Monday, August 31, 2009

Around St. Charles County

Tuesday, September 15
Your Personal Economic Recovery

7-8 p.m.
Middendorf-Kredell Branch, St. Charles-St. Charles County Library District

Today's economic environment may be one of the most challenging. Take control of your financial situation - and the sooner you act, the better. Learn about the steps that can help prepare you for a potential recovery and keep your financial future on track. Presented by Gary W. Weber, Edward Jones.

Tuesday, September 15

7 pm to 9 pm

St. Charles Nonprofit Development Center, 425 Spencer Road

Open House presentation by the St. Louis Audubon Society. Refreshments will be served while you wander exhibits, pickup informational materials, and meet the folks that make it happen around the Metro Region. From birding to education to hands-on conservation activities and more.
Info call 314-599-7390

Friday, September 18-Sunday, September 20
Friday: 4 pm - 9 pm
Saturday: 11 am - 9 pm
Sunday: 11 am - 5 pm

Historic St. Charles Downtown District

Approximately 125 artists from across the country are selected to come to St. Charles to exhibit and sell their works. Mediums represented include painting, sculpture, jewelry, and many other fine arts. Other activities include A Mentor Me program, an Art for Youth gallery, and a Kids Creation Station. Food and other refreshments are available throughout the festival grounds.
For info: call 636-940-5178 or visit

September 25 - October 25, 2009

Quilt National
Tuesday-Saturday hours are 10 am - 5 pm
Open until 9 pm on Wednesdays
Sunday hours are 12 pm-4 pm

Foundry Art Centre, 520 N. Main Stree

Quilt National is a biennial, international, juried and judged quilt art competition. Quilt National has showcases the most exciting & innovative trends in the medium and promotes quilt making as what it always has been - an art form. Jurors will select works that represent unique approaches and demonstrate the breadth & diversity of contemporary expressions. An educational lecture series will run in conjunction with the exhibition.

Tuesday, September 29
Escape To Araluen/Ranger’s Apprentice
7 p.m.
Middendorf-Kredell Branch, St. Charles City-County Library
Experience the story, live the action with the Viking Story Pirates of New York City.
Info: Register online at or call 636 978.7926

Wednesday, September 30
When Should Ms. Daisy Stop Driving?
3-4:30 p.m
Progress West Highway K Medical Building & Urgent Care Center
Designed for the impaired senior driver and their loved ones, this discussion separates fact from fiction on the safety of older drivers. Call 636.344.2273 to register.

Visit your St. Charles County Real Estate Expert

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Home sales up/new search options

Soaring home sales encourage confidence in the real estate market. The Grant Hickman Team’s new online housing search makes selling and buying a dream.

Good news prevails in the real estate market this week. For the first time in five years, existing home sales have increased for four months in a row, according to the monthly statistics from the National Association of Realtors®.

This increase is due in part to first time homebuyers who cashed in on the $8,000 tax credit. They accounted for 30 percent of homes purchased in July while foreclosures totaled 31 percent of transactions.

As the excitement about home ownership begins to return, the Grant Hickman Team now offers buyers and sellers an incredible online experience. We’ve made searches for all area homes, condos, rentals, open houses and foreclosures a one-stop deal. This new way of viewing real estate includes absolutely everything a potential buyer needs–you get all the property details and set up a list of favorites so you’re not bouncing back and forth between websites.

Pictures galore, of course, and you can email the listing to a friend to see what they think of the property. There’s a mortgage calculator, MapQuest directions and points of interest near the property. You can also request a private showing or contact the Schneider listing agent for more information.

As much as we love our new online search, we also believe that talking to a real person is the best way to learn about your next home. Do some searches online and call us. We’re here for you. Come look around!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Home buyers can receive up to $14,999 to purchase foreclosed property

You can give foreclosed property a new life and participate in the St. Charles region economic recovery

Another assistance program designed to help potential buyers enter the housing market is now available from the Missouri Housing Development Corporation (MHDC). Qualified buyers can receive up to $14,999 or 20% of the purchase price on foreclosed property to use for a down payment and closing costs.

This incentive will help stabilize and rebuild Missouri neighborhoods. The MHDC received $4.2 million from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NPS) to help consumers buy homes.

Combine this incentive with the $8,000 tax rebate for first time home buyers and there is no better time to jump into homeownership.

Here are the details:

  • Applicants can be first time home buyers or repeat buyers.
  • The loan is an FHA 30-year fixed rate at 5.75%.
  • The property must be foreclosed and unoccupied for three months.
  • The purchase price cannot exceed $258,690.
  • There are maximum income requirements set by the MHDC.
  • Buyers must use the MHDC First Place Loan program for the first mortgage while the NSP funds provided through the second mortgage and have a 0% interest rate, which is forgiven after five years of residency.
  • The purchase price must be discounted a minimum of 1% from the current appraised value.

This is your chance to give a foreclosed property new life, and for you to participant in the economic revitalization of St. Charles County.

Visit Grant Hickman for St. Charles Real Estate

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Time is running Out

  • YOU MUST Act Now!!!
  • YOU MUST close by Nov. 30th

The Qualification, Selection, Inspection and Closing Process takes considerably longer than in previous times...often from 3 to 5 months.

Contact Me today to increase your chances of hitting the target and not missing out on Your $8,000 Tax Gift!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Listings!

901 Cordova St
St Louis , MO 63138
GrantHickman , 314-265-1531
view details
11820 Criterion Ave
St Louis , MO 63138
GrantHickman , 314-265-1531
view details

29 Graystone Ct
Saint Charles , MO 63303
GrantHickman , 314-265-1531
view details
1075 Rogers Ln
Florissant , MO 63033
GrantHickman , 314-265-1531
view details

Monday, August 17, 2009

Follow these tips and have a great experience with home improvement professionals

Spiffing up your home before you sell can reap financial rewards. Finding the right contractor or tradesperson to help is a crucial step.

You’ve decided to put your home up for sale and move on, or you are staying put and want a fresh look. However, a few things need to be addressed before you plant that FOR SALE sign in the front yard. Homeowners can handle small fix-it projects, but other projects may call for an expert. That means the search for a reliable, honest contractor is next on your agenda.

Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to find a contractor or tradesperson. Ask friends and colleagues for referrals, but make sure what you need matches with who is recommended. You may need your deck resurfaced, but your friend’s wonderful painter wouldn’t be the best choice. Even if you chose a friend’s recommendation, check it out with the St. Louis Better Business Bureau. Ask the contractor for a list of recently completed projects and call the homeowner to discuss the work. Grant Hickman, SCHNEIDER Realtor, is another excellent resource for recommendations.

Once you’ve found a good fit, make sure your contractor has the proper insurance, liability and bonding, and is licensed to perform the work you want. Ask the tradesperson to show you this documentation, and obtain copies for your files.

Get it in writing. The contract stage is crucial to a successful job completion. Include every detail possible for the job in addition to an estimate. Include the start date, schedule, completion date, any variables you would anticipate and the payment schedule. If your contractor or tradesperson is reluctant to include any of this information, beware. This might not be a good match. Everyone involved in your project must have copies of all paperwork.

And finally, do you like each other. Really, personality conflicts or different work styles can mean your project could be an unsatisfying experience. When all is said and done, both you and your contractor want to show pride in the workmanship and part on good terms.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Make a big effort to sell a small house and ring up a big sale

Smaller houses are contenders in the real estate market. People who are interested in lower costs, less maintenance and an active lifestyle are prime candidates to buy.

If the past couple of years have taught us anything, Americans are realizing that the “bigger is better” theory hasn’t worked out too well. That goes for real estate as well as life. Smaller houses have a very viable place in market now, especially for buyers who are cost-conscience and want to own property but are not interested in a lot of maintenance and high taxes.

Buyers run the gamut from first-timers who are looking for a starter house, to former McMansion owners tired of the expense involved in upkeep, to seniors who still want to own property but need a low maintenance house that affords them the option to seek new adventures.

In the beginning
Sprucing up a smaller house for sale is a lot like any other house, but sellers need to add an extra wow factor. Fantastic curb appeal is a must in this situation. You want the prospective buyer to fall in love with your house right away.

Garbage bags are you best friends
Eliminate clutter right now. The more stuff you have sitting around, the smaller the house seems. You want the potential buyer to see that their stuff will fit, that there is enough space to live comfortably and not feel overwhelmed. Fill the garbage bags up with things that no longer work, you don’t want and that you take with you to your next home.

Let the sunshine in
The more light, and the cleaner the windows, the bigger the space will look and feel. Dark drapes and shadowy corners give a closed in feeling and that’s not what you want to sell.

Open up the space
Smaller homes usually come with smaller kitchens. Remove all appliances from countertops when you show the house to give the appearance of adequate cooking space. If you have a huge wrap-around sofa and a big screen television in the living room, take them out. The first view as potential buyers enter the house is crucial; a buyer wants to see and feel open spaces rather than a cramped maze.

Highlight easy maintenance
Show off any new kitchen appliances and heating or cooling upgrades. Newer means less maintenance and lower costs. How long does it take you to cut the grass? A lot less than mowing an acre, and that means more time for the buyer to enjoy life.

Keep in mind that smaller homes are jewels in the landscape. Your property will be in demand and attracts those buyers who want more out of life than home maintenance.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Spotlight on Waverly Forest Academy

Q: Please introduce yourself?
Angela Nesslage

Q: What is the name of your business?
Waverly Forest Academy of Learning

Q: Where is your business located?
3545 Franks Drive, St. Charles, MO 63301

Q: Briefly describe what you/ your business does.
Waverly Forest Academy is a center dedicated to the education of young children and their families. Waverly focuses on providing an "at home" environment to support the growth and development of our children. Family is very important to me and is the foundation of Waverly Forest Academy.

Q: How many years have you been in business?
Waverly Forest Academy opened on March 29, 2009. Previously, I was the director of Little Guppy Child Development Center for 10.5 years with over 15years in Early Childhood Education.

Q: What is your burning desire?
I would love to get more involved with horseback riding

Q: What’s something not many people know about you?
I am a state horseshoe champion

Q: Do you have a Website Address?

Q: What’s the best way for someone to get a hold of you if they have further questions?
You can reach me by email or by phone at 636-940-0550 or