The golden rule in a sellers market

The golden rule at least the way my parents taught it to me is about treating others the way I want to be treated.

Once a upon a time I had some buyer clients who made an offer on a home. Their offer was ignored, and the sellers would not negotiate.

After at least two weeks of hard work the sellers slowly started to negotiate with the buyers and eventually they both signed a purchase agreement.

Several weeks later the sellers found themselves in a position of needing a favor from the buyers. The buyers quickly and graciously said yes to the sellers request.

Even in a sellers market on a home with multiple offers the seller may need something from the buyers at some point in the transaction. Maybe a closing date has to be changed. Treating everyone with respect and kindness and promptly responding during negotiations is free and it never hurts.

When buyers and sellers don’t get along small problems can turn into huge misunderstandings and even lawsuits.

Housing for all

Couple walking

An older but probably not elderly couple walk by the construction site where apartments are being built. The advertising on the sign in front shows a young man on a bike and lists some amenities including yoga and fitness center and bike storage.

The apartments are “smart” and there will be a rooftop terrance grill and lounge too. I work with young people and older people who are interested in living in Lowertown and most are attracted to the area, and the buildings in it by the same amenities.

Right now it seems like we need more housing of every type. Affordability is also important as rents remain high and wages remain fairly flat.

Will baby boomers stay put or move?


No one knows for sure what baby boomers will do as they age. I am a baby boomer but on the younger end of the generation. The generation spans many years and I don’t think we will age or retire the same way and if we all wanted to move into some kind of senior housing we couldn’t because there won’t be enough of it. By staying put we are contributing to the shortage or homes for younger generations.

The first time I heard the term “NORC” was a couple of years ago at the West 7th Community Center.  I had to stop the meeting and ask for a definition.  NORC is an acronym for Naturally Occurring Retirement Community.

NORCs are very real estate related and they are not planned communities. Rather, they evolve as people:

  • Age in place. Many communities house residents who raised families there decades ago and never left. They strongly wish to continue living in their homes of long standing.
  • Move into the community. A pattern of in-migration often brings seniors into age-integrated communities, typically in urban centers, where the seniors have access to amenities, culture, and other activities.
  • Move out of the community. Out-migration, typically reflecting the departure of younger residents from rural areas, leaves sizable populations of older residents behind.

I would rather have my own home refurbished or retro fit so I can stay put. I don’t buy into the idea that stairs are the enemy or that doors have to be widened for wheelchairs. I think leg exercises that involve resistance training and yoga are the way to go.

I would rather make my home more energy efficient and add more technology. Yet it doesn’t hurt to have a home with main floor bedroom and a main floor shower that could easily be converted to a roll in shower.

We tend to lump seniors into one group. There can be a huge difference between the over all health of a 65 year old and a 95 year old. There are 70 year olds who are caring for their elderly parents. I see it all the time. I also know people in their 80’s who have full or part time jobs. We have a 70 year old president and senators in their 80’s.

Only you can break the cycle

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. You may think it is too soon to be thinking about Christmas but retailers have the back to school stuff out and by the end of the month we will start seeing Christmas decorations too.

There are only about 155 days left until Christmas and subtract 2 from that number and you have the number of shopping days assuming the internet remains open and worst case scenario delivery takes two days because of the holiday rush.

Now is the time to start planning to break the cycle of buying stuff for people that don’t need stuff so that they have to buy more storage containers and perhaps move into larger houses or rent storage units.

Sure our economy will collapse if people don’t spend enough money on stuff but capitalism is only working well for the very wealthy anyway and probably isn’t sustainable in it’s current form.  Together we can build something bigger and much, much better. Believe me. Happy holidays!

Copper or lead?

Saint Paul water

St. Paul home owners can find out if their home has a lead water line leading from the property line to the water main. Just go to online water bill pay You will need to login to your account or create an account. I write this today because I just got my water bill. There is also information about lead in water and testing for lead.

I know for sure that line from the street the house is copper. These are all questions to ask when buying a home. . . the more you know . .