Real Estate Information

Blog

Robert Washburn

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 61

Important Questions to Ask When Buying a Home

by Robert Washburn

What an exciting time in your life - you're buying a new home! It’s easy to get carried away with all the excitement.  But that also means that you need to think carefully about your decisions.  You’re sure to find a home that you’ll fall in love with.  Many times when that happens, people will let their emotions take over and not ask the important questions that need to be asked before buying a home. Doing so can lead to a great deal of buyer’s remorse.

What are the most important questions to ask when buying a home? Here’s a few to consider.

Are There Issues?

It’s easy to look over all the imperfections of a home you want.  But finding out potential issues is a critical step that can’t be skimmed over.  Make sure you get an unbiased inspection of the home before making any decisions.

What Is the Home’s Market Value?

This is a big question, since it will determine how much you offer for the home.  Knowing the market value will help you make a solid offer.  Even though there’s no magic formula for making an offer,  the market value is certainly the biggest factor in making a decision.

How Much Did the Seller Pay For the Home?

Many people buy homes to flip them for profit.  Even if they made improvements to the house, it doesn’t mean that will increase the value. Knowing how much the previous owner paid will give insight into whether or not the home is overpriced.

How Long Has the Home Been on the Market?

The motivation level of a seller can sometimes be determined by how long the home has been listed. Sure, the agent can affect this factor.  But you can have your agent can look to see how many times the home has been relisted and the pricing history.

Click here to find more important questions to ask when buying a home.  And always feel free to call me for expert advice.

Tips for Getting your Home Ready for Winter

by Robert Washburn

The cold and blustery days of winter are just around the corner....is your home ready for the elements?  Home improvements both inside and out ensure energy efficiency and a toasty, happy abode.  Follow these 6 tips to ready your home:

1. Seal up your windows and doors.  Older windows and doors are often a place where heat escapes.  Seal these areas with weatherstripping, caulk and new hinges.

2. Add insulation to your attic and basement walls.  Many homes lack sufficient insulation so adding layers to your attic and sealing off open portions of a basement help keep energy costs lower.

3. Clean your filters and duct spaces.  An energy checkup on your heating unit is always a must this time of year as is cleaning your ductwork. Make sure you also do a test of all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

4. Consider an upgrade to a smart thermostat.  This is a smart upgrade that not only allows you to control energy costs and room by room temperatures, it is also a great addition to your homes value when you consider selling.

5. Conquer the Winter Blues.  Yes, it definitely is a real condition!  With gray skies, colder temps and lack of green space it's easy to let the winter doldrums set in.  Consider repainting select rooms in your home with more vibrant colors.

6. Ensure you have a full supply of salt, ample shovels and a great working snow blower to make your job easier when removing snow.

For more homeowner tips visit our website.  If you're looking to sell this winter, find out what your home is worth in today's market with a free Home Analysis.

Wishing You All a Happy Thanksgiving

by Robert Washburn

This week is a time when we can come together and show our appreciation for all we have.  It’s a time for caring for our family, friends, and neighbors.  It’s also a time when we can help those who may not have the circumstances we do.  If you have a few hours this coming week and want to help make Thanksgiving a day to remember for those in need, here are a few places that you can offer your time to.

Open Door Mission

The Salvation Army

Heartland Hope Mission

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Plan the Perfect Getaway in an Omaha B&B

by Robert Washburn

Are you looking for the perfect weekend getaway, but don’t feel like traveling far?  If so, one of the outstanding bed and breakfasts of Omaha are sure to help you relax and forget about your worries for a day or two.  Whether you want to live in the past in an historic mansion, or relax in the beautiful countryside, there’s a B&B for every taste in Omaha.  Here’s a few you’re sure to enjoy.

White Deer Retreat

Located just 15 minutes from downtown Omaha is the beautiful country residence of White Deer. With 9 acres of beautiful grounds and a picturesque view of the Missouri River Valley, it’s the perfect country getaway.  They also have a staff of trained health and wellness practitioners to assist with your complete relaxation and rejuvenation.  The large spacious rooms feature huge windows that let all that beauty inside so that you’re always connected with the landscape.

Bakers Bed and Breakfast

Located in nearby Blair, this historic 1900 home will take you back in time to simpler days.  The King Room is a relaxing all-in-one suite that offers a reading area with cozy recliner and a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside.  There’s even an old-fashioned spinet desk where you can catch up on some work or put on some makeup. With only two rooms, you’ll get all the great service and amazing breakfast you could want, all focused on your relaxation.

The Cornerstone Mansion

If you prefer the finer things, then why not stay in a historic mansion? This landmark home in Omaha’s historic Gold Coast District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  You’ll relish in the opulence of this turn of the century residence, built with no expense spared at the time. Plus the location is ideal for a great time in Omaha, with shopping and restaurants within reach.

