Home Prices in the County Vary by School District

Students, teachers, and parents are excited about the new school year starting. Most parents carefully select their child’s schools by rating, curriculum, sports, location, etc. Home prices can also play into the school selection decision.

The Chisago Lakes Area school district has had the most home sales this year according to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), with 236 sales. The median sale price in the school district was $273,350. The sale prices ranged from $91,500-$796,000. Sixty-four of these homes were waterfront homes with a median sale price of $318,000.

There were 215 sales in the North Branch school district with a median sale price of $230,000. The sale prices ranged from $51,500-$825,000. There were 9 waterfront home sales with a median sale price of $242,000.

There were 63 home Chisago County home sales in the Forest Lake school district with a median sale price of $313,500. The prices ranged from $125,000-$575,000. None of these were waterfront homes.

The Rush City school district has had 48 home sales this year with a median sale price of $224,800. The prices ranged from $76,000-$450,000. Eight of these were waterfront homes with a median sale price of $296,150.

The Braham school district has had 11 sales with a median sale price of $243,900. The prices ranged from $96,200-$750,000. Three of these were waterfront homes with a median sale price of $318,000.

There were 8 Chisago County home sales in the Cambridge-Isanti school district with a median sale price of $259,900. The prices ranged from $147,000-$750,000. Two of these were waterfront homes with a median sale price of $266,000.

For buyers looking for acreage; the North Branch school district had 39 home sales with 5 or more acres with a median sale price of $324,750. The highest sale price was $825,000 with 40 acres. The Chisago Lakes Area school district also had 39 home sales with 5 or more acres with a median sale price of $315,000. The highest priced sale was $745,094 with 10 acres.

An experienced real estate agent can help you find the best value in the school district that is best for your student.

  Ask the Real Estate Agent is a weekly column by Cheryl Kempenich of Coldwell Banker Burnet, who lives and offices in the Chisago Lakes Area. Submit your questions to ckempenich@cbburnet.com. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.

Many Sellers Are Dropping Prices

  July is the beginning of the yearly slow in residential real estate sales, which means inventory increases and the buyer pool decreases. According to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), there are 282 Active Listings, in Chisago County, and 105 of those show price reductions since they were listed. Price reductions started as soon as 10 days on the market, but the majority dropped their price at about 30 days on the market. The median marketing time for the Active listings is 56 days. The median price is $319,900.

  There are currently 119 Pending listings on the MLS. This means there is a contract with no contingencies than financing and title work. The median days on market for the Pending sales is 24, and the median list price is $267,000, which is 20% lower than the homes that haven’t sold.

  According to the MLS, there were 144 new listings, in July, in Chisago County and 49 of those sold in the same month. Three of those listings were cancelled or expired. Twenty-Five of the July listings were new construction and 7 of those sold. The median list price of the July listings was $292,949 and the median list price, of those that sold, was $243,800.

  You can see the homes going on the market have a much higher median price than what the buyers are purchasing (the Pending sales). One reason for the high prices is because March, April, May, and June typically have the most sales, the lowest inventory, and the highest prices because of multiple offers. It usually takes 30-60 days to get most homes closed. Selling prices aren’t disclosed until a sale is closed, so when agents do their market analysis, they are using the high sale prices, in the Spring, which doesn’t take into consideration the current market activity. 

  There are still many homes that sell quickly. A lot of new construction sales don’t go on the market until they are sold, so they may show up with zero days on the market. There is a shortage of lake homes, first time home-buyer homes, and affordable one level living homes.

    New listings normally slow-down in the fall, and many existing listings will expire, which will help reduce the inventory, so the sellers that need to sell should be able to. 

     An experienced real estate agent will continue to provide you with market data, while you are on the market, to determine if a price reduction could help you achieve your goals.

  Ask the Real Estate Agent is a weekly column by Cheryl Kempenich of Coldwell Banker Burnet, who lives and offices in the Chisago Lakes Area. Submit your questions to ckempenich@cbburnet.com. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.

Offer Contingent on the Sale of Buyer’s Home May Bring a Higher Price

  Buyers and sellers differ on their view of offers that are contingent on the sale of the buyer’s home. According to the Multiple Listing Service, in Chisago County there are only 11 out of 290 Active listings that are sold contingent on the sale of the buyer’s home. There have been many offers submitted to sellers with this contingency request, only to be rejected. 

  Much to the surprise of many sellers; showings slowdown in July. Think about how busy your July schedule is with vacations, friends, weddings, reunions, etc. In Minnesota, July is the best month of the year for most of us. Buyers have the same schedule, and they don’t want to spend their weekends going to open houses or scheduling showings. July can easily move from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market.

  On the other hand, sellers seem to think July is the best time to list their home. This could be true for waterfront homes, as visitors to the lakes are intrigued and want to see what is available. Senior housing, and first-time homebuyer homes are typically in demand year-round, but the rest of the homes tend to have longer marketing times in July, which brings a lot of price reductions.

   If a seller accepts a contingent offer, the status on the Multiple Listing Service shows that the listing is Active contingent on the sale of the buyer’s home. The property can still be shown to other buyers and the contingent offer can be bumped by a non-contingent buyer, should the seller elect to do so. 

  It is true that if a seller accepts an offer contingent on the sale of the buyer’s home, that showings typically slow down. But if there are very few showings anyway, it may make sense to consider a contingent offer instead of reducing the price to compete with the other listings on the market. Contingent buyers are usually very serious about the property they make an offer on, which can mean a higher sale price for the seller, and the buyers are motivated to get their home sold quickly.  

  When my sellers consider an offer contingent on the sale of the buyer’s home, I do a market analysis on the buyer’s home, and help the seller’s decide if the buyer’s home is priced competitively, we review the neighborhood activity, and the likely-hood of a quick sale.

   Every property is different, and there is no set rule for dealing with contingent offers. An experienced agent can provide you with the best advice on contingent offers for your home.

 Ask the Real Estate Agent is a weekly column by Cheryl Kempenich of Coldwell Banker Burnet, who lives and offices in the Chisago Lakes Area. Submit your questions to ckempenich@cbburnet.com. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.

New Construction vs Pre-owned Homes

    According to the Multiple Listing Service there have been 60 new construction, single family sales so far, this year, in Chisago County. The average price of the single family, new construction sales this year is $294,000 with an average price per square foot of $198.00 During the same period in 2018 there were 70 sales with an average price of $322,000 with an average price per square foot of $189.00.

  There have been 392 pre-owned single-family homes sold this year with an average price of $278,000 and an average price per square foot of $137.00; compared to 436 sales during the same period last year with an average price of $257,000 and an average price per square foot of $130.00.

  Sales are down in both categories, but at a higher rate for new construction. Prices are up in both categories about 10% over 2018. 

  This year there have been 11 new construction townhome sales, in Chisago County, with an average sale price of $242,000 and an average price per square foot of $160.00 compared to 32 pre-owned townhome/twin-home sales in Chisago County with an average price of $203,000 and an average price per square foot of $128.00.  

  Prices are higher with new construction, but the advantage is everything is new and under warranty. New construction also offers the latest trends and customization. 

  With pre-owned homes, you tend to get established, high demand neighborhoods, larger lots, larger garages, and more finished square footage. 

  One level-living-homes are in high demand for new constructions as there are very few pre-owned homes that don’t have stairs at the entrance or garage, and most pre-owned homes have the laundry on the lower level. Many down-sizers want smaller lots and an association to take care of lawn maintenance and snow removal, and they want to customize the floor plan. There is great appeal for snow-birds to be able to feel secure leaving their home for the winter. 

  The best value homes whether new or pre-owned are split entry homes. The larger the foundation, the higher the price per square foot. Above ground square footage has higher values than finished basements. 

  An experienced real estate agent can help you find the right lot and builder to design your dream home.

  Ask the Real Estate Agent is a weekly column by Cheryl Kempenich of Coldwell Banker Burnet, who lives and offices in the Chisago Lakes Area. Submit your questions to ckempenich@cbburnet.com. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.

Lake Homes Are Selling Fast

  Chisago County waterfront homes are bringing in buyers from around the country. We have buyers coming up from Florida, Arizona, and other states to find a summer home close to their snow-bird friends that go south for the winter. With the better economy and low interest rates, more buyers can afford a second home. 

  We are also seeing families from around the metro moving to the Chisago Lakes for better schools & community, and we have local residents selling their homes and moving onto the water. There are many investors buying waterfront homes as well. When you search for Chisago County vacation rentals, there are dozens of waterfront properties available. 

    According to the Multiple Listing Service, from January to July 15th this year, there have been 45 single family, waterfront homes that have closed in Chisago County. The median price was $321,500, with the highest price at $750,000 on West Rush Lake. During the same period last year there were 35 closed sales with a median price of $367,500 and the highest sale was $675,000 on the Sunrise River.

  The lower median price, this year, is not representative of declining prices, but indicative of smaller or older homes that have sold this year compared to last. 

  Forest Lake has had 16 sales this year with a median price of $481,200, and White Bear Lake has had 6 sales with median price of $844,198. Chisago County is much more affordable and still close to the metro.

  Because of the high demand for waterfront homes and the low inventory, many homes are selling before they go on the MLS. 

  There are currently 48 Active listings on the water in Chisago County with a median price of $399,900 and the highest priced home available is $1,350,000 on Chisago Lake.

  May, June, July, and August had the highest number of sales in 2018 with each month closing 13-17 waterfront home sales. December, January, and February had the least amount sales.

  If you are thinking of buying or selling a waterfront property this year, contact a local experienced real estate agent right away, to help you navigate the real estate market in the Chisago Lakes Area.

Ask the Real Estate Agent is a weekly column by Cheryl Kempenich of Coldwell Banker Burnet, who lives and offices in the Chisago Lakes Area. Submit your questions to ckempenich@cbburnet.com. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.

Seller May be Liable for Repairs After Closing

  Occasionally I hear from buyers after they have closed on their home and moved in, that something isn’t working properly, and they want to know if the seller will pay to fix it.  When I get these calls, I refer to the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement and the Buyer’s Inspection Report, to see if there were any comments about the issue prior to closing.

  I hear different types of complaints, from the air-conditioner isn’t working (usually from winter sales when the AC can’t be tested), to water in the basement, and most recently that there was hail damage to a roof 2 weeks before closing that no one knew about as the home was vacant.

  Once we determine the defect wasn’t disclosed, I contact the seller’s agent and ask for the seller to repair or replace the defect. In many cases the seller writes a check and we are done. If the seller declines the buyer may opt for Arbitration, Conciliation Court, Mediation, or District Court. Personally, in 30 years, I have never had a buyer sue a seller or request Arbitration or Mediation.

  Some buyers elect to purchase a one-year home warranty or ask the seller to provide one. One of my clients recently got a new dishwasher and central air-conditioner a few months after closing. I hear from many clients, that they have used the home warranty for miscellaneous repairs.

  Minnesota Statutes require that sellers disclose to prospective buyers all material facts that the sellers are aware of that could adversely and significantly affect an ordinary buyer’s use and enjoyment of the property. Buyers need to be aware that there may be problems that the seller is not aware of and therefore they are not disclosed.

  There is a 12-page Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement form approved by the Minnesota Association of Realtors, that the sellers complete at the time of listing the property. If there are any changes that occur prior to closing the seller is obligated to update the disclosure. 

  In some cases, there is a Seller’s Disclosure Alternative form, where the seller does not answer the disclosure questions. This typically occurs in foreclosure properties, investment properties, or estates where there is a Power of Attorney or the seller has not lived in the home for some time.

  The disclosure form is not a warranty, and buyers are encouraged to have an independent home inspector inspect the property. Most purchase agreements are contingent on a buyer’s inspection. During this contingency, the buyer has the option to ask the seller to make repairs, provide compensation in lieu of repairs, or cancel the purchase agreement because of the condition.

  It is also recommended that buyers walk through the home again before closing to ensure it is in the same condition as when they purchased the property and that agreed upon repairs were made.

  Ask the Real Estate Agent is a weekly column by Cheryl Kempenich of Coldwell Banker Burnet, who lives and offices in the Chisago Lakes Area. Submit your questions to ckempenich@cbburnet.com. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For legal assistance consult an attorney.