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10 Tips to Get Your House Ready to Sell This Spring

Getting ready to sell your house this spring?

It’s time to get to work! Putting your house on the market entails a lot more than just propping up a “For Sale” sign on your front lawn. Before you put your house on the market, take a look at Brookside Real Estate’s 10 tips to get your house ready to sell for top dollar!

    1. 1. Focus on Curb Appeal: First impressions are everything. Regardless of how much effort you put into the interior of your home, the exterior is the first thing potential buyers see. Give your house a good power wash and fix the little things – touch up your paint and replace rotting trim. And don’t forget about your lawn! Keep your grass mowed and put down some fresh mulch – you never know who may be driving by.
    2. 2. Declutter Living Areas: When it comes to getting your house ready to show, less is more – you’re trying to sell your house, not your stuff! Start off with a clean sweep of counters, tables, windowsills and all other visible areas. Then, move on to hidden items in drawers, closets and cabinets. Next, take a look at the furniture around your home and ask yourself if each piece is adding to the overall ambiance. If not, get rid of it or move it to the basement for the time-being! Everything in your home is coming out anyway, so consider it pre-moving.
    3. A featured home by Brookside Real Estate3. Depersonalize Your Space: Now that you’ve decluttered, it’s time to depersonalize your space. When potential buyers come into your house, they want to be able to picture themselves living in the home. This step includes removing personal items, family photos and any other bold artwork/furniture that could make your house seem too lived in. The goal is to create a blank canvas, so home buyers can project their own visions of living there.
    4. 4. Paint Walls to Neutral Tones: Freshly painted rooms make everything look fresh and clean! Stick to neutral colors – you may prefer bright and bold colors, but that doesn’t go for everyone. Light and neutral colors also allow buyers to envision what the walls will look like with the color of their choice. Keep in mind, your prospective buyers are mentally noting all of the jobs they will need to take care of once moving in.
    5. 5. Touch Up Scuff Marks and Loose Handles: Even if you’re not doing a full-on repainting project, pay close attention to scrubbing and touching up doors, walls and baseboards to make your house look especially cared-for. Fix any loose handles and replace missing lightbulbs. The small details matter. You don’t want the buyer to stop and wonder what else is broken in the home.
    6. 6. Add Greenery: Another small detail that goes a long way- green is good! Plants create a warm, welcoming environment. Add a touch of greenery to each room to keep a consistent welcoming environment throughout the entire home. Consider adding a bouquet of flowers to the dining table and a bowl of fresh, colorful fruit in the kitchen.
    7. A newly remodeled home of Brookside Real Estate7. Deep Clean: Clean, clean, clean and then clean some more! You want your house to be spotless. Give the bathrooms special attention – making sure everything sparkles. Complete your initial deep cleaning and continue to maintain the cleanliness each day. This way you won’t feel panicked when a call for a showing comes through.
    8. 8. Complete a Smell Test: Now that you’ve deep cleaned the house, have an unbiased third party in to detect any lingering odors. Even the slightest foul odors can be a deal breaker, and the biggest problem is you may not even notice them. Many buyers are on to “masking techniques” including plug-in deodorizers and candles, so it’s important confirm all odors are eliminated prior to adding pleasant scents.
    9. 9. Complete Research on Staging: If you’re like most people, there’s a good chance your furniture has been arranged the same way for a decade. Although this can be fine in some cases, there may be a better way to stage your house you haven’t thought of. Do a quick search on home staging – you’ll find free advice and information to get your home ready to sell. Making rooms look larger is key!
    10. 10. Find a Great Real Estate Agent: Unfortunately, integrity can be a bit lacking when it comes to the real estate business. At Brookside Real Estate, integrity is a way of life! This is an earned and prized professional trademark for our team of Realtors – and an implied promise that we go above and beyond the ordinary to enhance your experience using our experience – from day one, to closing. Click here to learn more about our team of agents!

