Articles Tagged "Washington MO"

The Freyling Team Blog Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.




rss logo RSS Feed
Area Information | 26 Posts
Buy a Home | 2 Posts
Home Improvement | 11 Posts
Sell a Home | 1 Posts
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.

January
17

Missouri Small Towns for Your 2022 Move

Missouri Small Towns

If you're planning to move to Missouri from out of state or are already a resident of the Show-Me State who's looking to move to another area, larger cities such as St. Louis or Jefferson City probably come to mind. Those are certainly popular places to live but don't overlook the state's charming small towns. They have many amenities to offer, such as scenic views and access to state parks, and they're often located within an hour or less of a major city.
  
Our real estate agents suggest checking out the following small towns in Missouri you'll want to move to in 2022:

  • Washington
    Located about 50 minutes west of downtown St. Louis, Washington is the largest community between St. Louis County and Jefferson City. It's situated on the Missouri River's most southern point and is also at the junction of state highways 100 and 47. The town was officially founded in 1839, but settlers were already living in the area when Lewis and Clark started their westward expedition in 1804.

    Washington has a population of a little over 14,000 people, and it's known as the "corncob pipe capital of the world" since it's home to Missouri Meerschaum, which manufactures the pipes. It's also known for its museums, wineries, theaters, shops, festivals, and more, making Washington homes for sale part of a vibrant community. The unemployment rate is lower than the U.S. average, as is its cost of living, further making Washington an attractive place to call home.
      
  • Farmington
    Farmington is located in St. Francois County, about 60 miles south of St. Louis at the edge of the beautiful Ozark Mountains, and close to 20,000 people call it home. Established in 1822 as Murphy's Settlement, the town was called St. Francois Court House for a brief time when the county was organized and was later named Farmington.  

    It's close to several state parks and has its own city park system, so residents have abundant opportunities to camp, fish, swim, bicycle ride, hike, play disc golf, and more. Attractions such as Bonne Terre Mine, the Farmington Waterpark & Splash Pad, and Farmington Skate Park provide plenty of entertainment near Farmington homes for sale. Residents also enjoy browsing in the unique shops in the historic downtown area.

  • Hermann
    Hermann is located in Gasconade County, south of the Missouri River and tucked away in the Missouri River Valley. 

    The town's Old World Charm still exists and is very evident in many Hermann homes for sale, with much of downtown consisting of a historic district with brick buildings from the 1800s. The buildings hug the sidewalk, just as they do in Germany. Hermann has a scenic Wine Trail that features seven family-owned local wineries that produce a third of the state's wine. Residents also enjoy the town's many shops, museums, and festivals, and about 2,400 people make this charming picturebook town their home.

Contact us to see St. Louis homes for sale or to visit homes in some of Missouri's small towns. Our highly trained agents are happy to help you navigate the process of buying or selling a home. 

September
7

One-of-a-Kind Coffee Shops Near St. Louis

St Louis Coffee

From the perfect morning pick-me-up to the ideal place to unwind after work, the coffee shops of the St. Louis area have something for everyone. The best coffee shops offer more than just your favorite drinks by fostering a sense of community, hosting fun special events, and making everyone who stops by feel like a regular. Our real estate agents have the delicious details on 6 one-of-a-kind coffee shops that you'll love visiting around St. Louis.

  • The Wagamama – 5836-38 Macklind Ave., St. Louis, MO 63109
    The first coffee shop of its kind in St. Louis, The Wagamama is a dog-friendly coffee shop located near St. Louis homes for sale that allows you to bring well-behaved four-legged friends into the shop while you enjoy a great cup of coffee. Savor some delicious coffee in the indoor seating area, on the outdoor patio, or in the off-leash Barkyard, where both you and your pup can make some new friends.

  • underGROUNDS Espresso Bar – 120 W. Front St., Washington, MO 63090
    With small-batch coffees and ingredients sourced mostly from local farmers markets, underGROUNDS Espresso Bar is your source for outstanding coffee near Washington homes for sale. Try an espresso flight to sample the best that this neighborhood coffee shop has to offer, and enjoy delicious, sweet treats from a variety of outstanding local vendors.

  • Latte Lounge – 2190 N. Waterford Dr., Florrisant, MO 63033
    For the true coffee connoisseur, it's tough to top the experience at the Latte Lounge. This little shop, located near Florrisant homes for sale, offers a variety of ways to enjoy top-quality coffee. Try a coffee flight to sample five of your favorite latte varieties in one sitting, or order a split cup drink for easy sipping of two different lattes. With a mix of variety and quality, this shop has quickly established itself as a local favorite.

  • Catalyst Coffee Bar – 1223 Pine St., St. Louis, MO 63103
    Operated in collaboration with Art St. Louis, a local non-profit dedicated to showcasing the work of local artists and bringing beauty to St. Louis communities, Catalyst Coffee Bar is so much more than just a wonderful place to enjoy your favorite coffees. It's a space where local artists and community members can build connections, get to know the vibrant St. Louis arts scene, and enjoy a carefully curated selection of coffee that always features something new to try.

  • Rise Coffee – 4176 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110
    Founded in 2013 as both a community gathering space and coffee shop, Rise Coffee has grown into a St. Louis favorite. A newly added outdoor patio space provides a new way to enjoy a great cup of coffee and listen to live performances from local musicians every weekend. There's also a full breakfast, lunch, and brunch menu when you're hungry.

  • Maypop Coffee & Garden Shop – 803 Marshall Ave., Webster Groves, MO 63119
    Coffee, gardening, great people... what's not to love? Maypop Coffee & Garden Shop blends those passions into one unique experience, all located close to Webster Groves homes for sale. The coffee shop features all of your favorite specialty drinks and baked goods from sustainable, local bakeries. While you're there, be sure to check out the greenhouse, which features a trendy selection of plants that can brighten any garden.

On the hunt for the perfect St. Louis home near all of your favorite coffee shops and dining destinations? Our local real estate team has you covered. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the St. Louis, MO area.

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.  

        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!

        April
        19

        About the Historic Neighborhoods in St. Louis

        St Louis Historic AreasAs the Gateway to the West, the St. Louis area has plenty of history to delight local history buffs. Our real estate agents share some fascinating background on these historic neighborhoods surrounding St. Louis homes for sale.

        • Lafayette Square
          As the oldest historic district in St. Louis, Lafayette Square carries a strong aura of tradition. With its candy-colored, two- and three-story Victorian homes, Lafayette Square is also a visual delight. These homes, affectionately referred to as the "painted ladies," are a major reason why Better Homes & Gardens once recognized the district as one of the country's "12 Prettiest Painted Places." Lafayette Square, located just three blocks south of downtown, is the site of beautiful Lafayette Park, a 30-acre oasis that holds the title of oldest urban park west of the Mississippi River.

        • Old North St. Louis
          At its inception in 1816, Old North St. Louis was founded as a village on a parcel of land alongside the Mississippi River. One novel feature was the establishment of three circles of land designated for public use. By 1841, Old North St. Louis was absorbed as an official neighborhood of St. Louis. By the time the new century arrived, 14th Street had become a major commercial district, attracting shoppers from miles around with its numerous furniture, clothing, hardware, and grocery stores.

        • The Hill
          If you're a fan of Italian food, chances are you're already familiar with the Hill. Before the Civil War, the area drew scores of immigrants to work in the clay mines. Many Italian immigrants arrived in the area during this time. Today, the Hill is a modern foodie's delight, with its assortment of authentic bakeries, grocery stores, and trattorias. The Hill also proudly claims major league baseball legends Joe Garagiola and Yogi Berra among their own.

