Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Free Money? Not Really--The True Story of Seller Paid Closing Costs


It is a very exciting day! You've just met with your loan officer and are pre-approved for your first home loan. You are ready to start shopping! You are certain you have enough money in the bank for your down payment. After all, your loan officer said, the seller will pay your closing costs, so you're covered right? 

Well, not so fast! It's not like sellers are handing out free money. So what's real story?

When a home buyer writes up an offer for a home, they can ASK the seller to pay closing costs up to a certain percentage allowed by the loan program. But the seller does not have to agree. If they do agree, it is like asking the seller to reduce their price. 

For example, if a buyer writes an offer of $200,000 on a home listed for $200,000 and requests the seller contribute $5000 to their closing costs, it is not a full priced offer. The seller will only get $195,000 for the sale. 

This is very important for a first time home buyer to understand when negotiating a home purchase. Starter homes in the Minneapolis/St Paul area are being snapped up very quickly. Most homes listed under $200,000 will have multiple offers shortly after hitting the market. If in a multiple offer situation, you need to write an offer that is attractive to the seller. Sellers do not want to give away money to you or anyone else. However, sellers do pay reasonable closing costs for buyers all of the time. It is all part of the negotiations.

Need More Tips on How to Write an Offer on YOUR First Home? Let me help! 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 2015 www.terieckholm.com

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How Do I Sell My Hugo Minnesota Home?



Are planning to sell your home in Hugo, Minnesota soon and need more information on where to start? 

When you need to sell a home in the Hugo area, I will help you get the process started quickly. My innovative marketing and top notch negotiating skills will get you the best possible price too.  A market analysis by a professional REALTOR® is your first step in the process.

The Hugo market is HOT! Home buyers are looking for homes right now because inventory is extremely low in the north and east Minneapolis/St. Paul metro. Since June 1, 2015, 19 homes went into pending status and 12 homes have sold in Hugo. Homes listed in the 55038/Hugo area sold quickly too with in an average 27 days on the market. Prices ranged from the affordable townhouses to the high end, newly constructed acreage estates.

For additional information about working with me, visit my website and read testimonials from past satisfied clients. Or better yet call me, Teri Eckholm/Boardman Realty 651-336-7073 and arrange a no cost/obligation market analysis on your home today.

FYI-- I do answer my own phone so when you call, you will be talking directly to me!


(Sales statistics from Northstar MLS/Minnesota real estate listings as of 7/7/15).


Need to know more about buying or selling a Twin Cities home? Let me be your professional guide. 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 2015 www.terieckholm.com

Friday, June 26, 2015

Ten Reasons STILLWATER, MN is a GREAT Place to call HOME!


Living in Stillwater Minnesota just sounds peaceful, doesn’t it? The city was named for the still waters of the St. Croix River that separates Minnesota from Wisconsin and 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 this Stillwater is such a great place to live:


#10-Antique & 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 price tags! 


#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 & 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:


1225 2nd St S, Stillwater MN

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What Makes a GREAT Multigenerational Home?


When I started in the real estate business over 15 years ago, my very first clients was young couple with 2 school aged daughters looking for a home that could accommodate the girls’ grandma living with them.  They wanted an “in-law” suite which was very hard to find at the time because few single family homes were designed for multigenerational living. 

In the past few years, this is a much more common request. Many of today’s home buyers look for housing to accommodate two, three or more generations in one home. Not only do they want to bring aging parents/grandparents into the home, some families have grown children back from college or with children of their own, moving back to the family home to reduce expenses or have more childcare options. Siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles and other family members chose to buy a first home together to share expenses. (Think of the popular TV show, Mike & Molly). There are a plethora of reasons for multigenerational living but what should a home buyer look for when shopping?

Privacy—Everyone needs their own space. Having multiple family/living rooms as well as bedrooms is the ideal way allow some much needed privacy for individual family members.Separate kitchens, bathrooms & entrances make life less chaotic when family members have different schedules.


Accessibility—Older generations in the family might require one level living or options with minimal stairs in the home.  A main floor laundry, kitchen, bathroom & bedroom might be required.  Accessible doorways and hallways that accommodate wheelchairs and/or walkers are also something to consider. Minimal stairs into main floor is ideal.


