Jan. 17, 2017

Welcome home to 5206 or 5328 Ruhd St SW, Cedar Rapids, IA

These Weston single family ranch homes that are located in the Hawks Point development are finished and ready for you to make home. These 2 homes are located in the new Hawks Point by Thomas Dostal Developers. This 3 bedroom boasts a main level master suite with a walk-in closet and a large walk-in laundry room. The kitchen features granite countertops, maple cabinetry with crown molding and hardwood floors. The living room includes a stone fireplace. Crown molding can also be found in the master bedroom and above the living room windows. Large open basement is ready to be finished off. This home is the perfect way to downsize or would make a great starter home, view the listing for 5206 or view the listing for 5328.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Located just 70 miles from the Mississippi River in Eastern Iowa, Cedar Rapids is positioned conveniently and centrally between six of the Midwest's major metropolitan areas: Chicago, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Omaha, and St. Louis.


The Cedar Rapids area - considered to be Eastern Iowa's hub - is located on Interstate 380 and U.S. Highways 30, 151 and 218.


School Information

This home is located within the College Community School District which serves part of the southwest quadrant of Cedar Rapids as well as neighboring rural portions of Linn, Benton and Johnson counties. Located in a central campus off Interstate 380 are College Community's five elementary schools, Prairie Creek Intermediate, Prairie Point Middle School & Ninth Grade Academy, and Prairie High School.



Fareway Grocery is a convenient 4-minute drive just off of 16th Avenue Southwest; and Hy-Vee, which features their Market Grille Restaurant, on Johnson is only 9 minutes away. Target and Walmart, both on Edgewood Road Southwest are only 7 minutes away. The new Westdale Mall development is 2.4 miles away, featuring JcPenney, Younkers, Elevate Salon & Spa, Scooter’s, Ross Dress for Less, Burlington Coat Factory plus many more shopping and dining destinations.


Miles to Top Employers in Area

10.4 miles to Rockwell Collins headquarters

6.5 miles to Transamerica

5.5 miles to St. Luke’s Hospital

7.2 miles to Cedar Rapids Community School District

6.8 miles to Hy-Vee (Edgewood Rd NE)

6.2 miles to Mercy Medical Center

9.1 miles to Kirkwood Community College

5.1 miles to City of Cedar Rapids

5.9 miles to Nordstrom

5.2 miles to Quaker Oats

Call your Pinnacle Realty Agent today at 319.393.0900 to schedule your private showing.

Jan. 15, 2017

Sold! A First Timer’s Checklist For Selling Your Home

As a homeowner, the selling process can be an overwhelming experience - especially for first timers. Since they've never been through the experience of selling a home, many homeowners feel a bit lost as to what they need to do before they can pass their keys over to the next owners.

But not to worry! Here's a checklist that covers all the essentials for homeowners getting ready to sell their first property:

Sprucing Things Up

Before homeowners list their home, they will want to handle any minor fixes that might keep them from getting top dollar for their property and spruce things up to make the home more attractive to potential buyers.

While every home is different, some areas that homeowners will want to revamp before listing their home include:


Painting is a relatively easy and inexpensive fix, but it can really make a difference in how a home presents. Before listing, homeowners should plan to refresh both the exterior and interior paint.

It also helps to use neutral colors when repainting a house that's about to go on the market. Bold colors can be off-putting or distracting to potential buyers. Using neutral colors like white, beige, or gray, will help potential buyers see the property, not the paint.


The first thing potential buyers will notice when viewing a home is the landscaping. If the yard is in shambles or there are human-sized weeds sprouting from every corner, it can be a deal breaker.

Investing in landscaping upgrades will add to a property's curb appeal and can help land a higher selling price. If the outdoor area hasn't been landscaped, adding flowers, small trees and greenery can go a long way. If the property already has a garden, cleaning the area up (including raking, pruning and adding additional plants to fill in any visible gaps) will suffice.

Cosmetic Repairs

If there are minor and/or inexpensive repairs that need to be done to the property, it can be helpful for the homeowners to take care of them prior to listing. Small repairs, like steam cleaning the carpets or fixing a leaky shower, are quick, easy and inexpensive fixes, but can make a big difference when showing the home.

While homeowners will want to leave more major repairs and remodels for the potential buyers, cleaning up small problems will yield big results when they put their home on the market.


It's important for homeowners to stage their home in a way that's appealing to potential buyers. Staging can either be done with the help of a professional organizer and decorator or independently, but proper staging should include:

  • Decluttering the home
  • Removing any personal items
  • Reorganizing, rearranging and/or removing furniture to make the home feel more open and spacious
  • Thoroughly cleaning the home
  • Arranging the home to highlight the property's best features (for example, pulling back curtains to showcase a gorgeous view or moving any furniture that blocks interesting architectural details)
  • Adding decorative items to enhance the space


Staging a home in a way that appeals to buyers can have a huge impact on the selling process. Professional stagers typically cost a few thousand dollars, but if homeowners want to save the extra cash, "http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/30-cant-miss-home-staging-tips" HGTV has some great tips on how to best stage a home for maximum impact.

Choosing An Agent

Once the property is ready to be shown to potential buyers, it's time to find an agent.

Choosing the right real estate agent is HUGELY important, particularly for first time sellers. Having the right real estate agent representing the property can mean the difference between a quick, painless and positive selling process and a long, drawn out nightmare.

When choosing a real estate homeowners should consider:

Does this agent specialize in this type of property and in this area?

Whenever possible, homeowners should work with an agent who possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience selling the type of property they're looking to sell within their market.

Different types of properties and different markets have different nuances, and working with an agent who understands those nuances can help homeowners sell their home quicker and for a higher price than working with an agent who isn't as knowledgeable.

What's the agent's track record?

One of the best predictors of future success is past success. When choosing a real estate agent, homeowners should ask what their track record of success is. How many homes have they sold in the past year? What's the average time their properties stay on their market? What percentage of their deals come in at the asking price or above?

Understanding a real estate agent's past performance can help homeowners understand what they might expect during the selling process and helps to set up proper expectations for both the homeowners and the agent.

What's the agent's plan for selling the property?

Homeowners should also ask what their agent's plan is for selling the property. What marketing channels will they leverage to make sure the property gets in front of the right people? How aggressively do they plan to market the property? What's their backup plan should they not be successful with their typical marketing strategies?

It's an agent's job to sell a property, but there are many ways to do that. Homeowners will want to find out upfront what their agent's plan is to make sure it's in line with what they're looking for.

Selling a property can be overwhelming for first time sellers. But by following the steps in this checklist, homeowners can take the necessary steps to selling their home quickly, easily and with as little stress as possible.

Posted in Selling
March 27, 2016

Iowa Home Prices Rose and Sales Decreased in February 2016

posted by Mark Gavin on IowaRealtors.com | Mar 11, 2016


The Iowa Association of REALTORS® (IAR) reported that February home prices are up and sales were down.

According to the IAR’s Housing Trends Report, the median sale price increased by 5.5 percent from February 2015. The median sale price in February was $135,000 compared to $128,000 from last year.

Price Comparison February 16

Sales declined by 4.7 percent when compared to February 2015. 2,062 homes were sold in February 2015, while 1,966 homes were sold last month.

Homes sold slightly slower in February 2016 than February of last year. Days on market was 4.3 percent higher with an average of 97 days compared to 93 days in February 2015.

“The winter weather and low inventory in most major market areas continues to affect home sales in Iowa. New active listings increased by 5.4 percent and pending properties are holding steady when compared to last year. With warmer weather and many construction projects ramping up, we expect to have a stronger buying and selling season this spring,” stated Ken Clark, President of the Iowa Association of REALTORS®.

The information used to create the IAR February 2016 Housing Trends Report was current as of February 10 at 8:00 a.m. The information is subject to change due to the dynamic nature of the IAR’s housing statistics system, which is updated hourly based on information present in local participating MLS (multiple listing service) systems.

Learn more at IowaRealtors.com

Jan. 15, 2016

Branstad 2016 Tax credit to new home buyers

Are you, or someone you know, looking to purchase a new property in 2016? Would you like to save $2,000 tax dollars each year for the life of your mortgage? If so, get shopping for that new dream house!! You’ll will be pleased to hear that Gov. Terry Branstad, along with the Iowa Associated of Realtors and the Iowa Finance Authority, announced that new home buyers have an opportunity to reduce their federal income tax liability. This is accomplished through the 2014 Take Credit Mortgage Credit Certificate Program and allows for the reduction of home buyers federal income tax liability by $2,000 each fiscal year throughout the life of the mortgage. It has been estimated that 585 home buyers will be assisted with this new program, which is administered through the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA).

You may be asking how this all works – well, let us explain. The 2014 Take Credit Program supplies home buyers, who are eligible, a tax credit of $2,000 against their federal income tax liability. This tax credit is applied each year for the life of the mortgage, with a maximum of 30 years. Naturally, in order to qualify, the home needs to be used as the buyer’s primary residence and the home buyers must be approved for a mortgage.  Additionally, the home buyer needs to meet the federal eligibility requirements.

Once a new homeowner closes on their mortgage loan with an IFA Take Credit Participating Lender, pre-approved applicants will be issued a mortgage credit certificate by IFA.  This credit certificate may then be applied towards their federal income tax liability each year, for the life of the mortgage. 

Interested in hearing more?  You can visit IowaFinanceAuthority.gov/TakeCredit to learn more about this program, locate a Take Credit Participating Lender and view eligibility details.

Truly, there has never been a better time to purchase a new home and save $2,000 in taxes each year!!! 

Be sure to contact your real estate agent and get started in finding your new dream home today!

Posted in Buying, Iowa, Taxes