About Mary Hutchison

Every day I'm driving around my cherished neighborhood of Brookside (and Waldo)...observing what's going on, watching new businesses move in and out, and touring homes (I'm a Realtor with BHG Real Estate-Kansas City Homes). Starting this blog about Brookside/Waldo is a way I thought I could promote the area and spark some discussion about what's happening here...and what's going to happen. Your comments are welcome.

Waldo Home Sales Report – February 2023

Checking these Waldo home sales stats, here’s a synopsis: interest rates up, prices up, number of homes sold, down. There is still so much demand despite the higher interest rates that prices keep rising due to lack of inventory. Let’s look at the numbers:

february 2023february 2022
Median list price:$315,000$244,925
Median sales price:$302,000$253,000
No. of homes sold: 15 24
Days on market: 6 3

Last month, fewer homes sold than Feb 2022; yet prices are way up-that median sales price rose 19%. The lowest closed price was $137,400 and the highest was $415,000. Now let’s see the year-to-date figures:

Jan-Feb 2023Jan-Feb 2022
Median list price:$299,950$202,500
Median sales price:$299,450$237,000
No. of homes sold: 28 41
Days on market: 20 3

So far this year, 31% fewer homes have sold compared to the same time last year, and prices are up 28.7%. Currently there are 12 single family homes for sale in Waldo, with an average price of #332,500 and 7 days on market.

(All stats taken from Heartland MLS; deemed reliable but not guaranteed.)

Brookside Home Sales Report-February 2023

Brookside home sales last month were pretty consistent with a year ago; prices were up and a similar number of homes closed. Let’s look at the details; I’m using the main Brookside zip code of 64113 for these stats:

February 2023february 2022
Median list price:$650,000$550,350
Median sales price:$650,000$538,575
Days on market: 3 54
No. of homes sold: 13 16

Although the median sales price jumped way up, note that we had two million dollar plus sales last month, and so many homes in Brookside now are priced over $500K. The days on market were shorter; some houses sit on the market for weeks due to over-pricing, condition, etc. The lowest closed price last month was $265K and the highest was $1.5 million. Below are the year-to-date numbers:

Jan-Feb 2023Jan-Feb 2022
Median list price:$525,000$570,800
Median sales price:$530,000$550,000
Days on market: 43 46
No. of homes sold: 29 29

Although we have a lower median sales price compared to a year ago; many buyers are paying list price or above for homes. The same number of homes closed–interesting because in early 2022, interest rates were around 3%; today they are at least double that amount. Buyers are getting used to these rates and although it does affect what they can afford, they are just dealing with it.

Currently there are 13 homes for sale in Brookside, with a median price of $600K and 18 days on the market. Four of the 13 homes are over one million; over half the homes are priced over $500K.

(All stats taken from Heartland MLS; deemed reliable but not guaranteed.)

Spring is (Almost) Here–Celebrate at the St Pat’s Parade Saturday!!

It’s one of Brookside’s most popular community events…the annual St. Patrick’s Warm-Up Parade, happening tomorrow, Saturday March 14, 2023!

This family friendly event starts at 2pm; note neighboring streets will be blocked off early afternoon. One of the reasons I like this parade so much is that spectators can get very close to the route and see all the fabulous floats, dancers, bands, classic cars and decorations up close. And the parade itself is pretty long–sometime going more than an hour! This year’s theme is Chasing Rainbows.

If you plan on going to the parade, please be aware that many streets around the route will be clogged with cars and pedestrians–if you must drive, park several blocks away and walk to your viewing spot. Be extra careful driving and enjoy the day…the parade route is posted below. (There is a possibility the parade could be delayed by a week due to weather.) See you there!

Waldo Home Sales Report-January 2023

We are just a couple of days into March…and I am a bit late posting these January stats for Waldo home sales. No surprise here–prices keep going up! These are the sales figures for single family homes, using the boundaries of Gregory to 85th St; State Line to Holmes:

january 2023january 2022
Median list price:$260,253$217,000
Median sales price:$249,875$215,000
Days on market: 33 4
No. of homes sold: 14 17

Home prices rose 16% compared to January 2022; and (some) homes are sitting on the market longer. Remember, a year ago, interest rates were around 3%. Still, that’s a pretty hefty increase in median sales price considering the interest rates have doubled. The lowest closed price was $152,500 and the highest was $470,000.

Currently there are 13 homes for sale in Waldo, with a median list price of $260,000 and 16 days on market.

