Real Estate Information Archive


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Get your home ready to sell

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team


Bright breakfast nookWhen preparing your home for sale, a number of simple cosmetic changes often provide the biggest return on investment. Here are three tips to upgrade your house without breaking the bank:

  • Bring in the light. The right light creates the right mood. Adding lights to dark rooms can make your home feel warm and inviting. Bring outdoor light inside by opening curtains and installing economical sun tubes.
  • Create Space. Many of today's buyers are looking for open rooms. Consider removing unwanted walls to make your home feel more spacious. Buyers will often pay a premium to get a bit of extra room.
  • Replace Flooring. Get rid of that old carpet in the den and replace it with today's newer hardwoods and laminates. You don't have to spend a lot to make a big impression!

These simple tips can help you sell your home and take advantage of our today's market. Please contact us if you have any questions about selling your home. We are here to help!

August 2016 Sales Report

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team


Propelled by the biggest percentage of sales to first-time buyers in almost four years, sales of existing homes in June kept an upward arc, growing for the fourth month in a row, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

Total existing-home sales in June (counting transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops) grew 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million from a downwardly revised 5.51 million in May. After this gain, sales are now 3.0 percent higher over June 2015 (5.41 million) and represent their highest annual pace since February 2007 (5.79 million). 

Existing Home Sales By

NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said that the four month streak of sales gains through June showcased a solid first half of 2016. Yun noted, "Existing sales rose again last month as more traditional buyers and fewer investors were able to close on a home despite many competitive areas with unrelenting supply and demand imbalances." Yun added that, "Sustained job growth as well as this year's descent in mortgage rates is undoubtedly driving the appetite for home purchases." NAR's economist added a cautionary note: "Looking ahead, it's unclear if this current sales pace can further accelerate as record high stock prices, near-record low mortgage rates and solid job gains face off against a dearth of homes available for sale and lofty home prices that keep advancing."

Key Takeaways

  • June's median price for existing homes (non-new builds) for all housing types was $247,700, up 4.8 percent over June 2015 ($236,300). June's increase represents a 52nd straight month of year-over-year gains.
  • Total housing inventory by the end of June fell slightly 0.9 percent, to 2.12 million existing homes available for sale. Unsold inventory now sits at a 4.6-month supply at the current sales velocity.
  • First-time buyers generated 33 percent of transactions in June, 3 percent higher than seen in May and a year ago -- in fact this is the highest since July 2012 (34 percent). 
  • Freddie Mac data shows the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell from 3.60 percent in May to 3.57 percent in June. Mortgage rates have now dropped for four consecutive months, and June's rates were the lowest since May 2013 (3.54 percent). The average commitment rate for all of 2015 was 3.85 percent.

Scott's Real Estate Update

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team


St. Louis to be Nation's Second Hottest Real Estate Market in 2016

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

According to, which places the St. Louis metro area at No. 2, ahead of not just San Diego but top-10 markets Sacramento, Atlanta, New Orleans and Charlotte, the hottest real estate markets in 2016 are going to be Providence, St. Louis, and San Diego. It also shows St. Louis real estate inventory moving faster than the U.S. overall, online listings getting more views than other markets, and demand increasing as the local economy continues to improve.

"Next year looks to be the best year St. Louis has had in quite some time," says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for "We've been seeing strong demand in St. Louis, and if anything, it's starting to heat up even more." predicts that single-family home sales in the St. Louis area will increase by 8.6 percent compared to 2015 — with median home sale prices up 10 percent.

The website's analysis looks at a variety of factors, including mortgage rates, household income, and new housing starts. "There is no national real estate market," he observes. "There are 1,000 local housing markets. So we're looking at every individual market in the country."

St. Louis also finished third in the website's analysis of a market's success with "young Gen-X homebuyers," finishing behind only Atlanta and Denver, and just ahead of Charlotte, in terms of its 2016 prospects with those between the ages of 35 and 44.

Indeed, Smoke notes that, of all mortgages made in the St. Louis area this year, 42 percent are for buyers ages 25 to 34. That's something you're not seeing in California or New York.

"It's an extremely attractive market from the affordability standpoint," he says. "It's a great opportunity for anyone looking to start a family, or especially Gen Xers, who were most negatively influenced by the last housing downturn." They bought their first home at the peak of the market, Smoke notes, and subsequently suffered the largest share of foreclosures.

Now, in St. Louis at least, Gen Xers are showing they're ready to try again. And with the area poised to see job growth and household income rising at a pace faster than the national area, the housing market overall could be hot, hot, hot.



Sarah Fenske, Wed., Dec 2, 2015

Spring Cleaning 101

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team
Spring Cleaning 101
It's time to bust out the vacuum parts you never use, the ladder, the hose, and your pristine cloths and
How to Clean Your Kitchen


1. Declutter. Do a search and destroy mission in your cabinets and drawers. Donate or toss anything you don’t need. Wipe down drawers and cabinets. And clear your countertops of everything except items you use daily.


2. For  dirt and stubborn grease deposits, use a microfiber cloth.


3. To combat stains, use vinegar and baking soda  — plus a little elbow grease. They’ll clean and disinfect for a fraction of the price of commercial cleaning products.


4. Clean your smelly sink drain. Pour in a quarter-cup of baking soda followed by an equal amount of vinegar. Leave it overnight, then flush with boiling water.


5. To clean your oven, coat it with a paste of baking soda and water. Leave it to sit overnight, then wipe it down.


6. Wipe fingerprints off stainless steel appliances with a mixture of natural dish soap and warm water.


7. Combine equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle clean countertops.


8. Tackle once-a-year chores like vacuuming refrigerator coils (unplug your fridge first), and tossing expired food from the back of the pantry.



How to Keep Your Home Clean Longer


1. Defy dust by keeping your home’s humidity level between 40%-50%. That’ll eliminate static while decreasing dust mite growth.


2. Keep glass shower doors free of soap scum build-up by coating them with a rain-repellant product made for car windshields.


3. Use a wet pumice stone to scrape dirt and grease from your oven. It works much faster than an oven-cleaning product and doesn’t give off fumes.


4. Re-seal natural stone countertops twice a year.















"Every Child Connected Everyday" St Clair R-13 (Part 1)

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

Dr. Murphy speaking about the Chromebooks at the "Every Child Connected Everyday" Event at St. Clair High School.

St. Clair Chamber Honors Best of Best at Banquet

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

While clicking through the emissourian today, I noticed an article from January 17th titled “St. Clair Chamber to Honor Best of Best at Banquet.” Earlier in January business and churches were asked to nominate who should receive the awards. There were a total of 9 categorize in which to nominate someone. “Twenty individuals and five businesses or organizations have been nominated”.  According to the article “awards will be presented on Saturday, Feb. 7, as the highlight of the annual Celebrate St. Clair Banquet.” During the banquet, "The St. Clair Police Department, Fire Protection District and Ambulance District also will present their 'Employees of The Year'. The other award will go to Nathan Tate, who served as the 2014 Chamber board president."

Isn't it wonderful to live in a City that honors the amazing actions of its citizens!

To view a list those nominated and/or read the full article follow the link below. 


by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team
alphabet letter s

Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.

alphabet letter a

Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

alphabet letter f

Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

alphabet letter e

Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.


alphabet letter h

Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always WALK and don't run from house to house.

alphabet letter a

Always test make-up in a small  area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

alphabet letter l

Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.

alphabet letter l

Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses

alphabet letter o

Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

alphabet letter w

Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

alphabet letter e

Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

alphabet letter e

Enter homes only if you're with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Never accept rides from strangers.

alphabet letter n

Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

Taking a moment to recognize St. Clair School District

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

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.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 60

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