Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Checklist to Get Your Home Ready to Sell in 30 Days



Home buyers are poised and ready to purchase in the Twin Cities but there is very little housing inventory right now. I am really surprised at how few listings I am seeing in the north and east metro right now. It is spring after all. And, spring is one of the best time to sell a home in Minnesota. 

Home buyers are ready, but are you? Preparing a home for sale is not an easy task but it can be done quickly if necessary. If the perfect place to move comes on the market next week, would you be ready to have your home on the market in 30 days?

I have several tips I share with my selling clients when I do a market analysis for a home. Many of my past clients refer to this as their check list of things to do to get your home in tip top shape before selling.  All are simple tasks and inexpensive ways to get your home ready so that first potential buyer is impressed. Following this list won’t take the place of hiring a professional home stager, but it does seem to get my seller’s on the right track to a quick sale.

Teri’s Tips for a Quick Home Sale

  1. Pump Up the Curb Appeal—Jazz up the front entrance with a coat of paint and new hardware on the front door.  Remove any personalized signs or doorknockers. Trim trees, bushes and keep the walkway to the front door clear.  Once the weather is warm, invest in bright, colorful flowering plants to welcome visitors. 
  2.  Prep the Kitchen—The Kitchen can sell the home so make it appear as large and inviting as possible!  Clean off counter and organize cabinets and drawers.  Store, pack or discard seldom used appliances and large pans. Large kitchen appliances should be in a matching color. Consider replacing the counter if worn or outdated. Replace dated faucets and light fixtures. 
  3.  Update the Bathrooms—Bathrooms also can make or break a sale. Sometimes cleaning, painting and re-caulking is not enough to help a dingy bathroom.   Consider replacing a dated vanity, counter and sink. Look closely at the faucets and light fixtures. If they are dated, consider replacing.  A nasty discolored tub, might need resurfacing professionally or use a DIY product like Rustoleum. Likewise, the flooring needs to be scrutinized. If it is out of date or worn, replace. As a final touch, stage the room with colorful floor mats and fluffy coordinated towels to make cozy.
  4.  Reduce Clutter—Sort out EVERYTHING! Throw away what you don’t need and pack the rest. Too much stuff? Consider an off-site storage locker or pod during the move. Donate unwanted items to charity. If you have big “toys” like a camper, boat or classic car, consider storing at another location until after the move. 
  5.  Clean Inside and Out!—Your home needs to be spotless and smell wonderful. This goes for the garage and yard too. Don’t just dump everything from the house into the garage. A buyer will want to assess the size of the garage and won’t be able to do that if it is too cluttered. If you have pets, the yard, litter box and cages, must be clean and odor-free for every showing. 
  6.  Paint—Light and neutral colors will make smaller rooms appear larger. Personalized painting of children’s names or cute designs should be painted over prior to the first showing.  Remove any wall paper. Almost every buyer I have worked with groans when they see wall paper in a house. Use premium quality paint, patch holes properly and tape woodwork prior to starting. A sloppy paint job is counterproductive and can hurt your bottom-line. 
  7.  Make Minor Repairs—Tighten knobs, fix leaks, oil squeaks, replace dirty filters, repair cracked windows and holes in screens. Anything that can be fixed, should be fixed. Buyers will not pay top dollar for a “project house”. 
  8.  Fix a Leaking Roof—Buyers look at ceilings for water stains. One small stain could cause a buyer to question the entire roof. Find and fix the leak at its source. This might be the time to call in a professional.  Make sure to have a permit for the work whether DIY or professional roofer. Repair any ceiling damage and be prepared to fully disclose the work done. 
  9.  Explain a Wet Basement—Do what you can to make repairs and minimize moisture in the basement. Be prepared to fully disclosure any water intrusion issues past and present. 
  10.  Exterminate—Call a professional to get rid of any rodent or insect intrusion. One bug, alive or dead, can scare away a potential buyer. If you get periodic mice in the home, remove traps and bait before showings. Again, honestly and fully disclose any pest issues to potential buyers before the sale.
Need more help to sell your Minneapolis/St Paul Home? Let me be your professional guide. If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of Boardman Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. 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 2015 www.terieckholm.com
 

Friday, March 20, 2015

It's Spring! Minnesota Wildfire Season has Sprung too!

 
Living on acreage whether open plain, prairie or wooded can be peaceful most of the year. But springtime can bring some unwanted action  Our limited snowfall and lack of spring rains so far has put all of Minnesota in a state of drought. This is not a good situation for our first day of spring in the north and east Twin Cities metro.

Wildfire Near Carlos Avery Wolf Sanctuary
Those gusty winds that are perfect for flying kites are not so great when a spark from a train (or carelessly tossed cigarette) hits the dry grass and flames spread like wildfire. Acres can burn before these fires can be brought under control. There are no fire hydrants on every corner in most of the third ring suburbs. Water has to be trucked or flown in to fight the fires. The Department of Natural Resources reminds all Minnesotans to be mindful of fire dangers in the spring.

Controlled Burn in Carlos Avery
Over the years living in Anoka County, I have had the opportunity to witness an out of control wildfire near Carlos Avery as well as a controlled burn in the same area. It can be hard to tell the difference. Both create a lot of smoke but while the first is very frightening and chaotic, a controlled burn looks more ominous than it really is. 

Scheduling burning helps control dangers wildfires thus protecting homes in the long run. It eliminates the dried vegetation on days with low winds in a very controlled way.

Training has started for firefighting recruits and students in northern Minnesota. Training for a controlled burn is quite interesting. They have to keep the firefighters save while keeping the flames contained. Students and recruits were trained near Duluth last week. 


Want to learn more about Buying or Selling acreage in the north or east metro? Let me be your professional guide. If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of Boardman Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. 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 2015 www.terieckholm.com

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wordless Wednesday (Almost)--Turrets in St Paul!


Vintage Victorian home overlooking the Mississippi River with a view of the downtown St Paul skyline from the amazing two-story turret! What's not to love? This treasure is located across from Mounds Park.

Want to learn more about Buying or Selling a home in the north or east metro? Let me be your professional guide. If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of Boardman Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. 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 2015 www.terieckholm.com

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wordless Wednesday (Almost)--Vintage School Transformed


Last spring I drove past an old elementary school I attended in 2nd and 3rd grade. It is located in the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood of St. Paul's east side.  We lived kitty-corner from Mounds Park Elementary in a duplex that no longer exists due to freeway expansion. Yet this historic school house stands. It is one of the oldest educational building in the city and has been transformed years ago into affordable rental housing. The beauty of the old red brick school house brings back memories of our principal, Mrs. Winter, who monitored the lunchroom to make sure we at our beets or Lima beans before we had seconds on pizza.

Want to learn more about Buying or Selling a home in the north or east metro? Let me be your professional guide. If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of Boardman Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. 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 2015 www.terieckholm.com

Monday, March 9, 2015

Dreaming of Owning a Minnesota Lakehome?



The temperatures in the Minneapolis/St Paul metro won't be breaking any records this week but Minnesotan's will undoubtedly be breaking out the shorts (and dare I say, flip flops) as the thermometer edges close to 70. It won't  be long before the huge sheets of ice blanketing the surface of our 10,000+ lakes will drop. Ice out is when the ice finally drops to the bottom of the lake and in Minnesota that is when the people take start taking steps toward making their lake home dreams a reality.
 

If you have been contemplating life on one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes, consider the north metro. There are options that will fit many budgets from very small starter homes or cabins to high end executive estates.  There are many options for the would-be lake shore owner  on a full recreational, multi-use lakes like Coon Lake in Anoka County or Forest Lake in Washington County.  There are other smaller lakes perfect for kayaking or swimming that restrict motors that are options as well. Surprisingly lake shore properties in the north and east metro can be offered at prices comparable to homes without a shoreline. 

How can homes on Minnesota lakes in the north metro be so affordable? It appears that prices are not rising on lake properties as quickly as in other categories especially just north of the Minneapolis/St Paul metro. From what I have seen, prices have edged up a bit more slowly than on other types of homes. But prices on all homes are starting to recover significantly and lake shore will too. With continued low interest rates, 2015 might be your best opportunity to realize your lake home dream.


Want to learn more about Buying or Selling a Minnesota Lake Home? Let me be your professional guide. If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of Boardman Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. 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 2015 www.terieckholm.com

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Speechless Sunday (Almost)--Rustic or Rusty?




There's an often used saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure". With vintage antique advertising this is especially true. The owner has this rusty old metal sign advertising 7up proudly displayed on the side of his St. Paul home. Others might consider it too rustic for display anywhere! Another saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". These are things to keep in mind when staging your home for sale. Your treasures may not make the best displays.

READY TO MAKE A MOVE? Let me be your professional guide. If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of Boardman Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. 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 2015 www.terieckholm.com

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Spring Wildlife in Anoka County Comes in all Shapes and Sizes!


oppossum
Though this morning started out below zero, next week's forecast says SPRING! 

Yup, the weather men and women are predicting temps in the forty's and maybe even fifties! Green grass and budding flowers will not be far behind.

Every spring seems to bring some new critter to our Ham Lake backyard.  We live on small acreage near Coon Lake so animals are always wandering around our neighborhood. One year it was a newborn fawn and another year there was an opossum hanging on a tree.  We often have rafter of wild turkeys wandering through the backyard (yes, rafter IS the technically name for group of turkeys). And there was that momma bear with her cubs that got into our in the bird feeder a few years back. 
Whatever our spring adventure will hold, bring it on! I for one will be glad to say goodbye to the snow and cold for another year.
If you are looking for a home on acreage in Anoka, Chisago or Washington County (or even if you prefer a smaller backyard), I'd love to help! Click here to request a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide.


READY TO MAKE A MOVE? Let me be your professional guide. If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of Boardman Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. 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 2015 www.terieckholm.com

Snapshot of Home Sales Statistics in Blaine MN Year End 2014





The real estate market continues to show a strong improvement in Blaine, Minnesota. There is a significant increase in new listings and average price of a home sold in 2014 over 2013. Almost all of Blaine’s lender mediated foreclosure/short sale homes have worked their way through the system and once again, higher valued new construction is having a positive effect on the average sales price. The average price per square foot has increased another 8% from $107/sq ft to $116/sq ft. This is significantly higher as it was under $90 just a few years back. Closed sales have stayed relatively stable no doubt the fact that there is new construction transactions helps as many neighboring communities struggle to keep up the base due to lack of inventory. . Homes also sell quickly in Blaine, staying on the market an average of just over 2 months. This is well under the 4 month sales time in 2011. Home sellers received nearly asking price in 2014 with accepted offers at 97% of list. This north metro community has sold through most of its current home inventory so 2015 might be a good time for a traditional seller with a starter home to make their move as sellers seem to have the upper hand again.






READY TO MAKE A MOVE? Let me be your professional guide. If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional REALTOR®, give me, Teri Eckholm of Boardman Realty, a call or visit my website for a FREE Home Buyer Success Guide or FREE Home Value Report. 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 2015 www.terieckholm.com