St Paul

What $125,000 Buys in Saint Paul's Greater East Side

Here is MLS # 4360646


This unassuming home located at 2018 Cottage Ave E in St. Paul, Minnesota.  It has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and 1,670-square-feet of space. The house is in the Greater East Side neighborhood of Saint Paul.


Built in 1921, this home has loads of character. Its features include a great front porch, hardwood floors, and an amusement room with a wet bar.


It’s in a nice quiet neighborhood. It’s on a treed lot so it feels a bit private, but yet it is still conveniently in the city.. Priced to sell, this Greater East Side home can be yours for $125,000!


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What $329,500 Buys in Saint Paul's Macalester-Groveland Neighborhood

Here is MLS #  4314643


This stunning home is located at 555 Cretin Ave S in St. Paul, Minnesota.  It has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and 1,940-square-feet of space. The house is in the high-demand neighborhood of Macalester Groveland.


Built in 1950, it has been recently renovated, including a custom kitchen with slate and hardwood floors. It also has a new furnace/AC, roof, windows, garage and more.


Brr! Light a fire in the fireplace, wrap up in a blanket and cozy up against the cold in your new home. This Mac-Groveland home can be yours for $329,500!

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Saint Paul & Minneapolis Residents Happier Than Most

Men’s Health Magazine recently released a list of 100 American cities and the overall happiness level of their citizens. Would you be surprised to know the Twin Cities ranked in the top 20?

Saint Paul is listed as the eighth happiest city on the list. Its Minneapolis neighbor to the west ranked a less-cheerful-but-still-impressive 14th. St. Paul received an A- for an overall grade, while Minneapolis earned a B+.

The results were calculated using an algorithm that took into account suicide rates, unemployment numbers, antidepressant usage and a measure of people who report feeling “blue”.

The top 10 happiest cities are as follows:

1. Honolulu, HI ~ A+
2. Manchester, NH ~ A
3. Fargo, ND ~ A
4. Omaha, NE ~ A
5. Boston, MA ~ A-
6. Madison, WI ~ A-
7. Sioux Falls, SD ~ A-
8. St. Paul, MN ~ A-
9. Burlington, VT ~ A-
10. Plano, TX ~ A-

The 10 saddest cities, according to Men's Health, are:

91. Las Vegas, NV ~ F
92. Reno, NV ~ F
93. Miami, FL ~ F
94. Birmingham, AL ~ F
95. St. Louis, MO ~ F
96. Louisville, KY ~ F
97. Tampa, FL ~ F
98. Memphis, TN ~ F
99. Detroit, MI ~ F
100. St. Petersburg, FL ~ F

“Men’s Health” says it found that even locations with abundant sunshine and warmth were particularly susceptable to the blues. Researchers also discovered that bike paths and parks play a role in how happy residents are, allowing people to recover from stress and fatigue. Green space and bike paths, of course, are abundant in the Twin Cities.

For the full list, visit

Source: ...

Razing Houses to Improve Housing Stock in the Twin Cities

Quite a bit of Minnesota's housing stock is old and outdated. Though many are in decent condition, not all homes are worth saving and rehabilitating.

South St. Paul's Housing and Redevelopment Authority buys and razes these types of properties as part of a program to clear old lots for new housing. Started in 1996, the Rediscover South St. Paul program logged its 100th new home built on lots cleared of dilapidated houses.

South St. Paul went into the housing renewal business because it could not count on the private housing market to remove dilapidated homes, said Mayor Beth Baumann.

Although renewal is happening on its own in cities like Edina, where developers regularly buy small older houses, raze them and build large new homes at a profit, in South St. Paul, where the lots can be as narrow as 40 to 60 feet, developers cannot build big enough homes to clear a profit if they have to buy, demolish and rebuild the houses on their own, said Branna Lindell, HRA executive director.

Looking for a solution, South St. Paul followed the lead of Richfield. That city began a similar program in 1990 and has by this time built 120 new houses.

