The familiar red brick house on the curve at Leawood Drive was known as the home of Dr. Don and Mary Ann Howard and his family for over 50 years.
It was also one of the first houses built in the Leawood neighborhood. But now it’s a home for Chris and Amanda Yeary and their two boys, who have lived in the house for two years and are in the process of renovating it.
Though their livelihood is flipping houses, they have chosen to stay in this house. The red brick, now painted white, is framed by beautiful shrubbery and trees, and the lawn — nearly four and a half acres — is meticulously maintained.
“It’s usually the first thing we do,” Amanda said.
It’s easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm and excitement of the Yearys’ house. As a young professional couple, they made a conscious decision to follow their dream and are actually living it. They have been married for 21 years but act like newlyweds.
“It’s all her,” Chris said, referring to the design talents of Amanda.
“But I want people to know we do all of the work ourselves,” Amanda adds, noting recent projects of scrubbing the roof, digging the flower beds and painting the house.
Amanda is a realtor with Indigo and Co. in Georgetown and said she bought her first property at age 21 and was hooked. Though she said she’s lost count, she thinks she and Chris have flipped more than 20 houses in Frankfort.
The Yearys weren’t looking to buy a house when they saw the Howard house for sale. Amanda had just listed a house in the area when they saw the Howard house. They immediately knew they wanted to buy it. Both Amanda and Chris were raised in Frankfort and attended Western Hills High School.
After working state jobs, they quit and went into business together and never looked back.
But the Yearys decided to stay put in the Howard House.
“We’re taking the year to chill out,” Amanda said. They promised their boys they would not move for a while.
Both she and Chris do most of the renovation work, relying on a network of plumbers, electricians and suppliers for specialized assistance. So far, the Yearys have painted the front of the house, scrubbed the roof and begun renovation on the inside painting the dark paneling and updating the kitchen.
“My taste is midcentury with a twist of modern,” Amanda said, “and I try to keep anything I can of the original house.”
They landscaped their front yard, mainly with shrubs and other greenery. “I don’t like a lot of color and I love hostas,” Amanda said, taking into account the shade of the front yard.
Chris has a degree in forestry and Amanda in environmental sciences, so their choices of shrubbery are done with great care. “The house faces North,” Chris remarked, “so, that’s taken into consideration of every growth that’s in the front.”
The Yearys’ favorite thing to do is to go to Wilson Nurseries and point out a yellow tree peony they bought for their anniversary. Friends gave them cuttings of grasses, which now line the driveway. And Amanda says her cat Fuzz is her valued assistant, never too far away when she’s gardening.
The Yearys are very passionate about Frankfort and love their Leawood home.
“I hope the Howards would be happy with what we’ve done,” Amanda said.