Buy Your Next Home in Glenwood

by Robert Washburn

If you’re looking to move to a smaller community with charm and history, then Glenwood welcomes you.  Glenwood is located in southwest Iowa in Mills County just east of the Missouri River. 

Glenwood offers boutique shopping, Bombgaars, Garden Treasures, Hardware Hank along with discount shopping. You can dine at The Gridiron Garage, Adriano’s Brick Oven Pizza, and the Gathering Place in the Glenwood Town Square.   Or if you’re in the mood for Mexican cuisine, then head to El Porton on South Locust Street.

Glenwood also boasts lovely parks, like the Glenwood Lake Park, located to the east of town.  It offers playgrounds facilities and horseshoes, along with camping. Pony Creek Lake Park also offers fishing and boating opportunities.

See more reasons why Glenwood is a community that people are proud to call home.

Here’s a preview of homes for sale in Glenwood.

If you’re looking to move to a smaller community with charm and history, then Glenwood welcomes you.  Glenwood is located in southwest Iowa in Mills County just east of the Missouri River. 

Glenwood offers boutique shopping, Bombgaars, Garden Treasures, Hardware Hank along with discount shopping. You can dine at The Gridiron Garage, Adriano’s Brick Oven Pizza, and the Gathering Place in the Glenwood Town Square.   Or if you’re in the mood for Mexican cuisine, then head to El Porton on South Locust Street.

Glenwood also boasts lovely parks, like the Glenwood Lake Park, located to the east of town.  It offers playgrounds facilities and horseshoes, along with camping. Pony Creek Lake Park also offers fishing and boating opportunities.

See more reasons why Glenwood is a community that people are proud to call home.

Here’s a preview of homes for sale in Glenwood.

If you’re looking to move to a smaller community with charm and history, then Glenwood welcomes you.  Glenwood is located in southwest Iowa in Mills County just east of the Missouri River. 

Glenwood offers boutique shopping, Bombgaars, Garden Treasures, Hardware Hank along with discount shopping. You can dine at The Gridiron Garage, Adriano’s Brick Oven Pizza, and the Gathering Place in the Glenwood Town Square.   Or if you’re in the mood for Mexican cuisine, then head to El Porton on South Locust Street.

Glenwood also boasts lovely parks, like the Glenwood Lake Park, located to the east of town.  It offers playgrounds facilities and horseshoes, along with camping. Pony Creek Lake Park also offers fishing and boating opportunities.

See more reasons why Glenwood is a community that people are proud to call home.

Here’s a preview of homes for sale in Glenwood.

Help for Moving with Children

by Robert Washburn

You’ve made the decision. You need to move. You even found the perfect house. Time to start packing. As well as tell the kids. Oh boy. It doesn’t matter how far you are moving. Moving at all can be an unsettling event in any child’s life. So how can you make sure that it goes relatively smooth?

First Try a Family Meeting. Get some of their favorite foods and have an enjoyable family diner, that way you can casually bring up the subject. This gives you a chance to slip it into the conversation without too much upset and to let them know why the move is necessary. It’s also a good chance to let them ask any questions, so you can answer them and ease any concerns they might have.

Get Them Involved in the Process. This is also a good opportunity to go through the house and purge all that unnecessary junk that your family has picked up over the years. Get the kids to help you decide what can be trashed, donated or sold. A moving sale!

Encourage them to Learn More About Where Your Family is Moving. Help them learn as much about their new community. Encourage them to do some research of their own. Help them check out the local schools and school district. A website of the local schools with pictures would be a great help and let them get a sense of where they’ll be attending school. You could also try to find a local online paper to help the whole family get a feel for the local people and issues.

These are just a few ideas on how to make moving with children go smoother. For more tips, check out this link here.

Nighttime Home Security and Safety Awareness

by Robert Washburn

You probably hear on the news or from a neighbor that someone had a home invasion. Then you might think “That’ll probably never happen to me, I live in a nice, peaceful neighborhood”. Truth is, it can happen to anyone at any time. Here are some tips and tricks to help ensure that you and your family stay safe at night.

Always Lock Up. This may seem obvious, but many people simply forget or don’t bother to lock up all the windows, doors and even garage doors, simply because they don’t think they are at risk. Sure the neighborhood is safe and you know your neighbors really well, but the threat most often comes from outside your neighborhood. So, make sure to lock up. It could mean lives.

Home Surveillance System. These might be expensive, but well worth the price. Hidden home security cameras with nighttime vision are the most recommended while readily visible ones can be easily destroyed. To help, you can tie most of these systems right into just about any device or devices you want. Now you can find out if that strange noise was simply a stray animal or someone lurking about your home.

Motion Sensor Lights. Naturally you want those even when you’re just coming home from a late shopping trip. These can also be of great importance to home safety at night. Deter a not that insistent break and enter guest.

Safety is never overrated, so be safe and check out these other great tips and tricks for nighttime safety for your home, and most importantly, your peace of mind. Be safe!

Preventing Electrical Fires in Your Home

by Robert Washburn

Home safety is of utmost importance. Whether it’s just you or you have a family. The biggest thing most people overlook is electrical safety. Home electrical fires are estimated at around 51,000 fires a year, with nearly 500 deaths, over 1,400 injuries and $1.3 billion in damages. Naturally there are ways to reduce the risk to you and your family. Here’s a few tips to get you started.

  • Light Bulbs: When using light bulbs be sure to use a bulb with the correct wattage for the fixture you are using it in. A higher wattage bulb can cause the fixture to overheat and possibly cause the bulb itself to explode.
  • Outlets: When it comes to outlets it is always best not to overload them with extra adapters and power cords. Especially so in older homes that may not have a large enough power supply causing breakers to trip or overheat and very possibly cause major fires.
  • Appliances: We own many more appliances now than used to be in the average home 50-60 years ago. Appliances from a simple clock to a computer generate heat. So be sure to give the appliance plenty of circulation space and never leave blankets, towels or anything that will cover them so that they do not overheat and cause an overload or short out an electrical socket.

Electrical fires can be such a dangerous and traumatic incident that following some simple tips can save you or your family’s lives and your family’s livelihood. Here are quite a few more suggestions on how to minimize the possibility of an electrical fire in the home.

What Can Affect Your Mortgage Rate?

by Robert Washburn

You see advertisements for mortgage rates all over the media and internet.  But how can you be sure that you’re getting the best rate possible? Even if you compare rates, they probably aren’t realistic. Here are some factors to take into consideration.

 

Economy – The global economy drives all interest rates, including mortgage rates

Property location – Lender costs can go up or down depending on state laws

Lender pipeline – How much business a lender is currently processing

Property type – Single family, multi-family, condo, mobile, co-op, etc.

Loan-to-value – Lower values get a better rate

Home use – Is this home being used for personal use, rental, or vacation?

Credit score – The higher the score, the better the rate

Points – Overall, the higher the costs, the lower the rate

Loan features – Term, documentation, rate adjustment, interest-only payments, etc.

Loan amount – If the loan amount is very high or very low, this can mean higher rates

Mortgage Rates Always Change  

It’s true. In fact, rates can change quicker than you would think! Even politics can affect the rate.  As an example, when the President disbanded his business council, it sent rates down the drain within 20 minutes! So that means the rate you were quoted before and after that situation will be much different than before.

The up side is that current mortgage rates are as low as they've been in 2017. But home prices are climbing in much of the US. To get a low rate and make your home as affordable as possible, you’ll need to get several custom quotes from competing mortgage lenders.

Staying Safe This Halloween in Red Oak!

by Robert Washburn

Halloween. A time of treats, silly costumes for the kids and scary fun times. It’s also a time to remember a little caution and safety preparation can go a long way for our trick or treaters. Let us share some fun ways to stay safe for this year’s Halloween in Red Oak.

The chance of a car accident for a child goes up an unpleasant amount this night more than any other, so we have a few ideas on how to keep the children as safe as possible.

One way is to try integrating reflective tape or stickers into costumes and bags, as well as using face paint, non-toxic of course, as an alternative to masks that can be visually obstructive for children. Besides, kids love getting to their faces painted! Also give the kids some glow sticks, glow bracelets and whatever other glowing things you can find for them. Not only will that be added fun to their costumes, but it will help with added visual for drivers.

Children, 12 and under should never be out alone without adult to supervision. Also remind the older kids to stay in areas that they are familiar with, are well lit and maybe suggest to them that going trick-or-treating with friends would be more entertaining. They’re sure to like that!

Check out this link for more tips on safety this Halloween. Most importantly, don’t let them forget to have a scary great time this Halloween in Red Oak, Iowa!

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 61

Contact Information

Photo of Rob Washburn Real Estate
Rob Washburn
Ed Spencer Real Estate - Farms America, INC
Mall of the Bluffs
Council Bluffs IA 51503
402-981-6999
712-322-7653
Fax: 712-624-9251

Quick Search

Listing Alerts

Be the first to know what's coming up for sale in the Glenwood real estate market with our New Property Listing Alerts!

Just tell us what you're looking for and we'll email a daily update of all homes listed for sale since your last update. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Get Notifications

Contact Us

Our office is located at:
Mall of the Bluffs
Council Bluffs, Iowa 51503

Office: 712-322-7653
Cell: 402-981-6999
Fax: 712-624-9251
Rob@RobWashburnRealEstate.com

Contact Us Online

Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated