RE/MAX Central - Jennifer Farrell

My Blog

Fall Activities in The Des Moines Metro!


Fall Activities in the Des Moines Metro!

Sweater weather is coming quickly and there are plenty of activities in the Greater Des Moines area to keep you busy this fall!

Howell’s Pumpkin Patch

  • Located at 3145 Howell Court, Cumming, IA.
  • Another popular pumpkin patch in the Des Moines area. Features corn mazes, kiddie Korral for kids, Fall foods, wagon rides, and a Halloween gift shop! 

Iowa Orchard

  • Located at 9875 Meredith Drive, Urbandale, IA
  • A specialty apple orchard in Urbandale

Geislers Farms

  • Located at 5251 NE 94th Avenue, Bondurant, IA
  • 4-Mile corn maze, big slide, pedal karts, corn hole, and a pumpkin patch! 

Slaughter House

  • Located at 500 Locust Street, Des Moines
  • Haunted experience known for its jumpscares and extreme storylines


Sleepy Hollow - Renaissance Fair and Haunted Scream Park

  • Takes place in September and October
  • Renaissance Fair takes you back in time to an era when Kings and Queens ruled, Knights jousted, and the arts came alive! 
  • Sleepy Hollow’s Haunted Scream Park is the largest and most elaborate Halloween theme park in the Midwest. Making use of the structures in the Renaissance Faire Park as well as the surrounding forest a new park of horror is created every October.

Des Moines’ Annual Oktoberfest

  • September 23rd & 24th
  • Located at 4th Street, South of Court Avenue 
  • Returns for the 18th year! Authentic celebrations including a wide selection of craft beers, german beer and food, live music, competitions, silent disco and more! 

World Food and Music Festival

  • Located in Downtown Des Moines - Western gateway Park
  • September 16th - 18th
  • Variety of merchants throughout the festival with locally owned businesses whose products will be available for purchase

Night Eyes - The Blank Park Zoo

  • October 14-17 & 21-24
  • Blank Park Zoo lights up with dazzling lights! Consumers and characters of Night Eyes presented by Hyvee! Come dressed up and enjoy this merry-not-scary halloween night!

Holiday Fall coffee and candle in front of lit fireplace

5 Ways to Save Energy and Reduce Cost

The Des Moines Metro is going to have a HOT week! Stay cool and stay indoors. The heat is not only be brutal for yourself, but it can be for your wallet as well. Here are a few energy-saving tips to keep in mind this week and for the rest of summer.

  • Get Regular Maintenance On Your Air Conditioning
    • Your A/C unit should be serviced regularly to function efficiently. If you don't get regular service, it can decrease the performance if your unit and cause unnecessarily high energy use. 
  • Replace Your Air Filter
    • This is one of the best ways to make sure your A/C is running efficiently and smoothly. If your filter is clogged and dirty, it will block normal airflow and reduce your A/Cs ability. Replacing the filter can lower your energy usage by 15%.
    • These should be cleaned or replaced every 45 days for max efficiency.
  • Use and Optimize Your Thermostat Settings
    • Many thermostats now have settings that you can program. Keep your house warmer while your family is away for the day. Every degree of cooling will increase energy usage by 6-8%. According to the Department of Energy, setting your thermostat at 78 degrees in the summer can save up to 10% in energy costs each year. Program your thermostat for a higher temperature while you are away, and to cool back down just before you get home.
  • Keep Your Blinds Closed
    • Invest in good shades or curtains for your windows to keep the heat out during the day! This is an easy way to avoid the sun's "greenhouse effect".
  • Unplug & Relax
    • Avoid your electronics sucking up all your energy by unplugging your chargers, computers, TV's and other small electronics when you aren't using them. It can save you up to $100 a year, according to the Department of Energy.

Stay cool this week! As always, if you need an HVAC technician who can help you with A/C maintenance, contact us and we can refer you to someone!

Appraisal Gaps, Inspection Waivers, Oh My!


If you follow the real estate market at all, I’m sure you’ve heard some desperate Buyer stories.  You may have a friend who all but gave up their firstborn to get their dream house. It may not even be their dream house, they just wanted A HOUSE.

In order to compete with multiple offers, Buyers are getting creative in their negotiations. I’m going to explain a few of these.

Waiving Inspections  

First off, I don’t recommend it.  I’m not saying I haven’t suggested it, I’m saying I don’t recommend it.  However, with that being said, if you are up against 23534353 other offers on a house that by all accounts appears to be structurally sound, you might consider waiving the inspection to make your offer more attractive to the Seller.  By doing this, the Seller can feel more confident about your offer, because it’s one less opportunity for you, the Buyer to “back out” of the agreement.  

If you waive the inspection, make sure you have extra reserves (aka “cash”) on hand in the event that something comes up that needs fixed or replaced. Having any kind of handy skills is definitely a bonus.

Waiving Appraisal Contingency

An appraisal is different from an inspection. An appraisal is what the bank thinks your home is worth. A third party is hired to determine this value. If you are getting a loan for the home, the bank will loan you money based on the appraised value. If the value is under the purchase price, the bank will want someone else (you) to cover the difference.  

