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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Buying A Fixer-Upper And Making It Your Dream Home

Some buyers in the current St. Louis area real estate market are finding a lack of good homes for sale in the area and price range of their choice. But this doesn’t mean you can’t find great homes for sale in St. Louis or the St. Charles County area. There are always homes for sale that are awaiting that special buyer who can see their hidden potential.

If the time and money required for updating a fixer-upper is not for you, that’s OK, The Boehmer Team will help you find the perfectly updated home of your dreams. But if you know a diamond in the rough when you see one and are able to make the project a reality, you can make a fixer upper into your dream home.

In fact, one of our clients has done just that. After the Boehmer team helped Stephanie Pohlman and her husband sell their home, they helped them find a home for sale in the exact area and price range they wanted. The home needed some updating, but Pohlman was up for the task.

“When my husband, Matt, and I first found our new home, the gears in my mind started turning with the changes that could be done,” said Stephanie Pohlman. “Ultimately, I wanted to take this beautiful but out-of-date house and create a home for us that we could call our own.” 

home entry before and after
Though Pohlman is an interior designer, anyone with a little money or elbow grease can make a fixer-upper into an amazing home. Her tips could also help home sellers desiring to make the their home look great to get the most money from their home sale. 
“We opened up the space to make an open floor plan to better entertain and let the light - and love - in. Adding stone to the fireplace, hardwood floors, updated lighting, new cabinetry, and paint are just a few things that helped us to accomplish the family feel we wanted to achieve.”

Before and after living room

Pohlman found the most fun part of the project to be the kitchen. “Contrary to what you might think, you are not obligated to the current layout of your cabinets and appliances.” Your only limit is your budget, and maybe the placement of the plumbing hookup. While she did an amazing full-kitchen renovation, others have painted cabinets, walls and switched out door pulls to create an updated kitchen they love. 

kitchen before and after

“Other than the kitchen that had to be completely gutted, the house had some really nice elements, but were lacking in design,” Pohlman said. “The stone fireplace, new beam, different paint on the walls, and hardwood flooring were just a few easy updates that would help to finish off the final look. Now we have a house that we’ve made a home that we love and can call our own.”

See Pohlman’s full article Before and After: From Boring Bungalow to My Classic Cottage with many more before and after pictures from her project. Or visit her design blog, which includes a detailed shopping list of where to get the furniture and accessories shown in the pictures.

Before photos provided by
After photos by Lauren Muckler Photography

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Storage Solutions When Preparing Your Home For Sale

Research shows that homeowners who stage their houses, sell those homes faster and usually for more money. Staging includes clearing out and organizing your home while keeping only the minimum amount of furniture in each room making the space appear larger and more enticing. But you can’t just shove those items into closets as your home’s available storage space is often at the top of the list for most buyers. So organizing and clearing your storage spaces should also be included in preparing your home for sale.

“We knew we'd have to clear out plenty of clutter. We didn't expect to have to take out almost everything,” said one homeowner. “Three bookshelves in my office, one apiece in three bedrooms, and one in the basement all had to go. We also had to remove sofas, chairs, dressers, cabinets, lamps, televisions, a desk, kitchenware, and one-third of the clothes in our closets.”

Purge Your Home for Sale

The difference in how a staged home looks after a clear out is often staggering. But many homeowners wanting to sell their home see the clear out as overwhelming. However it can be done quickly with the help of a few tricks and some help from your friends.  

Home Clearing Tricks

Create Piles With Purpose
Create six piles for all items you want to clear away to go into. Then pick up one item at a time and make a decision about it, before putting it down.
  1. Keep in room
  2. Put away (in another room)
  3. Give away / donate
  4. Sell
  5. Trash
  6. Recycle

Use a Systemic Approach
Set a timer for an hour and then clean one room at a time during that hour. Concentrate on the area you've decided to work on during the session. If you've chosen a larger area begin working on it systematically, from left to right, in a clockwise fashion throughout the room. (The order isn't actually that important, any systematic approach will work, as long as you stick with it.) 

