Associations Can No Longer Ignore FHA Approval

By Christopher L. Gardner, J.D

RISMEDIA, July 16, 2010—The screaming and cursing you hear in unit 404 isn’t coming from Mr. Armbrister’s television—Armbrister has just learned that another potential sale of his condominium unit fell through due to the buyer’s inability to obtain financing. In this case, the buyer wanted to purchase Armbrister’s condo unit with an FHA loan—Armbrister’s homeowners association, however, had neglected to obtain FHA approval.

Full article from Rismedia.

Find out if your developement is already approved.

Get your association approved with this guy.


The three residences in Downtown Minneapolis with the most units were among the buildings with the most activity and sales in the first half of 2010.

But what about the condo, loft and townhome developments with less than 100 homes?
Good question…

Here, by not very popular demand, are the 2010 First Half Winners and Losers in the Downtown Minneapolis condo market. Enjoy.

Medium Buildings (50-99 units, 22 developments)

The big winners among the mid-sized developments:

Renaissance on the River, built in 2000, 92 rowhomes nestled in a cozy corner of the North Loop on River Road near the FED. Renaissance sold four homes already this year, representing over 50% of its total listings, which is even more impressive considering an average list price of $479,000.

Lindsay Lofts is a 52-unit residence on 1st St/4th Ave North, built in 2001. In the first half of the year, Lindsay sold 6 homes, which was 40% of the listed units, with an average sold price of $402,000.

Not faring as well among the mid-sized – The Itasca Building. As the first condo conversion in Minneapolis, circa 1981, The Itasca has really cool units, and is quietly located at 1st St/8th Ave along River Road. Of the eleven listings this year, none have sold. It’s puzzling. Average list price, $296,000.

Small Buildings (5-49 units, 34 developments)

In the smaller developments in the first half of 2010, the winners are:

Bookmen Stacks – designed by James Dayton, and finished in 2005, “the Stacks” is already iconic in the North Loop (at 4th St/5th Ave No). From 45 total units, there have been seven listings this year and five sales. Of the sales, three were developer owned, leaving just one unit remaining until another Downtown condo building is sold out. 2010 average sold price, $422,000.

Herschel Lofts – just off Washington and next door to the North Loop dog park, the Herschel conversion from warehouse to lofts was finished in 2007 and has 47 units. This year they have seen twelve listings and four sales (three sales of developer owned units). 2010 average sold price, $206,000

In the Mill District, Park Avenue Lofts (38 units) and Stone Arch Lofts (36 units) had three sales each, rounding out the winners for Jan-Jun 2010. Average list prices (respectively): $$538,000, $1,150,000.

Of the 34 developments with less than 50 homes, 28 had at least one listing active this year. Of those development with one or more listings, ten have not yet made a sale; nine show one sale; and three others show two sales. Six Quebec and Greenway Gables had the most listings without a sale. Anyone looking for a great home at a great value? I’d look there…

Coming soon to – a look at specific condo buildings with a little more depth and perspective. Stay tuned, bat fans.

Importantly:  this data is compiled from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors and data from the RMLS (Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota), using the following criteria:
Actively for sale as of June 30, including TNAS
Off market date January 1 thru June 30, including:
  Sold, Comp Sold, Pending, Cancelled, Expired

Now that we’re a week or so after the mid-year holiday, it seems a good time to take a look at where people bought condos the first half of 2010. Because it’s a good headline for readership (and arguments), let’s call them the 2010 First Half Winners – and a couple of losers.

The big winner is arguably The Bridgewater, built by Shamrock Development, located on Washington Avenue South at 10th Street. The residence has 282 total units and was completed in 2006. With an easy location just off the freeway which seems to find a lot of new urbanites, the Bridgewater offers good value per square foot, great views of the Metrodome skyline, and better views of the Mississippi and Gold Medal Park.

For more 2010 winners, let’s look at the buildings with the most listing activity – if you’re interested in living in one of these locations, chances are there will always be a decent selection.

