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!

Nov. 19, 2020

What to Expect From 2021 Real Estate

This year has been tumultuous, uncertain, and unique in every way. The real estate market has not been immune to the crazy roller coaster that 2020 has proven to be. And it leads many to wonder what 2021 real estate will look like as we move forward.


If you’re looking at selling or buying in 2021, reach out to Google’s only 5-star real estate firm in Minneapolis,  Roost Real Estate. With knowledgeable experts on staff, we can help you make your Twin Cities real estate dreams come true. Click below to hear kind words from our clients.

Real Estate in 2020 Surprised Many People

Interestingly, the Twin Cities real estate market during the coronavirus pandemic continued a trend that had already started early in the year. Many of our markets remain strong right now, as homes go under contract within hours of listing. 


Frequently, sellers are receiving offers well over the asking price. We have continued to obtain the highest prices and best terms for our selling clients and helped our buyer clients win in multiple offer situations. 


Low mortgage rates and the surge in work and learn-from-home situations have combined to urge many people to consider buying for the first time or upsizing. At the same time, most major markets have a low supply of homes for sale.


Although many people thought real estate might come to a halt when the pandemic hit, the opposite proved true. Realtors quickly adapted to COVID protocols for showing homes, and the market surged ahead. Our buying clients continue to tell us they feel completely safe on showings, and our sellers are echoing the same sentiments. 

2021 Real Estate Will Likely React to Unemployment 

There are still so many unknowns as we head into 2021. From COVID-19 rates to the change in administration to uncertainty about a new stimulus package, the real estate market will have many influences. Unemployment numbers amid potential new quarantine lockdowns will also be a factor.


The United States has seen historic jobless numbers due to the pandemic. This situation makes it more challenging to gauge what the next year will bring to the real estate industry. 

The stimulus earlier in 2020 gave buyers some confidence in recovery. However, with no second stimulus in clear sight, financial leaders project that 2021 will see an incredibly high unemployment rate again.


The uncertain job market may cause people who had planned to buy a home to wait. It could also put the brakes on people’s plans to upsize. On the other hand, those with steady income right now may decide to buy while they can qualify for a mortgage. There is a lot of guessing for homeowners as they head into 2021.


If you are one of the fortunate Americans with stability going into 2021, learn more about buying here.

Unemployment Impacts Lenders, Too

Jobless rates have also caused a rise in delinquency of payments. With homeowners losing jobs and pandemic unemployment benefits running out, many people can’t pay their mortgage. While forbearances and a moratorium on some foreclosures are helping, those protections may expire on December 31, 2020.


Lenders feel the impact of missed payments and unemployment spikes. With uncertainty ahead, we have already seen some lenders start to tighten their requirements for getting a mortgage. 


What Will Mortgage Rates Look Like in 2021?

Typically, financial experts have a good idea of what mortgage rates will do over the coming months. They can use historical trends and market data to make highly-informed predictions.


If COVID-19 rates stabilize or improve, the trends suggest rising median home prices, and lower interest rates will continue into 2021. The home prices would then stabilize towards the middle of the year and come down towards the end of the year.


However, with so much uncertainty, these predictions from leading experts are less than confident right now. Experts are changing their forecasts as the crisis evolves. As it stands today, Roost is forecasting rates to be stable and the Twin Cities market to continue to see appreciation. 


What Is the Good News for 2021 Real Estate?

There are plenty of silver linings for those interested in real estate in the new year:

  • The 2020 depletion of inventory means that new home construction may continue to boom in 2021. Many markets do not have enough homes for the number of buyers.
  • If a second stimulus package clears the legislature, potential home buyers may feel more secure purchasing a home.
  • The likely arrival of a vaccine in 2021 will help stabilize the economy and the unemployment situation. As jobs return, anyone who has hesitated to buy or sell may be ready to move quickly. 
  • It is possible that mortgage rates will remain low for much of 2021. For anyone with a stable job, low rates make it enticing to consider buying a bigger home. Many people are even using this time to purchase vacation homes.
  • Sellers can continue to do very well. Many markets around the country can’t meet the housing demand for buyers. If you are considering selling, 2021 will probably remain a great time to do so. 
  • Homes with space may continue to be big sellers. With many companies shifting to work-from-home situations, a lot of homeowners want more square footage. And properties with bigger lots for kids, pets, and gardens are popular now, too. Several big businesses have indicated that they may maintain a remote workforce even after the pandemic subsides. If this is the case, more families will be looking to upsize.

Find out instantly what your home is worth by clicking below.

Roost Has Decades of Expertise to Help in Bumpy Times

Although we’ve never seen anything quite like our current COVID reality, the Roost team has plenty of experience during trying times. We work strategically and carefully in any market so that you get the best buying or selling experience possible.


Whether you want to sell, buy, rent, or just ask questions, we are available to chat. Roost is proud to offer boutique real estate services to our community in the Twin Cities. We are from here, grew up here, and live here. We know St. Paul and Minneapolis like the backs of our hands and are ready to educate you on what the next best steps may be for your real estate needs.


Reach out today to connect with one of our highly educated agents!


Live Generously.  Live your Adventure.  Live your Dream.  Love your Roost.


Oct. 29, 2020

7 Biggest Concerns in a Home Inspection

Buying a home is exciting and is one of the most significant investments a person will make. But it also comes with a checklist of many to-dos: appraisals, financing, and a lot of paperwork. Buyers also need to navigate the biggest concerns in a home inspection to ensure they are getting a solid investment.


Working your way through the home buying process can feel intimidating. It’s vital to have excellent representation on your side. The Roost team is here to be your cheerleader and advocate as you find the perfect home.


Biggest Concerns In a Home Inspection

A home inspection is one of the most important parts of buying a house. Lenders will require it, but it's smart to invest in this report even if you are paying cash.


The inspector’s findings will give you crucial information about the property before you close the transaction. Many issues can make or break your decision to purchase a home, but here are the top seven biggest red flags that may arise.


1. Foundation Cracks

The least exciting part of any home is also it’s most vital: the foundation. As soil shifts over the years, a home’s foundation can move, too. If there is significant shifting, cracks can form and undermine the foundation’s structural integrity. This situation often has a ripple effect, leading to other significant issues such as plumbing leaks, uneven roofing, and off-kilter framing. 

