Category: Homeowner Tips (114)

We love fall in KC! The weather is mild, there is gorgeous color around town and it’s the perfect time to get cozy at home before the holidays. Here are a few of our recent favorites to incorporate the feeling of fall inside your home!

FallCincinnati Recipe Chili Mix:  There’s no better meal for a cool evening than chili. Take a twist on this traditional favorite and give Cincinnati try! You can order a 6-pack of the spice mix on Amazon and it couldn’t be easier to make. You just add the mix, water, tomato paste and uncooked ground beef to a pot and let time do the rest. Serve it over spaghetti with shredded cheese for Three-Way or make Coneys!

Essential Oils:  If you don’t have your pumpkin spice candle burning already, we bet you will soon! Essential oils are another way to provide seasonal aroma to your home in a safe way that can also promote wellness. Right now, we’re loving On Guard from doTERRA. That name might not sound like fall, but we promise it has a nice scent with hints of orange peel, clove bud and cinnamon! The smell is great, but even better, the oil provides a natural alternative for immune support. Hello, flu season! You can diffuse it or even use it diluted as a surface cleaner or hand cleanser. Ask our friend and client, Lynn Salzman, to learn more about how the oil can help protect your family this season.

Halloween Pillows for Your Porch:  Add some whimsy to your outdoor space with this fun Halloween design. At $8 a pillow, this is an expensive way to bring a bit of Halloween home. Simple and classic this design can be used year after year, even as you adjust your Halloween décor. The pillows can be used indoors as well! Other designs are available at the link.

Louisburg Cider Donuts & More:  Love cider donuts, pumpkin butter and cider spices? Cozy, cozy, COZY! If you can’t make it out to Louisburg Cider Mill this year, no worries. You can order the flavors of the season to be delivered to your door! They even sell a donut pan to make their popular donuts at home. You’ll find fun holiday gift ideas online, too!

Outdoor Throw:  Fall evenings can turn crisp fast. Here’s a good-looking outdoor throw from Target to keep you warm around the fire pit! The black and white pattern will compliment most décor and adds a pop of style. And it’s 60-in. by 50 in. – plenty of room to snuggle up in!

fire pitThe first day of fall is less than a month away, which means cooler nights around the fire pit aren’t far behind! In recent years, we have noticed more homes across KC investing in outdoor living spaces. We see people expanding decks, adding stamped concrete patios and incorporating kitchen and fire pit designs to their hardscapes. Having or adding an outdoor living space expands your usable living space at home. And, it’s a fun way to have an extra area to entertain from during mild seasons!

This trend of investing in outdoor living does not appear to be slowing down. From our perspective, this serves as an indicator that our local market appreciates outdoor living additions. While the ROI on an outdoor project might not be 100%, these types of features can bring value to a home listing. And, you don’t need to make a huge investment to add a bit of outdoor ambiance to your home! A fire pit is a good place to start to enhance your outdoor space. It’s generally a smaller expense, and can retain value relatively well.

On top of that, NAR reports “not only can outdoor remodeling projects add value to a home on resale, but they can also bring advantages to homeowners planning to stay in their homes in the form of increased happiness.” So, even if you don’t get your money back dollar for dollar with a fire pit installation, there is also value for YOU while you enjoy nights with family and friends outdoors at home.


We understand taking on a new home project can seem overwhelming. Often the best place to start is browsing ideas online. There are so many unique fire pit designs out there that run from sleek and sophisticated, to quant and rustic. You’re sure to find a style that suits your taste and budget! Have a look at some of our favorite outdoor entertaining designs on Pinterest, like these inexpensive DIY plans. A DIY job could be great if you want to try a small scale pit to see if it meets your needs before making a larger investment. This video from also walks you through a DIY in just five steps!

For those of you looking for a more custom footprint as part of a larger design, we have some great folks to recommend to you! Always check our list of Trusted Vendors for most anything you need across KC. If you don’t find what you’re looking for or want additional names, just reach out to us and we’ll get you hooked up. One of us is always available at 913.402.2599.

Cheers to a cozy, fun fall!

Summer home maintenance. This is probably right at the top of your summer bucket list, right?!? There are lots of great seasonal and monthly home maintenance checklists out there to keep your home at its best. Your home is likely your largest investment, and regular home maintenance is one of the best ways to protect it. While you might not be looking to take on a long list over summer, here are the top three maintenance items we see among our clients this time of year, with links to help you!

  1. AC Check-Up: As the temps rise, you don’t want to get hit with an AC problem. Ideally, you should have a technician come and check your system before use, but it’s never too late! A system review and cleaning can help keep your AC in peak working condition, which can improve efficiency and save you money on bills. It can also extend the life of your system. Here are steps you can manage at home, too!
  2. Lawn Care: How much should you water and when? When should you mow? When it’s hot, the last place most people want to be is out doing yard work. But, it doesn’t take long for a good yard to go bad in a hot or dry climate. Take care and keep your lawn looking great!
  3. Deck Staining: Decks can take a beating around KC with harsh winds and weather. Luckily, a power wash and fresh stain can get it back to looking good fast! This is a DIY job, if you’re up to it. It can be time consuming and tedious, however, so sometimes it’s best to call in a professional. Especially if you have trickier items that need some TLC, like a playset or fence.

We’re always here as a resource for you. If you’re not sure which projects you need to address, or if you need help finding a trusted vendor, we can help! We hope you’re summer is off to a great start!

When you see smart home technology, you might want to start thinking dollar signs. Smart tech is increasing in popularity at a rapid pace, and can contribute to the overall value of your home. While smart home technology is fairly new, think for a minute about how many people you know implementing smart features in their homes. From thermostats to doorbell systems, security monitoring, and more, chances are you are noticing a rise in use among your neighbors!

smart home technologyWe recently attended a presentation on this topic at KCRAR’s Recharge conference given by Dave Conroy, R&D Lab Engineer for CRT Labs, NAR. According to a Coldwell Banker/CNET survey, Dave explained that 45% of respondents indicated they will own smart tech by the end of the year. Results from this survey also showed that 54% “would install smart home tech if it meant my home would sell faster.” Of particular note, 65% of those surveyed responded they “would spend $1,500+ on this tech.” That’s a lot of money when you think about where people traditionally invest in home upgrades!

So what does this mean to you? Basically, this is a trend to keep your eye on. More and more people are adding these features for the direct service they provide, but also for the additional benefits – like savings in energy bills, insurance discounts and improved comfort and security. Of course, all of this comes at a price, so before buying, do your research.

“Consumers do not always need to pay full retail price to turn their homes into a smart home,” Dave noted. “Many insurance companies and utilities offer discounts on devices that could improve security and energy efficiency.” Before you invest, it’s a good idea to check with your insurance company and utility provider to see what savings or discounts might be available to you!

Beyond the time and money savings that come with smart technology, a sense of security also plays a role. According to Dave, “In a recent poll, 71% of consumers wished they were able to monitor their homes while away.” Have you left home not sure if you shut your garage door? You can check with smart technology. Have you been gone for the day when an important package was scheduled for delivery? You can now receive an alert when someone is at your door. Want to track and adjust your heating/cooling when you’re at work or on vacation? That, too, can be done remotely with ease.

As more people adopt smart tech and become comfortable with these systems, it’s expected demand will rise for such features among future buyers. CRT’s Smart Home Simplified resource is a really great place to start your research. Then get in touch with us! We can let you know what we’re seeing across the KC market, or more specifically in the area you live. Our first-hand experience can help you determine what technology options may add the most value to your home.

Dave was also kind enough to share some of his favorite products, and we’d be glad to pass those tips along to you. For those of you early adopters looking for the next big thing, keep your eyes on smart products designed to improve air quality! We have a list of some front-runners from Dave’s perspective we can share with you as well.

It’s our job to stay on top of significant trends to support you in making wise financial investments. We believe smart tech in the home is an important trend to keep up with, and it’s important to remember when it comes time to move! “It used to be when selling a home, all you would need to transfer was the keys and the garage door opener,” Dave added. “These days, the appliances and HVAC could be connected to the Internet, or the front door could be Bluetooth enabled. It’s important to be aware of these situations to properly transfer home ownership.”

If you have a favorite product you’re using at home, share a link below! We always want to learn more and have the best info to share with you!

renovate or moveSpring in KC is a popular time of to renovate or move in Kansas City. If you’re on the fence about which choice is best for you, we’re always available to come out and provide you with an accurate home evaluation. Having your home value in mind can help you decide if the market is right for selling, or how much you might be willing to invest for a renovation.

Either way you’re leaning, this is a big decision, and ultimately one that comes down to much more than just your “home.” It’s important to keep the big picture in mind. It is difficult to put a price tag on certain items that may hold a lot of value to you – like your neighbors, a specific school zone or proximity to work. Can you match your priorities in another area, or are you best to invest in improvements in your current home? If you decide to renovate, reach out to Jennifer Kent Reimer. She is in the finishing stages of a top-to-bottom renovation of her Nottingham Forest home and can offer solid advice and tips to make the process easier for you. We can also recommend trusted vendors to work with.


For those of you leaning toward selling, the good news is the market is in your favor! Inventory remains really low across KC, making this a seller’s market. We’re seeing homes selling quickly and for good prices! We’re always available for new listings and can get your home ready and on the market fast. Our strategic pricing and targeted marketing will increase your home’s exposure. It’s a numbers game, after all. Our marketing and social media will get your home in front of lots of agents and potential buyers.

Call us for an accurate home evaluation anytime! You can always reach a member of BGG at 913.402.2599. Let’s do things together!