First Time Home Buyers

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Saint Paul

Some of the home buyers who come to me looking for a real estate agent already have one, but it isn’t working out so well. Often what they tell me is that their agent doesn’t really know St. Paul and is either getting lost all of the time or trying to talk them out of living in St. Paul and into living someplace else and are often unable to answer simple questions on the spot.

There are all kinds of real estate agents who list St. Paul on their web sites as an area that they serve, but many of those agents have never sold a home in St. Paul, and many know very little about our fair city except that “St. Paul” is a mighty fine keyword for web sites that are designed to capture leads.

I don’t make this stuff up I learn it from my clients. There isn’t any shortage of experienced real estate agents who know St. Paul. Don’t settle for anyone who isn’t an expert.

First Time Home Buyers

Helping you fine-tune the home search

It is a sellers market and the inventory of homes on the market is still pretty low which means I really have to fine tune my house hunting skills if I want to help my home buyer clients be the first to make an offer on a new listing.  Home buyers can’t just wait for an open house they need to be more proactive.

At this point I am very familiar with what is on the market in several neighborhoods but I don’t want to miss out on new listings.

Most of the buyers I am working with can find homes for sale by searching the internet but the search tools are not as sophisticated  as the tools we have in the MLS and the data isn’t as fresh or accurate. The data I am using is electronically fed to the web sites of real estate companies and to the home search on this site.

In the MLS I can draw shapes on a map and add criteria like the number of bedrooms, how many garage stalls, central air conditioning, square footages, number of bathrooms and the list goes on and on. I can search by neighborhood too but some of my buyers want a house that is North of this street but south of that one and east of something else.

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sample search

Each morning the first thing I do when I get to my desk is run the searches I have saved and I send information about homes that I find to my clients.  I remember the strategies that worked ten years ago and they still work today but it is easier because I can conduct more sophisticated searches.

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Market snap shot

As soon as I log into our MLS I can see how many homes were listed in the last 24 hours and how many were sold or had price reductions. The tools I have today as a Realtor are much better than what we had ten years ago and are all available on my phone and iPad so I don’t miss out when I am away from the office.

Home buyers can use the app available for the iPhone, iPad and phones operating on Android OS. has more of the local listings than any other national type site. The Zillow app is probably the most fun to use but some of the homes listed on it are not for sale and there are homes on the market that are never put on the Zillow website.

St. Paul MN

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Saint Patrick’s day is a big deal in St. Paul. Temperatures this year will likely hit the 40’s in time for the parade at noon. That will seem warm compared with last year. The parade is in downtown St. Paul starting at noon and it will make it’s way from Sibley park and head east along 5th street to Rice Park.

The parade will be well attended. I might stop by for awhile and watch the greenness go by. I don’t even have the smallest drop of Irish blood in me but very much enjoy the parade and it is such a part of our city and it’s heritage.

green dog

A small irish pet


Saint Patricks Day Parade

In 2010 it was both warm and sunny on Saint Patrick’s day. . . hence the very large crowd.



Changing the landscape



Here is a picture I took from the river park a couple of days ago. The brown buildings in the foreground of the picture are going to be demolished and that is really going to change  this picture. It is old news but the buildings (the old West Publishing and the old county jail)  are going to be removed and the bluff shored up and it will be redeveloped.  Demolition is supposed to start this summer and be complete by April 2016. . in a separate project Kellogg Blvd will be closed from April to November from Wabasha street to Market street.

Kellogg is made up of a series of bridges that are in need of repair. Traffic will be re-routed along 7th street . . hmmmm

At any rate I can not imagine what downtown is going to look like after all those buildings are taken out. We will likely have a good view of Kellogg Blvd from the park. I don’t think I can imagine what it is going to be like to have Kellogg Boulevard closed either.

St. Paul MN

Bikeable St. Paul

St. Paul is oh so bikeable with:

  • 32 miles of roadway with striped bike lanes
  • 18 miles of roadway with striped bikeable shoulders
  • 1 mile of roadway designed as bicycle boulevards
  • 21 miles of roadway with signed or marked shared lanes
  • 73 miles of off-street paths

There are county bike trails and state bike trails too.  It is hard to find a comprehensive map . . in fact there probably isn’t one that includes city, county and state trails which means St. Paul is bikeable once you figure it all out which isn’t that hard to do as city trails lead to county and state trails and there is a lot of signage and we always have the option of just staying on city streets.

The trails along the river are the ones that I enjoy the most. I have ridden from downtown St. Paul all the way to St. Anthony falls in Minneapolis on the trails. Sometimes I ride to Minnehaha falls or to Fort Snelling national park.

I got my bike all tuned up last week and took it out for a spin on Friday. I am excited about my new handle bars and how well the brakes work. I put a lot of miles on my bike during the months when there is no snow on the ground.

I have been taking my bike to the lowertown bike shop in downtown St. Paul for tune-ups and repairs. They do a great job and they sell used bikes there too. They are a non-profit dedicated to providing sustainable transportation options using recycled bikes and parts. I find the whole experience a lot less intimidating than going into the bike shops where they sell all the fancy expensive biking clothes and give a lot of biking advice that if taken can be very expensive.


Lowertown Bike Shop

My bike is the epitome of recycled as it was found near a dumpster and has a combination of old and new parts from a couple of styles of bike.

Friday fun

let the drinking and debauchery commence!

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun and I live in St. Paul and Saint Patrick’s day is on Tuesday with the usual parade followed by drinking and debauchery. There will be major festivities this weekend too starting tomorrow (Saturday the 14th)  at 2:00 PM and going until 11:00 PM Part of West 7th street near the Xcel Center will be closed off to allow for drinking and dancing in the streets. Area bars will remain open until the usual bar closing times in case anyone wants a nightcap.

The event is named LuckyPalooza and there will be live musical type entertainment in addition to the people watching. There will be tents and probably jello shots being sold off of trays held by pretty girls. The details are on the Visit Saint Paul web site, but the insider information is right here.  The weather will be wonderful considering we usually get big blizzards and even sub zero weather this time of year with gale force winds.

twilight photo 7th street

Burgers and beer on w7th

Twilight 7th and chestnut

W7th at Chestnut


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Teresa Boardman
Realtor®, MN,
Licensed Broker
Boardman Realty
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Photos of St. Paul
Photos of St. Paul

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