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Commuting in the Twin Cities

Minneapolis Commute

Are you considering moving to one of the Twin Cities and worried about the commute? Don’t fret, Minneapolis and St. Paul are wonderful places to live and work with significantly lower commute times than other large cities in the United States.

In fact, Minnesota workers have an average daily commute time of 22.1 minutes, which is shorter than the national average. The commute time for those living in Minneapolis is even shorter at 21.7 minutes.

If you’re moving from cities like Los Angeles, the commute for Minneapolis to St. Paul will seem like a breeze. Plus, living in the heart of one of these beautiful cities means being within walking distance to nightlife, museums and more.

Be prepared for any situation when commuting with these tips on traveling between the Twin Cities:

Best time to travel

The best time to travel between cities depends on where you’re coming from. Traffic tends to be slightly worse coming to and from the suburbs of the cities, however, there are ways to plan around traffic and save time.

According to TripSavvy, the morning rush hour is earlier between cities and will be at its worst around 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. The evening rush hour starts decently early at around 4 p.m. and peaks at 5 to 5:30 p.m.

If you plan to leave for work around 7 a.m. and go home after 5:30, you could shave about 20 minutes each day to your commute. The drive between St. Paul and Minneapolis is about 20 minutes without traffic, however, in rush hour you could expect that to double.

Keep an eye out for large events in either cities, as that will make the commute even longer. If driving isn’t your thing, check out the METRO Transit...

New to Minneapolis? Here’s What You Need to Know

Minneapolis Skyline

Minneapolis, though nestled in the quiet Midwest, is an interesting, culturally diverse and thriving city. Among its many honors, Minneapolis is ranked as the third most literate city in the country, its Uptown neighborhood is immortalized in Prince’s “Everybody’s Goin’ Uptown,” and it’s home to more than 5,000 acres of park land. If you’re moving to or within the area, you’ve probably already found your reasons to love Minneapolis, but here are six other things you should know as a newcomer to the city.

The housing market is hot

How much you’ll pay for your Minneapolis home depends heavily on which neighborhoods you’re considering, but overall the median home price is $241,534 — beyond the national figure. The most expensive areas are downtown, the North Loop, and areas to the far west, near Lake Calhoun, while areas to the east and south of downtown are generally more affordable. This is also the case for rents: A one-bedroom in Minneapolis runs about $1,620 on average, while just across the river to the east, apartments near the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities are just $1,283. Although the housing market is hot, a recent report found that it’s shifting to a buyer’s market.

Its taxes are a bit high

Compared with the national average of $3,028 in annual taxes (based on an assessed home value of $250,000), taxes in Hennepin County are a bit high, at an average of $3,363. In Minneapolis, it’s a bit higher yet. According to the property tax estimator on the city assessor’s website, a $250,000 would accumulate an estimated $3,849 in annual taxes. This shouldn’t...

Keep Your Home Protected with These Exterior Maintenance Tips

James Hardie Siding

If there’s one thing you don’t want to procrastinate on as a homeowner, it’s exterior maintenance. Imagine the state of your car if you didn’t give it an oil change every 3,000 miles. The same attention to detail should apply to the outside of your home. Keeping tabs on certain home elements can make a big impact on curb appeal and prevent you from having to spend time and money on major updates later on. These exterior home maintenance tips may help save you money in the long run and keep your home looking and performing its best year round:

Check your driveway for cracks

Don’t let your driveway be an afterthought when it comes to home maintenance. After all, cracks in a driveway can take away from the look of your exterior, and make your home appear dated. Check your driveway for cracks during spring and fall and have them resealed before winter hits. This is especially important to complete before winter because Minnesota’s snow and ice can cause those cracks to expand, furthering the damage to your driveway. Resealing cracks now can ensure that your driveway remains in good condition throughout the year. How you seal the cracks will depend on the material of your driveway. Concrete, for instance, would call for a cement repair product, while asphalt may require a rubberized asphalt emulsion filler.

