No Comments

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!

No Comments

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!

Brookside Real Estate

  • 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!

No Comments

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!

No Comments

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!

No Comments

Buying that first Home? 5 Tips to Improve Your Credit Score!

If you are looking to buy a home, you may be more interested in your credit score than ever before.  The difference between a good credit score and a mediocre credit score could be the difference in being approved a home loan or not – and your score certainly might affect your home loan interest rate.

Lenders first analyze your credit scores to determine whether or not to consider you for a loan. If your score is above the minimum threshold that particular lender has set for home loan approval, then they consider various aspects of your credit history, your income, and your debt to monthly expense ratio. This is to be reasonably certain that they will not lose money by choosing to lend. If all looks good they will approve you for a loan at a specific interest rate. Next stop: Find that dream home!

Here are 5 tips to help get you on the road not only to loan approval, but also to a loan at a better rate – potentially saving you thousands over the lifetime of your loan.  You not only want to demonstrate that a loan with you is a good investment, but that it is a great investment. Successfully achieving this saves you time and money!

While improving your credit score sometimes takes financial behavior changes consistently over time, here are 5 quick tips to help make an immediate impact:

Quick Fixes – 5 Things to do Right Away

  1. Check your Credit Report – You need to know what you are up against in order to strategize how to improve your credit. Request a free copy of your credit report. You can get one free per year from all 3 of the major credit reporting agencies under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Take advantage of this. Requesting and
    checking your own credit score will not affect your score as long as you order it directly from the credit reporting agency.
  2. Dispute Any Errors – Mistakes happen within the credit bureaus. If you find erroneous information in your credit report, formerly protest this to the each of the credit bureaus that has the incorrect information. Don’t be penalized for mistakes that aren’t yours! You can dispute errors online through Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
  3. Pay Down Debt – keep your credit card balances low. A high debt to credit ratio will drive your credit scores
    down. Make sure that you are using less than 30% of your available credit at the most. Ideally use 10% in order to maximize your credit score.
  4. Negotiate Late Payments – Mistakes happen! It is understandable that you missed a payment here and there. If you have been historically good about making  payments, and just missed a couple here and there, ask for a “good-will adjustment.” Write a letter to Visa emphasizing that you’re a good customer, and ask for the mistake to be erased from your credit.
  5. Set up payment reminders- Use the tools available to you! Some banks have texting or email programs that you can sign up for to make sure that you do not miss a payment. If not, use a calendar and make sure that you have scheduled the dates of your payments to be feasible with your pay period and bill cycle. Late payments look particularly poor on your credit report.

Now you’re getting started! Talk to your financial advisor about more tips to increase your creditworthiness – and be well on your way to purchasing the home of your dreams!

No Comments

Spring Market Starts Now, Are You Ready?

While everyone knows that Spring is the busiest time of year in the Real Estate business, an insider tip is to get ahead of the curve and list your home (or start looking for a house) before Spring Market gets into full swing. (“Spring Market” is Real Estate speak for that exciting, frenzied time of year when everyone seems to be buying and selling houses!) Here are three tried and true tips from us professionals on giving your home the chance in the spotlight that it deserves.

  1. Know the Market – Should you buy a new house before you sell your old home? What if your old one doesn’t sell as quickly as you had anticipated? What is a reasonable time frame to sell a home or find a new one based on market trends in your particular area? The answers to these important market questions affect not only your planning and personal peace of mind), but also may affect your financing. That’s why getting expert consultation from someone who is a market professional with deep local knowledge is so key! (Remember: Nobody knows the Brookside Market like Brookside Real Estate!)
  2. Price your Home Correctly – With a continually fluctuating Real Estate market it is important that your home is priced right based on recent buying and selling data from your specific neighborhood target area. Although gathering all of this intelligence can seem a bit overwhelming, pricing your home just right can make all the difference in closing on a property at just the right time. If pricing homes similar sized homes in an area (called “comparables”) is not your area of specific expertise, relax: This is our area of expertise. Not just in Brookside, but in all of the surrounding neighborhoods. Need some home pricing peace of mind? Give us a call at 816-333-3330!
  3. Declutter – One important thing that’s missing from most every well-staged house we view is clutter! While knickknacks and other personal memorabilia are sentimental and make your space personal, unfortunately they don’t help sell your home. A well respected Pro Tip is to get a head start packing to move by packing away items that you don’t need. Remember, a clean, tidy and uncluttered living space is critical to getting the most interest and the best offers for your home.

While braving the Spring Market Real Estate Season may seem daunting, don’t worry. We here at Brookside Real Estate have been through 30 of these Seasons. In fact, you could say that we are “Seasoned Professionals.”  Whether you’re planning to buy or sell this season, stop by our retail office on 63rd Street in Brookside anytime and say, “Hello”!

No Comments

Moving into 2017 in Style!

Reflecting on the past year, we here at Brookside Real Estate are thankful for the success we’ve experienced in 2016. Without a doubt, it wouldn’t be possible without our great clients! We are especially grateful for the many great neighbors in Brookside and surrounding areas we’ve come to know. After all, neighbors are what make communities great!

With the New Year upon us, we are excited to announce a few new changes that we know you’ll love! For one (as you already know if you are reading this on a handheld device), our brand new mobile-friendly website is now live with its updated and refreshed design! We encourage you to look around and check back often for new blogs, helpful tips, upcoming neighborhood events, and, as always, the newest property listings in our new, easy to use property search engine.

Equally as exciting, Brookside Real Estate Company reached the notable milestone of 30 years in business this year! Even though a lot has changed in the area over those 30 years, one thing that will stay the same is our commitment to the wonderful neighborhoods of Kansas City. After all, we live here too!

We are thrilled to welcome 2017 and continue to provide you with the same high level of personal service, commitment and dedication. We can’t wait for you to experience the new changes we have in store for 2017. Whether it’s looking around our new website or stopping by our retail office on 63rd St. just to say “Hi” – we love saying hello to old friends and making new ones! We welcome the New Year with open arms and look forward to developing relationships with more wonderful clients, the various lenders and title companies we support, and the 100’s of other real estate agents (too many to name!) that we work with day in and day out in the Kansas City community!

Until we see you again, we hope you and your family enjoyed a very Happy Holiday and have a safe and happy New Year!