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Tis The Season For Holiday Cheer...and Selling!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

The holiday season is upon us. You and your family are busy wrapping presents and preparing for guests. Even though it might not seem like the ideal time, it is actually the perfect time to sell your Mason City home! Whether your home has been on the market for a while or you have been putting off listing it, now is the season to sell! Not convinced? Here are the top reasons why it is the season for holiday cheer AND home selling!


1. Less Homes On The Market!

The majority of sellers will take their homes off the market during the holiday season. This means less competition in the market. With fewer listings, your home is more likely to rise to the top when buyers search for properties.

2. Closing Moves Quicker!

When the housing market heats up in the spring, lenders get busy. That means buyers have to wait longer for their loans to be processed and approved. The slow down in December means lenders can move the process along faster which means faster closing on your deal!

3. Time To Make Adjustments!

At this point of the year, it's possible that your home has been sitting on the market for a while. With everything slowed down, this season affords you the time to leave your listing up while you make adjustments for the home to be more attractive to buyers. This could mean improvements to your home or changing your listing price.

4. Festive Ambiance!

Is your home ever as cozy as it is during the holiday season? The fireplace is going, the smell of homebaked goods fills the air, and your rooms are filled with beautiful greenery. Important elements of staging are already done for you, creating a homey feel for all buyers who enter. To be as effective as possible, limit how many decorations, especially personal ones, you use while your home is on the market. You want to showcase the features of your home without excess clutter and give buyers the opportunity to envision themselves within the home.

5. Serious Buyers!

Any buyer that is still looking during the holiday season is serious about buying! Either they are still looking for that home that meets everything on their wish list and/or they need to buy fast. These buyers will be highly motivated which means an easier negotiation process for you as a seller.

6. Families Have A Limited Time Frame!

This reason goes hand in hand with the previous ones. Buyers with children utilize breaks from school to find the perfect home. This includes the winter break. These buyers will want to settled in their new home before school resumes in the fall so it is the perfect time to show off yours!



Ready to Sell Your North Iowa Home This Holiday Season, give Jane Fischer & Associates a call today or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.



Information Source: Realtor.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


 

Where To Vote On Election Day!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Tomorrow (November 6th) is Election Day! Regardless of what political party you belong to, it is important to exercise your right as an American citizen and head to the polls! Polls in Iowa will be open tomorrow 7:00 am until 9:00 pm.

Looking for your local polling place? Here is a list of all polling places for the North Iowa area:

 

