Minnesota Landlord | MN landlord
June 2013

Minneapolis & St Paul Home Buyers – 3 Quick Home Ownership Tips

June 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

1) If you’re moving and looking to purge items from your home, consider donating them to Goodwill. They will take clothing, computers, and more! Click here for 8 donation tips. http://ow.ly/mbikE

2) As the temperatures rise, so might your energy bill. This article guides you though the benefits of programmable thermostats. http://ow.ly/mbjC3

3) In the summer, your garden could be riddled with pests and uninvited guests. This article covers “natural” pest killers and prevention tips. http://ow.ly/mbkWL



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Debt Relief = Income Things You Should Know

June 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Many times a homeowner might feel relieved being out from under the obligation of a mortgage they can’t afford even though the property was lost due to foreclosure or short sale. If a lender cancels or forgives debt, a taxpayer must include the cancelled amount in their income for tax purposes depending on the circumstances. The tax significance could be serious.

Congress enacted the Mortgage Relief Act http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/The-Mortgage-Forgiveness-Debt-Relief-Act-and-Debt-Cancellation specifically to help homeowners who might be affected in the housing crisis that started approximately in 2007. The Act expired on 12/31/12 but was temporarily extended by Congress until December 31, 2013.

This relief only applies to a taxpayers’ principal residence which does not include second homes and investment property. The maximum amount is limited to $2 million of mortgage debt forgiveness or $1 million if filing separately.

Another provision is that the debt relief is limited to acquisition indebtedness used to buy, build or improve the property. It excludes cash equity loans whether made separately or in a refinance of the original mortgage.

Due to the serious consequences involved in short sales and foreclosures, it is advised that homeowners faced with this possibility should seek expert advice from their legal and tax professionals. There are a number of sellers who eventually complete a short sale, foreclosure or modification, but first seek bankruptcy protection to seek relief from the tax implications of mortgage debt forgiveness. Consult a variety of professionals and do the proper amount of due diligence before making any major decisions.



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Where are all the Twin Cities Houses for sale?

June 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Inventory is dramatically shrinking and it is commonplace in many markets to have multiple offers on a home. While the sellers would prefer to be able to choose the best offer for them, it can be incredibly frustrating for the buyers who might consider the following tips to get their offer accepted.

1. Remove the uncertainty that you may not be approved for a mortgage by having a pre-approval letter from your mortgage company.

2. Show your sincerity by increasing the normal amount of earnest money customary for the area and price of the home. The earnest money will be applied toward your down payment and closing costs. Consider placing even more money in escrow when the contingencies have been met.

3. Specify a closing date in the contract but acknowledge that you can be flexible to accommodate the sellers moving date. If it becomes an issue, it still must be mutually agreed upon.

4. Make the contingency periods shorter if possible to make the seller feel that they’ll know sooner that the offer is solid.

5. If the contingency really isn’t important to you, leave it out of the offer. The more contingencies included in a contract, the more the seller will feel might happen to keep it from actually closing.

6. Write a personal note to the seller explaining why you like and want their home. Consider including a picture of your family and pets.

7. Physically sign the offer with a felt tip pen of contrasting color. You’d be surprised how this adds a personal touch to the offer.

Offer a fair price for the property in your initial purchase agreement. It shows sincerity and good faith that you’re actually trying to purchase the home and not trying to take advantage of the seller. The old adage that you can always go up later may never happen if there are multiple offers on the property in the beginning.



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Minneapolis Communities and Neighborhoods – Minneapolis Homes & Minneapolis Real Estate

June 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

There are eleven communities in the city of Minneapolis each of which is divided in several neighborhoods. Officially, there are 81 neighborhoods of the city. Below are the communities and neighborhoods of Minneapolis.

Calhoun-Isles is an affluent, upscale area of Minneapolis that is situated southwest of Downtown. It is where the Uptown district is found. Most of the nightlife, restaurants and upscale shops of the city are found there. Its neighborhoods include CARAG, Cedar-Isles-Dean, Bryn Mawr, Lowry Hill, Lowry Hill East, East Calhoun/ECCO, Kenwood, West Calhoun and East Isles.

The Camden Community is situated in the north corner of Minneapolis and it is mostly residential though it has two industrial areas. It is one of the most diverse neighborhoods of the city. The neighborhoods in Camden are, Cleveland, McKinley, Folwell, Victory, Lind-Bohanon, Webber-Camden and Shingle Creek.

The Central Community is right in the heart of Minneapolis and it is where the warehouse district, downtown area and other notable parks, historic buildings and museums are found. Its neighborhood includes the Elliot Park, Loring Partk, Downtown East and West, Stevens Square and North Loop.

The Longfellow community is situated in the southeast of the city and is predominantly a working and middle class community. It borders the city of St. Paul and Mississippi. Its neighborhoods are Hiawatha, Cooper, Seward, Longfellow and Howe.

Near North is another community in the city of Minneapolis and it is made up of six neighborhoods namely Harrison, Jordan, Near North, Hawthorne, Willard-Hay and Summer-Glenwood.

Nokomis is a community occupying the southeast corner of the city which borders Minneapolis. It is mostly residential and its neighborhoods include Morris Park, Minnehaha, Hale, Field, Ericsson, Diamond Lake, Keewaydin, Northrop, Page, Regina and Wenonah.

Northeast is a community in the northeast corner of the city. It is the traditional home of immigrants and sometimes referred to as Nordeast. It becomes popular with young individuals and is still attractive to new immigrants. Its neighborhoods include Beltrami, Audubon Park, Bottineau, Holland, Sheridan, Northeast Park, Logan Park, Marshall Terrace, Waite Park, St. Anthony East and West and Windom Park.

Phillips is south of downtown of the city and has a mix of industrial, commercial and residential areas. It is also one of the most diverse communities. Its neighborhoods include Midtown Phillips, East Phillips, Ventura Village and Phillips West.

Powerhorn is south of downtown and contains neighborhoods namely Bryant, Bancoft, Standish, Powerdon Park, Corcolan, Central, Whittier and Lyndale.

Southwest is another community found in the southwest corner of the city which is mainly a residential community. Its neighborhoods are Lynnhurst, East Harriet, Armatage, Kenny, Fulton, Windon, Linden Hills, King Field, Windom and Tangletown.

University community is where the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minneapolis is found. It was significantly gentrified in the recent years and this is mostly because of its closeness to the downtown area.

There are many students residing here and various cheap coffee shops and restaurants are usually found. Its neighborhoods include Como, Cedar-Riverside, Marcy-Holmes, University, Prospect Park and Nicollet Island/East Bank.



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Minneapolis St Paul Renters Want to Buy

June 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Fannie Mae, in a recently released study http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/research-and-analysis/housing-quarterly.html , states that consumer attitudes continue to be favorable about homeownership, particularly with the younger generations, ages 18 to 34. Slightly over half of them think that owning makes more sense than renting when comparing the financial and lifestyle benefits.

90% of aspiring owners expect to purchase a home someday and slightly over half think they’ll do it within five years. The primary challenges are having sufficient savings and the difficulty of getting a mortgage today. Younger renters see renting as a temporary stepping stone toward homeownership.

Homeowners are far more likely than renters to be “very positive” about their housing experience. Some of the benefits identified are:

• Having control over what you do with your living space
• Having a sense of privacy and security
• Having a good place for your family or to raise your children
• Having the best investment plan
• Living in a nicer home
• Building up wealth
• Saving for retirement
• Living in a place where you and your family feel safe
• Feeling engaged in your community

To satisfy a buyer’s doubts about qualifying for a mortgage, make an appointment with a trusted mortgage professional. If you’d like a recommendation at no cost or obligation, please contact me at john@johnmazzara.com or 612-386-7027. Check out this Rent vs. Own http://www.BetterHomeowners.com/FinancialApps/RentvsOwn.aspx?AccountId=2fql9jFrSUON-4xpEwM0Eg&Auth=1 to see the real cost of owning a home.



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Mpls St Paul Home Values–What’s It Worth?

June 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

How much is a one carat diamond worth? Anyone who has shopped for one knows that the price could have a significantly wide range of value. It’s been said that purchasers should consider the color, cut, clarity and carat size to compare stones but when it gets down to decision time, buyers still want to know “how much is it worth?”

Real estate valuation can be equally as confusing to the public. There are three commonly used tools that today’s home buyers rely on to make decisions but they vary significantly in the methods used to make the determination as well as the possible final consideration.

Appraisals are an opinion or estimate of value based on specific guidelines made by individuals who are licensed and possibly certified. Buyers and sellers may be reluctant to engage an appraiser because there is a fee of several hundred dollars that must be paid in advance even if no sale is ever consummated.

A Broker’s Price Opinion (BPO) as defined by the National Association of REALTORS® is an “estimate of the probable selling price of a property.” The Dodd-Frank Act describes a BPO as “an estimate…that details the probably selling price of a particular piece of real estate property and provides a varying level of detail about the property’s condition, market, and neighborhood, and information on comparable sales, but does not include an automated valuation model.”

A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a commonly used tool of salespeople to provide information to buyers and sellers to facilitate a sale. In most cases, it would be difficult to distinguish a CMA from a BPO because the steps considered are essentially the same and practitioners commonly use the terms interchangeably.

Another method called Automated Value Model (AVM) use software to search available data on the Internet to arrive at an approximation of value. Zestimates found on the Zillow site use this method. AVM’s may not consider all the market activity such as MLS sales and active listings. They can’t make adjustments based on human experience and market knowledge.

For what it’s worth, a buyer or seller might want to acquire as much current and factual information as possible from a trusted real estate professional familiar with the market before making a decision on the largest single asset most people acquire. Call me to help you figure out what your home is worth.



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Minneapolis St Paul Homeowners – Will the “Good Life” Be Ready When You Are?

June 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Life of Riley was a TV show from the 50’s starring William Bendix but the title’s origin came from an expression meaning that a person was living the “good life.” Most people envision themselves living the good life by retirement but don’t really have a plan to get there.

There’s a rough rule of thumb used to estimate how much net worth a person would need by the time they retire to generate a certain income. The target annual income is divided by a safe, conservative yield to determine the investable assets needed.

A person who wanted $100,000 annual income generated from a 5% investment would need investable assets of $2,000,000. If a person had $500,000 now, they would need to accumulate $1.5 million more by the time they retire. If it was estimated to be 15 years away, they would need to save about $100,000 a year, each year until retirement.

It is a sobering example that could be depressing without a plan. It might be easy to say, “I should have started sooner” which may be true but there is still hope.

Gradually, over the next several years, accumulate rental property and allow the tenant to retire the debt for you. The equity in each property will grow from the amortization of the loan each time a payment is made. It also grows as the property increases in value due to appreciation.

Single family homes as rentals offer the investor an opportunity to meet their retirement and financial goals for the following reasons:

The ability to borrow large loan-to-value mortgages

* At fixed interest rates
* For long terms (easily up to 30 years)
* On appreciating assets
* With significant tax advantages
* And reasonable control not offered by alternative investments.



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Disclaimer: This communication is provided to you for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon by you. RE/MAX Results is not a mortgage lender and so you should contact a mortgage broker or lender directly to learn more about its mortgage products and your eligibility for such products. Regarding specific blog postings, external links and any other information found on this site, neither John Mazzara nor RE/MAX Results assumes any responsibility nor guarantees the accuracy of this information and is not engaged in the practice of law nor gives legal advice. It is strongly recommended that you seek appropriate professional counsel regarding your rights as a homeowner. John Mazzara and RE/MAX Results are not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your existing lender. Even if you accept this offer and use this site and/or our services, your lender may not agree to change your loan should you decide to pursue a short sale or any other change involving your loan or loan terms and conditions. If you should decide to engage our services in marketing your home as a short sale, there will be no up front cost to you and you may cancel our listing contract at any time. · Each Office Independently Owned and Operated

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