Friday, March 28, 2014

Buying vs. Renting Homes in Kansas City- Leavenworth to Olathe

Buying vs. Renting Homes in Kansas City - Leavenworth to Olathe
There are many reasons to buy Kansas City homes and reasons to rent.  The benefits of buying versus renting real estate in Kansas City are relative, depending on a person's needs and goals.  Those who can afford to purchase their condos or homes in Kansas City weigh several factors including the financial aspects of the equation.

When comparing the financial aspects of buying versus renting, it is important to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges.  Using this rough equation, a quick estimate of the financial picture can be determined:  Look at the cost of purchasing one home in the same neighborhood as renting a similar home.  To determine the price-to-rent ratio or P/R ratio, simply divide the price of the Kansas City home by the yearly cost of rent.  If the number is less than 20, it may be a better financial decision to purchase. 
Money is only one factor to weigh.  Many people do not purchase a home to make money or to save money.  There are other advantages to owning Kansas City real estate – from Leavenworth in the northwest corner to Lansing homes and Johnson County real estate in Olathe. 
Homeowners take pride in ownership.  Owners gain certain freedoms such as the ability to paint the walls whatever color they choose or change out the cupboards, install a gourmet kitchen or modify the property in other ways.    They also develop relationships in their neighborhoods and gain a certain amount of confidence and stability from being familiar with their surroundings.
For some people, a few major reasons make renting a better than buying.  What are the future plans?  How long does the buyer envision staying in the home?  And finally, does a person really want the responsibilities of maintaining a home, paying property taxes, and being tied to a mortgage payment for a long period of time? 
The primary deterrent to buying is a debt and/or lack of savings.  In Oprah Magazine’s May 2011 article, financial expert Suze Orman says "If you have credit card debt and haven’t saved for a sizable down payment, you are not yet ready to own."

Orman also talks about the financial risks of buying a home and selling it within 5 to 7 years.  She explains that when you sell a home, you should plan on paying the full agents fee, closing costs, the cost of moving, and other expenses.  She says that the property will evaluate at approximately 3 percent annually.  So do the math.  When buying, plan to stay in the home long enough to recoup the costs of moving.
Shelly O'Boynick
Realtor, Broker Associate
RE/MAX Realty Suburban
12701 W. 87th Street
Shawnee Mission, KS 66215
cell-816.830.3370
www.ShellyOBoynick.com

email ShellySellsRealEstate@gmail.com

Friday, March 21, 2014

How to Prepare Kansas City Homes for the Market Part 2

During Part 1 on this subject, we suggested creating helpful checklists months ahead of putting a Kansas City home on the market.  Also we spoke of the important projects of de-cluttering and staging.  Sellers must also take care of as many major and minor home repairs before listing real estate in Kansas City. 
Smart sellers of Kansas City properties obtain a pre-listing inspection of the home and repair anything else that surfaces.  The home will sell most quickly and at better price if it looks well-maintained from the get-go.  Homes that are sold in “as is” condition move quite slowly on the Kansas City real estate market.
Let’s go over some basic repairs.  Depending on the season of the year, homeowners can tackle the outside elements or the inside elements first.  Examine interior and exterior paint on the walls and trim.  Perhaps the front door could be painted one of the new neutral colors that complement the trim on the home's fa├žade. 
As your Kansas City real estate agent, I may suggest the entire exterior repainted, and with good reason.  The colors should be neutral.  Not only walls but wood floors, cabinets, doors, woodwork, and built-ins may need to be refreshed.  A good hardware store can refer products for this purpose. 
Decide if the flooring is in good condition or if it somehow dates the home.  Hardwood floors are very popular these days.  Fortunate property owners may discover that the old carpeting covers pristine wood floors.  For example, the old shag carpeting styles from the 1970s and 80s deter from the property value as do certain colors.  Damaged linoleum and floor tiles, counter tiles and backsplash tiles must be replaced.
Any leaks in the home need to be fixed.  The plumbing and plumbing fixtures, toilets, tubs, showers, hot water heater, washing machine, icemaker, air-conditioner, and other water-bearing elements in the home should be examined for leaks.  Be sure all appliances are in good repair and remove others.
The roof shingles must be in good repair.  Examine carefully the roof tiles, especially around seams where the roof is pitched.  At the same time, clean out the leaves from the gutters.  Run a hose down the gutters and downspouts to be sure they do not leak.  Seal all of the seams on the gutters if they leak.
Look at the garage floor.  Hardware stores sell compounds that can remove oil drips from cement.  Consider washing the walls in the garage and/or applying a coat of fresh paint.

Shelly O'Boynick
Realtor, Broker Associate
RE/MAX Realty Suburban
12701 W. 87th Street
Shawnee Mission, KS 66215
cell-816.830.3370
email ShellySellsRealEstate@gmail.com

Saturday, March 15, 2014

How to Prepare Kansas City Homes for the Market-Part 1

How to Prepare Kansas City Homes for the Market—Part 1

Anyone planning to put a Kansas City home on the real estate market this year should start preparing now.  Sellers of homes in Kansas City can create checklists and begin now to ease the stress later.  Two levels of preparation to accomplish before listing the Kansas City real estate include:
1) Removing excessive possessions and simplifying
2) Home maintenance and repairs

First, take a step back from the Kansas City property.  Leave the neighborhood and return, imagining you are looking to buy a house.  Pull up in front wherever the guests would park and walk up to the front door.  All the while, note eyesores and things that may be out of order. 

Does the landscaping look sharp?  Perhaps make note that you would like to put a few pots of colorful petunias along the walkway near the porch.  Is the area outside the door clear and the door in good shape?  Step inside.  How can you improve the entry?  The front of the house and the entrance are the places where first impressions are formed.

The next job may be the most difficult for those who have lived in one place for a long time.  Tour the home room by room and note the unneeded possessions.  Each closet and storage area will need to be attacked by the organizer within you.  All clutter must go.  Unused possessions and outdated clothing must go.  Broken furniture or appliances that have been sitting around in the garage need to be discarded or given away.

Now inspect the living areas in full daylight hours.  Perhaps organize yourself by room.  Open all the blinds and curtains, turn on all the lights.  Make a list of all the little tasks that need to be done before your home is put up for sale.  Inspect the walls and ceiling, the light fixtures and switch plates, the floors, doors, and windows.  Assess the condition of the curtains, draperies, and blinds.

Some sellers automatically hire a painter to put a fresh coat of paint everywhere.  Smokers need to use a special paint formula to cover nicotine.  At the least, repair holes in the walls and paint, replace broken tiles, and thoroughly clean the woodwork.  Consider having the carpets cleaned before posting the for sale sign outside.  Determine if the carpet is worn and possibly install brand-new carpet in a neutral color.

Correctly staged properties sell more quickly and fetch a better price.  Staging means showing with minimal and tasteful furniture only and perfect accessories so that potential buyers can readily imagine themselves in the home.  Think Spartan but add spark.  

Shelly O'Boynick
Realtor, Broker Associate
RE/MAX Realty Suburban
12701 W. 87th Street
Shawnee Mission, KS 66215



Friday, March 7, 2014

Basic Steps to Purchasing a Home in the Kansas City Area

By understanding the order of necessary steps to buying Kansas City homes, home buyers can save time and resources.  Let us review the overall home-buying process to ensure the best outcomes when purchasing homes in Kansas City or in her suburbs, like Shawnee, Overland Park, Leavenworth or Olathe real estate.

At times, buyers put the cart before the horse.  They may look for desirable homes in Johnson or Leavenworth counties without first obtaining professional input from a Realtor or lender.  The ideal process goes more like this: 

     A)     Contact Shelly O'Boynick a licensed Realtor in Kansas and Missouri.   

From the bountiful options in Kansas City real estate, I will help you determine the type of home that fits your needs and price range.  I will explain all of the pertinent agency laws and make sure that you understand the position of a buyer's designated agent.  In addition, then I will go over the entire process of buying a home.

B) Obtain pre-approval from a lender

Many home buyers interview several lenders before choosing one.  During the interviews, the home buyer can learn about various options for financing.  Once you decide on a lender, ask for estimates of future expenses. 

The lender will obtain a substantial amount of financial information from each buyer.  Then the lender will run a credit check and assess all of the facts.  Depending on your financial circumstances, the lender may request additional information.  After the information is processed, the lender will offer a pre-approval.  Ask for it in writing. If you need a list of lenders to call, please contact me. Contact information below. 

C) Tour neighborhoods and houses

After I have gathered information pertinent to your home buying needs,  I will send you a number of current listings showing homes that fit your goals.  I will set up viewings and accompany you to the homes you select. 

D) Make an offer

After making a final choice, it is time to write an offer.  If the offer is accepted, the buyer can have an inspection of the home.  The lender will order an appraisal.  Generally, "unacceptable conditions" are revealed by the inspection.  During this period, the real estate agents for the buyer and seller may negotiate a compromise or move directly to schedule the closing on the home.

Please give me a call or email me and I will help you through the home buying process. 

Shelly O'Boynick
Realtor, Broker Associate
RE/MAX Realty Suburban
12701 W. 87th Street
Shawnee Mission, KS 66215