Friday, October 31, 2014

Under Contract: 7 Summersweet Lane in Ballwin (Parkway West)

A terrific start to a fun holiday weekend, #7 Summersweet went under contract late last night and closes in December!  A warm thank you and congratulations to the M Family.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Just For Fun: The 2014 Trulia Housing "Scare Report"


This Fall, Trulia surveyed over 2,000 prospective buyers about what SCARES them during their October house hunt. Their findings!  Would you buy a house near a cemetery?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October Pinterest Fun

"Eat, drink, and be scary."
~Author Unknown


Halloween falls on a FRIDAY this year, so you better have a full "treat" bowl ready! Need a last minute costume idea or recipe? Check out my spooky October Pinsperation HERE!




Monday, October 27, 2014

Rule of Real Estate: Know your numbers. Check your credit score for FREE

Answer this question honestly:  
When was the last time that you pulled your credit reports? 


The fact is, your numbers matter!  I did the annual examination of my credit reports this AM- fast, easy, and painless.  I figured that this would be the perfect time to share the information on the blog with you!

Did you know that under the Federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), you are entitled to a free peek at your credit report once per year?  To comply with their obligations under FACTA, the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) organized the web site AnnualCreditReport.com,  allowing consumers a way to easily exercise this right.  The website is safe and FREE TO YOU, providing all American consumers an easy mechanism to receive their three free credit reports per year.

Ok, so why don't people use this service?  After 13 years of discussing money matters with clients, I hear 4 reasons repeatedly.

1) I didn't know about the service.
2) I hate talking credit.
3) I have no plans for a big purchase, so why bother
4) By FAR, the most common- I don't want to damage my credit

Whether preparing for a large purchase (house or car) or NOT, an annual credit report check is necessary and advised to ensure that you are "moving in the right direction", that your identity has not been compromised, and to allow you the ability and adequate time to dispute any discrepancies. 

I equate the fear of facings ones' numbers to someone who refuses to go to the doctor every year.  The fact is: knowledge is power. Once you rip off the band-aid and HAVE the information in hand... you can work with it. When it comes to your finances (or your health for that matter), ignorance is NOT bliss.  If your goal is to build and maintain a healthy credit score, checking your credit report on a regular basis is a good first step. 

Just do it.  Face the music.  Take control of your finances and pull your report HERE.  You will be relieved that you did, I promise!

Per the Annual Credit Report site:  Keeping an eye out for three things can help to have a positive impact on your credit score: suspicious information, score factors and signs of identity theft. It’s a common misconception that having your credit checked will harm your score and this isn’t always the case. 

There are two types of credit inquiries

Hard Inquiries
These types of inquiries, such as when a potential lender checks your credit report to approve a loan, application, rental agreement or other contract, can show up on your credit report and damage your score to some degree. Companies will need your permission to review your credit report. 

Soft Inquiries
These inquires occur when you’ve given permission to access your credit report for things like employee background checks or when you review your own report. Soft inquires won’t affect your credit score.

Checking Your Credit Report for Signs of Identity Theft

The following issues may be indications that you’re a victim of identity theft:

  • Accounts that don’t belong to you
  • Inquiries that you haven’t authorized
  • Addresses that you can’t recognize or haven’t lived at
  • Checking for Unfamiliar Information

Sometimes information on your credit report is reported incorrectly by the company to the credit bureau. Some examples of incorrect reporting include:

  • Accounts that are open being reported as closed
  • Late payment reports that never occurred
  • Incorrect numbers that deal with credit balances or credit limits

Reviewing Your Credit Score Factors

Your next step is to take a look at your credit score factors. These detail those issues that hurt or help your credit score. 

Positive credit score factors include: punctual payment history, age of accounts and low balances. 

Negative score factors include: being been more than 30 days late, having several inquiries, and having one or more legal judgments in your credit report. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

St. Louis Weekend Happening: October 24-26



Kimmswick Apple Butter Festival 


October 25-26, 2014
10am-5pm

This festival is one NOT to miss!  In fact, Steve and I have taken the boys to this annual fall festival since they were babies.   Drawing almost 100,000 people per year and less than 30 minutes from St. Louis, escape to Kimmswick for casual day of Fall fun, including crafts, holiday shopping, pumpkin carving, live entertainment, food, drink, and more.

