St. Paul isn’t walkable in the winter

I can’t recommend any part of St. Paul as walkable in the winter. There are a lot of sidewalks that never get shoveled. The crust if ice has formed from last week’s snowstorms and will likely remain until the spring thaw.

There are business owners who clear some of the walk but not all of it.

For those who like to walk, or need to walk, I can recommend walking in the street or on snowy boulevards. It will be interesting to see if local hospitals can handle all of the broken hips as an aging population attempts to walk outside in St. Paul in the winter.

There ought to be a law . . . oh wait there is a law:

Saint Paul City Ordinance requires snow and ice to be removed from sidewalks within 24 hours; read Chapter 113and Chapter 114 of the Saint Paul Legislative Code for more information.

The city web site even has a “how-to” section for people who do not know how to properly remove the snow from the walk.

There is also a  printable door hanger to take with you on your next walk. Leave the door hanger as a reminder to neighbors to keep their sidewalks clear.

To report a sidewalk that’s a safety hazard and needs shoveling, contact the Department of Safety and Inspections at 651-266-8989. 

The city will have the snow removed and send the bill to the property owner.

It is important to remember that the snow removal ordinance applies to property owned by businesses, rental property, condominiums, and townhouses and the sidewalks in front of vacant houses.

Please be a good neighbor and keep your sidewalk safe and free of snow and ice. If your neighbor can not shovel and you can shovel their walk too.

Snowy street in St. Paul

10 years ago 2009

When asked about the last decade in real estate my memories of the crash of the housing market more or less wipe out the rest of my memories.

If you ever wondered what happened with all those vacant registered houses, look around and you will notice vacant lots. They didn’t all get torn down, some were rehabbed, and a few are still vacant.

Currently, there are 497 registered vacant buildings in St. Paul. Most of them are houses. The number of registered vacant buildings in St. Paul peaked in 2008 at 2031.

This is what I wrote the first week in December 2009:

IMG_1584_Enhancer_edited-1_wm I don’t want to say good news, it is better news, at least for now.  In September of 2008, there were 2031 registered vacant buildings in St. Paul.  Most were homes. Now some fourteen months later the number has dropped to 1633.  That is still a big number and it doesn’t count all of the vacant homes just those that have to be registered with the city of St. Paul.   In most cases, those are buildings that are unoccupied for a year or unoccupied with code violations.

Having fewer vacant properties in St. Paul is a good thing. I drove by some that were on the list last summer and they have been fixed up and some have been sold to new owners. The home in the photo is on E. 3rd street and is looking much better and doesn’t have the notice in the window anymore. I will keep watching the list. I hope that it continues to go down.

The number of foreclosures on the market has gone down and continues to decline each month but should go back up again when the next wave of foreclosures hits.  These foreclosures will be caused by job loss and ARM (adjustable-rate mortgage) resets. According to reports from the Mortgages Bankers Association delinquencies on FHA and conventional mortgages have been rising and delinquency rates and foreclosure rates will continue to worsen before they improve.  I will go ahead and predict it will also drive up the number of vacant homes in St. Paul too.


Skating moves to CHS Field

Winter skating downtown St. Paul – Landmark Plaza

When I walked by the Landmark Center I noticed that there isn’t anyone working on the skating rink.

They moved the rink to CHS field which kind of makes sense. It won’t be quite as picturesque but it should be well lit and there is plenty of space for it. It will be open 7 days a week and there will also be something called a “super slide” available during “Super Bowl week”.

They are calling it Destination Winter. The rink opens December 6th and runs through February 22.

The annual tree lighting in Rice Park is happening this evening from 4 to 7PM. There usually isn’t any actual lighting until 6 or 7.  They usually have fireworks too. The lights were hung in the park a couple of weeks ago. I like to take pictures of the park in the early Sunday morning when the park is mostly empty.

The parks has been redesigned so I’ll need some new pictures.

Rice Park – Downtown St. Paul

Vote yes, or vote no, please vote


Please get out and vote. There are elections for city council seats and for the school board. There will be a vote on one of the most important issues of our time. Trash collection.

If you don’t know where to go to vote find out by using the poll finder.

If you are not sure who or what to vote for educate yourself before you get to the poll, view this sample ballot

Yes you can sell a house in November

The housing market has changed. It is no longer difficult to sell a house in November. Right now homes are selling quickly in St. Paul. Over the weekend there were multiple offers on homes that had just been listed. Last week one of our listings sold the first weekend it was on the market.

Houses that are overpriced still linger on the market for a few weeks. Buyers should be brave and offer the sellers less than the asking price before the price is reduced and there are multiple offers.

Right now the inventory of homes on the market in St. Paul is low. There is a shortage of homes for sale. Affordable new construction would help but there isn’t any.

If you have a home you want to sell you can sell it during the winter and even during the holidays. The demand is strong and interest rates are low.