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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 Best Use of Time (and Money) When Fixing to Sell

In the current sellers’ market, many homeowners wonder what, if anything, needs to be remodeled before they list their house. That’s where a trusted real estate professional comes in. We can help you think through today’s market conditions and how they impact what you should – and shouldn’t – renovate before selling.

Here are some considerations we will guide you through:

Sold Your Home? Downsizer’s Guide to Stress-Free Moving

downsizing

Moving to a new home is an exciting time, but it is also a monumental task that can leave you feeling overwhelmed. This is especially true when downsizing. What others may see as clutter is your life lived as you remember it. We’ve put together a few simple strategies to help you get moving, and take some memories along with you.

What is Up with the Crazy Lumber Prices?

lumberprices

If you are in the market for any type of wood—from plywood or sheeting to standard 2x4s, be prepared for a massive sticker shock. U.S. lumber futures contracts for May 2021 delivery were priced at $1,645 per 1,000 board feet, about 60% higher than they were a month ago and 374% above the $347 contract price average in May 2020. This marks the fastest rise since the housing boom that followed World War II.

With a shortage of inventory of homes for sale in pretty much every U.S. market, the construction industry had risen. But with lumber prices soaring, starts are well below their previous highs.

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.