Wichita, KS Real Estate News

By Melissa Schnieders
(Melissa Schnieders Photography)
Behind the scenes, much happens to ensure you get to the closing table on time.  As soon as a contract is completely signed off by all parties, we order title work. (I should note that I don't like last minute surprises at the closing table and I'll do whatever I can to avoid delays.)This month, we've had 3 different issues revealed on the title work.(1) Unpaid child support.  We have a seller who has 100% custody of his child, yet the title work showed unpaid child support would need to be current or an affidavit stating that there was no longer a court order for support. This was an easy fix as the seller had the correct documentation and was able to get it to the title clerk far in advance of his closing to avoid a delay.(2) Mysterious 3rd seller appears on title work.  I represent t...
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By Melissa Schnieders
(Melissa Schnieders Photography)
Friday night while attending a Scrapbooking party, my friend introduced me to Uppercase Living.  It's a company that has hundreds of sayings in a variety of sizes and colors that can be applied to flat surfaces like walls, tiles, old windows, picutre frames, laptops and even I-pods.If you read my earlier post, you know I love collecting quotes.I found several quotes that are inspirational and would be wonderful in an office like:Life is a journey, and only you hold the map.Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.Finding a company that can custom make me any quote I want, in a variety of colors, fonts and sizes was incredible!  I spent several hours browsing the ...
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By Melissa Schnieders
(Melissa Schnieders Photography)
Plan on joining us for WoofStock 2007 on Saturday October 6th This is a great fund raiser for our Humane Society and Oh! What fun for dogs! Last year, over 10,000 people and 4,000 pooches attended the event and participated in events like:Best costumeBest Look Alikes Talent ShowShoppingSplash in the pup poolsAnd so much more!It's not necessary to have a dog to attend.  Our chocolate Lab is well behaved around people and pets so we take him. However, our brindle lab is a doozy!  She whines constantly on a leash and tends to want to control anything smaller than her.  Plan on paying a $3 donation to get in and of course take extra $$ for shopping. There are so many wonderful pet themed vendors and our favorite booth was the Doggie Bakery. Max sampled several different goodies.With your he...
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By Melissa Schnieders
(Melissa Schnieders Photography)
Quotes - I love, love LOVE quotes! I collect them. I save them. I print them on pretty paper and frame them. I make them into mini-books. I litter my scrapbooks with them. I use them in conversation and teachable moments.  I don't know why, but I do. Tonight, I'm preparing for a talk I'm to give next month at our regional fall meeting. I had this great motivational quote running through my head, but I wasn't sure of the exact wording or even who it was attributed to.  I went quote hunting online and found several sites that were helpful.One site in particular has an amazing search feature - you can search by topic, by keywords, by author's name, by type of author and so many other ways. Just about any type of quote you can think of, they have.Here's one of my all time favorite quotes: I...
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By Greg Fox, Techy Broker in Wichita Kansas
(Realty World Wichita)
Distinctive Properties your browser not compatible Get your own TruliaMap This is really a Cool Tool.  Type in your home page, and Trulia pulls your listings for you, and maps them.  Gives you an HTML link that you can put anywhere.  3 sizes, or customize your own size.  This is SO COOL!!!Free of course. Guess it would help if I told you where to get it from http://www.trulia.com/truliamap/
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By Greg Fox, Techy Broker in Wichita Kansas
(Realty World Wichita)
I feel for all of you around the country in poor markets.  I welcome all of you who are moving to Wichita Kansas, welcome to Midwest stability.Our 12 month rolling average shows the market to be down almost 3%, but home values are up almost 5%.  For the last 2 years our home values have risen 9%!Our average price home 2 years ago was around $115,000, we're now up to $126,000.  Average days on market last year was 62 days, this year it's 63 days.  I guess you could say we've suffered a little with the rest of the country, but very little.We didn't make big bucks while some parts of the US was on the roller coaster.  We just keep rolling along at a very stable rate.So what can you buy in Wichita (metro area) Kansas?  For the upper end, $350,000 (yes, upper end) can get you a 1.5 story hom...
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By Melissa Schnieders
(Melissa Schnieders Photography)
This morning, while showing houses, another agent complimented me on always having the maximum number of photos allowed per listing in MLS.  I just laughed and said, "Thanks".He went on to say that he's a commercial agent who's been looking for a home for his daughter and son-in-law.  He looked at many MLS listings that don't have photos... even though our MLS will go out and take a front photo and upload it for free!  All an agent needs to do is click a box when entering the listing.So, when hiring an agent, beyond all the typical questions, here are a few more that may matter to you:1) If you list my home, who will photograph it?2) What type of camera will be used?  (Wide angle lens is better - no camera phones, please!!)3) Can you provide me with examples of other homes you have pho...
