• 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.

  • Boardman Realty
  • I can’t work without my phone


    My job has gotten easier because of all the smart phone apps we now have. Some of the apps even talk to each other so that if I find a home for sale in app number 1, which is our MLS app I can click on a link and schedule a showing which will end up in app number 2 which is for showings.  I can click on a link in app number 2,” ShowingTime” and it will launch app number three which is Google maps so that I know how to get to the house.

    App number 4 is for opening electronic key boxes. The app also keeps track of my keyboxes and contains all of the shackle codes but it is a stand alone app. Integration with the showing app would be awesome and it would be super cool if the showing app were integrated with the MLS app in such a way that I could launch the MLS app through the showing app so that when my client asks a question about the house I have all the information in front of me instead of having to search for it.

    App number 5 is a flashlight app, which is one of the most useful apps I have for seeing into the dark corners of basements where furnaces, water heaters and electrical panels hide in the dark.

    There is another app I use to find in depth information about homes that are on and off the market and that is the RPR (Realtors Property Resource) app.  I would have taken a screen shot but was trying to keep it simple. With RPR I can learn more about the history of a property and additional information that I use to figure out value.

    I’ll just bet that all five of the apps I use could be combined so that they work backwards and forwards and upside down. . . . someday.