Friday, July 29, 2011

Open Houses: July 31, 2011

2338 Fawn Hill Court - Chanhassen
5 bedroom/4 bath
Open:  12:00 to 2:00

Nestled on a quiet cul-de-sac, this custom built, one-owner home has been beautifully updated & meticulously maintained. Enjoy a Main floor Office, Gourmet Kitchen with new stainless steel appliances and a beautifully finished lower level with bar, game room and family room. Walk to Sugarbush Park. Residents of this neighborhood attend the new state of the art Chanhassen High School and Bluff Creek Elementary.

Click HERE for more information on Fawn Hill Court.

8320 Oak Drive - Victoria
4 bedroom/4 bath
Open:  12:00 to 2:00

Click HERE for more information on Oak Drive.

7705 Ridgeview Way - Chanhassen
4 bedroom/4 bath
Open:  12:00 to 2:00

Nestled on a .43 acre lot, this home shows like new construction! With a Great Room floor plan, Office & Gourmet Kitchen, Private Master Suite & Bonus Room. Relax in the private backyard or take a dip in the neighborhood pool.

Click HERE for more information on Ridgeview Way.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Companies Reduce Housing Perks in Relo Packages

Relocation packages for employees moving to a new job or relocating to a new city don’t contain as many perks as they once did, reflecting the still struggling housing market. Guaranteed buyouts of executives’ homes aren’t as common nowadays as homes lag longer on the market and companies don’t want to get stuck owning them.

Prior to the housing crisis, companies "were much more willing to participate in the real estate costs for employees because they knew almost as soon as you could get the sign in your yard, it would be sold," says Susan Schneider, president of Worldwide Employee Relocation Council.

Nowadays, one-third of 100 companies surveyed across the country say they’ve changed their relocation programs in 2009 and 2010, according to a Worldwide ERC survey. Some companies say they now offer to pay a portion of the loss of a home sale, which ranges from $10,000 to $100,000 or possibly even more, depending on the employee’s status. Other companies say they are seeking to hire locally so they don’t have to get stuck with “moving woes and costs,” according to an article by the Gannett News Service. Companies also report even trying to learn more about employees’ real estate commitments prior to giving them a job offer.

However, companies are reporting relocations rebounding, after mostly stalling in recent years. About 30 percent of 1,000 relocation managers say their company plans to move workers this year, which is the highest percentage since 2005, according to a recent survey by Atlas Van Lines. The Midwest is the top destination of transfers, the survey finds.

Source: “Relocation Costs Perk of the Past,” Gannett

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Weekend Happenings: River City Days

Chaska River City Days
Various Locations in Chaska
Friday July 29th through Sunday July 31st, 2011
Cost:  All entertainment events are Free

Ah, the small town celebrations.  People milling about downtown, lots of good food, kids having a ball, everyone chipping in to help...they are great community building events.  And this weekend it's Chaska's turn with their annual River City Days.

Bring your family for a fun filled weekend showcasing a variety of local entertainment, food and beverage booths, art & craft fair, golf, disc golf, grass and sand volleyball tournaments, Triathlon and 5 K Fun Run, Breakfast in the Park, Live bands and concerts, Business expo, Medallion hunt, a talent contest and of course a parade.

Events are scheduled from Friday morning through Sunday afternoon, kicking off with a Walk the Sidwalk sale which includes 18 downtown participating stores, door prizes and a shopping spree give-away.  You won't want to miss all Chaska has to offer this weekend.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Nice Things People Say: Testamonials

"We appreciate all that you and your team did during this stressful and busy time in our life. Your professionalism and attention to detail were also valued greatly."

Larry and Paulette Gleit ~ June 2011

"Thank you for everything you have done to help us over the last 3 years. You and Eric are a great part of our memories regarding our experience in MN. The house finding and selling process was so smooth and obviously being in a house we love makes the whole experience so much better! You are like family, we are so comfortable with you guys. Your market analysis was spot on!! Thank you for everything - you know we are HUGE fans!!"

