Barker and Hedges Real Estate Blog

Twin Cities Real Estate Events - April

Twin Cities Real Estate Events

People who visit the Lake Home and Cabin Show this weekend will learn about resources for buying, building, decorating or remodeling a second home. Seminars will be given on topics such as "Cabinology 101" by author Dale Mulfinger, landscaping, lake home design and buying a log home. This even takes place from 2 to 9 p.m. on April 3, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on April 4, and from10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 5 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Av. S. The cost is $10 for adults and apparently $4 for children ages 5-15. Call 612-335-6000 or visit

Don't miss the Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase this weekend, sponsored by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities. Remodelers will showcase their latest projects. Tour more than 80 remodeled homes in 33 communities in...

Greening Minnesota - March

Because there are so many great environmentally friendly things going on in Minnesota these days, I’m going to start another monthly blog piece like the blog round-ups that I’ve been doing.  Today’s is inspired by Earth Hour, so here is the first edition of the Greening Minnesota blog post.

Because this is a real estate blog, let’s start with the green home building and remodeling matters.  The Star Tribune has been a virtual gold-mine of information on this stuff.  They recently did two stories highlighting some green homes in the area.

First, some families living in Twin Cities area homes are setting examples for how green remodeling can benefit the outside environment - and inside environments as well. Two families in St. Louis Park wanted to make changes to their homes that would also avoid exposing their children to the toxins and chemicals associated with conventional house building, like glues, paints, and construction materials. ...

A Few Trends in Real Estate to Consider

A few articles have popped up recently that are all interrelated and I thought that I would make a post that brings them all together.  I also wanted to bring them to your attention if you are someone considering buying or selling a home this year, especially now as the busy real estate season starts winding up.

It’s easy to go in chronological order to start, so the first article I’ll discuss is this one from early March that says that foreclosures drove U.S. home sales up 7% in 2008 after a 40% plunge the prior year.  Deeply discounted real estate prices and the super-low interest rates being offered seems to have spurred some serious activity in this sector of the market.  Nationwide, foreclosed houses sold at auctions or by financial institutions surged 177% for the year, and represented as much as a third of all activity in 2008.

The Minneapolis ...

Home Improvement and Design Expo

If you missed the Home Improvement and Design Expo this weekend, there will be another one March 28 and 29, at Canterbury Park, 1100 Canterbury Road in Shakopee. Experts will answer questions and hold seminars on topics such as building green, home financing, interior design and landscaping. Takes place both days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for adults is $6; admission for ages 16 and under free with paid adult.

Don’t forget about the Lake Home and Cabin Show from April 3rd through the 5th....

March Twin Cities Blog Round-Up Part II

As I wrote yesterday, I haven’t had a good local blog round-up in a while.  I’ve been fixing that, and there were so many blogs I wanted to mention that I split it into two! Yesterday I talked about home-oriented blogs that discussed foreclosure, mortgages, and green living. Today is Friday and as such, today’s post will be about fun and community!  If you missed yesterday’s entry be sure to take a look.

Next is the fun category of local community and conversation blogs! There are so many good ones here, let’s just get right to it. First I want to talk about a relatively recently started blog, Ambulance Driver is written by an EMS in our fair Twin Cities. Not only does this writer share knowledge of their experiences in the field, they talk about how public policy affects how they can do their job. I say “they”...

March Twin Cities Blog Round-Up Part I

It has been a while since I wrote a post about what is going on in the Twin Cities blogosphere.  I wrote the Twin Cities – In Photos and Home Remodeling Blogs in the Twin Cities in January and I didn’t write any in February!  That’s no good, because I’ve been doing a lot of other-blog reading.  I’ve been finding great references to pass on to our readers, blogs filled with stories from within the community, and my favorite, spectacular photographic visual representations that capture the Twin Cities atmosphere.  I have all of that for you and more! So much that this round-up will be in two parts, one today and one tomorrow.

First, I’ll get the important stuff out of the way.  Behind the Mortgage is an informative blog that talks in-depth about what is going on in the home lending world, particularly...

More March Real Estate Events

Selling Your Home. This St. Louis Park Community Education class. $19. 6:30 to 9 p.m. March 26. Lennox Community Center, 6715 Minnetonka Blvd., St. Louis Park. 952-928-6442.

Lake Home and Cabin Show. This event features resources for buying, building, decorating or remodeling a second home. Seminars on topics such as "Cabinology 101" by author Dale Mulfinger, landscaping, lake home design and buying a log home. This event occurs on April 3 from 2 to 9 p.m., April 4 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and April 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Av. S. Adults $10, ages 5-15, $4. 612-335-6000.

4th Annual North Housing and Home Improvement Fair. Lenders, real estate professionals, contractors and representatives of community organizations will be there to help homeowners, buyers and renters. Topics include first-time home buyer programs, resources for home improvement...

Saint Paul Real Estate Market Analysis February 2009

New posted listings for homes in St. Paul, Minnesota, decreased in February according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors’ Market Update for 100 Twin Cities Communities.  Throughout the month, there were 480 new listings in Saint Paul, compared to the 602 homes put up on the market during February 2008.  That is a decrease of -20.3%.  Comparatively, there were 548 new listings in January 2009.  The Merriam Park and West 7th saw increases in posted new listings, while the other St. Paul neighborhoods saw their listings decrease. Here is a breakdown of new listings by Saint Paul neighborhood:

Como 27 (-25.0%)
Crocus Hill 32 (-31.9%)
Downtown Saint Paul 34 (-41.4%)
East Side 111 (-3.5%)
Highland Park 35 (-16.7%)
Mac-Groveland 22 (-15.4%)
Merriam Park 14 (+27.3%)
North End/Frogtown 65 (-4.4%)
Phalen 60 (-33.3%)
Southeast 20 (-20.0%)
St. Anthony/Midway 15 (-54.5%)
West 7th 18 (+20.0%)...

Minneapolis Real Estate Market Analysis February 2009

According to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors’ Market Update for 100 Twin Cities Communities, the number of February 2009 new listings in Minneapolis dropped compared to 2008’s figures.   There were 764 new listings in the city, while in 2008 there were 952, a decrease of -19.7%. The Longfellow and University communities of Minneapolis saw slight increases in new listings, while the rest of the communities saw their new listings decrease.  Here is an inventory of February 2009 new listings in Minneapolis by community and the percentage of change from 2008.

Camden 98 (-27.9%)
Downtown Minneapolis 97 (-26.5%)
Longfellow 43 (+4.9%)
Nokomis 94 (-8.7%)
North 115 80 (-30.4%)
Northeast 55 (-15.4%)
Phillips 17 (-65.3%)
Powderhorn 51 (-30.1%)
Southwest 117 (-3.3%)
University Area 14 (+7.7%)
Uptown-Lakes 97 (-4.0%)

For the year to date, there have been 1,583 homes listed for sale in...

Early Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

Okay, maybe it’s a little early to be thinking spring, but we are nearly half-way through March already – warmer weather is bound to come soon!  And with spring comes home maintenance, especially if you’re thinking of selling your home this summer. 

So I’ve scoured the Internet to put together some home maintenance projects that will help you gear up for the home selling season.  There will be another checklist coming later once it starts warming up out there, but these are things you should be able to do right now.  Many of these steps will also help you get a head start on increasing your home’s curb appeal.

  • Clean windows and repair screens
  • Check life expectancy of appliances
  • Lubricate door hinges and hardware
  • Vacuum out-of-the-way spots
  • Change furnace filters
  • Change batteries...