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Top Renovations to Make for a Profitable Sell!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

In today’s blog post we are going to discuss profitable home renovations. You are ready to sell your North Iowa home! Now you want to make sure that you get top dollar for your home and have it stand out from the competition. Although you probably do not want to spend more money on the home now that you are moving on, there are some renovations that offer great Return on Investment (ROI)! The data team at Realtor.com® analyzed a wide variety of amenities that help homes sell quickly and for the highest value. There are 5 major categories that they focused on: Electronics, Amenities, Exteriors, Interior Design, and Rooms. Find how each amenity ranked below.


Electronics

Making your home as smart and efficient can help attract buyers. Home buyers love convenience and modern features. Consider adding smart home technology, energy star appliances, and a security system.

Smart Home Features (#1)

  • Median Listing Price: $575,000

  • 2-Year Listing Appreciation: 82.6%

  • Average Days on Market: 80

Energy Star Appliances (#12)

  • Median Listing Price: $328,950

  • 2-Year Listing Appreciation: 26.6%

  • Average Days on Market: 121

Security System (#15)

  • Median Listing Price: $340,000

  • 2-Year Listing Appreciation: 11.5%

  • Average Days on Market: 127


Rooms

Buyers do not necessarily need a huge home. They just want a space that they can customize and best fit their needs. The rooms with hottest demands are finished basements, laundry rooms, and dining rooms.

Finished Basements (#2)

  • Median Listing Price: $289,000

  • 2-Year Listing Appreciation: 13.3%

  • Average Days on Market: 107

Laundry Rooms (#8)

  • Median Listing Price: $289,000

  • 2-Year Listing Appreciation: 15.6%

  • Average Days on Market: 115

Dining Rooms (#11)

  • Median Listing Price: $289,999

  • 2-Year Listing Appreciation: 11.6%

  • Average Days on Market: 119


Exteriors

Outdoor living spaces are just as important for home buyers. However, you do not need to go too extravagent. Basic features are still more desired by buyers. These include patios, front porches, and two-car garages.

Patios (#3)

  • Median Listing Price: $309,000

  • 2-Year Listing Appreciation: 12.4%

  • Average Days on Market: 108

Front Porches (#10)

  • Median Listing Price: $224,900

  • 2-Year Listing Appreciation: 21.0%

  • Average Days on Market: 119

Two-Car Garages (#13)

  • Median Listing Price: $313,350

  • 2-Year Listing Appreciation: 16.1%

  • Average Days on Market: 123

Interior Design

Be sure to focus on the interior design of your home. Home buyers are looking for plenty of closet space and eat-in/open kitchens. Consider renovating your home to make sure that these are top features in your home.

Walk-In Closets (#4)

  • Median Listing Price: $329,500

  • 2-Year Listing Appreciation: 9.9%

  • Average Days on Market: 110

Eat-In Kitchens (#6)

  • Median Listing Price: $235,000

  • 2-Year Listing Appreciation: 17.5%

  • Average Days on Market: 113

Open Kitchens (#9)

  • Median Listing Price: $299,500

  • 2-Year Listing Appreciation: 11.3%

  • Average Days on Market: 118


Amenities

There are certain aesthetic home features that home buyers particularly love in a listing. The top ones to make sure that your home has include hardwood floors, granite counter tops, and fireplaces (both real and artifical).

Granite Countertops (#5)

  • Median Listing Price: $329,000

  • 2-Year Listing Appreciation: 1.2%

  • Average Days on Market: 112

Hardwood Floors (#7)

  • Median Listing Price: $287,000

  • 2-Year Listing Appreciation: 14.8%

  • Average Days on Market: 113

Fireplaces (#14)

  • Median Listing Price: $329,900

  • 2-Year Listing Appreciation: 11.9%

  • Average Days on Market: 126

We hope this blog gave you a some helpful insights into profitable home renovations. However, we realize that you might still have some more questions. For more Home Selling Tips, give our experienced Team a call, visit our website, or check out our Facebook Page. We are here to help if you're considering Buying, Selling, or Investing in Real Estate in the North Iowa. Contact us today at 641-425-4900 or http://www.janefischer.com/.

