Archive for May, 2013

Minneapolis Duplex Sellers Make Bank

said on May 28th, 2013 categorized under: Twin Cities Real Est


make money sell a minneapolis duplexIt appears during the week ending May 18, 2013, Minneapolis and St Paul duplex sellers and buyers came out in droves.

Twenty-four of the sellers already on the market accepted purchase agreements during that week. Of these, 83.3 percent were traditional sellers who will walk away from closing with a check in their hands. Better yet, on average, these properties left the market at an average final list price of $208,508.

This is significantly different than during the same week in 2012, when just 13 sellers sold their duplexes. Sixty-nine percent of these sellers pocketed money when they transferred the keys. The average sold price for these listings was a meager $137,669.

Perhaps the biggest week-over-week is, thankfully, in the amount of new inventory to hit the market. There were 43 new listings for the week in 2013, with 86.7 percent of them being offered by equity sellers. Last year, there were 19 new listings, and just 50% of these duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes were being sold by someone other than a bank.

Clearly, on every level, it continues to be a great time to sell a duplex!


Beautiful view of the duplex porch.Do you ever hear about something so often in such a short period of time that before long, you’re pretty sure the universe is trying to tell you something?

That’s the case for me, as a number of clients have recently shared stories of renting their investment properties to non-traditional tenants.

What’s so unusual about their tenants?

They typically don’t stay very long.

While it may be difficult to imagine anybody ever thinking of your duplex as a vacation getaway like a cabin in the Smokies, thanks to web sites like, and, it’s now possible. And investors are receiving rents for their furnished properties roughly twice the market average for a traditional tenant.

These tenants range from people looking for a weekend getaway to those who are here for several months on a work assignment.

In exchange for an annual advertising fee (usually starting around $300), these websites allow you to feature a dozen or more photos of your property, describe its amenities, the amount of nightly, weekly or monthly rent, as well as offer a calendar of availability.

To reserve the property, the prospective tenant contacts the owner directly, who may accept payment via credit cards or Paypal. Fees may not only include rent, but a security deposit and cleaning charge has well.

Owners having success with this new way of maximizing cash flow tell me a number of things are critical to ensure success. A property must be:

  • Clean
  • Freshly painted
  • Well staged with quality furnishings and linens.
  • Well photographed. Just like listing a duplex for sale, photos must jump out at online viewers, who are making their decision to stay at the property almost entirely on what they see on the Internet.
  • Well reviewed. While properties new to this program may not yet have reviews, pleasant stays make for better reviews, which ultimately makes the property more appealing to future visitors.

While this appears to be a great way of maximizing return on your investment, it’s important to note owning extended stay rentals does have some down sides. For example, if you’re in a seasonal climate where it snows, bookings may be sparse over the cold winter months. Also, due to the more transient nature of the tenants, you will be faced with cleaning, as well as washing sheets and towels after every guest departs.

Finally, while this may, on the surface, look more like a hotel than a traditional rental property, many cities (including Minneapolis) nonetheless require the property owner to have a valid rental license.

Minneapolis Duplex Sellers Should Stay Indoors

said on May 8th, 2013 categorized under: Twin Cities Real Est


minneapolis duplex sellers celebrateShould we plan a party?

Why? One word.


Before we celebrate in the streets, it’s important to note this year’s average was greatly influenced by pended sales in the Lake of the Isles neighborhood of Minneapolis and the Grand Avenue neighborhood of St Paul, which typically command higher prices than many other areas.

The week that ended April 27, 2013 the average list price a Minneapolis duplex, triplex or fourplex left the market at was just more than half of the average sales price for the same week last year: $236,802 to 2012’s $115,276.

In other words, it might be too soon to hire a band.

Of the 30 duplex owners who accepted offers during the week, 17, or 56.7 percent, have equity in their properties. Of the 18 duplexes that sold in 2012, 10 of the owners, or 55.6 percent took checks home from closing.

The sudden rise in average sales prices may also be a result of the year’s trend of fewer properties being offered for sale. Last year during the week, for example, there were 30 new listings with 66.7 percent owned by traditional sellers. This year, there were just 22 new listings, 14 of which will not require a bank to be consulted in order to be sold.

Meanwhile, single family home sales rose 17.3 percent for the week, with new listings up just 2.9 percent. In all, there were 28.8 percent fewer homes for sale the last week of April 2013 than there were during the same week in 2012.

The good news prices are up. If inventory increases and demand remains high, only then can we truly celebrate.