Ready or Not, Winter is Here
If you have been in denial that winter is right around the corner, it’s a reasonable assumption that you are probably not ready to welcome it. That small dusting of snow on the ground should be a hint. It's winter's way of saying, "Ready or not, I'll be visiting you soon!"
Getting caught off guard happens to the best of us. Take heart. Until we get hit with single digit temperatures or significant snowfall you still have time to get ready for the season. More good news, a warming trend is expected to move in this week.
For those of us who meant well but never quite got around to tackling the fall home checklist, Mother Nature is giving
Joe Houghton us a second chance. She is nice that way sometimes. Here are the fundamental ways to prepare for the worse that winter can throw at you.
The Minneapolis-St Paul Housing Market
Some say there are indications in the September housing stats that the market might be starting a shift towards balance. New listings increased 5.9 percent compared to September of last year. However, when we look at months supply of inventory that was down 3.4 percent. So what does this mean?
Let’s keep in mind that although we see balance in the market pricing tier for $500,000 and above, inventory levels in all other price segments are not even close to approaching balance which is a five to six month level of homes for sale. If you are one of those hoping to break into the housing market, your choices are limited with desirable properties selling like lightning going through butter.
Probing into the data, we see that median sales prices are still higher than last year by 6.5 percent when we look at month to month and 7.7 percent over last year when we compare the year over year data. Closed sales are down 5.8 percent and pending down 1.8 percent with properties spending 16 percent less time to sell.
Interest rates are bobbing around the 5 percent rate for mortgages which, combined with higher prices of homes may be sidelining some buyers and forcing others to rethink their home buying strategies. These...
5315 Howards Point Road, Shorewood, Minnesota 55661
6 Bedrooms and 9 Baths, 9075 Square Feet - Proudly offered at $5,750,000
A Majestic Presence on Lake Minnetonka
Sitting majestically on the shore of Lake Minnetonka in Shorewood is one of the area’s most breath-taking homes. It’s so grand; you might expect to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walk into the grand foyer for an evening of cocktails and dinner. It’s a home that would feel comfortable with heads of state, titans of business and industry, and world-renowned celebrities of every genre.
This property fit for royalty is a commanding presence on the lakefront....
5901 Chowen Ave S
4 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, 2,350 square feet offered at $449,900
Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? Tucked away in a lovely neighborhood of Edina we fund a delightful mid-century rambler. This fabulous tastefully updated family home has all the amenities on today’s family wish list.
You cannot beat this location. Edina is one of the most desirable 1st tier suburbs of Minneapolis. The new owners will appreciate the easy access to both Highway 100 and 35 and the Crosstown. Surrounded by parks, lakes, shopping, fun, and food with a 15-minute commute to downtown Minneapolis, what more could you ask for? Great Schools? You have that too. Edina has a nationally recognized school system which has been a magnet for families with kids over the years.
3060 Wild Flower Trail, Medina, Minnesota 55340
5 bedrooms, 5 baths, 5122 square feet, Wayzata Schools, $684,900
Exceptional Home in Medina MN
One of the things we love to do here at the Minnesota Property Group is share stories. Today we have a unique home with an unusual story we want to share. This beautiful Medina home, light shining through its windows, is looking for a new family.
This stunning residence built in 2016 debuted as a David Weekley model home, featuring many thoughtful upgrades added by the builder. When the current owners took a tour, they knew they had found their forever home.
In their own words, “When we purchased this house, we were planning on making it our forever home. The floor plan was perfect. The interior sparkled with all the finishes that showcase a builder’s talent and imagination, but we invested in touches that elevated the feeling of the space from house to home.”
The current owners painted the entire exterior white to carry the theme of lightness inside to the outside as well. But they didn’t stop there. Additional upgrades to enhance the enjoyment of the home and add to the quality of life include storm gutters, insulated garage doors “to help keep the garage more cozy in winter,” an invisible fence for the pets, several large trees to enhance the...