Riverwest, Mill District –  56 listings, 14% of total units
Skyscape, Elliot Park  –  46, 18%
Bridgewater, Mill District  –  38, 13%
Riverstation, North Loop – 37, 10%
The Towers, Downtown West – 35, 7%
The Carlyle, Mill District –  30, 12%

Logically, they are the buildings with more units – listed by total 2010 listings, with percentage of listings to total units. Skyscape and Bridgewater each had resale listings sell, but most of the listings & sales were unsold units, exemplifying the few remaining buildings not yet sold out by developers. The good news is all of the new buildings continuing to sell.

Because a condo doesn’t usually sell if it isn’t on the market, those same six buildings have the most sales – listed by # sales, with ratio of sales/total listings (Sold%). If you’re interested in selling, here’s where more buyers made deals.

Skyscape –  23 sales, 50% of listings   (14 sales were unsold units)
Bridgewater –  21, 55%   (14 sales were unsold units)
Riverwest –  19 , 34%
Riverstation – 17, 46%
The Towers – 11, 31%
The Carlyle –  10, 33%

With Skyscape and Bridgewater showing the gaudiest total listing & sold numbers, of note is the $432,000 average sale price at Bridgewater (about 60 remaining units). Skyscape has about 50 remaining units (half are rented), and have an average sold price of $291,000.

Other new construction of note in the first half of 2010 includes:

Phoenix on the River, East Bank – 9 sales, average list price $715,000, 75% sold
  Developer: Schafer Richardson

730 Lofts, North Loop – 6 sales, average sold price $218,000, 95% occupied.  Developer: Schafer Richardson

Harvester Lofts – 6 sales, average sold price $233,000, 90+% occupied.  Developer: Sand Companies

The Carlyle sold out, $535,000 average sold price

The average Sold% in all buildings was 31% (sold units/listings). Buildings with 10 or more listings and above-average Sold% included:

Loring Green West, Loring Park – 7 sales, 13 listings, $245,000 average sold price
Lofts at IMS, near North – 6 sales, 15 listings, $303,000 average sold price
Lindsay Lofts, North Loop – 6 sales, 15 listings, $402,000 average sold price
Herschel Lofts, North Loop – 4 sales, 12 listings, $206,000 average sold price
Loring Way
, Loring Park – 4 sales, 12 listings, $162,000 average sold price

Unlike kids in sports today, when there are winners there are also losers. In the Downtown Minneapolis condo market there are a few locations we can consider 2010 first-half losers:

Centre Village, 12 listings, 0 sales, $149,000 average list price
1200 on The Mall, 10 listings, 0 sales, $220,000 average list price
Falls & Pinnacle, 13 listings, 1 sale, $285,000 average list price
801 Washington Lofts, 10 listings, 1 sale, $338,000 average list price
Despite selling 6 units so far in 2010, The Sexton ($90,000 average sold price) continues to struggle finding stability.

More winners and losers in weeks to come – including smaller buildings in the Downtown Minneapolis condo market. .

Importantly:  this data is compiled from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors and data from the RMLS (Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota), using the following criteria:
Actively for sale as of June 30, including TNAS
Off market date January 1 thru June 30, including:
  Sold, Comp Sold, Pending, Cancelled, Expired

It’s been quite some time since anything new has been posted here. About 16 months, actually. In that time, a lot has gone on:

The Twin Cities metro has endured a fairly volatile market and has started to settle…

We’ve seen the number of foreclosed properties metro-wide continue to rise, then begin to fall…

Short sales have increased…

The local boys of summer have a new playground…

And, (more…)

Information from Regional Multiple Listing Service of Minnesota, Inc.
MLS 302 (Downtown Minneapolis), January 1 –December 31, 2008


341 (more…)

At the beginning of 2009, there are ninety-five buildings in Downtown Minneapolis with over 8,500 condos, lofts & townhomes finished and livable. The building boom of the past decade has increased the Downtown housing stock by 167% (from 3,200).



It’s been a while now since a new condo project launched. As a matter of fact, 2008 saw the last two recent projects under construction close their first sales.

I’ll get to the winners and losers of the year later this week. In the meantime, check out the count.

Before the recent building boom, Downtown Minneapolis had about 3,200 homes in 33 residences. Including new buildings around the downtown core, we now have over 8,500 homes in over 90 residences – and we’re not counting small, 4-10 unit buildings just south of the freeway.

For those who like the idea of living Downtown, there are options.