Best MN Real Estate Blog

Home Construction 101

Home Construction 101Main level interior of single family new home in Medina MN

Suppose you consider the possibility of new home construction in the Minneapolis Metro area of Minnesota. In that case, an excellent place to start is to understand the process of building a new home. Here is a synopsis of what you need to know to become fluent in new home construction. This information is specifically written for the Twin Cities Metro area of MN. Still, it can also serve as a great source of information for building a new home in all of Minnesota.

Home Construction Basics for the Twin Cities Metro

Knowing how a house is built is essential to consider custom buildings in the Minneapolis and St. Paul Metro. But even if you are planning to buy a spec or tract home, it never hurts to educate yourself on the fundamentals of the process. Knowing how things work is always wise. In addition to online education, it is good to speak with a Realtor who is also a new home construction specialist in the Western Suburbs of the Twin Cities.

Home Building Team

Two cartoon figures putting a block house together

It may not take...

Best Builder MN

Best Builder MN 2022

The back of a new home in MN with a pond and large yard

Building a home in Minnesota is an emotional experience. Choosing the best home builder for your MN home is an essential piece of the puzzle. Excitement, happiness, fear, and anxiousness are in the mix. You will have hundreds of choices. Depending on the builder and team you choose, you can be involved every step of the way. 

How to Find the Best Builder MN 2022

Once you settle on the type of home and the design, you are ready to spend hours on Pinterest looking at kitchens,...

Relocate Or Renovate

https://www.mnpropertygroup.com/blog/relocate-or-renovate/

Relocate Or Renovatebeautiful mn home

If you need a new change of pace in your day-to-day life, then it might be time to consider moving. Although, it might also be the perfect time to consider renovating your home instead. For many people, moving may seem like the more manageable and straightforward choice to make when they need a change to shake up their lives, however, renovating and remodeling your home might be shorter and more cost-effective. Deciding whether to move or renovate your home can be a difficult question to answer, but we’ll go through some tips to help you make the decision that suits your needs.

Ask Yourself Why

The first question to ask yourself when deciding whether to move or remodel is why you’re considering moving in the first place. The answer might be that you want a change of scenery or that the home’s layout isn’t as efficient anymore for you or your family. The answer could also be that the location of your home isn’t suitable for your needs any longer because it’s not large enough or it’s too far of a commute to work or shopping locations. Knowing why you’re thinking about moving is instrumental in determining whether it’s in your best interest to renovate your home instead.

...

Selling my home to an iBuyer

Pros and Cons of Selling Your Home to an iBuyer

If you are a homeowner weighing the options of selling your home, this article is for you—no sugarcoating. For most, selling the family home is a stressful situation, and it is an intrusion in your life and requires an investment of time and money. For those who want or need the convenience of doing as little as possible and don’t mind the additional expense, there is the option called the iBuyer.

Since the concept of the instant buyer is still relatively novel, you may not know anyone with firsthand experience. Before you decide, you probably want to look at the standard advantages touted by iBuyers vs. the more widely accepted method of listing your home with a real estate professional.

Using an iBuyer Saves Time

  • You will not have to hire a real estate agent. Researching and selecting the best agent to sell your home takes up a chunk of time, and it’s a critical choice that may affect your bottom line and your blood pressure!

But is this a time saver? The time you do not spend researching realtors is going towards researching iBuyer companies. You also have to consider that many sellers will spend time on both options because they will want to compare the home price offered by the buyer and the suggested market price from an agent. 

  • You will not have to declutter, clean, or stage your home. If housework is not your thing, not engaging in a deep cleaning and organizing project may make using an iBuyer extremely appealing.

Is this a time-saver? You are still going to need to declutter your home when you pack. Unless you use an iBuyer that does not do an in-home evaluation, don’t you want your home to make a positive impression? Keep in mind that the final offer is made after the review. I can’t help but believe that a home that looks and smells good will generate a higher request.

  • You will not be required...

Look What We Found in Edina

Patio 5710 Cahill Rd #110B

Welcome to 7510 Cahill Rd.

