Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hello Hollywood? I ‘m Ready for the Screen Test when you cast a Real Realtor ®!

Writers for the silver screen L-O-V-E real estate agents…How could they not? Real estate agents have flexible schedules, make tons of money, and are down right funny! We drive fancy cars and have radar to find new business across a crowded room. Every audience member knows a Realtor® and there are few who will step up to defend the industry.

Well Hollywood, today is the day that I am standing up to offer my services for your next big production when you need a real Realtor ® for a role.

Take One—Cut! Cut! Sorry, I can’t drive up in a Lexus. No. Not every agent is making the dollars to afford to drive a status car, wear an Italian suit and carry a Blackberry. I know. I know the real-estate-agent-mom in Disturbia had all of those cool toys but the average real Realtor ® cannot afford them all.

Take Two—Cut! Cut! No I can’t leave home at the drop of a hat to be a super hero. I have a listing appointment at 10 a.m. in Ham Lake, MN and the seller wants the information in the MLS today. And from 4-7 p.m., I will be showing homes all over Anoka County to my first time buyers who cannot be rescheduled. I realize that the parents in Sky High were able to drop all of their business on an assistant and save the world but a real Realtor ® wouldn’t have a business if the assistant did it all.

Take Three
—Cut! Cut! Sorry, guys! A Realtor® does do many things to help a client but I am not cleaning anyone’s home prior to an open house in a slip, suit or coverall. I realize the female lead in American Beauty came to her listing armed with flags, signs and cleaning supplies to get ready for the open house. But, a real Realtor ®’s job is to professionally sell the house, not clean it. Call a Merrymaid for that job please.

Take Four—Cut! Cut! Again I have to apologize but although I would be happy to stop at a restaurant or bar to celebrate a closing with a new buyer, most buyers would rather head to their new home and start unpacking. I know Eddie Murphy was able to pick up a great new client while toasting his success in The Haunted Mansion. But a real Realtor ® wouldn’t be so callous as to blow off a celebration with one client to start a conversation with the next.

Take Five—Cut! Cut! Wait a second! No agent is going to sell a home and be the code inspector and midwife to boot! I realize it was a funny scenario in Are We Done Yet? But no one really believed that the guy from Scrubs was a real Realtor ®. As a Realtor®, you have fiduciary duties to your client. Reasonable care and disclosure cannot be overlooked for the sake of comedy.

OK! Okay, let’s save sometime here…No, I don’t pick through garbage dumps to find object d’art to stage a home like Peggy Hill, wife and mother on King of the Hill. Find a professional stager to do the job right!

Remember that Desperate Housewife that used homes on the market for romantic rendezvous’? That does NOT happen!
And though there are many agents, like Eve Adams in Evan Almighty, who will want a family to pose with the “SOLD” sign, they won’t push the children out of the way for the visibility of their name, face or logo…Come heck or high water!

Here is what a Real Professional Realtor ® will provide to a client:

  • Realtors pledge to protect and promote the interests of their client.


  • Realtors do not mislead on property value.


  • Realtors preserve the confidential information of their clients.


  • Realtors must disclose material defects and facts on properties.


  • Realtors must not discriminate.


  • Realtors must disclose dual agency.


  • Realtors are required to be accountable for funds.


  • Realtors must disclose accepted offers.


  • Realtors are required to provide competent service.


  • Realtors are not lawyers and cannot offer legal advice.
I list houses for sale. I help people find homes. I write contracts. I negotiate. I market and sell homes. I show houses. Period.
What?? You say that is BORING! Being a Professional Realtor® is boring?
So why do you continue to characterize our profession in these crazy roles?
Let’s make a movie or television show portraying what Realtors® really do and who we really are!
Hello, Hollywood? Hello? Hmmm…Seems they hung up.
Oh, I get it: Don’t call us…we’ll call you!
***************
If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.
Copyright 2007 Teri Eckholm 

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Anoka County Landscape is Forever Changing...Along with Everything Else!

I had the opportunity to travel through Andover and Anoka today, heading to Ramsey, Minnesota to pick up a real estate sign for a just-listed townhome. The summer afternoon drive through Anoka County was beautiful and I was struck by how much has changed in my life as well as through out the area since moving to our home in Ham Lake ten years ago.

