Articles Tagged "Belleville Area"

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Belleville | 34 Posts
Buying a Home | 7 Posts
Home Improvement | 21 Posts
Lifestyle | 1 Posts
Sell Your Home | 5 Posts
September
19

Home Addition

If your home no longer fits your needs, you might be thinking of building an addition. A new wing, great room, or even bedroom can make your current house feel more like your home. You may also consider an addition if you find an awesome home for sale that's simply lacking in a few ways. We've seen plenty of Belleville homes for sale with additions that blend in well with the original architecture. Here are some key things to know if you're thinking about having an addition built.

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September
6

Oktoberfest Belleville

Oktoberfest is a celebration of Bavarian culture that dates back to the early 19th century. It has since been adopted by communities all over the world, including right here in Belleville. Our real estate agents are eager for the fun to begin again this September. 

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August
15

Front Yard Tips

You took your time looking at Belleville homes for sale, finally found the right one, and moved in. Now, you're looking at your front yard and thinking it could use a refresh. Sound familiar? You're not alone. Front yards do need a little revitalization from time to time to keep them looking fresh and inviting. Here are some ways you can spruce up your front yard and enhance your home's curb appeal. 

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August
1

Midwest Arts Festival

Looking for a fun and exciting way to experience local culture near Fairview Heights homes for sale? With a bustling social calendar, there's always something new to see and do. Our real estate agents have the inside scoop you need to make the most of it.

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July
18

St. Clair County Dining

Summer in Saint Clair County means outdoor dining, and our real estate agents like it even better when they're not doing the cooking. Join family and friends for a meal on the patio at one of these wonderful local restaurants.

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July
5

Furniture Tips

Are you feeling dissatisfied with your home? If it's starting to feel a little stale or like it doesn't meet your needs anymore, it could just be that it's time to rearrange your furniture. Changing your room arrangements can breathe new life into your home and remind you why you love it. Or if you're getting it ready to list, rearranging your furniture can help stage the space better for potential buyers. Here are a few tips from our real estate agents for a winning room arrangement.

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June
20

Kitchen Tips

Tired of having to search through multiple cabinets to locate the pot or pan you're looking for? Feel like your cabinets and drawers have a lot of wasted space?

Organizing your kitchen helps you quickly find what you're looking for and makes cooking more enjoyable. Follow these tips from our real estate agents to get your kitchen organized and clutter-free. 

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June
6

Community Gardens

Belleville homes for sale enjoy the combination of natural beauty, a vibrant local economy, and quality amenities anyone would be happy to have close to home. Our real estate agents know the character of a community is also an important factor, and this is one area where Belleville truly stands out.

Belleville's tradition of community gardens makes it easy for residents to get involved in sustainable urban agriculture with a local focus. Community gardens are managed and maintained by volunteers, with plots available for anyone in the community to grow vegetables, fruits, herbs, and more.

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May
16

Belleville Pets

Some of our real estate agents love taking their dogs with them wherever they go. After all, dogs are part of the family too! Whether we're heading to grab a bite to eat or are looking to give our pets a bit of extra luxury and pampering, we created this guide to the best dog-friendly places near Belleville to help our fellow pup parents.

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May
2

Down Payment Tips

The spring real estate market is here and is sure to continue to heat up! If you are looking into Belleville homes for sale, you are likely considering the down payment you'll have to invest. Saving adequate money for the down payment is a hurdle for many, but a solid savings plan makes homeownership possible. Our real estate agents have compiled an easy guide below to get you closer to owning your dream home.

Most homeowners hesitate to start the homebuying journey because they can't make a 20% down payment. While many mortgage lenders demand a 20% down payment, you can put as little as 3% down with a fixed-rate conventional loan. You may pay for even less or no down payment if you qualify for a VA or USDA loan.

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April
18

Downtown Belleville Art

If you're not already an art lover, the incredible abundance of creativity around Belleville will quickly make you one. Our real estate agents share their favorite art displays and events that are within minutes of Belleville homes for sale

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April
4

Home Coffee Station

One popular feature in today's kitchens is a coffee station. While some people design their kitchen remodels with dedicated space for a coffee station, you can get the same effect in your kitchen today while making minimal changes. Here are a few ways our real estate agents recommend incorporating a coffee station in your kitchen.

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March
21

Belleville moving

You've spent time looking at Belleville homes for sale, you've found the right one, and now you're ready to move. Moving into a new home can be really exciting, but it also makes for a very busy couple of weeks. Amidst all of the excitement and the changes, it's easy to forget things. Why not learn from others' mistakes instead of making your own? Here are some things people often forget when moving.

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March
7

Belleville St Patrick's Day

It's time for the one day of the year when everyone is a little Irish, and as always, Belleville will be hosting some great events for St. Patrick's Day this year. Our real estate agents have all the details on the busy lineup of St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Belleville this year.

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February
21

Spring Cleaning

Spring will be here before you know it! If you're like most people, once the seasons change, you'll focus on cleaning your home and getting it ready for the warmer months ahead. It's not too early to start planning your spring cleaning routine, especially if you're planning on listing your home in the near future. Our real estate agents have some tips to help you with your spring cleaning endeavors. 

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February
7

Belleville Parks

If you're selling your home in the Belleville area, then you know how important it is to give prospective buyers a chance to see your house in person. A great home showing can be a game-changer. The question is, where are you and your kids going to go while your home is being shown? 

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January
17

Belleville 2022

The start of the new year brings the perfect opportunity to explore all of your favorite places in Belleville, both new and old. Whether you're looking for family fun, fascinating educational attractions, great shopping, or the chance to spend some quality time in the great outdoors, you'll find it close to home in Belleville. Our real estate agents have the exciting details on 6 of the top places for you to visit in Belleville this year.

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January
3

Fairground Events

If you live in or are thinking of moving to the Belleville area, then allow us to draw your attention to one of the best event venues nearby: Belle-Clair Fairgrounds & Expo Center. Conveniently located off Highway 15 in the historic district, this event center host numerous conventions, performances, and sporting events throughout the year. Take a break from looking at Belleville homes for sale, and consider attending one of these upcoming events.

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December
20

Belleville Gift Ideas

Searching for unique, outside-the-box gift ideas that will bring a smile to anyone on your shopping list? Then this is the perfect time to skip the big box stores and shop locally at the many fantastic small businesses located on Main Street near Belleville homes for sale. In addition to finding some great gifts, you'll be supporting the small businesses that make the community so special and benefiting the local economy. Our real estate agents have the details on 6 of the many excellent shops where you can find distinctive gifts on Belleville's Main Street.

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November
22

Belleville Events

Looking forward to sharing the holidays with family and friends? Join our real estate agents in celebrating at these festive events, taking place just minutes from Belleville homes for sale.

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November
1

Interior Design

Did you know that National Stress Awareness Day is on November 3rd? This important day always falls on the first Wednesday in November, as Wednesday is typically the most difficult and stressful day for Monday-through-Friday workers. The day was made an event by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA) to recognize how much stress people carry and the harm it does both physically and psychologically, as well as to promote methods of managing stress.

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October
18

Cozy Fall Home

Fall is the ideal time to make a few cozy upgrades to your home. A cozy, inviting home makes the transition from long summer days to shorter, chillier fall days (and eventually frigid winter days) less daunting. 

When it's time to add your property to the inventory of Belleville homes for sale, potential buyers will appreciate these homey, inviting upgrades. Here are a few projects to add to your to-do list. 

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October
4

Belleville Soup

The changing leaves and the nip in the air are sure signs that fall has arrived. Whether you love cold weather or could do without it, there's something super comforting about enjoying a hot bowl of soup on a chilly day. Our real estate agents love trying specialty soups at local restaurants so we can pass on recommendations to the new residents we work with. 

From a simple broth to a filling chowder, some of our area restaurants are serving up incredible soups that we're sure you'll love. Here are a few you won't want to miss. 