Now that your home is market ready, leave it to the experts at Brookside Real Estate in Kansas City to take it from here! Give us a call at (816) 333-3330 or stop by our storefront office at 9 W 63rd Street – when the flag is up, we’re open!

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Kansas City Winter Storm Power Outages: What to Do to Stay Safe

At the peak of Kansas City’s past weekend winter storm, 160,000 Kansas City Power & Light customers were without power. This is still the case today for a handful of those customers. Being without a steady supply of heat impacts not only you and your family, but your home can suffer from dampness – damaging walls, floors and plumbing. With another round of winter weather set to hit this coming weekend, it’s important to be prepared.

Take a look at Brookside Real Estate’s tips to keep your family and home safe during a winter power outage.

  • Stay Warm: Dress in layers and huddle under extra blankets with your family members and pets to share body heat. Use towels or blankets to block any drafts around windows and doors. Find the warmest room in your house to stay in.
  • Keep Your Food Cold: Food can stay frozen 24-36 hours if the refrigerator/freezer doors remained closed. For refrigerated items, consider using coolers with ice to preserve the more important items. It’s also important to stalk up on non-perishable foods such as bread, peanut butter, canned tuna, trail mix, protein bars and more prior to the start of the coming storm.
  • Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Although tempting, don’t attempt to make makeshift heaters like clay pot heaters or use a gas stove to stay warm. We suggest having your fireplace and chimney cleaned before using. Fires and carbon monoxide are both very serious risks.
  • Prevent Additional Damage: Unplug all appliances and electronics to avoid a surge when the power comes back on. If you have electric heat, keep all water taps on a slow drip to prevent pipes from freezing and potentially bursting. NOTE: if your power goes out while you’re cooking, disconnect your stove immediately.
  • Consider Purchasing an Emergency Generator: Generators can supply enough power to keep our households operating until the electricity returns. Having a portable electrical generator on hand in the event of a major power outage can help your family weather the storm.
  • Stay with Someone Who Has Power: If the temperature dips as low as predicted, and you do not have a generator, it might be best to leave your home. In the case of evacuation, turn off the main breaker, circuit breaker panel or power supply box. Turn off the water main and drain all water from the system. If you have a gas heater, turn out the pilot light. Lastly, be sure to remove all valuables off the basement floor in the case of flooding.
  • Back in Business: When the power comes back on, verify once more that all appliances and electronics have been unplugged before turning the main power switch on to prevent power surge damage. Turn the water supply back on, keeping the taps on the lowest level of your home closed to allow air to be released out of the upper taps. Keep your heater slightly above normal temperature for a few hours to help your house dry. Don’t forget to check your food supplies for spoilage.

Be safe and stay warm this weekend, Kansas City!

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Why You Should Sell Your Home in 2019

Take a look at this recent article from U.S. News:

“Few people are predicting that 2019 will be a record-breaking year for home prices.

But relatively speaking, 2019 might be the best time for you to put your house on the market. Especially if you’re on the fence about selling this year or next, Nick Ron, CEO of House Buyers of America, recommends going with the devil you know rather than the devil you don’t.

“I think it’ll be better than 2020 and 2021 – who knows what’s going to happen in those years,” Ron says.

Home price growth slowed in the second half of 2018, with fewer buyers entering the market, at least partially due to rising interest rates issued by the Federal Reserve. In 2019, consumers shouldn’t expect homebuyers to flood the market again and drive prices through the roof, but it’s also unlikely to be a crisis for home sellers.

If you bought your house in the last year or two, still love it and don’t want to part with it, go ahead and wait another five years before revisiting the thought of selling. But if you’re weighing your options to sell, considering selling this year or maybe the year after, don’t play the waiting game. Here are four reasons to sell your house in 2019.

New buyers are still entering the market. As interest rates rise, some buyers will hesitate to make an offer on a home or apply for a mortgage, so be ready to see occasional drops in buyer activity. And if your house is at the higher end of the price range in your market, you should expect less buyer interest than before. Ron notes the combination of rising mortgage rates and home prices exceeding buyers’ budgets are what has caused the slowing of homebuyer activity in recent months.

But with available housing inventory remaining low, even with rising interest rates, buyers who are ready to make a purchase will still shop for homes. The biggest wave of new homebuyers will be among millennials, who are mostly first-time buyers. In a Harris Poll survey of 2,000 U.S. adults commissioned by real estate information company Trulia, more than one-fifth of Americans between ages 18 and 34 said they plan to buy a home within the next 12 months. Already, millennials make up the largest share of homebuyers at 36 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors, which released the number in March 2018.

The bottom line: While houses may sit on the market for a few more days on average compared with 2017 when the market was white-hot, buyers remain active and it’s still possible to profit from your home sale.

Interest rates are still low-ish. Mortgage interest rates are rising, reaching 4.87 percent in November for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, per data from Freddie Mac. While rates are at their highest level since February 2011, they remain much lower than the historic high of more than 18 percent in 1981.

It’s important to keep in mind that while mortgage rates tend to mirror the Fed’s interest rate activity, mortgage rates are based on the market in that moment, your financial status and the property you’re looking to purchase.

Just because the Fed raises rates at one meeting doesn’t mean mortgage rates will follow that exact pattern. “Not every Fed increase is passing on (to) a mortgage rate,” says John Pataky, executive vice president and chief consumer and commercial banking executive at TIAA Bank.

A sudden leap in mortgage interest rates is unlikely in 2019, though Pataky notes that you should be ready to see rates continue to climb. “We do expect over the next 12 months that mortgage rates will continue to drift higher,” he says.

If you’re looking to get the lowest interest rate possible on your next house, try to make a deal sooner rather than later.

You have high equity. Homeowners who bought during the recession or shortly after benefitted from historically low interest rates and, up until around 2015, lower home prices that were still in recovery mode. If you fall into that category, your home equity has risen with nearly every mortgage payment, each renovation you made to the house and all the other houses on the block that sold for a higher price.

The higher your equity in your home, the more you net from the sale, which can easily go toward the down payment on your next house. The larger your down payment, the better you look to lenders and the lower your interest rate will be, and the less likely you’ll need to increase monthly payments with private mortgage insurance.

Selling in 2019 vs. 2020. If not selling your home in 2019 means putting your house on the market in 2020, the sooner option is the best one. In a survey of 100 U.S. real estate experts and economists by real estate information company Zillow, released in May, almost half expect the next recession to occur in 2020. Another 14 percent believe the recession will hold out until 2021, while 24 percent of panelists expect the recession earlier – sometime in 2019.

Whether you believe the recession is imminent or a long way off, current real estate patterns indicate a sudden upswing in activity or prices is unlikely in the near future. Real estate markets tend to operate on a cycle of their own, the length of which varies by market but can be between 10 and 16 years total and flow from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market with a period of balance in between.

“It doesn’t look like there’s anything on the horizon that’s going to cause a big spike in home prices or increase demand dramatically,” Ron says.”

Looking to sell your home in 2019? The experts at Brookside Real Estate are here to help! Give us a call at (816) 333-3330 or stop by our storefront office at 9 W 63rd St – when the flag is up, we’re open!

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Get to Know Brookside’s Mural Artist Ruthie Ozonoff

Have you seen the new addition to Brookside? Located at 63rd and Brookside Blvd., across the street from The Roasterie Café, the new “Always and Forever Brookside Postcard” mural is the current talk of the town! We took the time to get to know artist Ruthie Ozonoff, to find out a little more about her and how this beautiful mural came to be.

Ruthie has been drawing, painting and creating art since she could pick up a pencil! In 2016, she took her skill set to the next level by graduating from The University of Kansas with her BFA in Illustration and Animation. Now, Ruthie looks forward to everything coming full circle when she paints her own mural on KU’s campus this coming spring!

