2010 Parade of Homes Dream Home

4602 Bruce Avenue
Edina MN

It’s the last two days of the Parade of Homes.
See this Parade Dream Home Oct 2-3.

This new home was built by Refined. What is particularly nice about this home is the well-designed floor plan, the spacious but not over-sized rooms, and the highly attractive detailing and finishes. It’s a very inviting and comfortable home.

Interior window wall adds a distinctive touch.

Refined builds new homes in established neighborhoods and seamlessly blends the new home with the existing surrounding architecture. The partners in the company  have worked in the luxury custom home industry. The exquisite quality of design and materials shows throughout this home. Click on the photos below to see them larger.

Formal Dining Room

Fireplace in Living Room

Kitchen
Master Bedroom
Master Bathroom
Lower Level Entertaining Areas
Bar in Lower Level

Classic Design that Fits into Neighborhood

Refined LLC’s website

Parade of Homes Website

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“How To” Staging Video with Barbara Corcoran

Barbara Corcoran discusses how to stage a home.

Barbara Corcoran is the real estate contributor to NBC’s Today Show. She operated a multi-billion dollar real estate business in New York City for many years. This video was made in 2007 and much of what she says is still valid today in our current marketplace.

Staging Tips Summary:

  • The first impression of your home is from the curb. Spruce up your exterior: landscaping, doors, mailbox, hardware, paint, etc. Use three colors for the exterior of your home: one color for the walls, a second color for the trim and a third color for your front door. This provides depth and interest to the exterior.
  • Buyers form an impression upon entering the home. What do they see? Too much stuff or just enough? Or perhaps too little stuff that leaves the room feeling cold and uninviting? I’ve had buyers look at the living room and kitchen and decide they don’t need to see the rest of the house.
  • People respond positively to natural light. Open or remove curtains, trim hedges, use light paint colors on walls if need be. Light sells homes. During fall and winter when it gets dark earlier, make sure you use the brightest possible wattage in your fixtures and that all the bulbs work. Use multiple light sources if possible, especially in bedrooms (ceiling fixtures and lamps).
  • The kitchen is the most important room in a house. Barbara says there’s no reason to make major improvements because you’ll never get the money back. I think this depends on the house, the kitchen and other factors such as desirability of neighborhood and how the rest of the house stacks up. Clearing counters of too much stuff works here just as it does throughout the rest of the house. A fresh coat of paint on the cabinets might be a good thing depending on your cabinets and the condition of the rest of your kitchen.
  • The bathroom can be the second most important room. Both the kitchen and bath tend to be big expense items when it comes to remodeling. A clean and uncluttered bath is, in most cases, all that is needed for selling.
  • Bedrooms should look peaceful and clean. New bedding might be in order to freshen the space. This can be an inexpensive update and you can take the bedding to your new place.
  • Yes, buyers look in your linen closet. A clean and organized linen closet goes a long way. It’s worth the time spent on it.
  • Barbara says to stop smoking. This might be something a smoker can do (smoke outdoors) but if the smoke has permeated the walls and furnishings, more will need to be done. Most sellers aren’t likely to remove pets. The best bet is to keep your house clean and to open the windows (weather permitting). I personally do not care for air fresheners and potpourri. These create an artificial smell and make me wonder what smell the owner is trying to mask. A clean house is best and does not smell. When it comes to air quality, no odor is best.
  • The arrangement of your furniture can make your spaces more or less appealing. This is best addressed on a house by house basis rather than here in this post. I work with my sellers to create inviting rooms using the furnishings they already have. This works most of the time.
  • When in doubt, think these three things for your home: Neutral, clean, and classic.

Do you have more questions about staging or preparing your home for the market? Feel free to give me a call for a consultation.

Kate Walsh
Lakes Area Realty
612.220.3309
info@designhouse9.com

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Get Paid to Recycle Your Fridge

Going Green-Twice!

