Tips to Prep Your Home for Winter

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Halloween has come and gone and depending on where you live, there is a good chance fall weather is coming right along with it or like here in Minnesota we are already seeing touches of Winter! It’s time to get ahead of your last minute home maintenance before those cold winter months hit. By preparing for fall weather, you can address any issues that may get worse with colder temps or just keep your home in the best condition to make sure your property is in top shape no matter the season. Here is a great reference checklist to make sure you’re doing the basics to get your home ready for winter!

1. Rake it up.

Everyone loves the changing leaves, except your grass. Leaving fallen leaves in your yard can kill you grass and prevent growth in the spring. Make sure you keep those leaves raked up!

2. Check your gutters.

Those same leaves that can kill your grass can also clog your gutters. Clogged gutters can lead to plenty of other issues, so be sure to periodically check your gutters to prevent buildup.

3. Don’t forget your roof.

You don’t want fall to pass and winter to arrive only to find out you’re missing a few shingles. While you’re checking your gutters, make sure to check on your roof too.

4. Store summer decor.

If you are set to get cold temperatures this fall, take the time to pack away your summer items. If your patio furniture isn’t equipped for a surprise snow storm, you’ll be glad you took the time to store it away now.

5. Prevent frozen pipes.

No one wants frozen, bursting pipes. Remember to shut off water to your exterior faucets before the weather hits freezing temperatures.

6. Venting is healthy.

As the temperatures drop, static electricity increases. If you have lint build up in your dryer, this static electricity makes it easier to ignite.

7. Do your own inspection.

Take a walk around the interior and exterior of your home and try to look at it with fresh eyes. Keep an eye out for any damage to walls, floors, or cement outdoors. Be sure to fill any cracks or fix loose gravel that could cause a fall when colder weather is added to the mix.

8. Check your insurance.

Is your home insurance up to date? Make sure your insurance will stand up in a storm and that you will be covered no matter what fall will bring.

9. It’s time for an annual furnace tune-up.

Make sure to get a service call on the schedule to have your furnace tuned-up before those cold temps hit. You don’t want to be stranded with no heat in the middle of a snow storm or cold spell.

10. Adjust your air to air exchanger.

If you live in a home with a home air exchange system. You will want to start thinking about adjusting those levels to start cycling fresh air into the home the more you run your furnace.

Granite Lake Kitchen Revamp

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It is never easy to part with our clients after the amount of time we spend in their home.  This summer we said goodbye to some of the sweetest clients as we wrapped up their kitchen remodel on their Granite Lake home.  These two clients were such a joy to work with we had so much fun getting to know them.  We tore this kitchen to the studs and did a complete overhaul of their lake home kitchen.

Don and Lori purchased their lake home on Granite Lake in 2018.  When they initially purchased the home the kitchen was outdated and in need of some love, so cute the before photos…

BEFORE

They had beautiful lake views from their living space and the kitchen felt dark and in desperate need of some natural light.

Lori’s top requests, updated flooring throughout the home and an open kitchen to enjoy those lake views while she’s cooking.

When it came to the want list on the remodel it was fairly simple: new flooring throughout home, new cabinets, counter tops and hutch area for coffee and treats.

Like any remodel consult, we always start with the basics and expand from there.  Throughout the process we added additional add-on’s including recessed lighting throughout main level, updated paint removing old wall paper, vent hood, farmhouse sink and new trim.  And now for the best part the after photos.

We opened up the living room wall, and replaced with header beams for support.  We updated the stairway ledge with hickory to match new cabinets.

AFTER

And we updated the entire main level with rustic up-scale vinyl plank flooring and new trim throughout.

In the kitchen space we replaced all of the existing cabinets with newly updated hickory cabinets to give the kitchen a rustic lake home feel.

  We replaced the existing counter tops with new granite tops and a farmhouse sink with new sink fixtures.

The side kitchen wall we filled with a beautiful custom built kitchen hutch.  Providing plenty of additional kitchen storage and a perfect spot for crock pots and food placement for entertaining with granite tops to match the kitchen area.

We we removed the existing built in glass case on the side wall and opened up the wall.  We came up with the idea of adding a breakfast bar to fill the space.  Again with granite tops to match all other tops in the kitchen.

And the most important part of the kitchen.  Opening up the kitchen wall to allow for natural lighting in the kitchen allowing that beautiful lake view from the kitchen.

