Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distraction—Homeowner Version: Little Gnome Facts in Forest Lake



Or should I say it is a fact that a little gnome is yard art in Forest Lake, Minnesota. This amazing tree carving and Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distraction makes its home just off of Broadway, the main street of Forest Lake commerce. As a Realtor working in the northeast metro, I see this type of art in yards all over Washington and Anoka Counties. I discovered the little guy one day when I was driving a different route to pick up one of my son's friends. Now, I take my family by it often, as we love its whimsy. He is pretty good sized too with the mushrooms, the sculpture is about 5 feet tall.

As a lover of fantasy literature, “Gnomes” was one of the first tabletop art books I ever purchased as a college student and I still own it today. I never understood why others think of Garden Gnomes as creepy unless it is like the people with the unnatural fear of clowns. Love ‘em or hate ‘em this gnome is a pretty unique piece of landscape art.

Other Artful Distraction and Forest Lake Posts:



Featured Listing in Forest Lake Minnesota: 20685 Georgia Ave N
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 www.terieckholm.com

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Contract Cancelled—Understanding Risk of Loss

Picture the following scenario: After months of searching for the perfect place to call home, you wrote an offer that was accepted and will be closing in 60 days.

Three weeks prior to the closing, straight-line winds blow through town. Concerned, you drive up to your dream home and see that the picturesque oak trees that gave the home character have been uprooted. Worse yet, one of the huge trees fell onto the house severely damaging the roof. You are devastated as this was no longer the home you pictured in your dreams. What happens now?

Risk of Loss is one of those “boiler plate” clauses on page four of the purchase agreement used most often in the State of Minnesota. Being preprinted, some agents and/or their clients will gloss over this clause but it is very important to understand, as is every other line in the document you sign to buy a home.





Line 147 clearly states that the risk of loss due to any reason whether an act of God or the acts of vandals will be the responsibility of the seller from the time the purchase agreement is signed until the date of closing. That means if there is a fire or accident the seller is required to bring the home into the condition that it was in at the time the contract was written and signed.

So if that temperamental decade old dishwasher goes out, the seller would replace it. If a neighbor backs over the mailbox at the end of your driveway, it is the seller who must repair the post and replace with a new one. Final walkthroughs are essential to ascertain the condition of the home prior to signing the closing documents. But what happens to those irreplaceable picturesque trees that have fallen on the roof?

Three weeks prior to a closing, there could be plenty of time for the seller to call their insurance company and have the home repaired. But is it the same house? And more importantly does the buyer still have to buy the home? In a word, no.

The clause goes on to say that in the case where there is substantial damage to the home or property, it is the buyer’s option to cancel or continue with the purchase agreement. In the situation outlined above, which was a real situation that occurred this past summer, the landscaping was changed and could not be replaced. The damage to the home caused an insurance claim that would now be reflected in a
CLUE insurance report that could affect the ability to insure the home. The buyers opted to cancel the contract as was their option in the clause with all earnest money refunded.

Risk of loss comes into play quite often when buying and selling a home. In most cases the repairs are made quickly to both the buyer’s and seller’s satisfaction and the contract will close on time. But when the property sustains significant damage, the buyer has the option of continuing to closing or walking away from the deal. Boilerplate or not, Risk of Loss is an important clause to understand when buying or selling a home.

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 www.terieckholm.com

Monday, October 22, 2007

Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distractions--Homeowner Version: Ham Lake Bald Eagle in Nest

As I headed to a listing appointment in Anoka County this summer, I rounded a corner and noticed a beautifully carved oak tree at a Ham Lake residence. The carving was not unusual as I have seen carved and painted bald eagles at craft fairs but this one was carved out of the tree about 15 feet in the air.

Bald eagles were
removed from the endangered species list earlier this year. Due to their protected status for the past several years and efforts to bring back this beautiful bird, the amount of breeding pairs has grown from a low of 417 in 1963 to nearly 10,000 today. According to the Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) 2005 Bald Eagle survey, Over 1,000, roughly 10% of bald eagles nest in the state of Minnesota. I have seen these huge majestic birds fly over my Ham Lake home, along the roadside in Columbus Township and soar over the 4th of July parade in Forest Lake.

