Tuesday, January 26, 2021



It’s been a long year, and it’s ok if you’re tired of staring at those kitchen cabinets you’ve frankly hated for years. 2021 is a year about promise and change, and you can start the process in your very own home. There are lots of ways to give your cabinets a new look, whether you prefer something more classic or super contemporary. There’s an option for every budget, and most of the time you won’t even need to replace your cabinets or counters, unless you just really want to.

Remake Those Cabinets to Create Your Dream Kitchen

When it comes to giving your cabinets new life, you have options. Some are pretty simple and don’t require a lot of effort; some are quite challenging and may generate a great deal of mess and confusion. They’re all valid options, though, depending on just how much time you’re willing to put into the project.

You’ll have the most flexibility if you’re working with wooden cabinets, whether or not they’ve been painted previously. Laminated cabinets (also sometimes called MDF) are a bit of a different beast and are very difficult to change once they’ve been installed. Here are a few things you should consider, depending on your cabinets:

  • Swapping Hardware. Sometimes, the thing making your cabinets feel old and dated is the hardware. It might sound like a small thing, but heavy cabinet hardware from the 1970s has a whole different feel than more streamlined contemporary hardware. If you’re on a small budget, or you can’t have your kitchen torn apart for an extended period, investing in new hardware could give you a whole new look.
  • Repainting. This is generally, only a trick to try on cabinets that are made of wood, but if you use specially designed paints and primers, you can often make paint stick to laminated or metal cabinets. Choose a paint that’s self-leveling and dries hard, like a latex-based enamel cabinet paint, along with a bonding primer, for the very best results.
    • You’ll need to take the doors down, sand the existing finish just enough to rough it up, and allow for plenty of dry time, but because these paints are tintable, the sky is really the limit. It goes on just like other high-grade paint, so mix and match colors, paint two-tone designs on your existing cabinetry, or freehand it with fancy designs for a look you really love.
  • Re-staining. This will only work with wood cabinets, but you can really change the look of a room simply by re-staining your existing cabinets. It’s possible to strip old paint off of painted cabinets, but be warned: it will be a lot of work and mess, so do it outside as much as you can.
    • Once you have all the old stain or paint sanded off, apply your new stain per package directions. Today’s stains come in a lot more than traditional “wood” colors; many can create simulated whitewash or aged wood, or add a thin tint of color that will still allow the wood grain to show through.

If redoing your cabinet doors seems like it may be more mess than you’re prepared to deal with, or you want to change the actual design of your cabinet doors, another viable option would be to order all new cabinet doors. You may still need to paint or stain the cabinet bases to match, but a whole new design is a lot easier to achieve with new doors, and replacing those doors is a lot simpler than replacing all your cabinets.

That's our blog for the week.  Feel free to contact the Rural KC Team for all of your real estate needs.  Bill-913-837-0760 or Danicia 913-837-0411.  Take a look at our awesome website at ruralkc.com.  Have a great day!


Tuesday, January 12, 2021



Oh, baby, it’s cold outside… and inside, too, if you’re standing close to a drafty window, door, or mysterious source of outside air. Persistent drafts are funny things. They can be massive pains when the wind blows just right, and almost unnoticeable when it’s still, making it both difficult to locate the problem, and hard to keep front of mind as you go about the rest of your week. But if you’ve got a persistent draft, transient or not, this can be the year you solve it. You’ll also save yourself a bundle of in-home heating and cooling costs throughout the year, so bonus.

Locating a Persistent Draft

Generally, people think to look at windows and doors when a draft is noticed, but what happens when the window doesn’t seem leaky and the door seals tight? Try:

  • Running your hand along with the trim where it meets the wall. Sometimes windows aren’t properly weatherproofed when they’re installed, leaving the trim around the window unit to leak and leak and leak. Check that you’ve got a solid caulk bead all along with your trim, even on the bottom of the window. An alarming number of air leaks result from skipping this step.
  • Examining outlets. Did you know cold air can come in through outlets on your exterior walls? It sure can. Sometimes it’s easier to find these by taking the cover off (turn your breaker off first, please).
  • Checking your chimney. If your damper isn’t closing properly, you may have a big-time draft coming down through the chimney like Santa on Christmas Eve. It’s not always obvious when a chimney is leaking cold air unless you’re right below it, so make sure to check inside the fireplace.

If you can’t find a leak with your bare hands, try using a candle. Turn your ceiling fans and furnace off and run the candle slowly along with ceilings, windows, doors, trim work, outlets, fireplaces, and other potential sources of air loss. If you notice a flicker, mark the spot with a sticky note or another easily removable method. Go room by room, checking carefully in every possible spot.

Fixing Air Leaks

Once you know where your leaks are, the real work begins. It’s not just enough to know where the leak is; you need to know what to do about it. There are temporary fixes that will help eliminate drafts while you wait for a professional energy audit and weatherproofing, or you can try your hand at sealing common sources of air leaks.

Temporary solutions would include items like:

  • Gaskets for your windows. Some types of gaskets are meant to fill gaps at the bottom of the window frame. These are often only effective if you close the window on top of them and lock it for the winter.
  • Layers of window treatments. Windows are often a huge source of energy loss, so it would make sense that installing better window treatments can help slow the flow. This goes for both summer and winter. Install blinds hung on the inside of the window frame and an insulating curtain on the outside of it to slow those leaks coming from windows that have seen better days.
  • Door draft stoppers. Also known as “door snakes,” door draft stoppers can help keep the cold air outside if your door sweeps aren’t up to par. Choose a door draft stopper that’s slightly longer than the door in question, so the whole bottom is covered and the trim is overlapped.

More permanent solutions include removing trim and installing gap-filling foam, replacing door sweeps, installing gaskets in electrical outlets and junction boxes, taping the gaps in light fixtures, caulking trim work, and repairing fireplace doors and dampers.

We hope you have enjoyed the Rural KC Blog.  Please feel free to contact us at Bill-913-837-0760/Bill@ruralkc.com or Danicia-913-837-0411/Danicia@ruralk.com.  Have a great day!  If it’s cold inside and you can’t find the source of the problem, you may need an energy audit. These detailed examinations of homes help homeowners better understand the airflow of their homes and learn where improvements can be made to weatherproofing efforts. Some companies will offer both an audit and weatherproofing, making them great places to get more done.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021



Welcome to the Rural KC blog, where we talk about all things country and living the country life. I'm your host Bill Gaughan, the luckiest man in the world, but a little more about that later. You can keep up with this, not only on this blog but also on our website, ruralkc.com, our podcast, our YouTube channel, the Rural KC channel, and find us on Facebook as well too. 

Today, we're going to talk about a topic that I think sometimes catches people by surprise when you're thinking about buying a rural property. I can't tell you how many people in the 20 or so years I've been doing this just assume that well, the fellow that gave me the loan in my home in Overland Park or Lees Summit, I'll just go to him and I'll buy 40 acres and a house, but it doesn't work that way. Today, we've got a special guest, a lady I've had the opportunity and blessings to have worked with for several years, Trisha Goodale of Landmark Bank.

Trisha is going to talk with us a little bit today about what are some of the issues when you are buying a rural property, particularly from a lender's perspective. Tricia, why don't you tell us a little bit about how you wound up in the business of making loans on rural property?

Trisha Goodale: Well, thanks for having me today, Bill. I appreciate the opportunity and I have been in the lending world for homes specifically for about 19 years and happened by happenstance. I was working at a bank opening up new accounts and there was a position open in the mortgage department and I jumped on the opportunity there. I grew up in Louisburg, Kansas, so very familiar with the farming communities and acreage, and that was just a way of life with how I grew up. Worked seamlessly and love helping people in those rural communities.

Bill: Now, tell me a little bit about Landmark Bank because my understanding is that Landmark Bank does maybe a bigger volume of business and rural loans than your traditional bank. Is that true?

Trisha: Yes. We are a Kansas bank. We are in a lot of the Western Kansas small towns, Dodge City, our headquarters are in Manhattan and so we are very versed with acreage and those rural communities and love serving those people.

Bill: Why don't you tell our readers, why is it that the fellow that you made a loan for him in a home in Overland Park is reluctant or refuses or is unable, maybe that's a fair way to say it, of making loans on rural property?

Trisha: Rural properties are just a little different. Typically, there is quite a bit of value in the land itself versus the house and that can be tricky for lenders who aren't used to doing it every day. What we find with our underwriters and the things we have available here at Landmark, because those are the communities we serve is that it's simple because we do it every day. There's a lot of gotchas that can happen with a traditional lender and we pride ourselves on being the expert and helping people with buying homes on acreage.

Bill: Now, are the loan terms similar or different to what people are used to buying a home in a subdivision for?

Trisha: They can be, but with the right property and the right borrower, we can do a 30-year fixed loan on a property with acreage.

Bill: Now, does the amount of land make a difference in how you would approach alone because you do make loans on homes and subdivisions? You're a full-service lender, am I correct?

Trisha: Correct, yes. Those are some of the questions we have when I'm first talking with a borrower about what their interests are before they even maybe even go out looking with you is what their goals are. Are they looking for something with 40 acres? Are they looking for something with three acres? Really anything in the smaller acreage, I would say 10 and under, not really a huge deal typically. Anything over that, you start to get into value issues because there's nothing that sold like it in the area or like I mentioned earlier, the value of the land versus the actual structure that can cause hiccups if you don't know what goes into it.

Bill: Even though the properties out in the country, if the value of the house is pretty significant and it's a smaller lot, three to five acres, am I right, you could probably make a traditional loan?

Trisha: Absolutely.

Bill: It's just when the value of the land starts to go up in value that it becomes a non-traditional loan. Is that fair to say?

Trisha: Correct.

Bill: Now, are there any special programs for people who want to buy rural property particularly that has a house on it?

Trisha: Yes. USDA has a great program that is available for little to nothing down and that works perfectly in the perimeter of the KC Metro area and I can get into details with that with borrower specifically, but there are definitely programs that help to encourage people to live in those smaller communities.

Bill: Now, if a person wants to buy a 20, 30, 40-acre lot and build a home on it, is that something you can deal with?

Trisha: We can. I would not deal with it personally, but we do have lenders here at the bank that would handle the construction loan piece of it.

Bill: Whatever it is that they needed, it sounds like you'd probably be able to help them with, is that correct?

Trisha: Yes, of course.

Bill: When people are trying to get a loan to buy rural property, what's the thing that probably surprises them the most or what's the most unusual thing to them?

Trisha: From a lending perspective, it's typically a down payment. When you get the acreage, lenders that are like I said, not used to dealing with it, typically want more money down because in the event that something would go awry down the road and they would have to foreclose on properties with a lot of acreages or typically take a little bit longer to market and so that goes into the risk evaluation of the property itself. Typically, the lender will want an additional down payment to mitigate some of that risk.

Bill: I see. Are the interest rates typically comparable?

Trisha: Depending on the program, yes, but there are two schools of thought in mortgage lending. You have just the traditional Fannie Freddie loan that you can get and then you have bank loans or portfolio loans. Depending on which track the borrower and the property would fit in, it can have a variance between rate and term.

Bill: Well, it strikes me that if somebody is thinking about getting a loan on a rural property, as you said earlier, they might want to talk to you before they even begin their search because you'd hate to see somebody go too far down the road with an assumption about what they could do on a loan basis and then be disappointed. Is that fair to say?

Trisha: Absolutely. We always encourage people to talk to a lender prior to falling in love with something and then having to figure out the hard way that it may be a little bit harder than they expected.

Bill: Now, do you ever run into situations where it's just too difficult to make a loan, I'm thinking now of a situation where somebody wants to buy a huge acreage, 80, 160 acres, and a house? Is that outside your purview or is it still doable?

Trisha: Outside my personal purview, yes, but like I said, Landmark would always be willing to look at that from an in-house portfolio standpoint with one of our other lenders.

Bill: Excellent. If a person were interested in doing that, probably what they ought to do is to call you first and you could help direct them depending upon what it is that they're trying to accomplish. Is that fair to say?

Trisha: Definitely.

Bill: Does Landmark make loans on just vacant land, where their intent isn't to build the house? I think you call them portfolio loans.

Trisha: Yes, we can. Especially, if you aren't going to build right away or don't have the intent of building, you're looking at a substantial down payment, probably 25 to 35%, depending on location and borrower qualifications and things of that nature, but yes, it can be done.

Bill: All right. Let's say, I'm thinking about I'm tired of living in the city. I want my kids out where they can run in the country and fish in the pond rather than spend all their time looking at screens, what should I prepare for from a financial point of view? Or if I was going to come talk to you, what type of information would you like me to have available so that you could help me?

Trisha: Typically, start most of those initial conversations over the phone, and then we can set up a time to meet face to face if they have time or want to but basic personal information names, social security numbers, date of birth, employment information, pay stubs. I will have you either drop those off to me or scan and e-mail them to me and try to make it easier on everybody's fast-paced lifestyles. That's typically what we use to get started and then we'll follow up with tax returns and more financial information as we get further in the process.

Bill: Could you tell us what's the best way to get in contact with you?

Trisha: My cell phone is usually the best way to catch me. That number is 913-220-6091.

Bill: Why don't you give us that number again?

Trisha: 913-220-6091.

Bill: Can they do this online or they have to come in?

Trisha: Absolutely. You can apply online at www.trishagoodale.com. It's T-R-I-S-H-A, Goodale, G-O-O-D-A-L-E.com and there's an "apply now" link. You can do that at midnight after you got the kids in bed and I can get to it the next morning and get back to you right away.

Bill: Now, that makes it pretty easy. To our readers, if you haven't picked it up by now, I'm a big fan of Trisha's. She has helped some of my clients through some really tricky situations. There are always surprises. When you do non-traditional loans like Trisha does, you have to be creative and you have to be very client-centric. One of the reasons I always ask-- can say that half of my clients use Trisha's because she's creative and she helps my clients do things well. Is there anything else that somebody thinking about getting a loan in rural land I don't know about Trisha?

Trisha Just feel free to give me a call anytime. Even if it's six months to a year or two years out, we'd love to just have those conversations and make sure we get the questions answered ahead of time. I love to plan. I love to help people reach for their dreams and be a part of that process. That's part of the reward for me. I would love to have the opportunity to talk about that.

Bill: That sounds like a perfect way to do it, and that'll be our blog for today. The reason I say today that I'm one of the luckiest guys in the world is that when you sell the kind of real estate that I do, it's not a matter of selling somebody a new home. When people move to the country, when they leave the city as most of my buyer clients do, they're really wanting to change their lifestyle. There are a lot of things that are about that change that is different. Lending is one of them. When I have the opportunity to work with people like Trisha that can take some of the anxiety and the surprise out of that, it gives me a pretty good feeling too.

That's our blog for today. We hope you enjoyed it and maybe learned something and had a little fun. If you have any questions about anything we have discussed, or maybe if you're just looking for someone to help you buy or sell your country property, give us a call at 913-837-0760, or send me an e-mail, bill@ruralkc.com. That's bill@ruralkc.com.

If you just want to keep up with what's going on in the country and especially country property and country real estate, you can follow us on our website, ruralkc.com, or you can go to our horse property website, kchorse.com.

As always, you can follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or maybe my favorite, YouTube. I say our YouTube channel might be my favorite because boy, you get a chance to look at some beautiful country properties, great scenery, wildlife. It's just a fun experience. We are affiliated with Keller Williams Realty Partners. We hope that you have a great day.