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HEA-Wire Real Estate Update St Louis MO

Sandie Hea

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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 82

Find the Best Schools in St Louis

by Sandie Hea

If you have children in school and plan to move to St. Louis, then you certainly want to find the best schools to move near to. Greatschools.org has rated the best schools in St Louis based on reviews and test scores, along with other factors.  15 schools in their list ranked a perfect score of 10!  A further 17 schools rated an 8 out of 10.  Take a look at the full list of schools in St. Louis and their rankings.

Here’s the top 4 schools on that list and searches for homes near those schools.

Conway Elementary School
9900 Conway Rd St Louis, MO 63124
Find Homes For Sale Near Conway Elementary School

Ladue Middle School
9701 Conway Rd St Louis, MO 63124
Find Homes For Sale Near Ladue Middle School

Old Bonhomme Elementary School
9661 Old Bonhomme St Louis, MO 63132
Find Homes For Sale Near Old Bonhomme Elementary School

Crestwood Elementary School
1020 South Sappington Rd St Louis, MO 63126
Find Homes For Sale Near Crestwood Elementary School

Find Your Perfect Home in Mid County Missouri

by Sandie Hea

Mid County is the ideal place to find the perfect home.  Mid County contains a number of great communities, each with their own special qualities that makes each one a great place to buy a home for their own reasons. Whether you choose to buy a home in Brentwood, Clayton, De Peres, Kirkwood, Maplewood, Richmond Heights, or Webster Groves, you’re sure to find the perfect community.

Brentwood is home to around 7600 people and enjoys a low crime rate. There’s also great shopping at The Galleria, along with outstanding dining at California Pizza Kitchen, The Cheesecake Factory, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and more.

Clayton is a friendly community where you can enjoy the shopping for antiques on Clayton Row, or relax in one of the 10 parks in the area.

De Peres offers shopping at West County Center, along with great restaurants and 6 parks.

This is just a sample of all that Mid County has to offer.  Visit our Mid County Real Estate & Community Information page for a complete overview and links to pages about each community, along with links to search for the home of your dream in each community. 

The Top Restaurants in St Louis

by Sandie Hea

With all the things that make St. Louis the perfect place to buy a homes, the one thing you can count on is the amazing food.  Every year, TripAdvisor.com comes out with their list of top restaurants in St. Louis.  Here’s a few of the great places to eat in St. Louis that made the list by food type.

BBQ

Bogart's Smokehouse

Bogart’s tops the list for best BBQ in St. Louis, featuring pulled pork, smoky beef brisket, apricot bruleed ribs, moist turkey and pastrami. Chef Skip Steele has been making BBQ delights since he was 14 and opened his first bbq store in college, and his experience shows.

Italian

Charlie Gitto's

Charlie Gittos is the go-to in St Louis for the best authentic Italian food around. It offers the quintessential classic Italian atmosphere and cuisine, with dishes like Penne Borghese, Homemade Manicotti, brick oven pizzas, chicken, beef, seafood and veal entrees. Diners also comment about the excellent wait staff and maître d’ that completes the experience.

Chinese

Corner 17

For the best Chinese food in St. Louis, Corner 17 is the place.   Diners rave about the “bubble tea” and how you can watch them make the noodles, which speaks to how fresh the food is. Along with a contemporary atmosphere and fast service, this is the perfect place in St Louis to get outstanding Chinese cuisine.

Sell Your Home Faster

by Sandie Hea

If you plan on putting your home on the market in St Louis this spring, you no doubt want to sell it as fast as possible, and make as much money as you can. But that takes preparation and planning.  Here are a few sure ways to make sure your home is ready for the spring selling season.

Boost Curb Appeal

This is a must.  People will often drive by your home before even requesting a showing. You need to make sure your home looks its best on the outside.  Power wash the sidewalks and driveway, along with the siding.  Make sure the yard is mowed and landscaping is done. Clean the windows.  And paint the front door and trim and stain or paint the porch if you have one.

Make Your Porch Inviting

Even if you have a tiny porch, add a clean doormat and potted plants.  If there’s enough room you might add a couple of pieces of neat porch furniture.  Make sure the porch light is on at night in case buyers drive by.

Clean the House

Make the floors shine and get those windows sparkling clean.  This is the cheapest way to help your home sell faster.  If you have a large house, you may want to hire help for tough messes. The extra cost will be worth it.

Get Rid of Clutter

This is not quite as easy as cleaning, but just as important.  Put your personal items in storage along with artwork and decorations.  Make your home appeal to as many people as possible.  You’re moving into a new home as well, so that will be your new place for your personal items.

Of course there are a lot of things that go into selling a home in St Louis. But if you start off with these few tips, your home will sell faster and make more money.

 

Find Your Dream Home in St Louis!

by Sandie Hea

If you plan on buying a home in Missouri, then take a look at all that St Louis has to offer!  St Louis is certainly one of the great American cities, and for so many reasons.  It is the economic and cultural heart of Missouri because of its multi-faceted economy that focuses on tourism, manufacturing, transportation, and service industries.

