Ways to Add Value to your Cabin

How to add value to your cabin.

Many cabin owners are generational – they’ve inherited the family cabin that grandpa and his buddies built in the 1950s. Some have gotten a great deal on a little log cabin that was once loved long ago, but has suffered from neglect. Unless you are one of the lucky few who can start from scratch and build the lake home of their dreams, you will likely need to do some work on that old little cabin of yours. What are the best ways to add value to your cabin?How to add value to your cabin

Cabins are generally for those who love and crave the beauty and quiet of the great outdoors. So cabins NEED to maximize all things that highlight the trees, the water, and the wide open skies.

Views

If your cabin is boxy and dark, it’s time to open things up with new windows and doors to take that beautiful view and bring it indoors. Replacing doors and windows can dramatically improve the aesthetic of your cabin as well as help improve energy efficiency.

Outdoor Living

Every cabin needs a beautiful deck or patio to enjoy star-gazing at night or a cup of coffee in the morning. Perhaps a screened porch would be beneficial for late-night card games in a mosquito-free environment. Fire-pits are easy to add and create a gathering spot for young and old. Make the most of your outdoor space.Read More »

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Characteristics of a Quality Home Inspector

What to look for in a quality home inspector.

Once you’ve found your next home and have a signed purchase agreement, you will need to have that new place properly inspected for structural issues or necessary repairs prior to closing. How do you know who to select for this important job? Here are some characteristics of a quality home inspector:Home Inspector

Contractor Expertise

Not just any handy-man will do! You want to hire someone with an extensive background in building materials, mechanical and electrical systems and modifications, energy efficiency issues and repair processes. Having someone who understands both new and old products and their pros/cons as well as maintenance and repair needs is also beneficial. This person needs to know it all – from driveways and foundations to windows and appliances.

Communicator

Contractor expertise on its own is not enough. You need your inspector to be clear and concise in their assessment of your property – which might mean delivering difficult news. They need to be able to translate sometimes complicated or technical subject matter in a way that you can understand and process. Both in writing and orally, this inspector needs to communicate very effectively the concerns of your new home and their recommendations prior to closing on the home.Read More »

Make Your First House the Right House

What should you consider when shopping for your first home?

The first time through a home-buying experience can be both exciting and stressful. Before you let your high hopes, sticker shock and long wish-list blurr your vision, familiarize yourself with common home buyers mistakes here. But how exactly do you make sure that first home purchase is the right one for you? Here are a few things to consider when shopping for your first home.

Work with a licensed Realtor

The first time through, you need a professional to help you navigate the journey. A Realtor can help you save time by fine-tuning your search. They can save you money with their knowledge of the market values and by being your chief negotiator.Make first home the right home Learn the difference between a Realtor and a Real Estate Agent in this blog.

Determine your neighborhood

You’ve heard the saying ‘location, location, location’ – so know the area that you want to live and concentrate your search there.

List the must-haves

What are those things you must have in your home? Is it a certain amount of bedrooms or bathrooms? Perhaps finishes are important to you? Or a fenced yard? Does it need to be near public transportation? Whatever those necessities are, make a concise list of them.

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Why it’s a Good Time to Buy in the City

Living in the city could be the perfect fit for you.

City neighborhoods are bustling – not only with new restaurants, clubs and businesses, but with lots of new and renovated housing as well. And it’s no wonder why — recent surveys reflect that homeowners want walkable neighborhoods with loads of amenities, which is what many urban areas have to offer.   City-living isn’t for everyone, but if you’re thinking it might be a good fit for you, here are a few reasons why it’s a good time to buy in the city:

Walkability: Imagine living just steps away from your favorite restaurant or night-spot. Or perhaps just blocks from the river walks or concert halls and theaters? And you still have places nearby to purchase groceries and visit the dentist or doctor as well. Walkability is becoming a bigger factor for many people looking for housing, and moving to the city can offer that and more.

Is living in the city the right choice for you?
Is living in the city the right choice for you?

Housing Options: Historic in-town neighborhoods provide the best models for successful city living.  True townhouses, appropriately scaled condos, and of course, single-family detached homes on smaller lots are all options. So if you want NO yard work, you can find a place that’ll work. If you want a little place to garden, that’s available as well. A room with a view? You bet.

Transportation: City life offers a lot of options to get around. Not only walking, but biking is a popular mode of transportation as well as buses and light rail. It’s convenient, accessible and affordable. Commute times and costs can reduced by living and working in the city as well.

Diversity: Not just in terms of the people nearby, but businesses, shops and restaurants – local mom and pop shops, great independent restaurants…there is something for everyone living in the city.Read More »

The Housing Market Heats Up as Temperatures Rise This Summer

Homes are selling at fastest rate since 2005.

Shorts, flip-flops and tan lines aren’t the only things trending this summer. The housing market has been heating up since July. Homes are flying off the market, according the latest report from the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®.  Homes statewide are selling in 70 days or less. If you’re in the Twin Cities, houses are selling even faster on average in 46 days. This is the fastest homes have sold since 2005.

Minnesota Housing Report

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REALTORS® Nationwide Open House Weekend Puts Spotlight on Competitive Minnesota Housing Market

 Event will showcase local inventory available right now for prospective buyers 

Buyers are competing for low housing inventory in Minnesota as the spring and summer home-buying season gets underway. With such a competitve housing market, buyers are looking to the experts for guidance. Local Minnesota REALTORS® Associations are teaming up with Associations across the country and will host thousands of open houses during REALTORS® Nationwide Open House Weekend, April 20 and 21.

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Minnesota Classics: Split-Level

Do you live in a classic split-level home? Chances are then that the home across the street from you is a split-level as well. Are they on your left and right too? This isn’t surprising as this home style grew wildly popular in the 1950s and 1960s in developments. As Americans left the cities for suburbia, they were looking for something new and something bigger.

Developers answered with the original split-level, or three-level, home. The ranch-style home was “split” somewhere near the middle. One half of the house — garage and bedrooms above — were raised up a little bit. The other half — entry, living room, kitchen, and dining room — were dropped down a little bit. In many cases the living room/kitchen had a basement underneath. These four new distinct levels turned a deceivingly normal house into a spacious living option.

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