Kansas-based homebuyer Travis Jones of Rush Properties has noted a significant spike in home prices since the economic recovery began. Here, Travis Jones of Rush Properties talks to us about the advantages of buying now and why market confidence continues to rise.
Information Nation: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today.
Travis Jones, Rush Properties: It’s my pleasure. I’m always happy to talk about real estate.
Information Nation: We understand that you’re an expert regarding the Johnson County housing market.
Travis Jones, Rush Properties: Johnson County is my home. My family and I live in Stilwell, and I have worked in this area for more than 15 years.
Information Nation: Is it true that Johnson County has enjoyed a rise in property values in the last year?
Travis Jones, Rush Properties: Indeed it has. Even in the last couple of months we have seen steady increases. Our median list price now averages just under $200,000.
Information Nation: What is the highest priced city in Johnson County?
Travis Jones, Rush Properties: That’s easy—Mission Hills. Homes there average $1.3 million.
Information Nation: Why is Johnson County such a good place to live, and why are home prices rising?
Travis Jones, Rush Properties: Money Magazine recently noted Johnson County is one of the top 25 counties in the U.S. for life expectancy. Couple that with the build quality and workmanship of our homes, and it is easy to see why the area is growing.
Information Nation: Aside from Mission Hills, what other cities are notable in the area?
Travis Jones, Rush Properties: There are many, but Overland Park, Lenexa, Olathe, and Prairie Village come to mind.
Information Nation: CNN also listed three cities in the county in its Top 100 Places to Live in 2008, correct?
Travis Jones, Rush Properties: Yes—Overland Park came in at No. 9, Olathe No. 11, and Shawnee No. 39.
Information Nation: How are interest rates looking these days?
Travis Jones, Rush Properties: I’ve seen rates for homebuyers and refinancers holding at less than 3.5 percent for a 30-year fixed rate. Fifteen-year loans are even better, often coming in at just around 2.5 percent for those with excellent credit.
Information Nation: What about supply and demand for the county?
Travis Jones, Rush Properties: That fluctuates, but for April 2013, Johnson County had less than 2,000 properties on the market with an average list time of just about two and a half months.
Information Nation: That’s great compared to a few years ago, no?
Travis Jones, Rush Properties: Yes, it is. After the housing bubble burst of the mid-2000s, people were seeing list times of six months or more. Many homes sat on the market for more than a year.
Information Nation: How many homes are listed and sold on average per month?
Travis Jones, Rush Properties: That varies each month, but looking at April again, for every 215 homes listed there were 205 sold.
Information Nation: So, there really isn’t a lot of inventory just floating around?
Travis Jones, Rush Properties: Not at all—the great homes get taken very quickly.
Information Nation: What do you mean by “great homes?”
Travis Jones, Rush Properties: The ones with the best curb appeal, best features, and the ones that are move-in-ready.
Information Nation: Why does it vary so much?
Travis Jones, Rush Properties: Traditionally, homes sell more in the spring and summer when kids are out of school and weather is more cooperative.
Information Nation: So, it sounds like Johnson County is a seller’s market now?
Travis Jones, Rush Properties: The MAI (Market Action Index) shows for April that the number is just fewer than 40. Anything over 30 is considered a seller’s market.
Information Nation: It sounds like now is a great time to buy and sell in the area. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today.
Travis Jones, Rush Properties: My pleasure.
About Travis Jones and Rush Properties
Travis Jones, Rush Properties founder, is also co-founder of Cherry Park Properties. Through Rush Properties, Travis Jones purchases residential properties in Johnson County and resells them once they have passed his quality inspections. He is committed to helping his hometown and the surrounding areas grow through responsible real estate and construction practices.