Open Floor Plan—An open floor plan is desirable for times when all generations gather together. 


Affordable
—With housing prices on the rise, it is essential to consider the long term plans of each member of the family and budget for changes to the situation in the future.


Featured Multigenerational Listing in Stillwater Minnesota

 

1225 2nd St, Stillwater MN


Need to know more about buying or selling a Twin Cities home? Let me be your professional guide. 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 2015 www.terieckholm.com

Friday, May 22, 2015

How Do I Sell My North St Paul Home?





Are planning to sell your home in North St. Paul, Minnesota soon? Do you need more information on where to start? 

When you need to sell a home in the North St. Paul area, I will help you get the process started quickly. My innovative marketing and top notch negotiating skills will get you the best possible price too.  A market analysis by a professional REALTOR® is your first step in the home selling process.

The North St. Paul market is HOT! Home buyers are looking for homes right now because affordable housing inventory is extremely low in the north and east Minneapolis/St. Paul metro. Since April 1, 2015, 33 homes have sold in the city of North St Paul and 29 homes have sold in neighboring north Maplewood. The average days on the market was 43 for homes in the 55109 North St. Paul/Maplewood area. Prices ranged just under $100,000 for entry level starter homes to the mid-$200,000's for single family and townhomes.

For additional information about working with me, visit my website and read testimonials from past satisfied clients. Or better yet call me, Teri Eckholm/Boardman Realty 651-336-7073 and arrange a no cost/obligation market analysis on your home today.

FYI-- I do answer my own phone so when you call, you will be talking directly to me!


(Sales statistics from Northstar MLS/Minnesota real estate listings as of 5/22/15).


Need to know more about buying or selling a Twin Cities home? Let me be your professional guide. 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 2015 www.terieckholm.com

Friday, May 8, 2015

Hometowns and Neighbors—Rock On!


Living in the suburb of a big city in the 1970’s was quite an experience.  I moved a few times but from 4th grade on, my family lived in North St. Paul, a city north and east of Minneapolis/St Paul.  The kids on our block were our friends and at times enemies. We played games, rode bikes, sledded on the hill and grew up, knowing our neighbors…and sometimes their dreams.

In my North St Paul neighborhood, we played kickball and ice skated in Hause Park. We walked to Cowern School and rode the bus to Maplewood Junior High. We shopped at Keindels, Ben Franklin and Harry’s Drug Store and sometimes had a pizza at the Village or burger at Mac’s Dinette. We’d stop and look at the huge frogs in Neumann’s Bar window when mailing a letter at the post office. It was a great place to grow up.


I doubt that there was any neighborhood in the country in the 70’s that didn’t have someone that wanted to be in a garage band. But as Bryan Adams lyrics reminisced, most of those bands didn’t get far.  Our neighborhood was no different.  One such band (and dreamer) lived next door to me.  Brynn Arnes and I were neighbors and sometimes friends. We didn’t really hang out after grade school but we were always cordial. His band was kind of annoying at first…The first part Smoke on the Water can only be played so often before being annoying but at the time I was a very bad clarinet player so I think we are even. His band was invented and reinvented over the years. I heard at one point they played the State Fair talent show. And remember coming home from college and seeing his band's Ghostbuster inspired white hearse parked in front of his parents’ house. 

I have only run into Brynn a few times since high school graduation; once at the Friday Night Car show and at one high school reunion. Both times he was hard to miss since he was the only one rocking pink hair, which is not so uncommon anymore.  I heard that Brynn became a successful musician. (My niece told me she would go to his concerts in Minneapolis when he was with the band Obsession or something.)  I was impressed that someone I knew from my hometown had achieved his dream. 


Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with my old neighbor and many others from the neighborhood.  I saw that last summer Brynn’s newest classic rock band, The Oddfathers, played at the Twins Stadium. And just recently, he collaborated directly with a southern musician, Clay Howard on a solo album is quite a hit on Amazon.  There is a North St. Paul friends group  on FB where neighbors and residents, past and present discuss history and current happenings. One thread connected just about every boy I remember from my 6th grade class discussing their participation in these noisy, summer escapades. They all dreamed about making music for a living, but only a handful of people can say they achieved it. Hats off to you Brynn for achieving your childhood dreams!


