City Series – Solon

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City Series – Solon

Solon- A small community located in Johnson County, halfway between Iowa City & Cedar Rapids

Solon is one of the smaller communities in Johnson County with a population landing around 2,037 according to the 2010 census records. Don’t let the size fool you, Solon is a bustling community with much to offer! One of the major perks to Solon is that it’s located roughly 20 minutes from 3 major surrounding cities, including Iowa City, Coralville and Cedar Rapids. This makes it a prime place to live if you want a small town feel with a convenient and easy commute. It is also located just under 10 minutes from Lake McBride State Park, which is full of beautiful nature trails for walking and biking. The lake is a popular place to be come summertime, with lots of things to do such as fishing, boating, paddle boarding, kayaking or hitting the beach.

Although Solon’s location is at the top of the list of reasons why it’s a great place to live, there is plenty more to share! It is a tight knit, family community and you can tell it is a goal of the city to create a safe and welcoming community to all. One of Solon’s main attractions is the adorable downtown area. With shops, restaurants and other local businesses, this area is great for the community and only continues to grow and expand with new attractions. The Solon school district is another factor in what attracts people to this area. The school district’s size is very desirable and the elementary school, middle school and high school are all located within less than 5 minutes of each other, and are all within walking distance to the main downtown area.

The city of Solon is a desirable, quaint, safe community that is growing and developing and will continue to do so in the future! If you’re moving and looking for a new place to call home, Solon may be the perfect fit!

R + M

Market Update: 2018 A year in Review

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The spring season is here! If you’re buying or selling a home this year, what can you expect from this market?  It’s important to know the numbers, so we are looking back at the statistics from last year.

2018 proved to be yet another strong year! Considering that 2017 was an exceptional year, 2018 had a lot to live up to, and it did.

Let’s dive into the numbers:

  • AVERAGE SALES PRICE increased from $228,000 to $239,000. That’s a 5% increase, more than the annual average appreciation rate of 3%. It didn’t quite reach the 6% increase that we saw from 2016 to 2017, but it’s still rather impressive!
  • AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET decreased (which is a good thing!) from 62 days in 2017 to 59 days in 2018.
  • AVERAGE SALES PRICE TO LIST PRICE RATIO continues to stay consistent at 98%.
  • TOTAL NUMBER OF HOMES SOLD was 3,430 this year, which was nearly identical to the number in 2018 of 3,450 homes.

All in all, 2018 has a lot to be proud of, and we’re hoping the trend continues in 2019. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home this year, we’d love to hear from you!

R + M

Silver Slope Subdivision

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A new year brings new goals.  Is a brand new home on the list for 2019?  If it is, Silver Slope Subdivision may just be the perfect location to build that dream.  10 of its 19 residential lots are still available, waiting for dirt to be moved!

What makes Silver Slope Subdivision so special?

CHARACTER– It is isn’t your typical “cookie cutter” subdivision on bare land. It is nestled amongst trees and established neighborhoods, creating a cozy atmosphere.

CONVENIENCE– It is centrally located to many amenities.  With grocery stores and restaurants close, a park (including a dog park) across the way, and trails all around, it is a prime Eastside Iowa City location.

NATURE– With the surrounding tree line comes wildlife.  Despite being in town, you can still enjoy nature here… talk about the best of both worlds!

FLEXIBILITY– The covenants are limited, giving each homeowner and builder more flexibility than most new subdivisions.

FREEDOM– You can bring your own builder to build that custom home of your dreams!

Building a home can seem daunting, but we are here to help!  Silver Slope Subdivision is waiting to welcome you HOME! 

Do you want more information?  Visit our main page for lot pricing, maps, and covenants.

R + M

Made in Iowa

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It’s our favorite time of year!  We love filling our homes with holiday cheer and spending time with those we hold dear!  This year, the holiday season is extra special to us, because we partnered with The Makers Loft (a new store located downtown Iowa City) and are sponsoring their pop-up shop, Made in Iowa, located in the Coral Ridge Mall next to Old Navy.

When the opportunity arose, it was an easy decision for us.  As REALTORS®, it may seem like we just help people buy and sell properties.  However, for us, it is much more than that.  It also means being stewards of the community.  It is truly an honor to support such talent that makes up Made in Iowa and The Makers Loft.  These stores are filled with goods created by incredible artists right here in Iowa.  If you’re looking for the perfect gift this Christmas, you need to stop in these shops!