  • Clear Lake Ward 1 | Zion Lutheran Church (112 North 4th Street, Clear Lake)
  • Clear Lake Ward 2 | Clear Lake City Hall (15 North 6th Street, Clear Lake)
  • Clear Lake Ward 3 | Church of Christ 2010 (14th Avenue North, Clear Lake)
  • Clear Lake/Grant/Union Townships Precinct | Ventura Community Center (4 North Weimer, Ventura)
  • Falls Township - Plymouth Precinct | Plymouth City Hall (616 Broad Street, Plymouth) Falls Township - Rock Falls Precinct | Rock Falls Community Center (3 South Nottingham, Rock Falls)
  • Geneseo Township Precinct | Rockwell Community Center (114 3rd Street North, Rockwell)
  • Grimes Township - Meservey Precinct | Meservey Fire Station (428 1st Street, Meservey) 
  • Grimes Township - Thornton Precinct | Thornton City Hall (404 Main Street, Thornton) Lake/Lincoln Townships Precinct | Area Education Agency (9184-B 265th Street, Clear Lake)
  • Lime Creek/Mason North Township Precinct | Lime Creek Nature Center (3501 Lime Creek Road, Mason City)
  • Mason City Ward 1 Precinct 1 | Trinity Church (213 North Pennsylvania Avenue, Mason City)
  • Mason City Ward 1 Precinct 2 | Highland Golf Course Club House (944 17th Street Northeast, Mason City)
  • Mason City Ward 1 Precinct 3 | Grace Evangelical Free Church (440 North Illinois Avenue, Mason City)
  • Mason City Ward 2 Precinct 1 | Cerro Gordo Courthouse Boardroom (220 North Washington Avenue, Mason City)
  • Mason City Ward 2 Precinct 2 | First Presbyterian Church (100 South Pierce Avenue, Mason City) 
  • Mason City Ward 2 Precinct 3 | Grace United Methodist Church (200 14th Street Northwest, Mason City)
  • Mason City Ward 3 Precinct 1 | Masonic Temple (304 1st Street Southeast, Mason City) 
  • Mason City Ward 3 Precinct 2 | Mason City School Administration Building (1515 South Pennsylvania Avenue, Mason City)
  • Mason City Ward 3 Precinct 3 | First Covenant Church (411 South Ohio Avenue, Mason City) 
  • Mason City Ward 4 Precinct 1 | NIACOG Building (525 6th Street Southwest, Mason City)
  • Mason City Ward 4 Precinct 2 | Rolling Acres CR Church (341 19th Southwest, Mason City) 
  • Mason City Ward 4 Precinct 3 | Columbia Club (551 South Taft Avenue, Mason City)
  • Mason South/Bath Township Precinct | Cerro Gordo County Engineer’s Office (2716 South Federal Avenue, Mason City)
  • Mt. Vernon/Pleasant Valley Townships Precinct | Swaledale City Hall (402 Main Street, Swaledale) 
  • Portland/Owen/Dougherty Townships Precinct | Hanford Community Church (12411 Spruce Avenue, Mason City)

 

 

To find your exact polling place, click HERE! Make sure to bring a valid form of identification.

 

We look forward to seeing everyone in North Iowa at the polls! Happy Election Day!


 

Trick or Treating in North Iowa!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

The streets of North Iowa will soon be filled with ghosts and goblins, princesses and cowboys! Trick or treating is right around the corner! Get your home ready for all the trick or treaters this Halloween!

 

Community Trick or Treating Hours

Sunday, October 28th

Rockford | 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Wednesday, October 31st

Nora Springs | 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Osage | 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Rockwell | 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Clear Lake | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Mason City | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

 

Follow these simple tips to make your home safe and festive for all your frightful guests!

 

  • Make a Clear Path: Ensure that there is a clear and safe route to your front door! Avoid trips and slips by clearing of your driveway and walkways of all debris. Keep the yard clear of all items, such as bicycles, toys, and yard equipment. Make sure that any decor is situated away in the grass or along the porch.
  • Keep Your Pets Away: You might have the world's friendliest four legged friend but keep them securely locked away from the front door. You have no way of knowing how they will react to the little visitors constantly coming to your front door. In addition, some trick or treaters might have a fear of dogs. Make sure that they feel comfortable when they come to your home.
  • Let There Be Light: A light on at the front door lets trick or treaters know that candy is available at your home! More importantly, though, it helps the kiddos see their way to the front door, ensuring a safe journey to their treats.
  • Make It Festive and Welcoming: Add some festive decor to your front entryway. Although part of the fun of Halloween is the over the top scares, consider choosing decorations that will not frighten the littlest ones coming to your door.
  • Stock Up On Candy: Hit the stores and make sure you have an ample supply of candy! You want to make sure that all the trick or treaters can get goodies at your home throughout the evening!

 

 

Jane Fischer and Associates Team wishes everyone in North Iowa a very happy and safe Halloween!

Clear Lake's Harvest Festival 2018!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

 

Get in the spirit of Fall at Clear Lake‘s 14th annual Harvest Festival!! Head to beautiful Main Avenue on Saturday, October 6th, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, for a day of autumnal fun and festivities! This favorite street festival features something for everyone! Enjoy delicious beer and wine samplings at 10+ locations throughout downtown. Do some seasonal shopping at one of the numerous downtown stores and special vendors that will be set up along the avenue for the day. Learn something new during the interesting seminars and artist demonstrations. Participate in or watch the fun contests, including the pumpkin roll relay, homemade salsa contest, grape stomp competition, and waiter race. Stroll through the expanded farmer’s market to pick up some fresh produce. Dance the day away to fantastic live music.

