Found a Home to Buy but Haven’t Sold your Current One?

Here are some options if haven’t sold your current home and you’ve found a new one.

The perfect house – you’ve found it! It’s got the features you want in the location you desire and at the right price. Isn’t this the happy ending every home-buyer wants? Not if you still have a house to SELL. What can you do when you’ve found a new house to buy, but haven’t yet sold your current home? You do have a few options, some better than others.

Ultimately it comes down to your financial situation. If money is no object, you have all the freedom to buy that home without any worries. For the rest of us, here are some options.Sell Current Home

Buy the house: This clearly holds the greatest risk, as lenders are quite cautious these day about lending a second mortgage to a buyer. And because there is no clear idea on just how long you might have to carry 2 mortgages, it’s a stressful jump for the homebuyer as well. Can you carry these 2 mortgages for 6-9 months? A year or longer?

Buy but rent: If you are able to secure financing and decide to purchase your new home, an option is to move into your new place and rent out the home you intend to sell to help offset your expenses. Some will do this and take their home off the market for a year or longer, depending on the real estate market. Some might attempt to sell it with renters in it, but that can be difficult as well, since renters don’t always understand the concept of keeping a home ‘show-ready’.Read More »

In Love with Two Houses?

You have to choose between two great homes. Now what?

After weeks of searching, you’ve fallen in love with that perfect house. But you’re not feeling at all settled. What’s wrong with finding the perfect house? Nothing, unless you’ve actually found 2 perfect houses. Maybe you love the houses equally or you and your spouse each love a different house. Now what do you do? Here are some things to consider when having to choose between 2 houses you love.Two Homes

Emotions Out:

The first rule of thumb it to keep emotions out of the equation – you need to approach this rationally! Many people resort to the good old’ pros and cons list. It’s a concrete list and usually one house will prevail as the ‘better’ house to buy. The list should start with your budget and your ‘must haves’ for the home. If there is no clear winner, dig a little deeper and include…

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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

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.

Twin-home

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

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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How to Find a Qualified Home Inspector

What to consider when looking for a home inspector.

Before you buy and move into that darling colonial house on the corner, it’s imperative to know the house is structurally sound and the systems are in good working condition. You need an expert’s opinion on what issues are a simple fix and what problems might end up as a deal breaker. How do you find an inspector and how can you be confident that the inspector you hire is qualified?Inspector

Recommendations

Your real estate agent has likely worked with many inspectors over the years and has their favorites. That is a good place to start – but it shouldn’t be your only option. Make sure you get not only recommendations, but references, and get them from more than just your agent.

Certification

There isn’t any official licensing to become a home inspector in the state of Minnesota, but you can find inspectors who have taken courses and are certified through the Professional Home Inspection Institute (PHII) and are members of reputable organizations, such as ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) NAHI (National Association of Home Inspectors) and MSHI (Minnesota Society of Home Inspectors). These organizations have rigorous requirements for membership, offer continuing education classes for technical skills and customer service. These organizations offer search engines on their web sites for you to find an inspector in your area by simply plugging in your city or zip code.Read More »

Minnesota Market is Still Strong in September

New Listings and Closed Sales Remain Positive transition from summer to fall with these packing tips

October 21, 2013 (Edina) – As kids across Minnesota went back to school in September, the housing market didn’t seem to lose any steam according to the most recent report from the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®.  Minnesota residents continued to feel confident enough in Minnesota’s economy to put their homes on the market.

During September, statewide numbers showed a 14 percent increase in new listings over the same time period in 2012.  “We generally see a drop in listings this time of the year primarily due to the absence of school year influenced sellers and the reduction of discretionary sellers,” said Rod Helm, President of the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®.  “This year to year increase is really representative of more sellers looking to take part in the current housing recovery.”Read More »

Minnesota Housing Summit on October 3, 2013

Top 10 Reasons to Attend the Housing Summit 

Minnesota Housing Summit 2013
Minnesota Housing Summit 2013

Continuing your education is important in the world of real estate.  Join hundreds of your peers across the housing and real estate industry at the Minnesota Housing Summit on October 3. Experts will share their knowledge about a variety of topics from home values to interest rates, from how Minnesota is changing to what the future holds for our industry.

Everyone who has a stake in housing should be there! Still not convinced? Here are the top 10 reasons to attend the Housing Summit.Read More »

Housing Market Shows No Sign of Slowing Down

Highest amount of closed sales in Minnesota since 2010.

Sold signs have become a popular yard accessory this summer. According to the latest report from the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®, the number of closed sales in June are at 8,125. This is up 351 from the same time last year, a 4.5 percent increase. This recent surge is the highest Minnesota has seen since 2010.

Homebuyers are signing on the dotted line while more are looking to do the same. The number of pending sales has seen an 8.3 percent increase.

Minnesota closed sales by region.

“Thankfully sellers won’t have to wait very long to sell their home,” said Jim Cormier, President of the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®. “In the Twin Cities, we’re seeing homes sell quickly – often with multiple offers.”Read More »