Articles Tagged "Lake Saint Louis MO"

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Area Information | 26 Posts
Buy a Home | 2 Posts
Home Improvement | 11 Posts
Sell a Home | 1 Posts
June
6

Visit These St. Louis Waterfalls This Summer

St Louis Waterfalls

You might think that you would have to travel far from the big city to experience the natural beauty that Missouri is known for, but there's plenty of nature to see without ever leaving St. Louis! Few scenes can match the majesty of a waterfall, and there are quite a few waterfalls – both natural and man-made – that you can experience near St. Louis homes for sale on a warm, sunny day. Our real estate agents have the details on 6 St. Louis waterfalls that you'll love to visit this summer.

  • Missouri Botanical Garden Waterfall – 4344 Shaw St., St. Louis, MO 63110
    The Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the largest botanical gardens in the country, covering 75 acres in the heart of St. Louis. You can easily spend a full day or more exploring all of the sights, including the spectacular waterfall which pours down amid the natural beauty of the gardens. Summer is one of the best times of year to visit the Missouri Botanical Garden, with so many plants in full bloom.

  • Climatron Waterfall – 4344 Shaw St., St. Louis, MO 63110
    Also located at the Missouri Botanical Garden you will find the Climatron Waterfall, which is so unique that it deserves its own entry on the list. That's because the Climatron where the waterfall is located is essentially its own part of the gardens, a half-acre, domed environment where more than 160,000 tropical plants flourish. So if you're making the trip to the Missouri Botanical Garden, set aside some time to see the waterfall and plants at this unique attraction.

  • Cascades at Forest Park – 5595 Grand Dr., St. Louis, MO 63112
    Located within Forest Park, the Cascades waterfall was constructed nearly a century ago and still remains a popular attraction to this day. While this waterfall was built rather than formed by natural processes, it was created in a way that makes it feel like part of the park's natural scenery. The waterfall was originally constructed to replicate the World's Fair Cascades, which were once located on Art Hill.

  • Kiener Plaza Waterfall – 500 Chestnut St., St. Louis, MO 63101
    Found between the Gateway Arch and the Gateway Mall, Kiener Plaza is a small city park covering just under two acres. The park features a very large waterfall, along with a beautiful fountain located nearby. Stop by during the summer holidays to see the flowing waters dyed with gorgeous colors to commemorate each special day.

  • St. Louis Zoo Waterfalls – 1 Government Dr., St. Louis, MO 63110
    The St. Louis Zoo is actually home to three distinct waterfalls, spread throughout the zoo's habitats. You'll discover the first waterfall at the South Entrance on Government Drive. There are also two waterfalls located within the animal habitats, perfect for a family visit to the zoo. With more than 18,000 animals, the St. Louis Zoo offers plenty more to see after you've experienced the waterfalls.

  • Citygarden Waterfall – 801 Market St., St. Louis, MO 63101
    Part park, part sculpture garden, Citygarden is a slice of natural beauty located in the heart of downtown St. Louis. In addition to the sculptures and fountains, Citygarden is home to a long, 6-foot tall waterfall that cascades down into a pool that is 180 feet long.

Ready to buy or sell your next home close to St. Louis? Our local real estate team is here to help you accomplish your goals. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the St. Louis area.

April
18

Don't Forget These Spots While Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

Longer days and warmer weather are almost here, making it an excellent time to make a plan for your spring cleaning. When compiling your list of spring cleaning tasks, it's easy to stick with the same chores.

Our real estate agents know that it's easy to inadvertently overlook an area needing cleaning when it isn't typically on your to-do list. Here are some spots to clean and organize this spring.

  • The Crevices in Your Furniture
    When you vacuum your furniture or wipe it down, it's typical to focus on the upholstery since it's the area that you sit on and see the most. However, make sure that you also clean the crevices of your furniture. Use your vacuum cleaner's crevice tool to get into these tight spaces. You should also lift your cushions up so that you can clean the areas behind and underneath them. 
  • Your Washer and Dryer
    Your appliances often accumulate lint, dirt, and other laundry debris around them. If possible, pull your washer and dryer completely out so that you can clean underneath and around them. This will make it simple for you to sweep and mop the areas that formerly housed the appliances. If moving your appliances isn't an option, your vacuum's most narrow crevice tool can be used to vacuum under the appliances and in tight areas between them. Make sure to also clean your dryer duct. There are attachments that attach to your vacuum so you can extend the vacuum into the duct to remove as much lint as possible. 
  • Your Garbage and Recycling Cans
    Garbage and recycling cans are often sticky and smelly, thanks to leaking trash bags and product residue left in items thrown into the cans. While it's not hard to clean them, it's a task many homeowners overlook. Begin by donning a pair of gloves; remove any debris or trash in the cans. Then, spray the interior with your water hose. Combine four cups of water with half a cup of blue Dawn dish detergent. Use an extendable scrub brush to apply the cleaning solution and clean the inside of your garbage can. If there's still debris in the can, you may want to lay down a tarp or large trash bag, so the debris doesn't get in your yard. Rinse the inside of the can out. Use your cleaning solution to then scrub the outside of your trash can before giving it a final rinse. 
  • Your Windowsills, Window Screens, and Window Coverings
    While many homeowners clean their windows in the spring so that dirty windows don't obstruct their home's natural light, it's common to overlook the other parts of your window. An extra benefit of this task is that if you're adding your home to the list of St. Louis homes for sale, potential buyers will find a home that's meticulously cleaned more attractive. Some curtains and drapes require dry cleaning, while others may be washed. Follow the laundering instructions for your set. When you take them down, dust your curtain rod with a wet cloth. Remove all your window screens. Then, vacuum them to remove dirt and debris. Spray vinegar on the screens and wipe them. You can then spray them off with your water hose before drying them. Open your windows, and vacuum your windowsills. Sprinkle a little baking soda before spraying a little vinegar. Scrub your windowsills to remove grime and mildew. Wipe them with a warm, wet cloth when you're done before drying them with a clean towel. 

Planning on completing extra spring cleaning tasks to get your home ready for the market? Contact us to get started!

February
21

Award-Winning Restaurants to Try in St. Louis

St Louis Restaurants

Missouri is famous for its delicious downhome barbecue, but our real estate agents know there's more to it than that. If you want a true taste of all of the rich culinary diversity that Missouri has to offer, one of the best places to be is none other than St. Louis.

This city of more than 300,000 people has attracted world-famous celebrity chefs and local restaurateurs eager to make their mark, starting with their own hometown. St. Louis is also a local leader in professional conventions and sports venues, so it is no surprise there is always demand for great food.

There's no limit to what delights you can find near St. Louis homes for sale when you know where to look.

Let's visit just a few of the award-winning restaurants found here at "The Gateway to the West."

  • Tompkins Riverside – 500 South Main Street, St. Charles, MO 63301
    Tompkins Riverside prides itself on locally sourced ingredients that come together in an elegant, historic atmosphere. Its high-end dishes are frequently paired with a wide range of premium wines. Ideal for a date, the vibe of Tompkins is "cultured, yet casual." Many entrees incorporate fresh produce from local farms, and the service is reputed to be excellent – a top pick near St. Charles homes for sale.

  • Prasino – 1520 South 5th Street #110, St. Charles, MO 63303
    Also located in St. Charles, Prasino offers breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner with exquisite selections from an expansive menu. "Prasino" is the Greek word for green, and seasonality is the core experience in this local, organic, sustainably sourced kitchen. The menu changes on both a weekly and a seasonal basis but always provides you with an authentic encounter with the flavor of the region.

  • Cowan's Restaurant – 114 Elm Street, Washington, MO 63090
    Cowan's Restaurant has been a local institution for generations. It is known for its homemade meals ("just like Mom used to make") as well as its pies, winners of many local, state, and national awards. Cowan's has made a name for itself as the "Home of the Mile High Pie" and is one of the leading family-friendly places to dine near Washington homes for sale, providing a full kids' menu.

  • The Tavern Kitchen & Bar – 2961 Dougherty Ferry Road, St. Louis, MO 63122
    The Tavern Kitchen & Bar stands out as a top St. Louis selection for celebrating a holiday, having a romantic evening, or impressing a client. A striking combination of modern aesthetics and classic service. Menus are seasonal, with an anchoring presence of top USDA prime cut steaks, seasonal produce, and vintage wines.