The homes purchased by such programs are in really rough shape. The houses that can be saved should be, but this is a last resort for homes that would cost too much to bring up to code for it to be worth it. The HRA hears about homes that qualify for the program through city inspectors, neighbor complaints and Realtors.

For the first time the HRA has an inventory of nine lots for sale. On a 40-foot lot, South St. Paul requires that the purchaser build a split-level, a two-story house or a rambler valued at between $222,000 and $267,000, with finished living area of at least 1,290 square feet. On 60-foot lots, the city requires construction ranging from a $241,000 split level to a $293,000 two-story home. The new houses must be owner-occupied.


Busted House a Boon to Community

Five long years after it was snapped up by a bank in foreclosure, a dilapidated house at the intersection of Oakdale and Butler avenues in West St. Paul has been dropped into the hands of the city's economic development authority. The donation is an unusual opportunity amid the mortgage mess.

In an emailed statement, U.S. Bank spokeswoman Teri Charest said the donation "was the best option because of the value it provides the community. We applaud their efforts to turn this space into something that will benefit the neighborhood."

At its meeting next month, the EDA will discuss what to do with the 0.15-acre lot. It will likely become an open space for the neighborhood. There's even been talk about using it as a community garden.

During the time it belonged to the bank, the property racked up a considerable stack of citations for maintenance problems ranging from broken windows to tall weeds. It brought in contractors for estimates to fix up the house after they were hit with several property-maintenance citations, but eventually realized it made no sense to rehabilitate the house. By donating the property, the bank can write it off as a loss and stop paying for maintenance and county taxes.

Dakota County tax records show the home and lot are worth an estimated $127,900. However, a recent appraisal pegged the home's value at about $26,000.

Source: U.S. Bank turns over foreclosed home to West St. Paul for possible open space


What $299,900 Buys in Saint Paul MN

Here is MLS # 4015764


This charming duplex is located at 659 Wilder Street South in St. Paul, Minnesota. This home has 2,228-square-feet and was constructed in 1929 in the Highland Park neighborhood. Each unit has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.


Each unit also has generous living spaces, hardwood floors, and updated electical and plumbing. The kitchens and bathrooms have also recently been remodeled.



This duplex would be great for an owner occupant or an investor. It could be yours for $299,900!

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Get a $6,500 Loan to Make Energy-Saving Improvements to St. Paul Homes

The city of St. Paul has received $550,000 to offer no-interest loans of up to $6,500 for homeowners who make energy-saving improvements to their properties.

The money comes out of federal stimulus funds. The program will include rebates for landlords if they replace outdated refrigerators in their rental units with new Energy Star refrigerators.

Anne Hunt, energy policy director for the city of St. Paul, says homeowners can use the no-interest loans for things like furnace replacement, insulation and air sealing.

"We are gearing towards people that are modest-income people that are above, say, the [federal] weatherization programs -- they are not eligible to get free weatherization -- for their homes so they need something that's attractive for them to make the investments in their homes," Hunt said. "But there is no income cap on it."

Individuals with homes in Saint Paul will be randomly selected. Applications must be postmarked by June 11.


Twin Cities Communities Celebrating Building Safety Month in May

According to Finance & Commerce, the city of St. Paul is celebrating “Building Safety Month” during May. Initiated by the International Code Council Foundation,Building Safety Month is part of a national effort to protect lives and property. It aims to raise awareness of issues like fire prevention, controlling mold, being safe around backyard pools and grills, and regularly replacing HVAC filters.

“The important work we do is often overlooked until a catastrophic tragedy occurs,” said Bob Kessler, director of the city’s Department of Safety and Inspections. “When building safety and fire-prevention experts inspect buildings during and after construction, we help to ensure that the places where you live, learn, work, worship and play are safe.”

This is the first year that building safety has been highlighted for a full month. Building Safety Week was first celebrated in 1980. During 2009, more than 2,600 individuals in 17 countries pledged their support for the 2009 Building Safety Week. Additionally, the President of the United States, governors, mayors and county officials from 31 states issued Proclamations, Official statements and Letters of Recognition in support of 2009 Building Safety Week.

