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!

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
June 17, 2020

You're Gonna Need a Bigger House: Why Now Is the Time to Upsize

We are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, so is now really the time to upsize? A move like that might seem counterintuitive. The first instinct for a lot of people is to hunker down and protect the assets they already have. But if you want or need a bigger house, now is an excellent time to make a move.

 

Your first home is not likely to be your last home, so you don't need to think big right from the start. But as your life progresses, and you tick off goals, you will find you can afford more and more. Upsizing to a bigger home is exciting at any time.

 

Whether you want to shrink or expand your home, the team at Roost Real Estate is here to help. From condos to townhomes to single-family properties, we can find what you need. Start your search today.

Plenty of Reasons You Might Need a Bigger House

Americans tend to like growth and expansion, and our homes are no exception. Are you feeling constricted in your current space? If so, upsizing could be the perfect solution.

 

Perhaps you are craving a space of your own within your home. This area could be a private office, a craft room, an extra bathroom, or more garage space. Or maybe your outdoor areas feel cramped and too close.

 

Here are some common reasons that people choose to upsize their homes.

The Home Office

Due to the current global COVID-19 crisis, an enormous number of employees and business owners are now working from home. Even post-pandemic, this situation will likely continue for many companies, so you may as well be ready for it.  

 

To work effectively, you must be able to physically separate work from your personal life. The ideal way of doing this is allocating a space that you can section off as your work area.

You need an area where you can scatter your papers however you want, conduct meetings without interruptions, and leave when you're finished for the day. 

 

If your employer has given you their equipment to use at home, a separate office space helps you to look after it. They may require you to secure it somehow when you aren’t using it. This rule can be difficult to meet when you have nowhere to hide from your family!

 

Many businesses are rethinking having central office buildings for their teams. A permanent remote workforce is a likely reality for many companies moving forward. So having a dedicated home office is crucial.

Project Space

Even if you don't work from home, you probably have your own things you like to work on when you can. These might be do-it-yourself home projects, sewing, quilting, or finishing that book you're writing. Wouldn’t it be fabulous to create a special space to enjoy these activities where you can do so in peace?

Growing Family

As your family expands, so does your need for extra space, especially as the children get older. Young children may not mind sharing a room, but tweens and teens want some personal space. Give them some independence and privacy by upsizing to a bigger house.

 

One significant reason why you might need a bigger house is to change the bathroom situation. An extra bathroom or two in a home is always a good thing. Having another bathroom for your kids or at least a half-bath near your living space is a great bonus.

Extended Family

On the flip side, many families need a bigger house to accommodate elderly relatives who come to live with them. Multi-generational living is enjoying a resurgence in the United States for many reasons. Buying a larger home can make this transition easier for all involved.

Some people opt to buy the same size home on a bigger lot. This choice may allow you to build an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on your property. 

 

An ADU offers the security of keeping vulnerable seniors close to those who can help them. But it also gives elderly family members some privacy and independence. 

 

And if no one is living in it, an ADU can generate income as a rental property. Zoning regulations for ADUs differ from city to city, so be sure to do the research.

Guest Space

If you have frequent visitors, they'll appreciate having a small part of your home as a private area when visiting. Having a private space helps them feel welcome. Families that often have guests come to stay with them will appreciate some extra room for everyone to enjoy.

Fitness Area

Setting up a gym in your home is possible if you have sufficient space. Exercise equipment is bulky and awkward to store or pack away when not in use. Upsizing to a home with room to stay fit is an ideal solution to this problem.

Don’t Forget the Garage

Many families own at least two vehicles. Buying a house with a three-car garage allows room for the cars as well as for other items, like sports equipment. A growing number of homeowners want room in their garage for hobbies and storage.

 

Tools, skis, and bikes take up a lot of space. To make sure you can safely store your vehicles and all of your other gear, you may need a bigger house.

Just Because

It could be that you simply want a home with more square footage. There is no rule that says you have to provide reasons for upsizing. If you want a bigger house, that’s reason enough. Your home should make you feel secure and comfortable, and going big may help you achieve that.

