Home News Minneapolis real estate agent turns classic workman’s cottage into cozy office

Minneapolis real estate agent turns classic workman’s cottage into cozy office

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She noticed as soon as she entered the front door.

“House spoke to me,” said Susan Foster. Indeed, as a Realtor of Keller Williams Realty Integrity Lakes, she spends many hours during the week traveling to her home. But when she stepped into this 1925-built 594-square-foot home of hers in south Minneapolis, she immediately felt a sense of finding her happy place and her home. I experienced.

Foster’s full-time residence is a bungalow he shares with partner Dick Brewer. Dick Brewer works in a studio built behind the property. “He’s an extrovert and has other artists and friends who stop by all day to talk to him,” she explained.

Their dog, Gus, “likes barking” because he sets loud dog alarms for each new visitor, backyard squirrel, fallen leaf (humans, you’re welcome). “Unless you want to string two consecutive thoughts together or look like peace and quiet, it’s a great place to be,” she said.

We ended up in this classic worker’s cottage less than a mile from her house. Foster immediately recognized it as an office and let his over-stimulated nervous system retreat.

“I am in an accountability group along with six other real estate agents,” she said. “In the summer of 2021, we weren’t able to fully return to the office, but I was very busy. That’s when I realized I couldn’t concentrate when I was at home. I put it into the group. I brought it up and someone said, ‘Why? Why not set up a search for a very small place? says Foster.

love at first sight

Foster began the process with no idea of ​​what he wanted or even hope that a solution existed, but soon found a match in a property in the Morris Park area. “I’d been to another place before that, and it didn’t work out,” she recalled. pissed me off.”

As Foster approached what would later be called “Nano Manor,” he didn’t flinch. Instead, there was a sense of “this is it” that many homebuyers would admit.

“I was dizzy,” said Foster. “I loved the natural light because I think it makes me more productive. I have a giant white pine in my backyard that I can’t even wrap my arms around completely. It’s the grandmother of the tree and it smells like heaven. To.”

Then there was the old kitchen sink, which she believes is original to the house. “I completely squashed my appliances in my sink. It may be true that I bought a sink that my house has around,” she said.

But as a seasoned real estate agent, she knew there was more to a long-term relationship than just the initial thrill. A harsh reality has set in.

“I was offering $164,000, but after I found out about sewers, I talked to a listing agent and they dropped the offer to $157,000,” she said. So I think we made a great deal. ”

Still, there was a lot of work ahead before the space was ready. “I had slightly fat lips and dark eyes,” she said.

Her salvation was a wide network of talented and reliable merchants recommended by colleagues. From its late December 2021 closure through this spring, work has been done on floors, ceilings, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and more. Contractors covered cracks, worked through old layers of linoleum, and replaced massive metal grates with flush floor vents.

“They were great and all the work was impeccable,” said Foster. “There are not even the slightest cracks between the trim and the walls, which is incredible for a house that is nearly 100 years old.”

love for a small house

As happy as she is with this space, Foster knows it’s not for everyone. In addition to the linen closet in the small hallway, the house only has two closets, each so narrow that hangers cannot fit in the traditional way. You can fit some hangers snugly against the wall.

But she already knew how to work in small spaces, so such problems didn’t stop her. less than

Foster is also a good companion. “Tiny House Hunters”,” “Tiny House, Big Living” When “Tiny House Nation”Some builders specialize in small spaces, but buying a small home often means buying an older home.

For example, in the 1940s nearly 70% of new homes were 1,400 square feet or less, but today only about 8% of new single-family homes are at least less than that, according to The New York Times. paper It cites CoreLogic Financial Services.

Now that her micro space has been revamped, Foster is focused on decorating and making it more personal, starting with lots of color. A bright red statement her couch fills part of the porch in her 3rd season, and a wall-sized neon green portrait of her painted by local artist Frank Gard hangs in the hallway.

The palette is cooler elsewhere, with the storm window trim painted an icy Nordic blue to match the mailboxes. In the summer, switch things up by installing screened windows painted in a sunny shade of yellow that match the interior walls. We are planning to set up a library.

She’ll be staying here for quite some time, but Foster is planning ahead, too. She could see her cozy cottage become an Airbnb one day, and of course, since she’s a real estate agent, she’s considering resale value.

“One of my contractors said he would be happy to buy it just for the garage that he could turn into a final workshop,” Foster said.

But for now, she’s focused on the space’s stunning restoration, its abundance of natural light, and most of all, its abundance of peace and tranquility.

Julie Kendrick is a freelance writer in Minneapolis. Follow her on her Twitter @KendrickWorks.

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