It is Fridays and Fridays are for fun. I really do enjoy fireworks. I watch them every year. For several years they were launched down by the river and I would watch them from the highbridge right along side hundreds of my neighbors.
fireworks 2013 St. paul, MN
Last year because of those freaky July floods the fireworks display was moved to the State Capitol building which was kind of fun. I watched then from median on John Ireland Blvd.
Fireworks 2014 St. Paul, MN
This year there will be fireworks from the new CHS field in lowertown – downtown St. Paul. I could probably watch from the parks along the river but I think it would be better to watch from the Eastern river bluff. I like to have St. Paul is my backdrop as opposed to just shooting the fireworks exploding in the air without any context. I am guessing that the mounds park area will be pretty crowded. I am still considering my options.
I am open to suggestions or an invite to someone’s rooftop patio.
People don’t always consider businesses when they think of historic preservation. This business restored the iconic sign that has been a kind of landmark in the area for decades. They did a wonderful job and it looks like a cleaner slightly more modern version of the original. I am sure they could have found a less expensive option but I am happy that they went with the mid-century modern type sign.
The other side of the building as a lovely mural made by local artists. I’ll post the photograph when I find it.
202 McBoal street
This is one of the little stone houses in St. Paul. The Martin Weber house at 202 McBoal street was built in 1867, which makes it one of the older houses in St. Paul but not the oldest on the block. It sits on the limestone river bluff and it is likely that the stone used to build it was quarried right on the site.
The house became the home of a German immigrant and was in his family for many years. It has had a few additions over the years. It was restored many years ago and has been rental property for many years.
This house and others like it remind me of what attracted me to my neighborhood. Part of it is the rich history and the variety of architectural styles. I support preservation and live in an even older house myself.
Houses are for people and as we live in them we become part of their history which is really a part of their story. We lost several small run down historic properties during the great recession and the crash of the housing market. We can never get those houses back but in the end we need to remember that the whole purpose of a house is to be a place for people to live and people are the reason for these structures.
When I talk with historic preservationists I am always interested in learning how their work is going to impact people and the community as a whole. I see this house as a kind of treasure that belongs to all of us and think it is wonderful that it has been home to many people over the years.
Sometimes homeowners stop talking to me at all after I recommend a listing price for their home because they would rather work with an agent who has a higher price recommendation. Real estate agents know this and some will give you that higher price every time.
The good news is there are a lot of real estate agents and several that can and will do a great job selling your home . . . once it is priced right.
The value a real estate agent gives you is just a recommendation and it is based on data and facts and in all cases a homeowner should be able to ask whatever they want to for their home. Pricing a home is more of an art than a science and yes it takes experience and I don’t know anyone who always gets it right every time.
A great strategy for real estate agents is to tell the homeowners what they want to hear and then work on a price reduction after the home is on the market.
The problem with that strategy is that the longer your home is on the market without an offer the less it will sell for in the long run. The homeowner who starts at the lower price often ends up getting more money for the home than the homeowner who wants to just “try” the higher price for awhile.
Homes that are priced right generally sell quickly in today’s market.
As a homeowner myself I don’t think I can price my home correctly. I am biased and I think I am probably under pricing it. At the very least I would need and want a second opinion.
Unless a home is underpriced sellers can plan on getting less than the asking price. When I work as a buyers agent I rarely encourage the buyers to offer full price when I know from experience that the sellers will probably take less and even if they don’t it never hurts to ask and do a little negotiating.
If you live in St. Paul and would like some general information about home values please see Local market conditions & home prices.
General Real Estate News
As I feel like I am drowning in a sea of real estate data I like to look at this simple graphic. On a Monday morning it helps me get started and plan my week. This shows the general activity in St. Paul, MN over the last 7 days.*
What really stands out today is the number of price changes which are really price reductions. On average a home will get an offer within 30 days of the last price reduction made.
Pricing homes has always been tricky. I like to say it is an art rather than a science. The best place to start is to look at actual sale prices.
Overall the graphic shows an active real estate market in St. Paul. Houses are selling. It is very much a sellers market. The chart is only for the last 7 days but is pretty typical for what we have been seeing this year.
*source – NorthStarMLS data is deemed reliable but not gauranteed
For the heck of it
Gardening tips – Como park
The plaque in the picture is in the enchanted garden in Como Park. The garden is designed to be enjoyed by human visitors and attractive to nature’s pollinators like bees and butterflies.
As a gardener I find the lack of bees alarming. There are some bees but not very many and I don’t see nearly as many butterflies either. I have read that 75% of the plants grown for food are pollinated by wild type pollinators. I can’t imagine a world without home grown tomatoes and it is the bees and other pollinators that make it happen right in my own back yard.
It is also important to grow a variety of plants because they provide food or habitat for a variety of pollinators and other animals and insects. We tend to get rid of everything that grows naturally and replace it all with a few varieties of plants and flowers available at the local nursery.
There is a theory that if the bees all die mankind is next.
There are numerous websites dedicated to gardening, green gardening and environmentally friendly gardening. The EPA has some simple and useful information.