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Trump’s 1st home up for auction for 2nd time in 3 months

Trump's 1st home

NEW YORK (AP)(STLRealEstate.News) Trump’s 1st home — The first property connected to Republican President-elect Donald Trump has become a hot spot for real estate deal-making.

Trump’s earliest childhood home went up for auction for the second time in three months, and the owner is weighing bids. The deadline for the written bids passed Tuesday, but the seller has several days to consider them.

The 1940 Tudor-style house, in a leafy part of Queens, was offered to bidders last fall, but that auction date was canceled after publicity sparked a burst of last-minute interest and requests for more time. City records show an investor, Michael Davis, ultimately bought the home for nearly $1.4 million last month.

There’s no doubt the home is more valuable now than when it was first offered, said Misha Haghani, a principal in Paramount Realty USA, which is coordinating the auction.

“The last time, we were auctioning the childhood home of the Republican presidential nominee,” Haghani said. “Now, we’re auctioning the childhood home of the president-elect.”

The president-elect’s father, developer Fred Trump, built the five-bedroom, 4 1/2-bathroom, brick-and-stucco home in Jamaica Estates, an upper-middle-class enclave about 10 miles east of midtown Manhattan. The house features arched doorways, a fireplace and a sun room.

The president-elect lived there until he was about 4, when his family moved to another home his father had built nearby.

“I had a really good childhood. … It was a warm place,” Donald Trump, a billionaire real estate mogul, said of his first home on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” in September, suggesting lightly that he’d like to buy the place himself.

His representatives didn’t immediately respond to inquiries Tuesday about the sale. Nor did Davis.

Haghani declined to say how many bids were received, who submitted them or how much money was offered.


JENNIFER PELTZ, Associated Press


Picture courtesy of


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

McBride & Son Maryland Oaks

McBride & Son Homes - Maryland Oaks in Maryland Heights, MO

Another McBride & Son Homes development – Maryland Oaks

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO/January 17, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Maryland Oaks – McBride & Son Homes is developing another residential community in Maryland Heights located on the northwest corner of 270 and Page Avenue.

The 34-acre unique development will include 77 single family homes, 25 condo townhouses and 240 apartments spread across 10 different buildings offering multiple housing options to prospective buyers/tenants.

The excavation is underway, but no signs of building thus far.

The project is estimated to take more than a year to complete.  Cost of the project or financing has not yet been disclosed.

The community will be accessible by McKelvey Road, Basston Drive and a new street is to be added.

The plan has been under design for more than a year by McBride.

McBride & Son Homes is an employee owned company dating back 70 years and is considered the largest union builder in the United States.

For more information contact McBride & Son Homes.

Contact information:

McBride & Son Homes

16091 Swingley Ridge Road

Suite 300

Chesterfield, MO 63017

Phone: (636) 537-2000


Picture courtesy of St. Louis Media, LLC


Copyright 2016 K Amant, LLC d.b.a. STLRealEstate.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Feds allege KleinBank used discriminatory lending practices

KleinBank sued by Federal Government

MINNEAPOLIS (AP)(STLRealEstate.News) — The U.S. Department of Justice has sued a Minnesota bank for allegedly engaging in mortgage lending practices that discriminate against minorities. The bank disputed the claim Monday, saying the lawsuit is not based on fact.

In a lawsuit filed Friday, the department said KleinBank engaged in “redlining,” a practice in which banks deny or avoid providing credit services to consumers because of racial demographics or because of the neighborhood where they live.

Doug Hile, the bank’s president and chief executive, said the government’s claim “has absolutely no basis in fact. To the contrary, KleinBank has an established history of responding to all credit requests with a commitment to fairness and equal opportunity. This history is undisputed.”

In the lawsuit, the federal government alleges KleinBank violated the Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act. It says that from 2010 to at least 2015, KleinBank structured its home mortgage lending business to avoid serving neighborhoods where a majority of residents are racial and ethnic minorities.

The lawsuit says the bank’s service area is in a horseshoe shape that carves out the urban areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul, which have higher minority populations, and targeted its marketing and advertising solely toward white neighborhoods.

KleinBank is based in Chaska, a southwestern Minneapolis suburb, and its website says it has 21 branches in suburbs west of Minneapolis and St. Paul and in western Minnesota. Census data shows those areas are predominantly white.

“Minneapolis and St. Paul are not part of KleinBank’s market, and we have virtually no business there,” Hile said. He said the Twin Cities are highly competitive markets that are already served by well-established financial institutions, and the government’s claim that KleinBank had a proactive duty to expand into those areas amounts to “a baseless and unprecedented reach by the government.”

The lawsuit claims that from 2010 to 2015 comparable lenders generated loan applications in minority neighborhoods at over five times the rate of KleinBank. The other lenders made loans in those neighborhoods at over four times KleinBank’s rate.

Vanita Gupta, principal deputy assistant attorney general and head of the federal agency’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement that redlining produces an unequal playing field for borrowers in neighborhoods where minorities are the majority.

Hile said KleinBank has been cooperating with a DOJ inquiry about its lending practices for over a year.

KleinBank was founded 110 years ago.


AMY FORLITI, Associated Press


Follow Amy Forliti on Twitter: . More of her work can be found at


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Liz Weston: Retirement advice from retired financial experts

Retirement advice

(STLRealEstate.News) Most retirement advice has a flaw: It’s being given by people who haven’t yet retired.

So I asked money experts who have quit the 9-to-5 for their best advice on how to prepare for retirement.

They still faced curveballs when it was their turn. Making the right financial moves is important, they said, but so is getting ready mentally, emotionally and socially.


A central retirement decision is when to do it. Working longer can reduce the odds of running out of money, but delaying retirement too long could mean missing out on the good health or companionship to fully enjoy it.

That trade-off came home to financial planner Ahouva Steinhaus of San Diego when her life partner, Albert, died suddenly last year, just before she was scheduled to hand over her business.

Steinhaus, 69, says she’s grateful she’s not working now, while grieving the loss, but still wonders what might have been if she’d started the process of selling her practice earlier.

“You can’t know those things,” Steinhaus says. “It’s a balance between wanting to make sure that you have enough socked away that you feel confident that you’re going to be OK, and not wanting to spend the rest of your life working.”

What helps, Steinhaus says, is having many supportive friends and projects. She’s remodeling her kitchen after wanting to do so for 18 years, and she’s active in various causes, including San Diego EarthWorks . She also knows from having watched her clients and friends that adjusting to retired life can take a while.

“It does seem like a lot of people do cast around a bit after they retire to figure out what their life is going to look like,” Steinhaus says.


Theoretically, you can get a better return investing your money than paying off a mortgage. In reality, your biggest asset in retirement could be a paid-off, appropriately remodeled home that allows you to age in place, says financial literacy expert Lewis Mandell, emeritus professor of finance at the State University of New York, Buffalo.

Not having a mortgage allows you to withdraw less from your retirement accounts, which could make them last longer, and your equity could be a source of income later through a reverse mortgage, says Mandell, 73, who wrote his latest book, “What to Do When I Get Stupid,” after moving to Bainbridge Island in Washington.

If you plan to relocate, spending time in your new community before you retire can help you acclimate. Financial planner Bill Bengen and his wife, Joyce, at first divided their time between their home in San Diego and their vacation house in La Quinta, California. They wound up moving five years before they retired.

“We feel plugged into the community now,” says Bengen, 69. When moving to a new area, he says, “it’s strange: You don’t know anybody, you don’t know the ropes. Now we’re part of the ropes.”


Bengen has not one but two advisers: an investment manager and a financial planner. He appreciates their objectivity — and the fact that he doesn’t have to fret over the details.

An objective review of your retirement plans is crucial before you retire, since the decisions you make in the years immediately before and after may have irreversible consequences, planners say. A too-large withdrawal rate, for example, can increase the chances of running out of money. (Bengen should know: His research led to the “4 percent rule” widely used in financial planning to determine sustainable withdrawal rates.)


Peggy Cabaniss of Moraga, California, learned from retired clients that staying active in a field where you’re recognized can help prevent the feeling that you’ve lost part of your identity.

“It’s really easy to become a nobody,” says Cabaniss, 72.

