Friday, March 20, 2015

It's Spring! Minnesota Wildfire Season has Sprung too!

 
Living on acreage whether open plain, prairie or wooded can be peaceful most of the year. But springtime can bring some unwanted action  Our limited snowfall and lack of spring rains so far has put all of Minnesota in a state of drought. This is not a good situation for our first day of spring in the north and east Twin Cities metro.

Wildfire Near Carlos Avery Wolf Sanctuary
Those gusty winds that are perfect for flying kites are not so great when a spark from a train (or carelessly tossed cigarette) hits the dry grass and flames spread like wildfire. Acres can burn before these fires can be brought under control. There are no fire hydrants on every corner in most of the third ring suburbs. Water has to be trucked or flown in to fight the fires. The Department of Natural Resources reminds all Minnesotans to be mindful of fire dangers in the spring.

Controlled Burn in Carlos Avery
Over the years living in Anoka County, I have had the opportunity to witness an out of control wildfire near Carlos Avery as well as a controlled burn in the same area. It can be hard to tell the difference. Both create a lot of smoke but while the first is very frightening and chaotic, a controlled burn looks more ominous than it really is. 

Scheduling burning helps control dangers wildfires thus protecting homes in the long run. It eliminates the dried vegetation on days with low winds in a very controlled way.

Training has started for firefighting recruits and students in northern Minnesota. Training for a controlled burn is quite interesting. They have to keep the firefighters save while keeping the flames contained. Students and recruits were trained near Duluth last week. Read more about their adventures  


Want to learn more about Buying or Selling acreage in the north or east metro? 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 RE/MAX Results, 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

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wordless Wednesday (Almost)--Turrets in St Paul!


Vintage Victorian home overlooking the Mississippi River with a view of the downtown St Paul skyline from the amazing two-story turret! What's not to love? This treasure is located across from Mounds Park.

Want to learn more about Buying or Selling a home in the north or east metro? 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 RE/MAX Results, 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

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wordless Wednesday (Almost)--Vintage School Transformed


Last spring I drove past an old elementary school I attended in 2nd and 3rd grade. It is located in the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood of St. Paul's east side.  We lived kitty-corner from Mounds Park Elementary in a duplex that no longer exists due to freeway expansion. Yet this historic school house stands. It is one of the oldest educational building in the city and has been transformed years ago into affordable rental housing. The beauty of the old red brick school house brings back memories of our principal, Mrs. Winter, who monitored the lunchroom to make sure we at our beets or Lima beans before we had seconds on pizza.

Want to learn more about Buying or Selling a home in the north or east metro? 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 RE/MAX Results, 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

Monday, March 9, 2015

Dreaming of Owning a Minnesota Lakehome?



The temperatures in the Minneapolis/St Paul metro won't be breaking any records this week but Minnesotan's will undoubtedly be breaking out the shorts (and dare I say, flip flops) as the thermometer edges close to 70. It won't  be long before the huge sheets of ice blanketing the surface of our 10,000+ lakes will drop. Ice out is when the ice finally drops to the bottom of the lake and in Minnesota that is when the people take start taking steps toward making their lake home dreams a reality.
 

If you have been contemplating life on one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes, consider the north metro. There are options that will fit many budgets from very small starter homes or cabins to high end executive estates.  There are many options for the would-be lake shore owner  on a full recreational, multi-use lakes like Coon Lake in Anoka County or Forest Lake in Washington County.  There are other smaller lakes perfect for kayaking or swimming that restrict motors that are options as well. Surprisingly lake shore properties in the north and east metro can be offered at prices comparable to homes without a shoreline. 

How can homes on Minnesota lakes in the north metro be so affordable? It appears that prices are not rising on lake properties as quickly as in other categories especially just north of the Minneapolis/St Paul metro. From what I have seen, prices have edged up a bit more slowly than on other types of homes. But prices on all homes are starting to recover significantly and lake shore will too. With continued low interest rates, 2015 might be your best opportunity to realize your lake home dream.


Want to learn more about Buying or Selling a Minnesota Lake 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 RE/MAX Results, 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

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Speechless Sunday (Almost)--Rustic or Rusty?




There's an often used saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure". With vintage antique advertising this is especially true. The owner has this rusty old metal sign advertising 7up proudly displayed on the side of his St. Paul home. Others might consider it too rustic for display anywhere! Another saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". These are things to keep in mind when staging your home for sale. Your treasures may not make the best displays.

READY TO MAKE A MOVE? 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 RE/MAX Results, 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, March 5, 2015

Spring Wildlife in Anoka County Comes in all Shapes and Sizes!


oppossum
Though this morning started out below zero, next week's forecast says SPRING! 

Yup, the weather men and women are predicting temps in the forty's and maybe even fifties! Green grass and budding flowers will not be far behind.


Every spring seems to bring some new critter to our Ham Lake backyard.  We live on small acreage near Coon Lake so animals are always wandering around our neighborhood. One year it was a newborn fawn and another year there was an opossum hanging on a tree.  We often have rafter of wild turkeys wandering through the backyard (yes, rafter IS the technically name for group of turkeys). And there was that momma bear with her cubs that got into our in the bird feeder a few years back. 