Ruthie has painted a number of well-known murals in the Kansas City area including: “Kansas City I’m so in Love” at the Imagine That! Art Studio in the Crossroads and “Where KC Plays” for KC Parks and Recreation in the West Bottoms. You can also find her work in Liberty, MO at MelRoe’s School of Dance. Visitors come from near and far to take photos in front of her renowned art!

Ruthie and her Finished Masterpiece!

Ruthie was commissioned by the business owners at 63rd and Brookside Blvd. to paint a mural tying into Brookside’s upcoming 100th birthday on September 1, 2019. She presented the charming idea of a postcard mural – allowing visitors to make themselves the message of the postcard! The mural also includes the date that Brookside was established – September 1, 1919. The commissioners were thrilled with the idea and after weeks of hard work, the “Always and Forever Brookside Postcard” mural made its big reveal!

Having spent her childhood in Brookside, Ruthie could not be more excited to have her artwork on display in her old stomping grounds. “I’m just really glad that I had the opportunity to give a special gift to the Brookside area for everyone to enjoy and interact with,” said Ruthie. “I’ve always wanted to impact people positively through my work, so I hope people will cherish this mural and it will become a special part of the community,” she continued.

We have a feeling Ruthie’s wish to impact the community is one that will come true. Thank you for using your skill to add yet another wonderful component to Brookside, Ruthie!

Next time you’re in the Brookside area, be sure to stop a take a picture in front of Ruthie’s postcard mural! While you’re in the neighborhood, stop by 9 W 63rd St and see your friends at Brookside Real Estate. When the flag is up, we’re open!

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Brookside – Your One-Stop Destination for The Holidays!

The holiday season is here! The air is filled with cheer and Christmas lights are already twinkling in Brookside! For years, holiday shoppers have flocked to Brookside for the best in local shopping. Home to over 70 shops, restaurants, boutiques and small businesses, and of course, your friends at Brookside Real Estate! We’re here to fill you in on our favorite go-to spots for all things holiday!

The STUFF Sisters: Sloane & Casey Simmons

a store named STUFF: Locally owned and stocked with plenty of locally made art and gifts, STUFF is Brookside Real Estate’s pick for one-of-a-kind, handmade holiday gifts. Whether you’re looking for a bigger more extravagant gift, or some unique stocking stuffers, STUFF is sure to have something for you!

The New Dime Store: A Brookside local staple, The New Dime Store is, “Brookside’s everything store.” Browse through an assortment of gifts or pop in for the Christmas essentials – decorations, wrapping paper, gift bags, ribbon and holiday cards – there’s something for everyone at The New Dime Store!

Carmen’s Café: Wanting to host a holiday party? Let Carmen’s take care of you! Carmen’s Café offers a private dining room featuring an open kitchen and full bar for parties with up to 85 guests. Rather host your holiday party at your home? Carmen’s Café can cater your event! With the ability to customize the perfect menu and accommodate most any budget, your guests are sure to be pleased with Carmen’s! For more information about events and catering, click here.

Brookside Barkery & Bath

Brookside Barkery & Bath: Your furry family members deserve extra love during the holidays as well! The best local shop for all your pet’s needs is Brookside Barkery & Bath! Treat your furry friend to a pet stocking filled with all-natural holiday treats and toys. While you’re at it, bring the whole family in on December 7th and take a family photo with Santa! Click here for more information.

Charlie Hooper’s: The #1 destination for Brookside Real Estate owner, Jim Kraus, Charlie Hooper’s is Brookside’s original neighborhood bar and grille! With two private event areas to host your holiday party: The Trophy Room seats up to 50 people and can accommodate up to 100 for a casual cocktail party. Perfect for a smaller holiday party, The Tap Room seats up to 20 and can accommodate up to 30. Click here for more information.

Although these are just five of 70+ options, one thing is for sure – Brookside is your one-stop destination for the holidays! Don’t miss out on Small Business Saturday this November 24, 2018 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Not only will shoppers be supporting local businesses, they’ll also enjoy an assortment of refreshments and gift wrapping at various businesses!

While you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and see us at 9 W 63rd St – the home of Brookside Real Estate. When the flag is up, we’re open!

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Brookside Voted KC’s Best Neighborhood!

The people have spoken: The Pitch “Best of Kansas City” winner for Best Neighborhood is none other than (drum roll please): Brookside! It’s true, Brookside Real Estate’s namesake neighborhood edged out noteworthy neighborhood finalists including Hyde Park, Union Hill, Waldo and Westport in The Pitch’s annual competition to find KC’s best. Of course, the team at Brookside Real Estate recognized this quite some time ago – and now we’re here to share our top 5 reasons why Brookside is truly Kansas City’s very best neighborhood!

1. A Great Place to Walk: When you live in Brookside you’re just a hop, skip, jump or short walk away from anything and everything you want or need! Get some fresh air while you grab a cup of coffee at The Roasterie, take your furry friend on a walk to The Barkery for a treat, stop in the Brookside Market for some gourmet groceries, or meet your friends at Brookside Barrio for the happiest of happy hours. Brookside residents know there’s no need to drive – they just slip on their walking shoes and make the quick trip to “downtown” Brookside!

2. Brookside is Local: Another favorite aspect of Brookside is all the locally owned shops and businesses. Living Local is a wonderful attribute that sets Brookside apart from most other KC neighborhoods. In fact, just about any time you set foot into a shop along the Brookside shopping promenade, you’re bound to be greeted by a smiling and familiar face! Home to over 70 unique shops, restaurants, boutiques and small businesses, you can’t help but support local business, local families, local products and/or local makers any time you shop in Brookside.

3. Community: Contrary to most neighborhoods today, Brookside is truly the definition of a tight-knit community. That community-connectedness is especially on display during events like Brookside’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Brookside Art Annual. Newer events like Trick or Treat Street, Sip & Shop and Brookside’s Holiday Season Opener give newbies a chance to get to know the community. Many of the residential streets of the neighborhood throw summer or fall block parties – closing streets for daytime games and lasting into the night with music, food and fun activities for both young and old. It’s just what you’d expect from this family-friendly neighborhood that has a little bit of something for everyone!

4. Unique Architecture: Full of well-built single-family homes, each house in Brookside is unique and almost all have a rich history. Ranging in style from smaller American Tudors and Craftsmen Bungalows to larger Colonial revivals and American Georgian styles, no two houses are the same in Brookside. Interested in taking a peek inside a Brookside home or two? We know just who to call!

5. Increasing Property Values: Home values in Brookside have increased 9.5% over the past year and are predicted to rise another 3.5% within the coming year! When you choose to buy a home in Brookside not only do you get to enjoy this special community on an everyday basis – you’re also making a smart financial decision.

Are you looking to become a part of Kansas City’s Best Neighborhood? Give the home pros at Brookside Real Estate Company a call at (816) 333-3330 or stop by our storefront office at 9 W 63rd St – when the flag is up, we’re open. We can’t wait to share even more reasons why Brookside is KC’s Best Neighborhood!

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The History of Brookside’s Harry Wiggins Trolley Track Trail

If you are familiar with the Brookside area, chances are you have seen, or even taken a jog on, the Harry Wiggins Trolley Track Trail. The 6-mile-long Harry Wiggins Trolley Track Trail is one of Kansas City’s most popular trails for walkers, runners and cyclists. Some of you may be wondering: Where did this trail come from? Has it always just been a walking trail? Who is Harry Wiggins? We’ve done some digging and are here to fill you in on the history of the Trolley Track Trail.

