Twin Cities Amenity: Fort Snelling Park

fort snellingWho would imagine a park filled with wildlife – right under the airport? But there it is – Fort Snelling Park. They offer extensive hiking, bike and ski trails that link to Minnehaha Park and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. There’s a beach for swimming and boating. And of course a whole River for fishing.

There’s an interpretive center with regular programming –snow shoeing, maple tree tapping, animal tracking and more. But one of our favorite parts of the park is the wildlife. There are several packs of wild deer. They are used to people and will come surprisingly close – enough to delight any kid and even impress the coolest of teen. There are at least two eagle nests in the park. Turkeys roam aimlessly and we’ve even heard mention of beavers and possums.

It’s easy to get to the park. You need a State Park parking permit – but after that it’s all free. Come enjoy a day away just minutes from your home.

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Twin Cities Amenity: The Walker

walkerFirst Saturday is family day at The Walker art gallery. It’s a great (free!) way to check it out especially if you have kids. They have programming that day to get kids in doing art. There are usually two hands on projects and docents pepper the galleries with mini-projects and information to help you and your kids learn more about the art at a level that’s appropriate for them.

The new Sculpture Garden is opening this summer. It is always free and a great place to let kids run around or go in another direction and plan a romantic picnic. It’s a fantastic amenity for art lovers and art learners in and around  Minneapolis and St Paul. They have several adult-themes parties as well – such as the sporadic After Hours events held, as you might imagine, after dark. Visitors are welcome to enjoy an adult beverage, get a sneak preview of a new exhibit and usually enjoy some music of grownup focused activities.

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Afton Minnesota: Come for the skiing, stay for the community

tb oct 1The City of Afton is about fifteen miles east of downtown St. Paul, south of I-94 on the eastern border of Minnesota. Afton is home to an Historic Village along the beautiful St. Croix River, which offers exceptional opportunities for boating and fishing, two marinas in town and even a boat launch ramp. The City also has a large, beautiful park in the old village where kids can play or you can sit and have a picnic.

Afton is also home to Afton Alps, the largest ski and snowboard area in the Twin Cities.

Here are some quick facts on Housing in Afton:

  • Average house price: $397,100
  • Average rent: $1,500/month
  • Average household income: $99,700
  • Average wages: $51,100
  • Average travel time to work: 26.9 minutes
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Burnsville: Shopping, parks, skiing – fun for all seasons

Thanks to City of Burnsville for picture

Thanks to City of Burnsville for picture

The Twin Cities’ suburb of City of Burnsville is actually the 10th largest city in Minnesota. It has grown up from its roots of a primarily Irish farming community – but somehow maintained some of the rural charm with more than 3,300 acres of parks and wildlife refuge lands.

Burnsville is a short drive away from many Twin Cities amenities – Minnesota Zoological Gardens, Valleyfair Amusement Park, Mystic Lake Casino, the Renaissance Festival, and the Mall of America. And it’s a short drive from St Paul and Minneapolis if you’re looking for an easy commute.

Here are some quick facts on housing in Burnsville:

  • Average house price: $208,7000
  • Average rent: $992/month
  • Homeownership rate: 64 percent
  • Average household income: $63,600
  • Average wages: $48413
  • Average travel time to work: 23.4 minutes

Burnsville has plenty of amenities too. Burnsville is home to a regional mall comprised of 1.2 million square feet, more than 3,300 acres of parks and wildlife refuge lands, a variety of recreational opportunities including a major ski resort, over 2,200 businesses, and many fine lodging and dining facilities.

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Mahtomedi Community Profile: On the lake, close to town, good schools

mahtomediMahtomedi is a small suburb of St Paul – midway between St Paul and Stillwater. In area, Mahtomedi is about 3.5 square miles of land and 2.25 square miles of water.  The lake is a feature many residents enjoy fully.

Mahtomedi is home to its own school district, which services Dellwood, Grant, Hugo, Mahtomedi, Pine Springs, Willernie, and parts of Lake Elmo, Oakdale, Stillwater, and White Bear Lake. There is also a Catholic school. Century College, one of the largest communities college in the MNSCU system, is located in and around Mahtomedi.

Here are some quick facts on Mahtomedi:

  • Average house price: $292,3000
  • Average rent: $889/month
  • Homeownership rate: 88 percent
  • Average household income: $94,300
  • Average wages: $44,600
  • Average travel time to work: 25.8 minutes

Historically Mahtomedi was a summer retreat for a variety of users.  The City was founded as a Chautauqua community around 1900, when visitors would come to the east shore of White Bear Lake for recreation, lectures, music and a time of reflection.  Later Wildwood Amusement Park was built by the streetcar company to give Twin Cities residents a reason to ride to the end of the line.  At about the same time, summer homes and cottages began to be built as Mahtomedi became a resort and vacation destination.

The Chautauqua and amusement park are gone but there are still trails, the Lake, a town center with shops and restaurants that are great amenities all year round.

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What do real estate pros know that you don’t?

bird houseDo you ever feel like you just aren’t sure what you’re looking for? The saying goes – you’ll know it when you see it. But will you really? House Logic recently ran a helpful article that outlines four things that real estate professionals look at when they are buying:

  • Be Willing to Compromise for Your Priorities – which means take the time to prioritize your wish list. To some a fireplace is a necessity, to others it’s not worth an extra 10 minute drive to work. How do you feel about it?
  • Dig Into the Details – knowledge is power, especially it you’re looking at an older home. Check out the sewer lines, the roof, the wiring – are these going to need updates soon?
  • Focus on Lifestyle – are you looking forward to that backyard barbecue in your own backyard enough to want to shovel the walk in December? Do you see yourself in the suburbs, city, town? Will quality of school matter any time soon? Are more interested in a quiet place by the lake or a walk to the bar?
  • Filter Your Choices Through the Lens of Resale – unless you know you will never want to move again, you have to think about resale. That indoor-outdoor pool sure would be fun for a while – but can you sell it later?

There are plenty of professional tips to help you choose and get the right house. Call the Buyers Real Estate Group – we can help. We have purchased more homes than you can imagine and we are invested in helping you make the right choice for you!

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Welcome to Coon Rapids, MN: just 15 miles north of Minneapolis

coon rapidsCoon Rapids is a northern suburb of Minneapolis. It has 48 parks, more than 40 miles of trails, the award winning Bunker Hills Golf Club and two regional parks.

It is home to the headquarters of several large businesses: medical device manufacturer RMS Company, furniture retailer HOM Furniture, and publishers John Roberts Company and ECM Publishers. Just 15 miles from Minneapolis, there are plenty of employment opportunities outside Coon Rapids as well.

The Anoka-Hennepin School District serves students in Coon Rapids, as well as there are private and charter schools. Coon Rapids High School offers a bio-medical program to help students prepare for careers in the bio-medical field. Anoka-Ramsey Community College provides many 2 and 4 year degree programs.

Coon Rapids was named for the Coon Rapids Dam, which was built around 1910.

Here are some local average house prices for areas around Coon Rapids:

BREG - coon rapids

Want to learn more about Coon Rapids? Contact us!

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Looking to buy a home? It’s OK to snoop

bathroomThe latest good advice from House Logic includes 8 tips that give you the freedom – responsibility! – to really dig into that home you might buy.

  1. Soak in the Bathroom
  2. Dig Around in the Closets
  3. Poke Around the Attic and Basement
  4. Meet the Neighbors
  5. Be an Amateur Investigator
  6. Ask Questions

Buying a house is one of the biggest investments most of us will make. We owe it to ourselves to shed the Minnesota Nice long enough to get a good glimpse at what we might buy before we buy it!

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Welcome to Brooklyn Park, MN: trails, golf and colleges

fallIf you are a golf fan you may have heard of Edinburgh USA Golf Course, one of the top public golf courses in the United States. It’s located in Brooklyn Park.

Brooklyn Park is  also home to 47 miles of trails, and 67 award-winning parks, including the Rush Creek Regional Trail, and the northern section of the Palmer Lake Park.

It’s listed as both a second and third tier suburb because large portions of the city are still undeveloped.

There are five high schools in the area and three colleges: North Hennepin Community College, Hennepin Technical College and Rasmussen.

Here are some local average house prices for areas around Brooklyn Park:

BREG - brooklyn park

Want to learn more about Brooklyn Park? Contact us!

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Welcome to Plymouth MN: Award-winning with a long history

winterPlymouth was named Money magazine’s number one Best Place to Live in 2008 for cities with populations of 50,000 to 300,000. The city stayed in the top dozen when the magazine repeated the rankings in 2010.

The Plymouth community has a long history that can be traced back to the pre-Columbian period around 1400 to 1500 AD. The original inhabitants were the Dakota.

Five school districts serve Plymouth, Wayzata Public Schools (ISD 284), Robbinsdale Area Schools (ISD 281), Osseo School District (279), West Metro Education Project District (ISD 6069) and Hopkins School District (ISD 270).

Here are the top employers in the area:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Wayzata Public Schools 1,505
2 Aimia 1,000
3 Select Comfort 900
4 Medtronic 875
5 St. Jude Medical 800
6 Prudential 598
7 City of Plymouth 571
8 Honeywell 525
9 Nilfisk-Advance 500
10 US Foods 500

According to Realtor.com the median house listing price is $479,000 and the median closing price is $328,000.

Want to learn more about Coon Rapids? Contact us!

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