Condos that qualify for FHA financing

 Not all condos qualify for FHA financing.  I don’t make the rules.  In general to be eligible for FHA financing a condo association has to be approved and one of the criteria is a high owner occupancy rate.

In the buildings that are approved for FHA loans there are limits as to how many FHA loans are allowed in the complex.

Why FHA financing?  Because FHA generally requires a lower down payment than a conventional loan and for that there are some strings attached.  Ask your lender what your options are and for some advice.

Buyers who are interested in condos or townhouses might want to consider conventional financing so that they have more choices.  People who own condominiums like to have the freedom to rent them out but each time a unit is rented it lowers the owner occupancy rate which can limit financing options for buyers. 

Here is a link to a web site where buyers and sellers can check to see which buildings allow FHA financing.  The site only works during business hours.  Which is weird but probably a topic for a whole separate blog post. 

greatnorthernlofts wm
great northern lofts approved

How many offer does it take?

Perfect house

I just love it when I can get multiple offers for my sellers and like most agents I do my best to make that happen.  How many offers are enough?  Usually by three or four offers we have the highest and best offer.  It is not at all unusual to get a few offers on a home that are almost identical.  

We can only sell the home to one buyer and each home is worth a finite amount of money.  Once a couple of offers are received that are at or above the appraised value there really isn’t any point in getting more offers.

Your agent may tell you that they want your listing exposed to as many people as possible and that they want to get as many offers as possible.  The all sounds wonderful but there is a relatively small number of people who are interested in a particular house and an even smaller number who are ready to buy and who can buy it.  

Targeted marketing to that smaller number of people and sometimes just one offer will get the sellers the most amount of money for their home.  Modern marketing is about targeted marketing as opposed to marketing to everyone and hoping someone will be interested.

Understanding a sellers market


 The local real estate market has favored sellers for several months now and some buyers have not yet caught up.  During the recent buyers market that lasted several years buyers had the upper hand and sellers were happy to get offers on their homes. 

Now that we are in a sellers market buyers are coming to me after having gone through a couple of agents.  They wrote offers for significantly less than the asking price in multiple offer situations, or went on vacation and missed out on their dream house. 

Tines have changed. Serious buyers will reschedule vacations and be willing to look at homes on the lunch hour and make house hunting a priority if they don’t want to loose out to another buyer. Offers that are lower than the asking price rarely work in multiple offer situations. 

Most full time agents have enough home buyers and are looking for more sellers.   Marginal buyers or buyers who are hard to work with either get dumped by their agent or ignored when they try to find an agent.  

Personally  I always enjoyed working with buyers and I still do but I interview my buyers and make sure they have realistic expectations. I can’t always handle the last minute emergency request to see a house. like most agents I work with more than one client at a time.  I do my best to make time for each client.  

I am an excellent negotiator and my knowledge of St. Paul and of the housing stock comes from years of experience.  I am looking for the very best buyers to work with.  

The best buyers are serious about buying a home and are  pre-approved and can schedule time to look at homes.

The most important thing to understand about a sellers market is that the sellers now have the upper hand. 

Tall Ships

 My husband and I saw the tall ships in the Boston harbor several years ago.  They are indeed spectacular.  The tall ships will be in Duluth Harbor this weekend.  

We spent a few days last week on the shores of lake superior and we happened to see one of the tall ships.  Last time they came to Duluth we were not so lucky.  The city of Duluth has managed to make viewing the tall ships a bad experience instead of a good one which is why we are back in St. Paul instead of up in Duluth with the hoards of tourists.

IMG 206w 2
A genuine Tall ship

On the trail

 It is Friday and Fridays are for fun.  One of the things I like to do for fun is ride my bike and I love our bike trails.  I see birds and wild turkeys and deer and all sorts of native plants and wildflowers in the woods and along the trails.

Every now and then I see a plant I can not identify.  I found this one on the trail growing in the asphalt near Lilydale regional park.  It appears to be in full bloom.