Upsize? Downsize? Roost Can Help

No matter what needs you have for your next home, the Roost team is on your side. As the Twin Cities real estate experts, we can help you buy or sell so that you can get into the house you dream of for your family.

 

Whether this is your first home buying journey or not, our agents will serve you with excellence and professionalism. Reach out today to start your search.

June 11, 2020

How to Move With Kids and Not Lose Your Mind

You've found the perfect new home. You’re excited about this change, and then it hits you. You have no idea how to move with kids without losing your mind. 

 

Whatever their ages may be, kids can react strongly to the idea of leaving one home and choosing another. Some may be excited by the prospect. Others feel reluctant to leave their familiar surroundings, friends, and established routines.

 

No matter how you feel about moving to a new house, the team at Roost Real Estate is here to help. Our agents are ready to serve you and your family. Check out our listings and let’s connect today.

 

How To Move With Kids? Carefully 

Moving house is always a big undertaking. But when you move with kids, everything seems to go up a notch. Here are some tips and tricks to calm worries and help make packing and relocating a more relaxed experience.

Ease Their Fears

Adults often have a lot of excitement about moving to a new house. And it may seem as if your kids should join in your happiness and anticipation. 

 

Some children will be as excited about moving as you are and will immediately start packing up their toys. Others may have more worries associated with moving. 

 

Many kids will feel a combination of excitement for a new home and nervousness about what the changes will mean. 

 

Younger children may have difficulty expressing themselves or understanding why they are feeling the way they do. Family members can help them to understand their complex emotions and discover appropriate words to share how they are feeling. 

 

Older children probably can express themselves more. But they will also more fully understand how significant the coming changes are. Potentially leaving friends or their school can have a huge impact. Families can help older children by giving as many details as possible about the move. 

 

Involve Them In the Process

When you move with kids, allow them to make decisions whenever possible. Depending on their ages, your children likely can be part of the following things:

  • Packing Their Belongings - Even young children can be in charge of packing some things, such as stuffed animals. 
  • Making a Moving Binder - This necessity can hold all of the information you need for moving day. Perhaps your child can help decorate it or organize it.
  • Choosing Paint Colors - Most kids enjoy picking the colors for their bedroom, and it can help them start to connect to the new home.
  • How to Arrange Their Room - Older children may want to unpack their rooms themselves.

Start Sorting and Packing

To answer the question of how to move with kids, you must think about timing and planning. Begin as soon as possible to map out what you need to do

 

Starting with a purge of items you no longer need or want is an excellent first step. The more clutter you can clear out, the easier it is to pack for your move.

 

Box up seasonal items that you won't immediately need in the new house. Off-season kids' clothing is another easy category to pack away. 

 

If you are moving to a bigger house, it may feel like all of your possessions will fit. But moving is still a perfect time to sort out your belongings and donate items you no longer need to charity. 

Handling All the Toys

When it’s time to pack and move with kids, there may be clashes over what toys to keep.

Are there some of your kids' toys that you wish would disappear? There are likely a few things they never play with anymore. But when you try to donate them, suddenly those toys are the most special ones. 

 

Moving can be a perfect time to donate these items. But it may be best not to pick battles over toys. If your child feels worried about moving, you might just want to pack everything up and deal with it once you complete the move. It can help your kids feel more secure if they know their things are coming with them.

Settle the School Situation

Moving houses with older children may mean they are switching schools. For a mid-year move, this can be very disruptive to children. If your new home is close to your old one, your kids might be able to complete the school year at their current school.

 

If your family needs to make a switch, try to arrange a time for your children to visit the new school. Make sure enrollment is complete so that they can start with minimal time off.

Moving Day Logistics

Here are some things to consider for how to move with kids when the big day arrives.

  • Should you find a sitter or a friend your kids can play with on moving day?
  • Will you be sleeping in your new home the first night, or should you get a hotel room?
  • Will you have access to your things right away? Be sure to have a bag packed for each family member that includes toiletries and a change of clothes. 
  • Talk through the plan ahead of time with your children. Answer their questions the best you can, and be honest if there is something you don’t know yet.