In addition, watch the Kimmswick Historical Society make fresh apple butter in front of your eyes and purchase a fresh jar.

Festival is FREE, though parking is $5.00


WEB: http://www.missourimarketplace.net/applebutterfestival.html 

FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/applebutterfestival 

Halloween in the Central West End 

October 25, 2014
11am-12am

Set in the vibrant cosmopolitan Central West End with a backdrop of tree-lined streets and stately turn of the century mansions, the annual CWE Halloween is the can’t miss celebration of the season. Festivities kick-off with family fun daytime activities and as the sun sets, the party continues with an adults only bash…the Adult Costume Contest and Party-legendary for its elaborate, complex and outrageous costumes.

CWE Halloween is open to the public and free to attend. Adults interested in participating in the Adult Costume Contest are required to pay a nominal entry fee

WEB:  http://www.thecwe.org/events/halloween-in-the-cwe-2/

Oktoberfest in Hermann 

October 25-26, 2014
Times and activities vary

Less than an hour from St. Louis, Hermann celebrates its German heritage with four weekends of German music, dancing and food, all set against a backdrop of glorious fall color. This is your last weekend to enjoy the fun!

HERE is the full weekend calender!

Lemp Mansion Halloween Bash

October 25, 2014
8pm-12:30am

The Lemp Mansion, one of the most haunted mansions in the country, is home to St. Louis’s favorite Halloween party. This is the place for people who like their Halloween as spooky and macabre as possible. Dress up in your most creative costume and mix with Lemp’s authentic ghosts and poltergeists for a rowdy bash filled with food, music and tasty adult beverages. The $55 admission price includes multiple buffets spread throughout the rooms of the house, live music by several top local bands, an open bar and costume contests with cash prizes.

$60/Advance; $65/ at Door
Reservations Required, 314-664-8024

3322 Demenil Place
St. Louis, MO 63118
(314) 664-8024

WEB:  http://www.lempmansion.com/bash.htm

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Reduced: 7 Summersweet Lane in Ballwin

This gorgeous 4 bedroom, 2 bath brick ranch, on the prettiest lot that you have ever seen, has been reduced to $214,900!  A bargain in the reputable in Parkway West school district.

Learn more HERE.  Want a private tour?  Contact me at cnenonen@cbgundaker.com or 314.298.5275.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Peek In My Kitchen: Lasagna Soup recipe


As we venture into cooler Fall weather, "Soup Season" officially commences in Casa de Nenonen. There is arguably nothing more comforting than a pot of soup simmering on the stove top as the temperatures begin to plummet. 

Here is a peek at our dinner table this evening.  As this recipe is one that my family requests repeatedly, I figured that I would share.  The flavor of lasagna without the calories and hassle... this recipe is tasty and easy!

 Italian Lasagna Soup

Ingredients


2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb lean ground beef (I often sub ground turkey)
1 large yellow onion, diced (2 cups)
4 garlic cloves, to taste, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz) can Petite Diced Tomatoes (I use no-salt added)
1 (14.5 oz) can Crushed Tomatoes (I use no-salt added)
2 1/2 Tbsp Tomato Paste (I use no-salt added)
1 3/4 tsp dried basil (can use fresh, if on hand)
3/4 tsp dried oregano (can use fresh, if on hand)
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed 
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1/2 tsp dried thyme 
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 lasagna noodles, broken into bite size pieces (6.5 oz)
1 1/4 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese (5 oz)
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (2 oz)
8 oz ricotta cheese

Directions

Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, crumble beef into pot, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally until browned. Drain majority of fat from beef and set aside. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in pot, add chopped yellow onion and saute until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add in garlic and saute 30 seconds longer. Add in chicken broth, Petite Diced Tomatoes, Crushed Tomatoes, Tomato Paste, basil, oregano, rosemary, fennel seeds, thyme, parsley, the cooked ground beef and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare lasagna noodles according to directions listed on package (don't overly salt the water as some of the water will be added to the soup later). Reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining pasta.

Add cooked pasta to soup along with 1/2 cup - 1 cup pasta water as desired. In a mixing bowl, using a fork, stir together Grated Parmesan Cheese with ricotta cheese.

Ladle soup into bowls, dollop each serving with a large scoop of the cheese mixture, sprinkle shredded Mozzarella Cheese and chopped parsley. Serve warm.

"Pin It" here:  http://www.pinterest.com/pin/33214115977047234/ 

Real Estate Tip: Spring Listings require Fall and Winter preparation to maximize profit potential!

Contemplating a Spring move? Contact your Realtor NOW! It is not too early, friends.
I have had 3 listing appointments over the last week, providing in-depth comps and cold weather month "to do list" suggestions to help my clients maximize their Spring profit potential.  Need a Realtor in St. Louis? I would love to help! 314.452.7675 or cnenonen@cbgundaker.com.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

St. Louis Weekend Happenings: October 17- 19, 2014


Boo at the Zoo Nights
Nightly, October 17-30, 2014
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Explore the Zoo after dark during the special Halloween evenings: Boo at the Zoo Nights! This non-scary, kid-friendly Halloween experience is filled with laughs and adventure. Children are encouraged to wear costumes. Children 12-and-under will receive a treat bag upon exiting. Boo at the Zoo Nights is not a trick-or-treating experience.

$6/member; $7/non-member; children under 2 are free 
$1 discount for children 2 to 12 in costume

Parking is free - South Lot only. (North Lot and North Entrance will be open on select nights: Oct. 17, 18, 24, 25, 30.)

More info:  http://www.stlzoo.org/events/calendarofevents/booatthezoonights/

Harvest Festival at Laumeier Sculpture Park
Sunday October 19
11am-5pm

Hosted by Sauce Magazine and Laumeier Sculpture Park, the 2014 Harvest Festival celebrates the best Autumn has to offer: delicious eats from St. Louis area restaurants, a farmers’ market featuring fresh local produce, arts and craft wares, family activities, live Bluegrass music and all of Fall’s splendor in Laumeier’s beautiful outdoor setting.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for Laumeier Members, and children ages 10 and under free. Buy tickets at the door or online

Laumeier Sculpture Park
12580 Rott Road
St. Louis, MO 63127

More info:  http://harvestfeststl.com/


Town and Country Fall Festival with Fireworks
Saturday, October 18, 2014
4:00-7:00pm

Celebrate the beginning of Fall in gorgeous Town and Country with pony rides, bounce houses, restaurant booths, crafts, a pumpkin patch, fireworks, and MORE!

Location and more into here: http://www.town-and-country.org/ParkEvents.aspx

Westport Brewfest
Saturday, October 18, 2014
2:00pm - 6:00pm

Calling all beer lovers!  Celebrate several of the country's finest brews all in one stop! Patrons can expect to enjoy live music brought to you by the Jive and Wail and other fun surprises. Discounted general admission tickets and VIP tickets are now available below. Tickets will also be available the day of the event for $25. Admission includes a commemorative sampling mug, all beer sampling and live entertainment. Food will be sold separately.

Westport Plaza*
Outdoor Village
111 West Port Plaza Drive
St. Louis, MO 63146

*Event entrance will be in the front of the Plaza
next to St. Louis Bread Co.

More info: http://www.westportstl.com/events/westportbrewfest

City of Chesterfield Taste of Trucktober 
Saturday, 10/18/14
Noon-5pm

This family-friendly event will host an array of 23 gourmet food trucks including Seoul Taco, Sarah's Cake Shop, Steak Louie, Guerrilla Street Food,  The Cheese Shack, and more!  This event also features live music, games and karaoke. 

Chesterfield Amphitheater (631 Veterans Place Drive, Chesterfield)

More info: http://www.trucktoberstl.com/

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Spooky October Fun in Des Peres

 Last week on my Facebook page... 

... I expressed that the month of October is always a little more fun for Realtors, thanks to the creativity of local homeowners.  This rang true when I passed this teeny Des Peres street on the way to show properties in Kirkwood last week!

While I wouldn't recommend this "spooktacular" exterior decor if your house is on the market, it got me in the Halloween mood- I had to share!