Minneapolis St. Paul Real Estate

7 Ways to Up Your Curb Appeal Mojo

7 Ways to Up Your Curb Appeal MojoCurb Appeal Works Magic on Buyers

If your curb appeal is missing that certain something that takes it from so-so to wow, I dedicate this post to you. If you are selling your home, you should already know how critical making that positive first impression is to potential buyers. You want to hit them with your best before they walk in the front door.

Even if you are not selling your home, boosting your curb appeal adds value to your property. You will also win the admiration of your neighbors and become the most popular house on the block. After you finish my list of suggestions, it will amaze you that such a small investment of money, time, and creativity will result in such a noticeable uptick of curb appeal.

Here are my best, inexpensive tips for upping your curb appeal game. So put on your sunscreen and let’s get outside!

1. Up Your Front Door Mojo

True story. Several years ago, I was having difficulty selling my home in Rhode Island. It was a newer home, a colonial replica in an association of like homes. Great location and landscaping but not getting the attention from buyers my agent and I anticipated.

I decided to paint the two yellow front doors, turquoise over the objections of my realtor, who was reminding me that my choice wasn’t a traditional colonial era color. A few days later, we had several showings and an offer. I’m...

Twin Cities Housing Review April 2019

Twin Cities April Housing Market Review by Joe Houghton - Minnesota Property Group

Minneapolis-St. Paul Big Picture

The Spring Housing Market is in play. Prices are on the rise as inventory levels continue to decline. Hopeful buyers in the lower price range are jumping on desirable properties hoping their offers rise to the top of the heap.

Months supply of inventory is improving in the mid-price housing range. We see steady sales activity in the higher price ranges while in the lower tiers buyers are still finding that landing a deal on a home to be a challenge especially for desirable homes in sought after locations.

What’s Up and What’s Down

Compare new listings to April of last year; we see an increase across the 16 county Twin Cities region of 4.5%. Closed sales were down 6.9% while the median sale price rose 5.2%. Pending sales were also down 1.1% and inventory levels 1.2% lower.

April weather was wintery at times, which discouraged buyer traffic and slowed sales. This trend was seen across Minneapolis as well as other parts of the nation. Higher prices, less affordability, and low inventory combined forces to dampen sales.

Let’s Dig a Little Deeper into the Housing Stats

While the...

A Gem of a Rambler in Orono

375 Ferndale Road Orono Mn listed by Joe Houghton RE/Max/Minnesota Property Group

375 Ferndale Road N, Orono MN

5 BEDROOMS, 3 BATHS, OFFERED at $584,900

OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY MAY 5, 12:30 – 2:00 PM

If you are in search of an outstanding family home in the western suburbs, you may fall in love with our newest listing in Orono. This 2,783 square foot walkout rambler is spacious and stylish and offers charm, comfort, and modern functionality.

375 Ferndale Road Orono Mn listed by Joe Houghton RE/Max/Minnesota Property Group

The current owners meticulously and lovingly maintain this beautiful home. The updates and improvements they made will impress you. Since we feel pictures tell the story of a home best, let’s begin our mini-tour and point out some of the features that we love about this home.  

375 Ferndale Road Orono Mn listed by Joe Houghton RE/Max/Minnesota Property Group...

The Twin Cities 2019 Housing Market Outlook

Twin Cities 2019 Housing Market Forecast 

The Ups and Downs of the 2018 Housing Market

The 2018 housing market has sure been a wild ride. The year began with rapidly rising home prices and low mortgage interest rates. Bidding wars were the norm for highly desirable homes. It was not unusual for sellers to find a buyer in the first few days after putting their house up for sale, generally at full asking price or even above. Sellers were riding high while buyers struggled to close a deal on a home.

But in the last few months of the year, we begin to see a shift in the market. Prices are finally stabilizing or increasing at a slower pace. Interest rates reach 5.2 percent, an 8-year high. Though now rates have fallen back to 4.59 as a benchmark for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. The market still favors sellers but to a lesser degree.

2017 compared to 2018

  • new listings down -0.3%
  • pending sales down -3.6%
  • closed sales down -3.4%
  • overall median...

Twin Cities Housing Review November 2018

 November 2018 Housing MN Property group

Minneapolis-St Paul Housing Overview

As we approach years’ end, we see some subtle changes in the Twin Cities Metro housing market. The increase in inventory of homes for sale was10.5 percent over last month giving home buyers something to rejoice. This inventory boost by is by no means enough to bring the market into balance but does bring us closer. For consumers who have been trying to buy a home for several months, it was welcome news.

What’s Up and What’s Down

As we compare November of this year to November 2017, we find new listings up 12.6 percent, closed sales down 0.9 percent, the percentage of list price received down 0.1, and the median sale price of $265,150 up 8.2 percent. Meanwhile, pending sales were down 5.2 percent, inventory levels rose 2.3 percent with months supply up 10.5 percent. Days on the market fell 7.1 percent.

