Call/txt
612-840-6507
Your Minnesota Real Estate Agent

Homes for Sale in Minnesota

Finding the Right Housing Solutions as a Senior: What You Need to Know

Buy a home in Minnesota means something different to everyone. It can be the house we’ve lived our whole lives or where we are surrounded by friends and loved ones. If you’re considering what to do now that you’re a senior, here are some different ways you can age in the community of your choice.

Village-to-Village Living

If you are looking for something different, you could consider village-to-village living. There are various types of village living available. One form of such living allows you to age in place with the benefit of community help. You join the village, and in return, you have a group of people to rely on. You may have specific services provided, like transportation and lawn services, for a yearly fee. With this sort of community, you have the benefit of remaining in the home you’ve built while receiving the help you need. Then there are the retirement villages, or specific housing dedicated to retirees. The homes are easier to maintain, and you have a group of people in similar situations to support each other nearby. There are social engagements available, so you don’t need to worry about not having something planned for your weekends. Often, medical care is readily provided and close at hand should it be necessary.

Consider Shared Living

One growing form of housing among seniors is shared living spaces. There are many benefits to sharing a living space; for example, not only will you have companionship and extra security, but you will save financially by having someone else move in, or by moving into a shared home. According to HomeAdvisor, “As a matter of fact, a growing number of baby boomers are turning to shared living as an aging-in-place housing option. A 2014 AARP analysis of census data found approximately 132,000 households and 490,000 women over the age of 50 living with non-romantic peers.” This may allow you to age in place while simultaneously providing the security of communal living. There are websites (such as those listed by Senior Advisor) you can use to find reputable roommates, whether they’re fellow seniors or even young people, like students, looking for affordable accommodation.

Subsidize Your Home

If you are looking for a more manageable solution, you can apply for government assistance in several ways. Section 8 Housing is a form of low-income housing that offers everything from apartments to single-family homes. As a senior, you will be given priority if you qualify. You can even search your area for low-income housing if you are interested in seeing what properties would be available to you locally. This way, you could stay close to family and friends while having some of the financial burden alleviated through government assistance. Your local housing agency can give you more information about what you need to qualify in your area.

Age in Place

Whether you join a village, bring in a roommate, or simply choose to live alone in your home, there are ways you can modify your property to make it more practical as you age. To make doors easier to use, you might have swing away hinges installed. These can help to widen a door without paying to remodel of your home. Grab bars will be invaluable in bathrooms, both by toilets and in showers or tubs. If your threshold has a slight step to it, you may want to level it to prevent trips and make it easier for wheelchair users to enter the home.

There are plenty of options available to baby boomers as retirement draws closer. There are more traditional choices and unique takes on communal living that more and more are trying. After all, one of the greatest things in life is the company we keep, and knowing that you will always have someone there to listen, to chat, and to help when needed.

 

 

Moving With Pets Doesn’t Have to Be Hard. Here’s How to Do it the Right Way

Buying a home in Minnesota is a fun and exciting time for your family, but your dog might not feel the same way. House hunting and listing your own home on the market mean disruptions to your pet’s usual schedule, which can be stressful for pets and owners alike. However, there are a few things you can do to help the move go smoothly for everyone involved.

Selling

Showcasing your home to potential buyers means a lot of strangers coming in and out of your house. This can be overwhelming even for people-loving dogs, and your buyers won’t appreciate a dog jumping, barking, or getting in the way as they try to look around. In fact, pets can deter some buyers from even considering your home. Scheduling a dog walker during showings keeps your dog happy and helps you attract the widest possible pool of buyers. If you need to get out of the house too, turn it into an opportunity for quality time with your pet by heading to a local dog park.

Speaking of buyers that aren’t fans of pets, you should also make sure your house doesn’t have any lingering pet odors before showing it. People often don’t notice odors in their own home, so ask a friend for a second opinion or schedule a carpet and upholstery cleaning just to be safe.. This is a very small price to pay to ensure you’re making a great impression to potential buyers.

Be diligent about sweeping, vacuuming, and cleaning pet waste out of the yard, and consider boarding your pet for the days leading up to a big showing or open house so it’s easier to keep the house clean.

