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Help Happy Clients Help You

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How to turn satisfied customers into advocates Whether you’re a seasoned agent with years of experience or just getting started in the world of real estate, one thing is certain: You want happy clients. This is an end in and of itself, of course. After all, no one sets out to give customers a terrible experience. But happy clients can also serve your business by becoming advocates for the work you do. The  Comprehensive Housing Market Analysis reported that 39% of sellers who used a real estate agent found that agent through a referral. This isn’t surprising. When buying or selling something as valuable as a home, trust is the currency that matters. So ...
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Clearing the Air At Home

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Tools, tips, and technology for reducing indoor air pollution In northern states like Minnesota, we retreat to cozy indoor spaces for the long winter months. And though our homes are a welcome refuge from the cold, the air within them is often loaded with invisible pollutants. Molds, mildews, volatile chemicals, and other invisible toxins trigger allergies, and aggravate chronic conditions like asthma and cardiac disease. They can cause sleepiness, fatigue, and digestive issues. Some of them, like carbon monoxide , are lethal in high concentrations. That’s why the  U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission  identifies indoor air pollution as a serious ...
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You have your license and you’ve signed on with a broker. Congratulations! But now what? It can feel as though there is an empty void in front of you when you first start out. You may not have many (or any) clients yet. But the truth is that this is the perfect time to get solid productivity habits in place. Once you get busy, it’s hard to find time to make changes. Here are a few tips to get your business operating like a well-oiled machine. 1. Goals If you don’t know where you’re headed, it’s hard to know if you are on track! Create a business plan and figure out what you hope to accomplish in your first year of business. There are several templates ...
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I n December of 2021, eight family members in Shakopee, Minnesota were rushed to the hospital after calling 911 because three of them were extremely ill. Fortunately, all eight of them survived after being treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.   Not everyone is so lucky. In 2021 another family, who lived in Moorhead, succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning. Tragically, all seven of them, ages five to 37, died in their sleep. As you can see, carbon monoxide (CO) is not something to take lightly. What is carbon monoxide and how does it get into our homes? Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless and odorless gas that is created when fuel is combusted. ...
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Competition for scarce stock pushes median price up MINNEAPOLIS (January 12, 2022) — Marking a chilly end to a hot year in the Minnesota housing market, closed sales of residential homes were down 4.0% compared to December 2020. As new listings sank 14.3% over the previous year, buyers continued chasing diminishing inventory, driving up the median sales price by 8.0% to $300,000. The average home sold within just 36 days, that is six days faster than the 42-day average in December 2020. Sellers were still well positioned to benefit from buyer demand, receiving 98.7% of their asking price, a 0.2% increase over last December. As the year closed, there was barely ...
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Five Fast Facts About Radon

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Although Minnesota is blessed with an abundance of clean air and water, a silent hazard lurks in the state’s rocks and soil. Produced from decaying uranium and radium, radon gas is present in Minnesota homes at three times the average level in the United States. Fortunately, steps can be taken to detect and mitigate. Following are five facts about radon, and some resources for taking action. 1. What is Radon? An odorless, colorless, radioactive gas that is a widespread health hazard in   Minnesota. 2. Is Radon Bad for Health? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon exposure causes 21,000 lung cancer ...
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Dr. Lawrence Yun explored impact of economic trends on Minnesota housing market during MNR webinar The opening months of 2022 are primed to produce Minnesota’s hottest winter real estate market since 2020, according to Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Yun, who led a webinar hosted by Minnesota Realtors® (MNR) in late November 2021, offered encouraging predictions about the state’s 2022 market, ranging from the economy and home sales to inflation and mortgage rates.   “The housing market has certainly been a positive surprise during this difficult COVID period,” said Yun. “Lives have been impacted, our ...
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MNR legislative agenda includes support for more down-payment assistance and policies that will increase housing affordability and supply The Minnesota Realtors ® (MNR) Governmental Affairs (GA) Committee discussed and approved an ambitious agenda for the 2022 Legislative Session, which begins on January 31st. A key focus will be supporting legislation that promotes more widespread homeownership by increasing housing affordability and supply. As always, MNR will vigorously oppose any actions that increase the cost of homeownership or interfere with the use, ownership, or transfer of property. Following is an overview of some key issues that are likely to ...
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Minnesota Realtors ®  (MNR)  formally welcomed its 2022 leadership team at the Realtors ®  UNITE! convention at the  St. Cloud River's Edge Convention Center on October 6, 2021. Assuming the role of president from outgoing President T.J. Simon is Jason Miller of Premiere Real Estate in St. Cloud . Treasurer Emily Green of Sandy Green Realty in Minneapolis has been selected president for 2023, and Geri Theis of Scenic City Realty in Redwood Falls will take on the role of treasurer. Terms for the newly elected officers began in January 2022. Jason Miller: Focus on expanding affordable homes During his term, President Elect Miller said he will work ...
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In today’s hot housing market, buying a home can feel like a brutally competitive reality show. In the rush to snag a dream home before someone else gets it, many first-time home buyers overlook a critically important factor—the mortgage. It’s a big mistake that can cost you tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your loan. But with a little planning, prioritizing, and smart shopping, you can find a mortgage that fits your budget and leaves you enough cash to pursue all your  other American dreams. Get Your Finances in Order Months before you start browsing house listings, open a spreadsheet and analyze your finances. When you have ...
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The terms “waived appraisal” and “virtual appraisal” get bandied about a lot in the housing industry. But not everyone may understand just what these are and how they can impact the process of buying a home. Virtual Appraisals First, the term “virtual appraisal,” though popularly used to describe a hands-off appraisal, is something of a misnomer. If you are imagining an erstwhile appraiser donning a pair of big virtual reality glasses and pretending to walk through your client’s home from miles away, think again! In fact, the mortgage industry call these “desktop appraisals.” This is because many of the appraisers who do this work never actually view ...
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Median price rises as buyers compete for scarce housing stock MINNEAPOLIS (December 13, 2021) — Closed sales of residential homes were down 4.1% compared to November 2020, continuing a year-end cooling trend in the Minnesota housing market. In an indicator that buyers are still actively pursuing purchases, the median sales price rose 7.2% to $304,500. At the same time, days on market—the average time a property is available between listing and closing—shrank 13.2% to 33 days. New listings inched up 2.1% to 5,645 properties. Sellers remained in a strong position, receiving 99% of their asking price, a statistic that remains unchanged from last year. Overall, ...
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Renew Your Home with Color

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A fresh coat of paint can cover a multitude of scuffs and revitalize even the dreariest space. For many new homeowners, painting is the first step in transforming a house into a home. Of course, there’s a lot more to painting than breaking out the brushes and rollers. Choosing the right color scheme is key to creating a living space that reflects your taste and aesthetics while complimenting the character of your home. Here are some tips to help you get pro results from your DIY painting projects. Study Your Space Let the design, layout, and age of your home guide your color choices. A Victorian-era house might call for the vibrant colors of a 19 th century ...
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Top 50 Cities for Raising Kids

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Minneapolis was named number two in LendingTree’s survey, 50 Top Cities for Raising Kids . The methodology that researchers used in creating the list included rankings of median family incomes, monthly housing costs for homes with a mortgage, homeownership rates among families with at least one child, unemployment, education attainment, commute time, and more. Minneapolis ranked high on this survey due in part to its high average income and low unemployment rate. Of course, we all know that Minneapolis is only one of many great places to raise a family in the state of Minnesota! Find out about the rest of the top-rated cities here .
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This time of year, Realtors® start creating their business plans for 2022. Marketing is a key part of our work as real estate agents and social media is an important tool to consider.   Which are the “right” platforms to use, though? With so many to choose from it can be daunting, particularly if you don’t use social media in your personal life.   The good news is that there isn’t any one correct way to use social media. Your choices of where to get your message across will depend on several factors, such as which platform the bulk of your clients use. The biggest factor of all, though, is your own personal preference. It’s a bit like knowing what types of ...
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We Are MN: Danielle Rhodes

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Realtor® Danielle Rhodes is devoting her time and energy to helping her community build a new place for learning; the Duluth Folk School. Danielle has provided a range of assistance and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty; she has demolished and re-built walls and scraped glue and paint. She was also instrumental in establishing the board and completing the paperwork to file as a 501(c)3. Danielle is an “oh-so-talented” artist; she shares this skill by being a class instructor of watercolor techniques. Bryan French, the Duluth Folk School’s Executive Director describes Danielle and her contributions as “thoughtful, positive, creative and thorough. Danielle is ...
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In Sudden Succession

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How a Realtor ® went from agent to owner in the wake of tragedy When Wendy Emler started at Century 21 in Fairmont in 2012, she had no ambitions about eventually taking over the business. Tragically, Dale Schuman, the brokerage’s owner, developed terminal cancer barely a year after she joined. Still reeling from the news, she was more than a little surprised when Schuman approached Emler and her husband Clay about becoming the brokerage’s new owners. “I didn’t even have my broker’s license at that point,” Emler recalled. Daunted by the prospect of taking classes and passing exams while juggling a busy real estate career and raising two children, she was ...
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As Realtor®, it’s vital to identify and understand your target audience, so you know exactly how to market to them. Here are five ways to tap your network for referrals that build your target audience and expand your client base. 1. Stay in touch with past clients Past clients are  one of your most valuable resources. These are people who like and trust you because they already know what to expect when working with you. Unfortunately, agents often close the deal and then close the relationship by failing to stay in touch. They falsely assume that the customer won’t need their services again for years to come. Remember, most past clients give an agent ...
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Busting 5 Myths About VA Loans

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Busting 5 Myths About VA Loans Contrary to the rumors, VA loans offer great terms for vets and an optimal outcome for sellers S ince the Veterans Administration (VA) home loan program was created in 1944 as part of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act (aka, GI Bill of Rights), it has successfully backed more than 24 million home loans for U.S. veterans and their families. In 2020 alone, the Veterans Administration guaranteed a record-breaking one million loans. Yet despite making homeownership possible for generations of Americans, some Realtors® and their seller clients view purchase offers built around VA loans with suspicion. They believe the loans ...
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The November/December issue of The Minnesota Realtor®  is now available to view. This issue includes: 5 Ways to Build a Bigger, More Lucrative Target Audience Busting 5 Myths About VA Loans In Sudden Succession Leading the Association in 2022 A Sneak Peek at the 2022 Legislative Session What's Hot on the Hotline? 2021 MNR Award Winners Meet a Member: Robbie Grossman READ HERE
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Days on the market shorten as the median price rises on limited inventory MINNEAPOLIS (November 10, 2021) — October closed sales dropped 16.2% compared to the previous October, marking a return to a more typical seasonal slow down across Minnesota. This shift was reflected in the number of homes for sale, which shrank 18.6% over last year, with just 11,696 properties on the market statewide. New listings sank 10.2% to 8,428. Overall, there was only 1.5 months of inventory available, down 21.1% from a year ago. Buyers who remained active continued to compete aggressively for homes, pushing the median sales price up 8.2% to $308,500. On average, sellers were ...
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Days on the market shorten as the median price rises on limited inventory MINNEAPOLIS (November 10, 2021) — October closed sales dropped 16.2% compared to the previous October, marking a return to a more typical seasonal slow down across Minnesota. This shift was reflected in the number of homes for sale, which shrank 18.6% over last year, with just 11,696 properties on the market statewide. New listings sank 10.2% to 8,428. Overall, there was only 1.5 months of inventory available, down 21.1% from a year ago. Buyers who remained active continued to compete aggressively for homes, pushing the median sales price up 8.2% to $308,500. On average, sellers were ...
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Kim Culbert-Blaeser Culbert Realty, Virginia & Ely, MN Hometown: Virginia, MN Years as a Realtor®: 18 What inspired you to become a Realtor®? “My great-grandpa was a builder and sold the homes he built. In 1959, his son-in-law (my grandpa) took over, changing the name to Culbert Realty. My dad was a Realtor® and Appraiser – he sold his first house when he was 16! My mom came into the business in 1988. It felt natural for me after I graduated from college to get my real estate license.” “I grew up in the business . Real estate is in my genes!” Best part about living in MN “Living near my family and boating on Lake Vermillion.” Favorite vacation ...
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The Pathway to Achievement program is designed to promote diversity within the Realtor® membership by helping people not in Minnesota’s racial majority join the Realtor® community and enhance their probability of success. MNR is excited to announce the 2021 recipients! Quincy Ballard Edina Realty, Minneapolis Quincy has begun his first year as a Realtor®, and has already begun networking and engaging with his peers. After purchasing his own home, he decided on a career move from the non-profit world. Quincy plans to focus on first-time home buyers, and wants to work towards closing the homeownership gap in Minnesota. Luis Brito ...
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Achieving the American Dream

