Jul 31 2014

#WhyBrooksideMO – Mother’s Day picnic in the park

Brookside has numerous parks that make up a big reason why so many people love to live here. I hope to cover many of them as I share my reasons for #WhyBrooksideMO but thought I would start with the biggest and my favorite… Loose Park.

My husband and I have referred to it as the “NYC Central Park” of Kansas City. It is made up of 75 acres which gives visitors so much room to spread out and bathe in the sun or toss around a Frisbee. You can read more about the history of the park here.

For our 6th wedding anniversary, my husband surprised me with a helicopter ride and part of the trip was over the park. It was absolutely breathtaking from that angle. I would highly recommend it!
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We renewed our vows on our 1 year wedding anniversary in the Laura Conyers Smith Rose Garden of Loose Park many years ago, and took maternity photos there a year and many months ago. :) It has played the backdrop for a number of important times in our lives.4.MD2013.00

 

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Over the years we have taken long strolls OR vigorous walks (ask me about how that went 5 days after having my son) around the outside or inside trails of the park. It gets busy at times but the size of the trail makes it bearable. Plus whether it was by myself, with a friend, or my husband, the miles go quickly with the nice scenery. There is a good sized pond with fountain & charming weeping willow trees, a section of interesting trees on the west side, tennis courts (awe, some day we will learn to play), playground filled with laughter and children’s voices and just big open greenspace!4.MD2013.01

I also find at times a competitive edge comes out in me when I cross paths with someone going the opposite direction, and then meet up with them again more than halfway around the track! It’s motivating. ;)

Google maps even has the two trails mapped out if you want to create a route for exercising or a training program. You can start it from the parking lot or your home address.

 

So what does this have to do with living in Brookside? Sure, we drove here before when we lived just across the state line. There normally is plenty of parking available. What is the big deal?!?!?!

Well… the big deal, the last two Mother’s Days is that we could just walk out the door, no car keys to worry about, no purse or driver’s license needed and after just a few blocks, we are seated in a sea of green grass without a care in the world. There is something about not having to stress about getting the stroller and stuff folded up and loaded into the car, not to mention wrestling a baby into a car seat (it is getting interesting these days). And get this, once you get there, no need to find a place to park!! Avoiding that whole part brings the feel of going to the park down a few notches to where you can relax your shoulders and just push the stroller. Easy, relaxing, and not a lot of hassle are adjectives all mothers like used when describing something they want to do on Mother’s Day. :)

Another reason I love being able to walk to Loose Park is that I think one of the best parts of the park is the south side. The last two years we have enjoyed a bottle of wine (and this year a lovely picnic) on a blanket watching the trees wave in the wind. It has made for a pretty unbelievable Mother’s Day retreat.

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IMG_0498 IMG_0504Mother’s Day 2014

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To be honest, we have had some nice getaways on many random days and evenings in Loose Park. It is one of our “go-to” places to slow down a bit to catch up with each other or just take in life a little. We often catch ourselves pushing that stroller away after the sun has set and the sky has drawn dark having wanted to enjoy every last minute. :)

If you want to learn more about living in the Brookside area of Kansas City or another area, let me know. I am always here to help find that happy place for you to call home. e@eSADY.com – text or call 816-200-7239

#whyBrooksideMO – Old School Big Front Porches

So many of the streets of Brookside, MO and Waldo are lined with homes that have big front porches. I often get to snoop around them when I am out showing houses. I love it when they are setup as outdoor living areas with big comfy chairs and outdoor loveseats. Many are so big that people are able to have tables and chairs too. Such a perfect relaxing setting on a rainy day like this. Big warm cup of coffee or a glass of wine… I am there!

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You will find some to be completely covered by a roof, others are partially covered (mine) and a few are completely screened in.

I know that covered decks and three seasons rooms are making a come back in new construction and remodels, which is great! BUT one thing I always try to point out to buyers is that a porch is a space that can be inviting to neighbors. I often think if you are on your front porch and a friend walks by you are welcoming to a conversation or visit from them to catch up on life. Or at the very least you can wave hello and smile to them as they walk/drive by.

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We are currently working on a makeover of our porch. It is mostly uncovered and so I am trying to find a way to fit a table under the covered portion and then add some warmth and ambiance to the rest. Ideally, I would like to find a way to make more of it covered but that will have to wait until our home improvement rainy day fund is bigger. :)

 

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If you want to learn more about living in the Brookside area of Kansas City or another area, let me know. I am always here to help find that happy place for you to call home. e@eSADY.com – text or call 816-200-7239

 

 

 

#WhyBrooksideMO – you are a local when you sit down for salsa

You can ask anyone that really knows me. I love Jalapeno’s!!

I adore the place.

Like… name drop “Jalapenos in Brookside” when I talk to new people in the area!

Like… I relished the “life planning” sessions I shared there with my awesome husband. Many Sunday nights, over a pitcher of margaritas, before we flew out on a Monday morning… we discussed life. Reflected on the accomplishments of the weekend (yard work, home improvement projects, adventures with friends). Shared our thoughts on what we thought the next week or two held. You know- serious stuff.:) Note we often were in gym shorts and covered in dirt. The staff was still always nice when they saw us dirt and all! :)

Like… I had my 25th and 30th birthday dinners at Jalapenos. ;)

Like… It took every bit of restraint to wait 7 days to take my son there to celebrate.

Well, come to find out, I am not the only one that feels this way about this small Brookside Mexican restaurant.

If you sit back and people watch, just a little when you visit the cozy restaurant. You will notice the staff often greet many tables, if not the majority of the guests with a familiar smile. Which sets a tone for the hum of the restaurant. This is what makes it so welcoming and comforting for me and the other Jalapenos groupies. It makes a nice little local restaurant background for life.

#thanks #WhyBrooksideMO

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Here is my little guy at dinner tonight celebrating an important client closing! He is a fan of the kids chicken quesadillas AND anything covered in ketchup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Jalapenos Brookside, MO
6318 Brookside Plaza
Kansas City, MO 6411
816-523-5462
https://www.facebook.com/JalapenosBrookside
 
If you want to learn more about living in the Brookside area of Kansas City or another area, let me know. I am always here to help find that happy place for you to call home. e@eSADY.com – text or call 816-200-7239

Other Benefits of a Sellers Market

I am sure you have heard the news… “It’s a Sellers Market!”, “It’s the Best Time to Sell Since 2007!”. Realtors are shouting it from every street corner and roof top they can trying to get people to list their home. It is not just because they want a quick sale of your home. I mean yes, it is very nice to sell our listings quickly BUT our market is in desperate need of homes for sale. With such low inventory there are lots of buyers ready to buy with nothing to purchase.

So… this leads to the obvious, selling your house now means a higher sales price in less days listed for sale! Which is great! But with the turn of the market other factors have swung in the sellers direction that make selling a better experience now than it has been in a long time and could be in the future. Sellers are seeing more flexibility in the time between getting an offer and closing/moving date. Plus, sellers are able to put more restrictions on how agents and buyers can schedule appointments to see the house. Here is a short video giving your more details.

If you have questions on what selling might look like for you right now, feel free to call me 816-200-SADY(7239) or shoot me a message at e@eSADY.com.

 

Have a great Thursday!

e

#WhyBrooksideMO – teeny tiny sinks

#WhyBrooksideMO because I just adore the tiny half baths with their teeny tiny sinks! 

I have adored these little tiny sinks since we first toured homes in Brookside 10 years ago when we were looking for our first home. And by adore I mean it brings a smile to my face when I come across an especially small or creative one when I am viewing homes. Part of the fascination might also come with how creative (and/or desperate for a half bath on the main floor) people get in these 100 year old homes.

In remodeling our half bath in our Brookside home we had room for a bigger sink but I insisted on getting a small one. The plumber was not terribly happy with me but he seemed to get over it. :)

Found this gem in a house I was previewing for clients in the Country Club District. I also adore chandeliers so these homeowners really made me smile! #KCRealEstate

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If you want to learn more about living in the Brookside area of Kansas City or another area, let me know. I am always here to help find that happy place for you to call home. e@eSADY.com – text or call 816-200-7239

The living room of my dreams… was given to me in just ONE day!!

This all started very innocently with my husband seeing great value in a silent auction item at a Brookside Mothers’ Association fundraiser. As we viewed the items, he caught my arm and said, “We should really try for this one. Coffee and bagels, cheese and wine fore five friends, that makes it worth it right there!” Fortunately, I had not had too many adult beverages at this point and knew to just play along. I really wanted to win it because I could use the help of a professional designer in our home but whatever he needed to believe was fine with me. So sure enough, my wise husband stayed close to the auction table and won it for me. What a sweet guy! ;)

The package was for a Room Redesign by AJ Miller of Ready, Set, Gorgeous and included:

  • Consultation with AJ Miller to select the room
  • Coffee and Bagels for 5 friends of the room BEFORE
  • AJ Miller’s time to redesign the room
  • Wine and Cheese at an AFTER reveal party

We met with AJ and selected our living room for the redesign. As many friends know we completely remodeled our house last year. I am willing to say that I think I am good at designing the hard spaces of a home. Things like where to remove a wall or how to layout a bathroom, etc. But I freak out when it comes time to pick out the soft elements like a lamp or picture or a rug. I often just buy something neutral or NOTHING at all. We have lived here a year and in my entire house, I had hung up 9 pictures total. Three of which are over the toilet in the master bath and are a black square that matches the black squares in the tile work on the floor.

Sorry, I digress… to sum it up, I have:

  • Confidence issues in my abilities to pick out nice things that go together
  • Commitment issues due to my husband’s need to keep everything we ever buy for the rest of our lives
  • Clutter phobia which likely stems from spending my workdays in the mindset of staging your home to sell fast!! The less is more concept to show off square footage, keep your home neutral to appeal to the largest number of buyers, etc.

As I tell my real estate clients, LIVING in your home is very different from SELLING your home. Well, it was time to embrace LIVING in this home!! Here are the before photos of our living room.

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As you might guess, we have a baby. He is 10 months old and spends a good amount of his day in this room learning and playing with his nanny. It may be less obvious but we also spend many dinners in this room trying to keep caught up on the Kardashians and the most recent Shark Tank episode. Those dinners have been painful, since I typically spend them sitting on the floor next to the coffee table trying to balance eating with keeping the baby from cracking his head open on something.

A final thing we struggled with in this room was feeling like we had room for more than ourselves and two guest to sit and feel comfortable. It always felt a bit awkward.

Now the AFTER photos…

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It has been over two weeks and the room still looks like this. Seriously, there are not kids toys everywhere again. She found a new home for them as well! We have not changed a thing! I cannot tell you how much I love this room now. For the first few days, the only thing we wanted to do was go be in this room. It is incredibly relaxing and fits our family life so well. I now have a place to sit and eat dinner or work while Maxwell plays on the floor. I also love that the table is right by the fireplace. We often light up a fire for dinner which is always a nice touch and will be great for the next romantic dinner. :)

So some people may be like, wait you went and bought all new stuff!! This is not true. We had the majority of these items in our house. She basically took the couch, table and brown chairs that I had crammed into our sunroom and moved them to the living room. She was amazing at finding things in other rooms and closets to use. She also insisted on going to the basement and garage to look at other things we may have that could be used. Here is a list of the only NEW items, that I picked out and purchased:

  • Two lamps (on end tables)
  • Black table lamp
  • 2 silk ruffle pillows
  • 2 small rectangular pillows
  • clock

AJ was very generous and helped with a few more spaces. Here is our sunroom now. It is home to the baby toys and the couch that use to be in the living room.

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This room has also been used so much more than before. We often come out here to play with Maxwell. The doorway is wide enough that you can still watch the massive TV and feel as though you are in the same room.

Another one of my favorite changes was that she re-purposed our china cabinet that I was struggling to find a use for in this house. She removed one of the shelves and it now sits in the entryway, housing more pictures and some keepsakes. :)

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One thing I appreciated about AJ was that she did a great job of communicating that we would not hurt her feelings if we did not like something AND she asked great questions. One of those great questions was if there was anything that was really important to us that we wanted to make sure there was a place for at the end of the day. This picture has a big back story for me and Tim. She found a great place for it that allows us to walk by daily and remember how this whole love affair started… ;)

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AJ was great to work with and used so many things in ways I would never had thought of. We were able to chat throughout the day and I learned that she is great about being thrifty in designing spaces so you do not have to spend an arm and a leg to make something look great.

Here are a few other things she taught me:

  • Pillows with down inserts are better for getting them to fluff and look pretty. But you can always just purchase a down insert pillow for $10 to replace what comes with the pillow. We used old down bed pillows that I had upstairs in storage.
  • Curtains are great for hiding diaper pails.
  • When you are trying to figure out where to place a TV in a room you should group it with other main features (example: fireplace) this way you do not have to split the room up to make them both a focal point.
  • At Home Goods you should always purchase now and return rather than return to purchase something. :)

I wanted to thank AJ from the bottom of my heart. I am so very grateful for my new living room. I cannot wait to have her back to help with other rooms in our house. She has an amazing gift!!!

If you are struggling to think of a gift for a loved one… hiring AJ for a few hours may be the biggest and best gift you could give that person. AJ is happy to walk through rooms with clients and make suggestions of things homeowners can do to improve the design of their home. EASY THINGS like move a couch… :)

Here is AJ’s contact info. Happy holidays!

AJ Miller
readysetgorgeous@gmail.com
816-678-8242

What to do with Your Pets when Trying to Sell Your Home

When it comes time to get the house ready to sell, homeowners’ pets are often overlooked. Check out this KC Live segment in which I share tips on why you should take your pets into consideration.

 

Steps to take before Starting a Renovation Project

So you have decided to take the jump and start a renovation project on your home! Elizabeth has a checklist you should go through before starting the big project.

eSADY’s 5 Favorite Little Upgrades

I see all sorts of  home “upgrades” in my line of work. Some are unbelievably cool and others are more like unique updates. In preparing for my last segment, I thought it might be fun to share my Top 5 Favorite upgrades. These were selected based on convenience, likelihood to use on a daily basis and cost. They all seem to be good bang for your buck. If you are handy or can convince a handy person to come help you, all of these can be DIY projects.

Please note: Each of these upgrades would warrant an eSADY feature card pointing them out as upgrades when it comes time to sell your home. Who doesn’t want more of those great little cards hung up around their house? :)

 

1. Programmable Thermostat

  • Benefits

    • Allows you to setup schedules for your thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature for your home.
    • Many allow you to set multiple temperature changes during the day as well, for example when you wake, go to work, return home, and go to sleep
    • Energy Saver
    • Time Saver, one less thing to remember to do
    • Some have remote access to adjust the thermostat from website or phone app
      • Adjust from work
      • On the go
      • A different state while on vacation!!!
  • Cost Range
    • FREE – in Missouri, KCP&L offers Remote Access Programmable Thermostat/ Energy Optimizer Program
      • Lets you remotely set or program your thermostat on KCPL’s website
      • KCPL can raise your temperature a few degrees or cycle your A/C during peak demand
    • Just Programmable starts at approximately $40
    • Remote Access Programmable starts at approximately $150
  • Features:
    • Wi-Fi enabled thermostat allows for remote access via smartphone or computer
    • Free smartphone app for iPhone, iPad and Android operating systems
    • Precise temperature control – thermostat holds +/-1 degree F accuracy to maximize comfort
    • 7 day programming with 4 program periods per day can be configured to meet almost any scheduling scenario for ultimate flexibility

2. Keyless Doorknob

  • Benefits:
    • Kids, relatives, YOU don’t have to have remember keys
    • Great if you have a detached garage or park outside
      • One less thing to balance while carrying in groceries
    • Remote access and tracking
      • Different people can have different codes
      • Track who is accessing your home and when?
      • Lock/Unlock on the go
  • Cost Range:
    • Approximately $100+
  • Features:
    • Available as a deadbolt or regular locked doorknob
    • Can use key OR pushbutton code
    • Optional SmartKey (lets you re-key without calling a locksmith)
    • Optional HomeConnect (lets you remotely access it, check if you forgot to lock doors, etc)

3. Dimmer Switch (3-way)

  • Benefits:
    • Ability to set the mood of a room
    • Great for dimming lights at night or for an event
    • Simple project that is not terribly messy
    • Not terribly expensive
    • Lots of options
  • Cost Range:
    • Approximately $6 – $30 depending on the style
      • Can get much higher if you add features, like LED indicators, fade on-off, remote access, etc.
  • Features:
    • Features large paddle switch with discreet slide dimmer
    • Use slider on the right to dim your lights to your preferred setting
    • A soft locator light glows in the off position, making the dimmer easy to find in a dark room

4. Curved Shower Curtain Rod

  • Discovered this one in my years of traveling 4 days a week. Lots of nice hotels have these and I was spoiled by them. I can now not imagine using anything else.
  • Benefits:
    • Elbow room in the shower
  • Cost Range:
    • Approximately $40+

5. Shower Faucet with Separate Temperature and Volume Control

  • Benefits:
    • No need to set the temperature each time you get in shower
    • Time saver
    • Separate volume and temperature controls for maximum comfort
    • Handle adjusts volume while dial on handle controls temperature
  • Cost Range:
    • Approximately $150 +

Contingent Purchases- How to Buy a Home When You Need to Sell First

Are you looking to buy a new home but need to sell your current home first? Elizabeth Sady has the best options for buying a new home while selling your current. Watch the video for all of her advice including what to do if the contract on your current home falls through.