Storm Lake & Surrounding Area Real Estate & Community News
What can be found here and why should you follow this blog?
This blog contains information for Buyers, Sellers, Investors and Renters. Real estate is a fascinating topic and a very complex one. You can search this blog by topic to find exactly what you are looking for, it will also have all of our new listings. You can learn about Storm Lake's current local (50 mile radius), real estate market, and the current real estate market in the surrounding areas like Alta, Newell, Aurelia, Schaller, Early, Fonda, Cherokee, Sioux Rapids, Ida Grove, Spencer, Spirit Lake, Lake View, Lakeside, Correctionville, Remsen and others.
For Buyers we will have topics including financing, down payment assistance programs, tips on how to compete with other buyers, how to offer, home inspections and how they work, the process of buying a property, what not to do after you have an accepted offer, the advantage of having a Certified Negotiations Expert on your side and a lot more.
For Sellers we will have topics including how to best price your property, how to prepare your property and see it through the buyer's eyes, home inspections and how they work, how to negotiate, the importance of staging, why pictures are worth a million dollars, the advantage of having a Certified Negotiations Expert on your side and a lot more.
For Investors - a topic I LOVE! Topics will include how to evaluate a property, what tools I personally use and access to them, how to find an investment property, what basic improvements cost if done by you or a contractor, how to find a good tenant, why you need your properties in an entity and not in your personal name, how to negotiate with buyers, sellers and tenants, 1031 Exchanges and a lot more.
For Renters - we list all the new rentals as we are notified of their availability on this blog, we can help you determine if it is time to buy instead of rent, help you determine what if any programs - like down payment assistance - you may qualify for, discuss how to have a conversation with a landlord when the property you are renting is in need of work, and a lot more.
For Everyone - Thank you for making Weaver LLC, Realtors the #1 Most Recommended Real Estate Company on Google 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 & ....for our Area!
Even though there isn't a lot that can be done outside this time of year with the snow on the ground, there are still maintenance tasks and things to check to save money on heat.
1) ________ Gutters clean, this will help prevent an ice dam that can put water in your home. If this is a routine problem you may want to invest in some heated cables to keep ice melted. Excellent information here: https://goo.gl/MhvohE article from This Old House,
2) ________ Weather stripping and calk on doors and windows reviewed and replaced if needed
3) ________ Winter equipment and tools ready for use. Shovels, snow blower, windshield scrapers, ice melt
4) ________ Check your emergency supplies, and replace if needed. Canned food, water, batteries, blankets, first aid kit, crank radio, charge bank for smart phone.
5) ________ Check the rug in your entry, switch to a larger rug if needed for muddy or wet boots. Place a basket in entry for gloves, hats etc.
6) ________ Check your batteries in the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors once a month in the winter. You spend more time inside with less ventilation.
7) ________ Clean and check your humidifier, winter air is dry. Humidity level in your home should not be lower than 40%. Lower than 40% can cause breathing issues, sinus infections and a lot of static.
8) ________ Can't wait for the cold nights for a fire? Please do wait until you have the chimney cleaned and inspected.
9) ________ Disconnect all water hoses, they can freeze and break inside the wall and leak into the house.
10) ________ Insulate any pipes that are close to the foundation or outside wall, especially in a big old house.
11) ________ If your house is drafty, check the outlets and light switches. If a draft is felt there are insulation foam pieces made to place behind these to stop the air flow..
12) ________ Contact a Heating and Air company and schedule them in to service your furnace or boiler.
13) ________ Check your attic and install more insulation if needed.
14) ________ If you have a flat roof, clean all leaves, branches off.
15) ________ Remove and store all window air conditioner units.
We hope this list is helpful. Winter in Iowa can be brutal. Stay safe and warm this year.
Georgia Weaver Weaver Realtors 607 Lake Ave Storm Lake, IA 50588 712-2911-0118
Good information on home inspections, always look for a certified inspector, there are a number of certifications and in Iowa BUT no license or certification is required to be a home inspector.
Certification is usually ASHI Certified Inspectors (ACI) ASHI Certified Inspectors (ACI) -- Have reached the highest level of ASHI Membership. Passed the National Home Inspector Examination. Completed the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics Education Module. There are other Certification programs - DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
ALWAYS ask if they carry E and O Insurance (Errors and Omissions) yes, they like everyone else, sometimes make mistakes.
