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I'm not a big fan of chain restaurants in general. So several years back when Cici's Pizza came to town it was no big deal for me. There were lots of ads announcing the opening and many mailers with coupons which I ignored. They were in town for about a year and a half before we tried it for the first time. We were out shopping one day in Haymarket Square on Merle Hay Rd and our three kids were ravenous. Our oldest chirped "let's go the Cici's Pizza!" as we drove by and our two others immediately joined in chorus. It just so (17 comments)
Des Moines area home sales for January 2011 - 02/16/11 01:36 AM
The sales figures for the first month of 2011 are in for Altoona, Ankeny, Clive, Des Moines, Indianola, Johnston, Pleasant Hill, Urbandale, Waukee, West Des Moines and surrounding areas and they give cause for optimism. Unit sales were ahead of last year which is no small feat considering last January's sale were bolstered by federal tax credits for first time and move up buyers. Sales rose 2.1% this January a modest gain but again pretty significant considering. Sales were up slightly from December's 378 units as well Another positive was average was that average sales prices rose as well, averaging $150,871 climbing (1 comments)
When buying property in Iowa at a Sheriff's Sale, make sure you can get a deed! - 02/16/11 12:40 AM
This is the third in a series exploring the ins and outs of purchasing properties at a Sheriff's Sale or as they are sometimes called Forfeiture Auctions. Here are the first two: Central Iowa Sheriff Sale or Forfeiture Auction procedures and locations Should I buy a property at the County Sheriff sale or wait until it becomes an REO? Many would assume that if they purchase a property at a Sheriff Sale paying cash by 3pm on the day of the sale, as required, that they would then get a deed to the property, in this case a Sheriff's Deed. However, that may not (0 comments)
Private home warranties and your real estate purchase - 02/15/11 01:47 AM
Home warranties protect a property owner against repair and replacement costs for appliances and other home systems that may break down or need maintenance. Home warranties are insurance products and are regulated in Iowa by the Iowa Insurance Commission. By state law real estate agents are prohibited from receiving compensation from the recommendation of these products. A home warranty can be purchased by either a home buyer or current home owner. If a buyer is making an offer on a property they can often ask the seller to pay for a home as part of the purchase, or if the seller refuses (2 comments)
The seller wants your "highest and best offer." Is this a scam? - 02/14/11 11:57 PM
You've placed an offer on a property, a very good offer, perhaps at full price or even over. You are confident that your agent will soon give you a congratulatory phone call happily telling you that you will be the next owner of said property. You agent does call back, only it is not the call you were expecting. It's a call telling you that you are in a multiple offer situation with other buyers and that you need to submit your "highest and best" offer. You ask your agent to explain it again. There is more than one offer, the (9 comments)
Sure is fun to be the early bird at Vail. February 12th. 7:55 am.
A few others show up...8:00 am.
By 8:15 am the secret is out, Vail is a blast in the morning!
Time to grab a cup of hot coffee......
And hit the slopes! (7 comments)
Doesn't the seller have to accept my offer if I offer full price? - 02/09/11 12:58 AM
Many are surprised at the answer to this question because the answer is "no." Having gone through this several times, the most recent being this month, I am well aware how confusing this can be to the public. This issue seems to come up most often with foreclosed property that is listed under market value and on which several offers come in, although it could come about on any property offered for sale either by a real estate broker, law firm, or for sale by owner. The Iowa Association of REALTORS explains it this way: Listing property for sale is an invitation (84 comments)
Should I buy a property at the County Sheriff sale or wait until it becomes an REO? - 02/08/11 11:14 AM
A question I'm often asked is whether or not a buyer interested in a property that is being foreclosed on should buy it at a Sheriff's sale or wait until it becomes an REO (Real Estate Owned by a bank or lender.)? There are some definite caveats to purchasing a property at a Sheriff's sale which I discussed in an earlier post that buyers need to be aware of, but we can explore the question further. The main motivation for a buyer asking the above question really revolves around whether or not they can get a better deal on a property if (2 comments)
Central Iowa Sheriff Sale or Forfeiture Auction procedures and locations - 02/07/11 10:25 PM
Iowa is a judicial foreclosure state and properties that are foreclosed on by banks and lien holders all go through a process whereby if the occupant does not relinquish their rights voluntarily through a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, the property will be sold at what's know as a Sheriff's sale or forfeiture auction. At the sale the property is sold at the county court house, or other designated location to the highest bidder. Bidding is usually started by the judgment holder prior to the sale who submits a written bid through a sealed bidding process. Many counties provide lists of the properties in (3 comments)
It's time for another RE/MAX Real Estate Concepts breakfast 02/08/2011! - 02/05/11 11:58 PM
There are many benefits to working in our brokerage both tangible and intangible. We like to have fun and there are a lot of events to attend all year long. One regularly scheduled event that never fails to inspire, inform and entertain is the monthly breakfast meeting we have the second Tuesday of every month at the Hilton Garden Inn in Johnston, IA. Attendees can expect a delicious full breakfast buffet complete with bacon, sausage, eggs, potatoes, pancakes, fresh fruit and an assortment of delectable pastries. If attending you can also expect to network with top agents, brokers. lenders, stagers, photographers, (3 comments)
Riverwalk Brownstone's success raises hopes for downtown Des Moines home sales - 02/04/11 01:45 PM
Downtown Des Moines condo sales have fallen hard with the nationwide real estate slow down a fact which was highlighted in a recent Des Moines Register article entitled "Stagnant condo sales plaugue downtown Des Moines" dated November 19th 2010. The article stated, among other things, that downtown sales were off 75% from their peak in 2006, that only 30 units had closed in 2009, and that 2010 was poised to be only marginally better. In doing a quick check I see that 2010 finished with 29 closed sales out of an inventory of approximately 111. For all you absorption rate folks that's a 3.82 year (0 comments)
The fitness in a man's clearing his own drive - 02/04/11 12:24 AM
"There is some of the same fitness in a man's clearing his own drive that there is in a bird's building its own nest." Henry David Thoreau Walden Chapter 1. We get some pretty good snow storms in Iowa and if you are a working person with a family it becomes difficult at times to clear the drive in a timely fashion. That is it is not always in one's power to get it cleared before it gets driven on and forms hard packed ice which can easily morph into a glacier that lasts all season, and which unlike some of its more adventurous arctic circle cousins (5 comments)
Stopping by Stew Hansen's Dodge on a snowy evening - 02/02/11 02:52 PM
Usually when you hear a blizzard is about to hit the last thing you want to do is brave the elements to have your car serviced, but I'm different. In 2009 our family took advantage of the tax credit offered under the American Investment and Recovery Act to purchase our first Chrysler mini-van in order to accomodate our growing family. We had leased one for three years but the credit pushed us to purchase, and that led us to Stew Hansens. Historically I have not been a fan of having service done at the dealership, but Stew Hansen's is different, they do (6 comments)
Having a blast as a parent helper at Plymouth Nursery School in Des Moines - 02/02/11 01:24 AM
We're on our second child going through pre-school yet somehow or another I had never taken the opportunity serve a turn as a class parent helper. Well that all changed last week as I was the designated "Parent Helper" for my daughter's nursery school class at Plymouth Congregational Church. Our son had attended another program where the opportunity did not exist for parents to assist as "helpers" but upon enrolling our daughter Lena at Plymouth last year we discovered that they encouraged active participation by parents in the classroom on a regular basis. The school makes it easy to sign up by posting a (8 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.