Tom, Home Buyer in KC area

I may be relocating to KC area. Overland Park and Leawood look atractive. Are the markets soft in these areas?

Asked by Tom, KC area Wed Jan 9, 2008

Trying to make a decision whether to rent for a year or two or buy. thanks

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Tom, would you like the shameless plug first or the answer to your question? Okay, let's go with an answer to your question. Without knowing your entire situation, this is somewhat tough to discern a solution and discuss an answer. Let's say all things being equal and you have no time or money pressures. Mentally, you can stand being in an apartment or extended stay for a while. With those assumptions (I can almost hear the booing from the traditional agents), I would wait and purchase this winter (Dec, Jan, Feb). I sell around 200 homes per year and what I am seeing in the OP/Leawood area is the first price decrease in ten years. It will steadily float negatively and then take a nosedive this winter. I see 2009 being a recovery year (if past dips are any indication). I am saving my money for this winter and intend to buy 4 or 5 properties. That's my $00.02.

Michael J. Maher of The Maher Team (Michael at The Maher Team dot com)

P.S. Shameful plug: I'll be in Money Magazine this month. Read about Overland Park. Tell me what you think. Thank you.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 24, 2008
Hi Tom! Welcome to Kansas City. You'll find it to be the home of the friendliest people on earth.

There were several great answers below and perhaps the gist of your question hasn't been covered yet: Deciding whether to rent or buy in that area. First, as indicated below, the area is fantastic for schools, raising children, cost of living, and value.

With that in mind, buying at this time can have its advantages: new home inventory has never been higher and is rapidly shrinking as builders are not picking up permits, sellers have been conditioned by the media to think the market is slow and thus are more negotiable, and if you have good credit, you'll have lenders fighting over you. The advantage to renting is that you can get a feel for the area before buying. Perhaps a short-term rental (month-to-month or 6-month) would be ideal and then purchase at a less hectic time.

{Warning: Shameless Plug Ahead :) } If you need help with the rental side or the purchase side, The Maher Team is here to help. We own one of the largest property management companies in the city and have been in the Top 25 Agents in the Kansas City area for the last 4 years.

Good luck and once again, welcome to Kansas City! You'll love it here.


Michael J. Maher, MBA
To see what over 110 people are saying about Michael's services go to -->
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 30, 2008
The previous comments have provided very sound advice. I'd add that it's important to look closely at what's going on within each specific community that you may be interested in. You can find a subdivision that has averaged a 5% gain over the past year and the next one a quarter mile down the road has lost 5% over the same period.

When it's time to buy, have your Realtor pull the area's market stats (like is done for sellers when pricing their home) and go over them with you. There are dynamics going on within each community that you could easily miss if you neglect to do so.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2008

First of all, clarification...did you ask this question a few months ago?

Overland Park and Leawood continue to be some our strongest markets. And as the economy improves, these markets will rebound the fastest because of their desirability.

With that being said, When are you moving? Can I apply for the job of being your Buyer's agent? I mean, you do want a STRONG and EXPERIENCED (20 years and over 800 homes sold) agent, right? Let's go for it! Talk to you soon. Laurie
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 17, 2010
With too few buyers and lots of inventory, many buyers are feeling it is a great time to buy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 17, 2010

This depends on your goals and timeline.

First, you can buy in the market segment that yields the highest return, so selling it quickly and for money is easily attained. We have a strong, stable market in the Kansas City area. I know I've been selling in this area for 20 years.

Another way is to buy a duplex, keep it when you move and rent the other side. This is an extremely popular purchase with our economy.

If your time is at a premium and you'd rather not deal with the responsibility of home ownership, then renting is the way to go. An alternative to this is a condo. The buys are great and the values are increasing exponentially as the downtown Kansas City area flourishes. I KNOW. This is where I live.

My Best,

Laurie Arnold
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 3, 2010
Best advice is to view 10-15 properties in the area you are interested in. Then get a good buyer's agent that will give you realistic comparables that have sold in the past 12 months. Then base your decision on statistics and the criteria you desire for your purchase. Know the market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 13, 2010
Lots of good buys in Overland Park!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 13, 2010
This was a pretty interesting article that was in our local paper recently. Check it out at

welcome to KC........
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 26, 2008
We currently have roughly an 11 month supply of homes that would definitely indicate a buyers market. A balanced market would be more towards a 6 month supply of homes. Good luck with your purchase....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 3, 2008

Being born and raised in the Kansas City area, we truly believe you will love calling KC home. From professional sports teams, great entertainment, and tons of parks, lakes and rivers in the area, you should never be without something to do. Oh yeah, and there are some amazing homes, especially in the Leawood and Overland Park areas. If schools are important to your decision, look no further than top rated Blue Valley, Olathe or Shawnee-Mission school districts.

Backed by the support of agents with years of experience, we can work with you, at your pace, to find the home that is just right for you. Please feel free to use our web home search tool at to aid in your search. And please do not hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions.

Good luck, and welcome to KC!!!

Aaron and Shannen

Aaron and Shannen Merrick
The Merrick Team
Realty Executives of Kansas City
Fax: 913-642-7053
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 8, 2008
Hi Tom. It is a GREAT time to buy here in the KC Metro. Rates are at historic lows, loans are still available for most all who SHOULD be buying a home, and there is a TON of homes on the market. Apart from the sales pitches and hubbub, before putting your money into renting where it goes virtually NO WHERE, invest in real estate. It's just like the stock market, buy low and wait a bit to sell it higher in a better market. The weather is just starting to take a turn for the better here and I've seen in the past few months that buyers are out when the weather is nice. I look forward to a BUSY summer. Call me for an experienced, go-getter agent. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 23, 2008
Hello Tom,
I have assisted many buyers and sellers this year...several buyers had to present 3 offers to 3 owners before getting an accepted,,,(seller's were not coming off their list price much $2-5k) I just assisted a buyer with the purchase of a foreclosure JOCO appraised it at $481,000 we purchased it for $363,000 she will have $10-20k in repairs but it was a beautiful home that needs appliances, cleaning and some paint. Also, I just listed a home on 4-5 and sold it (today)4-11 for $5k under list price. Prices are across the board...bottom line the homes are selling for what a buyer is willing to pay :) I also own a rental business and my rule of thumb if you are only going to live in the area for 1-2 years...then rental is the best answer...if you want to also do a lease with option that works on some homes too. If you are planning to live in KC long term...the interest rates are great that makes it a good time to buy too!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 11, 2008

I would agree with the answers you have received. The higher you go the softer the market is. In zip code 66224 which is Leawood and Overland Park we are seeing that homes above $450,000 are soft due to the amount of inventory available
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 28, 2008
I agree with both Rebekah and Chris but the answer to your question also depends on what price range you will be looking in. For instance, the more upper end price ranges in Johnson County are currently much softer then homes in the entry level price ranges.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 22, 2008
As Rebekah said (an agent I respect, by the way) the market is favoring the buyer. Soft is probably a good word to use though I wouldn't worry too much. Historically we don't go up and down like the coasts. Depending on where you are coming from, you should be pleasantly surprised.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 9, 2008
Hey, Tom.
I'm sure you're going to love the KC area. Overland Park and Leawood are great areas and you are sure to find a nice home to fit your needs there. The market in the KC area is much more stable than those on the coasts, however it is tending to lean a bit to the buyer currently. Let me know if you would like more information on KC - I'd be glad to send you some information.
Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 9, 2008
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