Establish New Routines Quickly

One of the keys to making a new house feel like home is establishing routines. Kids want to know that even though they are in a new house, their family is still the same. 

 

Make their room as comfortable and complete as possible as soon as you can. Familiar furnishings and blankets will make them feel more comfortable. If possible, keep the boxes that hold their items easily accessible. 

 

Continue traditions and rhythms from the old house to help during this transition. Does your family have specific bedtime routines? Keep them up. Is dinner time a special part of each day? Make sure it still is in your new house, too.

Roost Is Here to Help

Roost Real Estate has extensive experience helping families buy and sell homes in St. Paul and Minneapolis, MN. Our team makes the home buying or selling process simple so that you can start enjoying your new space. Reach out today to get started.

May 28, 2020

4 Safe and Fun Activities in the Twin Cities

We are about to step out into a summer of unprecedented new social behaviors and distancing guidelines. Under COVID-19 restrictions, finding fun activities in the Twin Cities may pose some unique challenges.

 

As hardy and creative Minnesotans, though, we can persevere to find fun in unexpected ways throughout the summer. There are ways to fill your summer with fun and enjoyment safely.

 

Roost Real Estate is proud to call Minnesota home, and we’re proud of our professional and experienced team of realtors. We are ready to guide your home buying or selling process from the first showing through the closing date.

 

Visit our website today to view the recent listings or to set up a consultation with an agent. Let’s get you into the home you’ve always wanted.

Safety First

Physical distancing guidelines are likely to evolve as the months progress. But it’s good to keep a few essential safety tips in mind as you start to go out and about.

 

  1. Keep a mask with you, and use it in public spaces. State and federal guidelines tell us that wearing masks in public can help decrease the transmission of COVID-19. Facial coverings reduce the amount of germ-carrying droplets in the air. Wearing a mask is courteous to others more than anything. When worn correctly, this cover helps you keep your droplets to yourself. And, Minnesotans are nothing if not polite!
  2. Stay home if you’re feeling sick. Of course, if you have symptoms and don’t feel well, save your outings for another time. But, do read on so that you can plan your summer field trips for when you’re feeling better.
  3. Leave some space. As restrictions lift around meeting in groups, you’ll want to enjoy your friends and family again. However, try to maintain distance between yourselves, and be outside as much as possible.

Fun Activities In the Twin Cities

When the weather warms, and you’re eager to leave the confines of your home, the great outdoors beckons. Here are four ways to have fun around town.

1. Head to Hidden Falls

Check out Hidden Falls Regional Park if you like to hike, feel the sand between your toes, and wade in the cool waters of the Mississippi River. This St. Paul park sits on the East bank of the river, near Cleveland Ave S. 

 

You can explore woodsy trails leading to waterfalls, or walk the beach area right on the river. The park trailhead has ample parking and a boat landing. 

 

This park makes an excellent backdrop for family photos. It also offers many peaceful rest stops for picnics, a game of frisbee, or skipping rocks across the water.

2. Take a Downtown Hike or Bike Ride

If you live in the Twin Cities, you likely are comfortable in either Minneapolis or St. Paul, but not both. Get out and walk or bike the downtown area that you know the least for a change of scenery. Both city centers have plenty to enjoy. They boast gorgeous river landscapes, excellent food options, shops, and activities.  

 

Downtown Minneapolis features the Mill District, Gold Medal Park, and the West River Parkway trail. Walk or take a bike ride across the famous Stone Arch Bridge for a fun outing with your family. You can snap a few shots of the powerful falls and fascinating river locks. 

 

The West River Parkway is a special trail on foot or bike. You can travel to the river, through some lovely scenery, and back up a steep hill out of the basin. If you head south on the parkway, you can jump on the Midtown Greenway and head east or west to explore other areas of town.

 

In St. Paul, you can also walk the river’s edge. View the change in landscape from river basin to hills and cliffs on both shores. Rice Park in downtown St. Paul is a favorite meetup spot in the heart of the concrete jungle. 

