Considering a Short Sale in 2013? How the Fiscal Cliff Negotiations will Benefit You

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act was set to expire January 1, 2013 meaning that homeowners who complete a short sale after that date would be taxed on the deficiency that the bank accepted as if it were income.  This would put many struggling homeowners in a bind.  While they are no longer responsible for the deficiency to the mortgage company they are left with a large tax burden.  Luckily this has been extended for another year under the fiscal cliff negotiations.  If you are considering a short sale please speak with your tax adviser as they affect everyone differently depending on their income and tax situation.

Just in: October 2012 Metro Area Real Estate Stats!

The Minneapolis Area Associaiton of Realtors released NorthstarMLS’ October stats this morning, and it was another month of improvement!  The average sales price is up 7.8% over last October to $209,522.  Market t ime is down 24.8%, pending sales are up 34% and closed sales are up 15.1%.  We did see an increase in new listings, up 7.5% from last year, however the inventory continues to drop 29.7%, with only a 3.7 month supply of homes on the market.  What do these numbers mean?  The market is stabilizing.  If you were to put your home on the market now at a reasonable market price you are likely to have more success than you did a year ago.  We have even started seeing more multiple offers again.  For more specific statistics on your neighborhood call your neighborhood Realtor or give me a call anytime!

Quarter 3 Shows Strong Growth Nationally

Third quarter numbers are out and show that home prices have seen the strongest growth since 2006.  According to the latest figures from the National Association of Realtors the median price for existing single family homes jumped 7.6% from a year ago.  Existing home sales also rose 10.3% in the third quarter.  Year to date in Minneapolis the median sales price is up 17.9%, with sales up 16.3% placing us ahead of the nation.  One factor for the rise in sales price could be our low inventory, down about 30% from last year in Minneapolis.  Nationwide that number is slightly lower at 20% less than last year.  While this is great for sellers and the housing market it is placing a squeeze on first time buyers, making it more difficult for them to get their foot in the door.

Change in Season AND a Change in the Market

Well it is definitely Fall here in Downtown Minneapolis!  With this change in weather also comes a change in the housing market.  We have not seen such activity in the downtown market since 2006 with inventory of listings at a 9 year low.  Interest rates are at a never seen before low in the 3% range, making affordability even higher.  Home values continue to improve along with consumer confidence.  This should help gain momentum into 2013 as supply becomes strained with no new projects ready to move in and demand from buyers increases.  Now is a great time to look at selling!  In most of the local neighborhoods the median sales price has gone up, while the days on market and number of new listings has gone down.  It is still a great time to buy a home as well!  Low interest rates give you more buying power and you can still get in at great prices.  With low inventory it is even more important to have a dedicated Real Estate Agent working for you from the beginning of your search!

From Snow Piles to Potholes

(Michael Sharp RE/MAX Results)You have probably heard that saying about Minnesota, there are 2 seasons; winter and road construction.  We definitely had a hard winter, but the snow is mostly melted and Minneapolis has recaptured most of those parking spaces that the snow was holding hostage.  But we have also gained a whole lot of pot holes to deal with!  For those of you playing “dodge the pothole” in Minneapolis, help is on the way.  The city approved an additional $1 Million to speed up repair of these pesky bumps, humps, and craters.  In the mean time be careful of those holes.  And if you need the name of a good tire shop or rim repair person please call me.

Skyscape to Auction off Unsold Units

By Michael Sharp: RE/MAX Results

On March 14, 2011 Velocity will auction off some of Skyscape’s unsold condos.  Interested buyers must preview the units prior to the auction and fill out an interest card to attend the auction.  Only units with enough interest will be auctioned off.  Starting prices are 40+% below the last asking price.  This past weekend the building was buzzing with activity from prospective bidders.  The question will be how many of these prospectives become actual bidders, and how high over the starting price are they willing to go.  It also remains to be seen whether this will help or hurt the building’s resale values in the future.

Bring the Family Downtown!

89.3 The Current is presenting a free family event called “Rock the Cradle” on February 20, 2011 from 11AM to 5PM.  Events take place at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Children’s Theatre Company.  Events are geared towards kids that are 2-8 and include story time with the Current’s DJ’s, a disco and live music, puppetry, yoga, art projects, an art gallery “hunt”, and a musical instrument petting zoo for kids to try out different instruments.  Check out their website for more information.  Just one tip, leave your stroller at home!

Our Neighborhood Lund’s Grocery Featured on NBA Program

If you subscribe to NBA TV you can check out our neighborhood Lunds Grocery store in a feature they did on Kevin Love!  They followed Kevin around for a day and part of his routine- grocery shopping!  Tune in tonight at 5:30 local time, Friday Feb 4 at 4:00, Sunday at 3:30 or Monday at 1:30 to see it!  Or go to for a schedule or to watch clips of it online!

The Problems with Case-Shiller

Often times when you read a Real Estate article in the local or national newspaper they quote statistics from the Case-Shiller Report.  The nightly news sometimes quotes stats from Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Report.  But how accurate is this report?  From a local standpoint not too accurate, especially for my main market of Downtown Minneapolis.  A very small percentage of Downtown Minneapolis properties are even counted in their report.  Why?  Simple, they don’t view Condos as single family homes so they are left out of the statistics.  On a national level how accurate is it?  Considering it doesn’t include data from every state, and many states include only partial data, that might not be real accurate either.  I guess the moral of the story is if you are interested in the state of the Real Estate market in your area, ask a few trustworthy Realtors who specialize in your neighborhood for their opinion.  And don’t always believe everything you hear/ read in the news.

Apps I like for the iPad for Real Estate and Fun

The American Dialect Society declared “apps” as the word of the year for 2010.  Not surprising considering you see a commercial for the iPad, or an android phone or iPhone on the TV what seems like every commercial break!  Some of our favorite apps include, which does a great job of pulling lots of information into one easy to use place, keynote, which is great for power point presentations, docusign allows people to sign documents electronically saving both time and paper.  Friendly for facebook offers an easy way to check your facebook, and you can use netflix to stream movies.  Open table can help you find last-minute dinner reservations, while foursquare and yelp can help you find places nearby and allow users to offer tips and reviews.  Want to accept credit cards for your small business?  Try square (background check and add-on “swiper” required).  Want to know how “walkable” that house is that you are looking at?  Try walkscore!  Or use the built-in mapping feature in satellite mode and “walk around” the neighborhood virtually!

What iPad apps could you not live without?