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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

St. Louis Real Estate Market Predictions for 2016


It seems that St. Louis is getting a lot of national attention currently due to the predictions in our housing market. While some big cities are facing potential stagnation and decline, the St. Louis market is heating up.

The CNN Money Real Estate Special Report article The 10Hottest Housing Markets for 2016 puts St. Louis as the 2nd hottest market. It goes on to state, “Home sales are forecast to rise nearly 9% next year in St. Louis thanks to strong employment and median wage growth.”

Apparently St. Louis has been experiencing an influx of tech jobs over the past several years. In fact, according to research from TEKsystems, an IT consulting firm in St. Louis, more than 25,000 IT jobs opened in St. Louis over the past year.
A recent St. Louis Business Journal article shows this trend is slowing, but there will still be gains in the tech industry in 2016 adding jobs and transferees to the St. Louis area.

Earlier this month Realtor.com published The Top 10 Real Estate Markets to Watch in 2016. Chief economist at Realtor.com, Jonathan Smoke, and his team used past trends and seasonal variations of housing and economic data for the 100 largest markets in the country and put them into a statistical model that predicts future values for home sales and prices. When they identified the markets whose forecasted growth was equal to or better than the U.S. average, St. Louis appeared 2nd on the list.

This fall Crestwood, Missouri appeared in Realtor.com’s article The Hottest of the Hot: What Are the Top 10 ZIP Codes in America?  It states, “Homes in these top 10 communities sell four to nine times faster than the national average… Their listings on Realtor.com are viewed three to eight times more often than overall U.S. listings.” Why Crestwood? Well it appears a combination of affordable homes and good-quality schools propelled Crestwood to No. 7 on this list.

So if you are considering buying a new home, you should take advantage of prices before the St. Louis market really gets hot. Is moving on your mind? Contact The Boehmer Team today or visit www.TheBoehmerTeam.com.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Home Renovations That Pay Back

Whether you’re putting your home up for sale or planning to live in it for the foreseeable future, you may be considering home renovations. When the time comes to sell, it will be valuable to know the home renovations that pay off and those that don’t.  Also, knowing which home renovations pay back may help you make better decisions on which renovations you choose to make now.

Earlier this year Remodeling Magazine came out with their 2015 COST VS VALUE REPORT. This annual report is highly regarded and referred to throughout the remodeling industry. They’ve put this information online in a format that can be sorted so that you can make best use of the information.

The Cost Vs Value Report compares average cost for 36 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 102 U.S. markets.
Snapshot of the 2015 Cost Vs Value Report


As the 2015 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report makes clear, large-scale jobs aren’t likely to return sellers their full cost. But there are improvements worth doing in anticipation of an upcoming sale.

In the article 2015 Remodeling Cost vs. Value: Less Is More, Stacey Moncrief of Realtor.org writes, “Simpler, lower-cost projects tend to return greater value.”  

For example, steel door replacement is the least expensive item on remodeling cost vs. value list yet offers the most payback. Other projects expected to top near 100 percent payback include: the midrange garage door replacement, the upscale garage door replacement, the midrange wood window replacement, and the minor kitchen remodel.  

The headline of an article written by Jim Gallagher at StLToday.com sums it up, Remodeling: The payback is in happiness, not home value.

He writes, “In a new study of 36 types of home improvements, only two raised the value of a St. Louis home by as much as the job cost. A mid-range kitchen remodel would just barely pay for itself. So will replacing windows with mid-priced wooden ones. Every other job was a money loser.”

While you need to resist the urge to over-renovate, if you do, you should prepare yourself to not take it personally when you don’t get out of a project what you put into it. Although you put your heart and soul into designing it, your dream master suite addition may fail to add a big boost to your home’s appeal. Ultimately, you should be happy in your home. If you make a major renovation that is highly customized to you, enjoy it. It might just take a little longer to find the perfect buyer who will love those same customizations. 

Want to purchase a home that doesn’t need any renovations? Or do you need help selling a home that could use renovations? Contact The Boehmer Team. Our real estate expertise and resources for contractors and handymen will help.  

Update: The day this blog was published the National Association of Realtors released their own 2015 Remodeling Impact Report. You can click the link to the 49 page report. We found that the data is similar to the Cost Vs. Value Report referred to above but thought we should share this newly available information.

 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Using a REALTOR to Buy a New Construction Home

One of the most common questions we are asked is “Do I need a Realtor to represent me when purchasing new construction?”  The answer is pretty simple.  While it is not required that you have representation, a Realtor can play a valuable role in your purchase of new construction.  Whether you are buying new construction or an existing home, The Boehmer Team realizes the importance and value of the Realtor in every step of your home purchase. 

