Good fortune is just a cookie away

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun.

This one is my all-time favorite fortune from a fortune cookie: “The fortune you seek is in another cookie” That kind of sums up my life.  Nice to see that even the people who make fortune cookies have a sense of humor.

Fortune from fortune cookie

Warm weather this weekend will melt the snow. Temperatures will be in the 50s and 60s next week. Nothing like a little late April weather in February.

Property Tax Refunds in Minnesota

Some folks are eligible for a property tax refund and they don’t know it. The system is a bit confusing because property taxes are paid to the county but the refund comes from the State of Minnesota. There are income limits on eligibility.

The deadline for filing for a refund for property owners and renters is August 15th and if you miss the deadline your refund will vanish on August 16th of the following year. Thats right. If you snooze you lose. I wonder how many people who qualify for a property tax refund miss out?

Renters will need a CRP –  Certificate of Rent Paid.

There is also a special refund of up to $1000 for qualified homeowners who received tax increases of 12% or more in 2023 and 2024.

Instructions and forms and even free filing can be found on the Minnesota Department of Revenue website.

These refunds can be significant. Property taxes are based on the value of the property but the refund is based on income.  It is possible to get a refund for more than half of the taxes paid. Yes, this is true, the lower the income and the higher the property taxes the larger the rebate.

I wish I could say that Form M1PR, “Homestead Credit Refund (for Homeowners) and Renter’s Property Tax Refund” is easy to fill out. It is two pages long and has 39 lines and it requires adding the numbers from certain lines and subtracting others. There is a 32-page document with instructions. , and instructions on how to get help with filing your M1PR.

 

 

 

January 2023 Vs January 2024, Home sales

The infographic is from Minnesota Realtors which is our state Realtor Association. Home sales were up in January year over year and there are more houses on the market this January in Minnesota than there were in January 2023. Home sales prices are up and interest rates were slightly lower this year than last year but too high.

Infographic - January 2023 Vs January 2024
Minnesota Real Estate January 23 Vs January 24

Mortgage Rates Rise Again

Mortgage interest rates go up and down slightly all the time. These days rates are high so as soon as they go down a little that is newsworthy. Personally, I don’t see any room for optimism when it comes to mortgage interest rates that are higher than 5.5%.

Chart of mortgage interest rates
Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey®

Interest rates matter. Higher interest rates bring housing costs up.

Happy Presidents Day – and a reminder to vote

American flag
American Flag

Yes, it is President’s Day today. So far there have been 46 presidents of the United States. So far all but one have been white. White men make up approximately 31% of the US population.

Both of my US senators are women as is my state senator. Our Saint Paul City council is all women, but there has never been a female St. Paul mayor or Minnesota Governor. I like to think that at least we are building a pipeline and maybe sometime in the next 100 years we will elect a female president of the United States.

Women have had the right to vote for the last 104 years, but do not have equal rights. The Equal Rights Amendment failed in the Senate again last year. Women’s reproductive rights have been taken away in several states and women are dying because of it. We seem to be going backward. Let’s go forward.

Happy President’s Day!

A career in pins

Pins
Lapel Pins

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I was cleaning out my office supply cabinet and found these pins. They are lapel pins and I rarely wear anything with a lapel.

For those of us who are self-employed, there is no retirement party. There isn’t a gold watch or a cake either. That is alright because I am not sure retirement is even a thing anymore.

Maybe I could set a goal for myself. Three more pins and I retire. 🙂 LOL

The oldest pins are pins with backs to hold them in place. The newest pins aren’t pins at all. They are held on with magnets. I am sure I have some more of these but I don’t know where they are.

Maybe I’ll take a better picture of these and build a page on the internet to show them off, or I could just leave them where I found them.