Lakeville, MN Real Estate News

By Shar Sitter, Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M
(Rooms With Style)
Well....okay it maybe wasn't actually junk but it was buried under a pile of old rusted pails and tools when I found it. I wish I had a picture of it that day as I found it.Anyway...I saw a very 'rustic' table sitting outside of an antique store that was basically blocks of 2 x 4s nailed together with an old picket fence nailed to the back.Here are a couple photos once I got it home and cleaned up.   Nothing pretty that's for sure. It technically was put together to be a gardening bench. A old rusted shovel and bin attached to the back for the dirt.I painted the base "Smokey Blue" by Sherwin Williams and left the picket fence top distressed in white. I spray painted primer on the dirt bin and shovel and then a couple coats of white paint.It has turned into the best beverage station on m...
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By Shar Sitter, Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M
(Rooms With Style)
I had never heard of Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers until last month when we were driving back to Minnesota from Texas and we stopped in Kansas City for fuel. We were also hungry and right next to our gas station was Freddy's.  I'm always game to try something new and I was so glad we did. Our steakburgers were fabulous and the custard? Well.....what can I say about the Frozen Custard except superb. I didn't know much about Freddy's but I loved the vintage photos of him as a child on the walls of the restaurant. I didn't give it much thought beyond that as what were my chances of passing through Kansas City and stopping at the same exit to eat there again. Needless to say I was shocked when I was driving to my warehouse and there was a huge sign saying "Coming Soon. Freddy's Ste...
Comments 5
By Shar Sitter, Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M
(Rooms With Style)
If you haven't noticed, succulents are really in right now. There are even stores having succulent parties to pick your containers and plant them right at the store. I do like them and although it is really tough to kill a succulent, I can do it. This real one sat in my Mom's condo unattended when she was in the nursing home for over a year and was fine and healthy. When she passed away I took it home and now it looks like this.  So I went to Plan B. The fake succulents are so incredibly real that I knew they were for me! I wasn't too crazy about the typical glass terrarium containers I was seeing everywhere so I looked around my house to see what I had that I wasn't using. I came upon this candle holder and I had a light bulb moment.  This is what it looks like now and it sits in the w...
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By Shar Sitter, Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M
(Rooms With Style)
If your house is like mine was as a kid....there are hard boiled colored eggs everywhere come the evening of Easter Sunday. There is that special time of dying the eggs with your kids, then there are all the egg hunts where more are collected (they used real eggs when I was a kid, do they still do that?). So you could end up with more eggs than you bargained for.  You hate to throw them away but you can only eat so many hard boiled eggs. So what else can you do? Egg Salad sandwiches are a given but I love this recipe that takes it a step further. The recipe is from Whole Foods (so I'm sure it's healthy, ha). Curry powder is fabulous enough but then add in the crunch from the pistachios and a slight peppery flavor from the arugula and you have a variation of a classic. Stuff it into a Pi...
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By Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about.
There seems to be a consensus among real estate salespersons and their professional association that mortgage interest tax deductions play an integral role in facilitating home ownership.  There are numerous solicitations based on, at least in part, the advantage of a tax deduction for "owning" over renting.  By definition, those solicitations are aimed at first time home buyers.Often, first time buyers have relatively low income and buy relatively low priced homes.  Their mortgage debt does not generate enough interest expense to gain benefit from an itemized tax return over the standard deduction.  Many first time buyers gain no tax advantage in owning over renting.  The expected  tax advantage is effectively a myth.  They may be happy to enjoy the lifestyle upgrade often associated w...
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By Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about.
I just read an excellent post by Dianne Goode, titled Remodeling Isn't As Easy As It Looks On TV.  The writer makes the point that reality shows are largely staged fantasies.  How many times do we have to watch somebody "almost" get devoured by a gater, or get fired, or remodel their home in an hour before we figure out that it isn't really happening?  The answer is simple.  Some of us will never figure it out, and some will.There are three types of DIY undertaking,  things you can probably do fairly well by yourself, things that will take you longer and cost more than hiring a professional, and things you just can't do successfully on your own.You can probably fertilize, weed and mow your own lawn.  You can probably shovel your own snow and maybe even paint the fence.  You can probably...
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By Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about.
