What You Should Know Before for Buying or Selling a Condo in Minneapolis

Thinking about buying or selling a condo in Minneapolis? So, too, at one point did many of our local storage customers. Some end up needing a little more storage space than their condo can offer. Some use storage as part of a temporary living situation as they look for their dream condo. And some look to storage when they only plan to live in their condo for part of the year.

We also just want to be a helpful resource for people looking to buy or sell their condo. To further this goal, we reached out to Joe Maselter, Managing Partner at Roost Real Estate, a realtor firm with more than ten years of experience and consistently ranked in the top 1% of Minnesota realtors year-after-year. 


Condo Owners, Units, and Communities that Fit Together

The first thing we learned? There are different kinds of condo buyers in Minneapolis, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for what a condo unit should be. Maybe you’re looking for a multi-level luxury condo space with a view, or maybe you’re looking for a more affordable yet spacious unit that’s also going to be okay with your beloved pet. Indeed, just in terms of pets, Maselter told us about several different policies that may apply. “At some places, it’s 20 per building or 1 pet per owner. There may be a 25 lb. weight limit.”

And this is just the beginning. Here are some other types of condos and buyers that Maselter typically works with:

  • Looking to downsize and do away with the worst parts of home maintenance? Square footage is still a big thing for many retirees and empty-nesters. Know that you can find condos with plenty of parking and enough space that hosting family for the holidays is still a viable option.
  • Some of these same folks may also be looking to explore and see the world. Indeed, Maselter recognized this lifestyle as one of the potential intersections between owning a condo and storage in Minneapolis. “When they’re traveling, they may be out of the condo 3-6 months at a time.” This type of buyer often seeks out a condo community that allows subletting, while putting some portion of their belongings into storage when renting out the unit.
  • There are also many people, especially young professionals, who are looking for more of the amenity-filled condo experience including pools, gyms, event hosting areas, and specialty services. The goal, then, is to find the perfect fit for your own personal vision for condo living.

With this in mind, Maselter did point to one thing that most every condo buyer is looking for: Walkability. Here’s more good news. Minneapolis’s preponderance of mixed-use developments and neighborhoods means this is one compromise you won’t have to make. Whether you’re looking at River Station, Bridgewater, Stonearch Loft, or any number of other condo developments, you can find access to the services and amenities you’ve heard about with Minneapolis condos.


Warranty Laws, Building Age, and Condo Financing

With this in mind, buying a condo is also a financial investment. The age of the building and the condo developer are also essential factors, especially given the complexities of construction defect laws that make it easy for condo owners to sue developers for up to 10 years after the construction is completed. These warranty laws may sound like great consumer protections, and they do serve that role. But it’s not all upside.

Higher insurance premiums limiting new construction is one concern, but Maselter tells us these lawsuits—which become more common as the ten-year window approaches—can sometimes cause lenders to view the properties as high-risk. This can be a significant obstacle if you’re going to finance the purchase. At the very least, your interest rate may be a little higher, or you may even have to seek out specialty lenders to get financing.


Condo Selling and Staging

We also took a minute to talk about reselling condos in Minneapolis. Just like other types of real estate, staging is essential to getting the most resale value out of your condo. A fresh coat of paint is a solid place to start, but there’s one thing in particular that Maselter pointed to in terms of condo staging: “Showing where you’re going to eat is a big thing. Whether it’s a dining area, at a bar counter, or a breakfast nook, seeing where five or six people can eat is important, especially if the condo has an open floor plan.”

This can also be turned into a great tip for buyers who are trying to imagine how they will furnish their new condo space. How will you create comfortable, functional seating without sacrificing the interior’s inherent charm?


Don’t Overlook the Fundamentals

Local realtors can help buyers understand owner and maintenance costs in terms of condos vs. other residential communities. One common point of reference Maselter offered was comparing “$.40-$.50 per square foot condo fees with $500 in annual HOA dues.” There are, in fact, many factors that may be important to compare between different properties in terms of maintenance, taxes, resale, and financing. In pretty much every case, the realtor explained, “you want to know that comparison you’re making is apples-to-apples.”

Maselter left us with three pieces of advice that could be described as the fundamentals of buying or selling a condo. “Don’t wait, be patient, and talk to an expert.” Indeed, from getting the best possible interest rate to not getting discouraged if your first choice doesn’t work out, it helps to start early and consider every factor along the way. Working with a great realtor like Roost Real Estate creates that confidence and peace of mind that comes with knowing you made an informed decision that speaks to your personal priorities as a condo owner.


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