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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.

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.

Just bought a House? Great, Now Make it Your Home

empty home

One positive byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic is incredibly low mortgage interest rates. For those that are able, this has made an incredible opportunity to buy a new home. As evidenced in West Central Minnesota, listings that are priced right are being snapped up almost as soon as they hit the market. If you just purchased a home, congratulations on taking this big step! Whether it’s your first one or the next landing spot on your journey, you have a new opportunity to design the perfect tropical living space for you and those sharing your household.

There is something about an empty house that is like a blank canvas about to come to life. With a little planning, inspiration and a splash of color, your home will soon be a vibrant masterpiece.

Can’t wait to get started? Here are 6 tips to customize your space, starting before you move in!

How Will Unemployment Affect You Buying a House?

trouble getting a mortgage

Perhaps you were planning on buying a house this year. Then a global pandemic hit, shuttering businesses and causing layoffs across the country. If you are one of the newly unemployed, you are not alone. According to PEW Research, unemployment ranks swelled by more than 14 million due to COVID-19. While it is generally more difficult to qualify for a home loan while you’re unemployed, there are steps to take to get back on track.

A mortgage lender will look for proof that you are able to make monthly loan payments, and will look at your current income sources and credit score.

Top 10 Tips to Arrange Furniture Like a Pro!

furniture layout

Ever wonder how designers seem to effortlessly pull together a stylish and functional room? Years of practice does help, but with a few simple steps, you too can plan and arrange your furniture layout like a pro!

A good furniture layout is not only important for a nicely designed room. Proper arrangement helps traffic flow, defines spaces to a purpose and give them a focal point.

So, whether you’re staging to sell your home, or planning the layout of a new nest, get out a measuring tape, paper and pencil and get ready for an appealing room design.

Wondering if You Qualify for a Mortgage but are Afraid to Ask?

first time homebuyer

You’ve been working steadily, built up good credit and even managed to put some savings away. So now you might wonder if you could finance a home purchase. You’re not alone. Most Americans— over 79 percent recently surveyed by Bankrate.com—still believe that owning a home is a vital component of achieving the American dream.

If you have not yet been through the mortgage process, it’s a little daunting to see if you qualify. With this simple guide, you can calculate a few answers ahead of time- or fix problems- before talking to a lender.

Quarantine DIY Projects When You Plan to Sell

DIY home repairs

Whether your home is already on the market or if you are planning to do so in the future, being in quarantine presents an ideal time to tackle simple DIY projects. Improving your home can significantly increase the value of your property and can sometimes result in a quicker sale. The work does not have to be difficult or costly. Clear out, spruce up and maximize spaces to create the most appeal. You can still make a trip to your favorite big box store for supplies, using appropriate safety precautions and social distancing. Make a list of supplies for all projects to limit shopping trips.

Being active, even if it is just around the house and yard, is a great way to beat the boredom of quarantine. Here are the best activities those planning to sell can work on at home. Don’t forget to enlist your home team- kids or others in the household. Put on some fun music and have some snacks ready, ‘cause you are going to crank up the DIY energy!

Don’t Put Off Buying or Refinancing

Refinance now

While we are sensitive to the nation being gripped by COVID-19, the pandemic has created a unique opportunity for those who have a need and are still financially able to buy a home or refinance an existing mortgage. Mortgage rates are at an all-time low, competition may have eased in some neighborhoods, and prices have steadied. And, the major portion of these transactions can be done over the phone and internet, with safe distancing and hygiene protocols when it is necessary to meet in person. Since these occasional meetings involve few people, enhanced health precautions are easier to practice.

How about lower than market fees too, when purchasing or refinancing? You can save a bundle with Keller Williams own Zero-Plus Financing!

Navigating an Active Real Estate Market During Coronavirus

social distancing

Other sectors of business have slowed down due to COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus, but the U.S. real estate market is still strong, spurred in part by historically low mortgage interest rates.

While Otter Tail County has been diligently combating COVID-19, we are also monitoring the situation closely. We are operating under an abundance of caution for the health and safety of buyers, sellers and our staff.

We’ve always provided safe and clean office environments for our clients and we remain committed to upholding the highest standards of cleanliness so you can feel at ease when you visit us at the office. Plus, there is enough room for us to spread out and practice social distancing when we do meet.

Are Open Floor Plans Still Popular?

open floor plan

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Open vs Closed Floor Plans before Building or Remodeling For the last two decades, open-concept floor plans have been a dominant architectural trend. This concept generally joins a kitchen, dining area and living room into a large open space without dividing walls.  Knocking down walls to an open, multipurpose … Continued