The unfortunate fortune cookie

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I love fortune cookies. Earlier in the week, I got a fortune cookie with my Chinese take-out and it didn’t have a fortune in it.

Is it lucky to get a cookie without a fortune or is it unlucky? I wanted to know so I did some research and there are two schools of thought:

  1. It is lucky to get a fortune cookie that doesn’t have a fortune in it because they are so rare.
  2. It is unlucky to get a fortune cookie without a fortune in it because they are so rare.

I decided that my cookie was lucky and that I was fortunate to the one to get it.

The predictions for 2019 were wrong

Yesterday I went back and looked at some of the predictions for the housing market for 2019. Many of the articles I saw were written in December of

Maple leaf
Maple leaf

2019 and most of them were about the national housing market.

Several experts predicted that there wouldn’t be as many buyers and that the housing market would start to become more of a buyers market and that would the increase in prices.

Real estate really is local. We have not been seeing any kind of slow down in demand or housing. Buyers are still buying and prices are still rising. The one thing the predictions did get right is that the year will end with fewer home sales. it isn’t because no one is buying it is because fewer are selling.

I’ll go out on a limb and predict that home sales in 2020 will be down from 2o20 as compared with 2019 and that prices will rise. Interest rates will remain very low because well you know it is a presidential election year.

People used to live in the same house an average of 7 or 8 years. As of this year, that number has gone up to 13.3 years. People are moving less and spending more money on renovations. The trend seems to be local and national.

As for the housing market as long as the population continues to grow and as long as the current trend of not building affordable housing continues the seller’s market will remain strong. It is unlikely that baby boomers, especially those who are not wealthy will sell because there really isn’t anywhere for them to go. There isn’t enough affordable housing for seniors or for anyone else.

If you live in the Twin Cities metro area the local newspapers and blogs like mine are a better source of information than the coastal media.

Home sales and prices by neighborhood

October home sales data by neighborhood. Homes continue to sell quickly and for more than the asking price. There is still a shortage of homes for sale and prices continue to rise but more slowly than they rose in the spring.

The number of homes on the market at any given time has been steady. The seasonal peaks and valleys are much smaller than they used to be. Homebuyers will need a little more time to find the right house because there are fewer to choose from. Home sellers don’t need to wait until spring to get top dollar.

The data used to make the chart below was extracted from the Northstar MLS. It was gently sorted in an Excel spreadsheet and never stirred. It is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. There are few guarantees in life.

St. Paul Home prices by neighborhood

The numbers in red indicate that the average sale price was higher than the average list price for the neighborhood. The overall average list and sale prices are pretty close.

For more numbers like these go to the “Local Market conditions and Home prices” category. If you have a house you would like to sell now or in the future contact me for a no-obligation consultation.

Vote yes, or vote no, please vote


Please get out and vote. There are elections for city council seats and for the school board. There will be a vote on one of the most important issues of our time. Trash collection.

If you don’t know where to go to vote find out by using the poll finder.

If you are not sure who or what to vote for educate yourself before you get to the poll, view this sample ballot

Yes you can sell a house in November

The housing market has changed. It is no longer difficult to sell a house in November. Right now homes are selling quickly in St. Paul. Over the weekend there were multiple offers on homes that had just been listed. Last week one of our listings sold the first weekend it was on the market.

Houses that are overpriced still linger on the market for a few weeks. Buyers should be brave and offer the sellers less than the asking price before the price is reduced and there are multiple offers.

Right now the inventory of homes on the market in St. Paul is low. There is a shortage of homes for sale. Affordable new construction would help but there isn’t any.

If you have a home you want to sell you can sell it during the winter and even during the holidays. The demand is strong and interest rates are low.

Get your snow rake today

The first snow will mark the beginning of ice dam season. One of the best ways to prevent ice dams on roofs is to remove the snow before it has a chance to melt and freeze and turn into ice. You do not have to clear the whole roof, even getting a few feet along the edge will male a big difference.

You can shovel your roof with a roof rake. They can be purchased at most building materials stores and they are not very expensive especially as compared to repairing water damage caused by water pooling on the roof because of the ice dams.

We are still looking for someone to repair some drywall that was ruined by a roof leak caused by an ice dam.

For those who like to shop online, it looks like Amazon had roof rakes too. The reason I am writing this now is because roof rakes are seasonal items and the stores seem to run out of them as soon as there is a major snowstorm.

To learn about snow and ice dams go to the University of Minnesota Extension web site and read up. Knowledge is power.

Related article Damn Ice Dams

Ice rake
roof rake