KC Condo Tracker

The Country Club Plaza has been a popular attraction for Kansas City locals and visitors to our great city alike. From shops and restaurants you can only find on the Plaza to the unique architecture, people have been coming to the Plaza for unique experiences throughout the last several decades. While the landscape has changed over the years, the idea has stayed the same, attract unique retailers and restaurants and the people will come. Turn on the Plaza lights and people will come. Change the color of the fountain water to blue for our Royals or red for our Chiefs or pink for Susan G Komen and people will come. More often than not, the Plaza can draw a crowd year-round.


Recently the Country Club Plaza has been in the news for two major announcements: Nordstrom is relocating to the Plaza in 2021 and Shake Shack is coming to the Plaza this Fall. While the Shake Shack is just a fancy burger joint, its addition to the Country Club Plaza is exciting because until recently you had to travel to cities like New York and London to order yourself an awesome burger and chocolate shake. And while Nordstrom has been in the Kansas City market for some time, the relocation of Nordstrom to the Plaza is exciting for multiple reasons, but mostly because it means no more driving from KC to Overland Park just to grab your favorite pair of jeans or your favorite bottle of cologne.


Both of these additions to the Plaza will not only change the appearance of the Plaza but will also create a new reason for shoppers to frequent the Plaza.


And as the shopping district itself continues to evolve, the areas surrounding the Plaza continue to evolve with new remodels and new construction homes filling in all of the surrounding areas. Whether you are looking for a single family home, a townhouse, or a condo – there are plenty of options around the Country Club Plaza.


If you or someone you know are thinking about buying or selling real estate around the Plaza or throughout the great Kansas City area, feel free to give us a call to see how we can serve you: 816-699-0084.

Posted by AJ Gentry on February 16th, 2018 4:37 PM

We’ve been reading for weeks about the proposed tax bill and as REALTORS, concerned for our clients, we’ve been reaching out to lawmakers to hopefully save some of the tax benefits for homeowners. Today, we learned that while we didn’t get everything we were hoping for, we were able to impact some of the provisions in the bill positively. Below are some positive points for homeowners and prospective homeowners from the President of the National Association of REALTORS, Elizabeth Mendenhall:

  • Capital gains exclusion. In a huge win for current and prospective homeowners, current law is left in place on the capital gains exclusion of $250,000 for an individual and $500,000 for married couples on the sale of a home. Both the House and the Senate had sought to make it much harder to qualify for the exclusion.
  • Mortgage interest deduction. The maximum mortgage amount for households deducting their mortgage interest has been decreased to $750,000 from the current $1 million limit. The House bill sought a reduction to $500,000.
  • State and local tax deductions. Both property taxes and state and local income taxes remain deductible, although with a combined limit of $10,000. Both the House and Senate bills seek to eliminate the state and local income tax deduction altogether.

It appeared for some time that the original tax bill may take away some of the value of owning a home. Something which collectively could have been a disaster for the housing market, which in recent years has been overall a strong market. After more than a year of seller’s market conditions in the greater Kansas City metro area, the market has somewhat evened out. Though inventory levels have remained around the 2-month level (meaning if no new homes were added to the market, we would run out of homes to sell in two months), buyers have still been out shopping fairly consistently. New home construction has not really slowed and even developments that stalled after the not-so-great bursting of the real estate market bubble of 2008, those developments have not only picked back up but some have even been completed.

2018 might be another great year to buy or sell a home and if you are thinking about exploring your options, our network of lenders, inspectors, and appraisers are some of the best in the business. Let us connect you with someone who can make your real estate transaction seamless. Our clients can attest that the more enjoyable and efficient their search, the more success they have in finding the right home at the right price. Let our team at Urban KC Living and KC Condo Source help you reach your goals. Give us a call at 816.699.0084 or drop us an email at Team@UrbanKCLiving.com today!

Posted by AJ Gentry on December 21st, 2017 3:18 PM

Show of hands, who thinks KC needs a new airport?

On November 7, 2017, Kansas Citians overwhelmingly voted to move forward with a new, single-terminal version of Kansas City International Airport (MCI). Opponents of the project feared some hidden taxpayer burden, though, as of now airlines and concessions in the airport will take care of the cost (https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/todayinthesky/2017/11/08/they-voted-yes-kansas-city-get-new-1-billion-airport-terminal/844622001/), but we’ve seen how taxpayers have had to help cover the cost of attractions like Power and Light and the KC Streetcar. In reality, does it matter who foots the bill? Don't we all ultimately gain something from a new, state-of-the-art single terminal airport?

The airport of the future looks incredible, and you can see for yourself here: http://www.flykci.com/newsroom/terminal-master-plan/.

The potential to have more direct flights both domestically and internationally is a huge bonus and the one I am most excited about, personally. For business travelers, having an airport where a delayed flight doesn’t equate to extreme boredom or starvation is also a bonus. Who's arrived at the airport at the last minute with a Starbucks craving only to find out once you are through security, there is NO STARBUCKS and your only choice is a basic coffee which tastes like it was made last week? Or, better yet, you just want to grab a quick burger only to discover your only options are a sit-down meal with slow service and subpar food/drink?

Whatever your thoughts are on the new airport, one thing is for sure: a new MCI is going to attract more revenue for the city, more businesses like Amazon’s HQ2 may find relevance and interest in our city and other large nationwide companies may give us a second look. More revenue means a better Kansas City for all of us. Whether you live in Brookside or Overland Park, a state of the art airport will make your travel life better and possibly more efficient, just wait and see.

If you’ve got comments or thoughts on the new MCI – share them below in our comment section.

Posted by AJ Gentry on December 12th, 2017 1:33 PM

Have you looked around Kansas City? Construction abounds. It’s everywhere. From South of the Plaza where a new Whole Foods store will soon open to the River Market where there is a new apartment building in the works, things are happening in our city. People are coming downtown in droves! We’ve had the KC Streetcar now for almost 18 months, and more than 3,000,000 people have taken a ride. Google Fiber launched, and KC is one of the smartest Smart Cities in the US. It’s an exciting time to be here watching our city blossom.

In the last few years, KC has received accolades from several great sources:

Fodor’s: https://www.fodors.com/news/5-reasons-to-visit-kansas-city-11521

Huffington Post: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/6-reasons-kansas-city-is-the-most-lovable-of-cities_us_57ad15eae4b0e7935e0487b8

And CNN: http://www.cnn.com/travel/article/kansas-city-royals-winners/index.html

Our baseball team has won the World Series, and our KC Chiefs have even seen some better days, as of late.

All great reasons to appreciate a city. But there’s so much more to love!

While we don’t rank top in public transportation or environmentally friendly transportation modes like cycling, our city is quite easy to maneuver in a car. And while during rush hour traffic, we do experience traffic that sits still, our traffic is NOTHING compared to traffic in cities similar in size. And even in the worst traffic, you can get from Downtown Kansas City, MO to Overland Park, KS in 15-20 minutes, maybe 30 minutes on a bad day.

If you or someone you know is thinking about a move to the Kansas City metro area, this blog post and the included links provide a great resource. Especially this one: https://realestate.usnews.com/places/missouri/kansas-city

Feel free to share and comment below on any other links that can help someone make the RIGHT decision by moving to KC. Also, feel free to drop us an email or a phone call if you have any real estate related questions. Our team of experts is ready to answer your questions.

Don’t forget to check out www.UrbanKCLiving.com or www.KCCondoSource.com for more information and to start a FREE home search.




Posted by AJ Gentry on December 6th, 2017 5:22 PM

"Private mortgage insurance, also called PMI, is a type of mortgage insurance you might be required to pay for if you have a conventional loan. Like other kinds of mortgage insurance, PMI protects the lender—not you—if you stop making payments on your loan. 

PMI is arranged by the lender and provided by private insurance companies. PMI is usually required when you have a conventional loan and make a down payment of less than 20 percent of the home’s purchase price. If you’re refinancing with a conventional loan and your equity is less than 20 percent of the value of your home, PMI is also usually required." -Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

But one secret most home buyers DON'T know is that you can pre-pay that PMI during closing and save yourself hundreds of dollars each month over the early life of your conventional loan. That's right, you can PREPAY it. And, if the seller is paying some of your closing costs, your lender may be able to apply any leftover seller paids to assist in the paying down of your PMI.

From Amy Prater, NBH Bank/Bank Midwest, one of our preferred lenders at Urban KC Living and KC Condo Source:

"Everyone hates the idea of mortgage insurance, right.  What if I can show you a smarter way to pay for mortgage insurance. I have put together two scenarios on the same property that will take some of the stings out of having to pay that insurance.

On a $160,000 purchase with 5% down ( $8000) your monthly mortgage insurance is $45.89 per month.  That mortgage insurance will automatically drop off at payment 114.  That is a cost of $5231.46 for that insurance.  

You also have the option of paying that mortgage insurance premium at closing like it is a regular fee.  The cost of that single pay premium is $2615 for the exact same offer.  So this is saving you $2616 in premiums. More than $2,600 a year in PMI savings, could equal multiple extra mortgage payment each year which would mean your loans would also pay off quicker!   

When should you consider paying the premium up front?  When you know that this is a long-term home, meaning over 10 years.   This might also be a smart idea to do if you are trying to maximize your buying power.  By eliminating $45.89 per month in your mortgage payment that would give you an additional $10,000 in buying power.  So you go from being able to qualify for a $160,000 house to a $170,000 house and your realtor can show you just want an additional $10,000 in buying power can do.  I think it just might surprise you."

For more creative ways to maximize your buying power, give our team a call or drop us a quick email today: 816.699.0084 OR Team@UrbanKCLiving.com.

Posted by AJ Gentry on November 29th, 2017 11:33 AM

Please help us in congratulating our team member, Kristopher Saim-Gentry, in his added position as Vice Chair of the KCRAR Communication Committee! We are proud of him for this achievement!

 Platinum-team_054 (2)

Posted in:General
Posted by AJ Gentry on November 23rd, 2015 10:30 AM

These last two years in Kansas City have been pretty amazing if you follow Major League Baseball. Well, even if you don't follow MLB, you probably still have caught a game and been impressed by our Kansas City Royals. 

Last night's game was the conclusion baseball season and the Royals are the new World Champions. As if that weren't enough of an achievement, the Royals have shown the WORLD what a real team looks like. Throughout the playoffs and the World Series games, the Royals always conducted themselves in a respectable manner - even when times were bleak, the boys in blue pulled it together and gave the fans the 'W' they were looking for.

What's even more interesting to me, as a REALTOR and a lifelong resident of the greater metro area, is how the Royals almost single handedly, created a buzz that united this great city we call home. It doesn't matter if you live in Leavenworth, Liberty, Gardner, Oak Grove, Brookside, or Waldo - you've been touched in some way by the excitement our town has experienced. For years KC has been called out by pubs like Travel and Leisure and the Huffington Post for a variety of things from great BBQ to great vacation spot to best places to live - but it's seeing our Kansas City Royals in action and seeing the excitement from young and old that has really been incredible to me and reminded me of just how special our Kansas City truly is!

The Royals have somewhat become symbolic of this city. Regardless of where each individual player comes from, the same midwestern values we take pride in daily got shown on that field. It's really almost impossible to NOT like our Royals, unless of course, you are a Mets fan - and really even then, you have to admire how relentless our Royals are. These same types of values can be experienced throughout our amazing city. 

And now, if you'd like to see us party and celebrate, you should make plans to come to the parade downtown it starts at the Sprint Center and ends at Union Station where KC will rally with the Royals like no other city can.


Now, more than ever, is the right time to call Kansas City home.

Posted by AJ Gentry on November 2nd, 2015 3:33 PM

You read that correctly. The Real Estate Market in Kansas City is ON FIRE! With a lower than normal inventory of homes on the market for sale, competition is heating up. If you are currently shopping for a home in the metro area, you need to be prepared.

What does preparation look like, in this market?

  • Having a Buyer's Agent represent you in your side of the transaction is VITAL. Listing agents work for the seller, they cannot legally represent you as their client also. To do so would mean they would need to serve you as a TRANSACTION BROKER, and that will not help you in negotiations. So NEVER call the number on the sign in the yard - you should consult your Buyer's Agent for any and all questions. If you Buyer's Agent is not available when you need him / her, you are working with the wrong Buyer's Agent. It's imperative in this market that you have an attentive and professional Buyer's Agent who is familiar with the area in which you are shopping. For example, using a Buyer's Agent who sells 95% of their properties in Overland Park is not beneficial for you if you are buying a River Market Condo.
  • Have your pre-approval letter in your hand and ready to go. That means as soon as you are ready to shop, you should know how much you are approved to spend. The best homes at the best prices are selling the day they hit the market. And sometimes, there are multiple people putting in offers on homes at the same time. The ones who don't have all of their documentation together are the ones who won't win in a  bidding war. It's a sad but true fact in this market. For a list of lenders, check out our website.
  • Be prepared to NOT get everything you want. It's a sellers market and there are more people wanting the same house you want. That means negotiations are extremely challenging. Again, it's important to have a Buyer's Agent who can present you a full picture of the situation and help you understand the pros and cons of the home and the negotiation process. A great Buyer's Agent will make sure you don't lose a home to another buyer over something that is trivial in the grand scheme of the home buying process.

KCRAR / Heartland MLS prepares information each month that shows current market conditions and here is the most recent snapshot:

  • April 2015 average sales price for new & existing homes combined ($197,737) is 4.5 percent higher than April 2014.
  • There were 3,084 homes sales (new & existing combined) for April 2015  - 12.4 percent higher than April 2014.
  • Home inventory (new & existing combined) for April 2015 (12,374) is 6.9 percent lower compared to April 2014.
  • The supply of new and existing homes for April 2015 is 4.5 months - representing a home market slightly favoring sellers. 
Posted by AJ Gentry on May 13th, 2015 10:09 AM
It's not everyday that a Westport neighborhood condo comes on the market. Westport has always been and remains to be one of the best places to go on a Friday night or Saturday afternoon for great food and drinks at LOCAL KC hotspots like McCoys Public House, 303, Ragazza, Kelly's, Joe's Pizza, Blanc Burgers, or Port Fonda. It's the type of neighborhood where people love to hang out, so just imagine having the Westport Art Festival minutes from your front door and not worrying about the parking!?!

This 1 bedroom, 1 1/2 bathroom condo is move-in ready and has a private deck for you to enjoy. With wide-open living spaces flowing from the minute you walk in the front door through the living room, dining room and into the kitchen, this condo is every entertainers ideal floor plan. Two level living helps keep your bedroom private while you keep your guests on the first floor.

Come home to Westport, where you can live, work and play.

Call us today for a private showing - this unique condo, listed by AJ Gentry of AJ Gentry and Associates at Platinum Realty for $184,500, is going to sell fast --> 816-699-0084.
Posted by AJ Gentry on April 24th, 2015 11:06 AM
If you haven't seen this video, courtesy of Tim Lair, yet, check it out now!

Paris of the Plains from Tim Lair on Vimeo.

Great video that captures the essence and magic of our great city. From the Crossroads Arts District to the edge of Downtown KC, there is something that KC lover will enjoy about this awesome video.
Posted in:General
Posted by AJ Gentry on March 10th, 2015 7:14 AM


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