Monday, March 26, 2012

Considering a Short Sale?

I have run into countless people over the last few years that have encountered financial distress and need to make decisions about their housing situation.  I recently partnered with one of the top law firms in the Twin Cities area to assist homeowners that pursue a short sale of their property.  A property short sale is very technical and sometimes complicated transaction.  I am happy to be able to offer my clients access to legal assistance during a difficult time in their lives and feel it is a valuable extension of the services I provide to my past clients and the people they refer to me.
After careful consideration, I have selected the law firm of Markve and Zweifel to work with me and my clients on short sale transactions.  They have completed over 1000 short sales and have the services that I feel will benefit my clients.  My clients will receive a no charge intial consultation to answer their questions regarding mortgage liability, foreclosure avoidance and short sale. 
My role continues to be marketing a property to find a qualified buyer at the current market value of the home.  I then work closely with the office of Markve and Zweifel, PLLC to complete negotiations and bring the short sale to a successful conclusion for my clients. 
If you are having difficulty making your mortgage payments, please contact me as soon as possible to more information.

Donate Your Gently Used Books!

The Family School Committee of the Early Childhood Family Services Advisory Council is collecting gently used books to distribute to families. Children’s books*, magazines and cookbooks may be dropped off at the following ECFE sites:
Early Childhood Learning Center
5800 149th Street West
Apple Valley, MN 55124

Rahncliff Learning Center
2030 Rahn Way
Eagan, MN 55122
*Please do not include books with small pieces or batteries.
Deadline for book collection: May 2, 2012.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Breakfast with the Bunny & Egg Hunt!

All 2-7 year old children are invited to join the Easter Bunny on Saturday, April 7th for an Easter egg-stravaganza! Begin the morning with pictures with the Easter Bunny, and juice and snacks from McDonald's of Apple Valley. Next is an outdoor (weather permitting) egg hunt for candy and prizes, done by age groups (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 years). Afterwards, participants enjoy a wide variety of activities including face painting/nail polishing, holiday games, open gym, and crafts!
The cost of this event is $9 per child per session (Parents attend free). The times of the sessions can be found below:
Session 1: 8:30am-9:30am
Session 2: 9:30am-10:30am
Session 3: 10:30am-11:30am
The event will take place at the Apple Valley Community Center, and the deadline to register is March 26th, so go ahead and get your kids registered today!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Simple Steps

Join the walking program that fits your lifestyle. Enjoy time walking with friends, family and coworkers while boosting energy, reducing stress and improving our health. Join the thousands of people living and working in Dakota County that have participated in Simple Steps since 2007. Be eligible to win prizes just by tracking the number of minutes you walk. It's easy--simply grab a friend and start walking. The program is free. You can register online anytime between now and June 15th, or call 651-554-6100.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

Planting for Clean Water Workshops

Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) in conjunction with area cities, watershed management organizations, and Dakota County will be offering "An Introduction to Planting for Clean Water." This free workshop will be held in various cities throughout Dakota County, including Apple Valley on Thursday, April 5, from 6:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.The presentation will focus on native gardens, raingardens, and native plant shoreline stabilizations. Attendees will be invited to attend more in-depth design workshops later in the spring. To register for this free workshop, contact the SWCD at 651-480-7777 or visit their website.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dakota County Community Development Agency Hosts Foreclosure Information Session

If you are facing foreclosure, information is your most valuable resource.  The Dakota County CDA is hosting a free seminar on Thursday, March 22nd from 6 to 7 PM covering general foreclosure information, the forclosure process and possible foreclosure alternative options for homeowners.  The session is being held at CDA’s office located at 1228 Town Centre Drive in Eagan.  The CDA is a local government agency serving the community and residents of Dakota County.
After the presentation, certified housing counselors will be on hand and individual appointments.  Pre-registration is requested. To pre-register, please call the CDA’s foreclosure intake line at 651-675-4555.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase: 14101 Friday Lane, Apple Valley

The Remodelers Showcase(SM) is a bi-annual home tour of newly remodeled homes in the Twin Cities area. The Showcase is sponsored by BATC Remodelers(SM) and the Remodeling Council of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities, and is the largest showcase nationally.

On Friday, March 30th meet the James Barton team and talk to the designer who made this homeowners dream come true!

Wine and appetizers will be served while touring this stunning home. To get a sneak peak at the home, you are able to view the virtual tour here.

14101 Friday Lane, Apple Valley
Friday, March 30th
5:00 to 7:00 pm

My DIY Project- Creating a Playroom

My husband and I are converting a little used room in our home to a playroom for our daughter.  At 15 months old, our very active little girl's "stuff" has taken over every corner of our home.  She has learned to put away her things with some prompting so the time may be right to give her an organized space to contain some of her fun. 

Due to our crazy schedules, we had one day last weekend to get started and now this upcoming weekend to finish.  The room is a carpeted 11 x 12 room with no closet or overhead lighting.  It has two windows and French doors opening up to the hallway. 

First, we (I am using the term we loosely, as my husband did all of this part of the project) emptied the room and pulled up the carpet and the baseboard trim.  We sealed the subfloor to take care of any residual effects from our pets.  Below is a picture of the room right now. 

After a couple of days of shopping around, we purchased new flooring.  Just three or four arguments later, we decided to go with a wood laminate flooring. This is an inexpensive option that is should be easy to clean up spills.  For under $300 for the materials, we would be fine upgrading in the future as our needs for the room change.   

I'll let you know how it goes this weekend with pictures of the finished room.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Renovation Savings with Remodel Card

I was fortunate to have a chance to sit down with the owners of the Remodel Card to find out if my clients could benefit from their service. Olov Strole and Chad Commers provide contractor-style discounts on home improvement products for homeowners using their Remodel Card. As this article in the Star Tribune mentions, tough economic times mean more homeowners are interested in remodeling projects but have less access to credit or home equity. I also find many of my clients purchasing vacant or foreclosed homes have projects they want to do right after purchasing the home.

Olov and Chad explained that their buying service called Remodel Card allows members to purchase products at reduced prices from two dozen retailers. Many of my clients are doing just one project at a time, such as new flooring or new appliances. They explained that the average savings on projects so far has been an average of 29%. Here is our conversation on YouTube.  They have a discount right now on the membership so if you ae considering a project, check it out now.