As an industry observer since my retirement from real estate last year, I have transitioned from real estate as career to real estate as a source of entertainment.  Never lacking in its entertainment value, it comes as little surprise that the two best known real estate personalities in America are primarily entertainers.First, we have the fictional real estate agent, Phil Dunphy, bumbling stereotype of the Modern Family series.  Phil's writer seems to find new ways to support the poor image of real estate professionals almost weekly.  For the last seven years, it has been the public's pleasure to gleefully observe the lack of professionalism, and sometimes unethical and illegal escapades, of Phil the functional moron.  If only there were a professional association that could defend the...
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By Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about.
We have been of the mindset that taking the stance that all the others are no good is counter productive to our success.  Tear down all the other real estate professionals, and it will just damage the entire industry, including you.  It's hard to take the other side of this argument, but perhaps the times are changing.The apparent favorite to become our next president has won over plenty of voters by claiming that almost everyone on this earth is stupid, a loser, incompetent, not possessing even a smidgen of the grandeur that he alone owns.  He has even acknowledged that real estate professionals are "...pretty bad stuff." I don't like the strategy being used by the Trumpster, but I can't dispute its effectiveness.  Apparently, accumulating wealth and winning over popular support can be...
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By Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about.
Over the years of representing clients in the purchase or sale of real estate, I have been asked a few questions that I have had difficulty answering.  It isn't that I couldn't come up with a seemingly credible answer, just that I'm not sure I was 100% correct.Here's one big one, "Who pays the commission?"   Well, we generally give the answer that the seller will pay the commission from the proceeds of the sale.  What the heck does that mean?  The buyer will give the seller some money, and the seller will take the seller's money, keep some of it, and pay some bills with the rest, including the commission.  So, the seller will pay the commission with the buyer's money. I know that the commission is simply part of the cost of the transaction, and that it doesn't really matter who claims t...
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By Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about.
Most of you know the normal sales routine in a listing presentation.  CMA, my marketing is better than the other guys' marketing, etc.  One of the almost universal statements made by real estate sales people goes something like, "I'll put a for sale sign in your front yard.  It will be a grand erection, a monument to the availability of your home to potential buyers."  Then, many of you will not do what you promised to do.Have you ever taken inventory of just how many of those signs are really "FOR SALE" signs?  Do they actually have the one mandatory element of a for sale sign? Do they have anywhere the words "For Sale" or at least something that states that the home is on the market, such as "offered by" or a similar phrase?  I'm guessing that many of you will have to answer that your...
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By Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about.
CNBC cites a survey by Bankrate.com which asked 1,000 investors what was the best investment for money to be left for a decade or more.  Top answer was real estate, chosen by 27% of the respondents.  This is the first year in three that real estate was the winner.  What's really weird is that the winner in the last two years was cash, and cash was a close second this year too.  Almost the same number of persons polled this year felt that something that was close to guaranteed to lose value was a better investment than real estate.  Further down the list of responses were stocks and bonds, surprising to me since both have had records of fairly consistent long term gains.  Residential real estate is a good investment if you consider that it will give you and your family shelter from the e...
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By Shar Sitter, Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M
(Rooms With Style)
Happy 4th of July to you! I love when Holidays land on the weekends instead of the middle of the week. Long weekends, especially in the summer are the best.   I hope you are enjoying the day with friends and family!Since this day represents our country's independence and the beginning of it's own identity, nothing states our identity more than our Flag. There are so many interesting things about our Flag from it's creation, it's changes, it's evolution. The Flag has it's own rules, how it should be displayed, folded, used on a vehicle, on a uniform and so on.  Our Flag is a symbol of pride and also honors our military and what has been lost by many to gain our freedom. Because of that symbol I thought it was a good idea to look at a few of The United States Flag Code which outlines cert...
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By Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about.
CNBC has chosen Minnesota as its top state for business in their 2015 study. If you don't call this state your home, or if you're not familiar with what sets it apart from most others, check the CNBC report in the link above.  Minnesota has consistently been in the top ten of this fairly unbiased annual study. Education, transportation, quality of life, and diversification of businesses / industries all contribute to our consistent performance. I think CNBC got the role of the governor wrong. The state has under 2% of the nation's population and has always had a disproportionate number of major corporations, currently eighteen Fortune 500 companies and some major private companies as well. Dayton just happened to be ceremonially sitting in the governors chair during the upside of the b...
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By Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about.
About this time last year, there was a lot of noise about tax reform and how the government would be able to increase revenue by eliminating what some call loopholes.  In the same breath, many of our large-mouthed legislators spewed the idea that, somehow we could all pay lower taxes, and the government could collect more revenue.  Everything sounded really good as long as nobody was pressed for specifics. One of the most noticed proposals was the removal of deductions for mortgage interest, and there are few real estate professionals who do not have strong opinions about this.  Once the "presidential candidate draft" has chosen a couple Democrats and a few dozen Republicans who aspire to White House residence, we'll begin to hear the tax reform stuff again.  It would probably be produc...
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By Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about.
Tonight and tomorrow are the two nights of the year when many dog enthusiasts will be watching the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.  Likewise, many of their dogs will also enjoy the experience.  Airing schedule includes the three hour live coverage tonight and tomorrow, as well as a few scheduled reruns.  This show is the premier event in dog conformation shows.  Your dog can't even enter the show unless he's already a champion of record. I'm not a huge fan of the part of dog sports represented at Westminster.  It's a beauty pageant of sorts, and my dogs are of a breed (Golden Retriever) that has a split personality.  There are "conformation" dogs, and there are "working dogs" and mine are working dogs.  Some folks claim that their dogs are "all purpose" and that they do everything.  S...
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By Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about.
With the new year, Americans are blessed with a new class of legislators in Washington.  Given the new Republican majority in the Senate, and an increased majority in the House of Representatives, I think it's safe to assume that all claims of obstructing congressional progress will be leveled at the oval office.  President Obama will no longer be able to criticize Congress for not passing bills.  Instead, he will be the obstructor with his veto power. This is not meant to necessarily criticize either party, nor to praise one.  We have embarked on another year of no net Congressional production.  Most of us will be outspoken in our displeasure with another do-nothing session, same product with a few different names.  But, there is some benefit in the perennial legislative logjam. Do you...
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By Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about.
About a year and a half ago, I posed the question,  "Should you invest in residential real estate?"  In that post, I suggested that a reasonable rate of return would be around 8%, assuming that the investor has adequate skills in management, hands-on maintenance of real property, chooses the right property at the right price, and has some luck. The 8% assumption could be a little higher than what is realistic, and it would be interesting to hear any thoughts / opinions that real estate professionals and others may have.  Many of us feel that real estate is a good investment, but it needs to be compared to the alternatives.  How much more or less could one realize by, for instance, investing in a publicly traded real estate investment trust?  Given the increased liquidity, one would expe...
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By Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about.
The a little bit off-year election is just a day away from becoming nothing more than old news.  Contemplating the meaning of this event offers an opportunity to count our blessings.  After tomorrow, we will be able to watch television without scary boogeyman voices telling us that virtually everybody running for anything is Not For Us, whatever that means.  We will be able to return to watching normal commercials that inform us how to instruct our physicians on what to prescribe.  If the polls and predictions are correct, we will still have a "Party of obstruction," but it will be the other party when the newly elected do-nothings assume their chairs.  And, of course, Wednesday marks the beginning of the 2016 campaign season. The real estate part of the election will be realized in the...
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By Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about.
It's good news, bad news again.  Housing starts for July were up over fifteen percent.  On the surface it sounds really promising, until you get to the part that housing starts were mostly apartment buildings.  Throughout the depths of the real estate crash, the government response has been to help people leave the homes they thought they owned and return to being renters.  There were programs to help folks short sell their homes, and there were programs that encouraged banks to lighten the monthly payment load just enough to squeeze a few more bucks out of the distressed home "owner" before they finally were shown the exit. Coupled with the "return to renting" theme supported by our government was a way to keep potential new home buyers out of the market.  They called it "tightening le...
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By Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about.
One reason that first time home buying rates are down is allegedly that there are so many younger people strapped with the obligation to repay student loans.  The president seems to be aware of the situation, and he is taking action to appear as if he is reducing their load. Just as their parents have been blindsided by the fact that refinancing a home loan for a pile of cash comes with interest charges and monthly payments, the youngan's are shocked to learn that they also must pay back the "free" funding they applied for and received to finance their tuition.  Too bad that they didn't remember fourth grade when they were taught that loans create an obligation to be paid back, and there is a carrying charge called interest.  Here's the injustice:  The parents walked away from their hou...
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