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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!

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
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 

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:
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

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:

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:
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:

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

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.