Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
October 9, 2012

Some say that housing and the economy are woven together into a single garment of destiny. Let’s review recent national economic data: a good September non-farm payroll report marking 31 consecutive months of private job growth, the unemployment rate falling to 7.8 percent (a 44-month low), a widely positive S&P/Case-Shiller home price report, and mortgage rates averaging close to 3.4 percent. When you combine the above trends with less housing supply and strong home sales numbers, you can start to see just what’s driving this recovery. Here’s what transpired locally.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 29:
• New Listings increased 6.2% to 1,314
• Pending Sales increased 15.5% to 1,000
• Inventory decreased 29.6% to 16,261

For the month of September:
• Median Sales Price increased 12.3% to $174,000
• Days on Market decreased 28.7% to 101
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 4.1% to 94.8%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 40.9% to 4.0

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

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Ready to buy or sell a home? Call the sister team.
We’d love to help you move forward.

Ellen and Kate Walsh
Coldwell Banker Burnet
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

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Crimson Hues at The Lake

Autumn Beauty

On Tuesday I spent the afternoon with a friend. We walked around Lake of the Isles. The crimson and golden hues presented plenty of photo opportunities. Here’s are some photos from the afternoon walk. Big thanks to my friend for stopping and waiting for me to capture all the images.

5-Day Paint Sale

Looking to transform a room with color? Ready to get moving with rollers and brushes? Now’s a good time to get paint at a discount! And you don’t have to paint right now to get the discount. Paint next week or the following week. You get the picture.

Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
October 1, 2012


With October here, 2012 has certainly flown by. The things to be watching for this fall are the same things you’ve likely been watching all year. Changes in sales levels, active listings, market times, seller concessions and, of course, home prices have taken center stage. To showcase just one, home prices may moderate on a month-to-month basis but should continue to demonstrate resiliency in a year-over-year sense. While the economy has been sending some mixed signals lately, one aspect of this recovery remains convincing: housing will be a net contributor.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 22:
• New Listings decreased 1.1% to 1,295
• Pending Sales increased 22.8% to 1,078
• Inventory decreased 29.4% to 16,428

For the month of August:
• Median Sales Price increased 14.8% to $178,000
• Days on Market decreased 23.9% to 107
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 4.2% to 95.1%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 41.1% to 4.2

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

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Ready to buy or sell a home? Call the sister team.
We’d love to help you move forward.

Ellen and Kate Walsh
Coldwell Banker Burnet
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

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Reveling in The Beauty of Fall

Photo of the Day
September 30, 2012

It was such a gorgeous weekend we were blessed with here in the Twin Cities. Temperatures in the upper 70’s and low 80’s, barely any wind, and plenty of sunshine. Did you get an opportunity to get out and enjoy it?

Goodbye to September, hello to October. Have a wonderful Monday!

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
September 24, 2012

On September 13, the Federal Reserve announced its third round of quantitative easing (QE3). This time, it took the form of $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) purchases each month. The goal is to bolster the stock market by diminishing returns on MBSs. This will make equities more attractive, which will provide capital to corporations, who should in turn hire and therefore spur consumer spending. If successful, that job creation and spending will resonate into housing consumption and reinvestment. New jobs fuel housing demand which alleviates underwater homeowners and supports home prices. Here’s how we rounded out the week.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 15:
• New Listings increased 4.0% to 1,360
• Pending Sales increased 18.4% to 978
• Inventory decreased 29.5% to 16,479

For the month of August:
• Median Sales Price increased 14.8% to $178,000
• Days on Market decreased 23.9% to 107
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 4.2% to 95.1%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 41.5% to 4.2

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

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Ready to buy or sell a home? Call the sister team.
We’d love to help you move forward.

Ellen and Kate Walsh
Coldwell Banker Burnet
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

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Taking Time for Solitude

Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitary

“I believe that reading, in its original essence, is that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude.”  –Marcel Proust

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This week’s photo challenge is “Solitary”.  If you already spend time alone, you may know some of the benefits: relaxation, heightened self-awareness, focus and concentration, increased self-reliance and self-confidence, freedom, spirituality, creative thinking, problem solving skill building, and other benefits. Here are a few articles on the topic of solitude:

The Surprising Benefits of Solitude, by Andrew McAfee

This article (above) in particular was interesting to me relative to the subject of brainstorming sessions, focus groups and group interviews.

The Lost Art of Solitude, by Leo Babauta

The Power of Lonely, By Leon Neyfakh

A woman taking time to enjoy a park setting in solitude

The same woman but a different photographic perspective of solitude

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It’s Color Time!

Happy First Day of Autumn

Look to nature when considering color palettes for your home. Learn what colors you are drawn to. See which color combinations catch your eye and please you. Some colors are calming, soothing. Others pop out such as these wine and red-colored leaves against their green background. Bring the beauty of the earth into your interior spaces.

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They Fell in Love…

And Then They Bought It

My sister and I were working with a lovely newly wedded couple to find them a home. We looked at homes in Saint Paul. We looked in Minneapolis. We looked along the river front. And then this home came on the market. Initially, the only photo on the MLS was of the front exterior. I told them it was either ugly and dated inside or the listing agents were planning professional photos to be taken.  It turned out they were having professional photos taken of the interiors.

We went to see it right away. The couple knew they had found something special that first time through. My sister and I have worked with many buyers who have walked into homes and known immediately it was the home for them.

The home had been owned by the sellers for over forty years. The prior owners had also lived in this home for decades. Both of the previous owners had been newly wedded couples when they first moved in to this home. This is what I call great predecessor history. It bodes well for this couple’s future happiness.

The next day we went back with an architect to get some ideas and cost information for remodeling the kitchen. The architect confirmed they had great space to work with.

They made their offer, and after some pretty painless negotiation, the contract was signed and delivered. They secured an amazing 2.75% mortgage rate. The closing took place at the end of July. They love their new home.

I can’t wait to see their new kitchen!

The home has a great screened porch!

And a private, double lot with mature trees and perennial gardens.

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Ready to buy or sell a home? Call the sister team.
We’d love to help you move forward.

Ellen and Kate Walsh
Coldwell Banker Burnet
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
September 17, 2012


You fill the pot with the water and you turn the stove top on and you wait. You watch it and you want something to happen and it seems to take an exceptionally longtime. All you want to do is add the pasta or the brown rice or the frozen peas. And you wait. Because it’s important to wait until the water is roiling along in what is seemingly chaotic motion but is really the perfect environment for what is meant to be within it. This is our current housing market. It’s been an undeniably good spring and summer, and now we wait to see if the fall showcase is just as good if we mix in the right amount of inventory, sales and days on market.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 8:
• New Listings increased 2.2% to 1,273
• Pending Sales increased 24.2% to 940
• Inventory decreased 29.6% to 16,458

For the month of August:
• Median Sales Price increased 15.2% to $178,600
• Days on Market decreased 24.0% to 107
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 4.2% to 95.1%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 42.0% to 4.1

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

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Ready to buy or sell a home? Call the sister team.
We’d love to help you move forward.

Ellen and Kate Walsh
Coldwell Banker Burnet
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

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Fall 2012 Parade of Homes

Parade of Homes (New Homes)
September 8-30

Remodelers Showcase
September 28-30

Homes open Thursday through Sunday, noon to 6pm

There are very few new homes on the Parade this year compared with other years. There are far more remodels. This is not surprising given the real estate marketplace of late.

We’re featuring these two St. Paul remodels because we recently had clients close on their new home in St. Paul and they plan to do some remodeling. They are seeking to make the new space blend and match the original period of the house. This is always a good way to approach a remodel and addition; big differences in the feel of spaces will hurt sellers when it comes time to sell.

839 Osceola Avenue, St. Paul

Here is a description of this project from the Parade of Homes website: “This kitchen and bath remodel in a historically significant house in Saint Paul’s Summit Hill neighborhood illustrates how to remodel the heart of a house without losing its soul. Next Level Renovation, with designer David Heide, replaced the 1980’s kitchen in this 1890 residence with a space that features period sensibilities and the latest amenities. The original house was designed by Cass Gilbert, the turn-of-the-twentieth-century architect, notable for his classic homes and other buildings, including the State Capitol in Saint Paul.”

683 Portland Avenue, St. Paul

From the description on the Parade of Homes website: “Come and see how the convenience of a modern kitchen blends seamlessly with a stately home in the historic Summit Avenue neighborhood of St. Paul. The three-story addition also provides an art studio, main-floor laundry/mud room, and a cozy wine cellar with tasting room. In collaboration with architect David Herreid, McDonald Remodeling proves again that you can have it all: character, style, and convenience in your existing home!”

