• General
  • The Women’s March

    Women marched in St. Paul and in cities all over the world. According to the Saint Paul Police there were 100K people marching in St. Paul yesterday. There were so many people that we almost could not march. This is what a populist movement looks like.

    Women's March 1/21/2017 MN state capitol in St. paul
    Women’s March 1/21/2017 MN state capital in St. Paul, MN
    Colorful signs
    Colorful signs – we all want to be heard
    Men and children marched too
    Men and children marched too
    Young people and old people marched
    Young people and old people marched
    More signs
    More signs
    Marching in Minnesota
    View along march route

    Yesterday’s marches were epic and record breaking and they happened all over the world.

    I just had to post these pictures because I am afraid that our new president is going to say that it never happened. It did happen on January 21, 2017 and I was there, and so was my daughter and we took pictures.

  • First Time Home Buyers
  • Please read the disclosures

    house

    A truth in housing report is required for all homes being sold in St. Paul. It doesn’t matter if the home is being sold directly by the owner or by a real estate agent. The reports are created through a program administered by the City of St. Paul. Truth in housing reports are available to the public.

    Many Minnesota home sellers provide a sellers disclosure. There are numerous questions pertaining to the condition of the property. ” Material facts that could adversely and significantly affect an ordinary buyer’s use and enjoyment of the property or any intended use of the property of which the seller is aware should be disclosed”

    It is possible for a seller to be unaware of an issue. Maybe there is a leak that has not been discovered or a problem that can not be seen with the naked eye like a furnace that doesn’t work right. That is why it is so important to get a complete home inspection.

    Buyers need to read all of the disclosures and ask questions. Buyers need to ask about sections of the disclosure that are left  blank. On the Minnesota sellers disclosure there are many questions that are answered with a yes or a no, if the questions are not answered the buyer should ask about them.

    It doesn’t do buyers any good to have the disclosures if they do not read and understand them.

  • Local Market Conditions & home prices
  • Year end metro are real estate statistics

    2016XThese numbers come from a year end press release from the local Realtor Associations and are for the entire Twin Cities Metro area for 2016:

    Sellers listed 76,531 properties on the market, a 1.1 percent decrease from 2015

    Buyers closed on 59,988 homes, a 6.2 percent increase from 2015 and the highest figure since 2005

    Inventory levels for December fell 26.3 percent to 8,197 units compared to 11,125  in 2015—a 14-year low

    Months Supply of Inventory was down 30.4 percent to 1.6 months, also a 14-year low

    The Median Sales Price rose 5.5 percent to $232,000, which is an all-time record high

    Cumulative Days on Market declined 15.8 percent to 64 days, on average (median of 33)—a 10-year record low

    Changes in sales activity varied dramatically by market segment

      • Single-family sales rose 5.1 percent; condo sales rose 9.5 percent; townhome sales rose 9.9 percent
      • Traditional sales rose 10.0 percent; foreclosure sales fell 25.0 percent; short sales fell 31.1 percent
      • Previously-owned sales rose 5.7 percent; new construction sales rose 14.9 percent

    The most important achievement of 2016 was erasing the losses in prices and equity caused by the downturn” That may be true on average but I am still seeing pockets where home values are still on average lower than they were before the downturn.

  • Boardman Realty
  • How many Minnesota Realtors?

    Workbook1
    Minnesota NAR member count by year.

    I write this same or a very similar article every January. For many January is a magical month where people dream of freedom from the shackles of a 9 to 5 job. They do not yet realize that working on a 100% commission basis isn’t for everyone and that people like me die a little every time the president elect tweets about health care and wake up each morning unemployed.

    The chart shows how many Minnesotan’s are Realtors and the data is from the national association of Realtors. (NAR) Realtors are members of the national association of Realtors and Realtor is not a job title it is a membership. Not all Realtors have real estate licenses and not all members sell real estate but a large percentage of us do.

    A person with a real estate license can sell real estate without being a member of the NAR, yet the numbers on this chart accurately reflects a trend. The number of Realtors is rising but very slowly and what I find interesting is that new members are more than replacing retirees. The average age of a Realtors is going down but I believe it is still around 53 years of age.

    I did a quick check and believe that a greater number of homes were sold in 2016 in Minnesota than were sold in 2006 when there were more Realtors in the state.  Membership in NAR national wide decreased from the peak in 2006 and hit the low in 2012 and has been going up gradually ever since. It should be noted that there are about 7000 fewer of us today that there were in 2006.

  • General
  • Keep the dream alive

    Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2016, Monday, Jan. 16,  honors the slain civil rights icon near what would have been his 88th birthday.

    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

    – Martin Luther King, Jr 1963

    Let’s keep the dream alive and the hope that one day even a black man can drive a car with a burned out tail light and live to tell about it.

    The Twin Cities  are  home to some of the worst racial disparities in the country. In metrics across the board—household income, unemployment rates, poverty rates and education attainment—the gap between white people and people of color is significantly larger in Minnesota than it is most everywhere else. There is also a large gap in home ownership between people who are white and people of color. Homeowners have a significantly higher net worth than renters have.

     

    Dr. Martin Luther King Speaking at the University of Minnesota
    Dr. Martin Luther King Speaking at the University of Minnesota –

    Photograph from the Minnesota Historical Society collection

  • For Home buyers
  • Sundays are for open houses

    Dining room
    1741 Ashland Ave

    It is above zero today and the high will be in the 20’s. It is safe to go outside and there may even be some open houses. Here are a few open house tips:

    1.  Take off your shoes when you enter.

    2.  Sign in and give the nice real estate agent your contact information. He or she will follow up with you after the open.

    3.  If you are interested in the house be careful what you say in front of the agent and other potential buyers. You don’t want to say anything that may weaken your negotiating power later on.

    4.  Please remember that the agent holding the open house is representing the seller not you.

    5.  The agent holding the open may not be the listing agent and may not know much about the house.

    6.  There are questions that agents generally won’t or shouldn’t answer, like why the owner is selling and other information about the current owner or if the seller will take a  lower priced offer.

    Open houses are a great way to get into some homes and tour them. People who are serious about actually buying a home should understand that only a small percentage of homes that are for sale are open on a particular Sunday. The whole point of an open house isn’t to sell the house but it is a way that real estate agents can meet potential home buyers and sellers too.

    The neighbor’s like to come to open houses too. Sometimes it is curiosity other times it helps them decide how they want to stage and price their own home.

    Home buyers should not wait for an open house to see a home that is for sale.  There are many homes that are for sale that are never held open. While you are waiting another buyer is scheduling a private showing and making an offer.