Tami and Steve's I-94 Minnesota Real Estate Blog: February 2008

Saint Cloud, MN Real Estate | Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen
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Monday, February 25, 2008

How Parents Can Help Their Children Buy Homes

Here is another way first-time homebuyers are successfully purchasing homes in today's market!

RISMEDIA report, February 26, 2008

Here are three ways parents can help their children buy homes:
1. Cash is Clean and Easy: Experts say simply giving adult children cash for a down payment is one of the smoothest ways to help them buy a home. For parents with the means, gifting can avoid intergenerational squabbles and misunderstandings.
“Helping with cash is pretty clean, pretty easy,” says Jack Guttentag, an emeritus finance professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Guttentag helped his adult son buy a house in Venice Beach, Calif., about 15 years ago. Prices were high, so Guttentag ponied up for the down payment, while his son had enough income to carry the mortgage.
“It turned out well,” Guttentag says.
To avoid triggering a taxable event, Guttentag spaced out his gift over two years. An individual can give $12,000 a year to a recipient without having to pay a tax on the gift. Therefore, a couple could give an adult child and the child’s spouse a total of $48,000 in one year.
Yet gifting can become complicated when lender institutions have rules that limit the size of a gift. From a lender’s point of view, a debt obligation-even a gift from parent to child-could weaken the security of the mortgage, Guttentag says.
“When lenders assess someone’s qualification for carrying a mortgage, they take into account their other debt payments,” he says.
Some lenders can be concerned that reported gifts aren’t really gifts at all, and may require borrowers and parents to sign an affidavit that no repayment is expected, Guttentag says. To avoid too much scrutiny by a lender, Guttentag suggests giving your adult child a down payment well in advance of applying for a mortgage.
2. Cosign a Loan or Invest in a House: Some parents may have limited resources as home equity has come under pressure. Others may need their investments for retirement.
Yet they can still help their adult children by cosigning a loan. Cosigning can help make a lender feel more comfortable with extending a mortgage to an adult child, says Adele Brady Bolson, a certified public accountant in Washington state.
However, if payments aren’t made, the mortgage company will go back to the parents, she says. And the parents’ credit can be affected.
Investing in a home can also work for parents that want to be paid back.
Families must be careful planners and good record keepers over time to avoid confusion and intergenerational quarrels. All parties should understand how their respective shares in the equity of the house would be divided and change over time. As children make the mortgage payments, their share of the equity in the house will increase.
“The investment has the potential for conflict because of changes that occur over time,” Guttentag says. “If both parties agree on what the rules are and keep accurate records, there isn’t going to be any conflict.”
And parents may face hard choices if they invest in a child’s home through a loan or by co-signing a mortgage.
“I’ve seen all sorts of really unfortunate things happen,” Bolson says. “Don’t make promises that you cannot keep. Whatever promises you’ve made should be put down in writing.”
3. The Gift of Knowledge: Schwab Pomerantz says the “gift of knowledge” is a good option for parents without the means to contribute cash or invest in a child’s home.
“Very few families have frequent conversations about money and investing,” she says. “So you’re already starting at a deficit in terms of families who talk about finances.”
The lack of conversation is not a socioeconomic issue-families across the wealth spectrum are missing out on these important talks, Schwab Pomerantz says. She suggests “helping kids weed through the various mortgage alternatives to avoid these scandalous offerings that are inappropriate for them.”
Adult children should understand the importance of borrowing within the limit of what they can actually afford, rather than becoming overly indebted to a home.
“It’s never worth it to be house poor. … It limits you from doing so many other things,” Schwab Pomerantz says.
Current turmoil in the mortgage market magnifies the importance of ensuring that all parties understand the terms of a mortgage before buying a home, says Bolson.
“If I’m going to be giving money to my child I need to make sure that my husband is OK with it,” she says. “All parties need to agree.”
Bolson also recommends that a first home for adult children should cost no more that the average for the community, especially when parents are helping financially.
“You want to be cautious about whether this is just the beginning of kids wanting parents to buy what they themselves can’t afford,” she says. She added that in most circumstances parents “should only help with the first home. When (adult children) are ready for the dream home they can trade up to it.”

To view this RISMEDIA report in its entirety: RISMEDIA February 26, 2008.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 4:01 PM

Friday, February 22, 2008

Unbelievable New Price on 315 NE 4th Ave. St. Cloud, MN $124,900!!

Incredible value!! Craftsman-style home with original woodwork, beveled glass, built-ins, hardwood floors; charm and character to spare! Three bedrooms, two baths and double-car garage. Enclosed back porch with garage access and enclosed front porch, too. Compare at $124,900 anywhere! AHS home warranty provided. Seller paid closing costs with acceptable offer up to 3%. Immediate Possession. View this listing at: 315 NE 4th Ave. St. Cloud, MN 56304.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 12:31 PM

Incredible New Price! Incredible Views! 1737 Bishop Ave. NW Buffalo, MN $524,900!!

A CAN'T MISS OPPORTUNITY! Five acres and deeded lake access with some of the finest views in Buffalo, Minnesota. Exquisite quality and workmanship highlight this three bedroom, two bath ranch as extraordinary. Granite countertops and custom hickory cabinets in a true cook's kitchen, ceramic tile, Austrailian Cypress hardwood floors, in-floor heat in lower level and upstairs bathrooms, internal and external alarm system, bidet and antique claw-foot tub, central vac, gas fireplace, techology rich and "future proofed," lower 2-car garage with "spancrete" construction. The list goes on and on! At the new price of $524,900, an incredible value. Immediate possession is possible. View this listing at: 1737 Bishop Avenue, Buffalo, MN 55313.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 10:51 AM

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Gorgeous Sartell 2-Story at Gorgeous New Price: 38045 Wilderness Court $424,900!!

This is a genuine beauty and now a great value as well: over 4400 square feet of magnificent living. Five bedrooms and three baths, a warm gathering room with a romantic fireplace and built-in bookcases. Classic dining room, spacious main floor family room, bonus room with garage entry, custom cabinetry, master suite with master closet and bubble tub with privacy room. The extras go on and on! Includes association access with 20 forested acres of paved recreation trails. View this listing at: 38045 Wilderness Court, Sartell, Minnesota 56377.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 3:41 PM

Incredible New Price on Acreage!! 13669 NE 163rd St. Foley, MN $349,900!!

Forty acres and a spacious, like new two-story in Foley, Minnesota: now priced at $349,900! Stretch out and get comfy with four bedrooms, four baths, and over 2600 square feet of finished living space. This home boasts a main floor family room, main floor laundry, large kitchen with prep and snack island, six-panel doors, knock-down ceilings, security system and oversized four-car garage. View this listing at: 13669 NE 163rd Street, Foley, Minnesota 55329.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 3:33 PM

WOW New Price on 3017 22nd Street S., Saint Cloud, MN $149,900!!

Lots of room on a large wooded lot: this four bedroom bi-level has much to offer for the new price of $149,900. Finished up and down with over 1700 square feet. Quality appliances and newer roof. Newer composite deck. Garage is sheetrocked. Close to parks and shopping on St. Cloud's south side. View this listing at: 3017 22nd Street South, St. Cloud, MN 56301.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 3:17 PM

Great New Price on 612 North 2nd Avenue, Sauk Rapids, MN $114,900!!

Two bedrooms and two baths on a private wooded lot in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. So many amenities for such a small price! Newer AC, maintainance-free windows, wood floors, a roomy kitchen, jetted tub in the remodeled bathroom, new bedroom carpeting and plentiful storage. Garage and additional shed. This one is a sweet value with immediate possession possible. View this listing at: 612 N. Second Avenue, Sauk Rapids, MN 56379.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 3:07 PM

Thursday, February 07, 2008

New Listing! 2051 SE 15th Avenue, Saint Cloud, MN $194,900!!

