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Articles written by Jane Kepley


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  • Update your outdoor space for spring

    Jane Kepley, Special to Village News|Updated Apr 4, 2024

    Spring is an excellent season for spending more time outdoors. And if your home has a sizable outdoor space, that’s even better. A patio or yard presents so much opportunity: You can play with your kids or pets, invite the neighbors over for a cookout, or simply relax and enjoy the weather as it warms. Before you do all of that, though, you should think about updating your outdoor space. Need help getting ready for spring? Here are some ideas: Install string lights. Give your...

  • 4 tax breaks for homeowners to know

    Jane Kepley, Special to the Village News|Updated Mar 21, 2024

    Being a homeowner is often a big financial investment, from the down payment to home maintenance and improvements. But there are ways to save when you own a home, too – particularly on your annual tax returns. Homeownership typically comes with a number of tax deductions and credits that aren’t available for renters. Are you ready to save on your tax bill? Here are some perks you should have on your radar as you file your taxes. 1. Mortgage interest: You probably pay a not...

  • How to deal with home selling stress

    Jane Kepley, Special to the Village News|Updated Mar 6, 2024

    Selling your home can come with quite a bit of stress, including keeping the place presentable for buyers and potentially making repairs and updates. It can be a lot to take on, especially when you’re juggling other responsibilities. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to alleviate your stress and make selling your home a more enjoyable experience. Are you considering listing your home for sale? Here’s what you can do to make it less stressful. • Lean on your team....

  • Which flooring material is best for you?

    Jane Kepley, Special to the Village News|Updated Feb 22, 2024

    Whether you’re buying an existing home, building a new one or just considering renovating your current place, understanding different floor types – and the unique pros and cons of each – is important. A home’s flooring will obviously impact its overall aesthetic, but its durability can influence your costs as well as how you’ll clean and maintain the home. Are you considering new flooring or a new home? Keep these floor material pros and cons in mind as you do. Carpet Ca...

  • When should you consider a new home?

    Jane Kepley, Special to the Village News|Updated Feb 1, 2024

    As a homeowner, there may come a time when your current home just isn’t what you need it to be. You might be able to update or add on to your property, but that may not be enough to change the circumstances. In some scenarios, buying a new place is the only viable option. But how do you know when you’ve hit that point? Here are four situations in which you should consider whether a new place is the right choice. 1. A changing household: Whether you’re having more child...

  • How can you build up your home equity?

    Jane Kepley, Special to the Village News|Updated Jan 18, 2024

    As a homeowner, you have the opportunity to build equity, which is the financial interest you have in your home. When your equity grows, it can mean bigger profits once you sell your house. Your equity can also be borrowed against using home equity loans or lines of credit and cash-out refinances, which you can then use to cover the costs of home repairs, pay off debt or achieve other financial goals. But how exactly do you build up equity? Here are four strategies: 1. Make a...

  • Avoid these 4 common homebuyer regrets

    Jane Kepley, Special to the Village News|Updated Jan 4, 2024

    Buying a home is always a big decision, but with higher mortgage rates and rising home prices, today’s homebuyers seem to face even higher stakes. Want to ensure you buy a house that makes you happy, get a mortgage you can afford, and make the best moves for your future? Read on to learn some of the most common homebuyer regrets – and how you could steer clear of them. Regret: Paying a too-high interest rate. A higher mortgage interest rate means a higher monthly payment, whi...

  • Five questions to ask when hiring movers

    Jane Kepley, Special to the Village News|Updated Nov 24, 2023

    Moving can be a hassle. There’s so much to do between the packing, the hauling and the loading – especially while tending to the other facets of moving to a new home, like setting up utilities and modifying the space. Fortunately, hiring professional movers can help by taking a huge burden off your shoulders and ensuring your prized possessions are moved safely and with the utmost care to your new destination. But you do want to choose a reliable company. If you’re consi...

  • Four ways homeowners can use their equity

    Jane Kepley, Special to the Village News|Updated Sep 28, 2023

    Equity is the difference between your home’s value and your mortgage balance — and most homeowners have gained a lot of it over the past few years. Thanks to rising home prices, most homeowners are sitting on more equity than they might think. The typical homeowner had about $270,000 in home equity at the beginning of 2023. You can tap into home equity when you need it for home repairs, medical bills, college tuition or any other expense you might face. Here are four met...

  • Five tips to make your home feel bigger

    Jane Kepley, Special to the Village News|Updated Sep 6, 2023

    If your space feels a little cramped, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need more square footage. There are minor design and decor choices that can make rooms look and feel larger – and you don’t have to spend much to achieve this illusion. Are you planning to revamp your place or get your house ready to sell? Here are five ways you can make any room in your home feel more spacious. Use lighting wisely. Adding light is one of the easiest ways to make a room feel bigger. If th...

  • Four reasons to hire a contractor

    Jane Kepley, Special to the Village News|Updated Nov 10, 2022

    Remodeling your home can be a big (and stressful) undertaking. Fortunately, hiring a contractor who's well-versed in the process can help alleviate some of that stress. If you bring in a contractor, be diligent in your hiring. Get referrals, compare quotes and interview several candidates to make sure you get the best fit for the job. Are you unsure how a contractor can help with your project? Here are four ways: ● They can handle all the permits. Many remodeling projects ...

  • 4 common renovation mistakes to avoid

    Jane Kepley, Special to the Village News|Updated Sep 16, 2021

    When the market is competitive, many homeowners opt to renovate their properties rather than sell or buy. This can be a smart move for many reasons, but as you know, home projects can often end up being expensive and time-consuming. Don't want to make a costly mistake or even regret a renovation altogether? Take a look at these four common missteps – and find out how to avoid them. Mistake #1: Choosing the wrong project Ultimately, you want your upgrades to increase your h...

  • Why working with an agent is so important

    Jane Kepley, Special to Village News|Updated Jul 21, 2021

    HGTV and home renovation shows may be entertaining, but they're not always accurate. In particular, most of them skip over the important ways real estate agents can help homeowners. In the real world, agents play a huge role in home purchases, sales and even flips. Are you planning to make a real estate move this year? Here are just a few of the ways an agent can help make the experience a success. Experience and local knowledge Agents know how to draw up your contracts,...

  • 5 easy ways to improve your bathroom

    Jane Kepley, Special to the Village News|Updated Jul 10, 2021

    Remodeling your bathroom can be a great investment. It immediately makes your home more usable and enjoyable, and in the long term, an upgrade could increase your home's value by thousands of dollars. And a remodel doesn't have to be a time-consuming or costly event. There are quite a few small, low-cost projects that can offer a big impact. Thinking about updating a bathroom? Here are a few projects you might want to consider. Improve the lighting Sometimes changing out a...

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    Tips for finding the right neighborhood

    Jane Kepley|Updated Oct 22, 2020

    As you search for the perfect home, something to consider besides bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage is the community. This will be where you socialize, exercise, where your children grow up and attend school. Roots will be established where you call home. Know what is important to you. If it's having the ability to take walks, are there plenty of trails to explore? What is the distance to work? The desk in the next room or a drive into the city? How do you feel about a Ho...