Ryland Homes Shakopee- Glacier Estates

Ryland homes a local builder in Minnesota purchased what looks to be 30 home sites in the Glacier Estate neighborhood in Shakopee, MN. According to their website prices are to be determined, but if I had to put a guess on it, I would assume they will be in the starting range of $250,000-$270,000 for their smallest model, but I will update this post once I find out. There will be five floor plans to choose from ranging in square footage from 2185-3200 sqft on the upper two floors with unfinished lower levels. Ryland Homes model, The Edgewood floor plan, looks to have their grand opening May 21st of 2011. Typically I see the model home being the best seller in communities because people can visualize the home better and this one looks to be a favorite. It is a 2756 sqft home on the upper two levels with an unfinished lower level. According to the Ryland Homes website the Edgewood model is a 4 bedroom 2.5 bath floor plan with a two car garage. I hope they decide to include a three car plan for their model because having a two story with only a two car garage tends to hurt resale. This is MUCH cheaper to do up front then say, “we will add it later”. Often times I see builders typically ask for an additional $7,500-$10,000 to put on a third stall which would ballpark to around $40-55 per month.

Glacier Estates in a nice neighborhood conveniently nestled between Eagle Creek blvd, County Road 18 and the new highway 21 with easy access to highway 169. Close to the Southbridge neighborhood in Shakopee Glacier Estates has plenty of shopping nearby. Ryland homes plucked a great area with access to large big box stores like Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Pier One Michael’s and Home Depot. Smaller store like Petland, Sprint, Gamestop and Once Upon a Child are nearby as well, along with plenty of fast food choices and restaurants. Chipotle, Caribou Coffee, Panera Bread and Dairy Queen are some of my favorite stops. Make sure to stop by and try WineStyles, a great wine store that also has some premium beers. The owner Jason is a great guy and runs a nice business there.

Glacier Estates is such a great location because you have very easy freeway access and at the same time are close to great communities like Prior Lake and Savage. You have Prior Lake within a stones throw and Savage has SO much shopping as well. If you do not like shopping at Walmart’s grocery department Rainbow Foods and Cub Food are within probably 2 miles and easy to get to as well as the Super Target in Savage.

Glacier Estates will be within the Shakopee school district and the elementary school will be Shakopee’s newest elementary school, Eagle Creek with the exception of Jackson Elementary opening Fall 2011 on the west side of town. My wife is a fifth grade teacher within the district and I can attest for the schools if you have any questions. I think there are great teacher in the area and support them to the fullest as we live in Shakopee as well.

If you are thinking of this neighborhood make sure to contact me for any information, I do know Ryland Homes are offering incentives currently. On another note, if you are still keeping your options open for builder their is a solid local Shakopee builder to consider, F & B Construction. Some of the things I like about them is they are a local builder who still is in the area. They use quality materials like custom cabinets with full extension drawers, full stone fireplaces instead of the typical fireplace with tile surround and also they use top quality Marvin Integrity windows. The owners, The Mendens, stand behind their homes and have been in the concrete business for decades. They always include concrete driveway and build a solid foundation for your new home. The little details they pay attention to in their home show. They can build on any available lot within the Twin Cities and unlike most builders can literally sit down and custom design a home you will enjoy forever. They build homes that last, don’t cut corners and are very energy efficient. To get to Glacier Estates:

Directions from Highway 169:
Take Hwy 169 South to County Road 18 exit and continue south. Take a right on Eagle Creek Blvd (County Road 16). Then take first right on Portage Lane until Moraine Circle. Turn left on Moraine Circle. The model home will be on the right.
Directions from I-35W:
Take I-35W North to the County Road 42/Egan Drive exit and go West. Turn right on Hwy 13 N to McColl Drive. Turn left on McColl Drive to Couty Road 18. Turn right on County Road 18 to Eagle Creek Blvd (County Road 16. Turn left on Eagle Creek Blvd (County Road 16). Take first right on Portage Lane to Moraine Cirvle. Turn left on Moraine Circle and the Model home will be on the right.

If you are looking to stay in a bit lower price point, but like the general area Dan Patch Trail in Savage may be a great alternative for your home search. Ryland Homes offer 7 floor plan choices in the development with prices ranging from $222,990-$277,990. There is a good mix of two story homes and ramblers in Dan Patch Trail. To get to the development:

Directions from Highway 169:
Take Hwy 169 to MN-13/Savage exit. Continue towards Savage and merge onto Highway 13 North. Continue on Highway 13 North to Lynn Avenue. Turn right at Lynn Avenue and models will be on the left.
Directions from I-35W:
Take I-35W South to MN-13 South towards Shakopee. Merge onto MN-13 South to Lynn Avenue. Turn left onto Lynn Avenue and the models will be on the left.

If you are a first time buyer or if this is another home purchase I always feel it is best to have someone represent your interests as a buyer. Realtors are also ther to help you identify what may be best for potential resale in the future. Real estate commission is often times paid by the seller, so why not have someone advise you? Also if you are curious what your current home may sell for, I can put together a 24 hour market analysis and have that emailed directly to you so you know where you will stand.

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New Shakopee High School Principal Hired

Shakopee recently hired a new principal for the high school, Kim Swift. Kim came from Dubuque, Iowa and was the principal there since 2005. She replaces previous principal Jim Murphy and brings 30 years of education experience with her. She has also held teaching positions and guidance counselor positions in addition to her most recent position as principal. She graduated from Drake University School of Eduction then went on the receive her Master Degree from the University of Wisconsin, Platteville  in guidance and counseling, and also has a bachelor of science degree from the University of  Wisconsin.

The high school in Iowa will be a lateral move in regards to size at about 1,500 students. Swift did come from a city which had two high schools and she may be able to shed light on a debated topic if Shakopee realistically will open a second high school in the upcoming years.

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Shakopee Short Sales Changes

As many of you have likely heard, there is widespread concerns in the lending community that title may not be clear on closings during the redemption period.  This is causing some lenders to not approve buyer’s mortgage for properties closing in the redemption period for short sale homes.  The concerns of FNMA, Freddie Mac, and HUD are that seller may still have redemption rights through the end of the redemption period regardless of the sale.  According to a law firm in Maple Grove, this does not apply in MN due to the fact that seller must obtain certificate of redemption (done by seller’s title company) in order to close during the redemption period.  Therefore, in MN, because seller has already “redeemed” as a result of the closed sale, they no longer have redemption rights and the title is clear.

Many mortgage brokerages have their attorneys communicating with FNMA, Freddie, and HUD right now clarifying the redemption issue according to MN law.  However, in the meantime, some lenders are refusing to fund buyer’s mortgages in this situation.  Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is one that has taken the lead on not funding these mortgages as corporate policy and others are following suit. Many other may follow suit so make sure you address this if there is a concern.

Therefore, if any of your short sales are in the redemption period, Real Estate agents or Realtors MUST now contact the buyer’s loan officer, inform them that this property is in the redemption period and ask them to verify that the buyer’s approval letter is still sound and that their company can fund the buyer’s mortgage when short sale approval is received.  If the loan officer cannot confirm that, require that they consult their superiors or the mortgage underwriter for confirmation.

If their answer is that they cannot, the buyer will need to either quickly find a mortgage company who will fund the new mortgage or sign a cancellation of the purchase agreement.

The law firm in Maple Grove  is in the process of gathering contact information for lenders that still have investors that will take these loans.  We will have a list available for you soon.   If your own favorite loan officer can still fund these loans, forward their contact information to me and I will add them to the list.  If one of your current buyers can no longer obtain the mortgage from their current lender, you can then provide them with referrals to lenders who can perform.

For short sale redemption period listings if you are selling your home without current offers, make sure potential buyer’s loan officer is aware that the property is in redemption period and that their approval letter is valid in that circumstance. For the time being and until this is straightened out with FNMA, Freddie, and HUD, your disclosure of redemption period issues is critical to obtaining the right buyer and not costing your seller unnecessary foreclosure by working with buyer that cannot get financing from their preferred lender.  The law firm will be discussing this issue with sellers as well and informing them of their rights to postpone the sheriff sale themselves according to MN statute if seller’s lender will not postpone the sheriff sale for them.

Protect Your Home From Water

I know a few solid American Family Insurance agents who are local, Bob Loonan and Nikki O’Brien.  In a recent newsletter I received, Bob mentioned springtime floods are not uncommon in many areas. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 2009, 405 flood insurance claims were filed in Minnesota alone and the average claim was almost $18,000!

When spring arrives the temperatures follow melting all our unwanted and long overdue snow. With that being said it also adds to the rivers and streams. When those bodies of water start to overflow their banks they can cause a lot of damage to surrounding homes that stand in their path. For those within the flood plain insurance is a must or you could be leaving yourself with a huge liability on your hand if your basement or home were to flood. Flood insurance is mandoatory if you live in a high risk location and many lenders will require you to purchase the insurance prior to close. What I found interesting in the article was that about 25% of all claims came in locations that were considered moderate to low risk area.

If you do not have flood insurance or are unsure about your coverage make sure to contact one of these quality insurance agents who will be able to sit down and discuss what is the best option for you and your home.  American Family Insurance offers flood insurance but there is a 30 day waiting period so make sure you are contacting your agent within a reasonable time, not when you see the levy getting close to spilling over the edge! While flood insurance won’t protect against keeping your basement dry, it will make recouping costs easier and give you peace of mind.

One way to protect your basement against water is having your basement draintiled in which the tile leads to a sump basket. The sump pump within the basket pumps the water outside your home to keep your basement and interior possessions dry. Make sure to test your sump pump every spring to ensure it is in working order. Also make sure the hose does not expell next to the foundation. Have a long extention hose drain water away from your home and your neighbors hosue out of respect. Ifyou want to be extra cautious look into having a licensed plumber install a backup sump pump for under $400 in case your power ever goes out.

Below I put the contact information for Bob, Nikki and a great local plumber I know:

Bob Loonan- American Family Insurance


Nikki O’Brien- American Family Insurance


Tom Dewitz- Plumber


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

Conventional or FHA Loans, Which is Best For You?

If you are thinking of purchaing a home with the next twelve months, consider talking with a loan officer prior to your home search to make sure you know how much you can afford and where you are comfortable with monthly payments. Craig Anderson of Rivercity Mortagage provided me with this helpful insight on loan programs and comparing FHA and Conventional loans.

FHA is increasing it’s monthly mortgage insurance premiums in April so it is time to compare both mortgages to see what works for your own situation.

Determining factors

Credit.  If you have a good credit score (ideally over 740), a conventional loan may make more sense than an FHA loan due to the fact that the monthly mortgage insurance premium will probably be lower than FHAs.  If your credit score is under 700, especially under 660, it will probably make more sense to go with an FHA loan as both the mortgage rate and availability of mortgage insurance for the conventional option will make the FHA option more affordable. 

Income. For a conventional loan, the limit on debt to income ratios is 45% and ideally 41%.  For an FHA loan, you can have higher debt to income ratios – usually a maximum of 50%.  Both options are going to require that the income be deemed stable and likely to continue.

Down payment and reserves. A conventionally insured loan will allow for a slightly smaller down payment, but is going to typically require that the borrower have at least two months worth of housing payments in reserves after closing.  An FHA loan will allow for a higher percentage of contribution from the seller to help pay the borrower’s closing costs and pre-paid items which may come into play on a smaller purchase price.

Interest Rate. The interest rate on FHA loans tends to be lower than that of a conventional loan, however FHA requires that the borrower pay a 1% funding fee that can be financed into the mortgage.  Often this addition to the loan amount will offset the monthly savings that the lower interest rate produces. 

If you know you have good credit and you have the ability to make a down payment of at least 5%, you may want to ask your loan officer about using a conventional mortgage instead of FHA. 

To contact Craig Anderson you can reach him at the office 952-908-3420 or on his cell phone 612-964-6620. Otherwise you can email him with questions or to get preapproved canderson@RiverCityMortgage.com

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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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Shakopee Utility Information

Electric Company

Shakopee Public Utilities 952-445-1988


Gas Company

Centerpoint Energy 612-372-4727


Water & Sewer

Shakopee Public Utilities 952-445-1988


Garbage & Recycling

Dick’s/ Lakeville Sanitation 952-469-5161


Phone & Inte

Valleyfair Shakopee, MN

I have grown up going to Valleyfair and when I was young, we would get season passes and head out sometime multiple days a week. I just found out you can buy a season pass for $60, the same price we paid many years ago. Considering a day pass is $40, this is a great buy!  Their admission includes unlimited rides, water park and shows. 

In 2011 Valleyfair will be opening Planet Snoopy covering  3.5 acres and will feature over 20 Peanuts themed rides and attractions; including Snoopy Boutique and Planet Grill.
Valleyfair has a great user friendly website that answers all their frequently asked questions.

Valleyfair opened it’s door in 1976 and now is the largest amusement park in the upper Midwest eight roller coasters and over 75rides that span over 90 acres of land in Shakopee.

It’s funny when thinking of Shakopee real estate so many people say,”that’s where Valleyfair is”, I even got that comment in college. Shakopee has many entertainment options such as Canterbury Park, Murphy’s landing, Raceway Park, Mystic Lake Casino and many parks.

If you are thinking of moving to Shakopee and starting your home search make sure to talk to a local real estate agent .