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6 Things to Pay Attention to When Looking for a New Home

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]For the majority of us, a house is going to be the most expensive and valuable asset we will own. The average cost of a single-detached house in the U.S. varies per state, but you can get an idea on how much a house costs today by looking at the average mortgage value and terms.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

How Much Will Owning a House Cost You?

Based on the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business Insider determined that the average mortgage payment in the U.S. is $1,275, and the most popular mortgage option is the 30-year fixed-rate loan. This figure aligns with the United States Census Bureau’s finding (through its 2018 American Community Survey) that the median monthly cost of homeownership plus mortgage is $1,558.Even if you are prepared and able to shell out these sums every month, surely you wouldn’t want your money to go to waste. A house is an investment and a necessity, so you need to be certain that you’re getting your hard-earned money’s worth.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″ css=”.vc_custom_1625855524067{margin-left: 10px !important;background-image: url( !important;background-position: 0 0 !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;}”][vc_empty_space height=”450px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Reminders When Viewing Houses

House-buying starts to feel real when you finally go on house viewings. It’s when you get your first taste of what it will be like to drive home to the neighborhood and enter through the garage or front door every evening. At the risk of sounding sentimental, it is during house viewings that you’ll know if a listing that caught your attention calls out to you and makes you feel that you’re home.A few things to keep in mind, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer:

  • Empty rooms feel larger than they really are. Don’t leave it up to gut-feel when figuring out if your furniture will fit the house you’re viewing. Bring a tape measure and record the dimensions of the areas you’re concerned about.
  • Ask to view your top choices for a second time. We don’t speak for all real estate agents, but at Cami Jones and Company, we don’t mind arranging these visits for our clients. We know that each succeeding visit will strip away your rose-colored glasses, and you’ll become more attentive to practical things, like the workmanship on the interior trims, alignment of the tiles, the direction of the sunrise and sunset, sizes of the main rooms, ventilation, and so forth.

You’re welcome to ask for details about the houses you’re interested in anytime. Seeing a property in person, however, will give you a different perspective. We’re certain you will think of questions that didn’t occur to you before.[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing size=”15px”][vcex_spacing size=”15px”][vc_column_text]

The Six Things You Need to Pay Close Attention To

House viewings are a fun experience, especially when close friends and family go with you. But more than enjoying the visits, use the time to inspect the properties thoroughly and take notes of the pros and cons of each house. This is how you find out which house is the best fit for you.Here are six things you need to pay extra attention to during these meetings:

The neighborhood.

Even if you’re not the type to make friends with neighbors, you still need to get a feel of the type of people living next door and down the block. Are there many families with little kids? Does it seem like the people are friendly with one another, or is it one of those neighborhoods where people don’t mind each other? The point is to find out if you feel comfortable living in the area and can mingle with the local community. This is crucial because you don’t want to live in a place where you can’t trust the people right next door.

The immediate surroundings.

It’s also important to consider the physical environment. There are lots of vegetation around the house: is this a pro or a con for you? The neighborhood is near a body of water. Is it prone to flooding? If it is, can you think of contingencies that will make living there bearable? Is being flood-prone forgivable if you consider all the advantages the property offers?

Like the previous item, this is a matter of weighing the pros and cons of a house. You can get this sort of information by observing the structural designs of the houses in the area (e.g., elevated driveways and front steps are common in flood-prone areas) and talking to passersby when you look at the property.

The asking price and how it compares to the rest of the houses on the street.

The next thing you should pay attention to is the cost of the home, the obvious reason being you need to know if you can afford the mortgage for the next 15 or 30 years of your life.

Here’s a quick and simple formula to find out if you can afford a house: add all the monthly housing costs like mortgage, insurance, taxes, and association fees. If it is less than or equal to 25% of your monthly take-home pay, you may be able to afford the monthly amortization. If it’s way higher, better look at another property with a lower asking price.

There’s one more thing you need to think about regarding the price of the house you want to buy. Real estate is an investment: you’ll want to find out if a property you purchase can still increase in value in the coming years. Ask about the median prices of the other properties down the street. If many are priced higher than the house you’re interested in, it could mean that the properties in the area can appreciate (increase in market value) as well. That you can increase the value of a residential property after some strategic improvements and enhancements is something to think about.

The downpayment and other fees.

Make sure you fully understand the responsibilities that come with owning a house. Yes, you must calculate how much your homeownership cost will be per month, but bear in mind that your monthly mortgage excludes the downpayment, closing costs, and your move-in expenses. Make sure you have enough set aside for these when you sign the purchase agreement.

Get the exact amount for the downpayment. Even with a high credit score and a buyer-friendly mortgage loan that allows a 3% downpayment, the equivalent sum can still be a huge amount of money. If, for example, the house you want to buy is worth $350,000, you will still need to pay $10,500 upfront (3% of the full price of $350,000).

Zillow reports that the closing cost of a house sale is typically 2% to 5% of the purchase price. So going by the example above, you will need an additional $10,500 to settle your closing fees. You pay these fees to your lender, so if you have an issue about the inclusions in the bill, like absurdly high administrative costs, you have to negotiate it with them before signing a contract.

The condition of the trim.

As the proverb goes, the devil is in the details. Before a house is opened for viewing, it is customary for the owner to retouch the facade and finishes so that the property will look presentable and appealing to potential buyers. This is also an advantage for buyers because the cost is already factored into the asking price. However, the “facelift” might hide underlying defects that could lead to bigger problems, like basement flooding and thermal leaks.

So if the trim looks brand-new, be more scrutinizing of the adjacent wood or the surrounding concrete. Wood that has traces of discoloration and water marks indicates repeated exposure to moisture. If you see these marks on the walls near the windows and patio doors, it means there might be gaps between the frame and the concrete which you’ll need to do something about later on.

