Farmers’ Markets in the Area

For fresh fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses, beverages, crafts and much more, visit one of our local farmer’s markets.

Davenport Farmers’ Market at Northpark Mall

Wednesdays & Saturdays May through October
8 am to Noon

Bettendorf Farmers’ Market at 2117 State St next to Alter Building

Thursdays May through October – 2 pm to 6 pm

Freight House Farmers’ Market downtown Davenport

Saturdays May through October (outdoor season) 8 am to 1 pm
Sundays 10 am to 2 pm
Wednesday 4 pm to 8 pm

The Growers Market at Southpark Mall

Saturdays  – 8 am to 2 pm

The Growers Market at Skate City parking lot in East Moline

Wednesdays & Saturdays – 8 am to Noon

Geneseo Farmers’ Market at City Park on Pearl Street in Geneseo

Saturdays June through October  – 8 am to Noon

Galesburg Farmers’ Market on E Simmons St in Galesburg

Saturdays June through October – 8 am to Noon

Dubuque Farmers’ Market at 1300 Iowa St in Dubuque (Iowa’s Oldest)

Saturdays May through October – 7 am to Noon

Galena Marketplace at 123 Commerce St in Galena

Saturdays May through October – 9 am to Noon

Lyons Farmers’ Market at Lyons Four Square Park in Clinton

Wednesdays – 4 pm to 7 pm & Saturdays – 8 am to 12 pm May through October

Kewanee Farmers’ Market at the corner of Third & Tremont in Kewanee

Wednesdays & Saturdays May through October – 7:30 am to 11 am

Boland Wins Top Individual Honor at Global Real Estate Conference

Deb Boland President's Award

Deb Boland, Director of Relocation of Mel Foster Co., is the recipient of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® President’s Award, a top individual award from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, an invitation-only global community of more than 565 independent real estate firms.

The award was presented during the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® Annual Conference, which took place February 20-22 at Wynn Las Vegas. The conference was part of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) Conference Week, a series of educational and networking events focused on leadership, innovation and delivering superior consumer experiences in real estate.

The President’s Award is part of the service recognition program, which formally acknowledges contributions such as committee involvement, presentations at network conferences, and service on various advisory councils and boards. The program offers three prestigious levels of awards based on cumulative points earned through service activities.

Lynsey Engels, Mel Foster Co. President, Real Estate Brokerage, said, “Deb is very deserving of this award.  She continues to engage herself in Leading RE and build relationships with her peers.”

“It’s a true pleasure to recognize the individuals who have contributed to the success of LeadingRE through an extraordinary level of commitment and years of service to our global community,” LeadingRE President/CEO Paul Boomsma said. “These individuals have shared their time, expertise and talent to support the success of their fellow members and our network as a whole, and we thank them for their service.”

Mel Foster Co. is a Quad Cities representative of LeadingRE (www.LeadingRE.com). A global real estate community that spans six continents, LeadingRE connects marketing-leading firms with more than 130,000 sales associates who produce over 1.1 million real estate transactions annually. As a member of LeadingRE, Mel Foster Co. provides a quality real estate experience, global marketing reach and access to top real estate professionals in virtually any market worldwide.

For more information about Mel Foster Co., please visit www.melfosterco.com.

Being Smart is Just the Start

Smart homes are becoming more personalized, more intelligent and more connected. The home automation trend for all home devices to eventually connect to the internet, also known as Internet of Things (IoT), is in motion. Electronics companies like Google, Amazon and Apple have made it a mission to become part of as many homes as possible. Consider potential smart home changes as you plan updates to your home.

1. Voice Control Devices

Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant are becoming fast friends with American household owners. Some 39 million people, or one in six, now own a smart speaker. This number will continue to rise as people become more open to the idea and the benefits they provide. These devices serve to control everything from the music you play to the temperature set on your thermostat.

2. Home Appliances

It’s predicted that a majority of home appliances will be available as smart devices by the year 2021. For example, if you own a control device, like Alexa, and a smart oven, you will have the ability to preheat that oven through your cell phone while at work. As you look to replace your old washing machine, be sure to inquire about models with smart features that will keep up with these trends.

3. Network Connections

Internet services companies will have to provide faster networks to sustain changes in consumer habits. More powerful processors, sensors and cameras will be needed as consumers are becoming fed up with regular internet buffering. It will be important to stay informed as to how your service provider plans to upgrade their infrastructure to maintain the emerging need for more speed.

Ready to begin your search for a smarter home? Contact a Mel Foster Agent today to get started.

Mel Foster Co. Recognized with Website Quality Certification

Mel Foster Co.  has earned the Website Quality Certification (WQC) from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, a global community of 565 marketing-leading independent real estate firms in over 70 countries. The certification was presented in recognition of excellence in website design, content and functionality.

Mel Foster Co.’s website, melfosterco.com, received strong marks in a variety of key areas relating to website performance, including usability, design, content, interactivity, customer service and mobile responsiveness. The evaluation was conducted by Virtual Results, LLC, a real estate internet and social marketing firm selected by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® to review the websites of participating members.  

The specific measurements for the WQC are updated each year to reflect the most current online marketing strategies, as well as evolving consumer preferences. To maintain the certification, companies must be re-certified every two years.

“We are pleased to acknowledge the 120 companies that earned the WQC this year in recognition of their corporate websites, which engage consumers with attractive design, deep local content and the most up-to-date information on homes for sale – locally and around the world,” said Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® President/CEO Paul Boomsma.   

“We know local consumers have a choice when searching for a buying or listing agent.  We want to continue to offer the best tools in the market to be the top resource for buyers and sellers and to help our agents stay competitive.  Mel Foster Co. feels it is essential to invest heavily in digital marketing platforms and we are pleased that our efforts have been recognized with this international award,” said Lynsey Engels, President Real Estate Brokerage of Mel Foster Co.

Mel Foster Co. is the Quad Cities and surrounding areas representative of LeadingRE (www.LeadingRE.com). With a global membership that spans six continents, LeadingRE connects more than 565 firms and 130,000 sales associates who produce over 1.1 million real estate transactions each year. As a member of LeadingRE, Mel Foster Co. provides a quality real estate experience, global marketing reach and access to top real estate professionals in virtually any market worldwide.

For more information about Mel Foster Co., please visit www.melfosterco.com.

Troubleshooting a Constantly Running Air Conditioner

Air conditioner troubleWhen your air conditioner constantly runs all day without shutting off, you likely have an issue with the unit.  This constant running can cause extra wear and tear and may be running up your electrical bills. Refer to the following list to troubleshoot possible causes for a constantly running air conditioner.

  1. Dirty or Frozen Evaporator Coil

Did you have your air conditioner serviced this spring before you turned it on for the summer? If not the evaporator coil may be covered with dirt and debris, which impedes the cooling process and makes the unit work harder to cool your space. If your unit is blowing warm air from the supply vents in addition to running constantly, it may have frozen up. Turn the air conditioner completely off and call a professional to diagnose the cause and prevent further damage to the system.

Continue reading “Troubleshooting a Constantly Running Air Conditioner”

Natural Ways to Keep Bugs Away

Mel Foster Co. blogDon’t let pesky bugs invade your outdoor living space and put a damper on your gathering at home.  Try starting with a few natural methods to keep the bugs at bay.

  1. Natural mint mouthwash spray

Insects do not like the smell of mint in any form. Transfer your favorite natural mint mouthwash into a spray container and spray it on yourself and the area around you while outdoors.

  1. Fill your garden with garlic, mint, and rosemary

Naturally ward away bugs by planting these three herbs on your windowsill or in your outdoor garden. They’ll keep the bugs away, plus you can use the spices in your cooking.

  1. Use a ceiling or oscillating fan

Install a ceiling fan on your patio or covered outdoor area and turn it on during the evening when bugs are most likely to strike. The wind from the fan will make it difficult for bugs to fly in and pester you and your guests. Plug-in an oscillating fan near non-covered outdoor areas for the same effect.

  1. Don’t wear heavy perfumes or scents

Stay away from wearing heavily-scented shampoos, body sprays, perfumes, or deodorants while outdoors. The fragrances can attract bugs and the stings and bites that follow.

  1. Stay hydrated

Bugs are attracted to sweaty, hot skin. Stay cool and hydrated by drinking plenty of water and fluids. Be sure to keep water handy and take sips as you start to perspire to keep the bugs away.

Does your home lack the outdoor space you’ve always wanted? Contact a Mel Foster Co. agent today to begin your search.

 

MEL FOSTER CO. AGENTS NAMED REAL TRENDS AMERICA’S BEST REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS

Real Trends America's Best logo

Mel Foster Co. is pleased to announce that several of their agents have been named as one of America’s most productive agents as a part of REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Professionals, the newly issued ranking report produced by REAL Trends and sponsored by Adwerx.

REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents ranks over 13,800 residential real estate professionals solely based on their excellence in real estate sales during calendar year 2017. All production numbers are independently verified by a third-party in order to ensure accuracy and report integrity.  “This group of highly successful real estate sales agents represents less than 1 percent of all real estate practitioners in the United States,” says Steve Murray, president of REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Professionals and president of REAL Trends.

To qualify for inclusion, an individual agent must have closed at least 50 transaction sides or $20 million in closed sales volume in 2017.  “The average residential real estate agent in the United States closed 8.0 transactions in 2017 and had less than $1.3 million in sales,” said Murray.  The individuals ranked in America’s Best Real Estate Agents had an average of 73.88 transaction sides and an average sales volume of almost $38 million.  This ensures that only the best of the best are included on the prestigious list.

The rankings are compiled based on survey from virtually every national branded network, many state and local associations of Realtors®, multiple listing services, all applicants from past years’ rankings, and the 1,600 largest brokerage firms in the United States.

The real estate agents are ranked in two categories:

  • Individual agent – Sales volume
  • Individual agent – Transaction sides (in each real estate transaction there are two sides that can be represented by a real estate agent; the buy side and the selling side)

For Individuals by Volume, in Iowa, two Mel Foster Co. agents ranked in the top ten:

  • Geri Doyle, Davenport I-74 office, ranked #2
  • Brad Boeye, Kimberly Road office, ranked #3

For Individuals by Sides, in Iowa, eight Mel Foster agents ranked out of 101:

  • Lucky Lang II, Davenport I-74 office, ranked #6
  • Brad Boeye, Davenport Kimberly Road office, ranked #12
  • Geri Doyle, Davenport Kimberly Road office, ranked #39
  • Mary Leslie Douglas, Clinton office, ranked #43
  • Sara Smith, Davenport I-74 office, ranked #49
  • Dee Shepherd, Clinton office, ranked #54
  • Robert Allmandinger, Clinton office, ranked #71
  • Candy Reaves, Davenport I-74 office, ranked #85

For Individuals by Sides, in Illinois, five Mel Foster Co. agents ranked out of 254:

  • Diana Franks, Geneseo office, ranked #80
  • Peggy Tossell, Kewanee office, ranked #104
  • Sara Varner, Galesburg office, ranked #116
  • Ty Johnson, Galesburg office, ranked #182
  • Paula Nabb, Moline office, ranked #204

“Having our agents recognized on REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents list, shows Mel Foster Co. agents are dedicated to their industry, their business and their clients.  They are part of an elite group of real estate agents across the country.  Many of our agents have made the list for consecutive years,” said Lynsey Engels, Mel Foster Co.’s President Real Estate Brokerage.

Mel Foster Co. Supports First Day Project

Mel Foster Co. is supporting the First Day Project by becoming a drop off location and collecting school supplies for local students. Through the end of July, donation boxes are available at Mel Foster Co. metro Quad Cities offices including I-74 and Elmore Avenue in Davenport, Kimberly Road in Davenport, Cumberland Square in Bettendorf, 41st Street Moline and downtown Geneseo.

The First Day Project is a collaborative effort with schools, volunteers, businesses and the community working together to gather and distribute supplies to students whose families lack the financial resources to purchase school supplies.

Lynsey Engels, president real estate brokerage of Mel Foster Co., explains why the First Day Project is essential to our community. “Students need basic supplies like pencils and paper to succeed in school. But the big picture result of giving to ensure all students have an equal chance of succeeding goes beyond providing supplies. Students who are equipped with supplies are more confident and start the school year on par with their peers and ready to tackle a new grade. We can give kids that boost they need by doing something as simple as buying folders and dropping off that donation to a Mel Foster Co. office.”

More than 25,000 students in the Quad Cities schools are eligible for the free and reduced lunch program. Some Quad Cities school districts have as many as 90% of the total student population qualifying for free and reduced lunch. Supplies collected through the First Day Project help meet the needs of thousands of students and their families.

The First Day Project was established in 2006 to help increase school supply collections taking place in different Quad City communities.

For more information about Mel Foster Co., please visit www.melfosterco.com

 

How to Save for a Down Payment

Do you have enough for a down payment?

You’re ready to leave your rental behind but don’t have enough down payment yet. Here’s how to start saving today to get you closer to moving into a home of your own.

Begin Saving Early

The sooner you’re able to start saving the better, especially if you’re able to invest some of your savings. The more you have saved, the more options you’ll have when looking for a home.

Follow a Budget

If you’re disciplined and able to stick to a budget, you should be able to set aside a specific amount of your paycheck to savings every month. You may have to cut expenses or seek additional income, but you will save in the long run by having lower monthly mortgage payments.

Save Windfalls of Cash

Start saving any extra money you come across. Tax returns, gifts and bonuses are perfect sources for your down payment. If you’re able to grow this money through investments, it will get you that much closer to your long-term goals.

Use Interest to Grow Your Savings

If you’re able to utilize high interest savings accounts or certificates of deposits (CD’s) you’ll automatically be putting your money to work for you. Seek out the best resources for earning more for your money.

If you’re wondering how much you need to save for a down payment, use this easy mortgage calculator

How Credit Score Information is Calculated

Calculating your credit

Your credit score affects your ability to borrow money and influences the interest you’ll pay on that loan. Most people don’t know how these scores are calculated. Here’s what you need to know.

All Credit Scores are Not the Same

People often assume their credit score is a single three-digit number. In truth each of the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, score you differently since they don’t have the exact same data. Be clear where your ratings come from when sharing your scores. 

Closing Accounts Won’t Always Boost Scores

Closing old or inactive accounts may inadvertently lower your credit score because your credit history appears shorter. If you want to simplify, close newer credit accounts first.

Paying Off a Debt Doesn’t Remove it from Your History 

Once a debt goes to collection, or you’ve established a history of late payments, your credit score is impacted even if you pay off what you owe. While your score will get a boost if you pay off an old debt, it may not be by as much as you think. The best way to increase your credit score is to make payments on time every month.

Co-signing a Loan Impacts Your Scores

When you co-sign for someone else’s loan, you are ultimately responsible for the debt. If the person you’re co-signed with does not pay, your credit score will be impacted. Determine ahead of time if the person you’re co-signing with can afford the loan and if it’s worth the risk to your own credit score.

Not sure who to trust when making decisions that could affect your credit score? Refer to a Mel Foster Co. agent for guidance.


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