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Friday, December 8, 2017

Home Financing Tips


Financing Tips for Homebuyers
 
The Boehmer Team has helped many homebuyers find the most trustworthy and dependable sources for financing a St. Louis or St. Charles County, Missouri home purchase. We often get financing-related questions that our experience helps us answer. But we know to refer to mortgage industry experts to guarantee accuracy of information. Recently we interviewed one of our favorite mortgage experts, Jeff Griege of Paramount Mortgage, to get his expert tips for acquiring home financing at the best price. 


THE BOEHMER TEAM:
What is the very first step that homebuyers should take for getting financing for a home purchase?
JEFF GRIEGE:
Get in touch with a reliable local lender.  Also, listen to your real estate agent if they recommend someone.  They typically have a good relationship with a lender and the agent typically prefers to work with a lender they are familiar with.  

THE BOEHMER TEAM:
Do you recommend that people speak with more than one mortgage loan officer before financing a home?
JEFF GRIEGE:
I think that it is always best to get a second opinion.  Most lenders will have similar rates and fees but the level of service is what separates good loan officers from great ones.

THE BOEHMER TEAM:
Is there anything that homebuyers should NOT do while financing a home purchase?
JEFF GRIEGE:
Do not go out and obtain more debt while you are in the process of purchasing a new home.  This could jeopardize your approval!  DO communicate any material changes that could affect your approval (i.e. job changes) DO NOT hide things.  The more time a lender has to work on a problem the better chance the lender has to solve that problem.
 

Don't buy a car during the home financing process

Don’t make large purchases, like buying a new car, during the home financing process.

THE BOEHMER TEAM:
What impact do credit scores have on home mortgage financing? 
JEFF GRIEGE:
The higher the score the better your interest rate and cost of private mortgage insurance or PMI (if applicable) is going to be.  Both of these are credit score driven and you will get the best price on both of these if you have a FICO score above 760.  Please note that Credit Karma and other on line credit score companies do not give true FICO scores that mortgage lenders see on a credit report.

THE BOEHMER TEAM:
What is PMI and is PMI always required with less than 20% down?
JEFF GRIEGE:
PMI is an acronym for Private Mortgage Insurance.  It insures the lender in case of default by the buyer.  PMI is always required when a down payment of less than 20% is used but there are ways to work around paying it monthly, therefore possibly saving the buyer money on a monthly basis

THE BOEHMER TEAM:
What is the most asked question you get from people trying to finance a home purchase?
JEFF GRIEGE:
How much can I afford and what are my monthly payments going to be?

Have you tried our mortgage payment calculator to estimate monthly payments on a new home? CLICK HERE to try it now.

THE BOEHMER TEAM:
If two people are purchasing a home together and one has good credit and one has bad credit, what do you recommend they do?
JEFF GRIEGE:
Try and do the mortgage loan on the person who has good credit and put the title of the property in both of their names.  That way the person with suspect credit has ownership in the property but their credit score does not affect the rate since they are not on the mortgage part of the transaction.  Title and Mortgage are two different things


You can buy a home with as little as three percent down
  

THE BOEHMER TEAM:
Can someone with good credit and strong income but not a lot of out-of-pocket money still buy a home?
JEFF GRIEGE:
Yes, you can buy a home with as little as a 3% down payment.

THE BOEHMER TEAM:
What piece of advice do you most often give to homebuyers looking to get a mortgage for a home purchase?
JEFF GRIEGE:
My advice is that everything happens for a reason and to try not to get too emotional through the process so that you are able to think clearly for your financial decisions. 



At The Boehmer Team, we understand that it can be difficult not to get emotions involved when making such a large purchase. We utilize years of experience facing all kinds of unique situations in real estate to coach our clients on anything that arises throughout the home buying process. With the help of great loan officers like Jeff Griege, we make sure our homebuyers have all the knowledge they need to make the best financial decisions for themselves and their families. Thinking of buying a home in St. Louis or St. Charles County, Missouri? Contact The Boehmer Team!



