Mankato Real Estate and Community News

Nov. 6, 2022

Babyproofing and Petproofing Your Home

We all know that children and pets can get into things they aren't supposed to do way too often. So here are some great ways for you to baby and pet-proof your home to keep all your children and pets safe!

 

Use Safety Gates to Restrict Areas

There are always places in your home that you want to keep children and pets out of and since you don’t have 12 sets of eyes to watch everyone, a great way to keep them out of those areas is to set up safety gates. These are also great to set up around stairs to help ensure no one falls down them.



Install Childproof Locks 

We all have places you don’t want your pets or children getting into, whether that is drawers with kitchen knives or cabinets with dog/cat treats, you can install childproof locks on almost everything. You can also put locks on things like doorknobs or even on your stovetop knobs to keep everyone in the home safe.


Keep Cleaning Solutions and Medicines Out of Reach

The last thing you want is for your child or pet to accidentally get into something that could harm them. A great way to help ensure that doesn't happen is to keep all cleaning solutions, medication, alcohol, etc up on high shelves and out of reach. If you have cats, I suggest locking these supplies up in a medicine cabinet because cats can get to some of those higher-to-reach places. 


Always Put the Seat Down

You might not think about this one, but pets love to use the toilet as a waterhole when the seat is left up, so try and always remember to keep it down. Also, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep a lock on it while you have young children too just to keep them from trying to reach into it out of curiosity when they are able to start wandering around. 


Secure All Unstable Furniture

Both children and pets can get a little rambunctious at times and you always want to protect them from getting hurt. To help keep them safe around your furniture when they get too rowdy, secure all bookshelves or anything else that could fall over when bumped with anchors or brackets! 


Hide All Toys 

Whether it be a dog toy or a baby toy, keep them in a closed bin that neither your pets nor child can get into when they are not in use. This can prevent children from getting a hold of toys that are choking hazards and keep pets away from toys that aren’t for them. 



Posted in Community News
Oct. 9, 2022

Minnesota Fall Activities

New Season, New Activities! Looking for some fun Fall activities to do with friends and family? Look no further! Here is a list of some great things to do around Southern Minnesota!

 

Apple Picking!

Southern Minnesota has a ton of Apple Orchards around that are a great way to spend your fall days! Pick your favorite one and enjoy walking around the orchard and picking your own fruit to take home! Some orchards even have other fruits to pick or bakeries with freshly made apple goodies! Grab some friends and family and head on over to your favorite orchard this Fall!

Some of our favorite Apple Orchards: 

  • A-Peeling Acres Orchard, New Ulm 

  • Minnesota Harvest Craft Cider Bar & Orchard, Jordan

  • Emma Krumbies, Belle Plaine



Pumpkin Patches!

Another Fall favorite is pumpkin picking! What better way to spend the day than picking out the perfect pumpkin to carve or decorate? Several pumpkin patches also have other vegetables you can pick from and some even have hay rides!

Some of our favorite Pumpkin Patches: 

  • The Little Green Wagon Pumpkin Patch, Mankato

  • Guentzel Family Farms, Kasota

  • Jack McGowans Farms, Mankato



Autumn Drives Through the Leaves!

One of the most beautiful parts of Fall is the changing of the leaves and Minnesota has a ton of them! Some of the best views of the changing leaves can be seen driving along the rivers and through the landscape. Truly no matter where you drive you can find some beautiful scenery, so hop in the car and start exploring!



Sip the Local Favorites!

Whether it’s beer, wine, spirits, or a mocktail, Minnesota is not short on craft beverages! Craft alcohol has been flourishing in Minnesota over the past decade and several breweries offer fall-themed beverages such as an Oktoberfest beer, a Harvester cocktail, or mulled wine! Plan a day to go visit some of your favorite local spots or try someplace new!



Head Out to a Sports Game!

Whether it’s an MSU football game or a Timberwolves basketball game, Minnesota is not short on sporting events in the fall! Pick your favorite team, grab some friends and make a day out of going to cheer them on! 

 

Get Your Scare On!

Halloween is just around the corner, and that means that haunted corn fields, mazes, and Tricks and Treats at Valleyfair are upon us. Minnesota is not short on haunted places, so now is your time to pick a couple of them to check out this fall and get you into the Halloween Spirit!

Some of our favorite Haunted Places: 

  • Tricks and Treats at Valleyfair, Shakopee

  • Mill Pond Haunted Hayride, St. Peter 

  • Rochester Horror Haunted House, Zumbrota 



Attend a Harvest Festival!

From pumpkin weigh-offs to grape stomps to Applefests, there are tons of things in harvest this time of the year! Check into what kind of local harvesting events are around you this season!

Harvest Festivals in Southern MN: 

  • Sever's Fall Festival, Shakopee 

    • Every Fri, Sat & Sun in October

  • Harvest Fest, Mankato

    • October 1-24th



Celebrate Oktoberfest!

Tons of towns in Minnesota celebrate the great German Tradition of Oktoberfest! One of the biggest Oktoberfests is in New Ulm and that German town celebrates the holiday right with Schell’s Brewery! Don’t miss out on these fun, beer-filled events!

Oktoberfests in Southern MN: 

  • Schell’s Oktoberfest, New Ulm

    • October 15th

  • Oktoberfest Lite @ Morgan Creek Vineyards, New Ulm

    • Oct 7th, 8th, 14th & 15th from 6:30-9 pm

Posted in Community News
Sept. 11, 2022

Fall Home Maintenance

Summer is coming to an end... are you and your home ready? 

Not sure how to get your home ready for Fall? Don't worry, we have you covered!

Check out this end-of-summer home maintenance checklist.

Clean your gutters! - It is best to clean your gutters at the end of each season to prevent buildup that could cause blockage. If possible, running a hose through your gutters is also a great idea to ensure it is still draining correctly and there are no leaks. 

Make sure you are using weather-stripping! - As the temperatures begin to fall you want to make sure that the cold air stays out of your home. To help ensure this, add or replace the weather stripping on all your exterior doors and windows if your windows are 20+ years old or leaking air.

 

Insulate your water pipes before the first freeze! -We all know that once MN gets cold, it gets very cold, so it's always best to prepare early. The best way to keep your pipes from freezing as the temperature drops is to insulate all your water pipe sleeves, with heat tape, or similar materials.

Don't forget to replace your filters! - Your air conditioner has been working hard all summer, so it is very important to replace your filters after each season to prolong the life of your HVAC system. Luckily, changing your filters is super easy and affordable.

 

Prevent a carbon monoxide disaster! - First, make sure you have functioning carbon monoxide detectors within 10’ of all sleeping rooms in your house; it’s MN state law. You can buy these at any home improvement store for less than $30 and plug them into an outlet. Next, go around the outside of your home and make sure your home’s intake and exhaust pipes have sufficient clearance off the ground in case of snowfall blockage. Our favorite home inspector recommends having extensions 3’ off the ground. Make sure bushes/landscaping aren’t blocking these as well.

 

Aerate your soil! - By aerating your lawn you will be in a sense “allowing your lawn to breathe”. This may be the most important thing to do to your lawn to keep it healthy and looking good year-round. This should be done at least twice a year, preferably in Fall and Spring. 

 

 

Don’t forget to fertilize! - Speaking of lawns, you should also be fertilizing your lawn in the fall. You should fertilize roughly 3 weeks before your last mow of the season. This will allow the grass to absorb the nutrients before the temperatures drop and the grass goes dormant for winter. 

 

 

Winterize your sprinkler system! - Once you have finished watering your lawn for the season, you will want to blow out your sprinkler system to ensure it doesn't freeze. You can either hire someone to do this or use your own compressor to get the job done. Be aware that it is a process and do your research on how to do it on your own before attempting to tackle it at home. 

 

 

Start prepping your winter car survival kit! - We know it is only Fall, but you never know when those temperatures will begin to drop. It is always a great idea to put together a winter survival kit to store in your car to be extra prepared in case you are ever stranded in the cold. Some great things to include in this would be blankets, mittens, hats, lighter, jumper cables, and boots, just to name a few.

 

Posted in Community News
Aug. 12, 2022

Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Buy Instead of Rent?

Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Buy Instead of Rent?

 

  1. Rent is increasing everywhere. No matter where you live, the cost to rent a place is constantly increasing. In many cases, your rent payment could be the same or even more than a mortgage payment. When you get a fixed-rate mortgage, your monthly payment will never change, which is great in a rental market that is getting more expensive each year. These increasing payments are just one reason you should consider buying a home instead of continuously renting.

 

  1. Owning a home is a long-term investment. Imagine if you spend 30 years renting. At the end of that 30 years, you would have nothing to show for all the money you had been paying all those years. Now imagine if that whole 30 years you instead were putting that money towards your mortgage. At the end of that 30 years, you would own your home and could sell it to make a profit. This is a perfect example of why owning a home is an investment in your future. 

 

  1. As property values rise, so does your equity. Over the past several years, home values have been on the rise, and are expected to continue in the coming years. This means that all the money you have been paying towards your mortgage will provide a significant return when you finally decide to sell that home. Each mortgage payment will pay off a portion of your loan, giving you equity over time. 

 

  1. Owning a home comes with tax deductions. Everyone loves when they can save money on taxes, so here are a few ways that owning a home can help you do that. As a homeowner, when you itemize your deductions, you can reduce your taxable income by deducting interest paid on your mortgage. You can also do the same thing with the property taxes that you pay. Another great benefit is that if you live in your home as your primary residence for at least 2 years, and then you sell your home for a profit, you will not be taxed on the profit that you make (some exclusions apply; please consult a tax preparer).

 

  1. Owning your own home creates housing security. One of the biggest stressors about renting is knowing what you will do at the end of each lease. Sometimes renters will sell the property and then the new owner will not continue to rent the property out, causing you to have to find a new home. To avoid ever worrying about if you will have a place to live at the end of your next lease, buy a home! By doing this, you know where you will be until you decide it is time to move on to your next home.

 

  1. You can personalize the home you own. Have you ever rented a place that had restrictions on what you could put on the walls or have in your backyard? Well, one of the best things about owning your home is having the freedom to make all the changes and decorate however you would like. Want new light fixtures? Looking to have hardwood instead of carpet? These home improvements not only are allowed when you own a home, but they also can increase value!



Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 10, 2022

Coming Soon Listings


Coming Soon - 
11 Hoover Court, North Mankato

Posted in Coming Soon
July 24, 2022

Benefits of Staging Your Home

Benefits of Staging Your Home

 

First impressions matter, especially when it comes to selling your home. This is why staging your home before putting it on the market is so beneficial to you as a seller. 

 

What is staging?

 

Staging your home is when you temporarily furnish and depersonalize your home to make it look more attractive to buyers. When potential home buyers are looking at your home they want to be able to envision themselves living there and staging your home can help make that possible. 

 

Tips for Staging 

 

  1. Grab them at the curb

One of the best things you can do to get your home ready to sell is to get people to fall in love with your home, starting at the front door! If people see your home is for sale, they are most likely going to do a drive-by first, so you want your curb appeal to be on point. Some of the best ways to grab their attention from the street are adding potted plants, power washing patios, walkways, and driveways along with mowing/weeding your lawn. All of these things should catch a buyer's eye and make them more inclined to take a peek inside too! 

 

  1. Depersonalize & Declutter

Buyers are coming to look at your home, not your stuff, so one of the first things that should go is any excess clutter and personal items. Items to store away before showings include: pictures, collections, awards, collectibles, posters, excess electronics, and anything else you feel is a personal decoration.  Removing your items helps new buyers be able to envision themselves and their things in the home. 

