Monday, July 31, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending July 22, 2017

Residential real estate activity has remained robust through the summer months so
far. New listing and sales activity may not always land exactly where desired or
expected from week to week, but it is clear by gradually increasing prices and
ongoing low inventory that buyer demand has not weakened.
In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending July 22:

 • New Listings increased 0.9% to 1,842
 • Pending Sales decreased 6.3% to 1,297
 • Inventory decreased 17.2% to 12,555

For the month of June:
 • Median Sales Price increased 7.0% to $259,000
 • Days on Market decreased 16.1% to 47
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 99.5%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 13.3% to 2.6

Publish Date: July 31, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016

Information Gathered from MAAR

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Tips to Turn Your Backyard into a Party Paradise

Outdoor living is as important as indoor space, especially in the summertime. Everything in your backyard — whether it’s a fire pit, dining area and bar, or theater — should be part of a well-planned, integrated design. Here are a few outdoor accessories that will turn your backyard into another room of your house.

Fire pits
Fire pits add a warm touch to an outdoor area and can serve as a focal point in landscape design, especially if you live in an area that gets cool at night. You can choose from wood-burning, propane, gel fuel and natural gas fire pits. If space is a consideration, go with a tabletop model.

Outdoor kitchen and bar
Offered in a variety of styles, such as gas, charcoal or hibachi, a grill should be part of any fully equipped outdoor kitchen. A mini-fridge, sink, an ice maker, a beer tap, a wine chiller and warming drawer are just some of the other equipment you can add to enhance your outdoor drinking and dining experience. And don’t forget to make sure the area is well-lit for those evenings of entertaining.

Dining areas
What good is it to eat and drink outside without a dining area? Make sure it has comfortable chairs with durable cushions, and a table for dining with an expansive umbrella for shade and shelter. You can design them with a Mediterranean, Japanese or Victorian flavor, or with whatever stylistic flourishes tickle your fancy. Citronella candles or tiki torches will help keep away those pesky mosquitoes.

Backyard theater
The next best thing to a drive-in, a backyard theater can entertain family and friends. For a well-designed movie-viewing experience, make sure you have a video projector, a free-standing portable screen, a DVD player, surround sound, theater seats and, to top it all off, a popcorn machine. Another outdoor viewing option is a self-contained outdoor TV. LED/LCD outdoor TVs come in sizes from 32 inches to 65 inches, or even larger, and incorporate heavy-duty construction, making them resistant to temperature and weather. Some also are resistant to rain.

From cbburnetblueprint

Monday, July 24, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending July 15, 2017

The primary selling season tends to begin a subtle slowdown at this point in the
year. That does not necessarily equate to less competition for available housing
stock. While total sales and inventory may be lower than at points earlier in the year,
those still looking for homes tend to match up with those willing to list. Call it a
back-to-school effect or call it an active and healthy residential real estate market
no matter the season.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending July 15:
 • New Listings increased 2.2% to 1,936
 • Pending Sales decreased 3.9% to 1,371
 • Inventory decreased 17.7% to 12,362

For the month of June:
 • Median Sales Price increased 7.0% to $259,000
 • Days on Market decreased 16.1% to 47
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 99.5%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 16.7% to 2.5

Publish Date: July 24, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016
Information gathered from MAAR

Friday, July 21, 2017

What’s Happening this Weekend?

It’s Crazy Days in Excelsior this weekend! Join for the fun filled fair-like shopping and dining! 
The classic Crazy Days is back in full force this year with a full schedule of events!

Saturday July 22; open 10AM - 6PM
*  9-3 pm:  Camp Smile Kid's Carnival (located in  Gary's First Class Auto parking lot)

*  9-4 pm:  Flea Market at corner of Water Street and Lake Street
*  10 am:  Darel Leipold's Historic Walking Tour (meet at museum by Street Car tracks)
*  2-6 pm:  Streetcar Rides

Sunday July 23; open 11AM - 4PM
RED HOT SALE - FInal Day to get your best of the best bargains
*  1-4 pm:  Streetcar Rides

In Chaska it is the Fire and Ice Bonspiel. Beer, Music and Food will be happening in Fireman’s Park.
Saturday July 22: Opens at 1pm
*2-6pm: Fin in the Park - Inflatable Bouncers •Ninja Warrior Course
Water Bubble Inflatables on the Water
Paddle Boards and Paddle Boats
Face Painting • Water Blast Contest
* 3pm: Bean Bag Tournament
*10pm Fireworks

Sunday July 23: Opens at 9am
*9am-1pm: Fin in the Park - Inflatable Bouncers •Ninja Warrior Course
Water Bubble Inflatables on the Water
Paddle Boards and Paddle Boats
Face Painting • Water Blast Contest
* 9am: Fun Run
*10am: Edina Model Yacht Club Parade

For a full list of events check out:

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tips for Power Washing Your House

Your home is exposed to outside air, pollution, rain, and more 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Is it any surprise your home looks a little dirty from time to time? Power washing your house can help remove dirt and grime. But, a lot can go wrong if you aren’t sure what you are doing. Before you pick up the power washer, check out these tips to make the most out of your deep cleaning experience.

