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Buyer's Guide

Kansas City

Johnson County



Helpful home buying tips, information and calculators.

What Can You Afford?

The following two calculators works with any Java Script enabled web browser (e.g. Netscape 3.0 or higher or Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 or higher).

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Before you start your house-hunting trip, you should know what price range is realistic for you. You can get a rough idea of what many lenders think you can afford from this worksheet. Then, go to our mortgage estimator to automatically calculate your monthly payment based on a known loan amount.

If you're uncertain, click here for Advantage Home Mortgage to learn about prevailing rates, required down payment percentages, and loan terms.

This calculation works as follows:


Annual Gross Income: 


Monthly Long Term Obligations

Mortgage Information

Child Care $ Down Payment: $
Association Dues $ Annual Interest Rate: %
Autos $ Number Years: yrs
Other $


Maximum Monthly
Mortgage Payment:

Purchase Price

Lenders typically allow the lessor of these two calculations as your Maximum Monthly Expense:

a) 28% of your monthly gross income, or

b) 36% of your monthly gross income less any long term obligations.

If you're trying to calculate your available loan amount based on the monthly allowable payment above, simply adjust the loan amount until the monthly payment below matches the monthly payment above.

The monthly amount must cover your taxes and insurance, which typically amount to about 20% of your monthly payment.


Purchase Price:
Down Payment:
Annual Interest Rate:
Number of Years:
Monthly Payment Before Taxes and Insurance:
$ per month
Monthly Payment After Estimated Taxes and Insurance:
$ per month


Initial Interview
Choose Agent
(Options Loan Pre-Approval)
View Property

 Offer / Negotiations

Contract Accepted
Loan Application
(Credit Report, Verifications, Appraisal)
Title Search
Loan Contingencies
Loan Approval Title Contingencies
Repairs Confirmed
Final Title Search
Recording of Documents

Should You Get "Pre-Approved" for a Loan?

Many more buyers are applying for a loan and obtaining approval BEFORE they find the home they want to buy. Here are several benefits of Pre-Approval:

  • You know your buying power and can consider homes in the "right" price range.

  • You may close more quickly.

  • You minimize the trauma of not knowing whether you qualify for the loan on the home of your dreams.

  • You have a stronger negotiating position with sellers if you have been "pre-approved".

  • Sellers will consider your offer to purchase more seriously.

We can help you shop the market for a loan.

The new tax law has a substantial effect upon real estate in three ways:

1) For taxpayers selling their principal residence, the former $125,000 one time exclusion for persons 55 years and older has been increased to $500,000 for married taxpayers of any age filing a joint return; the exclusion for those who do not file a joint return is $250,000. This exclusion may be claimed every two years and you do not have to buy a new residence. This allows our senior taxpayers to downsize without being unduly taxed.

2) The Individual Retirement Account (IRA) may be used for a down payment on a principal residence in an amount up to $10,000. Parental participation in the IRA is permissible.

3) The new law provides for a reduction in the capital gain rate on investment property from 28% to 20%.

For a local contact specializing in tax preparation and consulting, click here.


  • Personal Income:
    6.0% on net taxable income over $9000.

  • Federal taxes

  • City:
    Kansas City has 1% earnings tax on income received from Kansas City employers or on income of residents who are employed outside the city

  • Real Property:
    Assessed at the following percentages of true value: 19% for residential, 32% for industrial and commercial, 12% for agricultural. Tax levies will vary by location.

  • Personal Property:
    Assessed at 33 1/3 of true value; tax levies will vary by location.

  • Sales and Use:
    State tax rate is 4.225%. There are additional county & city taxes - Jackson .75% and Kansas City 1.5%.

  • Excise Tax:
    Motor fuel .17/gallon, Cigarettes: Kansas City .10, Missouri .15


  • Personal Income:
    Married filing jointly: not over $30,000 = 3.5%; $30,000-$60,000 = $1050 plus 6.25% over 60,000; over $60,000 = $2925 plus 6.45% over $60,000
    Single or married filing separate: not over $20,000 - 4.4%; $20,000-$30,000 $880 plus 7.5% of excess over $20,000; over $30,000 $1630 plus 7.75% of excess over $30,000

  • Federal taxes:
    are not deductible

  • Real Property:
    Appraised fair market value assessed at 11.5% for residential, 25% for commercial, and farm land is assessed at 30% of use value. Taxes vary according to location.

  • Personal Property: Assessed at 30% of fair market value. Taxes vary according to location.

  • Sales and Use: Kansas state tax rate is 4.9%, add .85% for Johnson County and 1% for Overland Park.

  • Excise Tax: Motor Fuels: .18/gallon, Cigarettes: .24/pack

Buyer Agency --Why is it important to transferees?

Traditionally, real estate agents have worked for the seller with the best interest of the buyer in mind. The buyer was the agent¹s customer. But, the seller paid the commissions therefore the agent¹s primary responsibility was to the seller, or client.

As the natural relationship between buyers and agents evolved, especially out-of-town buyers, the concept of Buyer's Agency caught on. It was recognized that a transferee was often pressured into making a buying decision in a short time-frame and didn¹t know local housing values, areas, schools, construction, and the other factors contributing to such an important decision.

As your Buyer's Agent, we can provide you with a Competitive Market Analysis. We can point out weaknesses of a property or a builder as well as strengths, a practice precluded as a seller's agent. With a Buyer's Agent, the transferee/buyer now has an advocate whose full and legal loyalty is to the buyer. We are Accredited Buyer's Representatives (ABR). Many area companies require that we represent their transferees as Buyer's Agents.


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Katz-Logan Team
of Prudential Henry & Burrows
8101 College Boulevard, Suite 100
(913) 661-8519 FAX: (913) 451-2192 E-Mail US

Prudential Henry & Burrows REALTORS® is an independently owned and operated member of The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.
is a service mark of The Prudential Insurance Company of America.

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