Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween 2013!



Happy Halloween from Stafford Family Realtors.
Have fun and be safe!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What Will $300,000 Get You In Minnesota?

Have you ever seen a magazine that shows how much house you could buy at a certain price point in the US?  Well, we thought it would be interesting to do that but focus just on MN.  With telecommuting becoming more commonplace, many are finding it possible to live anywhere they want while still working for a company in, say, the Twin Cities.  Maybe this will give you the incentive to try it out.

Minneapolis
$299,999
4021 Bryant Ave. S., Mpls.
3 bedroom, 1.5 bath, 2,057 sqft, 0.13 acres


4021 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55409


St. Paul
$299,900
681 Dayton Ave., St. Paul
4 bedroom, 2 bath, 2,496 sqft, 0.11 acre

681 Dayton Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55104



West Metro
$300,000
2917 Merlen Dr., Minnetonka
4 bedroom, 1.5 bath, 2,135 sqft, 0.49 acres

2917 Merlen Dr, Minnetonka, MN 55305


South Metro
$297,500
5912 142nd St. W., Apple Valley
5 bedroom, 2 bath, 2,362 sqft, 0.25 acres


5912 142nd St W, Apple Valley, MN 55124


East Metro
$299,900
10527 Kilbirnie Rd., Woodbury
5 bedroom, 3.25 bath, 3,329 sqft, 0.18 acre

10527 Kilbirnie Rd, Woodbury, MN 55129


North Metro
$299,900
15909 Sycamore St. NW, Andover
4 bedroom, 3 bath, 2,410 sqft, 2.4 acres

15909 Sycamore St NW, Andover, MN 55304


Rochester
$299,900
748 Foxcroft Cir. SW, Rochester
5 bedroom, 3.5 bath, 3,808 sqft, 0.38 acres

748 Foxcroft Cir SW, Rochester, MN 55902


Southern Minnesota
$295,000
31840 356th St., Le Sueur
4 bedroom, 3 bath, 2,700 sqft, 3.5 acres

31840 356th St, Le Sueur, MN 56058


Central Minnesota
$299,900
19382 County 86, Long Prairie
5 bedroom, 3 bath, 4,200 sqft, 20 acres

19382 County 86, Long Prairie, MN 56347


Lake Country
$299,900
1163 Miller Ln, Lake Shore, MN
2 bedroom, 1 bath, 672 sqft, 0.45 acres, 120' lakeshore on Gull Lake


1163 Miller Ln, Lake Shore, MN 56468


Northern Minnesota
$299,000
9345 Calypso Trl., Bemidji
4 bedroom, 2 bath, 5,666 sqft, 2.7 acres

9345 Calypso Trl, Bemidji, MN 56601


Duluth
$299,900
2105 3rd St., Duluth
4 bedroom, 1.5 bath, 2,440 sqft, 0.12 acres

2105 E 3rd St, Duluth, MN 55812

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Weekly Market Update: October 28, 2013

Nationally, we are starting to see some of the impact of the government shutdown on the housing market. Applications for government mortgage products dropped to the lowest level since 2007, according to a release from the Mortgage Banker's Association. This was while overall applications were up marginally. Most FHA lenders were able to process loans while Veterans Administration loans were slowed considerably and USDA Rural Development financing was cut off entirely. That said, there was still plenty of activity locally, much of it positive.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending October 19:

• New Listings increased 16.3% to 1,291
• Pending Sales decreased 11.4% to 867
• Inventory decreased 3.9% to 16,275

For the month of September:

• Median Sales Price increased 11.7% to $195,000
• Days on Market decreased 29.7% to 71
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.8% to 96.5%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 14.0% to 3.7

Source:  Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Monday, October 28, 2013

How To Pick Paint Colors

Paint has remodeling power when you use it to emphasize a room’s best features or play down the flaws.




Every home suffers a few negatives, but not every solution requires pricey structural changes. Paint is an often-overlooked, low-cost remodeler’s remedy for common complaints with interiors, offering the chameleon-like ability to lighten, warm, enlarge, erase, or attract attention.