  • The Block Restaurant – 5800 Southwest Avenue, St. Louis, MO, 63139
    A restaurant, butcher, and bar that bills itself as "a neighborhood establishment," The Block Restaurant has been led by in-laws Marc and Brian and their wives since 2011. Both graduates of the Culinary Institute of America, they offer a family-style dinner menu with full to-go service, curbside, or takeout. All meats are butchered on-site, and the seared pork chop is one of the most popular entrees.

Contact us at Coldwell Banker Premier Group to learn more about Missouri homes and neighborhoods.

December
20

7 Tips to Help Sell Your Home in 2022

2022 St. Louis

The market is likely to remain strong for sellers in 2022, according to the latest predictions. But to get top dollar for your home, you need to play an active part in getting the property ready for listing and in mapping out a strategy for selling it.

Here are seven tips that can make your house a standout among Saint Louis homes for sale

  1. Engage a real estate agent who knows your neighborhood.
    Most homeowners avoid the hassles involved with selling their homes themselves and engage an experienced real estate agent who is familiar with properties in their neighborhood. A real estate agent will advise you on asking price, marketing, and negotiation strategy. For instance, an agent will research how much homes like yours are going for in your area, so you know how much to ask. An agent will also negotiate an offer, including clauses and contingencies in the purchase agreement; explain paperwork you may not understand; and deal with the home inspection, commissioning repairs, or negotiating credits with the seller.

  2. Declutter the house.
    This is the first step before staging. A potential buyer won't be in love with all your beloved stuff, so pack it up and store it in the garage or basement, so your home presents a neutral aspect. Put away personal effects such as photographs and mementos. You don't have to leave the home bare, but do go minimalist so potential buyers can imagine themselves and their furnishings in your home. 

  3. Get professional help staging your home.
    You can try doing this yourself, or for best results, hire a professional. Stagers help you showcase your home in a strategic manner, sometimes working with your furnishings or bringing in other furnishings that might look better.

  4. Map out a marketing strategy.
    If you have a real estate agent, use the agent's expertise to develop a marketing strategy. You'll need good quality pictures -- better than those you take on your phone -- with good lighting. Pictures should look professional to show off your home to the best advantage. If you have an agent, your home will be listed on the MLS database. 

  5. Plan on how to show your home.
    One disadvantage of selling your home yourself is having to show it to potential buyers. Home shoppers sometimes feel inhibited or intimidated with the owner present -- yet another advantage of having an agent to show the home for you. 

  6. Work on a negotiating strategy with your agent.
    If you get an offer, you need to discuss with your agent how to strategize -- that is, whether to agree to repairs, to lower the price, or stand firm and entertain other offers. 

  7. Get ready for the closing.
    You may need to agree to repairs and fulfill certain contingencies for the closing. Your real estate agent will help you know what to expect and guide you through this process step by step.

Our real estate agents can answer your questions about selling your home in 2022. Contact us today. 

November
22

What Appliance Upgrades Add Value?

Appliance Upgrades

If you're selling your home now or plan to in the future, outdated appliances can make prospective buyers turn away from your home to look at another house with newer ones. Buyers can replace your appliances when purchasing a home, but they usually don't want to go to the trouble or expense to do so. And even if you're planning to stay in your home awhile, outdated appliances can make your home less attractive and functional than it could be.
  
Here's what you need to know about appliance upgrades that can boost the value of your home:

  • Think of What Fits Your Home
    Consult one of our real estate agents to find out what type of appliances are popular in your home's price range. While you want to make your home more valuable, you don't want to price yourself out of the neighborhood.
      
  • Look for Energy Star Appliances
    Appliances with the Energy Star sticker or tag meet strict energy-efficiency requirements set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They'll help you save money on your energy bill, and when you're selling your home, they'll appeal to prospective buyers. Leave the Energy Star sticker on your appliances, so buyers know they'll save as well.

What to Replace  

  • Refrigerator
    Kitchens can make or break a sale, so if you have money to spend, this is an excellent place to start. An upgraded refrigerator that has French doors, as well as built-in filtered water and ice dispensers, will appeal to the majority of buyers. The same is true of a stainless steel finish, which remains extremely popular. If you're thinking of going for a high-tech option like a TV-embedded fridge, it may not be a wise move unless you have a luxury home.

