It's summer in Minnesota! The sun is shining, the rivers are flowing and
the winds of sustainable change are blowing throughout Minnesota. Read
about how local communities are working towards creating a more
Edina's new public
works building, which formally opened this spring, was built with
sustainability in mind. It has geothermal heating and cooling and used
recycled materials and its landscape was designed to minimize the
development's impact on the environment. A rain garden holds and
infiltrates water from sloping parking lots. Native grasses and plants
are growing in "no-mow" areas between the sidewalk and the parking lot.
Once they're mature, those native plantings should need little care.
Unfortunately, not everyone knows how these native areas work or how
much money they can save when it comes to caring for public lands and
some people are complaining about their appearance as they become
Pending home sales initiated in June within the Twin Cities area were among the highest in nearly five years. Buyers may be taking advantage of low prices and near-record low mortgage interest rates before they start to climb.
The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors reports that though there are some good signs occurring in the local Twin Cities residential real estate market, there's still a ways to go. Though pending sales rose in June, closed sales fell 11.4% compared with a year ago. The median sale prices fell 9.3% from a year ago to $165,000. That is still better than March's low of $140,000.
It's unclear whether the latest uptick in buying activity is a blip or a sign of a sustained recovery, given an economy still struggling to gain traction and the extent of the foreclosure crisis still unknown. Stable employment, strong rent prices and relatively low foreclosure rates suggest that the market has seen the worst, said Herb Tousley, director of the Shenehon...
People who live in St. Louis Park are really happy with their city
compared to the ratings people in other Minnesota locations give their
A citywide survey conducted this spring "took the
temperature" of St. Louis Park residents. The poll was part of a city
effort to track trends and check priorities. Mayor Jeff Jacobs and City
Manager Tom Harmening were pleased with the results.
And they had plenty of reason to be. Survey firm Decision Resources
told St. Louis Park officials that the ratings they found are among the
highest they have seen in the many Twin Cities communities they have
surveyed. A resounding 97% of residents rated the quality of life in St.
Louis Park MN as excellent or good. About 95% of polled residents said
they feel safe. About 89% rated city services as excellent or good. Only 4% of residents said they anticipated moving in the
next five years.
When asked what...
Homeowners that have loans received with the assistance of the Federal Housing Administration could have some relief in the case that they become unemployed. Loan servicers collecting payments on FHA-backed loans will now be required to allow qualified unemployed borrowers to miss up to 12 months of mortgage payments before beginning foreclosure proceedings.
The FHA's current three to four months of required unemployment forbearance is "inadequate for the majority of unemployed borrowers," Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan said in announcing the change.
"Today, 60 percent of the unemployed have been out of work for more than three months and 45 percent have been out of work for more than six," Donovan said. "Providing the option for a year of forbearance will give struggling homeowners a substantially greater chance of finding employment before they lose their home."
Although not all borrowers will qualify for the special...