Shawnee, KS Real Estate News

By Brett Pickett
(Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group)
  Last week, I found a new Yellow Pages book on my doorstep.  Sadly, I can't remember the last time I used a phone book.  And the fact that I still get a new one delivered to my door every year absolutely baffles me.  Talk about "old school".   Nowadays, it's all about getting what you want, how you want it, and when you want it or you'll find another avenue to get it.  How do I know this?  I live via instant gratification.  I communicate by email, Facebook, Twitter, and Blog.  I DVR my favorite TV shows so I can watch them at my leisure.  I can place calls, make dinner (ok, really I'm ordering a pizza), and access the internet, social media sites...yes, and even the Yellow Pages...all from my cell phone.   So that's why we do things a little different here at Pickett Property Group.  W...
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By Brett Pickett
(Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group)
    Oops!  I did it again...or rather, the Feds, that is.  Yep, once again, mortgage rates have hit an all time low since the tracking of rates began in 1971.  According to Freddie Mac, the national average rate for a 30 year fixed loan is now at 4.54%...down from 4.56% from the week before.  The only other time we have seen rates this low or lower was back in the 1950s...back when mortgage loans were for only 20 or 25 years.   And for those interested in the 15 year fixed, you can celebrate a drop there too.  Those are now at a surprising 4%...the lowest ever on record!   So for those of you looking to buy, mortgage rates haven't been this attractive in years.  Give us a call to help get you started!  Contact Pickett Property Group when you are ready to buy or sell your next home.  We...
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By Brett Pickett
(Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group)
You can see it in the commercials on TV and the ads in the paper...Back to School is just around the corner.  If you're a parent with children, the performance of nearby schools can can have a big impact on where you choose to live.  Great Schools, a non-profit website, is on a mission to improve education by inspiring parents to get involved.  Here you can see how each school is ranked based on performance on standardized tests in the elementary, middle, and high school levels relative to other schools in the state.  You will be able to see test results according to grade, stats on teacher-student ratios, diversity, and some schools even have parent reviews. Using a scale of 1 to 10, each school is given a score...a rating of 10 means that overall test scores are as good as or better ...
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By Brett Pickett
(Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group)
As your Grey Oaks specialist, I'm here to let you know that even though we are still waiting for the next release of new lots, there are still some existing lots available as well as plenty of resales for the picking! There are currently 14 active listings on the market now, ranging in price from $275,000 to $399,950.  Four homes are currently under construction and one has never been occupied; the remaining are resales and are eagerly waiting for offers!  The average days on market for the area is 198, which about right for the price range of these homes. If you are looking for a community to call "home", give Pickett Property Group a call.  Like all Rodrock communities, Grey Oaks features a community pool, cabana, playground, picnic area, sand volleyball, is within walking distance to...
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By Brett Pickett
(Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group)
  As a Board of Director for the Heartland MLS, I'm eager to share last month's home sales reports for the Kansas City area.  Overall, the month of June was not bad in the world of Real Estate.  Prices have increased slightly for both new and existing homes, sales for new homes are up, inventory for new homes is down, and supply for new homes is decreasing.  On the flip side, new home prices in all Kansas counties were down and the inventory for existing homes was up.   Average Sales Price:  For the month of June, the average new home price was $296,768, which was a decrease from the same time a year ago ($302,628).  Existing home prices were at $167,487, an increase of 4% from last year ($160,734). Home Sales:  New home sales increased 23% from last year and 31% from this past May.  Ex...
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By Brett Pickett
(Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group)
  Back in the 1930's, the housing industry was flat.  Two million workers had lost their jobs, mortgages were hard to qualify for and satisfy, and only four in ten households owned homes.  (Sounds eerily familiar, huh?)       In 1934, Congress started the Federal Housing Administration (or FHA) to help families buy homes by insuring the loans that the banks offer to buyers.  This, in turn, allowed the banks to offer lower rates with minimal risk of losing money.  Since then, the FHA has insured over 34 million home mortgages.   With FHA loans:     Your down payment can be as low as 3.5% of the purchase price; Most of your closing costs and fees can be included in the loan. There are also many different applications for FHA loans: Help make your home energy efficient; Help you purchase a...
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By Brett Pickett
(Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group)
      Whether you're looking to update your home or get it ready to put on the market, you will see a return on your investment with some projects more than others.  Not all of these may be necessary or financially reasonable in your situation, but if you're ready to tackle those home improvement projects consider some of these:   Remodel your kitchen.  It may be time to get rid of those old avocado, white, or yellow appliances and replace them with something more modern.  Updating appliances and countertops and resurfacing cabinets is one of the best ways to add value to your home. Add a garage.  Though costly, homes with at least two garages are more appealing to home buyers. Remodel your bathroom.  Consider replacing old light fixtures, add a fresh coat of paint, and consider updatin...
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By Brett Pickett
(Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group)
      Getting approved for a home loan can be a nail-biting experience for some people.  There's the whole uncertainty of the entire process, the waiting, and the overall anxiety that comes from getting approved for a home loan.  However, below are some simple ways to calm your nerves and ease your fears regarding the process:     Pay Everything on Time!  Even though this sounds pretty obvious, many borrowers will get so wrapped up in their every day lives that they will forget to pay a bill.  A recent late pay on your credit report could increase the interest rate quoted for the home loan or worse...jeopardize your chances of getting the loan altogether.  To avoid late pays, send yourself online reminders via your bank or internet calendar, write it down in your Day Planner, or post a ...
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By Mike Russell, Overland Park Kansas Real Estate
(Mike Russell Real Estate Group)
The most recent CNN/Money Magazine Best Places to live list is out and Shawnee Kansas ranked in at an amazing #17. The days of Kansas as a windswept prairie or gateway to nowhere are long over. The rest of the country is quickly finding out that Shawnee and the rest of Johnson County Kansas has great schools, high paying jobs and a very high quality of life. Want to see what CNN/Money Magazine had to say? Click Here Want to See Shawnee Kansas Homes for sale? Click Here This report is brought to you by the Russell Home Team, Residents and Realtors in Johnson County Kansas, for more information about Shawnee Kansas or any of Johnson Counties fantastic communities contact us at 913-681-1383 or info@russellhometeam.com See Also- CNN/Money Magazine Ranks Overland Park Kansas #7 Best Place to...
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By Brett Pickett
(Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group)
  If you are looking to make a move this summer, look no further than Grey Oaks in Western Shawnee, KS or Maple Brook Park in Northern Olathe, KS.  Both Rodrock Development communities are offering homebuyer incentives and the benefits vary depending on the community.     Maple Brook Park in Olathe features Rodrock Homes' free Home Upgrade Program.  Here, homebuyers can select from kitchen, garage workshop, kids playground and outdoor patio upgrade packages.  Located off K-7 and 119th street, homes are priced in the low to mid $200,000s.     Grey Oaks in Shawnee is offering a limited time cash-back incentive program for their James III Homes floorplans.  They are offering a $5000 bonus at the start of construction that can be applied toward closing costs, upgrades, or simply pocketed in...
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By Brett Pickett
(Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group)
Woo Hoo!  It's always a great day when I have an excuse to brag about the town I live in.  Once again, Shawnee, KS makes CNN Money.com's (Money Magazine) list of Best Places to Live...this time, ranking #17 out of 100.  Of course, I can't ignore Overland Park, who came in at #7!  This year's Top 100 list is the best of the best when it comes to job growth, great school systems, low crime, and being an overall great place to raise a family.  Click here to read the full article.
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By Brett Pickett
(Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group)
Even though construction began just a few months ago, you can already see the progress crews have made on the new K-7 bridges that will cross over Johnson Drive.  However, beginning on Monday, July 12th (subject to change though), access to Johnson Drive/55th Street just west of Hedge Lane Terrace from northbound and southbound K-7 will be closed to ALL traffic so that crews will be able to begin work on the roundabout that will be located east of Meadowview Drive.  The traffic lights will still be operational during this phase and people should still be able to access the Crouch Corners and Oak Valley West Shopping Centers from north and southbound K-7.  Here's what the projected roundabout is to look like:     Once this project is completed, which is tentatively scheduled for the Fall...
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By Brett Pickett
(Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group)
Given the tax credit, low mortgage interest rates, and the fact that it's summer, Grey Oaks saw an increase in home sales activity for the month of June.  From June 1st through June 30th, Grey Oaks experienced 6 homes sold with an average sale price of $349,878...compared to only 2 homes sold in the month of May at an average sale price $347,178.  The average days on market for June was about 120 days, which is not too unusual for this price range. Grey Oaks has just released new floorplans for the community, so if you are interested in checking them out in person, feel free to contact me or give me a call at 913.787.1870. 
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By Brett Pickett
(Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group)
      In case your summer is flying by as fast as mine is, the 4th of July is this Sunday.  And if going to the lake is not your thing, there's plenty of other activities going on around the Metro to keep you and your family entertained for hours.  So don't let the lack of fireworks at Shawnee Mission Park again this year put a damper on your fun...check out these festivities:   Saturday   Community Days Parade, Lenexa, KS – Saturday, July 3rd, beginning at 10am Independence Day, 19th Century Style – Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm (Olathe, KS) –  Saturday, July 3rd, 10am to 4pm Fireworks Celebration in the Park (Kearney, MO) – concert at 7:30pm; fireworks display to follow KC Riverfest – Berkley Riverfront Park, KCMO – gates open at 1pm – festival food, live music, children’s area and ...
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By Brett Pickett
(Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group)
    Whether you are a first-time/repeat home buyer or an investor, a short sale can be a great option for you and knowing about the short sale process can help make it a successful experience. The major differences between a short sale and a regular home purchase transaction is that short sales will most likely have a lower average sales price and they typically take longer to close.  More parties may also be involved than just the lender...such as additional mortgage investors or 2nd & 3rd lien holders.   A recent study showed that it took on average 62 days for the lender to respond to a Buyer's offer and another 67 days after that to close.  Here's a closer look at what a typical timeline would look like according to this study:   Day 1:  The homeowner misses a mortgage payment...or ...
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By Brett Pickett
(Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group)
As the June 30th deadline nears for the First-Time/Repeat Home Buyers tax credit, many people were hoping for another extension.  But a move by the Senate last week dashed those hopes when the extension, as part of the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010, failed to get the necessary votes. What does this mean?  The National Association of Realtors estimates that approximately 180,000 qualified home-buyers will miss out on the credit by not closing tomorrow.  Had the amendment passed, it would have extended the closing deadline until September. Rumors abound that the extension may not dead yet.  Even if something does pass by the Senate soon (and I mean real soon!), it would still have to be approved by the House.
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By Brett Pickett
(Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group)
    Back in 1940, the U.S. conducted its first housing census.  At that time, the median value of a single-family home in the United States was only $30,600.  Sixty years later, that number nearly quadrupled to $119,600 (after adjusting for inflation).  The good news is that every decade saw an increase in the value of single-family homes up to the year 2000.   New home construction tells a different tale.  The average sales price of new home construction in May 1975 was $43,200.  This number grew to $263,000 by May of this year.  However, new home construction hit its peak in 2007, when the average new home price hit $329,000.  Though this number has varied greatly since then, it will be interesting to see how, if, and when history will be able to repeat itself.
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By Brett Pickett
(Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group)
In light of my last post about the release of new floorplans in Grey Oaks, I thought I would take a closer look at what the activity has been like for home sales in the neighborhood recently.   Currently, there are 17 active listings in the community.  The average list price is $355,291, which is actually down about $20,000 or 5% from when I looked at the neighborhood stats back in March.    So far, the average days on market is showing roughly 198 days...an improvement from the 239 days in March.  However, as for homes sold within the past 90 days...the average sale price is $347,318. Grey Oaks, a popular Rodrock Development, is located in Western Shawnee, and features award winning schools (grades Pre-K through 12), recreational amenities such as a community pool, sand volleyball cou...
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By Brett Pickett
(Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group)
As a Grey Oaks resident, I can personally tell you how great it is here...schools within walking distance, walking trails, pool, playgrounds, picnic area, sand volleyball, community events, and more.  As the community prepares for the release of its next phase, they are rolling out new floorplans to entice more buyers.  The updated homes will range from $270,000s to $400,000s and higher and will feature 4-5 bedrooms, 2 1/2-5 1/2 baths, and 2-3 car garages.  Grey Oaks will also offer a first this summer...wooded-view homesites.   One of the newest floorplans is the Aspen III Five.  This two-story features an open first floor with a great room, fireplace, and a generous kitchen with ample storage and large pantry. Upstairs you'll find 5 bedrooms, all with private baths.  This floorplan al...
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By Brett Pickett
(Keller Williams - Pickett Property Group)
With all the hype on Wall Street today about the declines in the housing market, I thought I'd take a glance at what is happening in my neighborhood of Shawnee, KS. The average listing price for homes in the Shawnee area was $265,294 for week ending June 16th.  This is a decrease of 0.5% or $1437 from the week before. Shawnee Homes For Sale  The average sales price for homes in Shawnee from March-May of this year was up 2.3% from the same period last year to $152,394.  From what I have been experiencing with my clients, homes in the $100,000-200,000 price range are still selling fairly quickly; whereas anything over $275,000 is taking a bit longer.  Now is still a great time to list your house, especially before school starts this Fall.  If you are thinking about listing your home or bu...
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