In a tight market, how can you determine the best time to sell?


Key Insights

  • Sellers currently have an advantage, but every sale is personal.
  • Look to housing logistics, like determining your next residence, to help navigate your selling timeline.
  • Ask your REALTOR® about how a home seller net sheet could help you understand your post-sale finances.

The 2023 housing market continues to favor sellers, and inventory has been tight for years. Some homeowners are wondering… if sellers have had the advantage for nearly a decade, why should I sell my home now?

Here are expert tips to help you figure out the actual best time to list your property for sale.

Selling a home is personal

In almost every case, selling a home is a personal decision. It may have been a long time coming: Barb and Diego, set to retire in September, are finally having more concrete discussions about downsizing and decide it’s time to call their Realtor. It may be a decision that happens more quickly — like the Hylden family realizing in May that they cannot spend another winter cooped up in a too-small house… so it’s time to start looking for a move-up home.

These cues are personal to each homeowner, but they have one thing in common – they are the signals that now might be the ideal time to move.

A property sale should be logical

Known as “home selling season,” spring tends to hold some of the best months to sell a house. Sellers may choose to list their home during this time of year so they can appeal to a higher number of buyers, especially those who may wish to get into a home before the new school year starts in the fall.

Similarly, lakeshore homeowners may wish to list their home in early spring so that they can wrap up the sale prior to Memorial Day weekend. Lake home buyers are interested in enjoying the next summer on the water, so many will be timing their purchase accordingly. Conversely, those interested in hunting shacks will likely begin searching by mid-summer at the latest, so they can have their property set up by the fall.

Keep the selling logistics in mind

Many homes listed in today’s market are selling quickly, so you’ll need to consider where your next place of residence will be. Whether you have another residence lined up to purchase or transitional housing where you can stay or rent, your next living solution may help guide the timeline of selling your current home.

The stress of coordinating a simultaneous home sale and purchase or organizing a Plan B residence is enough to halt some sellers who may actually be ready to list their homes for sale. If you’re stalling because you know change will be hard, a Realtor can help.

Home sellers can benefit from working with a Realtor by:

  • Working together to find the right next steps or residence options.
  • Having someone to talk to about housing nerves – and getting thoughtful advice from a licensed expert.
  • Ensuring the best offer is accepted for the value of your for-sale home.
  • Receiving comprehensive market insights to strategically plan the property listing.

Use finances to guide your home selling timeline

If finances are leaving you unsettled, there are ways to estimate what your wallet could look like post-sale. By speaking with your Realtor, you can request a draft of a home seller net sheet. This document will help you understand the financial impact and outcome of your future home sale.

To calculate your specific results, the home seller net sheet will assume a projected sale price for your property (that is, of course, subject to change). Additionally, the document will estimate the cost of selling your home, including:

  • Seller-related closing costs
  • Agent fees
  • Taxes to be paid at closing
  • Payoff of mortgages or other liens against the property

Finally, this home seller net sheet will provide an expected amount that you’ll receive upon closing. Be sure to ask your Realtor about this, and remember all figures are conditional.

List your home for sale with Edina Realty

There are many reasons you may be on the fence about a home sale. A good real estate specialist will help you navigate the next chapter on your terms.

If you’re ready to take advantage of the current seller’s market, now is the time to reach out. We can discuss your situation to help you reach your home goals.

Pros and cons of buying a fixer-upper


Key Insights

  • Fixer-upper properties may require attention, but you get to choose how to renovate the home to best suit your style and function.
  • If you’re buying a fixer-upper, you may want to consider a renovation loan.
  • Pay extra attention to your budget with buying a fixer-upper; repair costs can add up.

As the current housing market continues to face tight inventory and a shortage of lower-priced “starter homes,” buyers might consider purchasing a fixer-upper. A turnkey home is preferable for some owners, but a fixer-upper offers more flexibility and potentially lower up-front costs.

Here are the pros and cons buyers can consider as they search for a fixer-upper home in their desired neighborhood.

Comparing the cost of a fixer-upper

Pro: Fixer-upper homes tend to be priced lower than homes that are updated and move-in ready.

Additionally, a home in need of repair may not generate as much buyer interest. If you choose one of these homes, you may be less likely to experience intense bidding wars and buyer competition.

Con: Although a fixer-upper home may initially save you money at closing, you will end up spending money on home repairs and other improvements after you purchase the property. However, you can determine the pace of those repairs and save up for them over time.

Customizing the home to your needs

Pro: When you’re fixing up the space, you can make it entirely yours. Although fully renovated houses seem great upon move-in, you may wish the space were different over time. With a fixer-upper, you can control the design and make decisions that benefit your needs, such as:

  • Ensuring that the remodeled kitchen matches your design and lifestyle preferences.
  • Creating a small bathroom and laundry room on the main floor, instead of having an oversized mudroom.
  • Turning an extra bedroom into a home office complete with built-in storage solutions and soundproofing.