Buying

It’s fun to look for homes for sale while you’re out walking your dog. Rather than risking upsetting realtors or homeowners by bringing your dog to a showing he doesn’t want to be at anyway, leave pets at home when viewing houses. If you do spot the perfect house while out with your pet, jot down the address and realtor’s information so you can follow up.

Moving

After everything is closed and settled, there’s one more step before your move is over. Unfortunately, it’s also the most stressful part for your dog. Pets don’t react well to changes at home, and packing up the house is certain to cause some anxiety. Try to pack gradually, starting with small things, so as to not set off your pet’s alarms. When the movers are due to arrive, make sure your dog is somewhere safely and out of the way until the action is over.

In the new house, you may need to set up a safe area for your dog while he acclimates to the new environment. The ASPCA recommends putting his bed, food, and toys in a single room and provide plenty of affection until he’s feeling confident in his surroundings. This could take a couple of days or longer depending on your pet’s personality.

Don’t have a pet yet but planning on getting one? There’s no reason not to factor future pets into your house hunting. Look for a house with a fenced yard, scratch-resistant flooring, and other pet-friendly features to make life with a pet a little bit easier.

Whether you have a house full of dogs or are planning for your first pet, it’s important to consider how you’ll navigate the responsibilities of pet ownership while coordinating a move. These tips will help keep everyone happy throughout the process, yourself included.

 

How to Avoid 10 Major Home Selling Mistakes

 

  • Paint the guest room and fix that leaky faucet!
  • It’s natural to be excited about selling your home. You’re making a big change, and want to set the gears in motion. But rushing to put your home on the market and neglecting small changes and repairs can hurt you in the long run. 
  • Pump up your curb appeal
  • Once your home is sparkling on the inside, it’s time to make sure the exterior will make passers-by stomp on the brakes and say ‘WOW! I’d love to own that home!’.  
  • Open your home to the possibilities
  • Buyers want to imagine their future in a home. While your family pictures and personal touches are beautiful and meaningful, they also keep a buyer from seeing themselves and their family in your home.  
  • Use a real estate agent, and be picky!
  • On average, sellers that use an agent sell their homes more quickly and for more money than sellers that try to go it alone.  Experts, especially those at The Antonov Group, can help simplify the complicated process, and guide you through home preparation, pricing, showings, offers, negotiations, inspections, closing and more.  
  • Know the true value of your home
  • Overpricing or underpricing your home could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Many factors go into determining a home’s value, and online estimates or previous sales prices often leave out important considerations. The Antonov Group has local market knowledge and sales expertise, in addition to plenty of resources, and can help you find your perfect price point. 
  • Make sure your photos deserve their own wall at the Louvre
  • Invest in great photography, because most home-searches begin online. Gorgeous pictures will attract more buyers, and more buyers means higher offers! 
  • Leave for showings, and bring the kids and Fido
  • It’s hard to leave your home knowing that a total stranger is going to pass judgement, especially with them not knowing how beautifully the sun hits the rear windows or how much better the new sink is. However, when you and your loved ones are at the house, it can make buyers feel like intruders in your home, or like they’re being rushed and can’t ask important questions. 
  • Try not to take it personally
  • At the end of the day, this is a business transaction. When a buyer lowballs you or criticizes your home, it’s not an attack on your sense of style or character. You made your home exactly what you always wanted, and buyers just want to do the same. 
  • Cross your t’s and dot your i’s on your disclosures before closing
  • Nothing sours a sale like incomplete disclosures. It’s vital that buyers know EVERYTHING about the home before the final moments of the transaction, because a closing room is no place to hash out furnace repairs or junk removal. The Antonov Group can guide you through their comprehensive set of detailed disclosure forms to help ensure nothing is forgotten! 
  • Enjoy the process while anticipating obstacles
  • This is a major life change, and while you can do everything in your power to make things go smoothly, sometimes life puts a bump in the road. Being prepared both financially and emotionally for whatever comes your way can make selling your home into the best possible experience!

5 Buyer Mistakes and Ideas

How to Avoid Five Mistakes That Home Buyers Make

  • Make sure to use a buyer’s agent

When you visit a potential home, the agent showing the house represents ONLY the sellers. It’s like walking into a lion’s den with a skirt and blouse made of steak. Not only will a buying agent protect YOUR interests, but they can offer invaluable insight into the housing market and buying process.

