Photo by Chad Koenen
Centennial Reality is ready to provide expert advice on the real estate market to residents from across the region.

By Chad Koenen


There are perhaps few industries that change more quickly than the housing industry. That continues to be true as a local housing shortage is being met with rising interest rates, which is making getting a loan a bit more expensive to help and purchase a dream home. 

In order to help navigate the ever-changing waters of purchasing or selling a home, the experts at Centennial Realty are here to help people get through a difficult, yet rewarding, time in their life. 

They can help with putting buyers and sellers in front of people to assist with financing, inspections, appraisals, septic compliance, water tests and so many more things that need to be done in a timely and effective manner—all of which need to happen even before the buyer and seller reach the closing table. Rather than going it alone and trying to sell a house without a licensed real estate agent, experts at Centennial Realty in New York Mills can help to take the stress out of the buying and selling process.

“One big benefit of using a realtor is having someone that has done it before. The average person will buy/ sell a house 2-3 times in their life. That’s most people largest asset. You want to be represented by a team that has hundreds of transactions under their belt to make sure you’re protected and getting the best deal and not leaving money on the table,” said agent Vanessa Ciha. 

Perhaps the most important part of the equation is Centennial Realty agents provide real, honest and caring information not commonly seen in the real estate industry. They are here to build relationships and bonds with their clients, which includes honest answers about the actual value of a property and creating a bond that will last long after the final papers are signed.

While some real estate companies prefer to do everything electronically or over the phone, Centennial Realty owner Bonnie Dykhoff said she prefers to do things the old fashioned way, by sitting down with clients and visiting one-on-one.

“I want to sit down with you. I want to talk to  you. I want to understand you and what you want,” she said, “We are small enough to know you by name and you are with us every step of the way.”

For example, Dykhoff said they not only know the local lenders and inspectors, but they work with their clients from the first listing to the closing. People aren’t handed off to different departments to complete the various intricacies of buying or selling a property. They are also local and know the market better than someone who may be from out town, while also supporting countless local efforts and organizations in town. 

“I believe Centennial is different from other real estate companies because we know the market and the community. We are part of it and live in it everyday,” said Ciha. “It’s important to know the local market and I think a lot of out of town brokerages don’t know our market like we do. We work for the people in the community and care, which ends being more about people than properties.”

Knowing the market and community can assist potential home buyers in a market that still sees houses selling at a fevered pitch. Since some properties are selling in a matter of days, knowing what may be coming available to purchase could provide people the opportunity to purchase their dream home before other potential buyers have a chance to swoop in. 

One of the challenges local real estate agents are facing is the rising interest rates, which is leading to difficulties for some first-time home buyers. 

“There is still a housing shortage and increasing interest rates. It is taking a toll on a lot of first time home buyers ability to purchase a home,” said Dykhoff. 

For example, Dykhoff said a 30-year loan for $200,000 at a 7 percent interest rate will cost people about $1,331 a month. When the interest rates were at just 4 percent, that same loan payment would be for $954. 

While many of their listings are in the Park Rapids, Wadena, Henning, Ottertail and New York Mills area, Centennial Realty isn’t just bound by properties in the immediate area. With MLS listing services, the staff can sell or list properties as far away as the Canadian border and have a property listed for potential buyers across the country.

“Houses are still selling quickly. There is still a massive shortage,” said Dykhoff.

For more information, or to contact a real estate agent, visit Centennial Realty online at or stop by their office at 94 Miller St. in NY Mills. They can also be reached by phone at (218) 385-3562.