Con: Remember that some of your favorite add-on features may not be at the top of the next buyer’s list. If you’re not planning on staying in your fixer-upper for a long time, or if you plan to invest in major projects, be sure to weigh both your desires and the home renovation projects with the best ROI.

Using a renovation loan for a fixer-upper

Pro: Renovation loans may be an option for you if you choose to purchase a fixer-upper. A renovation loan bundles your mortgage with the cost of needed repairs. This allows buyers the opportunities to:

  • Pay for repairs over time, rather than out of pocket.
  • Purchase an as-is or fixer-upper property with more peace of mind.
  • Make a clear plan for renovating and budgeting in advance.

Con: When approving a renovation loan, lenders require the borrower to lay out very specific project plans with set deadlines for selecting contractors and completing the work. It can feel stressful to apply for a renovation loan while working to secure a contractor who agrees to the work. If you go this route, you’ll want to be prepared for the stipulations that can come from renovation loans, and be committed to a fast renovation plan.

Making the most of your mortgage budget

Pro: A smaller budget may be able to stretch further when purchasing a fixer-upper home. Some buyers find that by purchasing a house with “good bones,” they’re able to put the money they saved on the listing price into the renovations they desire most. With thoughtful consideration and planning, you can stretch your budget to get meaningful results.

Con: If you’re purchasing a house with good bones and funding future updates with a renovation loan, your lender may limit the amount you can spend on updates. Keep a realistic budget in mind when creating your to-do list of home improvements, and remember:

  • Your lender will likely cap your home renovations to take up a certain percent of your total loan limit.
  • Home renovations seen on reality TV shows — where the buyer pays $100,000 for the house and then puts in $200,000 worth of updates — may not be realistic and often do not factor in labor costs.

Moving forward with a fixer-upper

Carefully consider your personal preferences before committing to a fixer-upper home. A fixer-upper may better fit within your budget and your desire for a customized space, but you’ll likely have to invest time and money into renovations.

If you’re ready to move forward with a home search in your area, reach out for help finding the home of your dreams – whether it’s a fixer-upper house or an already pristine property.

Tax prep documents for buyers and sellers


Key Insights

  • Homebuyers and sellers need to fill out specific forms for their taxes.
  • When in doubt, don’t throw it out! Keep a file of receipts from your home transaction.
  • Your REALTOR® can help guide you in the right direction regarding tax documents.

Buying or selling a home is likely one of the largest financial transactions you’ll make in your lifetime. While it’s easy to get swept up in the emotions and excitement of a move, you’ll also want to consider the logistical components of your move. The paperwork you sign will become especially important around tax time.

If you bought or sold a home last year, you’ll need specific documents for tax preparation. Here, we’ll dive into the details of each of these home-related tax documents:

  • Form 1098
  • Form 1040
  • Form 1099-S
  • Closing disclosure

Keep in mind that this is general advice and you should work with a tax or accounting expert to ensure you accurately fill out any tax forms and otherwise prepare your taxes.

What tax documents do homebuyers need?

If you’re a new homebuyer, look out for Form 1098. This document, also called the Mortgage Interest Statement, will be sent to you if you’ve paid mortgage interest totaling $600 or more in the last tax year.

This form helps new homeowners identify the total amount of interest they’ve paid over the course of the year, which can then be used to calculate potential mortgage interest deductions. Keep in mind, there are requirements in order to qualify for mortgage interest deductions on your annual tax return. The general eligibility requirements for the deduction include:

  • You’ve paid mortgage interest totaling $600 or more in the last year.
  • You are the primary borrower on the home loan.
  • You are actively contributing payments to the loan.

If, however, you’ve contributed less than $600 to home mortgage interest taxes, you will not get Form 1098 in the mail from your lender. Instead, you might opt to itemize deductions on Form 1040. To do so, you’ll need to fill out the optional Schedule A attachment accompanying Form 1040.

What tax documents do home sellers need?

If you’ve sold a piece of real estate that netted a significant profit, you should receive and report Form 1099-S, also known as the Proceeds from Real Estate Transactions form. This document indicates that you’ve sold a home and that you need to pay capital gains tax.

The 1099-S document will be provided to you at the time you sign your documents if you’re required to report your sale. The 1099-S is used to report the gross proceeds from the sale of real estate. It is generally required for an individual with gross proceeds exceeding $250,000 or $500,000 for a married couple.

Everyone should save these papers for taxes

At the time of closing, buyers and sellers will each receive a Closing Disclosure form or an ALTA Settlement Statement, which documents the closing costs associated with the home transaction. It’s important to keep track of this form in the event that you can deduct itemized closing costs from your taxes. Here is an example of what the form will look like and include.

In general, whether you’re buying or selling a home, it’s best to save all documents related to your homeownership. These will come in handy should you need them for tax purposes, or if you ever happen to be audited.

Here are some papers you’ll want to keep track of:

  • Records from your home sale
  • Any mortgage or insurance documents
  • Documents proving your home is your primary residence (voter registration, tax returns, bank statements, utility bills, etc.)
  • Receipts from home improvement projects

Moving forward with your taxes

Taxes can feel daunting, especially the year after you’ve bought or sold a home. When you work with Edina Realty, you can easily access your home documents online. Reach out for help.

