Kansas City Real Estate
Lots to consider but no time to wait.
(page 2 of 5)
Not all great homes are in distant suburbs.
by Frank Cook
Reinhardt Community, Fairway
Homebuyers with above average incomes who are looking for neighborhoods with a little more style and character than found in planned communities may want to bring their house hunt a little closer in to the city. Spend a little more time driving streets where the trees are more than 10 feet tall.
Johnson County realtor Cory Ward says there are pockets of neighborhoods here and there that are filled with old homes — some that have been rehabbed and many that have not — that are enjoying a renaissance of interest (read: torrid sales).
“These are neighborhoods that don’t have bike paths and jogging trails,” he says. “They don’t have club houses or community pools. Not a lot of amenities.”
What they do have, however, are amenities that some people value even more.
“Really large lots, mature trees. Houses that are 3,000 and 6,000 square feet with formal living rooms and dining rooms. Basements with 9-foot ceilings.
“They are neighborhoods with character where you might have a 90-old-woman living next to a young couple in their 20s with a 1-year-old child.”
In business for 12 years, the Better Homes and Gardens-Kansas City home realtor says the majority of his business is in the older areas between 95th Street in Overland Park and the Country Club Plaza, between Stateline and Mission roads.
“These are older homes, built in the ‘50s and ‘60s, that are beginning to turn over,” he says. “Older owners are moving out, and younger families are moving in. But there is a good mix of people.”
Ward works extensively in the Reinhardt Estates area between 63rd Street and the Country Club District. But he points out that communities like Old Leawood, Fairway and Prairie Village on the Kansas side and Brookside on the Missouri side are all rich in character and heritage.
But maybe a little pricey.
In the Reinhardt community of about 500 homes, an old house destined to be torn down may go for $400,000 to $800,000 before the new home is constructed. Resales on large existing homes may top $1.5 million to $2 million.
“It’s a small area. The streets aren’t really busy. It’s kind of an insulated neighborhood,” he says.
But it’s also only 10 minutes from the Plaza and 15 minutes from downtown.
“In the last few years, these areas have just taken off,” he says. “Demand is up, but supply is limited.”
If you can afford it and prefer an older style of living, the neighborhoods closer in may be your best bet.