October Newsletter

The Scariest Thing About Being a First Time Home Buyer

One of the scariest things about being a first-time buyer is the unknown. It’s probably one of the main reasons 90 percent of all buyers do hours of online research before deciding to buy a home.

The entire process can be stressful. It’s complicated. It’s filled with paperwork. It’s most likely the biggest financial decision of your life. And it’s peppered with deadlines and boxes that must be checked or the entire deal can fall apart!

Halloween girl

Real estate agents are here to uncomplicate the buying process for you. An agent is your matchmaker: he or she will help you define the qualities of your dream house and work hard to turn that dream into a reality. And since they’re pros, they’ll manage the deadlines and check those countless boxes for you so you can make an offer on your dream house with confidence.

A home purchase may be your largest financial transaction to date, so it’s important to make the right decisions and to keep an eye on the details. With the assistance of your Residential Mortgage Lender and real estate agent, it should be an efficient, pleasant, and ultimately rewarding experience.

Count On Your Real Estate Agent To:

  • Preview available homes to weed out those that are overpriced, or undesirable in some other way.
  • Present the homes that suit your needs as you’ve defined them.
  • Help you determine the difference between a “good buy” and a property which, because of its nature (neighborhood, market appeal, etc.), might have to be discounted if you decide to sell in the future.
  • Negotiate the best deal for you. With a Pre-Qualification letter from us in hand, your Real Estate Agent will be able to demonstrate that you are a qualified and capable borrower. This will strongly influence the Seller, and may make the difference between the Seller accepting your offer or someone else’s — even if your offer is lower!

Count On Your Loan Officer To:

  • Assist you in selecting the best loan to meet your personal situation and goals. (This single decision can save you thousands of dollars throughout the years!)
  • Keep you informed of your loan status throughout the entire process.
  • Keep your Real Estate Agent informed of our loan progress (Note: your personal information is always kept confidential between you and us; only deal points and progress are shared).
  • Get the appropriate loan for you at the best rates and fees. This will save you significant money “up front” and throughout the years to come.

Count On Yourself To:

  • Keep your Real Estate Agent informed of any questions or concerns as they develop.
  • Keep the process moving by providing documentation and decisions as soon as reasonably possible. By doing so, many of the details are taken care of early in the process so you can comfortably concentrate on any last-minute details or events that require your attention.
  • Enjoy purchasing your home, but do remain objective throughout — to make the business decisions that are best for you.
  • Make sure you are pre-approved as early as possible. This will put the power of financing behind you so you can concentrate on selecting your home.

I am not a mortgage lender and I will never pretend to be.  I ALWAYS encourage my clients to make an appointment with a reputable lender and actually sit down to go over all options.  There are so many options out there other that just the typical Conventional, FHA, and VA loans. Contact Tracy Geer at First State Bank Mortgage for more information.  Find her pre approval link on my website.

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My October Obsession: Carrot Cake

CARROT CAKE
INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 1/4 teaspoons Baking Powder
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 cups Sugar
4 Large Eggs
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 cups Grated Carrots
3/4 cup Chopped Pecans
3/4 cup Coconut (I don’t use coconut because I think it is disgusting!)
1 8oz can Crushed Pineapple (put in strainer and let juice drain. I used a fork to press out more liquid.)
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Line the bottoms of 3 (8inch) or 2 (9inch) round pans with wax or parchment paper, grease with shortening and flour the paper and pans for easy release when turning out……carrot cake has a tendency to stick so be sure to use the paper.
Whisk together for 30 seconds the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set Aside.
In a mixing bowl, add 2 cups sugar , 4 eggs, 1 cup oil and 1 tsp. vanilla. Mix 2 to 3 minutes at medium speed until well blended and light colored.
With a spoon stir in the flour until moistened, then add the carrots, pecans crushed pineapple and coconut.
Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Refrain from opening the oven door or touching the center of the cake to test for doneness until very near the end of baking time or it could cause the cake to sink slightly in the center.
Makes 6 1/2 cups batter
Cool cake layers in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack then turn out. Cool completely before frosting.

It’s healthy because it has carrots.  Just go with it.

Places to visit in October in Kansas & Missouri:

  1.  Weston, Missouri- Weston Red Barn Farm, O’Mally’s Pub, and Pirtle Winery
  2.  Parkville, MO- Wines By Jennifer A hidden gem in downtown Parkville.  Stop in to taste their featured wines of the month and listen to the stories of their travel.  Don’t forget to join the Wine Club!
  3. Lawrence, KS- Lawrence is so pretty in the fall.  Walk down Mass Street and check out all the local shops.  Make reservations at 715 for dinner, my FAVORITE!

Pumpkin Patch

 

 

 

The Plaza Art Fair

Once again Fall is quickly approaching and the first thing that comes to my mind is The Plaza Art Fair.  This outdoor event takes place every September on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri.  Nine city blocks are blocked off and hundreds of artists booths and Restaurant booths line the streets.  The atmosphere is amazing!  Although the event is considered family friendly, a word of advice; don’t take your small children (especially strollers) on Friday evening. Friday evening is considered the kick-off event and the streets are lined with everyone from the young adults to the older ones enjoying adult beverages.  By 9pm, it’s extremely hard to move around the streets.  Don’t forget to check out the 3 Live Stages with local and national talents.  And wear your dancing shoes, you will need them!

