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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Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

By: Joselin Linder

Tackling major home improvement projects during the hot months can minimize inconvenience to your family.

Betsy Taylor and her husband decided to embark on a major home improvement project one winter: renovating their kitchen in Portland, Maine.

“We hadn’t planned on redoing the floors, but after three weeks of tracked-in Old Man Winter, the contractor replaced it at no additional cost,” she says. “While it was nice to have a new free floor, in retrospect, I wish we had waited for summer when our chances of terrible weather were minimized. By the third week of construction, I just wanted my home back!”

While sometimes the winter blues can make a person want to make home improvements, in many cases, summer is the best time for such projects. While summertime is when attention moves outdoors, that doesn’t mean all summer home improvements need to be relegated to the patio. Here are a few home improvements perfect for summer that you may not have considered:

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Monday, July 30th, 2012

Posted in Monthly Skinny Video |
Monday, July 30th, 2012

With the Olympics in full swing, many are noting that housing has already medaled in several arenas. Sellers waiting for firmer prices should take a fresh look at the data. Buyers nervous about a declining market should do the same. Key changes continue to take place that set the stage for a more meaningful recovery. And you thought interest rates couldn’t get any lower? Mortgage rates hit a fresh record low last week, scraping in at 3.65 percent on a 30-year fixed. That’s cheap money, if ever there were such a thing.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending July 21:

  • New Listings increased 1.2% to 1,382
  • Pending Sales increased 22.7% to 1,145
  • Inventory decreased 30.7% to 17,174

For the month of June:

  • Median Sales Price increased 10.3% to $178,750
  • Days on Market decreased 22.0% to 113
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 4.0% to 95.1%
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 43.0% to 4.5

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report.

From The Skinny.

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