minnesota: 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)

minnesota: 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)

minnesota: 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)

minnesota: What’s Your World View? - 01/09/18 08:33 AM
All real estate is local. Every state, and even counties have particular laws and practices governing transactions, and one state doesn’t always agree with another. What’s interesting about Weltanshuung is that we are all provincial. 
I lived in Manhattan for over 20 years, in South America for 8 and back to Minnesota. Each place has a very different view of life. New York is tolerant, diverse, but in your face. It has no time for slackers. And in their defense, where else do you have people from all over the world, most of whom don’t speak English, talk with their hands, and … (3 comments)

minnesota: Total Rehab in NE Minneapolis/It Gets Worse Before it Gets Better - 12/08/17 10:31 AM
Surprise is usually a bad word in real estate. Before any investor buys a home, they do a thorough inspection to plan the project and estimate expenses. The budget will have a little wiggle room for surprises that no one anticipates. 
The first phase depends on the time of year. In Minnesota, the weather is a major consideration. Winter comes every year, we just never know when. Exterior work needs to be done when weather permits, 50 degrees or above. The 6th St house that closed in early October rushed to have the stucco painted and window wells dug before the first … (4 comments)

minnesota: What’s the Financial Forecast for 2018? - 12/08/17 08:35 AM
I always love to listen to Dr. Ted C. Jones, Stewart Title’s national economist who served as chief economist at Texas A&M because he puts the “why?’ in big data. He was here December 6 for his annual ‘By the Numbers” chat.
Before he started the speech I asked if we should be freaking out over the tax bill.
“Why would you want to do that?” he asked. 
“Because everyone thinks we’ll go over a cliff, and it’s scary,” I responded.
“Well, we don’t know what we’re getting yet. I’ve read the whole bill, and it’s good for the economy in the long run. Let’s … (3 comments)

minnesota: 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)

minnesota: This Could be you, Keith and Angela - 04/18/17 07:39 AM
They moved to the Twin Cities for job relocation from the East not knowing if they would stay, or even like it. Soon they were nestled into a cozy rental home in Minnetonka, their jobs were running on track. Their rental was an older home, charming, but begged fixing. That's when they began thinking about what they really wanted.
It started with, "If we want to stay in Minnesota, let's put down roots." Keith and Angela began to think about starting a family, building community, making friends. After looking at a few older homes, they explored some new construction communities. The … (1 comments)

minnesota: How does Immigration Impact Real Estate in 2017? - 03/17/17 10:51 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, … (3 comments)

minnesota: 7 Tips to Win in Multiple Offers - 03/13/17 12:31 PM
A couple weeks ago I showed a home in NE Minneapolis whose owners had spent months preparing for the sale. The photos were from last summer. That means that they meticulously planned every corner and cranny since then. There was a constant stream of buyers. That evening I received an email from the listing agent, “Thank you for your patience while we comb through 28 offers.”
The next weekend I showed a similar smaller home, and the 27 who weren’t the winner last week showed up on a Saturday morning to try again. There were 14 offers on that home.  Last week … (6 comments)

minnesota: A Sellers Market isn't a Magic Lantern - 02/15/17 11:04 AM
During the real estate boom from 2000-2006, sellers got a little lazy. Put a sign in the yard, and they will come. They weren’t too worried about how the house looked, or fixing minor repairs because they expected multiple offers and could choose from the pile.
When the recession hit, even great houses sold below price and buyers seemed to triple repair estimates demanding price reductions. There was a period in 2008-2010 when every buyer wanted an $80,000 house. Their expectation was that it was worth $250,000, and they wound up buying $160,000 thinking that there was something better was waiting.
Fast forward … (4 comments)

minnesota: What's the most romantic place for Valentine's Dinner in Minneapolis? - 02/13/17 03:30 PM
Where's the most romantic place for Valentine's Day dinner in Minneapolis for Millenials?  
In the new home that they closed on last week.
Skip the crowded restaurant, the exhausted waiters, and over priced dessert.  Cozy up in your new home, make memories.  This is why you bought a home of your own.  What's really important here is that you are building your dreams together on your own terms. Start now. 

minnesota: This Could be YOU, Kyle’s Story - 02/08/17 03:02 PM
An idea popped into Kyle’s head before she opened her eyes on a warm September morning in 2015.  She was renting part of her Grandma’s house, but it was being sold. Her mom offered that she could live with her, but this morning Kyle knew that she wanted a place of her own. Breathing in the steam of her first cup of coffee that morning, the idea started taking shape. She wanted a home with a yard for her daughter to play, bedrooms for each of them, space for a real home office, a kitchen where they could cook together, and … (5 comments)

minnesota: Thank You for your Patience While we Comb through 28 Offers……… - 02/06/17 01:00 PM
Last week I showed a home that just came on the market to a buyer who has been waiting for some new options in South Minneapolis.  This home was well priced, excellent condition, and had everything a first time buyer could want. 
Of course, he loved it, but his wife was out of town, so he hesitated to write an offer.
 That evening an email came in from the listing agent.  “Thank you for showing our new listing and your patience while we are combing through 28 offers…..”
It’s no accident that this home had multiple offers. There are reasons why it happened:

minnesota: This Could be YOU - 01/22/17 04:03 PM
There are times in real estate when you wonder why you do what you do. Then, there are gratifying times why you know exactly why you do it.
Yessica started her adventures in home buying on Zillow in October 2016. She already had hopes, and had saved up some money six months earlier. Her credit wasn’t perfect, but as a single mom, she was determined to get beyond living for two years in a cramped one bedroom apartment.
“I’d always wanted a home a home to give my kids space, and a yard to play in. There isn’t much we could do in … (0 comments)

minnesota: Every Day is for Thanksgiving - 11/25/16 08:23 PM
I am grateful every day.  When I think about the first Thanksgiving I realize that it was because of immigrants who fled Europe because of religious persecution. They were poor, cold, starving, and depended on the kindness and generosity of the first Americans. Because of them we are here.  Because of the gritty lives that they endured, we built a nation. 
Yesterday, one of the Ancestry sites invited me to check on my ancestors.  I found the 
grandfather that I never knew.  He sailed from Prussia in the 1880s to New York,
one of 11 children. They made their way to Minnesota and plowed … (6 comments)

minnesota: South Minneapolis DEAL OF THE WEEK, teeny, tiny, adorable, affordable - 01/11/11 01:28 PM
Right there, in South Minneapolis, plunked in the middle of big snow drifts, is an adorable, affordable and totally rehabbed tiny house.   
We've become accustomed to seeing 4000 square foot Minneapolis Garagemahals, but what about that single first time buyer who doesn't want to live in a condo?  Or the couple who wants a convenient budget saving pad near the airport? We're all looking for a bargain, so here is the SOUTH MINNEAPOLIS DEAL OF THE WEEK!
This is a fabulous 480 square foot, 1 bedroom, completely new kitchen, bathroom, wood flooring for only $64,900.  That is a teeny, tiny $300 Principle … (5 comments)