Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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, 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 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


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!



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!



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.



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!



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.



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.



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

Staging Your North Iowa Home to Sell!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

In today’s blog post we are going to talk about the process of staging your North Iowa home to sell. Many home sellers wonder whether this is truly a necessary step when listing their property. We hope to answer some of your questions and show you the benefits of staging your home. If you are interested in selling your North Iowa home, learn more about why you should stage your home in order to receive top value for your property!


Home Staging and its benefits to your home sale


What is Home Staging?

Home staging is the process of getting a home ready to sell on the market. Its goal is to make the home appealing to the largest number of potential homebuyers. Staging helps create the best possible first impression of the home. It turns it into a welcoming site that highlights the property’s features. Professional home stagers eliminate clutter, arrange and eliminate furniture, extentuate the flow of the house, and add decor to broaden the appeal of the property. Staging allows buyers to visualize themselves in the home and imagine how they would utilize the space if they were to live there. As such, staging helps homes sell more quickly and at higher values.


Is Staging a Good Investment?

Home staging does require some capital to do it effectively. Hiring a professional stager is always a wise choice. They are incredibly experienced in the art of staging and know the best ways to highlight your home. If you would prefer to stage your home yourself, you will still likely incur some costs, such as general maintenance and cleaning costs, upgrades, and storage fees for items you want to remove. Although you might not want to put more money into your home right before selling, the Return on Investment (ROI) for staging is well worth it! Any money you spend now, you will see returned to you as your home increases its value through the staging process!


What are the Benefits of Home Staging?

There are many benefits that can come from staging your home. Need some hard facts to convince you? The National Association of REALTORS® recently released their 2017 Profile of Home Staging. Their collected data shows the benefits from the points of view of both sellers and buyers of home staging.


Buyers’ Agent Perspective

  • 49% of buyers’ agents found staging to have a positive effect on the buyer’s view of the home

  • 77% of buyers’ agents found buyers had an easier time visualizing the home as their own through staging

  • 40% of buyers were willing to see online listings that were staged

  • ⅓ of buyer’s agents found staged homes had an increase offered dollar value of 1% to 5%

Sellers’ Agent Perspective

  • 29% of sellers’ agents saw a 1% to 5% increase in the dollar value offered by buyers for staged homes

  • 21% of sellers' agents saw an even greater increase of dollar value at home 6% to 10%

  • 39% of sellers’ agents found staged homes has less days on the market (DOM)


These numbers highlight that the greatest benefits of staging your home are an increase in offered dollar value for your home, increased competition amongst buyers, and less DOM. Home staging truly is a win-win!


Is Home Staging a Good Investment for your North Iowa Home?

What are some Key Tips for Home Staging?

While far from being an exhaustive list, here are some simple steps you can take to stage your home to sell. Start with paint! Adding a fresh coat of paint throughout the home gives it an instant face lift. Choose a light, neutral color that will appeal to a broad array of people and make the rooms in your home look larger. The next step is to do a deep cleaning. Make sure that dirt has been removed from every nook and cranny and everything is looking shiny and new. Complete any lingering home maintenance projects that you have been putting off. Now, you need to go through your home and declutter and depersonalize. It is imperative that homebuyers can visualize themselves in the space. This can be difficult to do if there are a lot of your personal items and memorabilia throughout. Create clean, open spaces by removing all unnecessary items from counter and table tops. At the same time, pare down the amount of furniture to only those pieces that help showcase the size of the living space. Put furniture in areas that help highlight the flow of your home or accentuate architectural features. Your final step is to make the space homey. Place flowers and candles in rooms throughout the house to create a cozy, inviting atmosphere during showings. The most important rooms to stage, as found in the NAR 2017 Profile of Home Staging, were the kitchen, living room, dining room, and master bedroom.


What Should I Do if I am Interested in Staging My Home to Sell?

We hope this blog gave you a little more insight into benefits of staging your home to sell. However, we realize that you might still have some more questions regarding the topic. That is where we come in! Call our experienced team at Jane Fischer and Associates Team  to answer any questions you have. We are more than happy to come look at your home and give you some helpful staging advice before listing your property. We can also put you in contact with the professional stagers in the area that we trust to get the job done right. We are looking forward to hearing from you today!


Clear Lake: Iowa's Charming Beach Town!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

There is no better place to beat the summer heat than the beach! Think that living in Iowa means that a beach is out of your reach? Guess again!! The beautiful North Iowa community of CLEAR LAKE was just featured by website Only In Your State as The Tiny Beach Town In Iowa You’ve Never Heard Of But Need To Visit!


This carefree, laid back lake town is home to around 7,000 people. Despite its small size, it is filled with so much to do on and around the beautiful waters of Clear Lake!


  • Take a stroll down Main Street to find unique gift shops, antique stores, and more.

  • Head to City Park (Main Avenue) for a paddlewheel cruise, delicious sweet corn, and live music by the municipal band on the weekend.

  • Explore the great outdoors and go fishing at McIntosh Woods State Park (1200 East Lake Street, Ventura).

  • Lounge on the beach and splash around at Clear Lake State Park (2730 South Lakeview Drive).

  • Grab a delicious bite to eat with incredible views of the lake at one of the great local spots, such as The Anchor Inn (468 North Shore Drive) or The Landing Patio Bar & Grill (1603 South Shore Drive).

  • Dance the night away to live music at the historic Surf Ballroom (460 North Shore Drive).

  • Enjoy family fun community events that occur throughout the year, including Thursdays On Main and Lakeside DixieFest.


Don’t just visit Clear Lake! Make it your home! Whether you are looking for your permanent residence or a great second home for your family, there are so many options in Clear Lake. Check out the incredible Homes for Sale. Give Jane Fischer and Associates Team a call today or visit our website at  

Content and Image Credit: Only In Your State

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Share This Page

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.