This well-maintained split-foyer is located near the most beautiful parks in St. Cloud, Minnesota: Riverside, Munsinger and Clemens Gardens. Talk about a great neighborhood! Three bedrooms, two baths, vaulted ceilings, a gas fireplace in the lower level family room, plus a large lot, fully landscaped, with deck. Sheetrocked and insulated double-car garage. View this great listing at: 2051 SE 15th Avenue, St. Cloud, MN 56304.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 3:45 PM

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

New Sauk Rapids, MN Listing: 2580 Olive Lane $184,900!!

Terrific Tri-level in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota: vaulted ceilings and open floor plan, three bedrooms on one level, raised-panel cabinets and breakfast bar in kitchen, fully finished third level with bar and built-ins. Private fenced backyard with 20 x 20 deck. Fully landscaped with perennial gardens. Great curb appeal!! View this listing at: 2580 Olive Lane Sauk Rapids, MN 56379.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 10:22 AM

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

New Foley, MN Listing: 655 Brittany Blvd. $131,900!

Two bedrooms, one bath split-foyer at a great price in exchange for TLC. Open floor plan with room to grow and to build equity. Double garage. Maintenance free siding. Small town living, but close to St. Cloud and amenities. View this listing at: 655 Brittany Boulevard, Foley, MN 56329.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 11:45 AM

New Townhome Listing: 2518 Stearns Way, Saint Cloud, MN $119,900!!

Shop and compare for square footage, convenience and price! This Northcrest townhome has it all: nearly 1500 finished square feet, three bedrooms on one level and two baths, large family room with fireplace, full master bath, ceramic tile in kitchen. Patio and oversized double garage. Bonus extras: new carpet, new paint and new furnace!! Immediate Possession is possible. Close to hosptial, parks, schools, YMCA and Whitney Senior Center. $119,900. View this listing at: 2518 Stearns Way, St. Cloud, MN 56303.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 11:07 AM

Monday, February 04, 2008

HOT NEW PRICE!! 130 N. 24th Ave. Saint Cloud, MN $139,900!!

WOW price on a WOW home! Virtually maintenance free with fresh paint, steel siding, new carpet, new cabinets, new furnace and newer appliances. Fabulous decor! Three bedrooms and two baths. Finished up and down. 12 x 20 deck for summer entertaining. North St. Cloud location makes it convenient to shopping, schools, parks and medical. A great buy on a great home! View this listing at: 130 N. 24th Avenue, St.Cloud, MN 56303.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 3:12 PM

NEW PRICES on ALBANY GOLF VISTAS LOTS!!! Par Drive, Albany, MN 56307

Incredible new prices on Albany Golf Vistas Lots: $41,500 - $74,900!! Lots ranging from a quarter to full acre. A cul-de-sac community on Albany's golf course. Bring your builder or use ours to construct your dream home! Convenient location to I-94. View a sample listing at: 101 Par Drive, Albany, MN 56307.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 12:02 PM

Impressive New Price on: 485 Walnut Avenue, Holdingford, MN $339,900!

On four-plus acres in Holdingford, MN, this two-story colonial is sure to impress! Four bedrooms and four baths, over 3200 square feet, with a great room complete with gas fireplace, entertainment center and built-in bookcases. The master suite boasts a walk-in closet, ceramic tile, glass block and a jetted tub. Main floor laundry with custom cabinets. Main floor office with French doors. Spacious kitchen with breakfast bar, center prep island and pantry cupboards. The lower level will WOW you! A walkout to the patio, with rec area, entertainment center and custom stone and log-style bar with sink. Ceramic tile and in-floor heat. Perfect for entertaining! As a bonus: triple-car heated garage and 40 x 60 pole shed for hobbies and toys. A must have home! View this listing at: 485 Walnut Avenue, Holdingford, MN 56340.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 11:42 AM

New Price, First Time Financing: Move in to 826 N. 12th Avenue, Saint Cloud, MN $129,900!!

