Bert Boyce: Rennovation Advice

by Chuck Roper 6. February 2014 06:38

The Town & Style recently asked the opinion of one of our seasoned agents, Bert Boyce.  Town & Style posed the question below and asked how Bert would respond should she be confronted this question in the home buying/selling process.

 “I'm thinking of turning my living room into part of the kitchen family room - will it hurt re-sale if I don't have a formal living room?”

Bert answered this question stating, “Many buyers aren't interested in a formal living room; however, it also depends on the style, size and current layout of the home.  Consult with a Realtor before making changes.”

For more opinions to questions like this contact Bert Boyce at


Selling Your Home

12 Appletree Lane: A Town & Style Featured Property

by Chuck Roper 3. February 2014 07:57

12 Apple Tree Lane was recently featured in the January 29th issue of Town & Style.  What makes this home special is described by the homeowner and written by staff writer Stephanie Zeilenga.  


by stephanie zeilenga

listing price | $3,350,000

listing agents | lisa coulter and linda benoist of janet mcafee


 This past summer, Katherine Weber bought 12 Apple Tree Lane in Ladue less than an hour after seeing it. Only she didn’t buy it to live in. Rather, she saw the potential to transform it into a clean, chic, West Coast-inspired home.  A native St. Louisan, Weber lives in California, but frequently returns to St. Louis to visit family and to conduct business as a shareholder in two family companies: Royal Banks of Missouri and National Real Estate Management.

Renovating homes has become her hobby, and she now has overseen six renovations, including a 10,000-square-foot, 1896 Archibald MacLeish home in Chicago, where she raised her family. In three short months, Weber turned her vision for the home on Apple Tree Lane into a reality. To achieve a “cool, updated energy,” Weber stripped the 8,971-square-foot home down to its essentials, and enlisted the help of Chuck Schagrin, the original builder. “It had an exorbitant amount of details, too much molding, and the floors were this ’80s yellow,” Weber says.

She replaced red kitchen countertops with slabs of white Denby marble, got rid of the moldings, stained the floors a deep ebony and upgraded the carpet to high-quality wool. “I wanted to undress it, and now the house is clean and cool,” Weber says. The home includes a conservatory, paneled library, a sunroom perfect for grilling, and a master bedroom suite with a fireplace and a walk-in closet that Weber outfitted with a funky leopard-print carpet. But of all the home’s features, the kitchen’s glass atrium is what clinched the deal for Weber. “When I saw the home had a glass atrium, I had to have it,” she says.

The 1.8-acre property in a prime real estate area was another selling point. “It has a really beautiful yard in the back, with very formal boxwood hedges, and a garden with peonies and lots of roses,” she says. The grounds also feature a pool, with fountains and a rolling water feature. “It’s relaxing and soothing, and makes you feel like you’re in a river or at the beach,” Weber adds. The home’s location, size and move-in ready condition now make it ideal, says Weber. “This home is for someone who wants to be in the heart of Ladue, and who isn’t afraid to break out of a traditional, preppy look,” she says. “Someone is going to have a touch of California in St. Louis.”

For more information on this home visit




St. Louis Luxury Homes

2 Midpark Lane: A Ladue News Distinctive Home Feature

by Chuck Roper 30. January 2014 04:31

Recently, Blaise Hart-Schmidt of the Ladue News wrote up a wonderful feature article on a very special home, 2 Midpark Lane in Ladue.  Below learn more about what makes this home unique.  

2 Midpark Lane - 3-bedroom, 2-full and 1-half bath home in the Ladue School District is listed for $749,000.

A CUSTOM WALNUT FRONT door greets visitors as they enter this home’s warm and bright open floor plan. Knotty pine-beamed ceilings throughout the first floor, as well as 4-inch plank wood floors and a stacked-stone wood-burning fireplace in the hearth room create a cozy atmosphere.

Stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, a center island and walk-in pantry with window make the custom kitchen an amateur chef’s dream. The master suite features a walkin closet, thermal jet tub and oversized shower for ultimate relaxation. Two more bedrooms also have walk-in closets and share a Jack-and-Jill bathroom. The lower level boasts 9-foot ceilings and approximately 900 square-feet of additional living space. Great for entertaining, both the first floor and patio are wired for sound. An oversized, 2-car garage, special millwork, home office and in-ground sprinkler system are just a few of the extras in this cozy home.

For more information or to see this home in person contact: Christy Thompson at 314-974-6140.


St. Louis Luxury Homes

Gai Lowell: A Ladue News Feature

by Chuck Roper 7. January 2014 11:29

When Ladue News Magazine was looking to profile a Ladue Agent with a proven track record they looked to Gai Lowell of Janet Mcafee Real Estate. 


This feature article was written by Staff Writer Katherine Comfort-Mason.



For Janet McAfee Real Estate agent Gai Lowell, real estate isn’t just a job. It’s also a passion.  With a background as a certified public accountant, Lowell worked for Citicorp Mortgage before starting at Janet McAfee more than 20 years ago. Soon after, she teamed up with Marianne Galt, and the pair has been partners since. Working with a partner, growing up in St. Louis and having a background in finance all give her a boost in the industry, Lowell says. She’s also detail-oriented and persistent, two traits that have placed her in the top 10 Janet McAfee agents for more than 10 years. “I’m much happier finding the right fit for the client, no matter how long it takes, as opposed to meeting a sales goal,” she says. Lowell values the diversity of her clients, as it allows her the opportunity to take on challenges and do something new and different every day. Lowell’s clients also value her. One of her current listings, seen below, is a house she sold shortly after joining Janet McAfee. The owners are again trusting Lowell’s talent and passion, 20 years later.



For more information on Gai Lowell visit her webpage at




16519 Kingspointe Lake Lane: A Ladue News Distinctive Home Feature

by Chuck Roper 7. January 2014 11:04

When the Ladue News Magazine searched for an example of luxury living in Clarkson Valley, they sourced the distinguished agent Susan Hurley of Janet McAfee Real Estate. Her beautiful listing at 16519 Kingspointe Lake Lane offers over 4,500 square feet of casual elegance throughout.

This Distinctive Home feature was written by Staff Writer BLAISE HARTSCHMIDT.

5-bedroom, 6-bath home in Clarkson Valley is listed for $979,000.


and with more than an acre of wooded land, this custom, 2-story home features boxed beam ceilings, custom moldings, floor-to-ceiling windows and custom built-ins.

A warm and inviting library/den and stunning dining room flank the gracious, 2-story marble foyer. The kitchen, with custom Marc Christian cabinetry, granite countertops, butler’s pantry, kitchen island and top-of-the-line appliances, will delight the family chef, and views from the octagonal-shaped sunroom will make every breakfast relaxing and enjoyable.

The master suite truly is an oasis, with a fireplace in the sitting room and a renovated master bath. Two other bathrooms also have been updated. Downstairs, the finished walkout lower level offers a third fireplace, wet bar area, bedroom suite and separate deck. Walk-in closets, French doors, a 3-car garage and covered porch add to this home’s casual elegance.


See more information on this home at


St. Louis Luxury Homes

Julie Lane: Real Talk

by Chuck Roper 2. January 2014 08:20

Town & Style recently interviewed Julie Lane to talk Real Estate. Julie gave her perspective on real estate and shared how she stays a top agent despite the challenging market.  


Julie Lane had been in pharmaceutical sales for eight years when she decided it was time for a job that required less travel and gave her a sense of community. So she got her real estate license and joined Janet McAfee in 2007—just as the market crashed. What seemed like bad timing hasn’t stopped her from becoming a top agent, exceeding $45 million in sales despite the challenging marketplace. Lane, who grew up in New Berlin, Ill., now lives in Ladue with husband Rich and their two daughters. 

 “I knew almost immediately that real estate was the right career for me. My first sale, I helped a young couple buy their very first house. I truly felt as if I’d made a positive difference in their lives. 

 My least favorite part of the job is when my buyers end up in a multiple-contract situation.  It’s stressful and emotional for all involved. 

 Right now I know several buyers who are desperate to get into a new home, but the inventory in some markets is very low. So I think some segments of the market are improving. We’re simply out of homes  to show!

 If you trust your agent, listen to her advice. If you don’t, find someone you can trust.

 In any market, price, condition and location sell homes. We can control only price and condition. If your home has been on the market awhile without selling, you have to do something different to make it  stand out.

 To be a successful agent, you must be willing to do what the competition is not. That, and learning absolutely everything you can about the current market, are paramount.

 I work all the time. I’m constantly examining the market, the trends, etc., so I know what’s going on. It would be impossible for me to do what I do if I spent only a few hours a day focusing on it.

 This industry is competitive and very demanding. If you want to excel, you must put in the time—and a lot of it. I can’t recall a week since I began that I’ve put in less than 40 hours.

 It can be a stressful business. I’m still working on how to unwind at the end of a crazy day. It helps to spend as much time as possible with my girls and husband.”


To learn more about Julie Lane check out her webpage at



22 Westmoreland Place: A Ladue News Distinctive Home Feature

by Chuck Roper 31. December 2013 07:39

Modern convenience mixes with traditional elegance in this three-story, 7,400 -square -foot home in the heart of the Central West End. Built in 1891, this historic home features an expanisve restored antique French Zuber wall covering and coffered ceilings. Marble fireplaces, wood floors and bay windows provide comfort and luxury, while five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and four-car garage and walk-out basement offer functionality.  Gas appliances and a kitchen island make cooking enjoyable, and diners can choose to nosh at the breakfast bar, eat-in kitchen or separate dining room.  Guests will love staying in the renovated carriage house and taking dips in the in-ground, heated Pebble Tec pool with salt filtration.  The slate terrace and beautiful landscaping make for a stunning backyard.  Amenities include French doors, security system, game room, library with built-in bookcases, in-ground sprinkler system and sun room. 

For more information on this fabulous home contact Katherine Holton: 


St. Louis Luxury Homes

Larry Levy: A Claverach Park Trifecta

by Chuck Roper 4. October 2013 10:25

Unless you represent a builder and work a subdivision, multiple home sales in any subdivision during a calendar year are quite rare.

Research suggests that in established subdivisions, turnover is generally low and most agents are fortunate to sell a single home in a given year.

Yet, such expectations were vanquished during the third quarter by Larry Levy, a Janet McAfee Real Estate Top Agent.

In an unprecedented display of marketing proficiency, Larry sold three homes in sought-after Claverach Park during the third quarter. And, just for icing on the cake; Larry sold another home in Davis Place during the same quarter. Selling prices ranged from $600,000 to just under $1,000,000.

Three of the homes were listed by Larry. He also represented buyers on two of the homes. All of his listed homes sold quickly. Leveraging his impressive network of agent contacts, Larry sold two of the listed homes before they made their market debut. Using the collective resources of Janet McAfee Real Estate and their multi-channel marketing, the other listed home sold in 36 days.

If you, or someone you know, is thinking about buying or selling a Clayton home, look to Larry Levy and Janet McAfee Real Estate for professional representation and verifiable results. If you reside in Claverach Park, it might make sense to contact him immediately.

To contact Larry:



Selling Your Home

14 Briarcliff: A Ladue News Distinctive Home Feature

by Chuck Roper 18. September 2013 06:06

When the Ladue News Magazine searched for an example of luxury living in Ladue, they sourced the distinguished team of Jim Human and Kevin Hurley of Janet McAfee Real Estate. Their handsome listing at 14 Briarcliff in Ladue offers over 4,100 square feet of updated and sophisticated living space together with an attractive white-washed brick exterior and rich architectural detailing throughout.

In a Distinctive Home feature article by Staff Writer Michael De Los Reyes, the highlights of the residence and its sought-after neighborhood follow:

A 13-room, 4-bedroom, 4.5-bath home in Ladue is listed for $1,185,000.


BUILT IN 1936, THIS 2.5-STORY offers extensive updates, while retaining its original architectural character.

The traditional layout offers 4,154 square feet on a .7-acre lot and an expansive brick-laid terrace allows anyone to enjoy the space in the shade of mature trees. French doors and a plethora of windows create a sunny interior.

A spacious living room adjoins the dining room. The breakfast room adjoins the kitchen, which features granite counters and custom cabinets.

The second floor master suite has a fireplace, updated bath with separate tub and shower, and a sitting room. Three additional bedrooms and two full baths complete the second floor.

The lower level is ideal for entertaining and offers a fireplace, full bath and office.  Other amenities include three gas fireplaces, historic millwork, built-in bookcases, walk-in closets, French doors, pocket doors and a two-car garage.

For beautiful color photographs and more property detail, go to:


St. Louis Luxury Homes

Katie Dooley Curran: Our Agent of The Month

by Chuck Roper 13. September 2013 07:16


Vitality and Verve

Earlier this year, we described Janet McAfee Real Estate Top Agent Katie Dooley Curran as a "Force Majeure."  Katie is a force of nature. She radiates vitality and verve which she converts into action as she advocates for her clients. Her unbounded energy has again, propelled her to a Top Agent status with the firm.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Katie to discuss the "secrets" of her success both in real estate and her personal life.  Her insights, observations and sense of humor reveal a great deal about her professionalism and her client appeal.  You will quickly learn why Katie represents the next generation of Janet McAfee professionals.

How do you stay on top of your profession?

Even with all the technological advancements in real estate, I never lose sight of the fact that we are in the relationship business. I love helping my clients and I am always available to them. I also feel they appreciate my honesty. If a purchase or sale of a home is not in the client’s best interest, I never hesitate to tell them and the reason why.  When I work with buyers, I actually share my list of obstacles to avoid. I find total honesty really creates significant levels of trust. I am always excited at the closing table knowing we optimized a client’s sales proceeds or, in the case of a buyer, that we successfully searched for and found the perfect home.

Today, the majority of my real estate practice is from clients referring their friends, family and co-workers to me. One client affectionately called me "Ms. Execution!" This is the best affirmation you can ask for.

I do leverage technology to stay in contact with clients using social media and my iPhone.  And, my iPhone, iPad and the proliferation of Wi-Fi networks enable me to office anywhere, respond quickly and offer great customer service. Technology also allows me to keep abreast of activity, inventory and price levels for St. Louis Central Corridor housing.

I also make it a point to routinely touch base with other agents to discover homes they may have in the pipeline or MLS exempt. So much happens before a listing is published in MLS and you have to have a great network to give your client the inside track on great opportunities or know if additional competition is heading their way, when they have their home on the market.

What personally drives your success?

Like the flight attendant suggests, I always put on my oxygen mask first so I can take care of my family and clients. To maintain my high energy level, I start my day with a little bit of Katie time before the rest of my house wakes up and then one hour of a fitness regime. I am highly motivated and competitive. I live and breathe real estate every day, even on vacation. It seems everywhere I go; everyone talks about real estate which makes my job fun.

How do you manage your priorities?

I am task oriented. My calendar and daily to-do list reflect it. I prioritize it daily. Fortunately, all my planning and responsibilities are recorded digitally, so everything is always at my fingertips. Time management is my greatest asset. I always figure out how to squeeze a last minute showing request in my day. I never like to say no to a client and they appreciate it.

What do you do when you are not working?

I turn off the phone, unwind and do my best to be to fully engaged with the special people in my life. I enjoy dates with my cute husband, family gatherings, getting together with friends, travel and catching up with my family each evening on our veranda (my sanctuary).  I am very blessed and continually try to pay it forward!

To learn more about Katie and to see her fine listings, visit






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