You might consider these trim issues minor, and you’d be right. But if you discover these matters after the sale, you might feel like you’ve been cheated out of your money. It’s better to be aware of these things beforehand so that you can also include them when you weigh the pros and cons of a house.

Lastly, interior trim may also hide other problems like evidence of termite infestation and haphazard wiring. Since the only way to confirm these would be to open up the walls, consider having a house inspection. The findings will reveal any urgent problems with the house and give you grounds to renegotiate the deal.

The shape of the rooms.

Listing photos can be a little misleading. Real estate photographers often use wide-angle lenses to capture all the details inside a room. While these pictures look beautiful, the distorted perspective may hide the real shape of the space. For example, what looks like a standard, private study in pictures could turn out to have a trapezoidal layout. It might not just be one room, too, but an entire wing of the house that has a trapezoidal floor plan. These rooms are often tricky to furnish and design, and you may have to customize a few pieces to make the spaces exactly like you envisioned them.

This is another example of a minor issue that may not dissuade you from buying a house but can become a source of great irritation if you discover it too late.

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Work with Real Estate Agents You Trust

Buying a new house signals an exciting new chapter in your life. What sours this experience is when sellers hide serious flaws in the property or lie by omission. It’s important that you find real estate agents who are trustworthy and will look out for your interests as well.At Cami Jones Collaborative, you’ll get a boutique-style experience where your concerns and questions are immediately answered. Our seasoned agents negotiate on your behalf and take care of every single detail regarding the purchase of your new home. You can count on our guidance throughout the entire process.Contact us to schedule a meeting.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator][vcex_spacing][vc_column_text]The hunt for a new home doesn’t have have to stop because of social distancing. Click below to view our featured listings.[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing][vcex_button url=”” size=”medium” align=”center”]View Featured Listings[/vcex_button][/vc_column][/vc_row]

5(ish) Simple DIY Home Updates That Make a Difference

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]With stay at home orders lasting another couple weeks in the Kansas City area, many are trying to figure out new ways to pass the time. At first, people were binge-watching Netflix, baking bread, trying to remember how to divide fractions so they can help their kids with school work, and more. Although we are still figuring out the fractions thing, we are also looking at ways to easily update areas our homes and make changes that have been on the to-do list for longer than we would like to admit.Right now is a great time to try your hand at DIY home updates while everything is still closed down. Whether your home is on the market currently, you are thinking about putting your home on the market when things pick back up, or you just want to make some improvements, this post includes ideas and updates that you should definitely consider!Read: Should You Renovate Before Selling Your Home?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

DIY Home Updates to Make While Stuck Inside


1. Switch Up the Hardware on Your Cabinets

replacing-cabinet-hardwareChanging out the hardware on your kitchen and/or bathroom cabinets can change the entire look of the room. It may seem small but this simple upgrade can make a huge difference.When shopping for new hardware, there are a lot of choices out there. Some are extremely ornate and a bit impractical while others offer clean lines and more functionality. We suggest choosing hardware that errs on the side of functionality – especially if you are selling your home.Brushed metals and clean lines have been huge for a while now and we don’t see that trend going away any time soon.This project is easy peasy if you are choosing to replace your current knobs or pulls with a similar style but different finish – all you really will need is a screwdriver. But, if you want to replace the knobs you currently have that are fastened in one hole with pulls that require two holes will take a bit more work.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

What to Buy:

  • New hardware
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Drill and pencil (if replacing knobs with pulls or vice versa)
  • Wood putty (see above)
  • Putty knife (see above)
  • Paint to cover old drill holes (see above)
  • Damp cloth


How to Do It

This is how to change the placement of your hardware, replace pulls with knobs or vice versa.

  1. Remove cabinets and old hardware using a screwdriver
  2. Fill in old drill holes with putty using putty knife
  3. Mark where new holes will go using a pencil (most hardware kits come with a guide you can use)
  4. Carefully drill holes where you made your marks
  5. Use screw driver to attach new hardware and put cabinets back in place


2. Paint

Painting is one of the easiest updates out there and can completely change the look of a space. If your walls are a white or light beige color, you likely can just paint over them with your new color of choice. For other things in your home like cabinets or wooden doors, you may need to take a few extra steps in order to get the look you want.

 painting-a-wall2.1: Interior Walls

If you are selling your home and want to freshen up some of your walls, we suggest choosing colors that are a bit muted. Think light greys, taupes, or extremely subtle pastels. When someone comes to view your home, you want them to be able to picture themselves living there and bright, bold colors might not be their cup of tea.Read: Home Staging Tips from the ProsYes, it is easy to paint over bright reds or yellows, but many buyers won’t want to put in that effort.You will also want to make sure that you do two coats of paint. One coats tends to be a bit too transparent and uneven.Note: You can definitely get creative with accent walls by using modern patterns or textured wall paper to inject a bit of personality!

What to Buy:

  • Good quality paint
  • Primer (if not included in the paint you bought)
  • Brushes and rollers
  • Paint pans
  • Painters tape
  • Tarps
  • Ladder (will vary depending on ceiling height)

How to Do It

  1. Take everything off of the walls and move furniture
  2. Tape off the walls you would like to paint with painter’s tape to protect the trim, ceiling, etc.
  3. Lay down tarps in the area where you will be painting, mix paint, and pour a liberal amount into pan
  4. Start with rollers and evenly coat the large areas of the wall while staying an inch or so away from the trim and ceiling
  5. While that coat is drying, use smaller brushes to paint around the trim and ceiling
  6. Once the paint is dry, repeat the last two steps for the second coat
  7. After the second coat is completely dry, remove painter’s tape and see if touch-ups are needed

2.2: Painting Cabinets

 grey-kitchen-cabinetsRight now darker cabinet colors are fairly popular (think dark grey and navy) but choose a color that fits with your decor tastes. If navy or dark grey seems too dramatic, choose a lighter grey.Wooden cabinets that are already stained or painted will take a little extra elbow grease.