If you are in the market for a condo, one of the things you probably ask yourself when you see one you like is, "Will I enjoy living here?" It's an excellent question to consider, which is why Joe Houghton suggested it might be a good use of time to tell you why this condo in a quiet corner of Edina is a special place to live.

I couldn't agree more. Because whether you buy a single-family home or a condo, the community that surrounds you is part of the package. So I'm going to talk about the Windwood community for starters. 

7510 Cahill Rd Windwood Condos

5 Reasons Living at Windwood is Outstanding

1. The surroundings are lovely. The grounds remind me of a well-manicured and serene urban park. After viewing the condo, feel free to take a stroll around the two inner courtyards and perimeter and experience it for yourself.

2. It's quiet, serene, and peaceful.

3. It's social. If you enjoy being active in the community and getting to know your neighbors, you will have many opportunities to do so. You can play bridge, dominos, mahjong, and bingo. You can lunch on the deck or participate in a community breakfast. Join the book club, enjoy water aerobics in the pool, or participate in chair...

Bait and Switch in Real Estate

Bait and Switch in Real Estate

You’ve probably heard of the bait and switch game in sales and perhaps have some first-hand experience. It is a tactic where a product is advertised at a low price to get a buyer’s attention. Once the buyer is on the hook, there is an attempt to switch him to a higher-priced product or service. Car dealerships often use this trick by deeply discounting a popular barebones model vehicle to get customers in the door.

Lenders also use the bait and switch model to lure customers. For instance, mortgage companies continually advertise their lowest interest rate, but the reality is only a tiny percentage of consumers will be able to qualify for that rate. Car manufacturers frequently offer 0% financing on purchasing a new vehicle, but a high credit score is necessary to allow. It’s all in the fine print, which most people do not read.

Here is What Bait and Switch Looks Like in Real Estate

Scenario 1. You meet with three agents and listen to their marketing plan to sell your home. Agent A suggests a list price of $350,000, and agent B is in the same price range and says $360,000. But Agent C tells you he would recommend listing your home at $400,000.

Red Flag. Some Real estate agents practice a form of bait and switch when they attempt to acquire a listing from a seller. However, rather than enticing a homeowner at a low price, they bait the hook by suggesting their home will sell at a higher than market value price. If you list with this agent when your home doesn’t sell a few weeks later, he will suggest a price reduction.

Listing below Market to Create a Bidding War

Scenario 2. A seller wants to sell his home at a price point that will move his property quickly. It’s a seller’s market, so Agent A suggests pricing it below market value to create a great deal of interest and result in a bidding war to bring in a higher than market price.

Red Flag. Sometimes this works...

6512 Tessman Terrace N Brooklyn Park MN

Just Listed 6512 Tessman Terrace N 

The Minnesota Property Group CEO Joe Houghton just listed this 2015 built rambler at 6512 Tessman Terrace in Brooklyn Park, MN 55445, and it will sell fast. View the 3 Dimensional and Interactive Virtual Tour in this post and call Joe to set up a private tour. 

This Brooklyn Park Rambler feels like new construction. 

Even though 6512 Tessman Terrace was built in 2015, it still feels brand new. The current owners had input in the building process and were forward-thinking in their design and structural selections. Dual-Zone heating is one convenience that is often overlooked when building new construction, and it is expensive to do but luxurious to have. The Kinetico water softener and reverse osmosis system is another significant upgrade that usually gets included in a brand home. 

More upgrades are not always included in new construction 

6512 Tessman Terrace has a multi-zone sprinkler system that also waters the flower beds, plants. The 700 square foot attached garage is insulated, plumbed for gas, and equipped with two high-end insulated garage doors and quiet belt drive garage door openers. The professional landscaping includes paving stones around the house and surrounding the 12x13 patio. The oversized windows have UV film. 

From the sellers 

WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT THIS HOUSE What have you enjoyed most about this house? Our favorite is the pond and brushy area directly behind our lot. We see some wildlife nearly every day! I love that the laundry room is on the main floor, thus is no need to climb stairs at laundry time. The stairway with its landing and extra-wide size is another favorite. We like the flat front yard AND flat back yard in a walkout house. Everyone is friendly without being intrusive. We love all the bike paths nearby, especially the one to Coon Rapids Dam. Elm Creek Park has a great bike path, too. There is also have swimming...

