Friday, August 29, 2008

Missouri Real Estate Getting Ready to Rebound

Just released from Freddie Mac is the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.40 percent with an average 0.6point for the week ending August 21, 2008, down from last week when it averaged 6.47 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.67 percent.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 5.93 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 6.00 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 6.12 percent.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 6.03 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 5.99 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 6.35 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 5.33 percent this week with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 5.29 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.84 percent.

"Interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages continue to drift down as reports of economic weakness persist. July's leading economic indicators fell by more than the market consensus and manufacturing slowed in both the Philadelphia and Richmond regions. ARM rates, on the other hand, rose slightly after the Federal Reserves Open Market Committee hinted it might increase the overnight bank lending rate in its August 5th minutes," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.

However, the housing front is providing some encouraging signs. The pace of home price declines slowed down for the fourth straight month in June and the number of metro areas exhibiting monthly gains rose from seven to nine, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller® 20-city composite index. There are also signs more buyers may be getting ready to return to the market. The Conference Board says the share of households planning to buy a home within six months is now at its highest level since March. At the same time, the supply for unsold new homes is down to 10.1 months, the lowest since February, as single-family existing homes (excluding condos and co-ops) start to sell more quickly. Although, when condos and co-ops are included, the resale inventory did edge up."
Although St. Louis, Mo is not included in the 20 city reporting market all local Real Estate News has been positive. New home permits are up, Realtors are noticing more traffic through Open Houses and calls are up. Although the housing market is not out of the woods yet, most fellow practicioners are predicting another six months of minimum gains.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Jefferson County Meth Lab Information

Meth Lab Seizures The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office provides this information as a public service. It contains the addresses of some locations where the Sheriff’s Office has found chemicals or other items that indicated the presence of clandestine drug laboratories, glassware seizures, or dumpsites. Members of the public must verify the accuracy of all entries. No warranty, representation or guaranty is made or implied regarding the content, sequence, accuracy, timeliness or completeness of the data provided herein. The public should not act or refrain from acting based on entries on this website. The Sheriff’s Office does not establish, implement, enforce, or certify compliance with clean-up or remediation standards for contaminated sites; the public should contact a state or local health department or environmental protection agency for that information. The Sheriff’s Office does not accept responsibility or liability for damages of any kind resulting from reliance on an entry or lack of an entry on this website. If you believe that any of the information found in these records is in error, please contact the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at P.O. Box 100, Hillsboro, Missouri 63050 or (636) 797-5000.

Four Tips for Buying A Foreclosure

Driving down every street in the St. Louis, Mo. area you see foreclosures. Because you don't have any disclosures or information from the previous owner, purchasing one greatly reduces your protection. If it says AS-IS then realize it is AS-IS.

From Consumer Reports magazine, here are four ways you can protect yourself if you’re in the market for a foreclosed home:

1. Don’t pay a fee for property listings. You can find free information on foreclosed homes in your area by checking with a local agent. Usually there will be someone who specializes in foreclosed properties at the broker’s office. This person is a great free resource.

2. Invest in a home inspection. This is always a good idea whenever you buy a house, but for a foreclosed property it is especially the case. The property may have been vandalized. Fixtures and appliances may be missing. Also, with utilities shut off it will be impossible to test for the water pressure in the shower. Try to arrange for the utilities to be turned on before you buy. The inspection will cost between $250 and $400, but it will end up saving you if there is a problem with the home’s structure or its systems.

3. Don’t assume the sale is final. In some states, a previous homeowner may have up to 180 days after the foreclosure to pay any outstanding debts and reclaim the home even if it has been bought by someone else.

4. Buy some title insurance. The title insurance will protect you against any liens that you might not know about. It will also prevent a previous owner from making a successful claim on the house after you buy it.

Purchasing a foreclosure can be a great experience. Using an experienced Agent who has a working relationship with the Bank can greatly increase your success ratio.

The H Team has handled foreclosure properties for over 5 years and will assist buyers in overcoming most hurdles associated with purchasing a foreclosure property.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Fox C-6 Dumps Soda Machines

FOX C-6: Zero Coke and Pepsi as soda machines removed

By Trish Wallace of The Jefferson County Journal
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In an effort to promote healthy choices at its campuses, the Fox C-6 School District will remove soda machines from all of the schools in the district.

The administration at each school had the freedom to use the money brought in by the machines as desired in relation to students and the school.

At Seckman Middle School, for example, the money was used to sponsor student rewards, especially for reading projects."Obviously we'll miss the money from these machines, but that pales in comparison to make sure kids are eating healthy," said David Black, principal at Seckman Middle School.

However, Fox Superintendent Dianne Brown said the soda machines will be replaced with new beverage choices. At the elementary schools, carbonated soft drinks will be replaced with Dasani water. At the middle schools, Dasani water and a variety of 10-ounce Minute Maid juices will replace the sodas and sports drinks.

For Fox and Seckman high achools, students will now have the option of only diet carbonated soft drinks, Powerade Zero, Vitamin Water, Dasani water and juices.

