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New blog location

January 9, 2012
By skogman
 

Hello devoted blog followers,
We are pleased to announce that our blog will be migrating back to our original platform, which for you really only means our URL will be changing. Since our new blog will be housed within our site it will show the newest functionality and make accessing archived blogs that much easier. With this increased exposure we hope to continue offering quality blog posts that inspire our users to share their comments and repost our posts on their social media outlets. As always we welcome your feedback and value your opinion, please let us know what you think!

 
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Tis the Season for Giving!

December 19, 2011
By skogman
 

Skogman Realty agents have definitely been in the giving spirit this season – helping those less fortunate and unable to purchase gifts for their families this Christmas Season.  For the fourth consecutive year, we had a Four Oaks Giving Tree in the Downtown Office which was decorated with 50 ornaments – one per child.  Each ornament had an item on it from the children’s Christmas wish list.   Agents selected an ornament from the tree and purchased the gift for kids so they would have something to open this Christmas.  Thank you to all of the Skogman Realty agents and employees who participated.

Delivering our presents to Four Oaks

At the same time, Agents in our Hiawatha office had decided that they wanted to touch as many people as they could, as many times as possible throughout the year. With that in mind, they adopted 76 kids from the Head Start program through HACAP at their Circle Facility. This is HACAP’s largest facility located at 5560 6th Street, SW. Each of the 76 kids received a Christmas stocking filled with: a hat, mittens, socks, granola bar, crackers, cereal, bubbles, coloring book, colors, a small toy and a stuffed animal.  All were served mini muffins and juice while they visited with Santa.

They were also told that several kids sleep on the floor and probably would not be receiving gifts from Santa this year. One little boy was wearing his mom’s coat, because he didn’t have one. Therefore he could not go outside on colder days – this story really touched our agents and they decided to adopt three families, a total of 7 children – ages 2-5. Each child received a hat, coat, snow pants, boots, mittens, jeans, shirt, sweat shirt, and two toys. They also included a sleeping bag, blanket and pillow (with pillowcase).  These gifts were not given out with the rest of the stuff, but rather left them for their Santa parents to put under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning.

We are truly inspired by the good deeds our agents do on a daily basis and these are just the two most recent instances.  On any given day in our company you are sure to fine an agent or office doing good for the community – whether it be Food Pantry Palooza – collecting food for local food pantry’s, or raising money for a local family whose young child needed a heart transplant.  We couldn’t be more proud of our employees and agents!

Items ready to be packed up.

Items ready to be packaged for the kids at HACAP

Santa distributing his gifts

 
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Single Family New construction

Over the past couple of years the cities of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City have received funds from the Iowa Department of Economic Development to help replace homes lost in the flood of 2008.  The Single Family New Construction Program is in its 3rd phase and offers down payment assistance of up to 25% of the purchase price to qualified buyers.  In order to qualify, buyers must meet income requirements based on the number of people in a household.

Iowa City Income Requirements

80% of Median Income:

1 Person household – $43,600          2 Person Household – $49,800

3 Person household – $56,050         4 Person Household – $62,250

100% of Median Income:

1 Person household – $54,500         2 Person Household – 62,300

3 Person household – $70,100        4 Person Household – $77,800

Cedar Rapids Income Requirements

80% of Median Income:

1 Person household – $38,300          2 Person household – $43,800

3 Person household – $49,250          4 Person Household – $55,700

100% of Median Income:

1 Person household – $47,900          2 Person household – $54,800

3 Person household – $61,600          4 Person household – $68,400

Iowa City received funding to build 31 homes in Round 3 and less than 5 are available as of Mid December according to the City website.  Cedar Rapids received more funding and in turn was able to build more than 100 homes – all of which are to be built in the flood affected neighborhoods outside the 100 year flood plain.

Skogman Homes was granted 27 homes in Round 3, also called ROOT’s – Rebuilding Ownerships Opportunities Together.  Of the 27 homes there are 14 left as of mid December.  Homes range in price from $113,600 to $140,000 and are not to exceed $150,000.  Visit Skogmanhomes.com to see a complete list of available lots and floor plans that qualify for ROOT’s.

For more information about the program visit the City websites:

Cedar Rapids

Iowa City

 
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2nd Annual Pumpkin Fest

October 28, 2011
By skogman
 

Pumpkin carving, train rides and a haunted maze are just a few of the activities that more than 500 people enjoyed last Sunday at the 2nd Annual Skogman Hiawatha Pumpkin Fest.  The event was hosted by Skogman Realty agents in our Hiawatha Branch and took place in the parking lot of the office– located at 1110 Dina Ct.  Agents invited their clients, friends, family and other members of the community to attend the event and all were encouraged to dress up in their Halloween costumes for a chance to win prizes.

Pumpkins were also given away and there were carving and painting stations available to those who wanted to show off their more creative side.  Other games, prizes and a special appearance from Cinderella also helped make it a great afternoon!

The Pumpkin Fest is a ‘Thank You’ to clients, friends, family and the community for their support.  It is a fun fall event where both children and adults can have fun and enjoy the festivities.

Congratulations to our Hiawatha Agents for another successful event!

 
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2327 S 22nd st, marion iowa

This Marion home for sale is offered by Corporate Relocation Realtor, Patricia Reaburn.  Located on a private, 3 acre wooded lot with a pond, 2327 South 22nd Street is a 5 bedroom, 4 and a half bathroom home with over 4,500 square feet finished.  We asked Patricia to share with us some of the special features that make this an exceptional Marion home.

What distinctive features set this home apart?

The kitchen was just remodeled with granite counter tops, a tile back splash, and black appliances that all stay with the home.   The master bedroom has a deck overlooking the pond, along with a spa like master bath that includes a walk-in tile shower, granite counter tops and a decorative tile/stone wall.  The finished walk-out lower level features a wet bar, stone fireplace and an indoor hot-tub room where you can relax and look out over the pond and woodlands.  There is also a lakeside pavilion with sliding glass doors on all four sides.

Describe the architectural style of the home?

The home has a custom crafted French Tudor style. The stone front and chateau style mansard roof give this home a castle-like feel.  On the interior you will find water-pressed applewood crown moldings and baseboard throughout.

What are the advantages of this location?

This is a rare, in-town, private 3 acre wooded lot with a private pond.  Located in an exclusive neighborhood off Lakeside Drive in the Linn Mar School District – the new buyers will have the added bonus of County Taxes!

What amazing views will the new home owners be able to enjoy?

Whether you are relaxing on the patio by the fire pit or on the 2 story deck you will see picture perfect views of the woods and the pond.  Evenings can be enjoyed sitting in the pavilion observing the wildlife.

Nestled in the woods in Marion, 2327 South 22nd Street is a great find for someone who is looking for a private setting but is still only minutes from all the City’s amenities.    Visit our website to view more than 30 photos of this property – inside and out!

About Patricia:

She is currently the Director of Corporate Relocations for Skogman Realty where she and her team manage the relocation for many of the large corporations here in Cedar Rapids and deals directly with the executives.  Patricia has spent countless hours with clients helping them to adapt to their new surroundings here in Cedar Rapids.

 
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Weekend Plans in the Corridor

June 3, 2011
By skogman
 

If you are looking for something to do this weekend – you are in luck!  The weekend is packed full of community events in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City areas.  With a wide range of events happening this weekend, there is something for everyone – farmers markets, concerts, festivals and much more!

Ladies Titan Tire Challenge is an LPGA Futures Tournament and starts Friday June 3rd and goes through Sunday the 5th.  The tournament is all day at Hunters Ridge Golf Course and has 150 professional women golfers trying to achieve their dream of making it to the LPGA.

Iowa Arts Festival – Located in Downtown Iowa City this event starts Friday afternoon and runs through Sunday evening and features local, regional and national musicians and artists.

Uptown Friday Nights is an outdoor concert series in Green Square Park in downtown Cedar Rapids.  Festivities run from 5 to 8 – tonight’s band is Super Size 7

Volley 4 Education – Is an annual event by Junior Achievement at Volley’s on Blairs Ferry Road in Cedar Rapids.  This is a fundraising event for Junior Achievement.

Cedar Rapids Farmers Market –  This is the first farmers market of the year in Downtown Cedar Rapids – Browse more than 200 vendors and enjoy live entertainment from local talent.  The market starts Saturday at 7:30 am until noon.

Chocolate Stroll – Saturday 10 am to 4:00 pm in Mt Vernon along Main St.  Stroll along Main St listening to music and sampling chocolates from more than 20 vendors.

Marion BBQ Rendezvous – Saturday starting at 1:00 stop by Marion Square Park and try some award winning barbeque and enjoy live music with the family!

These are just a few of the events that caught our eye – get out and experience what the Corridor has to offer!

Visit Hoopla or Cultural Corridor for a complete list of events in the area.

 
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Downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa

On April 17th, CNBC.com ran an article highlighting 10 ten states with the healthiest housing markets.  While Iowa is reported to have some of the lowest real estate prices, we were still able to rank in the top 5!  To determine the state of the housing market the chief economist at LendingTree, Cameron Findlay, looked at debt-to-income ratio, unemployment, home ownership, negative equity and the average loan-to-value ratio.

Iowa was ranked number 5, behind Maine, New Hampshire, Minnesota and number one was North Dakota.

Here are the stats for Iowa as reported by CNBC.com:
Debt as percent of income: 13%
Unemployment rate: 6.1%
Home Ownership: 71.1%
Negative equity: 42.9%
Average Home Price: $152,000
Loan as percent of home value: 66.7%
Percent of U.S. Market: .42%

The article states that Iowa ‘has the best debt as a percent of income on the list’, that combined with the low unemployment rate are what kept us high up on the list.

To read the full of the article: http://www.cnbc.com/id/42557873?slide=1

 
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On May 3rd Linn County residents will be voting to extend the local option sales tax.  These funds would be used to help pay for flood protection, street repair and property tax relief.  Currently the Corp of Engineers has recommended a plan that will only protect the East side of the river, but both sides need it and this vote would ensure all are protected.

The Skogman Companies strongly support the vote for the flood protection plan and believe it is vital to the growth and future of this community.  The city is in line for $65 Million in Federal money and its community members need to show support by voting for the 1% sales tax.  We need to show that our community can provide its share of the funding before the state and federal money will be available.

Without flood protection for both sides of the river, residential neighborhoods and commercial businesses are at high risk of suffering another devastating flood and would significantly hurt those who in these areas.  A second flood would cripple our community for more than a generation

Please vote on May 3rd to extend the local option sales tax.  This is the only way we can protect the East and West side of the River from another devastating flood.

 
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Jeff Edberg – Heart & Soul

March 25, 2011
By skogman
 

Jeff Edberg - Skogman Commercial Real Estate

Our very own Jeff Edberg, Manager of Commercial Sales for Skogman Commercial Group in Iowa City, was recently featured in Heart & Soul, an Iowa City-Press Citizen publication.  Heart & Soul interviews and profiles 48 people in the Iowa City area who give their heart and soul to the community.

Jeff has been selling real estate in the Iowa City area for 18 years but has been working in the industry for more than 33.  When Jeff isn’t selling real estate he is an active member in the Iowa City community, serving on a number of boards such as The Arc of Southeast Iowa, which he currently chairs.

Read Jeff’s entire article in Heart & Soul.

 
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Website Quality Certification

March 3, 2011
By skogman
 

Skogman Realty recently received a Website Quality Certification from the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. This certification recognizes companies who are members of Leading RE and who are using ‘best practices’ in website design and internet communications.

Websites are evaluated on six different categories and were scored on a scale of 10.  The categories were:

Usability: How easy the site is to navigate?  Can it be used in multiple browsers and are properties easy to find.

Design and Website Content: Are the styles and color consistent throughout the site and is there company branding throughout?  Is the content on the site concise and explanatory for the consumer? Does it have community information?  Is the site visually appealing?

Interactivity: Does the site engage consumers?  Such as interactive maps, blogs, social media links.

Customer Service and Client Respect: Is it easy for the customers to contact the company?  How soon did the company reply?

Leading RE Branding: Is there a link to RELOHomeSearch.com on the homepage?

SEO: How does the company rank in Google using key search terms?  Does the site use titles and meta tags effectively?  Is the site indexed by Google?  Is the company in Google places?

Skogman’s overall score was 54 out 60.

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® is the largest network of top independent real estate companies.  There are 600 firms affiliated with Leading RE and have associates in more than 30 countries worldwide.

 
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