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10 Fun Summer Festivals in Omaha

by The Jansen Team


Summer is almost officially here! And that means that every weekend provides exciting opportunities to get out and experience fun events in and around Omaha. Below is a list of 10 events we can’t wait to attend this summer. Read on to learn about some great summer festivals in the Omaha area.


Taste of Omaha | June 2 – 4. Food lovers, rejoice! Taste of Omaha is your yearly opportunity to taste all sorts of delicious foods, all in one place.


Omaha Beer Fest | June 9 – 10. You wouldn’t believe all the different varieties of beer they are making these days. Omaha Beer Fest is a unique chance to try hundreds of different craft beers from over 80 breweries, including some great local beers.


Omaha Summer Arts Festival | June 9 – 11. This year marks the 43rd year for the Omaha Summer Arts Festival. Located right downtown, you’ll have the opportunity to meet and purchase art from 135 local and national artists.

Junkstock: Summer Edition | June 9 – 11. Don’t be fooled, because you’ll find a lot more than just junk at this great outdoor event. From arts and crafts to vintage furniture and delicious food, you’re sure to find something special.


John C Fremont Days, Fremont, NE | July 14 – 16. There are all kinds of great events during this weekend of fun in Fremont. From a battle of the bands to an antique car show, it’s a great event for the whole family.

Railroad Days 2017, Lauritzen Gardens | July 15 – 16. Omaha has a rich history in the railroad industry. Learn all about it and teach the kids, too, when you attend this fun and educational event at beautiful Lauritzen Gardens.


Native Omaha Days 2017 | July 31 – August 7. Celebrate the history of north Omaha during this annual week-long event full of arts, food, and fun.


Nebraska Balloon & Wine Festival, Elkhorn | August 11 – 12. The name says it all! Watch beautiful hot air balloons and enjoy local wines in a lovely outdoor west Omaha setting.


Maha Music Festival, Omaha | August 19. Maha has grown in prominence in recent years, and is drawing some big time acts to Aksarben’s Stinson Park. This year, Run the Jewels, Belle & Sebastian, and Omaha natives The Faint headline.

Nebraska State Fair, Grand Island | August 25 – September 4. This year’s Nebraska State Fair features a concert by country star Brad Paisley, as well as all the other fun festivities you’ve come to expect from our state fair.


We hope you’ve marked your calendar with some of these exciting events, and we hope you and your family have a great summer! If buying or selling a home is on your agenda this summer, get in touch with The Jansen Team! Our team of expert agents knows the Omaha real estate market up and down, and we are ready to get you the best price for your new home. Click here to get in touch!


Recent Graduates: Quit Throwing Your Money Away on Rent!

by The Jansen Team


If you are a recent college graduate, we at The Jansen Team would like to congratulate you on a remarkable accomplishment! We’re sure you are excited to start the next chapter of your life and continue your journey into adulthood. Although most college students and recent graduates assume that they are relegated to renting until they are older and more financially stable, we’ve got news for you!


Purchasing your first home fresh out of college is actually a great idea for establishing good financial habits and becoming financially independent early on in your 20s. In this blog, we’ll discuss a few reasons why, and provide some advice for buying your first home straight out of college.


Paying rent keeps a roof over your head, but doesn’t give you much beyond that. When it comes to the question of buying vs. renting, it’s important to understand the advantages of each. With renting, you don’t have to worry about the added financial burden of taxes and maintenance. Your landlord handles that. But you also don’t own any part of something you’re paying good money for, month after month. When you actually take out a home loan with the intention of eventually owning the property outright, you have a valuable asset that will appreciate in value over time.


Buying a home is one of the smartest things you can do to build wealth, long-term. Committing to paying off a house early in your adulthood is a supremely smart idea for those who are able to do it. With median home prices expected to rise in the coming years, you’re actually building wealth every year you pay on your mortgage. By the time you are able to pay it off entirely, you’ll very likely own a home that is worth more than what you originally paid for it.


Don’t let the down payment scare you off. Traditionally, the expected down payment on a home has been 20% of the total cost. But that is not always the case anymore. While most new graduates likely won’t be able to afford to put 20% down, there are several other loan options that allow a borrower to pay much less as a down payment. When you think about the amount you might put down as a security deposit on a rental, consider that you may be able to put that same amount down as a down payment on your dream home.


