Hale Properties - December 2019




Now that Thanksgiving has passed and we have Christmas and New Year’s to look forward to, many homebuyers and home sellers are thinking ahead to spring. Although homes sell well to various buyers throughout the year, spring in Minnesota is often when traditional sellers think about selling, and traditional buyers are eager to get out of their hibernation and tour homes, which means the best time to start prepping for either process is right now. So, if buying or selling your home is your New Year’s resolution, why not start early? You can do plenty of things to make sure you’re ready to go. If you’re looking to sell next spring, it’s best to start preparing your home by decluttering. If you need a copy of Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” send me a quick email for your free copy! “Tidying Up,” as Kondo would suggest, has profound effects on your home as well as your mind. Not only do well-cared-for, owner-occupied homes sell fast in the spring market, but they also sell for top dollar. After decluttering your home and mind, you may want to tackle deferred maintenance projects. If you do not know where to start, a thorough home inspection, like the type a buyer will perform, is an awesome way to get ahead of potential buyer concerns. Choosing the right inspector is important. For that, we recommend you check out the crew at StructureTech1. com. After receiving your report, we can help you prioritize your time and money to greatest effect. After structural and mechanical systems are sorted, aesthetic improvements are your next area of focus. When you’re prepping your home for sale, pay special attention to ways you can improve the highest-traffic rooms in the house: the kitchen and the bathrooms. There are a few ways you can freshen up these rooms, including regrouting tiles or recaulking showers and tubs. You could even go as far as redoing your countertops if they’re looking a little outdated, but even just replacing faucets can go a long way in giving those spaces an updated look. While some yardwork simply can’t be done until it gets a little warmer, start looking for ways to improve the curb appeal of your home. Do you need to clean any patio furniture? Do you need to remove any dead or obtrusive bushes or trees from your yard? Even if you can’t do these things right away, it helps to have a list of yardwork and landscaping tasks in mind for when it warms up.

Though there might not be as much prep work for those of you planning to buy a home in the spring, you can begin preparing right now in a few ways. Start familiarizing yourself with the city or

neighborhood you’re planning on moving to. Drive around different streets and talk to locals about buying a

house in that area. It also can’t hurt to talk to a qualified and knowledgeable real estate agent about your future community.

Ultimately, home sellers should focus on creating a space where new families can see themselves makingmemories. Experiences with the people you love are far more important than any gift or things you can fill your house with. Homebuyers should look for a place where they can envision their family creating these experiences. For the past few years, our family’s holiday seasons have been pretty crazy. After Maggie and I had triplets in November of 2017, our Christmas season was full of sleepless nights. The next year, when they were all 1-year-olds, it wasn’t much different, though we started to see the light, and the girls loved eating all the food in our home and the homes of our families. This year, the girls are old enough to appreciate their holiday season experiences — and after two years of parenting in survival mode, I will gain a new appreciation for the experiences we can share with family as well. Although we don’t specialize in holiday decorations, if you need help preparing to sell your home and creating a space where families can share experiences, please give us a call or drop us an email. From Maggie, me, Lola, Mila, and Nora, we wish you the most blessed holiday season and hope your time and homes are filled with experiences you will remember for a long time!


Merry Christmas,

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MORE THAN JUST ‘YOU’LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT!’ Lessons Families Can Learn From ‘A Christmas Story’

In 1983, one movie introduced Red Ryder BB guns, fishnet-clad leg lamps, and bright red bars of soap into America’s everlasting Christmas mythos. Now, over 35 years later, “A Christmas Story” continues to delight audiences every holiday season with timeless lessons for viewers of all ages. In a story where kids are clever and kind, and parents are bumbling and wise, “A Christmas Story” has more lessons to offer families than just, “You’ll shoot your eye out!” Your kids are listening to you (oh, fudge!). They aren’t always obedient, but that doesn’t mean they’re not listening. After Ralphie lets slip the “queen mother of dirty words” in front of his father, the narrator reminisces about first hearing that word from his old man — possibly when he was trying to get their furnace to work. He doesn’t admit this to his mother, but it’s a lesson for parents everywhere that kids may hear more than they let on. Kids won’t believe in magic forever. Magical stories about Santa or even “Little Orphan Annie’s” Secret Society fill children’s hearts with wonder but won’t enchant them forever. Belief in certain parts of the Christmas season can fade slowly or die as quickly as the spin of a decoder pin, but parents can always be there to remind children about what’s really important during the Christmas season.

YURT SWEET YURT Glamping in Beautiful Locations

The allure of the great outdoors calls to many, but pitching a tent and cooking over a fire isn’t for everyone. If that describes you, consider the yurt: a small, permanent structure often outfitted with electricity, plumbing, and other modern amenities. Expertly nestled in remote locations, they provide comforts of home in the midst of nature. Here are just a few around the United States available for rent.

Treebones Resort, California

For those new to the glamping scene, this is a great choice for an easy transition. With picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean, the Treebones Resort in Big Sur has an array of spaciously comfortable yurts to choose from. The resort has heated pools, a cozy lodge, and even a sushi bar. About an hour up the coastline, you can find a few shops, restaurants, and art galleries if you decide you’ve gotten your dose of nature for the day.

Sometimes ‘disasters’ lead to new adventures.

Spruce Hole Yurt, Colorado

Christmas Day can be hectic, and, in the hubbub of it all, sometimes disaster can feel inevitable. Ralphie’s parents certainly experience their fair share of disaster in hilarious fashion when the Bumpus Hounds destroy their holiday turkey and leave nothing but the heavenly aroma. But, when Ralphie’s father takes them out to eat at a local Chinese restaurant, it creates a whole new Christmas tradition for the Parker family. Our holiday mishaps, no matter how tragic, are rarely the end of the world.

Nestled in the San Juan Mountains about 10 miles north of New Mexico, this yurt is a snow-lover’s paradise. Skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking trails are plentiful in this backcountry location. At the end of a chilly day, come home to comfy beds, cooking supplies, and decor made to feel like you’re camping — but with sturdy walls to keep out the cold.

Falls Brook Yurts, NewYork

For the glampers who truly want to get away, hike just under 1 mile into the woods of the Adirondack Mountains to discover rustic yurts beckoning you to cook over a fire or bundle up with a book. At night, the yurt’s domed skylight offers excellent stargazing. For those keen on winter activities, skiing and snowshoeing trails start right outside the front door. In the summer, enjoy hiking, fishing, and swimming.

Consider one final tip: Do not stick your tongue to any flagpoles this winter! Happy holidays!

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WHAT ABOUT DUNDER AND BLIXEM? The Strange History of Santa’s Reindeer

We all know reindeer visit our rooftops every Christmas Eve, but what brings them there? Follow the unique and complicated history of Santa’s reindeer to find out.

as Santa’s companions. In the late 1890s, the Sami natives of Northern Europe, who were longtime reindeer herders, made their

A visit fromwho on what night? In the 1820s, Clement Clarke Moore penned a holiday poem that became the foundation for a phenomenon still alive today. Commonly known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,”“A Visit From St. Nicholas” is a beloved story shared by every generation. It is in this poem that reindeer were first credited with powering Santa’s sleigh around the globe. Many popular songs, movies, and plays have preserved Moore’s vision of St. Nick, and his reindeer and their names are no exception. (Well, kind of.) Rudolph wouldn’t join the squad until a department store added him as part of their promotions in the 1930s. What’s in a name? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, and Cupid were all brought to life by Moore, but have you ever heard of Dunder and Blixem? Though we now know the duo as Donner and Blitzen, Moore originally named themDunder and Blixem— the Dutch words for thunder and lightning—but publishing companies wanted names that would rhyme better with the rest of the poem. Still, it was a few decades before Donner and Blitzen made their appearances in the version of the poemwe know today. Reindeer burgers, anyone? Moore’s poem paved the way for Santa’s most famous form of transportation, but it was actually Carl Lomen, an Alaskan businessman, who mass-marketed reindeer

passage from Norway to the U.S. with a herd of reindeer to invigorate the Alaskan landscape and help their native neighbors. Lomen saw the reindeer as an opportunity and partnered with the Macy’s department store

company to create a promotional Christmas parade in which Santa, led by his reindeer, a sleigh, and Sami herders, were prominently featured. Lomen’s goal was to promote his massive reindeer conglomerate for the production and sale of reindeer meat. Instead, a holiday story was born.



