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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

What to Know About Contingency Offers

by Jane Fischer and Associates

In today’s blog post we are going to discuss contingency offers. During your search for a new home, you find that many have Contingent Offer statuses. It is important to understand what these are and whether or not you want to proceed with that particular property. Contingent offers are standard in real estate contracts. They mean that once an offer has been made by the buyer and accepted by the seller, the final sale is contingent upon a set of criteria. There are 3 major contingencies you will find: Home Inspection, Appraisal, and Mortgage. These contingencies allow the buyer to back out of the sale within a certain amount of time and regain their deposit if something goes wrong.


 

HOME INSPECTION CONTINGENCY

The one contingency that you almost always want to have is the home inspection contingency. This gives the buyer the right to have the home professionally inspected before the deal is finalized. A good inspection will find anything wrong with the house. When an issue is found, the buyer can ask the seller to fix it or back out of the sale.

 

APPRAISAL CONTINGENCY

The appraisal contingency means that the lender will hire a third party to evaluate the fair market value of the home. If the appraised value comes in less than the sale price, the buyer can back out of the deal. This helps protect the buyer from overpaying for a home. Here is an example. A home is selling for $250,000. Your loan covers 90% and you need to put down 10% upfront. The home is appraised for $215,000. The loan will now be for $193,500, covering 90% of the appraised value. This means instead of paying a down payment of $25,000 you now are expected to pay $56,500. If the seller will not lower the price based on the appraised value, the buyer can walk away and get their deposit back. In a market with a lot of competition, buyers might want to waive this contingency to be more appealing to the seller. However, realize that waiving this can be a risky move. You can always ask for a second appraisal and present the lender with evidence as to why the home is worth more. This might enable you to secure a loan for the full amount.

 

MORTGAGE CONTINGENCY

The mortgage contingency protects both the buyer and seller by ensuring that the proper finances are in place before getting into a sale. This contingency gives the buyer a certain period of time to obtain a loan that covers the mortgage. If a loan cannot be secured, the buyer can exit the sale with their deposit. This contingency can be easily avoided by knowing that you qualify as soon as you start the home buying process. Use our Loan Analysis tool to help find out what you can afford.

 

We hope this blog gave you a some helpful insights into contingency offers. 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/.


 

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/.


Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

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

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