Author: joshfellmanedina

New Record: Rent Hits All Time High in MN

That’s not exactly the headline you want to read as a renter. However if you’ve rented in Minneapolis/St. Paul for any period of time you already know that rent is sky high. Unfortunately that expensive rent has and is going up. Across the entire Twin Cities rent is up 3.5% from last year putting the number over $1,000 on average for the first time in history. If you’re living downtown that number jumped even more; up 9.1% from last year. Image

Think maybe all those new buildings you see going up in and around both downtowns will help keep the prices down? Not true according to the Star Tribune.

“Greater supply of rental units does not seem to be having an impact on price. The newspaper said that while more than 1,000 new apartments came on the metro market in the first quarter, the overall supply of rental units remains below what’s considered healthy levels, which is pushing rents higher.

In better news, the city of Oakdale was ranked #15th in CNN/Money Magazines list of most affordable purchase housing markets in the US. Silver lining!




Key Buyer Questions

We meet both buyers and sellers who are in different situations every day. It’s what makes our job so great, no day is the same as the one before! Right now with the market so seller friendly we are getting a lot of different questions from buyers. Since the news usually focuses on a National scale and local news tends to be a few months behind many times we are explaining how what you heard last night on WCCO is actually different than what is actually happening. Makes for an interesting conversation, that’s for sure! So here are the most popular questions we are getting from buyers right now and a quick answer to each. If you have your own specific questions, send us an email, we would be happy to answer!

Q: Will I be able to get a good deal in this market?

A: The amazing buyer deals of 2010/11 just simply aren’t there anymore. Back then you could get a house for 10, 20, 30% off of the list price. Now many homes are selling the first day on market, in multiple offers, over list price. That doesn’t mean you aren’t getting a good deal. Home prices are on the rise so if you buy something today at full list price it will most likely be worth more in only one year! It may not be 10% off the list price, but it is still good value. We haven’t been able to say that for a long time.

Q: Can I use the bank I currently do my checking through to get pre-approved?

Choosing a lender is one of the most important decisions you make in regards to home purchasing. We working with lenders ever day, therefore we have seen both very good and very bad lenders. My team has created a list of ones that have been the best for our clients. We will definitely answer any questions you have about choosing a lender and will be very honest. We want this transaction to be as smooth for you as possible. So, it depends on who you bank with (not all banks do mortgage) but if they do mortgage then yes, you can use them!

Q: If I find the right house how long should I wait to make an offer?

There is a great quote going around in this market right now; “if you sleep on it, you may not sleep in it!” Homes are moving fast, if you find one you love, don’t hesitate!

Q: What is up with the pre-foreclosures on Zillow and Trulia? Why aren’t they on my search?

The reasons those don’t show up on any searches is that they are not available for sale yet because the foreclosure has not been completed. There still may need to be a Sheriff Sale, the bank may need to process more docs, etc. It could be 6 months before it hits the market, it could be 2 years. Zillow and Trulia just know when a foreclosure note has been issued. However, there are a few cases when we can go directly to the owners and make a deal. It’s rare but it can happen!

Q: If I want to close by a certain date, when should I start looking?

Let’s say you want to be in your home by Labor Day (so you can have a big family get together of course). We would say think 45 days to close (that puts us at about the last week in July) plus 45 days to start your search, show homes and make offers. That puts us at beginning our search in the first week of June. You still have a month to get pre-approved so plenty of time! 90 days is just a rule of thumb. Some people need more, some people need less.

We hope that was able to answer a few questions you had about looking for a home. If you have any specific questions, reach out! We would be happy to help.



Low Inventory Causing Multiple Offers, Quick Sales

Nothing like a 10″ snowfall on April 16th! Oh Minnesota. Despite the high levels of April snows that isn’t stopping buyers heading out in bunches for showings. Open houses have been packed. Pre-approval letters are being sent out in droves. This is all good news, except for the fact that we have no listings.

They say a “healthy” market, essentially meaning we have an even number of buyers and sellers, is between 4-6 months worth of inventory(1). What that means is if everyone stopped putting their house on the market starting May 1st we would have 4-6 months worth of inventory to sell before we ran out of homes. At the bottom of the market in 2010/11 we had upwards of 8-10 months of homes on the market. A strong buyers market. Now, however, is a different story. Here is some of the months of inventory in the Twin Cities(2)

Roseville: 2.4

New Brighton: 3.0

Shoreivew: 2.0
St. Anthony: 1.7!!

Minneapolis: 2.6

Edina: 3.0

Entire Twin Cities area put together: 3.1

So your best case scenario is if you are looking in New Brighton or Edina because they are closest to the bottom part of an equal market of 4 months. If you are looking in St. Anthony, like many of my buyers are, it’s been a tough go. These low levels of inventory have caused a rash of “charts” that say sales are declining from last year. Of course they are because we have no homes to sell! This is causing homes to sell in less than 24 hours. I’ve seen homes in Shoreview sell in an hour. Multiple offers are also commonplace in this market. We hope the increase in2014-Jan-Months-of-supply temps the next week and these numbers will convince sellers to put their home on the market to help ease some of that but if you are looking right now, don’t get frustrated. There is a home out there for you, it just may take a little more time than normal!

(1) Data from

(2)Data from Minneapolis Assocation of Realtors;

Talk About Awesome

We see dozens of houses every week. Sometimes it even feels like 100s! Each home is unique it’s own way which is what makes this business so awesome. Below is a link to a really cool article about 30 things you can do in your own home to get extra function-ability from your kitchen, hallways, etc. or how to keep an easier eye on your kids/pets or even just for looks. It’s all there! We think it’s pretty awesome. Just click the photo and it will take you straight to the article!


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2014 Spring Selling Guide Sample!

Our 2014 Spring Selling Guide has been released and we wanted to throw up a sample for everyone! It’s a totally free guide that we love to send out. It has a ton of info on where the market is at, where it is headed and what you should look out for over the next few months. If you would like the entire guide feel free to shoot us an email and we would be happy to send it to you PDF! We hope it helps!


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Homebuying Timeline/Checklist

Whether you are just starting to check out a few homes on our website or have already been pre-approved, we could all use a good checklist to keep us on track! Our awesome lenders have putting together a really nice, straight forward that can help anyone no matter where they are at in the process! If you would like a PDF version don’t hesitate to request one and we would be happy to send one out to you!

Homebuying Checklist

Rent affordability declines, while home sales continue to rise in MN!


According to Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index home prices were up 9.4% in January (year over year). This has become a trend in Minnesota over the last 18 months. Even one of the worst winters in recent memory hasn’t stopped home buyers from throwing on their snow-boots and trekking to open houses. That being said it still seems sellers are anxious. Months inventory of homes for sale in the Twin Cities remains well below 5 and in some cities, like Arden Hills, it is below 2 months of inventory. This indicates we are still in a strong sellers market. With the continuation of low 4% interest rates it doesn’t seem like the market is slowing down any time soon!

Now to the semi bad news. According to a Bring Me the News piece, and a report from MPR News, the cost to renters in Minnesota only continues to rise.

  “The report said that full-time workers would have to earn $16.50 per hour to afford a modest, two-bedroom rental in Minnesota that        averages about $850 a month. But the typical renter in the state only makes about $14.50 per hour.” (Bring me the News).

Makes sense as to why there are so many first time home buyers in Minnesota right now!

Where do you think the market is headed in the next year?


Home Buyer Happy Hour!

Do you like free beer (or wine)?

Do you like free food?

Do you have questions about the home buying process?

We are hosting home buyer happy hours all over the Twin Cities! We answer all your questions in a low key, fun environment. So come out, have some food, some beer and get tons of great info! We even have a class coming up tomorrow in Vadnais Heights at 6 at Mad Jacks! We can’t wait to see you.

If you can’t make to tomorrow, no biggie! We are doing more over the next few weeks. Simply put in your basic info and we will send you a list of all the dates and times!


Thank you so much for visiting our blog. We love the real estate industry and wanted a platform to share we learn and experience everyday so we can try to help you along in your home purchasing/selling journey. We know real estate can be tricky sometimes.

In this blog we are going to post about local market conditions, fun rehab projects, where the industry is trending, what is going on in your local community, not just with real estate but schools, parties, new commercial (restaurants, malls, etc.), and also answer any questions that you can possibly come up with. Real estate or not (sometimes we prefer not – we both have very strong opinions on the Vikings).

Again we are so happy you stopped by. Check us out. Ask us a question. We are always here to help. We hope you come back.

Josh and Lance

Team Fellman