Thursday, February 26, 2009

2008 Real Estate Market Statistics Ham Lake, Forest Lake, Lino Lakes and Blaine MN….It’s All in the Details!


Real estate marketing statistics have been thrown around in the media lately as commonly and as randomly as a toddler tosses around a bowl full of Cheerios. Just like those darn O’s, numbers and stats are everywhere! But with so random of a disbursement, does a home buyer or seller really get what they mean?

Since the beginning of the year, I have been posting real estate market statistics for the communities in the north metro where I do the bulk of my business. While I work in Anoka County, Southern Chisago County, North and Eastern Ramsey County and North Washington County, the focus of my business is Ham Lake, Blaine, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake and Centennial school districts.

There are two types of reporting that I post. The first is a quick snapshot report that includes information taken directly from the Minneapolis REALTORS® Association
Top 100+ Report that includes statistics for 205 different Twin Cities communities. I put these stats along with a quick synopsis of what happened during the past year. I have done quite a few of these "short and sweet" looks into the basic real estate housing stats for several communities.

Housing Statistic Snapshots


But as is said,
the devil is in the details (or God as the case may be). I have another version of market reports for specific communities are not snapshots. In the communities that I work in on a daily basis, I want to really help people to understand the market so I take good hard look at the real estate sales on a quarterly basis and post a more detailed report. I also post a year end review several communities I work in and know well.

When I take the time to pull statistics directly from the Twin Cities Multiple Listing Service (MLS) I look for specific details like cumulative days on the market (CDOM). This comes into play every time a home is relisted as a new listing in the MLS. The snapshots DOM do not take relisting into account so the time on the market appears to be much shorter than it really is in some area.

I also look at CDOM by price point. Homes in the lower price ranges are selling much more quickly that in the higher price points. A quick overview does not get that specific.

Since each community is unique, I will examine different things in different areas. Blaine has an abundance of townhomes. Since townhomes are lingering on the market in all price points, this does have an affect on the CDOM if the sales are looked as an aggregate. But if the townhomes and single family homes are looked at separately, the details give home buyers and sellers more useful information than a one-size-fits-all quick look at the market. Now in Forest Lake, lakeshore homes are a focus while in Ham Lake and Lino Lakes, acreage comes into play.

Knowing how to pull the right comparables and read the market comes from knowing a specific area and what makes the community different. Finding a REALTOR® that knows the details is imperative when buying or and selling a home in this topsy-turvey, continually changing real estate market. There is no one-size-fits-all agent when buying or selling a home today. It is necessary to work with an expert.



Copyright 2009 terieckholm.com

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lino Lakes, MN Real Estate Market Statistics Year End 2008


Like much of the real estate in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, Lino Lakes, MN in Anoka County is amazingly affordable. This year properties sold but the average selling price was directly affected by the bank owned and lender mediated properties on the market. Traditional homes had longer market times but properties were selling.

Though Lino Lakes has a good mixture of lakeshore, acreage and townhome residences but is more known for having a bit of space between the houses. It conveniently located near the junction of the 35E and 35W split, just north of the Twin Cities, Lino Lakes is a 33 square miles treasure. With 13 lakes and acres of beautiful protected wetland, the community is served by three school districts;
Centennial District #12, Forest Lake District #831, and White Bear Lake District #624. The gem attraction is the pristine 2,700-acre Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park Reserve is situated within the heart of the city. Lino Lakes is committed to maintain this treasure and its natural settings and wildlife habitats for years to come.

The year end numbers for Lino Lakes sales show area homes were selling slower than last year with an average of 160 days on the market for sold properties (DOM) compared with
141 days DOM in the fourth quarter of 2007. Looking at current inventory levels and the rate of sales for homes priced under $300,000, there is about 10-11 months of inventory. This does seem a little longer than in surrounding communities. Hopefully things will pick up again as the snow melts away.
While homes under $300,000 in Lino Lakes have a manageable inventory level high end homes continue to sell at a slower pace but surprisingly, not by much. Based on the year end statistics, it will now take about 13 months to sell the current inventory of homes above the $400,000 price tag. This is down considerably in Lino Lakes from last year when the inventory level hovered around the two year mark for absorption. Surrounding Anoka County areas still have 2 plus years of inventory as we started 2009.

2008 Average Sales Price of all homes sold in Lino Lakes:


  • All Homes $259,826

  • Single Family Homes $276,580

  • Townhomes/Condos $169,074
2008 Average Cummulative Days on Market in Lino Lakes:
  • All Homes 160

  • Single Family Homes 157

  • Townhomes/Condos 178


4th Quarter Lino Lakes residential real estate statistics for single family homes:

Under $200,000~ 43 Active Listings, 7 Pending Listings, 27 Sold Listings, 131 CDOM
$200,000-$300,000 ~ 45 Active Listings, 5 Pending Listings, 62 Sold Listings, 136 CDOM
$300,000-$400,000 ~ 29 Active Listings, 2 Pending Listings, 27 Sold Listings, 160 CDOM
$400,000-$500,000 ~ 8 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 7 Sold Listings, 232 CDOM
$500,000 and Up~ 12 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 7 Sold Listings, 267 CDOM

Lakeshore available in Lino Lakes as of 2/25/20093 Active Listings
Lino Lakes lakeshore price range: $499,000-$698,000
1 Home on Baldwin Lake
2 Homes on Reshanau Lake
Acreage properties available in Lino Lakes as of 2/25/2009
11 properties listed on 1-2 Acres priced between $192,500-$799,900.
3 properties listed on 3-5 Acres priced between $145,000-$550,000
3 properties listed on 5-10 Acres priced between $349,000-$650,000
1 property listed on 10.92 Acres priced at $279,900
1 property listed on 29 Acres priced at $849,900
1 property listed on 80 Acres priced at $6,000,000

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

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







Copyright 2009 terieckholm.com

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More Bars in Ham Lake is a Good Thing—Cell Phone Bars that is!


A late holiday present arrived to those living in Ham Lake, Linwood and Columbus near Carlos Avery. It appears a new cell phone tower is being constructed just to the north of the intersection of Crosstown and Broadway. We noticed the amazingly huge pole being raised a few days after Christmas. My teenagers, with their new internet accessible phones thought that maybe it was a mirage. After pinching each other to make certain they weren’t dreaming, they cheered that our area of Ham Lake was finally going to be connected with the rest of the world!

Now to some in this rural area, this is an eyesore not a Godsend. But as a REALTOR who drives down Lexington (County 17) and Broadway (County 18) daily and has to use a mobile phone as part of my business, I know that the bars are few and far between. If you are lucky to have a connection, the conversation almost always breaks down to gibberish while traveling this stretch of road…And if you live anywhere in the vicinity of Coon Lake and Carlos Avery, you are often walking around your acreage to find that perfect spot where a signal will come through to make a call. Heaven forbid if you are one of those people, like me, that pace when conversing! Calls are dropped all of the time. So as nearby residents, my family has been watching the progress of the tower and patiently wait until the panels go live…Hopefully it is soon. The spot in my yard where my Blackberry comes in is not sheltered from the elements. And there are still a few weeks of winter cold ahead…and spring rain…etc.



Copyright 2009 terieckholm.com

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Would YOU Hire a Bikini-Clad REALTOR? How About in a Hospital Gown?



Valentine’s Day started out for me with a visit to St. John’s emergency room in Maplewood. No worries, I’m okay. I found out after a few hours of tests that I tend to faint when in extreme back pain but I digress…While waiting behind the curtain in a gown that opens in the back without much else on but socks, I heard one of the nurses discussing her search to purchase a first home with a colleague. Just a few feet away from me, I could clearly hear the discussion. “Looking for a home in Forest Lake or Hugo….Great homes on the market…This one is a foreclosure…I don’t really know what short sale means…”

Yep the REALTOR® radar kicked in but alas I’m not exactly dressed for success in the hospital issued garb. Besides I was still feeling a little woozy after the early morning fainting spell. My husband jokingly offered to go out and give her my card but I declined.
It is hard to be viewed as a professional REALTOR® and discuss homes in your skivvies between a blood draw and EKG.
I guess I am just not THAT aggressive when pursuing a client.

I do know of an Anoka County real estate agent that is very aggressive. I heard tales of her amazing ability to drop everything that she was doing to run over and offer her services to every car that drove up to the home she had listed across the street. I heard the tales from a less-than-impressed family that had the unfortunate opportunity to be met by this real estate agent at their car. She was sunbathing when they stopped for a flyer. The aggressive agent didn’t bother with a towel but high-tailed it over, barefoot and bikini-clad, to ask if they wanted to see the inside of the home. They declined and drove away. FAST!

I know I am a very good REALTOR and buyer’s representative. I would have been able to expertly assist the young emergency room technician to purchase her first home. I know the market and have been taking buyers to see foreclosures and short sales all over Blaine, Forest Lake and White Bear Lake for the last several months. I may have even been in some of the homes that she had printouts for. But as a professional REALTOR®, I chose to remember there IS a time and place for everything. This wasn’t the right time.

I prefer to save my aggressiveness for the negotiations and find my leads when I am fully clothed!


Copyright 2009 terieckholm.com

Saturday, February 21, 2009

February 2009 Video Update on the Twin Cities Real Estate Market

The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors uses the Dicken’s Classic, A Tale of Two Cities, to provide a backdrop for another interesting look at the current real estate market conditions in Minneapolis, St. Paul and surrounding suburbs. The February Monthly Skinny gives a quick look at how the sale of lender mediated homes (i.e. bank owned foreclosures and pre foreclosure short sales) have had a positive affect on the affordability index and number of home sales in the Twin Cities area. Keep informed with a informative quick look at the current real estate market. Enjoy!






