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Stay Fit – Buy a Home in Minneapolis

January 29, 2014 By: Susan Hofflander Category: Miscellaneous

dreamstime_295950What a wonderful distinction!  I would not have guessed this.  The American College of Medicine’s most recent American Fitness Index ranks Minneapolis the fittest city in the USA!  Though, I suppose it should come as no surprise.  There are more bike paths and parks here, per capita, than any city in the USA.  My first exposure to a Farmer’s Market was here in Minneapolis.  There is a great respect for organic farming and consumption of non-chemically treated meat and vegetables.

NBC news gave this amazing report.  Take a look!

The Twin Cities also has the most theaters per capita, third only to New York city and Chicago.  We aredreamstime_61689421 also deemed in the top 10 for cultural diversity and intelligence.  If there’s a choice about where to live, Minneapolis/St. Paul should be on everyone’s short list.

Contact me today!  I’m your personal real estate shopper~

 

 

850a8Susan Hofflander is a seasoned real estate professional, providing real estate consultations for home buyers and sellers in the Twin Cities since 1994. Susan specializes in homes for sale in Lake Calhoun/Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Plymouth, MN, Minneapolis Western Suburban Cities and Downtown Minneapolis Lofts.

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Holidays Light Up Minneapolis

December 22, 2013 By: Susan Hofflander Category: Buyers, Community Info, Minneapolis, Minneapolis lofts and condos, Miscellaneous, plymouth mn

Oh, every year, the holiday decorations get better and more grand than the year before.  These folks in Plymouth, MN really do it up right!  And, they’re doing it for the right reasons.Nate and Jenn

Some of my clients have done decorating in their first homes this year.  They have been gracious enough to let me share in the adventure of their first home purchase.  This tree is from Nate and Jennifer’s first place in Cokato.

Max

 

And, this cute tree is in the home of Max who purchased a condo in the city.

 

 

Happy Holidays, everyone!!!

 

Susan Hofflander is a seasoned real estate professional, providing real estate 850Aconsultations for home buyers and sellers in the Twin Cities since 1994. Susan specializes in homes for sale in Lake Calhoun/Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Plymouth, MN, Minneapolis Western Suburban Cities and Downtown Minneapolis Lofts.

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Halloween Decorations in Minneapolis Cities

October 29, 2013 By: Susan Hofflander Category: Buyers, Community Info, Maple Grove mn, Miscellaneous, Sellers

I’ve noticed many households decorating more extensively for Halloween in the last few years.  Have you seen this, too??  When I was a child (WAY back in the 20th century), all we did was carve a pumpkin in to a jack-o-lantern and put it on the porch with a candle in it.  The inside of the top would get all blackened by the candle and we’d throw it away within a few days.

lighted spider web

Now, people are more safety conscious and more creative!!!  Here are some pics from   a house in Champlin, MN that I helped my clients purchase.They have a big Halloween bash every year and invite lots of friends an neighbors.  Their place is the hit of the neighborhood!!

 

 

We listed their house for sale a few years back when the market was still tough.Halloween party room  But, we got their place sold in just a few weeks and found this great property!

There are beautiful woods in the back that probably adds to the spookiness!!!

Don’t walk in the woods alone~

 

Halloween house front

 

 

The front of the house is gorgeous!

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s a pic of some of the Halloween party-goers!  The one on the far right is my client.

The one in the middle is my client, too!!!  It’s so fun to see everyone Halloween party goershaving a good time!  Enjoy your homes just as you are supposed to, ladies!!!

 

 

Contact me today so I can help you move to your next home.  That’s what these ladies did and look how happy they are!!

 

 

 

 

Susan Hofflander is a seasoned real estate professional, providing real estate 850Aconsultations for home buyers and sellers in the Twin Cities since 1994. Susan specializes in homes for sale in Lake Calhoun/Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Plymouth, MN, Minneapolis Western Suburban Cities and Downtown Minneapolis Lofts.

