Saturday, June 17, 2017

Forest Lake, Minnesota Real Estate Statistics Jan-May 2017


 
Many people throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul area have fond memories of Forest Lake, Minnesota as a family summer vacation spot, an annual ice fishing tournament tradition or as a destination when going for a Sunday a drive in the country. Today, the lakeside cabins have been replaced with year round residences and the fishing tourney is but a memory. While there still is an agricultural presence, the farms, barns and silos are few and far between these days. The northern Washington County and east Anoka County community of Forest Lake is now considered an integral part of the Twin Cities. 

Real estate in Forest Lake, MN sold quickly in the five months of  2017 especially in the lower price points. A total of 133 properties sold in the Forest Lake Area since January 1. Roughly 75% of these sales were single family homes, 103 properties, while the other 30 were townhomes, condos or twin homes. 

The Cumulative Days on Market (CDOM) Statistic was approximately 81 days for all homes sold during the first five months this year. The average time on the market was 40 days for homes priced under $200K. This is indicative of the need for entry level, starter priced inventory. The average price of a home sold in Forest Lake was $285,071 so far in 2017. Prices paid ranged from a modest $65,500 to $770,000. 

The bulk of homes are selling in the price category range from $200,000 to $400,000 83 of the 133 sold.  Inventory remains low in this area with 117 homes currently active but 25 of those are currently under contract with an offer leaving a modest 92 homes for sale.

Surprisingly, high end homes and lakeshore homes are not lingering on the market. 14 Homes over $500,000 are in pending or have SOLD in the Forest Lake area since January 1. Most of the homes in this price point are on lakeshore. This is good news that lake front properties have made a significant come back in the Forest Lake area. Demand for homes on the shore is up. 

 
What does this mean for the Forest Lake home buyer? Homes are affordable and selling well in Forest Lake in 2017. Homebuyers looking to purchase in this area will need to make quick decisions when well priced and maintained homes come on the market. Lakeshore and acreage properties priced between $200,000 and $400,000 seem to sell the most quickly so it is important to be prepared to buy when the right property comes onto the market (i.e. get that pre-approval letter BEFORE looking at homes!)

A buyer looking to purchase high-end lakeshore in the Forest Lake area, needs to be ready to negotiate! Homes that are well maintained and priced well, even if  high-end lakeshore, are selling quickly and at close to asking. However, as we approach the July 4th weekend, existing homes sales tend to slow a bit as people are busy with vacations, graduations and weddings. SUMMER could be the perfect time to negotiate a GREAT deal on a lakeshore home! The inventory is awesome…22 lakeshore homes are currently active; some are at attractive and affordable price points. This could be a great time to negotiate a deal on your piece of Minnesota shoreline.

2017 Jan-May Average Sales Price of all homes sold in Forest Lake:

  • All Homes $280,918
  • Single Family Homes $303,575
  • Townhomes/Condos $203,129

2017 Jan-May Average Cumulative Days on Market in Forest Lake:
  • All Homes 82
  • Single Family Homes 94
  • Townhomes/Condos 41

31 Active Lakeshore available in the Forest Lake area:

Price range: $199,900-$2,800,000

  • 26 Homes on Forest Lake
  • 3 Homes on Clear Lake
  • 2 Home on Sylvan


FEATURED LAKESHORE LISTING:
20625 Keewahtin Ave, Forest Lake MN
(Click address to download pdf flyer)

For additional information on any current Forest Lake real estate listing or for additional information on buying a home in Forest Lake contact Teri Eckholm directly at 651-336-7073.

**All Statistical information based on information from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE of MINNESOTA, INC. for the period of 1 /1/17 through 5/31/17.

Have more questions about your selling your Anoka County home? Ask Me! I Can Help!

Need More Ideas Home Selling Tips? If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of BOARDMAN Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.
 

Copyright 2017 terieckholm.com

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Dreaming of Life on Minnesota Acreage? What You NEED to Know!