Copyright 2009 terieckholm.com

Friday, February 20, 2009

Homebuyers—Search for a Twin Cities Home like a PRO!


“Homebuyers LOVE the Listingbook home search!” Anyone who knows me well, knows that I don’t like wasting time in unnecessary classes or meetings. But as a REALTOR, I was intrigued by this new search tool for agents and their clients.

So, this past December, I made time to attend a class hosted by the St Paul Area Association of REALTORS on the Listingbook. I heard the spiel…great way for clients to search for homes and interact with their agent..,ya dah yah dah yah dah. I take this stuff with a grain of salt. As we were leaving the suggestion was made to sign a few of your clients up and let them be the judge. So I did just that…Listingbook system is different as
“Homebuyers really LOVE the Listingbook home search!
Now all of my clients are using the Listingbook search. Some of the things my buyers like best about Listingbook include:
  • Access to the same home information used by agents

  • Search thousands of Twin Cities home listings

  • Daily reports of all new home listings in your area

  • Users see every listing, price change and photos as soon as REALTORS do

  • Personalized home searches

  • Faster searching with saved searches

  • Visually see how many new homes meet your criteria as soon as you sign in

  • Ability to save homes you like and be updated on price changes daily

  • Leave notes for agent to get a quick answer on a home or set up a showing
After hearing back from my buyers I decided that maybe other potential buyers would like access to this same search. If you are searching for a home and frustrated with some of the bigger real estate search engines, this may be the perfect solution.

One family I have been working with has been searching throughout the Forest Lake school district for their dream home while waiting for their current property to sell. They love that they are now able to save and monitor their favorite homes daily and immediately see if new homes come on the market. They also keep tabs on neighboring homes for sale that are similar to their listed home. This helps to keep a competitive edge in the market.

My out-of-town clients were especially pleased with the ease of the system. They were able to find several potential homes and check out the location using Google maps and satellite images with the click of a button. When they came into town, they had identified and narrowed down potential houses to a short list and within a few hours, wrote an offer on their dream home.

While this system may not be perfect, I have gotten enough feedback from my clients to know that it is pretty terrific!



Copyright 2009 terieckholm.com

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lakeshore Foreclosures Available in Washington County

Throughout Minnesota there are homes in foreclosure so with tens of thousands of lakes, lake homes cannot be immune from the mortgage and foreclosure crisis can it? In a word, no. I did a search today* for lakeshore homes that are currently bank-owned or listed as a foreclosure and found six current listings for Washington County lakeshore properties.
There are 3 listings on Forest Lake. The first two are priced very reasonably in the low $200’s. This is amazing for anyone who knows the area. Only a couple of years back, a lake lot would have sold for the same amount on Forest Lakes’ first lake. For those developers looking for a bargain, there is a 2 million dollar 46 acre parcel of prime Forest Lake shoreline that can be developed into 23 lots with deeded access for up to 10 boat slips.

If Scandia is more your cup of tea, then consider a foreclosed home on Bone Lake (pronounced bonnie). The two story home looks like a beauty for $379,900. Or consider the nice acre bargain on Big Marine for under $285K. And if you want something in southern Washington County maybe you would consider a home on Lake Jane. This four level split is available for just under $500K. All of the current foreclosed lake homes in Washington County are on full recreational lakes where boating and swimming are allowed.

Note that this list does not include any homes currently in a short sale position or if the current homeowner did not list the home as in foreclosure. More opportunities will continue to come on to the market throughout Washington County. And traditional sellers of lake homes have adjusted their pricing to compete with the distressed properties, so there are many affordable options for your piece of Minnesota shoreline.

Many of these are not your average foreclosures but can be transformed from distressed to fabulous with a bit of elbow grease. As with any REO home some of these lakeshore foreclosures will need more work than others but with so much potential, maybe it is time to do more than just dream of living on a Minnesota lake!Need to learn more about the size, depth and water quality of these lakes? Check out the links to the DNR site for each. For other lakes in the Twin Cities, check the Minnesota DNR Lake Finder.
*Search done using information from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE of MINNESOTA, INC. on 2/17/2009.



Copyright 2009 terieckholm.com

Lakeshore Foreclosures Available in Chisago County


With 12,000+ Minnesota lakes and a foreclosure crisis, there must be a few lakeshore homes that are bank owned and available, right? Actually, yes! I did a search today* for lakeshore homes that are currently bank-owned or listed as a foreclosure and found eight listings on eight different Chisago County lakes. And the best part…not one of these homes is priced over $400K. In fact half are under $200,000.
From complete new construction on Lake Vibo in Chisago Lakes Township to a Rush Lake cabin in Nessel Township, lakeshore foreclosures are full of bargains. Another great affordable option listed for $174,900 in Nessel, is on the natural environmental Leech Lake and features 9 acres of property for the price.

