Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

These remodeling projects can help you improve the look of your home and also increase your property’s value.

By Diana Bocco

The exterior of your house is the first thing people see when they are approaching your home, which is why you want to make sure you put your home’s best face forward, so to speak.

“A generic home without a personality is just that: unappealing,” according to Bryan Alan Kirkland, owner of BAKDesigns, a full service architectural and design firm in Atlanta, GA. But add a few touches of color and texture and your home could come alive.

So whether you’re looking to give your home a more modern style or just want to keep it looking fresh and updated, curb appeal is key to creating a welcoming entrance.

“The exterior sets the stage for what you are about to experience when you walk inside,” Kirkland says.

To help improve your home’s appearance, take a look at these remodeling projects to help you improve the look of your home and also increase your property’s value.

1: Get Vinyl Siding

Replacing your old siding with a maintenance-free vinyl siding can increase your home’s look and value, but only if you do it right, according to Kirkland.

Read The Full Article Here

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

The unpredictable season of spring is here. Wily snowstorms, thunderous rain and summer-like heat waves strike across the U.S. It’s a good thing that we can count on at least one thing – a steadily improving housing market. Even the few naysayers left can’t ignore the cherry blossom blooms within the market metrics. So get out your umbrella, sunscreen and snow boots because, no matter the weather, we are watching a burgeoning market take form. With scarf, shorts and galoshes on, let’s wade into this week’s local housing stats.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending April 6:

• New Listings increased 22.6% to 1,731
• Pending Sales increased 17.1% to 1,158
• Inventory decreased 30.1% to 12,821

For the month of March:

• Median Sales Price increased 18.0% to $176,840
• Days on Market decreased 24.3% to 109
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.1% to 95.0%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 38.0% to 3.1

Click Here to View Full Weekly Activity Report

Posted in Weekly Market Activity Reports |
Monday, April 15th, 2013

The unpredictable season of spring is here. Wily snowstorms, thunderous rain and summer-like heat waves strike across the U.S. It’s a good thing that we can count on at least one thing – a steadily improving housing market. Even the few naysayers left can’t ignore the cherry blossom blooms within the market metrics. So get out your umbrella, sunscreen and snow boots because, no matter the weather, we are watching a burgeoning market take form. With scarf, shorts and galoshes on, let’s wade into this week’s local housing stats.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending April 6:

  • New Listings increased 22.6% to 1,731
  • Pending Sales increased 17.1% to 1,158
  • Inventory decreased 30.1% to 12,821

For the month of March:

  • Median Sales Price increased 18.0% to $176,840
  • Days on Market decreased 24.3% to 109
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.1% to 95.0%
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 38.0% to 3.1

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

Posted in Weekly Report |
Monday, April 15th, 2013
Minneapolis, Minnesota (April 10, 2013) – The 13-county Twin Cities regional housing market has achieved several major accomplishments in recent months and March 2013 was no different. For a 13th consecutive month, homes sold at a higher median price than during the prior year. Additionally, the percentage of all new listings that were traditional, non-distressed homes rose to 75.0 percent, its highest level since May 2008. Several patterns continued from 2012, including increased pending sales, decreased inventory, higher prices and a lighter distressed market.

There were 3,632 closed sales in March 2013, which was roughly even with last year. There were 4,656 pending sales, a 6.6 percent increase over 2012. Inventory levels declined 31.0 percent to 12,615 active listings, marking a new 10-year low. Driven by the changing mix of sales, the median price for the Twin Cities metro rose 17.4 percent to $176,000. More product sold at higher price points.

“We closely monitor the mix of homes that sell,” said Andy Fazendin, President of the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®. “It’s evident that foreclosures and short sales are comprising a smaller share of overall listings and sales compared to recent years. This is great news for the traditional market.”

Although seller activity was down 5.0 percent in the metro area, traditional new listings were up 9.7 percent; foreclosure new listings were down 26.6 percent; short sale new listings were down 42.0 percent.

Since traditional homes sell for about 55.0 percent more than foreclosures, median sales price rose 17.4 percent compared to last year. The 10K Housing Value Index – which controls for data variability – showed a 10.5 percent increase to $182,378. More seller participation in the market will be crucial to ongoing recovery, as many consumers are frustrated by the limited supply of homes for sale. There is evidence that this is improving, as traditional seller activity has been on the rise lately.

Traditional homes represented more than 62.0 percent of all closed sales. Distressed properties made up the remaining 38.0 percent. The traditional median sales price was up 6.1 percent to $209,900; the foreclosure median sales price was up 28.5 percent to $134,900; the short sale median sales price was down 3.0 percent to $130,000.

“Buyers are filling the market pool with the arrival of spring,” said Emily Green, MAAR President-Elect. “Sellers are starting to dip their toes into the water, but we could use some divers.”

Posted in The Skinny |
Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

By Ilyce R. Glink

The typical American spends more time thinking about buying a car than buying a house. Even though the house they buy might wind up costing several times as much as the car.

Why is that? While buying a home has long been part of the American Dream, it’s a daunting task – especially for first-time homebuyers. Many would-be buyers, overwhelmed by the process and the current state of the market, give up and decide to rent.

It doesn’t have to be that way. The fact is, today’s housing market is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for first-time buyers. Interest rates are at near-record lows, homes are more affordable than they have been in years and there are plenty of homes for sale (with more on the way, thanks to the foreclosure crisis). Buyers are more likely to truly find the home of their dreams than they were in years past.

Based on the questions I’ve received over the years, I’ve compiled a list of 6 tips every first-time home buyer should take. Keep these tips in mind as you begin the search for your perfect home, and I’m sure your experience will be far easier.

Tip #1: What’s the budget? This is the question my husband asked me when we were shopping for our first home. It seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many buyers don’t start by figuring out how much money they have to spend on their house purchase.

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