Minnesota Real Estate and Community News

April 16, 2020

Your Latest Greater Minneapolis Market Update

I’m sharing our latest real estate market update for Greater Minneapolis. Great news: Our market is strong.

 

First I want to say that I hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy during this hazardous pandemic. Today I’m sharing an update for the Greater Minneapolis real estate market. 

 

The number of homes for sale (sometimes referred to as inventory) is low right now. Buyer confidence is very strong and interest rates are low, so buyers are looking for houses. Our market overall is very strong. We’ve had a ton of activity in the past couple of weeks, and that activity is increasing. 

 

We’ve implemented zero-contact transactions, which include virtual showings, e-signatures, DocuSign contracts, phone, text, and email communications, video conferencing, and the utmost precaution if an in-person showing is needed. Real estate is moving in the Greater Minneapolis market.

 

If you’re considering selling, this may be the time to do some preparation, planning, decluttering, cleaning, etc. 

 

Please do not hesitate to call or email us. We can discuss your situation. Also, contact us if you have any questions about the market or real estate in general. We look forward to serving you. Stay safe and sane out there.

Posted in Market Updates
April 1, 2020

Coronavirus Update

 

I just want you to know I’m here to help…

My phone number is 612-308-3395.

My heart goes out to our families with children with schools shut down, our seniors in assisted living, our neighbors at the hospitals, our local businesses struggling and anyone impacted by this pandemic.

I’ve been selling real estate for years here in Minneapolis. I’m fortunate to know people who may be able to help you out for a trip to the grocery store, watching children, or even getting bills paid.

You’ll be surprised how many good people are here in Minneapolis happy to help you.

Call me, again, if you need anything. My number is 612-308-3395. It does not need to be about real estate. It can be a personal issue. I'll see if I can assist in some way.

Of course, I’ve been asked “How do I sell my home at this time?”

Homes are still selling. Our Federal Reserve just dropped their interest rate to near zero to keep the money moving for people buying homes. It’s quite unprecedented.

We can video conference, if you prefer, instead of an in-home selling consultation. I’ll likely have enough information to list it for sale with a quick tour on your phone, tablet, or laptop.

I’ll even guide you how to shoot photos, if you prefer, to keep a photographer out of your home. You'll be surprised what we can do with Photoshop and an iPhone these days.

We may be able to sell it without showings, too. There are individuals and companies who will buy your home outright. I can refer you to those companies and shop the offers.

If we do need to show your home, I’ll provide a hand washing station and anything else the CDC recommends to lower everyone's risk of infection. Safety is my #1 priority for you.

Some of the top Google searches now in real estate are “home prices dropping” and “home prices falling”. That’s not the case at this time. I'll keep you updated on this.

I’m here to guide you and make fact-based, researched decisions if you need to sell your home (or buy one) since life must go on for those in situations who need to move.

That may be you or someone you know. I have your back.

I’m here to help if you need anything. Let me know.

My number is 612-308-3395.

Posted in Market Updates
March 13, 2020

5 Tips for Buying in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Market



Buyers, what will it take to edge out the competition in our market? I have five tips for you to consider that will help significantly.

 

 

The Minneapolis-St. Paul housing market is as tight as ever, with several buyers vying per listing. Note to sellers: You still can’t price your house 20% over market and expect to sell it—buyers are motivated, but they’re not dumb. Here are five things to consider when purchasing a new home: 

 

Be flexible on your search. Let’s say you need a 5-bedroom home. Why don’t we set you up for a 4-plus bedroom home so that if something ideal pops up, great, but if not, we can get creative; maybe a home has four bedrooms plus a den, or an office, or a bonus room that you could convert into a bedroom. We can also take this flexible approach for bathrooms, garages, or any other amenity. Supplement your MLS properties with social media searches, pre-listed homes, and bank-owned homes. 

 

Get an inspection. Don’t leave this out of your offer. With 99% of buyers asking for one, sellers should know this is coming—in fact, it helps them with liability. Many homes look phenomenal, but once the curtain is pulled back, plenty of functional issues reveal themselves. A typical inspection can run anywhere from $450 to $500, but it’s money well spent. 

 

Consider title insurance. This ensures that the seller actually owns the home and can legally convey it over to you. It also takes care of things like past due taxes, property line disputes, etc. 

 

Make sure the contract is written so that the seller takes care of any past due taxes, assessments, lingering liens, or liabilities. Also, while you’re at it, make sure you get a homestead tax rate. In the state of Minnesota, there’s a homestead tax rate and a non-homestead tax rate; don’t pay more than necessary. 

 

Get approved for a mortgage now. So many buyers drag their feet on this. It’s never a good idea to wait until you find the ideal home to get pre-approved by a lender, and that’s because so many buyers are already approved and ready to go. The seller won’t even consider your offer if you can’t show them you’re pre-approved. Once a loan officer can run the numbers and figure out your budget, you’ll know exactly what your monthly payment will be and how much you’ll have to put down. 