While many millennial embrace the convenience of urban life, I am seeing a number of move up GenX'ers choosing to escape to the extreme Twin Cities suburbs. This summer I have been contacted by a number of home buyers wanted to sell their city starter homes and move to small acreage properties and lakeshore. This is a great time to make this move. Many homes on acreage in the north metro are priced well, even in this "hot" market. Combined with the current extremely low inventory of starter homes in the city, there is a good chance to make a transition this summer without breaking the proverbial bank.

Making a move from the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro to a more rural area is a dream of many city home owners. But the logistics of this type of move can seem overwhelming. It doesn't have to be! As a REALTOR® in the north and east metro, I know this. But because I have made the move myself, I can help you through the process. Sure, there are a few less amenities and public utilities in more rural communities but the trade off of extra space can be well worth it. 

When my family made our move out to Anoka County acreage, we learned these differences first hand and quickly. Of course that was nearly 20 years ago so many amenities have been added since then. But over the years, I have guided many home buyers through the urban to rural transition. There are a few common questions that homebuyers should ask about each home and community.

Here are 14 important considerations homebuyers should consider prior to moving to acreage in Anoka, Chisago and Washington County.

What is a Septic or Private Sewer system?
Most rural homes have a private septic system. Not all systems are created equal. They are designed for the specific property and size of the home. Even a new septic system can fail if not properly maintained. How do you know if the septic system is working? Since not all communities require point-of-sale inspection, as your REALTOR®, I write into the offer that the seller must have the septic system checked for compliance by a licensed septic inspector in the purchase agreement. If it was completed prior to the sale, the certification should be no more than three years old. Also, homebuyers that have never lived on a property with a private sewage system, need to educate themselves on how to maintain and protect this essential and expensive part of your new home.

Is there a city water utility or a private well?  Will I need a water softener or other water treatment system?
Families new to the concept of well water have many questions regarding its safety. Most buyers will request the water be tested for bacteria and nitrates in the purchase agreement. This is usually paid for by the seller. If you want the well test for your property to include tests for other contaminants, like lead, it must be specified in the purchase agreement. Annual water testing is recommended for all home owners with wells. Locate your MN Unique Well Number.

One question often asked by home buyers considering a property with a private well is about water treatment options available. Many homes with private wells have water softeners to treat the water in the home. Some will go one step further and have a reverse osmosis water treatment system in the kitchens as a drinking water supply. Personally, we have both in our home. Additional information on Water Softeners and Reverse Osmosis Drinking Systems.

Is there a natural gas supply to the home or will a propane tank be located on the property?    
Often people looking at acreage will have questions about the huge propane fuel tank located near the home. The larger the acreage and further from the city, the better chance propane is the fuel source for the home. People from the city usually only see these tanks outside of the gas stations where they pick up the small refills for their gas grills. Almost all homes in urban areas are fueled by natural gas or electricity. In the country, the large propane tanks are in many backyards as the source of fuel to heat the home and run appliances. As a fuel source the differences are not noticeable. Propane is the least expensive cleanest fuel if a home does not have access to natural gas. Additional information on the differences between natural gas and propane.

Does the home have access to cable or high speed internet or will a satellite connection be required?  Which cable services are available to the home? What are the alternatives if DSL is not available through the phone or cable lines? Do I have to have cable or a dish to get television reception? Will I have cell phone reception?
A decade ago, these were not questions that people worried about in the rural communities. Today our interconnected world brings these questions to the forefront but no worries; there are tons of alternatives today to keep you connected. From hot spots to internet cards there are options to keep your family connected even out in the woods. Even today there are  homes in Lino Lakes, Ham Lake, Forest Lake and East Bethel that have limited cable lines and restricted options for high speed internet available. There are many homes in the Columbus area in particular that must use a hot spot for high speed internet. And there are cell phone dead zones no matter how numerous or close those towers seem to be. We have a tower less than a mile from our house and still have to have a Sprint Airave to get continuous cell phone reception. This system runs our cell phone service through our cable when we are in the house. So if your family is very dependent on their screens and cannot survive without a high-speed connection, it is essential ask questions to figure out how to get the best access and reception.

