Monday, August 6th, 2012

For decades now, the real estate industry has been both humbled and invigorated by the strong and direct relationship between the labor and housing markets. As goes the economy, seemingly so goes housing. That relationship was especially clear after the 2007 recession. The economy added 163,000 jobs in July, the highest figure since February. Our economy is growing, but not as quickly as many would like. Meanwhile, inventory drops and surging buyer demand from renters and first-timers are anchoring home prices and giving sellers more power than they’ve had in years.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending July 28:

  • New Listings increased 8.3% to 1,430
  • Pending Sales increased 20.9% to 1,149
  • Inventory decreased 30.5% to 17,103

For the month of June:

  • Median Sales Price increased 10.2% to $178,600
  • Days on Market decreased 22.0% to 113
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 4.1% to 95.1%
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 42.6% to 4.6

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report.

From The Skinny.

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

 

By Tara-Nicholle Nelson

Early on in my real estate career, I noticed a recurring anthropological event among house hunting couples. They would come into my office and sit down to tell me about what they were looking for in their next home. In about 75 percent of cases where one of them had expressed an interest in a fixer-upper, as soon as the wanna-be-weekend-handyperson excused him or herself to go to the bathroom, their significant other would pull me aside. Then, eyes desperately darting around in a sort of optical Morse code, sweat beads dropping from their brow, they would initiate what I came to call “The Restroom Conversation,” which always went something like this:

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Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

 

By Tara-Nicholle Nelson

They say humans are born with only two fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. But as we get older, we learn to be afraid of lots of other things, from snakes to radio show hosts on the other end of the political spectrum from ourselves. (I kid. Sort of.)

But seriously, one of the biggest, learned fears of home buyers and home owners, old and new, is the fear of unpredictability in our home-related expenses, whether it be an unexpected one-time repair or just a trickle of little, monthly costs we didn’t account for.

The fortunate thing about this particular set of fears is that you can unlearn them by getting educated about the common surprise costs that arise and managing them systematically. Here’s a how to do just that:

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Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

 

By: John Riha

Get your kids outside and spark their creativity with fun, simple home improvement projects. Plus, you’ll boost your curb appeal.

If you’re looking for ways to unplug your children and get them some fresh air, try these engaging outdoor projects. You’ll introduce them to a little pride of home ownership while adding some finishing touches that’ll ramp up your home’s curb appeal.

When making stuff with kids, remember the Keep-It rules:

  • Keep it safe. Use gloves and safety glasses when necessary.
  • Keep it simple. They’ll come away with a sense of accomplishment if it’s a project they can handle easily.
  • Keep it under an hour. Kids’ attention spans are short.

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Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

 

Article by: JIM BUCHTA ,

Those numbers, highest in nearly four years, add hope that the residential market is turning.

In the Twin Cities and across the country, tight supplies of existing homes and record low mortgage rates have been a salve for home builders, who are beginning to hammer their way out of the deepest downturn in generations.

U.S. housing starts increased 6.9 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 760,000, the highest level since October 2008.

“We could get used to this trend,” said Curt Christensen, president of the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC) and owner of Lee Lyn Construction. “We’re seeing plenty of signs of improvement in housing.”

 

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