Staff Directory 10644536

Jim Buchta

Reporter | Residential real estate
Phone: 612-673-7376
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: French

Jim Buchta has covered real estate for the Star Tribune for several years. He also has covered energy, small business, consumer affairs and travel. 

Buchta has taken breaks from those beats to edit the Star Tribune's Real Estate sections and Travel, and to ghost write a book about getaway homes. He also has an intense interest in architecture, agriculture and the environment. He lives part-time on a tree farm and has a particular expertise in building science and food.
Recent content from Jim Buchta
Ben Peters shows Brianna and Thomas Williams a duplex in St. Paul's Dayton's Bluff neighborhood. ] MARK VANCLEAVE ¥ Ben Peters of the Mission Real Es

July home sales up 4.5%, median price hits $283,700 in Twin Cities

Upper bracket homes accounted for much of the sales increase as entry-level houses remained scarce, according to an industry report.
Mortgage rates are falling, meaning that millions of homeowners can refinance their mortgages and save money.

As mortgage rates tumble, rush to refinance for savings is on

Mortgage refinancing applications are running about double last year's pace, a trade group says.
Jonathan Valverde, left, and Daniel Gomez of J&E Drywall worked on mudding walls at Ray and Donna Bronson’s move-up home in Edina early this month.

Cool housing market could mean less remodeling action in '20

Fewer home sales, economy jitters and even the election could mean less work for remodelers.
Bill Baxley, principal and managing director, Gensler

Gensler design firm's new Minneapolis offices are an idea showroom

"We think of our whole office as a workshop and the design lab is the heart of our shop," said Bill Baxley, principal and managing director.
A construction worker walked through a line of homes under construction in the Twin Cities in June.

July was second good month in a row for metro homebuilders

Buyers are looking at new houses as the median price for existing homes approaches $300,000 in the Twin Cities.
Chicago-based Cedar Street Companies will pay $13 million for three vacant warehouses and a parking lot that once housed the Duffey Paper company.

Chicago developer latest to pitch project at North Loop's Duffey Paper site

Cedar Street Cos. envisions 200 apartments and 20,000 square feet of retail space in the North Loop neighborhood.
A Coldwell Banker Burnet sign is shown in St. Louis Park in this photo from March 2015.

Need a real estate agent? Amazon to offer referrals in Twin Cities

The online giant is partnering with Realogy to offer a referral service in 15 metro areas.
Movers carried out items from an Edina home in this file photo from July 2014 (FIle photo: Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune) ORG XMIT: MIN1407111611081253

Median home sale price in Twin Cities hits record $290,000

But the number of entry-level listings on the market has fallen throughout the year, stifling home sales, which fell 8.2% in June from a year ago.
Hines is moving forward with plans to build a pair of glass and steel towers in the North Loop neighborhood, including a 35-story apartment tower with

Sprawling apartment, office complex planned for North Loop

The large mixed-use development on the edge of downtown Minneapolis would be home to thousands of new residents and office workers.
The Vicinity Apartments by Sherman Associates, under construction in Minneapolis in early 2019.

Developer agrees to scale back short-term rentals at Minneapolis complex

Sherman Associates, facing neighborhood pushback, is reducing the number to 25.
Minneapolis-based North Bay Cos. wants to build the Halo Hotel and Apartments on a 2.18-acre site in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood.

2 Minneapolis projects featuring hotels to go before Planning Commission

Both mixed-use developments are seeking height variances and have been recommended for approval by city staffers.

Home Avenue owner is busiest Twin Cities agent in Real Trends ranking

National list ranks real estate agents in four criteria.
Kraus-Anderson plans to build a 16-story luxury apartment building with 341 apartments on the 800 block of S. Portland Avenue in Minneapolis. ] CARLOS

$105M luxury apartment tower set for up-and-coming part of downtown Mpls.

On the heels of its mixed-use headquarters projects, the developer is tackling a $105M apartment tower next door.
During June, metro-area cities issued homebuilders 711 permits to build 1,480 units, according to Housing First Minnesota.

