Happy St. Patrick’s day 2023

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Today is St. Patrick’s day which is a big deal here in St. Paul. The drinking and debauchery will start early and end late. There will literally be dancing and drinking in the streets.

Beer trucks started rolling into the neighborhood a couple of days ago. The tents are set up and the porta-potties are ready.

Oh, and there is a parade too. Starting at noon on Friday, March 17th, 2023. The parade will begin at Rice Park and end at Mears Park, the original route walked in 1967.

St. Patrick's day parade
St. Patrick’s day parade – Rice park 2019


Three years ago today St. Paul was under an emergency order

It is March again and I am remembering March 16, 2020, which was a Monday.  That is the day the “stay at home” orders went into effect in St. Paul.  Here is what I wrote on the day:

“The Mayor of St. Paul declared a state of local emergency to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  The schools are closed and so are the libraries and the zoo. Water shutoffs will be suspended for 30 days and permits will not be issued for gatherings of more than 50 people.

Social distancing is recommended and that means putting some space between yourself and others. Six feet is recommended.”


I think the pandemic was life-changing for all of us but I don’t think everyone realizes it.  I went grocery shopping without wearing a mask for the first time in three years this past February. No one in my household or immediate family got Covid-19. I am the only member of my family who was never tested for Covid-19.

No one in my household has had a cold or the flu either.  We all got the vaccinations and boosters as soon as we could.

We did not celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas with family in 2020. We had a family gathering for Thanksgiving in 2021 but none for Christmas. In 2022 we had family gatherings for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

While people were traveling last summer we stayed home. I know many people who contracted Covid after traveling or attending an event.

My income went way down because of the pandemic and my reluctance to become infected or to bring the virus into my house. Our household spending went way down and is not going back up.

Cash offers and closing costs

coinsThere are always closing costs when buying real estate. Most closing costs are related to the loan. There are origination fees and the buyer pays for the appraisal. In Minnesota, there is a mortgage registration tax. There is a fee for the buyer’s credit report and more.

Home buyers with financing will get a good faith estimate and will know what the closing costs will be. Generally, the buyer can expect to pay closing costs that will add up 3% of the sale price. Sometimes buyers ask the seller to help pay the closing costs.

When the buyer is paying cash they will still pay for title insurance, a closing fee, a title search, and a few more fees. Prorated taxes and HOA fees. There is no good faith estimate. The best way to find out what the closing costs will be is to get an estimate from the title company that will do the title work and the closing.

The closing costs for an all-cash offer are much lower than what they are when the purchase is being financed.

With a cash offer, the buyer needs to make sure they have enough cash to pay for the real estate and the closing costs. Asking the seller to pay the closing costs is exactly the same as paying less. Sellers do not like to pay the buyers closing costs.

When the purchase is being financed we understand that the buyer may not have enough cash for downpayment and closing costs.

People who are offering cash should get an estimate of what the closing costs will be and make sure that they have enough cash to buy the property and pay the closing costs.

Buying real estate always costs more than the sale price.

Minnesota home sales in February 2023

This just in from the Minnesota state Realtors association. The number of homes for sale in Minnesota is up from last year but there is only a 1.3-month supply of houses.  The low supply is the reason for the 3.4% increase in the median home sale price.  Interest rates also went up and may go up again.

The higher rates make both buying and selling less attractive. New listings also declined, dropping 23% year over year as just under 4,600 homes came on the market.

In St Paul, the median home sale price was $255,000 and the average days on market was about 50.


February Home sales in Minnesota
February Home Sales Minnesota

Odd and even parking in St. Paul

snowy street
Snowy street in St. Paul – cars parked on the odd side during a snow emergency

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Most years I make fun of daylight savings time on the Friday before daylight savings time kicks in. It is always a worthy topic. Reminding people about daylight savings time is big among real estate agents.

I am going to skip it this year and write about odd/even parking. This winter has been a disaster. We have had a lot of snow and I can’t ever remember a time when the city did such a crappy job plowing.

St. Paul residents don’t make it easy. The street I live on has not been plowed curb to curb this season because of parked cars. They are supposed to move. The city has towed hundreds of cars and issued hundreds of tickets but that doesn’t get the street plowed. The streets seem to get narrower and narrower.

Starting at 8:00 AM today Friday, March 10, 2023, and ending on April 15th parking will not be allowed on the even side of the street in St. Paul. Theoretically, half of the street can be plowed if all of the cars are on one side.

That will make it easier for emergency vehicles too. Personally, I don’t believe that everyone will get the message or that everyone who gets the message will understand it. In fact, I will be surprised if more than half of the cars park on the odd side of the street.

In the good old days, last year, there was a schedule for plowing the odd side and then the even side of the side streets. It worked until it didn’t work. Let the games begin and as always may the odds be ever in your favor if you need a place to park.