What Appraisers Look at during a Real Estate Appraisal

Wow! I discovered this fantastic article by Bill Gasset detailing what an Appraiser is looking at during an appraisal. It including things the buyer can do to help them get the top value from the real estate appraisal.  It is stocked full of such great information that I had to share.

If you are in the Kansas City Real Estate Market, call or email me for a free home valuation. It’s a great place to start when determining the value of your property.

Real Estate Appraisl Documents



Preparing for a National Disaster

No one likes to talk about natural disasters, but it’s important to ensure you have taken the proper steps to protect your home in the unlikely event of a natural disaster. It is essential that you check your insurance coverage to make sure you are properly covered before a disaster strikes. Ask you local real estate agent for a great referral. Here in the Kansas City area, we have great insurance agents that we work with and I’m happy to provide a personal referral.


Benefits of Downsizing your Home

white homeAs the market is recovering we are seeing nationwide the trend toward downsizing…or the term we prefer…”right sizing.”

Some areas in the US are having a micro-dwelling…new concept for homes that are being built throughout the US.  The most common factor is the size…some homes tend to be less than 500 square feet of living space. And some areas near San Francisco and New York are planning some apartments as small as 300 square feet.

Check out this fun article on tiny houses and why they cost so much.


Not sure we Midwesterners could do this but very interesting!

Some of the tiny single-family homes are even portable…hmmm.

Reasons for this shift were given as:

A lower Price tag…cost is significantly less than the standard home which means no large mortgage for 30 years.

More free time…smaller house, less cleaning and wouldn’t that be nice.

Less clutter… if only 500 square feet you will need to get rid of everything (not sure I am there yet, still like my stuff).

Mobility…many tiny homes can have wheels put on or put on trailer, so moving is no longer stressful and expensive…Close the door and go!

Smaller is greener…yes with the energy consumption concern today you automatically reduce energy and you will save money and leave a smaller carbon footprint

If you are ready to find out what the Kansas City Real Estate Market has to offer in smaller homes please give me a call!

5 Tips To Reclaim your Garage Quickly!

I don’t know about you, but our garage seems to be the dumping ground for everything we don’t know what do to with. Old furniture, tools, kid’s bikes, play equipment and odds and ends have taken over.  It can quickly become overwhelming and it’s easier to park outside and ignore the mess. If you are ready to reclaim your garage, here are 5 great tips to get you started.

1.    Think about how you currently use your garage and decide how you’d prefer to use the space. Maybe you use it for storage but you’d like to do woodworking or other projects there.


Garage Pegboard

DIY Garage Pegboard

2.    Make a list of the types of stuff in your garage (sports and camping gear, gardening supplies, etc.) Now make a list of what you’d like to keep in there after it’s been organized.

3.    Set a deadline for getting the job done. Perhaps tie it to an event so you’ll have a better shot at achieving your goal.

Via Curbly.com

Garage Mudroom ideas

Garage Mudroom Ideas

4.    Assemble trash bags and/or containers, protective gloves, storage boxes, marking pens, and storing bins.

5.    Designate areas for “keep” and “don’t keep”. You can even subdivide this into “trash”, “give away,” and “sell.” Plow forward systematically instead of jumping around from pile to pile.

Top 10 Home Improvement for Return on Investment

As a Realtor here in Kansas City, one of the most asked questions I hear is whether or not a particular home improvement will increase the value of their property. Many home improvements or remodel jobs will make a property more enjoyable or possibly sell faster than the house down the street, but most do not have a 100% return on investment (ROI).  I always recommend having a real estate agent that is familiar with your neighborhood and market do a home evaluation before you start any major projects.  They will help you identify what will help increase the value of your home vs. what will make your home more enjoyable.

Hand Holding Hammer in front of House 

According to Remodeling Magazine and HGTV Online you’re less likely to recoup your investment in a major kitchen or bathroom remodel than you are to get back what you spend on basic home maintenance. Siding replacement recouped 92.8 percent of its cost, according to the study. The only home improvement likely to return more at resale was a minor (roughly $15,000) kitchen remodel, which returned 92.9 percent. Replacing roofs and windows were also high on the list, returning 80 percent or more at resale.

“Buyers want to take the basic systems for granted,” says Sal Alfano, Remodeling’s editorial director. “They assume the roof doesn’t leak and the air conditioning and plumbing work. Maintenance can chew up a lot of cash quickly, and people are afraid of that.”

Interestingly, a new steel front door brings in the greatest ROI proving that often it is the smaller improvements that bring the greatest value.

Front Door

That’s not to say that granite counters and steam showers don’t pay off; kitchen and bathroom remodels continue to be two of the best investments you can make in your house. “They’re always right up there at the top of the list,” says Alfano. “They’re the big, sexy rooms that new home builders splurge on, so when buyers are shopping around that’s what they want in an existing home, too.”

If you’re thinking about sinking some money into home improvement projects this year, keep a few things in mind. What you’ll get back on your investment depends on the value of your house, the value of houses in your immediate neighborhood, the housing market where you live, how soon you sell after making improvements, and the quality of the project itself. Installing a $10,000 stove in a $200,000 house, for example, “just doesn’t compute,” says Ron Phipps. Nor does it make sense to update your kitchen if your house is the only house in the neighborhood with just one bathroom.

Your region of the country matters as well. Holding onto their positions as the top two regions for recouping remodeling costs were the Pacific (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington), with an 88 percent cost-value ratio, and West South Central (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas), with a 76.4 percent cost-value ratio.

The award for most improved region could go to New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont), which moved from sixth to third this year with an overall cost-value ratio of 74.6 percent.

The two regions that held lower cost-value ratios than the national average were the Middle Atlantic (New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) and West North Central (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota), with cost-value ratios of 63.2 percent and 57.3 percent, respectively.

If you are in the Kansas City area, please call or email anytime to schedule your personal real estate home evaluation.  816-777-3111 or sandi@homeinkc.com.

Blank Whiteboard

According the ReatlorMag.com 2013-14 Cost vs. Value Report the top projects are:

Top 10 Midrange Projects

1. Entry Door Replacement (steel)
Job Cost: $1,162
Resale Value: $1,122
Cost Recouped: 96.6%

2. Deck Addition (wood)
Job Cost: $9,539
Resale Value: $8,334
Cost Recouped: 87.4%

3. Attic Bedroom
Job Cost: $49,438
Resale Value: $41,656
Cost Recouped: 84.3%

4. Garage Door Replacement
Job Cost: $1,534
Resale Value: $1,283
Cost Recouped: 83.7%

5. Minor Kitchen Remodel
Job Cost: $18,856
Resale Value: $15,585
Cost Recouped: 82.7%

6. Window Replacement (wood)
Job Cost: $10,926
Resale Value: $8,662
Cost Recouped: 79.3%

7. Window Replacement (vinyl)
Job Cost: $9,978
Resale Value: $7,857
Cost Recouped: 78.7%

8. Siding Replacement (vinyl)
Job Cost: $11,475
Resale Value: $8,975
Cost Recouped: 78.2%

9. Basement Remodel
Job Cost: $62,834
Resale Value: $48,777
Cost Recouped: 77.6%

10. Deck Addition (composite)
Job Cost: $15,437
Resale Value: $11,476
Cost Recouped: 74.3%

Top 10 Upscale Projects

1. Siding Replacement (fiber-cement)
Job Cost: $13,378
Resale Value: $11,645
Cost Recouped: 87.0%

2. Garage Door Replacement
Job Cost: $2,791
Resale Value: $2,315
Cost Recouped: 82.9%

3. Siding Replacement (foam-backed vinyl)
Job Cost: $14,236
Resale Value: $11,124
Cost Recouped: 78.1%

4. Window Replacement (vinyl)
Job Cost: $13,385
Resale Value: $10,252
Cost Recouped: 76.6%

5. Window Replacement (wood)
Job Cost: $16,798
Resale Value: $12,438
Cost Recouped: 74.0%

6. Grand Entrance (fiberglass)
Job Cost: $7,305
Resale Value: $5,163
Cost Recouped: 70.7%

7. Deck Addition (composite)
Job Cost: $35,158
Resale Value: $22,881
Cost Recouped: 65.1%

8. (tie) Bathroom Remodel
Job Cost: $51,374
Resale Value: $32,660
Cost Recouped: 63.6%

(tie) Major Kitchen Remodel
Job Cost: $109,935
Resale Value: $69,973
Cost Recouped: 63.6%

9. Roofing Replacement
Job Cost: $34,495
Resale Value: $21,731
Cost Recouped: 63.0%

10. Bathroom Addition
Job Cost: $72,538
Resale Value: $43,936
Cost Recouped: 60.6%