First Time Home Buyers

Profile of home buyers in 2015

From a study conducted by the national association of Realtors about home buyers and sellers in 2015.

Characteristics of Home Buyers

First-time buyers made up 32 percent of all home buyers, down from 33 percent last year.

The typical buyer was 44 years old, and had a median household income of $86,100.

Sixty-seven percent of recent buyers were married couples, 15 percent were single females, nine percent were single males, and seven percent were unmarried couples.

Thirteen percent of home buyers purchased a multi-generational home to take care of aging parents, for cost savings, and because children over the age of 18 are moving back home.

Ninety percent of recent home buyers identified as heterosexual, three percent as gay or lesbian, one percent as bi-sexual, and seven percent preferred not to answer.

Eighteen percent of recent home buyers are veterans and three percent are active-duty service members.

At 30 percent, the primary reason for purchasing a home was the desire to own a home of their own.

Last week I wrote about home sellers. I noticed this study mentions multi-generational homes. I think going forward multi generational homes are going to become more important because people live longer and children seem to have longer childhoods. I have been doing research on how to market such a home so that the advertising is compliant with fair housing rules. The word “family” is not allowed, multigenerational seems to be a grey area.




Almost wordless Wednesday

St. Peter street from the skyway

St. Peter street from the skyway


Wabasha street from the skyway

For Home buyers

Put it in writing but be specific

flowersLast year I got an offer on a downtown condo and in the offer the buyer stated that he wanted the condo cleaned before the closing. This particular unit was immaculate so I asked some questions.

The buyer’s agent said she wants to make sure the home is clean for her client and so she put it in writing. Putting things in writing is a great idea but what does clean mean? What if the seller cleaned the home but the buyer decided that it wasn’t clean. How would we resolve the situation.

Right now my husband would probably say that the kitchen is clean. I would disagree with that. There are no dishes in the sink, the floor is swept and the counter is free of crumbs or anything gooey but  I wouldn’t call the room clean but he would and neither one of us are right or wrong.

In general sellers should clean before they leave and most buyers should plan on cleaning before they move in. When putting things in writing they need to be as specific as possible. Sometimes we ask to have carpet shampooed by a professional carpet cleaning company and sometimes we ask that the windows be professionally cleaned or that the cleaning cycle on the oven be run or that the fireplace be left free of ashes and pieces of charred wood.

Buyers should always do a final walk through before the closing. That way if there is a problem it can be addressed before the purchase.

It turned out that the buyer who wanted the immaculate condo cleaned was concerned about the inside of the oven which did need cleaning.

There once was a homebuyer who asked to have a furnace cleaned. They put it in writing. The home seller used his shop vac to remove dust inside the furnace and then cleaned the outside with some rags and a little windex. That isn’t how a professional cleans a furnace. The agent who put it in writing should have asked that the furnace be inspected and certified by a licensed heating contractor because in addition to being dirty it was really old and stopped working a few months after the buyer moved in.

Be careful out there and if you put it in writing be as specific as possible. The most common cause of problems and hard feeling between home buyers and sellers are misunderstandings caused by the written word.

For Boomers

How is the housing market?

How is the housing market is the question I get asked the most often. Real estate is local and my answer will vary by neighborhood. In general prices are trending upward and the inventory of homes on the market remains low. There was a 3.3 month supply of houses on the market as of October 31.  I believe that the low inventory will be the new normal due to demographics. Older people are less likely to move and our population is aging. At the same time we have a huge generation of people who are at the prime age to be first time home buyers.

As for home prices. I wonder how high they will go and still be sustainable. Perhaps an upcoming interest rate increase will cause prices to plateau a bit.

Here is St. Paul as we near the holiday season I am noticing that some homeowners are just taking their homes off the market. Homes that are not on the market rarely sell. For those who might want to try something a little different or who have taken their homes off the market consider listing that house with me in January or February.


For Boomers

Adult children leave stuff behind

Storage I ran this post in July of 2009 and decided that it is worth repeating.  It seems to resonate with baby boomers. Some adult children are slow to launch and some fail to launch but either way they seem to store a lot of stuff in their parents basement, garage or attic. I see it all the time when I meet with people who want to sell their houses.

Dear person in their twenties, thirties or forties,

It is wonderful that you got that new job and were able to move out of your folks place a mere________ years after you graduated from college. I know it is a big scary world out there and it is hard to move away. Just think of it as a new begining.

Your parents love you, we always have and we would do most anything for you and we probably have and we are very proud of you.

There is one thing that you need to know. We are not being honest with you about something. We have kept a secret from you all these years, and it has nothing to do with auntie  Sue or that one incident a few years back at the water park. We know you did not do that on purpose.

We want to tell you that we are very tired of the boxes and storage bins in the basement and the bike, sports equipment and roller blades in the garage. We understand that you also regret having purchased that tacky piece of furniture that you bought the first time you moved out but left stored in the basement this last time you moved out. We hate it too, and yes you may move back in that is true, even though we had the locks changed and you know the secret about the back door, you will find a way, but I suspect you won’t want to use the furniture as you seem to hate it so.

Even though we love you and would do most anything for you we don’t want to provide storage for your stuff anymore.  We would like to use our basements and garages and attics for something else now. We have our own tacky furniture that needs to be stored and most of our closets are over flowing as we have not moved in years and have not had any place to put anything in decades.

It would be heavenly to be able to walk to the washer without tripping over something and honestly the furnace and water heater have always wanted  a room of their own, they watch and wait silently as the stuff piles up around them.   Last time we had a repair man here he couldn’t even find the furnace, I guess he wasn’t much of a repair man.  I never saw him leave the house, he may still be down in the basement looking for the furnace, I guess we don’t know for sure, but hope not because they charge by the hour.

Please come over for dinner tonight.  We promise to cook something you really like, and buy a couple of bottles of wine, or maybe you would enjoy a beer instead.   Bring a friend or significant other and a moving van. We will even front you the cash so that you can rent it. After dinner kindly remove your stuff. Don’t make me have to write this twice.  I may be old but I am still your mother and even though you are bigger than I am I can still kick your butt, or at the very least make you feel guilty.

Thanks, your loving mother.

PS if you read this after the garage sale please accept my apologies, I know I should have sent a text message but for some things 140 characters are not enough.

Oh and while I am at it I would not mind being a grandmother someday.

. . . If your adult children want to live with you or are moving back in, please contact me about downsizing.

Friday fun

Just photographs

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. It is also Friday the 13th. Wheeeee. I thought it would be fun to just post some photographs today because we have had such a lovely long fall season this year and if I wrote something I might be tempted to write about read cups and there has been just too much of that this week.


Yellow leaves

silver maple

Maple leaves


butterfly weed seeds



Teresa Boardman
Realtor®, MN,
Licensed Broker
Boardman Realty

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