Staff Directory 6370612

Jim Buchta

Reporter | Residential real estate
Phone: 612-673-7376

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
Real estate agent Lydia Kauppi talks with clients Carrin Baumgartner and Martin McNulty as they tour a home for sale Feb. 25 in Northeast Minneapolis.

A cool February for home sales, prices in the Twin Cities

February sale prices were up $2,000 from a year ago, a record median price for the month at $342,000 but the smallest annual gain in years.
Real estate agent Lydia Kauppi and her showing agent Laura Brenden talked with clients Carrin Baumgartner and Martin McNulty as they toured a home.

Looking for an affordable starter home in the Twin Cities area? Good luck

Years of record price gains have fueled the demise of the $300,000 starter house, making houses in every price range more expensive.
In Minneapolis, the hottest neighborhood for homebuyers last year was a tiny postage-stamp of a community directly west of the city’s core.

These were the hottest neighborhoods for homebuyers in Mpls. and St. Paul in 2022

Homes in Minneapolis and St. Paul's hottest neighborhoods last year sold quickly, fetched top dollar and have been especially popular because they have a sense of community coveted by many urban buyers.
This 1,816-square-foot house in Minneapolis hit the market in mid January fir $595,000 and quickly received an offer.

Home sales decline in the Twin Cities, but prices post modest gains

While sales cooled in January, data point to the spring market being competitive.
Last year, home prices around the Twin Cities defied the decline in sales, rising to record highs.

Why Twin Cities home prices are still 'hot' amid cooling sales

In 2022, the number of home sales in the Twin Cities fell by double digits. Mortgage rates doubled in the final six months of the year. And yet housing prices around the metro area grew by double digits over the previous five-year average.
“We didn’t want cookie-cutter suburbia — we wanted a property that felt unique,” said Jessica Brockshus, who recently moved to Lake Elmo with

As homebuyers flock to suburbs, Lake Elmo becomes hottest market in Twin Cities area

The hottest city in the Twin Cities metro area for home buyers last year was also one of the most inconspicuous.
The home of the Brockshus family Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in Lake Elmo, Minn.   ] CARLOS GONZALEZ •

See where your city ranks in the Twin Cities area's hottest housing markets

Home buyers seeking more space made several outer-ring suburbs the hottest markets in 2022.
Rental apartments, like the Exchange Apartments in New Brighton, outpaced single-family homes during the first month of the year.

Homebuilding in the Twin Cities off to a slow start during the first month of 2023

Builders started the year in conservative mode as they wait for more clues about what the spring market may hold.
Starter houses like this one in the Aububon neighborhood in Minneapolis were popular - and scarce - last year. And they sold quickly. This 900 square-

Number of Minnesota home sales in 2022 at an eight-year low, but prices hit a new high

Price gains and declines in sales were more pronounced in the Twin Cities metro.
The majority of Thomson Reuters’ sprawling Eagan campus is up for sale.

Thomson Reuters plans to sell large part of its Eagan office campus

The company is looking for new offices in the Twin Cities, in part because of a shift to hybrid work.
This two-bedroom, two-bathroom townhouse in St. Anthony was listed recently as a foreclosure for $209,900.

Foreclosure rates in the Twin Cities up last year, but they remain low

There was a pandemic-fueled uptick in the number of Twin Cities homeowners unable to pay their mortgage, but the rate is still below pre-pandemic levels.
Real estate agent Bruce Erickson posed in an accessory dwelling unit in the lower level of a northeast Minneapolis rambler on Dec. 12. Having a “bui

New — and old — strategies for cash-strapped home buyers

Let renters in duplexes, accessory dwelling units and vacation rentals help you make your mortgage payment.
Builders of apartments, like this complex in northeast Minneapolis, fared much better in Minnesota in 2022 than builders of single-family homes. Devel

Building of new houses dipped in Minnesota in 2022, but apartment construction jumped

Higher interest rates crushed demand for single-family homes and led builders to pivot to apartments.
M. Nolan Gray, author of the new book “Arbitrary Lines: How Zoning Broke the American City and How to Fix It.”

More cities, suburbs need to wipe out zoning to get construction moving, author says

M. Nolan Gray, a shaper of the national discussion on zoning, recently laid out his argument with Minnesota homebuilders.
It looks to be a seller’s market during at least the early months of 2023 because houses are selling relatively quickly. This 1,056-square-foot hous

What's ahead for the Twin Cities area housing market in 2023?

Twin Cities housing prices aren't likely to fall in 2023, experts said, while more people are expected to team with friends and family to buy.
Realtor Cheryllyne Vaz did a final home walk-through with client Nick Michaelson at a house in south Minneapolis earlier this month.

Home sales and listings fall in Twin Cities area, but prices keep rising

The relatively few houses that are on the market are selling quickly.
North Loop Green is a mixed-use, transit-oriented project that includes rentals, offices and restaurants adjacent to a light rail station.

North Loop Green tower lands Piper Sandler as its anchor tenant

The brokerage firm, now in the U.S. Bancorp HQ, will move to the still-under-construction building in 2025.
Jon Ryan, owner of Genz-Ryan, is turning the space that formerly housed the new-construction division of the firm into a training facility, Jack Ryan

Twin Cities heating and cooling firm Genz-Ryan exits home construction

With home building down and interest rates up, the company will focus on service and installations.
Apartments like this rental tower that Ryan Cos. is developing near U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis have accounted for more than half of all

Homebuilding in the Twin Cities fell steeply during November

In a reversal, some Twin Cities homebuilders have inventories of houses that are ready for occupancy.
Developer Asana now owns properties on three corners at E. Hennepin and University avenues in Minneapolis.

Twin Cities area retail space is in demand: 'We're having our best year'

A post-pandemic surge of in-person shopping is boosting the market for brick-and-mortar stores and restaurants.
10 West End office building in St. Louis Park.

Ryan Cos. sells St. Louis Park office tower and plans to build another next door

Even in the face of declining office use, a local developer spots a chance to capitalize on a recent success.
Realtor Nene Matey-Keke (left), showing a house to his client, Arlisa Bullock who has looked at about 40 homes since August.

Twin Cities housing market slows even more, and buyers gained a slight edge last month

Sellers outnumbered buyers around the metro area, but the median price is still rising.
The SoRoc on Maine apartment development in Rochester is the first apartment project in Minnesota for Northland, a national private equity firm.

Rising mortgage rates increase demand for apartments in Twin Cities

Vacancy rates are generally lower in the suburbs than in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Both downtowns have tipped toward renters.
This seven acre property on Lake Minnetonka sold for $9 million before hitting the market.

Kevin Garnett's lakeside estate fetches $9M, biggest home sale of year in Twin Cities

The seven-acre property includes a 12,000-square-foot house built in 1999.
Permits for new housing fell sharply this month, suggesting that higher mortgage rates are taking a toll on demand for new construction.

Twin Cities home builders hit the brakes after big start to year

The first half of the year was super busy for builders. But this month was the slowest October in a decade for them.
Signs point toward a nationwide housing market crash, but if the market does see a correction, the shakeout looks to be less volatile in the Twin Citi

Twin Cities home market appears less likely to crash than others, data show

The pace of price increases has been slower here, suggesting that a shakeout would be less volatile.
Twin Cities real estate agent Krista Wolter met earlier this month with a prospective seller in North Oaks to discuss the market for home sales.

How to price a home in Minnesota when the market is slowing

Here's what matters the most — and the least — when pricing your home to sell quickly right now.
Dan and Nancy Lynch were unpacking this September in their new apartment after downsizing from their house that they sold in August.

As interest rates rise, some Twin Cities sellers wait before buying again

Timing a market in any investment is risky, but a growing number of home sellers are taking a pause before the next plunge.
Denise Mazone, a Twin Cities real estate agent and the first black president of MAR in its 135-year history, recited an apology approved by MAR’s bo

Twin Cities real estate agents apologize for their role in homeownership gap

Minneapolis Area Realtors announced policies aimed at closing the racial gap in homeownership in the state.
Rising mortgage rates have changed the considerations for home buyers and sellers.