Named after the departed Missouri state senator who helped secure funding for the trail, the Harry Wiggins Trolley Track Trail was originally the site of Kansas City’s last streetcar line, the Country Club Line, prior to today’s RideKC Streetcar. The Country Club Line was the golden opportunity for transportation to the Brookside Shops, outlasting the struggling streetcar system throughout the rest of the city.

Country Club Line (#56) at the Brookside Station, circa 1950 Courtesy of Wilborn & Associate

The trip from downtown Kansas City to Brookside and back was a great adventure on the Country Club Line. One could, “travel from the tranquility of tree-lined streets to the exotic views of the Plaza, then north on Main buzzing along with the traffic as the car slipped past apartment buildings and warehouses and then finally to the glittering canyons of downtown, filled with the allure of the department store windows,” LaDene Morton stated in The Brookside Story: Shops of Every Necessary Character. Regardless of the trip, the gateway to all adventures was the transit stop at 54th Street and Brookside Boulevard – where the restored station remains to this day.

Though the last run for the Country Club Line was in 1957, the tracks remained intact long after. “To the neighborhood, they were a nostalgic reminder of the days gone by. To others, they marked a critical easement, a valuable piece of property with potential for many purposes,” Morton stated. Over the years, there were repeated attempts to reclaim the full right-of-way for a variety of purposes, at one point even including talks of a freeway. Those plans were clearly never executed, but in the 1990s, the easement was converted to a bike and pedestrian trail, still known today as the Harry Wiggins Trolley Track Trail.

Is there potential for the Harry Wiggins Trolley Track Trail to be converted back into a streetcar line? A recent vote to extend the RideKC Streetcar from the River Market to UMKC is currently the talk of the town. Some proponents want to see the line extended an additional 6.3 miles along the Harry Wiggins Trolley Track Trail. Some say they would like to see the streetcar line run alongside the Trolley Track Trail, accommodating those who would like to keep the trail for pedestrians and bikers. Although nothing is confirmed as of now, we’re certain there will be more talk about the future of the Harry Wiggins Trolley Track Trail.

Looking to buy a home and learn even more about the history of Brookside? Turn to the Brookside Real Estate (and history!) experts. Give us a call at (816) 333-3330 or stop by our storefront office at 9 W 63rd St – when the flag is up, we’re open!

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Brookside’s Hidden Treasures: Pocket Parks

What is a pocket park? Pocket parks are hidden landlocked green areas taken care of by the subdivision Homes Association. In fact, if your house doesn’t back up to a pocket park, there’s a good chance you have no idea the pocket parks we are about to explore even exist! Although they are open to the public, pocket parks don’t have a public entrance like most parks. To get to these hidden treasures, you must cut between houses. Let’s take a closer look at Brookside Real Estate Company’s top 4 Brookside pocket parks!

  1. Grand Avenue Pocket Park: One of the larger pocket parks in the area, Grand Ave Pocket Park located at 66th Terr & Edgevale, is the perfect open space for children to play. Join the Pocket Park Cleanup Workday October 6 starting at 9:30am! Trash bags and water will be provided – just bring your gloves and yard tools to help get the park cleaned up. Following the workday will be Movie Night in the Park! All you need to bring are chairs and blankets – popcorn and a movie on the big screen will be provided by the Armour Hills Homes Association. What a fun way to get the family involved and get to know your neighbors!
  2. Southside of Edgevale Pocket Park: The ideal space for a game of baseball and/or kickball! The best part? There is plenty of space with a fence behind home plate, so you won’t have to worry about a foul ball ending with a broken window! Located at 66th & Main, this pocket park is easily accessible by turning down the back alley between houses. Pack an afterschool snack and enjoy a picnic at the provided picnic table while the kids release all their built-up energy.
  3. Happy Woods Pocket Park: Right in the heart of Crestwood at 55th between Oak & Cherry, this spacious pocket park has plenty of room for various activities. Eat lunch at one of three park tables, read a book while seated on the private bench, swing on the swing set, climb around the playground or play catch in the open land. Happy Woods Pocket Park is a beautiful place to sit back and relax while your kids release their energy!
  4. Cherry Woods Pocket Park: Another Crestwood gem, Cherry Woods Pocket Park at 55th between Cherry & Holmes, is the last pocket park on our list! A park with plenty of space for the kids to play, Cherry Woods has a playground and trampoline, as well as a table and lounge chairs for the less active. End your day with an evening at Cherry Woods Pocket Park!

Looking to move to the Brookside area and take advantage of these beautiful pocket parks + more? Give us a call at (816) 333-3330 or stop by our storefront office at 9 W 63rd St – when the flag is up, we’re open! We can’t wait to show you all of the aspects that make Brookside the most sought after place to live in KC.

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Getting to Know the Neighborhood – Brookside Shops

The many great shops, restaurants and small businesses of Brookside are an essential component to what makes the Brookside neighborhood truly unique. Many of the great shops and businesses are locally owned, offering everything from delicious cuisine to one-of-a-kind floral arrangements and hand-crafted candles. Home to over 70 shops, restaurants, boutiques, offices and small businesses, we get up close and personal with three of our favorite neighborhood go-tos!

5B&Co. Candlemakers

Originally founded in Weston, Missouri by Marsha Flowers, former elementary school teacher Lori Woods was a frequent shopper at this charming candle shop. Lori mentioned to Marsha that she would love to open a store in Brookside. One thing led to another and, 6 months later, Lori’s Brookside dream became a reality.

5b&Co. Owner: Lori Woods

Fast forward to today and Lori just celebrated 15 years as the owner of Brookside’s 5B&Co. Candlemakers! A longtime favorite shop of Brookside Real Estate’s owner Jim Kraus and his wife Roberta, this lovely shop offers over 170 different candle scents to choose from. Lori said that 5B&Co’s customers’ favorite scent is “Brookside Bungalow.”

“Reminiscent of crisp summer air blowing through the windows on a quiet night complete with all the neighborhood charm as its namesake,” Brookside Bungalow is the perfect candle for all fans of the Brookside neighborhood!

When asked what she likes best about her shop being located in Brookside, Lori’s response was exactly the reason we too love to shop local: “It’s the people, they are very loyal,” Lori said. “Roberta Kraus has been shopping with me the entire time we’ve been in business. Brookside has a real feel of community and everyone wants to keep it that way.”

The Fiddly Fig

Now celebrating their 35th anniversary, this family owned and operated florist provides only the highest quality flowers, plants and gifts at the fairest possible prices. Whether you need arrangements for a wedding, graduation, a birthday, anniversary – or even just to say, “I’m thinking of you!” – Fiddly Fig is the local place to go.

One of the things we love most about Fiddly Fig is their dedication to customer service. Offering their 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, Fiddly Fig will gladly replace your purchase if it does not meet your expectations – with absolutely no hassle.

One nearby customer said, “The flower arrangements, bouquets and ceremony décor for our wedding were absolutely beautiful! Fiddly Fig took my ideas and made them come to life even better than I could’ve imagined.”

The beauty and quality of Fiddly Fig’s floral arrangements speak for themselves, but the above and beyond customer service is what we at Brookside Real Estate admire the most about this local business. We are proud to be a part of such a wonderful community!

Brookside Barrio

New to the Brookside community this year, Brookside Barrio is the talk of the town! This warm and inviting taqueria-inspired restaurant offers “street” tacos and a variety of other Mexican-inspired items. With more outdoor seating than indoor, this casual restaurant is the perfect place to grab a drink while munching on some chips and salsa under the covered patio this summer!

When asked how Brookside has responded to the opening of Brookside Barrio, Luke Pickett, Managing Partner, said, “So far it’s been pretty great! We have been busy since we opened, and everyone has been really supportive.” Luke continued, “I live right down the street, so I love the neighborhood. It’s a very local, tight-knit community. Being local guys, this is where we wanted to be.”

