Kansas City Real Estate
Lots to consider but no time to wait.
If you have a friend or relative thinking about buying a home in the Kansas City area, call them tonight and tell them to hurry. As of this spring, it’s “while supplies last.”
The real estate market in Kansas City is described as “brisk,” “robust” and even “gangbustas.” But as conversations with top real estate professionals suggest, “good times” are a double-edged sword.
Right now in our region, the number of quality homes on the market is so low that many buyers — even with cash and good credit ratings — are being forced to temporarily move into apartments because they can’t find a home that works for them.
And the irony is that many are paying more in rent than they would for a mortgage.
A modest three- or small four-bedroom home in a good suburb – priced at the Kansas City average of about $240,000 – would require a mortgage payment of about $1,200 per month. In Johnson County, one- and two-bedroom apartments rent in that price range (and much higher the closer in you are to the central city).
There are a number of factors involved in this housing squeeze.
Jeff Hill, president of the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors, points out that even when the calendar turned from 2016 to 2017, the number of homes up for sale was desperately low, and it hasn’t gotten any better.
“Statistically, a two-month supply. That’s what we have. That means that if we didn’t have any more homes come on the market, we’d have nothing left to sell within two months.”
“Right now, we’re seeing some houses being listed today and sold tomorrow — even listed this morning and sold tonight. Sometimes it’s a little crazy.”
And it means some buyers are being left out because they don’t move fast enough.
Hill says the right homes (clean, well-maintained and the right price) are getting full-price offers on Day 1 and often multiple offers from different buyers. Back before the real estate recession of a few years ago, multiple offers meant bidding wars between buyers that pushed a home’s price up well beyond the seller’s expectations and actual value.
Hill, a broker at RE/MAX Premier Realty in Leawood, says we’re not at that “bidding war” point yet — and the Kansas City market has never really raged as wild as the West Coast markets — but a shortage of properties does cause issues.
“There are lots of people in homes already who want to sell, but they’re afraid if they do sell, they won’t be able to find a good property to move to. Rather than risk it, they’re staying where they are.”
There is also the problem of more and more seniors deciding to “age in place,” rather than move to senior living complexes. That results in even more homes being kept off the market.
That’s how logjams are created.
“In normal times, when the market is in balance, we’d like to have at least six months of inventory,” he says.
A six-month inventory suggests there is an adequate number of homes available in all price ranges, styles and amenities to give buyers a good selection to choose from.
“Anything more than six months, you have a buyers’ market. Anything less is a sellers’ market, where the seller is in control.”
So at the moment, at least, the pendulum has swung toward the seller, making price negotiation a challenge for buyers, if they can find a house at all.
There are, of course, new homes always coming onto the Kansas City and suburban markets, adding to supply and helping siphon off demand. But even that pressure release isn’t as easy as it used to be.
Builders to the Rescue?
Rosemary Vitale, a Kansas City Home Builders Association board member, says it looks like we will continue to see a steady increase in new home sales in 2017.
However, builders are being hampered by a number of factors that cannot be quickly resolved.
“Materials, labor shortages and land are the big ones,” she says.
It takes lumber and wallboard, sand and stone and concrete to construct a home, and there is growing worldwide demand for all those commodities. Builders in New Zealand are competing for product with builders in California, New York and Kansas City. Shortages in China, whose building boom is only starting to cool, can cause global waves of price hikes and scarcity.
Locally, and perhaps even more surprising, there is a chronic shortage of laborers.
With the national unemployment rate hovering below 5 percent, many people who might otherwise work construction are finding their way into other professions.
KCHBA says part of the issue in Kansas City is that many high school students are going on to college rather than opting out for the trades.
And Kansas City is not alone in this problem.
You might remember that during this year’s Super Bowl, there was an unprecedented recruiting advertisement by the 84 Lumber Company pleading for men and women in the 20- to 29-year-old age range to consider careers in construction. A company spokeswoman conceded the industry needed to “cast a wider net” and let young people know building “is a place for people who don't always fit nicely into a box. We want people interested in creating their own path.”
Vitale also says quality land is becoming a concern.
For the last few decades, good land to build on at reasonable prices, has been hard to come by. Unimproved land near the city is virtually nonexistent. The bureaucracy and cost involved in getting permits from local, state and federal government agencies also has slowed the process of developing new projects.
Still, Vitale emphasizes, builders are active throughout the metropolitan area. Building permits are up 17 percent over 2016 in all categories: single family, multi-family, condominiums, affordable housing and senior housing.
“Builders today are trying to introduce more affordable new homes to the marketplace,” she says. “They are trying to cater to [first-time home-buying] millennials, as well as to the aging population.”
Single-family homes remain the biggest share of the market throughout the region, but Vitale, vice president of new homes for ReeceNichols, says some builders are now considering attached housing, such as row houses and townhomes.
One of the biggest trends is infill building, tearing down an existing home in a close-in location, or an entire community is carved into a long-established area like Meadowbrook Park in Prairie Village,” she says.
More and Different Amenities
Vitale also says a challenge for builders is keeping up with an ever-longer list of amenities new home buyers are demanding.
Walking and biking trails are highly desirable in most new homes communities, as well.
Inside, builders have started putting laundry rooms off the master bedroom and creating “multi-functional” or so-called “flex rooms” where families can create their own space.
Vitale says solid-surface counters are desired features in the kitchens, as well as walk-in pantries.
Builders are offering more floor plan options, she says. “Buyers are trending toward cleaner lines, kitchens with the latest appliances, quartz and marble countertops, large kitchen islands. They’re also wanting outdoor living areas for entertaining.”
And, of course, “buyers still wants pools and club houses, lake views, fitness centers and trees. They want walkable neighborhoods.”
And another feature you don’t find in Mom and Dad’s old house? Plug-in stations, and lots of them. “USB ports. Connectivity is important,” she says.
Let’s Talk Politics
Both Hill and Vitale agree the current Kansas City housing market is stable and growing at a reasonable rate, but there are a few things that could derail the current success.
No. 1 is consumer confidence. “People are generally feeling pretty good right now,” Hill says. “They have jobs, and when people have secure jobs, they start thinking about moving up — better neighborhood, larger house. But if the economy turns, people will start hunkering down. They’ll stay in place until they see which way things are going.”
The availability of mortgage money also may be in jeopardy.
Mortgage money that has been available at 3.25 to 3.5 percent throughout 2015 and 2016 has now moved up to above 4 percent. Every hike in interest rates narrows what buyers can afford and has a tendency to push down what sellers can ask.
Earlier this year, the federal government also suspended a planned reduction in the mortgage insurance requirement that would have taken it from 4 percent down to 3.5 percent. The National Association of Realtors said that move alone was enough to push at least 40,000 would-be homeowners below the threshold to qualify for a mortgage — and would cost existing borrowers tens of millions of dollars.
There also is the critical question of whether the federal government is going to stay in the mortgage insurance business at all.
For decades, the familiar names of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA and other government-backed mortgage insurers have been able to float packages that, in some cases, allowed buyers to place a down payment of as little as 3.5 percent of a home’s value (and in some cases zero down) and still secure a property. But because the real estate recession of the past decade that financially crippled those programs, there is some speculation those government-backed institutions may not be available in the future.
“And if buyers suddenly have to put 20 percent down on a house (as banks and other lenders prefer), it will just crush our market,” Hill says. “Overnight. It will just crush it.”
Other worries include the trillions of dollars in student debt being carried by roughly 44 million U.S. college attendees, more than half of whom owe nearly $20,000 on the day they leave school. Lenders are reluctant to loan mortgage money to buyers who are paying off high college debt. The government is constantly discussing ways to ameliorate the crisis, but solid answers have been elusive.
Another factor that could hurt home-buying rates is the availability and price of flood insurance. With climate change triggering rising sea levels and, some argue, ever-more violent and prolonged storms nationwide, flooding has become an issue, even in Kansas City.
The government is redrawing flood zone maps. If your home is in a flood plain, even if it hasn’t flooded in the past, you will be required to buy flood insurance or a lender will not grant a loan. Flood insurance is available from the government, but it’s expensive. Even worse, the National Flood Insurance Program is a political football that constantly is being kicked around in Congress before being extended.
When that happens, your home loan is stalled until the politicians come up with a solution.
Time to Decide
Despite the cautions, caveats and congressional concerns, the Kansas City housing market is strong and stable, and in many ways the envy of housing pundits on both coasts.
Home sales are up about 7 percent over 2016, and prices are up about 6 percent throughout the region — both numbers considered within acceptable norms.
But again, it’s best not to wait too long in deciding whether to leap into the market. The average number of days a home is on the market in Kansas City about 15 days, and that number is going to come down as we move fully into the spring and summer months.
It’s time to make a decision.
Not all great homes are in distant suburbs.
by Frank Cook
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.
Best Places to Live Right Now
by Katy Baldwin
We polled several of Kansas City’s most active real estate professionals, a local economist and county tax appraisers and compared their thoughts and data against crime statistics and school district rankings to compile the ultimate listing of the very best places to live in Kansas City right now. We break down the listing by: most stable, hottest new home subdivisions and the ever-increasing luxury apartments that dot our town.
In Johnson County, where the total number of residential properties are greater than 216,000 with a valuation of approximately $66 billion in total, the hot activity remains strong in the new home construction industry.
Because of the highly accredited school districts within the county, which include Shawnee Mission, Gardner Edgerton, Spring Hill, Blue Valley, Olathe and De Soto, most subdivisions see steady property valuation increases year after year, which keeps most of the Johnson County area high on the list of home buyers as an ideal place to raise a family.
When it comes to paying school taxes, the Shawnee Mission School District ranks second to the lowest in the Johnson County market, making homes in those school districts a little more desirable when you look at the entire picture. School property taxes are $1,197.36 for a $200,000 home in the Shawnee Mission District. School property taxes were highest in the De Soto School District, with taxes at $1,666.60 for a $200,000 home.
Across the state line, a homeowner with a property valued at $200,000 would expect to pay $2,774 per year in total property tax. The state of Missouri property tax is .99 percent, which is lower than the national average of 1.19 percent, but Jackson County’s property tax rate is higher at 1.387 percent.
The Stable Ones
Prices in these five reliable neighborhoods have held steady over the last decade, thanks to family-friendly communities, pretty streetscapes and plenty of places to play and explore.
Prairie Village, Kansas
Very low inventory, low crime rates, mature trees, plenty of quiet neighborhood parks and accessible community pools make this area our top pick in the stable community category.
Center stage for residents of Prairie Village are the upscale shopping centers, Corinth Square (83rd Street and Mission Road) and the Village (71st Street and Mission Road). Both shopping centers offer quaint, outdoor settings with more than 70 shops, a theater, restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries and service providers — all giving that cozy, small-town feel homeowners crave.
Realtor.com reports the median home value in Prairie Village is $345,000. Home values have risen by 8.5 percent over the past year and are expected to rise by 4.2 percent again within the next 12 months. The median list price per square foot is $146, as compared to the Kansas City metropolitan area average of $78 per square foot.
Leawood continues to see low crime rates — it’s safer than 79 percent of U.S. cities. With a median household income of $133,702, residents are on the well-heeled side of life. The area is home to several outdoor neighborhood shopping centers and the massive United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, the largest Methodist church in the country. The highly accredited Shawnee Mission and Blue Valley school districts serve residents, as do four golf courses, a host of fine dining establishments and entertainment venues that are a short walk, drive or bike ride away.
Leawood City Park and Tomahawk Creek Park are connected by Tomahawk Creek Greenway, a 4.1-mile paved path meandering along Tomahawk Creek that is part of the county-wide greenway system. Along the greenway, walkers, joggers and bike riders encounter three ponds stocked with catfish, bluegill and bass; several picnic areas; and a bridle path, which is a part of the formula that keeps this small city at the top of the list of most wanted places to live.
The median home value in Leawood is $585,000. The median list price per square foot is $153.
One of the most revered communities of Johnson County is Fairway. Incorporated in 1949, the popular community’s proximity to the Country Club Plaza and downtown makes home values consistently rise.
According to realtor.com, the median listing price is $339,000 and the price per square foot is $178.
