Friday, July 30, 2010

Now IS the Time to get a GREAT DEAL on a Minnesota Lakeshore Home!


Recently I was on the phone with REALTOR® from the Brainerd Lakes area (cabin country for those in the Twin Cities north metro). We were discussing how affordable lake shore properties had recently become in Minnesota compared to just a few years ago. One of the tidbits he shared with me was that all predictions were pointing toward an abundance of lakehomes and lakeshore cabins that would be hitting the foreclosure market this year. This year seasonal and year round properties are available in every price point at rock bottom prices.


So this got me thinking and once again I decided to check on what was happening in the north and east Minneapolis/St. Paul market. What I found was phenomenal…home prices on local lake homes had dropped yet again and there are lakeshore deals all across the north metro in Anoka County. I was surprised that so many lake homes were hitting the market so late in the summer. Could it be that people think that since there is good activity in the lower starter homes, it will carry over to lakeshore? It is no surprise that in this economy, higher priced homes will have extremely long market times. In some communities that I serve homes in the half million plus price point have been on the market for YEARS. The housing tax credit did boost lower end sales but didn’t do much for these higher end homes. So how does the recent upswing in low end sales affect lakeshore? Or does it have any affect at all?

Once again I think it is time to ask the question, Is NOW a Good Time to Make a DEAL on a MN Lakeshore Home? It's GREAT!


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 2010. As a REALTOR® working in the north east metro for several years, I knew it was difficult to find reasonably priced Minnesota lakeshore in just a few years ago…especially properties located in areas with a quick commute to downtown. Just last year, the Twin Cities market has been experienced 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 quick search for lakeshore homes SOLD and closed after January 1, 2010. I found 93 single family lakeshore 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. If a sold home was not a foreclosure, there were some unbelievable price concessions by sellers. The 94 listings were on the market an average of 209 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 average time on the market for north metro lakeshore is closer to 2 YEARS.


So where were the deals on Minnesota Lakeshore during the first half of 2010? All over the north metro!
Here are some of the highlights:


Anoka County


Lowest Sold Price $148,000 (Original list price $169,000)
Highest Sold Price $561,000 (Original list price $1,145,000)
Average $336,470
Total Homes Sold 27


The lowest priced Anoka County lakeshore home in the first half of 2010 was on Minard Lake in the northern community of East Bethel. It was a 1972 split level being sold due to a corporate relocation. It was 3BR/2BA and a 2 car garage. It sold for $149,000 after 148 days on the market for $20,000 less than asking and a $5,100 seller paid concession.


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 $ 68,000 (Original list price $ 98,900)
Highest Sold Price $ 722,225 (Original list price $750,000)
Average $251,634
Total Homes Sold 32

The lowest priced home was a foreclosure bargain in Fish Lake Township on Lower Goose Lake with 100 ft of shoreline. It was a bank-owned, 1950’s rambler with 2BR/1BA and a 2 car garage that sold in 91 days for $68,000.
On the high end, there was a 1996 built lake home on Chisago Lake with 100 ft. of shore located in Chisago City. This 5BR/4BA brick rambler with a 6 car garage was a beauty! The home was sold occupied and sold by a traditional seller without lender mediation. It originally was listed at $ 750,000 and sold in 61 days for $722,225.


Ramsey County


Lowest Sold Price $210,000 (Original list price $ 389,000)
Highest Sold Price $1,650,000 (Original list price $ 2,250,000)
Average $554,687
Total Homes Sold 23


Ramsey County is the heart of the east metro and is home to the capital city, St. Paul. On the low end of the spectrum, there was a 3BR/2BA/1 Car One and a half story in Roseville built in 1950 on McCarrons Lake. It originally listed in early 2008 for $389,000 but after going to the bank it was sold as an REO property for $210,000.
The spendy side of Ramsey County featured an Arden Hills executive home on Lake Johanna. The one story brick and cedar home was build in 2002 and sits on a 1.3 acres with 4BR/5BA/7Car and 6400+ finished square feet. After being on the market for just 189 days and a quarter of a million dollar price drop, it sold for just over $1.6 Million.
Washington County


Lowest Sold Price $ 95,000 (Original list price $ 99,900)
Highest Sold Price $1,501,069 (Original list price $ 1,799,900)
Average $465,493
Total Homes Sold 24


There were bargains at all price points in Washington County in the first half of 2010. At the low end a corporate-owned lakeshore home on Tanners Lake in the City of Oakdale. It sold for $95,000 cash after being originally listed for $195,000 in 2007. This 1BR/1BA/1 Car 1940’s home was a short sale/lender-mediated property.