Jason & Charlene Simon ~ March 2011

"Eric and Sharla are outstanding Realtors. In a tough market, they sold our house in 2 weeks with 2 offers. They are extremely knowledgeable of the market, hard working and provided us with honest advice. We highly recommend Eric and Sharla!"

Matt & Susan Quinn ~ January 2011

"Your knowledge and experience in the market is amazing! It creates a high level of confidence and immediate creditability."

Anonymous ~ January 2011

"Sharla understood what we were looking for in a house. Also, we appreciated all the assistance you have provided through out the closing and our move."

Jerry & Vicki Olson ~ December 2010

"Okay, now I am officially impressed! I am blown away by the website presentation of our property and the marketing materials of our home - the photo tour was awesome.

Seriously, we are so impressed with what we've seen from all three of you! If anyone can be successful in this market, your team really stands out! Thanks for the great effort!"

Ron & Sarah Christensen ~ November 2010

We have worked with some amazing clients over the years. Each and every one has made our lives better for having known them.

We love the business of Real Estate - all the joys and challenges it brings and especially, the clients we have the opportunity to serve.  We'd love to work with you if you find yourself in need of real estate services.  When you work with us you'll find that exceptional service isn’t just our motto; it is the very foundation of our business and key to our success.

Eric & Sharla

Weekly Market Update: Week of July 25, 2011

As compared to the second-half 2010 market-wide slowdown once the tax credit expired, seller activity remains below 2010 levels while buyer activity is rising up in line with historic norms.

Twin Cities home sellers brought 1,478 properties to the market, or 8.7 percent fewer than the same week last year. Buyers signed 1,064 purchase agreements, or 59.8 percent more than last year. That’s the largest year-over-year increase in pending sales since the third week in November 2008, greater than any single week during the 2009 and 2010 tax credits. Pent up demand, anyone?

The number of active listings has seen 22 straight weeks of year-over-year declines and seven weeks of month-to-month declines. It’s currently down 17.2 percent to 24,712. Inventory in 2011 peaked around 26,000 properties, down considerably from a 2007 peak of 36,700.

Slowed listings, falling supply and relatively strong sales have finally begun to draw down absorption rates. Months supply of inventory enjoyed its first decline in a year – suggesting balance lies ahead.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Small Home Office Addition

Yes, you can! Squeeze a small office into your small home, that is. But that doesn’t mean you have to take over one of the kids’ bedrooms—just look for under-utilized space.

After that, it’s decision time: How much to spend, how big to make the office, and how you’ll use it.

Here are five solutions to consider:

1. Kitchen helper. From a $400 store-bought island for bill-paying to a breakfast bench nook with file drawers built in under the seats (cost: $5,000 to $15,000), your kitchen is a treasure trove of small office possibilities. Even a slide-out cutting board (about $500 in a cabinet package) can serve as a nifty desktop.

2. Closet conversion. Get rid of unused stuff or consolidate it in another area, and a 3- to 8-foot-wide closet accommodates a built-in desk, shelves, and lighting. Make a nearby chair do double duty for your desk.

With doors and wiring for lighting and a phone, and possible added drywall, your new small office would cost $2,000 to $4,000. Keep in mind that the more floors and walls that wiring has to travel through, the costlier it gets.

3. Porch possibilities. Convert that long, narrow space on the side of your small home that gets only seasonal use to a year-round office for about $15 per square foot. Use plug-in space heaters and fans for your HVAC system.

Use inexpensive, freestanding shelves to provide storage space. Cost: About $70 for a 30-by-80-inch bookshelf.

4. Those out-of-the-way spaces. Alcoves, lofts, stair landings, basement and garage corners, and bedroom nooks qualify as potential office space. Use freestanding shelving units and bookcases. Plants or privacy screens can “wall” the area without making it feel smaller.

