Monday, April 14, 2014

Does a 666 Address affect the Value of a Home?



As a REALTOR® who works in the north and east Minneapolis/St Paul metro, one of my favorite things to do is provide people with a comparative market analysis of their home. I work hard to get the price right whether it is for a single family home, an urban condo, a hobby farm or property with a lakeshore view. Getting the price right is imperative to selling quickly in any real estate market.  But every once in a while a house will come along that is affected has an unusual stigma. The most common is what I call the "Busy Road Factor".  It is just what it sounds like.  The home is by all accounts a great property but it is located on a busy road. This situation dramatically affects the number of interested buyers because most people avoid living on busy roads.

I drive thought Anoka, Ramsey  & Washington Counties on a regular bases. As a real estate agent, I tend to take many of the same major roads day after day. Of course I notice the for sale signs that pop up along these roads. Often a sign goes up and then 6 months or a year later the sign is switched out on the same house when they try a new real estate agent…sold signs go up slowly along busy roads. A home seller is literally dead in the water before the house is listed if they do not account for the negative impact the road will have on their sale price.  But what other things affect price that are not quite as obvious. How about an address?


Recently, homeowners in Spring Lake Park, Minnesota paid to have their house number changed from 666 to the less eyebrow raising number 668.  This got me thinking about whether or not homes sold slower with these unusual digits. I decided to run a search for sold homes with this infamous address. I wasn’t too surprised that this was not a very common address. Of the handful of 666 addressed homes that were sold in the past few years, the properties didn’t linger on the market for more than a few days or weeks. Almost all were foreclosures…that is a sign or coincidence, depending on your level of superstition.


"Location, Location Location" is the real estate mantra. If your home is located on a busy road, you cannot change it the same way you can petition to change your address. The best you can do is change the selling price. In order to sell, you need to factor in for the busy road. This will mean pricing your home significantly lower than all other homes on the market with similar features to attract buyers.
 

This phenomenon does not only affect properties on busy roads! There are other undesirable location situations that are very tough sells when the market is good but become next to impossible when there are many homes for the buyers to select from.  These unwanted locations include properties which are next to or near the following:
  •     Cemeteries
  •     Industrial Parks
  •     Huge Power Lines/Transformers
  •     Gas Pipelines
  •     Landfills
  •     Airports
  •     Prisons
  •     Flood plains
  •     Train Tracks
  •     Shopping centers
  •     Gas Stations
  •     Open Land either for sale or not that has undetermined development potential
  •     Gun ranges
  •     Auto Salvage Yards and other disposal businesses

Tips for Dealing with the Busy Road Factor to get your home SOLD

  1.     Be Realistic. Don't ignore the elephant in the room. Set your price reflecting the undesirable location
  2.     Best Foot Forward Make sure everything else regarding your home is a positive. Make any and all repairs, stage the home and market its unique positive features.
  3.     Work with a Professional REALTOR® An experienced professional real estate agent can assist you in pricing your home correctly factoring in all adverse conditions.
  4.     Be Ready to Negotiate. When buyers submit a purchase agreement for review, don't pass on a low offer. Counter and try to reach terms that are acceptable for both parties.
  5.     Be Patient. In most cases, a property affected by the Busy Road Factor, will required twice the market time compared to the average home.
Let me Help Price YOUR Home Right! If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of RE/MAX Specialists, a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet or Homebuyers Success Packet. 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 2014 www.terieckholm.com

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Completing a Minnesota's Home Seller Disclosure--What is a Unique Well Number?



Every time I do a listing on acreage I fear for my sellers getting writer's cramp with the amount of pages they need to complete. In addition to the Minnesota's seller’s disclosure form for residential real estate which runs about 9 pages, there is a 3 page well disclosure and another 3 pages to disclose anything and everything known about the private sewer or  septic system plus the handy-dandy location map to note where the well/septic are located. Add in the federally required lead based paint disclosure if the home was constructed prior to 1978 just for fun.  Plus there's a form that must be completed if the property was ever used for the production of methamphetamine, but thankfully, most home sellers do not have to complete that one. This makes the grand total of required disclosure paperwork for most acreage homes in Minnesota to be 16-18 pages. That’s quite a bit of writing but it is essential when selling your home...and it needs to be completed correctly.

I counsel my clients selling homes on acreage to complete their disclosures in detail because interested buyers need to know the correct information. When it comes to the well disclosure, it is very easy to complete properly if the home was constructed in the last few decades. This information is online and has been for years. Sadly, many sellers don't know how to look up their well, so often the forms are incomplete. 