And, So Much More!!!


 

Purchase the Harvest Festival Tasting Pass ($35) HERE. Ticket price includes a souvenir glass, wine themed gift, coupon packet, and treats from Cookies, etc. and Cabin Coffee.

 


For the first time ever, start of your Harvest Festival with the Champagne 5K Fun Run/Walk! Toast the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce’s 75th Anniversary with this inaugural race! Enjoy a fantastic run/walk along South Shore and finish off the race with some bubbly! Run/Walk starts at 9:00 am on Saturday. The cost to participate is $30. Register online HERE until 5:00 pm on Friday, October 5th.




Jane Fischer and Associates Team wishes everyone a very happy Fall weekend in Clear Lake!  



Image Credit: Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce

2018 North Iowa Studio Tour this Weekend!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Explore North Iowa in a colorful new way during the 2018 North Iowa Studio Tour!! This fun, inspiring, and beautiful event allows visitors the rare opportunity to get up close and personal with 20 North Iowa artists as they showcase their artistic talents. Visitors can tour the studios, see the creative process in action, ask questions, and purchase original works of art. The tour covers 13 different studios that are located throughout Clear Lake, Mason City, Sheffeld, and Ventura! Be sure to spend your weekend getting artsy at the 2018 North Iowa Studio Tour!

 

 

Dates & Times

Friday, September 28th | 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Saturday, September 29th | 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Sunday, September 30th | 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

 

 

Locations

Sandra Quintus, Fine Art

3415 260th Street, Ventura

--Sandra Quintus, Fine Art


Images Photography

606 Buddy Holly Place, Clear Lake

--Craig Kienast, Photography


Metamorphosis

2202 16th Avenue North, Clear Lake

--Chris White, Fused Glass & Mosiacs

--Brenda Neshelm-Fuller & Tim Fuller, Jewelry


Edge to Edge Poster Art

518 3rd Street Northwest, Mason City

--Jesse Fox, Paintings


Richard Leet Studio (Saturday Only)

Brick and Tile Building, Suite 425

103 East State Street, Mason City

--Richard Leet, Paintings


David Lee Jeweler

202 2nd Street Southeast, Mason City

--David Lee, Jewelry


Tonja J Fine Arts

502 South Jersey Avenue, Mason City (Entrance in back)

--Tonja Ihienfeldt, Mixed Media


Hand Built By Marg

69 River Heights Drive, Mason City

--Marg Richards, Pottery


Pottery & Painting

68 River Heights Drive, Mason City

--Pam Bergo Coffey, Pottery & Painting

--Gloria Beeman, Fused Glass

--Gretchen King, Enamel Jewelry


Old Oaks Pottery

16125 310th Street, Mason City

--JoAnne Willemsen, Pottery

--Becky Kyhl, Silk Artist


Kostka Artistry

1425 Plymouth Road, Mason City (Backyard)

--Jan Kostka, Painting


Mudworks by Peggy Cornick

205 Red Fox Court, Mason City

--Peggy Cornick, Pottery


Bill Mateer Pottery

11976 110th Street, Sheffield

--Bill Mateer, Pottery

--Margie Kline, Pottery

--Meagan Steinberg, Glass Jewelry

--Linda Sorensen, Fiber


How to Craft Your Offer!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

The most important part of the home Buying process is crafting your offer. Being prepared for this process and well informed can help ensure that the dream home you find will be yours. Since this is the most technical part of buying, working with the Top Realtor Mason City IA can help ease your stress and help you get the best deal possible. Here is our step to step guide to offers for you to make a successful bid on your future home in Mason City IA!

 

1. Determine your limits. This includes your financial and lifestyle limits (i.e. your must haves). Once you know your limits, you can work with your agent on crafting an offer that is best for you.


2. Understand the documentation. Do some research ahead of time on offer forms so that you can understand the terminology. Ask your realtor to see some of the forms and ask any questions that you might have.


3. Set your price. The listing price is what the seller is opening the negotiation with. It is now your turn to provide an offer price. Work with your realtor to determine whether the asking price is fair based on comparable properties, how long it has been on the market, and other related factors. You want to make sure that you provide an offer price that is comfortably within your range and will also be attractive to the seller.


4. Prepare for your down payment. You should have a clear understanding of your finances before putting in an offer for the home. In order to get your mortgage, you will need to put in a down payment. While 20% is the standard for conventional loans, there are other options out there. Work with your lender to determine the option that work best with your finances.

 

5. Make an EMD. Consider making an earnest money deposit to show the seller you are serious about buying the home. Doing this can help you stand apart if the seller has received other offers. If the deal goes through, the money from the EMD will be applied to your down payment during closing.

 

6. Review contingencies. As a buyer, contingencies are especially important in protecting your investment. There are several contingencies that you might find within an offer, including home inspection, financing, appraisal, clear title, and home sale. Talk to your realtor about which ones need to be included. If there is a lot of competition for the home you are interested in, you might want to only include those contingencies you must have as to not scare the seller away.

 

7. Read all the details. It is important that you read every single detail, including the fine print, of a sales contract to avoid any surprises. Along with the obvious information included in these contracts, there is a property description section where the seller will specificy what items are being left behind with the house.

 

8. Set your settlement date. When you submit your sales contract, you will provide the seller with a proposed settlement date. This is how much time you have to obtain mortgage approval and complete a title search. It also gives the seller time to find their next property and move. Be flexible when you set the closing date to keep both you and the seller happy.

 

9. Write a letter. Along with the legal documentation, consider including a personal letter to the seller. You can comment them on their property and tell them why you personally have fallen in love with it. Adding a personal, emotional touch to your offer can really help set you apart.

 

10. Be ready for a counter offer. Most real estate deals require some negotiation so do not be surprised or discouraged if the seller counters your offer. The preparation you did ahead of time and your relationship with your realtor can help you navigate this process with confidence.



If you are ready to buy your dream home in North Iowa, search our Homes for Sale. Give our experienced Team a call today at 641-425-4900 or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.

 

Time To Downsize? Help is Here!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Although you love your current Mason City IA home, it no longer fits your lifestyle needs. Whether all your children have moved out, you recently retired, or want to live a more sustainable lifestyle, there are multiple reasons why homeowners choose to downsize. You may be moving into a smaller space but there are large considerations that need to be had when you start thinking about this move.

 

Downsizing your North Iowa Home

Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering Downsizing


1. Does size matter? What will I miss about a larger home?

We often equate size with status...after all "bigger is better". Consider how much this matters to you and whether you can readjust this conventional thinking based on your new needs. Also consider what you like about your current home. Weigh out the features and amenities you enjoy about your current home with the benefits of owning a smaller home (i.e. less time spent cleaning).


2. How will a smaller home affect other life events?

Life can be unpredictable. Although your children might have moved out, you never know what circurmstances might arise that could cause them to need a place to stay for a while. Consider whether a smaller home can fit any potential situations that might occur now and into the future. Your new, small home should fit all of your emotional, financial, and physical needs.

 

3. What will the cost be for me?

Logically, a smaller home will cost you less than a larger one. However, you should consider the costs related to downsizing. Fewer rooms means less space for your stuff. There will be some costs accured for replacing furniture, since downsizing your home means also downsizing your furniture. Also, consider whether there are costs to getting rid of items and possessions that won't fit in the new space. Finally, make sure that the price you get for selling your current home will help cover the costs of buying a new home.