2. Plumbing

A leaky faucet is not typically a cause for concern during an inspection. But significant plumbing problems may have gone unnoticed or untended for a while and will require costly repairs. Having a clear picture of how a home’s pipes are functioning is crucial in an inspection. If the report shows major damage, be sure to talk with your real estate agent about how to proceed.


3. Electrical Wiring

The electrical system is always one of the biggest concerns in a home inspection. Aside from the aggravation of having electrical problems, issues with the wiring also pose a safety issue. Electrical fires in houses claim almost 500 lives each year and create more than a billion dollars in damage. Ensuring that the home's electrical system is up to par can save lives, not to mention a great deal of money.


4. The Roof

A roof’s condition is one of the first questions buyers have when considering a home purchase. And since it is, literally, over your head, it can be easy to miss warning signs. If the home inspector has any concerns about the roof, you might want to consider hiring a roofing expert to give their opinion.


5. Mold

If a property has experienced a leak or flooding, the growth of mold is a big concern. Mold is often not visible, yet it can cause serious harm to a home's inhabitants. A home inspection helps to keep you safe by looking for signs of mold in the house. Cleaning and restoration when mold is present and be costly and time-consuming.


6. HVAC System

Heating and cooling systems should ensure that you have a comfortable temperature in your house year-round. These typically have a lifespan of about 10-15 years. If you’re considering buying a home with a system at the end of this range, you might want to invest in a separate HVAC inspection. A dying furnace isn’t usually a deal-breaker for buyers, but it can give them some negotiating leverage.


7. Water Damage

Sometimes a home inspection will turn up signs of significant past or current water damage. This situation is often a huge red flag for buyers. Standing water in the crawlspace or water stains on a ceiling require significant investigation. The repairs can be costly and complicated.


Additional Issues

While the above list covers the biggest concerns in a home inspection, many more items warrant attention, too. When all is said and done, you will have a full report that can be 20 pages or more. The above issues are significant, but these items could also raise concerns:

  • Insulation and Ventilation - Proper insulation and ventilation can help limit electrical wiring fires and keep energy costs down. Some lenders and insurance companies require a specific level of insulation.
  • Creepy Crawlies and Pests- Insect infestations not only cause significant money headaches, but they also can cause major health issues. Termites, bed bugs, and fleas can be challenging to eradicate from a house. Finding their source can be problematic as well. Rodents and bats also pose structural and health concerns. If a home inspector finds evidence of an infestation, it’s probably time for the buyer to revisit their offer.
  • Building Code Violations - Even with the best of intentions, sometimes homeowners tackle DIY projects incorrectly. When a homeowner doesn't follow building codes, they can cause problems when it comes time to sell. Violations of local regulations and permitting can cause a lender to refuse to offer a loan.

What Happens After an Inspection?

Once the buyer has the home inspector’s report, they need to decide how to proceed. If there are no urgent problems to impact lending, they may choose to move forward with the agreement as is. More often, though, buyers decide to negotiate repairs with the seller. Your agent will help you navigate this step.


If the lender requires specific repairs before issuing a mortgage, then the negotiation becomes more urgent. At that point, the seller likely will have to make the repairs to sell the house.


A high-quality home inspection requires time and great attention to detail. Frequently, buyers choose to have other experts, such as roofing or septic specialists, to examine separate systems. Having as much information as possible is the ultimate goal.

Roost Real Estate  

Whether you are ready to sell or buy, the first step is to find expert representation. You deserve to have an excellent real estate agent on your side for this important transaction.


Roost is a boutique agency with extensive experience in the Minneapolis and St. Paul markets, and we are ready to help. Reach out today to get started on your real estate journey.

Posted in Home Buying
Oct. 19, 2020

A Guide to Being a Landlord

If you’re looking for a stable long-term investment, you may have considered being a landlord. What’s better than having someone else make the payment on a property while you gain equity? 


If you’re ready to start searching for income properties, contact Roost Real Estate today. We’ll connect you with an experienced realtor and provide valuable insights to help you become a successful landlord. 

How To Choose an Investment Property

Selecting a property to use as a rental is a bit different from choosing the home where you will live. 


Here are a few things you’ll want to consider when buying an investment property:

  • Decide if it will be a long-term or short-term (such as VRBO) rental.
  • Your budget needs to allow for days, weeks, or months that the property is unoccupied. 
  • Investigate the property taxes. Some areas offer a discount for owner-occupied dwellings. If you’ve never owned income property before, the tax rate could surprise you.
  • Be realistic about the cost of repairs and maintenance. Will you be doing this work yourself or hiring it out? Your budget needs to allow for these situations.
  • Check into the cost of landlord insurance. Your homeowner’s insurance will not cover a rented dwelling. Landlord insurance will also cover damage from a tenant as well as your liability in some instances.
  • Think about advertising costs and any fees associated with taking payments.
  • Consider the necessity of other professional fees. Will you need an accountant or a bookkeeper? Are you going to hire a property manager? Will you retain an attorney for any legal issues that arise?
  • Pay attention to any HOA rules. Some groups do not allow rental homes in their neighborhoods.

Unless you plan to hire a property manager, be sure you buy a rental that you can get to quickly for emergencies or to do necessary work.


If possible, choose a rental home in a statistically sound neighborhood. An area with low crime rates and good school rankings will help make being a landlord less stressful.

How Do You Find a Tenant?

You won’t actually be a landlord until you have a renter. Fortunately, today’s world offers several avenues to finding a tenant.

  • Networking - Make sure everyone you know is aware that you own a rental property. If they or someone they know needs a place to call home, they are likely to think of you.
  • Put a sign in the yard - You may find someone looking for a new home in the neighborhood. While this type of advertising may not have the widest reach, it is low-cost for the potential value.
  • Advertise - Advertising online is the most effective way to reach the most potential applicants. There are plenty of well-established websites and apps where you can post your rental property.

How Do You Screen Potential Tenants?

Once you have people interested in your property, you need to screen your potential renters. This step is crucial. After a tenant moves in, it can be extremely challenging to remove them if things go poorly. The law tends to be on the renter’s in many situations, so being diligent in your screening process is vital.


Use the same application for everyone, even if they’re family. It is critical that you treat every applicant equally. That may sound obvious, but if you decide to cut one person a break, you may be violating the next person’s rights. 

