The Twin Cities Are Filled With Real Estate Stories
Real estate is the story of buying and selling a home. Since I’ve been a Realtor for 14 years I have stories. Most end happily even though there may have been challenges along the way. But, every once in a while something goes wrong. Mistakes that could and should have been avoided happen. The only upside to mistakes is learning from them. Even better is learning from someone else’s mistake. Free advice that another paid for is like earning bonus miles.
I’m going to share three stories from three buyers who were on the home stretch to close on their dream home and then did something they shouldn’t. They had a signed contract, they had a loan, they had their closing date and all systems were go. And then they did something unthinkable that blew that deal.
Don’t Buy a Car
Alex was ready to stop renting. He was tired of the cost of his tiny apartment going up every year and knew the tight rental market was not going to loosen up anytime soon. Because he had student loans, it took him 2 years to scrimp and save and pay down his debt to a point where he would qualify for a mortgage on...
May Housing For the Twin Cities In Two Words – Extremely Competitive
The story for May housing in the Twin Cities is one we have told over and over for months. With the supply of inventory 17.3% lower than last year, it’s about a tale of heavy buyer demand and intense competition to secure a deal on a home. This extraordinary sales activity in the face of an extremely challenging playing field for buyers is continuing to fuel this market causing home values to rise and properties to close in record time. In addition, with the average sale price at 99.5% of ask, that means approximately 50% of homes are getting sold for list price or above.
As is characteristic of any market where supply falls short of demand, home prices are rising. The median sales price for May was $250,000 up 5.5% over same time last year with the average sale price up 6.3% at $294,243. Strongest sales were in the below $250,000 category, making the market most especially difficult for first-time home buyers. The market segment with the strongest sales was townhomes.
New listings for in the...
Passive Saving Puts More Money in Your Bank Account
Sadly, Americans are not good savers. A survey done last year by GOBankingRates found that 69% of us have less than $1000 in savings while 34% live paycheck to paycheck and have no savings whatsoever. This holds true for Millennials as well and considering the fact that approximately 66% of them have a student loan to pay with an average balance of $40K, we need to do better.
By the time we reach adulthood, saving should be a regular habit in our lives. We will need money to purchase our first home, then to save for our children’s education, and for our retirement. But given the statistics stated above, it is evident that for way too many of us saving money is not easy. When we think of saving, it conjures up words like austerity, frugality, deprivation and we make a face like we just bit into a lemon. What if I can show you there is a way to start saving that is painless. It’s...
What's Happening Twin Cities?
June has arrived in the Twin Cities and the doorway to summer is wide open. We step through that portal and the whole glorious season awaits us, spread out like a canvas waiting for the artist’s brush to bring it to life! If I sound a bit dramatic I’m not apologizing because summer has that effect on me and I am just going with it.
In the Twin Cities Metro, we celebrate summer in a grand scale with art, music, song, food, and drink. Festivals, fairs, and concerts abound from one end of the metro to the other and beyond. To inspire you as you plan your seasonal calendar, we have curated those once a year most popular events that highlight the summer season in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Northern Spark, Climate Chaos/People Rising
June 10 8:59 PM until 5:26 AM – Along the Green Line
This is a relatively new metro event began in 2011 but growing in popularity each year. It takes place with events in neighborhoods and public spaces along the Metro Green line connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul. The grandest Northern Spark yet with 70 art projects planned in the neighborhood nodes: Cedar Riverside/West Bank, Weisman...
Preparing your home to sell
It is critical that you choose a Realtor that will tell you all of things you should do to prepare your home to sell. If you hire a good real estate agent and follow their advice, tips and tricks, you will sell your home for top dollare. Before you put your house up for sale, you need to deep clean, de-clutter and depersonalize it. When you are getting your home ready to sell, these are the basics and the best place to start. We want to make your property look as much like a new house as possible. Our goal is to project a warm and inviting environment, as clean, spacious, and impersonal as we can so that potential buyers can visualize your house as their home, with their furniture in the living room, their art on the walls and their car in the garage.
Home selling preparation step 1
This can often be the most difficult step for some sellers because often they have an emotional attachment to everything in their house. However, you really need to get rid of the clutter because one thing I know for sure, a buyer's dream house does not include your clutter! It will help you to look at this process objectively and realize that your beloved napkin collection filling up a shelf of the linen closet is clutter from a buyer's perspective. Remember, the buyer is purchasing your house not your stuff, and you want him or her to visualize where they can put their stuff!...
The Twin Cities Spring Housing Market April Review
Market snapshot: Spring in Minneapolis-St. Paul and the theme of the housing market story is home buyers as plentiful as mushrooms after a spring shower and “home for sale” signs as rare as dinosaur fossils. Okay, I admit I am exaggerating slightly about the for sale signs but for many buyers, especially in the lower price ranges, it sure feels that way.
