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Farmer's Market

Picture this: people, wind in their hair, strolling through a farmer’s market on a sunny Saturday morning; heirloom tomatoes, local honey and fresh-cut flowers at every turn. Children laughing, adults walking along with their dogs, music playing… Sounds like a scene from a movie, right?

Anyone in Lawrence can enjoy that experience on Saturday mornings or Tuesday afternoons during the growing season. Enjoy local vegetables, fruit, honey, meat, flowers, crafts and music. The market at 824 New Hampshire Street runs from April 8 to August 26, 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., and September 2-November 18, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. There is also a Tuesday Market from May 2 to October 24, 4 to 6 p.m. at the Lawrence Public Library Outdoor Plaza,707 Vermont Street.

Locally grown, fresh, organic food along with the sense of community found in a farmer’s market is appealing on several levels. You can eat healthier, support local farmers, enjoy time with family and friends, and find seasonal produce that’s just bound to taste better. Plus, the local farmers and growers will take time to chat with you about this year’s harvest and offer suggestions or recipes. We recommend a visit to the Farmer’s Market soon. We think you’ll walk away with great memories of your time there.

Visit lawrencefarmersmarket.com to see the long list of vendors, learn how to join or volunteer. And when you’re ready to buy or sell your home, contact Stephens Real Estate. We know Douglas County and we’re ready to help!

Locust Street Marketplace

Drive north across the bridge over the Kansas River, take a quick right on Locust Street, drive a few blocks to 7th and you will discover a charming little shopping district in North Lawrence known as the Locust Street Marketplace. It’s off the beaten path and many people find out about it by word of mouth from others who have been pleasantly surprised by their experiences there.

The Locust Street Marketplace has shops with unique home décor, antiques, re-purposed furnishings, charming accessories and perhaps even vintage clothing. The store-fronts are picturesque and inviting, welcoming you inside for some leisurely browsing.

There are several restaurants and coffee houses nearby to complete your outing, and we recommend taking a camera - the photo opps are plentiful. The shops aren’t open every day; some of them only on Friday and Saturday, so you will want to plan ahead. Another helpful tip: the merchandise sells quickly so when you see something you like, don’t take too long to make your decision (similar to the real estate market in Lawrence right now).

Enjoy your Saturday paper and then take a drive across the bridge to Locust Street.

Stephens Real Estate is locally owned and proud of the great town in which we live. We are an independent, full service company linked to Lawrence through roots that run decades deep. Our agents know the Lawrence market, and have the experience and the connections to help you find the home that’s right for you. Call Stephens Real Estate at 785.841.4500 or Contact Us.

Take your summer grilling to a whole new level

(BPT) – When the summer arrives, you spend much of your time outdoors. Your yard becomes your living room and you move your cooking to the grill. Now is the perfect time to make this grilling season your best yet. To do just that, here are a few suggestions to up your grilling game in 2017.

Switch to lump charcoal. The number one reason people grill with lump charcoal is due to the enhanced wood-fire flavor it imparts. When you grill with it, you'll enjoy a quick, hot burn with less ash production. Lump charcoal is natural and available in an array of varieties, allowing you to find the perfect charcoal to match your menu.

Use a Smarter Starter fluid. Lighter fluid is a mainstay around the grill when you want to get cooking quickly; however, the chemical taste it leaves behind poses a serious drawback. You can gain the benefits of a quick burn without the chemical taste by using Smarter Starter Fluid. Made from recycled restaurant cooking oil, it doesn't smell like traditional petroleum-based alternatives and you'll never have to worry about it corrupting the taste of your food. And, it's perfectly suited for use on lump charcoal.

Customize the smoke flavor. Lump charcoal already lends itself a natural smoke flavor when compared to briquettes, but to really customize that flavor in your food, you can complement your lump charcoal with wood chips or chunks. Chips are smaller and more readily available in most stores, but they burn faster. Chunks burn slower and give you a better chance to lock in that unique smoke flavor. And once you pick a wood size, it's time to pick a flavor. Apple, cherry, oak, mesquite and hickory are just a few of your options, so don't be afraid to explore several. Whatever you're planning to smoke, there's a chip or chunk out there that offers the perfect flavor complement.

Take control of your temperature. In the hands of an experienced grill master, the uneven heat offered by charcoal grills is a benefit, not a drawback. Creating two zones on your grill will give you the strong, searing heat of the fire on one side, and indirect heat on the other side to cook your meat all the way through. To accomplish this, pour charcoal into one half of the grill - this will be your direct heat source - and leave the other half empty as your indirect heating zone. Heartier meats like steak can then be cooked for two minutes on each side in the direct zone and allowed to finish cooking in the indirect zone to lock-in the flavor.

You look forward to the summer grilling season all year. Now that it's here, don't let a single opportunity pass you by. Apply the tips above and you'll take your time-honored pastime to a whole new level. Summer is also a great time to buy or sell a home and we’re ready to help. Call Stephens Real Estate at 785.841.4500 or Contact Us.

We have daytrips, yes we do

Warm weather has arrived and if you’re looking to fill some time, we have a few daytrip ideas just a short drive from Lawrence.

Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area is comprised of the 29 eastern Kansas and 12 western Missouri counties that experienced events leading to the Civil War and an enduring struggle for freedom. Conflict over slavery and other issues drew both sides into a violent Border War, and now Freedom’s Frontier bridges the border. Visit www.freedomsfrontier.org for information on upcoming events.

Lecompton - 6 miles north of Lawrence - was the capital of Kansas Territory from 1855 to 1861 and hosts several public-access national landmark sites. Lecompton is best known for its role in the lead-up to the Civil War. The drama that occurred inside the walls of Constitution Hall, the Territorial Capitol Building and the First Kansas Democratic Headquarters highlights the conflict between pro-slavery settlers and abolitionists.

Eudora - 8 miles east of Lawrence - has a revitalized downtown and award-winning wineries making the drive back and forth extra fun. If you time your summer trip just right, you can catch the CPA (Central Protective Association) Picnic. This event, held every July, is a 3 day celebration which began as a picnic to honor those who protected Eudora from cattle rustlers and horse thieves in the late 1800s. Go back in the fall for EudoraFest, held the first Saturday in October with crafts, art displays, food, music, a garden tractor pull and car show.

Also, check out Pendleton’s Country Market on your way to Eudora.

Baldwin City - 15 miles south of Lawrence - is the home to Baker University, the oldest four-year college in Kansas. One of the most eye-catching buildings on the Baker campus is a Gothic chapel built in England in 1864 and reconstructed on campus in 1996. The Midland Railway gives visitors a chance to climb aboard at the historic 1906 Santa Fe Depot. It offers summer and seasonal rides that kids enjoy. Adults will enjoy the Kansas Belle Dinner Train that mixes a formal meal with 22 miles of beautiful rolling scenery. The third weekend in October each year Baldwin City hosts the Maple Leaf Festival drawing 30,000 to 40,000 visitors who come for the parade, craft show, food and entertainment.

The Right Time to Buy

The real estate market in Lawrence is hot - to say the least - and Spring 2017 is a great time to buy a home. Many choose to buy in the spring because the upcoming summer break is the best time to transition to a new neighborhood and school. Plus mortgage rates are still low and you can reap major tax benefits.

If you decide this is the time for you to buy, you realize it is likely the biggest financial decision of your life. It makes sense to hire a professional to help. Stephens Broker Chris Earl says, “I recommend hiring a buyer’s agent for anyone looking to buy a home. Stephens agents know what they’re doing. They know the Lawrence market, and they have the experience and the connections to help you find the home that’s right for you. The spring market is fast-paced, and your agent can help find homes you may not see online. They will work for you from the initial consultation to the closing of your new home, and the commission charged to the seller typically pays your agent’s fee.”

So, how do you go about finding the right agent? Chris Earl or Pat McCandless, Co-Owners and Brokers at Stephens, will be happy to recommend an agent based on your specific list of wishes. Or you can visit our website – stephensre.com – to read about each agent. There are lots of different people on our team and you’re sure to find your best match.

Today, most buyers begin their home search online. The Stephens website is a great place to search. We feature our own listings along with everything from the multiple listing service in the Douglas County area. Many buyers find value – and a bit of fun – in visiting open houses. An open house may help you set realistic expectations, fine-tune your search criteria and make market comparisons.

We also recommend that you visit with a mortgage lender for loan pre-approval, so you are ready to act when you find the right home. Your lender can help you find a payment that best fits your budget. Working with a local lender is a good idea because they know what is expected in our market and are invested in our community.

We’re ready to help you find your new home. Call Stephens Real Estate at 785.841.4500 or Contact Us.

Mid-century Modern in Lawrence

Characterized by strong horizontal lines, open floor plans and a seamless flow between interior and exterior spaces, mid-century modern homes - built from 1945 to the late 1960’s – have had a resurgence in popularity in recent years. Many of the designs from that period highlight the use of natural materials such as stone, exposed wood and large panes of glass.

Stephens Realtor, Tom Harper founded Lawrence Modern in 2002 and is joined by Bill Steele, Tim Hossler, and architectural historian Dennis Domer. Lawrence Modern conducted an extensive two year survey of mid-century modern houses in Lawrence. 33 homes were rated on criteria ranging from the home’s condition to the spatial relationship of exterior elements. 13 houses – a “Baker’s Dozen” – were chosen to highlight on their site.

