Over the bridge and through the woods

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. For me, biking is a fun thing to do. I live near downtown and am just one bridge away from Lilydale Regional Park and that is where I found these amazing birds. It was almost creepy the way they watched me fly by and my old bike.

Bald eagle
Bald Eagle

 

Usually when I see the birds my camera is at home or I have the wrong lens on it. The birds are near pickerel lake and can be seen from the trail. On the weekends there are a lot of loud bikers and they scare the wildlife away.

The best time to appreciate the woods and the wildlife is early in the morning.

Downtown real estate is slower

When putting a home on the market it is important to know what to expect. Real estate continues to sell briskly and some properties do get multiple offers the first day they are on the market.

Condos in downtown St. Paul do not sell as quickly as other types of real estate. That just means that sellers need to be prepared to have their unit on the market a little longer.

The “little longer” isn’t long at all. There are currently 48 condos on the market downtown and the median days on market is around 33 days. The units that are priced for over half a million sell at a slower rate and they always have.

Downtown St. Paul condo sales

This house isn’t in your price range

While working with a home buyer we found a home listed in his price range. The home was listed for an amount that the buyer could have afforded but, to beat out the other offers he would have had to go over his limit.

I see this all the time with houses that are “priced to sell”. Buyers who want to buy a home for less than $150,000 are hit the hardest as they end up competing against investors.

Those investors pay cash or put a significant amount down which make their offers more attractive than the first time home buyers FHA with less than 5% down.

The bargain priced houses that seem so affordable or too good to be true are often out of reach for first time home buyers.

Home prices have gone up and at a much faster rate than wages. This is good for home owners but not so great for people who would like to become home owners.

 

We get to vote today

Don’t forget to vote in today’s primary. There are several important races. We will be voting for a new Governor, a

vote

Senator to fill Al Franken’s seat and a new attorney general.

Minnesota Public Radio had an election guide for those who need to learn more before they vote.

Minnesota has had 43 Governors. Each one of them has been a man. Your vote could help make history . . . but you have to vote in November too, on November 6th which is just one day after my birthday.

Vote today. Find your polling place and go there.

New home, new locks

When you buy a house there is no way of knowing who might have a key to the front door. Maybe the babysitter has one and the next door neighbor too.

Right after the closing is a great time to have the locks changed. Not only will the home be more secure but lock technology has changed. In general, locks are better and easier to use than they were in the 1940’s.

Also, consider smart locks with keyless and blue tooth options. Unlock doors with your phone or with a code. If you think you forgot to lock the door you can lock it from a remote location.

Locks are complicated. Do some research before you buy.

door lock

Time to take advantage of back to school sales

Apples

There are a lot of “back to school” sales this time of year making it a great time to buy office supplies, computers, small electronics, bedding and other household items.

A couple of years ago I took advantage of the “college” section in one store and bought a toaster and a new crockpot. Both were on sale. August seems to be the best time for sales on items that might be used in a dorm room.

Microwave ovens, laundry baskets, bedding, towels and other items can be found discounted at back to school sales. Kind of like Christmas during the summer.

This year I bought a new laptop on sale $200 dollars off the original price. I am considering a new sheet feed scanner and looking for sales.

August and September the months that I buy all of my office supplies. My business is fairly paperless but I do use some office supplies and this is the time of year that I stock up for the whole year. I’ll buy paper, pens, notebooks, folders, glue, markers and art supplies.

My own offspring are beyond school age . . which means I have more money that I can use to buy school supplies to be donated to children who need them.

This summer is going way to fast.