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Thursday, July 28, 2016

5 Things To Avoid When Buying a Home

In order to make your home sale go smoother, there are several things you should avoid when you buy a St. Louis or St. Charles area home. Most of the hurdles to clear regard mortgage financing. Even though you may be pre-approved for a mortgage loan, it does not mean the lender has legally committed to funding the loan. Buyers who don’t know any better can inadvertently add obstacles to their mortgage funding between writing a contract and closing day. Here are five things to avoid during the home buying process.

what to avoid when buying a home

Don’t Run Up Your Credit

Don’t max out your credit cards buying furniture for your new home. Wait until you close. This also goes for any other large purchases like a car, boat or vacation. Don’t open up new credit accounts. If you absolutely need to obtain new credit or accrue debt before closing, talk with your loan officer as soon as possible. New payments will affect your monthly debt-to-income ratio in a negative way. Here are ways to improve your credit.

Don’t Switch Up Your Banking

The Home Buying Process
Don’t switch financial institutions right before or during the home buying process or make a lot of unusual deposits or withdrawals. Your mortgage lender will be double checking your finances and require clear documentation and a recognizable paper trail of your finances. Money that will be your down payment should be sitting in your account for at least two months - what lenders call "seasoning" - so that the funds don't just appear out of thin air. Also, don’t co-sign anyone else’s loans during this time.

Don’t Get Behind

Home buying mistakes to avoid
Make sure you continue to pay your bills on time and don’t get behind. Payment history comprises about a third of your credit score. A single 30-day late payment can chop 60 to 110 points from your credit score. Many lenders require at least 12 consecutive months of on-time payments in order to qualify for a home loan.

“It is very important that the borrowers communicate with their loan officer if anything changes financially from the time they start the house hunting process to the time of closing.  Most times the loan officer will find out if something does change and if that happens at the last minute, your closing could be delayed.  In most cases if something does change and you alert your loan officer to help fix the issue, closing will go on as planned.” - Jeff Griege, VP, Paramount Mortgage

Don’t Change Employment

Obviously lenders want you to have steady employment in order to grant you a mortgage loan.  So don’t change jobs before applying for a home loan. It’s also not the right time to become self-employed or quit your job. If there are any changes in your employment, notify your lender. You don’t want to spend money on the home buying process if you won’t get the loan in the end.

Don’t Spend Your Savings

What is needed to buy a homePart of the price of financing a mortgage loan is the closing costs and you’ll likely have some responsibility for paying them. Make sure you have enough for your share of the obligation. Get an idea of  the price of your closing costs in advance by talking to your lender.


The Boehmer Team Knows How To Close

The Boehmer Team understands many of the hurdles homebuyers face in procuring the St. Louis or St. Charles, Missouri home of their dreams. We face any obstacles with our clients and do our best create a clearer path to home ownership. If you have questions about the home buying process contact The Boehmer Team.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Return to Retro… Vintage-Inspired Trends for Home Decorating

Are you preparing a home for sale in St. Louis or St. Charles County, Missouri? Do you love to upcycle? Or has HGTV’s Fixer Upper made you want to try some of the latest vintage-inspired decorating trends? We’re seeing home décor return to retro even in newly built homes. So how are people integrating this trend into their home?

farmhouse inspired design
Picture: HGTV's Fixer Upper

White Tints and Neutral Paint Colors

White with tints of gray, beige, blue and green create a great backdrop for vintage-inspired décor.  Layer these colors with other neutral shades to create some depth.  Use chalk, flat or eggshell finishes to get the retro look. Now you can get creative with fun accessory finds of almost any color.


repurposed furniture
Wood Record Player Console with Modern Sinks
Cook Home - Photo by Jana Rice
Real wood, especially reclaimed or distressed, is a popular feature in vintage interior design. Try adding a wood wall as a focal point. If you don’t want all the work you can find textured wallpapers that give the appearance of a wood wall.

Wood flooring is especially on trend with this design style. So go ahead, pull up the carpets and expose the old hardwood floors underneath, even if they have some scratches.

Refurbished wood furniture used creatively makes an elegant statement. Meanwhile farmhouse tables have become the go-to dining table for this design style.

unusual home design materials
Copper Countertop
Cook Home - Photo by Jana Rice


A combination of wood, metal and painted surfaces create casual and beautiful interiors. These surfaces don’t have to be in perfect condition, as distressed versions are on trend with vintage-inspired style.
Here’s a quick guide to metal finishes in your home:
  • Chrome, polished nickle, brass, or brushed brass for added glam and opulence
  • Choose black or bronze for a more rustic feel
  • Choose brushed nickle or stainless steel for ease to match up with everything

Reinvented Items

reinvented items for your home
With the rise of sites like Pinterest, Houzz and Hometalk, you can easily find wonderful ideas to reinvent pieces you find in your attic, garage, or thrift stores. Turn an old dresser into an amazing TV stand, create framed art out of an old door, or repurpose a wood pallet into about anything with the added function of storage.

