Shakopee Lake Front on Thole Lake | 620 Hahn Drive, Shakopee MLS # 4054409

The MLS listing reads “Stop dreaming…your dream has come true with this sophisticated home designed for fine living & ideal for entertaining with its elegant spaces, lakeshore, swimming pool & park-like 2.5 acre setting! Old World flair, stunning architecture & rich details!” Friends of mine and previous coworkers when I worked at Edina Realty in Shakopee, Bruce and Sue Wolf, recently listed this gem of a home. One of Shakopee’s finest homes is on the market.

You need to see the virtual tour to believe this one of a kind walkout rambler sitting  on a gorgeous parklike setting with 2.5 acres AND Shakopee lake front! Seriously, not every day does someone stumble across Shakopee acreage listings that also include lake front. You have your own private dock and the home is located in the prestigous Theis Estates development on the southern edge of Shakopee sitting on Lake Thole. Lake Thole is a quiet 105 acre lake in Shakopee and is well known in the area as a good fishing lake.


Upon entering this one of a kind rambler you will be taken back by and impressed by the gold Venetian plaster, barrel vault ceiling with metallic finish, hardwood floors and antiqued pillars. To the immediate left is a one of kind formal dining room. The centerpiece of the room is a hand carved masterpiece detailed ceiling trimmed with 18 carat gold and crown molding. The formal dining room includes a built-in hutch, antiqued pillars, floor to ceiling windows & hardwood floors. To the immediate right upon entering, french doors lead to your home office. If you work from home, the main floor office is fit for the finest executive. Many custom built ins line the walls, a built in desk, plenty of large windows to brighten up the room and custom artwork.

The great room features impressive custom built in cabinets, huge floor to ceiling windows to capture the panoramic Lake Thole views, 12 foot coffered ceiling and chandelier as a touch of class. Old world charm radiates in the dramatic great room! 

3 sided gas fireplace and accent pillars divide this gorgeous great room from the informal dining area and kitchen. The kitchen features a huge center island with a sink built in to prep food. This fabulous kitchen provides a true culinary experience. Large work spaces, prep sink, double wall oven, walk-in pantry, custom designed cabinetry, granite and tile back splash. Great gathering space with its center island seating.

Just off the great room of this custom walkout rambler featuresa gorgeous master bedroom with views of pool and Lake Thole. The master suite also includes a two sided fireplace leading to the master bath suite. The master bathroom has a custom double vanity, whirlpool soaking tub and custom tiled walk in shower with dual shower heads. Elegant master bath with whirlpool tub, 2 sided fireplace, dual head shower, his and hers sinks, walk-in closet and heated travertine floors.

The main level is also accompianed by a large laundry room, guest bath, an additional informal entry with built in lockers, tile floors, closet and garage access.


Walkout level entertainment space features gas fireplace, built-in media center, floor to ceiling windows, infloor heat, slate flooring, 9ft ceilings & impressive full bar. Making this room an entertainment hot spot is a pub style wet bar featuring a built-in wine rack, extensive cabinetry, refrigerator, granite counter tops and is open to pool table and family room.

Also in the lower level is a convenient Jack & Jill full bath with double sinks, makeup vanity, heated floors and large linen closet. This bathroom connects two of the three large bedrooms.  There is an exercise room in the lower level.


Immaculate 3.5 car garage onn the main level is heated and features epoxy finished floors, storage cabinets and a alcove for motorcycle parking. The lower level garage is perfect for a workshop, storage or for a boat. There is a wrap around driveway leading to the lower garage.

This custom Shakopee home on Lake Thole has 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 6 garage stalls and 2,377 sqft on the main level with an additional 2,284 finished on the lower level totaling 4,661 sqft.


Fully irrigated 2.5 acres, exterior security cameras with DVR backup, wrap around driveway with access to the lower level 3 car garage. Ample space in the backyard for tennis court, hockey rink or sports court!


