• For Home buyers
  • sometimes you need to use the phone

    Pay phone
    pay phone

    Lately I have been getting  bogus emails asking me to sign a contract for a real estate transaction. The name of the client and the companies are not familiar to me so I know that it really is phishing as opposed to actual hacking and I rarely click on links in emails anyway.

    If you get an email from a real estate agent requesting earnest money it is probably legitimate if it is from your agent and you are buying a house and you just signed a purchase agreement. However it wouldn’t hurt to call the agent to verify if the agent did not tell you ahead of time that you will get an email from “TrustFunds” asking you to click on a link.

    Yahoo email was recently hacked. We have quite a few agents in the metro area who use Yahoo mail. If your agent is one of them you might want to call them or text them if you get an unusual email from them.



  • General
  • Wealth Distribution in the U.S.


    We live in a country where the top 1% controls over 35% of the wealth and the government too but no one really cares because people just figure if they work hard enough they will be in the upper 1% too. I am sure it can happen to me. I just need to work harder. 🙂

    The chart was taken from an article by Pew Research [5 facts about income inequality] If we look at some actual numbers income looks like this:

    Top 1%: $380,354

    Top 5%: $159,619

    Top 10%: $113,799

    Top 25%: $67,280

    Top 50%: >$33,048

    The economic recovery has not been equal across the board. The wealthiest Americans have made the greatest gains. The data is from 2010.

    I always find the chart shocking. I am reposting it because of the mention of trickle down economics in the recent presidential debate.

  • Local Market Conditions & home prices
  • St. Paul homes selling quickly


    Going into fall and winter homes are still selling quickly with an average of about 45 cumulative days on market. Not too shabby. We are still experiencing a strong sellers market.

    Median sales prices in the Saintly city are around $178,000. The number of homes on the market remains low but appears to be going up slightly which is much better than going down slightly.

    I’ll have more numbers next week.

  • For Home buyers
  • What is a “free CMA”

    Forbes Ave
    Little Bohemia neighborhood

    I still see real estate agents advertising free CMA’s. A CMA is a competitive or comparative market analysis designed to answer the questions: “How much is my home worth?” or more accurately “How much is it likely to sell for?”

    Knowing how much a home is worth or likely to sell for is useful or those who are planning to sell. However I have never heard of a real estate agent charging for a CMA, therefore all CMA’s provided by real estate agents are free and the advertising seems misleading.  Kind of like marketing gluten free apples when apples don’t have gluten in them in the first place.

    That might be a bad analogy but you know what I mean. CMA’s should not be confused with appraisals done by banks for the purpose of using real estate as collateral for a loan.

    In a CMA an experience real estate agents finds three comparable properties that were recently sold in an area close to the home that is being priced and uses the information to come up with a likely sale price. We use a kind of fuzzy logic that computers don’t seem to get. It is part art and part science and it does help to actually see the home in person but that isn’t required.

    . . and yes call or write and I’ll do a “free” CMA 🙂