Minneapolis Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our Minneapolis, MN blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

March 31, 2020

What Happens During a Real Estate Home Inspection?

The real estate home inspection process is a crucial element in selling or buying a home. But because it is so important, there is often stress and uncertainty involved. Big decisions like buying or selling a house require tremendous patience, especially while waiting for the home inspection.


Your Roost Real Estate agent will be by your side during the process and will ensure you receive a quality home inspection. If you are ready to sell or buy, our team is here to help.

Why Do You Need a Real Estate Home Inspection?

Unless you are making a cash payment for the property, you will have a lender offering you a mortgage loan. The lender will require a quality home inspection. This step is non-negotiable when you are borrowing money to buy the property. Since most people fall into this category, almost every real estate transaction includes an inspection.


In addition to it being a required part of the buying process, an inspection gives you valuable information about the house or condo. You are about to make one of the most significant purchases of your life. You deserve to have as many details as possible before you sign on the dotted line.


The home inspection always happens before you seal the deal. You will have a full report on any concerns with the property before you move forward.

Who Is Responsible For the Home Inspection?

Typically the buyer is the one responsible for paying for an inspection. Your realtor can recommend a qualified professional to do the job and will usually handle the scheduling, as well. 


Occasionally a seller will pay for a real estate inspection before listing the property. They may want to know what repairs or updates are necessary to get top dollar or to avoid a lengthy sale. As the buyer, you can accept their report or hire an inspector of your choosing.


Your agent will likely be on-site for the inspection, and they may recommend that you join them. But it is not a requirement for you to be there. You will receive the full report so that you can review it with your agent.

What Do Home Inspectors Look at In a Home?

You can expect the home inspector to do an extensive examination of the property. The process can take several hours to complete. They will look at many things, including:

  • Foundation
  • Roof
  • Walls
  • Floors
  • Windows and Doors
  • HVAC
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Dishwasher
  • Oven
  • Washer and Dryer (if included in the sale)

This list is certainly not exhaustive. Your inspection report is likely to have hundreds of checkboxes on it since there is almost no stone unturned in the process. 


And it’s also important to note that the inspector is not a specialist in these systems and appliances. Their job is to give you an overview. For example, they can verify that the furnace turns on when they set it to do so. But they are not doing a thorough furnace inspection the way an HVAC specialist would. Or they can give you a rough idea of the roof’s condition, but they are not a roofing expert.


Some components are not part of a real estate home inspection. Generally, it will not include:

  • Plumbing
  • Sewer Lines
  • Septic Tank
  • Pests

Many real estate agents recommend a separate inspection on the sewer lines, and some lenders require it.

What Happens After the Inspection?

Most professionals have their report to you within 24 hours of completing the inspection. One thing to keep in mind as you get the list of findings is that it will be lengthy. Sometimes buyers feel disheartened when they see comments such as “average” or “defective” describing the home they are excited to claim. That does not mean you are getting a faulty house! 


It merely means the inspector did their job and went over things with a fine-toothed comb. The list of “defects” can run into triple digits, especially on older homes. But many of those will be minor and unimportant to the sale of the property. 


A real estate home inspection gives you a picture of a house or condo’s integrity and quality. This step is vital for the buyer and seller. Your real estate agent will go over the findings with you. Together, you can decide if you want to ask the seller to make any repairs. 


If you decide to pursue any repairs after you get the report, keep in mind one crucial piece of information. It is unethical and usually illegal for an inspector to offer to do the repairs on the property. This situation presents an overt conflict of interest and is not acceptable.

As a Seller, How Can I Get the Best Inspection Results?

The home inspection can be equally nerve-wracking for the seller and the buyer. After all, if significant problems show up, the sale could be in jeopardy. If you are in the seller’s shoes, take some time to prepare for the inspection.


Make sure the examiner will have easy access to the roof, attic, and crawl space. Clear brush away from the foundation, so they can see it well. Make sure each room has functional lights, if possible. Anything that hinders the inspector from making a full report could raise red flags for the buyer. 


If there are little projects you have meant to do, it might be a good idea to accomplish those. Remember, cosmetic updates are not in play here. But do you have a bathroom fan that isn’t working? Consider replacing it. Are there loose door handles that need tightening? Take care of those.


If you know the house has a substantial issue, such as roof damage or windows with broken seals, be prepared to hear from the buyer. Work with your agent to have a plan. You should consider how much you are willing to do or how much you will reduce the asking price to keep the sale moving forward. 

We’ll Guide You Right Through the Whole Process

Real estate transactions take time. But with an expert agent on your side, it can go more quickly so that you are signing papers as soon as possible. Reach out to the team at Roost to see how we can help you today. 

March 24, 2020

What Does the Latest Interest Rate Drop Mean for Homebuyers?

Going for round two this year, the Fed has lowered interest rates again. What does this interest rate drop mean for homebuyers? That’s a great question. As everyone adjusts to the new normal facing our country in this time of crisis, it is natural to have a lot of questions. Understandably, homeowners and prospective buyers have a lot of uncertainty in this area.


No matter where you are in your home buying or selling journey, the expert team at Roost is here to help. With excellent relationships with lenders, we can help you make sense of the market and make the sale or purchase you need.

New Territory

It makes sense that questions are flying right now since the Federal Reserve is also in a bit of uncharted territory. The most recent drop slashed the interest rate to zero. They took this drastic step in response to the coronavirus pandemic and in the hopes of bolstering the economy. 


The dust has not yet settled enough to know precisely how low mortgage rates will drop due to this cut. But they will fall. And those in a position to buy or refinance should come out ahead financially.


And keep in mind that rates may continue falling. If you do not need to purchase a home immediately, then you might want to have a little patience, as there may be even more savings coming in the next couple of weeks. 


The Federal Reserve is paying attention to a couple of critical areas of the economy. What happens in these areas will go a long way in determining the Fed’s decision. Savvy market watchers know that the Fed monitors the following:


  • Employment Report - The Bureau of Labor and Statistics puts out this report each month.
  • Consumer Price Index - The BLS publishes this report monthly as well.
  • Inflation Rate - The Fed sets a target. If the inflation rate is not meeting this target, then a rate cut could be on the horizon.

