Who Built That House at 63rd and Oak?

k exteriorLast week I stopped by the house that was recently built at 63rd and Oak, across from the 7-11.  Many area residents have watched this corner over the past several months, wondering what the house would look like when finished.  Fortunately the owners, Stephanie and Bill Kalaherka, designed the outside features to blend in as much as possible with the neighborhood. The family moved in last fall, about four months later than planned (as is typical for a new build job, rarely are they finished on time).

Stephanie and Bill chose to buy this lot to build their ‘forever’ home.  They have family in the area and love Brookside.  Although they looked at a few resale homes, ultimately they decided they could get exactly what they wanted by starting from scratch.  Plus, Bill knew he could install energy-saving features in the new home.  Taking advantage of federal and local tax credits, this home has solar panels on the south facing roof, a geo-thermal heating system and thick insulation on the exterior walls in the basement.  Although they haven’t lived in the house an entire year to examine the overall cost-effectiveness, Stephanie says it cost about as much to heat this house (3700 SF) during the coldest weeks of winter as it did to heat their old rental home that was much smaller. k slideInside, the two story house features four bedrooms and three full baths (one bedroom and full bath on the first floor for guests), an office, finished basement with storage area and the popular open floor plan on the first floor.  Each of the children’s rooms has a loft above the bedroom and yes, there is a two story stainless steel play slide.  There isn’t much of a backyard area, but the owners plan to install a small patio behind the garage.  Stephanie is looking forward to spending time on the front porch when the warm weather arrives.

Many shopkeepers from across the street have stopped by to welcome the family to the area. They want to meet as many local residents as they can…so stop by and say hello!   The Kalaherkas are settling in and look forward  raising their kids…and growing old…inside their brand new Brookside house!

New Homebuilding in Brookside

One indication of a neighborhood’s desirability is an abundance of ‘teardown’ projects–homes torn down to make room for a new property built on the same site.  Mission Hills and Old Leawood residents see this happen  often because buyers covet those particular areas –not too far from city amenities, good schools, tree-lined streets.    Driving around Brookside, I have noticed four new homes going up on  lots–an excellent indication of our neighborhood’s strength as a sought-after area to live.

The Kalahurka Family, coming to Brookside

The Kalahurka Family, coming to Brookside

One of the most visible sites is at the northwest corner of Oak and 63rd St, across the street from the 7-Eleven.  Bill and Stephanie Kalahurka bought this lot a couple of years ago.  While living in Austin, they decided to move to Kansas City to be closer to family.  Recently the couple secured jobs in the area and moved to a rental in Waldo while their new house is being built.

I asked Stephanie why they chose to build instead of purchasing a resale property.  They wanted to live in Brookside to be near Bill’s parents, and wanted this move to be into their ‘forever’ house.  When Bill’s father mentioned the land was for sale, the couple decided this was their chance to build a home that would stay within the character of the neighborhood while having up to date mechanical features and materials.  Stephanie and Bill are building a two story Craftsman style, just under 3000 SF,  with four bedrooms, two and a half baths, a two car garage and a front porch that faces Oak.  The most  unusual feature is an indoor side for their two children, ages 2 and 3.  If all goes as planned, the family will move in Memorial Day weekend.

Another new build is going up at the corner of 62cd St and Brookside Boulevard.  In October 2012, someone paid $130K cash for the old home on the large lot.  The house is gone and you can see the foundation walls in place for the new house.  At 429 E 71st Terrace in Rockhill Gardens, there’s just the first floor front shell of the old house on the lot.  This  property sold in October 2013 for $125K.  The current owner purchased it for his mother.  He is rebuilding the house and reusing the bricks, keeping the original stain glass windows in front and opening up the interior floor plan.  It should be finished in March, and  will blend in with the surrounding homes.  Finally, the house at E 70th Terrace and Cherry is almost finished–that project was started earlier this year.

It’s exciting to see these new single family homes going up in Brookside! You know if these owners are spending several thousand dollars on the lot, the teardown,  plus the cost of a new home, they are committed to the neighborhood…and that should  mean higher property values for all of us.