Storing Possessions When Selling Your Home

The Garage 
If you have a large garage and putting your items in the garage will still leave space for a car to park in it, then you have a great storage option. Stack plastic storage bins and cardboard boxes as neatly as possible. Instead of buying bins you don’t need or cardboard boxes you’ll just throw away, STL Rent-A-Box is a good option. They have stackable plastic storage bins that can be dropped off to your home and kept for the duration of your project.

Rented Storage
Use your rented storage unit to store anything you do not need. After all, potential buyers will be looking through your closets, cabinetry, and basement. A self-storage facility allows you to store unnecessary appliances, out-of-season clothing, furniture, and anything else you will not need for a few months so that your home's best features can shine through.

Temporary Storage 
PODS revolutionized moving and storage by introducing the
concept of portable storage containers. With PODS, portable storage containers come to you, so you can pack at your leisure. When you're ready, your PODS container is moved to a secure storage center facility.

Moving Companies
Many moving companies do much more than move furnishings—they also offer storage solutions where possessions can be stored in climate-controlled environments for several days or months.  Costs are based on the amount of stuff you have. If you want to reduce cost, the best time to organize the home and discard possessions you no longer need or want is before the moving truck shows up.

When considering your storage options, decide whether you’ll need access to any of the items in storage. If you think you may need to get things out of storage on a temporary basis, it’s best to make sure those items are stored last, or consider self-storage for those items you’ll need regular access to during the interim period.  

The Boehmer Team Can Help
The Boehmer Team is experienced with helping homeowners with home staging that makes a home irresistible to buyers. If you are thinking of selling your home, contact the number one real estate team in St. Charles county, The Boehmer Team. They make the process of selling your home a smoother and more lucrative experience.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tis the Season… to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Spring in the Midwest is the perfect time to boost your home’s curb appeal in ways that will last all year long.

If you are thinking of selling your home, you should know the importance of curb appeal to buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors, 63% of homebuyers will drop by after viewing your home online. The exterior, including the front entry, yard, driveway and sidewalk, will serve as a snapshot of what’s to see inside.

Homes with high curb appeal command higher prices and take less time to sell. But even if you are not currently thinking of selling your home, the following maintenance and beautifying tasks will help create the home you’d like to live with anyway. 

Wash Up

Boost Curb Appeal with a good wash

A bucket of soapy water and a long-handled, soft-bristled brush can remove the dust and dirt that have splashed onto your wood, vinyl, metal, stucco, brick, and fiber cement siding. Power washers can reveal the true color of your flagstone walkways. Wash your windows inside and out, swipe cobwebs from eaves, and hose down downspouts. Don’t forget to wash the garage door. 

Touch Up the Paint

The most commonly offered curb appeal advice from real estate pros and appraisers is to give the exterior of your home a good paint job (if not maintenance free). Your best bet is to match the paint you already have: Scrape off a little and ask your local paint store to match it. 

Check the Roof

how to boost your home's curb appeal
The condition of your roof is one of the first things buyers notice and appraisers assess. Missing, curled, or faded shingles add nothing to the look or value of your house. If your neighbors have maintained or replaced their roofs, yours will look especially shabby. 

Manicure the Yard

well-manicured lawn, fresh mulch, and pruned shrubs boost the curb appeal of any home. Replace overgrown bushes with leafy plants and colorful annuals. Surround bushes and trees with a little mulch. Put a crisp edge on garden beds, pull weeds and invasive vines, and plant a few potted flowers. Green up your grass with lawn food and water. Cover bare spots with seeds and sod, get rid of crab grass, and mow regularly. 

Add Color

Enhancing a home's curb appeal

Even a little color attracts and pleases the eye of would-be buyers. Dig a flowerbed by the mailbox and plant some pansies. Place a brightly colored bench or Adirondack chair on the front porch. Paint the front door a complimentary color. 


