Friends need your support after Home fire


A tragic fire happened in Otsego earlier this week.  3 homes were burned to the ground in less than 12 minutes.

One of these homes was owner occupied by friends.  Fortunately no one was home, but sadly their 2 dogs were home in the kennel.

There is a GoFundMe page set up to help the family out as they begin to rebuild and replace all their possessions.


or their Facebook Page:


A friend has set up another fund to help the daughter replace their 2 dogs that were like family to them.  You can donate there as well:

I would like to raise enough money to replace two dogs, get her some flowers, and ice cream, as well as any excess funds that would go to replace her material stuff she lost in the fire.  Any additional money raised will probably go into a college fund or something.  Click Here

Please keep the family in your prayers this Easter weekend, and we are all thankful that no one was killed.




Rental Vacancy Rate is down to 5.6% for the Twin Cities

I was fairly surprised by this figure, I would have expected the vacancy rate to be higher.  For 2 reasons;  First – the number of apartment buildings being built around the twin cities.  Second – the fact the owner occupied housing market is picking up steam and should be taking people out of the rental market.

At least this has been a historical trend, but it leaves me with another question.  Has the housing market taken on a new reality?

  • Do people value ownership as much they have in the past?
  • Did the housing market crash change people’s opinions of ownership?
  • Has the new economy of dynamically changing jobs and more mobile employees changed the need or desire for ownership?

These are questions that I am not sure how anyone would ever be able to quantify until decades later, but it does seem plausible to me.

The Twin Cities posted a 5.6% Rental Vacancy Rate for January 2015.   The average vacancy rate since 1986 has been 6.5%.   Based on these figures, rents should be showing some upward pressure.  Assuming the number of new units isn’t going to flood the market overnight.


030415 rental vacancy rate




Building Permits Minneapolis / St Paul – January 2015

Privately Owned Housing Starts Authorized by Building Permits: 1-Unit Structures for Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI (MSA)

There was a seasonal dip to housing permits in Minneapolis – St Paul for January to 408 single family homes.  This is a drastic year over year increase from 297 single family home in January 2014.

building permits twin cities january 2015

I suspect we will see a continued increase in single family building permits in the Twin Cities throughout 2015.  As you can see in the graph; we are making improvements but still a ways away from the previous trends.


2015-01: 408
2014-12: 513
2014-11: 431
2014-10: 686
2014-09: 655





Rosemount/Apple Valley/Eagan ISD# 196 Ranks #8 in Minnesota

Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Independent School District No. 196 ranked #8 top school district in Minnesota by Niche.


Niche’s 2015 School District Rankings place SDN# 196 at number 8 in Minnesota.

The school district has 27,515 students and has an 18:1 Student/Teacher Ratio. They also boast an 89% Graduation Rate compared to the national average of 81%.

Average SAT Score was 1900 compared to national average of 1720

Average ACT Score was 27 compared to the national average of 26.


Below are the grades given based on Niche’s survey:

  • Academic Grade         A
  • Health & Safety Grade      A
  • Parent/Student Surveys on Overall Experience     4.2 out of 5
  • Student Culture & Diversity Grade      A-
  • Teachers Grade         A+
  • Resources & Facilities Grade        B
  • Extracurriculars & Activities Grade       A
  • Sports & Fitness Grade     A-

Read more details from Niche’s report




Minneapolis Case Shiller posts modest gain for November

Minneapolis Case Shiller Index posted a .1% gain in November/October Seasonally Adjusted release.

The Composite 20 posted a .7% gain Seasonally Adjusted for the same period.

I personally like to see our marketplace posting modest gains below the Composite 20.  As we have experienced before, rapid price increases (aka bubbles) isn’t always the best thing for the housing market!  This slow steady pace of housing value increase combined with low unemployment numbers in the Twin Cities reassures me that we are coming back to a healthy housing market locally.

01272015 Case Shiller Index