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Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 86

Sealing the Deal During the Closing Process

by Jane Fischer and Associates

MAY: The Best Month to Sell Your North Iowa Home!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

 

Looking for the best time to sell your North Iowa home? Well the time is now! This study by ATTOM Data Solutions found that May and June are the optimal times nationwide to sell you home. These two months see a net average of 5.9% and 5.8% above market value, respectivally, for sellers! Although the data was for homes nationwide, the breakdown by states showed that May is the best month for sellers within Iowa. Set yourself up for getting the best price on your home and selling it within an average of 30 days (according to the National Association of Realtors) when you list in May!

 

 

Work with the Top Realtor Mason City IA to learn about the market conditions in North Iowa and help you find buyers that would love your home! We will help sell your home quickly and for top dollar this May! Give our experienced Team a call today at 641-425-4900 or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.


Make A Difference With Your "Empty Bowl"

by Jane Fischer and Associates

 

Here in North Iowa we know that our communities can only get stronger when we help others in need. Luckily, there are lots of opportunities for us to lend a hand or support those neighbors that our less fortunate than us. One of the great annual community support events is back for another year.....the Empty Bowl Project!


 

Head to one of the two new CENT Credit Union locations (25 West State Street and 3124 4th Street Southwest) from Monday, May 7th through Friday, May 18th, to pick up your very own "Empty Bowl". All proceeds from the bowls supports the important work of the Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank (122 South Adams Avenue, Mason City). This fantastic organization provides emergency food assistance to the most in need in our community. Help those most in need through purchasing a bowl....and, as an added bonus, you will be supporting the creative talents of our local artists!

 

 

There will be 60+ Empty Bowls for sale. The Empty Bowls were designed by professional artists, local community members, and art students from Central Springs High School. Bowls created by professional artists are priced at $25. Bowls created by students are available for a $15. Each bowl purchase also includes a ticket to the Empty Bowl Luncheon, presented by Hy-vee, which will be held Friday, May 18th.

 

 

Come find a beautiful bowl for your North Iowa home at this year's Empty Bowl Project and help make a difference in someon'e life.



For more incredible community events throughout the year, follow Jane Fischer & Associates on Facebook or visit our Website.   



Image Credit: CENT Credit Union

Iowa: A Top State for Millennials

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Millennials, those individuals born between 1981 and 1997, are one of the largest generations in this country. They make up 21 percent of all discretionary consumer spending and are quickly making up the fast share of homebuyers throughout the United States. Despite their enormous economic and social influence, life for millennials is not the same across the country. Some states offer a more livable environment to this important generation than others. After ranking the 50 states and Washington DC to see where this generation has thrived, Iowa claimed the #5 spot as Best State for Millennials!

 

 To determine their rankings, WalletHub compared all the states using 5 key dimensions: Affordability, Education & Health, Quality of Life, Economic Health, and Civic Engagement. There were 30 relevant metrics within these 5 key dimensions and each was given a particular weight in order to calculate the overall score and ranking for each state.


So, how did #5 Iowa stack up?

Not only was Iowa ranked #5 overall but it also received these high marks:

#1 Lowest Housing Costs for Millennials

#4 Lowest Millennial Unemployment Rate

#5 Lowest Percentage of Millennials Living with Parents

Iowa is the perfect place for millennials to call home! And, where better to live within the state than Mason City and the North Iowa region. With great recreational facilities, fun community events, a multitude of entertainment, shopping, and dining options, strong economic market, and so much more, this area has much to offer millennials looking for a place to call home.


If you are interested in Buying your first home in the Mason City IA area, check out our current Homes for Sale. Give Jane Fischer and Associates a call today or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.

10 Reasons to Work with a Real Estate Agent!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

In today’s blog post, we are going to discuss the top reasons why you should hire a real estate agent. Buying a home is an important financial decision. You want to make sure that you are making the best choices throughout the process and are well informed. While some buyers choose to forego using a realtor when buying a new home, it is in your best interest to work with a professional in the field. They are there to help you in every way that they can. Here are 10 reasons why you should work with the Top Realtor Mason City IA to buy your dream home in Mason City IA!


1. Knowledge & Experience. Buying a home is a lot more than just finding the right property and signing the contract. There are a lot of technical aspects involved. Although you could try to make yourself more knowledagable about the process (which is still not a bad idea), why not hire some one you has dedicated their education and experience to understanding the industry and specifics of the field.

 

2. Filter. There is a lot of information out there. Some of it is valid and some of it is spam. An agent will work with you to help understand your wants and needs and can filter out all of those properties that do not fit within them. This saves you time and frustration.

 

3. Local Knowledge. Realtors are especially knowledgable about the specifics of a local area. They understand the market in ways that individuals not working in the field cannot. They can help you determine what neighborhoods are best for you, what asking prices make sense, and so much more.

