Monday, December 27, 2021


Whether you are purchasing it for your own enjoyment or as an investment opportunity, buying land can be a great decision - and, potentially, an overwhelming one too.  There's a lot to consider when it comes to picking out the perfect property, and experience in the housing market doesn't always directly translate into land real estate, which has its own set of rules, trends, and best practices.

Of course, you should never let a big of unknown scare you off from making what could end up being a truly fantastic investment.  And to help guide the way, we are sharing our top tips for what all first-time land buyers should know, including how to tell if a piece of land is worth your money, and how to tell when it's not.


You don't technically need a real estate agent in order to purchase land, but it is definitely recommended, especially for first-time buyers.  Nobody knows the local land market better than an experienced agent who's been helping buyers and sellers navigate it for years.  A real estate agent is also crucial when it comes to negotiating your best price, and some sellers might only want to work with potential buyers who have an agent by their side.


Land loans operate a bit differently than mortgage loans, and they are considered to be a bit riskier too.  With that in mind, you will want to be sure to figure out your financing prior to starting your search, including how much you will be able to borrow and how much cash you are going to have to invest.  Both of these are key to knowing what your total budget is so that you can optimize your search and stick to properties that make the most sense for you.


What is an absolute essential for you when you think about the land you want to buy?  Alternatively, what might be a dealbreaker?  Determining these factors early on will save you a lot of time in the long run, and it will also help your agent pick out the best properties for you to see.

Keep in mind that this may require a bit of research, since as a first-time buyer there may be some things you don't know yet about what features the type of land you are interested in needs to include.


A raw piece of land presents a ton of opportunities - but they are not endless.  There are almost always going to be some limitations on what you can do and build on a piece of land based on local zoning and building regulations.  Ad if you don't check into these before putting down an offer, you may end up committing to a property that doesn't actually suit your needs.

To get the details, contact the Building and Planning Department that oversees the property.  They will be able to fill you in on any and all restrictions you need to be aware of. 


Buying land is a big investment, so don't rush it.  The land market often moves at a bit of a slower pace than the housing market, so you should have the flexibility to really take your time and make a decision that is right for you, your finances, and your future.

There is a lot to consider when purchasing land.  Let the Rural KC Team's expertise in rural property work to your advantage.  We will take all of the guesswork out of your land purchase, making it an enjoyable transaction.  Give us a call at 913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411 or go to our website:  

Wednesday, December 22, 2021



In these, the darkest days of the year, there’s nothing more important than adequate lighting. Unfortunately, firing up those incandescent bulbs costs money, and the more hours they run, the more they cost. Although change can be hard, today’s LED bulbs are better than ever, mimicking traditional bulbs in almost every way but with significant benefits to homeowners who make the switch.

LEDs Are Much Safer in Homes

Incandescent bulbs get hot. Sometimes they get very hot, especially when in enclosures like ceiling can fixtures. There are endless stories about recessed lighting catching fire because the wrong wattage bulb was put in by a homeowner in an attempt to brighten their space a little. That 100-watt incandescent bulb generates significantly more heat than a 40-watt or even 60-watt bulb.

LED bulbs, on the other hand, barely generate any heat at all no matter how bright they are or what color they put out. There’s almost no risk of fire due to overheating, making them super safe to leave running without supervision, even in a can light. Even better, LED recessed lighting kits are now available that replace the old can light housings, further reducing risk with upgraded construction.

LEDs Offer Additional Features

Incandescent bulbs are really good at making light, but they’re kind of a one-trick pony. LED lights, on the other hand, are super versatile. They can have built-in speakers for music on-demand in rooms like bathrooms or on covered patios where it may be awkward to keep a stereo or smart speaker. They can also be smart themselves, allowing you to change the color of the bulb based on your needs. If you’re in the mood for a blue light in your kitchen, well, just a few clicks on your phone and it’s done. If you’d rather stick to whites, but like to flip between blue hue light and yellow hue light as the day progresses, you can do that, too. You can even turn a smart bulb on and off without installing a smart switch.

Energy Consumption: Plain LEDs Versus Incandescent Bulbs

The other thing that LED bulbs do is to save money and energy and in a huge way. It might not seem like much, but running a 60-watt incandescent light bulb five hours a day adds up to about $11 a year in energy expenses – if your house has 30 light bulbs, that’s $330 a year! That incandescent bulb is rated for about a 1,000-hour lifespan, so if you only use them five hours a day, you’ll be replacing them every six months, on top of the $330 extra you’ll spend on energy. For people who work from home and may have lighting on all day, 16 hours a day, the cost of running a single incandescent bulb shoots up to $35 yearly, with a bulb change every couple of months. The electricity cost alone for those 30 bulbs is over $1,000!

LEDs, on the other hand, cost only a fraction of an incandescent bulb to run and last a whole lot longer. At five hours a day, a 10-watt LED bulb (equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent) will cost you $1.83 a year to run, and last five and a half YEARS. Even with 16 hours a day of use, that 10-watt LED is still only $5.84 to run; 30 of them will cost $175 yearly. And they’ll still last most of two years (1.71 years, to be exact).

As always, if you are in the market to buy or sell rural real estate, give the Rural KC Team-Keller Williams Partners, Inc., a call at 913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411.  Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 14, 2021



A thoughtful approach to garage storage makes the most of this valuable space and keeps every necessity at your fingertips.

If your house is bursting at the seams, or simply short on storage options, the solution may be as close as your garage. To make the best use of this space, however, you first need to corral its current chaos.

This is, fortunately, a relatively simple task if you incorporate a few good storage ideas. With careful planning and a little effort, you can transform your garage from a messy catchall to an efficient, well-organized household annex.