Contact us for more information if you are considering a remodel or an addition and would like to discuss keeping your home and design as salable as possible. Visiting the Remodelers Showcase homes is a good way to meet remodelers and see their work in person.

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Kate and Ellen Walsh
Coldwell Banker Burnet
612.220.3304
emwalsh@cbburnet.com

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Life

I love this week’s theme from the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. There are so many opportunities to capture people in the midst of their everyday lives. What do you see in your life? Here are things I saw on a recent trip to San Francisco and back here at home.

Mobile phones are a big part of everyday life

Another phone user, this time at the airport

A window cleaner

Cleaning at the airport

And back home again, at the Centennial Lakes Art Fair

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Summer’s Abundance

Photo of the Day
September 11, 2012

This is my second food photo this week and it’s unusual for me to post food photos. I’ve been the recipient of home-grown vegetables this week and I can’t resist the brilliant colors and the beauty of this food. My own basil plants are growing like weeds. Many of us use our homes for cooking and eating. This is the perfect time of year to cook, making the most of the summer harvest. Bon appétit!

A medley of zucchini, red pepper, garlic, slivered almonds, fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, sea salt and pepper.

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
September 10, 2012

Signals. They’re everywhere. From the flow of traffic on Main Street to the movement of electrons inside a microchip, we take our cues from trusted indicators. Recently, housing data has been signaling increased momentum toward recovery. It doesn’t really matter what signals you’re watching either. From new starts, existing sales and prices to market times, seller concessions, and the supply/demand balance, all signals point to healing. That said, it won’t necessarily be quick nor felt evenly across all cities or states.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending September 1:
• New Listings decreased 10.1% to 1,171
• Pending Sales increased 13.3% to 1,025
• Inventory decreased 30.0% to 16,676

For the month of August:
• Median Sales Price increased 15.5% to $179,000
• Days on Market decreased 24.1% to 107
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 4.2% to 95.1%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 42.7% to 4.1

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

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Green Tomato and Silver Fork

Photo of the Day
September 8, 2012

A friend gave me this tomato from her garden. I love tomatoes. This was a feast for both the eyes and the palate.  It’s not everyday I get a green tomato; I loved the color as much as the taste.

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Adaptive Reuse for Historic Post Offices

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Can you imagine a historic post office as a residential home? I can. The US Postal Service needs to cut expenses and this may well be an opportunity to create a cool home. Or a small shop. Coffee house. Cafe. Legal office. Literary loft. What other uses can you think of for a historic post office? What would you use the post office boxes for? Would you incorporate them into the adaptive reuse design? And how about the mural?

 

“Find a new use for the Geneva post office so that it will continue to be a vital part of the historic downtown. Work with the U.S. Postal Service and other agencies to save historic post office buildings across the country.”

 

http://www.savingplaces.org/treasures/historic-post-office-buildings

Milton Friedman's Salad

I’m afraid the few times I’ve used a ZIP code recently have been for credit card validation or online, to locate a retail outlet near me.   The vast majority of mail envelopes that I open are done so with a double click.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation describes historic post office buildings as National Treasures, put them on their list of 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, and hired me to document 60134, located in Geneva Illinois.  The building is like much of the real mail that arrives at my studio:  battle worn but mostly intact, and occasionally hiding a beautiful surprise.

Painted in 1940 by Manuel Bromberg, the WPA mural is titled “Fish Fry in the Park.”

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Real Estate Update

Weekly Real Estate Update
September 4, 2012

We are converging upon an interesting wait-and-see season in residential real estate. All year-long, we have witnessed some rather positive year over year decreases in inventory numbers and increases in sales, percent of original list price received at sale and median sales price. After many years of struggling to tread water – and, indeed, often failing to do so – there is hope. With quieter autumnal and winter months looming, we will be giving extra scrutiny to the trend lines in the weeks to come.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending August 25:
• New Listings increased 1.3% to 1,282
• Pending Sales increased 19.4% to 1,027
• Inventory decreased 29.9% to 16,785

For the month of July:
• Median Sales Price increased 13.3% to $178,500
• Days on Market decreased 27.8% to 105
• Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.6% to 95.0%
• Months Supply of Inventory decreased 42.1% to 4.4

As reported by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors

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