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Sharlene Hensrud
Minneapolis
Realtor with RE/MAX Results, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
Interests: cooking, movies, walking, singing, art museums/galleries
Recent Activity
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When we got the Valentine thank you below from Habitat for Humanity, it made me think of all of you. Thank you for the privilege of working with you, which allows us to help others who wouldn't be able to find home without Habitat for Humanity. Home is everything “Everything in your life is sheltered by home. It can mask your need, but it also protects everything you have, especially your family.” Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results HomesMSP Team - Sharlene, John, Angela - Twin Cities Realtors RELATED POSTS Why I support Habitat for Humanity Thank you for your part in helping Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity help 2,847 families purchase or stay in their homes in 2015! Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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You have no doubt heard about the importance of staging... light, decluttered and sparkling clean. If you are targeting the generation born between 1980 and 1995, here are some other things to keep in mind... most of them want a home that is move-in ready, with modern furnishings and colors. They don't want to buy grandma's house... and they also don't want to buy their parent's house. They want a fresh, hip style... but they don't have the time, money or desire to do the work themselves. The problem is, if you have lived in your home a long time there is a good chance it may also have furnishings and accessories collected over many years... things such as collectibles and doilies that scream 'OLD'. Even though your furnishings won't be sold with your home, they could have a negative effect on potential buyers. They want updated decor. This is why meeting with a stager is so important. Sometimes tweaking a few things can update your decor without a major investment. If not, what often yields the best return is clearing out all your furnishings and possessions... then following your stager's advice on painting and updates before having your stager bring in updated furnishings to show your home in its best light. That's what the sellers did with the house below. They didn't do a home renovation but they did paint and stage the home... and got to choose their buyer from 13 offers!!! Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Minneapolis-St. Paul Listing Agent The HomesMSP Team - Sharlene, John, Angela - Twin Cities Realtors RELATED POSTS 4 Steps to preparing your home for sale Thinking about selling your home? How soon should you contact your Realtor? Staging Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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When I visited Walker Art Center's new exhibit, Merce Cunningham: COMMON TIME, the day after opening I was blown away... so much so that I went back the next day with grandkids in tow for this immersion experience. Perhaps part of the reason I am so drawn to his work is the fact that interconnectedness is my top 'strength' and that's what Merce Cunningham was all about... connecting movement, sound and visual arts to share common time. My first introduction to collaborative modern dance and music was in Paris in May 1970 when I went to a dance performance unlike anything I had ever seen or heard before. I don't remember who the performers were, only that I was mesmerized and my perceptions of dance and music were changed forever. I was taken back to that experience at this exhibition. After I left I was compelled to check and see if Merce Cunningham was in Paris at that time. Indeed he was there... at the theater where I was... that was evidently my first Merce encounter. Walker Art Center is home to the complete scenic and costume archive of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (MCDC) and takes full advantage of these resources. Cunningham, who lived 1919-2009, was a renowned choreographer and dancer who revolutionized dance by partnering with leading artists who created costumes, lighting, films, music, and décor. I was amazed by the number of live screens scattered throughout the 7 galleries of this extensive exhibit. One of my favorite galleries was #7, filmed near the end of his life, when Cunningham was in a wheelchair. It exemplifies the impact of stillness and silence. I loved how you couldn't pass through the gallery without casting your silhouette on the screens, making the visitor part of the experience... which would be in a state of continual change. In keeping with Merce Cunningham's persistence in pursuing the new and pushing both collaboration and boundaries, WAC commissioned Maria Hassabi to create a performance piece for the exhibition. No, those aren't random people lying on the floor... they are eight dancers inhabiting various spaces within Walker Art Center... creating a sculptural movement installation exploring the tension between stillness and sustained motion. In her own words... “I am concerned with the separation between the spectacular and the everyday, between subject and object, between bystander and viewer—while addressing the ways in which dance and the spectacle... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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"In every life we have some trouble. But when you worry, you make it double." - Bobby McFerrin "Don’t Worry be Happy". Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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When I was recently contacted by an architect's family relocating to the Twin Cities from across the country I was excited to learn they are lovers mid-century modern architecture. I found a home designed by noted Twin Cities mid-century modern architect Elisabeth (Lisl) Close for sale in University Grove... but they wanted to live on the other side of the city. The home of another mid-century modern architect, David Griswold, was also for sale... but it also didn't fit any of their top three criteria. When she contacted me and said 'you are going to think we are nuts' and then gave me the address of the home that piqued their interest, I told her I had already planned to show it to them when they arrived whether they asked to see it or not! It was the home of David Griswold that captured their hearts and it was perfect for them! Photos courtesy of Scott Weld, Keller Williams Integrity Realty It is often easy to spot homes sensitively designed by an architect from the street not only by the design itself, but also because they are so specifically designed to fit the setting. This home is tucked back below street level on over a half acre, unassuming and unlike the neighboring homes. It would be easy to drive right by and not even notice it if you aren't paying attention. Perhaps the most distinguishing feature that sets it apart is the minimal windows on the north side... small, high windows along the whole north perimeter to let in light and give the ceiling a floating feeling on the upper level. Not only is minimal windows on that side more energy efficient, it also doesn't have a view so there is no real reason for windows other than to let in light. The south side, however, has a spectacular view of the woods going down to a pond at the bottom of the hill. It is totally lined with windows on both levels that not only welcome the view, but also bring in amazing light and ambient heat in the winter when the trees are leafless. When we saw the home when it was empty, Mrs. Buyer said the light streaming in was so amazing that she almost didn't want to bring in any furniture! The interior has incredible interior finishes, including luxurious terrazzo floors, distinctive brick, gorgeous redwood and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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"I try to be available for life to happen to me." ~ Bill Murray NOTE: I spend my Wednesdays Unplugged from appointments. It's my day to stay home, enjoy cooking and welcome our kids and grandkids for dinner in the evening. We end our meal with quotes from the Norwegian 'Quote Cup' passed on to me from my grandmother. I share a quote and a recipe here each week, and sometimes some photos of family fun. I love trying new recipes...and love getting recipes you would like to share! We don't get to see our oldest granddaughter very often any more... she is now a college girl... so it was a special treat when she could join us for family night last week! We had a grandkid sleepover with our youngest grandchildren last weekend and had a fun outing to the Ice Castle in Stillwater. It was so fun to have our youngest granddaughter fix us scrambled eggs for breakfast! RECIPE OF THE WEEK I have to try a new recipe for macaroni and cheese every once in a while... this latest one was from Real Simple. DECADENT MACARONI AND CHEESE 3 cups short pasta (such as macaroni or cavatelli) 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter Two 12-ounce cans evaporated milk 1/3 cup skim milk 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg Pinch cayenne pepper 8 ounces processed American cheese slices, torn (about 2 cups) 8 ounces Gruyere, grated (about 2 cups) 8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated (about 2 cups) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and return the hot pasta to the pot. Add the butter, tossing until melted. Whisk together the evaporated milk, skim milk, eggs, salt, nutmeg and cayenne in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the American cheese, Gruyere and cheddar. Spread 1/3 of the pasta in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Top with 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Repeat with the remaining pasta and cheese, then pour the milk mixture over the top. Bake until warmed through and golden, 20-30 minutes. Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Email - Minneapolis Realtor Who Cooks RELATED POSTS Wednesdays Unplugged - Awesome Baked Macaroni and Cheese Wednesdays Unplugged - Bistro Mac and Cheese with bacon Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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You may be surprised at how much cash you need to buy a home... it could be less than you expect to get a mortgage. But your costs go beyond your down payment, and you will need cash at several points along the way. DOWN PAYMENT Over one-third of first-time home buyers made a down payment of 5% or less of the purchase price More than half of home buyers had credit scores of 600-749 Minimum down payment for an FHA mortgage is 3.5% of purchase price, most conventional mortgages require at least 5% down but some programs are available with a 3% down payment Down payment assistance programs are available, with income limits higher than you might expect (such as $68,650 for a single person in Minneapolis-St. Paul with some programs) CHECK WITH A LENDER to discuss the best program for you and your situation Sharmain Tesmer, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (612-667-7129) - special Wells Fargo programs in conjunction with city programs can enable to buy a home in Minneapolis & St. Paul with as little as $1,000 of your own money Leslie Vanderwerf, American Mortgage & Equity Consultants (651-200-6556) - misc local grants and loans to supplement your own cash for purchases throughout the metro Molly Zimmerman, Bell Mortgage (763-222-1546) - 3% down conventional financing Your down payment is due at closing CLOSING COSTS & PREPAIDS Closing costs include such things as title search and title insurance, mortgage registration tax and recording fees, settlement closing fees Prepaids include mortgage interest and taxes from date of closing to the end of the month, as well as money to 'seed' your escrow account for paying future taxes and homeowner's insurance when payment is due for next year Closing costs are due at closing, usually about 3.5% - 4.5% of purchase price Buyers can ask sellers to contribute to this cost, usually a maximum of 3% of the purchase price EARNEST MONEY You will need to submit an earnest money deposit of usually at least $1,000 or 1% of purchase price once you have come to an agreement to purchase a home... required by law to be deposited within 3 business days of coming to an agreement These funds apply to your final purchase and are held in the listing broker's escrow account for you until closing Your earnest money will be refunded to you if you cancel your agreement following... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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We have been having such a mild winter this year, I have to keep reminding myself that it is only the beginning of February... and it is still cold enough for ice! If you are looking for more outdoor family fun after the end of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival today, check out Ice Castles Minnesota 2017, in Stillwater this year. As of this morning, they are showing tickets available through February 13. We took grandkids on Friday after school and had a great time... but we all still got cold even though it was relatively mild for a winter day. We were pleasantly surprised by how big it was, with various caves and mazes... and slides including a tube slide, great fun for the kids! If you go, get your tickets ahead of time. When we booked our tickets on Wednesday for Friday, they were already sold out from 5:30 through the rest of the evening... we would have been very disappointed to arrive at 6:00 and discover we couldn't get in! Also dress warm, have kids wear snow pants. The ground is covered in crushed ice... a good reason for everyone to wear warm boots and bring a sled rather than a stroller for little ones. Of course any time is a good time to warm up with hot chocolate and warm cookies! Stillwater is such a charming historic river town, it is nice to have an excuse to visit in the winter. It also is a great place to live, only about a half hour from the Twin Cities. Stillwater homes for sale... let us know if you would like to schedule a visit! Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results Minneapolis-St. Paul Realtor RE/MAX Results HomesMSP Team - Sharlene, John, Angela - Twin Cities Realtors RELATED POSTS Stillwater... one of America's Prettiest Towns Hit the St Paul Winter Carnival this Weekend! The Children's Theatre in Minneapolis. Come, Appreciate Their Work. Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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Good question. The answer is no, you don't have to do anything to put your home on the market... it is always your option how you prepare your home for sale. But expect to pay for not staging your home in sale price and market time... likely both. Buyers are much more savvy than they were 10-15 years ago before the crash, when they would buy almost anything just to get into the market... if they didn't like it they could sell it again in a couple years and make some money for their next house. Now they are very intentional about what they buy, thinking consciously about how much time and money they will have to invest and expecting to live there at least 5-10 years. The home in the photo above was on the market a total of 248 days, 194 of them before I took over the listing and Shar Sitter of Rooms with Style came in to work her magic with staging using their own furnishings. Don't get me wrong... the house looked nice before... but the way you live in your home and the way you market your home are two very different things. The objective of staging your home to sell is maximizing space and features to make your home inviting to as many buyers as possible so they can picture themselves living in your home. It is making an emotional connection so they say "I want to live here!" Most buyers today are looking for homes that are move-in ready. If it's a fixer-upper, they expect a bargain price. The best way to sell your home for the best price in the least amount of time is to meticulously prepare and stage it. If your home is vacant, staging becomes even more important. When it is empty, people have a hard time envisioning how they will actually live in the space... and focus on its flaws because that is what they can clearly see. Because I see staging as such a vital part of selling your home, my services include a 2-hour home staging consultation with award-winning designer and stager, Shar Sitter of Rooms with Style. It really does make a difference!!! Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Minneapolis-St. Paul Listing Agent The HomesMSP Team - Sharlene, John, Angela - Twin Cities Realtors RELATED POSTS 4 Steps to preparing your home for sale Thinking... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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"The truest greatness lies in being kind. " ~ Emma Wheeler Wilcox NOTE: I spend my Wednesdays Unplugged from appointments. It's my day to stay home, enjoy cooking and welcome our kids and grandkids for dinner in the evening. We end our meal with quotes from the Norwegian 'Quote Cup' passed on to me from my grandmother. I share a quote and a recipe here each week, and sometimes some photos of family fun. I love trying new recipes...and love getting recipes you would like to share! This was a full week... awesome women's retreat along the St. Croix... my first rehearsal as part of the Adult Choir of the MN Boychoir (also awesome)... videotaping for our new website to come in a couple months... lower temps, but still in the double digits above zero. RECIPE OF THE WEEK I found some frozen bananas in the freezer and decided it was time for banana bread. This recipe came from Epicurious.com, a compilation of everything they liked best in the most popular versions of banana bread on their site. Here is the result... a sweet, nutty, very moist loaf. A FAVORITE BANANA BREAD 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 2/3 cup flour 4 medium very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (about 1 1/2 cups) 1/4 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed 2 large eggs, at room temperature 1/2 cup chopped walnuts Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour and 9x5" loaf pan, set aside. Combine banana, sour cream and vanilla in a medium bowl. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar in another large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 1/2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and beat on medium speed until fully combined, about 30 seconds. Add dry ingredients in 2 batches, beating on low after each addition until fully incorporated, about 20 seconds per batch. Fold in walnuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top with a spatula. Bake, rotating halfway through, until batter is set, top is dark golden brown and starting to crack, sides are starting to pull away from pan, and a tester inserted into center of bread comes out clean, 60-65... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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The key to finding the right home for you really starts with listening... Listening to your hopes and dreams about what you are looking for in a home and neighborhood Not just size and amenities, but consciously thinking about how you will live in the space and what kind of space will nurture you and your lifestyle You are not just buying a home, but also a community... what kind of community would you be excited to be a part of... not only the neighborhood amenities but also the people who live there Finding a Realtor who listens... really listens to you Someone who listens to not only what you say but also to what you don't say... including your body language Someone who listens beyond the facts to understand who you are Listening to your body We have more nerves in our gut than in our brains, and our bodies often know before our brains whether a home or neighborhood is right for us or not Don't be afraid to listen to what your body is telling you... you will know what is right if you open yourself to really listen I have been called a 'house whisperer' before. I am not quite sure what that means, but I think it has a lot to do with listening... Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Minneapolis-St. Paul Buyer's Agent HomesMSP Team - Sharlene, John, Angela - Minneapolis-St. Paul Realtors RELATED POSTS Ready to buy? Start by creating a home buying plan Tips for choosing a great real estate agent Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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The word "joint" has many definitions. When it comes to burger joints the definition start with a place where people meet. Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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Dreaming about buying a home but not sure if you even qualify for a mortgage? Below are three tips... and here is a 4th... talk to a lender!! You may be surprised to learn you already qualify for a mortgage... if not, you can find out what you need to do to qualify and make a plan. It may only take a few months. Don't have funds for a down payment? Down payment assistance is available... check with Sharmain Tessmer of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage to find out if you qualify to only bring $1,000 of your own money to buy a home! Infographic from Keeping Current Matters Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Minneapolis-St. Paul Realtor HomesMSP Team - Sharlene, John, Angela - Minneapolis-St. Paul Relocation RELATED POSTS Ready to buy? Start by creating a home buying plan Tips for choosing a great real estate agent Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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There is a big shortage of homes for sale! Data from Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors Nationally, 2017 started with the lowest supply of homes for sale since 1999. That is a 3.6 months supply, which means it would take 3.6 months to sell them all at the current rate of sales. The market is usually considered balanced with a 5-6 month supply... 3.6 months is a sellers market. That is the national picture. Our Minneapolis-St. Paul market started the year with only a 1.6 months supply, the lowest I have ever seen. The actual number of homes for sale is 30% of the supply in 2007 and a 26.3% drop from last year, fueled by strong sales as both interest rates and rents rise. Many renters are buying as they find it cheaper to own a home as rents continue to rise. As Baby Boomers downsize and first-time homebuyers leave apartments they are often in competition for the same homes. As a result, townhomes have the biggest shortage at 1.1 months... condos have a 1.4 months supply and houses 1.8. Price ranges below $350,000 all have a months supply of 1.3 or less... $350-$500 a 2.5 month supply, $500-$1M a 4.6 month supply and $1M+ an 11.7 month supply. The months supply for all price ranges was down compared to last year, with the biggest drop in the price range below $120,000 followed by the $250,000-$350,000 price range dominated by move-up buyers. What does this mean for you? If you are a buyer... Expect stiff competition for the homes that are available and be prepared to act quickly when you find a home you like. Don't expect to get a 'deal' on price... often the 'deal' in today's market is being able to buy without getting involved in multiple offers. If you are a seller... Be prepared to move quickly, especially if you are in high demand price ranges and locations. Have a Plan B in case you can't find your next home right away. If you have the resources, consider buying first so you aren't homeless. Don't think this means you don't have to prepare your home for sale... buyers are savvy. It is the homes that are priced right in great condition that sell quickly for the best prices. Check local market reports on 350+ Twin Cities metro area communities to find out what is happening in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. " ~ Michael Jordan NOTE: I spend my Wednesdays Unplugged from appointments. It's my day to stay home, enjoy cooking and welcome our kids and grandkids for dinner in the evening. We end our meal with quotes from the Norwegian 'Quote Cup' passed on to me from my grandmother. I share a quote and a recipe here each week, and sometimes some photos of family fun. I love trying new recipes...and love getting recipes you would like to share! This was a sports week... watching our granddaughter in gymnastics... watching our grandson play basketball... and taking our grandson to Sportsology at the Science Museum... pretty amazing watching him race against a Tyrannosaurus Rex! RECIPE OF THE WEEK This week's recipe comes from a friend who brought them to an hors d'oeuvres buffet. She kindly shared the recipe so I could share them on family night. Thank you, Janet! SPINACH TORTILLA ROLLUPS Two 10-inch garden spinach herb tortillas 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese (not low fat) 3-4 ounces dried cranberries 2-4 green onions, sliced Mix softened cream cheese and feta until blended. Stir in cranberries and green onions. Spread half of mixture on each tortilla; roll up tightly. Chill at least one hour before slicing and serving. Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Email - Minneapolis Realtor Who Cooks RELATED POSTS Wednesdays Unplugged - Creamed Corn Dip Wednesdays Unplugged - Asparagus Wraps Appetizer Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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Annual 2016 closed residential real estate sales for the combined Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area were 6.2% ahead of 2015, with steady gains the last two years. After an encouraging small rise in new listings the last two years, the number of new listings in 2016 dropped 1.1% behind the previous year. With an increase in sales and a decrease in new listings, inventory dropped to a new low in 2016, ending the year 26.3% below last year. That is only about 30% the number of homes available for sale in 2007! All of this has been fueling strong prices. Average sale price showed annual growth of 4.4% in 2016. The percentage of distressed sales continued to fall in 2016, ending the year with foreclosures and short sales making up only 7.1% of total sales... that means 92.9% were traditional sales. As you would expect, median sale price was highest for traditional sales. Months supply of inventory also ended the year at an all-time low of 1.6 months. When you break it out by type it becomes apparent why people downsizing from a house to a townhouse are having trouble... there is only a 1.1 month supply of townhomes available! That means it would take only about a month to sell all townhomes currently on the market if no new listings were added. Condos were hit hardest in the crash, but are now holding their own between houses and townhouses. Previously owned homes overall have an extremely low supply... only 1.4 months, while new construction homes ended the year with a 5.4 month supply. This indicates another great year for sellers... buyers need your homes! The figures above are based on statistics for the combined 13-county Twin Cities metropolitan area released by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. Never forget that all real estate is local and what is happening in your neighborhood may be very different from the overall metro area. Check local market reports on 350+ Twin Cities metro area communities. Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Email - Minneapolis - St. Paul Real Estate Market HomesMSP Team- Sharlene, John, Angela - Minneapolis-St. Paul Realtors RELATED POSTS December 2016 real estate market update... inventory continues to shrink How interest rate impacts your buying power Where do 100+ experts predict home prices will be in 5 years? Where might home prices be if the bubble and bust didn't occur? Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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When we stopped at The Buttered Tin in Lowertown, St. Paul recently I asked our server for a recommendation as I usually do when it isn't one of our regular haunts. She recommended the Huevos Rancheros and I almost passed because I frequently order it and felt like something different. But then I saw the menu... their version is Huevos Rancheros Benedict and I am so glad I ordered it. They were the best I have ever eaten... anywhere!! Here is their menu description... "two organic poached eggs & ranchero sauce on housemade cornbread with avocado, roasted corn & black bean salsa & cilantro lime sour cream served with a house salad with cider vinaigrette." Their whole menu looked fabulous... we didn't get any sweets to go but the way thinking about The Buttered Tin is making my mouth water we will have to go check those out as well. Everything is made from scratch... including grinding and brewing their unique house blend coffee in small batches so they are always fresh! Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - St. Paul Realtor The HomesMSP Team - Sharlene, John, Angela - Minneapolis-St. Paul Realtors RELATED POSTS Minnesota Boy Choir at Landmark Center... two Minnesota treasures Site of one of the Twin Cities' best French restaurants once had the most elaborate movie palace in the Upper Midwest Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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In my December 2015 update I reported that the supply of inventory had bottomed out. Well, this year's supply is even lower. It bottomed out 26.3% below last year! Because of strong sales months supply of inventory was even lower... 30.4% below last year, with only a 1.6 months supply. That means that if inventory froze and sales continued at the same rate it would take only 1.6 months for all the inventory to be sold to eager buyers! New listings were 8.2% behind last December... pending sales 6.5% behind last year, likely because buyers can't find homes to buy. Sellers, this means buyers want your home! December 2016 closed sales were were 2.6% ahead of December 2015 closed sales, while inventory dropped 26.3% below last year. As you can see below, sales have been consistently higher than last year all year while inventory has been significantly lower. No wonder the months supply of inventory is the lowest on record, only 1.6 months! It should also come as no surprise that median sale price has been floating above last year due to the laws of supply and demand. Optimism is the overwhelming feeling for the real estate market in 2017. Unemployment is low, wages have improved, and even though mortgage rates have increased to the low 4% range that is still historically very low. The biggest challenge is high competition for few properties. Hopefully more sellers will join the market this year. The figures and charts above are for the combined 13-county Twin Cities metropolitan area released by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. Never forget that all real estate is local and what is happening in your neighborhood may be very different from the overall metro area. Local real estate market reports on 350+ metro area communities Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Email - Minneapolis - St. Paul Real Estate Market HomesMSP Team- Sharlene, John, Angela - Minneapolis-St. Paul Realtors RELATED POSTS How interest rate impacts your buying power Where do 100+ experts predict home prices will be in 5 years? Where might home prices be if the bubble and bust didn't occur? Is a new housing bubble forming? 6 reasons why that isn't likely right now Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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"The connections, the connections, the connections. Everything eventually connects - people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se. " ~ Charles Eames NOTE: I spend my Wednesdays Unplugged from appointments. It's my day to stay home, enjoy cooking and welcome our kids and grandkids for dinner in the evening. We end our meal with quotes from the Norwegian 'Quote Cup' passed on to me from my grandmother. I share a quote and a recipe here each week, and sometimes some photos of family fun. I love trying new recipes...and love getting recipes you would like to share! It was our grandson's first Minnesota Boychoir concert at St. Paul's Landmark Center this month. Of course, it was awesome! Here is a link to one of my favorite songs, O Colored Earth... I think it was also in one of our granddaughter's choir concerts at Hopkins High. Speaking of connections, when I posted about it I immediately got a response from a client who said he saw me 'illuminated up there' on the balcony. I just sent in my registration to sing in their Adult Choir this season... can hardly wait to find out what other connections I will make! RECIPE OF THE WEEK I was hungry for Mexican last week, time for enchiladas. I liked that this recipe has both rice and corn along with chicken and cheese. The original recipe called for a 24-ounce jar of green enchilada sauce. I used two 16-ounce jars of Tomatillo Verde salsa and a 10-ounce can of green chile enchilada sauce. It was a little dry, maybe use a big can of green enchilada sauce next time... also spicy, so maybe use only 1 jar of tomatillo sauce (or none) if you like it more mild. We like the spice and have been loving the leftovers all week!! CHICKEN ENCHILADAS with rice, corn and green sauce 1 tablespoon butter 1 cup white rice 14.5 can chicken broth 3 boneless chicken breasts, lightly pan fried about 20 min - shredded Two 8 ounce packages shredded Monterey Jack cheese, 8 ounces shredded Mexican blend One 11-ounce can sweet corn, drained 1-2 16-ounce jars Tomatillo Verde salsa (if desired, depending on desired spice level) 24-ounce can green chile enchilada sauce 24 6-inch corn tortillas In a large skillet, saute rice with butter. Add chicken broth and simmer over low heat... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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Whether you are buying your first home or your tenth you go through the same basic steps when buying a home. 1. Gathering information Most people now start the home buying process by gathering information online. In fact, 96% of home buyers used the Internet to search for homes in 2016. This process often starts months, and sometimes even years, before moving on to the next step. Buyers are better prepared than ever, but so much information can also be confusing. Having a real estate professional working with you to sort through it all and guide you through the process is more important than ever. In 2016 88% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent. 2. Selecting a Realtor - signing documentation 3. Selecting a Lender - getting pre-approved for financing These two steps often happen pretty close to the same time. When you are ready to move forward you should have both...a Buyer's Agent to represent you and help you find a home, and a lender to help you determine how much home you can afford and provide the financing pre-approval you need when you make an offer. More than half of buyers last year found their Realtor through a referral from family and friends or used an agent they had worked with in the past. Realtors usually have trusted relationships with lenders they refer to their clients... and vice-versa, sometimes buyers start with a lender referred to them by family or a friend, who in turn connects them with a Realtor. Buying a home is likely one of the biggest purchases you will ever make, and it is important to work with someone you feel comfortable with and can trust. That's the reason so many people ask family and friends for recommendations. People are also using the Internet more and more in the selection process... getting to know something about different agents before meeting them in person, sometimes through testimonials or blogs such as this one. We have had new clients contact us saying they had been following our blog for some time, were ready to move forward and wanted us to represent them... they felt they already knew us! 4. Finding your home - identifying wants & needs, looking at homes It is important to identify your wants, needs and priorities in a home as you start your search process to find the perfect... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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People planning ahead before doing remodeling projects often contact us about what impact updates will have on resale. A good source for general information is Remodeling's annual Cost vs. Value report, which gives the average cost and estimated amount recouped at resale for top projects. They revised their list a little, covers 26 projects this year instead of more than 30 with a few new projects included. Average cost has gone up 4.1%, and average percent recouped has gone down 10.6% from last year. Two of the new projects showed the highest percentage recouped... manufactured stone veneer (97%) and fiberglass attic insulation (95.3%). Windows, entry door and garage door replacement all showed a return of 70% or greater. Thinking about a kitchen remodel? Most people know that kitchens sell, but if you are remodeling for resale keep it in check unless you are also doing a major floor plan renovation... a minor kitchen remodel ($22,775) had a 74.8% return while a major kitchen remodel ($66,986) had a lower return of 59.1%. MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL Remodeling ROI - Cost vs Value 2017 Manufactured stone veneer - $7.520 - 97.0% Attic insulation (fiberglass) - $1,351 - 95.3% Garage door replacement - $1,890 - 78.5% UPSCALE garage door replacement - $3,202 - 78.4% Minor kitchen remodel - $22,775 - 74.8% Entry door replacement (fiberglass) - $3,255 - 74.4% UPSCALE window replacement (vinyl) - $16,039 - 71.0% UPSCALE window replacement (wood) - $19,506 - 70.0% Siding replacement - $16,742 - 65.3% Entry door replacement (steel) - $1,463 - 63.9% Basement remodel - $81,048 - 62.8% UPSCALE grand entrance (fiberglass) - $8,363 - 62.5% Two-story addition - $192,376 - 59.7% Major kitchen remodel - $66,986 - $59.1% Deck addition (composite) - $18,900 - 58.1% Family room addition - $100,860 - 57.4% Bathroom remodel - $21,165 - 56.1% UPSCALE major kitchen remodel - $129,706 - 56.0% Deck addition (wood) - $12,111 - 53.7% Roofing replacement - $26,204 - 53.5% UPSCALE bathroom remodel - $62,903 - 52.3% Master suite addition - $134,643 - 51.4% UPSCALE deck addition (composite) - $43,223 - 48.5% UPSCALE master suite addition - $269,900 - 47.9% UPSCALE bathroom addition - $89,964 - 47.4% Bathroom addition - $49,838 - 43.5% Back-up power generator - $13,751 - 34.8% This report is for the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. See the complete 2017 Cost vs Value report for the whole country, regionally, or by city... with records going... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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When I looked at this year's design trends and saw that taupe is the color of the year I was immediately brought back to the early 1980s. We owned a framing store and art gallery at that time and I remember how mauve was the big design color back then... mauve matting was big, in a color I am not sure was ever used much before or since. This year's color is a softer gray, creating sanctuary from the stresses of the world. What reminded me of the 1980s is the strong pink undertones also prevalent in 1980s mauve. Then I thought of parallels in political climate... both now and then saw foreign policy turmoil, rising violence, and a strong conservative political shift with a new president taking office. And then I remembered the taupe draperies my mother so careful stitched in the early 1960s. Cycles tend to repeat themselves, with a new twist. Other 2017 design trends to watch for are: Gathering spaces both in homes and communities, as people crave more face-to-face time in response to the prevalence of social media Play spaces to unwind, such as indoor golf simulators and backyard putting greens Natural and warm materials, such as cork Less costly energy conservation upgrades, such as low-e window film and ceramic insulating paint coating for walls and a thermal energy shield for attics, solar glass roof tiles for passive heat gain Personalized use of space, for how you really live Higher suburban walk scores, living close to a town center and public transit into the city Environmentally healthy homes, with healthy water supplies, purifiers, HVAC systems, nontoxic paints and adhesives, lighting to promote healthy sleep patterns Fireplace shifts, including less costly ventless alcohol-burning fireplaces, outdoor fireplaces Countertops moving away from granite, using materials like quartz, laminates that mimic stone and wood and distressed metal and concrete, eco-friendly overlays using materials like recycled glass Flexible office space, as more people work from home but need less dedicated space Read more at REALTOR Mag Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Twin Cities Realtor HomesMSP Team- Sharlene, John, Angela - Minneapolis-St. Paul Realtors RELATED POSTS Twin Cities suburban communities with the highest Walkscores Design Trends 2016 Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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"The important thing is to never stop questioning." ~ Albert Einstein NOTE: I spend my Wednesdays Unplugged from appointments. It's my day to stay home, enjoy cooking and welcome our kids and grandkids for dinner in the evening. We end our meal with quotes from the Norwegian 'Quote Cup' passed on to me from my grandmother. I share a quote and a recipe here each week, and sometimes some photos of family fun. I love trying new recipes...and love getting recipes you would like to share! We spent last Friday with our grandkids at the Science Museum... a fun time was had by all, from building with wood to building with cardboard to mindbending puzzles. Personally, my favorite was watching the tornado form reminds me of growing up on the North Dakota prairie. RECIPE OF THE WEEK This week's recipe came from a cookbook from Mindekirken Norwegian Lutheran Church I got as a Christmas gift. I served it on New Year's Eve, when we always have fondue with longtime friends we met when we lived in Duluth. She said she had been served a similar salad and had been looking for the recipe. If any of you have also been looking for it, here it is! WINTER TOSSED SALAD with homemade dressing DRESSING 1/2 cup sugar 1/3 cup cider or red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped (or 3/4 teaspoon onion powder) 1/2 teaspoon salt 2/3 cup vegetable oil 2-3 teaspoons poppy seeds In a blender or food processor combine the sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, onion and salt. Process until blended. With blender running, gradually add oil. Add poppy seeds and blend. TOSSED SALAD 10 cups romaine or lettuce, cut up 1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded 1 medium apple, cubed 1 medium pear, cubed 1/4 cup dried cranberries 1/2-1 cup cashews, chopped In a large bowl combine the romaine/lettuce, Swiss cheese, apple, pear and cranberries. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing. (you may not need all of it. The rest can be refrigerated for another time.) Add cashews and serve immediately. Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Email - Minneapolis Realtor Who Cooks RELATED POSTS Wednesdays Unplugged - Strawberry Spinach Salad with strawberry dressing Wednesdays Unplugged - Baby Greens with blueberries and honey-lemon dressing Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
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Although I can't speak for all Realtors, I love hearing from people who are thinking about selling long before they are ready to put their home on the market. Chances are good that the longer you have lived in your home the longer it will take to get it ready to sell... and if you make improvements well in advance you can enjoy some of the improvements yourself before you sell! Contact your agent before doing any improvements to sell your home... focus on basic de-cluttering, cleaning and basic repairs first, then call your agent before doing anything else including painting. Your Realtor knows your market and can advise you on what changes will have a positive impact for your specific home... what is and isn't recommended may surprise you. Also start going to open houses in your area to get an idea of how your competition is preparing, staging and pricing their homes. Some things to discuss with your Realtor are... Current market, what your house might sell for and your estimated net proceeds... possible variations based on potential impact of improvements you may be considering If you will be buying after you sell, what is available for you to buy... maybe make a 'buying' tour of homes. Does it financially make sense to make the move? Do you have special requirements with limited property choices so it makes more sense to buy first if you can? If you decide to move forward, your Realtor can help you make decisions on what you should do to make your home have greatest appeal... improvements should match the market for your particular home and neighborhood When you work with me one of my services is a 2-hour consultation with a professional stager to help make a detailed plan including what items to keep and what to sell/give away, paint colors, furniture arrangement, updates, decor... staging is very different from decorating, and sets the stage so buyers can picture themselves living in your home If where you live requires a city inspection before you sell, be sure to have that completed before hiring anyone to come in and do any work... coordinating required repairs to be done at the same time can save you both time and money Stay in touch with your Realtor as you make progress on your plan. The two most difficult parts of getting ready to sell are... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog