Andrew & Carissa’s Home Story

Photo Shoot Courtesy of Photos by Amanda 

I met Andrew and Carissa at a listing of mine while they were out house hunting. Like so many people I meet, they were thinking of making a housing change but needed some help. This couple knew they needed more space and they were certainly headed in the right direction. We were able to get their home listed and sold very quickly and also found the perfect upgrade for them in a reasonable amount of time. Everything went so smoothly with this family and it was a joy to work with them!

After closing, I did an interview with Andrew and Carissa. Here’s a little insight into their latest home journey…

Learn more about buying a home:

Adorable Family!
What do you love most about living in the Des Moines metro area?

Carissa – I love being close to just about everything. I grew up in a very small town where if you wanted to go shopping you had to drive 30 minutes or more. So to be 5-10 minutes from a grocery store or mall is great. I also love how I can take my kids to a different park every day so they can’t really be bored.

Andrew- I think the size is pretty ideal. There are plenty of activities and opportunities for families, without being ridiculously dense and expensive like Manhattan or San Francisco.

If you could change anything about Des Moines, what would it be?

Andrew – I would tone down the humidity in the summer and shorten the winter.

Carissa – I’m not sure how to change it but better traffic flow during rush hour traffic so it didn’t take me as long to get the kids to school.

For each of you… If you were to pick a favorite space in your new home, which would it be and why?

Carissa – I think it would be either our backyard or our master bedroom. The backyard because it’s fenced in so our kids can go outside and play anytime they want; Our bedroom because it’s so big and it’s the best place to go after chasing the kids around all day to just kick back and relax.

Andrew – I love the backyard. The grass is in great shape, it is fenced in and private, and the kids have plenty of room to run and play. Inside the house, the master suite is amazing. We have so much room compared to our last home.

Hanging Around the Playground
Are there traditions from your childhood that you try to incorporate into your home life today?

Andrew – We all eat together in the dining room where there is no TV. When the kiddos get older, I’m sure we’ll institute some rule about no phones.

Carissa – Eating together as a family and just talking about our day around the dining table was always important in my family growing up and as our kids get older, I enjoy hearing them tell their dad about what we did as we eat.

If you could invite a celebrity, politician, or fictional character over for dinner, who would it be and what would you serve?

Andrew – Politicians are snakes, so they won’t be getting the invite. I would invite Mother Theresa. I admire her life’s work, and she would be fascinating to listen to. As for the food, I’d opt for something on the grill.

Busy Dad!
For each of you and without discussing… If you came across $20,000 to invest in your home, what do you think your spouse would do with the money?

Andrew – She’d do some work in the kitchen including new counter tops.

Carissa – I think my husband would spend it on a 3-seasons porch.

What were your must-have items in a home and did your criteria change during the process?

Carissa – I needed to have a fenced in backyard for the kids to play in, a more open concept main floor, and more space in general.

Andrew – We definitely wanted a fenced-in backyard for the kids, and I just wanted more space. It was also important to stay moderately close to school and work. I’m also loving the three-car garage, but that wasn’t a must-have.

You are talking with a first-time home buyer… What do you tell them is the best thing about home ownership? The worst thing?

Andrew – The best thing about home ownership is not sharing walls and hallways like in an apartment. Plus, you’re building equity. The worst thing is that homes are unending money pits.

Carissa – The best thing is that you truly can do anything you want to make the space your own. The worst is that there is always something to be changed or fixed. As soon as you think everything is complete, the fridge will quit working.

You Talking to Me?
For each of you… Describe the best or worst hotel you have ever stayed at.

Carissa – There was a trip to Florida we were on and I was pretty sure the elevator was going to trap us in it because it was so old and rickety. Then to top it off, we had to change rooms because the toilet in our bathroom stopped working properly.

Andrew – I have to travel for work, and I like the hotels in Vegas compared to other major U.S. Cities. Big rooms for cheap, plus it’s great to go there in the winter and see the sun. The Bellagio is my favorite so far.

Center of Attention
What qualities do you value most when choosing a real estate agent?

Carissa – Honesty and patience. I tend to be an indecisive person and don’t like to make spur of the moment decisions. Also, with having four young kids, I needed someone willing to embrace the chaos of four extra helpers.

Andrew – Someone who is personable, knowledgeable, honest, and quick to respond to my questions.

