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Spotlight on Business Friends in Brookside

Brookside’s many great shops, restaurants and small businesses are an essential part of the mix that makes the Brookside neighborhood truly unique! Many of the great shops and businesses are locally owned, offering everything from delicious cuisine and great cups of coffee to one of a kind fashion finds from around the world and even a mini-fleet of pest-prohibiting bold and blue Volkswagens that are sure to put pests to rest in less than a flash. All told, Brookside is home to over 70 shops, restaurants, boutiques, offices and small businesses. We’re proud to share a few more of our favorites with you!

Carmen’s Café has been a local Brookside favorite since the Bautista brothers, Juan and Francisco, opened at 63rd and Brookside Plaza back in 1999. Carmen’s is a friendly neighborhood Italian-style bistro with a flair for Latin tapas – all served up with a nice glass of wine. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner spot for two, a business lunch for four – or a banquet space for a large gathering of family and friends, Carmen’s has you covered! Try their delicious chicken spiedini or steak modiga – and don’t forget to start with their signature stuffed artichoke! You can expect a warm welcome, superior customer service and some of the best Italian cuisine in the city!

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A great cup of coffee is also easy to find in Brookside! Founded in a Brookside basement back in 1993,nobody does coffee quite like The Roasterie. Founder and Brookside neighbor Danny O’Neill picked his first batch of coffee beans in Costa Rica starting his decades long love affair with making great coffee! Fast forward to 2005 and The Roasterie in Brookside opened. Voted “Best Coffee Shop in Kansas City” by KC Magazine five times and counting, The Roasterie is just the spot to get your day started with a hot cup of one of their signature blend coffees and a bagel or pastry – or catch a mid-afternoon espresso and people watch on their outdoor patio.

Brookside Real Estate

World’s Window allows shoppers to see and buy treasures of the world – all from the heart of Brookside. An experience like no other, World’s Window is your passport to the world of great shopping. Owners Jan and Lonnie Buerge believe shopping should be fun and with World’s Window they’ve hit that mark and beyond. When you walk in, you’re immersed in colors, sounds and smells that will remind you of places way beyond Kansas City. Whether you’re looking for decor for your home, a one-of-a-kind gift for a friend, or just the experience of traveling around the world in no time at all, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for at World’s Window.

Brookside Real Estate
Photo Courtesy of 435 Magazine

Not only does Brookside offer unique shopping and dining, it also boasts more than a few successful small businesses. Known by Brookside locals for their mini-fleet of Blue Beetles (over a dozen royal blue Volkswagens with a flair), Blue Beetle is your one stop shop for all things pest control. Started by Brookside resident Mitch Shipman 14 years ago, Blue Beetle services the entire KC metro and can solve anything from termite problems, mosquitoes, or bed bug treatments. The best part – their team of professional technicians are “dedicated to take care of whatever is bugging you”!

Be sure to check out any of these great businesses the next time you’re in Brookside! While you’re at it, stop by and say “Hi” to Brookside Real Estate – at 9 West 63rd Street. We’d be happy to chat with you and help you make our charming Brookside neighborhood your home too!

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Brookside Shops – Making BKS Great

There are so many reasons that we love Brookside, beyond our great residential neighbors, the charming shops and unique businesses are at the top of our list! The Brookside shopping area has everything from fine dining and superlative spirits, to fitness centers and a toy store! This time we thought we’d share 4 of our favorite neighborhood go-tos that we think you might want to visit!