Unusual Accessories

Boat oars, black and white photos or vintage coffee cans? Sure! Accessories that reflect the past, your local area and the outdoors are perfect for vintage-inspired design. If you are using small items, display them in groups of odd numbers. Better yet, go big with unexpected large-scale art that creates a focal point and becomes a conversation piece.

vintage accessories for your st louis home
Picture: HGTV's Fixer Upper

The Boehmer Team

If you are currently fixing up your home to put it on the market and need some staging tips, The Boehmer Team can help. Or if you are looking to buy a modern home, mid-century home or brand new construction, The Boehmer Team can help you find the home you desire. Then you can integrate all of your vintage-inspired design ideas into making your home the house of your dreams. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Understanding The Home Appraisal Process

What is a Home Appraisal?

what is a home appraisalA home appraisal is an estimate of a home’s value. To find out a home’s value the appraiser is looking at the key characteristics of the property including location, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, condition of the home, current recently sold comparables that are close in proximity and health and safety issues.

Why Do I Need a Home Appraisal?

Home Appraisals for buyers: When buying a home in St. Louis or St. Charles County areas and throughout the U.S., mortgage borrowers will be required by their financial institution to complete a home appraisal in order to be qualified for a mortgage loan on the property. 

Home Appraisals for Sellers: Sometimes an appraisal before listing your home for sale can provide valuable insight as to the pricing.

When Do I Get a Home Appraisal?

What can make a home appraisal a tense time for all parties in a sales transaction is when they are performed. The buyer’s financial institution orders the appraisal from an independent party after you've negotiated a price, agreed to buy or sell the house and signed the contract. So it's in everyone's best interest that the appraisal is close to the price that both seller and buyer have agreed on.

What is the Cost of a Home Appraisal?

cost of home appraisal in missouriIn Missouri a home appraisal can cost $300-$400. The cost usually falls on the buyer but can sometimes be negotiated when closing on the home.

How Long Does The Appraisal Process Take?

An appraisal should be requested soon after all parties sign the home sale contract. Once an appraisal is performed, underwriters can request additional information about the house than they could in past years, and gathering that data and photos can take up to a few weeks.

What Can I Do To Improve a Home Appraisal?

As a homebuyer, there is nothing you can do to help a home appraisal. As a seller, there are a few things that can help:

    how to improve a home appraisal
  • Make the property as pleasing as possible by cleaning the home and trimming the yard.
  • Make any necessary fixes to the property.
  • Make a list of repairs and improvements that have been done to the house over the past several years. Note anything you can think of and give the list to the appraiser. The appraiser will decide what is important to the value.

How Do I Order a Home Appraisal?

When you buy a home with The Boehmer Team, we work with your lender to get them the information needed to order the home appraisal for you. This is just one more way we make your sales transaction smoother.

The Boehmer Team is Here to Help

The Boehmer Team is a team of experienced agents working to assist homebuyers and sellers in the St. Louis and St. Charles County areas of Missouri. We know how to make a daunting home buying process a great experience. We are always available for your questions about the home buying and selling process. You can find more great information online at

Additional References:

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Find A Home With Good Schools in St. Louis or St. Charles County Missouri

St. Louis and St. Charles County Missouri have numerous well-rated, high-performing schools to choose from. This makes buying a home in a different area of the city or county less risky for those with children. Yet you still want to make sure you pick a neighborhood with schools that are just right for you and your family.

Finding schools near a home for sale in St. Louis

How do you find out what schools are near a home for sale in the St. Louis or St. Charles County Area?

Any time you look at a home for sale on, the elementary, middle and high schools associated with that home appear with the listing information.

How do you find out the stats and ratings of schools near a St. Louis or St. Charles County area home for sale?

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has a comprehensive website to help. 

The District and School Information page delves into the details of all Missouri Schools with at least 11 attendees. You can find out district enrollment rates, drop out rates and graduation rates. You can also learn district demographics, attendance rates, student to staff ratios and more.

st louis area schools near real estateOr you can check the quick link to a page showing all Missouri assessment program results per school district. Want to find out which schools have a higher percentage of students proficient or advanced on the required assessments like math, science, social studies and English? This is a great page to check.

Another resource is St. Louis Magazine, which publishes a comprehensive guide to the region’s schools, from kindergarten through college. It is a great place to find information on public and private schools in one convenient package.

How do you find what private schools are near a St. Louis or St. Charles area home for sale?

Private Schools info for St. Louis and St. Charles County Missouri
Missouri department of education offers a lot of great information. But what if you prefer private schools? In addition to information on public schools, the Schools page on offers links to the Catholic Education Office of St. Louis, the Lutheran Elementary School Association, the Central Agency for Jewish Education and Independent Schools of St. Louis. 

Choosing the best school then finding the best home for sale near it.

If the school is the top priority over the location of your home, you’ll first want to get to work on finding the best school for your kids. First read the Top 10 Questions You Should Ask When Choosing a School to help you decide what aspects of a school are most important to you. Then use the robust features to search homes by school on by clicking the School Search button.  You can narrow your search by beds, bath, price range and many other options such as fencing, pool, the age of the home and more.

high schools information for st louis or st charles county missouri

Always Double Check

Sometimes school district boundaries change or a listing agent accidentally gets the schools wrong for a particular home they’ve listed. Before you select a home based on a particular school, call the school district to verify the home is still within the district boundaries. Or if you work with The Boehmer Team when buying a home, they will verify the schools for you.

Need help finding a home near the school you desire? Contact The Boehmer Team today.

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.