Tuesday, October 31, 2017

8 Space Savers for a Small Bedroom

Not everyone is blessed with endless square footage and expansive master suites in their home. If you find yourself drowning in piles of clothes and surround by belongings, you’re not alone. Here are eight simple tricks to save space and maximize storage in a small bedroom.
1. Fold Out Furniture
Murphy beds and pull-out sofa beds have gotten bad reputations in the past for being clunky and old-fashioned. However, there are many new and stylish ways to integrate a convertible bed in today’s modern home designs, one of which is shown above. Also try installing a fold-out desk against a wall for a small workspace. It can work double-duty as a mini makeup vanity too.
2. Use Large Mirrors
Here’s one of the oldest tricks in the book: mirrors. Mirrors never fail to visually expand and enhance a small space. The effect is strongest when it covers the entire side of a room with floor-to-ceiling or wall-to-wall mirrors. If you have an unsightly open closet situation, you can resolve both problems by opting for mirrored doors to hide the clutter and add visual dimension.
Tip: Another strategy for making a small room feel bigger is to capitalize on as many natural light sources as possible. Not only is natural light beneficial for your health and well-being, it draws the eye outwards and beyond the corners of any small space. Reflect a window in a mirror to bring more light further into a room.
3. Underbed Space and Storage
A lot of potential is hidden in floor space, an area that’s often forgotten and unused in many bedrooms – big or small. If it isn’t already, prop your bed a foot or two above the floor with store-bought bed risers and voila! You’ve found more space. Don’t start cramming everything you can in your newly found space though. Being able to see beneath the bed will make a bulky bed feel light and airy. If you need more storage, purchase wide and shallow drawers that can easily slide under the bed. You can use this space to keep belongings dust-free and easily accessible.
4. Combine Your Nightstand and Dresser
Most people try to buy the smallest furniture pieces possible for a small bedroom, but in certain cases, one large item is much better than two small ones. With an oversized nightstand, you can eliminate the need for a big dresser and keep everything within arm’s reach of the bed. The surface can still hold bedside essentials while the space below can be used for clothing storage.
5. Outfit Your Headboard With Storage
Headboards with built-ins make the most of otherwise wasted space. Traditional tufted headboards are gorgeous in all their glory, but block the wall space above the bed from being used for anything else. You can pull out your headboard to create a ledge at the top or purchase a one with storage cubbies built in or around the panel. For the most storage, use a combination of both, as seen in this storage-savvy contemporary bedroom.
6. Utilize Open Wall Shelves
If you have cherished knick-knacks that you want to put on display but don’t have the surface area to spare, look to your blank walls. Just as easy as hanging a picture frame or piece of artwork, mounting vertical wooden boards is a simple solution for holding your favorite photos or books. In this modern New York bedroom, multiple rows of open shelves above a desk hold countless frames and pottery pieces without using a single inch of floor space.
7. Mount Wall Lighting
If you’re struggling to fit a table lamp on your nightstand, look to your walls once more for another space-saving solution. Wall-mounted lights with flexible arms can be pulled to wherever they’re needed most or they can lay flush against the wall when unused. Like lamps, wall lights are come in a variety of sizes and prices.
8. Look Behind the Door
Behind-the-door storage seems to have vanished largely from recent home design trends, but if you’re desperate for more space, look no further. You don’t have to confine yourself to classic over-the-door hooks; this space can also be used to hold shoes and coats; hats and scarves; and even makeup and bath supplies. Get creative and customize the back of your door to fit your storage needs.

Guest post by  Michelle Lee, Houzz

Monday, October 30, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending October 21, 2017

The level of real estate activity should subside each week for the remainder of the
year. Savvy real estate professionals not only begin to plan now for another
successful year next year, but they continue to track the trends to see where prices,
listings and other metrics are at relative to last year and all past years of available
data. Finding reliable patterns in the trends is a sure way to be of greater service to
buyers and sellers. Let's see where those trends are in our local market.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending October 21:
 • New Listings increased 10.5% to 1,329
 • Pending Sales decreased 4.4% to 1,016
 • Inventory decreased 17.7% to 12,042

