Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban

A rental building in Minneapolis and the patio created by the artist tenant

A creative environmental message in Saint Paul, MN

A torn lace curtain in a window of a home in St. Paul, Minnesota

Learn about the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge here.

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
August 21, 2012


Do you hear that? It’s the sound of carts shifting through the back-to-school aisles, filling quickly with notebooks and pencils and glue. It’s the sound of teenagers shuffling through dorms and down storied lanes on their first college orientation. It’s the sound of young professionals readying themselves for their first big job, freshly tailored. It’s the sound of a family preparing for the leap from the overcrowded apartment to the “starter” home that will see their first child into high school. There’s a lot of activity taking place as we move towards the fall season. The housing market continues to be active as well.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending August 11:
• New Listings increased 2.0% to 1,387
• Pending Sales increased 31.2% to 1,149
• Inventory decreased 29.6% to 16,982

For the month of July:
• Median Sales Price increased 13.7% to $179,000
• Days on Market decreased 27.8% to 106
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.6% to 95.0%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 42.8% to 4.3

Statistics provided by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

For additional market information, contact us:

Ellen Walsh
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

Kate Walsh
612.220.3309
info@designhouse9.com

Coldwell Banker Burnet
Minneapolis Lakes Office–On the shore of Lake Calhoun
Minneapolis MN 55416

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge

What do you think of when you contemplate the word merge?

A piece of art becomes a moon on Nicollet Island

A view of the Minneapolis skyline through bridge supports

Merging nature with a man-made structure

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Modern Style in the Big Apple

An Award-Winning Design:
New York Penthouse Apartment with Rooftop Garden

I love this New York penthouse apartment. It’s open, full of light, and opens to a rooftop garden. Numerous green and sustainable components were used in this renovation. The lines are clean and linear and yet there is a sculptural aspect to the space as well. This is an excellent example of why it pays to hire an architect for renovations, a remodel and new build jobs. If you get a good architect, you just can’t go wrong.

Hmm, I have to take that last statement back. I’ve seen some homes “designed” by architects where the owners actually dictated more of the design than the architect. The relationship between owner and architect is certainly a collaborative one; however, owners with no design sense are better off leaving key design decisions to the professional. Note the adjective “good” used above to describe which architect to hire.

If I lived in New York City I would want a rooftop garden.

What do you think of this apartment? Would you want to live here? Are you a fan of modern architecture? Read more and see more photos at the websites listed below.

Awards include:

Interior Design Best of Year 2008 Eco-Residential Winner
AIA NY State Award of Excellence 2009

Learn more about the architect: JoelSandersArchitect.com.
All photos from JoelSandersArchitect.com

Read more about this award-winning design at Architizer.com

More photos, and text if you can read French: Un Green Penthouse  It appears the rooftop also has an outdoor shower. Très amusement!

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I Hope It Doesn’t Fall Down

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wrong

This week’s photo challenge is to depict something wrong. As in, there’s something wrong here. Here is a photo of a house I came across while out and about one day. It’s a stately home that has seen better days. I’ve been by it before, a few years ago, and it doesn’t appear to be getting much maintenance on the outside. This area definitely needs repair: this is serious wood rot.

Here’s another photo showing more of the front exterior and the way these pillars hold up the roof of the front porch and the third floor space. What keeps these homeowners from repairing their home? Is it financial issues? Is it lack of interest? Do they feel overwhelmed with the rest of their lives? I hope they can have it fixed before it comes crashing down.

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
August 14, 2012

Let’s admit it: It’s been nice to have a year of positive headlines in the residential real estate industry. There have been more sales for more money in most markets across the country, and the foreclosure situation, although not entirely in the rearview mirror, has abated. We’re now entering the months of 2012 that should offer a true test of the lasting power of this buyer-seller tryst. A drop off in buyer and seller activity might be expected after so many months of bliss, but the feeling remains that the market will survive beyond the honeymoon phase.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending August 4:

• New Listings decreased 0.1% to 1,433
• Pending Sales increased 20.4% to 1,129
• Inventory decreased 29.6% to 17,085

For the month of July:

• Median Sales Price increased 14.2% to $179,900
• Days on Market decreased 27.8% to 105
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.6% to 95.0%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 43.4% to 4.3

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

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They’ll Soon Fly

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

I came across these baby birds on Sunday. There are four of them in the nest. They’re at a downy stage and ever so cute. It won’t be long before they take their virgin flight.

Mom is very protective. She swoops in and aims for you when you get close to the nest. I find myself instinctively ducking so she doesn’t hit me in the face. I was lucky on Sunday as she didn’t get so close and I was able to take a number of photos. I think it may have been because several other people were stopping to see them and take pictures. One woman asked, “Those aren’t real, are they”? Yes, they most definitely are real.

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
August 6, 2012


For decades now, the real estate industry has been both humbled and invigorated by the strong and direct relationship between the labor and housing markets. As goes the economy, seemingly so goes housing. That relationship was especially clear after the 2007 recession. The economy added 163,000 jobs in July, the highest figure since February. Our economy is growing, but not as quickly as many would like. Meanwhile, inventory drops and surging buyer demand from renters and first-timers are anchoring home prices and giving sellers more power than they’ve had in years, in many cases.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending July 28:
• New Listings increased 8.3% to 1,430
• Pending Sales increased 20.9% to 1,149
• Inventory decreased 30.5% to 17,103

For the month of June:
• Median Sales Price increased 10.2% to $178,600
• Days on Market decreased 22.0% to 113
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 4.1% to 95.1%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 42.6% to 4.6

Click on any graph below to enlarge it.

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

For additional information on the market
or buying and selling a home, contact us.
We’re friendly, fun and professional real estate agents!

Ellen Walsh
emwalsh@cbburnet.com
612.220.3304

Kate Walsh
info@designhouse9.com
612.220.3309

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Cool Design Product: Hang Up

Wall Organizer by Vuur Design

Clear your kitchen table of clutter and keep it on the wall. Use this multipurpose wall organizer to temporarily unload your life. It hangs jackets, scarves, bags, and hats as well as holds gloves, wallets, cell phones, mail, books, CD’s, and even spare change. The slim design is perfect behind doors and in tight spaces, and the unit is seamless and elegant. The video below shows how it works:
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These wall organizers are available in black or white. They’re constructed of steel and coated with a durable powder coat finish that is made to last. And it’s made here in the Midwest by a local company.

Like it? The cost is $55 plus shipping. It’s available directly through Vuur Design.

Dimensions (per company): 2′ long by 3″ wide by 4′.5″ high

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Owl Optical Opens in Linden Hills

It’s nice to see a new optical shop in town, and in charming Linden Hills no less.

C&W / NorthMarq Retail Services

Owl Optical takes space next to Great Harvest Bread Company.

You might say that love is at the core of Julie Hansen’s new Linden Hills store, Owl Optical.  Long before she and her husband opened Owl, Hansen was working part-time at the original Spectacle Shoppe while at college. One day, a man walked in with good-looking motorcycle boots, looking for a pair of glasses.

“I told him ‘nice boots,'” Hansen said, with a smile. “We were married before I was out college.”

13 years and two sons later, Hansen is still in the optical business, and still married to the same man in boots.

“My husband and I always wanted to do our own thing,” she said, explaining that with her youngest entering kindergarten this year, the timing was perfect to chase that dream.

View original post 419 more words

When to Splurge and When to Save When Decorating

Furnishing a home–tips for when to splurge and when to save.

Hirshfield's Color Club

Furnishing a home can be a major investment. You have the necessities – a table, bed, dinnerware, and a place to sit. Then you have the “nice to haves” – wall art, fancy lighting, a glam rug, and accessories to tie the space together. When you’re excited about decorating, and anxious to get started, the line can easily become blurry between the two categories. Which is why we love Apartment Therapy’s post on when to splurge and when to save when furnishing your home.

Here are some of their tips:

Splurge where your health is concerned.
This means mattresses, office chairs and work surfaces at the proper height for the job at hand. If you’re lucky you may find these items at a bargain price, but generally I’d suggest budgeting more for items which directly affect your health and comfort.

We would also add that along with furniture that…

View original post 400 more words

The Bike in the Bathroom

Interior Design or Art?
Both.

Art Prints

Artist Benjamin Bullins has taken a discarded bike and created a bathroom vanity. Bullins doesn’t stop with the bike vanity. The mirror has been fashioned from an old trombone case. A snare drum has been made into a ceiling light fixture. The bike’s handlebars are now towel bars (not shown). And what’s not to love about the basket as a towel holder?

Bullins aims to create sculptures that reflect the culture of his hometown of New Orleans. He successfully achieves this here and manages to be creative, functional and green at the same time.

Sell Art Online

What do you have around your house that can be re-purposed and re-used in a new way? I suspect many of you will love this bathroom bike vanity design. If you’re not the Do-It-Yourself type, contact Benjamin Bullins about buying his mixed-media artwork. Yes, artwork. And vanity and mirror. Both are available for purchase through the artist. Contact him at his artist website.

Read more about the very talented artist and photographer Benjamin Bullins.

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
July 24, 2012

It’s been a relatively pleasant year for the business of residential real estate. Case in point, the June 2012 NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) rose to its highest level since May 2007. And for the first time since 2005, housing is on track for being a net positive contributor to national GDP in 2012. Speaking on behalf of America, it’s about time. Throw in some real price gains, and you can expect holdout buyers to be less afraid of buying and sellers to be less afraid of listing.In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending July 14:

• New Listings increased 6.2% to 1,536
• Pending Sales increased 13.4% to 1,125
• Inventory decreased 30.7% to 17,188

For the month of June:

• Median Sales Price increased 10.4% to $179,000
• Days on Market decreased 21.9% to 113
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 4.1% to 95.1%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 43.3% to 4.5

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

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Inside the Windows

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside
June 20, 2012

Inside the Blue Point Restaurant in Wayzata, Minnesota

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On the softer side:

Pup in a cup–window display for Just Paws Puppy Training

A couple of my Fleeting Moment photo challenge pictures also fit this theme:

Inside: Fleeting Moment

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
July 16, 2012


With the second quarter now in the books, seasonal peaks and valleys should start to become apparent. Even if activity begins to slow for the remainder of 2012, gains are still likely when compared to the same time last year. Housing demand has been strong, supply levels have been falling and prices are turning a corner in many local markets. Keep a watchful eye toward market times, percent of list price received at sale and months of supply.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending July 7:
• New Listings decreased 21.9% to 970
• Pending Sales increased 24.6% to 892
• Inventory decreased 30.8% to 17,134

For the month of June:
• Median Sales Price increased 10.4% to $179,000
• Days on Market decreased 22.0% to 113
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 4.0% to 95.1%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 44.0% to 4.5

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

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