I sell real estate. It wasn’t my dream when I was in 6th grade learning math and social studies from Mr. Grossman, but I do like what I do today. It is interesting to me how much growing up in a neighborhood like North St Paul goes into my advising my home buyers. I do try to get people to think about the home and neighborhood, not just what it will be worth in a few years.  Value is important but if you put down roots and become part of the community, your return will be more than just in dollars.  


Ready to make memories in North St. Paul (or another Mpls/St Paul suburb? Email, Call or Text me...I can help!   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 2015 www.terieckholm.com

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Why you really NEED a REALTOR to Buy a First Home!



Buying a first home is a very exciting time in a person's life. Whether you are coming from an apartment or a basement bedroom in your parent's house. the idea of venturing into owning real estate for the first time is quite an undertaking. With all the online shopping tool and real estate sites, a homebuyer can virtually tour many homes and even be pre-approved for a mortgage without setting foot outside your current residence. Many home buyers might question why a REALTOR® would even be required at all. Of course this course of action could work for you until want to see a home in person or write up an offer. But, did you realize that calling the listing agent of the property can put you at a HUGE negotiating disadvantage? It all comes down to understanding the concept of agency. 

In Minnesota, real estate brokers and agents are required to disclose the type of working relationship they have with parties in a real estate transaction.  Homebuyers have different types of relationships available to them.  It is important to understand these before you call a real estate agent to see a home or sign a  purchase agreement for a home.  These relationships are called  “agency” relationships and carry with them legal, fiduciary duties and responsibilities for the broker/agent as well as for buyers and sellers. 

The 3 most common agency agreements are the buyer's agent, seller's agent and dual agent. 

Buyer’s Agent 

A Buyer’s Agent acts solely on behalf of the buyer and owes duties to the buyer including the utmost good faith, loyalty, and fidelity.  The agent will negotiate on behalf of, and act as an advocate for, the buyer.  The buyer is legally responsible for the actions of the agent when that agent is acting within the scope of the agency.  The agent must disclose to sellers all adverse material facts concerning the buyer’s financial ability to perform the terms of the transaction and whether the buyer intends to occupy the property.  A separate written buyers’ agreement or contract is required which sets forth the duties and obligations of the parties.

Seller’s Agent

A Seller’s Agent acts solely on behalf of the seller and owes duties to the seller which includes the utmost good faith, loyalty, and fidelity.  The agent will negotiate on behalf of, and act as an advocate for; the seller.  The seller is legally responsible for the actions of the agent when that agent is acting within the scope of the agency.  The agent must disclose to buyers all adverse material facts about the property that are known by the broker.  A separate written listing agreement or contract is required which sets forth the duties and obligations of the parties.

In both buyer and seller agency, the following fiduciary duties are owed to the client: 

FIDUCIARY DUTIES
Loyalty
Obedience
Disclosure
Confidentiality
Reasonable Care
Accounting


DUAL Agent 

A dual agency is created when both the buyer and seller have signed representation agreements with the same broker. The parties may have two different salespersons or they may be the same person. All duties and obligations to the buyers and sellers remain the same in a dual agency.

Because it is impossible to disclose all information AND be confidential at the same time, dual agency must be disclosed and agreed to in writing.  All material facts regarding the property must be disclosed regardless of agency. 

Why is Agency Important to a Homebuyer? 

When you look for a home, every house listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) has an agreement between the seller and listing broker all ready in place. If a buyer does not sign a contract and attends an open house or calls the listing agent, the nice REALTOR(R) asking all the questions about your financial ability WILL share everything you say with their seller. They are contractually obligated to do so. 

But when a buyer signs a contract with their own REALTOR® before viewing any homes, their private information stays private. 

AND the best part for MY buyers is that signing a contract does not cost ANYTHING! All fees are paid at the closing and the commission is paid for from the seller so there is NO OUT of POCKET cost to have a REALTOR® in your corner.  

Still have Homebuying Questions? Email, Call or Text me...I can help!   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 2015 www.terieckholm.com