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It's NOT all about Winning

It's NOT all about Winning

Benton High School (St. Joseph,Missouri) freshman football player Matt Ziesel was all smiles at the attention on his touchdown run on Monday evening in St. Joseph. Ziesel,who has Down’s Syndrome,ran for a score and a video on YouTube is turning Matt into a celebrity. The complete story in the Kansas City Star may be found by CLICKING HERE.

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The Good,Bad (not so bad),and the Ugly in Kansas City

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Consumer Confidence

The confidence of the American consumer regarding near-term and longer-term expectations rose sharply in August,following less-than-exciting data the prior two months. A more confident consumer is a key to longer-term U.S. economic performance as consumer spending still represents two-thirds of all U.S. economic activity.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index,based on a survey of 5,000 U.S. households,rose to 54.1 in August,up from 47.4 in July. Consumer views as expressed in the Present Situation Index rose,reflecting some improvement in the nation’s job market. The Expectations Index rose sharply to its highest level since December 2007,tied to a brighter economic assessment by consumers.

While rising confidence is a positive sign,we have a long way to go. The 54.1 August measure compares to an average of 57.9 during 2008. In addition,levels near 90 to 100 signal consumer expectations of strong U.S. economic growth…..still a good sign.

Home Values

Yes,prices were down an estimated 14.9% when compared to the second quarter one year ago. Note,however,that first quarter home prices were down a more painful 19.1% when compared to the same quarter a year ago.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index has been one of the more negative measures of home values in recent years. The Index suggests that the average American home value has plunged roughly 32% since peaking in the summer of 2006.

As one might expect,the sharp decline in home prices has led to more people being able to buy a home…if they still have a job. The combination of sharp home price declines and historically low mortgage interest rates,when compared to average family incomes,now suggests the highest level of housing affordability in a generation. Numerous housing markets are seeing much stronger levels of buying interest,particularly in California…

another good sign

Budget Deficits

Spoiling the party is the latest estimate of budget deficits during the next decade,which are simply scary…

We can live with budget deficits averaging $150-$300 billion annually…as bad as that is…we have done it for years. In my view,we cannot live with deficits averaging $1,000,000,000,000 EACH year.

The White House now says the projected deficit over the next 10 years will reach $9.05 trillion,roughly $2 trillion higher than its estimate earlier this year. The culprits are a more serious economic downturn than expected previously,higher joblessness,and less aggressive forecasts as to future U.S. economic growth.

One piece of good news in the report,as well as found in a similar estimate by the Congressional Budget Office,is that the projected deficit for the current fiscal year,which ends on September 30,is now “merely” $1.58 trillion,down $263 billion from the projection in May. The reason is $250 billion included in the earlier estimate for an additional bank bailout is no longer needed…

at least that’s a good sign

Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling or seeking information,rely on RE/MAX Best Associates 800-391-BEST(2378) to provide accurate up to date information about the marketplace email to: info@kansascityehomes.com  or visit http://www.kansascityehomes.com/

“Reprinted with permission from the “Tea Leaf”by Jeff Thredgold. Copyright,2009,Thredgold Economic Associates,LLC. To subscribe to Jeff’s free weekly email update,visit www.thredgold.com.”

Cell Phone Users in Kansas City could SAVE Money

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According to the Citizen’s Utility Board of Illinois (CUB) –users of Sprint,Verizon,AT&T,T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular could save as much as $331. per year if they switched to plans with fewer minutes and rid themselves of unnecessary features.  A subscriber to any of the top 5 cell providors may use a FREE ONLINE TOOL ** to determine how much they can save.  Although the service was originally created for Illinois citizens,I spoke to a representative at their Chicago office this morning and she said the program is open to anyone.  Any questions about the service should be directed to (312) 263-4282. 

**BTW –before you click on the FREE ONLINE TOOL link,you may wish to check your computer’s volume setting as the site by default automatically plays a video with sound that explains how the free service works.

Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling or seeking information,rely on RE/MAX Best Associates 800-391-BEST(2378) to provide accurate up to date information about the marketplace email to:info@kansascityehomes.com  or visit www.kansascityehomes.com

Overland Park approves star-bond plan for mixed-use real estate development

OverlandPark approved the sometimes controversial financing plan for a large scale development slated to go in at 135th and Nall.  It will feature the nation’s first museum for hosting traveling exhibitions of New York’s American Museum of Natural History.

As quoted from the Kansas City Business Journal:

Related attractions proposed for the 56-acre Prairefire site include wetlands,an interpretive walk and a hike-and-bike trail to celebrate the state’s prairie heritage.

Also proposed are 350,000 square feet of retail space,which is crucial to the sale and repayment of the STAR bonds;300,000 square feet of offices;750,000 square feet of residential space;and a 100,000-square-foot hotel.

When completed this developement can only lead other nearby commercial and residential developements into a new era for Overland Park real estate.  I say congrats to Overland Park and Kansas City in general.  it will bring tourists to the hotels and diners to the area restruarants.

RE/MAX Best Associates –Commercial Division is affiliated with RE/MAX International.

Administrator hits 15 year milestone with Kansas City Real Estate firm

RE/MAX Best Associates was proud to celebrate the 15 year anniversary of Teddy Faber.  Teddy joined the firm in the fall of 1994 and has been a mainstay ever since.  Teddy handles contract processing and coordination and license compliance.  Her efforts,loyalty and determination to keep everyone on the right track has been critical to the smooth running of the office.  RE/MAX Best Associates has been part of the international real estate franchiser since early 1994.

