Archive | July, 2012

Saint Clair County Illinois: 2012 Olympic Games Info Here!

31 Jul

The London Summer Olympic Games continue through Sunday, August 12, 2012, and will highlight 302 events in 26 sports ranging from archery to wrestling.  Click herefor a complete listing of schedules, venues, participants, and anything you could ever want to know for your viewing enjoyment.                                        

olympic ringsAccording to historical records, the first ancient Olympic Games can be traced back to 776 BC and consisted of a series of competitions held between representatives of several city-states from ancient Greece and featured mainly athletic but also combat and chariot racing events. During those games all struggles among city-states were set aside until the games were finished. The origin of the original Olympics is shrouded in mystery and legend, but we do know they were dedicated to Olympian gods and staged in the Olympia Plains in Greece.                        

The meaning and the values of the Olympic Games are conveyed by the symbols of the rings, the motto and the flame.

  • The five rings — blue, yellow, black, green, and red — represent the five parts of the world now encompassed by Olympism and ready to compete against each other. Moreover, the six colors (including the white background) combined represent those of all nations, without exception.
  • The three words of the Latin motto translate to FASTER — HIGHER — STRONGER and encourage the athletes to give their best during competition.
  • In memory of the modern Olympic Games’ ancient origins, the flame is lit (only by the sun’s rays) in Olympia some months before the opening of the Games.  A new torch is created for each edition of the Games. Each relay runner carries his or her own torch: it is the flame which is passed from runner to runner and which cannot be extinguished. This year American four-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson described carrying the Olympic flame around Stonehenge as a “magic moment”.

Want to know more about the Games?  The web is rife with sites dedicated to your thirst for Olympic knowledge and activities.  For a wide variety of quizzes and games, visit Fun Trivia, and Kaboose offers almost as many crafts and activities for kids (and parents) as there are events in the 2012 Games. Coloring pages can be found at Primary Games and Activity Village.

Search all Saint Clair County IL Real Estate And Homes For Sale.

Holly Norton offers unparalleled service in the Saint Clair County IL real estate market. Holly assists buyers looking for Saint Clair County IL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Saint Clair homes for sale. Holly serves the entire Saint Clair County Illinois real estate market including the surrounding communities such as Fairview Heights, Belleville, Swansea, Shiloh, O’Fallon, Freeburg, Smithton, Mascoutah and Millstdat area. 

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Saint Clair County Illinois: 2012 Olympic Games Info Here!

31 Jul

The London Summer Olympic Games continue through Sunday, August 12, 2012, and will highlight 302 events in 26 sports ranging from archery to wrestling.  Click herefor a complete listing of schedules, venues, participants, and anything you could ever want to know for your viewing enjoyment.                                        

olympic ringsAccording to historical records, the first ancient Olympic Games can be traced back to 776 BC and consisted of a series of competitions held between representatives of several city-states from ancient Greece and featured mainly athletic but also combat and chariot racing events. During those games all struggles among city-states were set aside until the games were finished. The origin of the original Olympics is shrouded in mystery and legend, but we do know they were dedicated to Olympian gods and staged in the Olympia Plains in Greece.                        

The meaning and the values of the Olympic Games are conveyed by the symbols of the rings, the motto and the flame.

  • The five rings — blue, yellow, black, green, and red — represent the five parts of the world now encompassed by Olympism and ready to compete against each other. Moreover, the six colors (including the white background) combined represent those of all nations, without exception.
  • The three words of the Latin motto translate to FASTER — HIGHER — STRONGER and encourage the athletes to give their best during competition.
  • In memory of the modern Olympic Games’ ancient origins, the flame is lit (only by the sun’s rays) in Olympia some months before the opening of the Games.  A new torch is created for each edition of the Games. Each relay runner carries his or her own torch: it is the flame which is passed from runner to runner and which cannot be extinguished. This year American four-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson described carrying the Olympic flame around Stonehenge as a “magic moment”.

Want to know more about the Games?  The web is rife with sites dedicated to your thirst for Olympic knowledge and activities.  For a wide variety of quizzes and games, visit Fun Trivia, and Kaboose offers almost as many crafts and activities for kids (and parents) as there are events in the 2012 Games. Coloring pages can be found at Primary Games and Activity Village.

Search all Saint Clair County IL Real Estate And Homes For Sale.

Holly Norton offers unparalleled service in the Saint Clair County IL real estate market. Holly assists buyers looking for Saint Clair County IL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Saint Clair homes for sale. Holly serves the entire Saint Clair County Illinois real estate market including the surrounding communities such as Fairview Heights, Belleville, Swansea, Shiloh, O’Fallon, Freeburg, Smithton, Mascoutah and Millstdat area. 

Everything You Need To Know About Buying a Saint Clair County IL Home – Part IV

24 Jul

You’re getting close to the finish line and will soon be the owner of your first home. Just a few more steps to go…

saint clair county il home1. Insurance

Adequate homeowner’s insurance is a requirement of all lenders, and it is certainly in your best interests to protect the investment you’ll be making in your Saint Clair County IL home. To find the policy that is right for you, you should shop around for the best value. Check online (some companies offer a discount of 30%-40% if you buy online) for quotes from at least three reputable agencies. Check to see if you need flood insurance. Know the replacement value of your home, keeping in mind inflation increases.

2. Final Preparations

As the settlement date approaches, check with your lender to make certain all necessary documents are in order and are being prepared. You will also want to set up utility services in your name. Ask your real estate agent about the type of payment and amount to bring to the closing. It is a good idea to bring all paperwork associated with the purchase of your Saint Clair County IL home to the closing.

3. The walk-through

You are entitled to an inspection of the property before closing. Make sure all conveyed items are present, there is no new damage, agreed-to repairs have been completed, and the home is in good working order. Your realtor will have a checklist. Items to be checked out are numerous and include both the exterior of the home as well as the interior The house should be empty, except for conveyed items, and “broom-swept“ clean. If any problems arise, your realtor will request repairs or monetary compensation from the seller.

4. And finally…the closing!

You will receive a settlement statement listing all the costs you’ll be required to pay at the table. You’ll be required to bring a certified check and a photo ID with you. The attorney will briefly explain each document you are asked to sign. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or take time to read a particular paper. The attorney will also arrange for the collection and disbursement of all funds

AND, after all these steps have been completed, you will be handed the keys to your first ­­­­­­­Saint Clair County IL home! Congratulations!

Search all Saint Clair County IL Real Estate And Homes For Sale.

Holly Norton offers unparalleled service in the Saint Clair County IL real estate market. Holly assists buyers looking for Saint Clair County IL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Saint Clair homes for sale. Holly serves the entire Saint Clair County Illinois real estate market including the surrounding communities such as Fairview Heights, Belleville, Swansea, Shiloh, O’Fallon, Freeburg, Smithton, Mascoutah and Millstdat area.

Saint Clair County, IL Real Estate For Sale:7701 Baxter Drive Belleville, IL 62223

19 Jul

Saint Clair County, IL Real Estate For Sale:

7701 Baxter Drive Belleville, IL 62223

MLS#4108957

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View The Tour!

Honey stop the car!  This feels like home.  An inviting foyer with hardwood floors and pottery barn perfect colors are ready to welcome you home. A spacious dining area allows for romantic dinner space. Fantastic family living area offers vaulted ceilings and a warm fireplace flanked by picture window views. A delicious kitchen with soaring ceilings, drop down cabinets, counter space galore, a smooth-top range, built-in microwave plus a planning desk is sure to please the cook.  Family and friends can perch at the breakfast bar to sample your goodies. A sunny breakfast area with deck access is ideal for entertaining. Enjoy your morning coffee on the spacious deck overlooking lush green lawns and mature trees. Then just step back inside as there is home office space on the main living area, you may never want to leave. A dreamy master suite features soothing colors, a deep tray ceiling plus a pampering master bathroom. Stash the kids downstairs where they will find plenty of room to sprawl out with their friends. A bedroom, living area and a full bathroom will keep them entertained. Gorgeous features that would appeal to your family are awaiting you in this move-in ready home. Call me today for your private tour.

Search all Saint Clair County IL Real Estate And Homes For Sale.

Holly Norton offers unparalleled service in the Saint Clair County IL real estate market. Holly assists buyers looking for Saint Clair County IL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Saint Clair homes for sale. Holly serves the entire Saint Clair County Illinois real estate market including the surrounding communities such as Fairview Heights, Belleville, Swansea, Shiloh, O’Fallon, Freeburg, Smithton, Mascoutah and Millstdat area.

Everything You Need To Know About Buying a Saint Clair County IL Home – Part III

17 Jul

After you’ve made your lists of “must haves,” and you’ve identified desirable neighborhoods, it’s time to seriously shop for your Saint Clair County IL home.

Your agent will email you listings which meet your criteria, and you can “visit” many of them online via a virtual tour. Once you have narrowed down your choices, your Realtor will arrange for you to visit those properties. A few bits of advice here:

saint clair county il home1) Take notes on each home you tour.

2) Look past the owner’s furnishings and décor.

3)  Consider the potential of the property.

4) Listen to both your head and your heart. Sometimes a property really does “speak” to you.

Once you decide to make an offer on your chosen Saint Clair County IL home, your agent will provide you with comparable prices of similar homes which have recently sold to help you decide what you will offer. He/she will prepare a contract which will include price; down payment, deposit, financing; inspections; conveyance of items, settlement date; and any contingencies you add.

