Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lakeshore Foreclosures Available in the North East Twin Cities Metro

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 five current listings for lakehomes in either Anoka County, Ramsey County or Washington County. This number is down considerably from this time last year where there were nearly a half dozen bank-owned lakeshore properties in each of the three counties. Buyers wanting to snatch up a great deal need to act quickly.

Priced from $245,000 for a 1940 built home on Tanners Lake in Oakdale to $1,725,000 for 45 Acres that could be split into 23 lots; 10 with lakeshore on Forest Lake, there is a handful of lakeshore foreclosures to choose from. Looking for an opportunity on a full recreational lake? There is another home on Forest Lake listed for $274,900 with 3 bedrooms and 2000+ finished square feet. Or if you would prefer a home in Anoka County, there is an opportunity to buy lakeshore property on Centerville Lake in Lino Lakes. This 1970’s home is listed for just under $345,000.

For those who don’t mind a smaller lake there’s a great new listing on Goose Lake in White Bear. A home with 2700 finished square feet on almost an acre just listed for $279,900.

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. Ramsey and Washington Counties over the next few months.

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. Note: As Aspen is a small, man-made lake it is not listed in the Minnesota DNR Lake Finder.

*Search done using information from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE of MINNESOTA, INC. on 2/27/2010. 

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 , Homebuyers Success Packet or sign up for Listingbook Twin Cities Home Search. 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 2010 Teri Eckholm 

Friday, February 26, 2010

Year End 2009 Snapshot of Hugo, MN Home Sales Statistics

In this northern Ramsey and Washington County community, just north of White Bear Lake, closed home sales were up an average of by nearly 43%. Unfortunately, the average sales price did continue to decline again during 2009; down nearly 17% to under $200,000! This is no doubt a reflection of the significant amount of first time home buyers in the market. With only a handful of additional new listings in the area, inventory is down considerably. Sellers are already starting to see sales prices come in closer to asking price. Time on the market to sell a home, has remained flat at just over four months. It appears that the Hugo market is starting to become more balanced which is great news for homeowners in this Washington County suburb.

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 , Homebuyers Success Packet or sign up for Listingbook Twin Cities Home Search. 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 2010 Teri Eckholm 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

January and February 2010 Twin Cities Real Estate Market Video Updates—A Video Double Feature!

The February Monthly Skinny from the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® was released last week. They say time flies when you are having fun...Well, I have been having fun working with several buyers and traditional sellers to get their homes prepared for the spring market so I missed posting the January Skinny. So...It is Double Feature time!

The January Skinny was a year end update for 2009 as we closed the book and took a huge step toward a balanced market in the Twin Cities. As many of the community snapshots I have posted over the past 3-4 weeks have stated, this is due to many factors. Most noteably, historic affordability, low interest rates, the first time buyer tax credit and pent up demand.

The February Skinny recaps a slow start to 2010. While traditional sales were finally up, home prices are stabilizing and market times are down, there is still reason to be concern. The tax credit for homebuyers that has spurred home sales over the past few months will soon expire. Add to that, the Federal Reserve has announced it will no longer purchase mortgage backed securities which is predicted to cause interest rates to rise...2010 will be an interesting year for buyers, sellers and home owners.

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 , Homebuyers Success Packet or sign up for Listingbook Twin Cities Home Search. 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 2010 Teri Eckholm

Minnesota Wetlands--Is Living on an Environmental Lake a Good Choice?

As a REALTOR® who sells homes on acreage in Anoka, Chisago and northern Washington Counties, I am often asked whether the land is dry or wet. In this area, depending on what you plan to use the land for, this is a very important question. Many people think purchasing a home on a Minnesota wetland is ideal others wonder whether buying a home with environmental lakeshore would be a huge mistake.
I find this question very interesting. In the areas where I focus my business, there are areas with an abundance of wetland and lakeshore homes. From Hugo to Wyoming and throughout the communities of Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and Blaine, there are properties abutting ponds, wetlands and natural environmental lakeshore. Many Minnesotans find these properties extremely desirable but as with any home it is a personal preference.

So how do you decide if a wetland or natural environmental (NEDS) lake home is for you? Take time to consider some of the positives and negatives.


