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


New First-time Home Buyers Savings Account: What You Need to Know

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Iowa just passed a law that makes it even easier to save for your first home! Here’s everything you need to know. Get additional information by contacting your First Realty agent or visiting

What is it?

A 10-year tax deductible savings account to go toward the purchase of a first home in Iowa. Annual contributions have no limit, but state income tax deductions are capped at $4,000 for married joint filers and $2,000 for all other filers.

Who’s eligible?

The plan applies to first time buyers and those re-entering the market if they have not owned a home in the past three years. 

Who can contribute?

Buyers can open accounts for themselves, but it’s also a great option for parents and grandparents!

How do you get started?

You can open a First Time Home Buyer Savings Account at any bank, credit union, or other financial institution icensed in the state of Iowa.

What Else? 

Those hoping to buy soon: This is a great option to put you one step closer to your goal of owning your first home!

Parents and grandparents: This is a great way to help your loved ones. Rather than buying another toy or outfit, you can give a gift that will truly impact their future!

5 Great Homes for First-Time Buyers

Friday, January 05, 2018


Is one of your goals for 2018 to finally stop renting and purchase your first home? Our Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices First Realty agents will answer all your questions and guide you through every step of the way.

Here are 5 great homes to start your search. Click on each image to get more details, contact the listing agent with quesitons! 

1802 Lincoln Ave., Des Moines

2 Beds | 2 Baths | $99,900 | Call Lovetee Lavelah at (515) 601-0114 or Tynesha Shivers at (515) 525-8251 

1206 65th St., Windsor Heights

3 Beds | 2 Baths | $170,000 | Call Sarah Pesek at (515) 556-7548

7114 Maple Dr., Urbandale

3 Beds | 2 Baths | $179,900 | Call Helen Turner at (515) 681-5319. 

2625 59th St., Des Moines

2 Beds | 1 Bath | $149,900 | Call Joe Spick at (515) 710-6654

3216 York St., Des Moines

3 Beds | 1 Bath | $127,500 | Call Laura Mullin at (515) 306-2027