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Typical home $200,000 market value, with family earning $80,000 in combined income.

Figures do not include the difference in Personal Property Tax.

(Those amounts would vary according to the value of the personal or business personal property owned by each resident).

Kansas City - Liberty School dist.

TOTAL TAX             $4150.00

Kansas City - NKC school Dist.

TOTAL TAX             $4125.00

Smithville - Smithville School dist.

TOTAL TAX             $2410.00

Kearney Property Taxes for Schools is approximately 7% higher than Smithville.

Combined Smithville taxes are $1740 less than KC - Liberty schools

Combined Smithville taxes are $1715 less than KC - NKC schools

*Kansas City earnings tax is 1% so add or deduct according to amount of income over or under $80,000. Those working in KC will still pay the earnings tax.

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Disabled Veterans free grant money!

The Department of Veterans Affairs has three programs that give cash grants to qualified veterans with disabilities for both safety improvements in the home they already occupy, or for new disability-accessible home construction:

The Home Improvements and Structural Alterations (HISA) grant can be used for any home improvement necessary for the continuation of treatment or for disability access to the home and essential lavatory and sanitary facilities. Among the improvements a HISA Grant will cover are

A HISA grant is available to veterans who have received a medical determination indicating that improvements and structural alterations are necessary or appropriate for the effective and economical treatment of a disability. A veteran may receive both a HISA grant and either a Special Home Adaptation (SHA) grant (below) or a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant (below).

Home improvement benefits up to $4,100 are available to veterans with a service-connected disability, and up to $1,200 is available to veterans with non-service-related disabilities.

More information is available in the VA HISA brochure

The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Grant can be used for new home construction or for substantial housing modifications that help eligible veterans function independently in their own homes. The maximum grant, currently $50,000, is available to veterans who have a permanent and total disability (blindness or loss of limbs) as a result of military service.

The Special Home Adaptation (SHA) Grant can be used for any home improvement that can help veterans with service-connected disabilities increase mobility throughout their existing homes. Maximum grants are currently $10,000 and are available to veterans who have permanent and total disability (blindness or loss of limbs) as a result of military service.

A qualified veteran can receive both an HISA grant and either an SAH or SHA grant. To apply for the HISA grant, you should complete VA Form 10-0103 and send it to your local VA medical center. To apply for an SAH or SHA grant, complete VA Form 26-4555 and send it to your VA regional office.

For more information or a mailed application, visit or contact your local VA Regional Office at 1-800-827-1000.

Why work with a full time agent as opposed to a part time agent?

If you are looking to purchase a new home the agent you choose to work with is almost as important as the home you choose. Buyers should interview at least 3 agents before deciding which agent to work with.

Some criteria to use follow:

a) Is the agent compatible with me? No one wants to spend time with someone they do not like

b) What hours is the agent available. A real estate transaction requires extreme commitment and flexibility in order to complete the task, Sunday - Saturday 24/7 example : title and loan company questions and answers Monday- Friday 8-5, Inspections and meetings after 5, Saturday and Sunday at the clients convenience.

c) If you are building a home most builders you will require you be accompanied by your agent when visiting the job site, is the agent able to make the 5 trips, 10 trips etc...

d) Full time agents generally know the market better. They work it 40 plus hours per week in the market they should know where to find the " deals "

e) Contracts & paperwork are intense, an agent that fills out the paper work 20 times per year is going to be better at it then an agent who fills it out 2 times per year. Ask the agent How many transactions they did last year?

f) Ask the agent are you going to attend the closing & inspections? If they answer " I got another job I am not sure I can" do not use this agent even if its a friend.

g) If you are selling your home ask for a market analysis. Ask the tough questions and respect the agents who try to educate you about the market conditions in your area. Any agent can list a home for what the seller thinks it might be worth, but a good agent will know the range of what its actually worth and wont be afraid to tell you. Before you sign with the agent wait a few days call the agent a couple of times and see if they answer right away or call you back in a reasonable time ( couple of hours ) if they don't this is a red flag.

Remember a good agent is well rounded they should be able offer advice and money saving recommendations in many areas such as insurance, finance, contract negotiation, land purchase and be able to explain all paperwork including inspection reports. Hopefully after reading this blog you will consider why a full time agent is generally a better choice to work with than a part time agent. Your home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make, put a lot of time an effort into choosing a professional to help you.

Why lots & land are the current " deal" in real estate

About 6 years ago the real estate bubble burst, builders went bankrupt at an unprecedented rate and the savvy new homeowner was able to take advantage of new construction homes at bank sale prices. In our market this is for the most part, a page in our history books. Our excess inventory of new construction homes in the 150000-225000 range owned by banks are almost non existent. Now its time to turn the page and focus on where the current " deals" are.

I believe the current deals are lots and land. When developers borrow money from the banks they usually borrow for a term of 5 years. In the last couple of years the banks have called the notes and foreclosed on some of the developers in some subdivisions. Some examples are 3 acre estate lots in 2006 were 85000 now 42000, regular subdivision lots that were 45000 now 20000 or less. Some of these lots are walk out and cul de sac lots.

Other factors which enhance my belief that now is a great time to buy and build are: new subdivisions which are developed face enhanced regulatory rules from the EPA, federal government, new state and local guidelines and new rules and regulations by the DNR. The developers are not going to be putting in as many new subdivisions until the current inventory is drastically reduced. When they do, they anticipate the cost for a standard 40000 lot will rise 35% to 50% because of the new rules, cost of financing and the impact of higher oil prices.

Homeowners interested in taking advantage of this opportunity should contact their local full time real estate agent to discuss options in their market. Every market across the country has different opportunities this is one we are seeing in our area. Thanks, Scott 816-809-1903