Data source: realtor.com


Upcoming Events in Clear Lake!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Beat the winter blues this February! There are great community events heading your way in CLEAR LAKE! Check out all the information! Jane Fischer & Associates wishes everyone a fun February with family, friends, and neighbors in beautiful Clear Lake!



Mardi Gras Party featuring Hairball  

Date: Friday, February 9th

Time: 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Location: Surf Ballroom (460 North Shore Drive, Clear Lake)

Cost: $20 per person (in advance) | $25 per person (at the door)

Celebrate Mardi Gras with Hairball and special guest The M80s.


Yellow Bass Bonanza

Dates: Saturday, February 10th - Sunday, February 11th

Time: 6:30 am - 7:30 am (Registration) | 8:00 am (tournament begins)

Location: McIntosh Woods State Park (1200 East Lake Street, Ventura)

Cost: $150 per team (mail-in) | $160 per team (online)

Come be a part of one of the Midwest's largest Ice Fishing Tournaments. Catch the biggest fish to win thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. Team tournament is on Saturday with single man fishing tournament on Sunday. Do not miss the Saturday Night Ice Bash at Surf Ballroom from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Enjoy dinner, seminars, product demos, and more!


Art FUNdamentals

Date: Saturday, February 10th

Time: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Location: CL Tel Studio at Clear Lake Arts Center (17 South 4th Street, Clear Lake)

Cost: $8 per child

Your child will love learning the fundamentals of art and design with instructor Angie Roe Gauden. Children under 5 must be accompanied by an adult.


Clear Lake Jaycees February Meeting

Date: Monday, February 12th

Time: 5:45 pm - 6:45 pm

Location: Cancun Mexican Restaurant (1801 US Highway 18 East, Clear Lake)

Cost: FREE admission | Open to the public

Get involved in your community with the Clear Lake Jaycees. Topics for this monthly meeting will include Beer Pong Tournament, Brewery Tour, and Golf Tournament. Meetings occur the second Monday of every month. Everyone in Clear Lake aged 21 to 40 are welcome to join.


Color the Wind Meet the Kite Pilots Reception

Date: Friday, February 16th

Time: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Location: Sukup Performing Arts Wing & Hanson Gallery at Clear Lake Arts Center (17 South 4th Street, Clear Lake)

Cost: FREE admission | Open to the public

Meet the designers, engineers, pilots, and technicians that bring the kites of the Color the Wind Kite Festival alive. Enjoy live music, appetizers, and beer and wine. Donations are always welcome and support the Art Center's Youth Arts Program.


Creative Kid's Free Kite Activity

Date: Saturday, February 17th

Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Location: The Sukup Performing Arts Wing, CL Tel Studio, & Walker Studio at Clear Lake Arts Center (17 South 4th Street, Clear Lake)

Cost: FREE admission | Open to the public

Come make and decorate your own kite for the Color the Wind Kite Festival. Children of all ages are welcome. Supplies are available at a first come, first serve basis.


Color the Wind Kite Festival

Date: Saturday, February 17th

Time: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Location: Downtown Clear Lake by the Seawall

Cost: FREE admission

Do not miss the largest and most colorful winter kite festival in the Midwest! See incredible inflatable kites flown by kite-flyers from around the country. There will be food available to purchase during the festival.


4-Day Fritz Hoppe Sculpture Workshop

Date:   Monday, February 19th - Thursday, February 22nd

Time:   10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Location:   Clear Lake Arts Center (17 South 4th Street, Clear Lake)

Cost: $400 per person (Workshop fee) plus $90 for materials | Call (641) 357-1998 to register

Come learn about modeling and sculpting for metal casting by sculptor Fritz Hoppe. This four day workshop will teach you step by step through this artistic process, ending in a finished sculpture in modeling clay created by you! Class size is limited.