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I’m a Lucky Minnesota Real Estate Agent!

October 22, 2013 By: Susan Hofflander Category: About, Buyers, Maple Grove mn, Minneapolis, Miscellaneous, plymouth mn, Relocation Resources

The Braners

Closing day with Nate and Jennifer Braner

I’ve been fortunate to recieve lovely testimonials from my clients.  Just take a look at this article!  I’m honored and humbled to recieve such praise.  I’d like to think this is evidence that I provide above and beyond the service my clients are expecting when they work with me.

There have been several good clients of mine who have sent me referrals.  Most recently, a past client, Andrew, was good enough to recommend my services to his friends, Katie and Nick.  We just closed on their home purchase last week.  Another good friend decided she wanted to use my services for her and her husband’s first home purchase, Jennifer and Nate.  What wonderful company I keep.  We just closed on their house today~

But, sometimes it’s difficult or inconvenient for folks to remember to mention my name when people talk about purchasing a house for sale in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas.  Here’s another way you can help me.  Please go to Angie’s List and write a review.  Just click this link:

Read Unbiased Consumer Reviews Online at AngiesList.com
angieslist.com/review/7879993

You willnever know how your kind words impacts my business every day.  And, I can’t thank you enough!!!

 

850ASusan Hofflander is a seasoned real estate professional, providing real estate consultations for home buyers and sellers in the Twin Cities since 1994. Susan specializes in homes for sale in Lake Calhoun/Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Plymouth, MN, Minneapolis Western Suburban Cities and Downtown Minneapolis Lofts.

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Continuing Climb of Mortgage Interest Rates

September 09, 2013 By: Susan Hofflander Category: Buyers, Market Trends, Minneapolis, Minneapolis lofts and condos, Mortgage Info, plymouth mn, Relocation Resources

As expected, mortgage interest rates are continuing to inch up.  For all of my buyers who have locked their interest ratesdreamstime_72183472 already, good for you!  If you are sitting on the fence about whether or not you’re ready to buy, you may want to consider jumping in the pool before you lose any more buying power.

See this article to become better informed.

Ready now??  Contact me today!!!

 

850a8Susan Hofflander is a seasoned real estate professional, providing real estate consultations for home buyers and sellers in the Twin Cities since 1994. Susan specializes in homes for sale in Lake Calhoun/Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Plymouth, MN, Minneapolis Western Suburban Cities and Downtown Minneapolis Lofts.

 

 

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Who Loves the Numbers?? This is For You!!

August 10, 2013 By: Susan Hofflander Category: Buyers, Community Info, Maple Grove mn, Market Trends, Minneapolis, Minneapolis lofts and condos, Miscellaneous, Mortgage Info, plymouth mn, Relocation Resources, Sellers

It’s important to take a look at what’s happening in the market every once in a while for EVERYONE!  This info is significant to Susan Hofflander REALTORboth buyers, sellers, current home owners, renters.  Why?  Because this data helps you know where you stand with regard to your current and future habitation status.

  • If you’re  a renter, you want to keep up with the real estate market to know how the rental market is trending.  It might dictate whether or not your rent is going up or down, if there are more people buying, then rentals will be more available.
  • If you’re a buyer, it lets you know where the numbers are trending with regard to price, availability of traditional properties vs. lender mediated.  It lets you know what’s happening with mortgage interest rates.
  • If you’re a seller, it tells you where you stand in the market place.  Perhaps, it informs you about your price expectatations or if you need to consider a price reduction, or how to even price your property in the first place.  It tells you how long you can expect your property to be on the market
  • If you’re a current home owner, it tells you what’s happening in your “neck of the woods”, so you understand what your investment is worth at this snap shot in time.

Yes, this information is VITAL to everyone who lives somewhere now and/or is looking to live somewhere else soon.  Mind you, this information is local and time sensitive, so check back often to make sure you are most currently informed.