Some different safety issues are being emphasized for each week in May. Week one was Energy & Green Building, week two is Disaster Safety & Mitigation, Week three will be Fire Awareness & Safety, and week four will be ...

St Paul Private School Ends Nearly 120 Years of Educating

After more than a century of educating the minds of Saint Paul children, St. Bernard's High School will close at the end of the school year.

School leaders blame financial troubles for the closing. Like many inner-city Catholic schools, St. Bernard's has struggled the past 15 years to stay afloat. It closed its grade school last year.

German and Austrian immigrants who settled in Saint Paul's North End neighborhood founded St. Bernard's parish in 1890. They opened the grade school the next year. By 1957, a growing student body and demand prompted the opening of St. Bernard's High.

The neighborhood changed over the years as families moved to the suburbs. Fewer residents choose Catholic private schools and growing competition from charter schools were also contributing factors to the school's demise.

The school is celebrated its 119th year Monday.


Saint Paul and Minneapolis CityLiving Program Revived

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak have jointly announced $41 million in new funding for the CityLiving Program. CityLiving helps first time homebuyers purchase homes in either city.

The CityLiving Program offers below-market interest rates on mortgages as well as down payment and closing-cost assistance. In order to quality for the funding, homebuyers’ household income cannot exceed $92,290 and the purchase price for a single-family home can’t be greater than $276,870.

"We have an opportunity for people to invest, to get a good deal on an interest rate, get some assistance with a down payment, and get back into the cities," said Coleman. "It's a win-win for the potential homeowner, first-time homebuyer, and it's certainly a great thing for our neighborhoods to stabilize them."

In addition, each city has $500,000 available for assistance with down payments and closing costs.

The CityLiving program is funded through bonds sold by the cities. Though the CityLiving initiative has been around for 30 years, it was not available last year because the credit crunch prevented the cities from selling the necessary bonds.

Read more about the CityLiving Program in Saint Paul and the CityLiving Program in Minneapolis.


Twin Cities Foreclosure & Short Sales Up in 2009

Mortgage foreclosures and short sales accounted for nearly half of all housing sales within the Twin Cities during 2009. They will likely continue to play a major role in the 13-county metro area’s housing activity in 2010.

According to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, foreclosures and short sales to account for about 43% of all housing sales in the Twin Cities. Prior to 2006, foreclosures and short sales accounted for less than 5% of all home sales.

All that activity also had a major impact on the metro area’s median sales price and the area’s housing inventory. The Twin Cities closed out 2009 with a median home price of about $170,000, down from $195,000 in 2008. The Twin Cities median home price has been brought down by the high number of bank-owned homes sold and short sales.

Sales of homes less than $120,000 invreased 80% in 2009 compared with 2008. Homes that sold for between $120,000 and $150,000 incrased 40%. Sales of homes in the $150,000 to $190,000 range rose about 10%. Sales of all other home categories fell, with home at more than $1 million down about 30% in 2009 compared with 2008.

More foreclosures and short sales are expected this year, likely keeping the homes sales prices flat.

In response to the foreclosure crisis, Minneapolis and St. Paul have landed a combined $37.5 million in federal money aimed to slow down the foreclosure rate.

The city of Minneapolis received $19.46 million. The city was the lead applicant with Hennepin County and the city of Brooklyn Park. The...

City of Saint Paul First Time Home Buyer Programs

There are many programs available to first time home buyers throughout the City of Saint Paul and in some cases, specific St. Paul neighborhoods.

In particular, the CityLiving Home Program offered by the Saint Paul Home Loan Fund makes home ownership affordable. Through a joint effort shared with the City of Minneapolis, St. Paul offers mortgage loans and home improvement loans through the program. CityLiving loans offer homebuyers an opportunity to purchase St. Paul homes at an interest rate that historically has ranked well below market rates. This program has helped low- and moderate-income families for 20 years. More than 10,000 people have purchased a home through the CityLiving program. Read more information about Saint Paul's CityLiving Home Program.