You can build a bench for visitors with storage space inside for about $130. Want a craftsman to build it for you? Add another $300 to $400.

5. Under-used dining rooms. Formal dining rooms can be overrated. If yours isn’t being used regularly, convert it to a small office. You’ll be close to your main entry, making it easy to receive clients and business associates. If a nearby kitchen or other busy household area is a noisy distraction, install French or sliding doors as acoustic barriers.

Terry Sheridan is an award-winning writer who has covered real estate and home ownership issues for more than 20 years. She’s owned homes ranging from 1,500 square feet to 3,000 square feet.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Financial Plan For Your Home

Your home is probably your biggest investment. To manage it, create a financial plan that takes into account repairs, upgrades, mortgages, insurance, and taxes.

Do you pay each home-related expense as it comes? If so, you’re missing opportunities for upgrades, or much worse, heading into a financial crisis when a slew of surprise maintenance items hit. So take a holistic look at what it costs to operate your house and set up a home financial plan.

Use our home financial plan budget worksheet, and start by writing a list of expenses, such as:

  • Mortgage
  • Taxes
  • Home insurance, including liability
  • Repairs and maintenance, such as new furnace, roof, painting
  • Voluntary upgrades, such as a swimming pool, a premium range, a new powder room.

What will you learn from this home financial plan weekend exercise?

  • How much you have to spend
  • How much you need to allot in the short- and long-term for necessary maintenance and voluntary improvements
With this newfound grip on your home’s expenses, you can create a home financial plan that’ll help you there for years with maximum enjoyment and minimum anxiety.

The mortgage: Pay it—and then some

Yup, you already shell out a lot for your mortgage, but can you pay more? Even a little extra each month can add up to an earlier payoff. Let’s say you have $200,000 in outstanding principal and a 20-year fixed-rate mortgage at 5%. Your monthly payment is $1,319.91. But if you can manage to pay another $100 a month, you’ll save $14,887 in interest.

Run the numbers yourself for your home financial plan.

Advantages of an early payoff, says Alan D. Kahn, a financial planner in Syosset, N.Y.:

  • Less debt means more money to spend later.
  • It feels darn good to own your house outright as soon as possible.
  • Minimal tax loss. Toward the tail end of the life of a loan most of your payment goes to the principal, not the interest, so you’re getting only a small tax break anyway.
Of course, if you’re still saving for retirement, put the 100 bucks elsewhere:

  • A retirement plan
  • An account for the inevitable home repairs
  • An account for discretionary improvements, which can raise your home’s value.

Insurance: Protect your property

Your vegetable garden is pointless without a fence to keep out rabbits; likewise, your home financial plan will come to nothing without an insurance “fence”:

Homeowner’s insurance. Basic coverage for your home and everything in it. The average cost is $636 per year but this varies widely by state.

Liability coverage. Protects you from a lawsuit if someone gets hurt on your property, for example. Your best bet: An umbrella policy. For about $300 a year you can by a typical $1 million policy.

Various disaster insurance policies. Optional policies cover flood, earthquake, and hurricane damage. As part of your home financial plan, you have to research to see what disaster coverage, if any, you need in your area, and what your standard policy already covers. For $540 a year you can buy flood insurance, for example.

Don’t under- or overbuy insurance

For your basic policy, get homeowners insurance with full replacement coverage in case your house burns to the ground.

That sounds simple, but heads up on calculation. Remember that you own a house as well as the land on which it sits. So even though you bought your home for $300,000, it may cost only $100,000 to rebuild it. Your policy limits should reflect this. This difference will vary widely by region.

Another heads up: Don’t make the common and potentially disastrous mistake of thinking that because your home has fallen in value you need less insurance. If you bought a $1.2 million townhouse in Florida during the boom, it’s true it now may only sell for $600,000. But the replacement cost of the townhouse hasn’t changed much, so you can’t improve your home financial plan by cutting insurance costs that way.

