Thursday, December 22, 2016

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Stafford Family Realtors is winding down 2016 and will be spending a merry and cheerful holiday with our family. We want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! We'll see you all in 2017!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending December 10, 2016

Housing starts have fallen from last month's nine-year high, but the onset of the
winter season has to be a strong consideration for the reason behind the monthover-month
slowdown. The fact remains that homebuilder confidence has reached
its highest point in more than ten years, and the housing market is rounding out the
year in a rather solid position.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending December 10:

 • New Listings increased 1.5% to 725
 • Pending Sales increased at 745
 • Inventory decreased 22.1% to 10,422

For the month of November:

 • Median Sales Price increased 5.5% to $231,400
 • Days on Market decreased 15.1% to 62
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 96.7%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 24.1% to 2.2

Publish Date: December 19, 2016 • All comparisons are to 2015

Friday, December 16, 2016

Happy Friday!

Are you looking for something to do this weekend? It is supposed to become a winter wonderland overnight.

Image by Eneko Muiño via Flickr
There will be an outdoor ice rink at Southdale Mall in Edina. It is open through February in case you don’t want to brave the cold this weekend. The best part is it is free and open during all mall hours.

A different kind of chilly activity is the Sweet Science Ice Cream Tasting. This Saturday they are bringing back their popular Old Fashioned Cocktail ice cream. They also make cherry vanilla bitters ice cream and rye flavored. There will be non-alcohol flavors as well like toasted coconut and cinnamon. The event runs from 4-7pm and is free. It is at the Big Watt Cold Beverage Co in Minneapolis.

Now is also a great time to get out and look at all the twinkle lights around town. There are many great locations around the cities. Eden Prairie has an amazing light display that is synchronized to music. You can drive by in your car while listening to 88.1fm and see the lights dance to the beat. It’s open weeknights until 9:30 and weekends until 10pm and located at George Morgan Drive & Donegal Cove, Eden Prairie Shakopee also has a winter wonderland set up. You can walk through the display and even grab some hot cocoa on your way to meet Santa. It’s at 921 Shakopee Avenue East, Shakopee.

Have a safe and warm weekend. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Hiding Christmas Presents

Image by Andrew Butitta via Flickr
Have you been purchasing holiday gifts this season? Have you been having trouble with where to keep them so curious eyes won’t find them? Here are a couple of hiding spots for little kids and adults alike:

In a suitcase under the bed or in the closet. Unless you are planning a trip your suitcases are a sneaky place to keep presents. The best part is it looks the same on the outside no matter what you store in it.

In plain sight. Grab a plain cardboard box and write something boring on it in sharpie. 2010 tax return receipts should keep the kids from checking out the box. You can up the ante by putting it in a basement or attic where it is likely to be stored.

The trunk of your car. If your kids or spouse can’t be trusted alone in your house with presents keep them with you when you go out. This isn’t recommended for electronics though because of the cold.

In your Hamper. If you have a large hamper, stick the presents at the bottom and cover them with dirty clothes. You could also do this in your closet with a large box, but cover it with a mound of old dirty clothes. Just make sure you oversee doing the laundry or someone helpful may uncover it.

If there are no safe spaces at your house, ask a trusted neighbor if they will guard your treasure. You could even trade that duty. This would ensure that even if someone found your secret presents it wouldn’t be for them.

Good Luck and Happy Hiding. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending December 3, 2016

This has proven to be a steady year for buying and selling activity in the residential
real estate market. Although inventory declined and prices increased throughout the
year, it has been a rather strong year, and many are predicting that 2017 will remain
about the same as long as inventory remains somewhat steady, unemployment
rates continue to fall and mortgage rates remain low.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending December 3:

 • New Listings decreased 14.7% to 747
 • Pending Sales increased 1.7% to 900
 • Inventory decreased 19.9% to 11,099

For the month of November:

 • Median Sales Price increased 5.7% to $231,750
 • Days on Market decreased 16.4% to 61
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 96.7%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 27.6% to 2.1

Publish Date: December 12, 2016 • All comparisons are to 2015

Friday, December 9, 2016

Brrrr. Welcome to winter.

