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Michelle Cook's Blog

By Michelle Cook | Agent in 50265
  • What's Important

    Posted Under: Home Buying in West Des Moines  |  November 1, 2012 6:01 AM  |  180 views  |  No comments
    As I start another busy day, I just wanted to stop and reflect -- and pray for those who are enduring the aftermath of "Sandy".  My prayers and thoughts are with you all. 
  • The Wonder of it All

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in West Des Moines, Home Buying in West Des Moines, Design & Decor in West Des Moines  |  June 19, 2012 4:30 AM  |  333 views  |  No comments
    This incredible short video clip will take your mind away to a place that is relaxing and full of wonder.  "Thanks, Amy!"   Enjoy everyone, and have a great day!

  • To Use Internet Mortgages, or Not??

    Posted Under: Home Buying in West Des Moines, Financing in West Des Moines, Credit Score in West Des Moines  |  June 15, 2012 1:29 PM  |  200 views  |  No comments
    Internet mortgages may provide a timesaving and cost cutting niche for borrowers with "Excellent" credit.  However, self-employed byers and those with credit problems may find that the internet isn't exactly ideal.  There are other potential issues to be aware of, too.

    Problems can arise at Closing and by not having a live person to remedy the situation or clarify the confusion, and it's difficult getting documents quickly notarized or HUD-1 statements corrected.  What happens if the internet provider doesn't return your email or phone calls? Without asking for references, it's difficult to discover if an online lender has a positive track record for closing "on time".  It's easier to track a loan's progress if an experienced Iowa loan originator or Iowa real estate agent is involved.  Borrowers should check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been registered against the online provider. 

    Generally, online lenders are not experienced with Iowa's abstracting laws or our title opinion procedures.  Internet providers aren't aware of our local customs, jargon or laws pertaining to Closing or Closing costs.  Watch too, for the addition of a buyer's title insurance policy on top of everything else.  Local Lenders depend on Repeat Business.  Accordingly, they are judged in the market place everyday for reliability, dependability and Service. 

    In addition, most first mortgage loans (residential) originated in Iowa allow the borrower to prepay without penalty.  However, with out of state online loans, there could be a costly surprise waiting for the Seller when the home is sold down the road.  The timely release of the first mortgage lien is another problem sometimes experienced by online users.  If you have arrange financing with an ingternet provider you can do yourself a favor, and compare closing costs with a local provider. 
  • Picture of the Day

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in West Des Moines, Home Buying in West Des Moines, Home Selling in West Des Moines  |  June 14, 2012 12:23 PM  |  216 views  |  No comments
    Hummingbirds bring me back to special times I shared with my father.  I love watching them!  I wish I had the time and the patience to train them to feed from my hand like this young lady did!  I'm simply thrilled when they feed from my feeders....oh well...enjoy!

    In September 2006, Abigail Alfano of Pine, Louisiana, trained these hummingbirds to feed from her hands. These were hummingbirds that had been visiting her hummingbird feeder. I'm envious, but I definitely don't have her patience.
  • Not Your Average Joe

    Posted Under: Home Buying in West Des Moines  |  June 13, 2012 12:27 PM  |  138 views  |  No comments
    The terms Average Joe, Ordinary Joe, Joe Sixpack and Plain Jane are all terms that Summit Homes hears from people when they talk about new homes in the Des Moines metro. They all look the same. Boring, right?  It can appear that many builders are in a rut. They share the same plans, use the same materials and don't pay a whole lot of attention to making their homes "stand out".

    Summit Homes is on a mission to change this concept of new homes in Des Moines.  Since 2009, Summit Homes has focused on building homes that are unique, a cut above the rest, and something you will be excited to show your friends.

    Shane Madison, owner of Summit Homes says no two Summit Homes are alike. You may walk into one home and find a design that is so true to Tuscany that you feel like you have been transported to that tiny little region of Italy. Then, you can walk into another home and you immediately sense the attention that was paid to the Craftsman designs of the early 1900s. Then, as you continue your tour, you step into a Contemporary stunner that really gets your blood pumping!

    The point is, Summit Homes is NOT your Average Joe!

    To learn more visit:  www.summithomesiowa.com or contact me.

  • The Empty Nester

    Posted Under: General Area in West Des Moines, Home Buying in West Des Moines, Design & Decor in West Des Moines  |  June 9, 2012 5:39 AM  |  234 views  |  No comments
    The Empty Nester - They have raised their kids and are looking to downsize. They have reached the point in their life when it is time to kick back, relax and enjoy past accomplishments and look towards retirement. Empty-Nester floor plans are designed with an open floor plan often combining the living room, kitchen and dining space into one large gathering area. Not only does this arrangement work well for entertaining, but should occupants one day find themselves in need of a walker or wheelchair, this barrier-free layout allows mobility and access to the main parts of the home. Usually, the Empty-Nester floor plan will allow the homeowner to enjoy outdoor living spaces such as a screened porch, deck or covered patio. These plans will often times incorporate a main level master suite with a roomy bathroom that includes a walk-in shower allowing accessibility for those who may have trouble getting in and out of a bathtub later in life. There is also room for safety features like grab bars near the toilet, shower and bathtub. Empty-Nester floor plans will usually include secondary bedrooms for use as a guest suite when weekend visitors arrive. Flexible spaces are often included with baby boomer friendly house plans like a den or hobby room that can flex as needs or lifestyles change. Finally, Empty-Nester house plans are fashioned with comfort and low maintenance in mind. They are designed with easy-to-care-for interiors and exteriors. All of these features are exactly what our quick move-in home at 8646 Silverwood Drive in West Des Moines offers.  Contact me today for a personal tour of this gorgeous home, built by Summit Homes. 
  • The Real Estate Market is Back!

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in West Des Moines, Home Buying in West Des Moines, Home Selling in West Des Moines  |  June 1, 2012 8:52 AM  |  180 views  |  No comments
    .....at least in the Des Moines market...we've seen five months of steady growth, and homes for the  most part are selling quickly.  The result?  Lower inventory.  If you've been thinking about selling, now is the perfect time.   The combination of record low interest rates, a lot of qualified buyers and the fact that we are in still in the Spring buying season make for the perfect storm.  I wouldn't say our market is on fire, but it certainly is heating up. 
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