Barker and Hedges Real Estate Blog

22 High Performing Schools Recognized by Minnesota Department of Education

22 local schools have been recognized as "Celebration Schools," an honor bestowed upon schools serving poor students who demonstrate good achievement. 

The "Celebration" portion of the award is in part to Minnesota's new school accountability system. This monitors schools that receive federal poverty aid and gives them designations that correlate with how they fare academically. The "Celebration" designation is one of the highest commendations meant for the top 25% of schools receiving Title I money. 

“I want to congratulate these schools for this incredible accomplishment,” said Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. “Minnesotans should be proud of the work going on in our schools."

The full spread of schools is listed below -- congrats to all the "Celebration Schools" for their hard work to give more students opportunities to succeed in academics. 

Blooming Prairie Elementary / Blooming Prairie Public School District

Cedar Park Elementary / Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan

Dover-Eyota Elementary / Dover-Eyota Public School District

Fair School Downtown / West Metro Education Program

Hmong College Prep Academy High School / Hmong College Prep Academy

Huddleston Elementary / Lakeville Public School District

Kelliher Secondary School / Kelliher Public School District

Kennedy Elementary / Willmar Public School District

Kenny Elementary / Minneapolis...

2015 State Fair Set to Host Carrie underwood

In 2015, the Minnesota State Fair will be even more of a special event for those who love country music. For those who love country music superstar Carrie Underwood, the Minnesota State Fair will be a can't miss event. The absolutely stunning singer will play a concert at the fair's Grandstand on Saturday, August 29th. 

Since winning American Idol in 2005, Underwood has gone on to a very successful music career. She has sold more than 64 million records worldwide, recorded 18 number one singles and won six Grammys. Her accomplishments in the music industry don't stop there, but let's stop the gushing and move onto the details of the concert. 

Though the 2015 State Fair is still so far away, tickets for Underwood's concert go on sale next week on December 15th. The tickets range from $50-$65 and can be purchased at the fairgrounds, at http://www.mnstatefair.org/ or etix.com, or fans can simply call (800) 514-3849.

Each year the fair does a great job of pulling in some of music's brightest stars for their Grandstand concerts -- it seems 2015 will be no different. 

Photo by: MrHairyKnuckles

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Minnesota Ranks in the Top Ten for Business in the Country

According to Forbes magazine's 2014 top ten list for 'Best and Worst States for Business', Minnesota ranks in the top ten coming in at #9. Last year, the state also cracked the top ten clocking in at #8.

The magazine ranked the states based on a total of 36 factors, like quality of life, labor supply and economic climate (not the actual climate, which is harsh at the moment). The state also has the fourth highest percentage of adults with a high school diploma at 92.4%. Another huge factor in the ranking was the $312 billion gross revenue for the state in 2013. 

The metro has a healthy arena for business as many major corporations have called the state of Minnesota home. Those corportations include: Best Buy, General Mills, 3M, Target, US Bancorp, and Medtronic. With these hugh employers helping to flood the job market with not only jobs, but careers, it's no wonder why Minnesota has such a high ranking. 

Minnesota has long been regarded as a great place for business (hence all the big corporations calling the state home), and this latest ranking proves just that. 

Photo by: Matthew Deery 

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Mall of America Getting 'Super' for 2018

With the 2018 Super Bowl calling the Twin Cities home, it comes as little surprise that the state is looking to make itself as attractive as possible to a world audience. With the Vikings getting a new stadium and the addition of more light rail, the state is quickly looking to ready itself for the worldwide event.

Though unrelated to the Super Bowl taking place in Minneapolis, the Mall of America is also expanding, by a whole lot. If you thought the MOA was huge before, can you imagine it being twice as big? The next ten years will make that a reality. Yes, that’s right, the MOA will be double its current size in just over ten years.

The MOA is planning on expanding the mall in phases, with the first phase adding another hotel, another sizable atrium, more dining options and retail space, an office building and underground parking.

This already unbelievable mall will now be even more attractive to visitors of all varieties. Sure, MOA is adding more shopping and dining, but imagine having your office on site? Business meetings could take place at all sorts of different locations on site – plus, factor in the proximity to the airport and this new office complex is sure to be attractive to all types of businesses.

With the Super Bowl on its way, many visitors will be able to enjoy the Mall of America getting a super sized face-lift.  

Image courtesy of: DLR Group 

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Maiden Rock Refuge

This historic riverfront property has been extensively preserved and enhanced by the current owners and will be a destination for generations to come.  Originally built as the Maiden Rock Creamery in the 1940's, it was converted into retail spaces and is currently used as an event center with 3 spacious apartments all with vista views of Lake Pepin. 

For more information, please visit: Maiden Rock Refuge.

