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Relocation Help is Here for North Iowa!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

In today’s blog post we are going to discuss Relocating for a new job. Congrats! You just received a job offer in North Iowa! It is time to move! Starting a new job and finding a new home at the same time can be a difficult process. Loan approval is dependent on proof that you can afford the mortgage. Your income and employment history are the best indicators of what you can afford. Although this can be a stressful time, it is possible to do both at once! Here is some important information to know about relocating.


 

What should I know before getting a mortgage?

Promotions are positive financial moves. If you are earning better pay or benefits or moving to a similar position at a new job, you should be able to Obtain a Mortgage with no problem. Be prepared to share your offer letter, with salary confirmation, to your lender. They will need to verify that you have been in the position for at least 30 days to determine what you can afford for the mortgage. It is important to note that if your position is commissioned based, these earnings are often excluded from loan amounts as they are difficult to prove in a new role.

How do I obtain a mortgage with new employment?

As long as your new position makes financial sense, obtaining a mortgage should not be difficult. The lender will want to see your employment history. Frequent job changes or large gaps in employment can be red flags for lenders. Have all of your past employment information available for your lender.

How can I get a home loan when relocating?

It is always in your best interest to secure your living arrangement before you move. Consider renting in the new location for at least 30 days in order to provide the lender with time to verify your new position. This gives you time to provide your first pay stub as well as get to know the community you are living in to find the perfect neighborhood for you. However, if you are not interested in renting, you can take the plunge into home ownership right away. Recognize that buying a new home and selling your old home takes time. Determine whether you can afford two mortgages at once in the case your old home does not sell right away. Find out what you can afford by using our Home Loan Finder tool.

 

What are Relocation Packages?

Many companies can help with your relocation process. They can offer a wide variety of options. These range from covering moving costs to assisting with down payments or closing costs to Guaranteed Buy Outs (when the company purchases your old home at its appraised value when it doesn't sell within a particular timeframe) or more. Find out what your new company offers to see what sort of assistance they might be able to provide. Any relocation package can significantly help you obtain a mortgage in your new location.


We hope this blog gave you a some helpful insights into relocation. 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 http://www.janefischer.com/.

 

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 Realtor.com, 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 Niche.com 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 http://www.janefischer.com/.

 

What to Know About Contingency Offers

by Jane Fischer and Associates

In today’s blog post we are going to discuss contingency offers. During your search for a new home, you find that many have Contingent Offer statuses. It is important to understand what these are and whether or not you want to proceed with that particular property. Contingent offers are standard in real estate contracts. They mean that once an offer has been made by the buyer and accepted by the seller, the final sale is contingent upon a set of criteria. There are 3 major contingencies you will find: Home Inspection, Appraisal, and Mortgage. These contingencies allow the buyer to back out of the sale within a certain amount of time and regain their deposit if something goes wrong.


 

HOME INSPECTION CONTINGENCY

The one contingency that you almost always want to have is the home inspection contingency. This gives the buyer the right to have the home professionally inspected before the deal is finalized. A good inspection will find anything wrong with the house. When an issue is found, the buyer can ask the seller to fix it or back out of the sale.

 

APPRAISAL CONTINGENCY

The appraisal contingency means that the lender will hire a third party to evaluate the fair market value of the home. If the appraised value comes in less than the sale price, the buyer can back out of the deal. This helps protect the buyer from overpaying for a home. Here is an example. A home is selling for $250,000. Your loan covers 90% and you need to put down 10% upfront. The home is appraised for $215,000. The loan will now be for $193,500, covering 90% of the appraised value. This means instead of paying a down payment of $25,000 you now are expected to pay $56,500. If the seller will not lower the price based on the appraised value, the buyer can walk away and get their deposit back. In a market with a lot of competition, buyers might want to waive this contingency to be more appealing to the seller. However, realize that waiving this can be a risky move. You can always ask for a second appraisal and present the lender with evidence as to why the home is worth more. This might enable you to secure a loan for the full amount.

 

MORTGAGE CONTINGENCY

The mortgage contingency protects both the buyer and seller by ensuring that the proper finances are in place before getting into a sale. This contingency gives the buyer a certain period of time to obtain a loan that covers the mortgage. If a loan cannot be secured, the buyer can exit the sale with their deposit. This contingency can be easily avoided by knowing that you qualify as soon as you start the home buying process. Use our Loan Analysis tool to help find out what you can afford.

 

We hope this blog gave you a some helpful insights into contingency offers. 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 http://www.janefischer.com/.


 

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!

 

WORK WITH AN EXPERIENCED AGENT.

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!

 

GET PREAPPROVAL FROM A LENDER.

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.

 

BE DECISIVE.

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!

 

MAKE A STRONG OFFER.

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.

 

PREPARE FOR A BIDDING WAR.

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.

 

MISTAKES ARE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES.

