Spring Tour 2018!

Friday, April 13, 2018


The annual Spring Tour of Homes Sale starts next weekend! Hundreds of homes from the area’s top builders will be open April 21-22 and April 28-29 from 1-4 p.m. Plus, every single home has incentives and upgrades on it! 

We’re highlighting a few homes that will be part of the tour, and you can see the full list at


Savannah Homes of Iowa

Savannah has one home on the tour in Altoona’s Bennett Bay neighborhood. This two-story home has plenty of space with a full basement and covered rea patio. It’s in a great location in the heart of Altoona new schools, entertainment options, shopping and more with easy access to the rest of the Metro area. Call Linda Westergaard at 515-988-4288 or Jake Archer at 515-393-0237 with questions. 

3 Beds | 3 Baths | $226,900

Hubbell Homes

Hubbell has five homes in Altoona’s Tuscany development in this year’s tour. Tuscany is a conservation community with prairie grasses, trails, and green spaces. Call Jennifer Silverthorn at 515-314-7624 or Lowell Bauer at 515-240-8174.

4 Beds | 3 Baths | $290,000

Hubbell also has one home in their Pemberley Hills neighborhood as part of the tour. The custom ranch sits on a large corner lot and is in a great West Des Moines location. Call Sharon Klaus at 515-771-6352.

4 Beds | 3 Baths | $473,950

CCS Homes

CCS has a home in Grimes in this year’s tour. This contemporary walk-out ranch has high ceilings, a covered deck and patio and sits on a large cul-de-sac lot. Call Sarah Pesek at 515-556-7548.

5 Beds | 3 Baths | $383,900

CCS has another home in Ankeny in the spring tour. It has plenty of space with a finished basement, 3 car garage, and covered deck. Call Sarah Pesek at 515-556-7548.

4 Beds | 3 Baths | $365,000

Homes by Fleetwood

This Homes by Fleetwood home is part of the Ironwood Cottages with the privacy of a single-family home but without the hassle of lawn care and snow removal. Contact Steve Booth at 515-778-1148.

3 Beds | 3 Baths | $265,500

Small Town Living with an Easy Commute!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


The suburbs of Des Moines are getting more and more popular, and cities like Waukee and Ankeny are even growing so much that they’re adding additional high schools! If the growing suburbs aren’t what you’re looking for, but you still need an easy commte to the Des Moines Metro area, there are still plenty of options! Consider one of these towns. 


The Dallas County seat is just a little farther west past Waukee , and it has a small town charm with brick roads, an excellent public library, and even tons of recrational opportunities with trails, parks and an aquatic center. Search Adel Listings

Mile-Long Bridge over Saylorville Lake 

Polk City

Polk City is near Ankeny and also Saylorville Lake and the mile-long bridge that runs over it. It’s a perfect place for anyone who loves boating and water sports! Search Polk City Listings


Bondurant is just north of Altoona, so it's an easy drive but also Altoona and all the entertainment and dining options there! It has an excellent school sytem and is near Lake Petocka for picnics, swimming, fishing and walking. Search Bondurant Listings.


Hot Air Balloons in Indianola

Granger is north of Grimes and just 10 minutes from the the High Trestle Trail that extends 25 miles through wooded river valleys and across the Des Moines river. It's a thriving community with a beautiful city park, churches, schools and more. Search Granger Listings


Indianola is south of the Metro area and is the home to Simpson college and the National Balloon Classic. It's a great community with plenty of recreational opportunities and high-quality schools. Search Indianola Listings

An HSA Home Warranty Protects YOU!

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Buying a new home? Then you might want a home warranty! An HSA Home Warranty helps pay for unexpected mechanical and appliance expenses after you move in – helping you protect your budget.

Curious about how it all works? Watch the video below to get some answers and contact your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices First Realty agent with questions!

Tips for Attending an Open House

Monday, February 26, 2018


Attending an open house is a great way to see what's out there! Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you make your open house plan! Get a full list of current open houses here:

1. Choosing Open Houses

Visit an open house slightly above and slightly below your budget. This will give you a better idea of what your money will get you. You'll also want to stick to one area for the day. Rather than spending most of the day in the car while driving to West Des Moines, then Ankeny, then West Des Moines, find one house you really want to see, then look around to see what else is in the area. There will probably be one or two more worth stopping by. 

2. Attending the Open House

You might be tempted to shy away from the agent because you don’t want to be bothered. However, it’s probably still a good idea to sign in and say hello. The agent will have useful information about the house that you might not know, and you’ll have a chance to indicate on the sign-in form if you’re already commited to an agent. Plus, agents holding open houses know that most people like to have a little space to wonder around the home.

3. What to Look For

You should already have a list in your mind of which things you absolutely need in a house and which things you would like but can live without. Keep a mental tally of how the home fits that criteria and the ways that it doesn't. You should also take the time to look into closets, drawers and other spaces. Keep in mind that just because a room is set up as a guest room doesn't mean that you can't use it as an office. Make an effort to look past decorations, paint, futurniture, and everything else that could change. 

4. After the Open House 

Try not to see more than three or four houses in a day. Otherwise, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Even so, at the end of the day, things probably start to run together. That's why it’s a good idea to take notes on your phone or in a small notebook as you go through a house. Once you’re done for the day, sit down with your spouse, a family, member or trusted friend and talk through what you saw. If there’s anything that you really loved or even think might be a possibility, call your agent or send them a quick email to keep them in the loop. 


Shred or Keep?

Friday, January 26, 2018


Online security is a huge issue these days, and new hacking issues and identity theft cases always seem to be in the news. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices takes extra steps to keep all your information secure with our HomeSAFE program, which you can learn more about here, but there's something you should  be doing to keep yourself safe — shred outdated, important documents! 

Credit Card and Bank Statements

These should always be shredded as soon as they're paid. You might feel like you need to file them away to keep, but  almost every bank offers online statements, so there's no need. On the other side, you should never simply toss these in the trash. 

Medical Bills

It's a good idea to file these away and hold on to them for a year or so in case of disputes, but after that they should be shredded. 

Old Credit and Debit Cards

These should always be shredded rather than thrown away. Even cutting these in half isn't secure enough. 

Used Airline Tickets and Boarding Passes

These generally contain your full name and address and should always be shredded. 

Bottom line, anything with your full name, address, social security number, bank information or other identifying information should always be shredded rather than thrown away. It's better to be safe than sorry! 

Attend our FREE Shredding Event!  

If you have a stash of old documents and other things that need to be shredded, stop by our West Des Moines office for a free, secure shredding event. A licensed shredding company will have trucks in the parking lot, and we'll have coffee and donuts to enjoy inside! Contact your First Realty agent with quesitons. 

Where: Saturday, Feb. 3; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

When: 5500 Westown Pkwy, Suite 100, West Des Moines