Mel Foster Co. has announced it has earned the 2022 Top Workplaces in Iowa, partnership with The Des Moines Register and Energage, a purpose-driven organization that develops solutions to build and brand Top Workplaces.  The Top Workplaces program has a 15-year history of surveying more than 20 million employees and recognizing the top organizations across 60 markets for regional Top Workplaces awards.” The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through the third-party survey. The anonymous survey measures several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few.

“During this very challenging time, Top Workplaces has proven to be a beacon of light for organizations, as well as a sign of resiliency and strong business performance,” said Eric Rubino, Energage CEO. “When you give your employees a voice, you come together to navigate challenges and shape your path forward. Top Workplaces draw on real-time insights into what works best for their organization, so they can make informed decisions that have a positive impact on their people and their business.”

Since its founding over 100 years ago, Mel Foster Co. has become a highly preferred real estate company by top-performing agents and staff dedicated to helping clients buy or sell a home.  The company utilizes a team approach that reinforces the family atmosphere at the offices.  A commitment to supporting fellow family-owned businesses that help build strong communities is one of the core values that agents and staff regularly state as a reason they continue working at Mel Foster Co.

Lynsey Engels, President Real Estate Brokerage commented on receiving this prestigious honor.  “Recognition as a Top Workplace in Iowa is a credit to our agents and staff who support and encourage each other.  The people of Mel Foster Co. make the company a great place to work.  It is an honor for the company to be recognized by our agents and staff.”

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

Mel Foster Co. has announced it has earned the 2022 Top Workplaces USA award, issued by Energage, a purpose-driven organization that develops solutions to build and brand Top Workplaces.  The Top Workplaces program has a 15-year history of surveying more than 20 million employees and recognizing the top organizations across 60 markets for regional Top Workplaces awards.” The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through the third-party survey. The anonymous survey measures several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few.

“During this very challenging time, Top Workplaces has proven to be a beacon of light for organizations, as well as a sign of resiliency and strong business performance,” said Eric Rubino, Energage CEO. “When you give your employees a voice, you come together to navigate challenges and shape your path forward. Top Workplaces draw on real-time insights into what works best for their organization, so they can make informed decisions that have a positive impact on their people and their business.”

Since its founding over 100 years ago, Mel Foster Co. has become a highly preferred real estate company by top-performing agents and staff dedicated to helping clients buy or sell a home.  The company utilizes a team approach that reinforces the family atmosphere at the offices.  A commitment to supporting fellow family-owned businesses that help build strong communities is one of the core values that agents and staff regularly state as a reason they continue working at Mel Foster Co.

Lynsey Engels, President Real Estate Brokerage commented on receiving this prestigious honor.  “Recognition as a Top Workplace is a credit to our agents and staff who support and encourage each other.  The people of Mel Foster Co. make the company a great place to work.  It is an honor for the company to be recognized by our agents and staff during the unique challenges of the last two years.”

For more information about Mel Foster Co., please visit www.melfosterco.com or their company profile at www.topworkplaces.com. See here for list of award winners.

About Mel Foster Co.

Founded in 1921, Mel Foster Co. is one of the real estate leaders in the Quad Cities region of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. With Iowa offices in Bettendorf, Clinton, and Davenport and Illinois offices in Galesburg, Geneseo, Kewanee, Moline and Savanna, Mel Foster Co. serves customers in the bi-state area. The company specializes in residential and commercial real estate sales and offers a wide range of services including insurance, new construction, relocation, farm and land sales, land development, senior services, and career development. Mel Foster Co. is a multi-generational, family-owned business and is proud to continue this 100-year tradition in family leadership. For more information, visit www.melfosterco.com

About Energage Making the world a better place to work together.TM

Energage is a purpose-driven company that helps organizations turn employee feedback into useful business intelligence and credible employer recognition through Top Workplaces. Built on 15 years of culture research and the results from 23 million employees surveyed across more than 70, 000 organizations, Energage delivers the most accurate competitive benchmark available. With access to a unique combination of patented analytic tools and expert guidance, Energage customers lead the competition with an engaged workforce and an opportunity to gain recognition for their people-first approach to culture. For more information or to nominate your organization, visit Energage or Workplaces.

Mel Foster Co. Celebrates 2021 Achievements

Mel Foster Co. celebrated 2021 at a virtual annual awards event on January 27, 2022. Lynsey Engels, president of real estate brokerage, Marc Engels, president of Mel Foster Insurance, and Rob Fick, president and CEO, collectively honored 118 award winners for their 2021 achievements and released the company’s year-end results via video presentation.

Mel Foster Insurance, a locally owned and operated independent insurance agency, continued to expand its footprint in the Quad Cities region with strategic investments and expansion in 2021. In April, the insurance division acquired Capstone Insurance Group in the Cedar Rapids area expanding its presence in Eastern Iowa. To accommodate continued growth, Mel Foster Insurance completed a major remodel to its Davenport headquarters which modernized the entire office and added an additional 2,000 square feet.

In a challenging post-derecho insurance market, the insurance division increased both total premiums written, up 7 percent, and policy count, up 3.9 percent.  Mr. Engels said, “It was an extremely busy year with lots of market disruptions, but we are pleased to achieve 97 percent client retention rate agency-wide. Our entire team work diligently to provide a personalized insurance experience and we can’t thank our clients enough for their loyalty and continued business.” 

“We are glad to get the major storms of 2020 that hit our local communities so hard in the rearview.  It was unprecedented claim counts coupled with shortages in labor and materials and I am proud of how the team and our insurance partners rose to the occasion,” Engels stated. “Through our financial investments, growth, and market expansion we have made critical steps to position ourselves for the long term in this region as a trusted independent agency that can deliver a great insurance experience,” continued Mr. Engels. 

Mel Foster Co. is the largest land developer in the region and continues to expand its existing subdivisions. In 2021, Mel Foster Co. sold 38 lots in four subdivisions. The company plans to release 70 new residential lots in 2022. Mel Foster Co. residential agents sold 75 new construction homes or condos last year. The average Mel Foster Co. new construction sales price was $452,734, up from $401,649 last year.

Mel Foster Commercial Real Estate Services led by Thad DenHartog had over $82 million in commercial real estate sales, up 15.89 percent from last year. Two of the company’s commercial brokers ranked in the top 10 of the Quad Cities Commercial MLS. “We saw another year of positive commercial real estate activity in our market,” commented Ms. Engels. “Despite what is being seen in other parts of the U.S., commercial real estate is very strong in the Quad Cities. Due to supply chain disruptions, the demand for land and industrial space was up in 2021. We expect to see this trend continue in 2022 as the market works to overcome labor and materials shortages.”

Residential real estate continued to experience a lack of inventory nationally and locally however Mel Foster Co. residential boasted a five percent increase in sales volume from 2020. The year was marked by unprecedented competition with many homes receiving multiple offers within days of listing at record high prices. The average sales price for the company was up 10.5 percent from 2020 at $194,933, and the number of days on the market was 37 compared to 58 in 2020. On average, Mel Foster Co.’s agents closed 15 transactions (buy or sell) in 2021, which is higher than the national average according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Ms. Engels stated, “Last year was a unique time in real estate. Buyers experienced skyrocketing home prices, limited inventory, and a fast-paced sales environment. Low mortgage rates worked in buyers’ favor, and our experienced agents were able to successfully close deals despite the high level of competition.”

Across the eight residential office locations within Mel Foster Co., the company had a combined nine agents in the top 10 of their respective MLS. Thirteen agents were named on RealTrends America’s Best Real Estate Professionals list that honors the finest real estate agents from across the country.

As part of its commitment to integrating technology with new services, Mel Foster Co. partnered with MooveGuru to provide buyers and sellers a free, value-added service. MooveGuru is an automated concierge platform that sends move-related, money-saving offers to new homeowners via emails. It helps them connect with utility providers and home services to make moving less stressful.

Melfosterco.com was awarded the Website Quality Certification from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, one of 107 companies to earn the recognition of excellence for website design, content and functionality.

Fick welcomed 19 new agents/staff and congratulated 12 other agents/staff on their retirements during the virtual awards toast. Nineteen agents were recognized for volunteering on real estate association committees or boards at the local, state or national level. Forty-five agents and staff were thanked for their years of service with the company, totaling 680 years of service. Across all three divisions, the median number of years of service among staff/agents is 15.5 years. This number is nearly double what other companies experience, according to NAR. Fick continued, “We are proud of these milestones and appreciate the loyalty our agents and staff continue to show Mel Foster Co. Many agents have long-standing relationships with their clients, serving them or their families multiple times over the years. These valued relationships and the trusted guidance our agents and staff share with clients are key factors to the success of our 100-year-old company.”

Throughout its 100-year history, Mel Foster Co. has made it a priority to give back to the communities it serves. In honor of 100 years in business, the company donated $100,000 to local charities and organizations. Twenty of those charities/organizations were selected by the company’s agents and staff to receive monetary gifts in 2021 in honor of the centennial celebration.

Mel Foster Co. agents and staff pledged to donate 1,000 hours of volunteer service in 2021 to charities and organizations of their choice to complement the corporate financial gifts to the community. The agents and staff exceeded that goal by over 400 percent, with an average of 17.5 volunteer hours per person. Ms. Engels stated, “It’s heartwarming to see how much our agents and staff care and want to make a difference in the communities and with the organizations that they are passionate about.”

Mel Foster Co. continued its Think.Buy.Be.Local campaign in 2021. In support of this initiative, the company raised money to sponsor over 40,000 meals for local families by participating in the River Bend Foodbank Community Hunger Drive. Mel Foster Co. provided over 300 coats to various non-profit organizations, adopted multiple families in need over the holidays, made and delivered baskets to seniors, partnered with WQAD for a school supply drive, held a blood drive with the ImpactLIfe, and collected toys and money for the annual Toys for Tots drive. Mel Foster Co. agents and staff supported over 100 local businesses during Small Business Week. The company is also the defending champion of the Bix 7 Brady Street Corporate Sponsor Challenge.

Fick closed the awards with a virtual toast thanking the agents and staff for their continued perseverance, loyalty and commitment to clients. “The success we enjoyed together as a company during our 100th year would not have been possible without our clients. We look forward to serving the community during the next 100 years.”  

For a complete list of award winners, visit https://www.melfosterco.com/agent-achievements

About Mel Foster Co.

Founded in 1921, Mel Foster Co. is a recognized leader for real estate and insurance. 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 www.melfosterco.com for more information.

Mel Foster Commercial Real Estate Services is a leading commercial brokerage firm specializing in office, industrial, retail, land and consulting services in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. Visit www.melfostercommercial.com for more information.

Mel Foster Insurance, a full-service, independent agency with dedicated professionals focused on serving clients with solutions for business risk management, employee benefits, individual/group retirement planning and personal insurance. It was founded in 1932 and represents over 25 of the region’s most financially stable insurance carriers and offers coverage for personal and business clients. Visit www.melfosterinsurance.com for more information.

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.

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

Preparing to Buy in the Competitive Summer Housing Market

Home Buying Tips

This summer will be a competitive season in the housing market where demand will be higher than supply. If you’re planning on buying a home, here are some tips to help you prepare.

Get Your Finances in Order Ahead of Time

Before you begin looking for houses, make sure you’re financially prepared to be a homeowner. This includes doing a credit check, gathering your employment and salary history, getting a current bank statement that shows savings and checking balances, making a list of your debts and anything else that could contribute to your net worth.

Be Prepared for High Prices

If you see a house you love, chances are someone else loves it too. Many sellers are receiving multiple offers and will often receive offers close to their asking price. Be prepared for firm prices and difficult negotiations. Determine your needs vs. wants when it comes to selecting a home and be willing to compromise so you can act and make an offer quickly.

Work with a Professional Real Estate Agent

Having a real estate agent on your team can make a big difference. An experienced agent can recognize what might make or break a deal. Your agent will offer the sellers your whole package and not just an offer number, making your offer more appealing to the seller. Your agent’s ability to negotiate on your behalf gives you peace of mind that you’re getting the most out of the deal.

To contact a Mel Foster Co. agent today visit our website.

Celebrate Mother’s Day throughout the month of May!

May Celebrations

Spend extra time with your mom or that special person this month doing something they’ll really enjoy.

Augsburg Choir at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport

May 1; 7:00-8:30pm

 

Like Mother Like Daughter Wine Night at the Grape Life in Davenport

May 1;  6 pm

BLOOM 2018 An event for new/expecting Mothers at The Group in Davenport

May 3; 7 pm

 

The Church Basement Ladies in Rise Up, O Men at Circa ’21 in Rock Island

May 1-12;   A variety of dates and times

Beer & Wine Walk in downtown Clinton

May 3; 5pm

Sip and Shop at Tycoga Vineyard & Winery in DeWitt

May 3;   6 pm

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mississippi Valley Annual Plant Sale

   Northwest Bank and Trust Tower in Davenport & UnityPoint Health-Trinity     in Moline

May 4-6;   8:00am-7:00pm

Augustana Jazz Ensemble in Centennial Hall at Augustana College in Rock Island

May 4;  7:30-11:00pm

The Drowsy Chaperone at Brunner Theatre Center at Augustana in Rock Island

May 4-6;   7:30-11:00pm

Family Date Night: May the Force Be with You at the Family Museum in Bettendorf

May 4;   5:30 pm

 Kentucky Oaks Ladies Social at Me & Billy in Davenport

May 4;  6 pm – 8 pm

Freight House Farmer’s Market Season Opening

May 5;   8:00am-1:00pm

Celebration of Moms with Fit4mom Quad Cities at Veterans Memorial Park in Bettendorf

May 7;   9:30 am

The Ultimate Spring Women’s Expo at Wild Rose Casino & Resort in Clinton

May 8;   5:30 pm

Mother’s Day Brunch at CASI in Davenport

May 10;   11 am

It’s a Girl Thing at Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse in Rock Island

May 10;  6 pm

Mother’s Day Signs at Crafted QC in Davenport

May 10;   6 pm

Mother’s Day Workout for Mom and kids at Geneseo Jazzercise

May 11;   5:45 pm

Teach Me to Murder interactive comedy at Skellington Manor in Rock Island

May 11;   6:30-9:30pm

“Bingo! The Winning Musical” at Playcrafters Barn Theatre in Moline

May 11;   7:30-11:00pm

Opening Weekend! ET at the Blue Moonlight Drive-In Theatre in Galesburg

May 11;   7:30 pm

Mother’s Day Weekend Patio Bash at Armored Gardens in Davenport

May 12;   11 am – 4 pm

Mother’s Day Wine Tasting Dinner at Hauberg Civic Center in Rock Island

May 12;   7 pm

Mother’s Day Bruch Buffet at Thunder Bay Grille in Davenport

May 13;   9am-3pm

Mother’s Day Bruch Buffet at Tuggers in Port Byron

May 13;  10am-2pm

Mother’s Day Brunch at Palmer Grill in Bettendorf

May 13;   10 am

Beaux Arts Fair at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport

May 13;   10:am-4pm

Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch Buffet at Arsenal Island Golf Clubhouse

May 13;   10:30 am

Mother’s Day Tour of Homes in Broadway at Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in Rock Island

May 13;  1 pm

Mother’s Day Candle Pouring at Art Defined in Galesburg

May 16;   6 pm

Run the Rock 5K and 10K at Memorial Park at Rock Island Arsenal

May 19;   8:00am

Quad Cities River Bandits vs. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Modern Woodmen in Davenport

May 21;   6:35pm

The Bridges of Madison County at Circa ’21 Playhouse in Rock Island

May 23;   6:00-11:00pm

2018 Spring Parade of Homes

See the latest trends in new home construction at the Spring 2018 Quad Cities Parade of Homes. Admission is free! The Parade of Homes schedule is as follows:

Saturday, April 14 & Sunday, April 15 from 1 pm – 5 pm

Wednesday, April 18 from 5 pm – 7pm

Saturday, April 21 & Sunday, April 22 from 1 pm – 5 pm

To see all the homes in the parade and to learn more about the Parade of Homes, visit http://qcbr.org/events/spring-preview-parade-homes/

4617 Cottage Lane Bettendorf, IA

4617 Cottage Lane Bettendorf
4 BR; 3 BA

  • Existing Trees
  • 2 Stocked Ponds
  • Community Pool, coming soon!

6834 Grover Station, Bettendorf, IA

6834 Grover Station, Bettendorf
5 BR; 5 BA

  • Covered Porch
  • 2 Story Great Room
  • Walk-in Pantry
  • Walkout Lower Level

4661 Mason Run, Bettendorf, IA

4661 Mason Run, Bettendorf
4 BR; 4.5 BA

  • Distinctive Architecture
  • Huge 2nd Story Vestibule
  • Daylight Basement Windows
  • 9′ Ceilings All levels

4476 Slate Creek Drive, Bettendorf, IA

4476 Slate Creek Drive, Bettendorf
3 BR; 3.5 BA

  • Townhome
  • Quartz Countertops
  • Wood Flooring
  • 9′ Ceilings
  • Walk-outs Available

7043 St. Ann Drive, Bettendorf, IA

7043 St. Ann Drive, Bettendorf
5 BR; 5 BA

  • Finished Lower Level
  • Large Landscaped Lot
  • Gorgeous Kitchen
  • Large Master Suite

5052 Woody Creek Lane, Bettendorf, IA

5052 Woody Creek Lane, Bettendorf
5 BR; 4.5 BA

  • 14″ Ceilings – Great Room
  • Walk-in Pantry
  • Main Level Master Suite
  • Viking Appliance Package

1006 W. Pinehurst Drive, Eldridge, IA

1006 W. Pinehurst Drive, Eldridge
4 BR; 3.5 BA

  • 3,500 Finished Sq. Ft.
  • Walk-out Lower Level
  • Rustic Fireplace
  • Wet Bar, Rec Room

401 Torrey Pines Drive, Eldridge, IA

401 Torrey Pines Drive, Eldridge
3 BR; 2.5 BA

  • Open Great Room/Kitchen
  • 9′ Ceilings all levels
  • Oversized 3 car garage
  • 2nd Floor Laundry

32 Blackstone Way, LeClaire, IA

32 Blackstone Way, LeClaire
4 BR; 2.5 BA

  • Open concept main floor with Great Room
  • Granite Countertops & White Kitchen
  • Hand Scrapped Hardwood Floors

101 Cobblestone Lane, LeClaire, IA

101 Cobblestone Lane, LeClaire
4 BR; 4.5 BA

  • Finished Lower Level
  • Granite Countertops
  • Cathedral Ceilings in Great Room
  • Hardwood Floors Main Floor

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

 

 

 

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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