Property Management Blog

Kansas City: Right In The Middle

Chris Lengquist - Monday, July 13, 2009
Seriously, is there any category in which Kansas City is not right in the middle range?  We are in the middle of the country with easy access to everywhere.  Our housing prices?  Right in the middle.  Our income per capital?  Right in the middle.  Our unemployment, Fortune 500 jobs, spending, saving and now job postings?  Right there in the middle! KS_4758I find it kinda humorous sometimes. There are so many reasons we do well here in KC.  And so many reasons we don't excel.  I love Kansas City as a safe-haven for at least part of your real estate investment holdings.  But it's long term growth here.  Nothing fancy.  We'll just keep moving with the pack. Look for us right in the middle.

Kansas City Blues

Chris Lengquist - Sunday, July 12, 2009
Trampled Under Foot are a Kansas City treasure.  Only thing missing is a live audience, cold beer and some bar-b-q. [youtube=]

Personal Real Estate Investor Magazine

Chris Lengquist - Thursday, July 9, 2009
real estate investorFrankly, I had forgotten about this interview from a few months back.  Along with Dan Reedy and Ben Edsall I'm interviewed about real estate investing here in the Greater Kansas City area.  I don't come off sounding too foolish.  :) *** *** *** *** *** Summer has set in to Kansas and yet we are still getting spring-like storms.  Go figure. *** *** *** *** *** It's summer in Kansas City so you know the Royals are 12 games back at the All-Star break.  Go figure. *** *** *** *** *** Every offer I've put in this month, every offer, has multiple bids.

How Alzheimer's Can Effect Your Next Home

Chris Lengquist - Monday, July 6, 2009
Author's Note:  Sadly, this is based on a true story from this past weekend.  Standing back at a distance it is kinda funny.  Very funny, actually.  Up close, knowing those involved, it's really quite sad.  Some of the minor facts and all of the names and addresses have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved. PoliceLights2 Last Sunday Morning: Approx 2:35 am A pounding comes from the front door of the house as emergency lights illuminate the early morning hours of quiet, suburban Overland Park, Kansas. "We've had a 911 call saying that a woman is being held here against her will." Still groggy from being aroused from a deep slumber the homeowner stands next to yet another policeman as several other Overland Park police officers enter the home and do a quick walk-through checking each closet, bathroom and bedroom as well as the more open areas. Imagine the confusion of the half-awake homeowner and his family.  Imagine the police trying to determine if this is a prank call or a serious incident.  Just try to imagine. Last Sunday Morning: Approx 2:15 am Awakening from his sleep Bob hears his mother speaking to someone unknown with fear dripping from each syllable.  At first greyness clouds the mind.  Quickly, however, a lucid realization that his mother is speaking to the local police department's 911 operator (some twenty miles from Overland Park) comes over him as he leaps to his feet.. "You must help me.  I'm at 123 Main Street, Overland Park.  There is a strange man in my bed and people in my house I don't recognize.  I'm being held against my will.  Hurry!" Bob hurries to take the business end of the telephone away from his mother and begins to explain as rapidly as he can.  But the wheels are already in motion.  The address in Overland Park will be visited shortly by eager-to-please policemen as will the address where the phone call was made.alz_logo Over The Last Four Years The mother in question here is close to me.  Almost family, really.  Two years ago I sold that house at 123 Main St., OP, KS for her and her husband whom I've known since 1975.   Two years ago they packed up and left their house of forty-four years.  The mother and her husband had raised eight children in that home.  Forty-four Christmases.  Forty-four Easters.  Too many birthday parties to count between children, grandchildren and even this extra family member. During this emotionally transitional time the early signs of Alzheimer's began to show itself with "mom."  Slowly at first.  But today there are days when the disease seems all too comfortable with it's host.  There are days she forgets that I have children.  Worse, there are days when she forgets her own children. And there are days when she is back in that house at 123 Main St.  That house was comfortable.  That house was home.  That house was part of who she is.   I guess she's never really left that house.  Not emotionally.  And as for the new owners, I can only hope that they are patient, understanding and that one day that house will mean as much to them.

4th of July Weekend

Chris Lengquist - Friday, July 3, 2009

Real Estate Sales Are Up...At Least At Our Office

Chris Lengquist - Thursday, July 2, 2009
No joke.  Our Keller Williams Realty office in Olathe, Kansas is smoking hot.  We are the largest real estate office located in Olathe and are just north of 152 agents, I believe.  The sales board was completely full.  Me personally?  I closed two homes in June and have six sides pending for July.  I believe this $8,000 tax credit for first time home buyers has really helped things along.  But three of my six sides are essentially real estate investors beginning to come back in to the market.  So there seems to be movement on that front as well.  Most of the activity I'm seeing is in the "more desirable" areas close to economic suburban hubs.  Overland Park, Olathe and Lee's Summit.  Big surprise, right?  But either way, real estate activity is up.  Not 2003 up, but up.