Building your own home is an exciting yet sometimes complicated process. There are many details to consider - from choosing the right builder to calculating costs and finding the best community for your needs. The Washington Post says when, “buying a new constructed home, an experienced real estate agent is essential.” 

The Boehmer Team is specially trained in the new construction field. We have worked with builders in the St. Louis County and St. Charles County areas of Missouri for years. We will work with you and your builder towards a smooth process every step of the way.  A good real estate agent can make the new home buying process a dream come true versus a job.

Here are some ways a The Boehmer Team can assist you specifically with your New Construction purchase:

  • Assistance in selecting the community and neighborhood that best meets your needs and that of your family.  Important factors that many homebuyers consider include: school districts, community amenities, access to shopping and recreation. 
  • Help with home site selection including its location within the community, the size of the lot, facing direction, orientation, and surroundings are all evaluated.
  • Determining which structural features are most important to you and what features are will benefit you for a future resale. 
  • Assistance choosing colors and materials for interior and exterior finishes.
  • Explanation of construction progress and terminology as well as assistance in managing expectations.
  • Understanding the value of surrounding homes and comparable homes so that you pay fair market value for your new home.
  • Offering objective professional advice and insight during all phases of the process.
 
Contact The Boehmer Team today if you are considering a newly constructed home or have additional questions regarding buying or selling a home.  Or visit our website www.TheBoehmerTeam.com.
 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Best Deals on New Construction Homes are in the Inventory


Builders create more than just new homes; they create neighborhoods and communities.  Many builders construct “inventory homes” that allow a buyer to purchase a brand new home without the wait time to build.  When the end of the calendar year comes near, many builders increase their supply of inventory to accommodate the numerous homebuyers looking to get settled into their new home before year’s end.  This creates the perfect opportunity to get the best deal on a newly constructed “inventory” home.

The Boehmer Team has worked closely with multiple homebuilders in St. Louis County and St. Charles County, Missouri for years. We have found that you can get some of the best deals and selection of new construction inventory homes near the year’s end.  You can enjoy the holidays in a new home at a great price.

 
"Inventory homes often feature the 

newest designs and most up-to-date features – all in great locations – at the best prices of the year!" according to John Fischer, CEO of Fischer & Frichtel.


“Inventory homes are a fantastic investment,” says Cyndie Roche, CP Sales & Marketing for Payne Family Homes.
“They offer all of the modern features that you can only find in newly built homes, without the time commitment of building from the ground up.  These homes are built as efficiently as possible, allowing the savings to be passed on to the buyer.”

Another good reason to buy a new construction inventory home according to Mark Murphy from Bridgewater Community Homes is, “Many of our buyers are putting their existing home on the market and selling right away. Buying our Jump Start home (a completed new construction home) removes the need and expense of a double move and/or putting all possessions into storage for a few months.”

Jane Felkel of Bridgewater Community Homes says, “A huge advantage in purchasing a new construction inventory home,

other than the fact it is ready to move in and enjoy, is that ours include the most popular upgrades our clients seek in neutral colors sure to please without the stress of having to make a lot of decisions.”


Have you been imagining yourself in a brand new home? The Boehmer Team can help make it possible.  We have connections with multiple builders, know the ins and outs of the entire new home sales process and have other resources such as mortgage and title companies that can assist.  Check out www.BuyNewAndNow.com to see our current list of new construction inventory homes waiting for you to move in.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Preparing Your Home to Sell in the Winter Real Estate Market


The winter is a great time to sell your St. Louis or St. Charles area home. People do buy homes in the winter; in fact, buyers are more serious and more motivated during this season. Also, your home will have less competition in the marketplace. Even so, there are some things you can do to make your home stand out in winter real estate market.

Prepare for the Cold

When prospective buyers walk into your home in the winter they should feel cozy. Take time now to seal up any cracks or fix any windows that are damaged. Make sure you have a shovel and salt ready to keep walkways cleared of any snow or ice.

Check the Roof

If your roof needs any repairs do so before it is covered with snow and ice. Double check that there aren’t any leaks to repair. Make sure that by the end of the fall the gutters have been cleaned out of any leaves or debris.

Paint

Does any of the paint on the outside of your home need a touch up? What about the inside? You won’t want to paint outside in the cold and you may want to open some windows when you are letting interior paint dry. So painting before deep winter sets in is a good idea.


