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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.


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.


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.


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


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 to find great homes on the market today.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Buy Versus Renting a Home

The choice between buying a home and renting is often dependent on the marketplace in which you live as well as your current circumstances. Here is a list of factors that will help you determine what is best for you.

Do you plan on staying very long?

Those who plan on putting down some roots in a location for a while will fare better to buy, as any upfront fees will be spread out over many years. But if you’re not ready to commit to an area, think you might need to move in the near future, are considering a job change, or expect a pay hike or pay cut, renting may be a better choice.

What is the Economy Like?

The price of homes, rents and stocks can impact the outcome of when you decide to sell a home. Unfortunately, these are some of the hardest things to predict. But in general, even in down markets, a home is a good investment if you plan to stay for a while.

What is the Price of Rent?

What is the price of rent each month versus the cost of monthly mortgage payments? If you live in a city where making mortgage payments is less than rent, it is better to buy.  Currently in the St. Louis, MO area it is less expensive to make mortgage payments than to rent.


You can deduct mortgage interest as well as property taxes on your home at tax time. The higher your marginal tax rate is, the bigger the deduction. In addition, if you work from home you may be eligible to take deductions home office and a portion of utilities. Renters do not get this privilege.

Maintenance and Decor

If you live in a house, you can decide how to approach maintenance, either doing it yourself or picking your own contractor. Also you have creative control. Paint things how you like and hang as many pictures as you want.


Renters are paying their landlord’s mortgage and adding equity to their property.  When you buy a home you increase your degree of ownership with every payment. A general rule is that if you intend to stay in your property for at least five to seven years, the costs of purchasing the home are more likely to be offset by accrued equity and increased housing value. Enough equity in a home can be used as capital to make major purchases like funding a second home or your child's education.

Credit Repair

If you have bad credit it can be difficult to obtain a mortgage loan to purchase a home. However renting and making consistent on-time payments will help rebuild your credit.

Find a Home to Buy or Lease

We hope this article helps you make an informed decision on whether renting or buying a home is right for you. Search homes for sale and for lease in the St. Louis and St. Charles, Missouri areas at our website,  

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Boehmer Team Welcomes Pat Bastunas To Their Award Winning Team

The Boehmer Team, the number one real estate team in St. Charles County and the number three team in the country for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, welcomes REALTOR Pat Bastunas to their team.

Bastunas, a previous Rookie of the Year for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties, will assist The Boehmer Team with residential transactions and client communication for smooth closings.

Top row: Kelly Boehmer, Linda Boehmer, Jacob Gould, Nancy Hitt, Pat Bastunas 
Bottom row: Joan DeSplinter, Sharon Henthorp
“I couldn’t be happier to have Pat join our team,” said Kelly Boehmer. “She is an excellent communicator and has extensive industry knowledge, both are of upmost importance when assisting people with one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives.” 

Linda Boehmer said, “Pat’s abundant industry knowledge and kind professionalism make her a great fit for The Boehmer Team.  It is a privilege and an honor to have someone of Pat’s caliber join our team!”

Bastunas will be joining award winning team founders Linda and Kelly Boehmer along with Jacob Gould, Nancy Hitt, Joan DeSplinter and Sharon Henthorn on The Boehmer Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties St. Charles County Office.

Pat Bastunas, REALTOR
“Being able to give my past and present clients the opportunity to work with some of the top agents in the country is a great honor, said Bastunas. “Having a strong partnership with the Boehmer Team, I look forward to building continued success in real estate as a team in a way that will serve my clients better than ever.”

Like Linda and Kelly Boehmer, Bastunas is a long-time supporter of The Sunshine Kids, a charity that assists children with cancer. Together they will continue their support for this great charity.

Bastunas, originally from Hazelwood, Missouri, currently lives in Lake St. Louis with her husband, Jason, their fourteen-year-old son, Tyler, and dog, Buddy. When not working in real estate you can find Bastunas cheering on Tyler at his select team baseball games or working in the garden.

Learn more about the team at: