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program, which you can learn more about here, but there's something you should  be doing to keep yourself safe — shred outdated, important documents!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


News Archive

  1. 2018 (18)
    1. OCT (1)
      1. 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