My Blog

It's been awhile

It's been awhile since I have said much.   But for those who have an interest the Newton and Jasper County real estate market is still very good.   That is despite the fact that we are in a pandemic and a recession.    Never in our lifetime has our homes become more important to us than they are currently.  Many have started to work from home.  Some live in apartments and are just wanting to be in a home away from others.   And others have just decided it is not the home that they want to continue to live in.  

So with this said we are in a shortage of listings.   Many sellers are reluctant to put their home on the market for fears of COVID 19.   Some want to put their home on the market, but they can not find a place to go.   It's a vicious cycle.   

So if you are thinking this is the year to move to a different home.   Talk to your real estate agent and start the process.   

In the mean time, stay safe!   And may God bless you with good health!

New Homes in Newton, Iowa

Report from the Newton Housing Director, Bruce Showalter...

Since July 1, 2014  (5 years)  -  63 viable, new construction building permits have been issued 
Of the 63 
49 have been sold
  7 are currently pending or custom homes
  6 under construction or finished and not sold
  1 not started
For the first time the % of new families to town is over 50%    25 new, 24 existing families
Of the 63 units permitted -  45 started as spec homes and 18 were custom homes
average 12 to 13 new homes a year over the 5 years
Total values on the permits is over $15,000,000  or average  $3,000,000 per year   

Property Tax figuring??? SIGN UP FOR HOME STEAD TAX CREDIT!!!

   How are taxes figured?   Why are each counties different?   And actually why are each communities different?
Counties begin by determining the value of taxable properties.     Next the assessor adds all assessed values together and provides that information to the Auditor.   The information is examined and equalized.   Budgets are established by different departments.   Then the tax rate is established and distributed by the new tax levy per $1000 assessed value.     And credits are subtracted.   Credits include Homestead Tax Credit, Military Credit and others.

Click on the above link to figure property taxes

Jasper County's new tax bill will arrive in August once it has had it final approval 
The above link will help you to understand how your county rates with other counties in comparison to amount of taxes you pay for your actual assessed value.

So, if you own the home you live in and have not signed up yet, go sign up by June 28th,2019 to receive your homestead tax credit.    You only need to sign up once while living in the home.   This credit can save you around $200 per year.  

Flip it

  Flipping homes has become big business.   It is a business I do appreciate.   It can be a good living for an investor.   But I do feel that if an investor is going to spend the time and money to remodel a home they should complete the work.   
   This week I am experiencing an investor, who sided 3 sides of a garage, left the back with old siding.   Did not put on gutters and the roof is not in very good condition.   Plus the electric was a mess.     Plus they do not want to do any of the work to complete the repairs needed to make the home more livable.  (I represent a buyer)     
   What ever happened to taking pride in your work.   Not everything should be  $$$$.   
   It will be interesting, hopefully in the next month Carroll and I have a small home listed in Newton, that he has spent 5 years working on.     Mind you, flips should not take 5 years to complete:)    But I can tell you when this hits the market there should not be any issues found...if there is he will be very disappointed.   Carroll does take pride in his work.  
   So flip away investors, but please finish your work and take pride in what you do.   
Give me a call soon.   #Let'sTalkRealEstate       Things are looking good in Newton, IA   Barb Barr

It's HOT

It's HOT and I'm not talking about the weather:)     Moderate priced Homes are selling quickly and at a good price.   So if this is the year you want to sell your home I'd think seriously about talking to your realtor now.

Although the market is strong and you may think you can get more for your home than typical remember there are a few precautions that your lender takes during this time of a hot market.   Your lender will hire an appraiser to give them an appraisal of the actual value of the home.    That appraiser is going to use comps from the past 6 months that the homes are of similar style and quality as yours.   And in the past 6 months the Newton market had been more stagnant than now.  So the comparables may not be up to todays cost.      Let me give you an example.    A couple years ago, when the market got very hot.   I had a home listed that received 6 offers.   We reviewed all of the offers and the seller chose the home that worked best with her time frame, price, type of loan and looked at how much the buyer was asking for closing costs, home warranty and other expenses.    She choose a full price offer with no additional request for closing cost assistance, a home warranty and what would meet her time frame to be moved.     The buyer went through the process of getting her loan secured.   However, when the appraiser did the appraisal he came in about $2500 short.   None of the offers that had been presented were for cash.   So at that point the seller choose not to void the offer and did bring the price down so that the buyer could get the loan secured.   

So if you are thinking of selling your home in this HOT market, please talk to an experienced Realtor.   There are many things to consider.    

Let's Talk Real Estate!   Barb Barr    have a wonderful spring weekend in Newton, IA :)


What about Sheriff Sales

How does a sheriff sale work?    You really need to know what you are buying as far as title goes.   While I was doing a little research today I found on the Jasper County Sheriff Sale site they answer a lot of questions.    So if you are considering buying at a sheriff sale I highly recommend you read through these questions.    I think you will be glad you did.          

A short story about a previous sheriff sale that happened.....I was representing a seller who had thought that he bought a house at the sheriff auction.   When in fact the loan that was foreclosed on was only for the siding.  The 1st mortgage was bought back by the bank holding the note.    It was a mess, many attorneys were involved.     It took years to straighten up.   In fact it took so long that I lost track of how they worked it out...this is simply an example of the kind of mess that can happen.

Let's Talk Real Estate, real soon!    Have a wonderful weekend in Newton, IA    Barb Barr

Can you compromise some things?

            When looking for a new home what are the things that are most important to you?      Take a look at how you live now.   What are the things you do?   Do you have collections that you need shelves and places for?   Do you load shot gun shells?   Do you need a place for your 9' dining room table?  
      Sit down the folks that matter, spouse, significant other, kids or whomever and talk about what would make a house function better for you.     Then decide what you want but what you absolutely can't live with out.     Do you absolutely have to have RV parking?  Or could you actually rent a spot and park it off site?
Sometimes we just have to work through the process.    In the past few months I have worked with folks who have a large dining table.   That has been decided it is a MUST.   But they are compromising on the 3rd bedroom.   

      As a realtor I do try to ask questions and listen carefully to what is important.   There just are a lot of decisions to be made.   And sometimes along the way we learn that we don't have to have a ranch, a story and a half with one bedroom on the main can work.   

It's a great life!    Lets Talk Real Estate!     Enjoy the beautiful week in Newton, IA   Barb Barr



Check out their website for more information about IFA's new loan program.   Up to $5000 loan at 0% interest, repayable at the time of sale or refinance.  Plus no monthly payments
Plus they offer an existing $2500 grant through the FirstHome and Home for Iowans program.

Visit with your favorite lender soon to learn more about these great programs and see if you are eligible.

Let's talk Real Estate!    Have a productive day in Newton, IA ...   Barb Barr   641-521-0512

The Real Estate Market broke in Newton, IA

This past week was crazy in our real estate world. Buyers are coming out of the woodwork, I am thinking because it finally warmed up here.    The interest rates are down.   And many are receiving their tax returns.    So if you have ever considered selling your home.   Lets do it!
Give me a call and we will start the process of getting your home on the market.  Be sure to look at my website under GET ADVICE.   There are some great articles to help you understand the process.   Sellers Timeline to Close & Selling a Home are very helpful.     Give me a call   Lets Talk Real Estate real soon!   The market is hot in Newton, IA .     Let's talk real estate!   Barb Barr  

What is in your basement?

Last weekend Carroll and I went to visit friends in AZ.   In looking at how homes are built there, most of us Iowans would not make it.    They do not have basements for us to store our majestic stuff.    We visited several homes there.   They have more larger closets and often times more storage in their garage but I know I would never fit my basement full of stuff into their storage spots.
So I am thinking it is time to get rid of all the stuff I have.   Do I really find joy in all of that.   Spring is the perfect time to start your spring clean OUT!    Today we searched for when the city wide garage sale was but could not find the information.   So I will keep an eye out for that and keep you updated.   Besides we might as well start now getting rid of stuff so that when we decide to leave this home we will have less to move.  
HAPPY SPRING CLEANING!!!!  It is spring in Newton, IA!

Let's talk real estate soon!   Enjoy your day.   Barb Barr
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