Tami and Steve's I-94 Minnesota Real Estate Blog: February 2009

Saint Cloud, MN Real Estate | Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Saint Cloud Listing!! 2819 S. 23rd Street, Saint Cloud, MN $224,900!!

This spacious 4-level in Saint Cloud is thoroughly updated and situated on a private lot with mature trees. Its updates include: Thermo-tech windows, a newer roof, new countertops and stainless steel appliances, 6-panel doors, a newer furnace, fireplace in the lower level family room, and a master suite with walk-in closet and bath. It also boasts an above-ground pool and three-car garage which is insulated and sheetrocked. Oak Hill Elementary. View this listing at: 2819 S. 23rd Street, Saint Cloud, Minnesota 56301.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 11:25 AM


Prospective homeowners who are looking for foreclosure values are surrounded by misinformation and myths which delay or even abort the purchase process. Let us help you dispel those myths.

1. MYTH: Foreclosures sell at 50% or less of the listed price.
REALITY: Foreclosures have already been listed at an average of 20% off market value. That is the loss that the bank is usually willing to absorb. Banks can and do negotiate, but they have a bottom dollar figure for loss, and they do not typically sell beneath it. Foreclosure sales for the past year support this fact. (Even with foreclosures factored in, the Sales Price to List Price ratio in all of central Minnesota in 2008 never fell below 95%.)

2. MYTH: There are exceptions to the bank-generated AS IS Addendum.
REALITY: Once the bank AS IS addendum is signed by the buyer and seller (the bank), the addendum is binding in all aspects: condition of the home, title and closing issues, even the closing date. Any negotiation of this addendum must be done prior to the Purchase Agreement being fully executed. Once signed, it is legally binding.

3. MYTH: There is no real detriment to the buyer if the bank “requires” the buyer to close at its designated title company.
REALITY: The bank wants all buyers to close at its designated title company for a reason: it saves the bank costs and protects the bank’s interests. What it often does not do is protect the buyer, particularly in the area of owner’s title insurance. All title insurance premiums are limited in some regard when dealing with a foreclosed property, but they are not all created equally. Unsuspecting buyers could “inherit” assessments, liens, and fees under the bank’s title policy. Buyers should always insist on a 2006 ALTA title policy and know that they have gap coverage. Be advised: it is against Minnesota State Statute to dictate where buyers obtain their loan or close their transaction. In an attempt to force buyers to use its designated title company, a bank may draft addenda which actually violate federal RESPA regulations. Buyers must know their rights and exercise them.

4 MYTH: Any REALTOR can effectively negotiate a foreclosure.
REALITY: Any licensed REALTOR can legally negotiate a foreclosure, but not all REALTORS have expertise in the foreclosure market. Because foreclosure is a specialized niche of the real estate arena, it is essential for buyers to choose a REALTOR who understands the foreclosure market and the additional legal documents required, as well as who has skill in negotiating with banks. For example, if a REALTOR tells buyers that they must close with the bank’s title company because the bank addendum says so, (see above) that REALTOR has provided misinformation and a disservice to the buyers. Be advised to choose a REALTOR who is an expert in this field.

5. MYTH: There is not a lot that buyers can do to prepare for success in a foreclosure negotiation.
REALITY: Buyers can position themselves to be successful in negotiating on a foreclosed property, and a good REALTOR can coach them to a happy ending in the purchasing process. Buyers need to write an offer that will be noticed in terms of price, closing date, and terms. They need to be pre-approved by a reputable bank and have that documentation in hand. They also need to be flexible in the time-line for closing.

6. MYTH: Buying a Foreclosure is much like buying any other property.
REALITY: Buying a foreclosure entails much more risk for buyers than buying a “healthy” home. Buyers must understand that they willingly forgo many of the rights that are guaranteed to them when purchasing an individual seller’s home. They must accept the property “as is” in terms of condition. They will have limited insurance in terms of title defects. They may incur unrecoverable costs along the way. These risks are the exchange that is made for the value they receive in the discounted purchase price.

Understand the reality of purchasing a foreclosed home and prepare for a successful transaction. Then you will be a happy homeowner!

The Tami and Steve Team is expert at negotiating foreclosed properties. Let us guide you to a new home today.

by Tami DeLand

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 10:41 AM


Take our foreclosure quiz to see if you are prepared to purchase a foreclosed home!



