your family room from the bottom up

Radiant heat is a natural for family room floors. If your basement ceiling is unfinished, installers can snake hot water-filled tubes between floor joists, and then cover and anchor them with aluminum heat-transfer plates. Toasty transfer plates and the warm air trapped within the joists heat the floor above, which radiates warmth to kids leaning on elbows in front of TVs.

Turn your bath into a spa

Stepping out of the shower onto a radiant-heated ceramic tile floor is not only bliss, it’s energy-efficient and easy to accomplish. Install either:

  • Half-inch radiant heat plywood panels pre-grooved to hold hot-water-filled plastic tubes. They’ll raise the height of the finished floor slightly, so you may have to adjust doors or add a new threshold to ease the transition. 
  • Electric radiant heat mats wired to, best of all worlds, a dedicated circuit. Some companies makes a fiberglass mesh mat that is only 1/8 inch thick, so you don’t have to mess with doors or thresholds.

Cozy up your basement

Radiant heat flooring panels, which operate between 150 and 170°F, rid your basement of that dank feeling fast. Installers can lay radiant heat panels over the existing concrete floor (it’s about 30% cheaper than snaking between floor joists) or embed tubing or electric coils within a new pour.

Radiant heat panels are usually 1 inch thick, which could be a problem if you’ve got a low ceiling or a tall family, so measure carefully before deciding. Also investigate local building codes, which may require you to change the tread height of the bottom step or, possibly, redo the entire staircase.

Souce:  Wendy Paris for Houselogic

Friday, November 9, 2012

Open Houses: November 11, 2012

5210 Meadville Street - Greenwood
4 bedroom/4 bath
SqFt:  4,154
OPEN:  12:00 to 2:00

Welcome to Lake Minnetonka, this custom masterpiece built by Stonewood features the highest quality of craftsmanship and materials. The Cottage style design offers 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 open floor plan with its Gourmet Kitchen is where it all comes together. Expertly crafted antiqued cabinetry, butcher-block counters and enameled bead board ceiling finish off this inviting space. Enjoy stunning sunsets all year long from curved wall of windows in the dining room, this is truly the heart of the home. You’ll enjoy curling up with your morning coffee on the large window seat. The open floor plan also included a spacious Family Room featuring coffered ceilings, a cozy gas fireplace and enameled bookcases & entertainment center; making this space perfect for relaxing with the family or entertaining with style. The custom built see-through aquarium inspires creativity while the Home Office will also enhance your productivity. The second floor is where you will find the Master Suite with another curved wall of windows overlooking the lake. The private master bath offering spa finishes from the large pedestal tub to the custom mirrors and lighting fixtures. In addition to the two Junior Suites located on this floor, you will also find the spacious Bonus Room perfect for a guest suite, movie night or playing Wii. The third floor has recently been finished to accommodate an additional family room with large windows for natural light and features a rough-in for a future bath. Location, Location, Location! Sited on a premium, southwest facing lot on grade-A Excelsior Bay, this property enjoys a sandy bottom lakeshore. Originally a major tourist destination during the late 19th century, Excelsior exudes a Nantucket style atmosphere with the unique blend of old and new. Antique shops, an authentic Irish Pub, a movie theatre as well as a variety of specialty shops restaurants and lakeside park & commons create a special community. For information on pricing or to schedule a private showing, please call 952.470.2575.

Click HERE for more information.

8455 Gallery Parkway - Victoria
4 bedroom/4 bath
SqFt:  3,662
OPEN:  12:00 to 2:00

Built by K. Hovnanian, this beautiful home features upgraded 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 well equipped Kitchen is where it all comes together. Expertly crafted cherry cabinetry, granite counters and a breakfast island finish off this inviting space. This is truly the heart of the home complete with a spacious informal dining area. You’ll enjoy your morning coffee while watching the sunrise. 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 a great space for holiday meals with family and friends – located just off the Kitchen. Adjacent to the two story foyer is the 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 tray ceiling and private bath offering spa finishes from the large soaking tub to the walk-in shower and His & Her vanities. There are three Junior Bedrooms located on this floor with a Jack & Jill bath and a private ensuite. The unfinished walk-out lower level is a blank canvas that is ready for you to finish to your liking. Nothing compares to spending time outside and private deck with wet-land views is a wonderful addition to this home. Nestled on a private lot close to Victoria Elementary, you will enjoy the spectacular sunsets and long uninterrupted 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.

860 Woodland Hills Boulevard - Victoria
5 bedroom/4 bath
SqFt:  3,667
OPEN:  12:00 to 2:00

Click HERE for more information. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Weekend Happenings: Turkey Trot and Arts & Crafts Fair

Chaska Turkey Trot 5K & Kid's Run
545 Pioneer Trail
Chaska, MN 55318
Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012
First race starts at 8:15 am
Cost:  Free to attend, Registrations $20-$30

Join us for this family event organized by Chaska DECA students. We anticipate over 700 racers in the 5K & gobbler races. The 'kid's runs' include a 1/4-mile and 1-mile. All racers receive an chip timing, t-shirt, goody bag, food and beverages. Free child care during the 5K. 1st-3rd place finishers for the Gobbler races get medallions! Top males and females in the 5K receive a prize. All proceeds benefit the MDA, Chaska Cross Country team, and Chaska DECA. Gobble-Gobble.  Check us out on Facebook.