At the Minnesota DNR building at the state fair this year, there was an example of an eagles’ nest on display. Their nests are built of interwoven sticks about ¾ to an inch in diameter. I have seen an actual nest where a pair of eagles built a few years back in Keller Park in Maplewood. My estimation is that it is the size of a child’s swimming pool woven up into the treetops. The DNR display was just about eye level and easy to view.

The week after we were at the fair, I was back to check on my listing. As I rounded that same corner, I noticed that the beautiful carved eagle now had a nest! What a
Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distraction created by an innovative homeowner. This is one landscape decoration that will add to the property value of this lovely Ham Lake home.

Another Artful Distraction Post from Series:
Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distractions—Hometown Version: The North St. Paul Snowman



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 www.terieckholm.com

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Are Buyers and Sellers Psyched Out in the Minnesota Real Estate Market?

“Psychological factors are currently the biggest drag on the housing market, in addition to a disruption from tighter credit for subprime borrowers.”
— Lawrence Yun, senior economist for the National Association of Realtors
June 25, 2007

This statement issued three months ago by Yun is still true in Minnesota today. We have low interest rates and unemployment rates below the national average yet the housing market is flat. Areas of Anoka and Washington Counties including Blaine, Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and Forest Lake have been over developed. There are several new construction homes and developments sitting empty awaiting new home buyers for, in some cases, years. In this current real estate market situation, the basic economics of supply and demand applies. When prices are too high, demand will remain low.

Home sellers in Minnesota that have gotten the message have been able to sell their homes. Existing home inventories are still high but down a bit from earlier in the year. If your home is currently on the market and not selling, there is a 2-Step approach to getting SOLD:


  1. Look at what needs to be done to get your home in tip-top condition. If you have been receiving feedback from showings about ugly counters, worn carpeting, gaudy paint, old roof, etc., take action! Buyers move on to the homes in move-in condition.

  2. Check your pricing against what is on the market and what has SOLD. Don’t look at solds from last year! Look in the past 3 months and what is in pending. If nothing has sold, then others in your market are pricing their homes too high as well. Work with your Realtor to make certain your home is the “best deal” in the neighborhood.

If this seems too difficult because you do not want to “give your home away”, take it off of the market. I have heard several sellers make the “I’m not going to give away my home” statement. My questions to them are “when did you buy?” and “what did you pay?” Most often the answer is years ago and for substantially less than what they are asking for the home. But these homeowners felt the over inflated prices of the last few years were “money in the bank”. This is an unfortunate misconception that keeps people from moving on to their next home.

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 www.terieckholm.com

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mother Nature's Gift of Fall Beauty in Minnesota


A Minnesotan with a fall birthday often gets a cake decorated with the golds, reds and browns of autumn. I should know as today yesterday was my birthday. As a child, I didn't like getting a birthday cake with brown and yellow frosting but grew to love what it represented.

We live near Carlos Avery Nature Reserve an open area for hunting and hiking. We drive down a main road through Carlos Avery every day and in the fall the colors take your breath away. On more than one occasion I have told my boys that the trees paint the beautiful scenery just for my birthday. Well today I didn’t get a brilliant blue sky with puffy clouds from Mother Nature as a present as Minnesota has been blessed with rainy weather these past few weeks. But the bright reds, vivid oranges and golden yellows in the leaves on the trees near my home did not disappoint. May everyone be blessed with such a wonderful birthday gift every year!

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 www.terieckholm.com

Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distractions—Hometown Version: The North St. Paul Snowman


North St. Paul in the 1970’s was a typical small town suburb. It was family and kid-friendly. We could walk to downtown North St. Paul (or “uptown” as my best friend, Roxanne, called it ) for a Coke at Perrault’s Ice Cream Shop, a hamburger at Mac’s Dinette or a plate of hot fries at Village Pizza. Downtown has changed as only Village Pizza remains from those days but the wonderful huge, iconic snowman remains.

Originally this guy was constructed behind the old bank building on the corner of 7th and Margaret. I remember when the first rebar steel was set in cement resembling a round cage that motorcycle daredevils use in the circus. We would stand inside and try to figure out what the heck it was going to be. I think it was years before the snowman finally took shape and became the icon that it is today.

The move of the snowman in the early 90’s to its current location at the corner of Highway 36 and Margaret is just as memorable. It was so large that it was moved in two pieces. The snowman sat headless for months on the side of the road. Its smiling face just yards away from his two snowball bottom. Finally, the city heard the plea of a resident to “Please Put Frosty’s Head Back On!” in the Review!
Only in Minnesota!
Look for other Hometown and Homeowner Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distractions in upcoming posts.

