Holiday weekends can be a lot of work

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I am happy that the holiday weekend is over. Last weekend I finished planting my garden and then I went to the hardware store on Memorial Day for a couple of begonias to fill in an empty space in a flower bed.

While I was there I asked them if they still repair screens. They said that they do but it will take five weeks.

Since it is only warm enough to open the windows for about five weeks I went ahead and bought a roll of screen fabric.  When I got home I found some spline and the little tool that is used for getting the spline in the groove.

An hour later I had two new screens and only one cut on hand. Since there isn’t any point in putting up new screens on dirty windows I took the windows apart and washed them inside and out.

On the double sash window, I washed both pains, up and down and inside and out, and then went ahead and washed the two windows next to the clean window with the new screen. These windows are right in front of the house.

It seems silly to put dusty curtains on clean windows so I went ahead and took all of the curtains down in the living room and dining room and washed them.  I couldn’t see the point of putting the clean curtains up on dirty windows in the dining room so I washed the windows that I hadn’t already washed.

There is more, but I am going to stop right here.

For me, holiday weekends can be exhausting.

Mortgage rates up again

Mortgage interest rates rose last week and are hovering around 7%. I’ll update this post later today when Freddie Mac posts the average rates for the week.  The demand for mortgages is at a three-month low.

Rates will likely go down again but only if the US debt ceiling is increased. If not look for mortgage rates closer to 8% and more.

This might be the best time to hold off on buying a house unless you can pay cash.

As for selling a house, they are still selling quickly and often with multiple offers. Cash offers are fairly common this year.



Here are the updated weekly mortgage rate averages.

Chart from Freddie Mac with mortgage rates
Latest mortgage interest rate averages. 6.1.2023

More housing fewer businesses

The population of the downtown St. Paul neighborhood grew from about 4000 in 2010 2000 to over 10,000 today. There are apartment buildings and condos. There are office buildings and factories that have been converted to housing. In fact over all housing has done well downtown.

There is also a lot of vacant retail and office space. With fewer downtown workers the skyways are quiet with pockets of activity.  The co-working space I used to use downtown closed during the pandemic. The building is now vacant except for a restaurant on the first floor.

According to the Downtown Alliance, there are 55,000 downtown workers. Yet there are miles of mostly empty skyways. At street level, there are plenty of vacant buildings and empty storefronts.

The most activity downtown can be found near Rice Park and in the Lowertown area with the ball park Farmer’s market and Union Depot.

Over all downtown is looking clean and in good repair. The parks look amazing and thanks to the Downtown Alliance you won’t find any litter on the streets. There isn’t any kind of a police presence at the street level but Saint Paul PD can be found in the skyways.

Skyway near the Osborn building
Vacant storefront – St. Paul Skyways
5th and Wabasha
Former Dunn brothers coffee on 5th and Wabasha


just assume you are being watched and listened to.

Privacy is rare and it should not be expected when touring homes for sale. I have had clients who hid the fact that they were watching and listening.

I was reminded that we were not alone when I was showing a client a house that is for sale and we had a conversation while standing in front of a camera that was somewhat hidden.

Buyers should be aware that anytime they are in someone’s house or even in their yard it is safe to assume there is a camera someplace and that it is recording or that you are being observed real-time.

Someone may be listening to your every word.

There are so many makes and models of cameras. I see them on the outside of houses when I walk by.  Doorbells with cameras are very popular too.

Just be aware that someone is watching you and listening too.

Walking doesn’t need to be complicated

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I walk a lot. I have been walking for more than half a century. Did you know that there is special gear for walking? There are books and articles about how to walk and which gear to choose.

There are probably webinars about walking too and I’ll bet there are seminars too. There might be Facebook groups or I supposed a person could just ask their Facebook friends for advice on how to walk.

I think what I have always liked about walking is that no special gear is needed.  Walking shoes do not have to be expensive. I like thicker soles and a little arch support but am able to walk barefoot for miles if the need arises.

There isn’t any reason to overthink walking. I am confident that I can continue to put one foot in front of the other and everything will be alright.

Rice Park – Sidewalk