For the heck of it
It doesn’t matter if you are ready. I94 will be closed from 280 t0 35E until 5:00 AM on Monday.
Map of closure
The closure is so that work can be done on the Snelling avenue bridge which if course if closed as are several other major arteries in the city. This is alright for those of us who live here because there really isn’t any good reason to leave St. Paul and if we have to go to Minneapolis we have options like bikes and light rail. It is however sad weekend for those who live to the west. Just remember it is only for one weekend.
It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I love to use instagram and I took a lot of pictures this past week. The water fountains have been turned on in the local parks. This Instagram video was taken in Rice Park. It isn’t very good but it is very short.
Surveys indicate that home sellers want to hire Realtors who use more video. Video has been the next big thing in real estate since 2005. Every year there are all sorts of classes for real estate agents on the subject and experts are flown in from around the country to talk about the wonders of video.
For some reason experts believe that just because most real estate agents can not take a decent still photo they should be able to shoot some really great video and if it isn’t great it is “organic” like my video of the water fountain. You know amateurish and kind of shaky.
Real estate agents who use video tend to focus the camera on themselves rather than on some real estate. Some shoot the video while in a moving car with the camera pointing at their face. It looks bizarre and kind of dangerous to me.
I use instagram a lot. Click on the badge if you want to see my instagrams. If you follow me I will probably follow you back because I enjoy looking at pictures.
General Real Estate News
7 county metro – can you find your county?
May 15th, which is tomorrow, first half property taxes are due for Minnesota property owners. Those payments go to the county that the property is located in. Most countries accept electronic payment. Ramsey county tacks on a charge for paying electronically which bugs me so I write a check and put a stamp on it and mail it.
Most properties are taxed based on their value. When property values went down during the great recession and housing market crash taxes still went up because the cost of the services that the taxes pay for went up even though property values went down. Now that property values are going up property taxes will go up too because they always do. . . well not always. Some years they go down a little but the long term trend is definitely upward.
Homeowners who have a mortgage usually pay a little each month for taxes and the money is escrowed and the mortgage company pays the taxes when they are due. The government is always the first lien holder which is why the second lien holder likes to make sure the taxes are paid.
Property taxes are one of the oldest forms of taxation in the US and they are the least understood and probably complained about more than any other form of taxation. They are based partly on a property valuation assessment. For the past several years it has been my belief that in Ramsey county property values are determined by spinning a wheel or maybe they just have a big dart board with numbers on them.
A quick look at the web sites for the seven counties that make up the seven county metro area really shows how backward Ramsey county is but I mailed them a nice big check anyway.
Random instagram – not currently for sale
If your St. Paul home is on the market in 2015 you can expect to get 13% less for it than you thought you would get. How did I come up with this number? I looked at the actual sale price of every home sold in St. Paul this year and compared it with the original list price.
Some 99.97% of all homes sold had a price reduction about 42 days before they actually sold. Most sellers did end up with about 97% of the amount they were asking after they reduced the price for the last time.
All of the homes used in my study were listed by real estate agents. Sometimes home sellers list with the agent who suggests the highest listing price or value and it isn’t at all unusual for homeowners to shoot high when it comes to pricing a home for sale.
The homes that sold without a price reduction were more likely to sell within the first few days that they were on the market. There are exceptions where there were some homes that were on the market for a very long time with no price reduction and the actual sale price was 25%-35% less than the asking price. Generally the longer a home is on the market at a particular price the bigger the gap between the asking price and the actual sale price.
I just love actual data and the data I used was exported from the NorthstarMLS into an MS Excel spreadsheet where it was sorted and average. The data set included all homes and condos that were sold within the city limits of St. Paul and that closed between January 1, 2015 and May 9, 2015. The data in the NorthstarMLS is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
Local Market Conditions & home prices
When I meet with homeowners who want to sell their home they always want to know how long it will take. Right now a home in St. Paul should sell in less than 90 days. The median number of days it takes to sell a St. Paul home is 53.
Add about 24 days to the average for townhouses and condos. I used fresh data from Info Sparks which pull data from the Northstar MLS. The data is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. As we all know there are very few guarantees in life.
The number of homes for sale in the area remains low. My advice is to list your home with me today before your neighbors figure out that this might be a good time to sell.
St. Paul – days on market – click on chart to make it larger
Generally homes sell faster this time of year than in the winter months. The data from 2014 may be a bit skewed because during the first quarter of that year it was too cold to go outside and that had an impact on home sales.
For more local real estate numbers please see Local Market Conditions & Home Prices.
Local Market Conditions & home prices
Here are the home sales numbers for April 2015 and what a wonderful month it was. Home prices and sales were up. I like to call it spring!
Here are April home sales in St. Paul, MN including condos and townhouses and excluding rental and commercial properties. The numbers were gathered from the NorthStarMLS and are deemed reliable but not guaranteed. I don’t have an exact number but most of the homes that are sold in St. Paul are sold through the MLS, so this data is current and meaningful.
April home sales – St. Paul, MN
The inventory of homes on the market remains low. The Median sale price for April was $165,000, which means half of the homes the homes sold for more than that and the other half for less. That kind of puts it all in perspective. There are a few neighborhoods where the average listing and sale price are very close to each other. That usually means prices are going up in those neighborhoods but one months worth of data doesn’t mean all that much.
For more local numbers please see Local market conditions and home prices and remember real estate is local.