Monday, December 21, 2009

KARE 11 - Toys for Tots Donation

Check out Coldwell Banker Burnet donating the toys we collected to the Toys for Tots program on local NBC channel KARE 11 - start watching the video at 16:50 to see the hand-off!

Weekly MAAR Market Update

What a crazy weekend!

The Vikings learned that they are not invincible and the Wild loosing to Ottawa after loosing their equipment to a fire, it was a red letter weekend for MN! Thanks goodness that we don’t live on the East Cost (sorry New York).

We did get some good news this week from MAAR in regard to our weekly market update.
At 5.7 percent, this is the lowest Months Supply of Inventory in more than two years and a full 32.9 percent below last year. The higher price points are still Buyer’s markets however the general price points are turning for the Seller’s benefits.

Now that the Thanksgiving Turkey coma has worn off, a push is in effect for the Twin Cities housing market. The week ending December 5 saw pending sales swing upward from the previous week by 152 to settle at 551.

This is 7.7 percent less than last year at this time, marking the third week of the last four to post pending sales numbers lower than a year ago. The aftermath of the tax credit’s initial expiration date is combining with the typical holiday slowdown to bring sales down.

For the full report visit -

4 more shopping days--- are you ready?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Exterior Remodeling: Best Bang for Your Buck

Looking to see what you can do to increase the resale value of your home… in the current economic times?

According to a REALTORS® report that the smartest home improvement investments may also be some of the least expensive. Results from the 2009 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report show that small-scale exterior projects are the most profitable at resale.

What’s it gonna’ cost me?

On a national level, eight out of the top 10 projects in terms of costs recouped were exterior replacement projects that cost less than $14,000.

Certain types of door and siding replacements, as well as wood deck additions all returned more than 80 percent of project costs upon resale. A steel entry door replacement – a new addition to this year’s list – recouped 128.9 percent of costs, followed by upscale fiber-cement sliding replacements at 83.6 percent. Wood deck additions recouped 80.6 percent of costs.

The 2009 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report compares construction costs with resale values for 33 midrange and upscale remodeling projects comprising additions, remodels and replacements in 80 markets across the country. Data are grouped in nine U.S. regions, following the divisions established by the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the twelfth consecutive year that the report, which is produced by Hanley Wood, LLC, was completed in cooperation with REALTOR® Magazine, as REALTORS® provided their insight into local markets and buyer home preferences within those markets.

What do the Numbers Say?

On a national level, the project with the biggest improvement from 2008 was the attic bedroom addition, recouping 83.1 percent of remodeling costs compared to 73.8 percent in 2008.

  • The only other interior project that landed in the top 10 was a minor kitchen remodel with 78.3 percent costs recouped.
  • Other exterior projects in the top 10 include midrange vinyl and upscale foam-backed vinyl sliding replacements, which returned more than 79 percent of costs.
  • Several types of window replacements – midrange wood, midrange vinyl, and upscale vinyl – all returned more than 76 percent of costs upon sale.
  • The least profitable remodeling projects in terms of resale value were home office remodels and sunroom additions, returning only 48.1 percent and 50.7 percent of project costs.

Remodeling projects are just one of many factors that contribute to a home’s overall resale value. Stafford Family Realtors can help to identify the projects and investments that will make a difference in your home.

Results of the report are summarized in the January issue of REALTOR® Magazine. To read the full project descriptions, access national and regional project data, and download a free PDF containing data for any of the 80 cities covered by the report, visit “Cost vs. Value” is a registered trademark of Hanley Wood, LLC.

Source: NAR

Thursday, December 17, 2009

8 Day left until Christmas!

That’s right folks; we are in the home stretch. Christmas is only a few days away. This weekend I am planning on getting the rest of my shopping “wrapped up”, if you’ll pardon the pun. I am also going to start in on my holiday baking.

Last week I did a trial run on my Chocolate & Peanut butter Biscotti. This is an easy recipe to do, if I can make it and not ruin anything, anyone can! I highly recommend it; they went fast when I brought them into the Coldwell Banker office.

If you are one of the lucky ones who have all your shopping done, the cookies baked and your presents wrapped and you are looking for some fun things to do this weekend check out a few of our suggestions:

- The James J. Hill house in St. Paul does a great tour with costumed actors who play the roles of servants in the home as they are getting ready for a holiday party. It is interesting and a fun family outing. Swing by Cossetta’s on W. 7th and Chestnut, after the tour for a huge slice of pizza and tiramisu.

- If you are on the western side of the ‘burbs, check out this home in Waconia! They have an amazing light display that performs to four Christmas songs. It’s a lot of fun and if you can’t get to the home before Christmas, never fear, they continue the show until January 10th.

- If we get some of this snow that they are forecasting for tomorrow, you can always curl up with a copy of your favorite Christmas movie and a hot cup of coco! Bring on the White Christmas!

Good luck if you are heading to the malls this weekend!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Weekly Market Update from MAAR

The local housing market experienced the traditional Turkey Day drop off for the week ending November 28 as Twin Citizens focused more on turkey and stuffing than purchase agreements and closing dates.

Even taking into account the expected holiday drop, market activity in the last few weeks has slowed considerably from the breakneck pace we saw during the first 10 months of the year, likely due to the passing of the home buyer tax credit’s initial deadline.

There were 5.9 percent fewer pending sales compared to the same week in 2008. That’s only the second week of year-over-year decrease in all of 2009 (the first was two weeks earlier).
Now for the good news: Days on Market before Sale dropped 14.5 percent to 127, and the Percentage of Original List Price trended positive over last year to 94.3. These two metrics should shore up sellers who are weathering the current economic storm.

For the full market report visit

information published by MAAR.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Foreclosures Decline for 4th Straight Month!

Some good news coming out about the state of the Foreclosure market!

Foreclosures declined 8 percent in November compared with October, but were still up 18 percent from November 2008.

This was the fourth-straight month that U.S. foreclosures have declined since hitting an all-time high in July, according to online foreclosure marketer RealtyTrac.

Default notices, an indicator of coming foreclosures, also were down 8 percent from October, but up 22 percent from November 2008. Bank repossessions were flat from the previous month and down 2 percent from November 2008.

"We don't really believe the underlying problems have been resolved," said Rick Sharga, senior vice president for RealtyTrac. Many borrowers, he told the Associated Press, "simply aren't going to qualify" for government and mortgage servicer help.

States with the highest foreclosure rates are:

  • Nevada
  • Florida
  • California
  • Arizona
  • Idaho
  • Michigan
  • Illinois
  • Utah
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey

Four states account for more than 50 percent of actual foreclosures: California, Florida, Illinois, and Michigan.

Source: RealtyTrac, (12/10/2009)/ REALTOR Magazine

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Catching Up

Minnetonka Coldwell Banker Burnet had the best Trees for Tots event EVER!

Thanks to the help of our clients and friends and the support of local businesses, we were able to collect over 750 TOYS which were donated to the Toys for Tots program!!!! Over 9,300 toys were donated from the participating Coldwell Banker Burnet offices from around the metro area; the donation was aired on KARE 11 News on Wednesday evening. (We'll post the video once they have it up online.)

Thanks to all who took part! Let’s make next year even better!

We have two Exceptional Homes open this weekend for you to visit.

19864 Wynnfield Road, Eden Prairie – Sunday, December 13th from 12-2

2408 Hunter Drive, Chanhassen – Sunday, December 13th from 1-3

Click on the links to view more information on these listings!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Blue Moon – I saw you standing alone

If you happened to look up towards the heavens last night, you might have noticed that the sky was brighter than normal. We are going into this December with the first of two full moons. This delightful event is known as a Blue Moon. The first full moon will grace our night sky tomorrow December 2nd and 3rd. The second full moon will occur over New Years Eve.

For more about the night sky, visit EarthSky, a vast forum compiled by scientists from around the world with content on various scientific topics.