At the corner of Bunker Lake and Hanson, I noted how much development had progressed. It was amazing that the once car graveyard/auto parts place that was an eyesore on the corner had been transformed into a storage area. As I headed west down the road, I noted that the huge open field had been replaced by a new Andover Target that seemed to pop up from nowhere next to the Festival Store. There are many short cuts through Ham Lake and Andover. I usually stick to Crosstown rather than going up Bunker Lake Boulevard so we hadn’t noticed these stores that have been around for awhile.

About this time, I remembered my cell phone that was charging on my counter at home.

Funny. When we moved up north from the city, we owned one cell phone and had it for emergencies. If it was forgotten at home, no one thought about it twice. Now, I had to tell myself to relax and enjoy our trip without answering the ringing phone. I do have voicemail after all!

So I admired the countryside as I drove to pick up the new sign. After installing the sign at my
new listing in Blaine, (It’s a townhome; no big post signs allowed here!), we headed back to our acreage in Ham Lake.

It is amazing how quickly our communities and lives change. Blink and you will miss it!




If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2007 Teri Eckholm

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

How to Choo-Choose a Realtor and Avoid a Train Wreck!

As a successful Realtor working throughout Anoka County, Minnesota, I sit through many closings while clients sign documents selling their family homestead, buying their first home, and investing in that big deal. Though dual agency is an option in Minnesota, most buyers and sellers have individual representation. Therefore at the closing table the group assembled is eclectic. The buyers, their agent and closer are joined with the sellers, their agent and closer. Every once in a while, there is a loan officer or lawyer thrown in for fun!

Usually this is an exciting time! The buyers are ecstatic to be moving into their new home. The sellers are often ready to move on to their next adventure whether down the block or out-of-state. And the closers are happy once again to have completed and closed the file.

On occasion, the closing can be a very tense place. As agents we can anticipate some of the tension. If the buyers and sellers negotiation was particularly stressful, sellers can presign their documents and collect their check at a different time. Or there can be two rooms for the closing down the hall from each other.

Stress cannot be avoided if the other party in the transaction is upset with their agent. In these situations, while extremely rare, the closing can be a train wreck as it is the clients’ last opportunity to have their say prior to signing the documents. Usually the agent will arrive late to the closing, just in time to pick up his or her check. During this time, the client will make barely audible comments that hint of the stress of the situation. Though most closings go through, there is a moment or two where everyone in the room holds their breath in anticipation of what could happen.

I often wonder what research this person do to find their agent. Did they do any research at all? Did they select a top selling agent? Did they look at credentials? I think most clients DO all of these things but still end up in a personality clash with their agent.

Most of the lists of how to select an agent that I have seen omit the most important steps for a client…How to assess their own personality prior to agent interviewing and selection. Ask yourself what do you expect from an agent? As a client, you must examine what you want and need from an agent prior to signing that representation agreement to avoid the train wreck!
Here are Six Questions to Ask Yourself:
Who do you trust for advice?

Is it a parent or grandparent? Maybe a close friend or uncle? Or is it your sibling or boss? Think about the qualities that person possesses and why you look at them as an advisor. If your trusted advisor is your grandfather, you might prefer working with someone older. If you tend to bring your problems to your best friend, you might want a Realtor with similar characteristics to your friend.
How demanding are you?
If you are an impatient person who needs answers as soon as you think of a question, you will need a Realtor that is available to you. If you are more laid back, you might prefer a Realtor with a similar style.
Do you prefer to use email or the phone as your main source of information?
Some Realtors are very computer savvy and will answer an email within the hour. Others answer emails once a week or less. There are Realtors who return calls only one time a day or week. There are others that always answer their own phone and others that have an assistant to field calls and answer basic questions.

Are you into gadgets?

If you are listening to your Zune while you surf the net on your wireless laptop, you might prefer working with an agent who presents your market analysis in a Powerpoint presentation or emails it to you in a pdf file. If you prefer a paper document to refer back to an make notes on, a Realtor with more a more traditional style might be what you need.

Do you have expensive tastes and exclusive brands? Or are you more conservative?

If you like the finer things in life, you might prefer a Realtor who drives a BMW and signs your contract with a Mont Blanc pen. If you are more conservative, a Realtor in a Ford F250 that uses personalized ballpoints might be more your style.

So what is next? Read my posts:


Real Estate Agent Selection Primer—How to Choose the BEST Realtor for YOU! (Part One of Two)

Real Estate Agent Selection Primer—How to Choose the BEST Realtor for YOU! (Part Two of Two) .

If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a
FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.


