Erin Muckerheide

23 Days Left!

Home Buyer Tax Credit Expiring

Just a reminder that the home buyer tax credit will expire at the end of this month. Don't miss out on the chance for an $8,000 tax credit just for buying the home you want to purchase anyway!

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Have We Hit The Bottom?

The Question I Most Often Get

Many people ask me, "Have we hit the bottom of the real estate market? Are prices going to go lower?". The answer is clear as mud. One thing is for sure, hind sight is 20/20 and you will be kicking yourself if you don't buy into this market!

Even within one geographical area, like the Twin Cities, the bottom will hit at various times. Each market is different, from neighborhoods to types of housing and every combination. What is consistent, is the general upward or downward movement in housing prices.

Our market has taken quite a hit. Our prices are the lowest they've been in several years. Has the exact type of home you would like hit rock bottom? It might already be on the upswing, or it might not quite be at the very bottom. Ultimately the exact day you buy will not greatly affect your future value. Keep in mind that you are still getting that home at a hugely reduced price to even five years ago, and long term, real estate appreciates. Add to that, the fact that new buyers can receive an $8,000 tax credit and current owners can receive a $6,500 credit (check with your certified public accountant for details). All this means that it really IS the right time to buy. I promise that you will be glad you did in five to seven years!

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Cafe Latte, St. Paul

Barbeque Chicken Potato Pizza?  

I've always loved Cafe Latte in St. Paul. They have great sandwiches and salads. I have frequented the original portion of the restaurant, and haven't paid much attention to their wine and pizza bar. BIG mistake! I went there with friends a couple of weekends ago, and it was a great, casual spot to spend an evening. My recommendation? The barbeque chicken potato pizza! I know, it doesn't sound nearly as good as it is!

http://cafelatte.com/pizza.html

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Lake Como? No...Como Lake

Listing Inquiries That Make Me Giggle

Our website is a very convenient way for buyers to search local areas for homes that fit their needs and immediately submit an inquiry or a showing request. I answer these inquiries and showing requests daily, and love it! The inquiries range from the simplest questions to more in depth about particular properties. It often amazes me what buyers think of when purchasing a house, even after doing this for a number of years. We also receive inquiries from all over the globe, as we often have relocation clients.

One such inquiry came in recently. A gentleman had particular interest in a home on Como Lake in St. Paul. He wanted detailed information on the listing, as well as the most recent asking price. I happily sent him the full Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listing with all of that information, and told him I would be happy to answer any other questions or show him the home. It really is a great home!

Well, he so kindly responded:

DEAR MISS ERIN
THANKS A LOT FOR YOUR EMAIL...
PLEASE LET ME KNEW ITS LAKE OF COMO THIS IS IN ITALY OR I UNDERSTAND WRONG.
THANKS
HAVE A NICE DAY

lake_como_northern_italy_367como_lake_st._paul_576

I responded that I apologized for the confusion, but it was Como Lake in St. Paul, Minnesota in the United States, not Lake Como in Italy. I guess...

Buyer Tax Credit Extension

Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009

Good news...the "first-time buyer credit", as many call it, has been extended and modified! The new law extends the deadline for purchasing a home and includes current homeowners. It also raises the income limitations for those eligible for the credit.

Under the new law, buyers must enter into a binding contract by April 30, 2010 and close by June 30, 2010. Current homeowners that have lived in their home as their principal residence for at least five consecutive years of the last eight years are also eligible for a slightly smaller credit of up to $6,500 (versus the $8,000 for first-time buyers).

Finally, the income limitations have been increase from $75,000 to $125,00 for individuals and $150,000 to $225,000 for joint filers. There are phase outs between $125,000 and $145,000 for individuals and $225,000 and $245,000 for joint filers, where buyers get a portion of the credit.

This is great news for those of you who were going to miss the November 30, deadline or are not first-time buyers. Let our team know if you are in the market to buy or sell!! Please consult your tax professional or Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for the exact details and limitations.

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Ike's Food & Cocktails

Sticky Buns the Size of Your Head!

This may not be news to some...but Ike's at 50 South 6th Street downtown Minneapolis has a great brunch! I definitely would not consider myself a foodie, but I had heard great things about Ike's and wanted to try it. My family and I were greeted with a smile, promptly seated, and delivered a sticky bun the size of my head upon being seated. The brunch itself was also good and the check came with chocolate chip cookies! If you are ever downtown Minneapolis and the brunch mood hits....Ike's will deliver!

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Twin Cities Marathon 2009!

The Best Way to See the Twin Cities

twin_cities_marathon_2009_mile_21I often drive my out-of-town clients through the various neighborhoods of St. Paul and Minneapolis on their first home-shopping trip to the Twin Cities. I generally start in Minneapolis, and work my way east through St. Paul. I take them on a rambling drive through the center of both towns. It would take many hours to give them a true feel for the area, but I show them the basics and try to fill the rest in with my scintillating (or as scintillating as a former accountant can be) commentary. I think many relocation clients who are interested in living in the city appreciate the abbreviated tour. It gives them a real feel for the look of different neighborhoods as well as culture of both cities.

After finishing my third Twin Cities Marathon, I think I have a new plan. I think anyone who wants a real feel for Minneapolis and St. Paul, whether they are from Minnesota or are relocating, should run the Twin Cities Marathon! I really took it all in this year, and I think it might be better than my driving tour?

It always starts at the Metrodome downtown Minneapolis. The course then heads straight toward Uptown and the Kenwood area where the tree-lined streets are vibrant with all the fall colors. It then winds around to one of my favorite running locations in the Twin Cities, the Lakes (Calhoun, Harriet and Lake of the Isles). Continuing on, it heads down Minnehaha Parkway so that we don't miss Lake Nokomis. The route then points us toward the Mississippi River on the Minneapolis side, and then crosses over to the St. Paul side. This is where it really gets tough...but still gorgeous with beautiful homes and natural scenery. The route has a huge hill here, but you...