This is quite a story in the Star Tribune. Someone has lit 17 fires in a 13 block area of Minneapolis near West River Parkway. Police are on the hunt, but do not have any suspects yet. The public can help solve this crime before more property is damaged or someone gets hurt or killed.
Every morning can be just a little tricky exiting my neighborhood and turning south bound on County Road 116 in Medina, MN along the Foxberry Farms neighborhood. After all there are thousands of cars that travel south on County Road 116 as they head to work in Minneapolis or the western suburbs. Cars stream from Corcoran, Rogers, Elk River, St. Michael, Albertville and I suppose even St. Cloud.
Once in a while it can be a tight squeeze getting in the lane to head south. There also is a 4 way stop light at the intersection of Highway 55 and County Road 116. That’s usually good for a back up in the morning that could run anywhere from a 1/4 to a 1/2 mile long. Sometimes I’ve seen it over 3/4s of a mile long. Today it was probably just running 1/3 of a mile.
Back to the story…I pull out of the neighborhood and step on it pretty good to get my car up to 45 really quickly. The speed limit is 55 but people have to start slowing down because of the traffic back up at Highway 55. The guy in the Audi A4 must have clearly been pissed off that I turned in front of him because he ran his car right up on my rear end. Clearly it was a threat. I pulled to the side of the ride and backed off my speed so he could pass me. As soon as he passed me he had to start slowing down because we were only a few hundred yards away from the other cars that were backed up at the intersection.
So this guy basically drives through my neighborhood (yes, it’s a county road – County Road 116) gets pissed off because I turn out in to the lane – and I did not jeap0rdize his travels in any way. (It’s hard to get out the neighborhood sometimes so you have to be assertive). So Mr. tough guy threatens me as I’m driving 4 of my kids to school by coming up on my rear end within a couple of feet while traveling at 45 MPH. It turns out he didn’t make any real headway because traffic was immediately backed up.
Here’s a picture of the rear of his car courtesy of my new iPhone 4S. (People should be careful how they behave out there…everyone has a camera).
Any way, if you happen to see a Champagne colored Audi A4 with the Minnesota License plate of BRECHT, he might be a little angry
Andersen Windows announced today that they will be laying off 250 employees out of a total workforce of 9,000. That’s less than 3%. The bigger issue is that they see no signs of improvement in the housing economy.
Andersen Windows is a premium window and door manufacturer so perhaps they are being hit as people move down in price and quality in order to save a few bucks. But that said, the industry overall continues its downward slope. According to this Star Tribune article, they quote the following, “Window shipments have fallen sharply since 2005 and are expected to fall about 9 percent this year, according to the Window and Door Manufacturers Association. Lower sales for new construction and remodeling are causing the declines.”
It continues to look like there will not be a housing turnaround until 2013 at the earliest.
The results are in from yesterday’s Wayzata School Board Election for 2011. The information in the picture below was taken from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s election results web site.
The Patch has an article on the Wayzata School Board election results.
Congratulations to all the winners as well as those who threw their hat in to the ring. They are all to be commended!
- Eden Prairie School Board Election Results 2011 – Opposition to New School Boundaries Wins the Day! (johnmurphyreports.wordpress.com)
Housing Wire is reporting that mortgage applications jumped 10% last week as interest rates remain low. Much of this jump is due to refinancing. Until we see a jump like this for new purchases, the housing market will not turn.
Anyone who thinks that the decision earlier this year to mess with the Eden Prairie School Boundaries wasn’t a total disaster? Think again. School Board elections were held tonight across the metro and while I do not know where all 8 of the Eden Prairie School Board candidates stood on the issue of the redistricting, but what we do know is that the 4 who did win all were against the redistricting. And it wasn’t even close. This is how local politics should work. Congratulations to the citizens of Eden Prairie for making a difference.
For those coming to this late, this topic has been covered on this blog. It’s also worth noting that Melissa Krull, the Eden Prairie School Superintendent, unexpectedly announced her resignation this fall, apparently 9 months early, so she could pursue other opportunities. I do believe she stepped down of her own volition. She had accomplished one of her goals which was to redraw the school boundaries so that the idea of neighborhood schools would be a relic of yesteryear in Eden Prairie.
It will be interesting to see how long it takes, and at what cost, to put the district back to the way it was.
- Eden Prairie School Boundaries Controversy – Lawsuit Coming? Star Tribune (johnmurphyreports.com)
- Eden Prairie School Superintendent Won’t Renew Contract – Controversial School Boundary Plan not to Blame (johnmurphyreports.com)
Fannie Mae 3rd Quarter Loss $5.1 Billion, Asks Congress for Another $8.7 Billion – When Will the Housing Market Improve?