 

  1. Color & Lighting

When it comes to selling, neutral is better. You might love a bright-colored room, but that can deter some buyers away. When getting ready to sell, a fresh coat of neutral paint can go a long way! Not only are neutral colors great for first impressions, but they also make your space look bigger and more inviting. Speaking of inviting, lighting is also crucial. The brighter your space the better! Before showings, make sure to turn on your lights and also open up all blinds to let all of the natural light in as well. Good lighting can set the mood for potential buyers as they are walking through your home. 

  1. Clean, Clean, Clean

When you are preparing to sell you want to deep clean your entire home. The last thing you want is some dirty baseboards or a grimy bathroom to deter buyers from seeing the beauty of your home. To avoid this, make sure you go through and clean all surfaces and corners before showings start. This is the time to get out your mops, vacuums, scrubbers, and duster and put some elbow grease into it. You will be amazed at the difference a good clean can make. 

  1. Make Repairs 

If there are any projects you have been putting off, such as squeaky hinges, chipped paint, broken fixtures, etc; then now is the time to take those on. Making all these improvements will make your home feel move-in-ready and take the stress off the buyers of imagining making all those repairs themselves.

  1. Don’t Forget the Floors

Before listing you should consider removing old carpet and maybe refinishing your hardwood. If you don’t have time to refinish your floors, you can also opt for a new area rug to disguise older floors. 

Benefits of Staging

 

  1. Help Your Listing Stand Out

 

Whether it is in person or photos, staging can make a world of difference when it comes to the look of your home. It is so important, especially in this crazy market, to ensure your home stands out and staging is an excellent way to get the job done. 

 

  1. Make Your House Feel Like Home

 

When buyers are coming to look at your house they are trying to envision it as their own space. By staging your home you are creating an environment that allows them to envision it as their home and hopefully fall in love with it. 

 

  1. Increase Selling Price

 

Based on Forbes Magazine, a staged home, on average, will sell for 17% more than a home that wasn't staged. Not only do they normally sell for more, but they also, on average, sell 87% faster than an unstaged home because buyers need less time to be able to see themselves living there. 

 

Overall, staging your home can only benefit you and your home when you are getting ready to sell. We know this can all seem overwhelming, but a huge bonus of working with a JBeal agent is that we will help you with the staging process! Trust your favorite JBeal agent to help get your home ready for the market!

Posted in Selling Your Home
April 24, 2022

DIY Home Renovations to Increase Home Value

Are you looking to increase the value of your home, but not break the bank? Well, then this blog is written just for you!

 

There are so many updates you can do yourself that can increase your home value! Check them out!

 

Deck Lighting

It is amazing how much of a difference lighting can make in any space, especially outside. Keep it simple and add some low-voltage lighting to hang around your deck. This not only adds extra character but also makes your deck a great place to host or hang out, even at night. You can either choose string lighting to border your deck or just add a few individual lights.

 

Kitchen Backsplash

It is no secret that a kitchen backsplash can add a TON of visual appeal to your kitchen, but what most people don’t know is that it is actually quite easy to install yourself. Putting in a backsplash is not only easy but also can be completed in just a weekend. You can lay your backsplash on a Saturday and grout on a Sunday. It is that easy!

And remember, backsplash tile is as trendy as jewelry. If you have backsplash tile that’s 10-15 years old, it’s time for an update.


Fresh Coats of Paint

This renovation is by far the biggest bang for your buck. Changing the color of a room or even just a wall within a room can instantly transform your space. When repainting rooms, look to add bright colors to enhance the natural light in the home and make your space seem bigger and brighter. Adding an accent wall can also bring variety and individuality to a room. Which room are you painting first?

 

Installing Crown Molding

The next renovation may be one of the most effective at adding value. Installing crown molding might take a few woodworking skills, but is very inexpensive to do yourself. Adding crown molding can add more visual interest to your home and make even the most ordinary rooms extravagant and inviting. 