Nothing looks scarier from the curb than hanging gutters, missing bricks from the front steps, or peeling paint. Not only can these deferred maintenance items damage your home, but they can decrease the value of your house by up to 10%. Be sure to refasten sagging gutters, re-point bricks that have lost their mortar, reseal cracked asphalt, straighten shutters and replace any cracked windows. 


Once you have your home exterior spruced up and beautified, sit back, relax and enjoy it – then call The Boehmer Team when you are ready to list it.  We make the process of selling your home easier than the process of getting it ready for sale. Contact us at


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

How to Understand and Improve Your Credit Score

Do you know your current FICO score? FICO scores are the credit scores lenders most often use to determine your credit risk. You have a credit score with each of the credit bureaus - Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Check each company’s credit report for errors. If you find any, dispute them directly with the relevant credit bureau.

How to Understand and Improve Your Credit Score
So what determines your credit score? Five components of your credit habits determine your credit score. Improving payment history and amounts owed will have the most dramatic effect on your credit score. Also length of credit, new credit and types of credit used all need attention to help you reach your long-term financial goals.

Payment History

Lenders award better credit scores to consumers with a responsible payment record. Did you know that Late payments stay on your record for seven years?

Do your best to pay bills on time. Try using payment reminders to meet your monthly due dates or, even better, setting up automatic payments. If for some reason you do miss a payment, catch up as soon as you can. The longer your record of on-time payments after a late payment, the more your credit score should improve.

Amounts Owed

Low credit card balances and ample available credit show lenders that your debt is under control. So reducing your outstanding debt is the quickest way to improve your score. A good tip is to pay as much as possible on your highest interest rate accounts first while keeping up at least minimum payments on the rest of your accounts.

Length of Credit History and Types of Credit Used

Lenders prefer consumers with an established credit history. If you don’t currently have any credit, start now.

Types of Credit to Improve Your Credit ScoreGood types of credit to use include credit cards and installment loans. Build a good history by opening a credit card and making small purchases and timely payments.

New Credit

Avoid opening too many new accounts too quickly as this will lower the average age of your credit history and hurt your score. Managing new credit responsibly can improve your score. However don't open unnecessary accounts just to boost your score as it's unlikely to have the desired effect.

Check Your Credit Report Yearly

Improve Your Credit Score - Check Your Credit Report Yearly

Set a reminder to check your credit report once a year. Once yearly you can request a free copy of your credit report from all three credit bureaus by going to

The Boehmer Team

If you need assistance finding a great mortgage loan officer for getting home financing, The Boehmer Team can help. We can recommend names of experienced industry professionals that have given top-notch service to our clients. To contact us visit

Thursday, March 31, 2016

What To Look For At Home Showings

what to look for at home showings
Most people begin the home buying process by looking at homes online and prioritizing their must-have features. Next contact a qualified real estate agent to show you homes. This agent can also recommend reputable lenders to get you pre-approved for a mortgage to clarify the price range you can afford. Completing these things prepares you to make the best out of seeing homes for sale in person and make an offer on the perfect house as soon as you find it.

It is a good idea to wear slip-on shoes as many well-prepared homes will have new carpet, and often the listing agent will have posted a "please remove shoes" sign to help keep the flooring clean. So what should you look for to make sure that you are getting a quality home for your money?

What To Look For On The Outside Of A Home For Sale

Curb Appeal
Minor cosmetic defects such as ugly paint and missing spots of grass are easily correctable, while structural defects and the location of the home are not. Buying the worst looking home in the best neighborhood is often a good bet for getting a great house.

Does the yard need a lot of landscaping and maintenance? Is there sufficient drainage in the area? If you love to garden a home with landscaping needs could be a great opportunity to get a home that others might bypass. However if you don’t want to spend time working in the yard a home needing lots of landscaping may be too much of a hassle or it could be as simple as hiring a landscaper.
What To Look For On The Outside Of A Home For Sale

The Roof
What is the condition of the roof?  The roof is one of the most expensive features of a home and lasts 15 – 20 years. Find out how old it is or if there are any issues with it.  Are the gutters in good shape? Make sure they drain several feet away from the house.

