Enjoy the Cities – Baseball, music arts in Lowertown St Paul

saintsAre you looking at relocating to the Twin Cities? Or maybe you have some friends you would like to entice to the area? We’re going to feature some of our summer highlights to help you show off our community.

St Paul has an amazing minor league baseball team with a brand new stadium – the St Paul Saints! Games are played outdoors. There are tickets for every budget – from $6 to $130. They have games all summer long.

They are located in Lowertown St Paul. There are several restaurants nearby – and plenty of options once you get into the ballpark.

While you’re there check out the nearby condos. Lowertown is booming. People move to be close to their work. People move for the community with regular events, such as art crawls and music and movies in the park.

Check it out!

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Summer is here – get outside and make your home’s exterior shine!

flowersSummer in Minnesota has been slow to arrive but it’s Memorial weekend and the weather predictions are pretty good. The trouble is how to balance being outside with being productive. We have some suggestions based on recent articles from HouseLogic…

  • Think about a coat of paint to make your home pop! Painting a door wouldn’t be too taxing. Or add an accent such as a bright porch swing or big flower pots. Just don’t paint brick! (You may regret that – as it can destroy the brick.)
  • Get out and garden! Pull those weeds, mow that lawn – then stop to think about what you want your garden to look like next year, five years from now, at your kid’s graduation open house. Taking the time to plan will save you headaches and give you time for a lemonade while you bask in the doneness of your maintenance.
  • Run among the daisies. OK, not daisies but if you’re thinking about flowers – check out HouseLogic’s list of curb-appeal flowers.

 

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What do you look for at an Open House? Wear and tear

Claire BREG professional imageWe’ve asked our home buyer agents what they look for at an open house. Today’s response comes from Claire Bastien –

“When viewing a home, I look for signs to see if the seller either maintained or neglected items on the exterior when approaching the home. I review the roof, shingles, gutters and downspouts, drainage, sidewalks, steps and foundation, siding and I look for areas where there might be a potential for water to be draining toward the home, and for any potential structural issues. Inside the home I look beyond the staging and cosmetics to see if the seller has cared for the home, or, if it is showing signs of wear and tear. I also look for foundation issues, level or slanting floors, and things that might indicate a potential issue that might cost my buyer money down the road if not fixed by the seller.”

Looking for more tips – contact us for more!

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What do you look for at an Open House? Welcoming

Leone Fisher

Leone Fisher

We’ve asked our home buyer agents what they look for at an open house. Today’s response comes from Leone Fisher –

“What I look for first is the condition of the front door and how ‘welcoming’ the approach to the home is in terms of sidewalk, front steps, etc. On the interior, I look for cleanliness and a sense the seller has cared for their home.”

Looking for more tips – contact us for more!

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What do you look for at an Open House? Exterior and landscaping

Renei Schmitz

Renei Schmitz

We’ve asked our home buyer agents what they look for at an open house. Today’s response comes from Renei Schmitz –

“When I attend an open house, the first thing I look at is the exterior of the home landscaping. These two items indicate ‘pride of ownership’ and that reflects how well the property has been maintained. Once inside it becomes a matter of observing the care the home has been given; cleanliness of the property, condition of woodwork and walls. If the walls are dirty and ‘nicked up’ it is an indication of the care the home has been given.”

Looking for more tips – contact us for more!

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MayDay Parade: a glimpse into Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis

Looking for something fun to do around the Twin Cities this weekend? Consider checking out the Heart of the Beast MayDay Festival in Minneapolis’ Powderhorn Park. It starts with a parade that leads to a festival by Powderhown Lake where there is a huge puppet extravaganza featuring music, dancing, poetry, foods, canoe rides, and more!

It’s also a good way to get a glimpse at the neighborhood if you’re looking for an urban location where the homes are affordable given their proximity to downtown.

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Art in Bloom – how Minneapolis gets spring to come despite the weather

It’s true this year was an easy winter and we’ve had some gorgeous spring days – going back to March. But winter is keeping a strong hold with a few snowflakes on Friday and rain expected tomorrow. Do you know how Twin Cities insiders combat season creep?

We go to the Art in Bloom at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia). Each year local artists create flower displays to complement different works of art in the gallery. The Mia is always free and it’s family friendly. It’s a great opportunity to check it out!

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Yardwork? First do no harm!

