So, your condo is in pretty good condition, and you just need to freshen things up a bit, huh? Take a look at, and tackle this checklist. Your condo will be ready for showings before you know it!
o Put fresh paint on your walls! I recommend either Benjamin Moore 1577 “Arctic Gray” or 967 “Cloud White” for a neutral (but not boring) wall color.
o Do a walkthrough of the condo. Are there any small repairs that you’ve been overlooking over the years? Sliding door that doesn’t open/close properly, a rip in the screen, problems with tile or vinyl flooring, etc. Take care of these items. Remember, what may seem like “nothing” to you, might stand out, and seem like a big project to a home buyer.
o Wash your windows. Show off your gorgeous city view!
o Remove clutter. My general rule of thumb is that there should be 3 or fewer items on any surface. If you have more, pack them up (hey, you’ll have a head start on your packing when your condo sells!).
o Make sure the homebuyers can see how you utilize your space for storage. Make sure your laundry room, storage room, and closets are all organized and decluttered. You may need to pack up some items from these areas, too.
o If you have pets, make sure to get the carpets and upholstery cleaned. Even if you don’t think your house has a dog/cat odor, someone who doesn’t have a dog/cat will smell it immediately. Pet odor is one of the deadly sins that kill home sales.
o What is the other deadly sin that kills home sales, you ask? Smoking! If you smoke in your condo, stop…now!
One of the services I offer my clients, is to do a walk through prior to listing their place. My team and I will walk through your condo and help you determine what you need to do.
When you’re ready to go, call, text, or e-mail me!
Although it doesn’t exactly feel like it, Spring is right around the corner. You know what that means, don’t you?
Home buyers start coming out of the woodwork, looking for new places to live. Home buyers, you say? Yes! Even though the real estate market has been very slow for the past few years, I’ve noticed several trends that cause me to believe that we’re going to have faster home sales, at higher prices this Spring and Summer. Here’s why:
333 condos for sale in 2008 - 189 condos for sale in 2012
Before the market took a dive, it was usual to have at least 100 units on the market at any given time in downtown. As of 3/28/2013 at 8:56pm, there are 34 homes that are truly available for sale (50 units if you count the ones that are listed as active, but are contingent third party approval, etc).
Simply put, supply is down, people! You know what happens when supply goes down…demand goes up. So, if you’ve been waiting for the right time to sell your condo (so you don’t lose your tail on the sale), now just might be a good time. Over the next couple weeks, I’m going to offer tips on how to get your home ready, things to consider when selling, and how to determine a good price in a market where comparable sales are scarce.
My open letter that was sent to the Saint Paul City Council & Mayor Coleman.
I am writing to you today to bring light to an issue I feel needs to be addressed in regards to the Saints Stadium. You may or may not be aware, but the City is taking the privately owned parking lot of the Market House Condominium Association to build the stadium. This on it’s face is a stretch for the use of eminent domain in my opinion, but I believe there is a possible solution to keep the 55 homeowners at Market House that are having their owned parking taken from them.
A little more on the issue… There are no replaceable spots for them to purchase and with parking not being incorporated into the design of the stadium, the owners lose out on any benefit of having the Saints next door. They likely won’t even be able to park along Broadway once the stadium is complete. Meaning homeowners would have to carry groceries blocks to get it home. There is no other condo building in downtown that would have anything remotely as bad as this.
From my understanding, Ryan Companies has said the drawings from 2009 were being scrapped and new ones were going to be done. This is a prefect opportunity to incorporate a small sliver of land along the freeway where Market House residents could park.
I do not own a home at Market House, but as a Realtor that has sold many condos in this building and many others in downtown, I feel it’s my duty to make this issue be known. With parking stripped from the building, I fear we may seen another waive of foreclosures that will lower the values of their building and the surrounding buildings even further than the lows they’re at now. Owners will want to move because of the horrible parking situation and will simply walk away from their property since there will be no buyers that will pay anywhere near what the current owners have into them.
Councilmember Thune has told me he feels the same way as I do, but needs support in the Council to make something happen. I’m urging you to work with Mr Thune to see a reasonable solution be reached with the residents of Market House Condominium Association.
As the automotive world progresses and the electric car continues to improve (the Tesla Model S was named Motor Tend’s 2013 Car of the Year), and more electric cars being made available to the general public (Money.com said that Chevrolet Volt sales tripled in 2012), leads us to a dilemma. Where does a condo owner charge his electric car? Depending on the association this could be a huge problem or a terribly huge problem.
