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

 

 

 

#WYCOStrong

I’ve really struggled this week to keep my emotions in tact and maintain some sort of normalcy.  On Friday, June 15th I was at work and received a breaking news alert on my Apple watch which I automatically checked like normal.  I believe it said something to the effect of two officers shot at Wyandotte County Courthouse, more information to come.  What many people don’t know about Wyandotte County is that as crazy as it sounds, we are a very tight knit community.  I don’t know another community in the Kansas City metro area that has what Wyandotte County has. It’s hard to describe.  Wyandotte County has a bad reputation and a lot of it is deserved but a lot of it is just plain bullshit.  Many of the residents started their families here, and then their families started families and so on and so on.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that everyone knows everybody, or at least knows someone from their family.  We are a community that supports our police and fire departments, our city employees, our neighbors.  It’s not about about republican or democrat, it’s about being a decent person and doing the right thing.


After seeing the breaking news alert I quickly grab my phone in search for more information.  From the little information that I had seen, I was scared.  Real scared.  I have friends and family that work at the courthouse, that work for the sheriff’s office, that work for the Kansas City Kansas Police Department, and  the Kansas City Kansas Fire Department.  All I knew at that point was something bad had happened and multiple people were shot.  After some texts to friends and wives of law enforcement around the city, I was relieved that everyone I knew was safe and accounted for.  But then I lost it.  We, and when I saw we, I mean Wyandotte County, have lost so many great people in the past couple years due to really bad criminals being on the street.  Officer Melton, Detective Lancaster, and Lou Scherzer all were murdered by stupid pieces of trash.  All murdered in our community, in our backyard.  Why does this keep happening!

As a wife of a firefighter, I can honestly say that I don’t get worried about my husband not coming home after his shift.  We get busy with our jobs, with our kids, and with our life and I just honestly don’t ever worry about it.  And then these horrible acts of violence happen and I’m sure Deputy King and Deputy Rohrer’s family expected them to come home that evening.  I’m sure that Detective Lancaster wife and kids expected him home for dinner that evening.  I’m sure that Officer Melton’s girlfriend and kids expected to see him that evening.  I know Lou Scherzer’s fiancée didn’t think that Saturday night was any different than the one before.  So am I a bad person that I don’t get scared every third day that my husband might not come home?  I am asking that question, be honest.

No matter what your spouse does for a living, just imagine waiting by the phone or by the front door waiting for a Chaplin to come.  What kind of life could you lead?  A couple years ago two brave Kansas City Missouri Firefighters went on a call that went horribly wrong and they lost their lives (the fire was deliberately set so it was murder in my opinion). Do you think that Larry Leggio and John Mesh thought they wouldn’t be going back to the station after that routine call!  I bet they did, they were seasoned firefighters.  I don’t want to get into the whole “Our lives are in God hands” discussion because that could go in a whole other direction.

The point is that I’m sad.  I’m angry.  I want the families of these deplorable criminals to know that they are horrible people and they don’t deserve to live.  I actually wish harm on them. Why do bad things happen to good people?  Why couldn’t Antoine Fielder get shot in the head? Why can’t he suffer? Hell, you can’t even put on the news anymore without hearing about horrible people killing innocent people just because.  When did it become acceptable to bully, talk down, and spew hate towards people.  I have to admit that I have gone on rants about President Trump many of times on social media but he makes it too easy.

We need a leader, a role model, a stable person to lead our country and our cities.  We need to stop all this madness and start over.  Our President sucks and I feel like this country is an embarrassment.  I’m embarrassed to be an American right now.  I want our justice system overhaul, I want gun reform, I want children to stay with their parents, I want people to be decent, I want CHANGE.  I don’t want want to ever have to tell my children that their father was killed.  I WANT CHANGE.

I am proud of my city.  I am proud to call Wyandotte County home.  I love how we all come together for the greater good.  I hope that I never have to go to Children’s Mercy Park for a funeral again.  I love how we support our heros.

Next time you think you are having a bad day, just remember, it could be worse.

I don’t want worse, I’ve had enough.

#WYCOStrong

Photo Cred: Caylen Sunderman

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.