Once your Realtor presents your offer to the seller, negotiations may begin. The seller may counter your offered price or any other part of the contract, and you may, in turn, counter such requests. You may have to offer more money in price, but you can also ask the seller to cover all or some of your closing costs or to make repairs that ordinarily would not be covered. The best solution, of course, is to reach an agreement that makes both the buyer and the seller happy.

Once the deal has been finalized, you will proceed to having a home inspection, a HVAC inspection, and an environmental test (asbestos, mold, radon). Your Realtor can arrange for these inspections to ensure that the property meets expected standards. He/she will also deal with the seller to take care of any exposed discrepancies and/or unexpected problems

What‘s next? Preparation for your closing, a walk-through of the property, and then the actual settlement on your Saint Clair County IL home!

Search all Saint Clair County IL Real Estate And Homes For Sale.

Holly Nortonoffers unparalleled service in the Saint Clair County IL real estate market. Holly assists buyers looking for Saint Clair County IL real estate for saleand aggressively markets Saint Clair homes for sale. Holly serves the entire Saint Clair County Illinois real estate market including the surrounding communities such as Fairview Heights, Belleville, Swansea, Shiloh, O’Fallon, Freeburg, Smithton, Mascoutah and Millstdat area.

Everything You Need To Know About Buying a Saint Clair County IL Home – Part II

17 Jul

Now that you have analyzed your financial situation, received prior loan approval, and determined your needs/desires for your first house, you will want to secure a mortgage for your Saint Clair County IL home.

saint clair il homeAs with any major purchase, you will want to shop around for the best deal. Contact several lenders (bank, savings and loan, credit union, private mortgage company, or a state or federal government lender.) Before doing that, however, you need to familiarize yourself with mortgage types, terminology, and options. Your Realtor will be helpful in this mission, as will the internet. Click here for help in determining which type of mortgage is best for you. This site will help you with options, terminology, calculators, and much, much more.

Another good source of information for first-time home buyers of a Saint Clair County IL home is HUD, an agency which oversees FHA loans. This type of loan is particularly useful if you have little money for a down payment (generally 3% is required), less than great credit, or large monthly bills. Because interest rates are higher and you must also pay loan insurance, however, be sure to research this type of loan carefully before committing to one.

When you have done all of your homework and are ready to actually apply for a mortgage, be sure that you have all the figures, information, and paperwork required by the lender.  It’s an extensive list, but your loan application cannot be processed until your file is complete.  State Farm has a handy online checklist for your convenience.

As always, to avoid mental stress, financial strain, and even real estate fraud/scams such as bait and switch or loan flipping while purchasing your Saint Clair County IL home, be forearmed with accurate information and heed the sound advice of your Realtor.

Coming next!! Part III–finding your perfect first home, making an offer, and preparing for the closing.

Search all Saint Clair County IL Real Estate And Homes For Sale.

Holly Norton offers unparalleled service in the Saint Clair County IL real estate market. Holly assists buyers looking for Saint Clair County IL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Saint Clair homes for sale. Holly serves the entire Saint Clair County Illinois real estate market including the surrounding communities such as Fairview Heights, Belleville, Swansea, Shiloh, O’Fallon, Freeburg, Smithton, Mascoutah and Millstdat area.

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Saint Clair County, IL Real Estate For Sale: 7 Juanita Place Belleville, IL 62223

6 Jul

Charming cottage located in desirable Juanita Place is ready for new owners. Come on in and ponder a moment in the beautiful sunroom with terrazzo brick flooring and sun-drenched views you are sure to feel right at home. Meander your way through into the living room with hardwood floors and a cozy gas fireplace entertaining will be delightful. The dining room is oozing with character and all set for a delightful dinner party. Fantastic kitchen space boasts new counter-tops, an abundance of cabinet space and a serving window to the dining room. Family and friends can be the first to sample your culinary masterpieces in the sunny breakfast nook. A dreamy master suite features an 8 x 6 walk-in closet with organizer, a soothing ceiling fan and hardwood floors. The secondary bedroom with two closets is sized generously for overnight guests. A lovely bathroom features a new raised vanity, new flooring, new shower surround and an extra deep tub. Grab your favorite beverage and relax on your private patio under mature trees. One could happily linger here all day. Pack your backs and come on over. We are sure you will want to stay.
Holly Norton has distinguished herself as a leader in the Saint Clair County, IL real estate market. Holly assists buyers looking for Saint Clair County, IL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Saint Clair County homes for sale.
Holly brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a Saint Clair County, IL home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future – Holly will help make the most of your Saint Clair County, IL real estate experience. Give her a call today, 618-779-9966, and discover the difference she can make during your family’s move.
Search all Saint Clair County IL Real Estate And Homes For Sale.