1. I can likely buy a foreclosure for 10 cents on the dollar.

2. Even though I will be required to sign an AS IS addendum, the bank still has responsibility to me regarding the condition of the house.

3. If the bank asks me to use its title company and/or recommended lender, it doesn’t really affect me adversely.

4. It does not matter which REALTOR assists me in the transaction.

5. There is not much I can do to prepare for a successful foreclosure transaction.

6. There is no more risk to me in buying a foreclosure property than there is any other property.

If you answered anything but FALSE on any of the above questions, you are not ready to buy a foreclosure.

Don't worry, however, if you did not pass the quiz;! The Tami and Steve Team have answers for you to successfully navigate a happy ending to your foreclosure sale. Read On!

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 10:33 AM

Monday, February 16, 2009

New Listing: 1602 Case Lane, Saint Cloud, MN $239,900!!

Spacious 4-Level in West Saint Cloud, Minnesota--sure to please!! Fabulous features: main floor great room with huge vault, kitchen with office area and new flooring, three-season room, lower level rec room, jetted tub, and a new roof in 2007, all situated on a large corner lot. As an amazing bonus: five-car garage! All attached: first garage with a 10' overhead door, insulated and heated, second garage is 22 x 25. Must see to believe! View this listing at: 1602 Case Lane, Saint Cloud, Minnesota 56303.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 3:04 PM

It's Official! First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

The White House and Congress agreed to give first-time home buyers a tax credit for 10 percent of the value of a home, up to a maximum of $8,000. The tax credit is part of the $787.2 billion economic stimulus plan, which President Barack Obama is expected to sign early this week.

The tax credit will apply only to first-time home buyers who purchase a home from the start of 2009 to the end of November 2009. The credit begins phasing out for couples with incomes above $150,000 and individuals with incomes above $75,000. Buyers will have to repay credit if they sell their home within three years.

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) estimates that the tax credit will result in an additional 200,000 homes sales and enable many new home buyers to enter the market. According to NAR, first-home buyers purchased 2.2 million homes last year. This represented 41 percent of all U.S. home sales,up from 39 percent in 2007 and 36 percent in 2006.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 2:29 PM

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Rice, MN Listing! 10 4th Avenue NW, Rice, MN $149,900!

This fabulous Rice, Minnesota tri-level is fully finished up and down; spacious and open in its floor plan; light and bright in the kitchen with center island; has a slider from the dining area to the deck; a lower level family room, and office with French Doors. It boasts beautiful perennial gardens and a patio with firepit. Far from ordinary! View this listing at: 10 4th Avenue NW, Rice, Minnesota, 56367.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 10:38 AM

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


It seems that everywhere we turn these days, someone is telling us what a bad idea it is to purchase a home. Doom and gloom prevail in the headlines, and homeowners seem paralyzed with fear regarding their largest investment, while first-time would-be homeowners stall out in the process, terrified of the potential "mistake" they may be making.

Let me tell you why I still believe that Home Is Where the Heart Is, and why you are wise to become a homewowner.

  • Think about what HOME means to you. For most of us, it means security, peace, and protection. We take pride in home ownership. We build a sense of community there with our neighbors. We build a sense of identity there for our children. It is the place where we return to regroup, relax, and refresh. In every sense, it is our own.
  • Think about what home ownership means in a cultural sense. As Americans, we have more individual property ownership than the vast majority of the world. It is a primary reason that we, as U. S. citizens, share such an impressive amount of wealth in comparison to other countries. And let us not forget, the right to own property is one of our fundamental Constitutional freedoms.

  • Think about this: most economists agree that in terms of a long-term investment, home ownership is still a smart investment which they would recommend.

  • Think about who is delivering your news and where it comes from. The last article I read, published in our local newspaper, quoted one "expert" as saying that despite the fact that interest rates are low, despite the fact that the housing affordability index has never been higher, and despite the fact that many economists are advising that now is a great time to buy, the "expert" actually thought it a bad time to buy a house, and even advised against buying for the next five years. Upon a simple google search, I discovered that the "expert" quoted was a financial institution that sold mutual funds. Clearly it would be in the "expert's" best interest (and profit) for homeowners to invest their money with the investor's product. Clearly the "expert" was biased. And just as clearly, the newspaper editorial staff failed in its job to report factual information to the public objectively.

Remember what home ownership means and feels like. Remember that it is a proud part of our heritage. Remember that it is the stepping stone to personal wealth.

by Tami DeLand

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 3:29 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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