Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Tara Nelson

Down payment: the mere utterance of the term strikes dread in the hearts of many a homebuyer-to-be. Coming up with a down payment often seems like an obstacle that must be overcome, as it is the biggest test of our ability to save money most of us will ever face and it’s a test that stands between us and our ability to become a homeowner.

I think it’s time to flip the script on how we think about down payments. What if we looked at them less as an obstacle, and more as an opportunity? Saving and collecting a down payment takes time, discipline and financial planning. It forces us into creating and practicing sound money management skills and habits, and into making clear choices about what’s important to us — things that will stand us in good stead throughout our tenure as home owners. To boot, the more money we have to put down, the more choice we have in terms of our purchase price range and the more control we have over our monthly payment.

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Thursday, May 31st, 2012

by The KCM Crew

The real estate market continues to heat up as we head into the summer. Will this increase in demand equate to an increase in home prices? That depends. Remember, the price of any item is determined by the supply of and demand for that item at any point in time. Let’s look at the facts as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in this month’s Existing Home Sales Report:

  • Demand has strengthened, showing a 10% increase over the same month last year.
  • The supply of homes for sale is down 20.6% from the same time last year.

Because supply is down and demand is up, many believe prices should begin to increase as we finish out 2012 and head into 2013.

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Thursday, May 31st, 2012


By Kimberly Palmer of U.S. News & World Report

Cool can be costly

With energy costs on the rise, this summer could be sweaty — and expensive. But there are some easy ways to trim your cooling costs without suffering through 90-degree evenings, sans air conditioning. In fact, if you start preparing for the coming heat wave now, you can probably save a few hundred dollars. You’ll also be doing the environment a favor, since the Energy Department estimates that half of a household’s overall energy usage goes toward heating and cooling costs.

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Thursday, May 31st, 2012

By Gayla Trail


I just moved into a house with a yard that is basically a blank slate. The quantity of plants needed to fill up the garden is breaking the bank! Any tips for how to find a bargain?


Friend, you have come to the right person for advice. I am a plantaholic without the means to feed my addiction. Do I know how to get a bargain? Heck, yeah! The following are just a few strategies I have put to use to extend my gardening budget well beyond its limit.

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Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

The tempo in residential housing has remained upbeat through the first five months of 2012. Year-to-date figures begin to sing a compelling tune at this time of year, and the song thus far is that markets are moving back toward balance and home prices are beginning to reflect that stabilization. For the most recent week, buyer activity was higher than year-ago levels while listing activity registered lower. Keep an eye on months supply, seller concessions, market times and foreclosure rates. Multiple offers are back and tentative owners looking to move should take note. It’s okay to sing in public again.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending May 19:

  • New Listings decreased 9.6% to 1,533
  • Pending Sales increased 18.6% to 1,116
  • Inventory decreased 29.4% to 17,648

For the month of April:

  • Median Sales Price increased 12.1% to $162,500
  • Days on Market decreased 15.2% to 135
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.6% to 93.4%
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 42.0% to 4.8

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report.

From The Skinny.

Posted in Weekly Report |

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