Rapid City, SD     605.791.2249

Lots of Land ... In the Hills

“Buy land they’re not making it anymore.” -Mark Twain

Some of my favorite childhood memories come from our family built cabin in the Black Hills. Imagine building a place all your own to create memories with family and friends!  Recently I was given the opportunity to list two beautiful, wooded lots within a short drive from Rapid City. What better place to make your getaway? Close to all the amenities of town, but far enough away to enjoy the night sky, singing birds and waking up to wildlife strolling through your yard.

The first lot is ½ acre nestled in exclusive Edelweiss Mountain. Located at 263 Danube, it is a short drive to Pactola Lake.  The roads are maintained by the homeowners association. Water and electric are already on site, plus the association has a sewer system. This lot has easy access and the covenants require the main level of the home to be as little as 1000 square feet.  The lot features pines, mossed over rocks and an already cleared and waiting for your home. 

The second lot is 3.5 acres of paradise in Loveland Canyon at 22580 Hazel Lane. I spent some time hiking this lot and wow, there are so many locations to build your home!  Water and power are at the lot line. Situated on a hillside, you have beautiful views on the hills as you peek through your own personal forest!  The top of the lot provides views of a beautiful meadow below. 

I invite you to go spend some time watching the pines peacefully sway by the breeze and make your day dreams of a cabin in the hills a reality. Call me today at 605.415.5331.

Love your Listing!

What makes this house a home.

As I sit outside on the back deck in the sunshine anxiously awaiting the Sunday Open House at 317 Bear Tooth Drive, I can't help but think that this 1900 square foot home is full of extras! Here is a short list of features you can find in this home!

When you enter the home you find it fully secure with a security system that even tells you that your door is still open! The wide staircase leads you upstairs to grab a drink of water, enjoy the taste of a reverse osmosis system installed under the kitchen sink. EVERY bedroom has a walk in closet, the master closet is 12.5’ by 6.5’. Did I mention this house is minutes from Rushmore Crossing shopping? There is a Tray d ceiling in larger upstairs bedroom giving the room unique character!

The downstairs bathroom features a spa-like jacuzzi bathtub comes with its own heater to ensure you can enjoy a hot soak in your own little retreat. A water softener is installed in the home. Say goodbye to that hard water we all know in our area. The hot water heater has an extra tank so hot water is always available!

A downstairs tv room is just dying to be converted into the perfect-sized in home theatre! Window coverings are included which do well in blocking on unwanted light.

Never run short of gas on the grill! A gas line is plumbed and ready for your grill in the summer months. Bring on the burgers!  The home has a hook up for a generator keeping you prepared for the winter months.

A privacy fence surrounds the yard with a special surprise, a play set, for the “littles” in your life! The property rests on a quiet and low traffic neighborhood with a location on a cul de sac.

So the list isn’t really all that short… but wait there is more, come see for yourself! For a great home minutes from dining, shopping, in Douglas School District and close to Ellsworth Air Force Base call Suzette Cuny at 605.415.5331 today!

To view this listing in full, click here!

A Day at Magnolia Silos

Inspiration Trip!

Reality TV tends to draw you in more so than a sitcom because you find a "real" person with a "real" story that you can relate to. The show many of you know and love, Fixer Upper, features couple Chip and Joanna Gaines. They are a lovable duo with four children and a home grown home renovation and design business that has blossomed with the blessing of their show on HGTV. What draws you in about this couple is their journey. I picked up Magnolia, a book about how they went from a small business to a large brand that is filling homes with furniture, design, and inspiration. When I finished reading the book I felt drawn to visit the Silos. The Silos is just one of their projects that has greatly impacted their community of Waco, Texas, making it a tourist site for visitors and a hub for locals and artisans! The manner in which Magnolia has exploded seemed to be a matter of divine inspiration in which it simply unfolded, as if it was always meant to be their life's destination. I planned a trip with my twin sister Ana to venture to the Silos, which made the trip double the fun!
It was a bit surreal to drive up to the Silos and unlike many tourist destinations, they are much bigger in person! We walked in and I was overwhelmed by the design and shopping! It was hard to know where to start and even harder to know when to quit!  The staff that work at Magnolia are incredibly kind and welcoming. They greeted us upon entering and definitely emulated true southern hospitality!  Visiting on a Tuesday gave us the advantage of smaller lines and a peaceful experience to enjoy the property and all it had to offer. Before shopping we took a complete walk through to take in the design and layout of Magnolia Market. The store features beautiful designs that tell the story of Chip & Joanna while inviting you to shop all the fun items which are creatively displayed.  My favorite section was the kitchen area which featured subway tiles and concrete countertops like you would see in Joanna’s house. Another favorite was the BAKERY…oh the bakery, resembling the authenticity and feel of an old french market.  All the vibes were there when Joanna designed the Silos Baking Co. and the cupcakes alone were worth the trip. I had the lemon lavender with lemon frosting and it was a culinary piece of art!
In the spirit of true tourism, we took our mandatory #milestomagnolia instagram picture as we did venture all the way from South Dakota to Texas!  What we discovered is that although this is a fun destination for many people of different areas, it really gives you the feeling that it was meant to serve the people of Waco. Magnolia Silos was meant to enrich and revive the community which was confirmed when I looked at Joanna's instagram later in the week and there was a family movie night on the lawn.
Magnolia is a dynamic brand. However, before it was a brand, it was simply Joanna’s small dream. It started as something that she did for fun, a creative outlet for herself while raising children and supporting her husband.  I find myself strongly relating to this part of her story in my current life and the projects I am navigating. I brought back some very cute things for my home from Magnolia Silos, but the best thing I brought back was a reminder that if you love what you do and show patience and passion in your work, you will learn success.  Be willing to take a risk when life presents the chance. Find inspiration in others and their incredible stories rooted in hard work and strong faith!
Thanks Chip & Joanna! I will have to see the Silos in the Fall sometime! 

