First Time Home Buyers
It is true that is takes longer to sell a home in December than it does in October but in these parts we are talking about an average of 12 days, at least for the years that I took data samples. I recently read an article written by one of the big real estate media companies that indicated that homes sell quicker and for more money in the winter and that they are more likely to sell. I could not find local numbers to back that claim up but it is true that sometimes what “they say” makes the fall market sound worse than it is.
Homes are sold in the fall and winter in these parts and it is true that the buyers who are out house hunting in November are motivated and the sellers who put their homes on the market this time of year are really motivated.
We see an inventory reduction each fall which works out just fine because we have fewer home buyers out looking too. . . but maybe there are fewer buyers because there are fewer seller?
As for the media company the article sure sounded authoritative but when I looked at actual numbers I could see that it was just wrong. You really can’t believe everything you read on the internet and real estate is local which means that the national writers who provide generic content for national web sites don’t always get it right.
In these parts when someone says downtown we assume they mean downtown Minneapolis. When I mention downtown I mean downtown St. Paul. The St. Paul condo market has made a comeback. For a few years it seemed like we could not give them away. At one point there was a 15 month supply of condos on the market, right now there is about a 4.7 month supply as compared with a 3.5 month supply of all other housing types in St. Paul.
Right now there are 55 condos on the market downtown and 3 of them are distressed properties, which means they are in some stage of foreclosure. Average list price is $343K and the median list price is 192K. Average number of days on market is around 120. There are 11 units that are listed for less than 100K.
Ramsey county sells tax forfeiture property at auction several times a year. The county also has property for immediate sale like this vacant lot on Maria street on St. Paul’s east side. They want $8000.00 dollars for it. There is a list of other properties for sale on the counties web site.
Tax forfeiture property auctions are held several times a year. The minimum bid is the appraised value. The auctions are not absolute which means the property is sold to the highest bidder but only if the bid is high enough. The most common type of property I see on the auction lists is land.
It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. There isn’t anything more fun than the wonderful fall weather we have been having. It seems like mother nature is being extra kind to us this year. The fall colors are at peak in the twin cities right now which means the trees will soon be bare. Here is a photo I took yesterday from Indian Mounds Park. (click on photos to make them larger)
I took this one from the South side of the river earlier in the week.
Yes I had fun this week and I hope you did too.
For Home Sellers
The number of Home equity loans being applied for is up again. That means that home owners are more confident about the future and about home values which is a good thing. However every year people come to me who want to sell their home for an unrealistic amount of money because they have to pay off the money they borrowed against it.
The sad truth is that you can not simply ask for more money for your home because you don’t have enough equity to pay the selling costs, pay off the loans and have enough left over for a down payment on another home and maybe a little left over for a new car or some improvements on the lake home.
Homeowners sometimes act as though their home owes them a certain amount of money or that it is an almost endless supply of cash.
The less equity home owner has the more risky a home equity loan becomes. I think we need to keep in mind that any money borrowed has to be paid back . . . with interest. Personally i would rather not be trapped in a house that I can not afford to sell but people do it every day.
For Home Sellers
Here we go with the winterize your vacant home 2014 edition. This nice warm fall is bound to end one day.
October 15th is considered the beginning of the heating season here in the Twin Cities. If you home is vacant you need to either winterize it your self or hire a pro. The water needs to be turned off and the pipes drained. Home owners can do this themselves by turning off the water and turning on the faucets. Don’t forget to drain the toilets. The water heater needs to be drained and that isn’t that hard to do either it has a valve on it. There should also be a valve to shut off the gas to it.
Boilers are another matter. Hire a heating and plumbing contractor. As the weather gets colder heating contractors get pretty busy. Now would be a good time to schedule service or winterizing services.
Even if the heat is left on your home still needs to be winterized. If the furnace stops running and the pipes freeze trust me the home will be destroyed. I have seen how a home looks after a few pipes have burst and it isn’t a pretty picture.