The Fall season for many of us is our favorite season, and with good reason. The comfortable temps during the day, and the beautiful colors contribute greatly to our enjoyment of this time of the year. Taking advantage of people’s love of the season when you are selling your home can be a wise decision. Here are some tips to help you out.

– Add seasonal decor to the outside and the inside of your home. Not overdoing it, but just enough to bring in the fall colors and harvest feel.

– Create some cozy spaces. Put a throw on the couch, some colorful leafs or pine cones on the coffee table, fall colored candles, etc.. Make it look inviting to whoever sees it.

– If you have a fireplace, show it off. If it is not lit, have some nice birch logs that look like they are ready to be lit and enjoyed.

– Hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks creates a wonderful aroma and can be a nice touch to offer potential buyers during their walk through. 

– Put a pumpkin or two on the front step. Inexpensive to do, but can be a nice first impression as people pull up to your home. Some cornstalks on each side of the garage door can look nice too.

I am sure you can probably think of many more ideas, but these will be a good start for you when preparing your home for potential buyers to walk through. Buyers will always remember how a home made them feel when they walked through it. To contact Pete and John to list your home visit our website!

If you are considering selling this fall and want to take advantage of the great weather that brings people out, give Pete and John a call and schedule a time when they can sit down with you and go over your options. Fall brings beautiful weather that most everyone likes and puts us all in the mood to get out and enjoy the great outdoors that our area enjoys. Whether it be picking apples or pumpkins, seeing the fall colors, and yes, for some of us, looking at homes. There is always the thought to wait for Spring when it is real estates busiest time of the year, but listing in the fall has its advantages too, such as less competition. The market is still good and we are looking forward to a great fall season for our clients. Give Pete a call at 651-379-9313, or John at 651-379-9312 and let their experience go to work for you too! To see our listings click here.

A full counter top and items on the floor will say, “this kitchen is small”!

There are many things you will need to pay attention to when selling your home. In this post we are going to cover only one, but it is an important  one. Your kitchen. We all know that the kitchen is one of the most important, and most used rooms in every home. There are some things that you will want to do to that will make a good impression on potential buyers.

Remove everything off of the counters – Find a good place where you can store everything, even the toaster. 🙂 If you don’t have the room in your cupboards, maybe start packing up stuff that you  rarely use or can get by without for a bit. You want to avoid stuffing your cabinets because many of the people walking through will open them up to see the inside. You want it to look nice when they do.

Food pantry – In your food pantry let your canned goods and other food inventory go down to the essential goods that you will need. A pantry that is chock full of food may seem that it is not big enough. The less cluttered it looks, the better the impression.

Under the kitchen sink – Here is one many people forget, but is also a place that many people will look during walk throughs. Again declutter. Take everything out and give it a good cleaning. Get rid of anything that you will not need and try to keep just one of what you do need. While you are under there see if there are any signs of leaks that need to be fixed.

Appliances – keeping your appliances clean will also go a long ways towards a good impression. Keep the stove top clean. Every time you use it be sure and clean up any spots or food that was spilled. For the refrigerator, again keep the essentials inside of it. A full fridge may look small to potential buyers. On the outside keep all finger prints cleaned off as well.

It is hard to think of August and not think about the great Minnesota get together, Aka The MN State Fair. The MN State Fair is the 2nd largest state fair in the country attracting over 1.6 million people every year. How many of us have great memories both as a child and as an adult of going to the Fair? If you are like me you find yourself telling your children about what you used to do at the Fair as you walk around the grounds with your family. (Yes, they just roll their eyes, but gosh darn it, they are going to hear it, right? Ha!)
So what is new at the Fair this year? Let’s take a look at just a few.

  • In the Kidway there are 2 new rides that should be a hit. Jumping Jumbo’s and Down on the Farm Tractor Ride. 
  • An inflatable sculpture that you can walk through called the “Luminarium”.
  • In the mighty Midway there are no less than 7 new rides for your older kids and mom and dad.
  • There is a giant sandbox now where mom and dad can take a load off while still keeping the little one’s entertained.
  • Boys and girls ages 5 to 15 can test their skills when they tackle The Boy Scouts Adventure Summit.
  • Some new foods to try this year are camel burgers, bacon ice cream, cereal  ice cream,  cranberry wontons, classic walleye roll, and red velvet funnel cake, just to name a few. Are you hungry yet?

Head over to the MN State Fair website if you want to see all the changes, admission prices and shuttle bus service. We would love to hear about your experiences at the State Fair so feel free to comment and tell us about them. See you at the Fair!

In the Twin Cities we have had a very hot summer, and the real estate market, although maybe not red hot, has been continuing to show signs that it may be in recovery mode. Buyers taking advantage of great price levels has been coupled with a boost in seller confidence over last year at this time. With both sides activity levels being stronger, it has given new life to the real estate market for 2012. Places like NE Minneapolis, Columbia Heights, Fridley and New Brighton are seeing good sales as people are migrating back to the cities and close suburbs. With gas once again closing in on $4 a gallon, some commuters are tired of monthly fuel expenditures that exceed all their house utilities combined. With all that the cities and close suburbs have to offer as far as entertainment, great places to eat, transportation and parks, it only makes sense to want to live here. We have good momentum now in the market. Let’s hope we can keep this rolling right into 2013! So far. So good.

With as hot as the summer has been this year, has anything sounded better than delicious premium ice cream? That is exactly what you get when you go to Grandpa’s Ice Cream, located in Fridley at 1258 E. Moore Lake Drive. Grandpa’s Ice Cream was opened by Kathy and Mick Simmons in 2005 and has developed a loyal fan base, as people in the area find out about their 32 flavors of wonderful ice cream, along with their malts, shakes, sundaes and yummy banana splits. Many of their flavors have come from suggestions from their customers, and end up being best sellers. So next time you are out and about in the Fridley area, stop by Grandpa’s Ice Cream and treat yourself to great ice cream and great customer service! You may even run into Pete or John there!

This just in! Kathy has told us she would like to offer a special deal for our readers! Click Here!

The 56th Annual Columbia Heights Lion’s Club Jamboree & carnival will be held from Wednesday, June 20th – Sunday, June 24th at Huset Park. Some of the many events will be as follows:
 – Medallion hunt with daily clues

 – A youth fishing clinic
 – A carnival
 – Beer gardens
 – Softball tournaments
 – and great fireworks, are some of the many things to enjoy during the Jamboree. There promises to be fun and something to do for the whole family! So come out to Huset Park located near Jefferson St NE and 40th Ave NE. To see a map of the location click here, and to see each days events and times, click here.

 Call us at 651-379-9313, or go to our website to see what housing opportunities are available in this fantastic community of Columbia Heights.

 If you are a biker in the Twin Cities you already know that the biking trails available in the metro area are fantastic, but how do we stack up against other cities?
Walk Score/Bike Score is a website that measures whether a location is good for biking on a scale from 0 – 100.
Bike Score is based on bike lanes and trails, hills, destinations and road connectivity, and the number of bicycle  commuters. The new service comes four months after Walk Score raised $2 million from a group of Seattle angels that included former Amazon.com CTO Shel Kaphan, former Facebook general counsel Rudy Gadre, entrepreneur Edward Yim and others. The new Bike Score functionality is available in 10 cities in the U.S. and 10 in Canada. As part of their introduction, Bike Score rated each of those 20 cities. Those with scores of 70 or higher are considered “very bikeable,” while scores of 50 to 69 are “bikeable.” Here is how all the U.S. cities faired:

1. Minneapolis (Bike Score: 79)
2. Portland (Bike Score: 70)
3. San Francisco (Bike Score: 70)
4. Boston (Bike Score: 68)
5. Madison (Bike Score: 67)
6. Washington, D.C. (Bike Score: 65)
7. Seattle (Bike Score: 64)
8. Tucson (Bike Score: 64)
9. New York (Bike Score: 62)
10. Chicago (Bike Score: 62)

The City of Columbia Heights is introducing a new, optional program available to homeowners, provided through the National League of Cities (NLC) Service Line Warranty Program administered by Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA). The Service Line Warranty program provides low cost, worry-free warranty protection for water and sewer lines.
As a homeowner in the City of Columbia Heights, you are responsible for the maintenance and repair of your buried, outside water service line that runs from the utility connection to your home. Homeowners are also responsible for the maintenance and repair of the buried, outside sewer service line that runs from your home to the utility connection.
The Service Line Warranty program offers citizens an affordable way to avoid the unexpected and often large expense involved with a water line repair or sewer line break. When a line breaks, the cost to repair it can often cause hardship on a family’s budget. This new program will offer warranty protection to help cover the costs of a break.
City of Columbia Heights residents will see offers in their mail boxes soon. The program is offered at no cost to the City of Columbia Heights, and no public funds are used to promote the program.
“We are pleased to work with the City of Columbia Heights to offer homeowners an affordable Service Line Warranty program,” said Brad Carmichael, Vice President of Business Development for Service Line Warranties of America. “We think Columbia Heights residents will be pleased with our features and benefits, including a 24-hour repair hotline and the use of local, certified technicians. This keeps dollars in the local economy, an important benefit in these tough financial times.”
SLWA is proud to have been selected by the NLC as an Enterprise Programs Partner. The National League of Cities, representing over 218 million Americans, is the nation’s oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. After a decade in business, SLWA has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Looking for a home in Columbia Heights? Check out our listings!

With even the most conservative forecasts calling for growth in the housing market for 2012, we thought it a good time to maybe offer some tips for home sellers that will maybe give them a leg up on getting their home sold.

1. Price your home appropriately right from the beginning. Consider that most homeowners will end up accepting less than their asking price. Have your agent produce a list of the latest comparable homes that have sold  in your area of the Twin Cities. This will give you a good starting point for pricing.

2. Make your home show worthy. Make small repairs, paint where needed, scrub, pressure wash that deck and driveway, clean windows and give it a good overall cleaning. Walking into a clean house gives a great first impression and starts any showing off on the right foot.

3. Be flexible. Be willing to stretch and bend to get a sale done. Paid closing costs, paid property taxes, some remodeling, etc. could make or break a sale with a interested buyer.

4. Use an agent that is experienced in the area. An agent that has been selling in your neighborhood for years can be a very valuable source. Their experience with the area can save much time and bring a quicker, more efficient sale.

5. Let your neighbors know you are selling. Many times your neighbors have friends or family that are looking to move into the area, and having their good friends next door, may (or may not! LOL! ) be appealing to them.

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