Real Estate Blog

Here we are, four days into November with only a bit more than three weeks until Thanksgiving. Are you in the mood yet? If not, consider having a movie night at home in Duluth and we have the movie list that just might do the trick.

 “Home for the Holidays

   This 1995 release, directed by Jodie Foster, revolves around the squabbling family meme we talked about on this month’s front page. The amazing cast includes Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning, Dylan McDermott, Geraldine Chaplin, Steve Guttenberg, Claire Danes and David Strathairn. USA Today praised the film upon its release, summing it up as “They come, they eat, they argue, they leave. It's the stuffing in-between that makes it special." Rated PG-13.


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The North Oaks real estate market is probably one of the healthiest in the Twin Cities metro area. With more homes on the market than we’ve seen in a long time it’s appealing to homebuyers and the rising prices, good for sellers, doesn’t seem to be dissuading those buyers from jumping in wholeheartedly.

Last month’s North Oaks real estate market numbers recently came out, so let’s take a look at them.

New Listings

North Oaks is a small market, so even moderate changes bring about wild-sounding statistics. For instance, compared to this time last year, the North Oaks real estate market sees a 375 percent increase in the number of new listings to hit the market.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? In fact, we saw only four new homes come on the market

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Sure it’s more exciting to look at homes for sale in North Oaks when you make the decision to buy, but it’s not the first step. Nope. That would be securing a loan so you know how much you can spend on a home.

First-time buyers, especially, find the lending process confusing and for good reason ― it IS confusing. So today I thought we’d take a look at the very first step in the home purchase process, finding the right lender.

Don’t Buy into the Myth

I don’t know if it’s a “myth,” so much as a misconception among consumers that the best loan is the one with the lowest interest rate. This may not necessarily be the case, and here’s why.

The lender’s advertised rates may not be for the loan you want. For instance, you may want a 30-year fixed

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We so often feature homes that are priced for first-time buyers that we thought this week we’d take a look at homes for sale in North Oaks’ luxury home market. We think you’ll agree that all three are yummy.

Colonial beauty

This is one gorgeous estate, from the brick and stone exterior to the rustic yet elegant interior. It features 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms (3 partial) in 11,183 square feet of living space. You’ll love the oversized rooms, from the huge sunroom to the great room, kitchen and master suite.

The home was recently remodeled and offers extras such as a game room, theater, wine storage and more.

Built in 1995, this estate sits on 2.51 acres in North Oaks and it’s offered at $1,999,000. Learn more about this home and view

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Summer officially ended late last month and we’re now fully ensconced into fall. That means trip to the corn mazes and haunted houses with the kids, pumpkin shopping and preparations for Halloween.

What better way to celebrate our haunted month than will some creepy movies? Pop up some corn instead of wandering through a field of it and sit back with the family while you all get into the Halloween spirit.

“The Lady Vanishes”

An Alfred Hitchcock 1938 release centers around the disappearance of a young woman’s traveling companion, the denial of the other passengers that her companion ever existed and her search to figure out what happened. No rating.

“Rosemary’s Baby”

A young, waifish mom-to-be thinks there is something not quite right

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This month, salutes Mounds View High School, located in Arden Hills. The school serves more than 1,600 students in grades 9 through 12 with 77 full-time teachers, giving the school about a 21:1 student/teacher ratio.

Special Programs

Parents appreciate the school’s music and science programs, but Mounds View offers far more than that.

  • Art
  • English Language Learners
  • High Performance (gifted and talented program)
  • Information Technology
  • Media
  • Music (band, orchestra and choir)
  • Physical Education
  • Science Olympiad
  • Spanish
  • Special Education

Mounds View High, home of the Mustangs, offers a large selection of seasonal athletics in fall, winter and spring.

Mounds View Rankings and Test

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Last week we took a look at North Oaks’ latest real estate market statistics and learned that the median sales price here is a bit more than $735,000. I thought it might be fun to see exactly what type of home one can purchase here for our median sales price.

While nothing is listed at exactly $735,000, I did find several homes priced close to it and they’re all newly-constructed homes.

Charley Lake Preserve

This home, priced at $730,000, has yet to be built. It’s the Windham plan from Mattamy Homes and features 5 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in 4,197 square feet of living space. So, for less than North Oaks’ median sales price you can purchase a brand new home and personalize it you’re your choice of designer features. By the way, homes at

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The North Oaks real estate market is so small that even one overly expensive home sale can skew the market stats tremendously. This is why it’s important to exercise caution when evaluating the market on a monthly basis.

August’s North Oaks real estate market numbers just came out, so let’s take a look at them, exercising the aforementioned caution.

New Listings

Here’s a perfect example of how wild the swings are in the North Oaks real estate market. In May of this year, new listings increased an amazing 214 percent over May of 2014. All it took was 15 additional homeowners listing their homes for sale to achieve this remarkable statistic.

Then, in June, new listings fell 10 percent from the previous year and in July they fell another 26

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Fall is almost upon us (two weeks from today) and that means tons of company for many of us. Rather than dig out the same old same old when it comes to decorations, take a tip from the pros and create new fall accents for the home.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Those cute little mini-pumpkins that fill the bins at the supermarket every fall ― ever wonder what you can do with them? Southern Living magazine has a great idea; hollow them out and then fill each one with a votive candle.
  • Another attractive use for these cuties is to fill a tall, glass candle holder with them. The white ones are especially attractive here.
  • Create a pumpkin patch on your porch. Stack hay bales on either side of the front door to act as pumpkin
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This month, salutes Chippewa Middle School, the only school in the Mounds View District that is actually located in North Oaks. The school serves 989 students in grades 6 through 8 with 45 full-time teachers. This gives the school a student/teacher ratio of 21:1, which is the highest among all middle schools in the Mounds View Public School District. This doesn’t seem to present a problem for students, however, as you’ll see when we discuss test scores.

Special Programs

Parents appreciate the school’s music, math and science programs, but Chippewa offers far more than that.

  • Academic competitions
  • Art
  • Band
  • Communication skills
  • Drama
  • Health
  • Intramural athletics
  • Orchestra
  • Physical education
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