Saturday, November 22, 2008

November Video Update on the Twin Cities Real Estate Market

November's video Twin Cities real estate market update was just posted this past week on YouTube from the Minneapolis Association of Realtors. It gives a very good snapshot of condition of the Twin Cities real estate market and explanation of where it is today. It is cautiously optimistic about the housing market conditions this fall. Take a look...




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.

Buying a Home? Check out my new HOME BUYER'S BLOG!

Copyright 2008 terieckholm.com

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Minnesota Real Estate Market Shows Similar Trends to Nation in October

For the past year or so, I have been fortunate to be taking part in a monthly nationwide real estate market research project with the investment firm, Credit Suisse. As a thank you, I receive a copy of the report in exchange for my views of what is happening in the home construction and sales market in Minnesota.

“Fear Grips Buyers in October” was the headline of this month’s report. It is not just a Minnesota trend that had real estate agents phones not ringing. The report indicated that this was a nationwide trend. “Nearly all markets are impacted by buyers worries.” And how could they not be with talks of bailouts and massive economic meltdowns.

There are indications that foreclosure heavy markets are seeing traffic and demand is weak at high price points. Some buyers are buying but cautiously. Funny thing was as I read this report; I could have written most of what has been presented. This information is what I have observed in the Minnesota market right down the line. September buyers were stopped in their tracks by the economic news. Very few calls came into my office and even fewer were scheduled. October is usually a time where the phone will start ringing with buyers excited about getting into that new home before the Minnesota snow starts to fly.

On a positive note, the Monday following the election, my phone has started to ring. My listings are getting showings and buyers have started to ask to see homes again. Maybe with all the political focus on the economy over, the public is ready to start venturing out to see all the great deals on Minnesota lakeshore and acreage homes in the north and east metro. Buyers wanting to be in by Christmas better hurry as the forecast indicates the snow will be flying soon.


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.

Buying a Home? Check out my new HOME BUYER'S BLOG!

Copyright 2008 terieckholm.com

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Revamped Foreclosure Alternatives—Can the Buyer Pay Back the Money?


Simple question. Granted, had it been asked when many initial loans were taken out and the answer acted responsibly on, we might not be in the mortgage mess that our economy finds itself today. It seems the question is being finally being asked again. Not only to new borrowers, but a modified question, “HOW can the buyer pay back the money?”, is being asked to assist homeowners at risk of foreclosure.

Earlier this week, I read a Newsweek article posted by Daniel McGinn,
Focusing on Foreclosures. In the article, McGinn discusses how after the summer takeover of IndyMac, the FDIC introduced a loan modification program that looks at a homeowner’s current situation and what they are able to pay first, then tweaks the loan to keep the homeowner in their house. Note they first look at what the homeowner can pay. Then using a standard formula, they try to set up a payment that will not exceed that amount. This starts by lowering the interest rate or extending the length of the loan. If that doesn’t work, the principle of the loan could be decreased.

While this does cause a loss to the bank on the books, it is in many cases a much lower lost than the cost of foreclosing on the home. And as most people now realize, the total impact of the loss is not just for the bank, many others are affected starting with the homeowner and extending throughout the community.

Finally, things are starting to snowball in a good way. Early yesterday, Citibank announced an expanded moratorium on foreclosures. By the afternoon, the FHFA was announcing an expanded Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac program to keep more people in their homes by reducing there payments to not more than 38% of their gross monthly income. 

While questions the logic of the bailout continue to swirl, I do think banks working to keep homeowners in their houses on affordable payment schedules does make sense. Too bad this simple question wasn’t asked sooner and consistently.
CLICK HERE for additional information on HUD Foreclosure Assistance.

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.

Buying a Home? Check out my new HOME BUYER'S BLOG!

Copyright 2008 terieckholm.com

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hey Homebuyers—Do you Have your Eye on a Real Estate SLEEPER?


You know what I mean…There is a home you have been watching for a couple of months and it is priced right. In fact, it is a steal of a deal. But you are still on the fence about buying a home and want to wait until that perfect moment. You are timing the market so to speak and waiting to see if seller of that “sleeper” is going to drop the price again. Well wake up bargain hunters…You might not be the only one with an eye on that sleeper and if you wait too long it will be gone.

A real estate “sleeper” is a home that is an amazing deal but few people, if anyone, is paying attention to it. Usually it is a great property, location, structurally sound and priced well but has not sold. In a buyer’s market where there is significant home inventory but few buyers, sleepers are abundant.

Maybe the home was originally over priced and though it is now priced very well it is being overlooked because of high days on the market statistics.

Possibly several very similar homes went on the market at the same time and in the same condition. Picture for a second, three homes listed during the same week in a cookie-cutter development where all the homes have roughly the same floor plan. All the home are the same age, condition, and priced very well, but only one homebuyer comes through the neighborhood during the next two months. So after 60 days, there are two sleepers left that didn’t sell. Since the houses are essentially the same as the neighboring home that sold, it's not that the homes aren't properly priced. This is another scenerio that will cause a sleeper in this changed market.

And then some great homes are "sleeping" on the market because…well, there is just so much darned inventory out there!

But if you are sitting on the sidelines and just watching your perfect home for another price reduction, beware. I have sold a couple of sleepers this past year throughout the north and east metro. In each case, nothing was happening on the property then BAM....we had 4-5 qualified parties interested in the home at the same time. In these particular cases, they weren’t the cookie-cutter variety either. One home in Washington County/Forest Lake area had a one-of-a-kind wooded lot and was in a perfect location. After months on the market, without an additional price reduction, over half a dozen serious buyers suddenly appeared. People were nonchalant when I told stressed that the home had recently seen a sudden surge of interest. Many even “pooh-poohed” the idea and mildly accused me of trying to get them of trying to coerce an offer. When the first offer came in, the seller wasted no time in accepting and I had several parties, buyers and agents alike, shocked, and more than a little miffed, that it was suddenly sold!

If the sleeper phenomena had happened only one time this past year, I would consider it a fluke but I have experienced this situation on homes in Chisago and Anoka Counties as well. In some cases I was the listing agent and others I was representing buyers.

So homebuyers heed my warning, if you are on the fence watching a sleeper, now might be the perfect time to make your move...Or someone else might beat you to it!
****************************************************************************************************************
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