And for more information on tax documents, or to download these forms, check out the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) webpage.

Meet Emma Rovick, who turned a struggling realty firm into the Twin Cities market leader


Have you ever sought to accomplish a goal only to achieve another, much larger one?

That’s what happened to Emma Rovick, a 1950s housewife and mother of three who intended to make enough money to buy a piano for her daughter, and ended up founding the largest residential real estate firm in the Midwest!

Come along to learn more about Edina Realty founder Emma Rovick.

From farm life to city life

Emma was born on April 15, 1909, to Helmer and Theodora Link, who owned a dairy farm in Princeton, Minnesota. According to Emma’s son, Roger Rovick, she was included in much of the labor on the farm. In fact, Emma and her brother were responsible for delivering milk to neighbors on their way to school each day! (We like to think that her early days of milk delivery prepared her for what is now referred to as a “pop-by” in real estate; it’s when a Realtor drops by a home with something of value for a client or neighbor to show appreciation and market their services.)

Ultimately, while Emma developed an admiration for the skills and hard work of farming, she determined it wasn’t the future she wanted to build for herself. As a young woman, she moved to an apartment in Minneapolis with some friends, planning to become a secretary to support herself. As the story goes, she took work as a receptionist and office manager at a real estate office in Edina (that’s some great foreshadowing). Around that same time, she met her future husband, Odd Rovick, whom she married in 1935.

The business of raising a family

Odd and Emma built a life together. Odd was the family’s breadwinner, working as an electrical engineer at Northwestern Bell, and Emma dedicated herself to raising the couple’s three children (Roger, David, and Janice). Roger recalled her fondly as a warm and nurturing mother guided by her Christian values.

As her children grew older, Emma’s interest in supporting their development grew right along with them. She had a goal to acquire a piano for her youngest child, Janice. Recognizing that a piano would be a significant purchase, Emma formulated a plan to make some extra money to make it happen. As a former secretary, she decided to dip her toe back into the workforce, putting her stenography skills to work again. (Do you know what stenography is? It’s writing in shorthand, which is a method of rapidly writing using characters, symbols, and abbreviations for words, phrases, and sounds. It was often employed as a means to record meetings and conversations before they could be more formally documented or typed.)

Getting serious about real estate

Emma landed a job at a local building company in Edina as a receptionist, and very soon, she was made the head closer and office manager of the location. She worked for a couple of years in the role and learned scores about real estate during that time, developing deep knowledge and making community connections. This led her to broader ambitions, and Emma decided to venture out on her own.

Emma was in her mid-40s when she purchased a struggling real estate office at 5100 France Ave. in Edina using a loan of $2,000 and some of the couple’s savings. She inherited three salespeople and a space that needed some serious attention and deep cleaning. The company was formally incorporated on Jan. 1, 1955, and in that first year, Edina Realty managed to close 96 transactions and $2 million in sales.

The success of Emma’s venture can be attributed to her hard work as well as the expansion of the area at the time. The city of Edina benefited from tremendous residential growth thanks in large part to the construction of the nation’s first-ever climate-controlled, fully-enclosed mall–Southdale Center–which was built in 1956. This was a boon for Emma and Edina Realty, and she continued to focus on expanding her business, eventually relocating to 3907 W. 50th Street in a larger space.

Over the years, a number of real estate competitors would come into the marketplace, and Emma always reacted the same way: with graciousness and integrity, sending flowers to competitors to welcome them, and working to develop relationships and establish a reputation as a knowledgeable, honest and sincere business professional. She found herself navigating what was a male-dominated industry, and she did so with aplomb.

Honesty, integrity, commitment–and family

Emma proved herself to be a force with an aptitude for real estate and interpersonal relationships. She founded Edina Realty on the principles of honesty, integrity, and commitment–the guiding principles of the company more than 65 years later. Furthermore, she said she never wanted to feel compelled to cross the street to avoid a past client; a sentiment still shared by every agent and employee at the company today.

Over the years, Emma would receive significant recognition in the industry:

  • 1970s: First woman to join the Minneapolis Realtors Board of Directors
  • 1977: Named inaugural Edina Businessperson of the Year by the Edina Chamber of Commerce
  • 1988: Greater Minneapolis Area Board of Realtors rededicated the plaza outside its Minneapolis headquarters as the Emma Rovick Courtyard (posthumous)
  • 1988: Emma L. Rovick Award was created as an internal award given annually to one agent and one employee who represent Edina Realty’s values of honesty, integrity, commitment, innovation, and community (posthumous). Edina Realty Home Services still gives out the award each year to one agent and one employee.
  • 2011: Induction into the Real Estate Hall of Fame at St. Thomas University (posthumous)
  • 2018: Edina Realty launches its digital assistant and complete technology solution for agents called Emma in honor of Rovick

Eventually, Edina Realty became a family business, with Emma’s sons joining the firm. Roger Rovick served as Edina Realty’s first custodian, followed in turn by David, a position each worked until he graduated and joined the firm officially as vice president. Her sons would eventually buy the firm from Emma in 1984, just three years before she died. In the following years, they would work to honor her legacy and continue to grow the business to be the powerhouse it is today.

