Tag Archives: Real Estate

NEW LISTING! 7746 KENTUCKY CIRCLE N, BROOKLYN PARK MN 55445

7746 Kentucky Circle North

Brooklyn Park MN 55445

Sales Price: $ $167,500

KENTUCKY LISTING

Check out this bright sunny home in Brooklyn Park. Located near shopping, schools and freeways but tucked away from busy streets! This home features 3 bedrooms and 2 baths and  ¾ bathroom on lowel level and nook in family room great for craft or desk area. Updates include paint, kitchen cabinets, counter tops and flooring throughout!

View the property listing here:

http://www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com/listing/mlsid/152/propertyid/4566579/

Don’t pass this one up!!
Call us at 651-269-3487 for any questions you may have, or feel free to email us at Sandy@SandyErickson.com

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Updated cabinets and counter tops in kitchen

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Sunny open living room

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Dining room up to living room above

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Rear of home. Large lot

5 Reasons Why You Should Sell Your House During the Winter Season

Winter is not traditionally regarded as being the best time to put a property on the market, so most sellers opt to wait until Spring arrives when they expect greater interest from buyers. But times have changed! Spring tends to be the busiest time for real estate overall, but that does not make it the best time to sell. Why?

  • With fewer listings to choose from in the winter, your home faces less competition then during the busy Spring season. This increases the chances that showings will turn into offers. You can expect a flood of new inventories in the first quarter of 2015 and as supply increases, the likelihood of you getting an offer at an acceptable price decreases.
  • Buyers have more time to look for homes when they are likely to have time off work
  • Some people are eager to buy before the end of the year for tax reasons
  • People who look for homes now are serious buyers! They won’t be dissuaded by the weather like “Spring shoppers” who are just curious, but not really looking to buy.
  • Buyer’s emotions tend to run high during this season as they look for a new home to celebrate the Holidays in. You can help garner these warm feelings by having a decorated home ready to show off just how welcoming your home really is.
  • Interest rates remain incredibly low this year. Savvy buyers will be taking advantage of this while it lasts. By Spring, the interest rates may be rising! Lower interest rates also allow buyers to afford a more expensive home than they could with high interest rates – a win-win for both buyers and sellers!

Winter is not the dead zone of real estate anymore! Call me today to learn what your home is worth! 651-269-3487 or fill out the form at: http://sandyerickson.com/atj/user/CMAFormGetAction.do Take advantage of the market this winter!

New Listing!

4872 Hillvale Avenue North
Oakdale, MN 55128

PRICE:
$325,000

Check out this beautiful home in Oakdale! This home features spacious open floor plan with vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, and fireplace with stone surround. Enjoy the great deck and patio for views of wildlife and quiet pond!

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Virtual Tour: http://www.realestateshows.com/show.php?mls=strict&id=741996 

For more property information, visit this link:

http://www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com/listing/mlsid/152/propertyid/4539771/

For any questions regarding this property call us at 651-269-3487, or feel free to email us at Sandy@SandyErickson.com

How Much of a Down Payment Should I Have to Buy a Home?

When you think of purchasing a house, the number one challenge most potential homebuyers have to think about is their down payment. Homebuyers are typically required to contribute a down payment equal to 3-20% of the sales price of the home. Low down payment options are real and they represent a significant portion of today’s purchases. However, even if you can get a low down payment loan, is it a good idea? Not necessarily. Let’s see the difference between putting a 20% down payment to having a low down payment.

  • The larger your down payment, the less you have to borrow, and therefore, the lower your monthly payments. You pay less over the life of the loan.
  • If you have a very small down payment, you will be eligible for fewer types of mortgages and may be charged a higher interest rate.
  • For any down payments less than 20%, you will be asked to pay Private Mortgage Insurance. This insurance safeguards the lender should the borrower be unable to keep up the monthly mortgage payments, resulting in less of a financial loss to themselves.
  • The bigger the down payment builds an instant equity the property when you purchase it, which safeguards you if the market turns down temporarily.

So having presented with these, the down payment also acts as a reality check: if you haven’t been able to save for even a minimal 3% amount for down payment, you should ask whether you are financially ready to buy a house. Education is the key. Knowing more how down payments are determined and knowing all your options can save you from a lot of stress and debts in the future. Be sure you are ready and financially secure before you dive into purchasing a home.

Do you want to learn more about preparing your finances to purchase a home? Or do you want to know how much you would qualify for TODAY? We partner with a wonderful lender who can provide information to you in a no-pressure environment! Just send us an email or give us a call so we can introduce you!

Sandy Erickson Real Estate Team of Keller Williams Realty
Direct: 651-269-3487
Email: Sandy@SandyErickson.com
Website: http://www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com

Moving Checklist

Checklists can be tedious and overwhelming…but, for a big task like moving, you’re going to want one! Here are some ideas, tips and tricks that we have for a less stressful and more enjoyable move.

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Two Months Before:

1. Research

Start investigating moving companies. The best idea is to pick a few top companies and request an on-site estimate. You want to make sure that your estimate is in writing from the company you choose and has a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) number on it.

 2. Sort & Get Rid Of

Go through every room of your house and decide what you want to keep, and what you don’t need anymore. Do NOT pack things that you know you’re not going to keep. We recommend donating your clean items that you don’t need anymore (get a receipt for your taxes). Also, consider any items in your house that may need special packaging or extra insurance coverage- make a note of those items.

3. Take Measurements

Check room dimensions at your new home. If you know some of your furniture won’t fit, try selling or donating it. If possible, try to decide if larger items will fit out your doorways. If you know you have large items that may be difficult to fit out the doorway, make sure you mention this to the moving company right away.

4. Create a Moving Binder

A lot of people skip this step. But, we recommend it to keep everything organized. Use a binder to keep track of everything during your move- every estimate, your receipts and an inventory of all the items you’re moving.

5. Organize School Records (if you have children)

Go to your children’s school and arrange for their records to be transferred to the new school district. 

Six Weeks Before

1. Order Supplies

Order boxes, packing tape, permanent markers and bubble wrap. Don’t forget to order special containers for items like clothing. You can even order colored stickers to keep everything simple. For example: every red sticker=kitchen, every orange sticker=master bedroom, etc… 

2. Start Using Up Supplies

Use up perishable food items that you won’t be moving. Also, consider using up cleaning supplies that are hazardous to pack.

One Month Before:

1. Confirm Arrangements With Mover

Make sure you confirm your move date, costs and other details with your mover of choice.

2. Begin Packing

Start by packing items you don’t use often. This may be some kitchen supplies (the griddle or blender) or decorations. While packing, make note of items that have a higher value (over $100). Note this to your mover in writing & save a copy for your records. Make sure to wrap every item in bubble wrap.

3. Label

Clearly label each box with a number, and write what is inside the box. This is where the sticker idea also comes into place! We recommend writing the room the items will be going to (kitchen, master bedroom, living room, etc.…). This also keeps an inventory of your items. If there are fragile items in one of the boxes, write this large and bold on the outside. Make sure you pack a box of essential items for things you will need right away.

4. Separate Valuables

If you have special jewelry or paperwork, pack a personal box that you will take with you- consider taking a safe with you. 

5. Do a Change of Address

Go to your local post office and fill out a change-of-address form. You can also go to USPS and fill it out online.

6. Notify Important Parties

Alert the following of your move:

  • Post Office
  • Veteran’s Administration
  • IRS
  • Social Security
  • Pension Plan
  • Draft Board
  • Health & Hospital Insurance
  • Vehicle Registration
  • Driver’s License
  • Schools
  • Library
  • Newspapers & Magazines
  • Banks & Financial Companies
  • Credit Cards & Charge Accounts
  • Stock Broker
  • Housecleaning Services
  • Doctor, Dentist, Optometrist, Chiropracter
  • Lawyer
  • Locksmith
  • Electric, Gas, Garbage, Internet, Telephone & Cable Services
  • Appliance Service
  • Fuel
  • Water Treatment
  • Landscaper & Snow Removal

Two Weeks Before:

1. Tune Up

Take your car to a garage and ask the mechanic to consider different services if you’re moving to a new climate.

