Thursday, January 30, 2014

2181 Pinehurst Drive, Chanhassen, MN

2181 Pinehurst Drive, Chanhassen, MN 55317

New listing just posted:

New listing videos just posted: &

Description:  Only available due to relocation, this beautiful home, built by Colson Custom Homes, offers a finish level for today’s discerning buyers. 

Home Information:

Beds: 5

Baths: 3.00

Sqft: 4,760

Price: $929,000

MLS #: Non-MLS

Weekend Happenings: Boat Show

Minneapolis Progressive Boat Show
Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 2nd Ave. South
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Jan 30 to Feb 2, 2014
Thurs:  2:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Fri:  12:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Sat:  10:00 am to 9:00 pm
Sun:  10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Cost:  Adults - $11, Children - Free, Senior Day (62+) - $8, Active Military - Free (show ID)

You know you're dreaming of summer anyway.  Why not fuel the dream and head out to the annual Minneapolis Progressive Boat Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center this weekend.  As if all the glorious floating crafts were not enough of an enticement the show has a plethora of events that you can partake in.  Meet the crew from National Geographic Channel's hit TV show Wicked Tuna, attend a night of craft beer sampling, take in daily seminars about boating and sailing basics, try your hand at kayaking or stand up paddle boarding (SUP) in a huge pool right on the showroom floor (bring a swimsuit), kids can build and decorate their own wooden boat, participate in contests and giveaways, or hang out at the Wings Financial Boardwalk which features food from Seven Sushi & Steakhouse, rides and carnival games and live music.  There is definitely enough to keep you busy even if you attended every single day.  And who knows, you might walk out the proud owner of a brand new boat!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

2014 Remodeling Trends

Home remodeling may have taken a backseat during the recession, but not anymore. According to a 2013 Hanley Wood survey, remodeling sales were up 10 percent compared to 2012, and 45 percent of remodelers surveyed expected another 10 percent growth in 2014.
Home remodeling is back in again, and with the desire to improve our homesteads come a bunch of new and exciting trends we’ll start seeing next year.

1. Modern Kitchens

According to data compiled by Hanley Wood and Remodeling Magazine, 61 percent of remodelers surveyed expect to complete kitchen remodels in 2014, more than any other room in the house. And, those remodels are expected to follow a new trend.

Not so long ago, remodeled kitchens had a rustic feel with warm paint colors and cabinetry, and wrought iron hardware and lighting. Now, modern is in, with white or gray cabinetry, simple countertops, glossy finishes and minimalist designs.  Appliances are more likely to be blended into the design or hidden away from view entirely to give the kitchen a sleeker appearance.

2. Brass Accents

Brass made a comeback at home-design and remodeling conventions this year and the trend is expected to pick up in 2014. While brass is nothing new, it has gotten a facelift. Highly polished, bright brass hardware and lighting is gone; rustic, dull and hammered brass is in. The new looks will be incorporated into kitchen and bathroom hardware as well as lighting and door hardware throughout the house.

3. Updated Bathrooms
In the Hanley Wood survey, bathrooms came in second to the kitchen with 58 percent of remodelers planning to do bathroom remodels in 2014. As far as style, vintage bathrooms with wainscoting and claw-foot tubs won’t be as popular as resort-style bathrooms that feature amenities such as large walk-in showers with multiple shower heads, heated floors or towel racks, and jetted bathtubs. For coloring and style, glass tiles will be a popular feature as well as neutral and cool colors like ash gray, light blue and off-white.

4. Vibrant Colors
While the kitchen may be getting the modern single-shade treatment next year, designers have a different idea for other rooms. Bright accent colors such as turquoise, yellow and orange that were popular in 2013 have a new twist; in 2014, they’ll be more of a focal point and even more vibrant with colors such as Green Flash, Lemon Zest, Nectarine and Rouge Red, according to Pantone, the international authority on color. Designers will start featuring vibrant accent walls, main paint colors and flooring throughout bedrooms and main living spaces.

5. Sustainable Materials
Going green is nothing new, but sustainability may get easier in 2014 remodels. According to Craig Webb, editor-in-chief of Remodeling Magazine, “Manufacturers and builders are constantly getting greener and greener in the way they source materials and put up homes.”  As a result, “Energy efficiency is becoming an assumption, not an add-on.” Next year, remodels will include more renewable materials such as bamboo, energy-efficient appliances and additional designs that incorporate the local climate.
Source:, article by Angela Colley

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Weekly Market Update: January 27, 2014

Some say the big story of 2014 will be higher interest rates, some say it will be more inventory while others say it will be less foreclosure activity. The truth is likely to be an amalgamation of all of the above. The year 2013 was marked by variable but steady job growth, a good leading indicator of market activity. While consumers may be uneasy about higher rates, economic improvements can potentially offset any negative impact on affordability. The seasoned agent will recall a time when plenty of consumers were vying for properties when rates were double and triple what they are now.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending January 18:

 • New Listings decreased 8.3% to 989
 • Pending Sales decreased 24.8% to 591
 • Inventory decreased 9.5% to 11,918

For the month of December:

 • Median Sales Price increased 13.1% to $190,050
 • Days on Market decreased 20.4% to 86
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.0% to 94.7%
 • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 15.6% to 2.7

Source:  Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Monday, January 27, 2014

What To Do With Shoes?

Maybe you love shoes, or maybe you have a gazillion kids or maybe you live in Minnesota where you need a pair of snow boots for every member of your household along with all the other shoes that everyone owns.  No matter what your scenario, we all have a lot of shoes that we need to find a spot for.  And while many people opt for shoe storage in their closets, to me it always seems like the entryway or mudroom is the best place to keep it all.  After all, most people have a 'shoes off in the house' policy which means you're taking them off and putting them on in those spaces.  Rather than having to haul every pair of shoes you own back up to your closet then hauling them back when you want to go back out, why not figure out some great shoe storage solutions for your entryway/mudroom?!  And even if you still decide to keep most of your shoes in your closet, you'll still need a space for the ones you wear day in a day out.  Why not make that space look neat and organized?

So we went researching some awesome shoe storage ideas.  We have options for the front entry, the mudroom, for small space or for huge areas, and built-ins as well as stand alone pieces.  Check it out and see what you can do with all those shoes in your house.

Source:  Michelle Schwake for Stafford Family Realtors

Friday, January 24, 2014

3000 Highland Boulevard, Mound, MN

3000 Highland Boulevard, Mound, MN 55364

New listing just posted:

New listing video just posted:

Description: Currently listed as TNAS but available to show. Please contact Eric or Sharla Stafford to schedule a showing ~ 952.470.2575.

Rarely available, a beautiful lake home (like new construction) very well equipped with premium amenities on Cook's Bay. 5 Bedrooms with En-Suite Baths, 2 Decks, Big lake views, Lakeside Patio & Firepit. Private Setting next to wooded Park.

Home Information:

Beds: 5

Baths: 6.00

Sqft: 4,652

Price: $1,299,000

MLS #:

7140 Hazeltine Boulevard, Chanhassen, MN

7140 Hazeltine Boulevard, Chanhassen, MN 55331

New listing just posted:

New listing video just posted:

Description: Nestled on nearly 10 acres of maple forest, with 200' of shoreline on Lake Minnewashta, this Colorado style Lodge features 4 Stone Fireplaces, wood-beamed vaulted ceilings, 4 Bedrooms with en-Suite Baths & amazing Bar/Billiards room. See Virtual Tour.

Home Information:

Beds: 4

Baths: 6.00

Sqft: 7,660

Price: $1,449,000

MLS #: 4375652

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Weekend Happenings: St. Paul Winter Carnival 2014

St. Paul Winter Carnival
Rice Park
109 W. 4th Street
St. Paul, MN 55102
Jan. 23 through Feb. 2
Cost:  Most events are Free, some have a cover charge

You can join in on the start of the festivities tonight at 5:00 for the official kickoff to the 128th Annual Winter Carnival with the Moon Glow Parade.  You are encouraged to bring your glow sticks, twinkling lights and whatever you can get to light it up.  There will be cookies and cocoa before the parade and the ice bar will be open after the parade to continue the festivities.