How to get my home ready for inspection

10 Tips to Prepare for Your Home Inspection

When a seller and a buyer meet the minds, the result is a signed purchase offer. The contract is contingent on having a professional home inspection most of the time. The after-the-offer phase of a home sale is the step that can most likely sink the deal and create a great deal of anxiety for sellers and buyers alike.

Getting ahead of potential inspection items

As a seller, you want your home to pass inspection with as few callouts as possible. Hopefully, while preparing your home for sale, you looked at your house with a buyer’s critical eye and made repairs where necessary. Better yet, you had a pre-listing home inspection and took care of all the callouts on the list.

However, if you did neither of those, you should still make preparations to facilitate the inspection process. You should do so even if you had an evaluation previously, which will be evident as you read through my list.

1.  Keep up appearances in and around your home.

In other words, keep your home clean and neat. Although you don’t get points for that on the inspection, it leaves a positive impression. You want the inspector to see that your home has been cared for and maintained. So even after you have an offer in hand, don’t let things go. 

2. Make sure there is easy access to areas that will be inspected.

The inspector will check the basement, crawl space, and attic. She will look in the cabinets under the sinks to check for leaks. Remove any clutter that is in the way of getting to these areas. Is your attic access pull-down stairs in a closet?  Emptying it is probably a good idea. If a space is not accessible, that will throw up warning signs you don’t want.

3. Remove and replace blown-out light bulbs.

Replace any burned-out light bulbs both in and outside the house. A burned-out light bulb will require that the inspector check to make sure it isn’t a problem...

Housing Market Trends

Local and National Housing Market Trends

 Let’s be honest. Nobody can predict the future though we can look at trends and data and use them to create reasonable scenarios of what the months ahead will hold in store for us. Why is studying trends significant? Those who prefer to plan for tomorrow help us make better decisions that get us closer to achieving our goals.

While we may not know what will happen, it is safe to say trends are constantly evolving. Real estate isn’t different in that respect. What was hot in housing last year, maybe so over now. That is not to say we can keep up with the latest, and let’s face facts, if you expect to live in your current home for the next ten years or more, you probably don’t care.

But if you are in the process, on the brink, or planning to buy or sell a home in the coming months, knowing what’s happening in the market today can make the difference between a good or bad experience. What makes it even more critical is the effects COVID-19 has had on just about everything in our lives, including how we search for, buy, sell, and perceive real estate.

Housing Trends That Affect Buyers and Sellers in MN

Here is what you may want to know about some of the current real estate trends and the ways they may affect buyers and sellers both nationally and in our own Twin Cities Housing Market.

When housing demand outstrips the supply of available homes for sale, we experience a seller’s market. It seems like it’s been this way forever at times. While it may not be that long, the housing market has been trending in favor of sellers since 2012, a long stretch. We were very wrong for any of us who thought the pandemic might change the trend. If anything, the demand for housing seems to be more robust than ever.

Both locally and across most of the nation, property showings were higher in July than last year, with multiple offers on desirable homes being the norm...

How to Choose the Best Home Builder

How to Choose the Best Home BuilderHouse Mad out of Money

Building a home in Minnesota is an emotional experience. Excitement, happiness, fear, and anxiousness are in the mix. You’re about to get your dream home, with all the choices from home design through the paint color in your bedroom dictated by your taste and style. Once you settle on the type of home and the design, you are ready to spend hours on Pinterest looking at kitchens, bathrooms, and paint colors. Take a deep breath. As fun as heading straight for the end game can be, you have a crucial decision to make first that will impact the process of building your home hugely. You need to hire a builder. 

Hiring a Custom Home Builder in MN

Hiring the right custom builder in MN is one of the most important decisions you will make throughout the home building process. Don’t rush through the vetting process. Do your research, and prepare a list of questions. The contractor you choose can make the process a success or an unqualified disaster.

