CENTURY 21 Land of Lakes real estate news and activities for Grand Rapids MN and the greater Itasca County area.

We want to help our website users have more information on what is happening in the local communities and what it's like to live in Northern Minnesota as well as all the latest real estate market information. Morning lake viewWe will include information such as new restaurants, latest snowmobile trail conditions, local ice fishing contests, community events and much more. We welcome your feedback and comments.

March 21, 2024

7 Essential Steps for Home Buyers to Take Before Starting Their Search

Are you ready to find your dream home in Grand Rapids MN or Itasca County? Before you start touring properties, it's crucial to lay the groundwork for a successful home buying journey. Here are 7 vital steps every savvy home buyer should take:

  1. Set Your Budget Wisely: Begin by establishing a realistic budget. Understanding your financial picture, including your income, savings, and debts, will empower you to determine how much you can comfortably afford for your new home. Consider getting pre-approved for a mortgage to streamline the process.
  2. Define Your Ideal Home: Craft a clear picture of your dream home by outlining your must-have features and desired amenities. Whether it's a spacious backyard, a modern kitchen, or a prime location, knowing what you want will help narrow down your options and focus your search. We suggest making a top 10 list of items you are looking for in a home. Keep in mind most homes will not have all 10 things you are looking for.
  3. Research Neighborhoods: Finding the right neighborhood is just as important as finding the right home. Explore different communities to discover the perfect fit for your lifestyle, considering factors like schools, safety, commute times, privacy, and nearby amenities.
  4. Boost Your Credit Score: Your credit score can impact your mortgage eligibility and interest rates. Take steps to improve your credit score by reviewing your credit report, addressing any errors, and managing your debts responsibly. We encourage buyers to work with a lender they trust to get guidance on ways they can improve their financial situations.
  5. Save Smartly for Expenses: Start saving for a down payment and closing costs early on. A larger down payment can open doors to better loan terms and lower monthly payments. Being financially prepared will give you confidence when making offers.
  6. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage: Gain a competitive edge in the housing market by securing pre-approval for a mortgage. This signals to sellers that you're a serious buyer and streamlines the buying process once you find your dream home. One thing we hear a lot is why do I need to get pre approved to look at a home? I want to see the home first to decide if I like it. Sellers when listing their homes for sale only want pre approved buyers looking at their home.
  7. Build Your Dream Team: Surround yourself with a team of experts who will guide you through the home buying process. From real estate agents to mortgage lenders and home inspectors, having the right professionals by your side ensures a smooth and successful journey to homeownership. Century 21 Land of Lakes agents can help you from start to finish. They have the expertise and knowledge to help find the right mortgage lender that has the right loan for your needs.

By following these 7 essential steps, you'll be well-equipped to embark on your home buying adventure with confidence and clarity. Start your journey today by calling one of the Century 21 Land of Lakes agents and turn your homeownership dreams into reality!

Posted in Home owner tips
Feb. 29, 2024

Discover the Charm of Itasca County, MN: 10 Reasons to Visit

Are you ready to explore the hidden gem of northern Minnesota? Itasca County, nestled in the heart of the state's pristine wilderness, offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, history buff, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Itasca County has something for everyone. Here are 10 compelling reasons why you should plan your next getaway to this enchanting destination:

  1. 1. Experience the Majesty of the Mississippi: Dive into the source of one of America's most iconic rivers at Itasca State Park. Witness the birthplace of the mighty Mississippi River as it meanders through picturesque landscapes, inviting visitors to embark on scenic hikes, serene boat rides, and memorable picnics by the water's edge.

    2. Discover the Legacy of the Iron Range: Delve into the fascinating history of Minnesota's Iron Range, where the echoes of the mining industry still resonate today. Itasca County's rich iron ore deposits have shaped its heritage, offering visitors a glimpse into the challenges and triumphs of the region's early pioneers.

    3. Immerse Yourself in Natural Splendor: With over 1,000 pristine lakes and sprawling forests, Itasca County is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you're casting a line into crystal-clear waters, traversing scenic hiking trails, or spotting majestic wildlife in their natural habitat, the county's unspoiled landscapes beckon adventurers of all ages.

