Twin Cities MN Area Real Estate News & Info.

Feb. 27, 2022

Before and After - Stunning Bath Remodel



The original owner of this home truly embraced 1980's trends - check out that black jetted tub!  The original shower had a small plastic / plexi enclosure that was worn & cracked, with a door that did not close properly.  The original custom vanity was considerably shorter in height than today's vanities, with considerable storage challenges and, frankly TOO MUCH counterspace.


This bathroom has been transformed into a spa-like retreat! 

  • The free-standing tub boasts a Brizo free-standing tub filler.  This new-style tub is not only luxurious but also frees-up floor area. 
  • The shower has been expanded considerably.
    • Custom shower pan & tile work
    • 12 x 24 porcelain wall tile
    • Brizo fixtures
    • Custom, frameless glass enclosure with matte black hardware
  • On the floor:  24 x 24 porcelain tile designed to resemble distressed marble.
  • The custom vanity is a game-changer for this space:
    • Drawer space rather than tiny lower cabinets with shelves
    • A "lazy susan" in the lower corner space (My carpenter told me this is the first time he has installed a "lazy susan" in a bathroom.  It was interesting getting that piece of cabinetry through a bedroom door, and then through the bathroom door!)
    • Vicostone Quartz countertop
    • Brizo fixtures
    • A countertop upper cabinet for added storage, with interior outlets to enclose / hide razor and toothbrush chargers.
Jan. 6, 2021

Drone Photography - A Game Changer

Drone photo showing private lotDrone view of approach

Drone showing waterfront behind homeDrone showing scenic area

Drone photography captures a view of homes and settings not possible from the ground.  Here are examples of drone photos for two different listings.  In the top example, the home was situated on a 2.7 acre hilltop, surrounded by trees.  I asked my drone photographer to capture the size and privacy of the lot.  The result was 8 offers within the first 12 hours!  In the lower example, the home is situated on a small lake near an historic, scenic downtown on the Mississippi.  I received calls from all over the country from buyers interested in this home!  13 offers received before the deadline.  Buyers continue to contact me to see this home, knowing it is under contract.

Dec. 30, 2020

Minnetonka School District Market Reports

Minnetonka School District - One of the most coveted school districts in the State of MN

Here you will find up-to-date Market Reports for homes in the Minnetonka School District, by price range.  Simple click a link!

Market Report - Minnetonka School District - Homes up to $500k

Market Report - Minnetonka School District - Homes from $500,000 - $1,000,000

Market Report - Minnetonka School District - Homes $1,000,000 and up

Aug. 1, 2020

Design and Renovation by Laura Keogan

Before & After Videos - One of My Favorite Renovations

Here you will find before and after videos of one of my favorite transformations.  This home was a time capsule and had been neglected for many years.  As a part of this major renovation, we removed the wall between the kitchen and living room.  In the upper level, we moved walls, removed an awkward 1/2 bath that was virtually unusable and added a new 3/4 bath in a better location.  We created a beautiful upper level with two possible uses - either as two bedrooms with a Jack & Jill 3/4 bath, or an owner's suite with bedroom, private master, and a dressing / sitting room.  The people who purchased this home chose to make the upstairs their private owners' suite!  Click on the highlighted links to view videos.


Whole Home Renovation by Laura Keogan



Second Story Transformation



Jan. 15, 2020

10 Things NOT To Do to Your Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors can be a lovely addition to your living space


The link below leads to some good advice about those lovely hardwood floors you may have.  In our own home, years ago we made the mistake of using a steam mop on our sealed hardwood - never again!!

Things You Should Never Do to Your Hardwood Floors

Posted in Helpful Tips
Dec. 28, 2019

Minneapolis - New Energy Disclosure Policy added to current Truth in Sale of Housing Evaluation


The City of Minneapolis has long required home sellers to obtain a Truth in Sale of Housing (TISH) evaluation prior to selling a home.  This TISH evaluation is required to be made available to all potential buyers.  The report outlines repairs required prior to the transfer of ownership.  


Beginning on January 15, 2020, home energy data will be collected during the required Truth in Sale of Housing (TISH) evaluation.  This data will be used to create an Energy Disclosure Report, to be included in the City's TISH report.  Why is Minneapolis adding this new disclosure?  According to the City of Minneapolis, the City believes that the energy performance of a home should be known by potential buyers prior to the purchase of a home.  


