Q: Is it possible for a home to be sold for less than its mortgage?

A: Occasionally. But it’s a complicated process and a lot depends on the lender.

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Photo via www.stlballparkvillage.com

Ballpark Village opens
Thursday, March 27
For the first time, St. Louisans can finally check out the much-hyped entertainment district across from Busch Stadium. Ballpark Village will hold a grand opening event to kick off a 10-day celebration with a free Third Eye Blind concert at 9 p.m. Thursday. That kicks off a weekend full of great entertainment events that includes a St. Louis Blues Hockey Fanfest, a Family Fund Day at Ballpark Village and much more! http://www.stlballparkvillage.com/entertainment

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Understanding Zillow and its limitations

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

If you’ve bought or sold a home in the last 10 years, there is a good chance you’re familiar with Zillow. Zillow is an online real estate database founded in 2005 that has become a power in the real estate industry because of its wealth of information and high-end user experience. But it’s important to understand what Zillow is, what its information means and what its limitations are.

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If you’re thinking of sprucing up your home for spring, you’re not alone. One in three homeowners say they’ll tackle at least one home improvement project in the first half of 2014, according to a recent survey by Burst Media. And it turns out, that’s a pretty smart investment.

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How to Use a Hashtag

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

A hashtag is a word or unspaced phrase prefixed with the symbol # (formerly known as a pound sign). 

Example:  #BHHSselect

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Photo via www.scottradecenter.com.

The Second City: Happily Ever Laughter
Thursday, March 20-Saturday, March 22
The Second City is regarded as the country’s best improv comedy school and its Chicago-based theater has produced stars such as Bill Murray, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Amy Sedaris and Jay Pharoah. Its touring company, which comes to the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center  (1 University Boulevard) Thursday through Saturday, draws on classic materials from the theater’s archives and mixes scripted and improvisational elements that bring the crowd into the show. If you come to this show there’s a good chance you’ll see a comedy star or two in the making. Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 6 and 9 pm. Saturday. Tickets are $35. http://www.touhill.org/default.asp?touhill=51&objId=1162

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In 2012 the Biggert-Waters Law passed providing a 5-year plan to continue flood insurance. The plan required that the National Flood Insurance Program charge actuarial rates for the insurance, resulting in a large rate increase for some consumers.

But late last week the Senate passed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which should curtail the skyrocketing of insurance rates and premiums. The vote, which passed 72 to 22, gives final approval to the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HR. 3370). Now that it has passed the house, it goes to the President’s desk to await signature.

The real estate industry is praising the Senate for their supporting votes, and is optimistic that the new bill will ease the financial burden for homeowners recently affected by changes to the National Flood Insurance Program.

“Realtors applaud the U.S. Senate for passing the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, H.R. 3370, to curb flood insurance rate hikes for homes and commercial properties,” said National Association of Realtors President Steve Brown in a recent statement.

“As the leading advocate for home and property owners, NAR applauds this bill for the relief and protection it will bring to businesses and families nationwide, who are experiencing financial hardship because of the extreme and sudden premium increases. We believe this legislation will bring relief to property owners by ensuring a slow and steady phase in of risk-based increases.”

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Q: Are permits always necessary before making home improvements?

A: Some people avoid getting building permits to save both time and money. Typically, most cities require them. In addition to ensuring safety during construction — housing inspectors often stop by to check the progress of projects at key points — they also provide a source of revenue.

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Photo via. www.irishparade.org.

Kate Chopin’s The Awakening
Thursday, March 13-Sunday, March 23
From now until March 23 Kate Chopin’s classic novel will be performed at the Missouri History Museum. The story is set in New Orleans near the end of the 19th century and the story centers on Edna Pontellier and her struggle to reconcile her views on femininity and motherhood against the social attitudes of the end-of-the-century South. There are performances at 8 p.m. each Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20-$30. http://mohistory.org/node/8627 

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Be aware of easements on your property

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Are you familiar with what an easement is? If you’re a homeowner, you should be.

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