Monday, December 31st, 2012

Try a large remodeling project on your own and you could end up in one of these DIY nightmares.

By Lee Nelson

Your cousin says he can help you remodel your bathroom. He’s not a plumber and has absolutely no experience doing any carpentry work. But he’s cheap, so what could possibly go wrong?

A whole lot, actually – including your relationship if he messes up. Despite people’s best intentions, do-it-yourself (DIY) disasters happen all the time. And not knowing what you’re doing can not only be costly, but dangerous as well.

“Everyone wants to do some work themselves, and that’s okay. But you really should contact a professional ahead of time to see what your options are,” says Todd Sanwick, owner and president of Sanwick Remodeling Contractors in Omaha, Neb.

Before you tear down walls or purchase new tile, he emphasizes at least calling a contractor to determine your options. Doing so will give you some clue of what you will run into even if you don’t hire a professional, he says.

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Monday, December 31st, 2012

By Jed Kolko, Trulia Chief Economist

One year ago, I wrote: “Even the best possible 2012 won’t get us halfway back toward normal.” That turns out to be true, but barely: the latest Trulia Housing Barometer, for October, showed us that the market is 47 percent back to normal. And this year, we launched the Trulia Price Monitor — which revealed back in March that asking prices were on the rise — one of the earliest indicators of the home-price recovery. All in all, the housing market enters 2013 with strong tailwinds, but that could change.

OUT: Will Home Prices Bottom? IN: Will Inventories Bottom?

The big question this year was whether home prices had finally hit bottom. We now know the answer is a resounding “yes.” Every major index shows asking and sales prices rising in 2012.

The key question in 2013, though, is whether prices will rise enough so that for-sale inventory — which has fallen 43 percent nationally since the summer of 2010 — will hit bottom and start expanding again. The sharp decline in inventory was a necessary correction to the oversupply of homes after the bubble, but now inventory is below normal levels and holding back sales, particularly in California and the rest of the West.

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Monday, December 31st, 2012

By Brendon Desimone

At the end of every December, people make all kinds of resolutions for the coming year. Typically, these are things they want to improve about themselves, ways to make their day-to-day personal or work life better, or ideas to put them on track for a change. Many times these surface as a result of mistakes made in the past 12 months.

When it comes to real estate, resolutions don’t necessarily apply as it’s unlikely that you do a real estate transaction each year. Furthermore, you can’t actually resolve to buy your neighbor’s house or sell your $350,000 home for $1 million. Well, you could, but you’d probably be setting yourself up for disappointment right from the start.

Some things are simply out of a would-be buyer or seller‘s control. But, as a would-be buyer or seller, you can learn from and make resolutions based on those who have gone before you. There exists a former buyer who, if he could, would resolve to have done more legwork before buying. Conversely, there’s a current seller who resolves to take the next under-asking-price offer from a buyer more seriously.

Whether you plan to buy or sell, there are some real estate resolutions that buyers and sellers can — and should — make. Here are five to get you started.

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Wednesday, December 26th, 2012


As we celebrate with family and friends this holiday season, we can take comfort in the fact that housing markets across the country are reaching their own holiday milestones. Even though the trend is our friend, recovery can often feel piecemeal: fewer foreclosures here, improved absorption rates there and lower days on market over there. But, overall, we’ve struck a positive stride, and momentum has a way of accumulating. Here’s a peek at the week’s housing market data.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending December 15:

  • New Listings decreased 3.6% to 773
  • Pending Sales increased 10.1% to 762
  • Inventory decreased 28.9% to 13,630

For the month of November:

  • Median Sales Price increased 16.2% to $172,000
  • Days on Market decreased 26.4% to 103
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.6% to 94.2%
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 39.5% to 3.4

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report.From The Skinny.

Posted in Weekly Report |
Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

By Sheree R Curry

We’ve all seen homes for sale that linger on the market until the owners give up, only to list again. That can be a great marketing strategy, if you make changes.

When a home for sale sits on the market for 90 days or more, it’s time to take a closer look at the pricing, marketing, condition or any combination thereof. Some agents say that you shouldn’t even wait that long to reposition.

“If a seller hasn’t had buyers walk through their doors in 30 to 45 days, they need to lower their list price,” says Pat Lashinsky, CEO of ZipRealty, a home listing service. “If the home hasn’t sold in six months, the asking price is off and the condition of the home may not be in the place it needs to be to attract buyers, and it’s time to take it off the market.”

Re-listing the home is a way that sellers can say goodbye to stale and hello to home sale. Here are six ways to land a home sale, whether you’re a new or repeat listing:
1. Drop the price.

In its first days on the market, a five-bedroom split-entry rambler at 1900 Cape Cod Place in Minnetonka, Minn. was listed for $429,900 and a few weeks later dropped to $409,900.

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