Read This Before Remodeling your Kitchen

Thinking of kitchen remodel?

Small details can make or break your kitchen renovation. Avoid stress by going through this list before you start making purchases.

  1. Measure Everything

This extra step will save time, money and headaches in the long run. The last thing you want is the refrigerator or dishwasher not opening all the way because the island ended up being too close.

  1. Choose a Timeless Backsplash

It may be tempting to choose a trendy tile layout, but you may quickly become bored with your decision. You’ll also have difficulty selling later on if your kitchen looks outdated due to a very specific design choice. Stick to classic white coloring. White is always on trend.

  1. Decide if a Splurge is Worth it

Sometimes spending a little more now will save you in the long run. If an energy efficient appliance is a little more expensive, it might be worth it to upgrade so you have lower energy bills every month. It’s important to prioritize needs over wants, but sometimes a want is worth the happiness or convenience it will provide.

  1. Consider Open Shelving

A few rows of open shelving can help break up the “boxy” feel of some kitchens. Even an addition of a few shelves can help the kitchen feel more open and also offer you the opportunity to show off some photos or nice dining ware.

Not sure how much upgrading to make to your home before you become the most expensive house in the neighborhood? Ask a Mel Foster Co. agent for comparables in your neighborhood.

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Spring offers a chance to refresh and try something new.

Plant a tree.

Consider local events when planning your April community involvement and activities.

Dress for Success’ Recycle the Runway at River Center in Davenport

April 12

5:30-9:00pm

Wine Festival Preview Dinner in Rogalski Center at St. Ambrose in Davenport

April 14

6:00-10:00pm

Muscatine Symphony Orchestra at Central Middle School in Muscatine

April 14

7:30pm-11:00pm

Midwest Corvettes Spring Rally at Isle Casino Hotel in Bettendorf

April 15

8:00am-12:00pm

Women’s Health & Lifestyle Fair at River Center in Davenport

April 21

8:00am-4:00pm

Quad-City Audubon Field Trip at Crow Creek Park in Bettendorf

April 21

7:30am-11:00am

Earth Day Volunteer Landscape Work Day at Hauberg Civic Center in Rock Island

April 22

10:00am-3:00pm

Celebrate Arbor Day at Moline Garden Center in Moline

April 27

3:00-4:00pm

 

 

 

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Fresh Spring Cleaning Tips

Think Spring!

Spring is finally here and that means it’s once again time to do a deep clean throughout your house. Here are some ways to freshen up your home in time for summer.

  1. Declutter Every Room

Take an empty laundry basket from room to room and gather items that are out of place and return them to their correct location. If there’s anything you no longer need, this is a great opportunity to get rid of it.

  1. Put a Recycle Basket Near the Front Door

Having a place you can immediately get rid of unwanted mail, fliers or packaging will prevent this clutter from entering your home. If you’re able to keep the bin by a frequently used side entrance to your home, it’s even better because guests won’t see it.

  1. Cleaning Ceiling Fans

One of the easiest and fastest ways to clean a ceiling fan is with an old pillowcase. You place the pillowcase over the blade and slide it off. The dust will collect inside the pillowcase and you can empty it outside.

  1. Open the Windows

One of the biggest perks of spring is the warm fresh air! Don’t forget to open your windows while doing all your cleaning to get some fresh air flowing through your house. It’ll keep you energized and make your home smell great.

Spring is also the season when homes are listed for sale. If you’re ready to list, or find an agent to sell your home, now’s the time to find a Mel Foster Co. agent.

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When is the Right Time to Sell?

Timing Right?

Some homeowners feel their current house isn’t their forever home. Here are a few signs it may be time to start your search for something new.

  1. Your Home Doesn’t Fit Your Needs

If your family is growing, or you’ve recently become an empty nester, it’s probably time to start searching for a new home. Consider location, size, and layout when finding your next home.

  1. It’s a Seller’s Market

You can always count on the real estate market to provide shifting trends. Fortunately right now it’s a seller’s market and most homes are selling quickly. There is currently more demand for homes than the market can meet. If you’re on the fence it might be time to strike while the irons are hot.

