When Samantha and Jarod Blackowiak bought a one-story 1950s house in Eden Prairie in 2021, the only thing they didn't have to touch was the backyard.
Larger than some dog parks at about a quarter of an acre and fully fenced, it was any dog's dream, especially with friendly doggo neighbors on both sides of the fence, said Jarod.
"We have two Aussies who run in the backyard, and one of the neighbors had two Golden Doodles — the four of them play together running up and down the length of the fence," he said.
On top of that, Samantha enjoyed sitting outside by the fire pit and watching the sunrise through the trees over Duck Lake.
"It's always a highlight to spend time in the backyard with the dogs; it's a fun hangout spot," she said.
The Blackowiaks also knew the location was unbeatable, with Prairie View Elementary and Eden Prairie High School within walking distance. It was also situated near Round Lake, the site of the city's July 4th fireworks and Schooner Days festival. On top of that, trails right off the backyard connected to a marsh and, further along, to Duck Lake.
The house itself was a project, in fact, the first together for the couple in their early and mid-20s. With cabinets falling off the faded, yellowing walls and uneven flooring, they gutted much of the home down to the studs and updated most everything.
With the improvements, the former two-bedroom, one-bath now features five bedrooms and two bathrooms thanks to the addition of a lower-level in-law suite complete with a separate entrance. The couple also added a kitchenette with space to add a refrigerator and a portable stovetop to the lower level, so its occupants can feel like they have their own independent living space, Samantha said.
She has first-hand experience — the couple lived in the space during their renovations.
"What worked really well for us was having a separate walkout, and it makes it super easy if you want it split off for an in-law suite," she said. "It's definitely usable for someone renting or for family [visiting]."
Main gathering spaces
Upstairs, spurges included new stainless steel appliances, a large farmhouse sink, soft-close white cabinets and quartz countertops in the kitchen.
When fixing it up, the Blackowiaks tried to anticipate what might be on the next homeowner's wish list.
"I tried to go very minimalistic, to brighten everything up and make everything look newer with the white walls and gray floors. Anyone else could put their own touch on it," Samantha said. "I wanted to make sure any renters that came in could put their own flair, and I also wanted it to look clean and simple."
If the 2,028-square-foot home still isn't big enough, there's room to build additions on the sprawling property, she added.
"It's hard to let go of," Samantha said. "The house was a labor of love. We learned a lot and had lots of great memories there, and we hope the next family can enjoy it just as much."
Chris Weger (email@example.com; 612-310-3378) of Rize Realty has the $399,900 listing.