• 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.

  • General Real Estate News
  • Secret cell phone numbers

    Pay phone
    pay phone

    One of the most challenging parts of my job is getting phone calls returned and emails answered. There are real estate agents who have secret cell phone numbers so that they don’t actually have to talk to other agents. Usually these numbers are available to their clients and can easily be found by using Google.

    I remember the time I sent a text message to a real estate agent who is kind of a big deal and how surprised he was that I had his cell phone number. His office told me that they could not give it out.  I found it on the internet. He was trying to avoid me and ended up having to answer a question that one of my clients had.

    Some of these agents are all about numbers but not phone numbers. Oh well another day another dollar.

  • General Real Estate News
  • Just passing through

    Many west 7th street businesses do not want a light rail line running down the middle of West 7th street. I am not in favor of it either for several reasons. I have attended a few of the public meetings and have concluded that the opinions of people in the neighborhood are not really taken seriously. Feel free to stop inside a West 7th business and sign the petition.

    No Light Rail line on west 7th
    No Light Rail line on west 7th


    Businesses say no
    Businesses say no


  • General Real Estate News
  • Vacant lots for sale

    The city of Saint Paul Has 27 vacant lots for sale. Fill out and application by May 20th 2016 and you too could become a land owner. In the real estate business we call it buying dirt.

    How to make a lot vacant
    How to make a lot vacant

    Here is how it works:

    Individuals and businesses have the opportunity to submit an application to purchase the vacant lots, and will be considered and accepted according to four priorities:

    1. Sale for construction of commercial or residential structures that create
    jobs or housing opportunity and increase Saint Paul’s tax base.

    2. Neighborhood uses that provide a public benefit, such as community gardens,
    pocket parks, public plazas, public art installations, or others.

    3. Sale as a vacant lot to adjacent property owners.

    4. Sale for the purpose of land banking.

    Note: Commercial uses are not currently being considered.

    Learn more on the city web site

    All too often these lots are sold to adjacent neighbors who incorporate them into their existing property which is kind of a shame because living in the city isn’t about large lots, which is why suburbs were invented.

    I don’t like the big gaping holes left by the housing market crash, and the great recession. I would like to see small rental units put on the lots. Tiny houses or housing pods. If we can build ginormous houses on little lots why can’t we build a few small affordable places to live on a little lot?

    How to make a lot vacant