The Neighborhood
Check out the property at different times of day. Are people out sitting on porches? Are kids playing outside? Is it noisy? You are bound to learn and discover different things about the house each time.

What To Look For On The Inside Of A Home For Sale

Open the closets and cupboards. Is there enough storage space? Will you need to add organization to the storage space to make it work for you?

What To Look For On The Inside Of A Home For Sale
Study the ceilings for telltale signs of stains or of a recent patch job. Those could indicate a leaky roof or plumbing system. Use your nose to smell for mold and also check for moisture and mold in basements.

Check the taps. Is the water pressure good? Does the water drain easily? A few simple checks can help a buyer beware of any issues.

Check the light switches. Do they work? Are there enough outlets? How old is the electrical system? Electrical repairs can be expensive so it is good to make sure everything is in good working condition.

The Structure
A small crack or two in the foundation is common in homes due to settling. If there are a lot of cracks or large ones, have a home inspection before you buy to identify any problems and make sure you know how much it will cost you to deal with any structural issues.

Other Things To Consider When Looking At A Home For Sale

Take Visual and Written Notes
If you view lots of homes in the same day it is easy to get them mixed up, so be prepared to take notes, with a pen and notebook and a camera. Note the most remarkable features - both positive and negative - and attach your notes and pictures to the listing sheet for future reference.

Things To Consider When Looking At A Home For Sale
Try To Ignore the House Contents  Sometimes it is the contents of the house and its presentation that appeals/or doesn't to a homebuyer. However the contents are not the house itself, stay rational.

Hold the Trash Talk 
The sellers may be listening as they are sometimes just steps outside or next door. Sellers don't always understand that it's the most interested buyers who pick the place apart to figure out exactly what they will need to do to it to make it theirs. If you end up in a multiple offer situation, you don't want to have an uphill battle because you badmouthed the sequined butterfly "artwork" the seller had hanging in the hallway.

The Boehmer Team

The Boehmer Team includes experienced agents with a dedicated buyers agent available to assist with the needs specific to homebuyers. Contact The Boehmer Team to find the home of your dreams in the area and price range you want.

Additional References:

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Understanding Your Property Survey

It is a good idea to get a property survey when you buy a home so that you know the location of the boundaries of your property.  If you are financing your home with a mortgage loan, the lender will most likely require a survey.
Surveys can be very simple to read – if you know what you’re looking at.  There are several basic items that are shown on a boundary survey.  These are a few of the most commonly seen items.

3 Of The Most Common Items On A Survey

1. Street Address
This is typically listed on the drawing, as there are times when the common address is not the same as the address acknowledged by the US Post Office.  It is also a verification that a survey was done on the correct property.

2. Lot Number and Subdivision Name
A surveyor bases their survey off of a recorded deed which contains a legal description (also known as a property description).  This includes the lot number, block number and subdivision name.  Again, further clarification that the survey was performed on the lot that you were intending to purchase.

3. Lot dimensions and bearings
In order to know where the lot is, the surveyor will reference the recorded subdivision plat to find data to determine information about the lot being surveyed.  Items that are commonly referenced include:
  • Bearings – these are the angular measurements that determines the direction in which a property line runs.  Common directions would be North, North-east, South-east, etc.
  • Distances – these are dimensions provide that determine the width and depth of a property.  These are typically listed in surveyors’ feet (ex. 12.5 feet – which is equivalent to 12 feet and 6 inches).  These measurements are a true horizontal distance, not a slope distance.

“Keep in mind that when you are purchasing a “home”, you are not just purchasing a structure.  You are purchasing a lot or a tract of land that just happens to have a structure on it.  Unless you have a boundary survey performed, you won’t know where your land starts and stops.  Fences, mow lines, hedge rows and utility boxes are not accurate depictions as to where land ownership starts and stops.  Having a boundary survey performed will Make It Known What You Own.”  Shelly Clark – owner, Cardinal Surveying & Mapping, Inc.

There are many components to a survey, we’ve just discussed a few.  These key items aide the surveyor and homeowner in verifying what is being purchased and they help protect the interest of the buyer during the purchase of their home.

The Boehmer Team Can Help

When you are buying a home with The Boehmer Team, we help you get the survey you need. We can recommend reputable surveying companies like Cardinal Surveying for you to choose from.  We also will assist you in reading and understanding the survey results. For a great home buying or selling experience, contact The Boehmer Team.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Boehmer Team Visits The International Builders Show in Las Vegas

In January 2016 the International Builders Show in Las Vegas displayed the latest styles in home building materials, decorating trends and home accessories. 
The Boehmer Team was there to see the newest styles and talk to the companies that create them. Now we would like to share what we saw with you.

The bustling floor of the International Builders Show 2016.


The doors displayed at the International Builders Show did not disappoint. Doors are more than entryways to a home, they offer a tone to what you will find inside. 
Also the Cost vs Value 2016 Report places a new entry door as the 4th best for cost recouped on remodeling prior to a home sale. So an updated entry door is a good home investment.

The frosted glass slats in this door allows for both privacy and light.

Espresso Double Doors With Windows

Dome Shape Double Doors with Textured Frosted Glass Windows

Custom round windows make a statement on these rich wood doors.

Sliding Barn-Style Doors on a Track System

Why not make the windows be walls and doors?

Make your house more open to your outdoor spaces with these LaCantina doors.

Cabinets & Hardware

No matter your personal style, there are cabinet designs that will work for any space in your home. While classic wood cabinets are still as popular as ever, newer styles that open from the bottom are a trend to reckon with.

These off-white cabinets take advantage of the angles.

Mixing cabinet colors is a huge trend that breaks up the kitchen with flair.

Classic cabinetry with lots of planing and old-fashion charm are still very stylish. Off-white was a big trend in cabinetry.

Ultra-modern cabinetry with a clean, sleek look drew a lot of attention.

This cabinetry even works great in kitchen, living room or office spaces.

Here are some of the latest designs in door and drawer pulls.


Designs for the bathroom are ever evolving. The trends this year include unique shaped tiles and fixtures. In addition, technology is more incorporated into the designs.

The future of shower heads.

This manufacturer showcased unique and modern designs of everyday bathroom basics.
Square is so... square. How about octagonal tiles?
How about a sleek jetted tub with window?


Every shape, size, material and texture of tile can be found when visiting the International Builders Show. 
Tile trends in 2016 include unique shapes, printed designs, textures, and mixed materials. Tiles appeared made of glass, ceramic, metal and stone.
A large range of sizes appeared in tile again this year with tiny tiles to over-sized tile options available.
Tiny brick tiles of glass and stone.

Some printed ceramic and textured glass tiles.

This printed tile makes a lovely print when put together.

Notice the texture in this tile.

Brushed aluminum tiles will reflect light and brighten the space under cabinets.

A closer look at printed ceramic tiles.

Mixed materials and colors in these tiles.

Wall Coverings

There were many fantastic natural and modern surface coverings to see at the International Builders Show. 
Walls, floors, cabinets and counters have more options than ever to create a home design that is uniquely you. Here are some of the exciting new wall coverings we liked at the show.

This manufacturer had options for covering almost any kind of surface.

Octagonal wall tiles help with sound-proofing and creating intimate spaces.

Wood wall coverings in every color and texture made a splash at the show.

Aren't these white-washed wood walls spectacular?

Home Accessories

There were so many things to see at the International Builders Show we cannot possible share them all. But here are a few other items that stood out to us.

A great way to make a staircase feel lighter while being safe is with steel cables instead of spindles.

Why does a mailbox have to be black? Make your home stand out with a colored mailbox.

A mix of rustic and industrial hardware adds unique functionality to a home.

These window shades are definitely not boring!

International Builders Show 2017

The next International Builders Show is in January 2017 in Orlando, Florida. If you are interested in going you can find more information at If you have any questions about our experience at the builders show just contact us.