Maple Grove, MN Real Estate News

By Richard McDeid
(Our Home Real Estate)
Mistake #2. Complacent marketing when selling a home When selling your home there are no guarantees that the ultimate buyerof your home will have simply walked through the front door. In manycases you may have to bring your home to the buyer. Effectivemarketing will help ensure that your property receives maximumexposure to attract a ready, willing and able buyer in the shortestperiod of time. Ask your Realtor to list for you all of the wayshe/she intends to market your home and on what time-line. Also, besure to ask about the home being advertised on the Internet. Mistake #3. Taking for granted the "curb appeal" of your home When you're preparing your house for sale, remember the importance offirst impressions. A buyer's first impression can make or breakwhether they even want to go in...
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By Richard McDeid
(Our Home Real Estate)
Mistake #1. Using a real estate agent instead of a Realtor When you're looking for help buying or selling property, it'simportant to remember that the terms "real estate agent" and "Realtor"are not synonymous. Realtors can provide an extra level of service andto be a Realtor you must be a member of the National Association ofRealtors (NAR). The equivalent organization in Canada is the CanadianReal Estate Association (CREA). Both are non-profit tradeorganizations that promote real estate information, education andprofessional standards. The National Association of Realtors also hasearned a strong reputation for actively championing private propertyrights and working to make home ownership affordable and accessible.The NAR and CREA members adhere to a strict code of ethics founded onthe p...
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By Richard McDeid
(Our Home Real Estate)
Stop Calling Ads! A word of caution - agents create ads solely to make the phone ring!Many of the homes have some drawback that's not mentioned in the ad,such as traffic noise, power lines, or litigation in the community.What's not mentioned in the ad is usually more important than what is.For this reason, I want you to be very careful when reading ads.Remember that the person writing the ad is representing the seller andnot you! The most important thing you can do is have someone on yourside looking out for your best interests. Your own agent will critiquethe property with an eye towards how well it meets your needs and willpoint out any drawbacks you should know about. So whether you decideto work with me or not, pick an agent you feel comfortable with andenlist the services of that a...
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By Richard McDeid
(Our Home Real Estate)
Don't Be Pushed Into Any House Your agent should show you everything available that meets yourrequirements. Don't make a decision on a house until you feel thatyou've seen enough to pick the best one. Go to the Multiple Listingcomputer with your agent to make sure that you are getting a COMPLETElist. In the late 1980's, homes were selling quickly, usually a fewdays after listing. In that kind of market, agents advised theirclients to make an offer ON THE SPOT if they liked the house. That wasgood advice at the time. Today there isn't always this urgency,unless a home is drastically under priced, and you'll know if it is.Don't forget to check into the SCHOOL DISTRICTS of the area you'reconsidering. Information is available on every school; such as classsizes, % of students that go on to ...
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By Richard McDeid
(Our Home Real Estate)
Play the Game of Nines Before house hunting, make a list of nine things you want in the newplace. Then make a list of the nine things you don't want. I call this"NINE OF THIS AND NONE OF THAT". You can use this list as a scorecardto rate each property that you see. The one with the biggest scorewins! This helps avoid confusion and keeps things in perspective whenyou're comparing dozens of homes. When house hunting, keep in mindthe difference between "SKIN AND BONES". The BONES are things thatcannot be changed such as the location, view, size of lot, noise inthe area, school district, and floor plan. The SKIN represents easilychanged surface finishes like carpet, wallpaper, color, and windowcoverings. Buy the house with good BONES, because the SKIN can alwaysbe changed to match your tast...
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By Richard McDeid
(Our Home Real Estate)
Sell First, Then Buy If you have a house to sell, sell it before selecting a house to buy!I haven't seen a contingent sale work in the last 3 years, unless it'swith a new home builder who has other houses to sell and can afford toput one on a contingency. Let's pretend that we go out looking forthe perfect house for you. We find it and you love it! Now you have togo make an offer to the seller. You want the seller to reduce theprice and wait until you sell your house. The seller figures that's arisky deal, since he might pass up a buyer who DOESN'T have to sell ahouse while he's waiting for you. So he says OK, he'll do thecontingency but it has to be a full price offer! So you see, you paidmore for the house than you could have because of the contingency.Now you have to sell your existi...