“Paint is a powerful tool that can enhance the architectural character and intent of space,” says Minneapolis architect Petra Schwartze of TEA2 Architects. “As you choose your paint, think about what the experience in the room should be.”

More Schwartze advice:
 
  • Always sample paint colors on a few walls. Don’t be shy about painting a few large swaths on walls and trim to consider the effect of natural and artificial lighting. Add samples to opposite sides of a room to judge the paint color from different angles.
  • Check the space with the samples in place and watch how the paint color changes at different times of the day.
  • Evaluate your reaction to the proposed colors: Does the space feel cozy or is the openness enhanced?

How to enlarge space with color

Painting walls white, cream, pastels, or cool colors (tinged with blue or green) creates the illusion of more space by reflecting light. Paint trim similar to walls (or use white on trim) to ensure a seamless appearance that visually expands space.

 


White or light colors lift a ceiling; darker shades can have a similar effect if you select a high-gloss paint sheen, which reflects light and enhances space.

Employ a monochromatic scheme to amplify the dimensions of a room. Select furnishings in one color and paint walls and trim to match. Lack of contrast makes a room seem more spacious.

Make walls appear taller by extending wall color onto the ceiling. Create a 6- to 12-inch-wide border of wall color on the entire ceiling perimeter, or wherever walls meet the ceiling.

Vertical and horizontal stripes of alternating color can make a room grand. While vertical stripes enhance room height by drawing the eye upward, horizontal stripes lure your gaze around the perimeter, making walls seem further away. Use similar light colors for low-contrast stripes, and your room will look even larger.


Creating intimacy




When a space feels cavernous, draw walls inward and make it cozy with warm colors (red-tinged) because darker hues absorb light. Similarly, a dark or warm color overhead (in a flat finish) helps make rooms with high or vaulted ceilings less voluminous.

Give peace a chance



The right paint choice can lend tranquility to a bathroom, master suite, or other quiet, personal space. A palette of soft, understated color or muted tones help you instill a calming atmosphere. Some good choices include pale lavenders, light grays or greens, and wispy blues.

Define your assets




Call out notable features in a room with paint. Dress crown mouldings and other trims in white to make them pop against walls with color. Make a fireplace or other feature a focal point by painting it a color that contrasts with walls.

“Using a higher sheen of paint on woodwork, such as baseboards and door or window casings,” says Schwartze, “creates a crisp edge and clear transition from the wall to the trim.”

Hide flaws





Not everything should stand out in a space. Using a low-contrast palette is a good way to hide unappealing elements or flaws. Conduit, radiators, and other components painted the same color as the wall will seem to disappear.

Selecting low-sheen or flat paint colors also helps hide flaws. Unless walls are smooth, avoid using high-gloss paint because it reflects light and calls attention to an uneven surface.

What’s the cost?

As a DIY job, painting a 12-by-12-ft. space costs about $150, including paint, primer, brushes, drop cloths, and other painting tools and supplies. A professionally painted room using high-quality, brand-name paint costs $200-$400.

Source:  Houselogic, article by Jan Soults Walker.  Nationally published home improvement writer Jan Soults Walker and her husband, Dave, once built a window seat with flanking bookcases into a kitchen. It remains one of their favorite storage projects to date.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

New listing: 6263 Sugar Mill Lane - Mound

6263 Sugar Mill Ln., Mound, MN 55364




New listing just posted: http://tour.circlepix.com/home/AGXECV

New listing video just posted:  http://video.circlepix.com/AGXECV/138/442


Description:




Home Information:

Beds: 5

Baths: 2.00

Sqft: 3,123

Asking Price: $375,000

MLS #: 4425284

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Weekend Happenings: Family Halloween Fun

Chanhassen 29th Annual Halloween Party
Chanhassen Recreation Center
2310 Coulter Blvd.
Chanhassen, MN 55317
Fri. Oct. 25, 2013
5:30 to 7:30 pm
Cost:  $5 per child, Adults free



It's ghost and goblin season, join us at the Rec Center for a good reason! Our 29th annual Halloween Party is guaranteed to be a great time for one and all!
Wear your best costume and join the fun! Enjoy trick-or-treating, live entertainment, carnival games, hayrides (outside, weather permitting) and plenty of treats for everyone!

Featuring: A Touch of Magic’s Family Comedy Show... Mixed Nuts!


Long Lake Safe Trick or Treating
Long Lake Fire Department
340 Willow Drive North
Long Lake, MN 55356
Sat., Oct. 26, 2013
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Cost:  Free



The fun begins at the Long Lake Fire Department where children will receive a treat bag and a map of participating businesses. Be sure to wear your costumes!
Presented by the Long Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, the Long Lake Fire Department, and local businesses. For children ages 10 and under, accompanied by an adult.

Lowry Nature Center Pumpkin Carving
Lowry Nature Center
7025 Victoria Drive
Victoria, MN 55386
Sun., Oct. 27, 2013
1:00 to 3:00 pm
Cost:  $8.00



Family carving fun! We provide the pumpkin, patterns, carving tools, and the space to create. You get to take home a jack-o'-lantern masterpiece! A skilled pumpkin carver will help you create a fun design together and provide tips and tricks to good pumpkin carving. Children under age 12 should work alongside an adult. Restricted to participants age 4 and older.

Reservations are required. 763.694.7650

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Accepting Offers On Your Home

You've cleaned, you've decluttered, you've updated, you've depersonalized, you've staged....you've done it all to get your house ready for the market.  And while every home seller's nightmare is that there will be no one who puts in an offer on their home, the reality is that you will get offers.  And in today's market the likelyhood is high that you will even get multiple offers.  Once the offers start coming in, you should have a plan in place for how you're going to deal with those offers.



What's Most Important To You?

The first question to ask yourself is, "What's most important to me in the sale of my home?"  The obvious answer is that you actually do sell the home and not blow every offer that comes your way.  And to not blow the offer, you need to figure out what is your top priority.  Is it the selling price?  Is it that you need to close quickly?  Or is it that you want to feel safe with the transaction and not have it fall through?  Knowing the answer to this question will help you determine which offers to move to the top of the list.

Once you answer the most important question, then prioritize every other term in the offer and set baselines for what you will and won't accept.  This helps you to determine whether you can be flexible on, say, closing date when every other term is to your liking.

What's Most Important To The Buyer?

The next answer you're looking for is what the buyer finds most important.  If an offer comes in that is unacceptable, ask questions to find out what the buyers are looking for, and see if you can accomodate their most pressing concerns.

Review Every Term

Yes, price is very important.  But every other term can have a big impact on how the sale goes and whether or not you'll come out satisfied in the end.  Here are some terms other than price you will need to review:

  • Earnest Money:  Did the buyer bring forth enough earnest money?  If they put down a low amount, this may mean that they aren't very interested and could easily walk away and give up their earnest money.  Are you comfortable with that?
  • Pre-approval and contingencies:  Do the buyers have a pre-approval letter indicating that they are able to afford your home?  Do they have to wait on financing to go through?
  • Appliances, Fixtures, and other details of the property:  Does the buyer want you to include the brand new washer and dryer that you were planning on taking with you?  Do they think that your grandmother's hutch in the dining room fits perfectly with the custom nook you created for just that purpose?  Can you give these things up?
  • Inspection results:  Of course you will have to deal with major discoveries in an inspection.  But does the buyer expect you to address every tiny item on the inspection report?  Will this cause major stress in an already stressful time?  Do you have the money to do this?
  • Closing costs and closing date:  Are you willing to pay part or all of the buyer's closing costs?  Can you accomodate their closing date?

Be as flexible as you can to achieve your number one goal...selling your home.  For every term, ask yourself, "Can I live with this or is it a dealbreaker?"

