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...
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 ...
First Time Home Buyer Options in the Twin Cities
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 home buying process in the Twin Cities Metro 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.
First Time Home Buyer Mortgages and Myths
Many people still believe you need a 20% down payment to buy a home in MN. 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 real estate market statistics for...
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
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 bright and cheerful. The classic cherry cabinets add just the perfect touch of warmth. And did I mention the stainless steel appliances? Now I did!
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...
2940 Urbandale Ave N, Plymouth Minnesota 55447
Offered at $499,900
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.
Easy Peasy Commute and Great Metro Access
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...
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...
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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.
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Tips to Control Stress When Selling Your Home
When you sell a home, the experience has the inherent potential to be stressful. Not only is the rhythm of your daily life at the mercy of showings, but your home has to look tip-top for potential buyers. Your privacy is held hostage to strangers opening closets and drawers as they snoop into your nooks and crannies. Yikes! That is enough to get the calmest nerves twitching.
There are many moving parts to the sale of a house. There are many individuals involved in that sale. Any of these or a combination of several can become the stress source for the homeowner. These are factors the seller has no control over, zip, zero, none! However, there are many aspects of the home-selling process where the property owner can have power over the outcome. Making better decisions at the beginning of the process increases the likelihood of having a superior selling experience.
Since I have sat in the seller seat myself on a few occasions, I have gathered some morsels of wisdom on the subject. Since I love to share, as one seller to another, here are my best tips for a successful home sale.
Hire A Great Real Estate Agent
There are a few different ways people go about finding a real...
So You Want To Buy a Home
Taking the step from renting to homeownership is a life-altering event. Many people consider it the litmus test for adulthood. It is both thrilling and scary at the same time. It should be because not only is owning a home in itself a significant responsibility but it is the most significant purchase the majority of people will make in their lifetime. Owning a home is also a source of pride, of achievement, and for millions, still an essential component of the American Dream.
If owning a home is on your bucket list, perhaps you are waiting for the right time. The question is, how will you know when that is? There is no stock answer. There are many factors to consider, both pro and con on the subject of buying a home. For many first time home buyers, money is an obstacle. But that isn’t always the case. Nor should the considerations of when to purchase a house be strictly limited to the financial ability to do so.
There are outstanding advantages that come along with owning a home and there are detriments as well. Let’s take a look at how the pros and the cons balance each other. When we evaluate both and can get to the intersection where rewards offset risks, we will have a clearer picture of how we can proceed.
The Twin Cities Housing April 2018 Snapshot
I’m not going to lie to you; housing inventory is at a new all-time low. However, we do have a reason for optimism as new listing numbers are improving. Let’s also keep in mind that the early part of April felt more like January this year, with significant snowfall and low temperatures which may have held some potential sellers in winter hibernation mode. Still, sellers and builders are seeing a continued strong economy and are encouraged by a market poised to bestow significant financial gains.
For buyers, this market is still certainly challenging. Home values continue to rise while days on the market are fewer. The median sale price for April was $266,000 up 8.6 percent and days on the market fell 10.2 percent compared to April of last year which drives home the fact that buyers do not have the luxury of dawdling when it comes to offers. Additionally, buyers now have rising interest rates to contend with as well.
Twin Cities Economy and Housing Market is Strong
Sell Your Home When The Time Is Right For You
It’s no surprise that many people advocate that the best time to sell a home is in the Spring. Part of the reason this theory has evolved is that families want to be established in their new homes by the beginning of the school year in September. While this does make sense for families with children, when it comes to when to put your home on the market there are no one-size fits all scenarios.
Even though Spring may be considered prime time for home sales by many in the industry, there is no perfect time for everyone. Every situation is different, and when you are personally ready to sell, that becomes the best season for you. However, there is one piece of home-selling wisdom that is always true no matter what time of year you sell.
Can you guess that one sliver of home-selling wisdom? It’s the preparation of your home to look its best in winter, spring, summer or fall. Making an outstanding first impression on buyers will determine how quickly you sell and how high a price you obtain. A home that is move-in ready will face a cleaner offer with fewer if any contingencies. Even in this strong seller’s market, we find ourselves in right now, the condition and appearance of your home do matter.
It makes the most sense to take the time to get your home in tip-top shape for the fussiest of fussy buyers. If you think your house is nearly market...
2228 Kings Valley Rd E, Golden Valley, MN 55427
3 Bedrooms, 3 Baths, 1690 square feet offered at $224,900
If you have been looking for an updated and well-appointed townhome in Golden Valley for less than $250,000 you know they are hard to find. This end unit has been renovated from top to bottom and has all the features buyers are looking for and then some.
The floorplan is open and filled with light. The design and flow of the space were well designed with the intention of providing an abundance of storage and living areas to accommodate the individual needs of your family.
The higher-end kitchen renovation features an abundance of cabinets, workspace, beautiful ceramic tile backsplash, stainless appliances, and a breakfast bar. The bath renovation showcases beautiful tile work on the floors and walls.
This unit is freshly painted throughout. Design details include vaulted ceilings, a skylight, fireplace, and a large loft area. The laundry room is on the second level, where most people prefer it in today’s market.
Walk out to a huge deck to enjoy your private backyard setting overlooking a wooded...
The Twin Cities Housing Market Snapshot
Many consider March to be the kick-off month for the busiest Real Estate season, spring. The market experienced a slight cooling with pending and closed sales both down. Interest rates have climbed and been hovering around 4.5% which is the highest they have been since 2013. Buyers may be taking a breath, and holding back again to re-evaluate and rethink their strategy. They may be considering the options of paying more each month or settling for less house.
Still, days on the market continue to decline, homes are still being sold at asking price or above, and the median sale price up 9.8% over last year. Inventory of homes, however, continues to shrink. Inventory declined 26.1%. Sellers continue to play it coy with new listings also down 17.5%. These numbers seem to indicate that the slowdown in sales is more the result of low supply rather than a lack of enthusiasm on the demand side of the equation.
The good news is that April is looking...