 

I have resources available for you and ways to connect you with trusted lenders in our area, so don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Remember: Don’t lose sight of the main goal of getting you and your family into a home that you love. Choose your battles wisely, because you’ll be enjoying your new home for years to come. 

 

If you have additional questions about the information covered in today’s message, feel free to call or email me. I would love to speak with you.

 

Feb. 28, 2020

Real Estate Investing



Today I’ll answer some key questions about real estate investment so that you understand just how great it can be for your bottom line.
Selling a home? Click here to find out how much your house is worth.

 

 

If you’re thinking of entering the real estate investment game, here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about how to become successful:

 

What does a good real estate investment look like?

 

A good real estate investment is a property that will bring you a profit at the end of the month after paying expenses, which include (but aren’t limited to) taxes, insurance, debt service, maintenance, and other unexpected costs. If you can find a property where the numbers work out that way for you, it’s a good investment. 

 

What kind of financing is available?

 

You can still get into a duplex, triplex, or quadruplex with only 3% down if you’re going to be an owner-occupant (i.e., if you’re planning to live in one of the units yourself). For those just starting out in the investment game, this is an excellent way to go; it’s a good idea for beginners to stick with four or fewer units. If you get a property with five or more units, you’ll need commercial financing. 

 

What are the tax advantages of real estate investing?

 

I’m no CPA, but I know from personal experience that owning and investing in real estate certainly does provide tax advantages. Some tax-friendly expenses include mortgage interest, property tax, operating expenses, depreciation, repairs, and professional services.

A more seasoned investor might add a piece of real estate to their investment portfolio, which is a great way to diversify. Real estate and the stock market tend to offset one another, so it’s a good idea to include an investment property among the stocks, bonds, mutual funds, money markets, etc., in your portfolio. 

 

How can I pay off the property?

You’ll have to put money into this transaction at the beginning in the form of down payments, closing costs, and whatever you need to do to prepare it to rent. However, the renter will be paying you rent each month, so you’ll be paying off the mortgage over a number of years. This way, the renter is purchasing the property for you.

 

Does the property’s value increase over time?

 

It does! Value appreciation is the icing on the cake. According to the Minneapolis Association of Realtors, there was a 42% increase in property value between 2014 and 2018—that’s a good investment!

 

All these factors combined show that investing in real estate can be a great way to build your portfolio and overall wealth. If you have any questions about investing, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help you get started!

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 14, 2020

Options for People Who Need to Buy and Sell a Home



Most homebuyers are also home sellers. Here’s how we can help you complete both transactions at the same time.
Selling a home? Click here to find out how much your house is worth.

 

 

Juggling both a home sale and a purchase can be difficult. You might need to sell before you buy, but what if you’re not able to find anything you like? What if you find your dream home before you’ve sold? I’m going to answer these questions and more for you today.

 

One option you have is called a sell, buy transaction. This is the most common because most homebuyers need to use the profits from their home sale to put a down payment on their next one. We’ll get your home on the market, target campaigns to the ideal audience, and get your home sold quickly. Once it’s sold, we’ll take you out to find the perfect new home. Then we’ll close these two transactions on the same day. The sale will happen, the equity will come out, and you’ll be able to use it to buy the new home.

 

If you find your dream home before you sell, we can help with that transition.

 

 

If you end up in a situation where you’ve sold your home but you haven’t found anything to buy yet, we can write in the purchase agreement, “Sale subject to seller finding home of choice in X number of days.”

 

If you’ve found your dream home, but your current home hasn’t sold yet, you need to make an offer now. Unless you have a large pile of cash sitting around somewhere, you’ll have to get a little creative. One option is a bridge loan, which allows you to borrow the equity out of the house you currently live in to purchase the new house. Another option is qualifying for both mortgages and paying them both for a short time until the home is sold. Finally, you can sell for cash to an investor who doesn’t care about the condition and can close quickly.

 

If you have any questions for me, feel free to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 27, 2020

3 things I’ve learned over 20+ Years in the Real Estate Industry



I’ve learned three things during my career as a real estate agent in the Twin Cities area.

Selling a home? Click here to find out how much your house is worth.

 

 

In my 20+ years of working in the real estate industry, I’ve learned three things: 

 

3. No two real estate transactions are the same. While there are many similarities, no two situations are identical. The real estate business is as much art as it is science, meaning you can use data to price a house, but it also takes listening skills, patience, creativity, experience, and good communication to accommodate a unique, sensitive situation. 

 

2. Real estate is always changing. Many people are in denial about this. Let’s face it—change is hard. The only thing that will never change, however, is change itself, and this pertains to the real estate industry overall. Whether it’s marketing, negotiation skills, MLS rules and regulations, social media laws and platforms, etc., it’s all changing so fast that many people don’t even know about the latest changes. I’ve learned that you have to be hungry and tenacious to continue learning and stay on top of these changes, because they’re a huge part of our business. 

