Buyers get ready

spare change

In the last week, I had three clients decide to start looking at houses again. They had put their home search on pause due to COVID-19.

If you have put your home search on pause and plan to continue it at some point it is important that you keep a current pre-approval letter handy.

More than 40% of houses on the market will get multiple offers the first day they are on the market. There isn’t a lot of time to get an updated pre-approval letter before the house is sold.

An offer without a pre-approval letter is like no offer at all.

July 4th 2020

Here we are halfway through the year celebrating the 244th birthday of our country. Now a world leader in COVID-19 cases and deaths by such a large margin that no other country can catch us.

I try my best not to get all political on the site but I want to share the work of an unknown artist in my neighborhood.

Dump Trump sign

Let us hope the second half of the year is better than the first. Please vote on November 3, 2020, as if your life depends upon it.

As you celebrate the 4th please remember your mask and social distancing.

. . oh and July 4th celebrations are canceled.

A quiet July 4th?

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun especially when tomorrow is July 4th. People got an early start with the fireworks this year. In the beginning of June, it was hard to tell the tear gas canister explosions from the cherry bombs. There was a segment on the national news about how people like to blow stuff up and fireworks are very popular this year.

Just like last year, we won’t have to worry about those pesky public fireworks displays in St.Paul. This year we don’t even have running water in the water in the parks.  The water fountains and features are turned off in St. Paul. There will definitely be fewer distractions this year over the holiday with so many events canceled.

We have food and alcohol and books and movies. I guess that will have to do.  I think I listed them in the order of importance too although food and alcohol are almost equally important.

Here are some pictures I took on July 4th during the before time.

July 4th 2014 – St. Paul, mn – at the state capitol. 
July 4th Fireworks in St. Paul over the Mississippi River. The year on the picture is wrong. This was probably taken in 2012 or 13. 

. . I have more but you get the idea. 🙂 Photographing fireworks can be tricky. It takes practice.

Please be careful this holiday weekend. Do not blow yourself up. Wear a mask when appropriate and keep your distance from other humans.

2020 the second half

Congratulations if you are reading this you survived half of 2020.  So far 2020 has been challenging but if you own a home in St.

French House

Paul, it is probably worth more than it was worth a year ago and if you want to sell your house it won’t take but a few days and you should get at least 100% of the asking price.  If you want to buy a house interest rates are lower now than they were at the beginning of the year.

Home buying has not slowed up but home selling has which is one of the many reasons why we need to build more houses. Affordable houses would be nice and maybe some more smallish single-story condos.

I know that houses can be made with 3D printers. I’ll never forget when we went to France and spent a week in a concrete house. It was amazing an home and energy-efficient too.

The second half of the year holds some promise. We have July 4th and Minnesota Primary elections on August 11 followed by  Labor Day to look forward to and the start of the school year at home or in classrooms.  We may end up with a Haloween with no trick or treaters and the children’s costumes will include masks of course.

Then comes one of my favorite days. Election day on November 3rd. I am going to vote like my life depends on it because it does. I am not looking forward to the socially distanced Thanksgiving. If I lived in a warmer climate I would have a big picnic on Thanksgiving.

Then Christmas which seems to be a national holiday but there are actually people who think that it used to be wrong to say “Christmas”. I get it. Sometimes the news is confusing and let’s face we can’t believe everything we hear and probably less than half of what we see.

I guess I am writing this because we made it this far and now have masks AND hand sanitizer and plenty of TP.

Those of us who have survived the first half of the year have a shot at making it to 2021. Let’s do this!

55 days of biking

My plans for the summer have changed. My plans were changed back in March because of COVID-19. My business is still open which is good but I want a little more out of my summer.  There is more to life than working and staying home so I have decided to challenge myself to ride my bike every day for the next 55 days. My goal is to ride a minimum of 500 miles, between July 1st and August 25th.

I started a Facebook group and invited some family, friends, and assorted neighbors and clients to bike every day for 55 days. The plan is simple. Bike anywhere any time of day and if so desired share pictures and comments or whatever. I’ll probably summarize my bike rides each week and share some pictures on this site.

There is already a “30 days of biking” event every April. I rarely participate because I don’t enjoy biking in snow or in subzero weather and I just hate getting road salt all over my bike. July and August have longer days and more sunny days and on average less wind. As a bonus, the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming.

Biking is more fun on long summer days when it is warm enough to wear shorts and we can leave the gloves at home. On the hot days, I like to go early in the morning or in the evening. I plan to check the weather forecasts at the beginning of each week and do a little planning.

The event won’t be cancelled due to COVID-19 and it can be done outside while social distancing. I normally don’t wear a mask when I bike but always bring one with.

Here is a collage I made from a ride along the gateway trail from St. Paul to Maplewood and back again.

collage of pictures from bikeride
Bike ride

License renewal deadline for real estate

June 30th is a special day for those of us with real estate licenses.  Real estate licenses are good for two years and have to be renewed. We are not all on the same two-year cycle. Some licensees’ two-year cycle ends next year.

This was my year for license renewal and I got it done early in case the murder hornets come to Minnesota.

To renew a license the licensee has to have completed 30 hours of continuing education and pay the state of Minnesota some money. Now I am good until June 30, 2022, which will be my 20th year in real estate.

If you are a real estate licensee I believe we have until midnight to renew so there is still time.

The month of June went by way to fast. I hope July lasts a little longer.