The last of the fall weather

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. It seems like fall is the shortest season in Minnesota and Winter is by far the longest.

Fall is a colorful season and a great time for taking photographs. Here are a couple that I took at Indian Mounds park a week ago.

Maple tree
Maple tree
Maple tree
Maple tree

This weekend is a great time to start putting the summer things away. One weather forecast that I saw is predicting below freezing temperatures in the Metro area over the weekend.


Condo document and due diligence

Loft – Market House in downtown St. Paul

People who buy condos and townhouses get to review condo documents for ten days before they make a final decision on their purchase. It is a state law in Minnesota and it is called the ten-day recission period.

The ten-day recision period starts after the buyer has received all of the documents.

I am familiar with the condo rules for many condo associations. I am surprised by how often buyers do not read most of the documents. They miss the surprises and the occasional gotcha.

The buyer has the contact information for someone in the association who can answer questions. It isn’t a good idea for real estate agents to answer questions about the documents. I have had clients get advice from their attorney.

Reading and understanding condominium documents are part of the buyer’s due diligence. Condo associations have to show their budgets and current financial status and if there are any pending lawsuits against them.

Condo rules can include rental and pet restrictions and parking rules. I know of one association that prohibits all pets except for goldfish and one that allows all pers except birds.

There are rules about the placement of potted plants and sometimes rules about garage doors that have to be kept closed. Some condo associations have tons of rules and others have few.

Do your own homework and read everything before making a final commitment.

Pro tip – There is one local management company that is the reason why I would not live in some of the condo buildings. I think it is always a good idea to talk to the representative from the management company and directly to someone on the board of directors for the association.

The number of REALTORS on the rise

The number of REALTORS in the US has hit an all-time high of 1,424,136. REALTORS are members of the National Association of Realtors. I can never find any data as to how many real estate licensees there are in the US. In the Twin Cities, a large percentage of real estate agents are REALTORS.

There isn’t any way to know how many REALTORS work selling real estate either but it is safe to guess that when there are more REALTORS there are more active real estate salespeople too.

In Minnesota, the number of REALTORS has risen to 21,234 while at the same time overall home sales remain flat.

There has never been a shortage of REALTORS. When the unemployment rate goes up we usually see an uptick in the number of REALTORS. This year housing is one of the strongest sectors of the economy which means there will be more REALTORS.

The housing data in the charts are from year-end summary reports from the Minnesota Association of REALTORS. The number of REALTORS is from data collected by the National Association of Realtors.

Not all REALTORS sell real estate. Some work in commercial real estate and in rentals and property management too. When people ask me if it is a good time to become a REALTOR the answer is always yes. For details on how to get a real estate license in Minnesota go to the Minnesota Department of Commerce website.

Home sales and REALTORS in Minnesota

Double digit growth in home sales

By all accounts, September 2020 was a record-breaking month for home sales. Median sale prices hit a new high both locally and Nationally.

According to numbers from the Minnesota Realtors Association:

“September numbers reflect an extremely strong housing market with a +22% increase in closed sales, demonstrating the highest year-over-year percentage increase in the past 12 months. Pending activity is also impressive, hitting a peak year-over-year percentage change at +27.7%. New listings were up +6.6%, finally showing an increase after seeing five straight months of year-over-year declines.”
MN home sales 2020
Minnesota Home sales September 2020

This is a fantastic time to sell a house.

History is all about point of view

Today is Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples Day. It is a reminder that our history is written from the point of view of the writers and to them Christopher Columbus was a hero. To the native peoples that were on this land before it was “discovered” he was more of an invader.

It is true that history can not be changed but it is subjective. The history that has been written by native peoples tells a different story.

Happy Columbus Day and Happy Indigenous Peoples Day

Ramsey house fall
Side door – Alexander Ramsey House

Moving away isn’t the only answer

st. paul and mississippi river
St. Paul, MN

Don’t get me wrong it is good for business but it seems like people would rather move if they don’t like something about their neighborhood than stay and try to change it.

Maybe your neighborhood and your neighbors need you.

It is all of us who make up a neighborhood and I know from first-hand experience that all of us can work together to make our neighborhoods better places to live.

We can’t move a dangerous or noisy road but we can have the speed limit reduced or the road redesigned.

People want to move away from areas where there is civil unrest. We live in a society that is unjust and we either need to change it or face the consequences.

Climate change may eventually force people to move. People are already planning so that they can move to places that will offer a more comfortable climate and safer conditions.

We will all need to change the way that we live and how we use water and what we eat or none of us will have a place to live. There are some problems that are too big to move away from like pandemics.

Work toward changing the world by voting on November 3rd or go down to your county election office and vote on Monday.

Don’t expect that the people who get elected will solve all or any of our problems. Having good leaders is just a start. We will all need to do the work.