 

 

Image Credits: Yellow Bass Bonanza & Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce

Clear Lake's Winter Dance Party!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

It's time for the biggest party of the year in Clear Lake! Celebrate three of rock n’ roll’s greatest legends [Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson] at the 2018 WINTER DANCE PARTY in the beautiful, historic Surf Ballroom. The town will be filled with fun, rock n' roll activity from Wednesday, January 31st, through Saturday, February 3rd! Check out the Schedule of Events to find information about recurring events, such as the “Rave On XIV” Art Exhibit, Rockin’ Boppin’ Record Show, Showing of The Real Buddy Holly Story Rockumentary, and Movie: Stand By Me, AND SO MUCH MORE!!!! Purchase Tickets HERE! This is the North Iowa event that you do not want to miss!!

 

Wednesday, January 31st

Family Sock Hop

*Please note that this is a separate ticket from the Thursday-Saturday festival pass!

 

Thursday, February 1st

Winter Dance Party: Thursday Night

 

Friday, February 2nd

29th Annual British Buddy Holly Society Luncheon

  • 10:30 am - 3:30 pm | Best Western Holiday Lodge

  • Performances by: TBA

  • Contact Margaret Majerczyk [margaretm@myomnitel.com] for ticket information.

Afternoon Live Entertainment

  • 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm | Cypress Lounge

  • Performances by: The Mockingbirds

  • Tickets: FREE for WDP Ticket holders | $5 for general public

Winter Dance Party: Friday Night  

Saturday, February 3rd

Memorial Site Tour

  • Surf Ballroom

  • Tickets: $8 per person (Limited Availability)

  • Escorted motor coach tour to the crash site. 75 to 90 minute tour.

Ritchie Valens Family Luncheon

  • 11:00 am | Best Western Holiday Lounge

  • Performances by: Richie Lee & The Fabulous 50s

  • Tickets: $20 in advance

  • Join the Valens family for a meal and dancing.

Winter Dance Party: Saturday Night   



Jane Fischer & Associates wishes everyone a rockin’ good time this week in beautiful Clear Lake, Iowa!  

 

 

 

Image Credits: 2018 WINTER DANCE PARTY


 

Strong Local Schools and the Value of Your Home!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

In today’s blog post we are going to discuss the effect of school ratings on your home value. Strong local schools are obviously a top priority for home owners with children. You want to ensure that your children are educated at the best schools possible. But, ALL homeowners should take into account the quality of schools in the area. Research has shown that it has a dramatic effect on the value of your home!

 

 

What are the benefits of strong local schools for buyers and sellers?

Although location has always been an important aspect of home searches, it is now more directly linked with schools in the area. A quality home in a top ranked school district will sell for a higher price and hold a better resale value over the years. So what does this all mean for buyers and sellers? According to a 2016 study by Realtor.com, home values in top ranked school districts were 49% higher than the national median. This doesn't mean that all homes close to the best schools are wildly expensive. Buyers can still find well priced homes within these districts. The best benefit for home buyers that choose to live in excellent school districts is that their home will retain its value. If you ever choose to sell in the future, you know that you will have a better return on your investment thanks to the strong schools! Sellers should use the local school district to their advantage when listing their house. Homes within quality school districts are viewed significantly more often online and sell faster than homes in less sought after districts.


 

What is the strongest local school district in our North Iowa area?

All of our area's school districts are dedicated to academic excellence and providing our students with a quality education. If a top ranked school district is your upmost priority for your new North Iowa home, however, you should look to the communities of Garner and Ventura! Garner-Hayfield-Ventura Community Schools (605 West Lyons Street, Garner) is a public school district serving 809 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. It has a remarkable student to teacher ratio of 11-1, meaning each student gets the attention they deserve. According to state test scores, 73% of the students are proficient in reading and 83% are proficient in math. Educational review and ranking website Niche.com recently released their list of the best school districts in Iowa for 2018. Garner-Hayfield Community School District was ranked the 15th best district out of the 312 analyzed. That's in the top 5%! In addition to its overall ranking, it was recognized as the #9 district with the best teachers and the #10 safest school district. Here are all of the individual grades that this district received:

 


 

If you are interested in Homes for Sale in Garner-Hayfield-Ventura CSD, give our experienced Team a call, visit our website, or check out our Facebook Page. We are here to help if you're considering Buying, Selling, or Investing in Real Estate in North Iowa. Contact us today at 641-425-4900 or http://www.janefischer.com/.

