How Much House Can I Afford?

How Much House Can I Afford?

How do you know how much house you can afford and how much cash you may need at closing and soon after moving? Mel Foster has a mortgage calculator to help you determine your monthly costs. This information is helpful when you apply for pre-qualification for your mortgage with a lender.

Mortgage Calculators

The mathematical formula for calculating monthly payments for a given mortgage loan amount is complicated. This is where a mortgage calculator comes in handy. It does the work for you by quickly calculating the monthly payment based on the amount of the loan, mortgage length and interest rate. Use these calculators.

Other Factors To Consider

The mortgage is not the only expense you’ll have when buying your home. Be sure to include these other costs as you prepare your budget:

  • Property taxes
  • Homeowner’s insurance
  • Mortgage insurance (if applicable)
  • Down payment
  • Homeowner’s Association fees (if applicable)
  • Attorney, title, inspections and closing fees
  • Moving expenses   
  • Utility service initial fees

Market Conditions

Interest rates are still at historically low numbers, which has been great for locking in affordable mortgage rates. Recent decisions within the Federal Reserve Bank will affect borrowing power for homeowners, with indications that interest rates are likely to start climbing again in 2022. Ultimately, this means consumers will pay more to borrow. It’s time to act quickly and secure your mortgage before interest rates rise.

Find a Mel Foster Co. agent to help begin your home search.

Mel Foster Co. Supports Local Businesses and Families

Mel Foster Co. Supports Local Businesses and Families

Mel Foster Co. is supporting local businesses and families this holiday season with several company initiatives that are part of the organization’s 100th anniversary.

Agents and staff pledged to donate 1,000 volunteer hours in 2021 and tripled their pledge, completing over 3,000 hours to date. Mel Foster Co. agents and staff make a difference by ringing bells for the Salvation Army, donating gift baskets to CASI and competing for bragging rights within the company by collecting for the corporate Student Hunger Drive.

Lynsey Engels, president real estate brokerage of Mel Foster Co., explains why supporting the local community is so important. “This community is our home.  We are a local, family-owned business. To keep our community strong, we need to buy local when we can so money keeps circulating close to home and supporting our friends and neighbors. We started a Think. Buy. Be. Local. initiative at Mel Foster Co. to remind our agents and staff to spend money in their community on Small Business Saturday and throughout the year. It’s easy to shop local when we have so many unique stores and businesses.” Small Business Saturday is November 27, 2021.

Agents from the company’s I-74 office recently went shopping and filled their carts for families in need. Other Mel Foster Co. offices are also adopting families this holiday season. 

Home Design & Remodeling Trends

Home Design And Remodeling Trends

Today’s design and remodeling trends can be followed by tracking what homeowners are searching online. Companies compare last year’s to this year’s website searches to get a glimpse at what people are researching. See what trends have been popular in the first half of this year, as reported by Houzz Pro.

Dedicated Activity Space

Having flexible and functional space at home became important once working from home became prevalent. Home office searches jumped 108% over last year’s searches, indicating that finding practical use of existing space at home is a big deal. Turn a spare bedroom into a place for work. Rearrange the furniture to carve out a nook for a desk and laptop near the window.

Green Makes A Statement

After years of cool grays, blues and white, homeowners turn to green to add warmth to the home. And where do we see green? Pretty much everywhere! The most significant search trend for green is for kitchen cabinets and bathroom tiles. Living spaces are filled with organic green botanical motifs when combined with natural wood. Existing chairs and sofas are being recovered in luscious, velvety fabrics in stunning emerald or peacock.

Decorating Accents

Add flair to a room by introducing new accent pieces to your living space. Replace your existing mirror with a luxurious and contemporary gold one. Swap your faucets, light fixtures and handles in the powder room with the updated champagne finish from the matte silver you have now. Jazz up your furniture pieces by purchasing new accent pillows for a fresh feel.

Swimming Pool And Water Features

Swimming pools are fun, and homeowners want control over when they can enjoy one and with whom they can enjoy it with. Pools that offer a water feature, like a waterfall, also provide the luxury and soothing sounds for relaxation owners seek. Pool companies are having a hard time keeping up with demand for the addition of this feature, confirming that the searching trend for pools being up 797% is right on point.

Find more homeowner tips at

QCBR 2021 Fall Parade of Homes

Parade of Homes Fall 2021

See the latest trends in new home construction at the Fall 2021 Quad Cities Parade of Homes. Admission is free! Come and see the Parade of Homes:

Saturday, October 16 & Sunday, October 17 from 1pm-5pm
Wednesday, October 20 from 5pm-7pm
Saturday, October 23 & Sunday, October 24 from 1pm-5pm

2021 Quad Cities Fall Parade of Home
5653 E. Creekside Lane, Bettendorf
  • Builder’s Model Home
  • Ranch Style Villas With Zero Entry
  • 2-3 Bedrooms & 2-3 Bathrooms
  • Flat Or Walk-Out Lots With Mature Trees & Pond Views
2021 Quad Cities Fall Parade of Home
4069 Orchard Dr., Bettendorf
  • Urban Inspired “Tanglewood Place” Townhomes
  • Open Concept Design
  • 3-4 Bedrooms
  • Customize Your Townhome Today
2021 Quad Cities Fall Parade of Home
3708 N. Birchwood Ave., Davenport
  • 2,492 Square Feet Total
  • Main Floor Features 9′ Ceilings
  • 3-Bedroooms With Their Own Individual Bathrooms
  • 16 x17 Primary Bedroom Includes Walk-In Closet

To see all the homes in the parade, click here. To see more homes for sale, visit Mel Foster Co.

Preparing Your Home To Sell

Preparing Your Home To Sell

Sellers want their home in top condition when it goes on the market. We know those first impressions and curb appeal matter. What can homeowners do to get their house in top condition to sell?

All In The Presentation

You only get one chance to make a first impression. Some say the first impression is the only impression that matters. You’ll often get the best return on your investment when spending money on improvements to the outside of the house. Make time to power wash your home and clear out the spiderwebs on the front porch. Keep the landscape tidy and free of debris and ensure the walkway to your home is clear. Buy the new garage door or update the front entrance door and add a fresh doormat.

Showcase Properly

Clear the entrance and kitchen of dirt and grime. Touch up any nicks in the drywall and paint walls in high-traffic areas inside, like the main hallways and bathrooms. Address any areas where stale odors or stains are noticeable in your carpets or rugs. It may be time to hire a carpet cleaner to do a deep clean. It’s important to depersonalize the home. The buyers have to envision themselves in your space, so remove personal photos where possible.

Do’s And Don’ts

  • DO – Almost all buyers claim they search for a home with good light. Always maximize the lighting at home, both inside and out. Be sure all the window coverings are open to let the sunshine in. Purchase higher wattage bulbs for lamps and light fixtures.
  • DON’T – Even if you think your pet is the most adorable one that exists, not all buyers will agree. It’s best to send your pet to a friend or neighbors’ home during a showing. Some buyers get the impression the house is not clean if animals live there, so it’s best not to have the food bowl or litter box out as a reminder.
  • DO – Buyers want storage. Organize and purge items in your closets so that the closets are only half full. A tidy closet only half full will give the impression that there is plenty of space.

Find more tips for selling your home.


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