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

by Ross Kaplan on November 23, 2014


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!


no picture

“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.


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.


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.


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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