Clean and Organize

Deep clean your home. When the holidays come around you may be too busy or unable to complete some cleaning tasks, like cleaning out the garage or washing the windows. Make a list of things that need to be cleaned and organized and do the things that must be done before the St. Louis cold makes it unbearable.  You might even consider moving some things into storage (or a friend’s basement) before it gets too cold in order to make your house look and feel even bigger.

Take Advantage of Holiday Décor

Use mums or poinsettias to dress up a porch or foyer or hang a fresh pine wreath on the front door. In the winter you can make use of the season with Christmas lights to make your home for sale more inviting. Nothing feels like home more than a festively decorated house with all the touches of the season. But don’t go overboard, too many decorations and your space will feel cluttered.

Sell My St. Louis or St. Charles Area Home

Are you thinking of selling your St. Louis or St. Charles, Missouri area home this winter? Contact The Boehmer Team for more helpful tips to get you prepared for the winter market today. The Boehmer Team has been awarded St. Louis Post Dispatch highest selling agents and they would love to give a great home selling or buying experience to you.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Staging a Home to Sell


Staging a home for sale is beneficial for both sellers and buyers. According to Realtor.org: 37 percent of Realtors® representing sellers and 32 percent of Realtors® representing buyers believe that buyers most often offer a 1 to 5 percent increase on the value of a staged home. Additionally, 22 percent of Realtors® representing sellers and 16 percent of Realtors® representing buyers said the increase is closer to 6 to 10 percent.

Staging for a great first impression.
Meanwhile Realtors® on the buyer side believe that staging makes an impact in several ways; 81 percent said staging helps buyers visualize the property as a future home, while 46 percent said it makes prospective buyers more willing to walk through a home they saw online.

RESA (The Real Estate Staging Association) provides on-going statistics relating to home staging.  The most recent statistics show that staged properties sell 73% faster than properties that are not staged.
We asked our favorite local St. Louis area stager, Liz Connolly, of INhance IT! Home Staging some questions to help clarify the home staging process for sellers. 

What Homes Benefit From Staging

The Boehmer Team: How do you determine if a home can benefit from staging? 

Liz Connolly: Just about any home will benefit from staging.  The lower the price of the property the more it will benefit from staging.  Staging creates a vision of a lifestyle.  It draws the eye to the big picture minimizing flaws and accentuating the positive aspects of the property.  There are times, however, when the owner is not willing or able to make necessary repairs or there are just too many repairs to be made.  We encourage these sellers to list the home “as is”.  There is no point in staging a home if it is not in great condition.  In fact, we will not stage a vacant property that has not had the necessary repairs.  Staging can do a lot for a property, but can’t hide bad paint colors, dirty carpet, bad smells, etc.

Staging to update a space.

The Home Staging Process

The Boehmer Team: How long is the process of staging a home?

Liz Connolly: Once a client agrees to the staging we get them on the schedule and arrange to preview the home.  We are typically at least 2 weeks out as far as booking the install.  The home preview takes about 15 minutes – we walk through the home taking notes and photos and then go back to the office and create the “design plan”.  The actual staging process takes anywhere from 2-4 hours max.  We bring in a team of 5 professionals to stage the key living areas of the home:  living, dining, kitchen/breakfast, family/hearth, master bedroom & bathrooms.  We provide furnishings, area rugs, artwork, lamps, plants and accessories.  When we are finished the home shows like a display home and is ready for professional photography.


Staging an Occupied Home

The Boehmer Team: How does staging work when the home is occupied?

Restyle by staging for an inviting feel.
Liz Connolly: On an occupied property one of our stylists meets with the homeowner to assess everything that needs to be done prior to marketing the property.  This consultation takes about 2 hours and the seller is provided with a booklet outlining everything (curb through basement) that should be addressed prior to photos.  The stylist can come back and assist the seller with these projects, provide contractor contacts for completing necessary projects, and return to the property to prep the home for photos.


What Stagers Recommend to Home Sellers

The Boehmer Team: If you could recommend anything to a home seller when selling their home, what would you recommend? 

Liz Connolly: The 3 C’s:  Clean – hire a professional to give your home a top to bottom deep cleaning.  Clutter – edit your collections and belongings and pack away any personal collections and items that might distract the buyer.  Color – paint the key living areas (at least) a neutral color.  Something in the beige or gray family. 


Home Staging Style

The Boehmer Team: Does INhance IT! Staging decorate with a specific style?

Liz Connolly: Our staging style is transitional.  This is a style that translates well to almost any property and appeals to the widest range of buyers.  It is clean lined, neutral and elegant.
Staging shows what is possible so buyers don't have to imagine.

The Boehmer Team: How often do you turn your staging inventory to keep it current and in style?

Liz Connolly: We continually purchase new furnishings to the tune of around $400K per year.  As items become worn, dated or damaged they are donated to charity.  We partner with area realtors and organizations to furnish homes for those in need. 


Sell Your Home for the Most Money

When you sell a home with The Boehmer Team, not only do you get a team of real estate professionals, you receive the best help in the area for staging, handyman services or any other home-related services from our tried-and-true list of professionals.  We know the best professionals in the area to help you sell your home for the most money.

We would like to thank Liz Connolly from INhance IT! Staging for her home staging expertise. INhance IT! Staging is a full service staging company offering merchandising services for builder displays, spec homes, condominiums and re-sale properties.  They have staged homes priced from $42K to over $4million throughout the St. Louis & St. Charles County metropolitan areas. INhance IT!’s statistics this year are averaging 9 days from home staging to contract. Learn more about INhance IT! at INhanceITstaging.com.

Thinking of selling your home? Contact The Boehmer Team today.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What to Know When Getting Homeowners Insurance


Part of buying a home in St. Louis or St. Charles areas of Missouri is procuring homeowners insurance. While we recommend that everyone shop around, we turned to our favorite homeowners insurance expert, Craig Phillips, owner of Craig Phillips Agency at American Family Insurance, to get an expert opinion on the process.


Homeowners Insurance Mistakes to Avoid



The Boehmer Team: What is the biggest mistake that homebuyers make when procuring homeowners insurance?


Craig Phillips: More times than not, homebuyers do not take into account the cost of homeowners insurance or whether or not they can even buy homeowners insurance into their thought process when beginning the home buying process.  There are many factors that contribute to insuring their dream home and the cost they will pay can vary widely from one person or from one property to another, which could lead to them not getting the home they love.  They really should contact our agency the moment they consider buying in order to get prequalified per se.



How to Get Homeowners Insurance


The Boehmer Team: What is the best process by which homebuyers should go about procuring homeowners insurance?

Craig Phillips: All homebuyers, whether it is there first or last home purchase, should meet with a local reputable insurance agent in order to discuss the type and amount of protection they will need for their dream home.  Contrary to popular belief, all insurance companies and definitely not all insurance policies are equal.  The first step is to establish a face-to-face relationship with that local agent and go through the necessary steps to determine how much coverage is needed to protect their home, which by the way, isn’t equal to the purchase price of the home.  Coverage is the key.  Don’t let yourself be underinsured.



What to Look At When Getting Homeowners Insurance



The Boehmer Team: What is the main thing (or things) that people should focus on when obtaining homeowners insurance?


Craig Phillips: There is a lot to buying and maintaining insurance for your family.  There are few things that a homebuyer should do in order to protect their dream home the best way.  First, create that face-to-face relationship with a local reputable insurance agency like ours and go meet with them in person.  I know, that is contrary to what the internet world we live in says to do, but personal relationships do matter, especially when it comes down to protecting what may likely be the largest investment you will ever make.  Second, don’t get so hung up on finding the cheapest price that you sacrifice coverage or a relationship.  If you can’t afford the insurance, then you should really be shopping for a less expensive house.  Third, don’t forget to discuss life insurance with your agent and buy an adequate amount of life insurance outside of insurance obtained at work to protect this dream home for your family.  Tragedy can strike at any time to any family, so be prepared and your family will be able to maintain the family home for years to come.



The Craig Phillips Agency



The Boehmer Team: What makes Craig Phillips Agency at American Family Insurance stand out from other homeowners insurance companies?


Craig Phillips: At the Craig Phillips Agency, we believe your insurance is more than just a transaction between you and American Family Insurance.  We believe in providing you with best in class customer service and the peace of mind that you have the necessary financial protection in place to provide for you and your family in the event of a tragedy.  We put the customers’ needs first above anything else and always focus on protecting your family the best way we know how.




The Boehmer Team would like to thank Craig Phillips for his expert opinions on obtaining homeowners insurance in the St. Louis and St. Charles areas of Missouri. It is always good to shop around, but if you would like to contact Craig you can find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/craigphillipsagency or by calling or emailing him at 636-947-4080 or cphilli3@amfam.com. If you are currently looking for a new home, search on our website www.TheBoehmerTeam.com.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Help Kids Fighting Cancer When You List Your Home


The Boehmer Team would like to shine some light on one of their favorite charities, Sunshine Kids. Sunshine Kids is a non-profit organization dedicated to children with cancer. 
 
