Dawn Griffin

Saint Louis City-Focused Broker/Salesperson
GRI, e-Pro, Licensed REALTOR®

dawn@dawngriffin.com / 314.413.7086

Dawn Griffin

Carondelet Open Houses: Sunday, February 14, 2016

Two open houses are happening in the Carondelet neighborhood this Sunday, February 14, from 1-3pm.

6015cTennessee

6015 Tennessee is a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath home listed at $169,900.
MLS #: 16005490
Offered by: The Dawn Griffin Group, Circa Properties, 314-413-7086

This 2 story is MOVE-IN READY & loaded with updates. Master bedroom has private balcony overlooking fenced backyard.  Newer systems provide peace of mind. A 2-car garage and quiet street are added bonuses. 

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902 Dover Place is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home listed at $188,900.
MLS #: 16004919
Offered by: Tim Burgess, Clarity Street Realty, 314-764-7717

A window seat and French doors lend old world charm to this Carondelet beauty. 

 

 

St. Louis City Schools 101

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For our clients with school age children, navigating the myriad of options in St. Louis can be somewhat overwhelming.  According to the STL CITY SCHOOLS website there are 44 conventional public schools, 27 public magnet schools, 34 public charter schools, and over 150 private schools. We often recommend the STL CITY SCHOOLS website to our clients because it offers a consolidated place to review all the options, information on the enrollment process, parent reviews, and interesting blog posts.

If you live in the South City area and want a more personal experience, the Southampton Neighborhood Association is hosting event on February 27, 2016 from 9 am11 am at Bishop DuBourg High School.  Over 20 schools will be represented providing parents with a comprehensive idea on options for South City including public neighborhood, magnet, and charter schools in addition to private and parochial schools. Bishop DuBourg will have some students available for babysitting during the event so parents can focus more on the speakers and the school tables. You can get more details on the Facebook event listing.

Friday Facts: Spite, Spikes & Holdouts

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We’re all about being neighborly here at The Dawn Griffin Group. But a recent online story on spite houses sparked our curiosity and we thought we would share some facts and photos on spites, spikes, and holdouts.

Spite houses are what they sound like, homes built out of anger, usually meant to provoke. Typically they block views or access. Today they are less common because of stricter building codes in place. The spite house pictured above was built in 1830 by the owner of one of the adjacent houses. He wanted to keep horse-drawn wagons and loiterers out of his alley. It has two stories but is only 7 feet wide and 325 square feet. You can see photos of the inside at Hooked On Houses.

Landowners who refuse to give in to developers are called spikes or holdouts. One of the most famous holdouts was Edith Macefield’s Seattle cottage, which often was referred to as the UP house, because of its similarity to the Pixar movie. The Spikes and Holdouts Flickr Pool has more amazing examples and Web Urbanists features some Holdout Houses too.

We hope you never find yourselves in one of these situations! Here are some more stories with photos:

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Spite Photo Source | Holdout Photo Source

5 February 16 | Posted in Misc.

Benefits of Working with a Buyer’s Agent: Part Two

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In our last post we discussed the high-level benefits of working with a Buyer’s Agent. In this post, we are going to show you step-by-step how The Dawn Griffin Group simplifies the home buying process for you.

Home Buyer’s Consultation
We use the buyer’s consultation to really get to know you. Your wants. Your needs. Your timeline. We’ll ask the right questions to determine what you are looking for and what areas you are most interested in. Is a short commute important? Do you want a walkable neighborhood? Do you need to be near a certain school? During this meeting we help you figure out your buying power and introduce you to our trusted partners. We outline the search process, explain the contract and set the right expectations.

Power Search
Once we’ve completed an assessment, we can use the full power of the MLS to help you find options. We can provide up-to-the-minute custom searches to identify available homes that meet your criteria. We will be able to notify you of homes before they come on the market. As we look at homes together, your buyer’s agent will continue to listen to your needs and provide any counsel to help you determine which home is the right decision for you. Our agents save you time and reduce your stress level.

Negotiating the Offer
This is where we can truly offer peace of mind. The Residential Sale Contract is a legally binding 8 page document filled with fine print and a number of caveats. We know this document backwards and forwards. Using our contract and market knowledge, we will negotiate the best price and terms for you.

Contract to Close
Our team has a dedicated Contract-to-Close Specialist. Once accepted, we’ll help you manage the paperwork and schedule in order to close successfully without any surprises. It’s a great benefit to have a trained professional by your side to handle the details, help answer any questions you might have and follow up with all the parties involved to make sure everyone meets their deadlines. Over the years, we’ve developed good working relationships with home inspectors, mortgage lenders, title companies, and other professional and legal advisers. We know from experience which ones have delivered on time consistently and which ones have fallen short. We’ll help you find the right professionals to ensure a smooth process.

Your Rights
Your buyer’s agent has a legal and ethical responsibility to represent your best interest at all times. Some of the duties required of your agent: loyalty to you, promoting your best interests, disclosing known material facts, maintaining confidential information, and accounting for any money they handle in the transaction. If your agent knows something about the seller that might influence your decision to buy or not or to alter your offering price, they have a duty to disclose that to you subject to federal and fair housing laws. In short, it’s nice to know that someone has your back when you’re in the trenches of buying a home.

Post Closing Follow Up
Our relationship does not end at the closing table. It is our goal to be your trusted advisors throughout your tenure in the home. We will always be available to answer questions, provide contractor referrals, remind you of home maintenance and help you prepare for sale when you are ready to make a new transition.

Our Partnership
One of the things we enjoy most about working with buyers is the friendships and relationships that are formed. Many of our clients are repeat customers who work with us when buying their next home. We regularly meet with prospective buyers for a FREE buyer consultation. We hope that if you ever need help buying real estate in the future, or if you know anyone that needs help, you’ll give us a call.

Benefits of Working with a Buyer’s Agent: Part One

Over the years we have had several clients say to us, “Buying this house was so much easier than buying a car.” The reason that is true is because we have always acted as trusted experts shepherding our clients through what could be a really stressful and ambiguous process. We make it easy. We make it transparent. We have been through this process literally thousands of times. Our job is to help you, not sell you.

Many people are confused about what a Buyer’s Agent does. Working with a Buyer’s Agent is NOTHING like working with a salesperson on a car lot. When you walk onto a car lot, the person that greets you has one goal and that is to get you to buy a car from that lot that day. When you meet with a Buyer’s Agent, their only agenda is to help you. Once you select a Buyer’s Agent to work on your behalf, they have a fiduciary responsibility to work in your best interest. If car shopping worked like house shopping with a Buyer’s Specialist from The Dawn Griffin Group, it would look like this:

You walk onto a car lot with your trusted expert who is immediately able to deflect the high-pressure salesperson. Next your trusted expert provides complete tours of the vehicles that have options matching your criteria. During test drives, your trusted expert listens and helps you figure out your likes, dislikes, and preferences. They also help keep you realistic and focused so you don’t walk off the lot with a Porsche that looks great, but is out of budget and doesn’t really meet your everyday needs. After you and your expert have evaluated the inventory and determined the best option for you, the negotiations begin. Your trusted expert already knows all the blue book values, how the game is played, and what questions to ask like: What is the current market/inventory status? How negotiable is the price? Can we get better terms? Add in some perks? What are the best financing options? Are there dealer incentives? Your trusted expert negotiates the best possible price and terms for YOU then when everyone comes to agreement, your expert sends you out to lunch and handles all the details from there. You don’t have to get the car inspected or wait in line at the DMV, your expert will do that. All the details are handled! You just drive away in the new car.

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you will make. We want to make it easy for you and we want you to be 100% satisfied with your experience with our team. In our next post, we’ll talk about how our process ensures you have a positive experience. In the mean time, check out our client reviews to see what others think about working with us. 

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Winter Activities in St. Louis To Keep You All Sane

wintersWhile yesterday was crazy warm (70°+ in January?) the coming weeks promise the frigid weather we expect this time of year.  Here are some ideas for inside AND outside winter activities to keep you all sane.

Union Station Grand Hall Experience

Buyer’s Specialist Judy Leise went to the Grand Hall Experience at Union Station last night and said it was spectacular. She claims it will impress adults and kids and it’s FREE.  It is the largest permanently installed indoor immersive projection mapping show in the United States. Each show consists of three to ten “vignettes” all custom produced for the show and range from local historical facts (narrated by St. Louis natives John Hamm and John Goodman), to the local sports teams, the Mississippi River and to “visual wonder” pieces that exploit what projection mapping can do to the space.

Missouri History Museum

If you haven’t seen the A Walk In 1875 exhibit at the Missouri History Museum, you should get there before it closes in a month, on February 14. Essentially, it is a large pictorial map of 19th century St. Louis that you can walk through, with fantastic illustrations documenting typical scenarios of domestic life and the city. It’s highly informative and entertaining for all ages. And if you do have kids, while there you can also check out the History Clubhouse, which opened last June. This is the museum’s new hands-on interactive area for kids and it is pretty awesome. All FREE.

University City Ice Carnival

If the cold doesn’t bother you, definitely check out the 11th Annual Loop Ice Carnival. Enjoy 50+ Ice Sculptures, $1,000 in Ice Cubes Give Away, Putt-Putt Pub Crawl, Human Dog Sled Races, Frozen Turkey Bowling, Ice Demonstrations, Stilt Walkers, Fire Performers, and more.  Website | Facebook Event Page

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Welcome New Team Members

4sqare_logoWe are starting 2016 off with some exciting news – The Dawn Griffin Group is growing! Market conditions and the continued support and referrals from our amazing clients require that we grow the team to make sure every client receives the highest level of service. Judy Leise and Lance Appleby recently joined The Dawn Griffin Group as Buyer’s Specialists and Andrea Durway joined us last August as the Operations and Marketing Manager. They each have unique backgrounds and bring new areas of expertise and knowledge to the group. You can learn more about them on our Meet The Team page.

This team approach means The Dawn Griffin Group will be able to serve you even better in the coming year. You will have dedicated specialists guiding you through every step of the process. Our team will bring the highest levels of integrity, expertise, and professionalism to the table with the goal of making the home buying and selling experience as stress-free as possible. You can count on us to demystify the process, recommend the best vendors for your unique situation, and represent your best interests at all times.

We are really excited about the new year – strengthening our relationships with existing clients and building new partnerships. Again, THANK YOU for continuing to choose us to represent you! We look forward to working with you soon.

Open House at 2801 Missouri – Historical Townhome in Benton Park

2801mo

We are delighted to share our listing for this beautiful Benton Park townhome at 2801 Missouri Avenue. There will be an open house on Sunday, January 17, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.  The home boasts 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and over 2,000 square feet. It has a very welcoming open floor plan and is move-in ready, with the modern finishes and amenities in demand by today’s buyers. Add to this its excellent location near some of city’s best restaurants and you’ve got a real winner. You can find more photos and information on the 2801 Missouri web page.

This building will interest history buffs. The sellers spent many hours at City Hall researching previous owners.  The house has been owned by six families, some for multiple generations.  Businesses occupied the first floor for much of the twentieth century, first as a butcher shop and later as a grocery.  Below are photos taken in the 1920’s when the first floor was home to the Theo. Ruch Meat & Vegetable Market, along with a clipping from a 1917 ad for the establishment.

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We hope to see you this Sunday at this unique historic, yet modern townhome. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

New Construction Options in Central West End

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New construction opportunities in the city can be hard to come by. We currently have options in the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood of the CWE to PICK YOUR OWN LOT & BUILD a limited-edition custom home in the heart of the city. These homes are close to Forest Park, Metro Link, Wash U, Delmar Loop, shops, restaurants, schools & more! The properties are tax abated for 10 years and ready for your custom finish selections.

Standard package includes 9-foot ceilings on main level, hardwood floors on main level and staircase, and crown molding. A hefty kitchen budget allows for 42-inch kitchen cabinets, granite counters, center island w/breakfast bar, pantry and stainless steel appliances. Main level offers open concept living room, formal dining, breakfast or family room, large kitchen, powder room and side-by-side laundry. Upstairs find a true master suite (w/luxury bath & walk-in closet), two additional bedrooms, and another full bath. All have 2 car garages w/opener & a privacy fenced yard. The 9ft pour in lower level with egress window allows the new owner to finish this space and add a true 4th bedroom. 

The price point will vary based on lot selection and options. If you are interested in learning more, please check out the listing page or contact us for more details. Currently we have listed:

Selling Your Home In Winter

Our Open House this past Sunday had 20 sign-ins and at least 10-15 more attendees who didn’t sign-in. That is a great winter response.

Our Open House this past Sunday had 20 sign-ins and at least 10-15 more attendees who didn’t sign-in. That is a great winter response.

Many sellers decide to take their homes off the market during the winter months. We’ve talked before about some of the overlooked advantages of listing your home during the holidays. But it bears repeating that shoppers in January and February are very motivated, and you may want to reconsider waiting.

According to Redfin, homes listed between December and March sell faster than homes listed in other months, and often for more money. Redfin’s 2014 analysis showed that 74% of homes listed in February sold within 90 days, and 13 percent of them sold for more than list price.

Frequently overwhelmed by the projects they feel they need to get done before listing, sellers will wait even though minor updates may be all that are needed. Replacing cabinet hardware, organizing closets, fixing leaky faucets, and cleaning the grout go a long way.

If you are considering selling your home, now is a great time to schedule a consultation. I can provide you with a “quick hit” list of manageable updates that can help you get your home on the market during this time when inventory is typically low and can share other ideas to help you take advantage of the winter chill and make your home stand out as extra warm and cozy.  Contact me today for more information.