There is also the Invest Saint Paul program. This collaborative effort is intended to strategically channel city government and private resources into revitalizing and redeveloping four key neighborhoods of St. Paul.  Those neighborhoods are Dayton’s Bluff, Frogtown, the East Side, and the North End.  The goal of Invest St. Paul is to turn the tide of foreclosures and entice new residents into buying real estate in these areas.

The Make it Possible Program, or MPP, is a second mortgage product provided by the Family Housing Fund (FHF).  Under the MPP, a 3% down payment is required of home buyers.  Borrowers who qualify for a first mortgage representing 80% or less of the appraised value of the property through a private mortgage lender will be able to receive the difference of up to 20% of the remaining value in a second mortgage loaned at 3.5% payable over a 15-year...

Community Highlights ~ West Saint Paul MN

Contrary to what its name might indicate, West St. Paul is located immediately south of the city of Saint Paul. It gets its name because it is on the west bank of the Mississippi River. The City of West St. Paul was "born" when it chose to split off from the western half of South St. Paul.

Life in West St. Paul offers residents beautiful surroundings with plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Some of those recreational options include 14 parks, Dodge Nature Center, Thompson County Park, a municipal golf course, Southview Country Club, an ice arena, and a swimming pool.

Additionally, it offers easy access to many employment options, retail choices, restaurants, theaters, and educational institutions located close by in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the rest of the Greater Twin Cities metro area.  With bountiful residential neighborhoods, and new housing and commercial developments under construction already, West St. Paul is sure to experience continued growth in the future.

Take a look at what West Saint Paul real estate is available now. Or find out what homes Minneapolis, Saint Paul, or other Twin Cities communities have to offer....

Community Highlights ~ South Saint Paul MN

The city of South St. Paul is located on the banks of the Mississippi River, directly east of Minnesota’s capitol city of Saint Paul. Just a 15 minute drive to downtown Saint Paul, it was designated as an All American City in 1990. South St. Paul is the embodiment of small town living basking in the nearby glow of big city lights.

South St. Paul's population of about 20,000 is active and involved in its community in a wide variety of councils and volunteer opportunities. South St. Paul also boasts a vast network of more 180 acres of public parks and recreational land, including lakes for water recreation and walking and hiking trails along the banks of the Mississippi River. More popular local recreational activities around South Saint Paul include ice skating and cross-country skiing in the winter, and a year-round community theater.

Sound like your ideal community? South St. Paul real estate offers a variety of housing stock, from single family homes to condominiums and planned communities.

Learn more about South Saint Paul MN real estate.


Saint Paul Neighborhoods to Receive Funding Awards

Soon, the St. Paul City Council will be distributing money for large neighborhood projects.  The proposals for nearly $2.6 million in projects have been reviewed and will be given out in the form of loans or grants throughout St. Paul neighborhoods.  The improvements range from new playground equipment to new buildings.

The money to pay for these new features in Saint Paul comes from a portion of the city's half-cent sales tax, known as STAR funds. There are two types of STAR programs, one for neighborhood projects and one for cultural projects.

Public and private groups, nonprofit or for-profit, are eligible to apply for the funds.  Applicants must match their requests dollar for dollar, and for-profit applicants must seek a combination of loans and grants, as they are not eligible for grants only.

The applications are reviewed and ranked by a 21-member board of St. Paul residents. Mayor Chris Coleman will have input, and the City Council has the final word on decisions.

This year, the recommended projects are:

• Expansion of Smyth Companies' facility - $250,000 grant and $250,000 loan

• Roof replacement at Women of Nations' Eagle's Nest Shelter - $25,000 grant

• An enclosed wheelchair-accessible breezeway at Midwest Special Services - $48,000 grant

• Replacement of two old elevators at Union Gospel Mission's Naomi Family ...

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