If the road is gravel or unpaved, how often is it maintained by the city/county?
Our road was not paved when we first moved to Ham Lake. We were nearly a mile down a soft, gravel/sand road. When we moved it was late fall and were very surprised when the spring rains and snow melt left the road extremely poor condition. It was down right treacherous at times. The re-grading was done by the city on a periodic schedule so often we had to negotiate the pot-holed road for days. Our road is now paved but the memories still remain.


If you are considering acreage, remember many rural roads are not paved. If the acreage property you are considering is on a gravel or dirt road, try to visit the property on several occasions and under differing conditions. It might be a good idea to talk to the city and county to understand how the road is maintained. Also be sure to ask if there are any plans to pave the road in the future and what would be assessed per property owner for the project.

Is there wildlife?
Well maybe not lions and tigers, but we have had bears and cougars seen near our home in Anoka County. Recently we had a mama bear and her cubs visit our bird feeders and garbage cans. We also have pheasant, hawks, bald eagles, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, several varieties of squirrels and deer. A flock of wild turkeys have made their home in our neighborhood and continue to nest year after year. And an owl and a hawk have nested in trees in on our property. I rarely saw blue jays, cardinals or hummingbirds in the city, but in our Anoka County acreage home, we see them on a daily basis. While exciting, the downside is sometimes the wildlife comes in. I don't know anyone on Ham Lake acreage that hasn’t had an occasional field mouse enter their home.

Can we have a horse? (Or cow, chickens, goats etc.)
If your move to acreage is for having horses or other farm animals in your backyard, keep in mind that most communities have restrictions on how many, if any, animals are allowed. Whether you can have horses, pigs, cows, chickens, ducks, sheep or goats will be determined by the local city regulations. Even the amount of domesticated dogs and cats can be restricted on acreage property, just as it was in most urban communities. So if you plan to run a dog kennel, breed cats or train horses, for business or pleasure, do your due diligence and make sure it is allowed in your new rural community prior to writing an offer.

Is hunting allowed?
In some rural areas hunting is still allowed depending on the amount of acreage, the development restrictions and city and county rules. It was a rude awakening for us to discover our neighbors were allowed to hunt….and it seemed right outside our door too! Imagine our shock that first deer opener when the hunters came out in blaze orange to hunt in the woods next to our home. The property owner, at our request, posted the land and the hunters left. The land has since been developed but it is something everyone moving should understand before buying any acreage home. Check with the city and county for all ordinances regarding firearms.

Can I ride ATV’s, Snowmobiles and Dirt Bikes?
In many cases, this is allowed on acreage but even rural communities can have noise ordinances. Much will depend on the size of the property, proximity to neighbors and how often the riding takes place. Take time to learn what the rules are before starting up the engines and racing around the yard. On the plus side, there are several snowmobile trails throughout Anoka, Chisago and Washington Counties which can be just down the road from many homes.

Can we have a bonfire and burn all this debris?
There are strict states and local restrictions regarding burning of construction debris and yard waste. There are restrictions on the size of the fire and what can be burned. Many construction materials cannot be burned because they release chemicals into the air that pose an environmental hazard. There are times of the year where burning is only allowed by permit and sometimes not at all. Before burning it is best to check the local restrictions as well as the DNR. More information on MN Fire Restrictions.

Where do we shop? How far to the nearest corner store, gas station, shopping center and mall?
Depending on how often you like to shop, this may or may not be a big concern. Coburns does deliver but other food delivery services are much more limited. But it is always nice to know how far you will have to go for a gallon of milk for breakfast, a propane refill for the BBQ or gas for the lawn tractor.

How long does it take to cut the grass?
If your yard is over an acre with few trees, you might consider a lawn tractor. Many people on acreage only cut certain areas leaving the rest to grow to a natural prairie. Another consideration would be whether or not to install an irrigation system for the sod near the home.

