Category: (3)

Halloween Safety Tips

by char-maccallum-real-estate-group-inc

Do you have an anxious trick-or-treater in your family?  Kids look forward to dressing up in costumes and collecting candy, making this one of the most anticipated evenings of the year in Olathe, Kansas!  However, it’s important to remember a few important safety tips so that it can be fun, safe and enjoyable for everyone.


For many adults and children, wearing a Halloween costume is one of the biggest highlights of the day’s festivities. Whether your child is going trick–or-treating or just attending a Halloween party, please be sure to help them choose a costume with the following safety tips in mind.

  • Wear flame resistant costumes, costume accessories and wigs.
  • Costumes should be brightly colored so they are easily seen. If a dark-colored costume is worn, add reflective tape to the costume and the trick or treat bag to make the child more visible.
  • Costumes should be hemmed to prevent a child from tripping or falling.
  • Avoid masks that impair vision in any way. Use non-toxic and hypoallergenic makeup instead.


Many Halloween costumes seem incomplete without props. If a prop is a part of your child’s costume, be sure to follow these safety tips.

  • Props such as guns, knives or swords can be mistaken for real weapons. Don’t carry fake swords, guns, knives or similar accessories that look authentic. Avoid props with pointed or sharp ends, and instead choose those that are made of a soft material such as rubber with tips and points that are smooth and flexible.
  • Make sure hats or scarves are on securely to prevent them from falling over the child’s eyes and blocking their vision.


For young children, trick-or-treating on Halloween night is something they look forward to all year. But there are many dangers involved with trick-or-treating if kids and parents aren’t careful. Be sure to remember these safety tips as you accompany your child.

  • The safest time for trick or treating is during daylight hours.
  • Trick or treat in familiar neighborhoods.
  • Carry a flashlight or glow stick to stay visible at night.
  • Younger children should always be accompanied by an adult or older teenager.
  • Children, regardless of age, should never go trick-or-treating alone. They should always go in a group and always stay together.
  • Stay on the sidewalks and out of the streets. Cross only at intersections and designated crosswalks.
  • Don’t enter any houses unless you know the people.
  • Follow traffic signals and don’t jaywalk.
  • Avoid candy that has loose wrappings, is unwrapped, has puncture holes, or is homemade.
  • If your child is old enough and responsible enough to go trick or treating with friends, plan their route ahead of time. This allows parents to know where their children are and that the route they are taking is safe.
  • If possible, provide a mobile phone for kids to carry in case of emergency.
  • Plan a time they should check in or return home.

Also, ALWAYS use extra caution when driving while the ghouls, goblins, superheroes and princesses trick or treat in your neighborhood! Keep Halloween safe and enjoyable for the entire family.

What additional tips do you have for keeping Halloween safe and fun? Have you set certain safety rules in place for your family? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Char MacCallum

Rent or Buy in Olathe, Kansas?

by char-maccallum-real-estate-group-inc

Should I Rent or Buy?  What’s the best deal?

The question plaguing every tenant who wants a home of their own is whether they should continue to rent or is it the right time to buy?

The combination of good prices and low mortgage rates make it considerably cheaper to own than rent in most markets. Assuming a person is qualified with a down payment and won’t be moving for several years, there may not be a better time to buy a home.

In the example below, the total house payment is $1,281.01 compared to $1,500 to rent the same home. Before you consider any of the financial benefits attached to home ownership, it’s cheaper to own than to rent.

The net cost of housing falls to $764 or just more than half the house payment when you consider the principal reduction due to normal amortization, a modest appreciation and the tax savings along with a reasonable maintenance expense that a tenant would not have to pay.

One of the biggest benefits is the growing equity. As the value goes up, the unpaid balance goes down. A favorable leverage causes their low down payment to grow to $40,609 in a short seven years based on a modest 1% appreciation.

There’s an expression often heard in real estate circles: “Whether you rent or buy, you pay for the house you occupy.” You’re either buying it for yourself or you’re helping the landlord buy it

Check out a Rent vs. Own to see how your numbers will compare to this example or call me to do it for you.  913-782-8857 is the office number.

Are you looking for a home in Olathe Kansas or the surrounding Kansas City areas?  Use our free search to find your dream home!

Char MacCallum

How much can I save per month if I re-finance?

by char-maccallum-real-estate-group-inc

Want to know the benefit of re-financing?

Some people believe they shouldn’t refinance more often than once every two years. The determining factors are if you’ll lower your payments and plan to stay in the home long enough to recapture the cost of refinancing. If so, you should consider refinancing.

Interest rates have actually come down significantly in the past 12 months and even more in the past 24 months. According to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey®, rates on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage are down to 3.6% in August, 2012 compared to 4.27% one year earlier.

Refinancing in the example below would save the homeowner $67.04 per month and they would recapture the cost of refinancing in 3 years and 9 months based on approximately $3,000 of closing costs.

Click Here to make your own projection on a Refinance Analysis calculator.

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