Trending in St Louis Real Estate

Welcome to my real estate blog. Ill post here from time to time about topics of interest in real estate in St. Louis and surrounding areas that I am actively listing houses in. Check back from time as I will be writing about community events, neighborhoods and school districts, and general tips to keep you in the know.

-Becky Harrington RE/MAX

April 1, 2017

Don't be an April Fool


It's April and now is when people start THINKING about putting their homes on the market.  The weather is starting to settle down a little, as far as snow goes here in the Lou and its time to formulate your side-yard battle plans.

real estate staging tips st charlesGuess what, there is a shortage of listings on the market NOW.  If you wait until May or when your yard is looking better, you will be competing with everyone else who hopes that their house will sell. Wait too long and you will be looking at a desperate sales window later this summer.

Now, one of the biggest comments that I hear from sellers (for why they aren't putting their house on the market just yet) is the issue of "curb appeal".  There are a lot of things to do to properly "stage" your first impression while you are waiting for your gardens to be in bloom and one of the major items gets easily overlooked.

The #1 Item and my personal favorite (for Pet Owners) is to pick up all that winter doggie dookie.  

YUP, I said it.  Nobody wants to see or step in that crap, quite literally.  So get your handy-dandy pooper scoopers and get to scraping up Fido's treasures (or make your spouse do it!). You never want to push that off to last - it's a bomb just waiting to explode.

You can also find seasonal flowers in planters at a local Nursery that will help you to spruce up your yard nicely.  When you're ready, I will gladly share the photos of your yard in bloom, without people in it of course, in our advertising photos, with less competition - that means fewer showings but higher offer rates if you act quickly.

So, stop procrastinating, straighten up your house, finish your spring cleaning and call me while your neighbors are still brooding over their flowers and we will get your house sold!


Jan. 20, 2017

What Are MLS Listings and Why Do You Need Them?

MLS Listings Becky Harrington Remax

Trying to buy a home without the information that your real estate broker has access to is like trying to find treasure without a map. MLS listings help you not just find a home, but help you learn what you need to know about it. A licensed real estate agent gets you access to the information that you need to find a home that fits your needs.

The History of the MLS

MLS listings are not something new. They have been used in one form or another by real estate brokers since the 1800s. Real estate agents began to regularly share information through associations so that they could all have a better idea of what was for sale. It was beneficial for buyers, sellers and their agents to be able to have all of this information in a single place.

Now, there are over 800 MLS listing services nationwide. These private listings serve as a virtual warehouse that gets brokers access to a comprehensive list of properties that are available in the area.

The digital age means that it's easier than ever for information about available homes to be shared. Agents simply need to list properties for sale or look through the inventory to find ones that have are available for their clients.

MLS listings have been available online since 1996. While the listings that are available publicly there are not as detailed as what your real estate agent can get, these basic listings can help area buyers learn more about average home prices and get some information about what sorts of homes are available. Full MLS listings are only available to licensed real estate agents working with a brokerage. 

What are in MLS listings?

Most people know that MLS listings include the inventory of homes in an area. However, that is not all that is included. The MLS listings also have a lot of invaluable information about the home that can help you make a better decision about how much to offer and whether you want to buy.

With MLS listings, you will learn about the property tax history on the home, the demographics of an area, any short sale or foreclosure data and more. Your agent can see when the house is being shown and can let you know if there are other buyers who are also interested. 

With the information that is available at your agent's fingertips, you can learn everything you need to know about homes in Normandy and other parts of Missouri. By entering basic data about what you are looking for regarding neighborhoods, house sizes and other information, your agent can help you find the ideal place for you to call a home.

Looking for the perfect St. Louis area home? Get in touch to get access to information and properties in the MLS listings in Normandy, MO.

Jan. 11, 2017

4 Things to Do Before Applying for a Mortgage

Things to do applying mortgage

With banks relaxing after the growth in the real estate market, it's becoming easier for people to qualify for home loans. But, there are still a few things to do to make sure that you get the best rate and are loaned enough to pick out the home that you really want. Putting these few strategies into effect will help you get a home of your own and get you on to the path to the prosperity that homeownership brings:

1. Get a copy of your credit report.

Experts in credit and finance say that one in five people have errors in their credit reports. In some cases, the issues are ones that can keep you from qualifying for a loan or can result in a home loan with less favorable terms. For instance, student loans may be listed more than once, making it appear that you owe twice as much as you actually do. Or, a debt that was long since paid may show as still there and in default. Get a copy of your report then address any issues before you apply for a loan.

2. Gather together your financial documents.

The process of applying for a loan will be quicker and easier if you have all of your documents relating to your finances and your job together. You will most likely need pay stubs, tax returns and banking statements that show what sorts of assets you have. The more you are able to supply at the start, the faster the process will be.

3. Decide between fixed and adjustable rate loans.

Each of these has its advantages and which is best for you depends a lot upon your future plans. A fixed rate loan means that you will pay the same amount every month from your first to your last payment on your mortgage. Each month, the portion of your principle that you pay will go down. With an adjustable rate mortgage, your payment each month will depend on interest rates. If you think interest rates will fall after you buy your home, this form can save money.

4. Avoid applying for new credit.

Too many inquiries at once can reduce your credit score and mar the way you look to banks. Do not give into a good credit card offer if you are thinking of applying for a loan, as this will determine what sort of rate you are offered on your mortgage. And, if you currently have loans or credit card payments, make sure you keep up on them. Setting automatic payments can help you make sure you are paid up every month.

A mortgage for your St. Louis area home is an integral part of achieving your dream of homeownership. Taking care now can increase your chances of getting a home that will serve you well for many years. When you are ready to buy, get in touch with Becky Harrington, a qualified real estate agent in Normandy MO. She can help you find a home that is in your price range and that meets your family's needs. 

Dec. 5, 2016

Tips for buying land in Saint Louis county

Building a home of your own is a dream for many in the Midwest. There is land for sale throughout the St. Louis area in places that would make a wonderful home. But, before you jump in, make sure you know enough about the land to know that it is the right plot for you. A few of the things to look for:

1. Consider factors big and small about the location.

Don't just think in terms of whether it is in the town where you want to live. What school district serves the area? If the land you are looking at is in a development, how will the view look when more homes are built?

2. Learn the property's setbacks.

These are the lines inside your property that govern how far out you can build. If the home design you like won't fit within these borders, this property may not be right for you.

3. What will it cost to get utilities?

A property that already has existing local power and sewage lines will be less expensive to make livable than one where you will have to have those services run in. When you compare prices, be sure to include the cost of any services that you will have to bring in yourself.

4. Imagine what the neighborhood will look like a decade from now.

The area may be mostly forest now. But, if it's near the 70, 55 or another high-traffic interstate, it may not stay that way long. Decide whether you are comfortable building in an area that may become far more busy in the years to come.

5. Learn about local zoning restrictions.

Certain land is zoned exclusively for commercial use, other land for residential properties. Some areas have minimum home sizes that may be larger than what you planned or have budgeted for. By learning more about the requirements of the specific area you are looking, you can better know what is a good fit for you.

6. Is there a legal access or right of way for the property?

In some cases, properties get boxed in when land is subdivided. Make sure that there is legal access to the road from the place where you are looking; otherwise, you can wind up with a headache legally accessing your land while having to pass through land owned by someone else.

Whether you are looking in St. Charles, St. Louis, Normandy or another area, real estate agent Becky Harrington has the skill and experience to guide you toward the ideal piece of land for you.


March 25, 2010

Thank you for visiting!

While you are here =-) Contact me about my newest listing in New Melle, Mo.

1047 Lancaster Way, New Melle, MO 63357

Enjoy the amenities of Lake Sherwood with this fantastic lot with over 120 feet of lake frontage. Great for fishing and swimming, Lake Sherwood offers camping sites, beaches, multiple lakes, boat storage. This is a perfect getaway. A buildable lot like this one is hard to come by. Don't miss out. This property is owned by the selling agent. Call for more details!

MLS #: 16014586

Year Built: 2016

Price: $20,000