Friday, May 29, 2009

Emerald Ash Borer Pests

Minnesota has officially seen its first Emerald Ash Borer Beetle. This exotic bug has already killed more than 50 million Ash trees in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Canada. With 872 million Ash trees, Minnesota is home to the third largest population in nation. If preventative measures are not taken, the state can expect to see potentially devastating results from these bugs.

Preventative measures can be taken to protect against the damage inflicted by the borer. Many Cities have an Arborist on staff that can answer questions or offer treatment suggestions; this is generally a great place to start. Jill Sinclair is the Arborist for the City of Chanhassen, she is reached at 952.227.1133. Another great resource is the Emerald Ash Borer Website.

The most recent discovery of the beetles was in St. Paul and measures have been taken to prevent the spread. The DNR and the Department of Agriculture request that you report any concerns regarding an infestation. They have set up an Arrest-The-Pest Hotline at 1.888.545.6684.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Welcome to 7095 Northwood Court, sited on a quiet cul-de-sac in the demand neighborhood of Longacres. This home is truly a Gem, with amazing living spaces designed and built specifically with Family and entertaining in mind. From its custom finished Lower Level to it stunning landscaped yard this home has no equal in Longacres.

From pillar to post this home features brilliant details. Crown Molding can be found in every room. The main level features a Separate Formal Dining Room and Living Room, a spacious Eat-In Gourmet Kitchen, Great Room with gas burning fireplace and built-ins.

The Kitchen features Maple hardwood floors, Birch Cabinets, Granite center island, Stainless Steel Appliances and a Work station.

You will find four bedrooms on the second floor including the private Master Suite. With a vaulted ceiling, large walk-in closet and bath with a double vanity, this is a wonderful retreat.

If the top two floors aren’t quiet enough, the custom finished Lower Level of this amazing home will. A perfect space for entertaining, relaxing or the big game, all your needs are covered with the stone faced fireplace, custom built-in entertainment center and full service Wet Bar. The granite countered Wet Bar features a full refrigerator, wine refrigerator, dishwasher and microwave.

There is another large bedroom on this level.

This home is sited on a beautifully landscaped, private cul-de-sac lot. With the professionally built Deck and Paver Patio, enjoy every moment of this lush retreat. The Deck has been wired for speakers.

The residents of this neighborhood are more than neighbors; the relationships built here become great friendships. With the winding streets, private parks, walking paths you'll enjoy the prime location of this neighborhood nestled between the City of Chanhassen and the Village of Excelsior. Experience Lake Minnetonka and all the conveniences of Chanhassen. Longacres is a unique neighborhood that has a welcoming feeling of community; many social events take place throughout the year including an Annual Picnic, Bunco, Book Clubs and numerous parties. Made up of 225 Lundgren Brothers built residences, Longacres is a neighborhood that people aspire to live in.

For a private showing, please contact us at 952.470.2575 or visit for more information.
Check out this New Listing! 7095 Northwood Court, Chanhassen:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Great News for First-Time Home Buyers!

HUD recently announced that qualified First-Time Home Buyers who want to take advantage of the available tax credit of up to $8,000 now have another option available to them to help them become homeowners.

It's clear that first-time home buyers have been having a major impact on the housing market this year. The National Association of Realtors announced that first-time buyers, who typically account for less than 40% of home sales each year, have been especially busy…in March, homes that were purchased by first-timers accounted for 53% of all sales, and this percentage is expected to hold true for all of 2009.

With home affordability higher than ever, available tax credits and some of the lowest interest rates ever recorded for home loans, who can blame them? Particularly as a first-time buyer, there may never be a better time to buy a home than right now.

However, the availability of a tax credit, while a great incentive, does not put the money in the hands of a buyer right away. HUD's announcement now allows for prospective and qualified home buyers to borrow the money from approved agencies and lenders.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Weekly Market Activity Report from MAAR

1,004. 1,046. 1,083. 1,078. 1,120. 1,185.

Notice a pattern? That's the number of signed purchase agreements each of the last six weeks in the Twin Cities housing market, growing most weeks as the spring buyer market heats up. The 1,185 pending sales during the week of May 9 were a robust 26.6 percent higher than the same week in 2008. Over the last three months, there have been 2,228 more pending sales than the same period last year.

