House-Hunting in St. Cloud: Some Fundamentals are Changing

Dated: November 18 2020

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House-hunting in St. Cloud may start on a laptop, but although “sight-unseen” purchases are on the rise, sooner or later, most forays become less virtual. Soon after one of St. Cloud’s experienced Realtors® is recruited (preferably, that’s me), the hunt will go mobile. After the most likely candidate properties have been agreed upon, in-person visits will be lined up.

It goes without saying that the details of showings today have been modified by the pandemic—and in more ways than one. The actual health precautions have been worked out in the now-familiar ways: the face masks and distancing with which Minnesota residents have become accustomed.

But for many prospective homeowners, St. Cloud house-hunting has undergone a more fundamental shift. Looking back at one leading “Basic Homebuying Guide” published in January  (before anyone had ever heard of “COVID-19”) illustrates the point. It laid out a series of choices to be made to narrow the field of candidate properties. One of the earliest decisions was among a half dozen neighborhood styles:

·         Urban

·          Cul-de-sac

·         Walkable neighborhoods

·         Golf course

·         Retirement, or

·         Rural.

Without quibbling about the obvious overlaps (‘golf courses’ often double as ‘retirement venues’), today’s house-hunters are likely to weigh what constitutes a desirable neighborhood style using a radically altered frame of reference.

Last year’s young professionals who were likely to favor an urban or suburban neighborhood largely in terms of how its commute-time measured up may now find that less important—or not a factor at all—depending on the proportion of their working life that will be conducted at home.

Likewise, many “walkable neighborhoods”—those featuring close-by entertainment and dining venues—have, with the closing of so many small businesses, lost much of their luster. That may rebound in time, but for the moment, today’s reality is hard to ignore.

St. Cloud house-hunting decisions may be changing in fundamental ways, but there’s one fundamental decision that hasn’t changed: giving me a call remains the best way to land the St. Cloud property you’re looking for—and for buyers, it’s cost-free!   

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Noel Johnson

Passion for investing in real estate brought me to create Premier Real Estate Services in 2002. Years of purchasing, developing, and managing several rental properties, while assisting friends & cli....

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