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

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.

Location(s):

  • 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.

Location(s):

  • 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

Hours:

  • 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.

Cleveland-Heath

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

Hours:

  • 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 https://masseyteam.bhhsselectstl.com/, 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.

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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 https://masseyteam.bhhsselectstl.com/, 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!

8 Tips on Relocating to a New Neighborhood

Moving to a new neighborhood can be daunting. There’s unpacking a ton of moving boxes and doing chores related to the move. Add to that learning about the schools, commutes, and local hangouts.

To make the process easier for you, our expert realtors made a list of tips for relocating to a new neighborhood.

#1. Pick a Good Neighborhood

Before moving, the first step is to decide where you want to relocate. Do your research to find the right area for you.

  • What are the housing prices? Can you really afford to buy a home in one of the best neighborhoods? Use the 28/36 rule. “Your mortgage payment shouldn’t be more than 28% of your monthly pre-tax income and 36% of your total debt.”
  • How long is the commute? If you work hybrid or full-time in the office or have kids, consider how far away the new neighborhood is from where you’ll work or take the kids to school.
  • Does this place have a lot of crime? Search online for crime statistics. You’ll want to live in a safe neighborhood, after all. Once you move in, you can also install a home security device for added security.

#2. Change Your Mailing Address

Continue receiving mail without interruption by contacting the United States Postal Service (USPS) to change your address. This can be done online, in-person by visiting a USPS office and filling out the PS Form 3575, or over the phone by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS.

#3. Transfer the Utilities

Find your local providers to transfer or change the utilities, including electricity, water, gas, Internet, and cable TV. Of course, there are some utilities you may not decide to keep, like if you decide to remove cable TV to save money or switch to streaming. 

#4. Make the New House a Home

Unpacking takes time, but you’ll feel more comfortable in your new space when your familiar belongings are in sight.

  • Maximize your storage space in each room.
  • Use closets to store clothes, linens, or food.
  • Set up kitchen appliances.
  • Place bookshelves for books, frames, and knickknacks.
  • Hang up the TV and connect to the video game system.
  • Arrange plants.

#5. Secure Your New Home

It’s essential to keep your home a safe space. This includes:

  • having a fire extinguisher on each floor,
  • installing fire alarms, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors,
  • changing the locks of all outside doors,
  • checking to make sure the windows and doors close securely,
  • having exterior lighting,
  • and adding, if desired, a home security system.

#6. Meet Your Neighbors

Now that you’re all moved in, it’s time to explore the area and meet new people! Start by meeting your neighbors. They can be a tremendous help by giving you advice or useful information on how things work in the community.

Walk over and introduce yourself and maybe ask a few questions about the neighborhood to carry on a conversation. In time, you may even become good friends.

#7. Scope Out the Best Local Establishments

Whether you’re into visiting museums, seeing musical performances, or trying new restaurants, you’ll want to find the best hangouts in your new community.

Apple Maps, Google Maps, and Yelp can give you the location and reviews. If you’re feeling social, talk to your neighbors to see where they like to go for fun. Visit nearby shopping centers, landmarks, coffee shops, and diners.

If you have kids, seek out local recreation spots, like parks, swimming pools, roller skating rinks, and libraries. These locations offer several benefits, from keeping kids active and engaged to coping with boredom and helping them adjust to a new home.

#8. Join Local Organizations

Joining local nonprofit organizations is a great way to foster a sense of community. Volunteering

  • improves the lives of others.
  • makes the community a better place.
  • lets you make a direct impact.
  • can teach you new skills.
  • develops close relationships with others.

Plus, many organizations host meetings and events where you mingle with others and enjoy food, drinks, and entertainment.

Make Moving Easier With The Massey Team

The experienced realtors at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties will help you find the right home in the perfect neighborhood! We have extensive knowledge of the area and market local to St. Louis and the Metro East.

Get started by browsing our listings or talking with a member of our team at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298!

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Fixer-Upper

There are several TV shows about people restoring run-down, outdated, or abandoned houses for a living. After watching a bunch of episodes and seeing houses beautifully transformed, it’s easy to feel you can do it yourself.

This could be the chance to buy your dream home. Still, it’s important to note that buying a fixer-upper is a significant investment in time and money. So, here are the pros and cons of buying a fixer-upper.

What Is a Fixer-Upper?

A fixer-upper is a house that requires major maintenance work. The buyer has to restore the property to a comfortable living condition. As such, the price is lower than the market rate.

Pros

Buying a property that needs work can be appealing, and with good reason. Here’s why people are drawn to this option.

Lower Purchase Price

Buying a fixer-upper is certainly cheaper than purchasing a house that’s move-in ready. It’ll come with a lower listing price and down payment requirement.

Since no two houses are the same, there’s no direct comparison as to how much money you’d save. Still, this could be your way of joining a neighborhood that’s typically out of your budget.

Less Competition

There’s typically less competition when it comes to purchasing a fixer-upper. Many people are looking for a move-in ready home or they don’t have the time, energy, or resources for renovation projects.

Luckily for you, that means you’re less likely to be in a bidding war, and the deal could go quicker and more smoothly.

It’s Customizable

Once you own a home in need of repairs, you have the freedom to truly customize the space. Meet your wants and needs by remodeling the kitchen countertops, changing out the bathroom tiles, building a deck, or expanding the living room.

While it’s a lot of work, it’ll give you a sense of accomplishment.

The Value Will Increase

By choosing specific upgrades, the value of your fixer-upper will increase. If done correctly, you could flip your fixer-upper and make a significant profit. Know the value of renovations before starting, so you can be aware of what will add the most value to your house.

Cons

Also consider the pitfalls of buying a fixer-upper. While you’ve learned this strategy can be profitable, the drawbacks listed below could impact your success.

Unforeseen Problems

Fixer-upper homes often come with unforeseen problems that lead to extra costs. While setting a budget is necessary, it may not be realistic depending on if extra repairs show up along the way.

Costly Repairs

Look at the renovations required. Cosmetic repairs include replacing the windows, refinishing the kitchen, and updating the floors, paint, and siding. This minor work has the biggest return on investment.

Structural repairs, on the other hand, include fixing the cracking foundation, updating the electrical wiring, and putting in better roof support. These renovations are costly and don’t provide much of a return.

Cost of Building Materials

Lumber prices have been inconsistent, with record-setting spikes and periods of decline. According to the National Association of Home Builders’ latest estimates, the price changes between April 2022 and July 2022 are enough to add $14,345 to the price of a new single-family home and $5,511 to the market value of a new multifamily home.

This price increase in lumber, in turn, also affects the cost of renovating older homes.

Long-Term Construction

This is not a fast endeavor. Home renovations are time-consuming and it could take months or years for everything to be completed. Plus, unless you have somewhere else to live, you’ll be living in a construction zone, which isn’t necessarily feasible.

More Stress

Fixing up a house is stressful. Doing all the work yourself will easily eat up all your free time. So will finding and hiring contractors and supervising their work.

To reduce stress, ask your contractor, lender, and realtor any questions you have to make sure you understand what’s involved and that repairs are being done properly.

Work With an Expert at The Massey Team

Is buying a fixer-upper right for you? Find out by talking with the professional realtors at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties! We don’t just sell homes; we help others make positive life changes.

Our goal is to make the process of buying or selling your home as stress free as possible. Simply give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to talk with a member of our team!

The Best Antique Shops in St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri, and its surrounding areas are full of culture made rich by deep history. Founded in 1764, more than a decade before the signing of The Declaration of Independence, this gateway to the west has much to offer, especially for collectors, antique aficionados, or people just looking to upcycle a piece from a time gone by.

So, what are you waiting for? Keep reading to learn which are the best places to go antiquing in this beautiful city. Who knows, maybe you’ll find something magical!

St. Louis Antique Mall

This 21,000-square-foot location carries over 140 different vendors, which means you’re more than likely to find something just for you. The owners, team members, and vendors are dedicated collectors and pickers, and they love to help anyone find the next “thing” to collect or the perfect item to furnish their home.

Located near the St. Louis Lamber Airport, the St. Louis Antique Mall is also extremely convenient for those traveling out of state.

  • Location: 9715 St. Charles Rock Rd., St. Louis, MO 63114
  • Phone: (314) 733-5285
  • Hours: Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Frenchtown Records, Antiques & More

This unique antique and music store is located in the heart of the old Frenchtown neighborhood, which encompasses Soulard, Lafayette Square, and LaSalle Park. According to its owners David and Christine Boykin, Frenchtown Records, Antiques & More is “an eccentric, fanciful, and musical trip through time.”

Inspired by the owners’ love of music and antiques, you can find anything from records, CDs, tapes, and vintage audio equipment, to antiques like jewelry, vintage lighting, fine art, and more. Not to mention, it’s also home to the Chandelier Whisperer!

  • Location: 941 Park Ave., St. Louis, MO 63104
  • Phone: (314) 630-1163
  • Hours: Tuesday – Friday 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Treasure Aisles Antique Mall

Since 1997, Treasure Aisles Antique Mall has been open seven days a week and has cemented itself as the St. Louis hub for antiquing. This 13,000-square-foot, handicap-accessible space boasts 128 different booths of any aesthetic you could think of.

You can expect to find antique furniture, jewelry, memorabilia, glassware, and more! Attracting customers from all over the region, this antique mecca even offers to deliver to your location.

  • Location: 2317 S Big Bend Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63143
  • Phone: (314) 647-6875
  • Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Hill Antique Market

Opened in 2019, this new addition to the historic Italian neighborhood The Hill, The Hill Antique Market, has already expanded twice!

This warehouse turned antiquing gem hosts 75 seasoned vendors and artisans who carefully curate a unique vintage shopping experience. You can find anything here, from rare antiques to contemporary art and everything between, all at varying prices.

The market’s ambiance is made unique by helpful staff, groovy music, and the on-site café, Oliva Café.

Passionate about building on old traditions while setting new standards, vendors refresh their merchandise daily so you can find something new every time you visit!

  • Location: 4923 Daggett Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110
  • Phone: (314) 961-7879
  • Hours: Open daily 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Wednesday open until 8 p.m.); Oliva Café – Tuesday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Wednesday nights 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

The Green Shag Market

This classic antique mall carries vendors that specialize in all sorts of eras. Listed as Missouri’s “Best Thrift Store” by Apartment Therapy, The Green Shag Market has the area’s most fabulous vintage, boho, mid-century, and antique finds.

With over 60 booths, you’ll never get tired of looking through all the nooks and crannies this market offers.  This place is worth a weekend visit with plenty of space for furniture and collectible nick-nacks alike!

  • Location: 5733 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110
  • Phone: (314) 646-8687
  • Hours: Friday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

TFA The Furniture Antiques

If you’re looking for high-quality, mid-century-modern items, TFA The Furniture Antiques is for you! Probably St. Louis’ most diverse scene for mid-century-modern furniture, lighting, art, glassware, and more, you’ll feel like you’re taking a step into the past once you enter its doors.

You can find anything for almost every room in your home. That’s right; it’s a one-stop shop if you’re looking for dining room, bedroom, living room, kitchen, and even garage décor.

  • Location: 6514 Chippewa St., St. Louis, MO 63109
  • Phone: (314) 865-1552
  • Hours: Monday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Friday – 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

The Brass Alligator

Located in Demun, a historic business district in Clayton, MO, The Brass Alligator offers some of the finest antiques and décor in St. Louis. They carry every aesthetic, from mid-century-modern furniture to art deco lighting, vintage jewelry, and books dating back to the 1800s. They also boast an impressive vinyl collection.

You can submit your contact information on their website to join their list of customers who become the first to know about shop news, booth updates, and information about upcoming estate sales.

  • Location: 6403 Clayton Rd., St. Louis, MO 63117
  • Phone: (314) 300-6666
  • Hours: Friday – Monday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Alton Flea Market

Located in Alton, Illinois, the Alton Flea Market is an enormous (20,000 square feet) historic location comprised of two warehouses, a front courtyard, an office building, a neat old basement, and a “safe room” all built in 1854.

The Alton Flea Market is one of the largest flea markets in the area, in-door, and hybrid, meaning it’s a combination of permanent booths and new fresh vendors every week.

Owned and run by the Holt family, this is a joyful and friendly place for family and friends to come and have fun.

  • Location: 711 Belle St., Alton, Illinois 62002
  • Phone: (618) 767-5125
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Pink Elephant Antique Mall

Established in 2005, this locally owned and operated business has been helping customers find and enjoy quality antiques, homemade candy, fudge, and home and farm décor for 17 years.

Owned by Davie and Bernice Hammond, the Pink Elephant Antique Mall supports local merchants and creates the perfect atmosphere for you and the family to spend the afternoon hunting for beautiful antiques, unique menu items, or just a good time.

  • Location: 908 Veterans Memorial Dr., Livingston, IL 62508
  • Phone: (618) 637-2366
  • Hours: Monday – Sunday 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Alton Exchange Mall

The Alton Exchange Mall boasts over 16,000 square feet of almost anything you can think of. Along with amazing antiques, you’ll also be able to find soap, candles, incense, jewelry, Amish jams, candy, comics, books, records, and more.

You’ll be in your own little (not so little) wonderland at this hot spot in historic Alton, Illinois.

  • Location: 2990 Homer Adams Parkway, Alton, Illinois 62002
  • Phone: (618) 463-1273
  • Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties

St. Louis and the surrounding areas are rich in history, culture, and incredible pieces of art, furniture, jewelry, and more that mark each unique time period since the city’s inception. Any antique enthusiast or collector will tell you that it takes persistence and an open mind to find pieces that work for you and your home.

Now that you have a list of some of the best antique markets St. Louis has to offer, you can start your journey of upcycling. Embrace the old and make it new. Repurpose some old side tables or reframe an old sketch you find.

The fact is, there are treasures out there just waiting for you to find them. Just like your next home!

Contact us today if you’re in the market for a new home! Visit our website to see what houses we’re currently selling and give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298, and a team member can answer any questions you may have. We can’t wait to help you!

2022 Summer Garden Trends

The past couple of years has changed our lives in many ways. We spent many days staying inside, prompting many of us to undertake some DIY home renovations. But, once that was done, where else could we turn?

For many of us, the time we spent outside during the pandemic was our haven. It gave us vitamin D from the sunshine, fresh air, and wildlife that seemingly lived on unbothered even though the rest of the world seemed to be in shambles.

In many ways, our connection to nature gave us hope for better and brighter days. That’s why nearly 21 million newbie gardeners put on some gloves, picked up a shovel, and got to planting.

So, what plants and features should you be putting in your garden this summer? Keep reading to find out!

Bold, Bright Colors

The past two years have been drab and soul-sucking. That’s why, as people worldwide regain their confidence, gardens are getting pops of color! Instead of monochrome, think polychrome; you want your outdoor space to be a maximalist’s mecca.

Look for daring colors like reds, oranges, and purples. Plants like crocosmia, salvia, and canna are set to be very popular in 2022 as a result.

Also, expect low-maintenance houseplants that offer a pop of color, like the red succulent x Semporium “Sienna.”

Small Space Gardening

Whether it’s your terrace, balcony, backyard, front garden, or even your stupe, you can find a spot to place a pot of a couple of troughs to bring nature into your life. Heck, some people have turned to creating “green walls,” taking the fencing around their spaces and turning the vertical space into beautiful, green works of art that are both beautiful and good for the environment.

Small gardens can go almost anywhere as long as you have the creativity to make them work! Besides creating an aesthetically pleasing space to look at and live in, a recent RHS study found that “filling a bare front garden with a handful of plants has the same stress-reducing impact as attending eight mindfulness sessions.”

Sustainable Gardening

It’s 2022, so we don’t have time to deal with and worry about plastics and other contaminants that we could live without.

For many gardeners, climate change has been on their minds for years now, but as more people learn to garden, they too are starting to realize just how vital it is that we protect our environment.

When gardening with the planet in mind, you must consider what, how, and where you plant, alongside provenance and packaging.

As well as no-dig methods, wildflower meadows, and following organic principles to nurture soil health, you may see a rise in “free planting” (a low maintenance form of mixed planting that requires no pesticides or netting and is excellent for biodiversity).

You can also plant more native plants in your garden. Check out the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife collection!

Some people have even turned to growing preservation gardens. Did you know there are more than 4,400 endangered plant species in the United States? Use the Rare Plant Finder Tool at the Center for Plant Conservation to find out which plants near you are at-risk.

Cutting Gardens

People seemed to realize that fresh flowers can warm up any space as flower sales increased 10% in 2021. Unfortunately, with rising inflations, it’s becoming more difficult to justify the price of a new bouquet every time you go shopping.

So how do you get a fresh bouquet when you want one? Plant a cutting garden, of course!

Grow favorites like zinnias, dahlias, and black-eyed Susans. All you have to do is plant some seeds in a sunny spot, add water, and you’ll have flowers for homemade bouquets in no time. Your flowers will be locally grown, meaning that they’ll be carbon-neutral, and you can keep growing your flowers back all summer long!

Time-Saving Gadgets

People are returning to the new normal, meaning that the time they dedicate to their gardening will shrink as hybrid work weeks become more common.

Expect to see more people purchasing and using labor-saving activities and products that provide timely results (e.g., growing kits, re-planted baskets and troughs, self-watering pots, and battery-powered pruners).

These time-saving gadgets provide more opportunities to sit back and enjoy your garden by yourself or with friends and family.

Gardening for Mental Health

Gardening can do wonders for mental health.

A garden is a restorative place, or at least that’s what many modern gardeners aim to achieve. When asking designers what they want their garden to look like, more people are using moods and atmospheres to describe their to-be garden rather than a series of physical fixtures. Gardens should work as a space to help us rest and recuperate after long days being subjected to a technology-focused society.

When gardening for your mental health, try to abstain from using power tools, gloves, and fancy gadgets. This will help you be more mindful and present in the task that you are doing. It will also help you look, touch, and sense what is suitable for your growing space.

You can also introduce fragrant plants like star jasmine, sweet peas, and mock orange. You may also want to try lemon-scented roses, like Rosa “Charles Darwin” or Rosa “Vanessa Bell.”

The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties

As homeowners, we’re always looking for ways to improve our space. That includes our garden as well! Gardening is beautiful and good for the soul and the environment. All you have to do is take a little time out of your day to ensure your plants are thriving throughout these summer months.

Are you looking for a new space with a beautiful garden? We’re here to help you find a home and feel at home.  Visit our website today or call the following phone numbers to talk with a team member: (618) 791-5024 & (618) 791-9298.

2022 Summer Housing Market Trends

2022 summer housing market trends

It’s the beginning of summer. It’s a great time for pool parties, barbeques in the backyard, and selling a house. The housing market is hot, with mortgage interest rates hovering above 5%, homes selling for 10% above their market value, and a tight supply of homes for sale. Answer important questions and gather all the details with this expert guide to 2022 summer housing market trends!

Why Is the Housing Market So Hot Right Now?

This is a seller’s market, as there are more buyers than homes for sale. Homes are in low supply and high demand, and this, combined with inflation, is causing prices to rise.

Pandemic uncertainty meant fewer people chose to move out due to economic concerns. At the same time, demand is higher because people now have a greater ability to work from home and relocate to a less expensive area. Millennials are also now approaching home buying age.

Are Millennials Buying Homes?

Millennials made up the largest share of home buyers at 37% in 2021. Younger Millennials, ages 22 to 30, were 14% of home buyers. Older Millennials, ages 31 to 40, are at 37%. Additionally:

  • 2% were Gen Z buyers, ages 18 to 21
  • 24% were Gen X buyers, ages 41 to 55
  • 18% were Younger Baby Boomers, ages 56 to 65
  • 14% were Older Baby Boomers, ages 66 to 74
  • 5% were from the Silent Generation, ages 75 to 95

Are We Headed for Another Housing Bubble?

Housing bubbles start with high demand and low supply. Buyers and investors rush to purchase properties as the supply starts to drop because they predict there will be more demand for homes in the future. Plus, low-interest rates and loose credit can bring borrowers, those who take out home loans, into the market and fuel demand.

However, once demand decreases or stagnates at the same time supply increases, prices drop sharply and the bubble bursts. The housing bubble of 2008 was not that long ago. Banks and other financial institutions engaged in predatory lending practices by approving people for mortgages they couldn’t afford. Lowered lending standards, irresponsible speculation, defaults, and foreclosures also played a part.

Fortunately, we are not headed for a housing bubble in 2022. Banking regulations are more restrictive than in 2008, meaning buyers today are more qualified to purchase homes.

What Home Buyers Need to Know

Home buyers should avoid panic buying by knowing what they can afford and sticking to a realistic budget. Be patient and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you debt-free?
  • Do you have an emergency fund for 3 to 6 months of expenses?
  • Will your mortgage payment be 25% or less of your take-home pay?

If you can comfortably meet these qualifications, you’re ready to buy!

What Home Sellers Need to Know

Home sellers should present their homes in the best possible way. You can renovate your home and increase your return on investment. Cleaning, decluttering, and organizing go a long way in making your home tidy. Bright lighting will also make your home feel more spacious. These steps help buyers envision themselves as the new homeowners.

Work With A Knowledgeable Agent at The Massey Team

Make the process of buying or selling your home as stress-free as possible by working with a knowledgeable real estate agent at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties. Our team has over 45 years of combined experience and has listings in St. Louis and across the river in Illinois. Simply give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to talk with a member of our team!