Friday, March 29, 2013

Cafe Ena Restaurant Review

Cafe Ena is locally owned and operated by restaurateur Hector Ruiz who also recently opened Rincon 38, a small Tapas bar and restaurant on Grand Avenue S. Cafe Ena offers a culinary fusion of Latin American flavors with plenty of Delicious choices on the menu. The service was excellent and the food was even better! Our table started with a Ceviche appetizer, a traditional South American ceviche of fish, shrimp, calamari, and scallops in a cilantro-Aji sauce, topped with pickled red onions.

Our main courses consisted of a South American style curry dish, a goat cheese omelet, and a plate of shrimp sauteed in a delicious sauce I can not pronounce. All plates were cleaned and we were all very satisfied! At the end of our meal, Chef Hector sat with us and we shared a few laughs. We were lucky enough to get a short business lesson from such a successful entrepreneur! If you are in South Minneapolis and feeling hungry, Cafe Ena is a must try!

Written by: Brad Novy

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bidding With Multiple Offers: The Smart Way

Most real estate markets are picking up and the Minneapolis market is no exception. The housing affordability index is high and home buyers have been waiting to jump into action. With the shortage of good inventory however, there are more buyers than suitable properties, and we are seeing some multiple offer situations.

Multiple offer situations can cause buyers to make hasty and sometimes irrational decisions. The first piece of advice for buyers is to relax, take a deep breathe, and don't worry too much about the other offers. There will be some competition for the house, don't let it pressure you into making an offer, especially if you're not ready. You might find that you will have to write an offer sooner than you thought. If you are comfortable with the house and the situation, move forward.

Only pay what the house is worth to you, and only pay what you are comfortable paying. You don't know what the other offer or offers may be, they could all be "low ball" offers! There are many different scenarios that could happen and you may be the most attractive offer for many different reasons. Focus on the negotiation of your offer, don't worry about the other buyers, you aren't working with them, you are working with the selling agent. If you are serious about the house, put your best foot forward with your earnest money deposit. It shows the buyers you mean business!

Final piece of advice. If you finally find the house you have been looking for and you have to compete with other buyers, you don't want to have any regrets. Would you like to find out that you missed by $500 dollars? would you have paid $1000 more to get it? If you don't end up with the house, at least you know that you gave it your best effort.

Written by: Brad Novy

Friday, March 22, 2013

Price Gains Lift Homes Above Water

Rising home prices helped lift 1.7 million homes above water in 2012 according to a report released by real estate data and technology firm CoreLogic. As of December 31st, one in every five homes were still underwater. CoreLogic believes that another 5% increase in home values would lift an additional 1.8 million homes into positive equity. Home owners who were thinking about selling held off because of their negative equity positions, this forced our inventory to minuscule levels, and in turn helped home prices rise. Now that we are seeing the prices go up, we should see an upswing in inventory, as previously underwater home owners are more prone to sell.

Written by: Brad Novy

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Attitudes, Seafood and the Cupid Shuffle

I had an experience a couple of weekend ago I wanted to share.  My husband saw a commercial for a steampot of seafood.  As soon as our daughter woke up from her nap, we were off to Joe's Crab Shack.  We hadn't eaten there before but obviously the commercial had done its job and we arrived hungry for a big bucket of seafood.  We made our order, put our bibs on and were eagerly awaiting our meal when a couple arrived.  They were seated in the adjacent booth much to the interest of our two year old; she used her booster seat to stand up and peer over at them.  The friendly server stopped by but before she could greaat them, the customer loudly announced, "I do not like seafood!"  My husband and I locked eyes and stifled our laughs.  I am sure the server was thinking, "Lady, you walked into the wrong place," but instead she politely pointed out the Out of Water and Shore to Please sections of the menu.  Ok, crisis adverted... or so we thought.  When her ribeye was delivered, she promptly complained and the server had to call in the manager for reinforcements. 

As this scenario played out, I realized how expectations and attitudes affect our experiences. This place is fairly transaparent by using the words Crab and Shack in the name.  If you desire a bucket of seafood like we did, you have found the place.  Fitting for a place touting itself as a shack, they use a roll of brown paper towels as napkins; this is not a fine dining experience but they do offer live dancing by the servers for your entertainment. 

This customer walked in hating seafood and nothing the server could do would make this lady's experience enjoyable.  There is an Olive Garden across the parking lot and many other restaurants within the immediate area.  She not only made the choice to walk in the crab shack but she actively made her next hour miserable and ruined the time for her dinner guest, the server and anyone within ear shot.

I hope more people choose to accept each situation for what it is and approach experiences with a good attitude.  Its amazing how much fun you can have with melted butter dripping off your chin watching your daughter clap along to the waitresses doing the Cupid Shuffle.  Even if you aren't willing to have a good time, remember everything you do affects other people and at any time some little eyes may be peering over at you.   This is a good lesson for me to keep in mind- maybe a good attitude can make my spring cleaning fun!

Monday, March 18, 2013

New Business in Apple Valley!

Dog owners in Apple Valley will soon have a place to bring them to be professionally bathed and groomed! Wishbone Pet Parlor is finishing up construction and expects to open in early April! Wishbone Pet Parlor will be located at 14722 Pennock Avenue next to the ACE Hardware store.

Darla St. Martin, a partner in the business, says the salon will offer a variety of dog-grooming services for walk-in clients and scheduled appointments. One of Wishbone's unique services is to provide a space for dog owners to bathe their own pets without having the mess in their home. They have four wash stations for customers, they also provide brushes and combs.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

When Will Spring Come!?

Does this Minnesota winter seem longer than normal? Well that's because it has been! The average temperature for this time of year in Minneapolis is in the mid fifties! This drawn out cold weather is not slowing down home buyers though! Spring is one of the busiest times of the year for home buying activity, the low inventory levels are driving some competition in the marketplace! If you are buying a house, you might find yourself in a multiple offer situation!

The weather forecasts another snow fall this weekend, but it may be mother nature's last hurrah for winter. Everyday it seems that the snow is melting away, soon we will see the brown grass turn green, leaves forming on the trees, and the ice melting on the lakes.

Before you buy or sell a house, make sure you have done your research, and have consulted with a professional. This Spring will be very busy and it's important that you are prepared to move fast in today's market!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

If I Didn't Sell Homes, I Would......

 Anyone that talks to me knows that I love my job but growing up I had a few dream occupations that may surprise you.  I actually still possess a little book from my school years that had a picture of me from each grade and a place where I could fill in information like the names of my friends and activities.  Some of the plans that I carefully wrote in the book for my future occupation included being the President, a ballerina, ballet teacher, detective (like Nancy Drew) and a flight attendant.

Having a daughter that is quickly growing up before my eyes really leads me to reflect on things like what I dreamed of as a child.  My daughter has her whole life ahead of her and her own dreams to fulfill.  Overall, I feel like all of the dream  jobs I selected as a schoolgirl  are a part of my who I am now.  I no longer have any political aspirations but I enjoy my role leading my team at RE/MAX.  I dedicated many years dancing and am now satisfied dancing with Aurelia around the house.  I still love books filled with mysteries and detectives.  Being able to travel and see new places was the draw to be a flight attendant and I hope to continue to explore the world throughout my life. 

 As an adult, I secretly wish I were a comedian.  I love listening to comedy on Pandora while I drive and my perfect night out is going to a live comedy show.  I don't think anyone would describe me as being particularly funny but luckily my daughter thinks I am hilarious.  Nothing is better than hearing her sparkling belly laugh and seeing her face crunch up while she laughs at me.  You may never see me on stage doing live comedy but to at least one person, I am a comedian!


Attention Apple Valley Area Residents!

There will be a Home and Garden show on Saturday, April 6th! This event will feature over 100 vendors from the area, representing many different companies and proffessions. Also, there will be animals from the MN Zoo, plenty of activities for the kids, free ice cream, and free seminars! Come to this Home and Garden show for free, no addmission charge! For more information about this event click here.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Parade Of Homes!

Have you ever been to the Parade Of Homes? If you have, you are probably just as excited as I am right now! If you have never participated in the parade of homes, you are missing out, and you need to mark a day on your calendar and go to the parade!

The Parade Of Homes is an event that spans from March 2nd to the 24th. During this time, home builders throughout the Twin Cities will have their model homes open to view! All newly built model homes are open Thursday - Sunday from noon to 6pm. The Parade Of Homes also features remodeled homes. These will be open on Friday from 1pm - 7pm and Sat/Sun from noon to 6pm.

Look at different types of homes made by all of the different builders. Shop for your next home! Check out the different areas of the metro. Discover trending styles and decor. Make it a cheap date!

Ready to get started? Grab a directory for the parade, you can find them at any Holiday Stationstore! What are you waiting for!? Get out there and check out some homes! More info here

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Robots In Real Estate?

The world is constantly being changed by technology, the iPad is becoming a must for real estate agents. Could robots be the next must? A recent article from inman news showcased five ways that robots could change the real estate business.

The first showcased robot is a telepresence robot made by Double Robotics. This robot basically allows you to be in two places at one time! It requires two iPads, one mounted to the robot, and the other in your hands. It features a remotely adjustable neck height so you can remain at eye level when having conversations. This model is available for just $1,999!

Next, we have Romo. Romo can be an extra hand around the office, and it can help take photos!

Another Robot will enable Realtors to take pictures from up above without the use of a ladder. The AR.Drone 2.0 is a flying drone that can record video and take pictures, all while being controlled using your mobile device! Check out the article here.

What do you think about these devices? Could you see them being frequently used in the near future?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Low Inventory Levels Means High Prices.

The number of new listings was down in 143 of 146 metro areas this January. The listings inventory fell to a six-year low according to a monthly report from Supply is low, and with the economy coming back strong, home buyers who have been patiently waiting to buy, are now ready. Supply of homes is dropping, and the demand for homes is rising. That means one thing, higher prices!

 Inventory is probably close to as low as it will go. With home prices going higher, we will start to see more listings as home owners are looking to sell and move up, that is good news for both home buyers and home sellers!