  • Locally owned and operated since 1964, Brookside Toy & Science on 63rd Street has long been known as “the best toy store ever” by generations of kids in Brookside! And it’s no wonder – they’ve got everything from science kits and science fair supplies to alligator heads and skeletons! Plus, the staff are the most helpful toy experts in town. When you want to feel like a kid again – or you need just the right gift for the youngster in your life, be sure to stop by and check out an amazing toy collection like none you’ve seen before!
  • Mike’s Wine and Spirits. Specializing in a massive selection of craft beers, Mike's Liquorfine wines, and liquors, Mike’s Wine and Spirits has 3 locations in KC – and one of them is in the heart of Brookside! As a Kansas City native, owner Mike Doohan started his business in 2001. Currently living nearby in Waldo, he’s able to stay involved with the Brookside community that supports his business. Next time you’re thinking about trying out a new adult beverage, stop by Mike’s Wine and Spirits on 63rd Street – and better yet, they’ve got complimentary tastings every Friday!

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  • Orange Theory Fitness Studio on Main Street is a gym that has easy parking, a friendly staff, bright colors and is sure to have a just the right class for your specific fitness level! One of the great things about Orange Theory Fitness is their knowledgeable fitness trainers. They’ll keep you motivated and make sure you know how to safely and most effectively use all their equipment. The best part? You can try Orange Theory out for free! All you need to do is schedule a time.
  • A former legend of Waldo has been resurrected and is better than ever on 63rd Street in Brookside: Brookside Real Estate Michael Forbes Bar and Grille. Forbes Cross and his culinary crew have served up a large and delicious menu of homemade entrees for breakfast, lunch and dinner for over 30 years in Kansas City. Fittingly, their moto is “Eat Well, Live Well” and they strive to create a “Cheers” type of neighborhood atmosphere. Be sure to stop in and try something special from their broad menu – from their yummy steaks, to fresh seafood and pasta!

Suffice to say, the Brookside neighborhood is full of charming local businesses. Bring a friend and stop in and visit any of Brookside’s dozens of quaint shops and eateries and maybe chat up a few neighbors! While you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by 9 West 63rd Street – the home of Brookside Real Estate – to find out how you can make this special neighborhood your very own home!

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5 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Fall

The leaves will be changing and the weather will be turning cooler before we know it! Fall is a great time to take care of a few things around the house before winter sets in. Even some of the smallest improvements around the house can make a big difference in your home’s condition and value over time. Take a look at Brookside Real Estate’s 5 tips to getting your home ready for fall:

  1. Remove dead branches from your trees. Dead branches create great spaces for insects to burrow and for disease to spread throughout the entire tree. It’s best to remove them as soon as possible. And when winter sets in and all the leaves are gone, it’s much harder to tell which branches are dead and which are still alive. While your trees still have leaves on them, call a reputable contractor to examine and remove dead branches before the weight of snow or ice brings them down.
  2. Clean your gutters. Tall trees are very common in Kansas City, especially in Brookside! Clogged gutters can cause damage to the exterior of your home and lead to a flooded basement. Before the leaves fall this year, clear your gutters of any leaves and acorns. Once your gutters are cleared, cover them with mesh guards to keep debris from returning.
  3. Check your smoke and CO detectors. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on every level of your home. Daylight savings is the perfect time to test all of them! Set all of your clocks forward and replace the batteries in all of your detectors. Then test each detector in your home by pressing the test button. If you don’t have a smoke or CO detector on each floor, now is a great time to get them installed.
  4. Fall is for planting. Even though cold weather is lurking around the corner, fall is a great time to plant some gorgeous spring blooming flowers! The summer heat has passed and the short, bright days help your newly planted greeenery grow their roots. You will love seeing your plants blossoming when the weather warms up!
  5. Inspect your roof. There is nothing worse than trying to find the source of a leak on your roof while navigating through snow and ice. Before the weather turns, use binoculars and inspect your roof from top to bottom. Look for things like damaged or missing shingles. You’ll be glad to get it taken care of before it turns into a disaster.

 

There you have it – some great tips for preparing your home for fall! Most of these tips require a little bit of time but aren’t particularly costly. You will be surprised at how far a little sprucing up will go! Before you know it, your house will be in tip top shape and ready to endure Kansas City’s cold winter months!