And we love the little details our clients added to their kitchen.

We are so thankful for our clients and the opportunities they give us to be creative with their projects and to help make their home beautiful.

Home Additions To Increase Your Homes Value

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We get these questions on a fairly regular basis.  And as a homeowner you should always be thinking ahead on two things with your home remodeling projects.  First, the functionality of it and how it will best serve your family and second what type of re-sale value will it add to my home should I sell in the future.  So here is a guide to our top choices for home additions that we see most homeowners do.

Decks

One of the most common requests we get in the warm months here in Minnesota are decks.  Why?  Well when you consider the back of your home, one of the most valuable home additions most consider is adding a decking space/structure to enjoy our Minnesota summers.  It creates a natural hangout area for the family and a great place to grill.  And with the right choices of wood, decks can add some great appeal aesthetically as well.  There are typically three types of decks we price out for our customers.

Most common are green treated decks.  Though it is the cheaper option for a deck it comes with more maintenance throughout the years, including keeping up with the staining to ensure the wood does not rot over time.

A second middle of the road option to consider is cedar decking.

And when you don’t want to deal with the headache of maintenance on your deck, you will want to go with composite.  There are a wide array of composite decking options to choose from and railings as well.  Most of the cost with any deck will fall in what you choose for your railing choices.

These can range from standard wood railing, aluminum spindles or even wire cables.  No matter which option you choose, decks are a great value add to your home when it comes to re-sale value.

Three and Four Season Porches

Another common request we get are for three and four season porches.  When it comes to three season porches they can be a great addition to the house to get the feel of being outdoors on your deck without those pesky mosquitoes and bugs bothering you.  Though a three season porch will add some value to your home, when it comes to the re-sale of your property unfortunately the three season porch cannot count as additional square footage.  Which is why many homeowners opt for a four season porch.

Many homeowners here in Minnesota you will see with four season porches and decks attached alongside.

So you can still enjoy those views and summer nights outdoors but get the value add of somewhere to go when the bugs get pesky.  Four season porches are also great for re-sale because they have a heat source which will allow the homeowner to account for additional square footage in the home.  And it offers an additional getaway spot for the family in the cold winter months, to cozy up and read a book.

Patios/FirePits

If you live in a one-level home or are not a fan of having a deck space.  A patio is another great option to add to your home.  It provides a spot for your family to hangout grill, relax and enjoy those rare warm months here in Minnesota.  Patios can range from wooden, bricked, stone or concrete to name a few.

And adding an amenity like a fire pit will also certainly increase your properties worth.  It is just another selling feature for potential buyers for another great spot to enjoy your evenings outdoors.

 

No matter what the project is our team is here to help you through the design and physical completion of the project.  Give us a call to discuss your next home project.

Brandon and Lisa

 

Summer in Minnesota

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Summers are short here in Minnesota and the warm temps are limited.  So when the temps start to warm up we take full advantage.  So how do you do summers in Minnesota?  Here is our list of Minnesota favorite summer activities!

Take in a ball game whether its the Twins or the Saints.  But you can also catch some fun town ball games.

One of our favorite things to do in the summer is hit up some local county fairs and of course the Minnesota State Fair.  There is almost always a new food or brew to try and lots of fun things to see!  And did you know that it is the second largest State Fair in the nation?  We always try to attend our local Wright County Fair.  You can find a list of local county fairs here.

There is nothing better than enjoying the great outdoors.  It is pretty much a given for our family to take a jaunt up north once a summer to the superior coastline.  The options are really endless, hikes through the Superior National Forest and scenic superior shoreline to secluding yourself in the Boundary Waters for some tenting and canoeing.  And of course stopping through Duluth to view the large boats that come in and out of the harbor, the kids are always amazed!

Want to do some local hiking with some views?  Head out to St. Anthony Falls and view the falls from the Guthrie’s endless bridge that jets over the Mississippi and follow the cobblestone path on St. Anthony Main to the Stone arch bridge – a Minneapolis landmark that spans 23 arches over the Mississippi.  And there is more, enjoy a scenic walk through Loring Park, it’s the central park of Minneapolis.  Or take a walk through Minnehaha and gaze up Minnehaha park’s 53-foot waterfall.

Of course it is a given right to most Minnesotan’s to hit the lakes in the summer.  Whether it is to the beach, or on a boat we all like to enjoy our summer nights on the water!

