Real Estate Information Archive


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Benefits of Buying Towards the End of The Year!

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

Summer may be real estate’s busy season, but winter offers great opportunities for buying a house, especially for renters looking to become homeowners, growing families trading up to larger houses and baby boomers seeking homes to fit their evolving lifestyles. Generally speaking, your housing choices during the late fall are still healthy. October and November are great months to go house hunting. December is usually sparse, market-wise, but if that fits your timeline, you could luck out.

The benefits to buying a house at the end of the year include the following:

1. Tax savings

If you close by December 31, you can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, points on your loan and interest costs. These deductions are significant, especially in the early years of your loan when you’re paying off a lot of interest.

2. Motivated sellers

Many sellers want to enjoy tax savings on the next home they purchase. They may accept lower bids in order to meet Uncle Sam’s deadlines. However, if you’re in a strong seller’s market, you’ll want to be conservative and heed advice from your real estate professional.

3. Builder incentives

If you’re buying a house that is brand new, there’s a good chance builders may push to close the books on their year and meet quotas. They may offer upgrades or little extras to sell houses before the calendar turns.

4. Available movers

Many moving companies are booked six weeks or more in advance during the busy summer months. In the fall and winter, it’s normally easier to secure the services of a moving company or rental equipment on shorter notice.

5. Paying toward something you own

If you’re renting, your monthly check goes toward something that will last you a month: You’ll never see any return on that money. When you buy a house, your monthly mortgage payment goes toward an investment and ultimately a roof that’s yours.

6. Consistent payments

Landlords can increase your rent. Once you secure a mortgage, you can rely on consistent payments if you have a fixed-rate loan.

7. Freedom to renovate

Modernize your kitchen, paint your home’s exterior neon orange, change your fixtures or replace your carpeting; whatever inspires you, no one can tell you, “No!”

8. Gaining equity

In the beginning, most of your payment goes toward interest. But gradually more will go toward paying off your principal, meaning you build up equity or savings in your home. Another factor in equity is appreciation: As home values rise, so does your rate of equity


In Love With Two Houses?

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

Things you will want to consider when deciding between two houses: 

  1. The neighborhoods. If the two final contenders are in different neighborhoods, evaluate the pros and cons. If you have kids and being close to a park is important, you'll want to consider that. How close are shopping, restaurants, church, and other services? Are the streets maintained? Do homeowners landscape and maintain their homes nicely? How long will your commute to work be?
  • The schools. If you have school-aged children, you definitely want to consider the reputation of the neighborhood schools. You can usually find general district information and state standardized test results online. But once you're this deep in the process, you'll want to visit the schools and receive the information first-hand from school officials. You should also talk to teachers and parents.
  • Crime. Go to the local police or sheriff department and ask about crime in your specific neighborhood. You might find theft or vandalism to be more prevalent in one area than another.
  • The houses compared to others in the neighborhood. While it may boost your self-esteem to have the biggest house on the block, it's typically a better idea to stay away from purchasing the neighborhood monster. When it comes time to sell you'll find that the lower value of your neighbors' homes will shrink your home's value.



                                                                                                                                            Michele Dawson




Why Buy A Home Protection Plan?

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

Why Buy A Home Protection Plan?

Key Points to Remember:

  • All covered systems and appliances must be in normal operating condition at the time coverage takes effect.
  • Call first before having warranty work completed.
  • Only one heating and cooling system is covered unless additional coverage is purchased.


Offers FREE, No-Strings-Attached coverage during the listing (up to 6 months) and allows you to decide, depending on the purchase offer, whether to make the warranty a permanent condition of the sale. If the warranty is included in the final sale, payment is due at the time of closing. If the warranty is not included in the final offer, the warranty cancels and no money is owed regardless if there have been repairs made under the warranty.

Affords you with peace of mind and budget protection against untimely and expensive repairs during the listing of your home.

Offers you protection after the sale. The home buyer now has a place to go for repair work to mechanical systems instead of inconveniencing you after the sale.

Gives potential buyers confidence that your property is sound and provides them with protection that they will not get with the purchase of another home.

Fills the "wear and tear" gap that is created by the exclusion to your homeowners' insurance coverage (subject to the provisions of the warranty).


Provides you peace of mind on one of the largest investments of your life. No more worrying about expensive repairs on your home's appliances and mechanical systems. One toll-free number is all you need.

Affords you with budget protection after buying a home. The most your covered repair will cost is a low service fee. 66% of homeowners report a failure of at least two major items within the first year of home ownership and the average homeowner has 1.6 service calls per year.

Fills the "wear and tear" gap that is created by the exclusion to your homeowners' insurance coverage (subject to the provisions of the warranty).

While a thorough inspection by a professional home inspector or by yourself will ensure mechanical systems and appliances are in working order on the day of inspection, no one has the ability to predict when one of the covered systems fail. Your Home Protection Plan gives you the confidence that your mechanical systems and appliances will be covered in the event of a breakage or failure.

Allows you the choice of service providers to complete the repair. A preferred servicer (if available) will perform the initial diagnostics.


Quick Fixes - Home Staging

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

Quick ways to prepare a vacant home for sale!

1. Hire a professional cleaning crew to clean the house, inside and out.

2. If you don't plan to stage the home, have the carpet deep-cleaned or replaced.

3. Give all the rooms a fresh coat of paint.

4. Put a lamp in every room with timers so lights can turn on and off at different times. That way, buyers won't need to search for light switches in dark rooms.

5. In a non-distressed property, keeps the rooms at a comfortable temperature.

6. Put at least one air freshener in each room and closet out of sight so the home smells good.

City of St. Clair to Host EEZ

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team


Missouri Department of Economic Development


Provide tax credits to new or expanding businesses in a Missouri Enhanced Enterprise Zone.

Home Buying Checklist

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

Once you've made the decision to buy a home, it's time to start thinking about what comes next. every buyer needs a checklist that will guide them through the process of searching for the perfect home, evaluating their choices and making a purchase.



When you set out to buy a new home, you will need to familiarize yourself with various real estate terms, conduct research on the market value of homes in the area in which you intend to shop and learn the art of negotiation. This information will help as you browse homes, talk with REALTORS® and get further into the buying process.


Every 12 months, you are entitled to request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. You should make this request before you begin looking at homes in order to allow yourself enough time to identify and dispute any inaccuracies in your credit file(s). When you approach a lender, you will need to make sure that everything is correct and up-to-date.


Pre-qualification is different than pre-approval in that it gives you a possible price range that you can afford, but does not guarantee you the loan. Pre-qualification is important because it will help you narrow your search to include only homes that you can afford. Knowing what you can pay beforehand will save you both time and disappointment in looking at homes that do not fit your budget. In today’s real estate market you should not begin your search before you have been pre-qualified.


Nobody knows the real estate business like a REALTOR®, so let them help you to find your new home. Based on your specific requirements, a REALTOR® can locate a home that will suit you at a price that’s within your budget. When he/she finds one or more possible candidates, you will be invited to tour the home. At this point, you should take a camera for the purpose of later reviewing each house with visuals instead of relying solely on memory.


Once you find the perfect home, make an offer that’s less than you are actually willing to pay. This way, the seller can make a counteroffer that would hopefully still be within your budget. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the art of negotiation so that can learn how to get the best deal without insulting the seller. If you have not yet been pre-approved, make sure that your offer is contingent upon your being able to obtain the necessary financing.


Once you and the seller agree on a purchase price, you may be required to provide an earnest money deposit that will secure the home as you obtain a loan (if applicable). A lender will require a home inspection and appraisal for the property in connection with your loan application. In most cases, you will know within a few weeks whether or not your application is approved, but the actual closing will not occur until the inspection and appraisal are complete.


Now that the papers are signed and you have the keys to your new home, it’s time to get moving – literally. Remember to decorate your new home and add all of those special touches that reflect your personality. After all, a house is only a house until you make it a home.

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

Contact Information

Photo of Hickinbotham Real Estate Team Real Estate
Hickinbotham Real Estate Team
Scott Hickinbotham
862 S. Outer Rd.
St. Clair MO 63077
Scott: (636) 399-2296
Office: (636) 629-3419
Fax: 636-629-4462