Twin Cities 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...

Lifestyle for Sale in Minneapolis’s North Loop

Itasca Loft North Loop Minneapolis

708 North 1st Street #644, Minneapolis, MN

2 Bedrooms and 2 Baths, 2136 Square Feet,  

Virtual 3D Tour

Our brand new listing has me gushing and giggling like a young girl because frankly, I am in love with this Minneapolis loft condo. 

Do you crave the urban lifestyle? Does exposed brick, wood floors, soaring ceilings, lots of light, views of the city, the romance of the Mississippi Riverfront, and the North Loop right outside your door make your heart beat faster? Then you might fall in love with this fabulous loft too. 

Itasca Loft North Loop Minneapolis

Location – The North Loop

The North Loop is known as the trendiest neighborhood in Minneapolis. It has excellent restaurants like the Spoon and Stable and Bachelor Farmer. Beautiful boutiques, hip bars, and Whole Foods. The Mississippi River outside your door with walking and biking trails. It’s also a neighborhood steeped in historical significance.

Known as the warehouse district,...

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...

How to Rock A Short Notice Showing

How to Rock a Short Notice Showing

First Impressions Matter - A Lot

Anyone that has sold a home before will tell you that it can be an intense and stressful experience. Strangers coming through and looking in your closets, judging your décor and housekeeping habits is an invasion of privacy. Not to mention that at times you will get those requests that fly in the face of that 24-hour notice you want.

Both as a Realtor and a former home seller myself believe me I feel your pain. With 4 active young boys and a dog, I am aware of the personal challenges families face to keep their homes ready to show when on the market. But when that short notice request from an out-of-towner pops up, it’s hard to take a pass because you know an eager buyer when you see one.

Because you get one shot at making an excellent first impression, I put together this list of quick, easy pre-showing tips for sellers. These tips have proven successful personally and for many of my clients over the years.  Make your home shine and put a gleam in the eye of the most critical buyer by following my...

Having it All in a Minnetonka Home

Minnetonka home for sale

14201 Brandbury Walk, Minnetonka, MN 55345

5 Bedrooms, 4 Baths, Offered at $599,900 

Do you dream of a home that is a peaceful suburban oasis yet near a vibrant urban center? You can have it all when you purchase this outstanding 4000 square foot two-story Minnetonka home nestled into idyllic landscaped surroundings.

This elegant, graceful residence features spacious living areas soaked in sunlight. The flow of indoor and outdoor spaces is seamless and ideally suited to entertaining friends and family. The resort style backyard with inground pool is fenced-in for privacy. 

Having it all in a Minnetonka HomeA Minnetonka Home for All Seasons

During the summer enjoy the backyard sanctuary and luxury of your heated pool. Relax on one of two decks and enjoy dining al fresco.

having it all in Minnetonka

In the evening or the high heat of the...

Home Staging Tips for a Small Budget

Staging Your Home on a Budget

Home Staging is Now Mainstream

Just a few years ago staging a home for sale was rare. It was also generally for homes on the higher end of the pricing scale, new homes or empty homes. Today the story of home staging is entirely different.

The National Association of Realtors study conducted in 2017 found that 58% of real estate professionals said that when you stage the sale price can increase as much as 20%. This same study found that 39% said staged homes sell much faster. The message of staging a house and selling it quickly and for more money resonates with today’s home sellers at all price points and for all types of housing options.

Even sellers with starter homes or small condos with a limited budget can stage their property to make it more desirable to buyers. I’m going to share some great tips that I guarantee will make your home more marketable and cost very little as long as you are prepared to invest some time into the project.

The Five Basic Building Blocks of Home Staging

...

9 Reasons Your Home is Not Selling

9 Reasons Your Home is Not Selling

9 Reasons Your Home is Not Selling in a Hot Market

When your home is not getting offers in a seller’s market, it is no surprise that you are not in your happy place. It’s not how you expected things to go. You thought it would sell quickly. Now you are asking your realtor why other properties are selling while your listing is growing moss.

Taking more time to sell a home happens all too often. As an agent who has been in the business for 16 years, I have been in this scenario. Here are what I’ve found to be the seven most common reasons a home isn’t selling.

9 Reasons Your Home is Not SellingThe Price is Too High

The most common reason a home is not moving even in a market favorable to sellers is incorrect pricing.  At the listing time, your realtor should do a market analysis of properties comparable to yours that recently sold. The price comparison is the best method to determine the asking price.

There are times sellers don’t agree and insist their home is worth more. There are often factors that the seller didn’t take into consideration that affect the value. To neutralize the adverse effect of imperfections a price adjustment...