Thursday, November 16, 2017

St. Charles County Holiday Events 2017


St. Charles County Missouri Holiday Events 2017

It’s the holiday season in St. Charles County, Missouri! There are so many festive events in and around St. Charles County that The Boehmer Team has put together a handy list for you in order of event start date. If we are missing any St. Charles County Christmas events, reach out to us and we'll get them added to this list.

10th Annual Treasure Chest Holiday Expo at the St. Charles Convention Center November 17, 18 and 19 
Looking for unique, often one-of-a-kind products, and fun party atmosphere? Check out the Treasure Chest Holiday Expo. They are continuing the great tradition of the Holiday Expo at the St. Charles Convention Center the week before Thanksgiving.  They'll have over 150 booths filled with one-of-a-kind arts, crafts, gourmet goodies, home decor, unique gift items, and more. Find just the right gift for everyone on your list this year. Free admission, free parking, raffles and door prizes through-out the weekend.
More information at https://www.treasurechestshows.com/
 
Christmas Traditions Festival in historic St. Charles, Missouri

Christmas Traditions Festival: November 24 – December 24
This month-long festival celebrates the best traditions of the holiday season from the past in present day downtown St. Charles, Missouri. Enjoy harmonious carolers, unique historic characters and an abundance of shopping and dining opportunities. Walk along the decorated, brick-lined streets where you'll find something special for everyone.
More information at www.StCharlesChristmas.com 

O'Fallon Celebration of Lights: November 24 - December 30
Visit Fort Zumwalt Park for the annual Celebration of Lights holiday light display where local organizations, churches and businesses design and fund amazing individual lighted scenes. There are no reservations needed to drive through the exhibit. Check their website for admission fees (and the Tuesday night special rate).
Ofallon Celebration of Lights


Foundry Art Centre Holiday Events: November 26 - December 17
One of the St. Charles Christmas Traditions events includes Sundays with Santa at the Foundry Arts Centre. From 9-11am you can enter a winter wonderland of creativity, meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and Jack Frost and see Santa Claus! Make special holiday crafts to take home while listening to carols. A small continental breakfast is also available. ($15) More info at: http://www.foundryartcentre.org/sundays/
Bring your family & friends to enjoy Elf at the Foundry Art Centre. This FREE film includes a themed art activity. Concessions are available for purchase. More information at http://www.foundryartcentre.org/film-series-17-18/

Meadows at Lake St Lous Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

The Meadows of Lake Saint Louis Mayor Tree Lighting Ceremony: December 1
Green Tree Elementary Choir will start the evening off with holiday songs. Delight in delicious chocolate chip cookies donated by Max & Erma’s. Purchase a cup of coffee, hot chocolate or other coffee/tea specialty drinks from 11 Bravo Coffee Company. Enjoy complimentary horse & carriage rides. And watch as Lake St. Louis Mayor Kathy Schweikert starts the official countdown to kick off the holidays with the lighting of the Lake St. Louis Christmas tree. Oh and Santa will be stopping by for a special visit with the kids. Free event. 6 to 8 p.m.

35th Annual Augusta Candlelight Christmas Walk: December 1 & 8
Experience more than a thousand luminaries lighting the historic town of August, Missouri at the 35th Annual Candlelight Christmas Walk. Catch a ride on a free antique trolley or join in the scavenger hunt. Shop boutiques and galleries for holiday gifts including hand-blown glass, paintings and jewelry. Enjoy food vendors, restaurants, wineries & brewery decked for the season and serving traditional holiday fare.


Christmas Candlelight Tours Daniel Boone Home
Christmas Candlelight Tours: December 1, 2, 8 & 9
Thousands of candles illuminate a world on the edge of the frontier in the historic Daniel Boone Home & Boonefield Village in Defiance, Mo. Step back into the early 1800s to experience Christmas as it was celebrated in the past with stories, music and hot cider. Limited tickets are available. Reservations are highly recommended.

Santa at the Old Town Log Cabin – St. Peters: December 2
Tell your kids to rehears their wish list to tell Santa for FREE at the Old Town Log Cabin in Old Town St. Peters. Hot chocolate, tasty treats and more holiday fun for the whole family. Don't forget to bring your camera to capture some great memories with St. Nick! Outdoor event so dress appropriately.

