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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year, New Home

If you have been longing to join the ranks of other homeowners, make this upcoming year the time to achieve your dream of buying a home. We have reached the end of the year and you may have been pondering, “What will my New Year’s resolution be this year?” Now is the point in the year in which you should be getting your “ducks in a row”, in order to achieve a New Year’s resolution that you can stick to.  

Begin by contacting the experts. Your real estate agent will provide you with all of the information about your local real estate market, and will be valuable in guiding you through the lending process.  

Even though you may have allotted a specific amount of money for a down payment, you must also consider additional upfront costs incurred when purchasing a home.  These include charges such as inspection and closing costs. A qualified lender will work closely with you in determining the many programs and loans that will be applicable to your particular financial situation. Be smart and practical about your finances.
Once you have concluded where you stand financially, it is time to determine your preferences.
Your agent’s website should become your number 1 go-to resource.  E-mail alerts can be set up to notify you of new listings.  In addition, their site will allow you to view multiple photos of homes, view school and neighborhood information, and even supply you with newsletters containing real estate articles and weekend events. Working with your agent, you can search for homes that meet your criteria, and information about specific neighborhoods, community life, and the convenience to shopping, hospitals, and transit.  

At this juncture, you should also be confident of the price you are willing and able to pay. Before embarking on viewing any homes, be sure to have a clear idea and understanding of what your wants and needs are.  Be aggressive in obtaining both, yet practical in focusing on homes that meet the standards and measures that you must have. 
Contact me today for help with making your dream of becoming a homeowner a successful New Year’s resolution. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you find your dream home. 

The Long Group with RE/MAX Results 
(952) 240-8821 

Photo courtesy of Christine Zenino/

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Bogart’s 4th Annual Holiday Bowling Tourney

Looking for something fun to do with your family this holiday weekend? Take them to Bogart’s for a fun night of bowling, dinner, or karaoke. And don’t miss the 4th Annual Holiday Bowling Tourney happening this Friday. 

Bogart’s Apple Place Bowl features 24 State of the Art AMF HPL synthetic lanes, with the newest in automatic scoring. Then after you’ve worked up an appetite, head over to the Main Street Grill. Where you can choose from a wide variety of all American cuisines. And if you’re not ready for your night to end, they also offer karaoke in the Black Alley Tavern!

So come on down for a night of fun, and happy holidays! For more information, click here. 

Bogart's Place 
14917 Garrett Ave 
Apple Valley, MN 55124 

4th Annual Holiday Bowling Tourney 

Friday December 26th, 2014
Check-In @ 6:00PM
Practice Starts @ 7:00PM (10 Minutes)
Bowling @ 7:10PM  

The Long Group with RE/MAX Results 
(952) 240-8821 

Image courtesy of Ginny/

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Money Saving Winter Investments

Having the proper amount of insulation in a home is imperative in saving energy costs.  It is estimated that 65% of American homes are under-insulated, thus raising the estimated energy bills nearly 40%. Insulation is not frequently on a person’s primary list of interests when purchasing a home, or even maintaining their current house.  However, it should be.  Not only does insulation play a huge role in sustaining a comfortable home in which to live, but more importantly it is paramount in potentially saving you a vast amount of money. 

As energy costs are continuously on the rise, it only makes sense to equip your home with the correct amount of insulation. Insulation conserves energy, thus saving you money. Homes built as recently as the late 1970’s have insulation levels far lower than the recommended levels of today.   And should you be looking to purchase a home this winter, be sure it too, is properly insulated. 

Most insulation will pay for itself over a very short period of time.  The best return on your money is to insulate where there currently is none. So, are you baffled on where to begin?  Calling your local real estate agent is a great place to start.  Whether you are looking to purchase this winter, or simply need advice on maintaining your current home, your agent knows the value and importance of home insulation.  They will be able to offer you guidance on who to contact and for what reasons.  Insulation companies can perform energy audits and assessments on your current home, or the home in which you are looking to purchase.  The audit will assure that the home is properly sealed.  And if not, it will report on ways to improve its energy efficiency.  The assessment from the insulating professional will determine the current R-value of the insulation, measuring its ability to resist heat traveling through it.  Depending on the results, suggestions will be made on where, and how much insulation should be added.