Top tips to choosing a Twin Cities Builder

  • Seek Recommendations and Make a List of Potential Builders
  • When looking for any service provider, the first step is to ask family and friends for suggestions. If they have not worked with any builders, perhaps they have friends or acquaintances that know of one they would recommend.
  • Contact the home builders association in your state or area for a list of local builders.
  • ...

New Home Construction Trends

When most of us think of building a new home, we imagine it is constructed onsite. We see crews of workers putting up pieces of lumber, hammering in nails, and building a house in the traditional method. Known in the industry as a stick-built home, it is the most common and popular way to create a new place. However, it is not the only way to build a house today. Many new homes are constructed off-site and then transported to their permanent location. Other construction methods include manufactured modular and panels.

Now you might be wondering if it makes sense to build a house in a factory and then ship it out to different areas incurring hefty transportation costs. The economies of scale using a prefabricated building process outstrip the shipping cost in most cases. With a shortage of affordable housing across the nation, it might be the solution we should embrace to improve the affordability issue.

Manufactured Housing

Also called mobile homes, manufactured houses are put together in a factory from prefabricated pieces. Built on a steel frame, these homes require no onsite construction because they leave the factory complete with plumbing, electrical, heat, and air-conditioning installed. When the house reaches its intended home site, the wheels come off, and the home is placed on a concrete slab or a crawl space, the utilities are connected, and it's ready for occupancy.

Like any home, manufactured housing must conform to codes and standards. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, sets the principles, and they supersede any state or local building rules. The ...

Comparison of New Home Options

Overview and Comparison of New Home Options

For most of us, homeownership remains an essential element of the American dream. For some, that dream is for a newly constructed home. It’s not difficult to see why some people aspire to live in a new home instead of a pre-owned property.

Buying a new home means not having to live with and correct other people’s choices in décor and style. It means having “smart” home features built-in and building materials that meet the safety standards of today’s regulations. It means all new and clean appliances and fixtures, HVAC systems, roofs, and siding, which keeps the cost of maintaining the home low.

There are three options for those who dream of owning a new home: tract homes, spec homes, and custom homes. They range in price from the starter home level to the “sky’s the limit” luxury housing. So even if your budget is limited, it doesn’t mean you can’t afford a new house.

Tract Homes

The largest category of new homes for sale is tract homes. They are generally built by large residential home construction companies with a regional, state, or national footprint. The contractor buys a large tract of land, makes streets, puts in utilities, separates the area into buildable house lots, and begins building homes.

Generally, a buyer of a tract home will have a few models available to choose from, each with a set floor plan. Custom choices will include paint colors, flooring, cabinets, and fixtures, but selections will often be limited to those in the builder’s design center.

Tract builders will often have a staged model home in each subdivision. They also will build homes before they have buyers and generally have houses you can see in various stages of construction.

Tract homes are available at lower pricing tiers up to the high end of the market, depending on...

Home Warranty

All About The Home Warranty

A home warranty is a contract for service that protects the homeowner from bearing the entire cost of good repairs. Generally, the agreement covers the repair or replacement of major kitchen appliances and home system components, including water heaters, washers and dryers, heating and air-conditioning parts, plumbing, and electrical. All home warranties are different. When I sell my own home in Minnesota, I research home warranty companies and their associated coverage. 

Home Warranties Provide Peace of Mind

Imagine you just purchased a home. After your down payment, closing costs, and moving expenses, you are short of cash. A couple of weeks later, the washing machine stops working. Since you have a Home Warranty, the repair or replacement is usually covered. So, in addition to being a service contract, a home warranty is peace of mind. It can be especially beneficial to a first-time homebuyer in MN

Home Warranties are Different than Homeowners Insurance

What a Home Warranty is not is insurance. Homeowners insurance will cover your home in the case of damage by fire or weather conditions. Still, it's not going to pay for a new dishwasher if yours gives out. You might say that a home warranty takes over where your insurance leaves off. It covers normal wear and tear and breakdowns.

How a Home Warranty Works

Home Warranty companies have service technicians and subcontractors they work with who are licensed, vetted, and screened. When your air conditioner breaks down, you give them a call, and they send someone out to look at the problem, provided that the appliance is covered in the warranty. You pay a service charge spelled out in the contract, and the home warranty company pays the remainder of the bill to either repair or replace your appliance....

