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We Are Minnesota - Jona Flores

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Though Jona Flores has only been a Realtor® for four years,  she is already making waves in the real estate community. Jona was selected for NAR's 2021 30 Under 30 for not only her strong dedication to the industry, but also for her commitment to the community. Jona sees volunteering as her social responsibility, and is deeply passionate about being proactive in addressing the issues affecting communities and people across the state - including ending homelessness and bridging the racial housing gap in Minnesota. It was during a speech from MAR (Minneapolis Area Realtors) CEO Carrie Chang that inspired Jona to get more involved with the MAR Foundation, ...
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Not all families have the same opportunities for homeownership, with many facing more constraints in their effort to achieve the American Dream. There are sizeable differences in the homeownership rate across racial groups, with the rate of homeownership for minority families lagging behind the national average. Given that homeownership contributes to wealth accumulation and that the homeownership rate is lower in minority groups, data shows that the net worth for these groups is also lower. At $188,200, the net worth of a typical White family was nearly eight times greater than that of a Black family ($24,100) in 2019. NAR's  Snapshot of Race & Home Buying ...
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Amy Peterson   ABR, AHWD, C2EX, CRS, GREEN, GRI, SFR   Edina Realty   Many local utility companies offer energy audits for free – or a nominal fee. Contact your local utility company to see if the service is available, then be ready to talk to clients about what updates may have the best return on investment. Even some lower cost updates can make a huge difference for comfort, energy bills, and/or home resale values.     Shang Thao-Berg   Realty Group LLC   I recommend investing in LED lighting. It requires much less wattage than the CFL or incandescent light bulbs, which is why LED bulbs are more energy-efficient and longer ...
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Did you know there are nearly 200 craft breweries in Minnesota? From the clear northern waters of the Lake of the Woods to the prairie expanses near the South Dakota border, our state is home to countless artisan lagers, IPAs, blonde ales, doppelbocks, Belgian sours, coffee porters, and even peanut butter stouts. Is there a beer for every one of our 10,000 lakes? There’s only one way to find out. Start planning your cross-state brewery tour.   In honor of National Beer Day, we’ve assembled a guide to some of Minnesota’s best craft breweries. Have a safe trip and please drink responsibly.   NOTE : Most Popular Beer based on Untappd rating; Recommended ...
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After hearing the Douglas County Habitat For Humanity was in need of donations, the Greater Alexandria Area Association of Realtors® (GAAAR) organized a donation event on Saint Patrick’s Day with the slogan: “Help fill our pot o’gold for the ReStore!” 🍀🌈 And fill they did!   Word spread quickly about the drive as people began to call the GAAAR offices to sign up for a timeslot for items to be picked up. The phones rang off the hook, and even required additional members to help answer them!   In total, 30 stops were arranged with over 25 GAAAR members volunteering to pick up the donated items. Space filled up quickly, and before the team knew it, ...
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From green forests and sandy lake shores to gorgeous river-bluff overlooks, Minnesota is jam packed with out-of-this world scenery. Ready for your Minnesota nature get-away? No Instagram filter needed because these wonders will enchant you with their natural beauty! Here are five beautiful Minnesota locations that await you:   Voyageurs National Park - International Falls Voyageurs is a beautiful water-based national park located at the tip of the Minnesota and Canadian border. Made up of four large lakes and 26 smaller lakes covering 218,054 acres, it offers enough space for hiking, swimming, kayaking, or just sitting and becoming ...
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After a long tough winter, Minnesotans are ready  reclaim  the fresh air and natural spaces of their yards. Sure, the grass is  matted  and  garden beds  are   disheveled , but it’s all a canvas  for  your imagination. With a few tools, supplies, and a little sweat, you can  turn  it into a colorful oasis for relaxation, play, and a socially distanced garden party or two. Here are a few tips to get you started.   Transform  the Front Yard    Until recently, front yards were strictly ornamental. A few bushes; a smattering of flowers; and maybe a lawn gnome to keep the maple tree company.  Then the pandemic  happened,  and this overlooked ...
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It’s National Take A Way in the Park Day – and the only thing more iconic than Minnesota’s 10,000 Lakes, are its stunning parks! So, grab your walking shoes and get ready for scenic views, delightful sculptures, and Minnesota’s natural beauty!       Tamarack Nature Center – White Bear Township This 320-acre nature preserve is the ideal place for a walk all year-round. With nature paths of varying length, walkers can opt for a quick half-mile walk on the Chickadee Trail Loop or a longer, more rigorous journey on the 2.5-mile Dragonfly loop.   Franconia Sculpture Park – Shafer Enjoy some fresh air and art at this 50-acre outdoor ...
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W hile there are many marketing tools to consider for increasing lead generation and driving brand awareness, there are five must-haves that rise to the top.      Live Video As virtual life has become normalized, live video is a trend that continues to grow. People want information fast, and video quickly and effectively delivers your message to clients and potential clients. Live video engages emotionally, helping people connect with you on a more personal level. Whether it’s educating your clients on the market or exploring design trends, video allows you talk about what matters to your clients. Dive in by testing out Facebook live or set up ...
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Though COVID has kept communities and people physically apart, Realtor® Amy Murphy is working to make sure each community member feels connected and cared for. Amy regularly volunteers with VEAP (Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People) - a local nonprofit that helps community members by providing basic needs like food, housing assistance, and other services. Recognizing the tremendous need created by COVID, Amy jumped into action this winter to organize a socially-distanced neighborhood food drive for VEAP. Using donated bags from Target, Amy dropped off the bags to neighbors, then picked them up once they were filled.  Together, Amy and her neighbors ...
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Snow melt can ruin your house and drown a home sale. Here are a few tips for staying above water Article Takeaways   Taking a few preventative measures can greatly reduce the risk of seasonal flooding in your home   Sellers and Realtors ®  should ensure  that  proper  material fact  disclosures are made to prospective buyers , and disclosures updated as needed .    Buyers  may  have the right to cancel a purchase agreement if there is  substantial  flood damage  to the property  before the closing date   As temperatures rise and snow vanishes from yards across  Minnesota , some of that melt  water  inevitably ...
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Minnesota Realtors® has been informed that a number of members received the below text message. DO NOT CLICK THE LINK. This is a spam message. Please delete the message if you receive it.
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According to a recent report from the Urban Institute, virtually all household growth in the next 20 years will consist primarily of people of color, while homeownership rates among people of color in this same time period are projected to remain the same as they are today. The report measures the share of the population that is the head of a household. The breakdown of household growth between now and 2040: Total households are expected to increase by 17.1 Hispanic households are expected to increase by 8.9 million Black households are expected to increase by 3.3 million Households of Asian and other people of color are expected to increase by 4.9 ...
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Spring is just around the corner in Minnesota! With the sun shining and the snow and ice melting, it’s time to start getting your home ready for the changing of seasons.   Whether you’re a new or seasoned homeowner, here are some important tips and good reminders as we shed our winter coats, open our windows, and welcome the warmer weather.   Check Your AC Unit Although hot summer days seem a long way off, now is the time to inspect your AC unit to ensure it is in tip-top shape. Check the filter, hose connections, and vacuum any dust that has accumulated during the off-season.   Clean Out Gutters Just as in the fall, it’s important ...
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Realtors® work long hours, are never really “off”, and have a huge responsibility for helping people secure or sell one of their largest assets… which can seem intimidating. However, each Realtor® has a tremendous opportunity to develop new relationships, evolve and learn with the industry, and help people achieve their next step in life; whether it’s their first home, second property, or downsizing. It’s emotional, it’s significant, and Realtors® are the guide for consumers in that journey. Our consumer campaign for 2021 asks Minnesota’s real estate professionals a simple yet profound question: why did you become a Realtor®? The responses we gathered from Realtors® ...
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Four women talk about their careers as brokers W hen the National Association of Realtors ® (NAR) was founded in 1908, every one of its 120 members were men. Small cracks formed in that glass ceiling in 1910 when Corrine Simpson, a broker in Seattle, was the first woman to become an NAR member. Since then, the numbers and influence of women brokers has steadily grown. Today 64% of the nation’s 1.5 million Realtors ® are women. They also comprise more than half of all real estate brokers. In Minnesota, 27% of the state’s more than 3,000 brokers are women. To learn more about the challenges and rewards for women in real estate, we connected with four ...
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Article Takeaways Full cash offers for homes now comprise 36% of transactions nationwide Remote workers are moving to more distant suburbs for affordable homes More tiny homes are being transformed into office space As the pandemic continues to disrupt the normal rhythms of American life, three new trends show how people are reacting and adapting to a hot real estate market. For those with the means, paying in full cash is an effective way to beat the competition. Others are taking advantage of their ability to work from anywhere and moving to distant suburbs for more spacious, affordable homes. And for those who believe the best solutions are ...
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This Women’s History Month, we celebrate and honor the incredible work and dedication of women Realtors® across our state. From breaking glass ceilings to persisting through often tumultuous situations to achieve their career dreams. Today with over 10,700 women Realtors®, we are grateful for the women who paved the way & laid the foundation for an enduring legacy. One such legacy is that of Emma Rovick. Emma’s story of starting a real estate business when many women weren’t even allowed to have a bank account, inspires us as we look ahead towards an equitable future, and reminds us that anything is possible. How Emma Rovick turned a failing ...
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Homes for sale down. Pending sales flat for first time since May 2020 MINNEAPOLIS (March 10, 2021) — Demand remained high in the Minnesota housing market in February as homebuyers competed with multiple offers for diminishing housing stock. Closed sales were up +5.8% over last year, but new listings sank -14.8%.  Since last May, pending sales fell flat for the first time and were down -0.8% from February 2020. Adding to the pressure, homes for sale fell 51.6%, the largest decrease in a year. Shrinking inventory defined this seller’s market, pushing the median sales price up +10.6% to $282,000. Days on the market retracted by -25.47% over last year, down ...
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Homes for sale down. Pending sales flat for first time since May 2020 MINNEAPOLIS (March 10, 2021) — Demand remained high in the Minnesota housing market in February as homebuyers competed with multiple offers for diminishing housing stock, according to Minnesota Realtors ® (MNR), the membership organization supporting all 21,000 Realtors in the state. Closed sales were up +5.8% over last year, but new listings sank -14.8%.  Since last May, pending sales fell flat for the first time and were down -0.8% from February 2020. Adding to the pressure, homes for sale fell 51.6%, the largest decrease in a year. Shrinking inventory defined this seller’s market, ...
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Article Takeaways   An attractive yard and home exterior  enhances your enjoyment of the property—and attracts more buyers if you choose to sell   You don’t have to invest a lot for big results   Tackle the basics first before taking on more ambitious projects     As spring approaches and your yard emerges from beneath  the  snow, it’s a good time to start  planning   outdoor improvement projects. Whether you want to enhance curb appeal for a future sale or simply make your yard and house exterior more aesthetically pleasing,  we ’ve   got  proven tips to fit every budget, timeline, and level of expertise.     ...
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I n spring 2020, the National Association of Realtors® Research Group surveyed its commercial members on transactions involving retail malls. Their report Case Studies on Repurposing Vacant Retail Malls outlines their findings, including a breakdown of new uses of vacant malls (see below), acquisition cost, months vacant, zoning, and sources of financing. The report also takes a thorough look at 6 individual examples across the country of how vacant malls have been repurposed. CASE STUDIES: Below are a few highlights of some of the case studies from the report:   Worcester Center Galleria, Worcester, MA Mall Closed: 2006 Start of Development: ...
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Developed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Consumer Protection Week is dedicated to educating consumers on how they can protect their money, privacy, and prevent identity theft. The real estate world is not immune to such issues, and Realtors® need to be aware of any suspicious behavior and take action to protect themselves and their clients.   Be Aware of Wire Fraud According to FBI data, 11,677 people were victims of wire fraud in the real estate and rental sector in 2019, with losses of more than $221 million . Criminals posing as Realtors®, attorneys, and title company professionals con buyers into diverting their closing payments ...
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Rising from the Ashes How Michelle Lyons built a career during a real estate meltdown Shortly after Michelle Lyons earned her broker’s license in 2008, the housing-market bubble burst, toppling millions of U.S. homeowners into foreclosure. Suddenly, the trajectory of her career changed. If she was going to survive a downturn that had thousands of Realtors ® in Minnesota walking away from the profession, she needed to get a toehold in the one discipline that was booming: foreclosures. Before she showed up, the art of handling mortgage defaults was pretty much the province of men. Of course, they couldn’t know that Michelle Lyons never met a gender barrier ...
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A recent report by LendingTree analyzed mortgage requests and offers in 2020 for borrowers across the 50 largest metros. The report ranked the metros by the percentage of total purchase mortgage requests received. The report found that millennials made up at least 50% of purchase mortgage requests in most metros. The top 5 metros ranked by millennial homebuying popularity  #1: San Jose Share of mortgage requests: 61.8% Average down payment: $158,040 Average requested loan amount: $704,318 #2: Boston Share of mortgage requests: 59.1% Average down payment: $78,062 Average requested loan amount: $416,267 #3: Denver Share of mortgage requests: 59.1% ...
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5 Home Design Trends for 2021

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The pandemic has changed not only our everyday lives, but also our home interiors. As lifestyles and working habits shifted, many homeowners began making their spaces more functional, but with a generous dose of personality. From creating the ideal video-call backdrop to designing the ultimate kitchen, the newest trends incorporate greenery, natural materials, and perfectly curated indoor and outdoor space. Here’s a look at the trends that are heating up in 2021!   Natural Kitchens & Bold Backsplash Hues Homeowners are upgrading their kitchens this year, and many are using more natural elements to lighten up their space. White wood ...
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Below is a list of things every effective mentor needs to keep in mind. Earn their trust So how do you earn your mentees’ trust? Primarily by being available and accessible. Make sure your team knows they can reach you when things are hectic and they need someone to lean on, even if that means a call at night. Also, be open to not just providing professional assistance, but being open to their personal side too. Talk to your mentees about their goals and job satisfaction. Sometimes being a great mentor means acting as a trusted confidant who can help people ask the tough questions and assess whether or not the demanding world of luxury real estate is the ...
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Getting stuck in a rut is human nature… we like routines and predictable patterns. But when your team gets stuck in a cycle of complacency – it’s important to create some inertia and provide a boost of energy to shake things up. 1. Pay attention and drive accountability When your team is showing signs of complacency, help them change their patterns, and ask for accountability. What do their marketing efforts look like? Are they contacting their database regularly? What new skills are they learning? Your team is accountable to making your brokerage successful. Helping them shake up routine will give everyone space to find new ways to drive higher activity. ...
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A Call for Realtors ® to Join NAREB in the Democracy in Housing Movement Black History Month celebrates the history and accomplishments of the African American community. During this time, we honor the work of countless individuals and groups that are working to ensure equality and civil rights - including the right to fair housing.  One organization fighting for an equitable future in housing is the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB). Founded in 1947, NAREB is an equal opportunity and civil rights advocacy group for Black real estate professionals, consumers and communities. With roots in the 19 th century struggle for ...
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Minnesotans don’t hibernate in the  winter,  they get out and get going !  From the snow-blanketed forests and frozen waterfalls up north to an idyllic island getaway inside the metro area, there  are  natural wonders within easy—and not so easy—reach of your snowshoes, cross-country skis or sturdy boots. Here are 10 amazing places for your must-do adventure checklist. So, layer up, embrace the chill, and go make some really cool memories!   Greater Minnesota   C.J. Ramstad/  North Shore State Trail Duluth   Ready to take your snowmobile for an expedition into the Minnesota wilderness? The C.J. Ramstad/North Shore State ...
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As Realtors ® , our members have helped countless young couples find first homes where love can grow and blossom. And for some lucky Realtors ® , the course of doing business leads to the course of true love. This Valentine’s Day we celebrate seven Realtor ® couples whose passion for real estate sparked passion for each other, and a lifetime where business forever tangles with pleasure.   Cheryl & Robert Siebenaler - Weichert, Realtors®-Carnel & Co.  Cannon Falls, MN Years together:  30 years in September! How we ended up working together:   We both became realtors in 2008.  We had previously ...
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Pending sales remain up but soften to single digits. New listings decline. The Minnesota housing market remained strong in January, with year-over-year closed sales up +16.2% and pending home sales up +5.2%, according to Minnesota Realtors ® (MNR), the membership organization supporting all 21,000 Realtors in the state. Market demand for homes remained high, with average days on market at 46 days, which is two fewer weeks or a 25.8% reduction when compared to January 2020.  With only one month’s supply of inventory available — and new listings down by -12.1% — competition among buyers for scarce housing stock is intense. By the end of January, there were ...
