With housing prices edging up, some buyers think outside the box

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Prospective buyers who expect to swoop in and snatch a bargain on a new home may be out of luck. The Star Tribune reports that the average price per square foot for new homes listed through the Multiple Listing Service is at a four-year high.

"The days of low bids and relatively inexpensive construction costs are clearly numbered,” said Stephen ­Sandherr, chief executive of Associated General Contractors of America.

The newspaper concluded that prices are up because demand is increasing even as the industry struggles with a shortage of skilled construction workers, surging prices of materials and a tight market for developable land. The median sale price of new houses nationwide rose 15 percent in April, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

MPR reports that some prospective buyers in the crowded market are trying to stand out with sellers by writing personal, heartfelt letters that they hope will sway the deal their way. In the real estate industry, they're known as "love letters."

Buyers compose emotional appeals to express their fondness for the home or their appreciation of the neighborhood. MPR quoted a letter from a couple who wanted a house in the wooded suburb of North Oaks.

"We see ourselves bird-watching from Adirondack chairs on the front lawn or in the gazebo, surrounded by the home's lovely, mature trees," their letter to the seller read.

Such tactics don't always work, but real estate agents say that because homeowners make attachments to their property, the transaction is not always just about the money, and that often such a letter can be the tipping point to accepting an offer.

Next Up

Cam Talbot

Wild improve to 4-1 with victory over Dubnyk, Sharks

The 4-1 win gives the Wild four victories in five games to start the season.

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 9.08.16 PM

Daughter of MN Supreme Court Justice, Allina Health CEO found dead in Iowa

The 21-year-old was found dead in the parking lot of a sorority, according to police.

Screen Shot 2020-09-04 at 8.42.40 PM

Federal charges: MN marijuana lobbyist threatened U.S. representative

"I want you to be as scared as possible," the voicemail allegedly says.

coronavirus, masks, covid-19

Wisconsin Republicans aim to end governor's mask mandate

They've introduced a resolution to remove the governor's emergency powers.

Ted Schweich

Community group hopes to install billboard to get neighbor a kidney

A group called "Team Ted" aims to raise $5,000 to find their friend a kidney donor.

Andrew Palmer

Charges: Coach raped teenage girl on Minnesota basketball team

The 33-year-old head coach has been charged in connection to the alleged crimes.

radio station, microphone

WCCO Radio's program director leaves the company

It's not clear why John Hanson and the station parted ways.

Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis a step closer to banning facial recognition technology

There are concerns about it leading to a surveillance state, and that it could harm disadvantaged communities.

covid-19, coronavirus, PPE

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, January 22

Nearly 50,000 Minnesotans have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Related