Other ways to cut your insurance budget:

  • If you make structural improvements, such as adding storm shutters, your insurer may give you a break.
  • If you belong to certain groups, such as AARP or veterans’ organizations, your premiums may be lower.

Repairs and renovations: By choice or necessity

You own a home, so you’ll be spending money on everything from a new faucet to—surprise!—a new roof. Freddie Mac and other authorities say as part of your home financial plan, you should be prepared to spend 1% to 3% of the market value of the home annually on maintenance. To be extra-prudent, open a savings account and make regular payments until your account reaches 1% to 3% of your home’s current value.

To help you budget:

Start with the inspection report you received when you bought the house. Did the inspector indicate that you would need a new roof in five years? A new furnace in 10?

Keep a log of your major appliances’ age so you can estimate when they’ll need replacing. Some estimated life spans:

  • Roof: 20-25 years
  • Heating systems: 15-20 years
  • Range/ovens: 11-15 years
  • Water heaters: 8- 13 years

Then get estimates on what replacements will cost and start saving.

Consider ongoing non-emergency maintenance, too. Do you live in New England? Price a snow blower and get bids from plow services.

Resist the siren call of the home equity loan to take care of everything. That just defeats your efforts to pay off the mortgage early.

Separate out what you want from what you need. A $50,000 kitchen remodel is nice, but you’ll recoup only 76% of the project cost your home’s resale, according to Remodeling magazine.

If you can afford to redo, go for it. Just don’t confuse your necessary repairs (new oil furnace—about $4,000) with your discretionary upgrades (Viking range—$6,000 and up).

Taxes: (Almost) no way around them

Even if your lender handles your property taxes from an escrow account, you need to budget for them in your home financial plan. They creep up almost every year, it seems. Take responsibility for tracking the changes in your area: Look over past tax bills to get a sense of how quickly they’ve risen in the past.

Or if your lender handles escrow and you haven’t saved your bills, ask for an accounting. The median annual property tax payment is $2,198, but that hides the enormous range in medians from state to state:

  • New Jersey: $6,320
  • New York: $3,622
  • California: $2,829
  • Alabama: $383
  • Louisiana: $188

You can generally deduct property taxes on your federal return. A tax pro can tell you how much of a tax break you’ll get, to help you fine tune your home financial plan.

You may be able to reduce your tax burden by getting a reassessment. Do your homework first: Are comparable houses taxed less than yours? Ask the local assessor what formula is used to set tax rates. You can challenge the assessed value and get yourself a rollback.

If you’re in a special group, you might get some help from state or local programs. Check around to see what’s available in your area. New York State, for example, has its Star Program for giving senior citizens some relief from school-related property taxes.

Richard J. Koreto is a managing editor of finance, taxes, and insurance at HouseLogic. He has been editor of several professional financial magazines and is the author of “Run It Like a Business,” a practice management book for financial planners. He and his wife own a pre-Civil War house in Rockland County, N.Y.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Weekend Happenings: Summer Beach Party and Penny Carinval

Lake Waconia Summer Beach Party
Lake Waconia Regional Park
Saturday, July 23rd, 2011
12:00 to 4:00
Cost:  Free with a Daily or Annual Park Permit

While the State Parks are trying to ramp up for opening after the long shut down, the Regional Parks have been going strong.  This Saturday, head to Lake Waconia Regional Park for their Summer Beach party.  Rock out to beach music, play beach games, participate in a sand castle building contest or a water balloon toss, and cool off with snow cones.

Penny Carnival at Wolfe Park
Wolfe Park - 3700 Monterey Drive, St. Louis Park
Friday, July 22nd, 2011
2:00 pm
Cost:  Free to attend, 2-4 cents per game (Children must be accompanied by an adult)

Save your pennies for this fun, low-cost carnival. Show off your skills at the fun carnival games, boogie-woogie to the DJ, and jump in the moonwalks. Enjoy hay rides, refreshments, and more. Your own transportation to and from Wolfe Park must be provided.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Open Houses: July 24, 2011

7376 Bent Bow Trail - Chanhassen
5 bedroom/4 bath
Open:  12:00 to 2:00

A One Acre Lot in the demand Longacres Neighborhood of Chanhassen!
Clicke HERE for more information.