As a landlord, you have strict laws to follow to ensure equitable treatment. The Fair Housing Act makes it a crime to deny occupancy to anyone based on race, gender, religion, and other determinants.


Your tenant application should include:

  • Names of all adults who will be living at the property
  • Previous addresses with landlord contact information
  • A copy of their driver’s license
  • Employment information or other income information to show their ability to pay monthly
  • References who are not family members


A background and credit check is essential at this point. For $25-$40, you will learn about an applicant’s past criminal record or credit problems. You can require the person to pay this fee as part of their application. 

How Do You Prepare the Lease?

First, a lease is non-negotiable. Even if the tenant is your brother, parent, cousin, or even child, have the agreement in writing. To have the best possible coverage, consider paying for an attorney to draw up a legal rental document. Be sure they have expertise in tenant-landlord law.

You also can look into local landlord advocacy groups. They often have legal lease templates that you can purchase.


If you decide to draw up your own agreement, be sure to include the following terms:

  • The number of adults and children who can occupy the home
  • How much notice either party must give to end the occupation
  • Restrictions on pets
  • Restrictions on smoking 
  • Restrictions on marijuana and other drug use
  • Whether or not renters must provide proof of renter’s insurance
  • List deposits and note whether or not they are refundable. 

NOTE: Many states, including Minnesota, offer tenant protection for victims of domestic violence. Under certain circumstances, those who believe themselves to be in danger if they stay in the property are entitled to terminate a lease. 

How Much Profit Should You Expect from Being a Landlord?

Investing in property comes with risks and does not carry any guarantees. 


Most of the time, however, long-term real estate gains outweigh the risks. Historically, property is a sound investment if you are thoughtful about when and where you purchase.


Some landlords just break even each month, but they are building equity in a property without using their own money for the payments. Others can create a positive cash flow each month and even live on the rental income when they retire.


And as you lower the principal on your rental property, you can look into refinancing to a lower mortgage payment. Assuming you can continue to charge the same or more for the lease, you will start to see a higher profit.

Is Having Renters Right For You?


Being a landlord can be rewarding if you’re prepared to handle the inevitable bumps in the road. If you’re ready to take the plunge, contact Roost Real Estate today. With instant access to new MLS listings and new listing alerts in your inbox, we’ll help you find the perfect income property.


Posted in Rental Property
Oct. 7, 2020

Is a Home Warranty Worth It?

Warranties come as an expected addition to many of the major purchases we make in life. From televisions to cars, game consoles to washing machines, warranties are a standard feature. When it comes to your house, however, is a home warranty worth it?


For most people, their home is the largest financial investment they will ever make. But by their very nature, houses suffer wear-and-tear when carrying out their primary function. A home warranty can offer tremendous protection, but it is crucial that you have all the facts before purchasing one. 


Here at Roost Real Estate in Minneapolis, we are dedicated to helping sellers and buyers make the best choices for their lifestyles. If you’re looking to rent, buy, or sell a home in the Twin Cities, our boutique firm is here to help. Let’s connect today to get started.

What Is a Home Warranty?

To answer the question, “Is a home warranty worth it?” we need to clarify what a home warranty is. As the name suggests, it is a service contract package purchased by homeowners. Its purpose is to cover the cost of replacing or repairing certain appliances and systems in your house.


Most warranties include the following:

  • HVAC System
  • Washer and Dryer
  • Plumbing System and Fixtures 
  • Electrical System and Fixtures
  • Pool and Spa Equipment
  • Oven 
  • Dishwasher
  • Refrigerator
  • Septic System or Well

Typically, you pay a monthly fee for your home warranty. Then, if there is a problem with a covered system, appliance, or fixture, you start a service request. The company matches you to a contractor who completes the work. 


Coverage and benefits will vary significantly from one warranty to the next, so it’s critical to know precisely what yours will cover. Most often, there is a flat-rate service fee you must pay for any work done. Some warranties limit the number of service calls in a year, so be clear on the details before purchasing a contract.

Are Home Warranties the Same as Insurance?

Most people are familiar with homeowners insurance since mortgage lenders require it. Homeowners insurance is not the same thing as a warranty.


Insurance covers the physical property of a home and its contents in the event of theft, fire, or other damage. Warranties cover a home’s systems and appliances if they break or malfunction.

What Are the Benefits of a Home Warranty?

So, is a home warranty worth it? Here are some of the advantages that come with a warranty:

  • Avoid Sudden Expenses - Houses cost a lot of money to maintain. But a home warranty helps protect against sudden expensive bills. For example, imagine your furnace quits working one day. Rather than needing to spend $6,000 or more on a new furnace, you may only need to pay for a service call. The warranty would likely cover the remaining repair or replacement cost. A warranty can offer extra reassurance when you purchase a new home. Nothing is more disheartening than an appliance going out the week after closing on your house. 
  • No Need to Hunt for Contractors - Tracking down a reputable contractor to do needed repairs can be challenging and time-consuming. And attempting a DIY fix can end badly. A warranty removes this stress since the company selects the contractor or technician for you.
  • Marketing Tool for Sellers - A home warranty can draw potential buyers when you are selling a house. This valuable offering makes your home look more attractive to house hunters.

What Are the Disadvantages of a Home Warranty?

Home warranties aren’t right for every situation. As beneficial as they can be, there are some disadvantages to purchasing a home warranty.

  • You Still Pay Some Money - There is a common misconception that having a home warranty means you never have to pay for repairs. This isn’t true. Every time you initiate a service request, you will pay a trade call fee. This fee is typically between $75 and $125. If a repair requires different contractors, such as an electrician and a drywaller, you may need to pay two service fees.
  • Items May Not Be Eligible - Most home warranties come with a caveat. They stipulate that poorly-maintained systems or appliances do not have coverage. The description of 'proper maintenance' can be a gray area, and less scrupulous warranty companies may use this to avoid paying. In the worst case, you may find your perfectly valid claim denied due to a lack of 'proper maintenance.' These situations can essentially render your warranty invalid and a waste of money. 