  • Laundry sets  
    An appliance upgrade is definitely in order if your washer and dryer don't match. Not only does this make the set less attractive, but it also makes a buyer immediately realize that one appliance is older than the other. This makes them likely to wonder just how old it is and how long it will keep running efficiently. Aside from a nice, matching appearance, buyers want high-efficiency front-load and top-load units. And if you have a large home that might appeal to families, a large capacity washer and dryer is a good investment.

  • Stove  
    A stove that's built-in will be more popular than a standalone one. And buyers also appreciate flat tops and stoves with self-cleaning functions since they're easy to keep clean. And if you have some gas utilities, gas stoves generally appeal to serious cooks.

  • Appliance sets   
    Retailers often discount sets of appliances, so they can help you save money while ensuring that you have matching sets. For example, a kitchen appliance set may include items such as a stove, refrigerator, built-in microwave, and dishwasher. While there's usually no need to select the most expensive options with every imaginable bell and whistle, the cheapest set is usually not the best choice either. Instead, choose a mid-range set that will appeal to a larger number of buyers.

Contact us if you'd like to visit St. Louis homes for sale or, if you're selling your home, to receive expert advice on what kinds of upgrades can help boost its value. 

October
18

Fall 2021 Interior Design Trends

Fall Interior Design

Fall is here, and so is a new wave of interior design trends. According to our real estate agents, this season's design ethos is all about comfort and self-expression. Let's delve into 5 of the most popular interior design trends this fall, how we've seen them applied in many of our St. Louis homes for sale, and how you can bring these ideas into your home. 

  1. Earth Tones
    Fall's stunning orange and brown color palette is providing inspiration for some homeowners in 2021. In addition to rich chocolates and muted apricots, many choose to add soothing blues and verdant greens to their homes. These hues evoke the natural world. 

    Because many of these colors are very close to neutrals, they are very easy to incorporate into almost any room. Repainting the walls is the most obvious way to do this, but it isn't the only way. A small touch like a mist-colored vase or some mossy green curtains can go a long way. 

  2. Soft, Cozy Fabrics and Textures 
    In stressful times, people often try to make their homes as comfortable and welcoming as possible. This might be why homeowners are currently so eager to add soft textures to their living rooms, bedrooms, offices, and other living spaces. At the moment, most use discreet, removable items like blankets and rugs for this purpose instead of permanent fixtures like carpeting or upholstery.  

    It's easy to bring this trend into your home with a single shopping trip. Look for throw blankets and decorative pillows, especially ones made of materials like wool, flannel, and sherpa. 

  3. Dividers 
    In the past, homeowners often wanted to open up every space as much as possible. This is no longer the prevailing trend. Instead, many people are adding room dividers (screens, shelves, and other partitions) to their homes to break up those open spaces and create more intimate areas without having to actually build new walls.  

    If this idea appeals to you, experiment with different types of room dividers. An elegant folding screen, sturdy bookshelf, or long silky curtain can break up those large rooms and add some additional function or decoration to the space, depending on what you prefer. 

  4. Natural Finishes and Other Elements 
    Homeowners are also taking cues from nature when adding furniture and fixtures to their space. Faux stone finishes, light natural woods, and other rustic accents are becoming increasingly common this season, especially in conjunction with nature-inspired color schemes. Together, these two design choices amplify each other and create an even more sense of soothing respite within the home. 

    Countertops, mantlepieces, coffee tables, and other focal points are great places to incorporate natural elements into your own home. 

  5. Vintage Furniture and Housewares 
    Finally, fall 2021 has also brought an increased interest in vintage furniture and homeware pieces. After spending so much time in their homes over the last year and a half, homeowners see their interior spaces as an extension of themselves. This has led to an interest in personalizing spaces with art, furniture, or knickknacks from the past, especially if these items are family heirlooms. 

    These days, it's easy to find as many charming old items as your heart desires – if you can't find exactly what you want at local thrift stores and garage sales, hop online and see what's listed on sites like eBay and Craigslist. 

No matter how you choose to decorate the inside of your home, the most important thing is that you feel happy and at ease there. If you're in the market for a new home, contact us today. 

September
20

5 Things to Know Before Installing a Fence

Fence TipsThere are dozens of reasons to build a fence, and when done properly, it can add tremendous value to your home. But there are also several factors that will affect your decisions. We would like to make you aware of them before you make your plans. If you're considering one of the lovely St. Louis homes for sale, you may want to think about fencing before you buy. Here's what to know before adding a fence to your property.

  1. Know the Rules
    Local governments and homeowners associations often have complicated regulations with respect to height, materials, and placement. Before you have your heart set on a particular design and style, make sure you understand all restrictions and limitations. Be aware of easements. Information regarding access through the property should have been disclosed in the closing documents when you purchased the house. If they aren't listed or are incomplete, property deeds on file through the county describe nonowner rights of usage. Our real estate agents can order a title report during the purchase process and advise you accordingly.

  2. Check with your Neighbors
    A fence along your property line can affect them, too. On the positive side, they may agree that a fence would be beneficial to both parties and agree to share the expense of both building and maintenance. If, however, they regard a fence or wall an encroachment on their rights or block a view, you may be asking for a longstanding feud. Talk before you plan. They may not appreciate a wall but would be fine with another type of fence. Whether or not they have legal rights, a simple conversation might help you avoid conflict of any kind.

    It's also important to verify property lines so that you don't inadvertently build on part of their property. 

  3. Match the Fence to its Purpose
    Picking a type of fence is easier when you consider why you want one in the first place. If for example, you wish to have your dog roam in the fenced-in yard, make sure it can't dig under it, wriggle through it or even jump over it. If you need the neighborhood children to stay off your lawn, you may need a short garden fence. Different materials provide different barriers, and it's important that the fence you build provides the benefits you are seeking. If your goal is privacy, you may wish to consider a hedge instead of a fence, but that will provide little in the way of security. 

  4. Consider the Cost
    A brick wall may cost $45 or more per square foot, while stone costs upwards of $80 per square foot. Fencing costs also vary according to materials from $5 to $20 per linear foot, and lumber costs are rising. Consider the length of the fence. Will it surround a large property or just circle a small yard? You may need to mix fence types in order to address your needs economically as well as functionally. Rural properties may benefit from wire fencing to block wildlife, but make sure you don't disturb migration patterns or access to water. 

  5. Learn about Required Maintenance
    Wooden fences require a good deal more upkeep than alternative materials but cost far less than most to construct. The beauty will fade when slats warp or decay. You'll need to make regular repairs to keep it looking attractive. Vegetation must be trimmed around the base of the fence. All of these issues should be discussed with your neighbors before you come to a decision.

Contact us for more information about the St. Louis real estate market. Our agents look forward to hearing from you. 

August
2

How to Add More Natural Light To Your Home

Natural Light Tips

A healthy dose of natural light is an easy way to help any space look its best. Natural light illuminates the room, making it look larger and more inviting; high levels of natural light also boost your body's production of serotonin, one of the chemicals associated with happiness and better mood levels.

Our real estate agents suggest exploring options to increase the natural light in your home before you put your home on the market. Here are a few ways to boost your property's natural light. 

  1. Choose Colors That Reflect Light
    When choosing paint colors for your home, stick with light hues that will reflect the light that enters the room. Darker hues absorb light, making the room feel smaller and more compact. If you're dealing with a room that you want to leave a darker color, try painting the ceiling, doors, and baseboards in a light color to lighten the room's look. 
  1. Add More Mirrors
    Mirrors are an excellent alternative for sleek wall decor and for maximizing a room's natural light. For the best results, position the mirror on a wall across from a window. It will reflect the sunlight the enters the room, instantly increasing the size of the space and enhancing its appearance. The same concept also applies to shiny or reflective pieces of home decor. If you already have a mirror in a room or prefer to consider other options, add decorative pieces crafted from shiny metals or with metallic finishes. These additions instantly brighten the atmosphere in the room. 
  1. Reconsider Your Furniture
    Instead of choosing furnishings crafted from dark wood tones and materials, opt for lighter tones. These light colors are another way to reflect the light already in the room. If you're craving a darker alternative, one solution is to use your throw pillows and decorative blankets to decorate in patterns or colors that aren't as effective at reflecting light. Or make sure that the largest pieces of furniture are in lighter hues.
  1. Install Larger Windows
    If you're willing to explore more drastic alternatives, install larger windows or new doors in the room. Saint Louis homes for sale that have new, energy-efficient windows are also appealing to potential homebuyers. The presence of more windows is a fantastic way to permanently increase the natural light in your home. Or, if you simply want to replace a window, look for a design with lots of exposed glass. Bay windows and bow windows are both excellent possibilities. 
  1. Wash Your Windows
    Even a property that's filled with windows will have insufficient amounts of natural light if the windows are dirty. Washing the interior and exterior of your windows is a simple way to make sure that dirt and grime aren't preventing outside light from penetrating your home. 

