Meet Minnesota’s Exclusive Home Buyer Agents

Buyers Real Estate Group is a Minneapolis-based real estate agency focusing on the Greater Minneapolis / St Paul area. We lead the industry by having Real Estate Agents who exclusively represent Home Buyers. Let us help you find the right house today!

When you work with Buyers Real Estate Group, you have an Exclusive Buyer Agent. We have been exclusvely representing home buyers for 22+ years and our agents have an average of 15 years representing buyers in Minnesota. That means we represent the best interests of home buyers at all times. We never represent the seller. We specialize in representing home buyers in the Minneapolis / St Paul area.

We are professional, licensed real estate agents that can show properties to a home buyer in the Twin Cities without the possibility of representing the seller side of the table at the same time. Few other real estate agents can say they help you avoid dual agency!

So if you’re looking for a townhouse, condo, single family home or investment, please give us a call at 612-247-0240.

If you’d like to request a private meeting with an experienced realtor to discuss your situation call 612-247-0240 to get that set up at a time that works for you. We are happy to meet to discuss how we can support your home buying plans better than any other realtors!

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Buyers’ County Search Info Made Simple

While searching for your perfect home you may find yourself looking for County and City information to ensure your new home is in compliance with County and City ordinances.  Often the search for the right department within a county can be frustrating and more time consuming than you had hoped.

In an effort to simplify the process for our clients we suggest you try to search using http://www.CountyOffice.org instead.  This site allows you to search within all 50 states, and drill down to the specific information that you seek in most cases.

Categories include schools, taxes and assessments, department of motor vehicles and many others.

As always, call us if you have questions for which you are not finding answers on the web or from the government office, we are happy to help you find the correct answers if possible.

You can reach out to us at mailto:info@buyersrealestategroup.com with your questions and we will be happy to assist.

 

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Home Buying Tips in a Seller’s Market

The real estate market is constantly changing. Most recently, homes in Minnesota have been selling sometimes as fast as within 24 hours. So, how do home buyer’s best prepare? Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Review your budget. Consider all spending habits, create a written budget and really determine what it is you’re comfortable spending on a home.
  2. Get pre-approved. This is an important step to stay competitive within the market. It tells the seller you are ready to buy and eliminates risk.
  3. Determine max offer. Because houses are selling so quickly, it’s important to consider all scenarios. If you find the house of your dreams and there are other interested buyers, take time to consider what your max offer would be. In case it comes to that point, it’ll help to be prepared in having had those conversations.
  4. Do your research. Take time to think about what exactly you want in a home, create a checklist, visit neighborhoods you’re interested and try to identify the perfect home. This will help you prepare so when a home goes on the market that meets your criteria, you’re ready to go for it.

If you have any questions or would like to walk through any of these tips with an agent, contact Buyers Real Estate Group. It is our goal to prepare you as best we can to find the home of your dreams and have it be a positive experience for you and  your family. Happy house hunting!

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Frank Lloyd Wright House for Sale in St. Louis Park

 

A house in St. Louis Park, designed by the one and only Frank Lloyd Wright in 1958, is now for sale.

Frank Lloyd Wright Minnesota Home for Sale

(Photo: ColdwellBanker.com)

The Star Tribune shares the history of this Minnesota home today:

In the mid 1950s, Paul and Helen Olfelt sent a note to the famed Prairie School architect Frank Lloyd Wright asking if he would be willing to design a house for their young family on a leafy lot on a secluded cul-de-sac in St. Louis Park.

Though Wright had been juggling commissions for the Guggenheim Museum in New York City and a house for Marilyn Monroe in Hawaii, he agreed, inviting the Olfelts to his studio in Spring Green, Wis., to discuss their needs. The Olfelts were in their 30s and had three kids; Wright was almost 89 and in the twilight of his career.

“I told him I came to him for beauty, good design and good function, and I wasn’t going to tell him how to be an architect,” said Paul Olfelt. “And he said, ‘I’ve made this beautiful little nest for you.’ ”

This wonderful story is looking for its next chapter. The beautiful three-bedroom, two bath home is nestled on almost 4 acres and is listed at 1.495 million.

If you’d like to learn more about this home, contact Buyers Real Estate Group.

 

 

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Tips to help choose the right home floor plan

There is much to be considered when buying a home in Minnesota, so we thought we’d break it down in hopes to help make your decision easier. Let’s start with choosing the right floor plan. There are several simple questions you can ask yourself that will help significantly.

IMG_6372What do you like and dislike about your current floor plan?
Analyzing your current floor plan is a great first step in determining what’s best for you and your family. Make a list of the things you love about it and the things that could be better!

Are you leaning towards single story or multistory?
Single stories are great if you have a small family and enjoy everyone being close. It’s also great for older buyers who may not desire having to go up and down stairs often. If you have a larger family, prefer everyone having their own space and enjoy wider views of the neighborhood, a multistory may be what you’re looking for.

Are you a home entertainer?
Entertaining has become more and more important when building and designing homes, but you have to ask yourself if it’s right for you. A house designed to entertain may have a large open floor plan with the entry way opening up immediately to the living and dining areas. While very welcoming, it’s not the ideal solution if you’re a more private person. Think about which you prefer.

Have you considered hallways and doorways?
This one might seem silly, but it’s often overlooked. Hallway width and door height can vary greatly home to home, and it’s important to think about. Is the hallway to the laundry room going to allow you to comfortably carry your laundry basket? Do you have young children who will likely be running the hallways and enjoy a bit more room? Is there anyone tall in your family that would prefer higher ceilings and doorways? Little things make a big difference.

How important is outdoor space?
This is another one that’s often overlooked. It’s common for us to desire more outdoor space – a bigger yard, space for a garden, an outdoor patio. We urge you to really think about this one. With a larger yard or bigger space comes more upkeep and maintenance. Is it worth it? Will it be something you have time for? How do you use your current outdoor space?

These are  few helpful tips to get you thinking about floor plan. If you’d like to check out some of these features for yourself and compare, contact Buyers Real Estate Group. We’d be happy to show you a few options and help you decide on your dream home.

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Chanhassen: Parks, parks and more parks southwest of Minneapolis

Minneapolis and St. Paul are known for some of the best parks in the nation. Quantity and quality are both impressive, but it doesn’t stop with the Twin Cities. The suburbs also have  great offerings. Let’s take Chanhassen for instance.

Located 3o minutes southwest of Minneapolis, Chanhassen has 12 lakes within its city limits as well as a 500-acre park system complete with over 20 different parks. Here’s a quick sample from Chanhassen’s website. Click here to view the full list of parks.

View of Lake Minnewashta

View of Lake Minnewashta

Power Hill Park, 8702 Flamingo Drive
This 22-acre park features a picnic shelter, large sledding hill, open field, play area, basketball court, neighborhood trail connections, and off-street parking.
Rice Marsh Lake Park, 8119 Erie Circle
This four-acre park offers a picnic shelter, playground, ball field, basketball court, off-street parking, and a 3.4 mile trail loop around Rice Marsh Lake.

Riley Ridge Park, 8959 Reflections Road
This 19-acre park is comprised of a combination of woodlands, wetlands, and active play areas.  The park opened in 2013 and features a large playground, picnic shelter, basketball half-court, sledding hill, trail loop, and off-street parking.

Roundhouse Park, 3950 Kings Road

This eight-acre park features the Roundhouse park building, winter skating, playground, beach on Lake Minnewashta, picnic shelter, walking trail, fishing pier, and open field. Off-street parking is available.

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is also located in Chanhassen’s and is a nice extension of the park offerings spanning 1,100 acres. Who wouldn’t want to live near such a beautiful site or in an area filled with so many great parks?

If you’re interested in this area near Minneapolis, keep your eyes out as the homes don’t last long. If you’d like an additional set of eyes or have any questions, contact Buyers Real Estate Group. We’d be happy to let you know as houses become available in the Chanhassen area.

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To do or not to do-it-yourself? Helpful questions to ask yourself before your next DIY project

There are several benefits to DIY projects. They can save time and money and you’ll feel accomplished having completed a project for your home. They can also help increase the value of your home! Do-it-yourself projects are a growing trend but how do you know if the project is one you should take on yourself or not? Here are a few questions to ask yourself before strapping on your tool belt and running out to your local home improvement store.

Do I have the time and is it worth the effort?

The internet is filled with “simple” DIY tutorials that make it look like a breeze, but reality doesn’t always seem to match. Ask yourself what kind of time you realistically have to dedicate to this project. Is it a weekend project? Several weekends? Will you be working on it pieces in the evenings during the week? Do you have the estimated time to spare to make it worth your while? Saving money is great but time has a cost as well.

What are the potential barriers this project may create?

Depending on the scale of the project, you may need to consider work space as well. If you’re painting a room, it shouldn’t be a problem. If you’re doing something like a bathroom remodel, you may have to consider how long the bathroom will not be accessible or usable. Do you have a spare?

Consider your space, limitations and any potential barriers. If you have kids, that may be a factor to assess before taking the project on. Is it something they can help with? Is it going to create added stress?

What tools and materials do I need?

What materials are needed and are they accessible to you? If not, they can be more costly than one would think. We suggest making a list of everything needed. If  you don’t have some of the required tools or materials, do some research before committing to the project. For example, if you need a tile saw – do you have a friend you could borrow from? Is there an option to rent one from a local store? If so, what is the cost? This step may also include getting a quote from a professional and comparing it to the cost of doing it yourself.

What is the risk?

DIY projects can be so fulfilling and enjoyable, but there are some best left to a professional. If the potential exists to injure yourself or do damage, best to not DIY. The best examples of these are anything dealing with electrical or gas. Plumbing updates or repairs can fall into the risky category too, depending on size of project. Flooring is another home project that can become risky very quickly. Asbestos is something you do not want to remove yourself.

Helpful flooring tip: Here in MN, if you have an older home, you may have 9” VCT tile. If you’re trying to remove this, call a professional. This, along with some 12” VCT commonly contain asbestos.

DIY Backsplash

Small DIY bathroom sink backplash project was successful, so this DIYer decided to do a matching one for around the bathtub.

Our best advice for aspiring DIYers:

Start small. The ambition and excitement to do DIY projects can be ruined quickly with one project gone wrong. Start with something fun and manageable, get a feel for the pros and cons and your areas of strength and take it from there. Here are a few good ideas for starter projects:

  • Refresh a room with new paint
  • Upgrade your kitchen or bathroom faucet
  • Create a backsplash

This post isn’t meant to scare you or stop you from doing a project yourself. There are a lot of benefits and it can be a ton of fun. We simply want to help prepare you, so that your next DIY project is a success. Better to be over prepared and cautious than end up as a Pinterest fail and not want to DIY again.

If you ask yourself the questions above, we think you’re going to love it.

What DIY projects have you had success with? Some you wouldn’t recommend to others? Share them with us in the comments below!

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Longfellow – Perfectly positioned between Mississippi River, Midtown Greenway, Minnehaha Park and Hiawatha Light Rail

Longfellow is a great neighborhood in Minneapolis, MN.  A good word to describe this neighborhood is “easy.” No matter the mode of transportation, be it walking, biking or driving, Longfellow is really easy to travel to and from.

Just a short walk to the Mississippi River, Longfellow is an exciting neighborhood full of activities and beautiful scenery. The location might be the best part as it’s centrally located between four distinct boundaries. The Longfellow Community Council website, Longfellow.org, describes it best:

The Greater Longfellow community is defined by four unique boundaries, which also happen to be some of our community’s greatest amenities.

To the north is the Midtown Greenway, a bicycle and pedestrian trail linking the Mississippi River across South Minneapolis to Uptown and the Chain of Lakes in the west.

Our eastern boundary is the aforementioned Mississippi River. Longfellow is home to a particularly beautiful stretch of the river known as the Mississippi River Gorge.

To the south is Minnehaha Park, the location of Minnehaha Falls, which is why Longfellow is nicknamed the “Neighborhood By the Falls”.

Lastly, to the West is the Hiawatha Light Rail line, which links Longfellow to downtown Minneapolis, MSP International Airport, and the Mall of America.

It’s a desirable Twin Cities neighborhood to own a home. Median home value is just under $200k. There are a variety of real estate options in this area of Minneapolis including craftsman homes, condos and beautiful properties on the river. If you’d like to learn more about this neighborhood or others in the Twin Cities area, contact Buyers Real Estate Group! We’d love to help you find your dream home in a neighborhood you love.

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To replace or reface? Solutions to your kitchen cabinet dilemma

To replace or reface?  That is the question.

