Wednesday, May 25, 2022


Because buying or selling a country home is such a big decision in our lives, the need for clear, trustworthy information and guidance is crucial. And while no one can give you perfect advice, when you align yourself with an expert, you'll get the best advice for your situation.

An Expert In Buying or Selling Country Homes Will Give You the Best Advice Possible

Let’s say you need an attorney, so you seek out an expert in the type of law required for your case. When you go to their office, they won’t immediately tell you how the case is going to end or how the judge or jury will rule. What a good attorney can do, though, is discuss the most effective strategies you can take. They may recommend one or two approaches they believe will work well for your case.

Then, they’ll leave you to make the decision on which option you want to pursue. Once you decide, they can help you put a plan together based on the facts at hand. They’ll use their expert knowledge to work toward the resolution you want and make whatever modifications in the strategy necessary to try and achieve that outcome.

Similarly, the job of a trusted real estate professional is to give you the best advice for your situation. Just like you can’t find a lawyer to give you perfect advice, you won’t find a real estate professional who can either. They can’t because it’s impossible to know exactly what’s going to happen throughout your transaction. They also can’t predict exactly what will happen with conditions in today’s housing market.

But an expert real estate advisor is knowledgeable about market trends and the ins and outs of the home buying and selling process. With that knowledge, they can anticipate what could happen based on your situation and help you put together a solid plan. And they’ll guide you through the process, helping you make decisions along the way.

That's the very definition of getting the best-not perfect-advice. And that’s the power of working with an expert real estate advisor.

Bottom Line

If you want trustworthy advice when buying or selling a country home, contact the Rural KC Team-Keller Williams Partners at 913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022


If you’re thinking about buying a home, you’ve probably heard mortgage rates are rising and have wondered what that means for you. Since mortgage rates have increased over two percentage points this year, it’s natural to think about how this will impact your homeownership plans.

Today, buyers are reacting in one of two ways: they’re either making the decision to buy now before rates climb higher or they’re waiting it out in hopes rates will fall. Let’s look at some context that can help you understand why so many buyers are jumping off the fence and into action rather than waiting to buy.

A Look Back: How the Current Mortgage Rate Compares to Historical Data

One factor that could help you make your decision to buy now is how today’s mortgage rates compare to historical data. While higher than the average 30-year fixed rate in recent years, the latest rates are still comparatively low when you look at the bigger picture of where rates have been since 1971 (see graph below):

 Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, explains it like this:

“. . . historical context is important.  An average 30-year, fixed mortgage rate of 5.5 percent is still well below the historical average of nearly 8 percent."

If you’re deciding whether to buy now or wait, this is an important context to have. Today’s mortgage rate still gives you a window of opportunity to lock in a rate that’s comparatively lower than decades past.

A Look Ahead: What Happens if Rates Climb Further

The buyers who are springing into action now are also motivated to make their move because they know rates have risen steadily this year, and they’re eager to get ahead of any further increases.

Why? When mortgage rates climb, they impact the monthly mortgage payment you’ll have on the home you’re buying. Basically, it’ll likely cost you more to buy a home if you wait. Experts say mortgage rates will rise (although more moderately) in the months ahead. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, explains: 

“. . . ongoing inflationary pressure remains likely to push mortgage rates even hight in the months to come." 

So, if you’re ready and financially able to buy now, it may make more sense to get off the fence and make your purchase sooner rather than later. As Nadia Evangelou, Senior Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

"With even hight interest rates on the horizon, I don't see any reason to hold off from purchasing a home right now.  If you feel financially secure, you should start looking for a home."

At the end of the day, there is no perfect advice on when to buy a home. What you should do depends on your goals, your finances, and your personal situation. Use this information with the help of local real estate professionals to make an informed decision on what’s best for you. Bill McBride of Calculated Risk sums it up best:

“. . .if you're on the fence about weather to buy now or wait for a better deal, buying sooner rather than later might be wise. That said, home buying is always a personal decision. Whether you should buy in 2022 depends on your financial situation and the local housing market where you live.”

