Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

March 13, 2024

Maximizing Retirement Savings in Bemidji, Minnesota: The Upsides of Downsizing

 

As you transition into retirement in Bemidji, Minnesota, scrutinizing your expenses becomes crucial. A tried-and-true method to enhance your financial efficiency is downsizing to a cozier residence.

Thinking about reducing expenses usually brings daily costs to mind, such as groceries. However, opting for a smaller living space can significantly reduce your monthly expenditures, including mortgage payments, utility bills, and maintenance tasks. As highlighted by Realtor.com:

"Opting for a more compact home often results in decreased utility bills and less maintenance. Plus, selling your larger home for a more modest one can provide a financial boost, thanks to the equity you've accumulated over time."

This financial boost stems from the home equity built over the years. For many, this equity comprises a substantial part of their retirement savings. Daniel Hunt, CFA at Morgan Stanley, notes:

"For retirees, home equity can be a major asset, often making up a significant portion of their net worth... While retirement planning can seem daunting, leveraging home equity is a strategy that shouldn't be ignored."

Leveraging this equity wisely requires the guidance of a seasoned real estate professional. They will assist in pricing your current home accurately, searching for a new home that meets your current needs, and navigating the financial aspects of buying at today's mortgage rates.

Considerations for Potential Downsizers

Before deciding to downsize, ponder over these queries:

Are the reasons for purchasing my current home still relevant, or have my living needs evolved?

 

Is the spaciousness of my current home a necessity, or could a smaller space serve me better?

 

What are my current housing expenses, and how much do I aim to save by downsizing?

Discussing these points with a local real estate expert in Bemidji can clarify your position in the current market and your potential equity gains from downsizing.

Looking to economize during retirement? Downsizing in Bemidji might be the key. When you're prepared to explore your housing market options, we are here to help you achieve your real estate objectives this year.

 

Ready to take the next step? Let’s connect!

☎️ Steve: 218-766-9126

☎️ Tyler: 218-308-1230

☎️ Steph: 218-766-6214

☎️ Jolene: 218-556-0418

 

Posted in Home Buying Tips
March 5, 2024

What To Know About Credit Scores Before Buying a Home In Bemidji.




If you want to buy a home, you should know your credit score is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to qualifying for a mortgage. Lenders review your credit to see if you typically make payments on time, pay back debts, and more. Your credit score can also help determine your mortgage rate. An article from US Bank explains:

“A credit score isn’t the only deciding factor on your mortgage application, but it’s a significant one. So, when you’re house shopping, it’s important to know where your credit stands and how to use it to get the best mortgage rate possible.”

That means your credit score may feel even more important to your homebuying plans right now since mortgage rates are a key factor in affordability. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the median credit score in the U.S. for those taking out a mortgage is 770. But that doesn’t mean your credit score has to be perfect. The same article from US Bank explains:

“Your credit score (commonly called a FICO Score) can range from 300 at the low end to 850 at the high end. A score of 740 or above is generally considered very good, but you don’t need that score or above to buy a home.”

Working with a trusted lender is the best way to get more information on how your credit score could factor into your home loan and the mortgage rate you’re able to get. As FICO says:

“While many lenders use credit scores like FICO Scores to help them make lending decisions, each lender has its own strategy, including the level of risk it finds acceptable. There is no single “cutoff score” used by all lenders and there are many additional factors that lenders may use to determine your actual interest rates.”

If you’re looking for ways to improve your score, Experian highlights some things you may want to focus on:

  • Your Payment History: Late payments can have a negative impact by dropping your score. Focus on making payments on time and paying any existing late charges quickly.
  • Your Debt Amount (relative to your credit limits): When it comes to your available credit amount, the less you’re using, the better. Focus on keeping this number as low as possible.
  • Credit Applications: If you’re looking to buy something, don’t apply for additional credit. When you apply for new credit, it could result in a hard inquiry on your credit that drops your score.

Bottom Line

Finding ways to make your credit score better could help you get a lower mortgage rate. If you want to learn more, talk to a trusted lender.

Have questions or ready to take the next step? 

☎️ Steve: 218-766-9126

☎️ Tyler: 218-308-1230

☎️ Steph: 218-766-6214

☎️ Jolene: 218-556-0418

 

In Search of the Perfect Property? Try our easy-to-use FAST property search

Curious about what’s happening in your neighborhood? You can create a custom market report to see what’s active, under contract, and sold in your neighborhood! 

