Archives for April 2012

April is Fair Housing Month

Check out this short video and the Realtor® Fair Housing Declaration. Fair Housing is very important to real estate. Whether you are buying or selling, I am passionate about making sure that everyone is treated fairly. Please be sure to let me know if you have questions!   REALTOR® Fair Housing Declaration: As a member of the REALTOR® Associations, I agree to:   Provide equal professional service without regard to the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin or sexual orientation of any prospective client, customer, or of the residents of … [Read more...]

Has your farm been in your family for 100 years? Century, Heritage Farm applications due June 1

The deadline to apply for the state's 2012 Century and Heritage Farm Program is June 1. The ceremony to recognize the 2012 Century and Heritage Farms will be held at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 14. The program recognizes families that have owned their farm for 100 years in the case of Century Farms and 150 years for Heritage Farms. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Farm Bureau sponsor the award. Applications are available at by clicking on the Century Farm or Heritage Farm link under "Hot Topics." The Century Farm program … [Read more...]

Have you turned on your AC yet?

Can you believe this heat already – well not today, but in March? I don’t know about you, but I sure hate turning on my air when I just turned off my heat. However, every year around this time in Benton County, we all start to use our air conditioning units – or at least thinking about it. Sometimes we forget how much money it costs to run and keep one up and there is another cost that could affect you this year and the next. Is your air conditioning unit more than two years old? If so you may be in for a big surprise. If you have a unit that is more than two years old it uses what is … [Read more...]

What YOU need to know about Flood Insurance

 As the warmer weather settles here in Eastern Iowa, it’s about the time we start concerning ourselves with the river levels. That means considering whether we have the level of protection we need in case of a flood. Whether or not you decide to purchase flood insurance should be determined by considering the value of your home and possessions, as well as the risk of flooding in your area. Some homes that are located in certain high-risk areas, called “Special Flood Hazard Areas,” may be required to carry flood insurance. According to insurance professional DonnaLyn Geigerich, Red … [Read more...]

USDA Rural Development Home Loan

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Home Loan program allows buyers to be issued a mortgage with 0% down. Buyers can also rely on financial gifts from various sources, including friends and family, to cover the closing costs. The following steps will help outline the process: Ensure you will be able to afford the mortgage payments: Make copies of your last two federal tax returns, 60 days worth of pay stubs, Credit card and other loan statements, Retirement and other savings account statements, and Checking account statements. Contact a … [Read more...]

USDA Downloadable Plant Hardiness Zone Map

The USDA has not printed maps for the 2012 USDA Plant Hardines Zones. Instead, the USDA has made available all maps downloadable  by state, region and national views. There are a variety of sizes and file types for you to download. NEW THIS YEAR, the USDA just released their virtual interactive plant hardiness map online. Click on your state and you get by county average temperatures. Enter your zipcode and for an immediate rating of your soil. It's fun, fast and EASY! Check it out today!! or If you have planted already - better cover your plants!! Frost is forecast tonight and tomorrow … [Read more...]

Do you have an itch??

Do you feel the itch? I feel it - the itch to get things planted and watch them grow. But WAIT! It is ONLY April in Iowa - NOT May!! Boy it does feel like May and plantin' time is here. And I'm not the only one who thinks so. The USDA National Agriculture Statistical Service recently sent out a report on theIowa Crops and Weather. I've seen some farmers already planting even though we know the earliest you should plant corn is April 11th. Most of the field work being done is anhydrous and dry fertilizer applications. Many are spreading manure and tilling. But why this urgency to get into … [Read more...]

Attention First Time Home Buyers!

Check out these tips to make your first home buying experience a success: Weigh the Benefits of Home Ownership Everyone has been telling you that you should buy your own home, so you’ve done your research and weighed the benefits. It all adds up and you’ve decided that it is the best decision for you, which is a major hurdle overcome. Define Your Search Parameters With just a few clicks of the mouse, a home buyer can search through hundreds of online listings and view dozens of virtual tours and photographs of homes and neighborhoods online. By the time you meet with a real estate agent, … [Read more...]