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By Richard McDeid
(Our Home Real Estate)
Get "Pre-Qualified! Do you want to get the best house you can for the least amount ofmoney? Then make sure you are in the strongest negotiating positionpossible. Price is only one bargaining chip in the negotiations, andnot necessarily the most important one. Often other terms, such as thestrength of the buyer or the length of escrow, are critical to aseller. In years past, I always recommended that buyers get "pre-qualified" by a lender. This means that you spend a few minutes onthe phone with a lender who asks you a few questions. Based on theanswers, the lender pronounces you "pre-qualified" and issues acertificate that you can show to a seller. Sellers are aware thatsuch certificates are WORTHLESS, and here's why! None of theinformation has been verified! Oftentimes-unknown problems...
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By Scott Baumgartner, Guide for all Your Real Estate Needs
(Edina Realty)
Attention Buyers: Now that you are in the mood of buying for others, why not buy for yourself?  The interest rates are low, inventory is still at highs, and as long as you have a good job and good credit, getting a loan will be no problem.  Start by setting up a search on my website at www.myhomesguide.com then call or email me any homes you want to see.  Or, you can call me at 763.226.0192 to discuss the market and what you have been hearing.  Will the market go down more?  Maybe, but that should not stop you from getting in now. 
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By Our Home Team
(Our Home Real Estate)
How Much Can You Afford? Understanding how much you can afford is one of the most important rules of home buying. Depending on your individual situation, your budget can affect everything from the neighborhoods where you look, to the size of the house, and even what type of financing you choose. Bear in mind, however, that lenders will look at more than just your income to determine the size of the loan. Likewise, you may find that there are some creative financing options that can help boost your purchasing power. Loan prequalification vs. preapprovalOne of the best ways to determine your budget is to have your real estate agent or lender prequalify you for a loan. Prequalification is different from preapproval, because it is only an estimate of what you'll be able to afford. On the ot...
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By Our Home Team
(Our Home Real Estate)
All About Adjustable-Rate Mortgages Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) differ from fixed-rate mortgages in that the interest rate and monthly payment can change over the life of the loan. ARMs also generally have lower introductory interest rates vs. fixed-rate mortgages. Before deciding on an ARM, key factors to consider include how long you plan to own the property, and how frequently your monthly payment may change. Why choose an adjustable-rate mortgage?The low initial interest rates offered by ARMs make them attractive during periods when interest rates are high, or when homeowners only plan to stay in their home for a relatively short period. Similarly, homebuyers may find it easier to qualify for an ARM than a traditional loan. However, ARMs are not for everyone. If you plan to sta...
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By Our Home Team
(Our Home Real Estate)
How Mortgage Loans Work Excluding property taxes and insurance, a traditional fixed-rate mortgage payment consist of two parts: (1) interest on the loan and (2) payment towards the principal, or unpaid balance of the loan. Many people are surprised to learn, however, that the amount you pay towards interest and principal varies dramatically over time. This is because mortgage loans work in such a way that the early payments are primarily in interest, and the later payments are primarily towards the principal. In the beginning... you pay interestTo help calculate monthly payments for loans based on different interest rates, lenders long ago developed what are known as "amortization tables." These tables also make it fairly easy to calculate how much money of each payment is interest, and...
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By Our Home Team
(Our Home Real Estate)
Leveraging Your Money One of the greatest financial aspects of buying a home is the ability to leverage your money. Simply put, leverage allows you to use a small down payment and financing to purchase a larger investment. For example, if you bought a $125,000 home with 10 percent down, you leveraged the $12,500 down payment to purchase an asset worth 10 times that amount! AppreciationThe benefits of leverage really become apparent with appreciation, or the rise in value of a property. Using the above example, say you were to live in the house for 5 years, and during that time property values in your area were to rise an average of 2.5 percent a year. Your home would then be worth over $141,000. By putting only 10 percent down, you get to enjoy the appreciation for the full amount! Payi...
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By Our Home Team
(Our Home Real Estate)
Saving for the Down Payment Saving funds for a down payment should be part of an overall program to get your finances in order prior to shopping for a home. This includes rounding up financial records, examining your spending habits, and setting a budget you can live with. Remember, too, that the down payment is not the only up-front expense. An allowance for closing costs should also be included in your savings budget. How much is required?The down payment is usually expressed as a percentage of the overall purchase price of the home, and varies depending on the lender, the type of financing and amount of money being lent. In the past, the typical down payment was 20%, but in recent years lenders have been willing to offer conventional financing with as little as 3% down. U.S. Governme...
