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Maintenance means everything: Ideally, you should clean your gutters twice per year. Maintaining clean gutters will help you to avoid drainage problems that could potentially lead to more costly repairs.

Climb on up: Borrowing (or investing in) a good, sturdy ladder is the key to ensuring your personal safety and to making the task as hassle-free as possible. Make sure that the ladder is placed on a flat, steady surface, and follow the rule of two: never stand on the top two rungs of a ladder, as it becomes very difficult to maintain your balance.

Protect yourself: Thick, heavy gloves are a must when performing this kind of task. Gutters may have sharp or jagged metal pieces as well as screws or nails that may pose a danger to your hands and fingers. Want additional protection? Safety glasses are also a good idea!

Up on the roof: Santa might find rooftops to be a walk in the park, but for the rest of us, they aren't generally ideal perches. However, if you have a flat roof or a roof with a low slope, you may find it easier to accomplish the cleaning by situating yourself up top. Always use extreme caution, wear non-slip shoes, and never opt for this choice in bad weather!

Scoop, blast and repair: Once you're ready to start cleaning, follow a simple three-step process to get the most out of the task. Scoop out any debris, blast the drains clean with a high-powered hose, and repair any leaks you may find along the way.


How Can You Sell Your Home Quickly? Here are Some Tips


If your family plans to move soon, you've probably already discovered that many of the top tips for selling your home have to do with the way it looks. Nothing turns buyers away faster than a home with an unkempt appearance. Making sure that your home gets the necessary repairs and upgrades it needs can produce a quick sale, but buyers browsing real estate listings also want to see a potential new home at its best.
To help you sell your home fast, check out these top tips for selling your home quickly, including advice on what to fix, and staging tips for selling your home:

1. Update your home to give it a modern look. In 2012, the average age of homes purchased during that year was 20 years old, meaning that many homes were built before the 1990s. Homes getting to that age usually need substantial upgrades to look more contemporary. This could mean replacing carpet or removing old linoleum flooring to replace with tile, laminate, or hardwood. HGTV reports that pedestal sinks are a big draw for home buyers, as they can add a touch of class to any bathroom. Talk to a renovator or your realtor about trendy upgrades.
2. Replace anything that's broken. Trying to sell your home quickly can mean performing standard repairs on an older house, such as getting a new tear-off roof or purchasing a new furnace. Replacing these features can add value to your home when it's assessed. For any serious damage, however, make sure it's fixed before your house appears on the market. Buyers searching homes for sale are wary of anything listed "sold as is."

3. Before you prepare to sell your home, find out if you may need to work with a professional stager. Getting a home stager means showing your home at its best. He or she can tell you what needs to go and what needs changing, and a stager can make your home attractive to potential buyers. You can also choose to use some common staging techniques on your own, but when in doubt, hire a professional.

4. Whether or not you choose to work with a home stager, make sure to take some steps beforehand to make the process easier. Remove clutter, so your stager has room to work. Anything that you're not using can be put into storage or donated. Nothing scares off buyers more than a home filled with junk.

5. Finally, here are some additional tips for staging your home that you can use yourself:
· Move furniture away from the walls and cluster it together. Doing so will actually make your rooms look bigger.
· Make sure your home is bright and properly lit. Have a variety of lighting, including overhead or ambient lighting, accent lighting on walls, and table or desk lamps.
· Paint adjacent rooms the same color. Doing so can create a flow from one room to the next, so even the tiniest spaces will look larger.
If you have questions on any of the top tips for selling your home, be sure to ask a realtor, stager, or anyone else associated with the home selling process. By making your home attractive to buyers, you can get the best offer and the fastest sale.

How To Present the Perfect Home to Prospective Buyers

The average home sold in the United States in 2012 had two bathrooms and three bedrooms. This means that families are looking for homes that fit their needs, and there are plenty of real estate listings for new home buyers to choose from. If your home is one of the houses on the market today, then you need to make your residence stand out and speak to potential home buyers. When you present the perfect home, you can expect your house to sell within the first three months. This is considered a quick sale, and the following tips can help you succeed in selling your home in a timely manner.

1. Make your home for sale stand out from the rest of the properties in your neighborhood. Forbes recommends a new coat of paint, great landscaping, and siding additions to attract buyers. Also, a well trimmed lawn can make a huge difference. By investing in the outdoor appearance of your home, you are giving it curb appeal. Buyers become interested in the home when they drive by, and they are more apt to contact realtors for a tour of the home.

2. Complete any necessary repairs on your home for sale. Research suggests that 54% of all home repairs made in 2012 were completed to sell a home. Home repairs create an image that your home is well cared for. Also by repairing your home, you are likely to get more for money for it. Sometimes, home buyers ask sellers to pay for repairs by lowering the asking price for the home. Making the repairs on your own, however, is far cheaper, and hassles over bids and counter-bids are less likely to occur.

3. Look for cosmetic problems within the home and make appropriate changes. Small holes in the walls, missing hardware on drawers, and loose tiling are all things that should be considered. Also, when you have real estate for sale, consider the way that worn cabinets and kitchen counters look. Cosmetic changes are usually simple, and they can make a house appear as if it is a worthy investment.

4. Remove clutter from your real estate for sale so that your house is the focal point instead of your belongings. You can box up unnecessary decorations, mementos, furniture, and other home items to make your home look neat and tidy. Also, consider rearranging items in closets, bookcases, and drawers to create the illusion of space. Most homeowners are concerned about storage spaces, and they will look in all closets to see what your home has to offer. While you organize, start to clean so your real estate for sale is ready for a showing. A very thorough cleaning every week is best, and daily dusting and vacuuming is suggested.

Is a Lakefront Home on Your List?


Finding that perfect lakefront real estate is starting to make its way onto many bucket lists. As you start searching through the real estate listings, it might be time to consult with a real estate agent to help you find the perfect lakefront homes for sale. Depending on your needs and preferences, locating the best realtor might allow you to find hidden gems you would not otherwise have found from online real estate listings. 

Since lakefront homes can be all across the board in terms of amenities, features, and prices, you should outline your budget from the beginning. Taking the time to evaluate your down payment and financing options will allow you to move quickly once you find the perfect house. With your budget in mind, you can begin to search for a home that fits your specific size and design criteria. While home buyers may be hesitant to talk with a real estate agent at first, they can help you quickly narrow down your selection and provide guidance on fair market value to keep your purchase affordable.

One thing to keep in mind relative to the advantages and disadvantages of buying a house near the water is that you are also paying for the location and convenience of being near the lake. Depending on when the homes were constructed, you may need to look at repairs or renovations as part of your home buying experience. In those instances, you will have to plan ahead for any unexpected issues. Fortunately, as a homeowner you are able introduce your own stylistic changes to any of the rooms, or the exterior. While this flexibility is critical for many people that want everything to be perfect, the alternative is to talk with new home developers so that you are starting from scratch on the design.

Regardless of what type of lakefront home you purchase, it will go a long way to creating an asset that can be passed down to generations to come. By taking your time to find the perfect home for your situation, you will enjoy your house for years.

Three Tips for Selling Homes in the Lake Ozarks Area


Did you know that in 2012, the average age of a home sold in the U.S. was 20 years old? If you are planning to sell your Ozarks area home or condo, you are not alone. In 2012, the median list price for a home near Lake Ozark was $209,000.

How can you get your house off the market quickly without having to drop the price below its value? Here are three tips for making sure that your lakefront real estate gets the attention it deserves from buyers.

1.Why Staging is Important

Does staging really matter? Our own experiences, as well as reliable statistics, indicate it does. According to the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents, 82% of home buyers going through a staged home were likely to be distracted from issues they had had with the home. In other words: staging puts buyers at ease. It allows them to see their own lives in your house, and ignore small faults. It's important, therefore, that you remove obvious personal items from display in your home. They want to envision their future there, not have to stare at your stack of mail and refrigerator pictures.

2. How You Can Update Your Homes for Sale, for Less

People looking for condos for sale are going to be evaluating how "dated" your home does or doesn't look. To keep things modern without shelling out the big bucks, take a look around at what simple changes you can make. Have a fireplace? Get rid of the old brass screen hiding it from view. Stone color enhancers can be used to make brick and stonework shine, rather than grime. You've probably heard that stainless steel appliances are a big "want" with new buyers right now; according to HGTV, you don't need to buy all new appliances. Instead, you can remove the front panels of your dishwasher, clean them, and cut to size a stainless steel stick-on covering.

3. Condos for Sale: Fix the Broken Pieces

When you're about to leave a home, it's tempting to look at the broken light fixture and say, "Maybe the next owner will want to choose their own, anyway." In reality, though, this could be something that loses an otherwise interested buyer. The light might be the only thing wrong in your home, but it can leave them wondering: is more disrepair hiding just out of sight? If you're hesitating over cost, keep in mind that staged homes sell on average for 17% more than a non-staged home, according to U.S. Housing and Urban Development.

What tips do you have for those with real estate condos for sale? Let us know in the comments.                   

Lake Facts


Did you know ... 

Camden County had a population increase from 37,051 in 2000 to 44,002 as reported by the Census Bureau in 2010.  That is a 19% increase! 

More people means more homes to list and sell!  If you are thinking of listing, this is the perfect time to find out what your property is worth.  No obligation!!  Call us for a free computer generated Market Analysis. 

why Lake of the Ozarks real estate is the best waterfront community in US


Good morning Readers! 

I have been enjoying time in sunny Florida, and I must admit, the weather here is pretty spectacular for January.  Especially given the cold readings in Missouri this morning.  Putting that aside, I have also been interested in comparing what Southern Florida real estate has to offer relative to Lake of the Ozarks real estate.  And what I am finding is that Lake of the Ozarks real estate is by far the BEST value when considering all the amenities it provides. 

For example:  just for fun, visit this new listing -

You will find a gorgeous home located in the gated community of Old Kinderhook, situated on a waterfront lot, built within the last five years, featuring 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths with 4473 sqft..  Not only does this home have beautiful water views, it also views #13 on Missouri's #2 ranked golf course!  That is a rare combination indeed!   

Since it was a custom built home, it has many fine features such as hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, two fireplaces, billiards room, formal and informal dining areas with a wide open floorplan, luxury master suite, alder cabinetry with granite and stainless kitchen.  The amenity package includes full golf membership, gated security, community pools, tennis, with clubhouse and onsite dining.  You literally can not beat this opportunity to enjoy everything the Lake has to offer in a first class waterfront/golf setting especially at this outstanding price of only $577,500 or $122/sqft.

Just for fun, I searched for homes with comparable amenities in the Naples area, and there are none to be found.  So I narrowed my search down to just waterfront, similar age and size.  What I found was a home built in 2004 for $2,395,000 or $500/sqft.  I have to admit, if you were to shop the Lake today at 20 degrees and Naples at 80 degrees, you might be tempted to spend four times to get less, but just wait and compare our Summer weather with average humidity 70% to South Florida's 90%, and it is apparent both areas have their Season of maximum enjoyment.  Plus, as the old adage goes, "If you don't like the weather in Missouri, wait 24 hours and it will change!"  Just 48 hours ago it was in the 60's.

So Readers, you decide.  The Lake is an easy day drive from Chicago to Dallas.  And I am more excited than ever to be able to represent the nation's best waterfront communties, fabulous golf, outstanding shopping, and world class dining! 

Best Wishes for a Great Week!! 

Jane Kelly

Ps Call me anytime.  Phone works great here.  573-216-1473

PPSS  Remember:  In Real Estate, Chose Team Jane Kelly ... For Family, For Wealth, For Life!

Lake of the Ozarks Real Estate vs. Florida Gulf Coast

Hello Readers!  Greetings from Sunny Florida. I have to admit to having very nosey tendancies when it comes to real estate. Yes, I have been snooping around.  What I am finding here in the Naples area are 1200-1400 sqft 2/2 condos with water views and beach access are running around $400-550,000.  A comparable condo at Lake of the Ozarks would likely be $175,000-$250,000. So does Lake of the Ozarks still give us the best bang for the buck??  You bet we do!!  Stay tuned for more reasons Lake of the Ozarks real estate is the best value for waterfront living, boating and enjoying in the USA!!

Real Estate Provisions and Fiscal Cliff Changes

First of all, a Happy New Year to all!  And best wishes for health, happiness and wealth. 

Many of you have asked how real estate investments and purchases have been effected as result of tax changes from the Fiscal Cliff.  The GOOD NEWS is that mortgage interest deductions for either primary or secondary homes has not been altered. 

Following is a brief synopsis of the Fiscal Cliff tax law changes.  Always check with your attorney or accountant for more details on how these changes may affect your personal situation.  Please feel free to contact me at 573-216-1473 or .  

In real estate, choose Team Jane Kelly,

  For family, for wealth, for life.

From National Association of Realtors:

 NAR Issue Brief

Real Estate Provisions in Fiscal Cliff Bill

On January 1 both the Senate and House passed H.R. 8, legislation to avert the fiscal cliff. The bill will be signed shortly by President Barack Obama.

Below are a summary of real estate related provisions in the bill.

Real Estate Tax Extenders

Mortgage Cancellation Relief is extended for one year to January 1, 2014.


Deduction for Mortgage Insurance Premiums for filers making below $110,000 is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.


Leasehold Improvements: 15 year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements on commercial properties is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.


Energy Efficiency Tax Credit: The 10% tax credit (up to $500) for homeowners for energy improvements to existing homes is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.


Permanent Repeal of Pease Limitations for 99% of Taxpayers

Under the agreement so called Pease Limitations that reduce the value of itemized deductions are permanently repealed for most taxpayers but will be reinstituted for high income filers. These limitations will only apply to individuals earning more than $250,000 and joint filers earning above $300,000. These thresholds have been increased and are indexed for inflation and will rise over time. Under the formula, the amount of adjusted gross income above the threshold is multiplied by 3%. That amount is then used to reduce the total value of the filers itemized deductions. The total amount of reduction cannot exceed 80% of the filers itemized deductions.

These limits were first enacted in 1990 (named for the Ohio Congressman Don Pease who came up with the idea) and continued throughout the Clinton years. They were gradually phased out as a result of the 2001 tax cuts and were completely eliminated in 2010-2012. Had we gone over the fiscal cliff, Pease limitations would have been reinstituted on all filers starting at $174,450 of adjusted gross income.

Capital Gains

Capital Gains rate stays at 15% for those at the top rate of $400,000 individual and $450,000 joint return. After that, any gains above those amounts will be taxed at 20%. The $250/$500k exclusion for the sale of a principal residence remains in place.

Estate Tax The first $5 million dollars in individual estates and $10 million for family estates are now exempted from the estate tax. After that, the rate will be 40%, up from 35%. The exemption amounts are indexed for inflation.

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