With a baby on the way and a toddler at home, Tony and Amanda Meixelsperger had out- grown their Minneapolis condo. They wanted a larger house in a family-friendly neighborhood with good schools. Plus, Tony wanted an easy commute to his job in downtown Minneapolis.
That's why they chose Edina, where they recently closed on a 1955 three-bedroom rambler next to Lake Cornelia.
"Low interest rates and a buyer's market were advantageous for us," said Tony.
Because of strong demand from home buyers like the Meixelspergers, Edina was the only community with more than 200 home sales last year that posted an increase in home sale prices. In 2008, the median sale price of Edina homes sold through the Regional Multiple Listing Service was $388,250, up 3 percent from 2007. Throughout the metro area, the median sale price fell 13.3 percent.
Home prices have risen in Edina in large part because of its highly ranked school district, area real estate agents say.
Edina High School was ranked among the top 2 percent of high schools in the nation by U.S. News and World Report and landed 93rd in a 2007 Newsweek poll on the best 100 high schools in the nation. It's also a popular choice because of its location near Minneapolis and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
"It's weathering the storm of the recession better as a result," said Sheri Fine, an Edina Realty agent at the Minneapolis City Lakes office.
With a median sale price that's nearly double the median price for the broader metro area, Edina has a reputation for being a tony suburb. And that reputation is enhanced by the fact that it has four golf courses, two private country clubs, upscale Galleria shopping and many $1 million-plus homes. At least three active listings are priced at more than $4.9 million.
There is more-affordable housing in the city, as well. Of the 210 single-family homes currently listed for sale, 73 are priced between $200,000 and $500,000.
Foreclosures have been a drag on sale prices across the metro area, but Edina has had relatively few of them. During 2008 only 53 of 651 closed sales were lender-mediated transactions including foreclosures and short sales -- situations in which a homeowner owes more than the house is worth and they ask the lender to forgive part of the debt.
With prices not accelerating at the rate they did at the peak of the market and plenty of choices for buyers, there's been strong demand, said Jeff Hornig, of Sotheby's International Realty, Edina.
And with sale prices rising in Edina and not falling as they are in many other communities, the Meixelspergers say that they feel confident about updating their rambler.
"We feel we got a good deal," said Tony, noting that they paid $31,000 less than the list price. "Now we're going to invest some money in a cosmetic facelift."
Lynn Underwood • 612-673-7619