Everything Is Negotiable

Remember, everything is negotiable.  Do not take a poor offer personally.  This is a business transaction and treat it as such.  You can always counter with your own terms.  Work hard to come to an agreement so that both you and the buyer are happy with the end result.

Rely On Your Realtor's Experience

Your realtor has gone through this process hundreds of times.  Rely on their experience and expertise to guide you through the process.  Listen carefully to their advice.  But the final decisions are up to you.  It is your biggest investment that you are dealing with and no one can make the decisions for you.  If you've gone through the steps above, the final answer should become clear.  Accept the best offer with confidence.

Source:  Michelle Schwake for Stafford Family Realtors

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Weekly Market Update: October 21, 2013

As tricks and treats are planned, housing starts its preparation for a holiday season hibernation. Though activity hasn't come to a complete halt – there are still year-over-year gains being posted for listings and prices – the liveliness of the summer months has started to slow. Keep watch on any movements from the Fed, on economic indicators outside of housing and on the legislative tug-of-war. Each may play a part in predicting how the rest of the fourth quarter of 2013 goes.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending October 12:

• New Listings increased 21.7% to 1,524
• Pending Sales decreased 2.7% to 892
• Inventory decreased 5.6% to 16,113

For the month of September:

• Median Sales Price increased 11.7% to $195,000
• Days on Market decreased 29.7% to 71
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.8% to 96.5%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 16.3% to 3.6

Source:  Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Saturday, October 19, 2013

New listing: 9330 River Rock Drive N. - Chanhassen

9330 River Rock Dr. North, Chanhassen, MN 55317




New listing just posted: http://tour.circlepix.com/home/SWHJ7E
New listing video just posted:  http://video.circlepix.com/SWHJ7E/138/442


Description:




Home Information:

Beds: 5

Baths: 3.00

Sqft: 3,472

Asking Price: $449,000

MLS #: 4422910

Friday, October 18, 2013

New listing: 3850 Lone Cedar Lane - Chanhassen

3850 Lone Cedar Ln., Chanhassen, MN 55318





New listing just posted: http://tour.circlepix.com/home/9HPK4A
New listing video just posted:  http://video.circlepix.com/9HPK4A/138/442


Description:




Home Information:

Beds: 4

Baths: 3.00

Sqft: 5,166

Asking Price: $1,420,000

MLS #: 4340945

New listing: 4332 Brookside Ave. - St. Louis Park

4332 Brookside Ave., St. Louis Park, MN 55436




New listing just posted: http://tour.circlepix.com/home/CGJV6L
New listing video just posted:  http://video.circlepix.com/CGJV6L/138/442




Description:




Home Information:

Beds: 3

Baths: 1.00

Sqft: 1,540

Asking Price: $549,000

MLS #: 4368606

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Weekend Happenings: Twin Cities Film Fest

Twin Cities Film Fest
ICON Theater
1625 West End Blvd.
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
Oct. 17-26, 2013
Cost:  Tickets start at $10 per film, packages are available



10 days, 75 films, 22 red carpet parties and panels - see the year's most exciting films, and meet the year's most interesting filmmakers.

This year's highlights include more than a half-dozen Oscar frontrunners. On October 17, the opening night gala spotlights "Nebraska," the new drama by Alexander Payne ("The Descendants," "Sideways"). On Oct. 22, the Centerpiece Gala is "The Armstrong Lie," a provocative new documentary by Oscar-winner Alex Gibney ("Taxi to the Dark Side," "Enron: The… More Smartest Guys in the Room")

Other highlights of the fest include a quartet of groundbreaking films on Saturday, Oct. 26:

-"Remote Area Medical" at 10:45 a.m., a harrowing portrait of the doctors and nurses who are bringing health care to America's rural poor

-"Last Vegas" at 3 p.m., the uproarious new comedy starring Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro and Morgan Freeman, about an unlikely Vegas bachelor party among old friends.

-"August: Osage County" at 6 p.m. (also showing the night of Thursday, Oct. 24), the critically-acclaimed hit from the Toronto Film Festival based on the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tracey Letts. Starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Ewan McGregor, "August" tells the story of a most unlikely family reunion and an irascible, unforgettable matriarch (Streep) who leaves an imprint on her children's lives.

