“The Contractor Quotient”

There are lots of ways to size up a neighborhood (and divine its direction):  check out the local schools, talk to people who actually live there, research demographics and income, etc.

But one of my favorite ways is to simply drive it during weekday business hours, and look for contractor trucks (and relatedly, dumpsters).

What are you looking for?

–How many contractor vans are there?  In general, the more the better.

–What kind of condition are they in?  Are they newer models in good repair, or beaten-up clunkers?

–What kinds of trades are represented?  HVAC, electric, and plumbing are good; high-end Kitchen remodelers, even better.

Dumpster-Counting (vs. Diving)

Admittedly, none of the foregoing is scientific, but it does give you an indication of how much disposable income there is in a certain area.

So which Twin Cities neighborhood passes the “contractor quotient” with flying colors?

Edina’s Country Club, for one.

P.S.:  I actually recommend that my buying clients visit a  neighborhood they’re considering multiple — and different times — during the week (after work, on weekends, etc.)

In one case, I remember discovering that what looked like a nice, quiet block during business hours was clogged with renters’ cars in the evenings.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

Leave a Reply