St Louis is a shopping and dining paradise.  Whether you shop at the St. Louis Station, Central West End, Cherokee Antique Row, Chesterfield Mall, West County Center,  St. Louis Mills, Plaza Frontenac, or Saint Louis Galleria, you’re certain to find almost anything you’re looking for.

And if it’s great food that you crave, then you’ve certainly found a home in St. Louis. You can spend the rest of your life here discovering amazing new cuisine. World class restaurants like Bogart’s Smokehouse, Broadway Oyster Bar, Sugarfire Smoke House, and Charlie Gitto's are just a few names in a long list of dining experiences waiting for you.

And of course, the over 100 parks in St. Louis are what make this great city really stand out as an American treasure, especially the Gateway Arch. 

If St Louis sounds like the perfect place to buy your dream home, then visit our St. Louis Real Estate & Community Information page to find the perfect home for sale in St Louis.  Or feel free to call us today at 314-951-1908.

Here are some extraordinary homes for sale right now in St. Louis!

SHUT OFF WATER BEFORE VACATION

by Sandie Hea

How many stories have you heard of a burst pipe and a flooded house when someone returned from vacation?  Every insurance adjuster has heard hundreds of these so before going on vacation, turn off the main valve.  In less than a minute, you can eliminate the most common cause of home damage. The main shutoff is typically in the basement.  If these haven't been "exercised" in awhile, you may encounter a few drips when you first turn it off.  Wait a few minutes to be sure the drips have stopped completely

2014 State of the Market and 2015 Predictions

by Sandie Hea

2014 State of the Market and 2015 Predictions

 

2014 was a good year for St Louis Metro area real estate.  Median price was up 5.8% in St Louis County during Q2-2014 (which is always the most active quarter with the highest median price) over Q2-2013.  St. Louis City saw an amazing 21.8% uptick in the same time period.  St. Charles County enjoyed a gain of 3.5% in sales price during Q2. 

Because of the downturn of 2008-2011, lenders weren’t lending so builders weren’t building and the choices were limited to resale homes, many of which didn’t sell due to negative equity. 2014 Existing Home Sales (resale) are still well below the numbers posted in 2005-2007 and New Construction Home Sales have just started their climb back up after being in the trough of 2012.

With new family formations increasing during the downturn, the demand for housing would eventually pick up, but the supply couldn’t keep up.  2014 saw many builders jump back into the market and as foreclosures and short sales dwindle, buyers are eager to find homes but disappointed with what’s available on the market in terms of resale homes.  There is currently LESS THAN 6 months inventory in these 3 counties, which means we are back to a Seller’s Market in most areas. 6 months is a Balanced Market.  Days on Market (the period from 1st day on market to pending offer) has decreased every year since 2011 to an average of 48 days in 2014.  I anticipate multiple-offers for the best homes on the market this Spring.  Do you know someone who’d like to be a seller with that “problem”?   

2014 Market Summary
Median Sales Price from 2012 to 2014
St. Louis City, St. Charles County,  St. Louis County
Single Family Homes only

 

                                                                   

We are still on the road to recovery according to the 2015 Housing Market Outlook nationwide.  Investors played a big role in the housing market in 2014 and continue to do so as they drive the market recovery with buying distressed property, renovating it and placing it back on the market at much higher prices, which is helping drive prices up.  32% of the single family and condo sales of 2014 were by Investors.  Conditions are pointing towards the trend continuing with increased mortgage rates, increased credit standards, increased home prices, greater rental options, higher student loan debt.  On the flip side, the desire to own a home in the age group of 18-34 has decreased, partially because of high student loan debt and because they want to be freed to secure a job around the country or work remotely from anywhere and not be tied down to a home.  With Millennial (ages 25-34) employment lagging behind, home ownership rates continue to fall to levels lower than in 2000.  First time homebuyers (ages 18-34) are largely absent from the recovery with only 13% of that age group purchasing a home in 2014.  Homeownership rates may continue to decline but as household formations increase, renting will be a very popular option. Home price appreciation will moderate significantly with growth being about 3-4% annually.  The lack of distressed inventory will actually slow down price increases.  We expect that most new home construction inventory will be at the high end of the market. 

If you’d like a FREE Automated Market Evaluation of your home INSTANTLY and with no obligation, go to www.StLouisHomeReport.com and plug in your address.  You will see a computer-generated value and the comparable sales around you.  Let me know if you think it’s on target and if not, I’d be happy to run one using a more detailed method. 

The Sandie Hea Team Community Moving Truck is available for your personal use as well as for your church, school, fundraiser, neighbor, family member, etc.

The highest compliment you can give me is to refer your friends, family members or co-workers who are interested in buying or selling a house (or rental property) this year.  I look forward to helping the people who are most important to you.

 

I buy houses for cash, any condition, no inspections, no repairs, no commission!

