Selfie fail

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I have never been into selfies but have attempted a few over the years.

Can u see me2
The green chair is in the park at the South end of the Smith Avenue High Bridge.  Often when I walk by the park I see people sitting in the chair and posing for the camera.  I point that out so that you know my idea is not original.

I thought it would be fun to try one and get the chair in the picture too. I put my camera on the tripod and got out my remote, climbed into the chair only to discover that the camera’s “auto off” function had kicked in.  Got out of the chair, changed the setting and tried again.  Proving once more that ‘do it yourself’  isn’t always the best way to go.

The chair is much bigger than I thought and I think a different camera angle may have worked better, but mission accomplished.  After all of these years, I have a photo of myself in the green chair, and for some reason a bruised knee . . not pictured.

I write this ten years ago and thought I would repost it just for fun. The chair is still there and it is still a popular spot for selfies and group portraits. I have even seen wedding parties photographed in the chair. If you are looking for a unique picture for holiday cards the chair might work.

Our economy is doing well but. . .

If our economy is doing so well how come I see people living on the streets? I have heard all kinds of reasons.

I did a little research and the number one cause of homelessness is the lack of affordable housing. It is possible to have a couple of jobs and not be able to afford a small apartment. Losing a job or having hours cut can lead to homelessness.

Chemical dependency and mental illness can cause people to lose housing.

More people without homes are staying out of formal shelters.  People experiencing homelessness is up 10% from 2015. It should be going down but is higher in Minnesota than it was during the great recession. Nearly a third of homeless adults have jobs. According to the latest research from the Wilder Research 


homeless in St.. Paul
Homeless camp
  • The number of people not in a formal shelter increased by 62% between 2015 and 2018.

Downsizing – getting started

A few years ago we decided it was time to downsize even though we don’t plan on moving. Getting started can be the hardest part. I have friends who have been getting rid of one item a day for years.

Deep cleaning and reorganizing one room or area at a time worked for me. Getting rid of one item a day did not work. Trying to do it all at once made it look overwhelming.

I got out a notebook and divided the entire house into areas and each area into sections. Each area was a single room and the sections in it were closets, drawers, chests of drawers or shelves.


Upstairs bathroom

  • Cabinet under sink
  • Medicine cabinet
  • Linen closet
  • Storage Closet

I scheduled some of the work for each month and then checked it off as I completed each section. In the process, I donated, recycled or sold about a third of our possessions. Items removed ranged from old clothing to extra sets of dishes, and cookware. My children took some of the furniture that belonged to their grandparents.

There were a few things that I was able to “upcycle” and give to friends and family members as gifts. My son has grandma’s old wooden folding chairs sanded and painted and now sitting on his front porch.

Part of the reason for getting rid of the excess is that I didn’t want my family to have to deal with it at some later date.  I feel strongly that each of us should be responsible for his or her own stuff but I know it mostly doesn’t work that way. People die and their heirs have to figure out what to do with the house and the stuff in it.

There is still some stuff in the basement that is being stored for various family members. My goal is to get the excess out of the basement before the end of the year.

Even though my house is smallish I now have plenty of storage space and some empty shelves and drawers.

I have clients who have started the downsizing process two or three years before their planned move. Downsizing is easier when it isn’t an emergency and we can do it on our own terms.

With each item, I remove from my house I have a little more space and feel a little bit freer.

Also, see get your Adult children leave stuff behind

Clean, declutter and eliminate

my socks don’t spark joy

Median Home sale prices in the metro

Here is a snapshot of median home sale prices in the 7 county Metro area, the data includes June 2019.

graph of median home prices
Median Home sale prices 7 county metro area

The line in the graph has peaks and valleys with the peaks in spring and the valleys in the winter.  Home prices are higher in the metro area than they were before the crash. We are still seeing foreclosure activity but not much.

Here is a look at the same data county by county:

Median Home sale prices compared with last year

June home sales and prices by neighborhood

Monday is a wonderful day to look at numbers especially on Mondays after holiday weekends. Most years home prices peak in April or May and that may be the case this year as sale prices are down from last month. The number of home sales are down from last month as is the median home sale price of St. Paul homes that were sold and closed in June.

The average number of days it takes to sell a home has stayed the same at 21 days. The number of homes on the market is up from last month but still at historic lows.

The overall average list price is lower than the overall average sale price. The sales prices in red on the table are all higher than the average list price.

June Home sales – St. Paul, MN

If you would like to know how much your house might sell for and how long it will take to sell please contact me for a free no obligation consultation.

If you like numbers and would like to see more look in our Local market conditions & home prices category.

The data used to create the table with home prices was extracted from the NorthstarMLS. The data in the NorthstarMLS is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Even curious neighbors need appointments

Sometimes when I am entering a home for sale with my clients people will see us and ask if they can see the house too. Unfortunately, I have to say no.

When I tour a house with a buyer that is because the seller has given me permission to do so. That permission does not extend to anyone who walks in off the street.

Newer agents do not always understand this and neither do people who see homes for sale and are curious about them.

The best way to see homes for sale is to call your real estate agent and set up a private showing or attend an open house if there is an open house.

A for sale sign is not the same thing as an open house sign.

I have had people knock on the door while I was showing a house. They had been wanting to see the house. I had them call the number on the for sale sign in front. I would have been happy to work with them but they were looking for a house for their son.

Often people tell me they are looking for houses for their sons or daughters but the sons or daughters usually are not at all interested in the house.