Twin Cities homebuilders show some life after lull

Permits for single-family homes rose 21% over last year, ending a long swoon
The vacancy rate downtown will also be significantly impacted when the 1.2 million-square-foot Dayton's redevelopment opens in 2020. Above, a renderin

Big projects could put pressure on Minneapolis office market

Dayton's, RBC Gateway projects could increase vacancy rates, study says.
Minnestay’s Lance Bondhus, right, talked with potential buyers Sophie Rupp and Harrison Wagenseil at the Sable in the North Loop.

Twin Cities landlords roll out red carpet for short-term rentals

It's an increasingly popular option for travelers, snowbirds and those who don't want to make a long-term housing commitment, but it's also meeting resistance.
Structure Tech certified home inspector Bryan Scholtes looked over a Minneapolis home purchased by Rachel Allen.

Twin Cities median home sale price hits $285,000 in May

That is up 5.2% from last year, fueled in part by an increase in the sale of upper-bracket homes — and a dearth of available low-cost homes.
Opus plans to build this 20-story, 350-unit apartment complex, called Nicollet 301, across the street from the downtown library.

20-story apartment building one of 7 new projects to reach Mpls. planners this week

20-story downtown building, six others go before Mpls. planners this week.
A Built Robotics AX-162 Autonomous Excavator is shown in a publicity photograph provided by the company.

Mortenson Construction to use robotic equipment on rural projects

Twin Cities construction firm plans to use automated excavators on projects.
Lee Blons is executive director of Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, a nonprofit that owns, manages and develops housing for the underserved.

An affordable-housing project in Minneapolis will use unusual financing

So that an affordable-housing project called Bimosedaa could be possible, the Red Lake Nation found a new way to pay to operate it.
The Northside Artspace Lofts will be a mixed-use redevelopment of the block located at 221 N. Irving Av. in Minneapolis' Harrison Neighborhood.

Hennepin County OKs $6.35 million to finance affordable rentals

About half of the projects that will receive the money are located near transit lines.
This house in Minneapolis sold before it even went on the market. “Those [entry-level] buyers are really struggling to compete,” said the real est

Median Twin Cities home sale price hits $281K as lower-priced homes remain scarce

An uptick in new listings is viewed as a positive sign as summer draws closer.
Tracey Kruse sold her Apple Valley townhome in a bidding war after three days.

Looking for a starter house in the Twin Cities? Best of luck

From coast to coast, house listings are becoming more abundant, bringing relief to weary spring buyers. Not so in the Twin Cities metro, where demand for entry-level houses continues to outstrip supply, creating a listing logjam that's choking home sales.
Zillow, the online real estate marketplace, on Monday rolled out its Zillow Offers service in the Twin Cities. The company is buying and selling homes

Zillow expands into buying and selling homes in the Twin Cities

The listings service is the latest to launch "instant-buyer" offers in the metro.
North Loop project flips from apartments to condos

North Loop project flips from apartments to condos

The developer says more than half of the units have been reserved.
Carrie Chang, CEO of the Minneapolis Area Realtors. On the job for nearly a month, she said the real estate community has been “welcoming.”

Incoming chief executive at Minneapolis Area Realtors talks about goals for the organization

Carrie Chang, the new chief executive of the Minneapolis Area Realtors (MAR), is the association's ninth leader and the first female and person of color in that role.
The Vicinity Apartments by Sherman Associates is one of several market-rate apartment buildings under construction in Minneapolis, which has been the

April's foul weather put a chill on single-family homebuilding

Fewer permits were issued to build single-family homes, but the apartment market stayed red hot.
Jane Hauser Pejsa

Jane Hauser Pejsa, computer programmer and author, dies at 89

During the 1950s, when computers were as big as a room, Jane Pejsa was an accomplished programmer and analyst. She was also an astute collector…
Ryan Jaeger aboard the PaddleTap, docked on Lake Minnetonka. Jaeger said reservations for his three companies are up 70% over the previous year.

Twin Cities-based booze-cruise empire expands on both land and water

UffDa Adventures consolidates three distinct tours into one company, saving money with a single reservation system and management team.
A 14-story condominium building proposed for 800 Washington Av. S. in the Mill District would be built with high-tech, self-cleaning bio-concrete.

Trying for a new look for Twin Cities condo buildings

Two Minneapolis condominium projects strive for a distinctive look
Shooli partner Meghan Flynn sews the bottom of a dress shoe at the repair shop in Minneapolis on a Landis l stitcher machine used for repairing soles.

Shoes in disarray? Twin Cities startup's app brings repair shop to your doorstep

The startup has tapped into an unexpected market with a quick-turnaround concept for repairing, refurbishing shoes.
This Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, file photo shows a home offered for sale in the Atlanta suburb of Roswell, Ga. A shortage of starter houses is choking h

Twin Cities home sales slip in March as supply of starter houses drops

It's been a less-than-stellar spring for first-time home buyers in the Twin Cities.
In-Focus Systems site foreman Andrew Henriksen, left, and technician Gavin Pendal worked to install a 133-inch projection screen and Epson 4k projecto

For Twin Cities hotels and rentals, Final Four is sweet, but no Super Bowl

College basketball is big business for lodging, but it doesn't match the corporate-fueled frenzy of pro football.
The Vicinity Apartments by Sherman Associates is one of several market-rate apartment buildings under construction in Minneapolis, which was the busie

Twin Cities homebuilders see big declines in March

Despite a slow start to 2019, some industry analysts expect a banner year for sales.
Twenty years ago, an auto-immune disease caused Beth Ehresman, right, to have massive heart failure and now she is living on disability. She lives at

As rents rise in the Twin Cities, suburbs embrace affordable housing efforts

With rents rising across the metro, cities find stable options to help, and keep, tenants.

HomeServices ranked as nation's largest real estate company

Acquisitions have been key to the growth of the Twin Cities-based firm.
Realtor Clay Lowen, center, showed a home in Robbinsdale to first-time homeowners Brandon Chheoun and Gina Solt earlier in the month.

Twin Cities housing market gets even tighter as new listings lag

Listings in February lagged year-ago levels by 14 percent as the median sale price hit $265,500.
Iron Clad apartment project under construction at 811 S. Washington Ave, Minneapolis.

Weather contributed to decline in homebuilding in Twin Cities

Homebuilders said permits for single-family houses in the Twin Cities were down 3 percent over last year.
To stay competitive in the crowded rental market, apartment towers such as the soon-to-be-completed Ironclad are loaded with amenities.

Three high-rises with nearly 800 apartments to hit downtown Mpls.

A bumper crop of creative amenities aims at making these buildings stand out more than they already do.
Software developer Tyler Hanson, left, and Dan Nelson, owner of Olio Outdoors, are working to create Olio Engine, a web-based operating system aimed a

Online platform will help businesses grow without workers, equipment

On the morning of a winter storm warning last week, you would expect Dan Nelson — the owner Olio Outdoors, a company that does snow…
Keller Williams sales agent Nick George (far left) and first-time home buyers, Kate and Matt Shalbrack with Kate’s father, Sheldon Matheson (second

First-time buyers face scramble in Twin Cities housing market

The metro's median sale price hit $258,900 last month, an all-time high for January.
Rhys MacPherson, left, project manager, and Jack Poling, managing partner of MSR Design talk about their new office in downtown Minneapolis on Thursda

After leading a Minneapolis riverfront revival, MSR Design heads downtown

Leaving its historic home isn't easy, but the design firm has decided to embrace change.
An apartment complex in Frogtown, a St. Paul neighborhood.