Santas North Pole Dash St Charles Missouris

Santa's North Pole Dash and Children's Snowman Shuffle: December 2
Watch or join 3000 Santas in this fun fundraiser for the Greater St. Charles County Chamber of Commerce. Now in its seventh year and gaining popularity. Come join the fun in historic downtown St. Charles. Children's dash as well as 5k and 1 mile walk also can be enjoyed.
More information at: http://www.gstccc.com/santa-dash

Lindenwood Holiday Events: December 3 - 9
The Lindenwood band, orchestra and choirs present an evening of holiday inspired music. The event will take place at the Lindenwood University Cultural Center. Be sure to get your tickets ($5) to reserve your spot.  More info at: https://lindenwood.campuslabs.com/engage/event/1655233
A Christmas Carol will be showing at the Lindenwood Theater on December 7, 8 and 9. Viewing this performance is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit!
Find these Lindenwood events and more at: https://lindenwood.campuslabs.com/engage/events

The Gateway Ringers Holiday Concert: December 8
The Gateway Ringers are members of the Handbell Musicians of America. See their fantastic holiday concert at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 8945 Veterans Memorial Parkway in O'Fallon, Missouri on December 8th at 7:30pm.
More information at http://www.gatewayringers.org/

Winter Wonderland on Ice Show in St Peters Mo
Winter Wonderland on Ice Show: December 8 & 9
Celebrate the holidays as the Rec-Plex North ice rink comes to life and turns into an enchanted Winter Wonderland on Ice. The best Rec-Plex solo skaters and synchronized skating teams will dazzle audiences with the beauty and skill of their original programs. Beloved holiday characters join in the festivities to make this a delightful event for the whole family.

St Charles Municipal Band Holiday Concert: December 19
The Concert Band will be playing at Scheidegger Center. They will open the program at 7 PM with classic and contemporary holiday music. A visit from Santa Claus eis xpected.


So there you have it! Get out there and be merry this season. Every day is a gift to make the most of. Join our wonderful communities in St. Charles County and make memories to last a lifetime. And if you're looking for a home in St. Charles County this holiday season, put The Boehmer Team to work for you. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from The Boehmer Team!




Friday, November 10, 2017

St. Charles County Holiday Home Help



The Boehmer Team knows that homeowners in St. Charles County, Missouri like their homes clean, lighted and decorated over the holidays. But these things can be hard to accomplish with busy professional and family lives. So we’ve put together a helpful list of local companies that service the St. Charles County area to assist with your holiday cleaning, lighting and decorating.

*Companies are listed in alphabetical order. Click a company name to link to company information.


St. Charles County Holiday Lighting Companies




Holiday Traditions is a full service holiday lighting provider that services St. Charles County and St. Louis County, Missouri. They perform consultations, installation, maintenance, take down and storage.  Check out their website to view past work and recommendations.



Outdoor Lighting Perspectives provides exterior lighting installations to make your home look lovely year round or for special occasions. While Outdoor Lighting Perspectives is a nationally known brand, there is a great local franchise based out of Lake St. Louis that serves the greater St. Charles County area.



Independently owned by Nick D'Amato, STL Holiday lighting only hires professional installers who share Nick's passion for Christmas lights and his commitment to excellence. All installers are professionals who are bonded and insured.  Also, Nick offers folks a preview of his company’s abilities by giving directions and access to his personal outstanding home lighting display.



For homeowners that want a professional, hassle-free experience, you can enjoy brilliant results that give a home that special something for the holidays. St. Louis Christmas Décor will evaluate and map a property, listen to a homeowner’s desires, and create holiday lighting and decorating plans that accentuate the unique features of a home and its landscaping.



The Window Brite team comes highly recommended from The Boehmer Team. Check them out for your home exterior cleaning needs. They offer window cleaning, power washing, gutter cleaning, driveway sealing and during the holiday season they are well known for quality installations of exterior holiday lighting at reasonable prices.


St. Charles County Holiday Interior Decorating






For over twelve years, Becky Robbins has been creating well-designed spaces that her clients love. Visit her page to see some samples of her eclectic and high-end home décor looks or to contact her for home holiday decorating assistance.