Autumn Festival - An Arts & Crafts Affair
Canterbury Park
1100 Canterbury Road
Shakopee, MN 55379
Thurs. Nov. 8 - Sun. Nov. 11, 2012
Th/Fr 11am-9pm; Sat 9am-7pm; Sun 10am-5pm
Cost:  Adults $8, Seniors $7, Children under 10 are free.


Hundreds of the nation's best artists and crafters display and sell their handcrafted wares. Voted one of the top 100 shows in the country according to Sunshine Artist magazine. Hourly gift certificate drawings, stage entertainment, lots of family fun!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Curb Appeal Makes All The Difference

If you're thinking that curb appeal doesn't factor in very much when you're trying to sell a home, then check out these before and after pictures from This Old House.  Ask yourself if you saw these homes in their before condition on a realtor's website, would you even bother to take a second look?  Then view the after and ask yourself the same question.  I think you know what the answer would be.

Colorful Queen Anne Restoration

Winner: Colorful Queen Anne Restoration: Before from this old house curb appeal finalists 2012

Winner: Colorful Queen Anne Restoration: After from this old house curb appeal finalists 2012

Cost of Renovation:  $100,000 - Homeowner did did most of the work.

Hometown House Is A Dream Cottage

Hometown House Is a Dream Cottage: Before from this old house curb appeal finalists 2012

Hometown House Is a Dream Cottage: After from this old house curb appeal finalists 2012

Cost of Renovation:  $25,000 to $50,000 - Homeowner did all the work.

Saved A 1940 Beach Cottage

Saved a 1940 Beach Cottage: Before from this old house curb appeal finalists 2012

Saved a 1940 Beach Cottage: After from this old house curb appeal finalists 2012

Cost of Renovation:  More than $100,000 - Mostly contractor, some DIY

1930's Stucco Home Transformed

1930s Stucco Home Transformed: Before from this old house curb appeal finalists 2012

1930s Stucco Home Transformed: After from this old house curb appeal finalists 2012

Cost of Renovation:  $5,000 to $10,000 - Homeowner did all the work

Kept Original Character

Kept Original Character: Before from this old house curb appeal finalists 2012

Kept Original Character: After from this old house curb appeal finalists 2012

Cost of Renovation:  $50,000 to $100,000 - Homeowner did most of the work

Adding Dimension and Character

Adding Dimension and Character: Before from this old house curb appeal finalists 2012

Adding Dimension and Character: After  from this old house curb appeal finalists 2012

Cost of Renovation:  $50,000 to $100,000 - Mostly Contractor, Some DIY

Source:  This Old House

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Weekly Market Update: November 5, 2012

Over the course of the year, we've cleverly devised new tactics each week to communicate just how far the market has come. This week is no exception. Most level-headed housing advocates agree that lower residential vacancy rates are a good thing. Well, chalk one up for level-headed housing advocates, because Reuters just reported that the U.S. residential vacancy rate fell to 1.9 percent in the third quarter. That's the lowest level in seven years. It's just the latest installment of overwhelming bullish housing news.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending October 27:

• New Listings decreased 3.0% to 1,037
• Pending Sales increased 11.1% to 914
• Inventory decreased 28.8% to 15,700

For the month of September:

• Median Sales Price increased 12.7% to $174,625
• Days on Market decreased 28.5% to 101
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 4.1% to 94.8%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 38.8% to 4.1

Source:  Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Monday, November 5, 2012

Super Fun Kid Spaces

In a world with video games, 24-hour cartoon channels, and every electronic device imaginable, kids these days may lose what makes a kid a kid....their imagination.  Help inspire imaginative play in your kids with these ideas for fun, kid-friendly spaces.

southwestern inspired kids playroom

This playroom boasts three workstations — for crafts, computer time and homework — while also providing plenty of room for imagination.

creative kids castle themed room

A room that dreams are made of! This castle room was made from lightweight concrete and incorporates a recessed, built-in bed with its own lighting and faux-finished walls, a top bunk, a slide and a built-in desk area.

tree house adds fun for young and old

Imagine all the hours of play in this elevated treehouse! 

Encourage reading for your kids with their own library, decked out with circular reading nooks.  You may find yourself joining them!

If you had this space in your basement your kids would finally comply when you said, "Go downstairs and play."

Crafty kids will love having a space of their own to do all their projects.

For the little actors in your family, a stage with curtains.

You don't need much space, just some colorful paint and an unused corner.

Source:  HGTV