Explore Iowa City, IA
By Karen Feltman, Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
(Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group)
Comments 5
This is a wonderful annual event organized by the Iowa City Area Association of Realtors to benefit the Friends of the Animal Center Foundation.  Bring your pets for a wash or a nail trim.  Please bring proof of rabies vaccination as well for the protection of the volunteers.  Located at 812 S. 1st Avenue in Iowa City on Sunday August 7th from 12:00-4:00 pm. I look forward to seeing you there with your dogs! Keep smiling! Karen
By Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices
(Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268)
Comments 8
Iowa City Weather - Wait 5 Minutes and it Will Change...When I relocated to the Iowa City area back in 2000 the weather was a big concern for me. I was moving from a temperate middle European climate to Iowa that was known for its hot temps in the summer and oh so much snow in the winter. Did Iowa live up to my expectations? 16 years later I can say, sort of. I'm still not a big fan of the Iowan winters, but on the whole we don't get as much snow as I expected. And it doesn't stick around that long. In fact, there's a saying that I heard for the first time after moving to the Mid West. "If you don't like the weather in Iowa, wait 5 minutes, it will change."  That about sums it up. The highs are very high and the lows are very low. And you can never be sure what's coming next. It's not u...
By Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices
(Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268)
Comments 0
Halloween is just around the corner and they certainly know how to rise to the occasion at Wilson's Orchard!  All through October the focus is on family fun at this part nature park, part orchard right here in Iowa City. The highlights of the month are the Pumpkin Festival and Trick-Or-Treat Weekend as we head towards the spookiest night of the year. Pumpkin Festival at Wilson's Orchard Saturday October 18: - 10.00 am - 6.00 pm Sunday October 19 - 10.00 am - 6.00 pm Hunt for the biggest pumpkin or  guess the weight of pumpkins for a chance to win prizes. Find a nice big pumpkin for the kids and have them carve it right there at the carving station and let someone else clean up the mess!  Activities from 12.00 - 4.00 pm. Trick or Treat Weekend Wilson's Orchard Saturday October 25 -  10.0...
By Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices
(Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268)
Comments 2
  Market Reports for Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty IA, January - December 2013 As we head towards spring and the top months of the year for listing homes it will be very important to sellers to know what's going on in the market place. Real estate is local. Sellers need to know what buyers are buying. These market reports will give you a good starting point to see where the real estate market is at in your town. Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty are all very close together with lots of shared boundaries. That doesn't mean it's possible to put them in one big melting pot when it comes to real estate market trends. Real estate is indeed local and the more local you look at the numbers, the better idea you will get of what you can expect when you put your house on the market. ...
By Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices
(Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268)
Comments 5
If you're looking for something fun to do this weekend The Iowa City Jazz Festival is the place to be. I stopped by after my closing yesterday and it was already very busy. It's a weekend of family Fun at the Iowa City Jazz Festival with something for everyone. Jazz fans will love the music. The kids will love the activities, (including a fake skating rink this year). And of course the ever popular Culinary Row is a hit with everyone with culinary choices from all over the globe. The sign that caught my attention yesterday was the one advertising Iowa's largest brat! :) You'll find a full schedule of events for the Iowa City Jazz Festival 2013 on my website denisehamlin.com    
By Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices
(Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268)
Comments 2
Most real estate agents will tell you it's always a good time to list your home for sale. The question is - Is it really? Does it really make sense to list your home for sale over the Holidays when you know the buyer pool will be smaller? After all, many buyers will postpone their home buying plans until after the Holiday Season. What are the chances of the right buyer coming by and putting an offer on your home? There are no easy answers to those questions so let me throw out a few things to think about. The most important factor is that listing a home is a disruptive, intrusive time and definitely not something you want to do if you're not committed to the idea of selling your home. Notice that I do say motivated the sell your home. That's because at this time of the year if you do ge...
By Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices
(Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268)
Comments 0
How's the real estate market in Coralville doing? From my Snapshot of Home Sales in Coralville at the beginning of the month you know that home sales are up for the year.  Today I have a graph and some numbers to share with you to give you more to go on for the real estate market in Coralville . The graph shows the number of homes sold and median price of homes sold in Coralville January through September 2012 compared to 2011. You'll notice that unlike Iowa City there are some strong high and low points when it comes to home prices in Coralville. I live in Coralville and probably know this market best of all for the areas I cover. I think that the high and low points have more to do with what type of homes sold in any given month rather than any real hike or drop in prices in Coralvill...
By Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices
(Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268)
Comments 0
At the beginning of the month I wrote a post with a general overview of the Iowa City real estate market for the year. Today I have a graph and some numbers to share with you giving you more insights on the real estate market in Iowa City. 743 homes sold in the first 9 months of the year. That's a 16% increase compared to the same time frame in 2011. The average and median price of homes sold is also up. The average price is up by 5%. The median price by 4%. The graph shows the median price of homes sold January through September 2012 compared to 2011. The original post on my website includes a table that shows both the average and median prices. It didn't make sense to put more trending lines on the graph so I skipped putting the average price on the graph. That would only have confuse...
By Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices
(Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268)
Comments 2
There is no doubt that the real estate market in the Iowa City area is improving, but there are still plenty of homes that failed to sell this year. Mostly this is due to too high expectations of the market. How can you as a seller avoid that? Funnily enough, it's really not that hard. The hardest part is for you as a proud homeowner to disconnect your emotions from the sale of your home. You need to start thinking of your home as a house. Once it's a house it becomes easier to be more objective and make the right decisions - The decisions that will get your home sold in today's market in the Iowa City area. 3 Easy Steps to Getting Your Home Sold in the Iowa City Area 1. Decide just how much you want to move If you're relocating out of state there's no question you're motivated. Selling...
By Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices
(Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268)
Comments 1
Today I thought I'd share some preliminary data on how the Iowa City real estate market is doing. As we head into the 4th quarter there's plenty of year to look back on! I'll have my work cut out for me this week when I take a closer look at home sales in the three areas I keep a close eye on - Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty IA. Home sales in Iowa City - January 1 through September 30, 2012 Number of homes sold so far this year is up 16% compared to 2011 Single family home sales are up by almost 20% - 492 single family homes in 2012 compared to 411 in 2011 Condo Sales are up by 6.25%. - 204 condos in 2012 compared to 192 in 2011 Zero Lot sales are up by almost 15% - 31 zero lots sold in 2012 compared to 27 in 2011 The average price of a home in Iowa City is up by 5% for the yea...
By Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices
(Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268)
Comments 3
Where do you start when you're ready to buy a home in Iowa City? You start by finding yourself a good buyer's agent to work with. If that sounds counter intuitive, think of it this way. Home Sellers call an agent right away when they have a home to sell in Iowa City. They know they need someone to represent them for this major transaction. You just don't have the house yet, but you definitely need the same exclusive representation! Buyer Agency is not a new idea, but not too many buyers are aware of all the benefits it brings with it. Buyers are also not aware that this service is Free to them as the commission is negotiated with the seller at the time of listing a home.  This post give you an idea of the service you can expect when you work with me as your buyer's agent. At the very le...
By Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices
(Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268)
Comments 0
Even if you're not thinking of listing your home in the Iowa City area right now, it's a good idea to stay on top of what buyers want in a house so when it comes time to sell you're ahead of the curve. Below are the top 3 home improvements that are likely to get the most attention with buyers in Iowa City. That doesn't mean to say you shouldn't look at the rest of the house and consider other updates as necessary. Fresh paint, new carpet and light fixtures are all things that typically help with the overall impression of a house. For years the kitchen has taken the number 1 spot for best rooms to update. Kitchens are everyone’s favorites and new cabinets, counter tops and floors will always impress potential buyers. (Not to mention those updated appliances). Styles change quickly with k...
By Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices
(Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268)
Comments 2
My monthly market reports started out with North Liberty and Coralville this month. Since I was quoted in the Daily Iowan, the UI Newspaper with my opinions on the Iowa City real estate market I figured I'd better hurry up and get my monthly market report for Iowa City out on the world wide web! The good news is that Home Sales in Iowa City are up by 30% in August 2012 compared to 2011 . 91 homes sold in Iowa City last month compared to 70 in August 2011. This is the most number of homes sold in Iowa City in August since the market meltdown in 2008. And if you need even more proof on how well the Iowa City real estate market is doing,  the absorption rate  is down at at 4.8 months, that's an average of 144 days on market. To put that in some kind of perspective, this time last year the ...
By Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices
(Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268)
Comments 0
Pricing your home right for the Iowa City real estate market is a two step process. I touched on the tangible part of that process in my last post when I talked about collecting data and the value of a Current Market Analysis. The second part of the process is to look at the intangible aspects of the market that will affect the sale of your home. This is actually the bit you need a good real estate agent for. It's relatively straightforward to collect data on comparable properties in your neighborhood. Analyzing that data and looking at other intangible aspects that will play into the sale of your home requires an experienced Realtor who understands the real estate market in Iowa City. Here's a short list of some of the intangible aspects  of selling a home a good Realtor will look at: ...
By Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices
(Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268)
Comments 0
Last month Iowa City made it to #2 on the Best Cities for Successful Aging List. You might think of Iowa City as a college town and be surprised at that. It's not intuitively obvious that Iowa City might also be a great place to live for older members of the community. Read on and you'll soon appreciate the many benefits this diverse little town has for everyone who lives here! The Tangible & Intangible Benefits of Living in Iowa City First of all let me say that as a real estate agent I tend to look at things a little differently than in a study. I think choosing where to live is based on tangible and intangible elements. Yes, the young population provides a solid fiscal base if you decide to live here. It's good to know that the University of Iowa and the UI Hospitals will ensure that...
By Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices
(Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268)
Comments 0
Setting the right price is arguably the most important step when you're selling your home in the Iowa City area. You may already have an idea of what you think your home is worth. The question is, will it tally with what buyers are paying for homes in your neighborhood at the moment? There are a few different ways to calculate the value of a home. When it comes to selling a home in Iowa City the only one that makes any sense is a Current Market Analysis. This is because it takes into account exactly what buyers are paying for similar homes and the time frame they sell in. There are still more sellers than buyers in the Iowa City real estate market making this step more important than ever. Let's take a look at the other ways of estimating the value of a home and you'll soon see why when...
By Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices
(Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268)
Comments 6
Selling a house in Iowa City, Coralville or anywhere else for that matter is a stressful time. I've done it more than a few times myself and it's not a lot of fun. Getting an offer is the best part, but figuring out how to get the documents back to the agent turns what is an exciting time into a nerve wracking ordeal... Enter electronic signatures - A game changer in a real estate transaction. It wasn't that long ago that our best option was to scan and email documents to clients. Buyers and sellers then printed them off, signed them and hopefully had a scanner to scan them back into their computer to then send them to us. If they didn't have a scanner they needed to run out to a copy shop and find a fax machine. All of this was time consuming, paper wasting and often stressful. (You kn...
By Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices
(Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268)
Comments 1
You're ready to sell your house in the Iowa City area and are wondering where to start. Choosing the right agent is a tough call. More than likely you haven't had a lot of practice selling homes, you don't know what to expect from a real estate transaction. The days of putting a sign in the ground and listing a house on the MLS are gone. Agents need to do A LOT more than that to get homes sold in Iowa City these days. This post runs you through an average transaction when I list a home for sale in the Iowa City area and covers everything up to closing. The plan is that it encourages you to have higher expectations of the Realtor you decide to work with. Or even better, that you give me a call! Getting Your Home Ready for Sale My best clients call me months before they're ready to list a...
By Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices
(Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268)
Comments 0
The first half of 2012 is behind us and it's a great time to take stock to see where home sales and home prices are at in Iowa City for the year so far. 446 Homes sold in Iowa City January through June 2012 compared to 381 homes sold in the same time frame in 2011. That's a 17% increase. If you hop over to the original post on my website there's a table with the average and median price of homes sold in Iowa City in the last six months.  The good news is that home prices are are up slightly too. Prices have bobbed around a bit since the beginning of the year, but the trend is definitely heading in the right direction. Of course this is a very general overview. Home prices definitely vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. Both buyers and sellers need to look at neighborhood sales before...
By Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices
(Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268)
Comments 2
The City of University Heights is a small, exclusive cluster of neighborhoods on the west side of Iowa City. University Heights is completely surrounded by Iowa City and being a curious soul I wondered how that came about. It seems that George and Lee Koser were Entrepreneurs in  their time and had the foresight to recognize that Iowa City would be expanding to the west. My last couple of posts about Goosetown and the Longfellow Neighborhoods were about homes east of the river, so you know that's the historic part of town. In the 1920's the Koser Brothers bought up land in anticipation of growth to the west. They were right, and when that happened they were sitting on some prime real estate in University Heights! Click Here to view a list of homes in the Horn Elementary School District ...

Iowa City, IA Real Estate Professionals