New Home vs Resale

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Should I buy a new home or resale?

This is a typical question I receive since I have been a New Home agent for almost 10 years.  It is a great question, and the answer really depends on your goals, wants and needs in a home.

A huge factor to consider is your timeframe.

If you are flexible and do not need to move right away, then building a new home is a great option. Building is a lot of fun because you can choose everything you want in your home, but if that seems overwhelming then you can also find a model home you like and have your plan designed exactly like the model. When designing a custom home, it’s all about the builder relationship. With the right builder, you can design the home of your dreams in a timeframe that works for you. Most the builders we work with have a design center where you can go in with ideas and leave with a floorplan. Many have designers on-site to help you with tough selections, and to increase efficiency.

Another question I often hear is, “does building cost more than resale?”

Not always, especially in the current market where depending on your price point, multiple offers may drive up the price of a resale home. When building, remember you are customizing a home to fit all your needs on a home site of your choice, and new homes come with a one year warranty that covers everything in the home. While this does include one-time costs like fences and windows, you are customizing it so they will be exactly what you want.

If your time frame is not conducive to building, then resale is a good option.

When you are in need of a super quick close on a home, resale usually offers the most options for you to choose from with a faster close time.

Another option that not everyone knows about is to look at spec homes. A spec home is a home the builder has started to build for a speculative buyer. These home can be purchased at any time during the build, so depending on your time frame you can find a spec home that can still be customized to your taste, or purchase a completed one and move in right away.

One of the major benefits of buying a resale home is that they have an established neighborhood. While new home communities turn into established neighborhoods, it takes time.

The most important thing is to look at all your options and decide what works best for you. Our team has many years of experience in new homes and resale and can help you every step of the way! Don’t wait to move into the home of your dreams.

Local Music: The Sextet live at the Black Dolphin

photo by Christopher Smith featured in Feast Magazine

photo by Christopher Smith featured in Feast Magazine

This discovery I owe to my father. A local musician himself, he heard The Sextet was performing with a friend of his and invited me to the show.

"It's at the Black Dolphin," he tells me, and quickly I recall that my midtown dwelling father is a lot more hip than I am - I have no idea where the Black Dolphin is. Lucky for me, Google Maps is also very hip. Black Dolphin is new and was formerly known as the Tank Room. While I was planning to give you an in-depth review of how dangerously cool this Gatsby-esque bar is, Feast Magazine recently did that for me so I will send you there and focus on the music. 

The Sextet

The Sextet

The Sextet is confirmation that Kansas City is still the place to be for Jazz. Their music, the golden draped backdrop, and the vintage microphones made me want to change into a flapper dress & start ordering champagne by the bottle.

On their Soundcloud page, they have a small slogan written, "music to move to and be moved by" and I can't say anything more accurate than that. The Sextet takes a nostalgic genre and brings it to life. With only two years until we enter a new decade of "roaring twenties" I know what I will be listening to in preparation. And when the ball drops on Jan 1st, 2020, here's hoping I will be at The Black Dolphin seeing the Sextet live.  

For tour dates and more, check them out online and on Facebook

Pizza Bella

Few people know this but when you look up "charming" in the dictionary there is actually a photo of Pizza Bella next to the definition.

Okay so few people know this because it's not true, but it could and should be true. Walking into Pizza Bella, or "PB" if you want it to sound even cuter, feels like walking into a warm living room with a cozy fireplace waiting for you. This is in part because there is an actual furnace burning in Pizza Bella. The pizza is wood-fired, thus adding deliciousness to the charm.

My first time in PB I was only there to visit a friend who was an employee at the time. He was roasting brussel sprouts on an open fire and I was saying "ew, brussel sprouts are gross." He stopped stoking and replied "you haven't tried our brussel sprouts, have you?" From that moment on everything is a blur. All I can see is a haze of slivered almonds, craisins, and me at the grocery store buying bags of brussel sprouts demanding that he give me the recipe (he didn't. He means nothing to me now.)

Since that hazy day, I have never gone to PB and not ordered the brussel sprouts. Also, since that day their menu has become even more incredible. They still have the classic recipes that have been around for the 10 years that Pizza Bella has, but insiders know (and now you know) that you can customize just about anything at Bella, ( I replace the tomato sauce with Thai chili paste) and their non-pizza specials are ever changing. So if warm cozy places and delicious food is your thing, then Pizza Bella is your thing. Give this restaurant in the Crossroads a try. Lunch time is great for no wait, and if you're coming on the weekend, a reservation is not a bad idea. 

If this review has somehow not convinced you and you need to know more, or if you need directions because it has convinced you and you are on the way right now, check them out here . Their Facebook page is updated often, and their photos speak for themselves. 

Sasha's Baking Company

I should start by voicing a very unpopular opinion: I don't like cinnamon rolls. 

In the scheme of pastries, they're a solid "eh"  so when the person behind the counter at Sasha's said cinnamon rolls were their specialty I thought, "Alright. I'll do it for the people, just this once." I sat down with my espresso and my eh pastry and did what I had to do... I kid you not the roll was gone in uner 5 bites and under 8 seconds. I didn't like cinnamon rolls because none of them had ever tasted like this cinnamon roll. Sasha's managed to make the outside layers taste as good as the inside layers.

While contemplating whether or not to go order the rest of the rolls in the case, the new Australian owner, Rob, came and introduced himself with an offering of fried Greek Haloumi cheese. That's right, the owner of a French bakery in Kansas City is Australian, and he serves Greek cheese. Rob explained that Australia has a rich diversity of cultures, and therefore recipes. His vision for Sasha's is to incorporate global dishes in a way that is sophisticated yet accesible. He also assured me that Sasha's (which has been open since 2013) will keep it's French bakery roots. He also gave me an inside scoop *they have an all new menu coming soon* 

So next time you need a sugar break, a bread break, a coffee break, or just a reason to get out of the house, stop by Sasha's. 

Sasha's Baking Co is located at 105 W 9th St
Kansas City, Missouri 64105
You can learn more about them on their Facebook

Thinking about selling? Don't wait.

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We often hear that the best time to list your home is in the Spring, but is that really the case? Despite what people may think, the winter months are hot.

Winter is a great time to capitalize on relocation buyers who are moving to Kansas City to start jobs around the first of the new year. Also, the current market in Kansas City is hungry for inventory. Right now in Johnson County, there are 5 buyers for every 1 house that goes on the market. This means that buyers are anxiously waiting and as a seller, you are in a great position. 

Without knowing what the Springtime market will look like, what we can tell you is that if you wait you are going to be putting your home on the market during the most competitive time to sell. This could mean it will be slower to sell and having to lower the price to compete.

If you're waiting because you don't know where you want to move to yet, let us help. We have the tools to get you into your dream home. Whether it's resale or new construction, our lenders can work with you to determine how to be smart with your money, and allow you to be noncontingent so your offer can be more competitive and appeal to sellers.

If you still have questions or concerns, let's talk! We're never too busy for you or your referrals. When you need a Realtor who works for you, "Just Call Jenn." 

justcalljenn@gmail.com • 913-221-8863

West Bottoms - First Friday

H O L I D A Y  S H O P P I N G 

I feel like I could end the post there but for your sake, I'll elaborate. Every First Friday starting at 8:30 am the Antiquing Queens and Craft Kings get together to sell you their vintage, new, and refurbished goods. I say "goods" because there is so much for sale during First Friday that it's almost hard to put in words. You'll wander through modern farmhouse booths, someone's entire handcrafted Etsy shop, stores that feel exactly like Homegoods, and then shops that make you wonder "who in Kansas City can actually afford any of this..." The variety will give you a chance to cross everyone off your holiday shopping list. 

 

Oh! And guess what? There's one happening this Friday, December 1st.

Here's a list of all the stops and shops. Thanks. KC Star ;) 

Unruh Furniture

When I visited Unruh Furniture, I thought I was lost. I pulled up to a 100-year-old church and thought, "Okay, GPS, very funny but I do go to church often enough and I don't need your judgment right now." However, it was not a snarky message from God or Garmin, I was at Unruh Furniture. 

Upon further reflection, the location still doesn't really make sense, but it doesn't have to. What you need to know about Unruh is that this is the spot in Kansas City for handmade furniture and you need their furniture in your house

Why am I so adamant? Well, it's not just how great their furniture looks, (which is coming, I promise!) it's also what's on the inside of this business that counts 

And the list goes on, but I already know what's going to convince you that you need Unruh Furniture in your life, so here it is:

Nothing pairs better with a new home than new, handcrafted furniture. When you buy some, just be sure to invite us over to see it. We'll bring the champagne.

Full List of furniture can be found here

*all photos are from Unruh Furniture

Kansas City River Market

If lazy Sunday morning exploring is your thing, the Kansas City Farmer's Market is for you. You can't not find a new favorite place in this square block of markets, restaurants, and vendors. And pro tip: skip going on Saturday to beat the crowds. On a Sunday at 10 am you won't be shoulder to shoulder with someone haggling a squash farmer. You'll be strolling the aisles, sipping on coffee, and maybe eating a falafel hummus pita before noon because why not, it's Sunday.

Van Till Winery

"How have I never heard of this place?" Is what I asked myself over and over as I strolled through the Van Till Winery. Upon arrival, you will notice rows of greenhouses filled with fruits, vegetables, and flowers. If there is a wait for a table, well, you'll just have to go do a wine tasting to fill the time. Right after the wine tasting and right when you think this place can't possibly get any better, they bring you a farm to table wood-fired pizza made by cooks and servers who are paid a living wage (no need to tip at Van Till, if you do it will go to a charity of their choosing.)

Van Till Winery is one of Missouri's best kept secrets, and only a 15-minute drive from The Elms Hotel and Spa. This combo is actually what started the staycation movement. 

Giving Back - Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes

When you love something, let it grow. We love our state and are proud to see the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes grow. 

The nonprofit organization helps students discover, develop and communicate the stories of individuals who, often at great personal risk, took actions to improve the lives of others, the Center inspires each and every one of us to make a positive difference in the world.

At an appreciation dinner, we were able to see how the center has changed the lives of students in our area. They told us about their current research projects, how their discoveries have affected their personal lives and the lives of the individuals they chose to research. After dinner, we were shown a private screening of "Teach Us All" a captivating documentary (available on Netflix) that explains how our public schools are more segregated than ever, and what we can do to make a change.

Kansas City helped us grow from a one-woman show to a full dream team; now it's our turn to give back.