Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

We are so very thankful for all of you, our clients and friends.  We wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings this holiday season.

Eric & Sharla and everyone at Stafford Family Realtors

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Keep The Homefront Safe While You're Away

Winter holidays are a time when many people travel away from home for a few days to spend some time with friends and family.  And you can bet that theives know this as well.  But there are a few things that you can do to keep your home and valuables safe while you're away.

Lock Up

This may sound really obvious but so many people don't lock up their home as well as they should.  The best locks in the world won't help you if you don't use them.  And be sure the locks on doors to the outside of your home have heavy-duty deadbolts and that the doors themselves are substantial.  Those wimpy push-and-twist lock on the doorknob just won't cut it.  Don't forget the door to your garage.  Treat this as an outside door.  If your garage has any windows or doors these should be locked up tight as well.

Windows and sliding glass doors should all be locked as well.  For sliding glass doors, place a thick dowel in the track behind the door to prevent it from opening.  Install anti-lift locks as well.  Double hung windows should be locked at both the top and bottom.  Remove the cranks from casement windows. 

And if you have outbuildings like sheds or pole barns be sure to secure these as well so that you don't harbor any unwanted visitors and to protect your tools and equipment.

Get A Little Help

Enlist a neighbor you trust who you know will be home to watch over your house while you are gone.  Preferably choose retired people or anyone who stays home during the day.  They know the traffic flow of your neighborhood during the day and can keep an eye out for any unusual activity.  If you know them well and trust them, consider giving them a key so that they can check in on the house from time to time - especially if you will be gone for an extended period of time.

You can also give your neighborhood police a call and ask them to swing by your house on occasion.  They will put you on a list and drive by throughout your vacation.  If crooks see a cop car going by they are going to think twice about trying to break in.

Be Smart About Your Stuff

Porch light on 24/7, mail falling out of your mailbox, newspapers piled up on your stoop, unshoveled driveways, and posts on facebook about all the fun your having while you're away....not so smart!!  C'mon friends, be smart about being away.  Put indoor lights on timers and in different rooms of your house to mimic the actions of when you are home.  Have a neighbor grab your mail and suspend your newspaper until you're back.  Arrange to have someone shovel your driveway and sidewalk if it snows or at the very  least to drive into your driveway and stomp around on your sidewalks a bit so that it looks like someone is comeing and going.  And wait to post those pictures on social media sites until you are home.

Scrutinize Your Landscaping

Don't give theives a place to hide.  Trim bushes that are close to your house, especially near entrance points.  Be sure that you can see your front door easily from the street.  Trim tree branches that are close to upper level windows.  And install motion detector lights.  Beautify your home and keep it safe at the same time by installing landscape lighting.  Burglers hate lights.

Install A Security System

If you are the type who travels a lot or travels for extened periods of time, you may want to consider installing a security system.   Not only do these systems make noises and lights, they also notify the police and you if a break in occurs.  Sometimes just the sign in the yard is enough to deter theives.  Technology is progressing to a point where you can monitor your home from your mobile device.  Soon you will be able to control all sorts of things in your home while you're away, like turning lights and electronics on and off, closing shades, turning off water...all at the touch of the keypad.  A security system may also win you a discount with your home insurance provider.

If you're going over the river and through the woods to Grandma's house this Thanksgiving or anytime of the year, please keep safe!  If you have any other tips on home safety, please share.

Source:  Michelle Schwake for Stafford Family Realtors

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Weekly Market Update: November 25, 2013

This week, and through the end of the year, you might be watching for much-needed inventory gains that will not arrive due to traditional end-of-year lulls in the marketplace related to holidays and/or colder weather. Nobody wants to sell at the bottom. In general, inventory pools are up in year-over-year comparisons in many areas, suggestive of seller confidence with recent price gains. Overall recovery is unlikely to stall. The pace of price gains and bidding wars may ease, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Just ask any prospective home buyer.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending November 16:

• New Listings decreased 4.2% to 1,003
• Pending Sales decreased 7.3% to 758
• Inventory decreased 3.2% to 15,318

For the month of October:

• Median Sales Price increased 11.4% to $194,900
• Days on Market decreased 27.2% to 75
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.4% to 95.8%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 12.5% to 3.5

Source:  Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Monday, November 25, 2013

Countertops 101: A Kitchen’s Perfect Pairing

When it comes to finding the right kitchen countertops, home owners need to study up.
Do you want to rest hot pots and pans on your surfaces?

Are you in danger of spilling acidic salad dressing or red wine?

