Pioneer Endicott buildings

IMG 734w
Pioneer Building – Robert Street Side

The Pioneer building was built in 1889 and housed the Pioneer Press Newspaper. The building to  the left in the picture is the Endicott building. 

IMG 7311w
Interior Atrium – Pinoneer Endicott

You can see the construction as you walk by the Pioneer Endicott buildings and you can see it in the skyway.  The spaces are being converted into apartments and retail space.  

The Endicott  building was built in the 1890 and designed by Cass gilbert.

The buildings are connected and on the national register of historic places.  

Survey of Minnesota Home Buyers

Minnesota tudor

As a Realtor® I am always interested in knowing more about home buyers.  Home sellers should be interested too.  Real estate is local and here are some interesting numbers about Minnesota home buyers and some comparisons to national trends: 

Characteristics of Minnesota Home Buyers

  • 41% of recent home buyers were first-time buyers in Minnesota, compared to a national level of 39%, which is a slight rise from 2011.

  • The typical buyer in Minnesota was 37 years old, while nationally the typical buyer was 42 years old, a modest decrease from 45 in 2011.

  • The 2011 median household income of buyers was $80,600 in Minnesota and $78,600 nationally. The median income was $57,000 among first-time buyers and $96,800 among repeat buyers, compared to $61,800 among first-time buyers and $93,100 among repeat buyers nationally.

  • Nationally, 65% of recent home buyers were married couples—the highest share since 2001. In Minnesota, the figure was 58%. 16% of recent home buyers were single females nationally—the lowest share since2001; 19% were single females in Minnesota.

  • For 30% of recent home buyers nationally, the primary reason for the recent home purchase was a desire to own a home. In Minnesota, this was the primary reason for 27% of recent home buyers.

    Characteristics of Homes Purchased

  • New home purchases continue to drag at a share of 16% of all recent home purchases on a national level. This is reflective of conditions in Minnesota, where 10% of homes were new.

  • 73% of home buyers purchased a detached single-family home in Minnesota, compared to 79% of home buyers nationally.

  • The quality of the neighborhood, convenience to job, and overall affordability of homes are the top three factors influencing neighborhood choice; however, neighborhood choice varies considerably among household compositions.

  • When considering the purchase of a home, heating and cooling costs were at least somewhat important to 87% of buyers and commuting costs were considered at least somewhat important by 76% of buyers nationally, compared to 85% and 79% of buyers in Minnesota respectively.

These numbers come from the Minnesota Association of Realtors, who apparently got them from the National Association of Realtors so for now we will assume they are accurate


66532f04f39b11e1a31922000a1c8936 7

When I search for real estate information I don’t find much about how closings work in Minnesota.  In other states when a house is sold “escrow opens” the process takes place over a period of time and when it is completed the seller gets a check and the buyer gets some keys. Here in Minnesota we close at the table.  Buyers and sellers meet for an hour and sign papers and a check is cut for the sellers and they give the buyers the keys.  It doesn’t have to work that way.  We have closings without buyers or sellers or either.

Closings often take place at title company offices and the title company does all the work.  They check for pending assessments and they examine the title to make sure that the sellers really own the property and that they can give sellers clear title.   

Some real estate companies also own title companies.  Buyers always have a choice and do not have to use the title company that is affiliated with the real estate company and sometimes sellers that are builders or banks will give buyers a discount or free title insurance for using the sellers title company. 

Buyers are supposed to receive a final statement from their lender at least a day before the closing that shows how much money the buyer will need to pay for the home and how much money they will need to bring to the closing. It is all itemized.  

The title companies charge fees for doing all the work and for doing the actual closing.  When buyers and sellers attend the closing they mostly sign papers.  There is far more for the buyers than there is for the sellers.  The buyers are basically closing on a loan and their biggest closing cost is usually a loan origination fee.  For sellers the biggest cost of selling is usually the real estate commissions.

Closings are usually stress free and often buyers and sellers exchange contact information. There really isn’t any reason why a real estate transaction has to be adversarial and most are not. 

Real estate agents often go to the closing but are rarely needed because by then our work is done.  Most of us only get paid after a successful closing so if something goes wrong during the transaction we usually don’t get paid for our services. 

Agency and the open house

5300 red open house

If you are a home buyer going to an open house today the agent holding the open house will explain to you that they represent the seller and they give you a disclosure about agency relationships.  How do I know this?  I know it because it is a Minnesota law and I am pretty sure that real estate agents won’t break the law.

Some buyer and sellers will not work with dual agents and others will.  If an agent represents a buyer and seller in a single transaction he or she is a dual agent.  What most consumers do not understand is that if two agents from the same real estate company are representing a buyer and a seller in the same transaction that is also dual agency.  That means the the agent can not advocate for the buyer of the seller.Lets say there is a home on the market and it is listed by the red company.  Your buyers agent is with the red company too.  That is dual agency.  It rarely gets treated as dual agency but that is what it is. 

As a buyer you don’t care about any of this you just want to see the dang house.  You will care about it if you want to make an offer.  If you are a seller you probably “hired” the agent to “sell” your house so this is all fine with you and you don’t see it as a conflict of interest if the agent represents you and the buyer.  

I work with  both buyers and sellers but rarely in the same transaction.  That is my choice.  Dual agency works out fine unless something goes wrong . . . I just don’t want to be that agent.