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Top Native Plants for Your North Iowa Garden!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

The ground is thawing and the temperatures are rising. Spring is finally here! Make your Mason City IA home the envy of the neighborhood with a stunning garden this season! Add some beautiful color and fragrance to your yard to drive away those winter blues. In order to ensure planting success, consider using native plants in your garden. These hardy plants are particularly resilient to the climate and soil conditions in the Midwest. Here are the Top Native Plants for Your North Iowa Garden!

 


SPIDERWORT (Tradescantia sp) – Place these perennials anywhere in your garden and enjoy the three-petaled flowers that blossom in the spring. These plants can survive in sun or shade.

WILD ANEMONE (Anemone canadensis) – This plant with large white flowers. is perfect as a garden border. It grows best in moist soil.

 

SWAMP MILKWEED (Asclepias incarnata) – These pink flowers will attract monarch butterflies this summer. It can survive in most any kinds of soil.

COMPASS PLANT (Silphium laciniatum) – Place this tall plant towards the back of your garden as it can grow up to 9 feet hight. Enjoy the yellow petals that aligns themselves north to south in the summer.

PALE PURPLE CONEFLOWER (Echinacea pallida) – Add some interesting texture to your garden with this plants dark red cones and pale pink flowers. This self-seeding plant will naturally spread throughout your garden so place it in areas with room to grow.

JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT (Arisaema triphyllum) – This plant is perfect for shady areas of your garden. Enjoy green flowers in the spring and summer and red berries in the fall for color throughout the year.

 

BLUE SAGE (Salvia pitcheri) – This lovely sky blue perennial needs full sun and well drained soil.

 

BLOODROOT (Sanguinaria canadensis) – This is another plant to put in those shaded spots. The spring time brings lovely white flowers.


BUTTERFLY WEED (Asclepias tuberosa) – This stunning orange flower attracts more butterflies in the summer. It is incredibly hardy and resists pests and diseases.

LITTLE BLUESTEM (Schizachyrium scoparium) – Enjoy some native grass all year round in your yard. It changes from a blue-green in the spring and summer to a purple-bronze in the fall and winter.

 

PENSTEMON (Penstemon digitalis) – This great perennial offers lovely white flowers and burgundy leaves.


POPPY MALLOW (Callirhoe involucrata) – Use this pest resistant plant in the front of your garden and enjoy the wine colored flowers.

COLUMBINE (Aquilegia canadensis) – Perfect for sun or shade, these yellow and red flowers will attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden.

CULVER'S ROOT (Veronicastrum virginicum) – Place these white flowers in light shade but make sure to water consistently.

GOLDENROD (Solidago sp) – This plant grows best in well drained soil and full sun. It offers a lovely yellow color to your garden well into the fall season.

Updating your garden with these native plants will offer a peaceful spot for you and your family, enhance your curb appeal, and increase your home value. If you're thinking of Selling your North Iowa home, your garden is an easy spot to invest some extra money and time to attract buyers. Turn to Jane Fischer & Associates for more great home selling tips. Visit our website http://www.janefischer.com/ and follow us on Facebook!

Find A Million Ideas for Your North Iowa Home & Garden!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

 

 

Find “A Million Ideas to Take Home” this weekend at the 27th Annual North Iowa Home & Landscaping Show!! If you are looking to update your North Iowa home and/or garden this Spring, you do not want to miss this great event!


Learn helpful tips, discover unique project ideas, talk to vendors, see samples, and attend informational seminars! Meet with experts in all these fields: Remodelers, Decorating, Home Builders, Kitchens, Bath Repair, Carpet, Flooring, Doors, Windows, Sunrooms, Heating & Cooling, Water Treatment, Insulation, Fireplaces, Saunas, Siding, Energy Saving Products, Security, Garage, Paving, Landscaping, Gardens, Lawns Equipment, Mowers, Grills, Hot Tubs, and so much more!


The 2018 North Iowa Home Show is taking place Friday, February 23rd, through Sunday, February 25th, at the North Iowa Events Center (3700 4th Street Southwest, Mason City). General admission tickets are $5.00 per person. Children 12 and under are FREE! Get a special discount coupon HERE!

 

 

2018 North Iowa Home Show Seminar Schedule

Friday, February 23rd

  • 4:30 pm | Crafting Cool and Creative Containers | Don Engebretson
  • 6:00 pm | Three Steps To A More Energy Efficient Home | Rob Buchanan
  • 7:00 pm | Design Secrets to a Beautiful Yard and Garden | Don Engebretson
 

 

 

Saturday, February 24th

  • 11:00 am | Crafting Cool and Creative Containers | Don Engebretson
  • Noon | Kitchen and Home Remodeling Tips | Lynne & Jennifer Breister
  • 1:30 pm | Design Secrets to a Beautiful Yard and Garden | Don Engebretson
  • 3:00 pm | Three Steps To A More Energy Efficient Home | Rob Buchanan
  • 4:00 pm | Building a New HomeGetting Started | Todd Redig
  • 5:00 pm | Crafting Cool and Creative Containers | Don Engebretson
 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, February 25th

  • Noon | Really Cool Plants for Iowa Gardens | Don Engebretson
  • 1:00 pm | Building a New HomeGetting Started | Todd Redig
  • 2:00 pm | Crafting Cool and Creative Containers | Don Engebretson
 

 

 

For more great home renovation tips, our Team is here to help! Check out our Website and visit our Facebook Page!

 

 

Image Credit: Iowa Show Productions  

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.


 

Getting Your Home Ready for Thanksgiving Guests!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Not only will you be filling your bellies with an incredible feast this Thanksgiving but you will also be filling your house with holiday guests! Get your home ready for all your friends and family now so you do not need to stress later this week! Prepare your Mason City house and keep your guests comfortable throughout Thanksgiving by following these simple steps!

1. Let there be light!

You might be able to navigate your house in the dark but your guests cannot! Make sure to provide them with ample lighting during the night so they can safely walk to the areas they need to reach. Add nightlights to hallways, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Make sure that all outdoor lights are working properly.

2. Clear the clutter!

Ensure ample space for your guests by removing any unnecessary clutter. Place these items in closets and storage so they are out of the way. Clear off tables and counter tops.

3. Create a great first impression!

The foyer is the very first impression your guests will have. Make it welcoming! Also ensure it is functional for your guests. Clear out your personal items so guests have an easy spot to place their coats and shoes.

4. Prep your kitchen!

Your kitchen is going to see a lot of action on Thursday. Make sure that you have all the essential items you need easily accessible. Create a comforable spot for guests to hang out in the kitchen and keep you company while you prepare your food!

5. Make it cozy!

Create a relaxing spot for guests to get some rest. Ensure that all guests have ample bedding to stay warm at night. Consider adding a ceiling fan to your guest bedroom so your guests can control their own temperature.

6. Stock your bathroom!

Keep you bathroom fully stocked with toilet paper, toiletries, and towels. Have all these items easily accessible so guests can find them when they need them!


Jane Fischer & Associates wishes everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!  

 

Home Improvement Projects to Complete Before the End of Summer

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Summer officially ends on Friday, September 22nd. That still gives you plenty of time to finish those last minute home improvement projects you've been putting off. Take advantage of these last weekends of beautiful weather and make some great updates and improvements to your Mason City area home. Not sure where to begin? Here are 7 prime home improvements to make at the end of summer.

 

1. Start a Vegetable Garden

Fall produce is delicious! Continue to put healthy, fresh food on your kitchen table by starting a garden with plants that thrive in cooler weather. We recommend beets, cabbage, carrots, and kale.


 2. Update Your Landscaping

Landscaping helps increase your home's value. Now is the perfect time to spruce up your yard so that it is looking its very best this fall and far into next year. You can choose to work on your landscaping yourself or hire a landscaping consultant or architect. Some landscaping centers offer free consultations, which is a great option if you need help coming up with initial ideas or knowing what would best accentuate your home's features. It can be easy to spruce up your landscaping on a budget. One great way to save some money? Mason City offers Free Mulch to residents!


 3. Renovate Your Deck

Your wood deck requires yearly maintenance. Water and cold weather can lead to rot and cracking in the boards. Inspect the deck yourself or hire a professional inspector if you notice any problem areas. Spend the time and money to renovate your deck as necessary so you can continue to use it on those warmer fall days and to reduce the risk of further damage during the winter.


 4. Buy New Patio Furnishings

End of season means great sales! As the weather cools, retailers will be looking to move their outdoor inventory quickly. Take advantage of huge savings on patio furnishings and lawn care equipment now.


5. Get Rid of Your Old Grill

Just like patio furnishings, grills will also be deeply discounted. Buy the grill you've always wanted so you can host those great fall football parties and be ready to barbecue all summer long next year.

 

 6. Add an Outdoor Shower

Whether you want it for relaxation or to wash off after a hard day working outside, a great upgrade to your home can be the installation of an outdoor shower. Consider placement, sizing, materials, and plumbing as you think about adding this fun and convenient outdoor feature.


7. Install a Swimming Pool

We all know the summer months in North Iowa can get hot, hot, hot! Always dreamed of cooling off in your very own pool? The end of summer is the perfect time to install your dream pool. Get ready to have the best summer ever next year by adding a pool now. With soil that is easier to dig in, deals offered by pool builders, and less need to utilize your yard as the weather cools, take advantage of the end of summer by adding this ultimate upgrade.

 

 

For more home improvement tips, check out our Blog for related topics. If you are interested in Buying or Selling your North Iowa home, give the Jane Fischer and Associates Team a call today or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.