For the month of September:
 • Median Sales Price increased 7.2% to $246,650
 • Days on Market decreased 12.3% to 50
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.6% to 98.1%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 16.7% to 2.5

Publish Date: October 30, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016
Information gathered from MAAR

Thursday, October 26, 2017

A New Twist on Halloween Decorating

Switch up your Halloween scenery this year. Don’t buy new decorations for every holiday — turn your Christmas lights into spooky Halloween decor.
Guest post by By Merri Cvetan
Switch up your Halloween scenery this year. Rather than buy new decorations for every holiday, get creative with Christmas lights. Dig out your tree lights — or shop for new, updated options — and turn them into spooky Halloween decor. The best part? Reusing lights for two different holidays frees up more storage space for you. You won’t need to double up on Halloween and Christmas decor, so you can store twice as much and save money in the process.
Using your Christmas lights and a few household items, you can create unique Halloween decorations that easily transition into the winter season after October has passed. Here are three ways to get started.

1. Family Friendly Halloween Garland

This not-so-scary paper garland will delight even the youngest members of the family. It uses battery-powered lights, so you can hang it anywhere — from the mantle to a display shelf to the front window.
Start with a string of battery-powered LED lights with spherical bulbs.
Cut small holes in the middle of Halloween-themed paper cupcake liners. Use one cupcake liner for every bulb on your string of lights. If you end up with leftover liners, surprise the kids with special Halloween cupcakes!
Push each bulb through the hole in the liner and hold it in place with a bit of transparent tape.
Twist orange-and-black tinsel over the cord until it’s completely covered. Pair with additional Halloween decorations for a “boo-tiful” display. When Christmas comes around, remove the liners and swap the orange-and-black tinsel for green.

2. Spook-tacular Table

Mini icicle lights look great hanging from your eaves each December, but you can also use them to create a glowing ghost for your home in October. All you need is a small table and a white tablecloth or sheet.
Carefully staple a string of icicle lights to the underside of a small, round particleboard table.
Wrap the remaining length of lights around the table legs.
Drape a semisheer tablecloth or sheet over the table and glue on felt eyes and a mouth. Make your ghost scary or friendly — whatever suits your Halloween decorating style. This table is also great for holding holiday snacks and punch at your next Christmas get-together. Simply swap the ghost tablecloth for one with a snowflake or Christmas-themed pattern to make it party-ready.

3. Scaring Up Some Fun

Mini Christmas lights are available in a rainbow of colors. Purple is both a unique option for Christmas and the perfect way to create a creepy atmosphere for Halloween. Surprise trick-or-treaters when they approach your front door with a scary skeleton adorned in purple lights.
Create a place of honor for the skeleton with an old chair draped in black cheesecloth or fake spider webbing.
“Dress” the bones with a string of purple lights, tinsel garland, chains, and skulls.
Beware to those who dare ring the doorbell when the sun goes down! When Halloween is over, keep your purple lights out. Use them to frame your front windows, or string them along your porch at Christmastime. Your house will stand out in a sea of white lights.
Get creative with your Christmas lights and use them to decorate your home for Halloween. You’ll make the transition into the Christmas season that much easier.
Merri Cvetan is an interior designer who loves to create crafts and DIY projects. She writes about her designs for The Home Depot. Merri provides budget-friendly tips on decorating your home for the holidays, such as using string lights for Halloween. Click here for more info on the Christmas lights that Merri used in this article.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending October 14, 2017

Much was made of the homeownership rate dropping to a 50-year low last year. It
was thought that tastes had changed, especially among Millennials, and that
people craved more mobility through rentals and smaller, more urban homes. Then
something happened earlier this year: Millennials drove up the homeownership rate.
Judging by continued buyer demand well into autumn, it would seem that owning a
home is still as desirable today as it was 50 years ago.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending October 14:
 • New Listings decreased 1.7% to 1,365
 • Pending Sales decreased 5.1% to 1,027
 • Inventory decreased 17.2% to 12,247

For the month of September:
 • Median Sales Price increased 7.2% to $246,500
 • Days on Market decreased 12.3% to 50
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.6% to 98.1%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 16.7% to 2.5

Publish Date: October 23, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016
Information gathered from MAAR

