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Twin Cities Housing Review February 2019

Twin Cities February 2019 Housing Market Review

Minneapolis-St Paul Housing Overview

As we move ever closer to spring, it looks like the prime season for housing is going to be hot. Buyers in the lower pricing tiers are currently getting a sneak peek in the challenges they will face in their quest to become homeowners.

When we compare new listings for February 2018 to this past month, we see a decrease of 14% which is not good news for buyers. However, I would be remiss not to point out that weatherwise, February was a month characterized by lots of snowfall and bitter cold, which tends to put a damper on real estate activity.

What’s Rising and What’s Falling

As we compare February of this year to 2018, we see that closed sales were up 4.0 percent, the percentage of list price received down 0.3, and the median sale price of $265,500 up 6.2 percent. Meanwhile, pending sales, the predictor of upcoming closed sales was down 7.4 percent.

The February Supply Story

We find new listings in February were down 14.3 percent from last year, and inventory levels were lower by 5.9 percent putting the month's supply at 1.6. Days spent on the market were flat.

The condo segment was the property type that saw the most price gains with a 10 percent increase — homes...

Are You Financially Ready for Homeownership?

Are You Financially Ready for Homeownership?

It Isn’t a Race – Take Your Time

The decision to buy your first home is a major, life-changing event and should never be taken lightly or made quickly. Not only is it the most significant financial purchase you will likely ever make, but it’s also a commitment to your lifestyle and personal sense of well-being.

Certainly, a home is a valuable asset, but it is much more than a number we see on a financial spreadsheet. It’s our haven. It’s where we plan to raise our children. It’s where we will dream about our future. It’s where we will celebrate our victories and cope with the setbacks of life. There is the whole story of homeownership.

Yes, buying real estate is a big deal, and I won’t lie to you, it can be a stressful and intimidating process, especially for a first-time buyer. However, it isn’t written in stone that it will be this way for everyone. It can and should be an exciting and joy-filled process. Being financially ready is critical in making it work in your favor.

Let’s look at five positive signs that say you may be in the financial position to become a homeowner.  

1. Your Finances Are Solid

Are You Financially Ready for Homeownership?...

Home Staging Tips for a Small Budget

Staging Your Home on a Budget

Home Staging is Now Mainstream

Just a few years ago staging a home for sale was rare. It was also generally for homes on the higher end of the pricing scale, new homes or empty homes. Today the story of home staging is entirely different.

The National Association of Realtors study conducted in 2017 found that 58% of real estate professionals said that when you stage the sale price can increase as much as 20%. This same study found that 39% said staged homes sell much faster. The message of staging a house and selling it quickly and for more money resonates with today’s home sellers at all price points and for all types of housing options.

Even sellers with starter homes or small condos with a limited budget can stage their property to make it more desirable to buyers. I’m going to share some great tips that I guarantee will make your home more marketable and cost very little as long as you are prepared to invest some time into the project.

The Five Basic Building Blocks of Home Staging...

9 Reasons Your Home is Not Selling

9 Reasons Your Home is Not Selling

9 Reasons Your Home is Not Selling in a Hot Market

When your home is not getting offers in a seller’s market, it is no surprise that you are not in your happy place. It’s not how you expected things to go. You thought it would sell quickly. Now you are asking your realtor why other properties are selling while your listing is growing moss.

Taking more time to sell a home happens all too often. As an agent who has been in the business for 16 years, I have been in this scenario. Here are what I’ve found to be the seven most common reasons a home isn’t selling.

9 Reasons Your Home is Not SellingThe Price is Too High

The most common reason a home is not moving even in a market favorable to sellers is incorrect pricing.  At the listing time, your realtor should do a market analysis of properties comparable to yours that recently sold. The price comparison is the best method to determine the asking price.

There are times sellers don’t agree and insist their home is worth more. There are often factors that the seller didn’t take into consideration that affect the value. To neutralize the adverse effect of imperfections a price...

Home Buying Advice That Is So Yesterday

Home Buying Advice

One thing I know for sure is the passage of time always brings change in its wake. Fashion, food, hairstyles, home décor, and lifestyles have become extremely sensitive to trends. Some embrace change and others fight it.  Whichever the case, a constant we can depend on is trends are going to come and go regardless.

Sifting Through The Mount Everest of Home Buyers Advice

Along with changes in style, there is an incredible amount of advice available about what we should hold on to and what we should let go. Real estate is no different, and it is essential that we weed through all the bits and pieces of information and discover what is still meaningful and what no longer serves us when we decide to put a roof over our heads.

Purchasing a house is the most expensive buy of a lifetime for most of us. It is predominately a joyful experience, but a certain amount of stress is inherent in the process, especially for first-time homebuyers. We want to make the right choices, so we look for advice from family, friends and the internet. But with so many tips out there, how do we know which are keepers and which we should ignore? Here are several pieces of home buying advice that have not met the test of time.

You Will Always Be Better Off Owning Than Renting

Home Buying Advice...

The Twin Cities 2019 Housing Market Outlook

Twin Cities 2019 Housing Market Forecast 

The Ups and Downs of the 2018 Housing Market

The 2018 housing market has sure been a wild ride. The year began with rapidly rising home prices and low mortgage interest rates. Bidding wars were the norm for highly desirable homes. It was not unusual for sellers to find a buyer in the first few days after putting their house up for sale, generally at full asking price or even above. Sellers were riding high while buyers struggled to close a deal on a home.

But in the last few months of the year, we begin to see a shift in the market. Prices are finally stabilizing or increasing at a slower pace. Interest rates reach 5.2 percent, an 8-year high. Though now rates have fallen back to 4.59 as a benchmark for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. The market still favors sellers but to a lesser degree.

2017 compared to 2018

  • new listings down -0.3%
  • pending sales down -3.6%
  • closed sales down -3.4%
  • overall median...

Twin Cities Housing Review December 2018

Twin Cities December Housing Market Stats 2018

Minneapolis-St Paul Housing Data

As we say adios to 2018 and move into the new year, expectations include some long-awaited changes. The last half of the year we saw increases in new listings, decreases in sales, and median sales prices on homes rise more slowly.

The increases we are experiencing in no way is enough to balance the market at the lower pricing tiers. However, first-time buyers and downsizing boomers will begin to find more home buying options in the coming year. That fact alone will make buyers smile.

A Look at December Housing Numbers

Looking at a comparison of December 2018 to the same time last year, we see new listings up 3.5 percent, closed sales down 9.9 percent, list price received down 0.2 percent, and the median sale price of $258,000 up 4 percent. Pending sales showed a decline of 3.3 percent, while the month’s supply of inventory rose 13.3 percent. Days on the market decreased by 6.6 percent.

What story do these numbers tell us about the housing market in Minneapolis and Saint Paul? Pretty good news. We are finally starting to see more housing choices at lower pricing levels. Sellers are more flexible when they receive less than full price offers. This situation takes some pressure off of buyers.

Sellers also have reason to smile. Property values continue to rise with median sales prices up 4% over December of 2017. Additionally, sales of homes are still brisk as we see days on the market drop to 57 from...

Best Practices for Selling a Home with Pets

Best Practices for Selling a Home with Pets

According to the American Pet Products Association survey taken in 2018, 68% of households have at least one pet. People love their pets. That same APPA survey found that those millions of pet owners spent billions of dollars to prove it, $72.13 billion give or take a couple of mils. That’s a lot of puppy chow and catnip! 

Many pet owners consider their fuzzy wards children, and often refer to them as “fur babies.” Being a dog owner, I understand completely. Our Doodle is an integral part of our family, and we all love him. However, when the time arrives to sell your home, beloved pets can present logistic problems. As much as I hate to have to say it, there are times that pets can present issues that sellers must resolve before listing the property. Best Practices for Selling a Home with Pets

The Challenges of Selling a Home with Pets

Some of the issues sellers faces when they have pets include:

  • funky smells and odors
  • what to do with pets during showings
  • keeping...

Drench Your Home in Hygge for a Quick Winter Sale

Mn property group hygge

Did you know that Sperling’s Best Places named Minneapolis the third best city for hygge in America?  Now you do. Don’t get me wrong; we are not turning our nose up at the third place award to Seattle #1 and Portland #2. However, some of us think with more people of Scandinavian heritage in the Twin Cities and colder winters we should be #1 when it comes to getting our hygge mojo working.

What does hygge even mean and how do you pronounce it?

Mn property group hygge By now, you have probably at least heard the term hygge. It is a Danish concept that has created a considerable buzz in the home décor market. But it is not just about decorating; it’s a lifestyle.

It is a concept of embracing simple pleasures. The Danes, being awesome people, created hygge in the 18 century and it remains an integral part of their culture today.

The word is pronounced “hue-gah.” Frequently defined as coziness, and in the Oxford English Dictionary as “to keep or make oneself snug.” So hygge also reflects a feeling of safeness and warmth.

The critical thing to note is that even with long winters and limited hours of daylight, Danes are considered to be the world’s happiest people. Since you want buyers to be the happiest people when they tour your home, let’s hit them with some hygge.

Soft, Warm, Snug Cozy

...

Why I’m Not Making New Year Resolutions

New Year Minnesota Property Group

Another New Year celebration is over. As our planet begins another journey around the sun, so we start our quest for perfection vis a vis New Year’s Resolutions! While most of us are on board with improving our personal and professional life, resolutions may not be the best way to achieve our goals.

Studies show that only 9.2 percent of us complete new year resolutions. What’s even worse is that 80% fail by February. Why are failure rates so stunningly high and what can we do to improve our chances for success?

Why our resolutions fail.

There are several reasons why so many of us crash and burn when it comes to the promises we made in the final days of the outgoing year. We are swept up in those moments when we feel buoyant and inspired about all the glorious opportunities we anticipate in the upcoming twelve thirtyish day blocks of time on the calendar. We feel invincible and as if there is nothing we can’t accomplish. We see traits of Mario Batali, Mary Barra and Marie Kondo in ourselves. And so we launch another year with too many expectations and unrealistic goals, setting ourselves up for another epic fail.

Typically it may look something like this: after work rush to gym...

How Do You Know A Super Real Estate Agent When You Meet One?

 

real estate agent tips

Can You Recognize a Super Real Estate Agent When You Meet One?  Take This Quiz!

You have finally made the big decision to buy a home, and you’re ready to dive headlong into the real estate market! Congratulations!  Given today’s market and the great opportunities that abound in the Twin Cities Metro for home ownership, I applaud your decision.  But, (and yes there is always a “but,”) before you take the plunge, just like every great athlete needs a coach, or every talented artist needs an agent, you need a Realtor© by your side, advocating for you.

“Why can’t I just advocate for myself?” you say.  Great question and I am so glad you asked. An honest and ethical real estate agent will steer you in the right direction, so you don’t waste time spinning your wheels. He will offer expert advice when called for, even if it might not be what you want to hear, and will put your best interest at the forefront of any transaction.  Not only will he protect your interests, but also limit your liabilities and even save you money. 

“Wow,” you say, “having an agent will give me an edge!  I want one, but, with all those agents out there,...

Twin Cities Housing Review November 2018

 November 2018 Housing MN Property group

Minneapolis-St Paul Housing Overview

As we approach years’ end, we see some subtle changes in the Twin Cities Metro housing market. The increase in inventory of homes for sale was10.5 percent over last month giving home buyers something to rejoice. This inventory boost by is by no means enough to bring the market into balance but does bring us closer. For consumers who have been trying to buy a home for several months, it was welcome news.

What’s Up and What’s Down

As we compare November of this year to November 2017, we find new listings up 12.6 percent, closed sales down 0.9 percent, the percentage of list price received down 0.1, and the median sale price of $265,150 up 8.2 percent. Meanwhile, pending sales were down 5.2 percent, inventory levels rose 2.3 percent with months supply up 10.5 percent. Days on the market fell 7.1 percent.

So while inventory is increasing and sales are decreasing, we are seeing more price reductions and fewer deals closing for full price offers. Although housing prices are still higher than last year, they appear to be slowing down. Properties for sale are still spending less time on the market than last year, an indication that demand is still robust, and buyers are scooping up homes quickly....

Best Year End Advice For Real Estate Agents

Best end of year advice for real estate

Best End of Year Advice for Real Estate Agents

In just a couple of weeks, the New Year will be upon us. It was a fast twelve months, wasn’t it? It feels like I was talking to you about fall home maintenance only a couple of weeks ago when it was actually in early October. Many trees were still stubbornly holding on to a few leaves, there was no snow on the ground, and we had not even had a hard frost. Now here we are decking the halls and talking about closing out the year and getting ready for 2019.

Admittedly I approach the new year with excitement and optimism tinged with a dash of trepidation and uncertainty. The new year is, after all, filled with mystery! What new clients will I meet? Which buyers and sellers will I reconnect with in the coming year? What changes in the market will surprise me? Which of my predictions will be proven correct? Am I ready for what lies ahead and if not what do I need to do so I don’t fall short of my expectations?

As the days and weeks of the next year unfold, I plan to be ready. One of the ways I prepare is by starting the year without the clutter of the last twelve months. It starts now. Here are some tasks we can take care of before January is on the doorstep because ready or not, soon 2019 will be knocking on the front door!

...

Best Tips For Home Sellers Who Want to Rock Holiday Decor

Winter Home Minnesota Property Group

Staging for The Holidays

Let’s face it, selling your home over the Christmas Holiday can be a challenge. It goes over, and above the usual inconveniences you must endure and the compromises to the rhythm of your family’s routine you must make when you sell. For most, it happens to be the busiest time of the year regarding shopping, family activities, and entertaining. A string of strangers looking in all your nooks and crannies is not at the top of your wish list.

Many sellers temporarily take their home off the market in December while others wait until January to list. However, there are buyers out there, and most of them that are house shopping in December are serious buyers. So for those sellers with a high level of motivation, the holidays can provide a unique opportunity for your home to shine. You can also get a step ahead of the competition who decide to fast forward to January.

Once you decide to market your home when bells on bobtails ring, the next question is should you decorate and if so what are the rules? Here, the basic rules of staging your home for any season apply. Keep everything clean, eliminate clutter and avoid the personal items in your choice of holiday decorations.

Now...

Twin Cities Housing Report October 2018

The Minneapolis-St Paul Housing Market Overview

As we look at the Twin Cities Housing Market Statistics for the first month of the final quarter of 2018 the one thing that hasn’t changed for months is the shortage of properties for sale in the lower end of the market. With so few homes that fit their budget, coupled with rising home prices and interest rates, would-be buyers continue to struggle with fulfilling their dream of ownership. Homes at this price range are still selling quickly, but we are finally starting to see that shift we have been talking about, in market conditions overall as we look at narrowing gaps in year over year data for sales, inventory, and price.

What’s Up Doc?

As we compare October of this year to October 2017, we find new listings up 9.2 percent, closed sales rose 3.4 percent, the percentage of list price received up 0.2, and the median sale price of $265,000 up 8.6 percent. Meanwhile, pending sales were down 1.7 percent, inventory levels dropped 2.2 percent, days on the market fell 7.7 percent. In summary, in the Twin Cities 16 county metro at least, we are still experiencing fewer homes on the market taking less time to sell with prices even on an upward trajectory.

What About the Economy?

Our local economy remains strong. The ...

Winter is On the Way. Be Ready!

Winter Minnesota Property Group

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. Kiss Here are the fundamental ways to prepare for the worse that winter can throw at you.

Winter Minnesota Property Group...

Twin Cities Housing Report September 2018

5315 Howards Point Excelsior Mn

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 numbers tell me demand is still strong....

Elegance, Lifestyle and Lake Views in Shorewood

5315 Howards Point Excelsior Mn

5315 Howards Point Road, Shorewood, Minnesota 55661

Lake Minnetonka 2.22 acre estate featuring 250 feet of shoreline

6 Bedrooms and 9 Baths, 9075 Square Feet

Proudly offered at $5,750,000

3D Tour and photo album

5315 Howards Point Excelsior Mn

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.

...

Look What We Found in Edina

5901 Chowen Ave S Edina MN

5901 Chowen Ave S

Edina, MN

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.

Great Location

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.

5901 Chowen Ave S Edina MN...

Fall Home Buying Rewards

Fall Home Buying Season

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 chance of getting into a multiple...

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