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Welcome to West Central Minnesota! With over 1200 lakes, gently rolling hills and vibrant hometowns surrounded by farmland, there is a little something for every lifestyle. Contact us and we’ll help you find the perfect match.

Check back often- we continuously update this blog with community and real estate information to add to your lakes area lifestyle.

Buying a Home While Selling

buying a home while selling

It can be exiting to buy a new home. However, if you are trying to sell a home at the same time as buying it can be stressful, especially if money from your current home’s sale is needed to put toward your next home. However, with a little planning and working with a savvy real estate agent can ease the process for both of these transactions.

To keep your sanity intact, here are some tips to help you manage the process.

Should You Downsize Your Home?

downsizing

Many people find themselves downsizing, motivated by debt, an empty nest or retirement. However, determining how much smaller to go can be tricky.

Finance guru Dave Ramsey says the average family in America has “plenty of room to downsize their home without cramping their style.” According to the United States Census Bureau, Ramsey elaborates that in the 1950s, middle-income Americans homes were around 1,000 square feet or less, as opposed to today’s typically 2,600 square feet plus – new single-family home.

Where Are Mortgage Rates Headed in 2021?

Mortgage Rates

2020 was an odd year for the mortgage industry. Instead of a market crash due to the pandemic and economic turmoil, home prices and sales actually rose. At the beginning, low-interest rates, low unemployment, and rising rents drove the housing market up. As the pandemic wore on, people fleeing urban areas, or looking for more space to work from home, plus historically low interest rates kept demand for housing high. The important question is, where will interest rates go now?

Industry experts expect mortgage rates to rise in 2021. If you are not planning to buy or sell in the coming year, then hopefully you have refinanced, or will soon. We strongly encourage those thinking about selling to list now. There are still many people looking to buy, but the market will be changing. No one can predict with certainty how high mortgage interest rates will go or when, but four top experts weighing in with their thoughts and rationale, giving us a pretty good glimpse of where we are headed in 2021.

Build Your Financial Future, Even in a Pandemic

saving money

The global pandemic caught many of us unprepared, especially financially. Last year you may have been considering buying your first home, this year you’re wondering how to stay afloat. If you are still struggling with job loss, business reduction or other financial impacts, your mind may not be on how you can better insulate yourself financially in the future. 

Possibly the best time to create a financial mindset shift is while you are still feeling the money struggle. The right mindset can help you get you through this difficult period, be happier and help put you in a better financial position a year from now. Here are the basic steps.

Details About Mortgage Forbearance

mortgage forbearance

As the coronavirus pandemic continues and the economy furthers into disarray, more people are having financial difficulties including how to pay their monthly mortgage bill. As of October 2020, nearly 3 million Americans are in mortgage forbearance plans as according to data firm Black Knight. Forbearance may mean you can forgo some of your mortgage payments. Ed DeMarco, president of the Housing Policy Council (HPC) says, “Forbearance is a normal tool in the toolkit, it’s been used with some regularity with natural disasters, or any temporary emergency which disrupts normal living and income.”

Buying or Selling Over Winter? This Year is Different

winter real estate

If you think nobody buys or sells a home in the winter, this year may surprise you. If you check the numbers, you’d find that a good chunk of home purchases are done during the coldest months of the year. This year, because of low inventory and record low interest rates, homes are still getting bought and sold despite icy roads and snow-covered roofs.

In fact, if you are a numbers guy or gal, almost a million homes were sold in the U.S. last winter between December 2018 and February 2019. This year, industry experts expect winter home sales to be even greater. Sure, more homes are sold in the summer months. But, if you’re wondering if you should put off buying or selling a home until spring, why wait? You may be surprised to learn that there are actually advantages to buying or selling while Jack Frost is nipping at your nose.

What are the advantages? You’re about to find out!

How to Save, Budget and Manage Debt

saving money

Financial issues are a great concern to many people right now. Whether you have concerns about losing a job or other source of income, or just want to plan for the future in uncertain times, these money management tips can help.

Land of (more than) 10,000 Lakes

Itasca State Park

Whether you are new to the area, or are a long time resident, there is a lot to love and learn about the history of lakes country. Otter Tail County, and the surrounding communities, are immersed in beautiful streams, rivers and lakes. We are also the gateway to even more recreational areas. From our home base, you could create a lifetime of memorable recreational experiences, all within driving distance. This includes some of the most unspoiled wilderness on the planet.

The 4 Biggest Mistakes First Time Home Buyers Make (and how to avoid them!)

new home owners

Searching for homes to buy in Fergus Falls, Otter Tail County or the surrounding communities in West Central Minnesota can be hard.  For one thing- there’s a lot of ground to cover! But these tips can make it a lot easier for house hunters in the central lakes area.  Also by calling a REALTOR at with our Homes and Lakeshore team, we will help you avoid all the mistakes many homes buyers make.

If you’ve never been through the home buying process before, it can be easy to make missteps or to get caught up in small details that really don’t make much difference. With that in mind, we’re here to help. We’ve pointed out four of the most common house hunting mistakes, as well as how to avoid them. 

How to Be Less Stressed When Moving Cross Country

moving cross country

Moving to a totally different environment from what you are used to opens up a wealth of opportunities for new experiences and growth. But if the actual moving cross-country part has got you a little anxious, there is some smart preparation that will help the transition go smoothly.

Here are 5 things you can do to prepare for a big move so that the experience is uplifting, with perhaps a bit less heavy lifting.