Wichita Home

All About Wichita and Wichita Real Estate

Getting pre approved by a lender or bank before looking for a home in Wichita KS just makes sense. A mortgage lender takes the guesswork out of shopping for a house by letting you know how much you qualify for.

Most sellers want proof that you can get a loan to buy their house before they’ll go into contract with you. This is because the home is off the market while working through a contract and if it turns out someone can’t get financing that’s all wasted time and money.

Another good reason to have a pre approval letter from a lender in hand is when you find that perfect house your ready to make an offer. If you have to take the time to go and get pre approved someone else may swoop in and buy YOUR house!

Here’s another scenario;

Imagine you have been diligently searching for a home everyday for months and you finally find it. It’s perfect! You put in an offer and come to terms with the seller. Three weeks later the lender informs you that the house you want is $15,000 more than you qualify for. It’s heartbreaking and frustrating.

If one takes the time to get pre approved before searching for a home it makes the entire process easier and stress free. You know what you can afford. You’re ready to make an offer when you find that perfect home. You’ve already established a working relationship with your team consisting of yourself, your Realtor and your lender.

So do yourself a favor and go get pre approved by a lender before starting your home search in Wichita KS.

If you have questions about getting approved or need help finding a reputable lender in Wichita KS please contact me.

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July 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Uh Oh, Squeaky Stairs

Squeaky stairs are annoying and can turn off buyers when your trying to sell your home in Wichita Kansas. Often I notice potential homebuyers concerned when they walk down squeaky stairs.  House must be about to fall down.

Fixing those squeaks is easy and cheap. If you can get under the stairs all the better.

First pick up an L bracket from your local hardware store. It should come with screws. If it doesn’t make sure you pick up a few that are NOT going to run through the stair tread or riser. Usually 3/4 inch wood screws will do just fine but make sure to check your own treads.

Next simply get under the stairs and attach the bracket to the back side of the tread and the riser with the screws. This tightens everything up and stops the squeak.

Wood blocks can also be used. Glue the blocks in place where the riser and the tread meet. Drill pilot holes and screw the block into both the riser and the tread.

When you can’t get under the stairs don’t despair. If the stairs are carpeted pull the carpet back if you can. Drill a piliot hole and drive screws through the tread and into the riser.

If you can’t pull the carpet back you can still drive a screw through the carpet and the tread into the riser then simply break the screw head off.

If the stairs are wood use finish nails and wood putty.

November 12, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Green Things

If your into Green Things as I am you’ll find these interesting. Here at our house in Wichita we like to find ways to save money and help out the environment too.

Whether one believes there is a problem with what’s happening with the environment or not it just makes sense to try and help to keep our earth clean and our air fresh. Just little things we can do help immensely and benefit us all. No one likes breathing dirty air or seeing trash scattered along our highways.

Just something to think about.

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2010 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

October 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Buying A Fixer Upper Really Saving Money?

Looking for and buying a fixer upper to save money when buying a home in Wichita Kansas can sometimes be a costly affair. Yes, one can save a ton of money or get oneself into a financial fix.

With a little research, numbers crunching and education your  real estate purchase can indeed be profitable. Ask questions and follow these few steps to decide if a fixer upper is for you.

Decide what you can do yourself, and be honest.  It’s not as easy as they make it look on TV.

  • Sure, simple projects like painting and  some floor coverings may be doable. Others like electrical wiring should be done by professionals.
  • Do you have the time. Starting a project and not having the time to finish can be frustrating and living in a work zone for extended periods of time is stressful.

Price the cost of materials and labor for repairs before you commit.

  • Get written bids from contractors.
  • Price supplies for do it yourself projects.
  • Add at least 10% for unforeseen expenses.

Check what you need permits for and how much they cost.

If the house has structure issues hire a certified engineer to determine the extent of damage before committing.

  • Again, get binding written estimates
  • Make sure the problem is “fixable”.
  • The price of the home should be deeply discounted.

Check the cost of financing.

  • Consider the price of the home, closing costs and repairs.
  • Consider FHA 203k program when borrowing for repairs.

Be sure to include the price of inspections from professionals in

your budget.

Following these few words of wisdom your “fixer upper” project can be both fun and profitable.

September 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Furnace Filters

With the fall season here and winter approaching it’s a good time to check your HVAC.

One way to take care of your real estate investment and your health is by maintaining the HVAC equipment. That means having it serviced regularly and changing filters.

The quality of the air we breath influences our general health and well-being.   Dust and other airborne particles can cause a variety of ailments ranging from simple allergic reactions to more complicated respiratory diseases. Maintaining clean furnace filters in your home will help to increase the purity of the air you breath and reduce the likelihood of suffering a medical condition.

Furnace filters should be changed once a month during the cold seasons and at least once during the rest of the year. In Wichita Kansas that means once a month from about October through April.

The use of a clean furnace filter will help your furnace to run more efficiently, decreasing energy bills and reducing the frequency of maintenance and repair needs. Please remember to turn the furnace power off before changing the filter.

September 16, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Abandoned Properties

After showing real estate in Wichita Kansas today, my regular job, I took a look around at some homes the City has slated for demolition. Most of these are abandoned properties people just left behind. Sometimes we can find a  house or two that’s worth saving.

It’s sad really. The City will come through and demolish these homes after a certain amount of time leaving big holes in neighborhoods. You’ll notice the homes around those empty lots begin to deteriorate themselves. The owners become not so concerned about the way their house looks. It spreads down the street until you have whole blocks that have fallen into disrepair.

We can save that house by pleading with the City to give us a little time. It becomes a process of tracking down the previous owner, or the bank or whoever and cutting a deal. If an agreement can reached we get the house, put some money into it and sell it.

The idea is the new homeowner takes a little pride, plants some flowers, keeps the house up and that too spreads down the block.  There’s not much money in it but it makes me feel really good to drive down that street a year later and see something nice where before there was just despair.

September 11, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ethics?, or mind your own business.

Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of mis-information about the Governments tax incentives to buy a home here in Wichita Kansas. Everything from “how long will it take to the check to get here” to “I heard I don’t really have to live there”.

I was showing a home to a woman and her son when she posed this question to me, “if we write a contract on this house, how long will it take the check to arrive.”  Of course I asked what check, and she said the government check.  I explained to her the reality and sent her to the official website. (I don’t think she believed me.)

Apparantly she had been talking to a real estate agent who let her know that if she bought a house from him the Government was going to send her a check. A check she could cash, deposit in an account or whatever she wanted. A check for $8000.

She was shocked when I told her that wasn’t the case and looked at me like I didn’t know what I was talking about. True story. She ended up not buying as she was counting on that money to help. Or maybe she just was upset with me and went somewhere else. I’ll never know.

Another one was an honest mistake that could have been a disaster.

Sitting in a seminar  not purposely eavesdropping  I overheard someone tell someone else that you had to live in the home when you buy it to get the tax credit.  True enough. What followed was you can move out right away and turn it into a rental as long  as you own it for three years.  Not true.

The someone doing the telling was a Realtor. Maybe it wasn’t my business. Maybe it was, being a Realtor myself. I interjected and set the facts out. No, you have to live there for three years and if you move out before then the money has to be paid back.

Imagine if this person had gone through with a deal thinking that the case. That he could move out right away and make the home a rental.

Whether  by purposeful dishonesty or honest mistake either situation could have had grave consequences for the buyer. It is imperative that a professional, in whatever field, know the facts.

Another misconception I run into all the time is that people are being told that there is an $8000 tax credit for first time home buyers. While this is true somewhat, the other factor is “or 10% of the purchase price up to $8000″” which often gets left out. Several times I’ve been approached by first time buyers wanting to buy a fixer upper for, say $30,000, figuring on an extra $8000 around tax time to help in the restoration.

What do suppose happens when these types of deals go through and the client finds out after the fact. The Realtor is long gone, he doesn’t care. There’s generally nothing in writing saying the realtor made these statements. There’s  no one to sue. The buyer is just left with a bad taste in the mouth and a bad attitude towards real estate people.

What it does is give us a bad name, a bad reputation. So yes, it is my business, and I will continue to make it my business to set the record straight when ever I get the chance. Our reputation, our ethics and morality and our sense of right  is the most important thing we have.

January 24, 2010 Posted by | buy, house, kansas, KS, real estate, Realtor, Wichita | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Do Not despair, Wichita

It seems every year we have at least one cold snap here in Wichita Kansas.  By that I mean at least a week or so of really cold weather with temperatures dropping below zero and wind chills well into the negative numbers.

I look forward to these days. Not because I like frozen birdbaths or shoveling snow. I like it because there is generally only one and from here it’s downhill cruising into Spring.

This is the time of year we start shopping for roses and planning our Spring garden. Searching through catalogs of flowers and designing landscapes for the yard. Placing orders for the roses we have chosen gives us the joy of the wait, anticipating the day they will arrive by postal carrier at our front door. That day means Spring, and with it warm weather, has arrived.

These activities keep us warm throughout the rest of the Winter and give glimpses of the summer days to come.

January also brings sales, and everyone loves a good sale. The clothing stores are starting to reduce the Winter inventory by reducing prices. This a great time, for us that are fashion stable, to start shopping for next years winter. Saving money always gives me a good feeling deep down in my wallet.

The real estate business is not so active in January. Not many buyers want to go out at look at houses in cold weather, so Realtors get a bit of an expected break.  We know the business will return  and the warm weather will be here soon.

Spring flowers

So don’t despair. Look to the near future and always remember, as Hal Borland says;

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”

January 18, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Realtors-Neighborhood Watch

Prevent Animal Cruelty

Last Saturday I was out showing houses, my usual Saturday activity. What made this day working in real estate different was I had the chance to save an animal. A dog to be specific.

My clients and I were walking through our third house of  a really cold day here in Wichita. There was snow on the ground and the forecast was for more. More snow and more frigid temperatures. On this day we were sort of avoiding the decks and backyards. We looked out the patio window to see the yard and what we saw next door startled both of us.

In the backyard right next door was a dog, what was left of one, chained to a rotting small “dog house” on a short chain. The dog itself  was literally skin and bones. From where we were we could see it was hunched, freezing and most likely starving. This isn’t a picture of that paticular dog but a close representation.

Immediately I went out back to get a closer look, I really had to as I couldn’t hardly believe it. I’d seen animals abused like this on animal cruelty websites and humane society posters, but never like this in real-time. We could see the dogs entire skeletal system as if he were wearing no skin at all.

The poor thing  rasped, an attempted whimper I think, and struggled to rise. It sort of half dragged itself into the small box that served as it’s shelter.

On returning home I tried to find a phone number to call and report. It wasn’t easy. No one answered at the obvious places like the  Humane Society, Sedgwick County animal control or Wichita animal services due to it being the weekend and late. I called the police and they just gave me the number to the Wichita  animal shelter. When explained that I had tried that the woman responded that I would just have to wait to report it.

Wait?!?? It was supposed to get down way below freezing tonight. I didn’t want to wait, I thought there were laws against this sort of thing, animal abuse and cruelty. She sounded annoyed when I asked her to take the information and report it. Big sigh, “OK fine, sir, what’s the address”.

I assumed by the attitude that the Wichita Police did nothing. The dog most likely spent another night in it’s misery, much to the chagrin of my face book friends.

Finally Monday morning I was able to contact someone with a heart at  Wichita Animal services. This was the third person I spoke with, he sounded genuinely concerned with the plight of this poor animal and would send someone out to investigate right away.

Tuesday I called to see what had happened and was told that they couldn’t give out that kind of info. Something about due process and privacy rights. I can understand that and I feel confident that something was actually done.

Realtors are constantly out and about in the community. In and out of houses and neighborhoods. We see a lot. Some of what we see is bad and we, as citizens, have the opportunity to report incidents, suspicious characters, abused animals and anything else we see that’s out of sorts.

I think we even have somewhat of a duty to do so. We can help to make the neighborhoods, and indeed  the world, we live in a safer and better place to be.

Kansas Humane Society  316.524.9196

Wichita Animal Shelter    316.268.8378

January 9, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Time to Buy Real Estate in Wichita Kansas

If ever there was a good time to invest in real estate, it’s now. Seriously. I happen to believe the bottom is in, or at least close in the residential market. Regardless of whether it is or isn’t there are several factors that weigh in to make one think this is a buyers market.

The first is that the banks need money. The way banks make money is by charging interest rates for money they lend. OK, simple enough. This contraction the economy is in has put most of these big banks in the red. Some are recovering and even paying us back but still need more money. The best and easiest way for them to become and/or remain profitable (and pay back all that money they owe us, the taxpayer) is to make more money, and they do this by raising interest rates. Credit card companies are already doing it.

The Wichita Real Estate market faired better than most during the latest housing bubble. It slowed, like the rest of the country, but in comparison actually did very well. This shows how well this particular market holds it’s value. Housing prices are on the rise though. On the sales front, People are buying, just not in droves yet. When the flood of buyers start, prices will react quickly. Builders and homeowners alike have been taking much lower prices than their homes warrant. Whether buying a home for the first time, buying a second or vacation home or just investing in Real Estate you want to buy while prices are low.

There’s always the chance, as many think, that prices will fall even further. That’s a gamble you’d have to be willing to take. Stack that up against the time left for the tax credits and it just doesn’t make much sense to wait.

The Government has extended an $8000 dollar tax credit to first home buyers and added a $6500 credit for homeowners who want to “move up”. It all ends at the end of June. This does not have to be repayed. It is a big incentive to get people to buy. There are many economists that believe the health of the recovery we are beginning to feel depends on the housing market. The Government is doing everything it can to promote this. Extraordinary measures are being taken. When the recovery comes, and it will, home prices and interest rates will rise quickly. The Government will not be so generous as the next task will be to repay all the money that was borrowed and printed.

The last really bad inflation we had was in the 1970s and 80s. I remember my family paying 17% interest on the home we lived in. Back then it certainly didn’t bother me, that was my Dads problem. Now it will be mine. When the economy becomes inflated the Federal reserve is inclined to raise interest rates to try and tame it. Just as the Feds started to drastically reduced rates around 1999-2000 to stimulate the economy they will easily go the other way to slow it down. Inflation is coming. With all the money the Government and Fed have had to print and borrow in 2009, inflation will surely come around. Inflation happens when there is to much money supply. It reduces demand making money not so valuable, causing the price of goods and services go up.

Now is the time to buy and this is the perfect market. A perfect storm of good news for investors and potential homeowners alike.

December 10, 2009 Posted by | house, Realtor, recovery | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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