Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending August 20, 2016

While existing home sales have recently been down, new home sales are picking up
across the nation, which, in turn, has coaxed an upward trend in building activity.
Buyers are still showing a willingness to pay higher prices, and there are signs that
many new homes being built are smaller starter homes, perfect for young adults
entering the market.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending August 20:
 • New Listings increased 5.6% to 1,575
 • Pending Sales increased 2.0% to 1,251
 • Inventory decreased 17.3% to 14,559

For the month of July:
 • Median Sales Price increased 6.6% to $239,900
 • Days on Market decreased 14.3% to 54
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 98.4%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 21.1% to 3.0

Publish Date: August 29, 2016 • All comparisons are to 2015

Friday, August 26, 2016

Small Bedroom Bringing You Down?

Your bedroom should be a place to absolutely relax. It is the last place you want to feel boxed in or cramped. Here are some tips on making a narrow bedroom feel bigger and make it into the oasis you deserve:

1. Keep everything a clean neutral color like white. This will give the room an airy feel. Dark colors while very design friendly make a room feel smaller.
Image by atravellingmom via Flickr
Image by Jason Toff via Flickr
2. Get creative with storage. You can make a room feel bigger if you don’t have a lot of furniture in it. For the bedroom this means not having bulky dressers. Get a bed with drawers underneath it. It’s a sneaky way to have a bunch of storage. Another option is to create a statement bookcase in a light color as a headboard wall. You’ll be able to use it as a bookshelf, night stands and dresser.
Image by via Flickr

3. Statement wall color – if a giant shelf wall isn’t for you try adding a statement wall with bold wallpaper. It will draw the eye and create depth to a small space. This works even better if the pattern is horizontal. It tricks the eye and makes the room appear wider.

Image by Bart Speelman via Flickr
Image by Ryan Park via Flickr

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

It’s the Great Minnesota Get Together!

Image by m01229 via Flickr
The fair starts tomorrow! There are a whole bunch of new things at the state fair this year. Check out some of what’s new below:

There will be three new food venders at the state fair this year. Katie's Sweet Tea is a refreshment shop located in the Midway, Tot Boss is a food vender bringing tater tots to a new level, and Oofda Tacos finally has a stand at the fairgrounds. If you are wondering what an oofda taco is it’s delicious. It is a special fry bread dough shell is served with ground beef, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, onion, olives and sour cream.

Besides the new food venders the state fair will have at least 26 new yummy things to try. Some of them are Gumbo Frites, Barbequed Shrimp Tacos, Deep Fried Grilled Cheese Bites and, Candied Bacon Donut Sliders. To see what else is on the list and see delicious looking photos check out the website here:

Food isn’t the only new thing at the fair this year. There will be 17 new vendors for unique gifts/ home d├ęcor, 9 new outdoors/gadget vendors, and 7 new apparel venders. There will also be a Hen House added to the Miracle of Birth Center, a new 15ft Paul Bunyan in the Eco Building and a 4-H meat grilling competition.

If music is your thing check out the Grandstand Schedule here:
If free music is your thing here is the list of who will be at the free stages:

There are discounts for tickets. You can still purchase pre-fair tickets at your local Cub Foods today. Otherwise there are fun discounts depending on which day you go to the fair. Next Wednesday you can get $2 off your purchase at the gates with a valid public library card. For more information on tickets click here:

A quick and easy way to get to the fairgrounds is by riding the bus. There are a ton of places around town where you can park and ride for free – including the University of Minnesota campus. It’s an easy way to avoid the traffic, congestion and expense of parking at the fairgrounds themselves. Check out this flyer for more information:

Have Fun at the Great Minnesota Get Together!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending August 13, 2016

Residential construction, builder confidence and housing starts have all been up in
recent months, creating a triple dose of good news as the country begins the
inevitable home sales slowdown following the busy spring and summer seasons.
The news creates hope that buyer traffic could maintain at a sufficient level over the
last several months of the year.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending August 13:
 • New Listings decreased 5.5% to 1,651
 • Pending Sales decreased 2.8% to 1,229
 • Inventory decreased 17.3% to 14,521

For the month of July:
 • Median Sales Price increased 6.6% to $239,900
 • Days on Market decreased 14.3% to 54
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 98.4%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 21.1% to 3.0

Publish Date: August 22, 2016 • All comparisons are to 2015

Friday, August 19, 2016

What's Happening This Weekend...

Happy Friday!

It’s the last weekend before Shakopee schools start. Why not spend some time at the Renaissance Festival in Shakopee? Ren. Fest starts this weekend and runs every weekend until October 2nd. If you like turkey legs and lots of artisan crafts it is a really interesting place. There is jousting, juggling, entertainment shows and great food. Each weekend has a theme so check out  for more information.

Image by Tony and Debbie via Flickr
If the 16th century isn’t your thing consider checking out Yoga on the Patio at the Waconia Brewing Company. $15 will get you an hour of yoga and a beer. It will be outside on the patio. For more information check here: They will also have a food truck out in case you are hungry.

Image by Eierschneider via Flickr
With Fall come Football! Preseason is in full swing and now is the time to think about a fantasy football team. KFAN is hosting its annual Fantasy Football Training Camp at the Canterbury Park Expo Center. It’s free plus you’ll receive a $10 blackjack match play. There will be the Fantasy Football Weekly Broadcast and a mock draft with the guys from KFAN. For more information check out:

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Merging Living Spaces

Image by deovolenti via Flickr
So you’ve decided to move in with another person. Moving in itself can be a stressful situation but moving in with another person is a different situation. Whether you are moving in with a roommate or are a newlywed here are some tips for helping the transition when merging living spaces:

1.      Clean House - Moving is the perfect time to pare down your things. The more you have the more you have to move. You might also have a lot of duplicates. Now is the time to discuss and compare so that you bring the best or most useful item. If you are just moving in temporarily see if you can store the duplicates that you aren’t bringing. This could be a box at your parents or potentially a storage unit for furniture you want to keep. If it’s a permanent move see about donating to a local non-profit. You’ll be doing something nice and making your move easier.

2.      Figure out finances – After you move in is not the time to discuss how you are splitting rent or utilities. Arguing about money is one of the top reasons why people stop living together. Before you move in or even pick out a place to move is the perfect time to have a financial discussion. Decide whether things are going in a joint account, who is paying for utilities and if the rent is split equally or by a percentage. The more ground work before you move in the less likely that there will be negative situations later.

3.      Space - Create special spaces for each person. Transitioning into a shared space can be challenging even if you love the other person. Everyone needs a special place in their home. This could be a craft corner, a man cave or an exercise room for example. Having a space to go and think by yourself can relieve a lot of stress and make for more harmony.

Whenever you move in with someone else the most important thing is to enjoy the experience. It’s the beginning of a new adventure!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending August 6, 2016

Housing markets across the nation have mostly reached full recovery and are even
approaching or achieving categorical highs in sales and prices, yet builders are still
focusing on higher-end homes over starter homes in order to combat high land and
building permit costs. Until there is more entry-level inventory on the market,
sustainable balance will be difficult.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending August 6:
 • New Listings increased 2.3% to 1,795
 • Pending Sales decreased 1.9% to 1,258
 • Inventory decreased 17.7% to 14,495

For the month of July:
 • Median Sales Price increased 6.6% to $239,900
 • Days on Market decreased 14.3% to 54
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 98.4%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 21.1% to 3.0

Publish Date: August 15, 2016 • All comparisons are to 2015

Friday, August 12, 2016

What’s Happening this Weekend…

It’s the Carver County Fair! 

The State Fair may be two weeks away but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a pork chop on a stick this weekend. Here are some of the events you can see:

Image by Adam Axon via Flickr
Kachunga and the Alligator Show – An American Bushman from Florida provides a fun educational show while pitting his strength against a nine foot, 300 pound alligator. You can catch the show three times a day.
Image by Richard Hurd via Flickr
Log Rolling – Saturday you can try to be a lumberjack at Shady Oak Ridge. All day long Carver County Park instructors with be showing people how to log roll and giving you a chance to build some skills.

Image by Daniel Rossi via Flickr
Pig Races – There will be fun pig races every day of the fair. Sit on the bleachers and relax as the announcers showcase speedy pigs with fun names.

Image by Mark Turnauckas via Flickr
Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament – Would you like $500? Come showcase your rock-paper-scissor skills and take home the big prize. The competition begins Saturday at 2pm. You do have to sign up here to be a part of the event:
Image by Judy Kiel via Flickr
Demolition Derby – Do you like watching cars and trucks smash things? There will be 7 different demolition heats this Sunday.

Image by Loozrboy via Flickr
Tractor Pull – Out of Field Tractors, Semis and Pick-ups will be pulling this Saturday. It’s free to come watch
Image by Andrew Malone via Flickr
Midway – Is it really a fair without a midway? Come enjoy classics like the Ferris wheel or try something new and thrilling.

No matter what you like you can find something fun to do at the Carver County Fair. Consider it practice for the Great Minnesota Get Together in two weeks. 

For more information check out the website here:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

It's almost time for school again...

Can you believe we are almost halfway through the month of August? School start is right around the corner. If you are like many families you have a busy end of summer. Here are some quick and easy ways to get your home ready for back-to-school without cutting into the summer you have left.

Image by Sergey Galyonkin via Flickr
1. Organize a rolling cart with school supplies instead of setting up a desk for your child. At the end of the school day the last thing most kids want to do is sit at another desk to do their homework. While a quiet space is nice to have a different solution is to set up a mobile station that will contain the mess of school supplies but has the versatility to move to wherever your child needs to work. Something that can fit by your kitchen table or in a family room works perfectly for the times that they don’t want to sit at a desk or need some parent help.

2. Add additional hooks or organizational boxes to help keep the mess of outerwear and backpacks to a minimum. Creating a designated spot for their backpack is also a way to make your morning less stressful. You’ll know where to put homework and where to find the backpack when you or your kids are running out the door.

3. Clean out the closets – Make your morning easier by limiting the clothing your kids have. If you filter out the items that don’t fit or aren’t seasonally appropriate you create a much simpler task in the morning. Another way to keep clothes organized it to create a place to pick out an outfit the night before so it’s a grab and go in the morning.

Having clean, organized spaces can make anyone feel better even with the craze that starting the school year brings.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending July 30, 2016

It's only August, but this time during summer usually means making plans for
changes ahead, especially the start of a new school year. For potential home buyers
with school-aged children, these are the pivotal days for deciding whether or not to
purchase or wait. With inventory as low as it is, we are in a place where big moves
will be made or saved for later, and sales figures will reflect as much.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending July 30:
 • New Listings increased 3.3% to 1,723
 • Pending Sales decreased 4.6% to 1,289
 • Inventory decreased 18.0% to 14,588

For the month of July:
 • Median Sales Price increased 6.6% to $239,900
 • Days on Market decreased 15.9% to 53
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 98.4%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 23.7% to 2.9

Publish Date: August 8, 2016 • All comparisons are to 2015

Friday, August 5, 2016

What’s Happening This Weekend?

Image by Eoin O'Mahony via Flickr
It’s Tour de Tonka weekend! Come be a spectator at one of the coolest bicycle events around. Last year 3,500 from more than 200 different Minnesota communities and 20 states participated. Riders can choose from seven distances: 16, 28, 40, 48, 57, 67 or 100 miles.
Tour de Tonka also partners with the ICA Food Shelf to give participants an opportunity to make an impact with their ride. A portion of each rider’s registration fee is donated to the ICA. Remaining proceeds support Minnetonka Community Youth Education and Early Childhood Programs.

You don’t have to be a rider to have fun though. You can volunteer or be a great cheer team for the bicyclists.

When: Saturday, August 6th – The races start at 7 a.m.
Where: Tour de Tonka’s routes move through 23 different west metro communities including Chanhassen, Chaska, Deephaven, Delano, Eden Prairie, Excelsior, Greenwood, Independence, Mayer, Minnetonka, Minnetrista, Mound, Navarre, Norwood Young America, Orono, Plymouth, Shorewood, Spring Park, Tonka Bay, Victoria, Waconia, Watertown and Wayzata
Price: Free to volunteer or be a spectator
For More Information:

Image by Dave Stokes via Flickr
If you are looking for something else to do check out Brew at the Zoo in Apple Valley. It is the 8th annual Brew at the Zoo and the MN Zoo. They will be serving appetizers and have live music to compliment a plethora or local domestic and micro-brews. Proceeds go to help Tiger Conservation.

When: Friday, August 5th – 7 p.m.
Where: Minnesota Zoo - 13000 Zoo Blvd, Apple Valley, MN 55124
Price: $50 for advance tickets, $60 at the door

Image by Lori Ho via Flickr
This Weekend is also the Uptown Art Fair. There will be over 350 artists featured. It’s a huge three-day get together with kid-friendly activities, art, entertainment and food.

When: Friday, August 5th – 12 - 8p.m.
          Saturday, August 6th – 10a.m. – 8p.m.
          Sunday, August 7th – 10 a.m. – 5p.m.
Where: where Lake street meets Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis
Price: Free Admission

For More Information:

Thursday, August 4, 2016

New Design Trend: Honeycomb

Honeycomb isn’t just for the bees anymore. It’s an interesting pattern to add subtle and not so subtle design touches throughout your house. Last week I mentioned adding hexagon tile to amp up your bathroom take a look at some other ideas for adding this design in other rooms in your home.

Hexagon Shelving can take any wall and add some flare. Different sizes, colors and finishes can adapt the shape to any style you prefer.
Image by Wicker Paradise via Flickr
Image by Wicker Paradise via Flickr

Image by Steve Pomeroy via Flickr

Instead of shelving you can incorporate the pattern subtly with a smaller version on a lampshade:
Image by Shawn Allen via Flickr
You can also get creative with paint. Painting just a section and texturing it like below or painting a full pattern on an accent wall:
Image by Jaina Teeluck via Flickr
Some other Ideas include a hexagon ottoman, fun decorative pillows, honeycomb tile backsplash or canisters for baking supplies in the kitchen. You can also bring the pattern outside with a chic fence. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending July 23, 2016

Homes are selling faster now than they have in the past six to seven years, resulting
in the need for buyers to move quickly on a home purchase. Although high prices
usually encourage more sellers to come forth, people have proven hesitant to put
their homes on the market due to concerns about being able to find their own new
and reasonably priced home.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending July 23:
 • New Listings increased 1.3% to 1,826
 • Pending Sales decreased 4.6% to 1,298
 • Inventory decreased 18.0% to 14,546

For the month of June:
 • Median Sales Price increased 5.3% to $242,000
 • Days on Market decreased 16.7% to 55
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.0% to 98.7%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 23.7% to 2.9

Publish Date: August 1, 2016 • All comparisons are to 2015