Considering selling or refinancing your home? Get an INSTANT property valuation now!

Posted in Home Buying Tips
Feb. 29, 2024

Navigating the Bemidji, Minnesota Real Estate Market: A Prime Time for Sellers

If you're contemplating whether to list your Bemidji home on the market, the straightforward answer is: absolutely, yes. A closer examination of the current real estate landscape in Bemidji, Minnesota, underscores two pivotal reasons supporting this decision.

 

Recent data highlights a noticeable increase in the number of homes available for sale in Bemidji compared to last year, indicating a shift towards a more favorable market for sellers. However, when we cast our minds back to 2019, considered the last 'normal' year in real estate, the current inventory is significantly reduced by nearly 40%. This dichotomy presents a unique advantage for sellers in today's market.

 

Here's How Sellers in Bemidji Benefit:

 

1. Expanded Choices for Your Next Move

Whether your current Bemidji home no longer suits your lifestyle due to its size or other reasons, the year-over-year growth in housing inventory means you now have a broader selection of properties to consider for your next purchase. This alleviates the concern of not finding a suitable new home, making now an opportune time to sell. Engaging with a local real estate expert can provide you with the latest insights on available properties, ensuring you find a home that meets your new needs.

 

2. Limited Competition Enhances Seller Advantage

Despite the increase in available homes, the market has not fully rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, with inventory still approximately 40% lower than in 2019. This scarcity of listings means your property can stand out more to potential buyers, especially if priced correctly. As highlighted by industry sources, the journey back to a balanced market is ongoing, but current trends indicate improving conditions for sellers.

 

Bottom Line for Bemidji Sellers

For homeowners in Bemidji, Minnesota, looking to sell, the market is ripe with opportunity. The increased inventory provides more options for relocating, while the overall shortage of listings means less competition and the potential for your home to attract significant interest. Partnering with a seasoned Bemidji real estate professional can help you navigate this market efficiently, ensuring your selling experience is both successful and rewarding.

 

Have questions or ready to take the next step? 

☎️ Steve: 218-766-9126

☎️ Tyler: 218-308-1230

☎️ Steph: 218-766-6214

☎️ Jolene: 218-556-0418

 

In Search of the Perfect Property? Try our easy-to-use FAST property search

Curious about what’s happening in your neighborhood? You can create a custom market report to see what’s active, under contract, and sold in your neighborhood! 

Considering selling or refinancing your home? Get an INSTANT property valuation now!

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 23, 2024

Bemidji, Minnesota Real Estate Outlook: 2024 Home Price Predictions Adjust Upward

Recent updates in the Bemidji, Minnesota real estate market have led experts to revise their 2024 home price predictions upwards, signaling a stronger confidence in a rising market.

 

Here's a closer look at how the outlook has evolved and the driving forces behind this optimistic shift.

 

2024 Home Price Predictions: A Comparative Overview

A comparison of initial and revised 2024 home price predictions from seven leading organizations reveals a significant shift in expectations. Initially, projections suggested a modest increase in home prices for the year. However, recent updates show a unanimous agreement towards a more substantial growth, underscoring a notable adjustment in market forecasts.

 

This adjustment is primarily fueled by two critical market dynamics: the persistently low number of available homes and changing mortgage rates.

 

The Persistent Low Housing Inventory Effect

A crucial factor exerting upward pressure on home prices is the ongoing scarcity of available properties in Bemidji. This trend, as highlighted by sources like Business Insider, underscores a nationwide challenge of low home inventory, which has historically supported higher prices. This scenario is anticipated to persist through 2024, reinforcing the upward trajectory in home values.

 

The Impact of Shifting Mortgage Rates

Initially, when predictions for a modest price increase in 2024 were made, higher mortgage rates had tempered buyer enthusiasm. However, the subsequent decrease in rates since last October has rejuvenated buyer interest. This resurgence, coupled with the continuous shortage of housing inventory, has prompted experts to adjust their price forecasts upward, anticipating stronger market dynamics.

 

Staying Ahead: Monitoring Future Forecast Adjustments

Real estate professionals in Bemidji routinely update their price forecasts to reflect the latest market trends, ensuring their insights remain relevant and accurate. These adjustments are a standard aspect of their analysis, allowing for the incorporation of new data on mortgage rates and housing inventory changes.

 

As we move forward, mortgage rates will be a critical factor to watch. Anticipated to decline further, lower rates could bolster buyer demand, potentially leading to even higher future price predictions.

 

Conclusion: An Optimistic Revision of Expectations

Initially, the consensus was a modest increase in Bemidji's home prices for 2024. However, the latest revisions indicate a more robust growth than previously anticipated. For those looking to navigate the Bemidji real estate market, staying informed on these predictions is crucial. Let's connect to ensure you're well-prepared for what lies ahead in our local market.

☎️ Steve: 218-766-9126

☎️ Tyler: 218-308-1230

☎️ Jolene: 218-556-0418

☎️ Steph: 218-766-6214

 

In Search of the Perfect Property? Try our easy-to-use FAST property search

Curious about what’s happening in your neighborhood? You can create a custom market report to see what’s active, under contract, and sold in your neighborhood! 

Considering selling or refinancing your home? Get an INSTANT property valuation now!

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 1, 2024

Top 5 Romantic Restaurants in Bemidji, MN for a Valentine's Day Date

Celebrate Valentine's Day in the charming town of Bemidji, MN, by visiting some of the best restaurants that promise a blend of ambiance, exquisite cuisine, and memorable experiences. Here are the top five restaurants for a romantic outing.

1. Sparkling Waters Restaurant

Location: 824 Paul Bunyan Drive S, Bemidji, MN Ambiance: Stunning lakeside views, cozy setting Cuisine: American, seafood, and meat options Specialty: Atlantic Salmon, Ribeye, Filet Mignon Sparkling Waters offers a romantic setting with its picturesque views and extensive wine list. It's perfect for couples looking to enjoy a scenic dinner with a variety of culinary options​.

2. Tara

Location: 401 Beltrami Ave NW Suite A, Bemidji, MN Ambiance: Warm, inviting with traditional Thai decor Cuisine: Authentic Thai Specialty: Pad Thai, Green Curry, Mix Seafood Gaprow Experience the exotic flavors of Thailand at Tara, where the ambiance is as inviting as the cuisine. It's an ideal spot for couples seeking a cozy and flavorful dining experience​.

3. Green Mill Restaurant & Bar

Location: 1025 Paul Bunyan Dr S, Bemidji, MN Ambiance: Comfortable, and friendly, with water views Cuisine: American, famous for pizza Specialty: Award-winning wings, pizzas Green Mill is known for its scenic location and delicious American cuisine, including their famous pizzas and wings. It’s a great choice for a relaxed yet romantic dining experience with views of Lake Bemidji​.

4. Tutto Bene

Location: 300 Beltrami Ave NW, Bemidji, MN Ambiance: Elegant Italian setting Cuisine: Italian with local ingredient focus Specialty: Squid Ink Risotto, Bruschetta Trio Tutto Bene offers an authentic Italian dining experience, combining local flavors with traditional techniques. Its warm atmosphere makes it perfect for a romantic Italian meal​.

5. Minnesota Nice Cafe

Ambiance: Casual, homely Cuisine: American homestyle fare Specialty: Unique French toast, Omelets For a more laid-back Valentine's Day, Minnesota Nice Cafe provides a homestyle dining atmosphere. Ideal for a cozy brunch or lunch, their made-from-scratch dishes are both comforting and delicious​.

Bemidji's diverse culinary scene offers something special for every couple. Whether you're in the mood for a scenic lakeside dinner, exotic Thai flavors, a casual American meal with stunning views, authentic Italian cuisine, or a cozy homestyle brunch, these top restaurants in Bemidji are sure to make your Valentine's Day unforgettable.

Posted in Local Bemidji
Jan. 14, 2024

Navigating the Real Estate Market in Bemidji, MN: Essential Tips for Homebuyers Post-Mortgage Application

 

Embarking on the journey of home buying in Bemidji, MN, is both thrilling and complex, especially after you've applied for a mortgage. To ensure a seamless transition into your new home, it's crucial to be aware of certain steps and avoid common pitfalls. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you smoothly navigate the post-mortgage application phase in the Bemidji real estate market.

  1. Avoid Depositing Large Sums of Cash: In the Bemidji housing market, lenders scrutinize your financial transactions. Large, untraceable cash deposits can raise questions. Consult your loan officer on how to properly document any cash transactions to maintain transparency.

  2.  
  3. Refrain from Major Purchases: While the allure of buying new furniture or appliances for your Bemidji property is strong, such purchases can jeopardize your mortgage approval. Large expenditures increase your debt-to-income ratio, making you a higher-risk borrower. To keep your home loan on track, resist any significant spending.

  4.  
  5. Steer Clear of Cosigning Loans: Cosigning a loan impacts your debt-to-income ratio, a critical factor in the Bemidji real estate market. Even if you're not the primary payer, lenders consider this an additional liability, potentially affecting your mortgage approval.

  6.  
  7. Don't Switch Bank Accounts: Consistency in your banking history is key for lenders in Bemidji to effectively track and source your assets. Avoid transferring funds between accounts without consulting your loan officer.

  8.  
  9. Refrain from Applying for New Credit: New credit inquiries, whether for a credit card or a vehicle, can impact your credit score. A lower score may affect your mortgage interest rates and approval odds in the Bemidji housing market.

  10.  
  11. Don't Close Existing Accounts: Contrary to common belief, closing credit accounts can negatively impact your credit score. Lenders in Bemidji assess your credit history length and credit utilization ratio; closing accounts can harm both.

  12.  
  13. Communicate Changes with Your Lender: Transparency with your lender about any financial or employment changes is crucial. This ensures that any modifications can be managed in a way that still secures your home loan in Bemidji.

Conclusion: To ensure a smooth home buying process in Bemidji, MN, it's essential to make informed decisions and consult your lender before making any significant financial moves post-mortgage application. By following these guidelines, you'll be well on your way to securing your dream home in the vibrant Bemidji real estate market.

 

Ready to take the next step in the home-buying process? Let's chat! 👇

☎️ Steve: 218-766-9126

☎️ Tyler: 218-308-1230

☎️ Jolene: 218-556-0418

☎️ Steph: 218-766-6214

 

In Search of the Perfect Property? Try our easy-to-use FAST property search

Curious about what’s happening in your neighborhood? You can create a custom market report to see what’s active, under contract, and sold in your neighborhood! 

Considering selling or refinancing your home? Get an INSTANT property valuation now!

Posted in Local Bemidji
Jan. 10, 2024

Using Your Home’s Value in Bemidji to Reach Your Dreams

Owning a home in Bemidji means you might have something special – home equity. This is what you get when you subtract the amount you still owe on your mortgage from your home’s value. As you pay off your mortgage and as Bemidji house prices go up, your home equity grows. Even though house prices went down a bit last year, they’re going up again, which is great news for you.

Selma Hepp from CoreLogic explains that as house prices keep rising, homeowners are getting more wealthy because their equity is going up. In fact, the average homeowner has gained over $20,000 in equity since last year. In some places like Bemidji, the increase is even more.

Think about it: the average person with a mortgage has over $300,000 in equity. That’s a lot and can help you in many ways.

  1. Move to a Better-Fitting Home in Bemidji If your current home is too small or too big, your home equity can help you move. You can use it to help pay for a new house that suits your needs better.

  2.  
  3. Make Your Current Bemidji Home Better If you’re not ready to move, you can use your equity to fix up your current home. Ask a local real estate expert which improvements will add the most value to your house for when you decide to sell.

  4.  
  5. Reach Personal Goals Your home equity can also help you achieve big life goals, like starting your own business, saving for retirement, or paying for school. It’s important to use this money wisely, but it can really make a difference.

  6.  
  7. Stay Out of Trouble with Mortgage Payments If you’re having trouble paying your mortgage, knowing how to use your equity can help you avoid losing your home.

In Summary Want to know how much equity you have in your Bemidji home? Let’s get in touch. We can help you figure out how much equity you’ve built and how you can use it to achieve your dreams.

 

In Search of the Perfect Property? Try our easy-to-use FAST property search

Curious about what’s happening in your neighborhood? You can create a custom market report to see what’s active, under contract, and sold in your neighborhood! 

Considering selling or refinancing your home? Get an INSTANT property valuation now!

Contact us today to find out how we can be of assistance to you!

Posted in Local Bemidji
Jan. 1, 2024

Happy New Year from Team Montgomery!

Happy New Year from Team Montgomery! 🌟🏡
 
As we step into 2024, we want to take a moment to express our gratitude to every one of our clients who made 2023 a great year for us. Your trust and support have been the cornerstone of our success, and we are genuinely thankful! 💙
 
Wishing you and your loved ones a year filled with joy, prosperity, and beautiful new beginnings. May your homes be filled with laughter, love, and cherished moments in the coming year.
 