Who Benefits from the Interest Rate Drop?

Homeowners with fixed-rate 30-year loans will not see a change in their monthly payments. However, they may be in an excellent position to refinance at the new lower rate. Refinancing may allow you to lower your mortgage payment or shorten the life of your loan. You may also be able to take out cash for debt consolidation or home improvements.


Those with an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), however, will likely see a change in their monthly payments. Because their mortgage rate depends on the adjustments by the Fed, they experience a drop when the Federal Reserve slashes interest rates.


Those who are in the market to buy a home suddenly find themselves able to buy more house than they previously thought. They might be able to go bigger or newer or choose a home in a more desirable neighborhood.

Look at All the Options

For those who are house hunting, you have time to shop around. If you are stuck at home, you can spend hours looking at homes online. The Roost team can help you find just what you want. If you are selling, be sure your real estate agent knows how to make your home stand out online. Because home buyers have time to search, and they can be picky. 

Consider Making a Move

If you have been pondering any real estate purchases, this could be the best opportunity in a long time. We may never see anything like it again. Here are some ideas to consider as you make a decision.

Super-Size It

Is your current home a tight fit for your family? Now is a great time to think about upsizing your living arrangements. If you have ever dreamed of owning a larger home, this is the time to make it happen. Just imagine having all the space that you need and then some. 


Who knows? If this quarantine lasts too long, you may need a bigger home to keep your sanity. If having more space matters to you, then this latest interest rate drop should be of great interest to you.

Go for New

Have you ever bought a brand new home? Imagine it. You are the first one to hang stuff in the closet. The first one to use the shower. If a new home was out of your budget before, it might be back in the ballpark with the lower mortgage rates. You could enjoy a brand new condo, townhome, or single-family home in no time.

Invest In a Rental Property

Our current status as shut-ins won’t last forever. We will be getting back to normal after the crisis ends. Wouldn’t it be great to have a new rental property to generate some extra income? 


You could look at options for short-term vacation rentals or long-term residential properties. Either one has the potential to create income for years. If you have ever wondered about owning a rental property, perhaps now is the time to investigate it.

Buy a Vacation Home

Last but certainly not least, it could be time to treat yourself. If you have always wanted that perfect cottage on the lake, now is the time to make it happen. Or maybe you want a condo in the heart of downtown to enjoy. Go for it!


An interest rate drop like the most recent one brings you closer to a life that you thought was out of reach. Your dream vacation home is out there waiting for you. Do not let the opportunity escape you.

We’ll Help You Make Sense of the Market

Understanding all the ins and outs of the real estate market isn’t your concern. It’s ours. The concierge team at Roost is the crew you want on your side as you look to buy or sell your Twin Cities home.


We take the guesswork out of your real estate experience so that you can enjoy the process. Regardless of whether the market is up or down, we know how to get you the best deal. Reach out today to get started.

March 16, 2020

What Happens at a Real Estate Closing?

You did a thing and bought a house! After what may have been a lot of back-and-forth communication to get to this point, the owners accepted your offer. And assuming the inspection and appraisal went well, now you are ready for the final piece: the real estate closing.


Your real estate closing day may appear straightforward on paper. But many elements must come together correctly to ensure a smooth final transfer of property from the seller to the buyer. 


Roost Real Estate has you covered in all things closing. Our expert team knows every step of the home buying process and will make sure your buying or selling experience is top-notch.

Real Estate Closing: A Process, Not a Single Event

Closing a sale on a home requires more than signing a check and receiving a set of keys. There is a well-traveled closing procedure to ensure both buyer and seller have legal protections in place.


Using a licensed realtor at every step of the buying or selling journey takes stress off your plate in any real estate transaction. Your agent will guide you through every requirement and ensure that each step proceeds promptly. The ultimate goal is for the closing day to happen as scheduled.


As you prepare for the happy day, some key pieces of the process happen. The real estate agents and title company will coordinate much of this, but it is good to understand what it all means.

  • Escrow Account - An escrow account holds all the transaction money in a secure place until closing. Neither party can access this on their own, so there is no risk of one party taking the money and running. Typically, a buyer pays earnest money into the escrow account as a “good faith” commitment to the sale. If the buyer chooses to back out, the seller keeps the earnest money. If the seller changes their mind, they return the earnest money to the buyer.
  • Home Inspection - If there will be a mortgage on the property, the lender will demand an inspection. But even if you are paying cash for the full price of the property, an inspection is a wise idea. Inspections help uncover significant issues like foundation problems, plumbing challenges, pest infestations, water damage, or roof leaks. After an inspection, you can either walk away from the deal, negotiate repairs, or leverage the inspection results to lower your asking price. Depending on your contract, walking away may require you to forfeit your earnest money.
  • Title Search -  Performing a title search can mean the difference between a care-free home buying process and a potential legal nightmare. A public records search should discover any liens against the home title and confirm the legal homeownership before closing day. This step serves to prove that the seller has a legal right to sell the property.
  • Closing Costs - Prior to signing day, your title company will provide a document with all the closing costs that will be due. Depending on the state and the contract between buyer and seller, closing costs tend to run about 2%-5% of the sale price. This amount typically includes fees to cover things like the credit check, title search, taxes, appraisal, attorney’s costs, and recording fees.

The Big Day

Final walkthroughs on the property occur a few days before the scheduled closing date. The buyer checks that all agreed-upon repairs are complete and that there’s no new damage since your last home viewing. They make sure they’re completely okay with the condition of the home before taking ownership.


On closing day, you need to have your photo ID and, if you’re the buyer, the amount due for your down payment and closing costs. The title company will have told you ahead of time what the instructions are for this. Often, they ask you to do a wire transfer into the escrow account.


You’ll likely get a hand cramp from all the times you have to sign, date, and initial the mounds of paperwork you’ll encounter. Closing usually happens at the title company’s office, but often the real estate agents are there too. 


