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Saint Paul Real Estate Blog

Grand Old Day

What's better than an outdoor festival to start the summer?  While there are tons of outdoor events throughout the Twin Cities during the Summer months, nothing compares to St. Paul's Grand Old Day parade and all-day event.

Image Credit: Michael Hicks

Touted as the largest single-day festival in the Midwest, this event takes place on the 1st Sunday of June each year on St. Paul's historic Grand Avenue.  With a parade that begins around 9:30am and countless food vendors, concerts, and expos, this yearly gathering has something for everyone.

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Preferred Mortgage Program for Doctors

Special Loan Program for Doctors

Medical doctors, residents and interns...there is a great mortgage loan program specially designed for you!  Those that qualify can purchase a home with as little as 5% down payment with a loan amount up to $1,000,000.  But that isn't even the best part.  This program does not require private mortgage insurance!  Most traditional mortgage loans require expensive private mortgage insurance with less than a 20% down payment, but this special program for Doctors avoids that costly insurance.  There are other criteria and restrictions, but it is definintely a program worth checking out.

Here is a great place to find more information about the Preferred Doctor Program.

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St. Paul to host President Obama

President Obama will visit St. Paul on Wednesday February 26, 2014.  His visit will be two-fold: first a stop to tour the Metro transit facility that is responsible for light rail operations and then downtown to Union Depot to discuss new job creation measure.

The President's visit will spotlight the new Central Corridor rail line that will finally link the urban centers of Downtown Minneapolis and Downtown St. Paul.  With stops at the University of Minnesota and along University Avenue the new lightrail, dubbed the "green line," will link the downtowns in the same way Streetcars did before they disappeared over 60 years ago. 

The green line is currently being tested and is scheduled to open in June 2014 and I expect it will have a positive affect on the real estate market surrounding its route.  While public transportation has existed between the downtowns since the streetcars left, the light rail will cause home buyers to take a new look at those communities that surround the green line because of the convenience it will bring to those who work and/or play in the downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul.  For many home buyers, they want to live where they can conveniently access the amenities that the downtown centers provide, but they don't want to live "in" those urban centers.

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The Lowry Condos - St. Paul

The historic Lower Professional Building was originally built in 1912 with 14 floors above ground and a total heigh of 192 feet.  This architectural gem was renovated in 2005 with extensive remodeling to floors 3 through 12 which now house 131 condo units.

The Lower Condos are beautifully appointed in a loft style with concrete or terrazzo floors, large windows and exposed HVAC ductwork.  The building is also home to office, retail and restaurant tenants led by Pazzaluna Restaurant - featuring some of St. Paul's finest Italian cuisine.

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5 Tips for Creating Autumn Curb Appeal and Home Staging

selling_your_house_in_autumn_curb_appeal_861Fall can be a great time of year for selling a home - even in places with four seasons. We think of spring as home selling season, but really homes are moving all the time. People are back from their vacations and the holidays and inclement weather aren't yet here. Now is the time to be buying or selling a home.

Here are five tips for owners to keep in mind when selling a home in autumn.

1. Tidy Up the Yard. You’ll be busy keeping the yard clean if your home is on the market in fall. Now is the time to cut away vines that grew in the summer to let more light inside the house and trim back branches to better reveal the exterior of your home. Wash your siding if it has accumulated dirt over the summer. Ensure your gutters debris-free and are draining well. If you get a lot of rain in the fall, have floor mats on hand and spots to place wet shoes and umbrellas. If snow will be falling soon, have the tools on-hand to shovel the sidewalk and de-ice the stairs.

2. Festive Fall Curb Appeal. Get your house into the spirit of the season. Buy potted flowers for the front of the home like marigolds and chrysanthemums. Decorate the outside of your house with a festive fall wreath on the door or traditional pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn on the patio. If Halloween is near, feel free to have a jack-o'-lantern. Keep your holiday display simple, though: Too much and you could distract home buyers and make them less interested in your home.

3. Dust It Up. Your home should be spotless when you put it up for sale on the market. Buff your bathrooms and kitchen until they shine. Thoroughly clean underneath furniture and behind it, in the corners...

Chanhassen, Apple Valley & Savage Ranked 'Best Places to Live'

Several Twin Cities suburbs made Money Magazine’s 2013 list of the best small towns to live in. Apple Valley MN, Chanhassen MN and Savage MN were ranked in the top 50 of the most highly rated communities national.

Chanhassen jumped from 10th place in 2011 to fourth this year. Apple Valley ended up at 17 and Savage jumped to 21, all the way from 51st in 2011.

Money Magazine’s list covers cities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000. It takes into account of such ­factors as local incomes, crime rates and schools, as well as amenities such as Savage’s new sports dome and walkable downtown.

Topping the “Best Places to Live” list was Sharon, Mass. Now for the information you’ve been waiting for!

Chanhassen, MN

Top 50 rank: 4
Population: 23,685

Chanhassen was affected by Minnesota's woes during the downturn, but the town is bouncing back and taking fresh steps to improve. The area school district recently provided $700,000 in grants for classroom tech projects and is now rolling out Wi-Fi on all school buses. The town also beefed up commuter options.
The housing market, which took a big hit, is surging back. Jobs have remained strong, and nearby Minneapolis offers big-name employers like Target and the Mayo Clinic.