So while inventory is increasing and sales are decreasing, we are seeing more price reductions and fewer deals closing for full price offers. Although housing prices are still higher than last year, they appear to be slowing down. Properties for sale are still spending less time on the market than last year, an indication that demand is still robust, and buyers are scooping...

Best Year End Advice For Real Estate Agents

Best end of year advice for real estate

Best End of Year Advice for Real Estate Agents

In just a couple of weeks, the New Year will be upon us. It was a fast twelve months, wasn’t it? It feels like I was talking to you about fall home maintenance only a couple of weeks ago when it was actually in early October. Many trees were still stubbornly holding on to a few leaves, there was no snow on the ground, and we had not even had a hard frost. Now here we are decking the halls and talking about closing out the year and getting ready for 2019.

Admittedly I approach the new year with excitement and optimism tinged with a dash of trepidation and uncertainty. The new year is, after all, filled with mystery! What new clients will I meet? Which buyers and sellers will I reconnect with in the coming year? What changes in the market will surprise me? Which of my predictions will be proven correct? Am I ready for what lies ahead and if not what do I need to do so I don’t fall short of my expectations?

As the days and weeks of the next year unfold, I plan to be ready. One of the ways I prepare is by starting the year without the clutter of the last twelve months. It starts now. Here are some tasks we can take care of before January is on the doorstep because ready or not, soon 2019 will be knocking on the front door!

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Twin Cities Housing Report October 2018

The Minneapolis-St Paul Housing Market Overview

As we look at the Twin Cities Housing Market Statistics for the first month of the final quarter of 2018 the one thing that hasn’t changed for months is the shortage of properties for sale in the lower end of the market. With so few homes that fit their budget, coupled with rising home prices and interest rates, would-be buyers continue to struggle with fulfilling their dream of ownership. Homes at this price range are still selling quickly, but we are finally starting to see that shift we have been talking about, in market conditions overall as we look at narrowing gaps in year over year data for sales, inventory, and price.

What’s Up Doc?

As we compare October of this year to October 2017, we find new listings up 9.2 percent, closed sales rose 3.4 percent, the percentage of list price received up 0.2, and the median sale price of $265,000 up 8.6 percent. Meanwhile, pending sales were down 1.7 percent, inventory levels dropped 2.2 percent, days on the market fell 7.7 percent. In summary, in the Twin Cities 16 county metro at least, we are still experiencing fewer homes on the market taking less time to sell with prices even on an upward trajectory.

What About the Economy?

Our local economy remains strong. The ...

Twin Cities Housing Report September 2018

5315 Howards Point Excelsior Mn

The Minneapolis-St Paul Housing Market

Some say there are indications in the September housing stats that the market might be starting a shift towards balance. New listings increased 5.9 percent compared to September of last year. However, when we look at months supply of inventory that was down 3.4 percent.  So what does this mean?

Let’s keep in mind that although we see balance in the market pricing tier for $500,000 and above, inventory levels in all other price segments are not even close to approaching balance which is a five to six month level of homes for sale. If you are one of those hoping to break into the housing market, your choices are limited with desirable properties selling like lightning going through butter.

Probing into the data, we see that median sales prices are still higher than last year by 6.5 percent when we look at month to month and 7.7 percent over last year when we compare the year over year data.  Closed sales are down 5.8 percent and pending down 1.8 percent with properties spending 16 percent less time to sell.

Interest rates are bobbing around the 5 percent rate for mortgages which, combined with higher prices of homes may be sidelining some buyers and forcing others to rethink their home buying strategies. These numbers tell me demand...

Elegance, Lifestyle and Lake Views in Shorewood

5315 Howards Point Excelsior Mn

5315 Howards Point Road, Shorewood, Minnesota 55661

Lake Minnetonka 2.22 acre estate featuring 250 feet of shoreline

6 Bedrooms and 9 Baths, 9075 Square Feet

Proudly offered at $5,750,000

3D Tour and photo album

5315 Howards Point Excelsior Mn

A Majestic Presence on Lake Minnetonka

Sitting majestically on the shore of Lake Minnetonka in Shorewood is one of the area’s most breath-taking homes. It’s so grand; you might expect to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walk into the grand foyer for an evening of cocktails and dinner. It’s a home that would feel comfortable with heads of state, titans of business and industry, and world-renowned celebrities of every genre.

...

Look What We Found in Edina

5901 Chowen Ave S Edina MN

5901 Chowen Ave S

Edina, MN

4 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, 2,350 square feet offered at $449,900

Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?  Tucked away in a lovely neighborhood of Edina we fund a delightful mid-century rambler. This fabulous tastefully updated family home has all the amenities on today’s family wish list.

Great Location

You cannot beat this location. Edina is one of the most desirable 1st tier suburbs of Minneapolis. The new owners will appreciate the easy access to both Highway 100 and 35 and the Crosstown. Surrounded by parks, lakes, shopping, fun, and food with a 15-minute commute to downtown Minneapolis, what more could you ask for? Great Schools? You have that too. Edina has a nationally recognized school system which has been a magnet for families with kids over the years.

5901 Chowen Ave S Edina MN...

The Ten Commandments of Home Selling

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. 