If it’s the structural layout of your kitchen that you dislike, replacing cabinets or doing a remodel may be best. It’s more expensive and time consuming, but it will allow you to get 100% of your dream kitchen. If you’re considering a remodel, our tips are to:

Visit model homes or show rooms – It’s difficult to get a sense of your dream kitchen unless you’re in it. Model homes and show rooms allow you to walk through possibilities and visualize yourself in the space.

Analyze your use of the kitchen space – spend a couple weeks taking notes on how you use your kitchen. Is it mostly for cooking only? Do you entertain a lot? How many people are typically in the kitchen at once? All of these things will help you determine the best layout to fit your needs. Every family is different. A remodel is an opportunity to get exactly what you want. The toughest part of that is identifying what it is you want, what you need, and what you’ll really use.

If you’re looking for a refresh, refacing or refreshing is a good option. This is also something to keep in mind when buying. Not in love with the kitchen of your new potential home? Before discounting it and moving onto the next home, take a closer look. What don’t you like about the kitchen? If it’s cosmetic or has anything to do with the cabinets themselves, there may be another option. Here are a few fun ones to consider:

Two Tone Cabinets photography by DESIGN SPONGE

photography by DESIGN SPONGE

Two-tone design

Sometimes a coat of paint is all you need. Break up the look of your kitchen by painting the top cabinets one color and the bottom another. You can also paint the doors one color and the frame another. There’s more freedom and flexibility with paint and less risk and investment.

Open face cabinets

Do the cabinets seem to close off the kitchen? Consider removing some doors and having a few open cabinets. This is especially nice if you’re a decorator at heart and want to change up your own display every season or holiday. You may also consider replacing a few doors with glass. This will help lighten it up without completely exposing what’s inside.

Refacing

Refacing means replacing all of the doors and drawer covers and covering all of the exposed trim with a veneer to match.  This is the most costly of our options, but door style  can make a big impact on the look and feel of your kitchen. Door hardware is also an opportunity to give your kitchen a fresh look. Sometimes, the smallest changes can make the biggest difference.

What other options have you seen or heard about to freshen up your kitchen? Post them in the comment space below. We’d love to hear from you!

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Eden Prairie – West Round Lake: One of the friendliest neighborhoods in the Twin Cities

Round Lake, Eden Prairie MN

View of Round Lake

Eden Prairie’s West Round Lake is one of the friendliest neighborhoods we’ve been to. Our team recently visited this area and was really impressed. It is friendly in every sense of the word.

Friendly Faces
Take a walk around Round Lake and anyone you pass is pleasant. They’ll say hi and ask how you’re doing. Even if you’re not a familiar face, they are so welcoming. Sometimes it can be tough being new to a neighborhood and meeting new people, but in Round Lake Eden Prairie, that should not be a problem. Everyone is smiling and the energy is very positive.

Round Lake Trails - Eden Prairie, MN

Taking a walk in Round Lake Park

Round Lake Park Playground - Eden Prairi, MN

Round Lake Park Playground

Pet-Friendly
There are several walking paths, but the best is the path around Round Lake. It’s a beautiful view and extremely pet friendly. 50% of people out and about had their pets along and were having a great time being outside. The walkways are wide enough for people and pets going opposite directions to have plenty of comfortable space as they pass each other. Many of the walking trails even lead up to the neighborhoods themselves making it extremely convenient to go for a quick jog or take the dog for a walk.

Kid-Friendly  – Round Lake Park features a beautiful playground with fun features the kids will love. This Minnesota neighborhood would be a great choice for raising a family.

Bike-Friendly – Eden Prairie trails are great for feet or wheels. As it starts to warm up, we’re seeing more and more residents riding bike along the trails soaking up the beautiful weather.

Family-Friendly  – Located less than 20 miles from Minneapolis, Eden Prairie is close to all of the action and has plenty of its own as well. Its most recent excitement was the Ice Castles. They also host several fairs and festivals each year, are big supporters of the arts and encourage family fun throughout the city.

In our book, it really is one of the friendliest neighborhoods in the Twin Cities. One resident says “the people are all the reason you need to live here and be happy. It’s just a great community of people.” How great is that?

Houses in this area range anywhere from 150k to 500k+ making it affordable for any budget. If you’d like to learn more about this neighborhood or others, contact Buyers Real Estate Group! We’d love to help you find your dream home in a neighborhood you love.

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