Sweet Home Sioux Falls

Providing knowledge about real estate and all things Sioux Falls.

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Real Time Results

If you are using the Zillow App to look at properties, stop what you are doing. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200. Zillow is not updated like the Keller Williams App so you may be looking at wrong prices or houses that are not even on the market anymore!  And the next best thing? This app is FREE!

 

Click here to download the app!

 

REASONS TO DOWNLOAD THE APP

  1. OPEN HOUSES – With one click you will get a list of open houses for that weekend. Starting with the ones closest to your current location.
  2. MORE INFORMATION – This app provides more information than the Zillow app. Find out listing details such HOA fees, and the correct status of the home.
  3. NEARBY HOMES – My favorite part of the app is seeing what homes closest to me at any given time are on the market. Whether I am in Sioux Falls, Mexico, or Florida, it will show me all homes on the market, not just Keller Williams homes.

 

[What the App looks like]

 

[Looking at homes while in Florida]

 

[I think i’ll take any of these]

 

It is seriously so fun to see what homes are on the market while on vacation. And then drive by them with all the information about the listing in the palm of my hand. If you’re not in the market for a home in the near future, download this app for that reason! And if you are starting to look for a new home, you will thank yourself later for using this app rather than outdated Zillow. If you have any questions please call or text me at 605.261.8396. Happy house hunting!

Click here to download the app!

Bringing Charlie Home

I’m a new mom! A dog mom that is. Bringing a new member in to the family, whether that be of the human or furry kind, is a big adjustment. Everyone needs to discover their new role to make the household flow as easy as before the addition. While it was a tough decision to bring a puppy in to the house with our two overly adored cats, we are so glad we did.

I got a case of puppy fever that I could not shake, which left me searching the internet for rescue programs in the tri-state region. Jaime and I will some day bring home a golden retriever but we also felt called to bring home a rescue pup. I found lots of great organizations, but the one that had a litter of puppies that caught our eye was Happy Tails Rescue. It is a non-profit foster program in the Minneapolis area that rescues cats and dogs until they can find their forever home. If you are in the market for a dog I highly suggest checking out their Facebook page!

After meeting him at an adoption event, we drove to and from Maple Grove, MN, last Tuesday to pick up Charlie.  While Jaime and I grew up with dogs, this is our first dog as adults. This is a new adventure for us and think the first week as puppy parents has gone quite well.

 

[Charlie at 8 weeks]

[Doesn’t get any sweeter than that. Mom is pictured below and listed as a cocker mix. Dad is unknown.]

[This is mom, Pamela, who was also in the foster program. She was adopted last week along with her 6 puppies. We hope our pup is as cute and sweet as her!]

 

Tips For House Training

  1. Regular Feeding Times – We feed Charlie twice a day at roughly the same time for his consistency
  2. Crate Training – Charlie sleeps in his crate at night and has done surprisingly well. We get up once in the night to let him potty, but there was only crying the first two nights home. Dogs do not want to soil where they sleep so it teaches them to hold it.
  3. Treats And Praise – When Charlie goes outside we give him a small treat and lots of praise. After one week he is now going to the door when he has to go. We have to act fast, but I think we’re headed in the right direction!

 

[Our friend Mesa at the 12th street dog park]

 

Who are my fellow puppy lovers out there? We will now be having all meetings and appointments at the dog park. Call or text 605.261.8396 or visit my Facebook page, Charlie and I would love to get together!

 

What is Your Home Worth?

Supply and demand. It’s what drives society. At the grocery store buying fruit? You may want to know what’s in season and in biggest supply for the best deal. That hot electronic item of the year? It is most likely sold out by October because of high demand and then only found at a higher price tag.

Supply and demand ebb and flow until it finds an equilibrium. But right now, I can tell you the DEMAND for houses, especially under $200,000 far out weighs the SUPPLY here in Sioux Falls. It makes the hunt that much more timely and the chance of multiple offers more of a sure thing than a possibility. If you think your home falls in this price range, let’s talk. While demand is extremely high, let’s get you the best price for your home and in to a new one with a bigger down payment.

[Call or text 605.261.8396!]

 

The first question is “What do you think my house is worth?” I will gladly answer that by doing a comparative market analysis on your home. After looking at your home, similar homes that have sold in your area, and those coming on the market today, my excel spreadsheet of equations and I will share our suggested number. Hear me when I say this is a NO OBLIGATION appointment. You won’t hurt my feelings if now isn’t the time to sell, or if the number presented isn’t what you expected. I truly want what’s best for you and your family and would be honored to start the journey with you, regardless of the timeline.  With a better idea of what you would return on your home you can better make your future plans instead of doing it blindly.

 

[Small snippet of the market analysis]

If you would like to know what your home is worth, please reach out, I would love meet and catch up or meet for the first time! Spring is already here for the real estate world, don’t miss your opportunity.

The Last Jewel In The Crown of Historic Downtown

Downtown Sioux Falls is vibrant. Downtown Sioux Falls is growing, beautiful, full of action, and home to many successful local businesses that make this community unique. But there is one building that has a lot of catching up to do to compare to the rest of the area.

The State Theater on Phillips Avenue opened in 1926 as the grandest theater in the Sioux Falls region. This focal point of downtown showed movies for many years  but eventually closed in 1990 due to disinterest in downtown. It’s fascinating to watch trends in history as we now are going back to a more local and authentic vibe over the mall and big box retailers.

Notable Dates:

2001 – The Sioux Falls Film Society replaces the leaking roof.

2009 – The State Theatre is awarded the Chamber Appeals Campaign in 2011 for $1.25 million.

2013 – The State Theatre Chamber Appeals Campaign meets and surpasses its goal, raising $2.3 million.

2014 – The lobby, foyer, main level restrooms, basement renovations are all completed.

February 26, 2017 was the first year the Stars, Statues and The State event could be in the actual state theater instead of an offsite location. It’s one of my favorite events of the year as little Sioux Falls gets to experience a little bit of Hollywood by watching the Oscars on the big screen, dining on delicious food and seeing familiar faces dressed to the nines.

 

[The State Theater ready for all its guests. Photo courtesy of The State Theater.]

 

[Inside the State Theater getting ready for the Oscars party. Photo courtesy of The State Theater.]

 

My mother-in-law Marcie Halberstadt has everything to do with the event going off flawlessly so it is fun to see her hard work come to life. There are many talented people in Sioux Falls that come together to make this event successful, I wish I could name them all.  It sure is a glamorous evening that I encourage you to attend next year! This event raised over $300,000 this year which will go towards the auditorium, stage and balcony. If you are interested in donating to this project, click here.

 

[In the balcony area of the State Theater. Lots of work to be done, but still beautiful.]

 

[CH Patisserie and Chef Dominique’s provided the most beautiful and delicious food!]

 

[Halberstadt family on the red carpet. Photo courtesy of the State Theater]

 

This was my first time in the State Theater that I have heard so much about. What has been completed is absolutely stunning, and what still needs to be restored looks like hours and hours of work. But it will get done. And I can imagine its beauty already. So looking forward to having this last jewel completed for our community and generations to come. It really is sweet home Sioux Falls.

 

 

Steinberg Shares Strength

The majority of us created health goals at the beginning of the new year. Flash forward five weeks, it’s pretty easy to gradually fall off the bandwagon (I may or may not be talking from experience).

Jason Steinberg is a strength and conditioning specialist in Sioux Falls and is just the person to provide the motivation and guidance we all need to meet our goals. And he can help in the comfort of your own home! About 30% of his business is spent with in home clients. Lack of equipment can be a challenge with in home workouts, but with a couple hand weights, resistance band and/or just body weight, he can create a work out plan that produces real results.

