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Spring Maintenance Checklist

Knowing that your home is an investment, protecting this investment should be one of your top priorities.

As we enter spring, now is a good time to spruce up and refresh your space. Set aside time for home maintenance as well as spring cleaning.

By keeping up with essential tasks, you will help ensure your that your home stays hazard-free, retains its value, and may even deliver a future profit.

Here are some of the top spring maintenance tasks to add to your to-do list today.

Structure and Foundation

  • Check the foundation and exterior walls for cracks and leaks.
  • Inspect the roof, looking for loose or missing shingles, damage to any pipes, or unusual wear and tear.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts. Repair any leaks or holes.
  • Check for gaps around doors and windows and reseal them.

Systems and Appliances

  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, replace batteries as needed.
  • Schedule an HVAC tune-up to ensure your system is ready.
  • Clean the refrigerator coils to help lengthen your fridge’s life span.
  • Replace air filters if you haven’t done so lately.
  • Clean your dryer vent duct to prevent fires and keep the dryer working more efficiently.

Outside Details

  • Check for termites to stop a damaging infestation as soon as possible.
  • Check for any exterior damage that may have been caused by any animal during the winter months.
  • Clean the siding, check for damage to exterior woodwork, and repair and reseal these areas as needed.
  • Check the sprinkler system to make sure all the heads are facing the right direction and do a test run before setting up your watering schedule.
  • Clean up the landscaping by trimming, mowing and clearing debris. You may also think about planting some seasonal flowers, or even buying some planters.

Proper maintenance is crucial to maintaining your home’s value. If you’re planning to sell soon, it’s even more critical.

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January 2021 Market Report

Pending sales remain up but soften to single digits. New listings decline.

The Minnesota housing market remained strong in January, with year-over-year closed sales up +16.2% and pending home sales up +5.2%, according to Minnesota Realtors® (MNR), the membership organization supporting all 21,000 Realtors in the state. Market demand for homes remained high, with average days on market at 46 days, which is two fewer weeks or a 25.8% reduction when compared to January 2020.

With only one month’s supply of inventory available — and new listings down by -12.1% — competition among buyers for scarce housing stock is intense. By the end of January, there were only 7,860 homes for sale in the state, a -48.3% decline from January 2020. On average, sellers were getting +98.3% of their asking price, which is a +2.6% increase compared to last year at this time.

“January was still very much a seller’s market. Heightened demand was met with a decline in new listings, exacerbating the impact of historically low inventory in a market where consumers are primed to buy,” said Chris Galler, CEO of Minnesota Realtors. “With the shifts in lifestyle and working habits brought on by the pandemic, people are hungry for space. As long as interest rates remain low, this trend is likely to continue. As spring approaches, we are likely to see another very hot selling season.”

Statewide, the median sales price jumped +10.9% over January 2020 to $272,000, and the average sales price hit $310,785, up +8.4%.

January year-over-year summary:

  • Closed sales: +16.2% to 4,788
  • Median sales price: +10.9% to $272,00
  • Average sales price: +8.4% to $310,785
  • New listings: -12.1% to 5,274
  • Pending sales: +5.2% to 4,905
  • Days on the market: -25.8% to 46 days
  • Homes for sale: -48.3% to 7,860


Closed Home Sales Across Minnesota by Region

January saw double-digit increases in year-over-year closed sales in 11 out of the 13 Minnesota regions, with the Northwest region topping the chart with a more than 40%hike. Only two regions, Southeast and West Central, showed more modest increases of+6.4% and +3.5% respectively. See chart below for more details comparing January 2021 to January 2020.

map of minnesota

The seven-county Twin Cities region comprises Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties. The official Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metropolitan statistical area recognized by the Census Bureau consists of 16 counties, which is what MAR & SPAAR local associations report on.

Source: MNR News

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4 Helpful Tips for Finding the Right Neighborhood

When looking for a home, finding the right house is only part of the real estate journey. What’s the main criteria?  Picking the right neighborhood. It all comes down to location, location, location.

The type of home, number of bedrooms and baths, and square footage are very important when buying a home, but the community within the area you are searching can make all the difference when purchasing a home.

Keep this in mind, this is where you’ll most likely entertain, shop, dine, exercise, and possibly where your kids will grow up and go to school. This may just be where you’ll put down roots and build your life (it all depends on the purpose of your home – whether it’s a 5 year plan, 10 year plan, or your forever home).

Ready to start your search? Here are 4 tips to help guide you to find the right neighborhood:

  • Start Researching Your Areas of Interest: Check into each community that you have interest in potentially living.  Look into school district ratings and look at homes nearby for their current value. See what else the community offers, by looking into any community activities, events, or even community centers.
  • Your Needs: Are you commuting to work? How long will your commute be? Do you prefer walking trails with many neighborhood paths to explore? Have you thought about homeowners’ associations?
  • Online Groups Provide More Community Information:  Look up neighborhood groups on social media (Nextdoor, Facebook, and other online communities). Do you get a sense that the online community seems welcoming and helpful? Another good source would be to check neighborhood newsletters or local newspapers (online or print).
  • Familiarize Yourself With the Area: Go on a self-guided tour. Check out the neighborhood at different times of day  so that you can get a feel for its character. Can you see visualize yourself living there? Is this somewhere you want to come home to each night, content that this place is your home? If you’re out of state and are planning to buy, Google Maps is a good source to take a virtual walk.

Once you’ve narrowed down the neighborhoods you can envision yourself living, get in touch with us to take an online tour or go see homes in-person. We’ll find the right home and neighborhood for you, to suit your budget and your needs.

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Review of the 2020 Real Estate Market

Despite the headwinds, 2020 was a record-breaking year for housing

 Tags: Market DataPress Releases

(January 26, 2021) – According to the 2020 annual report from the Minneapolis Area REALTORS® and the Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS®, both buyer and seller activity in the 16-county Twin Cities metro last year outpaced 2019 levels. After a brief pullback following the onset of the pandemic—and aided by remote work, distance learning, historically low rates and a desire for more space—market activity recovered quickly and ended the year posting several new records across various metrics.

Seller activity rose a modest 0.1 percent from 2019 while closed sales were up 7.7 percent. That marks the highest sales figure since at least 2003 and the highest new listings count since 2016. Listing activity was constrained due to health concerns, remodeling activity, a lack of options and homeowners staying in their homes longer.

“Predictably, the result of record sales combined with ultra-low inventory meant rising prices and sellers accepting stronger offers in less time,” according to Tracy Baglio, President of the Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS®.

Governor Walz’s shelter-in-place order paused market activity in April and May, which created pent-up demand that pushed the spring market into summer and the summer market into fall. Buyers were still more eager to purchase than sellers were to list, meaning multiple offers remained commonplace—particularly at the more affordable price points where the inventory shortage is even more pronounced.

“Despite several challenges, the Twin Cities housing market exceeded all expectations,” said Todd Walker, President of Minneapolis Area REALTORS®. “Inventory remained a hurdle, but homeowners have never had so much equity in their homes and buyers haven’t seen rates this low in 50 years, offsetting rising prices.”

The median sales price rose 8.9 percent to $305,000, a record high. On average, sellers obtained 99.8 percent of their list price—the highest since at least 2003. Homes sold quickly. Half the sales had accepted offers in under 18 days. Importantly, all areas, price points and property types are unique.

Signed contracts rose 10.0 percent in Minneapolis and 16.4 percent in St. Paul, suggesting core cities remain attractive. With prices slightly lower, market times higher and offers weaker, the condo market continues to lag other segments. Aided by favorable jumbo rates and a recovered stock market, sales of luxury properties ($1M+) have been soaring higher—up 25.4 percent from 2019.

One thing is clear: the housing market continues to outperform, despite several headwinds.


  • Sellers listed 76,348 properties on the market, a 0.1 percent increase from 2019
  • Buyers closed on 64,479 properties, up 7.7 percent (65,770 pending sales, up 9.7 percent)
  • The Median Sales Price rose 8.9 percent to $305,000
  • Inventory levels fell 39.3 percent to 5,080 units
  • Months Supply of Inventory was down 47.1 percent to 0.9 months (5-6 months is balanced)
  • Days on Market decreased 12.2 percent to 43 days, on average (median of 18, down 21.7 percent)
  • Changes in Sales activity varied by market segment
    • Single family sales were up 10.8 percent; condo sales fell 10.6 percent; townhome sales increased 3.4 percent
    • Traditional sales rose 8.4 percent; foreclosure sales were down 20.9 percent; short sales fell 25.9 percent
    • Previously owned sales were up 7.3 percent; new construction sales climbed 14.1 percent