Stephens Commercial Real Estate: We’re Back & Better Than Ever!

For almost 40 years, we’ve been synonymous with residential real estate in Lawrence and Douglas County. But there was a day when we were just as well known for our commercial business.

Well we’re proud to let you know that Stephens is back in the commercial game. Big time. Whether it’s a high-traffic spot or a quiet little corner, we have the local knowledge to deliver just what you’re looking for.

And, if you own investment property, we can handle that, too. We’re your dedicated, local resource and we know just what it takes to set your property apart from the competition and deliver the best return on your investment.

Even though Stephens Real Estate has been a respected, established entity in Lawrence for decades, we’re not comfortable sitting still. We’re innovators; always looking for new methods or ideas to help our clients.

And you’ll notice those qualities in our new commercial brand as well: the dedication we’re known for and the fresh thinking to get the job done in today’s market.

When it comes to commercial real estate, it pays to know the team that knows Lawrence; Stephens Commercial Real Estate.

Evan Holt is our dedicated commercial real estate expert. He’s a complex problem solver with 20+ years of experience as a leader, strategic planner and global operations manager. He has a proven track record in establishing and carrying out plans to reach even the most difficult goal successfully. Evan’s global experience and real estate background make him a valuable resource in helping your business achieve its goals.

Before You Show Your Home

You’ve gotten your house in top shape and it’s listed for sale. When you get the call that someone would like to view your home, Stephens Real Estate has a few tips for making the visit a pleasant and memorable experience for the potential buyer.

A tidy house is very important, and even with only a few minutes before prospective buyers arrive, you have time to straighten up a bit. Make sure beds are made, empty all garbage cans and take the garbage outside, put up your “show” towels and close all toilet seats. Grab a laundry basket – throw all of the clutter into it and put the basket into your car. And finally, wipe down countertops and sinks with a damp cloth.

Your house should smell fresh. You may want to bake a loaf of bread or a batch of cookies to add a wonderful and inviting scent. One of our favorite things: an essential oil diffuser. You can buy a variety of nice scents, some of which even boast health benefits like relaxation. Who wouldn’t want potential buyers to feel relaxed during a showing?

Let the sunshine in and make your house feel bright and cheery by opening curtains and blinds. This is especially important if you have a nice view. Natural light and a nice view of the outdoors will create a happy, illuminated space making any room appear bigger and more desirable.

Turn on the lights. You want to let natural light fill your rooms, but also remember to turn on the lights throughout your home. Overhead lights, lamps and even lighting in closets and the laundry room will make it easier for the agent to show your home. Potential buyers shouldn’t have to search for light switches.

Keep the temperature at an appropriate level. You want people to feel comfortable and confident that the house’s systems are in good working order, so turn on that heat when it’s cold outside. Now is not the time to worry about the utility bill. Same goes during the summer months. Turn up the air to keep things cool.

Always, always leave. After you’ve worked hard making your home sellable and memorable, please leave and let the Realtor® do his or her job. If you, your kids or your pets are there, potential buyers may feel uncomfortable. You don’t want them wishing their way out the door instead of enjoying looking at your home.

It’s a great time to sell and we’re ready to help. Your Stephens agent can give you great advice on preparing your home for today’s market. If you’re interested in listing your home, call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

Our Story

A Strong History

When Bob Stephens founded Stephens Real Estate in May of 1978, his vision was simple: Stay true to your independence, and true to your community. 40 years later, from those humble beginnings in the old Douglas County Bank building on Kentucky Street with 28 sales associates and a small support staff, his vision remains intact. We’ve grown larger, to be sure, but we’ve never lost our independence or our commitment to Lawrence and the surrounding area.

That commitment isn’t just in real estate. From day one to the present day, we’ve been dedicated to giving back to Douglas County through service and volunteerism. Our community involvement includes our support of United Way of Douglas County, The Ballard Center, Boys & Girls Club of Douglas County, Just Food, American Red Cross, Heartland Community Health Center, Go Red for Women, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Toys For Tots and many more. In addition, we are a community partner with Sunset Hill Elementary School.

Moving Forward

Like Bob Stephens, when Pat McCandless and Chris Earl bought the company in 2013 they had a simple vision: Never lose sight of the values that led to our success. Stephens Real Estate is still independent, still full service, and still linked to our community through roots that run decades deep. That means our agents and support team are committed to helping our clients live out their personal dreams right here in our hometown.

We’ve been synonymous with residential real estate since 1978, but there was a day when we were just as well known for our commercial business. Well, we’re proud to say we’re back in the commercial game; big time. Whether it’s a high-traffic spot or just a quiet little corner, we have the local knowledge to deliver just what you’re looking for.

We’re Different

Stephens Real Estate is much more than a conglomeration of talented and knowledgeable Realtors. Our team, unlike some companies, includes experienced transaction coordinators, a marketing coordinator, and a relocation coordinator. We are positioned to give assistance where you need it, when you need it, without the hassle and headache of running around trying to find the right person to talk to. Working alongside our outstanding group of agents, this dedicated support staff will provide you with expert service and guidance through the entire buying or selling process - from start to finish. When you hire a Stephens Agent you get the skills and expertise of the entire Stephens Real Estate Team.

One of the true benefits of being locally owned and operated, is knowing the right community partners to help with your transaction. At Stephens we collaborate with local lenders, title insurance companies, appraisers and inspectors to provide you with the assistance you need. We value the experience of these local experts who provide an unbiased, objective analysis for our clients. Stephens Real Estate, with offices in Lawrence, Baldwin City, and De Soto, is your locally owned, independent real estate resource. We’re committed to serving you when you’re ready to buy or sell. Call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

Prepare for Winter

(BPT) - As sweater season knocks on the door, it’s time to prepare for the brisk temperatures ahead. This winter, keep your home, health and well-being top of mind with these simple tips to avoid cold weather woes.

Winterize your porch: Install plexiglass panels to keep the cold weather out, allowing you to host friends and family, protect your furniture from snowfall and minimize spring cleaning. Once winter is over, simply pack up the panels and store them for next season. For those who splurged on flooring, apply a protective finish, such as a water sealer or stain, to ensure excess moisture does not seep through the wood.

Take preventative measures: Oftentimes, frozen pipes can burst throughout the winter, or cause leaks as they begin to thaw in the spring. Keep your home safe from leaks by installing the Delta Water Leak Detector - a device that identifies leaks quickly and alerts homeowners at the onset. Simply place the leak detector near water heaters, appliances, sinks or toilets to detect drips or pooling. For added convenience, connect the device to your cell phone to receive alerts in real time.

Turn it upside down: Warm your home without a huge increase to the gas bill by reversing the ceiling fan direction. During the summer months, ceiling fans push air down, naturally lending a cooling effect to those below. By reversing the ceiling fan upward, the cooler air is redirected, keeping you and your family warm beneath.

Cozy up your home: To battle dreary days, stock up on warm essentials, such as flannel bedding, down throw blankets and plush towels. Outfit the common areas with warm fabrics and decorative patterns to keep your home cozy and welcoming during the winter. Finally, consider purchasing comfortable rugs and mats to keep your toes warm on tile and wood floors.

Stephens Real Estate is a locally owned, independent, full service company. Our agents know the Lawrence market and have the experience and the connections to help you find your perfect home. Call 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

Living Lawrence

Lawrence is a great place to live, work and play, so we’ve included the Living Lawrence page on our website as a helpful resource. Read about it here, but definitely bookmark it on your computer, tablet or Smartphone because you’ll want to refer to it often – for lots of different things. Here’s an overview of what you will find at stephensre.com/buy-your-home/living-lawrence.

Essential Information is the stuff you don’t often need, but is important to have handy. Find contact information for the police, sheriff and fire departments, along with a link to the Lawrence Public School District and Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Life gets tricky without our Utilities and Services. If you’re new to the area and need to connect gas and water service, or if your electricity is out, this section will help you find the people who can fix you up. We also include links that will be helpful if you need a driver’s license or a car tag.

It’s easy to see that Lawrence embraces the arts. Check out our Museums, Art & Theatre area which will direct you to the dynamic Lawrence Arts Center or Van Go, the arts-based social service program. In addition, you can connect to Final Fridays’ site, a free monthly arts festival which allows artists to showcase their work throughout our town. Find information for area museums, Theatre Lawrence and the Lawrence Children’s Choir as well.

Community Resources will give you links to everything from city recycling to the Health Department and the Boys & Girls Club. You may find a much needed service or a much desired volunteer opportunity, and you will definitely recognize that Lawrence is a resource-rich community!

The University of Kansas is its own bustling community within our city. We have included links to schedules, entertainment opportunities and events at KU.

Your options for recreational activities are many in Lawrence. Our Parks & Rec section has info about area parks, trails, tourism and sports as well as classes for adults and children throughout the year. Here you will find a link to the LPRD Activities Guide.

Downtown Lawrence is the heart of our city. Find information for activities, learn a little history, double-check the dates of the Farmer’s Market or find out what’s going on at the library.

We hope you will find our Living Lawrence page a helpful resource. With offices in Lawrence and Baldwin City, and a team of real estate professionals who are second to none, we’re your locally owned, independent real estate resource. Call us at 785.841.4500, or Contact Us.

The Cradle of Basketball

(Content thanks to www.unmistakablylawrence.com)

No other city in the United States can boast an array of basketball history like Lawrence. Although the game was invented in Springfield, Massachusetts, Lawrence, Kansas is where the game of basketball “came of age.” That’s why we’re often called the “Cradle of Basketball.”

The University of Kansas has the only college basketball program founded by the inventor of the game, James Naismith. His original “Rules of Basket Ball” are displayed in the DeBruce Center, a unique facility that explores the rich history of basketball. Right next door is the legendary Allen Fieldhouse (the loudest place to watch a game) and the Booth Family Hall of Athletics which honors the greatest athletes in University’s history, including Wilt Chamberlain, Danny Manning, Paul Pierce and many more.

With three NCAA National Championships, it’s safe to say that Lawrence is embedded in basketball history. For a little history: Dr. James Naismith invented the game of basketball on December 21, 1891 to fill the need for an indoor winter sport. In 1898, he brought the sport to the University of Kansas, becoming the school’s first basketball coach. The court in Allen Fieldhouse is officially James Naismith Court.

Forrest C. “Phog” Allen became KU’s second basketball coach when he replaced Naismith in 1908. Allen served for 39 seasons at KU. To date beloved Phog Allen is the fourth most successful coach in the history of college basketball and KU’s winningest coach of all time. He was instrumental in the movement to bring basketball to the Olympic games. While Naismith is often called “the father of basketball,” he reportedly coined Allen the “father of basketball coaching.” It is in reference to this beloved coach that his statue stands in front of the Fieldhouse that bears his name and Jayhawk fans warn opponents to “Beware of the Phog.”

To learn more about the rich history of basketball in Lawrence and visit several locations around town, we recommend you go to UnmistakablyLawrence.com to download and print the Cradle of Basketball Itinerary. From this site you may also listen to the recently discovered, only known audio recording of James Naismith from a 1939 radio broadcast, as he describes the creation of the game. And the induction ceremony of Wilt Chamberlain, aka Wilt the Stilt and The Big Dipper, is also found on UnmistakablyLawrence.com. Watch as his jersey is hung among the rafters of Allen Fieldhouse, along with those of other basketball greats who hailed from old KU.

Some of the game’s most successful coaches and players have a connection to KU’s basketball tradition, thus the term “Cradle of Basketball.” Another reason to love life in Lawrence, Kansas!

Stephens is proud of our community and its fascinating history. We’re an independent, full service company linked to Lawrence through roots that run decades deep. Our agents know this market and have the experience and the connections to help you find your perfect home. Call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

It’s a Great Time to Sell

Spring is just around the corner and the real estate market in Lawrence is already heating up. Thinking about selling your home? Here are several good reasons why now is the time to list.

Currently, Lawrence has a shortage of homes for sale and house prices have been on the rise. Listings that are in good condition and priced right are selling quickly. We’ve seen more than a few instances of sellers receiving multiple offers on their homes.

Stephens Broker Pat McCandless says, “If you’re thinking of selling your home, the best decision you will make is to work with a Realtor. And as it happens, Stephens has plenty of them to choose from. Any of our outstanding agents are able to make recommendations on how you can prepare your home to sell. They will help you arrive at the best price for your home according to its condition, a current market analysis, and recent buying trends in Lawrence.” Stephens Real Estate is a full service agency, so in addition to your agent you get the benefit of our support team. We’re fully prepared to help you every step of the way – from listing to closing.

Deciding to list your home takes some preparation. Our Realtors understand what appeals to buyers and can help you get your home looking its very best. Curb appeal – making the most of your home’s appearance on the outside – is an important element in attracting buyers. It may be as simple as adding fresh mulch to your flower bed, trimming your shrubs and trees, and planting flowers to add color. Or you may choose to add a fresh coat of paint to your front door. Spring is the perfect opportunity to do this as the grass turns green, trees starts to bud and flowers begin to bloom. Don’t underestimate the importance of curb appeal. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Arranging the interior of your home to look appealing and make best use of the space is called staging. It’s an important part of leaving potential buyers with a positive impression. They should like what they see so they can imagine themselves living there. Your home should be clutter-free and clean. Fresh paint and clean carpet will help your home show well. Details like making sure your house smells fresh and having it properly lit are important. Ask your agent how to stage your home so it shows to its best advantage.

