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
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.
The Archive apartments opened in mid-2021 in the North Loop neighborhood of downtown Minneapolis, where vacancy rates are still above the metro-area

Apartment demand high, rents rose slightly in Twin Cities last year

There were fewer apartment vacancies in the Twin Cities, but rent gains were modest and were among the lowest in the nation.
Kenley Johnson watched as her brother Benton Johnson shoveled outside her house in the Columbia Park neighborhood of Minneapolis, one of the most affo

Twin Cities homebuyers flocked to these neighborhoods in 2021

The most dynamic neighborhood in Minneapolis for home buyers last year was in the northeast corner of the city, according to the Star Tribune's Hot Housing Index.
Two of the three buildings at Excelsior Crossings in Hopkins have been purchased by Bridge Office of Atlanta for $82.5 million.

New owners for a pair of high-profile office buildings in Hopkins

Atlanta-based Bridge Investment Group has acquired two of the three buildings at Excelsior Crossings.
This 1,628 square-foot house in the Waite Park neighborhood in Northeast Minneapolis was listed for $300,000 and immediately got multiple offers. The

With supply plunging, Twin Cities home sales declined last month and prices rose

Higher mortgage rates and a shortage of listings stifled sales and increased demand in some areas.
Jessica Lee was renting a small apartment in Minneapolis, but with mortgage rates near historic lows, she realized it would be cheaper to buy. She is

Where buyers have best odds in Twin Cities area housing market

These communities had the most listings, lowest price increases and least amount of competition, according to a Star Tribune list of the best markets for home buyers.
Ryan Cos. recently paid $16 million for this warehouse in Edina, part of a shift in its investment mix.

With office space in flux, developer Ryan adds light industrial buildings to portfolio

The company recently bought industrial buildings in Minnetonka and Edina, expanding its holdings in that fast-growing sector.
Building permits rose 12% last month, the most for January since 2006.

2022 off to a strong start for Twin Cities homebuilders

On Monday, brokerage Redfin said 38% of single-family homes for sale in the Twin Cities metro during December were new construction — the second-highest share of the 50 metros surveyed.
Luke Kramer and his golden retrievers returned to their property after exploring woods behind their new home in Minnetrista.

Hottest Twin Cities housing markets were far out from cities

The exurbs rose in popularity and price as the pandemic unfolded in 2020, and then they took all 10 hottest spots this past year.
A line of several home shoppers and their real estate agents formed as they waited to view a home for sale in March 2021.

Exurbs rise to the top in ranking of Twin Cities area's hottest housing markets

Space and lower prices helped cities on the edge climb to the top of the Star Tribune's latest Hot Housing Index.
With a drop in listings and an increase in price, Twin Cities residential real estate remained a sellers’ market in 2021.

Twin Cities home sales at a 20-year high, listings at a 20-year low

The residential real estate market was so tight in 2021 that the average sale price rose 11%.
Thomson Reuters may sell or reduce its presence in its Eagan office complex that, at 1.3 million square feet, is one of the largest in the Twin Cities

Thomson Reuters may sell all or part of Eagan campus as hybrid work becomes norm

Office park built for 7,000 people may soon have only 2,000 to 3,000 people in it each day, while the rest work at home.
The sale of a portion of the former Gopher Ordnance Works site, most recently called UMore Park, will lead to the development of around 2,000 new home

Sale of 435-acre site opens door for massive residential development in Rosemount

The project will be the biggest development in the city, one of the fastest-growing in the metro area.
Edina Realty is entering the South Dakota market with the purchase of Hegg Realtors in Sioux Falls.

Edina Realty enters South Dakota market with purchase of Hegg Realtors

Its parent company, HomeServices of America, also announced three other deals across the country.
Construction began last year on North Loop Green, a mixed-use development on the edge of downtown Minneapolis.

Homebuilding in the Twin Cities reached a 16-year high in 2021

Rental apartments accounted for more than half of all housing construction during 2021.
The Metro Inn Motel in south Minneapolis, bought by Hennepin County, will be converted into low-income apartments next year. The county is getting a s

Hennepin County will have an extra $91 million in federal funds to spend on housing next year

The money will boost the county's normal one-year spending by more than 60%. Its goal is to help 1,000 homeless people and create 2,000 affordable housing units.
Project rendering of the latest plans for East Town’s final parcel by developer Ryan Cos.

U.S. Bank Stadium to get new neighbor — a 342-unit apartment tower

Ryan Cos. and Weidner Homes expect to break ground this spring on the 24-story tower.
Matthew Koller sorted through belongings as he takes them to his new home at Amber Apartments on Hiawatha Avenue, where residents began moving in last

A new apartment building in Minneapolis is one step in filling an enormous market need

The non-profit developer of Amber Apartments in Minneapolis had ten times as many tenant applicants as the building had units.
The median price of home sales in the Twin Cities last month was 9.4% higher than it was a year ago.

Worried about rising rates and prices, Twin Cities homebuyers are still on the hunt

Home buying last month was on par with last year, but prices are still on the rise.
Residents of the Amira Choice senior housing facility exercise doing “step bingo” last week. United Properties, which owns the facility, plans to

United Properties triples its commitment to senior housing

The company plans a national expansion for its senior housing business, which will be branded Amira.
An artist’s rendering of the proposed Lexington Station apartments in St. Paul.

Alatus' Lexington Station project in St. Paul loses equity partner

Developer of the project on Lexington Parkway said the investment partner cited the new rent control statute passed in November.
This house on Larpenteur Avenue in St. Paul was recently purchased at above asking price by a national homebuying company, which is now offering it fo

National investors snapping up Twin Cities area houses to rent

The effects — higher prices, greater competition and out-of-state landlords showing less care for properties and renters — are becoming harder to ignore as some neighborhoods are transformed.
Home building permits in the Twin Cities region fell in November.

Twin Cities home building permits down 12% during November

Despite the decline in single-family construction during November, apartment construction increased slightly, putting housing construction on track to beat 2020.
Chris Prescott, Minnesota market manager for Redfin’s brokerage, said Redfin’s iBuyer Twin Cities division will have its own staff.

Just as Zillow exits dealmaking business, RedfinNow puts down roots in Twin Cities

The iBuyers aim to upend the traditional brokerage model by offering nearly instant cash offers
The number of homes bought and sold in the metro area last month fell sharply from a year earlier. The time it took to make a deal shortened, however,

Home sales, price gains in the Twin Cities during October more subdued than last year

But the year-ago numbers were inflated because people were catching up after the pandemic disrupted spring and summer shopping for houses in 2020.
About 5,100 new apartments were built in the Twin Cities during the first nine months of the year. The vacancy rate remains relatively stable and rent

Twin Cities rents up just 2.1% as units are leased at record pace

Demand for suburban rentals is driving metro-area rent gains. There's less demand in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, and studios aren't hot anymore.
Dana Chabot, right, and his wife, Pat, center, moved from Madison, Wis., to a condo in downtown Minneapolis in November 2020.

Are people really moving out of the Twin Cities?

Group studied the impact of urban unrest, rising crime and the COVID-19 pandemic on the Twin Cities housing market.
Zillow bought this house in north Minneapolis for $277,400 in September, but it is now listing it for $274,900. The online real estate data firm plans

Zillow exits home deals; it had a small presence in Twin Cities real estate

The company, which hoped to revolutionize home buying and selling, has fewer than 200 listings in the Twin Cities, a market where about 6,000 homes are sold monthly.
Julia Lashay Israel is the new National Head of Inclusion & Belonging for KWx, the holding company for Keller Williams.

Twin Cities real estate agent leads diversity approach across U.S. for Keller Williams

Julia Lashay Israel is the new Head of Inclusion and Belonging for Keller Williams, helping its diversity efforts and training other real estate agents.
The Paravel apartment building, which recently broke ground in Eden Prairie, was one of the largest projects permitted during October. The 246-unit re

Home building in the Twin Cities down for the third month in a row

Despite the October decline, single-family permits so far this year are outpacing 2020.
Site work has begun for the Home Depot warehouse along Route 3 in Rosemount.

Home Depot, Fed Ex are building giant warehouses in Rosemount

The sprawling facilities add to a rapid expansion of the metro's industrial warehouse sector.
Lee Blons, CEO of Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, stood at a parking lot in Shakopee where her organization hopes to build affordable apartme

Twin Cities 'housing unaffordability' leaves few options for lowest income families

The lack of affordable housing is getting worse for the lowest income families each year, with house prices at record highs and rents on the rise.
“It is slowing, but it’s nowhere near a balanced market,” said Brenda Tushaus, chief executive at Eden Prairie-based Re/Max Results.