What to Buy:

  • Screwdriver
  • Cleaning cloths (one dry and one wet)
  • Sandpaper block
  • Tinted primer/sealant
  • Paint (semi-gloss latex paint works best)
  • Medium and large paint brushes

How to Do It

  1. Remove cabinets and hardware using a screwdriver
  2. Clean cabinets
  3. Sand to rough up the surface (you do not need to remove all of the previous paint; you will want to remove glossy finishes completely)
  4. Remove all debris from cabinets (use a vacuum and then the cloth to do this)
  5. Use a medium brush to apply an even coat of your primer/sealant
  6. Apply paint in thin, even coats (let each coat dry before reapplying)
  7. Repeat the steps above for exposed areas in between cabinet doors
  8. Reattach hardware, put cabinets back up, and touch up as needed

Use the same method above to paint wooden doors.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

3. Swap Out Light Fixtures

modern-light-fixtureIt is amazing how changing outdated light fixtures can make a home look more modern. If some rooms in your home still have frosted glass pendants or a wood grain ceiling fan with bright gold accents, it may be time to consider an update.Glass globe fixtures with Edison bulbs or modern chandeliers with clean lines are very appealing and can give any room an awesome glow.Since you already have the wires in place, this project is extremely fast and easy. The only things you may need is an extra set of hands, a ladder, new bulbs, and maybe a screwdriver.Here are some of our current favorites:


4. Add Shelves to Bare Walls

floating-shelves-in-home[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]We know what you are thinking, “This was supposed to be an easy DIY list and now you’re asking me to build shelves?!” No, we wouldn’t do that to you. There are a ton of easy kits on the market that offer aesthetically pleasing shelving options to display books, plants, and more. If you do want to build your own shelves, there are a ton of awesome step-by-step guides and videos on how to do it!Floating shelves are a great option because they don’t make a space look too busy or cluttered. You can also go for shelves that nestle right into the corner of the room.Shelving kits are extremely budget-friendly and people will think that you spent a fortune on custom installation. Now, kits do require some assembly but the assembly is much easier than cutting and sanding wood to make your own.Some of our favorites include:

5. Hang Up a Few Mirrors

mirrors-in-small-roomWe know this one isn’t exactly a “get your hands dirty” DIY upgrade but it does require a hammer and nails so it counts, right?Strategically placed mirrors can work wonders in smaller rooms by reflecting light and making them look larger than they are. If you have a room that doesn’t receive a ton of natural light and feels a bit cramped, try hanging a large mirror in there and see if it makes a difference.You can also hunt for interesting mirrors to replace the boring ones in your bathroom. This type of extra touch is something buyers definitely notice!We usually like to shop at second-hand stores for our mirrors but you can definitely find some cool ones online![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]We’re here to help you sell your home and make the process as easy as possible even during uncertain times. We know the Kansas City market and have experience selling a wide variety of homes in all price ranges. Click below to learn more about selling your home with Cami Jones and Company or give us a call at (913) 521-8806.[vcex_button url=”” size=”medium” align=”center”]More Information on Selling Your Kansas City Home[/vcex_button]

A Guide for Spring Cleaning and Organizing While Social Distancing

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Kansas City’s stay at home order was put into place on March 24th and it has been an adjustment, to say the least. Many are looking for ways to pass the time that they have and maintain some sense of normalcy, but it is difficult.Between homeschooling, trying to track down what you need at the grocery store, and keeping some sort of a routine in place, the balancing act is overwhelming and some are also still working from home – a challenge in and of itself.little-girl-helping-with-laundryKeeping your home organized is probably not the highest thing on your list of priorities but it isn’t as overwhelming as it seems. It is especially important if your home is on the market – you don’t want to get stuck clean for hours and hours on a Sunday when people start shopping again.Not only will cleaning and organizing help your home look aesthetically better and sell faster when business resumes, having less clutter around can help you be more productive when it comes to other parts of your life, too. It has also been shown that those who have a clean and organized home have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those with cluttered, messy homes. Less stress is something we definitely all need right now.We have created a guide to help you with spring cleaning and organizing your home during this time.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

General Tips

  • Make a list of what you want to accomplish that day
  • Go at your own pace
  • Turn on music, a podcast, or a show that you enjoy
  • Get the family involved
  • Reward yourself with a delicious treat or beverage
  • If something doesn’t get done, give yourself grace


1. The Kitchen

[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing size=”15px”][vc_single_image image=”2847″ img_size=”500×325″ alignment=”center”][vcex_spacing size=”15px”][vc_column_text]When people talk about cleaning and organizing, the first things that come to mind are usually bedroom closets and playrooms and the kitchen is kind of an afterthought.We are all spending more time in our kitchens these days and noticing things that we aren’t exactly loving. The counters may be clean and the sink empty, but the pots and pans are in disarray, the pantry makes no sense, and we are wondering why we have so much mustard and four containers of cinnamon.If you haven’t deep cleaned and organized your kitchen in a while it may seem like a big thing to tackle but it feels great when you are done – we promise! Here is how to get started.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Take Everything Out of Your Pantry/Cabinets and Edit Your Inventory

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]This will seem scary at first. A lot of us have no idea how much food we actually have until it is all laid out.Food and Spices

  1. pantry-organizationTake all of the food items (including spices) out of your pantry and cabinets then put them on the counter.
  2. Check expiration dates and toss expired items.
  3. See if you have doubles (or triples) of anything and group them together – those four containers of cinnamon, for example.
  4. Combine items like sugar, flour, cocoa powder, spices, etc., that you have multiples of into one container. Small glass jars for spices and air-tight containers like these from Amazon work great.
  5. Label as you go if you are combining items into jars or other containers. You can use a piece of tape and a sharpie or get creative with chalkboard paint or stickers.
  6. Create a donate pile for unopened, unexpired items that you will not use and give them to a local food pantry.
  7. If you have a spice rack, wipe down the rack and replace your spices.