Strong apartment market continues to push up rents in Twin Cities

Minneapolis added nearly 5,000 apartments last year, not enough to match jobs.
Last month metro-area builders were issued enough permits to build 440 single-family houses, making it the best January in a dozen years, according to

Twin Cities homebuilders were bullish on single-family homes in January

New-home permits soar in January despite land and labor shortages.
A report commissioned by Housing First Minnesota says it's nearly impossible to build a single-family house in the Twin Cities metro area for less tha

What's driving up new home costs? Fees, local builders say

A report commissioned by a builders group said municipal fees and regulations in the Twin Cities make it nearly impossible to build a single-family house for less than $375,000.
Brooklyn Center-based Oak Management and Development is proposing a 10-story apartment building near the corner of James and Lake Street in the Uptown

10-story Uptown apartment project is early test for city's density plan

Apartment project early test for city's new density plan.
This home on Lake Minnetonka was one of Minnesota's most expensive listings in 2018 at $15.795 million.

Ranking the hottest housing markets in the Twin Cities

Find out how your community fared in our searchable Hot Housing Index for 2018.
With the help of Keller Williams sales agent Nick George,center, Owen and Bailey Kinsky will soon close on their first home in Stillwater.

Home sales dipped, but prices reached record high in 2018

The overall market failed to post the big gains real estate agents had expected as a lack of lower priced homes kept lid on sales. Throughout the Twin Cities metro there were only 59,223 home sales last year, a decline of more than 2,000 from the year before.
Shade Tree Construction carpenters worked on building a 2,100-square-foot, three bedroom, three bath, side-by-side model townhouse in Mounds View.

2018 wasn't the blockbuster that Twin Cities homebuilders had hoped for

Builders paid more for land, labor and materials, making it difficult for them to cater to a segment of the market where demand was most fierce: first-time buyers and downsizing baby boomers.
Todd Urbanski, president of the Minneapolis Area Realtors, tells young agents that “people will work with you if they know you, like you and trust y

Minneapolis Realtors chief says housing still a bargain in Twin Cities

Todd Urbanski takes the reins as 2019 president of the Minneapolis Area Realtors at a time of moderate tumult.
A model home in the Summerlin neighborhood of Woodbury in November 2017.

Zillow plans to bring sight-unseen house-buying service to Twin Cities

No-visit, all-cash house buying is expected to expand in coming year.
Gino Blefari has been named CEO of HomeServices of America (HSA)

HomeServices of America taps new CEO to lead expansion

Gino Blefari replaces HomeServices of America founder Ron Peltier, who will become executive chairman.

Minneapolis-based HomeServices of America buys one of Florida's biggest brokerages

The deal includes 40 offices and 1,750 sales agents and staff in 21 counties in Florida.
After the first full business week since the government shutdown began, executives and entrepreneurs are starting to see more effects. The flow of mon

Federal government shutdown means delays for Minnesota house buyers, small-business owners

After the first full business week since the shutdown began, executives and entrepreneurs are starting to see more widespread effects.
Owner Tasya Kelen, center, helped employees Missy Walk and Jeremie Mercer as they produced a batch of Zesty Lemon Rosemary blend cashews.

Healthy nut company gets second chance with new Twin Cities home, social mission

Isadore Nut Co. discovered the solution to its cost problem in the kitchen of a Golden Valley apartment building.
Lyman Cos., a Twin Cities company that operates a lumber yard, subcontracting crews and supplies builders with cabinets and other building components,

Labor crunch in Twin Cities adds up to homebuilding delays, higher costs

Labor crunch in Twin Cities building trades has led to increasing construction delays and higher costs.
During November sellers listed 3,992 properties, 12.6 percent more than last year, according to monthly report from the Minneapolis Area Realtors.

More homes on Twin Cities home market, a good sign for buyers

Rise in listings, decrease in sales suggest Twin Cities area prices should decline. But for now, median sale breaks $265,000 in November, a record.
Dominium, one of the nation’s largest for-profit developers, has called off plans to convert a sprawling warehouse in the North Loop neighborhood in

Dominium pulls out of North Loop affordable housing project

Developer says it will focus on projects in the suburbs.
File photo of Target's logo.