A national powerhouse with local leadership

The company is owned today by HomeServices of America, Inc., and is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. HomeServices of America grew from the vision of Edina Realty’s former CEO and current HomeServices Chairman Ron Peltier, in 1998. As a young man, Peltier was integral to Edina Realty’s expansion into the eastern Twin Cities metro, opening its first office in Maplewood in the late ‘70s, and working with Emma to expand its footprint throughout the region. Today, HomeServices is the largest real estate company in the country, and it shares its corporate headquarters with Edina Realty in Edina, Minnesota.

Emma’s values – and family – remain integral as well.

Today, more than half of Edina Realty’s employees and agents have been with the company for 10 years or longer, and the company maintains a top spot among large employers as a Star Tribune Top Workplace. Its leadership team consists of several members, like CEO Greg Mason, who still have relationships with the Rovick family, and it maintains female leadership with president Sharry Schmid. Edina Realty has been the market leader in sales for 23 consecutive years.

Furthermore, Dana Callahan, Emma’s granddaughter, is one of several Rovick family members to work at Edina Realty in the years since Emma founded the company. Today, she’s an office administrator in the Wayzata branch of Edina Realty. She said she thinks of her grandmother’s beliefs about real estate and people nearly every day.

“My daughter is named after her; I have Emma everywhere,” Dana said. “It’s an honor to be part of this company. I love that it’s continued to carry on the path she set forward.”

Dana added that her grandmother would be amazed at what Edina Realty has become, but said it still “feels like home” despite it being so long that Emma has been gone.

“I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else,” she said. “I feel honored, in a way. I love this company and that it still honors everything she did.”

Not a bad legacy for a woman who set out to buy a piano all those years ago.

Works Cited
Edina Realty. Company archives.
Edina Realty. Roger Rovick video interview archives.
“Emma Rovick -- Member of the Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame.” YouTube, 14 December 2011, Accessed 5 March 2023.
Katz, David. “Edina Realty Build on Integrity, Savvy of Woman Who Started It.” About Town, vol. 29, no. 3, 4, Summer 2018, 6-11, 6-10.
“Women's History Month: The Mother of Edina Realty - Emma Rovick.” Minnesota Realtors, Minnesota Realtors, 10 March 2021, Accessed 5 March 2023.

Selling? How to establish a price for your property


Key Insights

  • Work with a real estate professional to determine the current market value of your home.
  • Understand that online offers or automated estimates might minimize your home’s worth or overlook features that buyers value when searching on the traditional market.
  • Overpricing your home typically leads to additional time and money spent on your end. Avoid this mistake by pricing your home accurately from the start.

While the 2023 housing market will likely continue to favor sellers, increased interest rates could reduce competition among buyers. Because selling prices and strategies change with the market, it’s important to work with a Realtor to price your home right the first time.

We’ll work together to determine your home’s listing price based on its true value today, which is marked by what a buyer in today’s market will pay for it. While important to you, keep in mind that what you originally paid for the home or how much is left on the mortgage is not relevant to buyers in today’s market.

How to determine the true value of your home

To determine the most accurate listing price for your property, Edina Realty Realtors will evaluate your home by:

  • Reviewing its tax-assessed value, keeping in mind that this is often a lagging indicator and not typically reflective of a property’s current value.
  • Comparing your home to recently sold, comparable and nearby properties.
  • Analyzing how your home’s features, upgrades or condition may impact its value.

The unique evaluation process above is called a comparative market analysis, or CMA. The most comprehensive way to assess a home’s value, and therefore its best listing price, is through a CMA.

The difference between a CMA and an online estimate

To get the most accurate assessment of your property, steer clear of automated estimates. Instead, make sure an agent views and analyzes your property in person. Here’s why.

Online estimates pop up across real estate search sites, setting an early tone for buyers and sellers about what a home is worth. However, online estimates are produced via computer-generated models, and they often miss unique attributes and information about a home’s current condition.

For example, if you bought a three-bedroom home 10 years ago but have since added two bedrooms and egress windows to the previously unfinished basement, an online estimate may base the property value on other three-bedroom homes in the area. A Realtor assessing the home via a CMA and in-person analysis would know to price it higher due to the added bedrooms and buyer demand for homes with more finished living space.

Understanding online estimates and offers from iBuyers

In recent years, “iBuyers” have come into our local market. An iBuyer tends to be a large investment firm that offers automated offers to home sellers, who then bypass the traditional home sale process.

Since iBuyers operate via automated assessments that are generated through algorithms, it’s not surprising that they may not be able to take into account your home’s best features and upgrades. Similar to online estimates, sellers are at risk of not being compensated appropriately by an iBuyer. Even so, some sellers may find iBuyers advantageous if they:

  • Want to move without staging or updating their home.
  • Need to sell extra quickly.
  • Want to avoid the hassle of showings and open houses.

If you need more flexibility when selling, but also want the certainty of knowing that you are not leaving money on the table, let’s discuss Edina Realty’s relationship with QuickBuy. This offers a variety of solutions for sellers seeking certainty and convenience.

Sellers looking for help with pre-sale home prep, minor updates or major renovations have even more options with Edina Realty Concierge, which offers a team of home design professionals ready to partner with you and handle everything. And you can capture the upside of the sale after improvements! Let’s chat if you are interested in learning more about this option.

Why you shouldn’t price your home high, then lower it over time if it doesn’t sell

It can be tempting to over-price your home and hope to attract an offer, but today’s buyers are savvy, and they set up online search parameters based on typical home prices for the area. By pricing your home too high, you may:

  • Jeopardize website viewings to your listing.
  • Risk losing in-person showings where buyers could fall in love with your house.
  • End up with your home on the market for too long, causing buyers to be wary and wonder why such a great home isn’t selling.

In short, pricing your home too high is a mistake that can risk money or the opportunity for a fast closing. Avoid losing money and time by pricing your home accurately from the beginning.

Moving forward with a home sale

Setting a price for your property can feel like a daunting task without the help of a professional. Now is a great time to collaborate with a Realtor who can offer expert insights on your home and its condition.

If you’re ready to move forward with pricing your home for sale, reach out to get a CMA. We’ll work together to ensure all of your home’s attributes are considered.

If I plan to buy this spring, what should I be doing now?


Key Insights

  • Starting your home search this spring? Get ahead of the competition with mortgage pre-approval or pre-qualification.
  • Set up automated search alerts to ensure you never miss a for-sale house in your desired neighborhood.
  • Ask your real estate agent questions to establish expectations.

The spring housing market begins long before the first flowers bloom. Here is everything you need to know when preparing for a successful home purchase this spring.

Budget for your mortgage

Establishing a budget is the first step in a house hunt. If you’re still a few months away from beginning your home search, you may want to get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan. Pre-qualification offers you an estimate of the mortgage amount for which you might qualify. The process takes only a few minutes and is automated after you supply your financial information to a lender.

If, however, you want to be fully prepared to buy your dream home, you might want to get pre-approved instead. Pre-approval is a more detailed process where you submit a comprehensive financial history to the lender in order to get a pre-approval letter. A pre-approval letter grants buyers:

  • An assumed mortgage loan approval amount.
  • An estimate of your expected interest rate.
  • More negotiating power in the buying process.

While pre-qualification and pre-approval can help guide your mortgage budget, you’ll want to pay attention to rate shifts during this time. With your lender, discuss whether locking in a mortgage rate might be a smart option for you.

Start your location search

Once your assumed budget is calculated, the real fun starts! Create a few saved searches on your Edina Realty agent’s website or mobile app. Indicate your anticipated budget and the city, neighborhood or hand-drawn area where you’d like to search. Be sure to “favorite” standout homes so you can easily return to them.

Hints: Slightly adjusting variables in your saved searches can help increase your search results. And, you can set up automated hourly or daily alerts on homes, depending on how serious you are – and how competitive your preferred market area is.

Interview and work with a REALTOR®

You’ll benefit from hiring a Realtor even before you’re ready to tour homes or make an offer on a property. Developing a trusted relationship and communication standards before the home search will help lead to a successful home purchase.

There are many questions you can ask a Realtor when buying, but you’ll especially want to confirm that they:

  • Understand the intricacies of the city or neighborhood where you hope to buy.
  • Deeply understand the local market and how it could impact your purchase.
  • Have references from mentors or past clients that they are willing to share with you.
  • Have the time and desire to work with you, regardless of your timeline or budget.

Moving forward with a spring home purchase

If you’re ready to purchase a home this spring, but want to learn more about how the buying process works, let’s connect. Together, we’ll ensure all of your questions are answered.

How to determine your home’s best design style


Key Insights

  • From all-white and neutral decor to vibrant paint and full walls, design trends have majorly shifted in recent years.
  • Combine your property’s history with your personal preferences to find an interior design style you love.
  • Create a catalog of your favorite home features to inspire your home decor and design name.

Over the last few years, we have seen the interior design pendulum swing from extreme minimalism to extreme maximalism. While it can be fun to follow design accounts on social media, you may sometimes feel that your home’s style is outdated in comparison.

In reality, every homeowner needs to find a style that works for their budget, home, timeline, and lifestyle. By developing your own style, you’ll be able to better decorate your home and create a cohesive style over time – rather than feeling pressured to start over every few years. Here’s how to find your home’s best design style.

Examine your home’s history

Uncovering your home’s history can be a source of inspiration when finding a design style specific to your property. To find what year your home was built, reference deeds and other official documents (you may find other interesting details about the property, too!).

If your home already has elements that give it a distinct look, you can play them up and build an overall design style around these features. Look to see if your home has any of the following:

  • Built-in cabinetry or nooks
  • Exposed brick
  • Dark paneling
  • Wall-to-wall carpeting
  • Interesting doorways or archways

Draw inspiration from your personal style

After taking inventory of your home’s existing features, consider your personal style. You’ll want to get a sense of how you display your personality through clothes and other accessories. When getting to know your wardrobe and your personality better, ask yourself:

  • Do I like to blend in or stand out?
  • Do I prefer to feel calm or energized?
  • Do I tend to take risks or stick to what I know and love?
  • Do I typically enjoy time alone or with company?

At first, these questions may feel worlds away from home decor. However, understanding your answers will help guide your home’s design. For example, someone who is especially extroverted may lean toward a design style that prioritizes hosting guests, whereas someone who prefers a calm and relaxed vibe may incorporate cool colors and intentionally quiet spaces.

Determine what’s missing

Your home’s history and your personal preferences can combine to inform a fresh, unique design style for your space. However, you may find that even after melding these two aspects together, there are elements left to be desired. Now is the time to determine what’s still missing.

Look around your home to see what small changes could make a big impact in the direction you’d like to move. Contemplate the following:

  • Have you updated your framed photos in the last decade?
  • Do you wish you had more original art?
  • Have you been waiting years to find the perfect sofa?
  • Are there any family heirlooms sitting around in storage because you haven’t figured out how to incorporate them into your home?
  • What could invite a greater sense of happiness to your space?

Catalog your favorite features in a design board

Whether you’re taking note of features your home already has or elements you hope to add into your space, create a list of what you love the most. For a more visual approach, take photos of each item that catches your eye – in your home or furniture stores – including:

  • The color of walls, cabinets and rugs.
  • Sideboards, armchairs and drawers.
  • Decorative lamps and light fixtures.
  • Fabric textures, metal finishes and unique materials.

After you’ve collected a series of photos that encompass your favorite design elements, create a bulletin board (or an online Pinterest Board) that includes your must-have items. Here, you can organize design features by the preference of need to buy, want to buy, want to keep and want to toss.

Make sure to spend time trying to spot what might not “fit” into the board, and why. In some cases, you may long for a gorgeous modern clock, but find that it doesn’t fit in with the rest of your home’s style. In other instances, you may realize that your desired design is cohesive and some simple adjustments can bring it to life.

Name your style

After you’ve decided what you do and don’t like, you need to put a name to your style. In fact, many wardrobe and design experts recommend that their clients create a name for their respective styles.

Why is naming your style helpful? Most of us don’t exist within only one style realm. Instead, we have a mix of things we love. Creating a made-up name that makes sense to you will help you remember your style each time you go to arrange your space or you pick up new furnishings. For example:

  • Bohemian minimalist: You like to keep things light and airy, but with a touch of whimsy.
  • Glam and modern: Your decor incorporates shiny frames, abstract paintings and funky furniture that are fit for Paisley Park.
  • Eclectic earth: You enjoy a variety of home elements anchored by nature-inspired tones.

Moving forward with a new design

Still not entirely sure where to start? Consider taking an online style quiz to help you narrow down the home decor features you do and don’t like. For example, is modern farmhouse your style, or are you more of a mid-century modern fan?

If you’re moving forward with a new design to enjoy for years to come or to stage your home for sale, reach out for extra guidance.

The ultimate guide to the 2023 spring Parade of Homes


Key insights

  • Visit the Spring Parade of Homes from March 4 through April 2, 2023, and the Remodelers Showcase from March 31 through April 2, 2023.
  • The Parade of Homes showcases hundreds of luxury, Green Path and new construction homes in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
  • Tours are free with a few exceptions. Dream Homes require admission, which supports the Housing First Minnesota Foundation.
  • Chippewa Valley, Wisconsin’s parade kicks off in June.
  • Partnering with a REALTORⓇ when purchasing a new construction home means you have an advocate looking out for your best interests throughout the building process.

With limited inventory available, some buyers are turning to new construction as an option for owning and customizing their dream home. If you’re considering buying a home this year, be sure to check out the highly anticipated Parade of Homes and Remodelers Showcase events this spring.

Here are more details you can use as you attend this one-of-a-kind home tour.

What is the Parade of Homes?

Showcasing some of the finest properties in Minnesota, the Parade of Homes inspires homeowners in and around the Twin Cities. This month-long event features hundreds of brand-new homes and remodeled homes which are free and open to the public, with a few paid exceptions; Dream Homes requires an admission fee that goes to support the Housing First Minnesota Foundation benefiting area families in need of housing.

While touring the Parade of Homes, expect to view the ultimate exhibition of luxury, green, high-tech, and new-construction homes in Minnesota. This event is “where dream homes come true.”

When is the 2023 Spring Parade of Homes?

The 2023 Spring Parade of Homes spans an entire month, allowing viewers ample time to leisurely and carefully explore properties throughout Minnesota. The concluding days of the spring tour will highlight the area’s most beautifully renovated homes with a special Remodelers Showcase. Dates have also been announced for the Parade of Homes in Wisconsin.

