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Finding A Home To Buy In Kansas City Is No Easy Task

In many Kansas City neighborhoods these days, finding a home for sale is no easy task. Bobby and Sarah Adams recently experienced this firsthand when they purchased a house in Olathe. Their journey involved six weeks of searching and ultimately going $20,000 over their initial budget, a decision they consider themselves fortunate to have made.

Their rationale for doing this was clear. Having waited on the sidelines through the tumultuous years of 2021, and 2022, they realized that further delays would likely price them completely out of the housing market in Kansas City. Sarah explained, “We gotta jump in, we gotta do it. Because if we don’t, home prices will continue to rise and we’re never going to buy a house.” In the summer, the couple submitted three offers. Even offering more than $20,000 over the asking price on the first two attempts, they still missed out.

Sarah acknowledged, “We had to swallow the fact that we’re going to be paying more than we wanted to every month, but it meant we’d actually be able to still get a house.” Their standards for a home remained the same; it was their budget that had to adjust. Ultimately, their house payment ended up being another $40 per month over their original budget, but now that they’ve moved into their new home, they’re glad they did it. They know their home will continue to rise in value over the next 10 years, so they feel it’s a good investment.

Presently, there are roughly 5,000 homes available for sale in the Kansas City metro area, which is a nearly 13% decrease from a year ago. This shortage in inventory has led to persistently high home prices, currently standing 4.5% higher than a year ago, according to data from the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors.

This is what we tell all our first-time home buyers we are working with. “To explain this market, I think you have to go all the way back to 2008. The Great Recession that happened really pushed a lot of builders and developers out of the market. And many of those builders and developers still haven’t come back. Most builders and developers don’t want to build in the $200,000, $300,000, $400,000 price range, which is where we need all our houses. They can’t make enough money at that price point. They want to build in the higher price point, we need housing in the lower price point.

Over the past decade, the average home price in the Kansas City metro area has doubled, rising from around $175,000 to over $390,000 so the best time to buy a house is yesterday. For those seeking homes below the $400,000 mark, options are few, and this situation is unlikely to resolve itself for several years. Over the next eight years, you’ll see a lot of baby boomers moving out of their houses. And that will release some of the pent-up demand that’s there from a sales side.”

But until that shift occurs, patience is key, and overbidding on properties may be necessary, as the Adams experienced. “You’re going to have to look at your budget and decide what can I truly afford. That’s what we did because it became obvious that housing prices aren’t going down,” Bobby Adams advises.

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