This is Sharlene Hensrud's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Sharlene Hensrud's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Sharlene Hensrud
Minneapolis
Realtor with RE/MAX Results, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
Interests: cooking, movies, walking, singing, art museums/galleries
Recent Activity
Image
Start with the exterior. The exterior is the first thing potential buyers will see, and first impressions set the tone for their entire visit... so make sure the outside of your home is clean and inviting. Touch up painting, landscaping, clean windows, inviting entry are all important and not major investments. In fact, replacing your front door can often give you the biggest return on your investment because it sets expectations for the whole showing. City inspection. If you live in a city that requires a Time of Sale/Truth in Housing inspection when you sell your home, that inspection you will get a to-do list to fulfill their requirements. Depending on city requirements, you may consider getting a 'pre-inspection' first, so you have time to make repairs and then get a 'clean' final inspection. Fix defects... buyers will over-compensate in price. The real inspectors you must satisfy when you sell are your potential buyers. Even minor flaws can become big deals. It is often said that buyers will ask for a price reduction or compensation of $3,000-$5,000 for every $1,000 of perceived defect. This means making repairs before listing your home for sale could save you money in the long run. Don't overlook the little things. Little things like worn woodwork, caulking in bathtubs and showers, old wallpaper, marred walls and stained ceilings, loose knobs, sticky windows, doors and cabinets that don't close properly, broken light switches, dirty or worn flooring can all add up to a bigger impact than you might think. Kitchens and bathrooms are the two most important rooms in the house... evaluate them with a critical eye. Again, keep in mind that buyers will over-estimate the cost of these repairs and their reduction in the price they are willing to pay. But perhaps most important, don't overlook the importance of having your home sparkling clean... buyers notice!!! Don't go too big. If you decide to more significant updates, be careful of investing too much. Many buyers will make their own updates when they move in so this isn't the time to invest in a major kitchen remodel, although moderate updates will likely reap benefits... paint and resurfacing can go a long way. Upgrades that are almost always worth it are refreshing paint and flooring. Windows can also be a good investment, depending on the condition of your current windows in relation to the rest of your... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
CoreLogic just released a report looking back on the national foreclosure crisis... United States Residential Foreclosure Crisis: 10 Years Later. That crisis is still affecting both buyers and sellers today, who are much more informed and cautious. It peaked in 2010, and over 7.7 million families lost their homes throughout the period between 2008 and 2012... no wonder buyers are more cautious!! One of the key factors brought up by CoreLogic's chief economist is the connection between jobs and homeownership. At the peak of the crisis, the national unemployment rate was 7%. In February 2017 the nationally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.7%... with an even lower rate of 4.0% in Minnesota. A healthy economy is driven by jobs... which usually drives consumer confidence that leads to homeownership. Foreclosures have been dropping steadily since their peak in 2010. CoreLogic's report suggests the country will be back to 2005 levels by the end of 2017. from Keeping Current Matters In Minnesota, February foreclosed sales only accounted for 7.5% of total sales... a good sign for traditional sellers and a healthy real estate market... and a frustration for those in the renovation business who no longer have a big supply of foreclosure properties to renovate. Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Minneapolis-St. Paul Realtor HomesMSP Team - Sharlene, John, Angela - Minneapolis-St. Paul Relocation RELATED POSTS Is the Housing Affordability Index getting scary low? Is a new housing bubble forming? 6 reasons why that isn't likely right now Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh NOTE: I spend my Wednesdays Unplugged from appointments. It's my day to stay home, enjoy cooking and welcome our kids and grandkids for dinner in the evening. We end our meal with quotes from the Norwegian 'Quote Cup' passed on to me from my grandmother. I share a quote and a recipe here each week, and sometimes some photos of family fun. I love trying new recipes...and love getting recipes you would like to share! This week saw the first day of spring, and also the announcement of the happiest country in the world. This year it was Norway, which was especially joyful for us because both my husband and I are of Norwegian heritage! He brought lots of happiness tonight by playing the mummy game... wrapping our grandkids in toilet paper, then filming them breaking out. There was much laughter involved! RECIPE OF THE WEEK This week's recipe was a deliciously simple way to cook salmon... and perhaps the most moist and tender salmon I have ever eaten. The recipe came from Damn Delicious. FOIL-WRAPPED BAKED GARLIC BUTTER SALMON 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 tablespoon lemon juice 3 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 2 pounds salmon 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish, if desired Preheat over to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil, making it long enough to wrap around salmon and seal. Melt butter in measuring cup. Add and whisk together brown sugar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper to taste. Place salmon onto prepared baking foil and fold up all 4 sides. Spoon the butter mixture over the salmon. Fold the sides of the foil over the salmon, covering completely and sealing the packet closed. Place into oven and bake until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately, garnishing with parsley if desired. Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Email - Minneapolis Realtor Who Cooks RELATED POSTS Wednesdays Unplugged - Simple One-Dish Salmon Meal Wednesdays Unplugged - Sesame Ginger Salmon Wednesdays Unplugged - Grilled Marinated Salmon with Mango Salsa Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
I recently encountered a couple different properties that were both being sold subject to HUD Guidelines 24CFR206.125. Huh? What does that mean?! The guidelines are stipulations for the sale of reverse mortgage foreclosures. Again, what does that mean?! First... what is a Reverse Mortgage? A reserve mortgage is a special type of home loan that lets homeowners 62+ years old who own their home outright or have a low mortgage balance convert a portion of the equity of their home into cash. The cash may be paid out in monthly payments or in a lump sum like an equity line of credit. The homeowner must live in the home and pay real estate taxes, utilities, and homeowners insurance. However, unlike a home equity line of credit, there are no monthly payments and the loan doesn't have to be repaid until the property is sold or is no longer used as a primary residence. There is even a purchase option to allow the purchase of a smaller home and never having a house payment. More info on reverse mortgages from the FTC. Second... what can trigger a Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure? There are three scenarios that can trigger a foreclosure on a reverse mortgage... The party who established the reverse mortgage has died. Property taxes and insurance are not paid. The owner moves out and it is no longer their primary residence. Third... what are stipulations in HUD Guidelines 24CFR206.125 Some of the guidelines include... Price is not negotiable... property cannot be sold below list price except to an heir, who can purchase for 95% of list price No electronic signatures No seller contribution to buyer closing costs 60 days minimum escrow period Property sold in AS IS condition Details from HUD Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Email - Minneapolis - St. Paul Real Foreclosures HomesMSP Team- Sharlene, John, Angela - Minneapolis-St. Paul Realtors RELATED POSTS First Look Initiative gives homebuyers advantage over investors The FHA assumable mortgage option... another possibility to bring buyers and sellers together Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
If you are looking for 50's nostalgia be sure to check out 50's Grill in Brooklyn Park. But don't go just for burgers and shakes... there are many places to get great burgers and shakes in the Twin Cities. Go for old-fashioned homemade comfort food like a hot turkey sandwich or meatloaf... or their homemade Chicken Pot Pie, their number one seller for 20 years and the best in town. And then of course there are their homemade pies... With servers in poodle skirts, an old Coca-Cola vending machine with bottles and 50's decor, it feels like a trip back in time... to a time when most food was homemade. Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Brooklyn Park Agent The HomesMSP Team - Sharlene, John, Angela - Minneapolis-St. Paul Realtors RELATED POSTS MidModMen+friends: A treasure trove for the 50's Mid-Century Minnesota Modernism... SUBURBIA and the first indoor shopping mall Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
The supply of homes for sale is not only down in the Twin Cities, it is down dramatically nationwide as you can see from the chart below from Keeping Current Matters. The orange dotted line indicates a balanced market. Our local supply inched up a little in February, but it is still dangerously low. Total supply of homes for sale was down 25.3% compared to last year, and months supply at 1.8 months is still historically extremely low... and 28.0% below February 2016. As interest rates rise, buyers are scrambling to find homes to buy and are frustrated to find them sold almost as soon as they hit the market. The shortage is still lowest in prices ranges below $350k, but at least months supply crept up a bit... more notable in move-up price ranges. This is significant because potential move-up sellers in starter price ranges have been afraid to sell for fear of not finding a home to buy in higher price ranges... perpetuating the shortage cycle. We are seeing evidence of a continued increase in supply in March but it still isn't enough... the housing logjam needs to loosen to get the market flowing again. Although February 2017 listings were higher than January they were still down 7.5% compared to February 2016. Total supply of homes for sale was down 25.3%. It should be obvious new listings are desperately needed! Pending sales were eerily close year-over-year, up only 0.5% in February 2017. It would be much higher were there more homes for sale. Closed sales are hampered by the inventory shortage of a couple months prior (those tiny, flat red bars on the grey chart further above from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors). Fierce competition for the homes that are on the market continues to drive prices... down a little from last month but up 7.6% compared to last year. Median price for February 2017 was $223,000. With many properties selling in multiple offers at prices higher than list price, average percent of list price received was 96.5%. The key to keeping price growth to a moderate rate is an ample supply of housing... sellers, we need you! The figures above are based on statistics for the combined 13-county Twin Cities metropolitan area released by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. Never forget that all real estate is local and what is happening in your neighborhood may... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life." ~ John Lennon NOTE: I spend my Wednesdays Unplugged from appointments. It's my day to stay home, enjoy cooking and welcome our kids and grandkids for dinner in the evening. We end our meal with quotes from the Norwegian 'Quote Cup' passed on to me from my grandmother. I share a quote and a recipe here each week, and sometimes some photos of family fun. I love trying new recipes...and love getting recipes you would like to share! More snow this week, hopefully we are near the end of snow season. Also celebrating more birthdays... landmark birthday of a dear friend... and our son's birthday, the last in our string of family birthdays for now. We brought back some very cool sheets for him from Modernism Week! RECIPE OF THE WEEK Rather than pick the menu for his birthday dinner this year our son asked to be surprised. His meal included such throw-backs as green rice krispie bars... once taken to school as birthday treats since his birthday is the day before St. Patrick's Day (but no one would eat them because they looked gross)! He happens to love Brussels sprouts so I tried this new recipe... very interesting taste combination. ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND GRAPES with walnuts 24 ounces Brussels sprouts (about 8 cups), halved or quartered if large 24 ounces red seedless grapes 4 tablespoons fresh thyme Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Toss Brussels sprouts and grapes with oil and thyme and put on large baking sheet/jelly roll pan. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until caramelized and tender, about 20 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, scrape up any caramelized bits with a wooden spoon, toss in walnuts and serve. Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Email - Minneapolis Realtor Who Cooks RELATED POSTS Wednesdays Unplugged - Rhubarb Compote with Roasted Asparagus Wednesdays Unplugged - Three Cheese Scalloped Potatoes Wednesdays Unplugged - Oven-Baked Potatoes Hasselbacken Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
I found the results of a study of recent homeowners conducted by NerdWallet fascinating. Their Home Buyer Reality Report divided answers to a number of questions about the homebuying process into different generations, which clearly shows different experiences. One thing I found very interesting were the two highest regrets for Millennials... ... "things I valued changed"... and "should've purchased larger home". These seem to me to be related, just as "mortgage rate too high" and "should've waited longer" seem related. An important question to ask when you purchase a home is how long you plan to stay and how your life will change while you are living in the home. Often first-time homebuyers are just thinking about now... either living alone or with a significant other and loving a vibrant, urban neighborhood. As people settle down and start to raise a family priorities usually change... which often also results in outgrowing space. This doesn't mean you shouldn't buy a smaller home in an exciting urban neighborhood if you are buying your first home and that is where you want to live... just do it with an awareness that your life may change in the future and this home may no longer fit your lifestyle. With interest rates among the lowest in history, some buyers are looking ahead and purchasing the most home they can afford so they can grow into it and not need to sell and buy again because of outgrowing the space too quickly. It costs you money each time you sell and buy... interest rates will likely be higher the next time you sell... and payments that seem like a stretch now may seem low as your income grows... all compelling reasons to stretch a bit now as you plan for the future. Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - First-Time Homebuyer Realtor HomesMSP Team - Sharlene, John, Angela - Minneapolis-St. Paul Buyer's Agents RELATED POSTS Common Homebuyer Questions Ready to buy? Start by creating a home buying plan Tips for choosing a great real estate agent Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
The Kingfield neighborhood was farmland in the late 1880s when Colonel Willam S. King donated Lake Harriet and surrounding land to the City of Minneapolis. Dupont Avenue now becomes a divided parkway named King's Highway between 36th and 46th Streets next to Col. King's Lyndale farmstead... and farmland between 36th and 46th, Lyndale and I-35W became the official Kingfield Neighborhood, a residential area of mostly single family homes built before 1920. Click to enlarge Today the Kingfield neighborhood is becoming more and more in demand for its historic homes of character without being grandiose... and its location with easy access to both the city lakes and downtown Minneapolis. But perhaps even more, it has become a veritable gastro-hood, teeming with notable eateries within walking distance of most homes in the neighborhood. The blue dots on the map above indicate just some of restaurants, bakeries, pubs and cafes in the neighborhood. With fabulous variety... from Kyatchi sushi bar... to revolutionary Cuban cooking at Victor's 59 Cafe... to burgers and comfort food at Lowbrow... to Latin fusion at Cafe Ena... to pan-Asian at King's... to exquisite French pastries at Patisserie 46... to farm-to-table at Blackbird... to Spanish bistro at Rincon 38... to artisan breads and more at Sunstreet Bakery... to familiar Bruegger's Bagels... and more... there is something for every taste! It has enough choices to feel lucky to live in the neighborhood... and enough laudable choices to be worth crossing a freeway or two to visit! Interested in living in the Kingfield neighborhood? Let us know... we can help! Search Minneapolis Kingfield homes for sale. Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Minneapolis Kingfield Neighborhood Agent The HomesMSP Team - Sharlene, John, Angela - Minneapolis-St. Paul Realtors RELATED POSTS Why does Dupont Ave become King's Highway in the East Harriet neighborhood? Harriet's Inn... new local pub serving Minneapolis East Harriet and King Field neighborhoods Blackbird Cafe... another Nicollet eatery making Mpls yummier! Patisserie 46... authentic croissants and a whole lot more Kingfield neighborhood's Sun Street Breads... named one of the best new bakeries in America Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
