This was written on July 20th 2006 before the great recession and the housing market crash. Back when many of us never imagined that houses would decrease in value they way they did in 2007 -2011:
I am a baby boomer. Born toward the end of the boom and not one of the 7,918 people a day who are turning 60.
Twenty years ago would have been a great time to start planning for retirement. At the time we were just too busy raising our family to get excited about our golden years. Much of what I have been reading about boomers and retirement indicates that most of us may not have saved enough money to retire at say 65, and live the same way we do now.
Owning a home will help. I mean actually owning a home free and clear. The idea of really owning a home seems to be a concept that my generation has not embraced. The biggest advantage will be not having to make house payments or pay rent.
Read why a house is not a piggy bank to tap into for retirement.
We made our last house payment in 2014 . . . I hope and the house is worth almost as much as it was worth 10 years ago, and much more than we paid for it.
For Home Sellers
If you plan to sell your house and you have a mortgage or mortgages on it, the first thing you should do it contact your mortgage company or companies and ask them “If I were to pay off my mortgage today, what would the payoff be?”
That isn’t the same as asking how much you owe. When you sell your house usually a title company takes care of the paperwork and they get these numbers because they change from day-to-day as interest is calculated by the day and property taxes and homeowners insurance which are often paid by the lender are divided by 365 days.
Your mortgage has to be paid in full before someone else can give a mortgage and own your home.
Often a month or so after the sale home owners get a check from the mortgage company for monies that the mortgage company held in escrow for the payment of taxes and insurance. These monies are separate from the interest and principal on the loan.
If you live in St. Paul you may also want to check for pending assessments. that may have to be paid when you sell.
If you have a lot of equity in your home the numbers may not be that important but if you have little equity find out what the payoff will be before you decide to sell.
Home buyers usually prefer hardwood floors. The National Association of REALTORS® found that 54% of home buyers were willing to pay more for a home with hardwood flooring, but I could have told them that.
I am not suggesting that people who want to sell their homes run out and replace the carpeting with hardwood floors. Sometimes the carpeting needs to be replaced and there is hardwood flooring under it. Even hardwood floors that needs a little work are better than old carpeting and usually better than new carpeting.
From experience I know that there are certain types of homes that people expect to see hardwood flooring in. People expect older homes to have hardwood floors. That doesn’t mean that hardwood is preferred in bedrooms, kitchens and baths or that every room in the house has to have hardwood floors.
It should also be noted that a buyer’s willingness to pay more for a home with hardwood doesn’t mean that they will be willing to pay enough to cover the cost of the hardwood floors. There is quite a price range for the flooring and it doesn’t always have to be oak.
Nothing is really all that black and white when it comes to making improvements that will have a positive impact on resale value. There are shades of gray but it is good to know that home buyers will pay more for homes with hardwood floors.
It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. These days I am acutely aware of the fact that the way some people define fun isn’t the same way I define fun. This has always been an issue for me.
I missed out on the whole Angry Birds game craze a few years back and it doesn’t seem to have ruined my life, besides that is what family is for.
Right now, at least this week the Pokemon GO app is pretty hot. I guess everyone is playing the game. I spend far too much time walking around and looking at screen on my phone as it is. I just don’t want to add to the workload so I have not downloaded the app.
From what I have been reading by ignoring Pokemon GO as a marketing opportunity that could take my business to new heights. Since I am already ignoring SnapChat as a way to build the Boardman Realty empire I am pretty comfortable ignoring Pokemon GO. I can save time and ignore them both at the same time.
It has been awhile since I have mentioned Zillow on this site. I’ll admit I like “zestimates” they are a great way to start a conversation about real estate. Yesterday I was searching Zillow looking for an agent with 1, 2, 3 or 4 star reviews. Zillow agents all have five star reviews. I am not sure what to make of it. I think agents can control which reviews get published on the site. It makes sense that they would only publish the five star reviews and since reviews are for marketing it makes sense to ask for rating from satisfied customers rather than dissatisfied customers.
Being a premiere Zillow agent costs a lot of money. Agents buy a zip code which makes them an expert and a really good agent too.
I agree with the idea of reviews but I don’t have any on Zillow. I am not a Zillow agent and besides I already know that if I had reviews on Zillow they would all be five star reviews.
Median days on market
Homes are still selling quickly in St. paul and we really are in a sellers market. It has always taken longer to sell a downtown condo than to sell a single family home outside of downtown. Condos in general take longer to sell because there is less demand for them. Median days on the market for a downtown condo is about 65 days where as the median days on market for a house in St. Paul is 35 days.
I like to look at these numbers over a period of a few years to put them in context. It wasn’t just my imagination that condos were tough to sell in 2011 and 2012.