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Meet Judy Rea – Attorney and Realtor

When Judy Rea joined Brookside Real Estate Company back in 2002, she probably didn’t realize how many hats she would end up wearing or the variety of roles she’d fulfill!

Judy began as a broker/agent in 2002, then took on the added role of office manager when Jim Kraus purchased the company in January 2005.  Did we mention that Judy is also an attorney?”  Read on!

Judy began her professional career as a lawyer – which is not completely surprising as both Judy’s parents were also attorneys.  While in law school, Judy would meet her future husband, Loren Rea, whom she married in 1973.

The Brookside area charmed Judy and her husband from the start so it was natural that they would purchase their first house together along Gregory Boulevard in Brookside.  Four years later they moved to a house that they completely renovated near Loose Park where they still reside.  After 26 years practicing law, Judy was ready to take her career in a new direction and her many experiences with real estate (both as a lawyer and an investor) made for an easy transition to becoming a real estate agent with Brookside Real Estate Company.

“I really fell in love with the variety of styles and floorplans of the homes in Brookside,” said Judy.  “The friendliness and neighborliness throughout the entire community is something that I truly cherish.

With degrees in Sociology, Psychology and Law from UMKC, Judy also has a passion for learning – and a love for helping people.  Her favorite part of being a Realtor at Brookside Real Estate is doing the research to help her clients find the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood – followed closely by utilizing her negotiation skills to help those clients secure the best home deals.

Judy admits her real estate knowledge and experience goes well beyond Brookside; “Although I grew up in Independence and now live in Brookside, I’m familiar with neighborhoods up north, on the Kansas side, and really all around Kansas City.

In her free time Judy is an artist who enjoys painting, knitting, crocheting, reading and playing the piano.  “I also really enjoy cooking, entertaining friends, and spending time with our dog, Jazzy,” said Judy.  If you’re looking for an agent who not only loves and lives in Brookside, but is also knowledgeable of the surrounding area, call Brookside Real Estate Company and ask for Judy Rea.  We promised you will be glad you did!

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Agent Spotlight: Ellen Zetmeir

Brookside Real Estate agent Ellen Zetmeir may be the newest member of our team, but she’s been an expert in the field of understanding the structure and unique character of Brookside homes for years.

Ellen first fell in love with the neighborhood and its distinct and unique homes as a child when her uncle and aunt moved to Brookside.

A native of Kansas City, Ellen lived and worked in Wisconsin for several years, first working for a cabinet company and then for Pella windows. She moved back to Kansas City to be closer to family – and to finally live in Brookside, the neighborhood she’d loved since adolescence.

Ellen worked with Brookside Real Estate in finding and purchasing her Brookside dream home. Her own Brookside home-buying experience fanned the flames of Ellen’s passion for older homes and convinced her that working with home buyers and home sellers who had the same love for old homes – and for Brookside – was inevitable. Ellen decided to pursue her dream of becoming a real estate agent with the same company that helped her with her own home: Brookside Real Estate!

While Ellen’s expertise doesn’t limit her to working with older homes, houses built pre-1940 are her absolute favorite. “I see each home as unique, and as having its own story. In getting to know these homes I feel that I can see a part of their history and get to know their personality,” said Ellen.

This skill has proved invaluable to Ellen, enabling her to perfectly match each family with just the right home. Not only does her expertise help match homes for sale with the best buyers, it also helps her know what potential problems to look for in home inspections and to be able to effectively communicate the scope of any structure issue with her clients. “Older homes have their own personalities, and charm, but they also come with their own baggage. Helping buyers and sellers navigate this is one of my specialties,” said Ellen.

When Ellen is not busy matching homes with buyers, she loves to stay active in her community. She is a board member on the Wornall Homestead Homes Association and serves on the Country Club/Waldo Steering Committee. She is a lifetime Girl Scout member – honored with their “Thanks Badge” recognition, and continues to work with local Girl Scouting.

You can often find Ellen driving the streets of Brookside, top down on her SAAB, still admiring the architecture she fell in love with as a child. Or sharing her screened-in porch with friends, neighbors and clients – or even hosting a live blues music party in her back yard.

Click here to learn more about Ellen – or stop in and meet her at our offices at 9 West 63rd street! You’ll be glad you did!

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Agent Spotlight: Courtney Kraus

Brookside Real Estate agent Courtney Kraus has been selling houses for almost 20 years. After workingin the fast-paced commodity world on the trading floor at the Kansas City Board of Trade, she gave in to fate (both parents were Realtors) and got her real estate license in 1999. ​Her fast pace experience has been a big help. ​

She is passionate about real estate, “I love people and I really care about my clients, said Courtney. “This business can be so technical and at the same time requires a lot of creativity.” This profession fits perfectly for Courtney.  She takes great care in providing excellent service, juggling the technical details of her business along with managing her business relationships. “I want my clients to be happy with my service, said Courtney. “The rewards of the relationships are what make me tick.”

One of Courtney’s favorite experiences as an agent is when she was able to sell a home in Brookside that had already been listed for a year. “I listed the home, brought up some furniture from the basement, didn’t raise the price, and sold the home in less than a week,” said Courtney. After she found the seller a home in Waldo, she also listed her brother’s condo in Meyer West, and her Mom’s home in Mission Hills. “I really love when I’m able to help an entire family with their real estate needs.”

Courtney grew up in Kansas City, just south of the Plaza. ​ “Because of my profession, ​I’m able to get to know all the fabulous pockets of neighborhoods in our great city​,” said Courtney. She and her husband live in Waldo, just south of Brookside.  She believes Waldo is becoming the next Brookside. “It’s still affordable to the first-time buyer and close to shops, restaurants and coffee houses. “​Waldo’s value is appreciating, so now is a good time to buy.”

In her free time, she enjoys cooking, gardening, traveling, estate sale shopping, and hanging out with her pets.  If you’re searching for a Realtor who knows the ins-and-outs of real estate, you might want to talk with Courtney. After all, she’s been training for this job most of her life!  Call Brookside Real Estate and ask for Courtney, or check her out on our website. We promise, she will indeed exceed your expectations! ​

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Agent Spotlight: Nicole Lonergan

Brookside Real Estate Realtor Nicole Lonergan has been in residential real estate for almost 20 years now. She started first in new construction, but soon fell in love with the Brookside and Waldo areas of Kansas City. She wanted to work in the community that she lived in, so she joined Brookside Real Estate in 2010.  “Jim Kraus – Brookside Real Estate’s Company’s lead broker – is my brother-in-law, so it just made perfect sense to me to become a part of Brookside Real Estate,” said Nicole.

With a true passion for helping people, Nicole’s favorite aspect of being a real estate agent is being able to get the best deals for her clients. “It’s also really great to be able to live and work in such a wonderful community,” said Nicole. “I love Brookside, Waldo and the relationships I’ve built with my clients over the years.”

One of Nicole’s best experiences as an agent was when she was able to find a great home for a single mom with two children. “She thought she would never, ever be able to own a home,” said Nicole. “We worked as a team and were able to find a program that would work for her, and a home for her and her two kids! That was pretty cool.”

The Waldo and Brookside areas are great neighborhoods to attend events like trolley runs and festivals. It’s filled with charming shops and some of the most unique homes in Kansas City. Not only does Nicole know the ins outs of Brookside, but no one knows Waldo better than her!  She works and lives in the wonderful Waldo neighborhood along with her husband, Eddie, and three kids Dylan (18), Jack (6), and Emma (7).  When Nicole’s not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family. “We love to go hiking on the trails in Kansas City – and we can’t wait to go on vacation to Colorado this summer!”

Nicole says her job isn’t over once the closing documents have been signed. Many times her clients will come to her, even after they’ve moved into their new home, with real estate questions. Nicole is always more than happy to answer their questions and be their real estate advisor for as long as they need. Having experience in both new and old homes, Nicole is extremely well-rounded – and here to answer any questions you may have!

Just click here to learn more or contact Nicole today!

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30 Years and Beyond!

2017 was the 30th Anniversary of Brookside Real Estate, and we took that has an opportunity to refresh
our commitment to the Brookside Community and as a challenge to being as accessible as possible to the buyers and sellers in this wonderful neighborhood we call home. As we bid farewell to 2017, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on a great year and thank all the wonderful clients that have made the past 12 months (not to mention 30 years!) so special.

We started 2017 by launching a brand-new website with an updated look and feel and, also, as our smartphone users have certainly noticed, we became mobile-friendly! Our new website has made it easier than ever to connect with any of the agents at Brookside Real Estate – and review up-to-the-minute new listings!

On the “put a face with a name” front, we made it easier than ever to recognize our friendly crew of agents with several new billboards around town. We also created a short video (conveniently linked on our website) so you can get to know our agents a little better and learn more about our Brookside community.

To make our Brookside office easier to spot (especially in these shortened-sunlight days of fall and winter), we gave our 63rd Street office signage a graphic facelift and – drum roll please – powered up the backlights of the sign for the first time in 30 years! Rain or shine, if our flag is flying and our lights are on, stop on by and say “Hi!” – we’re always in the mood to meet a new friend!

Another goal for our anniversary year was to get the word out about Brookside to apartment dwellers and millennials who might not know the ins and outs of what it takes to buy a home. We thought, “What better way to educate and socialize than over an adult beverage on the back deck?” This inspired brainstorming led directly to Brookside Real Estate’s “First Time Home Buyer Happy Hours”!

Beyond sharing a beer and small bites, it was clear that first time home buyers have a lot of questionsand often wanted more knowledge about buying without a major commitment. Our goal was to answer commonly asked questions, clear up any misconceptions, lay out steps along the home-buyer timeline, and take away some of the mystery from sometimes ominous-sounding home buying terms.

The team here at Brookside Real Estate are thankful for the success we’ve experienced in 2017. Without a doubt, it wouldn’t be possible without our great clients! We welcome 2018 and we’re committed to continue to provide our new clients with the same high level of personal service, commitment and dedication that past clients have come to expect. We especially look forward to developing new relationships with even more wonderful clients in Brookside – and throughout the Kansas City community!

We wish you and your family enjoy a very Happy Holiday season and have a safe and happy New Year!

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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!

Brookside Real Estate

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