One perk of Twin Cities-area living is access to the great outdoors. Chanhassen MN's highlights include 34 parks, 90 miles of trails, and the 1,137-acre Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. When below-zero wind chills set in, there's February Festival with ice-fishing contests, sledding, and cookouts.

Apple Valley, MN

Top 50 rank: 17
Population: 49,863

If you don't mind cold winters, there's plenty to recommend this family-friendly Twin Cities suburb. There's a wide range of affordable ...

What $189,900 Buys in Woodbury MN

Here is MLS # 4393872

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This attractive townhome is located at 3316 Hazel Trail in Woodbury, Minnesota.  It has 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and 1,622-square-feet of space. It is a coveted end unit town home in Bailey’s Arbor.

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This exceptional home features a cook's kitchen with stone floors, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.

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It also has private patio, cozy fireplace, large loft and private master bath.  Enjoy summers at the neighborhood pool!

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First time home buyers may qualify for financing incentives. But first time home buyer or not, this Woodbury MN town house can be yours for $189,900!

Browse more Woodbury MN Real Estate
Browse other communities for Twin Cities Homes for Sale

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Golf Courses Finding a Second Life as New Home Subdivisions

At the Parkview Golf Club in Eagan MN, the once busy verdent fairways have been abandoned. Little by little, the course is being liquidated into non-existence — from its clubhouse to every last golf ball.

golf course turned into homes in eagan mnWith home building on the rise and the sport of golf in decline, Twin Cities courses have become a potential “next frontier” for housing developers as owners look for ways to unload declining clubs. In the Twin Cities suburbs alone, four courses are undergoing conversion to upscale housing developments. That number is likely to climb.

“Any golf course that’s within a growing community could be worth more to the owner as a development prospect than as a golf operation,” said Tom Ryan, executive director of the Minnesota Golf Association. “It’s not a surprise in this market.”

Right now, the Parkview Golf Club in Eagan is being liquidated, piece by piece. Bulldozers and dump trucks will soon help transform the city’s last 18-hole golf course into Eagan’s newest subdivision, Hillcrest.

“The housing market is really hot right now, and the golf course market is extremely soft,” said Kurt Manley, the Twin Cities developer who recently sold Parkview Golf Club to D.R. Horton Homes. The company has already shuttered the course and will start installing roads and utilities this summer. By fall, D.R. Horton will start building 166 houses that will sell for $400,000 or more.

With more golfers per capita than any other state, Minnesotans truly love the game, but there simply aren’t enough of...

Young Flat Earth Brewery Expanding Into Old Hamm's Brewery

There’s a new story on the local Minnesota beer front and it isn’t the Surly Brewery going up in Minneapolis. Flat Earth Brewing Co., part of the Twin Cities’ growing craft beer economy, plans to expand into several abandoned buildings at the old Hamm’s Brewery in the East Side neighborhood of St. Paul.

The microbrewer has won initial approval from the city for a $375,000 loan to spur the move from its current quarters on Benson Avenue. If and when the City Council approves the loan, Flat Earth will move its brewing operation into Building 8, which is the former Hamm’s keg-washing operation. Flat Earth is also looking at Buildings 7 and 9 for future use as a public tap/tasting room and maybe a beer garden.

East Side of Saint Paul Hamm's Brewer

The St. Paul-based microbrewer wants to increase production and expand its distribution network outside of Minnesota. Brews such as Angry Planet Pale Ale and Livid Planet Pale Ale and seasonal favorite Black Helicopter Coffee Stout are popular among Twin Cities beer-drinkers, but there hasn’t been room to produce more. Privately held Flat Earth produced 1,300 barrels of beer in 2012.

Flat Earth will be renovating and retrofitting buildings that have been part of St. Paul’s East Side for about 150 years. Building 9, a former carpentry shop that dates back to 1864 and 1867, is in bad shape, especially after a fire that occurred in 2005. Buildings 7 and 8, erected in 1893 and 1901,...

Purchases of High End Lakehomes Increasing in Minnesota

As home sales and prices rise in Minnesota, movement is beginning to be seen on the long-dormant vacation home market. But vacation homes still aren’t rebounding as fast as the rest of the market.

The average price of homes in Cass, St. Louis, Otter Tail and Aitkin counties has increased 3 to 5 percent since last spring, with the high-end vacation home seeing the most increase in demand, according to Trulia. In many popular lakeside destinations in northern Minnesota, sales of $351,000 to $500,000 homes have surged by more than 100 percent over the past year. Many of the homes are being purchased for significantly less than they were worth at the height of the housing boom.

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And some of the buyers with all this discretionary spending are not originating from Minnesota. Some buyers are employees on North Dakota’s booming oil fields and farmers of the Red River Valley.

The volume of second-home buyers is much lower than before the housing crash and recession. This is partly due to tighter lending restrictions, as compared to primary homes. Further, second-home loans now require a 5- to 20-percent down payment, as underwriters remain cautious following the downturn.

Further, an oversupply of upscale houses built during the housing boom is available. There is a 10-month supply of outstate Minnesota lakeshore listings compared with three months in the much tighter Twin Cities real estate market.

We are specialists in the Twin Cities real estate market. We can help you find lakefront property right here in the Twin Cities area, including on...