 

Upgrade Kitchen Lighting

It is amazing what difference light fixtures can make in a space. If you want to increase your kitchen value without an expensive remodel, consider switching out your lighting to more modern, trending light fixtures. These updates can change the whole mood of your kitchen and can all be done without changing any wiring. In order for any room to have a great lighting concept, aim to have 3 different levels of lighting, or lighting from three different heights. This recipe is most soothing to the eye!



The most common comment that we as Realtors hear when helping clients get ready to sell is, “We wish we would’ve done this sooner!” So don’t wait! Don’t put off replacing flooring or updating your landscaping until the week before the Realtor comes - we want you to love where you live (the whole time!).

Posted in Community News
March 20, 2022

Types of Home Buying Contingencies and How They Could Benefit You!

When buying a home there are many things to consider, including the best way to submit an offer that will make the process as easy and stress-free as possible. Including a contingency clause, which can be beneficial to either buyers or sellers and there are many different types to consider when offering or accepting a purchase agreement.

What is a Contingency Clause?

 A real estate contingency is an additional term to be met included in a purchase agreement. Essentially, these clauses give either the buyer or seller the right to cancel a contract before closing, under certain circumstances. 

Types of Contingencies

Home Inspection Contingency

This is a clause that benefits the buyer and states that the buyer can cancel the contract if, within the given time period, they perform a home inspection and something of concern is found and a resolution between buyer and seller cannot be reached.

Property Sale Contingency

This clause states that the offer for purchase of the new property will only continue if the buyer is able to sell their current home in a certain time frame. This contingency makes it difficult to “win” in a multiple offer scenario. Sellers may accept backup offers while their home is contingent upon property sale, but their marketability is reduced under the Contingent upon Property Sale status in the MLS.

Financing Contingency

This is often also referred to as a Mortgage Contingency and it is put in place to protect the buyer. In this case, the buyer must obtain financing to secure the new home.  If they are unable to, they can either terminate the contract or they can request more time. Any requests for extensions must be agreed upon in writing by both buyers and sellers. 

Escalation Clause

This clause is used when there is a multiple offer situation on a property and a buyer wants their offer to be competitive. The buyer includes language saying that they’ll increase their offer by a certain amount over a higher bid, up to a certain dollar amount. This clause is only used in a seller’s market with very limited inventories.

Reverse Contingency

This contingency benefits the seller. This clause states that the sale of a seller’s home is contingent upon the seller finding suitable housing. If the seller is able to find a home that suits his/her needs then the contingency is removed and the purchase agreement will be fully accepted and move towards closing. If the seller is not able to find a home in the time stated on the contingency, then both parties will sign a cancellation of the purchase agreement or negotiate longer timelines.

Risks of Contingencies

Some of the biggest risks of contingency amongst buyers (other than a reverse contingency) are that they make an offer less competitive in a market where there are multiple offers. When working in a highly competitive market, removing contingencies from an offer might be more beneficial, if the buyer is comfortable proceeding without them.

 

When looking at a reverse contingency it also has some risks, but for the sellers. In a market similar to the current market, where there is very little inventory to choose from, if the seller is unable to find another home to purchase or rent in time, the seller may lose that buyer. This would result in the seller having to put their home back on the market and start the selling process again. 

 

The Bottom Line: Experience Matters

No matter the contingency, each one has its own benefits and risks. Each one of our JBeal Realtors is well-versed in drafting contracts and remaining competitive while protecting your interests. We have 20 years of experience as a brokerage and thousands of transactions and satisfied clients.

 

In this highly competitive market, it’s so important to use top-notch professionals when making such a large investment. The last thing you want to do is make an impulse purchase and end up in a negative equity situation.

 

We are experts in guiding sellers through multiple offer situations and choosing the right offer for them. It’s not always the highest price that wins when there are so many other factors that come into play. Experience Matters. Make sure you’re working with one of our real estate pros at JBeal real estate group!

 

Posted in Buying a Home
Sept. 21, 2021

134 Chancery Lane, Mankato

 

 

Posted in Virtual Tours
April 1, 2021

617 Marie Lane North Mankato, MN

617 Marie Lane North Mankato, MN

Posted in Virtual Tours