Pro-tip: Organizing your spices alphabetically makes sense for a lot of people. You can also organize your spices based on which ones you use the most.Glassware, Plates, Bowls, and CupsThis is the time to be honest with yourself and figure out what you truly need to have in your cabinets. Yes, those novelty coffee mugs that you’re SO love from your trip across the country are great, but do you need 10 of them in the cabinet? Probably not.

  1. Decide what you use on a regular basis and keep those items in the cabinets.
  2. Pack up sentimental items and put them in storage.
  3. Donate what you don’t want anymore.


Clean the Shelves and Replace Items in a Way that Makes Sense

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]After you have your pantry and cabinet items “edited,” it is time to refresh the shelves.

  1. If you have protective liners on your shelves, consider replacing them. If your liners are rubber, soak them in the sink with hot, soapy water and let them air dry.
  2. Clean the shelves with a sponge using mild soap and warm water. You don’t want to use bleach or harsh cleaners as they can strip paint and potentially leak into plastic food packaging.
  3. Dry shelves with a cloth or paper towel.
  4. Replace all of the items on the shelf based on what you use the most. If you often are reaching for olive oil, it should be more accessible than say breadcrumbs. Again, some people like to go the alphabetical order route, but that is completely up to you.


Tackle the Pots, Pans, and Drawers Using the Method Above

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Follow the same steps that you did for the glassware, plates, and bowls to organize your drawers and the area where your pots and pans live.If you have the space, we highly suggest hanging your pots and pans if possible. They are actually extremely affordable on Amazon. We like this one that can go right above the stove.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Time to Hit the Fridge

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]The way you clean and organize your fridge will be similar to what you did for the pantry and cabinet but on a smaller scale with a few changes.

  1.  Remove all items from the fridge and toss what is expired.
  2. Do not combine things you have multiples of because expiration dates can vary.
  3. Move more delicate items to the freezer while you clean. i.e. raw meat and dairy products.
  4. Wash shelves. Shelves in many modern fridges are removable so you can take them right to the sink.
  5. Use hot soap and water to clean the shelves and interior of the fridge.
  6. Replace shelves.
  7. Put delicate items back into the fridge and close it.
  8. Wipe down all condiment bottles and put them back in the fridge.

Note: Try to keep the fridge closed as much as possible when cleaning. You don’t want to reduce the temperature and risk putting your food in the danger zone![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Other Kitchen Cleaning Tasks

  • Clean the kitchen cabinet and pantry doors with warm soap and water.
  • Clean all hardware and doorknobs with a germ-killing cleaner
  • Clean the outside of the fridge with a germ-killing cleaner
  • Wipe baseboards
  • Sweep and mop the floors
  • Clean out the microwave with warm soap and water


2. The Bedrooms

Ah yes, the bedrooms. The places that we don’t want guests to see. Kids, especially teenagers, are the biggest culprits when it comes to just throwing things wherever and not putting things away. The biggest project you will have to tackle in these spaces is likely going to be clothing organization.No matter how hard some of us try to keep clothes and shoes in their place, they end up on the floor or thrown haphazardly in a drawer. Will the closets in your home be 100% organized all the time after you do this? Probably not, but if you fully-reorganize everything now it is much easier to go in once a week for 5 minutes and hang up a few tops, put shoes back in their place, and then enjoy the rest of your day.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Closet Organization

bedroom-closetThink of closet organization as a way of sifting through your old stuff and curating a store of your own. If you have older kids at home (pre-teens and teenagers) you can try to get them into this mindset also but we can’t guarantee that it will work.The key here is to put each family member in charge of their own closet organization. Some will definitely need supervision – so make a schedule and do your best to stick with it. Remind them when their closet organization time is and do not falter no matter how much complaining ensues. You can do this!Note: a good rule of thumb to follow when deciding what to keep, toss, or donate, is to think about if you have worn or used the item within the last year. If the item is truly sentimental consider putting it into storage.

  1. Gather up every item of clothing and put it on the bed.
  2. Separate clothes into loose categories. i.e. shirts, underwear and socks, pants/skirts, etc.
  3. Set a stack of hangers next to each pile except for items that are never hung up i.e. socks and underwear
  4. Go through each pile and decide what you want to keep, toss, or donate and put items in the appropriate spot.
  5. Put items that need to be hung up on the hangers and fold items that belong in drawers as you go through the piles.
  6. Match up socks. You can use socks without matches for a number of other things!

We highly suggest you do your closet first to figure out what type of system works for you and set an example. Have a trash bag nearby for items you will throw away and another bag for things that you will donate.

Putting it All Away

There are several ways you can organize your clothes. Choose which method works best for you and your lifestyle.

  • By color
  • By type
  • By occasion

Hang items based on the organization method you choose and put items away into dressers. When it comes to shoes and bags, choose storage solutions that work for the space you have. Many like to put their shoes on shelves like these while others prefer more discrete forms of storage like this piece from Ikea.Will this ensure that the closets stay perfectly organized forever? Probably not, but spending an hour or two in full-blown organization mode now means that you only have to spend 5-10 minutes per week hanging up or putting away clothes that found their way to the floor, later.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Other Bedroom Cleaning and Organization Tasks

  • Organize miscellaneous items (see below)
  • Gather up bedding, blankets, and other linens so that they can be washed.
  • Dust ledges, shelves, dressers, ceiling fans, etc.
  • Go through papers on desks. Put necessary documents in folders and toss what is not needed
  • Wipe baseboards
  • Vacuum and/or shampoo carpets


3. Toys and Miscellaneous Items

toy-organization[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing size=”15px”][vc_column_text]We aren’t going to lie, toys are probably going to be tough. Even if kids haven’t played with something in months, they suddenly develop a special attachment to a toy once they think it will be gone – we will talk more about that below. If your children are small (ages 2-5), you may want to just take on this task yourself – if you do decide to go this route, do your organizing gradually and with stealth.If your kids are a bit older (ages 6-8), you can have them help you go through the toys to decide what will be kept and what will be donated. You can use this method with items in the toy room, your room, and other rooms that house miscellaneous items, also.

