Thursday, June 30, 2016

Happy Fourth of July Weekend!

Image by Jdmoar via Flickr

This coming Monday we will be celebrating 159 years of independence. Celebrations will be going on all weekend so if you are going to be in town check out some of the big events.

Chanhassen starts the celebrations bright and early on Saturday morning with their farmer's market. They are having a family-night carnival starting at 3pm on Saturday. The main events start Sunday with a baseball clinic, pony rides, kiddie parade and a street dance. Monday has a fishing contest, the big parade and of course culminates with Fireworks over Lake Ann starting at 10pm Monday night. For a full list of times and events check out their website:

Delano has the oldest and largest Fourth of July Celebration in Minnesota. Their parade is an amazing time with clowns on go-carts and dairy princesses showing up in past years. They will have The Johnny Holm band Sunday night with other live music throughout the weekend. They also have fun events like a 5k and a bean bag toss contest. For more information check out their site here:

Mystic Lake Casino in Shakopee is having a Fourth of July party. They will have live music, food trucks, fun and fireworks. The party starts at 5pm Monday night.

Last but certainly not least is the celebration in Excelsior! The Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce is hosting a full day of events on Monday. They kick it off with the Firecracker runs starting at 7:30am. There will be a sand castle contest, live music, a Popsicle social and the best fireworks on Lake Minnetonka. For their full schedule and information click here:

Whether you are staying in town or celebrating elsewhere we hope you have fun and stay safe. Happy Independence Day!

Image by Josh Meek via Flickr

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Keep Cool this Summer without your A/C

Now that summer has really started to heat up outside it’s important to keep cool inside. While you can drink water to quickly cool yourself down, keeping your house cool without constantly running the A/C is a little harder. Here are 4 ways to keep your house nice and comfortable for your family this Minnesota summer:

Change your sheets
Nice cotton sheets will help keep you a lot cooler than flannel or fleece sheets while you sleep. You can also try a buckwheat pillow. They are naturally colder because of the air space in the buckwheat hull.

 Open Windows Strategically
By directing the air in your house you can create a nice cross breeze right through your living room. If you have windows on both sides of a room try opening one a couple of inches on the bottom and the window across the room a couple of inches on the top. Wind will naturally filter through cooling the room.
You can also do this with your whole house by opening a downstairs window on the shady side of the house. Then open a window in another room on a higher floor. The hot air will rise and leave through the window while the cool air will come in through the downstairs window.
Make sure your house is well insulated
While many people think about insulation during the winter, a well-insulated house will also stay cooler in the summer. The cold air stays in and the hot outside air doesn’t have any ways to creep in. With a well-insulated house it’s important not to heat it from the inside. Try cooking outside or making a crockpot meal instead of using the oven on a hot summer afternoon.

Make your ceiling fans turn the other way.

You can switch your ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise. Adjusting them this way and then running them at a higher speed creates a wind-chill effect and keeps you and your family cooler.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending June 18, 2016

Like summer temperatures, home prices continue to inch up in most housing
categories and geographic submarkets. Meanwhile, hopeful buyers are wishing for
more options to fulfill the perfect fit. As we reach deeper into summer, dips in home
sales are not unexpected. Even while people search for homes in which to move or
start a family, summer is also about family time in other ways.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending June 18:
 • New Listings decreased 4.2% to 1,967
 • Pending Sales increased 1.9% to 1,389
 • Inventory decreased 19.0% to 14,085

For the month of May:
 • Median Sales Price increased 5.8% to $236,900
 • Days on Market decreased 21.1% to 60
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.1% to 98.6%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 26.3% to 2.8

Publish Date: June 27, 2016 • All comparisons are to 2015

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending June 11, 2016

The pace of new homes being built is slower than necessary to keep inventory
figures up, especially in a time with plenty of demand. However, building permits
are active and low mortgage rates continue to provide opportunity for the
residential real estate market to continue to be a pillar of the national economic

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending June 11:
• New Listings decreased 0.3 percent to 2,056
• Pending Sales decreased 7.1% to 1,370
• Inventory decreased 19.2% to 13,869

For the month of May:
• Median Sales Price increased 5.8% to $236,900
• Days on Market decreased 21.1% to 60
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.1% to 98.6%
• Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 26.3% to 2.8

Publish Date: June 20, 2016 • All comparisons are to 2015

Friday, June 17, 2016

What's Happening this Weekend?