Investor Loans, Flooding & Soccer

Chris Lengquist - Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Wow.  What a weekend.  First, I watched the US Socer team squander their greatest opportunity in 125 years by losing to Brazil 2-3 after leading at the half by two goals!  We (the US) are developing better players with better soccer skills. But playing against the greatest of soccer nations show we still lack the foot magic, the ability to control in tight places and the lack of understanding to know how to keep possession to kill a clock.  (Jeez.  Now I'm sounding like Herm Edwards.) Then, I sold a house.  The bad news?  Some of my best tenants are buying a house.  The good news?  They used me as their REALTOR. Then on Monday one of my investors locked at 6.5% with no points (75% ltv) on a non-owner occupied loan.  Not too shabby. Then today I get a call from a tenant for a house I manage to say water is coming under the wall to his basement.  Uh oh.  I drove over immediately and found water coming out of the front door of the lower unit of this duplex.  Somewhere between last Tuesday (when we were there last) and today a hot water pipe fitting had burst.  The kitchen ceiling lies on the floor.  The kitchen cabinets are ruined.  Oy.

What Motivates You?

Chris Lengquist - Friday, June 26, 2009
501px-US_Soccer_logo_svgWhat motivates you? Want to know what motivates me? (In no particular order.)
  • US Soccer making great strides during my lifetime.  From oblivion to beating the #1 team in the world on a neutral field...and people around the world are surprised but not shocked.   Congrats to those boys.
  • My family.
  • Living long enough to see the Kansas City Royals win another World Series.
  • Helping people to avoid heartache through real estate.  Fraud and deception piss me off and so I continue to write this real estate blog for Kansas City.
  • Creativeness.
  • Helping my children become the best they can be...whatever that may be.
  • Tilting at windmills.
  • Jayhawk Basketball.
  • Living as God would have me live.
To be sure those are not all encompassing.  I believe in balance.  I believe in our future.  What do you believe?

Home Inspections Opinion

Chris Lengquist - Tuesday, June 23, 2009
home inspectionsHome inspections are a funny thing.  Some believe they are for their intended purpose and that is for a buyer to have time to allow a professional to come in and take a neutral look at the place and point out where there may, or may not be, deficiencies.  Once those deficiencies are found they can be weighed and measured to decide a course of action.  Here in the Kansas City Real Estate market you can then;
  1. Accept the property "As Is."
  2. Cancel the Contract.
  3. Offer to renegotiate.
I think there are several things you have to keep in mind when you are looking at the "problems" a home may have;
  1. How old is the home?
  2. What was obvious to a blind mouse when you went through it?
  3. What price did you get it at compared to the repairs needed and relative to the rest of the neighborhood?
  4. Is it a buyer's market or a seller's market?
Unfortunately, there are agents/buyers that know full well before they even hold an inspection that they will use the inspections for leverage.  I don't agree with that kind of tactic.  Let me give you an example: I once was selling a house where the house was extremely nice.  But the driveway was extremely cracked and in need of repair...or more-rather, replacement.  We kept this in mind in the pricing.  We even mentioned it in the comments.  A buyer writes an offer, we negotiate and it gets accepted.  Then, after the inspections he wants to renegotiate another $8,000 off the price of the house because the driveway needs replacing! I asked him when he had noticed this.  Was it when he first parked on it to see the house the first time?  Or the second time?  Or on his THIRD look? People, please be serious.  That's like buying a 25 year old home and then nit picking every little thing an inspector can find.  Here's what I think you should be worried about in an inspection;radon gas
  • Structural issues.  (You find out that the basement wall has a four inch lean behind those paneled walls or roof turns out to have three layers.)
  • Major mechanical issues.  (Furnace is leaking carbon monoxide.)
  • Safety issues.  (Radon gas that exceeds limits.  There is aluminum wiring.  Etc.)

A Walk Through Kansas City's BBQ Past...And More

Chris Lengquist - Thursday, June 18, 2009
Follow this link to a KC Star page with a photo feature of Kansas City's BBQ Past. Singingposter*** *** *** Sorry for the lack of posting this week.  Just trying to keep my head above water.  I have two closings this Friday/Saturday.  And in the last 7 days I've had four houses go under contract.  Writing an offer tonight. Real estate is a funny business.  People will read the above paragraph and think about "all the money" I make.  Yet what they forget is I had zero closings in March and May.  So you can make money in real estate and you can make more than being a grocer.  But you must be a good money manager because this is the way it comes.  Good times come in streaks.  So do bad times. *** *** *** Here in KC we've gone from cool and cloudy to hot and steamy in about 6 seconds.  Amazing *** *** *** The current real estate market is an enigma here in Kansas City.  I can name neighborhoods that are red hot.  I can name neighborhoods that are ice cold.  Location.  Location.  Location.  Precisely why some neighborhoods appreciate at a greater rate than others. Now I'm off to an inspection.

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