This is your opportunity to read all the documents and ask questions if you have them. Your realtor and the title officer can help you understand the fine print. But if you still have questions, ask your lawyer for further help before you sign off.


Once all papers have legal signatures, the title company will process them for recording with the county. In some areas, you will not receive the keys to the house at closing. There is usually a two or three-day wait for everything to be legal with county records before you finally get your keys.

A Few Tips For a Smoother Closing Process

Most of what happens to prepare for a real estate closing falls under the jurisdiction of the lender, realtor, and title company. But there are some things you can do to make sure the process stays on track.


Buyers can:

  • Be sure to review and sign documents as they come from your team. Neglecting to sign something can lead to significant delays.
  • Keep your calendar as clear as possible in the three days on either side of your estimated closing date. Until all documents are complete, the title company can’t set an official date. Try to stay flexible with the timing.

Sellers can:

  • Address negotiated repairs quickly and correctly.
  • Review and sign documents promptly. Delays in signing counter-offers or other items can slow down the closing process.

Don’t Close Alone. Enlist the Best Help with Roost

In our DIY culture, many people consider selling or buying a property on their own. But working without qualified representation can be costly and frustrating. Even one missed signature during the process can delay or stop a transaction. This causes unnecessary frustration and stress for all parties involved.


Hiring an experienced Roost agent means that you have a reliable partner to get you through the process unscathed, from offer to closing. Whether you are selling or buying, our crew has the expertise to give you an excellent real estate experience.


Visit our website today to view our current listings and to learn how we can serve you.

Feb. 28, 2020

Top 6 Spring Home Improvement Projects to Do Before Listing Your House for Sale

Home improvements are a great way to increase the value of your property before reselling. And as the weather warms up, you have the perfect opportunity to get to work on your house. If you are ready to tackle some projects, this is an excellent time to plan your spring home improvement strategies.


When it’s time to sell your home, you want to make home improvements that give you the most bang for your buck. In other words, focus your time and money on upgrades that will excite potential buyers. Typically, aesthetic improvements have the most impact when it is time to show a house, so they are a great starting point.


And when you are prepared to buy or sell, the team at Roost is here for you. Reach out today to see how we can assist you in your real estate needs.

The Best Spring Home Improvement Ideas

If you’re wondering which spring home improvements to make, you should assess your house and focus on any obvious problem areas. Fix any little issues you find, like a sticky drawer or a loose doorknob.


You also need to think about the scope of improvements you want to make. Will you hire a contractor or take the DIY route? Making the changes yourself can save you money. But make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew. 


Don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional when you need to. Costly DIY mistakes can mean you would have been better off hiring an expert in the first place.


Ready to start? Here are six projects to tackle this spring if you’re selling a home or condo in Minneapolis, MN.

1. Paint It Up

Paint is one of the most inexpensive ways to quickly and significantly change the look of your home. Opt for neutral paint over any of your dark or odd-colored walls. Or if your walls are already neutral, adding a fresh coat of the same color can make a space instantly look brighter and cleaner.

If you own a single-family home, take a look at the exterior to decide if it also needs a fresh look. For condo owners, the outside typically isn’t your responsibility. Painting is an easy way to up the value of your home and help your house sell more quickly.


If you’re going to paint, choose the colors carefully. For example, a brightly colored door can heighten the home’s appeal to buyers. And selecting a modern palette for an updated look isn’t the only way paint can increase the resale value of your home. Using low-VOC paint makes it more eco-friendly and safer for whoever comes in the door.

2. Replace Old Windows

This home improvement tip is about looks and practicality. If your home’s windows are drafty and old, replacing them with energy-saving choices can appeal to prospective buyers. New windows add curb appeal and bring lower energy costs over time, providing a win-win situation for potential buyers.

3. Refresh the Floors

Hardwood floors are extremely popular with prospective buyers. No hardwood floors? No problem! You can install them or hire out the project.


If your house has hardwood floors already, freshen them up. Clean, buff, and polish them for an updated look. Or consider completely refinishing them if they look like they’ve seen better days. Shabby chic is one thing. Just plain shabby, on the other hand, can be a deal-breaker.


You might even want to refinish the wood with a new stain. Darker floors look more modern, while lighter colors brighten a space.


If you have carpet over hardwood floors, consider ripping it up to highlight this underlying feature. You are almost guaranteed to see a quicker sale at a higher price when you have hardwoods. If you opt to leave the carpet, be sure to invest in professional cleaning.

4. Create a Better Closet Experience

Older homes usually lack the storage that modern families need. Scan your home for any spots you could convert into storage space. And look for current areas you can make more efficient. Can you add more shelving? Or build in some cubby spaces?

It can be worth hiring a contractor to make great use of unused areas in the home. Buyers want storage, so this is a great project to tackle.

5. Upgrade The Appliances

Appliance updates do double the work because they provide a practical and aesthetic improvement. New appliances instantly elevate the look of a home and are more energy-efficient. Buyers committed to an eco-friendly lifestyle will appreciate the environmental impact. Buyers looking for lower energy bills will love the financial impact.


Kitchens are the most obvious place for appliance upgrades. Buyers like to see shiny new pieces that all go together visually. If you are in a tight real estate market, you might consider buying a new washer and dryer to include with the home, as well.

6. Give the Bathroom a Boost

While kitchens are often the focal point of home improvement projects, the bathroom is another good target. If you live in a condo or have a small bathroom, a few changes can make the space more efficient.


Bathroom fixtures can look outdated and grimy after years of use, so swapping out faucets and cabinet hardware can provide a quick cosmetic upgrade. Unless there are significant problems with the bathroom, you don’t necessarily need to do a full remodel. Some fresh paint and new fixtures can do wonders.


New lights in the bathroom are often worth the cost, too. If you want to take it a step further, recessed lighting can increase the home value even more.

Are You Ready to Sell Your Home?

Home improvements are an essential part of preparing to sell your home, but they’re not the only step. Whether you’re selling a house or condo, Roost has a top-notch team ready to help you. And if you’re looking to buy a home, we have you covered there, too. Reach out today to get started.


