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I’m an observant person. I notice things around me. Recently I was in a small town to the west of Minneapolis. I saw two homes that have what I refer to as “exterior trimming”. It’s along the vein of tree trimming during the Christmas holiday in that it’s decorative. Some might say these are whimsical or displaying someone’s personality. They caught my eye and made me wonder about the owners and their reasoning for displaying these items, particularly the mirror and its placement above the garage.

A mirror above a garage

A mirror above a garage

Exterior trimming

Exterior trimming

No doubt my eyes will be on the lookout for more of these unusual trimmings. Does your home have any atypical exterior trim?

 

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Weekly Real Estate Update
January 27, 2014

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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
As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Interested in buying or selling real estate?

Contact the Walsh Sisters. We’d love to help you make your next move.

Ellen and Kate Walsh
612-220-3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

Coldwell Banker Burnet

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Considering downsizing? Call us. We’d love to help you make your next move.

Ellen and Kate Walsh
612.220.3304
Coldwell Banker Burnet

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Magnolia Cottage

I saw this sign on the front of a house during one of my travels. It was a charming house. A white brick exterior with black wood shutters, window boxes and front door. The shutters featured a black iron curlicue along the bottom, detailing that stood out against the white background.

Magnolia Cottage Window

A white picket fence wrapped around the house, and the gate opened onto a gently curving flagstone walking path that led to the front door.  A mix of green shrubbery sat along the foundation of the house. Everything was neat and tidy and appealing.

Magnolia Cottage Ext

Many of the homes on Captiva Island have names. I always take pleasure in reading what people have chosen to name their homes. Unfortunately, you rarely see a lot of the homes on Captiva due to the long driveways and tremendous tropical growth. The homes are well hidden from the road.

The signs are all on the road. Each one is individually created. I often wonder what the homes are like, and what the owners are like. Does the sign personality mirror the house and occupants?  Does the name say something about one occupant and the artwork about another? Who came up with the name? Do owners who buy these named homes keep the names or create a new one or pull the sign up out of the ground and go without? One thing I know. Of the homes that had been named and could be seen, all were well-kept and maintained. It makes me think there is something in a name: a sense of pride, a little more love, an embracing of home as part of the family.

Have you named your home? I’d love to hear the name and what it means to you. In the meantime, I’m going to think about a name for my own home. Stay tuned.

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Weekly Real Estate Update
February 25, 2013

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Here’s an oldie but goodie: All Real Estate is Local. We’ve all heard it. This is why industry insiders don’t pay much attention to national housing statistics. The national housing market is just an agglomeration of local housing markets. You don’t grab an umbrella in Miami based on the weather forecast in Seattle. So why would someone in San Francisco base a home sale or purchase decision on market data from Boston? Here’s your data for your local housing market.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending February 16:

• New Listings decreased 4.9% to 1,196
• Pending Sales increased 7.9% to 916
• Inventory decreased 31.0% to 12,309

For the month of January:

• Median Sales Price increased 14.3% to $160,000
• Days on Market decreased 24.1% to 107
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 2.5% to 93.5%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 40.0% to 3.0

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

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Ready to buy or sell a home? Call the sister team.
We’d love to help you move forward.

Ellen and Kate Walsh
Coldwell Banker Burnet
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

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Weekly Real Estate Update
November 12, 2012


1.3 million. That’s how many Americans were reportedly lifted out of underwater mortgage situations this year from rising home prices, according to the Obama administration’s October Housing Scorecard. There’s more going on than meets the eye here. Rising prices also help restore tax base, decreasing the likelihood of tax increases later. National GDP even benefits. When real estate is chugging along, things are good. And now, arguably more so than ever in the past four or five years, real estate is starting to chug again. It’s not at full speed yet, but the open track ahead beckons.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending November 3:
• New Listings decreased 1.0% to 1,125
• Pending Sales increased 25.3% to 930
• Inventory decreased 27.7% to 15,434

For the month of October:
• Median Sales Price increased 14.8% to $174,995
• Days on Market decreased 25.0% to 103
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.5% to 94.4%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 41.0% to 3.7

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

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.Ready to buy or sell a home? Call the sister team.
We’d love to help you move forward.

Ellen and Kate Walsh
Coldwell Banker Burnet
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

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Autumn Beauty

On Tuesday I spent the afternoon with a friend. We walked around Lake of the Isles. The crimson and golden hues presented plenty of photo opportunities. Here’s are some photos from the afternoon walk. Big thanks to my friend for stopping and waiting for me to capture all the images.

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A home next to the wetlands.

Photo of the Day
March 22, 2012

Would you like this view from your home?

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day
March 17, 2012

There are many people who have a blessing ceremony for their new home when they move. Are you one of them? What did your blessing ceremony consist of? As a student studying Feng Shui, I participated in a blessing ceremony for one of my fellow students who had bought and moved into his first home. There’s more to be said on the topic of house blessings and I’ll save that for another day.