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 www.terieckholm.com

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blaine, MN Real Estate Market Statistics 3rd Quarter 2007


Blaine is expanding by leaps and bounds in the north metro of the Twin Cities. The residential real estate construction boom in Blaine during the past decade has slowed but not stopped making new and existing home purchase opportunities very affordable. Conveniently located along 35W and Highway 65 and connected by Highway 10 just north of the Twin Cities, Blaine is an attractive location for both business and residential development. The community is served by three school districts; Anoka Hennepin District #11, Centennial District #12, and Spring Lake Park District #16. Blaine is best known for the National Sports Center a sport and meeting facilility that hosts an annual worldwide soccer event and Tournament Players Club golf course where the PGA Senior tour is played every summer.

Real estate in Blaine, MN in Anoka County is affordable and selling—though admittedly at a slower pace than most sellers would like. The third quarter numbers show area homes are staying on the market an average of 139 days. This number is better than in other areas of the north metro like Centerville, Forest Lake, Lino Lakes and Ham Lake where homes have a days-on-market rate (DOM) between 157-198 days. (Links to statistical reports for these communities are listed below.) Looking at current inventory levels and the rate of sales for single family residential homes priced under $300,000, there is about 5-6 months of inventory as it stands today. Townhomes in Blaine have a higher DOM than single family residential with a 157 DOM.

While single family homes under $300,000 in Blaine have over 200 homes to choose from currently on the market, at a rate of 20 per month sold, the inventory is manageable. Higher price homes are not only selling at a slower pace, they have to compete with new construction for the buyers. Note that one third of the homes sold in the $300,000-$400,000 category and half of all homes over $400,000 sold in the 3rd quarter are new construction. If you have a higher priced existing home on the market, be aware of the builder incentives being offered as they do affect your ability to sell.

The townhome and condominium market has exploded in Blaine. At the current rate of sale, there is nearly 3 years of inventory currently on the market. Existing townhome sellers must make their prices very attractive as there is a significant number of builders with new townhomes available in the same area.


3rd Quarter Blaine residential real estate statistics for single family homes:


Under $300,000~ 211 Active Listings, 10 Pending Listings, 59 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup 33 Active, 0 Pending, 0 Sold)


$300,000-$400,000 ~ 85 Active Listings, 3 Pending Listings, 15 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup 23 Active, 1 Pending, 5 Sold)


$400,000-$500,000 ~ 37 Active Listings, 4 Pending Listings, 6 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup 14 Active, 4 Pending, 3 Sold)


$500,000-$1,000,000 ~ 75 Active Listings, 2 Pending Listings, 7 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup 26 Active, 1 Pending, 4 Sold)


$1,000,000 and Up ~ 6 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 0 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup 1 Active, 0 Pending, 0 Sold)


3rd Quarter Blaine residential real estate statistics for townhomes and condos:


Under $300,000 ~ 202 Active Listings, 6 Pending Listings, 23 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup 35 Active, 5 Pending, 6 Sold)

$300,000-$400,000 ~ 5 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 6 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup 3 Active, 2 Pending, 0 Sold)


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


$500,000-$1,000,000 ~ 1 Active Listings, 2 Pending Listings, 4 Sold Listings


$1,000,000 and Up ~ 0 Active Listings, 2 Pending Listings, 4 Sold Listings


For additional information on any current Blaine real estate listing or for additional information on buying a home in Blaine contact Teri Eckholm directly at 651-336-7073.


**All Statistical information based on information from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE of MINNESOTA, INC. for the period of 7/1/07 through 9/30/07.


Articles Minnesota Real Estate 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 www.terieckholm.com/

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lino Lakes, MN Real Estate Market Statistics 3rd Quarter 2007


Lino Lakes continues to grow and real estate is affordable. Conveniently located near the junction of the 35E and 35W split north of the Twin Cities, Lino Lakes is a 33 square miles treasure. With 13 lakes and acres of beautiful protected wetland, the community is served by three school districts; Centennial District #12, Forest Lake District #831, and White Bear Lake District #624. The gem attraction is the pristine 2,700-acre Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park Reserve is situated within the heart of the city. Lino Lakes is committed to maintain this treasure and its natural settings and wildlife habitats for years to come.

