Monday, January 29, 2007

Kansas City Area Economic News from Carol Poppe

Here's Economic News for this week from Carol Poppe, VP of Residential Lending

REAL ESTATE: As is no surprise, new home sales plunged 17.3% in 2006, the biggest drop in 16 years. The median home price for December was still below the year-earlier price reading, another sign of weakness in the market. However, since the median home price hasn’t changed from a year earlier, some prognosticators feel we have hit the bottom. This is why conforming limits are unchanged from the year before, $417,000. Major homebuilders around the country, like Pulte Homes, saw sharp declines in earnings in 2006 with the slump. What this means to you is it is still a buyer’s market.
BONDS: The Bond prices slipped after this report hinted at stabilization in the housing market. Also the stock market slumped with fears that this information would revive worries about higher interest rates from the Feds. Strong economic growth is good for corporate profits but if growth is too strong, it will cause the Feds to start raising rates again to curb inflation. The Federal Reserve has a policy meeting this week (Tues. & Weds) which at this point, is expected to keep the interest rate unchanged. Since the middle of last year, the focus of the markets has been whether the Fed will be tempted to lower rates to stimulate the economy and avoid a recession. This would have been good for the real estate market. However, now, it is thought that we will see a continued pause, encouraged by solid job growth reports, higher payrolls, and tumbling oil prices. Durable good orders climbed in December, higher than expected. These are items that are meant to last more than 3 years. Excluding defense and aircraft orders, non-defense capital goods orders jumped, following declines in the previous two months. Motor vehicle and parts orders posted the strongest gains/month since August, 2004.
RESULTS: What all this means is that interest rates continue to edge slowly up, rather than the anticipated decline. Since it appears we are not going to see a decline in the second mortgage rates for awhile, be sure your buyers who are needing 95-100% financing look at all options, not just 80/20’s. There are some great new options out there for 100% financing which will give a lower payment than 80/20’s.

Carol Poppe,
VP/Mortgage Lending
10740 Nall Avenue • Suite 210 • Overland Park, KS 66211 Office: 913.652.7302 • Fax: 913.649.3222

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Does Sharing a Drive-way Have to be Miserable?

Are the Neighbors Keeping Your Listing from Selling?
Are the neighbors keeping your listing from selling?
We were showing some clients today and one of the homes had a shared drive-way and shared garage.

The home was situated on a busy two lane street with no off street parking.
We arrived first because I wanted to have the lights on and the place looking inviting before my clients arrived.

We pulled up in the drive-way (which was icy) to the left of the proper side of the garage. We no sooner get out of the car and go inside than the neighbor comes out, opens the garage door and pulls her car out half way.

My clients arrived...they pull in front of the appropriate garage door...the neighbor comes out and yells something at them. I couldn't exactly hear it, but from the look on the prospective buyers face it wasn't nice. We moved our car so they could move their car closer.

Now why in the world would you be nasty in a situation like that? Would
you rather have a vacant house next to you?

I know it takes all kinds when it comes to real estate and Real Estate in Kansas City Missouri isn't any different.

While filling out the feedback online for the seller's agent I explained what happened and ended it with "good luck selling it with the attitude of that neighbor."

It doesn't take that much to be nice.... does it ?

Fran White, REALTOR® 2007 816-682-3897 for your Kansas City real estate needs

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Hope on Jackson County's Horizon

There's Hope on the Horizon for Property Taxes in Jackson County, Missouri
How are property taxes figured in your County? There's hope on Jackson County's horizon!
For about the last two years Jackson County, Missouri taxes have been climbing at an enormous rate due to a process called the C.O.V. (Certificate of Value).
When the Jackson County Executive seat was up for re-election, I wanted to make sure that we got someone in there that would do something about the Real Estate tax situation.
I took a look at all the candidates and Mike Sanders was concerned that high property taxes were making it difficult for middle class families to live in Jackson County. He confirmed when county had adopted a certificate of value standard to assess the market value of property, that approach made property taxes jump. He wants to reevaluate the COV approach. (My comment: It makes the property/real estate tax about 1 and 1/2% of the sales price)He stated: "I think we have to go back and evaluate what happened to cause this dramatic rise in property taxes," said Sanders. "If COVs was the way to go, was that process fair? Did we do this correctly?"
Yes, I voted for Mike Sanders.... after looking at all the candidates I felt he had integrity.
Today in the Kansas City Business Journal I read that Mike Sanders laid out a six-point plan. He said he wanted to study why county property taxes have climbed so sharply in the last two years. Of course this makes Kansas City less competitive in recruiting and retaining businesses, but Sanders also cares that people will be able to afford homes.
I'm glad I voted for Mike, perhaps he and I together can do our part to get more folks a home in Kansas City, MO .
Fran White, REALTOR 2007

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

To Grieve or Not to Grieve

To Grieve or Not to Grieve... That is the question
My broker is the chairperson on the grievance committee for the area Realtors association. He was discussing yesterday in sales meeting how the majority of the complaints brought to the committee involved procuring cause.
It really made me think of a transaction I had a year ago and again made me wonder why we do what we do?
I had a home listed and a realtor with another company called me for information on the home for a showing. She wasn't familiar with the area, so I proceeded to tell her all about it.
It was clear across town and my seller offered to turn on the lights in the house since she was in the immediate area (it was an evening showing)...
My seller went down to turn on the lights. Her grandchildren were with her and enjoyed running through the house and helping her flip on on the switches. After turning on the lights they went over to visit with her soon-to-be former neighbor across the street.
As sellers will do they were peeking out the window and saw three people arrive, a couple and then a gentleman.
About 30 minutes into when the showing was suppose to take place I receive an email from the agent showing. It said the buyers really liked it and she may have an offer for me tonight. I'm thinking, WOW, these people really move, they couldn't have been in the house more than 10 minutes MAX. So I called my seller at home to tell her we may have an offer this evening. Her husband said she wasn't at home that she was still at the house they had for sale. I asked if he would please have her call me when she arrived.
An hour and a half later she called and the conversation went something like this:
"I just got back, when I went back to the house to turn off the lights the people were still there with their agent, HE was really nice. We talked about the house and I answered a few questions they had. The couple seem to like it."
I said, "who is HE?" She replied with, "The gentleman that was with them, their agent."
I'm thinking what the heck is going on ? I told my client that a woman was suppose to show it and that I needed to call the agent who had the appointment and find out what is going on.
I called and she answered. I said, "There's something really weird going on here.... my seller went to turn off the lights and there was a gentleman showing the house to a couple, what happened?" She said, "Oh not to worry, my car started over heating on the way out there and I asked them to reschedule for another night but they were so excited..... and besides, the front door was unlocked."
While those grand kids were having fun running through the house flipping on the light switches, my seller went out one door, the grand kids went out another leaving the front door unlocked. Honest mistake.
So the couples went in and showed themselves the house, my seller arrived and told them all about the house and showing them things in the house and the buyers agent wasn't even there. The gentleman she thought was the buyers agent was the parent to one of them.
Call me weird, but if I walked up to an unlocked home, would I enter. NO WAY.
Could the buyers agent have called me and said I can't make it, would you mind showing them? WAY!
They made an offer, we negotiated a contract, it closed, the buyers agent got paid, she never saw the house.
Maybe I'm being petty...but this isn't the way I sell real estate in Kansas City, Missouri. I prefer to call myself ethical, professional and mindful of the way I do business.
Was it worth taking her to the grievance committee? Well I didn't think so... but let's check ourselves folks and the way we do business.
We should be working together to make the process smoother and helping one another.
What's your opinion of this situation?

Fran White, REALTOR, 2006

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Real Estate Blog - Sex Offender NABBED by concerned mother

Sex Offender NABBED by concerned mother
A few days ago Broker Bryant wrote
Prepare to be shocked. Read this!!!!! regarding the use of the website
I have subscribed to this site and get occasional emails from them with success stories.
If my Kansas City Real Estate clients raise this as a concern I recommend that they do a search on the site themselves, it's extremely user friendly and informational!
Below is the contents of an email I received from them today.

FamilyWatchdog.US used to bust registered offender who attempted to lure a child from his mother

FamilyWatchdog.US was recently used by a Florida mother to identify, locate and arrest a registered offender who attempted to lure her four-year-old son from a Florida park.

The mother, who remains unidentified citing privacy and security issues, told her son not to talk to strangers when an unknown man approached him while playing in Navarre Park in Santa Rosa County, Florida. The young boy later told his mother the man asked if he wanted to go home and play ball at the man's house. Growing concerned, she searched the area around Navarre Park for registered offenders using, the nation's leading offender registry resource. After viewing just one other registered offender, the woman found a picture of the man who just hours earlier approached her son in Navarre Park. According to the Santa

Fran White, REALTOR 2006 Kansas City Real Estate
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