Thursday, October 28, 2010

Things to Do in KC This Weekend (Part 2): Anything and Everything Halloween

Here it is, folks!  Your 2010 Kansas City Halloween Guide:

FREE Scary Face Pancakes October 29 at IHOP Restaurants across the Metro. Children 12 and under enjoy a FREE Scary Face Pancakes at IHOP. One per child, dine-in only.

Face It October 29 from 1-3:00 PM at Gregg/Klice Community Center. Halloween fun for all ages. Have a fun-filled time playing games, make a fun mask and receive a treat bag. 816.513.0651

Friday Fright Night October 29 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM at Oak Grove Park, 76th and N. Troost in Gladstone, MO. There is no charge for this event and it is open to the general public. Local vendors will pass out candy while kids enjoy scary and “non-scary” stories presented by the River & Prairie Story Weaver, and much more fun. New for this year is a special presentation by StoneLion Puppets. Marionettes will perform “Bone-yard Jamboree” for your scaring pleasure. So, put on your best Halloween suit, load the family in the car and be prepared…to be scared! If you need additional information, please call the Gladstone Parks & Recreation Department at 816.423.4091.

Halloween Party October 29 at 5:00 PM at Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary. Dress as your favorite family friendly character and celebrate the pumpkin growers of Martha Lafite. Have fun and make a donation. 816.781.8598

FREE Fall Festival October 29 from 6-9:00 PM at First Family Church. Bible Character Theme Fun for the Entire Family! Moon Bounce and Obstacle Course, Hayrides, Face Painting, Food, Silent Auction, Gifts, Family Photo, Crafts, Live Comedy, and loads of candy! Wear costumes and bring friends. 913.681.3341

Spirits of the Past October 29 & 30 from 6-9:00 PM at Missouri Town 1855. It’s thrilling … it’s chilling … it’s Missouri Town’s Halloween Happening. In this eerie 1850’s village, only luminaries light the way. Walk through the moonlit town, if you dare, and hear spine-tingling tales over a century old. Wood fires are burning and witches cauldrons are churning. Children’s games, storytelling around bonfires, trick-or-treating and a haunting hayride are just a part of the spooktastic time awaiting you. $9.00 per person. Advance reservations only. 816.503.4860

Boo at the Zoo October 30 & 31 at the Kansas City Zoo. Boo at the Zoo! Trick or Treat at Boo at the Zoo! Bring the whole family and get into Halloween with different Trick or Treat stations around the Zoo! It’s a safe, family friendly way to enjoy Halloween. Children of all ages are welcome in their costumes and at 1 and 3 p.m, join us for a costume parade around the Zoo led by Kaz the Cheetah. Tour the Boneville Graveyard, the New Haunted Woods of the Valley, a Jack-o-Lantern display, ride the Scarecrow Train Express, see a “spooky” animal show and much more! 816.513.5800

Halloween Trick or Treat October 30 all day in Historic Downtown Parkville. All witches, ghosts, goblins and ghouls, (and pirates, too) are invited to trick or treat at participating shops and businesses.

Haunted Halloween in the Park October 30 at 11:00 AM at Macken Park. Please join North Kansas City Parks and Recreation for Haunted Halloween in the Park. You will enter Snoopy’s haunted dog house, paint a pumpkin picked from Macken’s Pumpkin Patch. There will be various spooky games like witch hat ring toss, ooey gooey coffin, bean bag black kettle toss, and musical gourd. There will be balloon artists, DJ, caricature artist and many more scary surprises. There will also be hot dogs, cotton candy and orange slushies. 816.300.0547

Whole Foods Market Halloween Party October 30 from 11:00AM-2:00 PM at Whole Foods Market on 91st and Metcalf. Kids, come in your Halloween costumes to parade around the store visiting each department for a special treat. Enjoy live music, face painting, crafts, and lots of FUN. 913.652.9633.

Halloween at Toys R Us. October 30 from Noon - 3:00PM. Celebrate Halloween with Toys''R''Us! Personalize your Halloween bag with Crayola's Glow Explosion, make a Safety Pledge get a free giveaway!