Image by george via Flickr
If you are looking to embrace the cold with some holiday spirit check out one of the events below.

Rock & Roll Christmas Show – Chanhassen Dinner Theater
It’s a rocking show featuring music from the 1970’s through today. With parodies of favorite yuletide songs. Tickets are still available for tonight and there are possible rush tickets throughout the weekend. It promises to be an entertaining time.

Holidazzle – Downtown Minneapolis
This year Holidazzle is moving to Loring Park. It is also free and open to the public. There will be an ice skating rink, Santa Claus, giveaways and musical performances. There will also be food and warm beverages.
For more information:

Cirque Dreams Holidaze – Carlson Family Stage
Do you love Christmas? Do you love Cirque du Soleil? This is a beautiful combination. It’s a mix of reindeer, toy soldiers and Santa with stunning acrobatics. The best part is tickets start at just $25.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Holidays are Coming!

Here are 3 easy ways to add a little bit of holiday cheer to your home:

An ornament shadow box –
This is a simple diy decoration. You can get a shadowbox from any craft store. If you want to go the extra mile you can pick up some craft paint that matches your décor and paint the shadowbox. Otherwise getting a neutral color like white or black is perfect. Some craft stores also have ball ornaments another option would be to find some at target. The goal is to fill the shadow box with enough ornaments so that they don’t move around. Then you just hang it on your wall. Simple and festive.  

Birch centerpiece –
For an understated winter decoration consider making or purchasing a birch centerpiece. If you add a little holly or a wreath to bring in more color it can really liven up a table. To go the extra mile try finding pine scented tea lights to add the smells of the season.

Change your bathroom towels –

Add some red or green towels to your bathroom. Another subtler way to bring the winter cheer is with snowflake embroidered towels. You don’t have to keep the festive cloths in the bathroom either. Consider new kitchen towels or a new welcome rug. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending November 26, 2016

National home prices reached a record high, increasing 0.1 percent from the prerecession
peak in 2006. This height – driven by low inventory, solid demand and
responsible lending practices – is much different from the previous high mark.
Inflation is also a factor. Interest rates, unemployment, prices and wage trends will
continue to be factors to monitor for trend analysis as we reach toward 2017.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending November 26:

• New Listings decreased 6.7% to 502
• Pending Sales decreased 5.7% to 595
• Inventory decreased 19.9% to 11,571

For the month of October:

• Median Sales Price increased 6.5% to $230,000
• Days on Market decreased 14.3% to 60
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 96.9%
• Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 21.2% to 2.6

Publish Date: December 5, 2016 • All comparisons are to 2015

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Puppy Problems?

Happy December!

Image by Jonathan Kriz via Flickr

Brand new puppies are absolutely adorable. They are also a lot of work and messy. Below are some tips for helping to minimize the mess:

1. Set a routine - When you are potty training its important to have a routine in place. It helps the little pup learn to anticipate what to do. This means heading out at roughly the same times everyday. It also helps to go out the same door. They learn to associate going out the door with going to the bathroom. The good news is winter is the best time to potty train a pup. It's cold enough that they want to do their business quickly and then get back inside.

2. Remove your fluffy rugs - This is another potty training tip for pups. Sometimes they confuse the fluffy rugs for grass. It's easier to remove the rugs for a short time then clean them repeatedly or replace them. It's also a good idea to use a natural cleaner to remove any accidents that may occur. You want to remove the smell with something that is specific to pets and with something that won't be harmful to them.

3. Baby gates and crates - These tools can be your best friend when you get a new pup. Baby gates can section of an area of the house from the puppy in an easy to change way. One example would be if you are cooking and don't want to puppy underfoot. Use simple baby gates to section off the room. Crates are also a great tool. It's recommended that every dog have their own. It is a place where they can feel safe and nest. It'll also cut down on accidents since it's a natural inclination to not toilet where they sleep.

4. Chew protection - Last but not least is to try and protect your stuff from teething pups. You can buy bitter spray to use on the bottom of your furniture. Putting away anything tempting like shows is a good idea. It also helps to have chew toys for the dog. That way they can get their energy out on something that's acceptable instead of something irreplaceable.

Good Luck!