If interested don’t wait for open house

open houseThe real estate market has been competitive these last few years. Houses sell quickly with multiple offers. Buyers who wait for an open house are likely to miss out.

When a house comes on the market ask your agent for a private showing. Houses are the most salable when they first hit the market. Don’t miss out by waiting for an open house.

Most of the houses that sold in St. Paul last year were never held open. This coming weekend about 8% of the houses that are for sale in St. Paul will have open houses this weekend.

Also see Open house 101 for buyers

Street Seal Coating

We got a bill from the city of St. Paul for $430+ dollars for seal coating the street. That amount was just our share. Seal coating must be very expensive. The city returned the money and said we should ignore the bill because our street wasn’t seal coated in 2019. We knew that.

The city does have a handy seal coating map. If they stay on schedule we can look forward to sending them a check at the end of the year. 2020 seal coating rates have not yet been set. I am thinking they will be higher rather than lower.

If you would like more information about the city seal coating program type “St. Paul seal coating program” into Google search. I would include a link but like most government entities the city frequently moves pages around so that I end up with broken links.

Yea St. Paul!

sealcoating map - st. paul
St. Paul seal coating map

Features buyers want in homes

old house with steeple
Queen Anne house in St. Paul

Here are some of the features home buyers are looking for according to a survey the National Association of Home Builders. The good news is most of them can be added to any existing home. A walk-in pantry might be a challenge but several items on the list are easy to do.

  • Laundry rooms
  • Energy Star–rated windows
  • Hardwood flooring
  • Walk-in pantries
  • Patios
  • Ceiling fans
  • Kitchen double sink

New construction in the five-county metro area costs an average of 610,000. The most expensive item on the list is the laundry room.  The average cost of adding a laundry room is about $6000.

New homes built in the five-county metro area in 2019 had 3.57 bedrooms, 3.19 baths and an average of 2725 square feet of finished living space. Almost twice as big as my little antique St. Paul home with the unfinished basement where there is plenty of space for a laundry room.

Absorption Rates in St. Paul

Right now there is about a two month supply of homes for sale in St. Paul. We have been bouncing back and forth between a one month and two-month supply for a few years now.

A six month supply is considered a balanced market that doesn’t favor buyers or sellers. A two month supply is a strong seller’s market. The last time we had a balanced market in St. Paul was back in January of 2012 with a six month supply of homes for sale. The last buyer’s market was in April of 2011 when there was a 7-month supply of homes for sale.

In Wahington county, there is a five-month supply of homes for sale. That is a little closer to a balanced market. Dakota County has a one month supply of homes for sale.

graph with absorption rates
Housing absorption rates in St. Paul

The data used to make the chart is from the NorthstarMLS which is deemed reliable but not gauranteed.

Winter Carnival 2020

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. . . and so is the Saint Paul Winter Carnival which will be in full swing this weekend. The grand day parade is on Saturday at 2:00 PM starting at Smith and West 7th and ending at Rice Park.

This year will be a little different than past years because it will be warm enough to go outside. For a complete list of events visit the winter carnival website. 

rice park
Rice Park in downtown St. Paul – getting ready for winter carnival festivities.
rice park
Rice Park – downtown St. paul