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Trick or Treating in North Iowa!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

The streets of North Iowa will soon be filled with ghosts and goblins, princesses and cowboys! Trick or treating is right around the corner! Get your home ready for all the trick or treaters this Halloween!

 

Community Trick or Treating Hours

Sunday, October 28th

Rockford | 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Wednesday, October 31st

Nora Springs | 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Osage | 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Rockwell | 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Clear Lake | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Mason City | 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

 

Follow these simple tips to make your home safe and festive for all your frightful guests!

 

  • Make a Clear Path: Ensure that there is a clear and safe route to your front door! Avoid trips and slips by clearing of your driveway and walkways of all debris. Keep the yard clear of all items, such as bicycles, toys, and yard equipment. Make sure that any decor is situated away in the grass or along the porch.
  • Keep Your Pets Away: You might have the world's friendliest four legged friend but keep them securely locked away from the front door. You have no way of knowing how they will react to the little visitors constantly coming to your front door. In addition, some trick or treaters might have a fear of dogs. Make sure that they feel comfortable when they come to your home.
  • Let There Be Light: A light on at the front door lets trick or treaters know that candy is available at your home! More importantly, though, it helps the kiddos see their way to the front door, ensuring a safe journey to their treats.
  • Make It Festive and Welcoming: Add some festive decor to your front entryway. Although part of the fun of Halloween is the over the top scares, consider choosing decorations that will not frighten the littlest ones coming to your door.
  • Stock Up On Candy: Hit the stores and make sure you have an ample supply of candy! You want to make sure that all the trick or treaters can get goodies at your home throughout the evening!

 

 

Jane Fischer and Associates Team wishes everyone in North Iowa a very happy and safe Halloween!

Don't Delay! The #1 Reason to Buy Today!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Thinking of buying a new home but not ready to make the big move? Do not delay! The number one reason why you should buy a home before the end of the year is interest rates are expected to rise in 2019!

 

When you begin your home search it is important to understand where interest rates are expected to head. Interest rates have a direct impact on the amount you will be paying monthly so the higher the rate the larger your payment. Save money by locking in a lower interest rate today!

 

Need some data? Here are the actual interest rates from this year and where they are projected to go next year. As the data from Freddie Mac shows, rates are expected to rise steadily throughout the course of 2019.



 

Along with these increased interest rates, CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index shows a 6.2% appreciation of national home prices over the current year and predicts that home prices will be 5.1% higher in 2019. With increased home prices and higher interest rates, your monthly payments will likely be significantly higher if you wait to purchase your home in the new year. Keep more money in your pocket by buying today!

 

If you are ready to buy your dream North Iowa home before the end of the year, 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/.

 

Get Your Home Ready For the Cold!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Winter weather might still be a couple months away but now is the perfect time to get your North Iowa home ready for the cold! Increase your home's energy efficiency, save money on your heating bill, and keep your family nice and cozy when the temperature plummets by following these 7 Easy Steps to Winterize Your Home!

 

1. Dodge Drafts! Drafts can waste 5% to 30% of your home's energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)! Save that energy by placing a draft blocker under your doors.


2. Use A Window Insulation Kit! Head to your local hardware store for some plastic for your windows. This adds an additional buffer against the cold.


3. Add Storm Windows! Skip the plastic and install storm windows that will last you for years to come. Studies show that these windows can save 12% to 33% on your heating costs every year!


4. Caulk Windows & Doors! Air leaks throughout the house waste a lot of energy. Be sure to caulk and seal all your windows and doors properly.


5. Replace Furnace Filters! Dirty filters increase energy use by restricting airflow. Plus, the irritants trapped in it can make your family sick! Your furnace filter should be changed every month during the winter. To save time and money (in the long run), consider using a permanent filter.


6. Monitor Your Heat! Make sure you turn down the thermostat everytime you aren't home to reduce energy waste. Also, save money by turning down your heat a degree or two and wrap up in a warm blanket instead!


7. Lower Your Water Temperature! According to the DOE, you can annually save 4% to 22% by turning down your water heater's temperature! Most water heaters are automatically set to 140ºF. Lower the temperature to 120ºF. Trust us, you won't notice the difference....aside from the money you will be saving!

 

 

Like and Follow-us on Facebook for more great tips and new homes to the market.


Out of the Darkness Mason City Walk

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Walk to Fight Suicide in Mason City. Participate in the Out of the Darkness Community Walk for Suicide Prevention this Saturday, October 6th, at the Southbridge Mall (100 South Federal Avenue). Hosted by the Iowa Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Chapter, this 12 annual event raises awareness and funds for the work of the AFSP, including advocacy, support, education, research, and more.



Register for this important event HERE! Online registration will close tomorrow (Friday) at noon but walk-ins are welcome the day of the event. The walk takes place from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, with check-in/registration beginning at 9:00 am.

 

 

The event has raised $11,250+ so far! Help the AFSP reach their $25,000 goal by registering and fundraising today!

 

 

Join those teams from your community in reducing the stigma and helping support everyone that has been affected by suicide. Together we can make a difference through great community events like these!

Clear Lake's Harvest Festival 2018!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

 

Get in the spirit of Fall at Clear Lake‘s 14th annual Harvest Festival!! Head to beautiful Main Avenue on Saturday, October 6th, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, for a day of autumnal fun and festivities! This favorite street festival features something for everyone! Enjoy delicious beer and wine samplings at 10+ locations throughout downtown. Do some seasonal shopping at one of the numerous downtown stores and special vendors that will be set up along the avenue for the day. Learn something new during the interesting seminars and artist demonstrations. Participate in or watch the fun contests, including the pumpkin roll relay, homemade salsa contest, grape stomp competition, and waiter race. Stroll through the expanded farmer’s market to pick up some fresh produce. Dance the day away to fantastic live music.

And, So Much More!!!


 

Purchase the Harvest Festival Tasting Pass ($35) HERE. Ticket price includes a souvenir glass, wine themed gift, coupon packet, and treats from Cookies, etc. and Cabin Coffee.

 


For the first time ever, start of your Harvest Festival with the Champagne 5K Fun Run/Walk! Toast the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce’s 75th Anniversary with this inaugural race! Enjoy a fantastic run/walk along South Shore and finish off the race with some bubbly! Run/Walk starts at 9:00 am on Saturday. The cost to participate is $30. Register online HERE until 5:00 pm on Friday, October 5th.




Jane Fischer and Associates Team wishes everyone a very happy Fall weekend in Clear Lake!  



Image Credit: Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce

2018 North Iowa Studio Tour this Weekend!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Explore North Iowa in a colorful new way during the 2018 North Iowa Studio Tour!! This fun, inspiring, and beautiful event allows visitors the rare opportunity to get up close and personal with 20 North Iowa artists as they showcase their artistic talents. Visitors can tour the studios, see the creative process in action, ask questions, and purchase original works of art. The tour covers 13 different studios that are located throughout Clear Lake, Mason City, Sheffeld, and Ventura! Be sure to spend your weekend getting artsy at the 2018 North Iowa Studio Tour!

 

 

Dates & Times

Friday, September 28th | 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Saturday, September 29th | 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Sunday, September 30th | 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

 

 

Locations

Sandra Quintus, Fine Art

3415 260th Street, Ventura

--Sandra Quintus, Fine Art


Images Photography

606 Buddy Holly Place, Clear Lake

--Craig Kienast, Photography


Metamorphosis

2202 16th Avenue North, Clear Lake

--Chris White, Fused Glass & Mosiacs

--Brenda Neshelm-Fuller & Tim Fuller, Jewelry


Edge to Edge Poster Art

518 3rd Street Northwest, Mason City

--Jesse Fox, Paintings


Richard Leet Studio (Saturday Only)