"The primary goal of the Fox C-6 School District's wellness program is to promote student health, reduce overweight and obesity, facilitate student learning of lifelong healthy habits and increase student achievement," Brown said.

The soda machines were generally turned off during school hours, only accessible when classes ended.

Brown anticipates that the same number of machines will be available as before at the schools, and she said that with the exception of the Vitamin Water machines for the high schools, the changeover is nearly complete.

Latest Home Value Trends for the St. Louis Area

According to Zillow's most recent Real Estate Market Report, home values in the U.S. decreased 9.9% in the second quarter of 2008, compared to the second quarter of 2007
Led by Fenton, MO with a loss of 8% and the median home price at $181,000.
Next is Foristell showing a 7.1% decrease and the median price at $254,000.
Additional St. Louis, Missouri cities;

Valley Park Down 5.9% Median Price $176,000
Eureka Down 5.8% Median Price $223,000
Ballwin Down 5.5% Median Price $224,000
Maryland Hgts. Down 5.1% Median Price $158,000
St. Louis City Down 4.4% Median Price $143,000
Webster Groves Down 4.0% Median Price $235,000
Manchester Down 4.0% Median Price $208,000
Chesterfield Down 2.7% Median Price $353,000
St. Charles Down 2.3% Median Price $187,000
St. Peters Down 2.2% Median Price $168,000
O'Fallon Down 1.2% Median Price $205,000

While most home owners are in denial, this REPORT proves it's true:
According to Zillows just-released Q2 Homeowner Confidence Survey, 62% of U.S. homeowners believe their home's value has increased or stayed the same in the past year. Surveying 1300 home owners Zillow In reality, 77% of U.S. homes have declined in value over the past 12 months!

Although some news in the last few days has shown promise, I think we have a little ways to go before the market begins to start showing gains.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Japenese Garden Festival at Shaws Garden

The end of summer and looking for something to do?
Since the mid 70's Shaws Garden has been hosting the Japenese Garden Festival.
An event that offers a lot of opportunities to learn about Japan's culture, art, food and the music. Also you can watch Sumo wrestling, Judo, Karate, and even Zen meditation.
Maybe you've seen Bonsai trees, minature trees and plants that are specially pruned to limit how big they become.
It's a great place for the children too. Offering lots of activities including calligraphy, top spinning, and traditional Japanese games of kendama, otedama, menkom, and fuki-warai.
You can participate in the creation of various Japanese crafts in an ongoing workshop offered by several crafters including Origami, hari-eh (Chigiri-eh, torn pictures), paper crafts, pottery, kimekomi dolls, kumihimo, tamari, shibori, ikat, and more.
One of our favorite places to visit is Seiwa-en, the “Garden of pure, clear harmony and peace.” One of the largest traditional Japanese gardens in North America, Seiwa-en covers 14 acres, including a 4-acre lake. Modeled on the chisen kaiyu-shiki, or “wet strolling garden,” a style developed by wealthy landowners of the late Edo period in 19th century Japan, Seiwa-en incorporates many principles of Japanese aesthetics drawn from Zen Buddhism, such as suggestion, naturalness, and asymmetry.
You can take a tour. Tours begin every half hour near the boat-shaped basin at the north entrance to the Japanese Garden, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The festival is held over Labor Day weekend. Saturday–Sunday, August 30, 31. 10:00 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Grounds open at 9 a.m. and remain open until 10 p.m. for candlelight walks.
Monday (Labor Day), September 1 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Costs are very reasonable, Admission (ages 13–64) $10 Seniors (ages 65+) $7 Children (ages 3–12) $3 Garden members, $3 (free for members' children 3–12)
Plan on arriving early before the crowds arrive. Located just North of Tower Grove Park.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Favorite Wine Bars in St. Louis, MO.

Regardless of what type of wine you enjoy here are a few located in and around the Saint Louis area.

While in Saint Charles stop by and visit The Vine , located at 325 S.Main. Elegance is the name of the game at The Vine, a wine bar and bistro on Main Street in St. Charles. With over 110 wines available, you'll have fun sampling pleasure either by the bottle or glass. Plenty of outside seating is available, including a fine courtyard in back where you'll enjoy an afternoon lunch or sit-down dinner.

Going to The Delmar Loop then you gotta try Riddle's Penultimate Cafe & Wine Bar What makes Riddles Penultimate Cafe so unique? An ever-changing menu filled with perfected recipes. Most restaurants stick to one "theme" or type of food, but the owner of Riddle's opts instead to add whatever dishes he pleases. Aside from the menu, the list of wines at the wine bar is also in flux, with frequent additions. And, for those wondering, they do have more than just a wine bar; there's also a variety of beers and liquor. If that wasn't enough, Check out the live music schecule- they've got it going on six nights a week, and always without a cover.

While near Tower Grove Park in South Saint Louis one of our favorites is Eartowines If you're not looking you may drive right by this place but if you stop in you'll find an elegant, if slightly understated high-end wine bar. There’s an extensive wine list, but your non-wino friends will also have a good time. There’s a wide selection of specialty beers and cocktails, as well as a small but savory menu that includes cheeses and appetizers, pizzettas and desserts. There’s also live music at Erato all the time, so sit back and relax!

Or just a short drive away in my old nieghborhood of Lafayette Square stop by 33 Wine Bar Just don't blink or you may miss this little diamond. With a wine list boasting more than 700 different labels, choosing one can be a daunting task. Luckily, you've got a lot of help at 33. It also serves more than 40 different microbrews and imported beers... as well a selection of single malt scotches and small batch bourbons. Satellite radio pumps out a continuous stream of blues and jazz, giving the clean, minimalistic front bar an urbane feel. When the sun is shining, tote your bottle of wine out to the bar's rear patio.

So, the next time you're looking to try something new stop in one of our favorite wine bars.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

4 Bedroom in Arnold, Mo. Near Defense Mapping

The Helderle Team | REMAX Best Choice | 314 267-4842

Wild Fire Court, Arnold, MO
Strawberry Ridge Subdivision
4BR/2.5BA Single Family House
offered at $298,000
Year Built 2006
Sq Footage 3,000
Bedrooms 4
Bathrooms 2 full, 1 partial
Floors 2
Parking Unspecified
Lot Size 10,018 sqft
HOA/Maint $0 per month


Located in beautiful Strawberry Ridge Subdivision in Arnold, Mo. Close to the Defense Mapping Agency. This brick front two story home with 2 story entry and hardwood flooring in foyer offers 4 bedrooms with a bonus loft room. All bedrooms have walk in closets. Master bedroom suite is 19x19 with vaulted ceiling and luxury bath. Jet tub, separate shower with seat and double bowl vanity in master bath. Kitchen has 42 inch cabinets with center island, cooktop, walk in pantry and stainless steel appliances. Great room is spacious and cozy with a gas fireplace and 5 bay window. Very open floor plan and 9' ceilings on main floor. Breakfast room walks out to nice deck that overlooks a private, level yard and wooded common ground. Full basement walks out to patio and can be easily finished. Home has intercom and security system as well as inground sprinkler system. The 3 car garage is oversized with room for boat, camper or work shop. Private lot at the end of a cul-de-sac Offered by the "H" Team of Remax B.C. If you're moving across the street or across country check out our free online moving tips Free Moving Tips Here

see additional photos below

Central A/CCentral heatFireplace
High/Vaulted ceilingWalk-in closetHardwood floor
Family roomLiving roomBonus/Rec room
Office/DenDining roomBreakfast nook
Stainless steel appliancesAtticBasement
Laundry area - garageBalcony, Deck, or PatioYard


Garage parkingGuest parkingClubhouse
Swimming pool(s)Lake


3 Car Oversized Garage. Room for boat, camper or workshop. Private lot on cul de sac.
Over 2,700 square feet, walk out lower level to patio.


Seller contact info:

The Helderle Team
REMAX Best Choice
314 267-4842
For sale by agent/broker

powered by postlets Equal Opportunity Housing
Posted: Aug 14, 2008, 9:28am PDT

Benton Park Condo near Soulard

The Helderle Team | REMAX Best Choice | 314 267-4841

Sidney Street, Saint Louis, MO
Townhome in Benton Park. Two blocks to Soulard. Great area with new restaurants and shops on the same block. Nicely updated with main floor master bed
2BR/1BA Single Family House
offered at $138,000
Year Built 1900
Sq Footage 1,100
Bedrooms 2
Bathrooms 1 full, 0 partial
Floors 2
Parking Unspecified
Lot Size Unspecified
HOA/Maint $0 per month


HUGE PRICE REDUCTION.....Benton Park Townhome, a short walk to Soulard. Minutes from downtown Saint Louis. Nicely Updated 2 bedroom townhome. Main floor laundry with stack washer and dryer. Main floor master bedroom. Nice bath with jet tub, separate shower and double bowl vanity. Kitchen offers center island with stone counter tops and 42 inch custom cabinets. Stainless appliances(refrigerator, dishwasher, disposal, built-in microwave). All appliances stay including washer and dryer. Slate tile flooring in kitchen. Hardwood floors and exposed brick in livingroom. Newer furnace and water heater. Surround sound and alarm system. Great price for this townhome. Conveniently located in Benton Park and close to restaurants and entertainment as well as Soulard. See more pictures and search the MLS with a password protected portfolio here Saint Louis Homes

see additional photos below

Central A/CCentral heatHardwood floor
Tile floorDishwasherRefrigerator
Stove/OvenMicrowaveGranite countertop
Stainless steel appliancesWasherDryer
Laundry area - insideBalcony, Deck, or PatioJacuzzi/Whirlpool


Benton Park/Soulard area. Main floor master bedroom and laundry room.
Nicely updated kitchen and bath. New carpet.


Seller contact info:

The Helderle Team
REMAX Best Choice
314 267-4841
For sale by agent/broker

powered by postlets Equal Opportunity Housing
Posted: Aug 18, 2008, 4:18am PDT