Toilet paper and you

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. It has been an eventful week as we all mentally prepare for at least another month of staying at home.

I have been doing the grocery shopping and instead of going to big box store that offers online ordering and curbside pick-up, I have been shopping at the same neighborhood store I have been shopping at for the last 35 years.

There hasn’t been any toilet paper on the shelves for a while now. We were down to our last few roles when I went to the store early Tuesday morning.  The shelves where the toilet paper used to be were empty.

When I got to the check out line I asked the cashier if she knows when some might come in. She had two cases of toilet paper that had just come in and let me buy an 8 pack.

I thanked her and in talking to her learned that she doesn’t have paid sick leave or any benefits through her employer.

The reason food remains affordable for me is because the grocery store pays her less and keeps her part-time and without benefits.

I will continue to shop at my neighborhood store for as long as I can and for as long as they stay open. The store is important to the neighborhood.

toilet paper
toilet paper

Home repairs

Last winter I started repairing some of the old windows in my house. A little scraping and painting here and there and some caulk and window glaze. Some elbow grease and a good putty knife and they all open and close now. It has been at least a decade since we have been able to open and close all of our windows.

The window in the picture is well over 100 years old. What looks like leaded glass is an inexpensive plastic window cling.

window

If we have to stay home for another month I might it is possible that I’ll have time to fix things. I do have my eye on a closet that I would love to clean out and paint.

 

It is April

Bloodroot
spring wildflowers -bloodroot find them in the woods

Maybe you were expecting an April fool’s joke? I’ll be saving those up but plant to put some holiday decorations on the house. I have decided that a combination of Halloween and Christmas decorations makes the most sense.

I also have some sidewalk chalk and some candles I can put to use. I look forward to posting pictures of my decorations for this April fools day on April 1,2021.

Fewer home tours

Showingtime appointments

We don’t have any solid data or history to determine how COVID-19 stay at home orders, layoffs and quarantines will impact the real estate market. Real estate isn’t a priority or emergency for most but since I have a blog and access to numbers I’ll continue to report local real estate news.

It will be a month or so before we will have a true picture of what March was like for home sales but we do have data on how many people are touring homes with their REALTOR which is allowed even under the statewide shutdown order as long as precautions are taken.

A week ago private showings of homes on the market were down 25% from last year and 24% from the peak this year. This week the number of showings are down almost 40% from this year’s peak and slightly more than 40% as compared with last year. This is an indication that fewer people are touring houses.

Since there is and has been a shortage of homes for sale it is hard to say what the impact of this will be but it is an early indicator that the local housing market is impacted by COVID-19 just like everything else.

We are still in a strong seller’s market with a low inventory of homes for sale just like last year and the last several years. The average days on market for homes that got offers in march is around 25.

So far nothing has slowed and prices have not gone down. I did get an email from a lender stating that it might be harder for some buyers to get FHA loans because banks are being more cautious.

Check next  Monday for March 2020 local real estate numbers and next Tuesday for a new showingtime chart.

Are you a snowbird wondering what to do?

We call them “snowbirds”. People who live in Minnesota during the summer and in Florida, Arizona or some other warm and sunny state during the winter.

Normally the snowbirds would be returning to Minnesota around Mid-April. This year many will stay where they are and that is the advice various state agencies are giving.

If you need or want to sell your home in Minnesota you do not have to be here to do that. There are companies that can pack up your stuff and a stager and cleaners can go in an make your house presentable. A photographer can photograph it and it can we can put it on the market.

Everything a home seller needs to sign can be signed electronically. Homeowners can stay involved every step of the way and monitor showings too.

A homeowners with access to the internet or with just a cell phone can accept and sign an offer. The closing can also be handled at a distance with the proceeds wired to your bank account.

None of this is new. I have worked with several out of state sellers that I have never met in person. It gets easier all the time and much easier than it was even a decade ago.

I have no idea if now is a good time to buy or sell. No one knows for sure but there are all kinds of reasons why people might want to sell a house and as of right now people are still buying houses.

 

Day #15 and Day 3 of Stay home Minnesota