Archive for January, 2010

Have Your Minneapolis Duplex Super Bowl Party – Now

said on January 8th, 2010 categorized under: Buying A Duplex

Comments Off on Have Your Minneapolis Duplex Super Bowl Party – Now

super bowl logoIf you’re thinking of waiting until after the Vikings win the Super Bowl to start shopping for a Minneapolis duplex, don’t.

While most Minnesotans tend to think of spring as coinciding with the Twins‘ home opener the first week of April, and the spring housing market commencing with the opening pitch, Realtors know otherwise.

The spring housing market starts February 8; the Monday after the Super Bowl.

With the $8000 first time home buyer and $6500 move-up buyer tax credits set to expire on April 30, not only will there not be a lot of time to find a property, you’re also going to face a lot more competition.

Some of it is already out there. And increased demand always leads to increases in prices.

I can’t think of any other time in the years I’ve been a Realtor when my business has experienced this much activity during the holidays and -22 degree wind chills.

Imagine what the market will be like when you don’t have to wear Carhartts to look at duplexes. Or, heaven forbid, the Vikings play like, well…the Vikings.

Comments Off on Is It A Good Time To Rent A Minneapolis Duplex? Or Buy?

Multi-ethnic GroupToday’s Wall Street Journal real estate blog post debated whether or not it’s a good time to sign a lease.

With higher vacancy rates due to unemployment, the article suggested rents will continue falling for the next few months. 

After all, landlords are offering incentives and slashed rents just to fill vacant units. Therefore, the article stated, it might be a good time to negotiate a better deal on a lease.

Of course, if you’re a prospective landlord, those words cause a sick feeling to start brewing in the pit of your stomach. Who would want to invest at a time when it will be so hard to fill vacant units?

As the article continued, however, there was a single line that nearly screamed out the fact that it is, in fact, a great time to buy.

It read, “Demographics favor landlords as the echo-boomers (the children of the baby boomers) will swell the ranks of apartment renters at a time when new supply is limited.”

Echo-boomers?

At a population of nearly 80 million, they are the largest generation since the 1960’s. In fact,  they represent nearly one-third of the entire U.S. population.

So?

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Minneapolis Duplexes Hibernate In Winter Too

said on January 5th, 2010 categorized under: Twin Cities Real Est

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Polar bearWhether it’s a single family home or duplex, new listings for the week ending December 26, 2009, appear to be in for a long winter’s nap.

MAAR reported today that the number of new listings dropped 18. 9 percent from the same week last year.

The number of new multi family listings was down 43.3 percent.

In all, the amount of inventory available for purchase is at its lowest mark since April, 2005. In fact, for the first time since 2005, there are less than 20,000 properties available on the market.

Pending sales, on the other hand, appeared to just be cat-napping.  The number of single family homes that received purchase agreements for the week was up 53.1 percent over last year.

Duplex and small multi family property pended transactions were up 30 percent. Of those that left the market, 15.39 percent were offered by traditional sellers. Last year, all of the pended properties involved lenders in the negotiations.

The good news is the average off market price for the week was $76,531.  This represents a significant wake up from last year’s $47,955.

Comments Off on Put On A Hat And Mittens To Buy A Minneapolis Duplex

winter capI know. It’s ridiculously cold outside.

But if you put on your hat and mittens, you can save yourself thousands of dollars and have a better chance of living where you want to.

Why’s that?

Because I’m starting to get asked a familiar question.

“When do you think interest rates are going up?”

While this is an inquiry better put to a loan officer than a Realtor, the answer nonetheless has enormous consequences for all of my clients.

How so? Well, for every half-a-percent interest rates go up, buying power drops by $10,000.

In other words, if a buyer presently qualifies for a $200,000 mortgage, after a half-a-percent  rate hike she would only be eligible for $190,000. A one percent rate hike would further reduce that to $180,000.

Those hikes would also cost the buyer an additional $5 to $10 per one thousand dollars she borrowed; every month.

How does this effect sellers?

If buyers suddenly have their home buying budgets slashed due to interest rates, they may be forced to change the types of property and neighborhoods they are considering. Ultimately, this will put downward pressure on average sale prices.

While I’m neither a loan officer nor an economist, the buzz in the real estate industry is that rates may tick up in March when the government’s $1.25 trillion program that bought mortgage backed securities expires.

While the feds have extended the program once before, indications are they will not do it again.

Call it yet another reason this may be the best year in ages to don your Carhartts and look at duplexes in January.

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