Category Archives: General Information

December 2013 MN Real Estate Data

Another month in the books, and the MN Housing Market keeps chugging away in a full-blown seller’s market.

This month’s video, put together by the MPLS Association of REALTORs gives details on all the relevant numbers for both buyers and sellers.

The highlights this time around include:

  • Decreased distressed home sales
  • Increased “traditional” homes for sale
  • Decreased overall inventory
  • Increased sale prices of about 13% year over year

If you’re preparing to buy your first home in the greater Twin Cities metro area, this should tell you it may be better to look soon before prices rise too much more or interest rates increase in 2014 once the Federal Reserve begins to taper it’s quantitative easing program.

Keep checking back for more info, or let me know what questions you have. Happy to help!


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America’s Healthiest City? You guessed it: Minneapolis/St. Paul MN

Winter BikingRecently the TODAY show did a series on the most Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise places to live in the U.S. Despite our chilly winters and brief summer months in Minnesota, we are often looked at as an all-around nice place to live.

And now we have another badge of honor to show off to our fellow Northern Plains states: The Healthiest city in America.

Here is the link to the Today Show story and video.

If you are thinking about buying your first home sometime soon, this may be another reassurance that the Twin Cities are a great place to put down some roots. Who knows–you might even find out some new information about places in your own backyard!

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November 2013 MN Housing Update

Another month of positive data for the Housing Market here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

As a first time home buyer, you should be aware that prices are still on the upswing from this same time a year ago. And while interest rates remain near their historical lows, affordability is becoming an issue when looking at financing for your first home purchase.

Other info in this month’s video (compiled by the MPLS Association of Realtors) includes inventory being down by 3%, closed sales up by almost 2%, and the monthly supply dropping to a low of 3.5 months.

Don’t wait too much longer if you’re looking to take advantage of this unique opportunity to get into a house. Come to one of our Classes or send me a message to learn about getting started today.

Check out the video below for a full update!

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October 2013 MN Real Estate Update in MN

Once again, it’s time to examine some recent housing market numbers in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

This monthly video, produced by the MPLS Area Association of Realtors, gives you all the key information about where the housing market has been and where it is today.

Some of the notable numbers include:

  • Pending Sales up 8%
  • Closed Sales up 14%
  • Sale Prices up 11%

The “seller’s market” trend continues this fall, due to supply and demand ratios, along with low mortgage interest rates for buyers looking to lock in a 15 or 30 year loan.

Check out the video for all the data, and let me know your questions or thoughts. Thanks for stopping by!

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September 2013 MN Housing Market Numbers

Wondering where the Twin Cities Real Estate Market is at? This latest data from the MPLS Area Association of Realtors has some pretty important numbers for first time homebuyers out there looking to purchase a house.

Through the summer months in MN, we’ve been experiencing a strong “Seller’s Market” which basically means that buyers have less negotiating power in the transaction. This is seen through a number of different metrics, including Pending/Closed Sales, Sale Prices, Number of Homes on the Market, and New Listings.

In summary–if you’re buying your first home sometime soon, be prepared to act quickly when you find the “right one”. Homes that are priced correctly and are in good condition are selling quickly, and often times with multiple offers on them. So get the first step of the home-buying process done well in advance: Pre-Approval for Financing.

Take a look at the video below for all the data.

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Word of The Week: Escrow

This is a video Word of the Week today, and we dive into the definition of the term “escrow”, which actually has a couple different uses in the Real Estate industry.

Take a look at the video below for the all the information. And let me know if you have a question on any other terms in real estate that you want to know more about.

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August 2013 Minnesota Real Estate Market info

We take a moment to analyze the latest numbers from the Twin Cities area Housing Market, and it’s more positive news for sellers looking to get a nice price for their homes before winter comes.

The video below, produced by the MPLS Association of Realtors, gives you a breakdown of all the new data about home prices, inventory, and interest rates in MN.

The most remarkable statistic in this month’s update is the comparison between Traditional Listings and the Distressed Properties (Foreclosures and Short Sales). There has been an increase of 50% more Retail/Traditional Listings as compared to the same time last year. While at the same time, foreclosures and short sales are down about 30-40% each.

This has had a huge impact on the Median Home Price in the area, because Traditional Sales usually sell for a substantially higher price than Distressed Sales. So by Traditional Sales becoming a larger portion of the market, we naturally have seen a sharp increase in prices because buyers are willing to pay more for a house that has been taken care of and maintained by a home-owner rather than a bank.

Take a look below for all the details!

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Consider the Resale Value

3D chrome Dollar symbolWith all the recent MN Housing Market activity here in the Minneapolis-St. Paul areas, it’s important as a first time homebuyer to keep a level head throughout your property search. Many first time buyers become emotional, and can overpay for houses after losing out on multiple offers. But the biggest mistake is to not consider the Resale Value of the home you are looking to purchase.

In most cases this occurs because the home-buyer is purchasing a primary residence for themselves, and simply tells themselves “I can live with that imperfection”. However, as a home-owner and eventual home-seller, you need to be aware of some factors that will affect the future value of your home.


