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Michael Emery's Blog

By Michael Emery | Agent in Minneapolis, MN
  • Take My Sofa! Please!

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Minneapolis, Agent2Agent in Minneapolis  |  April 24, 2012 5:42 PM  |  489 views  |  1 comment

    One of my favorite 'hobbies' lately has been perusing the 'free' column on Craigslist.org'  What I've noticed is there is no shortage of free sofas, loveseats and chairs.

    Granted most of them are incredibly ugly, worn out, dog chewed and dated. But with an inexpensive slipcover, these trusty old living room steeds could be put back into service and used to stage empty listings.

    And once the listing sells, you could either send it to the curb for recycling pickup or put it back onto Craigslist for the next willing owner.  Photo via HGTV.
  • Lock 'Em Up

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Minneapolis, Agent2Agent in Minneapolis  |  April 23, 2012 4:10 PM  |  493 views  |  1 comment

    Recently a local agent reported that a visitor to her Open House had allegedly stolen prescription narcotics. The 'buyer' was caught by another agent pocketing the homeowners prescription drugs.

    Sellers need to know that at an Open House the showing agent can often be inundated with multiple buyers at the same time. So it becomes impossible to watch everyone that comes through an Open House. And thieves will take this opportunity to steal presciption drugs from medicine cabinets, cameras from drawers and even loose change from atop dressers.

    So if you have prescription drugs, jewelry, cameras, money, cameras or anything else that can be easily pocketed, either hide them prior to showings and Open Houses, lock them in an inexpensive safe or take them with you.
  • The Bargain Bin

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Minneapolis, Home Buying in Minneapolis  |  April 18, 2012 2:59 PM  |  487 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.
  • City Spotlight: Armatage Neighborhood

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Minneapolis, Shopping & Local Amenities in Minneapolis, In My Neighborhood in Minneapolis  |  March 22, 2012 7:57 PM  |  540 views  |  No comments

    The Armatage neighborhood of Minneapolis, named after Maude Armatage (the 1st woman elected to a Minneapolis municipal office) is located in the southwest corner of Minneapolis.

    Homes in Armatage were mostly built after WW2 during a building boom that saw former farm fields turned into a neighborhood that stretches south to Highway 62. Skipping across the highway is the 1st tier suburb of Richfield MN.

    Retail space in Armatage is largely clustered along Penn Ave. What was once small grocers, hardware stores and gasoline stations has evolved into quaint coffee shops and cozy restaurants like Café Maude – named of course after Maude Armatage.

    For more about Maude Armatage, see this article in the Southwest Journal.

  • Bad Credit? Expect To Pay Higher Insurance.

    Posted Under: General Area in Minneapolis, Property Q&A in Minneapolis, Home Insurance in Minneapolis  |  March 21, 2012 12:20 PM  |  539 views  |  No comments

    Much has been written about the importance of a high credit score when buying a home. But less known is how insurance companies are increasingly using credit scores to determine rates for homeowners and auto insurance.

    If you’ve bounced a few checks or missed credit card payments, insurers might believe that you won’t pay them either. And insurers also believe that those with poor credit are more likely to have accidents which cause the filing of more claims. So if your credit is iffy, count on insurers charging you a premium rate – if they’re willing to insure you at all.

    When my auto insurer started using credit checks to determine my rates, the payments went down! So the insurance industry use of credit scores is truly a double edged sword.

  • Lock 'Em Up!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Minneapolis, Remodel & Renovate in Minneapolis  |  March 19, 2012 11:44 AM  |  508 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  |  573 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.

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