Our go-to home staging company also offers home holiday decorating help. You’ll love how they can incorporate a style that fits perfectly with your home’s architecture and current décor.



Get matching trees and wreaths to decorate inside your home or business from St. Louis Christmas Décor. Check out their page to choose a style to match your home’s existing décor.



Interior home décor enthusiast Sarah Edinger specializes in decorating with vintage and retro styles. She can help you create a nostalgic and beautiful home for the holidays. Check out her page for samples of her amazing upcycled style.



With 50 years of experience, family-owned Zengel Flowers and Gifts has helped decorate for almost every occasion. Is your home in need of the perfect holiday bouquet, basket, mini-tree or table centerpiece? Check out the many options offered at Zengel’s website.



St. Charles County Home Cleaning Services





If you are looking for a “green” home cleaning service, check out Better Life Maids. Matt and Angela Ricketts founded the service after discovering ingredients they didn’t like in popular cleaning products. Their mission was to create a quality cleaning service that lived up to their green standards.



Attention to detail is the pride of the award winning Lory’s Cleaning Service. Lauded for speedy, quality service, Lory’s Cleaning Service even offers first-time customer discounts. Need someone to help you clean your home and work with your busy schedule? This is a company worth checking out.



Marvelous Maids’ mission is to provide excellent residential cleaning as outlined in their housecleaning checklist on every visit in every home by a friendly, trustworthy and customer-oriented team. Their goal is to make your house a joy to come home to each and every time. They service St. Charles, St. Peters, O’Fallon, Dardenne Prairie, Lake St. Louis and Wentzville areas.



Sparkling Clean Maid Service is a family owned company with over 10 years experience in the cleaning industry. Bonded and insured for your peace of mind, they offer a wide range of cleaning services. They even offer professional and character references upon request. They send two cleaners to each home, provide all of their own supplies and offer competitive pricing.



Wall 2 Wall Cleaning Service offers a ton of home cleaning services. Need a chandelier cleaned? They do that. Need your skylights cleaned? They do that too. Carpet cleaning? Yep. Not only are they convenient, they offer discounts for using multiple types of cleaning services.




While The Boehmer Team has love for the entire St. Louis area, most of our team members currently live in St. Charles County. Also, our office is conveniently located in St. Charles County, Missouri. With so many holiday home help options available to all of the St. Louis metro area we decided that our friends and clients in the St. Charles County area could use some information put together just for them. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog "St. Charles County Holiday Events 2018".


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

3 Things To Do Before Seeing Homes For Sale


Three Things To Do Before Seeing Homes For Sale

If you are in the market to buy a St. Louis or St. Charles County, Missouri area home, chances are you have already looked online and are ready to start touring homes for sale in person.  But are you really ready? The following three things will prepare your for being the best home buyer and give you an edge while home shopping in a competitive sellers market.


1. Prioritize Your Must Haves



What price range, area and amenities must a home have for you to purchase? Be specific about your must haves and list the amenities that are deal breakers.


Prioritize Must-Haves Before Viewing Homes For Sale
How many garage spaces do you require?
If you absolutely require a basement or a garage, don't waste time looking at listings that don't have these features. If proximity to work or schools is critical, don't wander outside the boundaries of the school.


If you are taking your current furniture with you to your new home, measure it and bring the measurements with you when you look at homes to be sure it will fit through the door and in the rooms.


2. Find a qualified REALTOR with experience in the area.


Find a reputable licensed agent to view homes for sale. A REALTOR will not only get you in to see homes, he or she will be able to answer your questions, or get answers from the listing agent and assist you with the home buying process at every step.

Why not just call the listing agent? A listing agent is contracted to represent the sellers’ interests and get the most money for the home. So it is important that you have a buyers’ agent who works for and represents your interests as a buyer.  An experienced agent or team will protect your interests and negotiate the best price for you.
REALTORS Linda and Kelly Boehmer
REALTORS Linda and Kelly Boehmer

A REALTOR can also help buyers find homes they may have missed due to not being listed in the multiple listing service. Real estate agents have industry connections and may know of great homes that are coming soon that haven’t even been listed yet. Having your own buyers’ agent is also a great resource for all your needs throughout the real estate transaction, like recommending mortgage loan officers, title companies, and inspectors.