This is probably the biggest and most important factor to consider when buying a home. Not only the broader picture such as the city/county that the house is located in, but also the small details like the position on the block and proximity to encumbrances such as railroad tracks or highways. Most people like to avoid living on major roads, and don’t like the “noise pollution” caused by highway traffic or schools, factories and airports. You also need to be conscious of the school district that the home is located in, since some buyers will have children and will be looking for a reputable school. The old cliché in Real Estate is “location, location, location” and that certainly pertains to the Resale Value of your future home. So even if you grew up next to a train yard and are ok with the noise, that doesn’t mean most potential buyers in the future will be as forgiving. In the end, this just means you’ll be limited the potential buyer list for your house.


If you’re buying a single-family home or townhouse with yard space, the lot size and dimensions are something to be aware of. City lots will usually be rectangular, and the most common placement of the house is slightly towards the front of the lot, allowing for a smaller front yard and larger backyard space. Most suburban lots will be irregularly-shaped, and could have a larger front or backyard depending on the location. Typically you’ll be better off if you conform to the neighborhood norm. This means if most houses on the block are located near the front of the lot, you’ll get a better selling price by finding a home in that neighborhood that is situated towards the front of the lot also. Some older homes in the city will be situated further back on the lot, which allows for a large front yard but barely any backyard space. Having a “unique lot” can sometimes work against you when trying to resell your property, because buyers who are looking in that area are usually looking for a certain type of house and land configuration.


In the same vein as the last point from above, you want to have a layout and style of home that is similar to others in the region. Buyers are looking for a particular style of house, and if the neighborhood is made up of mostly 2-story and 1-1/2 story homes you may have a harder time selling a bi-level split house or single-story property. It all goes back to the buyer’s expectations, and in some cases they won’t want to stick out from the crowd in regard to the style of homes in that area. This goes for the interior layout of the house as well. Having 3 or even 4 bedrooms on the same level is a big deal to some buyers. But if those 3 or 4 bedrooms are in the basement, they may not be as excited about the home. This plays into the style of the home, and what most people expect from certain layouts. And this is not a purely cosmetic issue either. A lot of houses will lose some of their functionality if the layout is too far removed from the norm. Having a kitchen and dining room near each other is often taken for granted. But if a previous owner decided to build an addition on the back of the house and convert the dining room into a bedroom, for example, this could greatly affect the “flow” of the house and be a turnoff for the new owners.

Cosmetic Updates

The term “cosmetic” is probably widely overused in the Real Estate Industry, but it does a good job of encompassing several details in and around the house. This typically would include things like paint colors, wood finishes, tile counters and floors, light fixtures, carpet and flooring types, and anything else that can be “easily changed” in the home. While some of these items can be more “easily” (or cheaply) changed than others, many home-owners overlook these specific cosmetic details when they actual live in the property as their primary residence. However they become extremely important when reselling your home. Repainting to “neutral colors” and swapping out light fixtures can add a nice updated look to a house without spending too much money. On the other hand, if you spend thousands of dollars installing a unique tile floor in the living room but most buyers are looking for carpet in the living room in that area, you may have lost money on a negative-equity update. A lot of buyers say they are ok with taking on cosmetic updates after they move in, but they do factor these items in when making an offer on a house. And that could mean a lower price if there are costly updates and upgrades that they feel need to be made.

This certainly doesn’t include all the elements that go into the Resale Value of your home, but you should at least have a good idea of some of the major factors to be aware of when looking at homes for yourself. I realize that selling your house may be the last thing on your mind when searching, but as the famous author Stephen Covey once said: “Begin with the end in mind”. Make sure you are an educated first time home-buyer and avoid some of the mistakes that others have made before you!

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July 2013 MN Housing Market Update

The Twin Cities summer heat has brought an even HOTTER real estate market here in Minnesota. Even with mortgage interest rates slowly rising over the last few months, buyers have continued to push the median home prices up and sustain the rebounding numbers we’ve seen since mid-2012.

In the below video, produced by the MPLS Area Association of Realtors, you’ll see that:

  • New Listings are up from last year
  • But Foreclosure and Short Sale new listings are down substantially
  • Pending Sale rose from 2012
  • Inventory is down
  • Median Home Prices are up at $210,000–the highest mark since December of 2007

Check out the monthly skinny for all the data, and to figure out if it’s time to finally dive into the home-buying process!

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February 2013 MN Real Estate Info

This monthly update on the Minnesota Housing Market has a little Oscar-flare to it.

We have hit some substantial numbers this past month, including sale prices and inventory levels. The video below, made by the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORs, highlights some of the notable data from January 2013 in the greater metro area of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

  • Pending Sales are up 13% from 2012 in Jan. (this is the highest January level since 2005)
  • Closed Sales are also up 11% from 2012 in Jan. (this is the highest January level since 2005)
  • Supply of Active Homes was at 11,977 – down 32% from last year and 48% since 2011 in Jan.
  • This marks a 10-yr. low in Inventory of Homes for Sale
  • Median Sale Price rose by 14%, which is the highest level in Jan. since 2009
  • Monthly Supply of homes is under 3 months–definitely a “seller’s market”

A lot of these factors are due to the economy slowly but steadily rising, and the lack of bank-owned properties for sale that dominated the MN Real Estate scene for the better part of 5 years. While most of these stats are good for home owners and potential sellers, if you’re a first time homebuyer in MN you may be finding it difficult to make an offer on a home without competing against multiple buyers.

Keep checking back for more info as we head into the Spring Selling season in Minnesota.

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