Pictures I took last summer

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Last summer was last weekend. We had an entire weekend of summer and I am thankful that I was able to be outside and that I got some pictures. Last weekend may have been the shortest summer ever on record.

red winged blackbirds
Red winged black birds
bald eagle
Nesting bald eagle

It isn’t every day I can photograph a bald eagle. it is a shame I didn’t have my tripod with me.

Warm weather will return when it returns. The photos were taken at Lilydale regional park.

How scary are your neighbors?

I have met some interesting neighbors over the years and most of my home buyer clients really want to know who the neighbors are. Neighbors tend to come and go. Some of the best neighbors take jobs in other states and move away.

Other neighbors will stay put and some neighbors will run out to greet potential buyers and tell the all about the house and the neighborhood. Sometimes what they say helps sell the house and other times they chase potential buyers away.

People seem to want to live next door to people who are just like them and sometimes it works out that way.

I’ll never forget the time I listed a house and the neighbor across the street was selling his house. That was back during the buyers market. The neighbor would watch out the window and as people were done looking at my listing he would come outside and try to get them to look at his house.

Occasionally while buyers are looking at a house there are nearby neighbors behaving badly. Buyers usually quickly loose interest in the house.

How your neighbors house looks will affect your ability to sell your house. There isn’t much you can do about your neighbors except hope and pray that they behave themselves while your home is on the market.


Restored homes in the west 7th neighborhood in St. Paul

Seeing it on Zillow doesn’t make it true

House – sold a couple of years ago.

Last weekend I got a couple of inquires on homes that are shown as being for sale on Zillow. When I looked into our MLS in both cases the homes had offers on them. The data that is in Zillow is fed from the MLS but until May 1, 2017 agents can by pass the data feed and manually input the listing. There are a few reasons for doing this and to many of us, Zillow is just for fun.

There are homes that are for sale by owners in Zillow that are not really for sale. I talk to the sellers and they tell me they are just kind of trying it out. Rather than putting the listing in the “make me move” category which is for “trying it out”, they go ahead and put it in as for sale by owner.

Most of the homes that are for sale in the area are accurately represented on Zillow. Real estate agents who do not like Zillow avoid looking at the site. I like to take a peak once a week or so. The agents with their faces by the homes for sale are paying for a zip code. In most cases they are not listing the home for sale and sometimes they know almost nothing about it.

Real estate companies and agent teams are getting bigger and bigger and it is all about “lead capture”.

When will the housing market fully recover?

St. Paul Median home sale prices

In some neighborhoods the housing market has bounced back to where it was before the housing market crash and the great recession. In other neighborhoods houses are still worth less than they were worth more than a decade ago.

Will there ever be a full recovery? It is hard to say. The neighborhoods that have not fully recovered still have vacant houses and condemned houses. In most cases it is hard to rehab them and make any kind of a profit once they are sold.