Ask any of the Money Magazine’s reporters who worked on selecting the best places to live in 2014 and they will tell you – it’s not easy. You start with a pool of 781 small cities with populations between 50,000 and 300,000. Then you dive in and do detailed research using data from Onboard Informatics and other sources to look at everything from the local economy and housing market to schools and healthcare. The list is narrowed down to 35 and then they sent reporters to visit each of the towns looking for the intangibles, such as a sense of community, life style and so on.
Minnesota has 3 cities in the metro area that placed in the top 15. Maple Grove placed number 2, with Eagan coming in at number 11 and Woodbury at number 12. What makes them so special? I know if you ask anyone who lives in these cities they can tell you why! What does Money Magazine think about our towns? Follow this link to find out!
The annual Fall Parade of Homes runs from September 6th through the 28th, with 392 new homes open Thursdays through Sundays from noon to 6:00 pm. You can pick up a comprehensive guidebook that provides complete information about the tour, including maps and photos or illustrations of all the homes at area Holiday Station stores.
Outdoor Living is the focus this year. For something fun, the KARE 11 Backyard, Parade Entry #11, will be open limited hours during the tour: every Saturday (September 13, 20 and 27) from noon to 4pm.
The tour will once again feature the Green Path Energy Tour, sponsored by Xcel Energy. Almost half (190) of the Parade Homes have been tested by an independent energy rater to earn a HERS (Home Energy Rating Score) and has its own Home Performance Report (HPR) that graphically explains the home’s HERS score. The HPR allows homebuyers to compare the expected energy use between homes.
All the homes are free to tour with the exception of four Dream Homes that each request a $5.00 donation to the BATC Foundation to enter. The four homes are #240 by Sustainable 9 Design + Build in Minneapolis (priced at $1,349,000); #243 by Stonewood LLC in Edina (priced at $2,450,000); #366 by Lecy Bros. Homes and Remodeling in Wayzata (priced at $2,375,000); and #367 by BohLand Homes, also in Wayzata and priced at $1,544,000.
The lowest priced home is #117, at $153,900. The two-bedroom split entry single family home is located in Isanti. The most expensive home, #243, located in Edina priced at $2,450,000. There are a total of 43 homes priced over $1,000,000 and 45 priced under $300,000. The total value of all homes on the tour is $228,336,701. The homes are located throughout the Twin Cities with Lakeville hosting 24!
Many awards are given for many reasons – such as the Oscar, the Tony, a Nobel Prize or a Super Bowl Trophy, but for Realtors there is no trophy. However, there are two awards given to top Realtors nationally and locally every year.
I have been voted a Super Real Estate Agent for the 7th year in a row by Twin Cities Business and Mpls. St Paul Magazine. This award list includes only 3 to 5% of the licensed real estate agents in Minnesota. How did I make the list? Consumers identify and evaluate agents. Thousands of home buyers who have purchased a home of $250,000 or more are asked to name and evaluate the agent they have worked with. Both positive and negative comments area accepted and weighted by a panel of industry experts. Nominated realtors are screened against the licensing database at the Minnesota Department of Commerce to make sure they hold a valid license and have no previous enforcement actions. The final selection is based on what consumers need, namely: customer service, integrity, market knowledge, communication, negotiation, closing preparation, finding the right home, marketing a home, and overall satisfaction.
On a national level, this year I was named one of America’s top 1,000 real estate professionals by the WSJ and REAL Trends (a leading source of analysis and information for the residential real estate industry). As a member of the “The Thousand Top Real Estate Professionals” I am ranked in the top half of 1 percent of the more than 963,000 REALTORS® nationwide. This prestigious award is based on individual sales by transaction side (in each real estate transaction, there are two sides that can be represented by a real estate agent: a buyer’s and a seller’s).
On a more personal note, I would like to thank all of my clients for making these accolades possible. It is an honor to provide you with that “extra” in extraordinary service! Without your vote, your business and/or your referrals, I would not be honored with these awards.
Have you ever wondered what it is like to be in a reality TV show? My clients, Kyle and Tasha Johnson and sister Shayna Simmons and I had that opportunity on the cable television network TLC’s show My First Home! This 30-minute show follows potential home buyers through the emotional highs and lows of trying to buy their first home. What was the experience like? In the TV and movie business you really do hurry up and wait while the crew sets up the cameras and lights. The “stars” are responsible for several changes of clothes during filming every day. The episode called “Three’s A Crowd?” will be broadcast May 3rd at 12:30 p.m. Pacific time on TLC. Tune in to find out more about the show, contact me for more answers to your questions, watch a sneak peek at goo.gl/uHhyby, or better yet attend the Minnesota premier of the event on May 10th. Contact me for event information.