The real issue is the how does an association get power to an individual condo owner? In an existing building, there’s a lot of infrastructure that would need to be built. Who pays for that? Does the building pay for a main supply in the ramp, then owners pay for their connection to the main? How is that power then metered? Most associations have large chucks of their money tied up in their reserve accounts, so pulling money from that account is out of the question and against state statute. So how would an association pay for something like this? The logical way would be through a special assessment. Now, most associations have a requirement in their governing documents that stipulate a special assessment needs to be voted on by the membership (meaning all of the owners of the building) and it’s usually a super majority that’s needed to pass the measure. So the real issue for electric car owners becomes convincing all of your neighbors to care about you being able to charge your car. That’s the rub. It takes a miracle in associations to pass needed assessments, getting owners on board to fork out their own money so someone else can charge their new car is going to be a very, VERY hard sell.
With all this said, this is a conversation that condominium associations need to have. The electric car is not going away so condo associations will need to find a way to address their charging needs. The failure to act may not hurt now, but as new condos come on line and more electric cars are on the road, you can bet the developers will have thought of it. New developments will be able to have this infrastructure part of the design, and that would cost a lot less than retrofitting an existing building. If I were a developer breaking ground in a new building, I would be adding a power trunk in the ramp that owners could tap off of to add a meter and charging station. Then future owners could do the same thing, much like the storage lockers that some associations offer.
What are your thoughts on this? sound off in the comments.
As if you didn’t already know, but Saint Paul is hosting the Red Bull Crashed Ice event for the second year in a row tonight. The gates open at 5pm, and the races start at 6:30pm. From someone that went last year. If you want a get a good spot, get there early!
If you’re going, bundle up. Also, the louder you cheer, the warmer you’ll be! If you went last year, what are your tips to have fun at Crashed Ice?
Day 6th of the Downtown Shopping Challenge brings us a curve ball of sorts. Rather than one store, this is a group effort in Downtown’s “it” neighborhood – Lowertown. The Holiday Bazaar is a first year event that I imagine will grow every year from her on out. There’s a lot of great hand-made items that are perfect for gift giving. Places like the AZ Gallery, Tilsner Building, JAX Building, and more have opened their doors today and will be open again tomorrow (Saturday) from 10am to 6pm. For more information, check out their website, www.LowertownFirstFridays.com
The 5th day of the Downtown Shopping Challenge brings us to another museum, the Minnesota Historical Society. The bonus here is if you’re a current member, you can get 20% off items in their store between tomorrow (December 6th through December 9th). As much fun as shopping in their store with such a great selection of Minnesota themed products, it’s really worth checking out some of the exhibits.
On my shopping wish-list from here is the new book, “Mni Sota Makoce, the Land of the Dakota” which provides a more in-depth history of the original Minnesotans. If you stop in, feel free to pick me up a copy (kidding, kidding).
For more information about the Minnesota Historical Society, visit their website. For more information on the Mni Sota Makoce book, check it out here.
Day 4 of the Downtown Christmas Shopping Challenge lands us in unexpected territory. I know it’s off the radar of most people when it comes to a shopping destination, but that why it’s included on my list. The Science Museum of Minnesota needs to be on your shopping list too!
And before you ask – you don’t need to pay admission to shop here There are lots of unique gifts from rare rocks, to jewelry, to games for kids. The selection is huge and the prices are fair. If you are buying for a younger, outdoorsy child, don’t miss the Nation Park Service Visitor Center inside the Museum either.
Continuing our journey in the Hamm building, we can’t leave out Sophist-A-Gifts. A small, but very inviting store with many great holiday items you can’t just find any where. A great selection of ornaments for your Christmas tree, or as gifts. They also have a decent selection of costume jewelry for your next Christmas party.
When you stop in, make sure to say Bud says hi!
If you haven’t shopped at Heimie’s Haberdashery – you are missing out on an amazing shopping experience. Wind back the clock to the time when your grandfather needed a suit. The level of customer service is off the chart here.
Even if you don’t need a high quality suit, it’s worth the trip – especially as part of the Downtown Shopping Challenge. There’s a great selection of ties, cuff links, leather bags of all sorts, and of course suits.