minneapolis: How to Snag a Deal Buying a Home Summer 2018 - 08/07/18 08:35 AM
5 - Tips for shopping for homes late summer in Minneapolis.
There are good, better, best times to shop for homes in Minneapolis/St Paul. Sales do follow the seasons, and late summer is one of the best times to shop. Why?
Your competition just went on vacation. The spring market is always the most competitive and seems to start earlier every year. What used to be a late March spring market now starts in February. Furthermore, Memorial Day to 4th of July buyers are distracted by weddings, graduations, and trips to the cabin taking advantage for three weekends of warm summer that we … (4 comments)

minneapolis: A Place For Fred. - 04/09/18 10:55 AM
Danielle woke up one eye at a time. It’s a dreary winter morning, still dark out with snow drifting down. Her bed was a rumbled pile of blankets, she stretched her back with her eyes still closed. Next to her Fred cuddled up, he turned to poke her face with his cold nose. His gesture said, “I gotta go. Let’s walk. Now. Ok?”  He wiggled his tail and his eyes lighted up as she grabbed her running shoes and winter jacket.
Dogs outnumber children in apartments. 70% of apartment dwellers own pets, but where do they roll on the grass, catch a … (4 comments)

minneapolis: Rags to Riches Rehab in NE Minneapolis - 03/22/18 07:37 AM
There are all kinds of rehabbers. Some are flippers who throw on a coat of paint, carpeting, a slice of granite, and new appliances calling it a remodel. What you left with is the original windows spray painted shut, 30 year old furnaces, and a partially new kitchen. I’ve had to drag buyers seduced by a coat of paint, sparkly granite, and cute staging totally missing the actual condition of the house. I don’t care that someone else bought the house in multiple offers because I won’t get the call on a February night saying that the furnace just died. 
A better … (3 comments)

minneapolis: My Life as a TV Real Estate Reality Show Star (imagined) - 03/16/18 07:50 AM
Every morning I wake up with my head exploding with brilliant Instagram images on rehabbing houses. It's not an easy work, it takes a village. There are project plans, the decor has to be gorgeous, crew lined up, and buyers vetted. Hair and wardrobe make or break the image. What should I wear swinging a sledgehammer or showing a dingy basement? The look has to be professional and glamorous, yet with homey relatable images.
At 10 AM I meet the new couple at my office. They've been vetted by the casting team, contracts are signed, budget is set, and they’ve already bought … (24 comments)

minneapolis: How Many Houses Do You Need to See? - 03/01/18 09:34 AM
First time buyers are used to scrolling through hundreds of options on Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com. Some think that they need to see every home on the market to make a decision. They form a wish list from houses online, and by visiting a few open houses. There is a better way.
Searching for homes has gotten easier, but still requires a little due diligence. In the late 1990s, buyers were sure that they knew everything about a house from a 1” square photo online. After seeing a few homes in person, they quickly discovered that one small photo didn’t tell them … (7 comments)

minneapolis: 22 Things That I Learned in 22 Years Selling Real Estate - 02/22/18 10:26 AM
Between 1996 when I first started selling real estate, and today, the world has changed a lot. Technology has made us more capable, faster and smarter. My job description is the same, it's how we practice the craft that it is different. What doesn’t change is that real estate is a people business. Like an insurance ad that claims to have seen a thing or two, I’ve learned a thing or two.
Stocks and bonds can disappear, real estate goes up-and-down, but it's always there. That’s why they call it R E A L estate. It is always about the client … (54 comments)

minneapolis: When to Just Say NO - 02/09/18 08:03 AM
Did you ever hear your mouth moving without your brain being present? Someone just asked for a totally unreasonable request and you are there nodding your head, while your brain screams, “What the Hell, I told you not to do that again!”
It’s too late, we’ve already committed, and we know we are going to hate doing that thing. Women are more culpable of giving in because we try to please. It’s in our DNA and controls the tongue. A sales coach explained the difference between men and women in selling. Men say, “Here’s the thing. The thing costs $xxxx. Are you … (9 comments)

