sara huebener: Positive Signs for Minnesota Homeowners - 01/24/11 03:40 PM
Minnesota's housing market has struggled mightily over the last few years as financing excesses ballooned values and encouraged consumer overspending in many areas of their private lives.  However, what goes up must come down.  As oil prices reached record levels, household budgets became stressed and a number of risky loans tipped major banks and the economy into a significant recession.
Although some areas are still experiencing declines, most of the Minnesota housing market has regained its footing and is looking at a strong, slow and sustainable recovery.  Values in most areas have found bottom with median home prices statewide ($150,000) the … (0 comments)

sara huebener: Turning the Corner in 2011 - Improvement in 2011 Housing Market - 01/24/11 03:38 PM
By Sara Huebener
 
2010 was a Jekyll and Hyde of sorts.   Fortunately, 2011 is predicted by leading REALTOR groups to be a more optimistic market.  In saying this, it is important to note that we should not expect double-digit appreciation rates, lenders throwing money around, the evaporation of the existence of foreclosures and short sales and the finding of buyers to be an easy feat.  Rather, here is what we CAN expect to see:
 1.   Improved Consumer Confidence.  Consumer confidence was hurt the most with loss of jobs.  When this happens, people become more risk averse and stop borrowing money … (0 comments)

sara huebener: City of Savage MN Discusses Tax Bill - 10/06/10 12:14 PM
The most recent Savage City News just discussed property taxes in Savage and how they will be affected by budgetary needs, levy decisions and property values.   September is the deadline for the City to establish preliminary budgets for 2011 as required by state law, and this task has been completed.   These tax levies can change when the budget is finalized in December, but can only do so if the adjustment is downward. 
For  now, figures for the City of Savage are not projected to be any higher than they were in 2010, unless a property's classification or value changed.   Due to the … (0 comments)

sara huebener: West Savage - Then (2009) and Now - 08/17/10 05:07 PM
By Chad & Sara Huebener
 
New inventory in West Savage has risen.  Most new listings that have hit the market are either a) relisted homes that previously canceled or expired, and/or b) ramblers, which now make up 36% of total West Savage inventory.  Buyers for the rambler market are working on selling their two-story home right now, so ramblers are competing ferociously for the two-story seller who does plan to buy a rambler as their next home. As a side note, all listed rambler inventory in Woodhill (as of today) is being sold "short." 
 
We thought it would be … (0 comments)

sara huebener: Just Listed in Oak Hills! 13517 Hillsboro Avenue - 07/16/10 04:05 PM
Welcome to 13517 Hillsboro Avenue in the Oak Hills Neighborhood of Savage.  This home was the builder's quality control model, and was used as a training tool for subcontractors on the builder's expectations for quality during the period of construction for the entire neighborhood. 

The main level boasts flawless maple floors throughout the two-story foyer, formal dining room and kitchen, which the homeowner has lovingly cared for. The kitchen has 42" raised panel maple pull-out (lower) cabinets, a maple pantry cabinet, and a butler's pantry.   The dinette walks out to a brand new 12' x 16' maintenance-free deck. Formal living and dining rooms flank the … (1 comments)

sara huebener: JUST LISTED! 14053 Haas Lake Circle - 07/11/10 02:32 PM
This Cuddigan-built rambler is situated on a walkout cul de sac lot in The Wilds North, just steps from Haas Lake. Beautifully appointed, the main floor boasts a full granite and stainless kitchen with staggered, arched cabinetry and backsplash, formal dining room with vaulted, lighted, coffered ceiling and fluted pillars, and a main floor den with French doors, built-ins and transom windows. The vaulted family room offers a gas fireplace, surround sound and built-ins. The vaulted master suite offers a window bench, walk-in closet, private bath with under-cabinet lighting and whirlpool tub. Another half bath and mud room lie on the … (1 comments)

sara huebener: Tucked Against Spring Lake Park! - 07/06/10 11:10 PM
This 3BR 4BA home is tucked away on Spring Lake Road, backing to Spring Lake Park. This home is completely updated with Brazilian cherry floors, cherry cabinetry with glass cabinet doors, granite-like countertops, stainless appliances and a large pantry. A gas fireplace lies off the kitchen and living room. The two-tiered deck off the dinette overlooks the backyard. The second floor offers 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms, including a vaulted master suite with private vaulted bath. The finished lower level offers daylight windows, a gas fireplace and a ¾ bath. The entire home is outfitted with custom window treatments including … (0 comments)

sara huebener: The "New Normal" in Real Estate - 07/06/10 10:35 AM
By Sara Huebener
The Minnesota Association of REALTORS just published, in our monthly real estate publication, a few thoughts regarding the "new normal" for both life as Minnesotans, and life in the world of real estate.  Here is a summary of the real estate portion of this article in italics, with our personal findings in non-italics.
1.  Smaller, less-maintenance housing units.  
As households continue to shrink (less kids, more singles) the consumer will have less time or desire to maintain a large housing structure. Instead they will seek smaller, maintenance-free housing units.  Think about the substantial growth in the Minneapolis Condo … (0 comments)

sara huebener: Coalition to Stip Workforce Housing in West Savage - 05/26/10 04:59 PM
By Sara Huebener
Earlier, I commented on an article I read in the Savage Pacer regarding Workforce Housing.  The project was stated (in the article I commented on) to be for the purpose of helping working professionals to build equity to transition into homeownership, but it left a lot of unanswered questions.  
At the time, I knew little about the project other than what the article expressly stated.  Then, this weekend I read the Community Voices article by Robert Thibodeaux regarding the issue. 
More recently, articles have expressed the need for affordable housing.  Housing has never been as affordable as it … (0 comments)

sara huebener: 8900 McColl Drive - 9.25 Acre Blufftop Estate & Wildlife Haven! - 05/26/10 04:48 PM
 
 We are proudly introducing this 3BR 4BA custom-built walkout rambler nestled on a 9.23 parcel of wooded land on the bluff of Savage overlooking the Minnesota River Valley.  With views of the Minneapolis/St. Paul skylines, this home was built for the purposes of serenity and entertaining, with large room sizes, incredible views, and quiet spaces to sit back and enjoy nature. 

Walk in to the vaulted foyer through double entry doors and be instantly wowed with the view of the valley!  The living room, which lies straight ahead, has wall-to-wall valley views, a vaulted ceiling, floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace with … (1 comments)

sara huebener: The Tax Credit Has Officially Expired....So What Did We See? - 05/04/10 04:17 PM
By Sara Huebener
My dad and I often get into discussions about the economy and our observations about people's reactions to government programs, among other things.  The tax credit was no exception. 
He often heard rumblings by many that the tax credit was a waste of time and money, and that it did not incentivize anyone who would not otherwise be buying a home to make a purchase.   He asked my opinion as a realtor in the industry.   My response is two-fold.
I think that the FIRST TIME HOME BUYER tax credit DID incentivize first time buyers to buy.   Absolutely.   Many of these … (0 comments)

sara huebener: EARLEY LAKESHORE FOR SALE - 05/04/10 04:16 PM
This remarkable townhome is located in the tucked-away Summit Shores community.   You'll be "wowed" with breathtaking views of Earley Lake from floor-to-ceiling windows in the two-story Great Room!    The adjoining kitchen offers gleaming hardwood floors, an abundance of countertop space, and a balcony overlooking the lake and walking trail. 
The second floor has two bedrooms including a large master suite with lake views, his-and-hers closets, heated bathroom floors and a whirlpool tub.   The second floor also offers another full bathroom and a loft.
The walkout lower level is finished and has a wet bar with built-in wine rack, amusement room, and … (0 comments)

sara huebener: Underwater and Not Walking Away - 04/12/10 09:05 AM
By Sara Huebener
I just read a lengthy white paper by Brent T. White of the University of Arizona titled Underwater and Not Walking Away:   Shame, Fear and the Social Management of the Housing Crisis.   The paper contends that social norms, not financial sense, are the leading reasons that homeowners who should walk away from their homes are not, and will not, do so.  And that the large question is not why large numbers of people are walking away from their homes....it's why larger numbers are NOT.  
While he posed some interesting food for thought for possible solutions to the … (5 comments)

sara huebener: Just Listed in DUFFERIN PARK! - 03/16/10 10:34 AM
This updated home offers 4 bedrooms on one level and four bathrooms, with all three levels fully finished!  With a full-brick front, this home offers fantastic curb appeal! 

