All About Iowa Real Estate

By Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN
(Value Added Service, 602-620-2699)
Shop local Saturday happens once a  year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Of course it's always good to shop local as it keeps tax dollars, good and services in your community and helps local vendors stay in business.   But why not making it "Shop Local Every Day?"  After all, we could all get into the habit that way and the benefits would explode!  My Thanksgiving holiday is spent in Ames, Iowa, visiting my daughter and her family.  It's a treat and an annual tradition to shop local on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  One of our stops included Dog Eared Books, which was founded by 2 moms  who opened up the book store in downtown Ames, Iowa.  They are a former journalist and a teacher who both love books and dogs.  One of the owners handed me a sack for my leftovers from lunch, smil...
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By Evelyn Santiago, Managing Broker Heart Realty Group, Inc., Passionate About Real Estate & Our Clients!
(Heart Realty Group, Inc..)
I love trying out new places to eat and shop!  I finally got a chance to stop at Atrevete Confections in downtown Montgomery, IL yesterday.  My friends had been mentioning all the great sweets and coffees that they had a chance to enjoy and I had been feeling a  little  left out!Had their carmel latte with coconut milk....highly recommend it.  Of course, then I tried two different macaroons, a croissant and a  slice of lemon merengue pie!!!  All this in the name of research so don't  judge me!!Stop by and try it out - Open Wednesday's through Sunday! Located at 216 N. River St., Montgomery, IL- just a few steps from Montgomery Village Hall!  
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
Will more earnest money help you win if you are competing for a home?  Maybe.  It certainly could not hurt!  Earnest money is also considered an act of good faith and it is typically around 1% of the purchase price or more.  Every state and area is unique, so it is best to ask your REALTOR!  The fact remains that many communities have a shortage of supply and a continually increasing demand with low interest rates and the rising costs of renting.  There are more buyers than ever looking for their piece of the American Dream of owning a home!  And with all of those buyers and so few homes, you are bound to be faced with competing with other buyers for a home. No one wants to come in at 2nd place!  So how can you get your offer to the top of the stack?  There are several ways to stand out...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
Not so extreme, I moved my own cats across town.  I found that I fell into a catch 22...much like my clients. Leaving them at the current home was stressful for them and me.  They were scared of all of the boxes and strangers in the house that were there to help pack.  At first, the boxes everywhere were fun right?  Lots to explore.  But then the cats were in the boxes and needed to be moved.  Not to mention all the strangers in the house!  One cat loved new people and saw it as an opportunity for extra people to pet them.  The other was scared to death and would not stop hiding.  One of them was fascinated by all the activity and the people going in and out.  Could they go outside and explore?  They were under foot and in danger.   Moving them to the new place ahead of the furniture an...
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By Georgia Weaver, A Promise Made is a Promise Kept! 712-291-0118
(Weaver Realtors)
We just learned today that we are again the #1 most recommended real estate service in our area! I want to thank everyone for helping us attain and maintain this ranking. I'm over the moon. Thank you to all our Buyer, Seller and Investor clients! Thank you to our Agents for the great work you do! Thank you, Thank you, Thank You - this is ALL because of you!
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
My poor kitty.  He loves to be able to go outside and lay on the deck.  But in the winter, there is too much snow and too little sun....in fact, we have not seen the sun in over a week here in Iowa.  And when the sun returns, we will not remember what it is.   Does real estate market have the winter blues too?   Are the buyers spending more time inside their houses?   And by spending time in their current home, are they dreaming about what the next house might look like?   Does it make us all stir crazy seeing all of the things that we don't like about our surroundings?   Maybe we are just tired of shoveling the snow and it is time for a condo.  Or at least a shorter driveway. I think in the winter, we become more aware of our immediate spaces.  We spend more time there when we cannot g...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
Over the weekend, we received two offers on my new listing.  Unfortunately, one of them had a lender letter that was not worth the paper that I just printed it on.  It literally said the following "Subject to the information verbally provided by the client at the initial application phone call."  What?!?!?  So in other words, the buyer said this is how much he makes per week or month and this is how much is planning to use as a down payment and the lender verified nothing and gave a letter.   Not much confidence in that one.   In sharp contrast, the other buyer's letter stated that all credit, income and assets had been verified and the loan was contingent on a valid purchase contract, acceptable appraisal, and title opinion.  Hmmmm.  Do you need to wonder which one the sellers decided ...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
Let's put it this way....it doesn't matter whether the home is listed at $90,000 or $400,000, if your home is clean, updated and priced right, it is gone within a week or less.  Sometimes selling in the first hours on the market to the first buyer that scheduled a showing with their agent. I listed a home a couple of months ago in the $235,000 range.  It received 7 showings in the first 24 hours and over 30 people came through the open house.  We received 6 offers, all over the asking price.  So how did the seller choose?  Ultimately, it was not about the price.  It was about the down payment.  The buyer they chose had 20% and everyone else was at 5% or less.  There were even two agents that wrote in escalation clauses to try to help their buyers get the house.  Another home that I list...