Here's to new opportunities, dream homes, and creating memories that last a lifetime. Cheers to 2024! 🥂🎉
☎️ Steve: 218-766-9126
☎️ Tyler: 218-308-1230
☎️ Jolene: 218-556-0418
☎️ Steph: 218-766-6214
Posted in Local Bemidji
Dec. 27, 2023

Bemidji, Minnesota Real Estate: A Year in Review and What's Ahead for 2024

As we wrap up 2023 and look towards the future, it's an ideal time to reflect on the intriguing journey of the Bemidji real estate market this year. It's been a year marked by resilience and stability, defying the ominous predictions that loomed over the industry.

Surprising Stability in a Predicted Downturn

Contrary to the widespread fears of a market crash akin to 2008, Bemidji's real estate landscape presented a different story. Our data revealed a market that, while not skyrocketing like in previous years, showcased remarkable resilience and steadiness.

A Snapshot of 2023's Market:

  • Average Sales Price: Demonstrating growth, the average sales price rose by 2% to $281,000.
  • Sales Price to List Price Ratio: This ratio remained consistent at 98.62%, illustrating a balanced market.
  • Properties Sold: There was a slight decrease of 4% in properties sold, totaling 471.
  • Inventory Supply: Notably low at just 0.24 months, indicating a swift market turnover. For comparison, a balanced market usually has a 4-5 months supply.

Deciphering the Market Forces of 2023

A significant factor shaping this year's market was the high number of homeowners benefiting from historically low-interest rates. This resulted in fewer listings, as many homeowners preferred to maintain their advantageous rates.

Predictions for 2024: A Fresh Wave of Optimism

Looking forward to 2024, there's a sense of optimism. Interest rates are expected to settle around 6.1% by year-end. This adjustment could rejuvenate the market, prompting homeowners to seek new opportunities, and potentially increasing the number of property listings.

A Look Back: Historical Context

To appreciate our current situation, let's take a moment to reflect on the past. In 1981, mortgage rates reached an extraordinary 17.08% - a stark contrast to today's figures, highlighting the dynamic nature of the real estate sector.

 

Staying Updated and Making Informed Decisions

In these exciting times, it's crucial to stay informed and make well-considered decisions. If you have any queries or need advice about the Bemidji real estate market, don't hesitate to reach out. Here's to a thriving and prosperous 2024 in real estate!

 

☎️ Steve: 218-766-9126

☎️ Tyler: 218-308-1230

☎️ Jolene: 218-556-0418

☎️ Steph: 218-766-6214

Dec. 21, 2023

Why Bemidji Homebuyers Might See Continued Decline in Mortgage Rates

 

Exploring the housing market trends, especially in Bemidji, Minnesota, you're likely to encounter discussions about inflation and the Federal Reserve's recent decisions. But what does this mean for your homebuying journey in Bemidji? Let's dive in.

Pause in Federal Funds Rate Increases: A Sign for Bemidji Buyers

The Federal Reserve aims to control inflation, partly through adjustments to the Federal Funds Rate. Although these changes don't directly set mortgage rates, they certainly influence them. Notably, there's been a cooling in inflation rates recently, suggesting the Fed's measures are effective. Consequently, the frequency and size of rate hikes have diminished, with no increases since July. (See graph below)

And not only has the Fed decided not to raise the Federal Funds Rate the last three times the committee met, they’ve signaled there may actually be rate cuts coming in 2024. According to the New York Times (NYT):

“Federal Reserve officials left interest rates unchanged in their final policy decision of 2023 and forecast that they will cut borrowing costs three times in the coming year, a sign that the central bank is shifting toward the next phase in its fight against rapid inflation.”





Declining Mortgage Rates: Good News for Bemidji’s Real Estate

Mortgage rates are swayed by numerous factors, including the Federal Reserve's actions. With the Fed pausing rate hikes, a continued downward trend in mortgage rates seems probable. This trend is particularly relevant for Bemidji, where the real estate market could see enhanced affordability for both buyers and sellers. Sellers may feel less constrained by their current low rates, facilitating mobility in the local market.

Bottom Line for Bemidji's Housing Market

The Federal Reserve's decisions indirectly affect mortgage rates, influencing the Bemidji real estate market. With the trend toward declining rates, it's an opportune moment to understand how these changes could benefit you as a buyer or seller in Bemidji. Connect with us for expert advice tailored to Bemidji's unique market dynamics.

☎️ Steve: 218-766-9126

☎️ Tyler: 218-308-1230

☎️ Jolene: 218-556-0418

☎️ Steph: 218-766-6214

Search for properties: https://www.teammontgomery.net

Posted in Market Updates