Reduce. Reuse. Recyle... now add ReStore. I volunteered to help at the Minneapolis ReStore a couple of weeks ago. It was genuinely fun! The staff and people were great. Lots of "stuff" to see, a home re-modeler's dream place. From corner brackets to furniture. From doors and windows to paint. Get to one of the two Habitat for Humanity ReStores in the Twin Cities and have a valuable adventure. And volunteering there is also a good idea! We now have two ReStores in the metro area, one in New Brighton and one in south Minneapolis. The inventory in the ReStores varies from week to week, but includes appliances, furniture, windows, doors, lighting, tools and much more! It’s the perfect place for bargain seekers and DIYers to shop and find great deals for everything from small projects to large home remodeling updates. Much of the merchandise has been donated by local businesses who want to share their surplus through Habitat, but they also accept donations from individuals. The paint supply is amazing, appliances are often a true bargain. See the stores and the merchandise inside for yourself. It's a great adventure! Besides the merchandise, the staff is very helpful and friendly... and... This year, proceeds from the ReStore will sponsor the construction of four homes for low-income Twin Cities families. Check out the ReStore website for more info or to schedule a donation pickup. You can also volunteer to help at one of the stores, it's a fun time! John Hensrud, REALTOR RE/MAX Results HomesMSP Team - Sharlene, John, Angela - Twin Cities Realtors RELATED POSTS Habitat transforms the lives of the 'invisible homeless' Thank you... why I support Habitat for Humanity Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
From buying your first home to your last, it is easy to get so caught up in finding your 'dream home' that you lose sight of your reality. Here are five important things to keep in mind when searching for your new home... 1. Know what you can afford Be realistic about what price is affordable for you. Budget funds for other things you like to do as well so you don't feel house poor. Whether you like to travel, eat out, attend music or sporting events, enjoy collecting or a hobby... whatever you love to do, make a realistic budget that includes those things as well as your everyday housing and living expenses. 2. Find the location that is right for you Do you need/want to be close to work, trails, public transportation, schools, family, parks, coffee shops, shopping, recreation, etc? Everyone has different needs and priorities. Be sure to keep yours in mind before you fall in love with a kitchen and buy in a location that you will come to regret. 3. Identify your non-negotiables Most buyers find they must cross off some 'wants' to get their 'must-haves'. Identify your non-negotiable items, then don't even look at properties that don't include them. 4. Look for features that support your lifestyle Both location and home amenities will have features that support your lifestyle. Think not only about your current lifestyle, but also if there are any changes you would like to make with your new home. Consider how you will actually live in the space and location. For instance, if you like to cook and entertain, the kitchen and entertaining space may be more important than a master suite... if you plan to bike to work you may sacrifice other amenities to be close to a bike trail. 5. See the potential Don't get distracted by decor that doesn't match your taste. Things like paint colors and flooring can be changed fairly easily while basic structure and location cannot. If the floor plan and location fit you and your lifestyle, it may have the potential to become your dream home with a little redecorating. Sharlene Hensrud, REM/MAX Results - Email - Twin Cities Buyer's Agent RELATED POSTS Finding a neighborhood to match your lifestyle Steps in Buying a Home Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
"It is an awfully sad misconception that librarians simply check books in and out. The library is the heart of a school, and without a librarian, it is but an empty shell."~ Jarrett J Krosoczka NOTE: I spend my Wednesdays Unplugged from appointments. It's my day to stay home, enjoy cooking and welcome our kids and grandkids for dinner in the evening. We end our meal with quotes from the Norwegian 'Quote Cup' passed on to me from my grandmother. I share a quote and a recipe here each week, and sometimes some photos of family fun. I love trying new recipes...and love getting recipes you would like to share! We are in the midst of our birthday marathon, with three family birthdays in a row. We celebrated our daughter's birthday last week and she requested her usual Fettucine Alfredo with shrimp, wedge salad and Cheesecake Factory cheesecake for dessert. This week it was our daughter-in-law's birthday celebration, with Croque Monsieur sandwiches and Napoleons from Patrick's Bakery. My husband picked librarian quotes for her and by coincidence it turned out that the one she drew was this week's quote... from an author she knows personally! RECIPE OF THE WEEK This week's recipe is for the Croque Monsieur sandwiches we made at our daughter-in-law's request. I have made them before and shared the recipe from Ina Garten, but used a different recipe this time from Tastes Better from Scratch online. Although it was still best eaten with a fork, it was less saucy than previous versions I have made. Everyone moaned over how wonderful they were as we were eating. The sandwiches were small but very filling, more about the cheese than the sauce. I think the deliciousness was helped by the bread which was also purchased at Patrick's and the ham which was not sandwich slices, but rather ham steaks which were sliced into pieces. CROQUE MONSIEUR SANDWICHES BECHAMEL SAUCE 1/4 cup unsalted butter 1/4 cup flour 1 1/2 cups whole milk Salt and pepper 1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard Dash ground nutmeg SANDWICHES 16 thin slices small white sandwich bread, crusts removed Good quality ham, cut into small slices 9 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese MAKE SAUCE Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. Gradually add milk, stirring well until the mixture... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
Every year United Van Lines does a study of migration patterns across the United States. The results from 2016 are shown in the map below. The strongest inbound migration is in the Northwest, strongest outbound migration in the Northeast as Boomers retire to warmer climes. Infographic from Keeping Current Matters Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Minneapolis-St. Paul Realtor HomesMSP Team - Sharlene, John, Angela - Minneapolis-St. Paul Relocation RELATED POSTS Twin Cities LIving RELOCATION GUIDE Tips for choosing a great real estate agent Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
You are relocating to the Twin Cities for a position at the University of Minnesota... now to figure out where to live. If you are looking for easy University access here are some neighborhoods to consider. SEWARD - This community almost always comes up when looking for a neighborhood near the University. It is hard to get easier access... just across the Franklin Street bridge from the main UMN campus, perfect for biking. It is a very diverse and politically liberal community characterized by college students, immigrants, aging hippies and everything in between. Its housing stock is also very diverse in both size and condition, with many of the more desirable properties closer to the river. Ranked as one of the metro's most livable neighborhoods, it is perhaps best known for its unique Milwaukee Avenue Historic District and farm-to-table Birchwood Cafe. Seward Neighborhood... Minneapolis Biker's Paradise and Walker's Dream! Milwaukee Avenue Historic District - Minneapolis Seward Neighborhood's unique walker's paradise Birchwood Cafe... keeping traditions of freshness and community alive There always seems to be a shortage of properties for sale in this neighborhood, you might also consider homes in other neighborhoods bordering West River Road in Minneapolis and East River Rd in St. Paul, with perhaps the most bikeable access to campus. PROSPECT PARK/EAST RIVER ROAD - One of the oldest city neighborhoods, on the highest natural land area in Minneapolis, Prospect Park is known by its distinctive witch's hat water tower said to have been inspiration for Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower". With hilly, winding streets, diverse architecture and progressive residents Prospect Park is right next to the UMN Minneapolis campus and has a stop on the LRT Green Line. A small community, it is in demand and tends to have a shortage of homes for sale. Its notable architecture includes homes built by Frank Lloyd Wright and Minneapolis mid-century modern architect Elizabeth Close. Prospect Park neighborhood... more than its Witch's Hat Water Tower MidModMen+friends: A treasure trove for the 50's DESNOYER PARK - A small pocket of homes in the St. Paul Merriam Park neighborhood, Desnoyer Park borders Mississippi River Blvd, a continuation of East River Road in Minneapolis with direct access to the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus. It was developed later than the rest of Merriam Park, mostly in the 1920's and 1930's but also with some mid-century and modern architecture. Desnoyer Park... once planned... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
Do I need a Realtor? How much does it cost? If you are like most buyers, you don't need a Realtor to find homes for sale... they are available online and you can easily click, email, text or call to set up a showing. What you may not realize is that rather than setting up 10 different appointments to see 10 different properties with 10 different Realtors you can just contact one Realtor to show you all the properties you are interested in seeing, regardless of which company has listed the property or which agent is listed as the contact. Most buyer Realtor fees are paid by the seller at closing, so working with one Realtor can save you a lot of time and hassle with little or no cost to you. Also, the listing agent is contracted to represent the seller and is legally obligated to keep the seller's best interests in mind. As a buyer, it makes sense to have your own agent legally contracted to watch out for you and keep your best interests in mind... and the seller pays for it! What does a Realtor do besides show homes for sale? Most people only buy a few homes in their lifetime, Realtors buy and sell homes all the time... they help guide you through the entire process. Some of the things Realtors do include... Provide legal representation, with the same fiduciary responsibilities as a lawyer Answer your questions and guide you through the process Help you clarify your wants and needs in a property at this point in your life Help you determine and match your priorities as you search for your home Coordinate with your lender to match properties to your financial needs Research and provide background information on properties of interest Help you objectively view condition and livability of the property and neighborhood as it relates to you and your lifestyle Provide a market analysis of comparable homes sold in the area in the last six months to assess price and value Write and present a purchase ageement when you find the right property, again coordinating with your lender to structure the agreement to match your financial requirements Negotiate the offer Connect you with professionals for inspections and other needs Monitor process from purchase agreement through closing How much cash do I need? Although 20% down is still the standard for not paying mortgage... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
"Always maintain a kind of Summer even in the middle of Winter." ~ Thoreau NOTE: I spend my Wednesdays Unplugged from appointments. It's my day to stay home, enjoy cooking and welcome our kids and grandkids for dinner in the evening. We end our meal with quotes from the Norwegian 'Quote Cup' passed on to me from my grandmother. I share a quote and a recipe here each week, and sometimes some photos of family fun. I love trying new recipes...and love getting recipes you would like to share! We had a great time away in Palm Springs, relaxing and staying with John's cousin who is married to my college roommate. We went for Modernism Week, which was fabulous. (See photos and learn more about that in Sunday's post, Takeaways from Palm Springs Modernism Week 2017.) But we were there long enough to take in other things as well, in spite of a winter storm (a day of soaking rain!)... things like hiking in The Cove, putting on their back yard green, shopping, attending an organ concert where we met another dear friend from the Twin Cities, seeing the fabulous 'Women of Abstract Expressionism' exhibit that just opened, planning for a trip to Norway together next year... a good time was had by all. RECIPE OF THE WEEK We enjoyed this week's recipe from Taste of Home several times while we were there... yum... thank you, Carolyn!! LEMONADE ICEBOX PIE 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk 3/4 cup thawed lemonade concentrate 8 ounce carton frozen whipped topping, thawed 9-inch graham cracker crust In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and milk until smooth. Beat in lemonade concentrate. Fold in whipped topping and pour into crust. Cover and refrigerate until set. Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Email - Minneapolis Realtor Who Cooks RELATED POSTS Wednesdays Unplugged - Lemon Fluff Dessert Wednesdays Unplugged - Blackberry Fool Wednesdays Unplugged - Frozen Key Lime Pie Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
What struck me most in reviewing market stats for January 2017 was looking at historical charts of inventory and months supply of homes for sale. Both are the lowest they have been on records I find going back to 2004. But looking at the numbers on a monthly rather than annual basis over the last 3 years really shows how dramatically low they are. Last year was low... and this year is 25.4%-30.4% lower than last year! I marked the tiny bars in red on the charts below from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors! There is currently only a 1.6 month total supply of homes for sale (market is considered balanced at a 5-6 month supply), but it is even more dramatic when you look at it by price range on the chart below. The price ranges most strongly impacted are those in the ranges typically sought by first time home buyers. All price ranges up to $350,000 have less than a 2-month supply... $350-$500k have only a 2.7 month supply... and even $500k-$1M have less than a 5-month supply, at 4.8 months. There is a dramatic jump in the $1M+ range, up to a 12-month supply. According to these numbers, it would take only about a month for all the homes currently for sale in the $120k-$250k price range to be sold if no new properties came on the market and sales continued at the same pace. The good news is that new listings were higher in January 2017 than in January 2016, by 3.1%. Indications are that will continue... and it is impossible to over-emphasize how important that is to the health of the real estate market in 2017. The total number of homes for sale reflects how much homes are in demand... supply is down 25.4% in spite of the slight rise in new listings. If you are thinking of selling, the stars are aligned in your favor! Pending sales (purchase agreement accepted and preparing to close) are up 4.3% over last year due to buyers snatching up those new listings, but closed sales are down 3.2%... not because of lack of buyers but because of lack of inventory at the end of last year. All of these factors contributed to an average median sale price of $225,000 (up 5.8%) and an average 79 days on the market (down 7.1%) compared to last January. Don't expect... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
In addition to daily lectures, presentations, films and exhibitions, a big treat of Modernism Week is the opportunity to tour mid-century homes that are not for sale... and the chance to talk with owners who have lovingly restored and renovated their homes keeping true to the mid-century modern style. The photos below are from homes in the Green Fairway neighborhood designed by Donald Wexler, one of the most celebrated Mid-Century Modern Palm Springs architects... and from Merito Manor in Old Palm Springs (the Beverly Hills of Palm Springs), designed by Barry Berkus, another 'brand name' in mid-century design. Click to enlarge Some things to notice... Flat and accordion roof lines Tons of light High windows following rooflines Walls of windows, sliding glass doors Open, flowing living space Stylized metal range hoods and fireplaces Vintage Blenko glassware Color explosions inside and out Some current update trends Brushed brass hardware and plumbing fixtures Wallpaper framed for use as large-scale prints Marbelized farmhouse kitchen sinks This year another treat was two new homes in Chino Canyon, perched at the foot of the San Jacinto Mountains. The one below is an Al Beadle design from the 1970s that was never built until now. It isn't finished yet... which gives a unique opportunity to see the actual structure of the building, built with steel beams and corten steel siding. Click to enlarge Read more about the "Beadle House" pictured above and the second new O'Donnell house pictured below, dubbed the "O2 House" for its use of natural ventilation and solar energy at .... Palm Springs’ newest modernist gem? A revived ‘70s Al Beadle design Click to enlarge The last house I will show you is this year's Christopher Kennedy Compound Showhouse. Full of ideas, it features the work of 22 different designers. Click to enlarge Some things I noted... Wallpaper everywhere, even in closets and covering light switch plates Patterned flooring and window shades Strong use of aqua... even in the barbecue grill Mix of colors everywhere Mix of hardware finishes, including polished/brushed chrome and polished/brushed brass in the same room Read more about it at Traditional Home... The Christopher Kennedy Compound Showhouse In addition to the homes, a highlight of this year's Modernism Week was the full, uncut version of the recent film about the architect Eero Saarinen, shown at a large screen theater. His son, who was director of photography and co-producer was... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
When we got the Valentine thank you below from Habitat for Humanity, it made me think of all of you. Thank you for the privilege of working with you, which allows us to help others who wouldn't be able to find home without Habitat for Humanity. Home is everything “Everything in your life is sheltered by home. It can mask your need, but it also protects everything you have, especially your family.” Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results HomesMSP Team - Sharlene, John, Angela - Twin Cities Realtors RELATED POSTS Why I support Habitat for Humanity Thank you for your part in helping Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity help 2,847 families purchase or stay in their homes in 2015! Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
You have no doubt heard about the importance of staging... light, decluttered and sparkling clean. If you are targeting the generation born between 1980 and 1995, here are some other things to keep in mind... most of them want a home that is move-in ready, with modern furnishings and colors. They don't want to buy grandma's house... and they also don't want to buy their parent's house. They want a fresh, hip style... but they don't have the time, money or desire to do the work themselves. The problem is, if you have lived in your home a long time there is a good chance it may also have furnishings and accessories collected over many years... things such as collectibles and doilies that scream 'OLD'. Even though your furnishings won't be sold with your home, they could have a negative effect on potential buyers. They want updated decor. This is why meeting with a stager is so important. Sometimes tweaking a few things can update your decor without a major investment. If not, what often yields the best return is clearing out all your furnishings and possessions... then following your stager's advice on painting and updates before having your stager bring in updated furnishings to show your home in its best light. That's what the sellers did with the house below. They didn't do a home renovation but they did paint and stage the home... and got to choose their buyer from 13 offers!!! Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Minneapolis-St. Paul Listing Agent The HomesMSP Team - Sharlene, John, Angela - Twin Cities Realtors RELATED POSTS 4 Steps to preparing your home for sale Thinking about selling your home? How soon should you contact your Realtor? Staging Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
When I visited Walker Art Center's new exhibit, Merce Cunningham: COMMON TIME, the day after opening I was blown away... so much so that I went back the next day with grandkids in tow for this immersion experience. Perhaps part of the reason I am so drawn to his work is the fact that interconnectedness is my top 'strength' and that's what Merce Cunningham was all about... connecting movement, sound and visual arts to share common time. My first introduction to collaborative modern dance and music was in Paris in May 1970 when I went to a dance performance unlike anything I had ever seen or heard before. I don't remember who the performers were, only that I was mesmerized and my perceptions of dance and music were changed forever. I was taken back to that experience at this exhibition. After I left I was compelled to check and see if Merce Cunningham was in Paris at that time. Indeed he was there... at the theater where I was... that was evidently my first Merce encounter. Walker Art Center is home to the complete scenic and costume archive of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (MCDC) and takes full advantage of these resources. Cunningham, who lived 1919-2009, was a renowned choreographer and dancer who revolutionized dance by partnering with leading artists who created costumes, lighting, films, music, and décor. I was amazed by the number of live screens scattered throughout the 7 galleries of this extensive exhibit. One of my favorite galleries was #7, filmed near the end of his life, when Cunningham was in a wheelchair. It exemplifies the impact of stillness and silence. I loved how you couldn't pass through the gallery without casting your silhouette on the screens, making the visitor part of the experience... which would be in a state of continual change. In keeping with Merce Cunningham's persistence in pursuing the new and pushing both collaboration and boundaries, WAC commissioned Maria Hassabi to create a performance piece for the exhibition. No, those aren't random people lying on the floor... they are eight dancers inhabiting various spaces within Walker Art Center... creating a sculptural movement installation exploring the tension between stillness and sustained motion. In her own words... “I am concerned with the separation between the spectacular and the everyday, between subject and object, between bystander and viewer—while addressing the ways in which dance and the spectacle... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
"In every life we have some trouble. But when you worry, you make it double." - Bobby McFerrin "Don’t Worry be Happy". Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