Established in 1982, they are committed to providing positive group activities and emotional support for young cancer patients. Sunshine Kids provides a variety of programs and events, free of charge, for kids who are receiving cancer treatments in hospitals across North America. These programs provide an environment where kids can have fun, connect to other kids battling cancer and heal.

Our company, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties, provides an excellent opportunity to support the Sunshine kids by participating in the Sunshine Kids Listing Program. When you list your home with The Boehmer Team, we make a donation to Sunshine Kids. Our clients are also welcome to make the donation of their choice if they desire.

In addition to helping Sunshine Kids, the listing program provides marketing opportunities to a home listed with us that make it stand out. This includes the Sunshine Kids logo on our website search results and the Sunshine Kids logo displayed in the Your Next Home Magazine advertising for our listings.

For the past seven years The Boehmer Team has been recognized as the top-contributing agents to the Sunshine Kids for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties. This has helped contribute to Select Properties being recognized as top 10 contributors nationwide to the Sunshine Kids Foundation for the past seven years.

Throughout the year, The Boehmer Team, other Select Properties members, our friends and our clients can participate in many fundraising activities including golf tournaments, auctions, trivia, and listing programs. These programs, among many others, help support The Sunshine Kids.


We would like to thank all those who have listed with us or who have made donations to Sunshine Kids. We encourage those that are thinking of listing their home to list with The Boehmer Team to take part in the Sunshine Kids Listing Program and benefit from the additional marketing features while helping the kids.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Defend Your Home Against Its Worst Enemy: Water


Water is essential for your home’s landscaping, but is also your home’s worst enemy. Water damage can hit at the core strength of your house, eventually causing serious structural damage. As years go by a house's foundation wears down and water can seep into the walls and cause mold or dampness. If your basement has a water problem, or if it hasn't but you intend to finish the basement and you don't want your work ruined, it is well worth the effort to ensure the basement stays dry.

Preventing water damage is a whole lot cheaper than paying for repairs. Here are some ways to ensure that your home is defended from water.

Gutters:

Make sure your gutters are in working condition and not clogged. One downspout should not drain more than 35 feet of gutter. The downspout should drain water at least 3 to 5 feet away from your home’s foundation. Adding an extension on the bottom of gutter downspouts is another way to direct water away from the foundation.

Grade:

The ground should slope away from the foundation of your home at least 6 inches over a distance of 10 feet. You can build up the grade around your home by adding a soil and rock (or sand) mixture. But make sure that you leave at least 6 inches of your foundation exposed for inspection, to get air and for any repairs.

Proper Grade

Flower Bed Design:

Make sure borders on flower beds have openings to allow rainwater to drain away from the house. Are you using wood in your landscaping? Stone or brick options are better for landscaping borders than wood. Damp wood invites termites and carpenter ants; plus, it causes mold and mildew.

Plant Choice:

Azalea Bush
Certain plants, shrubs, trees, and ground covers that grow very slowly will soak up more water than other species. Rhododendrons, azaleas, ornamental holly trees, and certain types of boxwood work best. If you know the foundation of your structure has moisture present, these types of plantings can help you control it naturally.

Landscaping Maintenance:

Trim them back trees, bushes, and shrubs: so there’s at least a body’s distance between the plant and your house, to promote airflow. Also, hard soil or mulch won’t let water drain slowly, so turn soil or mulch near the house yearly.

Drainage:

Install footer drain, French drain or a sump pump and check that it is functioning properly on a regular basis. Another option is to use a rain barrel to collect the surge of water when it rains and then slowly drain the barrel over the next day by having it hooked to a hose leading to a garden or flower bed. Air-conditioning units can also create unwanted water-logged areas. Consider extending your unit's drain pipe to direct extra water away from the foundation

Waterproofing:

Try to waterproof your foundation walls with a product such as Drylok or Xypex if you have minor, intermittent leaks. Drylok is a waterproofer not a water sealer. It expands as it dries to become part of the wall.

Check for Leaks:

Check for dark spots under pipes inside sink cabinets, stains on ceilings, toilets that rock, and of course drips. At least once a year, inspect your roof. Repair missing, loose, and damaged shingles. Repair any cracked caulking and check for leaks around flashing.

Don’t Depend on Insurance:

Did you know that regular insurance doesn’t cover flooding? Doing the above should help keep your home safe from water damage. If you live near any flood prone areas speak with your insurance representative about your options.


The Boehmer Team understands how important your home investment is. Do you have more home repairs and updates needed than you have time and money for? Maybe it is time to look for a new home. Visit www.TheBoehmerTeam.com to find great homes on the market today.


http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/foundations/how-to-prevent-water-damage/