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Omaha, Nebraska 11/16/2017—The National Association of Realtors® has announced that Lisa Jansen Bartholow, a Realtor® from Omaha, Nebraska, has become an investor in the Realtors® Political Action Committee. RPAC is a national bipartisan grassroots-based political advocacy organization that works to protect the real estate industry and the dream of homeownership for Omaha residents and across the country.


    Lisa Jansen Bartholow has supported RPAC for three years and has been a member of the National Association of Realtors® since 1990. Lisa Jansen Bartholow is licensed in Nebraska and Iowa, graduate of Buffini Peak Producers, Certified Buyers Representative, Shining Star award and Leaders Choice graduate, At Home Diversity Member, 25 Year award of recognition for service at the Nebraska Realtors Association, Floyd Wickman Course Graduate, Trainer and Manager within Recognized Top Real Estate Team at NP Dodge Real Estate Company –The Jansen Team Real Estate Team. Lisa Jansen Bartholow is a member of Omaha Area Board of Realtors, Volunteers with YES foundation, ST. Thomas Lutheran Church, Open Door Mission, Salvation Army.


    “I support RPAC because doing so is so important to all homeowners in protecting our housing investment and I believe in giving back to support everyone one who owns property that way we can protect the future of homeownership.” said Lisa Jansen Bartholow. Since 1969, RPAC has promoted the election of pro-real estate candidates across the United States. The purpose of RPAC is to elect officials who understand and support the interests of real estate professionals and their home buying, selling and investing clients. RPAC uses its resources to seek to elect candidates that understand and support real estate, and to develop public policies that allow consumers to own homes and build their communities through commercial investment. Lisa’s investment will be applied to supporting homeownership, commercial real estate transactions, and the very future of the real estate industry.


    Current Realtor® priorities include working to preserve the Mortgage Interest Deduction and preventing the use of guarantee fees charged on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-backed loans to fund non-housing programs, which serves as a tax on consumers and prevents more qualified borrowers from becoming actual homeowners.


    The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Easy Winter Preparation

by The Jansen Team


 

Here are just a few steps that may help you lower your utility bills and protect your biggest investment.

•           Reverse Your Ceiling Fans - If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan's blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. The fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling.

•           Caulk Around Doors and Windows Plus Add Weatherstripping - Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it won’t shrink and it’s impervious to the elements. Weatherstripping can help seal air leaks in areas of your home, such as doors, windows and attic access points.

•           Clean the Gutters and Check Downspouts - If your gutters are full of leaves, twigs, etc., water can back up against the house and damage roofing, siding and wood trim. Add extensions to downspouts so that water runs at least 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation.

•           Chimney Sweep - Make sure your fireplace (or any heating appliance burning gas, oil, wood or coal), chimney and vents are clean and in good repair. That will prevent chimney fires and prevent carbon monoxide from creeping into your home.

•           Check Snow Supplies and Equipment - Make sure you have snow shovels and a roof rake on hand. Stock your ice melting compound to melt ice on walkways. Have your snow blower and generator serviced before you need it.

Welcome to the winter season!

What is a Home Warranty?

by The Jansen Team


 

You wouldn’t buy an expensive item like a car or a computer without a warranty. So if you’re going to buy a home, why wouldn’t you want to have a warranty on that, as well? A warranty is an annual service agreement that ensures that, should anything go wrong or break down on your new home, it would be repaired or possibly replaced for the cost of a trip charge.

 

Let’s learn more about home warranties and how they can protect your investment.

 

Who needs a home warranty?

 

Purchasing a home warranty is 100% a personal choice, but some homeowners are more likely to want one than others. If you are a first time homebuyer, you may want to consider a home warranty. That’s because first time homebuyers are often a strict budget. They plan very carefully to make sure they can cover all the necessary expenses. Well, what happens when an appliance or system that seemed to be in good working order suddenly breaks down? Without a home warranty, you might be scrambling to cover the unexpected expenses.

 

Buyers of older homes are also typical buyers of home warranties. That’s because, even though the home inspection should identify systems or appliances that need repair or replacement, older homes can sometimes be unpredictable and things can go downhill suddenly.

 

Sellers also may be interested in purchasing a warranty during the period in which the home is on the market. This means that they won’t have to cover any surprise repair or replacement expenses during that period, and it gives the buyer peace of mind, as well. It’s also the case that homes listed with a warranty sell for an average of 2-3% more.

 

If you are interested in learning more about home warranties or would like to purchase a warranty for your home, we are proud to recommend ServiceOne. Their expert service technicians have been serving your friends and neighbors in the Omaha metro for over 25 years and their service is second to none. Click here to get in touch with them now.

4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Fall

by The Jansen Team


 

For many people, homeownership is a BIG dream. Purchasing a home is the most complicated financial transaction most of us will ever make, and since that home will serve as the location for so many of the memories you will make going forward, it’s easy to understand why people build it up in their heads. But unfortunately, sometimes the fact that homeownership is such a big dream causes people to hold off until “later.”

 

But sometimes “later” never comes! The truth is that, as long as it makes sense for you financially, the time to start your home search is NOW! Read on to discover 4 reasons why.

 

Prices are going up. You know the phrase “good things come to those who wait”? Well, a lot of times that is true. But in today’s housing market, waiting isn’t going to get you anywhere! The truth is that prices are still going up and not projected to drop anytime soon. CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have gone up by 6.7% over the last 12 months and are expected to go up another 5% next year. Home values are on the rise for the foreseeable future, so waiting doesn’t save you any money.

 

Mortgage rates are projected to go up. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors all project that mortgage rates will increase by this time next year. If you expect to need a mortgage (as most homebuyers do) to purchase your home, understand that waiting is likely to result in higher monthly payments due to interest and more interest paid out over time.

 

You’re already paying a mortgage! There is certainly responsibility associated with homeownership and if you aren’t ready for that responsibility, we don’t advise you purchase a home. But if you are ready for that added responsibility, you have to understand that renting is no different than paying a mortgage except for the fact that it is your landlord’s mortgage that you are paying, not yours.

 

You’re ready for the next step. Only you know if now is the right time for you to become a homeowner. But, as we mentioned earlier, people often overestimate what it takes to become a homeowner and trick themselves into waiting longer than necessary. As we have seen with rising home prices and mortgage rates, waiting too long could result in substantially higher overall costs.

 

So, what do you think? Is it time for you to become a homeowner? Curious to see what homes are out there and what your price range might be? Browse our updated list of the area’s available homes! Want to talk to one of our expert agents about your situation? Get in touch. We are ready to help you.

5 Easy Ways to Save for a Down Payment

by The Jansen Team

Here at The Jansen Team, we make dreams come true! By helping people purchase their dream home, we help them live their best life. But the truth is that we only help homebuyers with the last leg of what can be a very long journey.

 

But these days, money is tight and the market is hot. We understand the hesitancy many people feel to jump into homeownership. But the truth is that we work with homebuyers all the time who realize they are perfectly capable of owning a home if they only get a little creative with their saving.

 

Today, a 20% down payment is no longer a hard and fast requirement. There are other ways to start with a smaller down payment and still end up in the house of your dreams. Keep reading to find out 5 easy ways to save for a down payment.

 

Cut out the coffee.

 

Some people absolutely need their coffee in the morning. But does it have to come from an expensive coffee shop? The average store bought latte costs $3.78. Over a year, that adds up to over $1,300. Buying whole bean coffee from the store and making your own at home could save you a lot of money in not very much time.

 

Start a swear jar.

 

A swear jar is like a high stakes piggy bank. Even if it’s not swearing you want to do less of, adding a dollar to a jar every time you do a particular thing (say, eat fast food or buy a latte) can add up quick. Plus, it could help you make a positive change (and maybe save even more money)!

 

Eat on the cheap.

 

Most of us spend way more time and money eating out at restaurants than is necessary. Yes, we’re busy, and yes, the food is delicious, but if you are serious about saving enough for that down payment sooner rather than later, you might want to consider putting a limit on how often you eat out.

 

Cut the cord.

 

Cable isn’t cheap, especially if you have the sports, movies, and everything else under the sun package. Thankfully, there are many emerging entertainment options that are much cheaper, or even free. Services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime allow you to enjoy many of your favorite shows for a fraction of the price of traditional cable.

 

Track your progress.

 

No matter what tactics you decide to use to save for your down payment, the one thing we absolutely suggest you do is track your progress. Tracking your progress makes it much easier to know whether you are behind schedule, ahead of schedule, or right on track. It’ll help you understand whether or not you need to adopt a new tactic or just press on with what you’ve been doing.

 

Want to learn more about working with The Jansen Team or view our properties that are currently on the market? Visit our recently redone website! Want to talk with an agent about preparing your down payment or finding your dream home? We’re ready to talk with you today.

Homeownership Tips You Might Not Think About

by The Jansen Team

Whether you recently became a homeowner, you have bought your second or third home, or you are about to take the plunge and buy your dream home, you are have a great responsibility! As we have discussed before, being a homeowner has its many benefits. When you purchase a home, you are making a sound financial investment in your future. But in order to get the most out of that investment, homeowners need to keep up with annual maintenance of their home.

 

Read on to find out which maintenance tasks are absolutely essential for homeowners to perform each year. If you do, you’ll have an investment that will appreciate for years to come.

 

Save 1% of the home’s value. The general rule of thumb is that annual maintenance of a home will cost about 1% of the home’s value. So, even if you don’t have plans for big renovation projects, it would be wise to plan on setting aside at least 1% of the home’s value. The truth is that, as a homeowner, expenses can and will hit you from every direction, and often when you least expect it. Costs like a new roof or driveway can potentially eclipse that 1% figure on their own, so you always want to be prepared.

 

Update your emergency kit. You don’t necessarily need a bunker full of years’ worth of provisions, but as a homeowner, you absolutely need to be prepared for weather emergencies that may leave you without power for a day or two. It’s important to keep this kit in a safe, easy to find place, and to make sure that it always has the things that it needs, such as flashlights, canned goods, batteries, and first aid. Check it once a year to make sure nothing is expired or needs replacing.

 

Know your humidity. As you probably know, humidity can cause problems in a house. Too much humidity can cause dangerous health problems like mildew and mold. Too little can cause surfaces to crack and peel, not to mention potential itchiness and sore throats. Buy a hygrometer and check that the humidity in your home is between 30-50%.

 

Salt your water softener. Many homeowners don’t know that they need to maintain their water softener by adding salt periodically. Without having the proper amount of (rock, NOT table) salt in the water softener, the minerals present in the water will start to harden and form big, heavy mineral rocks. These will ruin your water softener and you’ll have to replace it. For a guide to salt and your water softener, click here.

 

Take a photo. Taking a photo is a great way for you to not only track the evolution of your home through time, but to also be able to notice small things that may need your attention. Whether it’s peeling paint or a gutter that has come loose, taking a photo and comparing it to previous years’ versions will help you stay on top of the little things that add up over time.

 

We hope this blog has got you thinking about what it takes to be a smart homeowner. If you have questions about homeownership, the Omaha real estate market, or working with The Jansen Team, we would love to hear from you! Click here to get in touch.

Want to Sell Your Home? You Need a Professional

by The Jansen Team

Driving around Omaha, you probably see all kinds of real estate signs in the front yards of different homes. While some signs represent our industry’s best-known companies and real estate teams, (like NP Dodge and The Jansen Team, for example!) others represent homeowners who have decided to go the FSBO (For Sale By Owner) route.

 

In this blog, we want to talk about why you need to hire a professional real estate agent if you really want to sell your home. While it might feel tempting to save a little bit of money and do it yourself, you’ll soon find out why going the FSBO route is not worth the trouble.

 

You need to gain the trust of buyers. Here is the first and one of the most important reasons why you need a professional real estate agent to sell your home fast. A home is the most complex, expensive purchase that most people are ever going to make. That’s why trust is so important. With a FSBO, there is little reason to have trust and confidence in the seller. They have likely never sold a home before and may not really know what they are doing. Seeing the name and logo of an experienced real estate team in the yard means that the transaction is going to be as quick and smooth as possible.

 

You want to get the best price. If you’re selling your home, it should be a given that you want to get every dollar you can. While you will always have to pay a commission to your real estate agent, most sellers end up finding that cost well worth the price when they consider the fact that homes sold by professionals consistently fetch higher prices AND the innumerable hours of stressful work that the homebuyer saved themselves by hiring a pro to do it for them.

 

You don’t have the expertise. Have you ever tried to repair a car or other complex piece of machinery? If you aren’t a professional mechanic, you probably had a difficult and frustrating time. It also probably took you 3-4 times longer to complete the task than it would have taken a professional (if you ever got the job done at all!). The same is true for real estate. Some people tend to have the idea that houses sell themselves. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Selling a home is a complex process and without extensive knowledge of the market and the industry, you will struggle to keep your head above water.

 

Consider this: of those homebuyers who first start shopping for homes online, (that’s just about everyone these days) 96% end up buying from a real estate agent or team. That shows that the vast majority of sales are still happening by way of top producing agents and teams like ours. So, if you’re ready to list your Omaha area home and want to make sure it gets sold fast, and for the best price, give us a call! We are ready to go to work for you today.

Buying Real Estate Is an Investment in Your Future

by Lisa Jansen

 

It doesn’t matter who you are or what your situation is. We are all concerned about securing our future. But something that not everybody realizes is that buying real estate is one of the smartest investments you can make in your financial future and your current net worth. Read on to find out why.

 

The numbers don’t lie. Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts its Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data about consumers and their finances. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, reports that a homeowner’s average net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400).

While the data representing 2014-2016 has not been released yet, one expert believes that average gap between homeowners and renters has actually widened further.

Why is homeownership a great investment? Because it helps build your assets. If you pay for rent, you aren’t seeing any return on that money save for the roof over your head. When you pay into a mortgage, you’re investing in something that you will eventually own and that will actually appreciate in value over time.

When it comes to buying real estate, one thing is very clear. A homeowner’s net worth will always be greater than a renter’s. If you’re ready to take that next step and make a smart financial investment in your future, we would love to help! The Jansen Team’s agents are experts in Omaha area real estate and will help you find the perfect home! Contact us today.

 

 

 

Enjoy the Benefits of Lakeside Living in Omaha

by The Jansen Team


 

What does your dream home look like? For most, it is comfortable, spacious, and modern. And what’s that phrase we like to say is the most important thing in real estate? Location, location, location! For many families in Omaha today, they want to live near a place where the kids can have room to play safely outdoors and the parents can relax with leisure activities or just enjoy the view.

 

If that sounds like you, consider the benefits of lakeside living in Omaha. Read on to discover some of Omaha’s best community lakes as well as some of the great activities you can take part in when you live near one.

 

Flanagan Lake

Currently under construction, the Flanagan Lake community will sit at 168th and Fort. Beautiful, brand new homes will be situated around a gorgeous lake that is perfect for walking, biking, stand up paddle boarding, and all sorts of other activities. You could become one of the first homeowners in the neighborhood! Click here to watch The Jansen Team talk a little more about Flanagan Lake.

 

Other Omaha Area Community Lakes

Though Flanagan Lake is set to be one of the most desirable lakeside communities in the area, there are several other Omaha area community lakes where we would love to help you find an existing home. Areas like Bennington, Lake Zorinsky, and Chalco Hills have lakes that feature prominently in the residential neighborhoods. As already established communities, these are great places for a family to move and raise their kids. Curious about what’s out there? Browse our listings now!

 

What Lakes Have to Offer

Living in a lakeside community offers many things that a traditional neighborhood does not. The most obvious one is the lake! Lakes encourage people to be active. Whether it’s boating, running, walking, or biking, people who live next to a lake tend to love being outside. They also tend to like tight-knit communities. If you decide to live on Flanagan Lake, you’ll be one of the first. If you choose another community, you’ll have a whole bunch of new neighbors to get to know.


Have you been dreaming of the kind of life a lakeside home could provide? Or maybe thinking it’s just time for a move? Get in touch with The Jansen Team! Our team of experienced agents is ready to help you find your Omaha area dream home.

Omaha Area Real Estate Market Update: 2017

by The Jansen Team

 

2017 is halfway over and we have experienced quite the year so far. We have helped people in the Omaha and Council Bluffs metro area buy and sell their dream homes, and what an amazing feeling that is! Our team can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings.

 

Let’s take a look at the year so far in Nebraska and Iowa.

 

Nebraska

 

The Omaha market has been HOT as can be this summer and our agents have been busy fielding calls and showing homes. Take a look at some of the numbers, below:

 

At the end of June there were 2,251 homes for sale, which is down nearly 10% from last year. There were 1,380 homes sold for the month, down over 13% from last year. Inventory data indicates we are still in a strong seller's market with only 1.7 months of inventory on the market.

    
The number of average days homes spent on market in June was 21, which is the lowest we have seen in over five years.

 

The average sold price was $227,000 which is also the highest we've seen in five years.

 

Iowa

 

The Council Bluffs market has also been heating up as of late, with many buyers falling in love with beautiful homes in old neighborhoods. Check out some statistics:

 

On June 30, there were 328 homes for sale down 23% from last year, and 156 homes sold for the month, down 6% from last year. The data tells us Iowa is in a seller's market as well with only 1.8 months of inventory on the market.

    
The number of average days on the market in June was 42.

 

The average sold price held steady at $155,000 which is the highest it has been since July 2016.

 

If you are looking to buy a home in the Omaha metro area, you should know that things are moving very fast! If you’re ready to start looking for your dream home, get in touch with The Jansen Team. With one of the area’s most experienced agents on your side, you’ll be ready to navigate this very active market. Contact us today!

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Contact Information

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