Monday, January 31, 2011

On the way up...

10 Cities Where Home Prices Will Rise in 2011
While home prices are expected to continue to fall in most metro areas, Clear Capital’s Home Data Index report says a few cities are already on the rebound and showing some gains in home values.

“There really is this segmentation of these markets occurring where the one-size-fits-all national level numbers to represent all numbers really isn’t valid anymore,” Alex Villacorta, senior statistician at Clear Capital, told MSNBC. “Overall we’re seeing prices start to stabilize going into 2011, but unfortunately some of those markets will stabilize in the downward direction where others will see a sustained recovery.”

Clear Capital takes into account unemployment rates, foreclosure rates, and real estate inventory in its index.

The following is a list of 10 cities that Clear Capital expects will rise in property value in 2011:

1. Washington, D.C.: 6.5 percent price increase
2. Houston: 3.6 percent price increase
3. Honolulu: 3.4 percent price increase
4. Memphis, Tenn.: 3.2 percent price increase
5. Columbus, Ohio: 2.1 percent price increase
6. Dallas: 1.4 percent price increase
7. New York: 1.3 percent price increase
8. Birmingham, Ala.: 0.9 percent price increase
9. Pittsburgh: 0.8 percent price increase
10. New Orleans: 0.5 percent price increase

Meanwhile, Clear Capital reports that real estate markets in Florida and the Western parts of the U.S.—such as cities in Arizona and “Breadbasket metros” like Oklahoma City, Okla., and Dayton, Ohio—likely will see the largest price drops in home values over the year. Virginia Beach, Va., is expected to have the highest drop in 2011, with a 12.8 percent price decrease, according to Clear Capital report.

Source: “Where Home Prices Will Rise, Fall the Most in 2011,” MSNBC (Jan. 26, 2011)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

To Own or Not to Own: That is the question.

According to a NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® survey of 3,793 adults conducted by Harris Interactive and released in January 2011, home owners and renters agree that home ownership benefits individuals and families, strengthens our communities, and is integral to our nation’s economy.

The vast majority of both home owners and renters say that owning a home is a smart decision over the long term. Even in today’s challenging economy, 95% of owners and 72% of renters believe that over a period of several years, it makes more sense to own a home.

Home owners are much more likely to be satisfied with the quality of their family and community life than renters. While more than half of owners (56%) are “very” or “extremely” satisfied with the overall quality of their family life, only about one-third (36%) of renters report the same levels of satisfaction. Also, 43% of home owners are “very” or “extremely” satisfied with their community life, compared with 30% of renters.

An overwhelming majority of home owners are happy with their decision to own a home. A full 93% of owners surveyed would buy again.

Most renters aspire to home ownership. The majority of renters (63%) say they are at least somewhat likely to purchase a home at some point in the future. Among them, young adults (18- to 24-years-old) have the strongest aspirations for home ownership.

Another Exceptional Home from Stafford Family Realtors

Welcome to 6397 Cliffwood Circle
Excelsior, Minnesota
Listed at $799,900
This beautiful example of Prairie-Style design is truly exceptional. Nestled on a .87 acre lot on a quiet cul-de-sac, this home offers amazing living spaces for the most intimate of gatherings to more formal soirees. Enjoy the Frank Lloyd Wright inspired designer finishes from the 2-Story Great Room the the Gourmet Kitchen with Hearth Room or the custom finished lower level.
For a private showing, please contact us at 952.470.2575 or visit for more information.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Another Exceptional Home in Longacres

Presenting another Longacres Gem from Stafford Family Realtors
7122 Harrison Hill Trail
Chanhassen, MN

This Longacres gem is sited on the coveted Harrison Hill Trail. Nestled on a .5 acre lot with a side walkout and covered with mature trees, this home offers a Gourmet Kitchen, Main Floor Office and a professionally finished lower level with Billiards Room, Wet Bar, Media Room and Sitting Room. Please contact us today for a private showing or visit our website at for more informaiton.
For Sale: 5BR/3+1BA Single Family House in Chanhassen, MN, $599,000

Presended by Eric & Sharla Stafford
Stafford Family Realtors

New To Market & Better Than New Construction

Welcome to 15710 57th Avenue North
located in the demand Woodcrest of Plymouth neighborhood.
This beautiful home offers stunning living spaces and an open floor plan. Enjoy the gourmet Kitchen with granite, stainless steel appliances and custom painted center island. Other upgrades include a Jack-and-Jill bath, private guest suite, private Master Suite and main floor office.
For a private showing, please contact Eric & Sharla Stafford at 952.470.2575.
To check out more of our listings, please visit

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I saw this on the Today Show yesterday and it’s great information and very worth sharing! Barbara Corcoran is an expert but sometimes just too focused on what works in New York, not the rest of the nation. This really applies to sellers everywhere! Enjoy!

9 TIPS TO SELL YOUR HOME – by Barbara Corcoran

There is a smart way and a not-so-smart way to get the best price for your home in the new year. Selling is both a price war and a beauty contest, and to win both you should check these nine tips.

We talked about five tactics on TODAY, and I promised you a more complete list online.
Here it is:

1. Time it right

Wait a few more weeks to put that "for sale" sign in front of your home. Few houses sell until after Super Bowl Sunday. If your house has been on the market for more than four months, take it off the market and re-list it in two months as "new."

