Twin Cities Real Estate Blog

Minnesota Named Top Ten For Business in U.S.

Minnesota was ranked the ninth best overall state in the union by Forbes magazine. The ranking only means good things for Minnesota, which was put in the top ten for the second year in a row (though in 2013, the state was ranked eighth overall). 

The gross state product for 2013 was $312 billion, something that factored into the 2014 top ten ranking. The magazine ranked the states on a total of 36 factors, from economic climate to business costs to labor supply. 

Forbes cites Minnesota's great quality of life and strong economic climate as the main reasons for the excellent ranking. The quality of life in the state is measured by the health of the state's citizens, the low poverty rate and the well regarded schools. Though, quality of life surely doesn't measure the frigid temperatues in December and February as a factor. 

The state is home to the headquarters of companies like Target, General Mills, 3M and Medtronic. With a 92.4% percentage of adults with a high school degree, the state has has the fourth highest in the country. 

Minnesota continues to be a strong economic hub for the midwest region which bodes well for all the citizens of this great state. 

Photo by: Matthew Deery 


Mall of America Set to Double in Size

Did you know the Mall of America is drastically expanding? In the coming years, the MOA will more than double in size. Yes, you heard that correctly, the massive mall is going to double!

With the latest addition, Radisson Blu, the top-notch hotel connected to the mega mall, the MOA is set to expand by leaps and bounds in the coming decade.

A ‘Class-A’ office building will soon be connected to the MOA's north entrance, making a fantastic location for businesses who want to be near the airport, close to plenty of amenities, and be set up in brand new office space.

The first phase of the coming expansion will add on another hotel, more mall space by adding another mammoth atrium, and even an expansion to “Underwater World.” The sea life aquarium will see a $2 million addition, a 15,000 gallon sting ray exhibit which allows visitors to touch the many creatures of the sea.

All this growth plays in tandem with the upcoming Super Bowl that will be hosted in the state in 2018 – though the MOA’s expansion isn’t tied directly to the world event, with the media spotlight on the Twin Cities, having an even larger mall that will amaze all the visitors seems like a worthwhile upgrade. 

Photo courtesy of: DLR Group 


3624 Zane Ave N Crystal MN 55422

Remodeled KitchenIntroducing 3624 Zane Avenue N. Crystal, MN  55422.  The charming 1 ½ story home with 3 bedrooms, 1 bath and 1710 sq ft is complete with numerous updates and curb appeal.  The contemporary kitchen is a chef’s dream with stainless steel appliances, beautiful bamboo flooring, granite countertops, custom cabinetry and space to cook!  

Remodeled Lower Level Recreation RoomThe floor plan features two generous size bedrooms on the main with the master bedroom on the upper level.  The finished lower level walk out has been recently updated as well from floor to ceiling with recessed lighting.  The spacious family room and recreation room, currently features a wet bar, are located on the lower level and have been tastefully finished.  Don’t forget the immaculate laundry room. 

Composite Decking - Low maintenance Entertain on the deck that sits above the neighboring homes and overlooks the large, fully fenced, park like setting back yard.   3624 Zane Ave N is located in a quiet neighborhood that is down the road from Welcome Park and the Crystal Community Center, blocks away from shopping & restaurants and provides easy access to highways and downtown.

Cottage Curb ApprealContact...

Amazing Bleu Valley Estate offered for sale

In the coming weeks, Homes of Minnesota and our team of Realtors will represent one of the most substantial properties in our successful history. The “Bleu Valley Estate” is one of the most prestigious equestrian properties in the state of Minnesota – many stakes-winning thoroughbred racehorses have called this estate their home.

 Located in Stillwater, this 70+ acre property rests just minutes away from the Gateway Trail extension. The paved trail is home to both bikers (non-motorized) and pedestrians, but also has plenty of unpaved trails for horseback riding. “Bleu Valley Estate” is only a few minutes away from the St. Croix River Valley and downtown Stillwater.

The property features a gorgeous log-sided home that overlooks the vast countryside and breathtaking scenic views.

The “Bleu Valley Estate” property features: a T-shaped barn with two 36' X 84' sections, an attached 55' x 60' indoor arena, 75' x 100' outdoor area, 36' x 48' hay or equipment shed, 14' x

28' machine shed, 8 pastures featuring run-in lives tock shelters and Miraco automatic livestock water dispensers. The estate also has over 3,000 feet of underground water lines and 17,500 linear feet of fencing. The estate also has the utmost privacy, with the surrounding properties being secured in a Land Trust. The front 20 acres of the property also have plenty of potential for future development. To learn more about this once in a lifetime opportunity to own this property, visit


Loan Program for Doctors

Loan Program for Doctors

If you are a medical doctor or even a resident or intern, there is a great mortgage loan program that might work for you!  Traditional mortgage loans require 20% down payment if you want to avoid paying mortgage insurance, but this special loan program for Doctors allows qualifying applicants to avoid paying mortgage insurance even with a down payment as low as 5%.  The even better news is that this program extends to loan amounts up to $1,000,000 and even as high as $1,500,000 with a 10% down payment.

Here is a great place to find more information about the Preferred Doctor Program.


Thanksgiving Day Activities


Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season. That day and those following are always filled with events to check out around the Twin Cities. While Thanksgiving is usually about family, food and football, the day can feature less traditional activities. Most are closed on Thanksgiving, but the Twin Cities offers plenty to do on the busy day.

The Depot in Minneapolis has a gorgeous ice skating rink that will host guests on Turkey Day. The rink opens November 23rd if you can't wait that long.

