holiday weekend staycation

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. We hang out at home most memorial day weekends. There are plenty of things to do and places to go. I like to get out on my bike and I often bring my camera.

The regional parks and Fort Snelling State Park (which is currently closed due to flooding)  offer the best opportunities for photographing wildlife, birds, and plants. I like to go early in the morning before the large loud groups of people on bikes scare the birds away.

Great Blue Heron

Enjoy the weekend and take some time to remember the people who fought for us and who died in wars.


First time homebuyers and their grandparents

townhouse and condo – days on market

It doesn’t matter which indicator I look at, townhouses and condos are in demand in the metro area. Smaller affordable units are in demand for first-time homebuyers and for retirees.

The supply of condos in St. Paul is small but has remained fairly flat for the past couple of years. The number of homes for sale in St. Paul is slightly higher than it was at this time last year but still very low.

If I were a builder I know what I would build . . .

Local Housing Data

I have been writing about the shortage of housing for a couple of years. In the metro area, there isn’t a lot of new construction. A new luxury apartment building here and there and some large expensive homes and even a few affordable housing units.

At the same time, the population and the need for housing have grown.

A large number of current homeowners are not ready to sell. They are older and more likely to stay put than to move. The end result is that there are not very many homes available and that is driving prices up.

Here is some data from the Met Council:

Metro housing data
Data from the Met Council

Most of the growth is in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The math is simple in that the population is growing faster than the supply of housing.

I think the situation will ease up a bit in the next decade unless we people start moving out of the area or we start building affordable housing.


Bad landscaping Vs. Good landscaping

Great landscaping around a home has a high return on the dollar. It can be a great investment. Homeowners can do there own landscaping but should do a little research first.

Here is a short list of common landscaping mistakes that I see often.

  1. Shade plants in sunny areas.
  2. Sun-loving plants in the shade.
  3. Plants put too close together so that they are crowded and do not have room to grow.
  4. Planting too close to the house.
  5. Too many plants for the size of the space.
  6. Bushes and trees that completely block the view from the house to the street.

There are numerous books about landscaping. They can even be found at home improvement stores.

Neighborhood nurseries often offer advice and will answer questions about plants and landscaping for those who want to do it themselves.

When searching the internet for ideas make sure that the websites are for Minnesota gardens.

I have made just about every landscaping mistake a person can make. My biggest mistake was planting a small every green bush that was 6 inches high but grew to be eight feet tall.

Removing plants is not nearly as much fun and sometimes much more expensive than planting them.

It is important to have a plan and to choose the right plants for the plan. It helps to have an understanding of what size the plants will be as they mature and how much space, water and light each plant needs.






Housing by generation

Monday is a good day for data. Today I have an infographic that shows some generational trends of recent home buyers and sellers.

It is never a good idea to make assumptions based on generation but it is helpful to understand current trends if you are planning on buying or selling a home.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the Millennial generation is the largest group of homebuyers. It is the largest generation and they are entering prime home-buying years.


Generational home buying trends

Facebook has replaced medical school

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I can ask any question about anything on Facebook and I will get answers. 

Me on Facebook: I plan on performing open heart surgery and am looking for advice. Thanks.

Facebook Friend(s) who has never performed any kind of surgery:

  1. Stick them with the pointy end.
  2. Wash your hands before…. and after
  3. Cut deep, they may have thick skin
  4. Probably best to practice on someone else first
  5. Play it by ear
  6. When I do my open heart surgeries I always bring my cordless Worx saw. Works great!
    Tip: best to change to a fine blade for the initial cut. Minimizes splatter.
  7. The heart is located in the chest. Most people have one, I think.
  8. Choose a good patient
  9. Facebook is the best source for information
  10. Measure twice cut once. Trust me, I’m a white man and am therefore an authority on most topics.
  11. Google it then ask a bunch of strangers who also have no expertise on the subject until you get the answer(s) you want to hear
  12. Practice makes perfect.

People just love to give advice. Sometimes people ask their Facebook friends for medical advice. I kind of understand that considering how expensive medical care is and how hard it is to find good medical care.

There are people who consult Facebook whenever they have a question about anything. There is plenty of advice for home buyers and sellers too.