  • You May Not Recover Your Premiums - Unfortunately, the nature of home warranties means that you will only get value for the money you pay if something breaks. You may experience long periods where everything remains in perfect order, meaning you do not get your money's worth. And the service call fee can eat into any potential savings, too. For instance, let’s say you spend $300 for an annual warranty with $100 trade call fees. And during that year, you have one service request for a broken garbage disposal. When all is said and done, that disposal will have cost you $400. A new one is about $250, with installation, so you end up losing money.
  • You Cannot Choose a Contractor - Many homeowners deem a home warranty worth it simply for the ease of not having to find a contractor. For others, however, this can be frustrating and remove the freedom of choice. You have no say in which service provider the company sends to your home to do the work.

Is a Home Warranty Worth the Cost?

As with just about any question surrounding homeownership, the answer is a resounding, “It depends.” If you have an older home and don’t have ready access to money for repairs, a home warranty will likely be a useful item for you. 


Additionally, if you are selling your house, a home warranty is a cost-effective incentive to offer buyers.


However, if you have a fairly new home or have a well-funded emergency account, then a home warranty probably doesn’t make much sense. You’d be better off putting the money you’d spend on a contract into your emergency fund.

How Can We Help?

The Roost Real Estate team has decades of expertise. We work with buyers, sellers, renters, landlords, and investors in the Twin Cities. If you have real estate questions, reach out to our agents for answers. We are here to help. 

Posted in Home Buying
Aug. 20, 2020

The Beauty and Abundance of Minneapolis Parks

We all know the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Regular time in the fresh air is excellent for the brain, helps physical fitness, and instantly lifts your mood. Minneapolis parks are famous across the region for their vast expanses, stunning surroundings, and a range of activities to try.


If you are in the mood to get back to nature, Minneapolis parks have you covered. From biking to hiking, dog walking to trekking, get back to basics, and make the most of a local park.


And if you’re ready to make Minneapolis your home base, the Roost Real Estate team is here to help. From condos to single-family homes, we are the Twin Cities experts for buying and selling. Take a look at what’s available today, and let’s get started.

Minneapolis Parks: What You Need To Know

Whether you are a keen biker, on the hunt for a hike, or simply searching for a great neighborhood park, Minneapolis has it all. 

There Are Plenty of Choices

When it comes to parks in Minneapolis, you will never be bored. It is a common saying that when in this beautiful town, you are never more than six blocks from a park. In fact, this goal is part of the Park Board’s written plan for the city.

Minneapolis is well on its way to achieving that goal since 98% of residents live within a half-mile radius of a park. In total, there are about 160 neighborhood parks. An abundance of parks is good news for both residents and visitors and offers plenty of chances to get out and enjoy the fresh air. 


There is a misconception that cities are polluted, stuffy concrete jungles, but Minneapolis proves this isn't the case. Anytime you need to sit back and breathe in some green goodness, you can head to a nearby park for much-needed rest and relaxation.

There Are Different Types of Parks

It is also important to remember that Minneapolis parks come in all shapes and sizes. There are two main varieties: regional and neighborhood parks. The primary difference is in their funding. 


Large regional parks, such as Minnehaha, Minneapolis Chain of Lakes, and Above the Falls, rely on state funding. Other public agencies may also contribute, and these parks serve a wide geographical and constituent area.


Neighborhood parks, on the other hand, are smaller and tend to be predominantly local in its funding and usage. Every park meets a need and contributes to the overall excellent quality of life that Minneapolis offers.

Why Is Minneapolis Such A Park-Positive City?

The abundance of Minneapolis parks is excellent for residents, but how did the city secure such a legacy? Some experts believe that it is all due to forward-thinking planning. Documents dating back as far as 1883 show an evident dedication and commitment to green spaces. The concept has grown and evolved with the city.

Because leaders intended the park system to be an integral feature of Minneapolis, parks flourished over the years. With this level of foresight, the city grew up around the parks. Planners didn’t have to try to carve them out or squeeze them in like they do in other cities.


In addition, Minneapolis stands out thanks to its dedicated Park Board. This group makes up a system and organization set up solely to fund regional and neighborhood parks, which offers two advantages. 


It ensures that parks remain a priority for local councils and representatives. And there is no need to cut funding for parks since the cash is already budgeted.

Advantages of Plentiful Parks

Whether your favorite park fits into the regional or neighborhood model, the same wealth of benefits applies. Access to parks provides advantages such as:

  • Benefits to Physical Health - If the thought of turning into a gym rat leaves you in a cold sweat, a local park could be the key to your fitness. Medical advice has long touted how much walking improves cardiovascular health. A park is a perfect spot to test this. Try to incorporate a variety of terrains, and enjoy being out in the fresh air. It’s a great motivation to exercise. Parks also offer access to a range of activities, depending on your preferences. You can enjoy biking and walking paths, lake activities, dedicated dog parks, and kid-friendly playgrounds. There is something to suit everyone. With loads of trails and pathways to choose from, there is no excuse not to get out and get active.
  • Benefits to Mental Health - Experts have long celebrated the vast advantages that being outdoors can have on mental health. Studies show that individuals suffering from anxiety and depression experience reduced symptoms when they go outside. The great outdoors can also help to reduce stress. As a bonus, a sunny day will boost those crucial Vitamin D levels, leaving you feeling happier and healthier.
  • Local Exploration - Every park is different and is likely to showcase a unique element of the region. From native birds to stunning flora and fauna, park-hopping offers a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the natural world. Soon, you will be able to recognize individual flowers and animals and feel closer to your neighborhood.
  • Encourage Community Spirit - The prevalence and proximity of Minneapolis parks are helps foster a sense of community. A park provides a ready-made outdoor location for a host of activities, programs, and gatherings. Communities can also come together to protect the parks, ensuring these spaces are cared for and respected.
  • Dedicated Dog Spaces - Minneapolis parks are not only for two-legged residents. The city also boasts seven off-leash recreation areas for pooches. These are the perfect spots to allow your furry friend some freedom. Just note that you will need to secure a permit to let your pooch off-leash.

Ready to Make the Move?

The amazing Minneapolis parks system is one of the great things about the city, and it makes a pretty convincing argument for living here. If you are ready to transform your lifestyle, surround yourself with nature, and enjoy an incredible town, let’s talk. 


The Roost Real Estate team knows Minneapolis real estate inside and out. Whether you are selling, buying, or both, our expert agents are here for you. Let’s connect today.

Aug. 12, 2020

Fun Fall Activities in the Twin Cities

Autumn offers that sweet spot between blazing summers and long, frigid winters. Autumn doesn’t last long in the northern United States. So get out and enjoy every moment of it with these fun fall activities in the Twin Cities.


