When Clients Become Friends

Last night I took two clients to dinner.  This couple recently closed on their home purchase in Overland Park, and I enjoy spending time with them…so I invited them to dinner to celebrate their new purchase. My husband came along for the evening.

When I first met the wife, Diann, I knew we would get along great!  She’s a happy, sparkly, positive person.  A retired English teacher, we had a lot in common as my daughter plans to be an English teacher.  Jeff is an employment lawyer who used to be a pharmacist—he has a calm and honest manner about him.  We shared stories about our kids, books, home décor, restaurants—a very easy conversation.  I know we will share more social time together now that the business side of our relationship has closed.

This is one of the best benefits of being a real estate agent—getting to know so many interesting people, and becoming friends with (some of) them.  When first meeting a customer, it’s a great feeling to  ‘click’ over certain shared interests:  love of travel, kids the same age, political leanings, current events, favorite TV shows and movies.  Besides talking business, I enjoy taking a break and sharing conversation about these other topics we all like.  And after the business is over…continuing the relationship through social events and meals is a huge benefit.

At the start of each year, I think ‘who am I going to meet this year through real estate that will join my circle of friends?’.  At the end of every year, I look back and smile, relishing those new customers-turned-friends.  It’s one of the joys of life, making that circle of people in your orbit a bit larger..and real estate has done that for me!

Welcome 2012!

This is the time of year for reflection, goal setting, remembering the good times and not-so-good times of the past year.  For me, I try to always take a positive attitude.  Even though the nation as a whole isn’t at its best right now, as individuals we have so much to appreciate every day.

Being a real estate agent, at the end of the year I always look back and reflect on each deal completed.  It’s especially fun to think about all the new people I meet through this business, many who become friends.  For example, I had dinner this week with  clients: the husband was the Sargent at Arms for the Senate and the wife is working on a new initiative with Michelle Obama on post-tramatic stress syndrome that will be announced later this month.  Fascinating stories to share!  How lucky I am that real estate brought me these wonderful new friends!

This past twelve months  I enjoyed getting to know Stephen and Tamara, Anna and Dave, Lisa and Keith, Diann and Jeff, Ron and his family..Bryant and Ruth welcomed their first baby and Brad bought another fixer-upper to work on.  Christina is at the UMKC dental school and Chris saved his first life as an ER doctor.  Think for a moment about the new people you met in 2011–some join your regular circle of friends, some are more acquaintances.  Everyone different, everyone contributes somehow to your daily life. It reminds me of the lyrics to “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent:

“Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes, how do you measure, measure a year?  In daylight, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee…”

I measure my year by the fun times with family and friends, the quirky cultural events everyone talks about, holidays spent in overcoats and shorts, vacation days and Facebook updates, memorable books and movies,  new music heard and meals shared… and the new friendships I’ve made.  I know 2012 will be just as memorable…a surprise of some sort every day, and thankful for it!

Crime Reports for Brookside/Waldo

A neighbor stopped me the other day, asking if I had heard about the home break-ins one block over.  She mentioned two homes  were broken into during the early afternoon hours. I had not heard about these incidents at the time…but a couple of days later, they popped up on my personalized Crime Reports incident report. I don’t remember exactly  how I found out about this site, but it’s well worth a look for current crime stats in the Brookside/Waldo area.

Since August 8, there have been six thefts and two break-ins in my Armour Hills neighborhood.  That’s higher than  normal.  I checked a few other areas nearby, and Oak Meyer Gardens/Armour Hills Gardens and Rockhill Gardens  had two crimes each. These reports come to the site from the Kansas City Police Department.  The site also shows the location and description with photos, of registered sex offenders. Unfortunately, Kansas  police departments do not report to the site as far as I can tell.

One of the neat features about this site is that you can log in and set up a search for your  neighborhood–each week the site will automatically email you a crimes report for the area you designated.  This is a great tool to use to watch crime stats and also notify neighbors of problems, especially if there seems to be a pattern developing.  In Armour Hills, having two break-ins on the same day within a couple of hours of each other should put neighbors on alert for suspicious persons in the area.

As I sit typing this blog, I’m positioned in front of a window facing  the street.  Usually I see joggers, dog walkers, moms with strollers going by…kids walking home from school and contractors working on home improvement projects.  I’ve rarely  seen a suspicious person  lurking about…still, I am even more aware now  to consciously look around as I pull in and out of the driveway or walk to a neighbor’s home.  Being extra alert can deter crime.  If you are a Kansas City MO resident, check out crimereports.com for information on what’s happening in your area.

Thanks for reading my blog…if you are interested in home buying or selling in the Brookside/Waldo area, visit my website. I’m here to help!

Oh So Cute Waldo House–Under $200K!

Wonderful Waldo…the curb appeal alone will sell this house!  Out on  the Realtor tour today, this was the best house I saw under $200K. 


A 1920s bungalow, it features three bedrooms and two full baths–the upstairs is a spacious master suite.  One car garage, private drive,  custom plantation shutters, large eat in kitchen, formal dining room, move in ready, excellent Waldo location..this home is a real beauty that won’t last long.  Love this front porch!   It is not my listing–email me if you’d like me to send you more info.  It’s priced at $185,000.

Other nice homes I saw today include a cozy  3 bedroom,  two bath home in Astor Place (just off Oak) for $184,950.  If you are looking for something large, open, and with lots of the original woodwork, there is a 3 story, 4 bedroom, 2 full and 2 half bath home on 59th St for $375,000.   Finally, a three bedroom, one full bath bungalow on Locust near UMKC for $155,950.  Needs some updating, but good location.

The bargains out there for buyers these days…incredible!  So much inventory to look it…if you are thinking of buying a home, you are like a kid in a candy store!!

How Cute is this Waldo House??

While out on tour yesterday, I stopped by this house in the Broadland subdivision near 79th Street.  There are so many smaller houses in this area, many need some TLC.  When I toured this home, I thought:  this is an excellent example of how paint, tile and decor can really change the look of a smaller home.

Waldo home for sale

Waldo home for sale

This two bedroom, one bath home has great curb appeal. A small front porch, newer concrete drive and patio in the back.  Inside, you’ll see bright colors, a newer kitchen and a clean, fresh finish to the decor.  It’s a small home yet very inviting and open.  At $117,500–your house payment would be about as much as an average rent payment!

Waldo home for sale

Buyers–see what’s possible here  when you buy a home that needs a bit of decor.  Do most of the work yourself by fixing up with color, inexpensive white cabinets, newer appliances and contemporary decorating, and you’ve have more return for the money when it’s time to sell.

This house will sell fast!Waldo home for sale

Waldo Crawldo June 25, 2011

Affordable fun and a great way to  meet your neighbors…plan on attending the 8th annual Waldo Crawldo on Saturday June 25!  Fourteen locations are participating, along and just off  Wornall Road from approximately 75th-85th St.  There  will be a bus available  but easy to walk from spot to spot.  The Well, Waldo Pizza, Tasso’s and Swagger are just a few of the businesses that will offer specials for the night.

And you can conveniently get your tickets on line!  Just $7 on line, $5 if you stop by one of the participating businesses and $10 the night of the event. More information at  waldokc.org

Waldo Home for Sale – A Real Bargain!

Out on Realtor tour yesterday, I saw this new listing in Waldo–wow, it’s a bargain!  Five bedrooms, two full baths for $179,900! A lot of space for the money at 7316 Main.

Lacks some curb appeal but don’t let that stop you–the large wrap around screened porch in front is a great feature.  Sip a beer and watch the foot traffic go by!  Inside, the living room and dining room are very open, and the kitchen has a small eat in area.  In back you’ll find a carport with private drive and a deck.  There is a hi efficiency furnace, 200 amp electrical and almost 2000 square feet per tax records.

Great location too–walk to school, church,  library, Trolley Track Trail, Waldo hot spots, bus stop.

This house is priced to sell.  You’ll be impressed.  It’s not my listing. ..of course I can show it to you…just email me.

Armour Hills Home Sales Stats – November

A quick blog post today regarding the home sales stats for the largest subdivision in Brookside–and my home turf.  November home sales statistics for Armour Hills:

Seven  homes sold in November, the lowest sales price was $146,000 and the highest was $385xxx.  The average sales price was $247,000 and average days on market:  84.

Currently there are 26 homes for sale in Armour Hills, the lowest price house is $159,900 and the highest is $369,950.  Average price is $242xxx with days on market at 107.

(Stats are taken from the Heartland MLS and are deemed reliable but not guaranteed)

This is the time of year when home sales typically slow down.  Buyers are busy with the holidays and homes just don’t show as well in the cold weather. If you are thinking of selling your home next year, NOW is the time to get it ready for the market.  Buyers will come out early  next year, wanting to take advantage of the tax credits before they expire at the end of April.

Thanks for reading my blog–you can contact me at mary.hutchison@prukc.com