Wow! There are a lot of trees! Do I have to worry about oak wilt and emerald Ash Borers?
Oak wilt is a big concern in throughout Minnesota. Many of the communities have information and programs to help protect and save the oak trees from this disease. Additional information regarding oak wilt. Recently people have been extremely concerned with the emerald ash borer that has been found in Ramsey County and now Anoka County too. These insects bored into ash trees and tunnel under the bark eventually killing the tree. There are programs to control the spread of the insects. Additional information on the Emerald Ash Borer

What about emergencies? How far to the nearest hospital? Where is the nearest fire station? Who provides police protection?
No one wants to think about these things when moving but accidents and illnesses do happen. It was a long hour drive to Children's Hospital in St. Paul when my young son fell and needed stitches. If the nearest fire station is staffed with volunteers and over five miles away, it will seem like a lifetime during those 5-10 minutes while you wait for the fire truck to show up to YOUR home. And big fires in dry areas will need the water trucked in due to limited water hydrants, if any.. Many rural communities do not have police officers but are patrolled by the county sheriff's department. Understand your options before an emergency occurs because it will likely take a bit longer if you are in a rural area.

With a little planning, and a good REALTOR®, your move to Minnesota acreage can be a great one!

Have more questions about buying an Acreage Home? Ask Me! I Can Help!

READY to Make YOUR Move? If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of BOARDMAN Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.
 
Copyright 2017 terieckholm.com

Friday, May 19, 2017

Spring Home Selling Tip: Stage the Exterior!




Selling your home this spring? Don't forget to stage the exterior! With a bit of thought you can make your Minneapolis/St Paul home standout on all those real estate websites. Homes with great staging sell quickly and for top dollar. Sunny warm weather has many buyers searching for their dream home. And they are not just on the looking online. Buyers drive by homes to check out the neighborhood and to see what each home's exterior looks like in person. During the winter a fresh blanket of snow and shoveled the sidewalk are enough to jazz up the exterior of a Minnesota home. But in May and June, Minnesotan's can really make their home's curb appeal POP! Here are a few quick ideas:

  • CUT the GRASS If you home is on the market you have to make sure the lawn is manicured to perfection at all times. In fact, it is a very good idea to make sure all trees and shrubs are trimmed to show of the home too.
  • PAINT the FRONT DOOR There are no excuses for having a dirty, scuffed up front entry with peeling paint. If you want to sell to an FHA buyer, you need to address the peeling paint issue anyway so why not make a great first impression with a freshly painted front door and entry?
  • ADD POPS of COLOR Even if you don't have a green thumb, invest in some bright colorful hanging baskets full of annuals for your front porch. Or put some planters with assorted plants on your front stoop. However, if you think you will be too busy to water the plants, it might be best to get a colorful flag or entry wreath instead. Dead plants in the doorway will be noticed too.
  •  SEAL COAT the ASPHALT If the driveway is looking more gray than black, a fresh coat of sealant can make a world of difference.
  • JAZZ UP the "SHE" SHED! Have a garden storage shed in your backyard? "She" sheds are IN! It is a beautified "makeover" of a basic shed with bright paint, fun planters, lights and decor that breathes new life into a boring, old shed. 
 
Have more questions about your selling your Anoka County home? Ask Me! I Can Help!
 
Need More Ideas Home Selling Tips? If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of BOARDMAN Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.
 

Copyright 2017 terieckholm.com

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Bridge



The Bridge is a short film (5 minutes) that follows an excited young woman's first civic project to convert a useless old bridge into something that benefits her community. As Realtors many of us strive to find ways to enhance the communities we serve in a similar way to the lead character's mission.

The video was written, directed and produced by my son, Matt and his colleagues as a contest entry in the #ladannyelfmanproject for the LA Film Festival. It features Danny Elfman music as the soundtrack.

The Indi video site does not upload to the blog so you will have to use this link http://indi.com/8xcz2

Check it out...likes and share on the Indi site will help their work get noticed.

Copyright terieckholm.com 2017

Friday, April 28, 2017

What is a Lowball Offer in a Hot Real Estate Market?


It is a very hot real estate market with extremely low inventory. So a savvy buyer wants to impress, not insult the seller of their dream home. So what initial offer can insulting to a home seller? 10% less than asking? 5% less? A full priced offer with 3% of buyer's closing costs paid by the seller?

When housing inventory is as tight as it right now across the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, what is considered a "lowball offer" might be less than you think.

