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Monday, September 28, 2015

Three Things To Consider About Buying A Foreclosure

Are you looking for a good deal on a house?

While buying a distressed property (homes listed a short sales or foreclosures are considered distressed properties) can be a good deal, not everyone qualifies to buy one or should buy a distressed home... for a number of reasons.

Here are the three primary reasons many buyers need to skip over foreclosures and short sale properties in their home search:

  • Your type of financing may restrict the condition of the home.
  • You may not have the cash on hand to afford the upfront purchase expenses.
  • You may not have the trade skills or handyman skill to fix a home up.

Let's talk a bit more about condition.
If you are getting a government insured loan, like FHA, VA or USDA, the home needs to be in habitable condition. An appraiser will be looking for safety concerns and major repairs and if they find any issues, correcting them will be a condition of the loan. Most of the time, the sellers won't correct these problems if they haven't already done so before a buyer made the offer.

Cash on hand.
In addition to the appraisal and other typical upfront buyer expenses, distressed properties often require more cash on hand for the buyer. Especially if you are buying a foreclosure through an auction, you often have bidding offer fees or "technology fees" upfront. Also, the real estate fees that commonly fall on the seller in a real estate transaction are often passed on the buyer as an upfront expense. Make sure you know any potentially hidden costs and have a little cushion in your budget if you are shopping foreclosures and short sale properties.

Repair and renovation skills.
Yes, most people can change light bulbs and often the average handyperson can even replace a sink faucet, paint the walls and change out light fixtures.  Calling a flooring company is pretty easy to accomplish as well.  The deeper concerns lie in what is lurking in the basement (mold, foundation problems, etc) or in the outdated electrical box.  These repairs and updates will require professionals and permits to cure.  Those expenses can add up quickly!

Continue reading:

Are Foreclosures a "Good Deal" in 2015?

Friday, September 25, 2015

Minor Improvements with Big Return

General cleaning and minor improvements can have your home feeling updated and fresh. 

Minor improvements such as replacing the kitchen faucet and adding new cabinet door handles can make a big difference in the look of your kitchen.

Consider switching out old fluorescent lights for new track lighting or adding a new countertop; laminate isn’t too expensive and can really help update the room.

If the appliances don’t match and you can’t afford to replace them with new ones, a less pricey option is to replace their doors or face panels with matching colors which can generally be ordered direct from the manufacturer. I had a client that painted the fridge with chalkboard paint with great results!

Updated Tile Shower
found on
Consider changing out old towel bars, toilet seats and sink faucets.

If your tiling is old and outdated, it should also be replaced. Re-grouting the tile around the shower and bath is also an easy and inexpensive update.  If you have wall to wall tile, sometimes it's possible to remove a row and replace it with a modern accent row.

 If you can afford it, consider replacing wall-to-wall carpeting with wood laminate flooring. It is cheaper than other hardwoods but can potentially save you thousands of dollars over the years in maintenance costs.

 If replacing the front door is not in your budget, consider cleaning and repainting it to add curb appeal and changing out the handle-and-lock to help suggest that it’s a solid, sturdy home.

General cleaning and maintenance of the exterior can greatly improve curb appeal. 

Remove any items that are left sitting unused, including old, rusty patio furniture or broken garden tools and equipment. These things generally can’t be picked up by your local garbage company and you may need to find a rental dumpster service so that you can tidy up your yard and easily dispose of those unwanted items.

Additionally, make sure that walkways are swept and the lawn is well-manicured.

Want more great ideas for renovating, updating or improving your home?  I'm on Pinterest!

Follow Sarah's board Home Ideas on Pinterest.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

OPEN HOUSE: 1019 Pheasant Run S Lino Lakes, MN 55014 (Parade of Homes Schedule)

1019 Pheasant Run S, Lino Lakes, MN 55014 

1019 Pheasant Run S, Lino Lakes

NEW CONSTRUCTION by Progressive Homes
Custom built home with upgraded features on big, private lot on a quiet street in the desired Centennial school district.
  • Open floor plan for entertaining. 
  • Mission style trim and custom cabinets. 
  • Granite kitchen with appliance allowance. 
  • Main floor office.
  • Gas fireplace in the main floor living room.
  • Master suite with private bath and walk-in closet.
  • Four bedrooms up.
  • Laundry on the upper level.
  • Upper level family room that could double at a FIFTH bedroom!
This beautiful home in located in The Preserve which features walking trails, wetlands and conveniently located next to a park!

Fall Parade of Homes Open House Schedule:

  • Thursday and Friday 12-6pm
  • Saturday and Sunday 2-4


Sunday, September 13, 2015


The fall Parade of Homes has begun! Come see these awesome NEW homes today!

24520 Holm Oak Avenue, Forest Lake - Open House: NOON - 4:00pm

  • Custom new home on a 1 acre lot & quiet dead end street. 
  • Open floor plan perfect for entertaining. 
  • Mission style trim. 
  • Granite center island kitchen with custom cherry cabinets, Acacia hardwood floors and generous appliance allowance. 
  • Great room includes a gas fireplace with cherry built-ins. 
  • Main floor office off the entry. 
  • Mud room off the garage with cherry cabinets and bench. 
  • Vaulted master with huge walk-in closet and whirlpool bath. 
  • Bonus room family/media room above garage! 

10773 251st Street, Scandia - Open House: 4:30pm - 6:00pm

  • This 2014 custom home on 1.6 acres with open main level layout features a gourmet kitchen with granite countertops, walk-in pantry, and stainless steel farm sink! 
  • Cozy up in front of the gas fireplace in the living room or gaze out into the expansive backyard through the dining area patio doors. 
  • The main floor laundry/mud room has custom lockers. 
  • Level, fenced yard with space for a garden, yard games & more! 
  • Main level office would make a great guest room, playroom or reading library. 
  • The master bedroom has a large walk in closet and private fill mater bath with separate vanities, an oversized soaker tub and separate toilet/shower area. 
  • The lower level is an unfinished walk out with rough-in for full bath, bed and family room.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Preserve at Lino Lakes

The Preserve in Lino Lakes is growing!
This up and coming 50-acre residential development is tucked in Lino Lakes just south of Birch Street in desired School District: 12 – Centennial. 
The neighborhood is surrounded with dense tree groves, wetlands and neighboring Birch Park and features winding walking trails.

The Preserve at Lino Lakes is a conservation development, which means it must be developed with a mind toward sustainability of habitat for local wildlife. The Association (HOA) is primarily architectural.

Some builders in this neighborhood include: 

  • Southwind Builders
  • Imperial
  • Lange
  • Progressive Homes

Driving Directions to The Preserve: Birch Street to Black Duck Drive; south to Aspen Lane; right to Killdeer Drive.

Homes for sale in the preserve
Neighborhood updates in the preserve

Model Houses/Open Houses
#4614049 1019 Pheasant Run S Lino Lakes, MN 55014 
#4644790 6490 Killdeer Drive, Lino Lakes, MN 55014
#4646391  925 Pheasant Run, Lino Lakes, MN  55014

10773 251st St Scandia, MN 55073

Property Site:
Custom built in the summer of 2014, this is a wonderful opportunity to own a NEW home without the headache of building! The extended warranty and finished landscaping make this beautiful home a rare find!

A Beautiful Home
The open main level layout features high ceilings, a gourmet kitchen with upgraded appliances and a large kitchen island, granite countertops with 15 year sealant, an abundance of cabinets, walk-in pantry, and stainless steel farm sink! Cozy up in front of the gas fireplace in the living room or gaze out into the expansive backyard through the dining area patio doors.
The main level office would make a great guest room, playroom or reading library.
The main level mud room has gorgeous built-in lockers, laundry and a half bath.
Speed tour of the main level:

The upper level features 3 bedrooms and two bathrooms.
The master bedroom has a LARGE walk-in closet and private full master bath with separate vanities, an oversized soaker tub and separate toilet/shower area.
The second bathroom in the upper level has double vanities and features a large storage area as well as a separate toilet and full tub/shower area.

The lower level is an unfinished walk-out. It features space for a family room, bedroom, storage and rough-in for an additional full bath.  Come finish this space and build equity!

Outdoor Space
From the fenced yard to the functional and beautiful retaining walls, this home is great for kids and pets! Want to hang out with the neighbors? Have a bonfire in your front yard! The sprinkler system is in and the lawn is growing! You will never have neighbors behind your house here!

An OVERSIZED 3 car garage with 8-foot garage doors will definitely appeal to most!  No more banging car doors and squeezing around the front of the car to get in the house!  Built-in workbench! The garage enters the house through the MUD ROOM making bringing home the groceries or cleaning up after working outside a breeze. AWESOME! There is also a convenient service door out to the fenced yard.

For more information about this property, please contact Sarah Marrinan at 651-964-0289 or
You can also text 3025800 to 67299.

See more listings at:

Coming Soon and Hot New Listings