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Why Matterport Matters to Your Homeselling/Homebuying Experience

View of home living room

Virtual 3D Home Tours!

Looking for a way to step up your real estate game and help you reach your home-owning goals!? Ellen Zetmeir works with cutting edge tools and technology to help!

Times may be uncertain for many people, but the way you feel about a home doesn’t have to be. Ellen has all the experience and insight to help you discover and build your dream home.

One tool in Ellen’s real estate belt is a virtual tour guide called Matterport that allows you to completely examine a home from top to bottom and inside out – without ever setting foot inside! Walk through the front doors, peer out the kitchen window, snoop in the basement! It’s all there for you to take an open house tour anytime. No need to awkwardly peek around the place with other potential buyers or in front of the owners, you get your own personal tour and as much time as you want! Snoop away! No, really – Click here to  virtually walk through an example!

Dollhouse View

Imagine eating breakfast in the cozy kitchen nook, or sitting down with family and friends in the spacious living area; check out the bedrooms, the closet spaces, and the garage. This virtual tour guide allows you to visualize just how your dreams can become a reality! You can even measure a space to make sure that your furniture will fit where you want it to! With various views including a “dollhouse” view, an inside view, a floorplan view, and a measurement tool – Matterport has something for everyone!

Ellen also knows this tool is a game-changer for those selling their homes. Great photos of the house generate more interest, and with Matterport, your chances skyrocket! Your potential buyers can peruse your home anytime they’d like – and buyers are far more likely to contact you about the house with questions and feedback. With Ellen to help set everything up, preparing a virtual tour is fast and painless. Matterport uses an app that scans for accurate measurements and breathtaking photos so that potential buyers can see just how enticing your home is. You can even call out your favorite features of your home by utilizing tags throughout the virtual tour! Ellen will use this tool to “up your house-selling game” and give you a cutting technological edge over other homesellers. Rise above the competition and sell your house faster!

There are several benefits to utilizing a technology like the Matterport virtual tour guide:

  • Screen Buyers: You are able to screen buyers without a physical walk through the home which eliminates the need for any additional people in your home. Only the most serious buyers will want a physical walkthrough.
  • Showing Off: Showing family your potential dream home is just a shared link away! When there is a virtual walkthrough, family is able to share in the excitement of home buying that much easier.
  • The Out-of-Towners: Many people still find themselves moving to new cities or even new states, and setting up a virtual tour opens up a whole new market of potential buyers who are not close enough to see the house in person.

Ready to take the next step? Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, Ellen is the personal and professional presence you need.

Give Ellen a call today at (816) 489–6950! See for yourself the difference a virtual tour and an agent like Ellen Zetmeir can make!

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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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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!)

map

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!

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I’ve Got a Guy – Episode 3: Landscaping with Envision Lawn and Tree

Your favorite Brookside realtor is back with more insider tips!

In this episode of “I’ve Got a Guy,” Ellen asks the questions we’ve all been wondering about landscaping in the Brookside neighborhoods.

The first impression of a house rests greatly on its landscaping and exterior presentation; when buying or selling a home, it’s crucial to examine this influential aspect because as Ellen’s go-to landscaping guys claim “how it looks on the outside is usually what’s on the inside.” In this episode, Ellen talks with her landscaping go-to guys, John and Charlie Smith from Envision Lawn and Tree to bring you insight into how they address Brookside-specific landscaping challenges.

Check out the video below, plus John and Charlie’s ways to improve and maintain your yard’s appearance.

Brookside Landscaping Challenges

Brookside is essentially a park with well-established trees. While this creates beautiful views, Brookside landscaping can be a real chore!

  • KC’s unpredictable weather means that freezing rain and snow cause easily dead and broken limbs; these dead limbs are hazardous as they hang over houses and exposed power lines.
  • The tall, beautiful trees contribute to an overabundance of leaves in the fall, which can clog gutters and drains, leading to drainage issues.
  • The excessive leaf amount also means that without proper leaf removal, those leaves will suffocate your grass and plants come spring.
  • Many Brookside homes also struggle with wet basements and flooding. John and Charlie explain what “grading” is and how landscaping can help prevent a flooded basement!

Tips When Buying/Selling

  • Be Observant: the exterior of the home is a strong indication of any issues that may be inside the home.
  • Tidy the Look: Use fresh mulch, cut back shrubs, or even plant new ones to refresh the house’s appearance. Look into seeding versus sod for your yard and ensure green grass.
  • Check the Yard’s Grade: does the lawn slope down towards the house leading to flooding? Or does the lawn slope down away from the house?