Divide and conquer

First things first: Get rid of anything you no longer use. After you’ve winnowed down the contents of your garage, sort everything into groups. Keep garden tools with garden tools, and sports equipment with sports equipment. Items used together ought to be stored together.

Where possible, place like items into clear plastic containers with lids. It’s fine to use opaque bins, just be sure to label each one. Stackable containers are especially handy. They keep your belongings clean, protect against insects and rodents, increase the amount of usable floor space, and cut down on visual clutter.

What goes where?

The efficient use of space partly depends on positioning stored items in a thoughtful, strategic way. Are there certain items you’re likely to need on a regular basis, such as cleaning supplies? If so, store them near the door so you can access them quickly and easily. Stash rarely used or seasonal items, like sleds and skis, in harder-to-reach spots.

Off the wall

The key to garage storage and organization is getting things off the floor. Capitalizing on wall space enables you to fit the most into your garage, while keeping it all visible and easy to access. The type of wall storage you choose depends on your storage needs, project budget and personal preferences. Many homeowners opt for one or a combination of the following storage standbys:

  • Pegboard. A favorite for generations, pegboard is inexpensive and easy to install. Because it can be outfitted with an array of compatible hooks, clamps, bins and shelves, pegboard can be used to store and organize just about anything, as long as the item to be stored isn’t especially heavy.
  • Open shelving. Whether a wall-mounted track system or a set of stand-alone units, open shelves are affordable, versatile and user-friendly, and they keep everything in plain sight. Plus, depending on their construction, 12- or 16-inch-deep shelves are typically capable of holding heavier items.
  • Closed cabinetry. If you plan to park your car in the garage, cabinets with doors may be the most desirable option, because closed storage means not having to come face-to-face with paint cans and garbage bags every time you leave or arrive home. Cabinets are available in countless materials and styles, but generally speaking, they are more expensive than other solutions. And because they are unable to accommodate very large items, cabinets are most effective when used in conjunction with another storage system.
  • Panelized systems. Here, entire walls are covered with specially designed panels that hold any number of companion add-ons, such as hooks and shelves. Unlike pegboard, panelized systems can handle heavier items. But that strength and utility comes at a cost, especially since some proprietary products must be installed by licensed professionals.

Look up

For certain infrequently used belongings, the ceiling provides ideal, out-of-the-way storage space. Ladders and seasonal gear can be kept here, hung by clips or straps fastened to the ceiling joists. Or you can take advantage of hoist pulley systems, which cleverly operate like the cords on window blinds. Bear in mind, however, that ceiling storage must be oriented so that it doesn’t interfere with the operation of the garage door.

Safety steps

As you’re organizing your garage, it’s important to keep safety in mind. It’s unsafe to store gasoline and propane in the garage; a single spark could lead to tragedy.

Likewise, if you have children or pets, you should store hazardous materials like fertilizer and pesticides far out of reach. Locked cabinets are a good solution for these toxic materials, and they’re also a smart place to store power tools and sharp implements.

As always, if you have any questions, or have an interest in buying or selling rural real estate, please give The Rural KC Team-Keller Williams Partners, Inc. a call at 913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411.  Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 7, 2021


Having space within the home is important to most homeowners. If everything is too small and cluttered, it can make an otherwise charming home seem claustrophobic and unpleasant. With that said, adding space to your home can be a significant ordeal that comes with a lot of costs; at the very least, adding space means a major remodeling project even if you don’t have to make major modifications like taking out a wall.

It’s often possible to create the illusion of space without actually making modifications to the home, though. The available options will depend on the layout of your house and a few other factors, of course. If you want to make your home seem a lot more open without making major changes or sinking a lot of money into remodeling, here are a few ideas to get you started.

Keep It Light

One easy way to make your rooms seem larger and create an illusion of indoor space is to lighten things up. Dark walls absorb light and make your room seem darker overall, which in turn creates the appearance that the room is smaller than it actually is. If you paint your walls and even the ceiling in lighter shades such as white, yellow, and light browns, then this will lighten up the whole room and make it seem a bit bigger overall.

Adding to this concept, eliminating a lot of the shadows in your room will also make things seem brighter and create your illusion of space. This includes large and dark shadows, obviously, but also smaller shadows such as those cast by popcorn ceilings and small tiles. That doesn’t mean everything has to be flat and covered in light to be effective, of course; large segments, shallow impressions, and similar concepts will allow you to add some contour and shadow to your rooms without ruining this effect.

Low and Open

Another great way to create an illusion of space in your rooms is to keep everything relatively low and unobtrusive in the center of your room. This gives the room a much more open look, letting the space flow freely and making it look like there’s more space than there actually is. This can be accomplished with furniture that lacks high peaks or complex designs that draw the eyes; keep everything attractive but favor minimalist designs over extreme complexity.

Of course, if everything’s at the same level then things are going to get boring pretty quickly. To combat this, put a few decorations on or near the walls so that they can draw the eyes of visitors. Not only does this make a room more appealing, but if someone’s line of sight is drawn to something on the far side of the room then it will help to create that illusion of space that you’re trying to achieve. The brain will register the items of interest as being farther than everything else, making it perceive additional distance even if your decorations or standing lamps are relatively close behind your furniture.

Watch the Clutter

Clutter is the enemy of space. Even large rooms can seem small if you’ve got something scattered everywhere. If you’re trying to maximize the amount of space that a room appears to have, avoid over-decorating and keep clutter on your surfaces and walls to a minimum. This is especially important when it comes to plants and similar items, as it’s easy to overdo it, and those plants are just going to get bigger as time goes by.

As always, if you have any questions or are in the market to either buy or sell rural property, give the Rural KC Team a call.  We would love to help.  913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411.  Have a great day.