-"Nothing Without You" at 8:30 p.m. is this year's Closing Night Gala - an expert thriller about a woman who falls so in love with the men in her life that she becomes something of a stalker. Accused of a murder she didn't commit, she realizes that a court-appointed psychiatrist is her only ally. Starring local actress Emily Fradenburgh in a tour de force performance.

Source:  ExploreMN.com

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Suite Interiors

Buyers emerging from a recession mind-set are reclaiming the master suite. What’s new in this home dreamscape?


Source:  huntsptproperty.com

The master suite has always been a sort of “private escape” from the rest of the house, according to Jerry Gloss, senior partner of KGA Studio Architects in Louisville, Colo. But that doesn’t mean this intimate space can’t also be useful and dynamic.


When creating a master suite, it helps to remember zoning, Gloss says. If one member of a couple gets up early, he or she needs a vestibule to isolate noise and light from the sleeping partner. This dream space can be constrained by physical limitations. Gloss recommends having a tape measure handy during showings. One wall must have at least 13 feet of space, or else “a king-size bed won’t fit—unless you want to throw out a nightstand.”

Another old-fashioned resort touch making its way back into master suites is the hearth. “Fireplaces are going away from family rooms,” Pearlman says. “But we are putting fireplaces into master suites.”

And if a cozy fire makes for a perfect evening antidote to stress, an inspired master bath will sure enhance the wake-up routine. Denver-based Possibilities for Design Inc. founder Doris Pearlman says more luxurious designs are creeping back into the bath area after a stretch of austerity. She sees designers bringing in 1930s-style spa touches, such as floating vanities and detached baths. “Master suites are dream spaces,” she says. “There are so many neat master suites that are inspired by hotels.”

And while marble surfaces will always be coveted, there are ways to get around a high-cost bathroom. Pearlman suggests a mosaic of colored tiles as an update for a tired bath. “They’re great and inexpensive to use,” she says.

Remodeling magazine’s 2013 Cost vs. Value Report found costs recouped from bathroom remodels and additions increased by an average of 3.2 percent over the past year. Funds used to improve and add onto mid-range bathrooms had a slightly better return than those spent on higher-end projects in the same categories. Also, money spent on master suite projects got a greater return year over year, increasing 4 percent for mid-range projects and 1.6 percent for upscale ones.

Source:  RealtorMag, Article by Meg White

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Weekly Market Update: October 14, 2013

Home price gains and housing demand are still a year-over-year improvement, but activity is beginning to moderate as the seasons change. With the possibility of further rate and price increases, some buyers are still motivated, but urgency tends to wane when holiday decorations start going up. Recovery continues, but the pace is stabilizing. Yet that's a good thing, since harmful corrections usually follow when the market moves too far too fast.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending October 5:

• New Listings increased 17.9% to 1,536
• Pending Sales increased 2.4% to 1,037
• Inventory decreased 6.2% to 16,074

For the month of September:

• Median Sales Price increased 11.7% to $195,000
• Days on Market decreased 29.7% to 71
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.8% to 96.5%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 16.3% to 3.6

Source:  Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Monday, October 14, 2013

Take The Chill Off With A Fireplace

Fireplaces are a wonderful accent to a house, especially during the shoulder seasons of Spring and Fall.  In our house, we try to go as long as we can in the fall before turning on our furnace.  And this is much easier to do if there is a fireplace in the house.  The weather is a perfect cool temperature for sleeping therefore bedrooms really don't need much in the way of additional heat.  Then when you wake up, you flip the switch or light the match to start a warm and cozy fire.  By mid-day, the sun is heating up the house and the fireplace goes off.  And as the house cools again towards evening, you can start it up again.

Since we live in Minnesota, we rarely make it all the way to November before needing the heat, but we challenge ourselves every year.  But in order to do this, you need a fireplace.  We thought it would be nice to show you some cool fireplaces so that maybe, if you don't have one, you might just decide that it's very necessary!


