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Minneapolis & St. Paul Real Estate Blog

Kimm Pastrana


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Investor Success Story

by Kimm Pastrana

Real Estate Investor success story - Local real estate empire


The Hernandez family consists of mom and dad and 3 adult sons, they all lived together and all worked , they had a dreamed of becoming real estate investors. they didn’t know how to begin or where to get the money. When their quest began they couldn’t borrower the money for a rental property but they were able to qualify to buy an owner occupied property. They decided to rent out their current home and buy a new one for the family to move into. They turned their 1st home into a rental and bought a new home to live in. We were later able to help them take some of the equity from the 1st home and  they then purchased 2 more houses (as rentals). They have leveraged the equity in their homes and kept purchasing new ones. This began in 2008, today they own 22 properties , this has turned into the family business.


A few of their keys to success

  • Do not take no for an answer ( there might be a yes out there somewhere)
  • Buy real estate at the right price (so you can gain equity sooner)
  • Know what repairs are needed, how much they cost and make the right improvements ( know what you are getting into)
  • Find the right strategic business partners Realtor, lender , inspectors, handyman, contractors and so on ( the right partners not only can save you thousands- they can make you thousands)
  • Be picky- the right house, the right repairs, the right tenants


In 8 years they went from owning one home to now owning 22 properties!

Don’t Miss These Home Tax Deductions

by Kimm Pastrana

Who is Buying Real Estate in 2014?

by Kimm Pastrana

The National Association of Realtors released its 2014 profile of homebuyers and home sellers. The market is a changing again!

Big changes:

1st time homebuyers are now less then 29% of all purchases, this is down from 33%. The likely cause in the decline is high rents: making it hard to save money, more student loan debt, high mortgage insurance premiums, tight credit and investor competition in the marketplace.

Here is a peek at what today’s “First-Time Homebuyer” looks like:

  • 31 years old
  • They are staying in their home longer, an average 10 years; up from 6 years just a few years back in 2007.
  • They viewed 10 homes before purchasing - this is down.  When they are looking online they narrow down what homes they actually want to view in person.  Attention listing agents and sellers, make sure you have awesome photos or you will not get these 1st time buyers in the the door for a live showing!

And what does that “Repeat Buyer” look like?  They have changed too:

  • 53 years old
  • They are staying in their homes longer as well, an average of 15 years.  Keep up your home maintenance Mr. and Mrs. Seller so you can get the most equity out of your home as possible!

Did you know 15 years is the average timeframe needed for updates on a home’s major systems (roof, furnace, water heater and carpet?)  Updates are needed on outdated décor, this usually happens at 15 years, too.  There seems to be a “15 year” theme going on here…

Other interesting facts:

  • 65% of homebuyers were married couples
  • 16% are Women- don’t feel too bad guys, women do out number you.
  • 9% are Men
  • 8% are Unmarried couples

1st time homebuyers made up 29% of all purchase, this is the lowest number of 1st time homebuyers by percent in the last 27 years.

How To Get Your Offer Accepted In This Market

by Dan Rosen

How to get that offer accepted!

Today more than ever a buyer and there agent have to be more creative and clever to get that offer accepted.  With the inventory of listings being so low buyers are experiencing multiple offer situations and bidding wars.
The days of " I'll give them 60 cents on the dollar are over".  As a buyer’s specialist working with buyers in this crazy market, I have picked up a few tricks that may help you get your offer accepted!


• Have your finances in order; be sure you have your pre approval letter from your lender on hand.
•  If you are paying cash, have your proof of fund available. Better yet give this document to your agent so they have it in your file when you are ready to make that offer.

Time is of the essence:

• This one is critical on so many levels. Be available to look at properties on the fly, they sell fast.
• Be able to make a decision, if you "sleep on it" you will probably lose it or enter into a multiple offer situation.
•  Make sure your agent isn't technologically challenged; they must be connected in this computer age.
•  I know this sounds weird for you “Millennials" but bring your check book! If you want it, write it now and present it now, don't wait!

Negotiation :
• Have as little contingencies as possible such as... Financing, inspections, having to sell a house, closing date, personal property, closing costs. I know some of these contingencies are not negotiable but less is more. For example if you can pay cash vs. financing, pay cash. If you can avoid having an inspection done or do it while you’re viewing the property you can eliminate one less thing in your offer. Don't have a house to sell before you can buy the next one, in today's market there are not that many sellers are willing to take that risk.
• Be flexible with your closing date. Be careful what personal property you ask for, it's usually listed on the MLS sheet what the seller is willing to include in the sale.
• Closing costs are customary, it's okay to ask for them, just remember it’s all about the bottom line. If you need the extra cash for closing just add it to the sales price, so the seller nets the same dollar amount. 
• Here is the tip of the day, if you are in multiple offers and it comes down to price add a 5 at the end of your offer dollar amount for example ... The house is $100,000 there are offers on it, offer $100,500 or $100,555 or $100,505 well you get the idea. Remember you can and should offer more than the asking price just put a 5 in it! I can't count the times my buyer has been awarded the house by simply adding a 5 to their offer price, “it really works".

• Today's market consists of foreclosures, Short sales, HUD homes and traditional sellers. Each seller has their own set of rules and regulations that the buyer or buyer’s agent must follow to letter, if not the offer can be rejected or not even summited to the seller. It is crucial you pick the right agent to represent you! Depending on the type of purchase you are making the seasoned agent knows what signs, code words, motivations the sellers may have. I know it sounds crazy, but some buyers aren't even eligible to purchase certain properties listed for sale.

Good news!

It's a great time to be a buyer, with interest rates being as low as they have been in decades, buyers are getting more bang for their buck.
If you are so lucky to buy a home just remember home values are increasing buyers are getting instant equity, it is like "money in the bank"! I hope some of these tricks of the trade help you get your offer accepted and you get the home of your dreams.

Happy house hunting...

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Kimm Pastrana

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall further than they have already. They are assuming that the best course of action is to wait for the bottom in the market and then buy. The problem with this approach is that you don't know where the bottom is until you see it in the rear view mirror, meaning until you've missed it!

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have gone up in the last six months, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, if home prices come down a little further but interest rates go up, it could cost you even more to service a mortgage on an identical home!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates and low home prices, rather than to hope for a further break in prices in the future.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5




Pastrana Team
Century 21 Pastrana Realty

Office: 612-824-2272 Fax: 612-823-2391

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