The Goose is Loose

Long time since my last post but I get super annoyed when the blogs I follow bombard me with new posts everyday.  A lot has been happening in our crazy household our the past few months and I’m loving every minute of it.  We took a family vacation to Florida (blog post on that to come),  quick jaunt to Denver, and the munchkin turned the Big One.      Oh, and I’m going to be an Aunt! Another munchkin is making her debut in late January.

Let Her Eat Cake

Our little girl is EVERYWHERE now.  She walks all around the house, tries to mimic what we say, and lets her personality shine brighter everyday.  She is the light of my life.  Someday I wish she would just let me hold her all day but I think that is long gone.  She wants to go, go, go.  This Christmas is going to be so much fun this year, hell snow is going to be the most fun.  Let’s hope she likes it.

I have been told that kids grow up so fast but to experience it is a whole different story.  Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine that I would be the mother of the best little one year old.  She has made me into the person I am today.  I think that when you hit a certain point in your life you have to make choices that are going to better yourself and your family.  many people say that once your married all you hang out with are married couples, pretty correct statement in a way.  I think I try to surround myself with the people who are going to have similarities to my family.  For example, I don’t want to hang out with someone who cheats on their spouse, hates children, or doesn’t believe that family comes first.  We have started surrounding ourselves with couples that have similar morals and I don’t thing there is anything wrong with that.  It is not only couples that I hold these things to, my single friends are held to the same.  I believe that your friends say a lot about you.  As I creep up to my 30th birthday, I need to surround my family with positive and honest people.  It’s time to cut ties with the people who will cut me down behind my back (or my husbands back).  My new years resolution for 2012 is going to be to make time for great friends and hopefully make some new friendships grow.  Cheers!

The Never-Ending Fixer Upper

So my husband and I bought our house about 3 years ago with the full intention of fixing it up room by room.  It sounds so easy doesn’t it.  I’ll tell you one thing, it would be a whole lot easier if we had endless money to do it with.  My parents always told me, “it doesn’t have to be done all at once”.  It doesn’t, but I want it to be.  The house we bought sat empty for 2 years because the man who owned it bought it for his wife without showing it to her first and she said her furniture wouldn’t go with the house.  I’ll tell you one thing, no furniture would have gone with the house.  The house was full of wood paneling and wallpaper.  I like wallpaper when it is more modern but the stuff that was all over our house was horrible.  Example:  Hall bathroom had pink tiles, wall and floor, with green and red striped wallpaper.  Awesome.  Oh, and had an old oriental rug cut up to look like they had carpeted over the pink tile floor.  Seriously.

The first thing we did was prime and paint the kitchen cabinets and scrape all the wallpaper off in the entire house.  It was in every room just about.

note to self: never buy a house with wallpaper in it, not even in a closet.

It has slowly come together over the past couple of years and is very livable now.  We haven’t even touched the basement yet but we haven’t had a reason to until we had Maggie.

My problem is that I change my mind on how I want to style the place every couple of months.  We haven’t really bought any furniture besides a couch and a coffee table so far.  My goal in the next couple months is to get rid of the older furniture and start making the right furniture choices for us.  Another problem is that everything I tend to like it’s not so kid-friendly and every thing my husband likes is too comfortable.  When I say comfortable I mean puffy and reclining.  Not in my house.

When we moved into the house we traded the soft-padded hot tub for a dining room table.  Great trade but the dining room table is so not my style and the chairs weigh as much as I do.  Craigslist is going to have some new posting come this spring and my house is going to be very empty.  This will be a hard task, especially if I don’t plan on telling my husband until the furniture magically disappears.

I have secretly picked out the furniture I want for the living room and I know my husband won’t like it.  Another little problem we have is that we have 2 medium-sized living rooms.  I think we are going to have to have a grown up room and a children’s room.  Now the big question, how do I make a room child-friendly without it screaming kindergarten class room.  i think I will enlist the talents of my friend KB on this project.  She has the best sense of style and fashion, practical but nothing too over the top or trendy.  I like to call her classy all the way around.

I will post pictures throughout the makeover process.  Hopefully things will go well on convincing my husband that I know what I am doing.  I can just seeing him now, shaking his head and telling me that I’m going to change my mind a million times before I will make a permanent decision.