Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Weekend Adventure--Train Days at Union Depot in St Paul MN

This past weekend I attended Train Days at Union Depot. This is a fun family event held annually at this historical downtown St. Paul train station.  It is a chance for train lovers of all ages to view walk through the beautifully renovated Union Depot and see vintage train engines and even stroll through restored dining and passenger cars of yesteryear.  There was an outdoor kid play area with food trucks and indoor events included model train displays, art activities, vendors and abundant photo ops.


One of the events was the opportunity to tour the Metro Transit Light Rail’s Green Line Operations and Maintenance facility. It is astounding to realize there are 46 trains that make up the Green Line along with an additional 46 trains being maintained at a similar facility on the far western end of the Blue Line. The Green Line trains are cleaned, maintained and housed at the Operations and Maintenance facility adjacent to CHS Field where the St. Paul Saints play their baseball games. It was an eye opening walk through viewing the pits and towers where teams of transit professionals keep everything moving from St. Paul to Minneapolis with many stops in between.

The metro light rail system is something that I am often asked about when home buyers are considering relocating to the Minneapolis/St Paul area. As anyone who knows me knows, I live in the far northern suburbs and have little chance to experience the light rail train system. To be honest, the tour was the first time I actually stepped foot onto one of these trains that are such an integral part of the cities transit system. 

With so many recurring questions I wanted to be able to share more about the light rail routes; specifically where do these 90+ trains go daily? To answer this important question,  I enlisted an expert in Twin Cities light rail travel to write a about the metro light rail system. This is a guided tour of sorts including highlights of all the stations along both active lines. I will be sharing these articles
in series of posts over the next couple of weeks so please check back to learn more about the Minneapolis/St. Paul transit system.

Ready to make your move to a home near the Green or Blue Line?  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 2019 terieckholm.com

Monday, June 3, 2019

Rent VS Buy? High Rents in 2019 Add to Homebuyer's Dilemma

Living in Minnesota is not as affordable as it once was. Home prices are continually increasing in the Minneapolis/St Paul metro. And to make things more stressful, rent costs in the Twin Cities are among the highest in the nation. Monthly rent costs for one and two bedroom units are nearly $1500 and $2000 respectively.  Check out this June 2019 report on rent prices nationwide.  

This leads many renters to ask, “Should I Buy instead of Rent?” It is a continuing dilemma facing many would be first time homebuyers. It also creates a lot of discussion and sometimes debate. So why is “Rent vs Buy?” such a tough question to answer? There are many variables in a home purchase investment. The biggest is location which can often determine the price of a home. We used to be blessed in the Minneapolis/St. Paul with reasonably affordable real estate. It wasn’t long ago where a first time homebuyer could get into a solid starter home for under $200,000. Now with higher rents and extremely low housing inventory, those homes are snapped up as soon as they list and often with multiple offers.  This low inventory has driven prices up but as rent continues to increase, it still makes a home purchase very attractive. 


But as mentioned earlier, several other factors do come into play when deciding whether renting or buying makes more sense to an individual’s needs. Taxes, insurance costs, maintenance, utilities, mortgage rates and how long you plan to stay in the home are a few of the things that need to be added into the rent versus buy equation. 


So, how do you best decide whether Renting or Buying is the best choice for you?  Check out the NY Times Rent VS Buy Calculator. This is an interactive tool where you will be able to adjust the graphs to what is happening in your market, your life and your future. The tool calculates where the breakeven rent versus buy point would be for you. 


Need additional help to decide if buying a home is right for you?   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 2019 terieckholm.com





Sunday, May 19, 2019

Speechless Sunday (Almost) Plant a Butterfly Garden



Walking through a park in Maplewood, Minnesota last summer, I came across directions posted on how to plant prairie butterfly garden.  Follow these simple directions to attract bumble bees and butterflies this spring and summer by planning your own blossom filled oasis. Black-eyed Susans, cone flowers, prairie phlox and clover are just a few of the native plants that are perfect additions to your landscape...if it ever stops raining, that is!

Gardens and perennial flower beds boost curb appeal by making a home cheerful and inviting if you should ever decide to sell too.

Need more landscaping tips to add value to your Ramsey 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 2019 terieckholm.com

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Selling Your Home in the Spring 2019? Don't Forget to Stage the Exterior!


There is no question, homes are selling fast in the Twin Cities this spring! In many cases, the sold sign is hanging within a day or two of the post being put into the ground. On occasion however, a home might linger due to lack of curb appeal.  A home that oozes curb appeal is the reason people say "Honey, Stop the Car!" and "This is THE One!" without even stepping foot over the front door threshold. It can also be a determining factor in why some houses will have half a dozen offers the first day while others linger on the market. 

But what does a homeowner need to do to make their Minneapolis/St Paul home a neighborhood standout? One key is staging. Homes with great staging sell quickly and for top dollar. Sunny warm weather has many buyers searching for their dream home both online and in person. Potential buyers drive by properties and check out the neighborhood. They do a slow pass in front of new listings to see what each home's exterior looks like in real life. 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:


  • 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.
  • Frame with MULCH Not time to weed gardens near house? A fresh layer of colorful mulch can really add some pizazz to the landscape inexpensively.
  • 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 first time homebuyer, 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?
  •  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 2019 terieckholm.com

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Walking the Dog in 20 Below? Roseville MN has an INDOOR Option for That

For the past few years or so, my household has been cat friendly and canine free. However, this winter we have a guest in our Ham Lake acreage home. Spencer is a St Paul resident who's normal life includes daily doggie daycare, keeping the bunnies out of his fenced backyard and sharing the sidewalks daily with his canine friends. Spending weeks in Anoka County without neighbor dogs to hang with has been boring. The squirrels and white-tailed deer that frequent our backyard are fun to watch from the window but when Spencer goes out, only the tracks in the snow remain.