The Twin Cities housing market is weird right now. Should you buy or rent?

Rising mortgage rates have completely changed the equation for prospective first-time homebuyers.
During September Minneapolis was one of the busiest cities for multi-family projects like the Ladder 260 and 02 apartment projects, which recently bro

Housing construction in Twin Cities metro dips for fifth month

Declines in for-sale new housing have been offset by an increase in demand for new rental housing as higher borrowing costs are forcing some would-be buyers to rent instead.
A spec office space located in the remodeded Dayton’s project, in Minneapolis, Minn., on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021.

Prudential to move into Dayton's Project building in downtown Minneapolis

After selling its Plymouth campus, Prudential makes the move to the urban core of Minneapolis, giving downtown a boost.
With houses taking slightly longer to sell, open houses are becoming more common in the Twin Cities. This four-bedroom house in Cottage Grove recently

Higher mortgage rates take toll on home sales and listings across Minnesota

It's still a seller's market, but it is becoming less competitive and the number of deals was down 24% last month.
“Harmonia” is a full-block redevelopment that will replace a vacant office building with a trio of mostly residential towers.

3 residential towers will replace downtown Minneapolis data building

The post-pandemic transformation of office to residential space is accelerating in downtown Minneapolis.
Tim Dain, the new CEO of NorthstarMLS.

NorthstarMLS, provider of Minnesota's home values and data, taps new leader

Tim Dain, an executive with a listing system in Missouri and Illinois, succeeds John Mosey, who has led Northstar for 20 years.
Developers Dan Salzer and Jeff Koch, at the Prudential site in Plymouth, said the team plans to build 12 to 15 buildings that will include rental apar

Why Plymouth office building is about to meet the wrecking ball

A lingering economic effect of the pandemic will be a shakeout in office real estate in Minnesota and around the world.
Higher mortgage rates are starting to take a toll on home construction in the Twin Cities.

Homebuilding in the Twin Cities lost momentum this month

Permits for single-family homes fell 28% while those for apartment units were up 2%.
Lynn Leegard, who was the top lawyer for several leading Twin Cities real estate companies, wanted to make deals more secure for buyers, agents and br

For Twin Cities real estate veteran, a late-career idea and venture were too obvious to pass up

Lynn Leegard's TrustFunds eliminated the need for earnest money to be paid via paper check.
'Shelter in place' order issued for residents of Pine Island and area, later retracted; suspect in custody

'Shelter in place' order issued for residents of Pine Island and area, later retracted; suspect in custody

Local Sheriff's Office says alert initially sent too widely, stemmed from standoff involving a domestic incident in southeastern Minnesota's Pine Island.
Projects like the Fred apartments in Edina are hitting the market at a moment of high demand for rentals. In part, that’s because rising mortgage ra

Rising mortgage rates put the squeeze on Twin Cities renters

As the cost of owning a home rises, people are staying put in apartments. That gives landlords more power to raise rents.
The Hanson family receives a parting gift from their agent Cheryllyne Vaz.

Home market loosened very little last month in the Twin Cities

The number of sales fell amid rising interest rates and ultra-tight supply. Prices jumped 7% from a year earlier.
Twin Cities sales agent Kath Hammerseng, shown at a house in Crystal she recently sold, said buyers have become more hesitant.

Twin Cities area home price reductions more common, but it's still a seller's market

Higher mortgage rates are causing home sales to slow, but there's still a shortage of listings and sellers are getting more than the asking price.
Kunal Munjal, 26, of Minneapolis signs in at an open house Saturday hosted by real estate agent Carla Ferrell.

