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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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Meet Zillow Raffle Winners John and Ali!

Recently, Ellen held an online review contest through her Zillow page where her clients could leave a review and be entered to win a super prize-pack full of goodies from KC Bier Co and Yeti!

The prize consisted of two 6-packs of local favorite KC Bier Co, as well as a large Yeti cooler and two Yeti Ramblers to keep drinks extra cold!

The two lucky winners are the wonderful couple, John and Ali Stoothoff. The young couple are expecting their first child in 2020 – so Ali will have to wait on those beers which John presumably will enjoy! The growing family recently purchased a beautiful home in Brookside near the famed McLain’s Bakery with Ellen’s help. While they were away on their honeymoon, Ellen toured homes with John’s family. Ellen took them to one particular home and knew immediately that it just wasn’t the right one for the couple. She later found the perfect home once John and Ali returned from their honeymoon.

In her review Ali wrote, “Ellen went above and beyond to help us find our dream home. We truly could not have done it without her guidance and patience. We would recommend her to any and all Kansas City buyers!”

These kind words mean the world to Ellen and she loves to know that her passion for Brookside real estate is making the dreams of others come true. Congrats again to John and Ali – enjoy your prize package!

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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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Ellen’s Tips for Hanging Pictures and Artwork on Plaster Walls

You finally bought your dream home in Brookside, and now you’re ready to make it your own. You want to hang your favorite artwork and family photos but are afraid of doing damage to the plaster and lathe walls. But don’t let them scare you – they’re not as formidable as they seem. You just need a few things to get started. Follow Ellen’s tried and true tips and tricks for your plaster and lathe walls and your beautiful old home will take on brand-new warmth.

How to Hang Artwork and Photos on Plaster and Lath Walls

  1. 3M Command strips.
    Command strips are an easy solution to hanging décor on plaster and can easily hold your small or medium-sized art. They come in a variety of sizes and styles and won’t leave behind nail holes, cracked plaster, or sticky residue when removed. Just look closely at the weight the strips can hold when purchasing. Plus, if you decide to move a piece of art to a different spot, you can do so without marring the wall.
  2. Standard picture-hanging hooks.
    Yes, it’s that simple. These hooks are perfect for medium décor pieces, and your plaster walls are strong enough to hold the weight of medium-sized pictures. Just gently tap the nail into place diagonally using the hook as a guide for the angle. Tapping the nail in horizontally can damage the wall, so be careful.
  3. Heavier Pictures.
    For larger or heavier pieces, you will want to go with a Hillman OOK Shield Picture Hanger. There are several different types, but this particular one is load rated for 100 lbs. These hangers are sturdy and fabulous for your old-house plaster and lathe walls. They are used by museums and art galleries around the world and even come with a padded back for added protection for your plaster walls. The great thing is that our very own Brookside/Waldo Euston’s Hardware store always carries these particular hooks, and their staff are more than willing to answer any questions you may have about the best tools for the job.  Of course Ellen always recommends shopping local and getting to know the neighborhood shops, but if for whatever reason you don’t live in Brookside or Waldo, you can order them online.
  4. When in doubt, drill a pilot hole.  
    This is the most important tip. This helps to remove a little bit of the plaster and prevent cracking. If you accidentally hit a piece of lathe too hard with a hammer, the vibrations can cause cracking, so be gentle. Drill a pilot hole slightly smaller than the size of your nail or screw.

And that’s it – enjoy decorating your new home! If you have any questions, stop in to see Ellen at the local Brookside Real Estate Office located in the heart of Brookside at 9 W 63rd St. She’s your local old home expert and loves to share her experience and passion for any and all things Brookside.