Thanksgiving – a Uniquely American Holiday
The first Thanksgiving celebration was in 1621 in Plymouth Colony, which would later become Massachusetts. The Pilgrim settlers, English refugees fleeing religious persecution, held a feast as an expression of gratitude for a successful harvest and the survival of their community. It was also a celebration of appreciation for the incredible generosity and fullness of spirit shown them by the indigenous Wampanoag people.
The colonists would not have survived the first winter in the new world were it not for the food the tribe shared with the refugees from across the ocean. For those Native American people to display such compassion and kindness to those so different still shines like a beacon of light for almost 400 years! Through the centuries until today, refugees have followed that light-seeking safety and a new life.
A Thanksgiving History Lesson
Thanksgiving did not become an annual celebration until much later. It was not until 1863 that Abraham Lincoln, in an official expression of gratitude for the Union Army victory at Gettysburg, declared the last Thursday of November a national holiday. In 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill into law officially making the fourth Thursday in November the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day.
As Thanksgiving became increasingly popular through the years it came to be synonymous with parades, football, turkey, and visits to grandma’s house. I recommend taking...
How to Have a Spooktacular Halloween!
Here at House Houghton, Halloween is a favorite holiday. The excitement is building with my four boys and even the family dog wants in on the act. One of the best things about it in the Twin Cities is the celebration is ongoing for the entire month of October. There are events in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the surrounding suburbs to suit every age and scare quotient. For some of us diehard fans of this delightfully spooky event, we never grow too old to embrace it and as we reach mid-October, the plans for a fast approaching Halloween get serious.
Halloween conjures up images of haunted houses, black cats, jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, goblins, and witches flying around on broomsticks. Costume choices range from satisfying our alter ego and dressing as a favorite character from history, choosing something traditional like a witch or ghost, or going more trendy and masquerading as someone currently in the public spotlight. Decisions! Decisions! Then when the costume is chosen where to go and what to do. In the Minneapolis-St. Paul Twin Cities metro, there are so many options ranging from fun and spooky to those that are looking to be blood-curdling terrified! Wherever your spooky-meter registers, we have suggestions for you. Here are some great activities aimed at delivering the best Twin...
August Twin Cities Housing Market Episode – Another Rerun!
Most of us want to see a new episode of The Twin Cities Housing Saga but I am afraid August is another rerun. Over the course of the last 3 years the dominant theme of the housing story in Minneapolis-St. Paul is an ever-shrinking inventory and rising prices. Sellers have been in their glory days while buyers, facing a highly competitive marketplace, have struggled to close a deal month after month with a couple of variations. We’ll talk about these later in this post. Like most of the country, here in the Twin Cities metro inventories continue to shrink while prices continue to move upward. As long as the economy continues to grow and add jobs and interest rates remain low there is no reason to believe this market situation is going to change course anytime soon.
A deeper dive into the numbers for August of this year versus last year reveals new listings increased 7% while the inventory of homes available for sale fell 16.7% from 15,137 in 2016 to 12,206 this year. The month's supply of inventory remained at 2.5. but compared to last year, it dropped 16.7%. Lucky buyers in the metro successfully purchased 6513 homes but they were not quite as fortunate as buyers in August of last year when 6,606 home sales closed. Additionally, this year buyers paid 6.8% more when you compare median...
Selling Your Twin Cities Home
Although the spring and summer months are traditionally considered the optimum time to buy and sell a home, did you know that the second-best season to Sell your Twin Cities home is the fall? Historically, if we assume normal market conditions, like the air on a crisp fall day, both prices and buyer activity tend to cool off. But as we know by now, this is not a balanced housing market but rather a red-hot housing situation that favors sellers in a big way. Inventory of homes for sale and days on the market continue their downward descent while on the other side of the coin median sale prices continue their climb to new heights.
Let’s explore the current market conditions which support a strong fall housing market for the Twin Cities which make a good argument for selling now.
Twin Cities Real Estate Data
According to the Minneapolis Association of Realtors, the week ending September 9th found inventory decreased 16.5% to 12,587 units for sale with new listings down 3.1% as well. However, pending sales were higher than the same ...
Twin Cities Housing Market Statistics November 2016
Here we are almost at year’s end and wrapping up on the Twin Cities Housing Market that tells one consistent story. It’s about fewer and fewer homes for sale spending a shorter time on the market and selling for higher prices. A market that favors the seller has been the dominant theme throughout this year. A deeper dive into the numbers for November give us a clear picture of the market trend.
Prices of homes continue on an upward trajectory with a 5.8% increase in the median sales price over last year. Closed sales topped out at a 25.2% increase and inventory dropped a whopping 22.8%. Due to volatility in financial markets responding to the results of the presidential election, the long awaited increase in interest rates happened before the expected Fed increase of last week, which boosted the mortgage interest rate in the Twin Cities to 4.25% with the expectation that rates will continue their upward climb in 2017.
While employment numbers and job creation have remained strong since August 2015, the long-term indicators of what effect the new administration will have on the housing market remain someone cloudy. With a raise in rates, we might very likely see a decrease in first time home buyers that will be able to purchase a home, which may result in a more balanced market in the coming year.