Real estate in Lino Lakes, MN in Anoka County is affordable and selling—though admittedly at a slower pace than most sellers would like. The third quarter numbers show area homes are staying on the market an average of 159 days. Looking at current inventory levels and the rate of sales for homes priced under $300,000, there is about 5-6 months of inventory as it stands today.

While homes under $300,000 in Lino Lakes have a manageable inventory level, similar to other areas of the Twin Cities, high end homes are selling at a slower pace. Based on the 3rd quarter statistics it would take about a year to sell the current inventory of homes. This is much better than communities to the north, like Ham Lake and Forest Lake, which have about 2-3 years of high-end home inventory.


3rd Quarter Lino Lakes residential real estate statistics for single family homes:


Under $300,000~ 49 Active Listings, 6 Pending Listings, 23 Sold Listings


$300,000-$400,000 ~ 32 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 6 Sold Listings


$400,000-$500,000 ~ 24 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 2 Sold Listings


$500,000 and Up~ 18 Active Listings, 2 Pending Listings, 4 Sold Listings



Lakeshore available in Lino Lakes:
2 Active Listings
Centerville lakeshore price range: $334,900-$439,900

1 Home on Rice Lake
1 Home on Centerville Lake

Acreage properties available in Lino Lakes:

10 properties listed on 1-2 Acres priced between $224,900-$399-900.
5 properties listed on 2-3 Acres priced between $220,970-$399,900
1 property listed on 3-5 Acres priced at $289,900
1 property listed on 5-10 Acres priced at $420,000
1 property listed on 10-15 Acres priced at $525,000

For additional information on any current Lino Lakes real estate listing or for additional information on buying a home in Lino Lakes contact Teri Eckholm directly at 651-336-7073.


**All Statistical information based on information from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE of MINNESOTA, INC. for the period of 7/1/07 through 9/30/07.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Centerville, MN Real Estate Market Statistics 3rd Quarter 2007

Centerville is a community truly at the center of it all—or at least at the center of Lino Lakes, Minnesota. Located just off 35 E in the Twin Cities northeast metro, Centerville is a small community surrounded by its big sister community. Head any direction, north, south, east or west from Centerville and you will be in the community of Lino Lakes.

Real estate in Centerville, MN in Anoka County is affordable and selling—though admittedly at a slower pace than most sellers would like. The third quarter numbers show area homes are staying on the market an average of 198 days. Looking at current inventory levels and the rate of sales for homes priced under $300,000, there is about 6-7 months of inventory as it stands today.

While homes under $300,000 have a manageable inventory level, similar to other areas of the Twin Cities, high end homes are selling at a slower pace. Four wonderful lakeshore homes are currently available in Centervillle and one is on acreage With such a great selection, this is a great opportunity to buy that lake home you have always dreamed of owning.


3rd Quarter Centerville residential real estate statistics for single family homes:


Under $300,000 ~ 15 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 6 Sold Listings

$300,000-$400,000 ~ 5 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 2 Sold Listings


$400,000-$500,000 ~ 5 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 0 Sold Listings


$500,000 and Up ~ 14 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 1 Sold Listings


Lakeshore available in Centerville4 Active Listings

Centerville lakeshore price range: $419,900-$649,900

3 Homes on Peltier Lake
1 Home on Centerville Lake

For additional information on any current Centerville real estate listings contact Teri Eckholm directly at 651-336-7073.


**All Statistical information based on information from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE of MINNESOTA, INC. for the period of 7/1/07 through 9/30/07.


Featured Listing in Centerville, Minnesota: 1988 Robin Lane N
Articles on Lakeshore and Minnesota that might be of interest:Does "Minnesota Nice" Affect the Real Estate Market? "Yah, You Betcha!"
Dreaming of Life on MN Acreage?--What YOU Need to Know Before YOUR Move!
Affordable Minnesota Lakeshore
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 www.terieckholm.com/

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Forest Lake, MN Real Estate Market Statistics 3rd Quarter 2007


Real estate in Forest Lake, MN in north Washington County and east Anoka County is selling—though admittedly at a slower pace than most sellers would like. The third quarter numbers show area homes are staying on the market an average of 171 days. Looking at current inventory levels and the rate of sales for homes priced under $300,000, there is about 7-8 months of inventory as it stands today.

