December 2014

There are 21 blog entries for December 2014.


When you decide to own a home, it usually comes along with a mortgage. There are many types of mortgages you will find out there and they come from three major types of lenders. Here are the three major lenders you are likely to encounter when you own a home or plan to purchase one.

Mortgage Brokers

These are not actually lenders, but somebody that will help you find a mortgage. Mortgage brokers work with multiple types of lenders and can search their database for the best deal for you. However, you will pay a fee if you choose a loan through a broker, but they will be able to compare multiple lenders for you.

Retail Banks

The most common type of mortgage lender is a retail bank. These institutions come in many shapes and sizes from local

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With the New Year finally here, you may be ready for a reset and a restart. When the calendar turns back to January 1st, many will seek improvements in their lives. This year, you can have a better year and it starts right at home.

Making your home a healthier and happier place can provide more peace and relaxation for you and your loved ones. With the right feeling within your home and the right resolutions for your home, you can feel better in many areas of your life. Here are a few resolutions you can make for your home for 2015.

Pay Extra on Your Mortgage

Getting the balance of your mortgage paid down will certainly make you feel better about your situation. This is one of the first things you should consider, especially with tax time

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Ramsey kindergarteners have just learned that Ramsey Elementary School has reached its full capacity this year. Kids were supposed to enter kindergarten next year are now going to have to attend Wilson Elementary School in Anoka.

On December 8th the Anoka-Hennepin School Board approved this change unanimously, although one board member was absent for the vote. The vote took place after two community meetings were held in November where people were presented with the scenario that the K-5 students that lived east of Highway 47 or southwest of Ramsey Elementary School would have to attend Wilson. Here is a look at how the decision was made.

How the community feels about the change

Parents have been attending these packed meetings disagreeing

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The Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Anoka County has approved a new five-year plan. This plan is a requirement of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in order to receive funding to help those with low to moderate income.

Approval of the plan was unanimous and will help to add funding to the HOME affordable housing programs and the federal Community Development Block Grant. The plan will cover 2015 to 2019 and has been developed after extensive outreach to the public. Many of the most important community priorities were taken into consideration during the development of the new plan.

Overall, the department received 191 responses as they went through the different cities and held meetings and surveys. These 191 responses

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Ever wonder? Aside from a song that is sung during the holidays, have you ever wondered what a “Noel” is? First, it’s a French word that roughly means “Christmas season,” and our English version comes from the Middle English word “nowel,” meaning “a shout of joy.”

If you dig way back into the etymology you’ll get to the Latin origination – “natalis,” meaning “birth.”

As for “The First Noel,” the song that is so popular during the holidays? “It was first published in a book titled “Ancient and Modern,” edited by William Sandys in 1823,” according to

There are lots of words we associate with the music we listen to and sing at Christmas and other winter holidays and we seldom stop to wonder why. Let’s take a look at some of those.

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The busy streets of Blaine are not always easy to cross. However, there will be more opportunities to safely cross the streets in the near future.

A unanimous approval of the new crosswalk policy came on November 20th from the Blaine City Council. One of the biggest changes is the threshold for pedestrians crossing the street. Under the old policy, there had to be 20 pedestrians per hour, while the new policy only requires five.

Why Change the Policy?

One of the major reasons the crosswalk policy in Blaine has been changed is due to the way the community has developed. Blaine has become a community with more people riding bikes and walking than in the past. The City Council conducted a workshop meeting on November 6th and found there were

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The city of East Bethel has now officially become a HEARTSafe community. The city council members heard out and agreed with Troy Lachinski, local firefighter, who explained in a meeting back in November that the city plans to become a HEARTSafe community.

This concept is a way to save lives by addressing cardiac arrest and heart-attack response throughout the area. The plan is to have everyone trained and have automatic external defibrillators in public places. Lachincksi feels this is a really important concept to have in East Bethel. Here is a look at what this means for the community.

How will it work

East Bethel will need to earn certification to declare becoming a HEARTSafe community. The city will be able to earn points by holding

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Home Purchase

For those that are considering buying a home next year, now is the time to start planning. There is so much that goes into your home purchase that trying to carelessly go after your dream home is not a wise decision.

You first need to determine what qualifies as your dream home by making a wish list, and from there you need to find a great real estate agent and research the market. If your New Year’s resolution is to buy a home in 2015, here is a guide to how to make this happen.

Make your wish list

For starters, you should take the time to create your ideal wish list. The beginning of your planning involves the dreaming phase where you get to think about the parts of a home that you want the most.

You can research online for ideas or talk

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If you’re trying to sell your home, you may be looking at your home as real gem. It’s got the kitchen you love because the kids always help you bake cookies in there and it has the bedroom painted your son’s favorite color making it fit him so well.

You may even have your home office covered in diplomas and trophies while the hallway displays your favorite family photos. The problem with the house you’ve personalized to your family’s wants and needs is that when you go to sell it, a buyer is going to feel like a guest in your home rather than envisioning a life of their own in this house. When you’re ready to sell, here is how to make your home have less of your personality.


The first thing you need to do is neutralize the paint

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Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but it’s not keeping away those pursuing the American Dream by buying a home in Blaine. If your home is on the market, have you considered what it looks like from the outside during this bleakest of seasons?

Read on for some tips on how to bump up the curb appeal to entice folks from the car to the inside of the home.

Provide Clear Access

What happens when you drive up to a home and see nothing but a pile of snow and ice between the curb and the front door? It’s not very inviting, is it? Make potential buyers feel welcome by providing clear access from their car to the front door.

Colorful Entry Door

Anything you can do to add color to the home’s exterior will boost its appeal and the perfect place to

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