  1. Grab items around the room that currently don’t have a home and place them on the floor
  2. Go through those items and decide what to keep, donate, and toss
  3. Find homes for the items in the keep pile.
  4. Go to an area where items are stored i.e. a toy box and repeat steps 2, and 3
  5. Repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 until everything in the room has been organized

Kids may have issues letting go of a toy that they don’t play with and has no sentimental value. If this happens, tell them that the toy will go to another little boy or girl and make them super happy. Pro tip: act like this is the most exciting thing that could possibly ever happen to the toy.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

4. Bathrooms

organized-bathroom[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing size=”15px”][vc_column_text]Bathrooms are the easiest spaces to organize but sometimes the hardest to deep clean – especially if you haven’t done it in awhile.The level of effort involved with bathroom cleaning and organization will vary from household to household. For example, homes with people who buy a lot of skincare and makeup will have different challenges than those ones with two pre-teen boys. For that reason, we are going to keep this section pretty general.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Bathroom Organization

  1. Go through toiletries and toss old products.
  2. Go through the medicine cabinet and toss old products or medication
  3. Get rid of bulky packaging and replace with labeled containers when possible
  4. Give all items a home

That sounds easy enough but what if space is limited in the bathroom? Well, you can definitely buy a home with a bigger bathroom (kidding!). You can find space-saving storage solutions pretty much anywhere these days. Some of our favorites include:


Bathroom Deep Cleaning

There really is no trick to making this part easier, unfortunately. We suggest giving everyone in the family one bathroom element to focus on so you don’t have to do all of the cleaning yourself. For example, one person takes on the tubs and sinks, another the toilets, someone else mops the floors, etc. If you do not have the extra hands in your home, go bathroom by bathroom and clean each one completely.

  1. Scrub and sanitize the toilet
  2. Scrub and sanitize around the toilet base and the floor
  3. Get a new rag or sponge for scrubbing and sanitizing the sink. Pay close attention to the grout around the faucet.
  4. Scrub and sanitize the tub and shower
  5. Scrub and sanitize the outside of the tub
  6. Mop the floors
  7. Get a paper towel and wipe down the door and door handles
  8. Clean the mirror with glass cleaner

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The beauty of this guide is that you can go at your own pace. If you want to knock everything out in one day with a double-shot latte in hand, go for it! If you want to use those hours that you would have spent commuting to work and driving the kids to practice to tackle a few tasks during the week, that works too!Also, if you planned to clean the fridge on a late Saturday afternoon but aren’t feeling up to it and would rather video chat a friend with a glass of wine, there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing that instead. Right now is a time to focus on things that make us feel comfortable, happy, and healthy because that is truly what is most important.Many were in the process of buying or selling a home before this situation took hold. Our team is here to answer your real estate questions when you need us. Feel free to call our team at (913) 521-8809.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator][vcex_spacing][vc_column_text]The hunt for a new home doesn’t have have to stop because of social distancing. Click below to view our featured listings.[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing][vcex_button url=”” size=”medium” align=”center”]View Featured Listings[/vcex_button][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Cami Jones Collaborative’s Planter Party

Cami Jones Collaborative. held a fun, new, client and friends event this year; a holiday planter party. About 70 women (plus one very patient male team member) gathered to learn how to make beautiful planters. The workshop was taught by Julie Cruz with Adorn Planters. The event was held at southern Johnson County’s newest event venue, Gather at Red Cedar Gardens.When guests arrived, they immediately felt the warmth of the holidays as they entered the garden shop at Gather. The space had multiple areas where attendees could mingle, grab a drink and a snack, and enjoy the beautiful holiday decorations. There were multiple trees and twinkle lights everywhere. The garden shop was connected to an enormous greenhouse where the workshop took place. With the room full of the greenery that was to be used in the arrangements, the whole place smelled of pine and the holidays!Julie walked the attendees through the process of building a beautiful planter in three different work sessions. There were two options for planters, 12” and 14”, so everyone had to know the size of their planter when they initially made their order.The greenery arrangements were assembled in temporary pots that could be dropped into their own planters once they got home.At Julie’s instruction, everyone started with the tallest plants in the middle; in this case, spruce tops. She then had several other, smaller, evergreen branches that could be arranged around the spruce tops. Pine cones, berries and round ornaments that were attached to picks were then placed throughout the greenery to fill in spaces and add pops of color. Finally, a long piece of garland was wrapped around the base of the entire arrangement and zip tied to secure it.Sound complicated? Adorn Planters can do yours for you as often as you would like. Check out for more information about their services. You can also follow them on Instagram at @adornplanters.Are you looking to host a wedding, baby shower, rehearsal dinner, family reunion, birthday party, or just a fun evening with friends? Look no further than Gather at Red Cedar Gardens. Besides the garden shop/greenhouse space, they have an open-air pavilion, fire pits and wide-open spaces. You must see it to believe it! Gather at Red Cedar Gardens is on 183rd Street just west of 69 Highway. Follow them on Instagram at @gatheratredcedargardens.Cami Jones & Co. is so appreciative of their clients and referrals! The evening was so much fun – perhaps it needs to be an annual event!

When is the Best Time to Buy a Home?

At some point in your life, you may decide that it is time to buy a new home. It is important to remember when this day comes that you set yourself up for success. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or you have purchased a home in the past, you may be wondering when is the best time to buy a home is and when you can get the most bang for your buck.

The Best Time to Buy a Home in Kansas City

We are going to be looking at when the best time to buy a home is, and by the time you have finished reading, you can start creating a plan and start the home buying process!