  • Cozy screened porch off kitchen includes knotty pine vaulted ceiling, a wood burning fireplace with stone surround and convenient access to deck.
  • Large Lakeside Firepit for the cool fall evenings
  • 20X16 deck with panoramic views of Lake Thole, pool and gold course like manicured yard. Stairs lead to the lower patio & pool perfect for entertaining.
  • 20X40 In ground pool features automatic cover, fountain, extensive paver pool deck and low maintenance salt chlorine generator system.

To set up a private showing on this listing, contact Tom Scott of Remax Advantage Plus and the Twin City Real Estate Team at 612-384-2178 or via email.

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Ryland Homes & Glacier Estates in Shakopee | Basement Promotion & More Free Stuff!

Ryland Homes ShakopeeA great development in Shakopee on the East side of town just off of County Road 18, Glacier Estates, is offering some great incentives to bring buyers in the door.

I received an email from the Ryland Homes representative in Glaicer Estates in Shakopee. She said it’s been a very busy community so far at Glacier Estates.  As you know, Ryland Homes opened their model May 21st, and said they have already sold three homes since then.

To help get mpre buyers in the door in the Shakopee Glacier Estate neighborhood Ryland Homes is offering a free finished basement promotion that is offered for the month of June.  This is Ryland Homes biggest promotion!  A basement costs $20,000 to $25,000 depending upon the size of the home according to their sales rep.  The best part about the promotion is that you can add additional space in the lower level giving you:  five total bedrooms, another bathroom and a HUGE family room. 

If a basement is not important to you as a home buyer, you can buy options for the value instead!  That could be $20,000 to $25,000 of upgrades. Use your Ryland Homes promotion for upgraded cabinets, flooring, fireplace, WHATEVER.

In addition to this spectacular promotion for the Glacier Estates neighborhood in Shakopee, Ryland Homes is including a free Entertainment Package to put in your finished basement

The entertainment package includes:

  • 46 inch high definition TV
  • 7 channel home theater
  • Installed speakers
  • 2-room music package

Now your basement can become a huge movie room! click here for initial pricing or visit the Ryland website

Even when building a home you can use a Shakopee Realtor to represent your interests in the transaction and help negotiate. Tom Scott of Remax is a Certified Buyer Representation and Certified New Homes Specialist. Licensed for 10 years and holding a Broker license give him the help you are looking for. Why hire another agent to help during the new construction process?

  • Negotiations
  • Help choose Upgrades and Options
  • Advise in Resale Potential
  • Having Your OWN Representation (who do you think the sales reps work for)
  • Help with the sale of your current home
  • Knowledge of Local Area
  • Do a Market Analysis to Make Sure The Value is Fair

5 Important Tips When Selling Your Shakopee Home

1) Price

I consider this probably the most important factor for multiple reasons. Price ditactes the amount of interest in your home as buyers generally judge the price of your home compared to other homes currently on the market, not necessarily sold listings. Shakopee realtors will do a market analysis prior to making an offer and compare your home to other Shakopee homes that have sold recently. Most tend to to pull comparable properties no more than six months old being appriasers will do the same and other even looking only within the last 4 months. When listings homes I generally try to stick with even numbers being many real estate search website have $10,000 or $25,000 increments to search by. Imagine if you are on the fence over price and decide to price your home at $249,900. By $100 you are missing the $250,000-$260,000 buyer and the $250,000-$275,000 buyer. Remember you are tyring to get the most exposure possible. Buyers are not dumb and looking at a home priced $100 lower is not going to pull the wool over their eyes.

Pricing your home well early on can be more beneficial than inflating the price and coming down. Many sellers want to “give it a try” when doing so makes thier home market worn over time. There have been studies that state most of the best traffic though your home is within the first few weeks. Within those first weeks the most active buyers want to run out, look at the newest listings and either make an offer or move on. Shakopee bank owned homes have this down pat. The bank owned homes generate tons of activity and many sell in multiple offers within the first two weeks on the market, unless the condition of the home is so poor it eliminates many buyers.  In an ever changing Shakopee real estate market, pricing is crucial.

