How many bedrooms does a loft have?

A Rossmor Loft – 500 North Robert street. Formerly a shoe factory

The loft is a common housing style in downtown St. Paul but they seem to confuse our MLS. Most lofts have no bedrooms. Most home buyers search for homes based partly on the number of beds and baths they have.

Lofts are flexible spaces and the bedroom is where ever you put the bed. If you put the bed by the window then the bedroom has an egress window.

The bedroom or bedrooms can be anywhere in the loft. Some people build platforms so that they have a kind of the second story for their bed and others build separate rooms and some buy dividers or storage units or curtains.

For some, the flexibility is too much. They reject the idea of living in a space that doesn’t have a defined sleeping space. It does take some imagination and creativity.

Artists lofts are lofts that are used as a space to live and work and usually have good lighting.

Many of the buildings in downtown St. Paul that have lofts in them were originally warehouses or factories. They have huge windows and exposed brick walls and high ceilings. Floors are sealed concrete. Often ductwork is exposed and some of the units have original hardware left over from when they were industrial buildings.

Decorating and living in a loft is about having less stuff and about using creative storage solutions. For example, a bookcase can serve as a room and a place for books. Hooks and shelves can take advantage of high ceilings and create verticle storage.

If you want to live in a loft consider the downtown St. Paul neighborhood. Prices range from just 100K to over a million.

The smallest neighborhood

Downtown St. Paul is small but the residential population has grown to about 8050 people. I like to think of it as the other neighborhood because it is so different. The housing is different too because most of it is condominiums.

In recent years more apartments have been added to the mix. In the last couple of years, more bars and restaurants have opened in the area. There are also fewer businesses downtown and a lot of vacant offices and retail space.

Here is a look at downtown condo prices over the last 5 years. Prices have gone up. No surprise.

downtown st. paul condo prices
downtown St. Paul condo prices

The data in the chart above comes from the NorthstarMLS which is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

My life is in your hands

I know it sounds dramatic but my safety and maybe even my life is in the hands of my neighbors. Some of those neighbors shovel their sidewalks and keep the ice off of them and others do not.

There is a local French restaurant by Irvine park that never shovels the walk. Their customers can pull up to the door and go it while a valet parks their car. Businesses like that make for very bad neighbors.

The worst thing I saw last snow season was an elderly woman using a walker and leaving tracks in the snow along the sidewalk in from of the local grocery store.

Saint Paul City Ordinance requires snow and ice to be removed from sidewalks within 24 hours. It doesn’t provide an exemption for businesses that do not use the sidewalk in front of their business. It does not provide an exemption for condos or townhouses either.

There are no exemptions for houses that are for sale or for vacant properties.

To report a sidewalk that’s a safety hazard and needs shoveling, contact the Department of Safety and Inspections at 651-266-8989. Be sure to tell us the address of the property and check to be certain it’s within city limits. 

The City will contact the property owner to make sure the sidewalk is shoveled as soon as possible. If the owner does not comply, the City will send a crew to clear the sidewalk and bill the property owner for the (high-priced) work.

The city also has a downloadable, printable door hanger that can be used to remind a neighbor to shovel.  I am not sure how to use that on the sidewalks that are along Kellogg Blvd and in other places where there are no homes or businesses. There are several downtown sidewalks that never get shoveled.

I walk every day. Most days I walk at least three miles. I walk as if my life depends upon it because it does.

Typical November Weather

rain street
Fall in St. Paul

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. This has been a dreary week. Typical for November in Minnesota. Short gloomy days and a lot of rain or snow or both.

There were a couple of bright spots this week. One of them is that we got to vote and now that the mid-term elections are over we won’t have to hear or see those horrible campaign ads.

Most of the candidates don’t tell us much about themselves in their advertising. They tell us how bad the other guy is. In fact, in some races, my only information about the candidates came from the opposing candidate.

The other bright spot this week has been the new season of House of Cards. I watched the final episode last night. The ending isn’t what I would call uplifting. I don’t want to give it away but it was bizarre. I’ll miss the Underwoods.

Now that the election is over and I have watched the final season of House of Cards I can get on with my life without further distraction.

Serious buyers should take advantage of winter

tree
On the river bluff – Cherokee Heights neighborhood

The dusting of snow we got on Tuesday was a reminder of what is to come. It will get colder and snowier and usually, the real estate market slows down a bit.

In some parts of the country, the seller’s market is starting to lose its grip but here in the metro area, the inventory of homes on the market remains small. Prices usually do not go up as much during the winter as they do in the spring.

Serious buyers should start looking or keep looking during the winter months and particularly during the holidays. Sellers tend to be more motivated this time of year and most years we see fewer “bidding wars” in the winter.

Home sellers are often reluctant to list homes for sale during the holidays yet every December there are homes on the market and people buy them.

Personally, I like to take advantage of the kind of real estate agent slowdown I see this time of year. I make my self-available to work with both buyers and sellers.

Home sales and prices by neighborhood

Here are some numbers for St. Paul home sales in October 2018. The numbers come from data in the NorthstarMLS and include most of the home and condo sales in St. Paul.

There has been little change from September home sale prices. The number of homes on the market is up slightly but still a strong seller’s market.

Homes are selling for slightly more than the asking price in some neighborhoods. The average sale price for the whole city is very close to the average list price.

Average days on market is slightly less than 30 days and the average cumulative days on market is 37 days.

chart
October sales – St. Paul, MN

If you would like to know how much your home might sell for and how long it will take to sell please contact me for a free no obligation consultation.

For more local real estate number see Local Market conditions & home prices