Arcosanti’s Beehives for People

Civilization moves forward on the feet of dreamers and builders.  Dreamers imagine the future while builders create passageways taking us there. Italian architect Paolo Soleri, 92, is one of those rare individuals possessing both a dreamer’s vision and a builder’s blueprint.  … [Read more...]

Why You Don’t Own Your Front Yard

Most Minneapolis home owners are shocked to learn they don’t own all of their front yard.  People assume that the public sidewalk abuts the residential property line.  That’s a logical assumption and one that holds true in St. Paul.  So why isn't it true in Minneapolis? … [Read more...]

One for the Road

Have you ever wondered why some Minnesota cities operate liquor stores and bars?  When national Prohibition was repealed in 1933, states quickly designed their own systems for controlling liquor sales.  Minnesota’s law at the time allowed cities with less than 10,000 people to operate their own on-sale (bars) and off-sale (stores) businesses.  … [Read more...]

Radon and the Tooth Fairy

Remember when you were very young and it was easy to believe in things you couldn't see, like the Tooth Fairy?   The Tooth Fairy was so cool, giving you money for something you no longer needed.  And even when the day came that your baby teeth or your belief were no more, the Tooth Fairy didn't get mad at being ignored.  Good ol'  TF was never bad or harmful. … [Read more...]

Agents Are From Mars, Consumers Are From Venezuela

It is human nature to view oneself in terms of value, and others in terms of cost. This paradox is never more evident than in a business setting. No exception to the rule, Real Estate agents and consumers must coexist in an arena of disparate interests and subjective truths. In the search for common ground, … [Read more...]

The Saga of Salton City

Who wouldn’t want an affordable sea-side home in glamorous California?  Those who rushed to buy a lot in Salton City during the late 1950’s certainly thought it was a solid investment.  Sadly, they were wrong. (My Christmas Valley story said that Penn Phillips moved his operation to Oregon after his California business license was suspended  … [Read more...]

The Cat’s Guide to Preventing a House Sale

Listen up, fellow felines!  Your peeps are trying to sell your home out from underneath you.  And they haven't even asked permission, have they?   Everyone knows that we cats hate, hate, hate change.  Not like those silly dogs, so eager to explore new places.  We like things just the way they are.   If you have never had the trauma of being forcibly moved, let me tell you it's a nightmare.  The locations of your  food bowl and litter box - totally changed!  You have to fend off who knows what to claim the new place as your territory.  You must cultivate new napping spots.   You will have … [Read more...]

The Story of Christmas Valley

Christmas Valley is an unincorporated area in Lake County, Oregon.  It has a population of 749 and was named after nearby Christmas Lake.  The town didn't exist until 1961 when the M. Penn Phillips Development Company bought 90,000 acres there.  Penn Phillips was a veteran developer who specialized in creating new communities on desert terrain.  In a 1959 Time magazine article, Phillips claimed … [Read more...]

Ten Things We Forget to Clean

A clean house improves the chances of selling faster and at a higher price.  You may have also heard the real estate maxim that "the way we live in our house is not the way it should be staged when up for sale."  Similarly, properly cleaning a house that's on the market differs from routine cleaning.   Sellers too often become oblivious to the details in their familiar surroundings while buyers are on high-alert to spot anything dirty.  So after your thorough cleaning is done, check the list below to see if you should keep scrubbing. Clean all lighting fixtures, both inside and outside.  … [Read more...]

The Pants of Truth

A lie can run around the world six times while the truth is still trying to put on its pants. Mark Twain It's Halloween and there's nothing more frightening than the damage caused by lies masquerading as truth. The lies spawned during election season are especially dangerous because they feed on ignorance and incite fear. And the most effective political lies contain a drop of truth in the vat of swill. One such currently-circulating lie concerns a new tax on home sales. The claim is that all home sales are now subject to a 3.8% tax due to the new Health Care Bill. And the Democratic … [Read more...]

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