Prices up, home sales down as local market continues to shift

Rising mortgage rates — and prices — are making houses in the Twin Cities less affordable, and it shows in the June figures.
RJM Construction had to get creative when transforming the former Duffey Warehouse into apartments, including cutting a rare seven-story light well in

Historic warehouses convert into modern apartments in North Loop

A Chicago-based developer found creative solutions to renovate the Duffey Paper Co. complex.
FILE - In this June 24, 2021 file photo, a real estate sign is posted in front of a newly constructed single family home in Auburn, N.H. U.S. home pri

About inflation in the Twin Cities

New data from a real estate market watcher showed that the Twin Cities continues to lag behind the country in one major inflation component — housing costs.
Normandale Lake Office Park, pictured Sunday during Bloomington’s Summer Fete 2022, has been sold in one of the region’s largest commercial real e

Twin Cities' biggest office complex sold to N.Y. investors

The price for Normandale Lake Office Park in Bloomington wasn't immediately disclosed, but it went for $370 million when it last sold in 2014.
This nine-story building is under construction at the intersection of Excelsior Blvd. and Lake Street. Frana Companies is building the project for Bla

Home builders in the Twin Cities go to town on apartments

In the Twin Cities metro, apartment construction increased while single-family housing declined during June
Kris Lindahl’s arms-out pose is coming to his company’s lawn signs. Lindahl wants to trademark the pose.

Twin Cities real estate broker Kris Lindahl wants to trademark that big stretch

The founder of Kris Lindahl Real Estate says copycats are co-opting his arms-out pose that's on billboards across the state.
Dave McNulty sold this cottage on Big Ripley Lake near Shell Lake, Wis., for $27,000 more than the asking price after getting more than a dozen offers

Looking for a lake home in Minn. this summer? Get in a long line

Lake homes are a hot commodity in 2022, but rising mortgage rates and gas prices could make it a little easier later this year.
The new owners of the Riverplace office complex are completing a major renovation of the sprawling property in hopes of attracting small firms to the

Developer goes with the flow with $20 million makeover of Riverplace

Much overdue renovations of the Minneapolis riverfront office complex will focus on deferred maintenance and attracting new office tenants.
Stephanie and Tim Oehler walk through their home with Genna Porter, owner and realtor of Picket Fence Realty, while discussing how to prepare their ho

Housing market in the Twin Cities loosened just a bit last month

Houses in the Twin Cities are now "lasting on the market for more than a few hours," one Realtor said.
Amanda Zielike and David Decker take photos inside an 1870 Victorian mansion that housed Forepaugh’s Restaurant for 42 years in St. Paul. The couple

Twin Cities couple aim to preserve the history of every home in the nation

Amanda Zielike and David Decker created HouseNovel, a website that combines photos and stories about homes.
Location map of offices for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey, which is now a wholly-owned unit of Minneapolis-based HomeServices of America

HomeServices of America expands its brokerage reach in New Jersey

Twin Cities-based HomeServices of America said it had acquired Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties, which has more than 600 agents in northern and central New Jersey.
Molly Frisch built a bed frame while moving into her studio apartment at the Abbey in Loring Park over Memorial Day weekend.

Apartment construction tripled in the Twin Cities during May

Rental construction soared while single-family construction fell, according to a monthly building permit report.
The biggest mistake a cabin shopper can make is waiting for the absolute perfect property, says Lisa Janisch, a broker/agent who works from the Iron R

Want to buy a cabin Up North this year? You'll need these strategies and some luck

The real estate market in Minnesota's lake country is even tighter than in the Twin Cities these days.
Developers hope $200M update brings Northstar Center back to life

Developers hope $200M update brings Northstar Center back to life

Sherman Associates joins Polaris Properties in a long-awaited overhaul of a complex that covers nearly an entire block.
The issue has been on the radar for years in the Twin Cities, but people of color still have a harder time getting mortgages.

Study: Minorities remain much more likely to be denied mortgage in Twin Cities

The Federal Reserve of Minneapolis found that income differences account for just a portion of the gap in mortgage approvals by race.
Hines proposes building a 29-story office tower on Marquette Avenue at S. Ninth Street in downtown Minneapolis.

Hines plans a 29-story tower to fill a gap in the Minneapolis skyline

The proposal comes amid soft demand for downtown office space, and would preserve an iconic mural made famous by Prince on the wall of the adjacent Schmitt Music building.
Robert Smith and Lena Malashenko quickly sold a townhome in the south metro, but it took them some time to buy a new house in Isanti County.

Housing prices hit record, but more sellers looking to list

Agents say higher mortgage rates are bringing Twin Cities sellers into market, as they fear their pricing power is about to erode.
An early version of the MyAtlas dashboard app.

New customer 'dashboard' from Edina Realty tracks the home-buying process

Backers of MyAtlas say it was designed to let buyers and sellers track the progress of a home purchase just like when you buy a pizza.
Jeff Wills, program manager for PRG in Minneapolis, provides counseling for people who are in the home buying process.

How to negotiate a mortgage in Minnesota when rates are rising quickly

Mortgage rates are at their highest level in more than a decade — and moving quickly.
Schafer Richardson broke ground last week on the Peregrine, a 163-unit apartments building along West River Road N. in Minneapolis. The building, whic

Rising mortgage rates boost demand for Twin Cities apartments, pushing up rents

With fewer vacant apartments in the Twin Cities, rents increased slightly during the first three months of the year.
A south-facing view of the 25-story, 350-unit apartment building that Ryan Cos. is about to start building next to U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minne

April was best on record for home builders in the Twin Cities area

Permits to build houses and apartments soared last month after a sluggish start to 2022.
Developer Grant Carlson, shown at the Anderson House Hotel in Wabasha, Minn., is using short-term rental platforms to run boutique hotels he renovated

Rental apps become a key to reviving old Minnesota hotels

Developer Grant Carlson plans to use technology to run two historic boutique hotels.
JoAnne Korkki

JoAnne Korkki, a good neighbor in Brooklyn Center, dies at 87

She did what she could to make the lives of her neighbors a little better.
Home prices in the Twin Cities are increasing at about half the national average, which is one of the reasons Lauren and Lucas Judd decided to move fr

Home prices rising in Twin Cities, but not as fast as other metro regions

Prices in the Twin Cities area are rising at about half the national average, attracting buyers from more expensive parts of the country.
Realtor Issac Teplinsky and Grant Chelstrom in Chelstrom’s new home in Maple Grove.

Twin Cities home buyers hustle as mortgage rates rise and supply remains tight

The number of home sales fell again in the region last month as supply tightened further and prices rose.
Berkman Apartments in Rochester.

Rochester building sets record for most expensive apartment sale in Minn.

The 350-unit Berkman Apartments, which opened in 2020, sold for $536,000 per unit.
Realtor Courtney Wylie visited apartment complexes in the Uptown area of Minneapolis to persuade renters to consider buying a home. 

Minnesota real estate agents vastly outnumber houses to sell

During the pandemic, nearly 20,000 people signed up to sell real estate in Minnesota.
The Solarz-Patel family outside their new home in Edina. From left, Louis, 7, Milan, Amy, Lauren, 7, and Asher, 12. Mazie Solarz-Patel, 15, is not pic

Buyers battle for $1 million houses in the Twin Cities area

With listings dwindling, there are now bidding wars for upper-bracket houses in the metro area.
Construction on homes is picking up in the Twin Cities this spring, though not at fast as it did a year ago at this time.

Homebuilding fell slightly during March in the Twin Cities

Apartment construction increased while single-family units retreated.
Realtor Denise Mazone went over sellers paperwork on Tuesday with William Grier, who is selling his condo to take a job out of state,

2 months into year, sellers still control metro housing market

A shortage of listings in February caused a decline in sales but an increase in prices.
Galleria Edina mall has a new owner, a group of local investors called 70th Street Properties.

Galleria Edina, the fanciest mall in the Twin Cities, is sold to local investors for $150 million

The mall's Houston-based owner had tried to sell it just before the pandemic but then put its plans on hold.
With four lobbies, skyway connections and multiple uses, the new RBC Gateway tower is one of the most complicated buildings in Minneapolis.

As Minneapolis workers return, there's a new tower on skyline

The RBC Gateway tower is the tallest office building to be built downtown in 30 years and is expected to bring round-the-clock energy to the north end of Nicollet Mall.
Though residential permits were down during February, there was an increase in smaller apartment buildings like the Maker, a seven-unit live/work rent

Residential building permits in the Twin Cities tumbled in February

Permits to build apartments and single-family houses fell to the lowest level for any February since 2016.