Giving thanks

27 11 2008

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We all have much to be thankful for this year! We hope that you are enjoying your day, eating a feast and spending time with family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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First Time Homebuyer Coffee Chat – December 9th

26 11 2008

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NEWS FLASH! Interest rates!

25 11 2008

We just heard from Matt Havel at Edina Realty Mortgage that the interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is only 5.25%!!!





Pended sales up in 2008

21 11 2008

What’s new in the housing market?! One sign that the market is beginning to improve can be seen in the increase of pended sales over the past four months of 2008 compared to the same months in 2007. Why should you care?! Because more houses selling means that there are fewer houses on the market. Fewer houses on the market leads to a correction in the supply and demand of homes. And correction in the supply and demand means that houses will ultimately regain lost value. So who should be rejoicing?! Everyone!

Along with an increase in sales, we also know the average closed price of a home has fallen more than 15% in the 13 county metro area. While we don’t like to see sale prices falling, we do like to see people purchasing these properties. Many of our clients have been taking advantage of these deals – and according to the graph, they are not alone – many more people are taking advantage of these deals too.
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Savory Mushroom Soup

18 11 2008

This time of the year makes us want to snuggle in and really enjoy our home. Light some candles, turn on some music and open a bottle of wine. Is there a more snuggly food than soup?! Nothing like the smell of soup simmering on the stove…windows steaming up…perhaps a fire burning. Cozy, cozy, cozy….

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Savory Mushroom Soup
makes about 2 quarts

1/2 ounce dried wild mushrooms, minced
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
16 ounces white mushrooms, chopped
1 small sprig rosemary (optional)
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1-2 teaspoons salt
1-4 teaspoons black pepper

Heat the water and wine to boiling and add the dried wild mushrooms. Let sit for about 20 minutes to half an hour while working with the other ingredients. Cut the onion into a medium dice and gently fry it in the butter over medium heat in a large heavy pot. Add the garlic and let it sweat in the butter for about 8 minutes. Keep the heat low so nothing browns.

Add the white mushrooms and stir until coated with butter and onion. Drain the wild mushrooms, reserving their steeping liquid. Add to the pot and sweat the onions and mushrooms together for another ten minutes.

Add the steeping liquid, rosemary, and chicken stock and bring to a low simmer. Simmer for about an hour. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove the rosemary sprig.

You can serve this soup as is, with whole mushrooms, or puree it. It’s delicious both ways.

Recipe courtesy of http://www.thekitchn.com





The right place and the right time

17 11 2008

Opportunity can come knocking any time of the year. If you thought you needed to wait until spring to place your home on the market, it’s time to put that so-called conventional wisdom to the test.

We’ve all had the experience of being in the right place at the right time. Maybe it was a sale on something you really wanted and you just happened to be shopping that day. Maybe you decided to attend an event, even though you really weren’t in the mood, and met a person who turned out to be instrumental in your life. The lesson here is not to lose out because of waiting for the “right time.”

The holidays are usually when our homes are at their best. What better time to show it off to potential buyers? You’ve probably done everything on the what-to-do list for showing your home, including cleaning and de-cluttering. And with the scent of warm cookies and pies in the oven plus all the lovely decorations, your home looks and feels more warm and inviting than at any time in the year.

Here’s another reason to list now. There’s less competition. Many home sellers are busy with seasonal shopping and family gatherings. And they probably feel (as you might) that everyone is just too busy. You couldn’t be more wrong. There are serious buyers out there and with fewer homes on the market, you stand a better chance of getting their attention. Remember, timing is everything and anyone house hunting now will no doubt be ready to make an offer, if they can find the right house.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity. Extend a welcome to potential buyers. Let them envision their friends and family in the lovely setting you’ve created. It might end up being your best holiday season ever.

Copyright PropertySource Network 2008





Economic Stimulus Bill – A call to act

16 11 2008

Congress may soon consider a new economic stimulus bill. Housing has always lifted our economy out of past economic downturns so it is imperative that Congress focus on housing in the next stimulus package. This will benefit all and it’s worth our best efforts to have housing addressed in the stimulus bill.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has produced the NAR Four-Point Housing Stimulus Plan, which they are pushing to have included in any future stimulus bill.

The four points are listed below:

*Make the $7500 first-time homebuyer tax credit available to all buyers and eliminate repayment requirements. The credit’s limited availability and repayment requirement severely limit the credit’s use and effectiveness.

*Make the 2008 FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limits permanent. New rules for 2009 will reduce them. Now is not the time to limit mortgage affordability.

*Get the Treasury relief program back on track and target more funds to mortgage relief. Create a federal mortgage interest buy-down program to make below-market rates available and stabilize home prices.

*Permanently bar banks from engaging in real estate brokerage and management. The banks have proven they have enough to do to simply manage the loan process. Banks should not manage home sales and purchases.

Please contact Congress today and ask them to include NAR’s Four-Points in the next stimulus package. Send letters to:

Representative Keith Ellison
U.S. House of Representatives
1130 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-0001

Senator Norm Coleman
U.S. Senate
320 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0001

Senator Amy Klobuchar
U.S. Senate
302 Hart Seante Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0001