Tiny Houses, Traditional Houses or a Big Problem?

As many of you know, Tiny Houses have become a very popular trend in the USA and Europe.  The biggest reason it seems is that they cost so much less than a “regular” sized home.  Also, a person has the ability in many cases to be move the home with them if they choose to live somewhere else.

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With the housing market in another fast upward spiral, affordable homes are becoming tougher to find in many areas and Tiny Houses seem like a viable alternative.  Yes, of course there are less expensive homes if you are willing to drive farther to your job.  For example, in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota area to live say in the suburb of Shoreview, your commute to downtown St. Paul will be about 10-15 minutes on a normal day.  North Branch, MN is about 30 miles north of Shoreview and will take you about 50-65 minutes on a normal day.  Seems like a lot of driving but consider that an average home will cost you about $262,000 for a 3 bedroom home while in North Branch that same home will be on average $202,000.

Longer drive cheaper home, shorter drive more expensive home.

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With rising housing costs and a move to more basic living, Tiny Houses have hit the market like gang busters to fill this niche.  Tiny Houses can many times take lots that a “normal” sized home would not be aloud to use because of building setbacks.  A Tiny House has an average size of 500 sq. ft. or about a 20’x25′ space.  Whereas an average new home these days is 2500 sq. ft. or about a 50’x50′ space.  So you can see the opportunities for using those non-buildable lots in urban areas.

What does a Tiny House cost?  One of the nationwide leaders, Tumbleweed Tiny House Co., has homes that average between $50,000 and $75,000.  It is possible to do DIY Tiny Homes for $20,000 to $40,000.  There is a great article on entitled, How Much Does a Tiny House Cost? that will take you through the comparison of DIY, secondhand, or company built new construction.

My understanding how much room you need or size, is that you should have 100 sq. ft. per person.  Family of 4 means 400 sq. ft., for example.  A couple would need 200 sq. ft.  It’s your home so use what you want.

For the right person this trend seems like a great alternative to having a big monthly mortgage payment and large home full of stuff you don’t need.  The hardest part is finding where you can put your Tiny House as many cities/towns, etc. do not have zoning in place and won’t allow them.  Do you homework before jumping into buying a Tiny House.  We know of a young man who bought a city lot in Colorado and started building his Tiny House to find out the city ordinance did not allow for a Tiny House.  The city ordinance also required he build on the lot within a year of purchase.  He couldn’t afford anything but a Tiny House and now had a big problem.

Check out everything and get it in writing before taking on the Tiny House trend.

Have fun and enjoy whichever way you go, traditional or Tiny House!

2493 Ripley Ave, Maplewood, MN – Just Listed

2493 Ripley Ave, Maplewood, MN

Just Listed

$ Click for current price
4 BEDROOMS | 2 (2 full ) BATHROOMS | 2301 SQUARE FEET

Gorgeous 2 story home with 4 bedrooms on one level! Newer windows, carpet, paint, large corner lot. Updated upper bath tub/shower. Finished lower level. Great sized living room walks out to deck and large yard. A must see.

 

What are your favorite foods to eat during the holiday season?

Seasons Greetings to All!

I was sitting at my desk thinking about one of my favorite subjects, “My favorite foods during the holiday season!”

Certainly as you read this, please send me back your favorite foods for the holiday season.

I will make a simple list and you can enjoy or wrinkle your nose.  Maybe I will even bring back some memories from years past.  My list is in no particular order, just how it popped into my head.

Lutefisk with white cream sauce melted butter, salt and pepper.  I cook the the fish and am very particular on the fish I buy- fresh and very firm.  You might even grow to like it.  Grandma taught me a secret to cooking the lutefisk so it stays firm.  Let me know and I will share the secret.

Swedish meatballs, traditional recipe only please.

Pickled and creamed herring

Egg nog

Sliced cinnamon apples- red only, no green ones please.

Olive assortment, and not just the basic green and black ones.

Gina’s homemade ravioli and tomato sauce with grated aged Asiago cheese on top.

Green peas with pearl onions mixed in.

My sister Vanessa’s cheesy potato casserole.

Wild rice, with mushrooms and sliced celery in it, baked in the oven so the top is crispy. I can just smell this one right now cooking.

