Friday, December 28, 2012

Stay or Go? Repair or Renovate?

Repair What Needs to be Fixed!

The renovations that will yield the most value for your home are repairs. Focus on fixing the areas of your house that are in desperate need of attention from a contractor or handyman. According to an article released by, you will be more likely to get the best value from handling repairs than any other renovation.

Whether you are planning to sell or stay in your home, handling repairs is most certainly worth the effort. Examples of repairs that go a long way include fixing a leaking roof, replacing broken kitchen tile and having an electrician rewire a faulty outlet. Even the smallest of repairs can increase your home value and prevent issue with selling your house.

Need help evaluating what needs repair?  We can help.  We can walk through the home with you or better yet, refer you to reputable home inspectors.

Let me know what I can do to help!

Friday, December 21, 2012

More than 50% of the way to housing recovery!

This just in from the Trulia blog!

Halfway Home: Housing Recovery Crosses 50%

Jed Kolko, Chief Economist, December 21, 2012

Each month, Trulia’s Housing Barometer charts how quickly the housing market is moving back to “normal.”  They summarize three key housing market indicators: construction starts (Census), existing home sales (NAR), and the delinquency-plus-foreclosure rate (LPS First Look). For each indicator, They compare this month’s data to (1) how bad the numbers got at their worst and (2) their pre-bubble “normal” levels.

In November 2012, home sales saw strong increases, and the delinquency + foreclosure rate held steady–both signs of market improvement. However, new construction starts declined.

Hurricane Sandy appears to have lowered construction (and sales, to a lesser extent) in the Northeast. Average monthly construction starts were 14% higher nationally in October and November – the months affected by Sandy – than in the previous four months, but 5% lower in the Northeast. Average monthly home sales were 7% higher nationally in October and November than in the previous four months, but just 3% higher in the Northeast.

  • Construction starts dipped in November but remain strong. Starts in November were at an 861,000 annualized rate, down 3% month-over-month and up 22% year-over-year. For the past three months, construction starts have remained solidly above 800,000–the highest level since September 2008. Nationally, construction starts are 37% of the way back to normal.
  • Existing home sales rose once again in November. After climbing in October, existing home sales rose 6% month-over-month to 5.04 million in November–the highest level since November 2009. Sales are 73% back to normal. Even better, “distressed” sales (foreclosures and short sales) represent a declining share of overall sales, making way for more “conventional” home sales.
  • The delinquency + foreclosure rate maintained a new post-crisis low. In November, 10.63% of mortgages were delinquent or in foreclosure, down a hair from 10.64% in October. The combined delinquency + foreclosure rate is at its lowest level in four years and is 41% back to normal.

Averaging these three back-to-normal percentages together, the housing market is now 51% of the way back to normal, compared with 28% in November 2011. Trulia’s Housing Barometer has jumped five points in each of the last two months. Does halfway back to normal mean the glass is half-full or half-empty? The half-empty view is that our three housing measures hit bottom (on average) in 2009, so it’s taken the market a long time–three years–to get to the halfway mark. But the half-full view is that halfway back to normal is better than anyone –myself included–predicted for 2012 at the start of this year.

Contact me for help with all your real estate buying and selling needs! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Is now a good time to buy a house?

Though no economists agree completely, the general consensus is ABSOLUTELY buy a house now if you can afford one.

 This week in an article from CNN Money:
"Barclays Capital put out a report recently forecasting that home prices, which fell by more than a third after the housing bubble burst in 2007, could be back to peak levels as soon as 2015.
"In our view, the housing market had undergone a dramatic over-correction during the prior five years, resulting in pent-up demand for housing purchases that would spark a rapid rise in housing starts," said Stephen Kim, an analyst with Barclays, in a note to clients.
In addition to what Kim sees as a big rebound in building, he's bullish on home prices, expecting rises of 5% to 7.5% a year."

Now, 7.5% for 3 years won't get the market value all the way back up to what we paid for our house in 2005 by the year 2015 but it would be close.

So if you are a first time home buyer, grab onto to a record low interest rate and rush to your favorite agent!

If you need to sell your house to buy another one and you would like to wait for a bit of recovery, just remember, it won't just be your house increasing.  You can afford much more house now than you will be able to in 3 years and these interest rates can't last forever!

Sarah Marrinan
The Goerss Home Team - Keller Williams Premier Realty
Direct: 651-964-0289

Monday, December 17, 2012

Is that home priced right?

Negotiating the price of a home that is fair to both the buyer and seller can be challenging.

There's no question that significantly overpricing your home will turn off potential buyers.  Getting no offers at your price and even worse, no showings will force you to reduce the price of your house in just a week on the market (or sit on the market and become stale, outdated inventory that will return you a most likey evn lower sale price).  

Likewise, making an offer that's far lower than the asking price is practically guaranteed to alienate the sellers. They may push back hard or not respond to your offer at all.

Asking and offering prices should be based on recent sales prices of comparable homes.

What is the easiest way to compare sales and come to an agreement?
Call Sarah for help!  651-964-0289

Search "A Price To Good to be True" for more about home prices!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dry hair? Oily hair? Dandruf? Try these natural conditioners!

Why make an expensive trip to the salon for a most likely "chemical solution" to your hair woes when you could do it at home for less?
Make these hair masks to moisturize and revitalize your hair using all-natural ingredients you probably have sitting in your refrigerator or cupboard right now!

DRY hair –Olive Oil and Egg
In need of some major TLC?? Combine three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil with two eggs and apply the mixture to your hair and let the mixture sit for 20 minutes before rinsing in the shower.
The olive oil will help hydrate brittle locks, while the protein in the eggs will promote healthy hair growth.

ALL HAIR TYPES — Avocado and Honey
Mask a ripened avocado and mix in a tablespoon of organic honey and allow it to sit for 20 minutes before rinsing it off in the shower.
Avocados are rich in a variety of vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin E and protein, both of which your hair needs to remain soft and healthy. Meanwhile, honey is a natural antibacterial agent.

OILY hair — Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon
Combine 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar with the grated peel of an entire lemon and allow it to set for 15 minutes to absorb the excess oil from your scalp, and then rinse in the shower.
Apple cider vinegar will remove build up from styling products and conditioners and strengthen the hair shaft, leaving you with soft, shiny strands. It will also balance hair’s pH level, kill bacteria, and is a cure for dandruff.

DRY, flaky scalp hair — Banana, Honey and Almond
Mash together 1/2 a ripe banana and add two tablespoons of honey and a few drops of almond oil and allow it to set with a shower cap on for 20 minutes before rinsing.
Bananas can increase the moisture of your hair, smooth frizz and soothe your itchy scalp.

I can't claim to have come up with these, nor do I know who did.  They were sent to me in one of those "spam" emails that someone forwarded to EVERYONE in their email address box. LOL
Do you have a "hair solution" that you are willing to share?  Comment here or email me!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Luxury Home Sales Increase!

Are you looking to sell a luxury home in MN?  

The time is NOW!  Call Today!