 

4. Guidance. An agent is truly there to put your best interests first. They will always help guide you towards choices, particularly those related to pricing, that make sense for you and will help you with negotiations.

 

5. Market Conditions. Realtors understand sale prices, days on market, square footage, and all of the aspects that go into how to craft a winning offer for a home.

 

6. Networking. Realtors have an extensive network of professionals that work in services related to buying a home. They can help give you recommendations for providers to work with that they know you can trust.

 

7. Negotiation. Realtors are top negotiators. They have honed the craft over many years. Since they are able to remove themselves emotionally from the transaction in ways that a buyer personally cannot, you are more likely to have a negotiation that truly works for you.

 

8. Paperwork. There is a lot of paperwork that goes into purchasing a home. It will cost you a lot of time to manage yourself and the technicalities within those documents can easily be lost to the untrained eye. It is part of the realtor's job to handle this paperwork and eliminate the hassle for you.

 

9. Questions. A realtor is always there to answer any questions who have, regardless of which step you are in during the process. Even after you close on a house, your realtor will be there to help you deal with any confusion you might have moving forward.

 

10. Mutually Beneficial. Realtors garner business through positive referrals. Due to this, it is always beneficial for them to ensure that you are satisfied and happy with the outcome of your dealings with them. They will help keep you informed and will be there for you in the future should you enter the market again.

 


We hope this blog gave you a some helpful information on why you should work with a realtor! 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/.

 

Steps to Crafting an Winning Offer!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

In today’s blog post, we are going to discuss the steps in crafting an offer. 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 com[;oment 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.



We hope this blog gave you a some helpful information on the steps of making an offer! 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/.

Clear Lake Earth Day!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Clear Lake IA has one of the most beautiful settings in the Midwest. The approximately 3,600 acres of clear, blue waters on the lake and the stunning natural landscapes along its shores offer endless recreational opportunities. Residents in Clear Lake know that having such a rich natural environment right outside their front doors is one of the greatest things about living here. And, this community loves to celebrate every year at Clear Lake Earth Day!!!! Earth Day is Sunday, April 22nd. For over 20 years, the city of Clear Lake has put together amazing, family fun events to celebrate our natural home and help protect/conserve it for ourselves and future generations to come. Come join in the fun and make a difference at these fantastic Clear Lake Earth Day events!

 


Trash Bash

Time to get down and dirty. Make a difference by helping with trash pick-up in public, highly-visible spot throughout the Clear Lake area. All ages are welcome to participate! Teams can choose from a list of spots or add their personal favorite. Register your team online HERE! The official Cleanup Day is on Saturday, April 21st, but teams can participate any day during the week of April 15th through April 22nd. Trash bags are available prior to Cleanup Day at the Chamber (205 Main Avenue) or Clear Lake Parks and Recreation Office (800 1st Avenue South) and at the Lakeview Room on Saturday. Please bring your own work gloves and dress appropriately. Enter for your chance to win fantastic prizes for participating by taking a selfie with your team and tagging it with #cltrashbash!


Green Expo

Head to Surf Ballroom on Thursday, April 19th, for an evening (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm) for an evening of educational and environmental fun! This FREE event is filled with great information. Dine on delicious fresh, local food. Visit with 50+ vendors, including businesses, non-profit organizations, and city departments, to learn incredible eco-friendly tips for your home, body, and more!


OutdoorFest

Do not miss the ultimate Earth Day bash! On Saturday, April 21st, from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, head to Clear Lake City Park for a day packed full with fun. Participate in or cheer on the runners in the 10K / 5K Run (9:00 am), Kwik Kwikkel Walk/Run Fundraiser (9:15 am), and Fun Run (10:30 am at the Sea Wall). Bring in your old batteries, plastic planting pots, and expired medicines for recycling and safe disposal. Have fun with the

Hungry Hippo Games, Tiger Bounce House, and Giant Eagle’s Nest Display. Test your strength in Tug of War (10:15 am at City Beach). Watch the Go Wild! Kids & Family Parade (10:45 am). Learn about majestic birds during the International Crane Foundation Program (11:00 am). AND, SO MUCH MORE!


10K / 5K Run

Enjoy the fresh air and get active during the Clear Lake Earth Days 5K and 10K. This chip-timed race will take place on Saturday, April 21st, at

9:00 am. Check out the Race Maps to see the routes in and around Clear Lake City Park. The cost is $30 per participant (through April 19th).

Click HERE to register! Packet pickups are availabe at the Green Expo on Thursday, the Chamber Office on Friday (8:00 am - 5:00 pm), or on race morning (7:00 am - 8:45 am). Awards will be given to the overall winners in the men's and women's competitions, as well as to the top 3 males and top 3 females in each of the age brackets.