Copyright 2007 terieckholm.com

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Independence Day Celebrations! Time to Oooh and Aaah in the Northern Twin Cities Suburbs!



Blaine, Minnesota concludes its 37th annual Blaine's Blazin'4th week long celebration on July 4th. Start the day with the United States flag raising event at Blaine City Hall. Enjoy the fireworks at dusk at the National Sports Center.


East Bethel, Ham Lake, Linwood, Minnesota residents can enjoy the Coon Lake Boat Parade at 2p.m. July 4th on the Lake! Decorated boats line up and form a festive parade around the shores of Coon Lake.


Forest Lake, Minnesota hosts an Independence Day celebration that runs from June 30th to July 4th. Featured events are the VFW parade at 10 AM on and Fireworks at Dusk on July 4th.

Ham Lake, Minnesota will celebrate its fifth annual Veterans Dance and Fireworks celebration on July 4th in Lions Park. The event hosted by the the Don Hansen VFW Post, will feature a community dinner, dance, and fireworks celebration. Menu items include grilled pork chops, hamburgers and hot dogs. The party starts at 2p.m. with dancing from 6-10 and fireworks at 10:30.

White Bear Lake, Minnesota will host the 40th Annual Manitou Days celebration from June 21-July 4th. The event features a grand parade, a beach dance, a sand-castle contest, model boat races, boat shows and fishing contests, music, a pet parade, a citywide garage sale and a "family fun night." It culminates in July 4th fireworks at the beach.

If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2007 terieckholm.com

Friday, June 22, 2007

Mosquitoes Moving in YOUR MN Neighborhood? Here’s the Buzzzzz on a NEW Way to Pinpoint Treatment!


Have you noticed the green trucks and people in hip boots slogging in ponds and roadside ditches? Wonder what they are scooping out of the muck? It is the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District (MMCD) out in full force working hard to protect us from Minnesota’s "other state bird", the mosquito!
The MMCD works throughout the seven county metropolitan area (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties), controlling the insect population all summer long. With hundreds of beautiful lakes and wetlands in the Twin Cities metro area, this is a huge undertaking.

To help property owners understand what work is being done to control mosquitoes near their home, the MMCD has created a cool interactive map.
The interactive map is simple to use! Enter your street address and an aerial view of your property will be displayed. When you click an area outlined in yellow, an information box is available that includes the level of mosquitoes that were present at the last testing and what treatment will be performed to combat the pests.

I quickly pulled up a map for an area of residential acreage in Ham Lake that I frequent as a real estate agent. It was amazing how many breeding grounds and treatment areas in just one neighborhood of Anoka County!

Did you know MMCD does more than just protect against mosquitoes?

They provide several services including:


  • Testing for and controlling harmful mosquitoes

  • Monitor deer tick populations

  • Testing and controlling nuisance mosquitoes, biting gnats, and mosquitoes that transmit dog heartworm

  • Public education to reduce risk of mosquito and tick-borne diseases
If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.
Copyright 2007 terieckholm.com

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Is the "Busy Road Factor" Affecting the Sale of Your Listing?

As a Realtor, I am contacted by people on a daily basis to do market analyses on their homes. I work hard to get the price right as it is imperative in a Buyer's market to NOT be overpriced. I check the comparative homes sold in the past 3-4 months and add and subtract for differences in each particular home. But every once in a while there are homes that are affected by what I call the "busy road factor". These are aberrations that are unique to the property but will dramatically reduce the number of buyers interested in a property.


My daily travels as a real estate agent in and around Anoka County, take me down the same major county roads day after day. Many residential areas adjacent to these well-traveled roads. County roads are wonderful short cuts; posted 55mph and they crisscross the communities of Ham Lake, Lino Lakes, Forest Lake and Columbus.

Of course I notice several for sale signs on these roads as they have become a part of the landscape that doesn't change as quickly as it had in the past. First a new sign goes up. And then the sign changes on the same house when they try a new agent...again and again. I know this is not just the buyer's market, though that does affect the situation. No, these homes on well traveled roads are affected drastically by "the busy road factor". It is a lethal combination with the buyers' market for a sale of residential home. You are literally dead in the water before the house is listed if the pricing does not reflect the road.

Although I have nicknamed the phenomena, the "Busy Road Factor", I have come up with the acronym BaRF for short. It should be obvious why I came up with the name:


It is how most sellers feel when the BaRF is factored into their market analysis.

Location, Location Location! It is the real estate mantra and if your location is on a busy road, you cannot change it. But you can change the price. In order to sell, it is necessary to price your home drastically lower than all other homes on the market with similar features (but without BaRF) to attract buyers.



BaRF does not only affect properties on busy roads! There are other uncontrollable situations that are very tough sells in a hot sellers' market and next to impossible in a buyers' market. These include properties which are next to or near the following:
  • Cemeteries

  • Industrial Parks

  • Hugh Power lines

  • Gas Pipelines

  • Freeways

  • Landfills

  • Airports

  • Prisions

  • Flood plains

  • Train Tracks

  • Open Lot that is for sale for undetermined new development.


So how can you deal with BaRF and get the house SOLD?
  1. Be Realistic. Don't ignore the elephant in the room and price the home as if the BaRF doesn't exist!
  2. Work with a Professional Realtor. An experienced professional real estate agent can assist you in pricing your home correctly factoring in all adverse conditions.
  3. Be Ready to Negotiate. If a buyer comes along, don't pass on a low offer. Counter and try to reach terms that are acceptable for both parties.
  4. Be Patient. In most cases, a property affected by BaRF, will required twice the market time compared to the average home.

**Photo Compliments of Garret Izumi from his Surreal Real Estate photography series.


If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.
Copyright 2007 terieckholm.com

Friday, June 15, 2007

Ready to Rumble? Back to the 50’s Weekend is Coming up FAST!

The Back to the 50’s Weekend Car Show is a time-honored tradition of the Minnesota Street Rod Association (MSRA). From a very humble beginning of 12 members, the association has grown to over 13,000. The Back to the 50’s Weekend car show boasts 11,000 cars and over 100,000 spectators each year. It is the 2nd largest show of its kind in the World; second only to the NSRA Street Rod Nationals.

For three days, June 22-24, Minnesotan’s get a chance to walk down memory lane as thousands of restored classic automobiles and their owners take over the state fair grounds. Street rods, classics and custom vehicles all dating from 1964 or earlier are just part of the massive show.

Believe it or not, cars aren’t the only reason to visit the show. The event also includes entertainment from Bob and the Beachcombers and Sh-Boom among others. There will be yummy food vendors, an auto auction, a ladies expo, the Crusin’-Arts and Crafts fair, exhibits and a swap meet.

It is an amazing site to pull up a chair on Friday and Saturday night along Snelling Avenue and watch the cars exit the fair grounds and head to Porky’s Drive-In on University Avenue. As the drivers cruise up and down the local roads, spectators sit in lawn chairs to admire the awesome vehicles. Families set up picnics roadside to watch and marvel at the event.

Thinking of joining in the fun? Here are the details:

WHAT: The Minnesota Street Rod Association’s “Back to the 50’s” Weekend

WHEN: June 23, 23 and 24
Friday and Saturday 8:00AM to 11:00PM
Sunday 6:00AM to 3:00PM

WHERE: The Minnesota State Fair Grounds

COST: $10 per adult
Kids 12 and under are free with each paid adult
$2 discount tickets available at O’Reilly Auto Parts Stores

Need more information? Visit the
MSRA website.
If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2007 terieckholm.com

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Summer Traditions--The Ramsey County Fair!

It was a tradition of summer. After the 4th, but before the state fair, a favorite event was to attend the Ramsey County Fair. Starting when we were12-years-old my friend, Roxanne and I would ride our 10-speeds two miles up 7th Avenue in North St. Paul to the Ramsey County Fairgrounds. We would chain our Schwinns to the Goodrich Golf Course fence and walk around to take in the sights and sounds of the fair. We rode the rides, ate corndogs and watched the 4-H variety show. Through junior and into senior high, we loved attending the county fair. Our favorite night was Thursday when the White Bear Avenue Parade coincided with the fair. We were there all five days, from the time it opened until it closed—or our curfew, as it was a great way to meet up with friends from school who did not live in our neighborhood.
Though times and friends have changed, the tradition of the Ramsey County fair continues. Now in its 94th year, the Ramsey County Fair will open its gates from July 11-15 for another fun filled event. The fairgrounds are located at the corner of White Bear Avenue and Frost Avenue in Maplewood. And best of all, entrance to the event is FREE! Parking is a reasonable $2.00.

Are you a Ramsey County resident who wants to be a part of this year’s fair?


Enter an exhibit! Young and old residents of Ramsey County are encouraged to showcase their talents. There is no entry free but there is a chance for participants to win ribbons and cash prizes. Catagories for competition include arts & crafts, flowers, clothing, home art and a variety of foods. A complete list of categories can be found in the exhibitor’s handbook available on the Ramsey County Fair website.

Activities and events at this years fair include:

  • Carnival rides

  • Petting zoo

  • Bingo

  • Food vendors

  • Live Music

  • Children’s Activities

  • Farmer of the Day



If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.
Copyright 2007
terieckholm.com

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

How to Choose a Realtor—Why a Good Friend is Not Always a Good Option

Yesterday, I was on the phone with a client. This family was referred to me by past clients that I had met at an open house. I have worked the family for several years now and while I now consider them friends, I was their Realtor first.
While chatting about other things, my client mentioned her son and his wife had just signed an agreement on their first home. I didn’t have a second to feel disappointed as she immediately said that they had really encouraged him to work with me. But they chose to work with the wife’s father’s good friend instead. Dad’s friend was a long time family friend from church and they just couldn’t say no. She also added that they now questioned the wisdom of their decision.
My clients accompanied the young couple on a final visit to the two homes they were considering. Now I have taken my clients to several properties throughout Anoka and Chisago counties looking for a hobby farm that they will be proud to call their home. When we look at a house, I know that they are thinking about which kid gets which room and if the land is suitable for horses. I consider it an important part of my job to be the look out for the houses’ potential problems that they can discuss with an inspector about like the roof, foundation, window sills and ceilings for indications of water damage, signs of pest infestation etc. Though I am not an inspector, there are things real estate agents should be aware of and look out for to avoid problems for their clients.

My client said she could not believe her son’s agent. He just stood back, said nothing and let the young couple walk with their parents and grandparents around the house. Even when inquiries were made, he offered no assistance. She went on to say that of the two homes: one all ready done and move-in ready and one requiring an abundance of work, the couple chose the latter. And this low-key agent advised his clients to offer Full Price as the only way to get the home.

What? Did I hear that right? Full-price in a buyer’s market? This is where the mom had to offer advice to her son on his first home purchase. Advice he was not getting from his agent. No one offers full price in this market. The son and daughter-in-law did offer less and their agreement was accepted. Through the purchase agreement process they realized maybe this agent wasn’t their best choice. Maybe he was new and didn’t know the paperwork. Maybe he was one of the many agents who work one or two deals a year and isn’t aware of how negotiations change in a buyers market. Maybe he just isn’t experienced enough to provide adequate advice. Maybe he doesn’t like the negotiation process.

I did a little research and this particular agent was not in a dual agency. Had he been a dual agent, he could not advise on terms, such as price, as being under contract with both clients, an agent cannot do anything to harm either. But I also discovered this family friend works on the other side of town from where this young couple wanted to live. It is hard to show homes and advise on an area when the agent is unfamiliar with it.
With over 30,000 licensed agents in the state of Minnesota, everyone knows a real estate agent. Some of these people have had their licenses for years but only dust them off once a year to “help” out a friend. Others are good people who have left other professions but were too young to retire and decided to give real estate a go. Many agents look to supplement the income from their full time job with a sale here and there. If you are considering hiring a good friend who fits into one of these categories, think long and hard before you do.

A home is the biggest and most important investment most people will make in their lifetime. You owe it to yourself to have the BEST representation in this transaction. Take the time to interview several people before signing a buyers’ representation agreement, not just your trusted friend. If the home buying process does not go well, it could not only cost you money, it could cost you a friendship.


If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2007 terieckholm.com

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hello 811? I have a Date with a Fence Post!


Is a new fence on your list of projects to beautify your home? How about landscaping the yard with a few new trees? Maybe you plan to replace your mailbox. Whatever the project, if you need to dig, you need to know about 811.

As a Realtor in the northeast Twin Cities Metro area, I know it is time for spring and summer landscaping projects. Whether it is home owner replacing that worn rusty mailbox with a shiny new one prior to listing their house or that brand new buyer wanting to plant trees to landscape their new home, shovels will be coming out in full force. Before you install that white picket fence of yesteryear in your backyard, you have one important call to make;
Call 811 and know what’s below.

Making a risky assumption of where a utility line is can be very expensive. It can hit the homeowner in the pocketbook for repair costs and potential fines. It can cause entire neighborhoods to be without service. And most importantly, it can put the homeowner and others in physical danger and even cost lives.
Every digging project requires a call to 811—No matter how small!
In an effort to help property owners across the U. S. dig safely, the
Federal Communications Commission designated the 811 abbreviated dialing code as the only number to remember before excavation projects. It is a way to effectively replace all the various 10-digit local numbers used prior. Making it easy will help property owners remember to make the call.

Here is the painless process:




  1. If you plan to dig or excavate, call 811 at least two business days before you plan to start your project. This call will alert Gopher State One Call in Minnesota to have all underground public utilities marked with no charge to you. That’s right! The service is completely FREE! (Note that if you live in the country and have private lines underground to garages or other outbuildings, these will not be marked.) Not in MN, no problem. 811 will connect your call to the local utility marking service.


  2. Wait the required two working days to allow all utility companies sufficient time to mark their lines.


  3. Respect the flags, stakes and/or painted lines that indicate underground utilities.


  4. Dig with care and avoid all marked areas. Hand dig only within 18 inches of any marker.

So enjoy summer! Landscape and dig to your hearts content. Just remember to Dial 811 first!

If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.


Copyright 2007 terieckholm.com

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Real Estate Market Statistics for Lino Lakes, MN--Including Lakeshore and Acreage Homes

Lino Lakes has not been immune to the sluggish real estate market and price correction that has affected the Twin Cities and Minnesota. Homes are staying on the market longer; it is taking over 3 months on average for a home to sell in Lino Lakes. The following are statistics of current single family residential market activity in the Lino Lakes area for the first five months of 2007:


Under $300,000~ 74 Active Listings, 23 Pending Listings, 46 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup ~ 27 Active, 12 Pending, 3 Sold)


$300,000-400,000 ~ 36 Active Listings, 11 Pending Listings, 7 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup ~ 4 Active, 4 Pending, 1 Sold)


$400,000-$500,000 ~ 27 Active Listings, 2 Pending Listings, 14 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup ~ 2 Active, 1 Pending, 3 Sold)


$500,000 and Up~ 26 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 8 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup ~ 11 Active, 1 Pending, 4 Sold)


Lakeshore and Acreage available in Lino Lakes
Lakeshore
4 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 5 Sold Listings since 1/1/2007

Current Lino Lakes lakeshore listings price range: $459,900-$799,900

1 Home on Centerville Lake
3 Homes on Reshanau Lake
Homes on Acreage22 Active Listings on 1+ Acres, 1 Pending, 5 Sold since 1/1/2007

Current Lino Lakes acreage homes price range: $199,900-$6,240,000
17 Homes on 1-2 acre lots listed from $199,900-$650,000
4 Homes on 2-5 acre lots listed from $224,900- $484,900
1 Homes on 80 acres listed at $6,240,000


If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.


Copyright 2007 terieckholm.com

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Real Estate Market Statistics for Ham Lake, MN--Including Lakeshore

Ham Lake has not been immune to the sluggish real estate market and price correction that has affected the Twin Cities and Minnesota. Homes are staying on the market longer (the average DOM is over 100 days) and appraised market values have dropped 2.6% according the Anoka County assessors office. The following are statistics of current single family residential market activity in the Ham Lake area for the first five months of 2007:

Under $300,000~ 41 Active Listings, 7 Pending Listings, 15 Sold Listings (All existing homes)

$300,000-400,000 ~ 42 Active Listings, 6 Pending Listings, 9 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup ~ 5 Active, 2 Pending, 0 Sold)

$400,000-$500,000 ~ 35 Active Listings, 4 Pending Listings, 2 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup ~ 5 Active, 2 Pending, 0 Sold)

$500,000 and Up~ 52 Active Listings, 2 Pending Listings, 3 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup ~ 18 Active, 0 Pending, 2 Sold)


Lakeshore available in the City of Ham Lake


7 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 1 Sold Listings

Ham Lake lakeshore price range:


  • $295,000-$899,900

  • 4 Homes on Coon Lake


  • 1 Home on Ham Lake


  • 1 Home on Lake Netta


  • 1 Home on Lake Amelia

Articles on Ham Lake, Lakeshore and Minnesota that might be of interest:


If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2007 terieckholm.com

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Oak Wilt—A Minnesota Tragedy

Owning an acreage property with mature towering oaks and pines is the dream of many buyers. As a Realtor in Anoka County just north of the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area, I show many clients homes country homes in the communities of Ham Lake, Lino Lakes, Linwood and Forest Lake. Most home buyers dream of their own little Tara, the O’Hara’s picturesque estate in Gone with the Wind. The curb appeal cannot be denied when the car pulls up to a home offset by the majestic beauty of an old oak tree that took decades to create. How sad to see these trees dying a slow death caused by oak wilt.

These photos taken yesterday document the devastating disease that is oak wilt as it slowly kills these trees on a property that is for sale in Ham Lake. Note the bright green leaves near the bottom of the tree and dead and dying branches near the top.


This particular property is near my own home. The property is now corporate-owned but the previous owner did not take the threat seriously when first notified of the oak wilt problem on his land. He cut down the infected trees as soon as he was notified without waiting until late fall or winter when he was less likely to spread the disease. He dragged the wood and branches to the rear of his property and burned them at his leisure. He did not cover the unburned wood securely with black plastic. He did not believe that his trees were killed by oak wilt; a costly mistake.
The next year this homeowner was notified again by the
City of Ham Lake as more trees were tagged as infected with oak wilt. Again, he took the route of cut the diseased trees down quickly and ignored the directions to avoid further infection to the trees on his property and those of his neighbors. After all, in this property owners mind, it is not oak wilt.
Last August, with the for sale sign in the yard due to an out-of-state relocation, the
tree inspector from the city added five, new orange spray-painted stripes to the trees on the property. The next day a tree service showed up and removed the tagged trees. Again without regard to instructions that could prevent this continuing devastation to these stately oaks. The once private sanctuary that these stately old oaks provided is gone. The house is clearly visible from the street.

The Ham Lake tree inspector will be back in July and there are at the very least seven more oaks that will don that bright orange stripe. Hopefully, when a new owner is found, he will take more care with the remaining trees on the property. Oak wilt is a tragedy that may not have been prevented but could have been
minimized with proper care. Even if new trees were to be planted tomorrow, it will be decades before the wooded beauty of this country lot will be restored.

If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2007 terieckholm.com

Monday, June 4, 2007

Nosy Neighbors SELL Homes!

Open houses are not for every home. In fact as the buyer’s market of 2005 stretches into 2006 and 2007, I find myself sitting in fewer and fewer residential properties on beautiful sunny Sunday afternoons awaiting that perfect buyer.


This is not for the reasons one might expect. I actually love doing open houses and have been very successful at them. And by success I mean not just for myself by meeting new potential clients to take to “other” homes. I mean that I have actually SOLD homes at houses I have held open for my sellers.

Now first of all, everything must fall into place…



  1. The house has to be great.


  2. The location has to be wonderful.


  3. The price has to be right.

Open Houses work for me!
One of the number one reasons agents and sellers avoid open houses is the infamous “NOSY Neighbor”! Some agents insist that these unwelcome attendees are the only ones who show up. Homeowners dread the thought that Mrs. J down the street who walks past the house everyday is going to come in and tell everyone what the house looks like inside. And how this is a bad thing when your house is for sale?

The Nosy Neighbors are the open house attendees that show up about 30 minutes after the signs are out and the door is opened. They come in with an apologetic, “Don’t mind me, I just live up the street and always wanted to see what they did with the place.”
Remember now, I like open houses so I welcome these neighbors like the guests that they are. I have found neighbors to be the best source of buyers. The so-called “Nosy” ones are usually the people who LOVE their community. Neighborhood residents are engaging. They tell stories about the home and how much they will miss the people that live in it. And, on some occasions, these neighbors excite the real buyers in the room.

Late last summer, with the Twin Cities spiraling into a full-fledged buyers market, I was able to secure an acceptable purchase agreement for my seller the day after an open house. Around 20 minutes after opening the door, a couple of delightful young mom’s with kids in tow, walked up the driveway and through the door. “Just from around the corner and stopping to take a peek”, they said. I knew that this particular home was very well priced with an attractive, modified two-story floorplan. But the home next door was also for sale and had been for over 2 months. The Blaine location was ideal but being within shouting distance of the regional Anoka County airport was not. So I had my work cut out for me.

Since I had just open the doors, these gals were my first visitors and I was alone in the home. So, they pulled up a chair and started to swap stories. They knew the Grandma that had lived in the home as she walked the winding neighborhood streets and sometimes got lost. They were aware of the home for sale next door and provided details of the condition of that listing. As the conversation went on, more people started to arrive, but the “nosy neighbors” stayed comfortably in the kitchen enjoying chocolates from my candy dish.