It’s Father’s Day Weekend. Here are some fun things to do around town with dad:

 Stone Arch Bridge Festival

Image by m01229 via Flickr

This is a great art and musical festival. With 4 music stages, 4 beer gardens and a car show it looks to be a great way to spend some time with your dad this weekend.

When: Friday 12 – 8pm with a concert 5pm-10pm followed by fireworks
Saturday 11am – 8pm with a concert 8pm- 10pm
Sunday 11am – 5pm
Where: The Minneapolis Riverfront - 212 SE 2nd Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Price: The Festival including the car show is free. A ticket for the beer sampler is $20
For More Information:

Head to the Old Log Theatre

Image by Rosmarie Voegtli via Flickr

The Old Log Theatre has several shows this weekend. One that Dad may like is opening June 18th. The Million Dollar Quartet is about a jam session with Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Elvis Presley in 1956. If that’s not to your liking the theatre is performing a new adaptation of The Jungle Book.

When: The Million Dollar Quartet – Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2pm
The Jungle Book – Saturday at 1:30pm
Where: The Old Log Theatre, Excelsior – 5185 Meadville St.
Price: Tickets vary based on show and time. $14 - $40
For More Information:

Chill at a local Farmer’s Market

Image by Gemma Billings via Flickr

There are several farmer’s markets to check out this weekend. Find fresh food and veggies for a father’s day picnic in either Prior Lake or Chanhassen

When: Prior Lake – Saturday 8am - noon
Chanhassen – Saturday 9am – 1pm
Where: Prior Lake – Main Street, Downtown Prior Lake
Chanhassen – Chanhassen City Center
Price: Free

Father’s Day Ice Cream Social

Scott County is have a fun, small Father’s Day ice cream social. There will be old-fashioned lawn games, a craft activity and of course ice cream!

When: Saturday 1:30pm – 3pm
Where: Stans Garden at the Scott County Historical Society
Price: $5

For More Information:

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending June 4, 2016

Summer is heating up, as are home sales and prices. Millennials are hitting homebuying
age with force and are showing interest in entering the real estate market. As
inventory continues to struggle to keep up with demand, options are fewer than
desired, and price wars are proving to be a challenge for many buyers in a seller's

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending June 4:
 • New Listings decreased 7.9% to 2,011
 • Pending Sales decreased 15.3% to 1,203
 • Inventory decreased 19.5% to 13,571

For the month of May:
 • Median Sales Price increased 5.7% to $236,826
 • Days on Market decreased 21.1% to 60
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.1% to 98.6%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 28.9% to 2.7

Publish Date: June 13, 2016 • All comparisons are to 2015

Friday, June 10, 2016

What to Check Out this Weekend...

Excelsior Art on the Lake

Image by Greg Gjerdingen via Flickr
This year is the 36th annual Excelsior Art on the Lake. High quality art, jewelry and home décor from local artists can be found right next to Lake Minnetonka. It will be sunny and 90ᵒ this Saturday so remember some sunscreen. There will be live music and food venders onsite. You can also explore the shops of Excelsior and enjoy some ice cream from Lick’s while you are there.
When: Saturday, June 11th 10am – 6pm and Sunday, June 12th 10am – 4pm
Where: Excelsior Commons
Price: Free

 Northern Spark

Image by Tony Webster via Flickr
Northern Spark is a city wide celebration through the night this Saturday. This year’s event is exploring climate change. It will look at everything from bees to glaciers. There will be food, performances, activities, education, art and Barebones’ "Illuminated Reef."
When: Saturday, June 11th 9 p.m. to Sunday, June 12th 5:26 a.m.
Where: Minneapolis Convention Center
Price: The Festival is Free – Launch Party tickets start at $40

Nickelodeon Rock and Ride

Image by Kurt Magoon via Flickr

If you are looking for something fun to do with your family tonight, check out Nickelodeon Rock and Ride. Nickelodeon Universe partners up with Hard Rock Café to throw a party every Friday night. There will be a live DJ and rockin’ makeovers. When you show your ride wristband at Hard Rock you receive a free kids meal with the purchase of an adult one.
When: Every Friday night 7 – 10pm
Where: Mall of America – Nickelodeon Universe and Hard Rock Café
Price: A Twilight Ride Wristband is $26.99 and works from 5 – 10pm.
For more information click here:

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Easy Ways to add Curb Appeal

Now that it's warm outside how about adding some curb appeal to your house. If you are looking to sell your home adding curb appeal can increase the price of your house and shorten the time it is on the market. If you aren’t looking to sell your house adding some curb appeal can add a little sunshine to your current home.

Here are 5 easy ways to instantly spruce up the outside of your home:

Image by Dave Crosby via flickr

Paint the Front Door or Fence

Painting your front door or your fence a new color can instantly add that special something to your home. Olive or navy blue paint instead of white can add a bit of interest to a fence while a bold color on your front door will help your house stick out from the crowd, just make sure that the new color pairs well with the rest of your house.

Image by Chris Luczkow via flickr

Plant a Tree

Adding a little bit of landscaping can add a lot of charm to the front of your home. Consider planting a tree or two. Different types of trees will give your home a different character. Just make sure to keep in mind how big the tree will grow when considering where to plant it.

Image by Rex Roof via flickr
Power Wash

If you don’t want to paint your house consider power washing it. You can spruce up the driveway, deck, even the siding. If you don’t own a power washer don’t worry you can rent one from most hardware stores. Be careful and follow the instructions to make sure you don’t damage any wood or paint.

Image by heschong via flickr
Replace Hardware

A cost effective way to increase your curb appeal is to update the hardware in the front of your house. You can change the locks, modernize the house numbers or just shine up the light fixtures to add some spark that won’t break the bank.

Image by ArtMutt via flickr
Hide Garbage Cans and A/C Unit

Hiding an eyesore is a simple upgrade. A lattice screen is a great way to hide an A/C unit or garbage cans that can be seen from your front yard. There are some premade ones you can purchase or you could have a weekend project and build a lattice out of wood or vinyl.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending May 28, 2016

The trends of higher sales and fewer homes for sale that prevailed through the first quarter of 2016 have only gotten stronger through the second quarter. Although more sellers are listing than at this time last year, it's still not quite enough to keep up with the heat of today's sales environment. Buyers appear to be making great offers ahead of any hint of higher mortgage rates.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending May 28:
• New Listings increased 2.5% to 1,734
• Pending Sales increased 18.6% to 1,597
• Inventory decreased 18.8% to 13,669

For the month of April:
• Median Sales Price increased 7.6% to $231,341
• Days on Market decreased 14.1% to 73
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.0% to 98.0%
• Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 25.0% to 2.7

Publish Date: June 6, 2016 • All comparisons are to 2015

Friday, June 3, 2016

Here's what's happening this week!

Happy Friday! If you are looking for something fun to do look no further. We have some great events happening around the cities this week check them out below.

Edina Art Fair

Image by Joe Haupt via Flickr

It is the Fair’s 50th year! This year will feature over 300 fine artists from around Minnesota, the US and Canada. There will be two food courts featuring different food trucks.

When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m - Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m – Sunday

Where: 50th st. and France Ave in Edina

Price: Free

St. Paul Summer Beer Fest 

Image by Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr

St. Paul is hold the 8th annual St. Paul Summer Beer Fest. It is dedicated to craft beer and will feature samples from 100 breweries. There will be live music, great food, seminars and a silent auction for the St. Paul YMCA.

When: Saturday, June 4th, 2016 from 2-5pm (VIP at 1pm)

Where: MN State Fairgrounds - International Bazaar in beautiful St. Paul.

Price: Designated Drivers: $10, General Admission: $45, VIP: $60 with prices going up at the gates.

Open Streets in Shakopee

Shakopee is having their big summer kick-off open streets event. They close the streets to cars and open them up to people for a street festival. They will be having live music, a farmer/artisan marketplace and, a grilling and games patio.

