• 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.

    F
    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.

    chart1
    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

    youtube

    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:

    nlihc_org_sites_default_files_oor_OOR_2015_FULL_pdf
    national low income housing coalition

    This is not o.k.

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

    apps

    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.