Inspired by Ina Garten




Heat oven to 425 F.

1 chicken, approx. 5–6 lbs


Rinse chicken inside and out, removing giblets if included. Move to a work surface, pat dry, and liberally season with salt and pepper. Stuff cavity with thyme bunch, lemon halves, and garlic head. Brush outside with butter, and then season again. Tie chicken legs together with kitchen string. Meanwhile, in a roasting pan, toss onions and carrots in olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and 20 sprigs of thyme. Place the chicken on the vegetables and roast for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven, and let stand for 20 minutes covered with foil.

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 large bunch fresh thyme, 20 sprigs removed

1 lemon, halved


1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise

2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted


1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces


Solution on Page 4


Slice and serve with the vegetables.

Olive oil


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1161 Wayzata Blvd. E, #210 Wayzata, MN 55391 HaleProperties.com 612-567-9530


Prepare to Buy or Sell Your Home


Yurts: Glamping at Its Finest Lessons Families Can Learn From ‘A Christmas Story’ How Santa Claus Became Powered by Reindeer Classic Roast Chicken



Peyo the Therapy Horse

HORSING AROUND Meet a Different Kind of Therapy Animal

Horses have been loyal and useful companions to humans for centuries. But unbeknownst to many who fear these long-legged, 1,000-plus- pound mammals, horses are also naturally intuitive and extremely sensitive to the moods of people around them. These traits make them excellent therapy animals for those with autism, cerebral palsy, chronic illnesses, and PTSD, among many more. In fact, there are dedicated horse- riding camps geared toward chronically ill children and adults all over the world. However, riding horses isn’t the only way to benefit from equine therapy; horses are also fantastic comfort animals

Meet Peyo, the 14-year-old “love stallion” from Dijon, France, who is cheering up chronically ill patients one nuzzle at a time. This accomplished artistic dressage competitor accompanies his owner, Hassen Bouchakour, on visits to hospitals and nursing homes, bringing joy with every clop of his hooves. Patients suffering from all manner of ailments blossom when Peyo comes to visit, laughing and smiling while being nudged by his soft nose. He seems to have a keen sense for patients who are truly suffering, and though his handler is always nearby, Peyo often chooses which rooms to enter of his own volition. Having a horse in a hospital room may not sound very sanitary, but Peyo goes through a strict grooming regimen to be deemed hygienic enough to be around patients. His hooves are greased, his mane and tail are braided, and his entire body is rubbed down with antibacterial lotion before being covered by a blanket. Before Peyo became a therapy horse, he was almost put up for sale by Bouchakour, who had a hard time wrangling Peyo’s fiery personality. But, over time, when they traveled to shows and competitions together, Bouchakour noticed the horse was drawn to the injured and disabled and would instantly calm at their touch. “It is one of the most pure, honest, and sweet things,” Bouchakour says. “They like each other very much without asking for anything else.”

that can relieve anxiety and promote a positive environment for bedridden patients — as long as the doorway is big enough.

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HALE PROPERTIES Act ive List ings


$400,000 2 beds / 2 baths 1,940 sq ft 2-car garage



$596,000 5 beds / 4 baths 4,712 sq ft 3-car garage


Under Contract

311 1ST AVE NW, NEW PRAGUE MN 56071 PURCHASE PRICE: $225,000 4 beds / 3 baths 2,642 sq ft 2-car garage


Recent Closings


Sold Price: $430,000 Date Closed: Nov 6, 2019

If you are looking for similar efficient and effective results, call me today for a complimentary evaluation of your home.

FRITZ SOBER A Y Real Estate Broker Mobile: 952-215-8951 Office: 612-567-9530

fritz@haleproperties.com www. haleproperties.com

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