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Maple Grove Voice

Ask the Realtor: David Garves (Sponsored)

Feb 29, 2016 09:51PM ● By Wendy Erlien

Broker/Realtor David Garves

“Ask the Realtor” is a monthly segment and sponsored by Broker/Realtor David Garves (

Q: I'm thinking about buying my first home! Where do I start?
A: The parent in me comes out every time I'm asked this question, so I apologize in advance for sounding like a lecture on personal finance strategy. Shopping for a home is exciting and most people want to get online, look at homes, fall in love with one and then figure out how to buy it.

My advice:
First, establish your budget and see what you feel you could afford to pay as a monthly payment. This is different than talking to a lender right away as YOU have a current budget you live on and it's up to you to put thought into how a home payment fits into that. If you're currently renting, the monthly rent payment is a great place to start and make adjustments from there. Even if you're living at home or someplace else rent free - looking at your budget and determining what you feel you can afford is the place to start. 

Next, start online shopping (I'd suggest to develop an idea of prices in the different areas and different type of homes you have to choose from. From there, I'd begin to put together your team. Start with a lender like Eric Bloomstrand (NMLS #274211) who will work to establish a price that fits the budget you've established and qualify you for that amount of payment. 

Then find your realtor and start going out to look at the homes you are finding online.  
BOTTOM LINE - Give yourself plenty of time! Evaluate your personal financial situation, do some online work, and then select a team of professionals and put them to work for you!  

Q: Would you recommend I have someone stage my house before I put it on the market? 
A: In almost every case, it is a good idea to at least have a staging consultant come out to the home and offer suggestions on how to update, neutralize, or adjust the home. After living in a home for a number of years, the home adjusts to the lifestyle of the people living there and forms into what is needed by them. It becomes difficult for a home owner to envision a space as anything but the space to study after school, the scrap booking room, or even that the TV belongs on THAT wall. 

A staging consultant is wonderful at coming in with a trained, educated, and experienced eye and returning the home to a more neutral setting that new home buyers have an easier time imagining as their own and suiting their own needs. They will also be able to recommend ways to update a home to what is currently attracting the most buyers taste. In most cases, this is easily accomplished using what already exists within the home - without the need to spend a lot of money or purchase too many new items for the home. I personally believe in staging consultation and the power it has to help sell a home quickly and for the most money that I hire and pay for a staging consultation myself on every home listing I'm hired on. 
Q: Are houses staying on the market long? How quickly should I plan on making an offer if I find one I'm interested in buying?
A: In Maple Grove and most of the surrounding suburbs, we are in a strong sellers market.  As of the end of January, inventory is very low and buyer demand is strong. A home that is correctly priced correctly will not last long on the market and it's important that a home buyer be prepared to move quickly or the home will be sold while they are "thinking about it." 

The best advice is to start your search well before your timeline to buy. Be certain that your realtor is willing to be patient and work on your behalf to show you homes and educate you on the market in your area. Be aware of pricing trends, neighborhood values and how quickly everything is moving. It's a much smarter buyers market and a home that is overpriced will last for a long time on the market, while multiple offers within days of a home coming on the market are currently common for a properly priced home. It's important a buyer is prepared to act quickly when they find something they are interested in and that should only be done by educating the buyers as to the value in today's market.   
BOTTOM LINE - The median days on market for a Maple Grove home was 41 days (over the last 12 months ending in January). That is down nearly 13 percent 
from the previous 12 months. Educate yourself and be prepared to act quickly for the best deals and best homes on the market. 

Read more: 

BrokerRealtor David Garves

Ask the Realtor: David Garves (Sponsored) - Feb 10, 2016 09:58AM

In this segment, David answers questions the one most important thing to know when selling your home, if living near a school can impact value, and the best time of year to buy a house. Read More » 


January 2016 Real Estate Market Update Sponsored - Feb 18 2016 0924PM

January 2016 Real Estate Market Update (Sponsored) - Feb 18, 2016 09:24PM

The Maple Grove real estate market started 2016 with a lot of positive information. Read More » 


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