If you are looking to buy or sell and would like some professional assistance, contact the team at Brookside Real Estate! We have over 30 years of experience in Kansas City and are experts in Brookside and other surrounding Kansas City neighborhoods. Give us a call at: (816) 333-3330, or stop by our storefront office at 9 W 63rd any time to chat. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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First-Time Home-Buyer Patio Party – Don’t Miss Out!

There are so many unknowns when investing in a home – the process seems highly complicated, there’s so much to consider, not to mention the questions you have may feel overwhelming. Maybe you’ve heard about the shortage of home inventory, or maybe you’ve heard that the #NumberOneMistake millennials are making right now is to not invest in a home. For many, just the thought of buying a first home can be overwhelming!

Whatever your concern, we’ve got answers at Brookside Real Estate’s Home Buyer Q&A Happy Hour on the Patio!
At Brookside Real Estate we recognize the questions are many for would-be first-time home buyers. Even if you’re not quite ready to buy a home, but would like to learn what steps you need to take to be ready financially, this Happy Hour’s for you! Our goal is to answer commonly asked questions, clear up any misconceptions, lay out steps along the home-buyer timeline, and take away the mystery from some ominous-sounding home buying terms.

To make the Happy Hour Q&A extra-informative, our very own Brookside Real Estate agent Jim Kraus will offer his best advice to prepare Home-Lookers to become Home-Buyers! We’ve also invited our friend Louisa from Bags of Fun Kansas City, an organization created to help make a difference in the lives of children and their families who are faced with fighting cancer and other long-term childhood diseases. If you could use a little more information before you decide to look for the homes of your dreams, then this casual and fun Happy Hour’s for you!

  • Where: The lovely outdoor patio of Brookside Real Estate Company at 9 W 63rd Street, right here in Brookside!
  • When: Tuesday, September 26 from 5:30- 7:00! Stop by on your way home from work for a little food and drink and stay for the Q&A time with Real Estate and Mortgage Professionals.
  • What to bring: Yourself! (And any other friends who want to learn more about the home-buying process!) We will provide the food, beverages – and helpful advice!
  • Who: You and other would-be future first time home buyers!

See you at 5:30, Tuesday, September 26, at Brookside Real Estate Company’s first time home-buyer happy hour! Need a little more info? Drop us a line at (816) 333-3330 to learn more, or just stop by!

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To Rent or Buy? Happy Hour Experts Reveals Tips

Buying your first home can be incredibly intimidating. When’s the best time to buy a house? Are you even ready and have you saved up enough money? How do you know you picked the right real estate agent? There are so many things to consider when purchasing your dream home – but where to turn? Recently an enthusiastic group of would-be future homeowners had those questions and more answered at Brookside Real Estate’s Home Buyer Happy Hour on the Patio!

The third event in an ongoing monthly series, Brookside Real Estate’s recent Home Buyer Happy Hour was again a great success! Brookside’s own Ellen Zetmeir gave an excellent presentation on the process of becoming a first-time home buyer. She kept the presentation fun and entertaining, and, as a professional Realtor was wonderful at demystifying the many steps of the often complex home buying process.

Ellen explained how obtaining your pre-approval letter is one of the best first steps in the home-buying process. Said Ellen, “A pre-approval letter will provide you with a better understanding of what the lender will give you versus what you can realistically afford to spend on your home.”

One of Ellen’s key recommendations was to find the right real estate agent for you. Ellen explained that. “you want someone who is tech savvy, someone who you can build a personal relationship with, and, most importantly, someone who you can be open and honest with!” Ellen continued, “As your personal agent, we are here for you no matter what the situation is – from morning to late at night, we want to make this process as easy as possible for you.”

In addition to Ellen, Joe Grego, Vice President of Mortgage Banking from OakStar Bank, also spoke at the Home Buyer Happy Hour. Joe discussed the advantages of buying a home versus renting a home.

