Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending January 13, 2018

At the beginning of a calendar year, it is often common for home buyers and sellers to become immediately more active. Call it the result of a resolution or the promise of something new, but it is a noted phenomenon across the country. It's really too early to say if the trend will continue in 2018, but the first weeks of the year have not necessarily shown a huge jolt in activity so much as the last weeks of 2017 were quieter than usual.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending January 13:
 • New Listings decreased 5.4% to 892
 • Pending Sales decreased 13.0% to 577
 • Inventory decreased 26.9% to 6,918

For the month of December:
 • Median Sales Price increased 9.7% to $248,000
 • Days on Market decreased 15.3% to 61
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.3% to 97.1%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 26.3% to 1.4


Publish Date: January 22, 2018 • All comparisons are to 2017


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending January 6, 2018

As we embark upon the 2018 campaign, watch for upward movement in some of the same areas for wanted improvements in 2017. The number of homes available for sale continues to be a key factor in the dynamics of residential real estate. Simply put, it would be good to have more inventory available for purchase. Buying a home is a viable and exciting option for many consumers, and having more homes to choose from is one way to assure that the dream of home-ownership is an affordable achievement.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending January 6:
 • New Listings decreased 13.4% to 850
 • Pending Sales decreased 10.7% to 534
 • Inventory decreased 26.7% to 6,904

For the month of December:
 • Median Sales Price increased 9.8% to $248,200
 • Days on Market decreased 15.3% to 61
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.3% to 97.1%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 26.3% to 1.4

Publish Date: January 15, 2018 • All comparisons are to 2017
MINNEAPOLIS AREA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The 2018 Home Upgrades for New Homeowners

The best way to personalize your space and give it a fresh, polished vibe is to make upgrades-big or small-that let your personality shine.

The best way to personalize your space and give it a fresh, polished vibe is to make upgrades-big or small-that let your personality shine. Whether you're ready to undertake a major remodeling project or only have the budget for a few modern touches, these DIY renovation ideas are a great place to start.
Welcome 2018 with an updated home that's perfect for new beginnings and a lifetime of memories.

Make Your Kitchen Colorful

Gone is the popularity of a white, monochromatic kitchen. More homeowners are embracing bold accent colors on their countertops, backsplashes and cabinets, from vivid yellow and burnt orange to chic turquoise and dignified navy.
Another popular trend is juxtaposing the stainless steel appliances with warm, vibrant hues that make a space more inviting, while keeping that sleek look.

  • Small budget: When repainting, choose a two-toned base. For example, "dark colors offset with lighter or brighter colors...offer visually entertaining and appealing levels of contrast," advise the contemporary design experts at Interior Zine.
  • Big budget: Replace all appliances with stainless steel; then do the painting.

Upgrade Your Storage Space

Finding enough room to store seasonal decorations, filing papers, hardware tools, keepsake items, cleaning products and office supplies is a common struggle of homeownership. Luckily, there are a number of creative and resourceful hacks for increasing the amount of storage without reconfiguring your entire space.

  • Small budget: You don't have to find room in your home for more storage-head to the garage first. Take advantage of the walls by hanging DIY peg boards and adjustable wall panels: "With the help of hooks, you have the freedom of hanging your things anywhere and any way you want: in the center, horizontally, vertically, at the bottom, or top," suggest garage experts. As you tackle inside storage, refer to 8 Space Savers for a Small Bedroom for inspiration.
  • Big budget: Invest in new furniture pieces that double as decorative and functional, like an old chest that you can keep in the living room or a coffee table with a storage space below.

Give Your Walls More Texture

Textured walls is a fun way to infuse character into any room, whether you're into exposed brick, wooden shiplap, geometric molding or smooth tile. Walls are a blank canvas for experimentation, so harness your inner designer and play around with different materials or wallpapers that mimic the feel of those materials.
Note that you can combine more than one texture in the same room to create a particularly unique and artistic ambiance. For instance, a "grungy" or "rustic" wall could be adjacent to a "wavy design on the accent wall," says Kareen Liez, civil engineer and architecture enthusiast.

  • Small budget: If you have unfinished drywall, use this to your advantage, with these ideas from Vintage Revivals or this idea from The Creativity in the Chaos.
  • Big budget: Go in all the way with high quality wall paper that creates texture with patterns or invest in the laundry list of materials needed to create your own exposed brick wall, for example. If your budget is flexible, there are many ways to tackle this project.

Re-Do the Garage Flooring

The garage has become an extension of a home's living space that should be both aesthetic and functional. To take your garage to the next level, and turn it into a space you actually enjoy being in, start with the boring concrete floor-replace it with an epoxy coating.
This material is "noted for its durability and longevity," according to flooring professionals at Kwekel Epoxy Floors. They explain: "With epoxy, you'll enjoy protection against [mold] growth, as it offers a protective layer against moisture damage." Not to mention, epoxy is also stain resistant and the surface repels chemicals, so if something spills, it won't seep into your concrete.

  • Small budget: Take the DIY route and lay the epoxy flooring yourself. Use this tutorial from Family Handy Man to navigate through the process.
  • Big budget: Hire an epoxy company to handle the work, which can be done in one weekend.