Use Detergent

To get the most out of power washing your house, it helps to use detergent. Even with a lot of pressure behind it, water alone isn’t enough to do the job. Pick a detergent that’s designed for use in a pressure washer. Some household cleaners, such as bleach, shouldn’t be used in the machine, as they can damage it, according to Popular Mechanics.
Typically, you apply a coat of detergent with the washer and let it sit on the exterior wall of the house for a few minutes before you rinse it away.

Know Where to Aim

Some materials can be damaged by the force of the power washer. For example, you don’t want to power wash stained glass windows, nor do you want to get water underneath the siding of your house. If your home has a brick or stucco facade, make sure the material is in good repair and that it is completely dry before you power wash. You don’t want water to wear away damaged brick or stucco or for it to seep into any cracks.
In the case of brick, you’ll want to make sure you wet it before you apply the detergent. Power spraying detergent onto dry brick can actually damage the brick. Soak the brick with water first, then apply detergent, and then rinse the detergent away.

Protect Yourself

Remember safety first when power washing your house. Although you might see people climbing up on ladders when using a pressure washer, that’s not the best idea. You’ll be using a machine that shoots water with a lot of force at the walls of your home. It’s best to stay on steady ground, so that you don’t lose your balance.
Since power washing involves shooting a jet of water at the home, and because water and electricity can be quite shocking when they get together, it’s a good idea to turn the electricity in your home off before you start. At the very least, flip the switch on any outdoor sockets. If you’re using an electric pressure washer, be careful not to touch the plug if you have wet hands.
It’s also a good idea to wear safety goggles when using the power washer. If you’re using a gas-powered machine, hearing protection might be a good idea, since those machines can be very loud.

Call in the Pros

Nervous about power washing your home? There are a few companies in the area that can handle the job for you. Websites such as Angie’s List and Home Advisor feature reviews of popular companies. You can also ask your friends and family members if they can recommend a dependable power washing business in the city.
Pressure washing your house can make it look like new again. If your house looks a little dingy or worse for wear, it might be time to give its facade a deep clean.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending July 8, 2017

From a heart-of-summer perspective, the residential real estate market has
performed as expected when predictions were made at the front of the year. Buyer
interest is high and inventory is not at a proper level to meet demand. Total sales
and new listings are generally behind last year's levels from week to week, but there
is evidence of improvement in both metrics.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending July 8:
 • New Listings decreased 16.9% to 1,371
 • Pending Sales decreased 4.7% to 1,061
 • Inventory decreased 16.7% to 12,351

For the month of June:
 • Median Sales Price increased 7.0% to $259,000
 • Days on Market decreased 16.1% to 47
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.8% to 99.5%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 16.7% to 2.5

Publish Date: July 17, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016
Information gathered from MAAR

Friday, July 14, 2017

What’s Happening this Weekend?

In Hopkins the Raspberry Festival is still going! This weekend is packed full of events. Saturday has the Marketplace Arts and Craft Fair, the Cruisers Big Wheels for Hot Meals, the Raspberry Breakfast, Soap Box Derby and the Street Dance with Fireworks after. Sunday is Parade Day! For more information on all the events check out:

Sociable Cider Werks in Minneapolis is hosting Americana Fest. The event is free but if you plan to drink wristbands are $5. The #SociableSummer is back for round two with more music, libations and good times! Join us Sunday, July 16th for the second of three shows featuring: Roe Family SingersThe Dead PigeonsNo Man's String BandDead Horses and host Bill DeVille of 89.3 The Current. There are Food trucks from Red River KitchenButcher SaltThe Anchor Fish & Chips,Potter's Pasties. For more info:

If you need a good dose of animal cuteness Chuck & Don’s in Minnetonka is hosting an adoption event. It's time to meet the dog of your dreams! Many adoptable dogs will be here there, looking to make a connection with you. The event is Saturday from 12 – 2pm at 4723 County Road 101, Minnetonka, Minnesota 55345

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

3 Energy-Saving Central Air Alternatives

You can give your air conditioner a well-deserved break and lower your energy bills by considering other ways to keep the heat of summer from sweating your brow. The U.S. Department of Energy says alternatives such as energy-efficient windows and doors, shading and natural ventilation can help cool your home with less energy use.

