About janarice

Professional Marketer, REALTOR, Marketing & PR Director for 501(c)3 Charity Supporters for a Fenton Dog Park, Writer & Social Media Specialist

Pacific, Missouri Real Estate

Not many cities offer multiple county living locations. According to the city website, Pacific, Mo. real estate encompasses St. Louis, Franklin and Jefferson counties. This is a bit unusual, but does allow for some flexibility in taxation benefits. For instance, Jefferson County residents do get a discount at Jefferson College. If one was seeking a degree specific to the college, the savings could be significant. Home prices are equally appealing. According to the St. Louis multiple listing service, the median sale price for a home in Pacific, Mo. is $120,000.

For those interested in St. Louis real estate, pricing and location makes Pacific is a viable option. You may find that it combines a touch of country living with ease of access.  According to the Pacific Area Chamber of Commerce website, Pacific “… is located just off Interstate 44 on one of the largest stretches of Old Route 66. In the heart of many attractions, Pacific offers the relaxed pace of county living with a close proximity to the Greater St. Louis area.” Outdoor lovers will enjoy living in the area. Some of the nearby recreational opportunities include the Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, Six Flags St. Louis in Eureka, Pacific Palisades Conservation Area, camping and more.

One of the advantages to purchasing a home in Pacific is the availability of land. Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of owning a small ranch with a custom home. By moving a bit outside of traditional St. Louis County areas that may be somewhat landlocked, you open up a variety of options. If you prefer buying an existing home, your Prudential Select Properties agent can help you find Pacific homes for sale or Pacific open houses. Please visit www.discoversstl.com to find an agent conveniently near you and to preview a list of homes available.

 

What to Look for at a Home Showing

Home buying season is upon us. After purchasers holding the upper hand for quite some time, the tide may be turning. According to an article written by Jim Gallagher posted on STLToday.com, “In much of the region, it’s no longer a buyers’ market.”

With potentially fewer houses for sale, buyers may feel rushed into making a decision. Understanding some of the potential home maintenance basics can help alleviate your fears and potentially prevent you from making an offer on a home that you may later regret. What are some of the things to look for when looking at a St. Louis home for sale? Although it is best to seek professional guidance, below is a quickie guide for your first look at a home:

Exterior

If there is a driveway, examine it for cracks and/or ruts. As you walk toward the front door, notice the exterior. Asbestos siding or chipping mortar between bricks can add extra expenses later. Be sure to ask the age of the roof. Anything over 15 years of age may need to be replaced soon. If there is a chimney, be sure to check if it is in good repair.

Stepping Inside

As soon as you walk indoor, take a deep breath. Can you smell mold, mildew or pet urine? Too much air freshener can indicate masked odors. As you walk, check out the floors to see if they creak and if they are in good shape. Look up at the ceiling and look for signs of water staining, which may indicate a leak.

Plumbing

If you are serious about purchasing the home, you will want to run the water and flush the toilets to check for water flow and drainage. Look under the sinks and examine for leaks.  If there is a basement, take a look at the plumbing stack and check for holes or carbuncles. Has the hot water heater been recently updated? Examine the water lines and ask what kind they are. Galvanized pipes are old school and may grow blocked with age. Copper water lines are preferred.

Heating/Cooling

Be sure to ask the age of the air conditioner and heating systems, along with the efficiency rating. The normal range for the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER rating on HVAC) of an air conditioner is between 13-14.  The higher the number, the more energy savings you will enjoy. When looking at the heating unit, a 90 plus efficiency furnace has PVC vent piping is preferred.  Older air conditioning and heating units can quickly add to future expenses.

Electrical

Ask about the wiring and the electrical panel. Copper wiring is preferred. Tube and knob wiring is older and not advised. Turn on all the lights in the house. Do they work and do the fixtures appear up-to-date?

Structural

Be sure to examine the foundation and check for cracks. If there is a basement, check for evidence of leaks and examine the floor joists. If you see sawdust, it might be a sign of termites.  If there is wood of varying colors or ages, it could indicate a repair. The same information is useful for the attic. Water staining can indicate past or present roof leakage. You will want to ask about the quality of insulation in the home.

Windows/Doors

Are the windows/doors in good repair and do they open freely?  Is there more than one pane of glass in the windows? Insulated windows can lower your energy costs. An insulated garage door is a valuable bonus.

Although these suggestions are not everything you need to know about the structural integrity of a home, it is a good start. By educating yourself on some of the basics, you will feel more confident in your purchase and potentially save yourself from disappointment. When you work with a licensed real estate agent, you have a partner in the process. Your Prudential Select Properties agent will be there to help you find the answers to your questions and help you make the best decision possible.