The Winter Carnival will continue for two weeks with all kinds of winter festivities.  Some of the fun includes the Beer Dabbler, a snow plow competition, ice sculpture contests, crowning of the Queen of Snow, a medallion hunt, live music, a kid's day, parades, and new this year..the snow slide, a 15 foot high, 110 foot long ride built on Harriet Island.  

You do not want to miss out on one of the Twin Cities favorite events.  You can learn more at the Winter Carnival Website, on Facebook, on Twitter and on YouTube.

7392 Fawn Hill Rd, Chanhassen, MN

7392 Fawn Hill Rd., Chanhassen, MN 55317

New listing just posted:

New listing video just posted:


Home Information:

Beds: 5

Baths: 2.00

Sqft: 4,070

Price: $562,000

MLS #: 4441945

8212 Krueger Ct, Victoria, MN

8212 Krueger Ct Victoria, MN 55386

New listing just posted:

New listing video just posted:


Home Information:

Beds: 4

Baths: 2.00

Sqft: 4,365

Price: $4000

MLS #: 4441954

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Weekly Market Update: January 20, 2014

The years of 2012 and 2013 are going to be noted as a period of recovery for housing, and 2014 should prove to be more of the same but perhaps with not as much force. As we begin to look for signs of a stabilized residential real estate market, we may see fewer sales than in recent years, but these sales should be of a higher quality in that they will have been made with stronger lending standards to people with stronger jobs in a stronger economy. Even this early in the year, we should begin to see signs of new inventory coming onto the market with a more balanced months' supply of inventory and well-paced market times.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending January 11:

 • New Listings decreased 14.6% to 958
 • Pending Sales decreased 19.5% to 556
 • Inventory decreased 9.8% to 11,810

For the month of December:

 • Median Sales Price increased 13.1% to $190,000
 • Days on Market decreased 20.4% to 86
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.0% to 94.7%
 • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 15.6% to 2.7

Source:  Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Are These Trends Going To Last?

HGTV online has a poll going about the latest trends to see if people love them or think they should fade into the mist. Along with a place to vote, HGTV designers offer their two cents on the trends.  If you want to read the entire (and rather lengthy) article you can find it HERE.  But if you just want the skinny on a few of the hottest trends, what designers think of them and what most people voted, then keep reading.

Radiant Orchid

Pantone's 2014 Color Of The Year is Radiant Orchid, a pinkish/purplish color.  Is this the color you've been waiting for or is it a bit to much?

Designers said...

Some loved it and some hated it so there wasn't a clear choice here.  But I'm with one of the designers who said it was way too "Barbie".

barbie dream townhouse

And voters said...

44% said NO to this hue lasting beyond this year.


Chevron is the zig-zag stripes you see in the backsplash in the above picture.  They have been seen in everything from wallpaper to furniture.  What is your take on this trend?

Designers said...

Most said they were "so over" chevron but were now casting all their votes on herringbone.  Really?  Isn't that just a different form of chevron (see below)??  I guess that's why I'm not a designer.

Do you like chevron or prefer herringbone? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

And voters said...

Only 5% said that they would forever love chevron.  So I guess it's out.


Are you all on "board" for chalkboards (see what I did there), or do they bring back bad memories of school and pounding the erasers (only those of you old enough will get that)?

Designers said....

Most said they were not tired of the trend yet but many said they actually hated to write on chalkboards but only liked to look at them.  Kinda defeats the point, I think.  Others mentioned that the idea is good but with kids, you don't end up with those awesome looking boards like the one above.  They end up looking more like this.

messy chalkboard

And voters said...

About 60% of voters still liked chalkboard paint, whether it was an entire wall or on small decorative pieces.

Barn Doors

HGTV Dream Home 2011 Living Room for Large Crowds

Do barn doors give your room that just-right vibe or do they make you think you just stepped into a barn?

Designers said...

Many still like the functionality of barn doors because of the economy of space but decided that rustic doors weren't always the way to go.  Many cited painting the doors a bright color or using more industrial-styled doors.