minneapolis: Is Flipping Dead? - 02/06/18 07:58 AM
The Great Recession was a candy store for investors. Flipping gurus packed convention halls with people convinced that they can make a fortune using their system that cost upwards of $10,000. There were tremendous opportunities for those who had faith that the market would rebound. Fast forward from 2008 to 2018, the market did come back.
As a real estate coach once told me, “Stocks and bonds can spike or disappear. Real estate can go up and down, but it’s always there. That’s why they call it real.”
Housing inventory right now is very tight, there is a shortage of traditional sales, even … (5 comments)

minneapolis: Total Rehab in NE Minneapolis, Part 3 - 02/05/18 08:00 AM
From the outside it doesn’t look like much is going on. Even if you peek in the windows, you’ll still see a raw gutted main floor. You’ll be surprised, “Wasn’t this supposed to be done by now? It’s already been a couple months!” Here's the reality check part: things don't always go according to plan, and surprise is a very bad word in real estate.
I sat down with Kevin Johnson of Chief Concepts, over a cup of coffee to find out what happens before he even writes an offer on a house. Over the years I've had a lot of would … (0 comments)

minneapolis: Minneapolis' Creative Ice Cube - 01/31/18 12:05 PM
The most recent incarnation of the Walk Art Center was built in 2005 to mimic an ice cube. We're in Minnesota, and everything is an ice cube all winter long.  But, the Walker is a creative center that encompasses Moder Art, Music, Film, Dance, and a Sculpture Garden interspersed with events throughout each month.
The Walker's inception started in the home of a lumber baron, Thomas Barlow Walker in 1879. It ws an ear of lumber barons, major mansions and extensive art collections. The Walker Art Gallery became official in 1927,  and keeps growing to 700,000 visitors every year. Minneapolis/St. Paul  are … (1 comments)

minneapolis: Good News for Sellers in SW Minneapolis - 01/30/18 09:42 AM
Southwest Minneapolis has lots of advantages, and is always a good investment. Even during the Recession values held, and foreclosures were few and far between. What makes SW so popular is that it feels like a suburban walking neighborhood around Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet, yet minutes from down town. There were 26 new construction homes sold in 2017, ranging in price $582K to $1.2 million. Most of the new homes took out an older home, and rebuilt. Even those tiny older homes are in demand to either be rehabbed, or completely rebuilt. Prices are inching up due not only to … (0 comments)

minneapolis: What I Love About Google Maps for Real Estate - 01/30/18 08:34 AM
It’s more than just finding the right address.
Did you ever find yourself standing outside of a house that you loved online, but.. the yard is tiny, or it backed up to an airport?  Or, it’s next to a gas station, bus stop, trailer park or swamp?
Google maps are usually current, and we can do a lot more than find an address.   Real estate listings describe the house, the photos show it’s best features.   The info isn’t always 100%.  Google maps fill in some of details that a listing feature sheet can’t cover.   It’s my number ONE tip for buyers searching homes online.  You … (4 comments)

minneapolis: How does Immigration Impact Real Estate in 2018? - 01/30/18 08:26 AM
The phone rang on a Saturday morning, “I don’t know if you remember me, you sold me a house a long time ago, and I need to talk to you urgently.” I remembered him and his wife, we had talked a few years ago about selling, but they decided to stay. Their faces were tense, and his voice was very soft when we met. “I’ve worked at my job at the hotel for 20 years, but I had a traffic ticket. Are they going to deport me?  Should I sell my house now?” 
Another woman asked in desperation, “My husband was deported, … (0 comments)

minneapolis: What’s New in the Spring Parade of Homes? - 01/30/18 07:45 AM
There’s snow on the ground and temps are still in the single digits, but the Spring Parade of Homes is almost here. Every spring and fall we look forward to new trends, and energy updates. 406 new homes will be open starting February 24-March 25 presented by BATC (Builders Association of the Twin Cities). Homes are always open Thursdays through Sundays noon to 6PM.
With over 400 model homes to see, where do you start? There’s no way to see them all, so you have to make some choices. The www.paradeofhomes.org website helps you sort them out. You can choose an area, a … (0 comments)

