How to Avoid Looking at 100 Houses Before Making an Offer

Home buyers can avoid spending needless hours looking at properties by following these simple steps.

1.  After meeting with your mortgage lender to get your pre-approval, be sure to discuss your price range with your real estate agent. Set up your search based on price first.  Your financial boundaries come first in selecting a home.

2. Select your Area(s) you are willing to live within.  Too many people don’t keep their home search narrowed down to a few specific areas.  They tend to say they’re “open” to all areas.  You will be overwhelmed with choices if you don’t set limits early on in your search.

3.  Buyers should do their own research up front prior to setting up an appointment with their Realtor to visit the property.  Check into the crime rates, drive by the property of interest, research the tax records and seller disclosures prior to viewing the property.

Buyers you need not visit 100 houses before making an offer!  It’s a waste of time for all.  Being more specific about some of the larger components of your search will indeed make the process easier and you will be in a home much faster!


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Dakota County Housing Market

Dakota County is beginning to really improve compared to dates from June 2012. Already, there has been a 23.8% increase in new listings over the entire county. So, buyers, you have a lot of new homes to look forward to investigating!


For those interested in selling their homes in Dakota County, there has also been a 15.5% increase in average sales price of homes compared to last year, which means you just might receive a pretty good deal if you sell your home in the near future. Even better news for sellers: There has been a whole 35.5% drop compared to 2012 regarding the amount of time a home remains on the market before it’s sold. That brings the average days it’s on the market to around 66.

Dakota County is full of both farmland and large-town conveniences, depending on your location. Everything is fairly close together, so even if you are interested in living in the countryside, you don’t have far to travel to shop. With its vast amount of parks and trails, you can get a bit of the country even in the town you move to. I can say from experience that it’s a lovely area to consider for your real estate needs.


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Historical Places in Minnesota: Fort Snelling

Historic Fort Snelling

One location that has  been mentioned a few times on this blog is Historic Fort Snelling. In the past, I’ve highlighted specific events taking place at that location, but there’s plenty to do and explore there outside of the Fourth of July.

Found in Saint Paul, Minnesota, this fort was built in the 1820s. It was not only important in the Civil War, but it also was used all the way through World War II. Not only was it a military base, but it also served as a trading post for the fur trade.

Although Historic Fort Snelling has retired as a military base, it’s still active for the modern American! As one might imagine, it hosts many field trips, and one is always able to tour the fort. Historic Fort Snelling also offers a unique course called the Historical Skills Class, which is where you can learn trades and activities that have faded away with time. For example, the upcoming classes include Blacksmithing I and II. There are also History Mystery Nights, First World War Education Day, and much, much more!

If you live in the South Metro, Historic Fort Snelling could be a great weekend destination during the summer and autumn months.


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Savage, MN Housing Market

Savage, located in Scott County, Minnesota, might be a location you’re looking into buying or selling a home from. Buyer, the market there is certainly promising if you’re looking into buying a home. There has been a 50% increase in new listings this past June compared to June of 2012. Furthermore, the average price of a home hasn’t increased in the past year. Considering how there are several areas having a huge increase in the average price, that’s a good bit of fortune!

Sellers, you may not be happy that you’re not getting more money for your home compared what you might have had June 2012, but it is, happily, a mere $100 drop. Furthermore, there is always the consolation that your home, statistically, will not be on the market as long as it would have been back in 2012. In fact, the days a home has been the market until its sale has dropped 28.6% compared to June 2012, making the average around 65 days for June 2013. That’s excellent news if you need to relocate within a fairly tight time frame.

Consider adding houses from Savage to your wish-list. You  may just find your dream home!


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Apple Valley Housing Market

Apple Valley is another town in the South Metro whose housing market is improving. There are plenty of conveniences located in Apple Valley, from restaurants to stores. For the devoted readers out there, it also has a Half-Price Books, which is the only one located south of the Metro.  You will find the MN Zoo as one of the main attractions.

Sellers, you’ll be pleased to know that there has been a 21.1% increase in the average sales price of homes since June 2012. Back in 2012, the average home was selling for approximately $183,600. Now, the average home is above the 200k mark, resting comfortably at just over $222,000.

Buyers, you now have a broader market to explore. From June of last year, there has been a 28% increase in new listings. But be aware that the time a house remains on the market has gone down since 2012. Compared to June 2012, June 2013 showed that this time span went down 13.7%.  Select your home TODAY!  The market has picked up the pace and interest rates are increasing.

Apple Valley is a great place to look into, whether for yourself or your entire family.


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Historical Places in Minnesota: Alexander Ramsey House

One of the great things to do when living in the South Metro is to drive up to the Twin Cities on a Saturday and explore the historical section. The Alexander Ramsey House is one that I ardently recommend.

Have you ever wished you lived in a different time–a time in which there were few distractions, elegant clothing, and balls? You can explore that side of history in the Alexander Ramsey House, preserved by the Minnesota Historical Society.  Ramsey was the first territorial governor of Minnesota, his home a relic of the 1870s. Now, you can tour the house, which includes rooms that have been kept in the state they would have been in for the Ramsey family.

Furthermore there are events periodically hosted at the house. Some are for children, like the finishing school for girls or a detective camp. It could be a great way to give your children an interest in other time periods. There are also events for adults with a great thirst for history. Coming up is Ramsey After Dark: The Washington Connection. During The Washington Connection, there will be a reading of private letters from the Ramseys regarding the get-togethers and the people themselves in the nations’s capital.

Visit here for a more in-depth look at what the Alexander Ramsey House has to offer!


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Moving with Children


It’s difficult enough to move when you are the only one adjusting. It’s even more so when there are children to consider. How do you make the move–whether to another town or another state entirely–a smooth transition for your little ones?

1. Be compassionate. Whether your child is six or sixteen, it will be hard on them to change schools and leave neighborhoods, especially if this is the first time you’re moving as a family. Explain to them that you understand they might be afraid. Tell them you understand that they’ll miss their friends. Tell them that you have many of the same feelings they do–you will be leaving friends as well. However…

2. Do not worry them. Don’t spend so much time trying to commiserate that you make the child more afraid of moving.  A nice balance is needed. So while you listen to your child’s feelings and show that they’re justified…

3. Make it exciting. Play upon your child’s sense of adventure. Explain that it’s a whole new place, with all kinds of new friends to meet and things to see. If your child struggles due to shyness, tell them that this is a new way to “recreate” themselves. My daughter was exceptionally shy when we moved, but by looking at it this way, she didn’t dread going to school. She decided she didn’t have to be “the shy kid.” While still quiet, she did not trap herself in some status-quo or expectation of herself that hindered her.

4. Show them around. If possible, take the family on a trip to see the new town you’ll be living in. This will give the kids something to look forward to. Ex: If there’s a toy store they want to check out, or a park, perhaps you can tell them that you can come and check it out next time.

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Burnsville, MN Housing Market

Springtime in the South Metro

Springtime in the South Metro


The market in Burnsville is looking great for both buyers and sellers.

Buyers, you will be happy to know that compared to May of 2012, the amount of new listings is up 36%, meaning a greater variety of homes are available for your choosing. The fact that there are more homes available also means, as referenced in previous posts, that there is less of a chance of having to compete with other buyers over a home.

Sellers, you can definitely benefit from Burnsville’s market. The average sales price has gone up 18%, meaning you get a better profit. Also, the days a house typically remains on the market has dropped around 42.1% compared to May 2012, meaning that a house has, on average, been on sale for about 66 days before being sold. I would definitely recommend putting your house on the market now or in the near future to benefit from the hungry sellers out there.

Do a search of homes in the area, or start investigating the possibility for listing your home! I hope you all had a nice 4th of July!


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South Metro MN 4th of July Events

Happy Independence Day! If you live south of the Twin Cities, here are a few 4th of July events coming up.

Military Family Week

This is an event going on through July 7. The Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley is offering free admission for anyone involved in the Military. Military families are able to get in at half price. Celebrate the 4th with your loved ones at the Minnesota Zoo!


Held in downtown Lakeville, Pan-O-Prog is a yearly event that extends from July 1 through the 7th. Specifically for July 4th, they will be hosting fireworks at Lakeville North High School. There will be music, tattoos, and more. Best of all, attendance is free!

Eagan’s July 4th Funfest

Not only are there fireworks at Eagan’s Funfest, but there will be plenty of things to do with the entire family. There will be live entertainment, a carnival, games, contests, and more. Admission and parking are free.

Independence Day Celebration

This particular event will be at Historic Fort Snelling. You can engage in a historical reenactment of the way Independence Day would be celebrated in the nineteenth century on a military base. The celebration takes place from 10 AM to 5 PM, and it costs $11 for adults, $6 for children, and $9 for seniors. If you are a member of the Minnesota Historical Society, entry is free.

Party in the Park

Part of Rosefest, native to Roseville, Minnesota, Party in the Park is an event full of games, food, and music. The festivities last from 1 to 10 PM, when everyone will gather to view the fireworks above Bennett Lake.

Gather with your community to make this an exciting day for the whole family!




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Eagan, MN Housing Market

Schultz Lake, Eagan, MN

Schultz Lake, Eagan, MN


Eagan’s housing market is starting to show some promise! Sellers, you might not need to wait long if you decide to list your property. It hasn’t been taking long for homes to be snatched off the market. The amount of closed sales have gone up 30.4% this past May compared to May 2012. The median sales price has also jumped a full 38.9% this May. Furthermore, the time a home spends on the market has gone down to an average of 63 days, a 24.1% drop from May 2012. That means your home is not only worth more compared to last year, but it also has a better chance of being sold in a shorter time! It’s certainly worth investigating your options for putting your house on the market in the near future.

It might be more of a seller’s market in Eagan at the moment, but buyers, don’t give up! It’s certainly worth the effort to find a home in this community. Back in 2010, CNN ranked Eagan in the 15th slot out of 100 for its best places to live article. You’re close to the Cities, but you still have plenty of trees and greenery to take in. Definitely consider adding Eagan to your list of towns to check out.

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