HECM or Reverse Mortgage

queen anne house
Got House?

It seems like just about everything that has to do with old people and or the federal government is given a set of initials that eventually becomes a word.

HECM stands for . . get this LOL “Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Program”. This isn’t a home equity line of credit or loan. The HECM is what used to be called a reverse mortgage.

Yes, a reverse mortgage is just what it sounds like. The homeowner gets a money each month instead of making a payment.

Homeowners can also use the program to open a line of credit that does not have to be repaid.

The amount that can be borrowed depends upon the amount of equity in the home and the age of the youngest borrower.

The money can be used for anything and it can be paid back in full. It might be a good way to finance roof or some other home improvement.

HECM has some strict requirements like you have to be at least 62 and own your home free and clear or have a lot of equity.

There are more details, in-fact a lot more details and they can be found on the HUD website.

Younger buyers, smarter homes

App to control heating, cooling and monitor home temperature

Research suggests that younger home buyer’s like smarter homes. The good news is that even old homes can be retrofitted to be “smart”.

My own home was build in the 1850’s and it has a smart thermostat, cameras with motion detectors, an Amazon Echo and several electrical outlets and some lights that can be controlled with phone apps or by voice.

The internet of things just keeps growing and the possibilities are almost endless.  Doesn’t everyone want to control their slow cooker via wifi?

Home buyers should keep this in mind when they go to buy a home. Technology is ever changing and what is really hot today might not even exist in ten years. Technology changes all the time but a good house can last for centuries.

When we bought our home there was no such thing as Wifi or smartphones. We had wiring for landline phones and cable TV.

Built-in intercom systems used to be all the rage, now there are wifi versions that can be added to any home.

When our home was built it did not have central heating, electricity or indoor plumbing. All of those amenities were added as they became available and affordable for home owners.

Homeowners who want to make their homes more attractive to younger buyers can upgrade their thermostats and add some electrical outlets and light switches that can be controlled through WiFi.

Add an intercom and a doorbell that has voice and video. Smart locks can be added so that doors can be locked or unlocked by voice or with an app from anywhere.

People of all ages use and appreciate smart home technology.

Wasn’t it a lovely week?

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I thought this past week was lovely. We had all four seasons in one week with the snow, the rain, the falling leaves and then the warm weather.

I enjoyed the sunshine but not the box elder bugs (not pictured because ICK!) that came with it.

Today and Sunday look like the best days for outdoor activities. It will be hard to choose between a bike ride, a hike or cleaning up the yard.

Condo sales in downtown St. Paul

The red line shows median home sale prices in St. Paul and the blue line shows average condo sale prices in downtown St. Paul. Historically median prices have been higher downtown than in the rest of the city but that changed in late 2015.

Right now there are plenty of opportunities to own a home in downtown St. Paul. Average cumulative days on market (CDOM) is currently at 123 days. For the rest of the city excluding downtown CDOM is 64.8.

Now might be a better time to buy a downtown St. Paul home.

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 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.