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!

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. 



April 21, 2020

Is It OK to Sell a House During the Coronavirus?

Many people might have started 2020 with the plan of selling their homes this year. But along came a worldwide emergency. And now they’re thinking, “How can I sell a house during the coronavirus pandemic?” Suddenly, what would have been a straightforward process turns into a serious challenge.

Despite the unusual times we face as a nation and as a world, real estate transactions are still essential. And because of that, it is a good time to sell. The process might look a little different than it has in the past, but it is still completely doable.

No matter the timing, the Roost Real Estate team is on your side. Our expert agents know the market inside and out. We are here to help you buy or sell when the time is right for you. Perhaps the time is now! Reach out today to connect with an agent.

Hard, But Not Impossible

The standard process of selling a house involves three necessary steps: creating interest, attracting the right buyer, and finalizing the deal. All of this is still possible during this time, but it will take some creativity and patience. With an excellent agent on your team, you can definitely sell your house right now. 

Challenges of Selling a House During the Coronavirus

Even with a strong real estate market right now, there are obstacles to selling a home during this crisis.

  • Uncertainty - While everyone would love to think that the worst is over, no one knows what is coming next. With restrictions in business operations, there are more questions than answers. Unfortunately, uncertainty can make the real estate market trickier.
  • Job Insecurity - As workers face layoffs and furloughs, they may be hesitant to go house hunting. If they are worried about their job’s longevity, they may wait to make a home purchase. And for those who lose their job in the middle of buying a home, the process can come to a screeching halt.
  • Social Distancing - Open houses are one of the most critical selling tools an agent has. With restrictions in place, open houses are more difficult to hold. But they are still doable. Since it is unlikely a buyer will purchase a home without seeing it in person, this situation requires creativity. Social distancing also makes signing the closing documents more difficult.
  • Moving Day - Typically, moving house may involve all your friends and family to help. But with social distancing in place, you are probably not going to have those extra hands. And neither will the buyer. Moving companies may or may not be available in your area during this time.

Not All Doom and Gloom

Now that the challenges are out in the open, let’s take a look at how your Roost team can overcome them. With the right strategy in place, you can still sell a house during the coronavirus. It is absolutely possible. And it all starts with the three steps to selling a home in any situation.

  1. Creating Interest - Nothing has changed here. Your agent will still advertise and promote the property in all the right places. They can also take advantage of online promotion and virtual home tours. If the property is empty, open houses are relatively simple to hold, following some industry guidelines. If it is not empty, showings can still happen with appropriate cleaning procedures and social distancing. Excellent staging and photography are critical now more than ever. Most buyers will do a lot of searching online before going to see a home in person.
  2. Attracting the Right Buyer - The right buyer is still out there. Home prices are holding steady, and low interest rates are drawing out many house hunters. With excellent, strategic advertising, and maybe some extra patience, your agent can secure a buyer for your property. Having an agent who knows the neighborhood well is critical here. This knowledge allows the realtor to be very strategic in drawing buyers to the home.
  3. Finalizing the Deal - Fortunately, a significant amount of real estate paperwork can happen digitally. These systems were in place before the crisis hit, so much of the transaction process can take place from the comfort of home. When it is time to sign closing documents, there may be masks and hand sanitizer involved. But everything can still happen as needed to seal the deal legally.

The Upside to Selling a House During the Crisis

  • Low Inventory - The current situation has caused many potential sellers to change their minds. With fewer homes on the market, your property has more opportunities to shine. You will have much less competition so that buyers can find your house easily.
  • Low Interest Rates - The Fed has dropped interest rates in recent weeks, making home-buying more attractive than ever. Those who are ready to buy have a great reason to do it now. They don’t want to wait and risk missing these low rates. So if you have a property to sell, there is sure to be a buyer for you.
  • Time on Their Hands - Many people who typically have hectic schedules now have extra time. If they are working from home, they may have hours back in their day since they are no longer commuting. There are also more people online than ever before, and they are on for many hours each day. This situation is giving lots of people a chance to house hunt online.

Get In Touch With the Experts

Even with less-than-ideal circumstances, the real estate market remains robust. There are buyers. There are lenders. And you definitely can sell a house during the coronavirus.