New Listings in the Twin Cities were down 8.3 percent compared to April of last year causing inventory levels to fall 19.8 percent with 10,916 homes available in all categories. Values continue to gain momentum with medium sale prices steadily inching upward with days on the market going in the other direction. The month's supply of homes was down 21.4 percent at 2.2 months and needless to say, sellers were quite happy. The short supply of inventory has caused closed and pending sales to be down from last April’s numbers.
Even though most decent properties that are priced to market are selling above list, quickly and with multiple offers, so far buyer demand remains incredibly...
New Construction vs Existing Home
When you bought your charming starter home, it was perfect. As a newly married couple living in the Twin Cities, the 950 square feet with two bedrooms and one bath felt spacious after living in a one bedroom apartment. Now, two children later and you feel like your once spacious home more closely resembles a hobbit hutch and you know it’s time to move up to something larger. Like many young potential buyers in your position, you are facing the conundrum of should you buy another used home or opt for a shiny new one? Should I buy a new construction home or buy an existing home? According to a Zillow survey, 41% of buyers responded to having a preference for a newly constructed home, but as in every incidence when you are at a crossroad, there are pros and cons on both sides of the equation. When you purchase a home, there is never a one size fits all option and depending on lifestyle and priorities one choice, new vs. existing, may be clearly preferable to the other.
Pros of New Home Construction
- Buy or build a new home and you...
Real Estate Agents in Edina, MN
The best Real Estate Agents in Edina, MN know the streets and neighborhoods of Edina inside and out. Most Realtors that work in Edina will at least know the basics. Edina is a first-ring suburb southwest of Minneapolis. The community is made up of 45 distinctive neighborhoods, many featuring tree-lined streets and well-tended lawns and flower beds.This city is also noted for its upscale neighborhoods of luxury homes. With highway access going north, south, east, and west enjoy easy access to all of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. Downtown Minneapolis is 8 miles away and uptown a mere 5-mile jaunt!
Edina Realtors Tout the Award Winning Schools
Your child will receive a great education in the Public School System. As of 2015 US News and World, report awarded Edina High School a gold medal and ranked it #1 in the state and 197 in National Rankings. Newsweek also ranked it #1 statewide and 121 among all high schools in the US. The music Program has...
New Month - Same Story for Twin Cities Housing
Market snapshot: What’s up? Sales, home values, ask price, the percentage of list price received, new listings and closed sales. What’s down? Pending sales, days on market, available homes for sale, and month’s supply of inventory. I’m starting to feel like the proverbial broken record but I’m just telling the story not creating it. With the inventory of available housing at a record 14 year low, this market continues to be an extremely challenging one for buyers, especially in the lower price ranges.
Spring is the strongest season for real estate and based on the figures we have in for March it is going to be a great one for sellers as buyers continue to face a landscape of low inventory of homes for sale with transactions completed in less time for a greater percentage of asking price received. Buyers will find it necessary to move quickly with their best offer if they want a chance at closing a deal. So far buyers have proven they are willing to do just that and although interest rates bobbed up along with prices, they have persisted.
As we barrel ahead through the spring don’t expect the situation to change much provided that the economy keeps on chugging along like the little engine that could. As long as consumers continue to have confidence in the economy...
Building A New Home In Minnesota
So you decided to take the plunge and buy a home - great! One of the options you should consider if you haven't already done so is a brand new home! When you consider new construction vs. previously owned certainly there are pros and cons on both sides of the equation. Let's take a look at what I consider my top 8 reasons for buying a newly constructed home.
Building a Home in the Twin Cities
Buy or build a new home in the Twin Cities and you get to make all the choices, every single one! You choose the lot, the style of home, floor plan, builder, and all of the finishes touches that will make this house truly your home. Depending on the builder, development, real estate agent and price point you are comfortable with, you can have as little or as much input as you desire.
In the kitchen, you select the cabinets, countertops, appliances you have always wanted. The bathroom fixtures will be up to you, and the style of the doors and windows. And of course, you select all the flooring, light fixtures, and colors! You can decide how you want to allocate your allowances. Perhaps you want the top of the line windows, kitchen cabinets, floor coverings and are willing to spend less on light fixtures and doors.
Twin Cities Home Sellers Doing the Happy Dance
Market snapshot: This is a very difficult market for buyers, especially in the lower price tiers as the theme of low inventory coupled with high demand endures. As inventory levels continue to shrink, it is becoming really tough to buy a home, especially for first-time buyers and downsizing boomers. Nevertheless, they persist.
