Barker and Hedges Real Estate Blog

Six Degrees of Home Staging - Wayne Newton

For die-hard home stagers and staging fanatics around the world, home staging is believed to be linked to any profession, celebrity, or life event with-in six degrees. For our first attempt, let's start with an easy one...

Wayne Newton and Home Staging

  1. Wayne Newton is known as Mr. Vegas
  2. Vegas's long-running top show was Siegfried and Roy
  3. Siegfried and Roy are famous magicians
  4. Magicians are known for their sleight-of-hand tricks
  5. Sleight-of-hand uses misdirection to bring attention to a desired area
  6. Attracting attention to desired areas is a key component in home staging
The master bedroom shown the photo below has several angles with low ceiling points. Having no other point-of-interest, the eye is immediately drawn to these low-set roof lines. Home buyers (especially those over 4'10") may view this master...

Upcoming Real Estate Events in the Twin Cities

Upcoming Real Estate Events in the Twin Cities

Buying a Duplex. At this event, you can learn how to identify and evaluate investment properties. Topics will include rehab vs. rental, life as a landlord, financing and Section 8 basics. It costs $18 and will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, January 28, at St. Paul Community Education, Harding High School, 1540 E. 6th St. 651-293-8733.

Finding and Buying Your First Home. Topics at this event will include choosing a mortgage, first-time home-buyer programs, government loans, hiring a real estate agent and negotiating the best price in a buyer's market. It costs $15 and will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 2 at the Minneapolis Community Education, Anwatin Middle School, 256 Upton Av. S. 612-668-2470.

Buying Foreclosed and Short-Sale Properties. At this event you can learn how to find deals in the foreclosure market and negotiate with banks....

Possible Revision of Home Buyer Tax Credit

On January 15th of this year, the U.S. House Democratic leadership outlined its $825 billion economic stimulus package, loaded with $275 billion in tax cuts and $550 billion in new spending.  Within this package was a significant improvement to last summer's congressional effort to stimulate home sales, which offered a credit of up to $7,500 to purchasers who had never bought a house or hadn't owned one during the previous three years. To qualify, taxpayers would need to close on a house between April 8, 2008, and this coming July 1.

There was just one problem: unlike virtually all other federal tax credits, this one had to be repaid in full over a 15-year period. That made the tax cut more of a $7,500 interest-free installment loan.  Though final details on a revised credit are still subject to change, there's a good chance that home buyers seeking the tax credit either for the 2008 or 2009 tax years will not have to repay it.


Minneapolis Near North Community Highlights

The Near North Community can be found on the north and west side of Minneapolis. It is bordered to the south by Bassett’s creek, to the west by Penn Avenue, to the north by Lowry Avenue North, and to the east by I-94, Lyndale Avenue North and the Mississippi River.  Contained within it are six smaller neighborhoods.

Hawthorne - The Hawthorne neighborhood is in the northeast corner of the Near North community in Minneapolis. The neighborhood is bounded by the Mississippi River on the east and Emerson Avenue on the west; Broadway Avenue is the southern extent and Lowry Avenue is the neighborhood’s northern boundary.  The Hawthorne neighborhood is named after the American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, born in 1804. The Hawthorne neighborhood is also the home of Farview Park, the oldest park of Minneapolis, the Nellie Stone Johnson School, and the Orvin Olson Park near the Mississippi...

Saint Paul’s Merriam Park Neighborhood Highlights

The Merriam Park neighborhood is located on the western boarder of Saint Paul in the central part of the city.  It is bordered on the north by University Avenue and Interstate 94, on the east by Lexington Parkway, on the south by Summit Avenue, and the west by the Mississippi River. This neighborhood is one of St. Paul's oldest.

The first occupants of Merriam Park were innkeepers who catered to the Red River traders.  In the 1880's when Colonel John Merriam owned much of the land in what was to become Merriam Park, he envisioned the area as a commuter suburb for working professionals. He felt its convenient location and access to St. Paul’s trolley system made it an ideal location.

Due to its deep history, the Merriam Park of Saint Paul has some of the oldest homes in the city. Many of the earliest homes built here feature Queen Anne architecture. There are other historic architectural styles here, including Tudors, Gothic, Italianate, Colonial and Dutch...

Home Remodeling Blogs in the Twin Cities

Renovating or just making repairs to a house in the Twin Cities?  This is the post for you.

The last two blog posts here were about the Minneapolis and Saint Paul real estate markets in December.  Though more homes have been selling, the prices they’ve been selling for has been dropping.  That is due to a variety of reasons.  One of them is that many of the houses in Minneapolis and St. Paul are old and in need of renovations.  This often drops the price a bit, as the new owners will ultimately spend some time and money fixing them up. 

If you’re renovating or remodeling...

Saint Paul Real Estate Market Analysis: December 2008

The last St. Paul real estate market analysis for the year of 2008.  Let’s get it done!  New posted listings for homes in St. Paul, Minnesota, increased in December according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors’ Market Update for 100 Twin Cities Communities.  During December, there were 399 new listings in St. Paul, compared to the 351 homes put up on the market during the same month of 2007.  That is an increase of about +13.7%.  Unlike November, lots of neighborhoods saw increases in new listings.  The increase in new listings is a little unusual, given that December is so full of holidays. Here is a breakdown of new listings by Saint Paul neighborhood:  (Barker & Hedges blog entry about November 2008 St. Paul Real Estate Market Activity.)

Como 13 (+18.2%)
Crocus Hill 23 (+4.5%)
Downtown Saint Paul 17 (+21.4%)
East Side 104 (+25.3%)
Highland Park 16 (-5.9%)
Mac-Groveland 12 (-40.0%)

Minneapolis Real Estate Market Analysis: December 2008

It’s that last real estate market analysis for Minneapolis for the year of December 2008!  Let’s get to it! The number of new listings in Minneapolis has declined compared to 2007 again during the month of December, according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors’ Market Update for 100 Twin Cities Communities.  There were 555 new listings last month, while in December 2007, there were 567 new listings, a decrease of just -2.1%. The Northeast, Powderhorn, and University Area communities saw increases in new listings while the rest of the Minneapolis areas saw decreases in new listings.  Here is an inventory of December 2008 new listings in Minneapolis by community and the percentage of change that has occurred compared to December 2007 (Previous Barker & Hedges article about November 2008 Minneapolis Real Estate Market Activity.)

Camden 102 (+ 4.1%)
Downtown Minneapolis...

Updates on Infrastructure in Minneapolis

I noticed today that there are a few Minneapolis city infrastructure and service projects being talked about and planned.  I thought that I would list them here, because they are some important developments that will affect the quality of life here. These are in no particular order.

Water Filtration Upgrade to Be Canceled

In a move that would dampen water rate hikes in Minneapolis and seven suburbs, the city is moving to cancel a $90 million water filtration upgrade. A staff recommendation would end work on the planned Fridley ultrafiltration plant, originally budgeted at far less than the expected cost. The move was endorsed by a City Council committee on Tuesday. The cancellation would remove the biggest cost factor driving...

Twin Cities - Making the List

The Twin Cities have made a few “best of” lists that haven’t been shared yet in this blog.  I thought that I would take a few minutes today to write about some of the lists that Minneapolis and St. Paul have made lately. 

Minneapolis and Saint Paul made Travel & Leisure’s America’s Favorite Cities 2008 list.  The people who voted on the Twin Cities found that out of 25 others, they were clean (No. 2) and full of intelligent and friendly people (ranked 2 and 3 respectively).  The highest rated feature of the Twin Cities are its theaters, in which it ranked 3rd only behind New York and Chicago...