Brick and Tile Building, Suite 425

103 East State Street, Mason City

--Richard Leet, Paintings


David Lee Jeweler

202 2nd Street Southeast, Mason City

--David Lee, Jewelry


Tonja J Fine Arts

502 South Jersey Avenue, Mason City (Entrance in back)

--Tonja Ihienfeldt, Mixed Media


Hand Built By Marg

69 River Heights Drive, Mason City

--Marg Richards, Pottery


Pottery & Painting

68 River Heights Drive, Mason City

--Pam Bergo Coffey, Pottery & Painting

--Gloria Beeman, Fused Glass

--Gretchen King, Enamel Jewelry


Old Oaks Pottery

16125 310th Street, Mason City

--JoAnne Willemsen, Pottery

--Becky Kyhl, Silk Artist


Kostka Artistry

1425 Plymouth Road, Mason City (Backyard)

--Jan Kostka, Painting


Mudworks by Peggy Cornick

205 Red Fox Court, Mason City

--Peggy Cornick, Pottery


Bill Mateer Pottery

11976 110th Street, Sheffield

--Bill Mateer, Pottery

--Margie Kline, Pottery

--Meagan Steinberg, Glass Jewelry

--Linda Sorensen, Fiber


How to Craft Your Offer!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

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 comment 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.



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/.

 

Friday Fun in Mason City!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

September 22nd is the official last day of summer. Have one last hurrah in beautiful Mason City to celebrate this fun season! Check out the fun events planned this Friday in downtown Mason City to end your summer on a high note!

 

15th Annual Ethnic Lunch

Date: Friday, September 21st

Time: 11:00 am - 1:30 pm

Location: Federal Avenue (East Side of Central Park)

Enjoy delicious ethnic food, interesting cultural exhibits, fun live music by Cucho Madero, remarkable diversity awards, geneaology information, and so much more!


Menu from Participating Vendors & Non-Profits:

  • Bethlehem Lutheran - Brats, Hot Potato Salad, Runzas, Apple Dumplings, Baked Goods (German Cuisine)

  • Columbia Club - Beef Tacos, Taco Salad, Fried Ice Cream Sundaes (Mexican Cuisine)

  • Filipino Foodie - Meat on a Stick, Egg Rolls, Fried Rice, Rice Noodles (Filipino Cuisine)

  • Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa - Water & Soda

  • Mr. Taco - Specialty Tacos, Enchiladas, Burritos, Quesadillas (Mexican Cuisine)

  • Ruth Anne’s Home Baked - Ethnic Breads & Pastries

  • St. John’s Episcopal Church - Bangers & Mash, Scones (English Cuisine)

  • State Street Deli - Roast Beef Sandwich (Italian Cuisine)

  • Suzie Q - Philly Cheese Steak, Gyros (Greek Cuisine)

  • Trinity Lutheran Church - Meatballs, Almond Bars (Norweigan Cuisine)

 

Friday Night Live

Date: Friday, September 15th

Time: 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Location: Central Park

Cost: FREE admission!

Enjoy live music by Mason City favorite’s The Chocolate Crackers. Check out all the food from your favorite local vendors, as well as great family activities, including inflatables, Imagination Playground, obstacle course, and more!

 

Helpful Tips For Buying and Selling This Fall!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Fall might not be the most happening time on the real estate market but it can be a beneficial season for both buyers and sellers to get out there. Whether you are looking to buy or sell your Mason City IA home this time of year, there are a couple of things you should do to prepare. Take care of your housing needs before the busy holiday season by getting started today! Follow these 5 Tips for Home Buyers and 5 Tips for Home Sellers to have the most success this autumn season!

 

Buyers Tips

  1. Stay flexible. Use our Wants vs. Needs Checklist to help you determine what amenities and features you must have in your new home and what you are willing to sacrifice. Homes are going to move fast so it is best to focus on the essentials. Always have a Plan B and prepare yourself for potential deals that fall through.

  2. Budget realistically. Set your budget ahead of time and stick with it. Examine your own individual finances and how you spend your money in order to determine what you can actually afford. This will assist you before you meet with a lender and will also help you narrow your home search down to just those properties within your budgeted range.

  3. Set up financing early. Use our handy Loan Analysis Tool to help you start looking for available loans. Meet with several different lenders ahead of time so that you can receive competitive offers and find the best mortgage for you. Getting pre-approval for a loan before starting your search can help you stand out from the other buyers in the market since it shows sellers that you are serious and financially ready to buy.

  4. Work with a top agent. A real estate agent with a winning record can greatly help you throughout the home buying process. They are experts in the local market and well versed in negotiation skills. For your North Iowa home buying needs, work with Jane Fischer & Associates Real Estate Consultants. For 20+ years, we have dedicated ourselves to helping buyers find and move into their dream homes throughout our beautiful communities.

  5. Keep communication open. Your realtor is your main ally throughout the buying process. Stay in frequent communication with them throughout the process. Let them know whether you prefer to be contacted by phone or email so that communication lines stay open.

Sellers Tips

  1. Start today. Find out Your Home's Value so that you can price it correctly for the market. And, then prep your house for selling! Make sure you put the necessary time into your home in order to sell it quickly and for top dollar once it is listed.

  2. Work with Experienced Agent. Although you might want to sell your home on your own, research has shown that sellers receive more money and sell their home quicker by working with a realtor from the very beginning of the selling process.

  3. Think about your online presence. Most home buyers start their home search online. Help insure that your home stands apart from the competition by having a strong online listing. Talk to your realtor about video or drone footage as well as professional photos in order to determine what is the best course of action for your listing.

  4. Consider home improvements. While the thought of putting more money into the home you are leaving might seem silly, sellers usually receive higher than list value prices by making improvements before selling. There are many improvements that can be a worthwhile and offer you a great return on investment. Sign up for our Total Access for some great improvement ideas.

  5. Try, try again. There might not be as many buyers during the fall. Do not get discouraged if your home sits on the market for a few weeks or a deal falls through. Continue to work with your realtor to figure out the best option for you to be successful this season.

If you are ready to enter the housing market this season, 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 and/or help sell your home for top dollar! Give our experienced Team a call today at 641-425-4900 or visit our website at http://www.janefischer.com/.

Time To Downsize? Help is Here!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Although you love your current Mason City IA home, it no longer fits your lifestyle needs. Whether all your children have moved out, you recently retired, or want to live a more sustainable lifestyle, there are multiple reasons why homeowners choose to downsize. You may be moving into a smaller space but there are large considerations that need to be had when you start thinking about this move.

 

Downsizing your North Iowa Home

Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering Downsizing


1. Does size matter? What will I miss about a larger home?

We often equate size with status...after all "bigger is better". Consider how much this matters to you and whether you can readjust this conventional thinking based on your new needs. Also consider what you like about your current home. Weigh out the features and amenities you enjoy about your current home with the benefits of owning a smaller home (i.e. less time spent cleaning).


2. How will a smaller home affect other life events?

Life can be unpredictable. Although your children might have moved out, you never know what circurmstances might arise that could cause them to need a place to stay for a while. Consider whether a smaller home can fit any potential situations that might occur now and into the future. Your new, small home should fit all of your emotional, financial, and physical needs.

 

3. What will the cost be for me?

Logically, a smaller home will cost you less than a larger one. However, you should consider the costs related to downsizing. Fewer rooms means less space for your stuff. There will be some costs accured for replacing furniture, since downsizing your home means also downsizing your furniture. Also, consider whether there are costs to getting rid of items and possessions that won't fit in the new space. Finally, make sure that the price you get for selling your current home will help cover the costs of buying a new home.

 

Finding the Right Home

If after asking yourself those questions above you know that downsizing is the right move for you, then you are ready to start searching for a home. There are many things to consider when downsizing. The first has to do with the style of home. If you want something low maintenance, consider a townhouse or condo. Just make sure you consider the HOA fees when figuring out our budget. For those that prefer a single family home, consider the layout of the home and make sure it will fit your physical needs now and in the years to come. Avoid older homes that might require renovations or continual upkeep. Be sure to understand how small you are willing to go and begin to make adjustments to ensure your lifestyle needs will be met in a smaller space. Along with the home itself, you want to consider the neighborhood. You should determine whether you want your smaller home to be in a pedestrian friendly area, close to all necessarily amenities. Consider whether you want to live in a tight knit community with other residents at the same life stages as you. Work with an experienced North Iowa realtor to help you find the perfect home in the perfect location for you.

 


If you are ready to downsize your 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 1-10 of 60

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Contact Information

Jane Fischer
Real Estate Consultants
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.