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Coleman Highlands Real Estate – Spring 2015

by Cathie Chesen

Coleman Highlands Real Estate

Photo courtesy Mark Moz,, Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0:

There are many exciting real estate trends occurring right now. 2015 has been ear-marked as potentially being the best year in real estate since the market crashed. The Millennials have entered the home market and make up approximately 50% of buyers. They have high-paying jobs and they want homes in the city where they can be close to work, bike lanes, bus routes, shopping, entertainment and restaurants. Value and affordable homes are what is appealing to them. The large suburban homes are not as important to them anymore.

The inventory is expected to rise in this spring market, which means increased sales. As of the end of February, the median sales price of existing homes rose 9%. And Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve Chair, has not made plans to raise the interest rates for the first time since 2006. Of course, expect some fluctuation in mortgage rates, but not significantly. We are finding that with the great rates and buyers wanting to buy, that for the first time in over a year, we have a shortage of good quality homes for sale. One buyer in particular, when they saw that a house had been on the market for 7 days, wanted to know what was wrong with it! Times are changing rapidly!

As we are preparing our homes for this spring and freshening up our yards, there are many activities in Kansas City to assist you with ideas. The Spring Parade of Homes is scheduled for April 26th through May 11th. There will be 377 homes to view in the 8 county area. Also, plan to attend the 46th Symphony Show House between May 9th and June 7th. Many well-known designers will provide decorating and renovation tips in a Historic home at 96 Janssen Pl. in Central Hyde Park.

One last note: Many of our neighbors are still paying real estate taxes in excess of their home’s current value in our neighborhood. I try to assist our neighbors in determining the actual value so they will be able to speak with the tax assessor’s office to have the taxes modified. Please contact me if you need assistance with having your assessment readjusted.

(Data provided by the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors and the Inman News.)


Coleman Highlands: A Historic District


by Brian McMillan

As many of you are aware, the Coleman Highlands subdivision is classified as a Historic District. This classification was obtained by the neighborhood in 1996. The purpose of a Historic District classification is to preserve the visual, architectural and structural integrity of our neighborhood. The reason Coleman Highlands has the ambiance that we all find so appealing is due to its architectural imagery. To preserve and protect this imagery there are guidelines and limitations as to what types construction is allowed, be it new construction or renovation and repair, in a Historic District.

The governing body is the KCMO Historic Preservation Office and Commission. Brad Wolf is the director and go-to guy if you have questions (816) 513-2902. The basic guidelines are any “exterior changes” that would be considered “material changes” need to be approved by the Landmarks Commission. These material changes would be modifications beyond “in kind repair.” In other words repairing or replacing something which has rotted or deteriorated is not subject for review. Whereas material changes or architectural additions/expansions that would alter the original integrity or visual character of the structure, would be subject for review. At issue will be what is visible from the street.

Depending on the scope and scale of the modification, reviews can often be handled either on the phone with digital photographs or over the counter. Of common concern are paint schemes/colors and window replacements. More substantial modifications and new construction will require obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Landmarks Commission. Obtaining a Certificate of Appropriateness involves filing an application with supporting documentation. Brad Wolf will consult with the applicant, review the application and write a staff report which will be submitted to the Landmarks Commission for a formal hearing resulting in approval or denial. These hearings are open to the public and neighborhood input is welcome.

Personally, I built a new home in Coleman Highlands in 2005 and while the process was rigorous, it was fair and feasible. There are Secretary of the Interior Standards for Rehabilitation which you will find on KCMO Historic Preservation webpage ( The key with new construction is to be sympathetic to the surrounding property’s historic character. They’re not asking for, and typically disallow, designs intended to appear as though they were built in the 1920’s. What they are asking for is that the character, size, scale, bulk and architectural massing be in keeping with the surrounding structures.

The Coleman Highlands neighborhood was platted by Robert Coleman in August of 1907. The location was ideal for a new suburb—atop a bluff, with fresh air and cool breezes, and located near streetcar connections to downtown, the west bottoms and Westport. The original plat divided the Coleman farm into 293 lots. Most houses were built between 1908 and World War I and a second wave of construction occurred between World War I and World War II. These homes were built in a variety of styles that included Colonial Revival, Craftsman, Prairie, Bungalow and Kansas City Shirtwaist. During the early 1950s, a third wave of construction occurred in the neighborhood, primarily of Ranch houses in an area just north of West Coleman Road and 33rd Street, where a ravine was filled in and leveled during 1945.

For more information on what it means for Coleman Highlands to be a historic district, reach out to a board member, or visit


Coleman Highlands Real Estate Update

Great news has come to our real estate market in the 64111 zip code! We have seen an 8.9% increase in the average sales price over the last year. Also, the National Association of Realtors said that the last quarter of 2013 showed the strongest year overall in the last 7 years. In addition, the housing affordability index is at the highest rate since record keeping began in 1970. And the average days on the market is now 70 in our zip code, which is significantly better than last spring with an 86 day average.

What does that mean to us? We are entering a seller’s market. And buyers are coming to me all of the time asking for particular homes in Coleman Highlands. This is so exciting and is evidenced by all of our new neighbors that have become part of our community over the past year.

Please call me 816-853-3979 or email if you’d like more specific data on our positive trends in the real estate market.

– Cathie Chesen