Hitting up the local parks and rec’s.  You can find rental pedal boats, kayaks, paddleboards, canoes and bikes from various parks and lake facilities making it fun to get out and enjoy Minnesota’s waters.  There are some great spots to hike out in our neck of the woods, including Lake Mariah State Park and Stanley Eddy to name a few.  Here is a list to all the parks throughout Minnesota. 

Local summer farmers markets!  There is nothing better than eating local fresh produce throughout the summer months.  Our local farmers market even offers incentives for the kiddos to stop out and shop and pick their own free produce!  You can find a list to local farmers markets in Minnesota here.

Get out and drink a Minnesota-brewed beer or wine – outside!  There are so many local brew houses and wineries in the area.  Check out the links below.

Minnesota Brew Houses.

Minnesota Wineries 

Basilica Block Party.  If you have not attended this outdoor music festival, you are missing out!  The streets of downtown Minneapolis flood with concert goers in front of the Basilica for two nights of great tunes.  This year it falls on July 12th and 13thhttps://www.basilicablockparty.org/

Minneapolis Aquatennial, enjoy some of the best fireworks in the nation and be part of the largest nighttime parade in Minnesota, or participate in the Torchlight 5k.

We always bring the kids to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum atleast once a year.  There is so much fun to be had viewing all the plants, trees and playscapes for kids.  It gets the kids out in nature!

Minnesota Renaissance Festival.  This event keeps showing up every year!  We are not a big fan of it but for others its a blast.  You can basically take a trip to a 16th century England like fantasy kingdom right here in Minnesota.

And you can’t forget the typical summer go-places for kiddos, including the Minnesota and Como Zoo, the Mall of America and of course Valley Fair!

Cheers to the heat and enjoying our wonderful state of Minnesota!

5 WAYS TO FILL THE SPACE ABOVE YOUR BED

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Even if you have a beautiful headboard, the space above your bed can seem empty if left untouched.  This space can be tricky to decorate, but that doesn’t mean you should leave it blank.  There are plenty of inexpensive ways to spruce up that space without much work.  Here are five ways to make the best of that negative space!

1. Create a Gallery Wall

Whether it is gridded and organized or statement and staggered, a gallery wall is the perfect way to add a little more ‘you’ to your bedroom. Frame your favorite family photos or the landscape photos from your favorite vacation.  We added a gallery wall above our bedroom wall along with some decorative antique lamps on our bedside tables.  We kept it simple but it with the mere cost of $25 for some photos and frames, our space went from plain to decorative.

2.  Add a Set of Shelves

Even if you don’t need the extra storage space, you can use shelves to add small decor that is unique to you. Your favorite books, small planters, or even picture frames are a great way to personalize the shelves.

 

3. Wallpaper the Wall

If you’re worried about adding anything above your bed, consider creating an accent wall with floral wallpaper. Many places sell peel and stick paper so if you decide you don’t love the style or you’re renting and cannot make a permanent change, you can still try out wallpaper.

4. Consider a Tasteful Tapestry or Wall Hanging

Tapestries aren’t just for college dorm rooms. If you aren’t ready to add shelving fixtures but want something a little more than wallpaper, consider adding a pop of color with a tapestry or a statement yarn wall hanging.

HABITS OF A TIDY HOMEOWNER

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We all have that friend whose home seems to be spotless, no matter the time of day. You could swing by for a morning coffee or stop over for dinner, and it always looks like someone just cleaned. Can you imagine if your house could be like that? Well, it can! Tidy homes are created out of habit. Here are 5 habits of people with tidy homes, so that you too can have a house that looks like a magazine feature all the time.

1. Having A Schedule

Letting clutter accumulate is the easiest way to get a messy home. If you are waiting until the mess is unbearable, you’re going to be overwhelmed by it every time. By creating a cleaning schedule, you can manage the cleaning of your home instead of avoiding it. Create tasks for each day, like a day for dusting and a day for vacuuming, so you are doing a little bit of deep cleaning every day.

2. Create Lists

Break down everything in your home that needs to be cleaned on a list. By creating a list, you will be able to cross off what you complete as you go. This visual helps you to stay on track and feel like you’re accomplishing your goals.

3. A Place For Everything

Organization is the key to a tidy home. If every item in your house has its own home, cleaning will be much easier. This especially helps to prevent junk drawers or counters overflowing with random household items.

4. Get Rid of Clutter

If a junk drawer is already overflowing in your house or you have a closet where you’ve been stuffing items with no other place to go, it is time to purge. Follow Marie Kondo’s advice and get rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy – especially clutter.

5. Baskets are Best

While it is important to maintain organization when using them, baskets can be extremely helpful to organize and reduce clutter – especially if you have children or pets. While it is easier to manage our own clutter, it can be difficult to put every toy or childcare item away properly when we are in a rush. By having decorative baskets throughout your home, you can quickly clear out an area if you have guests coming over without scrambling to put all those items where they are meant to go. It is important to add basket organization to your cleaning list, that way they do not become just another ‘junk drawer’ of sorts.

Work on creating these habits in your own home and soon enough, you’ll be the one who doesn’t mind when your friends stop by at any hour!

30 Day Spring Cleaning Checklist

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We are on the tail end of another wonderful crazy winter here in Minnesota!  Despite the endless amounts of snow we have been receiving and crazy below average temps,  I think we can “hopefully” say spring is on its way?  With spring kicking off officially on March 20th, now is the time to start thinking about those spring cleaning projects.  For many like myself, when you have kids and balancing work and home life things can get hectic.  And you take one look at your house and think where to even begin?

You are not alone people!  Most do not even consider spring cleaning and avoid it all together.  But if you break your tasks down by day, it can make the simple tasks seem more achievable.  So here is our 30-day checklist to getting your home clean from months of winter.  This plan will help you declutter and get your home clean from head-to-toe without to much stress.  So that we can get out and enjoy the warm months while we have them.

Day 1: Deep clean the fridge and kitchen pantry

Do you open up your fridge and wonder when the last time you even used some of those items in your side doors?  Yup me too!  Deep clean your fridge and freezer by removing all the shelves, racks and storage items and washing them with dish soap and warm water.  Check the dates on all your food items including canned items and salad dressings.  Toss out any old and unused foods as well.  Soak your ice cube trays.  Wipe down the sides of the fridge and freezer.  Pull out dry food storage space and sweep/vacuum the flooring.  Wipe down the shelving and check the dates of dry food items.  Throw out anything old/outdated and re-organize the pantry space.

Day 2: Clean out your closet

Yes, go through your closet and the kids closets.  When it comes to your own personal closet go through and pull out any clothes you do not wear anymore or that do not fit.  Put them in donation bags if they are savable.  Same applies with the kids closets.  Go through their clothes and store away in bins any clothes you want to save.  Pull the rest into donation bags.  Go through and organize the closet so finding your clothes is easy, including hanging up purses, bags, belts, scarfs and hats.

Day 3: Purge Your Kitchen Cabinets

Open those kitchen cabinet doors and start sifting through all your old tupperware.  Organize and make sure you have matching pieces the rest toss to the recycling.  Pull out glasses and plates and wipe down cabinet shelving.  Clean the outside of the cabinet doors.  Simple and done!

Day 4: Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet

If you are like us, you probably have items sitting in there just aging and unused.  Go through your medicine cabinet and check dates on all your old supplements and meds.  If its outdated and has not been used in quite some time, you are probably safe to toss it.  Toss any liquid makeup over three months old and powder makeup over a year old.  Go through and make sure you have an updated first aid kit.  You always want to be ready for an emergency situation.

Day 5: Time To Dust

When you live in Minnesota, your home does not get a lot of fresh air.  Those windows are squeezed tight all winter long to keep us warm.  Which means additional amounts of dust will be collecting.  Dust your books, knick-knacks, furniture, railings.  Take a brook to the corners of your ceilings and any windows where cobwebs collect.  Time to sweep and vacuum those floors.  Lastly, if you have drapes get them in the laundry (make sure to follow directions per the tag and type of drape.)  If you have shades wash them down with a rag and warm soap and water.

Day 6: Clean Out Your Junk Drawers

We are the worst with these in our house.  In fact, I am really dreading getting this one done.  We have probably four drawers in our house where a million items get thrown into.  And now it is getting to the point where I cannot even open these drawers nonetheless find anything in them.  Pull the drawer out, dump it out and organize.  Toss anything un-needed items and store those that are used.  Wash down the drawer and your done!

