Minneapolis Real Estate and Community News

Oct. 28, 2018

Best Gourmet Desert In Under 15 Minutes

Subject: Best Gourmet Desert In Under 15 Minutes

For an elegant dessert that is easy to make ahead, and a hit at a large or small party this one is a keeper!

  • Good quality vanilla ice cream
  • Sweetened coconut (toasted to golden brown, be sure to let cool completely
  • Optional: chocolate or caramel sauce or both!
  • Optional: toasted slivered almonds

Let your ice cream soften slightly on the counter. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop and round snowball sized balls and roll in the coconut coating generously.  Wrap the ice cream ball in plastic wrap and place quickly into the freezer. Repeat until you have your desired number of ice cream balls prepared.

Allow 1-2 hours to firm up in the freezer and when it's time to serve, pop onto a plate and drizzle with desired sauce and toppings.

 

Warmly,

 

LivingLocal Realty

 

 

Posted in Lifestyle
Oct. 21, 2018

8 Money Saving Tips for Planning Your Next Vacatio

SUBJECT: 8 Money Saving Tips for Planning Your Next Vacation

 

 

1. Set a budget- This will give you the parameters you need to work within when deciding how far you want to go and how long you want to stay. 

 

2. Determine the length of your vacation and your destination. Are you looking for a vacation close to home, a cross-country trip or international tour? Your budget and your length of time you want to take off will determine this. 

 

3. Be flexible with travel dates. Airplane tickets can vary by hundreds of dollars depending on the day of the week and time of day you choose to fly. 

 

4. Spend some time researching hotels. Look at multiple booking sites for the best priced hotel with the best ratings. Some sites that offer deals are booking.com, kayak.com and expedia.com. When booking your hotel ask about special discounts such as AAA, senior, and military. 

 

5. Be flexible with your rental car.  Be flexible with the type of car you are renting and look for deals such as weekly rates. You can use the same site you used to book your hotel to find deals on car rentals.

 

6. Eat local. Instead of selecting chain or brand name expensive restaurants, do some research on local spots with the best food reviews. Depending on the type of accommodations, you may consider grocery shopping when you arrive to limit eating out. Packing picnics is always a fun and inexpensive option for families on a trip.

 

7. Research local beaches, state parks and hikes. These are usually low-cost or free activities that get you outdoors exploring the new area you chose to visit. 

 

8. Enroll in travel rewards programs. Enrolling in travel rewards programs are free and can save you a lot of money especially if you do a lot of traveling. Enroll in hotel rewards programs and airline rewards programs to start collecting miles for free or discounted flights and rooms.

 

Planning a vacation and saving money at the same time can be a fun and rewarding experience. It takes just a little bit of research and planning to find the best deals while still staying in nice accommodations and eating great food. 

 

 

Warmly,

 

 

LivingLocal Realty

 

Posted in Lifestyle
Oct. 14, 2018

Time management

SUBJECT: time management

Time management is an important key to success. No matter what your profession, time management is essential for you to stay organized and productive and free up valuable time to spend doing some of the things you enjoy and spending it with those you love. 

To properly manage your time, it is essential that you create a schedule and stick to it. Start to organize yourself by looking at those things in your life that you are saying yes to. Try giving yourself 24 hours to think about new commitments before saying yes.

Then go into your calendar and insert your personal non-negotiable items. Let's say that every morning, you want to be at the gym at 6 o'clock, because that keeps you healthy. That's a non-negotiable, put that in. Maybe every single day, you want to pick your kids up from school at 3 o'clock, get them home, get them started on their homework, and that's a non-negotiable. Put those non-negotiable personal items in your calendar. 

Determine your start and end time for work and then time block your work activities. 

Reserve the morning for those items that need your focus and attention the most, the morning is when you are usually most productive.

Time block the rest of your activities so that you have structure to your day. Find ways to delegate low cost items as you can afford to do so. Utilize delivery services and cleaners to save time, if you are able to. Make sure you set 30 minutes a day aside for yourself. 

Try keeping a time log for a week to help fine tune your efficiency, so you can see where you are spending most of your time.

You are going to be so glad that you have everything scheduled. It will give you a sense of peace, and a lot more freedom!

 

Warmly,

 

LivingLocal Realty

 

Posted in Lifestyle
Oct. 7, 2018

10 Things you can do to “Add Value” to Your Home

SUBJECT: 10 Things you can do to “Add Value” to Your Home

1. Even though your home is not for sale, take a tour of your home pretending to be a potential buyer. Turn a critical eye to the small things you’ve overlooked or learned to live with. Make a list.

2. Most people are well aware of “problem” areas in their homes. Whether yours is a garage that needs organizing or bathroom tile that needs re-grouting, take care of it. Do the little things first.

3. There are many excellent books and videos on how to make rooms look larger: effective lighting, easy window treatments and creating a strong visual appeal. Obtain some, and analyze the impression your home makes on others.

4. How much storage space do you have? Is it neat, well organized and uncluttered?  If not, consider some of the easy and inexpensive do-it-yourself closet systems available today.

5. Is the exterior of your dwelling all that it could be? If not, sometimes it is the little things that make a house look its best. Paint the trim, or just the front door. Add a bright new mailbox.

6. Speak to your local paint or wallpaper supplier. They are often willing to provide helpful information on selection and how to do it yourself.

7. Talk to your real estate professional about what buyers like and don’t like about houses that they see.

8. Pay particular attention to the foundation, walls, steps, railings, ceilings and floors. If they are in need of repair, it can create an impression, even if false, that the house is not structurally sound.

9. Your yard is another area to look at critically. Are the plants overgrown? Cut them back. Is it bare? Most counties have agricultural offices that can offer advice on the best and quickest growing plants and trees for your climate.

10. When you’ve done all the little things that help make your home its most appealing, decide if there are major improvements which will add value when you decide to sell.

 

For a competitive market analysis of your home, reply to this email and I would be happy to answer any questions you have.

 

For Real Estate Advice that pertains to financial, legal, or tax related information contact the professionals in those fields. The practice of Real Estate representation can vary by state. Ask your Real Estate Representative for agency information pertaining to your state and company.  

 

Warmly,

 

LivingLocal Realty

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
Sept. 30, 2018

How to start exercising and love it

SUBJECT: How to start excercising and love it

You have heard it before; exercise is good for you. You know it; you don’t doubt it, you have probably even said it to others. But... you aren’t doing it. Somehow, you have gotten out of the habit of exercising regularly, and now you can’t remember the last time you had a good workout.

That’s okay, it happens to all of us, and it’s not your fault. There are family pressures, work issues, and time constraints.  The bottom line is that for all kinds of good reasons, you no longer work out on a regular basis.

There is an easy solution. Just make the workouts fun and short. Make them enjoyable. 

So, how to start exercising and enjoy it, so that you will continue to do it on a regular basis? First, make it a short workout. Do you think that within your busy life, you can figure out a way to exercise for 15 minutes a day? And that you can do that just 4 days a week?  Of course you can.

Take your busiest three days each week, and put them aside. Plan on not exercising those three days each week. No matter how much you may want to exercise those three days, force yourself to not exercise those three days.

The second step, believe it or not, only involves your mind. Negative thoughts about exercise and the excuses we all have for not exercising come from where? They come from our minds. How many times have you thought things like; I don’t like to exercise, I don’t want to exercise, I’m too tired to exercise, I’m not athletic, and nothing I do will change that, exercising isn’t fun, etc.?

The good news is, you can replace those negative, exercise defeating thoughts with positive, exercise inducing thoughts. And you can do this just as fast and easy as thinking about it.

Let’s start out by replacing those negative thoughts.  Right now, as you read this, tell yourself the following; I like to exercise, I want to exercise, I have plenty of energy to exercise, exercise is fun, and I look forward to becoming more athletic. Put these thoughts into your mind every day. As soon as you get up in the morning, repeat these positive thoughts. It often helps to write them out.

The third step is doing the actual 15-minute exercise program. Your mantra above will help, and you may want even to start going for a daily walk of 20-30 minutes today. With the right mindset, you will love it!

 

Warmly,

LivingLocal Realty

 

Posted in Lifestyle
Sept. 23, 2018

A Cozy Home

subject: a cozy home

 

Your home should be a place you, your friends and family can comfortably enjoy. You want your home to be a place that is inviting and relaxing where even the most unexpected guests will feel at home.

 

Making your home  more cozy doesn’t have to be hard and can be done with a few changes to your décor. 

 

Throws and Pillows- Adding soft throw blankets and pillows to your couch and chairs will instantly soften up the room. Don’t be afraid to mix textures to make it even more inviting. 

 

Mix and Match- It’s okay to mix and match different styles just keep a common color throughout that will help tie the pieces together. 

 

Add a Little Vintage- Shop your local thrift stores and vintage markets to find some accessories that will add a sense of charm and history to your home. Reclaimed wood, whether in a piece of art or furniture, is another vintage element that can add some warmth to your home.

 

Layer Your Window Treatments- Layering drapes over your window shades will instantly soften the room.

 

Display Family Photos- Feel more at home by displaying photos of those you share it with and who are closest to your heart. 

 

Play With Paint Color- Adding a warmer color of paint to a built-in or other architectural element in your home can add a sense of warmth. 

 

Your home should be a place that reflects your family’s personality and style. Choose elements that you love. Collect items over time that have meaning, and select furniture that is comfortable yet sophisticated. 

 

 

Warmly,

 

LivingLocal Realty

 

Sept. 16, 2018

A Guide to Camping Gear

subject: A Guide to Camping Gear

 

Whether you are an experienced camping enthusiast, or you are starting off on your first camping experience, it is important to have the proper gear and equipment. Many of the supplies can be expensive and some items may be hard to find. To get the most for your money, though, there are several tricks you can employ. 

 

Plan

 

Unless you have an unlimited budget, a camping trip is not something where you can get everything at once without a bit of planning. Research where you will be going, the conditions that will be present and the climate. Make a list of all the supplies you will need and determine what items you have available and what items you will need to purchase. If you start early enough, you’ll be able to spread purchases over a longer period of time so it does not take as big a hit to your budget all at once.

 

Budget

 

Research on the Internet or at local sporting goods stores to get an idea of the cost for all the equipment and supplies you will need. Do not forget items such as food and water, cooking utensils and eating implements. If you go over budget, see if there are ways you can economize or determine if there are some items you can do without. Do not skimp on survival equipment or first aid equipment as these are essential. However, you may be able to get away with roughing it a bit more by foregoing some luxury items. Compare prices on the Internet. Not all stores have comparable prices and if you forego the convenience of getting everything at one store, you may get better prices. 

 

Borrow and Rent

 

If you have friends who have camped in the past, they may be able to supply some equipment for you to borrow. This will greatly reduce initial expenses. Even if you can get pieces from several people, this may help. Make sure to keep a list of who gave you which items, so you can return them to the correct people. Be considerate of other people’s property and return items cleaned and in good condition. Some items are also available for rental. Check with local rental locations to see if they have items such as grills and showers. For maximum convenience, you can rent a recreational vehicle which will supply cooking, eating and sleeping facilities.

 

Buy Used and Discounted

 

Check on the Internet or at local resale shops for used equipment. Many people will purchase items for camping then decide they don’t want it anymore or they upgrade. You can find great deals at these stores and buy clothing and equipment at a value. Discount stores often have sporting goods sections. You may not be able to buy all your camping needs there, but you may be able to find dishes, heaters, grills, tents and sleeping bags at a greatly reduced price.

 

Buying camping equipment can be expensive, especially for the first-time camper. However, with a little planning and time you can get items at a discounted rate. Make sure to be organized and make lists of necessary items. Research prices and compare stores to find the best discounts available. Your camping vacation will be a lot more enjoyable if you didn’t spend a fortune to rough it in the wilderness.

 

 

Warmly,

 

 

LivingLocal Realty

 

Posted in Lifestyle
Sept. 9, 2018

Is It Time for Your Annual Real Estate Checkup?

Subject: IS IT TIME FOR YOUR ANNUAL REAL ESTATE CHECKUP?

Because your home is most likely one of your largest assets, it just makes sense to stay on top of its value. Don’t you agree?

Each year we offer our great clients and friends an opportunity to request a FREE, no strings attached, Annual Real Estate Checkup.

When you book your checkup we will come to you, take a quick tour of your home, and bring you a comprehensive market evaluation. This evaluation will be customized and prepared specifically for you.

At this meeting we will give you my opinion of the current values, share information about how the market is trending, and answer any questions you might have. The entire consultation will take less than 20 minutes, although we are happy to stay longer if you have more questions.

You might be asking why we would go through so much trouble to provide this valuable service for free, especially when you aren’t even selling your home. The answer is simple: we want to stay in touch and be valuable to you as your wise real estate advisor. This is how we hope you to earn your referrals and future business. 

If you prefer, we would be happy to simply email the information to you and answer any questions you have over the phone.

Call or text me any time and we will set our appointment!

 

Warmly,

 

LivingLocal Realty

 

 

Sept. 2, 2018

4 Steps to an Organized Closet

subject: 4 Steps to an organized closet

 

Can’t seem to find the clothes you need when getting ready in the morning, clothes are wrinkled because they are so tightly packed, and getting dressed takes more time than the rest of the tasks that are part of your morning routine? If these are problems you have, it sounds like it is time to take control of the closet clutter and get organized. 