Feb. 25, 2020

What Can I Grow in Minnesota? Top 4 Tips for Your Container Garden

Have you ever wondered, “What can I grow in Minnesota? It’s really cold here!” And if you live in an urban area, you may think your gardening dreams are out of reach due to space limitations. But that’s not necessarily true.


Does your condo, townhouse, or apartment have a patio or balcony? If so, keep reading for urban container gardening tips that will turn your thumb green in no time.


If your current home doesn’t have a patio or balcony, reach out to Roost today for help finding a condo or townhome that fits your needs. Our condominium specialists can help you land in the lap of condo luxury.

What Can I Grow in Minnesota Weather?

There are plenty of crops that do well in Minnesota. But you do need to plan for a shorter growing season than do vegetable gardeners in states farther south. You might have to start your seeds inside or consider buying starts once the last frost passes. With a relatively short gardening season, it’s good to be prepared and have a plan.


For decorative and sustainable gardening, you might want to consider native plants. Native plants are an excellent choice because they don’t require a lot of additional water, and they’re already well-adapted to survive in your climate. 


And for those who live in condos, there is good news. Just about any plant can grow in a container! If you prepare appropriately, you can grow almost anything your heart desires. Condo gardening is entirely doable.

Popular Choices for Container Gardens

As you make your urban container gardening plans, have some fun with it. You can grow so many things: veggies, herbs, flowers, mini trees, and more. 

A themed container garden is a whimsical option for your condo garden. Fill a planter box with pizza-related plants like tomatoes, peppers, onions, basil, and oregano. Or you can feature an all-white garden with choices like moonflowers, jasmine, and hydrangeas.


These are some of the most common container plants:

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Marigolds
  • Pansies
  • Daylilies
  • Ferns
  • Lavender
  • Dwarf Trees
  • Ornamental Grasses

Choosing Plants for Your Condo Gardening Adventure

You can choose to grow whatever you want in your containers. But here’s the thing. You’ll have more success if you choose plants that work with you instead of against you.


Think about how much time you have to commit to your urban garden. If your schedule is full, consider low-maintenance plants like succulents or native plants.


Also, consider what you want out of your urban container garden. If you’re looking to slash your food budget, grow veggies like kale and tomatoes or herbs like basil and sage. If you want an aesthetic improvement, you should choose visually-appealing flowers and plants.

Essential Tips For Container Gardening

In many ways, condo gardening is just like any other gardening. You have to meet each plant’s needs for space, soil, sunlight, water, and food. You’ll get the most out of your container gardening attempts if you keep these four tips in mind.

1. Choose the Right Pot

Selecting the right container for your plants is very important. Most people think too small, so choose a pot bigger than you think you’ll need. The plant’s roots need plenty of room to grow and let the water run freely through.


Make sure your pot has sufficient drainage to allow water to run out and keep the plant’s roots from rotting. Some pots already have drainage holes, and sometimes you’ll have to create them.


The material of your container helps dictate your watering schedule. Clay or terracotta pots will not hold water as long as plastic pots. Consequently, they’re an excellent choice for dry-loving plants like succulents, but you’ll have to water herbs and veggies more often in them.


Planter boxes are another practical option for patio spaces. You can even find ones that go across the balcony railing. Planters boxes come in a variety of sizes, or you can build them to your specifications.

You don’t have to purchase a new pot, either. Look around and see what you can repurpose. An unused basket, barrel, or bucket can be excellent for holding your garden. Just remember to add drainage holes.

2. Choose the Appropriate Soil & Location

You might be surprised to learn that you shouldn’t simply scoop up dirt from outside. In a container garden, you need to use good-quality soil that has what potted plants need. Try using potting soil, unless your plant requires a sandy, dry option. You also can mix in compost to enrich the soil. Be sure to check the tags and requirements for your plants so that you choose the correct type of soil.


When you’re choosing a location for your plants in containers, make sure they’ll get the right amount of sunlight throughout the day. Morning sunlight is usually better for plants since it’s not as harsh as afternoon light. Many plants need a minimum of six to eight hours a day in the sun. Again, check the tags to figure out where your plant will be happiest.

3. Don’t Forget to Water & Fertilize

Once your plants settle in, they need regular watering. Container gardens typically require more frequent watering than do plants in the ground, so pay attention to how they are doing.


Fertilizer is essential for plants in condo gardens. Aim for twice-monthly feedings, or test your soil and add whatever it’s missing. Observe your plants for brown or dying leaves or any bug or disease infestations. Adjust your maintenance before the problem spreads.

4. Vertical Gardening

If your outdoor space is limited, let your plants climb. Vertical gardening, or trellising, is a fantastic option to maximize patio space or beautify urban areas. You can use trellises, arches, walls, and stakes to help the plants grow upward. Remember, they still need adequate sunlight and fertilizer to stay healthy.


Living walls, also known as green walls, can even have an irrigation system. They usually require little time and effort to maintain once you establish them. This convenience makes green walls a smart choice for busy folks who prefer a more hands-off approach to their garden.

Need More Space?


Whether you’re shopping for a new condo or would prefer a single-family home, the team at Roost can help. Our expert agents know the Twin Cities neighborhoods and can help you find just what you need. Give us a call to get started on the search for your new home.


Feb. 14, 2020

It's a Great Time for Startups in Minneapolis

If you want to start a small business, why not consider starting one in Minnesota? We are living in the golden age of startups in Minneapolis. So entrepreneurs, if you’re looking for favorable conditions to grow a new enterprise, consider a move to the Twin Cities.


And if you’re moving to Minneapolis, MN, to get a new company off the ground, reach out to the real estate experts at Roost. They will make sure you find the perfect spot to call home and escape to while you’re in the hustle of the startup world.


The Results Are In: Startups in Minneapolis Are Thriving

In 2019, Inc. Magazine and Startup Genome released the results of a survey they call the Surge Cities Index. It ranks the top 50 cities in which to start a business. Minneapolis ranked 21st on the list, proving that it is a prime spot for those with an entrepreneurial spirit.


