Friday, May 29, 2015

Weekend Happenings: Free Jungle Boogie Concert Series at the Zoo

Every Friday Night at the St. Louis Zoo...
... the free Jungle Boogie Concert Series is under way!  Offered every summer and always a HUGE hit with the locals, this weekly event is an inexpensive and family-friendly way to enjoy a warm St. Louis summer evening under the stars in gorgeous Forest Park.

Nitty Gritty:
Friday evenings
5-8 p.m.
Schnuck Family Plaza near the sea lion basin in center of the Zoo.
Admission is free.

Schedule:

May 29: Disco Nites feat. Coco Soul (Disco/Soul)
June 5: My Friend Mike (Top 40/Motown Classics)
June 12: Ticket to the Beatles (Tribute)
June 19: No concert
June 26 : Whiskey Morning (Country/Bluegrass)
July 3:  No concert
July 10: GalaxyRed (Top 40/Classics)
July 17: Griffin and the Gargoyles (Top 40)
July 24: Pennsylvania Slim (Blues/Soul/Swing)
July 31: American Idle (Country/Pop/Variety)
August 7: Push the Limit (Top 40/Motown/Rock)
August 14: Mood Swings (80s)
August 21: Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers (Swing/Jazz/Rhythm)
August 28: Big Brother Thunder and the Master Blasters (RandB/Funk/Soul)

Find more information about the fun summer offerings at the St. Louis Zoo HERE.  You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Just Listed: #849 Westgate, unit 209 in University City

Cool Urban Loft In the Heart Of The Central Corridor...

#849 Westgate, unit 209 is stylish, fully-updated, and boasts an incredible Delmar Loop location just blocks from some of the most popular establishments in the city, Washington University, Forest Park, and Metrolink. 

This 2 bedroom, 2 bath modern loft features a light-filled open floor plan, rich hardwood floors, all appliances included, and storage galore. The stylish upscale kitchen w/breakfast bar includes ample granite counter tops and abundant cabinet space. Huge master bedroom suite is an ideal retreat with a sunny reading nook and a sizable en suite bath with jet-tub and walk-in closet. 

Additional amenities include in-unit laundry space with stackables INCLUDED, a sexy wall-mounted fireplace, custom shelving in the closets, modern fixtures, freight elevator access, impeccable common areas, 2 gated parking spaces, a secure storage unit, and a private balcony.

Loop Living is a fantastic building with an awesome location. Unit offered for $129,900!  For more information or a private showing, Call Carrie at 314.452.7675, or view the full listing HERE.

Friday, May 22, 2015

4 Fun St. Louis Memorial Day Weekend 2015 Happenings!


Shakespeare Festival: 
Antony And Cleopatra in Forest Park

Nothing says "Summer in St. Louis" like Shakespeare under the stars in gorgeous Forest Park.  Grab a blanket, picnic basket, and the family for a free evening of fun.  Marking 15 years of free, outdoor Shakespearian performances, the Shakespeare Festival's production this year is based on a classic ancient romance, "Antony and Cleopatra."

05.22.15 – 06.14.15
Free, Nightly at 8 PM, except Tuesdays

Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park
5715 Elizabeth Ave
St. Louis MO,

http://www.sfstl.com/in-the-park/antony-and-cleopatra-2015/


2015 St. Louis County Greek Fest in Town and Country


Whether you're of Greek decent or just love ethnic cuisine, the Greek Fest is a lively environment destination in which you can experience the Greek community's deeply rooted traditions, heritage, and delicious cuisine!

5.22.15 - 5.25.15
Friday-Sunday: 11:00 AM-9:00 PM
Monday: 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM

1755 Des Peres Road

http://stlouisgreekfest.com/


Lantern Festival: Magic Reimagined at the Missouri Botanical Gardens


What is more beautiful than our Garden at night?  Our garden lit up by brilliant COLOR! Celebrating the Garden's ongoing botanical research in China, 22 all-new sets crafted from silk and steel will once again offer visitors from around the world the opportunity to experience an event rarely staged outside of Asia

5.23.15 - 8.23.15
6-10pm

$22 adults
$11 members
$10 children (ages 3-12)
$5 members' children

Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/things-to-do/events/special-exhibitions/lantern-festival.aspx


43rd Annual Gypsy Caravan at the Family Arena

Junkers, antiquers, and Pinterest fans... welcome to heaven!!  The St. Louis Symphony Volunteer Association presents the 43rd annual Gypsy Caravan, one of the largest antique, craft and flea markets in the Midwest. Proceeds support the STL Symphony and Education Concerts that reach and inspire upward of 40,000 students from 1,000 area schools each season.

Monday, 5.25.15
Early Bird (7:00-9:00 AM): $20
General (9:00 AM-5:00 PM): $10
Free at all times for children under age 13.
Peek and Purchase (Sunday, May 24, 2015 5:00-7:00 PM): $30
Exclusive opportunity to shop vendor booths before the general public; includes Early Bird admission on Monday

Discounted admission wristbands* available for purchase at Dierbergs Markets through May 25.

*Early Bird: $17.50; General: $8.50; Peek and Purchase: $27.50

The Family Arena
2002 Arena Parkway
St. Charles MO, 63303

https://www.stlsymphony.org/gypsycaravan/

Thursday, May 21, 2015

2 New Client Recommendations on LinkedIn

Happiness is waking up to 2 new client recommendations on LinkedIn...

No one speaks for a Realtor like their past clients and these two ladies (and their families) were an absolute dream to work with!  From the bottom of my heart, thank you Rachael and Kathy. You are not only clients, you are friends. This totally made my morning! =)

Connect with me on LinkedIn HERE or see what some of my other clients have had to say HERE.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Interest rates matter- be informed!


The real estate industry touts "historically low rates" but what does that mean to the average consumer at face value? Not much. Thanks to my friend and Senior Loan Officer, Andy House, for the incredible graph above to help put the current rates into perspective.

Interest rates matter.  They matter a LOT and directly affect not only Buyers, but homeowners who wish to refinance.  

Most Buyers are payment-driven. They know how much they can afford to pay each month even before they obtain an official pre approval.  

FOR EXAMPLE Let's assume that you are comfortable with a $1,250 interest payment...

Your housing affordability DROPS with each increase in the mortgage interest rate. 

Per above,  if mortgage rates rose up just 1% from 3.75% to 4.75%, you would lose a whopping $33,750, or 11.25% of your purchasing power. If rates rose 2% to 5.75%, you would lose $62,003 or 20.67% of your purchasing power. That is serious money, people!

In short: the lower the interest rate, the more house you can afford for the SAME PAYMENT. Rates directly impact your affordability, Buyers. Don't let these great ones slip by as 3rd quarter increases are projected.


If you are contemplating a purchase over the next few months, I highly recommend getting a loan preapproval now. It is the first step of the buying process, and rates are still comfortably hovering below 4%.   

Learn more about Andy House HERE and feel free to contact him directly for a free approval or mortgage advice. He is stellar, my clients love him, and I trust him emphatically after years of wonderful service to myself and my clients.

Friday, May 15, 2015

St. Louis Weekend Happenings: May 15- May 18

14th Annual Art on the Square in Belleville

Friday 5 - 10 PM
Saturday 10AM- 8 PM
Sunday 11AM. - 5PM

Ranked the #1 fine arts show in the nation by The Art Fair Source Book 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012... Art on the Square is 3 days of art, food, and entertainment in historic Downtown Belleville.

Shuttle: St. Clair County Transit will run a free shuttle every 15 minutes between Scheel Street MetroLink station (starting 10 minutes before festival opens) and East Main and Jackson (ending 20 minutes after festival closes).


Information: Visit www.artonthesquare.com or call Kathy Kaiser at 618-444-3802


Taste of Maplewood in Historic Downtown Maplewood
Saturday, May 16 from noon-9 pm

During this food-centric festival, held in the heart of Maplewood, vendors compete for titles like Best Sweet Tooth, Best Unexpected Flavor, and Best Overall Taste of Maplewood. Plus, enjoy live music on two stages.

Information:  http://maplewood-chamber.com/taste-of-maplewood-event-page/ 
:


Bark in the Park on Cricket Field in Forest Park

Saturday, May 16 from 8AM-1PM

Join the Humane Society of Missouri at this family- and dog-friendly event. The day includes a 5K race, 1-mile walk, pancake breakfast, the Purina Incredible Dog Team, an agility course, pet contests, and more. Proceeds benefit animals at the Humane Society of Missouri.


Early registration is $30 and kids 12 and under and dogs are free.


Information: 314-951-1565 or hsmo.org/bark.



Strawberry Festival at Eckert's in Belleville

Saturday, May 16 from 10AM-5PM

Take the family to Eckert’s for a day of strawberry-themed entertainment. The kiddos can hitch a wagon or pony ride, visit the petting farm, and pick their own strawberries. Before you leave, stop at the bakery for homemade desserts. Free. 951 Green Mount, Belleville, Ill., ,


Information: 618-233-0513 or http://www.eckerts.com/

Monday, May 11, 2015

BUYER TIP: Things to Consider Before Buying a Weekend or Vacation Home


Summer vacation is a mere 9 days away for most St. Louis schools.  How do I know?  The Nenonen Boys started the official countdown at the breakfast table this morning- ha!

Each year around this time, like clockwork, friends and past clients begin to reach out to me with questions about vacation home acquisition: a dock house in the Ozarks, an Innsbrook A-frame, a hillside escape with a view Table Rock, a river house with land, a historic cabin in Chautauqua, a hunting retreat, a condo in sunny Florida, a place to get away.  

The fact is, St. Louis is surrounded by gorgeous lakes, rivers, and resort communities- little hidden secrets that are not only beautiful, but relatively affordable to purchase.  Those who have experienced the joy of planning a local Lake weekend rental getaway, myself included, know all too well that getting your hands on peak time (like Memorial Day weekend) can be impossible and COSTLY.   

I have the same questions presented to me every year around this time: How do I find a property?  What do I look for?  What do I avoid?  Is it a decent investment? How do I ensure the security of the home when I am not there? Ultimately, isn't it less expensive for me to buy? What hidden costs do you project?  Will my vacation home ultimately become a headache?

All of these questions are important, valid, and necessary to research prior to taking the plunge!   I recently stumbled upon this terrific article on BiggerPockets.com and felt compelled to share. Sound Advice. 

8 Factors to Investigate Before Purchasing a Vacation Property

TREY DULING ON MAY 11, 2015

I have been a property manager here in Orlando since 2006, so I feel very confident in advising investors on buying a vacation home. Here are eight tips you should consider before you go and put money down on a vacation home.

Know All Your Costs

Before you sign a contract, do your homework and know exactly what the true carrying costs of your vacation home are going to be every month. The carrying costs should include: mortgage, home owners insurance, property taxes, HOA fees, property management fees, pool service (if you have a pool), lawn service, monthly utility bills, etc.

I recommend after you have calculated all your expenses, you should make sure you have no problem paying these expenses even if your vacation home brings in zero monthly income. I have talked to too many investors over the years who bought a vacation home they could not afford and whose home became an anchor on the family’s finances.

Find a Good Property Manager

A good property manager is key if you are going to be owning a vacation home. After all, the manager is the one who is going to be looking after your investment when you are not in town. A vacation home can deteriorate very quickly if the house does not have proper care.

I recommend driving around the neighborhood where the house you are looking to purchase is located and find homes that have good curb appeal. Then find the property managers who manage those homes. Chances are if a property manager is taking great care of the outside of a vacation home, then the inside is usually very nice as well.

Travel to the Vacation Home Location Before Purchasing

You will want to travel to the vacation home location quite often and make sure this area is where you and your family will want to travel and spend most of your vacations. You should also make sure that the area is easy to get to. I’m sure it is nice to have a vacation home in the mountains, but if it takes you a plane ride and a 3 hour car ride to get to, chances are you probably will not be visiting your vacation home too often.

Learn About Peak Time

If you are going to looking to get rental income from your vacation property, you should be aware that the most popular travel times will bring you the most rental income. So if you need income from your vacation home to make the deal work for you and your family, then you will probably need to use the house during the off season when the demand is not as great.

Know That Owning a Vacation Home is Not Always a Vacation

If you are pretty handy or if you want to save money, just be aware that when you visit your vacation home there will probably be a couple of days that are dedicated to doing general maintenance and repairs to your property.

The National Realtor Association has stated that the annual upkeep on a house should be around 2% of the value of the house. So if a house is around $150,000, then the owner should expect to spend around $3,000 annually on repairs and upkeep to keep the house in the same condition. The same rule goes for vacation homes.

Be Aware That Lifestyles Do Change

My wife and I have a vacation home in Destin, Florida. When our kids were younger, we used the house all the time. Now we visit our property about every 18 months or so. As your kids get older, their lives become more hectic with sports, school, and church activities so there is not as much free time.

Check the Crime Rates


You will want to check the crime rates of area and make sure that you are purchasing a home in a safe place. High crime will kill a vacation hot spot quicker than anything.

Learn the City’s Future Plans

Go to the city planning board website or do some investigation on your own to see what future plans are for the city. This insight will be extremely helpful when you go to actually purchase a property.

I hope these tips help you when you go to purchase a vacation home. The biggest tips I can give any potential vacation homeowner is to be realistic in what you can afford and do not overreach when purchasing a vacation home. After all, a vacation home is a luxury item that has turned into a nightmare for far too many families.

A CARRIE ADDITION:

LOCATE A LOCAL REALTOR WHO YOU TRUST TO ADVISE YOU FROM START TO FINISH ON THIS PURCHASE. No one can determine value, growth potential, best location,upkeep, and income potential like a Realtor.  Period. As a Buyer, your Realtor representation is 100% FREE to you, paid for by the Seller so take advantage. Ask around, do your homework.  If you cannot locate the right fit, call me at 314.452.7675 and I can stick you through our NRT referral network to have your placed with a reputable agent in the area.

Oh yeah, and don't forget to invite your friendly St. Louis Realtor for a weekend of fun in the sun. =)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Weekend Happening: Art Fair at Laumeier Sculpture Park

The 28th Annual Mother's Day Weekend Art Fair at Laumeier Sculpture Park kicks off today...  


The 3 day event, among the MASSIVE sculptures of Laumeier Sculpture Park, attracts more than 15,000 attendees every single year.  The show features over 150 artists, both local and from around the country, in medias from photography and pottery to sculpture and glass.

It is a fabulous event that my family tries to attend it every single year as there is something there for EVERYONE: music, food, crafts, and art.

Friday, May 8 | 6:00–10:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 9 | 10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 10 | 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

$10 | Ages 12 and up
$5 | Ages 6 to 11
FREE | Ages 5 and under

NOTE: Laumeier Members receive FREE admission to Art Fair!

DIRECTIONS:

Laumeier is located near I-270 and I-44, 16 miles and 20 minutes from the Gateway Arch. From I-44 Eastbound or Westbound, exit at Lindbergh Boulevard (Exit 277B), drive 0.5 miles south to Rott Road (turn right) and proceed 0.5 miles west to the Park entrance (on the left).

MORE INFO:  

Web: http://laumeiersculpturepark.org/programs_events/art_fair
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaumeierSTL
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaumeierArtStL
Phone:  314-615-5278 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Closed: #3200 Edgar in Downtown Maplewood


My, what a busy closing week it has been!  Spring market fun.

This adorable 1940 bungalow in Maplewood was passed along to a super lucky buyer this morning.  This one hits close to home for me, as I was friends with this Seller long before I became her real estate agent and sold her this cutie a few years ago.  

Ms. R- what can I say?  I will miss you!  It has been super fun being a part of your St. Louis journey and getting to know your incredible parents and friends, to boot.  There is something special about selling someone a house to turn around and resell it a few years later as life has changed.  Thank you for allowing me to be the caretaker of this one as you forged ahead on your new desert adventure. Even though I now watch from afar - thank goodness for Facebook- I cannot WAIT to see what is next for you.

Love you R... congratulations and thanks again for trusting me with this. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Double Closing Day: 429 Briarchase and 106 Harvestgate in Lake St. Louis

It was a super busy closing morning at the office!   My clients traded in their lovely starter ranch...


For this handsome traditional two-story with a lot more room for their young family, just in time to take advantage of the subdivision pool...

To the incredible D Family- thank you, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to help you with this move.  I truly enjoyed my time with your adorable family and cannot WAIT to hear about how the summer fun unfolds in your new home!  A warm congratulations to you. =)

Do you have an upsize, downsize, or lateral move in mind?  The market is still swift and the timing is ideal. Contingencies can be tricky, but if done correctly... are smooth as silk!  Allow me to help - www.MoveWithCarrie.com