James Hardie Siding

Update siding

Living in the Twin Cities, you have to worry about how the weather is going to impact your siding. Moisture from snow and ice can cause wood and wood-based siding to rot, curl, warp or split, requiring you to repair or possibly re-side your exterior. Fiber cement siding, however, can resist Minnesota’s harsh weather...

Shopping In and Around the Twin Cities

Shopping In and Around the Twin Cities

Serious shoppers know that heading to the store is more than just a chore, it’s a way of life. Still, it can be frustrating living in a town that has few options to choose from. This is why the Twin Cities area is the place to be. This shopper’s heaven has a variety of stores for every need, and let’s not forget clothing is tax-free in the state of Minnesota.

You can’t mention shopping in the Twin Cities without pointing out Minnesota has the Mall of America, one of the largest malls in the United States. The mall recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with it first opening in 1995. It takes up a total area of 96.4 acres, enough to fit seven Yankee Stadiums inside. It fits more than 500 stores, an amusement park and an aquarium. The mall even has a stop on the METRO Blue and Red Lines. Popular retailers include the LEGO store, Macy’s, Fabletics and the virtual reality sports entertainment center SMAAASH. The mall hosts an annual holiday music festival from November 26 to December 26 with several different types of performances.

There are plenty of things to do in Minneapolis besides going shopping, but those looking for deals have to visit Nicollet Mall and the Uptown district. Located in downtown Minneapolis, Nicollet Mall and the surrounding area is sometimes referred to as the “lunch break.” It’s not uncommon to see someone leave for a snack at the farmer’s market and come back with a shopping bag or two. This area has been a primary shopping district for downtown residents since the late 19th century. It has since expanded to include shopping staples such as Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and the local men’s clothing boutique Hubert White. The mall is nearing the end of a $50 million makeover project. The...

Top Notch Schools Makes Edina School District The Ideal Place To Call Home

Receiving a quality education is essential for creating a solid foundation for young students as they prepare for their future. For young families looking to put down roots in an area where their children will receive the best education, Edina Minnesota is one of the best places to consider.

Located in the southwest suburbs of Minneapolis, this upper class community of approximately 48,000 residents has its own unique charm and provides a host of activities, restaurants and entertainment to enjoy.

The Edina School District is a nationally recognized public school district serving approximately 8,500 students. The District includes six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school.

Edina students place among the top two or three Minnesota school districts in reading, math and writing on a regular basis. The district is often considered a the benchmark for other districts in the state.

Edina High School is currently ranked 4th in the state of Minnesota by US News and has earned a gold medal for high performance on state assessments and college readiness. Only the top 2.5% of high schools nationwide earned this ranking.

Average ACT composite score for Edina High School students is 26.3, with 96% of the senior class taking the ACT in 2015-16. According to ACT college readiness reports, Edina High School graduates out-performed state peers by over 30%.

Edina High School offers over 25 Advanced Placement classes. Over 1,000 students took AP tests in 2015-2016. Scoring and 522 students earned Advanced Placement Scholar awards, including 71 National AP Scholars.

Besides the strong academics offered to Edina students, over 80% also participate in extra-curricular activities including...

5 Exterior Updates That Boost Curb Appeal

Imagine pulling into a beautiful neighborhood in an attempt to find the perfect house only to discover that the listing you had your eye on doesn’t look quite as you imagined. The driveway is cracked, paint is chipping off the home’s exterior and there are overgrown bushes covering the windows. These individual details may seem insignificant on their own, but it’s those small details that really add up and impact curb appeal.

Curb appeal, otherwise known as a home’s first impression, is crucial not only for increasing property value but for making a home easier to sell. If you’re a potential buyer, you’re going to be less likely to check out the inside of the house if the exterior is less than inviting. Whether you’re planning on selling your home or just want to freshen your exterior, these five updates can increase curb appeal to create a lasting first impression:

Replace Your Siding

The first step to giving your home a complete facelift is re-siding. A chipping, rotting, warped exterior can turn away a potential buyer in a second. Living in the Twin Cities, it’s important to select a siding that can withstand the harsh elements year after year. Wood may give your home a natural, rustic look, but it’s often associated with time consuming and expensive maintenance cycles. This is because wood and wood-based siding is susceptible to warping, rotting and splitting after exposure to moisture, which can cause the paint to chip and peel.

