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 melfostercoblog.com

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.

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

Lynsey Engels, president of Real Estate Brokerage at Mel Foster Co. is pleased to announce that several of its agents have been named as one of America’s most productive agents as a part of the 2021 REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Professionals list.  This ranking report by REAL Trends, the Trusted Source in residential brokerage, and Tom Ferry International, a top coaching and training company, ranks the most productive agents by state and metropolitan area based on closed transaction sides and closed volume in 2020.

REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Professionals honors American’s finest real estate agents from across the country.  Over 18,000 U.S. real estate sales associates from every state are featured in America’s Best.  Those ranked are among the top 1.5% of the 1.4 million licensed REALTORS® nationwide. 

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)

Individuals By Volume in Iowa Top 14

Geri Doyle, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Geri Doyle, #1 by Volume in Iowa
Brad Boeye, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Brad Boeye, #5 by Volume in Iowa
Brad Gibson, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Brad Gibson, #8 by Volume in Iowa
Sara DeWulf, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Sara DeWulf, #11 by Volume in Iowa

Individuals By Sides, in Iowa Top 110

Sara DeWulf, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Sara DeWulf, #6 by Sides in Iowa
Geri Doyle, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Geri Doyle, #20 by Sides in Iowa
Brad Boeye, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Brad Boeye, #26 by Sides in Iowa
Lucky Lang II, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Lucky Lang II, #30 by Sides in Iowa
Bob Allmandinger, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Bob Allmandinger, #44 by Sides in Iowa
Brad Gibson, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Brad Gibson, #47 by Sides in Iowa
Dee Shepherd, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Dee Shepherd, #64 by Sides in Iowa
Candy Reaves, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Candy Reaves, #84 by Sides in Iowa

Individuals By Sides, In Illinois Top 269

Chuck Ross, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Chuck Ross, #96 by Sides In Illinois
Debbie Wright, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Debbie Wright, #108 by Sides in Illinois
Diana Franks, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Diana Franks, #124 by Sides in Illinois
Eve Anderson, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Eve Anderson, #197 by Sides in Illinois

Ms. Engels commented, “With this year’s release of the 2021 America’s Best Real Estate Professionals list, we are incredibly proud to have 12 of our agents be recognized with other elite real estate agents across the country and continue to be in awe of these agent’s dedication, hard work and commitment to serving clients throughout the region, especially in a year that was so challenging.  In Iowa, having the #1 agent for individuals by volume be from Mel Foster Co. and the same agent for the second year in a row is remarkable!” 

To qualify for inclusion, an individual agent must have closed at least 50 transaction sides or $20 million in closed sales volume in 2020. The rankings are compiled based on surveys from virtually every national branded network, many state and local associations of Realtors®, multiple listing services, all applicants from past years’ rankings, and the 900 largest brokerage firms in the United States.  Verification from an independent source is required from all submissions.  In addition, REAL Trends senior staff reviews every submission for completeness and accuracy.

The Shift From Open Concept

Are you open to a home that is not open concept? Some buyers have reevaluated and now search for homes that reflect how differently we’re using our interior space, specifically when choosing an open or closed concept layout. Consider a few reasons why some are seeking homes with a more closed concept.

More Privacy

More rooms with distinct separation by walls and doors give you more options to find a spot for privacy. And the reality that we’re spending more time at home now than ever before just reiterates the value of having a choice in finding space to tuck away from others and regroup.

More Volume Control

While the sightlines of an open concept home are appealing to many, the acoustics and noise level can often be troublesome. Moms find little reprieve from the wild shrieks of spirited youngsters in an open-concept space where the kitchen flows to the family living area. A home with a separate kitchen allows for more volume control while preparing family meals.

More Rooms To Decorate

If you’re a fan of interior design but have trouble choosing just one theme, finding a home with multiple rooms means you have that many more chances to vary the décor. Instead of worrying that the open design plan flows from one room to another, you can arrange each room with creative flair.

More Energy Efficient

You have more control over the heating and cooling of your space with a closed-concept home. Managing the house temperature by closing off rooms used less often results in lower heating and cooling costs and makes the closed concept arrangement more energy efficient.

Now’s the time to give an older home a chance. Find more tips for buyers at melfostercoblog.com

Sell Now

It’s a seller’s market right now. There are fewer homes for sale which means more competition for buyers. Let’s look at a few of the reasons not to wait to place your house on the market.

Before School’s Out For Summer

Sell now at the start of the spring real estate season before people prepare to move in the summer when their kids are off school. Be sure to include both indoor and outdoor spring-cleaning projects to get your house ready to show. Moving families will want to settle into a new neighborhood, so school registration for fall is finalized, and new routines are established.

Homes Are Selling Quickly

According to Realtor.com, the median U.S. home listing price is up 15.6%, and homes are spending less time on the market than last year at this time. On average, homes stay on the market for about 54 days, which is nearly a week shorter than a year ago. And the Quad City market is seeing home sales finalized in less than seven days. Fewer homes for purchase allow those available to turn over quickly, which means you’ll have fewer open houses. If you’ve been debating on selling at a time when profit looks promising, now’s the time.

Multiple Offers Mean More Options

Fewer homes available for sale means that, as the seller, you could experience bidding wars and multiple offers. And receiving multiple offers may give you more flexibility on closing dates and fewer inspections to pass. Bidding wars produce more offers to consider and even possible cash offers from buyers.

Money In Your Pocket

Interest rates remain low, and the possibility that they will begin to rise again has incented some buyers to take the leap and act quickly now. As demand for available homes increases, so does the money in your pocket if you’re ready to sell.

Find more selling tips for homeowners at melfostercoblog.com

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

Celebrate your freedom and choose to enjoy QC events offered in July.

Experience a new festivity or repeat a Quad-City favorite this month.

Holiday Fireworks and Events Schedule By City

Bettendorf 

July 4

12:00pm – Parade on Grant and State

2:00-9:30pm – City Festival at Cumberland Square

9:30pm (Dusk) – Fireworks at Veterans Memorial Park

Buffalo

July 3 at 9:30pm (Dusk) – Fireworks at City Park

July 4 at 2:00pm – Parade

Davenport

July 3 at 9:30pm (Dusk) – Red, White and Boom Fireworks with Patriotic Pops by the

Quad City Symphony Orchestra on the Davenport Riverfront

DeWitt

July 3 at 6:00pm – Parade

Durant

July 4 at 9:30pm (Dusk) – Fireworks

East Moline

July 3 at 9:30 – Fireworks at Beacon Harbor Parkway

July 4 at 1:00pm – 52nd Annual AMVETS Parade

Galesburg

July 4 at 9:30pm (Dusk) – Big Bang Boom Fireworks at Lake Storey Park

Geneseo

July 3 at 9:30pm (Dusk) – Thrill on the Hill Fireworks at Richmond Hill Park

Kewanee

July 4 at 9:00pm – Fireworks at Northeast Park

Rock Island

July 3 at 9:30pm (Dusk) – Red, White and Boom Fireworks at Rock Island Riverfront

Other Community Activities

36th Annual Genesis Firecracker Run in Downtown East Moline

July 4 at 7:30am

Mississippi Valley Blues Festival

July 6-7 at LeClaire Park in Davenport

John Deere Classic

July 9-15 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis

Walcott Truckers Jamboree

July 12-14 at I-80 Truckstop in Walcott

Brady Street Sprints in Downtown Davenport

July 26 at 7:00pm

Arconic’s Jr. Bix in Downtown Davenport

July 27 at 6:00pm

Downtown Street Fest at 2nd Street in Downtown Davenport

July 27-28

Ragbrai Ride from Iowa City finishing in Downtown Davenport

July 28

Quad City Times Bix 7 in Downtown Davenport

July 28 at 8:00am

Mississippi Valley Fair at the Fairgrounds in Davenport

July 31-August 5

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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