        • St. Charles
          Over the years, St. Charles has been known by different names that reflect the changing influences. In 1769, the city was called Les Petites Cotes, which translates to "The Little Hills." Later it became San Carlos Borromeo, with the current name of St. Charles originating shortly after Lewis and Clark began their historic journey here. Between 1821 and 1826, St. Charles served as Missouri's first capital, and the legend of Daniel Boone includes stories of his time as a resident. Today, more than one million visitors each year come to enjoy the beauty and history of the area around St. Charles homes for sale

        • Washington
          German immigrant Gottfried Duden was enchanted by the area, which reminded him of the lush natural beauty of his homeland. Duden composed glowing reports of his experience, which inspired many of his fellow countrymen to follow his path. In 1854, John B. Busch established a forerunner of his family's brewing dynasty when he started bottling the first Busch Beer just minutes from Washington homes for sale.  

        Are you and your family ready to make some history of your own in St. Louis? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Premier Group for all your real estate needs.

        March
        1

        Celebrate Pi Day at These St. Louis Bakeries

        St Louis Pie Bakeries

        Our real estate agents agree math class would have been more interesting if it included "pie" instead of "pi." Celebrate National Pi Day on Sunday, March 14, with a slice of your favorite flavor from one of these top bakeries around St. Louis. While it might be a math holiday, we still consider it an excuse to check out local bakeries throughout the St. Louis area. 

        1. Glady Fay's - 1381 High St., Suite 111, Washington, MO 63090
          At Glady Fay's, everyone is family ... literally. The cafe is named for Gladys Fay Anderson, who taught her culinary secrets to her 10 children, one of whom will likely greet you when you walk in the door. The turnover-style hand pies are perfect grab-and-go snacks when you're viewing Washington homes for sale. Pies are also available by the slice and in mini four-inch versions. Glady Fay's is open weekdays from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

        2. The Blue Owl Restaurant & Bakery - 6116 Second St., Kimmswick, MO 63053
          After developing a devoted fan base for her baked goods through craft shows and festivals, Mary Hostetter realized her dream of opening The Blue Owl Restaurant & Bakery in 1985. Her signature Levee High Caramel Apple Pie has received the seal of approval from no less than Oprah Winfrey, who featured the pie as one of her "Top 100 Favorite Things for the Holidays." Hours are 6 a.m. - 1 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

        3. Pie Oh My! - 2719 Sutton Blvd., Maplewood, MO 63143
          One cannot live on sweet pies alone, no matter how delightful it may sound. Pie Oh My! has the savory side covered with quiche and frozen, ready-to-bake chicken pot pies that make a great dinner after a day of touring Maplewood homes for sale. When it's time for dessert, Pie Oh My! features not one but two sizes of individual pies in a weekly rotating assortment of flavors. Pie Oh My! is open 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

        4. Sweet Things Bakery - 3224 Rue Royale St., Saint Charles, MO 63301
          Beth Thompson's homemade baked goods were so popular that she quickly outgrew her rented kitchen space. After 10 years in Ferguson, Beth opened Sweet Things Bakery in New Town, right down the street from Saint Charles homes for sale. Everything, including the customer's favorite mini-pies, is made from scratch in small batches using the highest quality ingredients. Hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday.

        5. Russell's Café & Bakery - 952 Brookwood Center, Fenton, MO 63026
          Russell Ping saw his future when he was in the fourth grade, selling his homemade chocolate chip cookies outside the neighborhood pool. A dozen or so years later, the budding entrepreneur partnered with his mother to open Russell's Café & Bakery, just minutes from St. Louis homes for sale. Success led to the addition of a dinner restaurant and pizza joint, both serving Russell's delicious baked goods. Hours are 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday.

