I check the City web site now and then so that I can see how many vacant registered building there are on the books. The number keeps going down. Right now there are 1535 registered vacant buildings in St. Paul, most are homes and a few are commercial buildings. The number is still high but it is down from what seems to have been the peak in September 2008 when there were 2031 on the list.
Not all vacant homes in St. Paul have to be registered with the city, so it doesn’t really give us a clear picture of how many there are. In the past couple of months I have had the pleasure of helping home buyers purchase a couple of homes that were or are on the list as category two, which means that multiple code violations have to be corrected before the homes can be occupied again. It is wonderful to see them all fixed up and ready to be lived in again. We have some beautiful homes in St. Paul and to be honest they just don’t build them like they used to. Probably becasue of the expense and of course the building codes.
Most of these homes are very old and when I see them I can tell that maintenance on them has been deferred for many years. They often need roofs and boilers or furnaces and plumbing and electrical upgrades in addition to all of the repairs that are needed to make a historic structure complaint with modern and ever-changing building codes.