Create the Home Office of your Dreams

Whether you work full-time at home or occasionally need to conduct business in the evenings or on the weekends, a home office a great way to utilize an extra room. A dedicated workspace in your home can be designed to increase productivity and comfort. Here are 5 ideas to get you started.


Invest in a good office chair. Investing in an ergonomic office chair is essential. You may be spending anywhere from 30 to 50 hours a week sitting in it, so your back will thank you. Purchasing one with multiple adjustments is ideal so it fits you just right.


Switch up your lighting. Fluorescent lighting has been proven to be hard on the eyes. Make the switch to LED or halogen light bulbs in your home office and try to let in as much natural light as possible. Also, consider finding a desk lamp to reduce headaches and eye strain.


Keep essentials in reach and organized. Nothing says productivity like a clean, neat workspace. Select a desk with a lot of storage or install creative shelving to keep items like pens, pencils, extra batteries, calculator, notepads, and more stored within arm’s reach.


Decorate bright. Pick a color you love and use it to spice up the room. Use cheery yellow or red or relaxing tones like green and blue, instead of beiges and browns.


Aim for the view. If possible, place your desk so you are facing a window instead of a blank wall. Natural light can do wonders for staying alert and you can give yourself a short mental break when necessary by looking to the outdoors.

What to Repair Before You List

When you’re getting ready to list your home in Itasca County, it’s of the upmost importance to ensure you are showing it in the best light. Taking time to highlight its strengths and fix up some of its possible weaknesses can make a big difference in how fast it sells. Here are our top five recommended repairs to make before selling your home.
Repaint walls:
Giving your home a fresh coat of paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to spruce it up, and generally, it can be a do-it-yourself project. Make sure cover any walls with scratches and chips and consider updating any accent walls with a more neutral coat.
Repair floors:
Hardwood floors are a very desirable feature in a home, so you want to ensure they look their best by fixing scratches or dull areas. If your carpet is worn or stained, consider replacing them. And don’t forget the tile in your kitchen or bathrooms. Re-grouting can go a long way in making dingy tile work look brand new!
Refresh the landscaping:
Show buyers your home is the full package by dressing up the outside as well as the in. Clean walkways and driveways, plant seasonal flowers and plants, trim hedges and trees, install outdoor décor pieces and fill in mulch and gravel.
Fix your fixtures:
Leaky faucet? Rusted drains? Loose drawer handle? Making these small fixes can make a big difference to potential buyers with detailed-orientated minds. Improve your kitchen. An outdated kitchen can be a real eyesore in a home. Updating cabinetry, repairing or replacing countertops, and installing new faucets and sinks may be worth the investment

 

Are you a Morning Person? Want to be?

Ever wish you could become one of those rare morning people? The ones that wake with a start, feeling refreshed and energized. The ones that get in that morning workout or wrap up some work before many of us even hit the snooze button for the first time. Here are five tips to help you achieve that early bird status!


Create a morning schedule. Physically write down the things you’d like to complete in the morning and set a time for each. Then stick with it. Once you force yourself out of bed early one or two weeks consistently, you’ll find it gets easier and easier to do.


Let the light in. Whether natural or artificial, light tells your brain its time to get up and get going. If your room lacks large windows where you can open the blinds up, consider investing in a timed lamp or alarm clock with a light.


Prep and eat breakfast. Although there are many of us who chose the skip breakfast, it is key to perking up your energy in the morning. Try prepping protein-focused meals the night before or grab a yogurt or fruit and try to consume it right after you wake.


Get your body moving. Whether it’s a short walk around your neighborhood or a rigorous 5:30 am spin class, getting your blood pumping will help wake up your body and has a ton of other benefits, like stress and anxiety reduction.


Feed your mind. Stimulate your brain and do something you enjoy first thing in the morning. Try reading a favorite book, catching up on the news, doing daily meditation, or setting intentions.

What's your favorite morning thing?

Four Great Homes Under $200,000

We are so lucky to live in the Grand Rapids market. So many things to do, great activities for the kids, and beautiful lakes to enjoy. Home Ownership is also a great benefit of living in Grand Rapids. I’ve compiled a list of my top 4 homes in the Grand Rapids area that are priced under $200,000. Take a peek at these awesome places:

39792 County Rd 129, Deer River: This log-sided manufactured home sits on 40 acres. With 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, its a hunter’s Shangri-la! Listed for just $142,000

 

2103 SW 3rd Ave, Grand Rapids: This beautifully updated Twin home is bright and spacious every where you turn. Move-in ready, this 2 bedroom, 2 bath home has a 2 car garage and is beautifully landscaped. Could this be your new home? Listed for $167,500

 

820 NW 2nd Ave, Grand Rapids: You won’t believe the spaciousness of this 3 bedroom, 3 bath home in NW Grand Rapids. A roomy kitchen, Master suite with walk-in closet, and more. This home has been well maintained and is move-in ready. Listed for $174,000

 

47425 Pagoda Rd, Deer River: This home is ready to enjoy! With stunning views of Bowstring Lake, this 2 bedroom, 1 bath home has a walkout basement with laundry, workshop, and storage. Listed for $199,000.

