Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Some characteristics of Minnesota home buyers:

  • Median age of all home buyers was 36 years old. For first-time buyers, the median age was 28.
  • Household income of home buyers was $69,300.
  • 69 percent of home buyers said there were no children under 18 residing in the property.
  • 56 percent of home buyers were married couples, 24 percent single females, 11 percent single males and 9 percent were unmarried couples.
  • 6 percent of home buyers were born outside of the U.S., compared with 9 percent nationally.
  • First-time home buyers accounted for 42 percent of homes purchased in 2007.
  • 66 percent of first-time home buyers were between 25 and 34 years old.
  • 30 percent of buyers use social networking websites (e.g., Myspace, Facebook, Linkedin).
  • Among home buyers aged 18 to 24, 59 percent reported using social networking sites.
  • 19 percent of homes purchased were new construction.
  • 64 percent of homes purchased were detached single-family.
  • The typical home buyer purchased a home 14 miles from their previous residence.
  • The median price of homes purchased was $221,900 compared to $215,000 in the U.S.
  • The typical buyer purchased a home that was 1,850 square feet in size.
  • Recent homebuyers plan to live in their home a median of 10 years.

    Source: Minnesota Association of REALTORS®

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

5 Simple Ways to Increase a Home's Value

Good home maintenance is key to creating and preserving a home’s value. Not to mention, it also impresses potential buyers. Here are five basic steps that every home owner ought to take — before spending money on dream bathrooms or gourmet kitchens.

1. Safety. Make sure smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are installed and in good working order. Check fuel-burning appliances to make sure they are properly vented and no gas connections leak. Make sure the electrical system is adequate. Flickering lights and popping breakers are the sign of a problem. Anchor handrails and grab bars adequately.

2. Preventive maintenance. Repair any leaks in the roof, seal gaps in the siding, paint bare wood, replace damaged decking, patch cracks in concrete, and caulk around tubs and showers.

3. Conserve energy. Install a programmable thermostat, weatherstrip doors and windows, fix leaking faucets, upgrade insulation, and replace leaky windows.

4. Go green. Consider environmentally friendly materials for windows, doors, siding, decking, fencing, roofing, flooring, and insulation.

5. Improve comfort. Get rid of clutter, open up spaces, update window treatments to allow in more light, and organize closets and storage.