You can also use a General Contractor to do a property inspection, again, do your homework. I am an Iowa Certified General Contractor, and as a General Contractor myself, I don't do my own electrical or heating and cooling. I rely on licensed electricians and plumbers to handle that work on my projects. So talk to your inspector/general contractor, know what they check, what they cost, what kind of report you will receive and how (prefer digital over paper). One of the MOST important things you can do is to be present for the inspection, or at least the last hour of the inspection. No it isn't your agent's responsibility, it is your purchase, you need to understand what the inspector is putting on the report and decide if those items are of big concern to you.
As people near or enter retirement, one of the decisions that typically comes up is whether to sell their "big" home and buy a smaller one. If you know anyone who has been faced with that situation, selling one home and buying a smaller one may not save enough money to make it worthwhile. There are sales expenses on the property being sold and acquisition costs on the replacement home. Generally speaking, homeowners may not mind a home with less square footage, but they usually don't want to give up amenities or locations that they've become accustomed. After a little number crunching, the move may not make enough difference in savings and they end up staying in their current home even if it doesn't fit their needs anymore.
What if while this couple were still in their peak earning years, they acquired a home in an area where they would consider retiring and rent it during the interim. They could put it on a 15-year mortgage and possibly, even accelerate the principal payments to have it paid off by their anticipated move. This is a brilliant idea, and one my husband and I have discussed. In the meantime, they could continue living in the "big" home until it is time to make the transition. Sell the "big" home that may be paid for by then and avoid up to $500,000 of capital gain. Take part of the proceeds and remodel the rental/transitional home and invest the proceeds for retirement income. Ideally, the former rental would be mortgage free by this point, so the retirees would not have a house payment. Even if at this point, they changed their mind about retiring to this particular home, they still have a property that acted as a hedge against rising prices and have sufficient equity to purchase something else without using the proceeds from the "big" home. It is difficult to know what the situation will be years from now when a person retires. It is clearly advantageous to have a plan that allows for options and choices. To find out more about purchasing your retirement home today, give me a call at 712-291-0118, Georgia Weaver, IA Licensed Realtor, Weaver Realtors, 607 Lake Ave Storm Lake, IA 50588
Many of our residents purchase in Arizona or Florida, we work with some amazing agents in those areas that we can get you to for great service.
Storm Lake area homes are selling like snow cones in August! I personally love the fast pace. But, this pace can be hard on both buyers and sellers. Things happen fast (many accepted offers within 3 days of coming on the mls) and sometimes it is a lot to take in. Sellers need to purchase another property, packing, moving arrangements, buyers need to do inspections, get the final docs to their lender, and a lot of things behind the scenes the clients never see.
Our goal at Weaver Realtors is to make this a smooth transaction, we cover all the details and tasks, you don't have to. We keep you up to date at least weekly with an activity report if you are a seller and usually 2 times a week if you are a buyer. This is to keep you current, to help you be ready with things that are on the horizon and to help wherever we are needed. If the buyers home inspection comes back with concerns we can help out with names of trustworthy contractors. We do recommend the seller have the property inspected prior to listing - will save you in the long run. You will know if there are problems, you can also use the report to help the buyer have confidence in your property.
Need a little help, call me Georgia Weaver 712-291-0118 - IA Licensed Realtor, Weaver Realtors, 607 Lake Ave, Storm Lake IA 50588
The Federal Housing Administration, operating under HUD, offers affordable mortgages for tens of thousands of buyers who may not qualify for other types of programs. They are popular with both first-time and repeat buyers.
The 3.5% down payment is an attractive feature but there are other advantages:
More tolerant for credit challenges than conventional mortgages.
Lower down payments than most conventional loans.
Broader qualifying ratios - total house payment with MIP can be up to 31% of borrower's monthly gross income and total house payment with all recurring debt can be up to 43%. There is a stretch provision taking it to 33/45 for qualifying energy efficient homes.
Seller can contribute up to 6% of purchase price; this money must be specified in the contract and can be used to pay all or part of the buyer's closing costs, pre-paid items and/or buy down of the interest rate.
Self-employed may qualify with adequate documentation - two year's tax returns and a current profit and loss statement would be required in addition to the normal qualifying and underwriting requirements.
Liberal use of gift monies - borrowers can receive a gift from family members, buyer's employer, close friend, labor union or charity. A gift letter will be required specifying that the gift does not have to be repaid.
Special 203(k) program for buying a home that needs capital improvements - requires a firm contractor's bid attached to the contract calling for the work to be done. The home is appraised subject to the work being done. If approved, the home can close, the money for the improvements escrowed and paid when completed.
Loans are assumable at the existing interest rate with buyer qualification. Assumptions are easier than qualifying for a new mortgage and closing costs are lower.
