Investing in a Rental Home – Consider this.

Looking to invest in real estate?  Contact Kim Woehl - Keller Williams Premier Realty  651-214-1459

Looking to invest in real estate? Contact Kim Woehl – Keller Williams Premier Realty 651-214-1459

We buy a home hoping that it will increase in value.  We watched for years as homes made a steady upward climb.  It began to seem almost impossible that this steady progression would stop, but it did.

Just like any investment we don’t have a lot of control over what ultimately happens when it comes to the market.  This said, we do have control over where to buy, how much to spend and how much to improve the property.

Consider for a moment that you purchase a home with the idea that it will never appreciate.  Even if the price of the home never goes up, you still are collecting monthly rental income while you pay down the mortgage.  You can also increase the property value by making updates that will bring value to the home.  How much can you afford to lose.  Before buying is the time to decide how much risk you can take and if investing is right for you.

 

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Common Home Defects – Ask the Realtor

Kim Woehl - Realtor - Keller Williams Premier Realty 651-214-1459 or kwoehl.kwrealty.com

With Spring nearly here this is a great time to discuss water penetration concerns in a home.  Water moving through your pipes, down a drain and out of the house is the only water you really want to see in your home.  This said, this is a prime time of year to find water in your basement.

There are 5 main areas that you should consider when looking for the source of a wet basement.

  • Grade of Yard
  • Grade at Foundation
  • Landscaping
  • Gutters, downspouts and extensions
  • Hard Surfaces

Take a look at your yard – does it appear the home is higher than the surrounding land?  If not you may need to create a swale so that water is drawn into a channel and moved away from your home instead of being allowed to sit and soak into the soil near the home.

Look at the grade near the foundation.  Soil needs to be higher than surrounding yard so that water immediately moves away from the home.  A good guide is a 1 inch slope per 5-6 feet away from the house.

Landscaping is a common culprit.  Lawn edging sometimes pushes up with frost creating a pocket where when water comes it is actually trapped and cannot move out and away from the home.  It can create a moat of sorts around the home actually holding and allowing water to seep into the blockwork.  Get out there and make sure all edging is mounted low enough so that it will not retain water near the home.

Gutters can be a good thing when working and complete.  They push water down a channel and away from the home.  The problem comes when the gutters get filled with debris and no longer work or when the extensions have been removed for winter or perhaps to mow around and then we forget to get these back on.  What happens next is that water might flow into those landscape areas mentioned above and now you have effectively created that moat again.

The last thing that must be considered is the hard surfaces you have outdoors, patios, stoops, and driveways.  These all need to direct and pull water away from the home.  Often times these settle causing water to actually move toward the home instead of away.  Mud or sand jacking can be a reasonable fix for this problem versus replacement and the results are effective.

When you do have water coming in, don’t assume since it is coming in the east side of the house that the water problem is coming from that area.  Block work is hollow and therefore can allow water to move along the full structure, so instead look for potential concerns and address each one until water is no longer coming in.  Block work can and does absorb lots of water so it is important to find the source and correct it.  Water in a basement can create mold issues and can cause block damage.  Both of these will make your home a risk for any potential buyer.

Kim Woehl is a Realtor with Keller Williams Premier Realty and wants to be your real estate expert.  If you know anyone looking to buy or sell, please send me their contact information or give them mine.  I can be reached at 651-214-1459 or kwoehl.kwrealty.com  I will work to listen and find the home that meets your needs.  I am knowledgeable on common home defects and will help guide you to the best choice when looking for a home.  Call me!

Click here to see what’s available in Forest Lake or Wyoming.  http://kwoehl.kwrealty.com/listings/areas/16576,16623/  It’s free!

Make Wyoming MN Your Home Town – Using Media to Search the Web

So I understand that social media is the wave of the future and as a result I work to bring meaningful information to my clients and future clients.  One of the ways that I do this is through marketing on the Internet.  One of the ways that I can help buyers is by linking them to my website so that they can search any town that they wish.  They can then click on options such as how many bedrooms or how many baths a home has.  Perhaps you want to live on water.  you can define your search in this way too.  Need a fireplace?  Yes, you can define your search.

By the time you call me “your realtor”, you already have a really good idea of exactly what you are looking for.  You can now rely on me to collect further details to see if it still meets criteria.  Now we can go look at this home assuming its still on the market.

Check out my free search website and then give me a call when your ready to go shopping!

Kim is a realtor with Keller Williams Premier Realty.   She can be reached at 651-214-1459 or via her website at kwoehl.kwrealty.com

Check it out!

Country Roads

Looking for a Home? – What to look for at Open House

Today a checklist of sorts that will help you when you stop at your next Open House.

1.  Look at the condition of the property – use your senses as a guide.  What do you smell, see, hear and touch that will cause you to look deeper.  Look up, down and all around to see what potential fixes or changes might need to be addressed.

2.  Square Foot – If you are just beginning your home search this may be something that you have to see to understand better.  Once you stop by a few you will have a better understanding of how big the rooms in a home need to be for your success.

3.  Inclusions – What comes with the home?  Generally anything that is attached to the home comes with the home.  That said, sometimes certain items are excluded from the sale and will be listed on the MLS in this manner.  Make sure you know if appliances, window treatments, and lighting fixtures are included and now with flat screen TV‘s and wall mounting’s we need to be clear on what is a fixture so no one is surprised later on.

4.  Renovations – Have their been renovations and if so when?  Is there room for further renovations should I later decide to do some remodeling or room additions?

5.  The Outside – Walk the property.  Begin with the home itself.  What is the condition of the roofing, siding walkways, driveway etc.  Does the home have landscaping and what is its condition?  Are there wells on the property or other things you should be aware of such as a grave?  (it happens).  Look at the chimney and other brick work to make sure it is in good condition.  Does the home have a deck or patio?  If so, what condition are they in?  Does the home have central air?  Stop and check the condition of the air conditioner.  Are there outbuildings, sheds, pools, etc?  If so what condition are these in?  This is also a good time to again use your senses and listen to see if you hear any noises that might be a deal breaker.

6.  Hire an expert – while we can yea or neah a lot of things on our own, once you find that one that seems to meet your  needs, write up an offer but make it contingent on a home inspection.  Hire a reputable home inspector.  Review their report and note any fixes or problem areas.  If the concerns are fixes you can address, buy.  If they will be costly or unobtainable, continue your search.

7.  Your Realtor – While you are free to attend open houses on your own, setting up a private showing with your real estate agent will allow for more time to walk through, a knowledgeable person working for YOU who can point out areas of concern and or help in only showing you homes that really match your needs in the first place.  In most cases, the person holding the open house is looking out for the seller.  You need your realtor to be looking out for you!

Kim Woehl is a licensed real estate agent with Keller Williams Premier Realty – She works in the Lakes area.  This includes Forest Lake, Wyoming, North Branch, Lindstrom, Chisago City, Stacy, Scandia, Hugo, Center City, Linwood, East Bethel.  If you are looking for an agent that will work hard for you and listen to your needs.  A realtor that will educate and keep you in the loop as you move along the process of finding your next home, look no more.  Give her a call!  651-214-1459

 

Recycle Your Old Holiday Light Strings – Ace is The Place – Forest Lake and Wyoming

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Image via Wikipedia

Now is the time year that we all open up our boxes and bins in search of our holiday cheer.  I cannot help but to think about that mass clump of lights that Clark Griswald of Christmas Vacation pulls from a box.  He hands this huge knotted clump of lights over to his son Russ and says something like, “a little knot there”, when it could not have been a more impossible task to untangle.

I too have seen these knots no matter how carefully we put them away, and no matter what method we use or have tried.  We still seem to not be able to find the end or untangle the set.  The other major issue is that you can have a perfectly working string when you put them away, but by the next season when you gingerly pull them out, they have decided to work only partially or not at all.  Now what to do with that non working string?  Most of us have tossed these into our trash cans and they go to the landfill and fill up our land with what can now be recycled.

All participating Ace Hardware stores are taking holiday light strings beginning on the 15th of November.  The Recycling Association of MN (RAM) is starting its 3rd season of recycling and will continue until the end of the holiday season.

Did you know that they can recycle every part of a light string?  They recycle the lights, the string, the plug ins, everything!  Last year they met their goal and this year are hoping to recycle 200,000 light strands.  Obviously this is making a difference to the landfills, but it is also allowing us to reuse these materials and also to create employment to the workers who are paid to take these strings apart, to those who recycle the product and to those that turn these pieces into new items.

If you don’t have a local Ace Hardware such as Forest Lake and Wyoming Minnesota, you can go to  www.RecycleMinnesota.org. for an interactive map that can guide you to a recycle center near you.  Last year there were 400 locations taking part in this effort and this number will grow as the season goes on.

After you recycle your old strings, consider purchasing the new higher efficiency LED lights.  “According to the Department of Energy, running LED holiday lights on one 6-foot tree for 12 hours per day for 40 days can save 90% or more energy when compared to traditional incandescent holiday lights”.  In ending I wanted to share that they also recycle any type of electrical cord such as telephone, speaker and damaged extension cords.  Make a trip to your local ACE hardware store with your old knot today!  It will feel good!

Kim Woehl is a Realtor with Keller Williams Premier Realty in Forest Lake Minnesota.  651-214-1459  kwoehl.kwrealty.com

Are you excited to decorate for the holidays?  Please share!

Kim Woehl - Keller Williams Premier Realty - 651-214-1459 - kwoehl.kwrealty.com

Drop off your old strings at ACE Hardware!

Forest Lake’s Parks and Recreation

I stopped by the office (Keller Williams Premier Realty), the other day, and the weather was so beautiful for a fall day that I had to take out my camera and try to catch a bit of fall before old man winter comes rolling on in.

I walked to Lakeside Park our Forest Lake, city center park.  It was very quiet on the day of my visit with only one other family enjoying those small motorized boats in the beach area.  The swing bays were empty as was the play structure itself.  No children were laughing and giggling while sliding down the variety of slides, nor being pushed to the moon on a swing.  I was reminded of childhood obesity, a new epidemic, as children are not getting out as they used to and need to.  Here it was a beautiful day, it was lunch time or near and yet no children and parents out enjoying the day.

Forest Lake has 22 parks listed in its park guide and last week some vandals chose to destroy one of these outdoor wonderlands.  I hope that you will take some time before winter comes a calling to spend some much needed time outdoors with your little ones.  Who knows…  I might see you there!  If you see me, please stop over and say hello!

I am a licensed Realtor living and working in the Lakes Area.  If you are looking for your own local park or home, please give me a call! http://kwoehl.kwrealty.com/

What was your favorite thing to do at the park?http://kwoehl.kwrealty.com/

Lakeside Park - Kim Woehl

Relax by the Lake – It’s a Good Thing

Our Lake Home - Currently Under Construction

According to the MN Dept of Revenue, lake homes have increased in value while other MN homes have lost 10% from 2006 – 2010.  As a lake home owner it is just one reason to be thankful for the purchase.  The best thing about owning lake property is that there is only so much of it, and to have a little piece of heaven to call your own is great, but to have it increasing in value is even better.

The biggest concern with purchasing a second home is that you can afford to make the payments and to keep the property up.  Foreclosure can still be  a risk and property upkeep can be a concern sometimes as well.

Who will mow the property and keep it looking nice?  Will you hire a cleaning service to maintain the cleanliness of the home when you care not there?  What about siding, roofing, driveway maintenance?  These are all things that will need to be considered.

Even with all this said, we love our time at the lake.  With relaxed weekends spent with family and friends, boating, fishing, cooking, having campfires, nature walks, and the pure joy of not having to set an alarm.  This makes everything worthwhile.  To find that it is maintaining its value is just one more benefit.

I love the lake life and would love to help you find your lake home too.  If I can help you in this process, please give me a call at 651-214-1459.   Kim Woehl – Keller Williams Premier Realty  You can find me right here in the lakes area!