Thursday, August 28, 2008

Where the Hell Are You Matt?

Sorry I have been MIA. I have been in Austin, Texas at Keller Williams Mega Camp. It's a KW National Real Estate conference, and the topic was the shifting market. I took away some amazing information, and met come real estate agents that do some insane business!

I'm looking forward to implementing the ideas for both my buyers and sellers. If know you anyone looking to buy or sell, send them my way!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Former Carrolton Subdivision

Carrolton subdivision, in Bridgeton, MO used to be a nice little neighborhood. Then, in 1989, Lambert Airport decided they needed to expand, and started buying houses.

The last family moved out last year, and the subdivision is a collection of empty spaces, vacant houses, and charred remains.

The Post-Dispatch wrote an interesting article on Monday, and the blog, 56 Houses, has been documenting the saga. They are both interesting reads.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rumor Has It...

Monarch co-owner will open a new restaurant in the CWE in the space formerly occupied by Balaban's. The tentative date for opening is October 15th.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Don't Forget About the Garage

Oftentimes, people's garages become the step-child of their home - where all of the junk and clutter collect. Sellers will assume it's not a big deal when they go to sell, and they have the garage full of junk.

There's a couple problems with this assumption - first, your garage is an extension of your home, and it should clean, well-kept, and put together just like your house. Second, Buyers will see your garage full of stuff, and many actually like to park a car there. If your garage is filled to the gills with junk, it will come across that there isn't any storage space inside the actual house, and put up a red flag to some Buyers.

Click Here to check out a great article about not overlooking your garage!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Composite Decking Has Its Downfalls

Having a deck is at the top of a lot of homeowners 'want' lists. I prefer the look and beauty of natural wood, but many people are big proponents of composite decking. While it certainly doesn't take the maintenance that wood does, it has shown that it isn't impervious to rotting, and it hasn't been around long enough to know what the true lifespan is.

Click Here to check out a great article about the two.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Ed McMahon Saved From Foreclosure... The Donald. Yes, Donald Trump has agreed to purchase McMahon's house and let him continue to live in it. McMahon was facing foreclosure in the next two weeks after defaulting on his $4.8 million loan with Countrywide. He has said he hasn't been able to work becuase of a neck injury.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Another Great List From Roost

You may remember awhile back I posted about the description of homes in the MLS, and the list Roost came up with for the top adjectives used.

They are back, this time with a Top 2o list of what words Buyers are searching for when narrowing their home search.

I will be perfectly honest in that the list surprised me somewhat...the Top 10:

1. Pool
2. Garage
3. Hardwood
4. Waterfront
5. View
6. Basement
7. Tile
8. Deck
9. Condo
10. Shop

"I wouldn't bet the house will sell when you use these words, but it can't hurt," says Roost chief marketing officer, Drew Izzo.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More On the Foreclosure Front

RealtyTrac®, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its July 2008 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — were reported on 272,171 U.S. properties during the month, an 8 percent increase from the previous month and a 55 percent increase from July 2007. The report also shows one in every 464 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing during the month.

“Bank repossessions, or REOs, continued to be the fastest growing segment of foreclosure activity in July, posting a 184 percent year-over-year increase — compared to a 53 percent year-over-year increase in default notices and an 11 percent year-over-year increase in auction notices,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “The sharp rise in REOs, combined with slow sales, has resulted in a bloated inventory of bank-owned properties for sale. RealtyTrac now has more than three quarters of a million properties in its active REO database, a number that represents approximately 17 percent of the inventory of existing homes for sale reported in June by the National Association of Realtors.”

Nevada, California, Florida post top state foreclosure rates: Nevada continued to document the nation’s highest state foreclosure rate in July, with one in every 106 households receiving a foreclosure filing during the month. Foreclosure activity in Nevada was up 15 percent from the previous month and 97 percent from July 2007, pushing the total number of properties with foreclosure filings to over 10,000. Bank repossessions in Nevada were up 384 percent on a year-over-year basis, while default notices were up 59 percent and auction notices were up 31 percent.

One in every 182 California properties received a foreclosure filing in July, the nation’s second highest state foreclosure rate, while one in every 186 Florida properties received a foreclosure filing, the nation’s third highest state foreclosure rate.

Despite increasing foreclosure activity, Arizona’s foreclosure rate dropped from the nation’s third highest in June to fourth highest in July. Foreclosure filings were reported on 13,350 Arizona properties during the month, a 3 percent increase from the previous month and a 127 percent increase from July 2007. One in every 195 Arizona properties received a foreclosure filing, a rate that was more than twice the national average.

Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 were Ohio, Georgia, Michigan, Colorado, Utah and Virginia.

California, Florida, Ohio report highest foreclosure totals: Foreclosure filings were reported on 72,285 California properties in July, the highest total among the states. The state’s foreclosure activity increased 5 percent from the previous month and was up 85 percent from July 2007. On a year-over-year basis, bank repossessions in California were up 427 percent, while auction notices were up 67 percent and default notices were up 34 percent. However, default notices declined 4 percent from the previous month.

Florida foreclosure activity in July increased 14 percent from the previous month and 139 percent from July 2007. The state posted the nation’s second highest number of properties with filings — 45,884. On a year-over-year basis, bank repossessions in Florida increased 678 percent, while auction notices were up 180 percent and default notices were up 100 percent.
Ohio’s total of 13,457 properties with foreclosure filings in July was third highest among the states despite an increase of just 2 percent from the previous month and 1 percent from July 2007. On a year-over-year basis, bank repossessions in Ohio were still up 33 percent, while auction notices were down nearly 20 percent and default notices were up nearly 8 percent. One in every 375 Ohio households received a foreclosure filing during the month, the nation’s fifth highest state foreclosure rate.

After Arizona, Michigan documented the fifth highest state total in July — 11,591 properties with filings — but the state’s foreclosure activity decreased 4 percent from the previous month and 17 percent from July 2007. The state’s foreclosure rate — one in every 389 households received a foreclosure filing — ranked seventh highest among the states.

Other states with total properties with foreclosure filings among the 10 highest were Texas, Georgia, Nevada, Illinois and New York.

Top Metro Rates in California, Florida, Nevada, Arizona: The Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., metro area registered the highest foreclosure rate among the 230 metro areas tracked in the July report. One in every 64 households in the metro area received a foreclosure filing during the month — more than seven times the national average.

Three California cities followed in the metro foreclosure rate rankings: Merced was at No. 2 with one in every 73 households receiving a foreclosure filing; and Stockton and Modesto were in a virtual tie, each with one in every 82 households receiving a foreclosure filing.

With one in every 85 households receiving a foreclosure filing, the Las Vegas metro area’s foreclosure rate ranked No. 5, followed by three more California metros: Riverside-San Bernardino, Bakersfield and Vallejo-Fairfield.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., documented the ninth highest metro foreclosure rate, and the foreclosure rate in Phoenix took the No. 10 spot.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rumor Has It....

The space that was Busch's Grove is apparently slated to become a grocery store, according to the building's new owner, Southwestern Enterprises, Inc. Ever the fancy spot, "The Market at Busch's Grove" will be led by Paul Poe, one-time CEO of Straub's Markets. Gourmet meals as well as local produce and products will grace the shelves. An October opening is anticipated.

Monday, August 11, 2008


What an amazing house and story. The house was built in 1895 on a rock outcrop in Rhode Island's Narrangansett Bay, and was abandoned in the 1940's and sat vacant until Henry Wood purchased it in 1961 for $3,600.
Great read and slideshow in The New York Times.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Going Green: Want To Volunteer?

From is now partnering with the Cardinals to turn their red team green! Thanks to our many wonderful and willing volunteers, our efforts to raise awareness about recycling and increase the amount recycled at Busch Stadium have made a huge difference! There are still August home games left for those of you who would like to make a positive impact while watching the Cards in action for free. Grab your family, friends, or teammates and show up at the stadium to prove your St. Louis green spirit! Email us at to sign up for a game or two!

Friday, August 8, 2008

"Homeowners Delusional On Value of Property"

A rather unfortunate headline, and while I wouldn't use the word "delusional," there's an awful lot of truth in the have to price your home according to the MARKET!!!

It could never happen to me. That's the common attitude whether the subject is shark attacks, black market organ theft or, apparently, housing price declines. Despite plummeting values across the nation, 62 percent of homeowners believe their property's worth has actually climbed or stayed the same during the past year, according to a confidence survey commissioned by real estate Web site Zillow. In reality, the market price on 77 percent of properties has dropped and only about 24 percent have risen or held firm, the Seattle company estimates.

Complete Story

Thursday, August 7, 2008

June pending home sales tick up 5.3% !

NEW YORK ( -- The number of pending homes for sale rose in June, a rebound from the previous month, according to a report released Thursday. The National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index rose 5.3% in June to 89 from a downwardly revised reading of 84.5 in May. The index remains 12.3% below its level in June 2007, when it stood at 101.4, but it's at its highest point since October 2007, when it was at 89.9.

Complete Story

Monday, August 4, 2008

Federal Tax Credit For First Time Buyers Signed Into Law!!!

President Bush signed into law a monumental housing bill last week in an effort to support the struggling housing market. One of the provisions which should have an immediate impact on you first time buyers out there is a federal tax credit for first-time home buyers (defined as not having owned property in the last 3 years). Remember that a tax credit is the equivalent of cash-in-hand come tax season (as opposed to a tax deduction), so this is powerful news. Here are a couple highlights of that provision:

- Tax credit is equal to 10% of purchase price, or $7500, whichever is less
- Available to eligible home buyers purchasing between April 9, 2008 and June 30, 2009
- Tax credit amount must be repaid to federal government over subsequent 15 year period at rate of $500 per year

The tax credit will effectively increase a home buyers tax refund in the filing year following the home purchase. Though the credit does not provide you with cash needed to close, it could be a big help in terms of upgrading appliances, or making improvements.

The National Association of Home Builders has created a convenient website to learn more:

This is an amazing opportunity, and if you have been thinking about Buying, now is the time. If you'd like more information, please let me know!!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Boy Oh Boy...

Homes Currently For Sale in the Saint Louis Market: 2,283

Homes Currently in Foreclosure in the Saint Louis Market: 2,780

Almost 500 more houses that are foreclosed than are for sale...yikes.