February 2015

There are 4 blog entries for February 2015.

Many financial factors go into buying a house. You've got the price of the home, your down payment, your credit score, the current mortgage interest rate, the potential need for home mortgage insurance, tax payments, home insurance costs and more. All of these figures are calculated to determine what your monthly mortgage payment will be, and how much will go into escrow to cover insurance and taxes.

When you meet with a mortgage broker, they will provide you with charts showing how the numbers can be crunched so you can afford a home. As a buyer, you have control over two factors, and they can make all the difference in the world when trying to make a better home more affordable. These factors are your credit score and your down payment.

1. Credit

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While the Twin Cities housing market is improving, those wanting to buy a condo in the metro downtowns will need to do their homework and be prepared to act quickly. That's because we're seeing a lot of homeowners putting their condos up for rent, rather than listing them for sale. What this means for buyers is there will be a limited selection of condos available this summer, and prices will be very competitive.

There are many reasons why owners are choosing to rent out rather than sell. For some, it's an income. For others, it's easier, especially if they're going through a big change in life and have other details that need their attention. And others may be experiencing a short-term or temporary situation and intend to move back into their condo in

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You've decided on a listing price, your home and its beautiful photos are displayed on MSL, and there's a sign on your property advertising that the house is for sale. All of the sudden you've got showings scheduled. Is your home ready for potential buyers to see it?

Prepping a home for a showing can be simple or complicated, depending on your home and how it's already decorated. Here are some general steps to help your home look its best for potential buyers.

1. Give it a deep cleaning. If you don't already have a cleaning service coming by your house once a week, consider hiring one. When buyers see a grungy floor or layers of dust on furniture, it can be a big turn off. Once the big clean is accomplished, schedule weekly maintenance to keep it

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Valentine's Day offers an opportunity to take your sweetie out for a romantic meal. If you're still looking for the best places to celebrate, check out these restaurants in the Twin Cities:

Sapor Café - 428 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis - Reservations are required, and for the holiday, the restaurant will host a special three-course dinner that includes fish or seafood, as well as vegetarian and meat options for each course. The meal costs $45 per person and drinks are extra.

Forepaugh's - 276 S. Exchange St., St. Paul - This charming Victorian-style restaurant with a rumored love-story ghost living on the third floor will make for a very romantic Valentine's Day treat. This Valentine's Day menu is crafted by Executive Chef Donald Gonzalez and is

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