The process may take longer than usual, but there’s no reason to put a halt to it. With patience and creativity, you and your agent can sell your home. If you are ready to sell, the Roost Real Estate agents are here to help. We are your Minneapolis real estate experts.

Our innovative and creative team can help you make the most of this unprecedented time. With decades of combined experience, we know just what to do to make sure your home will sell even during such an unusual situation as this.

Reach out today to get started.

 

April 15, 2020

4 Reasons to Retire in Minneapolis, MN

When you are thinking about where to retire, there are many factors to consider. You likely want to look at the weather, access to healthcare, and affordability. All of those are crucial and are key reasons you might want to retire in Minneapolis. 

 

But in addition to those significant considerations, you probably have other things that are important to you. Minneapolis is a fantastic spot to retire for so many reasons. For information about buying a home in one of the nation’s top-rated retirement cities, reach out to Roost. Our team of experts will help you find just the right spot to enjoy in your post-career years.

Think You Want to Retire in Minneapolis? 

Planning for retirement can be a lot of fun as you dream about your new carefree life. After decades of working and supporting a family, it’s time to focus on yourself. And if you’re considering Minneapolis, MN, here are four things to ponder.

 

1. Minneapolis Residents Are Physically Fit 

Many Americans want to be active in retirement, and research shows that exercise is crucial to healthy aging. When you are looking at places to settle down for a happy, healthy retirement, prioritize opportunities for regular physical activity.

 

Look no further than Minneapolis, MN, for a lively city with a population that is enthusiastic about wellness. If you love to exercise, you can work out year-round at gyms and fitness classes throughout the city. 

 

Casual exercisers and people who prefer an overall active lifestyle will also find plenty of options throughout the Twin Cities. 

 

Minneapolis is a very walkable city for those residents who try to get their 10,000 steps per day. The country’s 12th most-walkable large city, Minneapolis neighborhoods Lyn-Lake, Uptown, and Lowry Hill East, get exceptionally high marks. Get a break from the elements with the Skyway System, nearly 10 miles of covered walkways spanning 80 city blocks.

 

Cyclists will find a lot to love about Minneapolis. You can ride your bike around the city or on the paths of its many parks.

Of course, exercise is only part of a healthy lifestyle. Eating a nutritious diet full of fruits and vegetables is another key to fitness. Like many cities, Minneapolis offers a range of restaurants with healthy menu options. 

 

What sets Minneapolis apart, however, is its farmers market. The Minneapolis Farmers Market isn’t just one market, but various locations throughout the city with different schedules. Farmers markets are an excellent way to participate in community life and stock up on fresh, local fruits and vegetables. 

 

2. Cultural District For Art Lovers

Minneapolis offers retirees a well-rounded lifestyle. The West Downtown Cultural District, rebranded WeDo™ in 2015, encompasses nearly two miles of cultural experiences. Theater, museums, classes, public art displays, and more form a lively encounter with the Minneapolis creative community.

 

Stroll around WeDo™ and see the public and local art offerings. Or enjoy a world-class dance performance at the Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts. Their educational and community engagement efforts include lectures, Q&As, and MovementWise, an all-level dance class for 50+ adults.

 

The Hennepin Theatre Trust hosts Broadway and other world-famous shows, speakers, comedians, and concerts. When you retire in Minneapolis, you don’t need to worry about boredom!

 

3. Top-Notch Parks

Nature-lovers will find a lot to cherish in Minneapolis. The town's motto is “City by Nature,” and that’s no understatement. 

 

Minneapolis is home to nearly 200 parks, earning it some national recognition. Park Score named the city the nation’s top park system for five years in a row.

 

Theodore Wirth Regional Park is the city’s largest and offers year-round seasonal activities. Ride a bike along its various trails for riders of all levels, from beginner to expert

 

Cross country skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and other winter sports are all popular activities at Theodore Wirth Regional Park. Enjoy its golf course and the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary in the warmer months.

 

4. Dine Out

Minneapolis has a wealth of dining options. Whether you’re seeking romantic date nights, lunch with the grandkids, or dinner with friends, you will find something for every occasion. Mexican, Italian, Vietnamese, and American classics abound in Minneapolis. Dine at world-class eateries run by award-winning, nationally-recognized chefs. 