2023 Spring Parade of Homes:

  • March 4 through April 2, 2023
  • Weekly, Thursday through Sunday
  • Noon-6 p.m.

2023 Spring Remodelers Showcase:

  • March 31 through April 2, 2023
  • One-weekend event, Friday through Sunday
  • Noon-6 p.m.

Chippewa Valley, WI Parade of Homes:

Get more details on this spring’s Parade of Homes — including special events, free offerings, and other upcoming tours.

Looking for renovation ideas? Visit the Remodelers Showcase

Deepen your Parade of Homes experience by visiting the Remodelers Showcase. This three-day event offers a unique perspective of remodeled homes in the area, plus the opportunity to converse with local remodelers.

Contractors and architects have thoughtfully remodeled the featured homes to better align with modern living standards — while maintaining original features and honoring the character of the property. Gather insights from these experts, as you may find them beneficial while planning your own home improvements.

Can a Realtor help with the Parade of Homes tour?

Yes! It is to your advantage to work with a Realtor as you tour the Parade of Homes or build a brand-new home. Your agent is an expert in the field and will be your best resource, advocating for you throughout your home search. Realtors deeply understand the process of purchasing and building homes and can explain the steps and timeline, advise on key decisions, and help with negotiations or other challenges that may arise.

When starting your Parade of Homes experience with your Realtor, you can rest assured that you have an expert guiding you as you navigate the unique path of a new construction purchase. And if you don’t bring your Realtor with you on the Parade of Homes, you’ll still want to mention to potential developers that you are already working with an agent.

Are you ready to make your move?

If you’re feeling inspired by the 2023 Spring Parade of Homes, now is the time to move forward. Reach out to begin your home purchase journey today.

Edina Realty is a one-stop shop for homebuyers and sellers — and has been for over 65 years. We offer informed strategies to support you through the process of buying, selling, and owning a home.

The 2023 Color of the Year: How to decorate your home with the year’s most on-trend hues


Key Insights

  • Many major paint and decor companies announced warm peach and natural hues as their 2023 Color of the Year.
  • Take care to understand where to best incorporate the Colors of the Year in your home. More vibrant shades are ideal for accent walls or pillows.
  • Whether you’re staying put or staging your home for sale, the Colors of the Year will help bring new life to your space.

Homeowners, builders and designers anticipate the annual Color of the Year announcements. In 2023, major paint companies decided on warm peach and natural hues that are projected to inspire home design concepts and furnishings for the year ahead, while the “Global Color Authority,” Pantone, opted for a much more vibrant shade for its pick.

Read along for expert tips on decorating and staging your home with the 2023 Colors of the Year.

The 2023 Colors of the Year

While shades of green were the collective pick in 2022, this year’s theme incorporates many warmer shades of orange and pink. Collectively, the selected paints play with modernized versions of the natural world, speaking to new beginnings with positive futures. Containing both muted and extroverted coral tones – along with more traditional neutrals – the 2023 Colors of the Year offer a little something for everyone.

Now, let’s dive into each color and its individual meaning.

Pantone: Viva Magenta

Nearly vibrating off the screen (or your home’s decor), Viva Magenta is a rich and lively hue dubbed as Pantone’s 2023 Color of the Year. As a dynamic red derivative, Pantone notes that Viva Magenta is “audacious, full of wit and inclusive of all.” This pigmented color encourages strength and makes a bold statement in any room.

Sherwin Williams: Redend Point

Connection and care combine to create Redend Point, the Sherwin Williams 2023 Color of the Year. This warm hue is a remnant of natural textures, like terracotta and earth. Recognized as an inviting hue, Redend Point offers a balance of calming and intriguing energy.

Benjamin Moore: Raspberry Blush

Benjamin Moore declared Raspberry Blush — an animated coral with a hint of pink — as its 2023 Color of the Year. When used in a well-lit room, Raspberry Blush offers a zingy salmon tone; in shaded rooms, it appears as more of a dusky rose.

Better Homes and Gardens: Canyon Ridge

Another coral tone, Canyon Ridge, serves as the Better Homes and Gardens 2023 Color of the Year. This color decidedly “infuses energy and comfort” into any space. The warmth of Canyon Ridge invokes images of glowing sunsets and sunbaked desert landscapes that can be reimagined in any space.

Behr: Blank Canvas

The Behr 2023 Color of the Year, Blank Canvas, is explained as a complex white with taupe undertones. This creamy hue emanates “well-being and relaxation” from any space, fostering fresh starts and restorative vibes.

Decorating and staging your home with the 2023 Colors of the Year

When staging your home for sale, it’s important to create a neutral space that potential buyers could imagine themselves living in. With the neutral backdrop, you can then sparingly add bright colors to create visual interest in interior spaces – especially if they emphasize the standout features of the home.