Spooktactular Face Painting Paradise October 30 at 2:00 PM at South Independence Branch Mid-Continent Public Library. Transform into your favorite character or design of choice! Face Painting like you have never seen before! Experience the thrill of Face Painting Paradise, uniquely artistic entertainment for ages 1 to 101! Painting memories and fun for everyone! All ages. Registration required. 816.461.2050

Halloween Party October 30 at 2:00 PM at Red Bridge Branch Mid-Continent Public Library. You are invited to come in costume for a fun afternoon of games and treats. Registration is required. 816.942.1780

Historical Hauntings October 30 from 6-8:30 PM at Shawnee Town Museum. For a ghoulishly good time for the whole family, head to Historical. There will be hayrides, candy for the kids, costume contests for all ages, eyeball counting games with prizes and more. Free, a Harvesters donation is requested. 913.248.2360

Family Fright Night October 30 at 6:30 PM at Oak Grove Civic Center. Come up to the Civic Center for some safe Halloween fun! Previous events have gone boo-tifully and we plan to improve more this year. We will have several booths with activities to participate in, prizes to win, a special costume contest and maybe a scary surprise! Kids make sure to wear your costume. $3 per child. 816.690.4003 ext. 12

BOO-B-Q October 31 at Backfire BBQ, The Legends at Village West. Kids and grown ups alike are encouraged to dress in their best costume while joining the spook-fest on Backfire’s spacious patio featuring creepy decorations, candy giveaways and face painting. The party will include a whole succulent pig roasting on the spit. The hog will be steaming, ready to enjoy with a refreshing Boulevard beer. Furthermore, Backyard BBQ’s famous sides of pit smoked beans and grilled corn on the cob with barbecue butter will be served along with the pork. The cost is $10.95 for adults and $5.95 for kids. Also, free ice cream will be given to kids wearing costumes in the dining room!
A Legendary Halloween October 31 12:30-3:30 PM. Bring the entire family out to Legends Outlets for FREE Legendary Halloween. Enjoy safe trick-or-treating, a Halloween Costume Parade and Contest, bounce houses, obstacle courses, clowns, pony rides and so much more! Visit for details.

Russell Stover FREE Halloween Candy Giveaway October 31 from 2-4:00 PM (2814 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS). Russell Stover Candies Retail Store will host the 2nd Annual Children’s Halloween Party. Festivities include face painting, games, and special prizes for costume contests by age group (3 years and under, 4-5 years, 6-8 years, 9-11 years, 12-15 years).

Halloween Party October 31 from 2:30-4:30PM at the Johnson County Museum. Wear your costume for Halloween fun at the Johnson County Museum! Make a craft to take home. Halloween treats will be provided for kids. Fee: FREE! 913.715.2550
Ghouls and Goblins to Invade Gladstone Boulevard October 31 from 5-8. Beware of “creatures of the night” haunting the Historic Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood and The Kansas City Museum on All Hallows’ Eve during the 17th annual Halloween in Historic Northeast. The Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood Association and the Museum will team up to satisfy the taste buds of the spooky ghosts and goblins from 5-8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31 or until the candy runs out! The Museum and neighborhood “safe houses” along Gladstone Boulevard will be open for trick-or-treating. Museum staff will be located at the South Gate handing out tasty Halloween treats. Many of the homes will be transformed into eerily decorated “haunted houses,” and the neighborhood will have costumed entertainers “skulking around.” There will also be a live chalk art demonstration, a balloon artist, face painting, juggling, inflatables and so much more, all for free! The Museum will also host its second annual “Princess Costume Contest” at the southeast corner of the Museum. With an entry fee of only entrants’ mailing and e-mail addresses, princesses, with their parent’s permission, will be photographed in their beautiful princess costumes. Winners will be selected by members from the Friends of Kansas City Museum and the Kansas City Museum’s Fairy Princess.
Boo at The View! October 31 at 5:30 PM at The View in Grandview. Boo at The View: Second Annual Trunk-or-Treating experience at The iew! Hay rides, (weather permitting) and glow sticks will be for sale! Get your picture taken with The Great Pumpkin! Egg hunt for the wee goblins at 5:30 pm, and again at 7:30 pm for the older goblins! Children up to age 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants who volunteer to Trunk or Treat will have a chance to win a free annual membership for up to a family of four! Register your entry with the Front Desk (316-4888). Judges will look for the best decorated car and participant, and award the free annual family membership! 816.316.4888

Walk With the Civil War Spirits October 31 at 6:30 PM at Lone Jack Battlefield Park. Come listen to the stories of the Civil War through the memories of the spirits who lived them. 816.805.1815

Trick or Treat & Trunk or Treat Events:

Trunk ‘N Treat : Platte County North YMCA October 29 at 5:30 PM at the Platte County Community Center North operated by the YMCA. Celebrate Halloween at Platte County Community Center North! Join us for Trunk-n-Treat complete with games to a trick or treat extravaganza, your family is sure to have a SPOOK-TACULAR time at our seventh annual Trunk-n-Treat. If you are interested in setting up your trunk at the event, call 816.858.0114.

