Friday, July 24, 2009

Minnesota Lakeshore Deals Are Available...Seek and Ye Shall Find!

Last night, I was on the phone with REALTOR® in the Balsam Lake, Wisconsin area (cabin country for those in the north metro). She shared with me that there is an abundance of lakehomes and lakeside cabins available this year in this resort community. Both seasonal and year round properties are available in every price point. Intriguing as vacation lakeshore used to be such a hot commodity in the summer heat.
Today, I noticed several Anoka County lake homes hit MLS. I was surprised that so many lake homes coming on the market so late in the summer. Could it be that pent up lakeshore sellers are assuming that since there is good activity in the lower starter homes, it will carry over to lakeshore? The Mpls REALTORS® Skinny blog
points to a couple of recent articles saying higher price points are continuing to struggle. So does the recent upswing in low end sales affect lakeshore?

Last fall, I asked the question,
Think Now is a GREAT Time to Make a DEAL on a MN Lakeshore Home? I had seen a great many lakeshore bargains across the Twin Cities north metro and looked at what was selling if anything. Sales were stagnant across the board last fall and lakeshore was only selling if priced to move. I decided that since we are half way through 2009, an update on lakeshore affordability and availability would be interesting.
To see what kind of an impact the buyer’s market has had Minnesota lakes; I did some research on lake homes sold in first half of 2009. As a REALTOR® working in the north east metro for several years, I knew it was difficult to find reasonably priced Minnesota lakeshore just a few years ago…especially properties located in areas with a quick commute to downtown. The Twin Cities market has been experiencing some of the highest affordability rates it has seen in years. I wanted to see if the change in the market and affordability had made lakeshore more affordable too. What I found is that an in-town lake home is not only affordable, there are several lakeshore properties available at ALL price ranges.

Focusing on the north east metro counties of Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington, I discovered some interesting facts. I set up a search for lakeshore homes SOLD that had at least 3BR/2BA and a garage and closed between January 1, 2009 and June 30, 2009. The homes had to be a single family dwelling, not a town home or condo. There were 71 homes that met these criteria. I then took a closer look homes that sold for the lowest and highest price in each county. Since most homes sat on the market for several months, there were some unbelievable price concessions by sellers. The 71 sold lakeshore listings were on the market an average of 129 days. But when I looked closer at the listings, I realized the cumulative days on the market was significantly higher. Many of the homes were cancelled and re-listed so the DOM would start again at zero. (In my estimation, the REAL average time on the market for north metro lakeshore is 18 months to 2 years.)
So are there amazing deals on Minnesota Lakeshore? Absolutely, YES
Here are a few of the highlights:
Anoka County
  • Lowest Sold Price $149,000 (Original list price $230,000)
  • Highest Sold Price $780,000 (Original list price $1,100,000)
  • Average $428,468
  • Total Homes Sold 19
The lowest priced Anoka County lakeshore home in the first half of 2009 was on Pet Lake in the northeast community of Linwood. It was a 1988 bank-owned rambler with 3BR/2BA and a 2 car garage. It sold for $149,000 after 148 days on the market and a price drop to $164,900.On the other end of the spectrum, straight south in the community of Centerville, a 2002 built executive rambler sold with picturesque views of the popular Centerville Lake. After a price drop to $850,000 and six months on the market the home was sold for $780,000. This 4BR/4BA home was chock full of the upgrades including a 3 car heated garage, master suite and in floor heat.
Chisago County
  • Lowest Sold Price $115,000 (Original list price $115,900)
  • Highest Sold Price $496,000 (Original list price $724,900)
  • Average $288,715
  • Total Homes Sold 17
The lowest priced home was a bargain in Center City on Pioneer Lake with 125 ft of shoreline. It was a bank-owned, turn-of-the century, two-story with 3BR/3BA and a 2 car garage that sold in 6 days for $115,000, just under the asking price.

On the high end, there was a 1985 built lake home on Chisago Lake with 120 ft. of shore located in Chisago City. This 4BR/4BA rambler was owner-occupied and had been on and off the market since January 2007. It originally was listed at $724,900. When listed in 2009, the price was $500,000 and it sold in 88 days for $496,000 (with a seller contribution of $8,500). Net price: $487,500.

Ramsey County
  • Lowest Sold Price $170,000 (Original list price $259,900)
  • Highest Sold Price $1,515,000 (Original list price $2,450,000)
  • Average $519,500
  • Total Homes Sold 18
Ramsey County is the heart of the east metro and is home to the capital city, St. Paul. Surprisingly, the bargain priced home was not a foreclosure. On the low end of the spectrum, there was a 3BR/2BA/1 Car rambler in Little Canada built in 1948 on Savage Lake. It originally listed at the end of 2007 for $259,900 but after a whopping 557 days on the market and a price drop to just over $200,000, the home sold for $170,000, nearly $90K less!
The spendy side of Ramsey County featured a North Oaks executive home on Pleasant Lake. The home sits on a 1.7 acre parcel on the island area of the private community. This 1980 rambler with 4BR/5BA/3Car and 7500+ finished square footage. After being on the market for almost 2 YEARS and a $700K price drop, it finally sold for just over $1.5 Million.
Washington County
  • Lowest Sold Price $200,000 (Original list price $419,900)
  • Highest Sold Price $1,620,000 (Original list price $1,895,000)
  • Average $523,412
  • Total Homes Sold 17
There were bargains at all price points in Washington County in the first half of 2009. At the low end a corporate-owned lakeshore home on North Shore Trail in the City of Forest Lake. It sold for $200,000 cash after a huge price reduction to $295,000. This 4BR/3BA two story home in need of exterior work was originally priced in January 2007 at $419K.

The Washington County high ticket home sold so far in 2008 is located in Mahtomedi with a White Bear Lake shoreline. The 1988 two-story home was loaded with upgrades. It sold after 75 days for $255,000 less than asking price. The home has 4BR/4BA/3Car and a beautiful lakeside patio with wrought iron gate!

Currently there are hundreds of single family lakeshore homes on the market throughout the Twin Cities north metro. As of today, there are 81 listed lakeshore properties in Anoka County, 115 in Chisago County, 64 in Ramsey County and 113 in Washington County. Prices range from $99,900 to $3.2 million and everywhere in between!

The deals on Minnesota’s sandy shorelines are out there! Your lakeshore dream could be closer than you ever imagined!

Copyright 2009 Teri Eckholm