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By Our Home Team
(Our Home Real Estate)
15-Year, 30-Year, or a Biweekly Mortgage? In the past, the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was the standard choice for most homebuyers. Today, however, lenders offer a wide array of loan types in varying lengths--including 15, 20, 30 and even 40-year mortgages. Deciding what length is best for you should be based on several factors including: your purchasing power, your anticipated future income and how disciplined you want to be about paying off the mortgage. What are the benefits of a shorter loan term?Some homeowners choose fixed-rate loans that are less than 30 years in order to save money by paying less interest over the life of the loan. For example, a $100,000 loan at 8 percent interest comes with a monthly payment of around $734 (excluding taxes and homeowner's insurance). Over 30 ...
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By Our Home Team
(Our Home Real Estate)
Closing Costs The bundle of fees associated with the buying or selling of a home are called closing costs. Certain fees are automatically assigned to either the buyer or the seller; other costs are either negotiable or dictated by local custom. Buyer closing costsWhen a buyer applies for a loan, lenders are required to provide them with a good-faith estimate of their closing costs. The fees vary according to several factors, including the type of loan they applied for and the terms of the purchase agreement. Likewise, some of the closing costs, especially those associated with the loan application, are actually paid in advance. Some typical buyer closing costs include: The down payment Loan fees (points, application fee, credit report) Prepaid interest Inspection fees Appraisal Mortgage...
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By Our Home Team
(Our Home Real Estate)
Refinancing Refinancing your home can be an excellent way to bring down your monthly mortgage payment, raise cash, or consolidate debts with high interest rates. However, you need to do your homework before deciding to refinance. One important factor is the difference between current interest rates and the rate of your original loan. You also need to take into account the amount of time it will take to recoup the costs of refinancing. When should you refinance?Some common reasons homeowners refinance include: Lower monthly mortgage payments Convert an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed-rate mortgage Raise funds for family expenses (i.e. college tuition) Pay off high-interest loans Home improvements The old rule of thumb is that you should refinance your home if interest rates fal...
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By Our Home Team
(Our Home Real Estate)
Understanding Different Types of Loans Today's homebuyer has more financing options than have ever been available before. From traditional mortgages to adjustable-rate and hybrid loans, there are financing packages designed to meet the needs of virtually anyone. While the different choices may seem overwhelming at first, the overall goal is really quite simple: you want to find a loan that fits both your current financial situation and your future plans. Though this article discusses some of the more common loan types, you should spend time talking with different lenders before deciding on the right loan for your situation. General categories of loansMost loans fall into three major categories: fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, and hybrid loans that combine features of both. Fixed-rate mortg...
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If you're a real estate professional in Minnesota and are not involved with BNI (Business Network International), you're missing out on a huge opportunity.  We all know the importance of relationships.  We know that receiving referrals is much better than cold-calling or simply hitting our heads against a wall.  And, of course, we know that the best referrals come from those who like us and trust us.  So, why not join an organization where more people can get to know you, like you and trust you. Now more than ever, there is movement in our industry.  This movement has created recent opening in networking groups that have never been there before. As a BNI-MN Assistant Director, I would be more than happy to answer any of your questions, and even find and opening for you in a chapter near...
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The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors market update for November demonstrates, once again, the relative strength of Maple Grove real estate.  The report provides monthly data regarding new listings, closed sales average sale price, percentage of list price received at sale, and average days on the market until sale.The November figures demonstrate the continuation of a rough market.  Closed sales were off by 19 units month over month and 365 units year to date versus last year.  New listings showed a decrease of 3.7% month over month and stand at a decrease of 3.1% year to date.  Average days on the market for sales completed during November were 123 versus 100 days for sales completed during November 2006.  I hope those of you who own Maple Grove real estate kept reading.  If yo...
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By Richard McDeid
(Our Home Real Estate)
Your Credit History As part of the loan application process, virtually all lenders will want to see a copy of your credit report. The report will list all your long-term debts (credit cards, mortgage payments, automobile and student loans, etc), as well as your payment history. If you don't have a copy of your credit report, most lenders will generally require you to pay for a copy when they process your loan application. However, most real estate experts agree that it is a good idea to obtain a copy of your credit report several months before you apply for a loan. This is so you have a chance to resolve any problems with your credit before your bank sees it. U.S. Federal law ensures that you have access to your credit report, which may be obtained from your local credit bureau or any o...
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