 

Backyard Treasures Hunt

Explore the best natural sites in our area during this fun treasure hunt. Visit one or more of the 16 Backyard Treasures Sites located throughout the area. While enjoying your time there, take a selfie with a recognizable feature of the site and tag it with #cltreasures. Winners will be chosen randomly from the posted selfies after 11:59 pm on Sunday, April 22nd.


The natural setting in Clear Lake IA truly makes it one of the best places to call home! We can help you find the perfect property to fit your needs within the Clear Lake IA Homes for Sale. Give our experienced Team a call today at (641) 425-4900 or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.

 

 

Image Credit: Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce



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!

Photography Tips to Make Your Home Stand Out Online!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

In today’s blog post, we are going to discuss tips on photographing your home to sell. An online listing is almost always the first time a buyer is exposed to your home. It can have a dramatic effect on whether or not they are interested in viewing your home. Make sure that your home attracts buyers by capturing the best photos you can. Although hiring a professional can help ensure that you have the best quality images, there are some simple ways that you can make your photos look less amateur. Follow these great photography tips to have your Mason City IA looking its very best in all your online images!

 

Use a Tripod.

Always use a tripod for your photos. A tripod helps ensure that your photos are never crooked (which can be jarring) by keeping the camera straight and helps keep the image sharp and reduces bluriness by eliminating camera shake.

 



Pay Attention to the Sun.

The first image buyers usually see online is of the front exterior of the home. Think about the best time of day to capture this shot. The position of the sun at different times of the day can have a dramatic effect on the image. Always shoot this image when the sun is shining directly onto the front exterior of your home. This will ensure that your home is well lit and eliminates shadows. Also, consider the height from which you are shooting the photo. By shooting from an elevated position, you can capture an image that includes the home and part of the yard.


Don't Use Your Smartphone.

The cameras on today's smartphones are technically advance but they still do not compare to a DSLR camera. The main issue with smartphones are their inability to handle low-light settings. Shoot with a DSLR camera and external flash to make sure your image is well-lit. Always have the room's lights turned on and the curtains open to utilize natural lighting. You want your image to reveal how bright your home is.

 


Capture the Outdoors Even When Inside.

The outdoor views from the interior of your home are just as important as what is inside. You want to make sure that both are in focus. This can be difficult to capture since focusing on the interior in the forefront can blur the view from the window and vice versa. Using a deep depth of focus can ensure that all is in focus. Professionals also utilize HDR imaging in order to layer multiple exposures within the room so the image shows both the inside and outside.


Think Wide.

You want to convey as much of the space as possible within your image. Use a wide-angle lens in order to capture more of an interior room. Standard lenses are great for revealing detail within tigher shots but you can convey more information (including the floor, ceiling, and walls) about the space in one wide-angle photo.

 



Always Look for the Best Angle.

Your position when you take the photo greatly affects how big the room appears in the image. Always look for the angle that makes the space appear larger. This often means shooting from the side of furniture instead of from behind (which can create distractions and make rooms feel cramped). A good rule of thumb is to frame your photo in a way that allows you to capture three walls within the room. This helps balance your photo and make rooms appear larger.

 


We hope this blog gave you a some helpful tips on photographing your home for online listings! If you are ready to sell your home, work with the Top Realtor Mason City IA! We can help you find sell your home for top dollar and quickly this spring! Give our experienced Team a call today at 641-425-4900 or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.

Stop Renting and Start Buying!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

In today’s blog post, we are going to discuss financial reasons why you should buy instead of rent. We understand that buying a home is a major step. If you are serious about your finances, though, it is time to stop renting and start buying! As a renter, you are helping someone else pay their mortgage and not receiving any of the financial benefit from it. Why make someone else money when you can invest in yourself and your future?! Check out the facts regarding renting versus buying costs and get ready to purchase your dream Mason City IA this spring!

 

Top Financial Reasons to Own a Home

1. Cheaper than renting.

2. Locked in monthly cost for housing.

3. Investment you utilize daily.

4. Forced savings.

5. Tax savings.


Need some stone cold facts? Research from the Federal Reserve shows that a homeowner’s net worth is 44 times greater than a renter. In addition, according to Pulsenomics, home values are expected to appreciate by 3.35% per year and grow by 24.34% cumulatively over the next five years. This means that homeowners are gaining equity from the moment they purchase their home this year!

 

We hope this blog gave you a some helpful insights into why you should BUY instead of rent! If you are ready to take the plunge and buy your first 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/.

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 86

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Contact Information

Jane Fischer & Associates
Real Estate Consultants
1002 East State St., Suite B
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.