Playground Included… Bring the Fun!
Bonus question for each… If you had one extra hour every day, what would you do with the time?

Andrew – I’d spend it playing with the kids. If you were looking for a solo activity, I like working out in the yard, so it would be great to devote some extra time to landscaping and maintenance.

Carissa – Read! I love reading but hardly get to in this season of my life.

With so much housing information at your fingertips, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to navigate the process on your own. If you are a DIY kind of person, it’s enticing to think you can figure out your real estate transactions without a professional. But, hiring a professional agent doesn’t have to be expensive, so why take chances with your biggest asset? If you are looking to buy or sell a home, I’d love to hear from you!

Learn more about buying or selling a home with David:

Jon & Diana’s Home Story

Jon & Diana

Photo Shoot Courtesy of Photos by Amanda 

Each person comes to a real estate transaction from a different perspective based on their own motives and past experiences. Sometimes this means we dive into the real nitty gritty of why a new home is desired. While my clients are free to share with me as much or as little as they wish, my true intentions are to help them get a great deal and a quality investment in housing that coincides with where they are in life (and where they plan to be in 5 to 10 years).

When Jon and Diana approached me about selling their house, I knew that it was a much needed step for them. They had simply outgrown their last home and needed an upgrade fast! I was thrilled that they chose me to assist them in them not only in the sale, but also in the purchase of their new home. It can be so much easier to use the same agent for both transactions to help coordinate the deadlines on contingencies and the closing dates.

After closing, I did an interview with this terrific couple. Here’s a little insight into their latest home journey…

Learn more about buying a home:

What do you love most about living in the Des Moines metro area?

Jon – I appreciate the reasonable cost of living, family-friendly atmosphere, and Midwestern culture.

Diana – I love that Des Moines has all the positive things that a bigger city has to offer such as restaurants, plenty of parks, and entertainment for both kids and adults. Most neighborhoods have a “small town” feel to them.

Imagine for a moment that you could live anywhere in the world. Describe this dream home setting.

Jon – My family and I would live in a small cottage by the sea in coastal Italy.

Diana – There are many places that I would love to visit out of the country, but don’t know if I would necessarily want to live there. Within the U.S., I would love to have a large house with many rooms for visitors in the Rocky Mountains.

What do you appreciate most about your new home as compared to your old home?

Jon – There is considerably greater living space in the new home. I also appreciate the fact that we are further away from the commotion of the city.

Diana – The space and layout is a much better fit for our growing family. I love that all the bedrooms are on one level. It gives me much more peace of mind as a parent.

One Happy Girl!
If  you were to pick a favorite space in your new home, which would it be and why?

Jon – Both of us would immediately respond with “the kitchen”!

Diana – The kitchen, for sure. It was designed perfectly for the whole family and guests to all be in the same space at the same time. We recently hosted Thanksgiving at our house and we were all in the kitchen either preparing food or sitting around the table and it wasn’t crowded! That would have never happened in our old home.

Are there good memories of home from your childhood that you try to incorporate into your home life today?

Jon – Being able to watch our kids have space to play and run brings back memories of my childhood.

Diana – Eating around the table as a family has always been so important to me and we have incorporated that tradition in our home since the girls were born. There was always a sense of “togetherness” in my family growing up and our new home has many different rooms that we can all be “together” in.

At the Kitchen Table
For each of you and without discussing… If you came across $10,000 to invest in your home, what do you think your spouse would do with the money?

Jon – Diana would likely buy an original Bob Ross and hang it in the living room.

Diana – It is a toss-up between a wall to wall library, or a full-size basketball court.

What were your must-have items in a home and did your criteria change during the process?

Jon – We were simply looking for more space, and we got exactly what we needed in this home.

Diana – More space was one of the biggest must-haves for me as we were quickly outgrowing our little starter home. I also really wanted to be in a safe, quiet neighborhood. There were a couple of other preferences that I had that I was willing to let go if we couldn’t find a home with them, but the first two were very important to me and didn’t really change through the process.

What advice would you offer to a first-time homebuyer who is just getting started?

Jon – Understand your budget and research the taxes of areas in which you are interested in purchasing a home.

Diana – I would say trust the process but more importantly, trust your realtor and trust The Lord. We went into this not knowing much of anything about buying and selling a home, but knowing it would all work out in the end even if it wasn’t quite what we had expected. We trusted David’s advice and expertise and trusted that the Lord would place us where He wanted.

Proud Homeowners
For each of you… How many places have you lived? Describe the most interesting one…

Jon – I have lived in only one other house as an adult. The prior home was a wonderful old home in which we raised two young children.

Diana – I have lived in two dorm rooms, seven houses, and one apartment. The most interesting house was one that I lived in out of college with five other women and one bathroom. Although I think my husband has me beat as I know he once lived in a house with 13 or so guys.

When Is Spring Coming?
What qualities do you value most when choosing a real estate agent?

Jon – The most important qualities are honesty and forthrightness. I appreciate a realtor who honestly has his or her client’s best interest, but also is honest enough to communicate information that their client may not appreciate but needs to hear. David displayed both of these qualities.

Diana – We really value integrity and trustworthiness the most when choosing and working with a real estate agent. David proved to have those qualities and more throughout the whole process. There was a fair amount of negotiating on one end of the process that we did not anticipate, but David’s negotiating skills and ability to communicate with us and everyone involved were invaluable to us being able to move forward!

Bonus question for each… Can you provide my readers with a favorite cost-saving tip/trick from your household?

Jon – Buy in bulk, especially if you have children.

Diana – The one off the top of my head is to save leftover chicken bones and vegetable scraps to make homemade stock. We have found quite a few recipes that use stock as a base or a thickener and we don’t have to use heavy cream! Win, win!

Jon and Diana were awesome to work with and I’m so glad to see them settled into a home that suits them well. While we need to learn to be content with what we have, sometimes an upgrade is in order! If you are looking to buy or sell a home, I’d love to hear from you!

Learn more about buying or selling a home with David:

Mitch & Beth’s Home Story

Photo Shoot Courtesy of Photos by Amanda 

     Working in real estate, I assist people in all different stages of life and in diverse situations. This can make my job challenging at times. However, this couple’s latest home journey was not one of those times! Let me introduce you to Mitch and Beth, some of the kindest people you could meet in Des Moines! I had worked with Mitch on the purchase of his last home just a couple of years ago (before he was married). Boy, have things changed for him and for the good!

Fast forward to the summer of 2018… Mitch and Beth are married and they have a baby on the way (oh and a cute little dog of course)! When they first contacted me about a house they were interested in, I was happy to get them in for a tour right away. Rarely do my clients look at only one home before buying. So, I suggested they check out some new construction homes for comparison. We ended up looking at just one other home and that was enough. Mitch and Beth knew exactly what they wanted and I was eager to help them achieve it. So, back to the first home… it seemed like love at first site for them and now it was just a matter of getting their old home sold. We listed their home and had it sold the first day with multiple offers! A quick closing and an easy move (easy for me anyway), and they are settled in… awaiting the days for their bundle of joy to arrive!

After closing, I did an interview with this terrific couple. Here’s a little insight into their latest home journey…

Learn more about buying a home:

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What things do you love most about living in the Des Moines metro area?

Beth – I grew up in a small town so I love all that Des Moines has to offer for night life, entertainment, family friendly activities, the list goes on and on.

Mitch – Des Moines has a big city feel (arts, entertainment, food and sports) without all of the big city hassles (traffic, crime, pollution, etc.).

Imagine for a moment that you could live anywhere in the world. Describe this dream home setting.

Beth – Definitely on a beach along the East coast.

Mitch – While I am happy where we are now, I would love to have a home someday on a lake in the mountains.

You’ve reached a new rung on your housing ladder… what are some positive outcomes you are expecting?

Beth – Hosting more family or friend gatherings with the extra space we have now.

Mitch – I look forward to settling down and establishing roots in our new neighborhood.

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If  you were to pick a favorite space in your new home, which would it be and why?

Beth – It’s a toss up between the kitchen or covered patio. The kitchen has so much storage space and I feel the kitchen is sometimes the focal spot of a house. The covered patio is a perfect hang out on those ideal nights, although as we know from living in Iowa, those are hard to come by. Which is why the fan is great for those warmer nights.

Mitch – My favorite space in our new house is our back deck. It’s perfect for reading, entertaining, grilling and quality family time on a nice day.

Are there good memories of home from your childhood that you try to incorporate into your home life today?

Beth – We always sat down to have dinner as a family around the table so that has always been something I want to do with our family.

Mitch – I had a lot of good memories growing up and want to provide my family the opportunities and stability that I was fortunate enough to have as a child.

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For each of you and without discussing… If you came across $10,000 to invest in your home, what do you think your spouse would do with the money?

Beth – Without a doubt, he would build a theater room in the basement. That has always been something he’s wanted in a home.

Mitch – New furniture, decorations and her own master bathroom!

What motivated you to start looking at homes and what were your must-have items?

We are expecting our first child in January so with our growing family, we were wanting a home with more space and bedrooms. A three car garage was also a must!

What advice would you offer to a first-time homebuyer who is just getting started?

Beth – Make a list of your must haves and wants. It can be overwhelming going into house hunting so being prepared before you start looking can help relieve some of the stress of looking for a home.

Mitch – Take your time and don’t rush into a house. Know the market and make sure that you find the right home, in the right neighborhood at the right price.

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For each of you… How many places have you lived? Describe the most interesting one…

Beth – My hometown of Toledo, IA and Des Moines. I have not lived outside of Iowa. Coming from a small town, the “big” city of Des Moines was overwhelming at first but now I can’t see myself moving back to a small rural town. The amenities Des Moines has to offer and how easily accessible they are have definitely sucked me in.

Mitch – I have had the opportunity to live in different places across the Midwest and East coast (Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina, and West Virginia). While each place was unique in its own way, they helped me realize how special Des Moines is.

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What qualities do you value most when choosing a real estate agent?

Beth – Someone who is personable, flexible, and is willing to be honest with us if we are being unrealistic with our search.

Mitch – We wanted an agent who put our best interest as a seller/buyer in front of their own. It was important that we found someone who was knowledgeable and could make the process as easy and seamless as possible. David Charlson checked all the boxes and we could not have been more satisfied!

Bonus question for each… Imagine if for one month you had to give up your cell phone, cable TV, or your home internet, which would it be and why?

Beth – Cable TV. With a baby on the way, I’ve been trying to cut back on the amount of time I spend on my phone and watching TV. I find myself mindlessly watching TV often when I could be doing something productive around the house.

Mitch – I would give up cable television. Instead of coming home and watching our favorite television shows, it would give us an opportunity to have more quality family time.

It’s rewarding for me to see Mitch and Beth settled in their new home (which they have done up so nicely)! While not everyone’s real estate transaction may go this smoothly, the end result could be just as sweet! If you are looking to buy or sell a home, I’d love to hear from you!

Learn more about buying or selling a home with David:

Andy & Alison’s Home Story


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Photo Shoot Courtesy of Photos by Amanda 

     Andy and I first met through my days as a property manager at an apartment complex in West Des Moines. Some of my best tenants were the ones I didn’t hear from much. Not because I didn’t want to talk with them, but mostly because they paid their rent on time and didn’t have any maintenance issues. I would say Andy fell into this category.

     I later would meet up with Andy again at our church. Although there are many members at our church and many services, it is nice to be able to connect with people you may know from around town. It makes Des Moines feel a little smaller. It was great to see Andy get married to a terrific lady, Alison. At their wedding, I never thought I’d be helping them find a home together a short time later. I was thrilled that they chose me to work with them and I think the end result is picture perfect!

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     Andy and Alison were dream clients to work with. They seemed to like so many homes and were so positive throughout the process. I felt the need to point out things that they may not have noticed in a home… such as floors that may need refinishing, shoddy windows, peeling paint, or deferred maintenance. They were sure of one thing; they did not want a house that needed a lot of maintenance. I can definitely understand that, having spent many weekends fixing up my first house on the east side. Not much is more stressful to a newly married couple than to take on a bunch of projects that seem to never end! The home they purchased really seems to suit them well and is well-maintained.

     I interviewed Andy and Alison to find out what their motivations were for moving and to see if they were both on the same page. This is a good exercise for anyone who is considering a move. Many times we may not fully understand the motives behind our desires to do something. You might ask yourself, “What am I really trying to achieve here? What is my end-goal or how will this help fulfill a specific purpose?” While the questions I posed do not necessarily answer these questions, they might get a conversation going. The following is a little insight into Andy’s and Alison’s motivations for moving…

What things do you love most about living in the Des Moines metro area?

