Saturday, January 24, 2009

Around St. Charles County

  • February 1- February 28: The Big Read “National Endowment for the Arts” - Foundry Art Centre, 520 N. Main Street, St. Charles, MO 63301
  • February 4-8: Cirque du Soleil Saltinbanco - St. Charles Family Arena
  • February 7-8: Great Train Expo - Saint Charles Convention Center; $7.00 (adults & over 12 yrs.) / under 12 yrs. Free
  • Februrary 11: 200 Years of Candy – First Missouri State Capitol Historic Site; 4:00 – 7:30 p.m. FREE
  • February 10-21: Wizard of Oz - Lindenwood Center for Fine and Performing Arts Events, 7:30
  • February 13-15: Working Women’s Survival Show - Join us February 13-15, 2009 - Friday 11am-8pm, Saturday 9am-7pm & Sunday 12-6pm; $6.50 – $9.50.
  • February 14: Mardi Gras Parade – Family Friendly, Historic Frenchtown on North Second Street, 3:00 pm
  • February 21-22: Playhouse Disney Live - St. Charles Family Arena

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

St. Louis Magazine names 2009 FIVE STAR: Best in Client Satisfaction Real Estate Agent

Congratulations Grant Hickman!

"Experts say that at least 90 percent of homebuyers rely on real estate agents for advice and guidance. But with more than 15,000 agents in the St. Louis area holding real estate licenses, how do you choose?

"St. Louis Magazine has partnered with Crescendo Business Services, an independent research firm, to find out which real estate agents have most consistently wowed their clients." (Source:

Customers and the magazine’s panel agreed - St. Charles Realtor, Grant Hickman deserved the distinction. Fewer than five percent of licensed agents in the St. Louis area will be recognized in St. Louis Magazine’s April issue.

“In the fall, Crescendo mailed nomination ballots to St. Louis area residents who had recently purchased homes. Additional ballots were sent to mortgage and title companies, who are often best able to judge a real estate agent’s technical skills and knowledge. On the ballots, recipients were asked to nominate only real estate agents whom they knew through personal experience. They were asked to evaluate them based upon nine criteria: customer service, communication, finding the right home, integrity, negotiation, marketing the home, market knowledge, closing preparation and overall satisfaction. Only original ballots—no copies—returned in their specially designed envelopes were accepted as valid.”

Grant Hickman, The Grant Hickman Team Real Estate Expert, continues to provide expert real estate services and systems and award-winning customer service. The Grant Hickman Team has a proven approach to buying and selling real estate which has resulted in their skyrocket to success and continuous achievement.
  • Ranked in the Top 3% of Agents –St. Charles County Agents
  • #1 in Sales Volume
  • #1 in Number of Homes Sold
  • #1 in Customer Service 2003 - 2008
  • Agent of the Year- 2002, 2003, 2006, & 2007 & 2008
  • Top "40 Professional Under 40" -St. Charles Magazine
  • "5 Star Customer Service" -St. Louis Magazine

Your Home Buying Experience

Q: Please introduce your family?
A: Brandon, Kirsty, Gabe, Jadyn Johnson

Q: Where is your new home located?
A: St. Ann

Q: Describe your situation when you decided to purchase your home?
A: We were renting a home and decided to move forward and purchase a home instead of helping someone Else's investment we wanted to help out our family's future investment.

Q: What concerns/fears did you have about buying a home?
A: All the bills that go with owning your own home and whether or not we can find a house that we like and still stay in our budget, and find a neighborhood that is child friendly and safe.

Q: How did The Grant Hickman Team help you work through those fears/concerns?
A: Being my first home, I had no clue what I was getting into and started researching online and all the headache and hassle other people talked about. The Grant Hickman Team walked me through every step of the process and made my life easier. I work on the road and through the whole closing process I was working in Toledo, Ohio and managed, with the help of The Grant Hickman Team, to close on the house with out being there (except on the closing day).

Q: What was the best part of your home buying experience?
A: Knowing that I have made the right decision and the satisfaction of being a home owner.

Q: Would you use The Grant Hickman Team to buy or sell a home in the future?
A: I have plans in the future when I go to sell my home and buy another home that I WILL be using them again.

Spotlight on DeWitt Insurance

Q: What is the Name of your Business?
A: DeWitt Insurance

Q: What is your name?
A: Steve Harkins

Q: Where is your business located?
A: 1370 Triad Center Dr. St Peters, MO 63376

Q: How can someone contact you to learn more?
A: (636) 447-1862 or

Q: Briefly describe what you or your business does?
A: Commercial Insurance Broker offering coverage for general liability, property, and workers compensation coverage through over 80 companies. We specialize in commercial buildings, garages, restaurants, home health care companies, and contractors.

Q: How many years have you been in business?
A: 6 years

Q: Do you have a burning desire?
A: To travel the world

Q: What’s something not many people know about you?
A: I backpacked the largest mountain in New Mexico with my father.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Potential Home Buyers, 2009 is The Time!

Get off the sidelines if you are thinking about buying a home. Contrary to implications in the news, now is one of the best times to be a home buyer. No one knows how long this once in a generation, or perhaps once in a lifetime, window of opportunity will be open but there are several things working in the home buyers favor right now.

First, home prices in most markets have declined in the past year; therefore, you can get much more home for your dollar. The drop in values has been more modest in the Midwest compared to the rest of the country, so if we assume only a 10% drop in value; someone looking at a $300,000 home a year ago might be able to purchase the home today for only 270,000.

Secondly, mortgage rates on 30 year fixed loans for both government and conventional loans are at or near all time lows. Rates a year ago were around 6% and today they are around 5%, so assuming a loan amount of $150,000; monthly savings compared to a year ago would be around $100 a month!!

Lastly, if you need help with down payment money; the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) just made it easier for first time homebuyers who are eligible for the $7,500 Housing Tax Credit from the Federal Government.

The $7,500 Housing Tax Credit is currently given to those first time homebuyers on their tax return the year after they buy; so someone buying in 2009 would not receive that money until 2010. This unfortunately doesn’t help that first time homebuyer who needs down payment assistance.

MHDC has set up a program so that this same homebuyer can borrow those funds today and then pay it back when they get the Housing Tax Credit later on. One key thing, this Housing Tax Credit is only available until the end of June, 2009; so get out there and start looking for that new home!!!

30 Year Fixed 5.00% with 0 points and only $399 in lender fees
MHDC (CAL) FHA 30 Year Fixed 6.50% with 0 points
FHA 30 Year Fixed 5.00% with 0 points and only $399 in lender fees

Around St. Charles County

•January 13: Oliver -Lindenwood Center for Fine and Performing Arts Events, 7:30 pm; $25-$55

•January 15-31: Regional Acts - Ameristar Casino Entertainment, Thursday evenings; Free

•January 15- December 17: It’s a Grand Lunch at the Foundry - Foundry Art Centre, every Thursday 11am- 1:30 am in the Grand Hall; $10

•January 16-18: All Canada Show - St. Charles Convention Center, Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 10am-7pm, Sunday 10-4pm Admission; Adults $10, Seniors & children (13-16) $8, Children 12 & under are free; Free parking

•January 16-18: Boat Show- Fishing and Outdoor Expo - St. Charles Convention Center, Friday noon-10 pm, Saturday 10-8pm and Sunday 11-5 pm; Admission $6, under 12 years, free.

•January 16- April-17: Foundry Art Centre Exhibits - 520 North Main Center, St. Charles, MO, 11am - 1:30pm; $10

•January 21:Sleeping Beauty - Lindenwood Center for Fine and Performing Arts Events, 7:30 pm; $35-$65

•January 21- April 3: Citizen Police Academy Class - St. Charles Police Department, St Charles Community Room, 1781 Zumbehl Road, St. Charles, MO 63303, every Wednesday

•January 23- January 25, St. Louis Golf Show - St. Charles Convention Center

•January 25: Winter Jam ’09 - St. Charles Family Arena

•January 25: Jesus Christ Superstar - Lindenwood Center for Fine and Performing Arts Events, 7:30; $25-$55

•January 31: Fete De Glace( The Festival of Ice) - 100 to 200 blocks of North Main Street in St. Charles, 10am- 4pm

•January 31- February 1:Travel and tastes of the World Show - St. Charles Convention Center, 10-5pm & February 1 from 10-4pm; free admission