Tuesday, October 24, 2017

WHICH HOME IMPROVEMENTS REALLY PAY OFF?


If you’re thinking about making upgrades to your home, then consider it an investment.  Why?  Because some home improvements eventually pay off when you sell your home—but some don’t.
Of course, if you’re making an improvement just for personal enjoyment, then that’s fine too.  But knowing in advance which returns can boost your home’s value may help finalize your decision.

TOP 4 BEST HIGH-RETURN HOME IMPROVEMENTS FOR 2015

Before you start that expensive kitchen and bath remodel, take a look at the following data.  According to Remodeling Magazine, the following 4 home improvement projects have the highest return for money invested in 2015:
  1. Entry door replacement
  2. Garage door replacement
  3. Roof replacement
  4. Siding replacement

5 HOME IMPROVEMENTS WITH THE LOWEST RETURN FOR 2015

The following 5 home improvement projects show the lowest return on investment in 2015:
  1. Back-up power generator
  2. 2-story addition
  3. Deck addition
  4. Major kitchen remodel
  5. Attic bedroom

IF YOU’RE PREPARING TO SELL YOUR HOME

Of course, every regional housing market is different.  If you have a limited budget, and you’re preparing to sell your home, you should consult with a realtor who is experienced in that market to find the smartest way to invest your renovation dollars.  He or she can tell you which home improvements bring a high return in your neighborhood—and which don’t.
Planning to remodel your home—to sell later? Ask a ReeceNichols REALTORabout the smartest way to spend your marketing budget. We’re available to help you today.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

CELEBRATE FALL KC-STYLE
Top of Form




There’s nothing like fall in Kansas City: the ambers and reds of the falling leaves as they crunch beneath your boots, the slight crisp in the air and cheering the Chiefs on to victory. Grab your flannel and your pumpkin spice lattes—it’s time to embrace fall and explore Kansas City’s orchards and pumpkin patches!
LOUISBURG CIDER MILL IN LOUISBURG, KS
What started as a roadside apple cider stand has ballooned into one of Kansas City’s favorite fall destinations. Kansas Citians from both sides of the state line flock to Louisburg Cider Mill during the last weekend in September and the first weekend in October for their annual Ciderfest. What better way to kick off fall than with their 10-acre corn maze, pumpkin patch and Country Store?
JOHNSON FARMS IN BELTON, MO
Come enjoy the harvest at Johnson Farms, where they harvest 50 acres of pumpkins, decorative produce and hardy mums. Not only can you pick your own pumpkins, but you can also twist and turn through a 20-acre corn maze and visit their fall animal corral—featuring racing pigs!
ALLDREDGE ORCHARDS IN PLATTE CITY, MO
Come visit the farm at Alldredge Orchards on September and October weekends to pick your own apples, select the plumpest pumpkin from the patch, meet friendly animals and take a peek at honey-producing bees. Be sure to take a spin past the Orchard Café to purchase a sweet treat and the rustic barn store to buy fall delights like pumpkins, candles, huge mums and honey.
CIDER HILL FAMILY ORCHARD IN KANSAS CITY, KS
Treat yourself to a smorgasbord of fall delights, including cinnamon cider donuts, fresh-pressed apple cider slushes and apple cider freezes at Cider Hill Family Orchard. You can also pick your own apples, fish in their pond and buy pumpkins at this family-owned establishment.

Want to discover more fall favorites in your area? Contact one of our agents—they’re experts on all of Kansas City’s diverse neighborhoods!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Compare Lees Summit, MO with Olathe, KS

