Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Year End 2008 Snapshot of Blaine, MN Home Sales Statistics


The number of new listings has dropped significantly in Blaine, Minnesota right along with the average sales price. This is no doubt due to the fact that Blaine’s high valued home market in prices $500,000 and up is stagnant while the new townhomes and foreclosure/short sale homes in the lower price points continue to sell. Closed sales are up for Blaine in 2008 over 2007 so the market is moving. But listings are staying on the market for an average of almost a month longer than the previous year. Blaine still has an abundant home inventory and with prices down and sellers negotiating, this could be an affordable option for a north metro homebuyer!

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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Monday, January 26, 2009

Anoka County Has It's Own Government Watchdog--Trying to Take a Bite Out of Waste!


Wouldn’t it be great if every level of government had a watchdog overseeing it?
Residents of Anoka County are fortunate that we do have a place to check out what is going on in local government from the public’s point of view. Harold Hamilton started anokacountywatchdog.com as a way to keep Anoka County residents informed on the decisions that are made by our elected officials. The site offers tons of information and links to stories and reports on government spending in Anoka County.

Whether your concerns or questions are on the city, state, county or school board level, it is covered. Live in Ham Lake, Andover, Coon Rapids, Blaine or any other Anoka County community? Concerned about the Anoka Hennepin, Centennial or Spring Lake Park Schools? Wondering about light rail? Questions about stadiums? Wondering where your tax dollars are being spent in your community? The Watchdog is a great place to start! Heck…you can subscribe for email updates to always be informed on what is happening in Anoka County!
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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Remodeling Investments for 2009: Kitchens Still Sizzle!

No doubt there are many homeowners who a different home but the current status of the real estate market has caused them to reconsider a move and opt for a remodel. But what the “what ifs” start creeping in too…Will I ever get the money back out of the remodel? Will the investment outweigh the value added to the home? If you are considering a kitchen remodel, it still could be good choice.

The statement “Kitchens and Baths sell homes” is second only to “Location, Location, Location” in the real estate playbook. Okay we don’t really have a playbook but the annual Cost VS Value Report for home remodels consistently shows that a higher percentage of funds used for a kitchen or bath remodel will be recouped on a sale than most other remodeling projects. In late December, the NAR released the 2008-2009 Cost VS Value Report for home remodels. This study looked at cost data, resale value and percentage recouped for 25 different projects in 80 housing markets across the United States. In Minnesota, if an homeowner does a major, mid-range kitchen remodel, he can expect to recoup about 72.7% of their expenses which is a little lower than the national average of 76% percent return on investment. A minor kitchen remodel, spending roughly $21,000 in Minnesota will be recouped at a rate of 73.3% again this is less than the national average of 79.9% but a reasonable return. (View all the statistics from the Cost vs. Value Report 2008 for the Mpls/St Paul area.)

Before a undertaking a kitchen remodel it is best to understand the “Why” of the project. Is it because your home-sweet-home is perfect except for a kitchen so small that people trip over each other on the way from the refrigerator to the table? Or is it because you want to move and the 1980’s country blue counter and white department store brand appliances have seen better days and should be put out to pasture? The approach to the perfect remodel will be different if you are planning to stay in the home for the long term.

Take a Family Lifestyle Inventory

If you are designing the perfect kitchen for your family, take a lifestyle inventory. This is a process where you answer questions to understand what will be the most important needs specific to your family for the new space. It will help you and your designer to incorporate important details into your plan.


  • Consider cooking habits: One cook or two? Baker? Left-handed? Do you do dishes as you cook? Lots of Gadgets? Buy in Bulk? One oven or two?

  • Consider eating habits: Family gatherings? Everyone for themselves? Eat outdoors? Need morning sunshine? Entertaining?

  • Other Considerations: Flat screen TV in kitchen? Computer or home office needs? Homework? Laundry? Recycling? Will the family grow? Older relatives? Handicap Accessibility requirements?

All of these are things to consider when making a decision on whether and how to remodel your kitchen. Work with a designer or use a remodeling design software that will take into account the important specific needs of your family.


Hot Trends for Today’s Kitchens

For a remodel to add value at resale, you must consider current needs and trends. So what are the hot for trends for kitchens today?

  • Open to Family Room or Great RoomCustom cabinetry in a variety of heights with lots of moldings and unique woods…Maple and Cherry are preferred to Oak.

  • Retro-look Appliances with Energy Star ratings.

  • Energy saving induction cook tops separate from ovens.

  • Ceramic tile back splashes.Green flooring choices like bamboo, cork and eucalyptus.

  • Sinks with instant hot water systems.

  • Pantries and abundant, easy access storage.

  • Multiple types of lighting (bright to work, indirect for mood). Avoid track lighting.

  • Windows for Natural LightQuartz-based granite-like product like Cambria, Silstone and Zodiac, for counters and islands, as health conscious people trend away from granite. Too expensive to do the whole kitchen in quartz? Consider just the island in the expensive stuff and do the rest of the kitchen counter in a complimentary colored laminate.

Stick to Your Budget

It can be easy to get caught up in the remodeling process and go over budget. Take time from the start to reflect on your family’s needs and reasons for the remodel. Consider options that make the most sense for your family, budget and neighborhood. Make certain that the kitchen isn’t designed and constructed at a quality far beyond the value of the rest of the home. Remember remodeling for family use tends to cost more than a remodel for resale.

If remodeling specifically to put your home on the market, go for the minor remodel and take into consideration the quality and condition of the rest of home. Remember you will not recoup 100% of your investment. The changes are being made to make the house more saleable in a down market. A good REALTOR® will give you the best advice as to what is necessary and what is over the top. If you are in an upscale neighborhood where homebuyers will expect high-end quality, don’t make discount-store decisions. Likewise, if your home is in an area of modest or lower value homes, skip the granite and go for the laminate to replace the counters. Understanding the market place you live in will help make the best choices to recoup the most from your investment.

Spending a little extra time in the planning stage can reduce the headaches and heartaches of a construction project that does not meet expectations. Taking your time will allow you to make the wise decisions that add value to your most important financial investment, your home.

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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 Teri Eckholm http://www.terieckholm.com/

Friday, January 23, 2009

January 2009 Video Update on the Twin Cities Real Estate Market

The Minneapolis Association of Realtors just posted their first video update of the year on YouTube yesterday. The January update on the Twin Cities real estate market discusses of the increased affordability index in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Housing affordability combined with amazing low mortgage rates makes it a very attractive buying environment in the metro area. Several indicators are down but there is still “an elephant in the room” with the foreclosures and lender mediated homes. Another quick and fun view of real estate market conditions in the Twin Cities. 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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Do You Question that we are Living Exponentially?



Ever feel like you are being left behind by technology? Don't think anyone is using facebook.com or twitter.com? Not even sure what Facebook or Twitter are? Think it doesn't really make a difference in today's world?
Here is an eyeopener for you...This great video that gives snippets and facts that reinforces the belief that things are changing faster than ever before. Well worth the four minutes of your life it takes to watch. The numbers are mindblowing....Enjoy!








Thanks to Ken Brand and his 411 blog for bringing this awesome video to my attention!

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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Year End 2008 Snapshot of Centerville Market Statistics


The number of new listings is down in significantly in Centerville, Minnesota and surprisingly so it the average days on the market. Homes sold almost three weeks faster in 2008 than in 2007. Centerville home sellers are negotiating on prices as indicated by the ratio of original price to sold price being down under 90%. That is good news for buyers as combined with the average sales price being down a bit too, Centerville is looking like a very affordable place to call home!

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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Year End 2008 Snapshot of Coon Rapids Market Statistics




Coon Rapids homes are selling a little slower this year than last but the total number of homes sold has remained about the same. There has been a good drop in new listings which helps to keep inventory levels down. The average sales price dropped by just under 15% so affordability is evident in Coon Rapids. The drop in the ratio of original price to received price is down which shows that sellers are negotiating. Though homes sold almost three weeks faster in 2007 than in 2008, the overall time on the market is still in line with neighboring communities.

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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Remodeling Investments for 2009: Bathrooms Continue to be a Good BET!

In this changed market, many homeowners are choosing to stay in their current homes and remodel rather than make a move. But are you concerned that the investment might outweigh the value added to your home? If you are, you would have good reason. There isn’t one remodeling investment that you will fully be able to recoup all of your costs but if you are considering a bathroom remodel, you can expect to recoup a good portion of it.

As a REALTOR®, I have always told homeowners, kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. A recent report from National Association of Realtors (NAR) agrees. While a kitchen or bathroom remodel will not recoup in sales dollars the way it did in years past, both are still important enough to make the list of the eight quick fixes for home value. In late December, the NAR released the 2008-2009 Cost VS Value Report for home remodels. This study looked at cost data, resale value and percentage recouped for 25 different projects in 80 housing markets across the United States. With a bath remodel, a homeowner can expect to recoup a good portion of their expenses with a 70.7% return on investment for a upscale bathroom remodel and 74.6% on a lower budget mid-range remodel. This is down from studies in previous years but as bathrooms are high on homebuyers priorities, I would say it is still a good investment for future resale. In the Twin Cities area, returns are a bit lower but a bath remodel could recoup roughly 65%. (View all the statistics from the Cost vs. Value Report 2008 for the Mpls/St Paul area.)

Before a considering a bathroom remodel, you need to understand “Why” you are undertaking this project. Do you need a new bathroom because the old layout is not functional? Not enough bathrooms in your home? Or is it because you plan to move and the black ceramic tile and shiny chrome fixtures from the 1980’s are too ugly to get the best price for the home?

To design the perfect bathroom for YOUR home take a Lifestyle Inventory. This is a process where you ask yourself questions to determine the needs and expectations specific to your family for your family.

Here some questions to consider:


  1. Who and how the bath will be used?

  2. One sink or two?

  3. Shower and tub combination or just a shower?

  4. Storage, electrical outlets and counter space needs.

  5. Private areas or completely open?
  6. Will there be handicap accessibility needs now or in the future?
If you are looking for resale value, trends are important in bathrooms. Here are some of today’s hot bathroom trends:

  • Pedestal sinks

  • White Fixtures

  • Subdue shiny fixtures…Chrome is out. Choose warm copper and bronze fixtures instead.

  • Free standing, soaker bath tubs.

  • Heated, ceramic flooring.

  • Separate tub and shower.

  • Furniture-look to cabinetry

  • Bathroom suite with coffee maker and flat screen.
Another important consideration is handicap accessibility needs whether now or in the future. Options today go way beyond a raised toilet and grab bars in the shower. Larger doorways, easy access lighting, easy entry tubs, roll in showers, sinks that raise and lower with the touch of a button are just some of the new options available to persons with special needs. If you are planning to stay in your home for a significant length of time, it might pay to review some of the exciting new products available. In Minnesota, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with an excellent builder/remodeler, Dave Regel who specializes in totally accessible housing. He has model homes that feature unique products that make life easier and more enjoyable to persons will special needs.
If remodeling specifically to put your home on the market, take into consideration the quality and condition of the home. A good REALTOR® who knows your neighborhood can assist you here. In most cases, costs for a seriously spendy remodel are not going to be recouped in the short run. Working with someone who really understands your particular marketplace will help you get your home staged to sell within your budget and sold more quickly.
Spending a little extra time in the planning stage can reduce the headaches and heartaches of a construction project that does not meet expectations. Taking your time will allow you to make the wise decisions that add value to your most important financial investment, your home.
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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Year End 2008 Snapshot of Chisago City, MN Home Sales Statistics




Closed sales and average sales price were down significantly for Chisago real estate in 2008 compared to statistics in 2007. New listings were down more than in other areas but so is the accepted sales price ratio compared to list price. At just over 89% it is one of the lowest in the north and east metro communities I work in. Though the market time is up, it is not significantly more than in neighboring communities. Buying a home in Chisago City would be a very affordable option as the sellers in this community seem prepared to make deals.

