Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Thousand Dollar Gamble—Why Buyer’s Representation is Essential!

I love working with home buyers! First Time Buyers. Move up Buyers. Relocation Buyers. You name it—I love it!
That is why a few weeks ago when a young couple called for a showing on a home I have listed, I was excited. I pulled together my Home Buyer’s Packet with information and tips for anyone considering making a move and headed off to the home.

Now I know that most people do not fall in love with the first home they are shown. But, I am also aware that buyers scour the internet for weeks, even months prior to calling a Realtor. So after a few pre-qualifying questions, I knew this young couple was ready to buy their first home.

I arrived to the home first and turned on all the lights to brighten up the place. A few minutes later several cars pulled up. The young couple and both sets of parents got out to inspect the property. After looking everything over, I asked the young people the big question:
While you are out looking at homes, are you looking for a Realtor at the same time?
Usually the answer is vague so I am ready with my speech about choosing a Realtor. This time one of the dad’s spoke up.
“They don’t need an agent because the will get a better deal without one.”
OK. I just met the young couple and their parents so I had to tread lightly here. I wanted a further explanation of what this guy was thinking, so I asked. It was his belief that with both sides of the commission on the table a better deal could be negotiated.

Well maybe, but usually not. Yes, there can be variable commission rates with dual agency so the offer could be a bit more attractive to a seller. But that amount is negligible in the grand scheme of things when buying a first home.

The total commission paid by the seller on a $200,000 home will run anywhere from $8,000 to $14,000. Now unless the agent is the listing broker, a percentage of the commission will go to the brokerage; usually 25-50%. Now we are down to a total commission for the agent of $4,000 to $7,000. How much of that will the buyer see in a lower purchase price? Maybe $1,000 to $2,000.
Is it worth a thousand bucks to gamble that a great agent is going to be the listing agent on YOUR dream home?
In the alternative, if a first time buyer signs a buyer’s representation agreement with a Realtor, the savings can be in the tens of thousands. When you work with a Realtor to show you properties, that agent will help you through the negotiations, prepare a market analysis for the neighborhood, and assess each property with you. When you walk into a home unrepresented, the listing agent is working for the seller until you sign and agree to dual agency. The agent owes the fiduciary duties only to the seller, including disclosure and confidentiality, so everything you say about your financing and interest in the home is disclosed to the seller as required by the listing contract.

Minnesota state law requires that I disclose that I am working for the seller when I first meet with buyers. When I explained the
Minnesota agency disclosure document to this young couple, it was the first time they had seen or heard of it after viewing several homes with various agents. It was obvious to them that not all agents are following this law.

This is where I will leave the story of these first time buyers but I want anyone considering buying a home to remember this, buyer’s representation with a Realtor will save you money. Here are a few examples of how this savings can work:

New Construction—When buyers visits a model home, the sales agent in the house will quote the list price and discounted savings that the builder is offering. That's it...End of Story. But, if buyers sign with their own agent, often a better price can be negotiated with the builder. I had clients who saved an additional $15,000 last year on their dream home from the price quoted by a sales agent. Had my buyers walked into the model without me as their Realtor, they would have paid more for their home.

Existing Homes—As I walk through each potential home with buyers, I point out concerns to address in the purchase agreement. Will the upgraded fixtures stay with the home? Is that discoloration a moisture problem? The carpet, roof, furnace needs replacing, can it be done prior to closing?

As a buyer’s agent, I will discuss these issues with you on the home and assist you structuring an offer addressing the defects in the home and repairs that will be needed. I also assist my buyers in determining a fair initial offer on the home based on comparable homes that have been recently sold in the area. If the home is overpriced, we can often negotiate a lower sales price. If the roof needs replacing and we are able to negotiate a new roof, that can be $4000-6000 in savings alone.

Will the listing agent point out all concerns or that the home is overpriced? The answer is no, as they are working for the seller.
Unless it is a material fact about the property, there is no duty to disclose to the unrepresented buyer.
Septic Systems and Wells—These are important and very expensive issues when considering purchasing an
acreage property. Some Realtors who work mostly in the Twin Cities will not know how to address these home features. If after agreeing on a price for the home, the septic or well does not pass an inspection, who pays the thousands of dollars for the repair or replacement?