An assumable mortgage with a lower than current rates for new mortgages could add value to the property.
Finding the best mortgage for an individual is not always an easy process. Buyers need good information from trusted professionals. Call me Georgia Weaver (712) 291-0118 for help finding a great mortgage professional or to look at any properties for sale in the Storm Lake area.
Georgia Weaver, PSA, CRS, GRI, CNE IA Licensed Realtor Weaver Realtors - 607 Lake Ave Storm Lake, IA 50588 On Line at www.WeaverRealtors.com
206 E 1st Street Early Iowa. This is an investment property, it is not livable in it's current condition. This home is gutted, some work has been done, roof, some wiring, some insulation and some drywall there are a lot of materials included. Still work to be done but make it your own and at $25,000 it is a great purchase! This property is being sold as is.
Call me Georgia Weaver 712-291-0118 to see this property. IA Licensed Realtor with Weaver Realtors, 607 Lake Ave Storm Lake, IA 50588
Inventory Continues to be a Challenge As Does Realtors Showing Properties Prior to Entering Listing on the MLS - Unethical Practice of POCKET LISTINGS
In any given market including the Storm Lake area home market,, inventories fluctuate based on supply and demand considering area and price range. The National Association of REALTORS considers a balanced market to be a six-month supply of homes. If it takes longer than six months to sell, it is thought to be a buyer's market and less than six months, a seller's market. Most buyers and sellers probably feel a balanced inventory is more like three months' supply of homes.
The inventory of existing homes has been reduced to approximately 1.5 million houses which is 10.3% lower than a year ago. Inventory has a direct impact on price. When demand is constant, but inventory is reduced, price tends to increase because the same number of people are trying to buy a smaller than normal number of homes. When prices and mortgage rates are increasing, buyers are affected by not being able to afford the same price or size of homes. So where are we as far as market? Well as I'm sure most of you have guessed we are again in a strong sellers market.
I expect this to be maintained for the entire year of 2018. Buyers! PLEASE call me, Georgia Weaver 712-291-0118, I can help you compete against the large number of buyers in the current market. Sellers! PLEASE call me, this is a great market BUT, it is important that your property is priced correctly AND that your realtor is skilled in negotiations if not you will leave money on the table. NEVER agree to allowing showings of your property until AFTER it is active on the MLS. If you do, you are probably leaving on average between $5,000 and $12,000 on the table. FYI: this is called a POCKET LISTING, it is an unethical practice we at Weaver Realtors will NEVER do, it is not in the best interest of our clients. It is ONLY in the best interest of the brokerage and the agent.
At Weaver Realtors, we prefer to represent our buyer clients the way we represent our sellers as Exclusive Clients. So what exactly does that mean? Exclusive means the buyer or seller work only with Weaver Realtors.
Our current market is very fast and a buyer can't rely on seeing a property on Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Homes.com or other syndicated sites and expect to be able to see that property. Most of our new listings have accepted offers with in 3 days, that means the buyer who has the accepted offer probably got in the property the day it came on the market. You can't do that with the online sites, most of them are not real time so by the time a buyer sees a home they like it is already sold.
SO, to best assist our Buyers we use Exclusive Buyer Agency.
Weaver Realtors Responsibility in Exclusive Agency:
1) We make sure our exclusively represented Buyers get into properties as soon as they list, they have priority over non Exclusive Buyers.
2) We develop an automated search that instantly notifies you of all properties that fir your criteria, the second they come on the MLS
3) We notify you instantly of all properties that fit your criteria that have had a price reduction as soon as it happens
4) We assist you in negotiating the best purchase agreement and loan terms.
Our Exclusive Buyers Responsibility:
1) Buyer meets with their agent and establishes their time frame and criteria for the property search
2) Buyer has already received a bank mortgage pre-approval letter, if not will do immediately and the pre-approval letter is filed at our office
3) Buyer agrees to be available to see properties within 1 day of notice
4) Buyer agrees to work exclusively with Weaver Realtors to see all properties, (as MLS Members we show all properties listed on the mls including those of other brokerages)
This is a win-win for our Buyers, we are the top Google recommended real estate company in the Storm Lake area, our Broker sold more properties in 2017 than any other in the area. All our buyers are welcome to speak to our current and prior clients.
Call me today Georgia Weaver, 712-291-0118, and stop missing out on listings and have the best Realtors working on your behalf to get you the home you want.
IA License Realtor, Weaver Realtors, 607 Lake Ave Storm Lake IA 50588, online at www.WeaverRealtors.com