• General
  • Back to small business sales

    silver maple
    Maple leaves

    School starts in a couple of weeks. There are a lot of sales and it is a great time to buy office supplies, computers, small electronics, bedding and other household items. I took advantage of the “college” section in one store and scored a pretty nice toaster and a new crockpot. Both were on sale. August seems to be the best time for sales on items that might be used in a dorm room.

    September is the month for buying office supplies. My business is fairly paperless but I do use some office supplies and this is the time of year that I stock up for the whole year. I’ll buy paper, pens, notebooks, folders and art supplies.

    Sometime between September and November I’ll be replacing my decade old laser printer with something smaller and wireless too.

    My own offspring are beyond school age . . which means I have money.

  • General
  • Delayed closings

    Delayed real estate closings are almost as common as on time closings. There isn’t any penalty for lenders who can not make the closing date but for buyers and sellers there are penalties. Sometimes a seller can not close on a home they just bought. Occasionally families have to move out of a rental and have no place to go.

    Closing date

    The loan officer will tell the buyers that he/she can handle the closing date but there are many other departments and parties involved in the process. It isn’t unusual to check in with the lender the week before the closing and find out everything is on track only to find out the week of the closing that it will be delayed.

    Closings on any kind of condo or townhouse are far more likely to face closing delays than other types of real estate sales. In some of the downtown condo buildings it has gotten ridiculous.

    Buyers and sellers need to understand that closings are more likely to happen on time if there are at least 45 days between the time the offer is made and the closing date. With condos allow at least 50 days. Closings are more likely to be on time with conventional financing and if the buyer is making a large down payment like 20%. However is it possible to have an on time closing with 3.5% down and an FHA loan.

    Sometimes closings are delayed for hours, or days or even weeks.  Month long delays are not very common but it can happen.

    Some lenders blame the new TRID (TILA RESPA) rules which require the final numbers for persons borrowing money to be available three business days before the closing. I think it is more complicated than that and if there were some penalty to lenders for delayed closings there would be no such thing as a delayed closing. It makes sense to have “delayed closing” rules and laws as part of any consumer protection law that affects mortgage loans on home purchases.

    Home buyers and sellers need to understand that a home sale or purchase may not close on time but most will probably close eventually which isn’t useful information when scheduling a move. Sometimes buyers can get the sellers to agree to an early move in date. Other times the sellers can not move because they need the proceeds from the sale of their home to close on another home. One delayed closing can impact several closings.

  • Architecture
  • Types of porches

    I love homes with porches. I have two of them and neither is enclosed. It is like having a couple of extra rooms during the warmer months.

    What is a porch? I like to say it is just like the decks in suburbia but with a roof over it. There are a few flavors of porch and sometimes they can even be included as part of the total square footage of a home.

    4-Season Porch/Sunroom
    A 4-season porch is a room that functions as an interior room, but allows you to take in the views of the outdoors year-round. It has permanent heat and is included in the finished square footage of the home.

    3-Season Porch
    A 3-season porch has windows with integrated screen systems and can be used for long periods throughout the year. They can shield you from outdoor elements such as rain, wind, sun and insects, but 3-season porches are not heated. Therefore, it is not a part of finished square footage, but is considered an enclosed space.

    3 season proch
    3 season porch

    Screen Porch
    Screened porches are a covered porch that has screened openings instead of windows. A screened porch may be less sheltered from the outdoor elements, but still offers protection from the sun and bothersome insects in the summer. Screen porches should not be included in the finished square footage.

    Open Porch

    Just a deck with railings and a roof over it. A great place for plants and chairs or a porch swing. Not really even a one season porch here in Minnesota. More like a two month porch. These porches are very common in the oldest parts of St. Paul and no they can not be included in the finished square footage.

  • General
  • Have a Super Tuesday

    barrels of ?

    Yes today is super Tuesday and here in Minnesota instead of going to the polls and voting in a primary we “caucus”.  There will be voting on a whole bunch of  “party” stuff including which candidate to nominate to run for president. It is all very grass roots and sometimes takes a little patience.

    If you have never been to a caucus then you must go. They start at 7:00 PM and are held in your (precinct) area by your favorite political party, both major or minor. If you would like to find your precinct caucus visit the Minnesota secretary of state web site.

    I have read a few articles already about how a new president will impact residential real estate. Honestly there are several factors that have an impact on local real estate and since our national government is run by three branches and the president is only one of those branches he doesn’t have as much control as some would have us believe.

    Sometimes there are little advertisements on the internet about how the president lowered interest rates but the president doesn’t control the interest rates or forgive mortgages or anything like that.

    The Minnesota Public Radio web site has a caucus guide which really explains how it all works and they even a photograph with the information that I think really captures what a caucus feels like to most attendees.

    Have a super Tuesday!