Window coverings

During summer, keep window coverings closed in the daytime to block the sun’s heat. Consider window awnings or roll-down shades for the outside of the home that can be operated by remote control. Choose manufactured shades or blinds that are labeled blackout, or have reflective backing.


A good way to help your air conditioner is to run ceiling fans at the same time. They will circulate the cool air, allowing you to turn down the air conditioner. Installed on the ceiling between the attic and living space, a whole house fan can meet your home cooling needs by pulling in air from open windows and exhausting it through the attic and roof.

Central air conditioning alternatives

Consider room air conditioners and ductless mini-split air conditioners. Both provide the flexibility of being able to cool individual rooms. Dehumidifying heat pipes allow an air conditioner to dehumidify better while still cooling the air, making them ideal for hot, humid environments.

So, stop relying on just your air conditioner to keep you cool. Alternatives can help you stay comfortable and reward you with cheaper electric bills.

From CBBurnet Blueprint

Monday, July 10, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending July 1, 2017

Nationally and locally, economic conditions affecting residential real estate have not
changed much this year, which is good for market stability. The most recent jobs
report was favorable, while unemployment and mortgage rates both remain
satisfyingly reasonable. If there were more homes for sale, we might see a shift in
prices. Although builder and seller confidence are high, we are not close to a trend
change in that regard.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending July 1:
• New Listings decreased 0.1% to 1,587
• Pending Sales decreased 5.6% to 1,377
• Inventory decreased 16.5% to 12,628

For the month of May:
• Median Sales Price increased 5.5% to $250,000
• Days on Market decreased 15.0% to 51
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.9% to 99.5%
• Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 17.2% to 2.4

Publish Date: July 10, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016
Information from MAAR

Friday, July 7, 2017

Happy Friday! Here are some fun things happening around town this weekend!

Stay Cool this weekend and check out some fun things:

Tonka Cycle and Ski is hosting a Pedal for Pastries event Saturday, July 8th at 8am. You can meet up with Tess and pedal from Hopkins to Glam Doll Donuts in Minneapolis. It will be a casual pace with no drop. Reward your ride with a perfectly glazed and sprinkled donut and cup of coffee. For more info check out Tonka Cycle and Ski: For more info on Glam Doll:

Excelsior Brewing Company & Gathered Goods Company is holding a Crafts & Drafts Summer Craft Fair! This Sunday, July 9th from 10am – 5pm come discover some fantastic local crafters and artisans and of course Excelsior Brewing Company's award-winning craft beer! There will be jewelry, home d├ęcor, baby things, clothing, accessories and more
For more information check out the Excelsior Brewing Co. :

If you want to venture out the Basilica Block Party is this weekend. The Basilica Block Party began in 1995 as a fundraiser to help pay for the structural restoration of The Basilica of Saint Mary. Today, proceeds from the event benefit The Basilica Landmark, which preserves, restores and advances the historic Basilica of Saint Mary for all generations. In addition, a portion of all proceeds from The Basilica Block Party go to The Basilica’s St. Vincent de Paul outreach program, which provides services to those in need. It is  Friday, July 7th and Saturday July 8th. For more info:

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Top 12 Packing Tips to Get It Done Over the Weekend

These 12 packing tips can make your weekend move quick, organized and doable.

Packing for a big move does not have to take months. This may come as a shock, but in many homes, it can be done in a weekend or less. 

Here are the top 12 tips on how to make the packing process quick and a little less painful.

1. Do not panic! Your nerves can get the best of you if you let them, so take a deep breath and make a list. This list should include what needs to be packed, what supplies should be purchased (such as moving boxes and tape) and in what room order you are going to pack.
This giant list will be your guide as you make quick work of packing the house. Having everything on the list can help you keep your brain focused on the job at hand, and it will feel good to check each task off.

2. Purge your belongings. On your giant to-do list, the first order of business is to purge. Get rid of all the things you can before you begin to pack.
Take a garbage bag and walk through the entire house. It is truly freeing to get rid of things you don’t need. Throw away expired medicine, broken toys, puzzles with missing pieces and other things you’ll never use again. Make sure everything that remains is a full set or in great condition.

