Tuesday, May 22, 2012

10 FANTASTIC Reasons to Call SHOREVIEW, Minnesota HOME!

Shoreview, Minnesota attracts attention for many other reasons besides the twin, sky-scraping, radio transmission towers reaching high 1400+ feet 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 2012 www.terieckholm.com 

Friday, May 18, 2012

What’s My House Worth in Ham Lake, MN? Or Lino Lakes, Forest Lake, Hugo orBlaine?

It's not a trick question. But it can be tricky to get a realistic answer because whether it is a buyer's market, seller's market or something in between, there is no simple way to come up with an exact market value for the average homeowner

Many people think if they pull out the big vinyl envelope from the last time they refinanced they have a document with an accurate home value. After all good money was paid, usually several hundred dollars, for an appraiser to come up with a dollar figure of value for the bank to approve the loan. So is the appraised value what your home is worth?

Some people look to the assessed values that arrive on an annual basis from the Anoka County or Washington County assessor. It seems reasonable that this would be an indication of a property's current value.
Another resource internet savvy people look to for an idea of the value of their home is an  interactive real estate website like
Zillow  or Trulia. Type in the property address and within seconds a slew of interesting information pops up the computer screen. But is a Zestimate value as accurate a resource as Kelly's Blue Book is for an automobile?
In a word, no. But all of these values and resources do provide some clues to the value of a property. 

People with no plans to sell their home, will often use these resources to get a ballpark idea and indication of their home's value. But if a homeowner wants to put their home on the market and sell,  there is no special real estate Magic 8 Ball for determining the best starting price. A savvy home seller will work with a knowledgeable REALTOR®, who knows their community, to get the best advice on their home's market value.

Many things affect the selling price.  For instance a Forest Lake area home located on the west side of 35 in Columbus with quick access to 35, convenient to schools and shopping might be more desirable to buyers than a home on the far eastern side of Forest Lake. But a home in town with public utilities rather than a private well and septic system also affects market value. Value is also dependent upon whether or not the property on a busy road, near power lines or close to parks and playgrounds. And of course the home's ammenities like, square footage, how many updates have been done to the home and do they fit the property and the neighborhood need to be assessed. Considerations like these are only the tip of the iceberg in determining a market value of a home.

®, I serve the communities in the Forest Lake school district and Anoka County. From Forest Lake to Hugo and Lino Lakes to Blaine and beyond, I keep my ear to the ground to hear what affects the prices of homes in the north and east Twin Cities metro area. Are you planning to move this summer and need to know what your home is worth? Do you want expert advice from someone who knows the Anoka County and Forest Lake District #831 area? Let me help you! Contact me to schedule a FREE market value assessment.  I won't bring a magic 8 ball, instead I will bring my real estate pricing expertise and experience!

 Copyright 2012 www.terieckholm.com

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Essential Spring Repairs Optimize Minnesota Home Values

Spring Repairs to Maintain Home Values in Minnesota

A few weeks ago, annual property tax notices reach the mailboxes of many Anoka County and Washington County homeowners. Assessors processed this information based on last year's sales and assessments so while the real estate market is picking up, many home assessed values continued to decrease. The county assessor will often review a home from the exterior and make a value determination. 

So as spring has sprung, it's time for Minnesota homeowners start thinking it's time for the "honey-do" list of spring projects. 

Keeping your home in tiptop shape is essential in optimizing your property’s assessed and market value. Even if you don’t intend to sell your home this summer, there are a few essential things to check, repair and or replace after ever Minnesota winter. As REALTOR® in the north and east Twin Cities metro, I see many properties that have not been properly cared for. Throughout Anoka County, Chisago County and northern Washington County, the areas where I work extensively, I have seen houses with interior ceiling damage from leaking roofs, potholed, cracked driveways and decks that are downright scary to walk on.
Surprisingly, these are not all foreclosure homes. It is frustrating to have to make repairs just prior to selling your home. Some traditional sellers who chose to sell in recovering real estate market and are frustrated as they often will have to make thousands of dollars in repairs in order to sell due to lack of maintenance--or make a drastic price concession to a buyer. Not making the repairs means pricing your home to compete directly with foreclosure homes. Offers on under-maintained homes come in at thousands less than expected--If they get offers at all. Neither choice is appealing to sellers when values are depressed.

I have often heard a seller wish they had chosen to keep the home in better condition over the last decade so they could have enjoyed the benefit of a well maintained home. It is much more beneficial and cost effective to assess your property on an annual basis and make repairs as necessary.

Here are 6 spring maintenance tips that will not only beautify your home, but also aid in retaining your home’s value for years to come:

  1. Roof—Walk around the exterior of your home with binoculars and check for any missing or curling shingles. Shingles on roofs can be blown off in severe winter weather. If any are missing or you see other concerns such as curling or partial shingles, bring in a contractor to assess the damage and make repairs before you have water damage on the interior of your home.
  2. Siding—Power wash debris buildup from vinyl or aluminum siding. Buildup can stain siding overtime. 
  3. Deck Settling—Check for any settling or worn boards on your deck especially if it is several feet off of the ground. If the supports of your deck appear to be pulling away from the home or if the boards are weather-worn, have it reviewed by a professional before that first summer barbeque. 
  4. Paint  & Stain—Did the harsh winter sleet, snow and ice cause the paint or stain on your siding, trim or deck to start to peel? Now is the time to assess the damage.
  5.  Gutters—Gutters filled with leaves? Take the time to clean out to prevent water backups. Keeping water away from the foundation is the best way to keep water out of your basement. If your gutters are clogged, they cannot do the job and the rains will pour right over the clogged-gutter’s edge near the walls of your home. Consider adding screens or guards to prevent leave buildup in the future. 
  6. Driveway—The winter’s freeze and thaw cycle can do damage to an asphalt driveway. Cracks need to be filled or they will get worse. It is recommended that blacktop driveways also be seal-coated every 2 years. If the driveway has long term exposure to extreme sunlight, seal coating might be recommended on an annual basis to extend the life of your driveway.

Copyright 2012 Teri Eckholm