Interested in a property with more windows or even a sunroom? Contact us to start your search!

July
5

5 Tips for Selecting a Pet Sitting Service

Pet Sitting St. LouisAs we return to the workplace and travel becomes more frequent, many of us will be faced with the dilemma of pet care. If you are considering one of our St. Louis homes for sale, you are probably looking at a new community. You might not know your neighbors well enough to ask them to look after your dog. A kennel may work once in a while, and pet daycare could be an option. But our real estate agents suggest you consider another solution: a pet sitter who can come to your home. But where do you begin? These simple tips can get you started:

  1. Use Reputable Resources
    Some of the trade associations that can help you initiate your search are The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), Pet Sitters International, and Fetch! Pet Care. Each offers a locator listing professionals in your area. Once you have located sitters you want to interview, check their references and reviews. When reviewing comments, make sure there is a "verified stay" indicator to ensure they were written by actual customers.

  2. Select Bonded and Insured Sitters
    These designations don't just mean that you are protected in case of loss. They mean that the sitter has invested in a layer of trust between them and their customers, assuring quality and the integrity of the person entering your home when you are not present. Consider also a criminal background check and proof of sufficient training to perform services well. 

  3. Arrange for Introductions
    It's important that you feel confident in the person that will be providing care. You'll want to watch the sitter interact with your pet. Dogs and cats are automatically drawn to some people and are equally repelled by others. You'll want to make sure that your pets are comfortable with the sitter and do not exhibit fear or nervousness around them. Make sure you allow time for them to meet and greet each other appropriately so that the sitter has the opportunity to comfort the pet. If your pet is not frequently socialized, this could take a little time for them to develop a rapport. 

  4. Thoroughly Discuss Expectations
    Let the sitter know what services you expect and with what frequency. If you expect the pet to be walked, brushed, taken to dog parks or other activities or services, be sure to let the sitter know and obtain a formal agreement. It's important that they can commit the time and energy to meet your expectations. Include start and end times for each session. If there are activities you don't want them to do, be clear in your instructions. Make sure the sitter is aware of any dietary restrictions such as treats versus no treats or specific brands that should be avoided. 

  5. Plan for Emergencies
    Prominently display contact information for you, emergency veterinary services, pet insurance information, and a secondary contact. Maintain a medical history for the pet in case the sitter must seek vet care in your absence. Make sure that you are able to reach the sitter via phone or email every day you are away. Agree upon a backup plan for any emergency that could arise, including a substitute sitter in case the regular sitter is unable to fulfill the agreement. 

        If a new neighborhood is in your future, contact us. Our real estate professionals will be happy to help you find the perfect home for you and your family, including the furry members.  

        June
        21

        Start Upcycling Furniture With These Tips

        Upcycle St. Louis

        If you enjoy browsing vintage furniture and tend to see it for its potential, you might enjoy upcycling furniture. Upcycled furniture can be funky, trendy, or even classy with the right touch, and that one special piece might be great for starting a conversation with your guests or perfect when staging your home for sale, according to our real estate agents. Here are a few tips for giving tired outdated furniture new life.

        1. Look for Good Bones
          When you're on the hunt for vintage furniture to upcycle, try to see past the current finish (or lack thereof), and instead look at the bones of each piece. You'll want furniture that is sturdy and made of real wood so that it'll stand up to the demands of a makeover and a new life. Look also for interesting features such as mid-century modern styling or interesting curves and carvings that painting and distressing would highlight.

        2. Find a New Purpose for Old Things
          Part of the fun of upcycling furniture is thinking outside of the box. There are a lot of old pieces that don't necessarily have a purpose anymore, but you can make a trendy new purpose with a little creative thinking. For example, vintage crates can be stacked to use as bookshelves, a cozy little vintage dining table would make a great desk, and that vintage radio or record player could find new life retrofitted as a wine rack or liquor cabinet.

        3. Update the Look with a Little Paint
          Typically vintage furniture is cast-off not because it no longer functions, but because the finish has become scratched and worn. Purists will repair or refinish a valuable piece, but you can give the more mundane pieces exciting new life with a little color. Perhaps the piece is perfect for your current look but needs a facelift with a new coat of paint. For something a little more interesting, you can opt for shabby chic with a distressed look, or aim for more urban with stenciled accents.

        4. Stick to the Style
          While mixing and matching can be cool and trendy, you won't do the furniture any favors if you don't work with what you've got. Different pieces have different looks, and your upcycling will be the most successful if you stay true to the style. Furniture with straighter lines, such as mid-century modern, will look better with clean paint or geometric stenciling, for example. Furniture with graceful lines, carved details, or even simple country style will pair well with distressed finishes.

        Upcycling furniture can be very rewarding, and you may find that your thrift store score ends up being one of your favorite pieces after a little (or a lot of) TLC. Just remember, if you'll be using the piece to stage your home for sale, that buyers tend to react more favorably to a neutral decor when browsing St. Louis homes for sale. For more information about how to stage a home for success on the sales market, contact us today.

        May
        17

        Top Issues a Home Inspection Might Detect

        Home Inspection Tips

        When purchasing a home, ordering a home inspection is an essential item to add to your to-do list. Our real estate agents know that a home inspection is vital for revealing major and minor issues with a home. While a home inspection will cost you, detecting issues now can help you save money in the long run and give you peace of mind about the property you are buying. Here are some home issues detected by a home inspection. 

        1. Problems with the Grading
          If the grading of the home's lot isn't scaled correctly, this can cause water to flow towards your home. Your foundation and crawlspace may have excessive levels of moisture; this can cause the frame of your home to rot or lead to the formation of mold. The placement of the windows and doors can also shift, eventually causing the home to appear uneven. 
        1. Issues with the Roof
          A home's roof is a common source of issues during a home inspection. Since the roof covers such a large surface area, it's easy for a shingle or two to be damaged during a storm. This can allow water to seep in and damage the home's underlayment or ceiling. Or, the roof itself may be nearing the end of its lifespan. Your home inspector will also examine the components around the roof, like the gutters. It's common for gutters to be clogged and require cleaning. Or, a downspout might not be long enough to properly re-direct water away from your home. 
        1. Trouble with the Windows
          Many home inspections reveal problems in and around the windows. If the windows are older, the problem may be that they aren't very energy efficient. Or, the windows can have cracks around them that need to be sealed. Problems with the windows can raise the home's heating and cooling costs and impact the air quality. St. Louis homes for sale with new, energy-efficient windows will have lower energy bills than those with older components. 
        1. Complications with the Plumbing
          During the inspection, your inspector will run the faucets and examine the pipes for signs of a leak. They'll also see that the drains are draining correctly. A home's plumbing system is fairly comprehensive, making plumbing issues extremely prevalent. 
        1. Defects in the Home's Exterior
          A home's exterior is another common source of issues detected in a home inspection. Wood homes must be closely examined for signs of rot and mildew. Vinyl siding homes may have sections that are damaged and require replacement. Stucco must be correctly installed, or it will present an opportunity for moisture to enter the home. 
        1. Unauthorized Additions
          Many cities require a permit for home additions and certain renovations. These projects must also be completed according to the local building code, or the home will potentially have illegal modifications. Fixing illegal improvements is expensive and time-consuming. An inspector will look for signs of shoddy work and discrepancies among the home's construction. 

        Are you ready to start shopping for your next home? Contact us today to get started!

        February
        1

        What You Need to Know About VA Loans in 2021

        VA Loan Tips

        Are you an active or retired military member with your eye on one of the wonderful St. Louis homes for sale? Uncle Sam wants to help make your dream of homeownership come true. Our real estate agents share significant changes to the VA loan program taking effect in 2021 and how they benefit you.

        What Is a VA Loan?

        Before reviewing the changes, it's helpful to clarify what constitutes a VA loan and how it differs from other mortgages. First of all, only active service members, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses can apply for a VA loan.

        Some people mistakenly believe funding for the loans actually comes from the Department of Veterans Affairs or VA. Private institutions, such as banks and mortgage companies, are still the ones issuing the loans. The difference is that the VA guarantees a portion of the loan, making it easier for the borrower to obtain more favorable terms.

