Making Homes for Experiences, Not for Stuff

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 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 You could even go as far as redoing your countertops if they’re looking a little outdated, but even just replacing faucets can go a long way in giving those spaces an updated look.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 making memories. 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!

~Fritz Soberay

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The Origin Story of Hale Properties

My experience in the real estate business started back in 2004, when I bought my first investment property. As I was going through the buying process, I found that online information about making smart investments in real estate was extremely limited, but I wanted to learn as much as I could to be a better investor. That was how I came to the decision to earn my real estate license.

I grew up watching my mother build her dental practice to better serve her patients, and I knew that I would want to follow her lead and own a real estate brokerage someday. New real estate licensees are still required to have an experienced broker hold their license for at least two years before becoming an independently licensed broker. So, from 2005–07, I worked for a friend’s father’s brokerage to meet that requirement while continuing to work at my mother’s dental practice, Omega Dental Care, as well. During those two years, I saw the emergence of a lot of technologies that I could use as a realtor to connect with clients without going through a big brokerage with a lot of employees. For the first time, smart phones allowed us to access secure listings without the use of additional cumbersome and bulky hardware. Digital photography, videography, and 3D walking tours allowed us to market property in new and innovative ways. Property specific webpages for our listings could now be generated for pennies on the dollar, and email, text, and other online resources made it easier and more cost-effective for me to connect with clients directly. With that in mind, I finished up my two years at the brokerage and struck out on my own. Hale Properties, Inc. was born.

For around 10 years, I worked as a real estate broker and continued to help out at Omega Dental Care. For much of that time, my wife, Maggie, and I talked about choosing to pursue one or the other full time. Working solely in real estate would mean that I could give more attention to my clients, but I was so busy at the dental clinic that I wasn’t sure how to make the transition. Then came the lack swan event of our lives: in December 2017, my wife gave birth to identical triplet girls. Having children is always life-changing, but going immediately from zero kids to three meant I had to make a pretty big decision about how to best to allocate my time, and provide for our newest family members. Two years ago, I decided to dedicate my time to the real estate brokerage full time. Thanks to awesome friends, repeat clients, and trusted referrals, the decision has paid off.

Client challenges are my challenges, but it is always rewarding. Whether working with buyers or sellers, no two listings are the same. We are marketing our clients’ homes in
an environment where buyers’ time and their representatives’ time to focus is limited, and buyers often feel overwhelmed. This creates a unique opportunity to connect with them in person. Although the convenience of online scheduling tools allows sellers to efficiently approve or reschedule showing requests, we, as the listing broker, always reach out personally to showing agents to highlight verbally and in person the unique features and selling points of our clients’ homes. We still use the best technology on the planet to highlight these benefits, but nothing can replace a phone call or personal private tour of a home by the representative that knows the home features best.

Despite the challenges, there is nothing as rewarding as helping a client buy or sell a home, and the advances in technology that got Hale Properties started keep us competitive. There have been multiple occasions where I’ve used FaceTime to help clients tour homes when they couldn’t make it in person, saving them time and money, and that’s just one example. That said, we never let that tech get in the way of forming personal connections with our clients throughout the homebuying process.

At Hale Properties, we operate where technological efficiency and personability meet, and we strive to help our clients feel comfortable and informed throughout the entire homebuying process.

~Fritz Soberay

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Active Listing, All Properties

1770 Bryant Avenue S #101, Minneapolis, MN

3D Tour

Property Website

Larger than most 1 BR corner unit in Mount Curve Condominium. Located across from Thomas Lowry Park, close to lakes, shopping, restaurants, and Walker Arts Center. This is Lowry Hill neighborhood living at its finest! This unit offers 1 underground heated parking, garden views, in unit laundry, and large hall closet with shelving units for great storage. Community amenities include onsite maintenance, free laundry on every floor, community party room, and community patio with grill and seating. Welcome home!

All Properties, Closed Sales

4355 Bayside Road, Orono, MN

List Price: $1,399,900

Stunning, private estate situated on 14+ wooded acres in sought after Orono! Thoughtfully designed, meticulously crafted & maintained w/ seasonal Lake Minnetonka views, this home is the perfect retreat while still being close to downtown. The spacious foyer leads into the 2 story great room, complete w/ quarter sawn white oak floors, cedar wood ceiling, beautiful stone fireplace, floor to ceiling windows & access to the large deck. The gourmet chef’s kitchen features Wolf appliances, honed granite counters, knotty alder cabinets & separate butler’s pantry w/ 2nd dishwasher & fridge. The master’s wing has a sitting area with fireplace, large walk-in closet, spa-like master bathroom w/ heated limestone floors & steam shower, & exercise room with laundry. Enjoy the seclusion of the property on your large wrap around deck complete w/ wood burning fireplace & propane grill. Plenty of room for all of your toys and hobbies in the detached garage w/ shop. Open enrollment available 4 schools!