When new guests came in to view the home, I did my regular greeting, “Hi there. My name is Teri. Feel free to take a look around and ask questions. Don’t forget to sign in!” etc. One young couple with a chubby little bundled dressed in pink seemed very interested in the home. The questions became very specific right away and the young mother shared that she had viewed the home yesterday with her father and agent while her husband was working. It was ironically the exact same floor plan they had just priced out building with the exact same builder but in a different development a few miles away. They had stopped in so the husband could see the home too.

As those in custom home construction know, a brand new home built to the buyers specifications is thousands more than an existing home that is 4-5 years old. This is due to price increases in materials and labor for the most part. But also there is value in what the homeowner adds after purchase like privacy fencing, window treatments and landscaping.

When neighbors realized that this young couple was very interested in the home, they chimed into the conversation. One gal asked this if this was their only child and started to tell about the other kids and families in the area. They must have felt a kindred spirit in this young mom as they started to create an energy and excitement about the neighborhood that I alone could not have created.


The young couple was SOLD.
The next day, their agent presented a non-contingent purchase agreement as the young couple decided to risk owning two homes in this buyers market rather than let this ideal home slip through their fingers!

Some might think that this is a fluke occurrence and that the neighbors could have been a detriment in this situation. I have held many open houses and this situation is not unique. Neighbors who love their neighborhood, help SELL the house. They pick up information for relatives and friends that are currently in the market for a home and pass it on to them. People sell neighborhoods they love.

So let this be a lesson to all sellers and sellers’ agents. Don’t avoid open houses because neighbors might drop in! There is no such thing as a “Nosy Neighbor”. Neighbors can be Assets to the Sale of the home! And neighbors, don’t apologize as you enter one of my open houses. You are more than welcome!

Here's another great post on Open Houses: Open Houses-Do they Work in a Buyer's Market?
If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2007 terieckholm.com

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Ham Lake is Growing—In Size not Property Value

The Ham Lake city council hosted a Board of Appeals and Equalization meeting in April. According to the Ham Laker, the Anoka County Appraiser, Peggy Nordrum reported on real estate activity for the City of Ham Lake. Her findings echo what I first noted when I received my tax statement earlier this year, where I saw a 2.6% decrease in assessed value on my own Ham Lake property. Ms. Nordrum reported a 3.3% citywide decrease in the average median sale price of a residential home. Take a look at the numbers:


As a Realtor working who lives and sells homes in Anoka County and the north and east Twin Cities suburbs, what I find most interesting is that while these figures are down slightly, Ham Lake property values have risen 62.3% since 2000. Overall this is a pretty health increase in property values for the average homeowner in the city.

Nordrum also reported that the Ham Lake taxable property base is growing. As of January 2, 2007, there were 6,603 parcels in the City of Ham Lake. This is an increase of 120 parcels or 2.6% over the count in 2006. This statistic is not surprising to many Ham Lake residents as there are several new development signs and acreage that has been split into smaller lots throughout the city.


If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.


Copyright 2007 terieckholm.com

Friday, June 1, 2007

Cruising on Fridays in North St. Paul will Continue this Summer

The wait is over and the decision has been made, the time honored tradition of the North St. Paul Friday night car show or “History Cruze” will continue this summer despite the construction on Highway 36. . For safety reasons with the limited access to downtown and the detour, new rules and time frames have been established with a shorter season and hours for the event. The 2007 History Cruze will kick off on June 8th and continue every Friday through August 24th from 6:30 until 10:00pm.

Though the short season and hours are a disappointment to some, for those of us who for the past thirteen years have attended the show, it is a victory. From what started as a small group of car enthusiasts, the History Cruze has grown to have hundreds of attendees each warm summer Friday evening.

Young and the young-at-heart enjoy this event. The History Cruze Car Show in North St. Paul, Minnesota is one of only a handful of free car shows left in the state…just pull in with your classic automobile or stroll down the street and enjoy the cars that are treasured by others. It is a place where current North St. Paul/Maplewood
residents as well as those who have relocated to other parts of the Twin Cities, meet up to share a pronto pup and free entertainment. It is a time to visit with neighbors, reminisce with friends and literally take a walk down memory lane via 7th Avenue.

So polish up those fenders, shine up those whitewalls and rev your engines, a little construction dust is not going to ruin the party at the History Cruze.


If you are relocating to Minnesota, are looking for Homes for Sale in the north and east Twin Cities metro area and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a
FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage properties! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.


Copyright 2007 terieckholm.com