        6. Nathaniel Reid Bakery - 11243 Manchester Rd., St. Louis, MO 63122
          Armed with a diploma from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu, Nathaniel Reid worked in some of the finest pastry kitchens around the world. When it was time to break out on his own, he came home to open Nathaniel Reid Bakery, serving the community around Kirkwood homes for sale. The luscious apple pie croissant is a delightful mashup of two pastry favorites. Nathaniel Reid Bakery is open for carryout and curbside orders from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

        We may not be able to calculate pi, but we can help you find your St. Louis home with a kitchen perfect for pie baking! Contact us at Coldwell Banker Premier Group for all your real estate needs.

        February
        15

        Where to Go Birdwatching Near St. Louis

        Birdwatching St Louis

        Whether you've been birdwatching as a hobby for years or you're looking for a fresh, fun, socially distanced way to enjoy the great outdoors, the St. Louis area is loaded with great places to go watch the birds. Countless species of birds pass through our area throughout the year, so there's always something new to spot. Our real estate agents have all the delightful details on 6 of the best places to go birdwatching around St. Louis.

        1. Tower Grove Park – 4256 Magnolia Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110
          Tower Grove Park
          is one of many great birdwatching destinations located near St. Louis homes for sale. This park is located across the street from the Missouri Botanical Gardens, and the combination of two well-maintained outdoor spaces attracts hundreds of species of birds to this small area. Tower Grove Park is also home to the Gaddy Wild Bird Garden dribble fountain, a unique water feature that attracts even more birds to the area.

        2. Carondelet Park – 3900 Holly Hills Dr., St. Louis, MO 63116
          Carondelet Park
          is a beautiful green space with proximity to two rivers, making it a hot destination for birds and birdwatchers alike. It's one of the larger city parks in St. Louis, with more than 175 acres of beautifully maintained green space. More than 160 species of birds have been documented at this location, making it a popular stop along the Great Missouri Birding Trail.

        3. Schulze Nature Preserve – 370 M E Frick Rd., Washington, MO 63090
          For birding fun near Washington homes for sale, try a trip to Schulze Nature Preserve. This natural area is one the smaller side for a nature preserve at just over 22 acres, making it easy to explore in one day. But don't let the smallish size fool you! This is an amazing place to see a wide variety of bird species, along with beautiful flora and diverse local wildlife.

        4. Forest Park – 5595 Grand Dr., St. Louis, MO 63112
          Forest Park
          is widely considered the best park for birdwatching in St. Louis, thanks to its expansive 1,300-acre size and prime location in the city. More than 200 species of birds have been documented here, and the park is open every day of the year. Like some of the other parks on our list, Forest Park can be quite busy on weekends, making weekday mornings the ideal time to visit for birding.

        5. Columbia Bottom Conservation Area – 801 Strotdtman Rd., St. Louis, MO 63138
          The Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is a massive natural space stretching over 4,300 acres, with a wide variety of trails to explore while you go birdwatching. This lovely green space attracts an expansive collection of species, with 279 bird species documented to date. The conservation area features a unique collection of ecosystems, which help attract the many diverse bird species that visit.

        6. Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center – 11715 Cragwold Rd., St. Louis, MO 63122
          Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center
          is a great place to visit for a family birdwatching trip, with various educational exhibits and attractions that will appeal to kids of all ages. The conservation center is largely made up of woodlands, with three main trails that allow you to explore the area and find the perfect places to spot birds.

        Ready to find a home of your own near all of the outdoor attractions around St. Louis? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the St. Louis, MO area.

        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
        19

        Local St. Louis Cafes for National Hot Chocolate Day

        St Louis Hot Chocolate

        Friday, January 31st, is National Hot Chocolate Day, and our real estate agents can't wait to huddle over a hot cup of cocoa. As we grow older, there's just something about a hot chocolate on a cold winter day that feels cozy and nostalgic. If you're interested in sipping your way down memory lane, head to these cafes near St. Louis for National Hot Chocolate Day.

        1. The Washington Coffee Shop — 2 E. Fifth St., Washington, MO 63090
          If you're in town at the tail end of January looking for Washington homes for sale, be sure to warm up with a cup of cocoa from The Washington Coffee Shop. This local hotspot is serving up espresso drinks, fresh-pressed sandwiches, and of course hot chocolate. Be sure to check out their daily baked goods and find the perfect one to pair with your beverage!


        2. Frontier Perk Café — 336 S. Main St., Saint Charles, MO 63301
          Nestled in the heart of historic Main Street is Frontier Perk Café. Surrounded by some of the town's most unique boutique shops, Frontier Perk Café is a great place to settle in for breakfast, lunch, or just a grab-and-go cup of joe. On National Hot Chocolate Day, treat yourself to one of their decadent hot chocolates, made with a house-blended cocoa powder and topped with marshmallows, whipped cream, and peppermint pieces. Drop-in while you're touring Saint Charles homes for sale and fuel up for the rest of your showings.


        3. Meshuggah Café — 6269 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63130
          Since 1992, they've been brewing up coffee and culture for all walks of life. Whether you're in the mood to hear a local musician, check out local art, play a board game with friends, or read a book with your coffee, Meshuggah Café welcomes you to come and catch some chill vibes. A hot chocolate pumped up with a flavor shot of Irish cream, pumpkin, or caramel will start your National Hot Chocolate Day on the right foot. Just make sure you grab a Brown Suggah Bagel to go with it.


        4. Foundation Grounds — 7298 Manchester Rd., Maplewood, MO 63143
          If you haven't sat out on the patio of Foundation Grounds Coffeehouse and sipped a warm cup of their tasty drinks, you're missing out. From house blends of coffee to hot chocolate, lattes, and more, the only way you can make your afternoon better is to add a tasty cup of soup, quiche, or their famous Goo Balls to your hot cocoa order if you arrive a little early to your Maplewood homes for sale appointment.


        5. Catalyst Coffee Bar — 1223 Pine St., St. Louis, MO 63013
          Handcrafted beverages are always ready for your enjoyment at Catalyst Coffee Bar. An extension of Art Saint Louis, Catalyst helps beautify the community with every dollar earned. What better way to celebrate National Hot Chocolate Day than by savoring a delicious cup of cocoa that also supports the art community of St. Louis?

        Ready to cozy up with some hot chocolate in a new home? Let us help you heat up your search. Contact us today to schedule warm and welcoming tours of our St. Louis homes for sale.

        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!

        December
        21

        Interior Design Trends to Pay Attention to in 2021

        Interior Design Trends

        With 2021 fast approaching, we're excited to see what trends will catch on in the new year. With so many people spending extra time on home projects in 2020, we're expecting even more homeowners to take on home improvement projects to make their home extra special for themselves or to get it ready to list. Our real estate agents were so inspired by these St. Louis homes for sale, they decided to put together a list of their predictions for what trends you can expect to see more of in 2021. 

        1. Coastal Themes
          Tranquility is going to be a very popular theme in 2021, especially considering the year we had. Many of us were forced to skip our beach vacations in 2020, so it wouldn't be surprising to see subtle coastal design themes pop-up in homes this year. Whether it's tropical leaves or flowers or the right mix of calming aquas and blues, pay attention to calming coastal design trends in 2021. This is a great option for those who love the beach and are looking to personalize their home office. 

        2. Rustic Vogue
          For those who like a charming look mixed with a bit of upscale character, rustic vogue is definitely going to be the design trend for you. This look is usually best in homes that already have some rustic character, such as old doors or original floorboards. Simply add some upscale furniture, neutral colors, and some bright statement pieces to create that upscale cottage feel. To achieve this look, be sure to check out thrift stores for that one-of-a-kind look!

        3. Pure Vintage
          Vintage designs and timeless looks will always be in style. Working antique furniture or pieces of architectural salvage into your living space is a great way to create a classic look. They really don't make furniture like they used to, so repurposing old pieces can really make a statement in your home.

        4. Textured Walls
          We expect to see textured walls continue to increase in popularity next year. Stone, marble, and wooden beams all significantly impact perception and can really add a classy touch to any room. Textured walls change the ambiance of the room in a big way. Best of all, they're generally easy to install and can hide cracks, dents, and holes in your drywall.

        5. Houseplants
          Get ready to step up your house plant game in 2021 because they're coming back in a big way. Retro 1970's hangers, unique succulents, and big blooms -- adding some green into your living space can definitely liven things up. They can also go a long way towards boosting your mood. Just make sure you buy plants that require little maintenance and are hard to kill.

        Looking for a new home in the area for you to try new home improvement projects on in 2021? Contact us today!

        December
        7

        Shop Local This Holiday Season at These Stores Near St. Louis

        St Louis Shop Local

        The holidays have certainly snuck up on us, and if you're like many of our real estate agents, you need to get a lot of gift shopping done. Instead of heading to the big box stores, we encourage you to shop local this holiday season at these stores around St. Louis, St. Charles, and Washington.

        1. St. Louis Art Supply — 4532 Olive St., St. Louis, MO 63108
          If you're searching for a gift for the art enthusiast in your life, head down to St. Louis Art Supply. Stocked with world-class products, St. Louis Art Supply sources limited edition and small-batch supplies from exceptional independent workshops worldwide. They carry everything from acrylic and oil paints to pencils, writing paper, and even books. Stop by for a cup of coffee in their Cornflower café and ask them which gifts will help unleash your recipient's creative side.


        2. Looking Glass Designs — 1917 Park Ave., St. Louis, MO 63104
          One-of-a-kind gifts are some of the best presents to receive, and Looking Glass Designs is prepared to help you create a customized gift for the hard-to-please. Their products are either created in-house or by local artists, which means every gift is uniquely St. Louis. They also take care of personalization and customization via in-house laser engraving, embroidering, and monogramming. Visit their shop to discover the serving trays, cutting boards, coasters, earrings, glasses, and more that can be customized for your friends or family.


        3. Loyal Bella Co. — 120 Elm St., Washington, MO 63090
          As you're shopping for gifts, don't forget about your four-legged family member! Loyal Bella Co., just around the corner from riverside Washington homes for sale, has the perfect gifts for any pet. Take a walk into this boutique store in historic downtown Washington, and you'll find toys, treats, and a variety of other pet supplies. Consider grabbing a few fresh baked cookies to put in your pet's stocking. They also sell people-friendly gifts too, such as sweaters, ornaments, and jewelry.

          While you are exploring downtown Washington, be sure to check out other local favorites like Neighborhood Reads and The Painted Home.

        4. Bowood — 4605 Olive St., St. Louis, MO 63108
          Grabbing gifts for the gardener in your life hasn't been easier than at Bowood Garden + Supply. This St. Louis staple has a vast selection to choose from. Along with garden supplies, plants, and containers, they also sell dried and preserved florals, books, tools, and holiday wreaths. If the aspiring planter in your life has a not-so-green thumb, buy them a gift certificate for one of Bowood's creative classes, such as watercolor cardmaking or a create your own terrarium workshop.


        5. Happy Camper Clothing & Co. — 510 S. Main St., St. Charles, MO 63301
          It's a safe bet that any gift you buy from Happy Camper Clothing & Co. will make your recipient, well, a happy camper! This small screen-printing company based near our St. Charles homes for sale has the coziest sweatshirts, t-shirts, hoodies, and beanies this side of the Missouri. If you can't get out to their storefront, you can always shop on their Etsy page and have your gift sent right to the recipient.


          Make the most out of your holiday shopping trip in downtown St. Charles and find more gifts at shops like Main Street Books or Addy's Floral.

        Would you love to move into a new home before the New Year? We can help. Contact us today to tour our St. Louis homes for sale.

        Login to My Homefinder

        Login to My Homefinder