Sold Price: $1,200,000
Date Closed: 8/27/2020

All Properties, Closed Sales

5 Evergreen Road, North Oaks, MN

Sold Price: $700,000
Date Closed: 7/31/2020

Sprawling rambler, featuring open spaces, walls of windows, and architectural details. This modern home is located on a prime 1.6 acre lot within walking distance of Pleasant Lake. Beautiful custom gas fireplace, main floor laundry, and sauna are just a few of the amenities. Lower level walk-out boasts additional bedrooms, wet bar, family room, and still has lots of unfinished area for storage. Enjoy the outdoors here! Huge wrap around deck, paver patio, pergola, and firepit. Perennial gardens and wildlife abound. HOA access to Pleasant Lake, club house, tennis courts, to name a few.

All Properties, Closed Sales

2680 N Saunders Lake Drive, Minnetrista MN

Desirable Saunders Lake executive home. Features include open floor plan, wood floors, large kitchen w/ stainless appliances & granite .Main floor master suite features walk in giant closet and new frameless shower. Over sized sliding doors off kitchen to screen porch & deck and LL. Main floor den could be be/nursery w/bath plumbed and ready to go. LL big screen media theater room w/second kitchen wet bar. 10 ft sliding doors on main floor and walk out. 6 car garage. Spacious rooms, 2 fireplaces, 2 laundry areas. Sauna room ready for hook up. Heated LL and main bath floor floors. New concrete driveway. Heat zone controls. Pink room is now grey. New main floor carpet.One block Dakota Regional Trail.

Sold Price: $610,000
Date Closed: 7/17/2020

All Properties, Closed Sales

4500 Decker Trail S, Faribault, MN

Looking for a little country? How about 6.8 acres on a nice dead end road? This solid 4 bedroom home with an attached 2-car garage is waiting for you! Enjoy 3 nice sized bedrooms and full bath on one floor. Main level has a 4th bedroom or den and another 3/4 bath. The attic has sprayed insulation on the inner roof, which is rare to see! Replacement windows on the upper floor, and almost all windows on the main level too. 40×60 machine shed is great for any hobbyist. Nice spot in Cannon City with a quick drive to Northfield and Faribault schools. Up to 6 animal units allowed.

Sold Price: $
Date Closed: 7/17/2020

All Properties, Under Contract

17143 Stonebriar Circle, Prior Lake, MN

List Price: $480,000

Property Website

3D Tour

View in MLS

This move-in ready, well maintained home is a must see! Enjoy open concept living with open kitchen, dining room, and living room. Cook the perfect meal in your bright and open kitchen with stainless appliances and sit up island. Main level has beautiful hardwood floors with inlays and custom built-ins. Enjoy the outdoors on your large deck with stairs leading to the backyard. Relax and recharge in your master suite with soaking tub. There’s plenty of storage along with walk-in closet. There are three additional bedrooms on the upper level. Recently finished walkout lower level has large family room with projector and screen, office/den, 3/4 bath, and spacious bedroom. Home is located next to the neighborhood trail. Move in and enjoy!

All Properties, Sold Listings

4641 White Oak Road, Minnetonka, MN

List Price: $600,000

Property Website

3D Tour

Come see this move-in ready home with many updates throughout. Freshly painted exterior, beautiful landscaping in the front yard, and recent extensive backyard renovation. Enjoy a cup of morning coffee on your private deck off the master bedroom with brand new decking and railing. Kick off your shoes in the recently updated mudroom. Inside, you will find beautiful hardwood floors on the main floor and upper bedroom level. Cozy up in the living room with tray vaulted ceilings and large stone gas fireplace. Cook a perfect meal with top of the line appliances. Make doing your laundry enjoyable in the massive laundry room. Take a relaxing shower or bath with heated floors in the upstairs and basement bathrooms. Walkout lower level to concrete patio. Newer mechanicals. Move in and enjoy!

All Properties, Closed Sales

12085 Robin Rd, Maple Grove, MN 55369

Updated & move-in ready home tucked away in quiet neighborhood, across Maple Meadow Park Playlot yet conveniently located close to major roads & freeways, close to Arbor Lakes shopping and restaurants! Many updates throughout. The large Backyard features a deck, patio, storage shed with plenty of room for pets, gardening, trampoline or even a skating rink! The attached garage is accessible from inside the home; it has plenty of storage!

Sold Price: $309,000
Date Closed: 6/5/2020