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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Year End 2008 Snapshot of East Bethel, MN Home Sales Statistics



While the number of closed sales was up, the average sales price was down significantly for homes in the East Bethel community in 2008 compared to statistics in 2007. Like in other areas, new listings were down too. At under 88%, the ratio comparing sold price to list price it is one of the lowest in the north and east metro communities I work in. Days on the market is also significantly longer as it took almost 6 weeks longer for an East Bethel home to sell in 2008 than in 2007.

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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Monday, January 19, 2009

Year End 2008 Snapshot of Linwood, MN Home Sales Statistics


The market of homes in Linwood, Minnesota took a hit in 2008. New listings were down. Closed Sales were down. And the average sales price was down. All significantly. The average sales price of a home dropped nearly 27%; from the around $250,000 to just over $185,000 compared to sales in 2007. This rural Anoka County community featuring acreage and lakeshore properties north of Columbus and south of Stacy, had a whopping increase in time on the market up nearly 24% from 2007 to 179 days on the market. Linwood is also experiencing one of the lowest ratios of sales price to list price meaning sellers in Linwood are negotiating to get their homes sold. With lower average sales prices, acreage and lakeshore homes are very affordable in Linwood right now!

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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Year End 2008 Snapshot of Andover, MN Home Sales Statistics



The good news about Andover real estate in 2008 is that homes in Andover are selling once again. The statistic for closed sales shows the number of homes sold was up 16.6% in 2008 over the previous year. The bad news is that the average price has dropped significantly as well. An average sale in Andover is just under $250,000. This is probably due to the fact that fewer high valued homes are selling anywhere in the Twin Cities metro. Another trend for this Anoka County community is that time on the market has increased by over 20% with homes staying on the market an average of a month longer. This bodes well for home buyers as Andover affordability is way up! It would be a good time to consider a purchase as sellers are looking at continued competition with a steady amount of homes coming on to the market and longer market times.

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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Year End 2008 Snapshot of Circle Pines, MN Home Sales Statistics



The number of new listings in Circle Pines dropped significantly in 2008 compared to the previous year. In this small Anoka County community, just north of Shoreview, home sales were a bit slower with 7 homes fewer sold but this represents almost an 11% drop statistically. The average time on the market did rise a bit but not significantly from 134 days to 141 days on the market. The average price also fell by over $12,000 which is 6.5% lower making this community that is full of starter homes even more affordable than last year. All in all, the home sales market in Circle Pines, Minnesota appears to be weathering the changed market well.


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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Year End 2008 Snapshot of Hugo, MN Home Sales Statistics



While the number of new listings, closed sales and average sales price for homes in Hugo, Minnesota dropped between 10-14% in 2008 compared to the previous year, the biggest change was in time on the market. In this northern Ramsey and Washington County community, just north of White Bear Lake, home sales were an average of 40 days longer than in 2007; up statically by nearly 47%! Gas prices and a devastating tornado may have played a role. With the lower average sales price of a home in Hugo at $236,517, down just over 13%, a first time homebuyer can consider this community an affordable option once again.

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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Friday, January 16, 2009

Teri and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad, Subzero MN Winter Day

In Minnesota this week we experienced a once (or twice) in a canine lifetime, finger-freezing, pipe-bursting, cold snap….or should I say ARCTIC BLAST? I know that half of America felt a bit chilly this week as that horrible, no-good jet stream swooped down from the Arctic into states as far south as Florida. But I frankly have no sympathy for someone suffering in 30 degree temperatures when ours are 30 degrees below zero. I think it is time to pack up the hateful flannel railroad pajamas and head to Australia!
There is no other way to describe subzero, bone-chilling weather…30 degrees below zero weather is NASTY with a capital N! The wind freezes the skin in a matter of seconds. Dress in layers takes on a new dimension as people, who never wear hats, gloves, boots or scarves, swaddle themselves in mismatched accessories and ugly holiday sweaters in order to walk out to warm up their cars…If the cars will start that is.

Thank goodness I didn’t have to show houses during the snap. As a Minnesota REALTOR®, it is cold enough when trying to show a winterized, heatless, and foreclosed home on a 30 degree day. In this weather, taking off your gloves to work a combination lock box can be a painful reminder of how quickly frostbite can overtake essential extremities…like fingers!

