Well, it looks like we might actually see Spring after all.

With the weather showing signs of getting nicer, we’re all eager to get outside. Many people would even like to get into better shape for the summer.

The latest Better Living TV episode on the blog is all about starting that spring running program and not killing yourself in the process.

Check it out and give us your feedback.

We just posted the latest episode of “Better Living TV” on my blog. This episode addresses an important problem that many people are facing every day. Lack of energy! If you’re like most people, you face this issue and this episode is packed with really helpful information.

  • What causes our current culture’s lack of energy?
  • How are we trying to fix the problem and is it working?
  • What can we do to truly and safely get our energy back?

Check out the video and please give your feedback

This time of the year it all starts:  The melt, the rains and the flooding.

If you are wanting to protect yourself from basement flooding this spring, here are a few tips.

Tip #1:
Gutters – Many people don’t know that gutters can be installed year round. If your home does not currently have gutters, this could be a great time to consider it. Gutters are also a reasonably inexpensive investment to protect your home from damage and protect your family and visitors from injury if they were to slip on ice or water in front of your home.

Gutters can also be a nice DIY project. These days, there are many great tutorials online (even videos) that can guide a handy homeowner through the process of proper and safe installation.

Tip #2:
Downspouts – Continuing on the gutter theme, if your home does currently have a gutter system you should check your downspouts. If your downspouts end at the base of your house it can actually create more problems by concentrating the water into large pools, close to your foundation.

One solution to this is to add some extensions to your downspouts that carry the water at least 10 feet away from your home’s foundation. This will usually do a nice job of keeping excessive water from infiltrating your home… unless of course you have a grading issue.

Tip #3:
Grading issues – If your home tends to flood year after year, you may likely have a grading problem and this is best addressed by a professional. It may require adding or removing some dirt from your property to make sure that your yard is graded away from your home. This, of course, is hard to do in the spring for various differently reasons.  It’s not something that will help you this year but it is something worth investing in.

When homes are placed for sale, one key item that buyers are watching for is whether or not the home has ever flooded.  Even currently dry basements that have signs of flooding can make an interested buyer be wary of mold and other water related issues.  If your home has flooded in the past, providing potential buyers with proof that you have addressed the problem to prevent future flooding will go a long way to calming their fears.

Tip #4:
Call in the professionals – It’s never fun to think about calling a professional because it will surely carry a price tag when the work is done. Keep in mind that any money spent on a water problem is money saved, both in future damage to your home and in the resale value when it’s time to move.

Most professionals are also bonded so if they provide a service to you and you still have a problem, there is an extra layer of accountability for the problem. It’s good to make sure any contractor is licensed and bonded and be sure to check references.

Tip #5:
Save your receipts – Any time you do something to your home that makes it more appealing for a potential future buyer, you should keep a good record of it and make sure your agent is aware of the improvements and your good record keeping. This can also send a powerful message to a potential buyer that you have been diligent about protecting your home and that you taken very good care during your time as owner.

There are many more steps that can be taken to help prevent spring flooding but we hope these will be helpful to you.

Many people are still carrying that holiday credit card debt around. This episode of “Better Living TV” features Paul Golden from the National Endowment for Financial Education. He gives some powerful tips on how to get rid of that debt as fast as possible.

For more financial information, visit SmartAboutMoney.com

The real estate market is hot right now.  Home values are starting to increase and homes are selling much faster.  If you have been thinking about selling your home, this could be the best time in several years to do it.  Contact us and get the right information to make a wise decision.

Visit Dr. Tony on Facebook

We’ve all struggled to make good on those New Years resolutions.

Now that we are a couple of months into the new year and we’ve probably strayed from our
commitment, it’s a perfect time to find out why we usually fail and how we can truly be successful
in reaching our personal goals to make lasting change.

This episode of Better Living TV features Dr. Tony Lawther.  A champion bodybuilder and expert on
motivation and transformation.

Feel free to give your feedback in the comments.




We posted this video because many people struggle with what to buy their partner for Valentine’s Day. If you are looking for some good ideas, this is a good video for you to watch.

We would love to get your feedback…


If you want to see more great ideas from Lindsay… check out TheGiftInsider.com

Happy New Year!

The year 2012 ended up being a good year for real estate. Last January no one really new for sure what to expect for the coming year, but many of us were optimistic as we were seeing some good signs that a turnaround might be coming. It did come, and better than most expected. Buyer demand increased and inventories dropped  as the year went on, resulting in prices coming up slowly.

So what about 2013?

Although home sales are not what they once were, there is certainly a strong upward trend with great momentum behind it. Most are forecasting that this trend will continue and housing prices will continue to increase.

The Twin Cities has always been rated as one of the best places to live in the country, and because of this, we sometimes enjoy a better housing market than many other parts of the U.S.. With the positive forecast for 2013, now may be a great time for you to make your move and get your dream home, or maybe downsize as your children leave home to start their lives. To talk more about the opportunities that are available  give Pete or John a call to discuss your situation. Here is to a great New Year!

Pete 651-379-9313
John 651-379-9312

Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments you will make in your lifetime. Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a good realtor.

Here are a few good reasons to use a qualified Realtor:

  • Your Realtor has many resources to assist you in your home search. Many time will know of or be able to find homes that you would not have found on your own.
  • An experienced realtor will give an objective opinion. Your neighborhood realtor will know about neighborhoods, schools, shopping, and other facts about the community. 
  • There are a number of negotiating factors that can be used. Your Realtor will know just what they are and how to approach them.Some of them are price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. 
  • Your Realtor provides due diligence during the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termite, dry rot, asbestos, structural issues, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, to name a few. A good Realtor can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. 
  • Your Realtor will guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly and you that you understand it.
  • Your Realtor not only markets your property to the public, but other real estate agents, giving you maximum exposure.
  • Your Realtor can help you evaluate a buyer’s proposal while not compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing. There could be a lot of possible pitfalls. Your Realtor can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the entire process.

This is only a partial list of advantages to using a professional Realtor. Talk to Pete and John to learn more!

So you have always enjoyed going to haunted houses for Halloween? Well, how would you like to live in one? Now is your chance, as the owner of this 10,000 sq ft replica in Georgia, has put the for sale sign out. The owner built this home and went so far as to even have the ornamental rod iron made by the same company that Disney used on their famous Haunted Mansion attraction. It is being sold through the themeparkconnection.com website and on Ebay for a “Buy it now” price of $873,000. To say this home will need a certain type of buyer may be the understatement of the year. Watch the video below to see what happens when you turn on the faucet in one of the bathrooms! For those of you who are looking for a normal home that won’t scare you to death every time you walk in, contact Pete and John. We promise an experience that will not scare you!

More good news from the real estate market! For the month of September foreclosure filings have dropped  for a second consecutive month, to a new 5 year low. The exact number of filings was 180,427, the lowest we have seen since July of 2007. We still have a ways to go to get back to the levels of 2005 but we are certainly headed in a better direction. Florida still leads the pack in foreclosures with 1 in every 117 houses in some state of foreclosure.
With 2012 bringing us more evidence every month that the real estate market is on the upswing, now could be the perfect time for you to be listing your home or looking for that perfect place to plant roots. Give us a call or visit our website. We look forward to the chance to serve you!

Pete 651-379-9313 
John 651-379-9312

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