 

  • Don’t shop for homes before you’re preapproved

Buying a home is an exciting and promising adventure! Setting your heart on a home without knowing what you can afford can lead to heartbreak, and put a negative spin on your entire experience.

 

  • Always search for first-time buyer programs and grants

There are many opportunities to receive tax breaks, discounts, bonuses, down payment assistance, waived closing costs and more specifically for first-time homes buyers! Make sure to check the HUD website for state programs, in addition to county and city sites.  Or just call The Antonov Group, because our experts know the ins and outs of these benefits and are happy to guide buyers through every step of the process!

 

  • Never neg a potential home

Acting unimpressed and aloof is an age-old buyer’s tactic, but it has no place in home shopping! How would you feel if someone came into your home and made nothing but rude remarks? Negging doesn’t lower a house’s price, it just causes sellers to refuse a sale and shoo you right out of their home.

 

  • Don’t rely solely on online home value estimates

A quick search of available properties will often take you to sites with general estimates on a property’s value. These estimates are created by machines using cold statistics and numbers, and don’t take factors like neighborhoods, schools, style and personal needs into consideration. Relying solely on these ball-park figures can lead to vastly overpaying for a home, or missing out on a great opportunity because of an incorrect estimate. Real estate agents, especially those at The Antonov Group, understand the needs of individual buyers and the nuances of each home, and can help you save time, money and stress!

 

 

Handy Spring-Cleaning Tips for Homeowners Looking to Sell

Spring brings warmer weather and the rebirth of nature. It also brings out the home buyers. Whether you’re just about to put your home on the market for the first time or re-listing and resetting after the winter, your home is probably in dire need of a good spring cleaning. And like most things that have to do with selling your home, spring cleaning is something better tackled with a solid game plan. Here are some tips.

 

First things first: eliminate the extras

An inevitable part of spring cleaning is filling up trash bags and donation containers with your belongings. You can’t really clean until you get out the clutter. Sometimes, it’s tough to make decisions about what to get rid of—we’re all pretty attached to our stuff! But you can make it easier by starting with everything in your home you aren’t currently using or that you have extras of. Begin in the closets. Donate all of your unwanted/unused/non-fitting clothes. Ditch your extra coat hangers (you don’t need 300). Then move to the kitchen. All of those tupperware lids without homes? Toss them. Click here for more tips on what you can throw away right now to make your cleaning job more manageable.

Create a storage plan

Showing a house while living in it is never going to be easy, but it’s possible if you have a plan for organization and storage. Case in point: a room can have 20 of your kids’ toys in it and look like a disaster, or the same room can have the same 20 toys in it and look clean. How? It’s all about organization. Investing in bins and baskets for oft-used rooms in your home will allow you to store all of your toys, pet supplies, books, electronics, etc. without having to find a true storage space for them. Invest in attractive containers where you can quickly toss stuff—it’s that simple. Click here for some good tips.

Learn how to deep clean

A good spring cleaning shouldn’t be cursory; it should be deep and comprehensive. Many of us have never truly deep cleaned anything. This is problematic for staging a home for sale, as it’s the little things that can make all the difference. Basic cleaning may fail to remove some grease and other particulates from your kitchen cabinets, countertops, and stainless steel, for example. Those need a deep clean. You don’t want a prospective home buyer finding grime in your bathroom tile or a dirty oven either. And your carpets? A quick vacuuming isn’t going to cut it. Here’s a good outline for how to deep clean your entire home.

 

Hire some temporary help

Maybe you’re not the type of person who wants to have a full-time house cleaner. Maybe it’s a financial thing or something else. Whatever your particular aversion, it doesn’t matter now. You’re spring cleaning to prep your home for sale, so you need all the help you can get. Make your spring cleaning initiative ongoing with a semiweekly housekeeper. You can schedule a big clean at the end of every week and then at the beginning of the week, presumably after an open house on the weekend. Before you hire a housekeeper, check out these tips for the interview.

It helps to think about your spring cleaning in three stages: decluttering, organizing, and deep cleaning. And you definitely need to go about it in that order. The first two steps will make the third one possible, and if you get some help, you can be sure to stay on top of things. Your realtor is sure to thank you for making spring cleaning a priority.

 

 

A Gift Guide for Grandma and Grandpa

With an average life expectancy of 85 years, seniors today have more time to enjoy all the things they love. But like the rest of us, home maintenance isn’t at the top of the list. Here are the top gifts for senior homeowners:

Automatic vacuum. The movements associated with vacuuming can be difficult for seniors with arthritis or other mobility impairments. Likewise, poor eyesight can make it easy to miss hidden dust bunnies, which can saturate the air and cause a host of respiratory issues. Consumer Reports tested dozens of automatic/robot vacuums and have narrowed it down to five that offer the best suck for the buck.

Amazon Prime membership. For $99 per year, your senior loved one can have everything from toilet paper to toothpicks delivered right to their door. And if you live in one of the hundreds of areas with Prime Now service, many of these items will arrive within a few hours.

Robotic lawnmower. For the homeowner who hates yard work, a robotic mower is the gift to give. With a substantial price tag, these mowers are a premium present you’ll want to save for the ones you love the most. Husqvarna’s lineup of premium robot mowers starts at $1,999. Less expensive models can be found at your local hardware store.

Voice activated lights. Voice-activated lights are today what The Clapper was in the 80s. Now, your senior loved one can illuminate any room with a simple command. This will add a whole new level of safety at night while giving your gift recipient complete control over the ambiance of their home.

Self-cleaning oven. Gone are the days when grandma has to spend hours cleaning up dried/burnt-on spills from the oven floor. Modern ovens are equipped with hidden elements that make wiping out dirt and debris a breeze. But, over time, gunk collects and, eventually, she’ll have to deep clean the oven. A self-cleaning oven eliminates the elbow grease by burning excess material at a temperature of about 880°F. What’s left is a layer of ash that can be easily wiped away. No muss, no fuss.

Automatic garage door opener. For those with outdated manual garage doors, consider gifting an automatic garage door opener, which will eliminate the need to bend over and potentially pull a muscle.

Smart home security system. Internet-enabled home security systems may be paired with devices that can do everything from control the indoor air temperature to locking the front door from anywhere in the country. These devices will help your aging relative manage their household and allow you to keep tabs on their safety and security from wherever you may be. PC Mag compares the nine most popular smart home security systems for 2017 here.

Slow cooker with liners. Perhaps one of the best gifts you can give for people with medical conditions that restrict the use of their hands is an easy way to clean up after cooking. A slow cooker and liners to fit is a gift that will speed up post-meal cleanup and ensure you get a regular invitation to dinner.

Scheduled maintenance. Depending on where your loved one lives, they may be within the designated service area of the heating, cooling, plumbing, or electrical company that offers annual maintenance plans. This is a gift that lasts all year and keeps your loved one’s systems in tip top shape.

Today, technology makes it easy to age in place without worry. Your elderly loved one doesn’t have to live in one of the top cities for technology-assisted living in order to enjoy their independence. With a little preparation and a few pieces of advanced equipment, your loved one can live alone no matter where they call home.

Finding A New Home For Seniors

When major life events happen, people often move into a new home. In fact, you can live in several places over the years thanks to college, marriage, and having kids. Although moving can sometimes be a pain, it’s worth it to finally be in a home that matches your needs.

This is true for seniors as well, especially since many are facing major life changes like retirement or the “empty nest.” However, finding a new home as a senior can be difficult. That’s where you can come in handy. You can help a senior find a right place to love. It starts by understanding what options there are for housing.

Housing Options For Seniors

Chances are, the senior is still living in the same house they’ve been in for years. That can be a problem as the senior gets older, if it’s not already an issue. It can be difficult to keep a big house clean when you start to lose some vision or mobility.

Then what are the options? A Place For Mom explains there are several options so the senior can still live independently:

  • A smaller condo or apartment, especially if it only has one floor.
  • Retirement communities, especially those that offer social and medical assistance.
  • Senior apartments so your friend can live around those their own age.
  • Housing developments that restrict ownership to other seniors.

Depending on the health of the senior, you may also want to explore assisted living residences or nursing homes. While they might not sound fun, they can be a great home for seniors who need regular medical care — or at least to have someone on call in case of emergencies.

Tips For Moving Day Success

Once you’ve found a place for your senior friend, it’s time to start packing.

American Senior Care has a list of five tips for seniors moving into a new place:

  1. Hire movers if you can since they are trained and experienced in doing these jobs.
  2. Plan in advance what to move and what to donate.
  3. Make a list of items most important to the senior so they can be treated with care.
  4. Break packing into smaller, manageable tasks.
  5. Create a plan for where everything will go in the new place.

Another tip is to help the senior declutter by getting rid of unused items. Heirlooms can be given to family, while anything not used by the senior can probably be sold at a yard sale or donated to a local charity. Just make sure you explain everything to the senior before getting rid of anything.

Renovations On A Budget

Often after the move is complete, you start to notice problems in the new place. For seniors, there’s also the chance that they need some modifications as they grow older. That’s why you should look into renovations — but since the senior has a limited income, you need to do so on a budget.

Two of the most important places for remodeling are the bath and bedroom. Because many seniors have problems with vision and balance, installing grab bars is a must. You should also make sure there is adequate lighting, and consider adding a coat of high-contrast paint, which can help as well.

Many renovations require adding or repairing drywall, which should ideally be performed by a professional, since the walls of your home are critical to a sturdy structure. Depending on the scope of the job, drywall installation can run anywhere from $1,055 – $2,329 and take 9-10 days in the Minneapolis area.

The Senior’s New Home Is Out There

A senior has plenty to think about without stressing over a move. That’s why you can help. Explore different housing options, then get some movers and pack slowly over time. Then look into some simple renovations like grab bars so the senior can both be safe and love their new place.

Structural Damage Can Be a Deal Breaker

Homes With Structural Damage – What Buyers Should Know

Most homebuyers do not set out to buy a home with any sort of structural repair issue. But when statistics showing more than 5.5 million existing home sales for the year 2016 were published, it becomes apparent that not every home sold could have been completely free of defects – while it isn’t the norm, some home buyers will run across seemingly great properties for sale only to find that there is a structural issue.

With this in mind, when should a homebuyer entertain the idea of buying a home with structural defects and what type of structural defect should be approached with extreme caution?

Major structural repair issues to be aware of

Most people will attest that there are no perfect homes. No matter how carefully the sellers have worked to prepare their home for the market, there will always be at least a few small issues that were missed or cannot be fixed. But there are also some major structural issues that buyers should investigate carefully before deciding to move forward with any offer.

These include:

  • Foundation problems, including cracks in foundation walls more than one-quarter inch wide and any foundation or settlement issues that show the home may have shifted or moved, such as doors and windows that do not open and close properly and sloping floors inside the home
  • Severe termite infestations or unrepaired termite damage that endangers floor joists, sill plates, and other wooden structural components
  • Extensive mold or water damage that will require major renovation, including the replacement of some of the structural elements of the home
  • Shoddy workmanship or unpermitted renovations that negatively affect the structure and support system of the home. Many sellers choose to renovate before listing but, unfortunately, some try to cut corners

Understanding the scope of the structural defect

When sellers disclose a known structural defect or the buyer’s home inspection process reveals a latent one, it is important to understand the scope of the defect. In most cases, this type of expert assessment should always be performed by either a certified structural engineer or a reputable, experienced building contractor familiar with similar home designs and construction techniques.

Using the structural assessment information to renegotiate

Once the buyers have received the findings of the structural assessment and discussed it with their real estate professional and their lender, they should consider using that information to:

a) decide whether or not to remain in the transaction

b) renegotiate the price and terms of the purchase agreement to offset the expected cost of the repairs

c) renegotiate the purchase agreement to allow the sellers to make the repairs to the satisfaction of the buyers at seller’s cost

If the home is otherwise in good condition and the structural defect is repairable, buyers may benefit by renegotiating price and terms and moving forward. If the sellers are unwilling or unable to reduce the price or offer some other assistance to offset a structural defect, buyers should seriously consider withdrawing their offer and moving forward with another home.

Always make an informed decision when considering a home with any type of structural defect

Information is the best defense when considering the purchase of any home with a potential structural defect. Buyers can start by carefully examining the home while viewing it with their real estate agent, studying the seller’s disclosure carefully, and requesting further information for any issue that may be related to the structural condition of the home.

It is important to remember, however, that some home loans, such as FHA and VA mortgages, are contingent on condition. Buyers who are considering accepting a home with a structural defect should discuss the pros and cons carefully with both their real estate agent and lender before making a final decision.

4 Reasons Why Homeownership is a Good Investment in Fridley

Maybe in the past, you’ve thought about owning a house but you’re not sure if it’s right for you. Well, aside from owning your own home instead of renting, one consideration is that it’s a sound financial investment. Here are 4 reasons why homeownership is a good investment in Fridley.

There are many kinds of investments out there – from stocks to bonds, from funds to art – but one of the best investments out there is real estate.

It’s a stable, solidly performing investment. If you are curious about whether it’s right for you, here are 4 reasons why homeownership is a good investment in Fridley…

Reason #1. It’s a Real Asset

Some investments, like stocks, are just “paper” assets. That is, they represent an investment but they don’t have any real value themselves. If the company collapses, you’re left with nothing but a worthless piece of paper. However, with real estate, you have a real asset (something you can touch and see) and it has real value.

Reason #2. Upward Trend

One of the things that make real estate a great investment is that the price tends to go up. Sure, the price might fluctuate depending on the economy or what else is going on in the neighborhood, but in general, real estate prices tend to rise over time.

Reason #3. You Can Increase Value

A very powerful reason why real estate is a good investment is that you have control over the value of the property. If you buy a house for a certain price and them improvements, you’ll increase the value of the house.

A new paint job or an upgraded bathroom can raise the resale value of your home. (This is preferable to a stock, which you can’t really improve with a paint job!)

 

Reason #4. Stability

If you’re currently renting a place to live and not sure if a property will give you a good return, then consider this: one often-overlooked return is the stability you get from living in one house that you own.

And that stability translates into a better credit score. And that credit score is a valuable outcome that can improve your ability to borrow, and even your ability to find a job (since some employers will check your credit score before hiring you.)

So just my moving into a home and staying there for a while, you’ll get some stability and be able to increase your credit score.

Summary

If you’re currently renting and debating about whether you should buy a property, then think about the return you could get on that property. Real estate is often a solid investment and here are 4 reasons why home ownership is a good investment in Fridley.

Ready to invest in your next home in Fridley? We want to help. To talk to us about buying your next house, click here now and fill out the form or call our office at 612-840-6507.

5 Reasons You Need To Hire A Real Estate Professional in Blaine

If you’re thinking about buying or selling a property in Blaine then you might be wondering if you should hire a real estate professional to help you.

In this blog post, you’ll read 5 reasons you need to hire a real estate professional in Blaine – these are our recommendations about why a real estate professional can help you buy or sell your real estate!

It used to be that everyone hired a real estate professional when they needed to buy or sell. Times have changed and many people are now exploring other options. So now, the first step is to decide whether or not you even need to hire a professional to help you.

5 reasons you need to hire a real estate professional in Blaine

Reason #1

A real estate professional knows what to do. If you try to do it yourself, you may not realize all the steps or “ins and outs” required of you, which could mean your transaction takes longer, costs more, or gets stopped because of some obstacle you didn’t know about.

Reason #2

A real estate professional has “insider knowledge” of the market. They’ll know whether now is a good time to buy or sell, who is buying and who is selling, where the best places are to buy or sell, and what will increase your chances of buying or selling.

Reason #3

A real estate professional has access to tools which might help them to find a buyer or seller for you faster. The tools might include technology, systems, and a network of other professionals that they can rely on to help them provide you with the service you need

Reason #4

Many people think they can handle the process of buying or selling a house without the help of a professional but when it comes time to negotiate, they realize they really miss that help! A real estate professional can negotiate on your behalf to help you and the other party find a price that will work for you both.

 

 

Reason #5

Once the transaction is almost complete, you’ll need to complete the paperwork. Do you know what paperwork you’ll need? Do you know how to make sure that you don’t get ripped off by the other party?

A real estate professional’s job is to help you understand the paperwork and check to make sure that there are no surprises.

Summary

If you’re wondering whether or not you should hire a professional these are 5 reasons you need to hire a real estate professional in Blaine.

Looking for a recommendation of a great real estate professional? Or maybe you read this list and decided not to hire one anyway. That’s okay, we buy and sell real estate directly.

To get in touch, click here now and fill out the form or call our office at 612-840-6507.

Make Appointment
Looking to buy or sell a home in MN?Schedule a FREE 1-hour consultation!
Scroll to top