Wichita KS Realty News


Is Avocado Toast Getting A Bad Rap?

Avocado Toast is Trending

WICHITA, KS:  (Wichta KS Realty News)  Why is is Avocado Toast getting a bad wrap tonight?  Well,  it is like this; Tim Gurner,  an Australian property mogul used Avocado Toast and Coffee as poster children of bad spending habits for millenials.  And it has gone viral.  Twitter #AvocadoToast is trending with many people taken issue with the example.  But let’s step back a second and take a breath before we retweet and share this obvious assault on our beloved avocado toast!

Ok, now take another breath.  And another.  And another.  What is being overlooked is what Mr. Gurner is saying.  To paraphrase, he is using Avocado Toast and Coffee as an example of priorities.  When we are younger, with limited income (relative to when we get older, hopefully), but we choose to spend those dollars in a less than thrifty way, we make affording a home, which should be an equity, more difficult.  And yes, before you start, times are harder after the financial crisis in 2008.  Lending institutions have tightened requirements and incomes haven’t risen alongside the current surge in housing prices.  Nonetheless, you as a possible borrower CAN’T control these issues, but you CAN control your spending.  This is his point, and he is right.  The blow up and viral move surrounding Avocado Toast is picking at words, acting triggered, and doesn’t help anyone unless they are looking for a great snack choice.  YUM.

And just for good measure, #avocadotoast!

Getting In-Home Estimates is Time Well Spent

Getting In Home Estimates is Time Well Spent,Ricks Professional Carpet Cleaning

Rick with Ricks Professional Carpet Cleaning shares his thoughts on getting job estimates for your home.

WICHITA, KS:  (Wichita KS Realty News)  Why do you want to come out to measure and  do in home estimates, can’t it just be done over the phone?  We hear this quite a bit, and it’s worth talking about, really.  When you as a home owner are calling or emailing companies to estimate work, it really is the best practice to have them come out and look over the job.  The reasons are plenty, so here’s the top reasons for taking the time to have us come out;

  • We can truly judge the scope of the work–  This help both of us, we will be better prepared and if special equipment is needed this gives us the opportunity to find out.
  • We can understand better what your expectations are– Really, because your expectation and our meeting/exceeding it versus not attaining it will decide if you are satisfied with the work completed.
  • We can see problems that might not be noticed by the homeowner–  We are professionals, whether it is carpet, tile, granite counter tops, or any other work, as tradesman we should know our stuff, and typically  we can give you some insight about what you want from our professional perspective.
  • You get to meet who will be responsible for doing the work–  Putting a face with a name can make you feel better about having the work done.
  • You will get a better understanding of the process and what to expect–  Sometimes, remodeling and maintenance work at your home can be messy.  If you are made aware of this and to the scope which it might occur, you may be better prepared when it happens.

This is why we think in home estimates are the way to go.  All in all, the benefits outweigh the effort and time to have us come out.  Rick’s Professional Carpet Cleaning only bid jobs this way.  And you will meet me, the owner, Rick.   This is one of the reasons we feel that we get such high online ratings.  For more insight about our work and philosophy you can read more on our blog here.


Big Question Concerning Wichita’s Gander Mountain

Wichita's Gander Mountain Future is in flux

WICHITA, KS:  (Wichita KS Realty News)  Wichita’s Gander Mountain location, ownership, and future has become a common topic here around the city, such as, what should be done with the property if it closes?  The bigger question isn’t what should happen to it but who will blink first.  There is big money and big players involved with this one. And as Wichita’s core is in the middle of a rebirth, a lot of attention is being focused on what happens with this location.

There are big players in this game.  Here is who is to watch regarding Wichita’s Gander Mountain Location;

  • Marcus Lemonis, the chairman and CEO of Camping World.  Camping World stepped in and bought assets of Gander Mountain (not inventory, which is why there is still a “Going out of Business” sign above the store).  Of course he wants concessions.  Understandably, he would like to be able to leverage the location for both Gander Mountain and Camping World so he would want space for RV’s and other assets of Camping World, and it has been reported that he would like a reduced lease rate from…
  • Jack DeBoer-  One of Wichita’ pioneering real estate icons, Deboer owns the property on which Gander Mountain sits.  And with the growth in Downtown one would imagine that Mr. Deboer is astute enough to see the value of this asset.  In other words, now probably isn’t the best of times to be arguing for a decrease in rent.
  • The City of Wichita-  With its propensity of getting involved with private projects, think the downtown Hyatt and even Century II, you can be assured that some form of tax consideration or abatement might be thrown on the table for Lemonis to chomp on.

Keep watching, the parts of this one will be moving around pretty fast.

Century II; What’s the City to do

Century II in Wichita KS

WICHITA, KS:  (Wichita KS Realty News)  With its one of  kind space saucer design, Century II arena has been an iconic structure in downtown Wichita for nearly 50 years, it first opened its doors in January of 1969.  You truly can’t think of one with thinking of the other.  But are it’s days numbered?  The city has agreed to a nearly three hundred thousand (let that number sink in…) consulting contract with Arup Advisory Inc. to assess issues such as best use and efficient operations.  As with most things, time will tell, and as an anchor for the performing arts, there is much reason to keep the feel, look, and functionality in place.

Wichita is reinventing itself.  A simple drive down Douglas St will show that.  We have grown past the revamping of Old Town.  An urban renewal is happening, and it has legs this time.  Even with questions swirling about the future of Gander Mountain, the core of the city is growing.  Developers have been doing nice job of blending new architecture with the existing, and it is exciting.

With that being said, changes are coming.  Century II is still an anchor, one which its time is not up.  Will there be changes like a private/public partnership involving the space?  Probably.   But this space still pulls its own weight and its value as a convention center, and the only one of its size for our city, is a very important factor for an urban area to attract business and visitors from outside our city.

New Duplexes Being Built Near Derby

New Duplexes in South Wichita, Derby Schols For Rent

WICHITA, KS:  (Wichita KS Realty News)  The back of brand new duplexes can be seen just south of 63rd Street South and Clifton.  These new 3 bedroom 2 bath duplexes are giving renters an opportunity to lease new properties in an area which hasn’t seen new construction for renters in some time.  The duplexes are brick fronted and the units that back to 63rd St are being privacy fenced.  All of the units appear to feature two car garages.  On the inside, there is slightly over one thousand square feet of living space,  not overly spacious but they do feature higher end finishes such as solid surface counter tops.  In the Derby school system, these rentals have gone up rather quickly on this once vacant land.

Offered for lease by Real Estate Management Group,  it appears small dogs and cats are welcome.  This is not something that tends to be allowed in new properties and may be a strong drawing card for some people with pets looking for a new or newer place to rent.  It is nice to see these built as an alternative to the ongoing apartment build out we are seeing on the far east and west side of Wichita and the downtown renovations and new construction.  A quick review of the management company’s website shows these leasing at $1095 per month.  Contact Real Estate Management Group at 316-833-2806 for more information.

Rise in Mortgage Applications

Mortgage application Wichita KS Realty News

WICHITA, KS:  (Wichita KS Realty News)  A 2.4 percent week over week increase for mortgage applications has been reported in the current Mortgage Bankers Association weekly survey.  Even seasonally adjusted figure are showing an increase, which is a good sign for buyers and sellers alike.  With what feels like a trickle of new listings hitting the market and many people interested in buying, this uptick is welcome news.

Along with the slight increase in week over week mortgage applications, the refinance share of mortgages also increased .3 percent from the previous week to 41.9 percent.  And in what can be seen as the consumer’s belief that rates may continue to rise, there was a 8.2 percent decrease in in the amount ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgages) in those figures.  With traditional 30 year fixed rate mortgages slightly above 4 percent, the overall affordability of the  interest rate component of buying a home is not keeping potential buyers away.  Many areas are still reporting anemic listings in relation to interested buyers.

At the time of the writing of this article, here are the rates quoted by a couple of our local lenders on their websites;

Capitol Federal 30 year fixed rate mortgage- 4.125 percent*

Credit Union Of America 30 year fixed rate mortgage- 4.246 percent*

* Please visit their sites for the details, limitations, and other restriction on their quoted rates

With spring buying in full swing, Wichita’s residential real estate market is dealing with many of the issues we are seeing in other parts of the country.  Inventories are low and prices are rising.  Homes are going under contract relatively quickly.  As always, time will tell as to the long term health of our real estate market, but in the short term, the trend seems to already be established.  We will be looking into the new home market and will be talking to builders to find out what they are seeing, soon.


Wichita Gets First Bike Share Station

Wichita's First Bike Ride Station at The ICT Pop-Up Park in downtown Wichita

First bike share station is in front of the popular ICT Pop-Up Park.

WICHITA, KS (Wichita KS Realty News):  Wichita now has its First Bike Share Station.

Located in front of the ICT Pop Up Park, is a row of new bikes for residents to use.  Popular in many urban cities and seen as a way to ease parking and traffic concerns, these programs allow riders to sign up and use the bikes to move around the city.  The city has taken no time in implementing the program.  Working with Zagster,  this program brings technology to the forefront of need based utilization and makes this type of program even possible.  Utilizing a mobile app, which can be downloaded off of their website, they can identify the user and type of ride they need.  Getting started is easy; First, you need to download the app and register. Secondly, pick the plan that works for you.  A quick review of their mobile app shows they have three payment options;

  1. Student Annual Membership- $20.00 per year.  You get an hour free trip, $2.00 per hour overtime and  $30.00 late charge.  This is valid for students, faculty and staff of eligible universities.  Just enter your school email address when you register to see if your school is currently eligible.
  2. Hourly Hourly Membership- $3.00 per hour and a $30.00 late charge.
  3. Annual Membership- 1 hour free trip, $2.00 per hour overtime and a $30.00 late charge.
    Wichita's Bike Share Station

    New Bikes lined up for their first use in downtown Wichita

Each bike is equipped with a box to type in your code that you get from the mobile app to access a key free the lock and use the bike.

Details of the program and information on the sponsors and how it works can be found on the placard at the station. Many pop up park attendees were checking out the bikes and the program, so I imagine it won’t be long before we see them all over the streets of Wichita.

Get Pre-qualified: Your Best First Step When Searching For Your New Home

Get Pre-qualified Wichita real estate


WICHITA, KS:  (WichitaKSRealty.News)  Counting all of the steps we have when we begin our search for a new home, one option stands out as as our best choice.  Get Pre-qualified!  There is nothing more disheartening than finding the perfect home and not be able to buy it!

This entails getting with your local bank, credit union, or mortgage broker and begin the process of qualifying for a loan.  Think, Capitol Federal and/or Credit Union of America, two local lenders that have years of experience in our local market.

The benefits to getting pre-qualified are tremendous.

  • You will know precisely the limits of your price range.  While getting online and looking at million dollar plus homes in the Flint Hills area is fun, it isn’t very realistic for most of the residents of the Wichita area.  Though it’s still nice to look at these types of “dream homes”, the likelihood of actually buying one is slim to none.  Once you have pre-qualified, you will better be equipped to hone in on areas and homes within your price range.
  • Provides Greater Impact to sellers during negotiation.  There is nothing more frustrating for a seller, and their agent, to negotiate, re-negotiate, sign contracts, set up inspections, title searches, and other closing needs only to have all these efforts go to waste when a potential buyer can’t arrange financing.  It happens, and it is very frustrating!  Once you are pre-qualified, unless something changes in your financial position, you are almost guaranteed to get the loan.  I said almost, well, because things can still happen in a closing.  Nothing is done until it is done.
  • Positions yourself above other offers.  Still on negotiation here, but in today’s low inventory environment, seller are receiving multiple offers.  Put yourself in their shoes; You receive two separate offers, same net price, one from a pre-qualified buyer, one not pre-qualified.  Which one would you be more apt to take?  Yep, the pre-qualified one, of course.  And in some instances, you may even be able to be slightly lower on your offer since the seller is more assured of your ability to close the sale.
  • You have tho opportunity to fix potential problems.  When you get pre-approved for a loan, you are able to see how your current debt structure is impacting your borrowing ability.  Sometimes, subtle change can make a huge impact on how much of a mortgage you can get.  This is a great time to truly evaluate your debts and fine tune them to help benefit your financial position.
  • You typically have a chance to lock-in rates.  Rates are moving up, not by much but they still are.  The trend is for a couple more federal reserve rate hikes this year.  These typically increase mortgage rates.  You have the opportunity to lock in rates when you get pre approved.  Discuss this with your lender for the details.

All in all, getting pre-qualified is the best first step when you are searching for a new home in earnest.

Maintaining Your Carpet After A Deep Cleaning

Maintaining your carpets by Ricks Professional Carpet Cleaning and Wichita KS Realty News

WICHITA, KS: (Wichita KS Realty News)  Maintaining your carpet after a deep cleaning will help your carpets not only look new but will also prolong their life and save you money on replacement costs.

You want your home to look the best that it can before an open house or just having company over.  You had a professional carpet cleaning company come out and deep clean your carpets and rugs.  A few simple guides will allow your carpet to look fresh and clean long after you have had them cleaned.

Here are a few tips;

  • Vacuum at least weekly-  Common sense, yes, but to vacuum properly slow and steady wins the race.  Like most household chores, we tend to be more interested in completing the task rather than taking time on it.  A slower, more methodical approach will produce much better results.
  • Invest in a quality vacuum-  While we are on the topic of vacuums and vacuuming, using a high quality vacuum will not only make the job easier, it will help with interior air quality by reducing dust, dust mites, and other pollutants.  Remember, your carpet has been collecting all that household dirt, you will want a good vacuum to remove it.
  • Socks, please- We all know that it’s best not to wear shoes on the carpet.  But what about bare feet?  With spring and warmer weather right around the corner the likelihood of your family walking on your carpet with just their bare feet is almost guaranteed.  But remember this, maintaining your carpet means that it is best to keep dirt and oils off of the carpet fibers and most definitely not pushed or ground in by applying pressure.  Bare skin contain natural oils that can attach to carpet fibers that will attract dirt and make it more difficult to clean.  And if lotions are used, well, let’s just say you really don’t want them on your carpet and rugs.  Wearing socks will provide the best practice to keeping your carpet and rugs new looking and clean.
  • Entry Mats-  Two of them, actually.  One on the porch or main entry, and another as you enter the home.  This will help to remind people to wipe their feet and keep their shoes off of the carpet.
  • Pets, if possible, keep them off-  Pets have one of the greatest impacts on how clean your floors look and actually are, let alone dramatically increasing the effort needed in maintaining your carpet.  pet dander, hair, saliva, and other bodily fluids can heavily soil your carpet and rugs.  If at all possible, keep them from getting on your carpet, especially if you have listed your house for sale and want your homes first impression for potential home buyers to be one of a clean and well kept home.

Keeping your floors clean will not only show that you care for your home, it will also keep it more healthy for you, your family, and visitors.  For more tips and information on maintaining your floors, you can visit our website at wichitacarpet.cleaning.

Wichita Area Home Inventory Low

Wichita Home Inventory Low Wichita KS Realty News

WICHITA, KS:  (Wichita KS Realty News)Towards the end of 2016, the available home inventory in Wichita ended with a historically low number. More people wanted houses and searched high and low in 2016, yet there were actually fewer houses on the market today than there were three years ago, both right in Wichita and in the country as a whole. The result has been one we’ve seen coming: houses don’t sit on the market very long, and, with a trend resurging that we used to see back in 2007, some sellers are fielding multiple offers at once in desirably affordable cities like Wichita.

The result, of course, is that the prices for the homes on the market keep rising, even in slow-growing Wichita, Kansas. The average home price is up 4.5 percent from the year before, according to the South Central Kansas Multiple Listing Service. This is phenomenal news if you’re a seller: it means you are more in control and free to charge an increase for your home than when you bought it ten or twenty years ago. But, experts are predicting that this is exacerbating some of the gridlock that is preventing more people from putting houses on the market. Although the sales are up overall because people are ready to buy what’s available, it has meant a lot of frustrated buyers who want more affordable choices – and they’re willing to look elsewhere to find them.

Last year, houses on the Wichita market sold in just 24 days. As a comparison, houses on the market in an evenly balanced market between both buyers and sellers take an average of six months before selling. A representative from Coldwell Banker Plaza Real Estate said, “I’ve been in the business for 43 years, and I’ve never seen it this low.”

Time will tell what this means for the health of the Wichita real estate market and keep an eye on Wichita’s home inventory this coming spring.