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2003 Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour FAQ's

What is the home tour?
Now in its 16th year, the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour is an annual event that promotes city living. The tour brings thousands of home enthusiasts together for a weekend of sharing home remodeling ideas and new home ownership opportunities. The Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program sponsors the home tour in cooperation with the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the Minneapolis Community Development Agency (MCDA), local financial institutions, Realtors, contractors and other businesses.  The home tour's most important partners, of course, are the homeowners who volunteer to open their homes.

When is the home tour?
Homes will be open to visitors on Saturday, May 3, 2003 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday, May 4, 2003 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The home tour will take place regardless of weather conditions.

What kinds of homes are featured on the tour?
The tour features a variety of homes in neighborhoods throughout the city. Homes on the tour are chosen to reflect the quality and variety of city housing. Homes may be new or historic, remodeled or redecorated, spacious or cozy -- they do not need to be extensively remodeled. The tour particularly encourages nominations from people of color and persons with disabilities. Minneapolis homeowners who would like to nominate their home should call Brett at 612-673-5158.  Nominations are due on or before Friday, February 14, 2003. We encourage nominations before Friday, January 31, 2003.

How does the home tour work?
The Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour is a free, self-guided event. The home tour guide, which includes a description of each home and a map showing home locations, is published in late April. Visitors can tour as many or as few of the homes as they wish. Multiple visits are encouraged so visitors can get a feel for the diversity of the Minneapolis housing stock and neighborhoods. Each home on the tour is identified with a home tour street sign. In most cases, homeowners greet visitors. Visitors can also speak informally with experts about home buying, remodeling and other topics. Visitors go on the tour to get remodeling ideas, learn about neighborhoods and schools and to gain a deeper appreciation of the quality of city homes. All rooms are open in most homes.

Why do homeowners have their homes on the tour?
Homeowners have found the tour to be a very rewarding and enjoyable experience. Many have met neighbors or other home enthusiasts as a result of having their home on the tour. By promoting their neighborhood and highlighting the quality of city living, owners help strengthen their neighborhoods and attract residents who help build and maintain healthy, vibrant communities. Homeowners who have lived through the dust and frustration of remodeling often appreciate the positive comments offered by visitors -- it makes the event worthwhile.

How are homes staffed?
The Minneapolis home tour coordinators make sure all aspects of the tour go smoothly. Friends, neighbors or others staff homes. These volunteers help answer questions and register visitors. Although homeowners are encouraged to be present and to welcome visitors to their homes, it is not necessary for them to do so throughout the duration of the tour. No special expertise is required for home staff volunteers. To volunteer to staff a home, please call Brett at 612-673-5158.

What about security and safety?
Since the tour began in 1988, there have been no problems with security or safety. Adequate staffing is the best security. Each visitor is required to present an official home tour passport at the home's entrance. As a precautionary measure, we must advise homeowners to remove valuable objects or put them well out of reach. Minneapolis and Saint Paul Home Tour coordinators will also help homeowners identify potential safety hazards such as loose throw rugs and rickety stairs. Visitors to homes have always been overwhelmingly polite and careful.


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