As many of you know, about five months ago I made the decision to shift my focus away from just working with buyers and sellers, and instead focus on building homes. In those past five months, I have learned a lot. It has been challenging, rewarding, and everything in between.
This is a one-of-a-kind, three bedroom home in great condition in South Minneapolis with a very rare extra large lot and huge yard.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that it’s easy to be a critic, but it’s a lot harder to actually do the things that get criticized. Many people have told me that my ideas are impossible, or too “out there” to work. But I keep at it because I have a vision and truly believed in what I can accomplish.
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This is a completely remodeled 1700 square foot, 3 bedroom, 2 bath home, and it is absolutely gorgeous. It’s got a new 30 year roof, triple-pane windows, and new high efficiency heating and cooling systems – which all make the home very quiet inside and more energy efficient. Not to mention that it has brand new concrete steps and sidewalk, updated electrical panel, and fresh paint throughout the entire home. Plus, the basement has been fully finished, there’s a brand new kitchen with new cabinets, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances, and there are two fully updated bathrooms with nice tile and stone upgrades.
This property is a huge equity builder and could easily be worth $250,000-$275,000. It has an amazing upper level master suite area, new privacy fencing, updated carpeting, glass block basement windows, a huge porch, and a giant basement that could be finished very nicely. The house has really good bones with beautiful natural woodwork that really gives the house character.
Why are so many homes overpriced right now? Well, part of the reason is that there’s an extremely limited inventory and it seems that because of that, people are just snatching at whatever they can get. The competition is really intense and it’s tough to get a decent home for a decent price. But it doesn’t have to be that way – not if we incorporate better design and more renewable energy.
This townhouse is one you don’t want to miss. Just blocks from Whole Foods (which was just bought by Amazon) and St. Anthony Main, it’s extremely walkable. Within minutes, you can walk out your door and down the street and have fresh organic groceries or grab some dinner before catching a movie at the St. Anthony Main theater. That’s not to mention, of course, that you’re also within walking distance to downtown and you have direct access to the amazing walking/running and biking trails along the Mississippi River.
Now that we’re fully into the Spring/Summer real estate market here in Minneapolis, what I’m seeing is that prices are at all time highs – even above all time highs. The inventory level is extremely low (especially in South Minneapolis) and it’s really tough for buyers to get a good house unless they want to pay a premium (and that’s usually for quality that isn’t as good). A lot of the homes I see for sale now need at least $50,000-$100,000 worth of work to retrofit them to 21st century energy standards, and that can add a lot to a buyer’s eventual bottom line.
I started my real estate brokerage three and a half years ago, and it’s been a really wild ride. At times, it’s been tough – dedicating all of your nights and weekends to your business and having to spend that time away from friends and family can be really difficult. On the other hand, though, this business has given me a lot of enjoyable moments and it’s been so much fun getting the chance to go through all the homes I’ve gone through and to meet so many great people and families who have since become amazing clients. I’ve honestly had such a good time getting to know each and every one of them and helping them find their first home.
This house on Bloomington Avenue is awesome. Not only is it in great condition (it has a well-cared-for brick exterior, a nice open layout, three bedrooms on the main level, a finished basement, and two bathrooms), but it’s also in a prime location. Located in South Minneapolis right on the border of Richfield, it’s just off a bus line and 20 minutes from downtown - you don’t even need to have a car. Plus, you’re just down the road from Target, Home Depot, and Lake Nokomis.
Located two blocks north of Summit Avenue and within walking distance to the Grand Avenue shops and dining, this beautiful Merriam Park home has a large, fenced-in backyard, new 2+ car garage with loft storage, lower level family room with radiant in-floor heat, and 2nd floor laundry. Plus, it has so much character and style with original millwork, hardwood floors, and updated kitchen and baths.
This property is by far one of the best values on the market. South Minneapolis is a tough place to buy right now and frankly, there isn’t a home in the area that you can buy that has two bedrooms and is move-in ready for $100,000, let alone $150,000.