Commercial real estate icon Sears Tower renamed

Sears tower Picture

Sears tower Picture

Just read an article that an icon has changed names in Chicago.  The Sears Tower has been renamed The Willis Tower after The Willis Holding Group,a company leasing 142,000 sq ft of space in the building.  I know this happens frequently but I don’t like it.  I guess if I was the one that negotiated the lease,I would be happy for whatever it was named,but to a lot of people this changes my youth.  I remember learning about the former”Sears”tower years ago as a kid,following it as it was competing to be the tallest in the world.  Being from Kansas City it reminds me that sometime we will probably see a name change for Kaufman Stadium and other city landmarks. Care to offer your opinion??

Join the Green Grid in Kansas City-FREE!

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Well I was worried about it but did it anyway.  On July 1st,I signed on to the somewhat controversial KCPL (Kansas City Power and Light ) Energy Optimizer program.  The program offers a FREE programmable thermostat ($300 value),including installation,to KCP&L residential and small commercial customers to help manage energy consumption.  A person may program their thermostat from any Internet location in the world.

The controversial part of the program occurs when a ‘cycling’event takes place.  A cycling event is when participants Energy Star rated thermostat receives a radio signal to turn off the air conditioning compressor for 15 minutes then back on for 15 minutes.  The cycling may repeat continuously for up to four hours.  Cycling may only occur between June and September excluding holidays and weekends.  I have not had a cycling event since July 1. 

According to an article in today’s Kansas City Star,KCPL has the ability to cycle 34,000 of its 800,000 customers in Kansas and Missouri.  To sign up for the program (866) 882-4429 or online SIGN UP HERE and Save Money with Free Thermostat in Kansas City.

A proposed $200 million use of government stimulus money would make a 150 block GREEN IMPACT ZONE in Kansas City more energy efficient by incorporating a smart grid,a green sewer project,neighborhood stabilization –including buying up forclosures and installation of solar panels on schools. 

Are you aware of any other FREE,nearly free or reasonable ways to cut energy use in Kansas City.  Clearly,considered side by side which of two identical houses would you buy?  The energy efficient one or the one not so efficient? Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling or seeking information,rely on RE/MAX Best Associates 800-391-BEST(2378) to provide accurate up to date information about the marketplace email to:info@kansascityehomes.com  or visit www.kansascityehomes.com

Why are the Kansas City Royals for the Birds and Cat

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What was the movie line –We’re  mad as hell and not going to take it any more*?  Earlier this year the Kansas City Royals lost a game in Cleveland when a ball hit by the opposition struck a seagull and the winning run may have scored as a result.  During yesterday’s loss a cat nearly made a trip around the bases and was at one point headed for home plate.  The cat veered into foul territory and was summarily dismissed along with the Royals who lost their 68th game –Only one team in all of baseball has a worse record. 

We deserve better and need to demand it.  The Kansas City Metropolitan Areais a fifteen county metropolitan area straddling the border between the states of Missouri and Kansas that is anchored by Kansas City,Missouri. In 2008,it was estimated to have a population numbering just over 2 million according to Wikipedia.  Our Easterly neighbor’s team the St. Louis Cardinals  are tied for 1st place and are perennial contenders.  Yes St. Louis has a slightly higher population (2.8) but we deserve better. 

Having grown up in Chicago which currently has not one but two contending teams,(the Cubs are tied for 1st and the White Sox are a game out of first),I have experienced how a contending baseball team can change the psyche of a city.  If the Kansas City Royals were contenders,wouldn’t we all be a little happier?  Wouldn’t our property values seem a little higher?  Wouldn’t our schools be a little better?  Our children better behaved?  The sun a little brighter?  The winters a little milder?  Send your ideas on how we can make our Royals a better team?  Not next year but NOW!  We want and deserve a better team. 

*The memorable quote of Peter Finch in the movie “Network”which debuted in 1976 went on to say “…So,I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window,open it,and stick your head out and yell,“I’m as mad as hell,and I’m not going to take this anymore!!”

Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling or seeking information or buying Kansas City Royals tickets,rely on RE/MAX Best Associates 800-391-BEST(2378) to provide accurate up to date information about the marketplace email to: info@kansascityehomes.com or visit http://www.kansascityehomes.com/

KC offers FREE 'Back to School'immunization clinic-Sat-Aug 8th

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The Kansas City Health Department will hold a “Back-to-School” immunization clinic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday,August 8th at 2400 Troost Ave.

No appointments are necessary,but participants should plan to arrive early.

Parents and guardians need to present a copy of their child’s shot records or a letter from the school stating what shots are needed.

Immunizations are free for children who have no insurance,who have limited insurance that does not cover immunization or who are eligible for Medicaid’s Vaccine For Children program.

For more information,call the Health Department at (816) 513-6042.

Lynn Horsley,lhorsley@kcstar.com.

Do you think these immunizations should be FREE?  Would you like to see the program expanded?

Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling or seeking information,rely on RE/MAX Best Associates 800-391-BEST(2378) to provide accurate up to date information about the marketplace email to:info@kansascityehomes.com  or visit www.kansascityehomes.com

KS Congressman Jerry Moran wants to Extend and Expand the First-Time Homebuyers’ Tax Credit

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Earlier this month,Kansas Congressman Jerry Moran (R – 1st District) introduced legislation to extend and expand the $8,000 first-time homebuyers’ tax credit. Although Congress is not expected to act on an extension of the credit until later this year,Congressman Moran has demonstrated his commitment to strengthening the housing market and supporting REALTORS® with the introduction of this legislation.

For more details please CLICK HERE.  Do you think tax credits are good for the economy? Do you think the credits should be limited to 1st time buyers?  Should the credits be repaid?

Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling or seeking information,rely on RE/MAX Best Associates 800-391-BEST(2378) to provide accurate up to date information about the marketplace email to:  info@kansascityehomes.com    or visit http://www.kansascityehomes.com/