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9 Home Buying Myths Debunked!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

In today’s blog post, we are going to discuss 9 major home buying myths. We know that there is plenty of information and advice out there for home buyers. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation too! From process to financing and everything in between, it is easy to be overwhelmed as a home buyer and make mistakes that could have been easily avoided. Let us debunk 9 major home buying myths to help you smoothly find your dream home in Mason City IA today!


Myth 1: The first step of the process is looking for a house.

Although the home search might seem like the obvious first step in the home buying process, it is not. Your first step as a home buyer should always be getting your finances in order! Make sure that your credit is in top form and, most importantly, get pre-approval on a mortgage. By doing these two things, you are able to focus your home search on those houses that actually fit within your budget. Pre-approval also makes you more attractive to sellers from the get go.


Myth 2: 30-year mortgage is your best finance option.

30-year mortgages can be deceiving. Monthly payments on 30-year mortgages are lower than those that are 15-year. However, since the amount of money borrowed is the same for both options but the time frame is twice as long to pay back on the 30-year mortgage, you end up paying MORE over those 30 years and at a higher interest rate. This is not to say that a 30-year mortgage is not right for you. Just make sure to do plenty of research to truly decide what loan option best fits your financial situation. Check out our Finance Information for help with this step of the process.


Myth 3: A down payment must be 20%.

Buyers can avoid paying for Private Mortgage Insurance by making a 20% down payment. However, not all lenders require that amount. You may be eligible for loans with a 5 or 10% down payment if you are willing to pay for PMI monthly. Additional down payment assistance options, such as FHA loans, might also be available for you.


Myth 4: Your only upfront cost is the down payment.

When budgeting for a new home, many home buyers only consider the initial down payment. However, you want to budget for additional costs that can always occur during the buying process. These costs include, but are not limited to, credit reports, closing costs, inspections, and insurance.


Myth 5: You cannot buy a home if you have bad credit.

You will undoubtedly have an easier time buying a home if your have good credit. However, you are not out of luck if your credit is less than ideal. There are several financing options, such as FHA loans, that you might be eligible for. Just make sure to do your research first to make sure that you are selecting an option that is best for you now and in the future.


Myth 6: You can skip the home inspection.

Home buyers should always complete a home inspection. Save money and time by discovering any issues with the house during the inspection process.


Myth 7: You will lose the house if you don't offer asking price.

Home buyers often worry that they will lose out on their dream home if they do not offer the asking price. Although doing so does make you attractive to the seller, there are other things you can do that will often cause the seller to be open to negotiation. By having a pre-approved loan, awesome credit, and a down payment ready to go, sellers know that you are 100% ready to make the purchase. Additionally, if the home inspection unveiled any issues with the home, you can negotiate for a lower price based on the findings and necessary repairs needed.


Myth 8: Home buying is easy on your own.

Whether it's your first home or you have purchased a new home in the past, working with an Experienced Realtor during the home buying process is always a good idea. We are filled with a wealth of helpful knowledge. We are experts on the local market, have years of negotiation experience, and can help take a lot of the stressful work off of your hands.


Myth 9: Your immediate needs are the most important deciding factor.

Choose a home based on your needs now AND in the future. Although it is impossible to know your future, you want to pick a home that you will continue to fit your potential lifestyle needs that have developed 10+ years from now. Consider the home and the neighborhood.

We hope this blog gave you a some helpful insights as you proceed throughout the home BUYING process. If you are ready to get started, work with the Top Realtor Mason City IA! We can help you find the perfect property to fit your needs within the North Iowa Homes for Sale! Give our experienced Team a call today at 641-425-4900 or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.

Patriotic Desserts to Impress your Memorial Day Guests!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Memorial Day weekend is almost here!  A time to honor and remember all our military men and women who have sacrificed so much so we can live the freedoms of today.

If you'll be hosting a Memorial Day get-together, make sure to impress your guests with these very patriotic & tasty desserts!


