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Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

An Age-Old Question: Should we Sell Our St. Clair House?

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

It's true; the real estate market isn't at its peak right now. But you may still be asking yourself, should we sell our St. Clair house? I've put together a few ideas that may give you a better idea of the answer to that age-old question.

1. Call your local agent. We have all the statistics for your area including how long homes in your neighborhood are staying on the market before they sell and how much your house is worth in today's market.

2. Find out the value of your St. Clair home. By comparing your home value with the selling prices of similar homes in your area, you will be able to see if you will be losing money if you decide to sell.

3. Determine if you have the money to move. Closing costs, home inspections for the house you want to purchase, moving expenses, storage fees and a down payment on the new home can all take a big chunk out of your savings. So look closely at your current financial situation to see if you can realistically afford to move.

4. Decide why you want to sell. Would you be moving because of your job? In such a case, you may have no choice if you want to continue working. Or would a move be to avoid foreclosure? Has your expanding family simply outgrown your house, or are you retiring, the kids are all out on their own and you'd like to downsize to save on utility bills and taxes?

5. Consider the social effects of a move on your family. Especially if you have small children in school, a move might have huge effects on them. Do you want to uproot them from familiar surroundings, schools, and close family and friends?

As you can see, deciding to sell your St. Clair home  may not be an easy decision. It is indeed both a financial and emotional choice. So do your research and consider all the options. For help with the research and to see what's available on the market today, contact me, Scott Hickinbotham, online or give me a call at 636-399-2296.

The Scott Hickinbotham Team Moves into the Technical Age

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

Yes, it's true. The Scott Hickinbotham Team is moving into the high-tech age by adding QR Codes to our real estate lawn signs. You should begin to see them in the St. Clair area around February 24th. But how do they work and what can they do for you?

A QR code (QR stands for Quick Response) is a fast way to get information. In our case, information about a listing. All you need to use the code is a web-enabled cell phone with QR code reader software installed on it. By waving your phone at the QR code image on our signs (I know this sounds a little weird but it's really all you have to do), you will be instantly taken to our website, which has already been optimized for viewing via cell phone.

So let's say you're on a house hunting mission in St. Clair, you drive by a home with our lawn sign in the front yard and the house looks like something you would be interested in. Simply wave your phone at the QR code sign, and you'll be taken to our website where you can view detailed information about the house, including such things as how many bedrooms and bathrooms there are, what appliances are included, room sizes, and even color pictures or a video tour. You can even contact an agent to call you back, or add this home to your list of dream houses.

You may also see these coded signs at local home shows or other events. For example, if you're at a home show looking at a booth offering services for pool owners, you might see a QR coded sign that could take you to a sight offering homes for sale in the area with pools. The options are really endless and this technology is improving daily.

If you're looking for a home in the St. Clair area, grab your phone and hit the road. You'll soon see our QR coded signs in front of our listings, allowing you to get quick access to information on any listing that you're interested in. Of course, you can still contact us the "old-fashioned" way by phone at 636-629-3419 or online.

Ten Tips for a Smooth Move to St. Clair

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

Getting ready to move into your new St. Clair home? You'll want to do everything you can to make the move easier, so here are ten tips for a smooth move to St. Clair.      

1. Before you pack your lamps, remove the bulbs.                                   

2. So you don't have to spend your first night in your new home in the dark, arrange to have your utilities turned on the day BEFORE you move.

3. Load area rugs last, so they will come out of the truck first. That way they can be placed on the floor, under the furniture that will be moved in after.

4. Pack heavy items in small boxes and light items in large boxes. Try to keep total weight per box under 50 pounds, less if you're doing the moving yourself.

5. Got plates? Pack them on their sides, vertically, with newspaper or tissue between each one.

6. Move a phone book from your old house to the new St. Clair house, just in case you need to contact old neighbors or businesses you've dealt with.

7. Drain gas and oil out of all yard equipment, snow blowers, boats, etc. before you attempt to move them.

8. Try to move during the week if possible so that utility companies, government offices and schools will be open in case you need to go there.

9. Be sure to give your movers written directions and a map to the new home along with your cell phone number, in case there's a problem and they need to contact you. Be sure to have their cell phone numbers in your hand as well.

10. If possible, leave pets with a friend or relative on moving day to avoid as much trauma in their lives as possible.

Now that I've gotten you started, you can probably come up with a lot more ideas of how to make your move easier. The first thing you'll want to do when you decide it's time for a move is to contact me, Scott Hickinbotham, to help you sell your old house or buy the perfect new one in the St. Clair area. Call me today at 636-399-2296 or contact me online.

Escrow: What is It and How Does it Work for your St. Clair home?

by Hickinbotham Real Estate Team

An escrow account is a pre-funded account to pay off bills on your St. Clair home, such as homeowners insurance and property taxes, that will come due later in the life of your mortgage.

When you obtain a mortgage to buy your new home, you will probably be required by your lender to open an escrow account. This means that a neutral third-party will take care of the money put into the escrow account and eventually use it to pay off certain pre-determined debts.

As already mentioned, the escrow account will often be used to pay for homeowners' insurance and/or property taxes. How does this work? Once the annual payment for insurance or taxes on your St. Clair home is determined, usually around the time of closing, the total will be divided up into 12 monthly payments, which will usually be paid to the lender along with the monthly mortgage payment. Then when the insurance premium or property tax bill comes due, the escrow agent will pay these bills using the funds you have paid into your escrow account.

The main benefit of an escrow account for the lender is to insure that they aren't stuck for taxes or insurance on a property that has been damaged by fire or is about to be sold because the taxes weren't paid. The homeowner benefits by being able to spread out the total annual amounts, which can be quite large, by breaking them down into more manageable monthly payments.

If you're planning on buying a home, a Realtor® is a great source to help you understand all the ins and outs of closing and home ownership, including escrow accounts. Give me, Scott Hickinbotham, a call at 636-399-2296 or contact me online.  I can help you understand all you need to know to purchase your new home in the St. Clair area.

 

 

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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