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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Downsizing Your Home

In 2010, the average size of a new home was 2,169 square feet. That’s over a 1000 square foot increase in the last 30 years. A large home can be nice, especially when you’re raising a family. However, if your kids are now grown or you’re just tired of cleaning and maintaining all that space, you may be thinking about downsizing to a smaller home.

However, selling your home and buying a smaller one is a big commitment. To be sure that you are ready to move to a smaller place and before putting your home on the market or shopping for one, take an earnest look at your reasons for making this change.

You may have rooms you never use. Do you find yourself wondering why you even have a formal dining room, or when you’ll ever use that fourth bedroom again? Your home should suit your lifestyle. So, if your formal dinner party days are over and your current home no longer makes sense, it might be time to downsize.

Upkeep on a larger home is time consuming.  Extra rooms and a large yard need regular cleaning and maintenance.  Significant dollars spent on hiring help for extensive landscape and lawn care, systems inspections and other maintenance or repairs can be a cash drain for spaces rarely used.

Your family and friends may have already moved out of your neighborhood and into smaller homes or city condos. When the people you care about and socialize with have moved on with their lives, it may be time for you to move on, too.

Accessibility will eventually become an issue. That second floor master suite may no longer be optimal and a smaller, one-story home, designed for easy access, could be exactly what you need for prolonged independence.

Fortunately, if you are ready to downsize, now is a great time to do it. Contact me today if your downsize time has arrived and you’re ready for a new chapter of life in a new home, we can discuss how I can help you to make that transition more easily and find the home of your dreams. 

The Long Group with RE/MAX Results 
(952) 240-8821 

Photo courtesy of Lonnie Bradley, Stock.XCHNG.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Best Buy Camera Experience Workshop

This weekend, Best Buy in Bloomington’s Mall of America, is providing a complimentary Digital Photography workshop. Those attending will get the chance to learn all the tricks and techniques professionals use to capture that amazing photo. It’s the perfect time to get out that camera you received over the holidays, and learn how to use it to its fullest! 

Bring your DSLR camera to the workshop, or if needed, a camera will be available for you to use during the workshop.

Admission is free. Every class is limited to 30 people, so be sure to register in advance! You can register here. 

Mark your calendars for - Sunday, January 4, 2015 10:00 am - 12:00 pm. And enjoy the workshop!

Mall of America
340 West Market
Bloomington, MN 55425

For further information, please click here.  

The Long Group with RE/MAX Results 
(952) 240-8821 

Photo courtesy of unsplash/

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year, New Home

If you have been longing to join the ranks of other homeowners, make this upcoming year the time to achieve your dream of buying a home. We have reached the end of the year and you may have been pondering, “What will my New Year’s resolution be this year?” Now is the point in the year in which you should be getting your “ducks in a row”, in order to achieve a New Year’s resolution that you can stick to.  

Begin by contacting the experts. Your real estate agent will provide you with all of the information about your local real estate market, and will be valuable in guiding you through the lending process.  

Even though you may have allotted a specific amount of money for a down payment, you must also consider additional upfront costs incurred when purchasing a home.  These include charges such as inspection and closing costs. A qualified lender will work closely with you in determining the many programs and loans that will be applicable to your particular financial situation. Be smart and practical about your finances.
Once you have concluded where you stand financially, it is time to determine your preferences.
Your agent’s website should become your number 1 go-to resource.  E-mail alerts can be set up to notify you of new listings.  In addition, their site will allow you to view multiple photos of homes, view school and neighborhood information, and even supply you with newsletters containing real estate articles and weekend events. Working with your agent, you can search for homes that meet your criteria, and information about specific neighborhoods, community life, and the convenience to shopping, hospitals, and transit.  

At this juncture, you should also be confident of the price you are willing and able to pay. Before embarking on viewing any homes, be sure to have a clear idea and understanding of what your wants and needs are.  Be aggressive in obtaining both, yet practical in focusing on homes that meet the standards and measures that you must have. 
Contact me today for help with making your dream of becoming a homeowner a successful New Year’s resolution. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you find your dream home. 

The Long Group with RE/MAX Results 
(952) 240-8821 

Photo courtesy of Christine Zenino/

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Bogart’s 4th Annual Holiday Bowling Tourney

Looking for something fun to do with your family this holiday weekend? Take them to Bogart’s for a fun night of bowling, dinner, or karaoke. And don’t miss the 4th Annual Holiday Bowling Tourney happening this Friday. 

Bogart’s Apple Place Bowl features 24 State of the Art AMF HPL synthetic lanes, with the newest in automatic scoring. Then after you’ve worked up an appetite, head over to the Main Street Grill. Where you can choose from a wide variety of all American cuisines. And if you’re not ready for your night to end, they also offer karaoke in the Black Alley Tavern!

So come on down for a night of fun, and happy holidays! For more information, click here. 

Bogart's Place 
14917 Garrett Ave 
Apple Valley, MN 55124 

4th Annual Holiday Bowling Tourney 

Friday December 26th, 2014
Check-In @ 6:00PM
Practice Starts @ 7:00PM (10 Minutes)
Bowling @ 7:10PM  

The Long Group with RE/MAX Results 
(952) 240-8821 

Image courtesy of Ginny/

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Money Saving Winter Investments

Having the proper amount of insulation in a home is imperative in saving energy costs.  It is estimated that 65% of American homes are under-insulated, thus raising the estimated energy bills nearly 40%. Insulation is not frequently on a person’s primary list of interests when purchasing a home, or even maintaining their current house.  However, it should be.  Not only does insulation play a huge role in sustaining a comfortable home in which to live, but more importantly it is paramount in potentially saving you a vast amount of money. 

As energy costs are continuously on the rise, it only makes sense to equip your home with the correct amount of insulation. Insulation conserves energy, thus saving you money. Homes built as recently as the late 1970’s have insulation levels far lower than the recommended levels of today.   And should you be looking to purchase a home this winter, be sure it too, is properly insulated. 

Most insulation will pay for itself over a very short period of time.  The best return on your money is to insulate where there currently is none. So, are you baffled on where to begin?  Calling your local real estate agent is a great place to start.  Whether you are looking to purchase this winter, or simply need advice on maintaining your current home, your agent knows the value and importance of home insulation.  They will be able to offer you guidance on who to contact and for what reasons.  Insulation companies can perform energy audits and assessments on your current home, or the home in which you are looking to purchase.  The audit will assure that the home is properly sealed.  And if not, it will report on ways to improve its energy efficiency.  The assessment from the insulating professional will determine the current R-value of the insulation, measuring its ability to resist heat traveling through it.  Depending on the results, suggestions will be made on where, and how much insulation should be added.

Regardless of anything else you do this winter, make it a priority to examine the insulation levels in your current home, or potential purchase.  Adding insulation is an easy step to take as a homeowner, to save up to 20% on your next energy bill.  Working with your insulation professional, you can decide on which variety is most suitable for the home’s particular needs. 

The dread of receiving this year’s winter electric bills could be alleviated. Get in touch with me and I will be happy to help you get started, and/or help you find your dream home.

The Long Group with RE/MAX Results 
(952) 240-8821 

Photo courtesy of 401K (2012)/