3. Pack kitchen breakables. Your glasses and dishes in the kitchen require some additional attention, so start the packing process with these items. When you are packing away these breakables, save time and money by using soft materials you already own as packing supplies.
Grab your beach towels and large bathroom towels first. Put them at the bottom of your boxes to absorb any shock or shifting that may take place during the move.
Next, grab other towels, linens, dishrags and even T-shirts. You can wrap the fragile items in these pieces, which means packing that section of the house will take less time later.
Tip: Now that you have moving boxes getting full, take a minute to label each box with a number using a permanent marker. Then, start a list of the numbered boxes and their contents. This is essential and will save you precious time later in your new home when you need to quickly find something.

4. Leave dresser drawers full. Save yourself some time and leave your clothes in the drawers. You or your professional haulers can remove the drawers from the dresser and move the drawers with their contents that way. An individual drawer stuffed with clothes stays organized and is easier to move than a filled dresser.

5. Clear out the closet. Clothes from your closet can easily be moved into wardrobe boxes, which come with rods for hanging things up. You just put the clothes in, seal up the box and then unpack and hang the clothes in your new closet after the move.
If you have shelves with sweaters, sweatpants and shoes, pack them into medium-sized boxes. Make sure you label the boxes and add them to your ongoing list.
Tip: Use an extra shoe box or a clear container for the odds and ends — such as buttons, safety pins and old letters — you’ll come across while you pack the closet. You’ll be amazed at what you find.

6. Take care of valuables. Pack jewelry and other valuables carefully. These items are fragile and sentimental. The last thing you want to do is tangle necklaces or lose earrings. I love using pill stackers or snack bags to sort jewelry and keep everything safe.
Tip: Do not put these items in the moving truck. Instead, keep them with you in your vehicle as you go to your new home.

7. Stack the toys. Toys tend to be made from tough materials that don’t break easily. You can pack them into bins or boxes and then stack them into one larger wardrobe box. I’ve found that having the toys packed always brings a huge sense of relief for parents.
This method also will keep all the toys together, and the kids will be happy to pull them all out again in their new home.

8. Box up bedrooms. Now you can concentrate on accessories and personal items. Similar items should go in the same box: shoes in one box, books in another and so on until everything has a box.
Tip: If any of these items are fragile, grab clothes out of the dresser and use them as packing material.

9. Remove everything from the walls. The best way to pack wall art is with towels and flat pieces of cardboard. Wrap each photograph or piece of art in towels and tape the towel around the piece so that the towel stays in place. Then you can place wrapped items in a box and put a piece of flat cardboard between them for added protection. Cut-up wardrobe boxes are a great source for large, flat pieces of cardboard.
If your large wall art doesn’t fit in a box, you can carefully stack the pieces in the moving truck or your vehicle and use flat pieces of cardboard as dividers.
Tip: Small art and wall decor can be packed similarly to your fragile kitchen items.

10. Keep boxing until you’re done. If you are at this step, you’ve already accomplished a lot. Now you just need to finish. Keep motivated with good music, good food and good friends, if they are willing to help.
The trickier parts of the home have been addressed, so now you just need to keep going into each room and putting the contents in boxes. Keep in mind any previous tricks, such as wrapping breakables in clothing.

11. Do a final check. When you’re done packing, congratulate yourself and call in friends. Order pizza for everyone, and then ask your friends to walk around and see whether you’ve missed anything. Sometimes another set of eyes can be invaluable.
If you find anything, put it in a box. It’s totally OK to have miscellaneous boxes as long as their contents are labeled on your box list. You may find that the items that are last to be packed are the things that didn’t fit into other categories. Ask yourself whether you really want these items before packing them away.
Make sure each box is taped shut, has a number and is listed on your master move list.
If all the loose items are packed and the boxes are closed, you’re officially done.

12. Hire help, if needed. While you can pack in a weekend, it might not work for you every time.
If you are truly in a time pinch and feel that the cost would be worth it, consider hiring the movers to pack you.

Houzz Contributor, Aly Finkelstein

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Weekly Market Activity Report For Week Ending June 24, 2017

We are now beyond two years of year-over-year declines in inventory, and it
doesn't look like the situation is going to change anytime soon. However, buyer
demand and home prices are still rising, and the number of distressed homes on
the market has fallen. It would be great to see more starter homes on the docket for
new construction during these next few busy building months to help those that are
looking to enter the market.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending June 24:
 • New Listings increased 1.2% to 1,928
 • Pending Sales decreased 1.1% to 1,405
 • Inventory decreased 16.3% to 12,481

For the month of May:
 • Median Sales Price increased 5.5% to $250,000
 • Days on Market decreased 15.0% to 51
 • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 0.9% to 99.5%
 • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 17.2% to 2.4

Publish Date: July 3, 2017 • All comparisons are to 2016

Information gathered from MAAR