Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending May 20, 2017

Mortgage rates have fallen to their lowest levels so far this year but remain above
where they were last year at this time. The market has proven to be ready for higher
rates, as many homes continue to sell rapidly, often above the asking price. As long
as there is ample supply, which is not a given in every market, 2017 should
continue to be a great year for residential real estate.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending May 20:
 • New Listings decreased 6.5% to 2,059
 • Pending Sales decreased 10.1% to 1,498
 • Inventory decreased 17.0% to 11,671

For the month of April:
 • Median Sales Price increased 6.4% to $245,750
 • Days on Market decreased 20.5% to 58
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.2% to 99.2%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 17.9% to 2.3

Publish Date: May 30, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016

Information from MAAR

Friday, May 26, 2017

What’s Happening this Weekend?

It’s Memorial Day Weekend and there is a lot going on!

Excelsior’s Memorial Day Parade starts at 11 and proceeds from the elementary school to Oak Hill Cemetery.

Chaska’s Memorial Day Parade will commence at 10:00 a.m. from the Carver/Scott Co-op and following 4th Street to City Square Park.

Chanhassen is having a ceremony at noon with speaker Chanhassen Mayor Tom Furlong. There will be a community picnic at the American Legion after the ceremony.

For a list of all the Memorial Day Activities going on in the Twin Cities check out the star tribune calendar: http://www.startribune.com/memorial-day-calendar/122804039/

Other non-Memorial Day events are also happening. Here are a couple:

Parley Lake 9th Season Open.
Saturday, May 27th Noon - 6PM & Sunday, May 28th Noon - 6PM
Be one of the first 25 guests each day and receive a FREE Parley Lake Winery logo T!
Wine tasting ($10; 3 samples + full glass of wine);
Food truck: Terra Truck (Sat Only);
Music: Celtic/Americana Duo Letho & Wright (Sat);
Music: Americana Duo The Home Fires (Sun)

Kayaking 101
Midwest Mountaineering is holding a clinic at the Northwest Beach of Lake Nokomis.
The program emphasizes safety, enjoyment and skill acquisition for entry level individuals. This course is appropriate for all kayaks that are paddled solo.
Pre-registration required – Cost $25, no refunds. Minimum age 16. Call 612–339–3433 to register.
PARTICIPANTS MUST PROVIDE THEIR OWN BOAT AND TRANSPORTION. Kayak rental available for $30 (call store to reserve). Rental includes paddle and skirt. You provide kayak transportation.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Memorable Memorial Day Party Ideas

Memorial Day is all about spending quality time with family and friends showing appreciation for, and honoring those who have bravely served and sacrificed their lives for our country. For most us that will mean picnics, parties and backyard get-togethers. Here are some new ideas to try this year to make your Memorial Day celebration a little more memorable:


Whether you’re serving up brats, sausage or plain old franks, everyone likes to dress theirs up differently.
  • Create a hot dog bar where your guests can choose their dog of choice, (beef frank, turkey dog, brat, Polish Sausage) and top it with cheese, chili, onions, pickles, relish, beans, mustard, (ketchup for those strange folk), mayonnaise…the possibilities are endless! Everyone is sure to enjoy making their own creation.
  • Throw an ice cream social for friends and family or even for the neighbors on your block. Get different flavors of ice cream and display the toppings in mason jars or muffin tins.
  • Get patriotic with your food. Serve a red and blue fruit bowl of watermelon and blueberries.


I don’t care if you’re 8 or 58, everyone loves a carnival so why not bring a little carnival fun to your Memorial Day party.


Last but not least, no Memorial Day party is complete without some patriotic flair. Red, white and blue everything.
  • One of the quickest and easiest ways to decorate a space is by adding some flowers with a pop of color. Red and white geraniums, mums, carnations or even roses in a blue vase or pot are the perfect addition to your celebration.
  • Hang some red, white and blue streamers, lanterns and balloons to enjoy during the day then transition your party into the evening hours with red and blue Christmas lights.
  • If you are feeling ambitious try your hand at some DIY decoration ideas and make some candlelight table centerpieces by dyeing rice red and blue and then layering the colored rice in mason jars and adding some tea lights
From http://cbburnetblueprint.com