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fun Weekend Activities

Are you looking for a fun Halloween activity this weekend? Look no further we have two ideas for you. The Zoo is celebrating fall color and things that go bump in the night. They are hosting AllZooWeen where you can enjoy up-close encounters with both cute and creepy critters. From bats and tarantulas to tigers and tapirs. You can also purchase  a pumpkin either to bring home or to give to the animals to enjoy.
HallZooWeen Activities:
  • Creature Features – 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m.
  • Story Time in the Bee Hive – 10:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.
  • Creepy Crawly Animal Encounters – 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. & 2:30 p.m. – MN Lodge
  • Family Education/Craft Activity – 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Tropics Plaza
  • Live Music – 11:30 a.m., 12:330 p.m., & 1:30 p.m. – Penguin Commons
  • Close Encounter Animal Photo Opportunity – 10:30 – 11:30 p.m. – Monk seal stadium
  • Tropical Reef Skeleton Dive Show – 10:30 a.m. – Tropical Reef Tropics Trail
  • Conservation ‘Scarousel’ – 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Hay Maze at the Wells Fargo Family Farm
  • #HallZooWeen Photo Challenge
  • HallZooWeen-themed Wings Financial Credit Union World of Birds Show -Target Learning Center

Learn More: https://goo.gl/Kv84Ww

If you or your kids can’t wait to go trick or treating you can

Join 50th & France for the 35th Annual Pumpkin Fest! Trick-or-treating in the area, including Halloween and fall-themed activities for kids will be happening. West 50th Street between France Avenue and Halifax Avenue will be closed with activities. 
  • Starting at 10 a.m. - Trick-or-treating for kids 12 and under at 50th & France businesses. Businesses will have Treaters Welcome Signs. 
  • 11 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. - Activities throughout the area including cake walk, petting zoo, balloon twisters, face painting and more.
  • 12:45 p.m. - Costume Contest on West 50th Street. 
There will be complimentary parking in 3 ramps: North, Center and South Ramps along with surface lots off Ewing Avenue and Market Street.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Best Cities for Millenials

We made the list! Minneapolis is number 17 and St. Paul is number 23 on the Best Cities for Millennials. Here are the highlights from the Penny Hoarder:

No. 17 — Minneapolis

Female jogger crossing Minneapolis' famous Stone Arch Bridge over the Mississippi river.
jimkruger/Getty Images

Affordability Rank: 24

Millennial Happiness Rank: 3
Economy Health Rank: 19
Things to do: When you think of Minnesota, you probably don’t think of the beach. But once the ice and snow thaw, you can find true Minneapolis millennials at their favorite summertime haunt: The Hidden Beach on Cedar Lake. Once you’re done roaming through the trails leading away from the “beach,” find a farmer’s market with local specialties, or join a brewery tasting tour group. The Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum is the perfect spot to appear culturally literate on a first date.

No. 23 — St. Paul, Minnesota

"Cathedral of St. Paul, Minnesota, illuminated for the Centennial celebration"
LawrenceSawyer/Getty Images

Affordability Rank: 25

Millennial Happiness Rank: 5
Economy Health Rank: 23
Things to do: Dig into authentic Italian food and goods at the famous Cossetta’s Alimentari, or take a historical tour through the Wabasha Street Caves — as seen on the History Channel — while learning about the infamous history of St. Paul. The Como Park Zoo and Conservatory has beautiful gardens to admire. Locals flock to The Bulldog, which serves up both German and local brews. I mean, the city’s official website has a brunch guide…. Just sayin’.

No. 24 — Rochester, Minnesota
Affordability Rank: 10
Millennial Happiness Rank: 25
Economy Health Rank: 22
Things to do: Get your daily dose of caffeine with locally sourced coffee and tea at Kutzky Market, then grab a beer and pizza for lunch from Forager Brewery. For a fancier feel, sip on a custom cocktails at The Doggery — a Prohibition-era speakeasy (no, sadly, I don’t think dogs are allowed). For some exercise, travel along the 12.5-mile Douglas Trail and enjoy the “rural scenery, traversing some of the richest agricultural land in Minnesota.”

