Move-Up Buyers

The move-up or “forever home” buyer is seeking more — as in more square footage, a more prestigious address and more amenities and perks such as golf courses, lake access and walkability. Sometimes it takes a few hits and misses to find that home. Donna and Michael Martin thought they were done owning a large home. Two years ago, they downsized. But Donna says she never felt like the house they moved into was a good fit. Last July, she saw a home in Lakewood and knew she had finally found her dream home. “It was gorgeous and right on the lake, plus it had an elevator,” Donna says. “I brought my husband to see it the very next day.” Eight months later, she says she’s never been happier. “This is it,” she says. “This is our forever home.


Martin Home Prairie Village

Donna & Michael Martin’s Home


Cost: $1,175,00

Lee’s Summit

Median house price: $239,00

Change in 2018: +12.8%

The lake communities are a huge draw in Lee’s Summit for the move-up buyer. “They’re the hot ticket,” says realtor Renee Amey, who specializes in lake properties. “It’s a lifestyle buy because of all the amenities, from the view to your own private boat dock. Lakefront property also holds its value and is appreciating at record rates because there’s not much inventory available.” Amey says a lot of buyers are getting older lake homes and then doing extensive updating. Currently, lakefront lots are selling for $300,000, and the resale of homes on the lake start at around $450,000 to well over a million dollars. A 7,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, five-bathroom house next to Raintree Lake will you cost just under a million dollars.


Village of Loch Lloyd, Mo.

(formerly part of Belton, Mo.)

Median house price: $631,200

Change in 2018: +5%

The country club Village of Loch Lloyd has become a move-up buyer’s nirvana. Built around a 110-acre lake on Mill Creek, this gated community is high on resort-style living, with a Tom Watson signature course and loads of amenities. Realtor Kristin Malfer calls Loch Lloyd the neighborhood of the future. “It’s perfectly designed for how people want to live,” she says. “It captures every aspect of what you would want in a neighborhood, from the green space to active lifestyle features and security.” A five-bedroom, five-bath, 5,500-square-foot home with marble floors from Italy is listed at $965,000.



Median house price: $344,900

Change in 2018: +4.9%

This charming neighborhood featuring tree-lined streets, homes that date back more than 100  years with varied architectural character — from bungalows to Tudors — is what realtor Susan Shartzer calls a “classic and diverse neighborhood that everyone wants to live in.” Shartzer grew up in Brookside, and she says the close proximity to the Plaza and downtown with restaurants and shops just a stroll away help make Brookside a sought-after neighborhood. Activities like the Brookside Art Fair and St. Patrick’s Day parade also add to the vibe. A 2,448-square-foot, three-bedroom, four-bath house close to the Brookside shopping district can be had for just over $550,000.

Overland Park

Median house price: $314,900

Change in 2018: +8.8%

Overland Park has long had a reputation for McMansions with sprawling square footage, and the city is working an XL mojo. In Lionsgate, an established subdivision located off Nall Avenue, homes range from 4,000 to more than 8,000 square feet. The selling point, besides size, is the Blue Valley School District. New construction can found just off Mission Road at Waters Edge, where homes start in the upper-$500,000s. Further south, new housing developments are flourishing. Terrybrook Farms, a master-planned community, will eventually have 375 homes. Realtor Jennifer Rich says the amenities and the opportunity to buy new construction are attracting buyers. “There’s a resort-style pool, playground, walking trails with water features, a cardio facility, club house and basketball courts,” she says. “It’s very family friendly.” In the Enclave at Terrybrook, a 6,000-square-foot home with six bedrooms and six and a half baths is selling for $1.2 million.



Median house price: $437,700

Change in 2018: +4.9%

The National Golf Club has been a part of Parkville for 20 years. The housing development around the National is almost that old and is still growing. Today, two decades and multiple expansion plans later, lots are available for new construction. The mix of established neighborhoods with newer developments and the Parkville School District are wooing the move-up buyer. More subjective perks like a neighborhood helicopter pad don’t hurt, either. Realtor Nickole Stark says another enticement is the range of homes available. “You can get into the National for as low as $400,000, and then there are homes that sell for $3 million,” she says. Golf courses are another advantage. The National has two courses, and the country club offers a wide range of memberships. A five bedroom, five bath, 6,474-square-foot home with golf course views, two full size kitchens and outdoor entertaining space is listed for just under a million dollars.

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