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Don’t Forget the Laundry Room in Your Belleville IL Home

8 Nov

As every seller has learned by now, staging your Belleville IL home is instrumental in ensuring buyer interest and an ensuing sale.  In today’s real estate market, potential home buyers are in a position to be choosy and to insist on a setting that is clean, attractive, and efficient.  Not surprisingly, the laundry room is often overlooked when it’s time to sell a home, but proper stagingcan turn an often dull and unwelcoming area into an asset. Everyone must do laundry, and having a pleasant and functional space in which to do it provides yet another good reason for buying your home.

laundryThe following easy-to-do tips will add appeal to your laundry room—and to your Belleville IL home:

  • Clean and de-clutter:  Begin by emptying your laundry room of its contents.  Even though you do not remove the washer and dryer, do not forget to clean in between and behind them. Gather your vacuum and duster and get to work. Not only should you wash and vacuum the floor, walls, and cabinets, you should also clean the machines themselves. Do not forget to empty the lint traps. Also, remove everything out that you don’t need. The only items that should be in there are currently used laundry supplies.
  • Lighten up:  Most laundry rooms need a fresh coat of paint.  Using colors such as yellow, white, or sky blue will brighten this often dim room in your Belleville IL home.  Bright and/or light colors give the feel of a more open space, which is beneficial if your laundry room is small and congested.  Adding a new, increased wattage light fixture is another good idea.
  • Organize:  Canvas bins and baskets are visually pleasing and make excellent places to store all those detergents on the shelves above the washer and dryer.  Investigate the possibility of installing shelves, wall cabinets, or a small closet, particularly one which can house your ironing board. If you have little or no counter space for folding clothes, add a small table for this purpose.
  • Add Accessories:  Look for practical as well as decorative articles that enhance the efficiency and the appeal of the room. Laundry bags, ironing board covers, protective pressing pads, hangers, laundry caddy, towel warmer, rugs, pegs, drying racks, laundry lint brushes, and wall décor are some of the most common accessories for a laundry room.

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Holly Norton offers unparalleled service in the Belleville IL real estate market. Holly assists buyers looking for Belleville IL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Belleville 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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How Large Should The Down Payment Be On Your Saint Clair County IL Real Estate?

18 Sep

In spite on the current economic problems in the U.S, Saint Clair County IL real estate is more affordable than ever, thanks to low interest rates and lower home values. Many buyers who manage to have a 20% (or more) down payment believe this will get them the lowest monthly mortgage payment. However, simply because buyers can afford to put down this amount does not necessarily mean they should.

Those buyers who have saved enough to put 20%—or more—down on the purchase of a home may want to consider another approach—preserving some of their cash for savings, investing, or other purposes. It may sound coin housecounterintuitive, but with today’s interest rates and the competitive pricing of private mortgage insurance (MI or PMI), borrowers can retain some of their money by putting less money down on a home—say only 10%—and still get a low monthly payment.  Generally, more is better than less when buying Saint Clair County IL real estate.  But purchasers shouldn’t wipe out their savings account to do it.

Too often buyers, especially first-timers, underestimate the costs of all the “extras” that accompany a house purchase and overlook the possibility of a prolonged illness, job loss, or immediate need for a major home repair.  In addition to planning for closing and moving costs, buyers should also strive to maintain an emergency fund to cover 6 months of living expenses.  They need to also keep in mind property taxes and higher utility bills, not to mention the purchase of mundane items such as ladders, hoses, garbage cans, filters, lawn mowers and the like.  Basically, buyers will still need to have funds set aside for a rainy day and for things to buy after buying a home.

Potential purchasers should analyze their cash flow, debt situation, and future financial obligations before meeting with their Realtor and lender to discuss mortgage options for their Saint Clair County IL real estate purchase.  Possibilities might include VA loans which are available to past and present military personnel and require no down payment at all; FHA loans for as little as 3.5% down; and conventional loans, generally preferring 20% down, but where, with a high enough FICO score, 5% may be acceptable. In all three cases, MI would be required.

For those potential buyers who have stayed out of the market over worries of declining property values, they can still purchase a home without funneling all of their available cash into the down payment. By utilizing this strategy, home buyers are able to leverage their current assets, while still keeping a sufficient cash reserve.

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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.

Setting a Selling Price for Your Saint Clair County IL Home

7 Aug

Unfortunately, selling your Saint Clair County IL home in the current real estate market can be both difficult and frustrating.  As much value as you may feel your home has, the current conditions might say differently. In this buyer’s market, accurate pricing of your homeis imperative in getting your property sold quickly and for the best price possible. While this might sound simple enough, correctly pricing your property is far from easy and is a decision which requires time and effort on your part.  The following tips should help make the pricing process a smooth and beneficial one for you.

  1. saint clair county il homeDo your research: It’s important to know what other homes in your area are selling for right now in order to get an idea of a price point for your own property, but you shouldn’t rely on that alone. An Automated Valuation Model, better known as an AVM, is a web-based technology that immediately generates home values based on data analysis of recent area comparable sales, tax assessments and price trends. Click here for free sites.
  2. Find the right Realtor: Hiring the listing agent who quotes you the highest price isn’t always wise.  Interview at least 3 Realtors familiar with the area around your Saint Clair County IL home and choose the agent who supports a suggested price with comparative market data. It is the job of your Realtor to know the current market and market trends inside and out, to be closely connected to the real estate market at large, and to be aware of other properties currently for sale in your particular neighborhood.
  3. Cast emotions aside:   It’s important to remain as realistic and objective as possible when pricing your property. Although your home will most likely be invaluable to you, focus on the statistics from your research and on the advice given to you by your real estate agent for a satisfactory sale.
  4. Avoid overpricing at the outset.  Because your property has the best chance of selling within its first seven weeks on the market, the longer it stays on the market, the less it will ultimately sell for.  In addition, you will lose out on savvy potential buyers who won’t even come by to look, and fewer knowledgeable Realtors will preview your Saint Clair County IL home.  Lowering your price later will only result in delays and suspicions that something is wrong with the property.

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 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. 

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. 

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

Image

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.