If you’re replacing a working refrigerator in your home to improve the energy efficiency or due to a kitchen remodel, get paid for recycling it. No hauling required. They’ll pick up. Incentives and requirements vary between power supply companies. Here’s what Xcel Energy in Minnesota will do:

Excel Energy Refrigerator Recycling Program

800-599-5795

$35 incentive check
Must be cooling and capable of making ice
Must be a secondary unit in the home for at least 6 months
Must be 10-30 cubic feet
One unit allowed per calendar year
To qualify for the program, you must:
1) Be a residential electric customer of Xcel Energy.
2) Own the refrigerator and it must be picked up at
a location listed on the billing account.

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This is a nationwide program. I called to inquire about the secondary unit and learned that I could replace my primary (and only) refrigerator to qualify for this program. Learn more about the program by clicking on the links below.

Appliance Recycling Information for United States

Appliance Recycling Information for Minnesota

Sign up for the Xcel Energy program here.
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Recycle Old Thermostats and Get a Gift Card

Conserve Energy and Reduce Heating and Cooling Costs

Save money and energy by using a programmable thermostat instead of a traditional thermostat. Estimates are that homeowners can save about $180 a year with a programmable thermostat. Traditional thermostats contain mercury and therefore must be recycled rather than placed in the trash. Covanta Energy is offering a $5 Menards gift card as a thank you gift for recycling your traditional thermostat and as a way to help reduce the cost of the programmable thermostat.

This offer is available through December 31, 2010 or while supplies last. There is a limit of one gift per household. Click on the link below for more details.
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Recycle Old Thermostats, Get a Gift Card Program Information

Learn more about Covanta Energy Corporation

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Private Peninsula Setting in Minnetonka

3900 Auburn Drive

Breathtaking Panorama

Aerial View - Click photo to see it larger

Watch the video slide show here.

List Price: $750,000

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The Details:

  • Four bedrooms and four baths.
  • Set on a 1-acre lot that juts out into Huntingdon Pond.
  • Completely and beautifully renovated by Warren Home Restorations.
  • Wonderful entertaining spaces both inside and outside.
  • Expansive windows throughout to take advantage of the views.
  • Gourmet kitchen with granite, stainless, and custom cabinets.
  • First-floor master suite with fireplace.
  • Master bath features whirlpool tub and separate steam shower.
  • Climate-controlled wine cellar/tasting room with artistic finishes.
  • Exercise room in lower level.
  • Water filter/ionization system for the whole house.
  • Built-in speakers in almost every room.
  • Two-car attached garage.
  • Finished Square Feet: 4,364
  • 2010 Taxes: $8,635
  • School District: Hopkins

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For more information and/or to arrange a showing, contact:

Kate Walsh, REALTOR
Lakes Area Realty
612.220.3309
info@designhouse9.com

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Minnetonka Historical Society

City of Minnetonka Website

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Listing provided courtesy of Coldwell Banker Burnet.

Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
Lasted updated on September 17, 2010 at 21:29pm.

The data relating to real estate for sale on this site comes in part from the Broker Reciprocity program of the Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc. Real Estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Lakes Area Realty are marked with the Broker Reciprocity logo or the Broker Reciprocity house icon and detailed information about them includes the names of the listing brokers. DesignHouse9 is not a Multiple Listing Service MLS, nor does it offer MLS access. This website is a service of DesignHouse9 and Lakes Area Realty, a broker Participant of the Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc.

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Minneapolis—St. Paul Real Estate Market Update

Real Estate Weekly Update
September 13, 2010

The Twin Cities residential real estate market’s paralysis continues. New listings were down 12.8 percent compared to last year at this time for the week ending September 4, 2010. Even so, more properties came on the market this past week than the week ending August 28th—a time when the school year normally slows seller activity.

Pending Sales were up slightly from the previous four weeks but remain 35.9 percent behind where we were at this time in 2009. This has been the case all summer long.

Active Listings for Sale are now 8.9 percent ahead of last year. Percent of Original List Price Received at Sale leaned toward buyers last month. Good news for home hunters; even more challenges for those looking to sell.

Statistical information provided by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

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Photo of the Day: Delightful Design

A Charming Entry

I love the conical turret entrance with arch-shaped door.
Note also the narrow slice of roof that curves down to the front
and creates a sense of enclosure.

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Minneapolis—St. Paul Real Estate Market Update

Real Estate Weekly Update
August 30, 2010

For twelve consecutive weeks now, the number of homes for sale in the Twin Cities housing market has been higher than it was a year ago. The gap between this year’s inventory and last year’s inventory at the same time period has been steadily growing.

