For Home Sellers
The number of Home equity loans being applied for is up again. That means that home owners are more confident about the future and about home values which is a good thing. However every year people come to me who want to sell their home for an unrealistic amount of money because they have to pay off the money they borrowed against it.
The sad truth is that you can not simply ask for more money for your home because you don’t have enough equity to pay the selling costs, pay off the loans and have enough left over for a down payment on another home and maybe a little left over for a new car or some improvements on the lake home.
Homeowners sometimes act as though their home owes them a certain amount of money or that it is an almost endless supply of cash.
The less equity home owner has the more risky a home equity loan becomes. I think we need to keep in mind that any money borrowed has to be paid back . . . with interest. Personally i would rather not be trapped in a house that I can not afford to sell but people do it every day.
For Home Sellers
Here we go with the winterize your vacant home 2014 edition. This nice warm fall is bound to end one day.
October 15th is considered the beginning of the heating season here in the Twin Cities. If you home is vacant you need to either winterize it your self or hire a pro. The water needs to be turned off and the pipes drained. Home owners can do this themselves by turning off the water and turning on the faucets. Don’t forget to drain the toilets. The water heater needs to be drained and that isn’t that hard to do either it has a valve on it. There should also be a valve to shut off the gas to it.
Boilers are another matter. Hire a heating and plumbing contractor. As the weather gets colder heating contractors get pretty busy. Now would be a good time to schedule service or winterizing services.
Even if the heat is left on your home still needs to be winterized. If the furnace stops running and the pipes freeze trust me the home will be destroyed. I have seen how a home looks after a few pipes have burst and it isn’t a pretty picture.
If you own real estate in Minnesota property taxes are due tomorrow, and they can be mailed or paid electronically or in person as late as tomorrow. Often those taxes are added into the mortgage payment and sent out by the mortgage company on or before May 15th and October 15th. The mortgage company has a lien on the property but the government has the first lien and it has a priority. It is in the mortgage companies best interests to make sure the property taxes are paid.
It is fairly easy for property owners to forget to pay the taxes. We get one property tax statement a year. The taxes are payable to the county that the property is located in and many if not most Minnesota counties accept online payments and all accept personal checks by mail or in person payments.
For Home buyers
Moving isn’t a lot of fun. I got to do it myself this year except I didn’t actually get to move but moved family members, sold their home and cleaned it out. Often my home seller clients want to leave cans of paint behind for the buyers. They suggest that the new owners will use the paint for touch-ups. I encourage the buyers I work with to have the paint removed from the home before they take possession because they are never going to use that paint. They will add paint cans of their own to what is already there and end up storing a lot of paint that they will have to deal with some day.
Last week I gathered up all the partial cans of paint and brought them to the closest Ramsey county collection site. [List of collection sites for Ramsey County] They don’t just take paint they take hazardous household waste. I gathered up paint thinner, garden and cleaning chemicals that can not be dumped down the drain or thrown in the trash.
Some of the paint that goes to the collection site is re-used. Free paint and other materials can be picked up at the reuse site located at 5 Empire Drive in St. Paul.
What is in your basement? How about the garage?
St. Paul MN
Highland Park water tower
The old Highland park water tower isn’t in use anymore but is open for tours today from 9:00 to 5:00. It seems to be attracting people from all over. I had to explain to one woman that Minneapolis can be seen to the west of St. Paul and it is always to the west and never to the east. The tower is located on Snelling Avenue in between Highland Parkway and Montreal street. If you go inside and just kind of shove the children out of the way when you get to the top there is a wonderful view of St. Paul and you can see clear to Minneapolis.
It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. There isn’t anything more fun that the Saint Paul Art Crawl. An opportunity to see and buy local art. See the art crawl site for a map and times.