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By Jerry Pinkas 843-839-9870 HOMEGUIDEMYRTLEBEACH.COM, Myrtle Beach Condos, Homes and Properties for Sale
(Jerry Pinkas Real Estate Experts)
Are you looking to relocate to a scenic area without losing the convenience of city life?If so, it's time to consider Briarstone homes for sale in Mason City Iowa. Learn about the many reasons why you might be happy in this neighborhood.A Lakeside ViewPerhaps the most attractive aspect of Briarstone in Mason City is the lakeside view. If you want to take a walk along the lake, it's a few steps away from wherever your new home may be. If you prefer to enjoy the soothing water from your front porch, you can invest in a waterfront home.The lake isn't just there to be easy on the eyes, though. It serves its residents as an all-in-one swimming and fishing space.Gather with family and friends for a leisurely swim, or take a date on an adventurous paddle around the lake. A day out fishing with...
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By Jerry Pinkas 843-839-9870 HOMEGUIDEMYRTLEBEACH.COM, Myrtle Beach Condos, Homes and Properties for Sale
(Jerry Pinkas Real Estate Experts)
Are you in need of some quiet time away from the city?Looking for a home in a growing subdivision that has easy access to Mason City?Look no further than homes for sale in Asbury Farms Mason City. Asbury Farms is the last remaining farmland within the city limits, and they want you.This is the perfect place to find or build your new dream home. Start your life in Asbury Farms today.Why Buy in Asbury Farms Mason City?If you want to live in a newer subdivision that is close to Mason City but still far enough to stay out of the limelight, then Asbury Farms is for you.Located on the Northeast side of Mason City, Asbury Farms is a small but growing semi-private access subdivision. With 30 acres of green space, it is perfect for young families buying their first home, as well as retirees look...
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By Jerry Pinkas 843-839-9870 HOMEGUIDEMYRTLEBEACH.COM, Myrtle Beach Condos, Homes and Properties for Sale
(Jerry Pinkas Real Estate Experts)
Are you looking for real estate just outside of Mason City? Want all the experiences a small town has to offer? Love the idea of living in a rural town?Then look no further than Manly, Iowa! Manly was founded in the late 1800s. It was established partly as a result of the railroad industry. Currently, 1,300 people in Manly, Iowa giving the town an abundance of small-town charm. The railroad industry today still plays an important role in the Manly community today. The railroad is the largest employer of Manly residences. These workers help to ship wind farm equipment safely.So, what else does Manly Iowa Real Estate have to offer?Read on to find out!Why You Should Choose Manly Iowa Real EstateManly offers a gas station, convenience store, and a dollar store. These amenities provide you w...
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By Jerry Pinkas 843-839-9870 HOMEGUIDEMYRTLEBEACH.COM, Myrtle Beach Condos, Homes and Properties for Sale
(Jerry Pinkas Real Estate Experts)
Sometimes the smallest places can pack the most punch - and that's what it's like to be a homeowner in the town of Kensett, IA, which boasts a population of just about 250 people. The small city in Worth County is a beautiful place to raise a family, and real estate there is enviably affordable while being close to some of the best the Midwest has to offer. Kensett, IA real estate features sizeable square footage for reasonable prices, such as a recently sold beautiful home with almost 2,000 square feet for just over $60,000. And you can find lovely houses in nearly every price range when shopping for Kensett, IA real estate. You are looking for reasons to buy a home in northern Iowa? We've got you covered. Just make sure you know how to find a real estate agent you trust. We can help y...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
When I first meet with a homebuyer, whether they have purchased a home previously or if they are first time buyers, I give all prospective buyers their own wants and needs survey.  It is important that they complete these independently for a couple of reasons.    1. You may not realize how important something is to the other person.  For example, I helped a young couple last summer in their home search.  They had been married for about 2 years and when completing their surveys, the wife indicated a must have of a formal dining room.  The husband had no idea that this was important to her.  She was looking to inherit her grandmother's dining room set and china cabinet along with the china as a housewarming gift.  2.  Aligning your must haves or would like to haves is important too.  Depe...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
Is it better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all?  Maybe in some cases, but not in real estate.  The one that got away can be a determining factor as to whether a buyer continues to work with an agent.  I received this question over the weekend. Karen, we had written an offer on a home that we loved with a previous agent and we were competing for the house.  We didn't win.  Our agent wasn't the same after that.  It became more difficult to get her to show us houses that came on the market because she said that they did not compare to the one that we had lost.  We finally had to just put a hold on our search and try again in the spring.  Are we required to continue to work with our previous agent? The short answer is no. Unless you signed a buyer representation agreeme...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
It is one of the last places that you think to check when you are moving out.  You go through the rooms and look in the closets, you look under the sink in the kitchen, you open the linen closet and make sure you didn't forget anything.  You might even open the mailbox on your way out, just to make sure nothing is in there before you drive away.  But what about the dishwasher? Depending on how you live and do the dishes, there may be dirty or clean dishes in there.  In our house, if there are dishes in the sink, they are mine and I am washing them by hand.  If they are in the dishwasher, they could be dirty and waiting for a full load to run it or they could be clean and just not put away.  It is a delicate balance.  So it comes as no surprise to me when I open the dishwasher at the fin...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
Here are a couple of situations that have happened this week.  The first one:  The buyer sent her new license to the new address.  She didn't want to chance it going to the old address and with the timeframe estimate, it seemed like a safe bet.  Luckily, the seller left it on the kitchen counter for us when we went through the house for the final inspection this week.  Whew.    The second one:  My buyer called me to let me know that a large package from Amazon was received at their house today.  It was for the previous owner, who moved a week ago.  Again, could have been bad if the buyer just kept whatever it was or opened it by mistake without looking first.  In this case, I picked up the item along with something the previous owners had left in the dishwasher, and dropped it off at th...
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By Jerry Pinkas 843-839-9870 HOMEGUIDEMYRTLEBEACH.COM, Myrtle Beach Condos, Homes and Properties for Sale
(Jerry Pinkas Real Estate Experts)
Those looking for a home in North Iowa don't need to look very far.The one North Iowa realtor, with experience and extensive knowledge unparalleled, is Jane Fischer.When you are working with  North Iowa Realtor Jane Fischer & Associates, it's not uncommon for people to say they feel like they truly belong, or like they've won the lottery. Their superb integrity and service prove the perfect guide to the nature, art, architecture, and culture of North Iowa.With so much to take in all around Clear Lake and Mason City, there's no reason not to choose Jane Fischer.The North Iowa Realtor: Jane FischerJane has shown her consistent dedication to bringing fantasy to reality for families of all needs and backgrounds. Since 1992, Jane has strived to provide excellent customer service.Committed to...
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
I am thankful for hats, mittens, and warm winter coats.  In the last week, we have received over 12+ inches of the white stuff here in Iowa.  And with the wind chill, we are well below zero for the next few days.  Although the sun was out on Wednesday, that wind.....brrrrrr.  Thank goodness for hats!  I would rather have flattened hair than frozen ears!   Stay warm out there! Keep smiling! Karen  
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By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
In the past week, we have received over 12 inches of snow in our part of Iowa.  And this is normal for our winter months.  Especially now that with the snow cover, the temperatures are in the teens and with the wind chill, well below zero.  I was showing homes on Monday to a relocation buyer, which was a holiday for many people.  It was cold.  And the houses that we wanted to see were all vacant except for one.  Because the last one was occupied, I had tried several times on Sunday to schedule a time to see it before the buyers had to head back to Minneapolis.  Because there was no school, it was cold, and the seller was going to be home, they would not allow the showing no matter what time I tried.  Now, understand that the roads were not in bad condition.  It had snowed on Saturday an...
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By Jerry Pinkas 843-839-9870 HOMEGUIDEMYRTLEBEACH.COM, Myrtle Beach Condos, Homes and Properties for Sale
(Jerry Pinkas Real Estate Experts)
It's time to say goodbye and start a new chapter.Selling your home is never an easy task. Not only can it be physically draining, but it can also be emotionally draining. You may bring your first dog home to that house, or maybe you hosted the baby shower of your first child at that house. Whatever the circumstances, you're stressed and tired. Don't fret too much. We are here to help you sell your home.Selling a home in North Iowa may seem like a daunting task, but we can make it easy. Keep reading to find out how to do it.Prepare Your HomeNorth Iowa is a beautiful world of booming business intertwined with humble hospitality. It's a growing place for young people, aspiring companies, and people looking to start fresh. Reflect this attitude on your home! No one wants to take a tour of t...
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