Friday, September 30, 2016

What’s Happening This Weekend?

The Ryder Cup is in full swing. Hazeltine is full of action and will continue to be throughout the weekend.

If you are looking to celebrate but don’t want to head to the course check out downtown Excelsior and the Ryder Cup Block Party. The party started at noon today and will continue until tomorrow night. Kowalski’s Market will have a grill; there will be a Bean bag tournament to beat ALS and a Taste of the Lake Local Restaurant Food Booth both today and tomorrow. Saturday will have Yoga 4 Golf and a raffle drawing added to the fun along with a TEAM USA Fireworks display. If you want to watch the tournament while you are at the party just take a look at the JumboTron that will be there.
Where: Water Street, Excelsior
When: Friday and Saturday 12pm - 10pm
Price: Free

Oktoberfest is also this weekend. Several bars and breweries are having celebrations. One you might want to visit is Lord Fletchers. They will be having beer, German food and live music including their headliner - World According to GARTH, The nation’s #1 tribute band to Garth Brooks.
Where: Lord Fletcher’s Old Lake Lodge - 3746 Sunset Dr., Spring Park, MN 55384
When: Saturday, October 1st – 3pm to 8pm
Price: $18 – no cover for the after party at the Oar House

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Neighborhood Spotlight: Victoria, MN

This neighborhood spotlight is all about the wonderful city of Victoria. Known as the City of Lakes and Parks, there are many reasons to want to call Victoria home. One beautiful reason is the Lake Minnetonka Regional Trail. The trail stretches from the Carver Park Reserve all the way to Hopkins with gorgeous views of Lake Minnetonka. Victoria gives residents a small town feel while being close to any amenities you could need. The city has a wonderful downtown with plenty of places to shop and great places to eat.

Quick Facts:
Population: 7,845
Average Home Price: $381,800
Walkability: 22 – Car Dependent though downtown is very walkable.

Here are two beautiful properties currently available in Victoria:

More Information:
City of Victoria Website:
Deer Run Golf Club:

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending September 17, 2016

As temperatures start to cool throughout the country, the total number of home
sales will cool as well, as is the seasonal nature of the housing market. But with
household incomes on the rise within a healthy job market, that doesn't necessarily
equate to a downward year-over-year trend. Continuing supply restrictions will
certainly have an effect on numbers that may otherwise obviously point toward
sunny day real estate.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 17:
 • New Listings decreased 0.9% to 1,603
 • Pending Sales decreased 1.5% to 1,079
 • Inventory decreased 17.3% to 14,177

For the month of August:
 • Median Sales Price increased 5.6% to $237,500
 • Days on Market decreased 14.1% to 55
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 97.9%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 21.6% to 2.9

Publish Date: September 26, 2016 • All comparisons are to 2015

Friday, September 23, 2016

What’s Happening? – The Ryder Cup

Image by John Beagle via Flickr

The Ryder Cup is coming to town! From September 27th - October 2nd you'll be hearing a lot about golf. The Ryder cup is a huge Golf event that is played in even numbered years between the United States and Europe. This year it is happening right in our backyard – Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska. The Ryder Cup was started in 1927 and has been held 40 times. The US is ahead in wins with 25, however; Europe is the reigning champion – winning in 2014.

The cup is played between twelve member teams in five matches over three days. There are three different types of matches in the Cup. The first is fourballs. Each member of the two-man teams plays his ball so there are four balls on every hole. Each team counts the lowest score on the hole and the player who has the lowest score wins that hole for his team. The second type of match is foursomes. Each two-man team plays one ball per hole with the players taking turns until the hole is complete. The players have to alternate who starts on every hole. The team with the lowest score wins that hole. The last type of match is a singles match. In each singles match one player from each team is featured with the lowest score on each hole winning. Each match is worth one point. The first team to reach 14.5 points wins the Ryder Cup. If it ends with a 14-14 draw the team holding the cup retains it.

If you’d like to learn more about the Ryder Cup check out its website: There you’ll find up to date information about the rankings. You’ll also find information about the teams, the course and tickets if you’d like to experience the Cup in person. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Looking to remodel –

Are you looking to update your home to put more value into it? Don’t take a hammer to a wall too fast. Some renovations add value to your house and some are just expensive without showing a return. Below are the top two renovations for adding value and the worst two.

Best Return on your Investment: New Roof
According to the 2015 Remodeling Impact Report a new roof will cost you roughly $7,600. While a new roof isn’t a flashy upgrade it returns 105% of its investment. 32% of realtors said that a new roof most recently helped closing a sale. A new roof can fix leaks and other problems; it can also help with energy efficiency.

Another Great Option: Refinishing Hardwood Floors
Refinishing hardwood floors leads to 100% return on investment. For about $2,500 you can upgrade worn-out floors into a gleaming feature. 82% of homeowners have a greater desire to be home after completing the project.

Worst Return on your Investment: Bathroom
Adding a new bathroom can cost up to $50,000 depending on upgrades when you only get 52% of it back. Unless your bathroom is absolutely terrible it’s just not cost affective to do a total remodel or build another one. Try instead repainting your bathroom, upgrading the fixtures or redoing a light fixture.

Another Lackluster Option: New Master Suite
Only 1% of realtors said that a new master suite recently helped them close a sale on a home. With an average cost of $112,500 to expand or remodel a new master suite it is an expensive project. It doesn’t always work that the more money you put in the more you get out. The percent of value recovered is only 53%. Try instead adding different fabric into the room with new curtains or a new bedding set, rearranging the furniture to maximize space or adding new art to change the feel.

If there is a problem in your house and you want to fix it don’t let the return on investment scare you away. Your happiness in your house is more important if you are planning to live there for some time. If you are planning on selling your house make smart investment choices to maximize your return. Happy renovations!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending September 10, 2016

During a point in time when record-low mortgage rates should be coercing new
home buyers into the market, many potential first-time buyers are seemingly not
able to afford what is on the market. As labor costs and demand grow, and as a
construction labor shortage continues, builders tend toward building more
expensive homes, creating a tight supply of entry-level homes. Not all situations
match this scenario, but it is certainly an interesting time in the residential real
estate marketplace.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 10:
 • New Listings increased 11.0% to 1,722
 • Pending Sales decreased 2.0% to 954
 • Inventory decreased 17.4% to 14,011

For the month of August:
 • Median Sales Price increased 5.6% to $237,500
 • Days on Market decreased 14.1% to 55
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 97.9%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 24.3% to 2.8

Publish Date: September 19, 2016 • All comparisons are to 2015

Friday, September 16, 2016

Things Happening this Weekend… Apples

We’re not in the middle of September and delightful fall events are starting to happen. This weekend is Apple Day in Excelsior. Apple day is a lakeside festival with great food and great family fun. It starts at 8am with the Apple of the Lake 5k and ends with an old-fashioned street dance. There will be a Happy Apple Kids Corner and an Artisan Vender Street Fair.

When: Saturday, September 17th from 9am to 10pm
Where: Downtown Excelsior
Price: Free

If you would like more apples this weekend, check out the MN Apple House. The Apple House is a place where you can purchase apples from a changing inventory of 50 varieties. They also have the Lunch Box food truck on site Saturdays and Sundays. Come enjoy some of Minnesota’s state fruit the Honeycrisp, some long-time favorites or some new introductions from the University of Minnesota.

When: September – early November
Where: 7485 Rolling Acres Rd, Victoria, MN 55386
Price: Free to visit and play yard games – apples are extra
More Information:

The Minnetonka Orchard is celebrating 40 years this year. This weekend they will be having Pork Chop Fest. There will be unlimited hayrides, corn maze, kid’s play area and live music. The Brat House, Donut Hut and Carmel Apple House will also be open this weekend.

When: September 17th & 18th
Where: 6530 County Road 26, Minnetrista, MN 55364
Price: $7 for admission – kids 12 and under receive a free face painting and apple express cart ride with paid admission

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Neighborhood Spotlight: Minnetrista

Big Stone - Image by Collin Knopp-Schwyn via Flickr
Minnetrista is a lovely city in the outer suburbs west of Minneapolis. Minnetrista has 5 lakes within its borders including Whaletail Lake and Ox Yoke Lake. There are also several bays of Lake Minnetonka in the south east part of the city. Minnetrista is part lake town, part small city and part farm land.  Minnetrista has enough land that you are able to have horses and hobby farms.

If you don’t want your own farm you can visit Gale Woods Farm. The farm produces and sells lamb, beef, chicken, pork, wool, honey, vegetables, fruit and maple syrup. They host a bunch on educational events here concerning farming and animals for adults and children. They have Burl Oaks Golf Club if you like to play golf and Big Stone Mini Golf if you like to play mini golf. Big Stone is a natural mini golf course with large sculptures. Minnetrista also hosts community events like Trista days. With helicopters and free hotdogs you can’t go wrong.

Quick Facts:
Population: 6,661
Average Home Price: $384,400
Walkability Average: 4 – Car dependent

Here are two beautiful properties currently available in Minnetrista:

More Information:
City of Minnetrista Website:
City Livability:
Gale Woods Farm:
Burl Oaks Golf Club:
Big Stone Mini Golf:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending September 3, 2016

Most market trends have been steadily the same for the bulk of 2016, and there's
not much reason to expect a change as we enter the last several months of the
year. We have witnessed an overall drop in the number of days a home is on the
market before sale, that sale price is generally higher than it used to be and there
are fewer homes for sale. The one area of interest that we will be watching will be
total sales being made. As the drop in inventory continues, it stands to reason that
there will be fewer sales, but that has yet to consistently be the case.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 3:
 • New Listings decreased 8.6% to 1,314
 • Pending Sales decreased 6.9% to 1,114
 • Inventory decreased 16.7% to 14,295

For the month of August:
 • Median Sales Price increased 5.6% to $237,500
 • Days on Market decreased 14.1% to 55
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 97.9%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 24.3% to 2.8

Publish Date: September 12, 2016 • All comparisons are to 2015

Friday, September 9, 2016

Things Happening this Weekend…

If you are looking for something fun to do check out one of these cool events:

 Passing through the Pig’s Eye

Image by SPP Photography via Flickr
For a truly unique experience check out Passing through the Pig’s Eye. It’s a production/ tour throughout downtown Saint Paul inspired by the cities past. Make sure you wear comfy shoes as you’ll be guided through multiple locations. It will be part history tour, part comedy show and part dance party.
Where: Park Square Theater, Saint Paul
When: Saturday, September 10th at 2pm and 7:30pm and Sunday, September 11th at 2pm
Price: $28 per person, under 30 tickets are $21

Deschutes Brewery – World’s Largest Street Pub

Image by dilettantiquity via Flickr
Deschutes Brewery from Bend Oregon has created a street pub to travel around the country. It’s a family friendly affair with things for the kids while you sample tons of beer from over 50 taps. They bring their own chef along with some local food to create a unique time. Live local music will top of this awesome event. If you needed another reason to go all beer proceeds are donated to Second Harvest Heartland a local charity.
Where: Warehouse District, 201 N 2nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55401
When: Saturday, September 10th 2 – 10pm
Price: Entry is free, Beer is a $5 token each

Home Improvement and Design Expo

Image by Jerry Swiatek via Flickr
The Home Improvement and Design Expo is coming to Shakopee again. It features about 100 exhibitors showing the latest products and services. It will feature remodelers, landscapers, architects, interior designers and contractors for every part of your home. There will also be a speaker stage with free presentations giving tips, ideas and advice every hour.
Where: Canterbury Park, Shakopee
When: Saturday, September 10th
Price: Free

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Fall is here - time to get your house ready for the weather change.

Image by paul bica via Flickr
September is here! The kids are back to school and leaves will start changing soon. It’s time to start getting your house all ready for autumn.

1. Have Your HVAC System Checked
Your HVAC system is one of the most important things that keeps your family healthy and comfortable in your home. It regulates the temperature and cleans the air you breathe. It should be serviced twice a year – once before summer and once before winter. Dust and dirt can collect around and in the unit restricting the air flow which can cause serious problems. Having it checked can help maintain it better – not only will this save you from having to buy a new system it’ll keep your family healthier in your home.

2.Clean Any Humidifiers
Fall and winter brings dry air into your home. You wouldn’t drink coffee if water sat in the pot for a month you really shouldn’t use a humidifier that hasn’t been cleaned. Vinegar is a great way to clean any problems from the machine. It’s a great way to make sure that the water vaper you breathe in doesn’t have mold or mildew lurking in it. 

3.Have Your Fireplaces Cleaned
There is nothing better on a cold night then relaxing in front of a fireplace with some hot chocolate. If you have a natural wood burning fireplace now is the time to have it cleaned out. You can prevent any problems with potential clogs or fire dangers. 

4. Check and Fix Any Drafts
The time to check for cold drafts is not in the middle of winter when you are freezing. Checking your home for any leaks now gives you time to fix them before they turn a room into an ice box.

5. Clear Out the Garage
Minnesota winters are snowy. Fall is the perfect time to clean out the garage so you have a place to store your car. It’s great for your car to have a warmer place and it’s great for you not to have to scrap your car every morning. Check your neighborhood for big item trash collection days. They usually happen in the fall. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending August 27, 2016

If residential real estate were a wager to close out the summer golf season,
prospective buyers would still be waiting impatiently for prospective sellers to take
the putt on the final hole. Yet inventory continues to shrink, as summer vacations
end and kids return to school. If the taken putt were to somehow land in the cup
and increase inventory, a legendary celebration would occur that might even make
a golf course gopher dance.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending August 27:
• New Listings decreased 8.0% to 1,411
• Pending Sales increased 0.3% to 1,174
• Inventory decreased 17.0% to 14,454

For the month of July:
• Median Sales Price increased 6.6% to $239,900
• Days on Market decreased 14.3% to 54
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 98.4%
• Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 21.1% to 3.0

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

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Neighborhood Spotlight: Chanhassen, MN

Arboretum - Image by jkmarko via Flickr

Word is getting out - Chanhassen, MN is a wonderful place to call home! According to last year’s Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live, Chanhassen is the 7th best city. They’ve been on the list multiple times in the last 10 years.  

Chanhassen has numerous reasons that it is a great place to live. There are 12 lakes within the City Limits – some have great fishing spots all year round. Others are adjacent to parks and feature recreational spaces, swimming beaches and fun rentals. There is also the Minnesota Arboretum, which has 1200 acres of gardens and tree collections.

Depending on where you are in the city there are two top rated school districts. 112 – Chanhassen and 276 – Minnetonka. The city also has a low crime rate. Chanhassen is close enough to Minneapolis that it is easy to commute for work; however, Chanhassen’s downtown has everything you might need with several grocery stores, restaurants, nicely maintained city buildings including a huge library, and a Target.

Quick Facts:

Population: 24,003
Average Home Price: $334,900
Walkability Average: 15 – Car dependent

Here are three beautiful homes currently available in Chanhassen:

More Information:

City of Chanhassen Website:
City Livability:
Chanhassen Dinner Theater: