Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending August 12, 2017

The prevailing trends have continued to prevail through the summer, which has not
really been a surprise. There have not been any jolting changes in the economy that
would affect residential real estate. This includes steady news for factors such as
wage growth, unemployment, new construction and mortgage rates. Every locality
has its unique challenges, but housing as a whole is performing as expected.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending August 12:
 • New Listings increased 1.2% to 1,668
 • Pending Sales decreased 8.0% to 1,195
 • Inventory decreased 17.1% to 12,576

For the month of July:
 • Median Sales Price increased 5.9% to $254,000
 • Days on Market decreased 16.7% to 45
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 99.2%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 19.4% to 2.5

Publish Date: August 21, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016
Information gathered from MAAR


Friday, August 18, 2017

It's a Solar Eclipse!


While Minnesota is not in the path of totality that doesn't mean that you can't enjoy a huge solar event on Monday. We can see the first total eclipse since 1979. The solar eclipse is happening from around 10 am in Oregon until almost 3 pm in South Carolina. At the longest point the sun will be blotted out for 2:48 minutes over Illinois. In Minnesota the maximum viewing time is 1:06 pm. We will have an 80% partial view. Remember you can't look directly at the solar eclipse so many people make or buy viewers.

To learn more about the eclipse check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxrLRbkOwKs

To build your own solar eclipse viewer check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6nBGuzLJDE


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Does Your Living Room Feel Unfinished? Ask Yourself These 6 Questions

Have you ever felt like your living room looks incomplete but you haven’t been sure what to do about it? Being your own decorator can be difficult — you get used to your own furniture, and it can be challenging to think of new approaches to a space you’ve been living in for some time. If that’s the situation for you, ask yourself these six questions to jump start a new perspective and take your living room from not-quite-right to beautifully decorated.

1. Do you have a focal point? Many features in a room can be its focal point, including a fireplace, built-in shelves or even a grouping like a chest with a lamp and art overhead. If a focal point doesn’t seem to exist in your living room, think about where your eye goes naturally when entering the room and create a point of interest there with furnishings, such as a sofa table and lamp or maybe a curio cabinet with decorative items. To emphasize your focal point, add finishes or decor that will make it stand out: an accent wall can draw the eye, as can bold artwork, contrasting decor or a stunning piece of furniture.
In this photo, a wide doorway frames the focal point beyond: the sofa and art. The white sofa, light walls and rug create a bold contrast against the eye-catching red pillows and dark tables. The large artwork pulls together the different colors in the room.

In this room, the built-in shelving is the obvious focal point, thanks in large part to its fetching blue paint. The large framed art and contrasting shelf decor further draw the eye to this part of the room. It’s just as important that the sofa, end table, coffee table, gray chair and pillows provide a neutral foreground that doesn’t compete with the shelving.
Keep in mind that not every element of your room has to be special or colorful or unique — keeping some pieces simple allows the items you want to showcase to really stand out.
2. Do you have a cozy seating arrangement that enhances your focal point? Of course a wide range of options exist on furniture placement, but by placing your sofa or love seat facing your focal point with chairs laced in to create an intimate grouping, you naturally draw attention toward that focal point, whether a fireplace, artwork or view beyond. If pointing your sofa toward the focal point isn’t an option or doesn’t look quite right, try flanking your focal point with the furniture grouping instead to enhance it like in this photo.
Here, the bold green chair and colorful decor on the mantel give emphasis to the fireplace, while the yellow pillow and flowers add a cheerful pop of color.
This photo provides a great example of a U-shaped seating arrangement that enhances the fireplace focal point, providing an enticing place to sit. The striated horizontal tile and lit shelving flanking the fireplace call further attention to that wall.
3. Do you have stylish side and coffee tables? Not only are tables practical for holding lamps, drinks and decor like trays, books or flowers, but also they can make a design statement.
These quirky stacked tables are a great example of how to have an impact when mixed with simple furnishings. If you have upholstery that looks heavy — skirted, thick legs or no legs showing — try offsetting them with tables that show more leg for a lighter, balanced feel (and vice versa). In this photo, a gallery-style wall of art adds a personal touch and vibrant color to the room, as do the pillows and plants.
4. Do you have an ample-size rug that augments your design? Rugs not only help delineate spaces in open floor plans but also ground a furniture grouping, or help define it as a contained space. When selecting a rug, ensure that it supports your room’s style and that it is large enough to tuck fully under your seating area. If not, then place front furniture legs on top of the rug, as in this photo, to create a connection between the rug and the furnishings.