The Fall Home Buying Puzzle
With summer in the rearview mirror, the fall home buying season is in full swing. As we move into the last quarter of the year, many disappointed summer home shoppers wonder if they should suspend their search to renew efforts in the spring.
As you ponder the question, you should take into consideration that the fall home buying season has some distinct advantages. Instead of taking a break, you may want to stay with the program and intensify your search for a home. Here are some of the perks and rewards you can expect if you decide to stay engaged in the hunt for a home.
Fall Home Buying Means Less Competition
Like most markets, real estate has seasonal adjustments. Fall home buying season is generally less busy than the spring and summer markets. The “must buy a home before school starts” mentality is one reason. Another is that some people do not want to move in the winter months.
Those who have no school-age kiddos or are more flexible about their moving timetable can take advantage of that market slowdown. They will find less competition for homes and less...
Getting Your Home Ready for Winter
That nip we feel in the air means fall is here. The season is synonymous with pumpkins, falling leaves, apple cider, and preventive home maintenance! What? Home maintenance - You know, like working around the house.
If you are a long time homeowner, you know this drill. If this is your first home, listen up! Most of the necessary chores you can do yourself. Accomplishing these tasks will not only protect your investment but can also lower your energy bills.
While temperatures are still moderate, and before the snow flies let’s get cracking! Here is my 21 step checklist. Accomplish them all, and you and your home will be as prepared for winter as you can be. Your family and your home will thank you for it.
Yard and Landscaping
1. The lawn needs some attention now if you want it to look its best in the spring. The autumn is the perfect time to aerate, fertilize and reseed your lawn.
2. Never allow piles of leaves to sit on your grass for the winter. You can...
The Minneapolis-St Paul Housing Market Overview
As we look at the end of the summer real estate season, things have not changed very much. We see new listings up 7.6 percent over August of last year, which is a bright spot. However, for first-time home buyers, the story is still one of the limited housing choices facing continued strong demand. The situation when we look at listings under $300,000 is still critical regarding supply. The higher we go up the price tiers, the more balance we see. Properties priced from $500,000 up to $1,000,000, offer a more balanced market in which buyers have more options compared to the over $1,000,000, strata, which is a buyers market.
Looking deeper into the data gives us some reason to be optimistic but cautiously so. Even though we saw an increase in new listings, inventory levels fell 8 percent from last year. Pending sales were down 2.9 percent and closed sales ticked slightly upward at 0.2 percent over the same time last year. Home values continue to move upward to the tune of 6.3 percent while spending less time on the market. Buyers at the lower price range are making full price offers or engage in bidding wars to close a deal.
New Construction in the Metro...
2860 Zanzibar Lane N Plymouth, MN.
4 Bedrooms, 3 Baths, 2148 Square Feet, Offered at $374,900
Open House: 9/16 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
If you are on a search for a home in the award winning Wayzata School District we’ve got you covered. This stylish tri-level home is open and bright and offers warmth, charm, and comfort coupled with modern functionality. All the features and amenities on most buyers’ wish list are present in this well-appointed home, and you will love the improvements and updates that have recently been done by the current owners.
Four bedrooms and three baths on three levels of beautiful living space offer your family lots to enjoy. Its excellent location is convenient to highways, shopping, parks, and recreation. Located in the sought after neighborhood of Mapledell, this outstanding home is right off the Maple Creek Trail and Park. Did we mention your kiddos would attend ...
It’s an indisputable fact that buying a home today is a complicated process. It can be especially intimidating for a first-time buyer. Also, there is a severe shortage of inventory in the category of entry-level homes making the transition into homeowner a challenge. The process is not as simple as searching for a house, finding one that suits you, making an offer and going to closing.
Although these are indeed the basics, it is not the complete picture. There are a lot of pesky details that are not understood and become fertile ground for the seeds of mistaken beliefs. The topic that seems to represent the most confusion is obtaining a mortgage. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common myths about mortgage eligibility.
I Need a 20 Percent Down Payment
No, you don't. Although a buyer needs to put 20 percent down on a home to avoid paying Private Mortgage Insurance, most can buy a house with much less money. When you look at a snapshot of all buyers, the medium down payment is 10 percent.
You can find lenders who will approve mortgages as low as 3 percent for well-qualified...
July 2018 Snapshot – Twin Cities Housing
As we look at the data for July, we see the reason for buyers to be a bit more optimistic. Although this is still a market that favors sellers at price ranges under $500,000, we did see an increase of 4.1 percent in new listings when compared to July of last year. However, buyers should hold off popping the cork on that bottle of champagne because it is sellers that have a reason to celebrate with the median sale price up 6.6 percent over the same time last year. Pending sales were up 0.4 percent and closed transactions were flat with days on the market falling 17.4 percent and inventory levels down 13.4 percent.
Although we hear the terms “housing market bubble” and “real estate market shift” being bandied about by analysts, economic indicators may be pointing to a slowdown but not a bursting bubble. Past the middle of the year and heading into the end of summer we continue to see record low unemployment and the longest running bull market in history, in spite of trade wars and rumblings about impeachment. While we may be wise to pay attention to the former, history proves the latter will have little or no effect on stocks, housing or the economy in general. ...
1512 Fairfield Rd S, Minnetonka, Minnesota 55305
Offered at $524,900
Open House: Sunday 8/12 2:30-4:00 PM
If you are looking for a great family home in a sought after community with excellent schools we have the perfect choice for you. Consider this gracious and elegant three bedrooms three bath residence in Minnetonka. With 2376 square feet of living space this traditionally styled two story home not only fits the needs of a family but is also the perfect setting for entertaining.
Prepare to be inspired by classic style with undertones of warmth and contemporary elegance. From your first glimpse, it is obvious this home is meticulous. We are very impressed, and you will be too!
8917 Morris Road, Bloomington, MN
3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, 2020 square feet
Offered at $299,900
Open House Sunday, August 5th 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
We proudly present our newest listing. Located in an established neighborhood in desirable west Bloomington, this property would make an exceptional family residence for a first-time buyer or move up situation. It would also be an excellent option for the empty nester. This home is meticulous, and we think the fussiest buyer will agree. When you see the tasteful updates, expect to be impressed. The fresh décor is right on point. Let’s take a closer look.
At the rear of the home are my absolute favorite areas, the kitchen and dining space. The kitchen is bright, open and extremely well designed to make the best use of space. There are ample cabinets and countertops. Two windows let in plenty of light and make the kitchen...
Success-driven Home Selling
Most people have two primary goals when they sell their home. These are to sell quickly at the best price possible. Both are attainable and if your location is TheTwin Cities metro and your home value is under $500,000, the market favors you in a big way.
However, please do not think that you will achieve these goals if you ignore the basic rules of how to prepare to sell your home. If you want multiple offers and you want them in the first few days of listing you need to accept the fact that preparation is necessary. If your home’s list price is in the higher tiers, it becomes even more critical.
Convinced? Fabulous! Here are my ten commandments of home selling. Follow these, and you will present your home at its finest.
Clutter is not aesthetically appealing. It makes your home look messy and lacking in storage space. The goal is to go through every closet, cabinet, drawer and storage space from basement to attic. Don’t forget the garage and any outbuildings as well. Everything you decide you do not need should be for sale, consignment, donation or disposal.
For some, this step is no big deal, and for others, this is the most difficult....
Offered at $499,900
Open House: Sunday 7/29 2:30-4:00 PM
If you are looking for your next home in or around Plymouth, please consider this traditionally styled residence in the desirable Greentree Forest neighborhood. This 3504 square foot residence features four bedrooms and baths, oozes charm and cozy warmth. From the first glimpse, it is obvious this home is meticulously and lovingly maintained. When you learn of the numerous improvements and updates made by the current owners, you’ll be sure your eyes didn’t deceive you.
