Mortgage interest rates spring 2021

Mortgage interest rates are down again. They are lower than they were a year ago and up slightly from the all-time low earlier this year.

Mortgage interest rates – one year

To get a better view here is a chart that goes back to 2018

The low-interest rates do make buying a home more affordable. Don’t panic when they go back up to 3% because they will.

State Fair?

Yes, there will be a Minnesota State Fair this year, Aug. 26 to Labor Day, Sept. 6. It was canceled last year because of the pandemic. I enjoy the fair but I don’t go every year. I am not sure that I will go this year. As things open up and restrictions ease I am finding that I am not ready to go where there are crowds. I haven’t been in a restaurant since January 2020.

I am far from ready for air travel but would consider a road trip and staying in a hotel.  Maybe by late August, it will feel safe to attend the fair, or maybe masks will be required.

MN state fair
MN state fair 2019


Two shots in the arm

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. I got my second Covid-19 vaccination on Wednesday. It was the Moderna vaccine. I didn’t experience any side effects from the first shot. The second was different. I had a pretty severe headache the next day and was more out of sorts than usual for a whole day.

I consider myself fortunate to have received the vaccine before July. The side effects are minimal compared with getting Covid-19 so toughen up buttercup and roll up your sleeve.

I started a list of things I want to do now that everyone in my household is vaccinated. We aren’t ready for indoor dining or air travel but maybe later this year.

The tulips are starting to bloom and the flowering trees should start blooming in the next couple of days. They will provide some color and cheer over the cold rainy weekend.



Earth day 2021

Today is Earth Day, which started in 1970 making this the 51st anniversary.  Earth day used to be mostly about picking up litter. That is a good start and something we can all do. This year we have paper and cloth maks litter to add to the plastic bottles.

I don’t understand why people litter but they do. Saturday is City Wide Clean-Up day. from 9 to 11:30  AM. I’ll probably take advantage of the nice weather today and pick up some littler along my favorite bike trail. Litter is easy to find and there is plenty of it right out on the street.

pictures of trash
Earth day

Today is day one

Claddagh coffee on West 7th June 2020

Guilty, Guilty, Guilty. I never thought it would happen and almost feel the collective relief in the air.  The conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd is a great first step. We need police reform and legal reform too. Black Lives Matter.

MN Attorney General Keith Ellison on Derek Chauvin’s verdict: “George Floyd matters because he was a human being. People who stopped and spoke up were a “bouquet of humanity” they told the truth, vindicated by other police officers who testified.”What happened on that street was wrong”

The inspection is an important part of the process

I see this all the time. Homebuyers make offers that are not inspection contingent. In a multiple offer situation, an offer without an inspection on a little old St. Paul house might appeal to the sellers.

When I represent home buyers I do not support the decision to forgo the inspection. The buyers could end up with a house that needs expensive repairs and at the very least they need to understand the property they are buying. Skipping the inspection on a 100-year-old house is done out of desperation.

Buyer inspections can give sellers some protection from claims of hidden defects. If there is a leak under a sink that the seller doesn’t know about and that isn’t disclosed the inspector should find it. The city required Truth in Housing Inspection is somewhat helpful but not as thorough as a buyers inspection.

Home sellers and their agents should be careful about what they say when it comes to inspections. It may actually be against the law to reject an offer because the buyer asked for a lead paint inspection.

If sellers and buyers remove an inspection contingency during negotiations and if something goes wrong with the house later sellers could be accused of hiding something.

The buyer’s inspection is an important part of the home buying process. Sellers have the option of having the house inspected and making a copy of that inspection available for buyers. Sellers can also state that they will not make any repairs and inspection periods can be shortened.

Buying a house without having it inspected is not a good idea.

Also see: St. Paul homes have lead paint