Is this the best time to refinance

Interest rates are still at an all time low and the common wisdom is that rates will go up but no one knows when. Yesterday I saw a news segment on TV about what a great time it is to refinance because of the lower interest rates. It is never a great time or the best time for everyone when it comes to refinancing or buying a home. If anyone tells you now is a great time to buy or to refinance without knowing what your situation is . . RUN! (more...)

Low interest fixer upper loans

It is nice to see homes being fixed up. There is a low interest loan program through Historic Saint Paul for people who want to fix up homes built before 1940. There are guidelines and rules but it is worth a look. There are also some city Living home improvement loans available through the City of St. Paul. They like to move the links so if you are reading this six months or so from when it was written follow the link and it will take you to the city web site where you will need to do another search for the loan program because the page will say that there is no page matching your entry. They even use the word "sorry" which they could not possibly mean. I think the city has one full-time employee responsible for moving things around on the web sites so the links won't work anymore. I would be good at a job like that and next time they have an opening I plan to apply. (more...)

Street view for house hunting

You can't really use street view for house hunting but it can be a big help. Maybe you just saw a house on the internet that you would like to look at. I always encourage people to drive by and check the house out before making an appointment to see it. (more...)

Is your alarm just noise?

Small dogs that come out of nowhere and alarm systems that I can not disarm fast enough are occupational hazards. I have set off quite a few alarms in homes over the years. I am not proud of it and I do the best I can to deactivate the alarm but just finding the keypad fast enough can be a challenge. If I can find the keypad I only find it fast enough about half the time. (more...)