Homeowners

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With Bitter Cold’s Return Comes Frozen Water Pipes

A sudden cold snap hitting Minnesota is all it takes to get the phones ringing at local plumbers. That’s because they’re the experts when it comes to thawing — and repairing — frozen water and drain pipes.

12/30/2014

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A Home Energy Audit Now Cuts Heating Costs, Ice Dams Later

We know what’s coming. But with any luck, it won’t be nearly as severe as last winter. Still, our drop in temperatures should be a sign of action we can take now to help save heating dollars in the months ahead. Never before have homeowners had more tools and technology to check their homes for heating problems and poor insulation. Both deficiencies will contribute to costly heating bills and the formation of ice dams.

10/29/2014

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How Going Solar Could Pay Off For Twin Cities Homeowners

A change in state law has led to a major change in the way Minnesota rewards people who put solar panels on their homes. Instead of giving a rebate when you install, you get money for producing power.

09/24/2014

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Mpls. Couple Has Insurance Warning For Homeowners

A Twin Cities couple calls their experience with an insurance company a lesson that all homeowners should learn. David Hettlinger and his wife are still trying to recover from a storm two summers ago.

09/03/2014

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Good Question: Why Are We Waiting Longer To Buy Homes?

Studies show that more Americans are waiting longer to get married, have kids and buy homes. The highest numbers of those putting off the big commitments are millennials — those in the 20- to 35-year-old range.

07/30/2014

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Good Question: Who Actually Needs Flood Insurance?

Flooding is so widespread across Minnesota that families from the Canadian border to the Iowa border are trying to dry out. And many homeowners are seeing water seep into their homes and basements.

06/19/2014

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Frozen Pipes Aren’t Just An Issue For Homeowners, Cities Are Having Trouble, Too

This extreme cold is creating a headache for cities and homeowners alike. Many residents have been surprised to find no water coming from their faucets.

02/27/2014

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2 Hospitalized After Brooklyn Park Fire

Two people are in the hospital Sunday after a fire in Brooklyn Park, Minn. When firefighters were clearing another fire, they were called to 6324 Xylon Avenue around 1 a.m. Sunday morning.

02/02/2014

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Xcel Asks Customers To Turn Down Natural Gas Heat

Xcel Energy is asking certain natural gas customers, in three states, to turn down their heat. The request comes after a natural gas pipeline exploded in Canada Saturday morning.

01/26/2014

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How To Prevent Flooding From Frozen, Cracked Pipes

The end of our extreme cold weather is coming soon. But the warmup we’ve been waiting for will bring big problems for some homeowners. Pipes that froze and cracked during the freeze could soon dump hundreds of gallons of water into basements, bathrooms and kitchens. Plumbing companies say it’s been a couple decades since they’ve seen this many problems. And they say homeowners better get them fixed as soon as possible.

01/08/2014

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Don’t Neglect End-Of-Year Tax Write Offs

In the midst of the holidays, taxes are likely the last thing on the minds of most people. But maybe they shouldn’t be. From selling a car to buying energy efficient windows, there are ways to get money back before 2013 comes to an end. And there may be a few extra tax deductions that most people don’t even know about, according to Jeff Bergerson of Bergerson Tax Services in St. Paul. The Energy Efficient Credit is a major one.

12/23/2013

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Good Question: Why Are Mortgages Sold?

After mortgage banker Alex Stenback of Alerus Mortgage helps people buy a new home, he sells off the mortgage. “We sell everything that we do here,” Stenback said. “When we sell them, it’s one by one.” About 80 percent of home loans are eligible to be sold. Stenback says it can happen for a couple of reasons. “One is there is $10 trillion in outstanding mortgages right now in the country and there’s simply not enough deposits in all the banks to make that many mortgages,” he said.

09/23/2013

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Mpls. To Sell 500 Discounted Trees To Residents

The City of Minneapolis is offering 500 discounted trees to homeowners who lost trees during the severe storm on June 21.

According to city officials, $25 trees will be available to order starting on Monday, Sept. 9 at 8 a.m. The sale will last until Sept 20, or earlier if the trees sell out. Six tree species will be available: hackberry, harvest gold linden, heritage oak (English oak and bur oak cross), heritage river birch, Honeycrisp apple and royal star magnolia.

08/30/2013

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Columbia Heights Homebuyer Fights ‘Predatory Remodeling’

Frost Simula calls himself the poster child for what’s call “predatory remodeling” and now he’s talking about his fight to protect others.

07/17/2013

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Dismal Spring Has Landscaping Jobs Delayed At Least 1 Month

For the Twin Cities, the cold and rainy weather has dramatically slowed landscaping and gardening projects. Whether it’s a major patio project, or planting a home garden, everything seems to be a month behind.

05/30/2013

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Minn. Lawmakers Hope Property Tax Help Will Stick

Minnesota lawmakers went out of their way to put a dent in property taxes by heaping hundreds of millions of new dollars into state allowances to schools and local governments. They also bolstered programs that supply direct-to-homeowner tax credits.

05/30/2013

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Bill: Extra $5 On Insurance Policies To Fund Police, Firefighter Pensions

Take a close look at your homeowner and auto insurance policies — the cost may be going up. Minnesota lawmakers are considering a bill to add a $5 surcharge on every policy in the state.

04/04/2013

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Tips For Getting An Early Jump On Spring Maintenance

Even though there’s still a lot of snow on the ground, it’s not too early to start thinking about the home repairs you’ll want to make this spring. Experts say there are plenty of things you can do around your house now to get a jump on spring.

03/08/2013

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More Signs Of Improvement In Housing Market

There are more encouraging signs in the housing market.

09/19/2012

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Outdoor Dining, Frogtown Farm In St. Paul Mayor’s Proposals

Outdoor dining in St. Paul could be expanding and buying a home there may become more affordable, if Mayor Chris Coleman’s proposals get the green light.

08/13/2012

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Warm Weather, Rainy Spring Bring More Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are creating problems for homeowners. The insects can chew away portions of the wood in your home, just like termites.

06/28/2012

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Reality Check: North Dakota’s Property Tax Vote

Voters in North Dakota get a chance Tuesday to do something no state has ever done before: Not just lower property taxes, but abolish them. It’s a bold move, but critics say it will throw the state into chaos.

06/12/2012

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Metro Housing Reports Show Positive Trends

The housing market in the Twin Cities continues to get stronger, based on two reports out Tuesday.

06/12/2012

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Ash Pest Returns Early; Residents Told To Delay Pruning

In Minnesota, emerald ash borers usually strike the first of May, but not this year. They’re actually striking now. Our warm spring has brought the tree killing beetle earlier than usual.

04/18/2012

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It’s Cheaper To Rent, Right? — Not So Fast

Conventional wisdom has always told us it’s cheaper to rent than to buy. But the market just may turn that thought upside down. The real estate website Trulia tracks rent across the country, and today revealed that in many U.S. cities, renting is no longer the cheaper option.

04/06/2012

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