Our 17 year old dog, Tikki, played dead when I try to coax him out the door to take care of business. When I was finally able to push him out and down his dog ramp, he was too cold to do anything and he sat on his tail with his frozen paws in the air. I had to put on boots to go out and lift him back to his feet to get him inside. A few minutes later, we had an accident in the house.

School was delayed or even cancelled in many communities for fear that kids will freeze at bus stops or walk to school in their usual jacketless, bootless, gloveless and hatless state. I guess common sense still isn’t being taught at Minnesota schools…or maybe it is just that teenagers still don’t believe that minus 30 is COLD! Heck as a Minnesota teen, I chose style over warmth too no matter how low the temperature got.

Those who have to venture out in this weather have all the supplies…gloves, blankets, boots, hats and energy bars in their winter survival kits…Who am I kidding? It is advised to carry one of those kits in your car but I don’t know one Minnesotan that has one. I did see someone get one as a Christmas gift once but I’d bet the Hershey’s bars were eaten long before any possible incident where the car hit black ice and went into the ditch.

On days like this week brought us, if I have to go out, I make certain to wear boots and thick, woolly socks. Once your feet get cold in this weather, they never warm up!

There was some frigid weather fun…The news people froze a wet t-shirt into a pancake-flat work of art in a matter of minutes and overnight a banana hardened into
a “bammer”…fruit so hard it could pound in a nail. Hot water thrown in the air creates an instant cloud and blown soap bubbles freeze and shatter like glass. Great times…Yeah right!

It was over 90 straight hours of below zero temps before we started to warm into the single digits…Next week it may be just warm enough to wash the thick, white crust of salt residue off the sides of my car. That groundhog better NOT see his shadow in a couple of weeks! It is SO time for spring! OR maybe a move to Australia!



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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Year End 2008 Snapshot of White Bear Township, MN Home Sales Statistics


Home sales were pretty stable in White Bear Township, Minnesota in 2008 versus 2007. In this northern Ramsey County township has weathered 2008 much better than the neighboring City of White Bear Lake. Home sales dropped just 7.4% and the average sales price held at just over $265,000 down only 2.9%. The days-on-the-market (DOM) was up by only 3 days for the year. White Bear Township is fortunate to have experienced a somewhat stable market in 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 or Homebuyers Success 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!

Year End 2008 Snapshot of White Bear Lake, MN Home Sales Statistics



Home sales took a bit of a hit in White Bear Lake, Minnesota as home less homes closed for less dollars in 2008 versus 2007. In this Northern Ramsey County city home sales dropped just over 14% but inventory levels should stay the same as there were just over 13% newly listed homes too. The average sales price took a 20% hit as fewer homes over $250,000 are selling anywhere in the Twin Cities. Days on the market it up as it took over a month more time to sell a home in 2008 than in the previous year. With affordability up and prices and interest rates down, now is a great time to consider purchasing a White Bear Lake home.

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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Year End 2008 Snapshot of Ham Lake, MN Home Sales Statistics



Home sales did not fluctuate significantly in Ham Lake, Minnesota a community synonymous with acreage properties. In this eastern Anoka County city home sales were flat with only two additional homes sold this year than in 2007. There were only a handful more homes listed too and the average days on the market rose only by six days from 178 to 184, not significant. The average price of a home sold did drop quite a bit however. It is 11.7% lower than in 2007 as it fell to under $300,000. All in all, the home sales market in Ham Lake, Minnesota appears somewhat stable.

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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Thursday, January 15, 2009

2008 Year End Snapshot of Columbus, MN Home Sales Statistics





Home sales did not fluctuate significantly in Columbus, Minnesota which is well known for its acreage properties. In this Anoka County community, just west of Forest Lake, home sales were flat with only one additional home sold in 2008 over last year. There were only a few less homes listed so too and the average price of a home sold held relatively steady as well. Not all statistics were rosy for Columbus as it was taking significantly longer to sell a home in this community as compared to last year…over two months longer. All in all, the home sales market in Columbus, Minnesota appears relatively stable.