Here are a few of our favorite gift go-tos:
NEAT & NAVY BLUE CANDLES – These pure soy candles are to die for!  They are hand poured and made in Marengo.  Our favorite scents are Birch Leaves (perfect for the holidays), Sage & Sea Salt, and Sage & Pomegranate.  We have yet to find a scent we really don’t like – they are that good!

DOE A DEER FLOUR SACK TOWELS – These towels are TOO cute… so cute that you’ll want one of each design!  If you are buying one as a gift, beware that you will want to buy one for yourself as well!  [We are guilty of that.]  These are hand-done designs and made in Stuart.

RARE BIRD SOAP SHOP SOAPS & LOTIONS – These all-natural soaps and lotions are nice to both your skin and nose!  They are carefully and thoughtfully made in Kalona.  Talk about a great stocking stuffer!

WHOA NELLI NATURAL PRODUCTS LIP BALM – The holiday lip balm trio is a must-have as the temperatures drop!  Why not show your holiday spirit all winter long and take care of your lips?!  These are handmade right here in Iowa City.

We hope you consider shopping small and local this holiday season!  We know we will be!  Happy gift giving!

R + M

City Series: Tiffin

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Tiffin – A growing community located in Johnson County, just 15 minutes west of Iowa City

  Tiffin has experienced exceptional growth in its community over the last few years.  The Iowa Census Bureau released its updated population information for the year, and Tiffin was the fastest growing town in Iowa with a 72% population increase since 2010. As of now, Tiffin’s population is estimated to be around 3,300, which still gives it a small town and tight-knit community feel, but it has quick and easy access to numerous amenities in the surrounding area.

People may wonder what it is that has Tiffin topping the list of fastest growing towns! A large part of it has to do with the location.  Tiffin is conveniently located within a few short minutes of Coralville, Iowa City, and North Liberty. It also has a big perk of being just down the street from Kent Park, which is a beautiful area with many nature trails, playgrounds and a camping area.  Another wonderfully convenient thing about Tiffin is the location of schools for all ages.  The Clear Creek Amana School District has grown right along with the city of Tiffin, and it now has buildings for the elementary school, middle school and high school all located in town.

Tiffin shows no signs of slowing down and will only continue to grow its community with new housing opportunities and commercial businesses. If you’re looking for an area that feels like a small town but has all the opportunities of a bigger town, Tiffin might just be the right hometown for you!

R + M



Market Update: 2018 Mid-year Review

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da·ta (noun) – facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis 

With how the first half of the year has gone, 2018 is on track to be another strong year for the local real estate market!  Going into this year, there was concern that increasing mortgage interest rates would slow down home buyers and sellers.  That has not been the case for our housing market, and interest rates are still historically low, ranging between 3.5-5% (depending on the type of loan).  This market has remained strong and steady! 

Let’s look at the data thus far: 

  • The average residential sales price in this area has increased by $14,000, from $226,000 to $240,000, compared to last year at this time.   
  • Almost 400 more homes have sold so far this year in relation to last year. 
  • The average days on market has decreased by three days, from 63 days to 60 days. 
  • The one number that hasn’t changed is the average sales price to list price ratio, which is still 98%. 

 Clearly, the market isn’t slowing down!  We’re excited to see what the rest of 2018 has in store! 



Decorating Your Home on a Budget

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Decorating Your Home on a Budget

Becoming a homeowner comes with a wide variety of emotions and new responsibilities, but the experience of decorating your new home should be something you can look forward to and not dread.  Anyone who has moved before knows that feeling of getting your current belongings moved into your new home. Within days, a list of items you want or need for your new space start piling up.  This is the moment where some people may have that thought of “how am I going to afford to decorate this space”…

We’re here to provide a few pointers and hopefully make it a more enjoyable experience.  There are SO many ways to decorate and create your little in-home oasis without spending a fortune! Here are a few easy tips and tricks for decorating on a budget:

 [THROW BLANKETS & PILLOWS] This is such a simple way to change your living room or bedroom space. If you’re on a budget (like most people are), this is a great inexpensive solution to making your space feel cozy and homey. It’s a convenient and creative way to add pops of color and texture to an otherwise blank space. These items are also easy to change with seasons or as your style grows without breaking the bank. What could be better?!

[LIGHTING] Lamps are another great and affordable way to change up your home. It not only fills blank space on side tables or empty room corners, but the soft light really changes the feel of a room. Once again, this is an item that you can change as your style does – switching out the base or the shade is easy, and you would be surprised with how that small change can impact a room!

[FRESH FLOWERS] We personally LOVE flowers and plants of all kinds, so we may be biased, but it’s a game changer for us. Not only does your home smell pretty, it also looks pretty! Between the pops of color and the fresh smell, a flower arrangement is the most simple and perfect centerpiece for a bare table or counter space. Plus, with there being so many different types of flowers, you’re never stuck with the same kind!

We hope this will help make your moving and decorating experience a little more fun and a lot less stressful! If you’re struggling with where to shop for some of these items, here is a short list of our favorite, affordable places to check out:

Target – HomeGoods – IKEA – Hobby Lobby

          Happy Decorating!


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City Series: North Liberty

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North Liberty- Located in Johnson County and is a suburb of Iowa City

North Liberty, which is considered another suburb of Iowa City, has quickly gone from a small community to one of the fastest growing towns in the Johnson County area. According to the Iowa Census Bureau, the City of North Liberty saw a 38% population increase from 2010 to 2016.  This doesn’t come as much of a surprise with the great location, being only 9 miles from downtown Iowa City and 19 from downtown Cedar Rapids. Along with being close to both of these bustling cities, you are just miles away from Lake McBride and beautiful nature trails.  Whether you’re a fan of being in town by restaurants and shops, or out in nature bike riding, hiking, or being on the water there is something for everyone in this area! 

As North Liberty has been developed more over the past few years with new neighborhoods, restaurants and parks it has drawn in a market for a lot of young families and first-time homebuyers. There are many different neighborhoods in this community, making it easy to find a home that fits the needs for you and your family.  Some of North Liberty’s most popular neighborhoods include Arlington Ridge, Autumn Ridge, Cedar Springs, Quail Creek and Chesterfield Commons, among many others. These neighborhoods each have so much to offer with the styles of homes and a wide range of price points. Whether you’re looking for an older, more established neighborhood, new construction, single family house or condominium, there is a home for everyone in North Liberty!


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Happy 4th of July! Let freedom ring in your outdoor space!

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Happy Independence Day!

The 4th of July is always a holiday we look forward to – it means time spent with family and friends, backyard BBQs, and the always anticipated fireworks, of course! Being in the middle of summer, this means most of the fun activities and get-togethers are taking place outside, and it can sometimes feel hard to know how to decorate your outdoor space or prepare for a large group get-together. It doesn’t have to feel like a huge undertaking to get prepared for this family fun holiday! Whether you’re using a patio, deck, or backyard, there is always something that can be done to make sure you love your entertaining space.

One of the easiest ways to spruce up your patio or deck is to add lighting. A good set of string lights can bring such a fun element to a porch or deck, and it gives you the right amount of light when you start entering the darker part of the evening. With a holiday like the 4th of July, your decorations can be simple – just adding a large American flag can totally transform your space.  Plus, what could be more patriotic?!

 Another way to cozy up an outdoor space is by adding plants…you can never really have too many! (Yes, we are total plant ladies.) It’s a great way to add pops of color, and if you’re having a large gathering with multiple tables, they can make for easy and simple centerpieces.

Our last tip for having the perfect outdoor hangout is by adding pillows or cushions to your seating areas.  It quickly makes an outdoor space feel more like inside, and adds a new element of cozy comfort for your guests to enjoy all day and night.

With these simple tips and tricks, we hope your outdoor decorating becomes a little bit easier just in time for the holiday! We are so thankful to be living in a place where we get to celebrate holidays like this with our family and friends. We hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday!










The Springtime Scurry!

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scur·ry (noun) – a situation of hurried and confused movement

It’s that time of year…every homebuyer is scurrying to find that perfect home in this rapidly-moving market. We take the confused out of this springtime scurry by educating our home buyers every step of the way. However, the hurried very much applies – time is of the essence, and we work swiftly for our buyers to secure that perfect home.

 It all boils down to the simple principle of supply and demand. Specifically, homes priced under $250,000 are a hot commodity. There just isn’t enough inventory for the number of buyers out there looking. Last year’s market was very strong, with the average residential sales price increasing by nearly $13,000 from 2016 to 2017. So far this year (based on the January-February statistics from the Iowa City Association of REALTORS®), the average sales price has increased over $2,000 from last year at this time. With the majority of homes being sold from March to October, that number is sure to increase, but the market is already off to another strong start.

Buyers, don’t get discouraged – that’s why we’re here! Sellers, if you’re considering selling your home, now is the time! We will help teach you the moves of this springtime scurry!