Twin Cities Metro Housing Statistics September 2016
Summer is yesterday and we are immersed in the second best season for real estate, fall. The theme of the story is pretty much the same: Ardent buyers with sellers still playing it coy. Let’s take a look at the numbers for September and see how they shook out here in the Twin Cities metro.
Market snapshot in one sentence: Job and wage growth coupled with rising rents and attractive interest rates are doing more to inspire buyers than rising property values and shorter time on the market seem to be doing to inspire sellers as the market continues to struggle with inadequate inventory.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the month of September 2016 real estate market statistics in comparison to the same time last year. *
Quick Twin Cities Housing Stats for September
It's October and Fall is Happening
Fall is in the air and summer is now officially a memory. For those of you still in mourning about the transition, deal with it. For those of you that love the sights, sounds and smells of autumn, it’s your time. The Twin Cities right now is about football and homecoming celebrations. Food blogs are featuring soups, stews, and slow cooker recipes. Desserts are apple and pumpkin everything!
Temperatures are definitely cooler. The pools are closed down for the season, the trees are turning beautiful shades of gold and orange, and flip flops and shorts have been abandoned for jeans and sweaters. The sun seems to leave a bronze glow on everything it touches and the chill in the morning air lingers through the afternoon and gets downright cold by sundown.
I'm sure you have planned some of your leisure hours, but in case you have some openings on your calendar for this month, let’s take a look at what is noteworthy in the Twin Cities Metro for October.
For a Spooktacular...
September – the Twin Cities in Seasonal Transition
September is the month with an identity crisis. Football season has begun, but we are still watching baseball. Food bloggers are pushing soups and stews while we are still throwing brats on the grill. Some people in the Twin Cities think of it as fall and others summer. The autumnal equinox on the 22nd officially welcomes fall, but I think the weather has the last word.
Generally, the temperatures are pleasantly moderate creating perfect opportunities to enjoy your favorite outdoor sport or pastime. Yet we can’t help but notice the chill that creeps into the evening air and lingers into dawn. The clouds tend to be high and scattered and the sky a different shade of blue than it was in midsummer. Yesterday I noted little pops of gold and orange among the still lush green of the trees which serves as a reminder that the inevitability of autumn’s arrival cannot be denied.
Why not allow September to surprise us every day and enjoy these last weeks of summer...
Hey Minneapolis and St Paul, what are you doing this month?
November is the month that falls right smack in the middle of fall. In addition to the bounty of the season, we have a couple of holidays to celebrate this month. November 11 is Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor the brave men and women who have served our country by their service in the military.Thanksgiving on November 26 is the day we gather with family and friends to watch the Macy's Day Parade and football, as well as to eat too much turkey and pumpkin pie. The day following is Black Friday and although it is not technically a holiday many people have the day off work and it is the busiest shopping day of the entire year kicking off the biggest shopping season of the entire year.
Now that we have the holidays accounted for, let’s take a look at some weekend events going on in the Metro and celebrate this great month.
Sunday November 8
Join the Walker Art Center in celebrating its 75th anniversary. Visit the McGuire Theater for the Object Lesson, part of the Walker’s Immerse Yourself series. In this comically moving one-man show, award-winning actor Geoff Sobelle transforms the stage into an immersive and immense performance-installation that unpacks our relationship with everyday objects. For more...
7 Great Tips for Fall Home Sellers
The Twin Cities real estate market has been strong throughout the spring and summer, and according to housing market analysts, we are experiencing one of the best housing markets of the last 15 years. So if you planned to sell your home this year but missed the spring and summer home-selling season, don’t despair or feel you need to wait until next spring to sell your home. Autumn happens to be the second best season for home sales.
Going into the cooler months always brings a seasonal adjustment in inventory levels. According to the weekly report from the Minneapolis Association of Realtors, for the week ending September 19th, new listings decreased 0.4% to 1,613 and inventory 13.8% to 16,606. So fewer houses on the market, increase your chances of finding a buyer. Speaking of buyers…
While families with children tend to make their move in spring and be situated in their new homes for the start of the school year, job changes and relocations go on all year so there will be families out there looking for homes. Additionally, many millennials and empty nesters tend to wait until fall with hopes of being in their new home before the winter holidays arrive. Easier mortgage approvals coupled with interest rates remaining low, sweeten the deal. Buyers are inspired.
To get you ready and help with that selling decision, here are 7 tips that will take turn your "home for sale" to "home sold" when you list your property this autumn.
September, Ready or Not.
Here we are with one foot in Summer and the other in Fall. It’s September in the Twin Cities, a month of seasonal transition. The glory of summer departs with the Autumnal Equinox on the 23rd. Days are still warm, but mornings and evenings are becoming chilly. Fall Festivals are touted. Recipes for things apple and pumpkin are featured in my favorite food blogs.
It cannot be denied. Fall is in the air. My plan is to embrace and enjoy it, while still savoring the warm days that remain. Let’s take a look at Twin Cities Metro events for this month and decide how we will celebrate the final days of summer and welcome the first week of fall.
Are you a Mary Poppins fan? This supercalifragilisticexpialidocious musical production is playing through Oct. 24th at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre’s main stage. This musical couples outstanding choreography with unforgettable songs. Do not miss!
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Nov 1st you can find your way through the corn maze, listen to music, enjoy some great food, and check out the petting zoo at the Fall Festival at ...