Eric Kaler, New U of M president. I just met him!

 This Morning I was fortunate enough to meet the new U of M President. I also heard him answer some very tough questions at a forum two days ago. As I was listening to him, I thought, “It’s as if he has graduated from Toastmasters, learned the English language from Shakespeare, and learned how to pinpoint the answer to a major issue before you can finish explaining the problem!” I think we will watch in awe, the improvements that he will make at that school!


Shady docks cause quite a stir on Lake Minnetonka!

The following links contain the most recent news concerning the shade from docks supposedly jeopardizing the health of Minnesota lakes.

The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District held a meeting last week to listen to lakeshore owners comments concerning the potential restricting of docks. From the dozens of people I have talked to about this issue, one of the strongest reactions was, “How on earth can they expect people to share docks? I must say, as a realtor, I know that if that happens, those property values will certainly go down! The recent article in the Star Tribune is a most read. If you want some entertainment, read the comments also. Although I could not attend the meeting on Wednesday, I understand the overall opinion from the lakeshore owners was to leave the docks the way they currently are.

This is good summary of the history of the D.N.R.’s regulations.

The following reports by the D.N.R. explain the role of the D.N.R. in regulating docks throughout the state, and, discusses the public meetings held in several cities within the last few years.

An environmental committee under the L.M.C.D. was appointed to review and determine issues surrounding dock ordinances. This is the findings of the technical review committee.

Now you know more than most people about the potential flora and fauna problems under the waters of Lake Minnetonka.

Raising the Bar in Real Estate


When will the ice be off Lake Minnetonka? Ice melting off a lake means spring and melts away spring fever.


Everyone is anxious for the ice to be off the lake. We live in an area where we get cabin fever at this time of the year and we just can’t wait for one of the first signs of spring; the ice totally melting off the lake. istock_000005379973small1istock_000001025366small

Many people try to predict the exact date, people have “Ice Off” parties, and the winter blaas just seem to melt away along with the ice!

It is tax time. Deductions, exclusions, rebates, expenses, can I just get an extension?

I'm over my head. It's tax time!
I’m over my head. It’s tax time!

So I’m starting my taxes and it’s a little overwhelming. When you have your own business, and when you are your own business, it seems to take a long time to go through all the paperwork to get your taxes to the accountant. I think I will just go take a nap!

Do you want to move off the lake…

If you want to move off the lake, it is easier to just move yourself, not your house too!If you are moving off the lake, just move yourself, not the house. It's too much work!

Memorial Day weekend, Good time to buy a house?

I have sold three houses over past Memorial Day weekends, so if you think Realtors typically don’t work this weekend, you are wrong. The weather is supposed to be great for the next few days. There are many wonderful bargains to buy. If you want to buy a house on Lake Minnetonka, I know of many wonderful opportunities.

The Distinctive Homes waterfront tour last week was a total success. All houses that have direct or deeded lakeshore were on the tour. The property I had open was a beautiful lot on Lake Minnetonka, and many people seemed quite interested in it. 

How on earth do you choose a good realtor?

When I saw my Doctor the day before yesterday, just before my physical, she asked me “How do you find a good realtor?”
duck pond realtor
She asked a very good question. Such a good question that I think it would be helpful for many people to know how to find a good real estate agent. Before I started in this business, I hired a real estate agent who would never talk to me after I hired him. I would call to find out what buyers were saying about my house, but he never would call me back to tell me. I was so frustrated that one morning I went to his office and waited in the lobby for him to come to work, just to find out about the house. I immediately requested a meeting with him, and he was very terse during the brief meeting. That was such a bad experience. I often think of that experience and try to do the opposite; call people often, and always keep them in the loop. In an effort to help so you don’t have to go through what I had to, I have put together some preventative measures.
If I were to start to find a good realtor, this is what I would do.
1. Talk to friends, relatives, and co-workers. If one of them is very excited about a certain agent, if they tell you that the agent was attentive to their questions, a good listener, that they gave feedback on showings on a timely basis, and just seemed very experienced, that agent may be the one for you.. Very good agents are a cut above the rest and they stand out! Call that agent.
2. If no one you know knows of a good real estate agent, go online, check out the houses on the market in your area. If there is one real estate agent that is shown as the listing agent many more times than anyone else, chances are that agent is selling a large quantity of homes in your neighborhood. Call that agent.
3. Interview at least two agents. You need to be able to compare their experience, and get opinions on price, the condition of your house, commission, etc. Many agents will want to stop by, take a look at your house, ask you a few questions and then come back again another day after they have done a comparable market analysis in their office.
4. When the agent comes back the second time, ask the following questions, along with any other questions you may want answered;
A. How long have you been selling real estate?
B. How many houses have you sold in this area? When? Specifically where? How long did they take to sell?
C. How often will you communicate with me? How? Can you put that answer in writing?
D. What do I need to do to get my house ready to sell?
E. Why should I choose you over any other agent?
F. Within the last calendar year, what was the average days on the market for the houses you sold?
G. What should we do if you can’t sell our house in six months?
These are though questions, but you need to ask them. Any top agent will answer them truthfully and emphatically! Good luck.
Virginia Lord
Raising the Bar in Real Estate