The Ten Commandments of Home Selling - Minnesota Property Group

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 is the most difficult....

Twin Cities Housing Market Review June 2018

Minnesota Property Group Housing Stats June 2018

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 we give a thumbs up...

Sell Your Home Like a Boss

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Sell Your Home Like a Boss lead photo

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 estate agent...

Risks vs. Rewards of Homeownership

Minnesota Property Group Homeownership Risks vs Rewards

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.

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Twin Cities Metro Housing Market Statistics April 2018

April Housing Stats Twin Cities @MNPropertyGroup

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

...

Prepare Now To Sell Later

Prepare Now Sell Later @MNPropertyGroup

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 ready and only...

February 2018 Twin Cities Housing Market Review

Minnesota Property Group February 2018 Housing Twin CitiesNot a Market for the Fainthearted

Looking at the housing market in the Twin Cities for February we are going to be focusing on four factors; an ever-shrinking supply of inventory, declining home sales, a consistently upward trend of median sales prices, and rising interest rates.  The market activity we are seeing here pretty much reflects what is happening across the nation.

While we might not expect prices to climb when sales fall, this downward trend is more a result of seriously limited inventory levels coupled with strong demand. There are simply too many buyers chasing too few homes and for a nervous buyer, this may be situation impossible. 

The Market in the Twin Cities is Starving for Listings

New listings declined 8% over February of last year while inventory levels dropped 23% putting the supply of homes at 1.5 months. At the same time, the median sales price of homes in the Twin Cities metro rose 12.7% to $250,000. This rise in prices is partly a reflection of bidding wars on desirable properties where supply is so limited.

The same theme of the last 2 years continues with a vengeance: ready, willing, well-qualified buyers who desperately want to become homeowners being thwarted because there just not enough listings to go around.

What Rising Interest Rates Mean for Twin Cities Housing

We have long...

The Twin Cities Housing Market January 2018 Review

Minnesota Property Group

January Twin Cities Housing Inventory Sinks Lower

We are now several years into a housing market where buyer demand is strong and inventory of homes for sale is limited and ever shrinking. This buying mania has been fueled largely by a strong economy with low unemployment, a robust stock market, and historically low mortgage interest rates. In addition, the high cost of renting has made owning a home the best option in the Twin Cities, as well as a wise financial decision. It was the strong incentive many first time home buyers needed to get off the fence and pursue the American dream of homeownership.  And chase that dream they did!

Buying vs Renting Pros and Cons

We just capped off a record-breaking year for real estate. The story for 2017 was powerful across the nation. In the Twin Cities, the median sales price reached an all-time high. Closed sales broke a twelve-year record high even with inventory levels at a 15 year low. There were lots of reasons for sellers to celebrate. Homes for sale spent less time on the market with full price offers the norm. The market was rocking and tenacious buyers were the rocket fuel that propelled it.

As we look at the first month of the brand new year, January is about supply or I...

Exceptional Home in Medina MN

3060 Wildflower Trail Medina MN

3060 Wild Flower Trail, Medina, Minnesota 55340

5 bedrooms, 5 baths, 5122 square feet, Wayzata Schools, $684,900

Exceptional Home in Medina MN

One of the things we love to do here at the Minnesota Property Group is share stories. Today we have a unique home with an unusual story we want to share. This beautiful Medina home, light shining through its windows, is looking for a new family.

This stunning residence built in 2016 debuted as a David Weekley model home, featuring many thoughtful upgrades added by the builder. When the current owners took a tour, they knew they had found their forever home.

In their own words, “When we purchased this house, we were planning on making it our forever home. The floor plan was perfect. The interior sparkled with all the finishes that showcase a builder’s talent and imagination, but we invested in touches that elevated the feeling of the space from house to home.”

3060 Wild Flower Trail Medina MN

Exterior Upgrades

The current owners painted the entire exterior white to carry the theme of lightness inside to the outside as well. But they didn’t stop there. Additional upgrades to enhance the enjoyment of the home and add to the quality of life include storm gutters, insulated garage doors “to help keep the garage more cozy in winter,” an invisible fence for the pets, several large trees to enhance the landscaping and provide more privacy,...

The Twin Cities Housing Market December 2017 Review

Minnesota Property Group - Dec 2017 Minneapolis-St. Paul Housing Market Review

December Housing Inventory Took a Nosedive as Home Values Soared

The relentless story of happy sellers and frustrated buyers continues.  This was especially true in December. Inventory levels plummeted 27.5% over last December and month’s supply dipped to 31.6%. With the ever-shrinking availability of homes to purchase under $500K, the dream of homeownership remains elusive for many first time buyers.

Although mortgage interest rates remained steady at about 4% in the last half of the year, the high demand coupled with low inventory situation caused median sales prices to rise higher. This forced some buyers to adjust their expectations of how much house they could afford. 

While year-end market conditions were a nemesis for buyers, sellers had a lot of reasons to celebrate. Homes spent less time on the market with full price offers the norm. Bidding wars on very desirable homes brought in offers above ask price.

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