November Home Sales Report

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Existing-home sales grew slightly in September marking their best rate for the year, according to a recent report by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). Existing-home sales, which include recently purchased single family, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops rose 2.4 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted 5.17 million annual units. Even with sales at the highest rate for 2014, the pace is 1/7% lower than the level seen in September, 2013 (5.26 million units)

Existing Home Sales By Region

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun noted that the demand for buying observed since springtime has continued into the autumn season. “Low interest rates and price gains holding steady led to September’s healthy increase, even with investor activity remaining on par with last month’s marked decline,” he said. “Traditional buyers are entering a less competitive market with fewer investors searching for available homes, but may also face a slight decline in choices due to the fact that inventory generally falls heading into the winter.”

Total housing stock at the end of September declined 1.3 percent to 2.30 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.3-month supply at the existing sales velocity. Despite fewer homes for sale in September, unsold inventory remains 6.0 percent higher than one year ago, when there were 2.17 million existing homes available for sale.

Home sales in the Kansas City area vary, call us today to find out what homes are selling for in your neighborhood!

October Market Report & Newsletter

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

Existing-home sales declined slightly in August after four consecutive months of growth, according to a recent report by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). Existing-home sales, which include recently purchased single family, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops dropped 1.8 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted 5.05 million annual units.

Existing Home Sales By Region

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun says the reduction in available cash buyers has slowed the market. “There was a marked decline in all-cash sales from investors,” he said. “On the positive side, first-time buyers have a better chance of purchasing a home now that bidding wars are receding and supply constraints have significantly eased in many parts of the country.”

Nationally, total housing inventory decreased 1.7 percent during August to 2.31 million units. The median time for homes to sell was 53 days in August, up from 48 days in July. Forty percent of August home sales were on the market for less than a month.

Find the Right Coverage

When purchasing a home, you will need to acquire homeowners insurance. In fact, all lenders will require a policy to be in force prior to funding the loan. Make sure you have enough coverage should anything happen. Policies refer to “replacement costs” that may not cover everything. You should ask your insurance agent a lot of “what if” questions. The deductible amount also plays a big part in setting your premium. Higher deductibles lower the number of claims, and reduce your insurance costs.

Check with your insurance agent for more information on these issues and others. If you don’t have an insurance agent, we have access to several top-notch agents to whom we can refer you with confidence.

Seller Opportunities

Selling your home in today’s market requires strategy and execution. Here are three tips to help sellers reduce their time on market:

  • Make it shine. Buyers are attracted to attractive homes. Make your home stand out by mowing the lawn, raking the leaves, washing windows, and cleaning the carpets. These are small things that make a big difference.
  • Remove clutter. Not only do clean homes show better, but tidy homes offer more to the imagination. One person’s treasure is another person’s trash. Removing unnecessary clutter will help potential buyers envision their own potential for the home.
  • Pay attention to the market. Work with your agent and price your home to sell. A competitively priced home is the one that sells first, and in this market that counts for a lot.

These simple tips can help you sell your home and take advantage of our today’s market. Please contact us if you have any questions about selling your home. We are here to help!

Kansas City Safe for Zombie Refuge!

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

At the Char MacCallum Real Estate Group, we are detail oriented in the customer service and information we want to provide for our clients.  Consider this point this Halloween… in case of a Zombie apocolypse, Olathe and Kansas City areas are safer places to hide from a potential Zombie attack.  Think we’re kidding?   The Real Estate community has insider information… Trulia calculated the survivability of the cities using the following criteria: highest walk score, lowest hardware store density, highest hospital density, and most congestion.  In good news, Kansas City was NOT on the list, which means move to the Kansas City area to seek safety(something we’ve known for a long time here in Olathe and Kansas).  Wondering which areas are going to be the most affected by a Zombie apocolypse?

Kansas City Safe from Zombie Apocolypse

Stay safe this Halloween and try to be Zombie free.  Read the full article on “The Worst Places to Seek Refuge During a Zombie Apocolypse”.  Olathe and Kansas City homeowners, you can breathe easy knowing that this is one list we didn’t make the “top 10” on.  Just another reason to move to Kansas City!

Halloween Events around Olathe & Kansas City

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

Oct. 16, 2014 (Thursday)
Pumpkin Hollow at Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead*, Overland Park, 10am-3pm weekdays and until 4 pm on weekends, $7. Includes a pumpkin. Continues through Halloween.

Oct. 17, 2014 (Friday)
Night of the Living Farm at Deanna Rose*, Overland Park, 6-9 pm, $8 in advance. Friday and Saturday night for two consecutive weekends.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by TallGrass Theatre Company*, Paola, 7 pm. Friday and Saturday evening.

Oct. 18, 2014 (Saturday)
Halloween Spooktacular Kids Costume Contest and Pet Parade at Roeland Park Community Center, Roeland Park, 10 am – noon. $3 per child. Additional $3 to enter pumpkin carving contest.

Family Fall Festival at Blue Valley Rec, Overland Park, 1-4 pm. $5 per child. Includes a pumpkin.

Halloween-themed Parents’ Night Out at Pinnacle Gymnastics, Shawnee, 6-10 pm. $25 per child. Includes dinner.

Haunted Kansas at Ernie Miller Nature Center, Olathe, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, $5 per person.

Zombie Forest Night at Louisburg Pumpkin Patch, Louisburg, 6:30- 10 pm, $8 per person

*Take a ride every weekend in October for Brick or Treat at  LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Kansas City and Underwater Pumpkin Carving at SEA LIFE Aquarium Kansas City according to theinspectorscompany.com escondido ca.

Oct. 23, 2014 (Thursday)
Enchanted Forest at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park, Lenexa, 6:30-8:30 pm, $3 wristband.

Oct. 24, 2014 (Friday)
Healthy Halloween Spooky Treats at the Cooking Studio at Whole Foods Market on Metcalf, Overland Park, 10 am – noon, FREE.

The Great Pumpkin at Bass Pro Shops, Olathe, weekdays 5-8 pm, weekends 12-5 pm, FREE. Different events daily through Halloween.

6th Annual Trunk-or-Treat at BMO Harris Bank, Shawnee, 4-6 pm, FREE (non-perishable donation for Harvesters)

Halloween Card Craft at American Girl Store*, Overland Park, 4-6 pm, FREE.

Spook Splash at Blue Valley Recreation, Overland Park, 5 pm (ages 2-7) and 7 pm (ages 8-12), $14 residents ($18 for non-residents). Register

Monster Mash at Olathe YMCA, Olathe, 6-8 pm, $3

Spooky Tales in the Garden at Hy-Vee Ridgeview*, Olathe, 6-8 pm Friday and 1-4 pm Saturday, FREE.

Oct. 25, 2014 (Saturday)

Great Pumpkin Race 5K at Horizon Academy, Roeland Park, 8:30 am, $10 for kid run.

Milldale Farm Fall Fest, Edgerton, 9 am – 2 pm, FREE

Sunflower House Pumpkin Palooza, Shawnee, 9 am – 1 pm, FREE admission, fundraiser.

Halloween Junior Chef at Williams Sonoma, Leawood, 10 am, FREE, register.

Prowl-O-Ween at Cedar Cove Feline Conservatory*, Louisburg, 10 am – 6 pm and Sunday 10 am – 3 pm, $7

Trick-or-Cache at Antioch Park, Overland Park, 10 am – Noon, $10 per person or $27 for family of four.Register by Oct. 17th

Halloween Craft at Lakeshore Learning, Merriam, between 10 am – 3 pm, FREE.

Halloween Storytime at Barnes & Noble, Leawood & Overland Park, 11 am, FREE.

Halloween Open Gym at Pinnacle Gymnastics, Shawnee 12 – 1:30 pm, $8 members or $10 non-members

Halloween Happenings at the Merriam Marketplace, Merriam, 2-4:30 pm, FREE

Trick or Treating in Downtown Overland Park, 2 – 4  pm. FREE

Trick-or-Treat off the Street at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm, Olathe, 4 – 6 pm, $3

Halloween Party at New Century Field House, New Century, 5-8 pm, $6 per person, Register in advance

Shawnee Town’s Historical Happenings, Shawnee, 6 – 8:30 pm, $1 donation.

Oct. 26, 2014 (Sunday)

Decorate a Halloween Haunted House at American Girl, Overland Park, $27. Register in advance

Fairway’s Trail of Tricks & Treats, Fairway, 5 -7 pm, $3

Oct. 28, 2014 (Tuesday)

Spooktacular Storytime at Pottery Barn Kids, Leawood, 11 am, FREE.

Oct. 29, 2014 (Wednesday)

Halloween with Keith Leff at Johnson County Museum, Shawnee, 10 – 11 am, $3, advance reservation recommended.

Halloween Kids Club at Price Chopper, all locations, 3 – 7 pm, FREE.

Fall Fun Fest at The Presbyterian Church of Stanley, Overland Park, 5 – 7 pm, FREE

Halloween Swamp at Olathe Community Center Pool, Olathe, 6 – 8 pm, $10 child/adult pair (members), $15 non-members

Oct. 30, 2014 (Thursday)
Celebrate Day of the Dead at Olathe Public Library, Olathe, 4:30-5:30 pm, decorate a sugar cookie. FREE.

Halloween Boo Bash at Celebration Park, Gardner, 6 – 8 pm, $3 wristband.

Oct. 31, 2014 (Friday) Happy Halloween!

Spookfest at Shawnee Civic Center, Shawnee, 10 -11:30 am, $1

WonderSpook at Wonderscope Children’s Museum, Shawnee, 5:30 – 8:30 pm, $5 per person for members, $10 for non-members.

Costume Contest at Pinstripes, Overland Park. Trick-or-treat all day from 10 am to 9 pm. Contest begins at 8 pm.

Trick-or Treating AtCorinth Square, Prairie Village, 4 – 6 pm, the Village Shops, Prairie Village, 4 – 7 pm, Oak Park Mall, Overland Park, 5 – 6 pm.

September Real Estate Market Reports

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

Existing-home sales rose in July to their highest sales pace of the year, according to a recent report by the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). Existing-home sales, which include recently purchased single family, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops rose 2.4 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted 5.15 million annual units.

Existing Home Sales By Region

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun credits economic health for the improved market. “The number of houses for sale is higher than a year ago and tamer price increases are giving prospective buyers less hesitation about entering the market,” he said. “More people are buying homes compared to earlier in the year and this trend should continue with interest rates remaining low and apartment rents on the rise.”

Nationally, total housing inventory increased3.5 percent during July to 2.37 million units. The median time for homes to sell was 48 days in July, up from 44 days in June. Forty percent of July home sales were on the market for less than a month.

Mortgage Affordability Update

Freddie Mac reports the national average commitment rate for a conventional, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was at 4.13 percent in July, down for the third consecutive month. Recent mortgage rates have fallen to their lowest levels since June 2013 when mortgage rates were available at 4.07 percent.

Steve Brown, NAR President, explains that improved credit scoring methods by Fair Isaac Corp (FICO) will make home ownership more affordable. “NAR supports efforts to broaden access to credit for qualified homebuyers, especially those who have been shut out of the housing market or forced to pay higher interest rates because of flawed credit scores,” he said. “A solid credit score is necessary to keep borrowing costs down.”

Increased mortgage rates may soon be upon us, according to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Although interest rates have fallen in recent months, median family incomes are still lagging behind price gains, and mortgage rates will inevitably rise with the upcoming changes in monetary policy,” he said.

This is an excellent time for home buyers to take advantage of low interest rates. Contact us for more information on today’s opportunities.

Summer Concerts at Frontier Park

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Celebrating 15 Years of FREE Summer Concerts!

The Olathe Free Summer Concert series began in 2000. Each year it showcases top quality, cutting edge artists featuring a variety of family friendly genres of music. Thanks to the support of concert-goers and our generous sponsors, we are accomplishing that goal. Over the past 14 years, the Olathe Parks and Recreation Department has presented local, regional, national and international performers. Some of these artists are in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, have won numerous Grammy Awards, have written #1 Hits on the Billboard Charts, won Blues Music Awards, Country Music Awards and are in the Kansas Music Hall of Fame.

Fridays at Frontier Park

Concert series brings not only music to Olathe, but community giving. At each show, a local charity is recognized and concert goers are encouraged to make donations. In the last nine years, charities have received more than $130,000 from the 15,000+ per year attendees.

Frontier Park Summer Concert Series

*information and picture courtesy of Olathe Parks & Rec website

Theater in the Park Summer Schedule 2014

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Theater in the Park

Theater in the Park 2014

*image courtesy of theater in the park website

Looking to enjoy local theater and plays this summer?  Look no further than our very own Theater in the Park!  Located in our Shawnee Mission Park, the Theater in the Park is nestled on a portion of the 10 acre wooded park area in the Ampitheater.

Playing this summer:

Pirates of Penzance – June 6-8, June 11-14, 2014

Guys and Dolls- June 20-22, June 25-28, 2014

Honk!- July 4-6, July 9-12, 2014

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer- July 18-20, July 23-26, 2014

Ragtime – August 1-3, August 6-9, 2014

Tickets are inexpensive and you can even go on “thrifty thursdays” when tickets are even further discounted!  You will find 80 reserved seats, then various areas of blanket only and low seated bring your own lawn chairs to enjoy the show.  Every spring 100’s of talented actors try out for various parts and shows which culminates in a top rated talented cast for the summer shows.

Looking to volunteer? Theater in the Park needs volunteers to help for all aspects of the show, production, set up and play days.  Learn how you can help!

Theater in the Park makes for a fun family evening and it is one of the great best kept secrets of our area! Bring out your family this summer and experience Theater in the Park!