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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Are you looking a home in 2015? Do not miss the homebuyer education workshop in Baxter.

Is buying your first home in Crow Wing County part of your plans in 2015? If so consider attending Home Stretch, the homebuyer workshop, on March 17th or March 19th at the Greater Lakes Association of Realtors office in Baxter. This workshop will walk you through every step of the home buying process.

Throughout the workshop you will learn what you need to know about qualifying for a mortgage, financing your new home, how to credit shop, the closing process, homeowner maintenance and the numerous mortgage products available to you.

There are a few mortgage products, government loans, and programs that assist with down payment and closing costs available to homebuyers that require them to receive a certificate from Home Stretch.

If you are unable to attend the event to receive the certification for your upcoming home purchase you can attend an online homebuyer education course offered by Framework. This course has been approved by a large number of lenders to meet the homebuyer education requirement.  You can find more information about the online course at www.cmhp.net.

To attend the event you must register by contacting Suzy at 320-258-0681.

Prior to attending the event it is encouraged that you attend a pre-purchasing counseling appointment. This service is free and is offered to any potential homebuyer who wants to speak with a certified homeownership counselor in regards to their current financial situation prior to purchasing a home.

I would love to help you buy or sell a home in Crow Wing County this winter, contact me, Bill Grunewald. My team and I enjoy helping folks like you find just the right spot to live your northern Minnesota Lake Country dream.

Bill Grunewald/ Edina Realty.

Licensed in Minnesota/ Lic # 20204156

Monday, February 23, 2015

How to Lower Your Crow Wing County Home Insurance Bill

Do you experience stick shock when you open your yearly home insurance bill for your Crow Wing County home?  Homeowners insurance does not have to be extremely expensive.  Here are a few tips to help you save on your next bill.

Deductible

Know what your deductible is, and increase it. Raising your deductible can cut your yearly premium by up to 20%. The average deductible can be $250, $500 or $1,000. There are some companies that will allow you to have a deductible as high as $2,500.  Filing a claim on your homeowners insurance should only be for emergencies. If you file a lot of small claims it will increase your rate. Switching companies will not allow you to avoid these increased rates as they share information through a nationwide database called the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE).

Discounts

When getting the best rate you want to make sure you are taking advantage of all discounts available to you.  Grouping your auto and home insurance coverage with the same provider can help cut your rates by 10% to 15%.  Installing a house alarm system will qualify you for a discount for many companies. Have you recently had a life change such as getting married, or retiring? These could reduce your rate as well.

Shop Around

When it comes to your homeowners insurance it pays to shop around. Prices can vary greatly from company to company.  The process of shopping around for a better rate can be time consuming but it could save you large in the long run. If you find a lower rate with a company that you are not currently insured with ask your current insurance company if they would be willing to match that rate.

I would love to help you buy or sell a home in Crow Wing County this winter, contact me, Bill Grunewald. My team and I enjoy helping folks like you find just the right spot to live your northern Minnesota Lake Country dream.

Bill Grunewald/ Edina Realty.

Licensed in Minnesota/ Lic # 20204156

Monday, February 16, 2015

Crow Wing County Monthly Market Report

If you are considering selling a home in Crow Wing County now is the time.  The number of inventory homes on the market remains low, and home buyers are continuing to look for their perfect home.  There were 100 new listings in January of this year, down 1.0 percent over last year. The total number of homes for sale across Crow Wing County was down 12.8 percent over this period of time last year.

The number of inventory homes for sale may be down, but the median and average sales price is up. For the month of January the median sales price was $139,950 up 20.9 percent over this time last year, and the average sales price was $158,468 which is an 18.7 percent increase.  The median list price last month was $152,000 and the average list price was $174,604.

Home sellers in Crow Wing County received 88.4 percent of their original asking price when compared year-over-year that is an increase of 7.8 percent.

2015 is off to a strong start and now is the perfect time to list your home for sale.  If you are looking to buy or sell a home in 2015, contact me, Bill Grunewald. My team and I enjoy helping folks like you find just the right spot to live your northern Minnesota Lake Country dream.

 

Bill Grunewald/ Edina Realty.

Licensed in Minnesota/ Lic # 20204156

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Ice Safety Tips for Crow Wing County Residents

Over the last few weeks there have been numerous reports of vehicles, ATV’s, and snowmobiles going through the ice. This is a good time to remind everyone of a few ice safety tips. When it comes to ice there is never a sure answer. The strength of the ice can never really be told by just age, thickness, temperature, or whether or not the ice is covered with snow. The strength of ice also depends on the size of the body of water, the depth of water underneath the ice, water chemistry and currents, the distribution of the load on the ice, and local climatic conditions according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Ice can never be considered 100% safe. If you will be walking on the ice you should check the ice thickness at least every 150 feet. You can check the ice thickness by using an Ice Chisel, Ice Auger, or Cordless Drill. For more details on how to correctly measure ice thickness visit here.

If you par a vehicle onto the ice it needs to be at least 50 feet away from other vehicles. Also, move the car every two hours to prevent it sinking. If you drill a hole next to the car and it begins to have water overflowing the top it indicates that ice may be sinking and it’s time to move your vehicle.

Stay safe while having fun on the ice this winter. If you are looking to buy or sell a home in 2015, contact me, Bill Grunewald. My team and I enjoy helping folks like you find just the right spot to live your northern Minnesota Lake Country dream.

Bill Grunewald/ Edina Realty.

Licensed in Minnesota/ Lic # 20204156

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Build The Perfect Fire in Your Crow Wing County Home’s Fireplace Every Time

There is nothing more relaxing then winding down from a cold day then a warm cozy fire in your fireplace.  Building that perfect fire may take some work. You could easily place one of those pre-fab ready to go logs in there that will instantly create a beautiful blaze for you.  However, these logs tend to leave a lot of creosote that can build-up quickly in your chimney. Skip the shortcuts, and used these tips to build the perfect fire every time.

Chimney Cleaning

Before your light that first fire of the season you want to make sure that you have cleaned out your chimney.  Birds may have built a nest there, or leaves and debris may have accumulated.  It is also a good idea to have it professionally swept.

Damper

All fireplaces should have a damper that keeps cold air out when not in use. Do not forget to open your damper before building a fire. If it is closed and you start your fire the smoke will stay inside your home.

Ash Bed

When you clean out your fireplace you should leave at least one to two inches of as in there to provide for proper insulation. If it’s the first fire of the season and there is no ash consider borrowing some from your BBQ grill.

Log Pile

When stacking the logs inside your fireplace put them in upside down. Traditionally, you have been told to always put the kindling at the bottom, start the fire, then add the larger logs on top.  Stop that method and try placing those heavy logs in first. Make sure they are tight together, the less space the better. Next, add smaller logs placed in the opposite direction, and then add your kindling.  This method make take a little longer to get that fire going so be patient, but once it does it will last a lot longer.

I would love to help you buy your first home in Crow Wing County this winter, contact me, Bill Grunewald. My team and I enjoy helping folks like you find just the right spot to live your northern Minnesota Lake Country dream.

Bill Grunewald/ Edina Realty.

Licensed in Minnesota/ Lic # 20204156

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