        Benefits of VA Loans

        If you're looking at some great Washington homes for sale with the intent of using a VA loan, you still have to go through the traditional steps: Get prequalified and preapproved, make an offer, have the home appraised, and complete the closing.

        Here are the ways a VA loan truly works to your advantage:

        • You can obtain a VA loan without a down payment. Many people cite the difficulty of saving for a down payment as the biggest obstacle toward purchasing a home.

        • Mortgage insurance is a requirement for home loans secured with less than 20 percent down. Even without a down payment, mortgage insurance is not attached to VA loans thanks to the VA's guarantee.

        • VA loans are not a one-time-only deal. You can use your VA entitlement for home purchases throughout your lifetime. Keep in mind, though, that VA loans are meant to buy a primary residence in "move-in ready" condition.

        • Previous foreclosures or bankruptcies don't preclude eligibility for VA loans.

        • There's no prepayment penalty for VA loans, so you can save money by making additional payments and retiring the loan early.

        What's New in 2021

        So what are the specific changes to the VA loan program going forward in 2021?

        • Until this year, National Guard members, including reservists, had to have at least 90 days of active duty to qualify for a VA loan. Under a new law, members are eligible with 90 days of service. The one caveat is that at least 30 of those days must be consecutive.

        • There is no cap to the amount of money a home buyer may borrow under a VA loan. Previously, however, limits were set to how much the VA would guarantee without a down payment. Those limits have now been eliminated for those with full VA loan entitlement. While this affects many VA loan applicants, there are two instances where VA loan limits still apply. One is in the case of those who have previously defaulted on a VA loan. The other is with homeowners who have one or more VA loans currently active.

        Ready to start your search for a new home? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Premier Group to get started.

        January
        4

        Home Improvement Projects to Work on This Winter

        Home Improvement Projects

        While the cold winter months are ideal for cozying up on the couch, sometimes it feels good to be productive. A little home maintenance will also ensure your home looks its best if you list it among the St. Louis market and surrounding area. Whether your home is in St. Louis County, Franklin County, or even further north in St. Charles County, our agents encourage you to work on these home improvement projects this winter. 

        1. Declutter and Organize
          Winter is a perfect time to declutter and organize your belongings. You likely have some new holiday gifts that you need to make room for, and there's no better way to start the New Year than with an organized space.

          You can either tackle one room at a time, or you may declutter categories of stuff. For example, you might declutter all the clothing in your home or all your paperwork and mementos. Get rid of anything you no longer use, that you have too much, or that you haven't used in more than a year (aside from seasonal items).

          Once you know what you're left with, you can organize your belongings with containers, shelves, rods, and hooks. Our real estate agents know that a well-organized home also looks larger and more appealing to potential buyers. 
        1. Replace Old Hardware
          Old hardware, like your door hinges, cabinet knobs, doorknobs, and door levels, can quickly make your space look dated. Give your home an instant facelift by replacing these items. You can replace most old hardware with a screwdriver, drill, screws, and wood putty. 
        1. Service Your Ceiling Fans
          Did you know that you need to change the direction of your ceiling fans during the winter months? When the weather is cold, you want your ceiling fans to operate in a clockwise direction, so it pushes warm air down. You can adjust your ceiling fan's direction by using the direction switch on your fan's motor housing.

          While you're changing your fans' directions, give them a thorough dusting. Dust the fan blades with a microfiber cloth or duster that will prevent the dust from scattering. Wipe down the fan pulls with a damp cloth. 
        1. Repair Any Wall Blemishes and Touch Up Your Paint
          If you've got some areas with scrapes or holes, winter is a fantastic time to patch these blemishes and touch up the paint. You'll be spending a lot of time indoors, and you want your home to look as inviting as possible.

          You can fix most small wall defects with a layer or two of spackling compound. Once it dries, sand the area smooth and add a fresh coat of paint.
        1. Change the Batteries in Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
          Keep your family safe by changing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Once the units have fresh batteries, test them to make sure they're working properly. If necessary, install additional detectors in your home.

          You should have a smoke detector in each bedroom, in the hall outside every sleeping area, and on each level of your home. There should be a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home and in your garage. 

        Ready to explore new properties for your family? Contact us today!

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