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 http://www.janefischer.com/.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Our Team!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

 

 

The Christmas Season is our favorite time of year! With all of the incredibly festive events taking place throughout Mason City and Clear Lake, it is impossible not to be filled with good cheer and fall even more in love with living in this area. As Christmas quickly approaches, we would to extend a very warm THANK YOU to all of our past and current clients for giving us the opportunity to assist you with all of your North Iowa real estate needs! It has truly been a joy to serve you this year!


We hope your North Iowa home is filled with laughter and love as you celebrate Christmas this weekend!


The new year often brings new goals. If real estate goals are on your 2018 list, our team is here to help you achieve them! Whether you are a Home Buyer or Home Seller, we can assist you every step of the way! Through our years of experience, we love sharing our knowledge of our communities and helping people find their dream home in our area. Work with North Iowa's best real estate team in 2018! Contact us today so we can help you in every way that we can. We look forward to meeting with you!



Jane Fischer & Associates Team Wishes You A Very Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year!


Mason City Ranked One of the Safest Cities in Iowa!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

With fun community events, exciting cultural and entertainment amenities, beautiful recreational facilities, and excellent local schools, MASON CITY is a great place to call home! On top of all of these incredible attributes, Mason City is also SAFE! It was recently ranked the 9th Safest City in Iowa!

 

Home security website SafeHome recently released their list of the safest cities, with a population of at least 60K, in the state. They calculated their rankings based on recent crime data from the FBI as well as from the U.S. Census. When the results came in…..Mason City received an overall Safety Score 78.38!

 


Call this safe community home! Check out our Current Homes for Sale in Mason City! Give the Jane Fischer and Associates Team a call today or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/!  

 

Avoid These 9 Home Buying Myths!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Congrats! You have decided to buy a new home! We know that there is plenty of information and advice out there for home buyers. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation too. From process to financing and everything in between, it is easy to be overwhelmed as a home buyer and make mistakes that could have been easily avoided. Let us debunk 9 major home buying myths to help you smoothly find your dream home today!


Myth 1: The first step of the process is looking for a house.

Although the home search might seem like the obvious first step in the home buying process, it is not. Your first step as a home buyer should always be getting your finances in order! Make sure that your credit is in top form and, most importantly, get pre-approval on a mortgage. By doing these two things, you are able to focus your home search on those houses that actually fit within your budget. Pre-approval also makes you more attractive to sellers from the get go.

Myth 2: 30-year mortgage is your best finance option.

30-year mortgages can be deceiving. Monthly payments on 30-year mortgages are lower than those that are 15-year. However, since the amount of money borrowed is the same for both options but the time frame is twice as long to pay back on the 30-year mortgage, you end up paying MORE over those 30 years and at a higher interest rate. This is not to say that a 30-year mortgage is not right for you. Just make sure to do plenty of research to truly decide what loan option best fits your financial situation. Check out our Finance Information for help with this step of the process.

Myth 3: A down payment must be 20%.

Buyers can avoid paying for Private Mortgage Insurance by making a 20% down payment. However, not all lenders require that amount. You may be eligible for loans with a 5 or 10% down payment if you are willing to pay for PMI monthly. Additional down payment assistance options, such as FHA loans, might also be available for you.

Myth 4: Your only upfront cost is the down payment.

When budgeting for a new home, many home buyers only consider the initial down payment. However, you want to budget for additional costs that can always occur during the buying process. These costs include, but are not limited to, credit reports, closing costs, inspections, and insurance.

Myth 5: You cannot buy a home if you have bad credit.

You will undoubtedly have an easier time buying a home if your have good credit. However, you are not out of luck if your credit is less than ideal. There are several financing options, such as FHA loans, that you might be eligible for. Just make sure to do your research first to make sure that you are selecting an option that is best for you now and in the future.

Myth 6: You can skip the home inspection.

Home buyers should always complete a home inspection. Save money and time by discovering any issues with the house during the inspection process.

Myth 7: You will lose the house if you don't offer asking price.

Home buyers often worry that they will lose out on their dream home if they do not offer the asking price. Although doing so does make you attractive to the seller, there are other things you can do that will often cause the seller to be open to negotiation. By having a pre-approved loan, awesome credit, and a down payment ready to go, sellers know that you are 100% ready to make the purchase. Additionally, if the home inspection unveiled any issues with the home, you can negotiate for a lower price based on the findings and necessary repairs needed.

Myth 8: Home buying is easy on your own.

Whether it's your first home or you have purchased a new home in the past, working with an Experienced Realtor during the home buying process is always a good idea. We are filled with a wealth of helpful knowledge. We are experts on the local market, have years of negotiation experience, and can help take a lot of the stressful work off of your hands.

Myth 9: Your immediate needs are the most important deciding factor.

Choose a home based on your needs now AND in the future. Although it is impossible to know your future, you want to pick a home that you will continue to fit your potential lifestyle needs that have developed 10+ years from now. Consider the home and the neighborhood.

 


Ready to Buy your dream home in North Iowa? Give Jane Fischer and Associates Team a call today or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/!   

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

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 http://www.janefischer.com/.  



Content and Image Credit: Only In Your State

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 24

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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.