Source Reference: Realtor.Com


Tips for Buying a Home with a Septic System

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Understanding where the waste from your home goes might be one of the least glamorous aspects of homeownership but it is of the utmost importance. Since many of the homes throughout North Iowa are located in rural areas, the homes have a septic system instead of a sewer line connection. A septic system works by collecting the waste water from a home’s kitchen and bathroom into a tank on the property. There are bacterias and compounds within the tank that help decompose the material and convert it into a harmless byproduct that can be eventually absorbed back into the ground. This is often a greener system than traditional sewer systems. Unfortunately, improperly maintained septic systems can lead to backups causing costly clean ups and dangerous contamination of the local soil. Buying a home with a septic system? Here is all the information you need to keep your septic system running properly for the health and comfort of you and your family!

 

Inspect the Septic System During the Home Inspection

Not all home inspectors have the right expertise when it comes to septic systems. If the home inspector you hire does not have experience in this area, hire a septic professional to inspect the systems operation as well as the land around it. This will ensure that it is already functioning properly and help you avoid any potential damage to your yard or, worse, your home!

 

Maintaining Your Home’s Septic System

You’ve ensured that the septic system is working properly upon buying your new home. Now, it’s time to make sure that you maintain it! Avoid putting any oils down your home’s drain and be sure to use a food disposal system to help prevent malfunctions and backups within the system. Add bacteria supplements to the tank by flashing a bacteria pack down the toilet based on the directions from the manufacturer. If your septic system has an electric pump, consider installing a backup battery and/or water level monitoring alarm for additional protection. All septic systems should be pumped out every 3 to 5 years, based on household usage, to help ensure continued functionality. In the unfortunate case that your system does backup, do not run any additional water into the drains, unless absolutely necessary, as this will just perpetuate the issue. Hire a professional septic system servicer to evaluate and repair the problem immediately.

 

 

Follow these helpful tips to keep the septic system within your new home operating properly! For more information regarding homes with septic systems in our area or for any other helpful homeowner tips, contact the Jane Fischer and Associates Team! We are here to help your through every step of the home buying process!  


 

Information from CinciNKYRealEstate.com

How to Care for Your North Iowa Home After this Week's Snowstorm!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Although spring is almost here, March weather can still mean plenty of snow in North Iowa….as we just saw this week. Snow and wintery elements can cause damage to your home. Be sure to properly take care of your home after this latest snowfall and prepare it for any potential storms in the near future. Follow these tips for winter home care to keep your North Iowa home in its best shape and ready for the warm spring weather ahead!

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.

North Iowa Home & Landscaping Show This Weekend!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Looking for great ways to update and renovate your Mason City home? Come to the 26th Annual North Iowa Home & Landscaping Show this weekend at the North Iowa Events Center (3700 4th Street Southwest, Mason City)! On Friday, February 24th, through Sunday, February 26th, you can find everything that you need inside and outside your home!

 


Turn your North Iowa abode into your dream home by discovering millions of ideas and meeting with 120+ exhibitors for the following areas and more:


Bath Repair | Carpet | Decorating | Doors | Energy Saving Products | Equipment | Fireplaces | Flooring | Garage Doors | Gardens | Grills | Heating & Cooling | Homebuilders | Hot Tubs | Insulation | Kitchens | Landscaping | Lawns | Mowers | Paving | Remodelers | Saunas | Security | Siding | Sunrooms | Water Treatment | Windows



There are also amazing home and garden seminars scheduled all weekend long! Here is the full schedule:


Friday, February 24th

4:30 pm - Increase the Storage Space and Update your Kitchen (Steve Katkowsky)

6:00 pm - Backyard Birds and How to Attract Them (Ellen Montgomery)

7:00 pm - Transform your Garden & Bring your Living Space Outdoors (Steve Katkowsky)

Saturday, February 25th

11:30 am - Want a New Home and No Energy Costs for under $175,000? (Gregg Bacon)

1:00 pm - Increase the Storage Space and Update your Bathroom (Steve Katkowsky)

2:00 pm - Want a New Home and No Energy Costs for under $175,000? (Gregg Bacon)

3:30 pm - Increase the Storage Space and Update your Kitchen (Steve Katkowsky)

5:00 pm - Backyard Birds and How to Attract Them (Ellen Montgomery)

6:00 pm - Transform your Garden & Bring your Living Space Outdoors (Steve Katkowsky)

Sunday, February 26th

12:00 pm - Increase the Storage Space and Update your Kitchen (Steve Katkowsky)

1:30 pm - Want a New Home and No Energy Costs for under $175,000? (Gregg Bacon)

2:30 pm - Increase the Storage Space and Update your Bathroom (Steve Katkowsky)



North Iowa Home & Landscaping Show Details

Dates: Friday, February 24th - Sunday, February 26th

Times: 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm (Friday) | 10:00 am - 7:00 pm (Saturday) | 11:00 am - 4:00 pm (Sunday)

Location: North Iowa Events Center (3700 4th Street Southwest, Mason City)

Cost: $5 regular admission, FREE for kids 12 and under!

*Click HERE for special discount coupon!  


If you are interested in Buying or Selling your North Iowa home, give Jane Fischer & Associates a call today or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.


Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8

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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.