    4. Encounter Wildlife at Every Turn: From elusive black bears to graceful white-tailed deer, Itasca County is teeming with diverse wildlife waiting to be discovered. Birdwatchers will delight in the sight of bald eagles soaring overhead, while the haunting call of loons adds to the enchantment of the region's tranquil lakeshores.

    5. Relive the Logging Era: Step back in time and explore Itasca County's storied logging past, where towering forests once echoed with the sound of sawmills and the rhythmic clatter of logging camps. Museums and historical sites offer a glimpse into this bygone era, celebrating the resilience and ingenuity of the county's early settlers.

    6. Celebrate Culture and Heritage: Experience the vibrant spirit of Itasca County through its rich tapestry of music, arts, and cultural festivals. From world-class performances at the Reif Performing Arts Center to the colorful festivities of the World's Largest Wild Rice Festival in Deer River, there's always something exciting happening in the county.

    7. Chase Waterfalls and Rapids: Explore Itasca County's hidden gems, where rushing rapids and cascading waterfalls await around every bend. Marvel at the breathtaking beauty of Vermilion Falls in Orr or embark on a scenic drive to discover the county's myriad of natural wonders.

    8. Indulge Your Artistic Side: Unleash your creativity and immerse yourself in Itasca County's thriving arts scene. From local galleries showcasing the work of talented artisans to hands-on workshops and community events, the county provides endless opportunities to explore your artistic passions.

    9. Honor Indigenous Culture: Pay homage to the rich heritage of the Ojibwe people, who have called Itasca County home for centuries. Learn about their traditions, customs, and deep connection to the land through interactive exhibits, cultural centers, and immersive experiences.

    10. Embark on Epic Adventures: Hit the trails and embark on unforgettable adventures along Itasca County's extensive network of recreational trails. Whether you're biking the scenic Mesabi Trail, snowmobiling through pristine winter landscapes, or exploring rugged terrain on an ATV, the county offers endless opportunities for outdoor thrills.

From the tranquil shores of its pristine lakes to the rugged beauty of its untamed wilderness, Itasca County invites you to embark on a journey of discovery like no other. Plan your escape to this enchanting destination and experience the magic of northern Minnesota for yourself.

Posted in Local activities
Feb. 22, 2024

Essential Steps to Prepare Your Grand Rapids, MN Home for Listing: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you gearing up to sell your home in beautiful Grand Rapids, MN, or the picturesque Itasca County? Before you list your property, it's crucial to ensure it's in top condition to attract potential buyers and maximize your selling potential. Here's a detailed checklist of essential tasks to prepare your home for listing:

  1. Declutter and Depersonalize: Clear out clutter and personal items to create a neutral space that allows buyers to envision themselves living in the home.
  2. Deep Clean: Give your home a thorough cleaning to make it shine from top to bottom, including floors, windows, and surfaces.
  3. Make Repairs: Address any maintenance issues, such as leaky faucets or chipped paint, to present your home in the best possible light.
  4. Enhance Curb Appeal: Boost your home's exterior appeal by tidying up landscaping, adding fresh mulch, and enhancing the entryway with welcoming touches.
  5. Stage Your Home: Arrange furniture and decor to highlight your home's best features and create an inviting atmosphere for potential buyers.
  6. Professional Photography: Invest in professional photography to showcase your home online and attract more attention from prospective buyers.
  7. Gather Documentation: Compile important documents, including inspection reports and utility bills, to provide to interested buyers.
  8. Set the Right Price: Work with a local real estate agent to determine the optimal listing price based on market trends and comparable sales in the area.
  9. Stay Informed: Familiarize yourself with local real estate laws and regulations to ensure compliance throughout the selling process.
  10. Prepare for Showings: Keep your home clean and organized for scheduled showings, and consider offering virtual tours to reach a wider audience.

By following these essential steps, you'll be well-prepared to list your home for sale in Grand Rapids, MN, or Itasca County. With careful preparation and strategic marketing, you can attract qualified buyers and achieve a successful sale.

Posted in Home owner tips
Feb. 15, 2024

Exploring the Charm of Grand Rapids, MN: A Guide to Hidden Gems

Introduction: Welcome to the heart of Minnesota, where the beauty of nature meets the warmth of a tight-knit community. Grand Rapids, MN, is a hidden gem that boasts a rich tapestry of outdoor adventures, cultural attractions, and local delights. In this guide, we'll take you through the must-see spots and activities that make Grand Rapids a unique destination.

1. Discovering Natural Wonders: Grand Rapids is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you're an avid hiker, angler, or nature lover, the area offers a plethora of options. Explore the mesmerizing landscapes of the Chippewa National Forest, embark on a scenic hike along the Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway, or cast your line into one of the pristine lakes for a day of fishing.

2. Immerse Yourself in Local Arts and Culture: Grand Rapids is not only a haven for nature lovers but also a thriving hub of arts and culture. Visit the MacRostie Art Center to appreciate the work of local artists, catch a live performance at the Reif Center, or stroll through downtown to discover charming galleries and boutiques.

3. Culinary Delights and Local Eateries: Satisfy your taste buds with the diverse culinary scene in Grand Rapids. From cozy cafes to upscale dining, the city offers a range of options. Indulge in locally sourced dishes at the Itasca County Farmers' Market or savor the flavors of the Northwoods at one of the area's signature restaurants.

4. Family-Friendly Fun: Grand Rapids is an ideal destination for families, with a variety of attractions suitable for all ages. Take the kids to the Children's Discovery Museum, spend a day at the Judy Garland Museum, or enjoy a family picnic at one of the city's well-maintained parks.

5. Events and Festivals: Grand Rapids hosts a vibrant calendar of events throughout the year. Plan your visit around popular festivals like the Grand Rapids Art Festival, the Northern Minnesota Craft & Vendor Expo, or the lively Harvest Festival.

Conclusion: Grand Rapids, MN, is a destination that seamlessly combines natural beauty with cultural richness. Whether you're an outdoor adventurer, art enthusiast, or a foodie, this charming city has something to offer. Plan your trip, immerse yourself in the local experiences, and discover the magic that makes Grand Rapids truly special.

Posted in Local activities
April 9, 2021

Selling your home in todays market

Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Sell in Today’s Low Inventory Market


It is no secret these days that homebuyer demand is higher than ever before. A change in needs of a home, an increased desire in spending time outdoors, and record-low mortgage rates have all caused a major spike in demand that have caused homes to sell just as fast as they were put on the market! Due to low inventory levels of homes for sale, homes that do go on the market are worth more and face far less competition. Selling your home now means getting the most money for your home and the easiest transaction. Like many others, you want to sell your home and take advantage of the current market conditions, but you have reservations:


● If my home sells quickly, will I have time to find a new home to buy?

● Where will I find a new home to buy with such low inventory?


We are here to tell you that you should not be afraid to sell in today’s market, simply because the benefits outweigh the concerns, and more importantly… you have more options than you think to ensure you have time to find a new home you love before your home officially sells.


First, let’s talk about the benefits.


1. Higher Prices

With so many more buyers in the market than homes available for sale, bidding wars, a situation in which two or more parties repeatedly outbid each other as they compete to purchase something, are extremely common. Not to mention, the average amount of offers on a home is 4.7, meaning regardless, you will be receiving lots of offers that will all try to stand out. This buyer competition drives home prices up. This can work to your advantage, potentially netting you more for your house when you close the deal.


2. Greater Return on your Investment

Rising prices mean homes are also gaining value, which drives an increase in the equity you have in your home. In Minnesota specifically, the average homeowner has gained $21,000 of home equity in the past year! This major growth in equity gives you the ability to use that money for a down payment on your next home or to keep it as extra savings.


3. Better Terms

When you are selling your home in a low inventory market, there are many more people interested in your house. That means they are much more willing to compromise on details of the transaction than they would be at any other time. As a seller, this gives you the power to sell on your own terms! Oftentimes, buyers are willing to offer more money, waive contingencies or inspections, and any other finer details that could make them the front runner to buy your home. This means your transaction will likely be easier than it would be in any other type of market.

Posted in Home owner tips
March 12, 2021

Itasca County MN Feb 2021 market overview

Itasca County real estate market for Feb. 2021

New listings Feb. 2021 - (53) vs Feb. 2020 - (82) a decrease of 35.4%

Closed Sales Feb. 2021 - (47) vs Feb. 2020 - (60) a increase of 16.1%

Avg Sale Price Feb. 2021 - $180,662 vs Feb. 2020 - $160,721 a increase of 12.4%

Homes for sale. Feb. 2021 - (167) vs Feb. 2020 - (484) a decrease of 65.5%

Currently there is a 1.4 months supply of homes for sale based on the absorption rate of the market.

It is still a sellers market out there. Low inventory, coupled with strong buyer demand. If you are thinking of selling, now is the time! Give us a call 218-326-0323. We have a list of buyers pre-approved and ready to purchase.

These numbers are from the Itasca Board of realtors.

Posted in Market Updates
March 9, 2021

Sellers Market

Is right now a seller's market and what does that mean?


If you have been thinking about selling your home, you most likely have been doing some research about the real estate market right now - and you’ve probably seen the term “Seller’s Market” used quite a bit to describe the market currently. But, what does that mean? Why is it important to acknowledge this when thinking about selling your home? Keep reading to find out.


What exactly is a seller’s market?

A seller's market is a market condition characterized by a shortage of goods available for sale, resulting in pricing power for the seller. A seller's market is a term commonly applied to the property market when low supply meets high demand.To put it simply, a seller’s market means that the real estate market is currently working in favor of the seller.


Why is this important?

A seller’s market is the ideal condition to sell in because it means a much easier and favorable real estate transaction (and overall experience) for you. It often means more showings, more offers (many of which are over asking price), a higher price, less time on the market, and less competition. Low inventory and high demand means that buyers are more competitive than ever, and are looking at your home more so than before.


What does the current seller’s market look like?

Currently, the market is more favorable to sellers than ever before! Due to record-low mortgage rates, homes are more affordable to a larger multitude of buyers - and with many people’s lifestyles and needs changing in the past year, it seems like EVERYONE is looking to make a move! In Minnesota specifically, there has been a huge increase in demand as interest for the outdoors and an “escape” has become prominent. There has never been a better time to sell your home - if you don’t believe us, check out these statistics below from the National Association of Realtors.


Days on the market

Compared to last year, homes are selling in half the time. The January 2020 average days on the market was 43 days, whereas today, the average is 21 days. This means it is likely that you will have a much faster overall transaction!


Bidding Wars

Homes are now getting more offers, meaning bidding wars are much more common. The average in January of 2020 was 2.3 offers - but it has risen to 3.7 offers in 2021. This likely means you not only will receive more offers, but these offers will be higher quality and could potentially be over asking price or exclude certain contingencies to make for an easier sale.


Sales Price

Nationally, the average sales price has increased by 14.1%. In January of 2020, the national average was $266,300. Now in 2021, it is $303,900. That means your home’s market value will likely be more than you think, and could earn you more than you expected.



Over the past year, potential sellers have gained an unprecedented opportunity to sell with amazing success. As spring arrives more homes will begin to come onto the market, and these numbers will change. Act now and ensure that your home stands out and receives the best possible results! If you are interested in selling, reach out to us! We are working with many serious, qualified buyers that could result in selling your home before it even hits the market.

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 23, 2021

Itasca County MN Jan. 2021 market overview

Itasca real estate market for Jan 2021

New listings Jan. 2021 - (37) vs Jan. 2020 - (77) a decrease of 51.9%

Closed Sales Jan. 2021 - (69) vs Jan. 2020 - (41) a increase of 68.3%

Avg Sale Price Jan. 2021 - $234.329 vs Jan. 2020 - $163,319 a increase of 43.5%

Homes for sale. Jan. 2021 - (177) vs Jan. 2020 - (499) a decrease of 64.5%

Currently there is a 1.5 months supply of homes for sale based on the absorption rate of the market.

It is still a sellers market out there. Low inventory, coupled with strong buyer demand. If you are thinking of selling, now is the time! Give us a call 218-326-0323.

These numbers are from the Itasca Board of realtors.