Trunk ‘N Treat : Platte County South YMCA October 29 at 6:00 PM, Platte County Community Center South operated by the YMCA. Celebrate Halloween at Platte County Community Center South! Join us for Trunk 'n' Treat complete with games to a trick or treat extravaganza, your family is sure to have a spook-tacular time at our seventh annual Trunk-n-Treat event. If you are interested in setting up your trunk at the event, call 816.505.2622.

Trick-or-Cache October 30 at 9:00 AM at Antioch Park. Come experience Trick-or-Caching this Halloween! Learn to use Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to track a cache in a fun, relaxed enviornment. GPS units will be provided on this modern day scavenger hunt for Halloween treats. Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Only one GPS unit given per person or one per family. Don't forget your costume! Join us after your haunted hunt for some gooey s'mores around the campfire. Don't know how to geocache? Don't worry! We'll teach you how! Participants will meet in shelter 2 for a brief GPS "how to" overview before departing on this wicked adventure! Space is limited so register early. Pre-registration is required. $10/person or $15/family of four or less. 913.826.3160

Halloween Parade October 30 at 10:00AM at Downtown Lee's Summit Main Street. Children are invited to put on their costumes and join in the parade from City Hall Plaza to Howard Station Park. After the parade, children are welcome to trick-or-treat at participating downtown businesses. Awards will be given out for the best costumes. FREE. 816.246.6598

Halloween Howl October 30 at 10:00 AM at Zona Rosa. Come out to KidZone at Zona Rosa and howl with the Road Crew at Radio Disney's Halloween Howl!! Dress up in your favorite costume and get ready for some frightfully friendly fun! Decorate a mini pumpkin, sing in the Radio Disney "Howl" a-long, participate in the Monster Mash dance off, and show off your Halloween attire in the 2nd annual Costume Conga Line! Plus, one V.I.K member will receive the ultimate Halloween prize pack loaded with current Radio Disney prizes! 816.587.8180

“Boo”-Springs Harvest Fest October 30 at 10:00 AM in Blue Springs. Downtown merchants open their businesses and store fronts for area children to trick-or-treat in a fun and safe environment. Booths are setup for activities including games, kids crafts, face painting, an inflatable and haunted maze. This event is free to the public. 816.228.0137

Trick or Treating and Halloween Parade October 30 at 1:00 PM at Independence Square. Square shops with balloons displayed outside will welcome miniature ghosts and goblins for trick or treating from 1-3 pm. Stick around for the Halloween Parade, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, beginning at 3 p.m. About one hundred entries, ranging from clowns to marching bands and floats, are expected and prizes will be awarded. 816.461.0065

Trick-or-Treating in Downtown OP October 30 from 2-5:00 PM in Downtown Overland Park. Trick-or-Treat with participating merchants anytime between 2 and 5 p.m. No need to register. Simply bring your little goblins armed with a bag to hold their goodies! Enjoy a family-friendly band and all the friendly merchants.

Trick or Treat Off the Street October 30 at 4:00 PM at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm. Trick or treat on the Mahaffie grounds. Admission $3/all ages, no registration required. 913.971.5111

Trunk ‘N Treat : Bonner Springs YMCA October 30 at 5:00 PM, Bonner Springs YMCA. Come join the Boo Bash fun at the Bonner Springs YMCA! Enjoy games and a trick or treat extravaganza, your family is sure to have a SPOOKTACULAR time at our Trunk-n-Treat. If you are interested in setting up your trunk at the event, call our welcome center at 913.422.9348.

Boo Bash! : Red Bridge YMCA October 30 from 6-8:00 PM, Red Bridge Family YMCA. Celebrate Halloween at the YMCA! Join us for Trunk-n-Treat 6-8 p.m. Saturday, October 30. From fun games to a trick or treat extravaganza, your family is sure to have a SPOOKTACULAR time at our Trunk-n-Treat. If you are interested in setting up your trunk at the event, call our welcome center at 816.942.2020. Admission is $2 for members or $4 for community participants.

Trick & Treat for Kids: Briarcliff Village October 31 at Briarcliff Village. Bring children in costume and enjoy trick-or-treating with the merchants along with Pumpkin Painting, Witches Brew, Apple Cider, Pop-Corn and meet Mr. Asparagus!

Trick or Treat Trail October 31 at 3:00 PM at Matt Ross Community Center. Boo! Our “Pumpkin Patch” and "Apple Orchard" are back and will amaze you! Join MRCC for its third annual safe night of trick-or-treating. Kids of all ages are welcome to attend the free festivities. You'll have to stop by to check out all the new features. Candy, crafts, games, toys, plus much more will make this Halloween Spooktacular. You’ll also have the chance to talk with real-life police officers and fire-fighters! Free. 913.895.6390

Trunk or Treat October 31 at 3:00 PM Grace Church of Overland Park. Trunk or Treat. Be a part of Grace's largest community outreach event. Start planning your decorations now! This year will include a costume contest for individuals and group/family categories as well. There will be a contest for the best decorated trunk; winner will be granted the use of a specially designated parking spot for one year. Free. 913.814.7223

Trunk or Treat October 31 at 3:00 PM at Red Bridge United Methodist Church. Trick or treat safely in the lower level parking lot of Red Bridge UMC, automobile trunks decorated in the spirit of the season, free candy, free chili supper and games for the little ones. Free. 816.942.2456

Trick or Treat Street October 31 at 6:00 PM at Vesper Hall in Blue Springs. Have a safe and fun Halloween. Kids ages 10 and under can trick or treat from different booths set up by local merchants and organizations. Activities include crafts, gross stuff room, and the not-so-spooky mirror room. Don’t forget to wear your costume and bring a sack for goodies! This special event is co-sponsored by Sunset Optimist Club of Blue Springs. 816.228.0137

Westside Family Church: FamFest & Trunk or Treat will be a family fun event that will take place at the Lenexa Campus on Sunday, October 31 from 3-7pm. Blow-ups, slides, train and small rides will be available for kids from 3-6pm on property and throughout the building. From 6-7pm our parking lot will be set aside for kids to go trunk to trunk with their parents for treats.

2009-10 Kansas Assessments: Johnson County High Schools

If you're considering a move to Johnson County in Kansas and were wondering about the education system, here is one more source to help you out. Students participate in the Kansas Assessments Program each year to measure academic progress.  Those interested in USD 232 should take special note:  Both High Schools (DeSoto and Mill Valley) scored at 95% or higher in all 3 categories.  Below is a chart highlighting the Kansas Assessments for Johnson County High Schools:

How do high schools compare in Johnson County?

2009-10 Kansas Assessments: Johnson County High Schools

Percentage of students meeting or exceeding state standards.


