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All Blog Entries by VIBE Realty

Found 155 blog entries published by VIBE Realty.


Spring finally, finally seems to be here in the Twin Cities and we couldn’t be happier! In honor of the warm weather, we sat down with Katie Novotny, Ramsey County Master Gardener Intern (and sister to our own Liz Novotny) to talk about gardening. New homeowners, novice gardeners and those with the desire to green-ify their thumbs: read on for Katie’s best tips, tricks and resources so your flower or veggie garden will flourish this summer!

Question: When is the ideal time to plant your garden?

Answer: The best time to plant your garden depends on where you live, your planting zone, and what you are planting. You can find out what your zone is at the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Here in the Twin Cities cool season crops like peas, lettuce,…

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A variety of images come to mind when I think of the term, “dive bar.” I used to think it had to be a real seedy place that made you question your safety and using the restroom was not maybe the best idea. My thoughts on this have evolved over time and now I think of a “dive bar” as a place that’s not trying to be anything it’s not. They aren’t making a statement with cuisine and they don’t have a cocktail program.

Tapper’s in West St. Paul fits this bill perfectly! Their sign outside advertises them as the “Home of the Coney Island Pizza.” The idea of a pizza with hot dogs, chili and mustard sounds terrible, but honestly? It’s pretty great! The game of the moment is usually on tv and they’ve got a Touchtunes if you like to make your own…

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In 2014, as my long career in the retail industry was coming to a close and I was imagining what
my next chapter would look like, I found myself yearning for a deeper connection to my
hometown of Saint Paul. Seeking local opportunities, I stumbled upon an intriguing group of
people at Fitzgerald's restaurant (now Handsome Hog) one evening. They turned out to be
members of Leadership Saint Paul (LSP), a premier program that cultivates emerging and current
leaders, strengthening the St. Paul/East Metro region. This article recounts my transformative
journey with LSP and highlights the program's invaluable impact on personal and professional

Unveiling the Enigmatic World of Leadership Saint Paul

With curiosity piqued, I approached the group, and…

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VIBE recently hosted Brett Leschinsky, a Senior Loan Officer with CrossCountry Mortgage, to learn how divorce affects real estate transactions. We wanted to find out how different lenders treat divorce situations, discover if child support can be counted as qualifying income and get tips for divorcing sellers and agents. Read on for all that information and more.

Question: Do all lenders treat a divorce situation the same?

Answer: No! This is a great question. Many lenders have overlays on Fannie/Freddie guidelines when it comes to divorce, especially banks. Mortgage companies don’t tend to have these overlays. An example of an overlay is Fannie may allow a divorcing client to purchase a house before the divorce is final, but banks overlay that…

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With Earth Day quickly approaching, we sat down with Becca Wingenbach, Regional Sales Manager at All Energy Solar to learn more about solar panels and how to create a more energy efficient home.

Q: For homeowners in Minneapolis and St. Paul, what is the average cost of solar panel installation?

A: It’s impossible to set a one-size-fits-all price on solar installation. Each property has its own energy needs and design configurations to consider. The only way to find out how much solar panels could cost for your property is to get a custom evaluation. With that being said, on average most residential projects run between $20,000-$40,000.

Q: What are the expected tax savings and/or income earned once solar panels are installed?

A: There are…

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What a Night!

Friday saw us partying until the wee hours in celebration of our Grand Opening. We invited friends and family to commemorate our new offices, toast to five years of VIBE and, of course, eat and drink.

The St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce was in attendance, helping with the ribbon cutting and celebrating alongside us.

When it comes to the highlight of the night, it depends on who you ask - some would say the red carpet, others the ribbon cutting out on Selby on a beautiful night, and others would argue it was the signature cocktail or the heartfelt speeches by founders Steve and Rob. No matter what was the best part, though, all can agree: VIBE knows how to throw a party. Afterall, our new space was created with parties,…

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In a year when so many of us find ourselves ‘getting back to the basics’ of real estate, I can’t help but get sentimental for the return of my dear old friend The Open House. I know many of us have a love-hate relationship with this industry staple, but mine is much more love than hate. You see, Open Houses had me, literally, at “hello.” 

After just getting licensed in early 2015, I was able to hold my first open house at a colleague’s listing on Grand Ave in St. Paul. It was a cute walk-up condo in a high foot-traffic area, and I was sure I was going to get some people through. And, as luck would have it, the very first group to walk through that door, a retired couple relocating from Madison to be close to their adult children, became my very…

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In early April, VIBE was proud to host a vibrant, live panel discussion for fellow industry professionals with the aim of helping fight discrimination in real estate right here in the Twin Cities. “I left there super inspired for the amazing work everyone there wants to do together,” said Andrea Rodriguez, loan officer for Fairway. Featured on the panel were the local leaders of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) and the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance.  

The afternoon included “important dialogue,” according to panelist Zaylore Stout, chief counsel for the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, and included a lot of…

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Tom Ellis and Scott Griesbach are the owners of Aesthetic Home Interiors, just down the road on Selby from our VIBE offices. One of our core tenants at VIBE is supporting our community, and what better way than asking Tom and Scott to share some of their thoughts on decorating for SPRING! Make sure to stop by their spring pop-up event March 24-26 to score some unique spring decor items and browse custom furniture.

Something Old. Something New. Something Borrowed. Something Blue.

We’re using this familiar phrase as an inspiration for a fresh home design. Spring is one of our favorite seasons and provides you a great opportunity to update your space. So let’s get refreshing, shall we?

Step 1: Look at the OLD. Start by looking at your home…

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