Envision Lawn and Tree Services

John and Charlie have got your back! Envision Lawn and Tree can not only clean up the most untamable of yards, they can also address the wet basement issues by sloping the lawn and/or installing French drains! From tree removal to fresh mulch, there’s a reason Ellen counts on these guys to quickly and effectively assess and deal with any landscaping issues she encounters.

Are you looking for a house in the Brookside area? Ellen can’t wait to help you find the perfect home! Contact her today! Ready for some high quality lawncare? Contact John and Charlie at (816) 788 – 0808. Let them know that you saw this video and tell them Ellen sent you!

 

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New Year, New You – In Brookside!

Did you make New Year’s Resolutions about weight loss or fitness but don’t know where to start?

Maybe you aren’t keeping resolutions, but you have some fitness goals in mind. Whether you’re a fitness veteran and new to Brookside or a long-term resident new to the gym scene, Ellen knows just the local places to visit!

With the winter months still upon us, exercising outdoors is not a delightful prospect for most. Brookside offers indoor gyms that can help you find just the fitness program you need. Here are four of Ellen’s favorite gyms:

  1. Orange Theory (near 62nd Terrace and Main in Brookside)– With intentional coaches and the technological tools to monitor your progress, Orange Theory offers group classes with professional guidance to encourage you in completing your goals! Sign up for classes now; if you’re a first time visitor, you can take one class for free!
  2. Barre3 (on 63rd Street across from Brookside Real Estate office) – This unique fitness community blends ballet barre techniques with yoga and pilates to create a strengthening course easy enough for beginners! As an extra bonus, Barre3 also offers a “play lounge” day care setup so you don’t have to worry about your little ones while you’re working out – distraction free! Find a trainer and community here!
  3. City Gym –  (Located in in the heart of Waldo) City Gym offers everything from Spin to Zumba to Strength 360 classes. Check out their membership options here! Have any questions finding the right spot for you? Let them know!

If you’re not looking for a gym, just a little time outdoors, Ellen knows just the spots in Brookside for a lovely walk. The local Trolley Trail is four miles long and covers a historic section of the Brookside community. You can also check out Loose Park with its lovely views and excellent walking paths – with a small loop of just over a mile and a slightly larger loop so you can switch it up and enjoy a change of scenery while you exercise. Don’t forget the Brookside neighborhood streets are also quite walkable; most places in Brookside are dog friendly, but if you’re looking for off-leash options you’ll have to check out Swope Dog Park.

Whether you’re looking to start your fitness journey or you’re searching for a new community, Brookside has a wonderful selection of fitness options. Interested in becoming a resident of the beautiful Brookside neighborhood? Ellen can’t wait to help you discover your perfect home! Contact Ellen today and take the first step to joining the blossoming Brookside community.

 

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I’ve Got a Guy Episode 2: Maintaining Your Roof with 435 Roofing

In the latest episode of “I’ve Got a Guy” with Ellen Z., we talk all things roofing – and how to keep your roof properly maintained here in the Brookside area.

One of the most important things to evaluate when buying or selling a home is the status of the roof. How old is it? What shape is it in? How many layers of shingles exist? In this episode, Ellen talks with her roofing go-to guy, Lloyd Lantz from 435 Roofing, who is an expert when it comes to roofs, and he has all the answers. Check out the video below, plus Lloyd’s top tips on what to look for when it’s roof evaluation time.

Lloyd’s Top Roofing Tips

  1. Roof Maintenance is Key The most important thing you can do is to have your roof inspected every 3-5 years, dependent upon the type of roof you have (3 for composite, 5 for tile, for example).
  2. Hire a Reputable Roofing Company Find a reputable roofing company via word of mouth or online search. Read the reviews and be certain they are insured before you hire any company. And of course, contact the 435 Roofing team anytime for an inspection.
  3. Be Thorough During your inspection, your inspector should check all flashings, gutters and penetrations (like chimneys) AND take pictures to show you what they found. Otherwise, you could be getting false information without evidence of a problem.
  4. Roofs are Repairable “Roofs are always repairable.” The repairs can make a big difference, although sometimes they are not permanent.
  5. Keep Your Gutters Clean If you want to avoid extra roof and house repair, you have to keep your gutters and gutter extensions free of leaves and debris. Otherwise you will be dealing with wood rot, a rotted roof deck and potential foundation problems.
  6. Tile Roofs The great thing about tile roofs is they are a lifetime product. However, the underlayment is what needs to be checked. Underlayment is a water-resistant or waterproof barrier material that lies directly onto your roof deck.

Lloyd’s Storm Tips

With Kansas City spring weather comes torrential rains, winds and of course, hail. What you need to know:

  1. Hail damage can be minor or major. Insurance companies base their claims on the number of hail hits to a 10′ x 10′ square of the roof.
  2. Check your insurance policy to determine if you have a “recovered value” policy, it covers the cost to replace the roof, whereas an “actual cash value” (ACV) policy, which equals the worth of the roof today. Most composite roofs have a 30-50 year maintenance warranty on the shingles, not the roof itself. Interesting fact: insurance companies do not change your rate based on how long your shingles are warrantied.
  3. If you do need to have your roof replaced, ask your contractor how they will dispose of the old roofing materials. The ideal method is to drop the shingles directly into a dumpster. If your contractor is letting shingles, boards and nails fly, it can be dangerous to your home and family. 435 Roofing uses magnet rolls to collect stray nails for the homeowners safety.

Ready to get started on selling your home with Ellen? Contact her today! Ready for a roof inspection, contact Lloyd at 435 Roofing.  or call him directly at 913-787-1269. Mention you saw this video and you know Ellen!

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Brookside Real Estate Donates to KC Pet Project

KCPP Chief Development Officer, Marie Dispenza and Brookside Real Estate Owner, Jim Kraus

Brookside Real Estate announced a partnership with KC Pet Project during the summer if 2019. With each home bought or sold by Brookside Real Estate during the summer months, a donation was given to help provide medicine, veterinary care, vaccines, food and resources to help KC Pet Project save a record number of pets who have nowhere else to turn. The numbers are in and this holiday season seemed like a great time to present a check, so Brookside Real Estate owner, Jim Kraus, went up to the shelter to present a check to the Chief Development Officer, Marie Dispenza.

With KC Pet Project’s main adoption center currently located in a 50-year old reconverted storage shed, Brookside Real Estate could not be more excited for KC Pet Project’s groundbreaking new Kansas City Campus for Animal Care opening January 1st, 2020. The facility, located in Swope Park at the corner of Gregory Boulevard and Elmwood Avenue, will be one of the premier animal sheltering facilities in the United States.

Ready to buy or sell your home and make a difference in the lives of KC’s homeless pets? Give Jim a call directly on his cell phone at 816-806-7653.

To learn more about KC Pet Project and the great work they do, visit their website here.

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Keep Your Packages Safe from Porch Pirates this Holiday Season!

How to keep your delivered packages out of the hands of thieves

The Brookside neighborhood has been all abuzz lately with various reports of package theft. Online shopping is more common than ever, and unfortunately, so are the doorstep thieves. Even with the increase of home security videos and cameras, there are too many stories of people disregarding these home protection services and still absconding with your packages. Brookside Real Estate is here to offer solutions to save your holiday package delivery!

1. Require a signature on your package delivery. There is a fee when selecting this option but depending on what you are shipping, it may be worth it. However, many people won’t be at home when the package arrives (which is the problem with the package stealing in the first place) so many shipping companies also include options to send packages to alternative locations.

2. Amazon has several alternative shipping options, especially for its Prime members. They offer everything from in-home delivery to in-garage delivery (for those with pets or alarm systems) to Amazon’s locker system. Many of these lockers are placed in local convenience stores or Whole Foods.

3. UPS Access Point System is another great tool. Not a Prime member and looking for your options? UPS allows you to register as a member and send your packages to a UPS Access Point (these include local retailers near you and often CVS locations). The paid premium membership offers a few extra options to your delivery experience, but you can utilize the UPS Access Point system through a regular free membership.

4. FedEx Delivery Manager. FedEx has a similar system set up with Walgreens. Simply sign up for the free membership and let them walk you through locating the closest store to you!

Know that most alternative locations will hold your package for seven days and will require an official ID upon pick up.

5. Leasing Office/Workplace Delivery If you live in an apartment, check with your office management; many places allow you to ship your package to their office from which you can pick up your package during business hours. Alternatively, have your packages delivered to your workplace if appropriate.

When it comes to preventing package theft; know your options! Have all of your holiday gifts delivered knowing that your packages are safer than they are with Santa.

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Why Shopping Locally Matters

Small Business Saturday

Stepping through the front door of a local business can make you feel like a VIP – the barista calls you by name and sincerely asks about your day; the pet store owner knows your dog and all his antics; the local vendor at the farmer’s market checks up on your family.

In a world where busyness consumes our lives, a small business is a vision of growth, compassion, human connection, and intentional investment in the local community. Shopping locally isn’t just a trend, it truly creates an atmosphere of mutual support, creativity, and togetherness!

Why should you shop locally?

