Ethanol Company Merger

Verasun to acquire US BioEnergy - are we about to see the ethanol companies merge into 2 or 3 mega ethanol companies as we have observed in the livestock production industry and the grocery business? If that happens is that a good thing? So much bad press by uneducated people claiming ethanol production has pushed up the prices of everything, I wonder what will come of this news. Check out the news links below:




Let me know what you think, I am obviously a proponent of alternative energy especially ethanol and wind power. Yea, I know we have a bizillion mega tons of coal and gallons of oil - I do have a degree in Science - but just because we have a limited supply doesn't mean we need to stick our heads in the sand.

We need to get off our butts and stop depending on the addictive fossil fuels including oil. Gee, if we didn't need their oil what do you think we would have done to you know who? Car makers, get your game together and produce what we all know you already have - efficient vehicles! 20-30 miles a gallon; get real and give us 40-60 miles a gallon - and make that gallon green and completely renewable.
Ok, I'm glad that's out!


Housing Trends from the Iowa Realtors Association - Mid-Year Report

According to the Iowa Realtors Association the Storm Lake Board is up considerably over 2006.
The Median Price for 2006 was - $69,500
The Median Price for 2007 is - $88,800
That's an increase of 28%

Days on Market have increased
DOM in 2006 at midyear - 86
DOM in 2007 at midyear - 118
That's an increase of 37%

What do those numbers mean?

1) Local real estate is appreciating in general - that's a good thing
2) DOM is also increasing, that may not be a good thing, it means properties are staying on the market longer - possibly a reflection of the Doom Sayers in the national market. It could also be an indication that properties are being priced higher than the market will bear. I will look into the number of properties by percent that had price reductions before selling in 2007 as compared to 2006.

On our Wednesday MLS tours I have been disappointed to see an increasing number of unrealistically priced homes. This is a disservice to the client (Seller), it also goes against the Realtor's code of ethics that we are all bound by if we use the term Realtor behind our name.

If you want to sell a property, you contact a Realtor and they don't do a CMA prior to listing your home - RUN! This analysis is one tool that helps you price your home correctly. A CMA is a report that will show what the market will bear (in other words what you will most probably sell your property for). A CMA is also used with Buyers, it is how a Realtor best represents a Buyer - it is a report that will show what the market has paid for similar properties. This tells your Buyers whether they are offering a realistic amount. Not that they don't trust you or anything - give them the facts to backup your opinions.

Fire - Enough Insurance?

Everyone's read about or seen the fires in California in the past several months. It was brought very near to me a couple of weeks ago. We had a fire - and we don't live in California. We were so blessed, it occurred when I was home and, had 2 electricians in the house, which by the way is over 100 years old and dry as a bone!
How many of the houses destroyed in California had enough insurance to be replaced - according to the California Dept of Insurance as many as 40% of them didn't. I'm not worried - I have full coverage insurance on my home, you say, well did you know that full coverage insurance doesn't guarantee replacement cost?
Might be a good time to give your insurance agent a call and say, "I want to make sure I have the right kind and enough insurance to rebuild my home if it is destroyed - and Oh, by the way can you make it competitive :>) Thanks so MUCH!


Anti-Predatory Lending Bill Passes - Good or Bad?

Click on the title to read my opinion and please comment on how we can fix this broken system.

Need Some Great Gift Ideas?

Check out Rhonda Barker's Promo site, I recently purchased calendars for my clients but there are so many cool things Rhonda can get. http://promo-web.com/d/d1.asp?d=promo4u&pg=1

"We have items for trade shows, employee incentives, business gifts, special events, direct mail, Web site promotion, corporate apparel and more . . ."


Local Real Estate Market Report - your opinion needed!

As you know I do a local real estate market report, I have recently had several requests for additional information on this report. Mainly, the names of the Sellers and the Buyers. This info is public record after the property closes and can be found at the court house. I can include this additional info easily. What do you think, would it be helpful to you? I currently use an Excel Spreadsheet format - I do love spreadsheets, please suggest any changes you would like to see.



Buena Vista County - The Tax Man is Coming to Your Home!

The B.V. County Assessor announced November 13th that they will be doing door-to-door inspections of all residential properties beginning on Nov 1st. Hum, maybe the notice should have been given in October, Oh well. The reappraisal should end by December 2008 and go into effect January 2009. I want to be on the record stating that I am not opposed to paying a fair share for government, taxes should be for the safety and improvement of our societies. However, I don't believe in wasting money - both my husband and I work hard as I'm sure you do.

What does this mean for you; properties have been selling rapidly and have increased in value significantly over the last 3 years, especially in Alta. Have you done any remodeling work to your property, it could mean higher taxes. If your property is in poor condition it could mean lower taxes, but I suspect that overall the taxes will not go down. The type of information the Assessors will be collecting include: construction type, physical condition of the property, age of the structures, type of interior finish, and exterior measurements.

No, it won't matter if you are home or not, I think the Assessor will notify the target neighborhoods prior to sending our personnel.

In Spring of 2009 the owners will be able to meet with and discuss their revaluation and the new assessments. Mark this date on your calendar - in red! If you receive an evaluation that is higher than you think your home could sell for in a reasonable amount of time (90 days) call me, your Realtor. I have the ability to do an extensive CMA (competitive market analysis) to determine a range of where your property should sell. If this amount is considerably lower than the value your property has appraised at you may be able to dispute it and have the appraised value lowered.


October Storm Lake MLS Real Estate Market Report

Want to know what the Storm Lake, Alta and surrounding area real estate market is doing? Click on the link below or on the article title above, I think you will be surprised.
This report shows all properties reported sold on the Storm Lake MLS, the major brokerage's "piece of the pie" and the year to date numbers. Check back often to see the local market numbers and how we are doing as opposed to the national market.