From the category archives:

Minneapolis Lake Living

Luxury home Kenwood Parkway MinneapolisLooking to buy a luxury home in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Lake Minnetonka, or the Twin Cities metro area?  Here are more ideas on what to do before your next home purchase:

  • Look beyond your Target Price – You might be looking for a home in the $5 million range, but if you are looking in an area other than where you currently live, you need to find an experienced luxury agent to help you understand market value. Find out what $1 Million, 3 Million, or even $10 million will get you.
  • Don’t Get Sticker Shock – Prime locations command prime dollars. Expect to pay higher than normal prices for waterfront properties, mountain views, and prestigious areas.
  • Communication is Key – real estate agents cannot read your mind, no matter how good they are. It is extremely important to be honest about your goals and your finances in order to have a great experience. Most luxury agents understand the need for confidentiality and will be more than happy to work with you.
  • Put Trust in Your Agent – Realtors are professionals, so trust that your agent understands what you want (again, communicate) and you’ll be viewing homes that meet your needs. If at anytime you feel uncomfortable, do not feel guilty for seeking out a new agent.
  • Don’t be Confidential about your Assets – Be prepared to show your ability to purchase, no matter who you are. You might be well known where you live, but your new city banker won’t. Have your bankers talk to each other to verify there are funds available to close and to also source the origination of those funds. The seller might also ask for a letter of verification from your lender for their peace of mind.
  • Don’t forget Future Resale Value – It might not be your top priority, but someday you will probably want to sell the home you are purchasing. Check the appreciation rate for the neighborhood and take it into consideration when buying.
  • Think about your Offer – Price is usually the first item a seller looks at when an offer is written on their home, but an offer can also consist of contingencies about inspections, finances, closing dates etc. Remember to make your offer based on of all terms and the condition of the home. If need be, have your Realtor write up an explanation of your offer terms to include with the contract. Sometimes explaining your situation or reason to the seller will give you a “human factor” and most times get your offer accepted.
  • Don’t get Emotional about the Seller’s Personal Property – if there is something you like in their home and would like to ask for it, do not write it in the contract. Instead, draw up a separate agreement and ask nicely for the item(s). If they say no, let it go. Too many deals fall through because of household appliances or a chandelier. If they promise something is in included, get it in writing!
  • Get to know the Paper Work – Ask your agent for copies of all documents and disclosures and review them before you make an offer. Mark any areas where you have questions. Every state is different regarding the types of disclosures you need, and what you are use to in one state, most likely will differ in another. For example, in Florida, there is a “Termite” Disclosure which also covers mold, wood rot, and powder post beetles, but if you want to buy in Minnesota, they have no such disclosure.


Lake of the Isles in Summer

Downtown Minneapolis from Lake of the Isles, Summer 2013

It’s amazing how many beautiful areas there are in Minneapolis, and in the summer, the Chain of Lakes is one of the hot spots in town. Minnesotans can take a stroll or bike around the three lakes, Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun, or Lake Harriet, canoe, paddle board, sail, and more! And all this with the Minneapolis skyline as a backdrop even though it feels like you are NOT in the city.


2719 Dean Parkway2719 Dean Parkway, Minneapolis

Located one block from Lake of the Isles and over looking Kenilworth Lagoon, 2719 Dean Parkway is unique among properties for sale around the Chain of Lakes. Constructed to ultra high-end specifications by Stonewood Builders in 2012, this home combines spacious open-plan living with stylish comfort and is magnificent for sophisticated entertaining. A huge, attached two-car garage with circle drive is a winter dream, while the front porch and rear deck provide special outdoor options in the warmer months. A heated and cooled workshop is perfect for projects, and the epoxy garage floors makes cleanup a breeze.

Living Room 2719 Dean Parkway

The charming breakfast-nook is wonderful for informal meals, while the formal dining area complements the large, efficient kitchen. An enormous center island offers extra seating and plenty of counter space for cooking up a feast for friends and family. Stainless steel appliances, pull-out pantry, cherry wood cabinets, and coffee station are additional kitchen highlights. And don’t miss the gorgeous American Cherry hardwood floors throughout the main and upper levels!  The living room features floor to ceiling french doors overlooking the lagoon that pour in the natural light, a top of the line gas fireplace, and behind the large wall mirror is a hidden nook for your large flat screen TV. Finishing out the main level is a formal office with coffered wood ceiling and separate kitchen desk.