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By Greg Fox, Techy Broker in Wichita Kansas
(Realty World Wichita)
Schools:  Newsweek ranks the top High Schools in the US every year.  4 made the listin Kansas.  3 are in the Kansas City area.  Wichita has the fourth school.  Ranked at # 527 is East High school, old established school in the middle of Wichita, and home of the International Baccalaureate program.  Tests showed more students preparing for College, and taking the exams than any other school in the area. Next, according to the ERC (association for Workforce mobility) Wichita was named as the #2 Best medium sized city to raise a family in.  Nice to hear, good school, good for families.  But the ERC found another thing.  Wichita is 51st out of 100 overall cities for Single People to relocate to.  As you can imagine, good for singles and families is a tough balancing act.  We seem to do it w...
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By Greg Fox, Techy Broker in Wichita Kansas
(Realty World Wichita)
The River Festival ends tonight.  For those who haven't heard of it, the Grand Finale is GREAT.  The Wichita Symphony plays for an hour or better.  Patty Austin is paying tribute to Ella Fitzgerald this year. Every year the show  ends with the 1812 Oveture.  The finish of that piece has Cannons from Fort Riley shooting off at the end.  It's fantastic.Then:  Fireworks over the Arkansas (the river above).  All of this is outdoors, and also simulcast on Radio.  We've been blesses with one of the Greates Firework companies in the world call Wichita their home.  Fireworks are alwas set to musice, and last 10 - 20 minutes.  You don't have to go downtown (although it's always better), you can see this show from  nearly anywhere in the city.  If you miss this year, you can see it next year!!!
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By Wayne Short
(The Wichita Home Team with KW Signature Partners)
Wichita MLS statistics for January 1, 2007 to March 31, 2007The number of residential sales in the 1st three months is down 7% from the same period in 2006 and up 10% from the same period in 2005.  The colder weather experienced this winter probably contributed to this decline along with some national media information on National real estate markets.The number of new Residential listings also declined 7% during this period and the total number of existing homes for sale on the market was 7.5% below the inventory for March 31, 2006.New home sales for the same period were down 3.4% from 2006 but up 5% from the same period in 2005.There were 3,649 new listings in the 1st 3 months of 2007 and 2044 sales.  The average price was $108,800.  Avg. days on the market for the entire MLS were 68 a...
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By Greg Fox, Techy Broker in Wichita Kansas
(Realty World Wichita)
We're rolling now.  The weekends events were good (concerts esp.), and the weather looks good for tomorrow.  I'm posting a link to the Page with tomorrow's events, http://www.wichitariverfestival.com/events4.cfm.  But I want to comment on a couple of things. The Bob Strubble Memorial Golf Tournament was named after a long time, very respected Realtor in the Wichita Kansas area.  It's nice to see one of our own remembered each year.2 events downtown for music lovers, and both free with your button.  Gospel, and Opera.  AND (if the river flow is down), golfers can chip a ball from the bank of the river into a floating cup!  Can win a million dollars.  Good Luck!!!
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By Greg Fox, Techy Broker in Wichita Kansas
(Realty World Wichita)
Wichita, also known as the Air Capital of the World, is the largest city in the state of Kansas.  Kansas City as a whole is larger, but it is split between 2 states.  Wichita is a major aircraftt manufacturing hub (the city is home to six major aircraft manufacturing companies) and cultural center as well.  In July of 2006, CNN/Money and Money magazine ranked Wichita ninth on its list of the 10 best big cities to live in the United States. The city is home to six major aircraft manufacturing companies.  The 51st largest city in the US, we have a Population of around 360K, but the Metro area takes us up to almost 600K.While housing here is very affordable compared to most of the country, so is land.  Most small lots start in the 65-70' wide by 120-130' deep range.  Many mid priced houses...
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By Greg Fox, Techy Broker in Wichita Kansas
(Realty World Wichita)
Our 26th Annual River Festival begins May 11th, and ends on the 19th.  The week long event is visited by almost 400,000 over 9 days, including about 150 hours of music by over 100 bands.  This year Chris Daughtry, The Guess Who, Steppenwolf and the Little River band will perform.  The premier events include the Sundowner Parade, and the Twilight Pops concert followed by a music/fireworks display.  For full Details visit http://www.wichitariverfestival.com/index.cfm or visit http://www.wichitafestivals.com/ for pics of previous years.
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By Greg Fox, Techy Broker in Wichita Kansas
(Realty World Wichita)
About a month ago, I read that Wichita Kansas had the second most protected Housing Market in the midwest, and in the top 20 nation wide.  By protected, I mean we won't be having a big loss of value here like those being experienced elsewhere.  What an impression that made.  I was in Orlando last week, and heard a radio ad announcing $150,000 incentives to buy a new home.  In Wichita, $150,000 new home will get you 1400 sq ft, 3 car garage, full unfinished view out basement, on a 75 x 120 lot.  They were offering INCENTIVES of more than our low to low-mid home.  Holy Shmokes!!! I know builders here who wish they could clear 5% on some homes, a really good one might make 8%.  How do you offer $150,000?On the other hand, our prices never really escalated either.  While people were making ...
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By Greg Fox, Techy Broker in Wichita Kansas
(Realty World Wichita)
Radon, here? You bet. We're in Zone 2 (1 being the worst, 3 being the least), with Kingman County being the closest Zone 3. With inspectors scaring our buyers and sellers to death (or testing anyway) I thought some government facts would be helpful (http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html)How Dangerous is Radon?Best way to test?What's the fix?Aproximateley 21,000 people will die from Radon caused Lung cancer this year in the United States, compare that with 17,400 people killed by drunk drivers. Ok, but what is the risk at EPA Levels? Levels above 4pCi/L is where the EPA gets concerned*Lifetime risk of lung cancer deaths from EPA Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes (EPA 402-R-03-003)Odds are pretty good if you don't smoke. But no reason to expose ourselves if we don't have to.Ho...
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By Melissa Schnieders
(Melissa Schnieders Photography)
If you have a child age 10 - 17 on or before June 10, 2007, they would be eligible to play Junior Golf through the Wichita Parks Department Junior Golf Program.The sessions are for 2 hours once a week for 8 weeks during the summer. Beginners are at 2 courses. Returning golfers have 5 additional courses to choose from. Sign up is May 7th at the 7 golf courses. Call ahead to verify times. Download the application and medical release form from the left side of the main website. Here's a link to the golf courses that are participating. Plan to arrive early as these spots go very quickly!Echo Hills is also offering Junior Golf. Check out their site for additional information and registration dates. 
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By Melissa Schnieders
(Melissa Schnieders Photography)
This is Friends University located at 2100 W University.  Founded in 1898 offering a liberal arts education to both traditional and non-traditional students.  Named as one of the Best Colleges in the Midwest by The Princeton Review. The clock tower is a familar landmark as you traverse east or west on Hwy 54.I personally enjoy the immaculate landscaping.  No matter what the season, the grounds are well maintained.
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By Melissa Schnieders
(Melissa Schnieders Photography)
In Sedgick County, almost 70% of homes will see an increase in their property values.  The median increase is 6%, but I've heard from some clients of increases as much as 19%. The property valuation is used to determine how much taxes are paid to the city, school district and also the county. Notices were sent the first week of March and homeowners have until April 1st to file an appeal.  Informal hearings will begin March 20th.Here's the question ~ Is your property tax value too high?  Or too low?  How do you know?One way to find out is to check the value of other homes in your neighborhood. You can visit the City Of Wichita's website and do a search of property values of other similar homes. https://ssc.sedgwickcounty.org/taxwebapp/realproperty.aspxAnother way is to have your real est...
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By Melissa Schnieders
(Melissa Schnieders Photography)
In Comparing the Wichita Area Market in January 2006 to January 2007:Total sales of existing and new residential homes rose 3%.  Total listings of existing homes were down 2.5%. Total available inventory of existing homes were down 7%.  Total available inventory of new homes rose 3% .    Existing Homes ~ Average sales price in 2006 was $112,000 ~ in 2007 was $108,000.   In January 2007 ~ 850 existing homes were listed and 555 went under contract.  Average days on the market were 70 Average selling price at 96.9% of last listed price.  West Wichita DOM were 42 compared to 73 DOM for Northeast Wichita.  The Derby area and Southeast Sedgwick County was 93 days. There were 168 new homes added to the market and 112 went under contract.  Average selling price was $194,690 with an equal # sell...
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By Candace Kunkel
(RE/MAX On The Move)
Pet PeevesYour family pet may be a show dog, but that doesn't mean prospective homebuyers will be happy to see him when they look at your house. Even though Fido might be a bona fide family member, the  fact is some people simply don't like dogs or other animals. They might be allergic to animals or maybe they are afraid of animals that are especially large, loud or jumpy.    One solution is to crate your pet during the open house. It is best if they're not home. A pet - even a cat - can be a distraction, and you want to eliminate any distractions when you're trying to sell your house. You don't want a cat rubbing up against someone and leaving them feeling unsettled.            Sellers need to remember the non-visual distractions as well: Don't forget to clean up the pet's toys, wash h...
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