10 Ways to Enjoy Being Home While Social Distancing

10 Ways to Enjoy Being Home During Social Distancing/MN Property Group/blog

Home is More Important Than Ever

Here on our blog, we write about buying and selling homes often. It is what we know, what we do, and what we share. But the concept of what a home means to our families and us is also an important topic.

We frequently refer to home as a haven, a place where we share joys and sorrows, raise our children, and plan how to make our dreams for the future come true. So after we help you find the perfect home, we also offer advice on how to make it the safe, comfortable place you want for your family. Now that is more important than we imagined just a short time ago. 10 Ways to Enjoy Being Home During Social Distancing/MN Property Group/blog

It isn’t easy today to read or hear the news without Coronavirus and social distancing being part of the conversation. Schools have closed, and the kids are home. With most social events and activities canceled, retired seniors stay home. Those not employed in essential services are primarily working from home.

The structure of both our professional and private lives has changed rapidly. We are told to expect this new norm to continue for weeks and, yes, perhaps even months. We can brood, and we can pout, or ...

Selling Your Minnesota Home

Professional interior photo of a staged living room from a Minnesota Property Group 2021 listing

Selling Your Home

The first time we reach a milestone in our lives is generally an event we remember for a lifetime. For many of us, the purchase of our first home fits into this category. Before our marriage, my future wife Kate and I bought our first home! As a surprise for her, I hired a contractor to renovate it on our honeymoon. When we returned, she was tickled pink, and we were both on cloud nine. That first home is associated with many happy memories as we began our life together. Selling it was bittersweet. We needed more space and felt excited about finding our second home. It was the right decision but an emotional process to let go and say goodbye to that first home.

Best tips to sell a house in MN

A great deal of advice is available for first-time homebuyers, but for first-time sellers, there is a void. I have helped hundreds of first-time homeowners sell. As a guy who has been there and done that first-time seller gig, I also have some personal insights. Here are my best tips to help you sell your house. Use the internet to learn as much as you can about the process of selling your home. Below are some great topics I might suggest to search. We have a lot of great information on our website, and I have included links to posts you may find helpful.

Here's How to Determine Offer Price When Buying a Home

Here's How to Determine Offer Price When Buying a Home/MNpropertyGroup/blog

How to Determine an Offer Price When Buying a House in MN

The moment you have been waiting for has arrived. The home you want to buy has come on the market. You feel like Goldilocks when she lays in the baby bear’s bed. That felt just right.  Unlike Goldy, who proceeded to take a nap, you are ready to rock and roll. It’s time to write an offer, also known as writing a purchase agreement.

The central theme of the offer is the amount you agree to pay to the seller for the property. Your goal is to reach that magical place where deals come together. It’s that sweet price point where the seller receives the amount he wants, and the buyer knows she is not paying too much.

The starting point is the seller’s asking price. Your real estate agent’s job is to help you decide if it is reasonable or too high. Several factors to consider affecting your offer price include a comparable market analysis of homes that have recently sold, market conditions, property conditions and updates, length of time on the market, and seller motivation.

The Comparative Market Analysis or CMA

Your buyers’ agent will pull several months of data on homes that have sold in the exact general location to help you determine a range where your offer price should fall.  Comparison factors will include...

The Twin Cities Housing Review December 2019

The Twin Cities Housing Review December 2019/MNPopertyGroup

Twin Cities Real Estate Review

Even as we advance into the new year, we have one piece of unfinished business to conclude in 2019 before closing the books. The Twin Cities housing market numbers are out for December, and here is the story they told.

It’s a tale that is long in the tooth by now about a market that is struggling to find balance. Limited inventory at lower price points makes the real estate market in the Twin Cities a seller’s dream. Even in the face of strong demand and insufficient stock, millennial buyers are achieving the objective of buying their first home.

