Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Gladstone Residents: Open Up Your Check Books

In 2005 Gladstone voters approved a 39-cent property tax increase. That tax increase will begin showing up in your personal property tax bill this year.

The City Council has voted to set the city's 2008 tax levy at 93 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. So in other words if you buy a new car that cost $25,000 you are going to pay about 32.00 more in personal property taxes beginning this year.

This voter approved raise in taxes gave Gladstone leaders the authority to set the tax levy no higher than 93 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. Up until this year Gladstone council decided to stay at the existing tax rate of 54-cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

The reason for the decision to raise it is unexpected expenses which includes the May 2 tornado which cost the city more than $357,000 in payroll costs and repairs to city-owned facilities. In addition salt for road treatment went up $75,000 and fuel cost for city vehicles went up $71,000 over this past year.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

1008 NW 73rd Terr, Bradford Place, Kansas City - Clay County, Missouri $205,000

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Home Owners Warranties...Are they a good thing?

What about Homeowners Warranties? When negotiating a deal I suggest to my buyers to ask for a Home Owners Warranty from the sellers. It's sense of security for the buyers. In return I always suggest to my sellers to offer a homeowners warranty to buyers, again it creates a sense of security. But I also tell my buyers about a personal experience I'd had when purchasing a home with a homeowner's warranty. One of the first things I suggest they do when they get into their new home is call a good heating and air conditioning company and have them service the furnace and air conditioner. When my husband and I purchased our current home in 2002 we negotiated a homeowners warranty. It was a chilly April and one week after moving in the furnace motor went out. We called our Home Owners Warranty company (their name will go un-mentioned) and they sent out one of their contract service people. The service man went in, looked at the furnace and said it hadn't been maintained and that's why the motor went out. I was sure to tell him we'd only lived in the home a week, but that didn't matter he told me it wasn't covered because it hadn't been cleaned and maintained. Had I called for someone to service the furnace immediately upon moving in the furnace wouldn't have been filled with an accumulation of dust and dirt and would more than likely been covered. Do I feel homeowner's warranties are valuable? Yes, I do, but I always suggest to my buyers to have their heating and cooling maintenance done immediately upon moving in! Posted by: Fran White

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Kansas City Real Estate Phone Policy

Kansas City Real Estate Cell Phone Policy
Boy that sounded corporate didn't it? Well that wasn't my intention, I guess I just wanted to make sure you understand the importance I put on answering my cell phone.
Sometimes in Kansas City Real Estate moments matter! When I first got into this business and started thinking about my own policies and how I wanted to operate I thought about cell phones. Everyone has why does it seem that every time I call another agent I need to leave a message?
This is really a pet peeve of mine. Yes, voice mail is great, but I hate waiting for the call back after you've left a message.
I decided that my own personal policy would be to answer my cell phone 99.9% of the time and I do. (This is not a personal invitation for all of you to test this policy *smile*)
Another thought.... How do you answer your phone? I think it's only professional to answer your phone using your name so the caller immediately knows that he reached the correct person.
How are you answering your phone?
Fran White, REALTOR 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Seller's Disclosures: EXAMPLE of the Importance

Importance, again, of Seller's Disclosures
Last week I wrote about the importance of Seller's Disclosures.
This past weekend I had a prime example. I was showing Mr. And Mrs. Buyer a really nice patio/villa home with a lake view in the 340K range. There were no seller's disclosures in the home which I knew since this was our second showing. I called the listing agent for it at 9 AM and she faxed it to me after noon. When we received the seller's disclosure each page had been X'ed through and not completed. In addition there was an engineer report because there had been heaving in the basement floor, repairs made by the owner, and of course no warranty on them. These two documents managed to totally turn my buyers against the property even though they were ready to make an offer. Not to mention the agent calling me and telling me that she just got word that another agent was sending her an offer. I can't stress the importance of Seller's Disclosures! Granted the current owner (the builders of the community) bought the property back from the owner and did the repairs on the basement.... And still didn't update the Seller's Disclosure after doing the repairs. It literally killed the deal!
This showing was Sunday. Today (Tuesday) the listing agent calls me and says, "what happened to you, you fell off the face of the earth".... She continued with, "well we're hammering out the details of this offer I got from the other agent and........" I just told her that my clients were no longer interested and why they weren't. I said it in a really nice way...... but as we hung up I had to wonder..... was she shopping offers?
Here's a taste of a home for sale in Kansas City Mo area. And it has a Seller's Disclosure.
© Fran White, REALTOR 2006

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Seller's Disclosures in Kansas City MO

It seems lately I have seen a drastic amount of information missing on the sellers disclosure. When I say missing ... I mean left blank.
I don't know about you but when I am getting ready to show buyers the Sellers Disclosure is EXTREMELY important to me as a showing and selling tool.
In my neck of the woods, Kansas City MO, rarely do the buyers ever come in face to face contact with the sellers - so there's never an opportunity for the buyers to ask the sellers questions... so the sellers disclosure pretty much answer the basic major questions.
If I turn to the sellers disclosure and the age of the furnace or central air unit isn't filled in - my mind normally says "really old" especially if none of the rest of the house has been updated.
If there is information not complete, I really begin to wonder to wonder what else they don't want a prospective buyer to know. I guess it suits to say lacking information puts me on guard.
As a listing agent I go through the sellers disclosure with a fine toothcomb to make sure everything is completed.
I also make sure there are extra copies left in the home should the buyers agent not have one.
Another situation that I have come across ... if the sellers had a contract on the home and the sale fell apart during the renegotiation process after inspections - I always have the sellers update that sellers disclosure!
Take a look at this home for sale in Kansas City MO

©Fran White, REALTOR 2006


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Buyers Get Insurance During Inspection Period

Acquiring Insurance During the Inspection Period
The real estate company that I work for, Reece and Nichols, is going to start requiring that buyers get an insurance commitment with a binder during the 10 day Inspection Period... and I think it's a great idea.

I have to say that I have been telling my buyers for the past 8 months that this was coming. I haven't had any last minute problems with clients not being able to get their prospective homes insured because I've been suggesting that they contact their insurance company during the 10 day inspection period.

It saves a lot of time and hassles and you are not hung out to dry one week before closing because the insurance company went out to take pictures and prepare for insuring the property and they found something not pleasing. There isn't anything worse than a call from your insurance company that says:

"Houston we've got a problem!" (I guess that would be Kansas City in this instance :)

Surprisingly enough, yesterday in sales meeting our broker told us that with the contract changes for the upcoming year, he's heard changes that include the requirement that the insurance commitment with a binder will be required within the inspection period.

Quite frankly I'm glad! I guess when you lead the industry in Kansas City Real Estate, you should lead by example.

© Fran White, REALTOR 2006