2. Remove Contents From Safe-Deposit Box

Place in the safe you are taking with you.

3. Contact the Moving Company

Re-confirm all moving arrangements.

One Week Before:

1. Refill Prescriptions

Stock up on prescriptions you’ll need during the next couple of weeks.

2. Pack Your Suitcases

Aim to finish your general packing a few days before the actual move-out date. Pack a suitcase for everyone in the family with essential items, clothes for a few days, and any valuables you don’t want on the moving truck- place valuables in the safe you’re taking with you.

A Few Days Before:

1. Defrost the Freezer

Only if your refrigerator is moving with you! Make sure that it is cleaned out and defrosted at LEAST 24 hours before moving day.

2. Plan the Payment

If not arranged prior, make sure you know whether you are paying your mover with a credit card, a cashier’s check, or cash. Remember to tip the moving company if they’ve done a good job (10, 15 or 20%). If your move is especially difficult, tip each mover up to $100 and make sure to provide refreshments. – Of course, this is all personal preference.

Moving Day:

1. Verify

Make sure that the moving truck that shows up matches the company you hired. The USDOT number on the side of the truck should match the USDOT number on your contract. Scams are possible.

2. Take Inventory

Before the movers leave your house, sign the bill of inventory and keep a copy for your records. Put in your moving binder!

For any questions you may have, please feel free to reach out to our team. 


Sandy Erickson Team of Keller Williams Realty
Phone: 651-269-3487
Email: Sandy@SandyErickson.com
Website: http://www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com

Minneapolis Ranked Among Top Living Destinations for Millennials

Minneapolis, MN

A millennial is defined as a person of the generation between Generation X and Generation Z. They were born roughly between 1980 and 2000. Young adults in this generation have been known for a few specific things, just like any other generation. Some may look at these young adults as “entitled” or “spoiled”. Many joke that the Millennials have never heard the word “no”. And, much of this blame is placed on the “helicopter parenting” and “every child deserves a trophy” mentality. Another viewpoint of the Millennial is that we are extremely under-employed young adults with very high college debt. The chances of finding a job that will pay a decent wage is a difficult challenge many Millennials face. 

Looking at the latter point, one obvious conclusion is that Millennials are having a hard time finding a good place to live. Most cities have very high costs of living, expensive rent, and very few job opportunities available compared to the number of college grads. A recent statistic from the Project on Student Debt: Recent Publications, shows that seven out of ten college seniors who graduated last year had student loan debt. The average amount of debt is right around $30,000.

However, if you happen to live in the Minneapolis area, you may be in luck. Minneapolis, MN is one of the top-rated cities for low rental rates, inexpensive and accessible public transit, and more open availability for good paying jobs to help cover loan debt, food and clothing. 

According to Forbes.com, the average salary for Millennials is almost $43,000. Around 23% of the workforce in Minneapolis is compromised of Millennials. This is one of the top cities employing young people, and offering a very fair starting wage. Recently, the National Association of Realtors has named Minneapolis as one of the top cities for Millennials to purchase a home. The median home price in Minneapolis is around $212,900. To purchase a single-family home, a Millennial would need to make $47,928 with a 5% down payment, or $45,406 with a 10% down payment. With a 20% down payment, a Millennial would need an annual salary of $40,361. With only a 4.5% unemployment rate, a lower cost of living, and many employers hiring here, this is a great place to call home!

 

If you, or any Millennial you know may be looking to purchase a home in the Twin Cities area, please feel free to contact us at: 651-269-3487 or email us at Sandy@SandyErickson.com

www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com

 

 

Understanding the Closing Process

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Buying a home is a big step in anyone’s life, so feeling confident on closing day that you understand the process can help ease some nerves. The more you know about the process, the more relaxed you will be, and the smoother the process will flow.

Your realtor and loan officer should provide you with a lot of information and tools to help prior to the day of closing. Your lender should provide you with a Good Faith Estimate so you know all of the costs associated with your loan (if you are obtaining a loan). If you offered on a home, and the offer was accepted, the earnest money deposit will most likely be deposited into an escrow account and the funds will be held until the time of closing.

The settlement agent will prepare you a HUD-1 Settlement Statement which will outline all of the costs for both the buyer and the seller associated with the closing. Here is an example of a HUD-1 Settlement Form: HUD-1 Settlement Form

Closing day is the time where all parties sign papers to seal the deal and ownership transfers from the seller to the buyer. Closing is also a time to make any changes to the transaction before its final (although you usually want this figured out before closing).

Coming to your closing prepared will help you to get those keys to your new home faster and leave all parties in the transaction stress free. Prior to closing (usually 24 hours in advance), you will have a walk-through of the property you are purchasing. This ensures that the seller moved out and everything stated in the sales contract is left in that condition. During your walk-through if you find any major problems, you are able to delay the closing, or ask for money for the repairs.

One of the main things you need to remember to bring to closing is all of your paperwork and photo identification. Here is a site that provides a list of buyer requirements for closings: What to Bring to Closing.

Make sure you know exactly what to bring to your closing to ensure the process isn’t delayed. Always ask questions if you have them, and know that your realtor, closing officer and loan officer are all great resources!

Closing day arrives, and now you need to be ready to sign a number of documents that the closer will be able to fully explain to you. Once the signing is done, the keys are handed over and the house is yours!

After closing, there is usually a behind-the-scenes process. The lender and the closer still work to make sure the funds are all placed properly, and they work on legally completing the purchase. You do not have to be involved in any of this behind-the-scenes work! Having a trusted realtor, closer and loan officer is key, to ensure a smooth process once you are out of the picture.

Network Title is our trusted partner for closings. Network Title, Inc. serves the greater Twin Cities metro area, with clients throughout both Minnesota and Wisconsin. This closing company handles all aspects of real estate closings, including:

  •  Standard Closings
  • Non-Standard Transactions
  • HUD Sales
  • Short Sale & REO Closing Specialists
  • Title Insurance & Other Title Products
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Mobile Closers & Multiple Closing Offices

Visit Network Title’s Website for important information, forms and client testimonials, and more: Network Title

Network Title, Inc.

Barb Rodriguez
371 Commerce Court
Vadnais Heights, MN 55127

Phone: 651.482.9514
Fax: 651.482.9519
E-mail: info@network-title.com

**Remember, for the most accurate information, it is always important to get the facts from your agent, closer and loan officer specific to your unique situation**

 Sandy Erickson Real Estate Team of Keller Williams Realty
www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com
Sandy@SandyErickson.com
651-269-3487

HGTV’s ‘Rehab Addict’ Minneapolis Home For Sale

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If you’re anything like our team, you love real estate, and you find value in homes and neighborhoods. That’s why we decided to feature a very fun story about a Minneapolis home that just went on the market!

You either have or have not heard of the Minneapolis ‘Rehab Addict’, Nicole Curtis! Nicole Curtis aims to save historic house in Detroit, Michigan and Minneapolis, Minnesota! She enjoys saving homes from being demolished, and works hard with her crew to return condemned properties back into a real jewel on the block.

One of her latest projects just went on the market this past week in Minneapolis! The house is located at 1900 25th Ave. N. in Minneapolis! This 1929 bungalow boasts its original built-in buffet, has beautiful woodwork throughout, and lots of original detail. Below is a picture of her in the home…

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This house transformation was featured on her show Rehab Addict, and is currently for sale! Although Curtis said “people warned me against investing here”, she decided that it made her want to pursue the area more. According to the Star Tribune, she enjoys “going where people tell her not to go”.

The home is located in the North Minneapolis neighborhood which currently has the highest demolition rate in the city. The aim of the show and Nicole Curtis’s love for homes is to help build the community back up in to a safe and nice place to reside.

Within a ½ mile radius from the home, there are currently 29 other homes for sale. Some of the homes do have offers pending. The home prices range from $30k to $170k. 1900 25th Ave. N. definitely stands out among the rest of the homes and as of 6/11 is priced at $150k.

Update: As of today, October 1st, 2014- the home has been on the market for 117 days, and is currently priced at $135k. $15,000 less then the original asking price!

Below are some pictures of this fabulous home!

This beautiful Craftsman Bungalow has all the original character, new brick exterior, new concrete work, gutters, roof, mechanicals and custom historic storm windows. High efficiency furnace and Central Air. large fenced backyard and garage w/drive"
This beautiful Craftsman Bungalow has all the original character, new brick exterior, new concrete work, gutters, roof, mechanicals and custom historic storm windows. High efficiency furnace and Central Air. large fenced backyard and garage w/drive”
Beautiful front sunroom
Beautiful front sunroom
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“Refinished Hardwood Floors throughout this home. The living room is open tot he dining room and has great quartersawn oak detail throughout including built-in bookcases and piano windows”
The most amazing master suite occupies the entire second level -refinished hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings
“The most amazing master suite occupies the entire second level -refinished hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings”
Original Built-Ins
Original Built-Ins
Master Bath- Beautiful claw foot tub
Master Bath- Beautiful clawfoot tub

Whoever ends up being the homeowner of this gorgeous bungalow, will get a special piece of history!

 If you are interested in finding a home or selling a home, we are here for all of your real estate needs.

Please Note: We are not the listing agents of this property.

Sandy Erickson Real Estate Team

Keller Williams Integrity Realty

LN# 20359558

 

2680 Snelling Ave. N., Suite 100

Roseville, MN 55113

 Direct: 651-269-3487

Email: Sandy@SandyErickson.com

Website: http://www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com

 

HARP Refinance Program

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The time to act is right now! HARP, a refinance program that has been around since April, 2009, can assist homeowners who owe more on their homes then the homes are worth! HARP stands for “Home Affordable Refinance Program/Plan” and allows you to refinance your home at low rates, and reduce your payment. The program is also known as Making Home Affordable, the Obama Refi, A Better Bargain For U.S. Homeowners, DU Refi Plus, and Relief Refinance.

The basic HARP Requirements are as follows:

  1. The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
  2. The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
  3. The mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March-May, 2009.
  4. The borrower must be current on the mortgage at the time of the refinance, with no late payment in the past six months and no more than one late payment in the past 12 months.

The reason to act now, is that this program is set to expire on December 31st, 2015.

Here are some benefits to the program:

  • The average monthly savings for most eligible Americans is $250.
  • Many homeowners not only save every month, but depending on their current rates, they can also shorten their term.
  • Deferred payments – typically, one or two payments are skipped / deferred as well.

Our trusted loan officer John Roehrich with Homes Mortgage has offered some wonderful thoughts and insights on this program:

If your current mortgage was originated prior to May 31st, 2009 and you are paying more than 5.00% on your loan, we can definitely put you in a better financial position.  By removing the need for an appraisal, HARP loans are the fastest and least expensive way to start saving money immediately.  Interest rate today are still at incredible levels but most expect them to increase throughout the year so don’t delay and give me a call right away.  I can let you know exactly how much money you will save right on the first phone call

If you are interested in talking with a trusted lender about this program, please contact John Roehrich.

John Roehrich
Mortgage Planner NMLS: 300490
Homes Mortgage  NMLS: 298853
Office       651-748-3706
Cell       612-396-2578
Fax       651-766-5201
jroehrich@homesmortgage.net
www.MNmortgageplanner.com

References:

1. http://joemetzler.com/harp-refinance-mn.htm
2. http://lifestylejournal.com/act-now-to-refinance-your-home-before-rates-rise/?aff=1169&lturl=1&sub=BTT777&utm_medium=myfox-myfoxtwincities
3. http://themortgagereports.com/259/harp-making-home-affordable-guidelines

Relocating to Minnesota? 10 Fun Things to Know

Thinking about relocating to the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”? Minnesota is a great place to call home. But, before you move, we decided to throw in some fun facts about the beautiful state. 

