Something New All the Time

By Kathleen Swift • Photos by Savanah Mandeville

In August, Allyn Burt will celebrate 50 years in the real estate business.

“We started the business when we lived in Los Angeles, and we continued it when we came to Joplin,” said Burt, who owns Charles Burt Realtors as well as Molandco Construction. “The real estate and home-building industries have changed dramatically over the years. In some ways, it is better now.”

One of the ways Burt sees positive changes is in the ability of people to buy homes because of lower interest rates.

“Back in the 1980s, we saw interest rates on home loans between 15 and 18 percent. That put a lot of people out of the market. Now it is possible for people to buy a home for less than it costs to rent. With VA and Rural Development loans, there is no down payment required. Other loans such as FHA loans, and even conventional loans, require only 3-and-a-half percent down,” said Burt.

Burt has seen changes in what homeowners are looking for in a house over the years, too.

“Styles have changed noticeably. For example, what people look for in bathrooms has changed. People used to want one bath with maybe a half bath off the laundry room. Then we saw en suite bathrooms with a tub/shower combination off the master bedroom become popular. Today, people look for large bathrooms with large walk-in showers.

“In Joplin, we see people wanting a home with an open concept that includes a family room, dining room and kitchen all in one open space. Not too many people look for the traditional formal living room or dining room.”

Not only does Charles Burt Realtors sell homes, he also operates Molandco Construction, which builds custom homes. When you work with Molandco, “We draw the plans, have financing available and will meet with the customer weekly to go over the details of the build,” said Burt. “We have a lot of repeat customers, so we feel that is a positive testament to the way we do business.”

Currently, Molandco is developing three subdivisons. One is Waters Edge, a gated community in Joplin, and another is Whispering Oaks, a new subdivision located south of Joplin on the edge of town in a beautiful wooded area close to Shoal Creek with city utilities. A third new subdivision is in the works.

According to Burt, the real estate market is getting better and better in Joplin.

“This is a good time to buy or build. The economy is booming, and I think the community of Joplin is the perfectly sized place to live. I was raised in Los Angeles, and there were so many social issues there, as well as a high crime rate and congested highways. In Joplin, we have all the conveniences of a large city, such as good hospitals and good schools, but we have lower tax rates, lower crime, and it’s easy to get around. I think we have a solid community with affordable housing in a wide range of styles and price ranges. As far as housing costs go, we don’t boom as high as other places, but we don’t bust as low either. We are right in the middle of the road.”

In addition to renting and selling homes and offering financing options through 1st Home Mortgage, Charles Burt Realtors operates a title company, CB Title, which Burt characterizes as having “the best title manager in the state, and maybe in the nation.” They also offer real estate classes on a monthly basis.

“We all work to be able to have a home, and we have been helping people find a home for 50 years and plan to do so for years to come.”