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Print a 3D Model of Your House Plan

3D Model of House Plan

For home buyers that are looking to build a new home, one of the most common questions asked is "what will it look like?" While drawings and blueprints are helpful, it is still hard to get the feel for spaces and layouts. The Plan Collection is now offering house plans that include the digital files needed to create a model of the home using MakerBot or other 3D printers. For home buyers purchasing fully custom homes and for smaller builders that do not maintain model homes for each of their floor plans, 3D … [Read more...]

Twin Cities Builders Stymied by Lack of Financing


As the Builders Association of the Twin Cities continues to report strong increases in the number of building permits and units issued, I've heard from several small builders that the difficulty in finding construction financing is impacting their ability to take advantage of the dramatic increase in buyer demand. With the quickly approaching and ever-important spring market, builders are looking to build up their inventory of available homes but finding that few lenders are willing to step up to the plate with … [Read more...]

Changes in Maple Grove New Home Construction

Maple Grove is a great example of the dramatically changed new single family home construction market.  Just two years ago the typical new Maple Grove home was about $625,000 - today it is about $500,000 and still falling.  Maple Grove's largesse peaked in 2007 when the 12-month rolling average median sales price hit $690,000! While the cost for land and the material/labor cost of building homes have dropped, the house itself is also changing.  Consumers are building smaller and more economical homes than they … [Read more...]

How Much Commission is Too Much?

DR Horton 5% Commission

Today I received an email from DR Horton offering 5% commission on select homes closing in the next 40 days: What I'm wondering is at what point do commissions get so lucrative that it can severely influence an agent's actions in representing their buyer?  Since discussing "usual" or "typical" commissions in a public forum can lead to antitrust issues, I won't discuss numbers but I will say that 5% is above any buyer cooperative commission (buy-side only) that I've ever received. For as long as I've been in … [Read more...]

Financing For Some Condos Becoming Very, Very, Very Difficult

The housing boom brought us a slew of new community developments including condos, townhomes and retail/condo buildings.  While financing on townhomes is still doable, financing options for condo & mixed-use buildings is becoming very difficult.  The developments with the hardest time getting financing are the ones that have had the highest rates of foreclosure. So many condos built from 2005-2008 in the last boom were purchased either at the top of the price curve and/or were bought with challenged … [Read more...]

A Great Perspective on New Home Construction

CNBC has a great article on some new housing numbers that I think sums up what we've been seeing in the Twin Cities lately.  I believe the views by J.P. Morgan and Raymond James are both spot-on! http://www.cnbc.com/id/32569620 It is nice to see a little renewed interest in new construction lately... I have seen several developments with 10+ houses under construction at once... something that isn't very notable compared to 2002-2006 but quite interesting compared last year.  This surge in activity is very … [Read more...]

Radon Kills More People than Drunk Driving Every Year

Radon Death Chart

Image courtesy EPA Most people have heard the word radon before, but many probably do not understand what it is.  As found in the EPA's A Citizen's Guide to Radon (pdf version here): Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas. You can't see radon. And you can't smell it or taste it. But it may be a problem in your home. Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. That's because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon … [Read more...]

Great Experience with Centex Homes

Saying thank you for a job well done is a good thing to do, especially in times when things are not as easy as they used to be. Recently I introduced a buyer to the Crescent Ponds development in Blaine, Minnesota.  Murphy McKee, Centex's representative, was great to talk with from Day 1. At first we found the prices just a little too high, but when a sales event hit, my buyers were comfortable enough to step up to the plate.  My buyers are buying their first home, so going "all in" on new construction as your … [Read more...]

Builders Clearing Out Inventory

I received an email this weekend from a builder advertising models that were marked down 20% + ($100k+) from their original prices (but marked down incrementally). I also saw another builder marking their inventory down in the MLS a similar amount too. This suggests to me that builders understand that we're nearing the end of the strong sales season and that they need to price reduce now to sell these homes soon or they will be left holding them all winter! … [Read more...]

Microsoft Photosynth – Killer App for Real Estate?

Microsoft is working on a fantastic program called Photosynth that you can currently download in a very basic preview.  This program could take virtual tours to levels never seen before... maybe too far! It's a great application and shows great potential... I hope to have a chance to try it on a house sometime... … [Read more...]


TwinCitiesRealEstateBlog.com is not a Multiple Listing Service MLS, nor does it offer MLS access.
This website is a service of Aaron Dickinson of Edina Realty, a broker Participant of the Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc.