Preparedness Plan deadline is today

Masks – the red one is my dress mask and the black and white is the one I wear the most.

There is an executive order requiring Minnesota businesses to have a preparedness plan and that plan is due today. The plan has to include details about what we are doing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among employees or customers or both.

After looking over the requirements for workspaces I am thankful that our offices are in our homes and that I don’t need to worry about keeping an office safe.

To keep our clients safe for the most part all we have to do is follow the guidelines for wearing masks and social distancing. For showing homes and listing homes we keep the number of people in the home to a minimum with shorter showings and no overlapping showings.

We wear masks and carry extra face masks and gloves and hand sanitizer too. I have it in gallon jugs and it can be used to sanitize lockboxes and keys and hands too. We ask our clients not to touch anything when touring a home.

There is more but you get the idea. There are lots of rules for real estate companies and these are on top of other Minnesota rules and MLS rules and local, state, and national rules and federal, state, and local fair housing laws too.

Recently I noticed some conflicts where if I follow one rule I may be breaking the law or breaking another rule. There doesn’t seem to be a way to report discrepancies to the rulemaking bodies.

Some real estate companies are doing open houses. Open houses are not a necessary part of the home sales process but are prospecting tools for agents and advertising for real estate companies. We are not doing open houses for safety reasons. Open houses are not safe for attendees or agents.

They pose an unnecessary risk especially when we consider that there are more new Coronavirus cases in the US than Europe, India, and China — combined.

The USA is the world leader in Coronavirus cases and deaths by such a large margin it doesn’t seem like a fair contest.

Rice park isn’t getting many visitors

Rice Park
Rice Park
Rice park fountain

I took the pictures downtown during what used to be rush hour. The library is closed because of the pandemic and there isn’t any water on in the park. People used to cut through the park on their way to work and there were always people sitting on the benches.

The fountain is empty and so is the park except for that one lone pigeon who is probably hungry.

If you are looking for a quiet place that isn’t crowded where you can enjoy the outdoors I have found it.

First Friday of summer 2020

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Our plans for the summer have changed due to circumstances beyond our control. Right now for me, summer is about being outside as much as possible.  I have never enjoyed my front porch as much as I enjoy it this year.

Yesterday I went on a walk and used my phone to document the wonderful wildflowers that bloom this time of year.

wildflower collage

I did not see many bees. I suspect they are all hanging out in the pollinator-friendly gardens of my friends and neighbors like they did last year and that is why I don’t see as many of them in the park.

Get out this weekend and enjoy the flowers. We all know what comes next . . .

Throwback Thursday Shared Bikes

A few years back St. Paul had shared bikes. Last year was the year of the scooter. All of that is gone now. I like to think of the bikes and scooters as part of the before time.

shared bikes
5th street downtown St. Paul pre-2019
lab where bikes used to be
5th street and St. Peter downtown St. Paul  2020

I am not sure what happened to the scooters. They were everywhere. I suppose with people staying home more there is no place to scoot to. I feel fortunate that I have a bike, one that I mostly don’t share.

Landmark Plaza Sculpture

I found this on Sunday on my way to the Saint Paul farmer’s Market. It is located at Landmark Plaza near St. Peter Street in downtown St. Paul.

It probably doesn’t get many visitors. Downtown is pretty quiet these days. I thought I would share some pictures of it. It makes a kind of wooshing noise as the wind blows. There was no name on it but there is a card that says “the milligan studio” at the foot of the sculpture.

Year over year decline in number of homes for sale

The number of homes on the market continues to decline in the metro area and beyond. These numbers were just published by the Saint Paul Area Association of Realtors. We have even fewer homes for sale this year than we had last year. Fewer homeowners are selling while the number of people who want to buy remains high.

The silver lining for homeowners is that prices are strong because the demand is strong and the supply is week. I have been closely watching the number of homes for sale in St. Paul and that number remains at historic lows for June. Homes are selling quickly in St. Paul with median days on the market of 13 and an average of 26. On average home, sellers are getting more than the asking price.


metro area homes for sale chart
Homes listed for sale by week