There are some caveats to this good news:

1. Traditional home sales (excluding foreclosures and short sales) over those last three months are down 17.6 percent from a year ago.
2. Sales above $190,000 are down 19.2 percent from a year ago.
3. Sales of new construction homes are down 16.8 percent from a year ago.

Looking through a sharper lens is sometimes the best way to fully understand market dynamics. Take a look at our Housing Supply Outlook and foreclosures and short sales report to learn more.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Weekly Market Activity Report from MAAR

Not everyone is thrilled by increasing numbers, but what they represent in the Twin Cities housing market is nothing to worry for 108 minutes over. Two increases—pending sales and housing affordability—are indicating improvement in the local housing market.

There were 1,120 pending sales for the week ending May 2, a healthy 26.3 percent above last year at this time. The Housing Affordability Index, now at 219, is 45.5 percent above where it was a year ago.

Active listings continue to underwhelm at 26,450, a decrease of 19.5 percent from last year. The lower figure, coupled with increased sales, has in turn helped to create a Supply Demand Ratio of 5.02 for April—31 percent lower than last year. Combining this with the 24.5 percent drop in Months Supply of Inventory over the past year could speak to the amount of houses (and foreclosures) remaining on the market that are selling through.

We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but this could also usher in some new construction for the summer period. According to the Builders Association of the Twin Cities, there were 419 residential units permitted in April 2009, an increase of 43 percent over March 2009.

You don't have to be able to read hieroglyphics to see that within these numbers there could be some optimism found in what was once Lost.


It has been another crazy week here in the Stafford Family Realtors Office. We have so much to report!

We have added another New Listing to our desk:


748 Kirche Hill Drive, Carver
4 Bedroom / 2 Bathroom / 2 Car Garage
MLS #3681868

This well maintained home is just a short walk from 2 neighborhood parks and historic downtown Carver. The current owners have put a lot of work into this home. Their efforts include new paint thruout, new carpet and pad, new light fixtures, new hardware, new wood flooring, new tile, new faucets in the bathrooms.... NEW, NEW, NEW! Great for a First time home buyer!

Take advantage of the new $8,000 Tax Credit as a first time home buyer. Stop by the open house on Sunday, May 17th from 12 -2 and find out more information.

We are also currently running a promotion! When you stop by any of our open houses this month, you can fill out a form to be entered to win a $50 gift card to Bachman's nursery.


Saturday, May 16th

1 - 4 PM
1340 Alpine Pass, Golden Valley $399,900 -
Just Reduced $20,000! Now listed at $150,000 LESS than what the previous owners paid in 2008.

Sunday May 17th

12 - 2 PM
748 Kirche Hill Drive, Carver $234,900 -
Just Listed, this is the first open.

12 - 2 PM
9108 Overlook Court, Chanhassen $510,000 -
Another Great listing that has received a price reduction.

2:30 - 4:30 PM
6605 Pointe Lake Lucy, Chanhassen $872,000 -
Another Price Reduction! Beautiful Masterpiece in Minnetonka School District.

2:30 - 4:30 PM
8500 Cedar Court, Victoria $335,000 -
This one too!!! Just reduced. First open since reduction.

3 - 5 PM
910 Anthony Way, Victoria $429,900
Beautiful Twin Home loaded with all the upgrades. Granite, Tray ceilings, Private Master, One Level Living!


For more information on these or any of our other listings, visit, or call 952.470.2575.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Weekly Market Activity Report from MAAR

We trust that you had a good May Day, International Worker's Day or early Cinco de Mayo celebration. Whatever your cause for celebration, the Twin Cities housing market did not take a holiday. During the week ending April 25, pending sales posted their fourth consecutive week of more than 1,000 sales, a feat not accomplished since 2006. The 1,078 sales represent a 34.1 percent increase over the same week last year.

Supply remains a different story. New listings were hitting the market at a robust pace last spring, but activity has been comparatively tepid this year. New listings are 16.4 percent behind one year ago and the overall supply of homes for sale trails last year by 19.0 percent. We have remained near 26,000 homes for sale for most of this year, betraying the healthy seasonal growth we typically see this time of year.

Yes, supply is down, but there's still plenty of inventory out there. April's showers are behind us, the Housing Affordability Index is stratospherically healthy, low mortgage rates persist, and a first-time buyer tax credit remains in effect. At this clip, your buyers could certainly find May flowers blooming in front of their newly purchased homes.