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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Preparing A Home To Sell

Preparing A Home To Sell

If you have a St. Louis or St. Charles County, Missouri area home to sell, you’re probably thinking of how to get the most value for your home. While the current sellers market is beneficial for home sellers looking to get the most from their home sale, there is more you can do to ensure your home brings top dollar. We’ve put together a list of things to do to improve the condition of your home so that it looks its best in pictures and brings the most interest and offers when your home is listed for sale.

Create A Plan
Imagine you are a homebuyer and walk through your home. Write down anything that needs cleaning, fixing or updating. Consider any items that need to be sold, donated or thrown away to make your home feel more spacious. Get advice from a REALTOR who can see your home with fresh eyes through the lens of experience.

Preparing A Home Exterior Before Selling A Home

Prepare The Home Exterior
The front exterior of your home and its curb appeal will be the first things potential homebuyers see. So you must make a good impression to elevate the value of the home in the eyes of homebuyers.
  • Touch up the paint on the home's exterior, including trim, doors and shutters.
  • Inspect the roof and make repairs as needed.
  • Check that the gutters and downspouts are free of debris.
  • Wash the windows.
  • Repair any cracks in the driveway and sidewalks.
  • Make sure the lawn is mowed and that landscaping and trees are trimmed.
  • Remove any debris, clippings, toys, trash, or pet droppings from the yard.
  • Check front door, doorbell, address number, welcome mat and mailbox.
  • Add color with seasonal flowers or shrubs if time allows.

Preparing A Home Interior Before Selling A Home

Prepare The Home Interior
Before we discuss to-do’s for particular spaces in a home, let’s look at items throughout the home that need to be addressed before it is put on the market.
  • Completely clean your home or hire a home cleaning service.
  • Stow away valuables in a safe place.
  • Repair any cracks or holes in walls and clean any marks or touch-up the paint.
  • Repair or replace any torn screens.
  • Clean carpeting and draperies for best appearance and freshness. 
  • Clean and inspect the fireplace and make any necessary repairs.
  • Lubricate squeaky doors, windows, and cabinets.
  • Replace any burned out light bulbs.
  • Pre-pack and store extra items or out-of-season items like holiday décor and clothes.
  • If the basement or attic is a functioning part of the house, make sure the area is clean and in good repair.

Preparing The Kitchen For Home Showings

Prepare The Kitchen
The kitchen has become one of the most important rooms in the house. It is a place that homeowners spend a lot of time cooking and bonding with their family. So it is a place that homebuyers pay special attention to.
  • Be sure cabinets, refrigerator, ceiling fans and vent hoods are wiped down and clean.
  • Clear the counters of any appliances. If an appliance must remain, be sure it is clean.
  • Make sure the floors are clean. . If the floor looks old and dull, consider replacing the flooring.
  • Organize your cabinets because potential buyers will often open the doors. 
  • Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink.

Preparing The Bathroom For Home Showings

Prepare The Bathroom
Homebuyers will want to ensure any bathrooms in the home are in good working condition. Of course you’ll want to be sure that the bathrooms in your home are as clean as possible. You should also check the following.
  • Replace old caulking around bathtub and sinks.
  • Repair or replace any leaky faucets.
  • Unclog and sanitize drains to remove odors.
  • Keep the toilet seat lids closed.
  • Keep fresh towels in the bathrooms at all times.

Preparing The Garage For Home Showings

Prepare The Garage
If the home you are selling has a garage, you’ll want to prepare it to look its best for the home sale as well.
  • Clean and organize items currently in the garage leaving room to store any additional items from inside the home.
  • Any items stored in the garage from inside the home should be stored as neatly as possible.
  • Remove any stains from the garage floor with degreasers found at your local home repair store.
  • Remove any cobwebs from the ceiling of the garage and from around the doors.
  • Make sure garage door openers and lights are working.

While you can’t control where your home is located, or the value of comparable properties your home will compete with when it is listed for sale, you can control the condition of your home. Using this list and talking to an experienced real estate agent like those on The Boehmer Team will ensure that you do everything possible to make the most from your home sale. Thinking of selling? Contact The Boehmer Team to make it a better experience. Still need more info? CLICK HERE to learn the Home Selling Process.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Builders Create St. Louis Area Communities

Builders Create St Louis Communities

St. Louis can thank area homebuilders for creating the communities that we want to live in today and in the future. Advances in community planning, design and construction are contributing to the creation of many fantastic new communities being developed around the St. Louis and St. Charles County area. A few great examples are the communities currently being built by local homebuilders Payne Family Homes and Fischer & Frichtel.

Payne Family Homes at Shady Creek


Homes at Shady Creek in O'Fallon

In O’Fallon, Missouri, local homebuilder Payne Family Homes is currently constructing Shady Creek. This neighborhood will be made up of beautiful ranch, 1.5 story and 2 story homes each with desirable 3-bay garages. But it’s the amenities that really contribute to making a community special.

Shady Creek Location

Location, location, location. Shady Creek is situated in the highly ranked and acclaimed Wentzville School district. Residents will have easy access to shopping at The Meadows Mall and The Shoppes at Hawk Ridge. Want to get places quickly? Highway N is close by and only minutes from Highways 70, 40/61 and 270.

Shady Creek swimming pool

Homeowners in Shady Creek will enjoy many community benefits without ever having to leave the neighborhood.  Residents will enjoy a community pool house, a swimming pool featuring a lazy river, fountains, lap lanes, and a water sports court. Great all-season amenities include walking trails with fitness stations, and two playgrounds. Want to learn more about Shady Creek? Contact The Boehmer Team.

Fischer & Frichtel at Brightleaf


In Wildwood, Missouri homebuilder Fischer & Frichtel is creating a lifestyle-oriented community called The Villages at Brightleaf. This master-planned community features four distinct villages, each with its own style of single-family homes in a variety of floor plans and price ranges. Residents will enjoy tree-lined streets with sidewalks on both sides of the street in a community designed with common areas and abundant green space.

The location is amazing. The Villages at Brightleaf is located at the corner of Highways 100 and 109, across from Wildwood Town Center in top-rated Rockwood School District. Homeowners can walk or bike over the new pedestrian bridge or crosswalk to the restaurants, boutiques, grocery store, movie theater, and fitness center at Wildwood Town Center. Miles of walking and biking trails lead to parks and trails, including Wildwood’s new Community Park and dog park. Playgrounds, picnic areas, equestrian trails and camping are just minutes away at Babler State Park and RockwoodsReservation.

Help With New Construction Home Purchases

While these gorgeous new communities being constructed in the greater St. Louis area are captivating, the process of purchasing a newly constructed home can be intimidating. Experts in new home purchasing, like The Boehmer Team, are here to make the process of purchasing a newly constructed home easy. Contact us today to learn more about the communities above or to purchase a newly constructed home anywhere in the St. Louis area. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Enhance Your Home With Lighting

The home design industry often focuses on the latest colors and design styles, but the lighting in a home has a profound effect on the appearance of all design choices. The right lighting will highlight a home’s architectural and design features, making a home feel more open and inviting. While poor lighting can change the look of colors and spaces in a home and diminishes an otherwise well decorated room. Whether you are planning to list a St. Louis or St. Charles County area home for sale, or just want to present your home in the best light, try these lighting tips to make your home look its best.

Audit the lighting in the rooms of your home.

Consider the amount of natural light in your home and if there is enough. Check to make sure artificial lighting fully illuminates the entire room. Discover if your current lighting casts any hues that change the appearance of your paint and fabric colors. The results of your audit will help determine where to make any adjustments necessary to improve the lighting in your home.

Let in natural light from the windows.

A natural build up of dirt and debris from wind and rain can block the light coming in. Give the windows a good scrub on both sides and rinse off the screens. Pull the curtains open wide and lift any blinds. You can even expand the appearance of the size of windows by extending curtain rods eight inches on either side of the window. This trick allows room for draperies while still letting in plenty of natural light. Don’t forget to look outside the window. If there is foliage blocking the window from outside the home, manicure the landscaping to reveal the windows.

Choose the right light fixtures.

If you love your current light fixtures, give them a good cleaning. But if they are outdated and older than you are, replace them. Choosing the right fixture depends on the room size and use. Large fixtures are great for making any space cozier. Small fixtures are great for hallways and smaller spaces. A great way to create ambience is with a combination of overhead lighting and two other lighting sources like lamps.
When choosing fixture color, go with a color that matches or compliments other design features in the home. For example, match the metal color on a kitchen light fixture to the metal color of the kitchen cabinet pulls. Also, clean or replace any dirty or damaged light switch plates.

Pick the right light bulbs.

Use the highest wattage light bulb you can as directed by the lighting manufacturer.  If you don’t like bright lighting in your home, install dimmer switches. This will allow for bright lighting when needed and energy-saving mood lighting when you want it. Softer lighting is OK for accent lights and wall sconces. Don’t forget to audit the hue of the light bulbs in your home. It’s OK if you prefer bulbs that are soft white or rose-tinted. Just be sure that you use the same color of light bulbs in all of the fixtures within the same room to avoid a chaotic look.

Choose feature-enhancing exterior lighting.

A current trend for home listing photos is a picture taken at dusk to show exterior home lighting. Even if you’re not having a dusk photo shoot of your home, exterior lighting choices can greatly affect the curb appeal. Potential homebuyers may drive by at any hour to check out your home and neighborhood. A well-lit home exterior is inviting to homebuyers and discourages burglars. Good exterior lighting will make your home and neighborhood appear safer. Speaking of safety, path lighting helps prevent tripping hazards as well and creates a welcoming impression.

Contact The Boehmer Team when you’re ready to list.

If the reason you want to improve the lighting of your home is to highlight its best features for a home sale, contact The Boehmer Team. We offer home staging advice and services that are proven to help sell homes for the most value. We also use professional photography to be sure a home listed with The Boehmer Team is always shown in the best possible light.


Friday, January 26, 2018

Tax Perks of Home Improvements

Whether we like it or not taxes have been and will continue to be a factor in our income and purchasing decisions. For St. Louis and St. Charles County, Missouri homeowners, taxes additionally have implications on our decisions to make home improvements and remodel our homes.  How much impact? We’ll explain.

First you need to know the difference between a home repair and a home improvement. The IRS defines a repair as anything that's necessary to keep your home in good condition but doesn't necessarily add to its value. An improvement is anything that prolongs the useful life of your home and has the potential to increase its resale value. Your project needs to be considered a home improvement in order to take advantage of available tax perks. Be sure to consult your trusted tax advisor for tax advice regarding a specific project as not all home improvements are tax deductible.

Here are some of the home improvements that do have tax perks:

Solar Upgrades

Pictured: solar panels and solar water heater.
Solar water heaters and solar panels can still be claimed for a tax credit through 2021. The tax credit is currently 30% and includes the cost of installation. In 2020 the credit decreases to 26% and in 2021 it will be 22%. So if you are thinking of making solar upgrades it is best to do so sooner to claim a higher tax credit for the improvement.*

Modifications for Medical Necessity

Home improvements that are made to accommodate a medical disability may be deducted on your taxes. Some of the items covered include: adding handrails or support bars, widening doorways, adding a wheelchair ramp, and installing lifts. However to receive the tax perk for these upgrades you must itemize deductions instead of claiming the standard deduction. Talk to your tax advisor to determine if modifications made for medical necessity in your home are eligible for tax perks or refer to IRS Publication 502.

Selling a Home
Home improvements can decrease that amount of capital gains taxes when you sell a home. Capital gains are a type of tax levied on capital assets including investments and real estate when those investments are realized or sold. (Note: this doesn’t affect everyone. Individuals can exclude up to $250,000 of capital gains from the sale of their primary residence or $500,000 for a married couple). Increasing your adjusted cost basis, what you paid for the home plus costs incurred including home improvements, can reduce this tax. Be sure to keep receipts and paperwork from home improvements you make to increase your adjusted cost basis when you're ready to sell. As with the above, be sure to consult your tax advisor regarding capital gains taxes.

When you are ready to sell a St.Louis or St. Charles County area home, contact The Boehmer Team. We will help you achieve the maximum value for your property. We have over 55+ years of combined experience helping homebuyers and sellers. We’ve seen thousands of different situations and helped negotiate for our clients’ best benefit. Give us call or check out our website for more information about all that we do.

* Visit for requirements and additional information on tax credits for solar upgrades.
* Information herein is not legal tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor for specific tax information.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Home Buying Process

The home Buying Process in St Louis

Purchasing a home in St. Louis or St. Charles County, Missouri may seem daunting. However, knowing what steps to take and having a great real estate team to assist you makes the process smoother, easier and can even make home buying a good experience. To make things easier we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to the home buying process.

1. Interview an agent.
A great place to start the home buying process is to find a reputable REALTOR or real estate team to assist you with your home purchase. One reason starting here is important is that an experienced REALTOR will be able to help you with all of the other steps in this process. This includes recommending other experienced servicers in the real estate industry such as lenders, inspectors, title companies and more. Not sure how to determine who is a good agent? Check out our article Interview Questions for Real Estate Agents.