This video is from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors and gives you the latest real estate market trends on homes for sale in the Minneapols and St. Paul and all of the the surrounding Minneapolis suburbs and St. Paul suburbs.

This tool provided by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors allows you to slice and dice the numbers in whatever way you see fit.  That way, you see the data that is meaningful for you.  You can search by area, price range, type of housing, and a plethora of other criteria!

Need some help with all of this?? Thinking of buying or selling??  It’s time to contact me today!

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Susan Hofflander is a seasoned real estate professional, providing real estate consultations for home buyers and sellers in the Twin Cities since 1994. Susan specializes in homes for sale in Lake Calhoun/Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Plymouth, MN, Minneapolis Western Suburban Cities and Downtown Minneapolis Lofts.

 

 

 

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Does It Stay or Go??

July 22, 2013 By: Susan Hofflander Category: Buyers, Maple Grove mn, Minneapolis, Minneapolis lofts and condos, Miscellaneous, plymouth mn, Sellers

Oh, happy day!  You just signed all the paper work to buy your new house!  It’s perfect for you!  But……..when you start moving in, dreamstime_5942801you look around and see that all of the curtains, blinds and shades have been taken, the lovely chandelier in the dining room and other light fixtures have been replaced by bare-bones single bulb fixtures, the appliances are gone and the shelving in the bedrooms has been removed!  Ugh!!!  Epic fail……..

So, why did this happen?  Well, it could be a variety of things.  There are several opportunities during the course of the transaction where there are possible checks and balances to make sure this type of thing DOESN’T happen.

  1. In the state of MN purchase agreement forms provided by the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®, there is a LONG paragraph that addresses certain items that shall remain with the property as part of the “real” property.  “garden bulbs, plants, shrubs and trees; storm sash, storm doors, screens and awnings; window shades, blinds, traverse and curtain and drapery rods; attached lighting fixtures and bulbs; plumbing fixtures, water heater, heating plants (with any burners, non-fuel tanks, stokers and other equipment used in connection therewith), built-in air-conditioning equipment, electronic air filter, water softener, built-in humidifier and dehumidifier, liquid fuel tank(s)  and controls, sump pump; attached television antenna, cable TV jacks and wiring; BUILT-INS: dishwashers, garbage disposals, trash compactors, ovens, cook-top stoves, microwave ovens, hood fans, intercoms; ATTACHED: carpeting; mirrors; garage door openers and all controls; smoke detectors; fireplace screens, doors” These items are, in some way, permanently affixed to the property and referred to as an appurtenance.  Notice is does NOT say curtains and draperies, it says RODS.  Notice it does NOT say refrigerator or portable anything.  It does say attached lighting fixtures, but it doesn’t say the ones currently in use.  Notice it does NOT say shelving anywhere.  Technically, the shelving could be removed, but the brackets would most likely have to stay.  This paragraph should be read thoroughly and any other personal property (like a stand-alone stove, refrigerator, light fixtures currently in use, curtains and draperies, etc.)
  2. In a traditional sale, the sellers usually provide multi-page property disclosure, on which they will indicate what items they intend to leave with the property or which items they will be taking with them. Buyers should read this thoroughly before they sign it and make sure their agent gives them a copy so they can refer to it over and over again.
  3. In a lender mediated property ALL BETS ARE OFF!  The lender won’t vouche for ANYTHING to be in the property between the time you sign the purchase agreement and the time you close.
  4. Buyers are entitled to a walk through of the property just prior to closing.  IF the buyers had walked through the property, they would be able to know whether or not there were items missing that had been written in to the purchase agreement.  AND, their agent (provided they have their own agent) would have been able to exert some authority to recitify these matters.

So, that’s the moral of the story, buyers and potential buyers  IT’S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD THAT YOU SHOULD SECURE YOUR OWN AGENT.  Please let us protect you!!!  That’s why we’re here, folks.  We want to protect you.  Believe me, I wouldn’t go to my doctor and, thinking I might save some money, attempt to do surgery on myself.  I wouldn’t walk in to a court room, thinking I might save some money, represent myself in a law suit or WORSE yet, hire the attorney for my opponent to represent me!

Please think it over before you try to navigate the tricky waters of a real estate transaction by yourself.  Most likely (at least for my services), my commission doesn’t cost buyers ANYTHING out of their pocket.  Don’t hurt yourself by thinking you know what you don’t know.

Contact me today!!!

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Susan Hofflander is a seasoned real estate professional, providing real estate consultations for home buyers and sellers in the Twin Cities since 1994. Susan specializes in homes for sale in Lake Calhoun/Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Plymouth, MN, Minneapolis Western Suburban Cities and Downtown Minneapolis Lofts.

 

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Sellers Will Pay the Closing Costs……..Sort Of

July 01, 2013 By: Susan Hofflander Category: Buyers, Maple Grove mn, Market Trends, Minneapolis, Miscellaneous, Mortgage Info, plymouth mn, Relocation Resources, Sellers

dreamstime_14635321I posted on facebook recently about seller paid closing costs in a real estate transaction.  I wanted to elaborate a little on what I wrote.

When home buyers in Minneapolis or other areas purchase a home for sale, there are OTHER costs associated with the purchase, NOT just the purchase price of the property.  There are lender/mortgage fees, insurances, title company fees, escrow fees, mortgage registration taxes, etc.  In a real estate transaction, these fees are commonly referred to as “closing costs”.   In the past, before we hit this most recent real estate down turn, sellers were very likely to walk away from the closing with a profit from their investment of time and money in the property that just got sold.  And, also, historically, buyers (especially first timers) were not holding a large amount of cash, so, in order for them to use the cash they DO have for the down payment, the sellers sometimes agreed to contribute money back for the buyers’ closing costs.

BUT, here’s the problem.  Buyers have been told by their mortgage office or others that the sellers will PAY their closing costs or that they can roll the closing costs in to the mortgage.  On it’s face, that’s true.  When someone tells you that the closing costs can be rolled in to your mortgage it’s the SAME thing as the sellers paying the buyers closing costs.

Now think about it, would you just give someone you don’t know a big pile of money just because they’re buying your house??  Many times, people can’t even get this amount of money from their own families, so why would perfect strangers agree to give you this money??  Here’s how it REALLY works.  A buyer makes an offer on a property and requests the sellers to pay the closing costs.  In order for that offer to be clear to the sellers about their bottom line, the buyers’ agent will make sure that the offer price is one thing and the math is done to add the closing costs ON TOP of what the real offer is for the property.  Make sense???

Here’s an example:

Offer Price:  $100,000

Request for Buyer closing costs: $5000

REAL offer price:  $105,000

There are industry safeguards to this doesn’t get out of control.  It’s just important to note that, because this is a business deal, there is an offset for the request of the sellers to pay the buyers closing costs.  That’s what your lender means when they say you can “roll it in to the mortgage”.  It’s “rolled” in to the purchase price, and therefore, the mortgage.

Check my facebook profile  and my trulia.com profiledreamstime_53225197

Susan Hofflander is a seasoned real estate professional, providing real estate consultations for home buyers and sellers in the Twin Cities since 1994. Susan specializes in homes for sale in Lake Calhoun/Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Plymouth, MN, Minneapolis Western Suburban Cities and Downtown Minneapolis Lofts.

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Get While the Gettin’s Good!!

June 13, 2013 By: Susan Hofflander Category: Buyers, Community Info, Market Trends, Minneapolis, Minneapolis lofts and condos, Miscellaneous, plymouth mn, Relocation Resources

There’s no doubt about it, the real estate market is definitely improving.  Inventory is WAAAY down and prices aredreamstime_10763265 up.  We are at the lowest numbers for inventory in 10 years.

Sometimes we, as agents, start seeing this movement before it’s being reported.  And, sometimes we doubt the things we’re seeing, without knowing it’s a trend.  I’ve been seeing this kind of activity on my listings for months now, so now we’re seeing articles, like this one, confirming with hard numbers what we know is true.

There are those that think the days of finding bargains are LONG gone.  Not so!  While prices are climbing, there are still some great bargains out there.

Don’t miss your chance.  If the timing is anywhere NEAR right for you to purchase, it might be wise to consider taking the plunge before interest rates start climbing which will negatively impact your buying power.

Contact me today!!!

850ASusan Hofflander is a seasoned real estate professional, providing real estate consultations for     home buyers and sellers in the Twin Cities since 1994. Susan specializes in homes for sale in Lake Calhoun/Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Plymouth, MN, Minneapolis Western Suburban Cities and Downtown Minneapolis Lofts.

 

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How Can We Help You????

April 10, 2013 By: Susan Hofflander Category: Buyers, Maple Grove mn, Minneapolis, Miscellaneous, plymouth mn, Relocation Resources, Sellers

I’ve been posting on facebook a fair amount lately about what the communication error is with regard to home http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-why-concept-image27567467buyers of Minnesota homes for sale not using a licensed REALTOR® to assist with their purchase.  My Q & A on Trulia is often in response to a buyer who is now in trouble because they don’t have an agent working for them.

I wonder if it’s because they think they might be saving some money.  Well, let me bust that myth.  Here in the middle part of the country (unlike some areas on the coasts), real estate commissions are still paid by the seller.  So, that means the buyer does NOT pay the real estate commission out of their pocket.

So, what……..is it??  I’d love to hear/see your comments.  Please reply.

My friend and colleague, Eric Hempler, wrote an article on his blog.  With his permission, he’s allowed me to re-post some of that content here today.  Read through and see what rings true:

“If you’re searching How to Buy a Home by Owner my guess is you’re already pre-approved for a loan and if not, I would recommend it. Otherwise, a Seller may not take your offer seriously.
The first thing you need to realize is that this may be a lot of work, which is why consumers find an agent to help them find a home because it’s convenient and free…why wouldn’t you want to use something that’s free.
Any way…
The Ground Work
The first thing to do…track down the owners of the homes that are for sale
If the home you’re interested in is listed with an agent it really doesn’t matter because the Seller Pays the commission regardless if you use an agent or not.
Now that you have the names and contact info of the owners give them a call and see if you can view the home…if you were using an agent you could save some time and have the agent make arrangements and they could also look up the homes to see if there is already an offer on the property…websites don’t have this info, but if it’s listed with an agent and the agent has updated the MLS then the Buyer’s Agent will know if there’s an offer on the property.
You would also be able to view several homes over the course of an hour or two versus calling each person one by one and trying to schedule them as they called you back…that’s assuming they call you back. Sometimes agents aren’t real good about returning calls.
Making the Offer
Now that you’ve found the home it’s time to write the offer…you’ll need a purchase agreement. I unfortunately don’t know were the public can get one.
Here are a few questions to ask about the property
Will the Seller pay your closing costs?
Is there well? does it need to be sealed?
Is there septic? is it in compliance, if it’s not what do you need to do?
Inspections – property, well, septic
Lead Paint – what do you  need to do if the property has lead paint?

Closing on the Property
Should you use a Title Company to make sure the title is clean and there are no leans on the property?
What should you do when the appraisal for the home comes back for less than what you offered on the home?

The Other Option

Call an agent…find someone you feel comfortable using and give them a call…meet with them and then you can decide if they’re the right fit.”

Please let us agents know what we’re doing wrong in order for us to learn how to appeal to more home buyers.

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Susan Hofflander is a seasoned real estate professional, providing real estate consultations for     home buyers and sellers in the Twin Cities since 1994. Susan specializes in homes for sale in Lake Calhoun/Lake Harriet, Minneapolis, Plymouth, MN, Minneapolis Western Suburban Cities and Downtown Minneapolis Lofts.

 

 

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