If you’re dreaming of a nice Midwestern life, then Kansas City could be the place for you. The city offers plenty of culture and great food, but you’re not going to pay as much to live in a place like Kansas City as you would on the coasts. That said, the cost of housing in Kansas City is still more expensive than some people realize. It’s less than the national average, but housing prices are still on the upswing. As of late 2018, the cost of a house in Kansas City was a bit over $200,00, about $25,000 less than the nationwide average. Here are three other things you should know about buying a home in Kansas City.
First-time buyers face a challenge
There are buyers’ markets and sellers’ markets, and right now, Kansas City is experiencing a sellers’ market. That means the people who are selling houses are generally in a better position to negotiate than the people looking to buy. The supply of available houses is low, so someone who is selling has more options than someone buying.
It’s an especially tricky situation for those who are dreaming of buying their very first home. Going from an apartment to a house can seem tough enough in a balanced market. It can feel downright impossible in a market where those who already own homes are having trouble gaining a foothold.
But you have options. Work with Kansas City mortgage lenders to find out how much of a home loan you can get. Do this ahead of time if possible, because in many cases, you won’t be able to wait for loan approval if you see a house you adore. If you want your offer to be accepted, you have to be ready to make it fast. Think about what you can offer before the open house. If you’re trying to come up with numbers on the fly, then you’re going to be at a disadvantage.
You’re allowed to ask questions
Being ready to act fast is not the same as just accepting a house without asking any questions. If you’re unclear about something, you’re much better off asking for clarification than just crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. Don’t assume that everything will be fine.
You need a good real estate agent who will happily answer your questions. If they can’t answer your question right off the bat, they should be able to find an answer relatively quickly. Be wary of any real estate agent who waves off your concerns as insignificant.
Let’s say you’re looking for a house where you can use solar energy to cut back on electrical bills. The use of residential solar panels may be more common in places like California, but it’s by no means unheard of in the Kansas City area. Asking “Is this house equipped to use solar power at some point?” is not unreasonable.
Pick a state
More than 2 million people make the metro area their home, but they’re spread out across two states. Kansas City, Missouri, is the anchor city of the metro area, but there’s also a Kansas City, Kansas. Buying in the Kansas City area means you need to decide pretty quickly which state you prefer.
Some buyers will have a clear preference, while others will be looking at things like commute times and the quality of schools. If you prefer a more bustling life, than living in or near the heart of Kansas City, Missouri, may work best. But if you want a more suburban lifestyle, check out some cities on the Kansas side. Either way, you’ll pay roughly the same in taxes, as there’s not a major difference in how Kansas and Missouri tax their respective residents.