Sweet Home Sioux Falls

Providing knowledge about real estate and all things Sioux Falls.

Tag: midwest bloggers (page 1 of 5)

Zumba Fitness with Dawn Szymik

I know most people can relate that the gym is not their favorite place to be. If you are looking for an alternative to get your heart rate up outside of the gym, or need a class to get back in the groove of exercise, I can not recommend Zumba Fitness with Dawn Szymik enough. I have been to other Zumba classes but they fail in comparison to her energy and spunk. You can truly feel she cares about her students before, during and after class.

I started going to Zumba Fitness with Dawn Szymik in 2012  shortly after college and I had an unexpected move back home. I was feeling lost and the routine of this class and the regular endorphins helped me find happiness in that time of transition. I will always have a special place in my heart for Zumba. Read about Dawn and her classes below!

 

[Dawn came to my wedding to instruct 3 songs during the dance. Fun surprise for my guests!]

 

What led you to becoming a Zumba instructor?

I was in a severe car accident in 2005 and was unable to function very well after that physically or mentally. I pretty much had given up hope of feeling normal ever again. Until one day I was encouraged to see a chiropractor (which I had seen a ton) and he said to just give him a chance. What’s the worst that could happen, not get better? Long story short he gave me my life back!! Zumba had come to Avera McKennen Fitness center and once cleared, I was determined to take a class. I had loved dance growing up so I new I would like it. Once cleared I took my first class and my life was forever changed!! I was a student for awhile then became an instructor and I never looked back!

 

[Dawn doing what she does best. Photo by The Photography Shoppe]

 

How is Zumba different than going to the gym?

Zumba is different than going to a gym because its not your basic treadmill or elliptical machine. Who really gets excited about jumping on one? lol Zumba is WAY more FUN and you don’t even realize how hard you are working because its so fun! But not only that its like taking a happy pill, it mentally changes you as well! You meet amazing people in a zumba class. You feel free when we are done.

 

What is your favorite part about teaching?

My favorite part about teaching is watching my students let themselves go! Their smiles, laughter, yells! I cherish leading my students to feel the music and be happy! Hoping that after every class I could make someone feel free of worry and stress.

 

When and where are classes held?

My classes are taught at Kosama Sioux Falls and Wacko’s Comedy Club.

Monday’s 6-7pm @ Wacko’s Comedy Club 
Tuesday’s 6:45-7:45 Strong by Zumba @ Kosama
Saturday’s 10:30-11:30am Zumba
Sunday’s 3:00-4pm Strong by Zumba

Coming in the fall Thursday night Zumba 6:45-7:45pm @ Kosama

 

 

What is your favorite part about living in Sioux Falls?

My favorite part about living in Sioux Falls is my family and my student.

 

 

If any of those times work for you, let me know and we’ll go to a class! First one is on me. 😉

 

GO Camp On Aqua! 1,2,3, Let’s Go Ski!

I am finally feeling refreshed after directing a week-long summer camp for 8-13 year olds at Catfishbay last week. Even though the combination of heat, sun, 96 children and supervising an overnight can have you a little delirious after day five, it is one of my favorite weeks of the year and I find myself wondering what my campers are doing each day since the camp has ended.

Camp on Aqua has been teaching kids to waterski since 2000. In recent years the camp has sold out by early spring, prompting changes to allow a record number of campers to get up on the water. There are always one or two kids that are too afraid to try skiing, despite our best efforts, but this year every child that tried skiing either got up on the boom (see below for pictures) or behind the boat. In my opinion, I want to say this was the most successful skiing year yet. Kids also enjoyed fishing, tubing at Wall Lake, canoeing, a water safety class and more. To see everything the camp has to offer, click here.

 

[The founders of Catfishbay and Camp on Aqua, Michelle and Jim Bruns posing for a picture at the beginning of the week. The volunteer opportunities, fun times for kids and second family these two have created deserve all the recognition in the world and are blessings to our Sioux Falls community.]  

 

[Billy Bruns, an experienced skier, running the ski board on “the boom”. The skis are attached to each other and also attached to the boom by rope. This ensures the skis are always facing forward and more stable than free standing skis.]

 

[Once the child is stable, Billy can let go of the skis and control how tight they are held to the boom.]

 

[Catfishbay’s invention ‘the ski bar’ being used by skiers Tanner and Tony. This eliminates the hassle and time of tangled ropes.]

 

[Two side-skiers accompanying a camper. Each group of kids had two 2 1/2 hour session of skiing during the week.]

 

[Kids enjoying the water mat while skiing is going on in the background. With 8 groups of kids, multiple activities were always going on at once.]

 

CatfishBay, the Greatest Show on H2O, started shows on Memorial Day and will continue every Friday night at 7 p.m. through Labor Day. For more information about the show, click here. 

If you or your child would like to learn how to waterski, find me on Facebook or shoot me a text [261.8396].  I would LOVE to share my passion with you and see you having fun on the water. Catfishbay is a special and unique place in Sioux Falls. If you would like to know how to get involved or discount tickets, please contact me.

 

This post is dedicated to the mother of Catfishbay, Eloa Bruns, who passed away during camp week. I hope I treated the campers with half the love and care she gave to all of us skiers over the years.  <3

Remembering Tom Ellwein

Thirty years ago today my grandfather passed away from cancer. Two years and ten days before I was born. Even though I did not have the chance to meet Tom Ellwein, he comes up in conversation and I feel like I know the type of man he was. A caring teacher, family man and friend, he was on the quiet side with a calm temperament, but also had a great sense of humor.  And as you can see from the pictures, he was very easy on the eyes.

Talent is another quality my grandpa possessed and shared with the world. Soon after graduating high school, he and my grandma moved to Washington DC so he could play trombone with the marine band, also known as the president’s band. They played for inaugurations and other events at the white house, and also went on tour. What an honor and incredible life experience. After 20 years with the band, my grandparents moved home to Sioux Falls with their two children, my mom and uncle. He continued his passion for music by teaching lessons, and helped his kids with their instrument of choice, trombone and piano. He even made my mom practice with a broken wrist!

[A man in uniform]

[August 1940 in Bridgewater, South Dakota & wedding day November 6th, 1944]

 

While my talent with a musical instrument was mediocre ( I played the flute for 8 years), I loved being a part of the Lincoln High School Marching Band as a “flag girl” because music has been an important part of our family for generations. A good thing, because I met my own dreamy brass player of a husband while in the band.

When Jaime and my mom played an impromtu duet of a few Christmas songs this last year, I felt close to the man I never had the opportunity to meet, imagining when he and my mom would play duets together years ago. His memory will always live on through music.

[Jaime on trumpet, mom on piano playing The Christmas Song]

 

I hope everyone had a relaxing Memorial  Day weekend with family and friends and remembered those that have served our country in every capacity, and especially those that gave the ultimate sacrifice. May we serve those around us with the same giving and grateful heart.

 

 

La Nostra Casa in Italia

Last week I returned home from my first time to Europe. I would say this was a trip of a lifetime, but it is more like the first of a lifetime. Traveling has been a love of mine for a long time and I am blessed to have been as many places as I have. I love hearing the history of an area while experiencing it first hand. I learned a lot on this trip, ate an obscene amount of carbs and saw beautiful sites, but I am going to focus on sharing the home we rented in Tuscany, Italy, for 5 days as a family. This is a real estate blog after all. I would love to share more about my trip over coffee…. or pasta!

The home we rented is owned by IT and computer guru Bruno, and staffed with the most genuine couple, Marinela and Rafeal. The house is over 800 years old with tons of character and is tucked away from most civilization in the countryside of Tuscany. I took great video on my iphone but it did not transfer to my computer clearly, so I leave you with pictures!

 

[Front of the house. Enter to the left through a small courtyard to the front door.]

 

[Entry way. Kitchen to the right, living room to the left, upstairs via the back left]

 

[In the kitchen with Marinela and Rafeal right before dinner]

 

[Dining room where we enjoyed dinner and a fire every night.]

 

[Oldest room in the house. Once used as storage shed. Check out the ceiling!]

 

[One of the bedrooms upstairs. Cozy.]

 

[Master Bedroom]

 

[Porch area leading in to the kitchen.]

 

[Taking in some sunshine on east side of the house.]

 

[Back of the house from the garden area.]

 

[Stunning view down the road from our house]

 

 

If you are in the market for a villa in Tuscany, I hear he might be ready to sell.  😉

 

Grazie per aver letto!

Sioux Falls 2040

It sounds strange to even say 2040, let alone think about what life will be like in Sioux Falls 23 years from now, but that is Urban Planner Albert Schmidt’s job on a daily basis. He makes sure that land is being used in the right way, and the correct infrastructures are being put in place that make sense for the future and flow of growing Sioux Falls.

My real estate team, 605 Advantage Real Estate Group with Keller Williams Realty Sioux Falls, took a field trip this week to city hall to learn more about urban planning with Albert. I have to say I was a bit overwhelmed with all the information, but I know that Albert is an expert at what he does and is a wealth of knowledge for when I have questions.

 

[Listening to Albert’s presentation]

 

If you are interested in information about planning and building in Sioux Falls, click here. If you want to listen in on city council meetings to learn more about the progress of projects, click here.  A hot topic right now that Albert also knows the in’s and out’s of, is the floodplain issue. If you have questions if your home or potential home is in a floodplain, please reach out and I will get the correct information for you!

 

[Looking at the Sioux Falls 2040 map]

 

While a ton of man power goes in to planning the growth of a city,  most of it is tentative plans. Things can change quickly, so be sure you are getting the most up to date information if you have questions about zoning, flood plains or long term plans. I am always available for questions and to research all kinds of information, so please contact me by call or text at 605.261.8396.

By 2040 the Sioux Falls population is expected to be between 250,000 and 280,000 people.  How exciting to live in such a thriving city!

What Do The Numbers Say?

Unless you don’t check Facebook often, or read the occasional news story, you know that Sioux Falls is experiencing low inventory. It is a seller’s market with high demand and low supply (see previous post). But exactly how low are we talking? Here are the main points when looking at the Sioux Falls Market Statistics for the first quarter of 2017, or better known as Sadie’s 5 minute math lesson.

 

[I will make it as painless as possible for all of you that struggle with math]

 

In the last three months, there were 37 houses under $100,000 sold in Sioux Falls, which means there was on average 12.3 closings per month. This 12.3 is also known as the absorption rate.  There are currently 17 houses under $100,000 on the market today, which tells us we have 1.38 months of inventory (Active homes (17) divided by absorption rate (12.3) = 1.38). If not one more house came on the market, it would take 1.38 months to sell all 17. To put it in perspective, a balanced market has 5-8 months of inventory. Sioux Falls isn’t seeing those numbers until we reach the $300k-$400k range!

For the $100k-$200k price point, there were 238 homes sold in the last three months.

238(homes sold)/3 months = 79.33 homes sold per month = ABSORPTION RATE.

There are currently 51 homes on the market in Sioux Falls between $100k-$200k. If we take the absorption rate (79.33) divided by current homes on market (51), we get .64. That means we have less than one month of inventory for this price range. UNHEARD OF!

 

If you are thinking about being a move-up buyer, now is the time to get the most return from your first home and the best deal on a more expensive home. If you are looking at the under $200k range and thinking waiting will be better, I tell you that finding affordable homes in growing Sioux Falls will be a difficult task for the forseeable future. I will work diligently and fast so you are one of the first people to view those desirable homes. It’s going to be a rough one out there this year, but I’m up for the challenge.

 

[For more information about market stats in Sioux Falls or to view homes that are currently on the market, contact me through Facebook or at 605.261.8396!]

Real Time Results

If you are using the Zillow App to look at properties, stop what you are doing. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200. Zillow is not updated like the Keller Williams App so you may be looking at wrong prices or houses that are not even on the market anymore!  And the next best thing? This app is FREE!

 

Click here to download the app!

 

REASONS TO DOWNLOAD THE APP

  1. OPEN HOUSES – With one click you will get a list of open houses for that weekend. Starting with the ones closest to your current location.
  2. MORE INFORMATION – This app provides more information than the Zillow app. Find out listing details such HOA fees, and the correct status of the home.
  3. NEARBY HOMES – My favorite part of the app is seeing what homes closest to me at any given time are on the market. Whether I am in Sioux Falls, Mexico, or Florida, it will show me all homes on the market, not just Keller Williams homes.

 

[What the App looks like]

 

[Looking at homes while in Florida]

 

[I think i’ll take any of these]

 

It is seriously so fun to see what homes are on the market while on vacation. And then drive by them with all the information about the listing in the palm of my hand. If you’re not in the market for a home in the near future, download this app for that reason! And if you are starting to look for a new home, you will thank yourself later for using this app rather than outdated Zillow. If you have any questions please call or text me at 605.261.8396. Happy house hunting!

Click here to download the app!

Bringing Charlie Home

I’m a new mom! A dog mom that is. Bringing a new member in to the family, whether that be of the human or furry kind, is a big adjustment. Everyone needs to discover their new role to make the household flow as easy as before the addition. While it was a tough decision to bring a puppy in to the house with our two overly adored cats, we are so glad we did.

I got a case of puppy fever that I could not shake, which left me searching the internet for rescue programs in the tri-state region. Jaime and I will some day bring home a golden retriever but we also felt called to bring home a rescue pup. I found lots of great organizations, but the one that had a litter of puppies that caught our eye was Happy Tails Rescue. It is a non-profit foster program in the Minneapolis area that rescues cats and dogs until they can find their forever home. If you are in the market for a dog I highly suggest checking out their Facebook page!

After meeting him at an adoption event, we drove to and from Maple Grove, MN, last Tuesday to pick up Charlie.  While Jaime and I grew up with dogs, this is our first dog as adults. This is a new adventure for us and think the first week as puppy parents has gone quite well.

 

[Charlie at 8 weeks]

[Doesn’t get any sweeter than that. Mom is pictured below and listed as a cocker mix. Dad is unknown.]

[This is mom, Pamela, who was also in the foster program. She was adopted last week along with her 6 puppies. We hope our pup is as cute and sweet as her!]

 

Tips For House Training

  1. Regular Feeding Times – We feed Charlie twice a day at roughly the same time for his consistency
  2. Crate Training – Charlie sleeps in his crate at night and has done surprisingly well. We get up once in the night to let him potty, but there was only crying the first two nights home. Dogs do not want to soil where they sleep so it teaches them to hold it.
  3. Treats And Praise – When Charlie goes outside we give him a small treat and lots of praise. After one week he is now going to the door when he has to go. We have to act fast, but I think we’re headed in the right direction!

 

[Our friend Mesa at the 12th street dog park]

 

Who are my fellow puppy lovers out there? We will now be having all meetings and appointments at the dog park. Call or text 605.261.8396 or visit my Facebook page, Charlie and I would love to get together!

 

What is Your Home Worth?

Supply and demand. It’s what drives society. At the grocery store buying fruit? You may want to know what’s in season and in biggest supply for the best deal. That hot electronic item of the year? It is most likely sold out by October because of high demand and then only found at a higher price tag.

Supply and demand ebb and flow until it finds an equilibrium. But right now, I can tell you the DEMAND for houses, especially under $200,000 far out weighs the SUPPLY here in Sioux Falls. It makes the hunt that much more timely and the chance of multiple offers more of a sure thing than a possibility. If you think your home falls in this price range, let’s talk. While demand is extremely high, let’s get you the best price for your home and in to a new one with a bigger down payment.

[Call or text 605.261.8396!]

 

The first question is “What do you think my house is worth?” I will gladly answer that by doing a comparative market analysis on your home. After looking at your home, similar homes that have sold in your area, and those coming on the market today, my excel spreadsheet of equations and I will share our suggested number. Hear me when I say this is a NO OBLIGATION appointment. You won’t hurt my feelings if now isn’t the time to sell, or if the number presented isn’t what you expected. I truly want what’s best for you and your family and would be honored to start the journey with you, regardless of the timeline.  With a better idea of what you would return on your home you can better make your future plans instead of doing it blindly.

 

[Small snippet of the market analysis]

If you would like to know what your home is worth, please reach out, I would love meet and catch up or meet for the first time! Spring is already here for the real estate world, don’t miss your opportunity.

The Last Jewel In The Crown of Historic Downtown

Downtown Sioux Falls is vibrant. Downtown Sioux Falls is growing, beautiful, full of action, and home to many successful local businesses that make this community unique. But there is one building that has a lot of catching up to do to compare to the rest of the area.

The State Theater on Phillips Avenue opened in 1926 as the grandest theater in the Sioux Falls region. This focal point of downtown showed movies for many years  but eventually closed in 1990 due to disinterest in downtown. It’s fascinating to watch trends in history as we now are going back to a more local and authentic vibe over the mall and big box retailers.

Notable Dates:

2001 – The Sioux Falls Film Society replaces the leaking roof.

2009 – The State Theatre is awarded the Chamber Appeals Campaign in 2011 for $1.25 million.

2013 – The State Theatre Chamber Appeals Campaign meets and surpasses its goal, raising $2.3 million.

2014 – The lobby, foyer, main level restrooms, basement renovations are all completed.

February 26, 2017 was the first year the Stars, Statues and The State event could be in the actual state theater instead of an offsite location. It’s one of my favorite events of the year as little Sioux Falls gets to experience a little bit of Hollywood by watching the Oscars on the big screen, dining on delicious food and seeing familiar faces dressed to the nines.

 

[The State Theater ready for all its guests. Photo courtesy of The State Theater.]

 

[Inside the State Theater getting ready for the Oscars party. Photo courtesy of The State Theater.]

 

My mother-in-law Marcie Halberstadt has everything to do with the event going off flawlessly so it is fun to see her hard work come to life. There are many talented people in Sioux Falls that come together to make this event successful, I wish I could name them all.  It sure is a glamorous evening that I encourage you to attend next year! This event raised over $300,000 this year which will go towards the auditorium, stage and balcony. If you are interested in donating to this project, click here.

 

[In the balcony area of the State Theater. Lots of work to be done, but still beautiful.]

 

[CH Patisserie and Chef Dominique’s provided the most beautiful and delicious food!]

 

[Halberstadt family on the red carpet. Photo courtesy of the State Theater]

 

This was my first time in the State Theater that I have heard so much about. What has been completed is absolutely stunning, and what still needs to be restored looks like hours and hours of work. But it will get done. And I can imagine its beauty already. So looking forward to having this last jewel completed for our community and generations to come. It really is sweet home Sioux Falls.

 

 

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