The Fairway Shops on Shawnee Mission Parkway, Neale Peterson Park, the Fairway Pool at 61st Street and Mission Road and the Shawnee Indian Mission Site at 53rd Street and Mission Road are amenities that add to the quality of life there.
A quick commute to the downtown area, just 19 minutes on average — plus access to the highly rated Olathe, Shawnee Mission and De Soto Schools — and plenty of new construction of single-family homes makes Lenexa a strong contender as a stable real estate investment. There are also close amenities such as boating, fishing, swimming and hiking at Black Hoof and Shawnee Mission parks, amenities that are perfect for growing families.
Lenexa hosts a variety of annual events, including the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle and the Lenexa Chili Challenge. It also has the culinary distinction of being the Spinach Capital of the World, which it celebrates with an annual Spinach Festival in September.
Also of interest is the curious fact that Lenexa has more residents who work in technology and math than 95 percent of the places in the U.S., according to neighborhoodscout.com.
The median listing price is $394,000 with $139-per-square-foot properties in the Lenexa area. Lenexa’s residents tend to be slightly younger with a median age of 37. Fifty-four percent report some college education, compared to the national average of 22 percent for all cities and towns.
Home to Kansas City, Missouri’s first “suburban” shopping area and approximately 11,000 residents, this close-knit community boasts a median household income of $100,000. Home buyers who love older homes and short walks to local shops and dining gravitate to Brookside, which boasts more than 70 shops, restaurants and offices. It also hosts the nationally recognized annual Brookside Art Annual and the St. Patrick’s Day Warm-up Parade.
In 2016, the median sales price was $352,500 for homes in the Brookside area and the average time on the market was 34 days.
Hot New Neighborhoods
The places you'll be buying into 10 years from now
by Katy Baldwin
159th and King streets, Overland Park, Kan.
The lavish estates and classic manors of Mills Farm developed by Matt Adam continues to rank high on list for upper-bracket home buyers. Fortunately, with the addition of the Estates Enclave from the $700s to $2 million-plus, the Manor from $500s and above and the Meadows with homes selling in the $400s and above, the development is far from complete.
Every home plan in the community is subject to the approval of a design review committee, including landscaping accents. This has ensured the continuity of the development, which will hold the overall value of the homes over time.
Price range: $400s to $2 million-plus, millsfarm.net
2816 NE 102nd Terrace, Kansas City, Mo.
Residents of Staley Farms enjoy a country club lifestyle, including a world-class private golf course nestled on 600 acres of rolling hills in Kansas City’s semi-rural Northland. There is a stately clubhouse with an adjacent pool, a tennis court and playground, and the Sports and Rec Club featuring state-of-the-art fitness equipment and an indoor basketball court. Homes have breathtaking views, and access to Shoal Creek Parkway is minutes away.
Price range: $300s to $2 million, staleyfarmshomes.com
near 171st Street and Switzer Road, Overland Park, Kan.
Terrybrook Farms is one of the newest communities in Johnson County. Within the community are four distinct, upscale communities: Maple Ridge, Stone Creek, the Enclave and the Estates. The Julian-Rodrock Homes collaboration is located one mile from the Blue Valley School District’s newest high school and middle school campus and includes loads of family-friendly amenities such as a clubhouse, a swimming pool, a children’s play area, four lakes and a dramatic waterfall.
Price range: $400s to $2 million, terrybrookfarms.com
175th and Kenneth roads, Overland Park, Kan.
Sundance Ridge is the newest and perhaps most aggressive masterpiece project by the prominent Johnson County developer Darol Rodrock. Three communities are slated for production within Sundance Ridge, along with a clubhouse, three pools and a state-of-the-art playground, as well as a greenhouse, campgrounds, paved trails and an indoor basketball court. The Blue Valley School District has purchased land to construct an elementary school within the community. Sundance Ridge is slated to have 800 homes on this heavily treed lot.
Price range: $400s and up, rodrock.com/sundance-ridge
Southwick on the Lake
199th Street and Mission Road, Overland Park, Kan.