 

It’s all about offering expert advice, being compassionate, and acting as the voice of reason when tensions run high.

 

1. Having a genuine desire to help people is my goal. It’s not about the number of transactions per year, or the number of homes I’ve sold in my career; it’s about helping people. I’ve seen people at their best—full of joy and excitement—and I’ve seen people at their worst due to difficult circumstances. Buying and/or selling a home can be a difficult situation, and it’s certainly one of the most significant investments a person can make in their lifetime.

 

What I can offer my clients? Depending on your goals, I can get you the most money for your home in the least amount of time, or secure a guaranteed offer quickly. It’s all about offering expert advice, being compassionate, and acting as the voice of reason when tensions run high. That’s my goal, and that’s my idea of excellent customer satisfaction. 

 

As always, if you have any real estate questions or you’re thinking of buying or selling a home soon, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.

Jan. 2, 2020

Does it really matter what title company you use?



As a buyer, here’s what you need to know about the role of title companies in a home purchase. 

Selling a home? Click here to find out how much your house is worth.

 

 

Are you thinking of buying a home soon? Title work is an important part of the home buying process. Today I’m joined by Stacy Lashinksi, general consul of Results Title, to outline the title company’s role in a home purchase. We’ll also go over what types of insurance you’ll need to get and what your due diligence should be to find the best title company to work with. 

 

For your convenience, I’ve provided timestamps of the video above so you can skip ahead to various points of our discussion: 

 

0:26—Stacy’s background

 

0:47—What is title work and what does it entail?

 

2:01—The types of insurance required for buyers during a purchase 

 

2:41—What separates good title companies 

 

3:38—The main challenges buyers face when working with title providers 

 

5:43—Estimate your costs at ResultsTitle.net

 

6:41—Wrapping things up 

 

If you have any questions about this or any other real estate topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help you.

Jan. 2, 2020

Agent Spotlight: Meet Nolan Meyer



Nolan Meyer joins me today for my latest agent spotlight.

Selling a home? Click here to find out how much your house is worth.

 

 

For my latest agent spotlight, I’m featuring Nolan Meyer.

 

Nolan has been in the industry for a while now, and he specializes in homes in the Twin Cities area. Nolan got his start in the business by interning as an assistant property manager while in college. After graduating, he started working as a loan processor, and then he switched to being a loan officer. After that, he became a full-fledged agent.

 

To do it right, you have to do it full-time, and that’s what Nolan does.

 

“Real estate is pretty much all I’ve ever done, and all I’m really qualified to do,” he says.

 

The advantage of working with Nolan is that he’s a full-time Realtor. He’s worked with countless clients who came to him after having a bad experience with a previous Realtor, and all of these clients essentially tell him the same thing: Their previous Realtor didn’t do much anything. This is because many agents treat their job as a side-gig or hobby. To do it right, you have to do it full-time, and that’s what Nolan does.

 

If you’re interested in buying or selling a home with Nolan, you can call him at (612)-217-0015 or email him at nolan.meyer@results.net.

 

As always, if you have any real estate questions for me or you’re curious about what’s happening in our market, feel free to reach out to me as well. I’d love to help you.

Posted in Agent Spotlight
Dec. 19, 2019

Happy Holidays to You!



May the merry bells keep ringing.

Selling a home? Click here to find out how much your house is worth.

 

 

Happy holidays to you!

 

The holiday season has officially arrived. We hope you enjoy this wonderful time of year and make some fantastic memories with your family and friends.

 

We wanted to take a moment to thank you for your continued support. We love helping people make their real estate dreams come true, so thank you for working with us.

 

This may be a busy time of year, but we are always here to help you and answer any questions you may have. Give us a call or reply to this email.

 

In case we don’t hear from you, have a happy New Year!

Posted in Happy Holidays!
Dec. 3, 2019

4 Points to Consider Before Refinancing



There are four points to consider to know whether refinancing is the right move or not.

Selling a home? Click here to find out how much your house is worth.

 

 

If you’re thinking about refinancing your property, there are four points you must consider before making a decision:

 

1. What is your current interest rate (and will you be dropping at least 1% off of it)? For example, if your current rate is 5% and you’re dropping it down to 4%, then refinancing is a good decision. 

 

2. Are you leaving behind some type of short-term financing? In other words, are you looking to secure a 15- or 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, or is there a cash-out option that allows you to pull equity out of your home?

 

Make sure you do the math and verify that the closing costs are worth it.

 

3. How old is your current mortgage? The longer you’ve had your current mortgage, the more of your payment goes toward your principal instead of interest. When you refinance, you’re starting the whole interest table over again, which means you’ll start those payments with a larger interest payment (which will decrease as the mortgage matures). 

 

4. How long do you plan on owning the property? When you refinance, you have to pay closing costs, which usually make up about 3% of the mortgage amount. Make sure you do the math and verify that the closing costs are worth it. If you only plan on staying in your home for another two years, they probably aren’t.

 

As always, if you have any questions about this or any other real estate topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.