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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

2008 Year End Snapshot of Lino Lakes, MN Home Sales Statistics


The number of closed sales took a drastic drop in Lino Lakes, Minnesota in 2008. Over 25% fewer homes were sold last year in the Lino Lakes area than in 2007. The number of new listings is down as well along with the average price of a home sold. It took about a month longer to sell a home in Lino Lakes, Minnesota in 2008 compared to in 2007 but the Days on Market Statistic is still significantly lower than in some other north metro communities.. The average sales price for a home is down just over 14%. This probably reflects that more lower priced homes are selling than those at the higher price points as well as the flattening of home values. As in other Twin Cities north metro areas, affordability is up. If you are a home buyer looking for the right time to buy a Lino Lakes, this may be the best time in a long time to make 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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

2008 Year End Snapshot of Wyoming, MN Home Sales Statistics



The number of new listings is down in Wyoming, Minnesota but so is the average sales price of a home in this community. It took and average of twenty extra days to sell a home in Wyoming, Minnesota compared to last year but the Days on Market Statistic is similar to other area communities.. The average sales price for a home is down just over 17% but on a positive note, this means affordability for home buyers is up as well. If you are a home buyer looking for the right time to buy a Wyoming, MN home, the time is now!


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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Listen Up! Mortgage Rates Could be Dropping Further and Soon!


Puzzled at how banks and mortgage brokers get their money to lend out to home buyers? Wonder how those ever changing interest rates are set? Did you hear like I did that lower interest rates...dare we say 4.5% are on the horizon? What causes this fluctuation?

Even after years in the industry, this subject can be difficult for many REALTORS® to explain to clients.

Just this morning, I came across this post on the social network site, Facebook. Brian Brady, Mortgage Broker with World Wide Credit Corporation, explains, slowly and carefully so we can all understand, why he believes interest rates will be coming down again and soon. In less than four minutes, you will better understand the flow of money in the mortgage industry. Here’s the link:
Brian Brady NOW knows why mortgage rates will drop to 4.5% (soon)

Brian makes it all SOUND so Simple!
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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2008 Year End Snapshot of Forest Lake MN Home Sales Statistics




It is not just your imagination; it is taking longer to sell a home in Forest Lake Minnesota. Compare year end figures from last year, it homes are taking an average of 30 days longer to sell in the community of Forest Lake. The average sales price for a home is down just over 9% but on a positive note, this means affordability for home buyers is up as well. If you are a home buyer looking for the right time to buy, the time is now!

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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Monday, January 12, 2009

Decisions. Decisions….A Homebuyer’s Dilemma—Hundreds of Homes! How Many Should I See?


Inventory and affordability are a buyer’s dream situation. Fortunately for home buyers in the Twin Cities real estate market, that is the situation we currently find ourselves in today! As a REALTOR® specializing in lakeshore and acreage properties in Anoka County, I have had several clients with very loose selection criteria end up with several hundred homes in their initial MLS search. The amount of homes is overwhelming to the buyer going it alone. By working with an experienced REALTOR®, homebuyers can get that list of homes down to a manageable level it quick order!

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website indicated, an average homebuyer will see 15 homes before writing an offer. In my experience this is fairly accurate. Most buyers get bored with the process after seeing a dozen or so homes. The homes start to look similar and buyers have trouble remembering keeping them all straight. In a buyer’s market, with so many choices, how does a homebuyer stay focused?

  1. Write down what you Must Have in a home. Need an attached garage? Want a fireplace? Can’t live without central air conditioning? Must have a wooded backyard? Electric heat a deal breaker? Weed out the homes that don’t fit the bill by writing down the must haves and must not haves.

  2. Select a neighborhood, area or school district. If you must be within a few miles of work or you want your children in a specific school district, make certain to specify in your criteria.

  3. Work with a REALTOR®. Although the internet searches have become specific, they are still not as detailed as the ones used by licensed agents. Real estate agents are skilled at asking questions to narrow down your needs then set detailed searches to find your dream home.
It doesn’t cost buyers anything to work with an agent in most cases and it can save time and money! Fees are most often paid for by the seller. But a REALTOR®’s service can save the buyer time and frustration.

As a case in point, I was working with a family that started looking for homes in throughout the northeast metro. When we set the initial search by map search and price point alone, they had an overwhelming 300+ homes to choose from. When questioned further, they really wanted to be within 20 minutes from work in Shoreview and relatively close to downtown Minneapolis and the airport. And, they really preferred to keep their children in the Centennial school district. After initially showing four homes, I learned from the family that a 3 car garage was a “must have” and foreclosure homes in disrepair were not going to be considered. After setting a search and reviewing the homes, I emailed the family two dozen homes that met their specific needs. They chose to see about half of the properties and after viewing the homes, the list was down to a few homes for second showings and possible offers.

Had this family chose to go it alone, they would have been overwhelmed, distracted and frustrated driving around to several homes that would never really consider. By setting specific criteria and working with me, an experienced REALTOR®, the number of homes became a manageable. The buyers remained focused and were able to narrow down to an ideal home rather quickly.

So what happens if you are in a buyers market and there are no homes that are meeting all of your criteria? The beauty of a buyers market is affordability and inventory so buyers have an opportunity to key in on more of their wants and needs for their dream home. But since no home is ever 100% perfect, if too many wants are specified, there may never be a home that measures up. If the list of homes available is too short, reassess those “must haves”.



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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ham Lake, MN Real Estate Market Statistics Year End 2008

The City of Ham Lake has a rich history. Incorporated in 1974, Ham Lake became a city after over a hundred years of humble but steady growth. The area was first settled in 1855 by a group of Scottish men on the southwest side of Ham Lake. Though, I can only assume that the lake itself got its name due to its unusual “ham hock” shape, the community started out with a different name. The original name of the community was Glen Carey, which is the Scottish translation of “beautiful valley”. Following a prairie fire in 1857, the first settlers moved but the community was resettled again. The new Scandinavian settlers had a hard time with the pronunciation of Glen Carey and soon the fledging community was known as Ham Lake. Anoka County officially was recognized it as a township in 1871. In the early 1900’s Central Avenue (Highway 65) was a slow commute as it was a wagon trail through the sand and swampland. And we think going through stop light after stop light slows traffic. Though it was graveled and paved at some point, it 1954 before was expanded to four lanes.

Those four lanes are in full use now as more and more people look to buying home on acreage in the Ham Lake area. Though the sluggish real estate market has affected Ham Lake, MN and Anoka County in 2008, homes did sell. Homes are stayed on the market longer with an average Cumulative Days-on-Market (CDOM) of 158 days for homes during 2008. Note that CDOM for homes over $500,000 are the only homes with extremely long market times, selling with an average CDOM of 287.

While there are 13% fewer homes on the market in Ham Lake now compared to January 2008 (110 versus 126 active listings), homes are taking a bit longer to sell so there continues to be more homes on the market than buyers. Homeowners considering selling a home in the Ham Lake area must consider the average time to sell a home in the area is approximately 5-6 months but inventory levels indicate a different story. Inventory levels are manageable for homes under $200,000 with about 12 months of inventory. But it rises to 18 to 24 months in prices between $200,000 and $500,000. Over $500,000 there is over five years of inventory. Having your home properly priced and prepared for showings will be essential if planning to sell a home in this Anoka County community in 2009.

Year End 2008 Ham Lake residential real estate statistics for single family homes:
Under $200,000
~ 27 Active Listings, 2 Pending Listings, 30 Sold Listings, CDOM 144 (All existing homes)

$200,000-300,000 ~ 29 Active Listings, 2 Pending Listings, 17 Sold Listings, CDOM 166 (New Construction Subgroup ~ 1 Active, 0 Pending, 1 Sold)

$300,000-400,000 ~ 33 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 18 Sold Listings, CDOM 157 (New Construction Subgroup ~ 8 Active, 0 Pending, 2 Sold)

$400,000-$500,000 ~ 24 Active Listings, 2 Pending Listings, 12 Sold Listings, CDOM 156 (New Construction Subgroup ~ 3 Active, 1 Pending, 1 Sold)

$500,000 and Up~ 22 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 4 Sold Listings, CDOM 287 (New Construction Subgroup ~ 7 Active, 0 Pending, 2 Sold)

Lakeshore available in the City of Ham Lake:8 Active Listings

Ham Lake lakeshore price range: $245,000-$945,000

3 Homes on Coon Lake
2 Homes on Lake Amelia
1 Home on Ham Lake
2 Home on Little Coon Lake
**All Statistical information based on information from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE of MINNESOTA, INC. for the period of 1/1/08 through 12/31/08.

