Update: Current Mortgage Rates

May 13, 2014

When purchasing a home there are many factors to consider. One major factor, is mortgage rates. Mortgage rates are constantly in a state of ups and downs with weekly, if not daily changes. This is something to keep in mind and consider when you are thinking about purchasing a home and/or selling your current home.

In a recent Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey, mortgage rates, for the week of April 17th on a 30 – year fixed mortgage were at 4.27% compared to 4.34% the week prior – still up from 3.42% in 2013. For a 15 – year fixed mortgage, rates fell from 3.38% to 3.33% – still up from 2.64% in 2013.

Speaking with a mortgage lender prior to looking for a home is very important. They are able to give you all of the information needed to make an informed decision on the current interest rates and how they will effect your monthly mortgage payment. They are also available to answer any questions you have regarding the lending side of purchasing a home.

If you or someone you know is thinking about buying a home and/or selling your current home, contact the Better Living Group today! We are here to provide you with information on purchasing a home and a free market analysis for the home you are considering to sell. The Better Living Group are Real Estate professionals in the Twin Cities and Greater Metro areas who are ready and able to assist with all of your Real Estate needs and goals and to provide only the best Real Estate service to all of our clients past, present and future.

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Chelsea Knutson and the Better Living Group

Realtor- GRI, ABR, CDPE

Keller Williams Classic Realty NW

Posted in Community /Open House /Real Estate News, Updates & Trends /

Just Listed – Coon Rapids SF Home

March 21, 2014

Our team, the Better Living Group at Keller Williams Classic Realty NW in Maple Grove, MN has just listed this beautifully updated single family home in Coon Rapids! This home has many wonderful amenities including a fully updated and renovated kitchen with stainless steel appliances and beautiful granite countertops, as well as a large center island for plenty of counter space.

This home features 3 bedrooms and two bathrooms, both of which have been remodeled. There are new utilities: furnace, water heater and water softener. Beautiful hard wood floors accompany this home along with a new sliding glass door on the upper level leading to the deck, which over looks a large pond. This pond can be utilized as an ice rink in the winter and great for sitting on the deck and watching the ducks and geese in the summer.

If you are interested in purchasing a home in the Coon Rapids area, contact me today for a private viewing of this wonderful home – you don’t want to miss this!

The Better Living Group are licensed Realtors in MN, working in the Twin Cities and greater Metro Areas and we’re dedicated to providing the very best service to all of our clients – past, present and future. We know the current market trends and have some fantastic and reputable lender referrals available, all who are ready and able to assist you in purchasing your new home.

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Chelsea Knutson and the Better Living Group

Realtor- GRI, ABR, CDPE

Keller Williams Classic Realty NW

Posted in Community /Open House /Real Estate News, Updates & Trends /

RE 2014 | Sellers No Longer In the Driver’s Seat

January 30, 2014 real_estate_picture

The real estate market seems to always be in a state of ups and downs – you may even refer to it as a rollercoaster ride of supply and demand. In 2013, we saw a low inventory of homes on the market, making it tough to satisfy all the Buyers who were looking to purchase. In turn, this created multiple offer situations for many Buyers looking to snatch the home they love. This has been ideal for residential sales as its been awhile since they had the pleasure of requesting the ‘highest and best’ offer for the property.
Most recently, we’ve seen a slight turn in inventory. More properties are beginning to come on the market and list prices are rising along with them. This combination is forcing Buyers to become more money savvy, taking a closer look at the costs they will incur for the home they want to purchase. Of course the rise in home prices is great for those looking to sell their home, and typically puts a positive spin on the equity issue many have been experiencing.
With all this in mind, and knowing that interest rates are expected to rise in 2014, Sellers still have work to do in order to compete in this market. Many Buyers aren’t looking to purchase the ‘fixer upper’, and if you’re one of the few and brave that are, you’re certainly not looking to pay top dollar. What to do to get top dollar? Clean it, stage it and price it right – this means price it in accordance with the market, not in accordance with what you’d like to get out of it. Also, Buyers are expecting a well cared for and mostly updated interior with a groomed and maintained exterior, and they’re willing to walk away if the home’s condition and price don’t match up.
This is just the beginning of our New Year, if you have questions about how to get the most amount of money out of your home, or are in need of assistance when it comes to purchasing a new one – the Better Living Group is here for you. Let us know how we can help make your 2014, the best one yet!

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Chelsea Knutson and the Better Living Group

Realtor- GRI, ABR, CDPE

Keller Williams Classic Realty NW

Posted in Community /Local Festivities /Real Estate News, Updates & Trends /

Update: Mortgage Interest Rates at Four Month Low

November 1, 2013

Due to the recent government shut down the mortgage industry has seen some changes, added with weak job numbers as a result of the shutdown, fixed mortgage rates are now at a four month low.

In July of this year we saw interest rates begin to rise with 30-year fixed rate mortgages go from 3.93% to 4.46%. This was the largest jump in interest rates at one given time since 1987. Now, since the shut down, we have seen rates drop from 4.28% to 4.13%. This is still quite a bit higher then last year, which was 3.41%, yet the rates are still low and affordable for many of us looking to purchase a new home.

If you are thinking about purchasing a home and/or need to sell your home, contact us today. We will go over current market trends and have some fantastic lender referrals available, all who are ready and able to assist you. My team and I are licensed Realtors in MN, working in the Twin Cities and greater Metro Areas and we’re dedicated to providing the very best service to all of our clients – past, present and future.

Chelsea Knutson and the Better Living Group

Realtor- GRI, ABR, CDPE

Keller Williams Classic Realty NW

Posted in Community /Real Estate News, Updates & Trends /

Purchasing a New Home? Tips for Staying In the Know

October 24, 2013

When you are in the market to purchase a home, there are many things you’ll want to take into consideration. There are aspects of the home purchasing process you’ll need to understand, some more important than others.

First and foremost, start with preparing yourself with the wants and needs of your new home, as well as what sacrifices you’re willing to make – because there will be sacrifices, no house is perfect, not even new construction. Our team ensures our clients are as prepared as possible when they’re ready to move forward. It’s our sincere pleasure to see our Buyers find the house that they’re excited to call home.

Next, you’ll want to determine what type of financing is going to work best for you. There are many different options out there and each type of financing has it’s own rules and regulations to follow, some even have stipulations on the property’s overall condition. Lean on your Realtor and Loan Officer when it comes to knowing if the home you are looking at may cause a financing issue, they should be able to give you a good indication if the purchase will go through, prior to writing an offer.

Now we’re on to house shopping! You’ll want to keep an eye out for the condition of the major systems and mechanics of a home, i.e. the furnace/boiler, air-conditioner, water heater, roof, windows, etc. These are expenses that are more costly to replace, especially if you’re not prepared for them. When you’ve found a home that fits your needs, take a second look at these systems with your Realtor, write your offer accordingly and most importantly, get a home inspection. A home inspector will look at things that are not easily visible to you or your Realtor, you will need this inspection to understand how to care for your home and to determine if there are any items that should be discussed with the Seller.

Being an informed Buyer and aware of these few steps will make looking at homes much more enjoyable. While some properties may seem to be a great deal, they may also turn into a money pit if you don’t take the necessary precautions. On the other hand, many will be just what they seem to be – a not quite perfect yet fantastic home, at a fair market price.

Our Team looks forward to all of our clients finding the home of their dreams and we’ll be there to help with these and all the other steps in the home purchase process. We are here for the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between.

If you are thinking about purchasing a home and/or need to sell your home, contact us today. We will go over current market trends and have some fantastic lender referrals available, all who are ready and able to assist you. My team and I are licensed Realtors in MN, working in the Twin Cities and greater Metro Areas and we’re dedicated to providing the very best service to all of our clients – past, present and future.

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Chelsea Knutson and the Better Living Group

Realtor- GRI, ABR, CDPE

Keller Williams Classic Realty NW

Posted in Community /Real Estate News, Updates & Trends /

Home Buyers | Credit Scores & Down Payment Requirements Ease

October 16, 2013

If you are thinking about purchasing a home and are concerned about getting a loan due to what you’ve heard about and/or previously experienced when it comes to getting approved for a loan, it’s time to take another look.

A recent study by Housingwire, says that lenders are starting to ease up on borrowers. Lenders are beginning to approve more loans for those who have credit scores under 700. This is great news for all homebuyers who have some debt or discrepancies that held up the approval process in the past. Whether it is higher student loans, credit cards or a past short sale or foreclosure, you may now have the opportunity to purchase your new home, depending on your current credit score. The fact that lenders are easing up on requirements will make it easier for homebuyers to come in and get a loan to purchase the home of their dreams.

The Housingwire study also stated that banks have started to lend larger amounts of money while requiring a lower down payment. The minimum down payment for a Conventional loan could be as low as 3 to 5% and FHA is 3.5%, which is a low down payment for those who have cash flow, however, want to keep some of their nest egg in the bank.

If you are thinking about purchasing a home and/or need to sell your home, contact me today. We will go over current market trends and set you up with some fantastic lenders who are ready and able to assist you. I am a licensed Realtor in MN, working in the Twin Cities and greater Metro Areas and am dedicated to providing the very best service to all of my clients – past, present and future.

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Chelsea Knutson

Realtor- GRI, ABR, CDPE

763-496-2903

the Better Living Group

Keller Williams Classic Realty NW

Posted in Community /Real Estate News, Updates & Trends /

Minneapolis on The Rise: Real Estate

September 20, 2013

Every real estate market in the U.S, never stays the same. Housing is nearly always shifting with market ups and downs that certainly change the way we move forward in selling and buying a home. The good news, statistics show Minneapolis is on the upswing and on the rise!

Many factors will go into determining what the current market trends are in a particular area. The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors has reported that pending home sales, in August 2013, rose 10.9%. With less than 4 months of supply on the market, we are currently in what some would say is a Seller’s market. This means that home prices are on the rise and with inventory this low, many buyers looking to purchase are finding there is not much to choose from – which tends to give Sellers the advantage when it comes to negotiating the sale price. Current records show, the Real Estate inventory holds 15,773 active properties for sale, which is 9.9% lower then August 2012.

With that being said, more properties are coming up for sale and interest rates are coming in at a 5 week low. So even though home prices are on the rise, homeowners are still looking to sell and Buyers are getting great interest rate opportunities to purchase, which makes this the kind of market we all should be taking part in.

On a side note, foreclosures and short sales still have a presence when it comes to real estate inventory, something to keep in mind when either selling or buying in this market. In August of 2012 foreclosures and short sales made up 35.8% of the Real Estate sales activity, that number is down to 20.7% this year. Making it so the majority of houses for sale are traditional sales, thankfully, no waiting games or crazy addendums attached.

Of course when we take in all this information, we want to remember the current market in each area has its own local statistics, something my team and I are here to provide when you’re ready to sell or buy your new home. Feel free to contact us, anytime.

Chelsea Knutson

Realtor- GRI, ABR, CDPE

763-496-2903

the Better Living Group

Keller Williams Classic Realty NW

Posted in Community /Real Estate News, Updates & Trends /

JUST LISTED:: Open and Spacious Town House in Plymouth

September 12, 2013

Just listed open and spacious town house in Plymouth, MN. This is a 2-bedroom 2-bathroom townhouse with large rooms. It has an extremely open concept with updated appliances as well as newer major systems. Close freeway access and also close to shopping, parks, trails and entertainment. This is a MUST SEE!

Contact me today for a confidential showing of this wonderful townhouse! I look forward to hearing from you and helping you achieve all of your Real Estate goals!

I am a licensed Real Estate Professional in the Twin Cities Metro and Greater Minnesota Areas and strive to provide the best real estate service, with the support of my team the Better Living Group, for all of my past, present and future clients.

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Chelsea Knutson

Realtor- GRI, ABR, CDPE

763-496-2903

the Better Living Group

Keller Williams Classic Realty NW

Posted in Community /Real Estate News, Updates & Trends /

How to Prevent Water Intrusion in Your Home

August 30, 2013

When showing homes there are many things that Real Estate Professionals and potential homeowners will want to look out for, one major item to keep in mind are signs of water intrusion. When there is dampness on the basement walls and/or floors, a wet and musty smell, or water-marks in the ceiling, these may be signs that there has been water in the home, whether it has been recent or in the past. Of course, there are many different ways to prevent this sort of intrusion from happening in your home.

First, check to make sure there are gutters around the exterior of the property, if they are not currently there, they should be and may be something to discuss with your Realtor if this is the home you want to purchase. Gutters are a key component in water intrusion prevention, they should be properly installed and come out at least 6 feet from the foundation of your home. This will lead the water to run away from your home. When gutters are leading water any closer then 6 feet away, it may not prevent the water from running back to the home’s foundation and potentially cause water intrusion. If this is not corrected, it could eventually cause foundation problems in the future. Needless to say, gutters are a much needed component when it comes to the prevention of water intrusion.

The second key component in water prevention is properly landscaping and grading the dirt/land away from your house. Site grading is one of the easiest and cost effective solutions to properly drain water away from your home. Bringing the dirt to slope away at least 6ft, at a 1 inch slant down for every foot, so that the water drains away from the house is how you’ll want it done. You may hire a professional Contractor/Landscaper to do the grading or doing it yourself is also an option.

Keeping these home maintenance tips in mind will be a great benefit to you in preventing water from entering your home. As you may have gathered, water damage can sometimes make or break a sale.

If you have any further questions on water intrusion prevention, the process of buying a new home, or selling a home, please contact me today. I am a licensed Real Estate Professional in the Twin Cities Metro and Greater Minnesota Areas and strive to provide the best real estate service, with the support of my team the Better Living Group, for all of my past, present and future clients.

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Chelsea Knutson

Realtor- GRI, ABR, CDPE

763-496-2903

the Better Living Group

Keller Williams Classic Realty NW

Posted in Community /Real Estate News, Updates & Trends /