Climate migration to the bold north

MN Capitol
Minnesota Capitol building

Some folks consider the idea of climate change to be political and others do not believe the climate is changing.

Climate change is kind of like gravity, in that it will exist for everyone even if those who don’t believe in it.

Last week I was contacted by a couple of home buyers who want to move to Minnesota because they believe that it will be a great place to survive climate change.

As one caller pointed out we are not on the coast so rising oceans are not a concern and neither are hurricanes or earthquakes.

Houses are more affordable here than they are in many other places.

We have water in Minnesota, and blue skies and lots of green after the white goes away.

We have jobs. In fact, the unemployment rate in Minnesota is generally lower than the national average. Our economy is strong and diverse.

For people who have money, there are good schools and good medical care in Minnesota.

There are plenty of recreational activities because of the more than ten thousand lakes. Fishing, camping hiking, biking, snowmobiling boating, sailing and so much more.

We rarely see temperatures over 90 degrees but -30 isn’t unheard of.

The state of Minnesota appears at the top of the lists of states that are well run and on solid financial footing.

Yes, we have theaters and art galleries and concert halls in Minnesota. In St. Paul we have art crawls and music in the parks.

People who come to Minnesota from other places often comment on how clean our cities are.

New construction in St. Paul

There is very little new construction in St. Paul and prices start at over half a million for a single-family home.

There is always some affordable in-fill type construction where someone buys a lot and builds a house on it. Expect few opportunities and multiple offers.

Some of the new construction is on small lots where small houses used to be. I have seen a few where the house barely fits on the lot and towers over its neighbors.

There are new luxury apartments in St. Paul and some new hotels too. There has been some building going on since the great recession but very little affordable housing.

I don’t want to chase anyone away but in general, the houses in St. Paul are old because St. Paul is old.

If you don’t like old houses and want to new construction that is affordable head on out to the suburbs. For new construction that is priced for less than 250K try Isanti county.

New construction – 600Kish

Shoveling the walk isn’t enough

I thought I would just start the work with a public service message. The fire hydrants are buried in the snow.  That makes it hard for our local firefighters to hook up a hose quickly.  They need our help.  Grab your shovel and clear the snow around the fire hydrant on your block.

It is going to be warm and sunny today, above freezing even. 🙂

Real estate teams are not always what you think they are

There are teams in sports. On a baseball team, everyone has a position and each player is responsible for playing his position to help the team win.

In business, the word “team” is used to refer to a group of people who work for the same company, department or office. We like to use sports analogies in business because they are easier for men to understand.

A team is a group of people who work together to achieve a common goal.

In real estate the point of a team is so that team members can get “leads” and so that the team leader can make more money. The leader gets some of the agent’s commissions. For new agents, teams can be a great way to get some hands-on experience and training but to be honest that is what a broker is supposed to provide.

Sometimes the clients of real estate teams get this mental picture of several people working on selling their home or finding them a new one but it almost never works that way. One agent works on selling the house while the others work with other clients or on lead capture.

If I call a team and ask about a home for sale usually no one but the actual listing agent knows anything about the home. In fact, it seems like they don’t even talk to each other. They don’t actually help each other when problems arise and they do not tap into each others expertise. Homes do not sell faster because they are listed by a real estate team.

Some teams do work together. There are a couple of smaller teams where each person on the team knows what is going on. I can call one team member and ask another team members listing or offer. Often these teams are families or couples who work together.

Teams are popular among agents because they are a great way for experienced agents to make more money and a way for inexperienced agents to get some experience.

Large teams operate like a company within a company. Some team leaders end up starting their own real estate company, other teams act and operate like a separate company, within a company.

It gets complicated. In the end, working with a team may not help you achieve your goals.  Sometimes working with a team means that after the team lists your house the only person you will talk to is an assistant because the lead agent who sells the real estate spends his/her time getting new business.

Go, team!

I want to ride my bike

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I’ll just say that I am tired of Winter. Spring really isn’t that far away so I started imagining some of the things I will be doing as soon as the snow melts. I know I can bike n the winter and many people do but I don’t. 🙂

Here are some pictures I have taken on bike rides. They are a break from snowstorms and cold and a reminder of what green looks like. Most were taken within or very near the city limits.

One of my favorite places to bike is Lilydale Regional Park. The park is along the river and pickerel lake where there is a lot of wildlife. I also enjoy the woods and the wildflowers.

I also like to use the bike for transportation. I take it to the grocery store and to the farmer’s market, the bank and to my Lowertown office.

Looking for homes to buy

Right now I have at least a half dozen home buyers who are pre-approved for a loan and well qualified to buy a home. There are so few houses on the market it is hard to find that perfect home for that wonderful home buyers.

Yesterday I started looking through some of the homes that were on the market last year but did not sell and were taken off the market. There are one or two homes that could work for my clients and I’ll be contacting those homeowners today to see if they still want to sell.

If you had your home on the market last year and it did not sell and if you still want to sell it now might be a good time to try it again. I found a couple of homes that were priced too high last fall but prices continue to go up.

A few of the homes that did not sell looked dark and dingy due to poor interior photographs. That is an easy problem to solve.

There are also several homes that had offers on them but it looks like buyer and seller were unable to agree on terms after the inspection. Getting through the inspection phase can be challenging but most of the time we can come to an agreement that works for both parties.

If you would like a free no obligation consultation about what it would take to sell your home please contact me.

Restored homes – Little Bohemia neighborhood