It’s a great time to sell and we’re ready to help. If you’re interested in listing your home, call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

The Holidays in Lawrence

Content thanks to unmistakablylawrence.com

The weather outside could be frightful, but Lawrence and the surrounding towns are always delightful around the holidays. Mass Street is a spectacular show of lights and decorated windows, there are numerous holiday lighting ceremonies, concerts, and other events to attend, and plenty of unique gifts from which to choose. If you’re unsure of how to navigate the myriad of events and activities, visit unmistakablylawrence.com/events-calendar to plan a memorable holiday outing perfect for family and friends.

While each year brings new and interesting events to attend, there are many timeless classics that shape the holiday season in Douglas County year after year. Consider starting your day with a Lawrence favorite that has been a tradition since 1993, the Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade, held today at 11:00.

This weekend really kicks off the season with holiday activities and events for everyone, including: The Downtown Lawrence Winter Wonder Weekend, Tails & Traditions Holiday Festival at Watkins Museum of History, the Festival of Nativities at Centenary United Methodist, the Holiday Extravaganza at the Sports Pavilion, the Gingerbread House Festival at Abe & Jake’s, the Holiday Homes Tour, and the 93rd Annual Holiday Vespers at the Lied Center.

December 8-17 you may experience the sensation and charm of another winter family favorite in Lawrence: The Nutcracker, A Kansas Ballet performed by the Lawrence Ballet Theatre at the Lawrence Arts Center.

Families who treasure selecting a Christmas tree together can visit Prairie Elf Christmas Trees or the Strawberry Hill Christmas Tree Farm – locally owned and operated farms that provide hayrides, hot drinks, and crafts to make your trip extra special. If you still need more holiday spirit, visit the extensive Christmas tree display in historic Lecompton, the Festival of Lights in Baldwin City, or the Santa Claus Express train ride at the Midland Railway.

Stephens Real Estate wishes you a happy holiday season, and we think these events along with the great restaurants and shops Lawrence offers promise plenty of opportunities for holiday cheer.

We are a locally owned, independent, full service company. Our agents know the Lawrence market and have the experience and the connections to help you find your perfect home. Call Stephens at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

Lawrence’s Epic Desserts

Content courtesy of unmistakablylawrence.com / Kate Hartland

Sometimes, you have a craving that a savory bite just won’t satisfy. You want creamy and cool, or perhaps warm and spicy. You want a little crunch, a little melt-in-your-mouth, a little sweetness. You want dessert, and here in Lawrence we say you can have your strawberry rhubarb pie and eat it, too.

The truth of the matter is, you can’t come to Lawrence and walk around Mass St. without indulging in an afternoon pick-me-up or post-dinner stop at Sylas and Maddy’s. Ask anyone and they will tell you that they have the best ice cream you can find, in town or otherwise. The shop opened in 1999 and has been locally owned and operated from the get-go. Once you walk in and smell the ice cream and waffle cones they make fresh every day, you won’t need much of an excuse to come back and try every flavor.

Wheatfields was President Obama’s stop of choice when he came to speak at KU, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his decision was based heavily on the extensive and mouth-watering bakery selection. Wheatfields always stuns with their handcrafted, fresh-every-day bread, but you should know that their desserts and pastries are just as well-crafted. Inside this no-frills cafe, baskets are filled with chocolate croissants, brioche, and muffins, and trays are lined with lemon raspberry butter cookies, palmiers, tarts, and macarons. They also have seasonal cakes, tiramisu, and a chocolate torte. The only way you can go wrong is if you leave with just one thing.

At this point, we’re guessing you’ve heard: Ladybird has pie. Good pie. Award-winning, dream-frequenting pie with thick, flaky crust and a delectable and ever-changing selection of fillings. My personal favorite is the strawberry rhubarb, but you won’t find me saying no to a slice of chocolate cream or blackberry. Really, what flavor would I turn down? Ladybird knows you need your fix, so stop in and sit at the counter or take a few slices to go.

If you’re out getting a few things for dinner and feel like a nice sweet treat would round out the evening well, check out the desserts in the pre-made section at the Merc. Not only are they made fresh in the store, but there are often gluten-free and other allergy-sensitive treats available. I can attest to the moist but delicate lemon cake, and the chocolate mousse cups are incredible.

The Burger Stand is known for their namesake and those crazy good truffle fries. But have you caught them on a night when the ice cream machine is up and running? The milkshakes, both alcoholic and non, are a treat to behold. It’s almost enough fun just to read through the menu of unique flavors, but when the frosted glass slides your way, you’ll be glad you picked one.

Lawrence is nothing if not unique, and I think having a food truck that serves Crème Brulee certainly fits that vibe. If you’re lucky enough to find Torched Goodness at a festival or around town, you will not be disappointed. Flavors range from salted caramel to chipotle infused chocolate with a little orange blossom and white raspberry in between. Check the truck’s Twitter for location updates so you can watch your very own Crème Brulee torched before your eyes.

We’ve touched on a few of the delectable desserts around town, but there are sweets aplenty all around town. Ask your Stephens agent for their personal recommendation. And when you’re ready to buy or sell your home, call us first. We know Lawrence and we’re ready to help.

Some spirits just find it hard to leave Lawrence. Who can blame them?

(Content thanks to www.unmistakablylawrence.com)

With a pre-Civil War history as fiery and volatile as ours, Lawrence has more than a few ghosts and haunts. In fact, Lawrence’s history of urban legends is exactly why Eric Kripke, creator of the cult drama, Supernatural, chose Lawrence as the birthplace of evil fighting adventurers, Sam and Dean Winchester. (We see you, Supernatural fans).

Eldridge Hotel - Colonel Shalor Eldridge rebuilt the Eldridge hotel TWICE! The original Free State Hotel was attacked and burned in 1856, rebuilt then burned to the ground again during Quantrill’s Raid in 1863. Col. Eldridge has been making his presence felt at The Eldridge since his death, especially in room 506 which holds one of the original building’s cornerstones. (Some say the cornerstone is a portal to the spirit world.) Be sure to check out the picture at the front desk and decide for yourself if that’s an apparition you see in the elevator (another hot spot for paranormal activity). According to legend, the Colonel’s chair has been sitting in storage, unmoved for years… but it never collects dust!

Merchants Pub & Plate - The building that is home to one of Lawrence’s classiest restaurants was originally built as Merchant’s National Bank in 1872. The staircase in the restaurant has been the place staff and diners have reported feeling an eerie presence and some report seeing an apparition on the steps.

Sigma Nu Fraternity - The Victorian mansion of former Kansas governor, William Stubbs, is now home to KU’s chapter of the Sigma Nu Fraternity. Frat members throughout the decades have reported creepy encounters with a female spirit. Legend has it Governor Stubbs servant and rumored mistress, Virginia, hung herself in the residence and is the source of these haunts. The paranormal encounters include sightings of a ghostly female shape, flickering lights and the sounds of footsteps and slamming doors.

Pioneer Cemetery - Quantrill’s Raid of 1863 left 200 dead and the town in flames. Pioneer Cemetery was the repository of a mass grave on that fateful day. A few ghosts still linger there.

Stull Cemetery - Perhaps the most terrifying of Lawrence area supernatural legends is that of the Stull Cemetery (about 10 miles west of Lawrence). The basement of the abandoned church that stood on the property until 2002 has been said to be a “gateway to hell.” Legend tells us that even when the roof of the crumbling church was no longer, it would never rain inside and glass bottles thrown against the church walls would not shatter. The church is no longer standing – it was mysteriously torn down one night in 2002. The legend of the Stull Cemetery has made its way into pop culture through music, film, and television. Today, signs on the gates around the cemetery read “no trespassing.” Unfortunately, the cemetery has seen vandalism over the years and Stull residents aren’t too keen on outsiders. If you do decide to visit, only explore the cemetery during times that the gates are open. When the cemetery is closed, trespassing could bring a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to six months in jail.

Want a guided ghost tour of Lawrence? Check out www.ghosttoursofkansas.com. For a self-guided tour pick up a copy of “Historic Cemeteries Tour of Lawrence” at the Lawrence Visitors Information Center, 402 N. 2nd Street.

Stephens Real Estate, Inc.
2701 W. Sixth Street
Lawrence, KS 66049

Phone: 785-841-4500
Toll-Free: 1-800-875-4315