The current inventory of homes for sale (27,784) is up 8.1 percent from this time in 2009. Inventory is not growing due to an influx of new sellers putting their homes on the market; It’s growing due to a drop in buyers who once were absorbing supply.

For the week ending August 21, there were 601 signed purchase agreements. This represents a decrease of 40.6 percent from a year ago. That’s the 15th consecutive week of significant declines compared to a year ago.

With supply growing and fewer buyers to purchase it, home sellers can expect a challenging fall market that will result in a downward pressure on home values. Motivated sellers who want to move quickly may have to pursue aggressive pricing to attract buyers.

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors
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Loft-Style Condo by Lake Calhoun

3104 Lake Street West, Unit #311

Loop Calhoun Condominium
~ Love your Life Whether You’re Inside or Outside ~

Open floor plan and plenty of natural light

This two bedroom, two bath corner unit features an open floor plan with a most inviting ambiance. The large windows overlook green spaces that provide a wonderful sense of nature within the city. Lake Calhoun, shops and restaurants are steps from the front door. The Midtown Greenway Trail is just outside the back door.

View of greenery outside one of the large windows.

The smaller photos below can be clicked on to see in a larger format.
Copyrighted photos were taken with my cell phone.

Large walls of windows!
The condominium complex features Italian kitchens by Valcucine

 


This unit includes a fireplace.
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Entry/Foyer with view to living spaces
Balcony with view of trees

I love the interior window above the vanity. It allows natural light into what would be a windowless space without it. I think this is a great design feature and wish more developers would make use of it. This bath also features a soaking tub and a separate shower with glass-framed surround.

 

This exercise room is one of the building amenities.
Courtyard view from one side of this condo.
Front of building

The Details:

  • Two bedrooms and two baths
  • Nine-foot ceilings
  • Hardwood floors
  • In-unit laundry
  • Keating floor plan
  • Single attached garage plus additional parking
  • Central air conditioning
  • Pets allowed with restrictions
  • Building amenities include a conference room and community room.
  • Year Built: 2007
  • Finished Square Feet: 1,288
  • Taxes: $4,739
  • List Price: $312,000

For more information and/or to arrange a showing, contact:

Kate Walsh, REALTOR
Lakes Area Realty
612.220.3309
info@designhouse9.com

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More about the Midtown Greenway Trail

Midtown Greenway Bike Trail Map

Minneapolis Park System Trail Distances (in miles)
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Listing provided courtesy of Coldwell Banker Burnet.

Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Lasted updated on December 21, 2010 at 22:29pm.

The data relating to real estate for sale on this site comes in part from the Broker Reciprocity program of the Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc. Real Estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Lakes Area Realty are marked with the Broker Reciprocity logo or the Broker Reciprocity house icon and detailed information about them includes the names of the listing brokers. DesignHouse9 is not a Multiple Listing Service MLS, nor does it offer MLS access. This website is a service of DesignHouse9 and Lakes Area Realty, a broker Participant of the Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc.

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Architectural Gem by Lake Harriet

One of those rare real estate offerings…

I see a fair number of houses and homes such as this one are the exception rather than the rule. Warm and inviting, meticulously designed and decorated, with wonderful natural light and an ambiance that makes you want to sit and stay. It’s homes like this that are both a treat to see and to show.

A beautiful and seamless addition on the back of this home makes it larger than it looks from the front. Highlights include the arched doorways and windows, the gorgeous (original?) tile surround on the living room fireplace, the center-island kitchen with ample work and storage space, the spacious family room with custom built-in bookcases, and the three-car attached garage. The fact that it’s located just one block from Lake Harriet is another reason to love it. A true gem! Call me today for more information or to schedule a showing. I don’t expect this one to last long.

(Click on any photo below to see it in larger format.)

 

Southwest Minneapolis home located just one block from Lake Harriet

 

Gorgeous tile surround on fireplace and arch-shaped windows.

 

Spacious dining room with arch-shaped windows.
Numerous windows for natural light.
Center island and stainless appliances

 

Family room with bookcases
Walls of windows and doors to deck in family room
Main bedroom with several wardrobe/closet options
Main floor deck off family room.

Click here to view the Virtual Tour

The Details:

  • Three bedrooms and two baths
  • Main and lower level family rooms
  • Hardwood floors
  • In-floor heat in main floor bath
  • Central air conditioning
  • Two fireplaces (gas-burning and wood-burning)
  • Wine cellar
  • Several outdoor patios (front, side and back)
  • Nightscape landscape lighting
  • Approximate finished square footage: 2,904
  • List Price: $789,000

For more information and/or to arrange a showing, contact:

Kate Walsh, REALTOR
Lakes Area Realty
612.220.3309
info@designhouse9.com

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Listing provided courtesy of Coldwell Banker Burnet.

Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Lasted updated on December 22, 2010 at 11:29am.

The data relating to real estate for sale on this site comes in part from the Broker Reciprocity program of the Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc. Real Estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Lakes Area Realty are marked with the Broker Reciprocity logo or the Broker Reciprocity house icon and detailed information about them includes the names of the listing brokers. DesignHouse9 is not a Multiple Listing Service MLS, nor does it offer MLS access. This website is a service of DesignHouse9 and Lakes Area Realty, a broker Participant of the Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc.


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Minneapolis—St. Paul Real Estate Market: July 2010

Where has the Twin Cities real estate market been and where is it heading? This monthly summary provides an overview of current trends and projections for future activity. Narrated by Brad Fisher (2010 President of the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®), audio recorded by Zach Foty and video produced by Chelsie Foty.

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Here’s an interesting article from The Associated Press on the housing market, both national and local.

Housing recovery is about timing and location

By J.W. ELPHINSTONE (AP) – 5 hours ago

NEW YORK — If you bought a home in San Francisco in the past year, it might feel like the housing slump is over. Bay area home prices have shot up 18 percent in the past year.

But someone next door who bought in 2006 may have suffered a 35 percent loss in value. And if you’re a Las Vegas homeowner, there’s been no good news in four years.

The latest report on home prices confirms that real estate is all about timing and location.

Nationally, home values rose 1.3 percent in May from April, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index released Tuesday. And 19 of 20 cities showed price gains month over month.

Yet conditions are hardly uniform across the country. Some cities, such as San Francisco and Washington, have less area to build out and better job markets, so they have suffered less or in some cases recovered more quickly. Even cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas, which endured some of the worst losses after the housing bubble burst, are seeing vastly different trends over the past year.

“Generally, in any recovery, there is always parts of the country that lead the way and certain parts that lag behind,” said Jonathan Basile, vice president of economics at Credit Suisse. “To understand why, you have to look at the economies of those areas and how much building went on to help determine why one outperforms and others underperforms.”

Take the metro areas in Las Vegas, Phoenix and Miami. Home values soared in all three cities during the early part of the last decade, then plummeted in the last few years. All three have struggled with high foreclosures.

Yet over the past year, while home prices rose 7.2 percent in Phoenix, they ticked up only 1.2 percent in the Miami and fell 6.5 percent in Las Vegas.

Part of the reason is that Phoenix has a healthier job market than the other two cities. Its metro area had an 8.7 percent unemployment rate in May, one point lower than the national average.

Las Vegas, meanwhile, had a 14.1 percent unemployment rate in May, while Miami had an 11.2 percent rate. That left fewer households in position to take advantage of government tax credits for homebuyers that expired in April and the lowest mortgage rates in decades.

Prices in Las Vegas have lost more than half their value since peaking in August 2006. And the long-term picture isn’t rosy either. Home values there have risen a mere 2 percent since 2000, according to S&P/Case-Shiller.

Miami home prices are up 46 percent since the beginning of the decade, but just 1 percent over the past year. High-end sales have helped boost the median price. In the last three months, there were five sales between $8.7 million and $15 million. There have been only 27 of those in the past nine years, said Ron Shuffield, president of Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realtors Inc.

And prices could drop quickly in Miami over the next year. Nearly 23 percent of those homeowners with a mortgage in the area have either missed three consecutive payments or were in foreclosure, according to Moody’s Analytics. That compares with 10 percent in Phoenix and 15 percent in Las Vegas.