Presented by
City #1: Lees Summit, MO    Zip: 64081    County: Jackson
City #2: Olathe, KS    Zip: 66062    County: Johnson
DemographicsDetailsLees Summit 64081Olathe 66062MOKS
PopulationView24,25678,3566,045,4482,892,987
Male11,36138,1262,964,0031,439,862
FemaleN/A40,2303,081,4451,453,125
Never Married4,48215,9031,463,199659,571
Married16,99958,4383,546,3211,795,664
Separated15251692,12831,791
Widowed1,7421,737312,511135,613
Divorced1,8665,836595,848263,019
Average Household Size2.592.882.482.53
Median AgeN/A17.0037.5035.50
Income and JobsDetailsLees Summit 64081Olathe 66062MOKS
Median Household IncomeView$78,441$84,384$48,173$52,205
Average household Income$93,155$100,638$65,311$70,093
White Collar Jobs83.55%N/A66.10%68.71%
Blue Collar Jobs16.45%100.00%33.90%31.29%
EthnicityDetailsLees Summit 64081Olathe 66062MOKS
White20,76568,1744,995,5272,464,566
African AmericanN/A1,509697,022168,402
Hispanic3606,187233,046323,218
Native American, Eskimo, AleutN/A2724,95124,022
Asian / Pacific Islander2504,062106,53775,653
Hawaiian / Pacific IslanderN/A266,1611,796
Other14556867,60563,183
ResidentialDetailsLees Summit 64081Olathe 66062MOKS
Median House ValueN/A$204,700$138,400$132,000
Homes Owned6,93119,8941,590,020742,564
Homes Rented2,2746,948774,668370,908
Vacant Homes402840365,174130,900
Mean Travel Time to Work23.7221.4123.2019.06
Transportation to Work: Public1.02%2.99%9.31%3.26%
Transportation to Work: Drive / Carpool45.90%55.66%58.23%64.08%
Transportation to Work: Walk / Bike / Other10.76%2.62%5.06%5.01%
Transportation to Work: Work at Home42.31%38.74%27.41%27.66%

REFRESH YOUR SPACE WITH JUST ONE NEW PIECE


dining room table and chairs
Are you bored with a room’s current style but don’t want to commit to a full renovation? Or maybe you already love the vibe a room gives off, but there’s just something missing. By incorporating just one new element into a room, you can refresh its atmosphere easily without jeopardizing its overall style.
  1. Replacing your old, lumpy couch with a vibrant new one can make a world of difference in your living room — and not just for your comfort level! Bring in a new couch or chairs to completely change your living room’s aesthetic. 
  2. Rolling out a new rug is an easy way to add bold patterns and bright colors into a space without overwhelming it. A splash of color can transform an otherwise neutral-colored room.
  3. If your dining room table’s main decorations are drink rings and hot plate smudges, then it’s time to invest in a new one. A new table can work wonders in upping the décor in your dining room.
  4. Re-organize your TV, cable box and other electronics by purchasing a new media console. A sleek new console can instantly modernize your living room or bedroom without requiring a complete design overhaul.
  5. De-clutter your home and update its look simultaneously by investing in a new shelving unit or dresser. Not only will adding more storage space help you organize your stuff, it also presents a new opportunity to decorate with more family photos, books or small pieces of art!
So you’ve bought your new piece — but your car is too small to haul it back to your home. We’ve got a solution! We partnered with Bungii to provide an exclusive discount to ReeceNichols clients. Bungii is your friend with a truck — who can be summoned at the tap of a button! Download the Bungii app and use our referral code, RN20, to receive 20% off your first trip.
Your ReeceNichols agent will be by your side throughout your home ownership journey — reach out today to learn more about the other services and programs we can offer you and how we can help you reach your home ownership goals
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Friday, May 12, 2017

HOW MUCH MONEY DO I NEED FOR A DOWN PAYMENT ON A NEW HOME?

couple-loan-officer-mortgage
When you’re ready to buy a new home, you’ll need to put money into a down payment in order to get a home loan.
But how much money do you really need? That depends on a few factors, including the size (and type) of loan. Different mortgages require a higher (or lower) down payment.
Here’s a quick primer with all the basics you need to know about making your first down payment.

A DOWN PAYMENT SECURES YOUR LOAN WITH THE LENDER.

The down payment is the amount of cash you’ll need to pay upfront during the home buying process. This helps secure your loan with the bank or lender.

MOST HOME LOANS REQUIRE YOU TO PAY 5%-20% OF THE HOME’S VALUE AS A DOWN PAYMENT.

For most conventional, fixed 30-year mortgages, you will be required to pay 5%-20% of the home’s selling price upfront in order to get the loan. (Remember, this does not include closing costs, which you may also need to pay upfront.) So for a $200,000 home, expect to pay between $10,000-$40,000 in a down payment.

IT’S BETTER TO MAKE A BIGGER DOWN PAYMENT—IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT.

Paying a higher down payment upfront is to your advantage—because you will save money over the long term by paying less interest and lower monthly payments. In fact, if you can afford to put 20% down, then you may be able to avoid paying mortgage insurance altogether—a monthly fee that many lenders require you to pay until you build up enough equity in the house. Bottom line? If you can afford to pay 20%, then do it.

FHA LOANS REQUIRE A LOWER DOWN PAYMENT.

You can also get a loan from the Federal Housing Administration (called an “FHA loan”). This loan requires only a 3.5% down payment, but has stricter guidelines for income, assets, credit score, and home value. (You can also look for state and local mortgage assistance plans.)

THE VA AND USDA ALSO OFFER LOWER DOWN PAYMENT LOANS.

There are special home loans available for people who are active military duty, or veterans, or living in a federally designated rural area. In some cases, these loans require a 0% down payment. If you think you qualify, ask your lender about the requirements.

JUMBO HOME LOANS USUALLY REQUIRE A 10% DOWN PAYMENT.

If you live in a high-cost housing market, you may need a “jumbo loan.” There are 3,143 counties in the U.S. that meet the jumbo loan criteria, including several in the Kansas City metro area. Jumbo loans typically require a minimum credit score of 700, so talk to your lender about whether you qualify for this type of loan.

HOW TO TACKLE MOVING DAY WITH YOUR FURRY FRIENDS


two dogs in window seat
Moving day is rough — add in your pets, and the day can crumble into complete chaos. Avoid the moving mayhem by following these simple steps to prepare yourself and your pets for the flustered day.

BEFORE MOVING DAY

  • Ensure the information on your pet’s identification tag includes your current contact — especially your cell phone number. The tag should be securely fastened to a sturdy collar.
  • Depending on how far you are moving, you may need to find a new vet. Your current vet may have some suggestions; if not, you can try calling the state veterinary medical association for some options. Ask your vet for a current copy of your pet’s vaccinations and medical history to make the transition as seamless as possible.
  • Prepare a moving day kit for your pet, complete with at least one week’s worth of food and medication and a stocked first aid kit.
  • If you’re flying to your new home, ask the airline about their pet requirements and restrictions. It’s also a good idea to check with your vet and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to figure out your pet’s travel arrangements. If you’re driving, a crate or a well-ventilated carrier is usually the best option.

DURING MOVING DAY

  • The uncertain conditions of moving day can cause concern for your pet. Scope out a quiet, ventilated area for your pet to hang out in during the heavy lifting.
  • Once you find a secluded spot for your pet to relax in, help your pet settle in by setting out their familiar and necessary objects — like their bed, favorite blanket, litter box and toys.

AFTER MOVING DAY

  • Take your pet on a walk through the neighborhood to acquaint them with their new home. Maybe they’ll even meet some of their new furry neighbors!
  • Take them to the local pet store to grab some much-needed special treats and toys.
  • Scope out the nearest dog parks so your dog can stretch out their legs after the taxing moving day.
Need help finding your fur-ever home? Reach out to a ReeceNichols agent — they’ll help you get started
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Monday, April 10, 2017

APRIL HOME MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST


April Home Maintenance Checklist
Is your home ready for April showers? Did you know that April and May are two of the busiest months for home repairs? Get your home ready for the warmer months! Our friends at Zaarly have five things you’ll want to do this month and the service experts that can get the job done.

CHECK YOUR FOUNDATION.

Take a look at your foundation. You want to look for any cracks. Caulking will not cut it when it comes to cracks, you’ll want to have one of our foundation experts come take a look at it and seal up those cracks.

SEAL YOUR CONCRETE

Protect your driveway, garage, sidewalks and patios from water damage this spring! Concrete sealing is especially critical to preventing driveway repairs.
Recommended:
Scott Brewington

HAVE A SUMP PUMP INSTALLED

Water problems in your basement? As we go into storm season, water problems are something you do not want to ignore. Water can collect in the basement for a number of reasons, and almost all of those reasons can be solved with a sump pump.
Recommended:
Jenny and Steve

LAWN MAINTENANCE

It’s time to turn back on your sprinklers, trim back trees and bushes and schedule your regular lawn mowing. Now is a good time to write out what you’d like to accomplish with your lawn through the warmer months.
Recommended:
Caleb Kangas

CLEAN YOUR CARPETS AND FLOORS

It’s time to get rid of all of that dirt and grime collected over the winter. Cleaning your carpet and floors not only extends their life, but also helps with things like indoor allergens.
Recommended:
Brian Bock
Need a hand? ReeceNichols has partnered with Zaarly to make sure you get the best service experts for all of your home projects! Ask your ReeceNichols agent for a $50 promo code to use on your first project
!