The Best Months to Buy

woman-making-calendarThere are certain months that are going to be better for you to purchase a home in than others.You may want to avoid buying a home at the beginning of summer, especially if you are a first-time home buyer. This is when most people put their house up for sale, and it is also when most of the sales happen which means more competition.Toward the end of August or the beginning of September through March is probably the best time to buy a home. With sellers looking to move homes quickly, you will usually find that at least one or two of them are willing to lower their prices. You should also look into specifically buying during the holiday season, but we will talk more about that below.Now, don’t let this be the end all be all if you want to move in June. You can still find a home that is within your budget and suits all of your needs – we do suggest that you partner with an agent who understands the market to help you negotiate price and find the home that is right for you.

Shoot for the Holiday Season

home-real-estate-concept-winterWe know that the holiday season is a stressful time, but if you can make it work, October-January is a great time for the budget conscience. During the holiday season, sellers typically receive the lowest premiums, according to ATTOM Data Solutions, a national firm that provides real estate and property data. Lower premiums for sellers mean better deals for buyers.There is also a lot less competition during this time of year and people are extremely motivated to sell. So, if you can handle buying a home during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, do it!

When You’re Financially Ready

finance-home-conceptBuying a house is a big commitment, and you need to make sure that you are financially ready before you jump in.In almost every case, you sign a long-term agreement that says you will pay your mortgage. It is going to be a hard time if you pay your down payment, get a mortgage and then aren’t able to keep up with the payments. The bottom line is that you need to be realistic about how much house you can afford and if that budget can accomodate the type of home you want.A good rule of thumb is to keep your mortgage payment at or below 28 percent of your pretax monthly income.

When You’re Emotionally Ready

stressed-coupleIf you are not emotionally ready to buy a house, then it is not going to work no matter what you do. Like we said above, it is a big commitment and one that needs to be considered carefully.Sitting down and doing your research is vital, but being able to get the right loan, pay it back, keep on top of maintenance, etc. is a whole other animal.If you are someone who feels like you get stressed very easily, then owning a home on a shoestring budget might not be the best idea.Staying in one place for years to come might seem a bit daunting, but if you are emotionally ready to do it, then there are a ton of benefits that come with homeownership.If you don’t think that you are going to be able to stay in one place, or you don’t think that you are going to be able to handle all of the stresses that come from purchasing a home, then now might not the right time for you.If you do have some fears when it comes to buying a home, but you feel you are emotionally ready to do so, make sure you work with an agent who can help effectively guide you through the process.Let our expert team help you buy your home today! You can reach our team at 913.521.8806.  Want to come and see us?  Our office is conveniently located at 5000 W. 135th St. Leawood, KS 66224.

Home Spotlight: A Stunning Craftsman Home in Overland Park

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Located at 16304 Flint Street in Overland Park, KS,  this spacious craftsman home is nestled in the beautiful and family-friendly Mills Farm subdivision in Johnson County. With plenty of new upgrades and room for more, this stunning 7,019 sq ft home features six bedrooms, five full bathrooms, and two half baths. With simple, yet tasteful modern touches and a neutral color scheme, this home is brimming with opportunity to incorporate your own personal style and taste. Here’s a closer look at what this home has to offer.


The stone trim and stucco exterior make for a beautiful and inviting front entrance of this gorgeous home. From the front steps, to the back patio, the exterior of this home is subtle and eye-catching at the same time interior. One of those most notable features, the screened in outdoor space complete with a fireplace attached the the back of the home, this area provides a private escape without obstructing your view of the landscape. Click the images below for a larger view.[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing size=”15px”][vcex_image_grid img_size=”full” image_ids=”2175,2176,2177,2178,2179,2180,2181,2182″][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]The interior of this home is upscale, functional and inviting with eye-catching upgrades throughout. There is plenty of space for you and your family to spread out and enjoy yourselves before sitting down together and enjoying dinner or a movie. Click the images below for a larger view.

A Dream Kitchen

Visually appealing and functional, this kitchen adds a little extra excitement to traditional meal prep. Some notable features include top of the line appliances, beautiful quartzite countertops. The kitchen island is the perfect solution for helping your kids with their homework–while still having dinner ready on time. An enormous butler’s pantry offers plenty of extra space for storage.[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing size=”15px”][vcex_image_grid columns=”3″ img_size=”full” image_ids=”2184,2186,2187,2188″][vc_column_text]

Family Living Areas

The living areas in this home are perfect for spending time with family and friends. The living areas on the main floor get a lot of natural light and lead to the open kitchen. In these spaces you will find cozy fireplaces, beautiful built ins and vaulted ceilings.[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing size=”15px”][vcex_image_grid img_size=”full” image_ids=”2200,2203,2207,2201,2187″][vc_column_text]

Master Bedroom and En-Suite

This grand and spacious master suite is an escape all of its own. A cozy sitting area equipped with a fireplace and plenty of natural lighting provides the perfect place to unwind or curl up with a book.Those who call this place home may just eliminate the age-old battle for closet and counter space. The master suite includes two walk-in closets and double vanity. Simple yet elegant, the bathroom features modern, classic paint and tile colors. At the bathroom, walkway lies yet another opportunity for rest and relaxation, a jacuzzi tub.[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing size=”15px”][vcex_image_grid columns=”3″ img_size=”full” image_ids=”2113,2189,2190,2191,2192″][vc_column_text]

A Walk-Out Basement Made for Entertainment

For anyone that loves to entertain and host, this house does not disappoint. Whether it’s hosting friends for the big game or providing an area for kids to retreat with friends from school, this home offers plenty of room for fun.

The Bar

This finished walk-out basement provides a nice secluded getaway for entertaining guests. For game nights and other gatherings, one of this area’s most shining features is the bar area. It offers an island that is perfect for sitting and chatting with friends or displaying potluck dishes and finger foods for guests. Convenient and functional, the bar comes with a sink and plenty of storage area for food and beverages.

