Yesterday I wrote about new construction. Today I am writing about renovating some old houses in the little Bohemia neighborhood which is also part of the West 7th neighborhood. The Fort Road Federation is the developer and they have decades of experience.

This home is on Forbes street and has been vacant for a very long time and is located on a block where there are a few other vacant homes that are also being recycled. The structures were rental properties that eventually became foreclosures and in some cases there may have been a bit of mortgage fraud involved.

The area was considered blighted and several houses were eligible for various public funds. I won’t pretend to understand the complexities of these programs but I love the end result when a historic home is made livable and energy efficient even and people move into what was just a vacant old house. There are programs that help home buyers pay for these homes. There is often down payment assistance and there are usually income restrictions on the program. See the NSP Inspiring Neighborhoods website for more details.

There are also several vacant lots in the area where homes that were not worthy of rehabilitation were raised. Maybe one day new homes will be built on them.

historic home

Forbes street

I wrote about some houses being renovated on Banfil street in the same neighborhood in 2011.

I’ll be watching for these to be completed and hit the market. My guess is they will be ready this summer. I have worked with the NSP program in the historic Dayton’s bluff area where two of my clients now live.

St. Paul MN

New construction


New Mac Groveland home

There has always been new construction in the city. The house I live in was built in 1858 and my neighbors house two doors down and across the street was built in the 1940’s. There is a home around the corner that was built in 2004. I grew up in a St. Paul home that was built in the 1920’s. The home next door was a rambler built in the 1960’s.

Right now there are about 30 homes on the market in St. Paul that are new construction or that were built after 2010. Some are condos or townhouses and others are single dwellings. There are some large 4 bedroom homes in Highland Park and Mac Groveland listed for between $450K and close to a million dollars.

There is a demand for new construction and a demand for larger homes and as we all know sometimes smaller homes are torn down and replaced with larger homes. Most fit into the character of the neighborhood. I personally favor renovation and preservation over demolition but that isn’t always practical and part of the charm of the city is the that we have several housing styles and housing of all ages.

First Time Home Buyers

Much activity at open houses

openhouseI went to a few open houses on Sunday as I sometimes do. There was a good turnout at most of them. Buyers rushed in walked around asked questions and left.

Of there are only 800 homes on the market in St. Paul right now and only 619 that do not have offers on them. There were 78 open houses on Sunday which represents about 12.5% of all homes for sale. Typically there are more open houses this time of year than there are during the holidays or even in the summer.

I helped some buyers purchase a home just last week. It was a multiple offer situation and the home had been on the market less than a day. There was never an open house and there never will be.

Going to open houses is a great way to learn the market but home buyers who are ready to buy should be working with an agent. As an agent I can show most any home at anytime, with the sellers permission of course.

St. Paul MN

On thin ice

I feel like I am in a celebratory mood today because it is the last day of February, which means we probably only have six to ten more weeks of brutally cold weather.

Because of the longer days and sunshine the ice on area lakes is getting thinner and that means that the DNR is asking everyone to take the fishing shacks off of area lakes. See the deadlines for removal  on the DNR web site.

Thin ice

Thin ice

Have a great rest of the month. I’ll be back in March with some exciting local real estate numbers and possibly some more photos.

Friday fun

Thing I learned this week

Artwork_Approval_Needed_for_Order_510544_—_InboxIt is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I have learned a lot this week. I started my own real estate company. The change isn’t as huge as you might think considering my actual job duties have not changed and my mailing address remains the same except for one digit in the suite number.

Yet everything is changed. What I am trying to do is to create a company that is client centered. My basic business philosophy has always been one of treating each client like they are my only client. Right now my team or staff is small and consists of electronic services, devices and software subscriptions but I think that will change soon.

I have learned in business never to sweat the small stuff but did get a little upset when I found out the grommet holes used to hang real estate for sale signs need to be either 14 or 24 inches apart and my brand new signs have holes that are 15.5 inches apart. For a mear $3 a sign the holes will be redrilled and new grommets will be put in so that I can use my new signs.

Several people have told me that to be a real estate company I need a logo. I have never been what you would call a conformist and coloring inside the lines has never been one of my strengths. The common wisdom is that I need to have a logo just like everyone else if I want to be different or really stand out.

Now my next challenge is to get each one of those shiny new sign panels in front of a house. I have worked with 100’s of clients over the years and I look forward to more of the same except better. . . and if you would like to put your home on the market I will be around all weekend.


Parking – Downtown

River Park Lofts

River Park Lofts

One of the benefits of working with a real estate agent who has experience with downtown condos is that we know a lot about the parking situation and what questions to ask. Some condos come with a parking space and some do not. Some of the parking is in ramps and some of it is outside in parking lots.

If a parking comes with the unit ask to see it. Make sure that the number of the parking spot is in writing. It is also a good idea to check and see if the owner of the condo you are buying actually owns the parking space being sold with the unit. In some buildings the parking spots will have a number and a separate tax ID number.

The condo documents that condo buyers are given ten days to review before committing to purchase a condo contain a wealth of information about the unit and the parking situation. Buyers should always ask questions and never make assumptions about parking. Agents working with downtown condo buyers should always verify any information they receive about parking.

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Teresa Boardman
Realtor®, MN,
Licensed Broker
Boardman Realty
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Photos of St. Paul
Photos of St. Paul

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