Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 11-14 of 14

Top Tips for Buying or Selling Your North Iowa Home this Spring!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Spring will be arriving soon throughout North Iowa. Along with warmer weather and greener leaves, spring makes the start of the busy housing market. If you have been waiting until spring to list or find your dream home, you can begin the process now! Follow these helpful tips for sellers and buyers to help you succeed in the Mason City area housing market this spring!



Selling this Spring!

The first step sellers should take is knowing Your Home's Value. This allows you to list your home at a correct price that fits with the current market trends. In addition, you need to make your home stand out from the other competition. This can be done by improving curb appeal, staging, and finishing those home improvement projects. Also, consider making some updates that will provide you with a great return on investment. Experienced Realtors in the Mason City area can help you throughout all of these steps and the rest of the selling process.  



Buying This Spring!

As a buyer, you need to have a good understanding of the Mason City housing market by knowing what options are out there as well as current prices. Working with a Knowledgeable Real Estate Team can help you with this from the very start. Before you actually start looking for homes, have your Home Financing in order. This allows you to know exactly what your budget is. Once you find your dream home, realize that there might be competition from other buyers in the busy spring market. There are ways to make you stand out from the crowd when there are multiple offers on the table. First, try to remain flexible with some of your conditions such as closing date. Next, write a personal letter to the seller expressing why you fell in love with the home and how it fits you and your family’s needs. This can really help you ensure that the house becomes yours.



Ready to buy or sell your Mason City home this spring? Give Jane Fischer & Associates Team a call today or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.

Properties in Mason City Continue to Be Reappraised

by Jane Fischer and Associates

The reappraisals of homes in Mason City began on April 1st and continue still today, they're half done with properties in the area with another 5,500 left to go along with 3,000 other parcels. By the time they're done they will have appraised 14,000 properties in the Mason City area according to Dana Naumann the City Assessor. The project should be completed by the end of summer, the city employed Vanguard Appraisals out of Cedar Rapids to help with the large undertaking. The appraisers are currently work in the southeast area of town this week.

Naumann stated the reappraising is taking place because "it is establishing the current market value of each property and to ensure that like properties are equitably assessed." The city wants to try to ensure taxpayers are only paying their share of their property tax and that it's not falling burden to others. The last time this project was completed was in 1992 so it is now time to inspect and appraise to homes since not every property will decrease or increase in value over all those years at the same rate according to Naumann; the information will be used to estimate the fair market value of properties.

The state law does require owners to allow access to appraisers to complete their assesment, for the most part Naumann said it's gone pretty smooth but there have been a couple issues with home owners refusing to allow the appraisers inside. Only a handful of calls have been made to the local police department to assist in the process or to assure people in the neighborhood that there isn't a stranger lurking in the area. 

All appraisers photos are on the city assessor's webpage and they all carry their photo ID. All property owners will be able to discuss the reappraised value of their home depending on the findings. The new values will be made available January 1, 2018 for taxes payable in 2019-2020. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the reappraisal process you are asked to conact the City Assessor's office at 641-421-3061.

Are Manufactured Stone Exteriors the Right Choice?

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Faux Stone House Siding

More and more we are seeing faux stone exteriors added to houses to add to the look of the house, not to mention the lightweight and cost effective alternative to natural stone is quite alluring to many homeowners and builders alike. Due to the wide array of colors and styles the trendier stone veneer option is becoming popoular over the standard vinyl siding or paired with vinyl to spruce up the look of the home to the point stone veneer sales increases in recent years by double digits. However, home inspectors across the nation are cautioning homeowners about the possibility of water damage because of the poor installation techniques that are being used.

Scott Patterson, a home inspector out of Tennessee, has noted that 9 out of 10 homes he's inspected has had the manufactured stone applied incorrectly causing water seepage behind the siding which in turn leads to rotting walls as well as mold problems. Unfortunately, some problems don't become evident for many years after the manufactured stone is installed. The American Society of Home Inspectors is recommending members become familiar with faux stone siding and inspect the areas thoroughly because of the penetrable nature.

The good news is that not all homeowners that choose to have the manufactured stone installed have ongoing issues as long as the product is installed correctly. The price of the manufactured stone is $3-$8 per square foot before installation, although double the cost of vinyl siding it's only 1/3 of the cost of natural stone.

As a buyer you may want to consider hiring an inspector with specialized training in faux stone installation to know ahead of time what you're buying and to get all the information needed to make a decision on a home. The question is how would a buyer or homeowner know there's a problem? The answer isn't simple because there may or may not be visible signs of the problem. A severe example of when the stone was installed without the proper sealant and backer rods around a large window caused caused water to pour into the walls which damaged the interior wall and alerted the owner there was an issue.

Tapping the stone to see if anything is loose or if there might be water behind it is a good test to try as a homeowner looking for any suspect signs of problematic manufactured stone installation, unfortunately all too often the problem is masked behind the wall without a way to detect until the damage becomes visible on the interior of the home. Some home inspectors do have specialized equipment to assist in finding a problem including a moisture meter and infrared camera, the inspector can check that stone has been installed correctly up to windows and door frames as well as having the correct type of sealant. If the inspector does find damage related to the manufactured stone the homeowner may want to find a qualified structural engineer in order to find all areas of moisture which can help lead to the extent of the damage within the walls behind the stone. Replacing the stone can run anywhere from $30-$38/square foot of wall which wouldn't include the cost of labor or any additional damage done to the structure of the home.

Both buyers and homeowners alike are still being drawn to the new trendy manufactured stone. Remodeling magazine's 2016 Cost vs Value Report highlighted manufactured stone veneer as having the second highest ROI (return on investment) out of 27 home projects, with nearly 93% of the cost recouped at resale. Be vigilent in choosing your contractor to ensure the product is installed correctly and to avoid problems down the road.

To Remodel or Not to Remodel Your Garage

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Garage Remodel Poject

Who worries about remodeling their garage? It's the place to park the cars, collect clutter, tool storage, and overflow from the house, right? According to a new report from the New York Times more homeowners are turning their garages into showpieces for organization and getting clutter off the floor. A finished garage can add value to the property as a whole and can have a positive effect on buyer's interest in a property which can be a direct reflection of how well the homeowner maintains the entire home. 

The sellers who have the budget and remodeled a good portion of the home are continuing the trend of moving onto the garage as their next project. After they spend all the money to add value to their house they don't want to have a big clutter area in the biggest area of their home.

On average a garage renovation can cost from a few thousand to upwards of $50,000. For those that are wiling to spend the money you'll see remodels that include custom cabinets, floor to ceiling organizing cabinets, and installing drywall and insulation. Do you need to go full out demo to the bones and remodel like you would in the house? Probably not, however, the trend is remodeling the kitchen and using the old kitchen cabinets attached to the wall in the garage for storage. A few other budget friendly tips include using hooks for hanging items such as tools, ladders, patio furniture and bikes to keep the floor clear of clutter as well as using an epoxy to re-finish the floor. The appearance of cleanliness and organization in the garage can go a long ways for a motivated buyer.

The New York Times has titled the renovations as "the final frontier of remodeling." Buyers keep your eyes open for this added feature in homes and sellers take note of this hot new trend on the market!

Displaying blog entries 11-14 of 14

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.