Let's visit some of these great properties.  Just give me a call!

School is out! Need some activities for kids? Here you go

School is out! Now what to do to keep the kids occupied and entertained for a few months? Did you know that there are lots of great naturalist programs available through out Itasca County to not only keep the kids busy but also help to educate them on our awesome environment? Here are just a few of the great programs that you can participate in.  Most are FREE!

The Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center: Located in Marcell, just up Hwy 38, sits the Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center. Their 2019 Naturalist Programs include topics such as Bountiful Bears, Rock Talk 2.0, Predators of the Northwoods, and Fantastic Fires. All of the classes include hands-on activities and crafts. Classes are held through out the week and on Saturdays. Visit the Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center’s website for a copy of their scheduled classes. Grandparents, you’re grand kids will love these classes!


Scenic State Park 2019 Naturalist Programs: Scenic State Park is a great family park. Whether you want to fish, camp, hike, or boat, Scenic State park has something for everyone to do. Just like the Discovery Center, Scenic state park offers a Naturalist program. Some of the classes include: Primitive Fire Starting Technologies, A Guided Hike to Chase Point, and Wild about Flowers. You can visit their web page to get all of the details.

Forest History Center: The Forest History Center is located in Grand Rapids and is another great place to take the kids this summer. You can go anyway to visit the exhibits, walk the trails, take a guided tour of the old logging camp, and climb the fire tower. Several Saturdays over the summer, they offer some special events. July 6th is Be a Naturalist Family Day, August 24th you can spend at the Real Horse Power Day, and August 31st is Wonder of the Night Sky. Visit their website for all of the details

Summers are fun in the Northwoods and getting the kids outside is a great way to keep them busy.  There is so much to do and see.  What's your favorite family activity?

 

 

7 Tips for Moving

If you have your home for sale, you’ll most likely be getting ready to move this summer. Whether across country or simply across town, these tips will help you prepare for your big move.


Boxes: Unless you are having a moving company pack everything you own, you’ll need to get moving boxes. And, you’ll need more than you think you will. Order your boxes well ahead of time and order a variety of sizes. You really never know how much stuff you have until you start putting it in boxes. You can order boxes from your local U-Haul location, Big Box Hardware store, or order online for fast delivery.


Don’t forget packing supplies: Besides boxes, you’ll need packing tape, packing paper to wrap your fragile items in, and a good black marker to write on the outside of the box. You might also consider furniture blankets as well so your furniture doesn’t get scratched.


The right box for the right items: Remember, if you do not have a moving company coming, you’ll be lifting all of those boxes yourself. Don’t overfill large boxes with heavy items. Use smaller boxes for books, CD’s, dishes, pots & pans. While a few books doesn’t weigh that much, a large box filled with books could easily lead to an injury when you try to lift. The golden rule of packaging: The heavier the item, the smaller the box.


Keep you fragile items safe: If you have fragile items, especially those that hold great meaning to you, pack them well and consider putting those in your car rather then on the moving truck. It’s easy to just start throwing boxes around when moving day comes, so a little forethought on those special items is a must.


Label your Boxes: Make your life a lot easier by labeling your boxes. As you are taking boxes off the truck, its much easier to know where to put them if you have tabled them before hand. Mark the side and top of each box.


Using a Moving Company: Having a moving company box up your stuff is nice. But they move fast. If you have items that you want to carry yourself, they can easily get lost in the shuffle. A great rule of thumb is to have one room that is already cleared out where you place those items. Don’t forget the family pet either. All of the moving activity can make Fluffy or Fido nervous. Put them in your “Do Not Enter” room which has the door closed AND a sign that lets the movers know that they are not needed there.


Moving Yourself: Moving day will arrive quickly. The best practice for moving yourself is “no packing on moving day!” That’s right, have all of your boxes packed and ready to go so on moving day, you can pick up the rental truck or have your friends over to get everything moved. No putting things in boxes that day. Everything should already be boxed.


Moving can be stressful for sure. But, with a little pre-planning, your move will go off without a hitch.

Getting Started on the Road to Homeownership

Buying a home is a thrilling and often emotionally stressful process especially if this will be your first home. A prepared buyer will definitely be head of the ballgame. With just a little bit of prework, you’ll be ready to purchase your first home in no time. To get you started on your road to homeownership, I’ve created a simple checklist to help guide you along:

Get Your Finances in Order: Very few of us can actually purchase our first home with cash. Unless of course, you’ve won the lottery or a relative left you a large inheritance. Doing a financial check-up really does get the process off on the right foot:
First check your credit report to see if there is anything incorrect reported and get that resolved
Check to see if there are any first time home buyer programs that you might qualify for.
Talk to your banker/lender. See what programs they have and get pre-approved. You might want to shop around with several lenders to see where you can get the best rates and who you’d really like to work with. Once you’re pre-approved, it time to move onto the next step

Research Neighborhoods: Do you want to live in town, close to schools, shopping, and entertainment? Or do you prefer a country home away from the hustle and bustle? Do you need to be in a specific area because of work or are you totally open? Things to think about as you narrow down areas to search are:
Schools
Commuting time to work
Are the services you need available in the area

Now it’s time to Make Your List: Rarely does the perfect home come along. Even if you were to build a home from scratch, it would not be uncommon to say “I wish I would have________” after actually living in your new home. So as you list things that are important to you or things you must have, remember that you will most likely not find everything. Your list should include:
Price (you already know what you can spend based on your pre-approval)
How big: how many square feet do you need or at least how many bedrooms & bathrooms?
Single Family? Condo?
One story? Two Story? Master on the first floor? Split floor plan?

Contact a Realtor: If you thought getting pre-approved and putting a list together was tough, want until you have to navigate the home buying process. This is where your realtor comes in. In addition to taking you to visit homes that meet your requirements, your realtor can also guide you through the entire process. From gathering documents, to helping with inspections, your realtor is there to help!

Being prepared to start your home search is an important first step. Follow my guidelines and when you are on the final step, Call me!

5 Tips to have your Kitchen Sparkling!

We know that kitchens are important items for home buyers.  As a seller, you want to make sure that your kitchen really sparkles when potential buyers tour your home.  Not sure where to start?  Here's my 5 tips to make your kitchen stand out to potential buyers:

Tip #1:  De-clutter:  Take as much as you can off your countertops.  I know that you love all of your items and really do like having the coffee pot, toaster, and canisters sitting out and about because you use them, but having cleared off counters makes your kitchen look cleaners and bigger. 

Tip #2: Clean Appliances:  Make your stove, Oven, and other appliances sparkle by ensuring they are clean.  Wipe down even the inside of the refrigerator....buyer will peek inside.  Don't forget to clean the front and inside of the microwave as well.  Your appliances, even if older models, look much better to potential buyers if they are clean.

Tip #3:  Give the Kitchen a nice wipe down:  Regardless of the color of your cabinets and countertops, a good wipe down to remove dust, grease, and dirt goes a long way.  Don't forget the baseboards and toe-kicks as well.  Play close attention to the area around the stove where splatters can happen easily and are often overlooked.

Tip # 4:  Sink & Faucet:  Give your sink and faucet a nice scrub.  You know not to leave dirty dishes in the sink.  Giving the sink and faucet a good scrub makes them sparkle and potential buyers love to see "clean".

Tip #5: Breakfast Bar:  If you have an island or breakfast bar in your kitchen, its ok to do a little staging in that area.  Add some flowers in a vase and a few place settings of your favorite dishes to showcase the bar and how nice it is to have a great place to enjoy a good morning coffee. 

With a little work, your kitchen will present well to potential buyers.  And, presentation is key to a successful sale.

My Newest Listing: 28526 Norberg Drive

I’m really excited to show off this lovely property. It is a beauty and located Grand Rapids. This newer construction home has 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. When you drive up, you’ll notice the private setting that is full of perennial flowers. There is a raised deck, a patio that’s prefect for entertaining, a play set for the little people, and a fire-pit area. All situated on 2.75 acres.

Inside you’ll find a large open floor plan with vaulted ceilings and plenty of windows so you can continue to enjoy nature from the inside as well as the outside. The living room is bright and spacious. With forced air heating and cooling, you’ll always be comfortable at home.

Who doesn’t love a large, stunning kitchen with a roomy breakfast area as well as a peninsula with seating. Your friends and family will be able to keep the cook company while you’re entertaining. Doesn’t everyone seem to gather in the kitchen? This one is prefect for that.

You will love the main floor laundry and lots of storage. The flooring is newer as well. The garage consist of over-sized 3 stalls so there is plenty of room for your vehicles and toys.

This home is offered at $315,000.  Give me a call if you'd like a private showing.  You will not be disappointed. 

Get Learning!

 

Spring is here and that means summer isn’t far behind. What plans do you have for your children this year when the last school bell has rung? It can be a challenge to keep little minds simulated and active hands from getting into mischief. I just might have a solution for you! GET LEARNING, the community education program for the Itasca Area Schools Collaborative, offers a wide range of programs and classes throughout Itasca County to keep your children busy. And, if you have some free time on your hands, they have adult classes as well. While their spring catalog is coming to an end, there are still plenty of activities to participate in while awaiting the summer catalog which will be out shortly. You can see the current catalog here.

Here’s a short listing of upcoming classes for the kids:


Kids in the Garden: May 1st from 5:30 - 6:50 pm
Sculpture for Kids: Wednesday, May 1st - May 29th 3:00 - 4:00 pm
Canvas with my kids: May 9th, 4:30 - 6:30 pm
College for Kids: June 10th - 14th (see catalog for details)

Adults classes are held all over Itasca County so you can certainly find something that peaks your interest near your home. Here’s a short list of upcoming adults classes:


Basket Weaving (Bicycle basket) May 13th 5:00 - 9:00 pm
Birch bark Bread Basket: May 13th & 14th 5:00 - 8:00 pm
Pallet Painting Class: May 21st 5:00 - 8:00 pm

We are never short of fun activities in the Grand Rapids and surrounding area. Plan to enjoy some of the wonderful classes offered!