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BIZ BUZZ: Median sales price for Brainerd home dips 9 percent

The CitiFinancial office, at 14410 Golf Course Drive Suite 105 in Baxter recentl1 / 2
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The median sales price of a home in Brainerd is now at $145,000, a decrease of 9 percent from last July’s median sale price of $160,000, Edina Realty reported.  

The real estate agency stated, “July saw two positive indicators in the market: higher closed sales and lower inventory. But it’s still a buyer’s market, with plenty of affordable homes for sale at low interest rates.”

In the Brainerd area, Edina Realty reported there were 3,727 active listings on the market, but noted buyers are continuing to work through the available inventory with new listings down by 9 percent and active listings down by 10 percent. 

“Last month, closed home sales in the Brainerd area were up by 6 percent compared to July 2010; 228 properties closed compared to 216 in July 2010.

“The Brainerd housing market continues to lag behind the Twin Cities metro area, which saw a 43 percent increase in pending sales last month, and is now showing signs of coming into a balanced market. However, the increase in Brainerd home sales and lower inventory are still two positive indicators for the local housing market, according to Bob Peltier, president and CEO of Edina Realty Home Services.

“Buyers are slowly working their way through the inventory of homes for sale,” Peltier said, adding that for every home that sells in the Brainerd area, 16 properties remain on the market. The real estate numbers came from the Greater Lakes Association of Realtors MLS.

You don’t see that everyday. In a world of electronic this and that, seeing a plane pulling a giant fabric ad across the blue sky was refreshing for its simplicity and the vehicle used to present it. The ad, with the familiar green gecko, was much bigger than the plane pulling it. The giant sky ad for Geiko Insurance for RVs and camper coverage was flying high above Brainerd and Baxter Thursday just as big rigs were pulling in for the Brainerd International Raceway 30th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals this weekend. 

Esser’s Wine & Spirits in Baxter has a new name as Baxter Liquor Mart. Paul Koering, former state senator from Fort Ripley, purchased the business this spring and recently put up new signs with the new name. 

The CitiFinancial office, at 14410 Golf Course Drive Suite 105 in Baxter recently changed its name to OneMain Financial. 

Jeanne Lee, branch manager, reported in a news release the name change will not affect the products and services. OneMain Financial employees include, Jason Nelson and Josh Swenson. 

Deborah Schey Salon, on Highway 371 North, is hosting is third annual Cut-a-thon to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association Wednesday. The salon’s goal is to exceed last year’s donation of $2,000. All money collected goes directly to the area Alzheimer’s Association, the salon reported. The event includes hair cuts, food and prizes. For more information, call 825-0196. 

Fried Fruit on a Stick will be back at the Minnesota State Fair this year in Carousel Park next to the grandstand ramp. New this year is a Fresh Fruit Wrap — strawberries, apples, peaches, pears, grapes, pineapple delivered fresh daily then wrapped in a soft tortilla with cream cheese.

Other options include the traditional Fried Fruit on a Stick and fresh fruit smoothies, fruity salsa, and fresh fruit cups. 

In 2007, Fred and Carol Helmer and their grown daughters, Alison Gominsky and Kristin Erlandson, took their product — in development for 14 years — to the state fair.

It started as an experiment as a grape dropped into the cheese curd batter.

The Helmers first applied to be a vendor at the state fair in 1992 but were told they weren't the right fit or there wasn't the right space. They kept at it and made it to the state fair, where they’ve been part of the fried food options ever since. 

Captain Ron’s Oasis Spas, Hilmerson Collision Center building on Haven Road, Little Falls, added a Jacuzzi dealership. 

Charlie’s Pizza, 1006 Haven Road, Little Falls, re-opened with owner Charlie Peterka, who started the restaurant in 1980. Peterka sold the business in 2001. The eatery, which features ice cream and soups and hot wings in addition to pizza, added seating, a game room and made menu changes. 

Falls Optical opened in the Northern Eye Center in the Falls Court Building, 119 Northeast First St. Little Falls with optician Ken Dodge. 

The Little Falls lia sophia advisers recently reported “June’s traditional status as the favorite wedding month is facing a growing challenge. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that July and August now take the honors as the most popular wedding months, with September and October also growing in popularity. In fact, recent statistics show that 54.3 percent of weddings now take place in the second half of the year.”

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at or 855-5852 or follow on Twitter @Dispatchbizbuzz.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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