Jacqueline Knauf and the JAM Team at RE/MAX Results specialize in professional services for buyers and sellers in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding suburbs. From the initial consultation to after closing, they are committed to providing the service and results you deserve.
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Jumbo Loans and Luxury Homes
Expensive homes come with expensive mortgages. Lenders have developed large specialized loans known as "jumbo loans" that allow borrowers to borrow more. The luxury home market is continuing to rise, so naturally, the jumbo loan market is following. According to the National Association of Realtors, sales of homes worth between $750,000 and $1 million are up 38.7% since last year. Homes selling for over $1 million has gone up 25.7%
Interest rates of these jumbo loans have been creeping closer and closer to the rates of ordinary loans, some jumbo's interest rates have been just as good as the average priced loans. This is one of the main reasons we are seeing a boom in jumbo's. The rates have been able to decrease because only the most qualified buyers are being approved for such a large amount of borrowed money.
Written by: Brad Novy
Many large corporations aren't fooling around this April 1st of 2013. Google came out with a few new apps, one being the smell search feature called Google Nose. Google also dropped a new version of Maps called Treasure mode. Among the other jokers, Sony revealed its new "Animalia" electronics line. It features cat friendly headphones, dog paw friendly TV remotes, and a hamster wheel with its own home theater system! Click here for an extended list of April fools spoofs!
I had an experience a couple of weekend ago I wanted to share. My husband saw a commercial for a steam-pot of seafood. As soon as our daughter woke up from her nap, we were off to Joe's Crab Shack. We hadn't eaten there before but obviously the commercial had done its job and we arrived hungry for a big bucket of seafood. We made our order, put our bibs on and were eagerly awaiting our meal when a couple arrived. They were seated in the adjacent booth much to the interest of our two year old; she used her booster seat to stand up and peer over at them. The friendly server stopped by but before she could great them, the customer loudly announced, "I do not like seafood!" My husband and I locked eyes and stifled our laughs. I am sure the server was thinking, "Lady, you walked into the wrong place," but instead she politely pointed out the Out of Water and Shore to Please sections of the menu. Okay, crisis adverted... or so we thought. When her rib-eye was delivered, she promptly complained and the server had to call in the manager for reinforcements.
Bidding In Multiple Offers: The Smart Way
Most real estate markets are picking up and the Minneapolis market is no exception. The housing affordability index is high and home buyers have been waiting to jump into action. With the shortage of good inventory however, there are more buyers than suitable properties, and we are seeing some multiple offer situations.
Multiple offer situations can cause buyers to make hasty and sometimes irrational decisions. The first piece of advice for buyers is to relax, take a deep breathe, and don't worry too much about the other offers. There will be some competition for the house, don't let it pressure you into making an offer, especially if you're not ready. You might find that you will have to write an offer sooner than you thought. If you are comfortable with the house and the situation, move forward.
Only pay what the house is worth to you, and only pay what you are comfortable paying. You don't know what the other offer or offers may be, they could all be "low ball" offers! There are many different scenarios that could happen and you may be the most attractive offer for many different reasons. Focus on the negotiation of your offer, don't worry about the other buyers, you aren't working with them, you are working with the selling agent. If you are serious about the house, put your best foot forward with your earnest money deposit. It shows the buyers you mean business!
Final piece of advice. If you finally find the house you have been looking for and you have to compete with other buyers, you don't want to have any regrets. Would you like to find out that you missed by $500 dollars? would you have paid $1000 more to get it? If you don't end up with the house, at least you know that you gave it your best effort.
Written by: Brad Novy
Attitudes, Seafood and the Cupid Shuffle
As this scenario played out, I realized how expectations and attitudes affect our experiences. This place is fairly transparent by using the words Crab and Shack in the name. If you desire a bucket of seafood like we did, you have found the place. Fitting for a place touting itself as a shack, they use a roll of brown paper towels as napkins; this is not a fine dining experience but they do offer live dancing by the servers for your entertainment.
This customer walked in hating seafood and nothing the server could do would make this lady's experience enjoyable. There is an Olive Garden across the parking lot and many other restaurants within the immediate area. She not only made the choice to walk in the crab shack but she actively made her next hour miserable and ruined the time for her dinner guest, the server and anyone within ear shot.
I hope more people choose to accept each situation for what it is and approach experiences with a good attitude. Its amazing how much fun you can have with melted butter dripping off your chin watching your daughter clap along to the waitresses doing the Cupid Shuffle. Even if you aren't willing to have a good time, remember everything you do affects other people and at any time some little eyes may be peering over at you. This is a good lesson for me to keep in mind- maybe a good attitude can make my spring cleaning fun!
Is It Spring Yet!?
Does this Minnesota winter seem longer than normal? Well that's because it has been! The average temperature for this time of year in Minneapolis is in the mid fifties! This drawn out cold weather is not slowing down home buyers though! Spring is one of the busiest times of the year for home buying activity, the low inventory levels are driving some competition in the marketplace! If you are buying a house, you might find yourself in a multiple offer situation!
The weather forecasts another snow fall this weekend, but it may be mother nature's last hurrah for winter. Everyday it seems that the snow is melting away, soon we will see the brown grass turn green, leaves forming on the trees, and the ice melting on the lakes.
Before you buy or sell a house, make sure you have done your research, and have consulted with a professional. This Spring will be very busy and it's important that you are prepared to move fast in today's market!
If I Didn't Sell Homes, I Would......
Anyone that talks to me knows that I love my job but growing up I had a few dream occupations that may surprise you. I actually still possess a little book from my school years that had a picture of me from each grade and a place where I could fill in information like the names of my friends and activities. Some of the plans that I carefully wrote in the book for my future occupation included being the President, a ballerina, ballet teacher, detective (like Nancy Drew) and a flight attendant.
Having a daughter that is quickly growing up before my eyes really leads me to reflect on things like what I dreamed of as a child. My daughter has her whole life ahead of her and her own dreams to fulfill. Overall, I feel like all of the dream jobs I selected as a schoolgirl are a part of my who I am now. I no longer have any political aspirations but I enjoy my role leading my team at RE/MAX. I dedicated many years dancing and am now satisfied dancing with Aurelia around the house. I still love books filled with mysteries and detectives. Being able to travel and see new places was the draw to be a flight attendant and I hope to continue to explore the world throughout my life.
As an adult, I secretly wish I were a comedian. I love listening to comedy on Pandora while I drive and my perfect night out is going to a live comedy show. I don't think anyone would describe me as being particularly funny but luckily my daughter thinks I am hilarious. Nothing is better than hearing her sparkling belly laugh and seeing her face crunch up while she laughs at me. You may never see me on stage doing live comedy but to at least one person, I am a comedian!
Apple Valley Home and Garden Show
There will be a Home and Garden show on Saturday, April 6th! This event will feature over 100 vendors from the area, representing many different companies and proffessions. Also, there will be animals from the MN Zoo, plenty of activities for the kids, free ice cream, and free seminars! Come to this Home and Garden show for free, no addmission charge! For more information about this event click here.
Parade Of Homes!
Have you ever been to the Parade Of Homes? If you have, you are probably just as excited as I am right now! If you have never participated in the parade of homes, you are missing out, and you need to mark a day on your calendar and go to the parade!
The Parade Of Homes is an event that spans from March 2nd to the 24th. During this time, home builders throughout the Twin Cities will have their model homes open to view! All newly built model homes are open Thursday - Sunday from noon to 6pm. The Parade Of Homes also features remodeled homes. These will be open on Friday from 1pm - 7pm and Sat/Sun from noon to 6pm.
Look at different types of homes made by all of the different builders. Shop for your next home! Check out the different areas of the metro. Discover trending styles and decor. Make it a cheap date!
Ready to get started? Grab a directory for the parade, you can find them at any Holiday Stationstore! What are you waiting for!? Get out there and check out some homes! More info here
Robots In Real Estate?
The world is constantly being changed by technology, the iPad is becoming a must for real estate agents. Could robots be the next must? A recent article from inman news showcased five ways that robots could change the real estate business.
The first showcased robot is a telepresence robot made by Double Robotics. This robot basically allows you to be in two places at one time! It requires two iPads, one mounted to the robot, and the other in your hands. It features a remotely adjustable neck height so you can remain at eye level when having conversations. This model is available for just $1,999!
Next, we have Romo. Romo can be an extra hand around the office, and it can help take photos!