“Just like in the housing boom period you had significant divergence by regions, in the early periods of recovery, we’re seeing similar divergence,” said Zach Pandl, analyst at Nomura Global Economics. “But it’s not exactly the same cities in these groups.”

Of all cities, San Francisco has shown the sharpest turnaround. After values plunged 46 percent to their low in March of last year, they have regained 21 percent, the best performance in the S&P/Case-Shiller report.

Doug Duncan, chief economist at mortgage giant Fannie Mae, said housing is healthier in big cities in the Northeast and on the West Coast because they have limited land for construction and better local economies.

With desirable San Francisco, “you have an ocean on one side and some mountains on the other side,” he said.

State homebuying tax credits and a shorter foreclosure process also have helped California housing markets.

Federal tax credits for homebuyers helped prop up prices in cities like Minneapolis where the median home price is just under $170,000. Home values there rose nearly 3 percent in May from April and nearly 13 percent from last year, S&P/Case-Shiller showed.

“But the wind has been taken out of our sails since the expiration and prices are flattening out, especially for entry-level homes,” said Pam Kowalski with Counselor Realty in Minneapolis.

Most economists don’t expect the price increases to last through the year. And many predict prices will fall through the rest of the year. A high number of foreclosures will continue to weigh on prices in many areas, and job uncertainty and tight credit are still keeping many would-be buyers sidelined.

“I bet in six months, 15 to 20 cities will have falling prices,” said IHS Global Insight economist Patrick Newport. He predicts prices will fall a further 6 percent to 8 percent before turning around next year.

The pain, though, likely won’t be equally shared.

AP Business Writers Christopher S. Rugaber and Alan Zibel in Washington contributed to this report.

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Interest Rate Update

Today I’m reading reports of interest rates at 4.375% for a 30-year fixed loan and 3.875% for a 15-year fixed loan. These are incredible rates! Call me if you’d like to discuss your real estate possibilities. I’m happy to be of service in making your dream come true.

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Elegant Brick Condo by Lake of the Isles

Featured: Illyricun Condo

Illyricun Condominium in Minneapolis, MN

This elegant and beautiful building is located at 2719 Humboldt Avenue South in Minneapolis. It’s a short walk to both Lake of the Isles and Uptown. The association is comprised of seven units, six that are almost 1800 square feet in size and one garden level unit that is less than 1000 square feet.

Illyricun Condominium in Minneapolis MN

The building was originally built as an apartment house and retains most, if not all, of the exquisite exterior detailing from when it was constructed in 1913. The front steps lead to a two-story, exterior entry area; the doorway is framed in an arch and the opening at the second level is also arched. The top floor units have arched windows along the front of their units which provide continuity with the framing arches on the first and second floors.

There is currently one unit on the market, priced at $349,900.

Living room with fireplace
Note the windows on three sides of the living room. Divine!
Formal dining room with built-in buffet and elegant moldings.
Sunny kitchen with informal dining area.
Unique tile work in the bathroom that has a separate tub and shower.
Spacious entry hall / foyer

Contact me for more information about these units and other condo properties in Minneapolis.

Kate Walsh, Realtor®
Lakes Area Realty
612.220.3309
info@designhouse9.com

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Listing provided courtesy of Edina Realty, Inc. and Coldwell Banker Burnet.

Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Lasted updated on October 24, 2010 at 17:39pm.

© Copyright 2010, Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc. All rights reserved.

The data relating to real estate for sale on this site comes in part from the Broker Reciprocity program of the Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc. Real Estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Lakes Area Realty are marked with the Broker Reciprocity logo or the Broker Reciprocity house icon and detailed information about them includes the names of the listing brokers. DesignHouse9.com is not a Multiple Listing Service MLS, nor does it offer MLS access. This website is a service of DesignHouse9.com and Lakes Area Realty, a broker Participant of the Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc.

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For additional properties, please see Select Homes for Sale.

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Minneapolis-St Paul Real Estate Market: March 2010

Here’s the Monthly Skinny for March 2010, which is produced by the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS.

Where has the Twin Cities real estate market been and where is it heading? This monthly summary provides an overview of current trends and projections for future activity. Narrated by Cari Linn (Secretary of the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®), audio recorded by Zach Foty and video produced by Chelsie Foty.

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