Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Tara-Nicholle Nelson

Remember metal detectors? When I was a kid, they were all the rage, holding the emotional rush of a game with the a potential real-life treasure chest at the end. Fast forward a couple of decades, and what seems to be our constant craving for a treasure hunt has shifted to a different medium, fed most prominently by PBS’Antiques Roadshow. Loyal viewers like myself watched “The Roadshow” with anxious anticipation for those twin appraisers to come out, before they got their own show. When those guys showed up, it was usually a sign that someone’s auntie’s hideous chest was about to be deemed worth six figures.

 

But there’s a real estate version of this treasure hunting phenomenon, too – and it’s not recreational. Rather, the search for a home with hidden potential is most often undertaken in the very serious effort to stretch every ounce of home-buying power out of a savvy buyer’s real estate dollar. Some buyers’ lifestyles require them to focus on home they can move right into, with no work to be done – and their budgets allow them to do so. But others know that the gap between the home they eventually want and the home they can afford right now is so wide that the only way they’ll get their dream home is to buy it while it’s still a diamond in the rough. (Very rough, in some cases.)

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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Tara-Nicholle Nelson

Sometimes, the real estate market can play games with our minds. At the top of the market, home buyers imagine that sellers frolic through fields of cash, rubbing their hands together megalomaniacally as they flip through hundreds of offers, concocting arcane “no brown M&M”-type contract clauses to put the screws to buyers-in-waiting.

At the bottom of the market, the tables turned, and sellers might have visualized buyers sitting on top of truckloads of cash, while deigning to offer them only a paltry few pennies for their Most Precious Asset.

Reality check: neither of these images are anywhere near reality. At the bottom of the market, even the most bargain-hungry buyers are riddled with grave concerns about whether and when to buy, as well as how to get through the maze of tight mortgage and appraisal guidelines. And the opposite is true, too. Even on today’s market – which is much more active than it has been in years – sellers fear making missteps and mistakes that will cause their home to lag or will result in them leaving money on the table, so to speak.

Here are five of the mistakes I see sellers make when the market heats up and buyers start biting – and some tips for avoiding them.

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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Posted by Lindsay Listanski in Tips for Home

Buying a home can be an expensive endeavor, and many potential buyers choose to shave a couple bucks off the final price by purchasing starter homes or properties that need a few repairs. And while this strategy can be an effective way to save money and, in some cases, personalize the house, knowing which repairs are more pressing can help new homeowners avoid delaying certain issues for too long.

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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

 

Article by: JIM BUCHTA

Low lakeshore prices are enabling those once priced out of the market to get a crack at a slice of shoreline.

Even as summer winds down, Minnesotans are headed to the lake. With their wallets.

Buyers are snapping up waterfront properties at an astounding clip, with sales of these homes outpacing purchases of traditional houses in some areas. It’s a dramatic shift for a segment that was clobbered by the recession as would-be buyers put their dreams of a lakefront house on hold. But today’s pre-boom prices are giving these buyers a chance to get these homes at quite a bargain.

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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

 

Article by: JIM BUCHTA

Low supply and high demand in Minneapolis are spurring a revived building boom.

It was only five years ago that downtown Minneapolis was awash in condominiums, but one of the last condo developments to break ground was in 2007 — and that building has just a sole unit left.

Yes, downtown has become one of the tightest condo markets in the Twin Cities metro area, with fewer than 150 units available for sale at a time when demand for urban living continues to grow every year.

Several developers are taking notice and are ready to infuse downtown Minneapolis with new units. One of the first projects will come from Jim Stanton, a veteran developer who plans to build the Park Vista in the historic Mill District. The 12-story tower will eventually bring 169 new condos to the market.

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