 
As a REALTOR
® in the north and east Twin Cities metro, I have seen my share of sellers who were insulted by a buyer’s offer over the years. There are times when anything less than a full priced offer is insulting. But should a buyer be afraid to request a few thousand toward closing costs with a fear that the seller will balk and accept the next offer in line?
 

The answer to that question really depends on the price and specific location. In some neighborhoods, it could be insulting to offer less than full price especially if it is a home priced under $250,000. There are an abundance of first time buyers out there looking for affordable, move-in ready homes. In fact, there are so many buyers that a well prepared and priced property can get an offer (or 2, 3 or more) in a matter of hours and be in pending in a matter of days. There are many neighborhoods and communities throughout Anoka, Washington, Ramsey and Chisago Counties where I work daily with a very small number of homes for sale. Well priced homes do not stay on the market long.  It is very stressful being a home buyer with a limited budget in this seller's market.

In many situations, buyers will feel frustrated and that they might never get a home. They get well-meaning advice from friends and relatives to not pay full price. "Sellers always negotiate", they say. But in reality, many sellers will not negotiate significantly, if at all. And a perceived offensive or  "lowball" offer could put the buyers’ dream home purchase in jeopardy.

How to Coming up with an Acceptable Starting Point:

    • Request that your REALTOR® to do a market analysis. When representing a buyer, I will look up the recent comparable homes sold in the neighborhood before the "what to offer" discussion begins. In this low inventory market, a seller that lists at market value but could still be in a multiple offer situation due to demand. If the home is properly priced and in high-demand area, anything that is not close to full price could mean that the seller will wait for another offer. By looking at the neighborhood comparables, my buyers better understand what offer will be considered reasonable.

    • Consider the original list price. If a seller started off too high and adjusted the price of the home it could be priced right now. If a market analysis shows the current price of the home is fair, offering 5-10% less could be considered insulting. When a buyer has found "THE: house and fallen in love with it, it might make sense to make an offer closer to the asking price rather than haggle and risk losing it.

    • The Overpriced Home. If the market analysis shows the home to be significantly overpriced and the offer will be more than 10% less than current the current asking price, it may be helpful to provide the comparables to the seller and his/her agent. Sometimes when the offer is accompanied by documentation to back up the offer, the seller is less offended.But be careful not to overlook good comps to justify your offer. This strategy can be worse that not providing documentation at all.

    • Buyer’s Plans to Remodel and Update. Some buyers think sending a long list of planned updates complete with associated estimates is a good strategy to negotiate for a price reduction. Often these lists include changes that reflect cosmetic and personal taste. Most sellers are not impressed when a buyer’s offer indicates that they are offering tens of thousands less due to paint, carpet and other cosmetic changes. If the updates are necessary due to age or wear, make note of the fact. But slamming a well maintained and updated home to justify a low offer is insulting and make continued negotiations difficult if not impossible.

  • Avoid Considering Price Paid for Home. I have come across a few buyers who research tax records to determine the price the seller paid for the property. They assume if someone purchased a home at a very low price, they have a ton of equity. This can be true but not always. Some sellers have taken the equity out of their home for improvements or for other reasons. And well sellers do have equity, they usually don't intend to give it away either. Keep the negotiations focused on the fair market value of the home.

Right now, sellers are in excitedly anticipating a non-contingent, pre-approved home buyer to write an offer on their home. In most cases, they understand the market and have worked hard to prepare their properties to entice a written purchase agreement (or several). But buyers must think through their offers; the perfect starting point for negotiations must contemplated thoroughly. Discussions can go south very quickly between buyer and seller when the initial offer is deemed rude.

Need help coming up with that perfect starting point for your home offer? If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of BOARDMAN Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2017 terieckholm.com

Ten Reasons Historic STILLWATER, MN is the Perfect Place to call HOME!




The name, Stillwater just sounds tranquil and inviting, doesn’t it? The city, Stillwater Minnesota was named for the still waters of the St. Croix River that separates the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin. This vibrant area has roots deep in Minnesota history. In fact, Stillwater is often referred to as the birth place of Minnesota.  Those deep roots are just one of the things that drawn over 18,000 people to life in this historic community.