7771 Madelyn Creek Drive - Victoria
3 bedroom/3 bath
Open: 12:00 to 2:00

Better than new construction - End Unit Madelyn Creek Townhome in Victoria
Click HERE for more information

7284 Bent Bow Trail - Chanhassen
4 bedroom/3 bath
Open:  12:00 to 2:00

A Longacres Gem with a totally Remodeled Gourmet Kitchen
Click HERE for more information

2350 Hunter Drive - Chanhassen
4 bedroom/3 bath
Open:  12:00 to 2:00

Single Family Home in Longacres with Rare Floor Plan
Click HERE for more information.
14057 Carmody Drive - Eden Prairie
4 bedroom/2 bath
Open:  2:30 to 4:30

Updated Split Level in Eden Pairie close to Parks!
Click HERE for more information.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Weekly Market Update: Week of July 18, 2011

Home sales in the Twin Cities housing market continue to show strong year-over-year growth, but we must continue to point out that this is mostly due to how extraordinarily quiet last year was at this time following the expiration of the federal home buyer tax credit.

For the week ending July 9, there were 788 pending sales, an increase of 40.2 percent from a year ago. The amount of signed purchase agreements seen in recent weeks is similar to the activity for the same weeks in the summer of 2008.

The good news is that fewer homes are being listed, which is helping to dampen any potential for an oversupply problem. Over the last three months, there have been roughly 1,400 fewer new listings than during the same period in 2010, and the inventory of available homes for sale is down 16.1 percent from this time last year.

As always, balance between buyers and sellers plus a healthy, sustainable market is the ultimate goal.

Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Monday, July 18, 2011

Back-to-School Supply Drive

Now through September 4th the Coldwell Banker Burnet Minnetonka Office will be collecting school supplies for our Back-To-School Supply Drive in support of Resource West.

Bring all donations to our Minnetonka office now through September 4th.  See the list above for needed supplies.  Otherwise you can visit to make a monetary donation.  Thanks for your help in making the start of the school year successful for all kids.

Cost vs. Value for Remodeling Projects

Which remodeling project would be the wiser investment:  adding a sunroom or replacing your garage door?  According to Remodeling Magazine's 2011 Remodeling Cost vs. Value report, the national average return on investment for a sunroom addition is 48.6%  vs. a whopping 83.9% return on investment for swapping out your garage doors.

In today's housing market many folks are deciding to stay put and invest their money in their homes.  There are many reasons that people remodel.  Some need more space, others are tired of staring at dated carpets and cabinets, damaged areas of your home are ripe for a remodel, and still others are looking to increase the value of their home for when they are ready to sell.  Yet not all remodeling projects yeild the return on investment that homeowners are hoping for. 

Cost vs. Value percentages vary throughout the nation.  To find out what projects yeild the greatest return on investment in your area, go to Remodeling Magazine's 2011 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report with interactive features.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rather Than Sitting on the Fence...Why Not Own It?

Coldwell Banker Burnet has joined with our parent company, Realogy, along with its other brands, in placing an advertisement in today’s edition of USA TODAY in strong support of why now is a great time to buy a home.

The ad asks USA TODAY’s 3.2 million daily readers the question, “Rather than sitting on the fence … why not own it?” and provides five supporting reasons why now is a compelling time for qualified buyers to purchase a home. Along with Realogy, we felt it was important to take a leadership position in the industry and put out a visible pro-housing message in the market at a time when too many others – ranging from Congress to consumers – appear to be sitting on the fence about homeownership.