Another Robot will enable Realtors to take pictures from up above without the use of a ladder. The AR.Drone 2.0 is a flying drone that can record video and take pictures, all while being controlled using your mobile device! Check out the article here.
What do you think about these devices? Could you see them being frequently used in the near future?
Low Inventory Means Higher Prices!
The number of new listings was down in 143 of 146 metro areas this January. The listings inventory fell to a six-year low according to a monthly report from Realtor.com. Supply is low, and with the economy coming back strong, home buyers who have been patiently waiting to buy, are now ready. Supply of homes is dropping, and the demand for homes is rising. That means one thing, higher prices!
Inventory is probably close to as low as it will go. With home prices going higher, we will start to see more listings as home owners are looking to sell and move up, that is good news for both home buyers and home sellers!
14th Annual Home and Leisure Show
March 15th and 16th marks the 14th annual Home and Leisure Show hosted by the Eagan Civic Arena! The show hours are Friday from 3-7 P.M. and Saturday 9A.M. to 3P.M. Over 80 Vendors will be there to showcase their products and services! Admission is free! So if you are looking for your next home related purchase, or you just want to get a feel for the latest trends, this is your event! for more details click here.
Apple Valley Market Update!
Changes in the real estate market are happening, and the recovery of the market is becoming more publicly known. Since last January, the inventory of available homes in the twin cities has gone down 32.2%! The recovering economy and low interest rates means more people are looking to buy houses, therefore, demand is rising. If you aren't sure why this is significant, it means that prices are rising! The median sales prices of homes in the twin cities has risen 14.3% since last January.
The Apple Valley real estate market is booming! The median sales price has risen 30.2% to $185,000 in the last year! Home owners are finding relief and peace of mind in this market turnaround. The average time on the market for a sale is under 100 days. This is all good news for people who are looking to sell their house. It is also good news for buyers, knowing that the market will more than likely put them in a good position for a quick gain in equity. Click here for a more detailed look into the Twin Cities market.
The Minneapolis Association of Realtors website offers a very unique tool to help people learn about the real estate market of the twin cities. This tool is great for everyone from home buyers and home sellers, to real estate investors, to individuals who just want to learn more about the market. This tool is appropriately called, "The Thing".
"The Thing" lets you search for information on any part of the metro area you wish. It really has every metric you could think of. Click
here to learn more about the real estate market using "The Thing"
Summer Is Just Around The Corner!
An early spring means an early summer! That means it's time to start thinking about the water again! District 196 Community Education is offering swimming lessons and competitive swimming classes for all ages. They offer caring and dedicated Red-Cross trained instructors in order to offer you and your children the best possible service in a friendly environment. Click here for more information about District 196 Community Education swimming lessons.
District 196 also offers open swim events scheduled until the end of march! These open swim events are going to be located either at Scott Highlands Middle School or Black Hawk Middle School. For more information and specific times click here.
Are you an advanced swimmer? District 196 has a class for that as well! They offer training for grades 3 and up who are interested in competitive swimming. Adult fitness classes are available as well triathlon training! If you would like more information on competitive swimming click here.
HomeFinder.com joins RE/MAX's vendor network.
RE/MAX has included HomeFinder.com into it's approved supplier program, which gives all of its 90,000 agents access to the vendor's marketing platform. HomeFinder.com has been a very successful real estate listing and marketing company for quite some time, and RE/MAX knows that this is a good move. Around 90 percent of home buyers start their search online, so this partnership will give RE/MAX's associates a greater web presence, which in turn will help them provide a higher level of customer service.
Are the mortgage rates as low as they will go?
Mortgage rates have risen very slightly for three out of the past four weeks. It has been two months since we have seen the lowest recorded rates of 3.31 percent for the average 30-year fixed-rate loan.
Frank Nothaft, (Chief Economist for Freddie Mac) seems to think that the all- time low rates may be behind us. Nothaft foresees the rates to climb up to 3.75 percent by years end, and move to above 4 percent the next year.
The rates will still be very favorable for new home buyers for a while, however, home owners exploring the option of a re-finance shouldn't wait around too much longer if they want to lock in with these historically low rates. As the economy shapes up, rising rates are a natural occurrence. They will fluctuate a little, but the days of 3.31 percent may be gone.