2) Condition

As stated above, the condition of a property can make or break a transaction. With price, most of the time you have a mortgage to pay off and you have some but little control over the price unless you outright own your home. The market typically dicates value with the supply of existing homes and demand from buyers. Condition refers top how well you keep up the home. Maintence, being up to date and clean would all fall into this category. make sure you are cleaning every inch of your home. The places I see neglected most when showing homes are many places owners overlook . The four that jump out most are ceiling fans, return air vents, dusty mechanicals and bathrooms. Being up to date with carpet, fresh paint are two of the most inflential things I tihnk owners can do. Also make sure to fix leaking plumbing, quircky door locks and doors that may be off hinges. If you have wallpaper….take it down. Maintenace can be the most expensive part of this equation and some things can and can not be overlooked. Doing a furnace tune up or cleaning show buyers you take care of the home. Change the furnace filter prior to inspection as well. That is the single most thing I see inspectors put on reports along with gutter downspout extensions. You can pick gutter extensions up pretty cheap too at a local hardware store. Caulking is another inexpensive maintenece item often called on reports. The big ticket items like a roof, siding and windows are probably not going to give you the return on the money you are looking for. The only exception I would make to that is if the color of your exterior is a loud color, paint to neiralize. Yellows and blue typically don’t sell well either.

3) Marketinging your home

I am a huge advocate of trying to market to the audience you feel would best be interested in your home. The only time I advertise in the newspaper is when I have a one level townhomes because if you look at the Star Tibune reader demographic, it fits perfectly. If you are selling a larger two story home, you will probably be marketing to a neighborhood that would be a good move up buyer. Find people who have been in their homes 3-7 years when most start thinking or get the itch to move.

The internet is the best place currently to showcase homes. Local real estate sites, large brokerage sites, the MLS (not to be confused with The MLS online, which is a real estate company)  are some of the best. You can also advertise on local newspaper websites like, and can be some good free sites to use as well. We also include the expanded profile when sellers list their homes with the Twin City Real Estate Team. is the most used national site for home searches.

4) Photos

This is one of my biggest pet peves because SOOOOOOO MANY Shakopee realtors don’t take good photos. If you are going to be in the business of real estate, invest in the technology. If you do not want to invest in the technology, hire a professional photographer to take photos. You as an owner could also do so if you would like to showcase your hom in the best light. No one wants to see a bed, they want to see the bedroom. I use a Nikon D300 with a wide angle 11-18 Tamron lens and I also have an external flash to make rooms brighter. The MN MLS is where most real estate sites pull their photos from. Pictures say 1000 words, make sure it’s complementary.

5) Staging

Staging not to be confused by condition is making your home appear to buyers. Some of the easiest tips to stage your home is to take down the family photos, declutter and make your home bright as possible. Many showings are during the evening and I recommend turning on all the lights in your home and opening the blinds during the day. Make sure all the bulbs in your house are bright and in working condition. I wrote an article prior this year with an indepth look at staging your home for selling. I always come back to saying, “if model homes stage thier homes, so should you”

Hopefully this article helps and if you have any questions about the selling process feel free to contact me or give me a call at 612-384-2178.

Remax Advantage Plus Shakopee Real Estate Listings week of May 30th-June 5th

This past week the Remax Advantage Plus real estate brokerage in Shakopee offered four new homes for sale:

842 Princeton Ave, Shakopee MLS #4052564

This home is a middle unit townhome built by Town & Country Homes which is now K. Hovanian. This Shakopee townhome features 2 bedrooms and a loft on the upper level. The home also includes an upper level laundry which is nice as that is where all your bedding and clothes are anyway. According to the Minnesota MLS post the owner is a non smoker and also does not have any pets and has never had any pets in this home. This IS NOT a Shakopee short sale or a Shakopee Foreclosure! You may be relieved to find this is not a short sale or foreclosure because you do not need to wait and wait and wait to see if your offer is accepted. Some other features this home has is a 2 car garage, gas fireplace in the living room and well decorated. Listing price$129,876

