Bring Some Ultra Violet Into Your Home in 2018

Thursday, December 21, 2017


Pantone chose Ultra Violet as their color of 2018, saying, "A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future."

Here are a few ways to incorporate the purple tone into your home!

Use throw pillows for a spash 

This is an easy way to bring Ultra Violet into your home without spending a lot of money or making a dramatic change! 

Brighten up a white kitchen

White kitchens are still a huge trend, but bringing some color in with a backsplash or a set of brightly colored dishes can warm the space up.

Invest in a new armchair or couch

If  you want to go all in on the trend, a bright new piece of furniture will make your living room look bright and cheery! 



5 Tips for the First-time Home Buyer

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Buying your first home can be an exciting but also overwhelming process! Here are 5 things you can do to start the process:

1. Figure out how much home you can afford & get pre-approved

Odds are you will need a home loan along with a down payment to be able to purchase a home. To estimate how much home you can afford, use our mortgage calculator to obtain a ballpark figure of what you can manage.

The standard rule of thumb is your monthly housing payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance combined) shouldn't be more than 28 percent of your household income before taxes. For example, if your monthly household income is $5,000, multiply that by 0.28 and you'll see that you shouldn't pay more than $1,400 a month on your home, including principal, interest, taxes and insurance.

The rules have changed and many lenders allow little or no down payment. Once you know how much you can afford, you can calculate what down payment you need.

For a no obligation assessment and more details, fill out the form at the bottom of this post to contact a lender to get pre-approved.

2. Choose a knowledgeable real estate agent

Purchasing a home requires plenty of paperwork so it's not something you want to try to navigate without an agent. Besides the leg work involved, a knowledgeable agent will be there to help you ask all the right questions. A home may look fine from the outside, but your agent might know what to ask that will reveal it's not as perfect as you thought.

You will want an experienced and knowledgeable agent by your side to explain the process and help you make the best decisions throughout the home buying process. Make sure to find an agent familiar with the area where you're planning on purchasing. Click here to begin your search for the agent who fits your needs.

3. Communicate your wants and needs

Along with determining your price range, you need to assess your wants and needs in a home and list them from first to last. Decide what you are willing to compromise on and what you aren't. Odds are you can't have it all, but you can most likely get your top priorities. Say you want a home with a 2 car garage, a fenced in large yard, and 3 bedrooms. This home exists in your price range but it might not be in the neighborhood you want to be in, or it might not be as new as you would like. Decide what you are willing to compromise on and what you aren't and communicate that to your agent. This will save you both time and energy you might waste on homes you know you won't like.

4. Do  your Research

Once you find a home you love and your offer has been accepted, you'll be anxious to move in. But, don't assume the deal is done. Before moving forward you should make sure you have some contingencies added to your contract such as the home inspection, appraisal and financing. A knowledgeable real estate agent is familiar with these topics and will assist you in including such contingencies in your contract. Click here to begin your search for the agent who fits your needs.

5. Don't forget about unexpected costs

Don't forget to account for closing costs, moving costs, and other additional costs you may need to pay for once you move into your new home, such as a lawnmower and furniture. Home ownership is an exciting and fun endeavor, but it can also come with unexpected costs that you will now cover as opposed to your landlord.

We hope you enjoyed our first time home buyer tips. If you'd like to get pre-approved or just learn more about the home buying process with no obligation, fill out the form below and one of our Mortgage Loan Officers will contact you with more information. Click here to learn more.

Fill out the form below if you'd like to learn more about the home buying process.


Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices First Realty is an affiliate of HomeServices Lending, LLC.  Please speak to your real estate agent for more information on this affiliation.

HomeServices Lending, LLC does not offer loans in all states.
Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act. Georgia Residential Mortgage License Number: 32253.
Regulated by the Colorado Division of Real Estate. Licensed by the Delaware State Bank Commissioner to engage in business in Delaware, License # 5837, Expiration
12/31/17. Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee MB.6761077. Kansas Licensed Mortgage Company, License Number: MC.0025365. Ohio Mortgage Loan Act Certificate
of Registration: 490683 SM.501899.000; Ohio Mortgage Broker Act Certificate of Registration: 490683 MB.804161.000. Oregon Mortgage Lending License ML-5251.
2700 Westown Parkway, Suite 345, West Des Moines, IA 50266.
©2017 HomeServices Lending, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NMLS ID # 490683 (

Our HomeSAFE Program Protects Your Investment!

Thursday, November 30, 2017


Your home is one of the biggest investments you'll ever make, and we understand that! That's why we've developed the HomeSAFE program to protect you every step of the way as you buy your home. The graphic below summarizes everything we're doing to protect you, and you can download a brochure with all the details right here. And, of course, contact your First Realty agent with all your questions! 


Feeling Thankful

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


It's the time of the year where people start to look back and reflect upon the year and everthing they have to be thankful for. Here’s what a few of our agents are giving thanks for this year.

"I am thankful for the trust my clients have given me to assist them during the buying and selling process. Thank you everyone you are deeply appreciated."  — Martha Lebron Dykeman


"I'm thankful for my family and all the great people in my life and my work. Everyone has a giving heart and you love being around them. Happy Thanksgiving to All!" — Deb Swales


"I am thankful for my real estate family at First Realty and my real estate business and clients that allow me to help them with their real estate needs. And most of all God and my family. I am very blessed and know it." — Tina Knox


"I'm thankful for my two kids, family and support system." — Aubrie Doyle


I'm thankful for my new First Realty family, my new puppy Buddy Baxter, my husband Drew and our amazing sons Bo and Brady. — Amy Bechler



Townhome Living

Friday, October 27, 2017


Imagine the privacy of your own home but never having to worry about mowing the lawn or shoveling snow! Sometimes homebuyers automatically dismiss townhomes from their search without thinking about it much. This can be a huge mistake! Townhomes are often a great option, especially for first-time buyers or people who are ready to downsize. 

In a lot of cases, townhomes have just as much room as a traditional home and even have finished basements and spacious backyards. Plus, things like lawncare and snow removal are taken care of, which is perfect for busy couples or anyone who just doesn't want to worry about those things any more. 

Here are a 5 townhomes to consider in your search. Click on the images to get more details! 

1600 Park Ave, Des Moines 

3 Beds | 3 Baths | $569,900 | Call Sharon Klaus at 771-6352.

2210 Ironwood Dr. SW, Altoona

3 Beds | 2 Baths | $238,000 | Call Steve Booth at 778-1148.

2509 NE 6th St, Grimes

3 Beds | 3 Baths | $274,000 | Call Gil Coosner at 537-7565 or Kari Holth at 490-1404.

5195 Stone Creek Dr, Pleasant Hill

3 Beds | 3 Baths | $244,900 | Call Rod Robson at (641) 757-1409 or Helen Turner at (515) 681-5319.

News Archive

  1. 2018 (19)
    1. OCT (2)
      1. Search More Than 700 Open Houses!
      2. Hubbell Building a 55-and-Older Condo Community
    2. SEP (1)
      1. Pick Your Open House!
    3. AUG (2)
      1. A Suite of Services Under One Roof
      2. School Supply Drive for YESS!
    4. JUL (1)
      1. Choose Your Open House (or Houses)!
    5. JUN (3)
      1. Prepping Your Kitchen for an Open House
      2. Three Historical Homes
      3. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Receives Harris Awards
    6. MAY (2)
      1. What's Holding You Back?
      2. Is This a New Chapter?
    7. APR (2)
      1. Are You Making it Happen?
      2. Spring Tour 2018!
    8. MAR (2)
      1. Small Town Living with an Easy Commute!
      2. An HSA Home Warranty Protects YOU!
    9. FEB (1)
      1. Tips for Attending an Open House
    10. JAN (3)
      1. Shred or Keep?
      2. New First-time Home Buyers Savings Account: What You Need to Know
      3. 5 Great Homes for First-Time Buyers
  2. 2017 (21)
    1. DEC (2)
      1. Bring Some Ultra Violet Into Your Home in 2018
      2. 5 Tips for the First-time Home Buyer
    2. NOV (2)
      1. Our HomeSAFE Program Protects Your Investment!
      2. Feeling Thankful
    3. OCT (3)
      1. Townhome Living
      2. Home Financing Simplified
      3. Builder Bonus Sale!
    4. SEP (1)
      1. Signature Open House Event Preview
    5. AUG (3)
      1. Welcome to Copper Wynd Townhomes!
      2. 6 Things to Do to Prep for Your Open House
      3. Energy Efficient New Homes in Des Moines
    6. JUL (4)
      1. Free Family Fun In and Around Des Moines
      2. Choose the Right School District
      3. Why Buy New Construction?
      4. Ready to Sell? How Do You Know?
    7. JUN (3)
      1. #GoodToBeFirst Summer Giveaway
      2. 5 Homes for First-Time Buyers
      3. Bring a Pop of Color to the Kitchen
    8. MAY (1)
      1. Love Your Home Sweepstakes
    9. APR (2)
      1. 3 Things to Consider Before You Buy Your First Home
      2. 6 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Home