Recent Real Estate News

Don't have a lot of time to write today, but I did see some interesting Twin Cities real estate news headlines in the Star Tribune that made me want to click on them. I thought you might want to click on them too.

According to the latest Standard and Poor's Case-Shiller home price index, local home prices in January took their steepest annual dive yet at, falling 20% while the number of residential construction permits issued locally in March fell to one of the lowest monthly totals on record.

That's bad news for sellers. The up shot is that due to foreclosure-related activity and a backlog of inventory, home buyers can benefit by taking advantage of low real estate prices in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and surrounding communities.  Stay tuned to future blog posts for the Barker & Hedges real estate market analysis for St. Paul and Minneapolis, which should be coming as soon as the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors publishes their 100+ list for the month of March.

Next, if you want a really great deal, and you don't mind having somewhat of a business relationship with your neighbors (and make less than $34,000 a year), you can move to the Nokoma building in the Stevens Square neighborhood of south Minneapolis.  It is is being converted into an affordable condo housing cooperative. In typical condominiums, residents own individual units and become members of a homeowners association which pays for improvements and operating expenses through homeowners' fees. In a co-op such as the Nokoma, each resident owns a share of a corporation that owns and maintains the entire building and collectively shares expenses. Residents begin moving in June 1.

Finally, this one is a little older, but it must be interesting to more people than just myself because I keep seeing it pop up in different places on the Star Tribune site. What would you do if you bought a house and then found out after you moved in that a terrible tragedy had taken place there? A couple in Blaine is now suing their real estate agent after finding out a murder had happened at their home in the past. The case raises questions about what real estate agents and sellers have to reveal.
In general, real estate agents and sellers should disclose to prospective buyers if a murder has taken place on the property, experts say.

"There are some exemptions, but murder isn't one of them," said Chris Galler, chief operating officer for Minnesota Association of Realtors. "If a licensee is aware of a murder and the seller is aware, they both have an obligation."
I'm not sure how I would feel about moving into a house with such a tragic past, but if you look into the history of any home of a certain age and odds are varying degrees of terrible things have happened in most of them. On the one hand, counting out those with unfortunate pasts could drastically limit the homes one might consider. On the other hand, I personally would like to know those aspects of a house's history.

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