 

With a few simple steps you will be on your way to freedom from closet clutter.

 

Step 1: Purge your closet. Take everything out of your closet and get rid of those items that you no longer wear and don’t fit.

 

Step 2: Once everything is out of your closet assess your items and determine your storage needs. This may include shoe storage, hand bags, belts, scarves, etc. 

 

Step 3: Once you have determined your storage needs it is time to get your closet organized to efficiently use every inch of space. It is time to create a storage plan.

 

For shoe storage you could consider cubbies for your slim shoes such as flats and flip flops. The remaining cubbies can be used to store other items such as belts and scarves. A tilted shoe rack is also a great option because it allows you to see all of your shoes. 

 

Installing shelving at the top of your closet is a great place to store extra bags and clear dividers can help them stand upright.

 

Installing double rods is another way to efficiently use vertical space. You can hang shorter items on the top rod and then hang your bottom rod directly below those items. This gives you the extra space to hang additional clothes.

 

Use bins and label them. Cloth bins are a great option for random accessories and out of season items such as bathing suits and winter hats and gloves.

 

To keep organized, luggage tags are great to use to label these bins so you know where everything is, as well as a great reminder to put your items back in their proper place. 

 

Step 4: Now that you have your storage plan it is time to get organized. 

 

When hanging your clothes in the closet the best way to organize them is by type. For example- long sleeve shirts, short sleeve shirts, jackets, etc. Then if you want to take it to the next level organize by color within each type. 

 

Now when you go to get dressed you know which section of your closet to look in for a specific type of clothing. Use hangers that are the same size and type when hanging your clothes for a more clean and streamlined look. The velvet hangers are also great space-savers!

 

For your sweaters you should fold them neatly on a shelf instead of hanging to avoid hanger marks and stretching. Sweaters can also be 

folded and organized by color.

 

To keep things neat and tidy make sure to add a hamper to your closet, if you have the space, That way dirty clothes have a home so they don’t end up on your floor or mixed in with the clean clothes. 

 

To find shelving and other closet organizing accessories you can go to the containerstore.com or try visiting a hardware store such as Home Depot – they have a whole section dedicated to organizing. 

 

Remember, create your plan for the type of shelving and bins you need to fit your clothing and accessory storage needs, then head to the store with your shopping list and measurements in hand.

 

If you have the space, you may want to hang a full-size mirror in your closet for dressing. And if you have a walk-in closet, a nice bench is a great addition so you have a place to sit when putting on clothes and shoes. A curved bench will fit the space better than a rectangular bench.

 

Enjoy your newly organized closet!

 

 

Warmly,

 

LivingLocal Realty

 

Posted in Lifestyle
Aug. 26, 2018

3 Best Remodeling Projects For A Jump In Home Value

Subject: The 3 best remodeling projects for the biggest and fastest jump in your home’s value

 

According to the most recent nationwide research, the following home remodeling projects will give you the best Return On Investment (ROI), for your remodeling projects this year. Fortunately, they are also relatively inexpensive, fast and easy to do. 

 

Number One, in a surprising first place finish for the highest ROI, and in fact, the only home improvement you can make that will return more than you spend is adding loose-fill fiberglass insulation in your attic. On a national average, this improvement will give you a 107.7% ROI.

 

When adding the insulation, it should be placed on top of the existing insulation. The fiberglass loosefill is then applied until a thickness equating with R-30 insulation value is reached.

 

Few buyers want to move into a home that has delayed maintenance problems. Buyers know a well-insulated home will save them money and is an indication the home has been kept up well and properly maintained.

 

At number two, the second best remodeling improvement you can make to improve your home’s value is replacing your home’s front door. First impressions count a lot. When a buyer walks up to the front of your home, they want to be impressed. Buyers know if they are impressed when they walk up to their new home, their friends and family will be impressed when they come to visit. And who doesn’t want to impress their friends and family who come to visit them in their new home?

 

However, you can’t replace your front door with just any new, front door. Research has found the type of front door that gives the highest ROI is of a very specific design.

 

For the highest ROI, you need to replace your existing front door and jambs with a new 20-gauge steel door, including a clear dual-pane half-glass panel, jambs, and an aluminum threshold with a composite stop. The door must be factory finished and of the same color on both sides. 

 

So pick one, two, or all of these projects to complete and you will be thrilled with your new, higher home value.

 

Warmly,

 

LivingLocal Realty

Posted in Selling Your Home