After a couple of afternoon get-togethers at Brookside Barrio, the Realtors of Brookside Real Estate agree that this tasty south of the border culinary destination is the perfect addition to our community. If you haven’t visited yet, try out Brookside Barrio for yourself – with sunshine, fresh margaritas and a variety of specialty tacos, we don’t know of a better place to enjoy summer in Brookside!

Be sure to check out these unique businesses for yourself the next time you’re in Brookside. While you’re in the neighborhood, stop by 9 West 63rd Street – the home of Brookside Real Estate – when the flag is up, we’re open! We can’t wait to show you how you can make this special neighborhood your very own home!

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Spotlight: Jim Kraus

Who is Brookside Real Estate Broker and Realtor Jim Kraus? Many often assume he is the founder of Brookside Real Estate Company, but that’s not the case. In fact, Jim’s original career was in Advertising where he spent 20 years in various marketing/advertising positions – including with the Kansas City Royals as a marketing intern, then a gig selling commercial specialty printing and later in sales management at local radio stations, KMBZ, KCMO and 101 The Fox, to name a few.

After two decades in marketing, printing and broadcast, Jim decided to make a change. He realized the career satisfaction he longed for was not in marketing sales. That’s when Jim decided to take a leap of faith, follow in his father’s career footsteps and pursue a career in residential Real Estate.

Jim received his license to practice in 2003 and decided to hang his license with a local agency called Brookside Real Estate – founded and at the time owned by an old acquaintance of his father named Lee McGraw. Jim apparently was just the kind of guy Lee wanted to carry on the company he created.

Ironically, Jim found out that his very own father was the real estate professional that Lee considered to be his own mentor. Two short years and a fair amount of challenging yet rewarding work later, Jim would become the new owner of Brookside Real Estate Company!

“I love Brookside so much that is was natural for me to buy the company,” Jim said. “It’s where I’ve lived my entire life!” Jim refers to Brookside as his, “stomping ground,” recalling times when he would sled down suicide hill and trick-or-treat through the neighborhood as a child.

Jim continued, “I’ve sold houses that I mowed lawns for as a teenager. I’ve sold houses where I cut through their yard as a shortcut to play football with a buddy. I’ve sold houses where I played basketball in their driveway growing up. For me, Brookside is, and always has been, my home.”

To Jim the real estate business is not about being #1 in a zip code or even having the most sales, it’s about putting people in homes they love. According to Jim, “I see these people at the Brookside Market, at the Barkery, at sporting events or even just walking out of Jimmy Johns. I like seeing them and knowing not only am I their agent, I’m their neighbor.”

According to Jim’s fellow realtors at Brookside Real Estate, one thing that sets Jim apart from other realtors is how he goes above and beyond for every showing – turning on lights, setting the thermostat, making beds (and, well, even picking up dog do-do!).

“I don’t care if it’s a $100,000 house or a $1,000,000 house, I provide the same service,” Jim said. Buyer or seller, Jim wants all parties involved to have the best real estate experience – and deal – possible. Importantly, Jim says he really cares about finding the just perfect home for his neighbors to continue to grow their lives and their families.

Although 15 years ago making a complete career change and leaving a six-figure job was a pretty big risk, Jim says he could not be more satisfied with the positive effect that change has had on his life. Jim says there’s no question, being a realtor truly is in his blood, noting, “It’s the thrill of seeing people walk through that door for the first time after closing – and seeing the kids take off running through the house. Those moments – watching a house magically transforming into a home – there’s nothing better than that.”

So, next time you see Jim Kraus at the grocery store, or The Roasterie, or his favorite neighborhood hangout – Charlie Hooper’s – be sure to stop and say, “Hi!” There’s nothing he enjoys more than catching up with his neighbors, former classmates, clients, and friends. For Jim, they’re all often one and the same.