Do you like the barn door trend? Vote now on HGTV's Design Happens blog!

And voters said...

Overwhelmingly, voters LOVE the barn doors coming in at 75%!

The article covers many more trends like decorative maps, wall decals, concrete finishes, and dark walls. But no matter what the designers say, if you love a trend, it doesn't have to remain a trend for you.  Incorporate the things you truly love in your home and it will always feel fresh and appealing to you.

Source:  HGTV Online and Michelle Schwake for Stafford Family Realtors.

Monday, January 20, 2014

How Much Snow is Too Much Snow on Your Roof?

Here’s what you need to know about snow on your roof and whether or not to remove it.

If you’ve had a big snowfall in your area and you’re wondering if your roof can stand the extra weight, don’t reach for a ladder and a shovel — reach for the telephone. Calling in a professional to remove ice and snow from your roof is the smartest — and safest — option. 

When (If Ever) is it Necessary? 

 The critical factor in determining excessive snow loads on your roof isn’t the depth of the snow, it’s the weight, says home improvement expert Jon Eakes. 

 That’s because wet snow is considerably heavier than dry, fluffy snow. In fact, 6 inches of wet snow is equal to the weight of about 38 inches of dry snow. 

 The good news is that residential roofs are required by building codes to withstand the heaviest snows for that particular part of the country. 

 “Theoretically, if your roof is built to code, it’s built to support more than the normal load of snow and ice,” says Eakes. 

You can determine the type of snow you’re getting simply by hefting a few shovelfuls — you should be able to quickly tell if the current snowfall is wet or dry. Local winter storm weather forecasts should alert you to the possibility that snow loads are becoming excessive and a threat to your roof. 

 How Do I Know There’s a Problem? 

An indication that the accumulated snow load is becoming excessive is when doors on interior walls begin to stick. That signals there’s enough weight on the center structure of the house to distort the door frame.

Ignore doors on exterior walls but check interior doors leading to second-floor bedrooms, closets, and attics in the center of your home. Also, examine the drywall or plaster around the frames of these doors for visible cracks. 

Homes that are most susceptible to roof cave-ins are those that underwent un-permitted renovations. The improper removal of interior load-bearing walls is often responsible for catastrophic roof collapses. 

The Snow Load Seems Excessive, Now What? 

Most home roofs aren’t readily accessible, making the job dangerous for do-it-yourselfers. 

“People die every year just climbing ladders,” Eakes points out. “Add ice and snow and you’re really asking for trouble.” 

Instead, call a professional snow removal contractor to safely do the job. Check to make sure they are licensed and insured — that immediately sets them apart from inexperienced competitors. 

Pro crews attack snow removal with special gear, including sturdy extension ladders, properly anchored safety harnesses, and special snow and ice-removal tools. Expect to pay $250-$500 for most jobs. 

Don’t expect (or demand) a bone-dry roof at job’s end. The goal is to remove “excessive” weight as opposed to all weight. Plus, any attempt to completely remove the bottom layer of ice will almost always result in irreparable damage to your roofing.

The DIY Option 

If you have a small, one-story bungalow where the roof is just off the ground, taking matters into one’s own hands may be safe — if you can work entirely from the ground and have the right tools. 

Long-handled snow rakes work great on freshly fallen snow, and at $45 they are relatively affordable. Look for models with sturdy telescoping handles and built-in rollers, which keep the blade safely above the shingles. 

Other versions work by releasing the snow from underneath. These models slide between the roof and snow, allowing gravity and the snow’s own weight to do most of the work. Models range from $50-$125 or more for unique systems utilizing nylon sheeting. Again, search out models with sturdy adjustable handles. 

Eakes offers a common sense word of caution about all these snow removal tools. “They tend to work their best on light, fluffy snow — the kind that probably doesn’t need to be removed in the first place.” 

You’ll need to anticipate where the snow and ice will fall as you pull it off your roof — you won’t want to pull a load of heavy, wet snow down on top of yourself or any helpers. 

Remember, the goal isn’t to remove all visible snow and ice, but rather just enough to relieve the excessive load on the roof.

