Top Three Reasons to Feel Good About Buying a Home in the Twin Cities

It doesn’t happen very often where, in a compact period of time, I see a wealth of reliable data released that shed such sunny light on the decision to buy a home in the Twin Cities but lately that has been the case.  If you’ve been contemplating such a decision, here are 3 great reasons to feel good about your decision and its timing in ascending order. Reason 3: CNBC Ranks Minnesota as a Top State for Business. CNBC’s announcement may seem boring, and it definitely is, but from the perspective of a homebuyer or homeowner, it’s critical.  This is …

Twin Cities Off-Leash Dog Parks – My Dog Blog

If you’re a dog lover like we are, you don’t consider a move without contemplating neighborhood amenities for your dog. In considerations for a move recently, one of us had a bit of a time trying to locate most of the off-leash dog parks in the twin cities metro area.  After collecting some information we thought we’d share. Remember that some of these parks require passes, dog licensure and all have rules so be sure to do your research!  Most cities have some kind of requirements but here are Saint Paul and Minneapolis dog requirements: Minneapolis: Purchase Off-Leash Permit Online …

Before You Shop for a Condo, Pre-Qualify Your Lender First

If you’re a FHA buyer shopping for a condo, you’d better pre-qualify your lender first. If you’re listing a condo and a buyer gives you a FHA pre-approval letter, you’d better pre-approve that lender first. Because Spot Approvals are a thing of the past, it’s important to know which of the two remaining FHA condo approval processes your lender will be using: Direct Endorsement Lender Review and Approval Process (DELRAP) or HUD Review and Approval Process (HRAP) as outlined in MORTGAGEE LETTER 2009-46 B. DELRAP is only available to lenders who have unconditional Direct Endorsement authority and staff with knowledge and …

What is a HO-6 Policy?

An HO-6 policy is insurance covering the interior of a condominium.  In most cases, the association’s master policy does not cover the interior and only applies to common areas.  By “interior” we mean: carpet, cabinets, drywall, fixtures, and doors, upgrades, personal liability, and personal property. For this reason alone, an HO-6 can be well worth the low cost of $15-$30 per month.  But for many home buyers, an HO-6 policy is a precondition for underwriting approval.   Under the new lending rules, an HO-6 insurance policy must provide coverage for no less than 20% of the condominium unit’s appraised value.   A …

Minnesota Home Prices Headed for a Double Dip? – Don’t Believe the Hype

If you’ve been watching the evening news or reading what’s been coming off the press, you might be thinking that the sky is about to fall on Minnesota home prices. You’ll hear a lot of doom and gloom and a lot about the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. I assure you that the media will not do an adequate job of explaining what this does and more importantly does not mean to you as a Minnesotan. Since the great recession hit, metropolitan areas have increased in home values 3 percent from their lows. There were 5 major metropolitan areas that bucked …