Target office building in downtown Minneapolis sells for $171 million

One of the downtown Minneapolis office buildings that houses Target Corp. has a new owner.
The project, which for now is called 7200 and 7250 France Avenue, calls for 309 housing units, including 10 owner-occupied townhouses and 22 rental to

Apartment, condo project with 309 units gets OK in Edina

The project includes 309 housing units, commercial space and enclosed parking.

Home rental firm Renters Warehouse acquires OwnAmerica Real Estate

Its deal for OwnAmerica Real Estate is part of plan to evolve how it does business digitally.
In St. Paul: AECOM envisions up to four towers overlooking St. Paul’s waterfront that would include hotel rooms, apartments, offices and condos.

Big developer AECOM looks to stretch its reach in the Twin Cities construction market

Seeking new markets, Los Angeles-based AECOM goes after Twin Cities residential projects.
The open concept dining room and living room in a 2,100-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath, side-by-side model townhome Wednesday in Mounds View.

Building permits are off, but townhouses stay Twin Cities bright spot

Side-by-side townhouses in inner-ring suburbs continue to see strong demand.
LaShonda McGowan is a mother of three, daughters Aliya, left, and Athena, are shown above. She moved her family into a home with help from Habitat for

Habitat for Humanity ramps up mortgage loan program

The organization known for its construction efforts is turning its attention to the mortgage side of the real estate industry.
Ron Simon

Ronald Simon, lawyer and high-profile sports agent, dies at 84

Simon's professional relationship with Kent Hrbek lasted a decade longer than Hrbek's baseball career. Their friendship lasted until Simon's death.
Edina Realty realtor Kath Hammerseng talked Christine Arnoldi, center, and her daughter, Andrea, through the process of listing Christine’s house on

Twin Cities home sales slipped in October, inventory increased

An uptick in new listings continued the slow rebalancing of the area's housing market.
240 Park is a 17-story apartment tower with 205 units that’s being developed by the Wilf family in downtown Minneapolis. Construction is expected to

Twin Cities remains a strong draw for apartment developers

The number of units hitting the market continues a bullish pace, though demand appears to be softening in some areas.
Grady Linder, left, and Ryan Lloyd, have launched a no-frills camper-van rental service called Voyager Campervans.

Company transforms vans into mini-campers for the nimble set

Modified vans are aimed at travelers who want to keep it simple, but don't want to sleep on the ground in a tent.
John Smaby, who was elected as president of the National Association of Realtors. (Sarah Pierce Photography)

John Smaby is now president of National Association of Realtors

The Edina agent follows in his father's footsteps.
Joel MacIntosh is CEO of St. Louis Park-based WolfNet Technologies, which manages property data and photos for almost all of the real estate listings

St. Louis Park real estate data giant WolfNet embraces artificial intelligence

Founder Joel MacIntosh sees deal with Ojo Labs as step into industry's future.
The funding will help Beacon almost double its Lydia Apartments in Minneapolis, which serves formerly homeless adults.

Minnesota Housing to invest $87.5M in low-income housing projects

Funding will boost housing developments in 55 communities.
Brenda Tushaus, CEO at ReMax Results, said her father is one of her role models because he was “hardworking” and “never missed a day of work.”

ReMax Results CEO looks ahead for agency, real estate industry

Brenda Tushaus brings a tech background to her new role in charge of revenue-generating business initiatives and leading the strategy for growth.
Building materials for a home currently under construction sat near several already inhabited homes in the Settler’s Ridge development.

Single-family construction in Twin Cities perks up during October

The respite from recent declines comes as rising mortgage rates suggest a slowing market ahead.
Real estate agent William Huffman, left, encouraged Kayla and Matt Dutton to reduce the price on their Otsego home.

Once-hot Twin Cities housing market is beginning to cool

Home sales are down from a year ago, more sellers are cutting their asking price and mortgage rates are climbing.

Merger involving St. Louis Park's WolfNet aims to improve homebuying

Combined company will work on a tool to help people search for homes more quickly.
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