If you are looking for a newer home, there is a 2005 built rambler available on the full recreational lake, South Center in Lindstrom priced at $399,900. That completed new construction home is also a rambler and priced even less at an attractive $344,000 but on the smaller lake.

There are two homes in the low to mid $200,000 range in Chisago City; one on Lake Martha and one on LakeEmily. There are even more affordable options a little farther north in the Harris and Fish Lake Township area of Chisago County for under $200K. These are on Horseshoe and Fish Lake.

One should note that this list does not include any homes currently in a short sale position or if the current owner did not disclose that the home is in a pre-foreclosure status. More opportunities will continue to come on to the market throughout Chisago County. And traditional sellers of lake homes have adjusted their pricing to compete with the distressed properties, so there are many affordable options for your piece of Minnesota shoreline.

Another thing to consider is that many of these are not your average foreclosures but can be transformed from distressed to fabulous with a bit of elbow grease. As with any REO home some of these lakeshore foreclosures will need more work than others but with so much potential, maybe it is time to do more than just dream of living on a Minnesota lake!

Need to learn more about the size, depth and water quality of these lakes? Check out the links to the DNR site for each. Note: Leech Lake it an environmental wetland that not listed in the
Minnesota DNR Lake Finder.


*Search done using information from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE of MINNESOTA, INC. on 2/17/2009.

Copyright 2009 terieckholm.com

Lakeshore Foreclosures Available in Anoka County

In Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes…well 12,000 actually, there are bound to be one or two lakeshore owners who have had a tough time in this economic downturn right? I did a search today* for lakeshore homes that are currently bank-owned or listed as a foreclosure and found nine current listings for lakehomes in Anoka County.

Priced from $134,500 for a 1983 built home on
Round Lake in Andover to $799,900 for an East Bethel home built in 2007 on Coon Lake, there is a handful of lakeshore foreclosures to choose from. Looking for an opportunity on a full recreational lake? There is a home on channel shore like to Otter Lake listed for $279,900. This one has frozen pipes so plan for a bit of additional work. There are two opportunities on Coon Lake in East Bethel priced at $339,000 and $799,900. There is a 4300+ square foot home on the smaller Lake Amelia in Ham Lake for just under $600,000. And don’t forget the previously mentioned home on Round Lake for the bargain price of $134,900.

For those who don’t mind a smaller lake that is more for the view than activities, there are options in northern Anoka County on
Pet Lake in Linwood, or to the far west on Pinnaker Lake in Burns Township and two almost new homes in the Blaine development, The Lakes, on Aspen Lake.

Note that this list does not include any homes currently in a short sale position or if the current homeowner did not list the home as in foreclosure. More opportunities will continue to come on to the market throughout Anoka County. And traditional sellers of lake homes have adjusted their pricing to compete with the distressed properties, so there are many affordable options for your piece of Minnesota shoreline.

Many of these are not your average foreclosures but can be transformed from distressed to fabulous with a bit of elbow grease. As with any REO home some of these lakeshore foreclosures will need more work than others but with so much potential, maybe it is time to do more than just dream of living on a Minnesota lake!

*Search done using information from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE of MINNESOTA, INC. on 2/17/2009.
If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR® to find that perfect piece of shoreline, 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, February 1, 2009

Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distractions—Homeowner Version: Ice Tower in Stacy, MN

Most of my Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distractions have been permanently set into the front yards of home owners in the north and east Twin Cities metro area. But it is winter and it has been cold…Subzero temperatures usually suck the fun out of a Minnesota winter day. Especially for a home owner as they have to worry about their frozen pipes, horrendous heating bills and carbon monoxide poisoning if they unthinkingly attempt to warm up their cars in an attached garage. But as a hearty Minnesota REALTOR®, I did persevere and show homes this month. While trekking across Chisago County with buyers from Linwood to Wyoming, I drove by this ice sculpture in the front yard of a Stacy homeowner. It towers over the rambler home and begs the question, "Why?" The ice tower reminded me of the news report from a few weeks back of a guy in Big Lake, MN with a similar passion for creating unique winter art. He uses the water from his geothermal heating system and a robot to “sculpt” a new creation every year. Last year the ice castle in Big Lake finally melted away sometime in July. It was a much larger sculpture but got me wondering how long this one will last. Anyone care to make a guess?

Other Uniquely Minnesota Artful Distractions to check out:
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.
Buying a Home? Check out my new HOME BUYER'S BLOG!
Copyright 2009 terieckholm.com