The Mall of America hosts a 5k Walk to End Hunger Thursday morning, before any lavish turkey dinner. The annual Life Time Fitness Turkey Day 5k kicks off from downtown Minneapolis in the morning as well. So, you can't do both, you'd have to pick one marathon or the other.

Phalen Park in St. Paul has over a million Christmas lights and lively displays from November 23rd until January 1st. Thanksgiving Day could finish perfectly, segueing nicely into Christmas.

And of course, you could spend the waning hours of Thanksgiving in line waiting for deals on merchandise early morning Black Friday. Bundle up!




Eden Prairie Ranked Third Best Place to Live in the United States

Each year CNN Money compiles a list of the Top 100 places to live in the U.S. In 2012, Eden Prairie, MN ranked third on the prestigious list. The city is no stranger to the Top 100, having ranked number one overall back in 2010. Suffice to say, the city is a great place to live.

The list is generated by a number of factors including, but not limited to, median household income, average home prices, job opportunities, number of restaurants, number of parks and facilities, the quality of schools, and even average Summer/Winter temperature. Considering all those factors, Eden Prairie, along with many other Minnesota cities like Chanhassen, Savage, and Owatonna, have been ranking high on this list yearly. 

To check out properties in the area, check out our Eden Prairie section on Barker & Hedges



Twin Cities Housing Market Heats UP!

The Homes of Minnesota Team is happy to report that the Twin Cities real estate market is still trending UP! But don’t just take our word for it; let’s look at the facts that point toward good things ahead.


Twin Cities Median Sale Price October 2012


Like stocks and bonds, the price for local housing is directly correlated to its supply and demand. For the past six years we have watched as the supply of housing, meaning the number of houses for sale, increased week over week and month over month. The ballooning supply of homes, coupled with increased unemployment and lower consumer confidence, created a lower than normal demand for homes. This is why we experienced consistent drops in median and average sale prices. This trend continued for over five years as the median price for homes plummeted from its peak of $231,435 to a low of around $150,000. 


Twin Cities Days on Market October 2012


Gradually, things changed. In early 2011, the supply of homes began to fall, reaching a milestone low in January 2012 when the available inventory of homes was 22,246. This was a milestone for our market because the last time there were so few homes available was in July 2005, which was also the time when the housing market was hitting its peak as the supply of homes available for sale was less than the demand by buyers seeking to purchase homes. Since the market reached the new “historic” low in January 2012, the inventory level of available homes has continued to drop each month throughout this year. As a result, homes are selling faster and home sellers are able to sell their homes...

Thinking about buying your first home? The first steps for first time home buyers to get started.


Buying your very first home can be exciting and rewarding. It is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make and a big milestone in most people's lifetime. So it is important to feel educated and ready to purchase a home before making the plunge in becoming a homeowner.

A common inquiry I get when working with first time home buyers is, "What is my first step I need to take on my journey to purchasing my first home?" Some may think the first step is to schedule showing appointments for some houses they found interesting online and get started in finding a home they like and dream of owning.

But, in fact, there are several crucial first steps to take when beginning your home search that HGTV's "House Hunters" completely skips over and is not going to show or tell you. One of the very first things first time home buyers want to think about and prepare for is saving up money for a down payment and other upfront costs that can come with purchasing your first home. The minimum down payment you need when purchasing a home is 3.5% of the purchase price. So you will want to make sure you have that and any other extra money for some closing costs you may or may not have depending on how negotiations with the sellers pan out. 

 The next step is finding and getting to know a realtor you can trust and can help you thoroughly understand and navigate the home buying process process. In addition to finding a good realtor, it is equally as important to find a reputable loan officer at the same time that is knowledgeable and can help you understand the different home buyer programs that may be available to you and give you an estimate of monthly payments and help you understand a comfortable price range before you begin scheduling showings. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is necessary before scheduling showings with your realtor because you'll know exactly what you have to work with and your house hunt will be more focused....

Otsego- A Growing River City for Young Families

Otsego is a former agricultural city that has grown into a thriving area for young families in mind just 25 miles northwest of Minneapolis. It is uniquely situated along the Mississppi River bordering the north and east banks of the river. It's easy acess to I-94 and State Highway 10 allows for a quick commute to both Minneapolis and St. Cloud. Otsego conveys a country atmosphere while still having the benefits of a suburban lifestyle.

Otsego is a young city as it was only incorporated from a township to a city just a short 21 years ago in 1990. When Otsego officially became a city back in 1990, the population was 5,218 and there were 1,558 households within the community. The recent 2010 U.S. Census has reflected significant growth since 1990 with a population of 13,571 made up of 4,736 households. The average household size has decreased from 3.27 persons per household in 1990 to 2.86 in 2010, reflecting the overall national trend with a change from agricultural areas to growing communities with young families.

Otsego offers a multitude of affordable housing options throughout its' city limits. Many of the housing subdivisions have been carefully designed with young families in mind. There are many townhomes, twin homes, and single family homes throughout each subdivision that have close proximity to city parks, schools, shopping, golfing, and other recreational amenities. Otsego is also part of the excellent Elk River School District. And the popular Riverwood National Golf Course is one of Otsego's newest courses.

Martin Farms is one of the largest and most unique subdivisions with a community owned swimming pool, basketball court, gazebo, soccer fields, bike/walking trails, playground and picnic area. The development offers several different builders to choose from and the homes are built in harmony to blend with the natural surroundings of the wetlands and woodlands.

For more information on Otsego real estate, please contact ...