3. Get Pre-Approved For a Mortgage


If you are serious about buying the perfect home in the current sellers market, get pre-approved for a mortgage loan before touring homes for sale.


Get pre-approved for a mortgage before seeing homes for sale.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage before seeing homes for sale.
When the best homes sell in a few days or even a few hours, you won’t have time to research mortgages and get pre-approved before that perfect home is under contract. Those who are pre-approved are able to put a contract on “the one” the moment they find it.

While you can put an offer on a home without pre-approval, pre-approved home buyers’ offers compete better against offers without pre-approval.  They signal to the sellers that the buyer has the ability to purchase the home and is less likely to pull out of the deal due to financial reasons.

In addition, getting pre-approved will help clarify the price range of homes you can afford and the amount of monthly mortgage payments.


The Boehmer Team


The experienced REALTORS on The Boehmer Team work with buyers to ensure they have an edge over the competition. Having a team means having more connections and thus more opportunities to find the perfect home despite the current competitive market.  We strive to provide our clients with the best service in the business. Please contact us to be your partner in finding and buying your next home.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Advice From Award Winning Home Stagers – Part 2



With so much great advice to share from award winning home staging company INhance IT!, we had to create two articles. In the last article we discussed ways that homeowners can stage the inside and outside of a home to look great and to increase value when selling a St. Louis or St. Charles County, Missouri home. In this article we’ll reveal answers to the most asked questions on current home décor trends in color, fixtures, artwork and more.


The Boehmer Team: What are the best colors to use in the home and why?
INhance IT!: A couple of years ago we began reporting, “grey as the new beige”.  Homebuilders, flippers, and sellers are still embracing grey. Sherwin Williams 2017 color of the year is Poised Taupe. This is a warmer shade that blends well with a variety of wood tones and countertop surfaces. 

White is definitely the “in” color for kitchens and baths. Gone are the days of dark espresso cabinets and dark granite countertops. Kitchens and baths are light and bright with white quartz being the preferred countertop surface.

In the kitchen, we continue to see “tuxedo” cabinets and islands. This is the technique of painting the island a contrasting color from the cabinets and/or painting the upper and lower cabinets different tones. Most frequently seen are the combination of grey and white.

The Boehmer Team: What about ceilings? Is it always best to paint a ceiling white?
INhance IT!: When listing your home, don’t forget to look up.  Is your ceiling a fresh, bright white?  If not, a fresh coat of paint is imperative. Buyers sometimes avoid properties with popcorn ceilings…if you have them it’s a good idea to have the popcorn removed.


The Boehmer Team: What do you recommend for light fixtures?
INhance IT!: Lighting styles run the gamut from rustic/industrial to bling-bling glam.  Updated lighting, especially on the exterior front of the home, foyer and dining room bring value to the home. One of the best looking new trends in lighting includes pieces that feature matte black exterior with brushed gold accents.

The Boehmer Team: What about faucets and fixture colors that should be used or avoided?
INhance IT!: Believe it or not, now that we’ve all pretty much removed the 80’s brass from our homes, brass is back in vogue. Today’s brass is definitely not your grandma’s brass.  Silhouettes are very clean lined and today’s brass has a brushed, soft patina. We’re seeing a plethora of shiny stainless as opposed to the brushed nickel of a few years back. Oil rubbed bronze is still going strong, but only in the industrial-look. 


The Boehmer Team: Do you have any suggestions for wall decor?
INhance IT!: When it comes to real estate staging, the larger the artwork the better. We avoid using groupings of smaller art to keep nail holes to a minimum. Large abstract canvas pieces work well for staging purposes. Some of today’s most popular styles of art are abstract pieces utilizing actual geodes or geode patterns incorporating gold and silver metallic accents.

The Boehmer Team: What are some of the best trends in home decor that INhance IT utilizes?
INhance IT!: The INhance It! team travels to various furniture markets (Las Vegas, High Point, Atlanta) throughout the year to keep abreast of the latest home décor trends. The key to effective real estate staging is creating memory points without detracting from the architecture of the home. 