Regardless of anything else you do this winter, make it a priority to examine the insulation levels in your current home, or potential purchase.  Adding insulation is an easy step to take as a homeowner, to save up to 20% on your next energy bill.  Working with your insulation professional, you can decide on which variety is most suitable for the home’s particular needs. 

The dread of receiving this year’s winter electric bills could be alleviated. Get in touch with me and I will be happy to help you get started, and/or help you find your dream home.

The Long Group with RE/MAX Results 
(952) 240-8821 

Photo courtesy of 401K (2012)/ 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Rosemount HS Needs More Toys For Tots

Donations for Toys for Tots is at an all-time low this holiday season. With only a hand full of days left before Christmas, time is running out for you to make this holiday special for a child in need. So while you’re out finishing your holiday shopping, don’t forget to pick up something extra for the toys for tots foundation. 

Donations are being accepted at the Apple Valley Rosemount High School warehouse. Donate any new, unwrapped toy. And help bring a smile to a little one’s face this year.

Click here for more information.

The Long Group with RE/MAX Results 
(952) 240-8821

Image courtesy of themostinept/

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tips for a Fast Winter Sale

Selling your home in the middle of winter does not need to be more stressful than listing it in the spring or the summer.  Yes, in the winter the weather is traditionally bad, and you have less hours of daylight for showings.  However, not everyone has the luxury of picking the season in which to place their home on the market.  And you may find it to be surprising, but winter does have its real estate advantages, and can be a great time of the year to sell your home. The following are a list of tips to follow, for a fast winter sale.
  • Team up with experienced help.  Call your local real estate agent first, and foremost.  Joining forces with a professional is paramount.  Your agent comes equipped with years of experience, knowledge, and familiarity in winter home sales.
  • Price your home accordingly.  The first few weeks of your home being on the market are the most crucial.  Therefore, your initial list price should be your final price.  A property that sits while the seller shaves bits and pieces of price off, becomes stale.  Your agent will perform a Comparative Market Analysis, providing you with an ideal list price.
  • Acknowledge your timing.  The busiest time for home sales is in the spring and summer.  Consequently, off-season listings can get a lot of attention.  If your home is well-maintained and you are willing to price it right, agents will often urge their clients to list in the winter, as the competition is much scarcer.
  • Prepare for the house hunters.  De-clutter the inside of your home and warm it up.  Warm and cozy should be your main objective.  Utilize all natural light, start a fire, and have music softly playing in the background.  Outside, keep all ice, snow, and other winter hazards at bay.  If a buyer cannot safely make it into your home, it won’t sell.
  • Take pride in your ownership.  When showing your home, ask potential buyers to remove their shoes, or slip into provided shoe coverings.  By indicating that you take pride in the meticulous areas of your home, it suggests that you take care of the large-scale areas.  The buyer immediately acknowledges that they have entered a well-maintained home.
  • Consider your area and use the season to your advantage. Baron trees can even work to your advantage.  With the obstruction of trees in bloom out of the way, beautiful views open up.  Remove Santa and his reindeer following Christmas, but allow the wreath to stay hung on the front door.
  • Advertise.  Although your real estate agent will be posting your home on their website, place a box of their flyers in your front yard.  Adorn your mailbox with balloons, and hold open houses as often as your agent is free.
We must all face the facts.  Winter is one of the four seasons.  But, the real estate market does not recognize it as any different from the other three seasons.  As a matter of fact, if the proposed tips for a fast winter sale are followed, home sellers should embrace the winter season.  Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and help you find your dream home.

The Long Group with RE/MAX Results
(952) 240-8821

Photo courtesy of LEOL30/