Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Deal Hunting for Your Home

It’s January and if you are like a lot of people you’re itching to make some changes in your house. Maybe your style has changed or you have some pieces that are worn out. It’s great to have something new but it’s even better to have a deal on that something new. There are different deals throughout the year. For the best time to buy check out the guide below:

January –Furniture, Linens & Home Gym Equipment
February – TVs, Home Entertainment Systems & Mattresses
March – Gas Grills & Air Conditioners
April – Cookware & Carpeting
May – Mattresses, Refrigerators & Paint
June – Dishware & Tools
July – Grills, Furniture & Home Decor
August –Air Conditioners, Linens & Storage
September –  Lawn Mowers, Office Furniture
October – Outdoor Furniture & Appliances
November – Everything as stores roll out Black Friday deals.
December – Large Appliances & Pools

If you need something and it’s not the best time of the year consider looking at thrift stores, consignment stores or online for discounts.

Good Luck!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Turn Your Cookie-Cutter House into a Personalized Home

 Paint your front door
Start with the first thing you see – your front door. Changing the color and making it bright or unique is an easy way to make a house your own. Any color works as long as it compliments your house color and makes you happy. It’s also an easy way to distinguish your house from your neighbors – we’re the home with the yellow door.

Add Molding

Turn a new construction house into one with character with some molding that suits your style. You can be as fancy or as simple as you like. Going with plain white molding adds a classic feel or add some carefully distressed baseboards to add a rustic feel.

Upgrade Fixtures

Changing faucets and fixtures is an easy way to change the style of your home. You can even change the handles on cabinets and make them unique adding charm to your bathroom or kitchen.

Add Color

Painting the walls from beige to a color you enjoy turns a house into a home. This can be a small accent wall or a whole room. You can be creative and paint a mural in a room or add texture to your wall. If you don’t want to paint consider using wall paper to add a bit of fun.

Add Personality with Furniture

The easiest way to turn a space into your own is with furniture that shows your personality. Once you figure out how you want your house to feel work on finding furniture that fits that dream.

Happy Home Making.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending January 7, 2017

If predictions hold true – a continuing inventory crunch, moderate price gains,
higher mortgage rates – 2017 will likely be in favor of the seller. On the other end of
the spectrum, deals may be harder to come by if the largest potential group of
buyers, the millennials, do not start wading into the buying pool with more fervor.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending January 7:

 • New Listings decreased 15.1% to 969
 • Pending Sales decreased 21.1% to 555
 • Inventory decreased 25.5% to 8,298

For the month of November:

 • Median Sales Price increased 4.1% to $228,500
 • Days on Market decreased 10.1% to 71
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.6% to 96.0%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 26.1% to 1.7

Publish Date: January 16, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016

Friday, January 13, 2017

It’s Arctic Fever Weekend!

The cities of Shorewood, Tonka Bay and Excelsior are banding together for this winter festival.
 Events started yesterday and continue through this Sunday. Most activities are free. There will be dog sled rides, an Excelsior Library magic show, human bowling on ice, a snow sculpting contest and a pizza party.

Friday, January 13th: Tonight is the pizza party from 5:30 – 7:30. It’ll be at the Southshore Center (5735 Country Club Road, Excelsior 55331 -right next to Badger Park and Shorewood city hall).  There will be an ice carver, fire dancers, kid crafts by New Horizon Academy, a candlelight tour, photo booth and geocaching all for free! There will be free Joey Nova’s and samples from Excelsior Brewing.

Saturday, January 14th: Excelsior Brewing Company and Erik’s Bike Shop are hosting the Arctic Fever Fat Tire Race. The race will go across the lake, on the islands, down the LRT and back to the Excelsior Brewing Taproom. 200 people can participate, if you’d like more information or to register ($10) click here:

Sunday, January 15th: Lord Fletcher’s is hosting the Princess Brunch. You can make reservations between 11am-1:30pm. All princess activities are free and include:  making a crown, face painting by Cambridge Ambassadors, princess story-time, and beautiful harp music by Lauren Marty. Each child also has a chance of winning one of two American Girl Dolls. To RSVP call 952.471.8513

For a complete listing of the events happening in each city check out:

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Storage, Storage and More Storage.

Shows like Tiny Houses on HGTV show that you can fit a lot in a tiny space. You don’t need a tiny house though to want to maximize space. Here are some quick and easy ways to utilize a small space better no matter the size of your house:

Empty all the big boxes out of your pantry. If you’ve ever purchased a large cereal box and then tried to fit it into your cupboard/pantry you know what a pain they can be. An easy solution is to get some clear containers. You can empty those ungainly boxes into pretty storage containers. They even make square ones with locking lids for freshness and easy stack-ability. The clear containers also allow you to see what’s in your pantry.

