Neighborhood highlight: King Field

30 06 2008

This south Minneapolis neighborhood is named after Martin Luther King Jr. The neighborhood, sometimes spelled as one word (Kingfield), is located between Lyndale Avenue to the west and Interstate 35W to the east, 36th Street to the north and 46th Street to the south.

Very centrally located, this neighborhood offers a strong sense of community, easy access to Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun, and extremely convenient freeway access. In the heart of the neighborhood is Martin Luther King Jr. Park. During the summer you can find the park full of neighborhood kids and families playing pick-up games on the basketball courts, softball fields, tennis courts or in the wading pool.

Follow the link to view a few available properties in the King Field neighborhood. Please contact us if you would like to schedule a showing.

The best of King Field:
Restaurants we love: Victor’s 1959 Café, Tacos Blass, Corner Table
Best fried chicken: Shorty & Wags
Favorite coffee shop: Anodyne Coffee House
Best sausage biscuit sandwich: Butter Bakery Cafe
Art center we love: Center for Performing Arts
Runs we love: Lake Harriet


Stage to Sell

27 06 2008

We all know it is a buyers market. If you want your home to sell you need to have it looking as good as possible. There is a lot of work in preparing your house to sell, but a home that is well staged can make the difference in whether a buyer is interested in your home or not.

Here are a few simple tips to help you get your home staged to sell:

De-clutter – Now is the time to get rid of the junk in your house. The objective is to have your home looking clean, open and organized. Oversized furniture, knick-knacks, stacks of books and papers, picture frames, counter top kitchen appliances- they all must go! Tables and counters should be free of clutter and inviting to potential buyers.

Keep it light and bright – Buyers are looking for a home with an open and airy feeling. You want your home to glow. Highlight your home’s openness by keeping it light and bright. Turn on every light in your home for every showing. Open the drapes or blinds.

Clean – Dust, vacuum and mop. Cleanliness is key.

Odors – Smoke and pet odor will keep offers away. Buyers will notice and no amount of scented candles will do the job. If you have odor issues in your home, fix them before you list. Many buyers will not even consider a home with unpleasant odors.

Furniture – When in doubt, take it out. If you are looking around you house questioning whether you should keep that second desk in your office, or the oversized couch in the den, error on the side of minimalism. When staging your house – less is more.

Bathrooms – Clean, clean, clean. Keep all toilet lids down and counters bare. Bath towels that match are always a bonus. Removing rugs from the bathroom floors help make the bathrooms feel larger.

Kids – We love children, but potential buyers don’t want to see pictures of your children plastered on the wall. Nor do they want to see toys everywhere and fingerprints on the paint and windows.

Curb Appeal – Keep your yard well manicured. Flowers will accent the beauty of your home. Make your house as inviting from the outside as possible. Remember, the exterior of your home provides potential buyers the first impression of your home.

Paint – New paint is an inexpensive way to update your home. Neutral colors are key. Make your home as inviting to as many people as possible. Keep it simple. Neutral paint will go along way in creating that wonderful first impression.

A good agent will be able to advise you on how to properly stage your home. It may hurt a bit, but the truth will set you free. It’s a lot of work, but if you want to maximize your return and get your house sold, it’s worth the effort. We always have to remind Sellers that a house is always staged differently than when you actually live in it and that is because we are trying to capture a potential buyers attention in a very short time period. A buyer typically has decided if they like the home in the first minute or two. You want to make that first impression count. 

What You Get for the Money

26 06 2008

Here’s what you can get for $500,000 in the metro area:

Built in 1990, this two story, 3,629 square foot home sits on 2.74 acres. Four bedroom, four bath. Private backyard. Updated kitchen with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and ceramic flooring. Large screen porch and family room with vaulted ceilings.

Number of days on the market: 408

Lake Calhoun area, Minneapolis:
This four bedroom, two bath home was built in 1908 and sits on a spacious corner lot. A fabulous blend of old and new – original charm with new high-end kitchen, bathroom and master suite. Updated roof and mechanicals. 2,280 square feet.

Number of days on the market: 14

Located on the 17th hole of Elm Creek Golf Course, this three bedroom, three bath, 2,865 square foot townhouse was built in 2004 and is loaded with amenities. Privately located next to a pond and wooded area.

Number of days on the market: 194

Neighborhood highlight: Mac-Groveland, Saint Paul

23 06 2008

Every time we visit the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood in Saint Paul there is one thing we notice: people. It doesn’t matter what day of the week, time of day, or time of year. People working in their yards, kids biking, parents pushing strollers, students with backpacks full of books – you see it all. Why do we love this? Because it’s so darn neighborly. As a neighborhood within a large metropolitan area, the Mac-Groveland neighborhood has the feeling of a small town. Just check out the website for the Macalester-Groveland Community Council if you need further evidence: Gardening and garage sales – that pretty much sums it up!

The best of Mac-Groveland:
Restaurants we love: Puerta Azul, St. Clair Broiler
Best grocery: Mississippi Market (1810 Randolph)
Favorite shops: Lula’s Vintage, Peapods
Best gym: The SweatShop
Best day to live in Mac-Groveland: Marathon Sunday
Runs we love: Summit Avenue to River Road

Architectural style: Tudor

19 06 2008

It occurred to us while driving around the city of Saint Paul looking at houses, just how many styles of architecture are evident on any city block. From bungalows to mission style to modern, the architectural styles of many neighborhoods are as unique as its inhabitants. We often hear reference of these architectural styles, but where did they originate? How can you tell the difference? In an effort to provide free real estate knowledge, we’ve done a bit of research.

Tudor style in architecture is the final development of medieval architecture during the Tudor period (1485–1603). The name Tudor suggests that these houses were built in the 1500s, during the Tudor Dynasty in England, but of course, Tudor houses in the United States are modern-day re-inventions and are more accurately called Tudor Revival or Medieval Revival. Some Tudor Revival houses mimic humble Medieval cottages while others suggest Medieval palaces.

Tudor style buildings have a number of unique features that make them easy to recognize. These features include a steeply pitched roof, large chimney, decorative half-timbering, and very tall, narrow windows often with very small window panes. In the United States, Tudor styling takes on a variety of forms ranging from elaborate mansions to modest suburban homes with mock masonry veneers. The style became enormously popular in the 1920s and 1930s.

Before the Teardown

18 06 2008

We live in a beautiful city. Architecturally speaking, we have been put on the map in the past few years with the building of the Guthrie, Central Library and the addition to the existing Walker building. With modern architecture enhancing the look (and growth) of the city, it’s important to pay tribute to the buildings that came before. In 1960, two photographers, Dwight W. Miller and Roy Swan, set out to capture images of the buildings that, quite literally, built this city. Among them, the historic Foshay.

Mill City Museum pays tribute to these historic buildings in a photo exhibit titled, Before the Teardown, which is on display at the Museum daily through Sunday, August 31.

Click on the link to read more about the exhibit.

Neighborhood highlight: North Loop (Warehouse district)

16 06 2008

The historic Warehouse district provides the perfect combination of old and new. Located just a few blocks north and west of the central business district, the Warehouse district was the heart of the milling and manufacturing area in the early to mid-twentieth century. Much of the warehouse district (very roughly bounded by Second Street North, First Avenue North, Sixth Street North, and the BNSF Railway tracks) is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the mid-century, the Warehouse district became the center of the Minneapolis art scene. Old industrial buildings were converted into raw artist spaces, creating a uniquely affordable backdrop. In the late 1990’s, the area began to rapidly gentrify as warehouses were converted into apartment and condominium buildings. Condo’s continue to be built in the area as the neighborhood spans southwest.

For those who live in the North Loop and work downtown, the commute is short (and much of it is accessible via skyway during winter months). With the grand Mississippi River running through your front yard, the North Loop provides the perfect mix of urban and scenic.

Neighborhood bonus – future home of the Minnesota Twin’s stadium!

The best of the Warehouse district:
Restaurants we love: Moose and Sadie’s, 112 Eatery, Babalu
Best theater: Theatre de la Jeune Lune
Shops we love: Mitrebox, Target Salvation Army
Favorite coffee shops: Java J’s, Janine’s Coffeehouse
Runs we love: River Road to Hennepin/Stone Arch Bridge loop