This past week has been the worst. Brutally cold below zero wind chills have made tracking interesting scents a less enjoyable adventure. Spencer is not an winter dog. As a terrier mix, the cold makes him shiver. He has had to don not only a coat but four  little booties to keep his feet warm as well. Anything longer than a 5 minute walk can be rather painful.

So early this morning we packed up Spencer and drove south about 20 minutes to Rosedale for the weekly indoor dog walking event. As feline owners, we were not prepared for the hundreds of people and pets walking through the Roseville shopping center so early in the morning. The final lines from Dr Suess's Go Dog Go came to mind..."Big dogs, Little dogs, Red dogs, Blue dogs all at a dog party!"

Spencer was in heaven! Forty-five minutes later after taking three laps around the mall, we were all ready for heading back home.

While living on acreage is an adventure, visiting other areas in the Twin Cities has it's perks. And as a local real estate agent, I find many fun events in the areas I serve. Roseville, Minnesota and other north metro communities have much to offer and it is fun to explore whether it's warm and sunny or seasonably cold.

Thinking of buying a home in the Twin Cities? Call me and let me help you find the perfect home to meet your family's requirements (and your pet's requirements too!) 

READY to Make YOUR Move? It IS essential to have a knowledgeable agent at your side. 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 at 651-336-7073 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 2019 terieckholm.com

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Tips for First Time Home Buyers in a HOT Market: Get a Home Inspection

A headline in a April 2018 St Paul Pioneer Press article reads, "White Bear Lake Man Believes Old Batteries Robbed him of Health and Home". The foundation of his 1939 built lake home and surrounding retaining walls around the property were constructed using emptied out battery casings filled with concrete. 

White Bear is  a community where I have sold many homes, and this situation is highly toxic. While this issue was not apparent to him when he purchased decades ago, it was to a local home inspector who actually mentioned the very home in another article about why get a home inspection. 

This is not only a very sad story and unbelievable situation, this is a reminder of why buying  a FSBO (For Sale By Owner) can be costly. The form for a home disclosure in Minnesota wasn't as comprehensive as it is today. A homeowner could get an inspection but not all buyers did. Which is happening again today.

Because of the low housing inventory and extremely high demand for existing single family homes buyers, who are often desperate for their opportunity to own a house, take short cuts. This is not a wise decision. As an professional REALTOR®, it is my job to make certain my home buyers have contingencies in place for the opportunity to have one (or more) professional inspectors comprehensively view the home before moving forward on with their purchase. 

Inspectors cannot see everything but do guide home buyers on where to look further if necessary. In the White Bear home the basement was unfinished and the battery casings complete visible when this family purchased. While this is a very unusual circumstance, home inspectors do uncover many issues that help home buyers make good informed decisions

I always encourage a thorough top to bottom home inspection to my home buyers. Buying a home is one time where cutting corners does not make sense--even in a hot seller's market!



READY to Make YOUR Move? It IS essential to have a knowledgeable agent at your side. 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 at 651-336-7073 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 2018 terieckholm.com

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Andover MN | Video Update on 2018 Housing Market

Here's a quick video update on real estate sales statistics in Andover Minnesota for the year ending 2017; and what might be expected in this Anoka County housing market as we head into the Spring 2018.




If you have additional questions on selling or buying a home in Andover, Minnesota, please call or message me directly. I am always happy to answer questions on real estate and the housing market.

Check out this recent review received from a past client:  
"I enjoyed working with Teri. She is both professional and easy to work with. Her knowledge about home sales and purchases is great. If you are looking for a REALTOR with innovative ideas and someone to support you through a somewhat stressful time, then choose Teri." --Des T.


Need more information on the Anoka County housing and real estate market?  Message Me on Facebook



What is my Andover Minnesota Home Worth?


READY to Make YOUR Move? It IS essential to have a knowledgeable agent at your side. 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 at 651-336-7073 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 2018 terieckholm.com

Shoreview MN | 2018 Housing Market Update Snapshot of Home Sales Statistics




In the centrally located Ramsey County community of Shoreview, MN new listings were down just slightly in 2017. This comes as no surprise because housing inventory is sparse across the greater Minneapolis/St Paul metro. New listings were down just 1.7% from the previous year. This likewise, caused a drop in closed sales (down by roughly 2.4% compared to 2016). This lack of housing inventory drove prices up significantly. The average sales priced skyrocketed to $281,106 up nearly 13%. The average price per square foot rose considerably too. Shoreview homes sold at an average $141 per square foot in 2017. It doesn’t take long for the sold signs to be posted in Shoreview either. A home stays on the market for an average of 45 days. This is down over 16% from the previous year. And home sellers are getting their list price too. Homes sold at 98.6% of asking price. 

As we edge closer to the 2018 spring market, it doesn’t appear the demand for Shoreview homes will slow or that inventory will rise. With the low number of Shoreview homes for sale and strong buyer demand, it is a seller’s market in Shoreview. This is where the seller has the negotiating advantage and it is a great time to consider selling a home. If you are looking to buy in Shoreview this spring, be prepared to look and possibly write an offers as soon as the perfect home comes on the market. But be ready with a strategy to make your offer very appealing. There will no doubt be multiple offers on affordable homes this spring. 


Need more information on the Shoreview housing and real estate market?  Message Me on Facebook

What is my Shoreview Home Worth?



READY to Make YOUR Move? It IS essential to have a knowledgeable agent at your side. 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 at 651-336-7073 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 2018 terieckholm.com