MADELEINE BRAND, host:

This is DAY TO DAY from NPR News. I'm Madeleine Brand.

ALEX CHADWICK, host:

I'm Alex Chadwick.

Back in Kansas City, a borrowed observation from someone I met here: What you have in the middle is a lot of space, a lot of space. So here in the middle of the country, real estate is a very good buy. I went to visit a house for sale in the Kansas City market.

I'm out here in a neighborhood called Ward Park, which is full of houses from maybe the '30s and the '40s, and I'm looking at one here that's for sale. It's limestone and shingle, three bedrooms, two and a half baths, a very handsome structure.

I'm used to real estate prices in Washington, D.C. and now in Los Angeles. And in a good neighborhood, in either of those cities, this place would be more than a million dollars. Here it's 300,000.

Ms. JUDY JOHNS (Real Estate Agent): Hi.

CHADWICK: And here comes the agent who's going to show us around. Hello, I'm Alex Chadwick.

Ms. JOHNS: Alex, I'm Judy Johns with Keller Williams. It's nice to meet you.

CHADWICK: Thank you for coming out to show us this house.

Ms. JOHNS: Oh, my ultimate pleasure. Let's go.

CHADWICK: All right. Well, look, show us around here. What have you got?

Ms. JOHNS: Well, typically, out here we have a side porch. Lot of hardwood floors. As we go upstairs, you'll find that unlike you might expect, even the homes in the '50s and '60s, this one has a really, really spacious master with a walk-in closet - go figure.

CHADWICK: Oh, my - look at that. They got a hut tub.

Ms. JOHNS: They have a hot tub. This one's under 300,000, by the way. The next street over, you'll find some that are 100,000 more than that. Cool, huh?

CHADWICK: I just wondered if you could compare the Kansas market to the market elsewhere.

Ms. JOHNS: Typically, our market is more stable, Alex. We're - the coasts, I find, are more volatile, you know, with the large amounts appreciation and then all of a sudden a slip into depreciation-ville. But we're just the conservative, solid Middle West. And we do offer a lot more house for the money.

CHADWICK: I think that people in many other cities listening to this would be amazed at the housing prices here. But maybe the housing prices here are going to go even lower.

Ms. JOHNS: I really don't see that happening. Here's the truth, right? What goes up must come down. What goes down must come up. So it is going to bottom out, and things will get better. Huge opportunity.

CHADWICK: Spoken like a true real estate agent.

Ms. JOHNS: Honest.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CHADWICK: Judy Johns has been selling homes in Kansas City for more than 30 years.

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