FREE SPEECH ZONE | Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour wants your home


“We’re off to a good start with a range of remodels,” say the coordinators for the Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Tour. The Tour, in its 23rd year, takes place April 24 and 25, 2010. Recruiting and taking nominations for the 50 tour homes got underway in November. Thirty homeowners, neighborhood representatives, contractors and architects, have inquired so far, and the application deadline is Jan. 21.

What makes a homeowner want to put their home on tour? “Some honestly want a deadline to finish their projects. That’s why we like to visit with them early. If we all think they have a shot at finishing in time, they can schedule and pace themselves now,” said Bob Miller, Director of the Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program, which coordinates the tour.

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But the most common reason for volunteering a home for the tour dates back to the original reason the tour was concocted 23 years ago: “To show what people can do to adapt and expand existing homes, so they can stay in the city rather than automatically moving out to get more space. There’s about 13 percent of the visitors actively looking to buy homes in the city, so it’s great to have enthusiastic homeowners promote their neighborhoods,” Miller said. “And it’s a nice way for them to get feedback on what they’ve done to improve their homes.”

Each year, many of the participating homeowners mention having gained ideas from previous tours and finding this “a way to give back.”

For more information on the tour and a nomination form, see, or call 612-673-5103. The deadline for nominations is January 21, 2010.  Early submissions will be visited before then, and others may later be recruited for geographic and other kinds of balance, Miller said.