While homes under $300,000 have a manageable inventory level, similar to other areas of the Twin Cities, high end homes are selling at a much slower pace. Note the abundance of existing inventory in the over $400,000 category. With 23 homes to sell over $400,000, there is currently 2 years of inventory. Looking at properties priced over $500,000, there are 32 homes on the market and with four homes selling every 3 months, it will take nearly three years to sell the entire inventory if home sales do not pick up.

The real story is that lakeshore is available in Forest Lake! The combination of an amazing inventory of 50 lakeshore homes, long market times, and low interest rates, creates the perfect situation as sellers should be ready to negotiate an acceptable deal for the sale of your piece of paradise!

3rd Quarter Forest Lake residential real estate statistics for single family homes:

Under $300,000~ 78 Active Listings, 9 Pending Listings, 20 Sold Listings (Lakeshore Subgroup ~ 3 Active, 0 Pending, 0 Sold)

$300,000-$400,000 ~ 47 Active Listings, 2 Pending Listings, 7 Sold Listings (Lakeshore Subgroup ~ 12Active, 0 Pending, 0 Sold)

$400,000-$500,000 ~ 23 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 4 Sold Listings (Lakeshore Subgroup ~ 12 Active, 0 Pending, 3 Sold)

$500,000 and Up~ 32 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 3 Sold Listings (Lakeshore Subgroup ~ 23 Active, 1 Pending, 3 Sold)


Lakeshore available in the Forest Lake Area:

Forest Lake lakeshore price range: $250,000-$2,900,000

41 Homes on Forest Lake
7 Homes on Clear Lake
1 Home on Sylvan Lake
1 Home on Neds Lake

For details on Forest Lake listings and lakeshore homes available, contact Teri Eckholm directly at 651-3336-7073.

**All Statistical information based on information from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE of MINNESOTA, INC. for the period of 7/1/07 through 9/30/07.
Featured Listing in Forest Lake Minnesota: 20685 Georgia Ave N

Articles on Forest 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 www.terieckholm.com/

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ham Lake, MN Real Estate Market Statistics 3rd Quarter 2007


The sluggish real estate market continues to affect Ham Lake, MN and Anoka County in the third quarter of 2007. Homes are staying on the market longer with an average Days-on-Market (DOM) of 157 days for homes sold in the 3rd Quarter in the Ham Lake area. While homes under $300,000 have a manageable inventory level similar to other areas of the Twin Cities (about a 10 month supply), high end homes are selling at a much slower pace. Note the abundance of existing inventory in the over $500,000 category. With 47 homes on the market and two homes selling every 3 months, it will take over five years to sell the entire inventory if home sales do not pick up in this high end category.

3rd Quarter Ham Lake residential real estate statistics for single family homes:

Under $300,000~ 51 Active Listings, 4 Pending Listings, 12 Sold Listings (All existing homes)

$300,000-400,000 ~ 30 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 2 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup ~ 2 Active, 0 Pending, 0 Sold)

$400,000-$500,000 ~ 30 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 4 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup ~ 4 Active, 0 Pending, 0 Sold)

$500,000 and Up~ 47 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 2 Sold Listings (New Construction Subgroup ~ 13 Active, 0 Pending, 1 Sold)


Lakeshore available in the City of Ham Lake:


5 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 1 Sold Listings

Ham Lake lakeshore price range: $274,900-$945,000

2 Homes on Coon Lake
2 Homes on Lake Amelia
1 Home on Mallard Lake

**All Statistical information based on information from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE of MINNESOTA, INC. for the period of 7/1/07 through 9/30/07.


Featured Lakeshore Listing in Ham Lake Minnesota: 3608 Woodland Drive



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 www.terieckholm.com/

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distractions


Minnesota is full of roadside art. Distractions or attractions? It’s probably a little of both.

People love the beauty along the scenic highways and byways of Minnesota. A Sunday afternoon drive in the country is an occasion that becomes a perfect family adventure. If you are the perceptive sort you will notice the roadside art that pops up along the landscape showing the humorous side of Minnesota residents.

Communities have tranformed utilitarian watertowers into gigantic icons. Cities have welcoming mascots that tower over mainstreet. Businesses have created massive sculptures of logos and trademarks. Many are quaint but all are memorable.