Fiber cement siding, however, provides the same authentic look of wood, while resisting harsh weather conditions to keep your home’s exterior in pristine condition. James Hardie fiber cement siding, for instance, resists damage from moisture and offers a tough line of defense during severe weather. Durable fiber cement does not rot...

2017 It A Great Year To Sell Your Home

Have you recently considered selling your home to downsize, expand or simply get a fresh start in a new location? Now is a great time to consider making the move. This year is strongly favoring a seller’s market, so the chances you will sell your home quickly with a great offer is high.

Ryan Fitzgerald, a realtor in Raleigh, North Carolina, has outlined nine great reasons to consider selling your home in 2017. Here are a few of them.

Low Mortgage Rates

If you are familiar with low mortgage rates, simply put the lower the mortgage rate, the lower your monthly cost will be. Because current mortgage rates are still low, many buyers are very interested in making a purchase a lot sooner than later. This is music to a seller’s ears.

A Decline in Inventory

Almost everyone has heard about the concept of supply and demand. The less of something there is, the more value it tends to have. The same goals for the real estate market. As the number of homes available for purchase decline, the value of those that are going to increase. This is a fantastic situation for sellers.

Strong Buyer Demand

It's no secret that buyer demand is back, and back in a big way from the real estate market collapse nearly 10 years ago. Many buyers are realizing that this is a historic time to buy real estate. With interest rates at historic lows, money is on sale. This is creating a compelling argument that purchasing a home is much better than renting. Especially, with how fast rental prices are appreciating.

Rising Home Prices

Due to there being a low inventory and a high demand, the cost of homes has increased significantly. Around November 2016, the average price of an existing home had increased by 6.8% from the previous...

Gorgeous Single Family Home For Sale In Wayzata School District

Width = 213px Height = 13pxHome for sale in Wayzata school district

Looking for a home in the one of the top school districts in Minnesota? Check out this beautiful home that sits on a one acre lot in Maple Grove.

Located in the highly-ranked Wayzata School district #284, this home resides in a mature neighborhood. Enjoy the 1 acre walkout lot with serene pond views from your three season porch/deck/patio. The back yard is fully-fenced with no houses behind the lot. It is located within walking distance to community pool and parks.

The house has 4 bedrooms upstairs with an upper level play area. The main floor has an office and laundry. The walk-out lower level features a home theater, a second kitchen, play area and 5th room. Real hardwood floors on main level. Great light and open concept. One of the best layouts you will find.

Call Michael Bartus today at 952-400-7000 to tour this great home.

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Are You Relocating To Minneapolis & St. Paul Area?

Did you swoon at the first sight of Minneapolis? Were you ready to fall head over heels for the charms of St. Paul? One day at Lake Calhoun, a stroll around the wide array of restaurants, one quizzical look at the big spoon and cherry in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, and you've decided to pack your bags and move from another state. 

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Tips to Save Energy and Add Value

When it comes to energy efficiency, look for smart features and expertise to help you save energy and money and add value to your home.

1. Begin with a Right-Sized Home.

If the home you buy is simply too large for you or your family’s needs or plans, you stand a good chance of wasting energy through excessive heating and cooling costs. If it’s too small, you’ll feel cramped and uncomfortable. It’s a big investment, so seek balance and buy it “right” from the outset. 

2. Purchase Energy Star Appliances Such as Your TV, Dishwasher, Washer and Dryer, and Microwave.

And especially the refrigerator, as it alone contributes about 10 percent of the energy use in a home. Also, unplug electronics not in use or turn off power strips to avoid phantom charges. 

3. Install Efficient Lighting Such as Compact Fluorescent (CLF) or LED Bulbs in Every Fixture.

Lighting accounts for about 6 percent of an energy bill each year.

4. Get an Energy Audit and Have Tests Performed to Identify Ways of Improving Your Efficiency.

You can always upgrade your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system as well as your thermal envelope, which includes insulation, windows, and doors  and the seals or weather stripping around them. Visit energy.gov/energytips for more tips.

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