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.

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.

Selling Your Home Face to Face

  Chisago County is home to many homeowners that don’t use a computer or email. Most, but not all, are senior citizens that want to downsize, many of which, have not bought or sold a home for decades. Most real estate agents, lenders, inspectors, & title companies like to communicate via text and email and use electronic signatures; but for many clients we still work face to face and sign paperwork in person. 

  Buyers and sellers that don’t use email should be more cautious when interviewing a real estate agent to sell their home. There are some agents that work with younger clientele or work closer to the twin cities that have never done a complete transaction in person. To be efficient and timely it is important to work with a local agent that can be responsive in getting signatures quickly.

  Our contracts can be completed online and emailed to our clients for electronic signatures, but we can also complete them by hand and have them signed in person. Over the past couple of weeks, I have worked with six local clients that didn’t use email. 

  At the initial meeting we reviewed the market analysis and the listing agreement. Then the 2nd meeting involved signing contracts and disclosures and reviewing the septic inspection application and the water test instructions. The signed documents get scanned and emailed to the Broker and the listing is input onto the MLS.

    The 3rd meeting was presenting an offer, estimate of proceeds and preparing a counter-offer addendum if needed. The sellers signed the documents and then they were scanned and emailed to the buyer’s agent. There can be multiple counter offers that go back and forth.

  Once we had a fully executed purchase agreement, there was a buyer’s inspection which involved negotiating repairs. An amendment to the purchase agreement needed to be signed with the repair agreement and again there can be counter-offer addendums that go back and forth.

  The signed documents have to be delivered to all parties, so there can be a meeting for signing and another for delivery.

  We also work with lenders and closers that accommodate sellers with mailing documents or meeting them at their homes or even nursing homes. 

  If you don’t text or email, it’s important to work with an agent that will be responsive by phone. It is wise to interview more than one agent, work with a local neighborhood expert that has expertise in your type of property and discuss your communication requirements.

  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.

Low Inventory Brings Higher Prices

  May is one of the busiest months of the year in the real estate market, and once again, and the lack of inventory and buyer demand can increase selling prices at a pace faster than the appraisers can substantiate.   Because buyer demand is so high, many sellers are asking for prices higher than the appraisals can substantiate. Some of the buyers have been waiting for the perfect home for a while and they are willing to pay more to get what they want. 

  If a buyer is paying cash, there is no appraisal, but if a there is financing the lender will determine how much they are willing to loan. For example; if the purchase price is for $300,000 and the property appraises for the purchase price and the buyer is putting 10% down, the buyer will pay $30,000 and the loan will be $270,000. If the property only appraises for $290,000, the down payment is $29,000 and the loan will be $261,000. That leaves a $10,000 shortage, that the buyer may or may not be able to cover. The listing agent may challenge the appraisal and may be successful in getting an increase, or the buyer may be able to cover all or part of the shortage, but if not, the seller must decide to either lower the price to match the appraisal or look for a new buyer and hope for a better appraisal.

  According to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the number of new listings for March in Chisago County was 75 with 68 Sales. In April there were 150 new Listings with 107 Sales. Through May 24th there were 135 new listings and 107 listings under contract. 

  Not all homes sell quickly and there is some older inventory on the market, bringing the total Active listings in the County to 249, 49 of which are under contract, and 75 of the Active listings are new construction homes, which are more expensive than pre-existing homes of the same type.

  In the Chisago Lakes School District there are no single family that qualify for FHA or DVA financing under $200,000. The first-time home buyer market has been hit hard with the lack of inventory and increase in prices. 

  There are currently no available Active listings on the MLS on the large Chisago Lakes priced between $269,900 and $800,000, other than new construction, which are on less desirable lake lots. Lake homes are moving so fast that many of them are sold before they go onto the MLS.

    An experienced real estate agent can provide you with a market analysis to see what is happening on the Active market verses the Sold market to sell your home for the highest price in the shortest time period.

  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.