It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I am really looking forward to the 5th annual Minnesota bloggers conference tomorrow, which will be held on the campus of my alma mater, St. Catherine University in St. Paul. I have volunteered and spoken or both at each of these events. What makes the bloggers conference unique is it is about blogging with an emphasis on content instead of on the technology used to publish the content.
This blog has been around since 2005. There are a few real estate blogs that are as old but for the most part the original authors have moved on or they just don’t publish content on a regular basis anymore. I generally don’t write about my blog or about blogging probably because when I started this little project everyone was writing blog posts about blogging and it got pretty boring and I decided that I wasn’t going to be that blogger.
I enjoy writing and taking photographs and have met a lot of wonderful and interesting people because of this site including many of my real estate clients. It wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without readers so thanks for reading.
For Home buyers
Lately it seems like there are delays in real estate closings half the time. There are only a few local lenders who can make it happen on time, the rest of them just claim they can do a good job.
Both buyers and sellers are held hostage when the lender decides that they need another week or two to get the loan approved. Generally delays are a couple of days to a week on average. Buyers and sellers have to change their plans and wait for the lender and it happens all to often.
It would be nice if there were some kind of a penalty to the lender for not making the closing date but there is not.
Closing dates are not etched in stone but they should still be taken seriously. Sometimes I advise home sellers to counter offers they get on their home asking for different financing. I hope lenders are reading this because right now I have a short list of lenders who can do the job and get it done on time.
One of the problems we have with the mortgage industry is the loan processing department where the loan goes int a bureaucratic black hole and where no one is accountable.
When I work with buyers I recommend certain lenders. The interest rates are all about the same but the level of service is not. The mortgage companies have all sorts of reasons for making a mess of the loan. I call them excuses. If you want to know who the best lenders are, ask a real estate agent.
First Time Home Buyers
It is true that is takes longer to sell a home in December than it does in October but in these parts we are talking about an average of 12 days, at least for the years that I took data samples. I recently read an article written by one of the big real estate media companies that indicated that homes sell quicker and for more money in the winter and that they are more likely to sell. I could not find local numbers to back that claim up but it is true that sometimes what “they say” makes the fall market sound worse than it is.
Homes are sold in the fall and winter in these parts and it is true that the buyers who are out house hunting in November are motivated and the sellers who put their homes on the market this time of year are really motivated.
We see an inventory reduction each fall which works out just fine because we have fewer home buyers out looking too. . . but maybe there are fewer buyers because there are fewer seller?
As for the media company the article sure sounded authoritative but when I looked at actual numbers I could see that it was just wrong. You really can’t believe everything you read on the internet and real estate is local which means that the national writers who provide generic content for national web sites don’t always get it right.
In these parts when someone says downtown we assume they mean downtown Minneapolis. When I mention downtown I mean downtown St. Paul. The St. Paul condo market has made a comeback. For a few years it seemed like we could not give them away. At one point there was a 15 month supply of condos on the market, right now there is about a 4.7 month supply as compared with a 3.5 month supply of all other housing types in St. Paul.
Right now there are 55 condos on the market downtown and 3 of them are distressed properties, which means they are in some stage of foreclosure. Average list price is $343K and the median list price is 192K. Average number of days on market is around 120. There are 11 units that are listed for less than 100K.
Ramsey county sells tax forfeiture property at auction several times a year. The county also has property for immediate sale like this vacant lot on Maria street on St. Paul’s east side. They want $8000.00 dollars for it. There is a list of other properties for sale on the counties web site.
Tax forfeiture property auctions are held several times a year. The minimum bid is the appraised value. The auctions are not absolute which means the property is sold to the highest bidder but only if the bid is high enough. The most common type of property I see on the auction lists is land.
It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. There isn’t anything more fun than the wonderful fall weather we have been having. It seems like mother nature is being extra kind to us this year. The fall colors are at peak in the twin cities right now which means the trees will soon be bare. Here is a photo I took yesterday from Indian Mounds Park. (click on photos to make them larger)
I took this one from the South side of the river earlier in the week.
Yes I had fun this week and I hope you did too.