Game Area

Conveniently situated near the bar area, this area is a versatile, open space. Natural lighting pours in through the window, keeping this area feeling light and comfortable. Whether you choose to set up a pool table, extra seating, or even a larger table for board games, this space is ideal for socializing.

Multi-TV Setup Seating Area

This spacious area leaves plenty of room for comfy seating and provides the perfect hangout for entertaining friends. Whether you’re hosting all the big games or the kids have friends over for movie night, you’ll wow your visitors with this multi-TV setup. And for those that need a break from the screens or prefer to snack or socialize–this basement has you covered.[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing size=”15px”][vcex_image_grid columns=”2″ img_size=”full” image_ids=”2193,2194,2195,2196″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This home has so much to offer; whether you love to entertain friends on the weekend or want to cozy up by the fireplace with your family, this house has it all! To view all of our featured listings click here.[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing size=”10px”][vc_column_text]Thinking of putting your home on the market?  Let our team help you! Give us a call today!  You can reach our team at 913.521.8806.  Want to come see us?  Our office is conveniently located at 5000 W. 135th St. Leawood, KS 66224.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Should You Renovate Before Selling Your Home?

The decision on whether to renovate or remodel before selling your home can be a difficult one. On the one hand, any updates you choose to incorporate will cost money. With all the stress that goes into selling a house (along with purchasing and moving into a new one), it’s important to make sure you’re spending your money wisely and making strategic decisions. Any and all home renovations or upgrades should add to the overall value of your house.

Performing Renovations Before You Sell Your Home: 4 Things to Know

couple-renovating-their-homeIf you’re stuck on whether or not you should dive into some DIY projects and remodeling before you put your house up for sale, here are some suggestions that should help you make your decision.

1. Make Necessary Upgrades First

If you’re going to renovate, you should start with the must-haves. In other words, if there are things that absolutely need to be updated, get those things taken care of before you start any extra projects or cosmetic updates. These necessities could be anything from installing new gutters to replacing bad pipes. Make a list of anything that feels unsettling, or that could be problematic to explain to potential buyers. Cross these things off the to-do list first, and see where you stand when it’s all taken care of.

2, Renovate the Rooms that Sell

When buyers are looking at homes, there are certain rooms that will influence their decision more than others. Keeping that in mind, you won’t want to spend a ton of money on updating areas that won’t do much to sway a decision one way or another. Don’t spend a ton of time on the extra bedrooms around the house. These aren’t huge sellers. Instead, make upgrades in the kitchen, master bedroom, living room, and the exterior of the home. Updates in these areas show a good return on investment and thus, will likely be worth your time and money. To speak to this topic, consider replacing the siding, entry door, and garage door if they’re in need of it. These are smart updates that seem to pay off for most.

3. Small upgrades make a difference

As we always say, the devil is in the details. Don’t underestimate the value of fresh paint and a little elbow grease. Small projects in the kitchen and bathroom like updating hardware, replacing handles, repainting and refinishing cabinets, as well as updating the wall colors can make a huge difference.

4. Discuss with your realtor what you can do to get the best price for your home

Regardless of what decisions you make about renovating on your own, you should always check with your realtor to see what suggestions they have about renovations for resale value. Even if you think you’ve got it covered, keep in mind that your realtor does this for a living. Don’t be afraid to utilize their knowledge and experience to get the best price possible for your home. And hey, you never know. They might be able to point out some small updates that are easy to incorporate, but which will increase your homes value more than you ever thought possible. Are you looking to buy a home in Kansas City or thinking of putting your home on the market?  Give us a call today!  You can reach our team at 913.521.8806.  You can also come visit our office at 5000 W. 135th St. Leawood, KS 66224.

Fall in Love with Kansas City: 4 Fun Things to do in February

It’s that time of year again, and the last minute Valentine’s Day reservations are booking up fast. While we’re all for an opportunity to celebrate love, waiting hours to be seated in busy restaurants isn’t always ideal, so we wanted to give you some alternatives to the traditional Valentine’s Day date.

Fall in Love this February with Kansas City

Whether you just bought a new home in Kansas City or you have lived here for awhile now, there’s a lot to love about this town. Here are some of our favorite things to do in Kansas City during the season of love.

Head to an Antique Store

Go treasure hunting in one of the many antique stores here in KC. With so many places to choose from, you never know what you’ll find. Perhaps some unique items for your home or a gift for a loved one.Take someone you care about on your antiquing adventure and at the very least, you’ll make some pretty great memories along the way.A few of our favorites:

Attend an Awesome Brunch with your Significant Other (or Besties)

Let’s be honest, brunch is something you can and should do almost any time of the year. It’s also a great way to avoid the Valentine’s Day dinner-date rush.Whether you’re looking to get out of the house for some quality time with your SO or you’re in need of some bonding time with friends, you can never go wrong with brunch. Find one that sounds awesome and put it on your agenda for the month.Some of our favorite spots to do brunch:

Go on a Boulevard Brewery Tour

glass-amber-ale-breweryWe all know and love the brand but have you ever seen where BLVD beer is made? Warm up with a tour of the iconic brewery and enjoy a few drinks for us while you are there.Tour options include:Brewery ToursFall in love with the Boulevard on a 45-minute brewery walking tour. Tickets for this option are only $5 and tourists will get to sample different beers at the end.Pro tip: If you go on a Wednesday, it’s free! Tours fill up fast though, so be sure to plan ahead and get there early.Smokestack Tour & TastingFor $25, you can enjoy an in-depth, two hour tour of the Brewery with guided food and beer pairings.Unfiltered TourTrue beer lovers should check out the Unfiltered tour, which includes beers along the way, brand new production stops, and a souvenir tasting notebook and glass.

Check Out One of the Art Galleries

February is a short month, but we still have a ways to go until spring arrives.If you’re feeling a little bit of cabin fever this month, head to one of the art galleries. If all else fails, appreciating some amazing art might help you forget the cold, at least for a little while.Galleries we suggest:

Just because it is chilly outside and you couldn’t get a reservation at your favorite restaurant doesn’t mean you have to stay home! Share new experiences with the ones you love and have a fantastic Valentine’s Day or Valentine’s month.The experts at Cami Jones Collaborative know and love Kansas City. Our specialists are here to help you! Let our team help you find the perfect home in this wonderful city. Give us a call today!  You can reach our team at 913.521.8806.  Want to come and see us? Our office is conveniently located at 5000 W. 135th St. Leawood, KS 66224.

Noble Designs: Bring on the Color!

I don’t know if it’s the unreasonably cold winter we are having in Kansas City this season or my recent trip to Palm Beach, but I am craving color. Noble Designs has always been a firm that is not afraid to use color, but particularly right now I want to share some of my favorite “color” pops.

Bright Accent Chairs Offer a Great Pop of Color

Put it on a chair! It’s less commitment than a sofa (which I like a colorful sofa too), but a chair is a good way to add drama and make a statement in your house. No matter what you do most likely, you will be ready for refresh in your home in 15 years.  So committing to color on a good piece of furniture is not like committing to marriage. It’s ok because you can enjoy the piece for years and then recover. Don’t be scared, go for it.

Taking Color to New Heights

fun-throw-pillowsNot able to paint all your walls kelly green, ok then do your ceiling!  It’s a safer place, but the unexpected element of the ceiling being decorated makes it extra special.  Do a bold color or wallpaper for a fun mix of colors and pattern.

Add Low-key Color with Accent Pillows

noble-designs-green-accent-pillowCan’t talk you into those bold moves – add pillows and throws.  Now, these are not throw away items either especially if you find that special fabric but, it is a great way to add piazza without scaring the family. And it’s amazing what a few pillows and a few well-placed throws can do for a room.You may not have time to make significant decor changes or large home renovations before the holidays, but you can make a difference in your space. If you are feeling really stuck, get in touch with Noble Designs at You can also follow them on Instagram @nobledesigns.Thinking of putting your home on the market or purchasing a new home to decorate? Let the Cami Jones Collaborative Team help you! Give us a call today!  You can reach our team at 913.521.8806.  Do you want to come see us in person? Our office is conveniently located at 5000 W. 135th St. Leawood, KS 66224.

Home Spotlight: A Spacious Overland Park Dream Home

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This custom Reed Fuller home is located at 5512 Golden Bear Drive in Overland Park Kansas in the Links at Lionsgate subdivision. This 6,541 sq ft home is bright, open, and perfect for entertaining. This home features 6 bedrooms and 4 baths plus a slew of new updates including refinished hardwood flooring, new light fixtures, top of the line kitchen appliances, granite countertops, and more! Let’s take a look at what this gorgeous home has to offer.


This stately home is made from a light grey stone that offers visual appeal and durability. The large driveway leads to a three-car garage that perfectly fits the home’s aesthetic. The back of the house is the perfect place to entertain guests. It is surrounded by large trees that provide privacy and features a large in-ground pool and jacuzzi, outdoor bar area, and a large stone fireplace. There is also a second-floor balcony looks out over the entire pool area and showcases beautiful views without obstructions. Click the images below for a larger view.[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing size=”15px”][vcex_image_grid img_size=”full” image_ids=”1850,1851,1852,1853,1860,1855,1857,1859″][vc_column_text]


[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]The interior of this home is upscale and inviting with eye-catching details from floor to ceiling. Every room offers something new from the lighted archways and bay windows to unique wall treatments and distinct light fixtures. This home truly is one of a kind. Let’s take a look inside. Click the images below for a larger view.

Entryway and Dining Area

When you first walk through the custom double doors, you will immediately notice that no stone was left unturned when it comes to attention to detail in this home. Upon entry, you will see pristine hardwood floors and an architecturally appealing dining area to your right with curved ceilings, large columns, and impressive wainscoting. The open floor plan has been wonderfully executed by defining specific areas with archways and different ceiling heights without being overwhelming.[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing size=”15px”][vcex_image_grid columns=”3″ img_size=”full” image_ids=”1863,1864,1865,1866,1867″][vc_column_text]

Living Areas and Leisure Spaces

The formal living room on the main level is stunning with a large bay window that lets in tons of light, a stone fireplace that nearly reaches the sky-high ceilings, built-in shelving, and beautiful crown molding. The other living areas of the home include a great room, family room, den/study, office, and a hearth room. The lower level walk out features the family room which includes a beautiful bar with custom cabinetry and plenty of room for fun with friends and family.[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing size=”15px”][vcex_image_grid img_size=”full” image_ids=”1874,1875,1876,1877,1882,1878,1880,1881″][vc_column_text]

Master Bedroom and En-Suite

The stunning master bedroom has gorgeous hardwood flooring, a beautiful recessed ceiling, and a tremendous walk-in closet. The spacious en-suite includes double vanities with custom built cabinets, walk-in shower, and a large soaking tub perfect for relaxing after a long day.[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing size=”15px”][vcex_image_grid columns=”3″ img_size=”full” image_ids=”1871,1872,1873″][vc_column_text]

Updated Kitchen

The kitchen has brand new granite counter tops, gorgeous custom cabinets, stone detailing, and upgraded top of the line appliances. The open concept makes this a great kitchen for prepping for dinner parties and chatting with guests.[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing size=”15px”][vcex_image_grid columns=”2″ img_size=”full” image_ids=”1890,1892″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This home has so much to offer; whether you love to entertain friends on the weekend or want to cozy up by the fireplace with your family, this house has it all! To view all of our featured listings click here.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Thinking of putting your home on the market?  Let our team help you! Give us a call today!  You can reach our team at 913.521.8806.  Want to come see us?  Our office is conveniently located at 5000 W. 135th St. Leawood, KS 66224.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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