4608 Bulrush Blvd, Shakopee MLS #4053589

This one was of the Shakopee townhomes built near Lowes by Ryland Homes in Shakopee. This is their original Greenwich floor plan which was the smallest of the three models in the row house collection. It is 1595 sqft with room to finish off a fourth bedroom or family room in the lower level as well as a 4th bathroom. Currently the home is 3 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 2 car garage. I showed this home when is was a short sale listing and the home is in good shape. The home does have some seriously colors so you may want to break out your paint brush. Currently the home is a BANK OWNED Shakopee townhome owned by Fannie Mae and priced at $126,250.

1636 Liberty Circle, Shakopee MLS #4054306

Another Town & Country built home in the Countryside development of Shakopee. This is a larger middle unit than the first home on Princeton and has 1562 sqft with 3 BR plus Loft, 3 BA, and a 2 car garage. This one again IS NOT a Shakopee short sale or foreclosure. This townhome has ceramic tile, 42 inch upper cabinets, 3 sided gas fireplace and a private master bathroom. The home is priced at $147,495.

2016 Hackberry Lane, Shakopee MLS # 4054756

The most expensive of the Remax Advantage Plus listings this week to hit the Shakopee real estate market. This home is a custom two story built in the Park Meadows neighborhood of Shakopee. Currently listed at $339,900 this home also has contract for deed financing as an option for this home with flexible terms. This solid two story has an oversized 3 car garage, awesome master bathroom and the home includes 4 bedrooms, a hall study area, 2 bathrooms and laundry all on the upper level.

If you would like to search ALL SHAKOPEE HOMES FOR SALE on our search that links directly from the MN MLS click on the tab or our hyperlink.

We can show any of the listings above, email you the MLS listing print out or if you would like more detail contact Tom Scott of Remax Advantage Plus

We also provide for FREE automatic home searches so you may be notified the moment a home comes on the market. We are seeing many multiple offer situation and homes that are priced accordingly selling quickly.

Buyer Older, Not Newer Shakopee Homes

Older Shakopee Homes For SaleThis may seem like an odd idea, but I have have many clients drifiting in the $150,000-$225,000 price range. Many clients just set up their search criteria to include home built after 1990 which I can feel may be a big mistake. The part of this I do not understand is there are some quality Shakopee homes for sale that are older than 1990 and do have many updates. One complaint I here about the Shakopee area is that there are not enough trees. Well newer areas do not have those established neighborhoods with 20-40 year old maples, oaks and other large shade trees. There are a few pockets of Shakopee that are great for neighborhoods as described, but you will need to be open to looking at an older home.

We just received an offer on a listing we have on Hauer Trail in Shakopee. GREAT neighborhood. Quiet, mature trees and well established. I think it is one of the hidden gems in Shakopee. This particular owner went all out when updating his home. Maintenance free James Hardy siding with a 50 year warranty, brand new quality windows replaced throughout the home, new high efficeny furnace and air conditioning, new hot water heater, newer carpet, new garage door openers and the list goes on. When considering a purchase, most Shakopee homes for sale do not have anywhere close to these upgrades and many will be in dire need of those update within the first five years on ownership.

Now would you rather purchase an “older” home and have all those updates or shell out upward of $30,000 for all those upgrades OUT OF POCKET after you close. At least the bank will give you the money upfront now at a great interest rate!

For older Shakopee homes for sale that need some fixing up, consider a FHA 203k loan. With that loan you are able to borrow more than the sales price and in turn take that money to make the improvments. I recently hasd a client purchase a home in Jordan and he took out about $9000 to install a new furnace, new air conditionor and do some plumbing and electrical repairs. Another great option in which you do not need to pay money out of pocket and can rather have those costs in your mortgage payment.

If you are thinking of moving within the area or are an out of state buyer contact me and I can send out a relocation packet.

Purchase a Shakopee home for only 2% downpayment!