This continues to be a disaster…how long must Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue? From what I’m hearing, they will be dealt with in 2013-2014 once we are clear of the Presidential election. No one is going to touch this prior to next year – no one…not the TEA Party or Occupy Wall Street…let alone Democrats or Republicans.
Photo credits: Housing Wire
- THE MYTH OF FANNIE OR FREDDIE ACTUALLY “BUYING” MORTGAGES (In other words…check into CONSIDERATION…these are “contracts” afterall) (timothymccandless.wordpress.com)
- Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP II) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Refi Program (johnmurphyreports.com)
- Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Looses $4.4 Billion In 2011 and $4.1 Billion In 2010 (pobeptsworld.wordpress.com)
Anyone wonder why there was a housing bubble? Take Plymouth, MN for example. It has been named one of the best smaller cities in America to live. It’s a great place. It’s not California, and it’s not Vegas especially when it comes to home prices. But check this out….according to the site City-Data, the median income for a resident in Plymouth rose by $4,740 from 2000 to 2009. The earnings went from $77,008 to $81,748. That’s good for 6% growth over 9 years.
However, let’s look at the median value of homes. This includes single family, town homes and condos. Median prices went from $191,100 in 2000 to $328,300 by 2009. That’s an increase of $137,200 or 72%.
Think of it another way…$4,740 more in income was able to buy $137,200 more in housing. That’s 29x leverage. Phenomenal. And of course, not sustainable which is why we’ve seen the home price declines in the past several years.
- Plymouth, MN Median Home Prices Declined by Only 2.3% Year Over Year Through August 2011 (johnmurphyreports.com)
- Plymouth MN New Construction Report (johnmurphyreports.com)
- Top Residential Transactions Plymouth MN – Finance and Commerce (johnmurphyreports.com)
MnDOT County Road 116 and Highway 55 Reconstruction Project – Open House November 14, 2011 Medina, MN
The City of Medina and representatives from MnDOT (Minnesota Department of Transportation) will host an open house for the public to come hear what the latest plans are for the reconstruction of County Road 116 and Highway 55 in Medina, MN.
Open House: Monday, Nov. 14th, 2011 from 5 – 7pm at Medina City Hall located at 2052 County Road 24, Medina.
- (Video) Foxberry Farms and Rush Hour Traffic on County Road 116 Medina, MN (johnmurphyreports.com)
- (Video) Canadian Pacific Freight Train – Plymouth and Medina, MN Railroad Tracks (johnmurphyreports.com)
- Medina Land for Sale for Future Housing Development – 6.31 Acres (johnmurphyreports.com)
- (Video #2) Fall Color Driving Tour Along Medina Road – Tamarack Drive to County Road 24 (johnmurphyreports.com)
Just a quick note to share some of the conversations listing agents (and potential listing agents) have with sellers in this challenging market.
A little over 4 months ago, a seller had called me as he was making phone calls to various agents to start the interview process…fair enough. We chatted a little bit about the market. I had made the comment that it’s not likely much is worth more than $700,000 in his particular neighborhood in this environment. (There may be exceptions of course, but in general…). Well, that didn’t go over too well. The seller was not happy about my comment especially since I “had not even seen his house.” True. The seller then asked if I had sold anything recently in this particular neighborhood. I told him the truth…no I hadn’t. (I can’t recall how long it had been..perhaps a year and a half or so). Nonetheless, this is a neighborhood I know well and in the history of the neighborhood, there are two or three of us who have sold about the same number of homes. In any event, the conversation continued down hill from there. I was not invited in to have a shot at the listing.
So why do I bring this up? The home went on the market not long after my failed conversation with the seller. The home was priced higher than the number I had mentioned above. More than 3 months has passed and they are now on their second price reduction….and…they are now at the number I mentioned was likely a ceiling for this neighborhood right now.
Agents do not set pricing for homes. The market does that. I am an active student of the market and do lots of pricing analysis. Once in a while I get it wrong and the home is mispriced to the high side. So sellers, you may not like me…and I get that, and you may not like what I have to say. You certainly do not have to hire me, and I will be the first to admit I am not always right, but you may want to take the data points, opinion and or analysis in to consideration when ultimately pricing your property.
This particular example again just proves to me that the big agents with the big brand brokers and the global luxury networks can’t sell a house any better than anyone else in my opinion when it’s overpriced. However, sellers continue to believe that if they hire the big agents with the big brand brokers who has the big global luxury networks, somehow they will get their home sold for more money. Buyers today are not going to be fooled easily. They won’t overpay for real estate…not even nice houses.