Do you know about the Middle-Class Stimulus Package?

by Sandie Hea

Do you still have an interest rate on a mortgage that is too high and not enough equity to refinance?   There’s a little-known government program called the Home Affordable Refinance Plan (HARP). This allows Americans to refinance their homes at low rates, and reduce their payments by an average of $4,100 a year.

But here's the catch -- like most government programs, this is likely temporary. Currently the program is set to expire on December 31, 2015. But the good news is, once you're in, you're in. If the thought of a lower payment or fewer years on your mortgage sounds appealing, the time to act is right now.

It's like a true middle-class stimulus package

This is unknown to many, but the Home Affordable Program is for the middle class. If your mortgage is $625,500 or less (unless you live in a high-cost area then the loan limits may be higher), you most likely qualify. Basically, the Government wants banks to cut your rates, which puts more money in your pocket (which is good for the economy). However, the banks aren't too happy about this - here's why:

 You can shop several lenders, not just your current mortgage holder.  Your home's Loan-to-value (LTV) can be 80% to 125%

You think banks like the above? Rest assured, they do not. They'd rather keep you at the higher rate you financed at years ago. That's why the pressure is on time-wise. The Middle Class seems to miss out on everything (did you ride the last stock bubble? Probably not). Thus, it's almost a no-brainer to jump on this now. You need to act fast in order to refinance your house at these current low refinance rates. You can greatly benefit:  The average monthly savings for most eligible Americans is $345. Can you use an extra $345 a month?

Many homeowners not only save every month, but depending on their current rates, they can also shorten their term.  Deferred payments - typically, one or two payments are skipped / deferred as well.  This is why it's a no-brainer - you will likely lower your payment, possibly shorten your term, AND can also get cash. This is how powerful that little word called "interest" is.

Please call me at 314-378-2387 for further information or for the name of a reputable, experienced loan officer. 

Just because the owner of the Cardinals can afford to pay $25 million a year to Adam Wainwright, does that mean they should have offered that?  The same holds true in purchasing a home.  If you show a pre-approval letter that is for full asking price or more, does that mean the house is worth it full asking price or more?  Does that mean the seller thinks his house is worth his asking price?  Of course not!  It just means you are very well qualified to make offers.  What you can afford to pay is irrelevant to the value of a house.  

Do yourself a huge favor and have your lender prepare the letter for the maximum amount you can borrow, even if you don't want to spend that much.  It shows a seller that you can afford other higher-priced homes and gives the seller peace of mind that you are not even the least bit "tight on margins".  

Here is a very typical scenario when I am the Listing Agent and a Buyer's Agent presents an offer to us let's say for 8% under our asking price:  The Pre-Approval letter is---surprise!---exactly the same amount as the offer!!  So what does the Seller think of that?  1) You are playing a game and pretending this is all you can afford or 2) You really can't afford their house so don't waste our time negotiating if you aren't even approved for the asking price.  

What ends up happening is we counter the offer asking buyer to produce a letter that is for asking price or more and all we get is another letter for the bumped-up new counteroffer.  The seller has no idea if the buyer can really afford his house even though the Buyers Agent may be saying, "they are approved for more".  Then great, just give us the correct letter to start with and let's save the back and forth counteroffers requesting a correct pre-approval amount.  

 

 

 

How to Make Your Zestimate on Zillow More Accurate

by Sandie Hea

Have you renovated your house lately? Added a bedroom, finished your basement or built a deck? If you have done anything like so to your house, you have likely increased the value. Zillow is a website where anyone can look up any house and get an estimate on how much it is worth; they call this a zestimate.  The zestimate of your house is calculated using public and user submitted data.  The key word from that sentence is USER. That is you! It is impossible for Zillow to be able to keep up with every renovation that takes place in every single house which is why they rely on users to submit information. If you are planning to sell your house, it is important that buyers know how much it is really worth. Millions of people have begun to use Zillow to look up houses before they check it out in person; so chances are, people have been looking at your house. If you have not updated your house on Zillow before, it is possible that the information on the site is not 100% accurate.

Here are the steps to follow in order to edit your information on Zillow:

  1. Go to www.zillow.com
  2. Click on the zestimate tab
  3. Type in your address
  4. When your home pops up, on the left of the right-hand window, there is a button that says “correct facts.” Click that button
  5. In order to verify you are the owner of the house, you must “claim your home.” In order to do this, select your name in the list of owners
  6. This will bring you into a window where you can update the information on your house
  7. Once you have edited the information, make sure you scroll to the bottom and click save

For additional help, go to: http://www.zillow.com/help/edit-your-home-details/

Now that you have updated your Zillow profile, you can view your house in a new window with the information that you just added. If you notice that your zestimate is still the same after you have saved, don't worry, it may still go up. Zillow updates zestimates about 3 times a week so you may not be able to see if your zestimate has changed immediately after saving your updates. If you check back in a day or two, you should be able to see the new value of your home. Happy Updating!

If you are looking for the TRUE market value of your house, because after all, a zestimate is simply an estimate, contact me at 314-378-2387.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 82