  1. For a Stronger Planet – Shopping locally is an ever-growing and popular concept in today’s world of accessibility when just about anything can be purchased from all around the world. When food is purchased from larger chains, those products travel quite a way. Small businesses promote a cleaner environment because the goods produced in your local community don’t have to travel as far, therefore saving on fuel consumption and reducing air pollution.
  2. For a Stronger You – Another benefit, especially with Brookside’s Farmers Market there is less distance between producer and buyer. The fresher the produce, the more nutritious it is! Shopping locally in a farmers’ market means you’re not only promoting environmental wellness, but your own health as well!
  3. For a Stronger Economy – Local businesses, like cafes and boutiques, hire neighbors and often purchase goods from local vendors. This creates an opportunity for employment within the community. Shopping locally also promotes innovation, creativity and diversity because vendors can provide according to their community’s needs and not with a generalized selection of cookie-cutter merchandise.
  4. For a Stronger Community – Local businesses are more likely to invest in the community whereas bigger corporations may donate to larger causes or worldwide aid but invest less in the local community. Shopping locally also increases the connection of neighbors and can develop a sense of community. Mr. Rogers would be proud.

Brookside offers a number of local shopping options from the Farmers Market to boutiques, cafes and one-of-a-kind specialty shops! Take the opportunity on November 30th national Small Business Saturday (or any Saturday!) to shop local and celebrate 100 years of local shopping in Brookside!

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Discover Ellen’s Favorite Spots in Brookside

A Few of Ellen’s Favorite Local Brookside Haunts

Ellen Zetmeir doesn’t just live and work in Brookside – she’s the go-to-gal with all of the little tips and tricks of navigating the Brookside/Waldo area like a true local! Established 100 years ago, Brookside is now home to over 70 shops, restaurants, boutiques and small businesses. We recently spent the day with Ellen exploring the heart of Kansas City and got up close and personal with 4 of her favorite local haunts in Brookside.

Bella Napoli

Family-owned from the beginning, Jake Imperiale opened Bella Napoli almost 20 years ago with a dream to offer an ambiance of a true Italian ristorante. Serving only traditional Italian family recipes with market items for purchase imported directly from Italy, Bella Napoli is Brookside’s very own corner of Italy. From the moment you walk through the door, you’re treated like family! Bella Napoli’s friendly and personable staff always greets Ellen with her favorite Pellegrino at her preferred table. “Sitting in Bella Napoli, eating traditional Italian pizza, is the perfect evening get-away to Florence – all from the comfort of your own neighborhood,” says Ellen. If you’ve yet to try Bella Napoli stop in and see for yourself why it’s Ellen’s Brookside go-to!

Fiddly Fig

If you ask Ellen where her favorite florist in the city is, she’ll always say, “the Fiddly Fig is the most phenomenal florist in the world.” Another locally owned neighborhood gem in Brookside, the Fiddly Fig offers only the highest quality floral arrangements. The longtime florists have great style, work with unique flowers and will custom arrange a bouquet to meet your specifications for any and every occasion. Not only does Fiddly Fig offer the most beautiful floral arrangements in Kansas City, but it also is home to one of the best gift shops in the area! With fall flowers in full swing, stop in Fiddly Fig and check out their exceptional floral arrangements, décor and one-of-a-kind gifts for every occasion.

Brookside 66

With crisper mornings in the air and colder weather just around the corner, one of Ellen’s neighborhood staples will take you back in time to a more carefree day in Brookside. The locally owned Brookside 66 on the corner of 63rd and Main is one of few remaining full-service gas stations – and Ellen’s go-to. “There’s nothing nicer than stopping by the Phillips Gas Station in the winter for gas and not even having to get out of your warm car, you just feel very cared for,” says Ellen. “As a single woman, I always feel safe and never like I’ve been taken advantage of. This isn’t always the case with other car shops,” Ellen continued. Even if it’s just a quick stop for the coldest Diet Pepsi around – Ellen always supports shopping local. Stop by the Phillips Gas Station at 63rd and Main and see for yourself why it’s the best in Kansas City.

A Store Named “Stuff”

A Store Named “Stuff,” located right here in the heart of Brookside, is home to some of the best unique gifts in Kansas City! This Brookside treasure is owned by two sisters who are very supportive of local non-for-profits and organizations that give back to the community. One of the “Stuff” sisters also also happens to be a Girls Scout – just like Ellen! This, of course, is right up Ellen’s alley as it’s, “A fabulous organization to help give back to the community and raise up powerful women in business.” Hosting frequent shopping nights to help fundraise for great causes benefitting Kansas City, Ellen can’t get enough of A Store Named “Stuff.” Not only does Ellen love how the “Stuff” sisters give back to the city, but they also offer the best Christmas ornaments in the city. Stop by A Store Named “Stuff” for Christmas décor that will set your home apart from the rest!

Take a stroll, enjoy the beautiful fall weather and check out Ellen’s go-to Brookside haunts for yourself! While you’re in the neighborhood, stop by 9 West 63rd St – the home of Brookside Real Estate Company – and visit Ellen in her storefront office today!