Starting in January 2015, a new law takes effect that mandates all new homes 4,500-square-feet (whether all the square footage is finished or not) and larger are required to have residential fire sprinklers. All new homes will also be affected by other new energy code changes such as air exchangers and insulation changes. It is estimated that these changes could drive up prices of new homes by more than $10,000 when you factor in the sprinklers. If you are able to purchase a new home before these changes come, it will save you some money.
Minnesota homeowners and their families will benefit from this new law: residential fire sprinklers save lives and can minimize the damage caused by a house fire. In addition, most insurance companies offer a discount from 5 to 15% for homes with fire sprinklers.
I hear this question a lot: What is the best time to sell my home or to buy a different one? Let’s take a look at the retail world of clothing. Consumers get the best deal on summer clothes after July 4th or later, just as they get the best deal on winter clothes at the end of winter. So does this trend hold true for the purchase and sale of homes? Not really. There are some considerations a buyer or seller should think about that could have an impact on the transaction.
What time of the year is a better time for buyers to buy?
First off, you can’t ever time a home purchase. It is not like going out to buy a car or a cell phone. Buying a home is a journey done in your own time and after you have done the research, looked at homes and have your finances in order. At any time there are buyers coming into the market and there are other buyers who have done their research and are serious buyers. No one gets to control this ever-changing flow. What is important to remember is that the inventory of homes fluctuates by the season. In spring (March-May in Minnesota), there is an increase of homes on the market and more homes means more options for buyers. It also means more buyers are looking, which means more competition to get that perfect home. While there are fewer homes listed from October-December, buyers may find the best buys during those slower selling months of the year.
When should sellers sell then?
Conventional sellers most likely would not list their home before the holidays or in the dead of winter for obvious reasons (snow and cold….brrrr). But serious buyers really don’t care about the season or timing. They are motivated when they are ready to buy. After the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s festivities are done, buyers start to think about resuming their home search or entering the marketplace as a new buyer. So what are the pros and cons to listing then? Listing January-June/July, sellers will have more competition, however there will be more buyers in the marketplace looking for homes then. If you list in the “off season” (August-December), you may be ahead because there will still be serious buyers out there and they will have fewer homes to choose from.
So as buyers and sellers strategize about when is the “BEST” time, the reality is – it is never easy, and it truly depends on your situation, what you have to buy or sell, and the market in general. Major retailers like Target can control inventory and monitor competitive activity. In real estate, there is not one buyer or seller – they are all unrelated and disconnected and there are all types of homes at all price ranges making it nearly impossible to pick the “perfect” time to buy or sell. I would be happy to help you figure out what time of the year is best for you to start your home search or put your home on the market.
Contact me at 651-341-6020 or [email protected] to start your real estate adventure.
Ask any of the Money Magazine’s reporters who worked on selecting the best places to live in 2014 and they will tell you – it’s not easy. You start with a pool of 781 small cities with populations between 50,000 and 300,000. Then you dive in and do detailed research using data from Onboard Informatics and other sources to look at everything from the local economy and housing market to schools and healthcare. The list is narrowed down to 35 and then they sent reporters to visit each of the towns looking for the intangibles, such as a sense of community, life style and so on.
Minnesota has 3 cities in the metro area that placed in the top 15. Maple Grove placed number 2, with Eagan coming in at number 11 and Woodbury at number 12. What makes them so special? I know if you ask anyone who lives in these cities they can tell you why! What does Money Magazine think about our towns? Follow this link to find out!
The annual Fall Parade of Homes runs from September 6th through the 28th, with 392 new homes open Thursdays through Sundays from noon to 6:00 pm. You can pick up a comprehensive guidebook that provides complete information about the tour, including maps and photos or illustrations of all the homes at area Holiday Station stores.
Outdoor Living is the focus this year. For something fun, the KARE 11 Backyard, Parade Entry #11, will be open limited hours during the tour: every Saturday (September 13, 20 and 27) from noon to 4pm.
The tour will once again feature the Green Path Energy Tour, sponsored by Xcel Energy. Almost half (190) of the Parade Homes have been tested by an independent energy rater to earn a HERS (Home Energy Rating Score) and has its own Home Performance Report (HPR) that graphically explains the home’s HERS score. The HPR allows homebuyers to compare the expected energy use between homes.
All the homes are free to tour with the exception of four Dream Homes that each request a $5.00 donation to the BATC Foundation to enter. The four homes are #240 by Sustainable 9 Design + Build in Minneapolis (priced at $1,349,000); #243 by Stonewood LLC in Edina (priced at $2,450,000); #366 by Lecy Bros. Homes and Remodeling in Wayzata (priced at $2,375,000); and #367 by BohLand Homes, also in Wayzata and priced at $1,544,000.
The lowest priced home is #117, at $153,900. The two-bedroom split entry single family home is located in Isanti. The most expensive home, #243, located in Edina priced at $2,450,000. There are a total of 43 homes priced over $1,000,000 and 45 priced under $300,000. The total value of all homes on the tour is $228,336,701. The homes are located throughout the Twin Cities with Lakeville hosting 24!