Monday, June 30, 2008

Simplifying your Move with an EZ Phone Number to Help Clean Up!

I hate automated electronic messages being left on my voicemail. Usually I hit delete before the first sentence is completed by the annoying mechanical voice. However, the other day, I actually listened to one that I received. It offered some pretty good information. It was from the Salvation Army offering to send a truck out to pick up donations.
In Anoka County, there are many charities offering pick up service for gently used clothing, furniture and household items. Many of these groups like the Vietnam Veterans, Disabled American Veterans, Lupus Foundation and Courage Center come on a designated route on a rotating basis. The organization will mail or call to notify homeowners when a truck in the area and ask if they have any items that they would like to donate.

The Salvation Army however is has a new tactic for getting donations of clothing and furniture. They left this message: Call 1-800-SA-TRUCK to arrange a pick up! Now that is an easy number to remember.

As a Realtor, I am often asked by sellers where to donate furniture and other household items. The Salvation Army is not only a great organization to consider, they have made it simple to remember how to schedule that pick up!

So after staging your home or if you have leftover items from your moving sale, donate to the Salvation Army by giving 1-800-SA-TRUCK a call. It's a great way to simplify your move!


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 2008 terieckholm.com

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distractions--Homeowner Version: Steel Dragons in Blaine

A decade ago when we made our move to Anoka County, unique sites along the road often surprised us. There were the little buildings resembling outhouses near the end of every driveway. These of course are shelters for children waiting for the school bus. There were hawks on roadside power lines looking down to the road or a sod field looking for its next meal to run by. And then there would be something to really stop you in your tracks…Something that looks like a steel dragon!

When we first saw this Artful Distraction in Blaine, it was nose to nose with its mirror image. The pair of shining steel sculptures glistened as they blocked the driveway and guarded the entry to the property. I have to admit, I have never noticed the actual home they protect but when looking at these entwined serpents, I imagined a castle.

In my real estate travels, I get to past these metallic serpents on a regular basis. Lately the pair has been apart, leaving access wide open to the property. From the looks of things, overgrown grass and unattended trash receptacles, I imagine there is a new owner in the home who doesn’t need the added security of a pair of silver steel dragons. But even apart, the spectacle doesn’t go without notice and remains a favorite and very unique distraction along a Minnesota roadway.

Other Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distractions:
Don't be distracted when making YOUR important real estate decisions! 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 2008 terieckholm.com

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Close Look at Short Sale & Foreclosure Market—Twin Cities Homeowner Equity Safer than Indicated

Most media reports have been exclaiming the double digit drop in housing values in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area since the beginning of 2008. The RMLS numbers showed a drastic decline in the values of homes from Anoka to Ramsey to Washington Counties. It seemed that no area in the 13 county Twin Cities metro area was completely immune to the pressure the reported up to 2% foreclosure rate was putting on the housing market.

The numbers are staggering when looked at as a whole…but what if the foreclosures and short sales could be filtered out? Reality is that in most areas few than 2% of properties are in foreclosure in the metro market. But many more homeowners are sitting at home nervously watching the news reports touting the ‘gloom and doom’ and believe the equity is draining from their homes like a flood prone levee. Is this picture accurate?

Intuitively, I knew the answer was no. Or at the very least it was incomplete. Homes being sold in the market by a traditional seller, without a bank or corporate entity involved, are appearing to hold their value somewhat better than other homes. But I had no way to back up what I believed I was seeing until now.

A local Minneapolis Realtor,
Aaron Dickinson and Jeff Allen, the research manager of the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors (MMAR) teamed up to find the answer. They created a report entitled Foreclosures and Short Sales in the Twin Cities Housing Market. This report shows that significantly more bank-owned and mediated homes are currently listed than two years ago…nearly 10 times more! The report also goes on to show that while the median sales price for the foreclosed homes are down almost 16%, homes sold by traditional sellers is only down about 3.5% from 2006 to 2008. 

This is awesome news for Twin Cities homeowners frightened that their largest single investment is draining in value daily as more foreclosures hit the market. Rest assured that while this changed housing market IS affecting the property values during this time of correction, we are not in a freefall throughout the metro area.


Other Real Estate Related Articles that might be of interest:


If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional Realtor to better understand this changed real estate market, 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 2008 terieckholm.com

Friday, June 13, 2008

Coon Rapids, MN Real Estate Market Statistics May 2008

cIn spite of the real estate slow down Coon Rapids continues to evolve as it has for over 150 years. It has changed from the community’s humble beginnings of a dirt road farm community to the 9th largest city and 5th largest suburb in the state of Minnesota. The affects of the real estate market change on Coon Rapids is tempered by its convenient location to downtown Minneapolis and its easy access to Interstate 35, Hwy 65 and Hwy 47/10 for a commute to a lakeside cabin. Coon Rapids is a community with something for everyone: encompassing 23 square miles it boasts several neighborhood and regional parks, indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks, softball and baseball fields, tennis courts, hiking and biking trails, swimming pools, a golf course, and two major regional shopping developments.

Like its neighbors Blaine and Andover, the residential real estate construction boom in Coon Rapids during the past decade has slowed but not stopped making new and existing home purchase opportunities very affordable. Conveniently between Anoka and Blaine, it is connected by Highway 10 just north of the Twin Cities, Coon Rapids is an attractive location for both business and residential development. The entire community of Coon Rapids is served by one school district;
Anoka Hennepin District #11.

Real estate in Coon Rapids, MN in Anoka County is affordable and selling—though admittedly at a slower pace than most sellers would like. In the first five months of 2008 numbers show single family homes are staying on the market an average of 148 cumulative days. This is very similar to the neighboring community of Blaine with an average of 150 CDOM for the first quarter.


But when broken down to single family homes versus townhomes/ condos, the single family homes have a 132 average CDOM while townhomes/condos are selling nearly a month slower with a 168 CDOM. In Blaine, condos/townhomes were selling faster than their higher priced single family homes. This could be do to builder incentives on the abundance of new construction properties in Blaine and the many executive homes that are asking well over $500,000. There are extremely high priced homes in Coon Rapids and few new construction townhomes.

Like Blaine, the cumulative days on market numbers for Coon Rapids is better than in other areas of the north metro like Forest Lake, Lino Lakes and Ham Lake where homes have a cumulative days-on-market rate (CDOM) of well over 200 days. (Links to statistical reports for these communities are listed below.)

Inventory levels of single family homes under $200,000 in Coon Rapids have remain quite manageable with approximately 6-7 months of inventory. Town homes and condos are going quite a bit slower; with nearly 18 months of inventory. As Coon Rapids’ real estate is for the most part moderately priced, it should adjust to the changed market relatively quickly but it’s significant condo/townhome market will take time to recover as it will have to compete with new townhome developments in the neighboring community of Blaine.

Jan-May 2008 Coon Rapids residential real estate statistics for single family homes:


Under $200,000~ 137Active Listings, 26 Pending Listings, 102 Sold Listings, CDOM 124

$200,000-$300,000~ 130 Active Listings, 10 Pending Listings, 43 Sold Listings, CDOM 134

$300,000-$400,000~ 30 Active Listings, 2 Pending Listings, 11 Sold Listings, CDOM 185

$400,000 and up~ 13 Active Listings, 2 Pending Listings, 1 Sold Listings, CDOM 233


Jan-May 2008 Coon Rapids residential real estate statistics for townhomes and condos:

Under $200,000~ 228 Active Listings, 12 Pending Listings, 73 Sold Listings, CDOM 166

$200,000-$300,000~ 36 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 6 Sold Listings, CDOM 340

$300,000-$400,000~ 9 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 0Sold Listings, CDOM N/A

**All Statistical information based on information from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE of MINNESOTA, INC. for the period of 1/1/08 through 5/31/08.

Featured Townhome Listing in Anoka County (pictured above)

601 86th Lane NW, Coon Rapids, MN


For additional information on this home or any current Coon Rapids real estate listing contact Teri Eckholm directly at 651-336-7073.


Other Real Estate Articles that might be of interest:
·
Does "Minnesota Nice" Affect the Real Estate Market? "Yah, You Betcha!"
· Understanding Risk of Loss—How Severe Weather Affects Real Estate
· First Time Home Buyer in Anoka County, MN? Low Interest Loans Available!
· Lino Lakes, MN Real Estate Market Statistics 1st Quarter 2008
·
Forest Lake, MN Real Estate Market Statistics 1st Quarter 2008
·
Ham Lake, MN Real Estate Market Statistics 1st Quarter 2008
· Blaine, MN Real Estate Market Statistics 1st Quarter 2008

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 2008 terieckholm.com

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Owning Minnesota Lakeshore—Is the Water Really Safe?

Owning a lakeshore home is a dream of many Minnesota residents. Living in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, one would be hard pressed not to drive by a lake, pond or river on a daily basis no matter if you are in Anoka, Ramsey, Chisago, Washington, Hennepin or any other county in our great state. Almost every day on the news there is something happening on or in one of our wonderfully wet natural resources. Some of the news is not always so great: Eurasian milfoil, mercury in the fish and polluted waters are a concern. Even those who live in the city are being asked to prevent grass clippings from going into the street and sewer systems as the chemicals that make our lawns so beautifully green, go through the storm drains and into our lakes. So how do you know if the sparkling pristine blue water of that Minnesota lakehome you want to buy is as clean as it looks?

As a Realtor working in the north and east Twin Cities metro, I do get asked questions regarding the quality of our lakes. After buyers are dazzled by the view of a lakeshore sunset, they want to know about water quality before they sign a purchase agreement. Lakeshore owners want to be able to fish, boat and swim in the water. So questions arise.

*Is the lake polluted?


*Are the fish safe to eat?

*Is there milfoil present?

*Should we swim in the water?

Finding these answers is simple. I direct my lakehome buyers to http://www.checkmylake.org/, a wonderful website devoted to MN lakeshore and recreation published by Conservation Minnesota. The site gives information great information on all of Minnesota’s lakes that have been tested for water quality.

A potential lakeshore buyer can find out whether the lake water is safe to swim in and whether the fish are safe to eat on a case by case basis. The lake search is very simple to use. Just put in the name and or county of the lake you are interested in and hit GO. I found that when I was looking for a big lake that is located in more than one county, like White Bear Lake, entering the lake name is best because it will only be listed in one county. (In the case of White Bear Lake, it listed as Washington County not Ramsey.)

Pollution status is not the only feature of
checkmylake.org. The website is updated daily with water facts, lake news and beach reports. You can also sign a petition to protect our lakes, volunteer to monitor lake quality, or submit a story about your favorite lake.

Ready to buy a Minnesota Lakehome 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 2008 terieckholm.com

Monday, June 2, 2008

East Bethel to Discuss Hwy 65/Cty 22 at Council Meeting Wednesday June 4


Attention East Bethel, Ham Lake and Wyoming residents interested in the Hwy 65/Viking Blvd intersection development!

The Community of East Bethel adopted the comprehensive plan in August 2007 that was submitted to the Met Council. Included in the plan is a city sewer and water proposal centered on the development of a town center at Hwy 65 and Viking Blvd. (County 22).

Now the real work is beginning! The proposed development of this intersection is on the agenda at this week's city council meeting-June 4 at East Bethel City Hall, 7:30 PM. As always these meetings are open to the public. Residents of East Bethel should plan to attend as community growth always brings up questions...City council meetings are one forum where you can to get your answers!


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 2008 terieckholm.com

Severe Weather and Real Estate—Understanding Risk of Loss


Spring storms and a busier real estate market are making life very interesting for MN buyers, sellers and Realtors! Just over a week ago, 400-500 homes sustained damage as a severe storm that spawned two tornados and devastated the Twin Cities north metro. Yesterday another storm blew through Minnesota. This time homes in the south and west metro were affected by hail and damaging straight-line winds. 2008 is setting up to be a very active storm season in the Land of 10,000 Lakes as more severe weather is already in the forecast for later this week. Will this affect real estate transactions? You betcha!

Even in this changed, buyer-driven market, spring is a busy time for Minnesota real estate. Current statistics showed the deadlock between buyers and sellers loosened earlier this year with many homes going into pending sale status in April.

My curiosity as a Realtor got the best of me. I looked at the devastated Hugo neighborhood with a real estate eye. So many homes damaged and destroyed—Roofs gone. Windows shattered. Vinyl siding looking like Swiss cheese. Trees toppled onto homes. It is an entirely different neighborhood than it was a couple of weeks ago. In this hard hit neighborhood alone, there were 6 active homes on the market and 4 homes in pending at the time of the storm. With all of the damage and in some cases, total devastation, no doubt the risk of loss clause will come into play in some, if not all, of these real estate transactions.

What is the “Risk of Loss” clause? What does it mean to the average home buyer and seller?

Risk of Loss is a “boiler plate” clause on page four of the Minnesota purchase agreement. 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.

I wrote a post last August,
Contract Cancelled—Understanding Risk of Loss, that explains the risk of loss clause in detail and what it means to anyone with a signed purchase agreement on a home that sustains damage. After the past few stormy weekends, this topic deserves to be revisited as a reminder to all home Minnesota buyers and sellers as we persevere through this turbulent summer.

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 2008 terieckholm.com