What you always wanted to know about Realtors

REALTOR® isn’t a job title. REALTORS® are members of the National Association of Realtors. (NAR). Every year in about the middle of the year NAR releases a membership report. Here are some statistics from the report:

There are 1.22 million members nationwide.

63% of all members are women.

The median age of members is 53 years old.

82% own their primary residence.

Median years of experience for members is 10 years.

4% of members are under 30.

30% of members are over 60.

In 2016, the typical agent had 12 transactions, which is up from 11 transactions in 2015

The median gross income is $42,500

38% of those who have 16 years or more of experience have median gross incomes of $100,000

More than half of the members who have less than two years of experience earn 10K a year.

51% of member agents are affiliated with independent firms.

82% of REALTORS® are very certain they will remain active as a real estate professional for two more years.

Tomorrow I’ll have some numbers for home sales in St. Paul for the month of February.

Getting ready to sell a house?

Here in St. Paul people who want to sell their house will need to get a truth in housing inspection. TISH for short. The program is run by the City of St. Paul. The inspection is pretty basic and no repairs are required with one exception. Homes are required to have one hardwired smoke alarm with battery back-up.

The city has specific requirements as to where and how this smoke alarm/detector is to be mounted. In most cases, an electrician will need to do it and a permit will be required.

The city has a list of qualified inspectors who can perform the inspection and prepare the report.  The inspection will not be free and is required. The city has a list of common deficiencies.  It is a good idea to make repairs before the inspection if possible.

Even though repairs are not required when a buyer sees a report with a lot of items on it that are hazardous or below minimum standards they may not want to make a full priced offer or any offer at all.

The houses in St. Paul are old. Most truth in housing reports have several items on them that are below minimum standards but it is a myth that houses have to be brought up to code or that repairs have to be made.

Building code is local and it changes over time. St. Paul building code was very different in the late 1850’s when my home was built than it is today.

Also see:

How to find Truth in housing reports


feels like March

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I’ll admit I didn’t go outside all that much during our long string of brutally cold days. I actually started going outside again on a regular basis.

I have been walking to the store and the bank and to my downtown office. I have walked about 25 miles in the last week.

There are many impressive puddles on the sidewalks and in the streets. Some appear to be knee deep, many are ankle deep and some of them have pictures in them:

Downtown Puddle
West 7th puddle
Dayton Avenue

This is the season for puddle photography just find the puddles with the pictures in them.

Top performing neighborhoods

Home prices were up and then they went down during the great recession. In most cases, home prices have recovered from the great recession and have gone up.


Price increases in the last 10 years by neighborhood

Some neighborhoods have experienced more home value appreciation than others over the last ten years. Those same neighborhoods have the lowest priced homes before, after and during the recession.

If you bought a home in the West 7th area in say 2009 or 2011 you should be doing the happy dance because median home prices were below 130K both of those years.

price increases in the last 10 years by neighborhood

The numbers used for the charts are from the Northstar MLS which is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Climate migration to the bold north

MN Capitol
Minnesota Capitol building

Some folks consider the idea of climate change to be political and others do not believe the climate is changing.

Climate change is kind of like gravity, in that it will exist for everyone even if those who don’t believe in it.

Last week I was contacted by a couple of home buyers who want to move to Minnesota because they believe that it will be a great place to survive climate change.

As one caller pointed out we are not on the coast so rising oceans are not a concern and neither are hurricanes or earthquakes.

Houses are more affordable here than they are in many other places.

We have water in Minnesota, and blue skies and lots of green after the white goes away.

We have jobs. In fact, the unemployment rate in Minnesota is generally lower than the national average. Our economy is strong and diverse.

For people who have money, there are good schools and good medical care in Minnesota.

There are plenty of recreational activities because of the more than ten thousand lakes. Fishing, camping hiking, biking, snowmobiling boating, sailing and so much more.

We rarely see temperatures over 90 degrees but -30 isn’t unheard of.

The state of Minnesota appears at the top of the lists of states that are well run and on solid financial footing.

Yes, we have theaters and art galleries and concert halls in Minnesota. In St. Paul we have art crawls and music in the parks.

People who come to Minnesota from other places often comment on how clean our cities are.

New construction in St. Paul

There is very little new construction in St. Paul and prices start at over half a million for a single-family home.

There is always some affordable in-fill type construction where someone buys a lot and builds a house on it. Expect few opportunities and multiple offers.

Some of the new construction is on small lots where small houses used to be. I have seen a few where the house barely fits on the lot and towers over its neighbors.

There are new luxury apartments in St. Paul and some new hotels too. There has been some building going on since the great recession but very little affordable housing.

I don’t want to chase anyone away but in general, the houses in St. Paul are old because St. Paul is old.

If you don’t like old houses and want to new construction that is affordable head on out to the suburbs. For new construction that is priced for less than 250K try Isanti county.

New construction – 600Kish