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 17, 2021

Thinking of Buying a home?

Should you wait for Lower Mortgage Rates to buy a new home?


For many, mortgage rates are the deciding factor in whether or not to buy a new home. Compared to relatively high rates in the past few years, we saw historically low rates in 2020 - hitting new record-lows 16 times, reaching a low of 2.72% for the year (compared to rates of 3.97% in 2019). As a result, buying a home has been much more affordable, encouraging many potential homebuyers to move forward with their plans.


Many hopeful homebuyers are now wondering if they should put their plans on hold and wait for even lower rates as they seem to continue to decrease. However, this may not be the right move. The reality is that these rates will not last forever, and with such uncertain times ahead, acting sooner rather than later may be the actual win if you’re ready to buy a home.


Rates will not stay this low.

While only a slight increase in mortgage rates is projected for 2021, some experts believe they will in fact continue to slowly rise from here on out. For example, since the start of 2021, the average rate has increased slightly to around 2.85%. Although this is not a major increase and is significantly low compared to previous years, it is a tell-tale sign that as the country returns to normalcy, rates will continue to do the same. Seeing this trend, borrowers are smart to take advantage of lower rates now before they increase - it is not worth the risk of waiting it out when making such a huge financial decision. Rates can change in an instant!


Why does it matter?

As mortgage rates continue to rise, the overall cost of purchasing a home will continue to increase as well. That means the higher the mortgage rate, the higher your monthly payment will be - especially considering home prices are still rising as well due to current market conditions like low inventory and high demand. It is likely that homes will never again be as affordable as they are right now. This is important to note as you could sell your home at a higher price than normal and also benefit from a lower monthly payment when purchasing your next home. Making a move right now means getting the most value and the best deal! This is also essential for buyers to note who are looking to upgrade to a bigger home that may have been out of their price range in the past - now is the time to do it.


What does this all mean?

As more buyers continue to hit the market - especially as the typically busy spring market fast approaches, it will likely become even harder to find a home in the coming months. It is much better to take advantage of the low rates that are available now, rather than waiting for a future decline that may never come.


If you are considering buying a home or making a move, reach out and let us help you decide if now is the right time for you!

Posted in Home owner tips
Feb. 10, 2021




You may be on the fence about selling your home right now. Many people wait until spring or summer, but NOW is the right time - here is why. Demand is sky-high, supply is low, and buyer competition is fierce. As real estate professionals, we are always working to provide you with current and relevant information to make the most informed decision that you can as a homeowner. Continue reading for even more information on the current market and what it would mean for you as a seller.



Home showings are often a tell-tale sign of how successful your home will be on the market. It shows people are interested in looking further into your home and want to learn more. Compared to this time last year, home showings are currently up by +47.2%! This means that many homes are seeing almost DOUBLE the amount of home showings than the previous year. As a seller, this means you will have much more activity if you sell right now and will likely have many people interested in your home.



Many people do not consider inventory when deciding whether or not to sell - but it is a very important factor. Currently, inventory of houses for sale is down by -43%, a significant decrease since last year. This is a VERY good thing for someone who is interested in potentially selling their home. Why? Because it means less competition - and a lot more eyes on your home than ever before. Due to many people holding out until Spring to sell their home, there are so few homes on the market that buyers do not have many choices and therefore are much more likely to be interested in your home than if there were more available options. Your home is likely to get way more attention now than if you were to wait to sell in a market when everyone else is trying to sell as well.



Due to low inventory, competition is fierce! The market is oversaturated with buyers who are extremely serious and eager to find a new home. According to the NAR, bidding wars have increased to an average of about 3+ offers (although many homes see many more than this). Buyers are more competitive than ever and are willing to pay more or compromise on other fine details in order to stand out from others. As a seller, this puts you in total control and allows you to not only be confident that you will get multiple offers, but will be able to sell on your own terms.


So, to answer the big question - YES! Selling right now means more attention, less competition, and an easier selling experience on your own terms. These are market conditions we have not seen in a long time and will not last for long, so do not wait! Reach out to us if you have any questions about how your home fits into the market or how we can help you to sell your home.

Posted in Market Updates