Make the Space Your Own

A house is an expression of the people who live inside, so give your new home a splash of personality in the New Year. You'll fee great about the space and excited to show it off to your friends and family.

Guest post by Jessica Thiefels

Monday, January 8, 2018

Weekly Market Activity Report for week ending December 23, 2017

As is usually the case this time of year, housing activity will slow down for a few weeks during the last of the 2017 holidays. Shrewd buyers and sellers will take advantage of this slower time of year to make meaningful deals, especially ahead of perceived or real changes that are due to take place in 2018 as regards taxes, mortgage rates, housing affordability and other factors.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending December 23:
 • New Listings increased 14.4% to 422
 • Pending Sales increased 8.0% to 702
 • Inventory decreased 23.8% to 8,120

For the month of November:
 • Median Sales Price increased 6.5% to $245,000
 • Days on Market decreased 11.1% to 56
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 97.4%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 21.7% to 1.8

Information Gathered from MAAR
Publish Date: January 2, 2018 • All comparisons are to 2016

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy 2018!!!

Happy New Year from Stafford Family Realtors.

As we close out 2017 and reflect on all the amazing things that have happened over the past 365 days, we want to extend a sincere "Thank You" to all of our clients and friends who have supported us and our team and have contributed to another successful year. 

Cheers to you all and wishing you a wonderful 2018!!!


Friday, December 29, 2017

DIY Ideas to Make Your Home Feel Bigger—Without Construction

Breaking down walls and renovating an entire space is not only time-consuming, but it’s also expensive and, in most cases, requires the help of professionals. Luckily, you don’t have to do major construction to make small spaces feel bigger.
If you’re not up for knocking down walls, focus on small DIY projects that can make your home feel bigger, the following of which are perfect for every homeowner, regardless of skill level or budget. From lighting to ceiling paint, consider how you can open up the space in your home without a sledgehammer and construction team.

Paint the Ceiling

The ceiling and trim have just as much an impact on the look and feel of the room as your furniture, yet they’re easy to overlook when painting. To open up your home without construction, consider how you can tie your ceiling and trim into the rest of the room:
“Homeowners typically leave the trim and ceiling white in their living rooms when painting. Since the trim and ceiling both have as much impact as the walls, it’s important to tie them in with the rest of the space, otherwise they’ll stand out too much,” says Brian Patrick Flynn with HGTV. When your ceilings stand out, the size of the space immediately feels smaller.
Flynn’s suggestion for choosing the best paint colors: “A smart way to use one color consistently throughout a common area is to choose a slightly lighter shade than the wall color for the ceiling and a slightly darker shade for the trim.” Talk with your local hardware or paint store to find the lighter shades that match with your current paint, or start over with a whole new color scheme.

Make it Brighter

A dark room always feels smaller, and this is an easy DIY fix: let in the light, as Coral Nafie, blogger for The Spruce, suggests: “Any room will look larger if it’s well-lit, either by natural light or artificial lighting. Get rid of heavy draperies and open up the windows to let the light of the outdoors into the space.” A few more ways to bring more light into the room include:
  • Sheer drapes
  • Ceiling lighting
  • Replace lamp shades with lighter colors or none at all
If the space has no windows at all, consider the costs for installing one or a few, depending on the size of the room. Take the DIY route and follow this tutorial from This Old House.

Convert the Basement

If you already have a finished, insulated basement, the next step is to turn it into a space where people want to spent time. When you do, your home suddenly feels bigger because you have an entirely new room to use. This added area is great for you now and is will be helpful if you’re thinking of selling soon as well:
“All buyers want the maximum amount of living space they can get for their budget. Converting your basement into a living space is a great way to add additional square footage without having to build anything onto the house,” according to Which Home Improvements Add the Most Value to Your Home.
This DIY project doesn’t have to happen in one weekend. Instead, reduce the stress and cost by making upgrades slowly, over the course of 1 to 2 months. Install carpeting or update the flooring, followed by adding furniture and then some artwork on the walls. Final touches can be added as you find fun items or inspiration strikes.

Enjoy More Space

These simple projects will help you create the bigger home you’d always wanted. Instead of knocking down walls, tackle each project one-by-one for a budget-friendly, hassle-free upgrade. As you play with paint colors, lighting and more, you may even be inspired to tackle more fun DIY projects, and you can get some fun ideas here.

Guest post by Jessica Thiefels
ColdwellBanker.com/blog

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending December 16, 2017

It has been another steady year for buying and selling residential real estate. The
primary trends of inventory decline and price increase continued, and more of the
same is anticipated in 2018 if consumer, employer and builder confidence remain
high. Tweaks in tax law and mortgage rates could create either unwanted or
desirable effects, depending on the market. Trend lines may flatten or turn, but it's
too soon to say exactly what will happen.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending December 16:
 • New Listings increased 9.0% to 641
 • Pending Sales decreased 1.3% to 752
 • Inventory decreased 23.9% to 8,499

For the month of November:
 • Median Sales Price increased 6.5% to $245,000
 • Days on Market decreased 11.1% to 56
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 97.4%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 21.7% to 1.8

Information Gathered from MAAR
Publish Date: December 26, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016