So what exactly do we like so much about this outstanding family home? Lots! Please join us on our mini-tour as we check off all the great attributes of our favorite new listing.
June 2018 Snapshot – Twin Cities Housing
As we close out the second quarter of the year and head into summer nothing much has changed regarding the ups and downs of Minneapolis-Saint Paul housing stats. Anyone who has been following the housing market in the Twin Cities will not be surprised by the June data. Inventory of homes continues to decline, ditto closed sales, pending sales, and days on the market. What’s up? The median sale price continues to rise. The constraint on sales is a reflection of low supply alone while demand remains strong.
We are halfway into the year with a strong economy and a real estate market that is responding accordingly. Consumers continue to have confidence and a positive outlook for the future. With unemployment at all-time lows and wages rising, home buyers have a reason to be optimistic. Even with interest rates inching upward, demand for homes remains steady.
On the supply side, builders are shifting resources from rental units to single family new construction. Sellers are also considering this may be the best year to make their move and listings are expected to increase accordingly. Things are looking rosy, and we give a thumbs up...
9725 Xylon Court S, Bloomington, MN 55438
4130 Square Feet, 5 Bedrooms, 4 Baths Offered at $599,900
Open House Sunday July 22nd from 2-4pm
When we think of the Minneapolis metro suburbs that have it all, West Bloomington is at the top of the list. That’s why we are excited about Joe’s new listing in the desirable South Bay neighborhood. This delightful two-story home offers your family 4130 square feet of luxury on three levels of living space.
Five bedrooms mean everyone has their own private room plus accommodation for visiting family and friends. Four bathrooms mean never having to say you’re sorry for that long luxurious shower. Several distinct gathering areas indicate everyone can do their own thing or have lots of room for entertaining friends and neighbors.
With so many outstanding features to talk about in this elegant home, it is difficult to know where to begin. Here are a few of our favorites.
14201 Brandbury Walk, Minnetonka, MN 55345
Open House Sunday 7/15 12:00-2:00 PM
Lifestyle is for sale in this outstanding 4000 square foot Minnetonka two-story home nestled into an idyllic landscaped lot You will be impressed by the resort style backyard, fenced in for privacy it is genuinely a family sanctuary. This graceful and elegant residence featuring spacious rooms and excellent flow along with great indoor/outdoor spaces is an entertainer’s dream.
Enjoy three levels of living space. Five bedrooms mean everyone has their personal space and maybe an extra guest bedroom for visiting family. With four bathrooms there will be no wait for the shower on those busy weekday mornings getting ready for work and school.
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Make That Home Sale with Curb Appeal
When you sell, curb appeal is the first impression your home will make on a buyer. Do it right, and you could end up with an offer, just like that! Do it wrong, and a potential buyer may decide not to walk through your front door. So when evaluating your curb appeal as you prepare to sell your home, be critical because I promise you that buyers will be.
Pretend you are a buyer. Take a look around the outside of your house and yard. Now ask yourself, if you were buying today would the exterior of your home inspire you to take a look inside? If the answer is anything less than, “I can’t wait to see the inside of this house” then you have a bit of work to do. Here are a few steps that will send your curb appeal rating meter over the top.
Just as you do inside your home, you should “pick up” in the front and backyard, porch and deck. You want it clean and tidy. Remove any remaining dead leaves, branches, and other debris from the previous season. Oil stains on the driveway or garage should...
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The Argument for Staging
Once you have organized your home and removed its clutter, it’s time to talk about staging. In a 2017 study conducted by NAR, the National Association of Realtors, 58% of agents surveyed said staging increases the selling price of the home as much as 20%. In this same profile, we find that 39% of agents believe staged properties sell significantly faster than those not staged. Additionally, 77% of buyers found it easier to visualize a staged property as their new home.
Keep in mind that the objective of sellers is to prepare their home so buyers will envision themselves living there. If a buyer cannot make a personal and emotional attachment to your property, they are not going to make an offer. You want your buyers to fall in love with your house. Staging can go a long way towards making that happen.