Here is a top ten list of reasons why Stillwater is such a great place to live:


#10-Eclectic Shopping. An afternoon stroll down Stillwater’s Main Street is full of eye candy! With dozens of shops with unique and antique wares, it is like visiting a museum or history center but with an opportunity to buy! 


#9-Local Police and Fire. The city is proud to have its own police force as well as a professional fire department with full time firefighters on staff providing protection to over 60 square miles of the greater Stillwater community.


#8-Community Schools. Go Ponies! Being #1 means much more in Stillwater School District #834. The very first Minnesota school was constructed in Stillwater in 1848; one year before Minnesota became a territory.  And just two years later, Stillwater was the very first school district too. Today the district has expanded to 10 community based elementary schools, 2 junior highs and one high school.  It encompasses 150 square miles and serves 18 communities along the St. Croix River.


#7-Parks, Playgrounds and Trails. "Where can I play?" With 37 playgrounds, parks and trails located throughout the community, this is hardly ever an issue for residents in Stillwater.  The adorable Teddy Bear Park is a favorite summer spot for the 7 and under crowd.  There is a skateboard park and dog park too. No one is left out, young or old.  


#6-St. Croix River and Ariel Lift Bridge. Stillwater, MN made Forbes magazine as one of the “Top 10 Prettiest Towns in America” and residents agree. The St. Croix River, Lowell Park and the historic Ariel Lift Bridge is a wonderful view from shore walking or biking or a relaxing riverboat ride. While the adventurous might try a jump on a paddle board, kayak, Segway or hot air balloon to explore the sites.


#5-Historic Caves. Step back into the 1800’s on a walking tour of the Joseph Wolf Brewery /Sandstone Caves. The tour is full of history and a little mystery located right downtown at the Luna Rossa Trattoria and Wine Bar.


#4-Local Hospital. Most suburban residents have a bit of a drive when there is a medical emergency but not the residents of Stillwater. Lakeview Hospital , located in the heart of the city, is a full service hospital with 24/7 urgent and/or emergency care.


#3-Conveniently Located.
Just off Hwy 36 and east of the St. Croix River, it is a short commute to either downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul.


#2-Eclectic Options for Living. Whether you want the convenience of a low-maintenance condo with a river view, a historic Victorian up on the hill or a single family home in a newer development, there is a plethora of options in Stillwater.


#1-Friendly People.
The number one reason for living in Stillwater is the welcoming community atmosphere. Isn't that what most people search for in a place to call home?



FEATURED STILLWATER LISTING:


3072 Lowell Ct Stillwater MN 55082


READY to Make YOUR Move? If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of BOARDMAN Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2017 terieckholm.com

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Trimming Your Anoka County Oak Trees Now Could Cost Thousands!

Spring has sprung a wee bit early in Minnesota which is causing many plants and trees to bud. Mature trees can add a tremendous value homes especially on Anoka County acreage. But trees do require maintenance too. Not only do they need their leaves raked in the fall, often a professional pruning can preserve and enhance the foliage for generations to come. However, trimming oaks is not something to be done without thought given to timing. Oak trees are best trimmed in winter months.

Sadly, in many counties of Minnesota, oak wilt is spreading. It is a nasty disease that can kill a mighty oak quickly and without warning. Keeping the fungus at bay takes forethought when doing spring and summer yard work.

Ignoring oak wilt only causes the disease to spread. Since it can take decades to grow a beautiful oak shade tree, shouldn't they be protected? A wooded landscape has a direct affect on a property's value. The loss of mature oaks can cost a homeowner thousands of dollars in potential value when it comes time to sell.


What is Oak Wilt?


Oak wilt is a disease caused by a fungus that destroys the entire central system of the tree from its  roots to the tips of its leaves. The tree will try to block the fungus, but in doing so it blocks all water and nutrients to the branches and leaves. Eventually, the tree's leaves will begin to wilt then dry up and the tree will die.