This fireplace with surrounding shelving and a flat screen TV above the mantle, is a very typical way to show off your fireplace.
source:  homeimprovementbasics.com

Modern Fireplace Examples
This ultra-modern fireplace doesn't take center stage but still packs a whallop.
source:  Lowes

This corner fireplace adds rustic charm but doesn't take center stage.
source:  cornerfireplaceideas.com


Do you have an ugly brick fireplace?  It's amazing what a little paint can do to help.
source:  hgtv.com



Fireplaces aren't just for living rooms. 
source:  tendir.com


What was once a staple in every kitchen, fireplaces are now a luxurious upgrade.
source:  hommemaker.com

Bedrooms are another great place to add a fireplace.  Nothing could be more cozy.
source:  homewithattitude.com
 
Source:  Michelle Schwake for Stafford Family Realtors

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Weekend Happenings: Buy Local, Part 2

While there are plenty of Halloween-related events going on this weekend, (Valleyscare, Sever's Corn Maze, Waconia's Scarecrow Tour, to name a few) I thought maybe you'd want to take advantage of the beautiful fall weather we're having and continue your shopping spree in the local shops here in the SW metro, and more specifically in beautiful Minnetonka.  If you missed Part 1 of Buy Local, you can catch that post HERE.  Otherwise, see below for even more awesome shops in our area.

Minnetonka Shops

Sure, Minnetonka has Ridgedale Center with all of it's fabulous stores (save that for a rainy day), but if you're looking for a more unique experience you may want to check out...

The General Store



You could literally spend HOURS shopping in the locally owned and operated family business that is the General Store.  They boast more than 15,000 square feet of home decor, specialized gifts, and old time classics.  Buy the kids some penny candy to keep them occupied and puruse the labrynth of beautiful items.  And when you get hungry, just step on into their cafe and bistro featuring delish soups, salads, and sandwiches.  You may never want to leave!

The Cottage Chicks




Now in their newly expanded shop, the Cottage Chicks is a great spot to find all things vintage.  They don't just sell vintage and repurposed items, they LOVE them.  And it comes accross in every artfully composed display.  Don't forget to check in back for their repurposed home botique.  You can learn more about them from their Blog, from their Facebook page, and their Ebay Shop.

Lakewinds Natural Foods

 MTKA_exterior_001-RGB.jpg

Okay, so maybe this wasn't the kind of shopping you had in mind, but I'll tell you, you are going to love shopping here.  If you are looking for healthier ways to live, you need to shop here for all your organic, grass-fed, free-range, minimally processed, gluten-free, omega-3, you-name-it foods and household products.  If you've ever read an article about eating more naturally and wondered where in the world you would find all that stuff....here is the place.  They have another location in Chanhassen and a soon-to-be-built location in Richfield.

Let us know your favorite shopping spots in Minnetonka.  We're always looking for more good places to shop!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Best Places To Buy International Vacation Property

More and more people are feeling more confident in our economy and as a consequence are feeling more secure in their personal finances as well.  Maybe you already own your home, are actively investing and saving.  In other words, you're feeling pretty secure financially.  Many who find themselves in this position decide to travel.  But what if your traveling could also be a way to invest wisely?

According to an article at EscapeHere.com, there are deals to be had out there when it comes to investing in vacation properties.  Check out the article HERE if you want the full list of 10 that the article highlights.  But here are their recommended top 3 and what makes them so appealing.

Argentina



With mountains, jungles and big cities, too, Argentina has something for everyone.  And with the Argentinian economy being healthy and growing, it makes a great place for investing in property.  So what are we talking about, moneywise?  How about $75,000 USD for a vineyard or $65,000 USD for a 2-acre lot in the coveted patagonian region with it's snow-capped mountains and beautiful thaw lakes?

Costa Rica



Costa Rica has a very low standard of living so you can afford a lot here.  And it is one place that should stay green for a long time to come...Costa Rica is very forward thinking in sustainable technology and environmental practices.  Doing a quick search on Viviun.com, which lists international real estate, shows that you can buy 3 acres of land with a waterfall, ocean views, bordering a biologic reserve and overlooking the Baru River Valley for $195,000 USD.  That's cheaper than a lot on any of the popular lakes here in Minnesota!

Albania



Albania borders Greece and is across the sea from Italy.  With it's mediterranean climate and lifestyle, it's like a much cheaper version of Greece.  And according to the article, "For $50,000, you can get a beach-front apartment, and since the country’s successful transition to capitalism, the economy is just going up, and bringing property values with it."

Source:  Michelle Schwake for Stafford Family Realtors, and EscapeHere.com

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Weekly Market Update: October 7, 2013

Home prices are still rising and rates have increased incrementally. As the cement of market balance hardens, it has become more dependent on move-up and first-time home buyers. Even with tightened lending regulations, seller activity has broadened. The government shutdown should not have a major impact on national and local market housing recovery. But as we get deeper into the -ber months, it will be interesting to see if the year-over-year trends hold true, simply lessen in drama or give reason for pause.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 28:

• New Listings increased 10.3% to 1,449
• Pending Sales increased 12.2% to 1,106
• Inventory decreased 5.9% to 16,282

For the month of August:

• Median Sales Price increased 16.8% to $207,825
• Days on Market decreased 34.0% to 70
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 2.0% to 97.0%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 15.9% to 3.7

Source:  Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

Monday, October 7, 2013

Wallpaper For Any Room

When you think of wallpaper does your mind conjur up something like this?



Acckkk!!  Or maybe you remember the mauve and country blue geese of the 80's, like this.



I assure you, my friends, that you can hang wallpaper in your house and still look stylish and modern.  Wallpapers have come a long way since those ill-fated goose-infested borders.  Instead of covering every square inch of wall space with garish little flower boquets, today's wallpapers offer a sleek design and a modern esthetic.  And when used more judiciously, like on an accent wall, they add that element of style that can set a space apart.

Make A Bold Statement



This lovely black and white leaf pattern is simple yet bold.  It allows you to add your own pop of color but maintains a fresh style.  Be sure to use on a large wall since it may overtake a small space.




This contemporary room is wallpapered with a historical European map to add character and instant appeal to an otherwise plain room.



Did you ever think a black wall could look so luxurious and still leave a room feeling bright and filled with light?  This wallpaper has managed to do just that in this eat-in kitchen.


Unexpected Places



Here a simple, geometric pattern is used on the ceiling in a dining toom while the walls are left a simple blue and white.



Here is another delightfully wallpapered ceiling in a baby's nursery.




Wallpapers are great for adding pattern and color to rooms where boring and mundane tasks need to be done, like in this laundry room.



Look at the cool stairway with wallpapered treads. 



Wallpaper can be used to great effect on furniture as well.


Small Spaces




Small bathrooms are a great place to add a pop of color and trendy design elements.  This bold geometic wallpaper allows you to keep everything else in the space simple and yet still allows for great impact.  Below are some more wallpapered water closets that look great.








A Subtle Backdrop



This wallpaper is subtle yet loaded with style and thoroughly modern.



This chic living room wallpaper sets a just right tone for the room.



The botanical leaf print in this hallway is the perfect backdrop for the cool bench.

A Touch Of Realism





Some of the newer wallpapers can help you add a rustic element without the cost of adding these natural elements to your home.  Here a wallpaper mimics reclaimed weathered wood.



This wallpaper makes you feel like you're living in a log cabin.

Dining Room Wallpaper To Create High Artistic Value: Dining Room Accent Wall Stone ~ nidahspa.com Dining Room Designs Inspiration

Can you believe that this stone wall is actually wallpaper?!

We hope these pictures have helped you decide that wallpaper isn't a death sentence to style that it once was.  Give it a try.  You might just fall in love with your house all over again.

Source:  Michelle Schwake, Stafford Family Realtors