The Washington County high ticket home sold so far in 2010 is located in Stillwater with shoreline on Big Carnelian Lake. The 2003 two-story home was built on a 6 acre estate and full of all the upgrades. It sold after a whopping 796 days for $750,000 less than asking price…Yes a three quarters of a million price drop! The home has 5BR/5BA/6Car and 1200 feet of lakeshore!

Bargains are STILL out there!

Currently there are hundreds of single family lakeshore homes on the market throughout the Twin Cities north metro.  As of today, there are 80 listed in Anoka County, 122 in Chisago County, 75 in Ramsey County and 134 in Washington County. Prices range from $ 84,900 to $2.65 million and everywhere in between! The deals on Minnesota’s sandy shorelines are out there! Your Minnesota lakeshore dream home could be closer than you ever imagined!


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 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Can Hold My OWN Hand!

Several years ago, just as we were about to step off the curb into the busy parking lot of the local Target, I attempted to take the hand of my almost three-year-old son when he announced to my husband and I, “I can hold my own hand!” And being obstinate and two, he did.

He put one chubby little fist inside the other behind his back and attempted to step off the curb and into traffic. Realizing his need for independence, we explained the dangers of his actions to him. (Hey Buddy...Drivers have no way of seeing a tiny person below their windows as they back up their cars.) We compromised. He was allowed to hold his own hand everywhere except busy parking lots and when crossing the street. Then he would be required to hold mommy or daddy’s hand or hang on to the stroller for his own safety.

That precocious son will be heading off to college in a few weeks and the mom in me is again struggling as he “holds his own hand” and steps of the curb into his future. He doesn’t need mom or dad to help with many things anymore. He is well prepared for the real world or at least this next part of it.

Holding your own hand is good in life but there are times when one must rely on a professional to help them through a new or difficult situation. As a real estate agent, I realize most clients want to “hold their own hand” through a transaction with the knowledge that when they will need to “step off the curb” I will be right by their side there ready to explain and guide them through every step of the process. Whether it is a question from a home seller at the time of listing the house about whether they should start looking for another home now or wait for an offer or a first time home buyer wondering whether a townhome or single family home would be a better investment, I am there ready to educate and assist. A good REALTOR® knows it is important for the client to make the decisions—it is our job to guide and educate our clients through the home buying or selling process.

Are you ready to step off the curb and need a good REALTOR® by your side?
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 

Monday, July 19, 2010

White Bear Lake, MN Year End Real Estate Market Statistics MidYear 2010


Just about everyone who grew up in the Twin Cities north and east metro is familiar with the White Bear Lake community. Whether your memories are of passing the iconic gigantic snow white bear statue at Polar Chev, swimming at Bellaire beach or setting sail across White Bear Lake, everyone seems to know something about the community. But few know the legends that surround the lake and that Manitou Island is at the center of it all. The legend has been documented by several writers but the most notable was Mark Twain who wrote of the Indian warrior who killed the great monster of a polar bear to save himself and his lover in his book, “Life of the Mississippi”.

Legends aside, today the
White Bear Lake community is a vibrant area that is continually growing while preserving its rich heritage. There is no doubt that the shores of White Bear Lake are the most well known as one of the largest lakes in the north metro as it spreads from Ramsey County into Washington County. But there are two other lakes in the City of White Bear Lake: Birch Lake and Goose Lake as well as Bald Eagle Lake in White Bear Township. This town is the home of the White Bear Lake School District #624 and Century College while encompassing 11 square miles of land. Real estate opportunities include both historic homes and recently constructed residences. First time buyers, executive home buyers, retiring downsizers and luxury lakeshore buyers have a wide variety of options if the choose to call White Bear Lake home.