No-Bake Summer Berry Lasagna

Ingredients
  • For Whipped Cream:
  • 1 2/3 cup heavy cream-chilled
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • For Red Velvet Crust:
  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup strawberry jam
  • ½ cup+ 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • Red gel food coloring
  • For Cheesecake Layer:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese-softened
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup of whipped cream
  • 2/3 cup diced fresh strawberries
  • For Blueberry Jello Salad Layer:
  • 2 (3 oz.pckg) berry blue Jello (or other flavors to your taste)
  • 1 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups blueberry pie filling
  • 1 cup of canned crushed pineapple-drained from juice (if using pineapple chunks, pulse it in a food processor to get fine crushed pieces)
  • For Topping:
  • 2 ½ cups whipped cream
  • Fresh strawberries halved
  • Fresh blueberries
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips
  •  

Instructions

To make the crust:

  1. Combine graham cracker crumbs, strawberry jam, melted butter and red food coloring( drop the color directly in melted butter or jam, it will dissolve better).
  2. Mix until evenly moistened. Press the mixture in the bottom of 13 x 9 x 2-inch dish. Place the crust in the freezer to firm.

Filling:

  1. First, make the whipped cream. In a bowl beat chilled heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and continue mixing until really STIFF peaks form. Measure out 1 cup of beaten whipped cream for cheesecake layer. Cover remaining whipped cream and reserve for topping.
  2. To make cheesecake layer cream together softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and softened butter. Mix in 1 cup of whipped cream(do not use soft whipped cream, cheesecake filling have to be thick or it won’t hold dense blueberry jello salad layer on top)
  3. Gently fold in diced strawberries and spread over the crust. Place in the fridge to set.
  4. To make the blueberry jello salad layer in a large bowl place 6 oz. berry blue Jello gelatin mixture. Pour 1 ¼ cup boiling water and stir for a few minutes until the gelatin dissolved completely. Set aside to cool for 15-20 minutes, then stir in crushed pineapple and blueberry pie filling. Wait until it’s cooled to room temperature and soft set, or place in the fridge to speed the process but stir from time to time.
  5. Spread blueberry jello layer over chilled cheesecake layer. Do not pour warm blueberry jello over cheesecake layer, it will melt it.
  6. Place in the fridge to chill until jello layer is set completely.
  7. Top with remaining whipped cream. Before serving  arrange fresh berries on top. Melt white chocolate chips, transfer melted chocolate to a ziplock bag, cut off the corner and drizzle over the top of lasagna.
  8. Store in the fridge.
  9. RECIPE COURTESY OF OH MY GOODNESS CHOCOLATE DESSERTS
  10. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  11. RED, WHITE AND BLUE DESSERT!

INGREDIENTS

2 - 8 oz packages cream cheese softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped

2 quarts strawberries, halved, divided

2 quarts blueberries, divided

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and extracts until fluffy. Fold in whipped cream. Place a third of the mixture in a 4-qt. bowl. Reserve 20 strawberry halves and 1/2 cup blueberries for garnish.

Layer half of the remaining strawberries and blueberries over cream mixture. Top with another third of the cream mixture and the remaining berries. Spread the remaining cream mixture on top. Use the reserved strawberries and blueberries to make a "flag" on top. Yield: 18 servings.

RECIPE COURTESY OF TASTE OF HOME

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

CRISPY STAR POPS

INGREDIENTS

8 cups miniature marshmallows

6 tablespoons butter, cubed

12 cups Rice Krispies cereal

12 popsicle sticks

1 cup white baking chips

1/2 teaspoon shortening

Red, white and blue sprinkles

DIRECTIONS

In a Dutch oven, heat marshmallows and butter until melted. Remove from the heat; stir in cereal and mix well. Press into a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Cut with a 3-in. star-shaped cookie cutter. Insert a wooden pop stick into the side of each star; place on waxed paper.

In a microwave, melt white chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Spread over stars. Decorate with sprinkles. Yield: 15 pops.


RECIPE COURTESY OF TASTE OF HOME

It's the 80th North Iowa Band Festival in Mason City IA!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Memorial Day Weekend is here.....which means the return of one of the area's most beloved community events.....the 2018 North Iowa Band Festival!!! For the 80th year, the streets of Mason City will be filled with music from the Midwest’s largest FREE marching band competition! This time honored, beloved community festival features incredible live musical performances, a spectacular community parade, fun carnival, unique marketplace, and SO much more! The festival takes place throughout all of Memorial Day weekend. Do not miss out on any of the fun at the 2018 North Iowa Band Festival!