Becoming a Fan of the Ceiling Fan.

How to Make A Functional Lighting Choice, Shine.

With central air and decorative lighting options, what has become of the ceiling fan that once offered function in our homes? It would seem obsolete in most homes, especially new construction and remodels. However, when I began seeking out lighting for the property we are renovating, I found myself drawn to the modern and decorative upgrades of the ceiling fan, even selecting some as our lighting choices.   
Ceiling fans have come a long way in their design and technical functionality. The bulky, noisy, hanging knobs of the past are now sleek & contemporary with clean lines and finishes, easily operated from a remote.  When I began to browse lighting choices, I knew ceiling fans might be necessary. The comfort and practicality of the ceiling fan over the appearance of elaborate chandeliers and lighting accents, left me feeling like I was giving in to the safest option. But, when I began the search…the options proved me so wrong!

A clean, streamlined fixture is always my best option regardless of the style of home! It gives you room to change the look without having to change the lighting.  When you begin shopping for your ceiling fan fixtures there are many things to consider. Big & bold?  Subtle & blends easily? Lights or no lights?  Finishes?  

First, consider your room height. If you have cathedral or pitched ceilings, this definitely may be an opportunity for you to go with the big and bold.  It doesn’t mean your finishes need to be loud…a clean white or black fan allows the other decor in the room to be the focus. If you are a person who desires the comforts of the ceiling fan (or like myself has a husband who insists on one)…then a white streamlined ceiling fan mounted to a white ceiling can make both of you happy.  While he enjoys the nice breeze of the fan…I can still be happy with the design as it blends nicely and almost goes unnoticed.  
Next, is this a necessary fixture for providing light to the room. Lights or no lights?  I say opt for the lights. Today's ceiling fans are so clean and contemporary that they are hardly noticeable in the fixtures.  If your room desires overhead lighting, you may as well get more from your ceiling fan!
As for style and finish, base this decision on your design preferences. From modern to traditional, there are many options that fuse finishes of different kinds and can be interpreted by simply encompassing the room in accents and décor that downplay or highlight the fan. ~ Angelica

Paint. More than A Color, A Canvas!

Greige is the New Gray Beige.

We are making progress on our property with the popcorn ceiling gone, the demo work torn out, and the tape and texture complete. Next on the list is the painting. There are so many directions one can go when designing a home for themselves. However, when designing a home with mass appeal, I find it best to go with neutral colors than can gravitate toward cool or warm tones. This is why I chose "GREIGE."

"GREIGE" ... is a colour between grey and beige, closely akin to taupe.  It's quickly become a favorite neutral! The final color choice for this home is Sherwin Williams Colonnade Gray. It blends with the existing warm honey oak wood trim and doors, bringing the warm tones down and losing the green that can generally pop from certain grays. Classified as a neutral cool, this color is perfect compliment to the challenges of the already existing design components.

Paired with a white ceiling, the lines will blend while creating clean contrast. Colonnade Gray will allow me to be flexible in the colors and tones of cabinetry, countertops, and hardware. This color is the key to making this home transition easily from flip to fabulous! ~ Angelica

Flip Tricks: Popcorn Belongs in a Bowl, Not on a Ceiling!

Texturally speaking, it's gotta GO!

The first task of the property is "popcorn removal." Where do you start? What do you need? What kind of mess am I going to make?"

