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How To Find The Perfect Neighborhood For You!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

While the house itself is clearly the most important aspect of the buying process, it is important to remember that you are buying more than just the physical property. You are also “buying” its location! You want to invest in a neighborhood you want to call home. 

 

Clear Lake, Mason City, and the other communities of North Iowa are filled with unique neighborhoods that are sure to fit your particular needs. Unsure how to find the right one for you and your family? These are the important factors when choosing your perfect neighborhood!

 

 

 

1. Home Value: The value of the property is important to understand in terms of what you are paying for right now, but also how the value might change in the future. Make sure you are getting the most for your invest by checking the comps for similar properties within the neighborhood to ensure the home you are interested in is correctly priced. 

 

2. Taxes: Along with your other housing payments, you need to think about and budget for property taxes. You can find out the taxes for the homes you are looking at by checking their listing information. 

 

3. Local Schools: Whether you have children or not, local schools should be a factor you consider. Strong schools have a positive effect on property values, helping increase your profitability were you to ever sell the home in the future. If you have children, living near the best schools possible helps to give them the strongest education you possibily can. Along with schools, also consider if there are any parks or community centers nearby as these can also add value. 

 

4. Crime & Safety: We all want to feel safe and secure at home and in our neighborhood. Check out the crime rates for particular neighborhoods on safety websites, such as City-Data and CrimeReports™. When you do your searches, be sure to include those neighborhoods that surround the one you are considering moving to as well. After you gather the information, you can decide if you are comfortable with the safety of the area. 

 

5. Geography & Topography: Geographic or topographic features can come at an additional cost. Is it important to you to live in a waterfront property or on a hillside? Determine what sort of outdoor features are important to you so you can narrow in on the neighborhoods that offer them. While you do this, be sure to consider the insurance needs that might come along with the particular geography/topography of those neighborhoods. 

 

 

 

Want to learn more about a particular North Iowa neighborhood or interested in Buying a home? Give Jane Fischer & Associates a call today or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.

 

Why You Should Retire To North Iowa in 2019!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

After spending your years dedicated to your career, you are ready to retire. Congrats! This is such an exciting life step. Now that you will have time to spare, you want to live in a community that offers plenty to do along with all of the amenities and facilities that you could possibly need. Look no further than North Iowa!! Although our area might not be recognized as a top retirement destination, it truly is the perfect place to find a home and enjoy your retired life! Still don't believe us?! Check out all that the communities of Mason City, Clear Lake, and the surrounding towns have to offer!

 

Arts & Entertainment

Despite it's smaller size, the North Iowa area is filled with incredible cultural amenities. Whether you love live music, art, history, or anything else, you will find it in Mason City and Clear Lake. Mason City is home to a rich history. Find incredible Music Man sites to explore. Check out the incredible architectural sites designed by the incomparable Frank Lloyd Wright. Learn about the history of the region by stepping back in time at the Kinney Pioneer Museum (9184 265th Street, Clear Lake). Browse the impressive collection of American art, Bil Baird puppets, and more at the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum  (303 2nd Street Southeast, Mason City). Enjoy incredible live performances at the Mason City Community Theatre (215 South Delaware Avenue, Mason City) and North Iowa Performing Arts Series at the North Iowa Community Auditorium (500 College Drive,Mason City) throughout the year. Dance the night away to live music at the world famous Surf Ballroom (460 North Shore Drive, Clear Lake). If you are looking for a bit for excitement and adenaline, check out the great events at North Iowa Events Center (3700 4th Street Southwest) and Mason City Motor Speedway (3700 4th Street Southwest).

 

 

Recreation

North Iowa is filled with endless recreational spaces for you to enjoy and stay active in retirement. You will find diverse landscapes to explore, well maintained biking and walking paths, and so many ways to enjoy some recreational fun in the great outdoors. Mason City has beautiful Parks located throughout the city that offer a wide variety of amenities. Water lovers will love living in Clear Lake with its stunning, blue waters. Find some of the best fishing in all of Iowa and relax on the stunning beaches at City Beach Park. Explore nature and view wildlife at McIntosh Woods and Clear Lake State Park. Looking forward to spending your retirement on the green? There are so many golf courses in North Iowa. Highland Park Golf Course (944 17th Street Northeast, Mason City) and Pine Creek Golf Course (15566 317th Street, Mason City) are courses open to the public. The Mason City Country Club (3331 19th Street Southwest, Mason City) offers world class golf to its members as well as an amazing array of amenities.

 

Amenities

North Iowa offers all of the amenities and facilities you could possibly need. Find everything for yourself and your home at the many Shopping facilities. Grab a delicious bite to eat at the Restaurants in the region. Take advantage of the world class health care provided through Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa (1000 4th Street Southwest) and its affiliated clinics.

 


Ready to enjoy retired life in North Iowa this new year? 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/.

 

A Very Happy Holidays 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. With Christmas here, 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!

 

The new year often brings new goals. If real estate goals are on your 2019 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 2019! 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!


 

Who Needs To Know About Your Change of Address

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Are those reindeer hooves on your roof? Not if Santa doesn't know about your change of address! Ok, maybe he doesn't need to know, but there are a lot of important people and organizations/agencies that have to be notified when you move to a new home. Although there are many other things on your mind during the move, do not miss this important step! If you've recently closed on a new home in the Mason City area, here is everyone you should let know about your change of address!

 

Post Office: Click HERE to submit your official change of address through the USPS so they can begin to forward your mail.

Utilities: Have you utilities discontinued at your old residence and started at your new one by letting them know you have moved. This includes electric, gas, water, internet, and cable.

Cell Phone Carrier: The taxes on our cell phone bill are determined largely by our primary residence so you must provide your carrier with the update.

Place of Employment: Your Human Resources Department should be informed of your new address so they can update the necessary information for your payroll and benefits.

Insurance Providers: Your car, dental, health, homeowners, and live insurance providers need to know about your new address in order for you to file any future claims with them.

Health Providers: Make sure you stay up to date on any medical bills by informing your doctor, dentist, and any other health care providers of your move.

Financial Institutions: Let your bank and credit card institutions know of your address change so mail containing personal, sensitive information doesn't end up in the wrong hands.

DMV: The Iowa DOT requires state residencts to inform them of a change on address within 30 days. Click HERE for all the information you will need.

IRS: Submit an address change to the IRS HERE. Failure to do so in a promptly manner could delay your tax refund this upcoming spring.

Social Security & Other Benefits: If you receive benefits from the Social Security administration, you can submit your address change online HERE. Let other government benefits you receive (i.e Medicare or Medicaid) know of your address change as well.

Family & Friends: Keep getting those holiday cards and help them find the right house for the festivities this season by letting your loved ones know your new address.

Newspapers & Magazine Subscriptions: If you still receive copies of the newspaper or magazines by mail, be sure to update the address for your subscription so you never miss an issue.

Shopping Websites: We all do a majority of our holiday shopping online. Keep those packages coming to the right house by updating your delivery address on your regular online shopping accounts.

Voter Registration: Maintain your civic duty by being able to vote in upcoming elections. Be sure to update your address so your registration stays active and to find out your new polling location.


Find more get home buying and moving tips on our Website or by following us on Facebook!

Have A Happy Holidays For You And Your Pets!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

With everything going on around the holidays, it can be easy to forget that your home is now filled with many temptations for your pet! Although some of these temptations might only cause minor mischeif, others could have very dangerous consequences for your pet. Keep this important member of your family as safe and happy as the rest of you this holiday season by following these simple tips.


  • Your pet can very easily get hurt if they knock over the tree. Keep their curiosity at bay by using natural deterents around the bottom portion of the tree. 
  • Some ornaments are made out of edible materials and its hard to blame your pet on wanting to check these out. Eliminate the temptation by not placing such ornaments on your tree this year. 
  • Speaking of plants, poinsettias are incredibly toxic for animals. Either use a natural deterrent on them or replace them with silk ones. 
  • Opt for flameless candles to keep fire hazards from occurring while still maintaining the ambiance you want during the holidays. 
  • Cables can be seen as exciting new chew toys by our pets. Make sure they remain hidden or use a deterrent such as citronella infused covers on them. 
  • Make sure someone responsible has an eye on your pet at all times when entertaining. This will ensure they don't get out of the house when they aren't supposed to or getting into things they shouldn't be. 
  • If your pet gets anxious around lots of people or you just want the peace of mind that they are safe, find a designated spot that they can stay during gatherings. Check on them throughout the evening and provide them with treats and toys that will keep them entertained. 
  • All alcohol, which can have serious health effects on your animals, should be out of reach. 
  • Avoid giving your animal table scrapes during this time of year. There are too many foods that are unsafe for them to eat, such as chocolate, raisins, onions, and garlic. There are other hazards as well, such as plastic utensils and animal bones, that you don't want them getting into. 


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How to Care for Your North Iowa Home After A Snowstorm!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

As lovely as a white Christmas can be, snow and wintery elements can cause damage to your home. Be sure to properly take care of your home after snow storms. Follow these tips for winter home care to keep your North Iowa home in its best shape now and next year!

Concrete takes a beating in the winter. Ice and snow can cause cracks. Be sure to clear off your Driveway and Walkways as soon as possible after a snowfall. Take care of those slippery spots with eco-friendly gravel or salt. Once your driveway and walkways are clear, check for any damage that you might need to take care of this spring.  

The weight of snow can cause Dead Branches to fall from trees. If any of these branches are large and hang over an area of your home, they can cause serious damage when they break off. Go around your home to look for any potential issues and cut away the dead branches that you find.

Your Roof can crack under large accumulations of snow. Cracks in the roof can lead to more serious water damage in your home. Inspect your roof for areas with heavy snow accumulation. Safely remove some of the snow. Be sure to check inside your home for any signs that damage has already occurred and hire a professional to fix the problem if necessary.  

Ice and snow up against your home can cause moisture to enter the Foundation. Make sure you shovel all the way around the base of your home. Go inside and check for cracks in the foundation where moisture might have entered.

 

 

Cold temperatures can cause Pipes to burst. A burst pipe leads to expensive water damage if your home floods. Until spring, make sure that you keep the temperature at at least 55 degrees throughout your home. Check your pipes to see if any feel cold to the touch and add insulation to keep them warm.

 

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

Follow Your Ears to TubaChristmas!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Follow Your Ears to Mason City's Southbridge Mall (100 South Federal Avenue) this Saturday, December 8th, for some festive fun and holiday good cheer!


 

It's time for the 33rd 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. Head to the Mason City High School band room on Saturday morning at 10:00 am for registration. 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! Please contact Jeff Kirkpatrick at jkirkpatrick@osage.k12.ia.us or Bob Fisher at robert.fisher@alphamediausa.com with any questions!


 


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

 

Image Credit: Jake Rajewsky/Globe Gazette

Find The Perfect Home For You And Your Little Ones!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Are you a home buyers with children? There are several major factors that parents consider as they look for a new home: number of bedrooms, yard to play in, local school district, safety of area. These are all incredibily important. But, there are other factors that often get overlooked and can have a serious effect on the livability of the home for everyone in your family. Here are the additional factors you should consider as you look for your dream family home in Mason City IA!

 

Open Floor Plan

Basements and bonus rooms are important to have so kids can have their own areas to play, especially as they get older. When they are younger, however, it is important that you can supervise them at all times. This is where an open floor plan comes in handy. When the kitchen, dining area, and family room are all connected, you can keep a watchful eye on your children while still being productive. Plus, even after the kids are older, this is still a great area for the family to gather together throughout the day.


Bedroom Placement

Although the number of bedrooms is important to ensure your family has enough personal space, it is equally important to consider where those bedrooms are placed. If the home has multiple stories, it is possible that the master bedroom is located on the first floor while the rest of the bedrooms are upstairs. As a parent, you need to decide whether you will enjoy the privacy of having a room on a separate floor or whether you want to be close to your children at night and have all the bedrooms together.


Potential Burns

Kids like to touch things and a home can be filled with lots of hot items that are easy to forget about. In particular, you should consider how the home is heated. Older homes will likely have radiators which are incredibly hot and will cause serious burns. It might be best to only look at homes with central heating if your children are small to eliminate this risk. Gas fireplaces are great but the glass doors on them become dangerous when a fire is going. Make sure you monitor your children during and after a fire and put some sort of protection over the fireplace's on switch so the kids cannot accidentally turn it on when you aren't around.


View of the Backyard

Make sure that the interior of your home provides easy sightlines to the backyard. You will receive piece of mind by being able to watch your children play outside while you get some chores done inside.


Flat Yard

Steep hills can add some visual interest to your landscaping but they make it difficult, and potentially dangerous, for children to play. Find a lot that is flat so all of your children's favorite activities will be fun and easy.


Know the Neighbors

Try to find out who the neighbors are and make sure there are not any dangerous individuals living within the area.


Sidewalks

Parents often consider how busy a street is when making housing decisions. But, even on a quiet street, sidewalks add an extra element of safety by removing the children at play even farther away from the road. Plus, it is more inviting for family walks around the neighborhood.


Nearby Amenities

Parents know how difficult it can be to pack everyone and everything into the car everytime you need to go some where. This is why it is great for home buyers with kids to find neighborhoods that have amenities within walking distance. See what schools, parks, restaurants, stores, and other amenities could be easily walked to from the home.



If you are ready to Buy your dream family home in North Iowa, search our Homes for Sale. Work with the Top Realtor Mason City by giving us a call today at 641-425-4900 or visiting our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.


 

Celebrate Christmas By The Lake!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Do you hear those jingle bells getting closer?! It is almost time for Christmas by the Lake! One of the holiday highlights in North Iowa, Christmas by the Lake in beautiful Clear Lake offers two days of festive fun for the whole family! Do not miss out on any of the fun! Find the full schedule below and enjoy a weekend of yuletide cheer!

 

Saturday, December 1st

  • 8:30 am | Cookie Walk/Coffee/Cinnamon Rolls | United Methodist Church

  • 9:00 am - 4:00 pm | Holiday Bazaar | Senior Citizens Center

  • 10:30 am & 11:30 am | Storytime & Crafts for Children (Ages 3-6) | Public Library

  • 11:00 am | Crowning of Christmas Prince & Princess | Clear Lake Bank & Trust

  • 11:00 am | Free Movie Screening | Lake Theatre

  • 11:00 am - 1:30 pm | Soup/Sandwich Lunch | United Methodist Church

  • 11:00 am - 3:00 pm | Simply Nourished European-Style Outdoor Market | North 3rd Street

  • 11:00 am - 4:00 pm | Indoor Nativity Scene Displays | CL Regular Baptist Church

  • 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm | Children’s Petting Zoo & Pony Rides | City Park

  • 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm | S’Mores & Christmas Karaoke | 400 Block of Main

  • 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm | Visit with Santa | City Park

  • 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm | Free Main Street Trolley Rides

  • 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm | Santa’s Workshop Festival | Clear Lake Arts Center

  • 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm | Free Horse Drawn Sleigh & Carriage Rides | Wilcox Furniture & Ge-Jo’s

  • 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm | Strolling Dicken’s Characters

  • 5:00 pm | Lighted Christmas by the Lake Parade & Fireworks Finale

  • 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm | Visit with Santa | City Park

  • 7:00 pm | Ronnie Milsap | Surf Ballroom

 

Sunday, December 2nd

  • 11:00 am | Free Movie Screening | Lake Theatre

  • 12:30 pm | Polar Bear Dip | City Beach

  • 1:00 pm | Treasure Hunt | Lakeview Room

  • 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm | Visit with Santa | City Park

  • 2:00 pm | Messiah Sing with a Concert by NordKor Children’s Choir | United Methodist Church

 

 

Jane Fischer and Associates Team wishes everyone a very merry time at Christmas by the Lake!

 

 

 

Image Credit: Clear Lake, Iowa


 

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Your favorite North Iowa holiday tradition is here!  It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas opens this weekend!!!!  Head to beautiful Music Man Square to enjoy the holiday spirit with family, friends, and neighbors. Marvel at the spectacular window displays and decor as you as transported back to Christmas in 1912! Celebrate the holiday classic “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas, composed by Mason City native Meredith Wilson. The stunning holiday display is open to the public Saturday, November 17th, through Christmas. It will be open Tuesdays through Sundays from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children.


Celebrate the opening of this grand display at Holiday Premier of It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas this Friday, November 16th. From 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, get access to the festive wonderland in Music Man Square early. Enjoy holiday entertianment, delicious cuisine from Hy-Vee East, a live and silent auction, and so much more. Call (641)424-2852 for ticket information.


Also, be sure to stop by Music Man Square every Sunday in December to have your photo taken with Santa!


Jane Fischer & Associates cannot wait to see you all for a jolly good time this holiday season in Music Man Square!




Image Credit: Visit Mason City


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Jane Fischer
Real Estate Consultants
641-424-HOME (4663)

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