Are you eager to sell or buy a home in the Twin Cities? Roost Real Estate provides unmatched expertise and support navigating the Minneapolis and St. Paul housing markets. Contact us today to talk about a customized plan for your home sale or purchase. 

Plenty of Fun Fall Activities in the Twin Cities

As we transition from hot and humid to cold and snowy, fall is the perfect time to head outside. From pumpkin patches to farmers’ markets, there is a lot to do in St. Paul and Minneapolis to keep the whole family happy. Check out this list of fun outings.

Take a Cruise

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, and summer is a great time to be in the water. But autumn is even better if you want to ride around on top of it. 


See the fall colors from the water with a cruise on Lake Minnetonka. Minnetonka is one of the largest in Minnesota, covering over 14,000 acres. It’s just 15 minutes southwest of the Twin Cities, so it is easily accessible for the day.


Take a two-hour cruise on one of  Al and Alma’s luxury yachts. Enjoy brunch or dinner while taking in the view and enjoying the outdoors. This narrated tour will feel like a mini-vacation. 


Do remember to take a jacket, though. The breeze off the water can feel several degrees colder than the air temperature.

The Monarch Festival

Every year, monarch butterflies migrate 2300 miles from Minnesota to Mexico. It’s a stunning journey, completed over multiple generations of butterflies.


Monarch butterflies have become harder to spot due to falling populations. Both urbanization and extensive use of pesticides have decreased the number of ideal places for these flutterers to lay their eggs.


The Nokomis Naturescape is a monarch waystation with native plantings covering four acres on the edge of Lake Nokomis. The native plantings are an inviting home to monarchs, as well as birds and beneficial insects. 


Come out and enjoy this beautiful garden. The festival will include art and music, crafts, and science. Celebrate the cultures of Minnesota and Mexico with great food, activities, and a beautiful landscape.


Due to COVID-19 precautions, the festival will not be held on a single day this year. Instead, there will be new activities and smaller events each week in August and September. Check the festival’s official website for schedule details.

Take a Stroll Down Summit Avenue

Summit Avenue is the original St. Paul promenade. Developed from the mid- 1800s to the early 1900s, Summit AVenue is home to mansions from a long-gone era.


This historic street is home to the longest line of Victorian-era homes in the country. Frank Lloyd Wright notoriously called it, “The worst collection of architecture in the world.” The famous architect noted the homes mirrored popular European styles rather than advancing original American design. 


Fortunately, Frank Lloyd Wright was in the minority with his opinion. If you don’t find the European influence distasteful, you will enjoy looking at the beautiful homes.

You can take a tour of the James J. Hill House to get an inside view. This 36,000 square foot mansion is the largest house in St. Paul. Take the guided tour and enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience this fall.


The boulevard runs about 4.5 miles from downtown St. Paul to the Mississippi River. The relaxed atmosphere is made even more special by the colors and chill of a fall day. Take a leisurely walk or hop on a bike to get the best view of these fantastic homes.

Get Lost

You don’t have to leave the twin cities to find some country charm. Head to Brooklyn Park and enjoy the Twin Cities Harvest Festival and Maze. A crisp fall day is a perfect backdrop to get lost in the corn maze or the straw bale maze. 


Once you’ve found your way out, grab a fresh mini-doughnut or a caramel apple while you enjoy the live music. Or watch the pig races. Or both.


Make sure to load up on fresh apples to take home. Did you know the Honeycrisp apple originated in Minnesota? You can pick some pumpkins at the farm, too.


There are also tons of activities for younger kids. A climbing wall, inflatables, and a giant slide all wait for your child’s gleeful energy. When they start winding down, cap off their day with a ride on the kiddie train or a pony. The festival runs on weekends from late September through October. 

Make It Grand

Grand Avenue is the heart of downtown St. Paul. Stroll down this street on a breezy fall day, and you will see amazing buildings housing a variety of quirky local businesses. 


Not all wanderers are lost. Whether you’re looking for toys or books, pizza or ice cream, jewelry, or something else shiny, you will find it on this street. Give yourself plenty of time to explore.


Oh, and bring your pooch. Paws On Grand is scheduled for September 12th. Pet photos, pet-friendly patio seating, and all things doggy will be part of the celebration. Adoptable furries will also be on site.

Raise a Pint To Celebrate Oktoberfest

Nearly two million Minnesotans claim to have German heritage. Even if your ancestors didn’t wear lederhosen, you’ll enjoy the various celebrations throughout the Twin Cities. 


Head to the Black Forest Inn for the schnitzel, beer, and accordion music. The Inn packs the schedule with ten days of music, fun, and authentic German food. And plenty of beer.


Make sure to check with the venues that interest you before heading out. Many businesses and events have modified schedules due to COVID-19 precautions. 

The Twin Cities Is the Place to Enjoy the Fall

Minnesotans know what happens after autumn (Hint: Brr!). Stock up some excellent fall memories to carry you through until the spring. 


And if house hunting is on your list of fun fall activities in the Twin Cities, reach out to the team at Roost. Our experts will help you find the home of your dreams.

July 31, 2020

What Do Retirees Want in a Home?

Out of necessity or desire, looking for a new home is often one of the first steps after retiring. What do retirees want in a home for that next stage of life?


Read on to consider all the possibilities and learn more about your options. When you are ready for a move, check out Roost Real Estate for all the prospects in and around the Twin Cities. Retiring in Minneapolis, MN is a great decision.

Location, Location, Location

As in any real estate decision, location matters. When looking for affordable retirement living for this new stage of life, here are some things to consider.

Proximity to Healthcare

How is your health? Access to healthcare in retirement is crucial. Even if you are healthy now, things can change. Most retirees enjoy the convenience of having their practitioners only a short drive away. 


When you ponder moving to a particular city, research the medical facilities in the area to make sure they provide what you need. Determine the transportation options, travel times, and availability of providers within your insurance coverage.  

Proximity to Family and Friends

Another consideration when looking at a place to retire is family. Do you have family members in the area? How frequently do you want to see your children and grandchildren?


If the answer to that last question is, “We tolerate each other on major holidays,” then, by all means, pack up for Bali. Or choose some other remote location they won’t want to visit too often.


But if you enjoy frequent get-togethers with family and friends, then choosing a home closer to them makes sense. If you see them daily, choose a home within a few miles. Or find a house across town if the visits need to be a little less frequent.

A Rich and Active Life

When considering what retirees want in a home, they want a place surrounded by activities that suit their lifestyle.


Art lovers should look for plentiful museums, galleries, concert halls, and theatres. Outdoor enthusiasts should have access to parks, bike paths, walking trails, and other outdoor activities. Often, retirees settle in a college town to be close to all of these amenities.


Do you love spending your summer days watching baseball? Or are you a die-hard football fan? Look for homes in cities with multiple sports venues. 


Is golf your reason for living? Be sure to choose a home in a place with plenty of high-quality golf courses.


Cities like Minneapolis and St Paul, MN, have all of this and more to offer. And living in or near the state capital provides great access to services and activities.

Age in Place

Something else most retirees want in a home is the ability to age in place as long as possible. Your home represents your security, success, and independence. You most likely want to stay in it long-term.


With that goal in mind, accessibility is something most retirees want in a home.  

Access to Transportation

If you are someone who likes to get out and about, choosing your next home should include transportation as a consideration.


Buses, light rail, senior shuttles, and walking and bike paths need to be nearby. Being independent for as long as possible requires you to have some way to get around. 

Physical Modifications

If you truly want to age in place, look for a house that offers accessibility. Make sure that when the time comes, your home can accommodate any necessary structural changes.


Is there a separate bathtub and shower? Are the rooms and hallways big enough to accommodate mobility equipment? 

A Traveling Lifestyle

Many retirees choose to downsize during these years to free up cash flow and to enjoy a more flexible lifestyle. If you plan to travel much of the time, perhaps a condo or townhome is more suitable than a single-family home. Whether you look at a big city home or consider small towns instead, find a location that suits your life.

What Do Retirees Want in a Home Floor Plan?

Now that you have the location narrowed down, let’s look at what retirees want in a home floor plan.

Room to Entertain

If part of your no-longer-working dream is to spend more time with family and friends, then your home should allow for that.


Look for well-equipped kitchens to cook your culinary feasts. Imagine your friends sitting around the kitchen island, sipping wine, munching on your freshly prepared appetizer sampler.


Movie and game rooms are also popular features for grandchild visits. And condos with pools or community rooms help keep the kiddos busy, too.

A Spare Bedroom

If you frequently have out-of-town guests, make sure you have an extra bedroom or two. It feels great to have a place for friends and family to visit.


And if you don’t need the space for guests, you might want it for your hobbies. Are you a crafter or knitter? Do you make jewelry or have an extensive library? Having room to house collections and to work on your favorite pastime is important.


Not sure what to do now that you have so much free time? Check out this article on 120 things to do in retirement. It includes an alphabetized list of 94 hobbies.  


A spare room in your home allows you to escape with everything you need to sew, paint, or write that great American novel. 


If you’re into fitness, a space in your house to exercise can be ideal. You will have access to your equipment without always having to put it away when you’re finished. A dedicated exercise space helps ensure you actually use it!

Outside Areas

Don’t forget to consider the outdoor spaces of your home. Look for a wrap-around porch if you have visions of sipping lemonade, reading a good book, and enjoying the fresh breeze. Or maybe you want a large deck for when you need to take the party outside.


If you are an avid gardener, then be sure to look for a home that gives you room to enjoy it. Even condos and townhomes can have great gardening areas.

Work With an Expert

The possibilities are endless when it comes to retirement living. And in the Twin Cities, you have many great options. With a sustainable cost of living, this part of the country is ideal for retirees.


If you are ready for help finding a home that fulfills all of your retirement dreams, contact Roost Real Estate. Our experienced team knows St. Paul and Minneapolis inside and out, and we can help you find just what you need.

July 26, 2020

Is an Auxiliary Dwelling Unit Worth the Investment?

If you’ve got extra space in your home or on your property, you may wonder about building an auxiliary dwelling unit. This space, also called an ADU, can expand your living area or be an excellent source of additional income. 


Roost Real Estate is honored to serve you in pursuing all of your homeownership goals. 

Visit our website today for a complete listing of our inventory and to connect with our experienced and professional realtor team.

What Is an Auxiliary Dwelling Unit?

An ADU, or additional dwelling unit, is just what its name indicates. It is a space on your property that has its own living space, kitchen, and bathroom. It may be attached to your home, an apartment over a garage, or a stand-alone building.


Traditionally, an auxiliary dwelling unit was for extended family. Because of this, it often had the name “mother-in-law quarters” or “granny flat.” Now, however, many homeowners purposely build an ADU for rental income.


Not every locality allows for ADUs in residential areas. Be sure to check the regulations where you live before investing in these units.

Are You Ready to Be a Landlord?

When you launch an ADU into the rental market, you become a landlord. Although accessory dwellings and tiny houses are increasingly common and profitable, they do come with responsibilities.


There are several tasks that fall to you as an ADU owner. If the property will be a vacation rental, you will be responsible for:

  • Scheduling guests and reservations
  • Thorough cleaning between guests
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Processing payments
  • Being available to handle problems or complaints

If your ADU will be a long-term rental, be prepared for:

  • Vetting renters and handling rental applications and contracts
  • Availability to handle tenant concerns
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Legal rights of tenants

If you feel comfortable with these needs and responsibilities, then owning an ADU for income purposes could be a perfect fit.

Attached ADU

For a first-time foray into the auxiliary dwelling unit world, start simply. Then you can expand as you learn more about the business and upkeep of your ADU. 


For example, some homeowners add a few amenities like a modern kitchenette and an updated bathroom to their basement living spaces. Then they rent their basement out as an apartment on vacation rental websites.


This type of investment does not involve a new building. It just requires some upgrading of an existing space. And then the owners can rent it out and recover the costs of the remodel.


An additional dwelling unit in your house is also fairly simple to clean between visits if you don’t want to hire it out. And it may have fewer maintenance needs than a free-standing structure does.


This space is also ideal for times that you have out-of-town guests visiting since it allows them some privacy. An additional dwelling unit that is part of your home is a simple way to add value to your house and create potential income.

Detached ADU

Many people do not like the idea of having vacationers physically in their house. It can seem like an invasion of privacy to you, or you may feel obligated to be quiet in your own home. In that case, a detached ADU might be a better choice.