How do you find your Minnesota  Well?  If the well on you property was constructed after 1975, use the Minnesota Department of Health’s Unique Well Number LOOK UP TOOL Every well constructed since the late 1970's has been tagged with a metal tag and its unique number. The numbers are logged and tracked by the MDH. The tag gives the number but not the depth of the well and it can be difficult to read. I recommend to my sellers to use the well number look up tool, print the report and attach it to the disclosure.
Once located, I recommend that sellers print out a copy of the report and attach to the disclosure paperwork because it shows all the necessary well construction details (i.e. who constructed, when, depth, type, etc.) 

HELPFUL TIPS FOR USING THE LOOK-UP TOOL I have noted a few important tips for using this website because it can be a bit frustrating if you are not familiar with it. Here are a few quick tips to simply your look-up experience:
  1. Use Internet Explorer as your browser. The site doesn’t always work well with newer browsers like Firefox and Chrome. There isn’t a mobile app for this either.
  2. Disable pop-up blockers. The map and information will show in a pop-up window and it looks like the site isn’t working if you have pop-up windows blocked.
  3. The information posted will not always show the current owner but the name of the owner or builder that filed the original paperwork.
  4. Sometimes the well will not always be listed by street address but still can be found by looking at the plat map of the street.
Take the time to fill out the form correctly as this is important information for the new buyer. Buyers appreciate having all the correct details on the disclosures. It takes a bit of research, but in the end, it will give a buyer the information they need to make an informed decision. Since many other sellers leave this information blank, homeowners who go the extra mile will make their property stand out from the rest!

If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of RE/MAX Specialists, a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet or Homebuyers Success Packet. 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 2014 www.terieckholm.com

Monday, April 7, 2014

Snapshot of Home Sales Statistics in Ham Lake, MN Year End 2013



In 2013, homes sales made quite a comeback in Ham Lake, Minnesota; an area well known for its acreage properties. In this north and eastern Anoka County city, the number of closed home sales was up just slightly but with only a slight rise in new listings and continued demand, the absorption rate dropped considerably as well. The average days on the market dropped nearly 30% this year, from four months on average to under three, which keeps the playing field level between buyers and sellers. The average price of a home sold rose as well in 2013 by just over 12%. It went from just under $240K to nearly $270K. This also had a major affect on the price per square footage as it rose from $95/sq ft to $106/sq ft which is up considerably from just a few years ago. Sellers seem to be getting much closer to asking price too; receiving an average of almost 97% of original list price. Ham Lake is known for have some of the lowest property taxes in Anoka County which also help make this an affordable area to consider even as prices rise a bit. 

With inventory stable and continued demand, homeowners will find 2014 a good year to list their Ham Lake properties. Existing home inventory levels are relatively stable in this Anoka County community. It has indications that it could turn toward a seller’s market, where sellers have the negotiating advantage. With continued low interest rates, home buyers are still out their looking for the perfect place to call home despite the extended winter storms. Home owners considering selling in 2014 hoping to get the most leverage from the improved market should consider listing their homes before the spring market hits in earnest and there is additional competition.







READY to Make a Move? If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of RE/MAX Specialists, a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet or Homebuyers Success Packet. 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 2014 www.terieckholm.com/


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Speechless Sunday (Almost) Thinking Spring!


The unexpected temperatures nearing 60 degrees this afternoon in my Anoka County backyard are making me think that our crab apple blossoms may actually bloom soon. Spring is here on the calendar and warmer temperature have the real estate market really heating up. Buyers are out, but the housing supply is limited right now throughout the Minneapolis/St Paul metro. This is giving home sellers the upper-hand right now but only until the spring housing supply catches up. If you were waiting until spring to list your home, now is the time!

READY to Make a Move? If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of RE/MAX Specialists, a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet or Homebuyers Success Packet. 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 2014 www.terieckholm.com/

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Snapshot of Home Sales Statistics in Columbus, MN Year End 2013



The rebounding market that positively affected much of the Twin Cities area in 2013 seems to have passed over Columbus, Minnesota, proving once again that all real estate is local. Closed sales were down along with the average sales price and listings were; not signs of a recovering market. There were 29 homes sold and 51 new listings in this semi-rural, Anoka County community, just west of Forest Lake. Columbus is well known for its acreage properties in addition to the Running Aces harness racing track. However, after two years of solid recovery, it might just indicate a leveling off of the market. The average price of a home dropped just a bit, under 2%, in 2013 compared to 2012. This did impact the average price per square footage which also went down slightly from $108 to $107/sq foot. Columbus sellers are still getting close to 94% of their original asking prices, which is good. But the average days on the market statistic ticked up again to just over four months taking 138 days to sell on average in 2013. It appears that buyers might find they have an edge in negotiation when considering acreage homes in Columbus as we enter the spring 2014 market.