minneapolis: What’s Happening Downtown Minneapolis? - 01/29/18 07:53 AM
How would you like to wake up to panoramic views of the skyline as the sun begins to peek through your bedroom windows? How about a quick trot to a Pilates studio, and then a hop into a craft coffee shop? How about checking out a charming new restaurant with great reviews just a block away? Or, if you’re too pooped to pop, give Bite Squad a jingle to bring it to you.
Baby Boomers are flocking back to the city. It’s a surprise to see couples with a big 4 bedroom house, and acreage in the suburbs downsizing to1300 square feet … (3 comments)

minneapolis: Where is There Affordable New Construction in Minneapolis??? - 01/17/18 08:20 AM
First, let’s define affordable. Housing affordability means that an index of 120 means the median household income was 120% of what is needed to qualify for the median-priced home. The higher number, the more affordable. The average price for 2017 was $271,900, with an index of 170. Translated, $271,900 is a comfortable purchase for average incomes.
It seems impossible, but yes, there is new construction in Minneapolis under $330,000. Your first thought is that it might be shoddy, or in the middle of gangland. Not so.   Here’s what’s happening;      the City of Minneapolis designated 100 lots for Green Homes North Project … (4 comments)

minneapolis: One Step Forward, Three Steps Back, DACA down the Drain - 09/06/17 08:53 AM
We are a nation divided and in dismay. Even TV writers can’t contrive plots as contorted as what is happening in front of us. The Obama administration created DACA in 2012 frustrated with the failure of Congress to come to any resolution repairing our broken immigration system. The program gives temporary permits to children brought here from outside the country illegally.
800,000 Dreamers signed up for the permits, and their lives are in the balance. You might not think that it affects you, but it does. There is misinformation and ignorance about immigration. Every single one of them has gone through extensive … (0 comments)

minneapolis: Home must Appraise at or Above Agreed Price or ....................... - 07/13/17 08:45 AM
Most markets across the country are plagued with a drought of listings and flooded with competitive multiple offers. Not all offers are created equal, the listing agent job is to guide the sellers in making the right choice.
Recently, I’ve received offers with the following clause on the financing addendum: “Home to appraise at or above agreed purchase price. Buyers and sellers agrees to renegotiate terms if home doesn’t appraise at agreed value. If no agreement is made, Buyers or Sellers can cancel contract with buyer receiving all earnest money back.”
The first time it happened, both my seller and I were surprised. The … (2 comments)

minneapolis: Minneapolis Moorish Mansion - 07/07/17 07:24 AM
Every city has a past, but most people don’t think of Minneapolis as a city of historical treasures. St. Paul revels in its landmark buildings and colorful history. Summit Avenue is lined with Historical Landmark mansions in impeccable condition. Minneapolis went through an urban modernization back in the 1960s, and gained a reputation for demolishing instead of refurbishing. Some architectural critics refer to it as an aesthetic reversal. 
From the late 1800s up until the stock market crash in 1929 the Twin Cities which was home to lumber and newspaper barons saw construction of some magnificent architecture. The City of Minneapolis lists … (4 comments)

minneapolis: All it Takes is a Good Egg - 07/05/17 08:44 AM
Before my daughter could drive, I’d zip across Franklin Avenue, down West River Parkway and drop her at school every morning. I’d take that route because it was close to my office and we’d pass Kimber’s Gallery, it would always make me smile.
The East River neighborhoods are a secret in Minneapolis. How Kimber’s Gallery is kept a secret is a mystery to me. She has the genius and whimsy of Gaudi, and the talent of a master bronze sculptor. Her home, studio, and gallery on 3020 E Franklin, just before the Franklin bridge, stops you in your tracks with bright Matisse … (4 comments)