Dated: July 6 2021

Views: 212


  • Dakota County - $352,800 (12% over May)
  • Washington County - $412,140 (12.4% over May)
  • Ramsey County - $310,291 (7.9% over May)
  • Anoka County - $333,303 (12.5% over May)
  • Hennepin County - $422,778 (12.4% over May)
  • Carver County - $442,141 (14.1% over May)
  • Scott County - $393,595 (12.7% over May)

*Another big bump this past month with 12.4% overall increase in sales price in the Twin Cities!  Ask me if you'd like a free analysis of the current value of your home!


I have seen a number of new listings lately on the MLS, and also on some FSBO sites, of sellers going with amateur / do it yourself photography of their homes.  You’re selling your most important financial asset, and the listing needs to show that.  Poor photos will dumb down the look of the listing, and bring down the potential of even having showings.  I will hire a professional photographer for every home I sell.  Doesn’t matter if it’s a $1.85 million dollar listing, or a $185K property.  A professional that knows what they’re doing can make that $185K home LOOK like a million dollar listing and help drive that price up!


I hope everybody had an amazing holiday weekend!  Nice weather for it, so I’m sure there were plenty of barbeques and frosty adult beverages to be had.  My initial idea for this month was something more along those lines, but Simone and I found a new favorite spot, right in our backyard here in SSP…Las Islas Mexican Restaurant on Concord Ave.

We have a very strong Mexican community throughout the Twin Cities, and I’d say even more so on this side of St. Paul.  On one of the MN Foodie pages I follow on Facebook, someone had asked the question of where the best Mexican food is out this way as they’re new to the area.  Very quickly there were about 200 comments and suggestions, and most centered around El Burrito and Boca Chica on the west side.  Very hard to argue either answer there, they’re both fantastic, but I think Las Islas may have them beat. 

The spot has had a few different names / ownerships since I’ve lived down this way, but we had never ventured in there previously.  The place always looked very dark and dingy, and I’ve never had a good recommendation previously.  Driving down last summer though when pandemic was still in its early stages, we noticed the place was going through a massive remodel.  I can’t think of a more challenging time to buy and/or renovate a restaurant!!!  Respect given early on and I knew when they opened up we’d be checking it out ASAP.

We walked inside and found the place to be much larger than it looked.  When you get to the parking lot is just looks like a long narrow building.  No clue that it was two levels, so you got two long, narrow seating areas.  Lucky for us though we got there early enough to nab a pivotal spot on a gorgeous patio that overlooks the river.  There may be trains that go by, but you can zone them out for the quick couple minutes you have to.

Then the drinks start rolling in.  Massive margarita’s, along with a pretty impressive mixology menu.  Never had a Blue Hawaiian before, but that one stole the show on a hot summer day.

Then the food starts rolling in.  We stuck primarily to the seafood side of the menu since that’s what we heard they specialize in, and what we were craving.  They did start us off with chips and a trio of sauces (regular, mild, and OMG that’s hot…but awesome!) 

Needed to cool off so we followed that up with their fresh ceviche that had shrimp, octopus, red fish, avacado, along with all the peppers, spices, and fresh made tostadas.  That’s an instant go-to on a hot day!

Next up their flagship house plate, Botana Villa Marina, filled with more fresh goodies of shrimp, calamari, muzzles, scallops, more octopus, and all sitting in a nice spicy, almost curry sauce. 

Thought about stopping there but we kept seeing all this fantastic food coming out of that kitchen, and had to keep going because we hadn’t had any crab yet!  You definitely don’t need any butter dipping sauce on these legs.  It’s so moist and juicy, you won’t miss it!  And this dish had the cluster sitting on top of some of their chicken and beef.  I’m not sure what they marinated those in, but so much flavor I can’t wait to go back and try some fajitas. 

Wanted to keep going as the molcajete’s kept coming out, all with fresh and full octopus legs hanging off the edge.  I swear they were calling to us.  But that will have to wait until next time, of which there will be many.  As always a few pics below of our adventure, but you can see more along with the full menu at their links below.



Don’t believe me?  Just ask my wife….

(Simone says) With the closing of our favorite seafood restaurant in St. Paul due to Covid (Octo Fish Bar), we are SUPER excited to have this option in our own backyard. The seafood was delicious and the price was - dare I say - too reasonable? I would say on par with Red Lobster, but better food. (Except for those damn biscuits, of course.)

As for the mixology - think beach vacation vibes - fruity and refreshing. Of course, if beer is on your mind, you can order Modelo and Corona by the bucket - just as you would find at your favorite white beach resort in Mexico.

When the MN winter has got you down, this place will take you back to the playa vibes! Ole!



Blog author image

Jamie Lindquist

I grew up in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis. I remember as a child sitting in the backseat while my parents drove around some of the higher end neighborhoods of the Twin Cities, just to look at ....

Latest Blog Posts


NOVEMBER AVERAGE HOME SALES PRICE BY COUNTYDakota County - $374,023Washington County - $442,782Ramsey County - $320,726Anoka County - $349,170Hennepin County - $427

Read More


SEPTEMBER AVERAGE HOME SALES PRICE BY COUNTYDakota County - $378,978Washington County - $430,643Ramsey County - $343,227Anoka County - $363,037Hennepin County - $426

Read More


AUGUST AVERAGE HOME SALES PRICE BY COUNTYDakota County - $376,701Washington County - $446,504Ramsey County - $343,321Anoka County - $367,795Hennepin County - $464,089Carver

Read More


JULY AVERAGE HOME SALES PRICE BY COUNTYDakota County - $378,242 Washington County - $453,698Ramsey County - $334,749 Anoka County - $357,199 Hennepin County - $451,211

Read More