Pantone Color of the Year 2023

Viva Magenta 18-1750 expresses a new signal of strength. The crimson red tone, a balance between warm and cool, has a connection to how lives changed during the pandemic. Rather than stepping back into what was once normal, we can take the opportunity to write a new narrative.

This has a familiar spin. Last year’s Very Peri 17-3938, the warmest of the blue hues, encouraged us to embrace new possibilities as we came out of isolation, with physical and digital lives having merged in new ways.

Here, we’ll uncover the meaning behind the decision to make Viva Magenta the color of the year, as well as the color’s origins and how you can use it at home.

The Meaning Behind Viva Magenta

During the selection process, Pantone observed lifestyle trends. They found there is a growing appreciation for the natural world as people balance their digital and physical lives. There are more florals and plants in homes and more restorative outdoor spaces, and there is a renewed enjoyment in sports, travel, and outdoor recreation.

Viva Magenta’s Origins

The color is inspired by the red hue of cochineal, a natural dye made from pulverizing certain scaled insects. Pantone’s color merges the strength and warmth of nature with the rich, open horizons of the digital world.

People have new opportunities to express themselves in the metaverse, and Viva Magenta inspires confidence and bravery.

Entering the Magentaverse

After the people at Pantone determined what the color should be this year, they passed this information along to the design firm Huge, where text descriptors of the hue were entered into the AI art generator Midjourney. This created images of an immersive world Pantone calls the Magentaverse.

Pantone and Huge collaborated with ARTECHOUSE, an innovative leader in the field of digital and experiential art, to design a unique exhibition. For a limited time, attendees can explore this world first-hand at the ARTECHOUSE locations in Miami Beach and New York City.

How to Use Viva Magenta in Your Home

The Pantone color of the year encourages creativity and self-expression. Both powerful and empowering, this hue has an undeniable allure. A little goes a long way, so here’s how you can use Viva Magenta at home.

  • Add visual warmth by using Viva Magenta as an accent color on home decor pieces, such as pillows and hanging picture frames.
  • Incorporate flowers inside or outside your living space. Options include Spilled Wine Weigela, Girard’s Crimson Azalea, and dark pink New Guinea Impatiens.
  • Pair Viva Magenta with deep contrasting colors, like charcoal brown or sage green, to tone down its intensity.
  • Put up wallpaper that has a touch of Viva Magenta, as painting entire walls in this color may be too heavy for the room. Compliment with earth tones or pink and red.
  • Try it on textiles, like quilts and throw blankets. Keeping the color portable allows you to decide how much of the color you want and to easily change your mind about where it goes.

Express Yourself With Your New Home

This new year is about being creative and expressing yourself. If buying a new home is on the horizon, the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties can help. Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298, or check out our listings!


Interior Design Trends for 2023

In the 2010s, interior decorating trends veered toward pared-back minimalism. Now, the pendulum is swinging in the opposite direction.

2023 is about embracing maximalism with bold colors, patterns, and textures, and incorporating the 1970s aesthetic. From earth tones to statement stone, here are interior design trends for 2023 that allow you to truly make a statement.

Earth Tones

Designers are seeing a departure from the neutrals, warm whites, and soft hues that previously defined home decor. Now in style are earth tones, muted versions of ‘70s shades. You can incorporate this nostalgic trend in your home with the colors avocado green, sunset orange, rust, mustard, and brown.

Monochromatic Rooms

Make an impact with monochromatic color schemes. The key is to start with three colors and use different shades of the same tone. Blues, lilacs, and grays are calm, whereas pinks, oranges, and browns are traditionally warm.

So that the space doesn’t look too quiet, mix it up with texture. You could place textured linens in the bedroom, vibrant marble countertops in the kitchen, and patterned furnishings in the living room.

White walls will never go out of style. Still, you can create more comfort and coziness at home with colorful upholstery, moody wallpaper, and painted nooks.

Curves and Arches

Sharp edges are making way for softer shapes this year. Incorporating this trend in your home is as easy as adding rounded furniture, like sofas or chairs, or small decor details, like vases and mirrors. If you’re ready to go big, consider opting for arched doorways to create even more dimension.

Used and Vintage Furniture

Add character to your home with used and vintage furniture, particularly the brown furniture pieces of the ‘70s. You can grab these at antique, thrift, and vintage stores. It’s better for the environment and can be a more affordable option.

Now manufacturers are producing brown furniture pieces again, making them more accessible for everyone.

Statement Stone

Marble and stone, commonly used on the surfaces of window sills, baseboards, and moldings, are now being used for pieces that act like works of art. Think of sculptural coffee tables and side tables or decorative bowls and vases. Stones in deep burgundy, rich evergreen, and rosy pink colors are also coming back.

Bathrooms are getting a makeover, too, with floating stone vanities. This custom option provides a striking look to one of the bathroom’s main features.

Reach Out to The Massey Team

Incorporating 2023 interior decorating trends is also a great way to showcase the home you’re selling. When it comes to the process of buying or selling your home, reach out to The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties.

Our professional realtors, with over 45 years of combined experience, make the process as stress-free as possible! Give us a call at either (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 and learn more today.

How to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Preparing your home for winter may not be at the top of your to-do list. Understandably, you’d probably rather sip hot chocolate or visit a holiday light display. Yet, the reality is that cold weather, ice, and snow can do real damage to your home. By completing this checklist, you’ll make your home more enjoyable this season!

Block Drafts From Windows and Doors

An essential part of keeping your home warm and your energy bills down in winter is to ensure windows are not leaking air. Steps you can take to block drafts are caulking and weatherstripping.

Caulk can be used to fill cracks and gaps in door frames and stationary windows. For operational windows, apply weatherstripping between the sash and frame. You can also press the weatherstrip around the perimeter of the door frame.

Clean the Gutters

Gutters control the flow of snow runoff and rainwater, thereby protecting the walls, foundation, and roof. A clogged or damaged gutter can mean pooling or spills that cause structural damage to your home. That’s why it’s important to clean any debris or mud out of your gutters and do so several times a year.

Get Your Roof Inspected

Winter weather is notorious for wreaking havoc on roofs. So, repair any roof damage before the snow comes. Neglecting repairs could easily lead to more repair bills in the future. Things that a contractor will look out for include:

  • areas where ice can freeze underneath a panel or shingle,
  • cracks or splitting,
  • loose panels or shingles,
  • materials that appear out of place,
  • moss growth,
  • and warped or rotted wood.

Have Your Chimney Inspected

Fireplaces add style and functionality. In fact, they’re a coveted amenity for homeowners. Still, maintenance is required to keep it functional and the home safe.

When a chimney is clogged, the gases from the fire cannot go through the chimney and out of the home. Breathing in noxious fumes wouldn’t be good for anyone. That’s where a chimney sweep comes in! These trained professionals will work to ensure all possible problems are identified and resolved.

Reverse Ceiling Fans

Since warm air rises, having a fan’s blades in a clockwise direction will create an updraft and push down heated air. This will circulate warm air and heat your home more efficiently, maybe even allowing you to turn the thermostat down a degree or two.

The first step to reversing the ceiling fan is to make sure it’s off. Then click the switch above the blades if there is one. Otherwise, for remote-controlled fans, select the option on the remote.

Store Your Lawn Mower

Gasoline has a shelf life of three to six months. If it decomposes in a small engine, like a lawn mower, it can gum up the carburetor and possibly make it so the engine won’t start up again come spring.

Keep your engine in good working order by doing one of two things. You can add a fuel stabilizer and run the engine for 10 minutes so the stabilizer mixes with the fuel. Or, when the tank is nearly empty, you can run the engine outside to use up the remaining fuel.

Tune Up Heating Systems

When you feel chilled, the last thing you want is an issue with your heating system. Make your furnace run more efficiently come winter with the help of an HVAC technician. They’ll clean your system, inspect it for wear and tear, and make any adjustments needed.

This is also a good time to clean or change the air filters and clean any debris away from the exterior HVAC unit.

Turn off Exterior Faucets

Water left in the pipes could freeze in winter, causing the pipes to burst as the ice expands. To keep this from happening, disconnect all hoses and drain out the water remaining in the faucets.

Some newer homes have frost-proof faucets. If your home doesn’t have one, head inside and turn off the shutoff valve for outdoor faucets.

Reach Out to The Massey Team

The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties will help you discover the home of your dreams. As our experts know, sometimes all it takes is re-envisioning your current space. Other times, a new home is just what you need, which is easier to find with a knowledgeable real estate agent by your side.

Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298, or get started by viewing our current listings!

St. Louis Shopping Districts & Malls

It’s the holiday season. For most of us, that means hitting the stores to find the perfect decorations or gifts before we run out of time.

St. Louis malls like the Saint Louis Galleria, Plaza Frontenac, and West County Center are great places to start your holiday search. You may even want to visit the St. Louis Premium Outlets®.

You can also walk through some of St. Louis’s incredible shopping districts with specialty stores where you may find just the right set of ornaments or a unique gift you couldn’t find anywhere else.

Keep reading for information on some St. Louis shopping districts that will fill you with holiday cheer.

The Central West End (CWE)

This prominent St. Louis neighborhood’s pedestrian and bike-friendly shopping district is centered around Euclid Ave.

With over 75 businesses to enjoy, you’ll find clothing boutiques, art galleries, high-end furniture showrooms, specialty gift stores, bookshops, restaurants, and more!

For a comprehensive list of the different CWE businesses, please view the CWE shop directory.

Some highlighted CWE businesses include:

Bowood Garden + Supply

Peruse in-store selections or browse the online holiday collection to find decorative festive greenery, beautiful flowers to gift to loved ones this year, and the free printable “Plant Care Guides.”

Please visit for the store’s address, contact information, and store hours.

East • West & Bonobos

With items available online and in-store, this retailer sells casual clothing, footwear, apothecary, and accessories for the modern man.

Please visit for the store’s address, contact information, and store hours.

If you are looking for a perfectly tailored and timeless formal look, you can also book an appointment at Bonobos.

Duane Reed Gallery

This art gallery prides itself on representing and exhibiting nationally recognized contemporary artists. All exhibited works are in painting, photography, and sculpture.

The current Exhibition, Content/Craftmanship, runs until January 28, 2023. To view the exhibition catalogs, please visit

Please visit for the gallery’s address, contact information, and hours.

Cherokee Street

Cherokee Street is a culturally significant stretch of road in South City. Historically eclectic and home to a prominent Latinx community, Cherokee Street is filled with incredibly diverse local small businesses just waiting for your patronage.

In an interview, Brandin Vaughn of The Brandin Vaughn Collection told KSDK, “It [Cherokee Street] is the mecca of the creative community in Missouri.”

Cherokee Street Holiday Shopping

There are so many different businesses that it’s impossible to list them all here. For an A-Z list of all Cherokee Street establishments, use the 2022 Shop Cherokee Holiday Guide.

You’ll find products for everything, including but not limited to:

  • Art
  • Music and Books
  • Antiques
  • Mind and Body

You can also follow Cherokee Street on Instagram @CherokeeStreet for news, offers, event information, and more!

Downtown Kirkwood

Thirteen miles west of St. Louis, Kirkwood’s beginnings began in 1852. With so much history, this charming town has built a beautiful community around its downtown area.

The pedestrian-friendly Downtown Kirkwood spans 16 blocks and is home to more than 100 specialty shops and restaurants.

You can purchase gift certificates for these shops and restaurants. For more information, please visit

Downtown Kirkwood Holiday Shopping

Christopher’s Gifts and The Summit All Seasons Market are the two holiday-shopping standouts. They’re even across the street from each other:

Shops fit for the fashionistas:

There’s so much more to Downtown Kirkwood; we couldn’t fit it all into this blog. Use these links for its specialty shops and restaurants for complete lists of Downtown Kirkwood’s businesses.

The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties

It’s the season of giving. Whether with friends, family, neighbors, or even strangers, giving a gift is a way of expressing everything you may find hard to put into words.

Stroll around St. Louis’s unique shopping districts and malls with a sharp eye so you can find the perfect present for that special someone.

Perhaps, this year you’re looking for the gift of home ownership.

Contact us today by visiting our website at, or call us at (618) 791-5024 & (618) 791-9298. A team member will get in touch as soon as possible!

Top Holiday Decorating Trends for 2022

Christmas morning. classic luxurious apartments with a white fireplace, decorated christmas tree, sofa, large windows and chandelier

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start transforming your home into a welcoming festive oasis. From natural greenery to ceramic decorations, there are several ways to capture the latest looks. Gather inspiration by reading the top holiday decorating trends for 2022.

Classic Winter White

Calming neutral colors provide a sense of rest and comfort. For understated elegance, look to classic creams, winter whites, and muted earth tones. Cozy throws and blankets in these colors are a must, especially when you’re snuggled up on the couch and reading a good book.

Jeweled Decadence

Add extra sparkle to your home this season. Combine rich tones like deep purples, midnight blues, and rich emerald greens. Using copper tones and mirrored elements will soften the look and make it truly shine.

A Touch of Folklore

A gonk is like a festive gnome and stems back to Scandinavian folklore. According to folklore, they favor cold weather and like to cozy up in houses. If families treat them well, they will protect the family and give them good luck. Gonks, with their noses and beards pointing out of tall pointy hats, are the trendy decoration to have in your home this season.

Nature-inspired Decor

Make the most of the nature-inspired decor trend by skipping the faux greenery. Creating pomanders, which are oranges decorated with cloves, will make your home smell amazing. You can also integrate acorns, pine cones, and twigs into DIY garlands and wreaths.

Want to add lush greenery in other ways than a tree? Placing olive green colored lanterns on the fireplace or cushions on the sofa will provide a touch of nature without going overboard.

Nostalgic Decor

Retro holiday decorating trends are making a comeback, harking back to the phrase everything old is new again. Here’s a look at two such holiday classics.

Shiny Brite ornaments are recognizable for their bright colors, sparkly finishes, and silver interiors. They were first popular from the 1940s to the early 1960s, until plastic, unbreakable ornaments became more popular. Even though the company closed its doors in 1962, they have been collected for its beauty and nostalgia. You can pick up original ornaments secondhand or buy reproductions.

Holiday villages made of cardboard first became popular in the late 1800s. Cultural shifts, like the addition of the TV, meant less space available for an elaborate village display. This practice dwindled in the 1950s and 1960s as a result. Today, you can even find ceramic specialty buildings like cafes and fire stations for different interests and professions.

Holiday Mantelscapes

Clever styling through mantelscaping will make your fireplace a focal point in the room. Artfully arrange a garland and experiment with height by using candles, fairy lights, and ornaments. You can finish the look with a wreath above the fireplace and a sheepskin rug in front to invite lounging.

A Joyful Home for Any Season

Following these tips will spread holiday cheer throughout your home. But what about the other months of the year? If a new home is on your wishlist, the real estate experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties are here to help! Give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 and learn more today.

Best Brunch Spots in the St. Louis Area

One of the most loved modern-day pleasures is brunch. Yes, brunch.

These days, we can’t wait for the weekend to come when we can meet up with friends and family for delicious breakfast and lunch dishes that come with your choice of coffee, juice, or even a cocktail.

Brunch is for everyone. Whether you went out the night before and need a pick-me-up or want to treat yourself to a high-quality meal, there’s a brunch spot for you.

The St. Louis area is full of excellent restaurants that off brunch, making it challenging to choose which place you want to try. Keep reading to learn about some of the best brunch spots in the St. Louis area.


Rooster is a unique European-style urban café specializing in sweet and savory crepes, sandwiches, and other delectable brunch fares. To go with your meal, pick from their selection of local coffee, craft beer, and cocktails like mimosas and their award-winning Bloody Mary.

A part of the Bailey’s Restaurant family, Rooster is dedicated to partnering with Missouri and other Midwest farms to ensure all products used in the restaurant are fresh, ethically raised, and locally sourced. They even grow their own produce, herbs, and flowers from their micro-farm located in the Gate District near Lafayette Square.

Next time you’re looking for the perfect brunch spot, think about stopping by one of Rooster’s two locations for a one-of-a-kind experience.


  • 1025 Washington Ave., St. Louis, MO 63101; Phone: (314) 241-8118
  • 3150 South Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63118; Phone: (314) 772-3447

Hours: open daily 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Half & Half

Established in 2011, Half & Half in Clayton, Missouri, is a wonderful destination for breakfast, lunch, and brunch fare.

You’ll get superb food and gourmet coffee when dining at this restaurant. Half & Half has a close relationship with Blueprint Coffee, which allows them to offer a rotating coffee menu that features seasonal coffee in various hand-crafted styles.

Along with always offering a specialty roast from Blueprint, you may also select a roast of a guest roaster from another like-minded U.S. company.

From sweet to salty and savory, there is sure to be something on the menu that will suit your palette.

Location: 8135 Maryland Ave., Clayton, MO 63105

Phone: (314) 725-0719

Hours: open for dine-in, pickup, and delivery

  • Wednesday – Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Saturday – Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Monday – Tuesday, Closed

Kingside Diner

Diners hold a special place in American culture. While the origins of the American diner can be traced back to the latter half of the 1800s, it wasn’t until the 1920s that the diners we’ve come to know and love began to take shape.

Named after their resemblance to a dining car you’d find on a train, diners quickly became a place where the average joe could find a delicious and substantial meal for a fair price. The food was simple yet comforting as it resembled the classics you’d expect from a homemade meal.

Kingside Diner is proud to be a part of the diner community throughout the United States. While they value the historic charm of diners from the past, like the classic interiors and hometown hospitality, they’ve also taken a step into modernity by including elevated menu items like freshly ground espresso and creative cocktail specials.

With three locations throughout the St. Louis area, it’s easy to stop by and grab a bite from their inventive menu, which includes items like build-your-own breakfast burritos, Caprese grilled cheese, and classic griddled burgers.


  • Central West End: 236 N Euclid Ave., St. Louis, MO 63108; Phone: (314) 454-3957
  • Clayton: 8025 Bonhomme Ave., Clayton, MO 63105; Phone: (314) 230-9020
  • Delmar Loop: 6170 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63112; Phone: (314) 361 – 1010


  • Central West End: Tuesday – Sunday, breakfast & lunch 6:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.; Wednesday – Saturday, Kingside After Dark 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Clayton: Tuesday – Friday, 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday, 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Delmar Loop: breakfast & lunch daily, 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.


Located in Edwardsville, IL, Cleveland-Heath is passionate about using the best ingredients to create feel-good classics like biscuits and gravy, pancakes, huevos rancheros, and more!

Opened by Jenny Cleveland and Eric Heath in 2011, Cleveland-Heath offers high-quality meals that are deceivingly simple. While reading the menu, everything may seem familiar to you, but the level of mastery used to create each dish takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary.

Location: 106 N Main St., Edwardsville, IL 62025

Phone: (618) 307-4830


  • Brunch: only on Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

All other dining hours:

  • Monday – Thursday, 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Friday, 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, closed

Twisted Biscuit Brunch Co.

When eating here, expect a great experience; everything is fun and fresh.

Born from friends, one in real estate and the other in restaurants, Twisted Biscuit Brunch Co. represents their shared passion for doing things outside the ordinary. With incredible and inventive meals and drinks, there’s no way you won’t have a great time at this fantastic brunch spot.

The menu features regional favorites and conventional breakfast fare but with an exciting twist that will tantalize your tastebuds and have you coming back for more. Seriously, doesn’t the Bella Brioche French Toast sound incredible?

  • Location: 1071 S. State Rte. 157, Edwardsville, IL 62025
  • Phone: (618) 800-5001
  • Hours: Sunday – Saturday, 7:00 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Grow Some Roots

Here at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties, we know how important a sense of community is to make a house into a home. One way to connect with your community is to explore and become patrons of local businesses.

Treating yourself or some friends and family to brunch is an easy (and delicious) way to get to know your surroundings, support your local economy, and grow roots in your community. The more you interact with local businesses, like restaurants, the more ingrained you become into your community’s culture. You’ll meet more people, try new things, and start to feel like you’re a part of a collective.

Are you looking for a place to grow some roots? Contact us today by visiting our website at, or call us at (618) 791-5024 & (618) 791-9298. Our team is dedicated to finding you the perfect place for you to call home.

Best Day Trips from St. Louis

Located in the heart of America, St. Louis is a beautiful city with a rich history, which you can learn about at the Missouri History Museum. Having been a hub for westward expansion, St. Louis quickly became a melting pot of cultures and identities that traveled far and wide to experience all that the Midwest had to offer.

Surrounded by picturesque land, St. Louis, a bustling city, is only a stone’s throw away from smaller cities or towns.

Keep reading to learn about the best day trips from St. Louis, so the next time you’re looking for some adventure, you know exactly where to go.

Springfield, Illinois

Springfield is the state capital of Illinois and is only about 1.5 hours away from St. Louis. There are many different attractions in this historic city, but you may already know that Springfield’s claim to fame is that it was home to our 16th U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln, from 1837 to 1861.

Some top places to visit include:

The Lincoln Tomb

Located in Oak Ridge Cemetery, the Abe Lincoln Mausoleum is a site for many people, history buffs or not. Marking the location is a bronze bust of Abraham Lincoln himself. You’ll notice his nose is bright and bronzy, as all the visitors are encouraged to rub it for good luck.

Inside the mausoleum, you can view the resting places of Abraham Lincoln, his wife (Mary Todd), and three of his four sons (Edward, William, and Tad).

Lincoln’s Home

This National Historic Site is the house where Lincoln lived with his family for 17 years before being called to the White House. You can now take tours of Lincoln’s home to catch a glimpse of what life was like for Abraham Lincoln as he worked to become a successful lawyer and the President of the United States.

The Dana Thomas House

The Dana Thomas House was the 72nd house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Springfield socialite Susan Lawrence Dana in 1902. Susan was a forward-thinking woman who wanted to house she could show off.

The home contains the most extensive collection of house-specific, original Wright art glass, fixtures, and furniture from the Prairie Style. It also includes 35 rooms and 12,000 square feet of living space, including a bowling alley.

Hannibal, Missouri

Home to Mark Twain’s boyhood house, this riverside town inspired classic literary characters like Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer.

Mark Twain’s Boyhood Home

This historic location is a museum comprised of permanent exhibitions dedicated to remembering Mark Twain’s works, his hometown, and the people who inspired his literature.

The museum contains priceless artifacts, including:

  • Some of Mark Twain’s personal belongings, like his writing desk, chair, and typewriter
  • First editions of all of Mark Twain’s major works, shorter pieces, and articles
  • Foreign editions of Mark Twain’s work
  • 15 original Norman Rockwell oil paintings created for special editions of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn

Haunted Hannibal Ghost Tours

Hannibal carries the energy of days gone by, back before Mark Twain was even born.

Prior to Hannibal being founded in 1819, at least six known Native American tribes had lived on the land. Since then, according to the Haunted Hannibal Ghost Tours, the town has been marked by murder and mischief.

From Millionaires’ Row to Hannibal’s historic Main Street and the Old Baptist Cemetery, you’ll hear stories of years past and the possible ghostly inhabitants that still roam this earth.

These tours fill up fast, so if you want to investigate the “other side,” call (573) 248-1819 to make a reservation.

Rockcliffe Mansion (Historic House Museum, Guided Tours, Boutique Bed & Breakfast)

Designed by the prominent architectural firm Barnett, Haynes & Barnett of St. Louis, Rockcliffe Mansion was one of the firm’s first designs for the lumber baron John J. Cruikshank Jr.

Construction started in 1898 and was completed by 1900, resulting in an opulent yet warm and noble Gilded-Age mansion built in the Georgian Revival style. The residence is perched on a limestone bluff, providing beautiful views overlooking Hannibal and the Mississippi River.

The Cruikshank family lived in the home until 1924, when John passed away. The mansion would sit vacant for 43 years until three Hannibal families saved the historic site from demolition in 1967.

Since then, the property has been restored to its previous glory and has suites and other rooms available for those wishing to spend the night.

Daily tours of the mansion are available starting from April 15th to November 15th, so you can get a chance to view some of the 30+ rooms, ten ornate fireplaces, and one-of-a-kind architectural details. You’ll be brought back in time as you take in the lush interiors of original antique furnishings and fixtures preserved and displayed.

Hermann, Missouri

A highlight of Missouri’s wine country, Hermann was founded by the German Settlement Society of Philadelphia in 1837. Located along the Missouri River, the small town is surrounded by a luscious environment that made it ideal for German settlers to grow grapes for their delicious wine.

Hermann Farm

The farm is comprised of multiple buildings that were built and added to by numerous German families since the founding of Hermann. The Greek Revival Teubner-Husmann house, built in 1847, stands as the focal point of the farm. At one point, it was home to George Husmann, the father of Missouri wine.

However, it’s believed that the first settlers of the land that now makes up Hermann Farm were the Rasche Family, who appear to have moved from Philadelphia sometime between 1839 and 1842.

The property also touts several other buildings, such as:

  • A summer kitchen and washhouse
  • A smokehouse
  • Barns
  • A cider house
  • A press house and wine cellar

Deutschheim State Historic Site

The Deutschheim State Historic Site is comprised of restored 1840s and 1850s buildings that allow visitors to explore how German-Americans settled Hermann and developed the foundation for a Missouri wine industry.

Look at grape vines planted in the 1850s and many historical artifacts that will tell you about the daily life and traditions of the German immigrants in the mid-19th century.

The site contains buildings such as:

  • The visitor center – built circa 1890 for Julius Hundhausen; offers exhibits and a gift shop
  • The Pommer House – a brick, Neoclassical home built for Caroline Pommer in 1840; displays two original Pommer pianos in the workshop
  • The Strehly House – a modest structure built in the 1840s; owned and lived in by the same family for over 100 years
  • The print shop – the publication site of the first German newspaper west of the Mississippi; houses a working Washington Press from that era

Adam Puchta Winery

Founded in 1855, Adam Puchta Winery is the oldest continuously owned family winery in the United States. By the 1870s, Adam Puchta was a well-established winemaker and businessman. By the 1880s, Adam and his son, Henry, renamed the business Adam Puchta & Son Wine Co. and began marketing their wines in small kegs and barrels to taverns throughout central and eastern Missouri.

Henry and his son continued wine production until prohibition closed the winery’s doors in 1919. When prohibition ended in 1933, Hermann’s wine production-dependent economy was devastated. Adam Puchta & Son Wine Co. only made wine for family and friends until newer generations could reopen for commercial production in 1990.

Since then, the winery has grown rapidly and won many regional, national, and international awards for its various wines. Today, the winery is run by Tim Puchta and his son Parker on the same land where Adam founded the winery on. The original buildings are even still used, though they have been repurposed as the business grew.

The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties

St. Louis is a beautiful city conveniently located in the heartland of America. Not only are there plenty of attractions within St. Louis that can keep you entertained, but there are historic, beautiful, and even mysterious locations that are perfect for day trips.

If you’re looking for the perfect home in the ideal St. Louis area location, contact us today by visiting our website at, or call us at (618) 791-5024 & (618) 791-9298.

5 Reasons Why Real Estate Listing Photos Matter

The home search process has changed drastically over the years. In the 1980s, real estate agents would access the latest listings from the MLS book published weekly. Buyers would have no choice but to contact a real estate agent first.

Today, consumers have information at their fingertips and can quickly search online to learn about homes and communities. Listing photos make a difference in how well a house sells, and as such, our experts put together a list of the 5 reasons why real estate listing photos matter.

#1. Create a Better First Impression

In this internet age, it’s no surprise that photos sell homes. According to the NAR’s 2021 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 95% of buyers used the internet to search for a home. This was also the first step for 41% of buyers.

If photos don’t catch buyers’ attention, they’re quick to move on and check other listings. It’s recommended to have photos professionally taken, as these will elevate a listing and create a better first impression.

#2. Sell in Less Time for More Money

Professional listing photos also help a home sell faster and for more money. A study by Redfin came to the conclusion that homes with:

  • listing photos taken with DSLR cameras sell for $3,400 to $11,200 more than those with amateur photos.
  • sharper photos sell at or above their listing price 44% of the time.
  • DSLR photos sell up to 21 days faster.
  • professional photographs are more likely to sell within 6 months.

#3. Highlight a Home’s Best Features

Photographing a home is not just about having the proper equipment; it’s about knowing how to highlight a home’s best features and evoke the emotion you want buyers to feel. Consider the lighting, time of day, and angles of the room, and make small changes, like removing or adjusting the furniture or decluttering the bookshelf.

Plus, staging the property allows buyers to envision themselves in the space. Maybe leave out a nice-looking toaster or blender on the kitchen counter. Such instances will make the home look lived-in and provide scale to the room.

#4. Go from 2D to 3D With Virtual Tours

In 2020, 60% of homebuyers made an offer without seeing the property in person. This is up from 32% in 2019. The main driving force behind relocating was that more people could work remotely.

3D tours, which are photographs electronically stitched together, allow prospective buyers to virtually walk through the home. It’s as if you’re attending a 24/7 open house.

#5. Save Your Realtor Time

Delivering great photos can be time-consuming. That’s where a photographer comes in; they photograph a home, edit the pictures in post-production, and deliver listing-ready photos quickly and efficiently. This allows realtors and clients to focus their time on the rest of the listing process.

Talk With a Realtor at The Massey Team

Make the process of selling your home as stress-free as possible! With over 45 years of combined experience, the realtors at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties are experts in buying and selling homes. Call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 and learn more today.

The Top 10 Questions to Ask a Realtor When Selling Your Home

Selling a home could make you feel a tad overwhelmed. After all, the realtor you hire will impact the sales process, how long it takes the house to sell, and the selling price of the house. Do your research to find the best agent for you. Here’s a list of questions to ask a potential realtor and add clarity to your journey.

#1. How Many Homes Have You Sold?

The purpose of asking this question is to make sure you’re working with a realtor that has ample experience selling homes. The more recent the sales, the better. Ask to look at their real estate portfolio, a collection of real estate investment assets akin to a resume.

See what homes they specialize in selling in terms of price range and type of home, and, if you’re in a unique position, if the realtor knows what steps you’ll need to take.

#2. Have You Sold Homes in My Area?

A realtor with experience selling homes in your area will know the ins and outs of the local market, including the selling price of similar homes and the selling points that will appeal to buyers.

Yet, don’t write off a realtor that hasn’t sold in your area yet. Listen to their answer on how they plan on getting acquainted with the area, and fill them in on what they need to know about your community.

#3. Can I Cancel Our Agreement?

This one is a must-ask question, as you shouldn’t hire a realtor that doesn’t allow you to cancel the agreement. Signing this confirms you’ll work with them exclusively and pay them for selling the house, even if you’re unhappy with their services.

Some so-called top agents try to lure sellers into a contract with hopes of the home selling fast at an unrealistic price. In the end, they let it sit on the market, sell at a lower price, and get their promised commission. With an option to cancel written in the contract, you can be confident they’ll work hard to sell your house at a fair price.

#4. How Did You Arrive at the Suggested List Price?

Asking this question ensures your realtor can justify the price and that they’re not giving you an overinflated price to increase their commission. A comparative market analysis (CMA), listed by the realtor, is an estimate of the home’s value based on recently sold comparable properties in the immediate area.

Realtors usually come to the price based on the:

  • bathrooms
  • bedrooms
  • condition
  • lot size
  • road noise
  • schools
  • square footage

If they can’t justify the price, the analysis is likely to be very vague.

#5. How Will You Market My Home?

How a home is marketed affects how long it takes to sell and the types of buyers. Marketing drives demand, leading to more homebuyers and selling at a higher price in less time.

Most real estate agents will discuss using a multiple listing service (MLS), which reaches the largest audience. This database shares information about properties for sale, including a home’s data, photos, and description. This listing is then distributed to public websites like Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia.

Additional ways of marketing include advertising with flyers, brochures, print ads, digital ads, and networking.

#6. How Will You Vet the Buyer?

Having a buyer is exciting, but you won’t want to invest time in the wrong one. That’s why vetting a prospective buyer is an important process for agents to take on. The deal may fall through if the buyer is unable to secure financing or backs out during the inspection contingency period.

Realtors can prevent this by ensuring the buyer submits a pre-approved letter with their offer and contacting the loan officer to ask about the buyer’s debt-to-income ratio.

#7. What’s Your Commission?

On average, the real estate commission is 5% to 6%, but this can vary depending on the state and housing market. While these commissions are negotiable, keep in mind the value you’d be getting. A lower percentage is not necessarily best, as this could cut into the advertising budget or other expenses.

#8. What’s Your Sale-To-List Price Ratio?

Of course, before asking this question, you’ll need to know the sale-to-list ratio definition. This is a percentage found by taking the sale price of a home and dividing it by the last list price. To find the average, add the sale-to-list ratio of each home sold by the realtor and then divide by the number of homes.

If the percentage is above 100%, the home sold for more than the list price. If it is under 100%, the home sold for less.

Be leery of listing agents with a number that is much higher or lower than other agents. A number on the high end means they underprice homes. This way, they can tell other homeowners they just sold a house for more the asking price. A number on the low end means they overprice homes, likely because they overpromised.

#9. How Will You Communicate With Me?

Effective communication is key. Before signing a contract, make sure you and the future realtor agree on a primary method of communicating.

  • Do they prefer to talk over the phone, by text, or email?
  • How often can you expect to hear from them?
  • And, if they’re part of a team, will someone else reply on their behalf?

#10. How Do I Get My Home Ready to Sell?

If you plan to improve your home before listing it, spend time and money on updates that make a difference. Get two things accomplished at once by asking a real estate agent what you need to do to get your home ready to sell.

Here’s expert advice on:

Talk With an Understanding Realtor at The Massey Team

At The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties, we understand that you shouldn’t rush to sign a contract with a realtor that’s not right for you. Ask us as many questions as you need so you’re confident in your choice.

Our team is committed to providing the finest, friendliest, and most effective real estate services. We don’t just sell houses; we help others make positive life changes. Understanding your personal goals and needs is at the heart of everything that we do. Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298!

Fall Events in St. Louis

Fall is a fantastic time of year where the weather chills, leaves change color, and we enjoy all there is to enjoy about cozy sweaters, ghoulish gourds, and sweet treats.

St. Louis is an excellent city to live by during the fall. The list of fun fall activities for all ages is at least a mile long. So, to make things easier, we’ve picked some of our favorite fall festivities you can partake in this year.

Eckert’s Farm’s Applefest

Believe it or not, Eckert’s Farm’s Applefest is woven into a story of the America of old and of a time that’s hard to conceptualize.

The first Eckert Farm orchard took root in 1837 when Johann Peter Eckert immigrated to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, from Dietzenbach, Hesse Darmstadt, Germany. Johann’s son would carry on the family trade, planting his orchard near Fayetteville, Illinois (35 miles south of St. Louis). His son Henry would then go on to open his orchard in Belleville, Illinois, which now houses the Eckert family’s hub of operation.

Enjoy wagon rides, live entertainment, festival foods, children’s activities, and more at their Belleville location every Friday and Saturday starting September 2nd and running throughout the month. 

Eckert’s Belleville location is at 951 S. Green Mt. Rd., Belleville, IL 62220.

Oktoberfest at Grant’s Farm

Running through September 16-18, Oktoberfest at Grant’s Farm starts at 4:00 p.m. each day, giving you plenty of time to enjoy all the festivities. Simply purchase a parking ticket for the date you want to attend, and enjoy the live music, food and drink, and all that Grant’s Farm offers.

You can even purchase a VIP experience for yourself and your friends. Visit their website and see which packages interest you the most!

Grant’s Farm is at 7385 Grant Rd., St. Louis, MO 63123.

St. Louis Renaissance Festival

The opening day of this annual event is September 17th and runs every weekend through October 23rd (including Monday, October 10th). The admission price includes parking and all entertainment shows, like the tournament jousting and themed weekend events.

Arrive anytime between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on the day you wish to attend to see all the exciting sights you’re sure to see at this iconic event. Trust us. You don’t want to miss a minute of the St. Louis Renaissance Festival, held every year since 1976!

The festival grounds are at 2577 W. Meyer Rd., Foristell, MO 63348.

Relleke Pumpkin Patch

The Relleke Pumpkin Patch fall celebration starts September 25th and goes through October 31st.  From 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., you can pick pumpkins, eat excellent food, and have a great time!

You’ll find pumpkins in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors; you can take a wagon ride with the whole family, purchase edible squash, and participate in some crafts and demonstrations.

You can find the Relleke Pumpkin Patch at 1526 Bischoff Rd., Granite City, IL 62040.

Best of Missouri Market

Held at the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Best of Missouri Market is held from October 7th through the 9th. On Friday, the market runs from noon to 8:00 p.m.; on Saturday and Sunday, it runs from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

At the market, you’ll be able to explore nearly 100 vendors with handcrafted items, locally produced food, native plants, herbs, custom jewelry, and more! There’s even a kid’s corner with fall activities for families, crafts, llamas, alpacas, sheep, and a pumpkin patch with sustainable pumpkin decorating.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is at 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110.

Fall Frolic

Located at Tower Grove Park in the Roman Pavilion, the Fall Frolic is a chance for you to learn more about the local flora and fauna through fall-centric activity stations and wildlife encounters.

Enjoy a day of prizes, raptor shows, animal tracking, firepits and s’mores, and much more.

This event is meant for all ages, so come by any time between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on October 16th.

FYI, costumes are welcomed and encouraged!

You can find the Roman Pavilion at 2747 Tower Grove Ave, St. Louis, Mo 63110.

Boos & Booze Halloween Party

Come dressed to the nines in your best costume to the Boos & Booze Halloween Party on October 21st at the Pere Marquette Lodge in Grafton, Illinois.

Expect creepy cocktails, live music, and a costume contest where the first-place winner receives a free night’s stay at the lodge.

On the same night, if you’re already planning on staying the night, you can also purchase an additional package for a paranormal investigation, which takes place between 8:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.

This investigation includes a spooky tour of the lodge to learn the history and paranormal claims associated with the 1940s building and surrounding grounds, like their 1800s cemetery.

Ghost hunting devices will be available, but you are welcome to bring your own.

This activity is perfect for history lovers and ghost enthusiasts, and anyone between the two. So, what are you waiting for? Find something strange in your neighborhood this fall!

The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties

Fall is a beautiful time for you to get out and explore your neighborhood and all that it has to offer. You’ll make new memories, meet new people, and maybe get some tasty treats.

Are you looking for the perfect place to enjoy all these fall festivities? Contact The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties today, and we’ll help you buy your dream home tomorrow.

Contact our team today at: (618) 791-5024 & (618) 791-9298. You can also visit our website to view our current listings.

We can’t wait to help you!