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6 Things to Do to Prep for Your Open House

Friday, August 18, 2017


When trying to sell your home, your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices First Realty agent will take care of all the details and guide you through every step of the way. However, there are a few extra things you can do before an open house to put it in its best light to help get it sold!

1. Empty Cluttered Closets 

Potential buyers are always looking for extra space, and you can be sure that they’re going to peek into cabinets, closets and drawers. Make sure to clear out these spaces so that they don't look overstuffed.

2. Remove Personal Details

You want anyone who's visiting the open house to picture themselves living there. Removing family photos and momentos will help depersonalize the home so that it looks like somplace they might live.

3. Clean Up the Front Yard and Entryway

First impressions really do count! You want potential buyers to have a good feeling about your home from the moment they pull into the driveway. Make sure the grass is mowed, plants look neat, and there isn't random junk sitting around.

4. Remove Signs of Any Pets

As much as you love your pets, not everyone is a dog or cat person. Put away things like water and food bowls, litter boxes, and pet toys. It’s also a good idea to do a deep cleaning to get rid of any smells you might not notice. 

5. Add Warm Touches

Even though you don't want the house to be too personal, you still want it to look warm and inviting. Think of things like fresh flowers in the spring or cozy throw blankets in the winter. 

6. Relax!

Your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices First Realty agent is a professional. He or she will handle the rest. 


Energy Efficient New Homes in Des Moines

Thursday, August 03, 2017


CCS Homes, one of the metro area's most popular builders, takes the extra steps to ensure every home they build is as energy efficeient as possible! In the video below, CCS Home President Alan Sprinkle talks to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices agent Sarah Pesek about all the extra touches and details he includes in every home he builds. 

Contact Sarah Pesek at 515-556-7548.


Free Family Fun In and Around Des Moines

Friday, July 28, 2017

The shelves at Target are loaded down with school supplies, and the Iowa State Fair, the unofficial end to the summer, is just around the corner. But there's still time to enjoy the sunshine and take a little time off from work before the kids go back to school! If you don't want to travel far, there are still so many fun, free things to do close to home. These are a few of our top picks!

Des Moines Art Center

So many people make it a point to visit art museums when on vacation but forget all about the museum in our own backyard! Older kids and teens will enjoy just wondering around the center. Plus, there are programs, classes, free movies and more for all ages. You can even take a yoga class among the ar!

Racoon River Park

This West Des Moines park and recreation center has so much to do! Swimming, fishing, running, and more! There's a 3-mile trail that goes around Blue Heron Lake for biking or walking, and a huge dog park. Even if you don't own a dog, little ones who are eager for pets of their own will love to stand outside the fence and watch the dogs play. 

State Historical Museum of Iowa

This museum in Des Moine’s East Village has exhibits highlighting all our state's history and culture. Plus, there are interactive displays and things to do for kids and people of all ages. 

Community Libraries

Along with books and movies, your local public library has programs and reading hours for all ages. Here are a few to check out, and visit your local library's website for more information.

Des Moines East Side Library: Lego Tuesday on Aug. 1

Waukee Public Library: Carve Your Own Butter Creation on Aug. 4

Altoona Public Library: Game On! Game Truck Party on Aug. 25

Urbandale Public Library: Teen Chess Club on Aug. 6

Choose the Right School District

Thursday, July 20, 2017


If a high quality school district is your top priority when choosing a new home, you’re in luck! Some of the highest rated high schools in Iowa are located around the Des Moines metro area.  Newsweek recently ranked all of Iowa’s public high schools based on college enrollment, graduation weight, dual college enrollment, SAT and ACT sores and student retention. The rankings put Waukee first with Akeny and Johnston close behind at sixth and seventh respectively.  

Waukee has eight elementary schools, two middle schools, two grade eight and nine schools, and one high school. Another high school is scheduled to open in 2021 because the community has been grown so quickly. The school district is known for its strong music and theater programs, and the high school has an average ACT score of 24 and a 99 percent graduation rate. Several homes with Urbandale, Clive, and West Des Moines addresses fall into the Waukee school district, so keep that in mind as you look for homes.





Johnston has five elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school and about 7,200 total students in the district. It has tons of activities, sports and clubs for students.




Ankeny is the first and, right now, only metro school district with two high schools. It has 10 elementary schools, two schools for grades six and seven, two schools for grades eight and nine, and two high schools. Ankeny has been one of the fastest-growing school districts in Iowa for more than a decade, averaging growth of 365 students annually for the last 10 years. Even with its rapid growth, Ankeny has maintained its quality. The district has a 96% daily attendance rate, and the high school has a 93.5% graduation rate. 

Why Buy New Construction?

Friday, July 14, 2017


Whether you're buying your first home or upgrading to a new home, you should consider new construction as part of your new home search. The new construction market is booming in the Des Moines area. In June, the number of new construcgtion homes in the area was up 14.7% from June 2016! That means there are plenty of options in all different locations, price ranges and styles! Here are 5 advantages to buying a new home. 

Even the most well maintained resale home will probably need a little bit of work, whether it’s touch-up paint, new carpet, or something else. WIth a brand new home, everything is new and clean, so there aren’t projects you need to worry about once you move in!


New homes have all the updated features like better insulation and windows and high-efficiency appliances. Along with being better for the environment, an energy-efficient home will probably mean lower utility bills.


Nothing will look dated in your brand new home. Most new construction homes feature design elements that people are looking for like open floor plans, large master bathrooms, and updated colors and materials throughout.


Even if you’re purchasing a new home that’s already built, you might still have the option to choose your own paint colors, finishes, cabinets and more!


With a new construction home, everything is up to code and you don't need to worry about things like lead pipes and asbestos.


Check out these  construction homes and click on the images for more information!


4 Beds, 4 Baths, $574,900 by Genesis Homes of Iowa. Call Tiffany Lofland at 515-577-3682.







4 Beds, 3 Baths, $329,000 by CCS Homes. Call Sarah Pesek at 515-556-7548.







4 Beds, 3 Baths, $453,875 by Hubbell Homes. Call Sharon Klaus at 515-771-6352 or Martha Lebron-Dykeman at 415-254-3619.







3 Beds, 2 Baths, $259,900 by Destiny Homes of Iowa. Call Linda Westergaard at 515-988-4288 or Mike Hamilton at 515-971-5927.