This is a remarkable time for qualified home buyers to be in the market:

• Rates are low

• Timing is everything

• Financing is available

• Homes are more affordable

• Homeownership is still the American Dream

Click here to view the USA TODAY ad and read more about these key messages.
If you are interested in purchasing a home but something's been holding you back, give us a call or e-mail Eric or Sharla to talk about it.  You may be surprised at how easy it is to be come a homeowner.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Weekend Happenings: Spirit of the Lakes Festival & Minneapolis Aquatennial

Spirit of the Lakes Festival

July 14, 15, & 16
Mound Bay Park
Thursday 7/14 5pm, Friday 7/15 5pm
Saturday Parade 10am - Fireworks at Dusk

Three days of family fun. Music, stage shows, games and entertainments for the kids, beer garden and tiki bar for the adults.

It all starts with the Boots and Badges Safety Fair on Thursday night followed by a Kiddie Parade and Family Friendly Entertainment. On Friday, you can dance under the stars from five until midnight or watch a scrimage of the North Star Roller Derby team!

Saturday is the big day. It starts with a Grand Parade at 10am. Enjoy the Art Fair, the Business Showcase, delicious food from carefully selected vendors, stage shows all day, music, fun and the best fireworks on Lake Minnetonka.

The Spirit of the Lakes Festival is a magical day of fun for everyone. Bring your family to Mound for fun 'By the Community and For the Community'.

Visit the Link above for a full listing of Festival Events.

Minneapolis Aquatennial Block Party

Friday, July 15
Nicollet Mall, between 3rd & 4th Streets

5:00pm to 11:00 pm

The block will be rockin' with Aquatennial's official kick-off. The 2011 talent line-up includes Headliner Tonic with The Irresistibles featuring Mick Sterling and Tim Mahoney on the Stanley stage.

Aquatennial is the official civic celebration of the City of Minneapolis. Entering its 72nd year, Minneapolis residents, workers, and tourists have come to love and appreciate all that the City of Minneapolis has to offer during the Aquatennial Festival. We invite you to join in the celebration and enjoy the Best Days of Summer, occurring July 15-23, 2011!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Weekly Market Update: Week of July 11, 2011

For the week ending July 2, there were 1,057 purchase agreements, a 58.2 percent increase over the 668 seen during the same week last year.

Let's sprinkle in some context. Over the past 10 weeks in the Twin Cities metro area, pending sales have increased slightly from 986 to 1,057. Over the same 10 weeks in 2010, pending sales plunged from a credit-inspired 1,505 to an unimpressive 668. The resulting year-over-year comparisons? Three consecutive weeks of 50.0 percent or greater gains and eight consecutive weeks of double-digit gains in buyer activity.

On the seller side, activity remains comparable with 2010 levels. The 1,396 new properties added to the market were only 0.7 percent under year-ago levels. Strong sales gains coupled with stagnant listing activity is dramatically drawing down inventory levels.There are currently 25,613 homes being actively marketed in NorthstarMLS. That's down 15.6 percent from the 30,072 seen at this time last year, which is the largest inventory decline since January 2010.

Source:  Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

For Rent: 3BR/1+2BA Single Family House in Deephaven, MN, $2,600/month

 Presenting a Charming Cottage Style Home in Demand Deephaven from Stafford Family Realtors

18855 Park Avenue ~ Deephaven, MN  
$2,600/ Month

Nestled on a private .96 acre lot in demand Deephaven.  This delightful home offers a dock on Lake Minnetonka, a large kitchen with hearth room, a screened porch and a bright family room with a cozy fireplace.

For more information please visit for a private showing please call 952.470.2575

Friday, July 8, 2011

Prepping a Home for Sale: Simple Staging Tips for Inside and Out

Before you show your home to any potential buyer, you want to make sure the staging is perfect. Follow these general tips and your home will look better than the competition.


■Clear all unnecessary objects from furniture throughout the house. Keep accessories and objects on the furniture restricted to groups of 1, 3, or 5 items. In general, a de-cluttered home helps the buyer mentally “move in” with their own things. Rearrange or remove some of the furniture in your home, if necessary. Many times home owners have too much furniture in a room. When it comes to selling your home, thin out overcrowded rooms to make the rooms appear larger.