 

Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood, located in the former Warehouse District, is an illustrative example of the best of the city. Located near the river, North Loop is an leisurely stroll from downtown Minneapolis. Once you’re there, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to eateries, activities, and even shopping.

 

You can find simple, casual dining in the North Loop, as well as high-end, cutting-edge restaurants. This vibrant neighborhood also offers options for a quick bite or a delicious coffee. Bagels, pizza, a specially-crafted cocktail - you name it, you can find it in the North Loop.

 

Who knew you could enjoy some of the best meals of your life on a regular basis in your retirement? If you retire in Minneapolis, it’s possible!

 

Minneapolis Is a Great Place to Retire

Don’t let the legendary Minnesota winters scare you away from retiring in Minneapolis. You will find a warm welcome among the various cultural, culinary, outdoors, and physical activities available to the city’s residents. The Twin Cities offer something to people of all ages, which means kids and grandkids will love coming to visit.

 

The key to a fulfilling retirement is staying active and engaging with your community. You can enjoy a vibrant, thriving retirement if you make your home in Minneapolis. There’s a reason the Twin Cities was one of 2019’s top-rated retirement cities.

Ready to Retire in Minneapolis? Roost Real Estate Can Help

There are a lot of considerations when looking for a place to live. Whether you are a recent college graduate or ready for retirement, the friendly team at Roost is here to serve. We are experts in the Twin Cities real estate market and can help you find just what you need.

 

Reach out today to connect with an excellent agent and start your home search.





March 31, 2020

What Happens During a Real Estate Home Inspection?

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

 

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

Why Do You Need a Real Estate Home Inspection?

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

 

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

 

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

Who Is Responsible For the Home Inspection?

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

 

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

 

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

What Do Home Inspectors Look at In a Home?

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

  • Plumbing
  • Sewer Lines
  • Septic Tank
  • Pests

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

What Happens After the Inspection?

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

We’ll Guide You Right Through the Whole Process

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



March 24, 2020

What Does the Latest Interest Rate Drop Mean for Homebuyers?

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

 

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

New Territory

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Who Benefits from the Interest Rate Drop?

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

 

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

 

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

Look at All the Options

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

Consider Making a Move

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

Super-Size It

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

 

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

Go for New

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

Invest In a Rental Property

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

 

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

Buy a Vacation Home

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

 

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

We’ll Help You Make Sense of the Market

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

 

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

March 16, 2020

What Happens at a Real Estate Closing?

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

 

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

 

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

Real Estate Closing: A Process, Not a Single Event

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

 

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

 

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

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

The Big Day

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

A Few Tips For a Smoother Closing Process

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

 

Buyers can:

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

Sellers can:

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

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

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

 

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

 

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






Feb. 28, 2020

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

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

 

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

 

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

The Best Spring Home Improvement Ideas

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

1. Paint It Up

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

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

 

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

2. Replace Old Windows

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

3. Refresh the Floors

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

4. Create a Better Closet Experience

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

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

5. Upgrade The Appliances

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

 

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

6. Give the Bathroom a Boost

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

 

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

 

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

Are You Ready to Sell Your Home?

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

 

Feb. 25, 2020

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

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

 

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

 

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

What Can I Grow in Minnesota Weather?

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

 

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

 

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

Popular Choices for Container Gardens

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

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

 

These are some of the most common container plants:

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

Choosing Plants for Your Condo Gardening Adventure

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

 

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

 

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

Essential Tips For Container Gardening

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

1. Choose the Right Pot

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

2. Choose the Appropriate Soil & Location

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

 

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

3. Don’t Forget to Water & Fertilize

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

 

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

4. Vertical Gardening

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

 

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

Need More Space?

 

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

 

Feb. 14, 2020

It's a Great Time for Startups in Minneapolis

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

 

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

 

The Results Are In: Startups in Minneapolis Are Thriving

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

Why Are Things So Great for Entrepreneurs Right Now?

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Minneapolis Has Something for Creators of All Kinds

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

 

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

 

Immerse Yourself in the Minneapolis Music and Nightlife Scene

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

 

Speaking of Taste

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Recreation

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

 

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

 

Let Roost Help You Establish Minneapolis as Your Small Business Headquarters

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

 

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

 

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

 

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