Category Archives: Uncategorized

10-Step Guide to Buying a House

http://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/10-step-guide-to-buying-a-house/

  1. Are you ready to be a homeowner?
  2. Hire a Realtor®
  3. Get pre-approved
  4. Look at homes
  5. Choose a home
  6. Get funding
  7. Make an offer
  8. Get insurance
  9. Closing!!
  10. What’s next?!
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How the 2014 Housing Market Will Shape 2015:

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How the 2014 Housing Market Will Shape 2015.
Here are some of the trends realtor.com® notes from 2014 that will help drive a stronger 2015:

An improving economy: “After an especially harsh winter earlier in the year, the economy picked up steam and produced a banner year for new jobs,” realtor.com® notes in its report. “The GDP this year was higher, and is still trending higher, resulting in stronger consumer confidence.”

Low mortgage rates: Despite the end of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing this year, mortgage rates continued to decline and helped to lower borrowing costs of home buyers. In recent weeks, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has been below 4 percent.

Returns to normal price appreciation: “After two years of abnormally high levels of home price appreciation in 2012 and 2013, price increases moderated throughout 2014,” realtor.com® notes. “We are now experiencing increases in home prices consistent with long-term historical performance.”

Distressed sales decline: Foreclosures and short sales fell throughout the year. Foreclosures are projected to be down 30 percent year-over-year at the close of 2014.

Investor activity lessens: Coinciding with the drop in distressed sales and higher home prices, large-scale investor purchase activity in the single-family market decreased. Less competition from investors may offer more room for traditional first-time buyers to squeeze into the market.

However, the realtor.com® report notes several factors that continue to plague the housing recovery and prevent it from being stronger, including:

Tight credit standards: “Despite historically low rates, many households were prevented from capitalizing on mortgage access because of overlays lenders added to qualification standards in order to limit put-back risk,” realtor.com® notes. “A tight spread between approved and declined FICO scores shut out nearly half of the potential population this year. As a result, mortgage credit availability did not improve in 2014.”

Tight inventories of for-sale homes: Inventories did rise this year, but supply failed to outpace demand. The monthly supply of new homes and existing homes continued to fall beneath normal levels, and the age of inventory was down year- over-year.

Fewer first-time buyers: The share of first-time buyers dropped to the lowest level in nearly 30 years, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. “But the first-time buyer share is showing signs of modest improvement by the year-end,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. Federal policy actions, such as revised regulations for lenders and new low down-payment programs introduced in December, are believed to have a positive impact in increasing first-time home buyer share in 2015.

Record levels of renters: The home ownership rate continued to fall this year as the number of renters increased. Rent increases have become an inflationary concern this year, and the pace of rental increases does not appear to be slowing down.

Sluggish new-home building: Single-family new-home starts barely budged in 2014 compared to 2013. New home sales remain far from normal levels. They are typically near 16 percent and instead remain around 9 percent. Still, new home prices rose substantially again this year, revealing that higher priced product is limiting the demand.
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(Source: REALTOR MAGAZINE)

Solera Restaurant In Downtown Mpls. Closes

WCCO | CBS Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Solera Restaurant and Event Center in Minneapolis has closed its doors.

The restaurant announced it was closed Saturday afternoon.

The general manager released a statement saying, “With hundreds of new dining options in town, most offering small plates, the Spanish food and wine niche seems too small for a 220 seat restaurant, two floors of event space and popular rooftop bar.”

The statement said the building owners are currently looking for a more accessible concept for the space.

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TOP 10 HOT HOUSING MARKETS TO WATCH IN 2015 • {Minneapolis, MN}

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Minneapolis: Favorite for Millennial Home Owner Growth and Growth in New Construction

A diverse economy and strong housing affordability lands Minneapolis on our list. The Twin Cities area continues to show low unemployment and is setting new records for jobs in 2014.

The combination of the booming job market and affordable housing makes the city of lakes a hot spot for millennials.

In fact, it’s the second-largest market in the nation among home-owning millennials. The Minneapolis area is also seeing strong growth in new construction, which helps provide supply to meet the increased demand.

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE: Top 10 Hot Housing Markets to Watch in 2015

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Link

Ranked #2 in the Top 100 Best Places to Live for 2015

#2. Rochester, Minnesota

The founders of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester believed the city needed a vibrant arts culture to attract top physicians.
Today Rochester attracts many young residents who quickly fall in love with the city’s creative vibe.
In addition to excellent health care, Rochester gives residents a stable economy, recreational assets and a large collection of restaurants and unique shops.

Quick Facts about Rochester, MN:
•Population Size: 106,903
•Med. Household Income: $63,490
•Med. Home Price: $165,300

(SOURCE: http://www.Livability.com)

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JenniferCarlsonRealtor

October 7, 2014

ARTICLE: 10 Safest States in the U.S..  (via WalletHub)

In honor of National Safety Month, WalletHub set out to find the safest states by taking into account 26 key metrics, including workplace safety, climate disasters, crime, traffic accidents, employer insurance coverage, financial safety, and more.

The following are the top 10 safest states, according to its list:

  1. Massachusetts

  2. New Hampshire

  3. Minnesota

  4. Hawaii

  5. District of Columbia

  6. Rhode Island

  7. Iowa

  8. Illinois

  9. Connecticut

  10. New York