Mid Year 2010 Average Sales Price of all homes sold in White Bear Lake:

· All Homes $ 207,697
· Single Family Homes $ 216,994
· Townhomes/Condos $ 166,640

Mid Year Average Cumulative Days on Market in White Bear Lake:

· All Homes 132
· Single Family Homes 121
· Townhomes/Condos 184

Mid Year 2010 White Bear Lake residential real estate statistics for single family homes:

Under $200,000~ 45 Active Listings, 21 Pending Listings, 60 Sold Listings, 102 CDOM

$200,000-300,000~50 Active Listings, 5 Pending Listings, 35 Sold Listings, 113 CDOM (Lakeshore Subgroup 1 Active, 1 Pending, 2 Sold, 88 CDOM)

$300,000-$400,000 ~ 8 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 6 Sold Listings, 167 CDOM (Lakeshore Subgroup 1 Active, 0 Pending, 1 Sold, 205 CDOM)

$400,000-$500,000 ~ 7 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 1 Sold Listings, 856 CDOM (Lakeshore Subgroup 5 Active, 1 Pending, 1 Sold, 856 CDOM)

$500,000-$1,000,000~ 9 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 3 Sold Listings, 183 CDOM (Lakeshore Subgroup 7 Active, 0 Pending, 2 Sold, 257 CDOM)

$1,000,000 and Up ~ 6 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 1 Sold Listings, 357 CDOM (Lakeshore Subgroup 6 Active, 0 Pending, 1 Sold, 357 CDOM)

Mid Year 2010 White Bear Lake residential real estate statistics for townhomes and condos:

Under $200,000 ~ 44 Active Listings, 2 Pending Listings, 18 Sold Listings, 161 CDOM

$200,000-300,000 ~ 11 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 3 Sold Listings, 245 CDOM

$300,000-$400,000 ~ 5 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 2 Sold Listings, 205 CDOM

$400,000-$500,000 ~ 1 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 1 Sold Listings, 156 CDOM

$500,000-$1,000,000~ 5 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 0 Sold Listings

$1,000,000 and Up ~ 1 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 0 Sold Listings

Lakeshore available in the White Bear Lake area
20 Active Listings

White Bear Lake lakeshore price range: $244,900-$3,200,000

5 Homes on Birch Lake
4 Homes on Bald Eagle Lake
11 Homes on White Bear Lake

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

**All Statistical information based on information from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE of MINNESOTA, INC. for the period of 1/1/10 through 6/30/10.


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, July 16, 2010

Ham Lake, MN Real Estate Market Statistics Mid Year 2010



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 acreage, executive, luxury and lakeshore homes in the Ham Lake area. The real estate market is not quite as sluggish in Ham Lake, MN as it was in early 2009. Homes are selling again. There are bright spots across the board with homes selling in all price categories. Even several higher priced homes moved off the MLS in the first half of 2010.

Inventory is moving at a pretty good pace for most price points in Ham Lake. There are currently 117 homes active on the market. Homes listed at higher prices are starting to sell again. With only 7 listed homes over $500,000 and 3 sold in the first half of 2010 and one in pending, the absorption rate is just over a year. Lower priced inventory has continued to sell well. With 35 actives and 35 sales in the first half of 2010, it seems that homes under $200K are selling twice as fast as the half million plus properties in Ham Lake. The only price point with an over abundance of listings seems to be $400,000-$500,000 range. With 14 actives and only 4 sales in 6 months, there is well over a years worth of inventory and the cumulative time on the market seems to reflect this as well. Homeowners considering selling a home in the Ham Lake area must consider the average time to sell a home in the Twin Cities north metro is again over 6 months but in some price points it could take a year or longer. Right now inventory levels indicate there is about 10 months of inventory in the Ham Lake area and homes are selling again in every price point. But since the tax credit for home buyers has now expired, having your home properly priced and prepared for showings will be essential to sell a home in this Anoka County community as we continue into the second half of 2010.

