Friday, October 30, 2009


Over night Fall has happened and the trees are now bear. No more leaf peeping this year my friends however, there are still some Autumn activities in which you can partake!

If you haven’t gotten your pumpkin for tomorrow’s holiday many grocery stores are still offering the orange gourds. If you have a little more time and are interested in taking a drive to Shakopee, Peter’s Pumpkins gives free hay rides thru their fields and a visit to their website will give you a coupon for a FREE pumpkin. The Peter’s is open from 9-7 on the weekends. Located just south of Hwy 169 on Old Brickyard Road.

It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with Wild Hockey, so it should come as no surprise that I chose to carve my pumpkin as homage to #24 the “Boogeyman!” Feel free to post a photo of your creation! We’d love to see how inventive you can be!

After you get a chance to stop by one of the great open houses we have this Sunday. Get ready to cheer on the Vikings as the take on the Pack in Green Bay! SKOL VIKES!!!

We would like to wish everyone a Happy and Safe Halloween!

REMINDER: Don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour when you go to bed on Saturday, October 31st for the end of Daylight Savings Time.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

We have 3 Great Properties open before the Vikings play.

8360 Crabapple Court: Victoria $250,000
Sunday November 1st - 12-2 PM

This is our newest listing located within walking distance to the Victoria Rec. Center, schools and parks. This twin home lives like a single family and features all living amenities on one level.

18964 Wynnfield Road: Eden Prairie $545,000
Sunday November 1st – 12-2 PM

This spectacular home in demand neighborhood of executive homes features designer details from top to bottom. The Amazing Lower Level offers Media Room, Billiards Room and Custom Wet Bar. Stop in and Check it out – you’ll want to stay for the game!

2301 Boulder Road: Chanhassen $409,999
Sunday November 1st – 12-2 PM

This great home is sited on winding streets lined with mature trees and stately homes. Located within walking distance to the neighborhood parks and the new Chanhassen High School. This enjoy the 4 Season Porch or the private yard. Relax or Entertain from the Gourmet Kitchen!

So Much Going On! Forbes Ranking, Trees for Toys & the 1ST Time Buyer Tax Credit

This week has been going by so quickly (as has this year). I can’t believe that November is just around the corner! We are getting ready for our annual Trees for Toys event and with Turkey Day coming up we are all looking forward to the holidays.

Forbes just announced their top pick for Most Affordable Places to Live Well and Minneapolis came in #1. “It nabbed the top spot on our list of Most Affordable Places To Live Well. There, homes are relatively affordable; residents enjoy a high quality of life and access to choice arts, leisure and entertainment offerings.” On top of this recognition, we have also been ranked as one of the Safest Places to Live.

Here is a little more from Forbes about Minnesota: “Last quarter, 61% of the area's home sold were available to the median household earner, according to NAHB/Wells Fargo, which puts the City of Lakes in 17th place of the 50 cities we measured. Minneapolis ranked just under the median in cost of living. Its quality of life ranking most distinguishes it; here the city ranked third, and came in ninth in arts and leisure offerings.”

We are gearing up for our annual Trees for Toys event which brings our clients and friends together with an event that asks for donations to the Toys for Tots program. Out office is a local Toys for Tots drop off location and we give either a Tree or Wreath to our clients. For one Saturday we get entertainment, Santa and great treats!

On the Legal Front, word is coming in that Congress is looking to extend the $8,000 First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit until April of 2010. This would mean that all purchase agreements would need to be signed by the end of April and the property would have to close by the end of June 2010. They are also discussing an option to give a $6,500 Tax Credit to buyers who are purchasing but have owned their current home for at least 5 years. The Senate has agreed to this plan but now we will need to watch the House before we can call this great news. We’ll keep an eye on this and let you know of any updates.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Congratulations Eric!

We are excited to announce that Eric Stafford has a new designation! To add to the already impressive list of specializations, we can now offer Certified Distressed Property Expert!

As a CDPE, Eric can save 9 out of 10 people from going into foreclosure; do you know anyone having trouble making their house payment?
The trends are pointing to the number of Foreclosures available is going down; however, the number of short sale situations is going to continue to rise in the coming months.

We can help! Call us today to see what your options are and how we can help. 952.470.2575.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Introducing 18964 Wynnfield Road, Eden Praire

We’ve got another Exceptional Home for you! Only available due to relocation, this single family home sold two years ago in multiple offers in 1 day! Custom Designer Finishes from top to bottom! Check out the Gourmet Kitchen with granite counters and the main floor Office with custom built-ins. All 4 bedrooms are located on the second floor, including the private Master Suite with the large walk-in closet and private bath.

The amazing lower level features over $100,000 in updates. Relax or entertain at the full Wet Bar while you play billiards in the Game Room, or sit back and enjoy a movie in the Media Center with the large screen.

The back yard of this home offers loads of privacy with its large mature trees. Take a soak in the Hot Tub or relax under the pergola with friends.

Call us today for a private showing!

Weekly Market Update from MAAR

The fall Twin Cities housing market has been full of wild things, mostly first-time home buyers stampeding to take advantage of the federal tax credit before it expires on November 30. The week ending October 10 was no different than others we've seen this fall. There were 947 signed purchase agreements for the week, a 37.6 percent increase over the same week last year.

At 1,543 new listings we're down 4.4 percent from the same week a year ago. The trend continues: New listings haven't been keeping up with the amount of sales, bringing total housing supply down dramatically in the Twin Cities. There are currently 24,901 homes on the market, 21.0 percent less than a year ago.

The rumpus is likely to subside as we near the November 30 tax credit deadline, silencing the sales activity of the market's most active buyers.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Open House Schedule for Sunday, October 18th

We have three great listings for you to check out this weekend!

Just Listed and First Time OPEN! 2:00-4:00PM
843 Barrington Drive E.
Shakopee - $398,900
This executive home is sited on over 1.5 acres in a park like setting covered with matures trees. You will find a main floor office, private master suite and a newly finished lower level walkout.

Breathtaking Views and Custom Finishes! 2:00-4:00PM
8792 Horizon Ridge
Victoria - $539,000
This home shows like a model! High end finishes throughout this amazing home in the demand neighborhood of Deer Run Golf Community.

A Little of the Pacific Northwest in Minnesota - 2:00-4:00PM
2408 Hunter Drive
Chanhassen - $549,900
Meticulously maintained this home features a Gourmet Kitchen, Fully Finished Lower Level with Wet Bar and enchanting gardens.

Stop by one of our open houses this weekend and visit. We’ll be sure to keep the game on for you!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Weekly Market Update from MAAR!

Autumn may be bringing colder temperatures (and snow, too: what's up with that?!?) but the Twin Cities housing market is still hot. Contrary to the typical fall slowdown, pending sales are gaining weekly momentum as home buyers take advantage of the final days of the Federal tax credit.

For the week ending October 3, signed purchase agreements were a stunning 61.2% higher than last year, jumping from 647 to 1,043. New listings are a different story, however, down 8.0% below the previous year. Total active listings remain sluggish compared to a year ago, with the 24,354 on the market representing a 20.9% drop from a year ago.

There are some new stats this week that help bring some perspective on just how much better things have gotten for sellers in the last year:
• Days on Market Until Sale: at 129 days is 11 percent below last year.
• Percent of Original List Price Received at Sale: at 93.9% is 1.8 percent higher than last year.
• Months Supply of Inventory: at 6.6 is 30.5% lower than last year and is closer to a balanced market.

All three indicators are important reflections of market shift. Yet we can't minimize that sellers still face tough conditions, especially in the higher price ranges where sales are still on a downward trend.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ginger, Smoke, Rain & Rice

Don’t worry this isn’t the title track to a new age CD dropping today nor are they the ingredients for making this Minnesota fall a great one… not unless you are looking to update or sell your home.

Just as you are reading this on the internet now, buyers are checking out your home online before even considering seeing it in person. One of the best ways to make a good first impression is in the paint colors you select.

Neutral colors show better in photos and make your home more appealing online. Here are a few suggestions that might take your Red Delicious walls from precarious to Perfect!

Behr offers Ground Ginger - a pale olive tone that is great for dining rooms and kitchens.

Sherwin-Williams has Kilim Beige – puts that crisp, clean touch on a wall. Khaki colors tend to cover flaws well and is great for touching up.
Benjamin Moore submits Pale Smoke – soft blue/gray shades work well in bedrooms and creates a serene setting.

Sherwin Williams brings on the Rain – too much beige can be boring. This is another smoky blue that works well in bedrooms but also for bathrooms. If you have white fixtures, this color balances well. It also looks great with any type of metal fixtures.

Duron offers Rice Paddy – is another green toned shade that is great in living rooms and kitchens. It blends well with granite or stone counter tops.

Wickham Gray from Benjamin Moore – This is a great option if you need to cover up a bold color already on your walls.

For all the people who love Red, there are just as many who don’t. Keep this in mind when you are selecting your paint colors.

Here is your Stafford Family Realtors helpful hint: If you find a color that you like but don’t want to pay the designer price for a gallon or you can’t match your favorite color, take your paint chip or sample to Home Depot. They will color match and print a sticker for you so that if you run out you can always order more without having to find the color again.

Happy Painting!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Great New Listing in Shakopee

Welcome to 843 Barrington Drive East

4 Bedrooms / 4 Baths / 4 Car Garage
MLS# 3844789

This stately home is sited on 1.58 acres of park-like yard covered with mature trees. A circular driveway leads to the front of this well maintained home.

Just off the foyer you will find the main floor home office with French doors that lead to the Separate Formal Dining Room.

If you would rather opt for casual dining, the Eat-in Kitchen offers plenty of space and a large center island. Sit on the deck and enjoy the amazing views of your yard.
The main floor Family Room features a gas burning fireplace, a great place to curl up with a good book.

The Private Master Suite is spacious & comfortable. Take a soak in the Jacuzzi tub.

The current home owners finished off the lower level walkout. They have added a 4th bedroom, Game Room and Family Room with a wood burning stove.

Relax in the hot tub in the privacy of your backyard and enjoy calling this house a home.

Call us today for a private showin at 952.470.2575 or check out more informaiton at

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Weekly Market Update from MAAR

Fall is officially on in the Twin Cities, but it hasn't slowed the housing market as much as usual. After the school year begins, we typically see a drop in buyer activity, but the 2009 fall market is remaining robust due in large part to the final weeks of the tax credit for first-time home buyers. There were 1,056 pending sales for the week ending September 26, up 41 percent from the same week last year.

As a direct result, inventory is dropping like a stone. There are approximately 24,500 homes for sale in the 13-county metro area, down more than 20 percent from a year ago.

The October 2009 Supply-Demand Ratio (SDR) comes in at 6.88 houses per buyer, down 22.5 percent from last year. The SDR has shown year-over-year drops of 30 percent or more for the past few months, but we're projecting that the year-over-year decline for October will be smaller because pending sales are likely to be significantly lower if the federal tax credit for first-time buyers is not extended. If the credit goes *poof*, it will remove buyers from the market.

Welcome to the Manor

Ever wonder what $150 Million can buy you?

Standing as the crown jewel of one the most exclusive neighborhoods in Southern California, the Manor is recognized as one of the most famous mansions in U.S. history. Built by entertainment royalty Candy and Aaron Spelling, the estate rests on approximately 4.7 acres of rare flat land in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles. Offered at $150,000,000.00

Monday, October 5, 2009

“In a recent survey of Wall Street Journal subscribers, Coldwell Banker ranked #1 among all measured Realtors as the company they would consider using for future real estate transactions.”

Source: 2009 Residential Real Estate Survey; The Wall Street Journal Marketing Dept./Beta Research Corp.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Weekly Market Update from MAAR

The Labor Day fluctuations came and went, and the Twin Cities housing market is better for it. Pending sales for the week ending September 13 rose dramatically to 1,043, which is 33.5 percent above last year's total for the same week. We must assume that a healthy chunk of this buyer activity can be attributed to first-time home buyers taking advantage of the tax credit before it expires on November 30.

New listings came in at 1,846, up 3.2 percent in a year-over-year comparison. Home sellers have recognized a window of opportunity in recent months and are listing with a little more frequency, but the overall inventory of houses for sale is still below that of the last three years and our Supply-Demand Ratio (which measures the number of houses available per buyer) remains 30.3 percent better than where we were a year ago.