Homeowner’s have gotten into the act of landscape decorations too. With the popularity of chainsaw artisians at craft shows throughout the north and east metro, it wasn’t long before these local artists were asked to transform dead trees into masterpieces. Working like a cross between Paul Bunyan and Edward Scissorhand’s many front yards now have wooden sculptures to welcome visitors and delight passersby.

As a Real Estate agent, I drive through many communities and areas throughout Anoka, Chisago and Washington Counties. I have noticed, laughed at and marveled at many a decorative distraction along the road or in someone’s yard. From Ham Lake to Lindstrom and North St. Paul to Forest Lake…I have seen the wonderful and whimscal aspects of many examples of roadside art. Driving to a new listing can often be the opportunity to discovering a new unique piece of neighborhood art hidden a few blocks off the main road.

Here is to the start of my new series of Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distractions. There will be Homeowner and Hometown versions of this periodic photographic series. I hope you enjoy the uniquely Minnesota art as much as I enjoy seeing it along side the roads.

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 www.terieckholm.com/

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Compost Alternatives for Fallen Leaves for Homeowners in Anoka County Minnesota

As the chlorophyll drains from leaves on the trees throughout Anoka County, revealing a vivid color palette of reds, oranges and yellows, I am reminded that fall is once again upon us. It amazes me that as youngsters are contemplating donning masks for Halloween, the leaves are draining the spring and summer green that masked their true colors. The beautiful fall colors combined with autumn winds will have residents of from Ham Lake to Columbus and Linwood to Lino Lakes grumbling about that wonderful fall chore of raking and disposing of yard waste.

If you’re on acreage and very lucky, the winds may kick up into a powerful force and blow your leaves into a neighboring field. A few years back our nearly three Ham Lake acres were blown clean of leaves after a night of howling winds. It was amazing! But facing north on our property, we realize that a windstorm the exception rather than rule.

So what to do with all of the leaves? In most Twin Cities areas, it is not legal to dispose of yard waste in your trash bin. Anoka County and Ham Lake are no exception. Composting is the answer. Whether you choose to have your own composting site on your property for next summer’s garden or you donate your leaves to the countywide site, composting is the best solution to recycling yard waste.

Compost and Tree Waste Sites in Anoka County

Acceptable materials include: leaves, grass clippings, weeds and soft-bodied green plant materials. No garbage allowed and must be debagged at the site.

Cost $4.00 per load up to 4 cubic yards for Anoka County residents.

Bunker Hills Compost Site
Located at 13285 Hanson Blvd. Coon Rapids
Open April through November weather permitting.
Monday-Friday 10AM to Sunset
Saturday 9AM to 5PM
Sunday 12PM to 5PM

Rice Lake Chain of Lakes Compost Site
Located at 7701 Main St, Lino Lakes
Tuesday 10AM to SunsetThursday 10:00 a.m. to Sunset
Saturday 9AM to 5PM
Sunday 12PM to 5PM

Home Compost Bins for Sale
Anoka County wants to assist you in having a green garden next year with your own compost bin. Limited quantities of Home Composter compost bins are available for sale for the low price of $31.18 (regular retail price is $69.00). For convenience, stop by and pick up at Holtz Garden Center in Ham Lake or Rock Gardens in Lino Lakes while supplies last. Click here additional information.

Make Your Own Compost Bin
Not an Anoka County resident or need a bigger compost bin?
Make your own with these easy directions! Several easy to build designs are outlined is step-by-step easy to follow instructions. Make the size and style that best suits your property and needs.


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, October 4, 2007

New Acreage Homeowner? Attend a Class to Understand Your Septic System

If you just moved to Ham Lake, MN, you have a septic system. The City of Ham Lake does not have a city sewage system. All homeowners have private sewer systems that must be maintained properly. In fact there are many other communities through out Anoka County where septic systems are the norm. Whether you are in Columbus, Wyoming, Lino Lakes, Forest Lake or Linwood, if you are on acreage, chances are that you have a private sewage system.

When my family moved to our acreage home over a decade ago, we came from North St. Paul with city water and sewer. We knew replacing a septic system would be expensive and were told to “protect” our system but didn’t know what that meant.

Our builder made a point of explaining that it is important that nothing heavy runs across the system or drainfield. They should be left alone…So how heavy is heavy? Car- heavy? Lawn tractor- heavy? We didn’t have a clue.

Our family was told to be careful of the products we used. Avoid pouring chemicals down the drain. No more bleach? Ever? Could we wash out a paint
brush?

