Short Sale & Foreclosure: How are they different?

As unfortunate as it can be when homeowners fall behind on mortgage payments and must face the possibility of losing their homes, short sales and foreclosures provide them options for moving on financially. The terms are often used interchangeably, but they’re actually quite different, with varying timelines and financial impact on the homeowner. Here’s a brief overview.

A short sale comes into play when a homeowner needs to sell their home but the home is worth less than the remaining balance that they owe. The lender can allow the homeowner to sell the home for less than the amount owed, freeing the homeowner from the financial predicament.

On the buyer side, short sales typically take three to four months to complete and many of the closing and repair costs are shifted from the seller to the lender.

On the other hand, a foreclosure occurs when a homeowner can no longer make payments on their home so the bank begins the process of repossessing it. A foreclosure usually moves much faster than a short sale and is more financially damaging to the homeowner.

After foreclosure the bank can sell the home in a foreclosure auction. For buyers, foreclosures are riskier than short sales, because homes are often bought sight unseen, with no inspection or warranty.

Shopping for Organic Food

Organic food usually tastes better, and is better for you, but it can also be very expensive compared to non-organic products. Organic food can cost nearly 50 percent more, thanks to the extra labor required to produce it and consumers’ demand exceeding supply.

So how do you get tasty organic food without spending a ton of extra money? Follow these tips to get more bang for your buck.

Shop at farmers’ markets: You can get fresh organic produce for far less at a farmers’ market than you’d pay at the grocery store. It’ll taste just as good, and you’re getting your food straight from the source.

Choose seasonal produce: Out-of-season produce usually has to be imported, and that can really drive up the price. Focus your meals on in-season fruits and vegetables so that you don’t end up paying $6.00 for a pound of organic asparagus.

Shop more frequently, and plan your meals around bulk sales: The trick here is to only buy what’s needed for your meals, and to only plan for a week of meals at most. That way you’re less likely to throw food away, because you can use leftover produce for more meals before it goes bad.

Grow your own: A home vegetable garden will provide some extremely cheap organic produce, and gardening can also be a fun and rewarding hobby.

The Simple kind of Life

Do you ever think how can I simplify my life? Most likely you have! But where do you start? It probably is overwhelming to even try to figure out how to begin and then how to continue and maintain a “simple kind of life”. My friend, Lisa, can help!

She provides organizing services in your main living areas, bedrooms, storage areas, closets and paperwork. In addition, she can help with time management, moving and holiday decorating/planning. Lisa services the entire Kansas City metro.

Lisa loves helping people get organized and decluttering their homes, which provides a home that is more peaceful and less chaotic. She will motivate you, so you won’t feel overwhelmed by clutter.

You will like working with Lisa, as she is friendly, organized, trustworthy and a hard worker. She has great ideas and systems that will help you! It’s time to start spending your life doing what you want to do!

References are available upon request. Contact Lisa today for a consultation. Isn’t it time you had “The Simple kind of Life ?”

Contact Lisa at or 913-907-7405.

Kansas School Districts

Whether you are moving to the Kansas City area or just wanting some information on the school districts, here is a list of the main school districts on the Kansas side of the metro.

Blue Valley Unified School District: This district is made up of students in Overland Park, Leawood and Olathe. It is a 91 square mile district in southeast Johnson County. The administration building is located at: 15020 Metcalf
Overland Park, Ks 66223

The district features:
21 elementary schools (8:35-3:40)
9 middle schools (7:45-2:50)
5 high schools (7:45-2:50)
3 specialty schools

Desoto Unified School District: This district is made up of Desoto, Shawnee, Lenexa, Olathe and unincorporated areas. It is 100+ square mile district in northwest Johnson County. The administration building is located at:
35200 W. 91st Street
Desoto, Ks 66018

The district features:
7 elementary schools (8:50-3:50)
3 middle schools (7:55-3:00)
2 high schools (7:50-2:55)

Gardner- Edgerton Unified School District:
This district is made up of Gardner and Edgerton. The district is located in the southwest corner of Johnson County. The administration building is located at:
231 E. Madison St.
Gardner, Ks. 66030

The district features:
7 elementary schools (K-4)
3 middle schools (5-8)
1 high school (9-12)

Olathe Unified School District: This district is made up of Olathe, Overland Park and Lenexa. This is the second largest district in the state. The district is located at:
14160 S. Black Bob Rd.
Olathe, Ks 66063