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2019 data shows millennials preferred renting to owning a home. The pandemic changed minds. Millennials and Zillennials are prioritizing homeownership. Opendoor analyzed data from 850 people across the US planning to buy or sell a home in the next 12 months. The results make up their Opendoor 2021 Report: Achieving the American Dream , and is a look into the habits and preferences of home buyers. Below are some key highlights: 41% of buyers said their top concern is finding a home they love that’s within budget 57% of buyers said they would choose to stay in budget and buy a fixer upper, while 43% said they would overbid for a turn-key property 60% ...
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Five historic Minnesota homes where ghosts are permanent fixtures Looking for a property with a little spook appeal? MNR’s Realtor ® members know more than a few of the best homes in Minnesota to find skeletons in the closet, spirits in the attic, and unseen things that go bump in the night. To help you plan your haunted home tour, we’ve assembled this handy guide. Before you go, make sure your flashlight is fully charged and your running shoes are laced and ready. And remember, it’s probably a good thing that none of these historic homes are actually for sale. Christie Home, Long Prairie If you’re looking for an elegant, early-20 th -century residence ...
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NAR’s 2021 Technology Survey

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The National Association of Realtors® surveyed its members on their technology use. Some of the key findings:   Thinking back on the past year, the 5 most valuable technology tools used in their business: eSignatures (78%) MLS apps (54%) Social Media (53%) Lockbox (48%) Video Conference (39%) In the next 2 years, respondents believed the most impactful emerging technologies to their business will be: Drones (37%) Cyber Security (34%) 5G (31%) Virtual Reality (30%) Artificial Intelligence (275) The top 5 social media networks used by respondents in their real estate business: Facebook (90%) Instagram (52%) LinkedIn (48% ...
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Key takeaways from the 2021 Zillow Consumer Trends Report: The average buyer is 45 years old, partnered or married, and has at least some college education. Millennials were the generation with the largest group of buyers at 37% Approximately 12% of buyers identify as LGBTQ+ 73% of buyers were White or Caucasian, 11% were Latinx or Hispanic, 7% were Black or African American, 5% were Asian or Pacific Islander 40% of buyers have children under 18 in their homes, 4% have their parents in their homes, 57% are dog owners, 39% are cat owners Most buyers purchased a single-family detached home. The typical buyer submitted two offers First time ...
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Minnesota Realtors® (MNR) held Realtors® UNITE, its annual state convention on October 6 – 7 at the St. Cloud River's Edge Convention Center. Drawing over 300 Realtors ® and brokers from across Minnesota, it marked a return to in-person venues for the association, the first since the 2019 convention held in Prior Lake at Mystic Lake Center. Highlights of the event included presentations from nationally renowned speakers, continuing education classes and symposiums, a vendor exposition, and an installation dinner where the association’s 2022 leadership team was formally inducted. During the convention, attendees were able to earn up to 7.5 credits toward their ...
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What Drives and Sustains the Work You Do?    Janeia Carlson - RE/MAX Preferred, Prior Lake  Buying or selling ahouse is more than a transaction between two parties - it's about the journey, connection, and experience.     Natalie Webster - Excelsior Realty, Excelsior Being a Realtor® is about helping people connect to and within their communities.     TJ Simon - Wolff & Simon Real Estate, Park Rapids We do so much more than help people buy and sell homes. Real estate is an important engine that drives the economy.     Abby Ball - Lakes Area Realty, Golden Valley  ...
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Buyers still chasing limited number of affordable homes As the fall season arrived, September closed sales of residential homes in Minnesota declined 8.4% compared to last year. Correspondingly, new listings fell 8.5% over last year and pending sales were down 15.3%. Responding to the lean inventory, buyers competed for limited housing stock, reducing the average time homes stayed on the market to just 27 days, a 34.1% decrease over last September. Sellers received 100.4% of their asking price for homes, a 1.2% increase. The overall number of homes for sale shrank 19.8% to 12,618, and the months supply of homes was down 23.8% to only 1.6 months supply. ...
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Buyers still chasing limited number of affordable homes MINNEAPOLIS (October 13, 2021) — As the fall season arrived, September closed sales of residential homes in Minnesota declined 8.4% compared to last year. Correspondingly, new listings fell 8.5% over last year and pending sales were down 15.3%. Responding to the lean inventory, buyers competed for limited housing stock, reducing the average time homes stayed on the market to just 27 days, a 34.1% decrease over last September. Sellers received 100.4% of their asking price for homes, a 1.2% increase. The overall number of homes for sale shrank 19.8% to 12,618, and the months supply of homes was down 23.8% ...
