Real Estate Information

Why Would You Need a Home Inspection?

Today, I have a tip for first-time homebuyers regarding home inspections.

A lot of buyers will consider doing a home inspection when they’re purchasing a home, and it’s crucial for those buying for the first time.

Home inspections are crucial for first-time homebuyers

You should have an independent third party come to evaluate the property to make sure that you’re aware of all of its flaws. Hopefully, that list isn’t going to be too long, but either way, it’s important to know about those items before you close on the house.

A home inspector is typically a professional who will spend between two and four hours taking photos and testing various systems and appliances, looking for red flags. Sometimes, the inspection will turn up details that require further inspection, such as a faulty furnace or an issue with the electrical or plumbing. These further evaluations will be done by an independent contractor.

Inspections typically take place within the first five to 10 days after you sign a purchase agreement. The costs are paid upfront, and can run anywhere from $200 to $700 depending on what you’re having done. Talk to your agent...

How to Avoid Ice Dams

Winter in the Twin Cities brings so many great things to life. There's hockey, skiing, ice fishing -- I could go on and on. However, the inclement weather brings a few problems as well, specifically ice dams.

Ice dams are sheets of ice that form on the roof due to heat loss from the inside of your home. Untreated, they can cause water to back up under the roof shingles. This water can then enter your home through your ceiling or exterior wall cavity.

How do you know if an ice dam is forming? Well, the best way is to see if there is an ice buildup on the outside of the home. If there is ice buildup around gutters and if there are icicles forming, it might be an indication that there is some heat loss that is melting snow and causing water to run.


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.


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...

Carolyn Capablo Is Reclaiming Her Name

For real estate agents, their name is the basis of their reputation. It is how the community recognizes their business. Often, their name is the centerpiece to their brand. A REALTOR's success can actually be determined by whether or not potential clients know their name. When something tarnishes that name, it can have a serious impact on that agent’s reputation. When it happens to an agent through no fault of their own, it’s downright heartbreaking.

Usually a REALTOR’s dream, North Virginia real estate professional Carolyn Capalbo's phone has been ringing like crazy. Unfortunately, the reality is that Carolyn Capalbo is living a nightmare for two years. Her identity has been mistaken for a different Carolyn Capalbo, whose name has been associated with a scandal that made national headlines. Those phone calls aren’t from home buyers and sellers – they’re from reporters!

A simple internet search reveals that Carolyn Capalbo is the mother of Playboy cover girl Ashley Alexandra Dupre - the woman at the center of an escort/prostitution scandal that prompted Eliot Spitzer to resign his position as Governor of New York. One has to search through multiple links to find that a different, upstanding citizen named Carolyn Capalbo is also a REALTOR with Keller Williams Realty in Northern Virginia. Because of the bad press someone else is receiving, Carolyn Capalbo’s real estate business is suffering.

Whenever a potential client types her name into a search engine, the top ranking results are articles that list Carolyn as the mother of Ashley Dupre. This disgrace is not what a potential home buyer or seller wants to see when they are researching real estate agents. Realtors are entrusted to help facilitate the largest financial transactions most citizens experience in their lifetimes: Home buyers want a real estate agent they...