Friday, December 20, 2013

Living and Playing In Festus Missouri

FESTUS MO


For those people who are looking to move to Dixieland, a small city in Missouri might be a place to consider. Festus, MO is a community that is nestled in the eastern part of the state. About 11,602 people considered it to be their home in the 2010 census, and the city offers the vibrant greenery of Jefferson County with its seven parks. This truly is a quaint town that would-be home buyers would want to consider moving to if they like a clean pleasant, area that is great to raise a family in
The median household income in Festus is comparable to the rest of the state at $45,500. This is because the cost of living tends to be much lower in Festus, with median home prices for a single family household at just above $100,000. Since real estate is much more affordable in Festus as compared to other cities, many people consider this to be a great city to start a family in. As a matter of fact the median age for the population in Festus is 35 years old
Many families will find annual events such as the “Campout with Friends” to be a great activity. This is an event that is held every single year in the West City Park Fairgrounds. Residents come to the event ready to enjoy a night outdoors. The event includes fun activities such as bonfires, music, games, and even a movie. You are more than welcome to bring your own camper or RV home and spend a night getting to know friends and neighbors. Food and drink are always welcome so this is a great time to grill to hamburgers or a few steaks and enjoy a glass of cola with it
For more young adult activities, Festus is also home to a brewing festival. This is a festival where local breweries and beer enthusiasts offer their best tasting beers for your enjoyment. Many times these festivals are home to fund raising activities, beer tasting competitions, prizes, and games. It is a great way to sample some really great tasting beer or even learn about the process of making beer or wines in general!
If you are considering moving to Festus, the Helderle Team and REMAX BEST CHOICE are there to help. They will be able to guide your through selecting the best home for you or your family and show you why Festus is a great place to live. The city offers a huge selection of really great affordable housing which is why it is such a wonderful community. This city has great schools, great parks, reliable city services, and a low crime rate. Plus the people of Festus have that well known southern charm that the Southern United States is famous for. The climate is generally pleasant to live in year round, and Missouri is a central location in the U.S. making it accessible to many great vacation spots.
Minutes from the attractions in downtown St. Louis including the Arch, Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals, Fox Theater, Washington and St. Louis University and Laclede Landing
For more information on Festus, Missouri visit Frank & Laurie of RE/MAX Best Choice
The Helderle Team 2013 © All Rights Reserved

Friday, December 13, 2013

Arnold, MO

ARNOLD, MISSOURI
A beautiful suburban community, located in Jefferson County, Arnold Missouri has much to offer. Explore Ozark country with its parks, rivers, and natural magnificence while you hike and fish. Visitors and residents alike can enjoy all the small town culture in Arnold MO. Dining, shopping, along with a diverse variety of churches, and award winning schools.
Want to get away to the city?
St. Louis with the Arch, Busch Stadium and all of its magnificence and attractions is only a few miles away, just north on Interstate 55.
Parks
Arnold city parks cover over 400 acres. Amenities like playgrounds, tennis courts, ball fields, and shelters offering family friendly fun. Arnold Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday at Arnold City Park providing fresh produce.
Recreation Center
The Arnold Recreation Center is a place for the community to socialize and join together. Children, teens, adults, families, and seniors are all welcomed. With fitness facilities, indoor and outdoor pool, meeting rooms and more, there are plenty of things to enjoy.
Activities
There is an upcoming 5K on Thanksgiving at the city park with portions of the proceeds going towards Arnold, MO., food pantry. With a performance of the Nutcracker coming in early December at Rickman auditorium on the Fox senior High Campus. There are plenty of extracurricular activities in Arnold that are fun and varied.
What are the Stats?
Median home price in Arnold is set at $119, 600. If you're thinking of moving to Arnold, MO Click Here To See Available Properties There are Twenty-three professional schools within thirty miles. Thirty-six movie theaters and over two thousand restaurants also exist within fifteen miles.
Economic development work is being done to help current businesses expand, attract new businesses, help with relocation, and improve commercial buildings. The city is growing and improving. The population is expected to increase around 9% over the next few years.
Whether you are looking for quality schools, reasonable real estate, or that small town feel added with convenience, Arnold MO may just be the place to look.
The Helderle Team 2013 © All Rights Reserved

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Buying a Home In Saint Louis, MO.


Are you interested in buying a new home in St. Louis, Missouri? If you are, you are definitely not alone. When planning and purchasing a home you may find that in addition to a wide range of choices you are also faced with an extreme and vast array of pricing options for your home needs. You should establish a budget before going out to look for your dream home in St. Louis and buy a Home or Real Estate that suits both the requirements you wish and within your purchasing power. The good news is that there are home's available that will meet most budgets; and you should be able to find the one you like.
Although owning a brand new home is nice and exciting, homes, particularly new ones, can get quite pricey. The first things that you will want to do is ask yourself if you wish to buy a new home, how much you can afford? Normally you will ask your Realtor for a referral of a local lender that can help you make that decision.
The location, features and condition of the home is something that should be taken into consideration, when looking to buy a new home.
The above mentioned points are just a few of the many points that you should keep in mind, when looking to buy a home. This is why you need to make sure that you read carefully and know exactly the steps to buying a home in St. Louis, Mo and benefits to purchasing a home in St. Louis.
Steps To Buying A Home
Step 1:
Visit. STLMoHomes.com to create and set up a home search that will notify you anytime a property meeting your criteria comes onto the St. Louis, MO., MLS.
Step 2:
Drive by the St. Louis homes you may have some interest in. Look at the exterior condition, drive through the neighborhood., check out neighborhood conveniences. grocery stores, shopping centers, theaters, schools, etc.
Step 3:
Review the St. Louis MLS listing to get a better idea of each property for sale. Determine if the house is worth the money you have budgeted, STLMOHomes.com will create a market analysis showing sold comparative's.
Step 4:
Have your STLMoHomes.comwrite an offer and include all items you want included with the property. Also include any repairs you determine need to be taken care of. Maybe you see a leaking drain or a busted screen, requesting theses items in your offer will help your negotiating advantages.
Step 5:
Once a contract is accepted schedule and attend a building inspection. Don't skimp by asking Uncle Harvey to check it out, hire an ASHI certified inspector. He will go through the house top to bottom and check things Uncle Harvey would of never even thought about. Follow the inspector around, ask questions. Once all inspections are complete you should be ready to escrow /close on your purchaser an move in.
Benefits To Purchasing A Home In St. Louis.
1. Freedom - The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and be able to benefit from your investment for as long as you own the home.
2. Stability - Remaining in one neighborhood for several years gives you a chance to participate in community activities, lets you and your family establish lasting friendships
3. Appreciation - We're talking about the financial kind. Homes are considered a safe, steady investment, with values that rise while debt amount drops.
4. Peace of Mind - Most importantly, purchasing a home in St. louis will bring an invaluable sense of security. Owning your home outright means never having to worry about covering your mortgage. In the face of disaster, such as job loss or injury, full ownership eliminates the risk of losing your home to foreclosure. Moreover, if you have paid with all cash, you will have excellent equity in the house. In case of financial emergency, you can draw on that equity for quick cash.
5.Borrowing Power - For owners who opt to stay put, equity still comes in handy. It can be used to secure a loan or obtain a line of credit, meaning "more buying power to fund home improvements or to assist with the purchasing of investment property.
Buying your St. Louis home with STLMOHomes.com will insure a hassle free transaction and many happy years in your new St. Louis, MO., home.

The Helderle Team 2013 © All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Central West End of St. Louis: What to Do, Where to Go, and What to See



Central West End of St. Louis: What to Do, Where to Go, and What to See
Extending from Midtown’s western tip down to Union Boulevard, the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis is one of the city’s most affluent communities and home to an array of free attractions, as well as being the “heart of the city”. For example, this wealthy neighborhood is home to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, which has the largest collection of mosaics in the world, as well as Forest Park, and the quaint turn-of-the-century lamp posts and cobblestone streets that give the neighborhood its historic atmosphere. This community also has many residential areas, some of which are actually listed on the National Register of Historical Places, such as Westminster Place and Washington Terrace.
Central West End was historically the home of playwright Tennessee Williams, and also of poet T.S. Eliot. The 1904 World’s Fair—held in nearby Forest Park—gave Central West End even more popularity and its population grew after the fair was over and many of the fair’s visitors stayed in the area. The neighborhood is now a mix of residential areas and a commercial/retail space that is located along Euclid Avenue, stretching from Forest Park Parkway, Delmar Boulevard, and also many restaurants are nestled in the Euclid/McPherson and Euclid/Laclede areas. Maryland Plaza is another area with many of the neighborhood’s restaurants and shops, including resident favorites like Brasserie by Niche, Scottish Arms, Atlas, and Herbie’s Vintage 72.
This scenic and historic community also has other tourist attractions, other than just restaurants and shopping; the Saint Louis Public Library Schlafly Branch is located here, on Lindell Boulevard; the architecture of the historic homes and buildings is a tourist destination in itself, including the large homes in Westminster Place, built from 1890 until 1910, and also homes in Washington Terrace which date back to 1892; and Chase Park Plaza, located at Kingshighway between Lindell Street and Maryland Plaza, features hotels, opulent private homes, a movie theater, restaurants, and banquet facilities.
Nightlife is a plus in the neighborhood as well, with lots of great bars and pubs along Laclede Avenue, Euclid, and Maryland Plaza, including popular favorites like Rosie’s Place, Luna, Bar Italia, Club 34, Bad Dog Saloon, and the Viva Club.
Demographically, the Central West End neighborhood consists of mainly Caucasians (58%), with a mix of African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics. The median household income was $64k as of 2012, with a home value of around $115k. Many of the homes in the historic residential areas are large, built in the mid 1900s, and several are on the National Register of Historic Places. Tourists are drawn to these large homes set along quaint cobblestone streets that truly give this “heart of the city” of St. Louis its reputation for being the best area for living, living it up, and enjoying the nightlife.

Visit Frank & Laurie at STL MO HOMES
Frank J. Helderle St. Louis, MO June 2013 ©

St. Louis Hills Community Has a Rich Past and is a Popular Location for Families

St. Louis Hills Community Has a Rich Past and is a Popular Location for Families
This neighborhood’s motto is “Country Living in the City” and sums up the popularity and atmosphere of St. Louis Hills. Located east of Hampton Avenue and southeast of Gravois Avenue, St. Louis Hills is a coveted neighborhood, with many attractions including two parks (Francis Park and Willmore Park), the famed Ted Drewes Frozen Custard shop, and also dozens of small businesses. The neighborhood is mostly residential, however, and is a popular location for young families and busy professionals who work in nearby communities or downtown.
St. Louis Hills has a rich history, having been first developed during the 30s, but the area actually dates back to mid-1700s when the land was deeded to French colonists, Madame Ann Camp and Anton Reihle by Pierre Laclede. The area remained mostly remote, with only a few residents until the 1930s when development really started. Cyrus Crane Willmore (whom the park is named) was the visionary builder of the St. Louis Hills neighborhood; he initially came to St. Louis in 1912 after he graduated from the University of Illinois’s law school and then worked for a realty firm until 1922, when he decided to start his own company. It was his goal to turn St. Louis Hills into a tree-lined residential area for families, with churches and schools, and plenty of parks for residents to enjoy. His English heritage was evident in the names of streets in the neighborhood: Nottingham Avenue and Devonshire Avenue are just a few. There are many great attractions in this neighborhood, including two popular parks (Francis Park and Willmore Park), the famous custard shop, nice restaurants, and events like concerts, festivals, and family activities at the parks. Tourists who come to St. Louis take in the beautiful architecture in this neighborhood; be sure to check out the Arts & Crafts-style homes along Eichelberger Street, and north of Eichelberger are houses, apartment complexes, and duplexes, most of which were built in the 30s and 40s. One home in particular stands out, as it was built with eight sides and is a striking house to look at. The Vedder apartment building on Nottingham Avenue is one of the neighborhoods architectural landmarks, with art deco details, circular windows, curved corners, and stunning brick work. Also on Nottingham Avenue are homes that showcase the neighborhood’s famous architecture; plenty of porthole-style windows, glass block trim, and stunning zigzag brick work.
Demographically, St. Louis Hills’ residents are primarily Caucasians (94%), and also a smaller number of African Americans (2%), and Hispanics (2%). The average household income of the residents was approximately $54k in 2010, and a median home value of $219k. This safe and diverse neighborhood is an ideal location for families, busy business professionals looking for a nice place to live that is near their workplace, and also retirees who want a serene, picturesque community in which to spend their golden years. Tourists also enjoy this area, thanks to the stunning architecture, the parks, and the many events the community hosts.
Visit Frank & Laurie today at STLMOHOMES.com

The Helderle Team
2013 © All Rights Reserved

Monday, October 14, 2013

10 Items To Check Before Buying A Home

10 Items to Check Before Buying A House Buying a house is a big investment. Deciding to purchase a house is not a decision that anybody takes lightly because of the costs involved. You want the perfect house, a house that will be your home for years to come. If you are looking for your perfect house in St. Louis, we will be happy to help you out, please visit the Helderle team today It is easy for homeowners to fall in love with the house before they even tour the inside. When you find a house that has the perfect yard, the right number of rooms in a layout that you love and a great location, it is easy to forget that what is below the surface is just as important as the curb appeal and the interior of the house. Buying a house on looks alone can be a very costly mistake, adding a huge cost on top of an already large sum of money that the homeowner has committed to. Yet, many homeowners have purchases houses based on the looks along and then need to spend thousands of dollars in repairs shortly after buying the house. You do not want your dream house to turn into a money pit so you always need to check out several important features prior to buying a house. It is a common misconception that you only need to carefully inspect older houses. Do not be lulled into that line of thinking! Newer houses are just as prone to having problems as older ones. It is important to check the items on this list for both new and older houses. By taking a look at several key areas in the house that are prone to becoming a problem areas, you can help to determine if this is the house that you want and if you should go ahead and pay for the cost of a house inspection or if you should keep looking at houses. If you are having trouble finding a house that is right for your family, contact the Helderle team at STLMOHOMES.com, they know St. Louis and the surrounding area and can help you find a house that suits your needs at the best possible price.
10 Essential Items To Check Before Buying A Home
Avoid the necessity of paying for costly home repairs shortly after moving into your new house. These ten items are very easy to check when you are looking at a potential home for your family. Taking the time to do these will save you money in the long run. If the current homeowners are reluctant to let you check any of the following, that is a huge red flag.
· Test the tap water – Not all water is created equal, especially if it comes out of pipes that are old and corroded. A quick sip of water can tell you if you might need to redo the plumbing. By filling a clean, clear glass with water, direct from the tap you can see if the water is clear, and you can taste it to see how it tastes. Sometimes off tasting water is due to the city water supply, but it can be from old pipes. At any rate, if the water tastes or looks off, you know to take a close look at the plumbing.
· Check the drains – Sewer line backups are common problems, especially in areas where there are lots of trees or with older pipes and water lines. This is fairly easy to check for; fill up the tub and a few of the sinks and then let them drain at the same time. If the water line is bad, you will be able to easily tell.
· Check the faucets – Try all of the faucets in the house to make sure that they are all working and no leaks. Check to see that the stoppers work as well.
· Check the windows – This is often overlooked and replacing windows in a house can be costly. Check to see that the windows actually open without problems and that they are without cracks or other issues.
· Check the Fireplace – Ask to start a quick fire in the fireplace to see if the fireplace drafts correctly. Ask the family when the last time the chimney was cleaned; it is usually just the matter of giving it a good cleaning to get it back in good working order.
· Check the AC/heat – Turn on the AC and the heat to make sure that they work. It will save you time and money to make sure that they are working before you move in. Let them run for a bit to make sure that they work well, not just turn them on and turn them right back off.
· Check the toilets – Put a little bit of toilet paper in each of the toilets and flush them to ensure that they work well. Sticky handles are a fairly easy fix but toilets that back up with a little toilet paper are a bigger issue.
· Check the electrical panel – If the electrical panel is nicely labeled, that is a good sign. Look for a wire that look loose or frayed, that is a serious concern.
· Check the basement – Is the basement damp? Mold is a big concern to take a close look at the basement to make sure that there are no issues with dampness and moisture.
· Check under the carpet – Because they want the carpets to look nice for potential buyers, some owners may not let you do this, but it does not hurt to ask to see if you can pull up a corner of carpet in a closet to check the quality of the floor underneath the carpet.
Are you a buyer looking for homes in the St. Louis area? Take the hassle out of buying a home by using trusted experts. The Helderle team of realtors is here for you. If you have questions about buying property in St. Louis, we have answer for you; let us help you find your home today! Please visit the Helderle Team of St. Louis, MO.

Monday, September 30, 2013

St. Louis’s Shaw Neighborhood: One of the City’s Jewels and a Great Place to Live, Play and Visit



St. Louis’s Shaw Neighborhood: One of the City’s Jewels and a Great Place to Live, Play and Visit
Named for the man who founded the Missouri Botanical Gardens—Henry Shaw—the Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis (which is comprised of two smaller communities called Tower Grove Park and Shaw Gardens) is one of the city’s oldest intact neighborhoods in St. Louis’s historic districts. It’s also one of the communities in the city that is still in the throes of gentrification, thanks to the Shaw Neighborhood Housing Corporation which strives to both improve and promote different properties by working with developers, sponsors, realtors, and others.
The area was purchased from French settlers by Captain William Chambers in 1816, and then was bought by Henry Shaw, who was then only 19 years of age and had just arrived to the St. Louis area. Once there, Shaw built his large country home he named Tower Grover House and began work on his garden, now known as the Missouri Botanical Garden. Shaw is the main reason why there are such a variety of architecture as well as the many different types of residences: Two- and three-story homes are seen next to multifamily dwellings, churches, schools, and small businesses.
Present day Shaw is still seeing a lot of new development, including the progress on new apartments, and ongoing renovations on the neighborhood’s old homes and building. While some still remain boarded up and empty, many associations like the Shaw Neighborhood Improvement Association are trying to get new businesses into the community, since there are so many new young families that have come to the area; many residents feel this is the next phase for the community.
Attractions in Shaw are plentiful and include the Missouri Botanical Garden, the famous Shaw Art, all of the beautiful and historic homes along the Flora Place boulevard, the stunning churches like St. Margaret of Scotland, and the Tower Grove Park. Tower Grove Park is an attraction and special part of the city all on its own; it was originally part of Henry Shaw’s land but he donated it in 1868 to the city of St. Louis and is now around 289 acres. This park has 11 pavilions of different designs, including Victorian, as well as a lovely lily pond, gorgeous plants, the Piper Palm House, which is a bandstand and the site of special events and music, tennis courts, a wading pool, open expanses of grass for picnics or playing sports, softball and soccer fields, and pathways for walkers, joggers, and dog walkers. The park also features almost 400 species of flowering plants, trees, and bushes, plus it’s a wonderful place for birdwatching, especially in spring and fall. There are also lots of statues in the park, such as Christopher Columbus, Alexander von Humboldt, William Shakespeare, and famous musical composers.
The famed Historic Shaw Art Fair has been held in the community for 21 years; it brings together the whole neighborhood with great art from artists from across the country, food, music, and more. It is held in every October, and is an event that residents, artists, and tourists look forward to every year.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Clayton-Tamm Neighborhood of St. Louis: The “Dogtown” of the City



Clayton-Tamm Neighborhood of St. Louis: The “Dogtown” of the City
Known to locals as “Dogtown”, the Clayton-Tamm neighborhood of St. Louis is famous for its large population of Irish-Americans, and together with the smaller communities of Franz Park and Ellendale make up the famed Dogtown section of St. Louis. The annual Ancient Order of Hibernians St. Patrick’s Day Parade happens here it this famous neighborhood, which was first started in 1984 to showcase the variety of charities, donations, and offerings of the Irish people in the community. Located just on the western border of St. Louis, the neighborhood takes its name from the bisecting streets of Clayton Avenue and Tamm Avenue.
Historically, this Irish-American community started out as a parcel of land owned by the Spanish settlers of the area, and was later bought by Charles Gratiot in 1785 for growing things like tobacco, corn, and wheat. After his death the land was divided and given as inheritance. The major growth in the community really began in the late 19th century when coal and clay mining developed. Further growth was seen in 1904 when preparations began for the great World’s Fair. Attractions in “Dogtown” run the gamut from popular restaurants, bars and nightlife, a theater, art shops, and bakeries. There are also numerous attractions located nearby Dogtown, including Forest Park, which is just a short walk away, and the renowned St. Louis Zoo, and the Art Museum. There are also the Dogtown community garden, and various other restaurants, bars, and taverns to fit most any tourist who comes to the Dogtown area
Popular local attractions in the Clayton-Tamm neighborhood include: Horseshoe House (which has the famed “horseshoes” so beloved by residents of St. Louis), Amsterdam Tavern, Seamus McDaniels, Felix’s, Latitude (a Tex-Mex place), and Nora’s (a soup and sandwich shop). For families visiting the zoo, try having their famous fried chicken at Pat’s Bar & Grill, located at the corner of Tamm Ave and Oakland Ave. The Hi Pointe Movie Theater is a great place to catch the newest flick, take a look at some great pieces at The Dogtown Gallery and Frame Shop, or rejuvenate at Urban Breath Yoga studio. All of these great places are located right within Dogtown and can all be walked to within minutes.
Start off the day by having breakfast at Cadiera’s, then check out the gorgeous Dogtown community garden, which is south down near Manchester. Stop by the Dogtown Gallery and Frame Shop later, then have lunch at Seamus McDaniels or Felix’s, then take in the zoo or art museum. Demographically, the residents of Dogtown are primarily Caucasian (89%), with a smaller percentage of African American (6%), Asian (2%), and Hispanic (2%). The median home value in Dogtown is around $175k, and an average household income of approximately $41k. The safety here in Dogtown is low, especially in comparison to other neighborhoods, so the affording housing, low crime rate, great restaurants and bars, plus the close proximity to some awesome attractions like the zoo and art museum, make this neighborhood a popular destination for young families, young professionals, and even retirees.
The Helderle Team 2013 © All Rights Reserved

Friday, September 20, 2013

Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood: A Suburban Oasis in the City of St. Louis



Forest Park Southeast Neighborhood: A Suburban Oasis in the City of St. Louis Home to one of St. Louis’s most beautiful parks—a park that is even larger than NYC’s Central Park—Forest Park Southeast is a suburban oasis in the heart of St. Louis. There are actually many other parks within the community, like Adams Park, Eads Park, and Tambo Park. This neighborhood is a young, lively area, home to many families and singles, and features lots of attractions for residents and tourists. Universities, small businesses, restaurants, and shopping options are also at home in this diverse neighborhood.
Forest Park’s Historic District (currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places) features stunning turn-of-the-century architecture, including Colonial Revival and Romanesque styles. The district includes many different types of buildings, like homes, a meeting hall, a specialty store, and a religious structure. The history of the neighborhood dates back to the 1850s with the arrival of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, which made the neighborhood much easier to access. Major development of the area began at the beginning of the 20th century, and was marketed as the first true “subdivision” and an oasis for many of those who worked in downtown and other larger neighborhoods who wanted a quiet place to live with close proximity to their workplace. Commercial development of the community started during the 30s and 50s.
One of two of the neighborhood’s largest attractions is Forest Park, for whom the community is named. It is one of St. Louis’s largest parks, and is actually even larger than NYC’s famed Central Park. This park is home to the St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri History Museum, the St. Louis Science Center, the St. Louis Zoo, and the Muny, which is America’s largest outdoor theater. All these different attractions are located in the park, right in and nearby the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. Residents and tourists can take advantage of the museums, and the park’s natural attractions like lakes, walking and biking trails, lots of open space for events like picnics, weddings, and family reunions, and even annual events like the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis (held in late May/June) and the LouFest, which is a celebration of modern music and living “green” (held in August).
The St. Louis Zoo is a famed attraction in the city; it contains more than 18,000 exotic, rare and endangered species of animals, and an excess of 700 species that represents all of the countries of the world. It’s a free attraction that St. Louis natives and tourists can take advantage of year-round, except during holidays.
The neighborhood’s demographics are primarily African American (64%), Caucasian (30%), and Asian (2%). The average household income was around $43k in 2010, with a median home value of $148k. Although the crime rate in the community can be somewhat high than in other neighborhoods, efforts are slowly being made to revitalize the area, and a shift can be seen by the number of young families entering this neighborhood. Busy professionals, as well, are in this community, due to the proximity to downtown, and the low housing costs.
The Helderle Team 2013 © All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Improving Your Credit Score Top Ten Tips




10 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Credit Score People often do not understand how badly a bad credit score can hurt them until it is too late. If you are looking to buy a house, your credit score is a huge factor. There is nothing worse than finding the perfect house for your family and then discovering that your low credit score is a roadblock towards being able to get the house. Your credit is also important because it is how banks and finance companies determine mortgage rates. The better your credit score, the more favorable your mortgage terms will be. Finding a house that you like is only half of the battle, getting mortgage terms that are favorable is the other half.
Looking for a house in the St. Louis area? Finding a house is not always easy, you want the neighborhood to be good, and if you have children, you want a good school to be nearby. We want to help you find the perfect place for you and your family and we know St. Louis. We are a family team and our job is to help you find your next house, without the hassle and the stress. Visit us at www.realestatetrio.com and let us help you today! If you are worried about your credit score, there are things that you can do to improve your score. A low score can keep you from getting a good interest rate, or worse, a bank can even deny you because of it. You need to be thinking about your credit score before you buy a house, not discovering too late that you need to increase your score. If your credit score could use some improvement, follow the following to help your score improve, giving you a chance of getting better rates. Do not let bad credit derail your quest for a house.
Check Your Credit Report Do you know what is on your credit report? Many people do not. The problem with that is that if there is any incorrect information on your credit report, especially if it is negative, it will affect your credit. Removing incorrect information can help bring your score up, especially if you have incorrect information that is negative on there. You need to look for more than just information that is not yours. Pay close attention to what the balance owed and total line of credit for each creditor is correct. Consumers are allowed a free credit report every year. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to get your free copy of your credit report. From this site, you can get your credit report from all three credit agencies: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.
Balance Your Credit If you have a few cards that are close to being maxed out and a few with low balances, transfer some of the balance from the cards that are close to being maxed to a few cards with low balances. You do not need to transfer balances to every card, just a few. This is a short-term solution to help boost your credit score. Ideally, you need to pay off the accounts, but if you have high balances, this is a way to help spread the debt out, so it looks more balanced on your report.
Do Not Close Unused Accounts Part of your credit score is your utilization ratio. Your utilization ratio is your total debt divided by your available credit. Having cards that are unused and that have no balance will help your credit. If you do not want to use the accounts, do not carry the card with you to limit temptation, but leave the accounts open.
Keep Older Accounts If you have a lengthy credit history, your score is better. Closing old accounts that you do not use anymore can actually hurt you because it leaves you with newer credit lines only. Make sure to keep your oldest accounts active by using them every now and then and then paying off the balance quickly.
Bring Down Your Balances If you carry high balances on many cards and loans, your score will be lower. The bigger the difference between your credit limit and your actual credit balance, the better your score. It is tempting to pay off of the cards or loans with the highest interest rates first, but if you want to improve your score, pay off cards that have the highest balances first. Credit card debt affects your credit score more than installment loans, such as student loans, auto, and mortgages. Although it is important to pay off all debt, your credit card debt is very important.
Pay On Time Paying bills late, even if just by a few days, can negatively impact your credit score. It is vital that you pay your bills on time, every time. If you have trouble remembering to make payments on time, set up reminders.
Only Use Credit When You Need To Limit your use of credit cards. You are only working against yourself if you continue to use your credit cards while trying to pay them off. Try to keep your balances to 30% or less of the total limit of the card.
Ask For Late Payment Forgiveness If you have a history of making your payments on time but you have a single late payment on your credit, you can request that the creditor remove that late payment from your history. Request this in writing for them to give you more consideration.
Do Not Apply For New Credit If you open multiple new lines of credit, it can be a double-edged sword. The available credit can boost your score but having too many accounts that were all recently opened makes it look like you are desperate to find credit and it can hurt you.
Do Not Consolidate Your Debt Consolidation can hurt you. When you transfer your balances all to a single card, it negatively affects your credit. It is better to keep your debt spread over a few cards while you pay the balances off rather than have it all on one credit line.
Your credit counts. Protect yourself by following these tips for increasing your credit score. Do not let your dream house slip from your fingers because of a less than stellar credit score. The Helderle team is here to help you. We know the neighborhoods, we know the city, and we can help you find the house that you have been dreaming about.
Visit us as www.realestatetrio.com.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Buying A Home vs Renting A Home In St. Louis,MO.



Buying A Home vs Renting A Home
When it comes to the debate of owning or renting, certainly some pros and cons can be argued for each. Some people rent because they do not think that they can afford a home, but they have never really tried. Owning a home can be more affordable than people think. Our experienced Realtors can help you find homes in all price ranges. That house that you thought you could not afford, let us help you find it for you. Visit us at www.realestatetrio.com for more information about how we can help you. We love our clients and we love St. Louis, give us a visit so that we can help you today!
Is it better to rent or to own your home? For many, owning their own home is the way to go. There are many reason why owning a home has more advantages over renting a home. People often think that cost is the only issue. Cost is an issue, but it is not the only issue. Keep reading for our list of reasons why it is better to own your home vs. simply renting your home.
It is Cheaper to Own a House rather than Rent a House Owing a home can be scary, you end up paying a lot upfront, as opposed to renting, but when you own a home, it can be cheaper than renting a home. Many people are surprised to find that out, but it is true.
According to the Winter 2013 Rent vs. Buy report by Trulia, homeowners who buy their house save 44% over people who rent. You might think that these numbers were from less than desirable cities but in fact, the report found that that statistic was true for the top 100 metro areas in the United States.
Part of this is due to increasing rents, while mortgage rates are falling. Yes, with houses, you have your mortgage, property taxes, and maintenance, but if you are planning on living in the house for a long time, in the long run, you will be saving money by owning that house instead of renting.
Buying a House Builds Equityrental,
When you rent a house, you pay rent and in the end, you have nothing to show for it. Owning a house allows you to build up equity. Initially, your mortgage payments will often be applied mostly towards the interest. After some time, a bigger portion of your mortgage payments will go to your principal, which is your mortgage balance, as opposed to your interest. With each payment, you are building up equity, which is your share of the home that you have paid for. Equity is money in the bank, it increases your wealth and as your continue to pay the mortgage payments, your equity builds.
Freedom from Lease Restrictions and the Ability to Decorate When you rent, you are often restricted by a lease, which means that you have to follow the rules to continue to rent. Rental leases commonly have restrictions on guests, pets, and even children. When you own your own home, you have the freedom that comes with not having to follow a set of rules as mandated by a lease. Additionally, you are free to decorate and make changes to the house and/or the property as a homeowner. As a renter, what you see is what you get and any changes must be approved by the landlord. When you own your home, you can remodel, redecorate, and landscape however you want to. You have absolute freedom to customize your home when you own it. Renting give you no such freedom.
Owning a Home is a Tax Advantage
Owning a home is a significant tax advantage because you can deduct property taxes and mortgage interest from your federal income taxes. Some states allow you to deduct these as well. A large portion of your payments from the first few years of your mortgage typically goes to your mortgage interest. This means that you get a bigger tax advantage during the first few years of your mortgage since so much of your payment is for the interest only.
Your Credit Rating Improves
Rental payments do not affect your credit. When you have a mortgage and you make your monthly payments on a regular basis and on time, your credit score will improve. Owning a house will help your credit improve.
Pride in your Community
When you own your home, you have a vested interest in the neighborhood. You want to be involved in the community to ensure that your neighborhood is safe. It is easier to care about the safety and well-being of your community when you own a house because you know that you are a member of the community and not just a temporary member. Owning a house gives you a sense of community.
Stable Place to Live
Owning a house means that you will own that house until you decide to sell it, providing that you make the payments, of course. You do not have the stress that comes with finding out that your lease is suddenly up and will not be renewed, forcing you to move on short notice.
Owning a home means that you have a stable place for your family.
You know what your mortgage payments are and you do not have to deal with continued rent increases like many home renters have to contend with. Your family does not just have a house; they have a home when you buy vs. rent. You are giving your family security and peace of mind that they will have a roof over their heads for years and years to come. Owning a home has far more advantages than renting a home.
Not only is there a financial advantage, but there are other advantages as well. In today’s market, owning a home is hugely advantageous. To discuss these reasons more in depth, contact a member of the Helderle team today! Our job is to make your journey towards buying a home as easy as possible. From finding the best schools, to finding that perfect backyard, we can help. Visit us as www.realestatetrio.com today.
The Helderle Team 2013 © All Rights Reserved

Friday, July 19, 2013

Carondelet,MO. One of St. Louis’s Most Historic and Beautiful Neighborhoods


Carondelet: One of St. Louis’s Most Historic and Beautiful Neighborhoods Located in the far southeastern area of St. Louis, the Carondelet neighborhood is an affluent community, and is home to many historic buildings. Its rich history dates back to 1799, where a census gave the total population of Carondelet being just 181 Caucasians and 3 African American slaves. This neighborhood is an affluent, mostly residential area, but it does have some industrial areas along the Mississippi River, and the commercial and residential spaces are further from the river and factories.
Historically, after 1799, more factories started popping up and the neighborhood became part of St. Louis in 1870. During the 1840s, the area was known for lead production, and during the Civil War, there were 32 gunboats being produced for the Union Army and Navy; the James Buchanan Eads Union Marine Works shipyards owned four of the major ironclads, including the Carondelet, named after the little town. Later, Carondelet was known for lead, since a large factory—Hertz Metal Company—operated in the town from 1870-1930. Now, there are a few factories left, such as the Israel Chemical Limited, once named Solutia before it became part of Astaris and later became Israel Chemical Limited.
The 60s and 70s brought on a time of revitalization of the neighborhood; in 1967 the Carondelet Historical Society was founded and the Carondelet Betterment Federation was organized in 1971. The Borden Pasta Group built the largest pasta factory in the U.S. and the whole of North America in 1991.
Carondelet has many attractions for not just residents of the community, but for tourists as well. These attractions include the Carondelet Historic Center, which houses books, trophies, historical papers, and other antiques that were obtained over the year. There’s also the Carondelet Park, one of the largest parks in St. Louis and features two lakes, softball, soccer and baseball fields, as well as playgrounds, picnic areas, a recycling center, and a bicycle path. Concerts are a popular event at the park, and residents and tourists alike enjoy the lovely pavilion that looks out at the lake (perfect for weddings or wedding pictures), the mini gazebos by the lake, and a fountain that adds to the park’s romantic feel. Another attraction in this neighborhood is the Ivory Theatre on Michigan Avenue, and features live dramas, musicals, comedies, concerts, and cabarets all year long, and also hosts corporate functions and events, plus weddings and other special occasions. The unique theatre is a renovation of a national historic landmark in the neighborhood.
Demographically, Carondelet residents are primarily Caucasians, with a small number of African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics. The average household income was approximately $35k in 2010, and a median home value of around $89k. The low home prices are a draw for those who work in downtown, or neighboring communities, and the safety and history is a draw for young families and retirees. Tourists love the history, the historic homes and buildings, and the parks that offer so many outdoor activities.
The Helderle Team 2013 © All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

8 Items To Check Before Buying A Home

8 Items to Check Before Buying A House


Buying a house is a big investment. Deciding to purchase a house is not a decision that anybody takes lightly because of the costs involved. You want the perfect house, a house that will be your home for years to come. If you are looking for your perfect house in St. Louis, we will be happy to help you out, please visit the Helderle team at www.realestatetrio.com.
It is easy for homeowners to fall in love with the house before they even tour the inside. When you find a house that has the perfect yard, the right number of rooms in a layout that you love and a great location, it is easy to forget that what is below the surface is just as important as the curb appeal and the interior of the house. Buying a house on looks alone can be a very costly mistaking, adding a huge cost on top of an already large sum of money that the homeowner has committed to.
Yet, many homeowners have purchases houses based on the looks along and then need to spend thousands of dollars in repairs shortly after buying the house. You do not want your dream house to turn into a money pit so you always need to check out several important features prior to buying a house. It is a common misconception that you only need to carefully inspect older houses. Do not be lulled into that line of thinking! Newer houses are just as prone to having problems as older ones. It is important to check the items on this list for both new and older houses.
By taking a look at several key areas in the house that are prone to becoming a problem areas, you can help to determine if this is the house that you want and if you should go ahead and pay for the cost of a house inspection or if you should keep looking at houses. If you are having trouble finding a house that is right for your family, contact the Helderle team at www.realestatetrio.com, they know St. Louis and the surrounding area and can help you find a house that suits your needs at the best possible price. 10 Essential Items To Check Before Buying A Home.
Avoid the necessity of paying for costly home repairs shortly after moving into your new house. These ten items are very easy to check when you are looking at a potential home for your family. Taking the time to do these will save you money in the long run. If the current homeowners are reluctant to let you check any of the following, that is a huge red flag.
Test the tap water – Not all water is created equal, especially if it comes out of pipes that are old and corroded. A quick sip of water can tell you if you might need to redo the plumbing. By filling a clean, clear glass with water, direct from the tap you can see if the water is clear, and you can taste it to see how it tastes. Sometimes off tasting water is due to the city water supply, but it can be from old pipes. At any rate, if the water tastes or looks off, you know to take a close look at the plumbing.
Check the drains – Sewer line backups are common problems, especially in areas where there are lots of trees or with older pipes and water lines. This is fairly easy to check for; fill up the tub and a few of the sinks and then let them drain at the same time. If the water line is bad, you will be able to easily tell. Check the faucets – Try all of the faucets in the house to make sure that they are all working and no leaks. Check to see that the stoppers work as well.
Check the windows – This is often overlooked and replacing windows in a house can be costly. Check to see that the windows actually open without problems and that they are without cracks or other issues. Check the Fireplace – Ask to start a quick fire in the fireplace to see if the fireplace drafts correctly. Ask the family when the last time the chimney was cleaned; it is usually just the matter of giving it a good cleaning to get it back in good working order.
Check the AC/heat – Turn on the AC and the heat to make sure that they work. It will save you time and money to make sure that they are working before you move in. Let them run for a bit to make sure that they work well, not just turn them on and turn them right back off.
Check the toilets – Put a little bit of toilet paper in each of the toilets and flush them to ensure that they work well. Sticky handles are a fairly easy fix but toilets that back up with a little toilet paper are a bigger issue.
Check the electrical panel – If the electrical panel is nicely labeled, that is a good sign. Look for a wire that look loose or frayed, that is a serious concern.
Check the basement – Is the basement damp? Mold is a big concern to take a close look at the basement to make sure that there are no issues with dampness and moisture.
Check under the carpet – Because they want the carpets to look nice for potential buyers, some owners may not let you do this, but it does not hurt to ask to see if you can pull up a corner of carpet in a closet to check the quality of the floor underneath the carpet.
Are you a buyer looking for homes in the St. Louis area? Take the hassle out of buying a home by using trusted experts. The Helderle team of Realtors is here for you. If you have questions about buying property in St. Louis, we have answer for you; let us help you find your home today! Please visit us at www.realestatetrio.com; we know St. Louis and we are here to help you. The Helderle Team 2013 © All Rights Reserved

Friday, July 05, 2013

Getting Your St. Louis Home Ready To Show



Getting Your Home "Show Ready"
Having a show ready home when selling is vital. While it may be attractive on its own, it might not appeal to the largest audience possible. You need to make it something that brings people in and encourages them to bid higher. Even if they are not going to be keeping the furniture in the home, how it looks really changes the way that they view it. If it is cluttered or bland, it is not going to do as much for you as it could. A great thing about making homes show ready is the fact that it is possible for all houses. Regardless of size or location, you can make the most out of it by simply changing the appearance. It may not make up for everything, but it can give buyers more of a reason to buy. It is true that many buyers want the home to look pretty. That is what is going to be on their mind above all else, regardless of what is staying. If they cannot look away from the décor and overall appearance of the rooms, they are not going to be able to see the gem hidden underneath. While this is not true of all buyers, it is true of many. You want to appeal to that larger number, which is only possible by making your home more show ready. In the St Louis, MO, area, this is something that you can do easily and with spectacular results.
Part of making your home show ready is cleaning out all of the garbage, clutter, and messy areas. As a home seller, you need to move yourself away from your attachment. You want to sell it, which means that it has to appear only slightly lived in. Try to invest in more attractive items to place around, keep everything clean, and even change things up a little. You can do this by using different, more appealing furniture, painting walls that seem dirty or need to be a more neutral tone, and cleaning the floors. This will help you to make the home look like new and increase how much that you make from this.
If you are living in the home while you are showing it, you are going to want to make it appear as if no one is there. This might be difficult, sure, but you should plan ahead and make sure that you make it more appealing to the general audience. By removing evidence that you live there and keeping the area cleaner than most people normally do, you will be able to increase bids. People do not want to see messes and belongings, and you should make sure that they do not. Every piece that is cleaner will increase your profits.
Selling a home is not easy, but it can be more possible when you make it show ready. This increases attractiveness and helps to bring people to you. To learn more about what you can do, you can speak to a real estate agent and start changing things around.
The Helderle Team 2013 © All Rights Reserved

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Look Who Has Joined Our Team Of Real Estate Professionals

Clifton Heights of St. Louis, MO



Clifton Heights Neighborhood of St. Louis
A Historic Place to Live with One of the Most Beautiful Parks in the City
This quiet, serene community,located south of Arsenal Street and in the southwest part of St. Louis, is one of the city’s most beautiful neighborhoods, due in part to the lovely park that highlights the area. Clifton Park features a playground for neighborhood children, as well as a tranquil lake where residents and tourists can have picnics, play ball, walk their dogs, or just lay on the grass and relax.

The lake was created from a sinkhole in 1912 for residents of Clifton Heights; in 1922 additional land was bought and added to the property, which made the park a total of four-and-a-half acres. Stunning historic Victorians line the park, giving the park a feeling of another century, a time when the neighborhood was young and just starting out. The neighborhood began around 1880 when a subdivision was built in the area, and actually continued until 1955; the mix of Victorian and Arts & Craft homes, townhomes, and apartment complexes are all evidence of the community’s rich heritage of architecture and slow development.

There are few businesses in Clifton Heights, but the neighborhood is close to downtown, as well as being near to other, larger neighborhoods like The Hill community. A new theater—the Columbia Theater—is located in this area, plus there are small corner stores with great architectural features, a VFW post, a Drury Inn & Suites at the corner of I-44, a few small grocery stores, and the Mason School. This elementary school is in the St. Louis Public School System, was built in 1919 and serves preschool through the 6th grade. It’s a diverse school and academically strong, serving the residents of Clifton Heights, as well as neighboring communities. Other businesses in Clifton Heights include Seamus McDaniels and Chuy Arzolas Tex-Mex (both popular restaurants), a roofing company, small photography business, an animal hospital, and a billboard company.

Attractions in Clifton Heights are few, the largest one being the Clifton Heights Park that features a small lake, water fountain, and lush green grass for picnicking. The Columbia Theater is another popular attraction, as well as a playground, and basketball courts. Fortunately, Clifton Heights is close to many other attractions in neighboring communities, including the St. Louis Zoo and The Muny, which is America’s oldest outdoor musical theater. Every fall, the Clifton Heights neighborhood hosts a “Party in the Park”, a festival that features crafts, games, and other activities for families. It’s a popular event that draws people from nearby communities and a treasured tradition of Clifton Heights residents.

Demographically, Clifton Heights’ residents are mainly Caucasian (90%), with a small percentage of African Americans (3%) and Asians (1%). The average household income is approximately $50k, and a median home value of around $156k, which is a big draw for those who work in the downtown area and are looking for an affordable home that is close to their workplace.

The Helderle Team 2013 © All Rights Reserved

Friday, June 28, 2013

McKinley Heights: A Diverse and Historic Neighborhood in the Heart of St. Louis



A mix of the old and new, McKinley Heights is surrounded by some of St. Louis’s most famous communities, including Soulard and Lafayette Square to its south. The tree-lined streets and quaint brick homes makes the area a popular location for families, and since it is also close to downtown (where there’s shopping, restaurants and jobs), busy professionals live here and are able to commute to work in just a few minutes
There are two of the schools in McKinley Heights—McKinley School and Sigel Elementary—that are a work of architectural art by themselves, as well as being pretty good performers, test-wise (although McKinley Classical Leadership Academy that shares a building with McKinley Jr. High has some of the best scores and high-achieving students).
There actually aren’t too many businesses in McKinley Heights, although there’s plenty of restaurants and shopping in nearby neighborhoods like Richmond Heights (which is home to the St. Louis Galleria, a large mall with over 70 different stores). Businesses in McKinley Heights include a popular ice sculpture shop, contractors, art dealers, an animal hospital, and a few other small companies.
Growing up in McKinley Heights and attending both Sigel and McKinley High School, I spent a lot of time walking the streets in this great neighborhood. The country western star Barbara Fairchild grew up just a few blocks from McKinley High school and we both worked for the vice principle my freshmen year. Gone are places like Frentzel Market (Arsenal & Jefferson), Charless elementary, Big 4 Chevrolet (Jefferson Ave)and most of Fox Park, although the softball fields are still used.
Demographically, McKinley Heights’ residents are a mix of Caucasians (48%), African Americans (46%), and a small percentage of Asian and Native American. The average annual household income was around $51k in 2012, with a median home value of $125k, which makes the neighborhood one of the most affordable in the St. Louis area. This, coupled with the safety since crime is extremely low in the community, makes McKinley Heights a big draw for young families, business professionals who work in the surrounding areas of St. Louis, as well as retirees looking for a quiet place to spend their golden years.
The Helderle Team 2013 © All Rights Reserved

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Benton Park in St. Louis, Mo



Benton Park, St. Louis and Why It Is One of the Best Loved Neighborhoods

Not to be confused with Benton Place, the affluent private street in Lafayette Square where some of the most notable St. Louis families [once] lived, Benton Park is a posh neighborhood in eastern St. Louis, named after the first U.S. Senator who represented Missouri, Thomas Hart Benton. Its boundaries are Cherokee Street to its south, Gravois Avenue on the north, I-55 to the east, and Jefferson Avenue is on the west.

Historically, Benton Park was a mecca for breweries thanks to the system of caves under the neighborhood that beer-makers use for “lagering”, a style of German beer making that requires the ale to be stored in a dark, cool place. Lemp Brewery is the most famous of the breweries in Benton Park; established in 1840, the brewery compound consisted of 27 buildings on almost 14 acres of land. It was founded and built by Johann Adam Lemp who migrated to the U.S. from Germany in 1836 when he moved to the St. Louis area to open a mercantile store, until he realized that his lager was selling better than anything else in his store. During prohibition, Lemp Brewery shut down and in 1920, the factory was sold to other beer makers and closed its doors. The building still stands in the neighborhood today in homage to the community’s history.

Named after Thomas Hart Benton—a celebrated Missouri senator of the mid-1800s—Benton Park owes its beautiful architecture to the influx of German immigrants who came for the caves and the lager-making. Many of the old homes and buildings left over from this era showcase St. Louis’s best ornamental detailing and styles of the Romanesque, Queen Anne, and Classic Revival. The 1970s brought rehabilitation and revitalization to the neighborhood, as with other nearby communities like Soulard, that saw a more urban lifestyle and setting than more industrialized areas. The 80s and 90s saw better housing units built and more urban renewal, and today Benton Park still retains its past but is updated for the large population of artists who call the neighborhood home.

Benton Park has many wonderful activities, events, and other tourist attractions to take advantage of when visiting the neighborhood. The Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion is a Greek Revival mansion that was built in 1848 and one of the last glimpses into the rich past of the historic neighborhood’s architecture legacy. It offers tours (closed every January) and provides a window into the past of two French families who lived in Benton Park when the city was still young.

Cherokee Antique Row is another of Benton Park’s attractions; it’s a beautiful tree-lined street with more than 40 antique dealers selling everything from art to quilts to pottery, all of it antique. Just minutes from downtown Benton Park, this street is a huge draw for tourists, especially on the weekends.

Another of Benton Park’s stunning attractions is Falstaff Brew House, located at Gravois and Highway 55, and is listed on the National Historic Register and another example of St. Louis’s architecture from a by-gone era. Other attractions and events include the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater at the famous (and reportedly haunted) Lemp Mansion, the abandoned Lemp Brewery, a farmer’s market in summer, Gus’s Pretzels which has been open since 1920, and several parks to enjoy (Benton, Cherokee, Carnegie, and Fremont).

The Helderle Team 2013 © All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

St. Louis Summer Events

Summer Events In And Around St. Louis When most people think of St. Louis Missouri they think of the arch that marks the Gateway to West, but there is far more to this city and the surrounding communities that simply an arch. St. Louis is an exciting city that offers locals and visitors alike a variety of things to see and do from dynamic concerts to fun festivals. Summer is a great time to visit St. Louis and the surrounding area, as these communities offer a wide range of fun and excitement from quiet movies under the stars to loud and fun filled festivals and blazing Fourth of July fireworks. From the city of St. Louis itself to smaller outlying communities such as Alton/Grafton and Herman/German Town you will have an amazing time. Whether your think is cruising down a river or dancing in the street, the St. Louis area will have activities that appeal to you regardless of age or interest. St. Louis Proper The city of St. Louis itself has a number of events that are extremely popular. The Range Red Bicycle Tour that begins on June 1st and is held on Saturdays through to August 31 is a great way to get some exercise, see the beautiful riverfront and lean a little about St. Louis history including information about the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Underground railroad. Visitors to the city over Independence day aren't going to want to miss the O'Fallon festival, which takes place from July 2, to 4 2013. Visitors to the festival can enjoy the music of both Country and rock bands, a carnival complete with midway, children's activities, crafts, food and of course a parade. Surrounding Communities Of course as exciting as St. Louis is, the surrounding communities also offer a wide variety of activities for you enjoy. The Alton/Grafton area offers several movie nights, concerts, and of course a 4th of July fireworks display. There is also a summer flea market where shoppers can get some great deals as well as day cruises complete with dinner. Belleville Illinois, which sets right across the river from St. Louis offers a number of professional performers in concert through out the summer while in Herman/German Town you can join in the community 4th of July celebration complete with food, fun, and fireworks or visit the Cajun concert held on July 12 through 14th 2013 where you can enjoy real Cajun music as well as authentic Cajun Cuisine. Herman/German town also offers locals and tourists alike to the Berries, BBQ, and wine trail and their August Sausage making class. Granite City, Illinois offers a Melting Pot Open air market on July 13. It's a great place to shop for local arts and crafts and pick up some of those collective items you have been looking for. For those who enjoy fine dining you aren't going to want to miss visiting Chesterfield August 31 for the Forks and Corks. This upscale and free event features the finest cuisine from local restaurants.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Hill In St. Louis, MO

The Hill: One of St. Louis’s Best Neighborhoods to Live and Play




Named for the highest point in the city of St. Louis (formerly known as St. Louis Hill), The Hill neighborhood is a mainly Italian-American area that lies to the north of Manchester Avenue, south of Southwest and Columbia Avenues, and to the east of South Kingshighway Boulevard. Known for its number of locally famous Italian restaurants and strong Roman Catholic influence, The Hill also features the St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church which is a landmark in the neighborhood and a big part of the Italian-American population’s daily life.

Historically, The Hill has seen two of the biggest icons in baseball grow up on its streets: Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola, Sr. both lived their childhoods on The Hill, and their houses were right across the street from each other, on Elizabeth Avenue. Also, four of the five soccer players from the US team in the 1950 FIFA World Cup (beat England) grew up on The Hill.

The Hill’s affluent residents are mainly Caucasians (93%), with a smaller percentage of African Americans, Asians, and Hispanics. An average household income of its residents was $55k as of 2012, with a median home value of around $300k. Safety in this community is not really a factor for tourists and potential residents, as the neighborhood is one of the safest in St. Louis, especially when compared to other communities surrounding it. There are so many attractions on The Hill for residents and tourists to take advantage of, including many Italian-American restaurants, bakeries, and small grocery stores. A few of the most popular include Amighetti’s Bakery, Cunetto’s House of Pasta, Fazio’s Bakery, Di Gregorio’s grocery store, and even a tavern/bocce garden on the corner near St. Ambrose Catholic Church.

Restaurants and shops aren’t the only draw for tourists to The Hill; there are also events here that bring travelers to this historic neighborhood, such as the (Second) Annual Hill Wine Walk, a soap box derby and car show, two bocce gardens that is very popular with the Italian-American residents of The Hill, the Annual Italian Film Festival of St. Louis, the Annual “Edges for Pledges” event hosted by Bertarelli Cutlery, and even bocce tournaments throughout the year held in the gardens near St. Ambrose.

The Hill is regarded as one of the best communities in St. Louis for living, playing, and also wonderful for tourists. From the trendy Italian-American restaurants, local bakeries, the bocce gardens, and its rich history, The Hill is a destination in St. Louis not to be missed.

Thinking of buying or selling a home on the Hill or another area in St. Louis? Contact The Helderle Team at 314 714-7225 or email them at stlouishomes@yahoo.com


Frank J. Helderle St. Louis, MO June 2013 © All Rights Reserved The Helderle Team

Existing Home Sales Increase


From DS News June 20, 2013

Existing-home sales rose a solid 4.2 percent in May to an annual sales rate of 5.18 million, the highest level since November 2009, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Thursday. Economists had expected existing home sales to hit 5.0 million. The median price of an existing home jumped $16,200 (8.4 percent) for the month and was up $27,700 (15.4 percent) from May 2012. The inventory of homes for sale rose to 2.22 million from 2.15 million in April, translating to a 5.1 month supply compared with April’s 5.2 month supply.

The 210,000 increase in the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate was the largest since last August, when the sales pace jumped 240,000 to 4.84 million. According to NAR, sales in May were up 12.9 percent over May 2012, the 16th straight month of year-over-year sales gains. By the numbers, the sales rate was 590,000 ahead of May 2012, the sharpest year-over-year increase since August 2011, when sales were up 730,000 over the year earlier pace.

The NAR report tracks completed transactions and closings and followed a 1.5 point gain in the NAR’s own pending home sales index for March. The index improved 0.3 percent in April, hinting closings may not grow as quickly next month. At $208,000 in May, the median sales price topped $200,000 for the first time since August 2008, when it was $203,200 and falling from the record $230,300 in July 2006. The median price, as reported by NAR, has increased for four straight months. The median price has increased on a yearly basis for 15 straight months.

The average price of a new home increased $24,500 in May to $269,600, the highest level since May 2008, when it was $278,400. It remained below the record $292,200 in June 2007. Year-over-year, the May average was up $29,600 (10.0 percent), the strongest percentage gain since the 10.6 percent gain from June 2001 to June 2002 and the largest dollar gain since August 2005, when the average price was $37,000 higher than one year earlier. Those price increases, however, have not been accompanied by an increase in the inventory of homes for sale. In the same 15 months, the inventory of homes for sale has dropped to 2.22 million from 2.32 million, though it has increased in each of the last four months.

Inventories continue to be plagued by competition with sales of lower priced “distressed” homes. According to the NAR, distressed homes—foreclosures and short sales—accounted for 18 percent of May sales, unchanged from April but matching the lowest share since monthly tracking began in October 2008.

Fewer distressed homes, which generally sell at a discount, account for some of the price gain, the NAR said. Foreclosures accounted for 11 percent of May sales, and short sales made up 7 percent. Foreclosures, NAR said, sold for an average discount of 15 percent below market value in May, while short sales were discounted 12 percent.

After falling to a cyclical low in August 2010, existing-home sales have been improving steadily, helped in part by the federal homebuyer tax credit program. Sales in the last 12 months have averaged 4,858,000, up from 4,386,000 in the previous 12 months. The median time on market for all homes was 41 days in May, down from 46 days in April, and was 43 percent faster than the 72 days on market in May 2012. The median time on the market, NAR said, is the shortest since monthly tracking began in May 2011. First-time buyers accounted for 28 percent of purchases in May, down from 29 percent in April and 34 percent in May 2012. All-cash sales were 33 percent of transactions in May, up from 32 percent in April and 28 percent in May 2012.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast were up 1.6 percent to an annual rate of 650,000 in May, 8.3 percent above May 2012.
The median price in the Northeast was $269,600, up 10.0 percent for the month and 12.3 percent from a year ago.
Existing-home sales in the Midwest jumped 8.0 percent in May—the largest gain of any of the four Census regions—to 1.21 million and were 16.3 percent higher than a year earlier. The median price in the Midwest was $159,800, up 7.5 percent over April and 8.2 percent from May 2012.
In the South, existing-home sales rose 4.0 percent to an annual level of 2.09 million in May and were 16.1 percent above May 2012. The median price in the South was $183,300, 9.2 percent higher than in April and 15.0 percent above a year ago.
Existing-home sales in the West increased 2.5 percent to a pace of 1.23 million in May and were 7.0 percent above a year ago.
The median price in the West was $276,400, up 4.1 percent from April and 19.9 percent from May 2012.

Hear Mark Lieberman every Friday on P.O.T.U.S. Radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 6:20 a.m. Eastern.

Downtown St. Louis, MO. Living, Playing and Visiting

Downtown St. Louis: A History, Its Attractions, and What Makes it One of the Best Areas in the City

Known as the city’s central business district, the Downtown area of St. Louis is home to dozens of tourist attractions, entertainment venues, shops, restaurants and more. It is the hub of the St. Louis metropolitan area, and is bounded by Cole Street, the river front, Chouteau Avenue, and Tucker Avenue. Not only is Downtown home to retail stores, but major companies like the Laclede Group, Stifel Nicolaus, and HOK are all located here as well.

Historically, Downtown St. Louis was founded by Pierre Laclede, who decided on that particular area due to the cliffs and river access to use for trade, transportation, and as a fur trade with the Native Americans. In 1817, with the arrival of the steamboat, the Downtown area became a crucial center of the young America’s commerce and residents were able to trade products from the Gulf of Mexico and across the country via the Mississippi River. The late 19th and early 20th centuries brought a huge building boom to Downtown St. Louis, due in part to just a lack of room for new and existing businesses to expand.

The 1970s saw many historic buildings decimated by their owners in order to put in parking lots, so many of the area’s earliest homes and buildings no longer exist due to the demand for more parking. Washington University and St. Louis University were both founded in the Downtown area; the former in 1853 and the latter in 1818. Recent history has brought redevelopment, with an estimated $4-billion being invested in the Downtown area between 1999-2006.

Downtown St. Louis has many different attractions for every tourist’s whim and fancy, including: the Ambassador Theater Building, the Arcade Building, Balmer & Weber Music House Co. Building, and the Beethoven Conservatory, all of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Downtown is also home to museums like the City Museum on 15th Street; America’s Center & Edward Jones Dome on Convention Plaza; the St. Louis Citygarden which is a stunning oasis in the heart of the Downtown area and features a splash plaza, a bronze statue of Pinocchio, and beautiful shade and flowering trees; the famous Gateway Arch on Riverfront; the Soulard Farmer’s Market, located at Lafayette and Seventh Streets, is a popular tourist draw and one of America’s oldest farmer’s markets that is still in existence.

Not only does Downtown have a rich history, dozens of tourist attractions, shopping and restaurants, but it’s also great for families who are on vacation, couples on holiday, and even for events like birthday trips, anniversaries, and bachelor/bachelorette parties. Start off that special birthday at upscale restaurants like 400 Olive Restaurant, Basso (a St. Louis Gastropub), Angelo’s Taverna (perfect for a family birthday party), and the Capri Restaurant located inside the Renaissance Grand Hotel. For lots of shopping, make sure to check out hundreds of shops and boutiques located in Downtown St. Louis, with stores ranging from small, upscale boutiques like Eve’s Apple Vintage (a great vintage clothing shop), to more widely known stores such as Foot Locker and Macy’s.

Downtown St. Louis’s other attractions and entertainment include art galleries like 10th Street Gallery, Art Saint Louis, and the Café Cioccolato Gallery, wonderful museums such as the historic Campbell House Museum, City Museum & World Aquarium, and Laclede’s Landing Wax Museum. Looking for something more lively? Check out Downtown’s bars and nightlife, with such notable joints as Encore Comedy & Karaoke, Hard Times Lounge, Nightclub Europe, Route 66 Brewery & Restaurant, Stardust Nightclub, and the Velvet Lounge.
Frank J. Helderle St. Louis, MO June 2013 © All Rights Reserved