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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!

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Introducing Ellen’s New Video Series – I’ve Got a Guy

If you know Ellen, there’s a likely chance you’ve heard her famous words, “I’ve got a guy for that,” on more than one occasion – and she’s not wrong! Ellen does indeed have just the right guys for your home-related questions, concerns and issues. In fact, her neighbor once said, “Ellen, if I woke up one day to a mob of kangaroos in my backyard, you’d be my first call because you probably have a guy for that!”  

It takes a lot to become one of Ellen’s “guys.” Having worked with a lengthy list of contractors in the Kansas City area throughout her career, Ellen’s developed her own list of specialists who represent the best of the best in old-home work. And now she’s here to help with her new video series, “I’ve Got a Guy.”

With a passion for older homes in the Brookside area, Ellen’s greater passion is for the people who live in those houses. When you purchase a home with Ellen, she doesn’t just walk away the minute the sale is done. She wants to be the first person you call with any home issue whether it’s days, months or even years after you’ve made your purchase! With her new series, “I’ve Got a Guy,” it’s now easier than ever for Ellen to share helpful information from her go-to old-home specialists with those looking for advice.

Join Ellen on her journey throughout the Brookside and Waldo area as she discusses old home issues with some of the best professionals in the business. If you have any specific questions about vintage homes and their maintenance, drop Ellen a line at ezbrookside@gmail.com or stop in and see her in her storefront office across from Charlie Hoopers in the heart of Brookside!

The First Episode: The Sewer Doctor

Take a look at Ellen’s first “I’ve Got a Guy,”  episode featuring John Vaughan from The Sewer Doctors. Since the sewers of the Brookside and Waldo neighborhoods are often over 100 years old, there may be serious issues lurking 6 feet below the surface of your lawn. Join Ellen and John as they discuss need-to-know facts and important homeowner sewer maintenance tips and tricks – that might even save you big money!

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Meet Judy Rea – Attorney and Realtor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Agent Spotlight: Courtney Kraus

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

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

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

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

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

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Agent Spotlight: Nicole Lonergan

Brookside Real Estate

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

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

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

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

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

Just click here to learn more or contact Nicole today!

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30 Years and Beyond!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Spotlight on Business Friends in Brookside

Brookside Real Estate

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!