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Sometimes you have to break down to have a breakthrough. I definitely learned that this weekend. I was really stressed out with work, trying to help a lot of buyers but unable to find properties in this market, writing on properties but not winning in multiple offer situations, and having deals get canceled because of bad inspection results, and frankly, it all started to get to me. It can be frustrating when things seem to be going bad left and right, especially when you’re working so hard all the time to help your clients but you feel like you’re not making any progress.
I’ve been doing a lot of research on high performance housing lately and I really think it’s the future. While a lot of houses in Minneapolis are known for their charm – largely because they were built nearly 100 years ago – that charm also comes with some energy inefficiency. Today, though, there are some amazing ways to build new with energy efficient methods that can save you some serious money on utilities and long term cost.
“Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.” -Anonymous
There is a total shift happening in the market right now. I’m not sure if home prices are going to go down, but what I do see is a trend towards either retrofitting older houses with high efficiency standards, or demolishing old homes and building new.
Recently, I've begun to see a pattern: people from the East and West coasts are inquiring about property in Minneapolis and making the move here. What I think is happening is that they are hedging against economic uncertainty by finding a safe place to invest their cash - right in our city. We have great schools, great parks, and so much to offer, not to mention that real estate on the coasts has become enormously expensive.
2017 is going to be a year unlike any other. Real estate in Minneapolis and the Twin Cities is going to break all records for low inventory, and I’m already seeing a massive shift in the market. There are virtually no homes available, and there are multiple offers the instant the home goes to market. I’m not sure where prices are going to go, but my gut is saying they’ll rise.
Since we are heading into the selling season, I want to talk briefly about land values and why they are so important when you’re looking to purchase a home.
In life, I think it’s really important to reflect on things happening around us, and what is especially on the country’s mind today is the inauguration of a new president. I see a variety of emotions on Facebook: some people are happy, and many other are unhappy and worried about what the future holds.
In today’s market, many of my clients have had to face back to back multiple offer situations, which are often difficult to win. Typically, we will have to write three offers for each of our clients before they finally win a bid. That’s just the nature of the very competitive market here in Minneapolis.
Well, we’ve officially started 2017, and I’m really excited for this year. One thing I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is how to get better and how to improve my value in the marketplace; how can I gain more skill, offer better services to my clients, and better leverage my time? What I’ve learned is that in order to achieve these goals, I have to keep learning from other people.
I can already tell that this year is shaping up to be a very aggressive market in South Minneapolis. I typically judge how the market is going to be based on the activity level in January right after the New Year. In this case, since Christmas I have already received at least 4-5 calls from sellers looking to sell and numerous other calls from buyers looking to purchase a home.
This year, for the first time since 2009, home prices in Minneapolis did not drop between October and November. In fact, they actually went up. Now why is that so significant and strange? Well, typically every year since 2009 (and in years prior to that), home prices followed a pattern where they decreased around late fall/early winter. So this shift in the norm means that 1) supply is still very limited, 2) demand is still very strong, and 3) Minneapolis continues to be a high demand area.
Yesterday I achieved a big milestone in my life: I passed my residential builder’s license exam, which makes me eligible to become a licensed residential builder. I’ve always loved houses and dreamed of one day getting the chance to create my own. As a little kid, I would spend hours playing with building blocks and Legos, making structures left and right. I knew one day I’d want to do it in the real world.
For some reason, I’ve recently attracted a lot of people who have not done a good job or followed through on their commitments. I’ve hired contractors who really didn’t know what they were doing, went completely off the grid after only completing part of a job, or did not care about following the rules (refusing to provide documentation proving that they were licensed, among other issues). Ultimately, it became clear to me that what they wanted was to get paid for work that they didn’t complete, and that’s a problem. And while hiring a few bad contractors may not seem to be that big of a deal, it really can be debilitating because it delays your project and costs a lot of extra money.
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Every so often a circumstance comes up in your life that makes you really thing about what’s important to you. You have to slow down and decide what it is you want out of life.