Look Past the Pretty Package
When a buyer looks at a beautifully staged home that fits their criteria, emotions rule. Fall in love with a particular house, and almost immediately, the heart works against our own best interest by suppressing our better judgment. You know what I mean, that little voice inside your head saying, "but what about those battered floors?"
Consider the facts first.
The more you know about a home before making an offer, the better. The condition of the house should be a significant consideration. Hopefully, unless expensive, unforeseen repairs are part of your plan, you will have a professional home inspection as a contingency in the offer. But, before you even make that offer, you can do your preliminary evaluation of the home's condition yourself.
Don't set the stage today for financial regrets later.
There is no way to say that refinishing floors, painting, or other minor repairs should be dealbreakers. But if too many items fall on the fix list, added altogether, they may prove to be a tipping point on the no-sale side or affect the dollar amount of your offer. Even when a home checks off all the needs boxes and many of the nice-to-haves, costly repairs can quickly lead to regret.
Look before you leap.
Here is a suggested list of items you can check before you take that first step by offering to purchase. A second visit to the property is preferred. Still, given the competitiveness of the housing market at the lower price brackets, this is also something you can do on the initial tour of the property.
Warning signs to look for inside the home.
- Floors – squeaks or sponginess, or worn-out carpet or wood that needs refinishing.
5 Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Money
Our relationship with money generally begins at a very young age. That connection is very simplistic. We want stuff, and we use the cash to get things. We get the money that gets us the stuff from our parents, grandparents or any family member that happens to be handy at the moment with a few bucks in hand. We are not particular.
Fast forward, and we grow up. Hopefully, along the way, our parents will teach us some fundamental money management skills because if, as adults, we don't have some control over our finances, they will control us. The result is mounting debt and sleepless nights worrying about how we will pay it down.
Money Management is an Acquired Skill
If I've just described your situation, don't take it as a personal judgment. You are not alone. Americans have a problem with handling their finances. Need proof? Look at the 2008-2009 real estate market crash where 3.9 million Americans faced foreclosure. We collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loans and another $1.4 trillion in credit card debt. To make matters worse, 60 percent of Americans cannot cover a $1000 emergency expense, and nearly 45 percent of baby boomers (aged 55-73) have no retirement savings.
Maybe you are a rock star at handling your money, and you feel a bit smug. Kudos to you, and I say that with respect and sincerity. Adulting is hard work. But if you feel like inserting your head in a gallon of chocolate ice cream right now, please read on. The development of a fiscally responsible lifestyle...
MN Realtor Reviews the Housing Market
As we look at June and the end of the second quarter, we observe a continuing trend of a more equitable and viable real estate market emerging. We also continue to enjoy strong housing market performance due to low unemployment, strong retail sales, and the longest US economic expansion in history.
Overall, the dynamics of the market have not changed noticeably this year. Although new listings fell by 3.1 percent compared to last June, the median sale price increased by 7.2 percent while days on the market flatlined at 40. We are slowly approaching balance in the price range of $350K to $500K, but certainly not there yet. When we go above that range, we reach a balance between buyer and seller. The highest price range is the buyer's market.
Meanwhile, back in lower price land, inventory is scarce. I know, I know. You have been hearing this story for a long time now.
The High's and Low's of the Twin Cities MN Housing Market
Looking at June of this year compared to 2018, new listings are down 3.1 percent. That decrease also brought pending sales down 2.9 percent and inventory levels down 1.3 percent. Meanwhile, the Median sales price increased by 7.2 percent, causing sellers to smile. Closed sales decreased 8.2 percent, as did a percentage of list price received slightly by 0.3 percent. Time on the market until sold flatlined.
A Deeper Dive into the Numbers
The most significant gain in sales rests at the highest end of the market above $1,000,001with, a 13.8 percent increase over last year at this time. The most significant price gains were in the condo market, with a median price of $182,900, up...
A FICO Score Explained By MN Realtor
By the time you experience initiation into the adult world, you've probably heard the term credit score. It's a number you should be concerned about because others will be, and they will use it to judge your ability to pay back a loan.
So who cares about your credit score exactly? Credit card companies, banks, mortgage brokers, cell phone companies, insurance companies, and landlords, to name a few. Some companies even want to look at your credit score before offering you a job to see how responsible you are.
How is Your Credit Score Calculated
Your credit score is a number that captures your creditworthiness based on your credit history. Three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, track your financial information. The Fair Isaac Corporation takes this data and uses a model to assign a number known as a FICO score. Most creditors use this score to evaluate you when you apply for a loan such as a mortgage.
Buying a Home in Today's Market is a Challenge
You are rooted in the trenches in your quest for homeownership. The last property you toured had the kitchen of your dreams, but it is too close to the highway. The retirement condo you saw on the internet has everything on your wish list, but the building doesn't have an elevator.
A warning to buyers, especially first-timers, in this market, finding everything you want is rare when there are not many homes to choose from, and properties rarely last a week without an accepted offer. Although you agree that compromise is a given, it's wise to remember that some factors cannot be changed if you discover the deal you made is not working. You don't get an opportunity to test drive a home.
In a recent survey by Trulia, 51 percent of homeowners have regrets about some aspect of their home. It is a given with the lack of inventory and the stiff competition for homes. Circumstances may call for more compromise than you may want from your sacred wish list. There is nothing wrong with being adaptable. However, there are certain things you should never concede if you're going to be among the 49% without buyer's remorse.
A Top Real Estate Agents Idea for Summer Fun in MN
Summer has returned to the Northern Hemisphere. Here in Minneapolis, the tundra, we feel our glorious summer is the reward we deserve for getting past a long, frosty, biting, snowy, punishing winter. Ok, you get it – it’s cold here for a substantial portion of the year.
I’ll make the concession that all seasons of the year have their particular charms and recommendations. But, making the most of summer, filling every day with pleasures of the season, comes with the territory here in Minnesota. My summer list consists mainly of simple pleasures, with a touch of the exotic to shake it up a bit.
MN is the Land of 10,000 Lakes
Now coming from a resident of the land of 10,000 lakes (actually, it’s more like 11,842), it’s no surprise that water plays a dominant role in summer. Swimming, boating, fishing, sailing are all popular activities enjoyed on Minnesota lakes in the summer months.
Go on a picnic. Attend a concert in the park. Play mini-golf. Play tennis. Run a marathon. Walk the dog. Play catch with kids. Ride a swing. Go rollerblading. Go surfing. Drink lemonade...
Minneapolis-St. Paul Realtor Gives Housing Market Overview
As we look at the middle month of the spring housing market, we observe a trend towards a more balanced and sustainable real estate landscape. With the Fed holding steady on interest rates and even suggesting it may lower them, the concerns over rising costs of mortgages are behind us.
Although not growing as rapidly as in previous years, the economy is holding steady, and stocks are performing well. These factors create an atmosphere of consumer confidence in the economy, and the real estate market responds well to these conditions.
Although the inventory of homes is rising in the higher pricing tiers, supply remains constrained in the lower first-time buyer levels. The current situation is great for sellers, but it is still no bed of roses trying to break into the market and buy a home for buyers. It’s not surprising that we see fewer sales at this end of the market.
The MN Real Estate Market Ups and Downs
Comparing May of last year to the current year, new listings are up 2.4 percent. We’ll take it! The Median sales price gained 5.2 percent. At the same time, closed sales ticked up 3 percent, pending sales sunk 1.8 percent. Homes spent less time on the market, down 4.3 percent. We also see a decline of 0.2 in the percentage of sale price received, although it is still sitting at 100 percent, which gives sellers little reason to complain.