Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Every summer and fall, states bring out their best in fried food, portable attractions, and crowd-pleasing farm animals for annual state fairs. And while some fairs have gained fame for their size, others have gained followings with more under-the-radar attractions like giant vegetable contests, live cow birthings, and massive sculptures of chocolate and sand. If you’re making a summertime tour of the U.S., or you happen to near live the location of a state fair, and, for some reason (are you crazy?!) need more motivation to attend, look no further than this list. 

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Monday, July 14th, 2014
Pending sales are back and ready to rumble along with their trusty comrade, inventory. After a slower start to the year, the numbers are rallying for a comeback. However, one number not rising is the number of people filing for unemployment. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, jobless applications continued their downward trend. This could help families pad downpayment funds. With more inventory to choose from, there aren’t any cheap shots in this boxing match.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending July 5:

• New Listings increased 14.8% to 1,269 
• Pending Sales increased 17.4% to 1,045 
• Inventory increased 7.7% to 17,587

For the month of June:

• Median Sales Price increased 4.7% to $219,900 
• Days on Market decreased 6.8% to 69 
• Percent of Original List Price Received decreased 0.3% to 97.2% 
• Months Supply of Inventory increased 10.5% to 4.2

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
Taking time off from work to stay at home is a wonderful way to save cash while still getting the R&R of a vacation. At least it can be … as long as you commit to enjoying yourself and don’t just spend the time catching up on household chores. To make the most of your time off, it’s important to do what you can to shut off the outside world and rid yourself of your usual routines. Choose one or more of these ideas to help you rock your staycation.

1. Savor the outdoors. Part of what is so delightful about being on vacation is being outdoors, so get out there. We may not have a water view, but we can bring our coffee outside in the morning, carry a glass of wine to the deck in the evening or simply sit with a book in the shade and feel the breeze. To boost ambience, set candles and a few bud vases of flowers on your table. If you want to go a step further, hang up outdoor curtains — they make any outdoor space feel special.

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Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
Was the entirety of the U.S. fixated on footy while the Americans still had a shot? Maybe for 90 minutes here and there, but the distraction of quadrennial global sports entertainment is not enough to affect weekly sales activity in a country more in line with the Super Bowl than the World Cup. More accurate indicators of upcoming housing performance can be found in positive jobs activity that can spur real change in housing formation and reformation. With employers adding a seasonally adjusted 288,000 jobs last month and unemployment down to 6.1 percent, this summer has additional brightness to go with the high sun.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending June 28:
• New Listings increased 5.9% to 1,844
• Pending Sales decreased 8.5% to 1,244
• Inventory increased 7.0% to 17,583

For the month of May:
• Median Sales Price increased 8.2% to $210,000
• Days on Market decreased 7.0% to 80
• Percent of Original List Price Received decreased 0.2% to 96.8%
• Months Supply of Inventory increased 11.1% to 4.0

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014