SEARCH for Columbus MN  Homes

What is my Columbus MN Home Worth?

READY to Make a Move? If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of RE/MAX Specialists, a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet or Homebuyers Success Packet. 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 2014 www.terieckholm.com/

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Vaccinate Your Dog or Cat! See the Wolves!

Vaccination Clinic at Carlos Avery Wildlife Science Center

The wolf sanctuary in Columbus Minnesota is near and dear to my heart. It is just a few miles as the crow, or better yet, as the hawk flies from my home. On a cool crisp evening when the world is quiet in my Ham Lake front yard, I can easily hear the wolves howling from across the fields. The Wildlife Science Center (The WSC)is not only home to several types of wolves, a number of other animals call the refuge home including bobcats, fox, owls and hawks. A few of the wolves are somewhat celebrities as they were featured in the Animal Planet Series Growing Up Wolf.

The first weekend in April, the WSC has a special event planned for pet owners, and you don’t have to be from the Ham Lake, Forest Lake, Columbus area either. The Carlos Avery wolf sanctuary or WSC is holding a Pet Vaccination Clinic. Bring in your leashed dog or crated cat for its annual shots and see the wolves and other animals at the refuge.

The event is being held Saturday April 5 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Click HERE for additional details on the 2014 Wildlife Science Center Dog and Cat Vaccination Clinic

Did you miss the Pet Vaccination Clinic? Click links below to veterinarians in the Forest Lake/Ham Lake area.


More articles pets and real estate:


READY to Make a Move? If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of RE/MAX Specialists, a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet or Homebuyers Success Packet. 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 2014 www.terieckholm.com/

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Snapshot of Home Sales Statistics in Coon Rapids, MN Year End 2013



Coon Rapids, a northern suburb to Minneapolis, experienced a third year in a row with a significant decrease in new listings. But unlike the previous two years, the amount of homes closed also was down, but not for lack of interested buyers. This caused average sales price of a home in this vibrant Anoka County community to rise a healthy 17.7% pushing the price per square footage from an extremely low $69/sq ft in 2011 and a modest $75/sq ft in 2012 to a respectable $88/sq ft in 2013. This is still very affordable compared to other communities in Anoka County. Coon Rapids remains one of the most affordable options in the north metro. But for how long? Inventory dropped to an approximately two month absorption rate in 2013. Compare this to 7 months of inventory at the end of the 2010. These low inventory levels indicate that this community will see a continued to rebound in prices as we head into the 2014 spring market. The ratio of original price to received price is also up again to where Coon Rapids sellers are receiving over 97.4% of their original listing price. It is indeed a good time to be selling a home in Coon Rapids. Though this is an affordable area, home buyers looking in this area need to be prepared to pay close to the asking price as it appears to be more of a seller’s market.



READY to Make a Move? If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of RE/MAX Specialists, a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet or Homebuyers Success Packet. 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 2014 www.terieckholm.com/

Snapshot of Home Sales Statistics in Circle Pines MN Year End 2013





The number of new listings and closed sales both dropped significantly in Circle Pines Minnesota in 2013. This is a community with a demand from buyers but very low and inventory levels. This is a small Anoka County community, just north of Shoreview, and in the Centennial school district. The very low inventory had homes closing quickly and for higher prices than in 2012, up for the third consecutive year. This time up prices edged up another 5% to just over $155K in 2013. Likewise, the average time on the market was affected significantly; dropping by 41%. Home are selling in just over 2 months in Circle Pines which is much faster than in surrounding communities. The price per square foot statistic is a bit higher but remains affordable at $91, but still than in other areas. The ratio of percent received versus list price also rose again in 2013 from 95% to 97% showing that sellers in Circle Pines are getting much closer to asking price for their homes.

As we head into the spring market, housing inventory remains low but buyer demand is high. Sellers could find 2014 a good year to list their Circle Pines homes. This area appears to have become a bit of a seller’s market, where sellers have the negotiating advantage. With continued low interest rates, home buyers are still out their looking for the perfect place to call home despite our tough winter. Home owners considering selling in 2014 and hoping to get the most leverage from the improved market should consider listing their homes before we get too deep into the spring market and there is additional competition.





READY to Make a Move? If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of RE/MAX Specialists, a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet or Homebuyers Success Packet. 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 2014 www.terieckholm.com/