Monday, May 22, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending May 13, 2017

The residential real estate story continues to revolve around the low supply of
homes for sale, thus a surge in new homes being built would be a great thing to
see. Existing home sale are at all-time highs in some areas; however, home builders
have not been able to keep up with demand for new inventory replenishment. It will
be interesting to see if this will improve after national manufacturing production had
a large increase last month.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending May 13:
 • New Listings decreased 4.1% to 2,034
 • Pending Sales decreased 9.8% to 1,465
 • Inventory decreased 17.8% to 11,464

For the month of April:
 • Median Sales Price increased 6.5% to $246,000
 • Days on Market decreased 20.5% to 58
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.2% to 99.2%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 21.4% to 2.2

Publish Date: May 22, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016
Information from MAAR

Friday, May 19, 2017

It’s Waterfront Tour Weekend!

Come check out the beautiful homes on the Coldwell Banker Burnet Waterfront Home Tour. Open houses are May 21st from 1pm - 4pm. 

One house to check out is 9227 Lake Riley Boulevard, Chanhassen, MN 55317
Click the link below the photo for more info:

Before you visit beautiful houses you can see beautiful art. View artwork within more than 50 locations throughout Northeast Minneapolis, including studio buildings, art galleries, homes, storefronts, and local businesses. You can see the work of more than 600 artists in mediums like clay, furniture, glass, painting and more. It’s presented by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association. To find out more click here: https://nemaa.org/art-a-whirl

Would you like to run for a good cause? The Autism 5k Run/Walk is tomorrow. It’s from 9 – 11am at Lake Calhoun. The Autism 5k averages approximately 1500 participants annually, evenly split between walkers and runners. Many groups participate in support of a particular family member, a cause, org or workplace. Others participate to compete in a certified 5K or just to enjoy a nice run or walk around Lake Calhoun. You can register online at: http://autism5k.org/signup/

There is also a couple of baseball games. The Twins play the Royals this weekend the games are tonight @ 7:10pm, tomorrow @ 1:10pm, and Sunday @ 1:10pm.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending May 6, 2017

As we get closer to summer, more houses are put up for sale, as tends to happen
around this time each year. Yet it's not as many homes for sale as 2016, and last
year did not have as much available to buy as in 2015. The downward trend
continues, which can have an affect on total sales. Homes listed when move-in
ready and priced well are being snapped up quickly. In fact, despite lower
inventory, many REALTORS® report that they are busier than last year and closing
plenty of sales.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending May 6:
 • New Listings increased 5.7% to 2,341
 • Pending Sales decreased 4.4% to 1,507
 • Inventory decreased 18.9% to 11,012

For the month of April:
 • Median Sales Price increased 6.5% to $246,000
 • Days on Market decreased 20.5% to 58
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.2% to 99.2%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 21.4% to 2.2

Publish Date: May 15, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016

Information from MAAR

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

How to Know if a Home is “The One”

Your house hunt has begun. You’ve saved some money, met with a mortgage lender to get preapproved and are ready to start looking. But how will you know when you’ve found the right one? Here are some factors to consider when making your decision.
  1. Location, location, location. There’s a reason this saying is so popular in real estate – it’s that important. You can change everything else about a house, or even tear the whole thing down and build a new one. But you can’t change its location.
  2. Budget. You’ve obtained mortgage financing, but that’s only part of the price of a home. Energy bills, yard maintenance, taxes, new furnishings, HOA fees, general upkeep – make sure your housing budget takes into account all of the costs of home ownership.
  3. Wants vs. Needs. Before you commit to a home, make a list of what you’d like it to have and what it must have. Prioritize and stay focused on those things that are truly essential. A beautiful house that’s too small or in the wrong location will be far less satisfying over time than a less flashy home that’s otherwise just right.
  4. Instinct. More than anything, the perfect home for you will just feel right. You’ll walk in the door and picture your family living there. You know how you’ll use the space and you smile thinking about making it yours. That’s when you know you’ve found “The One.”

Information from http://cbburnetblueprint.com

Friday, May 12, 2017

What’s Happening this Weekend?

It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday! Are you looking for some fun things to do together?

