Open House Today (11/23) From 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

by Ross Kaplan on November 23, 2014

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Prime Lake Forest Location, Great New Price

Where:  2315 Parklands Road in St. Louis Park’s Lake Forest neighborhood.
What:  Cape Cod-style home with great bones and nice finishes.
When:  1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. today.
How much:   $500,000 (just reduced Friday).
Who:  listed by Ross Kaplan, Edina Realty – City Lakes.

If you’re looking for the perfect site for an upper bracket home near Cedar Lake, or, want a terrific property to remodel, 7_Kitchen_FRyou’ll want to take a look at 2315 Parklands Road.

The home features four bedrooms up and almost 2,700 finished square feet; an open Family Room/Kitchen (photo, right); oak hardwood floors under the carpet; a huge, 500 square foot wraparound deck; and a walkout lower level — all on a gorgeous .34 acre backing up to secluded woods (city-owned).

There are a total of four garage stalls:  a two-car tuckunder, as well as a detached 2-car garage that’s heated and insulated (complete with storage space above).

Don’t miss your chance to be only the second owner of this home in over 50 years!

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“No Picture Available” = Squandered Opportunity (= Marketing Mistake)

MLS rules allow agents up to 72 hours (3 days) to add photos to their new listings.

When the photos aren’t available initially, Realtors see a placeholder image (above).

While some Buyers’ agents will make a point of circling back to see the later-added photos — especially if they have a Buyer for the neighborhood and price point — in my experience, the vast majority of agents won’t.

Which is why it’s smart to only put a listing on MLS once everything, especially the photography, is ready.

P.S.:  Once a listing is already on MLS, interested agents will often track it with a “saved” search.

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How Real is the Science in “Interstellar?”

by Ross Kaplan on November 23, 2014

interstellarWorm Holes, Black Holes & Time Travel

The short answer to the question, “how real is the science in the new sci-fi epic Interstellar?”:  ”very.”

Assuming you don’t know anything about physics (I don’t), suffice to say:  the movie grew out an idea by Cal Tech Physicist Kip Thorne, who wrote a book on the subject (right).

The movie, by the way, is terrific.

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Hennepin County

Mixed Blessing

If you’re selling your home, it’s unqualified good news (at least to the extent that prospective Buyers consult it).

If you’re staying put — and now have to fork over more money every year — maybe not so much.

The news I’m referring to?

Hennepin County’s just-released proposed 2015 property taxes.

Up 10%?

The County’s letters reached homeowners this week; anecdotally, I’m hearing bumps in property value of anywhere from 5% to 12% (mine is up just over 10%).

If there’s a surprise in the numbers, it’s that 2015 property taxes are rising less than the increase in estimated market value — presumably, the explanation is a drop in the mill (tax) rate.

Homeowners who are upset about the news should keep two things in mind:  1) the bump in property taxes may ultimately end up being reduced; and 2) protesting one’s property taxes, if unsuccessful, may actually result in them being raised.

See, “Property Tax Protester Beware.

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What Buddhism Says About Students, Teachers . . . & “For Sale” Homes :)

November 21, 2014

 Home Not Selling?  Only 3 Possible Explanations “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” –Buddhist sayings “When a home is priced right, Buyers will appear.” –Ross Kaplan I don’t know much about Buddhism, but I do know about selling residential real estate. Many frustrated home Sellers don’t want to hear this, but here goes: […]

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Flattering House Photos — Exhibit A

November 20, 2014

Minnetonka Stunner There are plenty of homes that look flattering in a backlit photo, taken at dusk. But, you know a house is especially photogenic when the back of the home looks gorgeous. The stunning house is in Minnetonka; list price is $799,900. See also, “Fetching Home Photos“; “Back-lit Shots:  Now THAT’S Dramatic!”; “The Jack […]

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How to Find *Multiple Buyers For Any Listed Home (*or so some agents promise)

November 19, 2014

$64k Question:  Where Were All Those Buyers Before?? Want to know how to attract one, three or even more Buyers for any listed home? (and I mean, any listed home). Follow these two easy steps:  1) cancel the listing; and 2) wait for the phone to ring. Within hours (minutes?), at least a couple of […]

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Christmas — and TNAS — Season

November 19, 2014

Chances of Selling: “Possibly” vs. “0%, 100% Guaranteed” “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King.” –proverb The real estate corollary to the proverb above? “During a time of year when inventory of good homes is depleted, and lots of “For Sale” homes are temporarily off the market (“TNAS,” or Temporarily Not […]

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