You’ll learn a variety of valuable life skills early. Another reason it is a smart idea to purchase a home shortly after you graduate is that home ownership requires you to learn a wide variety of important life skills. We’re talking about financial responsibility; paying taxes, budgeting, etc, as well as more hands-on skills like performing simple repairs and being a good neighbor. As a recent college graduate, you will learn these skills earlier than the majority of your friends and peers and be in a better position to take advantage of them in the years to come.


Everyone’s financial situation is different. Many people fresh out of college won’t be in a position to take out a mortgage right away. But it’s important to realize that simply having student loan debt doesn’t eliminate you from becoming a homeowner or getting a home loan. If you’re curious about whether or not you are eligible to become a homeowner, there’s only one way to find out! Contact a mortgage lender like our friend Joe Iachheri to find out if you are eligible to be pre-approved for a mortgage.

Why 3D Tours are Essential for Home Sales Today

by The Jansen Team


A lot has changed about the world of residential real estate since we started here in Omaha many years ago. But one of the things that has changed most is the way people shop for homes and the way we show them to prospective buyers. The internet has changed so much about this process and we have many new technologies we can use to help make the process easier for buyers and sellers alike.


The home tour has always been the turning point in the buying process. A potential buyer may see a home they like from the outside, but when they get inside, that’s the moment of truth. Maybe they love it and are ready to buy, maybe they think it’s hideous and unworkable, or maybe they see potential and are considering renovations. Whatever the case may be, it’s during the home tour that the possibilities really start to emerge for the buyer.


That’s why our favorite new tool for showing and selling homes today is the Matterport 3D Tour. It shows a potential buyer the possibilities of their new home in a fun, revolutionary new way. So what is it? A Matterport 3D tour is an immersive online 3D tour that is so real it’s like being there. It allows prospective buyers to get an extremely accurate feel for the interior of the home without ever leaving their desk!


How does it work? Essentially, a camera takes a series of 360° photos and then stitches them together so that you can virtually move through the space and look all the way around you at each step you take. So it gives you the opportunity to see the space from different angles. It allows you to get a close up view of surfaces. Outside of being able to touch, it’s just like being in the home. You can also zoom out from your first person view to a bird’s-eye “dollhouse” view. This gives you a good overall idea of the space in total.

Our agents absolutely love this tool. From their perspective, it allows them to show more homes to that buyer in a smaller amount of time. It’s a time and energy saver, too, and that extra time and energy can come in handy when it’s crunch time and you need to get that offer in on your dream home. Having a Matterport 3D tour done also makes the seller’s life easier. It tends to mean fewer walkthroughs of the home and a fast closing time!

It has always been our philosophy that the more we can do for our clients, the more they will support us and refer us to their friends and family. We think that Matterport 3D tours are a great way to support our buyers and sellers with the latest and greatest technology. Want to schedule a Matterport 3D tour to help sell your home? Contact a member of The Jansen Team today!

5 Tax Benefits for Homeowners

by The Jansen Team


When you’re about to become a new homeowner, you have so many things swirling around in your brain. The anxiety and the excitement can be overwhelming. Many of your thoughts focus on the logistics of what needs to be done or the anticipation of how you will decorate the space or what furniture will go where. But beyond the added independence and responsibility most homeowners are so excited about, there are additional benefits that are sometimes an afterthought.


Of course, we are talking about tax benefits! Here at The Jansen Team, we want you to know these benefits should be anything but an afterthought. Here are 5 tax benefits you can take advantage of when you become a homeowner.


Your mortgage interest. This is perhaps the most substantial tax benefit you can receive while you are paying down your home loan. You are allowed to deduct the full amount of interest paid on your mortgage payments over the course of the year. Of course it depends on what kind of loan you have, but for the majority of borrowers, that means that you will be able to deduct a large portion of your total payments over the first five years, due to the fact that most mortgages amortize in a way where the initial payments are almost entirely interest. This can definitely be a pleasant surprise for some new homeowners.


Your property taxes. Generally, you are able to deduct your property taxes on your annual tax return. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average household property tax is $2,127. So while your exact number may be higher or lower, that still represents a considerable savings when you consider it over a yearly period. For some homeowners in Douglas County who have seen their property valuations rise considerably, this could come as especially good news.


Green energy updates. This one can be a win-win for homeowners who decide to upgrade their old appliances to new, energy-efficient ones. That’s because not only will it save you money on your energy costs, it will also qualify you deductions. If you install solar panels on your roof, you are eligible for the Renewable Energy Efficiency Property Credit. This allows you to claim 30% of the cost of that equipment as a deduction on your taxes. If you buy new energy efficient appliances, you can get a tax credit of up to $500.


Home office deduction. If you work from home, you may be eligible for a home office deduction. Though the requirements for this are fairly strict, this deduction entitled people who qualify a $5-per-square-foot deduction for up to 300 square feet of office space. That’s a maximum of $1,500.


Interest on a HELOC. You may have heard about a different type of loan product called Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). This is a loan that allows you to borrow money against the equity in your home. It’s a great solution for people without the necessary expendable income to put an addition on their home or make improvements. As long as you use the money you withdraw towards home improvements, the interest you pay on that loan is deductible from your taxes in that year. How much you can save depends on how much you borrow, but it’s certainly something to consider if home improvements are in your future.


We hope this blog has helped you understand some of the tax benefits of becoming a homeowner. If you are ready to start looking for your dream home in the Omaha area, get in touch with The Jansen Team! Or, if you just have questions about tax benefits or any other details about homeownership, one of our experts would love to help you.

Omaha Housing Market: 2017 Forecast

by The Jansen Team


Here in Omaha, the housing market is as hot as it has been in recent memory. That means homes are flying off the market in a matter of days, usually with multiple offers on the table. It also means that partnering with an expert in Omaha real estate gives you a real advantage when it comes to being the winning bidder, as well as identifying homes in your price range before they even hit the market.


With the market so active, many of our friends and peers have questions about what the market will do in the rest of 2017. While nothing is certain, we would like to share a few facts and ideas that will help inform you as you navigate the Omaha housing market in 2017. If you have a specific question or are looking to buy in a certain area, get in touch with a member of The Jansen Team now! We would love to help you.


Experts indicate market activity will continue to grow and interest rates will continue to rise. Last year, average home sale prices went up each month. Continuing that trend, Redfin expects the median home sales prices to gain 5.3% in 2017. That’s steady growth, but not astronomical. The interest rate for a 30-Year Fixed-Rate FHA at the time of writing was 4.375%, up just a bit from 4.25% at the beginning of the year. While it’s important to be aware of current interest rates, it’s also important not to base your decisions on them. If you wait around for them to plummet, you’re going to be waiting a while.


Political and economic factors will play a part, but are not the be-all end-all when it comes to housing trends. For example, immediately after the recent election, interest rates went from 3.50% to 4.25%. But President Trump’s agenda is not expected to make a direct impact on housing, likely only an incidental one, similarly to other market factors. However, if those market factors are favorable to consumers, you can expect that to carry over to the housing market and create more favorable buying conditions.


Activity in the Omaha housing market will continue, regardless of availability and interest rates. A late 2016 article from identifies Omaha as one of the hottest cities for millennial homebuyers. Earlier this year, also identified Omaha as one of the top 10 cities with the tightest supply of available homes. Part of that increased demand is due to people moving to Omaha for jobs. Part of it is millennials and others outgrowing their apartments and getting tired of throwing away money on rent.


When it’s the right time for you to buy a home, you’ll know. While the factors of the market (availability, interest rates, etc) will play a role in the decision you make, they should not be the determining factor. Though it’s important to educate yourself about the market, it’s equally important that you don’t go it alone! Working with an experienced real estate agent like a member of The Jansen Team will reduce your stress and help get you the results you want. If you have questions or want to start house hunting today, give us a call at 402-330-5954.

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Contact Information

The Jansen Team
NP Dodge Real Estate
601 N. 108th Circle
Omaha NE 68154 USA
402 330 5954
Fax: 402-330-5365