Selling Your Home in Minnesota? Partner with the Top Realtor for Maximum Returns

3 Things You Should Not Do When Buying a Home

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 a modest condo.

It was a happy day for Alex when he had a signed contract on the perfect one bedroom in a Minneapolis neighborhood he loved. With the inspection and appraisal completed he had a closing date in a couple of weeks. He wanted to celebrate in some significant way and decided it was also time to start thinking about replacing his old and tired clunker...

Twin Cities May Housing Market Review

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 Twin Cities for May were up slightly by 0.7%, pending sales down 3.1% and inventory levels fell 17.3%.  The supply of homes for sale sat at 2.3 months down 20.7% compared to May 2016.  The bright spot on the supply side is new construction. Low borrowing rates and strong demand for housing is inspiring builders and inventory of new construction was up 9.1% for the month of May. 

Twin Cities Metro Housing Quick Stats

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Passive Saving - Like Giving Yourself a Raise!

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 called “passive saving” as opposed to “active saving”. 

“What exactly is passive saving?” you ask skeptically, feeling sure I am about to scam you into leading a life of sacrifice. Passive saving is not changing your consuming habits or lifestyle. It means not giving up pleasures or activities you currently engage in or those nice things you like, but it does mean making changes in how you purchase them and from whom.  Once you initiate the changes you will never notice the difference except that you will have more disposable income every month which should go directly into your savings. Need more convincing? Here are some suggestions to get you started.    

Improve Your Credit Score

If your eyes just glazed over at the mention of the words “credit score” pay attention. This number called your FICA score follows you everywhere you go through life and will decide not only whether...

Summer is Hot in the Twin Cities

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 Art Museum/East Bank, Little Africa/Snelling Ave, Rondo/Lexington Ave, and Little Mekong/Western Ave. For more details on this fantastic free event please see the official Northern Sparks website. 

The 23rd Annual Stone Arch Bridge Festival

June 16-18, on the riverfront, Minneapolis

This festival featuring music, a vintage car show, and fun is becoming one of the summer’s top events. Congregate on the river with friends, family, and neighbors sharing good food, craft beers, and live entertainment. A sampling of musicians and band’s featured this year include the Zingrays, Jake Jones, Peter Wolf Crier, Radiochurch and...

Preparing Your Home to Sell

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 dollar. 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!

Preparing your home to sell step 2 

The best way to tackle the task of purging is to separate everything into 3 categories, toss, donate, and keep. Go room to room, basement to attic and toss all items that are broken, no longer working, or in a condition too poor to donate.  Next, items in good condition but you no longer want or need you can donate.  What is left is all that you want to keep.  At this point, whatever you don’t need for day to day living or will not be used to stage your home you can pack ready for when...