Monday, March 22, 2010

Green Friendly Home Materials for Home Improvement

Looking to do some green friendly home remodeling and don't know where to start? I recently made a trip to Natural Built Home, a Minneapolis based home material store that sells only products that pass the U.S. Green Building Council's criteria for environmentally friendly and sustainable materials. Their focus is on factors of sustainability, recycled content, low to no toxicity and V.O.C.'s, and locally or USA made. They have everything you need for your remodeling projects - paints, flooring, insulation, counter tops, tiles, etc. I was blown away at the superior craftsmanship and design of the products - very stunning (I will attach pictures below). The metal tiles and the backsplash made from recycled wine corks were as nice as I have seen. They would make a sharp addition to any home. Along with doing good for the community, improving the quality of air in your home, and refreshing your current decor, these materials will make for a solid selling feature if and when you decide to move. :)

The Natural Built Home is located at 4020 Minnehaha Avenue S in Minneapolis. Here is their website.

Those looking to do an extensive "green friendly" or sustainable remodeling project should contact me for a referral to a local architecture firm that is doing some cutting edge green projects in town.

Friday, March 19, 2010

House Shopping Junkie

The snow has melted, I have started wearing less bulky and more figure flattering jackets and I can take my dog on a walk without fearing frostbite. What does this mean? Well, its time for the spring Parade of Homes by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities. For the past eleven years, this has been a favorite past-time of mine. Even though I spend all day looking at, talking about and searching the MLS for houses, I can't help but to use my few free hours to visit the model homes around the Twin Cities.

Slip on shoes- check! Parade of Homes Guidebook- check! Empty stomach- check! (Yep, some of the model homes have quite a spread of food). This year my husband of 5 months had the pleasure of joining me on my journey around the Twin Cities. I think he now has a better idea of my passion for houses after a few pleas of "I think we can fit in another one before they close!"

I love that I can indulge in my hobby while doing research for my clients. I can pick up on decor trends like popular paint and flooring choices that I can pass along to my sellers when they are prepping their homes for the market. I can spot updates in standard floor plans that my be helpful for my clients that are ready to remodel (the past few years, I have loved the many versions of upper level "bonus rooms"). I can also save my buyers some leg work by checking floor plans, prices and options for them. From what I looked at, the prices have definitely come down over the last few years making building an affordable option for more buyers. I am posting some of my favorites on my Facebook Fan Page

So dear hubby, bear with me as there are two weekends left in the Parade of Homes. Oh, then in April we can go to the Energy Efficient Homes on Tour!


Behind on your mortgage?

If you have missed a payment on your mortgage you are not alone. Nearly one in six homeowners were at least one month delinquent according to the MBA National Deliquency Survey at the end end of 2009.

The last few years have brought many challenges to homeowners. In the past, owners who fell upon hard times or had a change of circumstances, would sell their home and move on with their lives. The decline in home values seems to eliminate this possibility for many owners today. Over half of owners go into foreclosure seemingly without intervention.

It has been tough to sit by and watch this scenario unfold around us. My team has decided to be part of the solution. We have experience helping owners get short sales accepted by their lenders. We have committed to educating ourselves on the short sales process and keeping up to date on the many changes that lenders are implementing. We just completed the Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certification by the National Association of Realtors.

Find out what your options are; let us be your resource.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension for Members of the Military

If you are a member of the military or certain other federal employees serving outside of the U.S., you have an additional year to qualify for the homebuyer tax credit. Here is the information from the IRS on this extension.

For other consumers, we are fast approaching the deadline to be under contract for your qualifying purchase. Purchase agreements need to be signed by April 30th and you need to close by June 30th. Take advantage of the credit, low interest rates and record affordability.