A good quality Shakopee loan officer I work with , Chris Aloisio, just wanted to send out a refresher email for a loan program she and Wells Fargo in Shakopee have to offer. The program is called the CDMP program if you want to mention it to her when calling.  This program that is unique to Wells Fargo is great for first time buyers. CDMP stands for Community Development Mortgage Program. Here are the highlights and information on the program:

Conventional loan–in house (not Fannie or Freddie), Not an FHA program either


Income limit of $67,200 for a family of 4–income limits waived if buying within the city limits of Mpls or St. Paul

Down payment can be a gift

Owner occupied only

Homebuyer education is required UNLESS they have owned a home in the last 3 years and made their last 12 payments on time so do not have to be first timers

One debt ratio of 42% & can have a co-signer

Must be employed for one year

Self employment for 1 year with tax returns is acceptable (2 year requirement waived on this program)

Credit score of 620 with 3 tradelines

No cash reserve requirement

Home must be in decent shape, but cosmetic repairs are fine

One year rental history required

Todays rate, 6/3/11,  for this loan is 4.875% for a 30 year fixed.

This loan program is truely a great program. Although there are income limits to apply for the program your downpayment can be gifted which helps and credit scores can be as low as 620.  The biggest advantage to this program in my opinion outside of the obviously only 2% downpayment program is NOT HAVING MORTGAGE INSURANCE.  That portion can save you $100+ per month!

If you want more information about this program feel free to contact, Tom Scott of Remax Advantage Plus and the Twin City Real Estate Team at 612-384-2178

When purchasing a home, make sure to have your own representation. The person selling the home has their own representation

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Shakopee New Construction – Ryland Homes Glacier Estates Pricing

After the anticipated wait, Shakopee newest development, Glacier Estates, by Ryland Homes released their pricing information.In a follow up to a previous blog post I wrote about Glacier Estates in Shakopee, here is a little more information in regards to your pockbook. With the model home soon to open mid May this should be a very busy new construction development in Shakopee. Ryland homes purchase the remaining 30 or so lots with the Glacier Estates community in Shakopee after College City Homes, Cuddigan and a few other builders back out of the development, some for financial reasons. IN a development that saw sales prices pushing over $600,000 the Glacier Estates development with now be priced much more competitively.

Ryland Homes released the pricing on the five plans they will include in the development ranging from a base of $274,990-$334,900. It appears as though the model home floor plan, The Edgewater, will base at $304,990 and feature over 2750 sqft on the upper two levels. The grand opening for the development is May 11th.

Taken from the Ryland Homes website, here are a list of features they will be including with their homes:


Construction Features

  • “I” Joist Floor Framing System with ¾ Subfloor
  • 2 X 6 Exterior Wall Construction
  • 200-AMP Electrical Service
  • Asphalt Roofing Shingles with 25-Year Warranty
  • Carbon Monoxide Detector
  • Electrical Ground Fault Outlets
  • Engineered Roof Truss System
  • Exterior Foundation Insulation
  • Interconnected Smoke Detector System on All Levels
  • Low Maintenance Exteriors
  • Maintenance Free Aluminum Soffit, Fascia & Trim
  • Passive Sub-Slab Vent
  • Poured Concrete Foundation Walls
  • Sump Pump
  • Water Proofed Foundations
  • Wirsbo® Water Supply System

Elegant Baths

  • Aristokraft® Vanity Cabinets
  • Armstrong® No-Wax Vinyl Flooring
  • Cultured Marble Vanity Tops
  • Designer Nickel Lighting Fixtures
  • Electrical Ground-Fault Outlets in all Baths
  • Luxury Owner’s Bath with Soaking Tub & Separate Shower Stall
  • Moen® Lavatory Faucets
  • Sterling® Tub/Shower Surrounds
  • Sterling® Water Saving Commodes
  • Vanity Mirrors

