Blaine was voted one of the top 5 cities to live in a few years ago, and was one of the top 3 fastest growing cities. Regarding traditionally owned homes (not REO/foreclosures), 2012 saw a 14% increase in median sale prices and 2013 saw an additional 12% increase.
The Sanctuary and Quail creek have a combination of new construction homes available and also previously owned homes. Both developments have maintained good market demand and values have been relatively stable with little REO/short sale transactions.
The Lakes also has new construction and previously owned homes for sale. Due to the larger amount of new construction available, the previously owned homes are seeing longer marketing times but overall stable prices.
The Preserve is expected to have the same results as Legacy Creek which sold out very quickly thus this next phase was developed.
I believe the appreciation will continue in these developments. The school districts are strong and more and more shopping, and restaurants are being added.
No one has a crystal ball, but based on historic trends, we will continue to see this growing suburb flourish.
Keller Williams Integrity Realty
Give me a jingle if your interested.
Here's my 2 cents on this question: The market EVERYWHERE is still in decline. Severe decline from where we already are?....No....but still in decline. We must accept that fact. Until people have jobs and can buy again, the real estate market is NOT going to improve. Once employment picks up, the foreclosed property will be sold from the market and this tilting ship of the real estate market will be righted again.
So, to your question about Blaine, there is no more comprehensive prognostication about Blaine than any other area of the Twin Cities. Blaine will be just as desirable to those who want to live there in a few years when the economy returns to "normal" as it is now.
All that said, TWIN CITIES WIDE, if you buy now, don't expect to sell in the next year--two--three with the expectation that you will be receiving a profit from your investment. A house/home is an investment you live in, but, ESPECIALLY now, it should be considered long term, not short term.
Sorry to be on the soap box, but sometimes, the answers are not so cut and dried!! ;D
Although at your price point there is a lot of flexibility there, so yes it would be possible to find a move-in ready home that is undervalued.
But you should also know that REO properties have many appraisals done on them from the lender, and they are typically very stingy on price until list history becomes available. Short Sales work the same where a BPO or "appraisal" is done on the property too.
So, it really comes down to a case-by-case scenario when dealing with these types of transactions. Find a realtor that works well with your specific goals and it will all work out fine. There is no way I could go over all the scenarios that might work for you. If you would like to interview me for representation feel free to contact me directly through Trulia. Just go through my icon here and it should take you to my profile.
But it is also different than Blaine and I don't think you would be comparing apples to apples. Anoka and Sherburne County got decimated by the foreclosure crisis and had the highest rates in the state. You can get some really good deals in Blaine, and Quail creek certainly is it so you picked the best area. A lot of homes in that area are undervalued in my mind, but 175-225k is a brutal price point right now for buyer demand. This is preventing a lot of homes in that area from stabilizing. Good news is I am seeing less foreclosures in those sub-developments.
If you can go conventional and be willing to put 20-30k of work into the property you can gain equity right off the bat. If you decide to buy a home that is closer to move-in condition then you will need to pay attention to previous sales history and tax records to gain an idea of what you could expect to appreciate over the coming years. There is nothing external that I know of that would negatively impact that specific area. It is very desirable still and Blaine should continue to do well, so at this point I am very bullish on that area over say Coon Rapids.
Shoreview, New Brighton, Vadnais Heights will serve you better if appreciation is what you are looking for. They are more predictable for obvious reasons. As a traditional buyer that wants a low risk investment I would go there instead.
Full disclaimer: I live in Vadnais Heights myself and Anoka County is my primary area for doing real estate. I also work with many investors that rehab homes in the North Metro and re-sell for profit.