This space could take the form of an apartment over a detached garage. It could also be a free-standing rental home on your acreage or detached tiny house that is available for rent.

Before beginning construction, be sure to check all applicable regulations:

  • Neighborhood HOA Covenants 
  • State Laws
  • County Laws
  • City Laws
  • Building Codes 
  • Permit Requirements 

It could be devastating to lose your investment because of an un-dotted “i” or an un-crossed “t.” 


For example, Minneapolis currently mandates that auxiliary dwelling units must measure at least 300 square feet. An ADU also must have plumbing and electricity, and the owner must live on the property.


Although there can be significant regulations in place for ADU construction, at least many municipalities are allowing them now. This greater permission is a change from a few years ago. 


In fact, some cities are actively pursuing and encouraging auxiliary dwelling units. They see these options as a way to ease the housing crunch without drastically changing the look of neighborhoods. 


Of course, stand-alone spaces cost more to construct than do attached dwellings. The higher cost means that it takes longer to recover your investment. However, they also command a higher rental rate and tend to attract more potential tenants than something in your home does. 


Plus, detached ADUs give everyone involved more privacy. They also tend to be easier to make accessible and ADA-compliant. 


Because so many cities have an affordable housing crisis, a property with an ADU is extremely valuable. A study that looked at Portland, OR homes indicated that an additional dwelling unit could raise a property value more than 50%

Not Only About the Money

Not everyone wants to have an ADU for financial reasons. If you’re growing your “nest,” an ADU can help you expand your house without moving. It can be an office space or a place for visiting grandparents.


An additional living area often is the perfect solution for families who need to care for aging parents or who need live-in care for children or other relatives.


Further, an auxiliary dwelling unit may allow you to assist your children in owning a home. They can live in your ADU affordably while saving money for a down payment on their own house. 


Or, perhaps you are getting older and need less space. You can make the additional dwelling unit your residence while gifting or renting the primary house to your child.

Roost Real Estate Helps You Find What You Need

No matter what type of home you want to buy or sell, the Roost team can help. From ADUs to condos to single-family homes, we have the expertise you need. Visit our website to connect with our experienced professionals today. We won’t stop until we find the home that fits your family and your life. 

July 1, 2020

Get Outta Here! 8 of the Best Day Trips From the Twin Cities

Minneapolis and St. Paul offer many diversions. Theater, music, parks, and an award-winning dining scene are some of the fun things to do around town. But sometimes, you just want to head out of town for a little while. Luckily, there are fabulous day trips from the Twin Cities to enjoy.


Get out of the city, and you will lose yourself in prairies, fields, forests, and adorable small towns. You might even see llamas, elk, and bison.


The Roost Real Estate team is happy to help you feel at home in the Twin Cities. We know this area and the real estate market inside and out. When you’re ready to buy or sell in St. Paul or Minneapolis, MN, we’re here to serve.

Fun Day Trips From the Twin Cities

Just as we started to emerge from the long winter, the world immediately moved into life with the coronavirus pandemic. Now, with summer underway, many people are eager to leave the confines of their homes and head out.


Here are eight of the favorite spots to hit in a day trip this summer. Due to COVID-19, check in advance to see which venues are open.

1. Stillwater

Many temptations await you in this beautiful town situated along the St. Croix River. Over 100 shops line Main Street. You will find restaurants, antique shops, bars, boutique hotels, and confectionaries. 


Once off the main street, be prepared to get your heart pumping as you trek to many of Stillwater's unique B&Bs, salons, and wine bars. The hills are steep but offer a great workout and spectacular views.


Other popular activities are exploring Teddy Bear Park or watching the Stillwater Lift Bridge in action. Beer lovers should check out Lift Bridge Brewing Co. or Maple Island Brewing. 


Wine enthusiasts will enjoy Northern Vineyards Winery and St. Croix Vineyards. And just outside of Stillwater is Phil's Tara Hideaway, an excellent Greek steakhouse with a lovely outdoor patio.

2. Marine On St. Croix

Ten miles north of Stillwater lies a tiny town packed with charm and action. The Marine General Store offers groceries, gifts, and a deli for a quick lunch or packing a picnic.


When it’s time for some nourishment, The Brookside Bar & Grill and The Marine Landing are excellent choices. And for dessert, check out the award-winning St. Croix Chocolate Co., one of the town's most popular destinations.


Continue north and swim, hike or camp at William O'Brien State Park. And if you're en route to Taylors Falls, check out the 43-acre Franconia Sculpture Park.

3. Taylors Falls

There's much to do in this scenic town that looks like a living postcard. Some of the must-dos for this beautiful spot include:

  • Shopping 
  • Canoeing and Kayaking 
  • Boat Tours 
  • Camping 
  • Swimming

Wild Mountain features a water park, alpine slides, and Go-Karts. Interstate State Park shares boundaries with Minnesota and Wisconsin and some of the world's deepest glacial potholes. 

4. Excelsior

Located on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, Excelsior has managed to keep its small-town feel while offering eclectic shopping, live music, restaurants, and lake cruises.


Theatergoers will enjoy the Old Log Theatre, which has been in business since 1940. And beer enthusiasts should check out the Excelsior Brewing Co.


Water lovers can rent a boat, take a chartered tour, or board a historic steamboat. You can end your day at any of the lakeside restaurants or the 318 Cafe, which features local musicians. 


Up the road in Spring Park is Lord Fletcher's Old Lake Lodge. A wildly popular spot for boaters and patio lovers alike. Enjoy people watching, live music, and a full bar. Their classic burgers, bowls, and wraps provide the fuel you need to finish your day trip.


For a different vibe, seek out the nearby Birch's On the Lake. This spot is a swanky supper club and brewhouse with a lovely view and live music.

5. Lake Pepin

Lake Pepin offers a scenic drive for day trips from the Twin Cities.


Sightseeing, shopping, dining, and more await you. The historic St. James Hotel in Red Wing, MN, is a popular travel destination and has a spacious patio for dining.


The towns along Lake Pepin will keep you well-fed with their wine bars, bakeries, restaurants, ice cream shops, and breweries.


Lake City, Wabasha, and Alma offer "pizza on the farm," which is perfect for a unique date night or family outing. Bring your blanket, chairs, beverages, and games since the wait for your farm-to-table pizza can be lengthy.

6. Lanesboro

Less than an hour outside of Rochester, you'll discover "Minnesota's Bed & Breakfast Capital." This isolated town, surrounded by limestone bluffs, is only accessible by a two-lane winding road. 


Its small-town charm makes Lanesboro a favorite destination for bikers of all kinds out for a scenic ride.


There are no big chain hotels or restaurants here. But this cozy town has a plethora of shops, restaurants, cafes, and parks.

7. Jeffers Petroglyphs

The midwest is abundant with native history, and Jeffers Petroglyphs is a perfect destination for history buffs. Located in Comfrey, Jeffers features incredible 7,000-year-old rock carvings and trails through native prairies. A visit to Jeffers is sure to provide tremendous educational opportunities.


Jeffers offers a journey back in time to the lives of the native people who lived there, their traditions, and their culture.


On your way down, stop at Minneopa State Park to see a herd of wild bison. Tune into the AM station posted to hear tribal members talk about their long-standing and deep relationship with the bison. And don't forget your binoculars. 

8. Red Cedar State Trail

Starting in Menomonie and continuing for 14.5-miles, the Red Cedar State Trail is a treasure. It offers breathtaking views of the countryside, forests, rivers, and farms.


This scenic trail winds along the Red Cedar River to the Chippewa River. And you can enjoy this gorgeous scenery by bike, canoe, or kayak.


Just outside of Menomonie, you'll find Jake's Supper Club on Tainter Lake. This true classic can accommodate large groups and the spacious outdoor patio. You’ll enjoy the incredible view. 

Roost Helps You Find the Perfect Spot to Return Home

Day trips and adventures are fun, but coming home always feels great. Let Roost help you find your dream home in St. Paul or Minneapolis, MN. Check out our current listings and connect with a team member today.

June 23, 2020

What Does a Real Estate Buyer's Agent Do?

As you begin looking for a home to purchase, it is essential to carefully consider who you select as a real estate buyer’s agent. These professionals are your tireless advocates throughout the home purchase and beyond.  


If you live in the Twin Cities and are looking to purchase a home, townhome, or condo, reach out to Roost Real Estate. We are a full-service boutique real estate agency that can help you find your perfect next home.

What Is a Real Estate Buyer’s Agent?

A real estate buyer’s agent is your right-hand person during the homebuying journey. You contract with them to represent you through the purchase process. Your agent helps you find homes to view, schedules all the necessary visits and appointments, and advocates for you.


A list of buyer’s agent duties doesn’t just include physically showing homes to potential buyers. They also advise and educate their clients as the home purchase adventure unfolds. It is vital to select a real estate buyer’s agent you feel comfortable with personally and confident in professionally.


Your buyer’s agent only represents you in the transaction, not the seller. The realtor’s role spans the entire process, including these four key parts.

1. The House Hunt

The most obvious way a buyer’s agent helps is in finding the right home for you. They will take time to talk and listen and ask questions about what you’re looking for in a house. A real estate buyer’s agent matches your wants, needs, and budget to the best choice of homes available on the market.


They will talk with you to make a list of everything important in your home search, including:

  • Preferred number of bedrooms
  • Your home buying budget
  • Ideal location, neighborhood, or school district
  • Style of the home
  • Age and condition of the property
  • Size of the lot or yard
  • Type of finishes

During this time of home selection, you will see your real estate buyer’s agent frequently. So it is crucial to pick someone who you enjoy being with for long periods. You should also choose someone who can help you patiently narrow down what you want in a home. 

This process can be confusing at times. Your agent should be a calming, encouraging teammate.

As they spend time looking at properties with you, buyer’s agents start to learn which home or condo will best suit you and your family’s needs. They tune into ideas such as if you are ok with needing to do minor renovations or not. 


These experts learn if you’re leaning toward buying something for the short-term or the long-term. They read your body language to see which homes you respond to positively and which ones get the opposite reaction. 


Another component of buyer’s agent duties is helping buyers assess which homes are the best value for the money. With their expertise in the local market, they can point you toward houses that have a lot to offer with a lower asking price.


A buyer’s agent pays attention to intangibles that can make one house worth more money than another. These things may not be apparent to home buyers. Your realtor serves as your guide and sounding board while you navigate the home search.

2. The Purchase Process

Once you find a house or condo that you want to make an offer on, the next part of the journey begins. During this time, a real estate buyer’s agent is invaluable. They are your biggest advocate once it’s time to start talking dollars and signing papers.


One of the most significant duties for your agent is to advise you in deciding how much to offer the seller. Because of their experience and expertise, a buyer’s agent should have an excellent idea about the home’s value. They can tell you if it is underpriced or overpriced for the area. 


They also understand the intricacies of different market trends. With this knowledge, they can guide you in drafting a compelling offer.


Typically, there are counter-offers in a real estate transaction. The buyer’s agent helps you navigate each of these steps and advises on the next right move. They also ensure that your earnest money has protection throughout the process.

3. The Inspection and Appraisal

Once both parties agree to a selling price and enter into a contract, things can move quickly. Unless you are purchasing the house with cash, there will be an inspection and an appraisal. Every lender requires these steps.


Your agent can refer you to licensed home inspectors and schedule the appointment with whoever you choose. The inspector assesses the property’s condition and compiles a report with their findings. The buyer’s agent reviews the results of the inspection with the buyers.


If the inspection reveals significant concerns, your agent will advise you on negotiating repairs with the seller. They may also use the report from the inspector to renegotiate the sale price of the home. At all times, they have your best interest at heart. They do not work for the seller.

4. The Closing Day

When all negotiations finish, and the contract is in place, you start preparing to close the transaction. A real estate buyer’s agent is tremendously helpful during this time. They communicate with the lender and title company and can explain all the legal pieces that are happening to prepare documents.


Most buyer’s agents join their clients when it is officially time to sign all of the documents. They have been with you each step of the way, and they want to celebrate with you. 


It usually takes one or two business days for all the documents to go to the appropriate agencies. Once that happens, your agent will give you the keys to your new house!

Find the Right Agent for You

Selecting a real estate buyer’s agent that best fits you and your needs is worth the time. Pick an agent who is passionate about their job, knows the local market, and understands you as a buyer.


Roost Real Estate has expert buyer’s agents to assist you when you are looking for a home in the Twin Cities area. Check out our listings and connect with us today to get started.

Posted in Home Buying