When I was recently contacted by an architect's family relocating to the Twin Cities from across the country I was excited to learn they are lovers mid-century modern architecture. I found a home designed by noted Twin Cities mid-century modern architect Elisabeth (Lisl) Close for sale in University Grove... but they wanted to live on the other side of the city. The home of another mid-century modern architect, David Griswold, was also for sale... but it also didn't fit any of their top three criteria. When she contacted me and said 'you are going to think we are nuts' and then gave me the address of the home that piqued their interest, I told her I had already planned to show it to them when they arrived whether they asked to see it or not! It was the home of David Griswold that captured their hearts and it was perfect for them! Photos courtesy of Scott Weld, Keller Williams Integrity Realty It is often easy to spot homes sensitively designed by an architect from the street not only by the design itself, but also because they are so specifically designed to fit the setting. This home is tucked back below street level on over a half acre, unassuming and unlike the neighboring homes. It would be easy to drive right by and not even notice it if you aren't paying attention. Perhaps the most distinguishing feature that sets it apart is the minimal windows on the north side... small, high windows along the whole north perimeter to let in light and give the ceiling a floating feeling on the upper level. Not only is minimal windows on that side more energy efficient, it also doesn't have a view so there is no real reason for windows other than to let in light. The south side, however, has a spectacular view of the woods going down to a pond at the bottom of the hill. It is totally lined with windows on both levels that not only welcome the view, but also bring in amazing light and ambient heat in the winter when the trees are leafless. When we saw the home when it was empty, Mrs. Buyer said the light streaming in was so amazing that she almost didn't want to bring in any furniture! The interior has incredible interior finishes, including luxurious terrazzo floors, distinctive brick, gorgeous redwood and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
"I try to be available for life to happen to me." ~ Bill Murray NOTE: I spend my Wednesdays Unplugged from appointments. It's my day to stay home, enjoy cooking and welcome our kids and grandkids for dinner in the evening. We end our meal with quotes from the Norwegian 'Quote Cup' passed on to me from my grandmother. I share a quote and a recipe here each week, and sometimes some photos of family fun. I love trying new recipes...and love getting recipes you would like to share! We don't get to see our oldest granddaughter very often any more... she is now a college girl... so it was a special treat when she could join us for family night last week! We had a grandkid sleepover with our youngest grandchildren last weekend and had a fun outing to the Ice Castle in Stillwater. It was so fun to have our youngest granddaughter fix us scrambled eggs for breakfast! RECIPE OF THE WEEK I have to try a new recipe for macaroni and cheese every once in a while... this latest one was from Real Simple. DECADENT MACARONI AND CHEESE 3 cups short pasta (such as macaroni or cavatelli) 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter Two 12-ounce cans evaporated milk 1/3 cup skim milk 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg Pinch cayenne pepper 8 ounces processed American cheese slices, torn (about 2 cups) 8 ounces Gruyere, grated (about 2 cups) 8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated (about 2 cups) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and return the hot pasta to the pot. Add the butter, tossing until melted. Whisk together the evaporated milk, skim milk, eggs, salt, nutmeg and cayenne in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the American cheese, Gruyere and cheddar. Spread 1/3 of the pasta in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Top with 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Repeat with the remaining pasta and cheese, then pour the milk mixture over the top. Bake until warmed through and golden, 20-30 minutes. Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Email - Minneapolis Realtor Who Cooks RELATED POSTS Wednesdays Unplugged - Awesome Baked Macaroni and Cheese Wednesdays Unplugged - Bistro Mac and Cheese with bacon Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog
Image
You may be surprised at how much cash you need to buy a home... it could be less than you expect to get a mortgage. But your costs go beyond your down payment, and you will need cash at several points along the way. DOWN PAYMENT Over one-third of first-time home buyers made a down payment of 5% or less of the purchase price More than half of home buyers had credit scores of 600-749 Minimum down payment for an FHA mortgage is 3.5% of purchase price, most conventional mortgages require at least 5% down but some programs are available with a 3% down payment Down payment assistance programs are available, with income limits higher than you might expect (such as $68,650 for a single person in Minneapolis-St. Paul with some programs) CHECK WITH A LENDER to discuss the best program for you and your situation Sharmain Tesmer, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (612-667-7129) - special Wells Fargo programs in conjunction with city programs can enable to buy a home in Minneapolis & St. Paul with as little as $1,000 of your own money Leslie Vanderwerf, American Mortgage & Equity Consultants (651-200-6556) - misc local grants and loans to supplement your own cash for purchases throughout the metro Molly Zimmerman, Bell Mortgage (763-222-1546) - 3% down conventional financing Your down payment is due at closing CLOSING COSTS & PREPAIDS Closing costs include such things as title search and title insurance, mortgage registration tax and recording fees, settlement closing fees Prepaids include mortgage interest and taxes from date of closing to the end of the month, as well as money to 'seed' your escrow account for paying future taxes and homeowner's insurance when payment is due for next year Closing costs are due at closing, usually about 3.5% - 4.5% of purchase price Buyers can ask sellers to contribute to this cost, usually a maximum of 3% of the purchase price EARNEST MONEY You will need to submit an earnest money deposit of usually at least $1,000 or 1% of purchase price once you have come to an agreement to purchase a home... required by law to be deposited within 3 business days of coming to an agreement These funds apply to your final purchase and are held in the listing broker's escrow account for you until closing Your earnest money will be refunded to you if you cancel your agreement following... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2017 at Homes MSP Real Estate Blog