There is the 2017 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Sunday, May 14th. While online registration is closed, you can still register at Southdale Mall in Edina. This year is the 25th annual. Thousands of people will gather at Southdale Center to raise funds, bring awareness, celebrate cancer survivorship and honor those who have lost their battle to the disease. The route will take participants on a 5K or 1K co-ed trek around beautiful Lake Cornelia in Edina and it is great fun for the entire family. It’s their largest fundraising event every year.  For more information check out their website here: http://www.komenminnesota.org/Komen_Race_for_the_Cure_/Register.htm

The Gold Nugget Tavern & Grille in Minnetonka is having a Mother’s Day brunch on Sunday from 9am – 2pm. Their theory is that It's hard to express how much your mom means to you, but bringing her to an awesome brunch buffet says what words cannot! Join them for Mother's Day and honor all the great women who made you who you are today. To check out the menu click here: http://www.goldnuggettavernandgrille.com/

Still looking for that perfect gift? Gathered Goods Company is opening a store in Tonka Bay! Their Grand Opening Celebration is tomorrow May 13th from 1 – 6pm. They will have door prizes, giveaways and food/drinks. Catering is by Joey Nova’s. The store carries 20 Minnesota based artisans and companies. They have clothing, home goods, and gifts. Plus, this weekend they have a flower bar where you can make a personal arrangement for the mom in your life. For more information and to see more product photos check out their facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/201788806979078/

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Installing a Pool? The Ultimate Homeowner’s Checklist

The decision to install an in-ground pool should never be taken lightly. Take the time to review this checklist before calling up the nearest pool installer.

The decision to install an in-ground pool should never be taken lightly. While this iconic amenity adds a level of beauty and recreation to the property, it also imparts significant real estate considerations. Without careful forethought and planning, unexpected roadblocks may put the pool to a grinding halt. Take the time to review this checklist before calling up the nearest pool installer.

Local Laws, Permits, and Municipal Codes

Check with the local jurisdiction to find out what is required. The pool contractor should be well-versed in the codes, permits, and fees necessary to begin. However, the responsibility lies with the homeowner. Some areas have restrictions on size and type of pool, setback, and safety features.

Homeowner’s Association Restrictions

Some homeowner’s associations may forbid the installation of pools altogether, while others have specific restrictions. They may prohibit excessively large pools or require additional safety measures not required by the city. Consult with them prior to investing in a pool or they may put a stop to it.

Utility Easements

Known easement issues should be dealt with prior to installing a pool. Utility service easements and other access issues can make the prime location of the pool far less inviting. Natural obstructions such as sinkholes, rocky terrain, and trees can increase the difficulty further.

Space Requirements

A pool will also take up more area than most people are expecting. Account for plenty of excess space for ease of movement, garden area, and play areas for children. Have a contractor assist in plotting out the available space, and making note of any questionable areas.

Property Taxes Versus Property Value

Typically, expect a new pool installation to qualify as new construction on the property. This will subject it to higher property taxes, which will vary based on locale. However, the amount of the investment is not often reflected by an equivalent increase in property values. Consider a new pool an indulgence rather than an investment.

04.18.17 Home Improvement - Considering Installing a Pool body

Climate and Neighborhood

Warmer climates are perfect locations for pools; so much so that they are essential property features, not luxuries. Even homes close to coastal regions still require pools, to maintain the health of the real estate market and to sell quickly. Homes in colder climates are more likely to add a pool as a novelty, only available for use in the warmer spring and summer months. Likewise, take a look at the other homes in the neighborhood, for indications on how desirable a pool is, and what styles are preferred in this market.

Patio, Landscaping, and Amenities

Consider how the in-ground pool fits in with current and future outdoor amenities. A patio is a natural pairing, but proper landscaping will prevent the pool from looking staggeringly out of place. Lighting, fire pits, and cooking areas can all be incorporated into a comprehensive outdoor entertainment area, increasing property values and market desirability.

Financing with Home Equity, Second Mortgage, or Unsecured Loan

Choosing the right financing should be done prior to putting a deposit down with a pool contractor. A qualified lender can explain the available options and assist in deciding what is best at the time. Many people turn to home equity loans immediately, but they are not always available on a newer home purchase or during a slow market. A second mortgage is another popular choice, but may not be a sound investment if a quick sale is expected. Unsecured loans are less popular, but are good when a large deposit is already available.

