7 Ways To Make Sure You Get A Minneapolis Duplex

frustrated young  woman.I don’t state it publicly very often, but I’m frustrated. 

It isn’t from the state of the market. The market’s fine thank you. People are buying and selling properties every day.

It does seem, however, that there’s a different kind of buyer in the market. Having been exposed to too many media headlines about what constitutes a good deal or what they should be able to buy for their money,  many are simply delusional.

Hate to break it to you, but you’re just not going to get that duplex with an 18 percent cash on cash return, loads of woodwork, next to Lake Calhoun, with a ballroom on the third floor and central air for $60,000.

Simply because it doesn’t exist.  Period.

What does exist, however, are properties that are good values, providing a nice return in a decent neighborhood and that require, largely, a little bit of lipstick.

Here’s how you can find it:

  1. Have A Clear Vision – When you first sit down with your Realtor, think about the characteristics you’d like a property to have. If you’re going to live in it, what amenities do you absolutely have to have and which can you do without?  If you’re an investor, how much risk are you willing to tolerate? Is there a range of return that’s acceptable to you?
  2. Be Realistic – Try to adjust your expectations to the inventory on the market.  There just aren’t any duplexes in Minnesota with indoor pools, so don’t think you’ll find one. 
  3. Be Flexible – There simply aren’t as many duplexes in the Twin Cities as there are single family homes, so there will always be less of them to choose from. You may be able to find a property that fits your goals one MLS district over, or perhaps even on the other side of the River. Many neighborhoods share similar amenities (walking paths, waterways, neighborhood cafes and coffee houses). Open yourself to the possibilities.
  4. Be Motivated – When your agent calls and says she may have found the right property or a good deal, drop what you’re doing and go see it. It may be a “buyer’s market”, but I promise, the buyer’s who are out there are looking for good deals on special properties too. If you hesitate, you’ll miss the opportunity. Guaranteed.
  5. Focus On Your Goals – As you look at property, keep your eyes on your original objectives. If you were originally willing to pay a specified portion of the rent, you will frustrate yourself and your agent if you suddenly decide it’s a requirement that you be able to live for free. The same holds true on the amount of return on an investor’s dollar; if the math doesn’t work, don’t buy it. If it does, move on it.
  6. Communicate With Your Agent – Nothing is more frustrating to a Realtor than a lack of response. If your plans have changed, or you’re not interested in a certain property, say so. Nothing that we can say or do in person or over the phone will make you buy something you don’t want. Being direct saves everyone a lot of time, energy and effort.
  7. Trust Your Agent – If you feel your agent knows the market, trust her when she tells you something is a good deal. Yes, she would like to earn a commission. However, most of the agents I know would rather have a client for life.

There are still great opportunities out there; if you stay focused and realistic.