5. Have you added window treatments? Window coverings can range from draperies, as shown in this photo, to window toppers and hard treatments like shades, blinds or shutters. Window treatments need to be beautiful as well as functional, providing privacy, darkening, sun protection and insulation from outside elements when needed.
In this photo, the draperies add height to the room and reinforce the color palette, making the room feel more finished.
6. Does your room showcase your style and color preferences? As much as neutral schemes can be calming and beautiful, accent colors and stylish furnishings can bring a room to life. In this photo, bright orange and golden yellow pillows warm up the gray sectional along with the orange and yellow accents on the shelving beyond.
Wall shelves and a coffee table reveal an affinity for clean-lined furniture in light woods, while the rug and gold pillow fabric at the far end of the sofa demonstrate a fondness for graphic patterns.

Houzz Contributor, Karen Mills
From Colwellbanker.com/blog

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending August 5, 2017

As we reach into August, we'll begin to see the volume of activity wane in
anticipation of the school year. Although not every buyer or seller has children, it's
no secret that homeownership is a popular housing option for those with kids. In
bulk, this has historically been enough of a factor for turning down the summer's
market heat before lower temperatures take hold.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending August 5:
 • New Listings decreased 0.5% to 1,787
 • Pending Sales decreased 3.6% to 1,285
 • Inventory decreased 16.9% to 12,541

For the month of June:
 • Median Sales Price increased 7.0% to $259,000
 • Days on Market decreased 16.1% to 47
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 99.5%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 13.3% to 2.6

Publish Date: August 14, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016
Information Gathered From MAAR

Friday, August 11, 2017

What’s Happening this Weekend?



The big event is the Big Island and Back - Paddle for Freshwater!


Tune up your canoe, kayak or paddleboard and head on over to Excelsior on Saturday, August 12th for a friendly race out around Big Island and back. They start near the swim area at Excelsior Beach Park. The goal is to get paddlers of all ages and skill levels out on Lake Minnetonka for a great community summer event and raise money for a worthy cause.

Don't miss the after-party at Excelsior Brewing Company beginning at 11 AM for refreshments from Joey Nova's, music and of course, beer! Awards and door prizes at around 12 noon.

Proceeds go to the Freshwater Society and ICA Foodshelf! For More information check out: https://www.zapevent.com/reg/event/13365

For water fun before the paddle check out the Excelsior Beach Roleo! Log Rolling Tournament
This is a log rolling competition for beginner and intermediate rollers of all ages. Come experience the fun of competing in a friendly atmosphere, meet new friends, and enjoy free doughnuts and prizes! If you're a new roller this is a perfect first competition! This event will be outside. Bring some towels, water bottles, and sunscreen. Spectators are welcome and encouraged! It runs from 8am to 10am. 
Hosted by Blue Ox Log Rolling. For more information visit: www.blueoxlogrolling.com 

 

The Star Tribune is hosting a Street Art Festival - August 12 & 13 at Canterbury Park in Shakopee.

Racing Starts at 12:45 PM each day. The fair will feature graffiti, chalk, and other unique art from local and regional artists. Other Activities Include: Kids Chalk Art Station, Giant Paint-by-Number Station and a Kids Art Station with Coloring, Bingo Dauber Art & Scratch Art.
& More Admission is $7 - Buy online in Advance & Save. Kids 17 & Under Free For More info check out: https://tickets.canterburypark.com/shows/live%20racing%20general%20admission/events

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Tesla is producing a solar roof and it looks to be cheaper than expected.

Just under six months after announcing its Solar Roof, Tesla has finally put a price tag on those eco-friendly solar tiles that look like the real thing — and they're actually really affordable.
Orders are now being taken for the Tesla Solar Roof at a price of $21.85 per square foot, which is nearly 20 percent less than the cost of a normal roof — even without factoring in the energy savings.
Back in November, Consumer Reports projected that the Tesla solar tiles would need to come in at $24.50 per square foot in order to compete with traditional roofing materials, something Tesla CEO Elon Musk was able to handily deliver — and then some.
Tesla's Solar Roof tiles are made of glass over a photovoltaic substrate as a replacement for traditional roofing materials — not an aftermarket add-on to the roof line, so they actually look like the 'real thing" from the ground, allaying previous aesthetic hurdles to solar panel adoption (much like Tesla already has already done for the electric car).
Solar Roof is launching with four styles: Tuscan, Slate, Textured, and Smooth, with two of the styles — grey smooth and textured black glass — available to order now for installation, with the other two options (and orders outside the US) coming in early 2018. Tesla says that installation will take about five to seven days, entirely managed by the company itself.
In addition to purchasing the Solar Roof, Tesla is packaging the system along with its forthcoming Powerwall 2.0 — a battery storage device with a built-in inverter that connects to your home's electrical system, which will cost an additional $6,500 but could essentially take your house completely off the grid with 100 percent renewable energy, Musk promises.
The absolute best value feature, though? Despite originally joking that he wasn't going to promise an infinite warranty for the tiles, it turns out that Musk has changed his mind. "We offer the best warranty in the industry—the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first," a Tesla rep told Inverse.
In addition to the value proposition, Tesla's Solar Roof is being touted as stronger than traditional roofing tiles, too — something that will be especially important to homeowners in sun-drenched yet wild-weather-prone regions like Texas and the Southwest, where flying debris could also be a hurdle to adoption.
No sweat, says Musk. Just watch this video he posted on Instagram of a solar tile taking a direct hit from a "slo-mo hail cannonball."

MELISSA MASSELLO, WWW.APARTMENTTHERAPY.COM

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending July 29, 2017

A favorable economy has kept buyers active amidst a summer of stiff competition
that has led prices upward and often over the asking price. The latest recorded
national unemployment rate of 4.3 is historically low and has served as a general
indicator of a strong economy. If wage growth shifts into overdrive from its current
state of patient increases, we may see even higher prices or, conversely, more
willingness by sellers to increase the inventory pool.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending July 29:
 • New Listings decreased 2.3% to 1,686
 • Pending Sales decreased 4.7% to 1,300
 • Inventory decreased 16.9% to 12,645

For the month of June:
 • Median Sales Price increased 7.0% to $259,000
 • Days on Market decreased 16.1% to 47
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 99.5%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 13.3% to 2.6

Publish Date: August 7, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016
Information from MAAR

Thursday, August 3, 2017

What's Happening this Weekend?

There are a bunch of fun happenings going on this weekend. Starting with Adult Night at the Zoo!
It's an 18+ evening event to experience a kid-free version of the Zoo while exploring indoor and outdoor trails. Grab a cocktail and enjoy a summer evening stroll through the Zoo. Northern Trail, Russia’s Grizzly Coast, Kangaroo Crossing, Tropics Trail and Minnesota Trail will be open until 8:00 p.m. African penguin exhibit will be open until 8:30 p.m. Discovery Bay will be open until 9:00 p.m.

There will be Live Music by “The Shasta Kings” 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Lakeside Terrace. Admission is free for Zoo members or $10 for general. Food and beverages will be available for purchase as well.

To buy tickets click here: http://mnzoo.org/events/adult-night-zoo-3/ 



Saturday you can enjoy the Tour de Tonka. 


In just a decade’s time, the annual Tour de Tonka bike ride has become a staple of the west metro community, growing from 819 riders in 2006 to over 3,500 riders in 2016. Riders from more than 166 different Minnesota communities and 19 states participated in the event last year.
Riders can choose from seven distances: 16, 30, 48, 57, 65, 75 or 100 miles


Saturday and Sunday you and your kids can enjoy the LEGO American Roadshow. It's from 12pm-4pm at Ridgedale Mall in MInnetonka. In addition to displays kids can make and take home their very own mini LEGO® Supreme Court for FREE! They’ll receive printed instructions and all the LEGO® bricks they need to build their creation.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Why Buying a Home is Better than Renting


Conventional wisdom used to state that buying a home is always a great investment. But after the housing crisis, many people who saw their equity sliced in half began questioning this logic.
That’s unfortunate. In most parts of the U.S., home buying is still a better decision than renting for people who plan to remain in the space for at least 4-5 years or more, both for financial and emotional reasons. Let’s explore some of these factors in-depth.
Price Security in Home BuyingHistorically, prices tend to rise over time. For example, a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk, and a semester of college tuition cost more today than they did in 1990.
Your mortgage payment, however, is one constant you can rely upon. If you hold a fixed-rate mortgage, your monthly principle and interest (P&I) payment remains the same, regardless of how prices are moving in other industries. (Your property taxes and homeowners insurance may rise.)
Price consistency offers the advantage of planning for the long-term future. As a homeowner, you can anticipate your monthly housing costs in 5, 10 or 15 years.
As a renter, you can’t lock in this type of security. As prices climb, landlords raise the rent to meet the current market. In fact, some landlords write rent escalation clauses into their leases, systematically raising the rent annually.
If you’re renting with a month-to-month lease, your landlord may announce a price jump with only 30 to 60 days of advanced warning, depending on the laws in your area. This puts renters in the difficult position of needing to either find the additional funds or scramble to secure new housing with little advance warning.
Investment – Cash-on-Cash ReturnAs a homebuyer, the outlay of a small down payment can give you the opportunity to make outsized gains.
Hypothetically, for example, imagine that you put a 20 percent down payment on a $100,000 house. The price rises 5 percent, to $105,000. You would earn $5,000 on your initial outlay of $20,000 – a return of 25 percent. This is known as cash-on-cash return, and homeownership can make this type of gain accessible to the average person.
Forced SavingsA home can be a type of “forced savings.” Each month, a portion of your mortgage payment is returned to you in the form of equity. The longer you own your home, the more equity you build – both via mortgage payments as well as in potential value increases.
Renters don’t have this luxury. Many of the pro-rental arguments hinge on the assumption that money “saved” (either via lower monthly payments or through alternate uses of the down payment) would be invested in the stock market.
Realistically, though, what’s the likelihood that a renter would invest that money, rather than spend it on a trip to the Bahamas? And if that money were invested, what’s the likelihood that a renter wouldn’t panic during the next crash and sell at the bottom of the market, turning paper losses into actual losses?
A home functions as ‘forced savings,’ helping you build equity. Like a personal trainer, it keeps you accountable.
Flexibility with Home ImprovementsAs a homeowner, you can have the freedom to upgrade your home to your heart’s content – without carrying risk or ongoing financial commitment.
If you get a bonus at work, you can celebrate by installing hardwood floors or renovating the bathroom. If you suffer a financial setback, you can defer your plans to remodel the kitchen.
Renters don’t hold this flexibility. The only way they can upgrade their living space is by moving, and this entails both hassle and commitment.
Homeowners, by contrast, can upgrade their home piecemeal as they accumulate cash over the years. Home improvements are a one-time expense that doesn’t require continuous commitment.
Pride of Home OwnershipYou wouldn’t invest hundreds of hours cultivating an exquisite garden in a rental property. You wouldn’t hang wallpaper or replace the light fixtures on a rental property.
As a homeowner, you can take pride in crafting, personalizing and perfecting your home. The space can truly morph into a reflection of you, in a way that a rental property never could.
Neighborhood ConnectionAs a homeowner, you’re more likely to become involved in your local community. There’s a stronger chance that you’ll join the neighborhood association, organize potlucks or block parties with your neighbors, coach a local sports league or volunteer at the local school.
While it’s possible that you’ll get involved with the community as a renter, you’ll also likely feel an emotional barrier that stems from knowing you might move in a year or two. Committing to an area for the long-term can inspire you to invest more time and energy into improving the neighborhood and connecting with the surrounding community.


ALEXANDRA FILIACI | blog.coldwellbanker.com