Monday, July 19, 2010

New Listing in Saint Louis Park!

Cute and clean this classic Saint Louis Park one and half story will not disappoint. Located just north of Minnetonka Blvd on Edgewood this house is close to everything (e.g. downtown, the new West End, trails, parks, schools). Check out this great backyard!

Here are all the details.


Homebuying Tax Credit Extended for Veterans

While the $8,000 tax credit for first time homebuyers and the $6,500 tax credit for move-up buyers has gone away since April 30th, these benefits still remain in place for veterans of the US military who have recently served. The new law provides that qualified service members who are ordered on a period of official extended duty shall have until April 30 of 2011 to have a purchase agreement accepted to qualify for either the $8,000 or $6,500 tax credits. These contracts then have to be closed by June 30th of 2011. This gives the men and women returning from duty time to get settled and make a smart purchase as it should be.

For full qualification requirements and additional details, visit here.


JAM Group's Jacqueline Miller Honored® National Speaker, Joe Sesso, has presented to Jacqueline Miller of RE/MAX Results the “Real Estate Online Marketing Award of Excellence”. The Award of Excellence recognizes top agents who consistently provide great marketing services on behalf of their buyers and sellers.

The excellence award was presented to Jacqueline Miller at a recent real estate marketing and technology seminar that demonstrated cutting edge techniques for leveraging the internet and technology in real estate marketing.



Tax Credit Extended?!?!

Yes, but no....

I have heard on multiple occasions from buyers and sellers in the market, "the tax credit got extended!" As much as some of us in the industry wish this was the case it is not what most think.

The Federal Government has extended the closing date to allow buyers with signed purchase agreements before April 30, 2010 to close until September 30, 2010. Originally, buyers had to have an accepted contract before April 30th and then had to close by the end of June. Realtors and buyers pleaded to the government for more time as they struggled to get the files closed with short sale approval delays and title issues. The extra time will make life easier for loan and title companies while assuring buyers who did get their contracts accepted before April 30th that they have sufficient time to close. There was no real discussion of opening the credit back up to new contracts as some had hoped and some still believe is the case.

The tax credit had a good run. Now it is time to see if the real estate market can stand alone on it's own feet.


Eden Prairie Goes #1

Eden Prairie was recently named, "Best Place to Live in America" by CNN's Money Magazine. This remarkable distinction is determined by a variety of factors including: average household income, test scores, employment rate, median home price, crime rate, public space, and more. The top spot returns to the Twin Cities metro after taking a year off. In 2008, Plymouth held the honor before giving way to Louisville, Colorado in 2009.

Here is a link to the full article.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Number of Showings Down Over 50%

While it is always hard to estimate how many buyers are currently active in the market, one way is to examine the number of showings taking place on a group of listings compared to a similar group of listings one year prior. Analyzing showings on Re/Max Results listings for the months of March, April, and May we find that showings are down considerably from last year indicating there are significantly less buyers now than a year ago. March showed the smallest drop at 21% less while April reports 36% less showings than April 2009. The biggest drop-off was May which only had 42% of the showings that last May had, a 58% drop in buyers viewing properties.

The numbers do not translate exactly but the stats show that there are less buyers in the market now than one year ago. For sellers, this means that they have to price aggressively and show better than the competition to attract a smaller crop of potential buyers. For buyers, this means they have more choices and more leverage in negotiating. For the market as a whole, we could see downward pressure on prices if this trend continues through the summer.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

May Monthly Skinny

Here's a quick video on the Twin Cities housing market. April stats are in and there were several positive signs. The forecast is for a "mostly stable" housing market but a slow summer due to displaced demand (buyers that may have bought over the summer bought earlier to take advantage of the tax incentive).

For specific information on your neighborhood or areas of interest, contact us.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

With Tax Credit Over, Are Prices Heading Down Again?

Prices finally seemed to stabilize in the first quarter of this year, but one national firm is predicting that the days of price dips aren't behind us. Real estate analytic firm, Core-Logic, is projecting prices to be down 4.2% nationally by February of 2011 due to a shortage of buyers in the market. The under supply of buyers being a direct result of buyers scrambling to get purchase agreements accepted in late April to take advantage of the tax credit. This last minute demand helped temporally stem the tide of the price downturn most markets had been experiencing for the past two years. However, with the elimination of a percentage of buyers from the market in the coming months, this false floor if you will could sink a little bit.

What does this mean for buyers and sellers? Buyers will have some nice deals to consider in the coming months, whereas, sellers will need to be very aggressive with pricing and have a plan.

Here's the full article on the details courtesy of USA Today


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Do Buyers Have Less Choices?

I have recently been hearing from buyers that they don't feel like there are enough choices for them in the marketplace. I did a little digging to legitimize what they have been feeling. The Supply and Demand Ratio shows there are 4.39 homes on the market per buyer. This is down from 5.02 homes per buyer in April 2009 and 7.28 in April 2008. While the numbers for this year and last year look similar, that is nearly a 13% difference in the amount of homes for sale per buyer which is a large enough difference to be felt in the home shopping process.

Here is the Weekly Market Report from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors with more current statistics. Additional evidence can be found in the number of homes on the market which is down 12.5% from last year at this time. Another measure that the industry uses shows there is a 6 month supply of homes on the market; 2 years ago there was over a 9 month supply of homes.

These statistics match up with what several of my buyers have been feeling. However, if we look a closer at the statistics we find that not all price ranges are created equal. For example, overall inventory may be down and buyers under $120k may be shackled with less choices (currently a 3 month supply of homes) but buyers shopping in the over $1M range have almost a 3 year supply to pick from (compared to a 2 year supply a year ago). There are price ranges and areas where buyers still have significant choices and opportunities. For buyers, it is very important to review price range specific statistics when pondering the age old buying questions, "is now the right time?" I recommend getting an analysis of your specific area of interest and price range to know exactly what's happening within your shopping budget.

Jacqueline A. Miller

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Stylish Eagan Townhome- New Listing

Check out our the virtual tour of our new listing at 3762 Vermilion Court South in Eagan. A sunny front patio sets the stage for the terrific interior spaces to follow. The comfortable living room has new wood laminate flooring and features a cozy gas fireplace. The adjacent dining area flows nicely into the kitchen with a handy breakfast bar, ceramic tile flooring and new stainless steel appliances. The upper level is comprised of two generous bedrooms and a loft. This impeccable townhome has quality updates throughout and is available in time for you to qualify for the first-time home-buyer tax credit. Offered at $144,900.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Green Friendly Home Materials for Home Improvement

Looking to do some green friendly home remodeling and don't know where to start? I recently made a trip to Natural Built Home, a Minneapolis based home material store that sells only products that pass the U.S. Green Building Council's criteria for environmentally friendly and sustainable materials. Their focus is on factors of sustainability, recycled content, low to no toxicity and V.O.C.'s, and locally or USA made. They have everything you need for your remodeling projects - paints, flooring, insulation, counter tops, tiles, etc. I was blown away at the superior craftsmanship and design of the products - very stunning (I will attach pictures below). The metal tiles and the backsplash made from recycled wine corks were as nice as I have seen. They would make a sharp addition to any home. Along with doing good for the community, improving the quality of air in your home, and refreshing your current decor, these materials will make for a solid selling feature if and when you decide to move. :)

The Natural Built Home is located at 4020 Minnehaha Avenue S in Minneapolis. Here is their website.

Those looking to do an extensive "green friendly" or sustainable remodeling project should contact me for a referral to a local architecture firm that is doing some cutting edge green projects in town.

Friday, March 19, 2010

House Shopping Junkie

The snow has melted, I have started wearing less bulky and more figure flattering jackets and I can take my dog on a walk without fearing frostbite. What does this mean? Well, its time for the spring Parade of Homes by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities. For the past eleven years, this has been a favorite past-time of mine. Even though I spend all day looking at, talking about and searching the MLS for houses, I can't help but to use my few free hours to visit the model homes around the Twin Cities.

Slip on shoes- check! Parade of Homes Guidebook- check! Empty stomach- check! (Yep, some of the model homes have quite a spread of food). This year my husband of 5 months had the pleasure of joining me on my journey around the Twin Cities. I think he now has a better idea of my passion for houses after a few pleas of "I think we can fit in another one before they close!"

I love that I can indulge in my hobby while doing research for my clients. I can pick up on decor trends like popular paint and flooring choices that I can pass along to my sellers when they are prepping their homes for the market. I can spot updates in standard floor plans that my be helpful for my clients that are ready to remodel (the past few years, I have loved the many versions of upper level "bonus rooms"). I can also save my buyers some leg work by checking floor plans, prices and options for them. From what I looked at, the prices have definitely come down over the last few years making building an affordable option for more buyers. I am posting some of my favorites on my Facebook Fan Page

So dear hubby, bear with me as there are two weekends left in the Parade of Homes. Oh, then in April we can go to the Energy Efficient Homes on Tour!


Behind on your mortgage?

If you have missed a payment on your mortgage you are not alone. Nearly one in six homeowners were at least one month delinquent according to the MBA National Deliquency Survey at the end end of 2009.

The last few years have brought many challenges to homeowners. In the past, owners who fell upon hard times or had a change of circumstances, would sell their home and move on with their lives. The decline in home values seems to eliminate this possibility for many owners today. Over half of owners go into foreclosure seemingly without intervention.

It has been tough to sit by and watch this scenario unfold around us. My team has decided to be part of the solution. We have experience helping owners get short sales accepted by their lenders. We have committed to educating ourselves on the short sales process and keeping up to date on the many changes that lenders are implementing. We just completed the Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certification by the National Association of Realtors.

Find out what your options are; let us be your resource.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension for Members of the Military

If you are a member of the military or certain other federal employees serving outside of the U.S., you have an additional year to qualify for the homebuyer tax credit. Here is the information from the IRS on this extension.

For other consumers, we are fast approaching the deadline to be under contract for your qualifying purchase. Purchase agreements need to be signed by April 30th and you need to close by June 30th. Take advantage of the credit, low interest rates and record affordability.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Become a Home Buying Expert - First Time Home Buying Seminar Saturday 3/6

Buying a home in today's market can be very challenging with a glut of bank owned and pre-foreclosure properties on the market. There are deals to be had out there but with the positive upside comes many new risks. Join Jam Associates on Saturday, March 6th to get all the information needed to make an educated decision on your biggest life purchase. Information will include education on "short sales", facts on current market conditions, and tips for saving money on your loan. All prospective home buyers will leave with a complete home buying packet with extra info on the current $8000 and $6500 Federal Tax Credits, inspection ideas, current properties for sale, and a detailed list of the steps involved in purchasing real estate. Attendees will have plenty of time to get their questions answered in a friendly, casual atmosphere.

The seminar is FREE and requires no obligation. This is your chance to become a home buying expert!

Here are the details:
Saturday, March 6th - 10am
5201 Eden Avenue Suite 100, Edina

Please RSVP to

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Workshop to Help Save Your Home

Wells Fargo is hosting Home Preservation Workshops at the St. Paul RiverCentre on February 17th and 18th from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Homeowners with a Wells Fargo or Wachovia mortgage that are having payment challenges including being 60 to 90 days late on their payments have an opportunity to get solutions on the spot. Representatives will meet personally with borrowers to discuss their financial concerns and options including the government's Home Affordable Modification Program.

Similar outreach events have been held in other major cities like Chicago and Atlanta with great success. For more information call 1-800-405-8067 or go to


Where is Twin Cities Market Heading?

At the end of January there were 16.6% less homes on the market than a year ago. If you have been waiting to put your home on the market, now may be the time.

Here is the video summary of the Twin Cities real estate market courtesy of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. This informative monthly summary includes current trends and activity and also future projections. Watch this video for an overview of the real estate market.

If you are wondering what the value of your home is in today's market, please contact us for a free price analysis.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Government Modifications to the "Short Sale" Process

As many of you know, the "short sale" process has been a nightmare for buyers, sellers, and real estate agents alike. It looks like some relief may be on the way. Here is a video link to Margaret Kelly, CEO of Re/Max International, explaining the changes.

For those unfamilair with the "short sale" process, this is a great learning resource.

If you have additional questions, we are well versed in these transactions as we have been on both sides many times in the past couple of years. Feel free to contact us to discuss further.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mayors Announce $41M for First-Time Homebuyer Program!

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman announced that they have $41M to contribute to the "CityLiving Program" for first-time homebuyers. These programs reach a great number of candidates with the income threshold being set relatively high. This is a great opportunity for those looking to purchase property in the city of Minneapolis or St Paul.

Contact Jacqueline and I for more details.

This money goes out on a first come, first served basis and it will not last!

is a link to the article.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

December Market Report - Bottom Is Here?

The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors has posted the December statistics for the area. You can find the video link here.