The parking app in St. Paul

parking app
PassportParking Mobile Pay

There are more parking meters in St. Paul than ever before. In the old days, I used to carry a roll of quarters because the meters only accepted quarters.

The newer parking pay stations accept quarters, paper money and credit cards and there is a parking app for your phone.

For the last couple of years, I have been using the PassportParking Mobile Pay app. It was life-changing for me. 🙂

All I have to do is open the app and put in the parking space number. I get an alarm when my meter is expiring and the opportunity to extend the time.

It is like magic. It doesn’t seem like many people know about it or are using it. You can get the app at the google play store and at the Apple app store and it is free.

parking
Parking on West 7th

Also, see Parking in downtown St. Paul

Median home prices in your neighborhood

Median Home prices – By St. Paul Neighborhood

I am starting to see predictions for 2019 and beyond that suggest home prices will continue to rise but at a much slower pace. Some predictions indicate that a buyers market is just around the corner and that corner is in just a few years.

We never know what is going to happen. All we can do is watch so that we know what is happening or what has happened.

If you would like to know how much your home is worth contact me via email, text message or phone call. I love numbers.

October 15th is an important day

snow on grass
October 14th snowstorm

It seems strange calling it a snowstorm. Maybe we can just think of it as a reminder. It snowed yesterday.

Beginning Oct. 15 and running through April 15, utility companies must provide residential customers with payment plans if they can not pay their utility bills.

Low-income Minnesotans may also be eligible for energy assistance programs from the state, utilities or charities that offer discounted heat or other help during colder months.

For more information, the cold weather rule visit the Minnesota Utilities Commission Website.  . . and yes your utilities can be turned off for non-payment.

I usually turn off the water to my outdoor spigots in Mid-October and get the furnace tuned. Getting a flu shot is also a good idea.

Saint Paul Art Crawl 2018

made from random pictures I took with my phone at the 2011 art crawl

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. This is Fall Art Crawl weekend. The Saint Paul Art Crawl is an event that I look forward to. It is one of the many reasons that I love living in St. Paul.

This year’s schedule: October 12, 13, 14, 2018 • Friday 6–10 PM, Saturday 12–8 PM, Sunday 12–5 PM.  See the Art Crawl website for a list of locations. I have my favorite artists to visit. Some are downtown and others are at the Schmidt brewery artists lofts.

If you do not know downtown St. Paul very well take Shepard road to the Union Depot parking ramp and park. There will be artists in the depot and it is just a block away from artists lofts and studios on Broadway Street and on 4th street E.

Also, consider taking the Greenline which goes directly to the Union Depot.

There is a lot to see. I recommend comfortable walking shoes.

You accepted an offer. Now what?

Sold

Accepting a buyers offer is one more step in the home selling process. The process doesn’t end until the sale closes.

Please leave the for sale sign up and the lockbox on the front door. If the offer is inspection contingent the buyer and inspector will need to get into the house.

After the inspection has been completed the seller may need to make some repairs or maybe the buyer will decide not to proceed or maybe the process will move to the next stage.

The listing agent will change the status of the property to “pending”. Once in the pending stage, the house will no longer appear as a home for sale when buyers search the internet.

Pending means that a sale is pending. Usually pending sales close but not always. Yes, sometimes things go wrong. Maybe the appraisal comes out too low or a buyer becomes unemployed.

Unless the buyer is purchasing the home with cash the next step will be the appraisal. The appraiser will make an appointment and look at the property and prepare a report.

If the appraisal comes out to an amount that is as much or more than the amount the buyer is buying the process will proceed to the next stage.

At this point, the process is in the hands of the lender and the title company. The loan process is a mystery to most of us. We don’t know what they do all day. Underwriters ask for stuff and we get it to them.

A “Sold” sign can be added to the for sale sign after contingencies have been removed. Usually, the for sale sign is left on the property until after the closing but if the homeowner wants it removed sooner they can ask.

Shortly before the closing the buyer’s may want to do a final walk through. I certainly recommend this as it protects both parties. The purpose of the walkthrough is to make sure the property is still in good condition or the same condition it was in when the offer was made.

The lockbox is usually removed during the final walkthrough or after the closing.  I like to order for sale sign removal the day of the closing which is a common practice. The sign is usually gone a few days after the closing.

Information about the actual sale price of a home is not released until after the sale has closed.

This is kind of an outline of what happens, there are more details but my intent is to explain that accepting an offer does not mean the home is sold.

Real estate is local. Business practices and rules may be different outside of Minnesota.

Data security and real estate

This week and last week I took some continuing education classes for real estate. The way it works is if I get continuing education I get to keep my licenses. 🙂

This year’s classes included a lot of information about data security and privacy. The focus is on client data.

I am in the process of putting together a privacy and security policy for Boardman Realty.

We do not collect credit card numbers, social security numbers, bank account numbers, or drivers license numbers. We do collect names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.

I occasionally have to accept a paper check, instead of the safer electronic deposit through Trust Funds. All paper checks are deposited immediately and then destroyed.

In the old days, like 5 years ago, it was routine to get paper checks, copy them and save them with the file. These days I have buyers get their own copy and send it to their own lender.

Most of our client files are electronic only. The State of Minnesota requires us to retain client files. Those records are kept in a secure location and they don’t contain any private information. Client contact information is retained but never shared with third parties.

I know real estate agents who have paper files that they keep in their cars and trunks. They call it a mobile office.  It isn’t unusual for real estate agents to keep client files forever.

Old files might have social security numbers in them and copies of old checks. There was a time when there was a blank for social security numbers on buyer contracts and printed on closing settlement statements.

If you are working with a real estate agent ask what information is being gathered and what is being kept and for how long.

Security is important and I take it very seriously and I don’t want to be responsible for any information that I am not required to collect.

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