The district features:
35 elementary schools (8:20-3:40)
9 middle schools (7:50-3:10)
5 high schools (8:00-3:00)
7 specialty schools

Shawnee Mission Unified School District:
This district is made up of Fairway, Lake Quivira, Leawood, Lenexa, Merriam, Mission, Mission Hills, Mission Woods, Overland Park, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, Shawnee, Westwood and Westwood Hills. It is 72 square miles in northeast Johnson County. The district is located at:
7235 Antioch Rd.
Shawnee Mission, Ks 66204

The district features:
33 elementary schools (8:10-3:10)
5 middle schools (8:45-3:45)
5 high schools (7:40-2:40)
2 specialty schools

Spring Hill Unified School District: This district is made up of Olathe, Overland Park and Springhill. It is 71 square miles in the southwest Kansas City metro. The district is located at: 101 E. South Street
Spring Hill, Ks 66083

The district features:
3 elementary schools
2 middle schools
1 high school

Buying A Home

After making the decision to purchase a home, you will need to get pre approved for a loan, unless you are purchasing a home in cash. It is best to do this before starting to look at houses. This will allow you to know what price range you can begin searching. It will also save you from falling in love with something you cannot afford. When you submit an offer on a home, a pre approval is included with the offer, this will show seller’s you are qualified to purchase their home.

First step is to fill out a loan application. If you do not know of a lender, contact a real estate agent, they can always point you in the right direction, as they work closely with lender’s on every transaction.

On this application, it will ask for basic information, along with your social security number, past 2 years of work history and financial information. All of this information is used to obtain a credit report. Typically, a credit report will be ordered from all 3 credit bureaus. In addition, payment history and any major credit issues will be checked.

Items you may be required to provide:

**Recent paystubs and  W-2s for the most recent 2 years. If you receive commissions and/or overtime, lenders may require a 2 year history/explanation of this.

**Tax returns, if you are self-employed or own rental property, you may be required to provide tax returns for the most recent 2 years.

**Bank statements: Lenders normally ask for 1 – 2 months of bank statements. This provides documentation of where a down payment and closing costs will be coming from. A “gift” letter may be required, if any of the down payment or closing costs is being given by a family member or company.

**Additional information: Teachers may be required to provide a copy of their teaching contract, explaining their pay schedule. Large deposits and/or name changes may need to be explained.

You will receive a Loan Estimate within 3 business days of submitting your loan application. This will detail the costs and terms for the loan in which applied.

After receiving your pre approval, it is always a good idea to shop around for a loan with the best terms.

Now the fun begins! Time to start looking for a home.

The “County Seat” of Johnson County, Kansas- Olathe

If you are new to the area or thinking of moving to Kansas City, Olathe is a large city with a small town feel. Olathe, Kansas is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. The current population is right around 125,000 people. The city is known for its award winning school district and safe, friendly neighborhoods. It is located in the center of Johnson County and is the 2nd largest city in the county. Just about 20 minutes from downtown Kansas City, with easy highway access. Here are a few statistics about Olathe:

Average age: 33
Median Household Income: $76,882
Average Sale Price for a Home: $240,000

There are 2 lakes in Olathe: Olathe Lake & Cedar Lake. Each year there are 2 festivals: Hidden Glen Arts Festival, which is made up of nearly 100 local, national and international artists and Old Settler’s Day. Old Settler’s Day is held in downtown Olathe and is a 3 day festival. There is a parade on Saturday morning, along with rides, booths and food specialties.

There are several large employers in Olathe, Kansas:

Pepsi Beverage Company
Farmer’s Insurance Group
Garmin International
Olathe Medical Center
Sysco Foods Of Kansas City, Inc.


There are several restaurants in Olathe, both chain and local. Here are a few of the local restaurants to check out:
Joe’s Of Kansas City BBQ
Ginger Sue’s Restaurant-
Mi Ranchito-
The J Bar
Downtown Diner
Old 56 Restaurant
Austin’s Bar & Grill
The 180 Room-
Strips Chicken-
Kmacho’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina-

There are a lot of things for families to do in Olathe:

Ernie Miller Nature Center: Walking trails, nature

Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm: last surviving stagecoach on the Santa Fe Trail

Advanced Laser Tag: 2026 E. Santa Fe

Cosmic Jump (indoor trampolines): 12025 S. Strang Line Rd

Olathe Lanes East (bowling): 303 N. Lindenwood Dr.-

AMC Studio( movies and dine in theatres):
12075 S. Strang Line Rd.-

Blackbob Park( pool, walking trail, pond, baseball, mini golf & picnic shelter): 14500 W. 151st Street -

Frontier Park ( softball, soccer fields, playground & shelter): 15501 Indian Creek Pkwy-

Chestnut Fine Arts Center ( theatrical performances, music lessons & art workshops): 234 N. Chestnut St.-

Olathe Civic Theatre Association(theatrical performances): 500 E. Loula St.-

As you can see, whether you are moving to Olathe, living in or visiting Olathe, it is a friendly, safe community with a lot of restaurants and things to do. Definitely worth checking out!


If you are a First Time Home Buyer, read this first!

With rent increases on the rise, many people are deciding it’s time to purchase their first home. Whether it be a single family home, townhouse or condo, purchasing a first home is exciting, but can also seem overwhelming. Many people are concerned with their lack of funds, when it comes to a down payment. There are so many programs available for first time home buyers, that require little to no money down. To relieve some of the first time home buying stress, I’ve outlined the important steps that you will take on your road to becoming a first time home buyer!

With the current real estate market being so HOT, the first step in purchasing a home is to get a pre-approved. When you find a home that you would like to purchase and write an offer, the seller will usually only consider reviewing the offer if the buyer has been pre qualified. When you have become pre qualified the lender will provide you with a letter stating the amount of home you can purchase. This decision will be based on income, debts, credit ,etc. Having a pre approval letter shows the seller you are qualified to purchase their home.

Next, find a real estate agent to work with through the home buying process. A real estate agent has the experience and expertise needed to help you every step of the way. After selecting an agent, you will want to set up a home buyer’s consultation. At this meeting, you will not only get to know each other, but also discuss expectations of both parties. In addition, you will go over your needs and wants in a new home. After deciding you want to work with the agent, a buyer’s agency contract will be signed by both parties. Basically, this is a contract stating you will be working exclusively with this agent and he/she will be representing you.

And now the FUN begins! You will start looking at homes. When you find a home that you like and want to make an offer, your agent will pull comps in the area to make sure it is at fair market value. Your agent will write the offer, but you will decide what you want to offer. Your agent is there for guidance, but in the end you decide how much you want to offer, along with any contingencies. There are things that are negotiable, when submitting an offer: the price, any personal property you may want to ask for, how much earnest deposit you will put down and the closing date. With the HOT market we are in right now, remember that you may be in a multiple offer situation. Always try to put yourself in the seller’s shoes. In other words, if you ask for everything and go in with a really low price, you will probably lose the home. Once you have decided on your offer, your agent will write it up, have you sign it and submit it to the seller’s agent. The seller’s agent will then submit it to the seller. The seller will either accept the offer, reject the offer or counter the offer. If the offer is countered, it can go back and forth multiple times.

Upon accepting an offer with all parties signatures, the buyer has a certain number of days to have an inspection completed. Inspections are in the best interest of the buyer. It is paid for by the buyer, but can save on a lot of costly problems. After the inspection has been completed, the buyer’s agent will look over the inspection with the buyer. At this point, you can ask the seller to correct/fix/replace certain items, reduce the price of the home, ask for some money towards closing costs (this will allow you to pay for certain items needing fixed or replaced) or the buyer can accept the property “as is”. There are certain time periods to have everything completed and signed. Your agent will know the time allowed.

After the inspection is completed, items have been replaced/fixed, a couple of days, before the closing, you will have a final walk thru with your agent. At this time you will make sure everything is in working condition or in the condition stated on the seller’s disclosure. If items are not in the condition as stated, your agent will contact the seller’s agent. This may result in a delayed closing.

Once the walk thru is complete, it is time to close on your home! At the closing you will sign all required documentation, present down payment and closing costs. The earnest deposit that you put down when your offer was accepted, will be credited towards your down payment. Down payments and closing costs typically have to be in the form of a cashiers check. Your lender will advise you on this. The majority of real estate agents will attend the closing with you.

Moving day! You did it, you just became a first time home buyer and now get to move into your home.

Always check with a few different lenders, to get the best rates for your mortgage, along with the best terms.

There are so many first time home buyers programs requiring little money down. It is important to work with a reputable lender that is knowledgeable with the different programs available. If you don’t know of a lender, contact a real estate agent, they can usually send you in the right direction.