Darol Rodrock’s exclusive Southwick on the Lake community boasts just 34 home sites. He desired to create a sense of rural living within a meticulously planned community that he refers to as an oasis and “the realization of a lifelong dream.” A natural 14-acre lake stocked with large-mouth bass for fishing is central to the neighborhood, with walking paths that leisurely wind through the community, embodying the rural feel. The estate-sized, custom-built homes have expansive lots suitable for horses with freedom to roam the countryside.
Price range: $550 to $1 million-plus, rodrock.com/southwick-on-the-lake
Prairie Star Parkway and Clare Road, Lenexa, Kan.
Lenexa has seen robust development in the past few years, but nothing quite like Rodrock’s planned community Arbor Lake, which features a pristine private lake, unparalleled views of rolling hills, dense tree lines teaming with wildlife plus quick access to local shops and dining and proximity to K-7 and K-10 for commuters. It is the unparalleled views of Lenexa’s parks and wetlands that set this community apart. Student residents attend the award-winning Olathe schools or the nearby St. James Academy.
Price range: $300s to $450,000, rodrock.com/arbor-lake
northwest of I-35/Highway 152 interchange, Kansas City, Mo.
Cooperleaf is 137 acres of open-treed natural preserve located west of Liberty, Missouri. The master planned community comprises luxury single-family homes with access to exercise trails, a playground, a swimming pool and a clubhouse. Many of the homes back to greenway space. Shopping and dining are within one mile of the area, and families are served by the AAA-rated Liberty Schools.
Price range: $300s to $750,000, copperleafkc.com
northwest of K-7/K-10 interchange, Olathe, Kan.
This 450-acre community set in the limestone bluffs of northwest Olathe is the largest master-planned community in the Kansas City area with more than 1,000 families making it their home. The latest neighborhoods to develop within the community include Hidden Lake Estates, Valley Ridge and the Ridge at Shadow Glen. When complete, the three neighborhoods will add an additional 150 homes to the development. All communities of the Cedar Creek development have been designed with a resort lifestyle in mind. Cedar Creek has made a commitment to preserve hundreds of acres in their natural state, incorporating a community harmonious with nature, including the Shadow Glen golf course and country club with surrounding lakes and spectacular water features.
Price range: $300s to $2 million, cedarcreek-kc.com
K-10 and Cedar Creek Parkway, Lenexa, Kan.
Olathe’s Canyon Creek by Prime Development is a project that’s seen steady growth since its opening. Located within the K-10 corridor, the development’s easy access to major highways make it a popular choice for young professionals. The family-oriented, 3-acre amenity complex within the community features a free-form pool with sundeck, where the water is only 6 inches deep, making it a perfect place for sunbathing while the little ones splash and play. There is a picnic area nearby, as well as a basketball court, a playground, a paved walking trail and a large open-play field for recreational soccer, softball, football and Frisbee. The community has been built into the natural wooded park land surrounding Mize Lake with many homes that back up to park land. Neighborhoods are: Canyon Creek by the Lake, Canyon Creek by the Park, Canyon Creek Shores, Canyon Creek Villas and Canyon Creek Highlands.
Price range: $400s to $1 million, canyoncreekks.com
167th Street and Pflumm Road, Overland Park, Kan.
The property developed by the Chapel Hill community was once a family farm. Today, the gently rolling hills, mature trees and serene landscape provide a charming backdrop for homes built by award-winning builders and floorplans that include ranches, 1 1/2-story, reverse 1 1/2-story and two-story floorplans. Home buyers can build as many as five-car garages and are afforded a dizzying array of upgrades.
Price range: $300s to $700s, chapelhillkc.com
Lavish Lifestyles in Apartment Living
by Katy Baldwin
White-glove concierge service paired with unparalleled proximity to the finest in shopping, dining and entertainment have would-be home buyers chucking the concept of a mortgage and opting to live in the lap of luxury.
A new crop of young professionals have a hearty appetite for the combination of luxury and total mobility as the demand for high-end apartment living continues to soar. Experts say many of the young and upwardly mobile witnessed their parents lose equity in their homes and may fear getting caught up in a similar situation.
A few decades ago, apartment living was thought only for those who hadn’t done so well in life. That notion has given way to creature comforts that can be found in some of the area’s most luxurious apartments. We identify five of the most exceptional.
