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All Blog Entries by Jim Berg Team

There are currently 46 blog entries published by Jim Berg Team.

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Boring White Walls

Thursday, October 1st, 2015 at 2:38pm. 12 Views, 0 Comments.

Convert a Bland Wall Into a Stunning Design Feature

Just because a new home comes with fresh white walls doesn't mean they have to stay that way. A statement wall can pull a design together, add personality, and make furniture and accessories pop. Creating an eye-catching feature can be simple, starting with a wall to highlight.

Whether you choose to make a statement with a bold, bright wall color or an exotic, textured wallpaper, the key is to balance it with other design elements in the room.

Choose a Focal Point -- Decide what aspect of the room you would like to draw attention to. Fireplaces, large furniture pieces and artwork are popular focal points. If your room doesn't lend itself to having a statement wall, highlight existing features…

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Take Advantage of Low Interest Rates

Friday, April 17th, 2015 at 3:09pm. 733 Views, 0 Comments.

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped to 3.66% this week, down from 3.7% last week, and new-construction home buyers lapped up the savings.

Mortgage applications rose 17% in March from February, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association Builder Application Survey.

“Overall, applications for new-home purchases during the first quarter of 2015 increased 20% relative to the first quarter of last year,” Lynn Fisher, MBA’s vice president of research and economics, said in a statement. “Continued strength in builder applications raises the likelihood that housing starts will be strong over the next few months.”

“Housing starts” is industry lingo for when a builder actually breaks ground on a new home. It’s a good…

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Fannie Mae First-Time Buyers Assistance.

Friday, April 17th, 2015 at 3:04pm. 727 Views, 0 Comments.

If you’re a first-time home buyer just entering the market, you’re in for a springtime treat: Fannie Mae will now pay your closing costs, up to 3% of the price of the home—provided you take the mortgage giant’s home-buyer counseling course first.

The new HomePath Ready Buyer program, announced on Wednesday, allows first-time buyers (defined as those who have not owned a home in the past three years) to take an online course, get certified, and become eligible for what could amount to significant savings. For instance, on a $150,000 home, Fannie Mae could contribute up to $4,500 toward your closing costs—which typically range from 2.5% to 3% of a home’s price—and even reimburse you for the $75 online course.

“This could actually…

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FHA Seller Concessions to Buyers 6%

Thursday, March 5th, 2015 at 3:46pm. 736 Views, 0 Comments.

FHA loans are one of the most popular financing programs among home buyers today. They are especially popular among first-time buyers who have limited funds for a down payment and closing costs. Borrowers who use this program can enjoy the benefit of a low down payment, as little as 3.5% of the sale price.

Another benefit is that sellers are allowed to make contributions toward the buyer’s closing costs. Put simply, the seller involved in the transaction is allowed to chip in to help the home buyers pay some, or all, of their loan-related closing costs. In real estate lingo, this contribution is referred to as a “concession.”

But there are limits to how much the homeowner can contribute toward the borrower’s costs. In 2015, seller…

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City Profile: Shorewood

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 at 6:12pm. 192 Views, 0 Comments.

Occupying a healthy chunk of the southern Lake Minnetonka Area, Shorewood is a lovely community just west of Minneapolis. It is adjacent to Tonka Bay, Excelsior and Greenwood.

The median home price in Shorewood was $382,500, which is exactly the same as the Lake Minnetonka Area as a whole. Sales volumes have been gradually recovering since hitting a valley at the beginning of 2007. 

Shorewood sellers are yielding a higher share of their asking price relative to the rest of Lake Minnetonka. Those selling properties in the city are averaging 97.7% of their last list price versus 97.1% in the rest of the Lake Minnetonka Area.

That shouldn’t be too surprising considering Shorewood enjoys faster (lower) absorption rates compared…

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Buy a Castle for $45M

Friday, February 13th, 2015 at 1:54pm. 247 Views, 0 Comments.

Got $45 million burning a hole in your pocket?  Then a castle isn't just for fariy tales.  There is a storybook home available for you in Woodstock CT.  With a cozy 22,000 square feet, 8 Bedrooms, and 9 bathrooms... you'll find plenty of places to entertain your prince or princess.



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City Profile: Minnetonka

Friday, February 13th, 2015 at 1:35pm. 130 Views, 0 Comments.

From: MAAR

The word Minnetonka translates from the Dakota “mni tanka,” meaning “great water.” Nevermind the fact that the Twin Cities boasts some of the cleanest tap water in the nation, we’re talking about the vast, celebrated and grand connotations of great.

Home to Cargill—the nation’s largest privately-owned company—and United Healthcare—the state’s largest publicly owned company—Minnetonka is truly its own little economic enclave. That, along with its proximity to the unofficial yet quite desirable ‘Big Lake,’ has enabled the Minnetonka housing market to largely outperform the metro area as a whole.

Starting at the beginning of 2007, note the dramatic divergence of new construction prices compared to previously…

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City Profile: Edina

Friday, February 13th, 2015 at 1:33pm. 125 Views, 0 Comments.

Edina is so well located, boasts such great schools and weaves together such an ideal balance of residential, green space, shopping and nightlife that a segment of home buyers gladly pay $450,000 for a 1,800 square foot post-war rambler and then immediately proceed to demolish it and build a $3.5 million 4-story mansion on a postage stamp lot.

After all, that’s one of the many benefits to being a property owner.

Sure, a segment of the local residents of a changing community will always reminisce about the good ole’ days, but a community that evolves and adapts is a community that survives and thrives.  Times change.  So do consumer preferences.  First and second ring suburbs that were initially built around the automobile are now figuring out…

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2015 Market Activity

Friday, February 13th, 2015 at 1:25pm. 155 Views, 0 Comments.

The Twin Cities regional housing market started 2015 on an enthusiastic note. Both seller activity and pending buyer activity increased relative to January 2014. Sellers introduced 4,497 new listings to the marketplace, 5.9 percent more than last year. Buyers entered into 2,986 purchase agreements, 7.8 percent higher than the pending sales count at this time last year. Inventory levels were lower, down 6.3 percent to 11,926 homes currently on the market. Many in the industry are expecting more inventory as we approach the spring market—both in a month-to-month sense as well as year-over-year.

The median sales price rose 8.5 percent to $195,000, the strongest gain since last February. This increase marks 35 consecutive months of year-over-year median…

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10 Smart-Home Products

Saturday, December 13th, 2014 at 1:56pm. 368 Views, 0 Comments.

The number of homeowners who install smart devices in their homes is set to swell as more “Internet of Things” technologies like smart thermostats and furniture hit the market.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) expects unit sales of such devices to reach 20.7 million in 2014, with that number jumping to 35.9 million by 2017.

Thirteen percent of broadband households already own at least one smart-home gadget, according to a survey released by the trade group in October.

Consumers are keen on smart lights and smart thermostats, while smart door locks, smoke detectors and garage door openers are popular gifts, the survey found.

Entrepreneurs showed off some of the latest products to join the smart-home tech family at…

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