Value Priced and Ready to Move into, this home is eligible for LOW first-time homeowner financing. Big square footage: three-plus bedrooms, two baths, formal dining room with built-in hutch, hardwood floors, original woodwork, lower level kitchenette, lower level family room, lots of storage. HUGE lot and double car attached garage. PRICED TO SELL! View this listing at: 826 N. 12th Avenue, St. Cloud, MN 56303.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 11:27 AM

Closing Costs, New Appliances, Great Price and Great Neighborhood: 2020 S. 17th Street, Saint Cloud, MN $199,900!

Very Motivated Sellers are willing to pay up to 3% of buyer's closing costs with an acceptable offer. Brand New appliances are being delivered. Convenient South St. Cloud location with quick access to I-94, close to great schools and parks. Over 2500 square feet in this ranch-style home, three bedrooms and three baths, main floor laundry, owner's suite, formal dining, slider to deck, newer roof, lower level family room with gas fireplace. Immediate Possession! View this listing at: 2020 S. 17th Street, St. Cloud, MN 56301.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 11:14 AM

New Price at 1011 Stonebrooke Drive, Waite Park, MN $154,900!!

Motivated Sellers for this fully finished split-level in Albany, MN. Well maintained, fully landscaped, with three bedrooms and two baths and room to grow! Spacious L-shaped living room, full appliance package, vaulted great room, kitchen with center prep island, dining room with slider, all new high-performance mechanics. Spacious double-car garage with back service door. Great location and neighborhood! $154,900. View this listing at: 1011 Stonebrooke Drive, Albany, MN 56307.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 10:46 AM

Saturday, February 02, 2008

SERIOUSLY PRICED TO SELL!! 116 S. 20th Avenue, St. Cloud, MN $139,900!!

Compare to everything else in this price range: there is no decision to make! BRAND NEW roof, newer siding, remodeled lower level, newer carpet, updated kitchen, newer appliances, new door. Hardwood floors, bar area, fenced-in backyard and double-car garage. BEST VALUE IN TOWN. Priced at less than seller paid for it 2 1/2 years ago, plus improvements! $139,900!!! View this listing at: 116 S. 20th Avenue, St. Cloud MN 56301.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 1:22 PM

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Saint Cloud, MN Real Estate | Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen
About Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen's Saint Cloud and Central Minnesota, MN Real Estate Website: The www.I-94homes.com web site provides Saint Cloud, Waite Park, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, St. Joseph, Clearwater, Clear Lake, Avon, Albany, St. Augusta, Rockville, Coldspring, Righmond, Becker, Rice, Royalton, Little Falls, Monticello, St. Michael, Albertville, Rogers, Otsego, Maple Grove, Buffalo, Annanndale, Rockford, Corcoran, and Central Minnesota, Minnesota real estate information and resources to guide homeowners, homebuyers and real estate investors through the process of selling and buying a house, condo or other realty property in the Saint Cloud and Central Minnesota area. Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen (sometimes misspelled as Tammy DiLand, Tammi Deeland, Steven Hanson or Stephen Hanson) have services to help you get the best value for your Saint Cloud and Central Minnesota home and this website offers home buyers and home sellers a superior comparative market analysis (CMA), a way to view real estate and MLS IDX listings including virtual tours, prepare your home for sale, and more. Investors looking for real estate investment properties to invest in need look no farther. Anyone selling a home, buying a home or seeking housing can learn more about our realty services, and will appreciate working with   Saint Cloud and Central Minnesota REALTORs who know  the area so well. Through trusted partners, we also provide real estate and financial services to consumers looking for houses for sale or selling their home in Saint Cloud and Central Minnesota, MN, such as mortgages, credit history, new homes, foreclosures and other services. If you've already tried to go the for sale by owner (FSBO) route and find you are needing a partner who you can trust in the sale of your most precious asset, Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen can take care of your special needs. It really doesn't matter if you spell it REALTOR, Realator or Realter, realty, realety or reality, real estate or realestate, Tami and Steve speak  your language.
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