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September
20

Walkway Ideas

As if landscape design hadn't been breaking new frontiers in recent years in so many inventive ways, here comes the latest: outdoor walkway ideas that promise to dazzle your visitors and set the neighborhood talking. Whether your walkway design is brick, wood, stone, tile, or gravel, it can become a real talking point -- or selling point, if you plan to list your home among Belleville homes for sale.

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September
7

Comic Book Day

While Wonder Woman and Spider-Man fill movie screens everywhere, Archie and his friends pop up on the small screen, making comic books more popular than ever. On Saturday, September 25, celebrate National Comic Book Day along with our real estate agents at these wonderful comic book shops around Southern Illinois.

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August
16

Belleville Security

When you have a home that you love, it's important to have security features to keep you and your family safe. 

Our real estate agents know that a few simple changes make a significant difference in the security of your property; these upgrades also make your home appealing to potential buyers. Here are some security upgrades to consider adding to your home. 

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August
2

Belleville Walking Trails

Going for a walk or a bike ride is one of the most convenient ways to get exercise. It's also a nice way to enjoy some scenery and get to know the local area. While you can always walk down the sidewalk and explore your neighborhood, there are also some awesome trails in the Belleville area. Our real estate agents recommend strolling or cycling along these trails when you get the chance.

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July
19

Farmers Markets BellevilleSummer is the harvest season for so much of the fresh, Illinois-grown produce that we all know and love, which is why now is the perfect time to plan a trip to your local farmers market. In addition to stocking the freshest produce, meat, and other ingredients, farmers markets are great places to pick up so many different hand-crafted items from local artisans. Shop local, give back to the community, and find some outstanding deals in the process. Our real estate agents have all of the details you need on 5 of the best farmers markets in the Belleville area.

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July
5

Outdoor Updates

When you're getting ready to list your home on the market, many sellers primarily focus on their home's interior, but it's important to remember your outdoor space too. Your home's exterior is your first chance to make a good impression on potential buyers. A beautiful exterior is an excellent way to attract attention to your listing. 

Our real estate agents always encourage sellers to focus on sprucing up their outdoor space before listing their home, as it can actually have a positive impact on the home value and sale price. Below are some tips to help you get started today:

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June
21

Horseback Riding

Whether you've been around the stables your whole life or you're interested in enjoying the exhilarating experienced of horseback riding for the first time, our real estate agents are happy to report that there are a wide variety of excellent equestrian facilities in the Belleville area. This is the perfect time to visit a local farm for a lesson, some trail riding, or a great place to board your own horse. Start your search for the ideal horseback riding experience with our list of 5 popular equestrian facilities near Belleville.

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June
7

Gutter Maintenance

Homeowners routinely forget about their gutters when it comes to warm weather maintenance chores. However, there are a number of reasons you should check your gutters each year so that they're in good working order and you avoid potential damage to your roof. If you're listing your home among Belleville homes for sale, you should check out your gutters to ensure they are in good repair. Here's the lowdown on gutter maintenance for the summer.

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May
17

Home Office Tips

So many of us are spending more and more time working from home these days, so there has never been a better time to revamp your home office. Whether you want to impress your colleagues during your video conference call or simply want a more comfortable working space, improving your home office will improve your happiness and productivity. Our real estate agents love creating beautiful home offices, and they've been compiled a list of tips for giving your working space a refresh: 

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May
3

Belleville Disc Golf

It's a great time of year to be out enjoying the spring air in the Belleville area. It's not too hot, and not too cold—in other words, it's perfect disc golf weather!

If you're not familiar with disc golf, then you're in for a treat. It's the perfect fusion of Frisbee and golf, and it's a great way to have some outdoor fun with friends. Plus, some of our real estate agents' favorite local parks in the Belleville area have awesome disc golf courses. 

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April
5

Historic Places St Clair CountyAs the oldest county in Illinois, St. Clair County is rich with history. Our real estate agents know that its unique charm is a big part of the reason why people from all over Illinois and across the United States choose the area for a new home.

As you visit Belleville homes for sale, you'll no doubt find the well-kept properties and beautiful variety of architectural styles striking. An abundant assortment of historic places are waiting for you to explore, and some of them may even be right in your own neighborhood.

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March
15

Belleville Breakfast

International Waffle Day, a holiday that began in Scandinavia and has made its way worldwide, is coming right up on March 25th. What better way to celebrate than by experiencing some of our real estate agents' favorite Belleville, IL breakfast spots?

If you're looking for a hot, fresh, homestyle breakfast in Belleville or its surrounding communities, you don't have to look very hard. Here are a few of our favorites! 

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February
1

Belleville Pizza

February 9th is National Pizza Day. Didn't know that was a holiday? That's okay! Now you know.

And now that you're aware that this momentous occasion is on the horizon, you can celebrate by ordering a pie from one of these fantastic local pizzerias in the Belleville area. You can bet that's what our real estate agents will be doing on February 9th. 

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January
18

Walking Trails in Belleville

Whether you're looking to work on fitness for the start of the new year or simply wish to enjoy some time outdoors close to home, the beautiful walking trails of the Belleville area are sure to have something for you. From well-traveled trails at popular local parks to quiet, out of the way trails located in nature, you're certain to find something that suits your style. Many of these trails are located in outdoor areas that feature other attractions for all ages, so you can turn your walk into a full family outing. Our real estate agents have all the details you need on 5 of the best walking trails that you'll find in the Belleville area.

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January
4

Belleville Clean Home

Sure, you worked hard all spring and summer with DIY and cleaning projects, but we bet you overlooked something. Plus, now that the holidays have come and gone, chances are you've let some things slide in your cleaning routine. Be sure to follow these tips for getting your home sparkling clean this winter. Once you're finished, if you need help listing your home or buying a house from Belleville homes for sale, your local real estate agents are ready to help.

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December
21

Heating Bill Tips

With winter right around the corner, cold temperatures and harsh winter weather are in the forecast. While it's common for your heating bill to increase due to the frigid winter temperatures, there are things you can do to make your heating costs more affordable. Follow these tips to cool your heating bill this winter. 

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December
7

The holiday season is just over the horizon, and our real estate agents want to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. We know you're busy, so we've brought together a list of local shops in Belleville where you can find unique gifts. Best of all, they're all located on Main Street, making it effortless to shop them all in a single trip.

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November
16

Belleville Tips to Organize Home

Cleaning and organizing your home isn't an easy task, and it can seem especially overwhelming when you have a lot of clutter. Getting rid of stuff you don't need and organizing spots that attract clutter can give you room to breathe and make things a lot easier if you decide to sell your home. Our real estate agents advise clients with Belleville homes for sale to de-clutter as much as possible before putting their property on the market. Here are some often overlooked areas where clutter may hide.  

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November
2

Bakeries in BellevilleNational Homemade Bread Day is Tuesday, November 17th, and our real estate agents are ready to order up a fresh loaf from one of our favorite bakeries. Luckily, there are plenty of fantastic bakeries throughout the Belleville area. Join in on the celebrations by visiting one of these Belleville bakeries for homemade bread.

  1. Coffee Mill Café – 115 E. Washington St., Millstadt, IL 62260
    Love is brewing at Coffee Mill Café. Next time you're in the area visiting Millstadt homes for sale, swing by Coffee Mill Café for a cup of joe and a freshly baked pastry. Grab your bread fix with a croissant sandwich, biscuits, and gravy, or a delicious panini. If you're looking for a grab and go meal, order up a delicious donut and hot or cold cup of coffee.


  2. The Happy Bakery – 102 W. 6th St., O'Fallon, IL 62269
    If you purchase one of our O'Fallon homes for sale, you'll definitely choose The Happy Bakery for your custom cake needs. While their boutique custom creations brighten up any event, you can also enjoy many of their tasty treats any day of the week. On National Homemade Bread Day, head down to The Happy Bakery and order one of their breakfast or lunch items that are completely free of animal products. Whether you choose a burger or "sammich," you'll love your meal topped with their fresh baked bread and buns.


  3. Lizzie Bob's Bakery – 823 Lincoln Hwy Suite 102, Fairview Heights, IL 62208
    Lizzie and Bob combine their talents for bread and pastry baking at Lizzie Bob's Bakery. If you're new to the area looking at Fairview Heights homes for sale, your neighbors will likely remember Belleville's The Pie Pantry run by Lizzie's aunt in the '70s and '80s. Lizzie continues the family tradition with her amazing pies, custom cakes, and giant cinnamon rolls. Bob's fresh-baked breads and rolls are ready to order and pick up every day. You can even let your dog celebrate National Homemade Bread Day by picking up a few dog sugar-free dog biscuits.


  4. Sweet Katie Bee's – 131 First Street, O'Fallon, IL 62269
    Slow, feel-good food lives at Sweet Katie Bee's in O'Fallon. They believe that food is personal and should nourish the soul as much as the body. Take advantage of National Homemade Bread Day to try a half-dozen cinnamon rolls. They make rolls that are allergy-friendly as well as Keto-diet friendly, allowing those with restrictions to enjoy fresh-baked breads made from scratch. You could also opt to have breakfast or dinner ordered to-go, enjoying fresh avocado toast, biscuits, and gravy, a toasted sandwich, or pretzel bun slider on your way to work.


  5. The Abbey – 5801 W. Main St., Belleville, IL 62226
    New residents of Belleville will love spending time at The Abbey. This espresso bar and café is one of the most comfortable places in town to grab a drink, a bite to eat and enjoy live jazz. Their full-service bakery features fresh 8-grain and rye breads. However, locals will tell you that no stop is complete without sampling their famous handmade Gelato.

Would you love to live close to one of these tasty bakeries? We'd be happy to assist you. Contact us today to schedule a private showing of our Belleville homes for sale.  

October
19

Belleville Italian Food

Did you know that Sunday, October 25th, is World Pasta Day? If you didn't, then you surely don't know that the World Pasta Congress created World Pasta Day back in 1995 so people all over the globe can celebrate more than 600 different shapes of pasta that have kept families full from as far back as the 4th Century B.C. Our REALTORS® believe that there is no better way to celebrate than to pick up a plate of pasta at one of these Italian restaurants around Belleville.

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October
5

Front Porch Decorations

If ever there was any doubt that autumn had arrived, the chillier nights and falling leaves in recent weeks leave no doubt. Our REALTORS® are always happy to welcome the fall season, partly because it's one of the best times of the year for seasonal decor. 

One piece of advice we give to anyone putting up Belleville homes for sale this time of year is to make a great first impression with an appropriately fall-themed front porch. But even if you have no intention of selling your home, this is still a fun season to get creative with your porch decor. Follow these tips.

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September
21

Belleville Food Trucks

These days, it's easy to get sick of takeout and crave a meal that the standard chains just can't deliver. Thankfully, Belleville's favorite food trucks are still serving up delicious grub available for pickup around many of our neighborhoods. Our REALTORS® encourage you to skip the standard takeout and boring box meals, and instead, grab an order to go from one of these food trucks serving the Belleville area.

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September
8

Belleville Dog Parks

Have you been cooped up in the house lately – or maybe spending a lot of time away while you look at Belleville homes for sale? Whatever the case, Fido misses you. And there's no better way to keep a dog healthy (and avoid lots of unwanted barking) than by making sure he gets plenty of exercise.

Many of our real estate agents have dogs, and we know how important it is to spend time with your furry friend in the great outdoors. A dog park is a fine way for you to meet your neighbors while your dogs meet theirs. It's fun and leads to greater well-being for everybody.