No garbage disposal. No powdered detergents. No running the faucet. Don’t plant trees or bushes. Have the system pumped periodically. The rules are endless regarding septic systems. But as a Realtor living and working throughout Anoka County, I know that it is imperative to protect my septic system as part of my home investment and avoid a sewage backup.

On October 15, 2007 the
University of Minnesota Extension Service will be giving the class, Homeowner Education for Septic Systems. The two hour program costs $5 and will be held from 7-9pm at the Bunker Hills Activity Center. Preregistration is required.

Don’t worry if the class doesn’t fit into your schedule. The program is offered periodically throughout the year. In the meantime The University of Minnesota Extension Service Septic Owners Guide is available as an online
HERE. Get your septic system answers for with the click of a mouse!

Additional articles for acreage homeowners:What is a Minnesota Unique Well Number?
Affordable Minnesota Lakeshore
Dreaming of life on MN Acreage? What YOU need to know before YOUR Move!
Time to Pump it Out! Septic Service Provides Comic Relief Too!
Minnesota Lakeshore Is Affordable Again!
Featured homes available in Anoka and Washington Counties:

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 www.terieckholm.com/

Monday, October 1, 2007

Is NOW a Good Time to Buy a Twin Cities Home? YES!!



CNBC’s Jim Kramer may have ignored one of the cardinal rules of real estate last week. Location, Location, Location. Many in real estate industry have heard and discussed the infamous statement “now is the absolute worst time to buy!” made by Kramer last week during a segment on national real estate.

At Keller Williams our co-founder and chairman had something to add to the debate in our weekly newsletter. His comments are timely and I believe more accurate. Keller points out three key problems with a blanket statement on the national real estate market. Here’s what Keller has to say about waiting out the current market:



First, residential real estate is not a national market product — it
is a local one. To say from a national position that this is either a good time
or a bad time to buy real estate is like saying the national forecast for the
U.S. today is 92 degrees — it is a useless and irrelevant perspective. What is
happening in your local market is all that matters.

Second, trying
to predict when it is a good time to buy, or not, means you’re trying to time
the market. Staying on the sidelines is the surest way for most people to never
time anything correctly.

Last, and maybe most important — there are
always two markets in every market. There is the market of properties that are
good buys and there is the market of properties that are not a good buys.
Interestingly enough, this is true in either buyer or seller markets. To
categorically say that this is the time to buy or not is absolutely ignoring the
fact that every market really has two markets inside it.

All three points are valid in the Twin Cities real estate market. There are a handful of communities in the southwest metro where homes continue to sell a few days or weeks after being posted on the MLS. These areas have seen modest appreciation this past year while most Minneapolis and St. Paul suburbs have been flat. Some have even seen slight depreciation. Homes in the Twin Cities metro are taking an average of 4 months to sell but the days-on-market stats for Linwood and North Branch are definitely longer than for homes in White Bear Lake and Maplewood.

As a Realtor working in Ham Lake and the Forest Lake school district, I would never make a blanket statement regarding the whole Twin Cities. But Kramer made a statement regarding the market across the entire US. When I am asked by potential clients if it is a good time to buy a home in the north and east metro of the Twin Cities, the answer is “Yes”.

As Keller states, there are two markets in every market and this is truer than ever currently in the Twin Cities. There are many homes that are over priced. Short-sale homes where the sellers are upside-down on the financing, owing more than the home is worth. Those are not necessarily a good deal. Likewise there are always a few sellers in every market that have higher expectations than what buyers in the marketplace want to pay. Those homes should be avoided.

But what I am seeing in the Twin Cities market is a good portion of sellers WANT and NEED to sell their homes. When sellers want to sell, the homes are in tiptop condition, priced incredibly well. And, sellers are willing to negotiate. Builders are having unprecedented incentives and price concessions so a new construction dream home can be a great buy too.

To find that well priced, dream home in the Twin Cities, it is imperative that buyers work with a Realtor. Through market analysis and experience, a real estate professional will help you determine which category a home falls; overpriced or good value. Just like we have done in every market—buyer, seller or in-between—for years.


Other interesting articles on today’s housing market:

Featured North Metro Twin Cities Listings:

· 1988 Robin Lane N
· 3608 Woodland Drive
· 20685 Georgia Ave N


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 www.terieckholm.com/