Local Market Conditions & home prices
I love numbers and Monday is a wonderful day for numbers. I made this chart that shows cummulative days on market by St. Paul neighborhood for the last twelve months. Cummulative days include all of the days a home is on the market in a twelve month period even if they were taken off the market and put back on again as the sellers played musical real estate agents.
It still takes longer to sell a home in downtown St. Paul than in any other neighborhood even though we now have a downtown grocery store and light rail.
Cummulative days on market
If we go from highest to lowest there is a 40 day difference between the 86 days it takes to sell a home downtown and the 46 days it takes in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood. Some of the difference is because of the housing style. Condos are the predominant housing style downtown.
Here are the actual numbers that were used in the chart. All of the data is from the Northstar MLS which is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
Real estate is local. For more local numbers please see Local Market conditions & home prices.
First Time Home Buyers
Various lenders have been contacting me and emailing me to let me know that starting December 15th which of course was a few days ago the 3% down payment conventional loan is a thing . . as in it is available for first time home buyers. I am not sure what my opinion on the loans but I know they will help some folks who may not have enough cash buy homes.
Before the change conventional loans required at least 5% down. FHA loans require at least 3.5% down, up from 3% down a couple of years ago. Home buyers will need some cash to buy a home even with down payment assistance. In addition to the down payment there are closing costs. Sometimes the sellers will pay closing costs but generally will charge more for the home to cover them.
Interest rates are oh so low the average on a 30 year conventional loan is less than 4%, and down 3/4 or a percentage point from December 2013.
It is Friday and fridays are for fun. If you are looking for a fun place to go during the winter try Como park conservatory. It is part of a public park and it is free which proves that some of the best things in life are free. There is more to see than the flowers and there are free concerts on Sundays starting later this month. See the Como Park website for details.
For Home buyers
So you have a pre-approval letter from your loan officer and it is good for three months. As you look for that perfect home to make an offer on you need to keep in touch with your lender because he or she may not last as long as the letter. people who write pre-approval letters to get fired or to leave the mortgage company, credit union or bank and
sometimes most of the time if they leave your file gets lost.
If your file vanishes the good news is that it can be rebuilt from scratch. The bad news is that you will need to provide all that documentation all over again and the worse news is closing on the home you want to buy may be delayed for weeks.
It can get pretty messy and most people hate having to go through the process twice. It is rare that anyone admits that your file doesn’t exist they just ask you for the same information you already gave them and often they need it now.
It isn’t at all unusual for a pre-approval letter to last longer than the person who signed it but once they are gone you might not even exist as a customer.
St. Paul MN
We have not gotten a lot of snow this season but I noticed that when it does snow there are several businesses and condo complexes in my neighborhood that do not clear the walks.
Saint Paul City Ordinance requires snow and ice to be removed from sidewalks within 24 hours.
To report a sidewalk that’s a safety hazard and needs shoveling, contact the Department of Safety and Inspections at 651-266-8989. Be sure to tell us the address of the property and check to be certain it’s within city limits.
The City will contact the property owner to make sure the sidewalk is shoveled as soon as possible. If the owner does not comply, the City will send a crew to clear the sidewalk and bill the property owner for the (high-priced) work.
The city also has a downloadable, printable door hanger that can be used to remind a neighbor to shovel. I am not sure how to use that on the sidewalks that are along Kellogg Blvd and in other places where there are no homes or businesses. There are several downtown sidewalks that never get shoveled.
People do use the sidewalks even in the winter. It snowed yesterday. Hurry up and shovel before I turn you in.
Local Market Conditions & home prices
The local real estate market is still in recovery. Here is a picture of downtown condo prices over the last decade. The chart follows the same ups and downs as the rest of the city and metro area. Downtown St.Paul is a separate market from the rest of the city. The housing is mostly condos and many of them were renovated, built or converted to condos in the last decade.
The data used to make the chart is from the Northstar MLS which is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. The data represents most of the condo sales downtown in the last decade.