Twin Cities Northeast Metro Real Estate

We specialize in assisting home buyers and sellers in the Northeast Metro area of the Twin Cites including Washington County, Chisago County, Anoka County and Northern Ramsey County.

Check back here often for community events and helpful real estate news and tips!

 

June 20, 2017

2017 Annual 4th of July Celebration in Forest Lake!

The City of Forest Lake is known for it's 4th of July Celebration!  


Click HERE for a link to all the community events and come celebrate!

Posted in Community
June 2, 2017

Lake Fest 2017! June 2nd - June 11th

Lake Fest 2017 has come to Forest Lake!

 

Posted in Community, What's New?
May 2, 2017

Relocation Services

Relocating?  We may be able to suggest local services

Please ask us to help you when you are moving.  Integrity 1st Team has worked with service providers in the Forest Lake area and may be able to suggest the right businesses that will help you.

May 2, 2017

How to Tips

How to: Decide how much house you can afford

Your lender decides what you can borrow but you decide what you can afford.

Lenders are careful, but they make qualification decisions based on averages and formulas. They won't understand the nuances of your lifestyle and spending patterns quite as well as you do. So, leave a little room for the unexpected - for all the new opportunities your home will give you to spend money, from furnishings, to landscaping, to repairs.

Historically, banks use a ratio called 28/36 to decide how much borrowers could borrow. An approved housing payment couldn't be more than 28 percent of the buyer's gross monthly income, and his or her total debt load, including car payments, student loans, and credit card payments, couldn't be more than 36 percent. (In Canada lenders apply similar formulas to determine how much a buyer can afford. The Gross Debt Service ratio, or GDS, is not to exceed 32 percent of the buyer's gross monthly income, and the Total Debt Service ratio, or TDS, is not to exceed 40 percent of the buyer's total debt load.) As home prices have risen, some lenders have responded by stretching these ratios to as high as 50 percent. No matter how expensive your market though, we urge you to think carefully before stretching your budget quite so much.

Deciding how much you can afford should involve some careful attention to how your financial profile will change in the upcoming years. In the long run, your own peace of mind and security will matter most.
Posted in How to Tips
May 2, 2017

Home Selling

Increasing your home's appeal

Remember the 60-second rule: That's all the time you have to create a winning first impression. Here are some simple to significant ways to maximize your home's appeal. 

Exterior

* Keep the grass cut and remove all yard clutter.

* Weed and apply fresh mulch to flower beds.

* Apply fresh paint to wooden fences.

* Tighten and clean all door handles.

* Clean windows inside and out.

* Powerwash home's exterior.

* Ensure all gutters and downspouts are firmly attached and functioning.

* Paint the front door.

* Buy a new welcome mat.

* Place potted flowers near the front door.

Interior

* Evaluate the furniture in each room and remove anything that interrupts "the flow" or makes the room appear smaller. Consider renting a storage unit to move items off-site.

* Clean and organize cabinets, closets and bookshelves.

* Clean all light fixtures and ceiling fans.

* Shampoo carpets.

* Remove excessive wall hangings and knick-knacks.

* Repair all plumbing leaks, including faucets and drain traps.

* Make minor repairs (torn screens, sticking doors, cracked caulking).

* Clean or paint walls and ceilings.

* Replace worn cabinet and door knobs.

* Fix or replace discolored grout.

* Replace broken tiles.

* Replace worn counter tops.

 

Special details for showings

* Turn on all the lights.

* Open all drapes and shutters in the daytime.

* Keep pets secured outdoors.

* Buy new towels for bathrooms.

* Buy new bedding for bedrooms.

* Replace old lamps or lampshades.

* Play quiet background music.

* Light the fireplace or clean out the ashes and light a candelabrum.

* Infuse home with a comforting scent, such as apple spice or vanilla.

* Set the dining room table for a fancy dinner party.

* Vacate the property while it is being shown. 

Posted in Home Selling
May 2, 2017

Home buying

Creating your home wish list

Before the home search begins, your real estate agent will want to know as much as possible about the features and amenities you desire. To help your agent better serve you, analyze what you want and what you need in a home's features and amenities.

Features:

  • Age: Do you prefer historic properties, or newer ones?
  • Style: Do you have a special preference for ranches, bungalows, or another style of construction?
  • Bedrooms: How many?
  • Bathrooms: How many? Are they updated?
  • Living and Dining Areas: A traditional, formal layout, or a more open, contemporary plan?
  • Stories: How many?
  • Square feet: How much space?
  • Ceilings: How high?
  • Kitchen: How big? Recently updated? Open to other living areas?
  • Storage: Big closets, a shed, an extra-large garage?
  • Parking: A garage or carport? Room for how many cars?
  • Extras: Attic or basement?

Amenities:

  • Office
  • Play/exercise room
  • Security system
  • Sprinkler system
  • Workshop/Studio
  • In-law suite
  • Fireplace
  • Pool
  • Hot tub
  • Sidewalk
  • Wooded lot
  • Patio, deck, or porch
  • Laundry room
Posted in Home Buying
May 2, 2017

Community

A new feature that we can offer our home sellers!

Posted on May 1, 2017

Ask us about the one shot walk-through with OneShot Media on this property which allows you to virtually click through each room of the home in a virtual tour.  This is far more realistic than the standard virtual tours and slide shows.  Ask us how this added feature can benefit you when selling your home!

 

Posted in Community
March 1, 2017

What's New?

Integrity 1st Team's new website

Kevin and Shawn Marois want to welcome you to their brand new website, just launched to help you and your family find the right home in the best location.

 The new functionality to assist you includes:

  • Easy Real Estate Search (on the website or you can sign up for emails to be sent directly to you)
  • Home Valuation (receive information on what your home is worth)
  • View the newest Area Listings for the Twin Cities Northeast Metro
  • Community links (coming soon)

We specialize in assisting home buyers and sellers in the Northeast Metro of the Twin Cities including Washington County, Chisago County, Anoka County and Northern Ramsey County. Including cities such as Forest Lake, Scandia, Marine, Chisago City, Lindstrom, Center City, Wyoming, North Branch, Stacy, Stillwater, Hugo, Lino Lakes, White Bear Lake, Stillwater, Oakdale, Woodbury and more. So if you're looking for Townhomes, Condos, Single Family Homes or Investments please give us a call.

You will find this site so easy to use for all your real estate needs, there will be no need to go any place else. Our site was designed with Buyers and Sellers in mind. See how easy it is to search for homes that are currently listed in the Twin Cities Area.  Or,  you can just sit back and allow us to do the work for you and watch how easy and quickly the information is sent to you!

Posted in What's New?