Thursday, May 24th

6:00 pm | Middle School Band | Downtown Plaza

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm | Carnival Open | Downtown

6:45 pm | Mason City Municipal Band | Downtown Plaza


Friday, May 25th

5:00 pm | Carnival, Marketplace, and Concessions Open | Downtown

5:00 pm | MCHS Mohawk Danzers | Downtown Main Stage

5:15 pm | Mason City High School Orchestra | Downtown Plaza

6:00 pm | Betty and the Gents | Downtown Main Stage

8:00 pm | The Dweebs | Downtown Main Stage

Saturday, May 26th

8:00 am | 29th Annual Stu Nevermann Memorial Run | Aquatic Center

10:00 am | 80th North Iowa Band Festival Parade | North Penn and East State Street

12:00 pm | Carnival, Marketplace, and Concessions Open | Downtown

1:15 pm | Mason City High School Jazz Band | Downtown Plaza

2:00 pm | NIACC Extreme Makeover Announcement | Downtown Main Stage

2:00 pm | Awards Ceremony | Downtown Main Stage

5:00 pm | Brad+Kate | Downtown Main Stage

7:30 pm | Decoy | Downtown Main Stage

Sunday, May 27th

9:00 am | Outdoor Worship Service | Trinity Lutheran Church

11:00 am - 5:00 pm | Marketplace Open | Downtown

12:00 pm - 6:00 pm | Carnival Open (Wristband Day) | Downtown

Monday, May 28th

12:00 pm - 8:00 pm | Carnival (Wristband Day) and Concessions Open | Downtown

Although Memorial Day weekend will be filled with festive fun in Mason City, it is very important to take the time to remember the real reason why we have this long holiday weekend and can enjoy events such as the North Iowa Band Festival. Memorial Day is a holiday for us to honor and remember those brave men and women of the United States armed services who have sacrificed so much to protect us and our freedoms. Please show your appreciation to veterans and active service members this holiday weekend and beyond.

Jane Fischer & Associates extends the sincerest THANK YOU to all current and retired United States military members for your service! We wish everyone in North Iowa a very happy & safe Memorial Day weekend!

Image Credit: Mason City Chamber of Commerce

 

The North Iowa Farmers Market is Back!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

One of our favorite summertime traditions is back......the North Iowa Farmers Market!!! This Friday, May 18th, is the opening day of one of the best farmers markets in the state! Find the highest quality produce, artisan goods, baked goods, eggs, and so much more from incredible local vendors every Tuesday and Friday from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm from now until October 30th. The market is located on the corner of 1st Street and Delaware in Mason City. Click HERE for an updated list of vendors who will be selling their goods, as well as a map of the market. Put fresh, healthy food on your kitchen table every week this summer and help support the local farmers in our area.


Be sure to check out all of the market's Special Events occurring throughout the summer!

Summer Reading Sign Up with Mason City Public Library

 

  • Tuesday, May 22nd

 

Cooking Demonstration with Sally Pressly (Decker House)

 

  • Friday, June 8th
  • Friday, July 13th
  • Friday, August 10th
  • Friday, September 14th

 

Kids Cooking Classes

 

  • Tuesday, June 12th
  • Tuesday, July 10th
  • Tuesday, August 14th
  • Register for these classes HERE

 

Kids Activities

 

  • Tuesday, June 5th – Cerro Gordo County ISU Extension and Outreach Activity 
  • Tuesday, June 12th – Lime Creek Nature Center Activity 
  • Tuesday, July 3rd – Cerro Gordo County ISU Extension and Outreach Activity 
  • Tuesday August 7th – Cerro Gordo County ISU Extension and Outreach Activity 
  • Tuesday, August 14th – Lime Creek Nature Center Activity
  • Tuesday, September 4th – Cerro Gordo County ISU Extension and Outreach Activity 
  • Tuesday, October 9th – Cerro Gordo County ISU Extension and Outreach Activity 

 


Jane Fischer & Associates Team cannot wait to see you this Summer at the North Iowa Farmers Market in Mason City!

Image Credit: North Iowa Farmers Market

 

The Legend of St. Joseph and Home Selling Success!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

You are ready to Sell your Mason City IA! The best way to ensure home selling success is to work with the Top Realtor Mason City IA! But, what else can you do to help get a quick, winning offer from buyers?

 

Whether or not you are religious, you have probably heard about the legend of St. Joseph. Realtors and home sellers across the country swear by this time honored tradition for home selling success. St. Joseph was the earthly father of Jesus. He become a patron saint because he taught his son the craftsman’s trade and always ensured that Jesus had a home. The tradition of burying devotionals to him began in the 16th century when European nuns buried medals for him at their convent in order to expand their lands. It has evolved over history to the present custom of burying statues of St. Joseph when families are looking to sell their home (Source: St-Josephstatue). No matter the religious affiliations of the home sellers, the burying of St. Joseph statues has become a common practice and has often brought success to the people who utilize it.


Guidelines for Using St. Joseph for a Successful Home Sale

1. Bury St. Joseph in Your Yard!

Once you have purchased your St. Joseph home sale kit (which can be found at religious stores or online), it is time to bury him in the yard of the home you are selling. The most common method is to place him in a protective covering (i.e. cloth or bag) and bury him upside down in your front yard. He should be facing your home. This placement is believed to have the most assurance that St. Joseph will work hard to help sell your home. If you live in a condo or do not have a large front yard, you can bury St. Joseph in a flower pot near your front door.


2. Say A Prayer to St. Joseph!

Whether or not you are a practicing Catholic, part of the St. Joseph tradition is saying a prayer for his help with your home sale. The majority of St. Joseph home sale kits include a prayer card so you will know exactly what to say.


3. Thank St. Joseph When You Get an Offer!

Congrats! You have closed on your home. Now is the time to show your graditude to St. Joseph. Dig him up from your yard (or flower pot) and bring him with you to your new home. Put him somewhere in a place of honor in the new space to remind you of this new chapter in your life.


We would like to thank St. Joseph for his assistance in helping home sellers throughout the years! Ensure home selling success by working with the Top Realtor Mason City IA and St. Joseph! We will help you sell your home for top dollar and quickly this spring! Give our experienced Team a call today at 641-425-4900 or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.

Celebrate Mom in Clear Lake Iowa!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

This weekend is the time to celebrate the most important woman in your life....your mom! Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 13th! Your mom does so much for you and your family that it is time to show her how much you appreciate it! Not sure what to do this weekend? Treat mom to a special weekend in Clear Lake! No matter what she loves to do, you will find the perfect way to celebrate in this beautiful and charming North Iowa community! Here are our recommendations for ways to celebrate Mother's Day this weekend in Clear Lake!


Give mom a break from cooking and treat her to a delicious brunch or dinner at one of the many amazing, locally owned Restaurants in Clear Lake.


Take mom on a shopping spree along Main Street, where there are numerous unique Boutiques filled with gifts she will surely love.


Spend the day exploring local art and history at Clear Lake's many Arts & Cultural Institutions.


Enjoy the beautiful spring weather on relaxing Clear Lake or play and picnic at one of the fun city Parks.


 

If you are looking for an extra special event for your mom, check out the Mother's Day Chocolate

& Wine Pairing at K & B Emporium (8 North 4th Street). This great event will be held on both Friday, May 11th, and Saturday, May 12th, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

 

Everyone is welcome! There will be 40 seats available on each day and are available at a first-come, first serve basis. The cost is $20 per person. Call (641) 357-4047

for more information!

 


Happy Mother’s Day to all from Jane Fischer & Associates!

Sealing the Deal During the Closing Process

by Jane Fischer and Associates

MAY: The Best Month to Sell Your North Iowa Home!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

 

Looking for the best time to sell your North Iowa home? Well the time is now! This study by ATTOM Data Solutions found that May and June are the optimal times nationwide to sell you home. These two months see a net average of 5.9% and 5.8% above market value, respectivally, for sellers! Although the data was for homes nationwide, the breakdown by states showed that May is the best month for sellers within Iowa. Set yourself up for getting the best price on your home and selling it within an average of 30 days (according to the National Association of Realtors) when you list in May!

 

 

Work with the Top Realtor Mason City IA to learn about the market conditions in North Iowa and help you find buyers that would love your home! We will help sell your home quickly and for top dollar this May! Give our experienced Team a call today at 641-425-4900 or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.


It's time for our Mason City Open House Extravaganza!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

FIND YOUR DREAM HOME AT THIS GREAT ANNUAL MASON CITY EVENT!

OPEN HOUSE

Saturday, May 5, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 Noon

909 6th Pl SE, MASON CITY, IA   $238,000.

THIS IS LIKE HITTING THE JACKPOT - Incredible Charm with a fantastic location. ONE of kind MASTER SUITE that you will never want to leave. Vaulted ceiling, gas fireplace and your own balcony for your morning coffee. Along with the addition, the windows (Anderson) kitchen and baths have been completely updated. The main floor family room fireplace has been redone in beautiful stone and limestone hearth. Lower level family room for a great getaway. Oversized tandem garage with tons of room that doubles as a great man cave! You will Love to call this one HOME. 