Of course, if you’re planning to stay in your current home for the foreseeable future, opt to decorate with the colors that bring you the most joy. Perhaps this is the year to add Viva Magenta wallpaper to the main floor powder room?

Are you looking for a pop of color?

Three vibrant hues make up the 2023 Colors of the Year, including:

  • Viva Magenta
  • Raspberry Blush
  • Canyon Ridge

These colors can be incorporated in small doses within your existing space. Consider decorative pillows, throw blankets or small art pieces that match these hues. Viva Magenta, Raspberry Blush or Canyon Ridge can also be used for home upgrades buyers love, like painted cabinets and accent walls.

Do you want to paint an entire room?

The two more subtle Colors of the Year will work well when setting a tone in an entire room:

  • Redend Point
  • Blank Canvas

Homeowners hoping to incorporate these hues into their space are in luck! Swaths of Redend Point and Blank Canvas can be seamlessly integrated into most existing color schemes. Use area rugs, comforters and large art pieces to showcase these Colors of the Year. If you want to keep that color theme going, other natural design elements will also complement these colors well.

Painting your homeownership journey

Are you moving forward with an improvement project this season? Consider incorporating one of the 2023 Colors of the Year into your home. Whether you’re decorating for your own enjoyment or prepping to stage and sell, a fresh color will bring new life into any space.

From trending colors to market insights, Realtors can help you through every step of your homeownership journey. Reach out for expert advice today, and together we will make a plan!

I don’t have 20% for a down payment. Can I still buy?


Let’s face it, saving 20% of the price of a home can be daunting – and depending on your debt, job or other factors, it could take you a long time to save up that kind of cash. However, alternative loan options are available for those who cannot save 20% for a down payment.

Here are insights for you to consider as you dive into the world of saving, borrowing and buying. Remember, everyone’s finances are different, so it’s best to consult with a mortgage consultant or financial advisor before you get started on the path to homeownership.

FHA loans

FHA loans are backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and they can benefit first-time homebuyers or those who are finding it hard to save up a 20% down payment. FHA home loans allow borrowers to pay a smaller percentage for their down payment.

FHA loans do have limitations. First, FHA loans are meant to be “helper loans,” so they won’t allow you to finance a multi-million-dollar home. The limits for FHA loans are set by county.

Last, FHA loans require you to pay mortgage insurance at closing and throughout the life of the loan. Mortgage insurance costs vary, so it’s critical that you factor this cost in when you’re considering buying. To determine if an FHA loan is right for you, talk to a mortgage loan officer.

FHA Loan Details for Borrowers

Minimum Credit Score


Minimum Down Payment


Debt-to-Income Ratio

Capped at 43%

Loan Limit

Limits by county in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Mortgage Insurance

Required for the life of the loan.

VA loans

If you’re a veteran, you most likely know whether you are eligible for VA loans, which are private loans backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA loans are the only major loan type that don’t require a down payment and also don’t require mortgage insurance.

Your home mortgage consultant can help you determine if you’re eligible for a VA loan.

VA Loan Details for Borrowers

Minimum Credit Score

Set by individual lenders

Minimum Down Payment

Not required

Debt-to-Income Ratio

Set by individual lenders

Loan Limit

Loan limits are set by county and match the conforming loan limits set by FHFA. The 2023 loan limit is $647,200.

Mortgage Insurance

Not required.

Conventional loans

If you have a strong financial history but simply lack the down payment, you may be eligible for a conventional loan. The benefit to these loans is that — unlike FHA loans, which require you to pay mortgage insurance for the entire loan — they only require you to pay private mortgage insurance until you reach 20% equity on the property.

These loans are intended for less risky buyers, so they do require a higher credit score and may involve a more strenuous mortgage application process.

Conventional Loan Details for Borrowers

Minimum Credit Score


Minimum Down Payment

3% (but loan terms will improve if you put down more).

Debt-to-Income Ratio

Set by individual lenders

Loan Limit

The 2023 conforming loan limit is $647,200.

Mortgage Insurance

Required until 20% equity position is reached. (Mortgage insurance is waived if the buyer puts down 20% at closing.)

Getting started with less than 20% down

Even if you can’t save a 20% down payment, you may still be eligible for a loan — or you may be eligible for down payment assistance programs. Talk with your financial advisor or a mortgage loan officer to determine the most responsible loan choice for you and your family, or reach out.

+ Edina Realty Mortgage is an affiliate of Edina Realty. See Affiliated Business Arrangement Disclosure Statement + Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC may operate as Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC dba Edina Realty Mortgage in Minnesota and Wisconsin. All first mortgage products are provided by Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. dba Edina Realty Mortgage. (877) 275-1762. Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC products may not be available in all areas. Not all borrowers will qualify. Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC dba Edina Realty Mortgage is licensed in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC is licensed by the Delaware State Bank Commissioner. Massachusetts Mortgage Lender License ML75164. Licensed by the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance. Also licensed in AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NE, NC, ND, NH, NM, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV and WY. NMLS ID #75164 (NMLS Consumer Access at ©2022 Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC.

Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings