Smart Home

Home Smart

Over the past few years, smart technology has really blossomed into a huge market. With more-and-more devices offering connectivity and lower prices, almost all households have some kind of smart device in their home. While some smart devices are simply “nice to have,” many can actually increase the value of the home; if you are considering a move in the future, learning which smart upgrades will increase your home’s value is important.

Here are a few of the best smart home upgrades:

Smart Thermostats – Energy-saving smart thermostats can sense when the home is occupied and vacant to control the temperature while saving energy costs.
Smart Smoke Detectors and Security Systems – Life-saving smart security can alert you and the authorities automatically if there is a problem in the home.
Smart Door Locks – Either as part of the security system or stand-alone, smart door locks allow you to control access to your home. Using Wi-Fi to unlock doors remotely and program unique codes for family, guests, housekeepers, etc., you will always know by whom and when your home is accessed.
Smart Moisture Sensor – Mold has become a huge problem. Smart moisture sensors detect water leaks, humidity and temperature changes to protect your home from moisture damage.
These are just a few of the great smart home products available to make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Most starting under $250, these smart choices will not only protect your home but add value when listing for sale.

Posted in Jan J Kelley REALTOR

Down Payments Explained

A down payment is the amount of cash a home buyer puts toward the price of a new home. It accomplishes a few things; first, it reduces the amount of money you need to borrow and it reduces the risk the lender takes in loaning the money. By reducing the risk, the borrower will typically get a better interest rate on the loan and increase the amount of home they can buy.

How Large a Down Payment Do You Need?

The amount of down payment needed depends on the type of the loan, the lender and the property price itself. While most of the 0% down home loans of the last decade are gone, Veterans can still purchase a home loan with no down payment. Other programs include FHA loans with as little as 3.5% down. Conventional loans typically require a 20% down payment, but some allow as little as 5%.

Is it Better to Make a Larger Down Payment?

In addition to the down payment, buying a home also requires cash for closing costs and some reserve savings to guard against unexpected financial concerns. One thing to remember though is that any financing with less than 20% down will require private mortgage insurance – a monthly payment that protects the lender in the event of default.

The best amount of down payment should be determined in consultation with your lender and your tax or financial advisor, but the quick answer is “it depends.” By working with a trusted lender, explore your options and you will make the best decision for your needs.Paperwork

Posted in Jan J Kelley REALTOR

The Cost of Home Staging

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Have you wondered if you should consider professional staging for your home before you list it for sale? Most of us have wandered into new home developments and enjoyed the ambiance of a perfectly styled model home. Of course, we would all like our homes to give that same impression to potential home buyers, but what would that cost? Understanding the options available to you for staging can help you decide what, if any, professional staging makes sense for you and your budget.

What is Staging?

First, it’s important to understand what professional staging includes. The best answer is, “it depends”! Staging can be as simple as a consultation or as involved as removal of existing furniture and replacing it with designer furnishings. Needless to say, the cost of the two extremes are drastically different. Most homeowners who hire professional stagers are somewhere in the middle.

Staging begins with a tour of the room or home. Often the simple placement of furniture can make a huge impact. The stager might also bring in elements to enhance the décor, such as colorful pillows, lamps, wall art or carpet. These are loaned to the homeowner for the duration of the listing.

Cost of Staging

Most stagers charge a flat rate for the initial consultation; this ranges from about $250-500, depending on the size of the home. If the homeowner determines that they also need furnishings, these are rented by the month and can range from $300-500 per room, per month. Additionally, there is often a minimum number of months required, typically 3 months.

Professionally staging your home is one option home sellers have to ensure their home is seen in its best light. Just as buyers fall in love with model homes, staging your home can bring a modern feel and entice buyers to write the offer. The best way to start is with your agent, to understand your market, competition, and needs.

Posted in Jan J Kelley REALTOR

How To Pay Off Your Home Quicker

For generations, homeowners would buy a home for life. Working over the years to make the payments and celebrating the end of the 30-year mortgage were great milestones in the family. Today, few home buyers expect to be in their home for longer than 7 years on average. Paying off a 30-year mortgage seems like an impossible task. Fortunately, there are great ways to pay off your loan which do not involve time. Here are a few tips for paying off your mortgage loan faster.

  • Biweekly Payments – Work with your lender to determine how they handle biweekly payments. If processed immediately, you can save 8 years of payments on a 30-year loan.
  • Extra Payments – By making just one extra payment each year, you can pay off your loan 11 years earlier.
  • Refinance to 15 years – There are great interest rates available for mortgage loans. Consider a 15-year mortgage.
  • Principal Reduction – Watch for ways to add to your monthly payment a little at a time. When possible, increase the principal payment you make.

Paying off your mortgage builds wealth. Consider your life goals, including retirement. A 30-year loan taken out at 37 years old will not be complete until 67 – retirement age. The loan needs to be part of the overall financial plan from the beginning and making a payoff a priority with a few simple steps can add up to huge savings in interest which can then be used for better investments.

Posted in Jan J Kelley REALTOR

Meet Jan J Kelley – REALTOR®

Head shot black backgroundJan Kelley is a Top Producing Agent with a strong track record of success who joined Keller Williams Realty since 2011. Jan initially focused on working with buyers to find their perfect home in the right neighborhood for their unique needs and lifestyle. She further expanded her expertise to sales to help owners market their prized properties and achieve the best return.  In 2019 Jan added Commercial Real Estate services.

Specializing in rentals, purchases and sales listings in the Northeast Dallas Metroplex, Jan knows the market well and offers excellent support, resources and guidance for those seeking or selling homes. As a former nonprofit Executive Director of over 10 years and a small business owner, she understands the importance of community and the level of care each client deserves to make confident, informed decisions.

Originally from Tulsa, OK, Jan attended Rogers State University and Tulsa Community College. Her career previously involved service to the community in non-profit, education and government. In 1992, Jan was recognized for operating one of the first National Accredited Preschools in Oklahoma, and then taught others how to receive their accreditation at Tulsa Technology Center. She was later appointed by the Governor of Oklahoma to implement the state’s workforce credentialing program at all of Oklahoma’s Technology Centers.

Jan and her family moved to Texas in 2011. She and her husband of 36 years are proud parents and grandparents. Jan is a licensed REALTOR®, Seller Representative Specialist (SRS®), Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®), Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE®), Preferred Realtor with the Texas Veteran’s Land Board, and a member of Rockwall Chamber of Commerce and the Professional Women’s Alliance.

Jan is constantly studying the local real estate market and acquiring new, valuable information to share with her clients. She believes in staying connected through active networking, volunteering and community involvement, to “enhance the quality of life and remain abreast of the decisions that affect us all.” 

Certified Negotiation Expert CNE®

Seller Representative Specialist SRS®

Accredited Buyer’s Representative ABR®

Rockwall Chamber of Commerce member

Professional Women’s Alliance member

100 Business Leaders of Rockwall County member

Pricing Strategy Advisor PSA®

Veteran’s Advocacy and Benefits Association VABA member

 

 

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Home Buying 101: How to Get a Mortgage

The Rising Professional

What You Need to Know

For many people, buying a home is the biggest financial move they’ll ever make. Most homes are bought with mortgage loans, which let you buy property and come with tax-deductible interest.

If you’re in the market for a new home, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer, take some time to learn the ins and outs of mortgage financing so you know what to expect. Here’s our guide.

Do This First

Before you begin shopping for a house, do your own homework to determine your creditworthiness and prepare for a conversation with a lender, says Bob Collins, mortgage broker at Signal Hill Mortgage in Signal Hill, California.

First, gather tax returns, pay stubs, and other paperwork that documents your income for the past two years. You’ll also need documentation of liquid assets, cash in the bank, as well as credit history and current income. That…

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Jan J Kelley Realtor Presents: The 2nd Step in the Home Buying Process

Last week, Keller Williams home-buying specialist Jan J Kelley shared with you the first and most important step in the home buying process – getting pre-qualified for a home loan. If you missed it, you can read it here.

1213Now that you have the first and most important step, the next step is determining the location for your home search. One of the most common statements you hear from prospective home-buyers is, “I only want a 15-20 minute commute to work.” A short commute to work is important, however your work is only one aspect of your busy life! When searching for a neighborhood in the Dallas Metroplex you should take more than your work into consideration. Where do your friends live? What are the activities you enjoy? What is your favorite place to shop? Your home should be the epi-center of your entire life, not just your work commute.

Remember there are as many as 400,000 homes on the market in the DFW Metroplex and you most consider all aspects of your home purchase. Jan J Kelley Realtor is a member of the Keller Williams team with a specialization in helping home-buyers find their perfect home. Contact her at (972) 400-1885 or visit http://www.janjkelley.com today and take the steps important to finding #TheKeyToYourNewHome today!

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