Energy & Water Conservation

  • 13 SEER Air Conditioner with Puron
  • 50 Gallon Gas Water Heater
  • All Electrical Boxes on Exterior Walls Sealed with Air Tight Box & Gasket
  • Carrier® 92% Efficiency Power Vent Natural Gas Furnace
  • Fiberglass Insulated Entry & Steel Insulated Service Doors
  • R-19 Fiberglass Insulation Plus Vapor Barrier in Exterior Walls
  • R-44 Fiberglass Insulation Value in Ceilings with Vapor Barrior
  • Roof Trusses with Energy Heels
  • Tyvek® Housewrap
  • Vinyl Clad Insulated Windows with Low E Glass and Screens
  • Whole House Fan Ventilation System

Exterior Detailing

  • (2) Exterior Water Spigots (location per plan)
  • (2) Weatherproof Exterior Outlet Boxes (location per plan)
  • 3-Car Garages
  • Asphalt Driveway
  • Concrete Sidewalk & Stoop
  • Front & Rear Door Lighting
  • Garage Door Opener with Two (2) Remotes
  • Insulated Steel Garage Door
  • Norandex Great Barrier® Vinyl Siding
  • Schlage® Security Dead Bolt Locks
  • Stone or Brick Accents (per plan & elevation)

Home Technology

  • (1) CAT5 Telephone Jacks
  • (1) Multi-Media Jack (Phone, Cable, Data)
  • (2) RG6 Cable Outlets
  • Three-Level Technology Tube for Future Wiring


  • A. Pre-Construction Meeting with Site Superintendent & Sales Counselor
  • B. Pre-Drywall Meeting
  • C. Pre-Closing & New Home Orientation
  • D. Sixty-Day Service Conference
  • E. One-Year Drywall Touch-Up
  • Site Construction Superintendent
  • Twin Cities Warranty Staff
  • Unmatched Quality Inspection Process

Interior Finishes

  • 9′ First Floor Ceiling Height
  • Designer Nickel Lighting Fixtures
  • Front Door Bell & Chime
  • Hang & Tape Walls and Ceiling of Garage
  • Interior Paint by PBG®
  • Laundry Hook-Ups with Dryer Venting
  • Lower Level Bath Rough-In
  • Princeton Painted Trim
  • Satin Nickel Knobs (Interior)
  • Shaw® Luxury Carpeting (per plan)
  • Three Panel Pre-finished Colonist White Doors
  • Ventilated Closet Shelving
  • Water Softener Rough-In


  • Fully Sodded Yard
  • Landscaped Front Yard (per plan: mulch, bushes, & shrubs)

Ryland Homes New Home Warranty

  • Measured Customer Satisfaction Program
  • Name Brand Manufacturers’ Limited Warranties
  • One-Year Material & Workmanship Warranty
  • Ten-Year Structural Warranty
  • Two-Year Mechanical System Warranty

Tastefully Appointed Kitchens

  • 42″ Upper Kitchen Cabinets
  • Aristokraft® Cabinetry with Adjustable Shelves
  • Armstrong® No-Wax Easy Care Flooring
  • GE® Built-In Dishwasher
  • GE® Ceramic Smooth-Top Range
  • GE® Refrigerator
  • GE® Spacemaker Microwave
  • Ice-Maker Rough-In
  • InSinkErator® Garbage Disposal
  • Kitchen Island (per plan)
  • Moen® Kitchen Faucet
  • Pantry Closet/Cabinet (per plan)
  • Stainless Steel Double-Bowl Sink
  • Wilsonart HD® Laminate Counter Tops

If you have any questions about the Shakopee real estate market, new construction in Shakopee, some of the developments by Centex Homes, Lennar Homes, Mattamy Homes, Ryland Homes or qualit local builders feel free to contact me. I grew up in the Shakopee area, live here currently and my wife is a teacher in the area. I have been actively selling real estate for 10 years and work with a tem of agents, the Twin City Real Estate Team, to help serve our clients better. If you would like to find what previous clients have said, make sure to check out our Shakopee Realtor testimonial page.

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Lack of Real Estate Inventory

Yes, you heard me correct, but what I should state is that there is a lack of GOOD inventory. Sure there are plenty of homes currently on the market, but many are short sale which can take months to complete, beat up foreclosures that could take thousands of dollars to make livable and many overpriced sellers still stuck in 2004 prices and thinking the market will turn around in the next year. Unfortunately for sellers I think it will take a lot longer for the current real estate market to rebound. Many agents state they can not wait for a “normal” real estate market to return, but I think this will be normal for the next few years. If you are buying now you are buying for a number of reasons, foremost, you need some stability and somewhere to live. You are also buying because housing prices have declined and you will be obtaining an interest rate only dreamed of even at the height of the market in 2004-2006.

If you are looking from new construction in Shakopee orare looking at purchasing aShakopee townhome you may be getting frustrated. I have had many buyers looking for all different kinds of homes and townhomes that I have worked with for the past few months that just are not finding that “perfect house”. I can’t blame them because I think I have stated to not buy a houses fivetimes more than I encourage my clients to go forth an purchase.  Regardless of Shakopee townhomes, single family , acreage or one level living we need more solid inventory. That is good new if you are a seller. Sellers with home priced well that show well are selling quickly and usually netting close to asking or in some case even above asking price.

 It seems the few homes out there worth buying sell in multiple offers because banks are trying to move homes quickly to move through their inventory and reduce their liabilities.  I do feel though that as we progress this spring we will see a flood of homes that will be coming to the market in what previously was known as “shadow inventory”that banks were holding on to. Fannie Mae will be releasing homepath properties later this year that buyers will only need to being 3% rather than the minimum 3.5% down payment and those home will also have waived appraisal saving buyer $425 in appraisal costs as well as no mortgage insurance saving buyers hundreds of dollars per month. For more information about those properties make sure you talk to a qualified Shakopee Realtor or Loan officer. Be patient and you will find the perfect home for you and your family. Do not let a pushy saleperson force you into something you are uncomfortable with, ultimately you will be the one living there and making the payments!

FHA Changes are coming

There are some significant changes that are being made to FHA financing that will impact borrower’s monthly payment.  FHA changed the upfront mortgage insurance premium and the monthly premium on October 4th 2010.  The changes at that time impacted people buying a new home or refinancing an existing loan. At the time the upfront premium was be dropped to 1.0% of the mortgage amount from the previous 2.25% and the monthly premium increased to .90% of the mortgage amount from the previous .55%.

FHA is changing the monthly premium again with applications dated on or after April 18th, 2011.  The change will increase the premium by .25% of the loan amount for all FHA loans including 15 year mortgages.

It is still a great program and considering that the program only requires a 3.5% down payment, it is an attractive option for those that are looking to buy a new home or refinance their current mortgage.  The program has much more relaxed credit requirements when compared to conventional options as well.

Craig Anderson-

Sr. Mortgage Consultant

Rivercity Mortgage

5001 American Blvd

Suite 1000

Bloomington, MN 55437

Direct 952-908-9420

Mobile: 612-964-6620

Fax 952-224-1865

Shakopee Townhomes Values

Shakopee townhomes for sale have gone on a bit of a roller coaster ride over the last 20 years, they might as well have gone to Valleyfair.  I have analyzed numbers very thoroughly and from a town that had as few as 8 Shakopee townhomes sell back in 1992, to 445 Shakopee townhomes sold in 2005 the townhomes for sale in Shakopee have leveled slightly.

We have seen a lot of new construction in Shakopee after the highway 169 Bloomington Ferry bridge was built in 1996. Up until 1998 Shakopee townhomes had seen only 135 townhomes sold in the previous six years per the Minnesota MLS statistics. Then in 1998, 159 townhomes sold representing almost 35% of the total Shakopee homes sold that year. The average sales price for a Shakopee townhomes in 1998 was $107,890. Average market times were only 60 days and average square footage was for those townhomes in Shakopee was only 1027 sqft, making the average price per sqft to be $105.05.

The Shakopee townhome market exploded from this point on as many more townhomes were to be built. The city temporarily thought about a moratorium of townhomes in Shakopee being built, but then decided not to impose. The number of townhome in Shakopee built in 2001 rose to 249 homes sold representing almost 38% of the total market. Average sales price had climbed to under under $150,000 and the average days on market fell to just 24 days. The boom was definitely here and sqft increased to an average of 1338 per townhome.  The Shakopee real estate market and Shakopee townhome market peaked in 2004-2006. 2004 led to a high of almost  49% of all homes in Shakopee sold that year on the Minnesota MLS to be townhomes. 2005 brought an all time high of townhomes in Shakopee sold through the Minnesota MLS, 445 townhomes. In 2006 values had peaked, with average sales prices just over $192,000, meanwhile average days on market increaseing  48 days more days from the previous year to 107 average days on the market. Through these three years the average price per square foot had almost tripled from 1992 values of $42.57 per sqft, to just over $125 per sqft.

Come 2008, much fewer Shakopee townhomes were selling and bottomed at an eightyear low of only 201 townhome in Shakopee sold that year. Average sales prices had significantly decreased since their peak of just over $192,000 to an average sales price of $161,403. This was over $25,000 less in just a years time than the 2007 average sales price of $186,687. Most assumed this was the worst however Shakopee townhome values again plunged the following year even worse, decreasing on average over $33,500! This brought the average sales price of a Shakopee townhome to $127,782.

We saw signs of hope in 2010 with Shakopee townhome values finally increasing for the first time in three years after a rapid decrease in values to an average of $132,533, but so far in 2011 it appears as though we are seeing a double dip in pricing.I had put together some numbers from the Minnesota MLS and so far in 2011 23 townhomes in Shakopee had sold with an average sales price of $109,718. Days on market had steadily increased over the last 10 years and reached close to the average days on market of 1992 with an average time of 152 days. Per per sqft has dropped to $72.90 per sqft, close to values in 1995-1997. Although we have not had average sales prices fall to those points, our townhomes are much larger today.

There are signs of hope for those looking to buy while starting their home search and those looking to rent their townhome in Shakopee. Shakopee townhomes are priced so aggressive today I feel there is a huge upside potential. You can currently buy cheaper than you could rent townhomes in Shakopee. The rental market is great as well. With Shakopee being relatively close to shopping, Minneapolis, lakes and many activities more and more are moving to the area. Shakopee also has a lot of job opportunity in the area with large companies like Seagate, Mystic Lake, Canterbury, Valleyfair and more. Shakopee has a transit as well for an easy commute to downtown.

Still remain cautious because I see two potential problems we could see down the road. One deals with financing for future buyers, and the other deals with increased association dues. Many current owners who have moved to single family homes are renting their Shakopee townhomes. Some aassociations have become a bit more lenient with their covenants pertaining to how many townhomes can be rented.  Because of this and the increased Shakopee foreclosures and short sales, some Shakopee townhomes down the road may be hard to get bank financing. Lenders look at an area with high foreclosure rates and rental rates as more of a risk and may not offer some loan programs in those development, primarily those legally defined as a condo. Most developments with Shakopee townhomes actually are classified as a condo. If you own a Shakopee townhome, look at your legal description and if you see CIC, likely it is a condo. Those townhomes in Shakopee that have a lot and block, likely are classified as a townhomes. The other area for potential future concern would be  inflated association dues. Some associations are in great standing because they have not had many foreclosures. Stone Meadows one level townhomes for example I know are in great standing while keeping their dues low at $115 per month. Other townhome areas I know have increased their association dues above $200 per month when previously the average was in the $125-150 range.  Some association are charging extra month assn dues if you rent your townhome. I don’t think that is necessarily bad because some area have amenities like community park or pools and hopefully 10-15 years down the road the won’t need to get a bond to replace roofs or siding. Make sure when search for your next home or Shakopee townhome you talk to you local Shakopee Realtor and make certain you review the associations financials and covenants. In Minnesota you have 10 days to review all such documents per a condo/ townhome addendum your Realtor should add to the Minnesota real estate contract.

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