Cheap or inexpensive?

light fixture

To me, the words “cheap” and “inexpensive” are not interchangeable. We are all looking for a bargain and that is understandable.

A cheap house might be s split level in the burbs built in the 1980’s. It has 2000+ square feet of finished living space and an attached two car garage.

It may also have the least expensive old furnace made in the 1990’s and floors covered in vinyl or inexpensive carpeting. The kitchen cabinets are made of some kind of a composite and the counter is plastic.

The wood trim might be very thin and the fixtures in the bathrooms are the least expensive faucets, sinks, toilets and tubs found at the big box home repair store.

The word cheap means:  of little account; of small value; mean; shoddy. At least that is what it means to me. 

An inexpensive house might be small and a little run down. It has hardwood floors and a brick fireplace and a newer 40-year roof and high-efficiency furnace.

To me inexpensive means: low-costmodesteconomicalcompetitiveaffordablereasonable, budget or even bargain.

It is a matter of individual taste of course but I strongly favor inexpensive over cheap, especially in housing. As prices keep rising even inexpensive homes are getting more expensive but bargains can still be found.

The word “cheap” is common in Internet-based home searches but I am not going to use it as a keyword in this post.

Minnesota grown and preserved in St. Paul

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I have a vegetable garden and I go to the Farmer’s market every week. My diet these days is mostly vegetables.

I have been drying some of my veggies and fermenting them too. I found my grandmother’s recipe for homemade sauerkraut and it became my first fermentation experiment. It turned out to be like a gateway that lead to fermented beets and cucumbers.

It has a wonderful flavor and is loaded with good bacteria that is not cooked or pasteurized out.

Dried beets are mighty tasty and easy to make. Just slice them thin and put them in a food dehydrator and four to six hours later they are crispy but still taste like fresh beets.

Peppers are particularly easy to dry and since I have cut way back on the salt they come in handy for seasoning all those veggies I have been eating.

dried beets
Drying beets

I love the summer. The tomatoes are getting ripe now and I have a huge jar of cucumbers fermenting away in the basement. There are plenty of fresh herbs and fresh Raspberries too.


Median home prices up in St. Paul

Median home prices have gone up everywhere but compared with the entire Twin Cities metro area home prices in St. Paul increased by a greater percentage. The median price increased by an average of 7.1% in the metro area and 10.3% for St. Paul.

For the last few months, the number of homes on the market has been slowly rising but demand is so strong that there is less than a two month supply of homes on the market.

Twin cities median home values

Artificial deadlines for offers

greek revival
Greek Revival style

Everyone who is buying or selling a home knows that they go pretty fast and some homes sell with multiple offers. In the last couple of days, I have encountered a couple of situations where real estate agents have set a deadline for offers but there were no offers.

If you are a real estate agent or a home seller you need to know that there is a huge difference between someone saying he/she is going to make an offer and actually getting an offer.

Let me repeat it. There is a huge difference between someone saying he/she is going to make an offer and actually getting an offer.

Generally, there is no deadline for making an offer on a home that is on the market. If someone makes an offer and there are other interested parties then there is a reason to create a deadline.  Deadlines are needed when there is an offer on the table or the offerer may decide to withdraw it.

Creating an artificial multiple offer situation can result in no offers because some buyers do not want to compete in multiple offer situations.

Let me repeat this. There are buyers who will not make an offer on a home if others are also making offers.

An agent recently called me to tell me that one of my buyers may be interested in his listing but he has an offer but if my client can look at it right away and make an offer they will extend the deadline for highest and best offer. Nice!

Home sellers can only accept one offer and if it is a good offer they might want to accept it before the offer gets away.

Make sure you list your house with an agent who knows how to handle multiple offers. It could mean the difference between getting multiple offers or not.

City sidewalks what could possibly go wrong?

Bird Scooter

I walk a lot. At least three miles a day, often closer to five or more miles a day. Many of those miles are in the downtown St. Paul area. I can tell you the sidewalks in St. Paul are a challenge. There are a lot of cement heaves caused by tree roots and actual potholes in many locations. I have tripped more than once and gotten injured more than once.

People walk down the street in downtown St. Paul without ever taking their eyes off of their phones.  Usually, they are moving slow enough so that I can stay out of their way.

In the downtown area, there are places where it is impossible to ride a bike in the street so people ride the green Nice Ride bikes up on the sidewalk.

There are other obstacles too like entire restaurants on the sidewalk leaving a thin walking path right next to the pothole-filled street with no bike lane.

Crossing a street at an intersection is a challenge. I end up yelling and pounding on car hoods to get them to see me. I have been thinking about getting some kind of a flag I can wave.

Now there are electric scooters on the sidewalk. I am told that it isn’t safe to ride them in the streets downtown so they ride on the sidewalk. Apparently, the train tracks and potholes are just too much for them.

What could possibly go wrong with scooters on the same bumpy broken sidewalks where people dine, walk, look at their phones and ride bikes?

Walking can be a good source of exercise. We should be able to safely walk on city sidewalks. How walkable a neighborhood has an impact on property values.