One and Two Light Luxury Apartments
Amenities and location are what set the sexy One and Two Light Apartment communities apart. Shortly after the Cordish Companies began construction on the $79 million One Light Luxury Apartments in the Power & Light District, there were 1,000 on a waitlist for the 25-story, 315-unit building. Making plans for the second high-rise was inevitable. Both luxury apartments are ideally located in prime downtown hot spots. Two Light, which is slated to open in 90 days, is adjacent to the Crossroads Arts District. Both gleaming high-rise apartment buildings feature dramatic pools, lounge areas with green space, nightly rental suites for overnight guests, conference rooms, fitness centers and entertainment kitchens, in-house sommelier, theaters and social rooms, a fitness center, charging stations for electric cars and access to lightning-fast Google Fiber. Inside the apartments, there are floor-to-ceiling windows, 9-foot ceilings, open floor plans, quartz countertops and luxury appliances.
Don’t have time to make it to the supermarket? The concierge service provides in-home grocery delivery. They offer dry cleaning drop-off, too.
Designed to elevate urban living, literally— they know exactly how to curate the amenities their ideal tenants appreciate.
One Light Luxury Apartments, 50 E. 13th St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 472-0001, onelightkc.com
Two Light Luxury Apartments, 1444 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. (816) 472-1444, twolightkc.com
The remodeled Folger’s Coffee Plant is a pet-friendly, high-rise apartment community that opened in 2015. Features include a complimentary coffee bar; a heated outdoor swimming pool and lounge area with fire pit and hot tub; a state-of-the-art fitness center with personal trainers, yoga, core strength and HIIT classes; access to a private party area called the social lounge; large windows with solar shades; balconies and expansive mezzanines; tight building security, enclosed heated parting garage, Google Fiber, valet trash and recycling, shared common lounge space with furnishings on each floor. There are on-site chef nights with cooking classes and 24-hour maintenance on-call. Concierge services include car washes, dry cleaning and laundry service and pet care.
701 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 265-1761, roastersblock.com
The massive CityPlace development near U.S. Highway 69 and College Boulevard is being touted a city all its own. The $450 million project is one of the largest of its kind in Johnson County and will eventually be home to more than 1,300 housing units, plus several office buildings, boutiques and restaurants when construction on the mixed-use project is complete. The first apartment tower, Royale at CityPlace, is already leasing, though the grand opening isn’t expected until this spring. The community is taking shape quickly and will eventually feature lush surroundings that connect to the area’s expansive trail system. The Royale features 9-foot and 11-foot ceilings, gourmet kitchens, wine coolers, Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats, private poolside cabanas, fitness on demand system, meditation and movement studio with yoga room, entertaining lounges with kitchen and serving bar, grilling cabana with table setting, bocce ball court, fire pit with ample seating, gourmet coffee bar and café, free tanning bed, pet park with obstacles and dog wash area, Google Fiber and a calendar filled with resident events.
10501 W. 113th St., Overland Park, Kan., (913) 712-9866, theroyaleatcityplace.com
Villa Milano was voted by 435 readers the best apartment living community in Kansas City in 2015. It’s easy to see how the gated apartment community of south Leawood achieved the honor. The Tuscan-style community with light and airy interiors features 9-foot ceilings, drive-in garage units, terraces, premium kitchens and baths with plank-style flooring, private patios and a saltwater pool in an elegant setting tucked into a quiet neighborhood dotted with green parks and access to Blue Valley schools.
13740 Howe Lane, Leawood, Kan., (913) 897-0100, villamilano.us
The Village at Mission Farms
Mission Farms Luxury Living Apartments offer residents access to free car service, on-site personal trainers and massage therapists and an ultra-modern 24-hour fitness facility. The resort-style courtyard with saltwater pool, dry sauna, free tanning bed, yoga room and a coffee lounge are icing on the cake to this idyllic location. Just outside your Johnson County apartment, you are steps away from a wide variety of eateries and retailers.
4080 Indian Creek Parkway, Overland Park, Kan., (913) 341-6200, villageatmissionfarms.com