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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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Friday, September 8, 2017

Have You Considered An Inventory Home?


St. Louis Area Builder Inventory Homes Offer Opportunities for Homebuyers
This gorgeous inventory home in St. Charles is by Fischer & Frichtel.
In a competitive sellers market with fewer homes for sale than homebuyers, an inventory home is a great option. The problem is, people don’t always find inventory homes on the national home search websites. Also, many don’t even know what an inventory home is. So what is an inventory home?

An inventory home is a brand new home that has already been completed, or may be under construction, by a homebuilder. An inventory home may have been part of a neighborhood development project or was simply built for inventory purposes. It’s also possible that a buyer designed and had a home built but then at no fault of the builder, the buyer couldn’t complete the sale.

Inventory home by Bridgewater Communities in Lake St. Louis
This fabulous kitchen is the heart of an inventory villa built by Bridgewater Communities in Lake St. Louis.
Great value can be found in inventory homes. They are designed with the latest building codes, feature current and popular design trends, are built with the most current building materials and are generally more energy efficient than pre-existing homes. Builders work with designers to choose beautiful cabinetry, paint colors and flooring. Also, these homes usually come with home warranties that are more inclusive than the home warranties one can purchase for any pre-existing home.

Luxurious bathroom in Weldon Spring inventory home by Fischer and Frichtel
This high-end bath is in a 2800 sq ft inventory home in Weldon Spring.
These types of homes are not always listed with an agent or added to the multiple listing service, so they often don’t make it to popular national home search websites to be found by buyers. It’s helpful for homebuyers to work with an agent who understands and specializes in new construction home sales and is aware of current builder inventories to learn about these often-hidden opportunities.

Payne Family Homes builder inventory home in Eureka, Missouri
This luxurious inventory home in Eureka is built by Payne Family Homes.
The Boehmer Team has years of experience helping homebuyers purchase new construction and inventory homes. For your convenience, we have put together a few suggestions you may consider when looking for new construction inventory homes.
The property search on our website offers a new construction home search to search for newly constructed St. Louis and St. Charles County, Missouri area homes.
We have a Preferred Builders page to help you easily research and learn about some of the best area builders.
Visit BuyNewAndNow.com to see a list of current inventory homes for sale in the St. Louis area. Don’t forget to click the Almost New And Now link on the page to see inventory homes that are currently being constructed.

This inventory home in Fenton has a double deck and backs to trees.
If you are considering buying a home, the best first step is to contact a real estate agent or team, like The Boehmer Team, to represent your interests. An experienced Realtor or team has trusted contacts that can help you find the best mortgage, homeowners insurance, title companies, inspectors and everything necessary for a home sale transaction.   

This adorable Lake St. Louis inventory home by Bridgewater Communities is new and ready for you.

Thinking of making a move? Contact The Boehmer Team today.




Monday, August 14, 2017

How To Remove Home Smells



Almost all homes have smells. Did you cook dinner last night? Did you kick off those year-old work shoes in the entryway? Do you have a pet? Is there dampness anywhere in your home? Chances are that your home smells too but you don’t notice it.

While data suggests that humans can detect at least a trillion different smells, we adapt to smells very quickly.  New research even suggests that the nose can outperform the eyes and ears, so smell is an important consideration when you sell a home. 



Imagine that you’ve just purchased a scented plug-in device for your home. Think of how strong it smells at first. After a few hours you hardly notice it. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why our noses adapt to smells, but point to detection of the subtlest change in the scent of our environment as a potential safety mechanism.

We need to be able to adapt and notice new smells quickly. For our ancestors, this ability could alert a change in smell in some animal they’d killed, signifying it was rotting and unsafe to eat. This phenomenon, known as sensory adaptation, is something we experience most intensely with smells and is why people can’t smell their own home. 

Listing a St. Louis area home? Clear away bad smells.


Listing your home for sale? Then figure out what smells might be lingering in your home. First, give your home a good deep cleaning. A few days later, after the smell of the cleaning products has gone, ask a friend to come over and tell you what smells they notice. Smells often found in homes include: laundry and shoe odors, previously cooked food, pets, smoke and mold. Once you discover the smells and the source of the smells in your home, remove them.



Food. Rid your home of food smells by cleaning all food-related appliances and washing any draperies near the kitchen. When cooking in a home listed for sale, avoid cooking fish or using strong smelling spices and be sure to use a fan or leave the windows open when cooking. Don’t forget to remove food trash from the home promptly.

Laundry. Don’t let laundry pile up to avoid clothing smells. Those stinky work shoes? Try airing them out outdoors before bringing them in. Then put them in a plastic bag and tuck them away.

Pets. Pet smells can be some of the strongest. Of course be sure that litter boxes are as clean as possible. If a pet has ever gone to the bathroom on a rug or carpet, steam clean it.  Also, keeping pets clean will help eliminate their body odor.

Smoke. If you smoke, you must stop smoking in your home while it is on the market. Smoke sticks to everything. Smokers need to deep clean their home before it hits the market. This includes: washing draperies, cleaning carpets, washing windows, washing or painting walls and even changing all the light bulbs. Yes, smoke can stick to light bulbs and when they are turned on and heat up, the smoke smell will return.

Mold. Mold smells are some of the worst to potential homebuyers as they can signal leaks and water issues at a home. Use a dehumidifier and clean any mold. If there is a significant mold issue call a professional to help remediate as it can make you sick.


List with The Boehmer Team
 

With over 60 years of experience, our team has helped hundreds of St. Louis and St. Charles County area homeowners sell a home. We offer a home consultation and even staging if needed to present your home at it’s best. Then we utilize our custom maximum exposure home marketing system to help you get the most from your home sale. Contact The Boehmer Team today to learn more about how we help homeowners sell a home.





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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

St. Charles County Real Estate Market Report First Half 2017


Real Estate Market Report St Charles County 2017

Like any market, the real estate market has peaks and valleys. Understanding the current real estate market trends will make you a better-informed homebuyer, seller or investor.  Here are the St. Charles County, Missouri real estate market statistics that you need to know from the first half of 2017.


Number of Homes for Sale


Number of homes for sale in St Charles County Missouri

As this chart shows, the most number of active real estate listings occurs in late spring and early summer. In 2017, the number of homes listed for sale in January was 1050, while currently there are about 1485 homes listed for sale in the St. Charles County area of Missouri. But when you compare the number of homes for sale in the first half of the year to the two previous years, you can see that 2017 has fewer homes on the market. These conditions point to a sellers market, where there are a similar number of homebuyers looking for homes and a smaller number of homes listed for sale.


Average Sales Price


Average Sales Price for Homes in St Charles County Missouri

Due to a similar number of homebuyers and fewer home sellers, the average sales price of a residential property in St. Charles County, Missouri has increased. So far, every month of 2017 has seen increases in residential real estate sale prices compared to the previous two years. If you’ve been thinking about listing a residential property for sale, now is a great time.


Percentage of Original Price Received for a Residential Property


Sales Price Compared to List Price in St Charles County Missouri


While sellers like to get the most money they can for their property, buyers want to pay the least they can for a home. Through the negotiation process the price received for residential real estate is often a little less than the original price for which the property was listed. The first half of 2017 shows that with more competition for residential properties, sellers are netting more money for their homes.


Days On Market


Days on Market for Real Estate in St Charles County Missouri

Another indicator of a sellers market is a decreasing number of days a home listed for sale is on the market.  The first half of 2017 is currently outpacing the first half of the previous two years with shortest number of days on market. In these conditions there is often more than one buyer looking at and bidding on each home. Homebuyers are sometimes learning this the hard way, when they try to see a home for sale and find out that it already has an accepted contract. 

Homebuyers should be prepared when looking at homes to act quickly when they find a home they like and prepare for possible bidding wars with other buyers. Working with a great buyers agent, like the buyers agents on The Boehmer Team, will increase a homebuyer’s chances of finding a great property for sale before it is sold.

Contact The Boehmer Team for expert home buying or investing assistance. We know the St. Charles County, Missouri real estate market and have information on homes that are not yet listed for sale. Or if you are ready to get the most from a residential home sale in the current market, contact us to help with a smooth home selling experience. 


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

How to Research St. Louis Area Schools


Buying a home in the St. Louis or St. Charles County area of Missouri is a little more complicated when you have school-aged children. Not only do parents want great schools to provide their children the best education, they want to live in great school districts that tend to have higher home values. So how does one go about researching school districts in Missouri to find the best neighborhood in the St. Louis or St. Charles County area for their family?


1. For Missouri public schools information, go to the source.
A great resource for learning about Missouri area public schools is the Missouri Department of Elementary andSecondary Education. They have a comprehensive website filled with information on districts, assessment tests, accrediting, special education and more.  Use the website to learn about area public schools, view school district boundaries and more


2. See which public schools scored best on Missouri standardized tests.
Originally developed in response to Missouri’s Outstanding Schools Act of 1993, the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) encompasses several statewide assessments that meet state and federal statutory requirements. MAP Grade-Level Assessments are administered to students in grades 3 through 8 to determine their progress toward the Show-Me Standards/Missouri Learning Standards. The MAP tests give an objective way to see how well students are performing in the four subjects of English and language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.

A great online resource to see school how public schools rank is schooldigger.com. There you can find information on number of students, to teacher ratios, average standard score and more. They have compiled data for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and school districts for comparison.


3. Learn about the highest performing private schools.
To find which private schools perform the best for their students there are several great resources to review. Niche.com focuses on area neighborhoods and schools. Their site includes lists of the best private schools in the St. Louis and St. Charles County areas. 
Another great website is privateschoolreview.com. This site lets you narrow down your private school choices and compare them to each other on numerous factors including learning programs, student to teacher ratio, dress code, sports offered and more.  Also this site features actual reviews from students and parents about their experiences with the schools. 


4. Visit the school.
After you’ve narrowed your school search, visit your top choices in person to see the facilities and meet the staff. Be sure to contact the school to schedule the tour prior to visiting. Every school and district has different policies and schedules so it’s best to call first.  A visit to the school will allow you to evaluate in person to see if it fits the learning environment you are looking for. 


5. Use the School Search on TheBoehmerTeam.com
Once you’ve learned which school and/or school district is best for your family, you can use this information to search for your next home. Go to TheBoehmerTeam.com and click the School Search button. When the search window appears you can type in any school or school district name to find homes within the boundaries the school services.

If you have further questions about schools or school districts relating to real estate in the St. Louis or St. Charles County area of Missouri, contact The Boehmer Team or visit our SchoolsPage. Our team members know the area and most team members have children that have been through the area schools. Is moving on your mind? Put our inside knowledge to work for you. 



Monday, June 26, 2017

10 Curb Appeal Tips


10 Curb Appeal Tips

Whether putting your home on the real estate market or throwing a party, there are several things you can do to make sure your home’s exterior looks great. After all, your home’s first impression happens on the outside. Most homeowners do a great job of cleaning and decorating the areas people see most – inside the home. But often folks forget the importance of the appeal of the outside of the home. So here are some great tips for making your home look great from the outside in.



1. Maintain the lawn & landscaping

It sounds pretty basic but taking the time to mow, weed and trim makes a difference. Going the extra mile with an edger around the base of trees, next to walkways, and near landscaping really shows. Look at your landscaping closely, pull any weeds and trim overgrown bushes. Also, prune any dead limbs on trees or landscaping.
home landscaping maintenance



2. Remove any trash or yard clippings

After completing the lawn and landscaping work, get rid of the excess debris. A pile of grass clippings on top of your lawn isn’t appealing. Rake it up or use a bag mower when mowing. Make sure any of the weeds pulled or edging debris is removed. A leaf blower or strong hose is a good way to get rid of any small pieces left behind on concrete driveways, walkways or patios.



3. Replace any exterior lighting that has burned out

Exterior Home LightingLook at your yard just after the sunset. Is there any landscaping lighting that needs to be adjusted? What about security lighting or porch lights? Replacing these bulbs is a quick task that makes a difference. Buyers like to turn on light switches and notice when easily replaced bulbs are missing.  



4. Touch up any paint that is chipping

While we don’t recommend spending the money to have your entire house repainted for a home sale, making sure that any noticeable wear and tear on the current paint job is touched up makes a big difference. Also look at wood or iron railings, stair spindles, porch pillars and window frames for places to touch up the paint.


Check Your Roof

5. Check the roof and gutters

When was the last time you checked your roof? Be sure any shingles that may have popped up are hammered down. Clear the gutters of any debris. Finally, make sure the downspouts are connected and routed away from your home properly. With the rise of drone photography, photos of homes for sale may now include an image from above your home that will feature your roof. Make sure it is looking good.



6. Attend to any cracked concrete

Small cracks that are less than a quarter inch wide are relatively easy to repair yourself with premixed concrete crack filler that comes in tubes similar to caulk. Fixing larger cracks is also a possible DIY job, or you can hire a concrete repair company to do it for you.

Maintain Your Home's Fencing


7. Fix the fencing

If you have fencing now is the time to check it. Look for any broken or missing planks then repair or replace them. Touch up any chipped or missing paint. Make sure fencing door latches are working properly.



8. Maintain the mailbox

The mailbox is often the closest thing to the street that people see when they pull up to your property. Check to make sure the mailbox isn’t leaning and fix if it is. Also be sure that the mailbox is clean and touch up the paint if needed. If the mailbox is attached to the front of your home, make sure it is secure and clean.

The Power of a Pretty Mailbox
Which of these mailboxes is more appealing?


9. Brighten the front door

Is the front door dirty and dingy? Entry doors take a lot of abuse on daily basis. It may just need a good scrubbing. If paint chipped or missing, touch up or repaint the door. If you’re feeling decorative, add a wreath or welcome sign to add some personality to the front door to make it more inviting.



10. Clean the windows

The exterior side of windows can easily get a buildup of dust and water spots. Consider giving the windows a good scrub. This will not only make them sparkle from the outside, it will let more light in on the inside. Check out a great video and products to make your exterior window washing easier here.





Don’t let this list overwhelm you. Most of these items can be done in a weekend. If you have help, you might even be able to complete it all in one day. Don’t have the time or help? Contact TheBoehmer Team for recommendations on local professionals that can do the job for you. Or if you are thinking of listing your home for sale contact The BoehmerTeam to find out how we help sellers make the most of their home sale.