Saint Paul Announces Plan for Ford Site Development

15360719 - excavator machine sillhouette ilustratitionThe city of Saint Paul has made a big step in the development of the Ford Plant site in Highland Park: the announcement of a single draft plan in the development of the new riverfront community.

Ten years of planning, a dozen studies, and community meetings have gone into the development of the plan. A master developer may be selected by 2018.

Some highlights from the plan:

  • “It will have a neighborhood feel,” said city planner Merritt Clapp-Smith
  • There will be six districts, and all but one “gateway district” in the northwest corner will feature a mixture of housing and business development. “Heights would ‘step up’ from the Mississippi River on the west, and get taller moving east,” writes the Pioneer Press (St. Paul just took a big step in the future look of redeveloped Ford plant, November 14).
  • There will be a district dominated by condos in two-story, mansion-style buildings; another primarily composed of townhomes, condos and apartments; and another featuring multifamily housing ranging in height from four to 10 stories wrapped around retail.”
  • Many questions have arisen around traffic and parking concerns. “The goal is 4,000 new housing units, with a maximum of 1.5 parking spaces per unit. Shared parking ramps, small parking lots for 20 vehicles or fewer, and limited on-street parking are key features.”
  • The area promises to be green-friendly, including bike paths, car sharing, electric vehicle ports, and LED lighting designed to not block out the night sky.
  • A central stormwater feature will run north to south, with “‘a series of interesting and attractive spaces across the site.’ What begins to the north as a scenic stream could culminate in a pond at the south end that would be used for winter skating, and a connection to Hidden Falls Regional Park.”
  • Plans call for a new traffic connection between Cretin Ave and Montreal Ave to reduce pressure on Ford Parkway.
  • The next Ford site meeting is scheduled for November 21 at 7 p.m. at Lumen Christi Catholic Church. It will focus on transportation and traffic.

Copyright: vule / 123RF Stock Photo

Highland Park October Market Snapshot

Highland Park Real Estate Snapshot
Closed Sales October 2016: 388 (up 14.8%)
Average Sale Price October 2016: $321,937 (up 6.4%)
Median Days on Market October 2016: 27 (down 28.9%)
Average Percent of Original Sales Price October 2016: 97.9% (up 1.6%)

For a Market Snapshot of any area or a Market Analysis of your home, call 651-434-7887 or email RLGrossman@cbburnet.com

Grossman Group Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Burnet – Highland Park
Lic in MN

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Why Buy or Sell a House in the Fall?

house-in-fallSpring is typically known as the most common time to buy or sell real estate. But with its beautiful colors, picturesque views of homes and the chill of winter coming soon behind, fall can be a wonderful time to buy or sell. Why?

1. Less Competition

“The spring market is hot,” many people will say, assuming that since most homes are on the market in the spring, that means it is the best time to list their home. However, more houses on the market can mean your home gets lost in the mix. With less competition in the fall, your house will get more attention, and command a higher price. Similarly, a buyer in the fall will find less competition from other buyers for the home of their dreams. “Fall homebuyers should consider [making] lowball offers, followed by more aggressive negotiation,” according to Time Money and Brian Davis, a real estate investor and director of education at Spark Rental. That aggressive negotiation will help both buyer and seller to meet their needs.

You will also find, in the fall season, that you are the center of attention to other providers: for instance, your loan officer, service providers, title companies, and others, meaning your needs and questions get met quickly.

2. Fall Buyers and Sellers are Serious

Real estate doesn’t happen only in the spring, it happens at all times of year. Maybe a seller had a home built over the summer and now needs to sell their current home, as Time Money writes. Buyers and sellers might be most interested in moving before the holidays and school’s winter break. For whatever reason, fall buyers and sellers are typically very motivated and serious. Says Sam Heskel, president of Nadlan Valuation, an appraisal management company in Brooklyn, NY: “that means sellers could be more open to negotiating and accepting a lower offer.” Or buyers open to offering more.

3. Fall Buyers and Sellers are Worn Out

The buyer that spent their spring (and summer) with the list of “musts” for their perfect home have now seen a plethora of houses, and are likely to be more realistic to homes with imperfections and opportunities. Likewise, sellers who set their sights and prices high early on are now most likely to have reasonable expectations and possibly even reduced prices, writes Time Money.

4. Take Advantage of Tax Breaks

According to Time Money:

First-time homebuyers, take note: Although you can’t escape paying income tax, you can make a dent in what you owe when you become a homeowner. “Property tax and mortgage interest are both deductions you can take for your whole year’s worth of income, even if you closed on your home in December,” says David Hryck, a New York, NY tax adviser, lawyer, and personal finance expert. “Any payments that are made prior to the closing of the loan are tax-deductible. This can make a serious difference in the amount you owe the government at the end of the year.”

Discuss with your loan officer the tax and financial advantages of a fall purchase.

5. Take Advantage of Year-End Sales to Outfit Your Home

Whether your home is listed for sale, or you’re a new buyer looking to buy in the fall, there are a number of year end sales to take advantage of, including (but not limited to) Black Friday and Holiday sales. According to Consumer Reports, as Time writes, appliances and kitchenware are most affordable in November.

There is an old adage that says, “the best time to buy or sell a home is when you need to.”  And the best people to have on your side are the friendly and experienced team of the Grossman Group. Call us today at (651) 434-7887 or email RLGrossman@CBBurnet.Com to discuss your needs for buying, selling, or preparing for spring.

The Grossman Group

Coldwell Banker Burnet, Highland Park

Licensed in Minnesota

Photo provided by 123rf.com.

The Spring Market has Kicked Off, with Twin Cities Housing Availability at a 10-year Low

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2077 Scheffer: Sold in 3 Days

The real estate spring market has kicked off with record short supply, according to a number of media outlets. “Presidents Day weekend is traditionally seen by real estate agents and homebuilders as the start of the spring housing market — the busiest time of year for home sales. The number of listings always rises, and it will this year as well, but inventory is already so low to begin with that even the new listings will not be nearly enough,” reports CNBC.

The national trend is true locally as well. On Tuesday, a report from the Saint Thomas Real Estate Program has demonstrated that the availability of Twin Cities housing has hit a 10 year low. Additionally, the metro median home price was $215, 000 at year end in 2015, 10.4 percent higher than January 2014.

Says Judy Shields, President of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors: “I think there is extra buying pressure right now. There’s a lot of people out there looking and not a lot available, so it just magnifies the problem.”

While promising news for sellers, this is not to discourage buyers. Preparation is the key to winning a dream home. Says Herb Tousley, Director of the University of St. Thomas Real Estate Program, “if you are looking for a home, be ready,” Tousley said. “Get your financing pre-approved. If you find something you like a lot in a good neighborhood be ready to act on it right away.”

Shields and Tousley cite, as reasons for high demand and low supply:

  • the concern of increased interest rates,
  • people looking to buy rather than rent, and
  • businesses recruiting out of state talent.

Mortgage Rates Approach Record Low

The average rate on a 30 year fixed mortgage is in freefall, reports CNBC, despite the recent minor hike in interest rates. They explain: “Mortgage rates are falling because investors are flooding the U.S. bond market. Mortgage rates follow the yield on bonds that loosely follow the 10-year Treasury. Investors are buying bonds as a safety play in a highly volatile and largely negative stock market. Signs of weakness in the U.S. economy, in addition to trouble in overseas markets, pushed the yield on the 10-year Treasury to its lowest level since 2012, and mortgage rates followed south.”

“…investors are looking for safe havens as global stock markets and oil prices nosedive,” writes Lorraine Woellert, contributor to Forbes. “Money is pouring into Treasury bonds and other safe investments, which helps drive down mortgage rates.”

Companies Flocking to the Heart of the Twin Cities

Companies, not just residents, are flocking to the urban hearts of the Twin Cities, reports the Minnesota Real Estate Journal.  Both residents and tenants are drawn to live-work-play areas, like the one expected to come to the Ford Plant site in Highland Park, Saint Paul.  “Tenants are focused today on downtown CBDs or suburban markets that have a lot of amenities. They are going after these live-work-play environments. There is a lot of that in downtown [Minneapolis/St. Paul], so companies are migrating toward that market. They want to attract the best employees, and to do that they need a presence in the downtown.”

1731 Eleanor Featured in the Star Tribune

1731 Eleanor-wide

The Grossman Group is proud to announce that the Star Tribune reached out to us this week to spotlight our listing AT 1731 Eleanor Avenue in their Sunday edition for print February 21, 2016! This home is beautiful and highlights the type of charm that Highland Park homes can offer. We will be holding an open house there today, Sunday February 21 from noon-2pm. Stop on by and check out this wonderful home.

See the feature article here!

In Cold Weather – A Hot Market

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The Grossman Group’s listing at 1836 Wordsworth Avenue in Highland Park has now been sold (sale pending) in under a week. As previously mentioned, we are seeing a lot of activity and interest in our listing on 2077 Scheffer Avenue, also in Highland Park, in this past week. Inventory is low, reducing the competition, and sales prices are high. The market, especially in our local area, is booming, despite the cold weather and snow. Like the groundhogs, we’re seeing signs of an early spring!

Here are some of the factors contributing to the hot market in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and Highland Park.

Minnesota’s economy is booming, fueling relocation to the area and higher sales prices

Gallup’s annual job creation report has ranked Minnesota number one in the nation for job creation, and recently, CNBC ranked Minnesota best in the nation for business. (Kare11, January 31). Last August, Forbes ranked Minnesota the fastest growing state for technology jobs. Says Charlie Weaver, executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership, “The business outlook in Minnesota for 2016 is pretty strong because we are blessed with several large corporations, a lot of different industries.” Currently, he reported, Minnesota has more jobs than employees, making Minnesota a hotbed for relocation.

Economists predict further growth in housing

Economists see more growth for US economy and housing in 2016, reports the Star Tribune (January 19). Says David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, “There are a number of positive indicators out there that make me believe … this will be a good year for the economy and for housing. Not only is housing finally driving some of that, housing is finally moving at a much faster pace than the economy.”

With today’s announcement that unemployment has fallen below 5% with wages rising, (New York Times, February 5) we will continue to see gains in the housing market as buyers have more to spend and take advantage of historically low mortgage rates. Says Diane Swonk, an independent economist in Chicago, “We are likely to have to two rate hikes this year, probably in June and December, but the wage gains are important, so March can’t be ruled out.”

Twin Cities home sales activity has hit a 10 year high

Reports the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal (January 20). The number of homes sold in the Twin Cities is up 13.7% from 2014, and the median sales price increased by 7%. “As sales hit a 10-year high,” said Judy Shields, President of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, “Attractive rates, rising rents, job growth, wage increases and the lowest unemployment rate of any major metro area will continue to be positive factors for real estate.”

2015 ended with the highest existing home sales since 2006, reports Forbes and the Star Tribune (January 22). “Sales of previously-owned homes surged 14.7% in December in the largest monthly increase the National Association of Realtors has ever recorded, the trade group said Friday.

Thanks to the robust finish, 2015 ended with 5.26 million existing-home sales, the highest figure since 2006, when annual sales were 6.48 million… Existing-home sales prices have now increased on a year-over-year basis for 46 consecutive months.”

 

The Real Estate market is peaking

Reports the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal (February 5), according to a panel of experts at a forum hosted by the business journal. “The Twin Cities real estate market is peaking from an investment and expansion standpoint in almost every sector.”

In Pictures