So far, buyers, even faced with the shortage of available homes, rising prices and increased mortgage interest rates have not been deterred. Heading into spring, which is the strongest real estate season of the year, begs the question of how much inventory will we see in the market and will the increased cost of buying a home temper buyer demand. As long as job numbers and economic factors remain strong, buyer confidence should remain high and continue to fuel the demand for housing.
For the week ending March 11th and 18th, we see a decline in inventory and a decline in pending sales. This may be a signal that buyers are dropping out of the market but based on those 2 weeks statistics it is too early to say. We are seeing a decline in the gap of new listings compared to last year as the month progresses so it may just be indicative of a more traditional onset of the spring market whereas last year it was acting like spring even though we were still slogging through the snow.
That All Important First Impression
It’s well established that a first introduction is vitally important. That initial handshake can either lead to a meeting of the minds, or to no deal. “I hope I make a bad first impression,” said no one ever! In real estate, we see this play out again and again.
When you are selling, the first personal impression when a buyer tours your home is like the handshake. If they don’t like what they see pulling up to the curb, walking into the lobby, or opening the front door, the cash register is going to ring up “no sale”.
Although a good first impression of your home may not always end up in making a deal, it is always the first step into getting to that important offer to purchase. Here are 10 ways to make a great first impression on prospective buyers.
1. Get Buyers To See Your Home
Today, most real estate transactions are born on the internet. The first interaction a prospective buyer has with your house is online. If there is no connection with them in those first photos, it’s extremely unlikely to go to the next step with a private showing. Make sure you have an agent that takes quality photos of your property, preferably professional ones.
With April just around the corner, our thoughts turn to spring. For many, spring not only signals the onset of warm weather, flowers, and birdsong but heralds the time to sweep out the winter detritus from hearth and home, otherwise known as Spring Cleaning. The first logical step in the process is removing all that stuff you really don’t want, don’t need, or never use, your clutter.
For those of you preparing to sell your home this spring, an absolute must for you is to take your cluttered chaos and turn it into organized harmony , but even if you are staying put, what better way to start the new season than with a home free of extra stuff to get in the way of your feng shui. Now that you are sold on the idea of paring down and organizing, there are a couple ways to approach the process of organizing your home.
- the intense weekend (or two) decluttering boot camp
- the series of multiple shorter de-junking sessions
Personally, since I am not a fan of pain and suffering, I prefer the “take-it-in-smaller-bites” process. Keep in mind, regardless of whether you opt for the intense program or the low impact version, you still need to perform the same tasks which...
The 5 Reasons Twin Cities Home Sellers Should List Now
Even though March is still very much a winter month in the Twin Cities, we had a few days of spring-like weather in February. Those days may have been a teaser but I will tell what is no joke – the spring home buying season started in January! Buyers are eagerly snatching up properties with wild abandon. If you are planning to sell your house this year, the earlier in the year you get your house on the market, the better. This phenomenal seller's market is not going to last forever but right now it’s all about you and the question on my mind today is, what are you waiting for?
1. Tenacious Buyers Will Not Be Here Forever
To say there are many eager buyers in the market watching the posting of new listings with a keen eye is an understatement. Many have not just been anticipating home ownership for weeks, a great number of buyers have been looking for months. With so much competition for so little inventory, a large number of these buyers have attempted to secure a deal on a home only to lose out to another eager buyer. They are not giving up anytime soon but market conditions such as rising interest rates may force them out. This sense of urgency is inspiring them to make great offers, very often above list price while making few demands....
Brand New Year and Same Old Story
January may be the first month of a new year but for the Twin Cities Housing Market the story is old and has been told over and over again, not enough homes for sale to satisfy buyer demand. How much this will change depends on seller listing activity, interest rates, and rising home prices.
What was up over the same time last year? Pending sales, percent of original list price received, median list and sale price with new listings up slightly by 3.1 percent. What was down? Days on the market before sale was down by 7.1 % at 79 days. The really big change was the inventory of homes for sale, which was 25.4% lower than last year resulting in 1.6 months to sell out the supply of homes. That figure was down a whopping 30.4% over January 2016.
Twin Cities Market Outlook Short Term
This situation of incredibly low supply is causing a great deal of frustration for those eager to purchase a home, especially in the first time buyer category. It is the norm for desirable properties having accepted offers in less than a week of hitting the market with sellers enjoying multiple offer situations. Good news for them and not so good news for buyers.
Employment is strong and steady and even with decreasing rents for the beginning of the year,...
Attention Home Buyers and Sellers | Twin Cities Real Estate Market is Hot
If you have been looking for a home to buy or thinking about selling your current home you already know what I am about to tell you. The one extraordinary factor that describes the Minneapolis-St. Paul real estate market is that due to historically low levels of inventory, it favors the seller in a really big way.