Home Buying Advice That Is So Yesterday

Home Buying Advice

One thing I know for sure is the passage of time always brings change in its wake. Fashion, food, hairstyles, home décor, and lifestyles have become extremely sensitive to trends. Some embrace change and others fight it.  Whichever the case, a constant we can depend on is trends are going to come and go regardless.

Sifting Through The Mount Everest of Home Buyers Advice

Along with changes in style, there is an incredible amount of advice available about what we should hold on to and what we should let go. Real estate is no different, and it is essential that we weed through all the bits and pieces of information and discover what is still meaningful and what no longer serves us when we decide to put a roof over our heads.

Purchasing a house is the most expensive buy of a lifetime for most of us. It is predominately a joyful experience, but a certain amount of stress is inherent in the process, especially for first-time homebuyers. We want to make the right choices, so we look for advice from family, friends and the internet. But with so many tips out there, how do we know which are keepers and which we should ignore? Here are several pieces of home buying advice that have not met the test of time.

You Will Always Be Better Off Owning Than Renting

Home Buying Advice...

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 sales price...

Twin Cities Housing Review December 2018

Twin Cities December Housing Market Stats 2018

Minneapolis-St Paul Housing Data

As we say adios to 2018 and move into the new year, expectations include some long-awaited changes. The last half of the year we saw increases in new listings, decreases in sales, and median sales prices on homes rise more slowly.

The increases we are experiencing in no way is enough to balance the market at the lower pricing tiers. However, first-time buyers and downsizing boomers will begin to find more home buying options in the coming year. That fact alone will make buyers smile.

A Look at December Housing Numbers

Looking at a comparison of December 2018 to the same time last year, we see new listings up 3.5 percent, closed sales down 9.9 percent, list price received down 0.2 percent, and the median sale price of $258,000 up 4 percent. Pending sales showed a decline of 3.3 percent, while the month’s supply of inventory rose 13.3 percent. Days on the market decreased by 6.6 percent.

What story do these numbers tell us about the housing market in Minneapolis and Saint Paul? Pretty good news. We are finally starting to see more housing choices at lower pricing levels. Sellers are more flexible when they receive less than full price offers. This situation takes some pressure off of buyers.

Sellers also have reason to smile. Property values continue to rise with median sales prices up 4% over December of 2017. Additionally, sales of homes are still brisk as we see days on the market drop to 57 from last year’s...

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 up homes quickly....

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!

...

Best Tips For Home Sellers Who Want to Rock Holiday Decor

Winter Home Minnesota Property Group

Staging for The Holidays

Let’s face it, selling your home over the Christmas Holiday can be a challenge. It goes over, and above the usual inconveniences you must endure and the compromises to the rhythm of your family’s routine you must make when you sell. For most, it happens to be the busiest time of the year regarding shopping, family activities, and entertaining. A string of strangers looking in all your nooks and crannies is not at the top of your wish list.

Many sellers temporarily take their home off the market in December while others wait until January to list. However, there are buyers out there, and most of them that are house shopping in December are serious buyers. So for those sellers with a high level of motivation, the holidays can provide a unique opportunity for your home to shine. You can also get a step ahead of the competition who decide to fast forward to January.

Once you decide to market your home when bells on bobtails ring, the next question is should you decorate and if so what are the rules? Here, the basic rules of staging your home for any season apply. Keep everything clean, eliminate clutter and avoid the personal items in your choice of holiday decorations.

Now...

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 is still strong....

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...

Fall Home Buying Rewards

Fall Home Buying Season

The Fall Home Buying Puzzle

With summer in the rearview mirror, the fall home buying season is in full swing. As we move into the last quarter of the year, many disappointed summer home shoppers wonder if they should suspend their search to renew efforts in the spring.

As you ponder the question, you should take into consideration that the fall home buying season has some distinct advantages. Instead of taking a break, you may want to stay with the program and intensify your search for a home. Here are some of the perks and rewards you can expect if you decide to stay engaged in the hunt for a home.

Fall Home Buying Means Less Competition

Like most markets, real estate has seasonal adjustments. Fall home buying season is generally less busy than the spring and summer markets. The “must buy a home before school starts” mentality is one reason. Another is that some people do not want to move in the winter months.

Those who have no school-age kiddos or are more flexible about their moving timetable can take advantage of that market slowdown. They will find less competition for homes and less chance of getting into a multiple...

Plymouth MN Home Searching for New Family

2860 Zanzibar Lane N Plymouth, MN

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 Wayzata...

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