Renovate to Migrate

Last weekend we had an unusual listing - a split level on the border of Lakeville/Rosemount/Apple Valley. 

Quinby & Webb typically has focused real estate sales in Minneapolis and St. Paul proper, but when clients come calling, we come running! Gary and Michael will be buying a home in or near S. Minneapolis, so it seemed like a perfect fit to help them migrate. Gary spent the past 22 years meticulously maintaining and updating 16147 Excelsior Drive. His efforts show, the house far outshines any home in his neighborhood.


A freshly renovated kitchen with an open concept floor plan is a welcome change to anyone house hunting in this area. Most of the neighbor's homes are walled off split-levels with 80's oak cabinetry and tired carpet. 

Gary's knack for projects and design savvy are evident in his home. Beautiful wood flooring, classic shaker cabinets, light granite, and bright lighting are hallmarks of a longstanding design. If est. real estate had been brought in prior to these changes, our picks would've been nearly identical.


With his impressive skills, Gary tiled and finished both of the bathrooms himself. Travertine tile in the upper bath which is connected to the master and a nice light subway tile in the basement to brighten up an otherwise dark bathroom. The work is meticulous with level tile, beautiful finishes, and perfect grout lines - he truly is a master.

The basement space is wonderful for entertaining - the lookout windows let in a ton of light and the fireplace brings cozy charm in winter months. There is even a nice nook for a desk and office area.


In Lakeville, the garage space is coveted. Gary took this to heart when renovating. He insulated, drywalled, heated and even added a fireplace to his garage. It's a perfect space for winter game watching or a potential woodworking enthusiast. It's no surprise that Gary's meticulous attention to detail didn't stop on the inside. The exterior of his home is beautifully landscaped and perfect for any owner looking to spend some time outside.


Gary's planning while renovating his home is the exact approach we encourage at est. real estate. The best route to take is to renovate while you live in the home. Spread the cost over many years, to make it manageable, and then you have a beautiful home to sell that you've also gotten to ENJOY.

Props to Gary on his wonderful work - with 8 offers in 24 hours, it's obvious that his choices resonated with buyers in the marketplace. 

Lyndale Victorian - Kris and Ben's Masterpiece

In an effort to highlight some of our wonderful neighborhoods in Minneapolis, we are digging into the vault and showing off some of our favorite home sales of the last 5 years. est. real estate focuses heavily on what our name implies, helping our clients establish themselves in our amazing neighborhoods and communities. 


Today's focus is the Lyndale neighborhood! Situated just west of 35W and east of Lyndale, spanning from Lake St to 36th, Lyndale is quickly changing from high rental volume to family friendly with it's large houses and the increasing popularity of Lyndale Elementary. Just steps from the bustle of uptown, close to the lakes, and blocks from the newly created restaurant mecca on Nicollet - Lyndale is a fantastic neighborhood to invest in - we see it as a top growth area in years to come.

Kris and Ben spent 18 years as discerning owners of their beautiful Victorian. Their kids grew up in this home, went to school in the area, and many a family/friend gatherings were hosted in the large space and stunning yard. Avid classic home lovers, Kris and Ben left no space untouched, ensuring that this home would be in great shape to pass onto many families for decades to come.

Meticulous preservation and timeless updates are hallmark features of the classic homeowner. Caring for a 112 year old home requires patience, dedication, and a budget line item. No classic home will ever be perfect, but with thoughtful updates each year, these homes will stand another century as long as the owners work for it. Kris and Ben did just that. 


This 3 story Victorian is indicative of many homes that stand in the Lyndale neighborhood. Stately 10 foot ceilings, beautiful columns, even radiant heat, and plenty of space for a growing family define these classic masterpieces. est. real estate focuses heavily on investment strategy while buying your home. While we recognize that a home is a home, we also try to blend this with sound investment planning for long term equity gains. In South Minneapolis, NE, and St. Paul, solid investment choices usually involve timeless features and, as always, location location location. A large footprint is a nice addition where possible. 

As our urban neighborhoods are becoming more popular and the suburban migration continues, the up and coming neighborhoods are the wisest investments. We mentioned that historically speaking, Lyndale has been heavily rental occupied, but as the demand for single family living increases, the neighborhood has risen in value and become a popular place for young families to purchase their 20 year home.

Lyndale Elementary is quickly rising up the ranks of MPS community schools. The restaurant scene on Nicollet Ave is slowly moving north and will soon connect Eat Street with the top spots on 38th and Nicollet, especially with additions of Ramen Kazama, Hola Arepa, Pat's Tap, and more to come. With a recent upscale apartment complex on 35th and Grand, continued presence of Pizza Luce, Vo's, Sonny's, The Chair, and the draw of Painter's Park, we only see Lyndale as a quickly rising hot spot in South Minneapolis. In the spring, Open Streets Nicollet is a huge hit with biking, yoga on Lake Street, and lots of fun and games for kids. The fall brings Open Streets Nicollet with tons of food, drinks and live music. 

Kris and Ben provide a great example of how to upgrade a Lyndale home to suit your modern family from couple-hood to large family. The backyard space showcases the other huge benefit of Lyndale vs other South Minneapolis neighborhoods - the airplane noise is virtually non-existent. Enjoy the warm weather in the serenity of your yard in summer months, blocks from many S. Minneapolis hot spots. The majority of Lyndale homes sit at palate-able price points between $275 and $425k depending on upgrades and square footage.


To find out more about living in Lyndale - get in touch with us OR check out the Lyndale Neighborhood Association website at