Will kids run toys across them?

There are also the more traditional considerations to weigh in: color, pattern, thickness, durability, source material quality, and budget.

GRANITE. Still popular for its cachet, natural colors, patterns, movement, and reputation for durability, Granite also offers another perk: It has come down in price due to improvements in extracting and processing and the availability of more imports.

Granite Countertops

“In the Michigan area where I’m located, there’s almost a stone store on every corner,” says Bryan Adkins, a contractor with A&G Contractors and consultant for Countertop Guides, a Web-based source. “You can get a very common Uba Tuba for as little as $35 a square foot (finished but not installed), though less ubiquitous examples sell for $135 a square foot,” he says.

A word of caution: Granites vary greatly and it’s tough to find slab-to-slab consistency. “The best sources sell stone that is harvested deeper and has more vibrant, richer color; inferior sources sell shallow, younger stone and colors may look painted on,” Adkins says.

Tip: Most well-stocked kitchen and stone showrooms allow samples to be taken home to try out.

Since granite is a natural stone, its porosity and absorbency also vary, so test samples, says Ryan Burden, owner of Countertop Specialty, an online consumer resource and stone product supplier. Home owners should buy granite from a supplier with a slab warehouse, since it’s best to see a slab rather than a small sample, and ensure that similar slabs exist if a problem occurs.

Natural stone is cut at a factory into slabs of 2 to 3 centimeters, which stone warehouses then purchase to sell to fabricators and designers who install them for clients’ countertops. But confusion abounds about fabrication. “The way you get a thicker edge profile is to laminate the edge to make it look thicker,” Burden says.

Before you buy…

Installation price. Edge detail, number of sinks, cooktop cutouts, slabs, and seams—all affect price. Prices are quoted as “installed” estimates because there are too many variables, says Burden.

Thickness. The trend of going thicker costs more to fabricate, transport, and install.

Edge. Most popular right now is a simple square, eased, or pencil edge rather than fancier, curved, and pricier ogee of the past. Choose the edge based on your kitchen style. In one kitchen, Kaufman is using an ogee edge on an island for traditional flavor and a flat edge on the perimeter for a contemporary touch.

Shape. If it’s a square or rectangular counter, it’s easier and less costly to fabricate and install than if round or angular, but sometimes a traditional shape won’t do.

Finish. Hone or polish? Each has fans depending on kitchen style, says Pascal.

Overhang. How much depends on personal preference; it can be flush, or extend half-inch, 1-inch, or longer if the counter is for eating, says Pascal. Be sure there’s adequate support underneath.

Resale. Home owners often purchase countertops for resale rather than for themselves, Adkins says. If resale is imminent, Pascal urges a classic granite without too much movement, such as cashmere white, running about $50 to $70 per square foot.

Next comes the finish: Polished for a shiny look, honed for softer appeal (fingerprints show more on darker, solid colors), or antiqued or leathered for a more novel look. Some granites come with a sealer applied, which can be reapplied every few years, but some are naturally dense—virtually stain-proof—and don’t need to be sealed. In addition, granite can almost always be repaired, Burden says.

LIMESTONE AND SOAPSTONE. Limestone is softer than granite, and most experts don’t recommend it. A similar looking material is soapstone, which comes in dark charcoals and blacks and grows richer-looking over time, says Adkins. Soapstone’s downside is that it can scratch easily and require attention. “Imagine how soft a bar of soap is,” says Louise Pascal principal with her husband Ken of True North Cabinets LLC in New Canaan, Ct. Its price is similar to higher-end granites at $80 to $200 per square foot finished.

CONCRETE. Once considered the “it” material among countertop choices, concrete is still popular for edgy kitchens, especially when pigments and curving shapes are desired. But Chicago designer Tom Kaufman has found it doesn’t hold up well because of its porosity, vulnerability towards dings, and need for a competent fabricator. Necessary skills can translate to $65 to $135 per square foot with color or 20 percent less without.

Concrete Countertop

MARBLE. A long-time favorite because of its crisp white palettes, veining, and old-world connotation—think Parisian cafes—marble continues to attract attention despite its potential to stain and etch from contact with acidic foods, drinks, and harsh cleaning products. Even more troublesome, says Adkins, is putting materials like china atop it—they can have a rough bottom and scratch the marble surface. But some people love the patina that develops. “It’s definitely more difficult to maintain. Honing will make marks less evident,” says Pascal. Prices vary from $35 per square foot for common, nice grades like Carrara to $75 for Calcutta and $100-plus for statuary.

