Foreclosures have not gone away

It is hard to get a handle on the foreclosure situation. One day we read that foreclosures have gone down, the next we read that the foreclosure rate is going up. Either way we do know that there are people who are behind on their mortgage payments and they need help and that there are still homes out there owned by banks that have not been put on the market yet. (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...)

Real estate is local

I was reading some real estate advice on one of those big national real estate web sites. I thought that some of the advice was good but who ever wrote it doesn't know much about Minnesota real estate. Real estate is heavily regulated at the state level and the rules and laws are different in each state. Some of the differences are huge. (more...)

Extortion Or Transparency?

There is a web site called Zillow that gives a "zestimate" which looks like an estimate of the value for most every property. When a home is for sale it can be listed as forsale on Zillow. If the real estate agent pays for a premium account then the for sale price appears next to the listing and the zestimate is below the rest of the information. In fact a person could miss the zestimate all together. (more...)

Frustrated Because Your Inquiry Isn’t Being Answered?

When home buyers and even sellers contact me they are often surprised when I either pick up the phone, return their phone call within an hour or maybe two or answer their email the same day or even the same hour that it comes in. Anyone who is in business and wants to stay in business as a real estate agent knows how important it is to respond to buyers and sellers. (more...)