Roxann and Your Home Team News


How Does Illinois Compare to Missouri in Real Estate Taxes

December 9th, 2016

The popular perception in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area is that consumers will pay more in taxes in Illinois.  However, the overall tax burden for the average family of four is nearly identical.  The average percentage difference in taxes paid is less than 1% higher or lower of the total income for families of four living in Illinois and Missouri.  If you combine a competitive tax rate with a lower cost of living and increased purchasing power, it makes Illinois the perfect place to buy your home.

The table shows a breakdown of difference within various income levels.  To read the full results of a study by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Department of Public Administration and Policy Analysis: “Tax Burdens in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area: A Comparative Study” as www.gatewayrealtors.com and www.618realtor.com.

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5 Easy Ways to Save $1,000 by the Holidays

November 17th, 2015

Can you believe it is Thanksgiving next week?  Where has the year gone!  With Thanksgiving comes Black Friday which means holiday shopping.  The season of giving can take a whole lot out of your wallet. Beyond the gift giving, it is easy to pile on top of that all of the food, decorations, clothing and other presents most people splurge on for the holidays, and your budget can sure take a hit.

Ideally, you’d have saved throughout the year in preparation for the pricey festivities. But even if holiday costs didn’t creep into your budget until now, you still have time to tally up plenty of extra cash before Black Friday.  Below are some cost saving’s measures that might help you out!  With these suggested strategies, you can potentially cobble together more than $1,000 in extra savings, based on average costs and listed retail prices. Of course, how much you can actually save depends on your specific situation and which moves you make. Still, these examples go to show that you can save a grand in just two months with a few simple budget adjustments—whether you need the money for holiday spending or other financial goals.

1. Reshop your auto insurance.
The cost of car insurance can vary greatly for each driver, and you’re likely paying more than necessary. Make sure you’re getting the best deal possible by comparing plans from different insurers using tools from Insurance.com, InsWeb or Nerdwallet. You might also be able to save if you can prove you’re a good driver. Or if you have a “Good Student” on your policy, by providing their past semester transcript you may save.  Another option is to increase your deductible or by paying your premium yearly instead of bi-annual or monthly.

2. Eat at home.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumers spent an average of about $2,800 on dining out last year—or $233 each month. Brown-bag your lunch and trade restaurant dinner dates for romantic nights this fall to cut those meal costs by two-thirds or more.  Planning and preparing your meals for the week ahead of time will help you resist the costly ease of eating out or ordering in.

3. Drive less.
Leave your car in the garage on workdays throughout the fall to cut daily costs on parking, gas, tolls and even the occasional ticket. If your daily commute is 10 miles round-trip and you spend $20 for daily parking, it is estimated that you can save $24.75 a day by biking instead of driving to work. Even if your savings are, say, a more modest $20 per day and if you only opt to cycle into work every other day, the savings can really add up. Carpooling and public transportation are other options, albeit with their own costs.

4. Cut the cable cord.
You don’t need to pay for cable to enjoy watching television. Most of your favorite shows are likely available online or through streaming services for little to no cost. According to the Federal Communications Commission, the average price for expanded basic cable TV service is $66 a month. But many network sites share top shows for free the day after they air. Or you can subscribe to a streaming service.

5. Trim your cell phone bill.
Leaving your mainstream wireless carrier can save you a bundle. Check into some of the alternative wireless services which you can get a plan that includes unlimited talk, texts and data at a much lower rate.

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Fall has Arrived in the Midwest!

October 28th, 2015

Can you believe it is already Fall?  Where has the year gone with Thanksgiving just one short month away!  Be sure to take some time to drive through the area to see the beautiful colors — the parks in Fairview, O’Fallon and Belleville are just gorgeous this time of year.  Or take a drive to the country — some of the shaded back roads of our neighboring communities of Aviston, Highland, Freeburg and Smithton are picture perfect!

With Autumn comes maintenance!  Here’s a checklist as a homeowner:

  1. You will want to check your interior to ensure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck by making sure your windows and doors are properly sealed.  Swap screens for storm shutters and weatherstripping around doors.  Also make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are operating properly. With fall comes the time change, which is an excellent time to change batteries for all detectors.  Also be sure to arrange to have your furnace service and filter changed to ensure safety and efficiency!
  2. The exterior of your home can be a challenge — especially if you have mature trees in your yard.  Although during the summer months they are terrific in providing shade and saving on that utility bill.  However, the price is paid this time of year with all those leaves that come tumbling down!  You will want to keep up on raking those leaves and be sure to clean out those gutters!  If you keep up with it weekly, it will avoid an exhausting job!  Be sure to remove hoses and shut off the water to exterior pipes to protect against freezing.  Again with the time change and winter months comes shorter daylight hours.  Make sure to replace those exterior lights to ensure a safe walk way.

Enjoy the season and remember, this is a terrific time to sell your home if you are considering a move!  If you would like to get additional information on your specific market, please contact me for your private appointment.

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Steps to Take Getting Settled Into Your New Home

September 22nd, 2015

We at Your Home Team enjoy finding buyers the home of their dreams in the Metro East area, including O’Fallon, Scott AFB, Belleville, Shiloh, Swansea and Fairview Heights.  The excitement of looking and the stress of going through all the details to purchase and close on your home can often result in small details being overlooked.  That is where the Real Estate Team of Roxann Bohstedt and Vickie Dressel can help you!

When you move into a home you are looking forward to the exciting things such as decorating and remodeling.  But don’t forget about the safety and maintenance items as well which are much more important in the long run!  Here are eight items you will want to take care of right after you take possession to help your transition go smoothly!

1.  Change the Locks

Before moving your personal belongings into the home, change or rekey the locks.  Over the years, any number of individuals/contractors may have been given a key and copied for some unsavory purpose.

2. Change the Alarm Batteries

Make sure your fire and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries.  Better to deal with it now, when the home is empty nd you can make a quick sweep of the house without lugging a ladder around furniture.

3. Review Your Home Inspector’s Report

A good home inspector will provide helpful maintenance hints as well as outline the most important issues of your home.  Having this report handy as well as the information on a home warranty (if there was one provided) can be very helpful should anything come up as you get to  know your home!

4.  Find the Circuit Breaker

Most buyers attend their home inspection and should k now where the breaker panel is located, but if you were unable to be there, be sure to find it!  During a move, when you are plugging in all sorts of electrical items into the wall, you don’t want to be lost in the dark hunting for that elusive metal box.  Get familiar (and mark if necessary) what switches belong to which rooms.

5.  Deal with Any Water Problems

If there were any water issues that were not already addressed (dripping faucet, etc.), now is the time to take care of it.  A leaking toilet or steady drip may seem minor, can cause long term rise in water bills or internal structural issues.  Check your roof too — if rubber vent boots are leaking, you might not know it for a while and by the time you see it in the ceiling, there is a fair amount of water.

6.  Caulk Everything

Caulking is an easy maintenance item, but can be accomplished much easier when you can see all the nooks and crannies that might need a little sealing — and don’t forget the exterior.

7. Plan Your Emergency Exits

We have all heard it before, but this is a great time to implement your emergency escape before bringing in furniture.  This can help you spot problem areas or rooms that need some adjustments — egress windows in a basement, windows located high in children’s bedrooms,etc.

8. Clean Your Gutters

BO-RING, right?  You can wait until Day 2 of your move, but don’t let procrastination take over!  If the gutters were not cleaned previously, plan to do ASAP!

ENJOY YOUR NEW HOME!

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FREE Shredding Event

September 14th, 2015

It’s that time of year again where we host our bi-annual FREE shredding event! Start cleaning out those files!  This bi-annual event we will be Saturday September 26, 9:00am to Noon! Location will be at our office; 813 W Hwy 50, O’Fallon, IL 62269.

A few notes about the event:

  • Paper ONLY!
  • No drop offs; you must be here while your items are being shredded
  • Limit 5 boxes per household
  • Accepting donations of can goods or cash for local food pantry

If you have any questions regarding this event/details, please feel free to contact our office directly at 624-1985

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FREE: Shredding Event!

April 15th, 2015

It’s that time of year again where we host our bi-annual free shredding event! Start cleaning out those files from tax season and other important documents!

This year we will be hosting the event on Saturday April 25th from 9:00am to Noon! Location will be at our office; 813 W Hwy 50, O’Fallon, IL 62269.

 

A few notes about the event:

  • Paper ONLY!
  • No drop offs- you must be there
  • Limit 5 boxes per household
  • Please donate 2 can goods or cash donation to our local food pantry

If you have any questions regarding this event/details, please feel free to contact our office directly at 624-1985

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2015’s Anticipated Housing Trends: Part 6

March 16th, 2015

Here we are folks! The final piece to our blog series regarding housing trends we are most looking forward to in 2015!

Once again to review everything that we have covered so far click here. Hope you all enjoyed reading these throughout the past couple months!

  1. Human Scale- Everyone wanted things super-sized it seemed like for quite some time in the kitchen department. We can look forward to kitchens going back to a smaller size where we have just enough acquired space for appliances and small islands.
  2. Sleep is important- People are making quality sleep a priority! Investing in good bedding, mattresses, and pillows is a step we should be taking in 2015!
  3. What color should I go with?- Kitchen color seems to be the target in that people prefer the shades of white kitchens. From counter-tops to back-splash, and cabinetry. This color scheme also allows to you go with a bolder hardware choice.
  4. Outdoors- Last but not least, people are making outdoor living a priority for comfort and convenience. These features include bigger decks, privately fenced yards, hot tubs, and even outdoor sinks!

Hope you enjoyed and maybe even find that some of these trends are something you would like to move forward with!

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2015’s Anticipated Housing Trends: Part 5

March 6th, 2015

Hello and glad to be back posting about our housing trends for 2015! If you have been following this series, you will know that we have covered the first 12 items already! Click here to go back and review what you should be anticipating for 2015! Here are the next items to look forward to:

  1. Garages at large: People are wanting grander garages to load materials in, temperature control, different zones for work, additional bath area to clean up, and even have audio hook ups.
  2. Lost your key? No worries: Keyless entry is now trending so that doors/locks are being controlled by phones or fingerprints
  3. Conserve water: Especially if you are living in areas of high drought this is something to catch on to. People are now looking into rainwater harvesting, graywater systems, weather controlled watering stations, and no/low mow grass
  4. Copper: No more pewter or brass, 2015 is now trending copper for its go to metal.

Look forward to our last blog coming up next in a couple weeks!

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2015’s Anticipated Housing Trends: Part 4

February 24th, 2015

All right we have gone through 9 anticipated housing trends in our past blogs to the series! To catch back up, click here to see what we have discussed so far!

Here are the next 3 trends we are expecting to see more of in 2015!

  1. Fireplaces– You may think this isn’t anything new, but more homes have gone away from having a fireplace in their home. Whether the fireplace is real or not, its an appeal homes should have to give the sense of comfort & warmth!
  2. Going Green– Looking into more environmental solutions for heat, air filters, pools, and light
  3. Storage– All bedrooms in homes are leaning towards having walk-in closets & kitchens are having that walk-in pantry. People are wanting all the space than can get and want a place for everything. These are a couple ways to achieve that.

Stay tuned for the next blog next week!

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2015’s Anticipated Housing Trends: Part 3

February 2nd, 2015

Here we are again revisiting our series of blogs for 2015’2 housing trends! We have done two prior posts already giving you a taste of what to expect and what you can do to update your home!

Today we share three more with you to take a look at:

  1. Technology– Prices are decreasing for technology to put in your home. More people like the idea of having security cameras, motion sensors, alarms, etc within a home. Good news is prices have dropped from when this first started out and it’s easier to install!
  2. Office space– Homes are moving away from having a home office since technology is so portable and everywhere we want to be. People now just use where they can find space to charge their phones, laptops, iPads, etc. Creating a small niche off the kitchen, den, or laundry room for charging is becoming the thing to do.
  3. Master Suits- We all love our master bedrooms with the spacious closet and large bathroom. However, putting two master suits in a home is something to consider for multiple uses such as, guests, older generations living with you short/long term, and even children as they grow up for short visits.

Enjoy this third addition of our series and keep on the lookout for the next one in two weeks!

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