When: Saturday, June 4 from 11am – 3pm

Where: First Avenue, Shakopee

Price: Free

Twins vs Miami Marlins – Superhero night

Image by Andrew Malone via Flickr

Come see the Twins play the Miami Marlins, get a free T-shirt and give back to the children at Gillette Children's Hospital. The forecast for this Wednesday is 81 degrees and sunny. Why not enjoy a nice baseball game. For every ticket purchased to Wednesdays game the twins will be giving that fan a superhero twins shirt, they will also be giving a child at Gillette’s a superhero cape and a part of the ticket price will be donated to Gillette Specialty Healthcare.

When: Wednesday, June 8th @7:10pm

Where: Target Field

Price: Tickets start at $25

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

5 Ways to Bring Smart Technology into Your Home

Image by Highmark Builders via flickr

You’re running late to work. You’ve quickly left the house and are driving to work when halfway there you start wondering if you’ve left the garage door open or locked the front door. Maybe you didn’t unplug something or you left all the lights on.

Instead of feeling anxious all day, these simple smart products can ease your worry with a few taps on your smart phone – from anywhere! Check out these 5 smart home solutions:

Image by Global Panorama via flickr

It’s a thermostat that learns your schedule and preferences. It learns over a week of use and then automatically adjusts the thermostat for you. It learns you generally leave the house around 8 and return around 5. It will turn the thermostat down during the day while you are gone and then adjust the temp. back up before you get home. It will adapt through the seasons and alert you through its app if something is wrong, like your furnace is acting up. You can also use the app at any time to check what the temperature is at your house and change it.

Image by Jonathan Suh via flickr

This is a smart lock that installs on the inside of your front door. It can automatically lock your door when you leave or unlock your door when you come home. You can also set up virtual keys for guests or give them limited access for a few hours or only during specific times. This could be great if you have a dog walker or cleaning service and only want them to have access to your home for a short period of time. You can also monitor your home and receive notifications whenever your front door is opened with their 24/7 monitoring.

This is a full garage system that you can control from your smart phone. It is an actual belt drive system that is installed rather than working with an existing opening system. It will automatically close your garage door after you leave and has wireless key entry. It is extremely quiet, comes with backup batteries that ensure a power outage doesn’t lock you out of your garage and can control the interior lights in the garage. If you don’t want to use your phone it comes with user friendly, fully programmable remote controls.

Image by Mike Mozart via flickr

This is one of the most fun smart home products on the market. The starting setup includes a base and three bulbs to control however you can expand the system to every light in your house. With a touch of a button you can turn on or off the lights whether you are home or not. You can also set up the system to automatically shut the lights off when you leave and turn specific lights on when you arrive home. The fun part of this product is that you can change the color of these bulbs to anything. This isn’t limited to daylight, bright white or soft white, though you can choose that too. You can also create scenes for parties and holidays on a whim.

With these outlets you never have to worry if you’ve left an appliance on when you leave the house. It’s an outlet that replaces your current wall outlet. What’s nice about this smart outlet is that is has two plug-ins. You can control whatever is attached with either a wireless remote in the house or your smartphone from wherever.  It’s tamper resistant and comes in 7 colors to match your decor. 

If you are interested in more fun ways to bring technology into your home check out these videos:

An upcoming way to integrate the technology in your home and have google at your fingertips.

A robot that quickly and quietly mows your lawn for you. 

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending May 21, 2016

Housing has been a strong sector of the nation's economy over the past few years,
but new construction has not been growing with demand so far in 2016. Low
inventory and rising prices continue to be the trends to watch. As long as the local
economy stays in growth mode and aging millennials choose to buy over renting,
the market should remain on an extended path of stability.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending May 21:
• New Listings increased 16.7% to 2,199
• Pending Sales increased 10.4% to 1,613
• Inventory decreased 19.0% to 13,533

For the month of April:
• Median Sales Price increased 7.7% to $231,450
• Days on Market decreased 14.1% to 73
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.0% to 98.0%
• Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 25.0% to 2.7

Publish Date: May 31, 2016 • All comparisons are to 2015