• Foreclosures
  • Distressed property

    Porch Porch

    I am not sure why we call property distressed. It is usually the owner who is distressed and unable to make mortgage payments. Right now over 11% of the homes on the market are foreclosures or are being list as potential short sales. These properties on average have been on the market twice as long as properties that are not distressed.

    The greatest number of distressed properties for sale are on the greater east side. In some neighborhoods there are no distressed properties for sale. During the peak of the great recession and crash of the housing market, at times 40% of the properties on the market were in a foreclosure or pre-foreclosure status.

    For more information about how to prevent foreclosure please go to the Minnesota Homeownership Center website.

  • Home Improvement
  • Houses get used up


    It seems like I spend a lot of time talking about roofs. A house has to have a roof but they do not last forever. Home owners seem to get down right resentful at the idea of putting roof on a house and then selling it. At the same time not all home buyers have the resources to buy a house and then pay to re-roof it. Sure they can pay less for the house but that doesn’t mean they will end up with an extra 10K or so for a roof. It just means the seller gets less money and the buyers house payment is $5 less a month and the house still needs a roof.

    There are other things in a home that wear out or get used up. I have first hand experience replacing porch decks, furnaces, water heaters, out door spigots and much more. The trick is to plan ahead and budget for major repairs and yes if you need to sell you may have to put on a new roof before you leave.

    Buyers should also be aware that there are loan programs both FHA and conventional that will allow the buyer to borrow extra money for repairs as long as the fix up funds and home loan come out to 95 to 110% of the value of the home once repairs are done. I’ll never recommend borrowing 110% of the value of the home but there are loan programs that allow it.



  • Local Market Conditions & home prices
  • The hot neighborhood graph

    chart of days on market

    I am not sure how to measure neighborhood hotness but it is a thing. People want to know which is the hottest, best or most desirable neighborhood.  There really isn’t such a thing as a best neighborhood but there is supply and demand. The chart I made has the average cumulative days on market (how long it takes to sell a house)

    Homes sell the fastest, followed by Summit Hill and Frog town comes in third place.

    Cumulative days on market represents how many days a home was on the market during the year. If the home is put on the market and then taken off and then put back on cumulative days counts all of the days.

  • Neighborhoods
  • A history

    Mississippi River in St. Paul

    My mother wrote this. She grew up in St. Paul on University Avenue near Marion street and apparently my Grandmother who was born in the early 1900’s lived near the river until the family accumulated enough wealth to move to higher ground.

    “The Mississippi River is an important part of my heritage.. My great-grandparents, Jean Baptiste and Louise St. Aubin, came to St. Paul from Montreal, Canada, in 1853 and settled in a house on the south side of the Mississippi River, a neighborhood known as the West Side Flats.

    South of the flats, the woods crept up the steep incline of Cherokee Heights where the wealthy looked down at the struggling immigrant community. Across the river the fledgling city struggled to keep pace with the surge of new immigrants from Canada, Ireland and Germany. Railroad tracks converged from north and south on the river bank, and the clatter of locomotives blended with the horns of river boats.

    My mother told many stories about life on the river. Some years the river exploded in foaming white fury against the shanties at Lilydale, tore through the homes of Italian immigrants on the Levee, crept into basements and turned yards into ponds. When they had fought the river for enough years and saved enough money, the St. Aubins moved to higher ground–Cherokee Heights, Frogtown, and houses up the hill east and west of Robert Street., but their stories of life near the river were passed on through generations.”

  • Friday fun
  • Framing St. Paul


    It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I have not spent enough time taking pictures this summer and I need to work on that. I have been working hard and when I am not working I am working. I bagged this one on Wednesday evening on Harriet Island before the storms hit. It was hot as hell, and not a dry heat either. The frame is part of a Minneapolis Institute of Arts exhibit that frames a museum worthy view of nature along with the National Park Service which is celebrating a 100 years.

    Have a great weekend and take pictures.