How big? The latest data from the Minneapolis Association of Realtors shows us the end of 2016 inventory levels down 26.3 percent while months’ supply of homes was 1.8 in the single-family category, 1.4 for condos, and townhomes a mere 1.1 months of inventory. Looking at this from a perspective of the price range, anything below $350,001 is at 1.3 months’ supply or less. When you take into account that 5-6 months of supply is considered balanced, and the current supply is at an all-time low when we compare it to data going back to 2006, this is clearly an extraordinary situation.
How to Buy New Home in the Twin Cities
The Twin Cities Real Estate Market is Filled With Stories
Real estate is the story about homes and about the people and the families that live and love in them. It is also about the real estate professional helping a family sell or buy a home and whether it is their first home or their last, the agent has a golden opportunity to become a hero in their narrative. Here at the Minnesota Property Group, we have a few heroes! Talking about them, even bragging a little bit, is the favorite part of my job as the content creator.
Five uniquely talented professionals came together as a team with one common goal; providing the best service by treating each client like a member of your family. (This paid off in July 2016 with being recognized as "America's Best Real Estate Agents" by Real Trends, a designation given to less than 1% of agents and teams nationally.) We already heard from Joe Houghton, the RE/MAX Results agent that leads this team. He is the one prominent reason this group is the best. It is his vision and plan that moves the team forward and inspires them to grow and reach their full potential not only as individual agents but as part of the team. The four other reasons this team is extraordinary are members, Derek...
The Minnesota Property Group Team
Real estate is about stories. Each seller, each buyer, every home, and every agent has a tale to tell. Real estate is certainly a challenging and competitive business. It’s also exciting and rewarding. The one thing most agents agree on is that it takes, dedication, grit and hard work to break into the business and to become successful. Being part of a strong, supportive team can often make the difference between a story with a happy ending and the other kind.
One of the key elements to any successful group, is a strong, supportive and talented leader, like veteran RE/MAX Results agent, Joe Houghton. As leader of the Minnesota Property Group, he brought together five like-minded and talented agents and one content and marketing professional to form his team. For me personally, as Marketing Director for the group, Joe has been an inspiration which led me to challenge myself and go where I had never gone before professionally. We connected 3 years ago when I had been booted from corporate America and he wanted someone to create content for his blog and website.
That tentative story that began on a cold January afternoon in 2014 has become a successful narrative that is still unfolding. I have never regretted that decision even once. Joe has a talent for connecting with people to help them live up to their potential. If there is a harder worker than Joe I haven’t met him yet. If there is a leader more willing than Joe to try something new or to make improvements we have not crossed paths,...
Twin Cities Housing Market Statistics December 2016
Finally, here we are wrapping up the year for the Twin Cities Housing Market. As stories go this is one we have been retelling throughout 2016. It is a tale of a market dramatically in favor of sellers with more buyers chasing fewer properties as the year progressed.
Prices of homes continued an upward trend over December while days on market from list to close declined. Completed sales were up, pending sales and inventory were both down, and with the end of year months inventory of homes at 1.6, it was a true tale of woe for buyers heading into the new year.
How the Minneapolis-St. Paul Market Looks Short Term
Unemployment continues to be at all-time lows and job creation has remained steady and strong since August 2015. Moving forward, the perspective for the housing market remains unclear and depends a great deal on the new administration and the effects it will have on housing in the coming months. We do know that ...
2017 Twin Cities Real Estate Market Outlook
The 2016 Housing Market reached an all-time high nationally with a housing stock value $29.6 trillion, regaining all it lost in the last recession. When we look at the numbers for the Twin Cities, they tell the story of a market that strongly favored sellers with fewer and fewer homes for sale spending less time on the market and selling for higher prices. In spite of inventory levels being down 26.3%, we saw the year close out with pending sales up 4.7%, closed sales up 6.7%, with an overall medium sales price up 5.5% to $232,000. The single family market segment earned the highest gains in price topping out at $251,000 up 5.7%.
For buyers lucky and quick enough to close a deal for a home, their journey had a happy ending. For others it was a tale of frustration and disappointment, especially as the year closed with interest rates spiking up from 3.375% to 4.5% Still, buyers remain undeterred and with interest rates that have leveled off at about 4.125% many begin the new year with the hope they will be moving into their own home by spring. For sellers the past year can be likened to one continuous ode to joy with days on market in decline and, median sale price rising and percentage of asking price received topping 97.5%.
With sellers in the Twin Cities still playing hard-to-get, the big question is will the threat of rising interest rates inspire them to finally make their move? If we do see an increase in listings will the market...