 

Finding the Right Home

If after asking yourself those questions above you know that downsizing is the right move for you, then you are ready to start searching for a home. There are many things to consider when downsizing. The first has to do with the style of home. If you want something low maintenance, consider a townhouse or condo. Just make sure you consider the HOA fees when figuring out our budget. For those that prefer a single family home, consider the layout of the home and make sure it will fit your physical needs now and in the years to come. Avoid older homes that might require renovations or continual upkeep. Be sure to understand how small you are willing to go and begin to make adjustments to ensure your lifestyle needs will be met in a smaller space. Along with the home itself, you want to consider the neighborhood. You should determine whether you want your smaller home to be in a pedestrian friendly area, close to all necessarily amenities. Consider whether you want to live in a tight knit community with other residents at the same life stages as you. Work with an experienced North Iowa realtor to help you find the perfect home in the perfect location for you.

 


If you are ready to downsize your home, 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/.

Iowa Independent Film Festival is Bigger than Ever!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

The IOWA INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL  is BACK and BIGGER THAN EVER! Enjoy the best independent films from around the world this weekend on Friday, August 24th, and Saturday, August 25th! The 11th annual IIFF is jam packed with feature films, short films,  documentaries, and filmmaker discussions!


NEW THIS YEAR: The festival is no longer just in Mason City! There are also screening locations throughout the beautiful city of Clear Lake! Along with all the cinematic fun, take the opportunity to explore these incredible venues throughout our fantastic North Iowa communities!

The Main Event (112 2nd Street Southeast, Mason City)

Mason City Community Theatre (215 South Delaware Avenue, Mason City)

Mason City Public Library (225 2nd Street Southeast, Mason City)

Clear Lake Lake Theatre (4 North 4th Street, Clear Lake)

Clear Lake City Park (Main Avenue, Clear Lake)

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


With additional venues and more films than ever, your weekend at the IIFF will be the best one yet. Check out the FULL SCHEDULE to plan out your Friday and Saturday!


Tickets cost $30 per person and include access to ALL movies on both days! Purchase tickets at the door or in advance HERE! Don’t miss out on any of the cinematic fun!


Mason City is filled with incredible cultural events, such as the Iowa Independent Film Festival, all year round! If you want to call this incredible community home, give the Jane Fischer & Associates Team a call today or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.



Image Credit: Iowa Independent Film Festival  

Steps to Prep Your Garden for Fall!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

While we continue to enjoy the final days of summer, it is a great time to prep your North Iowa garden for the colder days ahead! Keep your landscaping looking great into the fall and next year by following these simple steps!

 

1. Water your plants and trees to ensure they have plenty of moisture in their roots.


2. Buy Bulbs so you can take advantage of lower prices in the off season.


3. Till Your Soil for next year's growth.


4. Plant Autumnal Annuals to keep your garden bright and colorful well into the fall.


5. Add Shrubs and Evergreens so they can root before the winter.


6. Cut Your Grass Lower to help the soil dry out quicker in the spring.


7. Remove Debris Rose Beds since fallen rose foliage is a spot where plant diseases can fester in the winter.


8. Cut Back Perennials so that they have room to grow next year.


9. Clean The Vegetable Garden of weeds and debris to keep pests at bay.


10. Remove Annuals that are dead and use them in your compost heap.


11. Dig Summer Bulbs and store them inside so you can enjoy them again next year.


12. Plant Bulbs that are hardy enough for colder temperatures so that they bloom as soon as spring comes around.


13. Nourish Your Lawn so it has all the nutrients it needs to last throughout the winter.


14. Rake all fallen leaves so your lawn can breathe and use the shredded leaves for mulch.


15. Protect Plants from the upcoming cold by placing frost barriers on them immediately after the first freeze.


16. Plant Bulbs Indoors to get a jump start on your spring garden.


17. Bring Container Plants Indoors after you have removed them of pests.


18. Empty Water from your hoses, fountains, and irrigation systems and store in a dry place so they are working properly next gardening season!

 

For more great home owner tips, visit our Website and follow us on Facebook!

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 36

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Contact Information

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

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