What’s Happening in Twin Cities Real Estate This Fall

October 20th, 2016

What’s happening in our market this fall? This is the number one question I’m asked by clients. Because of the upcoming presidential election, there is a lot of economic uncertainty in the market. Potential buyers seem to be holding tight.

The upper end of our market has really stalled and we have between 12 and 24 months of inventory. The “upper end” I’m referring to is the $800,000 and over segment of the market in addition to the new construction end as well. There are not many buyers that are willing to spend the kind of money that these higher-end homes are worth right now.

We’re also hoping that interest rates will stay strong and pull us through the remainder of 2016 and hopefully into 2017. Unfortunately, regardless of the result of the election, few people have a lot of confidence about what will happen in the economy. We are now seeing this lack of confidence reflected in our market.

Another thing to keep in mind about our market is that we’ve had five straight years of growth up until this year. We know that 2011 was considered the bottom of the market, and because real estate cycles last five years on average, we may now be at the crest of a shift in our market.


Don’t just ask an agent to charge 
the least amount of commission.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the market is going to bottom out or crash, but it does mean that we’re likely to see a price adjustment.  Home sellers are going to have a tougher time selling their homes and we’re likely to see some home values begin to soften.

These predictions aren’t necessarily true for every area or neighborhood, so if you want the most accurate information on your specific city in your specific price range, reach out to our team by phone or email. We’d be happy to help you!

Tips for Flipping a Twin Cities House

October 7th, 2016

If you are thinking about flipping houses, there are three things you should do to safeguard your investment.

First of all, get a consultant. Talk to a Realtor or investor who has already flipped a home in the past. Your consultant should have their own portfolio and they should have flipped a house recently. They may also have some contractors you can use. Talk through the process a few times; they will tell you about things you haven’t even considered yet.

Purchase a property in an area with
a good turnover rate.

You should also purchase in an area that has a good turnover rate. That means at least 5% of the homes in the area sell each year. Don’t target a market that is oversaturated—that’s why the prices are lower. If you get into an area with good turnover, it will be easier to sell the house, even if there is a shift in the market. Remember, those areas with high demand now will shift last.

Finally, look for a property in an area where you could keep the property. Just in case the house doesn’t sell, you want to be able to rent it out. Buy in an area where you could rent out a 3-bed, 2-bath house for $1,400 to $1,600. That would cover most of your payment. If you were wrong on your numbers or the market shifts, renting the property would be your fallback plan.

I have flipped a lot of houses in my day and I know how fun these projects can be. If you have any other questions about flipping a house, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

Home Staging Tips from Angie Herself

September 13th, 2016

If you’re on a budget when selling your home and don’t want to make a bunch of expensive fixes and renovations, you’re in luck. We have got some great tips to share with you today, courtesy of Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks.

Here are some great ways to make your home look clean and simplified:

1. Make your front door look great. It’s the very first and very last thing buyers will see when they visit your house. You want it to look clean and free of distractions.

2. Get your yard green and weed-free. It’s not hard to do with a little fertilizer.

3. Don’t forget to caulk and trim any driveway or sidewalk cracks.

4. Make sure the street number is visible from the curb.

5. Appeal to the neighbors. If the neighbors like the home, the new owners will too.

Appealing to the neighbors is important.

These are five simple things you can do to help your home stand out in this market.
If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We would love to hear from you.

Why it Doesn’t Pay to Be Greedy in Real Estate

August 17th, 2016

When it comes to finding a good deal in real estate, you really don’t want to get greedy. I always pay full price because I only buy things that are a really good deal. By “good deal” I mean someone has either mispriced them or failed to see the value in something that I understand to be there.

You don’t want to get greedy.

Even in a slow market, another person who understands the ups and downs of a specific property will be right around the corner.
It’s not worth saving $5,000 to lose what could potentially be a great investment property to have in my portfolio.

Too many people focus on the listed price and want to get a percentage below that when they should be focusing on what the house should sell for. Negotiations are only a tiny part of buying a property. The bigger upside is still within the property itself.

Remember, it’s okay to pay full price.

If you ever want help figuring out how to create wealth through real estate or buy properties that are smart investments, give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!

Don’t Lose Hope on the Shortest Day of the Year

August 12th, 2016

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Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

Welcome to the shortest day of the year.

As you can see, this video was made on one of the nicest days of the year. I know that when the days get shorter, I have a hard time remembering what it feels like to be in Minnesota during great weather.

Summer is just around the corner.

I just wanted to capture the sound of the lake and how it feels when the weather is like this. Remember, the days will get longer and, eventually, we will get back to the nice summer weather that we all live for. Hang in there – relief is just around the corner.

If you have any real estate questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

3 Things to Think About During the Inspection Period

July 22nd, 2016

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Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

Here in the Twin Cities, I get questions all the time about the inspection period and what people should be aware of during the process. Here are three of the top things you should keep an eye out for during the inspection period to ensure a smooth transaction:

  1. Check your finances. If you haven’t already talked at length with a lender, make sure you understand the payment and all the taxes that come with it so you can stay on budget.ChristyKimbrel_PullQuote7.22.16
  1. Hire a professional inspector. Make sure it’s someone reputable who has referrals to back them up. Maybe ask your agent for a recommendation. The problem in Minnesota is that there are no licensed inspectors and almost anyone can get certified, even a dog. Make sure you really understand the history of your inspector and are confident they will do a good job.
  1. Check with the city. If there are any future plans for development or construction in or around your neighborhood, be aware of them. You want to fully understand these things so your future time in the property is enjoyed as much as possible.

There are a whole bunch of other things to consider, but these are the three key points that will help you make the right decisions. If you have any questions for me, don’t hesitate to reach out. I would love to hear from you!

Can’t-Miss Outdoor Summer Festivals in Minnesota

July 7th, 2016

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

We’re right in the thick of summer, and along with this comes lots of outdoor festivals. Luckily our state is host to many different activities, and there are lots of outdoor festivals that you and your family can attend. Today I’ll be touching the surface on a few that I would recommend visiting.

From the Pride Parade to Apple Days to the Raspberry Festival – there is something for everyone!

Check out this list and enjoy!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about real estate in the Twin Cities, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Celebrating July 4th in the Twin Cities Area

June 23rd, 2016

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Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

As you know, I usually do a Fourth of July video, and I just realized that it’s right around the corner!

This year I will be providing a list of locations to see fireworks around the Twin Cities. It’s a fantastic time of year, and it’s highly celebrated both here and across the country. Minnesotans love nothing more than getting out on the water and out to the parks to catch a display of fireworks or lighting off some fireworks of their own.

I hope you’re enjoying your time with your family. Happy Independence Day! Thanks so much for watching; if you have any questions just shoot me an email or give me a call.

To Check Out All of the 4th of July Festivities, Click Here.

Should You Be Using Zillow to Search for Twin Cities Homes?

June 3rd, 2016

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

I get calls from people all the time about properties that they have found on websites like Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com. They have seen homes on these websites and fallen in love with them, but they are let down when they find out that these homes are actually unavailable and were sold days or even weeks before.

This happens because these websites often feature inaccurate and outdated information. Homes that they say are ‘for sale’ may actually have sold a few days ago but the listings have not been removed from the site. I hate to see my clients disappointed by things like this because it is so avoidable. You really shouldn’t put 100% of your faith in these online listing sites.


Real estate agents use the MLS (multiple listing service) to find listings, and this system is updated instantly and provides us with the most accurate information possible. Only Realtors have access to the MLS, so you need to contact one if you want the most updated real estate information possible.

A Realtor can give you direct access to the MLS, and this will give you an advantage as a home buyer in a hot market. You can call me directly or respond to this email if you wish to access the MLS. Interest rates are incredibly low right now, so it’s a fantastic time to purchase a home.

I look forward to continuing this conversation with you!

3 Reasons Why Your Offer Gets Rejected

May 19th, 2016

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation

There are plenty of reasons why an offer might not be accepted, especially in the competitive Twin Cities real estate market. Particularly, there are three common reasons to know about, so you can avoid them in the future.


  1. You come in too low. In an aggressive market with low inventory, it’s important to present a viable option to the seller. Your agent can provide you with invaluable sales data. You should come in low enough to score a great value if you have a strong negotiator, but don’t come in so low that the seller won’t take you seriously! Submit an aggressive, yet plausible, offer.
  2. The listing agent could be a jerk. Agents’ ego can interfere in transactions, which ultimately disservice to the whole real estate community. Yet, these people exist. They think their way is the highway and give poor advice to sellers. It’s important to match yourself with an agent who can handle these situations.
  3. That agent can have an offer themselves. This is a challenge. They might say things they shouldn’t. They might even have a buyer in their back pocket. In a multiple offer situation, step with your best foot forward and personalize your offer. I’d even recommend asking your agent to present the offer in person. That extra mile can make a big difference to a seller.

Hopefully, you find this information helpful when submitting an offer. You can always reach to me by phone or email. I’d be happy to help you in any way I can!