2. Price it at exactly what it’s worth

The most influential factor in selling a home is always price. Don't build "wiggle room" into the asking price. There's a price war out there and you have to win it from the get-go. Shop the competition to see what similar homes are selling for and price your home 10 to 15 percent lower so it's the first house shown. Or you can get price estimates from three good brokers and go with the lowest. If you've overpriced your home, then make one big reduction. The worst thing you can do is make a series of small price reductions along the way — it's the equivalent of chasing the tide as it rolls out.

3. Get your home inspected before you list

Don't wait for the would-be buyer to discover the problems you could have fixed before selling. When they're discovered, buyers will just move to the next house or rack up reasons to expect price cuts.

4. Offer financial incentives up front

Don't wait for the negotiations to throw in extra price incentives — offer them up front. Offer to pre-pay the first year of property taxes, pay closing costs, include free cleaning, lawn care or snow-removal services for a year. If you're moving and have no place to put your money, the best incentive out there today is "seller financing." Make sure to put your incentives front and forward in the listing information.

5. Wage war online

A whopping 89 percent of buyers start their home search online. How your house looks online is the modern equivalent of "curb appeal." Rent a wide-angle lens and good lighting, get rid of your clutter and post at least eight great photos to win the beauty contest.

6. Use the best broker

The top 10 percent of sales agents generate 90 percent of the sales and they're the ones most likely to sell your home. To find a smart broker, go to a reputable firm and ask the sales manager for a broker in the top 10 percent.

7. Spend money on the three key spaces:
• The front of the house
• Buyers decide in the first eight seconds of seeing a home if they're interested in buying it. Get out of your car, walk in their shoes and see what they see within the first eight seconds. Edge your lawn, mulch your flower beds, trim your bushes, steam clean your driveway and paint your door and trim.
• The living room
• Get rid of ALL your clutter, including a third of your furniture. Paint the walls a neutral white and add touches of color. If you can afford to stage one room, this is it.
• The kitchen
• Invest in cheap expenses like changing the cabinet fronts, new lights and fixtures, new knobs and drawer pulls, installing a chic new backsplash, resurfacing the floors and getting one new, fancy-looking appliance.

8. Lighten your house

After location, light is the second-most cited reason buyers choose a particular house. Paint the inside walls white, clean the windows, trim back shrubs and trees, replace heavy drapery with sheer curtains or shades, put sheer white shades on your lamps and higher-wattage bulbs.

9. Stage your home

The typical cost of staging a house is $1,500. If you can't spend the money, visit more expensive model homes in your area and try to mimic the look. It's what today's buyers want.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New School Boundary Map vs. Your Home Values

Another Step away from Democracy: The New Eden Prairie School District Boundary Maps

And it means over 1,065 children will be going to different schools next fall. This follows the school board’s 4-3 vote last month which approved these changes.

The goal was to reduce the disparity between low-income students at Forest Hills Elementary and the more affluent population of students at Cedar Ridge. Hundreds of Eden Prairie parents opposed the plan but they clearly haven’t been heard.

As a Realtor, it’s always “location, location, location” and School Districts are the primary driver of where most families choose to relocate. Both relocation and local buyers define their search parameters by School Districts. Strong School Districts help to maintain strong housing values – they just go hand in hand.

So, what message is the Eden Prairie School Board sending to their District? What does this mean for parents that have worked hard so they can buy a home in a neighborhood where their children can walk to school - only to have their children bussed out of their neighborhood to a school outside of their community?

I can’t imagine how it would feel to have moved to Eden Prairie a year ago and purchased a home in a neighborhood where your children can walk to school, only to be told a year later, that your children will not, in fact, be going to that school. What is a parent to do?

It sounds like the Eden Prairie School Board is more interested in serving the needs of the low-income families in their District than the needs of the families that have a higher income. A higher income typically translates to higher property values, and higher taxes. Does this make any sense?? The families footing the majority of the tax base in District 272 are the families that haven’t been heard – they have been ignored. What is happening here?? Couldn’t the Board come up with a solution that would serve the needs of all the families in the District?

I like to find the silver lining in challenging or discouraging situations – but I’m just not seeing it here. District 272 has stripped the parents of their choice of which elementary school their children will attend . . . that just doesn’t seem right to me – it doesn’t sound like freedom or even sound American to me….it sounds like socialism. I don’t like it and I don’t even live in the District and according to news reports, there are hundreds of parents in District 272 that don’t like it either.

To see a map with the new boundaries, go to

Monday, January 10, 2011

New to Market ~ 10566 Spyglass Drive, Eden Prairie

Presenting another Exceptional Home from Stafford Family Realtors:
10566 Spyglass Drive
Eden Prairie, Mn 55347

New to market, this stunning one owner detached townhome offers main-level living at its best in a perfect location close to downtown Eden Prairie. Enjoy a Gourmet Kitchen, Great Room floor plan & a vaulted main-level Master Suite.
Open Tuesday, January 11, 2011 11:00-2:00!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

For Sale: 4BR/3BA Single Family House in Waconia, MN, $333,000

Presenting another Exceptional Home from Stafford Family Realtors!
1604 Manchester Place
Waconia, MN 55387

For Sale: 4BR/3BA Single Family House in Waconia, MN, $333,000

Only available due to relocation, this stunning one owner home shows better than new construction. Enjoy maple mill work throughout, a Great Room floor plan, main floor Office and spacious Kitchen. All situated on a spacious .43 acre lot in the demand neighborhood of Oakpointe. Don't miss out on this great opportunity!