First Half 2010 Ham Lake residential real estate statistics for single family homes:

Under $200,000~ 35 Active Listings, 4 Pending Listings, 35 Sold Listings, CDOM 105 (New Construction Subgroup ~ 0 Active, 0 Pending, 1 Sold)

$200,000-300,000 ~ 39 Active Listings, 7 Pending Listings, 20 Sold Listings, CDOM 187 (New Construction Subgroup ~ 1 Active, 1 Pending, 1 Sold)

$300,000-400,000 ~ 22 Active Listings, 4 Pending Listings, 12 Sold Listings, CDOM 312 (New Construction Subgroup ~ 5 Active, 1 Pending, 2 Sold)

$400,000-$500,000 ~ 14 Active Listings, 2 Pending Listings, 4 Sold Listings, CDOM 333 (New Construction Subgroup ~ 1 Active, 1 Pending, 3 Sold)

$500,000 and Up~ 7 Active Listings, 2 Pending Listings, 3 Sold Listings, CDOM 220 (New Construction Subgroup ~ 2 Active, 2 Pending, 0 Sold)


Lakeshore available in the City of Ham Lake
11 Active Listings

Ham Lake lakeshore price range: $100,000-$774,900

6 Homes on Coon Lake
2 Homes on Ham Lake
1 Home on Lake Netta
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 1/1/10 through 6/30/10.

Click HERE to Search for Minnesota Lakeshore or Acreage Homes!


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 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What I HATE About Car Shopping—Is What Some People HATE About Buying a Home



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We need a new car and have needed it for several months now. We have the ability to purchase one but have avoided the car lots like the plague. Why? Because car salesmen lurk there!

We have browsed on the internet for as long as possible but it was getting to the point of a test drive to make our decision. Last Saturday, my husband and I took a deep breath and decided to head to the Hwy 61 White Bear/Maplewood car mile of car dealerships to really get started.

We started off slowly…First we drove through a few lots without leaving the car. Then we had lunch. Finally, we could avoid it no longer and we got out of the car.

Our first stop was one that we had made before. It was a dealership where we had purchased a used car a decade ago and in a moment of great courage had stopped by last year…Did I say we really need a new car? No haggle pricing is their motto. Translation: No negotiation. (But who pays full price it this market, right?)

As luck would have it, we were approached by the same salesman we talked to a few months ago. At that time their brand was being discontinued but this guy told us it was definitely going to be picked it up—we didn’t believe him and we were right. We asked a few questions about a car on the lot but they no longer had the exact model car we wanted. This vehicle was larger and more expensive. We asked about the no haggle policy and were told that was still firmly in place….then he hedged and said he had never seen anyone get more than a $500 discount. (I guess they aren’t set in stone after all are they?)

Next, we headed over to a import/domestic dealer that had some awesome pricing on brand new 2009 models. With 2011 models coming in and 2009’s on the lot we figured it was worth looking a different brand than we had in the past. Here’s where things went from “finding someone to help us BUY a car” to “Someone SELLING a car to us”.

Let me tell you…I hate being SOLD anything!

We parked in the back and perused the lot first. According to their website, there were five 2009’s left and we only could find one on the lot. There were dozens of similar models in 2010 but none had all wheel drive or the options that we were interested in.

When we came around the building Mr. Eager Beaver jumping into action…He stuck out his hand to my husband and introduced himself.



“Hi Eager here. What can I do for you?”



We introduced ourselves and told him which car we were looking at.
“There isn’t a better deal out there for $17,995. We have one in White and one in Black? Which one did you want to see?”




We had looked over the white one but could not find the black one. He said with a smile that they hide the best deals but he would locate it for us. Then he started to talk about the price in the newspaper ad being a low price with a military discount and loyalty discount.

“But I saw you drive up in a GM car right? So not to worry, you get that discount…Not, military? I have to add $500 to the price.”



Wait a second…The priced on the car windows and the prices on the internet are not the prices without discounts? We are going to ADD to the prices? So far it was $1500 higher than advertised. Hmmm…That doesn’t seem fair.

“Well everyone is doing it so we have to in order to stay competitive.”



Seems wrong I said as we walked up to the black car we were looking for…this after looking in several cars for the right one. As we found it, we saw another salesperson and customer leaving on a test drive in the same model and year white car.

“Well there goes the white one now…You’re not too late though. Write a check for a $1000 and it can be yours until we get the details worked out. Just tell me which you prefer, white or black and I will get you the car! "



Excuse me…we aren’t going to write a check for anything until we finish asking our questions, researching and test driving.

In a condescending voice as if placating a small child, he says,

“Go ahead. What do you want to know? But you won’t find a better deal than on the two you were looking at. I’m just trying to help you.”