Most of the upholstered pieces we use are pale beige or grey tones and are accented with luxury throw pillows. Our current go-to color pallets are a combination of beige, grey and cream accented with silver and gold metallic. We are also utilizing some of the new industrial look in dining tables, sideboards, coffee and end tables. There is definitely an art to mixing and matching styles and textures. Our favorite “pop of color” is aqua in artwork, pillows and accessories.


The Boehmer Team: Any design trends that you think will be big?
INhance IT!: The industrial design trend is still going strong.  Also, reclaimed wood for furnishings, accent walls and ceilings makes a statement. The “Fixer Upper” farmhouse style remains popular. Mid century modern is also growing in popularity.


Linda and Kelly Boehmer are both big fans of vintage and retro decor. We were pleased to learn that incorporating our vintage finds into our home décor is on trend with farmhouse and mid century styles. In every home we see pieces that standout because they tell a story about the homeowner, of favorite memories or of what someone aspires to be. You don’t have to remove something special due to design trends, just find a new way to incorporate it in an updated way.

One of the great things about working with The Boehmer Team when selling St. Louis or St. Charles County area real estate is that we give staging advice to our home sellers. Our years of experience marketing homes and working with home stagers like INhance IT! lead to better sales results for our sellers. Thinking of making a move? Contact TheBoehmer Team.




Did you miss Advice From Award Winning Home Stagers - Part 1? CLICK HERE to read it.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Advice From Award Winning Home Stagers



Whether selling a St. Louis or St. Charles County area home, preparing for a party, or just wanting to make a home beautiful, our friends at INhance IT! Home Staging have some great tips for you. We’ve trusted and been delighted by the work of INhance IT! for years and learned they recently received the Top 10 Best Vacant Home Stager of The Year AND Top 10 Best Home Staging Team of The Year by RESA®.  So who better to ask for home staging advice? We sat down and asked these experts the questions that are on home sellers’ minds.

The Boehmer Team: What are the most important things a homeowner can do to stage their home or just make it beautiful?

INhance IT!: Staging is a catchall word for condition.  In order for a seller to receive the highest return on equity for their home it must be in immaculate condition prior to listing.  This involves a curb-to-basement assessment of every aspect of the property.  The three key things a homeowner can do are:
Paint – we call it money in a can.
Edit – pack away personal collections, personal photos, and items that might distract a buyer.
Clean – buyers want a home that is move-in ready. It pays off handsomely to bring in a professional cleaning crew (don’t forget grout, carpet and windows) prior to listing a home or just to make it appealing.



The Boehmer Team: Are there any ways you recommend to stage/beautify the outside of a home?

INhance IT!: The old saying “you only have one chance to make a first impression” holds true when marketing a property for sale.  Sellers or those just wanting great curb appeal should take a close look at:
Lawn – lawns cut on the diagonal appear larger.
Mailbox condition – make sure it is clean, sturdy and level.
Front door – check the condition of the hardware, choose a good paint color.
Welcome mat – get one, replace or clean the old one.
Healthy potted plants – add character and charm.
Cleanliness – remove any clutter, trash, insects or cobwebs from the outside entryway.


The Boehmer Team: What is the question you get most from home sellers?

INhance IT!: The main question we have been presented with in 2017 is “Why should I stage my home in a hot real estate market”?  The answer is simple.  Real estate staging brings a higher perceived value to the home in any market.  We have seen staged homes receive multiple offers within one day on the market, many receiving offers of $25K or more over list price.  Our motto remains the same in any market “the cost of home staging is less than your first price reduction”.


The Boehmer Team agrees. It’s been proven that beautifully staged homes sell faster and for more money than vacant or cluttered homes. So how do you determine if your home is up to snuff or if you need the help of a home stager? If you are listing your home, The Boehmer Team will meet you at your home to go over the tried-and-true décor updates that help sell homes. If you are a candidate for home staging, we’ll connect you with an experienced home stager such as INhance IT! 


We couldn’t fit all of our questions and answers into this one article. So stay tuned for Part 2 where we discuss the latest home décor trends for homes with the experienced designers at INhance IT! Home Staging. Or for more great home staging advice, check out the INhance IT! blog here.  Thinking of listing a home for sale? ContactThe Boehmer Team.





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