The Refuge at night

There are nearly unlimited uses for the property including any combination of: a brewery, brew pub, winery, restaurant, event or retreat center, office condos, retail, art gallery, coffee shop, apartments, condos.  With sweeping views from every window and the 2 level rooftop patio, bring your imagination!

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5412 France Avenue #204, Edina MN

Looking for a fabulous condo with all the updates and a location to die for?  Proudly introducing you to MLS #4483720.  This beautifully remodeled condo features an open floor plan, hardwood floors, granite kitchen counters, stainless steel appliances, in-unit washer and dryer, and your own garage!

Only 4 blocks to the heart of Edina's 50th & France.  An easy walk to the shops, restaurants and other buisinesses in this coveted location or continue just a few blocks further to the prestigious Fulton and Linden Hills neighborhoods, Lakes Calhoun and Harriet and Minnehaha Creek.

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Linden Hills & Fulton Neighborhoods of Minneapolis

The Linden Hills and Fulton neighborhoods are two of the best locations to live in all the Twin Cities. Aside from only being minutes away from both downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, the area sits in close proximity to the international airport and the Mall of America – and because the neighborhood is on the west side of the metro, it’s only a short drive to the scenic Lake Minnetonka. And on that note, the area itself has plenty of outdoor space that feels anything but urban.

Image Credit: Joe Bielawa

Near the Linden Hills and Fulton neighborhoods sit plenty of bodies of water worth spending time around – Minnehaha Creek, Lake Calhoun, Cedar Lake, Lake of the Isles and Lake Harriet are all in close proximity. These options are a godsend for anyone who appreciates the outdoors, loves a good beach or water activities.

Image Credit: Jason Riedy

Minnehaha Creek is one can’t miss spot in the area, flowing 22 miles east through many Minneapolis suburbs. The creek flows into the gorgeous Minnehaha Falls, a huge attraction in the Minneapolis area. The 53-foot high waterfall is a beautiful escape for the urban life that surrounds the area.

There are also many fantastic parks in the area. Residents can chose from Utley Park, York Park, Arden Park, Wooddale Park, Pamela Park, and more. Minneapolis is an ever-growing city, but...

Bleu Valley Estate will be on the market soon

At Barker and Hedges, we are proud to announce that we have a really amazing property hitting the market in the coming weeks. “Bleu Valley Estate” is located in Stillwater and is one of Minnesota’s premiere equestrian properties – in fact, this estate has been home to many stakes-winning thoroughbred racehorses.

This prime, 70+ acre estate is located just minutes from downtown Stillwater and the St. Croix Valley. The property sits alongside the future Gateway Trail Extension, a massively popular bike/walking trail that also has unpaved surfaces for horseback riding.

The property features a beautiful log-sided home overlooking the countryside with unforgettable panoramic views. The inside of the home is spacious, but cozy with the wood features making the interior appear timeless.

 The equestrian pieces of the estate features: a T-shaped barn with two 36' X 84' sections, an attached 55' x 60' indoor arena, 75' x 100' outdoor area, 36' x 48' hay or equipment shed, 14' x 28' machine shed, 8 pastures featuring run-in livestock shelters and Miraco automatic livestock water dispensers.

 The property also features over 3,000 feet of underground waterlines and 17,500 feet of fencing.

Some of the surrounding properties are secured in a Land Trust, which gives “Bleu Valley Estate” the ultimate privacy. There is also the potential for the future development of 20 more acres located at the front of the estate.

To learn more about this once in a lifetime opportunity, visit www.bleuvalleyestate.com

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Mortgage Loans for Doctors

Special Loan Program for Doctors

There is a new mortgage loan program available for medical physicians (MDs) and even residents and interns!  While most traditional mortgage loan programs require 20% down payment if you want to avoid paying mortgage insurance, this new loan program for qualifying Doctors offers down payments as low as 5% with no mortgage insurance.  In addition, this program offers loan amounts up to $1,000,000 and even as high as $1,500,000 with a 10% down payment.

This is a great new program and here is where you can find more information about the Preferred Doctor Program.

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Twin Cities Market Update Week Ending February1, 2014

As we emerge from the seemingly never ending polar vortex, the real estate market is beginning to show signs of life.  The most recent market stats continue to favor home sellers with lower inventory and higher median sale prices.  Here is a breakdown of the year over year stats for a few key categories:

  • New Listings: DOWN 16.9% over last year.
  • Homes for Sale (inventory): DOWN 9.1% over last year.
  • Median Sale Price: UP 12.4% over last year.

To give a little more context to this information, there are just under 12,000 homes for sale in the Twin Cities right now and last year at this time there were just over 13,000 home listings and those following the real estate industry were noting at that time that the overall listing inventory was exceptionally low...and now it is even lower.  The lack of available homes is causing median and average sale prices to increase.  If you would like more information about the market stats in your area, please visit our Twin Cities Market Statistics page for additional information that is updated daily.

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