Marble Countertops

CORIAN. A manmade material once highly touted because of its promise of durability, some experts say it scratches and nicks easily. But it can be repaired, and seams can be concealed, and it offers an affordable price at $35 to $65 per square foot.

QUARTZ. A hard-working, highly durable, and low-maintenance manmade or engineered counterpart to “real” stone, quartz comes in a huge assortment of colors and patterns. Easy to cut, install, and detail, Kaufman likes them for contemporary settings and used the material in his own kitchen.

One of quartz’s biggest pros is that it has consistent patterns and colors, which make seams less visible, Burden says. At the same time, it’s not 100 percent bulletproof. “It’s as durable as granite, but care is still needed,” he says. Prices have dropped to $50 to $125 per square foot, making it generally competitive with granite, though, as with other materials, installation influences price.

QUARTZITE. Quartzite is the real McCoy with a crystallized rock surface. It’s more durable and denser, and less porous than marble, says Pascal. It comes in a range of colors, some softer looking than the 1970s vibrant green and blue granites, says Kaufman. Prices are comparable to granite—$40 to $95 per square foot. Two downsides: Some slabs are half the size of granite, and some are more prone to etching, says Burden.

SLATE. Rarely suggested because of its high cost—$150 to $170 per square foot, but less expensive examples can be imported from China. Slate is soft and can scratch.

Slate Countertop

STAINLESS STEEL. For those who favor an industrial, even restaurant vibe, and a surface that hot pots and pans won’t easily damage, stainless steel is a great choice. But like home owners who favor marble, buyers of stainless should prepare for scratches—as well as fingerprints. As with marble, some are willing to take the risk. Adkins prefers stainless as an accent, perhaps paired on an island with reclaimed wood to break up the surface. It runs $70 to $150 per square foot finished and requires a seasoned installer.

GLASS. Hard, luminous, and able to be tinted to glorious hues, glass is a “green” countertop material made from recycled glass pieces (with other materials sometimes added), says Kaufman. Glass ranges from $60 to $100 a square foot. Adkins prefers a thicker fabrication of one-quarter to three-quarters of an inch.
RECLAIMED WOOD, BUTCHER BLOCK, BAMBOO. Wood warms a kitchen visually because of its graining. Scratches can be sanded away, it’s highly durable, and it can be sealed and oiled to make it look new. Kaufman says it works extremely well for a butcher block, perhaps on an island. It should be used thick—at least 2 inches, says Burden. The cost remains affordable at $35 to $40 a square foot. Reclaimed wood is more expensive—as much as $75 to $225 a square foot because of the difficulty of securing it, but it’s gorgeous and durable. Popular species include walnut, cherry, and maple. Bamboo can be porous and unable to take high heat.

Wood Countertop

LAMINATE. Still the most affordable choice, averaging $22 to $45 per square foot, and available in numerous colors and patterns, laminate is made better today and often available for a fast transformation for resale. Warning: Some buyers expect fancier choices. Laminate can be scorched and seem ho-hum as compared to stone materials.

Laminate Countertops

Source:  Realtor Magazine

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Weekend Happenings: Take In A Play

While there doesn't seem to be any huge events or even small ones this weekend, that doesn't mean there's nothing to do.  The Twin Cities Metro area has one of the country's best arts scenes.  So our suggestion for this weekend is to take in a bit of theater. 

Children's Theater Company
2400 3rd Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55404-3597
Nov. 12, 2013 through Jan. 5, 2014
7:00 p.m. every Thu., Fri. until January 5
2:00 p.m. every Sat., Sun. until January 5

Cost:  $10 and up


The holiday hit is back and everyone is raving about this raucous production updated to wondrously wacky perfection. You have not truly experienced the magic and spectacle of the downtrodden would-be princess until you’ve seen it at CTC performed in the enduringly popular panto style with the cross-dressing stepsisters everyone loves to hate. The CTC acting company turns this classic fairy tale on its head with side-splitting physical comedy and enough romance and splendor to soften hearts and inspire audiences of all ages to seek their happily ever after.  Source:  Children's Theater Company

A Christmas Carol
Guthrie Theater
818 S. 2nd St.
Minneapolis,MN 55415
Now through Dec. 29, 2013
7:30 p.m. every Wed., Thu., Fri., Sat. until December 29
1:00 p.m. every Sun. until December 29
7:00 p.m. every Sun. until December 29
Cost:  $34 to $85 

