Date Archives: February 2021

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Area Information | 31 Posts
Buy a Home | 2 Posts
Home Improvement | 12 Posts
Sell a Home | 2 Posts
February
15

Where to Go Birdwatching Near St. Louis

Birdwatching St Louis

Whether you've been birdwatching as a hobby for years or you're looking for a fresh, fun, socially distanced way to enjoy the great outdoors, the St. Louis area is loaded with great places to go watch the birds. Countless species of birds pass through our area throughout the year, so there's always something new to spot. Our real estate agents have all the delightful details on 6 of the best places to go birdwatching around St. Louis.

  1. Tower Grove Park – 4256 Magnolia Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110
    Tower Grove Park
    is one of many great birdwatching destinations located near St. Louis homes for sale. This park is located across the street from the Missouri Botanical Gardens, and the combination of two well-maintained outdoor spaces attracts hundreds of species of birds to this small area. Tower Grove Park is also home to the Gaddy Wild Bird Garden dribble fountain, a unique water feature that attracts even more birds to the area.

  2. Carondelet Park – 3900 Holly Hills Dr., St. Louis, MO 63116
    Carondelet Park
    is a beautiful green space with proximity to two rivers, making it a hot destination for birds and birdwatchers alike. It's one of the larger city parks in St. Louis, with more than 175 acres of beautifully maintained green space. More than 160 species of birds have been documented at this location, making it a popular stop along the Great Missouri Birding Trail.

  3. Schulze Nature Preserve – 370 M E Frick Rd., Washington, MO 63090
    For birding fun near Washington homes for sale, try a trip to Schulze Nature Preserve. This natural area is one the smaller side for a nature preserve at just over 22 acres, making it easy to explore in one day. But don't let the smallish size fool you! This is an amazing place to see a wide variety of bird species, along with beautiful flora and diverse local wildlife.

  4. Forest Park – 5595 Grand Dr., St. Louis, MO 63112
    Forest Park
    is widely considered the best park for birdwatching in St. Louis, thanks to its expansive 1,300-acre size and prime location in the city. More than 200 species of birds have been documented here, and the park is open every day of the year. Like some of the other parks on our list, Forest Park can be quite busy on weekends, making weekday mornings the ideal time to visit for birding.

  5. Columbia Bottom Conservation Area – 801 Strotdtman Rd., St. Louis, MO 63138
    The Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is a massive natural space stretching over 4,300 acres, with a wide variety of trails to explore while you go birdwatching. This lovely green space attracts an expansive collection of species, with 279 bird species documented to date. The conservation area features a unique collection of ecosystems, which help attract the many diverse bird species that visit.

  6. Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center – 11715 Cragwold Rd., St. Louis, MO 63122
    Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center
    is a great place to visit for a family birdwatching trip, with various educational exhibits and attractions that will appeal to kids of all ages. The conservation center is largely made up of woodlands, with three main trails that allow you to explore the area and find the perfect places to spot birds.

Ready to find a home of your own near all of the outdoor attractions around St. Louis? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the St. Louis, MO area.

February
1

What You Need to Know About VA Loans in 2021

VA Loan Tips

Are you an active or retired military member with your eye on one of the wonderful St. Louis homes for sale? Uncle Sam wants to help make your dream of homeownership come true. Our real estate agents share significant changes to the VA loan program taking effect in 2021 and how they benefit you.

What Is a VA Loan?

Before reviewing the changes, it's helpful to clarify what constitutes a VA loan and how it differs from other mortgages. First of all, only active service members, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses can apply for a VA loan.

Some people mistakenly believe funding for the loans actually comes from the Department of Veterans Affairs or VA. Private institutions, such as banks and mortgage companies, are still the ones issuing the loans. The difference is that the VA guarantees a portion of the loan, making it easier for the borrower to obtain more favorable terms.

Benefits of VA Loans

If you're looking at some great Washington homes for sale with the intent of using a VA loan, you still have to go through the traditional steps: Get prequalified and preapproved, make an offer, have the home appraised, and complete the closing.

Here are the ways a VA loan truly works to your advantage:

  • You can obtain a VA loan without a down payment. Many people cite the difficulty of saving for a down payment as the biggest obstacle toward purchasing a home.

  • Mortgage insurance is a requirement for home loans secured with less than 20 percent down. Even without a down payment, mortgage insurance is not attached to VA loans thanks to the VA's guarantee.

  • VA loans are not a one-time-only deal. You can use your VA entitlement for home purchases throughout your lifetime. Keep in mind, though, that VA loans are meant to buy a primary residence in "move-in ready" condition.

  • Previous foreclosures or bankruptcies don't preclude eligibility for VA loans.

  • There's no prepayment penalty for VA loans, so you can save money by making additional payments and retiring the loan early.

What's New in 2021

So what are the specific changes to the VA loan program going forward in 2021?

  • Until this year, National Guard members, including reservists, had to have at least 90 days of active duty to qualify for a VA loan. Under a new law, members are eligible with 90 days of service. The one caveat is that at least 30 of those days must be consecutive.

  • There is no cap to the amount of money a home buyer may borrow under a VA loan. Previously, however, limits were set to how much the VA would guarantee without a down payment. Those limits have now been eliminated for those with full VA loan entitlement. While this affects many VA loan applicants, there are two instances where VA loan limits still apply. One is in the case of those who have previously defaulted on a VA loan. The other is with homeowners who have one or more VA loans currently active.

Ready to start your search for a new home? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Premier Group to get started.

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