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Pending sales remain up but soften to single digits. New listings decline. The Minnesota housing market remained strong in January, with year-over-year closed sales up +16.2% and pending home sales up +5.2%, according to Minnesota Realtors ® (MNR), the membership organization supporting all 21,000 Realtors in the state. Market demand for homes remained high, with average days on market at 46 days, which is two fewer weeks or a 25.8% reduction when compared to January 2020.  With only one month’s supply of inventory available — and new listings down by -12.1% — competition among buyers for scarce housing stock is intense. By the end of January, there were ...
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With out aid, millions  impacted by Pandemic  could begin losing their homes in April   Although the American economy has recovered to some degree since the record 14.7% unemployment rate of April 2020—the worst since the Great Depression—millions are still out of work. As the economic effects of the pandemic continue roiling the nation, many  struggle  to  pay mortgages and rent. The $1.9 trillion stimulus plan announced in mid-January by the Biden Administration would extend the national moratorium on foreclosures and evictions  until September  2021.     For millions of Americans, this aid cannot come soon enough. As ...
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Nationwide, vacation home counties had an 81% sales gain, year-over-year Minnesota had 3 counties in the top 20 vacation counties that saw the largest year-over-year sales increases during June-Sept 2020 Itasca had the largest year-over-year increase, at 137% Cass came in at #9 with a 44% increase Crow Wing came in at #20 with a 22% increase Location of second homes sold 39% Resort 20% Suburban 16% Small Town 15% Rural area 11% Central city/urban From: https://www.nar.realtor/presentations/resort-and-second-home-real-estate-market-trends #Trends
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A home is one of life’s most significant purchases. But sometimes, the joy of ownership is tainted by the stress of inevitable wear, tear, and breakdowns. Over time, appliances fail, plumbing wears out, and electrical systems go on the fritz. Each of these has a costly price tag that can transform a dream home into a money pit. A home warranty can ease your mind (and your bank account) by providing financial support when you need it. But remember, not all home warranties are created equal, so it’s critical to do your homework and find the warranty that works best for you. Here are three tips to get you started.   What ...
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35% of MN Home Buyers are First-Timers In Minnesota, first-time buyers made up 35% of all home buyers. And nearly 70% of sellers found their Realtor through referrals or used someone they worked with before. Learn more about the profile of MN home buyers and sellers. Check out the results of the survey here .
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Minnesotans are known to embrace winter. But Realtors® Chuck Zwilling and Becca (Zwilling) Ruegemer take it to the next level by setting world records and raising money for their community!     Chuck, along with his daughter Becca, host the family-friendly outdoor event  I.C.E. Fest (Ice Carousel Extravaganza). Set on an enormous moving carousel that the Zwilling family cut from the frozen lake, I.C.E. Fest entices visitors to brave the cold and break a sweat playing hockey,  building igloos, curling, dog sled rides, figure skating, and tooling around on fat-tire bikes.                                                    The event also raises money ...
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As a founding partner of Wolff and Simon Real Estate in Park Rapids, T.J. Simon knows that building a successful brokerage is a 24-7 job. Apart from the occasional retreat to a deer stand, duck blind, or fishing trip on the lake, T.J. is always on call and ready to talk real estate. For Simon, his chosen profession is about a lot more than racking up transactions. It’s about building strong communities where people want to live, and helping local economies thrive. In his new role as president of Minnesota Realtors®, he is committed to bringing members together to forge strong partnerships for resolving issues facing the industry and homeowners. Q: What are ...
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According to an NAR survey of 650 commercial Realtors®, commercial sales transactions were down 3% year-over-year in the third quarter of 2020. The retail world saw large declines, with the sharpest drop in retail mall acquisitions, which was down 7%. Other areas of decline were in retail strip centers (-5%), Class A office properties (-5%), and freestanding retail (-4%). On the lease side for retail, leasing volume in retail malls was down 9%. With the pandemic shutting down indoor recreation activities such as dining and theaters, outdoor and nature-based activities have increased, land sales reflect this. Sales of residential land rose 6%, and sales of recreational ...
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