A Christmas Carol

Whether compelled by the cooking of a Yuletide feast to satisfy an ungrateful extended family, the cajoling to unruly kids to sit still for a Christmas-card photoshoot, or any number of other seasonal frustrations, would-be revelers can be forgiven for the temptation of saying "humbug" to the holidays. Thankfully, a relatively stress-free holiday tradition can still be found in the Guthrie Theater's annual production of A Christmas Carol. While the story of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and his ghost-guided journey through Christmases past, present, and future ranks amongst the most ubiquitous of holiday tales, the Guthrie continues to derive surprising vitality from the familiar work. This is the Guthrie's 39th staging of Charles Dickens's cherished novella, and the theater's continued success with the piece is a credit to the creative rearrangements that have kept each presentation fresh while preserving the thematic core of the narrative. Reprising a lively adaptation from British playwright Crispin Whittell, this latest production also boasts the dynamic direction of Joe Chvala, an artist whose groundbreaking work with Flying Foot Forum suggests a captivating kinetic pace. Featuring a gifted ensemble cast, an immersive Victorian atmosphere, and striking special effects, the Guthrie's A Christmas Carol continues to imbue creative ingenuity into this defining tale of regret and redemption, providing one annual tradition worthy of holiday cheer.  Source:  Brad Richardson for CityPages

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Selling Your Home In The Winter

Here at Stafford Family Realtors selling homes in the winter is just part and parcel of what we do.  We want you to know that you can definitely sell your home in the winter!  There is no need to take it off market until the spring market rolls around.  Because of the diverse industry base in the Twin Cities area, relocated workers are moving all the time.  And anyone needing to make immediate lifestyle changes, such as in a divorce, will need to move at any time of the year.  However, there are a few things you need to consider if you decide to keep your house on the market during the coldest and darkest months of the year.

Make Sure Your Price Is Reasonable

We always recommend that our clients set a realistic price on their homes, but this is especially important during the winter months.  While it may be true that there is less competion in the winter which would normally drive prices up, there is also less demand.  Usually only those that have to move are moving in the winter months.  So don't pad the price hoping for some haggling to happen.  It probably won't.

Winterize Well!

Nothing will scare off winter buyers faster than a cold and drafty house.  Be sure to fix any drafts, seal around doors and windows, have your furnace tuned, and add extra insulation where it's needed.  If you really need to sell in the winter, you may want to consider new doors and windows if these are in poor condition.

Keep It Warm And Cozy

Two-Story Fireplace

One of the perks of living in a cold climate is being able to cocoon in your house.  Cozy up your home by having the fireplace lit (if you have one), keeping the temperature nice and warm throughout the house especially in any basement rooms, have the soft glow of lights in every room and good smells permeating the house.  Winter can be dry too, so be sure your humidifier is working well or even have a pot of water simmering on the stove with some cinnamon floating in it.

Show Photos Of The House During The Summer

Be sure those buyers know what the yard looks like in the summer at the height of it's glory.  Both on-line and in the house for walk throughs, have pictures of the flowers and gardens in bloom, luscious green grass and fully leafed-out trees framing your house.

Good Curb Appeal Is A Must

Many people drive by a home after seeing it on-line.  This can be a make or break moment for your home.  Be sure that your home is pleasing to look at throughout the entire winter.  This means keeping your driveway and sidewalks shoveled, keeping sleds and outdoor toys in the garage or shed, picking up any leftovers from fido, having exterior as well as some interior lights on at all times when it is dark outside, and decorating your entry with seasonal/holiday displays like greenery in pots. The idea is to turn those drive-bys into walk-throughs.

Play Up The Light

The last thing you want potential buyers to think is that your home looks like a dungeon.  Winter light is less strong during the day and disappears entirely at a very early hour in the day (or even during the morning hours if you have showings then).  During the day be sure to open all drapes and pull up any blinds or shades for maximum sun exposure.  If it's a cloudy day, be sure to have overhead lights on in all rooms.  Assess your home for any dark areas and try to find a way to increase the light in those areas by adding a lamp or even painting it a lighter color.  For nighttime lighting, consider changing out lower wattage bulbs for higher wattage lights. And remember to have all lights on for showings.  This includes closet lights, lamps, ambiance lighting and task lighting.  You want your home to be bright and inviting every time someone walks through.

Handle The Holidays With Style

Yes, you should definitely decorate for the holidays.  But as with staging during any other part of the year, be sure to keep it simple and clean looking with few personal effects on display.  Rather than lighting up your house like Clark Griswalk, maybe opt for a simple line along the edges of your roof.  Keep the inflatables for another year.  Inside, don't cover the walls with every holiday decoration you own, but take out just the essentials.  Winter greens in the house are always pleasant to see and smell. Make it look nice without being kitschy or overblown.

If you have any questions about preparing your house to sell during the winter months, please give us a call.  We'd be happy to help you with any needs you may have.

Source:  Michelle Schwake for Stafford Family Realtors

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Weekly Market Update: November 18, 2013

Fewer people are out scouting homes now that they're scouting the perfect bird for their Thanksgiving feast. Weekly and monthly seller and buyer activity may be slowing in comparison to last reporting period, but overall markets still show signs of stable recovery. By and large, expect the end of 2013 to look just as juicy and golden as your bird is soon to be.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending November 9:

• New Listings increased 11.4% to 1,132
• Pending Sales decreased 3.1% to 819
• Inventory decreased 3.2% to 15,517

For the month of October:

• Median Sales Price increased 11.4% to $195,000
• Days on Market decreased 27.2% to 75
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.4% to 95.8%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 12.5% to 3.5

Source:  Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Monday, November 18, 2013

For The Crafty Crafter

In the good old days, a crafty person would maybe have a little bag filled with yarn and needles sitting beside a comfy chair.  Or maybe a small corner of the cupboard to hold some cross-stitching or a few beads for making jewelry.  But now we have entire rooms dedicated to our hobbies.  There are sewing rooms, scrapbooking rooms, and the ubiquitous craft room which is designed to hold a wide assortment of different hobbies.  And it seems we aren't content to just house our stuff in these rooms.  Oh no.  They need to be decorated to the hilt or at least very cleverly organized.  And while you may be nodding your head in superiority (i.e. jealousy) with me at all those who have gone overboard, you know deep in your heart you'd love to have one for yourself!  Well then you're in luck.  With a little thought and planning, a little organizing and maybe even some decorating, you too can have the crafter's paradise... a craft room!  Or at least a crafty corner.  Check out some of these great photos of some craft rooms that we thought were especially special.

Source:  Michelle Schwake for Stafford Family Realtors

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Be A Giver On Give To The Max Day

Returning for it's fifth year, Give To The Max Day is a 24-hour online fundraising campaign for non-profit organizations and schools.  Donations started rolling in at midnight today (Thursday) and will continue through 11:59 pm through the website  While you may be saying to yourself that you already give to your favorite charities, you may want to reconsider giving on this day each year because of matching grants.  In order to boost donations there are up to $6 million in matching grants including some special prize grants and "power hours" where your money can stretch even further.

The site also boasts a leaderboard, an interactive map showing where donations are coming it, a listing of all the different organizations that you can contribute to, the current level of donations as well as the remaining amount of matching grants available.

At the time of publishing this article, with over 14 hours left, the donations were totalling just over $6 million with about $5 million left in matching grants available.

Your dollars will benefit schools, shelters, food shelves, community foundations, faith organizations, parks, art foundations and many more.  The beneficiaries are located in the metro area as well as throughout rural Minnesota.  No matter where your passions lie, there is a group that could benefit from your generosity today.

Be a Giver!  Give To The Max today!

For more information on how to give you can follow this address:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Stylish Laundry Rooms

Yes, you heard me correctly.  Stylish laundry rooms.  Look on any home improvement website and you'll see scores of trendy and stylish laundry rooms. We're talking coordinated cabinetry, the latest in organization and storage, hip paint colors, and once in a while you'll even see a chanelier! What's that you say?  Your laundry room looks more like the paint storage shed?  Or maybe you're even questioning the term "room" to describe your laundry area...maybe you just have a washer and dryer plopped down in your basement. 

Is this what your "laundry room" looks like?  Believe it or not, this space was remodeled into a beautful multi-functional laundry space.  See the last photo of this article for the after picture.

Yes, it's a functional area, but it is a functional area that you spend a lot of time in.  Why not upgrade the look of your laundry room/area.  Whether your laundry space is itsy-bitsy or you have scads of space, the pictures below are to help provide you with inspiration as you contemplate upgrading your laundry area.  And if you do choose to upgrade, remember that it isn't all about you, it will give your home a boost in resale value as well.











This is the after picture of the remodeled basement laundry area.  See?  You can make a basement laundry room look good and be more functional as well!

Source:  Michelle Schwake for Stafford Family Realtors

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Weekly Market Update: November 11, 2013

Most analysts agree that we are not in the midst of inflating another housing bubble. Instead, we are sometimes seeing seemingly dramatic price and sales increases, but off of artificially low baseline levels. Private equity firms and first-time buyers have bought up a lot of inventory, while some sellers await further price recovery. Credit remains available but not abundant, so lenders are avoiding the facilitation of another bubble. Default rates and foreclosure activity are at multiyear lows. As of now, the housing recovery is intact.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending November 2:

• New Listings increased 5.5% to 1,185
• Pending Sales increased 6.9% to 972
• Inventory decreased 2.6% to 16,034

For the month of October:

• Median Sales Price increased 11.4% to $195,000
• Days on Market decreased 27.2% to 75
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.4% to 95.8%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 12.5% to 3.5

Source:  Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Monday, November 11, 2013

8 Kitchen Trends for Remodelers

Home buyers love kitchens so what trends are cooking up lately? The remodeling web site Houzz surveyed 7,812 home owners about their kitchen remodeling plans this fall. Here are the big trends that emerged from the survey:

Photo credit: Taylor Lombardo Architects

1. Bigger isn’t better: Home owners don’t mind a small kitchen, but they do want a feeling of space, the survey found. One way they’re achieving is that is by adding kitchen islands.

2. Wide open: 77% of home owners say they plan during their remodel to have their kitchen open to other rooms.

3. A love for granite: Granite continues its reign as the most popular countertop (favored by 50 percent of those surveyed), but quartz is following up behind at 36 percent.

4. Mix and match: Mixing materials is becoming a more popular fad in the kitchen. For example, home owners are mixing stainless steel appliances with appliances in other finishes, like white or appliances integrated with cabinetry. Also, they’re mixing countertops, such as opting for a different choice for the kitchen island than the other countertops.

5. Conservative with color: Conservative color schemes are the most popular, with 75 percent of home owners say they’re choosing soft and neutral colors for their kitchen walls and decor compared to 14 percent who are opting for bright, colorful selections.

6. Style varies by age: Younger home owners show a stronger preference toward contemporary and modern kitchens while over 55’s tend to favor a more traditional look in the kitchen.

7. Flooring favorites: Top flooring choices in kitchen are hardwood floors (with 35 percent), but followed closely behind tile flooring (32 percent).

8. Being green: Nearly 50 percent of home owners say having eco-friendly appliances and materials in their kitchen is important to them.

Source:   By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine;  Styled, Staged, and Sold blog

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Donate Deer Meat To Local Food Shelves

Deer hunting is a Minnesota fall tradition.  And it can serve a good cause as well.  Food shelves will gladly accept venison for distribution to those who find themselves in need of food.  And now, deer donated to food shelves can be processed at no cost to hunters thanks to a program coordinated by the Minnesota departments of natural resources and agriculture.

Hunters will need to follow some guidelines when donating deer:

  • Only whole carcasses with hide on can be donated.
  • You will need to provide the DNR number and permit area of harvest.
  • The carcasses will need to be free from signs of illness, visible decomposition or contamination and be properly tagged.
  • Processors will reject deer for the donation program that appear to have been mishandled in any way.
Hunters should contact the processor prior to any donations.  A list of processors who accept deer for the program is available online at  More details on the venison donation program are available online at

Source:  Herald Review of Grand Rapids, MN

Weekend Happenings: Turkey Trot and Hunting Alternative

Chaska Turkey Trot
Chaska High School
545 Pioneer Trail
Chaska, MN 55318
Sat., Nov. 9, 2013
8:15 am Race Start Time
Thurs. Nov 7, 2013
11:59 am Registration Closes!
Cost:  $20 - $30 to register to race, Free to watch

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 Muscular Dystrophy Association, Chaska Cross Country team, and Chaska DECA. Gobble-Gobble

Start Times:

Lil’ Gobblers Run/Walk – 8:15am
Big Gobblers Run/Walk – 8:30am
5K Run/Walk – 9:00am
Awards/Raffle – 10:00am

D.E.A.R. Hunting
Downtown Waconia
Sat., Nov. 9, 2013
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Cost:  Free

D.E.A.R. stands for Divas Enjoy Awesome Retail.  Come out and shop, dine, play, stay in Waconia! Nice day to hang out with your girlfriends, sisters, moms, aunts... great time to learn how to set a table, what to wear this fall and winter, taste some chocolate, appetizers and wine.... fun!  Wear Blaze Orange for extra fun and deal...and because it's so darn fashionable!