 

Harriet Island Park is a vast green space with plenty of trails to explore. It also has fields for kite-flying, games of catch, or pick-up soccer with your friends. 

3. Hit the Links

Residents here are lucky to have so many outdoor recreation options. Golfing is one of the most fun activities in the Twin Cities. You can hang out with your friends, enjoy some beverages, and play a fun game at the same time. 

 

Some of the best local public courses include:

  • Theo Wirth Golf Course - Golden Valley, MN
  • Centerbrook Golf Course - Brooklyn Center, MN
  • Como Park Golf Course - St. Paul, MN
  • National Highland Golf Course - St. Paul, MN
  • New Hope Village Golf Course - New Hope MN

 

If you’ve never hit the links before, this summer is the perfect time to try something new. Most public courses offer group and private lessons. And many offer equipment rental, even for lefties. You can try your hand a few times before committing to any sizable equipment purchases.

4. Lakes, Lakes, Lakes

In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, you are never far from a body of water. The regional lakes in the Twin Cities offer boating, swimming, fishing, and other water sport options in abundance.

 

You can rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboat on Lake Bde Maka Ska in Uptown, Minneapolis. Or, try out one of the many swimming beaches on Medicine Lake or Lake McCarrons County Park.

 

Of course, social distancing regulations may differ across regional parks. So be sure to check the necessary websites for opening dates, distancing guidelines, or other impacts of COVID-19.

Roost Is Your Regional Summer Fun Expert

Roost Real Estate wants you to love your home and your community. When you are buying a house, we help you find just the right neighborhood to suit you.

 

Whether you are selling or buying, our friendly team of experts knows how to find what you need. With both listing and buyer’s agents, we provide the representation you deserve. 

 

Visit our website today to explore our listings and connect with an agent. We are here to serve you on your homeownership journey.

May 18, 2020

Your Quick Guide to How Appraisals Work in Real Estate

A successful home sale includes knowing how appraisals work. This assessment is a critical piece of the real estate journey since it can make or break a deal. Even with this level of importance attached, an appraisal is still a mystery to many buyers and sellers.

 

Don’t let a low appraisal catch you by surprise. Have Roost Real Estate on your side. We are your go-to agency for selling and buying property in the Twin Cities. Give us a call today to take advantage of our experience and expertise for a successful transaction.

What Is the Purpose of an Appraisal?

While a home inspection serves to protect the buyer, an appraisal protects the lender and their investment. It determines the market value of a piece of property and takes many factors into consideration. The lender uses this to determine if they can offer a mortgage on the home.

 

Since they are the ones seeking the data, the lender orders the appraisal and chooses the appraiser. Some buyers worry that this person won’t be fair since they work for the lender. But

home appraisers go through rigorous education, testing, and certification to ensure their reports on your home’s value are unbiased.

Understanding How Appraisals Work

Your home appraiser will factor in the overall condition of the property in question. Your decor and style should not affect the home’s appraised value. Rather, the appraiser will base their reported value on the following things:

  • Age of Home
  • Square Footage
  • Number of Rooms
  • Number of Bathrooms
  • Lot Size
  • Roof Age 
  • Structural Conditions
  • Windows
  • Ceilings
  • Foundation

Additionally, appraisers “pull comps” for their reports. That is, they look at data for comparable values of other homes recently sold in your neighborhood or area. This information helps them to determine the value of the property.

Professional appraisers rely on algorithms to help them arrive at an accurate valuation. They are not playing a guessing game. Specific conditions trigger particular values for a home. Similarly, the property zip code will influence the final appraised value.

 

Remember, this step in the home purchase journey is to protect the lender. They aren’t concerned about the hole your dog chewed on the couch. They are paying attention to the structural integrity and overall value of the property in case they needed to resell it. 

Other Elements That May Affect Your Home’s Value

Walk through your home as if you were a potential buyer. It’s best to do this with your real estate agent. What do you notice right away when you walk in the door? Be alert for the following:

  • Strange odors that linger everywhere - Your realtor can give you honest feedback since most people become “nose-blind” to smells in their own homes.
  • Stains on the carpet or peeling linoleum - These issues can reveal the age and condition of things that a buyer may not want to replace. House hunters may pass your home up if they see these problems.
  • Evidence of pest infestation - Check for rotten exposed beams or joists, mouse droppings, or dead insects. Pest problems can be a deal-breaker for buyers and lenders.