Featured Listing in Ham Lake Minnesota: 17721 Durant St NE

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


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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Forest Lake, MN Real Estate Market Statistics Year End 2008

Forest Lake, Minnesota is well known throughout the Twin Cities area. Many people from the city remember the northeast St. Paul suburb fondly from years gone by as a summer vacation spot, an annual ice fishing tournament tradition or as a destination when going for a Sunday a drive in the country. Today, the lakeside cabins have been replaced with year round residences, the fishing tourney is but a memory and the farms are few and far between in this third ring St. Paul suburb. Though housing sales have slowed down considerably in many northern suburbs during the past few years due to continued concern of increased gas prices, Forest Lake is holding its own.


Real estate in Forest Lake, MN in north Washington County and east Anoka County continues to sell. A total of 125 single family homes were sold in Forest Lake and Forest Lake Township during 2008. The Cumulative Days on Market (CDOM) Statistic ran at 165 days for all homes sold during the year. In the first and second quarter the CDOM was well over 211-286, so at the end of the year homes started selling at a faster pace.


Not surprisingly, the price category of under $200,000 is the high point of the year. With 49 listings sold at an average CDOM of just under 4 months, it appears buyers are out there shopping for homes under $200K. It is a bit slower in the $200,000-300,000 category in this market, 6 months worth of inventory is very manageable.

All year, high end homes struggled for sales. In the second half of the year three times the number of homes sold in the $300,000-400,000 category than in the first six months. Sellers are becoming more realistic on pricing and inventory is starting to move. Homes over $500,000 have sales at a near standstill. Currently, the Forest Lake community sits with nearly 5 years of inventory in this price range and no relief appears to be in sight.

Great homes are currently on the market in Forest Lake at amazing prices; many are lakeshore and acreage properties. With this much inventory, sellers will need to be flexible on pricing. It might be the perfect time to negotiate a GREAT deal on a lakeshore home!



Lakeshore opportunities have been abundant in the Forest Lake area throughout 2008! There are more listings than ever before at incredible prices too! The inventory is awesome…40 lakeshore homes are currently active and some at attractive and affordable price points. Many have been on the market for several months. With the amazing low interest rates and few buyers looking at frozen lakeshore, it could be a great time to negotiate a deal on your piece of Minnesota shoreline!


Year End 2008 Forest Lake real estate statistics for single family homes:


Under $200,000~ 35 Active Listings, 8 Pending Listings, 49 Sold Listings, 118 CDOM (Lakeshore Subgroup ~ 0 Active, 2 Pending, 1 Sold)

$200,000-$300,000 ~ 35 Active Listings, 3 Pending Listings, 45 Sold Listings, 168 CDOM (Lakeshore Subgroup ~ 4 Active, 0 Pending, 2 Sold)



$300,000-$400,000 ~ 22 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 19 Sold Listings, 240 CDOM (Lakeshore Subgroup ~ 6 Active, 0 Pending, 5 Sold)


$400,000-$500,000 ~ 10 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 7 Sold Listing, 144 CDOM (Lakeshore Subgroup ~ 6 Active, 0 Pending, 2 Sold)


$500,000 and Up~ 27 Active Listings, 9 Pending Listings, 5 Sold Listings 349 CDOM (Lakeshore Subgroup ~ 24 Active, 0 Pending, 4 Sold)



Lakeshore available in the Forest Lake area:


47 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 16 Sold Listings


Forest Lake lakeshore price range: $224,900-$2,100,000


35 Homes on Forest Lake
3 Homes on Clear Lake
1 Home on Shields Lake
1 Home on Howard Lake



**All Statistical information based on information from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE of MINNESOTA, INC. for the period of 1 /1/08 through 12/31/08.



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


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 or Homebuyers Success 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 2009 terieckholm.com