 

Upcoming Events and Special Giveaway in Clear Lake!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Start your 2018 off right! There are great community events heading your way in CLEAR LAKE! Check out all the information below and find a special giveaway offer at the bottom! Jane Fischer & Associates wishes everyone a fun January with family, friends, and neighbors!


 

Destination Clear Lake Launch Party & Chamber Annual Awards Ceremony

Date: Thursday, January 18th

Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location: Rookies Rockin Sports Bar (307 Main Avenue)

Celebrate the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce's bigest night of the year! The 2017 Annual Awards will be presented, the 75th Anniversary year will be kicked off, AND the 2018 edition of Destinitation Clear Lake will be unveiled!

 

"The Jack" Iowa LeMans Snowmobile Championship Jack Helgren Memorial Race

Dates: Friday, January 19th - Saturday, January 20th

Time: Click HERE

Location: Clear Lake State Park

Enjoy snowmobiling fun at the Annual Jack Race weekend! The whole family will love this weekend of festivities. On Friday, enjoy a snowmobile ride around the lake, bonfire, and Welcome Reception. On Saturday, check out all the races, vintage show, and more. Check out the awards banquet and live band at the end of the night. This annual event is a memorial to Jack Helgren, a Clear Lake buisnessman and avid snowmobiler.

 

Poodle Skirt Workshop

Date: Saturday, January 27th

Time: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Location: Clear Lake Arts Center (17 South 4th Street)

Make your own poddle skirt for the Winter Dance Party! Join instructor Andrea Evelsizer as she teaches you a qucik, simple pattern. All ages are welcome to attend. The cost is $40 per adult and $30 per child. The cost includes supplies. Register today! Call (641) 357-1998 or email clac@cltel.net.

Boy Scout Chili Supper

Date: Monday, January 29th

Time: 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Location: United Methodist Church (508 2nd Avenue North)

Enjoy a delicious vegetable soup and chili soup by Clear Lake Boy Scott Troop 30. Carryouts will be available starting at 4:30 pm. The cost is $8 per adult and $3 per child (ages 12 & under).

 

The Real Buddy Holly Story Rockumentary

Date: Wednesday, January 31st

Time: 3:00 pm - 4:45 pm

Location: Clear Lake Arts Center (17 South 4th Street)

See Paul McCartney's Rockumentary about rock 'n roll legend Buddy Holly. Beverages will be available to purchase. This event is FREE to the public. Can't make it on the 31st? There are additional screenings February 1st through 3rd (all at 3:00 pm).

 

Winter Dance Party Family Sock Hop

Date: Wednesday, January 31st

Time: 7:00 pm - 11:55 pm

Location: Surf Ballroom (460 North Shore Drive)

Get a jump start on the rock & roll party with some family friendly fun during the Winter Dance Party Family Sock Hop! Dance the night away to live music by Johnny Rogers! Tickets are $10 advance and $13 at the door. Children 5 and under are FREE! Purchase tickets HERE.



FOR A CHANCE TO WIN 2 FREE TICKETS TO THE WINTER DANCE PARTY AND T-SHIRTS, CLICK HERE!!!

Image Credits: The Jack Race and Winter Dance Party

Short Film Premier in Lake Mills!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Come celebrate and support incredible local talent at the official premier of Kevin Isaacson's short film Oliver Short! Head to The Mills Theater (216 West Main Street, Lake Mills) on Sunday January 14th, as they host this FREE screening! Doors will open at 1:00 pm and the show begins at 1:30 pm. Grab some soda and popcorn and find your seats for this excellent local film.