Okay…We want to understand why all the tags in the windows of the four red cars are at different prices.

“You are wrong,” said Eager. “They are all the same price…give or take. Depending on options.”



I tried to be clearer. I told him we were trying to figure out what the different options are and how they affect the price so we can decide which options and car will work best for us.

“Okay but, trust me, they are all the same.” Eager says. “We will have to look at each car.”



One by one he looks at the window sticker and drags us father down the row of 2010’s. Two of the cars did have almost identical options and prices somewhere in the $18900 range. We get to the third car and he says,

“See they are all the same car and same price. But we have another full back lot of cars if you want to look at a few dozen more,” Eager chuckles.



By this time, my husband is reading the window stickers and I am looking at the handwritten prices on the mirrors. The third red car has a big price tag of $19500. Eager’s last little joke was the last straw. Annoyed I say, “Let me understand this. They are all the same $17,995 as in the paper, if we add in $1500 for the non-discounts to the prices. But the signs say $18,900, $19,500 and…” now I am at the fourth red car. “$20,100? We don’t have to look at anything else. We are done here!”

My husband saw a bewildered Eager literally throw his hands to the heavens as I walked straight to our car. I was upset but my husband was laughing as we left. Probably due to the fact that he had the funny picture of Eager pulling his hair out while I was frustrated with the lack of information and assistance we received.

We did make it to a third lot but said. “Just looking” whenever approached by sales people.

So what does my rambling have to do with real estate sales?

One thing…I don’t sell houses. I let the houses sell themselves!

I don’t push people into buying something without allowing them to get all the information on the property they require to make their decision. I don’t lie about prices, discounts or the property itself. I present the information on the house and help people understand the paperwork. I inform them on what questions to ask as a buyer and why it is important to disclose everything about the property as a seller. I assist in negotiating a price that makes it a win/win for all parties involved.

Letting a house sell itself works for both buyers and sellers. Home buyers do not want to be rushed into a home purchase. They need to process and understand what they are buying or buyer’s remorse could set in and they will quickly back out of the deal. A seller needs their home to be properly marketed without over-selling it. A house that is oversold and pushed on a buyer without adequate information could leave a seller open to problems and possible lawsuits.

Mr. Eager Beaver might have had a sale Saturday if he would have just calmed down, provided us with the information we were requesting and gave us a few moments to process what we were hearing and seeing. Instead, he tried to hard to sell a car. He was so busy selling, he lost a sale.

In the market for a REALTOR® that knows how to market a property and let homes sell themselves? I would like to help. 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

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Forest Lake, MN Real Estate Market Statistics Mid Year 2010


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. The northern Washington County and east Anoka County community of Forest Lake is now considered an integral part of the Twin Cities.

Real estate in
Forest Lake, MN sold a bit faster during the second quarter compared to the first. A total of 110 properties sold in the Forest Lake Area between January and June compared to 45 being sold prior in the first three months of the year. Of these homes, 68 properties, were single family homes while the other 42 were townhomes, condos or twin homes.

Not surprisingly, the price category of under $200,000 is the high point the bulk of homes sold during the first half of 2010 (78 properties sold with 39 Single family homes and 39 townhomes/condos). The $8000 tax credit really made an impact in the Forest Lake market as the first time buyer homes under $200,000 are not staying on the market for very long. It will be interesting to see if this momentum continues, though it seems doubtful based on early pending sales results for May and June since the credit expired.

High end homes continue to struggle though the first half of 2010. Homes over $500,000 remain are at a complete standstill with zero homes sold in the over half a million price category in the Forest Lake area during this time period. Add that to the one home sold in all of 2009 and it will is difficult to calculate an absorption rate. As most lakeshore homes fall into this category, there is an abundance of high valued lakeshore homes to select from in the Forest Lake area. With one sold in the past 18 months and 24 active listings over $500,000, it will DECADES for all the homes to sell if sales continue at this rate.

What does this mean for the home buyer? Homebuyers in 2010 looking for homes under $200,000 will have to make quick decisions on homes in Forest Lake that appear to be good values. Lakeshore and acreage properties priced under $500,000 seem to be attractive to buyers and selling quickly again, so it is important to be prepared to buy when the right property comes onto the market.

