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Buying a Home in Minnesota? Here’s What You Should Know

Buying a home in a new state is always a little stressful. The differences in the market, factors in the area you’re looking at, and different policies for real estate agents can make the process pretty intimidating.

If you’re looking at the Twin Cities market, we’re going to tell you what to know about buying a home in Minnesota. Homes in the Twin Cities fall all across the board and the Minneapolis-St. Paul is filled with a wide variety of options.

Hopefully, the information below can give you some insight into how to approach buying a home in Minnesota and what to expect when you zone in on a house. Keep reading to find out what you need to know.

Things to Know When Buying a Home in Minnesota

The first thing to note about scoping out homes in the Twin Cities is that slight differences in location will have a big influence on price.

Summit Avenue in St. Paul, for example, has rows of million-dollar homes that sit just a few blocks away from homes that are far more affordable. So, don’t get discouraged by a few high asking prices if there’s an area that you like.

The Suburbs Are a Short Commute

Another thing to keep in mind is that the Twin Cities are at the center of a network of great suburbs. Brooklyn Park, Golden Valley, Edina, Cottage Grove, and Woodbury are all within a 15-minute drive of the city centers.

This makes buying a home a lot easier if you’re going to be driving into the city for work every day. Additionally, proximity to the city gives you a lot of opportunities to enjoy the nightlife, restaurants, museums, and various state parks that exist within the Twin Cities.

Account for the Weather

This is one of the most important Minnesota real estate tips, and it’s particularly true for the winter season.

Minnesota is home to a wide variety of seasonal conditions.

These differences can have a big impact on different elements of the home. Roofs, basements, siding, and heating systems all take a toll in the winter. These are elements of the house you’ll want to ensure are in good condition when you do a walkthrough.

It’s also smart to think about your commute and your vehicle. If you plan to drive a sedan, keep the slope of your potential driveway in mind. The winter can lead to a glaze of ice that might prevent you from getting back up!

Fortunately, most, if not all, of the houses you’ll look at near the city are very accessible throughout the year.

Minnesota Has a Unique Real Estate Process

Understanding how to buy a house in Minnesota might be a little different than it is in other states.

Issues like broker reciprocity, real estate commissions, dual agency, loan approval, and more might not be the same as they have been for you before. It’s important to contact a real estate agent to get expert tips about buying a home in Minnesota.

Help Is Never Far Away

A beautiful thing about living in Minnesota is that the people are notoriously friendly and helpful. “Minnesota Nice” is the common phrase used to describe the people here.

The real estate market is no exception. If there are any questions that you have about the process or how to find a home, we’re here to queue you into all of the details that you should know and answer any questions you may have.

Need Help Finding a Home?

Hopefully, this brief guide for homebuyers in Minnesota was helpful as you start your process.

If you’re buying a home in Minnesota, whether you’ve lived here forever or you’re just moving to town, we’re here to help. We have a wide range of listed homes, insight into the market, and a wealth of knowledge about how to make your home buying process as smooth as possible.

Contact us for potential homes, insight into the process, options for selling your home, and a whole lot more.

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Understanding Real Estate Valuation: How Your Home Is Valued

How much is it worth? We tend to see our homes as a nest egg. After all, it is an asset.

Our home’s value fluctuates depending on the economy as well as various other factors. Real estate valuation measures what a home is really worth.

If your curious as to what factors into your home’s worth or what the process is like don’t worry. We’re about to go over the home appraisal process.

Formal Valuation v. Market Appraisal

A professional valuer is the only one that can give a formal valuation. Real estate valuation methods come in three sub-categories: Kerbside, desktop, and full valuation.

A Kerbside or drive-by-valuation is as the name implies a valuation based on your home’s outward appearance. A desktop valuation is an appraisal based on what information is available online. Both are less expensive alternatives to a full residential real estate valuation, but without the benefits of having your home’s inside value-added.

Full valuations are typically required by lenders to help them how much they will be willing to lend. Potential home buyers or sellers will benefit from a full appraisal to properly gauge what their home is really worth.

market appraisal is conducted by a real estate agent. It can help you estimate the value of your home based on other home sales in your area. You may find this helpful if you are not seeking a loan or just want a ball-park guess at what you could be sitting on.

Real Estate Valuation Process

Appraisals are requested mostly by lenders. If they are going to be loaning large sums of money they want to make sure you have enough collateral to support the loan. That is also why a lender must hire an appraiser with no vested interest in the property. Appraisal fees are usually covered by the potential borrower.

An appraiser with no direct interest in the property must be found. Similar to a market appraisal, a real estate valuation will also have some influence from sales home sales similar to yours.

A complete inspection will include the interior and exterior of the home, including repairs your home may need. The number of rooms, square footage, and location of your home will also be factors. The report will be a summary of the appraiser’s findings and include public land records, sketches, pictures, a street map, and an explanation as to how the appraiser got the number he did.

Reap What You Sow

If you are wondering if the sale of your home will help you reach your retirement goals, find out. Having a realistic perspective can save you time, stress, and help you plan accordingly.

Real estate valuations are also used on rental properties. Charging the market rate for rent never hurts. We invest time and money in the present with the hope of reaping bountiful rewards in the future.

Undervaluing your property will cost you, so don’t take the risk. Find out how much your home is worth.

Interested in learning more about the housing market? Contact us for more about your real estate needs.

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Buying a Home? 6 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Excitement is in the air when it comes to being a first time home buyer.

In 2019, the United States saw the largest boom among first time home buyers. Of the millions that bought homes, 29.8 percent of the national market was made up of new home buyers. This is a five percent increase in comparison to previous record numbers.

If you’re soon to join this list, you’ll want to know these 6 tips for first-time home buyers before putting in an offer.

1. Previous Debt and Emergency Funds

Before you add debt to your credit history, make sure you have the money to make a smart decision.

Home buying is expensive. This is especially true depending on the type of neighborhood you live in. Aside from the upfront costs of purchasing a home, you’ll be making investments in the property and any maintenance necessary.

Make sure you have enough emergency money and previous debt eliminated.

2. Set a Budget

Before you start saving money you need to determine your home-buying budget. First time home buyers rush into the process without reviewing their finances.

You can use helpful online resources to help you determine what your budget is. Settle on a price range that reflects your budget, relationship status, credit score, down payment, and location.

3. Consider Mortgage Options

There are a few different categories of mortgage options when you’re looking to buy a home.

Conventional mortgages, FHA, USDA, and VA loans are all worth looking at. Depending on your situation, one may provide a better interest rate or payment figure.

The longer the loan is in years is linked to the interest rate of the loan. Fewer years means higher payments but less interest paid over time. Choose an option you can afford.

4. Closing Costs

Buying a house is the beginning of additional fees you’ve never heard of. Closing costs on average cost about three to four percent of the purchase price of your home.

They’re necessary to pay the appraisal, home inspection, credit report, attorney, and homeowner’s insurance. Make sure you’re keeping closing costs in mind when you’re budgeting for a home.

5. Ignore Emotional Attachment

It’s easy to fall in love with a house you can’t afford. Emotional attachment is the root of making poor life choices.

Although this sometimes doesn’t backfire, getting too attached when buying a home can string your money out thin. Make sure you’re following the six tips for first time home buyers that we’ve laid out.

If not, you might find yourself bidding out of your price range.

6. Unicorns Don’t Exist

Unicorns, or the perfect house, is a common term in home buying. Although you want your first home to check all the boxes, it doesn’t have to.

Sure, sometimes the perfect situation falls into your lap. Most of the time this isn’t the case and if you find yourself waiting around for the house that checks all those boxes you might be waiting forever.

Follow These 6 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

If you’re ready to use these 6 tips for first-time home buyers and make an offer, you need a company you can trust.

Next Home Elhm Reality is there for you. Tips for first time home buyers can make a break a purchase. If you’re led astray you’ll find yourself overpaying with additional stressors you don’t need to force on yourself.

That’s where we come in. Give us a call today to discuss some excellent Minnesota homes we have listed on our website.

You’ll be glad you took the time to prioritize your future home.

cottage grove mn

Local Housing Trends Within Cottage Grove, MN Real Estate

Despite the current chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, the real estate market continues to boom. While this current boom is deemed a “seller’s market,” favorable marketplace conditions for buyers drive the current upswing.

All across America, first-time buyers are in a frenzy, trying to get themselves locked into the home of their dreams before an inevitable downturn.

If you’re thinking of investing in Cottage Grove, MN real estate, now is the time to act. Read on to learn the current market trends.

Interest Rates

The driver for the current housing boom is the historically low interest rate on mortgages.

Depending on your credit score and loan program, you can lock in a rate of two to three percent on a 15 or 30 year fixed rate loan.

These rates are low. Part of the reason the Federal Open Market Committee set these low rates is to spur activity in the loan market despite the massive job loss and economic upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A residential investment now means you get a favorable rate should the market fluctuate in the future.

Competitive Market

Right now, real estate in Cottage Grove, MN is highly competitive. Homes in the area receive multiple offers and often sell at two to four percent above list price.

Given the competitive market, you need a capable Cottage Grove realtor to guide you through the process. An expert realtor can help you maximize your value in a competitive market.

Rising Prices

According to Zillow.com, homes for sale in Cottage Grove, MN have a median price of $297,740.

Zillow’s numbers show the median price jumped from $202,000 to the current $297,740 in the past ten years. That’s an increase of $95,740 in a decade!

Unless an extreme market disruption or crash occurs, prices should keep this steady rise. Zillow predicts the median price will reach $317,000 by September of next year.

This means your investment in Cottage Grove, MN real estate will pay off big time.

New Development

One of the major drivers of real estate pricing is new development.

New city development projects can push real estate market values through the roof in a very short period of time. Buying in a neighborhood or city where development is imminent but has not yet broken ground is a great way to find value.

The town of Cottage Grove is about to explode with new development. In January 2020, plans were revealed for a 75,000 square-foot mixed-use walkable development.

Titled Shoppes at Cottage View, this new project calls for new homes, apartment buildings, retail space, and green space. When built, this type of development will increase the value of your investment.

Buying Cottage Grove, MN Real Estate

Right now, the real estate market all across the United States is hot. Thanks to low and steady interest rates, buyers are willing to buy like never before.

Cottage Grove, MN real estate is on a steady trajectory. As interest rates are low and prices continue to rise along with new development projects, now is the time for you to lock in your dream home.

Looking for realtors near Cottage Grove to help you buy your dream home? Contact ustoday.

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Understanding Property Taxes Within Cottage Grove, MN

I’m so excited to pay my taxes!…said no one ever. However, many of us do enjoy the benefits such as good schools, roads without potholes, and the other government services that taxes help to pay for.

If you’re thinking about talking to realtors near Cottage Grove to move to our beautiful city or make a residential investment, you may be wondering how the property taxes work in our area. Get an idea of what you’ll have to pay and when in this little guide to property taxes in Cottage Grove, MN.

How Are Property Taxes in Cottage Grove, MN Calculated?

Washington County, where Cottage Grove is located, separates properties into four different classifications.

  • Residential Homestead
  • Residential Non-Homestead (single unit)
  • Residential Non-Homestead (2-3 units and vacant land) and Apartments
  • Commercial/Industrial

Taxes are calculated slightly differently for each type but the amount is based on the value of the property. Each year, county appraisers assess the value of each property in Cottage Grove. In March, homeowners receive notice of how much their home has been appraised for. If homeowners believe the value is erroneous, they are allowed to appeal in April.

By July, all values are set and this is the basis for the taxes that are due the following year.

When Are Payments Due?

You can pay your property taxes in two parts. The first payment is due by May 15 and the second by October 15 of each year.

There are a number of ways that you can pay your taxes. You can send them by mail, pay online, use a bill pay service, or make an in-person payment at the Stillwater Government Center.

Tax Capacity

So, how much will you have to pay? Well, the calculation varies from year to year. As part of the city’s annual budgeting process, how much money will be needed to meet operating expenses and pay the city’s debts is determined each year. Then, the property tax formulas are set by the legislature.

The tax capacity on homes in Cottage Grove, MN is often graduated. For example, the first $220,000 may be assessed at 1% and any value above that at 1.25%. The amount typically won’t vary drastically from year to year.

Ready to Move to Cottage Grove?

Don’t let property taxes in Cottage Grove, MN scare you away from our beautiful city. You’ll have to pay taxes anywhere you decide to live or buy a rental property. We hope this article has taken some of the confusion out of the matter and you’ll be more prepared to join our ranks. Remember, the more people we have sharing the tax burden, the less each individual will have to pay.

Are you looking for homes for sale in Cottage Grove, MN? With many of the top Cottage Grove realtors as associates, we’re happy to help you find the perfect piece of real estate in Cottage Grove, MN.

Reach out to us today to get connected start shopping for your dream home!