Should You Fix Up a House for an Appraisal?

As the seller, it can be challenging to decide how much you should invest in a home before listing it. You want to get the best price without dumping thousands of unnecessary dollars into improvements.

 

For the appraisal, some cosmetic touch-ups can help. Try these tips to add value to your home:

  • Check each room’s walls and ceiling for stains, holes, or other minor damage. Fill, prime, and paint these blemishes. The room will feel fresh and well-tended. The same holds for floors and trim. Replace sections that show extensive wear-and-tear.
  • Improve your curb appeal by mowing the lawn and clearing out overgrown shrubs or weeds. Tidy or replace any mulch or rock landscaping materials.
  • Check your house’s roof for curling or missing shingles. Take time to clear off debris that accumulated on the roof. Have a professional out to repair any cosmetic or structural damage before the appraisal.
  • Complete any small home-improvement projects you’ve meant to do. Do you have a wonky step on the back stoop? Fix it. Is there peeling paint on the front porch? Scrape it and repaint. Is there stained caulking around the tub or toilet? Strip it and apply a fresh coat.
  • Hire a professional handyperson to walk through your home with you and tackle any small projects you want to finish. 

What Happens If the Appraisal Is Low?

Sometimes the appraised value is under the contract price that a buyer and seller agree on in the transaction. When that happens, something will have to change in the contract. The lender is not going to overpay for the property. 

 

For a buyer, this is generally good news. For the seller, it is unfortunate news. Most of the time, the seller will have to come down in their asking price to allow the sale to move forward. 

 

If the seller won’t budge, and the buyer is very eager, the buyer can increase their down payment. If they put enough money down to make the contract price fit the appraised value, the sale can continue. This scenario isn’t very likely, however, since it means the buyer is overpaying.

 

As a seller, having an experienced real estate agent by your side from the beginning can help eliminate this problem. They should already have comps in hand before guiding you to an asking price so that you do not run into the problem of a low appraisal. 

Call Roost for All Your Real Estate Needs

When you need a reliable partner for buying or selling your home, trust Roost Real Estate. Our expert agents have the experience and knowledge to make the process go smoothly from start to finish.

 

We serve as your advisor and advocate throughout the transaction and help you navigate any bumps in the road. Call the Roost team today to see how we can assist you and your real estate plans. 

May 12, 2020

5 Things To Know About Homeowners' Associations

Homeowners’ associations have gotten a bad rap over the years. Movies and sitcoms portray them as residential watchdogs that measure grass length and make life harder for everyone. But if you ask someone, “How does an HOA work?” they usually have no idea what the answer is.

 

The truth is that an HOA can be a wonderful and essential part of a well-organized community. Whether you live in a townhome, condo, or single-family house, you may have a homeowners’ association on your side. And it’s worth the time to know how it runs.

 

The team at Roost can help you understand what an HOA can do for you. We help clients buy and sell stunning condos and houses in Minneapolis. So we know the power an HOA has to serve its residents. Reach out today with all of your real estate questions.

How Does an HOA Work for Property Owners?

When you are house-hunting, you will likely see homes that are under a homeowners’ association. So it’s crucial to know how they work and what it means for you as an owner. Here are five things to consider.

1. An HOA Serves the Community

Let’s clarify what an HOA is and how an HOA works. Homeowners’ associations are nonprofit groups whose purpose is to make sure your neighborhood or condominium complex is a safe and valuable place to live. 

 

They do not exist to make your life harder or to nickel-and-dime you to death. In fact, their job is just the opposite. HOA fees go toward upkeep and improvements on shared community amenities. They put in the hard work, so you don’t have to.

2. There Are Reasons Behind the Rules

When people have complaints about HOAs, they focus on things they find arbitrary. For example, lawn height expectations or monitoring of weeds may seem like unimportant things to micromanage. However, they are more important than you might expect.

 

Proper lawn care, for instance, is critical to stopping the spread of weeds and the intrusion of pests. If these get out of hand, they could do a lot of damage. 

 

Weeds can ruin not only your beautifully-manicured flower beds but also your driveways and sidewalks. Pests can damage your garden and even your home’s integrity.

 

An HOA works to make sure the entire community it governs has a safe and lovely area to call home. Sometimes, that means doing the unpopular work of requiring owners to do more lawn maintenance. 

3. Curb Appeal: It’s More Than Just Paint

People don’t like to admit it, but most do judge books by their covers. Or, in the case of home buyers, they judge houses by their curb appeal

 

Homes are only as valuable as the market dictates. And the market rewards well-kept houses with beautiful curb appeal. Neighborhoods and complexes that look great are likely to have higher property values than those with no continuity of care.

 

A strong HOA does an excellent job of explaining and enforcing its guidelines. This structure allows the entire community to enjoy a beautiful place to live. It also helps keep property values moving in the right direction, thereby protecting your investment.

 

Most HOAs help their residents find what they need to keep their homes tidy. Are you looking for a reliable landscaper? Do you need to install a Ring doorbell camera for security? Do you want some help repairing your fence? The homeowners’ board is likely to have a list of referrals for your use.

4. Communal Amenities Are a Significant Perk

Most homeowners’ associations carry the bonus of having shared spaces for the residents. These amenities may include a pool, playground, fitness center, or dog park. But all of these require maintenance.

 

As any homeowner with a pool can tell you, upkeep is a constant frustration. Cleaning and monitoring chemical levels take a lot of time. And it can be a bank-breaking expense if anything goes wrong. But when your HOA includes a pool, you get the best of both worlds. All the fun without the work. The HOA handles the job for you. 

 

HOAs work hard to provide and take care of these shared spaces. Having such beautiful options adds another boost to your home’s value. If you are ever ready to sell, these perks make your home stand out from others on the market.

 

And since the HOA takes care of those amenities, you won’t spend your free time worrying about those chores. Think of how much time you can spend relaxing by the community pool without having to think about maintaining it. 

5. Higher Property Values for the Win!

The real estate market can be complicated to understand, but one thing is always true. When you buy a home, you want your investment to be worthwhile. Nobody wants to spend money on something that depreciates and turns their road to wealth in the wrong direction.

 

Homeowners’ associations do tremendous good for their residents. They tip the scales for those looking to move somewhere new and fresh. HOA neighborhoods frequently carry higher property values than non-HOA neighborhoods. Buyers like to shop in areas that look fantastic. When homes sell quickly at or above market value, everyone’s houses in the area gain value.

 

These associations help create a safe and reliable community where each home puts its best face forward. This level of care can impact the value of each house and make it easier to attract wonderful buyers.

 

An HOA can exist in many different areas. You can find them in:

  • Established 
  • New Developments
  • Condominiums 
  • Gated Communities

Roost Is By Your Side

No matter where you choose to make yourself at home, don’t just invest in the structure. Invest in the community. When you pour into a community, it pours into you, and everyone wins. 

 

If you are ready to buy or sell in the Twin Cities area, reach out to the expert team at Roost. Our knowledgeable agents walk with you every step of the way to make sure you get a home you love. 

 

April 28, 2020

Essential Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

As the weather gets warmer, more and more projects seem to pop up around the house. From top to bottom, there are sure to be things that need attention. Now is a perfect time to think about your summer home maintenance checklist. 

 

Maintaining your home well is essential to protecting its property value. And if you are getting ready to sell your house, these chores are even more critical. Roost Real Estate can help make your home buying and selling experience a breeze.

 

Benefits of Home Maintenance Projects

There are many reasons to keep your home in order in the summer months. Although there can be plenty of work involved, the rewards of maintaining your house are worth it.

Aesthetic Appeal

Let’s be honest. It feels good to live in a home that puts its best face forward. When you pull up to your house and see the curb appeal you’ve created through your hard work, it’s a great feeling. Neighbors appreciate the effort, as well. Everyone enjoys living in a neighborhood that looks cared-for and loved.

