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Michael Emery's Blog

By Michael Emery | Agent in Minneapolis, MN
  • The Bargain Bin

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Minneapolis, Home Buying in Minneapolis  |  April 18, 2012 2:59 PM  |  504 views  |  No comments


    Rarely do opportunities come up in the real estate market like this home in the desirable Kingfield neighborhood of Minneapolis. This 5 BR / 2BA home with 1800 square feet of living space on two floors will one day be the gem of the block. Inside is the original and unpainted oak trim, stairs and hardwood floors. Even the kitchen cabinets and clawfoot bathtub are original to this turn of the 20th century home.

    While some buyers might see this as a 'money pit', others can and did see this diamond in the rough as 'opportunity'. This home sold in TWO days for $69,000. Similar restored homes in this neighborhood are valued at over $300,000.

    Don't let opportunity slip away.
  • Lock 'Em Up!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Minneapolis, Remodel & Renovate in Minneapolis  |  March 19, 2012 11:44 AM  |  525 views  |  No comments


    The final step when buying a home is when the sellers or their agent hand the buyers the keys to their new castle.

    Ironically, those keys will probably be in the trash by the end of the day.

    Why? Because your new home needs a new set of door locks and deadbolts.

    So before you move even one box of stuff into your new home, you need to stop at the hardware store for new locks for your new home. And make sure you buy a set for every exterior door - both door knob and deadbolt. Most knobs and deadbolts sold today are packaged in sets. And you can either buy them keyed alike or have them keyed alike at many of the big box retailers.

    And if you have an automatic garage door opener, don't forget to reset the keypad and reprogram the remotes. This is especially important if you have an attached garage. If you don't have the owners manual, check for a brand name and model number and Google the manufacturer. Often they will have online owners manuals.
  • The Best Kept Secret Of The Internet

    Posted Under: General Area in Minneapolis, Home Buying in Minneapolis, Agent2Agent in Minneapolis  |  March 14, 2012 8:22 AM  |  591 views  |  2 comments

    Hidden away in the recesses of the internet is a website that is a ‘must read’ for consumers who are considering buying a home in Minneapolis. The site is the City of Minneapolis Property Info page.

    What’s so special about this site?

    With it you can access recent ‘Truth in Sale of Housing’ reports, inspection permits, special assessments and there’s even a link to Hennepin County tax records.

    With a copy of a ‘Truth in Sale of Housing’ Report in hand, you can be a more informed consumer when looking for the ‘perfect home’.

    As an agent, I always check Truth in Sale of Housing and inspection permits BEFORE going to a listing. This can often tell me whether it’s worth my gas money (and the clients time) or whether there is an unfound gem just waiting to be found.

  • February Sales Show Promising Improvement

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Minneapolis, Home Buying in Minneapolis, Home Selling in Minneapolis  |  March 13, 2012 9:26 AM  |  239 views  |  No comments


    Perhaps motivated by warmer weather, low interest rates and an improving economy, Twin Cities home sales surged in February with a 34 percent increase over February 2011, according to the Minneapolis Association of Realtors (MAAR).

    New active listings were also up 1.1 percent from February 2011, but the number of active listings continued to drop, down 27 percent from last year. Inventory levels have dropped to 2003 levels with a 4.6 month supply of homes on the market.

    The February numbers also offer a hint that home buyers might be tiring of foreclosures. Traditional (non foreclosure / non short sale) sales surged 36 percent with foreclosure sales increasing 8.5 percent. Sales of short sale homes shot up 36 percent, which might be a sign that lenders are now equipped to perform on short sales before letting home owners slip into foreclosure.

    Source: MAAR press release.

  • Getting The Lead Out

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Minneapolis, Home Selling in Minneapolis, Financing in Minneapolis  |  March 12, 2012 9:41 AM  |  281 views  |  No comments


    If you own a home (or are buying a home) built prior to 1978, chances are lead based paint is present somewhere in the home. Why is that a concern? Because when lead based chips are ingested by children, it can lead to neurological and other physical ailments.

    Up until the late 1970s lead was used in paint as it provided a cheap, water resistant opaque quality to oil based paints. But today we know that lead can be toxic, so paints made today rely on titanium dioxide and resins.

    When it comes to buying and selling a home, the number one deal breaker (if going FHA, VA) is peeling paint. If you're a home seller with peeling paint, its best to get it remediated prior to listing. Today the EPA has strict guidelines on who is qualified to remediate lead paint. So this is definitely not a job for a home owner.

    For more information about lead paint, follow this link to the EPA.
  • It's That Time Of Year!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Minneapolis, Home Selling in Minneapolis, Property Q&A in Minneapolis  |  March 9, 2012 10:23 PM  |  259 views  |  No comments

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging consumers to replace the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms this weekend for Daylight Saving Time. This year, Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 11. Fresh batteries allow smoke and CO alarms to do their jobs saving lives by alerting families of a fire or a buildup of deadly carbon monoxide in their homes.

    CPSC estimates there was a yearly average of 386,300 residential fires resulting in nearly 2,400 deaths between 2006 and 2008.

    Two-thirds of fire deaths occur in homes where there are no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. That is why it is important to replace batteries at least once every year and to test your alarms every month to make sure they work. CPSC recommends consumers have smoke alarms on every level of their home, outside bedrooms and inside each bedroom.

    CPSC estimates there was an annual average of 183 unintentional non-fire CO poisoning deaths associated with consumer products between 2006 and 2008. CO is called the "invisible killer," because it is a colorless, odorless and poisonous gas. Because of this, people may not know they are being poisoned. Carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete burning of fuel in various products, including furnaces, portable generators, fireplaces, cars and charcoal grills. That is why it is important to have working CO alarms in the home, on each level and outside each sleeping area. Courtesy CPSC.GOV

  • Danger Lurks Underfoot

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Minneapolis, Home Selling in Minneapolis, Remodel & Renovate in Minneapolis  |  March 9, 2012 8:30 AM  |  262 views  |  No comments


    Much has been written about the dangers of asbestos and how it was once either used or was organically a part of attic insulation, steam pipe insulation and even kitchen hot pads and pop up toasters.

    But asbestos also lurks in the flooring under our feet. Between the 1940s and 1970s floor manufacturers mixed asbestos into their floor tile or used it as a backing material for resilient sheet flooring. And example of this is the asbestos backing shown in the above photograph.

    Asbestos becomes dangerous when the microscopic fibers are separated and then breathed in, potentially causing mesothelioma and asbestosis which are common lung diseases among those who worked around asbestos.

    If you think the flooring in your home has asbestos, don't attempt to remove it yourself. Trust a licensed asbestos remediation expert to test and remove it - if it's necessary. If the flooring is in good shape (no cracking, abrasions, cuts) leave it alone. And never sand, buff or mechanically scrub a floor with asbestos. Source EPA.
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