High School / Ranking %

1 De Soto - De Soto H.S.(3rd year in a row) 98.7

2 Blue Valley North 98.4

3 St. James 97.6

4 Spring Hill 97.2

5 De Soto - Mill Valley H.S. 97.1

6 Blue Valley 96.8

7 Olathe East 96.2

8 Shawnee Mission South 95.9

9 Blue Valley West 95.6

10 Shawnee Mission East 95.3

11 Blue Valley Northwest 95.3

12 St. Thomas Aquinas 95

13 Olathe Northwest 94.8

14 Olathe South 94

15 Shawnee Mission West 93.2

16 Gardner-Edgerton 92.7

17 Shawnee Mission Northwest 92.5

18 Olathe North 91.2

19 Bishop Meige 91


High School / Ranking %

1 Shawnee Mission East 98

2 De Soto - Mill Valley H.S. 97.8

3 St. Thomas Aquinas 97.7

4 Spring Hill 97.7

5 Blue Valley 97.1

6 Blue Valley West 96.6

7 Gardner-Edgerton 96.2

8 Blue Valley Northwest 94.8

9 Blue Valley North 94.2

10 Shawnee Mission Northwest 94.1

11 Shawnee Mission South 93.5

12 Olathe Northwest 90.4

13 Olathe East 90.1

14 De Soto - De Soto H.S. 89.7

15 Shawnee Mission West 89.5

16 Olathe North 88.3

17 Olathe South 88.1

18 Bishop Meige 86.5

19 St. James n/a


High School / Ranking %

1 Blue Valley 98

2 Blue Valley North 96.1

3 De Soto - Mill Valley H.S. 95.2

4 Blue Valley West 95

5 Blue Valley Northwest 94.9

6 St. Thomas Aquinas 94.4

7 Shawnee Mission East 93.7

8 Olathe Northwest 93

9 Shawnee Mission Northwest 92.5

10 Gardner-Edgerton 91.8

11 Olathe East 91.4

12 Shawnee Mission South 91.1

13 St. James 90.8

14 Olathe South 90.8

15 De Soto - De Soto H.S. 90.7

16 Spring Hill 89.4

17 Shawnee Mission West 85.9

18 Olathe North 83.5

19 Bishop Meige 71.4

When you're ready to buy or list your home, feel free to give us a call. We've helped hundreds of families find their perfect home and we'd love to help you! Email, text, or give us a call anytime...913.787.1870 or

Making the Grade? See a Report Card on your Kansas School/District

If you're considering a move to Johnson County in Kansas and were wondering about the education system, here is one little source to help you out.  Students participate in the Kansas Assessments Program each year to measure academic progress. The challenge of the No Child Left Behind legislation is the continuous raising of the achievement bar so that all students are proficient.
The report cards are very detailed and provide data for each grade level participating in the assessments. The links below take you directly to each report, which is provided by the Kansas State Department of Education.

When you're ready to buy or list your home, feel free to give us a call. We've helped hundreds of families find their perfect home and we'd love to help you! Email, text, or give us a call anytime...913.787.1870 or

USD 232 Leads Johnson County in Graduation Rate

If you're considering a move to Johnson County in Kansas, especially Western Shawnee, and were wondering about the education system, here is one little source to help you out.  The Kansas State Department of Education measures graduation rates for every school district. This information is released annually on each district's report card. Below is the 2009-10 graduation rate for USD #232, Blue Valley, Olathe, Shawnee Mission, Gardner-Edgerton, and Spring Hill.

Class of 2010

De Soto USD 232 = 97.6%
Blue Valley = 97.4%
Spring Hill = 95.7%
Olathe = 94.8%
Shawnee Mission = 92.1%
 Gardner-Edgerton = 91.2%

When you're ready to buy or list your home, feel free to give us a call. We've helped hundreds of families find their perfect home in a stress-free environment and we'd love to help you! Email, text, or give us a call anytime...913.787.1870 or

Things to Do in KC This Weekend (Part 1): Trunk or Treat

Nothing screams Halloween more than trick-or-treating.  The time honored tradition of dressing up in your favorite costume and trolling door-to-door for one sugary snack after another can be experienced in neighborhoods across the country this Sunday.  But if you happen to live in a neighborhood that lacks the "house light on" signal or if you'd like a little practice before the big day, there are plenty of "Trunk or Treat" activities throughout the Metro KC area.

What is "Trunk or Treat" you ask?  Simply put, it's trick or treating from car to car in a parking lot.  However, many organizations will have activities for the kids, music, snacks, and many car owners even decorate their cars to participate in the spirit of Halloween.

If you'd like to experience "Trunk of Treat" with your family, here's where the festivities are located this weekend:
Trunk for Treat: North Cross United Methodist October 29, 4:00 PM, North Cross United Methodist Church. Come for an afternoon of face painting, trick or treating and visiting the pumpkin patch. Dress in your costume and bring your goodie bag! Free. 816.452.2939

Trunk or Treat: Platte City Community Center October 29, 5:30 PM, Platte County Community Center North. Join the YMCA for treats, crafts and fun for the whole family. Crafts, Designated Parking, Entertainment Children's, Entertainment Free, Food, Handicapped Access. 816.858.0114

Trunk or Treat: Riverside Community Center October 30, 6:00 PM, Riverside Community Center. A safe alternative to trick or treating.

Trunk ‘N Treat : Bonner Springs YMCA October 30, 5:00 PM, Bonner Springs YMCA. From fun games to a trick or treat extravaganza, your family is sure to have a SPOOKTACULAR time at our first Trunk `N Treat event. If you are interested in setting up your trunk at the event, call 913.422.9348

Trunk or Treat: Platte County Community Center South October 29, 6:00 PM, Platte County Community Center South. Join the YMCA for treats, crafts and fun for the whole family. Crafts, Designated Parking, Entertainment Children's, Entertainment Free, Food, Handicapped Access. Admission is FREE. 816.858.0114

Trunk or Treat: Great American Gymnastics Express October 31, 3:00 PM, GAGE. Kid friendly Haunted Houses - one for 1 year- Preschool age and one for 15 and younger. Interactive and full of mazes, obstacle, trampolines and fun! It is FREE for all and ends with a huge trunk or treat in the parking lot. 816.229.7775 FREE. 816.229.7775

Valley View UMC Trunk or Treat and Coat Exchange October 31, 4:00 PM, Valley View UMC. Join us for good frights and lots of treats in our main parking lot! (We will trunk or treat inside if it is raining) Also, a Coat Exchange at the same time Donate, exchange and/or select coats for your family. (Unselected coats will be taken by the Valley View Youth Group to Bishop’s Round Up in November) We are collecting coats (slightly used or new) for children, youth and adults, October 19 through October 30 in the red tubs placed just inside our building entrances. FREE. 913.642.4400

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just Reduced!! Great Condo Near Downtown KC, Crown Center, & Hallmark only $208,000!!

Battery Loft Condo only $208,000!!!

Live in a piece of history, the Triangle Battery Building...once the heart of Kansas City's automotive district. Built in 1920, this terra-cotta/tapestry brick building now features 12 meticulously remodeled two bedroom lofts...and this Battery Loft can be yours!!

True urban living with all the amenities!! This beautiful 2 bedroom Condo also includes 2 deeded secure parking spaces and a tax abatement for 20 more years. Enjoy the rooftop deck with an incredible view of the Kansas City skyline...perfect for entertaining friends and family. Located right behind the popular Filling Station Coffee Shop.

Features List
• 2 Bedroom

• 2 Full Baths

• 2secure parkng spots
• Wood Floors

• Corian Counters

• Stainless Appliances
• Laundry in Unit

• All Electric

• Large walkin closets

• Bright & open

• Lofted ceilings

• Tall thermal windows

• Designer colors

• Historic building

• Park & Blvd setting

If you are looking to live close to Downtown Kansas City, Crown Center, Hallmark, and the Hospital Hill area, let Pickett Property Group show you the best location on "Condo Corner". Give us a call to schedule your appointment!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Now's the time to start weather-proofing your home

It's that time of year...time to do a little upkeep on your home to make it more efficient through those cold winter months.  A well-sealed, well-insulated home is an energy-efficient home. Using the right energy saving products to insulate your attic and seal gaps and cracks in your home will help reduce your home heating and cooling costs by up to $220 a year. Here are some energy saving ideas to help you save money year-round.

  1. Insulate your attic.  Up to 65% of homes in the United States are under-insulated.  Adding insulation or making sure your coverage is adequate will cut drafts and energy well as your monthly heating and cooling bills.
  2. Stock up on sealants and caulk.  Even with home insulation, between 30% and 50% of the energy used in most homes is eaten up by energy lost through cracks, holes and gaps. The airflow seeping through the attic and basement, windows, doorframes, plumbing lines, vents and electrical outlets is equivalent to a 4-foot hole in your exterior wall. Use sealant and caulk to stop those leaks—consider them your insulation's working partners.
  3. Weatherize your windows.  If you can afford to replace older ones with new ENERGY STAR-qualified models, it's a worthwhile investment. If not, weatherizing your existing single- or double-hung windows with weather-stripping, sealant and caulk is the next best thing. Cutting airflow improves your home energy efficiency.
  4. Update your entry door.  Stylish and maintenance-free ENERGY STAR-qualified fiberglass exterior doors boast 5 times the insulating value of older wooden doors. Installing a new door adds up to major energy savings year-round.  For even more insulation and security, pair a storm door with your existing wooden or new fiberglass exterior entry door. It can reduce energy loss by as much as 50%.



Market Stats for Grey Oaks in Shawnee, KS

Things are slowing a bit at Grey Oaks in Shawnee, KS...but that's not too unusual considering the time of year.   If you're looking to be a part of this great neighborhood though, there's still a few to choose from. Grey Oaks has 5 active homes listed for sale ranging in price from $319,995 to $370,000, four to five bedroom floorplans for the picking.  In the past 90 days, however, 2 homes are currently under contract and only 1 sold at $289,500.  In this area especially, if the home is priced effectively, it will sell...and sell rapidly!! 

If you haven't been to Grey Oaks in awhile, you should really check it out.  The next phase has opened and new construction homes are available starting at the low $300,000s.  Wooded views are among the many amenities available in this new phase.  Feel free to contact me to see the models and floorplans that are available.

Grey Oaks is located in Western Shawnee, just off K-7 Highway and Johnson Drive. It features a neighborhood park, community pool, walking trails, part of the Award Winning De Soto School District, great highway access, and close to restaurants and shopping.

***Don't let the construction on K-7 scare you!  Silverheel is now open and offers great access to the community! ***

To see any of the available homes in this neighborhood or any of the nearby communities in Shawnee, such as Crimson Ridge, Brittany Heights, Brittany Valley, Lakepointe, Woodland Park, Woodsonia, Monticello Farms, Greens of Chapel Creek, Greenview Ridge, or Estates of Green View Ridge, email, text, or give us a call. As a resident of Grey Oaks, Pickett Property Group is your Western Shawnee expert.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Did You Know...

...that the real estate board game Monopoly was invented in 1934 by Charles B. Darrow? His first version of the game was rejected by Parker Brothers due to design flaws. After Darrow sold 5,000 handmade sets of the game to a Philadelphia department store, Parker Brothers agreed to sell the game. Since then, over 200 million Monopoly games have been sold worldwide.

Who knew?  :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Recycle Your Blues: Gap + You = Home Insulation

Need a reason to get rid of those old jeans you no longer wear?  Instead of throwing them away, turn them into sustainable and eco-friendly housing insulation and save a little dough for yourself in the process!
From now until October 20th, take advantage of the Gap's Recycle Your Blues campaign.  Simply bring in your old, ripped, tight, out of style jeans (any brand) and receive 30% off a new pair of Gap jeans.  And to sweeten the deal even more, "like" the Gap on Facebook and save an additional 10%!  The recycled denim will be transformed into UltraTouch Natural Cotton Fiber Insulation and donated to communities in need.  It takes approximately 500 pairs of jeans to insulate one home, so what are you waiting for? 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Make a Great First Impression: Top 10 Tips to Staging Your Home to Sell

Studies have shown that it takes about a twentieth of a second for Web surfers to make a decision about a site (so I may have lost some of you already) and only about seven seconds to make a good first impression in person.  Believe it or not, this includes homes too!

Within seconds after entering a home, potential homebuyers are already deciding whether or not they want to buy your home.  Your goal is to create an inviting, beautiful, spacious atmosphere that will create that emotional "I want to make an offer" trigger.  How do you do that?  Simple...through staging.

Professional home stagers can cost up to several hundred dollars and in some cases, the cost is worth it.  However, if you have the ability to look at your home objectively and without emotion and want to save some money, then these simple steps can help you achieve the same goal:
  1. Remove all personal, political, and religious items...including photos.  Yes, your wedding photo from eight years ago must come down.
  2. Curb appeal!  Does your landscaping need a manicure?  Trim bushes, edge, and remove clutter.
  3. Rearrange your furniture.  Take out unnecessary pieces to open up rooms.  Move pieces around to highlight key home features.
  4. Accessorize!  Arrange place settings at dining tables and countertop bars.  I'm talking placemats, dishes, glassware.
  5. Edit your closets down to 50% and leave the floors empty.  If you haven't worn that sweater and those shoes within the past year, you're probably not going to need them while you're selling your house.
  6. Clear your kitchen countertops.  You can leave out larger accessory pieces, but put away the toaster and coffee pot when not in use.
  7. Clean all the windows, glass surfaces, and hardware fixtures.  Look for nose prints left behind from Fido and fingerprints from little Johnny. 
  8. Edit your bookshelves 50% as well.
  9. Keep main walkways clear throughout the home.
  10. Nothing says "home" better than the smell of fresh cookies, pumpkin pie, or banana bread wafting throughout the house.  Candles, potpourri, or Scentsy items can help achieve this...unless you happen to be a really good cook.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to desensitize and depersonalize.  Think of it this way, once you list your house, it's no longer your home.  It's someone else's...and the sooner we can achieve that, the better!

When you're ready to list your home or if you're needing some help getting it ready, feel free to give us a call.  We've helped hundreds of families prep their homes for the market and we'd love to help you!  Email, text, or give us a call anytime...913.787.1870 or

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Country Club Plaza lifestyle for only $145,000!

Enjoy the holidays Plaza-style from the comforts of this immaculate West Plaza bungalow!  Move-in ready, yet loaded with charm.
A Must-See at $145,000!!!