  • All 1-2 unit properties (such as single family homes and duplexes)
  • Townhomes
  • First-time condo conversions


The Energy Disclosure Report will report an "energy score" that rates the energy efficiency of each home.  The scale used is 0-100, with 100 being considered the most energy efficient home.  The score evaluates the energy performance of four key areas of the home:

  1. Attic Insulation
  2. Wall Insulation (a 2" hole will be drilled in the interior side of an exterior wall by the inspector, reportedly in an "inconspicuous area".  See below for more information on this topic.)
  3. Heating System
  4. Windows

The report will also include recommendations on how to improve these areas, reportedly prioritized by potential return on investment (according to the City of Minneapolis opinion).  



Energy Disclosure Summary

Energy Disclosure Pg 2


The City reportedly will not be requiring any energy improvements, as of the writing of this article.  The City reports that the aim of this new policy is to inform residents and realtors of the energy performance of homes AND the opportunities that exist for energy-saving improvements.


Whenever a home as been built prior to 1980, a 2" hole will be drilled in an exterior wall in order to evaluate wall insulation.  According to the representative that conducted a training I attended, the inspectors will be finding a relatively inconspicuous location in which to drill this hole.  When possible, they will look for an exterior wall closet or cabinet in which to drill, so that the hole will be concealed.  After the drilling and evaluation, a plastic plug will be inserted in the wall.  Why will it be a plastic plug?  The idea, according to the city, is that each time the home is sold, the inspector will be able to access the same hole by simply removing the plug. rather than drilling another hole.

Why are homes built after 1980 exempt?  Buildings code as of 1980 has required certain exterior wall insulation.


The answer if YES. At present, the City of Minneapolis has a list of inspectors that meet the qualifications to conduct Minneapolis TISH inspections. Each qualified TISH inspector sets his / her own price for the current TISH inspection as well as this new, additional Energy Disclosure Evaluation.  It is expected that each inspector will add an additional fee to their current TISH inspection price for this new, additional requirement in Minneapolis.  


The new Energy Disclosure Report is required for all MPLS TISH evaluations ENTERED ON OR AFTER JANUARY 1, 2020.  This means that if you recently obtained a Minneapolis TISH evaluation and that evaluation is entered into the City of Minneapolis system prior to January 15, 2020, then you are not required to have this additional evaluation done.  Minneapolis TISH evaluation reports are valid for 2 years, but for no more than one sale.  


Thinking about selling your Minneapolis home and looking for more information?  Call, text or email me:

cell:  612-964-5926

...or simply click on the phone or mail icon at the top of this page!




Feb. 26, 2019

How Much Snow Is Too Much Snow for Your Roof?

Worried about all that snow on your roof?  Here is some advice from Structure Tech Home Inspections in MN.

LINK: Snow weight

Feb. 16, 2019

Ice Dams - What They Are and What Can Be Done

Below is a link to a video on the topic of ice dams - possibly more than you ever wanted to know about Ice Dams, but an important topic for MN home owners, especially during a winter such as this one!

Video - Ice Dam Explanation, Investigation and Fixes


StructureTech is a home inspection company in MN.  

Nov. 4, 2018

Creating Open Concept in 1950's Home

Here you will find before and after photos of a project where main floor open concept living was created in a 1950's home.


ABOVE: The wall between the kitchen and living room was removed, both to open up the space and to create a dining area.  This was no small feat - in addition to relocating electrical service, there was duct work to the second story in this wall, on top of the fact that it was a supporting wall where an added support beam was needed.  An engineer was utilized to make certain that adequate support was added and licensed mechanical and electrical contractors effectively relocated duct work and wiring.


ABOVE:  Before and after shots of the kitchen itself.  A window that you see in the after shot (toward the left edge of the photo) was re-sized as a part of this renovation - - the bottom edge was raised by about 8 inches.  Although this made the window a bit smaller, it brought the lower edge to a height where lower cabinets and countertop could be installed.  This greatly increased the amount of functional space in the formerly cramped kitchen.  On the exterior, a match could not be found for the vinyl siding, so a piece of cedar siding and a cedar flower box, both stained a lovely color, were installed beneath the window - - this created a charming addition to the exterior of the kitchen window.

BELOW:  A view of the living room from the kitchen - removing the wall greatly increased the natural light throughout the main floor.

Oct. 29, 2018

Fireplace Facelifts on a Budget

Check out some quick and easy tips to take your fireplace from drab to fab!