  1. Your Interest Rate is High

Currently interest rates on mortgage loans are historically low. If you’re paying a mortgage with a high interest rate, it’s time to start searching for new opportunities. You can consider refinancing or maybe this is the push you need to find a different home. You’ll want to act quickly, as interest rates are expected to increase throughout 2018.

  1. Your Mortgage is Completely Paid

If your mortgage is completely paid off when you sell your home, you can reap the financial rewards of making years of payments. If you’re looking to downsize significantly, consider a smaller home that requires less upkeep. It’ll save you time and money if the home doesn’t require constant care.

Follow these tips to start preparing to sell.

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EGGciting Hunts to Check Out.

Underwater Egg Hunt at the Rock Island Fitness & Activity Center

March 18, 1 pm – 3:30 pm

Spring Celebration and Eco-Egg Hunt at Nahant Marsh

March 24, 9 am – 12 pm

Spring Egg Hunt at Lincoln Park in Rock Island

March 24, 9:30 am

City of Moline Easter Egg Hunt at Riverside Park

March 24, 9:45 am

Kewanee Park District Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Windmont Park

March 24, 10 am

Bettendorf Easter Egg Hunt at Bettendorf High School

March 24, Noon

City of Moline Flashlight Egg Hunt at Riverside Park

March 24, 8 pm

Geneseo Park District Egg Hunt at the Athletic Field

March 25, 1:30 pm

Easter Egg Hunt at Hope Creek Care Center in East Moline

March 30, 2 pm

LeClaire Park and Rec Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Hollyhock Park

March 31, 11 am

Egg Hunt at the Sawmill Museum in Clinton

March 31, 10:30 am

30th Annual Ranch Rider Motorcycle Brotherhood Easter Egg Hunt at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds

March 31, 1 pm

Doggie Easter Egg Hunt with the Humane Society of Scott County at Fejervary Park

March 31, 1 pm

Family Fun Day & Easter Egg Hunt at Camp Abe Lincoln in Blue Grass

March 31, 2 pm – 5 pm

Egg Hunt at the Discovery Depot in Galesburg

March 31, 5:30 pm

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Three Ways to Make your Home Appeal to Millennials

What we look for in a home.

It can be difficult to appeal to millennial homebuyers’ tastes, but recent polling has provided some insight into what they’re searching for in their first home.

  1. Leave Room for Improvement

Many millennials are looking for a fixer-upper for their first home due to their limited budgets. HGTV has made remodeling more accessible than ever, and millennials want to renovate their houses into their own dream homes. In 2017 first-time homebuyers spent an average of $33,800 on home renovations.

  1. Have a Separate Laundry Room

Millennials are willing to sacrifice comfort for extra square footage dedicated to a laundry room. Every year surveys taken on millennials’ buying choices point toward this trend. It’s a small change that can make your home significantly more attractive to this group of buyers.

  1. Be Environmentally Friendly

Offer a house that includes green features. Millennials look for LED lighting, double paned windows or even solar panels. You don’t have to make a major investment, but even updated, energy-efficient appliances will attract buyers. It’s not only trendy and good for the planet, but will also save money in the long run.

Want more expert advice on how to market your home to the most buyers? Ask a Mel Foster Co. agent.

 

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Finding Your Perfect First Home

First Home

It can seem daunting when searching for a new home, especially as a first time buyer. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for finding your new home.

  1. Determine a Budget

Creating a budget before looking should be your top priority. Focus on both the down payment you have saved and earmarked to buy your home and the monthly mortgage and insurance payment first. It’s best to estimate on the higher end and then try to keep expenses as low as possible.

  1. Determine Needs and Wants

When buying a starter home, carefully choose the features you need and not just those you’d like to have. Do you want more space or to be closer to work? Create a list and try to check off as many as you can when viewing a home. But don’t confuse wants with needs.

  1. Consider All Properties

View as many homes as possible. You’ll learn what you like, what you don’t like and may even come away with a few interesting ideas for your final choice. Be sure to keep a journal or list so you’re able to reference the data later. It can get very overwhelming to keep home attributes straight after a few weeks of searching.