 

My favorite part of the art fair are the restaurant booths!  The top eateries on the Plaza make special hand held sized portions of their main dishes for a great price.  A steak sandwich with herbed goat cheese and balsamic onions from The Capital Grille.  Yes please. Carnitas Tacos from The Oliver.  Sure.  Truffle Bacon Popcorn from Rye.  Hells yes. Did I mention all different types of local beer, margaritas, and sangria? The fact that you are able to walk around the streets of the Country Club Plaza and try award winning food without having to spend an arm and a leg at the establishment itself.  Perfect time to share with a friend and try it all while looking at some of the best artwork in the country.

This year the event takes place on September 21st-23rd.  Parking is crazy so I recommend taking an Uber or Lyft that evening so you don’t have worry about parking.

Bucket List: Italy

Many of you know that my sister-in-law owns and manages a company called A Slice of Tuscany, which books trips and tours all around Italy.  Sally (my sister-in-law) moved over to Florence, Italy 8 years ago this upcoming August and I still have never been!  I know, I know.  But, a couple years ago she meet her her future (an American with an Italian name) husband over there and because he is in the military he was soon transferred back to the United States.  Although they were transferred back, Sally still takes trips to Italy throughout the year to help clients experience their dream vacations.

Sally
That’s Sally

So Sally started this business while she was over there by basically just traveling around Italy eating, drinking, and talking to everyone.  After years of research she quickly made friends with some of the top chefs, wine makers, shop owners in the country. Do you want to rent a villa in the countryside, make wine at a local vineyard, learn to cook for a top rated chef, rent a Ferrari?  She can do that.  What I’m saying is, if you want to do Italy right, you call Sally at A Slice of Tuscany.

That brings me to my bucket list.  I AM going to Italy.  I don’t know when but it’s happening.  I believe the plan is to wait until her husband can take time off and we can have at least 2 weeks to travel the country.  Hopefully, next Spring 2019 we will be sitting on the Amalfi Coast with a nice glass of Italian wine and fresh seafood.  Now I want a glass of wine!amalfi-amalfi-coast-architecture-373575

There are so many places I want to see before I die but I have to get to Italy as soon as possible.  Sally happens to been over there now and every time she posts on Instagram I am amazed!  It truly looks like the most beautiful place on earth!

Check out her website and her Instagram!

Honestly, it after 10pm on a school night and I’m contemplating open a bottle of Chianti Classico.

Chemo Mouth

Grr. Imagine all your taste buds float away to cancer hell and you are stuck with everything tasting like cardboard. Oh, that includes water. Yep. Sucks. So I decided that I’m going to just try to get through the next couple months without losing another 20 pounds and then binge out on my favorite food. Most chemo patients suggest avoiding your favorite foods during the chemo process so they aren’t a turn off after you get your taste buds back. 

First stop, Chicago. If I could eat in any city for the rest of my life it would be this place. The Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder is my number one go to place. It holds a special place in my heart as well, my husband proposed to me there. 

Heaven on a plate. They also have an amazing salad, dressing, and flatbread. I will gain ten pounds that night at dinner. I can already taste it. There is also a burger place that I have to find again, it was years ago. The Art of Pizza is always a good spot. There is Francesca’s, are they still good? Anyway, I am also excited to try s good steak house. Any Chicago restaurant suggestions would be appreciated. 

I’m loving the Kansas City food scene too. My favorite place is Osteria Il Centro and that will be my very first stop on list. 
If you haven’t been then you are missing out. Best place in Kansas City. Fact. Then there is JJ’s on the plaza, Strouds Northland, Pig Witch, Garozzo’s, Bristol, and 715 in Lawrence. 

I make this list to look forward to something. I miss food tasting like food. I miss carbs. I miss wine. We will be together soon again. 

Summer Bucket List

I was introduced to The Happy Family Movement by my new favorite photographer, Nicole Renee. Even with our busy schedule I think we can do this summer. So here goes, Our Summer Bucket List:

1. Royal’s Baseball Game with the children. We have taken Maggie in the past but the little one has yet to see the Royals lose in person.

Maggie's 1st Royals Game
Maggie’s 1st Royals Game

2. Kansas City Zoo. Took Maggie last year and she had a blast.

Kansas City Zoo
Kansas City Zoo

3. Lunch on The Plaza without children. I love dining and day drinking.

4. Day on the Lake (on a boat). I'[m still a little to over protective to take the girls to the lake house but we can take them on the boat at Wyandotte County Lake.

5. T Bones Baseball game with the family. We are right down the street from the stadium and they have a great playground for the kids. No excuse not to go.

6. Outdoor Concert. I think the last outdoor concert I attended was Cross Canadian Ragweed in 2009. Hell, that was the last concert I think I went to. I used to be cool.

7. Deanna Rose Farm. It would be perfect for a toddler.

Maggie at Deanna Rose Memorial Day 2013
Maggie at Deanna Rose Memorial Day 2013

8. Family Portrait Session by Nicole Renee. we took portraits when Reese was about 3 months old but that was it. A family photo session is much-needed.

Family Portrait Fall 2012
Family Portrait Fall 2012

9. Watch a fireworks show. This task shouldn’t be too hard since my family is in the fireworks business.

10. Build a sandcastle with the kids. We are taking a family vacation to Florida in August and we are right on the beach. Maggie would love to build a giant sandcastle and then she will proceed to knock it down.

11. Catch lightning bugs. This just screams summer to me.

12. Date night. Not just dinner at Yardhouse on a Tuesday. A dress up dinner at a romantic restaurant is my favorite. Nice wine, great food, and dessert!

13. Wyandotte County Fair. Another summer favorite for kids! I won’t let Maggie on the rides but at least she can run around. I know, I’m no fun.

14. Royals Game WITHOUT children. Nothing better than a night at the stadium with a good group of friends.

15. Play in the sprinkler. The kids are already little fishes in the pool, they will love the sprinkler.