Mortgage Rates Are At Historic Lows

A recent report from Freddie Mac shows that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.61%. This is great news for homebuyers who are dealing with rising prices due to a low inventory of homes for sale.  And the good news is that Freddie Mac expects these low rates to remain throughout the spring selling season.

Below is a chart of the weekly average rates in 2016, according to Freddie Mac.

low rates

With these fantastic rates, you need to talk to a fantastic mortgage professional!  We wholeheartedly recommend Don Kelly at Affiliated Bank.  Don and his experienced team are experts in finding the very best loan package for his clients.

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If you are thinking of buying your first home or moving up to your ultimate dream home, now is a great time to get a sensational rate on your mortgage.

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8 Woodland Drive, Mansfield TX

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Spectacular gated country estate on 7+ acres. Explore the exquisite custom details throughout this 6-bedroom, 8-bath home with over 10,000 square feet. Perfect for entertaining with a separate 2,200 sq ft guest home and backyard oasis that includes pool, spa and covered patios. $2,299,000.  For a private showing, please contact our office at 817.635.1141.

Please click here to view a video tour of this home

Features in this unique home include ~
` Gated entrance
` Spacious 1st floor master suite
` Study with custom built-ins
` Media room
` Craft area and playroom
` Commercial-grade appliances
` 5 generously sized living areas
` 4 dining areas
` 4 fireplaces
` 2,200 sq ft separate guest home
` 4-car garage
` 2-car covered carport
` Acreage includes meadows and ponds
` Exterior lighting system

 Read all the details and see photos here:

Provided courtesy of Brandee Kelley REALTOR®, Keller Williams Arlington

Home Buyers: Don’t Wait for the Perfect House!

Home Buyers: Don’t Wait Forever for THE ONE
Courtesy of
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When you begin your home search, you can drive yourself crazy searching for your dream home. Perhaps you’ve found several houses that have come close, but you can’t seem to find that PERFECT home you’re dreaming of.

To borrow a line from the Rolling Stones: You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes … you get what you need. Right???

Here are three questions to ask yourself and the answers will help you determine whether it’s time to settle on a home that might not be what your dreams are made of.

  1.  Are my expectations realistic?

Everyone has a dream home. But the truth is—that dream home may not exist, at least at the price you want to pay.

There is no such thing as a perfect home. There’s always going to be something not so lovable in each house you view. The key to finding the right home is setting realistic expectations.

Make a list of your dream features and amenities before you start house hunting—but be realistic on which features are deal breakers and those that would simply be nice to have.

2.  How many properties have I viewed?

You’ve looked at online listings, and toured a number of them with your Realtor. If you’ve looked at more than 8 to 10 homes without finding the “perfect” house, you may be confused as to what you’re actually looking for. When you find several homes that come close to what you want, make a list of each property’s strengths and weakness, and then get ready to compromise.

3.  What am I willing to compromise?

If you’ve set realistic expectations and looked at more than a few houses, it’s time to start making some tough decisions. It might feel like settling, but make sure you’re not compromising on something you’ll regret later. One compromise you should NOT make is on location. You can update and adapt a house, but you cannot change its location.


If you’ve spent months searching for a home, especially in a competitive market, you might feel the pressure to choose something—anything—just to achieve homeownership.

In that scenario, it’s OK to keep looking. When you’re deciding on a home, you should always consider the current market. If your expectations are realistic and you’re still having trouble finding a home, don’t settle—especially if you’re in an active market. Homes sell quickly in a seller’s market and you need to stay in the search so you don’t miss a window of opportunity.

The Brandee Kelley team are experienced Realtors and are your best assets in your home search. We’ll work with you, provide advice and assist your search until you reach our mutual desired conclusion: Your (close to) perfect new home!
For expert mortgage financing advice, we highly recommend Don Kelly at Affiliated Bank. Don and his team are experienced and a trusted resource for our clients.
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You’ll Need Extra Paperwork When Applying for a Mortgage If…..

5 Times You’ll Need Extra Paperwork To Get A Mortgage
Courtesy of


When you apply for a mortgage, some of the initial information lenders will probably ask for includes:
~ Tax returns for the past two years
~ W-2s for the past two years
~ Pay stubs from the past 30 days
~ Asset reports for the past 60 days

However, any of the following circumstances that impact your finances will require additional paperwork:11. You have undocumented money

Lenders cannot ignore money in your bank account that can’t be documented by wages, so be prepared to provide a paper trail on the source of that money.

2.  You’re divorced

You’ll need to provide a copy of the full divorce decree with all pages and schedules, including the marital settlement agreement. Even if you mark the “single” box on the mortgage application, lenders run a background check and will see your previous marital statuses.

3.  You’ve been through a short sale or foreclosure

Most mortgage loan programs have a waiting time to be eligible for new financing, and you’ll need to provide a copy of the final settlement statement and/or trustee’s sale deed.

4.  You’ve filed for bankruptcy

You’ll be required to supply all the pages and schedules from your bankruptcy, including the schedule of creditors specifically identifying everything associated with the discharge. The discharge date is the date at which the waiting time starts to secure new mortgage loan financing.

5.  You’ve had a loan modification

You will need the full loan modification agreement you signed with your original loan servicer when you apply for a new mortgage.

3Lenders do not intentionally try to make you provide more paperwork when buying a home. Based on your financial picture it might be necessary in order to meet federal compliance regulations all lenders must abide by. If anything identified above exists in your past or your financial picture is unique, make sure to have supporting documentation and a seasoned loan professional working in your best interests.

The Brandee Kelley Group wholeheartedly recommends Don Kelly at Affiliated Bank. Don is an experienced mortgage loan professional and he will be your very best asset in gaining mortgage loan approval to buy the home of your dreams!

Please contact the Brandee Kelley Group for any questions you may have about qualifying for mortgage financing.
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How Will You Spend Your Tax Refund?

4 Tips for Putting Your Tax Refund Back Into Your Home
Courtesy of Zillow

Are you getting a tax refund this year? The average refund is about $3,000, but whether you’re getting a few hundred or a few thousand dollars back, put it to work to enhance your home and your lifestyle!



With home prices continuing to creep upward and interest rates still remarkably low, you may have taken out a home equity loan to fund a remodeling project or two. Invest your tax refund toward this loan or pay down those high interest credit cards.


blog collageUse that refund to update your home with a redecorating project you’ve been thinking about. You’ll improve your living experience and add value to your home, all at the same time.


wall-insulation-1bThere are all sorts of things you can do, at varying price points, to make your home more energy efficient — from buying energy-efficient appliances to adding extra layers of insulation. Other affordable options are installing a new storm door, a low-flow showerhead, or installing a programmable thermostat.  Storm doors are just a few hundred dollars, and can be a great investment if you have an older front door. Purchasing a low-flow showerhead or installing a programmable thermostat are other affordable options.


floodphotoThe federal government offers coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program at an average cost of about $700 per year. That’s a small price to pay for a problem that can be big. Your homeowners insurance usually doesn’t cover rising water and flood damage.  Stop taking chances, and buy yourself peace of mind. Premiums vary depending on your property’s flood risk. To get an estimate in your area, visit

For expert advice on financing major improvements, please contact our preferred lender, Don Kelly.


If you’re wondering what your home is worth in today’s market, give us a call!

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Need Some Color in Your Life? Target Introduces Their Marimekko Collection

Want to inject some bright colors into your life? The distinctive colors and patterns of Marimekko are the perfect choice and Target is launching their Marimekko Collection on April 17.

Architectural Digest has provided the following 4 tips for incorporating these colorful furnishings into your home.

target-marimekko-01#1 – Don’t be afraid of color. You can mix four or five shades for an all-over patterned effect or use single-color items to introduce a bold pop of color.

target-marimekko-02#2 – Mix things up. Marimekko’s graphic table settings look liveliest when a few patterns are mixed together. If you’re not crazy about too many prints, pair Marimekko dinner plates  with solid-color glasses or chargers.

#3 – Establish a palette by adhering to two or three complementary hues, such as pink and yellow, white and black, or two shades of blue. Even if you’re using loads of patterns, the thoughtful color scheme will make things look put together.

target-marimekko-03#4 – Don’t forget patio decorating! Adding a splash of color or pattern will transform any cramped patio into a summery oasis.

The Brandee Kelley Group loves bringing you decorating ideas and tips.  We’re all about REAL ESTATE, whether buying or selling your home, as well as enhancing the home you love!

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Thinking of Downsizing? What To Consider

Four questions to consider if you’ve thought of downsizing.
Adapted from

ar135596153409763When is the time to “right size” to a home that’s better suited to your needs? Well, if you’re in the 60+ crowd (or have a parent in that age group), there are plenty of things that can go into that decision. Maybe you’re finding yourself in a (more or less) empty nest. Or maybe you want to travel more and maintaining your big home and lot is a hassle while you’re gone. Or all the maintenance on your current home is more than you can or want to handle. And maybe—just maybe–you want to simplify your life.

Downsizing doesn’t mean you must compromise on the lifestyle you want. In fact, when you make an informed decision on how best to achieve it, you may find the freedom offered by living in and maintaining a smaller home offers huge rewards!

So if you’re thinking about downsizing, ask yourself these questions first:

Q: What kind of lifestyle do I want after I downsize?

For some, it’s a matter of living a simpler life focused on family. Or travel more—or live in a low-maintenance, age restricted community with high-end upgrades and social events. Decide what you want to achieve from your move and you’ll be able to narrow down your housing options.

Alex Haigh, a Realtor® with Illustrated Properties in Stuart, FL, says many people come to South Florida for the warmer weather and amenities, and he’s seeing more seniors who are still working—because they enjoy it or want to have an extra cushion in their budgets.

Debra Whitfield, a Realtor® in Charleston, SC, who specializes in working with seniors, sees her older clients making two types of moves.

“The first move are retirees looking to enjoy their freedom, so they come down to Charleston to find active adult communities where they meet like-minded people that they can befriend easily,” Whitfield says. “The second comes after retirees have enjoyed their freedom for 10 years or so and they decide to move one last time to live closer to family to have the physical, emotional, and spiritual support they need.”

Q: What should my buying budget look like?

If you’re planning to retire soon or have already entered those coveted golden years, you’ll likely be on a fixed income. Downsizing might net you a decent profit, especially if the home you’re buying next costs considerably less than the one you’re selling. Consider other expenses as you age: medical bills, health and life insurance, travel, estate planning, final expenses, and home maintenance. The common rule of thumb: Spend no more than 30% of your monthly income on housing. But in theory, it should be a lot less if you’re downsizing.

Q: Have I built up enough equity in my current home to make a profit?

DownsizeHomeFor most homeowners, the answer is yes. This is if they’ve held on to their properties long enough to have positive equity that will be sizable enough to put a large down payment on their next home. Unless you have a significant amount of debt to pay off, chances are you’ll see enough profit from your sale to buy your next home outright or bring a sizable down payment on closing day.

Many downsizing buyers have an advantage in bidding wars since they walked away with a profit on the sale of their old home. They have the funds and solid credit history to pay all cash or provide a large down payment.

Q: Will I be able to find another home that’s affordable in a seller’s market?

Downsize-Your-Home-In-Retirement-300x177Many agents advise their sellers who have the financial means to buy their next home first before selling their current one. It’s possible to either take out an equity line of credit on their current home or a home equity conversion mortgage to finance their purchase, then pay off the loan when they sell their former home.

In a tight housing market, sellers who buy their next home first gives them control over finding the perfect property instead of being rushed to find whatever happens to be on the market after their current house is under contract.

If you’ve considered downsizing or purchasing a new home that better suits your needs and lifestyle, contact Brandee Kelley to determine what your current home is worth and discuss what you are looking for in your new home.

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For questions and concerns about financing options, contact Don Kelly with Affiliated Bank. Don is the Brandee Kelley Group’s preferred lender because he is knowledgeable, ethical and very experienced in guiding you into the very best loan option available.

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