A buyer looking to purchase high-end lakeshore in the Forest Lake area, is at the wheel in the captain’s chair in 2010! With so much inventory, high-end lakeshore sellers must to be flexible on pricing if they want to be the house with the SOLD sign on their yard this summer! NOW might be the perfect time to negotiate a GREAT deal on a lakeshore home! The inventory is awesome…Over 50 lakeshore homes with are currently active in the Forest Lake area; some are at very attractive and affordable price points. Many have been on the market for several months; some have been on the market for years. With the continued low interest rates may never be a better time to negotiate a deal on your piece of Minnesota shoreline!Mid Year Average Sales Price of all homes sold in Forest Lake:
All Homes $175,317
Single Family Homes $207,204
Townhomes/Condos $125,208
Mid Year 2010 Average Cumulative Days on Market in Forest Lake:
All Homes 167
Single Family Homes 180
Townhomes/Condos 146

Mid Year Forest Lake real estate statistics for single family homes:

Under $200,000~ 48 Active Listings, 7 Pending Listings, 39 Sold Listings, 123 CDOM (Lakeshore Subgroup ~ 0 Active, 0 Pending, 0 Sold)

$200,000-$300,000 ~ 60 Active Listings, 7 Pending Listings, 19 Sold Listings, 200 CDOM (Lakeshore Subgroup ~ 9 Active, 1 Pending, 1 Sold, 50 CDOM)

$300,000-$400,000 ~ 24 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 4 Sold Listings, 210 CDOM (Lakeshore Subgroup ~ 8 Active, 2 Pending, 2 Sold, 86 CDOM)

$400,000-$500,000 ~ 15 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 6 Sold Listing, 408 CDOM (Lakeshore Subgroup ~ 5 Active, 0 Pending, 3 Sold, 493 CDOM)

$500,000-$1,000,000~ 19 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 0 Sold Listings (Lakeshore Subgroup ~ 19 Active, 0 Pending, 0 Sold)

$1,000,000 and Up~ 5 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 0 Sold Listings (Lakeshore Subgroup ~ 5 Active, 0 Pending, 0 Sold)

Mid Year 2010 Forest Lake residential real estate statistics for townhomes and condos:

Under $200,000~ 35 Active Listings, 11 Pending Listings, 39 Sold Listings, 121 CDOM

$200,000-300,000~9 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 3 Sold Listings, 200 CDOM

$300,000-$400,000 ~ 4 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 0 Sold Listings

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

54 Active Lakeshore Properties available in the Forest Lake area:

Price range $225,000-$4,995,000

44 Homes on Forest Lake
6 Home on Clear Lake
2 Homes on Comfort Lake
1 Home On Shields Lake
1 Home On Sylvan Lake

**All Statistical information based on information from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE of MINNESOTA, INC. for the period of 1/1/10 through 6/30/10.



Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm h

Blaine, MN Real Estate Market Statistics Mid Year 2010



The community of Blaine has continued to grow and expand in the north metro of the Twin Cities despite the economic downturn. Just drive down Highway 65 and see the Main Street (125th) overpass to get an idea of how the significant changes have affected the community. Though housing construction had slowed during 2008-2009, it has not stopped and continues to affect the market in 2010. New developments expand the housing base, especially in the townhome and lower level price points. Conveniently located along 35W and Highway 65 and connected by Highway 10 just north of the Twin Cities, Blaine is an attractive location for both business and residential development. The community is served by three school districts; Anoka Hennepin District #11, Centennial District #12, and Spring Lake Park District #16. Blaine is best known for the National Sports Center a sport and meeting facility that hosts an annual worldwide soccer event and Tournament Players Club golf course where the PGA Senior tour is played every summer.

Builders’ incentives along with the tax incentives seemed to boost sales in the Blaine area during the first half of 2010. Looking at pending sales, it is doubtful that the trend will continue during the second half of the year but time will tell. The homes that are selling best in Blaine continue to be in the under $200,000 price point. I think that the tax credit incentive boosted the lower end sales considerably by enticing first time buyers into the market. Move up buyers had opportunities too as more homes sold in some of the higher priced categories too…but compared to completely stagnate sales of the past few years, it could have been due to pent up demand. It is also important to note that there are fewer new construction properties in the over $500,000 price range and that builders are starting to construct both townhomes AND single family homes under $200,000. Sales were brisk in the 2nd quarter in these price points for new construction. However, momentum has seemed to decline with the tax credit expiration.