 

And if you live in an area with a Homeowners’ Association, you will have requirements to meet. In those instances, home maintenance isn’t optional.

 

Higher Property Value

Homes where the owners have added, updated, or renovated tend to raise in value. Staying on top of your summer home maintenance checklist helps protect your investment. Whether you are looking to sell, refinance, or none of the above, a well-tended home is more valuable.

Easier to Sell

If you are considering selling your home, you will be more successful if you have completed all the necessary projects. It can be overwhelming to try to do everything once you decide to list your house. But if you have been diligent with maintenance all along, you will likely sell quickly and for top dollar. Typically, prospective buyers do not want a home that will require a lot of work right away.

 

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth Thousands of Dollars of Cure

Here is one of the most important truths of homeownership. A little work and money up front can save significant costs and effort in the long run. This fact is particularly true for major home systems and structures. Roofs, HVAC systems, plumbing, and the foundation all deserve regular inspections and maintenance to avoid potential disasters. 

 

Although this type of maintenance isn’t as exciting as getting a new kitchen, it is critical. For many of these projects, ignoring them could put your family’s safety at stake. 

 

For example, dryer fires claim more than 50 lives every year in the United States. Cleaning the dryer vent can help prevent this. Take the time to deal with small hassles now so that you can avoid bigger issues in the future. 

 

What Goes On Your Summer Home Maintenance Checklist?

The benefits of maintaining your home are clear. But not everyone knows which tasks are essential as we head into summer. Here are some of the top items to consider as you prepare your home for the coming season.

  • Safety Checks - Switch the batteries in your smoke detectors and test all of them. If you have carbon monoxide detectors, check those, as well. Many fire departments will do these assessments for you. If you have a fire extinguisher, make sure it is serviceable. And if you are missing any of these safety items, buy them. They should be non-negotiable in a home.
  • Faucets - Depending on where you live, you may have just come out of months of freezing temperatures. Pipes, faucets, and hoses can suffer during those cold months. Check for leaks or weak water pressure and call an expert if you suspect a problem.
  • Air Conditioner - Be sure your AC unit is up to the task of keeping you cool all summer. Reach out to your HVAC professional for servicing and maintenance before the heat hits.
  • Deck and Fence - Any wooden structures take a beating during the winter. Examine your deck and fencing for loose boards, missing hardware, or signs of decay. Be sure to address all of these issues so that you can keep your family and friends safe.
  • Siding - Your home’s “skin” probably needs some TLC after the winter. Check for damage or rot in your siding. Quickly repairing these areas helps protect your home’s integrity and value.
  • Roof and Gutters- If you can safely inspect your roof, look for lifted or missing shingles. Carefully brush debris off the roof so that it cannot cause damage. If you do not feel safe doing this job, call a professional roofer. They can do a thorough inspection and handle small problems before they grow. Clean out the gutters of any detritus that accumulated over the winter. This step makes sure that spring and summer rains can flow away from the house.
  • Landscaping - Remove fallen limbs or debris from the ground, Clear out flower beds and add fresh mulch, bark, or gravel as needed. If it has been a while since you trimmed your trees, consider hiring an arborist to get them into healthy shape.

  • Hardscapes - Driveways, walkways, and patios are likely to need some freshening up now that winter is over. Give these areas a good pressure washing to have them in tip-top shape for the summer. If you have a retaining wall, examine it for loose bricks or broken pieces. 
  • Windows - Now is a great time to check the seals and install screens to let in those summer breezes. And don’t forget to schedule a professional cleaning. Getting the windows spruced up makes the whole house sparkle.

Prep with Roost Real Estate

If you are ready to buy or sell your home this summer, the Roost team is here to help you prepare. From your first call to us all the way through closing, our expert team serves you with integrity.

 

Contact us to discuss your needs and put an experienced real estate agent to work for you. We are a friendly, close-knit team who love our clients. We are on your side and work tirelessly to advocate for you.