The main floor boasts oak hardwood floors in the foyer and kitchen.  The foyer has a new, custom-designed front door.   The Den and Formal Living Room flank the foyer.  The Formal Dining Room is adjoined with the Kitchen.  
The Kitchen offers stunning granite countertops, stainless appliances, and a custom backsplash.  Walk out from the Dinette to a huge stamped concrete patio with fire pit.   A main floor laundry room lies off the … (1 comments)

sara huebener: 2009 Summary of Real Estate Activity - 03/10/10 10:11 AM
Our local REALTOR Association just released a 2009 Real Estate Summary.   It's fascinating.  We have summarized some of the key pieces of information as they relate to the City of Savage below.   
1.   2009 saw a new record for housing affordability, with mortgage rates scraping historic lows. Housing prices remained soft, and more sales took place in the lower bracket. 
2.  Total dollar volume of sales finally leveled off after three years of decline.  This was due to an increase in the number of total transactions.
3.  For the second year in a row, buyers are choosing smaller homes … (0 comments)

sara huebener: Just Listed in SOUTHBRIDGE OF SHAKOPEE! - 03/10/10 10:05 AM
Wow, there is room for the entire family to spread out!
This updated 5BR 4BA 3 car garage home has over 3600 finsqft of living space! The home boasts formal living and dining rooms, a main floor family room with gas fireplace, and a kitchen that walks out to a huge, maintenance free deck overlooking a nature area.
The upper level offers a loft, four bedrooms including a private, vaulted master suite with full bathroom, and another full bath.
The finished, walkout lower level offers a huge family room with gas fireplace, bar, and another bedroom. A paver patio lies … (1 comments)

sara huebener: Just Listed in The POINTE Neighborhood - Savage - 02/10/10 10:56 AM
 
This classic, captivating full-brick front home in The Pointe emanates with pride of ownership! A dramatic two-story foyer and grand open staircase greet you as you walk in. The foyer is flanked by a formal dining room and library with built-ins. A two-sided stone fireplace separates the library from the family room. Enjoy an immaculate, white enamel kitchen and dramatic two-story dinette with access to a large deck. A laundry room and half-bath lie off the kitchen. The second floor boasts a spacious vaulted master suite with French doors, walk-in closet and private bath complete with new tile floors, vaulted ceiling, … (0 comments)

sara huebener: Just Listed in Oak Hills of Savage! - 02/06/10 04:08 PM
Just Listed in OAK HILLS!
  Welcome to 9243 136th Street!   Built in 2004, this full brick front home offers a 4 bedrooms on one level, three bathrooms, and a three car garage.  
The arched covered entrance leads to a beveled glass door, and an impressive two-story foyer with pillars.  Formal living and dining rooms flank the foyer and are met with an open staircase. 
The home features a two-story Great Room with gas fireplace, recessed lighting and custom JC Penney window treatments.  A main floor den with French door entry lies off the foyer. 
The kitchen has like-new hardwood floors, stainless appliances, and … (0 comments)

sara huebener: NEW LISTING IN JORDAN'S TIMBERLINE NEIGHBORHOOD - 01/11/10 07:49 PM

JUST LITSED!
Immaculate 4BR 2BA home has been completely redone on the inside.  New paint and carpet throughout entire home.   Many upgrades including hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, updated lighting, ceiling fans, large deck, full fenced backyard, 9-zone in-ground sprinkler system, 3-car heated and insulated garage, concrete driveway, and so much more!  Walking distance to park.   Offered at $239,700
(0 comments)

sara huebener: Downsizing to a Condo with the "Intent to Rent"? - 01/09/10 05:01 PM
Just this week we were talking with a client who informed us that now that her she is done raising her children and they are moved out,  she is planning on selling her larger two story home in Savage and moving to a condo.   Her future plans including living there for a period of time  as she begins preparing for retirement, with the possibility of renting it out in the far-ahead future and moving to a warmer location.  
 
She inquired about any rental restrictions on condos, and the ease of being able to rent out the condo unit that she hopes to … (0 comments)

 

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