Barker and Hedges Real Estate Blog

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...

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...

How to Protect Your Twin Cities Home from Winter Damage

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Winter weather is a double-edged sword. Snow provides opportunities for us to enjoy ourselves, but it can also cause problems in and around our homes.

Ice dams are sheets of ice that form on the roof due to heat loss from the inside of your home. If left untreated, they can cause water to back up under the roof shingles. This water can then enter your home through your ceiling or exterior wall cavity and cause some serious problems for you down the road.

What is the best way to prevent an ice dam from forming? Well, the best way is to see if there is an ice buildup on the outside of the home. If there is ice buildup around gutters and there are icicles forming, it might be an indication that there is heat loss which is melting snow and causing water to run. Preventative maintenance is necessary to ensure that you have no major problems with ice dams. All you need to do is strap on some boots and walk around your home from time to time.

If you aren't sure whether you have...