Day 7: Clean Your Oven and Appliances

Start with the outside including the cook top, underside of the hood and front of the hood.  At the same time, clean your microwave.  When it comes to the inside of your oven.  The way you decide to clean can vary.  Some ovens have the self cleaning option available.  Or if you prefer to not risk starting your house on fire you can use this simple tip.  Mix baking soda,  For your dishwasher pull out the dish holders and start scrubbing.

Day 8: Organize Your Cleaning Supplies

Yes, if you are like us they are all thrown in one big mess in a cabinet or under the sink.  I don’t even know what we have or half of what we have.  This is a serious issue in our house.  Invest in some organizing kits you can get at Home Depot or Menards.  Look through and organize by type and make sure none are old and outdated.  Throw out any that are old or not useful.

Day 9: Clean Your Windows

Wash your windows inside and out.  If you are in a colder state like Minnesota, you might have to wait until the warmer days to get outside to reach the outside windows.  If you don’t have the proper tools to reach your exterior windows I suggest hiring a professional as they are fairly affordable and save you time.  Remove the screens and vacuum and soak in soapy warm water.  For your windows good old fashioned Windex will always do the trick or you can use a spray bottle with vinegar and water.    Wipe them down with a microfiber cloth.  Dust your windowsills and the frames.

Day 10: Wash the Walls

This one can be timely but so worth it!  If you have kids you know how easily their little grimy hands can leave lots of fun fingerprints on your walls.  Wash any interior walls that looked stained or discolored.  I usually just use some warm soap and water.

Day 11: Clean The Bathrooms

Make sure you take a deep breath, get some cleaning gloves and prepare yourself.  These for most are the most un-favored chore in the house.  But for most we are in a rush and do a partial cleaning.  It’s time we hike up those cleaning gloves and get on our hands and knees and really scrub.  This includes the walls, shower, and floors.  Pull out any old shower curtains that are discolored and either wash or discard for a new one.

Day 12: Clean the Furniture

Move those couches and chairs, and clean under them by sweeping or vacuuming.  Pull out the handheld attachment to vacuum the couch and chairs.  If you have microfiber, I suggest pulling out a shampooer if you have one and doing a good scrub.

Day 13: Organize Your Shoes

Yes that is right!  How many of us have a clutter of old shoes in which over half you probably do not even wear.  Go through all of the families shoe supply.  Toss out old and unused shoes and donate ones that you don’t wear and of good condition.

Day 14: Clean Your Garage

Okay, maybe we put this on the summer list for some.  Depending on time of year and weather permitting.  Get out and declutter  your garage and throw out any items you have not used since last year.

Day 15: Clean Your Fireplace

If you have a fireplace gas, electric or wood burning.  It is always good to ensure proper working condition that you clean it properly.  We have a gas and electric fireplace.  In our situation we simply remove the screens in the front and remove unwanted dust.

Day 16: Time To Clean Your Bedding and Linens

We are fairly good about doing this in our house.  We try to keep up with washing our bedding on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.  But if you do not do this.  Now is the time to get it done.  Go room by room and get those linens in the wash.  This goes for iron board covers, drapes, rugs, pillow cases.

Day 17: Clean Your Car

For those of us in colder temp states this gets put to the wayside awfully quick during the colder months.  Get in there and clean out your trash, vacuum and wash down the floors and seats.  Depending on your budget you could just pay a detailer to do it for you.

Day 18: Organize Kids Toys

If you are like us, your house at times can look like a toy box puked all over your house.  Go through all the kids toys and decide which need to stay and go.  Put toys that are unused or no longer age friendly in a donation box or garage sale pile.  The toys you decide need to stay I would suggest potentially cleaning down from germs and organizing them appropriately.

Day 19: Sweep and Scrub Entryway

For many that live in snowy states, we all know how hard it is to keep the mud and water from the entryway.  But when the snow finally melts, it is time to vacuum, sweep and scrub the dry mud and dirt off the floor.  But during the muddy days of spring, I like to keep a cloth easily accessible to clean up water and mud that comes in from the outside.

Day 20: Toss Clutter in Your Bathroom

Clean your bathroom drawers and toss out old items unused or providing clutter.  Old toothbrushes, shampoo and soap bottles.  Re-organize your bathroom closet.  Clean towels and linens.

Day 21: Clean Your Electronics

Get the cleaner out and start wiping down remotes, televisions, phones, tablets and computers.

Day 22: Tend to Your Plants

Do you have plants and flowers in your house?  Spring is a good time to trim the dead leaves and stems and add some more fresh dirt to the pot.  This is a great project for kids to handle.  (Under supervision of course.)

Day 23: Scrub Your Kitchen Table & Chairs

If you have kids this one will become a necessity in younger years.  Kids are notorious for putting their grimy little hands all over tables and chairs.  I have found myself on numerous occasions scrubbing food stuck underneath a table and chair.  Depending on the style and type of wood your table and chairs are.  I suggest starting with some warm soap and water and scrubbing and finishing with a wood or top cleaner.

Day 24: Scrub your Floors

I try to do this once a week if I can remember but it can get easily forgotten.  If you have a steamer this is a great and easy way to tackle this project.  I always put a tad bit of vinegar in some hot water and steam the floors.  For others a simple swifter will work or mop.

Day 25: Clean Your Washer and Dryer

I know that this one is a task that I don’t do often enough.  And there are so many suggestions out there on how to do it properly.  I simply run an empty cycle with some vinegar.  And wipe everything down also with a vinegar cloth.  After the cycle with the vinegar is complete I re-run with bleach and let the bleach sit for an hour before resuming the cycle to rinse out.

Day 26: Go Through Your Mail Pile

Once again guilty as charged.  When you are self-employed and balancing running two companies and a normal life with children, the rest gets easily put to the wayside.  And right now there is a massive amount of mail and papers on our desk in the office.  Go through your office space and open mail and organize those that are essential and toss/recycle anything that is junk.

Day 27: Clean Your Plumbing

Clean every drain in your home (bathroom and kitchen).  If you have a garbage disposal you will want to do this one as well.  Pour boiling hot water down your drain, add in baking soda, followed by vinegar.  Cover the drain with a plug and follow in a bit with another round of hot water.

Day 28: Organize Your Bags

This includes purses, backpacks, briefcases and suitcases.  Go through each and wipe down, throw out any garbage and put away anything un-necessary from the bag.

Day 29: Clean Out Cold Air Exchanges and Furnace Vents

Ours get fairly dusty throughout the winter months.  I usually pull each of the vent covers off and place them in the kitchen sink with hot soapy water, dry and replace on the wall.  Same applies for the furnace vents and vacuuming down the holes as much as you can reach and trying to check for toys that may have been stuffed down there by the kids.

Day 30:  Treat Yourself 

You made it through a month of trying to clean and de-clutter your home.  You deserve a treat or better yet a massage, or glass of wine!

 

Tips to Sell Your Home Quick and at Top Dollar

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It is the million dollar question that gets asked at every listing appointment.  How much is my home worth and how can I get top dollar.  And the answer is rather surprising.  Here is the real deal.  There are many reasons why a home may have not sold, but here are a few top of mind.

First and foremost, price your home to sell.  If you price your home to high and in combination with less than stellar photography and lack of professional staging advice what happens can be to much extra time spent on the market and resulting in a cancelled sale.  So how do we fix this.  Well first things first.

HIRE A PROFESSIONAL REAL ESTATE AGENT:

First and foremost, hire a professional and responsible real estate agent that takes their job seriously.  And guess what you will achieve greater results with less of a headache.  Studies have actually proven that sellers trying to sell independently to try and save themselves the price of commissions actually end up making less on the sale of their home.  So leave it to the professional.

PRICE YOUR HOME TO SELL:

ALWAYS ask your real estate agent on a pricing strategy.  There are three ways to look at a value of a home.  There is taxable value, appraisal value and market value.  Taxable value is a number compromised of various factors to derive what you will pay in for your taxes for any given year.  The appraisal value is a valuation of a property’s value based on a given point in time.  And the market value is an opinion of what a property would sell for in a competitive market based on features and benefits of that property.  The market value can always flux depending on the overall real estate market, supply and demand and what other similar properties have sold for in the same condition.

So why is a pricing strategy so important?  You want to make sure you are following suite with what other comparable homes are selling for in the area.  Price your home a little under where you think it should be.  Why?  You will stand a better chance at getting more traffic in the door and it allows for more opportunity for buyers to come in above asking price.  If you are selling at or above market value you are only allowing for 60% of buyers to consider your property.  Studies have shown if you list 10-15% under market value your percentage increase to 90%.

Instead of trying to maximize profit, focus on creating demand for your home.  And in return instead of having one buyer potentially thinking about purchasing, you will have multiple buyers contending for your property.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE EVERYTHING:

Think about it this way.  If you were browsing on a online dating site, are you going to reach out to someone with a less than stellar profile photo or that person who has a glamour shot photo?  Moral of the story here, you have ONE SHOT in most cases to impress a buyer.  If the photos are dingy, dark, cluttered or if the home is not staged to sell.  Guess what folks, IT WILL NOT SELL.  So work with a professional stager and photographer to ensure you stand out.

TIMING:

Always work with a real estate professional on the best time of year to list your home.  Make sure you understand what the current health of the market is.  We all know that spring time is the most crucial in Minnesota as most are trying to find a home and move before the snow flies.  And for many they want to move before kids are back in school.  If you list in August/September you can most likely expect to spend some additional time on the market.  People are getting back to school and work after long summer vacations.  In Minnesota we typically begin to see the lift in the market come late February after the super bowl.

 

SUMMARY:

The first two weeks on the market are THE MOST CRUCIAL to your success.  During these weeks you will be exposed to the most amount of buyers and have the highest chance of visibility on the market.  If you are over priced, not correctly staged and lacking stellar photography you will reap that effect.  Get your pricing strategy locked in before you list so you are not spending time on the market that you could have prevented.

New Year, New Goals, New Homes

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And just like that the holidays are over.  The tree made its way to the composite site and the decorations have been put away.  We took some much needed time to ourselves as a family to be present with our kids.  However, we hope you got some needed rest and downtime to reset for the new year.  And if you are like us, with two very young kiddos that rest time is few and far between.  Either way, we sure hope the holidays brought some rest and rejuvenation to start your new year off right.

As Brandon and I take a minute to reflect on 2018 and all that it encompassed, I think the right thought right now is “phew what a year.”  This past year has been an absolute whirl wind, we conquered and accomplished goals we thought were not achievable and grew exponentially both professionally and personally.  With every business and every part of each of our lives personal or professional we have our ebbs and flows, it is a natural part of our daily life cycle.  Things simply cannot always go the way we want them to.  But the goal is to take each challenge, face it dead in the face and push through it.  And the goal, to hopefully learn something valuable and apply it.

In 2018, our team completed over 30 RENOVATION PROJECTS from bathroom, kitchen and living room remodels to decks, siding, windows, doors, flooring and a complete overhaul of a corporate office space.  We highlighted some of our projects in the blogs gallery.  On the real estate side, Lisa closed a total of 14 closed sales for the year, selling $3.7M in property.  So in short, we are extremely grateful for every supporter and client for your business and support.  THANK YOU for believing in us.

But as we close the book on 2018 we look to 2019 with new goals and plans in mind.  And we cannot wait to share each new milestone along the way.

Wishing you all the best this new year!

Holiday Home Improvement Ideas

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It is that time of year again.  We are all in the midst of the holiday craze with event after event and finishing up last minute projects to close out 2018.  And for some it can be a time where we finally can use the holidays to catch some much needed down time and start planning for our 2019 year.  So why not start thinking about those much needed home improvement projects now.

Start by prioritizing your projects from what is of most need in the home.  Is it extra space?  If that is the case maybe you need to consider finishing that unfinished basement or speaking with a contractor like ourselves on how you can expand the current home your in.  A great idea to consider is adding on a four season porch.  This provides some extra space for guests to relax and visit especially if you are known to host holiday gatherings.   To keep your room at a consistent temperature it is vital that you work with your contractor to ensure higher quality grade windows are installed.  Especially here in Minnesota where our winters tend to be a bit colder.  And if your existing space or home seems drafty or seems to not be securing air properly, it may be time to think about window replacements.  Our team at Lakewood Homes and Remodeling can walk you through the window installation process and types and styles.

But maybe you are fine with the space you are in but just want to give it a good uplift.  Some easy things you can do are some clean paint on the walls or maybe it is some back splash or new counter-tops in the kitchen.  Or maybe it is as simple as organizing your closets or cleaning out your cupboards or maybe attacking that junk drawer.

But if you are ready to impress your future house guests or looking to give a gift of a home remodel to your spouse this holiday season.  We are here to help.  Schedule a free home consultation today.

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CONTACT US

LakeWood Homes & Remodeling

PO Box 446 Annandale, MN 55302

team@lw-homes.com

612-802-2822

        

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