If They Build It, Will You Love It?

Buying new construction may seem like the best way to get everything you want in your dream home. While there are certainly benefits to starting from scratch, there are also some things to consider when deciding if new construction is the way to go.

What you see isn’t always what you get.

Model homes often showcase high-end features like granite counter tops in the kitchen or a clawfoot tub in the bathroom. These items may not be included in the standard home and so the price listed won’t reflect the home you fell in love with. During your model home tour, be sure to ask what features are included in the base price and what is available. Remember that prices can fluctuate based on how much time passes between the initial quote and when construction begins.

Research the builder.

The internet is an easy resource to search reviews, testimonials and articles about the builder you are considering. Ask friends and neighbors about their experiences and get their feedback. Take time to visit the builders’ current developments so you are familiar with what they offer.

What does the future look like?

Visit the city development website or office to determine what is planned for your neighborhood and surrounding area. Are there plans to widen the road? Which direction is the builder growing toward and will it affect that gorgeous view of the river you have now? Ask what your community will look like in five years and be sure it aligns with your vision for the home.

Get it in writing.

Before you sign a purchase agreement, ensure that it includes all important information. Buying a home that is a work in progress can lead to uncertainty with completion and inspection dates. Have your builder document intended dates so you don’t get stuck with extra charges if you’re unable to close on time. Spell out how and when the home will be finished. Verbal discussions are not legally binding, so be sure it’s in writing and that everyone involved signs the documents.

Get started by researching local builders.

Top Three Tips For First Time Buyers.

First Time Tips
First Time Tips

Buying your first home is an exciting adventure. However, there’s a lot of your money on the line, so you’d better be prepared. Avoiding mistakes and getting guidance from seasoned professionals will ensure the process goes smoothly. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your time and efforts when starting the home buying process.

Know What You Want and Do Your Research

This is one of the most important steps. What are your must-haves in your new home? What are you willing to compromise on? The more prepared you are before you start to look at properties, the easier it will be to pinpoint the perfect home. Also, with the power of the Internet, you have a wealth of information at your fingertips. Focus your search on the neighborhoods you are interested in and learn as much as you can about the surrounding area. Use the interactive search map to zoom in on neighbors and see what’s for sale.

Get Preapproved

Talking to the bank prior to getting a mortgage will give you a leg up when you start looking at homes. Your lender will be able to assess your finances and let you know how much house you can afford, and give you an idea of what percentage rates you might expect to receive on your loan. Making an offer with a bank’s preapproval may give you the upper hand if it’s a competitive offer situation.

Work with a REALTOR®

Your agent can be your right hand man or woman when it comes time to start your search. Your agent can help you narrow down your options so you aren’t wasting your time with homes that don’t fit your needs. Their job is to help you find the home you want, and help you negotiate a fair asking price. Your agent can also help you navigate the paperwork, which can be overwhelming for first time buyers. Click here to find a Mel Foster Co. agent to start your home search.

An Older Home As A Green Alternative.

Older Home as Green Alternative
Older Home as Green Alternative

Call it recycling on a grand scale. Homebuyers who want their purchase to be more environmentally friendly are turning to older homes instead of building new. In fact, architect Carl Elefante coined the phrase, “the greenest building is the one that is already built.” What he meant by that is that environmental resources that would be used to build a building’s replacement are often times spared by restoring or repurposing an existing structure.

Did you know that it can take up to 80 years for a new, energy-efficient building to overcome the energy and climate change impacts caused during the construction process? Building reuse offers significant environmental savings when compared to the energy consumption of demolition and new construction.

Older buildings constructed prior to reliance on mechanical heating, cooling and lighting systems utilize what nature offers as part of their design. This can help reduce your energy use, helping you save on heating and cooling your home.

Go green and consider purchasing an older home that just needs a little TLC. Use the option to search by Year Built by clicking here to find a home you can recycle.

Mel Foster Co. Announces New Residential Website

Mel Foster Co. launched a new website at www.melfosterco.com that gives users more search options and promotes the communities that Mel Foster Co. serves.  Over 90% of buyers search for a home online and the newly developed website offers buyers additional tools to streamline their search and easily pinpoint a desired neighborhood.

Demonstrating its commitment to innovation, Mel Foster Co. is utilizing the latest technology available in the real estate Industry. Potential buyers visiting melfosterco.com have access to a wealth of search tools to find their next home, including Market Watch, a report that shows current prices, listings and trends in any geographic area.  Market Watch is a useful tool for those relocating to the Quad Cities and those buying or selling locally who want a snapshot of homes for sale, average list price and new listings within the last 30 days. By merging property, school and community information with statistics, including price changes and time on the market, this new online tool displays an interactive map for the user to customize their geographic area. This map feature is simple and easy to navigate and includes a large amount of data specific to a selected address or neighborhood. In other markets where this technology is utilized, users have shown much higher rates of interactivity and satisfaction when researching their local real estate market, leading to a better buying and selling experience.

Mel Foster Co. continues to offer agent specific websites that inherit the core functionality available on the main company site. Agents can leverage the web tools to assist clients and potential buyers while promoting their professional experiences and unique real estate sales capabilities. The company site, melfosterco.com, is mobile friendly, as are the agent specific websites.

Mel Foster Co. selected Reliance Network, one of the largest suppliers of enterprise-level real estate sites in the country, to program the website and bring the advanced features buyers and sellers expect from a robust website to the Quad City market.

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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