Whatever our spring adventure will hold, bring it on! I for one will be glad to say goodbye to the snow and cold for another year.

If you are looking for a home on acreage in Anoka, Chisago or Washington County (or even if you prefer a smaller backyard), I'd love to help! Click here to request a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide.


READY TO MAKE A MOVE? 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 RE/MAX Results, 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

Snapshot of Home Sales Statistics in Blaine MN Year End 2014





The real estate market continues to show a strong improvement in Blaine, Minnesota. There is a significant increase in new listings and average price of a home sold in 2014 over 2013. Almost all of Blaine’s lender mediated foreclosure/short sale homes have worked their way through the system and once again, higher valued new construction is having a positive effect on the average sales price. The average price per square foot has increased another 8% from $107/sq ft to $116/sq ft. This is significantly higher as it was under $90 just a few years back. Closed sales have stayed relatively stable no doubt the fact that there is new construction transactions helps as many neighboring communities struggle to keep up the base due to lack of inventory. . Homes also sell quickly in Blaine, staying on the market an average of just over 2 months. This is well under the 4 month sales time in 2011. Home sellers received nearly asking price in 2014 with accepted offers at 97% of list. This north metro community has sold through most of its current home inventory so 2015 might be a good time for a traditional seller with a starter home to make their move as sellers seem to have the upper hand again.






READY TO MAKE A MOVE? 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 RE/MAX Results, 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

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Wimpy Winter Weather Makes it a GREAT Time to Trim Oaks!


We are currently being blessed (or cursed if you are a snow-lover) with a wimpy winter by Minnesota standards. The early season abundance of snow...way back in November has now dwindled to a pretty low amount of snow cover. This means most roofs are not sporting 3 foot icicles and home damaging ice dams. People aren’t breaking their backs shoveling or blowing their budget on snow plowing and salt for their driveways. Yes, this wimpy winter has been a blessing in many regards.

  Another perk of the lack of snow cover means that it will be easier to trim your oak trees this winter. Oak wilt is devastating to trees in Anoka, Washington and Chisago counties as massive oaks are destroyed when this disease spreads. Smart landscaping and maintenance requires you trim oaks in the winter months—before April in Minnesota. Now is the perfect time to avoid exposure to this tree-killing disease and without the normal ice and snow of a Minnesota winter it will be much easier to maneuver ladders and equipment to reach trees on acreage properties.

Oak Wilt Devastates Acreage Several years ago I shared photos of a property in a Ham Lake community where the owners had endured oak wilt on their acreage property for several years. Sadly they did not tackle the issue head-on and in one summer alone, lost approximately a dozen trees. (Read Oak Wilt—A Minnesota Tragedy) While the beautiful grove of mature oak trees is now a memory, the current property owners took the initiative to save the remaining oaks. With treatment and proper care,the remaining oaks have been disease free.

Oak wilt is not just a problem in Ham Lake and Anoka County. It is prevalent in communities from Columbus to Lino Lakes and Forest Lake to Scandia. Whether you live in Anoka, Chisago or Washington County, if you have oaks on your property, you need to take precautions to protect them from this deadly tree-killing disease.

What is Oak Wilt?

Oak wilt is a disease caused by a fungus which attacks the central system of the tree from the roots to leaves.  When the tree attempts to block the fungus, it also blocks all water and nutrients to the branches and leaves. The leaves then wilt, brown and eventually, the tree dies.

Oak wilt spreads through the root systems of near by infected trees and by fungus beetles that carry the oak wilt spores from tree to tree. For additional information on oak wilt from the University of MN Extention Service CLICK HERE.

How to Protect Your Trees

Keep oaks trimmed and healthy. Trim large mature oaks now as January/February are excellent months to prune oak trees.  If you have your large oaks trimmed now it is a preventative to spring storm damage when heavy, dead branches can fall during tornadoes or straight line winds.

The fungus beetles infect trees that have been recently injured or trimmed. These beetles are very active in the spring and summer months but not active at all during the winter. Oaks should be protected from damage and not trimmed from April through July.

Tree trimming of mature oaks is best left to professionals especially near the power lines. The trimmer should use a bucket truck or a line/pulley system, NOT spiked climbing boots which can damage the tree.

Selling a Home with Oak Wilt?

Be honest and disclose!  A seller think it is acceptable to cut down a diseased tree and not mention this when selling their home. This is not only unethical it could cause expensive legal problems after the sale. Even if a seller doesn’t say anything about oak wilt infected trees that were removed prior to listing the home, most neighbors will inform a new homeowner at some point. 
 
Cutting down a diseased tree does not prevent the spread of oak wilt. It is likely other trees are infected. If more trees die and the buyer was not properly informed, the seller could be in a legal battle. Bottom line: There is a question regarding diseased trees on the Minnesota Sellers’ Disclosure Form. Fill it out honestly. It is never a good idea to not tell the whole truth on a property disclosure form.  
 
 
READY TO MAKE A MOVE? 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 RE/MAX Results, 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