From Dennis and Jane Guertin | Guertin Family Realty | (952) 442-1300 |
Getting more value and enjoyment from your home is always a good thing! With that in mind, here are three common remodel mistakes to know about when planning upgrades, along with helpful tips on choosing the best grill or smoker.
Dennis and Jane Guertin
(952) 442-1300 Direct

Common Remodel Mistakes to Avoid

1. Giving up too much kitchen working space.

In addition to being the unofficial heart of most homes, the kitchen is a highly functional area, and that function depends heavily upon counter and cabinet space.

In your quest for the optimal layout, conserve or add as much working area as possible, especially when it comes to counter space. (Martha Stewart's advice on this topic is "Don't settle for less!")

Bottom line: Sacrificing too much cabinet or counter space can result in a kitchen that looks great but doesn't quite work for you or future buyers.

2. Choosing a carpet color that's too light or the wrong shade.

Carpet tends to appear lighter over a large surface area than it does on the small swatches most people use when choosing colors. (Yes, this can lead to some stressful moments on installation day!) If you're considering a style with darker flecks, keep in mind that in your home the flecks are likely to look just as dark as they did on the sample, while the background color may appear lighter, making the contrast more pronounced.

It's also very important to choose the right undertone color. A neutral-color carpet could have a subtle red, green, earth tone, or blue undertone, and it can be very hard to notice the difference unless you see carpet samples next to each other.

Bottom line: Get the largest carpet samples you can find, and compare a good selection of similar color shades at your home. Earth tones are often a safe choice when selling.

3. Sacrificing functionality for aesthetics.

A wise remodel strategy is one that will make your home more visually appealing and easier to live in at the same time, especially when resale is a consideration. This means it's good to be cautious when contemplating losing real functionality for the sake of an upgrade.

A big consideration these days is the quickly-growing senior "Age In Place" buyer demographic, which makes it more important than ever to avoid modifications that could cause a home to be less usable for people with impaired mobility.

Bottom line: Regardless of how pretty they are, homes lose value when they become less convenient to live in.

How to Choose the Right Grill

The good news is that you can get a decent gas or charcoal grill for under $150, and for $800 be the "envy of the neighborhood", according to the BBQ experts at On the higher end, there's the option to splash out on grills costing over $20,000, or an actual BBQ/boat combination for $50,000 - seriously!

Tip: Find the Top 10 Recommended Grills Lists
in the "Links that Make Life Easier" section, below.

Here are just a few of the many grill choosing tips available from experts Steve Raichlen, the AmazingRibs team, and chef Tony Matassa:

1. Plan on around 72 square inches (8" by 9") of grilling space per person.

2. Buy bigger than you think you'll need, going by square inches calculated using the primary grilling area. (Some makers include the warming tray in their numbers.)

3. Grate space and lid choice vary based on what you're most likely to cook. Tips from pros on what's best for your cooking style are here and here.

4. Make sure the burner area is proportional to the grill or you will end up with cool areas.

5. Make sure the flame tamer is directly over the grill, not to the side.

6. If homeowner association rules prevent a flame grill, consider an electric smoker.

7. Look for a good warranty - ideally a limited lifetime warranty, with a 10-year warranty on burners.

Helpful Resource: Gas Grill Warranty Comparison Chart

These pointers are just the tip of the iceberg, so if any kind of grill or smoker is in your future it may be worth checking out what the BBQ experts have to say:

-'s tips
- Steve Raichlen's tips
- Tony Matassa's tips

Or, let do the homework for you with their five Top 10 Lists in the "Links that Make Life Easier" section, below. (Their reviews are based on real experience and they don't accept sponsored content.)

Recent Market Highlights
Market chart icon

- U.S. home prices rose 5.0 percent year-to-year in May 2016, according to a recent S&P/Case-Shiller report. CoreLogic, a data and analytics company, reported that home prices rose 5.7 percent year-to-year in June.

- The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is in the mid 3-percent range.

The June Pending Home Sales Index rose 1 percent year-to-year, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Contact Us for Market Information
Are you curious about your home's current market value, or do you have a question about home buying? Just reply to this email, or call us at 952-442-1300.
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Links that Make Life Easier

Sometimes real estate-related, sometimes not... these are assorted links that come in handy:

2016 Top 10 Best Value Gas Grills's top gas grill recommendations, from $120 to just over $2,000.

2016 Top 10 Best Value Charcoal Grills
Top charcoal grill recommendations, from $150 to around $1,300.

2016 Top 10 Luxury Grills and Smokers
Grills starting at around $2,800, topping out with the $50,000 BBQ Dining Boat (after all, why not? :)

2016 Top 10 Best Value Smokers's list of their favorite value-friendly smokers.

2016 Top 10 Best Value Tailgate and Portable Grills
For grillers on the go, a Top 10 List that starts at around $40.

The Lighter Side

Talk about a lucky duck: "Lucy" gets celebrity treatment each year when police officers in St. Edward Island stop traffic on one of their busiest streets so she can safely lead her new ducklings to a neighborhood marsh - from her yearly nesting place in the garden display of a discount superstore!

workers help out by marking the trees around her nest as "Sold". :) Click here or on the image above to see photos and read the article.

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Your Resource for Real Estate
Are you thinking of buying or selling a home in the next year, or could you use some remodeling advice? Even if you just need the name of a good service provider, please remember that we're always here to help you. We welcome the opportunity to serve you, your friends and associates with our expertise and recommendations.

Please give us a call today at (952) 442-1300 if we can be of assistance!
Have a great day,

Dennis and Jane Guertin
Broker/Owner, REALTOR®, CRS, SFR, CBR, e-PRO, GRI, BA
Guertin Family Realty

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Guertin Family Realty | 71 Point Drive | Waconia | MN | 55387