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Three outstanding Realtors ® were recognized for their achievements during Realtors ® UNITE!, the annual convention hosted by Minnesota Realtors (MNR). The ceremony took place during the Awards and Installation Dinner at the St. Cloud River's Edge Convention Center on October 6. The recipients included Kath Hammerseng of Edina Realty who was named the 2021 MNR Realtor ® of the Year. Patrick Paulson, of EXIT Realty Metro received the Edwin Anderson Political Achievement award for accomplishments in political advocacy on behalf of the real estate industry. And Jerry Moscowitz of RE/MAX Results was presented the Minnesota Good Neighbor Award. Hamerseng’s ...
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Minnesota Realtors ® (MNR) formally welcomed its 2022 leadership team at the Realtors ® UNITE! convention at the St. Cloud River's Edge Convention Center on October 6. Assuming the role of president from outgoing President T.J. Simon is Jason Miller of Premiere Real Estate in St. Cloud. Treasurer Emily Green of Sandy Green Realty in Minneapolis has been selected president for 2023, and Geri Theis of Scenic City Realty in Redwood Falls will take on the role of treasurer. Terms for the newly elected officers begin in January 2022. Miller will focus on expanding affordable homes During his term, President Elect Miller said he will work to expand the supply ...
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Key takeaways: Characteristics of Real Estate Firms: 80% of real estate firms had a single office, typically with 3 full-time real estate licensees 86% of firms were independent non-franchised firms The typical residential firm had been operating for 16 years; the typical commercial firm had been operating for 30 years. Business Activity of Firms Firms with one office typically had 19 transaction sides, while firms with four+ offices had 571 transaction sides 30% of sales volume is from past clients, 30% is from referrals, 10% is from the firm’s website, and 10% from social media   Read the full report here .
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MNR scores advocacy wins in the areas of housing affordability and property rights T he 2021 Minnesota Legislative Session was not “normal” in any sense of the word. Zoom committee meetings, proxy and remote electronic voting, technology glitches, and COVID-19 cases all contributed to a surreal atmosphere for legislators, their staff, state agencies, lobbyists, the media, and the public. With the only divided legislature in the country — Republicans control the Senate and Democrats control the House — Minnesota legislators faced many challenges to completing their work on time, even without COVID-19 looming over everything. Passing a new two-year budget ...
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Minnesota is home to 3 of the top 50 best places to live, according to money.com. The website’s methodology for determining the 50 best places to live looked at population size, cost of living, diversity, health, and quality of life, among others. Chanhassen was selected for the #1 spot because of its history with music (Prince/Paisley Park) and theater (Chanhassen Dinner Theater), and access to outdoor spaces (Minnesota Landscape Arboretum). Coming in at #29: Woodbury, with its 3,000+ acres of parks, and its recent building spree of housing units and retail. And at #32: Rosemount, for its small-town feel, parks, and community events, such as the Haunted Woods ...
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F rom the time Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon set foot on the land he named “La Florida” in 1513, Hispanic people have had an enormous presence in what eventually became the United States. Starting in September, we celebrate and honor the history and contributions of Hispanic and Latino communities with National Hispanic Heritage Month. As of 2019, there were more than 60-million Latinos living in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.   Despite their enormous contributions in the arts, sciences, politics, and every avenue of American life, Hispanics still struggle to be acknowledged as “true Americans.” This impacts every aspect of ...
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The commercial real estate market is slowly getting back on track, although the rise of Delta variant cases is casting a shadow on the path of the recovery. The multifamily, industrial, and retail property markets will continue to recover more quickly than the office property market, where vacancy rates will likely remain elevated in 2021-2022, compared to the pre-pandemic level.   Duluth Market Overall economic conditions are stronger than nationally: Job creation is stronger than nationally Unemployment rate is lower than nationally, at a 4.3% change year-over-year; nationally it’s 5.9% Wages are rising faster than nationally, at a 9.6% change ...
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This summer, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) hosted “ Effective, Efficient, and Equitable Code Enforcement Strategies ,” as part of its Policy, Practice, Process: Transforming Neighborhoods through Equitable Revitalization webinar series. Reactivating a vacant residential or rental property can provide a wealth of benefits for a neighborhood, such as reducing crime, improving the health of residents, raising neighborhood property values, and increasing tax revenue. Properly applied housing and building code enforcement can bring problem properties into compliance, promote community stability and confidence, and create healthier spaces to live ...
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