Wildlife-White-tailed deer, raccoons, turtles, ducks, eagles, hawks, loons (the Minnesota state bird) and a host of other animals have been spotted living near Minnesota wetlands.
Privacy-Whether the wetland is 20 acres or 200, it cannot be built upon so a property with a wetland or NEDS lake shoreline will limit neighbors.
Affordable-NEDS lakeshore and wetland properties are significantly less costly than lakeshore on a full use recreational lake.
Activities-Though there could be some limits on the use, wetland ponds, environmental lakeshore and NEDS Lakes have been used winter skating, summer canoeing or kayaking and more depending on the water depth.
Mosquitoes-Yes, wetlands are known to attract that "OTHER" Minnesota State bird too.
Drainage Issues-If the home is on a smaller lot, the owner must pay special consideration to the foundation. A drain tile system and sump pump could be required. Also homes on private septic systems would have special DNR (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources) considerations if the system were to fail.

Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Year End 2009 Snapshot of Oakdale, MN Home Sales Statistics

Closed sales were way up in Oakdale in 2009 unfortunately the average closed sales price was down. But a nearly 38% increase of closed sales shows that homes are selling in this popular Washington County suburb just east of St. Paul. The average price was down over 13% so undoubtedly many of the homes sold were lender mediated properties. As we have seen in many other communities across the Twin Cities metro, this is probably a combination of the trend of many lender-mediated sales with few higher valued traditional homes sold this past year. A good point is that in this Washington County community is time on the market is down quite a bit too. Inventory is moving in Oakdale and that will lead to a more balanced market between buyers and sellers. Buyers looking to take advantage of the lower prices and great affordability of Oakdale homes will need to make decisions soon as home are selling in this community!

Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm 

OPEN HOUSE Sunday February 28 1-3 BIRCH PONDS CONDOS--An Awesome Place to call HOME!

Spring is right around the corner! If you are planning to move as soon as the snow melts, you'd better hurry. There are only a few units still available in the Birch Pond Condominum community. Sunday I will be hosting an open house at 20 Windsor Lane and featuring a wonderful 3rd floor unit that has an awesome pond view! It is a wonderful spotless unit with 2 Bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms at a reduced price of $144,900! The home has an eat-in kitchen, formal dining area, huge livingroom, in unit laundry, and a screened/glassed in balcony.

OPEN House Sunday February 28 from 1-3PM
20 Windsor Lane #310A, New Brighton.
Hosted by Teri Eckholm RE/MAX Specialists

For your convenience, additional Birch Pond condos will be open to view in 10 Windsor Lane during this same time period.

Not sure if you can attend the open house for 20 Windsor Lane #310A? Take a virtual tour NOW Clicking HERE!

Though there are countless reasons people love to call the condominium community of Birch Ponds home. Here is a list of my ten favorites.

Top Ten Reasons People ♥ ♥ ♥ Birch Ponds in New Brighton Minnesota!

10. Beautiful Pond. What a great place to take a walk, have a picnic or sit and relax. Residents with views of the pond from their balconies often consider this the best place to relax in the condo, while those without enjoy taking frequent strolls around the pond.
9. Professional Management.
The association is professionally managed and works hard to keep the quality of service up while maintaining reasonable association fees.

8. Workshop. Be creative in the common hobby room/workshop that is located just off the garage in each building. And there is an assortment of tools available for resident use too.

7. Workout and Whirlpool
. Keep fit by using the in building workout facilities. An assortment of workout equipment and free weights are located in the mini-gym of each building. Or just relax after a long day in the whirlpool.
6. Guest Suites. Most people do not have room to entertain out of town guests in their condo but this is not a problem at Birch Ponds. For a nominal daily fee, a guest of a resident can reserve and rent one of the guest suites that is located in either building.

5. Swimming Pool. Who doesn’t think an outdoor swimming pool looks incredibly inviting during the dog days of a Minnesota summer? Whether you enjoy sipping lemonade poolside or splashing with family and friends, having an outdoor pool at your disposal is a wonderful feature.

4. Underground Parking. Most units have at least one parking spot in the underground heated garage. And as a special bonus, both buildings offer a carwash stall allowing residents to have sparkling clean veh
icles year round.

3. No Age Restrictions. This is not a senior only building though due to the amenities many of the residents are 55+. This makes Birch Ponds the perfect condo for anyone who wants a no-maintenance lifestyle!

