If you follow us on Instagram it’s no secret, I have a thing for pretty houses, some would say I’m obsessed. Good thing Minneapolis has a lot of pretty houses to keep happy. Here are a few of my current faves.
It’s no secret, we love to eat out. We also love to support the small businesses in our neighborhood. So I’m working our way through Southwest Minneapolis sharing our go to spots in each neighborhood. If you remember from my previous posts there are 9 different neighborhoods that make up Southwest Minneapolis. I started with our favorite Kingfield restaurants mostly because there are so many. But today I thought it was time to share our favorite Lynnhurst neighborhood restaurants. It’s a smaller list compared to Kingfield but I think you’ll agree, they’re both awesome.
Let’s start with George and the Dragon, this is our go to family neighborhood spot. Seriously we can’t go here without running in to at least a few people we know. It’s cozy and warm just like the staff and the food. The Ultimate Burger and the Asian Hangover are family favorites. Just be sure to call ahead because as I mentioned this really is a Lynnhurst neighborhood favorite and it fills up fast.
Next up is Terzo. Matt and I don’t typically bring the kids here mostly because we like to order a bottle of wine and sit at the bar. But we love it for some of the same reasons we love George and the Dragon. It’s cozy and warm and the staff is friendly and the food is so fantastic. Your dining experience always starts with a small bite, it’s a little bite of something spectacular on a spoon and I love it. It makes us happy and sets the tone for a wonderful dining experience.
Keeping your house clean for showings can be stressful, I get it. But if you start with a clean slate and follow these 3 tips every single day I promise your house will always be show ready.
- Get in the habit of re-setting every room. If you brought in a cup of water, take it out. If you snuggled in with a blanket, put it away. I could go on, but I think you get the point. If you used it, put it away when you’re done.
- At the end of the night take 15 minutes and make sure there are no dishes in the sink, the dishwasher has been started, the floors have been swept and the trash has been taken out.
- Before you leave the house make sure the bed has been made, the breakfast dishes have been put away, the window treatments have been opened, the kitchen and bathroom surfaces have been wiped down and you’ve flushed all the toilets.
When you break down the cleaning to manageable chunks it shouldn’t get overwhelming. Last piece of advice, if you live with others, delegate and the process of keeping your house clean for showings gets even easier.
We love living here and can’t wait to tell you why. But first a little history if you’re new to the area. The City of Minneapolis is divided into 11 communities, each containing multiple neighborhoods, with over 80 different and vibrant neighborhoods. There really is something for everyone.
9 of these neighborhoods make up Southwest Minneapolis. They are Kenny, Armatage, Fulton, Lynnhurst, Tangletown, Windom, King Field, East Harriet and Linden Hills. We live in the Kenny neighborhood and have for over 16 years.
We picked Minneapolis and our neighborhood for a variety of different reasons the first being the proximity to the Lakes and Minnehaha Creek. We love to be outside and having the Creek and the Lake within walking distance to enjoy on a daily basis is pure joy. For us and our dog.
That said our neighborhood also offers easy access to 35W and Hwy 62, which make it easy to get just about anywhere in the Twin Cities. A bonus for us as Realtors!
Next, we think our house is pretty awesome. I love how all the houses are different in Minneapolis. If you follow our Instagram account you can see why.
And finally Southwest Minneapolis is a hotbed for small, local and unique shops and restaurants. It’s probably our favorite part of living where we live. Small businesses are the backbone of our communities and we love to support them, because without them our neighborhoods would not be the same.
Not sure exactly which Minneapolis neighborhood you’re in, you can look it up here. http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/ncr/links/index.htm
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- Mow the lawn
- Wash the windows, the siding and the front door
- Weed the gardens and remove any dead or dying plants
- Mulch the gardens
- Sweep the sidewalk
- Purchase a new welcome mat
- Place a pot of flowers on the front step
- All the pretty houses. Tudors happen to be our favorite but there are so many amazing and different styles of homes in Southwest Minneapolis.
- The food scene here is amazing. Seriously it’s so good. We’re so lucky to have had multiple James Beard winners open restaurants in our neighborhoods.
- The cute shops. Looking for a unique pieces, something you just can’t find at Target, from Vintage to Modern there’s a store for you.
- Minnehaha Creek. Walk, run, bike or simply sit and enjoy the beautiful views. The Creek runs through the majority of the Southwest Minneapolis neighborhoods and brings much needed recreation and enjoyment for all ages.
- The Lakes; Nokomis, Harriet, Bde Maka Ska, Isles and Cedar. Each and every one is pretty awesome and unique in their own way. Enjoy a day at the beach, get some exercise, enjoy a concert or grab a quick bite to eat. The options are endless.
- The Rose and Peace Gardens. These gardens are so pretty. We love to wander around and look at all the pretty flowers but it’s also a great place to have a picnic or read a book. Just don’t forget your camera.
- Dog Parks. We think everyone has a dog in Minneapolis or at least it feels like it so it’s great that we have so many places to let them run. They’re also a really great place for Fido and his or her parents to make new friends.
- Proximity to downtown, uptown and the U of M. No matter where you want to be, what you want to see or do you can be there in 15 minutes.
- The arts. From murals to museums and galleries, our community is very creative.
- The people. Turns out there are just under 50 thousand people living in Southwest Minneapolis and the majority of them are pretty great. We’ve made so many friends over the years.
Preparing your home for the world to see is hard work. I wish I could say it’s easy but it’s not. And the one thing I’ve realized after helping so many of our clients through this process is that you you can’t do this work until you disconnect from your home and see it as a buyer would see it.
That means taking off the rose colored glasses, seeing beyond the cute little quirks you’ve grown used to. The door that doesn’t quite close in the bathroom, the broken cabinet in the kitchen and that outdated paint color in the foyer. Making the repairs and sprucing up the home by adding a few extra special touches even if you think they’re silly go along way in creating a memorable experience for the buyer.
Let’s start with the Exterior
But where do you start? Let’s break it down and let’s start at the exterior, after all that’s where a buyer will start too. Take a good hard look at the trim, is it in need of paint? How about that front door? The landscaping? Do you have any dead overgrown bushes? If the house is in good repair buyers will think it’s been well maintained and if they like the way the outside looks they’ll naturally want to go inside.
You’ve heard this advice no doubt 1,000 times. The key to making the interior shine is to clean and declutter. And then clean and declutter again. Space is everything to a new home buyer. If you’re stuff doesn’t fit in this house how will theirs? And if you don’t know what to do with a room, they won’t either. A few things to ask yourself as you move around your house. Is this piece of furniture necessary? Is it blocking the flow of the room, a window? How do the walls look? When is the last time they’ve been painted? Oh and don’t forget the trim, trust me when I tell you that when you paint the walls, the trim that you thought was ok before will no longer be ok. One things leads to another when you rip the band-aid off.
Now let’s set the stage
Now that you’ve identified all the necessary repairs, fix them and let’s move to setting the stage. This is the fun part. Or at least this is the fun part for me. Let’s start again outside by placing a couple pots of flowers or winter greens by the front and back door. If you have a deck be sure to put some flowers on the table. Get a new welcome mat, sweep and lay fresh mulch if necessary.
When you move inside don’t forget to continue with the flowers. A few of my favorite spots; the dining room table, the kitchen island and the bathroom counter. Make sure the kitchen sink is empty, take out the garbage, wipe down the sink and the counters – don’t forget the stainless steel appliances. Fluff the pillows and add a throw to the sofa. Make sure the beds are made. Hang new towels in the bathrooms. Please make sure the toilet seat is down. Sweep or vacuum. Open up all the window treatments and turn on every single light. And finally check the temp of the home. The buyer should be comfortable, never too cold or too hot.
And I know this sounds like a lot but it will make for a successful showing. I promise. Also please never ever ever turn down a showing. Multiple buyers can view your home at the same time, the Realtors will work it out. If you turn them down you most likely will never see that buyer again, they’re quick to move on.
Yesterday I posted a video to our Instagram page sharing a few home buying tips for first time home buyers. These are things I wish all buyers knew and or would do when searching for a home and it was such a hit I decided to share it here too.
- Don’t be in a hurry. When we set up a showing we typically schedule them for an hour. We don’t expect you to take the full hour but you most certainly can. I encourage you to sit with the house, walk through it multiple times, open the cabinets, check out that view and pause to consider how you would use this room. It’s all 100% OK to do.
- Check out the neighbors house and yard. People always raise an eyebrow when I say this one. But hear me out. You can remodel the kitchen in your house. You can paint over that red wall. But you know you can’t do? You can’t change a single thing about the neighbors house or yard. It’s not yours. So if it drives you nuts to look at if for 15 minutes how do you think you’re going to feel if you have to stare at it day after day?
- Check out the neighborhood. Walk up and down the street. Get in your car and drive to work, and if you can do that at the actual time you would be driving to work even better. Visit the local coffee shop, the grocery store and see how you like it. And yes I know none of this has anything to do with the house and we can’t change it but all these things will add or subtract from your over all happiness factor in the long run.
Looking for more home buying tips. Check out a few of our previous posts.
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One of the many reason we love living in the Kenny neighborhood of Southwest Minneapolis is the close proximity we have to so many amazing restaurants. We could head out in any direction and find a sweet neighborhood hot spot perfect for what ever we happen to be in the mood for; from date night to dinner with friends or the fam. The restaurants we’re highlighting this week are all in the Kingfield neighborhood. A hip neighborhood filled with charming old houses and a relaxed neighborhood vibe. Below in no particular order are our current favs.
Grand Cafe – First off the Grand Cafe is beautiful. Seriously one of the prettiest and most romantic restaurants in the neighborhood, from the lush plants in the front windows, to the frond wallpaper and the candle light, it has a vintage yet modern, relaxed vibe, the kind of place I could stay all night. Go here when you’re in the mood for extremely good food (order the chicken) a bottle of red and the soft and quiet conversation of your company.
Corner Table – Matt and I head here when we’re feeling a bit more adventurous. We love to get a spot at the counter and watch them prepare our food as we enjoy the energy of the people and a glass of wine. The decor is dark and whimsical and the menu changes with the seasons so it tends to match what we’re in the mood for, which changes for us from winter to summer.
Revival – I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the chicken is good here and we don’t disagree, not for a minute, but when we go we go for the burger and the Mac and Cheese. The atmosphere is light and lively and it’s always busy. Our advice be prepared to wait and go hungry.
The Lowbrow – A family friendly establishment and a family favorite of ours until the boys became teenagers and decided they would rather stay home than go out to eat with us. Thankfully kids aren’t required to eat here so we still go. When we go we love to sit at the bar, it’s lined with baseball cards or outside on the street patio, it’s lively and fun and the food always hits the spot.
Kyatchi – Sustainable sushi in a laid back non pretentious environment. A fav of our oldest who loves sushi and a win for me since they serve hot dogs. A good thing because I don’t eat anything that swims in the water. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is fun.
Congratulations on your new home! Now that you’ve moved in there are a few things you need to do.
- Change the locks! I know they gave you the keys at closing but you really have no idea how many keys are out there. I’m not trying to freak you out here I just want you to feel safe in your new home.
- Say hi to your new neighbors. This is not only good manners, it’s good for the community. Good neighbors watch out for each other and that reduces crime and creates safer neighborhoods. A win win for everyone involved.
- Change your address and send out moving announcements. Changing your address is going to be the easy part all you need to do is go to USPS.com/move and enter in your new address. They do charge for this service but it’s only a dollar and if you ask me it’s worth every penny. Finding the perfect moving announcement on the other hand may prove to be a bit more challenging, there are just so many options! I’m personally a huge fan of a moving announcement that includes your picture like this one I found on minted.com. The picture helps people connect the dots and it’s a wonderful way to have some fun, get creative, highlight your new home and make some memories.
- Purchase a welcome mat and buy a few new houseplants. If you follow us on social media you know I’m a bit of a houseplant nut but I’ll bet you didn’t know that I’m equally as crazy for welcome mats. In fact I have a whole Pinterest boards dedicated to pretty and fun welcome mats. I think they set the tone for your new home.
- Celebrate! Buying a new home is a pretty big accomplishment. One you should be proud of. If it were me I would invite all my friend and family over for a little par-tay but you may prefer to celebrate with a good dinner and a glass of Prosecco. Whatever you decide just be sure to toast to your new home.