With 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 4299 square feet, this home is for sale at $1,315,000. You won’t find a new house with a better location for this price around Lake of the Isles!

For additional information, photos, and floorplans, please visit .


If you are searching for a lovely home in Minneapolis to purchase in 2013, I am pretty sure you will be able to find something that fits your budget. Prices of high end homes range greatly depending on location and style. Homes on Lowry Hill fetch more than those along Lake Harriet, and sometimes the style of a home is just as much a factor.

Take a look at the newest homes to hit the market in Minneapolis.

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Lake Finder for Minnesota Lakes

Have you ever been driving around Minnesota and passed a lake who’s name you don’t know and wonder what it is? Well now the Minnesota DNR has created a phone application to help you out.

The LakeFinder contains data for more than 4,500 lakes and rivers throughout Minnesota and the application allows you to get the information on demand with an internet connection or save it to your device for off-line access. Have thousands of lake surveys, depth maps, and vegetation reports, plus water quality and clarity data literally in the palm of your hand. You can even save them as favorites.

Check it out on the DNR website, or visit your phone’s app store.


Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Luxury Real Estate Listings

Minneapolis Luxury Homes for Sale

So you’ve decided that your next home will be in Minneapolis and now you have to find somewhere to live. Minneapolis is a pretty big city, so where do you begin? While the task might seem daunting, luxury homes in Minneapolis are quite easy to find as most of them are located in the Chain of Lakes region southwest of downtown, as seen in the listing snapshot showing current luxury homes for sale in Minneapolis.

Probably the most important decision to make is how much you want to spend on your new home as it will determine on which lake you can afford to buy and of course how close to one of the lakes you can live. The most expensive and prominent area of the Chain of Lakes is around Lake of the Isles and just northeast of this area – calledLowry Hill. Some of the premier mansions were built in this area by prominent architects and are in wonderful condition. Others are in need of repair and updating so you will want to take that into consideration as well, but no matter what condition they are in, prices for these homes can range from $2 Million- $7 Million.

Surrounding Lake Calhoun and Lake Harrietare old historic and luxury homes nestled along beautiful landscaped streets that are a little more affordable when compared to Lake of the Isles – by affordable, prices start at $800,000 and go up to $2 Million. No homes sit directly on the lakeshore, but are located starting a block away. One of the biggest draws to the area are the trails surrounding the lakes, which accommodate cyclists, joggers, walkers, and rollerbladers.

Now that you have thought about the price tag of your new Minneapolis luxury home, it’s time to drive around the area and see which lake you like the best. While all three are close together, each lake along the Chain of Lakes as its own atmosphere. Lake Calhoun has a younger vibe, with families and young entrepreneurs, not to mention the close proximity to Uptown which features shops, restaurants, and a local bar scene. Lake of the Isles has a more upscale feel with the more expensive homes, featuring neighborhoods that twist and turn along winding streets and a hilly landscape. The southern most lake, Lake Harriet, is more structured with cottage style homes and gardens, not to mention a fantastic park on the northern shore. Residents can enjoy concerts at the bandstand, ride the trolley, or enjoy swimming or boating on the lake.

Purchasing a luxury home in Minneapolis is a big decision, but one that can easily be helped by talking to a real estate agent. Many times I find that the home is what buyer’s fall in love with, not necessarily the lake it sits near. If you are ready to start shopping, you can begin your real estate search here, or give me a call – I’d love to help!


Lake Minnetonka Sailboats

Sailboats on Lake Minnetonka

If you are looking for the premier place to live in the Twin Cities, then look no further than Lake Minnetonka. Located just 8 miles west of Minneapolis, or 20 -30 minutes depending on traffic, residents have access to numerous highways to get them around town and enjoy the best of both worlds – quiet lake living combined with all the local big city amenities.

Buying a Lake Minnetonka home can be a little overwhelming at first due to the shear size of the lake. With over 140 miles of shoreline and numerous bays, real estate options are endless. Some buyers narrow down their choices by choosing the town on the lake they wish to live in– Wayzata, Shorewood, Deephaven, and Excelsior are the most popular Lake Minnetonka eastern towns, with Orono, Spring Park, and Tonka Bay covering the center of Lake Minnetonka, and Mound, Minnetrista, rounding out the western side.