Cabaniss counsels other planners about selling their businesses, serves on the boards of three nonprofits and works on a committee that encourages more women to become financial planners.

Cabaniss’ big surprise is how much she’s enjoying her new life. Before she retired, Cabaniss thought her work wasn’t stressful, because she loved it. Within a few months of selling her practice, though, she noticed her shoulders were in a new position — down where they should be, instead of tensed up around her ears.

“I didn’t realize that I felt such a great deal of responsibility,” Cabaniss said. “Now my kids say, ‘Mom, you look so happy.'”

This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet .


LIZ WESTON, NerdWallet


Liz Weston is a certified financial planner and columnist at NerdWallet. Email: . Twitter: @lizweston.


NerdWallet: Retirement Planning:

CNN Money: Should you follow the 4% retirement rule?:
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Amant’s Floor Care to celebrate 48 years, offering discount

Amant's Floor Care

Amant’s Floor Care is celebrating 48 years making them the oldest family owned full service floor cleaning company in St. Louis

WILDWOOD, MO/January 14, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Amant’s Floor Care is celebrating their 48th anniversary according to a press release distributed January 11, 2017.

The company was founded on carpet cleaning in 1969 by Steven Amant.  Today, the company is in the hands of his son, Kevin Amant and offers floor cleaning services including stone floor cleaning, which includes marble, granite, and terrazzo, ceramic tile and grout, vinyl floor and wood floors cleaning and sealing.

To celebrate their anniversary, Amant’s is offering a 20% discount to customers in the Wildwood, MO area for any service offered by Amant’s.  This discount is available through winter 2017 only.

Additionally, new customers can download an additional 10% off coupon from Amant’s website.

All of Amant’s carpet cleaning systems are high powered, state-of-the-art, truck mounted systems that provide the best carpet cleaning results available.  More importantly, the cleaners used to clean carpets are pet and family friendly/safe.

Most of their technicians have been with the company on average of 19+ years and all are certified.

Amant’s is an Angie’s List Super Service Award in both carpet cleaning and hard surface cleaning.  They have been a recipient of this award for many years.

Furthermore, Amant’s is the oldest family owned full service floor cleaning company in the St. Louis area.  They are properly bonded and insured for your protection.  They offer a customer satisfaction guarantee that customers appreciate.

Contact information:

Amant’s Floor Care

Attention: Kevin Amant

17005 Manchester Rd

Wildwood, MO 63040

Phone: (636) 458-2500



Disclosure: Amant’s Floor Care is affiliated with K Amant, LLC and STLRealEstate.News


Copyright 2016 K Amant, LLC d.b.a. STLRealEstate.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Carson questioned about housing views, experience

Carson questioned about housing views

WASHINGTON (AP)(STLRealEstate.News) — Former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson defended his experience and credentials Thursday to serve as the nation’s new housing secretary, turning to his life story to show that he understands the needs of the country’s most vulnerable.

President-elect Donald Trump wants Carson, a former White House rival, to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a sprawling agency with 8,300 employees and a budget of about $48 billion.

At his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking, House and Urban Affairs Committee, the famed neurosurgeon talked about growing up in inner-city Detroit with a single mother who had a third-grade education and worked numerous jobs to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

“I have actually in my life understood what housing insecurity was,” he told lawmakers.

Democrats in the GOP-run Senate questioned his experience. Carson said one of the things he’s learned in private life as part of various boards is how to find a good CEO. He said a good CEO doesn’t necessarily know everything about running a particular business, but he knows how to select people and use their talents.

Carson said HUD’s rental assistance programs are “essential” to millions of Americans. The department, he said, has a lot of good programs, but “the progress perhaps has not been as great as one would like to see.”

He added: “We don’t want it to be way of life. … We want it to be a Band-Aid and a springboard to move forward.”

Ranking Committee Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., pressed Carson about whether he could guarantee that no HUD money would benefit Trump or his family, which has made its fortune in real estate.

“I will not play favorites for anyone. … I will manage things in a way that benefits the American people,” Carson said.

Carson displayed a softer approach toward the role of the federal government than he sometimes did on the presidential campaign trail. When reminded that he had called for across-the-board agency spending cuts of 10 percent during the campaign, Carson noted that he later modified that amount to 1 percent.

Carson talked about a more “holistic approach” to helping people and developing “the whole person.” For example, he said, HUD could work with other agencies such as the Education and Labor Departments on better access to a quality education and apprenticeship programs to train workers.

Several former HUD secretaries, Democrats and Republicans, wrote the committee in support of Carson. The letter was signed by Henry Cisneros, secretary under President Bill Clinton, and Mel Martinez, Alphonso Jackson and Steven Preston, who worked for President George W. Bush.

The soft-spoken Carson, the only black major-party candidate in the 2016 presidential race, grew up poor. He attended Yale University and the University of Michigan Medical School, and was the first African-American named as head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore.

In 1987, Carson pioneered surgery to separate twins joined at the back of the head. In 2013, he entered the national political spotlight when, during the National Prayer Breakfast, he railed against the modern welfare state. President Barack Obama was sitting just feet away.

Before Thursday’s hearing, Carson had said little publicly about federal housing issues. In a 2015 opinion piece, he criticized an Obama administration fair housing rule as government overreach. At his hearing Thursday, he told lawmakers he would work with local HUD officials to “make sure that fairness is carried out.”


JENNIFER C. KERR, Associated Press


Picture courtesy of The Christian Science Monitor


Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report.


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Microbrewery coming to the Ellisville area

Microbrewery coming to Ellisville, MO

Microbrewery coming to Ellisville, MO

ELLISVILLE, MO/January 14, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) A microbrewery is coming to the Ellisville, MO area according to local sources.  Apparently, the project has taken longer than expected, but from the appearance of the property located at 16050 Manchester Road in Ellisville progress is being made.

Chris Greer, the owner, is planning on producing 750 barrels yearly.  They have parking for 45 vehicles and capacity for 120 guests.  There will be a tasting room, but there will not be outdoor seating, televisions or entertainment.

The facility has been vacant for 10 years.  There is a loading dock in the back of the building making it a great property for a brewery.  The city approved it’s license approximately one year ago and now re-configuring and renovating the building is in progress.

There has been concern from the local residents about traffic.  Just half a mile east there is a new QT, Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen, and Arby’s that will bring additional traffic to an already busy intersection.

We recently published an article titled “Construction projects in Ellisville, MO” describing the various building projects around the community.  Certainly the city took the increase in traffic into consideration, but lets keep our fingers crossed that their estimates are correct.

This will be the first microbrewery in the Ellisville area.  While it is always good to see new construction it is equally satisfying to see preservation in progress as well.  The city of Ellisville is excited to see this property finally occupied after 10 years.  But will they have good beer?  Stay tuned!

Contact information:

Greer Brewery

16050 Manchester Road

Ellisville, MO 63011

Phone: N/A

Email: N/A


Copyright 2016 K Amant, LLC d.b.a. STLRealEstate.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cortex expansion on hold

ST LOUIS, MO/January 14, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Officials behind the development and construction of the Cortex innovation district have this week announced they are placing two components of its planned third phase of development on hold at this time.  The items that have been paused include a 200-unit apartment development and a 1,100-space parking garage.  The team behind the development did not elect to disclose what exactly has put them on hold at this time.

Nonetheless, the district’s first hotel, an Aloft boutique hotel by Starwood; a new 180,000-square-foot technology and lab building; and an approximately 13,500-square-foot innovation hall are still slated for the Cortex innovation district project.  With the announcement of the two component drops, the project is now expected to cost close to $100 million, reported Cortex CEO Dennis Lower.  Previously, the price tag was a lofty $170 million before the scale back.

Lower provided limited information, stating that the numbers for the garage and residential component just didn’t add up for their spending budget.  They are expecting the district to revive plans, in some iteration, later this year.

“The two developers on the projects continued to drill down on the design and cost and came to the conclusion that it was no longer financial feasible,” Lower said.  “So what we did was we un-bundled the entire project.  So now we’re looking at all options right now (for the parking and residential component) — everything from sites and funding mechanisms.  We’re sort of starting anew with it.”

St. Louis’ city Tax Increment Financing Commission last week approved a $9.5 million in TIF allocation to help pay for Cortex’s planned third phase.  This is not TIF money, however, as Cortex was approved for $167.7 million in TIF incentives back in 2012.  The $9.5 million for this project is coming out of that previous pot.  To date, Cortex has used about $75 million of the approved $167.7 million for previous projects.


Contributing Editor: Alexandra R. Fasulo


Picture courtesy of FUSE – Washington University in St. Louis


Copyright 2016 K Amant, LLC d.b.a. STLRealEstate.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Clayton home to a female-only co-working space

female-only co-working space

Female-only co-working space in Clayton, MO

CLAYTON, MO/January 12, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Clayton will soon be home to a hip and hot women-only co-working space, following the national trend started in New York City.  Co-working spaces, a place for startups and entrepreneurs to rent out cheaper, more innovative spaces and work with other members of their co-working ecosystem, are sweeping the nation, and Clayton wanted to be part of the trend.

RISE Collaborative, which will open at 8820 Ladue Road later this quarter, will include 11 private offices, 3,000 square feet of open and flexible work-space, three conference rooms, a classroom, and free parking to go along with a coffee and snack bar.  Sounds pretty millennial, no?

According to a Bloomberg article published this past Wednesday, female-focused co-working spaces have become a niche in the greater co-working industry.  They are a place for women to network, collaborate, and share resources for further solidifying their prominence in the professional and working world.  RISE founder Stacy Taubman, on speaking to Bloomberg, stated that women are “craving community, connection, and confidence, and that’s exactly what we’re going to give them here in Clayton.”

Other female-only co-working spaces can be found in New York, Phoenix, southern California, Washington D.C., and Stockholm, making St. Louis a very trend-setting city at this time.

RISE has been having a good year so far, being named one of three finalists for the Business Journal’s Catapult Competition sponsored by MasterCard, a contest that aims to jump-start the winner’s idea through coaching and $10,000 in technology services from MasterCard.

RISE is also anticipating new funding that could come at some point this year and is also expected to help Taubman expand her co-working concept beyond just St. Louis.

“Our goal is to keep growing and spreading our co-working commitment to fostering female growth and collaboration both on a personal and professional level,” said Taubman.


Contributing Editor: Alexandra R. Fasulo


Picture courtesy of Philadelphia Magazine


Copyright 2016 K Amant, LLC d.b.a. STLRealEstate.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Cabinet manufacturer opens design center in St. Louis

Cabinet manufacturer

CREVE COEUR, MO/January 11, 2016 (STLRealEstate.News) Creve Coeur just became home to a new design center with an online custom-cabinet manufacturing component, adding 98 new jobs to the St. Louis economy for 2017.  The announcement came from a release distributed by Gov. Jay Nixon’s office earlier this week, excited to let the public know about the employment opportunities and home customization options now at St. Louis’ fingertips.

Minnesota-based CliqStudios will invest $1.95 million in St. Louis County to open this official design center.  No exact location was disclosed at this time, citing the company’s ongoing lease negotiation process.

“We have excellent business real estate offerings and affordable housing.  The bottom line is that companies are recognizing that St. Louis County is a great place to live and work,” St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said in a statement.

According to this same release, the Missouri Department of Economic Development offered CliqStudios a “strategic incentive package” to open in St. Louis.  CliqStudios, if it delivers on its job promises, has access to $795,584 through the Missouri Works program and $75,000 in training funds.

Sheila Sweeny, CEO of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, stated that CliqStudios choosing to put this new facility in St. Louis County shows that the region, with its centra location and great workforce, is able to successfully compete with other business hubs and innovative ecosystems around the nation today.

CliqStudios ships its custom-builds kitchen cabinets directly to customers.  The entity opened a design center in Indianapolis in November 2016 and has a 1.8-million-square-foot cabinet factory in Connersville, Indiana at this time.  This past Wednesday, the company made an announcement that they have appointed Tom Tiller as the CEO moving forward.  Outgoing CEO, Andy Juang, will remain onboard in the role as chairman.

CliqStudios was officially founded back in 2010, and has been expanding their operation ever since.


Contributing Editor: Alexandra R. Fasulo


Copyright 2016 K Amant, LLC d.b.a. STLRealEstate.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Arnold Palmer’s first signature course up for sale

Arnold Palmer's Indian Lake Golf Club

Arnold Palmer’s first signature course is on the market for sale

INDIAN LAKE, Pa. (AP)(STLRealEstate.News) — Arnold Palmer’s first signature golf course is up for sale.

Indian Lake Golf Club, an 18-hole course located about an hour southeast of the golfing great’s hometown of Latrobe, is looking for new ownership. Palmer, who won seven major titles before becoming a prominent golf course designer among other successful business ventures, died last September at age 87.

Palmer started work on Indian Lake in 1964, with a nine-hole course opening in 1967. A second nine was completed in 1995. Indian Lake was the first of over 250 courses designed by Palmer across the world. The 18-hole layout plays at 6,700 yards and was dedicated to Palmer in 2009.

Indian Lake Golf Club president Clair Gill said the club began to consider selling the complex shortly after Palmer’s death.


Picture courtesy of Golf Advisor


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

St. Louis industrial construction continues

St. Louis industrial construction

ST LOUIS, MO/January 10, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) The St. Louis industrial market is poised to have an historical comeback after decades of stagnated growth and industrial construction demand. As witnessed by many market players in the St. Louis economy at this time, “big bombers” – industrial facilities 500,000 square feet and larger – are coming out of the ground at record pace at this time. Even better, before these projects are completed, they are being leased and pre-leased at a record pace.

What is the reason for this sustainable industrial spur? Many attribute the new e-Commerce phenomenon with major players like Amazon taking nearly 1.5 million square feet in the Metro East submarket. The two major developments in this submarket are Gateway Commerce Center, developed by TriStar, and the adjacent Lakeview Commerce Center, developed by Panattoni.

In addition to Amazon, the Gateway Commerce Center contains a host of big box users such as P&G, Unilever, and Saddle Creek Corp. In neighboring Lakeview Commerce Center, Amazon occupies space along with World Wide Technologies, occupying 769,500 feet in the Center.

The overall vacancy rate in metro St. Louis dropped to 6.5 percent at the end of the third quarter this year. Absorption year-to-date has totaled more than 3.5 million square feet now, and the velocity of these developments has captured the attention of local, established St. Louis developers, as well as brand new names to the great region. The industrial construction has been nothing but good for St. Louis residents, whom now have thousands more jobs to peruse in 2017.

It’s important to note, not all development in the St. Louis market is speculative at this time. Boeing is completing a 367,000-square-foot expansion of its tooling center near the company’s north St. Louis County campus. All of this new construction by local, national, and international developers points to St. Louis as a serious contender in the rapidly expanding distribution center arena.


Contributing Editor: Alexandra R. Fasulo


Copyright 2016 K Amant, LLC d.b.a. STLRealEstate.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Buried in Christmas debt? Look to consolidate your debts

consolidate your debts

Consolidate your debts

NEW YORK (AP)(STLRealEstate.News) — So maybe you shouldn’t have purchased that 55 inch TV for your toddler or given a diamond incrusted collar to your corgi for Christmas.

Now you’re saddled with thousands of dollars in credit card debt from the holidays, collecting interest at 18 percent or more.

Never fear, there are a few ways to pay off that credit card debt in less costly ways.


Many credit card companies offer zero-interest balance transfers to new and existing customers after the holidays. That way you can pay off the debt without incurring any interest, typically with a grace period of 12 to 18 months. But if the balance isn’t paid off in that period, the remaining amount is subject to high credit card interest again.

Watch out for balance transfer fees, however. A typical credit card issuer will charge roughly 3 percent to transfer a balance. There are some credit cards that do promotional zero-fee balance transfers like Slate by JPMorgan Chase.


Several online lenders now offer lower interest debt consolidation loans to eligible borrowers, like SoFi, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Lending Club and Prosper.

Most online lenders can offer loans as low as 7 percent. But since they are unsecured loans, borrowing from these companies can have interest rates similar to or higher than credit cards. The loans come with the advantage of consolidating your payments into one place, with one steady payment, and a three to five-year plan to pay that debt off.


With the housing market mostly recovered from the crisis, banks are more likely to offer home equity lines of credit than ever before. The interest rate on a home equity line of credit can be as low as 3 percent. However they are effectively a second mortgage on your house and should only be used for large, unexpected expenses.


If you do consolidate your debts, the most important thing is to not run up your credit cards again. Then you’ll be saddled with both the debt consolidation loan and new balances on the cards.


KEN SWEET, AP Business Writer


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

St. Louis housing 2017 market outlook

St. Louis housing market prediction for 2017

ST LOUIS, MO/January 9, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) The housing market had a good 2016, and is expected to have an even better 2017 in St. Louis and the greater active U.S. real estate hotbeds.  The housing market has shown signs of strength recently, but momentum remains elusive.  Will this be the year that housing breaks out?  Experts vary in their answer, but most see an industry that will continue to grow while also posing challenges for new home-buyers.

For starters, people are already worried about mortgage rates loans after the post-election trend of sharply rising interest rates.  Experts say this surge will end soon.  The online real state brokerage Redfin predicts average interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage to stay below 4.3% in 2017, although rates were already there as of December 22, 2016 according to the St. Louis Fed.  The National Associate of Realtors predicts a modest rise to 4.6% while predicts 4.5%.

We then come to the home supply dilemma. Markets were tight in 2016 as the home supply simply could not keep up with demand in St. Louis.  The result was a sellers market, squeezing out a lot of buyers with higher than usual rates.  Supply has been mostly on the rise since July, but is still in the 5.4% range as of October.  The market is predicted to remain tight again through 2017.

And for home prices?  Over the past three years, home prices have settled into a relatively steady pattern of approximately 5 to 6% annual gains.  With interest rates finally rising over 4% and staying there while inventory continues to increase, price increases are likely to stay in check, in favor of the buyer.  The result is a 2017 with few sharp pricing increases in the greater area of St. Louis.

Overall, as a St. Louis homeowner, you can expect gains in your home equity in 2017.


Contributing Editor: Alexandra R. Fasulo


Copyright 2016 K Amant, LLC d.b.a. STLRealEstate.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

World Wide Technology New Corporate Headquarters in WestPort Plaza

World Wide Technology New Corporate Headquarters

World Wide Technology, Inc. New Corporate Headquarters

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO/January 6, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) On December 22, 2015 World Wide Technology, Inc. (WWT) and Lodging Hospitality Management announced their plans to help revitalize Westport Plaza by constructing a new headquarters for World Wide Technology, Inc.

In one year an impressive amount of progress has been made and the target of mid-2017 appears to be reasonable.  The structure is a beautiful addition to the Westport Plaza area, which is a business and entertainment district that attracts more than 300,000 visitors annually.

The new building is 210,000 square feet and will be home to more than 1,000 employees of World Wide Technology, Inc. at a cost of $95 million.

Building design was provided by M+H Architects and is being built by TW Contractors and Clayco, all St. Louis based companies.

World Wide Technology New Corp HQ

The state-of-the-art digitally enabled facility was designed to foster collaboration and interactivity among WWT employees, customers and partners.  The building will provide remote and local WWT teams the tools and facilities to share data, interact with content, work collaboratively to solve problems and make better business decisions.

The building will feature:

  • Ten video-enabled rooms, including three with SMART boards
  • Cisco TelePresence® high definition conferencing
  • An open office layout featuring collaboration areas, huddle rooms, working cafes and conference rooms
  • 150-seat auditorium with state-of-the-art audio and video technology
  • Digital signage to effectively and efficiently communicate with employees and guests
  • State-of-the-Art Executive Briefing Center to host customers and partners

WWT is one of the largest privately held firms in the country and a four-time recipient of Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Places to Work.

WWT is a systems integrator with nearly $7 billion in annual revenue that provides innovative technology and supply chain solutions to large public and private organizations.  The company brings to market a powerful blend of knowledge, infrastructure and technology to help its customers discover, evaluate, architect and implement technology products and solutions.


Contributing Editor: MWS


Picture courtesy of St. Louis Media, LLC


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