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Remodeling homes on the lake

When updated, older properties have endless possibilities

With real estate inventory at historic lows and new construction being extremely expensive, there are currently a few obstacles for those seeking a dream home on one of Lee’s Summit’s lakes. Yet realtor Renee Amey says there is opportunity for remodeling older homes in the local lake communities.

Renee says what little there is in terms of lakefront property inventory at Winnebago, Raintree, Lotawana, Lakewood and Woodland Shores has skyrocketed in price recently, and both buyers and sellers are seeing the benefits of putting their own touches on older homes.

“By making cosmetic changes to an older home, you are going to come out spending way less money than buying brand new,” Renee says.

If the home is structurally sound, cosmetic changes are not as intimidating as people often think, Renee says. She says she even has designers she can recommend to those who might be stuck in knowing what to do to update their home.

“From an investment perspective, it’s awesome,” Renee says. “There are advantages to putting in your own sweat equity into it.”

Eric and Amy Wiseman completed a major remodel on their lakefront property at Raintree Lake, and after the renovation they ended up selling the 28-year-old home for double what they paid. Eric says they lived in the home for four years and renovated essentially everything from a cosmetic perspective. The home did not need structural improvements. Eric did some of the work himself as he has experience in remodeling, and he contracted out the rest.

Eric says the key to success right now in terms of home renovation is knowing how to procure good materials because the price of materials is increasing. He says he did his best to procure quality materials as inexpensively as possible.

Overall, Renee says if a buyer is willing to purchase a home 25 to 35 years old, they can live in a nice home with lake frontage for much less.

“Just being able to have a little piece of (lake frontage) means accessibility and access to the lake,” Renee says. “That’s still a great opportunity to experience everything.”

Steve and Sanni McKelvey recently remodeled their 25-year-old home at Raintree Lake by updating the kitchen and master bathroom, adding hardwood floors, getting new windows and a new roof, painting the exterior, and putting a coating on the garage floor.

As a result, the McKelveys were able to sell the home for significantly more than what they purchased it for. Steve says when people are considering remodeling for the purpose of selling a home, they need to make the changes they personally desire.

“Do not put anything into it that you would not want for yourself,” Steve says.

Many look to lake homes as an escape and a getaway, and it might be more financially feasible than it was previously by pursing a remodel.

For more information about real estate on Lee’s Summit’s lake communities, visit