Source:  Houselogic, article by Douglas Trattner

Friday, January 17, 2014

3850 Lone Cedar Ln, Chanhassen, MN

3850 Lone Cedar Ln., Chanhassen, MN 55318

New listing just posted:

New listing video just posted:

Description:  Beautiful 5 bedroom home on the southern shores of Lake Minnewashta.

Home Information:

Beds: 5

Baths: 2.00

Sqft: 5,166

Price: $1,395,000

MLS #: 4440854

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Weekend Happenings: Arctic Fever and Jerry Seinfeld

Arctic Fever Winter Fest
Freeman Park (Shorewood), 
Manitou Park (Tonka Bay),
Downtown Excelsior
6000 Eureka Road (Shorewood event)

Shorewood, MN 55331
Friday thru Sunday, Jan 17-19, 2014
All Day
Cost:  Free

Arctic Fever is a winter festival for all ages in the South Lake Minnetonka communities of Shorewood, Excelsior, and Tonka Bay. Most events are free and include such things as dog sled rides, geocaching, horse and sleigh rides, human bowling on ice, a snow sculpting event, a cabin fever party (for adults), a princess tea, and much more! Check it all out on our web site or call to volunteer or get more information.

Jerry Seinfeld
Orpheum Theater
910 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Fri, Jan 17, 2014
7:00 pm and 9:30 pm
Cost:  $50 to $81

Jerry Seinfeld

Judging from the vast majority of his roles to date, it's highly unlikely Jerry Seinfeld will ever follow the path of other successful comedians turned aspiring thespians. On the contrary, Seinfeld has seldom shown much interest in portraying anyone other than fictionalized versions of himself, most notably on his eponymous former sitcom. While Seinfeld was undoubtedly playing a part (constructed in collaboration with show's co-creator, Larry David), he shared more than a few traits with his television namesake, including a profession as a standup comedian. Other than providing a means of framing plotlines around Seinfeld's signature focus on the bizarre minutia of daily rituals and social customs, there really wasn't any pressing reason to make his character a comedian. Except, of course, that standup comedy was and continues to be a defining focus in Seinfeld's life. The ongoing importance Seinfeld places on stage performance has been reinforced by his determination to keep active as a touring comic. Unlike the countless comedians who allowed their sharply honed skills to be dulled by a dispiriting chase for name recognition or dramatic respectability, Seinfeld has remained true to his calling as a stage performer. To see Seinfeld's carefully crafted onstage persona is to witness a seasoned performer savoring the role he was born to play: a cracked sociologist delighted by the myriad absurdities of human behavior.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Using Architectural Salvage Pieces

You know how you walk in some homes and they have that one hallway table made out of a huge chunk of machinery and it looks so cool? 

Or maybe they have this industrial-looking light hanging over their island.

Have you ever wondered where they got them?  Well, the answer is they probably spent a good amount of detective work in an architectural salvage store.  You can find all kinds of goodies in stores like this, but if you're thinking the pieces will come cheap because they are someone else's cast offs, then you thought wrong.  Salvage stores are well aware of our desire to repurpose things and have a one-of-a-kind piece in our homes.  But they payoff is that you will have a cool one-of-a-kind piece in your home! 

The Twin Cities boasts a number of salvage shops.  You can visit any one of these shops or all of them to find that extra special thing you've been needing or just shop for inspiration.  Here is a list of some stores in the Twin Cities area.

1330 Quincy St NE
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 332-8344
Open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Saturday

507 1st Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN
(612) 627-9107
Open Tuesday-Friday 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. | Saturday 11am to 5pm | Closed Sunday & Monday

4430 Lyndale Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN, 55412
Open 10:00 am to 6:00 pm , Closed Sunday and Monday

3338 University Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Phone number(612) 904-1776
Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays
(open Mondays in July & August)

2432 2nd Street North
Minneapolis, MN 55411
Open   Monday through Friday: 8AM to 5:00PM, Saturday: 8AM to 1:00PM, Sundays and Holidays: Closed.

Source:  Michelle Schwake for Stafford Family Realtors