Pandemic Elevator Etiquette

Many things have changed during the pandemic. Downtown there are signs in the elevators advising people to take separate elevators for social distancing unless they are from the same household.

There isn’t a way to social distance in an elevator. Last week while I was in an elevator going down a group of people who wanted to go up got in the elevator with me. It was a group of people who were headed to a party. They all had masks on but I am sure they don’t have a clue about the whole elevator thing.

If you need to take an elevator don’t get in it if there is already someone in it. Yes, one person per elevator does mean longer wait times for elevators and it may also save lives.



July home sales by neighborhood

July home sales in St. Paul look kind of Juneish. Yes, I made that word up but my point is that the increase in homes for sale and sales look like what we normally see in June.

The average sales prices were higher than the average list prices in many neighborhoods. That means prices are going up not down.

The market still favors sellers. This is a great time to sell but it is still a tough time for buyers who get caught up in multiple offer situations.

The average number of days on the market is down from last month, sale prices are up. The number of new listings is up and pending sales are up too.

table of home sales data by neighborhood
July home sales by neighborhood

Real estate is local and recent data is more relevant than old news. Your uncle Fred who lives five states away and who has not bought or sold real estate in the last 20 years might be giving you bad advice.

The numbers used to make the chart were extracted from the NorthstarMLS and are deemed reliable but not guaranteed. No numbers were harmed in the process and there were gently sorted in MS Excel but never stirred.

For more local home sale data see Local market conditions and home prices

If you would like to know how much your home might sell for contact me and I’ll provide a fast free no-obligation estimate. (Also called a CMA)

Vote on August 11, 2020

Minnesota ELECTION 2020 – August 11, 2020, Primary Election for State, County, and Municipal Offices. It isn’t too late but it would be nice if you had voted ahead of time. The polls open at 7:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM.

Don’t take my word for it Visit the Minnesota Secretary of state web site for details. Get a sample ballot and figure out who to vote for.

If you have an absentee ballot it is too late to mail it. Do not bring it to your polling place. Bring it to your county elections office.  They have drop off boxes, some have hours when ballots can be dropped off. You might need to read some signs and whatnot.

Let’s do this!


When a home office was more fun

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I talked to a few people this week who have been working from home way before the pandemic. I know I have officed mostly out of my house since late 2006. We all feel that it was more fun when everyone else went to work and we stayed home.

Since the late 1990’s I have been reading about how workers in the future will be working from home and about how most companies will have offices because people can not work from home or the only way for the business to function is by having everyone work from one location.

These days there are articles about how some large companies are going to let their employees work from home for at least another year and others have called their employees back into the office.

There are people who dislike working from home and people who love working from home. I hate to call it working from home because that makes it sound like I am not working and my workplace has been in my home for 15 years. If I went to an office for work I wouldn’t call it going to work I would call it working from the office.

I make a lot of housecalls too. It is actually hard to sell houses without going into one now and then. I used to go out to lunch a lot and meet with people in coffee shops. I am not sure which I miss the most the food and coffee or the people.

Now I mostly meet with people from my ZOOM room via video but I still make housecalls but not as many as I used to make in the before time.

Maybe you work from home or at home or maybe you go into work most days. Either way, I think having work right now is a good thing and something to be thankful for even if it involves wearing a funny hat.

factory workers 1934

More campgrounds and more tents

I read a news story about how people have purchased a lot of outdoor camping equipment this year. Apparently, kayaks are sold out too. The theory is that people are not traveling as much because of the pandemic and are camping and enjoying outdoor activities instead.

My theory is that some tents are being used as housing. As I ride my bike I notice that the urban campgrounds are growing for a few years.

This year none of the water has been turned on. There are no functioning water fountains or water features. When I read about how well the housing market and stock markets are doing I almost immediately think of the campers. Should I be bringing them news about the stock market?

Campsite in St. Paul
homeless in St.. Paul
Homeless camp