Bottom Line

For many buyers, rising mortgage rates are motivating them to act now and make a purchase before rates rise higher. To decide what move is best for you, partner with a trusted real estate professional so you have expert advice on your side. The Rural KC Team-Keller Williams Partners is ready, willing, and able to help.  Give us a call at 913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022


With a limited number of homes for sale today and so many buyers looking to make a purchase before mortgage rates rise further, bidding wars are common. According to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), nationwide, homes are getting an average of 4.8 offers per sale. Here’s a look at how that breaks down state-by-state (see map below):


The same report from NAR shows the average buyer made two offers before getting their third offer accepted. In this type of competitive housing market, it’s important to know what levers you can pull to help you beat the competition. While a real estate professional is your ultimate guide to presenting a strong offer, here are a few things you could consider.

Offering over Asking Price

When you think of sweetening the deal for sellers, the first thought you likely have is around the price of the home. In today’s housing market, it’s true more homes are selling for over asking price because there are more buyers than there are homes for sale. You just want to make sure your offer is still within your budget and realistic for the market value in your area – that’s where a local real estate professional can help you through the process. Bankrate says:

"Simply put, being willing to pay more money than other buyers is one of the best ways to get your offer accepted.  You may not have to increase it by a lot-it'll depend on the area and other factors-so look to your real estate agent for guidance."

Putting Down a Bigger Earnest Money Deposit

You could also consider putting down a larger deposit up front. An earnest money deposit is a check you write to go along with your offer. If your offer is accepted, this deposit is credited toward your home purchase. NerdWallet explains how it works:

"A typical earnest money deposit is 1% to 2% of the home's purchase price but the amount varies by location.  A higher earnest money deposit may catch a seller's attention in a hot housing market." 

That’s because it shows the seller you’re seriously interested in their house and have already set aside money that you’re ready to put toward the purchase. Talk to a professional to see if this is something you can do in your area. 

Making a Higher Down Payment 

Another option is increasing how much of a down payment you’re going to make. The benefit of a higher down payment is you won’t have to finance as much. This helps the seller feel like there’s less risk of the deal or the financing falling through. And if other buyers put less down, it could be what helps your offer stand out from the crowd.

Non-Financial Options To Make a Strong Offer points out that while increasing these financial portions of the deal can help, they’re not your only options:

. . . Price is not the only factor sellers weigh when they look at offers. The buyer’s terms and contingencies are also taken into account, as well as pre-approval letters, appraisal requirements, and the closing time the buyer is asking for.”

When it’s time to make an offer, partner with a trusted professional. They have insight into what sellers are looking for in your local market and can give you expert advice on what levers you may or may not want to pull when it’s time to write an offer.

From a non-financial perspective, this can include things like flexible move-in dates or minimal contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized). For example, you could make an offer that’s not contingent on the sale of your current home. Just remember, there are certain contingencies you don't want to forego, like your home inspection. Ultimately, the options you have can vary state-to-state, so it’s best to lean on an expert real estate professional for guidance.

Bottom Line

In today’s hot housing market, you need a partner who can serve as your guide, especially when it’s time to write an offer. A real estate professional is your best resource and coach for making the strongest offer possible for your specific situation.  If you are in the market for a rural property, please feel free to contact us:

Bill Gaughan                                        Danicia Duncan

913-837-0760                                       913-837-0411                      

Thursday, May 5, 2022


Retirement is a big step for most of us and it opens up a myriad of possibilities. Retiring to the country is a great step in the right direction in allowing you to enhance your lifestyle, rather than diminish it. Here are some strong reasons to consider retiring rural. 

With better health care and the lengthening of life spans for the average person, it is inconceivable that we should not plan for a full and enjoyable life. Retirement is not a time for doing nothing, but it is a time to enjoy some of the exciting things, that perhaps, we did not have time for along the way. Retiring to a rural setting is one way to enhance our lifestyle and experience nature more.


1. Improved opportunities for gardening.

Those who enjoy the challenge of gardening, whether ornamental or vegetables, will find that space might not be as restrictive on rural acreage. Ornamentals can add immensely to your property and vegetable gardens will provide nutritious meals, reserved food supplies, and great exercise.

As an added bonus, gardening has been linked to increased longevity, reduced incidence of heart disease, enhanced happiness, and mood, and much more. 

2. Outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, fishing, and similar pursuits are more readily available. 

For example, retiring on a lake property would allow access to boating, kayaking, swimming, and fishing. Those with larger properties manage wildlife for better hunting opportunities. And even if you choose a smaller parcel of land, you’ll likely be a short drive, or hike, away from a variety of public recreational opportunities.

3. Rural living provides the chance to create the yard/property of your dreams.

The addition of trees, shrubs, fruiting vines (grapes and other berries), and other additions are not possible in an urban setting.


4. You won’t waste your precious retirement years contending with the traffic and congestion of city living.

Just imagine all the time you could get back for more meaningful things...not to mention less wear, tear, and mileage on your automobile!

5. You’ll get to enjoy the quiet, peaceful atmosphere that nature supports.

Coincidentally, living close to nature has a variety of health benefits, from enhancing immunity to reducing stress and even improving/protecting your eyesight!

6. As the tempo of life slows down, it allows us to pursue some of the things that we ‘always wanted to do’.

This might include writing a novel or volume of poetry, expanding our knowledge of photography, or some similar pursuit...and a beautiful rural backdrop provides the perfect quiet setting.

This is also a good time for avid readers to indulge in reading of favorite novels or topics. 

On a personal note, since retirement from my primary occupation, I have published 34 books on various topics on Amazon Kindle, ranging from ‘how-to’ books to novels. Retirement has also allowed me to concentrate more on photography.

7. Retirement allows more time to expand your involvement in hobbies of interest. 

This could include fly tying, woodworking, needlework, horticulture, or any number of interesting skills. Horticulture is another example of a hobby that would be greatly enhanced by living in a rural environment with increased space available for a greenhouse, garden, etc.

If you love animals, rural acreage provides endless opportunities to expand beyond house pets to chickens, ducks, horses, and other livestock (many of which can be enjoyed as hobbies and used to generate income).


8. Potentially lower taxes.

Extensive research prior to retiring might reveal that buying a country home in certain areas may lower your rate of taxation. There are many tax benefits available to rural landowners, from ag credits to homestead credits and even perks for placing acreage in conservation, so be sure to talk to a tax professional who’s familiar with the tax laws in your area.

9. More Bang for Your Real Estate Buck.

Research might also reveal that property values vary widely by location and certain areas and tracts of land might allow more ‘bang for your buck’.

Rural land tends to be less expensive, and if you plan on building a home to downsize, etc. you’ll have a lot more flexibility with design than you would in an urban or suburban setting (tiny homes, earth homes, earth-sheltered homes, barndominiums, kit homes, etc.

10. Little savings add up.

Other savings may include cost savings on sewer and water charges by having a septic system and private well...these cost savings may seem small but can really add up for those on a fixed income. Depending on the area, there might be savings opportunities by using solar or wind to generate energy. Be sure to check zoning regulations prior to purchasing.


11. A rural setting often offers an attractive setting for visits by children or grandchildren.

The savings of being in a rural area might allow for the creation of a home setting that would be more appealing to the extended family.

By going rural, you have a unique opportunity to create a legacy for the family as a place with good memories that will be cherished and hopefully passed on to future generations.

A dear friend of mine often quotes from his extensive memory of wise statements by saying, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is today.” 

The same could be said of planning for retirement. Finding the right rural location may require some legwork, but now is the time to start thinking about tomorrow.

If you are interested in moving to the country, give the Rural KC Team-Keller Williams Partners a call.  We would love to chat with you about the benefits of living in the country.  We are always available at 913-837-0760 or 913-837-0411.