According to Joe, “Because renting is becoming increasingly expensive – and the fact that you never see a return on your rental investment – buying a home is often a financially smarter and cheaper option to renting.”

Joe continued, “Another benefit to buying a house is seeing appreciation – an increase in the value of your home over time – which everyone loves!” In closing, Joe pointed out one of the more intangible but also one of the best reasons to buy a house, said Joe, “Being able to call a house your home and building lasting memories with friends and family is a truly most invaluable advantage of buying!”

Interested in purchasing a home for the first time yourself? Brookside Real Estate would love to walk you through the process and to help you down the path to finding your own dream home! Call us at 816-333-3330 or visit us at 9 West 63rd St. If you missed the Brookside Real Estate’s August Home Buyer Happy Hour, don’t worry, we are planning another session soon. Stay tuned for details! In the meantime, take a look at the photos below from the most recent event!

Photo gallery from Home Buyer Happy Hour

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Brookside Happy Hour on the Patio!

Maybe you’ve heard about the shortage of home inventory, or maybe you’ve heard that the #NumberOneMistake millennials are making right now is to not invest in a home. For many, just the thought of buying a first home can be overwhelming. There are so many unknowns, the process seems highly complicated, there’s so much to consider, not to mention the questions you have may feel silly.

Whatever your concern, we’ve got answers at Brookside Real Estate’s Home Buyer Q&A Happy Hour on the Patio!
At Brookside Real Estate we recognize the questions are many for would-be first-time home buyers. Even if you’re not quite ready to buy a home, but would like to learn what steps you need to take to be ready financially, this Happy Hour’s for you! Our goal is to answer commonly asked questions, clear up any misconceptions, lay out steps along the home-buyer timeline, and take away the mystery from some ominous-sounding home buying terms.

To make the Happy Hour Q&A extra-informative, we’ve invited our friend Joe Grego from the mortgage business to offer his expertise! He and our very own Brookside Real Estate agent Ellen Zetmeir will join up to offer their best advice to prepare Home-Lookers to become Home-Buyers!
If you could use a little more information before you decide to look for the homes of your dreams, then this casual and fun Happy Hour’s for you!

Where: The lovely outdoor patio of Brookside Real Estate Company at 9 W 63rd Street, right here in Brookside!
When: Tuesday, August 22 from 5:30- 6:45! Stop by on your way home from work for a little food and drink and stay for the Q&A time with Real Estate and Mortgage Professionals.
What to bring: Yourself! (And any other friends who want to learn more about the home-buying process!) We will provide the food, beverages – and helpful advice!
Who: You and other would-be future first time home buyers!

See you at 5:30, Tuesday, August 22, at Brookside Real Estate Company’s first time home-buyer happy hour! Need a little more info? Drop us a line at (816) 333-3330 to learn more, or just stop by!

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Mistakes Not to Make: Homebuyers Edition

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Let’s face it, sometimes the home-buying process can be overwhelming and all you want is to make sure that you aren’t making any terrible mistakes. Brookside Real Estate understands; with that in mind we have put together a list of the most common errors people make when buying a home – and how to avoid them.

  1. Do not shop for a home without an agent.
    Since we are Real Estate Agents, this may sound a bit self-serving – but read along and you’ll see our point. First, remember as a Buyer with Brookside Real Estate Company: You don’t pay for the Realtor’s service!  The Realtor’s compensation comes from the seller. (And unlike some other local brokerages Brookside Real Estate Company charges no transaction fees to buyers.) Buyer’s Agents are solely there to make all your home-owning dreams come true, and guide you through what can be a complex legal process.Brookside Managing Broker Jim Kraus compares the process of home buying to a court case, “Just like you wouldn’t go into a court of law without proper representation, attempting to buy a home without proper professional representation from an experienced Realtor is risky.  And truly, it just makes good sense to use a Realtor to protect your personal interests when making what is generally the largest purchase of your life!”
  1. Don’t hold out for a more perfect house.
    Drive around, gather ideas of what you want, the neighborhoods you like, even make a Pinterest board – all of this is helpful. But do not shop for a home without a trusted Realtor.If you aren’t designing and building your house, then chances are there isn’t going to be one that’s perfect in every way. That’s why it is important to make a list of your “would be nice” features versus your “must haves” features. This helps keep priorities straight and may help you find the home that is truly a great match for your needs – and simplify the decision process.
  1. Don’t forget to budget for Closing Costs.
    Closing Costs are the third-party fees associated with the transactions process of buying your new home. These include appraisals, credit reports, underwriters, inspections, etc. Your Realtor will be able to give you a rough estimate of closing costs once the seller accepts your offer – but you can expect anywhere from 2% to 7% of the cost of the house for closing fees. While the sellers may sometimes contribute funds to cover some of these costs (fees), the majority will be paid by the buyer (and rolled into your total home loan). Brace yourself, and don’t forget to add Closing Costs into your budget.

So, there you have it – now you’re well on your way to avoiding the most common mistakes of the home-buying process. And, especially don’t forget Step #1: Find a great Real Estate Agent you can trust – one who’ll listen to your needs, be an expert on the neighborhood, and look out for your very best interests. Look no further than Brookside Real Estate! Give us a call at 816-333-3330, or stop in and say “Hello” at 9 W 63rd Street – located in the heart of Brookside.

More about Brookside Real Estate, watch our video:

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Brookside’s Amazing Container Home!

When was the last time you really thought “outside the box” when it came to home design? Well that’s exactly what Debbie Glassberg did when she designed her dream home – and her outside the box thinking brought her inside the box! If you’ve never heard of shipping container houses, then toss out any preconceived ideas you may have and hold on tight. Not only are shipping container homes all the rage right now, this particular container home is truly a piece of art.

Debbie Glassberg, a professional toy designer for Disney, found that when a shipping container serves as the building block for a home the possibilities are endless. Debbie teamed up with Kansas City’s BNIM Architecture to design her amazing dream home. Part of that dream was to design a home that leaves less of a footprint – a not so easy task for a 2600 square foot home. Debbie and BNIM met that goal with an endless list of eco-friendly details, including an HVAC system that is geothermal (it uses the earth to actually help heat and cool the home!); energy efficient electric appliances, all LED lighting, thermal windows, low flow toilets – and the list goes on!

The home was thoughtfully built with each individual piece having specific intent and purpose. Most storage areas are built right in to the home –from bookshelves and dressers, to hidden storage cabinets, no space is wasted. And the sustainability concept carries beyond the

walls of the house, in fact, even the landscaping is edible. With fruit trees, herbs and veggies, it’s only a short walk outside to pick your next meal! The roof space is not wasted either, boasting rooftop gardens and patios. This efficient little ecosystem even supports a beehive – high above the front yard!

Thought to be Kansas City’s first ever container house, this amazing beauty of a home is no bland container. With striking curb appeal and no-detail-is-too-small interior touches, this one of a kind original is located in the heart Brookside – of one of Kansas City’s most desirable neighborhoods!

While Brookside offers a wide variety of home styles, this masterpiece of design-meets-function certainly is one of the most unique.  In 2015, Curbed.com labeled the house as “Maybe the Country’s Prettiest Shipping Container Home.”

Enjoy the photos below, and if you fall in love with the home as much as we did (or maybe you’d like to see what a kiwi plant in an edible yard looks like!), stop by Brookside Real Estate’s offices on 9 W 63rd St., and for more detailed home information, visit the home’s listing page here.

*Photos Courtesy of bnim

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First Time Buyers Enjoy Home Buyer Happy Hour on the Patio!

If you weren’t able to make it to Brookside Real Estate’s recent Home Buyer Happy Hour on the Patio we can only say one thing: You missed out! It was a great evening filled with food, fun and a great discussion on renting vs. buying a home! The short presentations from our expert panel were quite informative and our inquisitive group of attendees came prepared with many questions for our seasoned home buying experts to casually field over cocktails and appetizers.

Mortgage expert Mike O’Neill gave the first presentation and talked about what a renter needs to think about as he or she looks to buy a house. Mike made it clear that there were many personal and professional considerations that should be taken into account as a potential homebuyer looks toward making one of the biggest decisions of their life!

One of his key recommendations was to speak to a lender sooner rather than later. He noted there are often some financial wrinkles that need a little ironing out before jumping headfirst into the buyer pool. Mike also advised that speaking to a lender will give you a better idea of the timeline that you have to work with and the amount of home you can afford – very helpful advice as you decide if buying or renting is the best decision for you.

Brookside Real Estate’s own Courtney Kraus spoke next and walked through the basic steps and timeline of the home buying process itself. She kept it fun and upbeat with stories from past buying and selling experiences that had the whole patio laughing as they also learned what things to do and not do. Courtney also explained the importance of having an experienced Real Estate Agent. Not only can you save a great deal financially – and emotionally – but for a home buyer, having a Real Estate Agent is generally FREE! If you didn’t know that before, you do now!

As one guest commented, “I had no idea that learning about such a scary topic could be so fun! It gave me a lot to think about and now I know who to ask when I have more questions!”

If you missed the June Home Buyer Happy Hour, don’t worry, we are planning another session soon. Stay tuned for details – and take a look at the photos below from the event!

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Should I Rent or Should I Buy?!

To rent or to buy, that is the question! For the would-be first-time home-buyer there’s no easy answer. Especially in a “hot” housing market, it can seem quite overwhelming to even consider the idea of buying a house. There are dozens of online articles that come to different conclusions about the rent vs. buy decision. But how do you determine what’s right for you?

That’s why Brookside Real Estate started hosting our First Time Home Buyer Happy Hours earlier this spring – so you can have all the information you need to make the decision that is right for you, all presented in a casual low-key environment – aka: Happy Hour!

Our first Home Buyer Happy Hour was a rousing success. And, we created the upcoming Happy Hour based on the most common question we heard from would-be buyers at our first Happy Hour. The question was simple yet complex: “Should I rent, or should I buy?”  The variables that weigh into making this very personal decision are many.

Becoming a homeowner has long been a cornerstone of the American Dream: “Invest in a home, don’t throw money into a rental” is something that most young people hear.  And generally, that advice makes sense – but there are many considerations that play into whether the decision to buy is the right one for you right now.

Here are a few questions to consider: Are you planning to stay in the area for a while? Or will your job or family relocate in the not-to-distant future? What are the general trends of the neighborhood where you are looking to live? Is there a school system nearby that you would want your kids to be enrolled in? Are you generally handy with fixing mechanical things around the house? Do you want to rent to avoid the maintenance that goes along with owning a home? How important is it to invest in a large asset that you will own someday? Do you want to save money on your taxes?

There is much to consider! So if you want to become more educated in the “rent vs. buy” decision, we have just the event for you! We’ve assembled several speakers with years of experience in the financial, mortgage and Real Estate arenas to speak to these issues and answer your questions – all in a low-key fun and relaxed environment. (Did we mention this is a Happy Hour?!)

Even if you are far from being ready to buy your own home you can still stop by to meet other area young professionals that are in similar stages of their lives. Join us for an hour or two (on what looks to be a beautiful summer evening), complete with complimentary food and drinks, right here on our cozy (and well-shaded!) patio in the heart of Brookside!

Details:

Tuesday, June 27, from 5:30-6:45 at 9 W 63rd Street, in Brookside (just across the street from Charlie Hoopers)! RSVP to [email protected] or stop on by ­– everyone is welcome! Want a few more details? Drop us a line at (816) 333-3330 and we’ll fill you in! See you on Tuesday!