This 2-bedroom home features wood floors, crown molding, a claw foot tub, high ceilings, designer colors, custom blinds and more!  Full basement and large pantry add tons of storage options and the back sun room makes a perfect office or breakfast nook.

This house also boasts a private backyard, alarm system, automatic garage door, dishwasher, central A/C, and new 200 amp electric panel.  Conveniently located within walking distance of The Country Club Plaza and Westwood Park.

Be sure to add this one to your list of must-sees!  For more information on this house or others in the Holly Garden, West Plaza, Westwood area, contact us at today!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Curb Appeal: Plant a Tree

When considering curb appeal, most people instantly think of removing shrubs and trees.  However, when planted correctly and strategically, trees and shrubs can not only make your home more attractive, they may even save you money in the long run. 

And what better time to plant those trees and shrubs than now!  Fall is the best time to plant because the moisture levels and soil temperatures provide the perfect conditions for roots to grow deeply and establish a good foundation before the winter freeze.

Here’s How:
1. Select a tree that fits your yard as well as your needs. Consider its mature size, the shade it might cast on existing flowerbeds as well as your home.  At it's full size, the right tree can block the sun's rays in the summer (lower cooling costs) and allow the sun through in the winter (lower heating costs).  Also, keep in mind any nearby power lines or paved areas its branches and roots may disturb. Before digging, be sure to contact your local utility company to mark gas lines, water pipes, or underground cables.

2. Dig a hole as deep as the tree’s root ball and twice as wide. As you are digging, place the soil onto a tarp to protect your lawn throughout the planting process.

3. Mix organic filler into heavy clay or sandy soil, replacing up to one-half the volume of the excavated soil. Slice roots by scoring the sides of the root ball with a shovel, which will encourage new roots to grow.

4. Place your tree in the hole, replace some of the soil, and straighten the tree. Ensure that the trunk flare (where the first roots spread out from the base of the tree) is level with the soil line. Fill the hole, keeping the flare exposed. Add a ring of mounded soil 12 to 18 inches out from the trunk, creating a moat so water can soak into the roots.

5. Mulch with shredded bark, pine straw, or some other organic matter, beginning 3 to 5 inches away from the trunk.  Be sure to maintain the mounded ring shape. Water weekly during the first growing season (and during excessive dry heat in the summer)...a slow trickle for about an hour should do!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New Feature! Did You Know...

Thanks to the millions of apps and widgets out there, I have managed to build my iGoogle page to quite the source of useful, and useless, information.  Fortunately, some of the little tidbits that my eyes span daily actually make me stop and ponder. the spirit of good fun and entertainment...I thought I would start a new blog segment (never fear; it won't be a daily thing) and enlighten you to some of the wisdom the Real Estate market has to share.

Here we go...

Did you know...
...Homebuilders, mortgage bankers, real estate agents, and homebuyers do not recall the early 1980s fondly.  To reduce chronic inflation, the Federal Reserve dramatically raised interest rates causing severe economic recession in the USA.  The national unemployment rate peaked at 10.8%, the prime-lending rate hit a staggering 18.45%, and the mortgage interest rates averaged 16%.


USD 232 Sees an Increase in Student Enrollment

According to official numbers released by USD 232, enrollment for the 2010-2011 school year increased by 174 students in grades K-12...a jump of 165 students at the secondary level and 9 at the elementary level.  Overall headcount jumped to a total of 6700 students.  Most believe the increase is due to continued growth in the district.  New programs exist at the high school levels now including more advanced placement courses, an expanded broadcast journalism program, and honors archealogy.  And with the slow increase in new home construction as well as the addition of new businesses, the district is sure to see more growth in the future.

School Total

Belmont Elementary (new): 445

Clear Creek Elem.: 585

Horizon Elem.: 453

Mize Elem.: 386

Prairie Ridge Elem.: 548

Riverview Elem.: 550

Starside Elem.: 451

Lexington Trails Middle: 325

Mill Creek Middle: 570

Monticello Trails Middle: 647

De Soto High School: 644

Mill Valley High School: 1,096

Total: 6,700

Kindergarten through 12th Grade Enrollment

(Up by 260 students over two years)

2010-11: 6,567 +174

2009-10: 6,393 + 86

Early Childhood through 12th Grade Enrollment

(Up by 274 students over two years)

2010-11: 6,700 +167

2009-10: 6,533 +107