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 »

Why it Pays to Hire a REALTOR

Hiring a REALTOR instead of doing it yourself can save you stress and time.

It may seem that homes are selling really fast in your neighborhood these days. So fast, in fact, that you are tempted to just stick a “FOR SALE” sign in your yard and handle the selling of your home yourself. Before you go ahead and do that, consider why it pays to hire a REALTOR vs doing it yourself. You just might be surprised how much time and work it takes to sell a home.

Education and Experience

Real estate agents have the background necessary to price, market and sell your home in a timely fashion. If they are part of the National Association of REALTORS , they also have extra education to meet the association’s high standards and code of ethics. This education and training means you have a highly skilled professional working on your behalf to get your house sold.Hire a Realtor vs doing it yourself

Market Pros

Not only do REALTORS understand the current market climate, they also understand the nuances from one neighborhood to the next and how that might affect price, competition and time on the market.


Agents know people who know people…who might be in the market for a house just like yours. They also have access to new house listings days before they hit the MLS. Those precious days can mean a jump start in finding or selling a home.Read More »

What’s the Difference between a Townhome, Twin-home and a Condo?

A townhome, twin-home or condo could be perfect for you.

Many people want to own their own place, but don’t necessarily want the responsibility or expense of taking care of the yard or exterior of the home. What are their options? Typically, people turn to townhomes, twin-homes or condos. Aren’t they just about the same? Not really. What is the difference between a townhome, twin-home and condo?Townhome


Generally a row of identical or mirror image houses sharing side walls (except for the end units who have just one common wall). They are owned separately and are allowed to maintain their small yard that is in the front or back of their home, but they also pay association dues, which usually cover the costs of shared property (common space, roof and exterior) and snow removal for the common driveways. Townhomes pretty much look just alike.


A twin-home is basically 2 homes that share a common wall, with 2 separate owners and two yards. The property line runs down the center of the home. You can do what you want with your side of the house and yard…they can have different roofs and be different colors and have different landscape designs.


Condos are in multi-level buildings and not only share walls, but they have units above and below them, as well. They own their own unit and patio or balcony, but don’t own really any land. They pay association dues which covers all the maintenance of the lawn and grounds, parking lot or garage, as well as any recreational areas like workout facilities, tennis courts or a pool.

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The Housing Market Heats Up as Temperatures Rise This Summer

Homes are selling at fastest rate since 2005.

Shorts, flip-flops and tan lines aren’t the only things trending this summer. The housing market has been heating up since July. Homes are flying off the market, according the latest report from the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®.  Homes statewide are selling in 70 days or less. If you’re in the Twin Cities, houses are selling even faster on average in 46 days. This is the fastest homes have sold since 2005.

Minnesota Housing Report

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Make Money Off Your Home

How to leverage your home’s value.

Make the most of your home's value.Your house and yard represent your single largest asset, yet aside from appreciation, you’ve likely never made a dime off of it. Your home is a financial tool with value you can leverage. Make your home work for you. Avoid these common real estate money mistakes.Read More »

Low Inventory Creates Competition in Minnesota Housing Market

Other Indicators Show Improvement

Two months into 2013, statewide numbers continue to show growth in the housing market for Minnesota, according to the latest housing report from the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®.

The median sales price has increased 14.2% from the same time last year.  Homeowners have seen this median value increase from $125,000 in February 2012 to $142,754 in the same period in 2013. Homeowners are receiving 91.9% of their original list price as sales prices trend upward. This is a 2.7% increase from 2012.

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The New Normal: House Prices

“Normal is nothing more than a cycle on a washing machine.”- Whoopi Goldberg

Housing Prices Return to Normal
The latest forecast from FISV predicts home prices will increase by an average of 3.3% annually over the next five years ending September, 2017.

What is normal? A tremendous question when it comes to the housing market. The latest forecast from Fiserv Case-Shiller predicts home prices are returning to prices out of the extremes.

“2012 was the first year since 1997 that the housing market has resembled something [close to] normal,” said David Stiff, Fiserv’s chief economist. “For the past 15 years, home price changes and sales volumes have either been boosted by a bubble mentality or crushed by crash psychology.”

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How Sequestration Will Affect the Housing Market

Why should you be concerned about the sequester? What is the sequester? It’s the talk of the town in Washington, D.C. and it should be on your mind too. The sequester has far-reaching effects, even impacting the housing market in Minnesota.