Housing Inventory

While new listings for December saw a gain of 3.9%, overall inventory levels were down 19.6% compared to December 2018. The townhouse segment, down 12%, lost the least inventory, while single-family homes were down 20.8%, and condos lost 14.2%. The month’s supply of inventory for December was dipped 21.2% overall. In the Twin Cities metro, we saw 1.6 months of supply for single-family homes (down 20%), 1.1 months for townhomes (down 8.3%), and 1.5 months for condos (down 11.8%). 

Real Estate Sales

Closed sales in the Twin Cities were up 13% in December, and pending sales were up 8.2% compared to the same time from the previous year. The category with the most significant gain in sales was single-family homes, with the most robust sales falling in $500,001 to $1,000,000 pricing tier, up 17.2%

Home Property Values

...

A Roadmap to Homeownership

A Roadmap to Homeownership/MNPropertyGroup/BlogHomeownership in Minnesota

With interest rates low and predicted to go lower this year, many of you think seriously about buying a home. Am I right? Don’t be shy. Raise your hand if you want to buy a home this year. Wow, look at all the potential homeowners!

Your enthusiasm is inspiring! Buying a home in Minnesota is an adventure. However, before you dive into the housing market, you need a plan. Buying real estate is a journey, and the road to homeownership is rarely a straight line from point A to point B. Often the route is a winding mountain road with hills and valleys, twists and turns but worth the effort to reach the top.  

Buying a home in today’s market, especially for first-time homebuyers, is challenging. But having your path mapped out from start to finish will help you avoid obstacles and delays. Completing each portion of the journey before proceeding to the next will build confidence in the process. Here are my 7 Steps for a successful home buying experience.


1. Organize Your Finances

A Buyer Roadmap to Homeownership/MNPropertyGroup.com

2. Shop For a Mortgage and Obtain a Pre-Approval

Now it’s time to find a lender. Of course, your first instinct is to secure a mortgage at the lowest possible rate. Don’t get me wrong, that is extremely important. But customer service also matters. The variety of programs offered will make it easier to find a loan that meets your particular...

Tips For Reaching Your Financial Wellness Goals

Tips For Reaching Financial Wellness Goals/MNPropertyGroup/blog

Reach Financial Dream of Home Ownership

Chances are, if you set goals for the new year, one of them is to improve your financial wellness. According to the 2020 Pinterest 100 Report, enhancing our relationship with money will be one of the year's most popular trends. It’s not surprising since, for many of us, managing our money is a challenge.

Save Money to Buy a Home

The challenge is to find the yin and the yang of responsible financial management. You cannot put a value on the ability to drift off to sleep without worrying about paying the bills, crushing credit card debt, finding the money to buy a home, or having a secure retirement. So how do we achieve financial peace of mind? We set goals and then implement a plan to achieve them. According to the Pinterest report, the most popular money goals were budgeting, paying off debt, saving, and investing. Thankfully, there are many tools and tricks available to help us reach those goals and secure our economic future. We can do this! Yea us!

Creating a Budget

The budget is the foundation upon which your financial plan rests. I think of it as the roadmap to plan the best route to get where I need to be in terms of my goals. To control your money, you must know how much is coming in and where you spend it. There are several techniques to help you keep track.

Popular Budgets

The 50/30/20 is the budget Elizabeth...

Avoid These Homebuyer Mistakes and Live Happily Ever After

Avoid These Homebuyer Mistakes/MNPropertyGroup/Blog

A particular excitement surrounds buying a home that makes other major life purchases pale in comparison. Expect to be excited and joyful about the prospect. If, by chance, you are lucky enough to find a home that feels perfect as soon as you step through the door, it can be magical.

Don't Overlook Important Considerations

Remember that magic can also be an illusion, and reality may be around the corner, waiting to tap you on the shoulder. Don’t let the euphoria of the moment keep you from delving deeper when you are purchasing a home.

Your relationship with your home is not a superficial one, and neither should your hunt for it be either. Here are mistakes you can easily avoid when buying a home. It will be a small investment in balancing your time with how long you may live there.  

Failing to Research the Location

It’s not enough to look at the properties surrounding the home you want to buy; you want to dig into the details. Start by doing a practice run on your commute to work and determine if it is doable or so far away that you will be sure to experience regret from making the drive twice a day.

Scope out the neighborhood at different...

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