1. 10,000 Lakes- Means More Like 11,000!

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Minnesota has around 11,000 lakes with 90,000 miles of shoreline. This is more shoreline then that of Hawaii, California and Florida combined! Join some crazy Minnesotans for the Polar Bear Plunge into the cold water during the winter, play some ice hockey, go skating, or go boating and fishing during the warm months.

2.  We are Home to the Mall of America

The famous Mall of America is the size of 78 football fields. It has over 8 acres of skylights to allow natural light into the Mall. The mall offers 25 different rides and attractions, Sea Life (a large aquarium), Lego Land, The American Girl Doll Store, Mini Golf, a mirror maze, and 520+ different and unique stores. This famous attraction generates nearly $2 billion in economic activity for the state of Minnesota.

3. Move Over Starbuck’s- We’ll take Caribou Coffee
Caribou Coffee is famous in the Minnesota, and you can find one of these cozy coffee shops on
almost every corner throughout the Twin-Cities. Caribou uses real chocolate in their drinks, and
with cozy fireplaces, they are the perfect location to visit in the cold winter months!

4. Vikings Vs. Packers- It’s a Love/Hate Relationship

The two bordering states have a “my state is better than your state” attitude. Whether over sports teams, restaurants or weather, there is always an argument for who does it better. Both states are full of opposite state born residents.

5. Downtown is Impressive

There are two great downtown areas in Minnesota. One is Saint Paul (the capital), and the other is Minneapolis. They are neighboring cities, receiving the famous label “The Twin Cities”. Minneapolis’ skyway system connects 52 blocks of buildings downtown!

6. Our State Fair is Large- and we Fry Everything!

We are famous for cheese curds, fried fruit, fried candy bars, and everything (fried) in between. Our state fair offers a large variety of fried food, and food on a stick. If this isn’t your thing, there are plenty of fun stands, rides, and performances.

7. Minnesota Winters are Cold, but They Can be Fun!

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Minnesota winters are cold, and messy… In fact, the winter of 2014 was ranked one of the worst winters, in over thirty years! The average temperature in Minnesota this past winter was 9.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Many days fell below 0, with the windchill making the temperature feel even colder.

However, winter can also be fun! There are many great ski and snowboard resorts, ice fishing activities, skating rinks and… who doesn’t love to warm up with a bit of hot chocolate by the fire?

8. Thank Minnesota for Target

We are home to wonderful and great Target. We even named our baseball field, “The Target Field”!

9. We are “Minnesota Nice”

Google it. It’s a real thing. As noted in Wikipedia, Minnesota nice is:

“the stereotypical behavior of people born and raised in Minnesota to be courteous, reserved, and mild-mannered. The cultural characteristics of Minnesota nice include a polite friendliness, an aversion to confrontation, a tendency toward understatement, a disinclination to make a fuss or stand out, emotional restraint, and self-deprecation

Pretty awesome. We know. To add to this… Minnesotans Have Great Accents

We also have some great sayings, such as:

  • Yah sure
  • You betcha

Learn the Minnesota Accent Here: http://www.howcast.com/videos/500510-How-to-Do-a-Minnesota-Accent-Accent-Training 

10. We are Home to Some Great Music Artists

You’re welcome for Prince and Bob Dylan…We have proudly birthed some of musics greatest artists. Minnesota also has a great music scene with many great music festivals.

If you are thinking about moving to Minnesota, and have specific questions about relocation, please give us a call at 651-269-3487. You can also email us at Sandy@SandyErickson.com We would love to send you over a relocation package!

Sandy Erickson Real Estate Team of Keller Williams Integrity Realty
Website: www.ericksonteamhomesearch.com

 

References:
http://www.movoto.com/mn/moving-to-minnesota/
http://welshco.com/resources-and-news/tips/minnesota-facts