Thursday, May 17, 2007

St. Louis' Loss

St. Louis lost a friend yesterday. Marti Frumhoff, a colleague and part of the driving force of the St. Louis renaissance passed away.

She was one of my hero's, and will be sadly missed by all--whether we knew her or not. That's just the type of person she was.

Services will be held at Central Reform Congregation tomorrow (5/18/07) at 1pm.
5020 Waterman Ave.
Saint Louis, MO 63108
Phone: (314) 361-1564
Fax: (314) 361-2842

Virtual Memorial page

Monday, May 14, 2007

St. Louis Loft Sales in April

St. Louis real estate
It's about time to start taking my carpal tunnel treatment. Sales have been a bit crazy in the past few weeks, rightfully so. There isn't a better feeling than spending time downtown in the spring and summer. Everyone wants a piece of the action. Of course, highway construction could have a bit to do with peoples buying decisions. As lane closures and gridlock continue to build, the "downtown living bug" could reach epidemic proportions. Either way, the spring selling season is upon us and home sales are on the rise.

Here are the loft sales for last month:

1709 Washington #502----------------------------$153,000
2035 Washington #407----------------------------$164,940
2035 Washington #408----------------------------$166,572
2035 Washington #202----------------------------$167,024
1136 Washington #208----------------------------$171,000
2035 Washington #308----------------------------$172,099
1136 Washington #712----------------------------$190,000
2035 Washington #208----------------------------$190,300 YEAH JH!
1136 Washington #400----------------------------$197,000
1136 Washington #410----------------------------$218,000
1136 Washington #704----------------------------$229,000
1123 Washington #503----------------------------$229,900
1123 Washington #508----------------------------$231,000
703 N 13th #404 --------------------------------$265,000
721 N 17th #401-------------------------------$278,500 WHO ROCKS THE PARTY?
1123 Washington #218----------------------------$290,920
400 S 14th #1218--------------------------------$391,500
1121 Locust #302--------------------------------$425,825

Average Price per Square Foot=$178.63

Dear Young Professional,

St. Louis real estate market
"I have a question for you - I'm a "young professional," as we are often called, and am considering buying a loft downtown. My main concern is that if I want to sell the place in a few years in exchange for a place in the burbs, there won't be a market for it with all the new lofts that are being developed and the limited sales at this point in time. As the closest thing to a resident expert, what are your thoughts?"

My thoughts are varied. First of all, the fear that downtown St. Louis will be developed beyond sustainable population levels is a misconception. Downtown development is market driven. While the real estate market has been slower in the past year, most developments that have offered a good product for a reasonable price have continued to sell. Developments that are over-priced or lack certain features have struggled. My primary thought is BUY SMART! A good value will hold up regardless of what the market is doing.

My second thought, as a real estate professional, is that home ownership of any kind generally doesn't usually yield a positive return on investment within just a couple years. Our lofts have been an exception to that general rule for the past few years, particularly if they are purchased as "pre-construction." The only problem in that scheme is that most 1st time buyer's are wanting to buy to have a place to live and can't wait the year plus time frame for a pre-construction building to be completed.

Overall, my thought may seem biased, but work with a specialist (buyer's agent). The development companies that build lofts almost always have a sales force that is more than willing to assist you in buying THEIR product from start to finish. A skilled Realtor will usually expose a buyer to all possibilities downtown including new construction. This is free, and as a process, it seems to educate the buyer about the entire market. I generally listen to a buyer and really try to get them to evaluate all areas too. We've worked with potential loft buyer's that end up using us to buy homes in St. Charles or elsewhere in the St. Louis area. Sometimes prospective buyer's decide that renting for another year will work.

Lastly, after living downtown, the thought of trading a loft for a place in the 'burbs will make you nauseous. You'll probably decide on a house in one of the other fantastic city neighborhoods instead.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Entertainment Tonight

St. Louis lofts
Postcards have been popping up around downtown for the 10th Street Block Parties. It's been kind of low key. Since the weather was so bad, it's inception was rained out and pushed to tonight. It will be in the City Grocer's parking lot at 10th & Olive from 5-8pm. Stop on by.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Calling All Green Thumbs......And Everyone Else!

St. Louis lofts
Spring in Downtown St. Louis is fantastic for (at least) two reasons. Awesome Cardinal baseball, and the gardening work of Urban Roots/Gateway Greens. With the past few weeks of downturns in the Cardinal Nation, we're really going to have to rely more on the gardeners.

This weekend is the date!!!

I got a letter from Mayor Slay asking for money yesterday, and found the website today to contribute the more valuable and more rewarding thing: TIME. My favorite word is BOTH.

As Mayor Slay mentioned, our work to help beautify the city by planting a few gardens has a positive effect on our economy, our own experience, and most importantly, REAL ESTATE VALUE!!! Let's all get out and plant. CYA there!