Pistachio pudding

My Grandma’s homemade rice pudding with raisins, served warm with milk or half and half on top.  A little cinnamon sprinkled on top.

Are you getting hungry yet for your favorite holiday foods?

My favorite foods are certainly influenced by tradition and the countries my grandparents and Gina’s grandparents came from.

Disney Cruise Ship chocolate mousse.  This one deserves a little explaining.  Years ago when our children were graduating from high school we decided to take a Disney Cruise with Gina’s sister and her family.  During one of many delicious dinners we were served Disney’s own recipe Chocolate Mousse.  To say it was amazing is an understatement.  Gina decided to ask our waiter for the recipe, fully expecting a prompt no.  The waiter went to the kitchen and to our jaw dropping surprise, returned with the complete recipe.  Gina has made this recipe a number of times and it just keeps getting better.

Cocktail wieners in bbq sauce in a crock pot.

Crab dip

Shrimp cocktail

Salted Mixed nuts with no peanuts

Swiss almond cheese spread

Sliced cheese platter of hard cheeses and brie.

Well, now that I am feeling very hungry but lunch is over an hour away, I will depart and let you salivate over your food favorites list.

I think that I have covered most of my Holiday Season favorites.  Maybe even reminded you of a few from the past that you loved or really didn’t care for.

Please send us your favorites if you have time during this busy season.

Happy Holidays from Bruce and Gina,  Lindholm Group at Realty Group!

www.MetroMNHomes.com,  651-235-2952

www.facebook.com/BruceandGinaLindholm

 

 

29830 Lofton Avenue, Chisago City, MN

29830 Lofton Avenue, Chisago City, MN

For Sale

$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS | 1 (1 full ) BATHROOMS | 1189 SQUARE FEET

Comfortable home in a great area! Huge, almost .5 acre lot. Sliding doors from kitchen to deck overlooking private yard. 3 bedrooms on main level, 3 stall garage for the cold winter nights. Unfinished lower level for future growth. Very convenient location.

 

Vacation question: Fly, drive or take a train for traveling the USA?

Vacation question, fly, drive or take a train for traveling the USA?

How many times has this question come up over the years?  For some it may not have because they automatically do what they have done for years, fly or drive.

We use to fly and then when we had children that were of the age of a full price airline ticket that ended.  A couple can drop $1500+ in a big hurry by flying during the times everyone else wants to.  However, what is your time worth is the most frequent response.

For example, according to Mapquest, a trip from St. Paul, MN to Miami Beach for spring break would take 28hrs. and 48min. to drive barring any traffic issues.  Even hard core drivers are looking at a trip with about 2 days of driving.  Keep in mind that for every 12 hrs of driving you can add in about 2 hrs of stop time for food, bathrooms, gas, break, etc.  A 14 hr actual driving day will mean about 16.5 hrs on the road with stops. Ouch!  Round trip means about 4 days of driving time that could have been spent at the beach working on the tan.

Now let’s look at that drive a little closer.  Two nights on the road on the way down means about $250 in hotels and another $100 in food for two adults.  Some hotels like Drury Inn offer free dinner the night you arrive and breakfast the morning you leave- Bonus!  We score some savings but let’s keep it at $350 for room and board for one way.  How about gas?  Again according to Mapquest our trip down will take an estimated $115 in fuel.  This means in total we are looking at about $500 including incidentals.

Now the real positive of driving is seeing this great country, stopping at wonderful local food stops along the way and conversing with the one you are with.  We have favorite stops from coast to coast from our driving trips.  For example, Mallard’s Family Restaurant, Nashville, TN, Choo Choo BBQ in Chickamauga, GA, PC Fishhouse, Port Charlotte, FL, Folks Kitchen, Marietta, GA, Winchester Steakhouse, Buffalo, WY, Seven Seas Bar and Grill, Mandan, ND, etc.  This makes me very hungry and ready for a road trip.  You can’t see the land from an airplane.

Now an different way or if you will, a combination trip is to take a train.  Nothing like the romance of the old Empire Builder or the North Coast Hiawatha and railroads called Great Northern, Burlington Route, Katy Line, Northern Pacific, etc., traveling clickety clack through towns, cities and open country.  If you travel to Washington for example you will travel through two major mountain ranges, the Cascades and the Rockies.  Nothing like waking up in your private room and seeing the splendor of snow capped mountains and clear blue skies.

