Relocating to the Big City

Moving from a small town or suburb to a large city can be an intimidating proposition. Here are a few tips to help make your move as painless as possible.

Research before you move. It’s important to understand the culture you’re joining. Do research online and find out about school systems, neighborhoods, parking, weather, public transportation, and laws that are native to that area. If you can, visit a city before moving and connect with someone who’s lived there before.

Have a plan. There are a lot of steps to go through before you start packing the moving truck. Find housing before you leave, or at least know where you’ll stay while you look for a home. Never sign a lease on an apartment that you haven’t seen. If you can’t get there, find a friend or an employer to check for you. Have a job waiting for you, or if that’s not possible, know what you’ll do for money in the first few weeks of living there. Try to line up things like driver’s licenses, car insurance, renter’s insurance, and parking passes ahead of time as well.

Get involved. Meeting people in a big city can be daunting. Don’t expect the neighbors to knock your door down with a casserole when you arrive: city life is often too noisy and hectic. Take the initiative. If there are things you liked to do in your town, find ways to do those things in the city. Try new things. Volunteer. Big cities offer so many opportunities to engage other people, so find what you like.

Mind your wallet. City life is expensive. Everything costs more: food, insurance, clothes, rent. There are also a lot more ways to get ripped off, whether legally or criminally. Be careful how you spend, and know where your money is going.

Over thirty partners including the St. Louis Regional Chamber, Explore St. Louis and St. Louis Civic Pride Foundation unveiled a bold new regional marketing video that showcases the best of the St. Louis region to investors, visitors and potential residents during the Chamber’s 179th Annual Event at the Peabody Opera House. See the video link below.…


Bagel is the smart tape measure you didn’t know you needed // Geek

bagel smart tape measureThat chunky tape measure in your toolbox is so last century. It’s time to get with the 21st century, geeky DIYers, with a smart measuring device called Bagel.

Yes, Bagel, presumably because this thing is like the everything bagel of tape measures. It’s meant to be “the only tape measure you will ever need,” and while that’s certainly not a true statement Bagel is still an incredibly versatile device.


It has three different modes. String mode is like a traditional tape: pull it out, and the bright digital display gives you a clear readout of the distance measured. Switching between inches and centimeters is as simple as tapping a button.

Wheel mode lets you roll along a surface instead, which is an absolute godsend when you’re trying to measure irregularly-shaped objects. Finally, there’s the remote mode that leverages a laser pointer and ultrasonic sensors to calculate distance from an object.


Since people often take measurements in bulk, Bagel comes with a built-in voice recorder. It also pairs with a smartphone via Bluetooth, and both your voice notes and measurements are logged and neatly displayed. It’s a handy way to keep track of, say, multiple lengths of molding or fabric you need to cut, but it also works for keeping tabs on your expanding/diminishing waistline/biceps/whatever.

Where Bagel falls flat is with renovation and construction tasks. Since there’s no actual tape, there’s noting that you can extend and use to make repetitive markings — say, every 16 inches on center to lay out studs for a wall.


You can’t use a flimsy string as a makeshift straightedge, and you won’t be using Bagel as a guide while scoring a sheet of drywall. Bagel is also limited to fairly short measurements. Its Dyneema string might be able to withstand 112 pounds of force, but it’s only 10 feet long — and even the remote mode can only handle 16.4 feet.

One other apparent downside: while the readout can quickly switch between standard and metric measurements, fractions don’t seem to be an option. Sure, eventually you’ll remember that .4375 is 7/16, but there’s a certain elegance to doing some measurements the old way.

I agree that one device to replace three or four is a great idea, but when I can pick up a contractor-grade tape for less than ten bucks, Bosch laser measure for $30, a Strait-Line rolling tape for another $10, and a flexible tape for around $2, Bagel is a tough sell at an MSRP of around $90.


Channel 5’s “Show Me St. Louis” Features our Listing at 8 Radnor Road

8 Radnor Road, Huntleigh, Missouri featured on Channel 5, “Show Me Saint Louis” with Dana Dean.

For the full story and to see Stephanie in action, go to:…

The start of a new school year is filled with anxiety and academic challenges and many children return to school unprepared — lacking the basic tools needed for success. That’s why St. Louis REALTORS® Affiliate members and Office Depot are partnering together to help the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis provide backpacks filled with school supplies to local children in need.

Please join us by participating in our Supplies for Success Program. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis provides after school, summer, teen and sports programs for youth ages 6-18 across six Clubs in St. Louis City & County. The Clubs are open during hours that kids are most likely to need a safe place to go – after school and during the summer. In 2015, 75% of Club members lived in single-parent households; 88% were at the low income limit poverty level; and 68% qualified for the federal free or reduced-price lunch. This is a great opportunity for you to help the community and get children excited for the 2016-2017 school year.

Now through August 3rd, St. Louis Realtors are collecting school supplies for elementary, middle and high school students for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis.
There are drop off locations at Office Depot and Office Max.
For a list of places around town, visit:

Stephanie Oliver Makes “The List”

Ranked number 5 in real estate sales for 2015 in the Saint Louis area according to the July 22-28, 2016 issue of the Saint Louis Business Journal, page #13.

For the full article, go to:…

Photo: Pieter Estersohn

5 Easy Home Improvements That Add Instant Curb
Appeal Guarantee a good first impression—and increase your home’s property value—with these simple tips for sprucing up your exterior

It is a truth universally acknowledged—by real-estate brokers and home improvement sites alike—that anyone looking to increase the property value of a home on the market need only
renovate their kitchen or baths to see maximum results. But the real truth is that, short of a major overhaul, there are lots of smaller, less time-consuming—not to mention more affordable—things you can do to guarantee your house makes an impact on potential buyers. “Did you know that the front door and surrounding details can make or break a first impression?” says Annie Hoover, an associate broker at ERA Reardon Realty in Jackson, Michigan, who has seen firsthand what a difference a little paint can make. We asked her to share five easy fixes that will transform your home’s exterior without breaking the bank (or your back). Some of them will surprise you.

Consider the front door. “If you’re on a budget, give doors a face-lift with a fresh coat of paint and a new or recently polished handle and door knocker from your local or online hardware store,” Hoover says. “Paint can be bought for less than $200 depending on the brand, and a really elegant door knocker or handle starts at $45.” Of course, you could replace the door altogether with something more dramatic. “An arched distinctive door with side lights will knock the socks off any buyer.”

Grab the gardening tools. “If you have the room, anchor each side of the door with potted plants,” she says. “Potted plants are an efficient, fragrant, and inexpensive way to add a pop of color, which is important to buyers. Also, avoid plastic containers and be sure to use ceramic or terra-cotta pots to add a touch of subtle opulence.”

Walk this way. “Create an inviting walkway to your front door with beautiful blooms or shrubs,” she says. Among Hoover’s personal favorites: hydrangeas. “Depending on your preference, many can be found for under $30 and are easy to plant. If you have an area along a walkway leading up to your front door, go for bright blue and pink colors—they have a huge impact and are typically very low maintenance and cost efficient.”

Mask with mulch. “A few bags or small truckload of mulch can turn dry or imperfect soil into a rich and striking border along walkways and around trees and foliage,” she says. “Depending on how much you need, you can find it for as little as $3 to $10 per bag.”
Make it inviting. “To add character and warmth to your exterior entryway, purchase a new (read: clean) welcome mat and hang an elegant outdoor wreath (these can be as low as $40),” says Hoover. “Nothing says ‘curb appeal’ like a welcoming and warm entryway.”