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Time to SPRING FORWARD

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Spring Forward 2017

Don't forget to set your clocks forward an hour tomorrow night before you go to bed! It's officially time to enjoy the longer hours of daylight! Daylight savings time officially starts at 2 am on Sunday, March 12th but it's best to do before you go to bed unless you plan on being up at 2 am to reset your clocks.

Although it doesn't feel like spring out there today or forecasted for the upcoming weekend it's just around the corner! 

Mason City High School One of Top Schools in Iowa!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Mason City High School (1700 4th Street Southeast) has made it to the top 12% of its class for 2017! Educational review and ranking website Niche recently ranked 330 public high schools throughout Iowa to determine which were the best of the best. Based on data from the US Department of Education and user reviews, Mason City High School was found to be the 40th best high school in the state!


The data analyzed looked at factors such as state test scores, graduation rates, teacher quality, college readiness, SAT/ACT scores, high school ratings, and more. Mason City truly proved that it is dedicated to setting its students up for success. The school has a graduation rate of 97%. It was ranked the 19th best school in Iowa for college readiness. 15% of its students enroll in AP courses. Beyond the classroom, Mason City High School provides excellent extracurricular opportunities for its students. It is the 21st best high school for athletes in the state.


Check out the full report card for Mason City High School!


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Great local schools is one of the many reasons why Mason City is the perfect community for families to call home. If you are interested in Buying your dream home in Mason City, give Jane Fischer & Associates a call today or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.    

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/.

North Iowa's Blizzard Warning & the 2017 North Iowa Home Show

by Jane Fischer and Associates

North Iowa's February 2017 Blizzard

Many of us in Northern Iowa were able to experience what they call thundersnow last night, not only was it snowing hard but there was lightning and thunder to go along with it! It's not often we have this type of weather but it was quite the site to see when the sky lit up the snow covered towns in the darkness of the night. The rain that preceeded the snow fall created an icy layer that will cause very slippery conditions. Not only are we expected to get 2-4 more inches of snow today but the winds will be gusting from 20 to 40 mph throughout the day leading to white out conditions in some areas. The storm is set to impact the entire Midwest region of the country, majority of the snowfall will be in North Iowa and to the west. The storm had closed 200 miles of interstate 80 yesterday in Wyoming, the system will stretch from the Rocky Mountains through the Great Lakes.

Many schools in the area cancelled for today ahead of the storm arriving last night including Mason City, Newman, Clear Lake, Garner-Hayfield-Ventura, West Fork, and Central Springs.

Some office buildings in the area are currently without power because of the large build up of the heavy snow on the powerlines without an estimated time frame of when it will be turned back on, Alliant is working to address the problem but the snow and wind aren't making it easy to do so.

Kristin Chenoweth was set to perform at NIACC tonight at 7 pm but has been postponed to Sunday, February 26th at 4 pm. Anyone who had already purchased tickets can retain them for the Sunday performance, however, if unable to make the show you're able to drop off the tickets within 5 business days to the NIACC Box Office to receive a full refund. If you have any questions you're asked to call the box office directly at 641-422-4188.

The legislative forum scheduled for today in Clear Lake has been postponed to March 24th at 10 am at Clear Lake Bank & Trust at the Clear Lake office location. The representatives slated to speak included Iowa Rep. Linda Upmeyer, R-Clear Lake and Sen. Amanda Raga, D-Mason City. They hope to have the same speakers available for the re-scheduled forum date at the end of March.

 

2017 North Iowa Home Show

 

The show must go on for the 2017 North Iowa Home & Landscaping Show scheduled for today and running through the weekend even with all this snow in the forecast. Today's hours are 3 to 9 pm, tomorrow's are 10 am to 7 pm, and Sunday's hours are 11 am to 4pm at the North Iowa Events Center in both the All Seasons and Olson buildings. Admission is $5, youth 12 and under are free. The show features over 120 vendors from flooring to landscaping to bank lenders to complete kitchen remodels, whatever you need they'll have it all! They will have seminars throughout each day, door prizes, and various speakers - stop by and check it out!

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/.


The Humane Society of North Iowa presents:Chocolate and Romance 2017

by Jane Fischer and Associates

                             Don't miss out on contributing this this wonderful fundraising event!

The Humane Society of North Iowa presents Chocolate & Romance

This fundraiser event includes: a fashion show (featuring human AND canine fashions), wine-tasting, silent auction and a delicious chocolate buffet.

This event is being held at the National Guard Armory (1160 19th Street SW, Mason City).

Featuring fashions by......
Emerson's on Main (Osage)
Emerson's at the Lake (Clear Lake)
Emerson's at the Willow (Mason City)
Goodnature's Work Stop (Clear Lake)
Unique Boutique (Clear Lake)

With your hosts.......
Jaime Copley of KIMT Channel 3
And back by popular demand....Pete Hjelmstad!

Also Featuring....
Wine Tasting with Hy-Vee West Wine and Spirits
Indulgent chocolate buffet
Meet adoptable shelter animals on site!

Tickets are $15 and are available NOW through this page or at the shelter! Reserve your tickets now! or stop in during open hours (Tues-Fri (10-5), Wed (10-7) and Sat (10-4)) to purchase in person.

THANK YOU TO OUR WONDERFUL EVENT SPONSORS:
~CL Tel
~Clear Lake Bank and Trust
~Country Meadow Place Assisted Living
~Harley-Davidson of Mason City
~Hy-Vee West Wine and Spirits
~Jane Fischer and Associates of Century 21 Preferred
~Metalcraft Inc.
~MusicArtLife Magazine
~Petroblend

The Jack Snowmobile Race in Clear Lake is a Go!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

The Jack Snowmobile Race in Clear Lake is a GO!

Great news for all you avid snowmobilers in North Iowa - the 8th annual Jack race will go ON! Unfortunately, the kick off event cruise around the lake on Friday has been cancelled due to the lack of usable snow in certain areas of the route. Friday, February 10th pre-registration will be held at the Clear Lake VFW from 6 to 9 pm with radar races to start at 9 am on Saturday morning in Clear Lake. The event was named after local businessman, snowmobile dealer and enthusiast and avid racer, Jack Helgren, is remembered for his love of snowmobile racing. Although there isn't a lot of snow on the lake there is plenty of ice said Gary McVicker, organizer of the annual "The Jack" snowmobiling race which is part of the 2017 Iowa Lemans Championship. The event is typically held in January but due to unseasonably warm weather that caused water to form on top of the ice it was pushed back to this upcoming weekend, Friday temperatures are going to be in the 40s, Saturday will be in the 30s and Sunday will climb back up into the 40s. 

McVicker said "we have been out there with a John Deere tractor and blade and have typically found 19 or more inches of ice. The surface has not been altered although the track has been plotted out. If it's rough, it's rough; if it's glare ice, it's glare ice." Preparation for the event started over a week ago when volunteers began prepping the run site for Saturday's eventto ensure good racing surface. McVicker noted "it's a big event which takes a lot of labor, equipment, and equity to put on but we're all happy to do it and want everyone to come out and have a good time." The vintage show will start at Clear Lake State Park at 10 am with the awards ceremony Saturday evening at 7 pm at Rumorz Bar in Clear Lake where the band Split Second Band will be performing. If you're free Saturday stop out and watch all these great snowmobile racers!

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.

Which North Iowa Town Will Make the RAGBRAI Route Cut?

by Jane Fischer and Associates

North Iowa RAGBRAI Route 2017

The big announcement for the RAGBRAI 2017 host towns along the route will be held on Saturday at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, many cities representatives from across the state will be in attendance to find out if their town was chosen for 2017. The Register's Great Annual Cycle Ride Across Iowa will be July 23-29th with eight cities being chosen as overnight stay hosts.

Officials from both Clear Lake and Charles City plan to be in attendance for the announcement this weekend, Charles City Administrator Steve Diers was staying hopeful that Charles City will end up as a choice for this years ride. Although Clear Lake hosted an overnight stop in Ragbrai 2010, Mayor Nelson Crabb applied to be considered for a stop along the route this year; Crabb along with Clear Lake's City Administrator and Mayor Pro-Tem will be attending Saturday's event. In 2014 Clear Lake was one of the towns that was passed through but they hope to host again this year. Mason City recently hosted an overnight of Ragbrai so although they applied to be on the route it wasn't likely they would be chosen according to Mason City Manager, Brent Trout. The committee tries to spread the hosting towns around the state but Trout stated Mason City really enjoyed hosting and would like to do it again in the upcoming years.

Barb Smith, the Forest City Administrator, said hosting Ragbrai is a good community thing that brings people to town. Smith wasn't sure if Forest City had applied to host in 2017 or not but hopes to be a part of the ride at some point in the future. Algona also applied to host although they hosted overnight in 2010, the City Administrator Curt Wiseman said they won't know until after the announcement is made whethere Algona will host again or not they're just waiting anxiously.

 

Cubs World Series Trophy to Visit Mason City

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Cubs World Series Trophy

Exciting news for all of you Cubs fans here in North Iowa! The Cubs World Series Trophy will be on display in Mason City on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at the Mason City Public Library in the Mason City Room from 5:30 to 8 pm. 

 

The Cubs organization is doing a "World Series Trophy Tour" promotion throughout the Midwest making the trophy available for public viewing. The trophy will be have armed guards on duty for each city visit throughout the tour including at it's Mason City stop. 

 

Prior to 2016 the Cubs hadn't won the World Series championship since 1908, earlier this year the Cubs beat the Indians to win the championship. The Cubs last World Series appearance was in 1945.

Displaying blog entries 31-40 of 40

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Contact Information

Jane Fischer & Associates
Century 21 Preferred
2800 4th Street SW #3
Mason City IA 50401
Cell: 641-425-4900
Office: 641-424-9400
©2017 CENTURY 21 Preferred. CENTURY 21® and the CENTURY 21 Logo are registered service marks owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each office is independently owned and operated.