What Not to Do When Remodeling

It seems many people are thinking of remodeling or adding on to their homes rather than moving given the real estate market we’ve had these past several years. If you’re one of these homeowners, here’s information on the Top 10 Remodeling Don’ts. A remodeling project is very often stressful. These tips may help reduce your stress levels and keep you on budget!
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And if remodeling simply won’t meet your needs, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help you make your next move.

Ellen and Kate Walsh
612.220.3304
Coldwell Banker Burnet

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They Fell in Love…

And Then They Bought It

My sister and I were working with a lovely newly wedded couple to find them a home. We looked at homes in Saint Paul. We looked in Minneapolis. We looked along the river front. And then this home came on the market. Initially, the only photo on the MLS was of the front exterior. I told them it was either ugly and dated inside or the listing agents were planning professional photos to be taken.  It turned out they were having professional photos taken of the interiors.

We went to see it right away. The couple knew they had found something special that first time through. My sister and I have worked with many buyers who have walked into homes and known immediately it was the home for them.

The home had been owned by the sellers for over forty years. The prior owners had also lived in this home for decades. Both of the previous owners had been newly wedded couples when they first moved in to this home. This is what I call great predecessor history. It bodes well for this couple’s future happiness.

The next day we went back with an architect to get some ideas and cost information for remodeling the kitchen. The architect confirmed they had great space to work with.

They made their offer, and after some pretty painless negotiation, the contract was signed and delivered. They secured an amazing 2.75% mortgage rate. The closing took place at the end of July. They love their new home.

I can’t wait to see their new kitchen!

The home has a great screened porch!

And a private, double lot with mature trees and perennial gardens.

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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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Fall 2012 Parade of Homes

Parade of Homes (New Homes)
September 8-30

Remodelers Showcase
September 28-30

Homes open Thursday through Sunday, noon to 6pm

There are very few new homes on the Parade this year compared with other years. There are far more remodels. This is not surprising given the real estate marketplace of late.

We’re featuring these two St. Paul remodels because we recently had clients close on their new home in St. Paul and they plan to do some remodeling. They are seeking to make the new space blend and match the original period of the house. This is always a good way to approach a remodel and addition; big differences in the feel of spaces will hurt sellers when it comes time to sell.

839 Osceola Avenue, St. Paul

Here is a description of this project from the Parade of Homes website: “This kitchen and bath remodel in a historically significant house in Saint Paul’s Summit Hill neighborhood illustrates how to remodel the heart of a house without losing its soul. Next Level Renovation, with designer David Heide, replaced the 1980’s kitchen in this 1890 residence with a space that features period sensibilities and the latest amenities. The original house was designed by Cass Gilbert, the turn-of-the-twentieth-century architect, notable for his classic homes and other buildings, including the State Capitol in Saint Paul.”

683 Portland Avenue, St. Paul

From the description on the Parade of Homes website: “Come and see how the convenience of a modern kitchen blends seamlessly with a stately home in the historic Summit Avenue neighborhood of St. Paul. The three-story addition also provides an art studio, main-floor laundry/mud room, and a cozy wine cellar with tasting room. In collaboration with architect David Herreid, McDonald Remodeling proves again that you can have it all: character, style, and convenience in your existing home!”

Contact us for more information if you are considering a remodel or an addition and would like to discuss keeping your home and design as salable as possible. Visiting the Remodelers Showcase homes is a good way to meet remodelers and see their work in person.

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

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Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour

Real Homes. Real People. Real Ideas.
April 28–29, 2012

This weekend offers an opportunity to take a FREE, self-guided tour of 60 Twin Cities remodeled and/or reinvented homes. See homes projects that were both “on-a-budget” and “blow out”. You can tour examples of remodeled kitchens and baths, room additions, and whole house renovations.

These projects are unique in that they cover a wide range of housing eras. The home tour is also unique in that homeowners, contractors and/or architects are available to discuss the projects with visitors. This is a wonderful way to learn about remodeling, meet contractors and architects, and discover different neighborhoods.

This is the twenty-fifth year of the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour. It all began when some Minneapolis real estate agents and city officials were concerned about suburban flight. They took it upon themselves to promote city living and the home tour was born.

Homes will be open to visitors:

  • Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 29, 2012 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The home tour will take place regardless of weather conditions.

Minneapolis–Saint Paul Home Tour Preview – a video showcasing information and home tour highlights.

Minneapolis Home Tour Map

Saint Paul Home Tour Map

msphometour.com – the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour website.

Visit HistoricSaintPaul.org for information on: “Historic Homes for Everyday Families” workshop, why preservationists will enjoy the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour, walking tours of “Storybook” houses with architect Bob Roscoe, and more.

Thinking of buying or selling real estate? Call Kate and Ellen Walsh and we’ll help you make all the right moves.

Ellen Walsh
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

Kate Walsh
612.220.3309
info@designhouse9.com

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Reinventing Your Home–Architect Review

American Institute of Architects | Minnesota
Reinventing Your Home Event

Wednesday, March 21, 2012
International Market Square, Suite 185
5:30pm–7:30pm

Northwestern Knitting Company Factory in Minne...

At “Reinventing Your Home,” you’ll have an opportunity to talk to architects about your remodeling project. Five architects will hold a panel discussion to explore how to make a home livable for the long-term. They’ll also take questions from the audience, and judging from last year, will field queries about green building, how to get the most bang for the buck and hiring an architect. Tickets are $16 in advance, $20 at the door (appetizers included).

For more information and to register: AIA Minnesota website

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Home and Garden Show in Minneapolis

Home and Garden Show

February 29-March 4, 2012
Minneapolis Convention Center

$2 Off Discounted Tickets to the Home and Garden Show

The Home and Garden Show is taking place at month’s end. This is an opportunity to get lots of ideas and advice on these two topics. Hundreds of exhibits and displays will be placed throughout the Minneapolis Convention Center. Show highlights include:

Innovation Avenue

Green Scene

The Ultimate Backyard Lounge

Glorious Feature Gardens

The Idea Home

The Chandelier Fashion Show

Taste on Third Avenue

Shop the Marketplace

The Annual Plant Sale (5pm on Sunday)


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What show would be complete without celebrity guests? Here’s a partial list of celebrities at the show this year:

Chip Wade of HGTV’s Curb Appeal, The Block and Designed to Sell

Mark Brunetz of Style Network’s Clean House

Pat Simpson, nationally recognized home building and remodeling expert

Marjorie Johnson, a national star in the world of baking (and a Twin Cities native)

HOURS:

Wednesday Noon – 9pm
Thursday 10am – 9pm
Friday 10am – 10pm
Saturday 9am – 9pm
Sunday 9am – 6pm

ADMISSION COSTS:

$13.00 adults;
$4 children 6 to 12
5 and under free

More information on the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show

Maps – Minneapolis Convention Center

More information on Gardens

Here’s a link to Entertaining–Green/Eco Tips–Recipes | Tips Trends and Tools for those who can’t make the show in person.

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Home and Patio Show

Home and Patio Show

February 16-19, 2012
St. Paul River Centre

$2 Off Coupon for the Home and Patio Show

If you’re planning to make some changes to your home or gardens this year, here’s an opportunity to get ideas and “how to” information. Hundreds of exhibits and displays will be placed throughout the three levels of the River Centre. Home improvement seminars will be presented by the Home Depot Pros. Topics include:

Do-It-Yourself Tile Installation: Ceramic, Porcelain and Stone

Do-It-Yourself Installing Pre-Finished Laminate and Hardwood Flooring

Do-It-Yourself Light Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Landscape Lighting

Do-It-Yourself Toilet Installation and Repairs

Painting Tips and Techniques


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Looking to spruce up the landscape and garden? The Minnesota State Horticultural Society is sponsoring the garden seminars. Topics include:

Container Gardening for the Balcony, Deck or Patio

Small Space Vegetable Gardening – Jennifer Porwit, Master Gardener

2011: Oh, What a Year! – Bobby Jensen, KARE 11 and The Lawn Ranger

Ornamental Grasses Susan Oven, Master Gardener

Crafting Cool & Creative Containers – Don Engebretson, The Renegade Gardener

Organic Gardening – Mark Armstead, Linder’s Garden Center and Greenhouse

Master Gardeners will be available on Saturday and Sunday to answer questions. Looking for bulbs? Check out the bulb sale each day.

