Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Looking for a romantic place this valentines, or a place to do photos. InstaKC has some cool ideas!

#InstaKC Captures is a blog series that highlights some of the most photogenic sights in Kansas City. From iconic monuments to lesser known gems, we tour the city in search of some of the best places to take a snapshot.
This week, we visited the Old Red Bridge in Minor Park, a historic landmark located south of Downtown KC—and one of the most romantic spots in all of KC. Bring a lock and someone special and head south to grab scenic shots of love eternal.  

EVERLASTING AFFECTION

Unassuming besides its red shade, the Old Red Bridge is the site of several dozen locks promising everlasting love.
Now in its third incarnation (the original bridge was constructed in 1859), the landmark is an undoubtly photogenic subject. 

LOVE UP CLOSE

Perfect for Valentine's Day shots, engagements and more, the Old Red Bridge is known to locals fittingly as "Love Locks Bridge." 
Couples young and old immortalize their commitment all throughout the year by simply marking their names or initials on locks and affix them to the protective fencing that lines the bridge.

Practically any time of day is perfect for snagging a picture at Love Locks Bridge.
Better yet, capture a happy couple mid-lock and you're guaranteed to have an excellent shot. 

Monday, January 28, 2019

TAX BENEFITS OF OWNING A HOME


Did you know that when you purchase a home, you can benefit from tax breaks? Buying your first home is a big step. When you go from renting to purchasing a home, you begin to build equity in real estate. With the very low interest rates right now, some people even save money from their rent payments when they purchase a home. You also save on taxes as you will typically itemize your taxes rather than claiming under standard deduction.
Deducting mortgage interest is the largest tax break you will receive from owning a home when you itemize your taxes. The bulk of your mortgage payment goes to interest – and all of that interest is deductible unless the loan is more than $1 million. You can also claim the property taxes you pay as an income tax deduction which can apply to your principal home and any others you may own. If you move, you can even write off most of your moving costs if you buy a new home that is 50 miles or closer to your job than your old home. However, you must continue to work full time for 39 weeks in the general area during the following year.
Be sure to consult an accountant about your particular situation as there are many tax rules based on this. Now is the time to buy! If you see not only the tax benefits in purchasing a new home but the benefit of fulfilling the American Dream, then now is the time to get pre-approved. At ReeceNichols, we offer a family of services. If you are ready to get pre-approved, visit HomeServices Lending!
Resources: http://goo.gl/1FSqF
http://goo.gl/TrwdK

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

SETTING ACHIEVABLE GOALS


woman-writing-goal-list
In the new year, many people make grand plans and goals for their business and life. When it comes to achieving those goals however, how you organize your thoughts and plans can make a world of difference.
The Queen of Implementation, Mona Raglow, suggests narrowing your priorities to three.
“Studies show that if we have between 0 and 3 priorities, there’s an excellent chance of achieving all three,” she said. “After that, it greatly diminishes.”
Once you’ve narrowed your priorities down to three things, think about what your deadlines are, what the steps are to complete your tasks and how to schedule everything.
Next, Raglow says to plan weekly. Take time intentionally — it could be just 30 minutes once a week, to do a “brain dump”, getting all your thoughts on a topic onto paper. Then you can think critically about what you need to do, and when you’ll have time to do everything. After that, make a weekly list and schedule your tasks so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Then, review your brain dump and daily accomplishments.
“Most of us spend time on what we didn’t get done, but we should celebrate what we do get done daily,” she said.
The easiest way to pull off this planning is to establish a routine, and the easiest way to accomplish that, Raglow says, is to find a time where you’re not typically interrupted and can be in the same place. Once you figure that out, “Keep that date with yourself. Don’t let anybody else steal the time away.”
Not all goals will be manageable for everybody. To determine manageable goals, Raglow suggests writing down everything you must do every day, for both business and personal reasons. Then, plan your goals realistically, based around the time you have left.
Finally, Raglow suggests making a written list. “Ditch the technology. Write it down. There’s so many studies that promote the benefits of writing things down, including speed and accuracy of recall.”
Is buying a new house one of your goals in the new year? Contact us today — we’d be happy to get you started!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Top Tips for House Hunting Online

Hunting for a new home online is a great place to start your search, but it should not be your end all be all. Good listing agents are excellent at highlighting the best features of the home, but keep in mind there may be more than meets the eye. To make the most of your time and efforts and gather a well-rounded picture of home listings online, keep the following three things in mind.
  1. Stay up to date. When you start your search, make sure you find a site that pulls up-to-date listings directly from the multiple listing service (MLS) where real estate agents actively post their most current homes for sale. Many online resources update less often or fail to remove listings that are off the market, making it more difficult to sort through the clutter.
  2. Pictures can be deceiving. Real estate photographers are experts at showing a home in the best possible light. Many use tools and strategies to boost appeal, such as a fisheye lens to make areas look larger and creative editing to make colors and textures really pop. But, often listings will not contain photos of unappealing parts of the home, like small closets or outdated bathrooms.
  3. See it to believe it. Once you find what appears to be your dream home online, call up your real estate agent and schedule a showing. You want to take the opportunity to vet the home in person and explore every part of it before beginning the offer process. Your real estate agent will help you cover all your bases and will ask questions you may not have thought of.

Single women, Millennials buying more homes

Millennials are making one-fourth of the home purchases across the United States.


                                       Getty Images (Steve Debenport

Millennials are making one-fourth of the home purchases across the United States and single women are outpacing single men as homeowners. Data analysis by the online loan broker Lending Tree found that single women are more likely to own a home than single men despite generally making less money. A recent Prudential survey showed that the average annual income for womenwas $52,521 compared with $84,006 for men, a difference of 37 percent, meaning women in the survey are earning about 63 cents for every dollar earned by men.
But single women own around 22 percent of homes while single men own less than 13 percent, the LendingTree research found. Single women in the New York City and Los Angeles metro areas own twice as many houses as men; 820,000 homes vs 435,000 homes in NYC and 460,000 vs. 260,000 homes in L.A. New Orleans is the metropolitan area where single women own the largest share of owner-occupied homes, 27 percent, compared with 15 percent for single men.  The city where the most single men own homes is Oklahoma City, but it’s still just 16 percent, while single women own 24 percent of residential properties in the area.



In another study, LendingTree found that Millennial purchases are driving home sales in many metro areas.  LendingTree analyzed new mortgage purchase requests made on the website between Jan. 1, 2018 and Nov. 25, 2018 and found that nearly one-fourth of requests came from Millennials, defined as people under 35. Millennials in Salt Lake City, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh were more likely to be pursuing homeownership than in any of the nation’s other 50 largest metropolitan areas. In Salt Lake City, just more than half, 51 percent, of purchase requests come from Millennials. Minneapolis and Pittsburgh are not far behind, at 48 percent each.  In Tampa, Florida, Las Vegas and Miami, Millennials are making the fewest purchase requests, at around 30 percent.  San Francisco, San Jose, Calif. and New York are where Millennials wait the longest to buy homes, at an average age of 29.6 years old vs. an average of 28.7 years, although those three cities are where Millennials had the highest average credit scores. Salt Lake City, Louisville, Ky. and Cincinnati had the lowest buyer age at 28

The Business Journals


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

WHAT TO AVOID WHEN PUTTING YOUR HOUSE ON THE MARKET



white-living-room-fireplace
When you put your home on the market, there are plenty of things your agent will ask you to do before buyers come by, but there are a few things you should avoid doing as well.
Don’t think you can offer buyers a credit instead of performing needed work. Most people want a move-in ready home and will assume the work will cost more than the amount of the discount.
Avoid leaving everything in your closet. Buyers love storage and taking half of your items out of the closets could give the illusion of more space. Also, make sure what remains in the closets is nice and tidy.
Don’t hesitate to replace carpeting if it needs to be replaced, and don’t buy the lowest quality.
Don’t ignore the lighting. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let the sunshine in!
Don’t forget to tidy up after the dogs and cats. You may think a cuddly pet might warm the hearts of potential buyers, but not everybody is a dog or cat lover. Take them with you during showings, tuck the dog food bowl out of the way and clean the litter box frequently, or remove it if you can.
Don’t DIY repairs you’re not qualified to do. Buyers will be able to spot low-quality work, and they’ll wonder what else has been done that isn’t up to par.
Don’t forget to depersonalize your home. The more personal things in your house, the less buyers will be able to visualize themselves living there. Gather up family photos, memorabilia and personal keepsakes and put them in storage.
Still have questions? No problem. Reach out to one of our agents to get all of your questions answered!