If you are looking at an acreage property, having a Realtor that understands how the testing process works and how to write a purchase agreement to address these important issues is essential. The cost of replacing a failing septic system can be well over $10,000, not including replacing landscaping for the new drain field. Wells can have a similar price tag if complete replacement is required.

Service Professionals—Whether you need a loan officer, title company or inspector, many Realtors have a list of service professionals at their fingertips to get the job done efficiently and at the lowest possible cost to you. Most buyers do not have first hand knowledge to make a great selection for these professionals. When making the single largest purchase in your lifetime do you really want to take your chances asking DEX? I work in this industry everyday and know when it is worth it to pay a few dollars more and when the savings is not worth the cost.

The bottom line when buying a home is, you need a knowledgeable advisor in your corner. Partner with a Realtor you trust before you find that dream home. Not only can it save you thousands, it can save you headaches as well.



More Articles on Buying Real Estate that might be of interest:

Ready to buy in the Twin Cities without taking a gamble? If you are considering buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2007 www.terieckholm.com

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Skyscape Under Construction in Forest Lake, Minnesota


Like a transformer in slow motion, the new Forest Lake water tower began to take on its final shape this past week. The construction process is quite a sight to see! Piece by piece concave metal is lifted into place and welded to the base, creating the “bowl”. This past spring the original old “tin-man” type water tower was removed from its place along Lake St. The new tower is located near the compost site just off of Broadway.


If you are buying, selling or relocating to Forest Lake, Minnesota and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.


Copyright 2007 www.terieckholm.com

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Forget Sleigh Bells, Sirens Announce Santa’s Annual Ride!


You’d better watch out and better not cry—He’s coming soon through a Ham Lake neighborhood soon. Santa Claus is coming to town!

One of the most fun and unique experiences that our family looks forward to every December is when Santa rides through the city on a fire truck, passing out candy canes to the good little residents of Ham Lake. Santa’s fireman helpers use this opportunity to collect non perishable food items to stock the Ham Lake food shelf for the holidays. This trip to the end of the driveway or road is not just for the kiddies; Santa passes candy canes, donated by the Ham Lake Chamber of Commerce, out to the young and young at heart.
As Ham Lake is a rather large area geographically and the fire truck is not as swift as flying reindeer, Santa makes his pre-Christmas visit on a 3-day schedule from 6PM to 9PM.
Thursday December 6: The width of the city from the south border to 145th Lane.

Friday, December 7: The width of the city from 145th Avenue to Constance Blvd.

Saturday, December 8: The width of the city from Constance to the city’s north boundary.

New homeowners and past residents alike enjoy this unique Ham Lake Christmas tradition. Don’t miss out on the fun! Mark your calendar, listen for the sirens and bring the food donations to the end of the driveway. It is a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

Looking for a new home for the holidays? If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a
FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2007 www.terieckholm.com

Monday, November 19, 2007

Time to Give Thanks to a Dear Friend--But How Do You Say Goodbye?

Everyday for the past several years, after I sent my family off to school and work, I have a faithful companion by my side. He would follow me into my office and be my alarm if when someone drove up the driveway or knocked on the door. Sitting at my feet, thumping his tail, Tikki has been our family dog for nearly 16 years. I am lucky and thankful for my wonderful canine companion!

Tikki is an Australian Shepard mix that was thrust upon us by some family friends years ago. He was a playful pup that grew up with the kids. Tikki's sheparding instincts kept the kids from running too far. The boys weren’t too happy about the dog biting the tops of their shoes. When you are a wobbly toddler it doesn’t take much to knock you down!

When Tikki joined the family, we still lived in a North St Paul neighborhood. He had a fenced yard and great insulated dog house for protection. Although, he only went inside the structure once, to pull out all of the insulation! Tikki preferred the company of his boys! He loved to run and play with his kids! He was tough on the house though. Puppy chewing was a problem, but with training we kept the damage to a minimum. Dog hair was another issue all together. Having baby gates allowed us to keep the family pet confined to the downstairs and the hair problem to a minimum.

When we moved to our Ham Lake
acreage, Tikki was in his glory. He had more room to run; more places to explore. We added to kittens to the family and our pet allotment was complete.

Two and a half acres in the country beats a double city lot any day! Tikki spent entire days on the front porch in the sun watching for bunnies and squirrels to chase; gophers and moles to dig up in the yard. He never did get one of those fast moving rodents but did manage to a scare up a mole once on a walk with my son. I don’t know who was more alarmed, the mole, the dog or my son as they were all within inches of each other.

In the past few years we have noticed that Tikki was slowing down. People would make comments like, “You still have Tikki? How old is he?” And “15 years, that’s old for a dog.” We started to research older dog health. My husband designed a website,
www.olddogpaws.com with the information that we compiled. It was a goal to keep our friend as an integral part of our family for as long as possible.

A year or so ago, we noticed that Tikki’s limp had gotten worse. His bark had turned into a raspy noise that we call the “old dog bark”. His back right leg would shake and go out on him completely from time to time. We would watch, worry and warn our boys that their beloved dog wouldn’t be with us forever.

Around this same time, my husband and I started that big discussion remodel or move again. With Tikki aging, the discussion turned into a big circle and has put
everything on hold. The dog could never be confined to one room and his toenails would ruin hardwood floors like they have ruined the decade old vinyl flooring in our kitchen and laundry room. Accidents have been happening more frequently which damage new carpet, sometimes beyond repair. Being in real estate, it is hard to watch your pet destroy parts of your home. One door has been scratched up as he recently started to paw at the door to get our attention. He is no longer able to bark. Repairs would have to be made to sell. New flooring could be damaged if remodeled so we continue in a holding pattern for our friend’s sake.

Then suddenly last fall, one of our beloved family cats died of heart failure. The boys were devastated as there was no preparation and no time to say goodbye. For the past year, thankfully, our Tikki-Dog stayed with the family, somewhat healthy and able to help the boys through their sadness.

About a month or so ago, we noticed the limp was getting worse. Tikki didn’t want to go inside the house after walking and doing his business. He couldn’t walk up the steps with his arthritic back legs. Looking closer his right leg had started to atrophy and twist. He rarely put pressure on his right foot at all. His thumping tail wagged no more.

We can no longer avoid the inevitable. My husband and younger son built Tikki a ramp a few weeks back…Carefully designing one that is sturdy but is not permanently attached to our new cedar steps. Now Tikki can go in and out of the house more easily. But as days go on we realize that the time is getting closer to when we will have to say goodbye. We live in Minnesota and the ice and snow are coming. Tikki needs strong back legs to avoid slipping on the sidewalk in the winter.

Last week, after a particularly bad day, I made the call to the veterinarian for information on euthanasia. Even though it was only for information so we know the procedure when the time comes, even thought nothing is scheduled, I broke down on the phone. There is a reality that hits when you form the words; have the discussion. It is very hard.
My family continues to take Tikki’s condition day by day; spending time with our friend. Petting him and talking to him. But we know that actual day to say farewell is coming soon. We are thankful for the many years we have had with our beloved pet. But how do you say goodbye to a friend who has been at your side for a third of your life? Or, like my boys, all of your life? The answer is very, very slowly.

Well, today’s not the day…Come on Tikk…Let’s go for your walk!


If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2007 www.terieckholm.com

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Forest Lake High School Rangers are Pounding Nails Again—New Home Under Construction!

After the successful sale of last year of the home built by Forest Lake construction students in the parking lot of their school, the are at it again! The 3BR/2BA rambler built by Forest Lake High School Students in the previous year sold for $65,000 and was moved by its new owners to its permanent location this past spring. The proceeds from the sale of the home were put right back into the next project. That new construction endeavor began with the school year in September.

I have it on good authority that because of this real world building project, the shop classes in Forest Lake High School have a waiting list! Beginning woodshop is the stepping stone to working on this new home construction project.

As you can see, the first quarter students made excellent progress on the home. The framing is done and the windows are in and roofing finished; the siding is also nearly complete on the modest rambler. It looks like this time there might be a detached garage for sale along with the house. The roofing is well underway for that structure too. Just in time for to keep the elements out as old man winter is starting to arrive in Minnesota. Our first big snow could be any day. Working in a real environment gives a real timeline to the construction process.

As a Realtor in the north metro, I have watched the construction of many homes throughout the Forest Lake School District. From what I can see, there is not a crew out there that can match the passion and dedication as the construction students of the Forest Lake Rangers! It will be a fun project to watch to completion!

More Articles on Forest Lake Minnesota that might be of interest:

Featured LISTING in Forest Lake:20685 Georgia Ave N, Forest Lake, MN 55025
If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2007 www.terieckholm.com

Friday, November 16, 2007

Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distraction—Homeowner Version: D’oh! Homer at Home in Centerville


Now what can I say about this permanent lawn sculpture except the homeowner must have a great sense of humor and fun! Homer Simpson in all of his colorful glory was spotted by my teenagers in the front yard of a home between Centerville and Lino Lakes.
It is definitely one for the collection of Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distractions as when my son first saw it I was distracted by the exclamation, “Look! There is a giant Homer Simpson in that yard!” On our next trip down to the Twin Cities, taking the short cut from Columbus through Centerville, we slowed down and there was Homer in all his glory. This piece of chainsaw art is carved right out of what must have been a massive tree where it stood in the front yard of the home. Not the lawn decoration for every family but for lovers of the Simpson’s, it is "¡Ay, caramba!" or a great surprise!


Other Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distractions:

If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.
Copyright 2007 www.terieckholm.com

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Take the Home Off the Market or Stay the Course—What Should a Seller Do During the Holidays?

It is getting to be that time of year again. The holidays are upon us but the house hasn’t sold.

What should a seller do?
At first inclination most sellers opt to withdraw their home from the market believing that the preoccupation with the holiday season puts few buyers in the market. While there is truth to this belief, sellers can be ignoring another more important truth: Buyers looking at houses during the holidays are V-E-R-Y serious buyers.


There are not many tire-kickers running around with a Realtor when there are presents to buy and gifts to wrap. November, December and January showings are a seller’s opportunity as most homes that buyers visit at this time of the year are vacant. A buyer’s choices are down to model homes, empty relocation properties and foreclosures. A welcome home filled with the colorful sights, delightful sounds and wonderful aromas of the season give a unique opportunity for those wanting to sell.

Tips for Showing & Selling During the Holidays
  1. Decorate! Tastefully of course. This might not be the year that you do the Griswold display of lights as in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but a decorated tree, candles and wreaths can add a special touch.
  2. Bake and leave out a Christmas Cookie or two. Why should Santa have all of the extra calories?
  3. Keep the home fires burning! Make sure the fireplace is burning bright, warm and welcoming!
  4. Play holiday music. Leave out the barking version of Jingle Bells and go for instrumentals or uniquely Minnesota regional artists like The Blenders.
  5. Shovel and salt the sidewalk and driveway if necessary. No one wants to spend the holidays in the emergency room with a twisted ankle.
  6. Leave the front light on! Don’t forget it is dark out during those early evening showings. Make certain buyers and their agents are able to see their way to your front door and lockbox.
If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.
Copyright 2007 www.terieckholm.com

Friday, November 9, 2007

Unbelievable! Guess Who Wants an Invite to Thanksgiving Dinner?!

This one is too good not to share…Since living in Ham Lake we have had our encounters with wildlife but with less than two weeks prior to Thanksgiving, this is one for the books.
Moments ago, I was pulled away from answering emails and blogging on the computer in my home office due to a weird thumping noise. I was confused since it was just me and the pets at home. It wasn’t the dog with his thumping tail. He was next to me. I thought maybe the cat was playing with something in the bedroom. No…nothing upstairs. The noise was coming from the basement…maybe the cat had something downstairs…that can’t be good as in the country, we get mice from time to time.

Nope! It was this guy and he scared me out of my wits! He was tapping at the glass of our basement window. I had to get a photo to prove it to everyone.

This is my third encounter with wild turkeys in Ham Lake. The
first one didn’t go so well and we are still cleaning miniscule shards of glass off the dashboard of the minivan. The second one was last year when one bird got trapped in the batting cage netting out back. But this one trying to get a free invite to Thanksgiving? Good thing I am not a hunter! :)



Featured homes in Ham Lake and Forest Lake:3608 Woodland Drive
20685 Georgia Ave N

If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2007 www.terieckholm.com

Thursday, November 8, 2007

It’s Hard to Show the Unhandy-Andy, Weasley Burrow!

As a Realtor, showing homes can sometimes be more of an adventure than others. This past summer, I had a wonderful family of clients looking for a hobby farm so they would no longer have to board their horses. They wanted to be located near the schools and employment in the Twin Cities, needed a minimum of 5 acres and the ability to keep at least 2 horses on the property. Age and condition of the home were secondary considerations as long as it was in the price range and met the three main criteria.

So we began the journey! We scoped out homes from Scandia to North Branch! We trekked all over Washington, Anoka and Chisago Counties and checked out properties from Linwood to Stacy, even a few in northern Ham Lake and East Bethel.

On one such adventure, we visited a home that sounded in the MLS like a real find. A 1998 built split level home with a 3 car garage, 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, and a mother-in-law apartment. Pulling up to the home, we noted the unique layout…A standard split level home was enhanced with an additional third garage stall and an apartment above. Since the home was a walkout, the third stall was at a lower elevation than the other two. It was unusual but not concerning.

Entering the main front door, the home did appear to be a standard 2 bedrooms up and two bedrooms down split but that is where the normalcy ended. The upper level deck was an obviously-abandoned, work-in-progress, missing railings and several floor boards. When you walked through the two car garage of the main home, there was a service door that lead to a long dark hallway. If you took a sharp right, you would fall down steep stairs. We headed straight and went into a weirdly designed mother-in-law apartment complete with swinging saloon-style doors to gate off the kitchen and fake parquet inlayed floors. At this point, I turned to my sellers and stated, "Oh my gosh, we are in the Weasley house!"
Okay, maybe it was because I had just stayed up several nights in a row to finish the final installment of Harry Potter but this home hit me as a knock off of
the Burrow. If the Potter Series is only in film version in your mind, you might miss the analogy as the Weasley home only makes a quick appearance in one film. J. K. Rowling gives architecture a whole new meaning in the wizarding world with moving staircases and disappearing/appearing townhomes. (Can you even imagine a muggle Realtor trying to find Harry’s godfather, Sirius Black’s family estate at 12 Grimmauld Place?) But the description of the Burrow is very vivid in the literary version as a convoluted maze of a home.
My clients agreed and couldn’t leave the property fast enough. It actually took longer for the homeowners to leave the house than it did for my clients to view the home and make their decision.

The sad thing is this wasn’t the only Weasley home that we visited before the clients located their dream home. In many country homes people are foregoing common sense, reason and building permits when putting an addition on a home or making home repairs. We saw an odd, 3-story home where the additional floors got smaller just like a home created by Dr. Suess. Then there was the home that had a spiral staircase removed to put in hardwood but the owner didn’t make the opening large enough for an adult human to go up and down. In another home, with a very rustic interior must have been a bit drafty in the winter winds as they had used expanding foam insulation between the boards in the main family room!

I avoid listing Weasley homes. If an unhandy-Andy did improper home “improvements” or added onto the home without permits, I won’t list the home until the repairs are made and properly documented.
We are still in a buyers market in the Twin Cities. There are dozens of properties listed that buyers can choose from. Homes with weird layouts, mismatched siding, unfinished decks and stairs that go nowhere, don’t sell. Buyers have options and will move on to the next home. So before you head out to Home Depot or Menard’s for the next weekend project, ask yourself if relocation is possible in the near future. If it is a possibility, make certain the work is done correctly and properly permitted.

As much as the Weasley family loved their home and it worked for them, I wouldn’t want to have to sell it!


Featured homes in Ham Lake and Forest Lake:
If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.

Copyright 2007 www.terieckholm.com

Monday, November 5, 2007

Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distractions--Hometown Version: Lindstrom Teapot Watertower

Drive down highway 8 between Forest Lake and Taylors Falls and can’t miss this icon. After all the Lindstrom teapot is located just off main street and the highway IS main street in this little town with Swedish roots! Lindstrom has nicknamed itself “America’s Little Sweden” as it was originally settled by Swedish immigrants. Though the water tower was put out of service in 1990 after 88 years, the teapot still stands as a welcoming beacon to those who visit and reside the Chisago County community.

As a Realtor working in the north metro, I often get to travel down this road on the way to show the lovely area lakeshore. Lindstrom is literally surrounded by several lakes and is a wonderful place to vacation and live. I love this hometown
Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distraction as it brings to mind a simpler time.
I grew up watching reruns of “Leave it to Beaver”. In one memorable episode, the Beaver’s imagination got the best of him and to settle a bet he climbed up and subsequently got stuck in the giant cup of coffee over the coffee shop trying to figure out how it stayed hot and steamed constantly. The Lindstrom teapot probably caused a lot of wonder and sparked more than one imagination during the past century. Nowadays, kids have flashing neon and billboards that change every few seconds welcoming them home. In some respects, maybe simple was better.

Other Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distractions:



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

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Rethink Recycling—Use the 2008 Recyclopedia!


An amazing resource arrived in mailboxes throughout Ham Lake and Anoka County recently. The 2008 Recyclopedia! An A-Z directory of where and how to recycle everything.

Need to know where to dispose of an old computer, florescent bulbs or hazardous waste? It’s in the guide. Want to donate furniture, eyeglasses or clothing? Several resources are listed. Considering composting in your own backyard? There is a step-by-step guide to get you started.






The Recyclopedia contains over 40 pages of information to help Anoka County residents reduce, recycle and reuse.


As a Realtor serving Ham Lake and the surrounding area of Anoka County, I see some clients in a cleaning panic prior to a move. They will often get a dumpster to do a mass clean up of the inside and outside of their home. With a little planning, many items could be recycled or reused rather than sent to a landfill.

If you are considering a spring move, get your hands on the Recyclopedia for a way to reuse your unwanted items. Anoka County resident?
 Remember your trash could be someone else’s treasure.


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

Friday, November 2, 2007

Almost Time to Queue-Up for the Cities Sampler

Very few things in life will make me stand outside, lined up for an hour on a cold Minnesota morning, but it is an annual tradition throughout the Twin Cities every November. Real estate sales go on hold as I freeze with the masses, lined up at various locations from Forest Lake to White Bear Lake and Shoreview to St. Paul.

Not for a discounted flat screen or new game system, but for the Cities 97 Sampler. The coveted CD is a collection of Studio C cuts from awesome musical artists that have visited Minneapolis and St. Paul and cut a limited edition version of a song for local charities. This is the 19th year of the Sampler and it has quite a following.

The group that lines up for a
Cities97 Sampler isn’t your normal line up of card-playing partiers; most are dressed in suits and skirts stopping on their way to work. Last year while in line, I overheard several who were retirees picking up the musical treasure for a daughter in school or son who had to work. No one under 16 is allowed to purchase the CD. Not for graphic-language or violence, but to keep parents from keeping kids out of school to assist in buying a few extra copies for of state residents for the upcoming holidays. It is an orderly group but as the line grows longer, those at the end start getting nervous as there is only a limited amount at each store, usually around 200-400 depending on the Target location. There are people who will walk up and down the line counting and multiplying by 2 to predict who will be out of luck in the cold.

It wasn’t a decade ago that someone could waltz into a Target Store in the listening area and pick up the 17-20 song exclusive at a reasonable hour like 10:00 AM but never wait until after noon or you missed out forever. On Sampler 14, I got one of the last three just before 10 and made a mental note to get there early next year. Arriving at 8:10 after dropping my son at school, I arrived to a sold out rack. Along with many other disappointed people we found that
Ebay had arrived. It has changed our system forever. Now, non-listeners who want to make a buck or two, come in packs to pick up their two copies of the disk to sell to the highest bidder.

The Cities 97 radio station has done many things to help out the loyal listeners. There is a Frequent Listener Club where members can sign up and pre-buy on-line. They also save several copies and run their own on-line CD auction where the profits, like all profits from the Sampler sale, go to
Minnesota charities. Additionally, you can hear the entire disk played without commercials over the weekend if you want to create your own disk of the unique music.

Not one to open a Christmas present early, I always one that waited until I purchased my Sampler to see the songs and artists on the new disk. As soon as I arrived home, I would pop in the CD to hear the new tracks that I had waited so long for. Last year I was pleasantly surprised that The Fray and Death Cab for Cutie has participated in the event. The year before Snow Patrol’s Studio C version of “Chocolate” was included. And. a few years previous, John Mayer cut a version of “Real World” and Five for Fighting participated with a unique version of “Superman”. There are too many favorites to name them all, but they are
archived on the Cities 97 website. This year I got a sneak peek when writing up the post of the new Sampler cover, artists and songs on the station’s website. Looks like the line might be longer for the music this year.

So, no matter what the weather is on November 15th, I will be dressed warm and standing in the cold to pick up my two copies of the Cities Sampler. The new music will keep me warm all winter long.

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