Some buyers look to the house as the number one determining factor on where they will be living. Most of the waterfront homes cost $1 Million and more so be prepared to spend some money on your home. Home styles differ greatly around Lake Minnetonka– Cape Cod, Victorian, Cottage, Modern, Cabin, Lodge, just to name a few. Most of the lakefront homes have their own docks, but some neighborhoods have deeded access to a bay, giving home owners the same opportunity for boat storage on community docks. With boating, fishing, skiiing, and all the fun lake living has to offer, docks are a major “must have” for life on Lake Minnetonka.

Exposure could be important to finding the perfect Lake Minnetonka home. Do you like sunrises or sunsets best?Want both? Then figuring out which way your future home faces could help the home purchasing decision. Lake Minnetonka waterfront homes have fantastic views, especially in the fall when leaves change color, and if you like to garden, consider the amount of tree coverage on the lot, as that will greatly affect what types of plants you will be able to grow.

But the number one action to take when buying Lake Minnetonka waterfront property is to search the current homes available for sale. Make notes on what you like and don’t like and start narrowing down the choices. Before you know it, you will have a handful to see and soon will be on your way to owning your own piece of lake paradise. Happy shopping!

Search Lake Minnetonka Homes for Sale


Lake Harriet Minneapolis MN

Lake Harriet in Early Fall

This week I was out and about Minneapolis taking some photos of the city in early fall. One great fact about living in Minneapolis is there are lakes everywhere for the public to enjoy, and Lake Harriet is always full of people taking advantage of the views – fisherman, joggers, walkers, people with dogs, bikers, and yes, even photographers.

Learn more about Lake Harriet and Search Homes for Sale


I know it might be a little hard to be thinking of cruising around Lake Minnetonka with the rays of summer beating down on you, what with all this snow and freezing rain falling down on us. But if you haven’t had to sell your boat due to the economy, and are looking for a place to keep that boat for all those summer escapes on the Lake, then you might want to take a look into Gray’s Bay Marina and the boat slip lottery they are holding on February 17, 2009. Only one slip is available so get your name in to see if you can win it!

Visit the City of Minnetonka website for more info.


While the rest of the nation neglects to even look to the northern states for any reason at all, (you would think we lived in Siberia according to some southerners) we here in the north realize we have a good thing going. Not only are we home to some very large Fortune 500 companies and their corporate offices (UnitedHealth Group · Target Corporation · Supervalu · Best Buy · Travelers · 3M · U.S. Bancorp · CHS · General Mills · Medtronic · Xcel Energy · Land O’Lakes · Ameriprise Financial · C. H. Robinson Worldwide · Hormel · Thrivent Financial for Lutherans · The Mosaic Company · Ecolab) we can also boast having great luxury communities to feed those executives high end life style.

In and outside Minneapolis and Saint Paul, you can find numerous options for luxury homes. Many times, luxury homes are also historic, as the cities are well stocked with 70-120 year old grandiose homes. If you don’t believe me, visit my historic home blog where I photograph these homes and their stories. In Saint Paul, the place to go for higher end historic homes is the Summit Hill, Ramsey Hill, Crocus Hill areas. In Minneapolis, you can find most of them surrounding Lake Harriet, Lake Calhoun, and Lake of the Isles.

If you want to look at newer construction luxury homes, just north of Saint Paul is the City of North Oaks, a private community that has large parcels for sale. Yep, you can still find some areas that offer acreage. Some other beautiful areas near Saint Paul with high end homes include Mendota Heights, Sunfish Lake and White Bear Lake.

Of course you can’t get too far away from lake living here in the Twin Cities as there is a lake about every 50 feet. (Just a joke by the way) Every town seems to have their own lake. Needless to say, but the most desirable place to live in the Metro area is on Lake Minnetonka, just a few minutes west of Minneapolis.

Lake Minnetonka is surrounded by small towns which were settled well over a hundred years ago. Most of these have a full range of various architectural styles to please any luxury home buyer. On the eastern shore, towns like Greenwood, Wayzata, Excelsior, and Deephaven are closer to downtown Minneapolis, but if drive time doesn’t bother you, then venture further into the Lake Minnetonka area and look for fine homes on Tonka Bay, Mound, and Minnestrista. Obviously I cannot list every little nook and cranny on the lake as there are dozens of bays for your luxury home pleasure, but please know that currently there are 252 homes for sale in the Lake Minnetonka area priced above $1 Million.

Want new construction? Well, let’s leave it at “the sky’s the limit”…and a post for another day.