Will My Home Reach its Value Again?

The value of your home could be rising.

Historically, homes have been a smart investment. Owners lived in a house, then got their money back when they sold…it was a better deal than renting. Borrowers got tax breaks, too, and built equity that could be leveraged into bigger houses as their incomes grew.Will my home reach it's value again

But there have been hiccups over the years where home values have dropped significantly and many homeowners found themselves underwater or with a drastic loss of value in their property. Many families today are still waiting for their homes to regain some of its losses so they can move on. When will that home reach its value again?

All key indicators are showing that there is confidence in Minnesota’s economy, which is translating to a positive trend in housing, according to the year end housing report from the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®.

With the continued addition of employment opportunities coupled with low mortgage rates and a tight rental market, many people made the homeownership choice in 2013.  Prices are on the rise in Minnesota and inventory is low, so many of those homeowners who found themselves underwater a few years ago, can now consider making a move.Read More »

Myths Surrounding the ACA and Housing Liens

Another Facebook Misconception Floats Around the Internet How to use Facebook as a realtor.

ATTN: All State and Local GAD’s –

There is an Affordable Care Act (ACA) related item that is making it’s rounds on Facebook and getting plenty of forwards via email that we’re sure you’ll get a few questions on.  Wanted to share, since incorrect news tends to travel quickly.

The posting being circulated claims that the IRS can attach a lien to a home if the owner fails to comply with the health reform individual mandate. The posting is wrong. The IRS cannot attach a lien.

Here’s an independent third-party piece from the non-partisan Kaiser News Network that addresses the claim. Michelle Andrews is one of the top health care reporters. The piece is posted here.

Q: I am seeing rumors on Facebook that if people opt out of buying health insurance and don’t pay the penalty for not having it, the Internal Revenue Service will be able to put a lien on their home. Is it true? Could they end up facing this type of penalty?

A: It’s not true. Starting next year, most people will have to have health insurance or face a penalty of $95 or 1 percent of family income, whichever is greater. The penalty increases gradually to $695 or 2.5 percent of income in 2016.

The penalty will be treated like income tax due, says Mark Luscombe, principal federal tax analyst at CCH, a tax and business information publisher.

Normally the IRS can garnish wages and file liens and levies to collect unpaid income taxes, but the health care law specifically prohibits those activities if people don’t pay the penalty for not having insurance, says Luscombe.

So if someone doesn’t pay the penalty, “all the IRS can do is offset the refund,” he says.

Spread the word.

The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.

Dream Home or School District: Which Would You Choose?

Weighing the pros and cons of choosing a home based on school district.

dream home or school districtYou married the one you love, have the job you’ve always wanted, and have three adorable babes to tuck in at night. Your American Dream is almost complete – all that’s left? The house.

Where a lot of people struggle in this situation is deciding whether to go with the dream home, or the dream school district. The no-brainer here is to buy the better home that is in the best school district, but that isn’t always an option.

There has been a lot of discussion on this topic. Some justify settling for a decent school district to allow them their dream home; stating that children learn most of their values at home. This argument states a home with educated and supportive parents will ensure their child’s academic success, even if they don’t go to the best schools.Read More »

Why You Should Hire a Minnesota REALTOR

5 reasons buyers should hire a REALTOR.

The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

Would you ever trust a surgery to anyone besides a highly-skilled and experience doctor? Would you ever try to fly a plane without any pilot training? We’re hoping the answer is no and that you realize for important decisions, it is essential to have a helpful professional at your side. Approximately half of home buyers close on a home without an advocate by their side. This research performed by the National Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of Exclusive Buyer’s Agents, shows that many buyers do not understand the importance of having a partner to advocate for them. If you’re about to buy or sell a home in Minnesota you might be wondering why you should hire a REALTOR®. Be confident you’ve made the right decision by reviewing these reasons to hire a REALTOR:Read More »

Minnesota Classics: Split-Level

Do you live in a classic split-level home? Chances are then that the home across the street from you is a split-level as well. Are they on your left and right too? This isn’t surprising as this home style grew wildly popular in the 1950s and 1960s in developments. As Americans left the cities for suburbia, they were looking for something new and something bigger.

Developers answered with the original split-level, or three-level, home. The ranch-style home was “split” somewhere near the middle. One half of the house — garage and bedrooms above — were raised up a little bit. The other half — entry, living room, kitchen, and dining room — were dropped down a little bit. In many cases the living room/kitchen had a basement underneath. These four new distinct levels turned a deceivingly normal house into a spacious living option.

Read More »

Meet Jim Cormier–2013 President of Minnesota Association of Realtors

New president of Minnesota Association of Realtors, Jim Courmier
Jim Courmier

We recently spoke with Jim Cormier, the new 2013 President of the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®. Jim has been owner/broker of Building Sites, Inc. in Coon Rapids since 1981, and is a longtime leader in the industry.

How long have you been a REALTOR®?
33 years.

What communities do you serve?
Mostly north suburban areas in Anoka, Ramsey and Washington Counties.

What area of real estate do you specialize in?
Land development and new construction.

What value do you get from the REALTOR® Organization?
Without a doubt, a member benefits from being a REALTOR®. This organization has so much to offer and it helps its members grow and thrive.

As a volunteer, how has being involved with the REALTOR® Organization helped your business?
It is a great way to network with fellow REALTORS®. When you have a network of professionals in the business, it helps to make transactions go more smoothly, resulting in satisfied clients.Read More »

Real Estate Agent or REALTOR?

What does a realtor doWhen Is a Real Estate Agent a REALTOR®?

When you go to buy or sell a home in Minnesota, you’ll probably hire someone to help you! Between setting the right asking price or budget, setting up open houses, staging a home, finding homes to look at and deciding what to place or accept as an offer – there’s a lot of work that goes into home ownership. And that’s before you even move in!

That’s were a REALTOR® comes in. But chances are you’ve seen some people listed as real estate agents in Minnesota. So when is a real estate agent a REALTOR®?

What is a REALTOR®?

A real estate agent is a REALTOR® when he or she joins a local, state and national REALTOR® association. REALTORS® also must be affiliated with a broker who also has a REALTOR® membership. Members also abide to the National Association of REALTORS® strict Code of Ethics. Many REALTORS® also have special designations that they’ve earned through continuing education and classes. You’ll find these designations as letters after the REALTOR’s name.  If you’re interested in becoming a REALTOR in Minnesota – click here.

Why Use a REALTOR®?

If you’re about to buy or sell a home in Minnesota you might be wondering why you should hire a REALTOR® or what a REALTOR® does.. Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments you will experience in your lifetime. What if you had a $100,000 tax problem or legal question? You wouldn’t try to deal with it without an accountant or attorney. Read More »

Minnesota REALTORS: Meet Holly Connaker

Get to Know a Minnesota REALTOR®

Each month, we’re putting a much-deserved spotlight on our members! These REALTORS® know what it takes to make it in the Minnesota housing market and what it takes to buy and sell homes in Minnesota.  We hope you enjoy getting to know some of your fellow REALTORS® in Minnesota!

Holly Connaker, Positive Realty, Brainerd
Holly serves on the MNAR Board of Directors as the Greater Lakes Association Representative and also serves on the MNAR Governmental Affairs Committee.

Minnesota Real Estate Realtors lake homes

Holly has been a REALTOR® for 7 years, serving the Brainerd Lakes area. She specializes in residential re-locations and lake home properties in Minnesota. She says the market in her area is stabilizing thanks to improved consumer confidence and a drop in inventory levels. Holly also believes in the power of social media. She procured a $1.5 million property trade from a Facebook post! If you’re just starting out in real estate in Minnesota, Holly has three pieces of advice:

  • Find a mentor in your area who is willing to teach you.
  • Ask questions.
  • If something doesn’t seem right, then it probably isn’t.Read More »

Buying a Home with a Buyer’s Agent

Real Estate: What is a Buyer’s Agent?

When you get ready to buy a home, you want to make sure you’re working with the right real estate agent in Minnesota. You’ve asked friends and family for recommendations, checked out REALTORS® who are knowledgeable in the areas where you want to live and maybe you’ve even interviewed a few people.

You may have noticed that some REALTORS® you’re considering have different letters or designations after their names. These designations apply to extra training and certifications that a real estate agent has received.

What is an ABR in real estate?

One designation is an ABR® – or an Accredited Buyer’s Representative. An agent who has the ABR® designation has completed extra, specialized training in buyer services. He or she has an established track record of experience with representing home buyers.

When you start working with an agent – you’ll want to know what his or her ‘agency status’ is. For many years, agency relationships were only for sellers and real estate agents working with buyers are actually working for the seller. Much of that has changed and that’s why it’s important to talk to your agent or broker about who they’re serving – are you a buyer-customer or a buyer-client? The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is happy to help you answer any questions on the rules here in Minnesota.Read More »

New Forms for REALTORS in Minnesota

Minnesota real estate forms releaseNew Minnesota Real Estate Forms Out in October

Each year, the Minnesota REALTOR® new form release occurs on August 1st to coordinate with legislative changes and help coordinate revision releases to one time per year. This year, those new forms will be released October 1st. Minnesota Association of REALTORS® CEO Chris Galler outlined why the delay has happened and what REALTORS® in Minnesota will see in the meantime.

Because of MLS software security updates related in part to the MLS SASI cooperative, we are unable to release the revised/new forms on August 1st this year. MLS systems change security routines in order to protect the data placed in the system.  One of Minnesota’s large MLS vendors – FBS – is doing such a security algorithm change on August 9th which has a negative impact on the Instanet Solutions program that auto fills the contracts, builds the files and provides members with Authentisign e-signature capabilities.  FBS and Instanet Solutions have been working over the last few weekends making the integration into the new statewide forms program when technicians the security issue came to light when reviewing the Single Sign-in Option.  For this reason, MNAR will be delaying the release until October 1st to ensure the SASI system security is in place and functioning properly.

What does this mean for Minnesota REALTORS®?

Read More »