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.

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

Mel Foster Co. Celebrates 2017 Achievements

Mel Foster Co. held its annual awards reception last night at the Rhythm City Casino Resort in Davenport, Iowa. Rob Fick, president and CEO, Lynsey Engels, president real estate brokerage and Marc Engels, president of Mel Foster Insurance, honored and recognized 130 award winners within the organization for their 2017 achievements.

Fick congratulated sales associates and staff on a strong year and shared with them, “Our agents and staff are some of the best in the industry and the reason for our success. We’ve just finished a very successful year and indications show 2018 will follow many of the same market trends. The economy is still robust, low interest rates continue to make home buying very affordable by historical standards, and more people are employed and in a financial position to buy a home or business.”

The commercial division, led by Thad DenHartog, continued to dominate the market. Their sales volume continued to reach record-breaking levels with a five percent increase in 2017. Mel Foster Commercial Real Estate Services was ranked number one in the Quad Cities Commercial MLS with over 42 percent of the market share volume in 2017, up 16 percent from 2016.  The next competitor had 28 percent of the commercial sales volume. Three of the company’s commercial brokers ranked in the top 5 in the Quad Cities Commercial MLS.  “We are thrilled to see our commercial division continue to hold such a strong position in the Quad City market,” said Engels.

Mel Foster Insurance continued to grow its footprint in the region and acquired Frazier & Associates of LeClaire, Iowa in 2017. The insurance division increased both total premiums written and policy count over five percent from 2016 and client base increased by 14%.  Marc Engels, president of Mel Foster Insurance, said, “We are uniquely positioned in the market as a local full-service, independent agency with specialized professionals focused on serving our clients with business risk management, employee benefits, individual/group retirement planning, and personal insurance solutions. We are proud that we added 1,283 policies in 2017 exclusive of our acquisition of Frazier & Associates. We have a 95.4% client retention rate agency-wide, which is a testament to the exceptional service we provide to our personal and business clients. We expect our growth and retention to reach new heights in 2018 in part due to the strengthening economy.”

The residential real estate sales team gave another remarkable performance in 2017 with a nine percent increase company-wide in sales volume and number of transaction sides (either listings or selling) over the previous year. All nine office locations reported an increase in sales volume with the Galesburg office leading the way with a 34 percent increase from last year. Company-wide, residential agents averaged 17 transactions in 2017, an increase of at least one per agent. The average time to get homes sold was successfully lowered from 61 days to 55 days in 2017.  In the metro Quad Cities, sale prices rose five percent in 2017 for an average sales price of $191,349 per the Quad Cities Area Realtor Association.  Eleven residential agents were in the top 10 of their respective MLS compared to nine last year.

Construction of new homes surged in 2017 as Mel Foster Co., who is the largest land developer in the Quad Cities continued to develop neighborhoods on both sides of the river. The company developed more than 165 residential lots in six different subdivisions in both Iowa and Illinois in 2017 with plans to develop over 500 lots in future additions.  Lynsey Engels, president, real estate brokerage said, “The increased demand for new construction lots is a great indicator for a strong market in 2018.  We are pleased to be positioned to meet this higher demand with a wide range of neighborhoods offering lots in multiple price ranges.”

The high numbers across all the division are the result of the tireless efforts of a dedicated team of professionals and a focused strategy to provide the best real estate and insurance experience. “This is an exciting time for everybody within Mel Foster Co. We posted the best year since the housing bubble peaked in 2008. Our success would not be possible without the hard work of every single person within each of our divisions,” Fick concluded.

In addition to another impressive year of sales growth, Mel Foster Co. welcomed 26 new agents and staff into the company in 2017. Mel Foster Co. has residential offices in Bettendorf, Clinton and Davenport, Iowa and Galesburg, Geneseo, Kewanee, Moline and Savanna, Illinois.

Ice is Nice!

Enjoy some ice time

Make the most of our winter climate while enjoying family time on the rink.

Davenport

River’s Edge

Bettendorf

Frozen Landing

Moline

Center Ice at Bass St. Landing, Riverside Park Lagoon

Rock Island

Sunset Park, Longview Park

Galesburg

Rotary Park

Rather ski or snowboard? Head to Snowstar in Andalusia where you can also go tubing.

 


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