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Selling Your Home

For most families, their home is their largest financial asset, and deciding to sell it is a big decision that involves a lot of preparation and work. When you're ready to sell it's important to have an experienced real estate professional handle the details involved in the successful sale of a home for top dollar. I have 25+ YEARS of experience in the Lawrence real estate market.

As an experienced professional who has helped many Lawrence residents sell their homes, I know how to handle every aspect of the sales process - from strategically marketing and showcasing your home to making sure everything's signed, sealed and delivered by the closing date.

Providing you with comprehensive, high-quality listing service is my top priority. So when you decide to sell your home, please contact me and let's get started!


Buying a Home

Buying a home is an exciting and complex adventure. It can also be a very time-consuming and costly one if you're not familiar with all aspects of the process, and don't have all the best information and resources at hand.

One of my specialties is representing the best interests of Lawrence area buyers throughout the home buying process. My comprehensive, high-quality services can save you time and money, as well as make the experience more enjoyable and less stressful.

If you're like most people, buying a home is the biggest investment you will ever make. So whether you're buying a starter home, your dream home or an investment property, why not take advantage of my 25+ YEARS of experience as a local market expert for Lawrence to make the most informed decisions you can, every step of the way?



For the Week Ending August 28, 2015


Please enjoy this quick update on what’s happening this week in the housing and financial markets.

Stock market volatility shook the markets with record lows and record highs. The volatility may delay the Fed's intended policy rate increase until later this year.

The number of unemployment claims fell more than expected, pointing to a steadily firming labor market. Labor improvement supports Fed policy changes.

The second estimate for Q2 GDP is sharply higher than the first estimate and stronger than expected. Good economic news can lead to rate increases.

New home sales rose in July, recovering from a slide in purchases in June. Demand is attributed to a healthy job market and low mortgage rates.

Average median home prices rose in July 4.5% year-over-year. By most estimates, this is a more sustainable pace than 2014's double-digit increases.

Consumer confidence rose to a 7 month high in August. Confidence suggests strength in the housing markets.

A frog goes into a bank, and hops up on the desk of the loan officer. ''Hi,'' he croaks. ''What's your name?''
The loan officer says, ''My name is John Paddywack. May I help you?''
''Yeah,'' says the frog. ''I'd like to borrow some money.''
The loan officer finds this a little odd but gets out a form. ''Okay, what's your name?''
The frog replies, ''Kermit Jagger.''
''Really?'' says the loan officer. ''Any relation to Mick Jagger?''
''Yeah, he's my dad.''
''Hmmm,'' says the loan officer. ''Do you have any collateral?''
The frog hands over a pink ceramic elephant and asks, ''Will this do?''
The loan officer says, ''Um, I'm not sure. Let me go check with the bank manager.''
''Oh, tell him I said hi,'' adds the frog. ''He knows me.''
The loan officer goes back to the manager and says, ''Excuse me, sir, but there's a frog out there named Kermit Jagger who wants to borrow some money. All he has for collateral is this pink elephant thing; I'm not even sure what it is.''
The manager says: ''It's a knick-knack, Paddywack, give the frog a loan; his old man's a Rolling Stone.''

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.


Danielle Hugunin
Peoples Bank
Mortgage Banker
NMLS # 776898
(785) 830-4626
Peoples Bank NMLS# 690890


photo by: Colin via flickr
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photo by: Colin via flickr

Who knew open houses were so controversial? Last week’s story “The Dirty Secret About Open Houses: They’re Not About Selling Houses” tipped off an avalanche of comments, emails, and just good old-fashioned conversation that somehow did not revolve around the color of a dress.

Reading the comments was … fun. At times. Other times, not so much. But it’s rewarding to see the real estate community—agents and homeowners alike—so engaged. Numerous buyers sent emails seeking advice, and our Facebook page lit up with comments, shares, and likes. So: Thank you!

Many agents agreed with the basic premise of the story: that open houses are now more about acquiring clients than selling the open house. “I did a double-take when I saw this headline on Realtor.com,” Todd Waller wrote on Facebook. “It’s a good thing for consumers to know the numbers behind a popular marketing tactic.”

They appreciated the story for what it was—an attempt to shed light on open houses as an agent marketing tool. “It SURE is!!!” wrote Paul Mazzochetti on Facebook. “After 25 years, I am not afraid to admit it’s all for the agent’s benefit. With today’s technology, if your agent has the appropriate marketing plan, you are having a 24 hour open house!”

Still, many readers argued for the continued usefulness of open houses.

“I’ve purchased 5 homes. None without going to an open house,” wrote mommamiller60 in the realtor.com comments. “For buyers, lining up appointments is no longer practical. Cruising about on weekends to neighborhoods where Open Houses are taking place enable us to make the most of our limited time. I recently overlooked probably as many as 25 homes because they weren’t having open houses. So while it may benefit a new agent looking for listings, it’s a big plus for the buyer. Not having one can mean missed opportunities. Open Houses are win-wins.”

“We sold 5 of our listings last year as a result of the open houses!” wrote agent Heidi Jerakis on realtor.com. “Potential buyers like to tour homes during open houses because of the ‘low stress’ environment we provide.”

Open-house success stories like Jerakis’ are, however, increasingly outliers. According to research from the National Association of Realtors®, which we detailed in the original story, a mere 9% of home buyers surveyed said they found the house they purchased through an open house. That’s down from 16% in 2004, according to the NAR. Just today, the NAR released more data showing not only that millennials made up the largest buying demographic in 2014 but also that the Internet was their primary source for finding a house.

“Rarely does a buyer walk through the door and say that they want to buy that house,” agent Travis Sabby wrote on Facebook. “If they do, they have already researched the house online, and have more than likely already made an inquiry into the house.”

Speaking to the dwindling utility of the open house, homeowner Bill Cotten wrote on Facebook, “I won’t ever allow troops of people to walk virtually unsupervised through my house no matter how desperate I get to sell. If an agent is there with clients who are supervised that’s fine, but I’ve been to plenty of open houses where we spent 30 minutes without seeing the agent on duty.”

Does that mean agents should never do open houses? Or that open houses are useless (as some inferred)? Of course not! It simply means that open houses today serve a different purpose than they did in years past.

It also must be noted that the NAR’s research was national in scope. It looks at what’s happening across the country, not in a specific city. Many agents pointed out that they’d made sales during open houses. “I sold my listing over the weekend by Open House, went into multiple offers. (all the offers came from people seeing it at the open house) The proof is in the escrow!” wrote Kevin Eads.

One agent in Missouri was actually sitting an open house while reading the story when she wrote on Facebook. “I’ve been here an hour so far and have not one person stop by,” said Melissa Thornton Brough. “I put up four signs and advertised on MLS. And it’s a beautiful, warm day!!!! VERY discouraging!”

The point is, the market today is different. Technology—love it or fear it—has changed the game. Consumer real estate search patterns have shifted, and real estate agents have to adapt. The good news? Those Internet-loving millennials also used agents to buy their homes more than any other group, according to the NAR.

“Open Houses are a relic of the past,” wrote Celeste Stallman Iapichino on Facebook. “Buyers agents sell more houses than Open Houses do. Find a good agent. Work with them exclusively, and they will find you your new home.” And that’s something we doubt technology will ever change.

Got a searing open-house question? Send it to us at advice@realtor.com.





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March 2015 Volume 11 Issue 3

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DIY Mistakes You Really Want to Avoid

DIY always sounds like a good idea at the time but without any knowledge of what you’re doing, you run the risk of not only getting it wrong, but also a lot of expense to put things right. In a Yahoo Makers article contractors say the most common and most costly DIY mistakes that people make when attempting their own DIY are: not knowing your limits; ignoring moisture issues; lack of planning; and not taking advantage of samples. In other words "Know what you’re capable of and know what you’re good at."

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Early Spring Maintenance Checklist

Having read the previous article, you are now ready for some early spring upkeep tasks to mark on your to-do list this month. Charles & Hudson says, "... it’s time to think spring! Even if you’re not quite out of the winter weather woods, we’ve got a short list of tasks you can tackle to get your home–both inside and out–ready for warmer months." They suggest you: inspect your home’s exterior, clean your gutters, prepare your outdoor equipment and schedule water heater and air conditioner maintenance.

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Read This Before You Finish Your Basement

This Old House says, "Even if it's currently cold concrete and crammed with boxes of off-season duds, the lowest floor of your home probably has loads of potential. Treat it just as you would any of the rooms above ground, and it might just become the most popular spot in the house—for a lot less cash than adding on. Here's their step-by-step bottom-line advice for turning this underutilized space into a place you'll be eager to spend time in.

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Sparking Switch or Electrical Outlet - Is the Short in the Wiring or Something You Turn on?

A fuse has blown or a breaker has popped several times. How do you determine if the short circuit is in your wiring or in something that's turned on or plugged in on the circuit? According to About.com, here's how to find out:
  • Turn off all the lights on the circuit.
  • Unplug everything from the outlets.
  • Reset the breaker in the electrical service panel.
  • If the short is in the house wiring (i.e., outlets or switches), the breaker will trip again immediately.
  • If the breaker does not trip, proceed back to the area and turn on each light fixture not plugged into the wall (i.e., fixed lighting).
  • If the breaker still has not tripped, the short circuit lies in something you are plugging into the outlet.
  • Systematically plug each item into the outlet until you find the faulty appliance or lamp and then have it repaired.

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The Housing Market in 2015

Diana Olick of CNBC says, "There will be more houses. As household formation improves, home builders will respond, and as more homeowners come up from underwater, they will list their homes for sale. Mortgage rates will rise. I was wrong on this one in 2014, but who wasn't? I'm taking a chance on rational economics again. Go figure. Home prices will cool off. They're already cooling off because homes aren't selling at these numbers. The double-digit gains of 2013 are long gone, and that's good for the health of the overall market. Look for flat to small gains for the year and a few months in the negative. See the article and video.

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80% Got it Right

  • The Great Pyramids used to be white. They were encased in a bright limestone that has worn off over the years.
  • Percentage of North American men who say they would marry the same woman if they had it to do all over again: 80%.
  • The record for the loudest burp is 118.1 decibels, which is as loud as a chainsaw.
  • The Tonle Sap River in Cambodia flows north for almost half the year and then south for the rest of the year.
  • There are six million parts in the Boeing 747-400.

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