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.

Don Marple Earns REALTOR® of the Year for the Iowa Association of REALTORS®

Don Marple
Don Marple

Mel Foster Co. is pleased to announce that Don Marple of their Davenport Kimberly Road office was named REALTOR® of the Year during the Iowa Association of REALTORS® (IAR) annual convention held in Cedar Rapids last week.

Marple has been a licensed REALTOR® in Iowa for more than 37 years, and has worked at Mel Foster Co. in Davenport since 1995. He has been an active member of the IAR since 1980, serving on numerous committees, including past chair of the annual convention, and member of the education, consumers affairs, technology and member services committees. He served as IAR president in 2013, president-elect in 2011 and treasurer in 2010. He received the IAR President’s Special Recognition Award in 1995. He has also been a member of the REALTOR® Foundation of Iowa Board of Directors.

Marple is presently serving on the National Association of REALTORS®  (NAR) – Public Housing and MLS Policy Committees. Marple also served as a commissioner on the State of Iowa Real Estate Commission from 2004-2007.

Marple has also served in various leadership roles on his local board, the Quad Cities Area REALTORS® Association, including 2002 president, secretary/treasurer, and as a member of several committees. He received REALTOR® of the Year Award in 1998 and the Bert Frahm Award for Outstanding Dedication and Service to the Real Estate Industry and to the Community in 1995. He has earned several of real estate’s highest designations, including Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI), and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS).

Marple is very active in his community. He is currently a commissioner on the Scott County Condemnation Board. He has also served as past president for the Donahue Sportsman Club and was a founding member of the North Scott Soccer Club. He has been a Junior Achievement volunteer in the North Scott School District for the past 19 years, as well as a long-time volunteer with the Cub Scouts and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

 About Mel Foster Co. Real Estate

Founded in 1921, Mel Foster Co. is a real estate leader in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois serving Davenport, Bettendorf, Moline, Rock Island and the surrounding Quad City area. It is one of Iowa’s largest independently owned real estate companies. Mel Foster Co. Real Estate specializes in residential and commercial sales and offers services for a broader spectrum of property transactions including farm and land, land development and management, relocation and new construction. Visit for more information.

Mel Foster Co. Names New President of Brokerage Division

Mel Foster Co. is pleased to announce Lynsey Engels has been named the President of the Real Estate Brokerage Division effective May 1, 2013.
As president, Engels will oversee the company’s ten real estate offices and the relocation division.  She will also be involved in mergers and acquisitions, training, and agent recruiting and retention.
During the last six months, Engels has transitioned from her position as an agent to assume general manager responsibilities.  As an agent, her efforts led to numerous multi-million dollar producer status recognitions in Mel Foster Co.’s Executive Club and Chairman’s Club.  Engels spent 10 years in residential real estate with eight of those working as a team with her sister, Kristi McFate.  A licensed broker in Iowa and Illinois, Engels specialized in new construction and relocation services and was adept at working with first-time home buyers.
Engels is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, the Iowa Association of REALTORS®, the Illinois Association of REALTORS®, and the Quad City Area REALTOR® Association, where she currently serves on the organization’s board of directors.  She is a member of the Quad City Chamber of Commerce and has served in various leaderhship roles for Junior League of the Quad Cities.  She has been a volunteer for Make a Wish, Junior Achievement, and high school-aged volleyball teams and was named a Leader Under 40 in 2007.  Engels graduated from Purdue University where she was an academic All Big Ten athlete and captain of the tennis team.
Rob Fick, Chairman and CEO of Mel Foster Co., Inc., proudly announced, ‘I am confident Lynsey’s expertise and enthusiasm will enhance our strategic vision to provide more valuable leadership experience to our managers, agents and staff.  Her attention to detail and passion for success will continue to raise the standard of excellence and leadership in our company.”
Engels and her husband, Marc, reside in Bettendorf and have three daughters.


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