On the list along with Minneapolis were Austin, TX, San Francisco, CA, and Nashville, TN. Since the index includes each city’s metro area, it’s safe to say that St. Paul is an excellent spot for startups, too.


You can’t argue with results, so let’s look at the criteria that the researchers used to compile the list. 

The Surge Cities Index selected the top 50 US cities based on several indicators. Among those criteria are: 

  • rate of entrepreneurship
  • high-growth company density per 100,000 people 
  • population growth 
  • wage growth
  • job creation
  • early-stage funding deals per 100,000 adults

Why Are Things So Great for Entrepreneurs Right Now?

Anyone looking to launch a new enterprise in the Twin Cities benefits from proximity to a cluster of large companies. These prominent and well-established corporations draw talent and money, both of which can help foster smaller companies.


Minnesotan entrepreneurs now enjoy greater access to venture capital, up 40 percent between 2016 and 2019. That increase represents a total investment of $495.1 million into 48 small businesses in Minnesota in 2019.


In its entry on Minneapolis, the Surge Cities Index cites 19 major companies with headquarters in the city. Among those corporations is General Mills, which has its own business incubator, 301 Inc.


General Mills isn’t the only big name investing in up-and-coming ventures. UnitedHealth Group has a pen of startups in the MedTech field, and Target’s accelerator, Techstars, fosters retail startups. 

Another illustrative example of a small business in Minnesota standing on the shoulders of larger entities involves Conagra and BoomChickaPop. In 2017, Conagra purchased the Mankato, Minnesota popcorn business for $250 million.


Conagra, an industry giant, was looking to modernize its corporation with brands that appeal to contemporary consumer needs. Startups in Minneapolis catering to new niches might have just the thing a large corporation needs.


Minneapolis Has Something for Creators of All Kinds

No matter the industry, creators and innovators will find plenty of encouragement and inspiration in the Twin Cities. Many tech and retail pioneers have chosen to call Minneapolis and St. Paul home for a reason. The Minneapolis metro area offers residents a variety of opportunities, professional and otherwise.


Even hardworking industry disruptors need a break, and Minneapolis offers plenty of cultural, social, and culinary diversions. You aren’t just launching a startup, you’re embarking on a lifestyle, and Minneapolis is just the place to do it.


Immerse Yourself in the Minneapolis Music and Nightlife Scene

Consider how many legendary names in music hail from Minnesota, including Bob Dylan and Prince, for starters. Tour Paisley Park or take in a concert at one of Minneapolis’s many live venues. Minneapolis is also home to a variety of music festivals to suit every taste.


Speaking of Taste

Small businesses in Minnesota and startups in Minneapolis aren’t limited to the tech and retail sector. In Minneapolis, the local breweries, bars, and distilleries are startups. 


Minneapolis boasts a plethora of small-batch and craft breweries. Meet with other makers and innovators over a craft beer at one of the city’s locally-owned and operated breweries. Or maybe you’re a cocktail, beer, or whiskey enthusiast yourself looking to make a name for yourself.


In terms of places to eat, residents can take advantage of almost any kind of eatery you can imagine. Whether you need a spot for coffee with a client or a quick working breakfast over pastries with a partner, Minneapolis has you covered.


Do you want to impress a potential investor over dinner? Minneapolis’s world-class restaurants offer even more reasons to launch your startup here.

Minneapolis has become a surprising hub for excellent food. Nine Minneapolis-based chefs and two of the city’s restaurants were 2018 James Beard Foundation award semifinalists. Entrepreneurs of all stripes call Minneapolis home, including the pioneers who are shaking up the culinary arts scene.



It’s true that entrepreneurs launching startups in Minneapolis don’t always have a lot of free time. However, opportunities for arts, culture, wellness, and outdoor fun surround Minneapolis residents. Don’t be surprised if you discover yourself accidentally enjoying some R&R!


You can take advantage of the city’s parks, museums, theaters, festivals, farmers’ markets, and other enriching activities year-round. Minneapolis is a walkable and bikeable city, too, which should reduce any commute worries you may have.


Let Roost Help You Establish Minneapolis as Your Small Business Headquarters

If you are ready to launch your small business in Minnesota, you can feel good about your decision. Now is the time for startups in Minneapolis. 


Innovation is hard work, and so is moving homes. The Roost team can help alleviate some of your stress by helping you find a place to live. For many entrepreneurs, their home also serves as their base of operations, so the house hunt is crucial for them.


At Roost, we understand how important it is for a small business owner to land just the right place. As a concierge Minneapolis real estate firm, we know the ins and outs of real estate in the Twin Cities. 


Contact Roost today to talk to one of our experts and get started on your home-buying journey.


Jan. 29, 2020

Is a Professional Real Estate Photographer Important?

Statistics show that having many high-quality photos of a property helps to sell it faster.  Up to 92 percent of home buyers search for new houses online, and the visual appeal is crucial. Hiring a professional real estate photographer can help your home sell quickly at top value.


At Roost, we want everyone to appreciate the value of your house once you have it on the market. That’s why we recommend quality, professional photos to showcase your most significant investment. 


When you are ready to work with an experienced home buying or selling specialist, contact the Roost team. We’ll walk with you through every step of the process. Your confidence and satisfaction are our top goals. 


Try our free property valuation calculator today, and let our staff assist you in preparing your home for the best selling experience on the market.

How Does a Professional Real Estate Photographer Help?

In today’s DIY world, many sellers want to do as much as they can for themselves. While this can be helpful in a lot of areas of buying and selling, photography is not the place to skimp on a professional. Their expertise, equipment, and experience make all the difference, and here are six points to prove it.

1. Pictures communicate more than words do.

Homebuyers who search online rely on listing photos to get a feel for the house. A buyer needs to picture themselves in a home before they keep clicking for more information. Communicating the feel of your home is just as important as showcasing the features.


If you’ve updated your home decor, made repairs, and staged your rooms for sale, your photos will make or break all your hard work. When your photos look shadowy, blurry, or crooked, the viewer cannot appreciate how great the home is. And they are unlikely to move forward with an actual tour.


Conversely, professional real estate photos will showcase each room, the exterior, and any other great features of the neighborhood. The difference is staggering. Online users can fully appreciate the beauty of the property when you invest in quality photos.


Your prospective buyer needs to feel the “mood” of each room through photos to make a decision. Professional real estate photographers specialize in capturing intangible feelings with the images they take. Don’t leave this essential element to chance if you want a top offer in a short amount of time.

2. Professionals know how crucial lighting is.

Many homebuyers look for natural light and bright, cheery spaces in their next home. You can’t always control the natural lighting in your home, however. A professional real estate photographer will know which time of day is best to shoot your pictures for the most exceptional results. 


Real estate photographers have equipment and know-how to capitalize on your home’s assets in pictures. A ho-hum photo taken with a cell phone will not market your house. But vibrant images from a professional will make your property shine.

3. Quality images offer a high return on investment.

Most homes for sale will receive an offer of $3,000 to $11,000 more when the seller uses professional photos. In addition, they sell up to 32% quicker than homes without pro pictures.


Hiring a professional real estate photographer also ensures you have plenty of photos to use. Home listings featuring 20 pictures sell about twice as fast as those with one photo. 

4. Extend your homebuyer reach in a digital world.

With the majority of home searches beginning online, you must have a strong digital presence. Eighty-two percent of searchers use photos as their number one tool for choosing to move forward in the sales process. 


Each room must have quality imagery for a user to gain an overall feel of the house. If they resonate with the ambiance, floor plan, and location, it will be because of the pictures. With excellent photos, your listing will stand out to potential buyers, and that is the most critical thing.

5. Professionals can be objective when you can’t.

Most likely, you love your home. You’ve made memories there. You’ve enjoyed pets, kids, family, friends, events, and milestones in your house. Of course, you think anyone would be lucky to live there.


However, online searchers have no context for all the good energy and memories present in your house. They’ll want a functional, trendy, cozy, or versatile space in which to build memories of their own. A professional real estate photographer knows how to communicate these home elements to the buying audience. 


Your photographer will respect the home you’ve created while leveraging its best selling points. A professional real estate photographer is on your team to help you get the offer you desire.

6. Technology can further enhance your home’s appeal.

Including virtual tours with the photos in your home’s online listing can further assist the buyer. Remember, the goal is for your home-buying audience to picture themselves in your house. 

Shooting video that walks a potential buyer through the house’s layout is incredibly beneficial to the sales process. Capturing footage of your street, trees, landscaping, and the surrounding area can add appeal and real-world flavor for the buyer.


Soon, virtual reality technology may enable the online homebuyer to tour your home in brilliant 3D without ever needing to leave their desk. More and more, imaging technology allows for quicker decisions and higher quality interactions with your target home-buying market.

Use an Excellent Agent with Superior Resources

Hiring an experienced real estate agent means you’ll gain access to other renowned home-selling specialists. At Roost, we partner with an incredible array of home buying and selling professionals. 


When you’re ready to sell your home, we’ll supply you with a vetted list of referrals for the best photos for your online listing. We’ll also assist you in finding a quality home stager and will work to ensure you receive the best offer possible.


Visit our website today to connect with a Roost agent. We’ll usher you through the home selling process with care, connection, and attention to every detail. Leave the hard work to us. Whether you are buying, selling, or both, we have you covered.

Jan. 22, 2020

5 Reasons Why Home Staging is Important When Selling a House

There is no denying that home buying and selling can be stressful experiences. Thankfully, some tips and tricks make the process smoother and more comfortable. One of the most useful methods is home staging. 


No matter where you are in the process of selling or buying, the experts at Roost are here to help. From hiring a stager to getting the “Sold” sign out front, we are on your team. And if you’re wondering why home staging is important, read on for some great information.


What Is Home Staging?

As the name suggests, home staging is the process of getting your home ready to sell. It is like setting the stage for a performance, making everything perfect. 


It usually involves hiring a professional to furnish, dress, and decorate your house to make it as appealing as possible to a potential buyer. This step allows your home to look its very best and offers an inviting, positive experience to viewers.


Why Home Staging Is Important

Home staging can help you to sell your house more quickly and for a better price. Some of the top advantages include:

1. It offers an image of the perfect lifestyle.

Please don’t take it personally, but potential buyers do not want to see your touches in the home. They want to see a neutral, clean slate so they can imagine themselves living there. When you are selling a home, you are also selling dreams, aspirations, and lifestyle.


By staging your home to show off its top features, you allow potential buyers to envision their dream life in the house. Just like you would dress to impress for a job interview, your property needs to be ready for its interview. A home staging expert crafts a look to show off the very best version of your home to draw in potential buyers.


Although the house has been a vital part of your life, when it is time to sell, you have to let go of the personal aspect. Staging your home means removing objects such as photographs, ornaments, decorations, or special knick-knacks. 


It may feel harsh, but this step is necessary for turning open house visitors into buyers. By removing your personality from the house, you create a blank canvas.

2. It shows off the home’s potential.

By giving your house a clean slate, you allow it to look phenomenal to everyone. With a sense of openness, potential buyers can see everything the home can be. 


Modern families use rooms in very different ways from the traditional set-up. Aside from the kitchen and bathrooms, just about any room could serve several purposes. With expert home staging, those who tour your home can imagine using the rooms however they need. 


Staging a home means showing off the best bits and highlighting the potential. Professional staging companies see your home more objectively and discern new possibilities and opportunities. 

3. It makes your home stand out online.

Modern house hunting has gone digital. Just about every real estate search today begins online, and your home must stand out. A professionally staged property and excellent photography will give you the edge you need. 


In a competitive or slow market, you need every advantage to sell your home quickly and for top dollar. Using a home stager is the best way to give a great first impression for those who are looking online. 


You need to inspire people and draw them in, so you can grab their attention and keep it. Welcoming spaces that show well in photos will be the key to getting buyers to come see your home in person.

4. It can maximize space.

As well as showcasing the potential of your home, staging also helps you highlight your unique space. An awkwardly-shaped alcove can become a stunning reading corner. And even small bathrooms have plenty of potential. Professional stagers know what to do to make every inch of your home look desirable.


In a crowded market, you need to make your property look like a winner. Stagers will make your home appear to be very roomy so that potential buyers feel like they are getting a lot of space.


A professional stager is crucial here. They can survey your home with an objective eye and work wonders with your layout and square footage. You will be surprised where they can create space that you didn’t know existed.

5. It can speed up your sale.

One of the most significant advantages of staging your home is that it can dramatically speed up a sale. Staging helps viewers to feel comfortable, at home, and connected to the property. These feelings make them more likely to put in an offer. 


Most buyers do not want to feel like they have to do a lot of work before moving in. A staged home is inviting and encourages prospective buyers to place an offer so that you can get into contract.


In addition to selling more quickly, you could also enjoy a higher profit. It is common for sellers to drop their asking price by 10-20% before a sale goes through. But with staging, you are likely to sell at or above your asking price. It is well worth the investment.

How Do I Stage My House?

There are two options available for staging your house. You can say, “Yes! I can stage my house to sell all by myself!” Or you can hire a professional. Doing it on your own can sound appealing to save some money. Unfortunately, unless you happen to be a professional stager, you probably won’t see great results.


Hiring an expert is worth every penny. They can see your home with a fresh eye and with no emotions attached. And that ability is crucial. If you try to stage your own home, it will probably still look like your home. With a stager, however, it will feel like a blank slate for a new homeowner.


Whichever avenue you choose, one thing is certain. Staging your house to sell can only offer you positive results. You can speed up your home sale, increase your profit, and reduce the stress of selling.

Time to Go For It!

Now that you are ready to stage and sell your home, the team at Roost is here to help. Our experts can walk with you through every step of the home selling or buying process. Reach out today to get started.

Jan. 14, 2020

Explore Exciting East Town Minneapolis

Have you discovered the vibrant development of East Town Minneapolis? This up-and-coming neighborhood provides a picturesque living and playing space. Nestled against the beautiful backdrop of the Mississippi River, East Town is the place to be.


Historically an industrial hub, East Town blends funky and functional industrial spaces with creative, light, and airy design. This sought-after part of town provides eye candy for traditional and trendy tastes alike.


East Town offers luxury living with buildings like American Trio Lofts and is a prime area for young professionals and more. We’ve got the low-down on everything great about East Town.


Enjoy city living at its finest with expert help from Roost Real Estate. Our professional team can match you with a perfect home for your needs. We can help you buy into a metro lifestyle for professionals and families on the go. We specialize in condo and single-family homes that offer contemporary living combined with the natural splendor of the up-north lifestyle. 

West River Road: A Terrific Downtown Secret

One of the best ways to tour East Town is on the quiet and scenic West River Road. This route features an extended and roomy walk and bike trail, a park at the north end, and easy access to the Stone Arch Bridge. It’s a unique hidden roadway that links you effortlessly to all things East Town.


Bordering the drive are the Mississippi River, the Stone Arch Bridge, and Bohemian Flats. On the riverside of the parkway, you can explore the bridges, falls, and lock systems. You can also hop on a riverboat for a happy-hour cruise or sunset tour. 


The Stone Arch Festival and Aquatennial celebrations light up downtown during the summer with art fairs, food, music, fireworks, and more. Come for the artwork and stay the whole weekend. You will love the nearby hotels, attractions, restaurants, and related events.

Bordering the parkway on the city side, you’ll find:

  • The Guthrie Theatre: This venue is a Minneapolis mainstay for live theater. It boasts a big-city reputation while retaining its midwest accessibility. Be sure to walk out on the high-flying Bridge to Nowhere to sample the breathtaking river view. It’s a top Instagram selfie destination, for sure.
  • The Mill City Museum: This unique space is a converted flour mill that was once the largest on earth. Don’t miss the Flour Tower exhibit and ride. It catapults you through the fascinating history of Minneapolis as the one-time flour milling capital of the world.
  • The Mill City Farmers’ Market: Enjoy a seasonal smorgasbord of delectable offerings from fresh vegetables and fruits to smoked fish and cheese. You’ll always find a variety of delicious treats and home-grown favorites from late spring through early fall. Enjoy cooking demos, kids’ activities, and more each Saturday in season.
  • Gold Medal Park: This incredible park offers an enormous green space that is perfect for picnics, games, or sitting in your portable hammock strung between two shady trees. It provides an excellent spot for an inner-city tranquility time-out.

Riverside Residences Ready for Your Unique Touch

A stone’s throw away from the river, you’ll find a variety of condo developments that are tailor-made for professionals and couples. American Trio Lofts features state-of-the-art living space with the historic charm of the mill district.


They offer amenities like an exercise studio, clubroom, and a roof deck. Heated indoor parking and valet service are available as well as street-level retail. This building also boasts easy access to local bike paths and walking trails on the river.


The American Trio Lofts feature decor with:

  • exposed brick walls
  • polished concrete floors 
  • expansive windows 
  • high ceilings
  • open loft-style architecture 

These condos are a perfect downtown retreat for anyone who wants luxury and an excellent location. Many of our available properties come fully furnished and ready for you to move in.

East Town Minneapolis Events

East Town Minneapolis is home to the beloved Minnesota Vikings at US Bank Stadium. This extra-large event venue also has a full calendar of big-name performers and other events during the year. You are sure to find something to suit your likes. With events such as monster truck rallies, home shows, and other expos, there is something for everyone.


If you’re looking for a more intimate gathering space, try the Armory. This mid-size venue once housed the Minnesota Lakers basketball team. Now, you can enjoy music and other events at this charming location.

Bring Your Appetite to East Town

Restaurants representing all flavors dot the East Town Minneapolis neighborhood. Make a weekend out of sampling some of our favorite eateries and watering holes.