Resale Value and Attractiveness to the Market

A new pool is no guarantee of increased property values. In unfavorable markets, some buyers may not desire an in-ground pool at all, and it may end up buried in the future. Proper research will indicate what kind of market the property is located in. Often, a pool remains a luxury investment that is not easily recouped in the future.
The decision to install a pool is complex, but need not be overwhelming. By covering these areas prior to beginning, it will be easy to determine if a pool will be a reality or a pipe dream.

By Sharon Lee
Content found at: http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/installing-pool-ultimate-homeowners-checklist/ 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending April 29, 2017

Much of the news surrounding the housing market is about climbing prices and
continued decreases in inventory on a year-over-year basis. Although prices have
been rising steadily, we are only now beginning to reach pre-recession price levels
on a national basis, and that's not the rule for all homes and communities. If
demand stays strong, unemployment rates continue to dwindle and wages keep
consumer confidence high, the market should remain active and interesting.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending April 29:
• New Listings increased 0.1% to 1,873
• Pending Sales decreased 9.6% to 1,443
• Inventory decreased 19.8% to 10,901

For the month of March:
• Median Sales Price increased 6.9% to $237,400
• Days on Market decreased 15.3% to 72
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.3% to 98.1%
• Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 19.2% to 2.1

Publish Date: May 8, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016
Information from MAAR

Friday, May 5, 2017

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Here are some fun things happening this weekend!

Bingo & Burgers by the Bay
The Lake Minnetonka Excelsior Rotery presents the 5th annual Bingo & Burgers by the Bay. Since their first event in 2013, they have donated more than $60,000 to the Excelsior Chamber of Commerce Fireworks Fund for their 4th of July celebration! This family-friendly event will take place in downtown Excelsior, near the movie theater on Saturday, May 6th from 3-7pm. Live music will follow Bingo from 7-10pm. To add it to your calendar, click here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-bingo-burgers-by-the-bay-tickets-32243815119

May Day on Main
Hopkins is hosting the first annual May Day on Main celebration. Come see an evening performance by Jefferson Starship! Events begin at 3pm and include performances by Farewell Milwaukee and Sleeping Jesus, food trucks, beer garden and cash bar, sidewalk activities and Maypole event, silent auction, fundraising games and activities. Street Admission is free but the shows need tickets.

May Day on Main proceeds benefit The Depot Youth Foundation, Blake Road Corridor Collaborative, Hopkins Activity Center, and Hopkins Center for the Arts. Help us raise money for teen and after-school programs, arts programs, senior activities, crime-prevention, and neighborhood engagement. For tickets click here: https://my.stagestheatre.org/single/SYOS.aspx?p=739

20th Annual Bud Break
The 20th annual Bud Break is a 5k held at the Minnesota Arboretum.

For those who have don’t this 5k before the course will be run counter-clockwise this year, the way cars travel, making the route fresh, interesting and perhaps faster as runners challenge the hills and prairies in a whole new way. 

Online registration is closed but you can register onsite on race day. For more info click here: http://arboretum.umn.edu/budbreak.aspx

Last but not least is the Cinco de Mayo festivities in St. Paul. For a full list of their events and information about the parade check out their website: http://www.cincodemayosaintpaul.com/parade.html 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Sumptuous Surfaces: The Latest in Luxury Wall Coverings

The room doesn’t just exude luxury. It seems to exhale it, filling the space with majesty. Magnetism. Magnificence. But even with super-luxe fabrics and exquisite furniture pieces…even with priceless art and attention to every detail within the room…there may still be something missing if the frame of the space hasn’t been properly addressed.

And we’re not talking about paint. Today’s luxury homes are increasingly eschewing slathered walls in favor of high-end applications that adopt classic themes, modern interpretations and everything in between. We looked at four luxury trends that will have your walls talking this year.

Classic Luxury Wallpaper

Chinoiserie dates back to the European aristocracy of the 17th century, and its popularity today remains every bit about royal heritage, bespoke elegance and timeless appeal. The hand-painted wallpaper from de Gournay is revered as the industry standard, showcased in some of the finest homes on earth, and is soaring in popularity even outside of more expected venues.
de Gournay
“The broad subject matter of the wallpapers and the diverse techniques we use in their creation mean they inhabit both historic and contemporary environments with ease — often pairing elements from both styles to great effect,” says Harald Donoghue, spokesperson for de Gournay. “For example, a traditional, 18th-century chinoiserie motif might be painted onto a background of tarnished silver leaf, custom colored to resemble rose gold.
“Every single panel of our wallpaper is painted entirely by hand, which means we regularly work to specific briefs outside of current interior trends, each one beautiful and diverting in its own way,” he continues. “However, more recently, the metallic effects we can apply to our existing chinoiserie and Japanese, Korean and scenic motifs never fail to capture clients’ imaginations.”

Contemporary Vinyl Wallpaper

Between the subdued yet rich color palette, the plush materials of velvet and marble and gold accents, and the Serge Mouille light fixtures, it’s hard to know where to settle your eye first at 51fifteen Cuisine and Cocktails in Saks Fifth Avenue…until it lands on the enormous graphic flower that seems to be coming to life right on the wall. The design, and everything else in the talked-about Houston restaurant, was the work of “It Girl” Nina Magon, owner of Contour Interior Design, and it showcases how contemporary wallpaper can transform a space.
51fifteen Cuisine and Cocktails at Saks Fifth Avenue, Houston
“We used a large-scale Wall&decò super graphic vinyl wallpaper to echo the blossom ceiling lighting theme in the entry of the restaurant,” says Magon. “This dramatic wallpaper created the illusion of a three-dimensional pattern that added depth and color to the restaurant design. When used in the proper manner, wallpaper can really change the personality and design of any space. Not only does it provide an eye-catching, large-scale pattern that creates impact, but it actually makes the rest of the room easier to design.”

Leather Tiles

Leather. It’s sensual when worn, and that goes for clothing and walls. That may account for the demand for fine leather tiles in lieu of other luxury wall coverings. With different shapes, sizes and compositions, it’s possible to create a textural mosaic that brings a distinctive touch to an upscale room.
“Discerning clients demand their interior designers create unique spaces that reflect their lifestyle and personality, and that applies to wallcoverings,” says Paolo Timoni of IMAESTRI, who exclusively handles U.S. sales for leather wall tile leader Lapèlle. “To help interior designers meet the demand of highly sophisticated clients, Lapèlle has created unique leather tiles that offer unprecedented quality and flexibility, with 14 collections, each with different textures and finishes and available in a range of at least 15 to 20 colors and in 14 different shapes and sizes.”


Scientists believe that paintings depicting seals on Spain’s Costa del Sol are the world’s oldest works of art. Forty-two thousand years later, murals remain a popular artistic expression — albeit with exceedingly more sophisticated techniques.
“Murals were among the very first interior decorations, as seen in prehistoric cave paintings,” says renowned custom artist Paul Montgomery, whose work is showcased worldwide in luxury residences and hotels. “We have always been tuned into nature, history, architecture and landscapes.”
Paul Montgomery
While custom murals and larger-scale design have experienced a recent resurgence among luxury clientele, Montgomery says it’s not about chasing trends. “Classic designs cannot be improved upon, just reinterpreted in thoughtful and exciting ways. The fact that these pieces are less intimidating than they once were, partially thanks to advanced techniques that allow many of them to be hand-painted in the studio and finished onsite, is also a factor.”
By Zachary Chase
This article origionally appeared in the spring 2017 issue of Homes & Estates

Monday, May 1, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending April 22, 2017

It is a lucrative time to sell a home, and it would appear that it will remain that way
for the time being. Houses that show well and are priced correctly have been selling
quickly, often at higher prices than asking. Thus far, buyers are proving to be
resilient in 2017, keeping the home-purchasing momentum up even amidst the
mounting competition that comes with the annual spring market.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending April 22:
• New Listings increased 4.7% to 2,037
• Pending Sales decreased 9.8% to 1,409
• Inventory decreased 21.5% to 10,625

For the month of March:
• Median Sales Price increased 6.9% to $237,400
• Days on Market decreased 15.3% to 72
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.3% to 98.1%
• Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 19.2% to 2.1

Publish Date: May 1, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016

Information gathered from MAAR