• Architecture
  • Bad remodels

    Bungalo
    Bungalow

    There are renovations that are beautiful but they can also be what I like to call home wreckers. For example take a small historic home, rip out a few walls and put in a gourmet kitchen with granite counter tops and of course those ubiquitous stainless steel appliances. The kitchen now takes up 1/3 of the first floor and is done in one style while the rest of the house is another style.

    The kitchen looks nice and so does the rest of the home but they don’t go together at all and I have seen a few remodels where the rest of the living space was reduced or moved to a lower level to make room for a larger kitchen. Yes it is true that the kitchen often sells the home but having fewer bedrooms and baths will hurt the salability of the large kitchen.

    I think it is alright to do most anything to our homes to accommodate our lifestyles and our tastes but expecting to make money or even recoup the cost of a some of the strange renovations I see isn’t realistic and sometimes what one owner thinks of as an improvement keeps a potential buyer from making an offer.

    There are two homes in my area that have been strangely and expensively upgraded. One took almost a year to sell and sold for 40K less than comparable homes and the other has been on and off the market for the last 18 months. They will need to drop the price another 20K if they want to sell it. The owners are trying to get the money they put into the upgrade back.

     

  • First Time Home Buyers
  • Home is for gardening

    Crocus

    One of the joys of homeownership is gardening. I planted the Crocus on the south side of house many years ago so I can enjoy them every year. They always come up and each year there are a few more than there were the year before.

    Most summer flowers, fruit and vegetables like full sun. Home buyers who are serious about gardening will look for a house on a lot with few trees.  Sometimes things change and gardens have to be moved but that only happens to people like me who stay in one place for a long time.

    The daffodils will come up next, followed by tulips, and then peonies. After that I have lilies and roses too. Spring is my busiest time of the year so I have to keep it simple. I struggle to get my vegetable garden in and to keep it all weeded. Each year I simplify it a little more. I have to at least have flowers, herbs, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers.

  • Boardman Realty
  • From the dash board

    The screen shot is from the “dash board” in our MLS. I have posted these before. It is a real estate snap shot of the last 7 days. It is pretty easy to see why the inventory of homes on the market is staying so low. The number of homes that have “pended” or have offers on them and are probably going to close is higher than the number of homes that were listed.

    MLS dashboard – Saint Paul MN

    There are actually fewer than 300 homes on the market in St. Paul that do not have offers on them. This is good news for sellers but maybe not good news for buyers. There are people who are waiting to sell but they won’t until they find a home to buy.

    We seem to be in a kind of holding pattern. Most of my clients who are sellers during the last six months have been people who were selling a home or condo that they had been renting out. Often these sellers live out of state, are over 55 and I never actually meet them in person. In every case the home was sold to someone who is living in it rather than renting it out. Usually the desire to sell is triggered by a tenant moving out and owners who do not wish to find a new tenant.

  • Downtown
  • Downtown Condo sales strong

    The demand for downtown condos is strong and prices are almost as high as they were before the crash. There are still downtown condo owners who are renting out their unit waiting for the price to go up. People who purchased a condo between 2006 and 2008 may still be underwater. Owners who bought foreclosures in 2009 and 2011 should have a decent amount of equity.

    There are currently 39 units on the market downtown ranging in price from $112,000 to $1,888,000.00. I guess there is something for everyone.

    For information about units in a particular building give me a call or send an email.

  • Boardman Realty
  • Selling “as is”

    living room

    Homeowners often ask if they can sell their home “as is”. Most any home can be sold as it is. Buyers should always have a complete home inspection so that they know what they are buying. Sellers do not have to make repairs.

    Often sellers agree to some repairs because they can get more money for their home. First time home buyers will want to pay $1000 less for a home if it needs $200 dollars in repairs.

    For some selling a home “as is” means not replacing the old carpeting or worrying about the cost of replacing those ancient kitchen appliances. As long as the home is priced accordingly nothing has to be replaced or upgraded. If the house is in poor shape there are people who will buy it and fix it up, just don’t expect top dollar for it.

    Home owners who would like to make improvements or repairs for a better resale value should consider less expensive repairs and upgrades like cleaning, painting and putting in a backsplash in the kitchen and maybe some new light fixtures and window treatments. Go ahead and paint, repair or replace that front door and add a door bell. Put a nice big pot of flowers by the front door, weather permitting.