Friday, April 28, 2017
Say hi to Jeni! She is our newest sales associate in our Northpark office in Johnston!
Growing up, Jeni was very involved in the Delaware Township fire department where both her mom and dad were firefighters. She helped a lot with the pancake breakfasts, chili suppers, and went to work with her mom often when she was a trustee so she naturally loves to help people.
"I am looking forward to all the relationships I will build here at Coldwell," Jeni said. "I'm excited to help others with their home buying experience whether it be their first house or their fifth."
In her free time, Jeni likes to do anything active. From going to the gym to riding horses, she enjoys it all but she especially enjoys anything outdoors. She loves to bake and decorate cakes and spending time with friends and family including her dog, Jake.
"I'm so eager to help people get their dream home and to make this process hassle free during such an exciting time in their life," Jeni said.
And we are excited that she is here Coldwell Banker Mid-America Group, REALTORS to do so!
Jeni can be reached at email@example.com or (515) 681-4610.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
The history of the Mid-America Group is closely tied to the career of Marvin A. Pomerantz. Born in Des Moines, Iowa on August 6, 1930, Mr. Pomerantz graduated from The University of Iowa in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Commerce. In 1961, he founded Great Plains Bag Corp. and Great Plains Equipment Co. (which eventually became Mid-America Investment Co. in 1972) and served as their President and General Manager for 14½ years.
Shortly after founding Great Plains Bag Corp., and with a need for additional warehouse space, Mr. Pomerantz created Mid-America Realty Company to own the bag plant and a building next door. He then proceeded to build a new warehouse. A long-term tenant was found for the warehouse, so he built yet another warehouse. The theory - to build a building suitable for a variety of uses, fill it, then lease it and build again - led to the formation of Mid-America Development Company (originally called Mid-America Realty Company) on December 1, 1972.
In the mid-1970's, Mid-America Development Company began undertaking joint ventures on build-to-suit projects, including the company's association in West Properties Partnership forming the Westridge Office Park in West Des Moines; a joint venture project for the Des Moines Northwestern Bell Telephone Company Piekenbrock work center; a partnership arrangement (during 1979) for the purchase, development, leasing and management of the Colorado Springs Service Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado; and again, a joint venture agreement for the construction of the Waterfall Glen Office Park with the Levy Organization of Chicago, Illinois (in 1984) to construct a quality office park in the Chicago area.
In December of 1988, the Company announced a new venture in the residential and commercial brokerage business. In March 1990, the brokerage company entered into a franchise agreement with Coldwell Banker. In February 1992, the Company was fully integrated into the Mid-America Group, Ltd. companies and is now known as Mid-America Real Estate Co. and is doing business as Coldwell Banker Mid-America Group, REALTORS.
By December 1990, the Mid-America Group controlled over one million square feet of industrial space and close to a million square feet of office space. Mid-America Investment Co., continues to develop commercial and residential real estate. Land zoned for single family homes is developed into attractive neighborhoods complete with parks, trails, and other amenities. These lots are sold to builders with covenants dictating land usage and construction. The Woodlands is a 155-acre development of executive style homes in Clive, Iowa. Ashland Meadows in Ankeny, Iowa is currently being developed as a mixed use, pedestrian friendly community.
During 2000, work began on Mid-America's next Class A office park, Northpark Business Center. Located in Urbandale at the junction of I-80/35 and 86th Street, Northpark is positioned to be the next premier suburban office/retail campus. Also that year Mid-America Group began work on a 156 acre community located in northwest Ankeny. Ashland Meadows is designed to combine the best features of urban living with the conveniences suburban residents expect. A mixed-use development with schools, churches, shopping and a variety of residential options close at hand, Ashland Meadows is positioned to be the lifestyle choice of the next decade.
In 2006 residential sales began in South Maple Grove. At just under 220 acres, South Maple Grove is truly a city within a city. The development, west of the Des Moines Golf and Country Club, integrates over 300 residential lots with strategically placed support commercial and medium- and high-density developments, as well as a Waukee elementary school and neighborhood park.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Thinking about building your own dream house? Jackie Schuller answers some questions about new construction! #WordOfAdviceWednesday
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Finding the perfect home that fits your family's needs and wants can be difficult... but it's not impossible! Jim Hibbs shares '3 Tips to Find the Right Home for You!' #WordOfAdviceWednesday
Friday, April 14, 2017
Granite’s durability and looks make it a popular investment for many homeowners. But there are other options aside from granite. Keep reading to learn more about six alternatives to granite countertops.
Butcher block countertops provide visual warmth to modern spaces, particularly those with white cabinetry. These countertops are also very cost-effective, especially compared to natural stone.
You’ll need to make oiling a regular part of your maintenance routine if you do install butcher block countertops. You’ll also need to use trivets or pot holders under hot pots and pans to avoid burning your counters.
Soapstone is a natural stone that’s easier to maintain than marble, but still requires more work than sealed granite. Soapstone is particularly vulnerable to liquids and acidic spills. Too much heat can also damage its appearance. Despite regular maintenance, soapstone is a beautiful alternative to granite.
Marble is a natural stone that is considerably softer and more porous than most other stone options. If you don’t have a busy kitchen, marble can be a perfect material. For busy home chefs and homes with kids, marble may not be a good choice.
Ceramic tile is a fun and incredibly durable countertop material. Unlike other countertops, ceramic tile isn’t prone to damage from liquids or heat. Ceramic tiles can stain and chip over time, but individual tiles are easy to replace. Tile is also extremely inexpensive, making it an ideal choice for budget-conscious homeowners.
Stainless steel’s sleek looks and durability make it the perfect material for modern or cooking-focused kitchens. You can wipe down stainless with a cloth, though special cleaner should be used from time to time as well. Stainless steel countertops can be expensive, but they’re perfect for design- or cooking-obsessed homeowners.
Quartz, also called Caesarstone or Silestone, is a man-made stone that’s cost-effective and attractive in many spaces. Its uniform finish also appeals to many homeowners who feel that natural stone is too busy in terms of patterns. Quartz is easy to maintain and incredibly durable, making it the ideal choice for homeowners who use their kitchens regularly.
Friday, April 14, 2017
Since buying a house is an enormous investment, it’s best to know what questions to ask at the beginning of your home search. Acquiring information about the qualifications of your agent and the homebuying process can help protect you from unpleasant surprises and increase the likelihood of a positive outcome. Here are some essential inquiries to make:
Are You Experienced?
Question agents about their qualifications. Ask if they specialize in particular communities. Inquire about how many years of experience they have and their percentage of successful transactions.
Should I Rent or Buy?
It’s wise to purchase a home when your financial situation is sufficiently strong. Renting may be a better option if you lack the funds needed for a down payment, have debt, or a low credit score. Your agent can give you a buy-versus-rent analysis within your market.
What Are the Costs of Homeownership?
First time home buyers may not be aware that the costs of homeownership extend beyond the monthly payments on the principal and interest of the loan. Expenses also include taxes and insurance, as well as utilities and maintenance. The exact monetary outlay may be difficult to estimate, but your agent can give you a general idea of what to expect.
What Preparations Do I Need to Make Before I Can Write an Offer?
In certain areas, a property won’t stay on the market long, so you need to be prepared to act quickly when you come across your dream house. Give your agent a realistic price range of what fits your budget, and then he or she can help you navigate the process of getting the necessary cash in an account that is ready to use.
How Do I Learn More About the House and/or Neighborhood?
Before you sign the dotted line, you’ll want to know more about the neighborhood you may be moving to. Ask your agent to provide insight into the livability of a neighborhood. You should also ask your agent if the property is in close proximity to a major source of noise like a train station or busy freeway.
Has the Property Changed Ownership Often?
Finding out how long the present owner has lived in the house can help you figure out if there are long-term issues with the property or the surroundings.
May I Speak to the Sellers?
Having a direct conversation with the seller can be a great advantage because sometimes they will be candid about the reason they’re moving, and any aspects of the property. If possible, contact the former owner for another opportunity to discover more about the property.
When Was the House Last Updated?
With the intent of uncovering needed updates that could pose a major expense, ask when the house was last updated. Inquire specifically about the age of the roof, wiring, and appliances. See if the drainage system needs to be replaced.
What is the Minimum Offer the Seller Will Accept?
See if the seller is willing to negotiate on the lowest acceptable offer. Speak to your real estate agent to develop a sound plan for negotiation that will keep you in good standing with the seller.
How Long Has the Property Been on the Market?
Find out if the house has been languishing on the market for some time, or if the seller has received considerable interest from potential buyers. This knowledge will be of value in gauging if you have negotiating room when making an offer.
Can I Get the Home Inspected Before I Sign the Contract?
If you can get the home inspected before signing the contract, you aren’t obligated to buy if the property needs costly repairs. This downside is that it carries a risk that during the inspection, the seller could accept another offer before the inspection is finished. The solution is to have an inspection contingency in the contract that permits you to get out of the sale if the projected repairs exceed a certain limit.
When Can I Move In?
You’ll need to know this to schedule your moving plans. In most cases, you can move after escrow or closing, but an experienced agent can give you an accurate time frame.
Asking your agent questions is of utmost importance when buying a home. The answers can maximize your chances of buying a home that will offer you many years of enjoyment.
Friday, April 14, 2017
Congratulations! You’re considering getting a pet, or you’re about to bring a new furry friend home to join the family. This is an exciting moment. Of course, it also requires some preparation — part of which includes readying your home for the new addition. Here’s how to prepare your home for new pets:
Kitchens and Bathrooms
Install childproof locks on your cabinets so your new pet can’t open them and get to potentially dangerous items. Professional installation will cost about $460.
Put anything your pet can reach — medicine, chemicals, etc. — on a high shelf.
Invest in covered trash bins that can’t be knocked over easily.
Keep food and other edibles out of reach.
Hide wires from TVs, stereos and other electronics to prevent animals from chewing on them and shocking themselves.
Hide any small items your pet could chew on or knock over and break.
Move potentially poisonous plants outside, or place them out of reach.
Give them something comfy to lay on, whether it’s a bed on the floor or a blanket on the furniture.
Put machine-washable slipcovers on your furniture.
Certain types of furniture are easier to clean than others; have the right cleaning materials on hand for messes and accidents.
Put clothes and shoes in closets — and close the door so your pet can’t get to them.
Keep any medications or cosmetic items in drawers.
Any household cleaners that you keep in the master bathroom need to be well-hidden or kept behind childproof locks.
Secure garbage cans with lids or store them underneath cabinets.
Keep your animals away from pools or ponds to avoid drowning.
Check your fence for any holes to ensure your pet can’t escape from the yard.
Designate a certain part of the yard as your pet’s bathroom. Keeping it to the same spot helps prevent damage to your bushes or grass.
Move hazardous chemicals and sharp objects to your garage — and keep your pet away from the area.
Other General Areas to Consider:
If you can, replace vertical blinds and window treatments that incorporate draping tassels or cords; these could become choking or strangulation hazards.
Avoid using mini-blinds in your home; pets frequently bend and break them when they’re curious and want to see outside.
Semi-gloss paint is washable and easy to clean.
Vinyl-backed wallpaper is also easy to clean; you might consider this option in rooms in which your dog may be training.
Area rugs are easier to keep clean than carpeting. If you have carpeting, use enzymatic cleaner to eliminate urine and poop smells.
Tile and linoleum flooring are easy for handling pet accidents. Keep this in mind when deciding where to put your pets during the day.
Make sure your hardwood floors are sealed before your pets walk on them.
Friday, April 14, 2017
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Wednesday, April 12, 2017