Store your clothes in your dresser vertically instead of stacking them in piles. This allows you to fit more in and lets you see what you have better. Also consider organizing your closet but clothing type or by color (dark to light). This will help make the space feel bigger and more organized. It might also create room under the short articles where you can set up a shoe rack and keep those shoes that you don’t use very often. Another way to organize shoes is to put them in stacking plastic containers. This way you are able to label each container and stack them.

Utilize every available inch. Find space under the stairs and create storage options there. Look and see if you have space above or below cupboards to add some cloth boxes for storage.  Buy multipurpose furniture like a storage ottoman or a daybed that pulls out to a overnight bed for guests. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending December 31, 2016

At the outset of 2017, we are watching for upward movement in some of the same
areas that we were watching in 2016. Inventory remains a key metric, as continued
decreases may push out potential buyers, especially if mortgage rates continue to
increase. However, buying a home is still considered more affordable than renting in
two-thirds of the country according to the 2017 Rental Affordability Report by
ATTOM Data Solutions.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending December 31:

 • New Listings decreased 7.5% to 384
 • Pending Sales decreased 14.9% to 474
 • Inventory decreased 24.9% to 9,049

For the month of December:

 • Median Sales Price increased 4.1% to $228,500
 • Days on Market decreased 10.1% to 71
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.6% to 96.0%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 30.4% to 1.6

Publish Date: January 9, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2015

Friday, January 6, 2017

Weekend Events

It’s Friday!

Even though it is freezing cold there are still things to do this weekend and coming week!

Image by kitty.green66 via Flickr
This weekend is the Land-o-Lakes All-Breed Dog show. It started today and will run this weekend from 8am – 6pm. It features dog competitions, tours and demonstrations. You can meet the breeds and visit the market for all kinds of goodies. There will also be seminars on service dogs and therapy dogs. Tickets are only $9 for adults and $5 for kids. For more information check out:

There are two very different kinds of events happening this coming Monday. The first is the musical The Bodyguard at the Orpheum Theatre. It’s based on the hit film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. The show has all the classics from the film including:  “Saving All My Love,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and, “I Will Always Love You.” Tickets start at $39 and the show runs through next weekend. You can get tickets here:

The other event happening on Monday is out in Waconia at the Waconia Brewery Company. The WBC is having “BeerGo”.  It’s just like bingo but with beer. If you buy a beer you get a “BeerGo” card. The winner gets a free pint. The best thing is that if you miss it this Monday you can catch it next Monday. It’s from 6pm-8pm. For more info click here:

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Resolutions for your home?

Since it’s a brand new year have you made any resolutions? What about for your house?
Here are 4 resolutions you should make and keep when it comes to your home:

1) Consider Minimizing -

This is the year to get rid of your things. Not just arbitrarily throwing things away but carefully going through your things to only keep what you love and what you need. Decluttering your house can help organize your life. Here are some articles detailing the benefits of decluttering and how to get started:
               * Becoming Minimalist – Creative ways to declutter:

2) Make your home safe -

This is the year to get some major things out of the way when it comes to your home. Things like cleaning the dryer vent. Dryers cause about 15,000 house fires a year. It’s time to take the lint trap off and shop-vac the buildup. You should also test your home for radon. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas. It can cause problems with your lungs. A test kit can cost as little as $20 at the hardware store and can give you piece of mind. Now is the time to check your fire detectors and carbon monoxide detectors too. Taking small precautions can really help keep your family safe.

3) Cut energy use -

A simple way to cut energy costs is to get a better thermostat. Something smart like the Nest that you can program is an easy energy fix. The thermostat can learn when you are home and when you are away saving the costs of heating or cooling when you are at work for 8 hours. A step above this would be to look at your HVAC system. Having someone out to look at and repair any holes in the duct work can greatly help your house be more energy efficient. The best part is that not only will you save money on your heating and cooling bills you can actually get a rebate for making your home more energy efficient. Xcel energy will discount the purchase of a smart thermostat. For other incentives check out the website below:

4) Set up a cleaning plan -  

Coming up with a set daily or weekly plan will help you keep your house cleaner and reduce some stress.  This could mean setting the resolution to always put dirty dishes in the dishwasher each night or creating and carrying out a schedule to clean your whole house weekly. There are a couple of books and websites to help give you ideas.
               * Speed Cleaning – Jeff Campbell – This is a great book with a really bad cover. Don’t let the cover deter you from the content inside. This book will help you clean your entire house in 45 minutes.
               * How to create a cleaning schedule that works – Living Well Spending Less:

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending December 24, 2016

As we look toward 2017, the entirety of the U.S. housing market has never been
worth as much as it is right now. Housing stock value grew to $29.6 trillion in 2016,
regaining all of the value that was lost during the last recession. An upward trend in
mortgage rates, mortgage credit and new construction are all common predictions
for 2017.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending December 24:

 • New Listings increased 32.5% to 359
 • Pending Sales increased 28.1% to 606
 • Inventory decreased 23.9% to 9,469

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: January 2, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2015