2. Security. Key access to the building and unit and an intercom entry system is only just the start of the security that you will find at the Birch Pond complex. It is a friendly community of people that make a point to know their neighbors and keep a watchful eye on who is coming and going in the building for everyone’s safety and security.

1. Location, Location, Location. What a great area to live in! Birch Ponds is situated near the intersection of Silver Lake Rd and County Road E in New Brighton. Close to both 35 and 694 to access virtually any community in the Twin Cities within minutes! Plan on a quick commute to a theatrical evening at the
Guthrie in downtown Minneapolis; or a action packed Minnesota Wild hockey game in downtown St. Paul. If shopping and traveling is more your style, Birch Ponds is just minutes from a shopping spree at the Mall of America and the Mpls/St Paul International airport!

Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Speechless Sunday (Almost)--Serious Icicles!

I took this photo this week of a home in North St. Paul, Minnesota. Sadly, it wasn't the only home in the area with serious ice dams and scary icicles. It seemed every other home was decorated with these seasonal visitors. While pretty in some respects, they are dangerous....and not just to someone walking underneath either.
As a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities north metro, I have often see the damage that ice dams and icicles cause to homes. Icicles are often indicators of a serious threat to the roof and interior of your home. They are often the byproduct of ice dams that weaken your roof and can cause water damage inside your home. So if you have icicles decorating the eaves of your home, don't ignore them. Call a roofer and have them evaluated and removed as soon as possible.

Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

10 Reasons YOU Should Call North Saint Paul Minnesota HOME!

People love living in North St Paul. And I am not talking about living on the north side of Minnesota’s capital city; I am referring to the City of North St Paul, located just EAST of St. Paul Minnesota along Highway 36. It is a quaint little town with a rich history that was founded in 1870 by Henry Castle on the banks of Silver Lake. He named the town’s main streets after his children, Henry, Helen, Margaret and Charles. When it incorporated in 1887, 221 people called the Village of North St. Paul home. From those humble beginnings, the town has grown considerably. As of 2008, nearly 12,000 people call the City of North St. Paul, Minnesota home.

Here is a top ten list of reasons why this community is such a great place to live.

#10—Water and Electric. Most cities provide the basic utilities of water and electricity to its residents. But few communities can boast water from five wells drilled deep into the earth for a pure, natural source of drinking water as well as their own power grid and wind turbine like North St. Paul can!

#9—Local Police and Fire. The City of North St. Paul is proud to have its own
police department and volunteer fire department.

#8—Cowern Elementary, Richardson Elementary and North St Paul High School. Go Polars! North St. Paul has two K-5 grade schools and a high school within its borders. Cowern Elementary is located on the south side of 36 at Margaret St and South Ave. While both Richardson Elementary and North High School are located on the north side of 36. Richardson bisects 16th Avenue and North is located along 11th Avenue. All three schools are an integral part of the North St. Paul/Maplewood/Oakdale School District #622.

#7—Silver Lake Park, Beach and Fishing Pier. Many North St. Paul children have learned to swim on brisk summer mornings in the water of
Silver Lake , a tradition that continues into today! And few resident can say they have never dropped by the annual Historical Society summer Ice Cream Social for a vanilla cone scooped by a neighbor. Although there are several other parks and playgrounds scattered throughout North St. Paul, Silver Lake is one of the most often visited.

#6—Unique taste treats! Homemade French fries at
Village Pizza, Broasted Chicken from Pizza Factory and award winning homemade ice cream from the HomeTown Creamery ice cream shop are just a few of the delectable treats served daily in North St. Paul.

#5—Booya! The fall tradition of the
North St. Paul fireman’s booya is an experience that no resident of North St Paul can resist! After a night of cooking up a ‘secret recipe’stew in giant pots, the volunteer fire department serves up their brew for all. Whether purchased by the bowl or pot, it is a fall tradition enjoyed by community residents for nearly a century!

#4— Friday Night History Cruz. Love classic cars? Spend a Friday evening in North St. Paul for the
History Cruz. Hundreds of car enthusiasts invade the main street of downtown North St. Paul, 7th Avenue, to show off their prized vehicles and see the shiny chrome fenders of yesteryear.

#3—The Snowman. The snowman has been greeting the residents of North St. Paul since it was constructed in the 1970’s. It was originally downtown behind what is now K&J Catering, but later moved to a park at the corner of Hwy 36 and Margaret Street. For those keeping statistics, the snowman is 44 feet tall and weighs about 20 tons!