The sequester, which began March 1, is a set of automatic spending cuts put into law by the Budget Control Act. Signed by President Barack Obama in August 2011, that legislation raised the debt ceiling and sought to apply pressure on Congress to come up with a longer term plan for deficit reduction.

The $1.2 trillion in budget cuts will be spread over nine years and are equally divided between domestic and defense-related spending. During the remainder of the 2013 fiscal year, $85 billion worth of cuts are set to go into effect. Government spending across the board will be affected, including the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The overall impact from the sequester could negatively affect the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and contract the housing market recovery by about two percent.
The overall impact from the sequester could negatively affect the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and contract the housing market recovery by about two percent.

Read More »

Minnesota Housing Starts 2013 Strong with Increased Sales Statewide

January numbers tell the story of low inventory

Minnesota’s housing market kicked off 2013 with another strong month for closed sales statewide, according to the newest housing report from the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®.  Closed sales were up 9.1% statewide in January 2013 compared to January 2012.  Inventory continues to be an issue in most areas of the state.

The median sales price for the entire state was up 13.6% from the same time last year to $142,000.  In 2012 the median price was $125,000.  The median price is the midpoint, indicating there were as many transactions above as there were below the stated price. Home values have been a cause of concern for many homeowners who were underwater with their mortgages.

“The increase in closed sales and the higher median sales shows the strengthening of the market. Homeowners are more willing to list their homes when the listing prices are higher,” said Chris Galler, CEO of the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®. “We’re encouraged that our members will see a busy spring market this year.”

The report also showed that listings are being purchased more quickly. Homeowners statewide are finding that they are able to sell their homes on average in about 97 days.  This is a -16.4% decrease from the same time last year.

Days on Market Until Sale: January 2012 to January 2013

Statewide                                           -16.4%

7 County Metro Region                  -16.9%

Arrowhead Region                          -30.6%

Central Region                                   -8.2%

East Central Region                         -24.3%

Headwaters Region                         -28.6%

North Central Region                         -4.3%

Northwest Region                             -24.7%

South Central Region                      +13.0%

Southeast Region                               -14.4%

Southwest Central Region                 -1.0%

Southwest Region                             -30.4%

Upper MN Valley Region                 -46.5%

West Central Region                         -14.0%

“As inventory continues to decrease, prices will continue to go up,” said Jim Cormier, President of the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®. “We are seeing more multiple offers on homes for sale in Minnesota and many buyers are starting to put their offers in very quickly to avoid losing out on a property they want to buy.”

Homeowners are also receiving 91.8% of their original list price, which is also a +2.8% increase over the same time last year.

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.

Latest Housing Report Shows Minnesota Numbers Trending in the Right Direction

The latest report from the Minnesota Association of REALTORS® shows that the market is continuing to recover.  As we edge into the typically slower winter months, the October 2012 numbers are still trending in the right direction.  Statewide, the median sales price continues to creep up to $152,000, an increase of +9.4% from a year ago.  Sellers are finding themselves receiving offers that are 92.5% of the original list price in an average of 95 days.

Closed transactions are another positive indicator of a strong housing market.  In October 2012, closings were up +8.0% from the same time in 2011.  “An increase in closed sales is important because it indicates that buyers are interested in moving forward with homeownership,” said Jim Cormier, President of the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®.

The only number which needs to see some improvement in the coming months is the listing inventory.  Last year there were 9,716 new listings as compared to 9,553 in 2012.  This is a change of -1.7%.  “We need more homes for buyers to consider,” said Cormier.

Median Sales Price:  October 2012 compared to October 2011

Statewide                                           +9.4%

7 County Twin Cities Region            +15.3%

Arrowhead Region                            +5.7%

Central Region                                   +14.6%

East Central Region                          +7.4%

Headwaters Region                           +15.9%

North Central Region                        -2.0%

Northwest Region                             -3.1%

South Central Region                        0.0%

Southeast Region                              +0.9%

Southwest Central Region                +4.0%

Southwest Region                             +32.1%

Upper MN Valley Region                  -22.8%

West Central Region                         -4.8%

The median sales price is the midpoint, indicating as many transactions above as below the stated price.  “With the median sales price also on the rise, we hope homeowners who have been waiting for the housing market to recover will consider listing their homes with a qualified REALTOR®,” said Chris Galler, CEO of the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®.

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.