The townhome and condominium market has started to sell at a rate similar to single family homes. This is affected directly by the number of new townhomes available at lower price points and how quickly they flew off of active status. Existing townhome sellers must continue to be aggressive in their pricing to compete with builders if they want to sell their properties in this market.

2009 Average Sales Price of all homes sold in Blaine:

· All Homes $196,174
· Single Family Homes $216,254
· Townhomes/Condos $150,523
2009 Average Cumulative Days on Market in Blaine:
· All Homes 143
· Single Family Homes 140
· Townhomes/Condos 150

1st Half Blaine residential real estate statistics for single family homes:


Under $200,000~ 109 Active Listings, 14 Pending Listings, 141 Sold Listings, 105 CDOM (New Construction Subgroup 5 Active, 1 Pending, 2 Sold, 21 CDOM)

$200,000-300,000~104 Active Listings, 14 Pending Listings, 78 Sold Listings, 138 CDOM (New Construction Subgroup 37 Active, 6 Pending, 23 Sold, 88 CDOM)

$300,000-$400,000 ~40 Active Listings, 2 Pending Listings, 28 Sold Listings, 158 CDOM (New Construction Subgroup 15 Active, 1 Pending, 13 Sold, 142 CDOM)

$400,000-$500,000 ~ 18 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 11 Sold Listings, 216 CDOM (New Construction Subgroup 2 Active, 1 Pending, 3 Sold, 282 CDOM)

$500,000-$1,000,000~ 20 Active Listings, 6 Pending Listings, 4 Sold Listings, 180 CDOM (New Construction Subgroup 7 Active, 4 Pending, 3 Sold, 53 CDOM)

$1,000,000 and Up ~1 Active Listings, 0 Pending Listings, 0 Sold Listings (No New Construction over $1,000,000)

1st Half Blaine residential real estate statistics for townhomes and condos:

Under $200,000~ 143 Active Listings, 27 Pending Listings, 103 Sold Listings, 123 CDOM (New Construction Subgroup 16 Active, 9 Pending, 15 Sold, 124 CDOM)

$200,000-300,000~ 11 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 16 Sold Listings, 177 CDOM (New Construction Subgroup 8 Active, 1 Pending, 13 Sold, 162 CDOM)

$300,000-$400,000 ~ 5 Active Listings, 2 Pending Listings, 1 Sold Listings, 137 CDOM (New Construction Subgroup 3 Active, 2 Pending, 1 Sold, 137 CDOM)

$400,000-$500,000 ~ 6 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 1 Sold Listings, 1 CDOM (New Construction Subgroup 2 Active, 1 Pending, 1 Sold, 1 CDOM)

$500,000-$1,000,000~ 3 Active Listings, 1 Pending Listings, 1 Sold Listings, 371 CDOM (New Construction Subgroup 1 Active, 0 Pending, 0 Sold)

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

**All Statistical information based on information from the REGIONAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE of MINNESOTA, INC. for the period of 1/1/10 through 6/30/10.




Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm 

Monday, July 5, 2010

Take a History Cruz in North St Paul!

North St Paul is a community rich in history.
If you stop by on a Friday night in the summer, you might feel that you have stepped back in time. The Friday Night History Cruz has been at home in North St. Paul since very humble beginnings in 1996.
The History Cruz is an informal car show where several hundred classic enthusiasts park along 7th Avenue in the downtown of this quaint little town so residents and visitors alike can stroll down memory lane while enjoying a corn dog, a cone from the Hometown Creamery or a slice of Randy’s Pizza.

My family tries to get down to the North St Paul car show at least a few times every summer. Last Friday, as a way to kick off the Fourth of July weekend, we ventured down and snapped a few photos.

As we walked down the sidewalk where there are now antique shops where the Miller’s Shoes, Harry’s Drug and the flower shop used to be, I realize how much has changed. The movie theater was demolished long before my husband and I were married and there is an empty space where Mac’s Dinet
te used to be just a few years ago.
My teenaged son doesn't even know that there used to be a roller skating rink or bowling alley in town as Silver Skate roller rink has been a church for decades and Weber's was transformed into an office plaza before he had a chance to bowl a frame or two. Still there are homes and families that have been a part of this community for over a century. As former North St Paulites we always run into one or two familiar faces.