To see who else made the list check it here: https://www.thepennyhoarder.com/life/best-cities-for-millennials/ 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending October 7, 2017

Many potential buyers are simply not on the market during this time of year, as
school-aged children settle into routines and the gainfully employed focus more on
end-of-year goals and holiday planning over taking on a big move. But not all
buyers are equal. Consider instead the first-time buyers with no children, relocated
employees, investment buyers, bargain hunters and those with generally fewer ties
to established routines.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending October 7:
• New Listings decreased 1.3% to 1,395
• Pending Sales increased 4.1% to 1,103
• Inventory decreased 16.6% to 12,378

For the month of September:
• Median Sales Price increased 7.3% to $246,800
• Days on Market decreased 12.3% to 50
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.6% to 98.1%
• Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 16.7% to 2.5

Information Gathered from MAAR
Publish Date: October 16, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016

Friday, October 13, 2017

Happy Friday the 13th!

It’s that spooky time of year! Here are a couple of fun things to get up to this weekend.

The Trail of Terror opens today. It is the largest Halloween event in the Midwest. With 8 different “Spine Chilling” attractions you can find the perfect scare for you. If you enjoy paintball you can come play End of Days Zombie Paintball. They’ll also have a fun running dead 5K next weekend that you can prepare for. To see everything or buy tickets check out their website: http://www.trailofterrormn.com/index.html

For those of you looking for a less scary option you can check out Sever’s Fall Festival. It is celebrating it’s 21st year.  Come enjoy the corn maze, obstacle course, corn pit, petting zoo, and magic show all for the price of admission. This year’s them is Sever’s Down Under and will have you searching for 6 pictures of “Sever Dundee” while looking through the maze. To buy tickets or see a schedule of activities check here: https://seversfallfestival.com/

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

5 Ways to Light Up Your Walkway for Halloween

Welcome trick-or-treaters to your home with a lighted walkway on Halloween!  There are many commercial holiday lighting products you can buy, but Halloween is about kids—making decorations and making memories. So I’m suggesting some fun walkway lighting crafts to create with your kids.
Each of these calls for adding a candle for light. You can choose real candles, but the flickering, flameless type that are battery powered are very safe and won’t blow out.
Halloween Luminaria

You can make beautiful outdoor lanterns starting with a simple brown paper bag. The rest of the supplies for these lighted decorations are easy to find, and the process is simple. Make one finished luminaria in advance to show your kids and get their imaginations flowing to come up with their own designs. Click here to find all the instructions! In addition to walkway lighting, another idea is to spell out a Halloween-themed word or short phrase with the luminaria on your front lawn. Think along the lines of “Boo!” or “Magic” or “Scary Night.”
Mason Jar Luminaria
Another luminaria lantern uses mason jars or other similarly sized food jars. Gather enough for both sides of your walkway, add sand, candles or glow sticks. You can also cut small tissue paper pieces in light yellow, orange and darker orange. Lightly glue them to the outside of the mason jar. When lit, this produces a multi-colored, dimensional glow. Click here for instructions and several designs for mason jar luminaria.
Mini Jack O’ Lanterns
Make a pumpkin path! Buy enough small pumpkins to line your walkway. Carve each with a simple design and add a flickering candle. Roast the seeds and enjoy a delicious snack!  Click here for a simple recipe.
Cemetery Pathway
Create multiple tombstones to line your walkway. Decorate with “Rest in Peace” signage and spooky epitaphs. Prop each against a small brick pile or large rock. Set a flickering candle at the base to light the tombstone stone. Click here for needed supplies and instructions.
Ghost Lights
Glowing “gallon” ghosts welcome guests along your walkway on Halloween! Create different expressions on each milk jug ghost and light inside.  Click here for “ghostly” directions!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending September 30, 2017

Few cities and neighborhoods – around the nation and locally – are turning heads
as hotbeds of new housing inventory. Residential real estate markets that have had
a hard time dealing with a reduction in the number of homes available for sale are
now also struggling to keep up with new listings levels from last year. While it's true
that builder confidence is up, it will take time before any sort of new development
spawns a significant change in trend direction.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 30:
 • New Listings decreased 4.9% to 1,382
 • Pending Sales decreased 0.9% to 1,160
 • Inventory decreased 16.0% to 12,728

For the month of August:
 • Median Sales Price increased 6.8% to $252,000
 • Days on Market decreased 14.3% to 48
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.6% to 98.5%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 16.7% to 2.5

Publish Date: October 9, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016
Information gathered from MAAR

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Waterfront Home Tour

It’s the Coldwell Banker Burnet Waterfront Home Tour weekend. 
This Sunday, October 8th from 1 -4pm come tour homes with Lakeshore, River Frontage or Deeded Access.

