Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Three Ways to Make Your Home Look More Luxurious

Especially for our Real Estate Corner…fans from our monthly newsletter.

Q. I’d like to do a makeover on my house and make it the look more luxurious, but I don’t have a lot of money to spend. What do you suggest?

1) You can make your home look more luxurious with a fresh coat of paint and a little bit of creativity. Try the new faux treatments and other new painting techniques. Your local home improvement store-brand paint usually runs about $30 per 5 gallons. Give your kitchen cabinets a clean, quick makeover by applying a coat of flat primer. After it dries apply a top coat of semi-gloss latex enamel.

Another trick: add crown molding where the wall meets the ceiling for a elegant style. Kits are available at home improvement stores.

2) Ceramic tile flooring can add luxury to your entryways, kitchens and bathrooms for $2-3 per sq. ft. If you’re handy, you can do the work yourself; otherwise installation is usually $2.50-3.50 per sq. ft.

3) New overhead lighting fixtures can change the look of a room and create a luxurious ambiance. Shop for off brands or contractor packs at home improvement stores that’ll save you money.

If you are buying or selling a home and need competent and caring representation, please call us at 816-875-1661.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

We are new fans of Brookside Barkery

Bath day for Braxton, our chocolate lab, is most often a calculated and planned event. While he is definitely a good sport about "bath day", it is in two words...a mess. Lots of preparation and lots more cleanup. We recently learned of Brookside Barkery with a convenient location in Lee's Summit with a great pet wash for do-it-yourselfers like us. For a minimal charge (we think so anyway) you can take your furry friend in for an almost spa like experience. You have all the tools and amenities for a pampered bath which includes a variety of shampoos and a conditioner, of course. Their are ear cleaners, nail clippers, assorted brushes, a drying station and a variety of perfumes in which to choose from. I'm sure there was more things we could have done for his additional beauty and enjoyment, but it was our first trip. The employees were terrific and very helpful. We will definitely be back for not only Braxton's next bath, but maybe a little "treat" shopping for our "boy"!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Festive Holiday Lights

Holiday Lights

Throughout Kansas City you will enjoy the twinkling lights of the season! From our own homes, to our local communities to the lights of Kansas City. We hope you'll have the opportunity to enjoy them.

The recent snowfall seems to put the spirit of the season in our hearts and minds. Since I am a snowbird at heart, I'm assuming you are too! Either way, it seems to melt as quickly as it appears.

Below is a list of just a few of our local main attractions:

Don't forget our local downtown areas as well. They provide a great resource for hometown restaurants, shops and festivities. We hope you are enjoying a wonderful Christmas season!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Take The Stress Out of Home Buying

Buying a home should be fun, not stressful. As you look for your dream home, keep in mind these tips for making the process as peaceful as possible.

1. Find a real estate agent who you connect with. Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It’s critical that the REALTOR® you chose is both highly skilled and a good fit with your personality.

2. Remember, there’s no “right” time to buy, just as there’s no perfect time to sell. If you find a home now, don’t try to second-guess interest rates or the housing market by waiting longer — you risk losing out on the home of your dreams. The housing market usually doesn’t change fast enough to make that much difference in price, and a good home won’t stay on the market long.

3. Don’t ask for too many opinions. It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus on the wants and needs of your immediate family — the people who will be living in the home.

4. Accept that no house is ever perfect. If it’s in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go.

5. Don’t try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price or by refusing to budge on your offer may cost you the home you love. Negotiation is give and take.

6. Remember your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Don’t get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself — room size, kitchen, etc. — that you forget about important issues as noise level, location to amenities, and other aspects that also have a big impact on your quality of life.

7. Plan ahead. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate home insurance, and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers.

8. Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be costs. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.

9. Accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass. Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a big financial commitment. But it also yields big benefits. Don’t lose sight of why you wanted to buy a home and what made you fall in love with the property you purchased.

10. Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation. While U.S. homes have appreciated an average of 5.4 percent annually over from 1998 to 2002, a home’s most important role is to serve as a comfortable, safe place to live.

Tips are in part a reprint from