(All stats taken from Heartland MLS; deemed reliable but not guaranteed.)

Meet Waldo’s New Executive Director!

How many businesses do you think have a Waldo address?  Chelsea Kapka, Executive Director of the Waldo Area Business Association, has heard over 600 businesses call Waldo home…and about 350 of them belong to WABA.  Since joining WABA last month, she’s hoping to increase membership along with some other goals for the strong, thriving neighborhood.

I stopped in WABA at 7222 Wornall recently to have a chat with Chelsea.  Originally from southwest Missouri, she went to MIZZOU for her undergrad degree and completed a masters at MO State.   She’s spent the last several years in nursing home administration, most recently in Olathe.  Although Chelsea enjoyed working with seniors, she decided she wanted a change in her career, and applied for the WABA job.   She’s lived in Waldo for the past several years, with a sister and brother also living nearby.

Chelsea talked about other goals she has for WABA:  she’s planning a bingo game on Wednesdays at Waldo Pizza that should start soon, and wants to increase community events.  Besides the popular Waldo Fall Festival, she  is promoting the second annual Spring Fling happening May 6, at Gregory and Wornall.  She hopes to get more businesses to participate, including more local makers.  The monthly Waldo business luncheons are open to anyone; details on dates are on the WABA website.  The next luncheon is Wednesday March 1 at HJ’s Community Center, featuring sixth district candidates up for election.  “I really like the WABA Mission Statement—it’s important for me to maintain Waldo as a vibrant and inclusive area.  Waldo feels like its own city within Kansas City—so unique and eclectic”.

Chelsea and I talked briefly about the houseless issue in Waldo and how it can be addressed.  She recently met with Josh Henges, the “homeless prevention coordinator” for Kansas City MO, who has a lot of ground to cover.  The Waldo CID (Community Improvement District) handles security, graffiti and trash removal, marketing,  plus landscape maintenance for the neighborhood.  CID Community Awareness Officers are a daily presence that will report to police any necessary information regarding the houseless population but do not get directly involved.

In her free time, Chelsea spends time with her scientist husband and their three dogs; she enjoys reading and going to live music shows, especially at the Madrid Theater. You are welcome to stop by and introduce yourself to Chelsea, especially if you have a business in Waldo.  The WABA is located at 7222 Wornall.  And feel free to come to one of the monthly luncheons to keep in touch with what’s happening in Waldo!

Armour Hills Home Sales Report-January 2023

The home sales stats for Armour Hills last month reflect how much the housing market has changed in just one year. Remember, one year ago, interest rates were around 3% and sales were soaring! Let’s take a look at the numbers for this 900+home Brookside subdivision:

January 2023january 2022
Median list price:$349,900$450,000
Median sales price:$351,400$475,000
Days on market: 92 3
Number of homes sold: 3 3

The median sales price dropped by 35% compared to one year ago! However, note that these stats reflect just three homes that closed. It’s worth looking at a few details, too. Just one home closed last month over the list price; the other two listings lingered on the market for several weeks as the list price dropped. The highest sold price was $565K, originally listed at $680K! The lowest closed price was $270,000.

Currently there are four listings for sale in Armour Hills, ranging in price from $335,000 to $715,000. The house priced at $715K (originally listed at $735K) was purchased in summer 2021 for about $50K over the list price (which was $649K)–so probably a bidding war. Now the price is $715K, less than two years later–and the market is very different now as interest rates doubled. There are still properties that command multiple offers–when they are priced at market value. It will be interesting to see what this property sells for.

(All stats taken from Heartland MLS; deemed reliable but not guaranteed.)

Brookside Home Sales Report-January 2023

It’s a new year of home sales stats and compared to a year ago, there was a dip in prices last month. However, keep in mind that in January 2022, interest rates were still around 3%; this year they have doubled. That has slowed down the market.

Let’s take a look at the numbers, using single family home sales in the main Brookside zip code of 64113:

January 2023January 2022
Median list price:$429,975$585,000
Median sold price:$430,075$585,000
No. of homes sold: 16 13
Days on market: 49 14

You can see there was quite a drop in the median sold price; yet most sales were very close to list price. And some of the homes that closed sat on the market for a while before getting under contract, which explains the longer days on market number. The lowest closed price last month was $230K and the highest was $2.75 million. There’s still a lack of inventory for buyers to consider and I think that will continue through the year.

(All stats taken from Heartland MLS; deemed reliable but not guaranteed.)

Waldo Week Starts Today!

So the hype of the Chiefs winning the Superbowl is winding down, Valentine’s Day is over and ….this can be a bland time of year. Here’s a diversion for you: plan to participate in the 8th annual Waldo Week!

Waldo Week was created to spotlight locally owned Waldo businesses by offering special discounts and deals for several days during the slower winter months….while also supporting a local non-profit organization. This year, the votes came in for Lucky 13 pet rescue as the supported charity. The Waldo Area Business Association hopes to raise $1500 for Lucky 13 through a special virtual auction and donations.

Several local businesses have special offers for the next several days, including Betty Rae’s, Eclectics, Crow’s Coffee, Summit Grill and Breathe. Mention Waldo Week when you stop by to find out details. A complete list of participants is listed on the WABA website.

Waldo Week runs from Thursday Feb 16 through Friday Feb 24. Thank you for supporting our locally owned Waldo businesses!

Discussions Underway for a New Waldo Library

The Waldo branch of the Kansas City Public Library system, at 201 E 75th St, would like more space to serve local residents. It’s currently the second busiest location; the Plaza branch has the top spot.  Preliminary talks are underway between the library and the Kansas City Public School district about a move to the old Bingham school site, at  7618 Wyandotte (77th and Wornall, behind the Firestone Tire building).

I recently spoke with Eric Gunderson, President of the Waldo Tower Neighborhood Association to find out more.  Last November, he hosted a public meeting at the library to start a dialogue with neighbors about possible plans.  Shannon Jaxx from KCPS and library consultants were present. The site of the former school is 7.5 acres, and a new library building would use up just part of the empty lot.  The current building on 75th St has 14,000 SF; a new building would ideally be between 22-25,000 SF and include useable outdoor space for patrons.  Inside, there would be a larger, dedicated children’s area; a computer lab, an array of different sized meeting rooms and more storage space. The library and consultants feel that with the current building maintenance issues (leaky roof, space constrictions, etc), it would be less expensive to build a brand new building.  Currently the library is funded by a portion of KCMO  resident property taxes; it was stated in the meeting that no new taxes would be needed to fund a new structure.  No building plans have been drawn up; at this stage, it’s all talk and figuring out various options.  Eric says if the relocation does happen, it would be at least five years, probably more, before the new library opened.  He reports that there wasn’t any opposition to a new building; the challenge would be some increased traffic in the residential area, as the entrance to the site is off Wyandotte and not Wornall.

I also asked Eric about other significant happenings in Waldo; we talked about all the new locally owned businesses that chose Waldo as their home—so many in just the past couple of years, despite the pandemic.  The biggest changes are happening in the streetscapes:  along Gregory from Wornall to Oak, you’ve seen the construction workers and detours as KCMO installed “traffic calming” elements like curb extensions and a dedicated bike lane, .all of these improvements will make this area more pedestrian/bike friendly.  In the near future, major changes are coming along Wornall from 74th-79th St, especially in the busy area in front of Waldo Pizza.  Plans include new streetlights, water main replacement, a new roadway, parking lot improvements, and more.  You can read more details about these plans at the Waldo neighborhood website under Resources. And you can keep up with other Waldo news/meetings at the site as well.

Armour Hills December 2022 Home Sales Report and Year End Recap

Another year of home sales in Armour Hills and I’m ready to report the specifics! Closed prices were off last month compared to December 2021; overall though, Armour Hills is still one of the most popular Brookside subdivisions for homebuyers! Let’s look at the specifics:

December 2022December 2021
Median list price:$385,000$394,950
Median sales price:$365,000$394,500
Days on market: 3 45
No. of homes sold: 9 3

The lowest closed price last month was $290,000 and the highest was $477,000. The median price was down 7% compared to a year ago. Below, let’s take a look at sales numbers from the past five years:

Median list price:$399,000$365,000$345,000$339,450$315,000
Median sales price:$427,000$380,000$344,000$340,000$315,000
Days on market: 3 3 7 21 9
No. of homes sold: 84 70 99 82 80

The trend is…higher prices! Since 2018, the median sales price for an Armour Hills house has risen 35%! Last year, buyers paid about 7% over the list price. The number of homes that changes owners each year is pretty consistent. This neighborhood is always one of the most popular for buyers looking in Brookside, and I don’t see that changing.

(All stats taken from Heartland MLS; deemed reliable but not guaranteed.)