Oliver Short stars Carly Neel and Frank Boyd. After losing her father last year, sixteen year old Alex does not know how to handle her grief. She acts out by spraying graffiti on her father's gravestone. While doing so, Oliver Short appears. This mysterious gentleman is in need of her help. Alex soon realizes that Oliver and other individuals she has met in the cemetary are spirits. All of the spirits are unsettled due to unfinished business with their still living family members. Alex chooses to help these spirits and is able to properly let go of her own father's death.



Be sure to stick around after the film for a talk back with the filmmakers! This is a great event that you do not want to miss!


 


There is always something fun and unique taking place in North Iowa! Be sure to check out website at http://www.janefischer.com/ throughout the year for other great community events like this one!

 

Photo Credit: I Like Ike Films

Tips For Being A Successful Home Buyer!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Home Buying in North IowaIn today’s blog post we are going to discuss tips for home buying success. Deciding to buy a new home is an exciting venture. And, there is no better place to buy than in North Iowa! Although January is not considered a hot real estate month, buyers can use the timing to their advantage. Less competition from other buyers and the potential for higher savings from sellers eager to close can help you be in your dream home before you know it. Ensure success during your own buying process! Look through the current Home Listings so we can help you begin your exciting journey, and follow these useful tips for being a successful home buyer!

 

WORK WITH AN EXPERIENCED AGENT.

Ensure buying success by teaming up with an experienced real estate agent. You will eliminate a majority of time and stress that can come with house hunting and buying by having someone else in your corner! Jane Fischer and Associates Team is here to help you every step of the way! We understand the North Iowa housing market, know what is currently available to fit your personal housing needs, and can negotiate the best deal for your new home! Learn more About Us in terms of our years of experience and our commitment to serving you!

 

GET PREAPPROVAL FROM A LENDER.

Let sellers know that you are serious about buying by getting preapproval for a loan from a reputable lender. Having this information ready to present to the seller ensures them that you can afford their home. Learn the important steps of Obtaining a Mortgage. The initial step of preapproval is easy to get out of the way from the very beginning if you have a high credit score and savings.

 

BE DECISIVE.

We understand that buying a home is a major life decision. This can lead to overthinking the process, though. Know exactly what you are looking for from the very start. Prioritize the important factors, such as location, type, and price. Start your house hunting with a clear understanding of exactly what you need in a new home. Once you find a home that meets all of these needs, make an offer! While you should be diligient in your decision making, do not allow over analyzing to get in the way of making an offer. If you wait too long, you risk the chance of losing your dream home!

 

MAKE A STRONG OFFER.

Always begin with a strong opening offer. In your initial planning stages, you should have set a budget for yourself and know the maximum that you are willing to pay for a home. We all always want to get the best deal possible but be respectiful of the needs of the seller as well. If you offer a price that is too low, you could miss out on your dream home. Ask your realtor for advice based on other homes on the market. Determine an opening offer that you care comfortable with and that will be appealing to the seller.

 

PREPARE FOR A BIDDING WAR.

A bidding war between you and the seller is an added stress. However, do not go into the process with the mindset that you want to avoid this process at all cost. It could mean missing out on a great opportunity. Have a clear understanding of what you can afford and search for homes below your max budget. This will allow you more wiggle room should a bidding war ensue. Trust your realtor during the negotiation process as they are there to help you get the home for the best possible price.

 

MISTAKES ARE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES.

Although we want to make sure you end up in the first home you fall in love with, realize that this might not always work out. If a deal falls through, use it as an opportunity to learn what went wrong with the transaction and avoid it for the next offer. There are so many incredible options in North Iowa that you will find another home to love...perhaps even more so! Just stay true to what you are looking for and let our team help you find it!


We hope this blog gave you a some helpful tips for becoming a succesful home buyer. However, we realize that you might still have some more questions. For more Home Buying Tips, give our experienced Team a call, visit our website, or check out our Facebook Page. We are here to help if you're considering Buying, Selling, or Investing in Real Estate in the North Iowa. Contact us today at 641-425-4900 or http://www.janefischer.com/.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Our Team!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

 

 

The Christmas Season is our favorite time of year! With all of the incredibly festive events taking place throughout Mason City and Clear Lake, it is impossible not to be filled with good cheer and fall even more in love with living in this area. As Christmas quickly approaches, we would to extend a very warm THANK YOU to all of our past and current clients for giving us the opportunity to assist you with all of your North Iowa real estate needs! It has truly been a joy to serve you this year!


We hope your North Iowa home is filled with laughter and love as you celebrate Christmas this weekend!


The new year often brings new goals. If real estate goals are on your 2018 list, our team is here to help you achieve them! Whether you are a Home Buyer or Home Seller, we can assist you every step of the way! Through our years of experience, we love sharing our knowledge of our communities and helping people find their dream home in our area. Work with North Iowa's best real estate team in 2018! Contact us today so we can help you in every way that we can. We look forward to meeting with you!



Jane Fischer & Associates Team Wishes You A Very Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year!


TubaChristmas and Tom Fetty Krugerrand Auction this Saturday!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Head to Mason City's Southbridge Mall (100 South Federal Avenue) this Saturday, December 9th, for some festive fun and holiday good cheer!



The day begins with the annual Tom Fetty Krugerrand Auction from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. All monies raised during the auction are donated to our local Salvation Army. Help support a great cause this holiday season!  


Then, stick around for the 32nd annual North Iowa TubaChristmas concert in the mall’s Center Court at 1:00 pm! TubaChristmas is a live musical performance of everyone’s favorite Christmas carols by local tuba, baritone, euphonium, and sousaphone players. Beginning in 1974 in New York City, TubaChristmas concerts are now held every year throughout the country and around the world. North Iowa is proud to boost one of the largest such concerts in the nation! Enjoy a rousing performance of the greatest Christmas tunes by 100 local musicians!



Are you a musician? Come participate in TubaChristmas! Tuba, baritone, euphonium, and sousaphone players of all ages are welcome. Please head to the Mason City High School band room on Saturday morning at 10:00 am for registration. Cost is $10 per participant. Rehearsal will begin at 10:30 am. Musicians should bring their own instruments, Santa hat, and music stand. Be sure to decorate your instrument for the holiday!



Jane Fischer and Associates Team
wishes everyone a festive holiday season in Mason City and throughout North Iowa!  

 

Image Credit: Jake Rajewsky/Globe Gazette

Winterize Your Home in 7 Easy Steps!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

The cold winter days are finally upon us in North Iowa! Increase your home's energy efficiency, save money on your heating bill, and keep your family nice and cozy all winter long by following these 7 Easy Steps to Winterize Your Home!

 

1. Dodge Drafts! Drafts can waste 5% to 30% of your home's energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)! Save that energy by placing a draft blocker under your doors.


2. Use A Window Insulation Kit! Head to your local hardware store for some plastic for your windows. This adds an additional buffer against the cold.


3. Add Storm Windows! Skip the plastic and install storm windows that will last you for years to come. Studies show that these windows can save 12% to 33% on your heating costs every year!


4. Caulk Windows & Doors! Air leaks throughout the house waste a lot of energy. Be sure to caulk and seal all your windows and doors properly.


5. Replace Furnace Filters! Dirty filters increase energy use by restricting airflow. Plus, the irritants trapped in it can make your family sick! Your furnace filter should be changed every month during the winter. To save time and money (in the long run), consider using a permanent filter.


6. Monitor Your Heat! Make sure you turn down the thermostat everytime you aren't home to reduce energy waste. Also, save money by turning down your heat a degree or two and wrap up in a warm blanket instead!


7. Lower Your Water Temperature! According to the DOE, you can annually save 4% to 22% by turning down your water heater's temperature! Most water heaters are automatically set to 140ºF. Lower the temperature to 120ºF. Trust us, you won't notice the difference....aside from the money you will be saving!

 

Looking for more homeowner, buyer or seller tips? Visit our website!

 

Like and Follow-us on Facebook for more great tips and new homes to the market.


 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 56

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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.