Oak wilt spreads in two ways. It will either be attacked through the root systems of near by trees or by fungus beetles that carry the oak wilt spores from tree to tree. For additional information on oak wilt from the University of MN Extension Service.


Here are a few important reminders to prevent the spread of Oak Wilt:
  •     To prevent the spread of devastating disease, it is imperative to follow the guidelines for oak wilt prevention. Do not prune, damage or cut down oak trees during the spring and summer growing season from April through the end of September. With our early warm temperatures this year, it might be best to wait until fall now.
  •     During the spring and early summer months of May and June, oaks are at especially high risk to this highly contagious disease.
  •     Any wood or branches taken down over the winter that is infected with oak wilt needs to remain covered under black plastic and completely sealed until after July 1.
  •     During the summer if you sustain storm damage and lose a limb from an oak on your property, immediately paint the wound with black tree paint to seal the wound and prevent exposure to the oak wilt fungus.

How to Protect Your Trees

  • The fungus beetles infect trees that have been recently injured or trimmed. These beetles are very active in the spring and summer months. Oaks should be protected from damage and not trimmed from April through July.
  • If an oak tree is damaged during a spring or summer storm, apply tree paint immediately to any wounds that accidentally occur.
  • If an oak is infected a nearby neighboring property, your trees could be at risk through their intertwined root system. Oak roots travel up to 50 feet out. The fungus can pass underground from tree to tree. Roots can be cut using a trencher or vibratory plow to prevent the spread of oak wilt. The process uses a five foot blade that severs the roots to protect neighboring trees. Root cutting should be done prior to tree removal. 


Have a Minnesota Real Estate Question? Ask Me! I Can Help!

READY to Make YOUR Move? If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of BOARDMAN Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2017 terieckholm.com

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What Anoka County Homesellers NEED to Know about Septic Systems


Are you planning to sell your Anoka County acreage home this spring? If you live on acreage and are not in a community with city sewer, you have a private sewer system to get rid of sewage. Homeowners with septic systems are required to complete an additional disclosure about the condition and use of the system. Some Anoka County communities require a compliance test for private sewer systems. If you do not understand these requirements, be certain the REALTOR® you choose, does.

Surprisingly, not all Minnesota real estate agents are familiar with septic systems and consequently not able to educate their sellers on how to properly complete the disclosures that are required to sell a home with a private sewer.  A lack of this knowledge can be costly to a seller and create time consuming delays in the sales process. I have lived in a community where private wells and sewers are the norm. This allowed me the opportunity to work with acreage homes on a daily basis.  I put my private well and septic knowledge to good use when assisting Anoka County sellers and buyers which can reduce headaches and surprises down the road in the sales process.

Not all communities in Anoka County have point of sale inspection requirements. For example, Columbus requires a compliance test on all septic systems prior to sale while Ham Lake does not. East Bethel only requires lake shore homes to have point of sale compliance tests. Some communities allow any licensed inspector to do the test while other cities require their own inspectors to perform the inspection. This means homeowners (or their agent) must contact city hall to find out what the specific rules are regarding compliance testing on the septic.

Even if a property is located in a community without a point of sale requirement, it can be advantageous for a seller to consider having the test done prior to listing. Why? Because most buyers will make offers contingent on the inspection of the septic system.  If a seller has pre-inspected the system to ascertain it is in compliance, this information can be provided to potential buyers thus avoiding an additional contingency being attached to the offer.

In the event the system is found to be non-compliant, it might be best to update the system prior to the closing. If non-compliance is determined prior to listing, the seller might be able to list a bit higher due to the brand new septic system. If the homeowner waits until the buyer requests the test, the buyer will have agreed to the price. Most buyers do not want to pay more than they agreed to pay, even if the seller must pay thousands for a new septic. The buyers expected that the system was in good working order when they placed their offer and see no additional benefit this late in the negotiations. But if a seller pre-inspects and it is determined an upgrade is required, the home can often be marketed at a higher price point due to the new private sewage system.  

Have more questions about your selling your Anoka County home? 

Ask Me! I Can Help!

READY to Make YOUR Move? If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of BOARDMAN Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

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