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All renters move in with the best of intentions.  They believe they will only be renting for a year.  "I'll clean every weekend", they say.  Then they do decide to move out, and found they didn't do so well on their promises.  Kool-aid stains in the carpet, baked-on grease in the oven, dirt around each light switch.  This wasn't the condition of the apartment on move-in day.  Now, cleaning takes a full 12-hour day and risk losing your security deposit.  What to do?

A Clean Home Is A Happy Home

Keeping your rental clean is an important step to earning back your deposit.  Devote up to an hour each day to keep your home clean.  Vacuum, dust, wash down walls, pickup trash....all of these "small job" items can be completed while cooking supper during the week.  In addition, choose 1 "big job" to tackle each week.  A "big job" would be like cleaning the oven, shampooing the carpets or cleaning out the refridgerator.  These jobs should be finished at least once every quarter and can take between an hour and 3 hours to complete.  However, your home will look better, smell better and be more inviting to your guests.  Above all, your landlord will thank you with a better return on your deposit.

Nail holes: Small Holes, Big Repairs

Want to hang pictures in your apartment?  Don't use nails or adhesive hooks or tape!  These items are hard to repair and will require painting afterwards (all of which uses up your security deposit!).  Some stores carry "no repair EZ Hooks", however we cannot recommend these hooks as we have yet to test them.  Your best bet is to not hang anything on your walls or make any alterations whatsoever.  This will maximize your security deposit return.

Furnace Filter Replacement

Just like in a home, your apartment requires monthly furnace filter replacement.  When originally leased, your apartment was fitted with a brand new furnace filter.  Your landlord requires a new filter to be installed on move-out day.  But between move-in and move-out day, having a dirty furnace filter increases your electric bill significantly!  Change your furnace filter monthly!

Smoking Can Kill Your Security Deposit!

By now we all know the dangers of smoking to our bodies.  However, smoking in a confined area (such as your apartment) can cause more than just bodily injury to ourselves and our children. 

The tar and nicotine in cigarettes will get on everything. 

  • It will cause your ceilings and walls to brown and look very dirty, which will cost additional security deposit money to repair.
  • The tar will get into your heating and air conditioning units and cause them to not work as well.  Not only that but you will need to change your furnace filter more often! 
  • No smoking in the home also saves having cigarette burns and holes in the carpet.  Replacing your carpet after moving out is a major expense and will eat up your entire security deposit! 

If you cannot quit smoking, resolve to only smoke outside your rental unit and putting your cigarette butts in a sand-filled receptical (like an old flower pot).  This will keep your home looking and smelling clean and will make cleaning up your butts extremely simple on trash day. 


While no one likes cleaning and maintaning their homes, doing just an hour of maintenance per day can go a long way to maximizing your security deposit return.  Remember, your landlord wants his properties to stay clean and defect-free for the next renter.  Additional work to repair the unit will cause significant delays and restoration costs.  Your landlord wants his tenants to have a clean, well-maintained home to live in.  Any damage found to the unit will be deducted from your security deposit.  If no damage is found, you are entitled to your entire security deposit back!

Jan 2013

Buy Or Rent Your Next Home? Featured

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Not everyone is cut out for homeownership.  I know the statement is tough to hear, but it's the truth.  If you are currently looking for a home to buy or build, honestly compare your situation with the following.  Better to know the truth now than be stuck in a bad situation later!

Credit Score Below 620

If your Credit Scrore is below 600,  your interest rate will be higher!  Any credit score below a 620 is going to get pricey.

The Fix

  • Fix your credit score by disputing erroneous entries, updating your credit profile, etc.
  • Go through a Dave Ramsey "Financial Peace" Class.  Find available classes around Union HERE
  • Do NOT reduce the number of credit cards.  This reduces the amount of available credit and makes your situation worse!
  • STOP using your credit cards.  If you don't have cash, don't buy it!

High Debt To Income Ratio

If you run out of money before payday, buying a home might not be the best idea.  Homes are expensive, with higher electricity, water, sewer bills not to mention the monthly house maintenance like grass cutting, fertilizer, seed, paint, caulk, carpet cleaner, upgrades.  When you own your own home, everything that breaks is your responsibility.

The Fix

  • Add up all of your monthly bills plus the projected mortgage payment (including taxes, insurance, etc).  Divide this number by your income.  If it's less than 50%, your ok.   If this number is higher than 50%, decrease your bills until the number is around 40%.
  • Go through a Dave Ramsey "Financial Peace" Class.  Find available classes around Union HERE

Employment Instability

What is the outlook for your current job?  What about the industry you are in, is it booming?  Could you be fired or layed off?  How hard would it be to find another, equal paying job right away?  Don't count on Unemployment Compensation. 

The Fix

  • Make sure you have put yourself into the best position you can before even thinking about buying a home.  If you're always layed off and cannot work anywhere else, it might be time to head back to class and get trained in a more stable industry.
  • If your job frequently transfers employees to other cities, buying a home might not be the best option for you.  Currently the sales process is taking between 12 and 16 months to complete.  Not the best environment for quick sales!


Every home requires maintenance.  If you aren't handy, or do not have a handy family member to help around the home, buying a home might not be for you.  Many experts suggest setting aside 5% of the home price for maintenance and repairs.

The Fix

  • Become self reliant!  If you don't know how to fix a leaky faucet or reset the breakers in your home, ask!  Learn to fix simple problems yourself.  Youtube is a great resource for simple "How to" videos geared towards homeowners.
  • Take a class!  Hardware stores and building supply stores frequently have "How To" classes on many differenty topics such as painting, wallpaper, plumbing, electrical and gardening.  Just a few hours of effort now can save you thousands over the cost of repairs later!

Will Renting Cost Less?

If the home you are looking to buy will cost $4,000 per month in mortgage payments, but renting the same size home only costs $1,500...why would you buy?  Save the $2,500 per month to pay down bills or just save for your down payment.  Just don't forget to add in ALL of your costs and benefits of each, then make the best decision possible!

When you are ready to buy OR rent, Bequette Homes is here to serve you!  With over 175 rental properties and 20 building sites to choose from, Bequette Homes can make your dreams come true!  Call  today at 636-583-4311 to schedule your personalized appointment with an experienced home builder!


Read 875 times

Checked out the mortgage rates today our website.  Rates came up a little since last week, but rates are still very low.  If you are thinking about building your dream home, here are a few tips to get the lowest mortgage rate and save yourself some serious cash!

Qualifying Tips

  1. Credit Score- A credit score above 720 will yield the best rates.  Scores spread from 300 at the lowest, to 850 at the highest. 
  2. Stable Job- Have you been at your employer for more than 2 years?  If so, you're on the right track to a low mortgage rate!
  3. Good Income-  Being able to pay the loan back is top priority for a lender.  Make sure your projected debt to income ratio is less than 40% to get the best rates.
  4. Sizable Down Payment-  Your down payment is like collateral for the loan.  The more money you put down, the less risk the bank is taking on you.
  5. Adequate Assets-  The lender wants to know you can pay your bills if you hit one of life's bumps in the road.  Having 4-6 months of cash reserves is key!

When you're family is ready to live their dream, Bequette Homes can build you the home of your dreams.  Located in peaceful Union Missouri, Bequette Homes has built hundreds of properties for families, businesses, and commercial endevours.  Call  today at 636-583-4311 or fill out the appointment request form on the home page!

Read 1056 times

Rent to Own.  Even the phrase feels dirty.  Rent to Own used to mean cheap electronics or household furniture.  Late night television during the 1980’s ruined the branding of the rent to own platform, with greasy salesman in colorful suits hawking everything from pool tables to dinette sets “for payments as low as $19 per week!”. 

Today, every small town in America seems to have a store dedicated to the industry.  The stigma of a rent to own establishment is of cheap products sold at high prices for a weekly or monthly price.  Over the last 30 years, the leading rent to own companies have acknowledged the failures of the past and have worked hard to provide the best products at a fair price without sacrificing margins.  However, the stigma still remains engrained into the psyche of wronged patrons from years past.

Within the real estate market, however, much is to be said for the rent to own opportunity.  Very few business transactions have no downside, but we are examining one of those transactions here.


Rent To Own Real Estate Definition

“An arrangement where an individual enters into a lease agreement with an owner with the inclusion of a clause that typically gives the individual the right, but not the obligation, to purchase the item leased at a predefined price and time. More often than not, a portion of the total rental payment goes toward paying down the value of the item leased in the event that the renter wishes to exercise the option.”

Read more:


Rent To Own Real Estate Sample Scenario

Sally and Jim survived the 2008 Financial Crash, but just barely.  Jim’s contracting business went under and Sally lost her job.  Jim and Sally lost their home and had to move into a rental property.  Both Jim and Sally had to accept job offers for much less than they were making. 

However, the situation is starting to turn around.  Jim is launching another business while Sally has decided to open her own fashion shop in her home town.  Both Jim and Sally are still working full time, but need a home to stretch out in again. 