  1. Work with a Professional

Avoid the hassle of tracking new listings and scheduling showings and consider working with a Mel Foster Co. agent instead. There is no cost for the buyer, and you’ll have someone in your corner with industry knowledge and experience. Contact an agent today.

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March straight into excitement in the QCA this month!

Gather your friends and family for these fun events.

Explorers/Explorers Jr: Under Construction: Bridges at Putnam Museum in Davenport

Saturday, March 3; 9am – 11am

Geneseo Kiwanis Pancakes Day at Moose Lodge

Sunday, March 4 ; 7 am – 1 pm

Wine with Einstein at the German Heritage Center in Davenport

Saturday, March 10;  6pm – 7:30pm

St. Patrick’s Day Party at the Mississippi Valley Fair Grounds

March 16

Tinsley Ellis at the Redstone Room in Davenport

Friday, March 16; 8pm

St. Patrick Society Grand Parade starting in Rock Island and ending in Davenport

Saturday, March 17; 11:30am       

Saturday Storytime: Let’s Fly a Kite at the Fairmount Library in Davenport

Saturday, March 24; 10am

2018 Polar Plunge at Wick’s Lake in Rock Island

Sunday, March 25; 2pm

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Why You Should Buy During the Winter

Buy in the Winter.

House hunting during the colder months may not be the most popular time of year to look, but there are several upsides to consider.

  1. You Face Less Competition in the Winter

Approximately 50% of homes sold during the year are sold during summer months. If you purchase in the winter, you may avoid stressful bidding wars and sellers can be more eager to close quickly as they have fewer offers to choose from. They may also try to sweeten the deal with additional incentives when you buy during this time frame.

  1. Sellers are Motivated

A motivated seller is great news for the buyer. If they’re trying to sell quickly due to relocation or other time constraints, they’ll be more flexible when it comes to price. It’s also possible the house has been on the market for an extended period of time, maybe since last summer, meaning the seller is ready to close as quickly as possible.

  1. Interest Rates May Increase

Interest rates can have an impact on your budget when buying a house. The direction of interest rates is never certain, but many analysts think the rates will increase, maybe even multiple times in the year, due to a strong economy. Consider that the sooner you buy, the further your money will go.

  1. Housing Prices are Rising

Housing prices on average have steadily increased the past several years. This upward trend is expected to continue according to real estate analysts.

Find a Mel Foster Co. agent in your town.

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The Davenport Police Department’s New “Lock It Up Initiative”

Protect from theft

The Quad Cities area is experiencing an increase in vehicular theft. Follow these tips from the Davenport Police Department to help reduce the chances of becoming a victim of car theft.

  1. Always lock your vehicle when left unattended. Even on your driveway or in the garage.
  2. Never leave keys in your vehicle or in the ignition. Do not hide the keys or fob in your vehicle.
  3. Do not leave any valuables inside your vehicle, especially in plain view. Electronic devices, cell phones, laptop computers, cameras, GPS devices and eyeglasses/sunglasses are small and easily concealable items that are often left inside vehicles and stolen.
  4. Never leave firearms inside your vehicle.
  5. Do not leave vehicle titles, identification items or financial documents such as your driver’s license, social security card, checkbook or credit cards inside your vehicle.
  6. Never leave your garage door opener in the vehicle when parked outside your residence without locking your car doors. A thief can easily open your garage door and gain entry right into your home through an attached and unlocked door.
  7. If you are going to warm or cool your vehicle before getting into it, consider investing in a remote starter.

Additional Information:

  1. Most stolen vehicles have been easy targets, such as a car running unattended or a car with unlocked doors with keys in it.
  2. Vehicle thefts are occurring throughout our communities in ALL neighborhoods from driveways, unlocked garages, open garage doors, convenience stores and gas stations.
  3. The most prevalent age group for the suspects of stolen vehicles is 12-18 years of age. The youngest was 11.
  4. Once having possession of a stolen vehicle, suspects are driving recklessly, endangering lives and committing thefts and burglaries. Some have been involved in shootings, committing hit and run crashes and fleeing from police.
  5. When recovered, many stolen vehicles are found to have significant damage from crashes.
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