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August
17

Working with a REALTOR

Buying or selling a home can be intimidating. The industry-specific jargon, paperwork, and legal restrictions can be overwhelming for the average person, let alone first-time homebuyers. Purchasing a home is a major life decision, and with so much on the line, it's very important to work with an experienced, dedicated professional that can help you steer clear of costly pitfalls and mistakes. If you're considering one of these beautiful Belleville homes for sale, make sure you're working with a REALTOR® who can provide you with the following benefits:

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July
6

DIY Front Porch Projects

Refreshing the front porch is just one way to brighten up the exterior of your home. And creating a fresh new look right at your front door doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, you can do it all yourself on a budget.

Get started with these suggestions on how to turn the heads of all the neighbors as they walk past your home.

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June
15

Golf Courses in Belleville

Summer is right around the corner, and the warm weather is the perfect opportunity to enjoy one of the many wonderful golf courses in the Belleville area.

Our REALTORS® suggest perfecting your golf swing at these Belleville area golf courses:

  1. Tamarack Golf Club, 800 Tamarack Lane, Shiloh, IL 62269
    Tamarack Golf Club is an 18-hold public course designed by Pete Dye and offers both a classic and a links golfing experience. It's a family-friendly course just around the corner from Shiloh homes for sale and is well suited and fun for players of all skill levels. You'll be able to work your way down the fairways, avoiding water hazards and sand traps along the way. 

  2. Fair Oaks Golf Club, 419 Old Collinsville Rd., Caseyville, IL 62232
    Fair Oaks Golf Club, located near Caseyville homes for sale, prides itself on being one of the best daily fee outing values in the area. The course's front nine has a Scottish-style links layout where you'll enjoy seeing prairie grasses and wildflowers. The backside is lined with grand oaks, and the course has plenty of large, smooth greens. After you've finished your day on the links, take time for lunch and a drink in a casual atmosphere.

  3. The Orchards Golf Club, 1499 Golf Course Dr., Belleville, IL 62220
    The 18-hole championship-style golf course at The Orchards Golf Club was designed by former Masters winner and Belleville native Bob Goalby. It has six sets of tees and is well suited for all levels of play. Practice at a driving and practice range or use one of The Orchards' state-of-the-art high-definition golf simulator. The club also has a large banquet facility that can host everything from weddings to company golf parties.

  4. Shiloh Yorktown Golf Course, 300 Goalby Dr., Shiloh, IL 62221
    Shiloh Yorktown Golf Course is owned by the village of Shiloh, and Bob Goalby and Pete Dye designed its course. Many leagues play at the course, so you'll be able to bring your friends and meet new ones. The par 3, 18-hole course is lighted, so you can play at night when the weather is warm enough. Also, you can work on your game at a large putting green and a driving range and then enjoy a drink or sandwich at the clubhouse.

  5. Elmwood Golf Course, 1400 Eiler Rd., Belleville, IL 62223
    Elmwood Golf Course has been a community mainstay since 1959, conveniently located near Belleville homes for sale. It's a somewhat hilly course that's known for its reasonable rates. You can play nine or 18 holes, with the flexibility to play whenever you'd like since there are no tee times. Walk the course or rent a cart and choose your time from dawn to dusk.

  6. St. Clair Country Club, 100 S.78th St., Belleville, IL 622223
    Located in the west end of Belleville, St. Clair Country Club provides a challenging, well-maintained golf course. It's a private club that, in addition to its golf course, offers tennis, swimming, fitness, dining and banquet facilities, and social events. St. Clair's 18-hole golf course was completed in 1927 and is challenging yet appropriate for golfers of all skill and experience levels.

We love our community and are proud to share its wonderful qualities, including the fantastic golf courses! Contact us to learn more about the Belleville area.

June
1

Realtor and Agent

If you're new to buying or selling real estate, the specific roles and titles of professionals who work in the industry can be unclear. Before you make a decision about whether you need a real estate agent or REALTOR®, it's important to understand the distinctions between them, so you're armed with the knowledge you need when selling property or looking at Belleville homes for sale

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May
4

Unfinished Basement IdeasYour unfinished basement may be a useful space for storing unsightly odds and ends. However, you can take things a step further and add to your home's habitable square footage by converting the basement into anything from a workout room to an entertainment area.

Our REALTORS® can give you ideas to get you started. Your finished basement could turn into one of your home's most desirable selling points -- yet another way to stand out from other Belleville homes for sale.

Have a look at these five suggestions for your unfinished basement.

  1. Renovate Your Storage Area 
    There's no reason your basement has to look like a garage sale. First, clean it up and remove clutter. Do an assessment: are you ever going to use that rolled up rug of Aunt Sally's again? Get rid of it, and anything else you haven't used in several years. Next step: clean up, repairing broken drywall, adding insulation in the walls for better climate control, and fixing air leaks to the outdoors. Then, organize with neat shelving (use shelf paper wherever you can), pegboard for tools. Store clothing, books, and odds and ends in plastic containers that will fit in the shelves. 

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April
20

Apps to Stay Connected

Social distancing doesn't mean you have to disconnect with friends and family members. Our real estate agents and many others across America are harnessing the power of modern technology to stay connected with the people closest to them. All you need is a phone and a few of the following apps to bridge the gaps.

  1. Google Hangouts
    Google Hangouts are quick and easy to set-up. All you need to do is download the smartphone app or extension for Google Chrome. Once you install the app, you can send messages and make video or voice calls. If you have an iPhone and the person you want to connect with also has an iPhone, you can use Facetime to enjoy plenty of chats.
  2. Skype
    The tried and trusted favorite of many, Skype was the pioneer that set the bar for everyone else to follow. Free and easy to use, you can conduct video calls, conference calls, or chats with your friends and family all over the world. 
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March
16

Moving Tips

With so much to do after a big move, it's easy to overlook some smaller details. Things you'd never forget normally can slip through the cracks when you're celebrating – and resting up! – after moving into one of the great Belleville homes for sale.

Our REALTORS® strive to make every part of buying a home more comfortable, including the move. Many of our clients have reached out with stories of things they forgot to take care of, so we decided to delve deeper and find out what goes undone the most.

In the chaos of packing and unpacking, important administrative tasks can fall by the wayside. And the further you're moving, the more valuable it is to remember to do those things promptly.

Let's take a closer look at five things people forget to do after they move:

  1. Turn Utilities On (And Off) Before Moving Day
    It may take up to two weeks to have electric and water service turned on at your new home, so contact utilities as soon as moving day is circled on the calendar. At the same time, be sure you notify existing utilities that you will be moving out. Service in your name must cease before new residents can move in and get everything under their own account.

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March
2

Belleville Greenhouses

The first day of spring is Tuesday, March 19 – and our REALTORS® are looking forward to it!

At Strano & Associates, we know people have many motivations for buying a home. Some are starting a family, others want to make space for their dogs, but one thing is for sure: Certain things are just more satisfying in your very own home.

Gardening is one of them!

Luckily, these greenhouses will get you off to a wonderful start on spring with gorgeous flowers, trees, and shrubs.

Here are our five favorites:

  1. Terry's Landscaping and Garden Center – 6200 New Missouri Avenue, Centreville IL, 62207
    Terry's Landscaping and Garden Center allows you to get landscaping advice from experts with more than 20 years of experience. The perfect way to bring color and the personal touch to Centreville homes for sale, its fully-stocked nursery and garden center includes all your favorite trees, shrubs, roses, annuals, and perennials.

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February
17

Tips for Flipping HousesYou've probably seen all the house flipping shows on TV and wondered to yourself what it would take to get started in the flipping game. There are a lot of pieces that need to be in place to successfully flip a house for a profit, but luckily our REALTORS® are here to help. Here's what you need to know before you get started. 

  1. Know the Risks
    When done correctly, flipping a house can be an excellent investment. It could also end up costing you thousands if something goes wrong, so it's important to understand the risks. What looks like a great investment property could have hidden defects like a leaky roof or cracked foundation that end up souring the deal, so it's important to do your homework on each property.
  2. Understand Your Financing Options
    Because of the risks involved in flipping a house, it's essential to know exactly how you're going to finance the process before starting. While it may not be an option for everyone, it's best to buy houses in cash if possible, because it eliminates the added complications and costs that come with loans and interest while you're trying to flip a property. 
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February
3

VA Loan 2020

VA home loans provide a fantastic opportunity for veterans and their families to put a solid foundation under their financial future. There are some changes to the VA home loan program that make it easier for soldiers, sailors, and airmen to purchase a home. These changes will affect loan limits, fees, and other elements of the program that our REALTORS® want you to know about and think over before you apply.

Funding Fees Rise for Some Borrowers

The funding fee for VA home loans is rising to 2.30% for first-time active duty borrowers, which is a slight increase over the 2.15% it is at currently. This change will go into effect on January 1, 2021, so there is still plenty of time to purchase a home before it affects borrowers. On the other side of the coin, Purple Heart recipients who are still on active duty will no longer have to pay the funding fee starting on January 1, 2020. The subsequent use fee is also rising. It is currently set at 3.3% but will increase to 3.6% on January 1, 2020. 

The Funding Fees are based on a sliding scale for regular military personnel based on their down payment.

Down Payment Fee for First-Time Home Buyers Fee for Subsequent Use
0% 2.3% 3.6%
5-10% 1.65% 1.65%
>10% 1.4% 1.4%

Further, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 streamlines the funding fees for all military personnel. Starting January 1, 2020, National Guard, reservists, and active-duty personnel will be subject to the same funding fees without distinction to which branch they serve.  

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January
27

Low Carb Restaurants Belleville

What do keto, paleo, Atkins, and Mediterranean have in common? They're all popular forms of low-carb eating, which has gained popularity as a way to lose weight and control blood sugar. Enjoy the great taste and health benefits of low-carb dining at these wonderful restaurants around Belleville recommended by our real estate agents

  • Sugarfire Smoke House - 1425 N. Green Mount Rd., O'Fallon 62269
    Sugarfire Smoke House takes the best BBQ traditions and creates a style all its own. Specialties range from the simplicity of the Carolina sandwich to the heartiness of the Meat Daddy, a platter of ribs, sausage, brisket, pulled pork, and turkey. Order online for convenient carry-out or delivery to the area near O'Fallon homes for sale

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December
30

Winter Curb Appeal TipsEverything tends to look a little gray and dreary in the winter, so if you're selling your home during this season, you'll have to pay particular attention to curb appeal. The weather might be colder, but your home should still look warm and inviting. Winter curb appeal can make your home look more vibrant and inviting when compared to other area homes.

Our real estate agents recommend the following 8 ways to improve your winter curb appeal:

  1. Add Color to Your Porch
    If your home has a porch, add a pop of color with a few brightly colored rocking chairs with cozy outdoor cushions and blankets. Even if it's too cold for prospective owners to have a seat, they'll be attracted to a cheery color in cold weather and may imagine themselves relaxing in them when warmer temperatures come.
  2. Boost Outdoor Lighting
    Since it gets dark earlier in the winter than during other times of year, some buyers may be viewing your home when it's dark. Add outdoor illumination such as pathway lights on the side of your front door to make your home sparkle while helping keep guests safe.

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December
23

Belleville New Year

Doesn't it seem like just yesterday that we were eagerly awaiting the turn of a new century? Well, get ready to party like it's 2020 because another new year is on the way. Our real estate agents have the scoop on five fabulous New Year's celebrations around Belleville. 

  1. New Year's Eve Walk & Dinner - Balance Coffee and Tea, 732 S. Illinois St., Belleville 62220
    The Illinois Trekkers will be conducting a guided walk along with two 5K loops right down the street from Belleville homes for sale. Join the group afterward for dinner at Tavern on the Main, located at 301 E. Main St. Registration for the 5 p.m. walk on Tuesday, December 31 begins at 4:30 p.m., with dinner following at 6:30 p.m. The New Year's Eve Walk & Dinner is open to all, but reservations are required for dinner.

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