My favorite weed

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. The milkweed is blooming. I have been growing the stuff in my flower bed even before people started growing pollinator gardens. I always thought it was pretty.

My husband always thought it was a weed.  It has been a challenge to keep it away from his lawn mower and weed whacker.  The milkweed plant is native and it provides food and housing for the monarch butterfly and caterpillar. The bees seem to like it too. Let it grow.



Nationally home prices are up, sales are down

Home sales are down slightly. It isn’t because people are not buying homes, it is because fewer people are selling homes. Demand remains strong and that has driven prices up.

“Incredibly low supply continues to be the primary impediment to more sales, but there’s no question the combination of higher prices and mortgage rates are pinching the budgets of prospective buyers, and ultimately keeping some from reaching the market,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

Median existing-home sale prices in the U.S. hit a record $264,800. The number of existing home sales declined for the 3rd month. Here in St. Paul average days on market have dropped below 25 for the months of April, May, and June.

Click graphic to enlarge –

If you are planning on selling your home now might be a better time to do it. The infographic does not have numbers for the bold North, but you can contact me for local real estate numbers and I can evaluate your home and let you know about how much it will sell for.

Snow in June it happens every year

Clearing the steps April 15th

I’ll admit I write about this every year. There hasn’t been any snow on the ground in these parts for a couple of months. Homes are selling quickly yet I still see a lot of snow in listing photos.

Home buyers and agents know the home has been on the market for awhile. Real estate professionals know that the agent listing the home isn’t doing a very good job. Maybe the sellers don’t care but they should.

Back when it took months to sell a home instead of hours or days we sometimes had to take pictures of houses two or three times to reflect the season and to freshen up the marketing.

It is super easy to take a new picture and upload it so that the first thing a buyer sees is a picture of the home that was taken in June. Sometimes changing the picture will actually attract more buyers who will notice the home more than they notice the snow.





Your friend isn’t very good at home inspections

I think I have been on a zillion home inspections with home buyers. Sometimes home buyers have a friend or relative who has a background in construction or who is a handyman or contractor conduct a home inspection.

What could possibly go wrong? Usually, these helpful friends or relatives miss a few important things. They don’t check the furnace or the water heater. They miss the fact the garbage disposal doesn’t work or that the new furnace does not have a filter in it.

They might not notice missing window screens or even cracked window glass. They may miss the gaps between the showe

r surround and the bathroom wall, or that the back door lacks any kind of weather stripping.

The helpful and knowledgeable friend does not use a systematic approach nor does he give the home buyer a report with pictures and recommendations. Usually the friend does an incomplete or partial inspection. If they are not familiar with the older houses in the inner city they may not know what some of the common problems are like ungrounded electrical systems and tree roots in sewer systems.

On the one hand, the buyer saves money because professional inspectors will generally charge at least $300. On the other hand, they may end up paying for repairs that they could have had the seller pay for if they had known about them during the inspection period.

If you buy a house you might need a few things

Buying a house is a big step. First time home buyers will spend money on all sorts of things they had not considered before.

Shovels. Snow and dirt shovels.

At least one garden hose

A rake or two

A lawnmower

Buckets, yes buckets.

Small hand tools like screwdrivers, hammers, and pliers.

A sprinkler or two?

A snow blower?

A grill, gas or charcoal or both.

Dehumidifier for the basement.



putty knife



The list goes on and on. You don’t need it all the day you move in but you should plan ahead and make a list, pace yourself.