■Clear all unnecessary objects from the kitchen countertops.  If it hasn’t been used for three months…put it away!  Clear refrigerator fronts of messages, magnets, pictures, etc.

■In the bathroom, remove any unnecessary items from the countertops, tub, shower stall, and commode top. Keep only the most necessary cosmetics, brushes, perfumes, etc., in one small group on the counter. Coordinate towels in one or two colors only.

■Take down, reduce, or rearrange pictures and objects on walls.  Patch and paint all walls, if necessary.

■Review the house interior, room by room, and
  •  Paint any room needing paint.
  • Clean carpet and draperies that need it.
  • Clean windows.
■Pack up and store.  If you need room to store extra possessions, get a storage unit.

■Leave on certain lights during the day.  During showings turn on ALL lights and lamps.

■Set a background tune.  Play light FM music every day in the house, for all viewings.


■Go around the perimeter of the house and move all garbage cans, discarded wood scraps, extra building materials, etc., to the garage or, if applicable, take them to the dump.

■Check gutters and roof for dry rot and moss.  Make sure they are swept and cleaned.

■Examine all plants.  Plants are like children…they grow so fast. Prune bushes and trees.  Keep plants from blocking windows: “You can’t sell a house if you can’t see it!”

■Remove any dead plants, weed all planting areas, and put down fresh mulching material.

■Keep your lawn freshly cut, edged, and fertilized during the growing season.

■Clear patios or decks of all small items, such as little planters, flower pots, charcoal, barbeques, toys, etc.

■Check the condition of the paint on your home, especially the trim and the front door.  The first impression, or “curb appeal,” is very important.


Try to look at your house “through a buyer’s eyes,” as though you’ve never seen it before.  This exercise will help you see what needs to be done.  Any time and money invested on these items will usually bring you the return of more money and a quicker sale.

By Barb Schwarz,

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Study: Real Estate Is at a 'Historic Turning Point'

Nearly two-thirds of economists and real estate experts recently polled say the U.S. housing market is at a historic turning point. More than half say they expect national home prices to reach bottom this year and remain stable — with a modest 2 percent average annual growth — through 2015, according to MacroMarkets LLC’s June Home Price Expectations Survey.

MacroMarkets polled more than 100 housing experts, including Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®; Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist; and others.

Most of the experts polled said they believe the bottom for housing prices occurred in the first quarter of 2011 or will arrive sometime before the end of the year.

While predictions varied somewhat, on average, panelists predict a 3.52 percent decrease in home prices in the fourth-quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. They predict then small increases every year through the fourth-quarter of 2015, when prices are expected to rise 3.47 percent on an annual basis.

Read more from the study.
Source: “2011 Seen as ‘Turning Point’ for Home Prices,” Inman News (July 5, 2011) [Log-in required.]

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Weekend Happenings: Move & Groove Family Fest and Family Day at Canterbury Park

Move & Groove Family Fest
Where:  Basilica, Minneapolis
When:  Sunday, July 10th, 10:30 am to 5:00 pm
Cost:  Free

There will be live music with Grammy nominee Justin Roberts & The Not Ready For Naptime Players, Koo Koo Kanga Roo, and Backpack Kidz. There will be a Kids’ Culinary Area with Chef Brenda Langton, Creative Kidstuff Project Tent with arts and crafts, Video Games for Fun & Fitness, and a Move & Groove Playground.

Family Day at Canterbury Park
Where:  Canterbury Park, Shakopee
When:  Sunday, July 10th, 1:30 pm (first race)
Cost:  $5 per person

Family activities include free pony rides, petting zoo, face painting and a Nickelodeon Universe’s “Kids Race the Track” following the last race. Food specials include a $5 favorite basket (hot dog, chips & regular Pepsi) and $1.50 malt cups.