HouseLogic recently posted 8 ways that homeowners unintentionally trashed their yards…

  1. Not Following Product Instructions
  2. Misusing Fertilizer
  3. Not Watering Grass Deep Enough
  4. Cutting Grass Too Short
  5. Overusing Weed Killer
  6. Trimming Limbs and Branches the Wrong Way
  7. Putting Plants Too Close Together
  8. Letting Your Pet Urinate Wherever

Do any of them sound familiar to you? If so you might want to check out the original article and find alternative means to getting your yard looking nice today and years from now.

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Focus less on saving money to focus more on saving your home

We all know some old wives’ tales that we swear by – for example nail polish will stop a run in your tights! But there are a few wives’ tales that can actually hurt you and when it comes to the safety and preservation of your house – why gamble?

House Logic recently debunked eight popular tips that actually be harmful to your home…

Myth #1: Lemons Are Great for Cleaning Garbage Disposals
What it could cost you:A plumber’s visit (and maybe a new disposal)
The better way: Turn on the disposal and, while running cold water, dump in two or more trays of ice cubes. Despite the clamor, this will safely dislodge buildup on the walls and the impellers, which grind up the food. Use vinegar to deodorize.

Myth #2: Use Duct Tape to Seal Ductwork
What it could cost you:Pricier energy bills
The better way: Use duct mastic (a gooey substance kind of like caulk that dries after applied) to seal metal and flexible ductwork, and use it along with a layer of fiberglass mesh for gaps larger than 1/16 of an inch wide. Use gloves with metal ducts because the edges can be sharp, and mastic is messy stuff.

Myth #3: Bleach Will Banish Mold
What it could cost you:A threat to your health, plus hundreds of $ (even thousands)
The better way: Use a commercial anti-fungal product to take out mold at its roots. And only tackle mold removal yourself if the area is less than 10 square feet and you use protective gear, such as a respirator and chemical-resistant gloves. Otherwise, call in a mold remediation specialist who’ll know how to remove it without spreading it’s yucky (and potentially harmful) spores.

Myth #4: Change Your HVAC Filter Every Month
What it could cost you:Around $100 a year
The better way: The Department of Energy recommends checking, but not necessarily changing, your air filter every month. Change it if it looks dirty, replacing it at least once every three months.

Myth #5: Buy a Rinse Aid for Spot-Free Dishes
What it could cost you:Dollars instead of cents
Money Tip: Rinse aid does help dishes dry faster, which stops those annoying wet drips from top rack to bottom when you unload. But instead of spending money, unload the bottom rack first while letting the top rack air dry.

Myth #6: Home Improvement is Always a Good Investment
What it could cost you:Thousands of dollars in disappointment
The better way: First off, your own happiness matters, so by all means, follow your remodeling bliss if you’re financially able. But if payback is important, do some research and talk to a REALTOR® who knows what buyers are seeking in your market. The Remodeling Impact Report from The National Association of REALTORS® (the sponsor of HouseLogic) is a fantastic resource to get the scoop on what projects will boost your equity the most. For example, it points out that small projects such as an insulation upgrade, refinishing floors, and even seeding your lawn will recoup almost all, and in some cases more than, your original investment.

Myth #7: Put Dryer Sheets in Air Vents for a Sweet Smell
What it could cost you:Higher energy bills and a potential fire hazard
The better way: If fragrant air is what you’re after, there are no shortage of options available that won’t burn your house down. Give each room — or each day — a signature scent with all-natural scented candles, sprays, oils, and aromatherapy devices. If you’re seeking a scent to mask an offensive odor, however, it’s important to find and remove the source. Some stinky suspects — like mold, mildew, sewage, and gas leaks — can carry health risks.

Myth #8: Product Warranties Will Save on Repair Costs
What it could cost you:$50 to $100 or more
The better way: Maintain the appliance as recommended by the manufacturer, and smartly stash the dollars you would spend on a warranty in a repair fund instead. Also, buy with a major credit card, such as AmEx or Visa. Many credit card companies extend product warranties (for free!) up to a year or so. Might be worth checking to see if yours does.

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James Beard Awards Finalists Announced With Just Two Minneapolis Chefs

Eater Twin Cities recently reported…

The James Beard Foundation Awards are known as the Oscars of Food, and today we learned that two Minnesota chefs will move on as finalists.

The list of semifinalists, which included 13 Minnesotans, was whittled down to just two Twin Cities chefs in the category of Best Chef: Midwest – Steven Brown of Tilia and Saint Genevieve and Surly’s Brewer’s Table’s Jorge Guzman.

It will be fun to see if they will. But sort of like some people make a point of seeing all of the Oscar-nominated movies – maybe it’s your duty to check out the James Beard-nominated restaurants?

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