2. Find a reputable lender and get pre-approved for a home loan.
Ask your REALTOR which mortgage loan officers that they have the best experiences working with. Also, ask any friends or family who have recently purchased a home about their experiences working with their lender. Then interview each lender about how they work, what their rates are (based on credit score) and any other vetting questions. Finally, choose the best one to meet your needs. This important part of the process can save you thousands of dollars, so be sure to check your options.

3. Determine the must-have features of your next home.
Do you require a 2-car garage, a fenced yard, main-floor laundry to reduce wear and tear on sore knees? Create a must-have list to ensure that none of these items are overlooked during your home search. Not sure what must-have items you need? Try our handy worksheet to help you determine the items you must have in order to purchase a home.

Search St Louis Real Estate at

4. Begin your home search.
Now that you are clear on exactly what your next home must have, use these requirements when searching for a home. Most home search portals, like the one at, allow you to choose these features when searching online. Be sure to choose your must-have features or you could find yourself looking at homes that aren’t a good fit for your lifestyle. Also, rely on your agent! REALTORS often know of homes that are about to hit the market or that are exempt from the local multiple listing service that will match your needs. This is another great advantage to getting the help of a REALTOR early in the home buying process.

Did you know that our online home search
is better than Zillow? Click here to lean more.

5. View homes for sale in person.
Seeing a home online versus seeing it in person are two completely different things. Ask your REALTOR to make appointments for you to view the homes you are interested in, in-person. NOTE: Don’t just call the number on the sign. The number on the sign in front of a home goes to the listing agent. The listing agent’s job is to look out for the interests of the sellers and make them the most money possible. This is just one reason why it is important to work with a buyer’s agent to represent your interests.

6. Make an offer.
Making an offer on a home can be a complicated decision. What price should you offer? Are there any competing offers that you are up against? This is a great time to lean on an experienced REATLOR. REALTORS are well versed in the legal documents used in home sale transactions. They can help you determine the best strategy for your offer as well as put together the Purchase and Sale Agreement contract. 

7. Get inspections completed.
Once your contract for a home has been accepted, it is time to more thoroughly vet the home for any issues. This is the time to bring in an inspector to take a closer look at the home’s major systems including heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical. Also major parts of the home’s structure will be inspected including the roof and foundation. If an inspector finds signs of insect presence or damage this is the opportunity to bring in termite inspectors. Another inspection you might choose to do in the St. Louis area is a radon inspection as certain parts of the city have been found to have radon.

8. Negotiate for your best possible outcome.
Once you know the results of your inspections you’ll be able to negotiate for any needed repairs based on the findings in the inspection report. This is another great time to rely on an experienced REALTOR who knows which items people ask for and receive most and how to best negotiate for these things.

9. Finalize financing, title and escrow.
Despite pre-approval, there are a few more steps to completing the mortgage loan process. Check out the process here. Homebuyers will also need to review the record of title on the home and find any discrepancies. A good title company will make sure that the title is free and clear of any leans. Finally, the escrow process ensures that all parts of the contract are complete and should be monitored by your REALTOR. 

10. The home closing.
At closing all documents are signed by both the buyers and sellers. Both parties will pay any settlement fees and the documents will be officially recorded. (Don’t worry; any fees will be outlined to you in a settlement statement that you will receive prior to closing.) At the end of closing, you’ll get the keys to your new home!

So who wants to go home shopping? The Boehmer Team offers many tools and all the advice you need to assist with the process. If you are thinking of buying a home in St. Louis or St. Charles County, Missouri, interview The Boehmer Team. You’ll get to know us better, can compare us to other local REALTORS and we can show you in person how we help create positive home buying experiences. Contact us today.

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. 

What is the very first step that homebuyers should take for getting financing for a home purchase?
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.  

Do you recommend that people speak with more than one mortgage loan officer before financing a home?
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.

Is there anything that homebuyers should NOT do while financing a home purchase?
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.

What impact do credit scores have on home mortgage financing? 
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.

What is PMI and is PMI always required with less than 20% down?
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

What is the most asked question you get from people trying to finance a home purchase?
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.

If two people are purchasing a home together and one has good credit and one has bad credit, what do you recommend they do?
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

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

What piece of advice do you most often give to homebuyers looking to get a mortgage for a home purchase?
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!