HOURS:

Thursday Noon – 9 P.M.
Friday Noon – 9 P.M.
Saturday 10 A.M. – 9 P.M.
Sunday 10 A.M. – 6 P.M.

ADMISSION COSTS:

$9.00 adults;
$2.50 children 6 to 12
5 and under free

More information on the Minnesota Home and Patio Show

Directions to the River Centre

The Renegade Gardener

LessLawn.com

More information on Gardens

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Home and Patio Show in St. Paul

Home and Patio Show

February 17-20, 2011
St. Paul River Centre

$2 Off Money-Saving Coupon to Home and Patio Show

If you’re planning to make some changes to your home or gardens this year, here’s an opportunity to get ideas and “how to” information. Hundreds of exhibits and displays will be placed throughout the three levels of the River Centre. Home improvement seminars will be presented by the Home Depot Pros. Topics include:

Do-It-Yourself Tile Installation: Ceramic, Porcelain and Stone

Do-It-Yourself Installing Pre-Finished Laminate and Hardwood Flooring

Do-It-Yourself Light Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Landscape Lighting

Do-It-Yourself Toilet Installation and Repairs

Ask the Home Depot Pros: Open Q & A


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Looking to spruce up the landscape and garden? The Minnesota State Horticultural Society is sponsoring the garden seminars. Topics include:

Creating a More Sustainable Landscape

Design Ideas to Shrink Your Lawn – Evelyn Hadden, LessLawn.com founder

Tough Sites, Great Solutions – Bobby Jensen, KARE 11 and The Lawn Ranger

The Secret Ingredient: Growing, Preserving, and Using Herbs

Crafting Cool & Creative Containers – Don Engebretson, The Renegade Gardener

Top 10 Gardening Blunders and How to Avoid Them! – Don Engebretson

Master Gardeners will be available on Saturday and Sunday to answer questions. Looking for bulbs? Check out the bulb sale each day.

HOURS:

Thursday Noon – 9 P.M.
Friday Noon – 9 P.M.
Saturday 10 A.M. – 9 P.M.
Sunday 10 A.M. – 6 P.M.

ADMISSION COSTS:

$9.00 adults;
$2.50 children 6 to 12
5 and under free

More information on the Home and Garden Show

Directions to the River Centre

The Renegade Gardener

LessLawn.com

More information on Gardens

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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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“Real Homes, Real People, Real Ideas”

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Home Tour

Saturday, April 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 25 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

It’s the 23rd Annual Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour, a free, self-guided event in celebration of city living and home improvement inspiration. A total of 27 neighborhoods and more than 50 homes are represented on the Home Tour this year. Take advantage of this event to talk with others about a future remodeling project and to get fresh ideas for your current home.

Here’s what you’ll find when and if you go this year:

  • Homeowners sharing their remodeled home and stories,
  • Professionals sharing how they help clients with remodeling, expanding and building, and
  • Classes and informative talks.

The Home Tour Guide is available around town near newspaper stands, in libraries (while quantities last) and online at www.MSPHomeTour.com. The Guide groups homes geographically and provides icons for highlighting specific interests:

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

Homes are also rated for accessibility relative to the number of steps. You’ll be asked to remove your shoes so wear easy to remove shoes if you have them. Shoe coverings will be provided as well for those who prefer not to remove their shoes. The Home Tour takes place regardless of weather conditions.

Home Tour Passports are issued at the first home you visit. You’re asked to show your passport at each subsequent home you visit.

Complete the survey on the back of the passport and return it to the reception table at the last house you visit. Completing and turning in the survey allows you to be entered into a drawing to win a free professional design consultation. Ten free consultations will be given away through the drawing process.