Frenetic Twin Cities home sales slow to a bit more normal

The fall market hasn't been as brisk as it was last year, but it remains one of the strongest seller's markets in recent years by virtually every measure.
Jason Sprayberry in one his RVs at one of his favorite local mountain biking spots, Baker Park Reserve in Maple Plain.

Twin Cities entrepreneurs turn their RVs into lucrative 'Airbnbs on wheels'

Travelers seeking the nomadic lifestyle without the hassle of RV ownership embrace a growing number of local and national websites.
Dry wallers at work on the first floor of the 204-unit Astor House Apartments in Eagan.

Home building permits in Twin Cities down for second month, but still high

'Fervent pace' dropping, but construction remains above historical averages in part because of strong demand earlier this year.
Carleton President Alison Byerly, seen Aug. 18, said the college is “thrilled” to be one of five liberal arts colleges participating in the Schule

$50M grant will help low-income, immigrant students at Carleton

Carleton College must match grant to receive the Schuler Education Foundation funds.
Twin Cities Academy charter school students stood in line as they navigated their first day of COVID-19 protocol between classes on the first day of s

Deadline extended to apply for school COVID testing money

Public and tribal schools in Minnesota will have until Oct. 15 to apply for grants that will help fund COVID-19 testing programs for students and…
Developer Steve Furlong stood at a site in Bloomington where he hoped to build 15 townhouses, bringing more density and affordable housing to the city

No wonder it's hard to find a new home: Twin Cities has worst housing shortage in the nation

After more than a decade of underbuilding, the lack of housing poses a growing threat to the region's economic growth.
A house for sale in Crystal in June.

Twin Cities area home prices see another double-digit increase in August

There was a double-digit annual decline in house listings.
More signs that the apartment rental market is showing signs of a rebound: Construction is underway on the 204-unit Aster House Apartments in Eagan

Free rent? Not so much anymore in the Twin Cities

The rental market in the Twin Cities is showing signs of a rebound with property managers reporting declining vacancies and rising rents so far this year.
James Kenna applied some touch-up paint to several areas inside the home in Dayton, Minn. he and his wife have put on the market. Home real estate tra

Twin Cities home sales slipped in July amid tight supply; prices remain at record highs

Buyers signed slightly fewer purchase agreements last month compared to July 2020. And prices rose at a double-digit percentage rate.
Andrew Stevens, with daughter Audrey in tow, thought that when he and his wife, Heidi, listed their starter house in Crystal a couple weeks ago that i

Housing frenzy in Twin Cities a little less frantic?

The housing market in the Twin Cities is still on fire, but monthly sales dropped in June for the first time in more than a year.
Deferred maintenance at the Ridgeview condo complex in Burnsville will cost millions to repair. The 402-unit complex, built in the early 1970s, needs

Twin Cities area condo owners worry after Florida tower's collapse

A spotlight on deferred maintenance is prompting Minnesotans to question if enough is being done to maintain their buildings.
Mike Bernier and Long Doan of Realty Group showed their new and soon-to-be-furnished office in Woodbury.

Realty Group, others fuel growth of independent Minnesota real estate brokers

Independents are typically locally owned and unaffiliated with a franchise — and are growing quickly.
A home under construction in Inver Grove Heights in June 2018. Permits to build single family homes in the Twin Cities increased 63% in June.

Twin Cities home building stays strong in June

Permits to build single-family homes in the Twin Cities increased 63%; permits to build rentals lagged.
Minneapolis-based Alatus Development is proposing to build 775 housing units in a 14-story tower and several smaller buildings that would be located a

A $240 million makeover for a blighted Minnehaha Creek site in Hopkins

The project will include nearly 800 apartments and townhomes, a new pond and better access to the popular creek.
The racial homeownership gap in the Twin Cities is the highest in the nation and has only widened over the past two decades.

Homeownership gap in the Twin Cities is highest in the nation

A surge in single-family rentals in Hennepin and Ramsey counties is eliminating options for minority and low-income buyers.