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Archive for January, 2008

Today I visited the Above All Hardwood Floors showroom with some new home clients. This particular photo show one of the custom pieces of flooring they can inlay. It’s really impressive. We have been working with them now for about 5 years and have had great success with the products, service, and the installation. I highly recommend them!

Check out their site at www.aboveallhardwoodfloors.com

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Maybe you have noticed all the activity on 3rd St. by the Northfield Library. We are currently doing a major remodel at the home, including finishing the attic, renovating a bathroom, remodeling the kitchen, and a mud room addition. We are over half way done with the project. The attic has been operational for a month and the bathroom is being finished today. The kitchen and addition are still moving along.

The bathroom before remodeling.

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The bathroom after

The kitchen remodel was a major project. We added onto the dinette and increased of the number cabinets. The homeowner will have more storage space. We are installing Wellborn Premier Series cabinets. The client selected cherry cabinets in two stain colors. The island is a deep espresso and the perimeter cabinets a nice warm light stain. They are installing Cambria counter-tops, a Kohler under-mount sink, and a Delta faucet. One of the major challenges that we faced in this kitchen face lift was finding the proper finishes for a Victorian home and yet still maintaining all the modern conveniences.

The Kitchen in October 2007

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The Kitchen in January 2008

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Today the wood floor is being re-finished and next week the counter-tops will be installed and the plumbing fixtures. The appliances will be delivered this week, the refrigerator will have wood panels added to the doors.

Stay tuned from more updates.

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Now is a really exciting time if you are a first time home buyer. There has not been so many options in homes in years. If you don’t have a home to sell you are in a great bargaining position. The worry is applying for a mortgage and can you really afford it or can you even qualify. The biggest mistake that people make is assuming they won’t qualify for a loan. How do you know if you don’t ask? Plus there are many great programs out there from the City and the State to help get first time home buyers in a home. It’s a win win for everyone involved.

I read the papers I know what’s out there, the sub-prime mortgage scare, foreclosures, and all the brokers who were just out to make money and not take care of their client. I promise that there are still reputable mortgage brokers and lending institutions out there. I just got a loan from AGStar in Northfield for some rural property. It was easy.

What’s the first step after you found the house you want? Start talking to lenders any of the banks in Northfield do a great job. They might surprise with what they can do for you. If you know what you want your monthly payment to be and how much you need to borrow they can help you find a way to make it happen. The bank wants you to be able to make your payments because if you can’t they get the property back and have to try and sell it.

Check out the programs that the City of Northfield offers. You might qualify for a grant or they might be able to find a program that is more suitable for you or direct you to an agency that can help you.

Don’t assume anything when it comes to mortgages. Go out there and ask!

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Amazing Model Home Deals

Recently Schmidt Homes has readjusted their home prices on their existing models and specs. If you are in the market to buy a home now is a great time to buy. You won’t be able to build the same home for the price of these models.

Currently our best deal is 16913 East Lake Drive in Lakeville. The home is part of the up and coming Spirit of Brandtjen Farm master planned community. This neighborhood features a spectacular clubhouse with an outdoor swimming pool, basketball courts, and miles of trails.

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http://www.realsimple.com/realsimple/gallery/0,21863,1581970-1,00.html

This article from Real Simple Magazine has some good tips on whether you can do the home improvement yourself or if you should leave it to a pro. It’s a real quick read and a great site. If you are going to do the job yourself ‘measure twice and cut once.’ Always call the electrical company before you dig.

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Energy Saving Tips

http://www.xcelenergy.com/docs/60_Ways.pdf

With this blast of cold weather our energy bills go through the roof. Here is a link to Xcel Energy’s site that has 60 tips on how to save energy. Some are as basic as regular furnace maintenance all the way to upgrading your windows.

Don’t forget to change your furnace filter. I try and do it 3 times a year. Once on Memorial Day, then on Labor Day, the last time I change it is at Christmas. Using the holidays as a time table has made it slightly easier to remember.

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http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-perfin13jan13,1,6247916,full.column?ctrack=2&cset=true I found this in the Star Tribune from L.A. Time writer Kathy Kristof. She has some great tips to help avoid a home disaster. Like a grease fire in the kitchen or water leaking from the washing machine. 

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