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Ellen’s Five Tips for Spring Home Maintenance

Two chairs on a sun porch

Time to give spring cleaning its due!

For many of us this year, we find ourselves in a unique situation with a little more time at home than usual this spring. What a perfect opportunity to turn your attention to those at-home projects you’ve been meaning to get to! Involve your kids in your home projects for some family fun, or do it yourself for a little productive alone time! However, you want to go about it, spring cleaning is here, and Ellen has some tips for how to get your home spring and sunshine ready!

  1. Front Porch and Deck. First impressions start with the hello on the front porch! Always remember that safety comes first. Look for any damage like warping, water stains, or discoloration that may have occurred before or during this last winter; go ahead and get rid of any rusty or loose nails and screws. Make sure to replace old boards that are either rotting or warped. Once you’ve assessed and secured the structure, it’s time for the touch up. Clean and reseal the wood when you’re sure that the weather will be sunny and dry enough.
  2. Landscaping. While you’re outside, take a good look at your curb appeal. A little green can go a long way to shaking off the winter blues! Some plants are more resistant to the cooler temperatures so look into pansies, coneflowers, catmint, a few daffodils or even some peonies. For more subtle statements in your gardening projects, check out blue spruce trees, boxwood varieties, or even hydrangeas. Maybe you’re searching for a professional landscaper to help fix your yard’s slope or to deal with excess runoff water; Ellen knows just the landscaping guys to help!
  3. Windows and Walls. You may have noticed some pesky winter drafts this last winter! Check for cracks in the sealing of your window and door frames. Even with winter drafts gone, it’s still important to reseal your home in order to keep the cool air in and all of those determined little bugs out!
  4. HVAC Maintenance. Spring is the perfect opportunity to make sure everything is operational and functional. You don’t want to wait until the middle of scorching July to find out that your cooling system doesn’t work! Clearing debris from the unit and changing the filters is a regular part of HVAC maintenance, but if you have any questions, go ahead and schedule a check up with a professional before they’re booked this summer!
  5. The Roof. Spring cleaning isn’t just a main level event; your home’s touch up should cover everything from top to bottom! Your roof is certainly a crucial part of your home so don’t forget to get a bird’s eye view!  Call a professional and they can review your shingle condition, your flashing, and anything that poses an immediate concern or a potential issue.  They will check for damage first and make sure to replace damaged or missing shingles. Consider your own safety and be sure to involve a professionally insured roofing company. Ellen to the rescue! She knows the perfect team to check the health and stability of your roof.

Whether you’re looking to sell your house and start a new chapter or whether you’re developing the home of your dreams, Ellen is passionate about guiding you on your home-owning journey. With a knack for curb appeal and the insider view on home maintenance, Ellen has the answers you’re looking for! Contact Ellen today!

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What New Interest Rates Mean for Your Mortgage

With interest rates at unprecedented lows, it is increasingly more likely that borrowing costs will be lowered even further on mortgages. This serves as a small silver lining amongst the economic uncertainty Americans are now facing during these tumultuous and ever-changing times.

The Federal Reserve has recently lowered borrowing costs to near zero in a move to counteract the economic shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic. Also unfolding, the 10-year Treasury yield, a key benchmark that influences borrowing costs on houses and auto loans, took a nosedive to historic lows.

Mortgages: Buyers and Refinancers

Mortgage rates have dropped to historical lows as bond yields have fallen, which is a move that could help first-time homebuyers and those who already own, and are looking torefinance. When Treasury yields fall, banks will charge lower interest rates for mortgages. The Federal Reserve announced that it would be cutting its benchmark federal funds rate by 1% to a range of 0% to 0.25%, alongside other measures meant to stimulate the economy.

If you’re considering selling your home in the next few months, contact a neighborhood expert: One of the real estate pros at Brookside Real Estate Company. Call today at (816) 333-3330. Or, stop by our offices in the heart of the Brookside at 9 W. 63rd Street.


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Ellen’s Tips for Navigating the Paint Trends of 2020

With the start of a new year came some vibrant new color trends! Bold is back, and we are here for it!

A thrust of individualism in culture is driving some thrilling hues in the face of the neutral colors that have dominated the scene for awhile now. Here’s to personalization and customization in a world of sameness.

However, these vibrant shades are causing some concern and hesitation in the homeowner ring; radical paint colors can make resale a bit tricky when potential buyers don’t share the same love for the bright hues that you like.

Let’s take a look at the new paint trends of 2020 and call attention to the colors you catch a glimpse of in magazines and reality home décor shows. Pantone released a Classic Blue with husky hues, while Sherwin Williams took blue to a deeper level with a rich naval shade; Benjamin Moore opted for a soft, rosy pink indicative of a rosy, blooming spring. Patterned after nature and soft meadowlike impressions, Behr is promoting a yellow-green, while Dunn-Edwards has chosen a fresh minty green.

Don’t jump to coat your house in yellow-green just yet! It’s important to understand that these paint trends are selected by companies in an effort to drive certain aspects of the paint market or to promote cultural movements. Notice that neutrals are not disappearing altogether; rather, they create a flexible canvas on which you can express more vibrant hues. One classic, white, is making its own understated march through homes as it provides the perfect blank slate for bolder accessories or art pieces. Quintessential white is still the more popular choice for cabinets, walls and interiors, and even flooring; with its crisp and clean presence, it will always be a top choice in home color trends, especially in kitchens.

Are you ready for Ellen’s perfect home décor secret? The key to following trends is “inspiration not imitation.” Homeowning is about designing your own space where you feel good. What do you seek in a home? Comfort. Strength. Peace. Happiness. These characteristics should be the goal of your home. Give your house its soul and beauty by expressing yours! Use the canvas of your house to create the environment you want!  Don’t copy exactly what you see on HGTV; use the trends as a muse. Gather ideas and trends and blend them with your own taste to express your home as a unique piece of art.

That being said, take into consideration how long you’re planning on being in your house; if it’s a lifelong home, go ahead and get creative with your walls! Only planning to be there for three years at the most? Try keeping the neutral walls and adding your vibrant colors with pillows, art pieces, and other accessories. If you still want to be bold with your paint choices, consider repainting to a neutral color before you resell.

Another tip Ellen has for you is to test your paint colors first. Test. Test. Test. Those beautiful shades you chose from the paint selections may not appear the same on your walls; the hues can be influenced by everything from the lighting to the furniture around that area. Sample those paint colors before you jump about splashing them on your walls. Keep in mind that certain colors also photograph better than others; you want a color that will reflect light, making the home feel warmer and larger than it perhaps is. Test out paint swatches or use peel-and-stick samples which can be larger and more easily removed; this will give you a better idea of how your finished product will look. And remember – the cost of a sample quart will seem like nothing if you paint a room the wrong color!

Whether you’re ready to go big and bold with the colors in your home or looking to change up the accent colors a bit, Ellen is here to answer all your questions about homeowning. Are you ready to sell your house? Perhaps you’re looking for a dreamy home to begin settling into! Contact Ellen today to start the next step of your journey today!

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Time to Downsize?

When your current home holds you back.

Maybe the children that grew up in your home have now moved into their own homes. Or perhaps the belongings that took you a lifetime to accumulate are now looking more like worthless clutter than valuable treasures. Or maybe you’re just tired of the amount of yard work and weekly cleaning that comes with having a big lawn and excess living space.

If any of the above is a bit truer than you’d like to admit, maybe it’s time to discover a new lifestyle that allows you to abandon the clutter, ditch the lawnmower and say goodbye to excess square footage. Is locking the door and vacationing for weeks without a care (or a house-sitter) part of the master plan? Then maybe the dream home of two decades ago has become today’s ball and chain.

If you’ve been imagining what it would be like to live in a City Market loft, or moving on up to a Power & Light high-rise with a view – or maybe a Country Club Plaza condo where all of your favorite restaurants and shopping are just outside the front door, it might be time for a change. Maybe it’s time to enjoy a much simpler lifestyle. If the idea of someone else parking your car, (or getting rid of your car altogether and commuting by streetcar!), and having access to amenities like swimming pools , club rooms and other social rooms (without having to maintain them when you aren’t using them) is more attractive than ever before – it may be time to downsize!

The good news is, there’s never been a better time to sell your Brookside area home than right now! And no one knows Brookside like the Realtors at Brookside Real Estate. We know neighborhood home values and have buyers contacting us most every day in search of homes of all sizes and in most any condition in the Brookside area. The dream of trading excess square footage and house keys in return for more time to enjoy life may be closer than you think!

For a no obligation price opinion on your current home, to look at one of our condo listings, or if you’re considering selling your home in the next few months, contact a neighborhood expert: One of the real estate pros at Brookside Real Estate Company. Call today at (816) 333-3330. Or, stop by our offices in the heart of the Brookside at 9 W. 63rd Street.

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Brookside’s 40th Annual St. Patrick’s Warm-Up Parade

bagpipers marching in parade

Celebrate Brookside’s 40th Annual St. Patrick’s Warm-Up Parade

Woman in black convertible
Ellen Driving in St. Patrick’s Day Parade

In Brookside Irish roots have historically run deep with hundreds of area residents tracing some or most of their family heritage back to the Emerald Isle. But on Saturday, March 14, it may be difficult to spot anyone without a little Irish spirit in them among the sea of green on hand for Brookside’s St. Patrick’s Day Warm-Up Parade!

Join the crowd – and the fun – as thousands of spectators and participants celebrate all that is Irish during Brookside’s 40th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Warm-Up Parade. The parade officially starts at 2pm on Saturday, March 14th – but insiders will recommend an early start to find parking, grab a bite to eat and peruse local shops prior to the festivities!

Recently rated Kansas City’s “Best St. Patrick’s Day Parade” by Kansas City Magazine, there’s a little something for everyone at one of Brookside’s favorite family and pet-friendly special events. Businesses and groups from across Kansas City participate in the parade which includes floats, classic cars, Irish dancers, drill teams, bagpipes and more!

The Brookside Real Estate team is no stranger to this celebration – having participated in the Irish fun for decades. Be sure to keep a look-out for Ellen Zetmeir driving her convertible “Scout” in the parade (and don’t forget to wave!)


The Parade Route:

  • Starts at 65th and Wornall
  • North on Wornall to 63rd St.
  • East on 63rd St to Main
  • South on Main St. to Meyer Blvd.
  • West on Meyer Blvd. to Brookside Rd.

Download the 2020 Parade Route here. 

One of the things we love the most about the Brookside-area neighborhoods is the amazing community participation. Once you’ve experienced it, you’ll be hooked too! If you’re considering making Brookside your home – or, even if you just have more questions about living in one of the best KC neighborhoods – stop on by the Brookside Home Center at 9 W. 63rd Street and ask for Ellen Z. – or give Ellen a call (or text) at (816) 489-6950.

May the luck of the Irish be with you!