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Real Estate & News

Do I Need An Inspection

April 6, 2012

Many of my buyers really rely on having an inspection on the home they are going to purchase but sometimes buyers wonder if they need an inspection.  Unless your are very knowledgeable about construction yourself I always recommend getting an inspection.  Many buyers want to cut costs and if the home is newer they don’s see the need to do an inspection but just because a home is new does not mean it is free and clear of issues.  By spending a bit of money for an inspection up front you can save yourself a lot of money down the road! (more…)

FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium Increase

April 5, 2012

Planning to use an FHA-backed mortgage for your next home loan? You might want to get your application in gear today because the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium Increase starts next week.

Beginning next week, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is changing the way it charges mortgage insurance to U.S. homeowners. For the fourth time since 2010, FHA mortgage insurance premiums are rising for all FHA-backed homeowners. (more…)

Market Report

April 4, 2012

The market report from the Minneapolis Association of Realtors shows that for the week ending March 24,

• New Listings increased 2.2% to 1,414
• Pending Sales increased 30.2% to 1,052
• Inventory decreased 27.3% to 17,193

This shows what I have been writing about the past weeks, sales are up, inventory is decreasing.  It is still a buyers market but not as much as in previous years.  For an overview of all the stats, click here.


Top Walking Cities

April 3, 2012

With a walk score of 69.3, Minneapolis has made Prevention Magazine’s list of the top walking cities.  Minneapolis ranks 20 out of 25 cities on their best list.  9 of the top 25 are in warm weather California and many of the other top picks are large cities such as New York, Boston and Philadelphia.  Some reasons for the high score include a large number of walking clubs, the skyway system and over 50 miles of groomed trails throughout the city.  To view the complete list, click here.

Luxury Home Sales Are Flat

April 2, 2012

Although there are many signs that the housing market may be starting to come back, the real upswing in purchases only applies to homes under $300,000 and luxury home sales are flat! (more…)

Foreclosures Holding Steady

March 30, 2012

Newly released data shows foreclosures holding steady in all 50 states.  In February there were 65,000 foreclosures which is just under the 66,000 last February.  Since the buyers appear to be out in full force this spring, the inventory could actually decline.  About 3-4% of all homes with mortgages were in foreclosure in February amounting to roughly 1.4 million which is down from 1.5 million last February.  The percentage of people 90+ days delinquent on their mortgage payment also declined in February 2012 to 7.3%, down from 7.8% last February.

CA, FL, MI, AZ and TX accounted for 49.4% of all foreclosures nationally.  For more information click here.




Remodelers Showcase

March 29, 2012

Don’t miss out on the Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase this weekend featuring 68 remodeled homes in the Twin Cities.  The Showcase is just 3 days, tomorrow March 30th to April 1st.  Admission is free in all but one of the homes and there will be builders/remodelers from 52 different companies on hand at the homes.  If you are thinking of remodeling your home this is a great way to see what can be done and what the current trends are.  Even if you are just looking to update your home to put it on the market this Showcase can be helpful.  The remodeled homes range from a complete remodel to just the kitchen or bath, decks and porches or certain other areas of the home.  It should be great weather to get out and freshen up the ideas for your own home!

Housing Prices

March 28, 2012

Housing prices are still decreasing but not as much as in previous years.  According to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city index, prices fell 0.8% in January from December.  S&P described the home sales market as off to a “rocky start” this year, but the decline was less than the 1.1% drop in December and the 1.3% decline in November. Year over year, January prices were off 3.8%, which is also a better showing than the 4.1% drop posted in December.

Major construction companies report the highest number of new home starts in the past 4 years!  Sale prices of traditional sale homes, meaning not foreclosures or short sales were up .7% in January.  The market is really starting to show some signs of having hit bottom and starting a comeback!

The Kitchen Is Important

March 27, 2012

Getting your home ready to sell?  Don’t neglect the kitchen, the kitchen is important – it can make or break a sale.  The kitchen is the heart of the home and we spend a tremendous amount of time in our kitchens so we want them to be nice.  There is no bigger turn off when showing a home than a dirty out of date kitchen! (more…)

Mortgage Rates Top 4%

March 26, 2012

For the first time since late October mortgage rates top 4%!  The average rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage is at 4.08%, this increase is another sign that the housing market may be starting to turn around.  Industry analysts do expect mortgage rates to rise this year but the 30 year fixed rate they predict to be at most 4.5%.  Even though the rates may be going up, they are still way below the 7.1% average from 1990 – 2010!

The best advice I can give anyone who is thinking of buying would be to get out there and buy in the near future.  There is a shortage of homes for sale on the market which is also causing many multiple offer situations which drives up prices.  If you combine the lack of inventory and the increase in interest rates, the window of opportunity to buy at a great price with a great rate is slowly beginning to close!  If you are on the fence about buying, now is the time to get off!


15589 Cherry Path

March 23, 2012

I have just listed this townhome at 15589 Cherry Path in Rosemount.  Some of the main features are 4 bedrooms/4 baths, hardwood floors, new carpet, finished walk out lower level, deck, patio and much more!

March Monthly Skinny

March 22, 2012

The March Monthly Skinny will tell you where has the Twin Cities real estate market been and where is it heading? This monthly summary provides an overview of current trends and projections for future activity.

Paint Trends for 2012

March 21, 2012

With the nice weather lots of us are thinking about sprucing up the house which includes painting.  As for the paint trends for 2012, the Paint Quality Institute the say “Native plants and flowers, oceans and lakes, and rocks and minerals are the sources of inspiration for the paint colors that will be ‘in’ next year.”  “If you’re thinking about repainting your home interior, look to the great American outdoors.”  Whatever you do, don’t just paint your walls white! (more…)

Principal Reductions

March 20, 2012

Bank of America will be offering some of their borrowers principal reductions on their mortgages in amounts that may in some cases exceed $100,000!

Bank of America and 4 other larger servicers have made an agreement with state and federal regulators the the principal reductions are the result.  Bank of America is the largest of the 5 servicers and will be paying out the most in the settlement, part of the reason for this is that they acquired Countrywide back in 2008 and have to pay for them as well.  These principal reductions with effect about 200,000 borrowers most of which originated their loans from 2005-2007.  For more on this settlement, click here.


Contract for Deed

March 19, 2012

These days there are a lot of potential home buyers that are not able to get financing to purchase a home.  Many of these buyers have a great job, low or no debt but they have had a short sale, foreclosure or some other major financial event in their more recent past that is keeping them from qualifying for a mortgage.  I work with several investors that are looking for buyers that want to purchase a home on a contract for deed.  Most of them do require at least a 10% down payment.  This is a great opportunity for those buyers to purchase a home, get back on their feet with their credit score and then get the mortgage they need down the road.  If you or someone you know is interested in purchasing a home on a contract for deed, call or email me to discuss the options!



Slight Mortgage Rate Increase

March 16, 2012

There has been a slight mortgage rate increase across the board this past week according to Freddie Mac.  The slight rate increase has been due to the positive news about the job market.  The 30 year fixed rate mortgage rate was up .04% from last week to 3.92% but that is still much lower than a year ago when it was at 4.76%.  The fixed rate 15 year mortgage was at 3.16%, up from 3.13% last week but still down from the rate a year ago of 3.97%.



2012 Housing Market Update

March 15, 2012

Join me and the Realife Cooperative of Burnsville on Wednesday, March 21 at 11:30 for a 2012 Housing Market Update Seminar.  Get information on what has been selling, what effect short sales and foreclosures are having on the market, how to get the most for your home and much more.  Space is limited so call early to reserve your spot!  Click here for all the details and I hope to see you there!


Cancellation of Mortgage Debt

March 14, 2012

These days with so many homeowners owing more on their mortgage than their home is worth there has been a lot of cancellation of mortgage debt.  There are several events that can trigger this cancellation, a short sale, a foreclosure or an agreement worked out with the bank so a homeowner can stay in their home but the bank reduces the amount of the mortgage.  The big question that people in these situations have is whether or not the forgiven debt is taxable.  For advice specific to your situation you should always consult a tax professional but for a quick overview the following article sums it all up pretty well.  Click here for the article.

Increase the Value of Your Home

March 13, 2012

Many people are looking to make some home improvements, some because they want to sell, some just to update their homes.  Here is a rundown of a few areas and what I would suggest you do to increase the value of your home. (more…)

Buyer Closes On Condo

March 12, 2012

My very patient buyer was overjoyed to close on her Burnsville condo on Friday afternoon!  The condo was a bank owned property and as is the case often times with bank owned properties there were a lot of challenges to overcome.  We persevered and were able to successfully close on the deal.  She was planning to start some small renovation work shortly after closing with the hope of being able to move in within a few days time.  Congratulations on your new home!