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If Your Goal Is to Buy Low, Buy Now!

It’s a Great Time to Buy in Minneapolis

There is a very famous saying which asserts “Sell High, Buy Low”. It is obviously great advice no matter what the investment. Below is a graph showing the cycle of investments. It shows the points of maximum risk and maximum opportunity when purchasing. We want to sell high (point of maximum risk) and buy low (point of maximum opportunity).

The challenge is how to determine when we have hit bottom if you are a purchaser. The only time you can guarantee a bottom is after you pass it.

Real Estate Minneapolis

However, there is more and more evidence that the COST of a home has in fact hit bottom. Notice we have used the word COST. Unless you are an all cash buyer, you must take into consideration the expense of financing a property to determine the true cost of purchasing the home. Interest rates have increased over the last quarter; and the rise in rates has counteracted any fall in prices.

Let’s look at an example:

Let’s say you were going to take out a $200,000 30-year-fixed-rate mortgage in November of 2010. At that time, interest rates were 4.17% (as per Freddie Mac). Your principle and interest payment would have come to $974.54. According to the most recent report from Case Shiller house prices fell 3.9% in the 4th quarter of 2010. The most recent report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency shows a 0.8% fall in prices. Let’s use the larger percentage decrease: 3.9%.

For the sake of keeping the math simple, we will now say you can get the same house with a $192,000 mortgage (4% discount from November price). Interest rates are now 4.95% (as per Freddie Mac).

Your principle and interest payment would now be $1,067.54.

By waiting to pay less for the PRICE of the house, the COST increased $93 a month. That adds up to $1,116 a year and over $33,000 over the life of the loan.

We realize that there are other things to consider (ex. the mortgage tax deduction, etc.). This example is just a simple way to show that there is a difference between COST and PRICE.

Bottom Line

If you want to buy low, buy now. It appears COST has hit its lowest point.


Minneapolis Loft Stlyes

For many Minnesotans, moving downtown into an urban dwelling is about the lifestyle, general excitement and cultural opportunities of city living.  It often means a shorter commute to work or in some cases quite the opposite with the concept of an urban cabin.  The term ‘Loft’ is easier understood broken up into four loose categories.  There are various spin offs of the loft concept but in downtown Minneapolis there are basically 4 different styles of Lofts.

Warehouse Lofts “Hard Lofts”

A majority of the warehouse lofts in Minneapolis are located in and around downtown areas that were once industrial districts such as the North Loop. Former manufacturing plants retain their industrial flare, with freight elevators, concrete floors, exposed brick walls, timber beams and high ceilings. Loft buyers will enjoy the historical touches of these ”New York inspired” dwellings which often have open floor plans and few walls to separate living spaces.  In Minneapolis some example of  warehouse lofts in the North Loop would be the Security Lofts, Itasca Building, Bookman Lofts, 918 Lofts, and SOHO Lofts on Washington Ave N. 

New Construction Residential Lofts

If you like the loft feel but would prefer new construction there have been several condo developements downtown Minneapolis built to emulate the warehouse feel with elements like exposed duct-work and concrete floors. While not the authentic warehouse, new construction residential lofts are spaces designed in the warehouse-loft style but with post tension concrete, glass and steal. Like warehouse lofts, they often contain floor-to-ceiling windows, often times with non conforming walls and open floor plans but lack the industrial details of a historic structure.  Examples of new construction residential lofts in Minneapolis are the 710 Lofts, 720, Lofts, 730 Lofts, Bookman Stacks,  and Village Lofts.

Soft Lofts

The demand for loft style spaces but with more of a traditional layout has resulted in what is called a soft loft, or hybrid of what is known as more of a traditional feeling space with loft-style floor plans. These “softer” lofts may include room-like divisions more familiar to someone coming from a single family home but have the high ceilings and often times exposed concrete pillars.  Condo developements such as the 5th Ave Lofts, Bridgewater and Lyndsay Lofts are great examples of the the soft loft.

Live-Work Lofts

Live-Work Lofts are not as common downtown Minneapolis but a popular concept. Designed to house a home owner and his or her business, this style loft allows an  artist, manufacturer or other business owner to save moneyby living and working at the same address.  There will be some limitations to what you can use the space for in respects to retail i.e. restaurants ect. The majority of options in Minneapolis for Live-Work Lofts include the Madison Lofts, 801 Washington, CW Lofts and Tower Lofts. 

Not everyone agrees on what exactly a loft is.  The wide spectrum of loft styles in Minneapolis gives prospective buyers plenty of options tailored to personal taste. 

For a  Free Comprehensive List of Minneapolis Lofts please fill out my Condo and Loft Tour Form and I will email you your options broken down into the various categories.

Buying a Condo or Loft Downtown Minneapolis

How to Buy a Condo or Loft Downtown Mpls

Flour Sack Flats Minneapolis, St. Anthony Main Condo

Search Minneapolis Condos and Lofts Here

Many folks interested in buying real estate downtown Minneapolis, first-time home buyers especially, sometimes lack the knowledge to determine what they can afford when it comes to buying a condo or loft and often inquire how the purchasing process actually works.  Below is a list of steps outlining how the condo purchase process works:

  1. Start by getting pre-approved by your bank or a mortgage broker. Understanding what you can afford gives you a starting point and a price window to search within.                                                                      
  2. Find a Realtor that specializes in the market of real estate you are interested and be sure it is someone you feel comfortable with. I usually suggest to line up an interview to make sure it is the right fit.  Talk to your Realtor about what you are and are not looking for in a property. You DO NOT want to run around to every condo on the market in Minneapolis.  Depending what you are looking for your realtor should help you narrow down what fits your needs and wants without spinning your wheels.  I always offer our “Buyers Concierge” which lists questions that will help identify what it is the buyer is looking for.  DRG Buyers_Concierge (Updated 11-2009) Email this form to me at or fax to 612-777-8020 (Attention: Mike Seebinger), if you are interested in interviewing myself for the position of your Realtor.
  3. Now the shopping begins! This is the fun part.  Once you’ve been pre-approved for a loan and you have found your downtown condo specialist, your realtor will then begin showing you properties within your parameters.
  4. Take notes while on the showings. Think about the location (1st and foremost), building amenities, take into consideration future value, the unit floor plan and of course the list price.
  5. Once you’ve found the condo or loft you would like to buy have you Realtor run a market analysis to determine what the condo or loft is actually worth. 
  6. Assuming the numbers from the market analysis look good “let’s make an offer”!  Your Realtor should now go through the offer paperwork, known as the Purchase Agreement, and explain the contract in detail.  If you had any unanswered questions going into the offer process this will be a good time to get them answered.  If you still have questions you can always have a lawyer review it as well.
  7. Your downtown Minneapolis Realtor will then submit the offer to the Listing (Selling) agent who will then contact the seller to review the offer and the negotiations begin.
  8. At the point where the buyer and seller have come to an agreement regarding the price and conditions the deal is now legally binding unless there are other conditions written into the contract.
  9. Typically the buyer will now schedule their inspection and next the appraisal.  The Seller will also give the buyers the condo documents containing the rules, regulations, by-laws, articles of incorporation and budget.  The buyer will have 10 days to review and rescind their offer if anything in the documents does not sit well with the buyer (pet limits in condos, unhealthy looking budget, ect.)
  10. After your loan has final approval and all contingencies are removed the buyers have the right to a final walkthrough of the property to insure that everything is the way the contract stated (bank deals can be different in this regard).
  11. Closing Time!!  It is time to move. The buyer is allowed occumpancy after the buyer and seller meet with their respective title company or lawyers to exchange the property keys for payment. The title of the property is then switched over from the seller to the buyer and the buyer is then given entry and ownership to the property.   

Buying a condo or loft downtown Minneapolis is an exciting process. It can also be a stressful and complicated process so it’s important to hire a Realtor you are comfortable with and trust.  As you know, buying real estate is one of the largest investments you will make.

I would love the opportunity to sit down and answer your questions.  If you are considering buying or renting downtown Minnepaolis please contact me with time and phone number or email most convenient to reach you.  Feel free to also fill out the form on right hand side of this page.