#2—Eclectic Options for Living. Whether you want the convenience of a low-maintenance townhome, a historical turn of the century treasure, a 1950’s rambler or bungalow, or a recently constructed, modified two story, you can find an affordable option to rent or purchase in North St Paul.

#1—Friendly People. The number one reason for living in North St Paul is the welcoming community atmosphere. Isn’t that what most people search for in a place to call home?

Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love at First Sight--It Hits Home Buyers Too!

Do you believe in love at first sight? I do!

Decades ago as a handsome young blue-eyed man walked through the door of a neighborhood restaurant, his eyes connected with the sparkling eyes of a young girl. In that instant, their lives changed. It was years before they married and there were many ups and downs during that time. But they are still together and in love today. I should know, as the star-struck green-eyed girl was me.

Funny thing is that when I see that tell-tale star struck look these days, it is when my buyers fall in love with a house. After showing house after house to my clients, whether they are first time buyers or moving up or downsizing, I can see it in their eyes when we have found the one!

  • It is not always the best house.

  • It is not always the most expensive.

  • The property is not always perfectly staged.

But something about the home strikes the heartstrings of the buyers…I can see it in their eyes.

I am a firm believer in houses selling themselves.

For most home buyers, a housing purchase is unlike any other investment; it is an emotional decision. My job as a buyer's representative is to provide stable, unbiased support and assistance throughout the home buying process. So while my buyers are starry-eyed looking at the warm paint colors, brilliant hardwoods and room sizes, I check out the nooks, crannies and disclosures to discover things that might be overlooked. While not an inspector, I will point out potential issues to question the sellers about (and home inspector should the buyers decide to write an offer). Sometimes flaws are hard to see with stars in our eyes.
Falling in love at first sight is a wonderful experience whether with another person or a home. It is important to take the time to get to know that object of your affection before making a commitment. As a professional REALTOR®, I can guide love struck buyers through the home buying process so that they get a good deal on their dream house. My job as a real estate agent when representing buyers is to look out for my clients’ best interests so they can remain in love with their dream home as long as the live there.
♥ Have a Wonderful Valentine's Day!♥

Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Year End 2009 Snapshot of North St Paul, MN Home Sales Statistics

North St Paul, that quaint community on the east side of the Twin Cities with the big smiling snowman, has had a similar year over year changes from 2009 compared to 2008 as many other communities in the metro. New Listings are down and sales are up which equates to less inventory. The average sales price is down but not in a free fall. It is down just over 7% and with the ratio of price received versus list price going up, this eastern Ramsey County community seems to be making a bit of progress toward a more stable balanced market. The average days-on-the-market statistic is down by well over 10% so homes are staying on the market for less time. Traditional sellers that reside in North St. Paul who are considering a move to take advantage of the tax credit will have an opportunity this spring as there are few well maintained homes at lower price points as compared to buyers in the current market.

Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Year End 2009 Snapshot of Linwood, MN Home Sales Statistics

Linwood real estate has a bit of a better outlook after 2009. New listings were down slightly but closed home sales were up significantly. And Linwood was one of the very few north metro communities where the average sales price actually increased; albeit only 4%. After the rough 2008, this is welcome news for Linwood homeowners. This rural Anoka County community featuring acreage and lakeshore properties is located just north of Columbus and south of Stacy, saw a bit of a decrease in time on the market down 8% from 179 days in 2008 to 164 days in 2009. Not all of Linwood’s news is rosy however. The area is continuing to experience one of the lowest ratios of sales price to list price at just under 90%. This meaning sellers in Linwood are negotiating hard to get their homes sold.

Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm h

Year End 2009 Snapshot of East Bethel, MN Home Sales Statistics

With the number of closed sales dramatically up for the second year in a row and this year new listings dramatically down, there is significantly less real estate inventory to start off 2010 in the East Bethel. While this northern Anoka County community did see a drop in the average sales price in 2009 compared to statistics in 2008, lower inventory is a good indicator of a more balanced market on the horizon. The ratio comparing sold price to list price did see a bit of a comeback in 2009 but at just over 90% it is one of the lowest in the north and east metro communities I work in. The Days on the market statistic is also up again for the second year in a row; this is significant as many surrounding communities did see a bit of a drop in DOM in 2009.

Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm