• Local Market Conditions & home prices
  • Mortgage rates were not as fair a decade ago

    state fair

    This is from a post I wrote on the first day of the Minnesota state fair 10 years ago.

    Mortgage Rates – Freddie Mac Primary Market Survey – average rates for 30 year, conforming, fixed rate mortgages:

    week ending 8/24/2006 6.48%

    week ending 8/17/2006 6.52%
    week ending 8/10/2006 6.55%
    week ending 8/03/2006 6.63%
    week ending 7/27/2006 6.72%
    week ending 7/20/2006 6.80%

    According to Freddie Mac Average rates this week look like this:

    Average rate for a 30 year conforming loan is 3.43%

    Houses in St. Paul are still on average less expensive than they were in 2006 and interest rates are lower.

    Today is the first day of the Minnesota State Fair. Enjoy!


  • Local Market Conditions & home prices
  • Asking price Vs. Sale price



    Sometimes how buyers ask me for averages of list price Vs. sale price and use it as a guide for making an offer. Having some averages of list prices Vs. sale prices is useful but some homes are overpriced and some are underpriced and a few are priced just right. On average home sellers will get less than their asking price but pricing a home higher does not necessarily result in a higher sale price and can result in a lower sale price. The sellers best chance to get the maximum amount of money for their home is with-in the first two weeks it is on the market.

    The data used to make the chart was extracted from the NorthstarMLS which is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. A very high percentage of the homes that are sold in St. Paul each year are listed in the NorthstarMLS.

  • For Home buyers
  • Getting it in writing

    View from Market House - Downtown St. Paul

    Getting it in writing is a topic I have written about several times. When buying a home get everything in writing and when it comes to issues like getting something in the home repaired it is important to be as specific as possible. We can not expect others to know what we mean.

    When negotiating an offer sometimes the buyers and sellers will go back and forth verbally until an agreement is reached. This usually happens after a written offer is made. As long as all parties agree to doing it that way there is nothing wrong with it, We just need to keep in mind that there is no agreement until everything is in writing AND signed by both parties and here in Minnesota all parties have to have a copy of the contract before it can be legally binding.

    Sometimes buyers and sellers will go back and forth verbally for days over a couple of thousand dollars. Technically each back and forth should be on a written counter offer and signed but it seldom works that way.

    If a verbal agreement is reached but one party changes their minds there is no agreement. That may sound unethical to some but it is hard to enforce a verbal agreement. A written agreement is another matter.

  • Friday fun
  • One Tall ship

    Sailing on Lake Superior near two Harbors Minnesota sail boat

    It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. The tall ships will be in the Duluth area this weekend. My husband and I once got to see them up close, while we were visiting Boston Massachusetts. They are indeed a spectacular sight especially when they are under sail. We attempted to see them in Duluth Minnesota, just once, and it was so un-fun that it is unlikely we will ever attend the tall ship events there again but I will never say never.

    I got the picture of a tall ship on lake Superior a couple of years ago. Usually they are kept under wraps and everything is carefully orchestrated so a person can not just have an unobstructed view of one of these beautiful boats without having to wait with the crowds during the official events. This one ship just came sailing by as we were in our car driving along the north shore of lake Superior trying to get home before the crowds of ship viewers arrived. The picture is priceless yet it was free and it may be the only view you or I will ever get of a tall ship sailing on lake Superior.