• General
  • Don’t believe everything you see


    People must be gullible. I am seeing still slide shows on the interenet that have audio with them where people are talking. I don’t know if it is the people who are pictured who are talking or if it is someone else but I am supposed to believe that it is a secret video of people doing something wrong.

    Yesterday I saw a bar chart that was supposed to prove that the “media” universally favors one presidential candidate over another. My interpretation of the numbers was that the media is covering the topic that will result in the most sensational headlines. There are also leaked emails that don’t mean much to me but I guess they are important. What bothers the most is  that the email was stolen and published and is being used as a weapon. That seems so wrong.

    There are some who say the fact checking sites are biased. I don’t think that is true. If you see something on the internet it might be a good idea to fact check it before re-tweeting or posting on Facebook.  It is fairly easy to spread lies and half truths. It is as irresponsible as yelling “fire” in a crowded theater to suggest that the election will be rigged.

    The election cycle is wearing on a lot of us out. We just want it to be over. If you live in St. Paul you can go vote today at 90 Plato Blvd. Once you have voted ask you friends and family members to do the same. This election is very important and everyone who is eligible should vote.

  • General Real Estate News
  • The TRID excuse

    As a home buyer or seller maybe you have heard of TRID or maybe not. TRID is an acronym for a bunch of consumer protections laws that went into effect last year. Those laws require more disclosure to consumers about their loans and the associated fees. Borrowers get three business days to review closing disclosures before they sign at the closing.  In the past borrowers often got numbers shortly before the closing or even at the closing.

    The new closing documents are somewhat easier to understand as well. These laws protect borrowers. However we are finding that lenders need more time to get loans written and closing delays are very common.

    The only three changes that would require a new three-day review period:

    Yet there are lenders who are using the words “three days” and “TRID regulations” and attaching them to all sorts of loan conditions. They want documents three days before the closing that we used to bring to the closing.

    I have mentioned this before but about 100% of the time either the lender or the underwriter will be on vacation the week before the home sale is supposed to close and that by it self pretty much hoses everything up.

    If you are buying or selling just be aware that the closing date ins’t something that the lenders have to honor.


  • General Real Estate News
  • Interest rates are falling

    We have been expecting interest rates on home mortgages to rise but they have been falling since the “brexit” vote last week. On Monday, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.46 percent, near the lowest average since late 2012, realtor.com® reports. In other good news the number of homes on the market in St. Paul is slowly rising giving buyers a few more choices but inventories are still at historic lows.

    Freddie Mac mortgage rates
  • General Real Estate News
  • There are enough REALTORS

    We have never had a shortage of Realtors® but there are fewer of us than there were back during the peak in 2006. A Realtor® is a member of the National Association of Realtors. The majority of  real estate agents in Minnesota are Realtors®, but REALTOR is not a job title, and it isn’t pronounced “reel-it-ter” .

    Here are some national and state wide statistics on National Association of REALTORS membership.

    Nar membership in the U.S.

    NAR membership in Minnesota

    Minnesota NAR membership
    Minnesota NAR membership

    There is a high concentration of REALTORS in the twin cities. Not all members sell real estate full time. Some are part time and others are brokers who manage others but who do not sell.

    In the last year the average age of REALTORS has gone from 57 to 53 indicating that there might be some agents retiring. I am not sure why anyone would want to retire, especially if they are self employed but it happens all the time.

  • General Real Estate News
  • Do it yourself


    When it comes to home repair or maybe some upgrades there are things we can do ourselves. One great way to find out more about how to do something is to go to youtube and watch a video. I have used youtube to learn how to do all sorts of things that I did not know how to do and have successfully fixed things without getting into trouble and without having any left over parts.

    Sometimes after watching a video I am certain that I want to hire someone to do the work, all I have to do is look at the required tools and supplies and I know that I am not going to be able to do it myself.

    It is a good idea to stay away from gas lines and from electrical work and everyone should know where the main water and electrical shut offs are in their home.

    I have also used youtube videos to fix computers and sometimes I watch video to learn how to use a function on my smart phone, tablet or on my camera. Watching a video took some of the fear out of taking the wheel off of my bike so that I could repair a flat tire. I just put my iPad and my bike on the back porch and went to town.  There are video tutorials about landscaping and sewing too. If you want to learn something new try watching a video.

  • General Real Estate News
  • Housing for minimum wage earners

    According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there is no state in the country in which a minimum wage worker can afford a one-bedroom rental unit while working a 40-hour week without paying more than 30% of their income. [Click on graphics to make them large and easier to read]

    from http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/oor/OOR_2015_FULL.pdf


    Here are some Minnesota specific numbers:

    national low income housing coalition

    This is not o.k.