Izzy’s Ice Cream is the perfect destination for a summer bike ride on the West River Parkway. Located just south of Gold Medal Park, Izzy’s features a dizzying array of ice cream and sorbet flavors to indulge traditional and adventurous pallets alike.


Finnegan’s Brew Co. is a recent and spectacular addition to East Town. With 6000 square feet, they have space to serve the game crowds from US Bank Stadium. They feature rotating food trucks, an enormous patio, foosball tables, board games, and 16 beers on tap.


Try Kindee Thai for modern Thai food in a trendy setting, or Zen Box Izakaya to satisfy a yen for Japanese cuisine. American-fare favorites include McKinney Roe and Eastside Eat and Drink.


When you’re in the mood for a splurge, check out Sea Change next to Gold Medal Park for upscale seafood in a luxurious setting on the river.


For a club scene, try eagleBOLTbar, an inclusive venue serving burgers, brunch, and beverages. Check out their awesome happy-hour specials and DJ calendar for your next night out.


East Town Is the Best Town for Metro Living

Are you ready to check out East Town for yourself? Wander the cozy streets of East Town, and you’ll realize how quickly you can make this neighborhood your home.


The expert team at Roost is here to serve you no matter where in the Twin Cities you choose to call home. We know every neighborhood inside and out, so we can guide you in your house hunting endeavors.


East Town will keep you busy. There are plenty of fun and exciting venues among the tranquil setting of river views and green spaces. Reach out today for updates on available properties in East Town Minneapolis and beyond. 

Dec. 29, 2019

Can I Buy A Condo With A VA Loan?

As the real estate market changes and adapts, the needs of homeowners can take some twists and turns as well. The chance to buy a condo with a VA loan may not have been on your radar a few years ago. But many veterans know that a VA condo loan can be a great way to snap up their very own piece of real estate.


Roost is your condo expert in the Minneapolis area. We know the city’s condo offerings in detail and can help you find the perfect fit for your needs.

Why Choose A Condo?

Picking a condo over a traditional house may seem unusual to some. But condominiums offer significant benefits:

  • Cheaper Initial Investment - Condos are almost always less expensive than single-family homes. So they can be a perfect way to start your homeownership journey. Your initial down payment could be significantly smaller, and your monthly mortgage will be lower. This situation allows you to live in a better financial comfort zone while still owning your place.
  • Less Upkeep - Many condo owners cite this benefit as their favorite reason for choosing a condo. There is far less maintenance required. Houses need a lot of ongoing work. You are responsible for exterior painting, hedge trimming, lawn mowing, leaf raking, and so on. This work is all the responsibility of the homeowner and can take up a lot of precious time. Condo owners, on the other hand, generally are not in charge of exterior maintenance. That falls to the homeowners association (HOA). As the condo owner, you are responsible for the interior, but you will find yourself with fewer chores and extra time. 
  • Extra Amenities - Another significant perk to purchasing a condo is the chance to access amenities and facilities which may otherwise be out of reach. Many condo complexes now include gyms, swimming pools, dog parks, jogging trails, and even tennis courts. You can enjoy yourself so much without having to leave your property. The community spaces can also be great for building friendship circles and social groups. Condo living tends to foster a kind of closeness and neighborliness that doesn’t always happen in traditional neighborhoods.
  • Choice of Location - Due to their smaller size, condos often can be right in the downtown area. Professionals and retirees alike enjoy being in the middle of the cultural and business districts.

What Is A VA Loan? 

A VA loan is a mortgage that has backing from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The intention is to help veterans secure home loan financing, even with less-than-perfect credit or minimal down payment. This option is an excellent way for those who have served their country to pursue homeownership.


VA loans do not originate from the Department of Veterans Affairs. They are not the lender. Rather, private lenders offer the financing, with assurances from the VA that they will secure the loan if the borrower defaults.

Am I Eligible? 

Borrowers must meet some requirements to qualify for a VA loan. In general, active-duty personnel qualify with a minimum of 90 days wartime service or at least 180 days of peacetime service. Guardsmen and reservists will require more extended periods of service. You will need to have a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA to apply for this loan.

Is the Property Eligible for a VA Condo Loan?

There are additional requirements in place if you wish to use a VA condo loan. But these rules govern the property, not the borrower.


Many condo buildings have a high renter occupancy. Unfortunately, renters often do not take very good care of their property, damaging the overall reputation of condos. As a result, the Department of Veterans Affairs stipulates that condo properties on their approved list must have at least 50% owner occupancy. 


In addition, at least 75% of the community owners must be current on their HOA payments. And if it is a newly-constructed property, the VA will not add it to the approved list until at least 75% of the condos have owners.


Roost can help you find the perfect condo to meet these requirements. The Twin Cities have several stunning properties on the list of approved VA condos. Some of these buildings include Bookmen Lofts, 710 Lofts, American Trio Lofts.


If you find a condo you love, but it is not on the approved list, your lender can submit your loan application to the VA directly. They will determine if the property meets their requirements.

Is a Condo a Good Fit for You?

Many veterans find that a VA condo loan is the perfect option to fit their needs. As service members make the switch to civilian life, there is a lot to navigate. You may be unsure where you want to settle permanently. A condo purchase can be a great step as you take time to determine what the next phase of life will look like for you.


Buying a condo allows you to start building equity rather than paying rent, and you can do it affordably. With less home maintenance and lower monthly payments, it is easier to transition into a new job and lifestyle away from the military.

Get Started

To get going with your condo purchase, here are some steps you need to take:

  1. Connect with a real estate agent at Roost.
  2. Check out the list of approved properties for a VA condo loan.
  3. Be sure you have your Certificate of Eligibility from the VA.
  4. Connect with a lender who can work with VA loans.

If you are eager to buy a condo with a VA loan, reach out to Roost today. Our expert real estate agents know the condo world inside and out. It is an honor and a privilege to help our community’s veterans start their path to homeownership. The Roost team is thankful for your service and can help you find precisely what you want and need.


Whether you choose to buy a condo or a single-family home, with a VA loan or not, we can help. The Roost experts make the home buying process an enjoyable experience for you.