Into the woods


Lilydale park

If you have not explored it yet check out Lilydale regional park. It is particularly beautiful in the fall too. The park is along the Mississippi river west of Harriet Island Regional park. Over the last couple of years the trials have been improved and several more have been added.

Oh but watch out for the wild turkeys.


wild turkey

Friday fun

So you stumbled onto my site

It is Fridays and Fridays are for fun. I never make fun of my readers but I would like to clear up a little confusion.

When people contact me they often tell me that they “stumbled across my blog some how”. They tell me they have no idea how they got here and most use the words “stumble” and “somehow”.  Even though I have heard this over and over for the last decade I rarely comment on it. I know exactly how people find this site.

So . . . . no you did not stumble across my blog. For one thing you used your phone, tablet or computer to access it which doesn’t require any walking skills at all. You found my blog because you did a search for information using Google or possibly some other search engine if there is such a thing. It wasn’t an accident. You were meant to find this site, in fact you searched for it and you found it. You just did not realize you were looking for it but you were looking for it.

Even though you found the site weeks after signing a contract with another real estate agent you were meant to work with me and if you had been working with me you would not have had to search for the information that brought you to my site.

I hope this clears everything up and I hope no one falls after they some how stumble onto this site.



For Home buyers

Luxury home market

I don’t sell many homes that are priced over 650K, but we do have then here in St. Paul. Even in the luxury market it seems like home buyers don’t want to pay too much for a home. I recently had a home owner who has been trying to sell a home in the 1.5 million dollar range tell me that it takes years to sell such a home. Actually the average this year for 650 and above is under 60 days. The numbers below are for all homes sold in St. Paul in 2015 so far that were priced for 650K or more.  I know that is a large price range.

The 6 homes that were priced between 900K and 1 million sold in an average of 37 days. What I found in general is the highest priced homes took the longest to sell at 7 to 9 months. I also noticed that the price stayed the same on the home with no reductions whereas price reductions were fairly common in all price ranges below 1 million dollars.

Each home has a price range and in general the homes priced closer to the top of the range will take longer to sell than those that are placed closer to the bottom.

If you own a luxury home and have it on the market don’t just assume it is taking longer to sell because it is in a higher price range. Gather some date or ask your real estate agent to provide some data. If homes in the same price range are selling then it is important to find out why your home isn’t selling.

(Click graphic with numbers to make it larger . . readable even)

sales chart

year to date luxury home sales

If you are in the market for a St. Paul home that has at least 5000 square feet of living space and maybe 4-10 bedrooms there are 50 to 60 of them on the market right now including half a dozen of so that were built this year.

IMG_3088 (2)

Summer in St. Paul


Local Market Conditions & home prices

PDOM after the price reduction

Our MLS added a new field a couple of years ago. It is called “PDOM” which means days on the market since the price was reduced. We have always been able to look it up and see when the price reduction occurred but this makes it easier.

Buyers going in with a low offer need to understand that it might be harder right after a price reduction and when I look at the number and see that a lot of days have gone by since the price reduction I know that the home is probably still over priced.

The number is also interesting to watch. Most homes are selling in less than 60 days in St. Paul right now but I can also get an average number of days after a price reduction. Some homes sell the first day or week without a price reduction probably because they are priced right.

Here are some numbers for June for homes sold in St. Paul. The CDOM represents cumulative days on market which is how we track all the days when a home is on and off the market. DOM is the “days on market”. The number of days the listing has been active in our system under the same MLS number is the best way to describe it.

June data

June MLS data

There are some other numbers I always find interesting on the graphic including the average number of bathrooms being 1.8. What would it be like to have 2.9 bedrooms?



cuttingIn Minnesota real estate commissions are negotiable and I’ll be honest mine are all over the map because I am able to adjust services and commissions to fit the situation.  Real estate agents are taught to negotiate hard for their commissions. They will tell you that they are good negotiators and that any agent who will accept a lower commission probably can’t negotiate the best sale price either.

I love to negotiate and like my clients no one really knows what my bottom line is and it just might not be the same as what I am asking for. Most of the people I meet are not used to negotiating on prices and so I have to guess as to what to charge because if I go too high they won’t have any problem finding someone who will do it for less. There is more to choosing an agent than price. There are some real estate companies that strongly encourage their agents to charge X amount. The money from those commissions pays for the fancy offices and all sorts of other things.

Once I have an agreement with a client and we have a contract my fee is set. Sometimes I am asked to reduce it later on during the transaction. That request often comes from another real estate agent who isn’t a very good negotiator and the only solution he or she can come up with is to reduce commissions so that the seller pays less and in turn will accept less from the buyer.

Being asked to reduce my commission during negotiations after an offer has been received can happen no matter how much or how little I charge for my services. In general unless there are some extenuating circumstances I won’t reduce my commission because of a low ball offer. I would much rather negotiate the offer up or get a better offer.

The last time I was asked to reduce my commission the request came from a seller’s real estate agent. I was able to negotiate and get the seller to come down on the price. The seller was asking for more than what my clients thought the house was worth and they wanted to buy the house and it was my job to negotiate the price down and that is what I did.  Maybe the other agent took a pay cut. There isn’t any way for me to know.

The more you know . . . or maybe more than you want to know.

Tagged with:
Lofts, Condos & Townhouses

Read the rules


Historic Irvine Park fountain

Anyone who wants to buy a condo in Minnesota is allowed to review the condo documents including the bylaws, rules, covenants and financial statements before committing to the purchase. There is a ten day rescission period, which means that any offer on a condo can be rescinded (withdrawn) with no penalty if the potential buyer isn’t comfortable with the rules or the association or the financial situation.

I sell several condos and assorted townhouses each year and I can’t ever recall someone backing out after they saw the condo docs. I do run into people who are not happy with their condo rules and who do not like their association.

Sure the documents are boring to read but it is really important to read them. Are pets allowed? Can you plant flowers in front of your unit? Can you leave the garage door open? Is there enough money to fix the roof? Can an owner use the condo as a rental unit?  What about parking? Is parking included?

There are some condos that limit the use of outdoor patios and some that don’t allow signs of any kind anywhere and I recently looked at some rules that outline what color curtains or window blinds owners can have. One association I know of doesn’t allow any pets except fish and there is another that allows any kind of pet that is allowed in the city except birds of any kind.

Whenever people share spaces or property there just have to be rules.

Before buying a condo read that thick packet of information and go ahead and call the association with questions.


Teresa Boardman
Realtor®, MN,
Licensed Broker
Boardman Realty

Ask the Broker



Photos of St. Paul
Photos of St. Paul

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