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All About Wichita and Wichita Real Estate

Buy Now or Prepare To Pay More

Changes Coming To The Real Estate Market

The real estate mortgage market is changing quite a bit soon as the Government scrambles to fix past mistakes.

The tax credit for first time buyers and repeat buyers will be ending at the end of this month, April. To qaulify a buyer must have a binding contract by April 30 and the property has to closed by June 30.

The FHA will be raising mortgage insurance premiums from 1.75 % to 2.25%. This could raise monthly payments $50 to $100.

Credit scores below 580 will require a 10% down payment, still 3.5% for everyone else and the amount sellers are allowed to contribute to closing costs and prepaids will be reduced from 6% to 3%. This could mean more cash required at the closing table.

These new rules will make it harder for working households to secure safe and affordable home financing.  Buyers will be forced to spend more on financing or scale down the size of  home they buy.

There are even mumblings about adding a sales tax to home purchases. Only talk as of now.

It looks like the Government is going to over compensate cleaning up it’s mess. But that’s nothing new.

March 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Barrage in Kansas

Barrage is a  super high octane traveling musical ensemble and we got to see them here in Wichita. The band has a drummer, bass and quitar players and five “fiddlers”, or violinists. All very talented.

“They are a young, high energy bunch of fiddle players who dance and jump and have a really great time entertaining.”

I saw them four years ago at Century II and was duly impressed. This time around Lisel accompanied me and we were not disappointed. Once again it was a great show. The players are all so full of energy with the fiddlers dancing around the stage, smiling, interacting with the crown and have fun  throughout.

The music was varied and international. Songs picked up when they were in Holland and other places around the world were preformed.  When preforming songs from other countries the group sang the songs in the native langauge. Impressive stuff.

They even preformed a Mariachi of sorts learned when they were down in Mexico. It was an excellent job and Mariachi is one of my favorites.

It was a wonderful show once again and I can’t wait to see them again!

March 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sedgwick County Zoo – Wichita Kansas

Spring and Summer are right around the corner at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita Kansas. The Zoo here is quite possibly the coolest piece of real estate in Wichita. We love the Zoo. Opening in 1971, it’s among the 20 largest Zoos in the country.

Out Zoo is nationally renowned and ranks among the best by visitors and visiting officials alike. This place is home to something like over 2000 different animals in large (for the most part) naturalistic exhibits.

So much to do and see a full day could easily be spent at this Zoo. The admission fee is a great value for all the entertainment you get.

As you enter the Zoo right after the Cargill Learning Center you will happen upon a flock of brightly colored Pink Flamingos. One of which is no longer here but remains quite famous as it flew the coop and is spotted in different places around the country.

The Zoo has everything from a domestic animal petting area with animals and themes from around the world to exotic animals to places to dine and rest from all the walking you do.

It seems almost every year there are new and grand things being done at the Sedgwick County Zoo Last year was the year of the tiger. A brand new and spectacular tiger exhibit opened up.  We wonder what this year will bring. There is much talk of a new Elephant exhibit.

Some of the newer and really cool places include the Downing Gorilla forest, the just recently opened and one of my favorites, The Penguin Cove and a habitat for the king of the jungle. The last exhibit you’ll see on the way out is the Koch Orangutan and Chimpanzee Habitat housing, you guessed it, Orangutans and Chimpanzees.

The Zoo itself is divided into sections from around the world. Just about all the continents are represented by the animals that inhabit them. There’s North America with Grizzly bears, otters and wolves. A South American jungle , Australia and it’s kangaroos and Asian animals. Africa is the biggest with the most large mammals. There are hippos, elephants, giraffes, rhinos and loads of others are to seen.

Birds, rodents and other small mammals are abundant throughout the different exhibits. Lots of colorful parrots and little creatures scurrying about interact directly with visitors as you wander through their natural habitat. A good job has been done placing the animals in natural and roomy surroundings.

Other than all the great animals to be seen and learned from, the Zoo offers different programs too. Zoobilee is a concert and the biggest fund raising event of the year. It’s also famous around these parts as the place to be and be seen. At Zoobilee there is lots of food and adult beverages to be had.

Around Halloween every year there is The Night Of The Living Zoo. A night to celebrate Halloween in grand fashion. There are events around all the holidays, a creature feature night where a full length movie is shown in the Cargill Learning Center and many other special events throughout the year.

This Zoo is really something you should see. If your ever in town or even close by it’s worth the trip. Our world class Sedgwick County Zoo is just one more of the many attributes for Wichita Kansas to be proud of.

You know ya wanna live here!!

March 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Technical vs. Fundamental Analysis, my other passion.

In the beginning investors bought portions of companies through stocks by weighing the strength and profitability of that company. They would then buy these stocks and hold them for long periods of time. Sometimes through their life. Of course in the beginning there were much fewer companies to choose from and fewer investors to invest in them. It was a good strategy.

At some point investors started to realize that the past performance of the markets repeated itself. As more investors became involved, the movement of the stocks started to take on meaning. The charts that followed the stock market began to be used to make buy and sell decisions. To many back in the day this was just so much voodoo. Predicting future market movements based on past behavior was considered irrational by many.

The argument for technical analysis is that investors will follow other investors. This philosophy was best explained in Charles Mackay famous book of 1941, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. Mr. Mackay wrote about the crazes that have gripped the public in the past such as the Dutch tulip craze and the South Seas bubble in which prices and /or stock was driven up dramatically as everyone wanted on board the newest trend. Once the public figures out what is happening, over valuation, everyone tries to get out at the sane time.

By watching stock charts and prices investors can predict when the public’s demeanor is going to change based on past movements.

Many Investors use a mix of fundamental and technical analysis. By finding good companies with strong earnings and long term sustainability investors can get in and out using technicals. Now even some of the best companies can lose value based on traders sentiments to the charts. In turn there are companies that are not valued highly that can do very well on any given day. It’s all in the charts.

Technical analysis is becoming more popular every day. In stressful economic times when the stock market is very volatile technical analysis becomes most useful and exclusive.

March 10, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Preparing Your Soil For Spring Planting

This is the month that gardeners get eager about planting. It’s time to start thinking about working the soil and getting it ready for your gardens as long as it’s dry enough. With sandy soils you can start whenever your ready. With clay and silty soils it’s best to wait until it is properly dry.

Take a handful of soil and squeeze into a ball. If the ball falls apart easily when you tap it, that means it’s ready. Working the soil when it’s wet could lead to clumpy hard to manange dirt later in the season.

Add organic materials, fertilizer and lime if needed when working the soil. Organic material is compost, manure, peat moss, grass clippings and aged sawdust to name a few. Work these materials into the soil now and throughout the season. It will make sandy or heavy clay soil easier to work. If you already have good soil, all the better.

The Sedgwick County Extension Education Center at 7001 W. 21 st St. North will have your soil tested for you to see what you lack and/or need. For $18 they will send a sample of your soil off to Kansas State research and Extension. After they get it back analyzed they’ll mail you recommendations as to what your particular soil needs are. You can also call them and talk to a Master Gardner for advice at 316 660-0100.

March 7, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Changes Coming to Real Estate Market

The Real Estate market remains much as it has been. Normally December and especially January are the slowest months and this year was no different despite all the tax credits.

The $8000 for first time buyers and $6500 for “move up” buyer tax credit is coming to an end after a long run. A binding contract has to be in place by April 30th, 2010 and the deal must be closed by June 30th, 2010.

So if your thinking of taking advantage time is running out.

There are lots of changes coming to the Real Estate market this Summer. Talk of putting a sales tax on homes has been heard although a bill hasn’t been introduced yet. Seems the Government is scrounging for money and even considering taxing agents more than they already are. The bottom line is that these changes, if implemented, will hurt consumers most as home prices rise.

In the past the buyer side of a deal was allowed by law to ask for up to 6% of the contract price in closing costs from the seller. That is changing to 3% after June.

Mortgage fraud is running rampant through the industry so if you hear of a deal that sounds to good to be true, it probably is. Be careful.

March 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

March In Wichita

March is upon us and Spring is almost here. Seems like just not too long ago I was writing about freezing temperatures. Not that we’re completely out of the woods yet but certainly a lot closer. So close I can feel the dirt running through my fingers.

Did you know the month of March was named after the Roman God Mars. Initially the Roman God of fertility and vegetation and protector of cattle, fields and boundaries, Mars later became associated with battle and identified with Greek God Aries. Mars was also lover of Venus, goddess of love.

March is also Irish American month, hence St Paddys day.
This month was actually dedicated Irish American Heritage month by Congress in 1995.

Other special things about March include
– Music in our schools month
– National Craft month
– National Peanut month
– National Frozen Food month
– National Womens History month
– Poetry month
– Red Cross month
– Social workers month
and finally
– Nutrition month
I’m not making this stuff up, it’s real.

The Spring Equinox happens on the 20th of this month, same day as International Earth day and Passover comes on the 30th

The March flower is the Daffodil, which makes sense as mine are already starting to come up, first signs of life in my garden.

The Girl scouts were founded March 12, 1912. The rubber band was invented in March in 1847 and Coca Cola was first introduced to the public March 29, 1886.

For me March is the time to start getting ready for Spring gardening. For me March is the changing of the seasons bursting with expectations of new life to come. The anticipation of warmer weather and Summer fun. Before we know it the new Spring growth will be peeking through the soil and opening up to the new Season. The trees will be budding  and straining to burst forth their color and life.

It’s time to start planning the garden, prepping the soil and deciding what new plants to get. Soon we’ll be eating fresh Tomatoes and peppers. Fresh flowers will adorn our tables and the roses will begin to bloom in all their glory.

March 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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