Tuesday, May 11, 2021



May 10, 2021

Danicia Duncan

Spring is a great time to get things done around the home, and this includes revamping your landscaping. Maybe you’ve always wanted to add flowers and other plants but have never had the time, or you just want to expand on what’s already growing around your home. Regardless of why you’re shopping for new plants, knowing what to look for to find the best new plants will save you a lot of frustration and wasted effort in the long run. Here are some things to keep in mind the next time you hit the nursery.

Check the Leaves, Stems, and Roots

A lot of people buy plants based on the early appearance of flowers and buds, but that can be misleading. If you want a better idea of how healthy a plant is, there are much better places to look. Some of the biggest indicators come in the form of the leaves and stems. You want to pick plants with undamaged leaves that have vivid colors that are even across the plant, with no signs of wilting, yellowing, or drooping. Stems should have smooth surfaces, as opposed to cracks or rough patches which can be signs of insect damage or other problems.

Another way to check the health of a plant before buying it is to examine the container it’s growing in for signs that the plant may be rootbound. While you won’t always be able to tell, there are a few signs that could indicate a problem. Plants with root tendrils growing out of drainage holes in the container or obvious root growth across the surface of the soil have clearly been in containers that are too small for too long. It can take a long time for rootbound plants to recover fully, and some never will so avoid plants that show signs of this problem.

Look for Signs of Trouble

It was mentioned that you should look for signs of insect damage when looking at leaves and stems, but holes in the leaves or marks on the stem aren’t the only indicators that a plant might have been damaged by insects. Spots on the top or bottom of leaves, signs of webbing, or oddly shaped leaves and buds can also signal that insects have been on the plant. Feel the leaves and stems as well to see if they feel sticky or excessively soft, both of which could indicate small insects have infested the plant itself. Also, take a look at the soil for signs of insect activity, especially if it looks like something has burrowed down into it.

You should also compare the plant you’re considering to others of its type. Look for signs of disease, such as the plant being generally paler than others, or spots or discolorations on its stems and leaves that are either darker or lighter than the rest of the plant. Color patterns or patterns on leaves or stems that appear on one plant and aren’t present on the others can also be a sign of disease that you don’t want to spread to other plants around your home.

One other potential sign of trouble that you should keep an eye out for is grass, weeds, or other types of unexpected plants growing in the same container as the plant you’re buying. While these often won’t directly attack your plant and can be easily removed, they are still competing with the plant for the same water and nutrients in the container. This can weaken the plant and lead to growth and development problems down the road.

Getting a Second Opinion

If you aren’t sure about which plants are best, don’t be afraid to ask the nursery workers about the various plants you’re considering. They can give you additional insight into the health of these plants and how well they’ll do in different lighting conditions in your yard. They’re there to help, so be sure to make use of that resource.

Of course, if the prospect of finding the perfect plants among all the nursery’s options seem overwhelming, you can also consider calling a local landscaper to help you choose the perfect options for your property. 

As always, if you any questions or are considering buying or selling a rural property, please feel free to give the Rural KC Team-Keller Williams Partners a call at 913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411.  Have a great day!



Tuesday, May 4, 2021



Spring is here, so that means it’s time to start getting ready for the months ahead. Chances are you’re looking forward to being outdoors, maybe firing up the grill, planting a garden, or spending some quality time in the pool. Before you get down to the business of enjoying the nice weather, though, there are a few things that need to be taken care of first. That’s right: It’s time to knock out some home maintenance tasks to make sure everything is ready for the changing weather.

Home maintenance is important throughout the year, but spring and fall are two of the top times to really hit some of the big points. In the fall you’re prepping for winter and making sure that your home is ready for icy weather, while in the spring you’re checking to make sure everything came through the winter ok and prepping for the heat and rain that comes with spring and summer. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are some of the top items to check off on your spring home maintenance checklist.

Outdoor Maintenance

Cold winter months can really take their toll on the outside of your home. This is one of the reasons that spring maintenance is so important. By performing external maintenance early in the spring, you can identify damage caused by ice and snow and repair it before it turns into leaks and other problems when the spring and summer rains startup. Here are a few key areas that you need to make sure that you check:

  • Inspect your roof, looking for cracked or missing shingles or other signs of damage or leaks
  • Check around the foundation for cracks or other wear
  • Look at the bricks and siding on your home to see if you need repairs or new paint
  • Clean the outdoor unit of your HVAC system and inspect it for obvious signs of damage

This is also a good time to check any external fixtures, outdoor electrical outlets, hose faucets, and other objects on or around the outside of your home for signs of damage.

can discover home service pros powered entirely by real referrals from real people Indoor Maintenance

A lot of people think that the main thing to do indoors is a bit of spring cleaning. While a good deep clean a few times a year is important for keeping your home livable, there are a few specific maintenance areas that you need to be sure to cover. Here are some of the key points to hit:

  • Clean the condenser coils on the back of the refrigerator and check the temperature in both the fridge and freezer
  • Inspect the ceilings and walls for discolorations or cracks that could indicate water damage
  • Test your HVAC system to ensure that it functions properly when switched from heating to cooling
  • Lubricate the hinges and tracks on doors, windows, and other areas that will see a lot of motion or traffic in the coming months

While you’re already in maintenance mode, this could also be a good time to replace light bulbs (possibly with more energy-efficient bulbs or bulbs with smart connect features), test outlets, and perform other basic maintenance tasks around the house.Ayou Movihard, but I'm here to help! Use my FREE concierge service to help you get up and running faster in your new home. It’s quick and easy

Other Maintenance Tasks

There are a number of other maintenance tasks that don’t really fall into these two categories. Little things like lubricating the moving parts in your garage doors, changing the oil in mowers and other outdoor equipment, sharpening tools, prepping garden spaces and similar tasks will go a long way toward getting you ready for spring and summer. It may also be a good time to do some deep sanitizing or moving around some outdoor fixtures to make it easy to have some friends over while giving everyone their space as well.

We hope you have enjoyed today's blog.  If you ever have any questions or are in the market to buy or sell a rural property, please feel free to contact the Rural KC Team-Keller Williams Partners at 913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021




A new growing season is underway. Are you ready? Here’s a to-do list to get you started: 

Pull weeds when they’re young and when the ground is soft.


  1. Pull those weeds. Whether you’re seeing left-over weeds from last year or new ones that sprouted in cool weather, eliminate them now when the ground’s still soft from winter. They’ll come out easier than in hard, dry summer soil. Especially remove them before they have a chance to grow and deeply root, and especially pull them before they have a chance to go to seed.
  2. Prune the summer-blooming flowering shrubs. The end of winter to early spring is the prime time to prune shrubs that flower from late June through fall. This includes abelia, butterfly bush, beautyberry, caryopteris, clethra (summersweet), smooth hydrangea, panicle hydrangea, rose-of-sharon, St. Johnswort, crape myrtle, summer-blooming spirea, and vitex. All of these bloom on wood that grows in the current season, so there’s no danger of cutting off flower buds that formed last year. Wait until right after flowering to prune spring-blooming shrubs, such as azalea, rhododendron, weigela, lilac, forsythia, and viburnum.
  3. Fertilize the beds. Once the ground thaws, apply granular fertilizer around the trees, shrubs, and perennials. Match the particular product to the plant type and to any particular nutrient needs spelled out by a soil test.
  4. Inspect trees and shrubs for winter damage. Prune off any broken, dead or storm-damaged branches. Also, snip the tips off of any evergreens that have suffered tip diebacks from winter’s cold.
  5. Rake off or trim any winter-killed, brown leaves from last year’s perennial flowers.

Get rid of dead perennial leaves. If you didn’t already cut back your frost-killed perennial flowers last fall, rake or clip off that browned foliage now. It’ll clear the way for this year’s new growth, which will be pushing up shortly. If you notice that any perennials have worked their way partly out of the ground due to winter freezing and thawing, tamp them back down so the roots aren’t exposed. Water them and add an inch or two of mulch around them.

  1. Divide perennials. Right before new growth begins is an ideal time to dig and divide most perennial flowers that are growing beyond where you'd like them. Replant divided clumps ASAP, and water them well in their new home. Or give away pieces or compost any excess. The exception is early-season perennials that already are blooming – or that are in bud and ready to bloom soon. These are best divided after bloom or in early fall.
  2. Rake matted or excessive leaves off the lawn and out of groundcover beds.

Rake matted leaves. Leaves that have blown under and around trees, shrubs, and perennials can be left in place and mulched over, assuming they’re in modest quantities. No need to remove those. However, matted leaves should be raked or blown off of the lawn and out of evergreen groundcover beds so these green plants can take in sunlight. Patch any bare spots in the lawn with new grass seed.  

  1. Remove winter protection. As the threat of frost wanes, remove burlap barriers, wraps, and other protective material from around landscape plants that needed the extra winter protection. Also, remove any staking from new trees if they've been in the ground for more than a year.
  2. Problem prevention. Apply lawn food on the lawn (if you've had a crabgrass problem in the past) and a granular weed preventer on the garden beds. A good cue for the former is when the dandelions are blooming, and a good cue for the latter is when forsythia bushes are in full bloom.  
  3. Edge beds. Whether you use a long-handled, people-powered edging tool or power edger, end of winter is a good time to cut sharp edges along all garden beds. This not only neatens the landscape, it creates a “lip” to contain mulch that can be applied once the soil warms consistently for the season.


As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at 913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411.  If you are in the market to buy or sell rural property, please go to our website at ruralkc.com. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021



Out in the country, life moves a little bit slower. If you have ever lived in big cities, next to the ocean, and in city-adjacent suburbs, but it isn’t until you move to the country that you finally feel like you could really breathe. The benefits of country living have been pretty well researched. Science shows that living in the country is beneficial for both your physical and your mental health. And while city and suburb living certainly have plenty of their own benefits, there’s something about country life that just does the body good.

Rural areas account for 97% of U.S. land but house just 19.3% of the population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. That’s a lot of room to spread out for those who appreciate the quiet, privacy, and open sky of the country. Whether you’re trying to decide between city life vs. country life or just need some reminders about why living in the country is a great choice, read on for six of the biggest benefits inherent in rural living.

1.   Cleaner air

The further out into the country you get, the more your air quality improves.  Researchers have a few ideas for why this might be, including less pollution, the greater abundance of trees and grass, and perhaps even exposure to cell-improving phytochemicals that get released from plants, fungi, and microbes.

Pollution in more heavily populated areas comes not only from a lack of greenery, but also tiny yet harmful particles released into the air from trucks, buses, cars, factories, and other mainstays of urban environments. These particles travel into the lungs, where they impair breathing and increase the risk of serious illness.  Escaping this polluted air for the country means better breathing and better protection against chronic conditions like asthma and heart disease.

2.   Less crime

Residents in rural areas are less likely to be the victims of a wide range of crimes versus those who are living in the city or suburbs. These include simple and aggravated assault, robbery, and theft. Part of the reason for this is just a sheer numbers game—there are fewer people in the country, thus less opportunity for crime to occur. There’s also a higher percentage of police officers per capita—2.8 officers per 100,000 people in non-metropolitan counties compared to 2.6 officers per 100,000 people in metropolitan counties.

Crime can happen anywhere, and the country certainly isn’t guaranteed to be completely free of it. Still, if you’re looking to live somewhere where you can feel more comfortable letting your kids ride their bikes alone to school or leaving your windows open for a cool breeze while you sleep, statistically, the country is going to be your best bet.

3.   Better psychological health

Your brain actually functions differently in the country. Living in an urban environment over-stimulates two-key, and potentially harmful, regions of the brain: the areas that regulate emotion and anxiety. Scientists believe this is the reason they see higher rates of mental health problems in cities than in non-urban areas. In the country, the brain is less likely to experience this kind of overstimulation. The benefits? Lower risk of anxiety disorders and mood disorders. There is also research showing that city living increases schizophrenia risk, likely due to unknown environmental factors that impact developing brains.

You’re not going to be able to completely prevent a mood disorder or mental illness just because you live in the country, nor are you guaranteed to have less stress in your life simply because you’re out of the city. But you are going to avoid some of the increased risk factors for these psychological ailments that are deeply connected with city life, and it’s the benefit of country living worth considering.

4.   It’s cheaper

Cities are expensive to live in. It’s already well-established that living in the suburbs is cheaper than living in the city, and the cost of living drops even further for rural areas. A study looking at the cost of living for urban and rural areas in Pennsylvania found that those in the country paid less for everything from groceries to health care to transportation, with the greatest price differentiation having to do with housing costs (12.7% less in rural areas than urban areas).

Of course, what you pay to live somewhere—and what you get for that money—is going to differ depending on your exact locality. But if you’re looking for somewhere to spend less and get more, the first place you should start your search is in the country.

5.   Exposure to nature

Being outside in the open air is connected with many of the benefits of country living. And while you don’t have to go out to the country to find some sunshine and trees, head out to rural land and you’ll definitely find more of it than you will in the cities and the ‘burbs. As for specific benefits, immersing yourself in a natural environment is good for everything from improving your short-term memory to lowering your blood pressure.  It might even make you more creative.

Spending more time in nature is a great way to improve your health, and when you’re living the country life, you don’t have to go very far to reap the benefits. Natural paradise can be found right outside of your door, instead of a car or bus ride away.

6.   Easy access to organic food

Out in my own country paradise, I don’t have a Whole Foods within 30 miles of me but I do have multiple farms, all within a ten-minute drive, where I can buy fresh eggs, fruits, and veggies right from the source. The type of food that our bodies really need is in abundance out in the country, as is available land if you want to start growing your own.

In the city, access to unprocessed, healthy foods is not quite so extensive. Urban food deserts are especially problematic in low-income areas, where small markets and gas station snack bars often stand in for fancy organic grocery stores. In the country, even those with less to spend can easily purchase high-quality foods for cleaner diets. There are many pros to eating organic foods, chief among them less exposure to the harmful pesticides used to produce food on a mass level.

The takeaway

There are benefits to country living that you won’t find anywhere else, and the diversity of country land means that if you want something specific in addition to your rural environment—say, nearby water or mountain views—you can get that too. There are always going to be some trade-offs (for me, it’s having to drive an hour just to meet friends who still live downtown for dinner a couple of times a month), but if you can’t get enough of green meadows and big blue skies, the benefits of country living may just outweigh the negatives.

If you’re thinking about moving out to the country, consider the pros and cons, and make an informed decision based on the way that you like to live your life. Even the most adamant city dwellers may find that they feel a certain sense of joy and freedom when they trade the crowded streets for the cornfields.

As always, if you are thinking of moving to the country, give the Rural KC Team a call.  We can help you with almost every aspect of moving to the country.   Give the Rural KC Team-Keller Williams Partners a call at 913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411, or go to our website at ruralkc.com.  Have a great day.


Friday, April 16, 2021



Renovations to avoid before selling a home

There are plenty of things Sellers can do to make their homes more appealing. Depersonalizing, improving curb appeal, and proper staging are givens. But many Sellers believe that major renovations will lead to major price bumps, which often isn’t true. Help your clients avoid overdoing it with these tips on which renovations to avoid and which to do instead.

Avoid: Installing all new flooring

New flooring is definitely a tempting renovation to make. However, there are two obstacles that Sellers may overlook with new flooring.

  1. It can be very expensive and have a cascading effect.
  2. There’s no way to know whether a Buyer will like the new floors.

According to HomeGuide, the average cost for new flooring in a medium-sized room (about 330 sq. ft.) ranges between $1,660 and $4,620. And wood, which is one of the more popular flooring types, tends to lean toward the higher end of that range, often going above it. Plus, once Sellers start in one room, they may be tempted to redo others.

While the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) found that Sellers typically do see a positive cost recovery from new wood floors, it’s a relatively small bump.

  • $4,700 cost estimate
  • $5,000 cost recovery estimate

Given the time and cost invested, it’s important that your Sellers know that installing new wood floors likely won’t lead to a big price bump.

In addition, it’s difficult to predict whether the floor the Seller likes are one Buyer also like. There’s a decent chance that the newly installed floors will reflect the Seller’s personal taste, which may not align with the tastes of Buyers.

Instead, deep clean current flooring

Instead of a major renovation, suggest a deep cleaning of the current floors. If your Sellers can do it themselves, it may only cost them a day or two of time plus a relatively small cost to purchase or rent a wet/dry vacuum.

And if your Sellers would rather leave it to the pros, they can hire professional cleaners for a fraction of the cost of a renovation. When cleaned properly, professionals can make floors look brand new!

Avoid: Converting a garage to living space

For Sellers who have a garage (especially an attached garage), it may be tempting to convert it to a bedroom or living space. However, this is a notoriously low-value upgrade.

With more homeowners getting back to in-person work and school, a functional garage has much more value than an extra living space. In addition, Sellers may need to invest money into heating and cooling to truly make a garage livable, on top of getting proper building permits. That can get expensive and time-consuming fast, and for something, many Buyers don’t really want.

Quite simply, most Buyers would prefer a functional garage to extra living space.

Instead, consider a new garage door

Rather than converting the garage, you may want to suggest replacing older garage doors. It’s less expensive than converting the garage to a living space. It’s also an upgrade that Buyers truly want, according to NAR.

Avoid: Building a sunroom from scratch

Sunrooms may be becoming more popular, but they’re unlikely to help you make more money from a sale. In fact, in some cases, Sellers will only make back about 52 cents for each dollar they spend on a sunroom.

Instead, try professional window cleaning

If more light is the goal, a professional window cleaning is a much less expensive upgrade than a sunroom renovation project. Dirty and grimy windows are notorious for blocking light, so a professional cleaning can help. Clean windows are also an excellent way to boost curb appeal.

Also, consider replacing light fixtures

Another, less expensive option than building a sunroom is to replacing light fixtures with more modern light. In older homes especially, warmer lighting can make rooms feel darker than they should. Consider suggesting adjustable LED lighting that allows for 3000K, 4000K, and 5000K light. That gives Buyers options for cozier and warmer light (3000K) though brighter, daylight-mimicking light (5000K).

Even better, many LED fixtures are fairly easy for Sellers to install themselves.

Avoid: Entirely new appliances if your current ones work well

One of the benefits of being in a Seller’s market is that Sellers don’t need everything to be brand new. If major appliances like their oven and refrigerator still work well, there’s little reason to replace them. As long as they look as good and function as they should, upgrading appliances are unlikely to increase the home’s sale price noticeably.

Instead, purchase a home warranty for the Buyer

A home warranty from 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty (2-10 HBW) is a less expensive and more inclusive way to convince Buyers that their appliances will work well. Sellers can purchase coverage for the Buyer and provide three big benefits.

  1. It’s proof that the appliances work well as they are since appliances must be in good working order to qualify for coverage.
  2. If a major kitchen appliance breaks down from routine use, the home warranty may help reduce the cost to repair or replace it drastically.
  3. Buyer coverage can protect many of the home’s most important systems—like heating, cooling, and plumbing—in addition to major kitchen appliances. That gives buyers peace of mind that their home will function well when they move in.


Sellers don’t need to commit to huge renovations to sell successfully. With our expertise, along with the fact that it’s a Seller’s market, there are many smaller improvements they can make to attract Buyers and have a successful sale.

As we guide our clients-both Buyers and Sellers-through the process, we would recommend 2-10 HBW to help you provide added value and show prospects that we are the agents you want to work with. 

Contact the Rural KC Team/Keller Williams Partners, Inc. for more information 913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411.  We are always here to help you with your real estate needs. 

Also, if you are interested in a Home Warranty, we recommend 2-10 Home Warranty.  Give us a call and we can refer you over to Mandy Wiseman with 2-10 Home Warranty.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Is Your Yard Equipment Ready for Spring?


Is Your Yard Equipment Ready for Spring?

As spring finally starts to arrive, there are likely a number of tasks around the house that will be kicking off in the coming weeks. Whether you’re mowing the lawn, prepping the garden, or refreshing those flower beds, it’s time to break out your equipment and get to work. One question, though: Is all your yard equipment actually ready for spring?

If you’re like a lot of people, at the end of the year you just clean up your equipment a bit and put it into storage. If you don’t do anything else with it, though, this can actually shorten your equipment’s life and increase the likelihood of breakdown during the busy spring period. Before you dive into all those spring tasks, here are a few things you should do to keep your mowers, tillers, and everything else running smoothly.

Change Those Fluids

When was the last time you changed the oil in your mower? How old is the gas in your trimmer? As the spring arrives, you should start your equipment out with fresh fluids. Not only will this ensure that your engine is properly lubricated when you start your various spring tasks, but it will also prevent potential problems that can result from old gas breaking down over the long winter months.

Depending on the equipment you use, this can also be a great time to lubricate other moving parts or grease any bearings that might have dried out while things were in storage. Check your owner’s manuals to see if there are any other fluid or lubrication recommendations for your equipment while you’re working on your spring prep. If you can’t find the owner’s manual, check the manufacturer’s website or other online resources for tips.

Sharpen Your Blades

There are many pieces of yard equipment that feature blades or other cutting surfaces. These can get dull as time goes by, and in some cases may even pick up a little bit of rust over the winter depending on where you live. This can cause some serious problems heading into a new year, resulting in uneven cuts and potentially even contributing to blade damage or other failures. Before you fire things up for the first time this spring, spend a little time sharpening those edges to make sure that everything’s working like it should.

Of course, not all blades can be revived by simple sharpening. While you’re checking them out, look for cracks or other signs of damage in the blades that can’t simply be buffed out or sharpened away. If a blade is cracked or damaged, replace it completely instead of trying to sharpen it. Cracked or damaged blades can break while under the stress of use, potentially causing damage or injuries in the process. The cost of a new blade is a small price to pay for staying safe while working around the house.

Other Equipment Maintenance

Depending on the equipment you have, there may be other maintenance tasks you need to perform as well. Changing oil filters, fuel filters, and spark plugs are great beginning-of-spring maintenance activities that go a long way toward getting your year off on the right foot. If you use electric equipment, test-charge any batteries to make sure that they can still hold a good charge after being in storage for the winter. Pneumatic and water hoses should be checked for leaks before use, and any nozzles or sprayers should be cleaned to remove dust and other gunk.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to speak to one of our agents, please feel free to contact us at 913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411.  Have a great day and happy Spring. 

Monday, March 29, 2021



Buying a Vacation Rental?
Be Sure to Read Through This Guide First

Buying a vacation home can provide you with a relaxing option for getting away from it all. You’ll have an escape from the outside world and a vacation spot that really feels like your own.

If you’re thinking about buying that vacation home as an investment property, however, there are some additional considerations worth making before you purchase your second home. Owning a vacation rental property requires more effort than simply owning a vacation home. So if you are thinking of investing in a short-term rental, make sure you read through these helpful resources and guides first:

Figuring Out Financing for Vacation Rentals

Should You Buy a Vacation Home?

Planning to Rent Out Your Vacation Home? Understand the Tax Rules

5 Vacation Rental Property Expenses You Shouldn’t Ignore

Buying a Lakehouse: What You Need to Know

How to Get a Mortgage on a Vacation Home: It's a Whole Different Game

Deciding Which Vacation Location Is Best

Economics of Buying a Beach House: Read Before You Buy

50 Dream Homes in the Woods That Will Make You Long to Escape It All

The 10 Best Places for Buying a Vacation Home in the US

Take Stock of Tax and Business Requirements


How Do I Report Rental Income on My Tax Return?

What Legal Requirements Are Needed to Start a Business?

Research How to Create an LLC

Short-Term Rentals: Laws, Licenses and Taxes


Sprucing Up a Vacation Rental Property


Preventive Maintenance for Vacation Rental Homes

How to Furnish Your Vacation Rental For the Best Guest Experience

Everything You Need To Know About Rustic Design

The Best Gear to Outfit a Vacation Rental or Airbnb


Managing & Marketing a Vacation Rental


VRBO's Dead. Airbnb's Not Great. How to Market a Vacation Rental?

How to Boost Your Social Media Strategy for Your Vacation Rental           

The Value and Cost of Property Management vs. Self-Management


There’s a lot of valuable information in the links above and you may not find all of it useful. Since purchasing an investment property can be such a major financial decision, however, it may be worthwhile to read through at least a few of the resources above and do your own homework. This way, you will be certain that owning a vacation rental property really is right for you, and you can find a vacation rental that is right for your needs and goals as well!

By: Tina Martin


As always, if you are thinking of buying or selling rural property, call the Rural KC Team/Keller Williams Partner.  It's all we do!  Have a great day.

Monday, March 22, 2021




The way your home is decorated says a lot about you, your family, and your lifestyle. Not only does choosing the right colors set the mood in a place, but putting those colors in the right spots can also dramatically change the features of a room. There are so many ways to use color to change your home!

Using Paint to Change the Game

The possibilities that new paint creates are literally endless. And the great part about playing with paint is that it’s really easy to change if you decide you’re not thrilled with the results. Unlike building projects, changing the paint in your home can be done with limited expense or hassle.

Here are just a few ideas to enhance the details of the house you already have:

  • Pay close attention to the door. Your front door is one of the best spots for setting the mood for your whole home. It says something that your windows never could, so it’s important to paint it like it matters. Matching the house trim is old hat; today’s front doors feature bold or fun colors that complement the rest of your outdoor color scheme. Some houses can also see a bump in interest when homeowners try the same trick on their garage doors.
  • Choose bold trim colors. Your trim doesn’t always have to be white, though it shouldn’t be the same color as the wall. Instead, you can make a huge statement by highlighting some of the more decorative elements of your home with paint colors that have something to say for themselves. Pair light gray walls with black trim or choose several different colors to accent ornate trim work in older homes.
  • Rethink built-in cabinets and shelving. Plenty of homes have built-in shelving or cabinets, but most homeowners opt to paint these the same color as the trim in their homes, effectively hiding a potentially eye-popping element. Instead of blending your built-ins into the background, choose colors to highlight them. Painting doors a different color than walls and trim, or selecting a bold or bright color for the back wall of an open shelving unit can really make a statement. This trick can also work for the risers on wooden staircases.
  • Why not white? A lot of people shy away from white walls because they feel like the color lends an institutional feel to a room, but white doesn’t have to be hospital-grade. There is a range of barely their colors within the white spectrum, and you can enhance them with color pops in the room itself. It’s your house; if you want a white, don’t let anyone tell you you’re wrong. Choosing a trim color that complements your white is also vital to success with all-white walls.
  • Color on the ceiling? Sure! There’s been a long tradition of ceilings being painted a flat white, but that wasn’t always the case. In the past, ceilings have been havens of color in rooms of various sizes and shapes. Depending on the effect you’re looking to create, you can use lighter or darker colors to visually raise or lower the ceiling, or accent decorative ceilings with color for added dimension.
  • Try textured paint. Wall texture comes and goes as a trend, but it’s a great way to deal with older homes that may have irregular or downright rough walls. Today’s texture paint goes well beyond Venetian plasters, giving you a huge range of options in texture and more ways to get an end result you’ll absolutely adore. Use a heavy texture as an accent, or go a little lighter for interest throughout your living space.
As always, feel free to call the Rural KC Team at 913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411 with any real estate questions you might have.  The Rural KC Team is affiliated with Keller Williams Partners.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021



Home security is important. As smart technologies continue to grow in popularity, an increasing number of homeowners are turning to higher-tech solutions to meet their home security needs. While options like smart cameras and connected doorbells are becoming much more common, not as many homeowners realize that it’s possible to upgrade their doors with smart locks as well. These locks come in a variety of designs, offering some pretty interesting options to those who want to take their home security to the next level.

What Are Smart Locks?

As the name implies, smart locks are door locks that have “smart” connected functions. This means that you can lock and unlock the locks remotely without the need to physically unlock them with a key. They often offer status monitoring as well, allowing you to see whether your doors are locked or unlocked (and in some cases, even whether the door is open or closed.) While there are fully electronic smart locks available that can only be opened remotely, the majority of consumer smart locks feature a physical keyhole and/or a numeric keypad for access as well.

For most smart locks, you can lock, unlock, and monitor them using a smartphone app or a connected hub device such as Google Home or Amazon Alexa. Remote key fobs (similar to those you see with most cars) may also be used to control the lock remotely. Some locks also incorporate biometric features, allowing you to lock or unlock the device by touching a fingerprint reader.

Smart Lock Advantages

There are a number of benefits to installing smart locks on your doors. By allowing you to unlock the door remotely instead of having to use a key, you can get into or out of the house faster when your hands are full or in emergency situations. This remote feature also comes in handy if you realize that you forgot to lock the door when leaving the house or if you need to have someone stop by and pick something up for you while you’re away.

Smart locks also give you a greater degree of control over who can and can’t access your home and when that access is granted. Many models connect with other devices such as smart doorbells or connected camera systems, letting you see who’s at the door before making the decision whether to lock or unlock. In many cases, you can even include the smart locks in smart home routines that you’ve programmed on other devices, having them lock or unlock at certain times or when certain routines are run. This can improve the overall security of your home, allowing the doors to lock automatically when potential threats are detected or at times when no one should be visiting.

Installing Smart Locks

Most smart locks aren’t much more difficult to install than standard lock units, though they are likely to have more post-installation setup required. Many smart locks function as a deadbolt, though they may incorporate the doorknob and standard door lock as well. Depending on the model of a smart lock being installed, additional components such as a solar panel and battery unit may be included in the installation as well. These components may be integrated into the lock mechanism, or they may be separate.

Once a smart lock is installed, it still needs to be configured to work with your app or other devices. This is usually a pretty straightforward process, similar to pairing a device with your phone via Bluetooth, though some users may experience problems during installation or integration into an existing smart home setup. After setup is complete, the locks should function without issue, using encrypted digital keys over a wireless or Bluetooth connection.

As always, if you have any questions about this blog or about rural real estate, please don't hesitate to contact us at 913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411.  Have a great day!