Lawrence Modern aims to raise awareness of mid-century and modern architecture in Lawrence, and several times a year they host open houses of to encourage preservation and appreciation of these structures for future generations. May 7th they bring two of Lawrence’s most esteemed modern architects, former partners Richard Peters and James Williams, together to talk about one of their most significant buildings in Lawrence: Babcock Place retirement facility at 1700 Massachusetts Street.

You may barely notice this 7-story Brutalist-inflected structure, built in 1973, mainly because it is hidden behind trees. But if you take the time to study the building you will find it a harmonious blend of textured concrete forms sweeping to the sky. It merits architectural appreciation, and we are very fortunate that the architects, both now in their 80s, are available to provide a retrospective. Join Lawrence Modern on May 7th for a rare opportunity to listen to these veteran modern architects discuss their craft.

Take a few minutes to explore lawrencemodern.com. And when you’re ready to buy or sell a home contact Stephens Real Estate. We know Lawrence and can help you find the home that’s right for you. Call Stephens Real Estate at 785.841.4500 or Contact Us.

Walk this Way to Final Fridays!

On the last Friday of every month (all year long!) from 5-9PM, the streets of Downtown Lawrence erupt. Storefronts convert into flash spaces, and performances and exhibits spill in and out of galleries and businesses. Final Fridays include activities for kids, exhibitions designed to challenge adults, music, dance and theater for all ages.

HISTORY

Final Fridays began in August of 2010. The Lawrence Arts Center, Downtown Lawrence Inc., The Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission and a wealth of artists, gallerists, art collectives and local businesses came together. They all saw the value of the arts in Lawrence, and that an opportunity existed to bring the arts to a wider public. The idea of a monthly free arts festival was agreed upon, and as a result Final Fridays was born.

Lawrence has one of the highest percentages of working artists in the country per capita, therefore Lawrence has long stood out in the Kansas landscape as a mecca for creative thought and energy.

There’s something for everyone at Final Fridays. Here are some of the events on tap for Friday, June 30.

Lawrence Arts Center Main Stage - Legendary political satirist and activist Barry Crimmins follows up his special Whatever Threatens You (filmed at the Lawrence Arts Center in 2016 and directed by Louis C.K.) with a new one-man show, Atlas’s Knees.

Massachusetts Street - 3 stellar street acts from the Busker Festival will be bringing their act to Massachusetts Street during Final Fridays!

Essential Goods - Katie’s Kat Show - a collection of works by local artist Katie Reese.

Lawrence Arts Center Main Stage - Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World

The Eldridge Hotel

If you know anything about Lawrence history, you know about The Eldridge Hotel. A pillar of downtown Lawrence for over 150 years, this hotel has quite an interesting story.

The original structure, called the Free State Hotel, was built in 1855 by New England settlers who needed temporary quarters while waiting for their homes to be built. The next year Colonel Shalor Eldridge leased the building and equipped it as a first-class hotel. Just months later, it was attacked and burned to the ground by pro-slavery forces. Colonel Eldridge rebuilt the hotel, adding another floor, and making a pledge to rebuild every time it was destroyed.

Six years later the hotel, along with the rest of Lawrence, was destroyed by Quantrill and his raiders. Lawrence has always been a proud city and the people were determined to rebuild. Using an original cornerstone from the burned hotel, Colonel Eldridge promptly rebuilt the hotel with a new name – The Hotel Eldridge.

For the next several decades The Eldridge stood as one of the finest hotels west of the Mississippi River and played an important role in the early development of Lawrence and the State of Kansas. In 1925 the hotel had started to deteriorate and was purchased by a group of Lawrence business leaders who decided it should be torn down and rebuilt to its former dignity and elegance. A few decades later the building and the hotel’s business started to decline, and in 1970 the old hotel closed its doors and was converted into apartments.

In 1985, a group of investors supported by The City of Lawrence decided The Eldridge Hotel should be revived once again. The top four floors were completely rebuilt converting them into 48 two room luxury suites, and the lobby was restored. Then in 2004, the hotel was sold at auction, closed for a short time, and a multi-million dollar renovation project restored it to its 1925 grandeur. The Eldridge, occupying its historic corner on Massachusetts Street, once again became Lawrence’s premier hotel.

With such a fierce history, it’s no surprise that The Eldridge has its share of ghost stories. The fifth floor – especially room 506 – has been host to other-worldly happenings such as breath marks on recently cleaned mirrors, doors opening and shutting on their own, and lights turning on and off by themselves. Guests have even encountered an “elevator ghost” who opens and closes the elevator doors on the fifth floor.

Today The Eldridge Hotel, located at 7th and Massachusetts in Downtown Lawrence, is a thriving hotel and event venue perfectly situated and waiting to help you make your own history there.

Stephens Real Estate is locally owned and proud of the great town in which we live. We are an independent, full service company linked to Lawrence through roots that run decades deep. Our agents know Lawrence, and they have the experience and the connections to help you find the right home. Call Call Stephens Real Estate at 785.841.4500 or Contact Us.

Find your sport right here in Lawrence

Yes, we know. Lawrence can be a tad fanatical about our sports teams. But can you blame us? Our high school squads have a long tradition of state championships. Haskell Indian Nations University has given the world Olympians Jim Thorpe and Billy Mills. And… you did know this was Jayhawk nation, right? The University of Kansas Jayhawks are perennial top contenders in the men’s NCAA national basketball tournament, and its track & field team has gold medal in its blood. With recreation trails, courts and parks across the town, there is always a chance to join in a game.

Lawrence Parks and Recreation offers two aquatic centers. The Indoor Aquatic Center features a 10 lane, 50-meter competition pool with diving well and underwater classroom; a separate family pool with zero-depth entry, water slide and interactive children’s play features. Locker rooms and all pools are fully accessible by both ramp entry and lift. Submersible wheelchairs are available.

The Outdoor Aquatic Center provides the good old-fashioned atmosphere of a traditional neighborhood pool with all the fun and excitement of a first-class water park. It boosts two water slides, zero-depth children’s area, diving well, interactive play features including fountains, spray mushrooms, and water buckets, and a 50-meter competition area. The fun and convenience extend out of the water as well, with shaded lounge areas, ample deck space, and adjoining grass playground.

Our indoor sports and recreation facilities are available for everyone to use. The Sports Pavilion has 181,000 square feet and is the perfect venue for most mat and net sports. It also has meeting rooms, a concession area and free WiFi. In addition, we have the Community Building, Holcom Park and East Lawrence Recreation Centers each offering a variety of activities and spaces.

Lawrence offers two off-leash dog parks where man’s best friend can let it all loose and have some fun. Mutt Run is situated below the Clinton Lake Dam in West Lawrence, and the Off-leash Dog Park at Riverfront Park, is closer to downtown Lawrence.

Golf, a youth sports complex and softball complex are in the mix along with trails for biking, walking or running. Clinton Lake State Park offers water sports, boat storage, camping, playgrounds and special event areas. There are so many sports and rec opportunities in town that we don’t have space here to talk about all of them in detail, but you will find details at unmistakablylawrence.com.

When you’re ready for some exercise, you’ll find an unmistakable list of options for getting a move on. And when you’re ready to buy or sell a home, you’ll find the experts at Stephens Real Estate ready to help. Call us at 785.841.4500 or Contact Us.

Kansas Food Truck Festival

The Fourth Annual Kansas Food Truck Festival is being held today from 4pm to 10pm in the Warehouse Arts District. It’s an event to benefit Just Food, the Douglas County Food Bank.

This year the Food Truck Festival is returning with 30 food trucks, an expanded lineup of live entertainment, and a beer garden. Entertainment is comprised of family-friendly activities including face painting, and a bouncy house as well as live street performers from the Lawrence Busker Festival and live musical performances by local musicians.

Tickets cost $10, you can get them at the door, and children under 12 are free! Your ticket covers entrance to the festival and gives you access to all 30 food trucks and 4 stages of live entertainment.

The Kansas Food Truck Festival has grown each year since its start in 2014, adding more food trucks and more live entertainment. Last year’s event raised $41,000 becoming Just Food’s largest annual fundraiser, and helping provide meals for the nearly 12,000 Douglas County residents.

Just Food supplies more than 40 partner agencies with frozen meat and fresh produce as well as bread and food donated from community drives. They also specialize in direct client service through programs like Just Grow, Just Cook and Cooking Healthy Futures. Just Food and its partners play a key role in fighting hunger in our community by increasing the availability of a variety of foods and helping to reduce waste and discarded food.

Stephens Real Estate believes in giving back to our community and encourages you to do the same. We’re local and linked to Lawrence through roots that run decades deep. Our agents know Lawrence, and have the experience and connections to help you find the home that’s right for you. Call Stephens Real Estate at 785.841.4500 or Contact Us.

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 neat 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.

Open curtains and blinds. Make your house bright and cheery by letting the sunshine in - especially if you have a nice view. Doing so will create a happy, light-filled space which will make 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 and no one will have to search for a light switch.

Make the temperature comfortable. You want people to feel comfortable and confident that the house’s systems are in good working order so turn on that air conditioner when it’s hot outside. Now is not the time to worry about the utility bill. Same goes during the winter months. Turn up the heat and turn on the fireplace to make the room feel cozy.

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 Stephens Real Estate at 785.841.4500 or Contact Us.

 

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

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