Disclaimer: This article is for entertainment/educational purposes only and not meant to replace the advice of a qualified home repair or inspection professional.

 

Ferguson, Missouri Real Estate

Are you looking to live in the North County area of St. Louis? According to the Saint Louis multiple listing service the median sale price for a home in Ferguson, Mo. is $70,000. If you desire to purchase St. Louis real estate, the home prices make Ferguson an attractive option.

Established in 1894 the area is known for its historic homes on tree-lined streets and newer residential areas that offer a modern look and feel. Ferguson is just minutes east of Lambert International Airport, with easy access to 3 interstate highways. The City of Ferguson sits between two college campuses, St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley and the University of Missouri at St. Louis, and two major employment centers, Emerson Electric world headquarters and the Boeing (formerly McDonnell Douglas) facilities at the airport.

With an eclectic mix of Victorian architecture with simplistic ranch structures, there are homes for nearly every taste with Ferguson, Mo. real estate. Recent improvements to area near the corner of Suburban and South Florissant Road have made the city attractive to visitors. Ferguson Brewing Company, a local micro brewery, and Cork Wine bar are two of the highlights. During the summers, you will find the Ferguson Farmer’s Market down the street to be a meeting place for the community that provides fresh vegetables, along with entertainment.

If you are dreaming of starting a small business, City of Ferguson offers an unusual amount of helpful links and supportive suggestions on their website, which touts the location near major highways, Lambert International Airport and downtown St. Louis as attractive “reasons” to consider the area. It should also be noted that the local small businesses frequently band together to support the growth of the city and each other.

If you are a student, the close proximity to the University of Missouri – St. Louis makes commuting to school easy and affordable. With the availability of the Metro Bus in the neighborhood and Metro Link stops on campus, it is also easy for students to get around the St. Louis metropolitan area without owning a car.

For a list of Ferguson open houses and Ferguson homes for sale, be sure to visit www.discoverstl.com or call your local Prudential Select Properties agent for a personalized home buying or selling plan.

Festus – Crystal City, Missouri Real Estate

Festus and Crystal City are often referred to as the Twin Cities as they are separated only by a street. Affordable housing, new shopping centers, and lots of beautiful open space abound. Town festivals include the Firecracker festival in June and Twin City Days in September as well a Christmas Parade in December.

Are you looking to move to an area with traditional values, but don’t want to move too far away from the action?  Festus and Crystal City, Mo. are affordable, convenient and wholesome options for any family looking to purchase a home.  These sister cities are located in the Jefferson County area of Missouri. According to the St.Louis mulitiple listing service, the median sale price for a home in Festus is about $130,500, while the median sale price for a home in Crystal City is $123,500.

Festus and Crystal City real estate are highly desirable locations for families. The Twin Cities Chamber of Commerce states on their website, “People move here to live and raise children in a small-town atmosphere and safety with many local conveniences, but are still able to utilize Interstate 55 for a quick commute to St. Louis County.”  The website also points out that there are plenty of things to do, which includes recreational opportunities available at local parks and the Jefferson County YMCA.

I-55, which serves as the main highway for access to both cities, has witnessed tremendous commercial growth in recent years. This brings the conveniences of retail shopping and familiar restaurant chains to homeowners.  The healthy expansion of services can be seen on other major thoroughfares as well.  For instance, both the Lowe’s and Home Depot hardware companies host stores in Festus.

Affordable housing prices may make purchasing a new home a fantastic option for purchasers that desire to live outside urban St. Louis real estate.  Currently, there are a variety of styles that can be built in Truman Village, which is located in Festus.  If a new home isn’t for you, both cities offer existing neighborhoods that will appeal to a variety of tastes. Be sure to check with your Prudential Select Properties agent for Festus and Crystal City, Mo. homes for sale, along with open houses in the area.

St. Louis Real Estate Market Conditions

The 1st quarter of 2013 has been very exciting for the St. Louis area real estate market. 

Compared to last year, every Prudential Select Properties office has increased sales and the total company sales are up 36%! Listing inventory is down and buyers are anxious for new listings. The outlook for sellers has improved dramatically in one year. Showings on our listings are terrific. The average property is being shown twice as often as it was a year ago.

What is happening with home prices in the St. Louis area real estate market?

At Prudential Select Properties our average price for 1st quarter sales in 2013 is up 14% compared to 1st quarter 2012. The numbers definitely show an improvement of the Saint Louis real estate market.

What should real estate agents do to take advantage of the current market conditions?

For St. Louis area real estate agents it is a great time to increase your contacts with your SOI. Use email and follow up with personal contact. It never hurts to ask for business, especially when rates are still low and housing is in demand. Remind those that have been waiting to sell, that now is the time as sellers will be pleased by the buyer activity.

Enjoy this great Spring Market in 2013.

George Bruns
President & CEO
Prudential Select Properties

Eureka, Missouri Real Estate

Are you looking for your next home to be located near outdoor recreational opportunities, yet want to maintain quick access to the metropolitan area?  Eureka, Missouri may be an excellent place for your next home.  According to the St. Louis multiple listing service, the median sale price for a home in Eureka, Mo. is $210,000.

Eureka earned its name via joyous builders for Missouri Pacific Railroad that cried “Eureka” when they saw the layout of the land for the passageway through the area, declares the city’s website.  Located on the outskirts of metropolitan St. Louis real estate on I- 44 in Franklin County, Eureka has grown in recent years to include a wider selection of restaurants and commercial properties. However, the country charm of the area remains with the luxurious views that can be seen in rolling hills covering much of Eureka, Mo. real estate.

If you love the outdoors, there is plenty to do in Eureka or in the surrounding areas. Several golf courses can be found, along with ample conservation areas.  The Endangered Wolf Center is on the other side of the Meramec River off Antire Road. Tours of the facility are available by reservation several days a week throughout most of the year. Greensfelder Park, Route 66 Park, Lone Elk Park, Rockwoods Reservation and the World Bird Sanctuary are also nearby.

The commute to St. Louis from Eureka can be comfortable. From the edge of the city, you can arrive in the middle of downtown St. Louis within about 30 minutes.  Eureka, Mo. homes for sale vary in architectural design.  You may find older homes or newly built ones.  If you are considering a custom built home, there are lots available in areas like “The Bluffs at Hoene Springs.” For a list of Eureka open houses, please visit www.discoverstl.com or call your Prudential Select Properties (PSP) agent.

St. Ann, Missouri Real Estate

If you are looking for a great spot for your work commute, St. Ann offers affordable and convenient housing options. The price also makes it appealing.  According to the St. Louis multiple listing service, the median sale price for a home in St. Ann, Mo. is $60,000.

St. Ann began in the early forties during a time of tremendous growth for the area.  According to stannmo.org, “Studies that were conducted revealed that a lot of the family heads during this time were World War II veterans and other returning servicemen that found St. Ann was a young thriving community with moderately priced homes and attractive areas to raise their families.” It was a place where family and church were a priority.

The layout of St. Ann real estate reflects this family-centered approach.  Neighborhoods are neatly designed with many homes in easy walking distance to St. Charles Rock Road. Originally, many of the families may have chosen to live near their “parish.” The bungalow architecture of the homes is typically compact and efficient, which can be of either frame or brick construction. When first constructed, many of the homes would have had one full bath and two to three bedrooms.  You may find that some homeowners have built additions either in the back of the structures or have added a second floor. If available, garages will be detached in St. Ann homes for sale. Zoysia grass is a common element in the often spacious yards.

When considering purchasing St. Louis real estate, one of the highlights of St. Ann is the access to public transportation.  MetroBus travel is plentiful with expedient connections to the MetroLink, which provides convenient travel into St. Louis. Lambert International Airport is also easily accessible by bus from St. Ann.

For a list of St. Ann open houses or to see St. Ann homes for sale, please visit www.discoverstl.com or call your Prudential Select Properties agent.

University City, Missouri Real Estate

For those that crave a neighborhood that is culturally rich and vibrant, University City, Missouri real estate is a fantastic opportunity for your next home. According to Zillow.com, the median sales price for a home in University City is currently $245,000, according to the St. Louis multiple listing service. If you’ve been hesitating to explore your options, the New Year is a great time to begin your journey.

Famous for its fantastic restaurants and live music scene, University City is a hub for artistic endeavors.  An area known as the Delmar Loop that integrates University City with the edge of St. Louis City is a favorite for those that love to explore small shops or feast on multicultural flavors.   “An energizing and eclectic entertainment and shopping district, The Loop offers six blocks of exhilarating retail, restaurants, live music, café culture, and even a Walk-Of-Fame,” boasts visittheloop.com.

The love affair with this unique section of St. Louis real estate began around the time of the 1904 World’s Fair that was held in nearby Forest Park.  According to www.ucity.org, magazine publisher Edward Gardner Lewis purchased the land to be known as University City in 1902 and opened the still undeveloped “residential community with comfortable homes for people of an upper middle class” to campers for the event. Lewis would later build the headquarters for his magazine empire in University City, which currently serves as City Hall.

University City homes for sale range greatly in pricing and architecture, which is reflective of the different neighborhoods that make up this older community.  Whether you desire cozy affordability or something of an ornate size, you can find it in “U City.” Your Prudential Select Properties agent can create a personalized list of University City open houses and property for sale. Visit us at www.discoverstl.com for more information.

Kirkwood, Missouri Real Estate

From the 119-year-old train station to the bustling business district filled with restored architecture, Kirkwood, Missouri is a community steeped rich in history.

A short commute from downtown St. Louis, the accessibility of Kirkwood has always appealed to those seeking something more from St. Louis real estate.  “As the first planned suburb west of the Mississippi River, and an early railroad commuter suburb, Kirkwood owes its very existence to the railroad,” according to the City of Kirkwood website.

It is this accessibility and the smart design of the walkable community that continues to attract new residents.  For instance, quaint shops and restaurants line Kirkwood Road, along with nearby housing that ranges from urban condos to historic homes.  For those interested in fresh produce, the Kirkwood Farmer’s Market on East Jefferson is a favorite of residents and visitors alike.

Kirkwood real estate is the perfect mixture of history and progress. Bountiful amenities can be found around town. Residents have access to a vast assortment of facilities to include a community center with an ice rink, gym, theater and more.  If you are a nature lover, be sure to check out the plentiful parks and the community garden.

Educational institutions include the Kirkwood School District, St. John Vianney High School (a private Catholic institution), St. Peter School (Catholic preschool and elementary education), Christ Community Lutheran School (K-8), nearby St. Louis Community College-Meramec and others.

Experience the richness of an established community by choosing Kirkwood for your next home purchase. Your Prudential Select Properties agent can help you live your dreams by introducing you to the variety of Kirkwood homes for sale. Your PSP agent will also be happy to guide you through a list of Kirkwood open houses that is customized to your specific needs.  Let us be your local choice for the finest in St. Louis real estate.

Boulevard Heights, St. Louis Real Estate

If you are looking for a nice neighborhood that is home to green space, quality necessary services and is filled with pedestrian paths, check out Boulevard Heights, Missouri. The Boulevard Heights Neighborhood Association claims that Boulevard Heights is the safest residential neighborhood in the entire city of St. Louis. Many cops, firemen and city employees that have to live in the city due to residency requirements live here. Compared to other St. Louis city neighborhoods, Boulevard Heights is most reminiscent of the county or a mid-century suburb.

Boulevard Heights is a neighborhood in south Saint Louis, Missouri bound roughly by Holly Hills/Loughborough on the north, highway 55 on the East, the St. Louis city limits (Weber Road) on the south and Gravois Road on the West.

Boulevard Heights neighborhood has mixed architecture styles including gingerbread-style cottages, mid-century ranches and two-stories, duplexes, large homes with turrets, post-war frame houses and more. Though most homes in the neighborhood are brick, some near the southern edge are just sided. The site of the former city greenhouses was converted to a new housing area called Boulevard Heights. It has lots available for constructing new single family homes and already has constructed new town homes and condos.

A section of the Great Rivers Greenway trail called River Des Peres Greenway passes through Boulevard Heights. What was once a boring stretch of unused land now has a trail flanked by trees that is often filled with bikers, dog walkers and joggers enjoying the paths and adding vibrancy to the area. The River Des Peres Greenway trail runs along River Des Peres extending from Lansdowne Avenue to Interstate 55 along the River des Peres, with a one-mile neighborhood connector—the Christy Greenway stretching from Germania Avenue to Holly Hills Boulevard.  The greenway also connects to the on-street Bike St. Louis system at Holly Hills Boulevard and the Lansdowne MetroLink station.

Though not actually part of Boulevard Heights, the large and beautiful Carondelet Park sits on the northern edge of the neighborhood. Walkers and joggers will love the newer jogging trail that has been added. Similarly the newly expanded Loughborough Commons shopping center is enjoyed by Boulevard Heights residents but is not actually part of Boulevard Heights as it sits on the Eastern edge of the neighborhood.

Some of the businesses in Boulevard Heights include: Gyro Company, Apollonia, The Haven, Garavaglia’s Hilltop Inn, The Sno-Cone stand at Morgan Ford and Loughborough, QT, Papa Johns, China King, Elicia’s Pizza, South Side Cyclery, Marketplace Café, Plumbers Supply, Dollar Tree, Auto Zone, Save-A-Lot, Pizza Hut, Club Fitness, CVS and Steak and Shake to name a few.

Interested in seeing Boulevard Heights real estate or checking out some Boulevard Heights open houses? Contact a Prudential Select Properties agent today.