Travel East and you will travel through the smoky blue mountains of the Appalachians.  Amazing to see parts of the country that you don’t see in a car or plane.  Some of my most restful travel has been in a train.  “Look Mom, no hands!” That’s right no driving, let the Amtrak engineer take care of all that.  The train is like a restaurant/motel/sightseeing tour on tracks.  Price will fit somewhere between car and air travel but train travel really encompasses good parts of both.  The trains travel through the night so you will make better time than driving.  However, on off points are more restrictive than cars and maybe even airplanes.  Fun way to travel.

Which ever way you take make sure you stop for a minute and enjoy the surroundings and enjoy the company who is with you.

29830 Lofton Avenue, Chisago City, MN – Just Listed

29830 Lofton Avenue, Chisago City, MN

Just Listed

$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS | 1 (1 full ) BATHROOMS | 1189 SQUARE FEET

Comfortable home in a great area! Huge, almost .5 acre lot. Sliding doors from kitchen to deck overlooking private yard. 3 bedrooms on main level, 3 stall garage for the cold winter nights. Unfinished lower level for future growth. Very convenient location.

 

6461 258th Street, Wyoming, MN

6461 258th Street, Wyoming, MN

Price Reduced

$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS | 1 (1 full ) BATHROOMS | 1739 SQUARE FEET

Great area and neighborhood! Clean, comfortable home with huge and lovely yard. Sliding doors to large deck that overlooks backyard and the gorgeous landscaping. 3 bedrooms, family room and large garage. Near parks, schools, shopping, bike trail. Move in ready!

 

7940 Ryan Lake Drive NE, Stacy, MN

7940 Ryan Lake Drive NE, Stacy, MN

For Sale

$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS | 1 (1 full ) BATHROOMS | 2236 SQUARE FEET

Amazing property and views of Ryan Lake. Home needs some work and updating. Large home with huge potential. Absolutely won’t last long. Two large pole barns on the property as well. Private setting + lovely sunsets over the lake.

 

Equifax has lost our credit information!

equifax-breach-data-identify-theft
In the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the 9/10/17 issue, there were two articles, one by Ken Sweet, Associated Press and one by AnnaMarie Andriotis and Aaron Lucchetti, Dow Jones Newsletter.  The articles outline how Equifax was hacked and 140 million Americans had their credit information exposed!
In case you don’t know, Equifax is one the three biggest and most used credit reporting companies in the USA.  This is a huge concern for all of us.  What was potentially exposed are social security numbers, DOB, addresses, etc.  Yes, everything needed to take someones identity and wipe savings, checking, retirement accounts, etc.
These articles are well worth your attention and can be read at the Pioneer Press website, .  Or, check them out at NBC News or at Fox News.
In the short term,  the article advised taking advantage of your free annual credit report at Free Annual Credit Report.  Also, you can go to Equifax Security to check with Equifax if your information may have been stolen.  You can also call them at 866-447-7559.
Both articles let people know that they need to be proactive and not wait to find out if you were one of the unlucky ones.
This was a bad breach that Equifax sat on for over a month.  Take it seriously and check your accounts!
To top off the massive scam, three top executives of Equifax sold $1.8 million of their Equifax stock just days before the company went public with the breach. Check out the article at Market Watch or this article at Tech Crunch.
Needless to say the Security and Exchange Commission and the Senate are looking into hearings involving insider trading against the 3 executives and Equifax.  This is possibly the single worst incident of this kind in the history of the USA.  At least from the standpoint of how sensitive the information is, this is the worst ever.
Here is another article of interest from the Washington Post.
Equifax gettyimages-172864882

6461 258th Street, Wyoming, MN – Just Listed

6461 258th Street, Wyoming, MN

Just Listed

$ Click for current price
4 BEDROOMS | 1 (1 full ) BATHROOMS | 1739 SQUARE FEET

Great area and neighborhood! Clean, comfortable home with huge and lovely yard. Sliding doors to large deck that overlooks backyard and the gorgeous landscaping. 3 bedrooms, family room and large garage. Near parks, schools, shopping, bike trail. Move in ready!