Wednesday, October 31st, 2012


By Lisa Smith

There’s just something undeniably luxurious about a big house. Those huge windows, expansive lawns and massive rooms just embody the American dream in a way few other things in this life do. No, its not cost effective, but you’ve spent years, and quite possibly decades, thinking about it and driving past it.

Now you’re ready to move up to the neighborhood of your dreams.

The question is, are you ready for it?

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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012


By Aaron Crowe of

No house is perfect. No matter how hard you look or how many homes your real-estate agent shows you, getting everything you want when buying a home — and getting it in perfect condition — is impossible.

If you’ve ever toured homes for sale or watched hard-to-please homebuyers on HGTV’s “House Hunters,” you know there are always kitchen cabinets that are outdated, pink walls to be repainted or bathroom wallpaper that looks 100 years old.

After shopping around for the lowest mortgage rates, you don’t want to walk away from a house you like because it needs a few minor repairs, real-estate experts say. The price of the repairs should be factored into what you’re paying for the home, and mortgage lenders can help you pull money out of a home sale.

So before you decide to cross a house off your list, here are eight minor home flaws that shouldn’t deter you from buying a home.

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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012


You’ll get a season’s worth of savings and peace of mind by taking a few steps in the fall to get your home ready for cold weather.

By Christopher Solomon of MSN Real Estate

So you’ve pulled your sweaters out of mothballs and found your mittens at the bottom of the coat closet. But what about your house — is it prepared for the cold months ahead?

You’ll be a lot less comfortable in the coming months if you haven’t girded Home Sweet Home for Old Man Winter.

With the help of several experts, we’ve boiled down your autumn to-do list to 10 easy tips:

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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012


Close a deal before the holidays with these seasonal staging, pricing and negotiating tips

By Shannon Petrie,

#1: Focus on curb appeal. Selling a home during the fall certainly comes with one advantage: The season’s beautiful foliage can automatically make your home more attractive for showings. However, you still need to do your part to keep your home looking its best. Start by sprucing up your lawn: Keep falling leaves at bay with frequent raking and patch up any brown spots in the grass.

As the trees shed their leaves, your home becomes more and more exposed, making its exterior appearance especially important. Chipped paint or dirty siding will be extra noticeable, so pressure-wash your home and repaint before showings if needed. Be sure to take care of fall-specific maintenance projects — like cleaning your gutters and downspouts — to show buyers that you’re serious about your home’s upkeep.

As a finishing touch, a few subtle fall decorations — like pumpkins, tri-colored corn or a wreath on the door — can give your home an inviting look.

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Monday, October 29th, 2012

The housing market is improving. But don’t take our word for it. CoreLogic, Standard & Poor’s, FHFA and the NAHB all closely monitor a diverse array of housing data and indicators. At some point over the past six months, every single one of these indices has either reached a multi-year high or has shown several consecutive months of improvements. Does that mean every home in every neighborhood in every city across America is worth more today than it was a year ago? Of course not. But you’d be surprised just how robust this recovery is. Go ahead, dig into the numbers and see for yourself.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending October 20:

  • New Listings increased 0.6% to 1,110
  • Pending Sales increased 33.3% to 1,012
  • Inventory decreased 28.5% to 15,903

For the month of September:

  • Median Sales Price increased 12.8% to $174,813
  • Days on Market decreased 28.5% to 101
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 4.0% to 94.8%
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 39.2% to 4.1

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report.

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