As much as things change, there are those maintaining the past, whether a historic home or classic car. North St Paul continues to have the buzz of a vibrant community, especially when the classics come to town!



Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Top 10 Reasons People L♥VE to Call SHOREVIEW, Minnesota HOME!

Shoreview, Minnesota attracts attention for many other reasons besides the twin, skyscraping, radio transmission towers reaching high 1400+ miles into the air. Though not officially incorporated until 1957, Shoreview has a rich history. A good portion of what is now known as Shoreview was once inhabited by Dakota and Ojibwe Native America tribes. It was ceded to the US Government from the Ojibwe in 1837 and soon became known as a farming community. The Soo line of the railroad expanded into Shoreview in the late 1800’s and soon New Englanders and other European settlers came to farm the land. The iconic radio towers weren’t built until much later in 1963 but those three towers on 694 are still the tallest structures in the state of Minnesota. According to the 2000 census, nearly 26,000 people called Shoreview home. No doubt this decade’s survey will only add to the number of residents in this vibrant community.

Here is a top ten list of reasons why Shoreview Minnesota is such a great place to live.

#10—Turtleman Triathlon. Shoreview is home to Minnesota’s oldest triathlon, the Turtleman Triathlon which is run every August starting at Turtle Lake park. Hundreds of athletes take to the streets and shores of Shoreview for this annual summer event.

#9—Free Music and Movies! Concert in the Commons has been an annual tradition from June thru August. In 2010, free movies were added to the mix of family-friendly activities being shown at the Shoreview Commons Pavilion on Friday evenings in August. Bring popcorn or a picnic and have fun.

#8—Einhausen Sister City. For nearly a decade, the City of Shoreview has had a unique relationship with Einhausen, Germany as its sister city. As sister cities, Shoreview and Einhausen are partnered to promote a cultural understanding between the United States and Germany by creating opportunities for residents in the two communities to form personal relationships.

#7—Awesome Schools. Although Shoreview does not have it’s own secondary schools it is served by two highly rated school districts: Roseville School District 623 and Mounds View School District 621. It also has three community based public elementary schools within its borders: Emmet D. Williams Elementary School , Island Lake Elementary School, Turtle Lake Elementary School .

#6—Lakes and Parks. Shoreview has several of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes within its borders. The largest and most notable are Island Lake, Lake Owasso, Snail Lake and Turtle Lake but there are also several smaller named lakes in Shoreview including: Grass Lake, Emily Lake, Lake Judy, Lake Wabasso, and Martha Lake as well as Rice Creek to enjoy the view of one of Minnesota’s greatest resources. And as for parks, there are too many great ones to mention…just check out this link to some of the best! Shoreview Parks and Playgrounds

#5—Bicycle Friendly Community! According to Shoreview’s community website, it is only one of three communities in Minnesota to have earned a “Bicycle Friendly Community” award. The Twin Cities Bicycle Club has notes several rides on it’s schedule on Shoreview’s trails all summer long!

#4—The Tropics! Where do you go for a little splashing fun when the Minnesota lakes are frozen? Why the Tropics of course! The Tropics Waterpark is an indoor oasis located in the Shoreview Community Center for kids of all ages to enjoy some water fun whether it is too hot & humid or cold & blustery. Since it opened, it has been a popular birthday party venue for residents in the north metro. But most people don’t want to wait for a party, everyday is a party at the affordable Tropics Waterpark.

#3— Enjoy a Slice! The Slice of Shoreview is an annual summer event with something for everyone. This community extravaganza held every July includes fun activities that have included a petting zoo, parade, car show, art fair, talent show and carnival. It is as fun as a county fair and an event the entire family can enjoy!

#2—Eclectic Options for Living. Whether you want the convenience of a low-maintenance townhome or condo, a home with a lakeshore view, a 1950’s rambler or bungalow, or a recently constructed, modified two story, you can find an affordable option to rent or purchase in Shoreview.

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


Copyright 2010 Teri Eckholm