5 Elements of a Healthy Lifestyle

  1. Exercise
  2. Diet
  3. Sleep
  4. Stress Management
  5. Supplements 

Jason can provide support and accountability for all 5 areas of a healthy lifestyle. He stopped by my own home and showed me some basic moves that can still provide a killer work out outside of the gym. Check out the pictures below!

 

[When working out at home it’s still important to stretch and warm up before activity]

 

[Resistance training will burn calories longer]

 

[No need to drive to get a work out in]

 

[Be more comfortable in your own home than a gym]

 

[Circuit work outs are best when trying to lose weight]

 

To learn more about Jason and the services he provides, visit his website siouxfallsfitnesstrainer.com. He loves helping people and creating unique plans for each individual he works with.

Are you ready to step up your home work outs with a personal gym in your home? Whether that means room for a treadmill or a whole room devoted to work out machines, I can help you find the home that supports a healthy lifestyle. Visit my Facebook page or give me a call/text at 605.261.8396 to chat about your goals!

 

 

 

The Groundhog Day House

Why in the world do we celebrate with this furry little weatherman named Phil every February 2nd? I wasn’t sure so I popped over to my friend Wikipedia and found the answer. “The celebration began as a Pennsylvania German custom in southeastern and central Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th centuries. It has its origins in ancient European weather lore, in which a badger or a sacred bear is the prognosticator, as opposed to a groundhog. The first documented American reference to Groundhog Day can be found in a diary entry, dated February 4, 1841, by Morgantown, Pennsylvania, storekeeper James Morris.”

Since then, the holiday has become even more popular after the debut of the movie Groundhog Day in 1993. A couple years ago the bed & breakfast featured in the movie came up for sale, so I thought you would like to see inside. In 2015 this 7 bedroom, 8 bathroom home being used as a bed and breakfast came up for sale at $785,000. This unique property is 5,815 square feet, has three fire places and a library. Located in Woodstock, Illinois, the home is at the high end for its area, which makes it a little more difficult to sell, but I have hope this successful bed and breakfast will continue for years to come in this beautiful and now famous home.

 

[Entrance to 344 Freemont Street]

 

[One of seven bedrooms]

 

[Renovations over $500,000 were made after new ownership in 2008]

 

[The home still serves as a bed and breakfast]

 

[Built in 1894 for McHenry County judge C.P. Barnes, his wife and two children]

 

This home reminds me of some in the Cathedral district of Sioux Falls. I am excited to see that area improve and the historic homes located there come back to life. Are you interested in owning a historic home? I would love to help you find it! Let’s chat soon about your options.

And if you haven’t seen Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray, it’s a classic! And today seems like the perfect day to watch it. It will help us forget Phil saw his shadow this morning, meaning 6 more weeks of winter! Stay warm friends!

Snow Day!

After a few stretches of bitter cold, we had days in the 30s. I could see spring at the end of the tunnel, or so I thought. Six plus inches later, Sioux Falls woke up to a winter wonderland this morning! While the positives of home ownership outweigh the negatives, snow removal is certainly not one of the highlights.

Here are a few tips for snow removal and living in this frozen tundra we call home.

 

[side note: It’s hard to smile when it’s snowing]

 

TIPS FOR HANDLING THE SNOW

  • Step in the direction you are throwing the snow when shoveling, instead of twisting at the waist.
  • Never leave your gas meters covered in snow or ice. A buildup of ice and snow on your meter can clog the vent and hinder the operation of the gas pressure regulator. This also prevents the flow of natural gas.
  • Make sure your tires have enough tread. Consider snow tires.
  • Make sure your furniture isn’t blocking your home’s heating vents.

 

Ticketing and Towing Policies and Procedures

“The fine for parking on an emergency snow route after two inches of snow has fallen, or parking in violation of Zone 1, 2, or 3 parking regulations during a snow alert, is $35 and increases to $70 if not paid after seven days without filing an appeal, or more than 48 hours after a hearing officer’s decision.”

 

DUTY TO REMOVE SNOW

According to a city ordinance, “the owner or person in possession of any property abutting on any sidewalk shall keep the sidewalk free from snow and ice and shall remove any snow or ice from the sidewalk within 48 hours after the termination of any snow fall, snow or ice accumulation.”

 

[Photo from the Argus Leader]

 

A big snowfall is always bittersweet for me. The inconvenience of a slower commute time and the absence of a snow blower at my home can be frustrating at times, but the beauty of the trees and the fun the kids and dogs have in it make it worth it. If you are in need of assistance with snow removal, reach out to me and I will get you in touch with a service.

Also, I read in the Argus this morning that “in 2016, the city spent $65,000 on curb repair, specifically from plow damage”. If you have damage you can visit the city’s web site or call public works at 605-367-8255. You will then be added to a list of repairs to be done over the summer.

 

Embrace the good and bad of this season and enjoy the SNOW day!

 

 

Dreams of a Second Home

Last week Jaime and I headed northeast with a full car of food, card games, and even the kitties for a few days away after a busy retail season. Battle Lake, Minnesota may not have a lot to offer from the outside, but it is the location of Jaime’s parents beautiful lake cabin. There have been many family gatherings there, but we enjoyed the experience of a winter wonderland weekend-get-away just the two of us this time. Chris Vinson, Executive Vice President of the Plains Commerce Bank mortgage department, helped finance this cabin and then answered a few questions for me about owning a second home. His paraphrased answers are below:

 

 

[Chris on the far left with his family at our 605 Advantage Group Holiday Party]

 

How is financing a second home different than financing a first?

Generally speaking, it is very similar to financing a first home. The advantage is you can use the current interest rate, which is low, instead of what you have on your first home. Other positives are that you can finance up to 90% of the home, having only 10% down. And you can use the equity from your first home, making owning a second a seamless and easier process than most people think.

 

[Beautiful view from the lakeside of the cabin]

What is the biggest misconception about owning a second home?

The biggest misconception of owning a vacation home is people thinking you can’t rent it out. You must occupy the home 25% of the time, but other than that, you can rent it out for a week or on the weekends when you don’t plan to be there. This can help offset the expenses of an additional home.

 

[Snow shoeing for the first time around Lake Clitherall]

What are the benefits of owning a second home?

A second home adds a whole new level to family vacations. You can invite extended family since you most likely have more than one bedroom like a hotel room, and you are creating a meeting place for guests from all over the country. Whether that be on a lake, in the mountains or near the beach. You are creating a home away from home since you get the benefit of leaving town and your routine, but while on this vacation you are still ‘home’. It is the best of both worlds.

 

[Fresh snow at the entrance to the cabin]

What advice would you give to someone on the fence about exploring a second home?

I would suggest renting in the area you are thinking about buying.  Then you can get a feel if that is the right location for you. Also, talk to your current lender. Whether you are looking to buy in South Dakota, Minnesota or Arizona, they can help you with financing regardless of the state you are purchasing in.

 

As Chris described, owning a second home does not have to be an unattainable dream. It may be closer to reality than you think! Chris and everyone at Plains Commerce Bank are extremely knowledgable, professional and fun to work with. If you are thinking about purchasing a second home, I would highly suggest giving them a call! And when you are ready to start exploring homes, give me a call at 605.261.8396 or shoot me a message on Facebook, I would be honored to help you discover the right style and location for your family’s second home.

Chris Vinson: 
E: cvinson@plainscommerce.com

P: 605.330.0133

F: facebook.com/plainscommerce 

Getting The Stamp Of Approval

Yesterday I celebrated my four year anniversary of closing on my first home. I didn’t expect to own a home at 23 years old, but I am beyond grateful the seed was planted in my head and I explored my options and ultimately  found out it WAS possible for me. Many people continue to rent or live with their parents not knowing the process of getting approved and in a home is easier than they think. I sat down with Fairway mortgage banker Michael Benton to ask some questions about getting in to your first home:

 

What is the biggest misconception about financing your first house?

There are many misconceptions regarding financing a home but the most common would be with the down payment. A majority of borrowers believe you have to have a 20% down payment in order to purchase a home. There are several loan options that require a substantially less down payment, and for first time home buyers most states offer mortgage programs that assist with down payment and/or closing costs.

What is the first step when purchasing a home?

The first step is to speak with your mortgage lender and determine how much you can afford. Nothing is worse then falling in love with a home that is out of your price range. Getting pre-approved prior to home searching will save you and your realtor a lot of time and effort. I might put in that you should do a family budget to determine what payment fits the best within the budget.

 

[Getting lots of valuable information from Michael Benton]

 

What kind of loan do most people receive?

The three common mortgage loans widely used are: Conventional, FHA, USDA. No one borrower is the same, and so these programs should be selected based on how well the loan products meets their overall financial goals. During the loan application process the loan officer will help determine what the best program would be based on each specific clients overall financial picture.

How much money do you need as a down payment?

Each mortgage program requires a certain percentage of the loan to come from the borrowers own pocket or a gift. Conventional loan requires as little as a 3% down payment for first time home buyers, but generally requires 5% for all other loan purposes. FHA requires a 3.5% down payment, and USDA requires “NO” down payment. Please consult your mortgage lender as your down payment could change depending on your mortgage loan purpose and qualifications.

What advice would you give to someone on the fence about continuing to rent versus buying?

I would say have a great understanding for your current financial situation and what your wanting to accomplish. The number of years you plan on staying in the area will help determine whether you should buy or continue paying rent versus paying a mortgage could be considerably less than you think. Also, consider the pros and cons of owning versus renting i.e upkeep, privacy, building equity etc.
Your lender should be able to provide you with a Buy vs. Rent analysis and a Cost of Waiting analysis to better help you make your decision.

 

[My first home in 2013]

Getting approved and moving in to my first house was one of the most fun and rewarding times of my life. I have now spent four years building equity rather than paying a landlord and getting nothing in return. Getting pre-approved doesn’t cost a penny and has no obligations, so why not call Michael and see where you stand today. Your dream home might not be as far away as you think!

 

Click here for Michael’s Facebook page!

Click here for Sadie’s Facebook page!

Taking Action in 2017

It’s the New Year! A time when we must sadly take the ornaments off the tree one by one and store them away with all our other Christmas decorations, and time to begrudgingly pull ourselves back in to routine after a wonderful holiday break. I’m not one for New Years resolutions because of the extra pressure it implies and the unrealistic expectations that most people set for themselves, but this could be a great time for you to slightly change up your routine and mindset for the next 12 months and beyond.

I simply challenge you to DO MORE this year. Whatever that means for you. I took a huge risk in 2016 quitting a job with a consistent paycheck to take a chance on a career that I knew could be fulfilling and great for my family. I wrestled with playing it safe and not taking action. But with this and every other choice in life (such as going to the gym!) I’m glad I talked myself in to the direction of DOING.

This quote below really spoke to me. I hope you can look at inaction in a different light and carry those thoughts with you through 2017.

If we try and fail, we see the cost. The number of hours and dollars spent on the project. We feel the pain when it doesn’t work. The embarrassment is acute.

This makes inaction tempting.

We don’t consider refusing to choose as a choice. We think we’re safe if we don’t expose ourselves to failure. We don’t appreciate the consequences of inaction because they are slow, chronic, and less obvious. That’s what makes them dangerous.

You don’t get to escape pain.

The pain that comes with action is acute, scars you, and makes you grow.

The pain that comes from inaction is low-grade, softens you, and decays your soul.

 

 

I wish you all nothing but health and a plethora of happy moments in 2017. And please keep me in mind this year for friends and family that are thinking about moving. We are all connected in each others success! Here’s to a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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