Step One: Start with a game plan in place and know that just like wallpaper removal, this is a tedious task. Generally, you will begin in the corners and work your way in. The removal of this texture is a process that requires patience and muscle. You will need a sprayer, simple lawn and garden should do the trick, and cost is right at around $10. Purchase a good scraper, and if the budget allows you can get a pole attachment that includes a collection bag for easy cleanup. A wet/dry vac will be needed for cleanup as well as a mask and safety goggles. 

Step Two: Wet the small area in which you will begin working with the sprayer, allow it to absorb, begin scraping carefully in a lateral fashion. Do not press up into the ceiling because you can break through the sheetrock. Do not over saturate the sheetrock. Be cautious around the joint tape as we want to leave that in tact and just take the texture. 

Step Three: Soak, your body, not the popcorn! This is manual labor and there is little room to get around it. All the gadgets and tricks in the world will help ease your sore muscles, but in the end it's a great upper body workout! 

Removing this texture was important to the look of the design of our flip but we are also doing a complete tear out of carpet and flooring. It will make a mess! Be ready to deal with the after effects of an imperfect ceiling that will require a new texture. Cover the floors, the walls, and yourself!

Five Reasons to Work with a New Agent!

Contributor Suzette Cuny

In a steady and fast paced market such as the Black Hills, it can be difficult for new agent to make their mark. However, don't overlook working with someone that has just entered the scene because there are some benefits to consider. We welcomed a long time Rapid City resident, Suzette, to the office last week and she has already begun to generate business and here are a few reasons why she thinks new agents have much to offer!

1.) They are HUNGRY!  Becoming a real estate agent is a huge investment of both time and treasure only to become a 100% commission based independent contractor. Most real estate transactions take 30 to 45 days to close, however closings only come with clients. New agents are looking for you and are ready and willing to work for you. They have open work schedules so finding time to find you a new home is readily available! 

2) They come with a unique tool kit from their previous industry that fosters amazing ideas for marketing your home in new and creative ways that currently are not happening in the real estate world!

3) They are eager! They come to work early and stay late. They research, research, and research to find you a home. Since they are new to the industry they do not have repeat clients or referrals flying in the door, so they are eager to gain your trust and find you the perfect home to build their professional foundation and establish great relationships.

4) New pool of people to market too! Not only do they have ideas from past industries, they know a group of people that may not know anything about real estate. They have those peoples trust and can assist them into the world of purchasing a home, maybe your home!

5) They are grateful! They are so appreciative of your willingness to work with them and they will certainly put in the time. They are ecstatic that you are one of their first clients. You are the key to their success.

While the experience of a career realtor can be enticing, the enthusiasm of a new agent may be what you need to get the job done. Enthusiasm and optimism are important aspects in getting your property in front of the most people possible!

First Day of Spring! First Flip!

A Series from Demo to Done!

There's something about spring that awakens the mind to learn and explore...clear out the old and make way for the new,or at least make the old look NEW!  This weekend's weather was showing glimpses of warmer days and I opened my windows to let the winter find it's way out... and let the fresh air in. Serving almost as a metaphor, there are seasons to my creativity with times that are left desolate and untended like in the winter, and times that are abundant and vibrant like the spring!
December was the one year anniversary of closing the chapter as a boutique owner. The first year was one of slowing down and being patient in the transition while learning to enjoy the moments that were rushed as a full-time business owner and mother to five children. The thought never entered my mind that I could desire something more and a purpose and place for my attention to detail and design.  

 In the new year, I have found myself yearning for a creative outlet. Something to breathe life into and to explore and to expand my abilities. While patiently waiting to see where this desire would be best served I had a certain sense of anxiety of the unknown and "the winter" sure seemed to lull on.

 Today marks a new start, a new project with a set of unfamiliar challenges and territory. On the first day of spring, we closed on our first "flip" property. And while I use the term "flip", what I am really describing is what will become more than turning a profit. What this property really represents for me is a new canvas in which to inspire and build a home for a family. I love the idea of a clean slate and a vision coming to reality.  
As I begin this project I am setting aside inadequacies and insecurities while allowing them to be filled with possibility and pulling inspiration by the change of season and the promise of bringing new life to an old home. ~ Angelica

New Construction Buying and Building

What's to Love and What's to Reconsider

Walking into a brand new property can certainly appeal to a potential homebuyer. The smell of new carpet - appliances that have yet to be christened - shiny woods with zero imperfections and new everything! However, the charm and character of an existing home that bears the style of the early 50s in fun and interesting build-ins can appeal to the right buyer as well. Each has it's noted appeal and each has it's downfalls.

Consider that when buying a brand new home you will be able to customize each wall, each cabinet, and every inch of space to your liking. The home will certainly bear your personal taste and even better, you don't have to do the work to get it there. The new build option allows you to follow the trends of today rather than update the trends of the 70s (shag carpet and brown linoleum, YIKES)! New properties will require little to no maintenance for several years, saving money on repairs and taking advantage of the cutting edge efficiency of today's HVAC.

Some things to consider in buying new... you may experience a 20% price increase per square footage depending on your builder, quality of materials, and location. It may not look like the model - unless you are willing to pay for the upgrades. You might be first to move in your neighborhood finding yourself far away from schools, grocery stores, and living in a construction zone. For the handy homeowner, you might find yourself out of home improvement projects for quite some time. If this is something you enjoy, you won't find it in a new home.

While there are some reservations to consider in building and buying new, it seems that many people prefer the peace of mind of a move-in-ready, never-touched, built-to-order home to an existing home. The ability to have patience in the process and visualize a future neighborhood certainly helps the buyer!

What would motivate you to buy New Construction over an Existing Home?


new construction, park hill

Why You Should Buy in 2017

3 Reasons...

Home ownership is not slowing down as buyers are taking advantage of incredible interest rates and sellers are enjoying a market with a slim inventory and the increasing value of real estate. Moving into an unpredictable year of policy changes and fiscal overhauls, interest rates may see a rise. Home ownership may become increasingly challenging as the homes are selling fast and at high market values! If you are looking to buy, start looking before it becomes urgent!

Three Tips for Buyers:

1. Get Pre-Approved. The ways of the mortgage world have shifted over the last decade and what used to be a Fast and Easy loan is now a Slow and Arduous. If you are not coming to the table with 20% down, excellent credit, and stated income, it may require creativity, clean-up, and in some cases government loan programs. Make sure you are going into the buying process with a solid stance on how much you can spend on a property.

2. Get a Buyer's Agent: Having an agent on the buyer's side generally incurs no cost to the buyer. That solid representation can provide access to properties before they hit the market. Having a knowledgeable person to guide you through the process of making an offer, getting a home inspection, and making it to the closing table is highly recommended.

3. Get Your Priorities Set: Unless you are building a custom home, the chances that you will hit every mark on your list of "needs" is pretty slim. Prioritize the top 5 features you want in a home. You should be able to reach a specific selection of properties that can be viewed in one afternoon. If you are set on five bedrooms and an open floor plan, you may have to compromise on the main floor laundry. Know what you are needing in your home so your agent can direct you to the properties that most closely fit the bill. While you are looking at the wrong properties, the right one might have just gone under contract.

The buying process is fun and exciting. Hopefully these tips will help make the process easy and pin point the perfect home, for your life, for right now.


Big Love Grows In Small Houses

Why Small Homes are Trending.

After renting a 2500 square foot loft in downtown Rapid City, I was glad to return to the residential life. My husband and myself being looking for a home, and being self-employed found ourselves limited by our pre-approval. The days of Fast and Easy home loans as long as you could produce a 680 credit score or higher were gone. We found ourselves faced with buying a much smaller home than anticipated at just under 1,000 square feet, three bedrooms, one bathroom. We were eager to buy and get out of the rental market, so we found a nice property that could meet our needs and gave it a makeover. At first it was difficult to find space for all the things we wished to take with us, but ultimately it came down to stripping down our belongings in half, and then again, in half. If we didn't use it or need it, it couldn't stay. And there began a healthier relationship with our things, and better relationships with each other. Here is what we have come to love about owning a small home.

1. The Payment! Our mortgage is significantly less than the rent we have been paying for the past 8 years. While I have to downsize my closet and keep things put away and organized because you cannot escape a mess in another area of the house... the payment is easy on our budget, the interest rate exceptional, and that feels amazing!

2. My Time Back! I can clean my entire house top to bottom in one hour. There is less time spent on maintaining a huge yard, cleaning three bathrooms, vacuuming, dusting, ect. This means more time to relax, spend time together, and focus on the good parts of life. I no longer harbor the anxiety of cleaning three levels and never finding the time to really complete the "to do" list.

3. Less Stuff! When I think back to moving out of my loft apartment I remember the overwhelming task of packing and moving 2500 square feet worth of stuff. In some ways, I felt trapped. Trapped by the time I didn't have to handle the move. Trapped by the things that I would need to find a place for. Trapped by all the stress of cleaning and clearing out a place that had accumulated years of unnecessary and unused crap! There was no choice but to purge and while the attachments to things I might need or that might have value was holding me back, I surrendered to the process and cleared out 75% of my belongings.

4. Easy Renovations! When we decided to replace our cabinets and upgrade our bathroom, we were able to pick the stuff we wanted, of the highest quality. In a smaller home, you are able to add unique and high quality upgrades while keeping the costs low. It was eye opening as I once spent years trying to slowly upgrade bathrooms and replacing carpet that was medium grade for a multi-level house.

5. Family Time! What I have really noticed in our time in our tiny house is that we spend more time together. And while I sometimes wish I could send the boys to a basement for some peace and quiet, for the most part it helps us be in communication with each other. I want my boys to share a room. Sharing a bathroom has it's challenges but teaches consideration and efficiency!

In many ways, life is downsized and time is maximized. Having a small house in a very busy part of my life, has kept my stress levels in check and given me time to relax.


M Hill - The history of the hill in the middle of the city.

Right in our Backyard!

M Hill sits right behind our office and as the weather improves we will certainly see the outdoor enthusiasts making their way out of hibernation. The area features a park, several hiking trails, and plenty of landscape for mountain bikers and rock climbers. Founders Park is located at the base and is becoming a popular hub for businesses and residences given the beautiful scenery that surrounds the area while not leaving the convenience of the city. Looking forward to some summer time strolls!

A little history on the area:

"Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park (HLMP) aka “M Hill” or Cowboy Hill” is an amazing park right in the middle of Rapid City, South Dakota.  This 300 acre park was a gift from area rancher Eddie Larsen, when she died she wanted the park built in the honor of her parents Ed Larsen and Etta Hanson-Larsen.  That means no public money is used to support the park – that is truly a gift for the people of the Black Hills."

Source http://www.howtoenjoytheblackhills.com/2011/05/19/m-hill/

M Hill - The history of the hill in the middle of the city.

The Top Three Factors that Sell Your Home.

The Rest is Details.

Listing a home can be overwhelming if you are given the wrong advice. You do not need to do a 20K overhaul of the kitchen or a complete gut of the bathroom, though those things will help make your home look nice, they may not give the return you had hoped. Fresh paint, a deep cleaning, and removing clutter will do wonders for the look and feel of your house. The costs are minimal, especially if you do the work on your own.

What really sells a house? I'll admit some of it is subject to the right time and the right place, but the top three factors in getting a listing sold or at least greatly increasing the chances that it sells in 90 days, are these. Know your buyer, know your market, and know your agent.

1. Effective Marketing that targets Specific Buyers.

A run of the mill ad in a publication will not guarantee your house sells. The maximum exposure of your house is great, but not if the buyer isn't looking there. An effective mix of advertising resources is a strong asset to a realtor and office. Social media, print advertising, word of mouth, open houses, and direct mail advertising can be targeted to age demographics and reach the right buyer for your home.

2. Properly Pricing the Home.

Whether too high, or too low, how you price your home speaks to the buyer. Pricing a property too high expecting that a buyer will always come in under the asking price, may send a message to buyers to move on, and they will immediately dismiss your home. It is better to have an accurate market value in which a buyer knows you have priced it well and they can hope to negotiate with a reasonable seller. Pricing a property too low can make a potential buyer wonder "what is wrong" with the home. Thus deterring them from looking at the property. Price is the first impression for the buyer. More than a number, it tells a lot about a home and a seller.

3. Availability of your Agent.

If you can't get a call back from your agent, you can expect that potential buyers are having the same problem. Work with an agent that wants to work to get your house sold. It's a two way street and your agent should have as much concern in selling your home, as you do! Patience is required in the process, but communication between you and your agent should be frequent and genuine.

The Top Three Factors that Sell Your Home.

The Office - the Look - the Feel - the People!

Getting Settled.

It's been a little over a month since we opened the doors of Black Hills Realty, the transition was relatively smooth, and we can definitely affirm that it feels right for the company and the agents. The office was inspired by the look and layout of the area in which we live and the design was achieved by way of local craftsmen and retailers.

Among the favorite elements are the desk in TJ's office and the image that hangs behind it. A combination of wood, metal, glass, and rock materials brought the office to life. The feel of the office is that of a nice retreat from the busy life of a realtor. A peaceful ambience is reflected in the colors and layout.

A smaller office, our staff is at capacity in the single digits, which gives a focused environment and a team dynamic is easily achieved. The phrase used to describe our business style is found on our homepage .. "Buying and Selling Real Estate, Simplified." We wish to make the process, simple, the experience, pleasant, and the relationships, lasting!

Excited to see the full vision of this company take form over the next few months!

219 Founders Park Suite 2
Rapid City, South Dakota
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