Helena Magazine

Sponsored content: A place to call home

Published 3:02 pm Wednesday, June 22, 2022

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It took one visit to a friend living in Helena at the time for Jana May to realize that she would soon call the town her home.

“When I drove through Old Town, I thought I entered the Twilight Zone,” May said. “It was surreal. I could not get over the charm and I knew I had to live here. Helena stole my heart. Being a military brat and a child of parents with wanderlust, I have lived in some amazing places and as an adult, I continued that wanderlust which took me to New York City and Australia. Everywhere I lived was temporary until I moved to Helena. My heart chose Helena to be my hometown.”

May also met her husband, Joe May, which prompted her to establish roots in Helena.

She now spends most of her time helping others find their dream homes as a Realtor for Keller Williams Metro South.

“When I show a home, buyers spend the most time studying the kitchen then onto the backyard,” May said. “Some buyers are looking for a ‘turn-key’ home, and others want a ‘diamond in the rough’ to create the home they want.”

May said within the last few years, home values have increased and continue to do so.

“The reason is lower interest rates, so buyers are able to afford more, yet there is a low supply of houses,” May said. “Currently, home values are 12 percent higher than they were a year ago. We do not know how long this uptick will last with the interest rates increasing. If you thought about selling, now is the time.”

May said for those interested in buying a home in today’s market, she suggests having financing in place before home shopping.

“If you are paying cash, make sure that you have proof of funds to submit your offer,” May said. “If you are financing, then ask your lender for a pre-qualification/pre-approval letter to present with your offer.”

The trend with buyers looking to purchase a home shows that most individuals are looking for a well-maintained home in a family-oriented neighborhood and good schools, May said.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, May was instrumental in beginning to live-stream the Helena City Council meetings on social media platforms. Something that she continues to do for the Helena Business Association Facebook page.

“We were in the beginning of the pandemic during the 2020 Municipal Election and it was difficult to get to know the incumbents/candidates so I took it upon myself to call each one of them to invite them to share their platform with me on social media,” May said. “I was shocked that each of them said yes. The one common thread of each candidate was their love for Helena and they are all intelligent and good people. My admiration for the Municipal leaders of Helena is what led me to attend the city council meetings.”

May said something that makes Helena unique and enjoyable are Helenians.

“I believe the city cultivates this community with its amazing events from anything that is Husky to Buck Creek Festival to Old Town Live. There are many reasons that make Helena unique and enjoyable.”

May said the hidden gem within the town is at the end of the Amphitheater park.

“I find it to be very serene,” May said. “I love to grab a book and a chair to spend an afternoon right here.”

As a Realtor, May said it is very important for her to help people find their dream home.

“To use the old cliche, ‘Home is where the heart is,’ is so true,” May said. “What is most important to me as a Realtor is to bring people home; a home where the love and where memories are made.”