Toto Could Afford Quite the Kansas Doghouse
Of all the films set in Kansas, few can top the highly acclaimed, multi-generational American masterpiece, The Wizard of Oz. Roger Ebert chose it as “One of His Great Films”, movie review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 99% — not bad considering its premiere was held in 1939 — and it was among the first films to be enshrined in the National Film Registry for its cultural significance. Not surprisingly, the film also sports a legendary cast including actress Judy Garland and Terry, the four-legged canine star who played Toto.
As it turns out, Terry was on the payroll and earned more than many actors and actresses of the time. That had us thinking: If Toto could buy real estate in Kansas, what could she afford on her pay?
According to The Vintage News, Terry was paid $125 per week for her time in 1939. In today’s money, that works out to roughly $2,326 per week which — if it were a full-time job — would be a salary equivalent to $111,648 per year.
Based on SmartAsset’s calculator, which assumes a $50,000 down payment, $0 debt, excellent credit, and that 36% of the income will go towards housing costs, an individual with a gross income of $111,648 per year should be able to afford a home up to $478k. What does the Kansas real estate scene look like for a dog with a $478k budget?
Terry’s Kansas Digs
Perhaps Terry would enjoy something like this 3000 sq.-ft. home listed for $425k in ultra-hot Overland Park. Not only does it boast a spacious yard for a game of afternoon fetch, but its nice hardwood floors likely stay nice and cool in the summer — perfect for lounging on during the dog days of summer!
However, if she were looking to spread out and have some privacy — as a celebrity cairn terrier who’s actually starred in several films might want to do — there’s always this limestone farmhouse built in 1889, listed for $465k, sitting on 12.5 acres just minutes from Tuttle Creek Lake. Now, how's that for a Kansas doggie haven?
Lastly, let’s say Terry is a huge Jayhawks fan and wants to live in downtown Lawrence. Then maybe this 763 sq.-ft. 1 bed, 1 bath condo, listed for $450k, is just what she would need to be in the center of the action. After all, it’s just a short walk to campus or the hoppin’ Massachusetts street.
Real Estate and Pets
If you think real estate has gone to the dogs, you’d be right. According to a recent Realtor.com survey, almost 95% of pet-owning homebuyers reported that they thought about their pets’ needs when choosing which home to buy.
The survey also found that 38% of respondents cited a “big yard” as a property’s most important feature, followed by “outdoor spaces” at 29%, “garages” at 24%, “dog-friendly areas” at 22%, and last but not least — “interior square footage” at 20%. Not surprisingly, these are all attributes easily found in Dallas/Fort Worth.
“We believe that a home is so much more than a roof and four walls. It is where family and friends come together and memories are made,” Nate Johnson, Chief Marketing Officer for Realtor.com, said. “The results of this survey reinforce that our pets are our family and an important part of what makes a house a home.”
Considering that Kansas is ranked 14th in dog ownership, it could be helpful to do a quick search for dog-friendly parks and restaurants near your properties using the pet-specific search engine BringFido.com to boost your pet-friendliness as an agent.
And if you’re passionate about animals, you’re not alone. According to the National Association of REALTORS® study ”Animal House: Pets in the Home Buying and Selling Process”, 81% of the agents surveyed said they consider themselves to be animal lovers. Furthermore, 14% said they actively volunteer with animal-focused organizations, and 24% said they would in the future. Volunteering could be a great way to help differentiate your brand — not to mention help make a difference for some animals and their owners.
If you would like to sniff around for some volunteer opportunities in Kansas, visit VolunteerMatch.org to find one near you.