Suffice to say, Sally and Jim’s credit report still hasn’t rebounded completely from the Crash.  Bank are much more stringent on paperwork and will not approve of a loan at this time. 

What can they do?


The Rent To Own Solution

Sally and Jim found a beautiful home in their ideal neighborhood.  The home has been sitting vacant for almost 2 years, even with substantial price reductions.  They offered a rent to own scenario to the homeowner and he agreed.

The home was being sold for $180,000.  Sally and Jim agreed to a future purchase price of $200,000 with an option date of 2 years.  They also agreed to rent the home for 2 years at $1500 per month.  This rental price is $300 over the normal rental price in the area.  However, this $300 is deducted from the purchase price of the home for each payment made thus reducing the amount of principal needed.

This way, Sally and Jim were able to:

  1. Purchase the home they wanted in a depressed market.
  2. Predict the future cost of buying the home they couldn’t get a loan for.
  3. Live in this beautiful home.
  4. Save for a larger down payment.
  5. Build the businesses’ they desired without sacrificing investment capital.

Sally and Jim are thrilled!  Without spending a large sum of money, they were able to get the home they wanted but couldn’t afford and still conserve capital for their business dreams.   After 2 years of renting, they were able to get a mortgage for the home.  Their down payment was larger and the extra $300 per month decreased the principle balance another $7,200.  If they had continued to rent, this $7,200 would have been paid to the landlord, never to be seen again.  Smart move for rent to own rookies!


Bequette Homes specializes in rent to own and contract for deed transactions in Union Missouri.  Fill out the “Request for Appointment” form and we will contact you shortly!

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Union Missouri is a progressive town with rural roots and big dreams.  We dream of small town living while still being able to see the big city lights.  We dream of living in a safe, well groomed neighborhood where we know all our neighbors on a first name basis.  We dream of kids play dates, baseball games and soccer practice.  We dream of modern schools with teachers who care about each and every student. We dream of the 15 minute commute to work.  We dream of local people helping local folks and banking locally.  In little Union Missouri, I believe we have achieved the dream.

The Geographical Location of Union Missouri Is Ideal

Union Missouri is located just 5 minutes down Hwy 50 from I-44W.  From there, St. Louis County is only 23 minutes away.   Need to travel to Rolla or Springfield?  Rolla is 57 minutes down the road; Springfield is just 60 minutes further.  Travel to the Missouri State Capital is less than a 75 minute tour down Hwy 50. 

All of these times are by car but what if you flew out of state for business frequently?  Yo Taxi can pick you up and drop you off at the airport 24 hours a day for much less than parking.  Train is also a nice way to travel.  Amtrack has a stop just 10 minutes away in Washington, Missouri.  The Missouri River Runner Route will take you from Washington Missouri to Kansas City in 4 stress-less hours.  This is more than enough time to finish the proposal or touch base with your team.  Since you’re not driving, you can get more work done on a “travel day” than if you were keeping your eyes on the road or squished into your tiny airline seat!  A round-trip ticket to Kansas City runs $96.00!

Within the city limits of Union we have 4 large grocery stores, 10 gas stations and over 40 restaurants from American to Tex-Mex, Chinese to Italian.  We have sophisticated resturants as well as all the normal chain restaurants (McDonalds, Hardees, Jack in the Box).   We have International Corporations who keep their headquarters here (Esselte, Romer Labs).  Union boasts many large manufacturers and a large college serving over 4,200 students per year (East Central College).

Speaking of education, Union School District has 3 elementary schools, 1 middle school and 1 high school.  The district has a K-12 enrollment of over 3,000.  In addition, several parochial schools have a campus here in Union, boosting enrollment another 1,000 students.

On your typical busy day, you will probably drive less than 5 miles within the city limits.  This includes dropping the kids off at school, buying groceries, getting fuel, stopping for lunch, dropping by the library, going to work and so on.  Some of our neighbors walk or ride their bicycles everywhere.  Everything a family needs in Union is close at hand.

Your Family Is Safe In Union Missouri

According to City-Data, crime in Union Missouri is low to very low.  The Union Police Department as well as the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department are very well equipped and trained to serve the community.  Both departments are well funded by the taxpayers and use their funding wisely. 

The Union Fire Department is a well funded group with 4 station houses, 15 full-time career firefighters and 30 active volunteer firefighters.  Emergency calls are taken at a local 24 hour call center and then routed electronically to the station house.

Traffic Is Not A Concern

Compared to St. Louis, traffic in Union is a breeze.  The worst traffic times of the day are, of course, during “rush hour”.  Morning rush hour in Union is worst 7:30-8AM, when many families are dropping off children at one of the 6 K-12 schools in town, then dashing off to work.  Afternoon rush hour is worst between 4:30-5:30pm, where traffic can slow on Hwy 47 and Hwy 50.  The delay can be as much as 10 minutes on a beautiful sunny day.  However, most of the time automobile traffic is light.  During the overnight hours, most Union residents are at home and the streets are very empty.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Neighbors are another reason our little town is safe from the city crime.   Your Union neighbors know when something doesn’t look right.  They see the strange car driving down the street.  They see the edgy behavior.  Your neighbors will call you or the Police if they see something strange.   Neighbors expect you to watch out for them too!

Sometimes one has to live in a home for a few months before the neighbors become known.  In large cities, some may never know their neighbors.  This is definitely not the case in Union Missouri.  Even before you move in, your neighbors will have approached you to introduce themselves.  While this may seem strange to you, the people of Union like to know who their neighbors are.  In addition, we do wave hello to strangers in our quiet town.  Buying a home in a family-centric subdivision can be a worrisome.  Have no fear, very soon your neighbors will be introducing themselves and inviting you and your family over for BBQ’s and evening drinks on the patio. 

You can learn much about your neighbors by the homes they live in.  Most of us love to get our hands dirty and take pride in our lawns, flowers and shrubs.  We are a hard working bunch and any day of the week is a great time for mowing grass, weeding the flowerbeds or watering the garden. 

Employment Perks in Union

If you are looking to start a business or move away from the headache St. Louis can provide, Union is the perfect balance of small town economy.  According to Neighborhood Scout, 32.7% of our community drives less than 15 minutes to work.  This is one of the shortest commutes in America.  Some work in the industrial centers to the north and east of town.  Others hold positions working near our county courthouse and the large contingent of Attorney’s practicing there.  Some to drive to Washington, Pacific, Eureka or Chesterfield to work. 

Real Estate Financing Is Available

Since the “Great Recession” it is true lending standards have been tightened across the nation.  Here in Union we have several fiscally-strong, locally- based banks and credit unions willing to help you achieve your dream of home ownership.  These banks have stood the test of a lifetime, lending when other financial institutions would not.  United Bank of Union has been a fixture of Union since 1934, and has been credited as being in the top 10% of performing banks in the State of Missouri.  United Bank of Union is a community bank, with deposits returned to the community in the form of loans for development. 

Another option for financing your new home is rent-to-own, or Contract for Deed.  This arrangement is truly a win-win for both the home buyer and the home seller.  The arrangement works like this: For an option of 2 years, the home buyer will pay a rent.  When the 2 years is up, the home buyer will purchase the home for the contracted price minus the rent paid.  The thought is the home buyer can use these 2 years to shore up their credit history, yet still have the home they desire.  The upside is the home buyers’ rent is used to pay down the mortgage, instead of just being paid as rent.  The positive for the home seller is they are able to sell the home and make a little more profit off the deal.  It truly is a win-win for both sides.

Bequette Homes specializes in the “rent-to-own” option for families.  We are able to build the home, let you rent the home until you can get financing, then sell you the home when you are ready!  You can even fill out the paperwork online and automatically send it to our office!  Fill out the Application for Rent-to-Own property, send it to us and we’ll call you back.  It’s that easy!

Housing Availability

According to, 149 homes in Union are for sale.  However, these 149 existing homes represent just a small percentage of options available to you.  Why?  Build to suit, of course.  Why buy another family’s dream home when you could build your own?  With Bequette Homes, we can help you design, build and finance your dream home- where ever the location best suits you.  Can’t find a home for sale but found a suitable lot?  Bequette Homes can purchase the lot, build your home and complete the family dream before you can sell your old house. 

Overall, living in Union Missouri is great for raising a family and enjoying the good life you worked so hard to achieve.  Call Bequette Homes today at 636-583-4311 to arrange a tour of our offices, properties and little town.  You’ll be glad you did!

Quality, selection and price.  Whether your family needs to rent an apartment or buy a custom-built dream home, our staff can get you more home for your money!

Call us today to setup an easy, no-risk appointment at 636-583-4311.

About Us

Bequette Homes is a custom home builder and property manager located in Union, Missouri.  Bequette Homes rents apartments, duplexes, condos and houses in and around Union, Missouri. Bequette Homes specializes in builder financed rent to own situations and can help you land your dream home without a large down payment.

Our Location

109 North Oak Street, Union, Missouri 63084

Call us!  636-583-4311


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