Today is St. Patrick’s Day. I’m Irish and I’ve always liked Irish blessings. Here are a couple I particularly like:

May you always have
Walls for the winds,
A roof for the rain,
Tea beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all your heart might desire!

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May your neighbors respect you,
Troubles neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And Heaven accept you.

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And lastly, a bit o’ green, golf course style!

“St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time–
a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.”
–Adrienne Cook

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The Pink Victorian

I always seem to notice pink homes. Perhaps it’s because they are rare. What sort of person lives in a pink house? Creative? Confident? Artistic? Fun? Bold? Gentle? Caring? Content? Blissful? Loving? Sweet?


What if I wrote those same adjectives in another way:

Creative.
Confident.
Artistic.
Fun.
Bold.
Gentle.
Caring.
Content.
Blissful.
Loving.
Sweet.


If a home is going to be pink, it needs to be the right shade and hue of pink. This Victorian wears its pink well. Some homes will wear pink better than others. Victorians, yes. Cottages, yes. These styles generally have some architectural detailing that works well with pink. Your basic 1950’s rambler? Probably not so much.

Locale makes a difference. Southern states may have more of these pink homes than northern states. This home is here in the northern state of Minnesota. I get the sense winter wouldn’t be quite so dreary coming home to a pink house.


Landscaping can make a difference as well. Note the variety of landscaping here that softens the overall ambiance.



Would you live in a pink house?

I would.

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Photo of the Day
October 13, 2011

Adirondack Chairs Outside a Cape Cod Style Home

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Bringing Nature to Your Home Brings Beauty and Tranquility


Guest author: Neal Klabunde, owner of Gardening at the Crossroads

Folks selling their home have a lot on their mind. Prices, agents, open houses, etc. In the midst of all this, it’s easy to overlook some simple steps that can improve the curb appeal of your home. Some steps are pretty obvious such as painting or cleaning the exterior of the house, or replacing the front door.

The point of this article, however, is to focus on the landscape improvements that you can make. There are a lot of little things that when added together can give you a healthy return on your investment. The American Nursery and Landscape Association’s research has shown that landscape improvements can increase a home’s value by 7 to 15 percent and that a well-designed landscape can raise the selling price by almost 7 percent.

The best place to start is to look at your house as if you’re visiting it for the first time. Look for problems or issues and note what you saw and why it bothered you. We asked Lisa Ciofani Basham, a Certified Professional Home Stager in NE Ohio, if the impressions formed as a potential buyer walks to the front door for the first time are important. “Absolutely. The walk to the front door is where opinions are formed. Look at your home through the eyes of a buyer and take a critical look at your homes outside as you walk to the front door. It’s that first impression that is so important.”

Look at your lawn first. Is it tired looking and full of weeds? Renovating a lawn is one of the items that you can do and realize a good return on investment. Keep the lawn cut to the proper height for the season and make sure that the sidewalks and driveway are edged.

Look at the shrubs around the foundation. Are they neat and compact or overgrown? Trimming the shrubs and trees is an easy task.

Speaking of trees and shrubs, there is an old proverb that says-“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is today.” If selling your home is three or more years down the road, planting shrubs and perennials sooner rather than later will help them get settled in and blooming. Have any branches that overhang the roof trimmed back.

Make sure that the landscape beds are weed free and have fresh mulch on them. Fresh mulch will make the plants stand out.

Entryway with Planters and Seating

Containers such as urns, hanging baskets, and large pots can be a versatile way to add spots of color to your home. These can be purchased relatively inexpensively. Hanging baskets will do fine as a planter if you remove the hook. If necessary, place the basket inside another, more decorative, container. You don’t even need to get your hands dirty!

Seasonal annuals add an instant pop of color. Pansies in the spring, petunias and zinnias in the summer, or asters and mums in the fall give the house a lived in, cared for appearance. Add a wreath with seasonal flowers or colors to the front door for a special touch.

Adding landscape lights are another inexpensive way to spruce-up the exterior of the house. These are fairly inexpensive and easy for the home owner to install, especially if you get the solar variety.

Window boxes add views from both outside and inside.

Another landscaping design issue that is often overlooked is how the landscape vistas are framed in the major windows of the house. Home owners spend a lot of time looking at the outside from the inside. Think of your windows as a canvas and plant a lovely view.

All things considered, a well maintained landscape shows the potential buyer that the house is well cared for; more than an overgrown, unkempt one. You don’t want to overdo it, though. Stay main-stream in your landscape choices. While you may enjoy a large rose garden, a dozen or so roses or a water feature might scream “high maintenance” to a potential buyer.

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Neal Klabunde and his wife Catherine live in North Eastern Ohio and are avid gardeners. They are the owners of Gardening at the Crossroads, a gardening website that covers all aspects of gardening and is geared towards gardeners of all skill levels.

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All photos ©Kate Walsh/designhouse9.com

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The Home You’ve Been Waiting For!

This listing is sold and is no longer available for showings.

Wonderfully updated three bedroom, two bath home on beautiful lot!
List price: $149,000
Sale price: $145,000

Sold in just 17 days!

Sun-filled living/family room with fireplace, built-in cabinetry and door to deck.

Living/family room with view to dining room.

Formal dining room with doors to close off living/family room.

Remodeled kitchen with cherry cabinets, Corian®, and granite!

Two-tiered island with seating. Note TV cubby and convenient garage access.

Beautifully remodeled baths on main and lower level.

Bright bedroom with large closet and a view of the backyard.

Large deck and yard.

Wonderfully maintained inside and outside!

Covered entry and two-car attached garage.

This home features over $65,000 in improvements including newer kitchen, renovated baths, newer windows, roof, and more! Sun-filled, turnkey spaces are ready to move into. Beautifully landscaped yard with privacy fencing and a large deck is perfect for summer relaxing and entertaining! The main floor features three bedrooms and a full bath. The lower level has a family room, bath, workshop area, and potential future office or bedroom. Improvements include:

2010 Remodeled main level bath
2008 New windows (except living room which were not needed)
2007 New 30-year roof
2006 New water heater
2006 New maintenance free garden shed for backyard
2005 Landscaped yard, installed sod, and improved grade from house to yard.
2005 New water softener
2003 New maintenance free deck
2002 Remodeled lower level bath, replaced plumbing, fixtures, vanity and walls.
2002 New kitchen appliances, range, refrigerator and microwave.
2002 Remodeled kitchen to add cherry cabinets with roll-out shelving, granite and Corian® countertops, Corian® inset sink, and a 2-level island with bar for seating for three.
2000 New air conditioning system
1999 Buried electric/cable lines in backyard to house.
1998 New washer and gas dryer
1995 New dishwasher
1995 New furnace with humidifier

7941 Colorado Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN
All photos by Kate Walsh

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Thinking of selling? Let the sister team of Ellen and Kate Walsh
show you a personalized marketing plan to sell your home!

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For more information about Colorado Ave or selling your home, please contact us:

Ellen Walsh
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

Kate Walsh
612.220.3309
info@designhouse9.com
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..Minneapolis Lakes Office

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Real Homes. Real People. Real Ideas.

April 30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
May 1 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

It’s the 24th Annual Home Tour in the Twin Cities. The tour is an opportunity to see numerous interesting remodeling and expansion projects in homes throughout the two cities. It’s also an opportunity to get a sense of various neighborhoods.

Homeowners are the focus of this tour and have been since the beginning twenty-four years ago. Owners often choose to remodel their current homes because they wish to stay in the neighborhoods they’ve come to love.

The tour features homes with the following renovation projects:

  • Whole-house renovations
  • Space additions, basement and attic finishing
  • Kitchen remodel
  • Bathroom remodel/addition
  • Historic preservation, adaptation
  • Green construction or solar features
  • Landscaping
  • New construction

All tours are free and self-guided. Visitors will be requested to remove their shoes so slip-on shoes are a good choice. Shoe coverings will also be provided for visitors with special needs.

MSP Home Tour Website and Information

A List of the homes on the Home Tour

Home Tour Maps and Directions

Frequently Asked Questions about the Home Tour

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Photos featured in this post are not of homes in the Home Tour.

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Photos of the Day
March 30, 2011

The Irvine Park Historic District is a wonderful place to take an architectural walk.

Read more about the Irvine Park neighborhood and see photos of other homes.

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Photo of the Day
March 23, 2011

A simple wire number attached to a weathered brick pillar.
A charming first impression.

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Photo of the Day
March 17, 2011


Soon we’ll be able to enjoy sitting outdoors again. Would you like a view like this?

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Real Estate Weekly Update
March 7, 2011

For the week ending February 26, home purchase activity in the Twin Cities diverged further away from last year’s tax-credit-inspired market. There were 606 purchase agreements signed during the week, which made for a 30.2 percent decline from year-ago levels. On average, over the past three months, Twin Citizens made a less-distorted 9.5 percent fewer home purchases than they did during the same three-month period in 2010.

On the supply side, sellers brought 1,238 new homes onto the market, or 27.8 percent fewer than the same week last year. The three-month average pace of listing activity was 16.1 percent slower than it was last year.

Both the 2011 and 2010 inventory levels have begun to climb at this time of year, which is normal. Sellers were more likely to list their home at this time last year knowing that credit-motivated buyers were more determined to purchase. It seems as though sellers wanted to ensure their property appeared in preliminary MLS queries while buyers continued to shop around for the best value up until the deadline.

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.
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