May home sales by neighborhood

table of home sales
May home sales by neighborhood for St. Paul, MN May 2021

There aren’t any surprises in this month’s data. The last time we had as many listings and sales in a single month in St. Paul was last October. The prices are kind of surprising. The averages in some of the affordable neighborhoods have become unaffordable.

Low interest rates are helping to make housing more affordable but we may be reaching the point where the low rates are not enough to make up for the high prices.

In every neighborhood except for downtown sale prices were higher on average than the asking prices. That is an indicator that prices are still climbing.

The current real estate market continues to strongly favor home sellers with no end in sight.  The seller’s market will start to soften when either the demand for housing goes down or the supply goes up or some combination that will result in more housing.

The data used to make the table is from the NorthstarMLS which is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

For more local numbers please see Local Market conditions & home prices

If you would like to know how much your home will sell for please call or write for your free no-obligation market analysis.

You can buy some kohlrabi


It is Friday and Fridays are for fun.  Last weekend I bought my first batch of Kohlrabi of the 2021 season at the Saint Paul Farmer’s market. Housing prices are high and the competition among buyers is fierce. In contrast, kohlrabi is easy to buy and is affordable too.

There are a lot of people who don’t understand the vegetable and many who have never tried it.  It can be cooked but I mostly eat it raw. I love kohlrabi and when it is in season I eat it almost every day. By the time kohlrabi season is over this August, I think the housing market will be a little kinder to home buyers.

If you have never tried kohlrabi you are missing out.  By something weekend. The bulb and the greens are edible. I usually saute the greens and they can be added to any dish that could be improved by adding greens.  I dice the bulb and add it to my lunch salad which consists of mostly vegetables and never lettuce.


Fancy language and flowery words

As a Realtor, I get to use the real estate forms and contracts that are available exclusively to members of the Minnesota Realtors association. They are all current and legal and when we write an offer we can fill in the blanks.

There are spaces to write extra stuff and we can attach additional documents to any of the contracts.

In some states, like New York for instance lawyers do the paperwork and make the legal contracts to purchase a home. Here in Minnesota real estate agents take care of the paperwork and most are not lawyers.

Real estate agents and real estate brokers can not give legal advice.  Sometimes we recommend consulting an attorney.

Sometimes home buyers and sellers ask their agents to write crazy things into those contracts.  The more anyone who isn’t a lawyer adds to the contract the more likely it is to cause trouble later on. When it comes to legal contracts less is often best unless a lawyer is drawing up the contract.

There are times for creativity and legal contracts are not one of those times. Our contracts are kind of fill in the blank and check this box or that which is a good thing. Everything is standard and legal.

Practicing real estate agents and brokers are experts when it comes to real estate contracts. We get new contracts on August first of each year and we usually don’t get to see the new contracts before that date. We usually get an overview of the changes and can review it before we use the new contracts.

How long until it is broken

There is very little on the interior or exterior of a house that doesn’t wear out eventually. The good news is it can all be repaired or replaced.  Having


something breaks the month that you close on your home is also a common and upsetting experience.

It might be something small like the veggie sprayer in the kitchen sink or something more major like a malfunctioning air conditioning unit.

As a homeowner myself I have had or made every kind of repair I can think of and a lot of home improvements too.  The most recent repair was to some plumbing and it cost $600. Before that, it was an electrical problem in the kitchen.

Our newest appliance is a refrigerator that we bought just before the pandemic lockdowns started. The year before that we bought a new washer after having had the old one repaired a couple of times.

The house has been resided, re-roofed and one of the porches has been rebuilt. We have purchase water heaters, a furnace, and we added central air. We have replaced sinks and faucets and old worn kitchen countertops too. I have sanded hardwood floors and I have tiled others. We have never carpeted anything but I have had that done for family members and have learned from it.

Each appliance in the house has been replaced at least once. We have a few new windows and have added storm windows and a new back door. This year I want to replace the front door and I plan on putting in some new fencing. I would love to hire a landscaper too but I may wait until next year on that one.

By now you might be wondering what my point is. It is that any home is going to involve repairs and some of them will be expensive. Homeowners should put money aside or save up for repairs. A minimum of $2000 a year for a modest median-priced St. Paul house. They are unavoidable and even though they can be upsetting you shouldn’t let them upset you.

It is best to keep on top of repairs and to do a little every year. Deferred maintenance can lead to more expensive repairs and hurt the value and saleability of your real estate.


Also, see Sellers should do some research before committing to repairs

The world of home improvement contractors

Try YouTube instead of Facebook

Buyers agents during a sellers market

I recently talked to a home buyer who has worked with a couple of agents this year. When choosing the right buyer’s agent experience is very important but it is also important to choose an agent who has time for you.

Houses are on the market for a very short time. Your agent will need to show you homes on short notice. If that agent is already working with several buyers who have a similar timeline for when they want to buy a house it could end badly.

Your agent will need to work very hard for you. That agent will need to be able to help you make an offer within deadlines imposed by home sellers. Your agent should have experience with the type of housing you wish to buy and the area where you are looking.

In the current market working with home buyers is very challenging for home buyers and their agents. Choose your agent wisely, do not choose the busiest agent.

Ask the agent what his/her limit is on how many buyers they can work with at once and how many they are currently working with.

If the agent doesn’t have a limit that too should be a red flag.