Alison – I love living in a city in Iowa that has a lot of young professionals and an international population. I’ve met tons of great people at my church, at my job, and in the community.

Andy – I love the people in Des Moines and love that we have such a fun environment with a low cost of living. We have a great group of friends, have a great church, and love our jobs. Des Moines really has it all, but I think it starts with the wonderful people.

How would you describe your ideal home location? This does not have to be a realistic possibility.

Alison – I’d like a residential area with lots of trees and flowers and interesting houses and parking, but still walking distance from restaurants and businesses. I don’t want it to be too quiet… I like cars driving by and kids playing outside.

Andy – My ideal environment is quiet enough for me to read or concentrate on projects I’m working on, but still lively enough that I can walk out of my door and there are plenty of activities I can engage in.

What does having a home allow you to accomplish?

It allows us to put our money into something we own instead of paying rent.

Which room in your home do you plan to get all set up first and why?

Alison – It’s a tie between the kitchen (because we have to eat) and the bedroom (because we have to sleep).

Andy – I look forward to setting up my office first because I spend most of my time there.

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Are there good memories of home from your childhood that you will try to incorporate into creating a home environment today?

Alison – I loved sitting by the fireplace on winter evenings, so I’m excited to have a fireplace! I also look forward to making holiday memories in our new house. The living room is big enough for the giant Christmas tree we bought on Craigslist!

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For each of you and without discussing… If you came across $10,000 to invest in your home, what do you think your spouse would do with the money?

Alison – I think Andy would upgrade all the kitchen appliances, and then with the leftover money, he would buy more kitchen appliances.

Andy – Alison would definitely finish the basement. Definitely.

What criteria was most important to you when you started looking at homes? Did your criteria change throughout the process?

Our big picture prayer was that God would give us a home that met our needs, that allowed us to be a blessing to others, and that we would love. We also had a short checklist of other must-haves, like having at least three bedrooms and a garage of some sort. Price was a big consideration too. I don’t think we changed much on our must-have criteria, although some of our other preferences changed a bit as we went along.

What advice would you offer to a first-time homebuyer who is just getting started?

Pray and trust God. We started looking for houses in a really competitive market, meaning most of our decisions had to be made within a few hours of first viewing a house. The first house we made an offer on was only on the market for about a day and had fifteen offers on it by that evening. As we made decisions so quickly, we prayed that God would intervene by closing doors on the wrong houses for us, and by keeping the right house open until we had a chance to pursue it. The house we ended up purchasing was the third house we offered on, and we believe God answered that prayer.

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For each of you… How many places have you lived? Describe the most interesting one…

Alison – I’ve moved every couple of years since I was 18, so I have no idea how many places I’ve lived. They’ve all been interesting! Just before I got married last year, I was renting a room in my friend’s house (“The Mansion”) that was built in the late 1800s and had amazing front porches on both levels. That was a fun house to live in.

Andy – For me, the most interesting place has been the apartment we have been living in for our first year of marriage until we purchased this first home. It is an old house (over 100 years old) that has been converted into three apartments with one apartment for each floor. Each unit has a separate entrance, but there’s something unique and communal about sharing a large home. Between having Iraqi neighbors upstairs, a laid-back, self-employed web entrepreneur on the top floor, and a neighbor living in a small, unattached unit off of our parking lot, it was a fun and interesting environment with great people we have loved a lot.

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What qualities do you value most when choosing a real estate agent?

We think the most important thing is integrity.  We wanted someone we could trust to be honest and keep our best interests in mind. We were really thankful to work with David, because we knew we could trust him.

Bonus question for each… If you find a huge spider crawling across the floor, what do you do?

Alison – Kill it with a Kleenex. Dispose in trash can (if dead) or flush down toilet (if only mostly dead).

Andy – Kill him. Or not kill him. Depends how far away he is.

     I really enjoyed working with Andy and Alison and I’d take ten more clients just like them! Their new home has so much character that you can’t find in newer homes. I’m sure they will be happy there for many years to come!

     If you are looking to get started on your next real estate journey, drop me a line at david@dreamstreetiowa.com. I’d love to hear from you!

Learn more about buying a home with David:

Marc & Erin’s Home Story

       Marc and Erin first contacted me about wanting to move from their 11-year-old two-story to a newer ranch style home. I hear this very often from clients who are looking to have everything on one level with a finished basement for entertaining/guests. Some of my clients view many homes before coming to some conclusions about what they like best. However, with Marc and Erin, they had a pretty clear idea of what would make the perfect home as you can see from their comments below.

     We started off looking at resale homes and also had some new construction thrown in for comparison. It quickly became evident that new construction offered the best value. It’s hard to beat the feeling of owning something brand new and having the peace of mind of the new home warranties. Just knowing that you will be the first family to make memories in the home… the first to walk on the carpet barefoot… to know that all the dents and scratches you make can be blamed on you or your offspring (or your pets).

     Now Marc and Erin really loved their old neighborhood and wanted to find something very similar with a family feel and low street traffic. It didn’t take long to locate a lovely new home on a cul-de-sac street that had already been completed. This can be a good option for clients who don’t want to go through the process of picking out every finish and color (or put the stress on their marriage for that matter). Changes can always be made later to paint colors, hardware, and light fixtures if everything else is pleasing about the home and the price is right. There are obviously countless ways to personalize your home apart from builder options.

     I interviewed Marc and Erin to find out what their true motivations were for moving. This is a good exercise for anyone who is considering a move and I would encourage you to do the same. There doesn’t have to be any deep meaning here. It could be something as simple as needing more space or knowing you want to live in a better neighborhood. It’s easy for clients to get hung up on little details or must-have items. A little self-examination can get you on the right track to see what really matters and what is really motivating you. The following is a little insight into Marc and Erin’s motivations for moving…

What things do you love most about living in the Des Moines metro area?

We love the convenience of living in Des Moines – close to shops, restaurants, parks, etc. There are lots of things to do as a family.

How would you describe your ideal home city or state?

Our ideal home would in a friendly, safe neighborhood that is generally close to family, friends, and work.

What things does your ideal home allow you to accomplish?

Our ideal home would have lots of space for kids to play. It would have a spacious but cozy feel that would be inviting for groups to gather at our house.

What things do you love most about being at home?

I love the freedom of being at home, free to be ourselves. Free to lounge, watch our TV shows, play with kids and make messes. But most importantly, building memories as a family.

Are there memories of home from your childhood that you try to incorporate into creating a home environment today?

I remember lots of moments in the kitchen talking with my mom as she was prepping a meal. I like it when I see glimpses of that in my young children. The holidays bring back lots of traditions that we want our kids to grow up experiencing. An example is finding joy in giving gifts to family members on their birthday or for Christmas.

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Where do spend the most time in your home and why?

We spend the most time in the living room because it has the most space for our little boy toys.

What features about your new home were most important in making your decision to purchase?

We really wanted more space in a living room/ basement for places to gather and play. We were also looking for a 3-car garage. An updated, spacious kitchen was also important.

What would you like to use your new home for that you were unable to do at your old home?

We would like to be able to host our small group from church, a group made up of 20+ adults/kids.

Were there any aspects of the transaction process that were a surprise to you or unexpected?

We were surprised at all the documents that needed to be signed! But it was very easy to manage since it was done online.

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What qualities do you value most when choosing a REALTOR® to represent you?

We wanted a realtor that would listen to our requests and dreams and truly help us find a house. We wanted a realtor that would pay attention to the details we might not know to look for. We wanted to find someone that would adopt our strong desire for a new house and in a sense, walk this journey with us every step. We found it all in David!

     It was a real pleasure working with Marc and Erin and seeing their journey from start to finish. It’s a joy for me to have a hand in helping clients reach their housing goals. I get to see firsthand a lot of the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that come into play when people buy and sell homes.

     If you are looking to get started on your next real estate journey, drop me a line at david@dreamstreetiowa.com. I can usually help in some way no matter your timeline for moving.

DSM Market Update: December 2018

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Hi Friends,

It’s December 12th today and I find myself diving into the deep Christmas music (the real oldies). The classic holiday tunes I listened to as a kid seem to have more meaning if they are reserved for a select few days. As the nostalgia kicks in, I’m reminded of all the blessings in my life. I’m grateful to all of my clients and friends who chose to work with me this year and in years past. You really make my business come to life and you are appreciated!

I Peter 3:15 says, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect”. With the greatest respect, I do say that I put my hope in the saving power of Jesus. Have you considered doing the same? You’ll never regret it and what a great time of year to accept His gift of salvation! From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

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Quick Market Update: Listings have slowed down in December as is typical. Interest rates were up to 5% and more but have recently dropped to as low as 4.5% for a 30 year fixed with 20% down. The spring market will likely start early this year as it has the past few years. Here are a couple of resources for up-to-date local market data and analysis.

Zillow Research – October 2018

Des Moines MLS – November 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmg5lEfFGHQ

DSM Market Update: September 2018

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Hi Friends,

The fields are turning brown behind our house which means fall is near! I’ve seen increased traffic on my listings which doesn’t surprise me… real estate usually picks up after school starts.

I hope you’ve had a nice summer with some positive memories made. If not, you’ve got a few warm days left I’m sure! Our family is participating in a walk this Saturday morning at Raccoon River Park in West Des Moines to help raise funds for pancreatic cancer research. We lost a great man, my uncle Terry Nerhus, to this horrible disease on September 4th of this year. Would you consider a small donation to help us contribute to the event? You can find out more here: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

Here are some links to the latest housing market data in Des Moines. Interest rates are holding steady which could mean it’s a good time to make a move! Also, if you are considering selling before winter, now is the time! Contact me for a free market analysis on your home.

Zillow Research – July 2018

Des Moines MLS – July 2018

DSM Market Update: August 2018

August

Hi Friends,

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We had our baby girl! Eva Rose Charlson was born July 15th and we are thrilled! She is doing well and is filling out a little more each day. We are gradually getting used to some sleepless nights and Wesley has adjusted well. He loves to hold her but is slightly jealous I’d say. Our summer plans have pretty much revolved around her making an appearance.

I’m hoping we can still make it to the Iowa State Fair. You can get a 30% discount on the tickets if you buy online through August 8th (https://www.iowastatefair.org/visit/buy-tickets/) I’m afraid my bigger vacation plans will have to wait until our munchkins get a little older.

Here are some links to the latest housing market data in Des Moines. We’ve seen a fairly steady market this summer. It could be a great time to sell as we head into fall while taking advantage of the incredible rise in home prices we’ve seen over the last few years. I offer a free CMA report on your home upon request.

Zillow Research – June 2018

Des Moines MLS – June 2018

DSM Market Update: July 2018

 

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Hi Friends,

Happy 4th of July! I hope you are able to get outside and enjoy some of the festivities. We went to the Yankee Doodle Pops concert last night and it was amazing as always. Sitting in the shade was a huge plus and we will have to remember that next year. Sitting by the canons during the 1812 Overture, however, is something we will have to reconsider. Man, those things are loud! I think they had some extra rounds this year too as it was blast after blast. I was hoping it would jolt Elizabeth into labor, but no luck there.

As always, it’s good to stay up-to-date on the housing market. There are lots of sources for housing information, but here is the hard data from two great resources. Please keep me in mind if you or a friend needs a Realtor. I’d love to go to work for you!

Zillow Research – May 2018

Des Moines MLS – May 2018

DSM Market Update: April 2018

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Hi Friends,

We’ve finally been able to wake up from our winter slumber and get outside! I hope you’ve been able to take advantage of this warmer weather we’ve had. It seems that Iowa misses the spring season somehow and jumps straight to summer mode. Didn’t April showers used to bring May flowers? By the way, don’t forget about the 83rd annual Tulip Time celebration in Pella May 3rd through the 5th! Onto the current housing market…

You’ve probably heard that home prices are way up! Interest rates have also started to increase (something we’ve been talking about for years it seems). Take a look at the most recent housing data from Zillow and DMAAR. As always, please feel free to contact me for any real estate related questions or needs.

Zillow Research – March 2018

Des Moines MLS – March 2018 Stats

DSM Market Update: February 2018

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Hi Friends,

The spring housing market has taken off and it has gotten quite competitive in certain price ranges. It’s tough when you find out that 15 other couples also want your dream house! If you’ve been thinking about selling your home, consider that the market value may have risen substantially from even a few years ago. Take a look at the most recent housing data from IAR and DMAAR. As always, please feel free to contact me for any real estate related questions or needs. Happy spring!

Iowa Association of Realtors – February 2018 Stats

Des Moines MLS – February 2018 Stats