Barker and Hedges Real Estate Blog

How Contingencies Protect Twin Cities Home Buyers


We wanted to take a minute to talk about real estate contingencies today. They are an important part of every real estate contract because they can help buyers protect themselves if problems come up after earnest money has gone into escrow.

There are two primary contingencies: for the inspection and for the financing. These are the two that we see come up in just about every transaction.

We typically start with the inspection contingency. The inspections usually take place in the first week after contract, and the buyer has the opportunity to say whether or not everything checked out and if they want to move forward. Sometimes after an inspection, buyers will ask the seller to make certain repairs or something may get renegotiated.

Then, we typically move into the second tier of contingencies, for the financing. Buyers need to be pre-approved in almost all situations to buy a property, and that’s because the seller will want assurance that the buyer actually has the means to buy the home.

After the inspection, things shift to the lender to do their due diligence with the buyer. This is when the appraisal takes...

Twin Cities Real Estate Market Update


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At the beginning of the year, we predicted that the Twin Cities real estate market would continue to improve throughout the year, and we’re seeing this improvement in real time with many of our sellers getting multiple offers on their homes within just a few days on the market.

...

The Importance of Staging in the Twin Cities

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Today we're at a beautiful new Twin Cities listing to tell you about the three main components to getting a home sold in today's environment: price, marketing, and staging. We're happy to be joined by Kristina Leone from Lionheart Staging to discuss the importance of home staging.

Staging is so important today, and that's what we want to focus on. Years ago, you could simply put a sign in the yard, but buyers have shifted since then...

1235 Knollwood Lane Mendota Heights MN

1235 Knollwood Lane Mendota Heights MNMinnesota is a place that is uniquely exceptional for modern and contemporary architecture, which is exactly what makes 1235 Knollwood Lane in Mendota Heights such a special opportunity for current home buyers browsing the local real estate market. The straight edges of modern architecture and the usually lightly-colored exteriors of such homes perfectly contrast with the dense forests and high concentration of dark evergreen trees that help define the Minnesota landscape, allowing for a setting you might more commonly find on a canvas rather than a real-life location right in the heart of the Twin Cities metro area.

New to the market, homes like 1235 Knollwood Lane don’t usually pop up for sale very often, especially in a city where traditional single-family homes tend to dominate the local housing market much more so than anything that’s modern or contemporary. Originally designed by Gerald Mazzara of Bloomington-based Design Group M, 1235 Knollwood Lane is a bold and dynamic home that features ample living space, a cul-de-sac lot in a quiet neighborhood, and the kind of interior layout most would expect from a chic modern residence...

How Should You Choose the Best Offer?


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Since our local housing marketplace currently favors sellers, home sales are likely to end up in a multiple offer situation. Today, we want to give advice to buyers on how to compete and thrive if they experience this.

Conventional wisdom tells us the highest offer is best. However, that’s not always the case. There are other factors that go into making a decision. Although price can make up for all these factors, it isn’t always the most powerful.


For instance,
the strength of the buyer’s...

Avoid Costly Water Problems in the Twin Cities


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We all know the phrase, “Spring showers bring May flowers.” Today, we’re focusing on avoiding costly water problems by getting your Twin Cities home ready for the spring. Here are some common mistakes we come across in the surrounding community, that could easily be avoided if you know about them ahead of time.

  1. There is not a strong enough drain-away from the home into the yard....

What Does a Seller’s Market in the Twin Cities Mean for You?

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What is a seller’s market, and how does it affect you as a seller or buyer? With the Twin Cities market currently in a strong seller’s market, it’s crucial you know exactly what it means for you. There are a few signs that a given market favors sellers:

  • Diminished inventory of homes for sale in the area.
  • ...

Should You Buy a New Home or a Resale Property?


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Today we want to speak to you about the difference between buying a new home and a resale property. Both have their pros and cons, and we want you to be informed about them.

A newly-constructed home is advantageous in the fact that you have control over the design and layout. You can build it just like you want, so long as you have the funds. You can reflect your own style, and not someone else's tastes. New homes often come with warranties that cover mechanical devices for two years and structural items for ten years.


New homes are often vastly more efficient when it comes to energy and insulation. Although they cost more upfront, you will see some energy savings over the long run as opposed to an older home.

However, this is not to say that older homes and resale properties aren't worth purchasing. They are often more affordable, but you don't have an input on the design. You can change the interior to a degree, but not like a newly constructed home.

Resale properties are often in more desirable locations, like the inner city. Newly-built homes are often located in suburban areas where more land is available. When it comes to architecture, nothing beats the charm of an old home. It's...

What Can You Expect from the Twin Cities Marketplace in 2016?


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Where is the Twin Cities market heading in 2016? Last year was another wonderful year in our market, but will this be a year of change? Today, we take a look at the numbers to find out!

Overall, 2015 was the best year in the Twin Cities market since 2005. Housing demand has reached a 10-year high, and home prices have fully recovered in most of the area. In 2015, the amount of closed sales increased by over 1%, median sales prices increased by 7%, and inventory was reduced by close to 18%. This is terrific news considering where the market was just a few years ago.


One of the trends that will continue this year is the low inventory -- there just is not a lot to choose from out there. This will likely result in suburban growth, as the low inventory drives people to the edges of the city. A lot of the new communities we see popping up are more walk-able than what we've seen in the past. There are more grocery stores, coffee shops, and dry cleaners nearby, which is indicative of these more walk-able urban communities.

Another thing we'll probably see continue to change is the condo and town-home market. It's starting to rebound from the hit it took during the downturn. The low inventory of single-family...

Test Your Twin Cities Home for Radon


The state of Minnesota now requires sellers to disclose any radon testing performed on their home and whether or not a mitigation system was recommended.
 Since radon is such a hot topic in the news, we're seeing more and more buyers request radon testing before they purchase a home.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that comes up from the ground. Radon is found in all areas of the country, but it's commonplace in Minnesota and Wisconsin due to the local soil and bedrock. About two in five homes in our area have elevated levels of radon! Yikes!

Radon is hazardous and causes lung cancer. In fact, it's the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind cigarettes. You absolutely should test your home for radon to find out if you have elevated radon levels.

If you do have elevated radon levels, you can install a mitigation system. The price depends...