Berg Larsen Group Blog

Moving day is exciting – a time to fill a new space and make it your own.  But with all the chaos of moving, it’s hard to keep track of all the details.  Getting utilities set up, mail forwarded and garbage services started are all important steps to getting settled into your new home.

Utilities can be set up before you move – simply call the company, let them know when you’ll be taking ownership (the closing date) and they will have service put into your name. 

Here are some local numbers to help get you started:

Electric:     

Xcel Energy – 1-800-895-4999  Serves most of the Twin Cities

Dakota Electric – 651-463-6212  Serves portions of Dakota, Goodhue, Scott and Rice Counties

Gas: 

CenterPoint Energy – 612-372-4727

Cable:

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2010 was a good year for sales at The Carlyle.

Partly due to the 18 sales that closed in 2010 (the same # as in 2009) which represent 7% of the total units in the building, when compared to the overall downtown condo marketplace The Carlyle has fared better than the rest.

                                                           Downtown                                   The Carlyle

# of Sales                                                      508                                         18

Distressed Sales as % of total sales            19.5%                                     11% (2)

Average Days on Market                               160                                         166

Change in Value from 2006 to

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The process of buying a home can be both exhilarating and unnerving for buyers.  But with a proper understanding of the process and a clear sense of objectives, most buyers will find the experience very satisfying. 

To minimize the anxiety or frustration of the process, consider these steps... 

  • Get preapproved for a mortgage (assuming you will need to finance part of your purchase).  Meet with a reputable mortgage loan officer to determine the size of mortgage for which you can qualify.  In the process, you may determine that you want to obtain the maximum mortgage possible – or you may conclude that you prefer to keep your monthly payments at a lower level.  This will help you focus on housing in the price range you can afford.
  • Create
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For the last couple of years, you’ve been thinking about selling your home, but decided for a variety of reasons to put that decision off another year. 

Now you’re thinking 2011 is the year to sell.   Of course, you want your home to show at its best, so naturally you’ll want to wait until the trees and gardens have blossomed, your grass is green, the birds are signing, and the porch is open.  Right? 

Wrong! Look what happens the first few warm weekends of the year...Minnesotans tend to behave as though they’ve never seen warm weather – especially after a record setting winter like we’re experiencing!  They want to be out in their own back yards, planting flowers, walking the lakes, playing their first rounds of golf, or opening up their summer

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I’m sometimes asked about the similarities of and differences between practicing law and acting as a real estate agent.  I always respond that 25 years of practicing law is great training to be an effective agent. 

For example...attorneys know that it is all about attention to detail.  A misplaced or ill-considered word here or there in a legal document can cause major problems.  Careful word choice is equally important in a purchase agreement or other real estate documents.  The starting point may be a form agreement, but how the blanks are filled in and what addendums are attached are critical in creating documents that meet the intent of the parties to the transaction. 

So too, meeting the service expectations of your clients is critical in

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Ice Dam Visual

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." --Benjamin Franklin

With the abundance of snow we’ve already had this year, we wanted to encourage each of you to consider taking steps necessary to remove excess snow from your roofs. 

This is not only an issue for those of you with flat roof sections on your home.  It potentially is as serious an issue for everyone, as the volume of snow and daytime temperatures create ideal conditions for ice damming.   

Because our snow conditions are more extreme than we’ve seen for quite some time, we wanted to issue this recommendation to you now, rather than wait until many of you begin to encounter problems. 

We will begin to compile a list of potential snow removal services, should you need

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This time every year we are asked by our clients if it makes sense to pull their listings “off the market” for the winter holidays, and then put it back on in the spring. The answer is no, but yes for a particular few. How do you know if it is right for you?

If you are serious about selling your home, there is one very good way to improve your odds – have your home on the market (the MLS) *See my previous blog ‘Demystifying the MLS’ for more background

Our experience these past 29 years, and more particularly the last two years, has shown that during this period of mid-November to mid-January there have been a surprising number of sales occurring, with some even resulting in closing dates prior to the New Year.

The pace of sales, while

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Reports of the Upper Bracket housing market’s death are greatly exaggerated.

Mark Twain uttered a similar refrain when the New York Journal published his obituary a bit prematurely. It seems that the same has been done for the upper bracket housing market in a recent Star Tribune article titled “Buyer’s Market” (October 28, 2010).  Click here 

It is true that this is a buyer’s market. Yes, home sellers have been reducing list prices. Yet the upper bracket segment of the market is faring better than the rest of the market.

The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors recently published statistics comparing the periods October 2008-September 2009 with October 2009-September 2010. This report offers the first chance to see how the housing market

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As in all things Internet, when it comes to real estate there is good information and there is bad information. Some consumers are being misled into thinking they are looking at “the source” of all things real estate--the MLS.

We get the occasional call from our sellers and buyers, mild panic in their voices, asking why their home or the one they are searching for isn’t on the MLS. After we login to the database of our Regional Multiple Listing Service – NorthstarMLS, and conduct their same search, invariably we find the home they are searching for. What went awry?

They were searching the likes of Joe-Bob-Realtor.com, theMLSminnesota.com, or SuperCoolHomesMN.com (fictitious names to protect the innocent).

The Facts

Consumers do NOT have

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Autumn Berries

With the beautiful Fall weather we are enjoying, and with the Minnesota Twins chance to make it past the first round of the playoffs, it is a good time to take stock of your home’s condition and prepare it for the Fall Real Estate Market.

If your home is on the market, there a few simple things that you can do to make sure your home remains in great showing condition. Here a few ideas:

Window washing: If you live in an old home like I did, every fall we had to switch the screens for the storms on the home. It is a perfect opportunity to wash the windows, whether by Windex sprayer at the end or your hose, or professionally. Making a first impression is important, and you would be surprised how dirt on the windows cuts down on the light in a home.

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