Wichita Home

All About Wichita and Wichita Real Estate

First Time Home Buyer Grants Assistance Wichita Kansas

There is a first time home buyer assistance grant program with incentives available in Kansas. It’s called FTHB for short. FTHB is not as well known as the famous first time home buyer tax credit of recent history but a powerful incentive program in it’s own right.

wichitahomesearch.comThe biggest obstacle to home-ownership for first time home buyers in Kansas is lack of cash. They may have a great job history and a perfect credit score but lot’s of young people trying to buy their first home are cash strapped. This program is designed to solve that problem with assistance and incentives.

First time home buyers in Kansas first have to qualify for the assistance program with a participating lender. Contact me to find a reputable lender that participates in the program. Once qualified the incentive program offers plenty of financial help for first time home buyers in Kansas.

To qualify for the assistance program the first time home buyer in Kansas must have a combined household income at or below 80 percent of the median for their area. Depending on the applicants income level the forgivable loan can be for 15-20 percent of the purchase price of the home. For the loan to be completely forgiven the first time home buyer must live in the Kansas home for a 5 full years. A percentage of the assistance and incentives drops off every year until the fifth year when the loan is erased from the books.

The first time home buyer in Kansas is expected to come up with $500 or two percent of the purchase price, whichever is greater. The house cannot cost more than $150,000, cannot be in a flood zone and must be occupied by the qualified first time home buyer in Kansas to get the incentives and assistance. Another big condition is the home cannot be with in the city limits of Wichita, Topeka, Kansas City, Lawrence or Johnson county. In that aspect it’s a lot like the rural incentive assistance program in Kansas but FTHB offers more and is exclusively for the first time home buyer.

If you have questions about the first time home buyer assistance program grants in Kansas contact me at 316.833.2677 or drop a line at joelw@rwwichita.com.



October 18, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

When Interest Rates Rise

People  buying homes right now in Wichita Kansas or anywhere  else in the country using FHA financing get an added and very important bonus. Their loans are assumable.

What that means is when it comes time to have a Realtor sell that house in the future the buyer can take over your loan with that super low interest rate you got. Of course he or she has to qaulify just like you did.

With interest rates as low as they are right now due to the poor economy that will be a great selling point later on when rates have risen. Some economists think when rates begin to rise they may go up quite a bit for real estate, and they could be right. All this free money being appropriated out of thin air is going to have to be paid back someday.

Imagine when everyone else is paying 6,7,8 or who knows how high they will go some lucky buyer can pick up your house with a 3.7 or 4.5 interest rate.  There will be bidding wars!

Just one more thing to consider as you teeter on the fence.

p.s.  VA loans are also assumable.

November 5, 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

The Kansas State Fair

The Kansas State Fair is like a whole world unto itself. Just forty minutes west of Wichita the fair is close to the best little city in Kansas.

One can easily get lost in time and space while wandering around the 280 acres of buildings, rides, fairways and commercial vendors. There is so much to see and so much to do it all can’t possibly be done in a single outing.

Get there first thing in the morning on the first weekend. That’s the best time to see all the many different animals before or shortly after they are judged. There are cows of many different varieties. More than one breed of goat (my personal favorite among the mammals), sheep, and many beautiful horses. Even llamas, or alpaca as the ones at the fair are, make an appearance.

After the buildings that are a temporary home to these mammals the birds have some real estate of their own. Inside the rabbit and bird complex you can find chickens of many different and quite interesting varieties. There are also ducks, geese and pigeons of lots of different sizes and shapes. You never knew there were so many different kinds of rabbits.

The fairway is something that Kansas can be proud of. Full of rides for all ages and tolerances. Tall scary ones, super fast spinning ones and slow easy rides for those more tame souls. There’s Loads of games to win prizes at, cotton candy to eat, a fun house and much, much more.

If competition is your game you’ll find plenty of that at The Kansas State Fair.

A building dedicated to the domestic arts is full of beautiful hand made quilts of every size, baked goods and knitting, all judged for ribbons. There’s even cooking demonstrations.

There’s the livestock competitions. The beasts are all groomed and pampered to look their best then paraded around in front of the judges and public to be admired. Who has the best looking cow, sheep, goat or even chicken. Whatever it may be. Some really beautiful animals are to be seen here.

4-H is a big part of the Kansas State Fair. Young people learning about ranching, farming and life. A really great program. Boy scouts and girl scouts make their presence known too.

Kansas is a big agricultural state so there’s plenty of vegetables and such to be judged. Can’t forget about wheat in Kansas. You can learn all about wheat at the fair. Where it comes from, how it’s harvested and what it’s used for. Yep, wheat is a pretty big deal in Kansas. Not just wheat either, lot’s of different crops are on display here and there’s lots to learn about them.

When your hungry it’s not hard to find a good place to eat something. Food vendors of all kinds are strategically placed about the fairgrounds to ensure no one goes hungry while enjoying the fun.

One thing you won’t want to forget when you come to the Fair is a good pair of walking shoes. There is so much to do and see you’ll be on your feet all day racing from one cool thing to another. While there are plenty of places to sit in the shade and rest, you’ll want to be sure not to miss any of the fun!

The Kansas State Fair is just one more great thing about Wichita Kansas.

You know ya wanna live here!!

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

Some Simple Energy Saving Tips

Here at Realty World Wichita we are environmentally conscious. We know that the seasonal temperature changes in Wichita Kansas can be extreme at times. There are many simple and cost efficient ways to save energy and money.

Through diligent research and development, home-building technology in real estate is continually changing and improving. But home owners can increase the comfort of their home while reducing their heating and cooling needs by investing in proper insulation and sealing air leaks.

If you have an older home consider adding insulation. Only 20% of homes built before 1980 are well insulated.

Heating and Cooling Tips

  • Keep thermostats only as low/high as is comfortable for the season.
  • Replace filters often.
  • Keep air registers clear and clean. Make sure they are not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
  • Turn off kitchen, bath and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes.
  • Keep draperies and shades on south-facing windows open/closed to maintain constant temperature
  • Take shorter showers
  • Add weather seals under doors and insulating film to windows.

June 14, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

June in Wichita Kansas

We finally got the rains we needed in May. The roses are all blooming like mad. The house has been full of flowers and the gardens are beautiful this year. So far we’ve added seven new roses and the usual vegetables and herbs.

Ditto, my old dog, gave us quite a scare last month when he got sick. It looked for awhile like he might not recover, but, he did and is back to his hyper and mischievous self.

While May brought us the moisture we needed June is bringing with it a month of special holidays, events and occasions.

The entire month of June is Great Outdoors Month! A celebration of the beginning of Summer and outdoor activities.

June is also national rose month, one of our favorites and  fruit and vegetable month.

It’s a time for thinking about safety during National Safety Month and drive safe month.

Potty training awareness month is June as is national iced tea month. One does has something to do with the other.

June 1st is Stand for Children Day. And important day to remember that children are in need of love and care from all of society. It’s also Oscar the Grouches birthday.

The radio was patented on the 2nd in 1896 and the first spacewalk happened in 1985. We came a long way in that 89 years.

Also in 1896 Henry Ford made the first operational car on the 4th.

World environment day is on the 5th and D-Day follows on the 6th.

Frank Loyd Wright was born in 1867 on the 8th of June. Donald Duck the next day in 1934.

A special day for Kansas and the Wizard of OZ is June 10th, 1922, the day Judy Garland was born.

Race unity day falls on the 2nd Sunday in June, another important day to reflect on the fact that we are all equal and children of the same Earth.

Weed your garden day falls on the 16th, but actually happens just about every day.

Flag Day is the 14th.

Fly a kite day on the 16th commemorates Ben Franklin’s famous kite flight in 1752.

Eat your vegetables day is the 17th.

Bald Eagle day, our national symbol, is the 20th.

Although many hold Memorial day to be the first day of Summer the actual day is the 21st of June.

UFO day is the 24th.

The bicycle was patented on the 26th of June in 1819, the same day as Chocolate pudding day and in 1498 the toothbrush was invented. I wonder what they did for clean teeth before that?

Captain Kangaroo and Helen Kellers birthdays both fall on the 27th. Helen Keller in 1880. If you ever start to feel down or like you weren’t given a fair shake in life, think of Helen and all that she accomplished.

The Happy Birthday song was written in 1859 on the 27th, just in time for Helens birthday.

The last day of June is Meteor day and Supermans birthday.

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

Biking In Wichita, Get ready

It’s time to start thinking about getting your bicycle tuned up and ready for Spring.  I know just the place to go.

Heartland cycle and fitness company.

A quaint little bike shop off the brick street Mosely in Oldtown, Wichita Kansas.  The proprietor is really knowledgeable about bikes and has a good selection of parts and extras. It seems to be a busy place judging by all the bikes in for repairs and tune ups.

Kind of  reminds me of the bike repair shops in Denmark where biking is a way of life, the preferred and most used mode of transportation.

We ride a lot and push for more paths and bicycle  friendly  streets here in Wichita, as it is with the more progressive cities across America. These establishments encourage cycling therefore we like to support them.

You might be able to save a couple dollars at Wallmart, but it’s not worth it.  Shopping here and chatting with the owner is just fun, and if you need a tuneup this is the place to go. Some of the sporting good stores offer this but your likely to end up worse off than you were. Point is, trust your safety to the professionals.

February 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wichita Spending Spree

Or, Paying Off A Debt

Council Has Money For Rich Developers

Wichita Vice Mayor Jim Skelton said politicians have to make unpopular decisions that are in the best interest of the community (“Council unsure of incentives for hotel,” Feb.1 Eagle). I fail to see how giving money to rich developers was in the best interest of the community, when there are many areas of the city that have safety concerns and promises unfulfilled.

Taxpayer Owned

City Council members admit there are lots of places in the city where safety is a concern. But where do they begin?  Their pet project, WaterWalk. The $760,000 fee that is going to the developer would go a long way toward funding the Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County and sidewalks in the North East part of town.

Everyone interested in the WaterWalk project keeps saying that hotels and shops are desperately  needed downtown. If that were the case, developers would be clamoring over one another to build them. Instead, we have to bribe them with taxpayer money that should be used for the benefit of all the people, not just the select few-the few winners that the council chooses

.February 11, 2010 Wichita Eagle Opinion. Letters to the Editor


What's this gonna cost the taxpayer

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

Lucindas-Shopping Fun in Wichita

I thoroughly enjoy watching Lisel shop at Lucindas.

Seems everyone loves Lucindas and what’s not to love.
Whenever I want to go downtown I just ask her, “ya Wanna  go to Lucindas” and I’m in every time!.

It’s open late and fun to stroll through on the weekend evenings after taking in a movie or whatever else your doing in Old Town, Wichita Kansas.

There’s an array of things to buy, to many to list, from cute little knick knacks to designer clothing and shoes to completely useless but fun stuff.

The staff is nonexistence until you need something and then they seem to be right there. We like that  non hassle environment.

Lisel always says “lets go in and just look” but of course it never turns out that way, there’s to much cool stuff to turn a blind eye to.

I’m giving Lucindas a 4 out of a possible 5,  shy one star cause there’s not much there for me, but I’m sure Lisel would give them a 6.

February 7, 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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