Wichita, KS Real Estate News

By Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits
(Realty World Alliance)
New Wal Mart model coming to the Wichita, KS area! Wal-Mart's new Market stores are coming to our area in the next two years.   While there's a few others in Kansas, there are currently none of this style in the Wichita area.  The general principle is to focus on groceries, with some general merchandise.   The plan for now is for two specific locations - one at Central and Maize street, on the West side of Wichita.  This one will be interesting to see what happens, as that corner also holds a Dillons store and an Aldi's.   Just 2 miles to the north is a Wal-Mart Super Center and another Super-Dillons.   I'm just not sure this corner needed another grocery store. View Larger Map The other location is in the shopping center at Central and West street. I think this one will definitely be ...
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By Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits
(Realty World Alliance)
Selling Your Wichita KS Home when You Work From Home! Photo by Creative Commons License thru El Clinto at Flickr We understand - believe me!  Many real estate agents also work from home, so we definitely feel your pain! But just like us, there's some things you'll need to work on and keep in mind if you're selling your house while you work from home! Getting ready to sell: If your desk looks like mine, it's not the most productive looking picture (though I know where everything is, really!).  So now's a great time to clean off that desk, box up those old outdated files, clear off the bulletin board, put more things in drawers and less on the desktop, move extraneous furniture out and make the room look as big and uncluttered as possible.   Yes, it will be annoying for a while, but hope...
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By Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits
(Realty World Alliance)
The Terror of Termites One of the things we'll discuss when you get ready to buy or sell a home in the Wichita, KS area is the wood-eating insect inspection.  While commonly referred to as the termite inspection, the pest control specialist will actually check for all sorts of insects that could eat the wood of your home, including carpenter ants, carpenter beetles, termites, carpenter bees, etc.   The most commonly found buggy of importance in our area would be the termite, however, so that's what we'll focus on for today's discussion!  The reason the termite inspection is so important is illustrated in the photo shown.  They eat the wood of your home, including your framing, floors, window frames, etc. They can cause everything from asthetic damage to structural.  So best to catch th...
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By Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits
(Realty World Alliance)
Freon Phaseout - What you should know! Most folks aren't aware, and hey I wasn't really either until recently, but part of the Clean Air Act of 1990and Montreal Protocol of 1996 addresses the eventual phase-out of HFCF-22 or R-22, also commonly called freon. Sound familiar?  Yeah, that freon, the stuff that runs our cooling systems and keeps us from going bananas in these hot Kansas days!  Before you lose your cool (ha ha!), they are obviously replacing Freon with something else - called R410A, which goes under trade names such as Puron, Forane 410A, Genetron AZ-20, and so on.  This is supposed to have a less harmful impact on our environment. The schedule outlined in the Act, calls for manufacturers to : "only produce or import HCFC-22 to service existing equipment. Virgin R-22 may no...
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By Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits
(Realty World Alliance)
Here it is! The 2010 Spring Parade of Homes! Brought to you by the Wichita Area Builder's Association, this Parade is meant to highlight the abilities, craftmanship, and styles of our Wichita, KS area builders! What is it: An Open Tour of newly built homes as the builders compete for awards in various categories.  Most of the homes are also for sale or available to be built.  It's a great time to check out what various builders offer all in one day, or just to get out and see what's happening in the world of home-building.  Are those corner tubs still in?  What wood-work colors are happening this year?  The 182 homes are priced anywhere from $100,000 to over $1,000,000 so there's something to suit any range! Where:  All over around Wichita, KS metro area!  182 homes are in this year's ...
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By Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits
(Realty World Alliance)
Rain, Rain is Here to Stay - Things to check your home for as Rain season sets in for Wichita, KS! It's raining it's pouring, your gutters are roaring!   It's that time of year again, when the snow and ice turn into a constant deluge in series after series of thunderstorms, rain showers, and tornado threats!  This year is predicted to be more active than normal, so it's even more vitally important to make sure your home is ready to handle nature's fury! Here's a quick list of 8 things you should check or do to prepare for our "April Showers"! Clean out the gutters and check all downspouts/splash-blocks!   Remove any debris that will clog up your gutters and cause the water to overflow, damaging your trim and siding! Secure your downspouts - they're responsible for directing the water o...
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By Laurie Engle, "At Home in Austin"
(Realty Austin)
                    Mortgage Interest Rates have dipped below 5%! The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 4.97 percent this week, down from 5.05 percent a week earlier, according to Freddie Mac.    Now is a great time to Buy a home for sale in Wichita!   Just a 1% difference in interest rates on a $100,000 loan can make a HUGE difference in your monthly payment. For example: Loan Amount of $100,000Interest Rate of 6%Payment amount=$599.55 (principal and interest only) vs. Loan Amount of $100,000Interest Rate of 5%Payment amount=$536.82 (principal and interest only) Thats a Savings of $62.73 a month in your payment.   Buying a home now with great low rates, a Buyers Market with lots of bargains and Tax Credits is a Smart Move! Don't delay-these rates will go up.  Take advan...
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By Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits
(Realty World Alliance)
Facebook Friends Could be Your Foe when Buying or Selling! Everyone loves Facebook, right?  Chat with friends, see what they're up to, how many kids they've got now, hunt down old boyfriends, etc.  And it seems like harmless fun and chitchat most of the time.    But recently I had an experience that really taught me how Facebook could impact you when you try to sell your home and just how sneaky some agents are getting out there! My seller belongs to a Mom's Group, where she emailed out to everyone that her house was for sale.  Good deal, more exposure!  One of the Mom's in the group apparently is an agent and friended my Seller on Facebook under the guise of the Group, then sending her a message about showing her house and other info.   I have a great seller (she used to be an agent h...
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By Laurie Engle, "At Home in Austin"
(Realty Austin)
Quit Paying Rent-Homes for Sale In Wichita at Bargain Prices!!! Now is the time to take advantage of a Buyers Market! I specialize in helping renters finally stop flushing their money down the drain.   Stop making your landlord rich at your expense and buy a great home of your own right now. Think about it...a home of your own.  Finally, a yard for the kids to play in.   A garage for your car.  No more noisy neighbors.  Lots of room for storage.  Nice schools.  Privacy.  Build equity and increase your net worth-automatically!  And a place to call your own. This is a great time to buy.  Interest rates are at record lows-tax credits are available, up to $8000!   There are lots of homes to choose from.  This all means YOU get more for your money-thousands more. You don't need a big downpay...
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By Laurie Engle, "At Home in Austin"
(Realty Austin)
Wichita Homes for Sale-How to market your home in a slow market... In today's tough Wichita Real Estate Market you need a way to get the word out about your Wichita Home for Sale. In fact, in existing home sales decreased 37.0% between December and January according to the South Central Kansas MLS. The reality of the Wichita Real Estate market is that your home has to stand out in order to get Sold. Wichita Home Sellers may be feeling really frustrated right now because their homes are sitting on the market a longer period of time. Marketing your Wichita Home for Sale where the Buyers actually are is the key. On-line marketing is a must in todays Wichita market-Buyers are searching for homes on-line in record numbers. As a Realtor, one way I market my Wichita homes is to create a richly...
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By Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits
(Realty World Alliance)
Earnest Money?  What is that? I love working with first-time homebuyers and often there's things that us agents take for granted that they really just have never had to deal with before!  That's okay!  That's part of our job - to educate and inform!   This past weekend, I had a lovely first-time couple who was getting geared up for an offer, when we went over the earnest money requirements and it was the first time they'd been told of this. So I feel an explanation is in order, for all my first time buyers! Earnest Money is: what secures the contract.  These funds are "held hostage" if you will, at the escrow account, to ensure that you will do your best to fulfill the terms of the contract. in the form of a personal check, most times, but can also be money order or cashier's check.  M...
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By Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits
(Realty World Alliance)
Pre-Listing Inspection?  What's the Point? Occasionally I get asked about pre-listing inspections, and I've been recommending them more and more lately.   A pre-listing inspection is in fact a home inspection done by the seller prior to listing their home.   Now why would you inspect your house before you have a buyer?  That I have many good answers for! 1. If there's a large problem with the home that you were unaware of, you can then decide whether you can price accordingly or whether you might be able to move at all.  Much better to find this out now than when you're in the middle of selling with a buyer on the hook and possibly involved in your next property as well. I have had a buyer inspection discover something so severe that there was no way the seller could fix the home and s...
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Rental Property Cash Flow Increased - Providing Transitional Housing Gaining in Popularity. Wichita, KS Converting a conventional rental into transitional housing can be fast and easy. We have created a method that keeps conversion costs to a minimum. Most multi-family and many single family residences (SFR’s) can be transformed into a much more profitable venture. One important point is to make sure you check with your local zoning authority first. You will want to find out how many un-related individuals are permitted per unit, within your property’s particular zoning district. Why check out at this option? Profit is the answer. $450 a month for a private room, $750 a month for a semi-private room adds up quickly. How many bedrooms does your rental have? How many are at least 144 sq. ...
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Income property can have very stable, respectful and reliable tenants. Wichita, KS Yes, that’s correct! It all depends on product, location and good tenant screening. If you don’t have all three, your vacancy rate will be too high. Let’s discuss product first. We recommend to our students that they furnish their properties with clean serviceable items, new linens and art work on the walls. What you are creating is an environment that is very agreeable to the tenant, one that not only the tenant will look forward to coming home to, but also one, through pictures on flyers, web sites and word of mouth, will draw new inquires. We are all for building and keeping a pipeline. Many furnished rooms for rent are not clean and contain aged, thread bear chairs, sofas, and soiled mattresses. Would...
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By Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits
(Realty World Alliance)
Kansas Loves Basements!  The Different Types of Basements in the Wichita, KS Home Market! We love our Basements here!  Why?  Well, between storms/tornado threats, the fact of the matter is that it's a cheaper way to get more square footage than to build all of that on one level.  We often finish our basements out here with extra bedrooms, bathrooms, family rooms, game rooms and more!   But did you know that there's more than just 1 kind of basement? When looking at homes for sale in Wichita, KS, it's handy to know what they are referring to as far as the basement goes.  Here are the most common ones you'll see around our area: Cellar Basements - These you'll see in the really older homes, they're not really finishable, but are handy for storms and some storage (For things you don't min...
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By Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits
(Realty World Alliance)
Buying a Home?  Don't trust just any website! There's a reason your agent recommends you look at certain websites for your home-shopping.   And it's not just because we want to make sure you stick with us!  A lot of websites pull straight from our MLS sytem - the database that maintains the status of all listed homes for our region.  That's a good thing, as it means their data is as accurate as the MLS's.   This is called IDX, which you might see mentioned somewhere on that website.   These are the best kinds of sites to search for homes. There are still variables such as how often the IDX updates the site.  Mine pulls live searches everytime, so is effectively 'real time', where some may update at midnight, or twice a day, etc.  They're still better repositories because it is the most...
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Don’t let your rental property become a charity shelter. Wichita, KS I just read a blog by Donna in NM, who has had the most awful experience with a Section 8 tenant. She wrote that she did not have Section 8 housing experience and her tenant had 10 years of experience scamming the system. No rent was collected and now she has a squatter and is unsure how to correct the problem. More than a few good remedies were written in reply to her questions and I don’t want to repeat her alternatives here. I can not picture that this is an remote case. Probably not your specific circumstances, but even so, many real estate investors, who are holding rental property are making costly mistakes. Depressed real estate prices and the abundance of very good opportunities on distressed properties are att...
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By Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits
(Realty World Alliance)
Do You Really Want to Sell? Then Let Us Show! I've sold my own home a few times, so I know how trying and hard it is to clean house and dart out for showing after showing.  It's inconvenient, it's no fun, and it's sometimes annoying and invasive.  However, if the buyers never get inside the front door, they will not be buying your house! The best thing possible for your home is to be very very open and flexible for showing arrangements.  Yes, sometimes things will come up.  And sometimes those buyers only give you half hour notice!  It's annoying, it's hard, but you have to do it! The harder your house is to show, the less it will be shown.  Statistics from the Showing centers have proved a link between MUST Confirm appointments, restricted appointments, and longer days on market times...
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Wichita, KS ranks as one of the nation's affordable housing areas! The Frontier Centre for Public Policy put out its 6th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey and also expanded its reach to cover the US, Canada, Australia, the UK and New Zealand. Note the chart to the right, which indicates whether a market is Unaffordable or if the area is Affordable! They calculate this by calculating the “Median Multiple” (median house price divided by gross annual median household income) to rate whether housing is affordable.  An Affordable housing area is one where the median house price is 3 times (or less) than the median household income in the area.  Wichita, KS ranked in at an affordable 2.4 on their scale - our median house prices are roughly 2.4 times the median hou...
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By Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits
(Realty World Alliance)
Whenever I have a wonderful experience, I like to pass the word around so others can avail themselves of a good thing!  So today I'd like to pass around a good word about the : Westlink Avenue Hair Studio I had visited this place years ago, when it first opened, but hadn't been there for a few years for some weird reason.  Partly because I'd forgotten about it!  However, I recently found myself duly in need of a good competent imaginative stylist - STAT!  I had visited a styling school and the result - while a decent cut overall - was horrendous looking on me (the model copied from was a 20 yr old teeny weeny rocker chick with blonde hair - she looked stunning!).   Afraid to go out in public, I racked my brain to think if I knew anyone who could possibly salvage my poor head with what ...
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