One home that you can see is 2864 Pelican Point Circle, Mound, MN 55364:
3 Bedrooms | 3 Bathrooms | 4,011 sq. ft. | 3 Car Garage | $689,000

Right down the road is 2890 Pelican Point Court, Mound, MN 55364:
3 Bedrooms | 3 Bathrooms | 3,372 sq. ft. | 2 Car Garage | $635,000

Come see these and all the other homes that are on tour. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Tired of Tan Walls?

Tired of tan? Getting gloomy from cool gray? Make warm gray your new go-to neutral.

You may have noticed that gray is everywhere these days when it comes to home design and . Just about every product and material supplier I talk with is rushing to bring more gray products to the market. I'm noticing a bit of pushback, however, from homeowners who either are growing tired of cool gray hues or find them too cold and somber.
For those folks, I've been recommending warm gray as an easy-to-use neutral. The best way to spot warm gray paint colors is to gather a selection of grays together and compare them. You'll notice some veer cooler (with a blue cast) or warmer (with a hint of brown).
Shown here is a sampling of warm gray paint colors. From left to right: San Francisco Fog from Kelly-MooreDolphin Fin from Behr, Mindful Gray from Sherwin-Williams and Cape May Cobblestone from Benjamin Moore.
There's nothing gloomy about this gray bedroom. The walls are painted a medium warm gray that adds just the right amount of contrast against the beautiful white trim. It's a neutral palette, but because the colors are neither overly warm nor too cool, it's a fresh, soothing space.
A warm gray wall color is a terrific alternative to pure white, which can sometimes feel too sterile, or a cool gray, which might register as chilly in a space with lots of hard surfaces, such as a bathroom. The color palette seen here is fairly restrained, but the different shades of warm grays play well together and add variety and visual interest.
Here's a more modern bathroom with our featured color on the walls. The medium warm gray serves as a bridge between the dark tiles and the white elements in the room, softening the palette nicely. The wood elements add a good dose of warmth and also help soften the contrast between dark and light.
Warm grays play well with a variety of wood tones. Because our featured hue has a nice earthy quality to it, it adds an organic vibe to a room, especially when paired with natural materials such as wood and stone. This living room features a variety of different textures, but they are tied together well through the use of warm gray neutral hues.
If you prefer a softer palette, or your room lacks an abundance of natural light, go for light warm grays. The wall color seen here is almost an off-white, but that small hint of warm gray adds a cozy quality.
Oftentimes homeowners default to white walls throughout the house because they want to play it safe, or they are overwhelmed by the paint color options. If you don't have the time or energy to audition a bunch of paint colors for your home, find a light warm gray and make that your default hue. You can always add punches of color here and there via accent walls, textiles and decorative accessories. Or keep the palette supersoft and neutral, as in this bedroom. You really can't go wrong with light warm gray.
For those with interesting furniture, furnishings or artwork to show off, keep your walls a light neutral so they don't compete for attention. A soft warm gray is a nicer, more inviting alternative to stark gallery-white walls.
One thing I love about warm grays is how they change color throughout the day. In warmer light - during sunrise and sunset - warm gray colors will appear taupe or brown. In the cooler light of dawn, midday or dusk, or in cool artificial light, the color turns a purer gray. That's why I advise homeowners who are testing out paint colors to view the hues during various times of the day, in the changing light, before making the final selection.

Warm grays, like all good neutrals, work well with any design style. This transitional-style dining room looks super elegant clad in a light warm gray. Like the first example, the color provides just the right amount of contrast against the white painted woodwork, but it's not an aggressive, in-your-face kind of color - it allows the woodwork to stand out. If you want more drama, go for a darker warm gray hue. If you want a soft and airy, barely-there wash of color, go for a lighter warm gray.
From Houzz.com