It took Yana Mei one visit to a friend who lived in Helena at the time to realize that she would soon call this city her home.

“When I was driving through the Old City, I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone,” May said. “It was surreal. I couldn’t shake the charm and knew that I had to live here. Elena stole my heart. As a military lad and the child of parents with a wanderlust, I lived in amazing places and as an adult I continued this wanderlust that took me to New York and Australia. Everywhere I lived was temporary until I moved to Helena. My heart has chosen Helena as my hometown.”

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

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

“When I show a house, buyers spend more time exploring the kitchen than they do the backyard,” May said. “Some buyers are looking for a turnkey home, while others need a ‘rough diamond’ to create the home they want.”

May said that over the past few years, the cost of housing has increased and continues to rise.

“The reason is lower interest rates so buyers can afford more, but the supply of homes is low,” May said. “Currently, the cost of houses is 12 percent higher than a year ago. We don’t know how long this spike will last as interest rates rise. If you’ve been thinking about selling, now is the time.”

May told those who are interested in buying a home in today’s market, she suggests having financing before buying a home.

“If you’re paying in cash, make sure you have proof of funds to submit your offer,” May said. “If you are funding, ask your lender for a letter of prequalification/preapproval to submit with your proposal.”

According to May, the trend of home buyers shows that most people are looking for a well-maintained home in a family-friendly neighborhood with good schools.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, May was instrumental in getting Helena City Council meetings live streamed on social media. What she continues to do for the Helena Business Association Facebook page.

“We were at the start of the pandemic during the 2020 municipal elections and it was difficult for me to get to know the actors/candidates, so I took the liberty of calling each of them to invite them to share their social media platform with me. “, May said. “I was shocked that each of them said yes. One thing that each candidate had in common was their love for Elena, and they are all smart and good people. My admiration for Helena’s municipal leaders led me to participate in city ​​council meetings.

Mae said that what makes Elena unique and likable is the Helenians.

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

May said the hidden gem in the city is at the end of the Amphitheater Park.

“I find it very serene,” May said. “I love to take a book and a chair to spend the day right here.”

As a realtor, Mei said it’s very important to her to help people find their dream home.

“Using the old cliché ‘Home is where the heart is’ is very true,” May said. “For me, as a realtor, the most important thing is to bring people home; a home where love and memories are born.”

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