Hosted by:  Jane Fischer

________________________________________________________________________

 

OPEN HOUSE

Saturday, May 5, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 (noon)

1001 S. GARFIELD AVE, MASON CITY, IA  $278,500

Family home with all the extras. Wide open floor plan with vaulted ceiling. Large tiled entry to great room with stone gas fireplace that flows into the dining and supersized kitchen. Slider to backyard and decking. Current owners redesigned the mud -laundry room and added a built-in giving you tons of room. Master suite with walk-in closet and a double sink vanity. You will fall in love with the size of the lower level family room with added built-in craft/office area. 2 large bedrooms plus an additional bedroom/office (no egress) or bonus room and 3rd full bath. This one won't disappoint. You will be proud to call this HOME! See this & stop looking!

Hosted by:  Jenna Sheriff

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OPEN HOUSE

Saturday, May 5, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

2708 SUNRISE CT, MASON CITY, IA  $368,000


CUSTOM NEW CONSTRUCTION IN SUNSET RIDGE WITH BEAUTIFUL VIEWS! THE FAMILY HOME IS LOCATED ON A CUL-DE-SAC. WIDE OPEN FLOOR PLAN WITH ALL THE EXTRAS AND VAULTED CEILINGS. EXTRA LARGE SUPER SIZED KITCHEN WITH PAINTED MAPLE CABINETRY WITH ISLAND & SNACK BAR. GORGEOUS ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING, SOLID WOOD DOORS & TRIM. MASTER SUITE WITH WALK-IN SHOWER PLUS A TUB. LOWER LEVEL FEATURES DAYLIGHT WINDOWS OVERLOOKING THE PAVER PATIO AND SIDE DECKING. OVERSIZED FAMILY ROOM WITH WET BAR AND GAS FIREPLACE. THIS ONE HAS IT ALL 5 BEDROOMS AND 3 BATHS. FULLY FINISHED TOP TO BOTTOM!

DON'T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO CALL THIS HOME!

Hosted by:  Jane Fischer

______________________________________________________

OPEN HOUSE

Saturday, May 5, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

76 LINDEN DRIVE, MASON CITY, IA $204,900.


This charming 2 story colonial offers a spacious living room featuring a gas fireplace along with a wall of built-ins, master suite with laundry, custom designed Fieldstone kitchen, airy dining room and screened in porch all conveniently located on the main level. The four large bedrooms on the second floor will accommodate any growing family with the added bonus of the finished attic space. The lower level includes a great family room, workbench area along with storage galore and much more! The home boasts dual heating zones and a new water heater in 2017. Not only do you have a fenced in rear yard, there is also a privately shared triangular space in the alley which includes a playground, basketball hoop, and extra parking spots. Don't let this one slip away, it won't last long! 

Hosted by:  Jenna Sheriff

Make A Difference With Your "Empty Bowl"

by Jane Fischer and Associates

 

Here in North Iowa we know that our communities can only get stronger when we help others in need. Luckily, there are lots of opportunities for us to lend a hand or support those neighbors that our less fortunate than us. One of the great annual community support events is back for another year.....the Empty Bowl Project!


 

Head to one of the two new CENT Credit Union locations (25 West State Street and 3124 4th Street Southwest) from Monday, May 7th through Friday, May 18th, to pick up your very own "Empty Bowl". All proceeds from the bowls supports the important work of the Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank (122 South Adams Avenue, Mason City). This fantastic organization provides emergency food assistance to the most in need in our community. Help those most in need through purchasing a bowl....and, as an added bonus, you will be supporting the creative talents of our local artists!

 

 

There will be 60+ Empty Bowls for sale. The Empty Bowls were designed by professional artists, local community members, and art students from Central Springs High School. Bowls created by professional artists are priced at $25. Bowls created by students are available for a $15. Each bowl purchase also includes a ticket to the Empty Bowl Luncheon, presented by Hy-vee, which will be held Friday, May 18th.

 

 

Come find a beautiful bowl for your North Iowa home at this year's Empty Bowl Project and help make a difference in someon'e life.



For more incredible community events throughout the year, follow Jane Fischer & Associates on Facebook or visit our Website.   



Image Credit: CENT Credit Union

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Contact Information

Jane Fischer & Associates
Real Estate Consultants
119 2nd Street NW #2
Mason City IA 50401
Cell: 641-425-4900
Office: 641-424-HOME (4663)

2018 Jane Fischer & Associates Real Estate Consultants Logo are registered service marks owned by Jane Fischer & Associates Real Estate Consultants. Equal Housing Opportunity.