If you waive the appraisal, you’re telling the Seller that you have the money to cover the difference in the appraised value from the purchase price.  In other words, you’re going to cover the “appraisal gap”.  In order to do this, you will need to show everyone proof that you’re financially able to cover this obligation should the appraisal come in low. 

This is happening a lot in this market. Your real estate professional should always give their opinion of value before submitting an offer. A realtor’s opinion of value is not always the same as the appraiser’s. The opinion of value will give you an idea of what the home is worth, and then you can make your own decision if you are willing to come up with more down payment in the event the home does not appraise.

Closing & Possession

Oftentimes, the Seller is more interested in a flexible move-out date. In a lot of cases, they will need the proceeds from the sale of their home before they can buy the next home. It’s overwhelming to have people move in/move out on the same day. The more flexible you are with giving the seller control of the move out date, the better your chances of winning your offer. 

Personal Property

Personal property (furniture) should not be a consideration in a purchase. Don’t get hung up over someone else’s pool table or big screens. In other words, don’t ask for their stuff, unless they specifically state that they will leave it. Buy your own. Besides, if you are getting a loan, the bank does not give any value to personal property.

Again, these are just a few points. There are many other ways to put yourself ahead of negotiations. I absolutely feel you should have a real estate professional guide you to put your best foot forward. Realtors have the sense of urgency, knowledge of the market, and expertise to get you into your house. We have ways to protect you, and save you from “giving up your firstborn”. As always, if you have any questions about real estate, give us a call. 

Moving Supplemental Photo

Don't Forget to File for Your Homestead Tax Credit!


If you bought a home in 2021 or 2022 (Or have never filed previous years) you are entitled to a homestead tax credit! 

You only have to file for it once, but you will receive a small credit on your property tax. Usually around $175-190, but every little bit helps!

To do this, you'll need to go to your county's assessor's office. You might check their websites first to see when and if their office is open. When you do go, bring your I.D. and a copy of your Warranty Deed. A copy of your utility bill or your settlement statement that you received at closing will work, too.

Sometimes counties allow you to file online as well. 
Here are links to Polk, Warren, Dallas, and Madison County assessor’s offices: 

Polk County:

Warren County:

Dallas County:

Madison County:

The deadline for the homestead tax credit application is July 1st. If you miss it, you can file it next year

Moving Supplemental Photo

6 Interior Design Trends That Will Help Your Home Seller

And two that turn buyers off, according to real estate experts.

If you're thinking about selling or remodeling your home this year, here are six design materials and trends real estate experts think you should consider to get the most bang for your buck. 

1. Stainless Steel Appliances: Shiny and new, who doesn't love that? Buyers feel like they won't need replacing in the immediate future. 
2. Smart Home Features: Heating & Cooling systems, security systems, and various other devices controlled by smartphones. 
3. Free Standing Bathtubs: Not a bathroom necessity, but a little piece of luxury!
4. Minimalism: Open floor plans and neutral colors are big with buyers right now. 
5. Quartz: Quartz countertops are versatile, timeless, and require little upkeep. 
6. Built-In Bars: Features that make entertaining easier are often popular.

1. Breakfast Nooks: Charming and cute, but option in for more kitchen cabinets or countertop space instead. 
2. Too Much Word Art: Busy decor can be overwhelming and distracting. Besides, we know where to "sit", "eat", and "gather". 

We see design trends changing constantly! So what might be in today could be out tomorrow. If you have questions about any upgrades, remodels, or design choices in your home we would love to hear from you and walk through any questions you might have.

Home and Living Imagery

Flipping the Script on Higher Interest Rates


Hello, Friends!

If you’ve been paying any attention to the housing market news lately, I’m sure you’re aware that mortgage rates have risen this year.  Some of the news stories would have you believe that we’re surely headed for the “R” word (recession), and that there’s a housing crash ahead.

The truth is, rate hikes are necessary.  2020-2021 was unfamiliar territory for everyone.  The pandemic changed the housing market, and we’re still feeling the effect on the overall economy. So, the low, low rates were unsustainable. Rates are now about where they should be to stabilize pricing.  Buyers are still able to afford a home, but might have to adjust their purchase price..  Sellers should still see a healthy return on their investment.  

Experts are not predicting drastic decreases in home value, rather, they are predicting stabilization - a word  that shouldn’t create panic.   So, if you fear you missed out as a seller, that’s simply not true.  The good news is, Buyers are still out there, and the inventory is starting to increase.  We’re definitely seeing less of a feeding frenzy.  Hopefully, slowly we’ll see a less complicated and confusing housing market.  

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to give our team a call.  

Selling a Home with The Jenny Farrell Team


We Know the Des Moines Real Estate Market 

If you are in the market to sell your home, you’ll want to be sure to interview the Jenny Farrell Team. We can help you with every step of the way.

The Jenny Farrell Team has the experience and knowledge that it takes to get your home SOLD AT TOP DOLLAR.  Jenny and her team will guide you through the entire process.

The Process

At our listing consultation, we will learn your expectations of us. We will ask you what is important to you about selling your home. We will give you all of the information and statistics that you will need to gain a clear understanding of the market in your particular area or neighborhood. We will discuss timing, pricing, and go over our marketing strategies to get your home sold quickly and for its best price.We will tour your home together, and we will advise you how to prepare your home for the market—whether areas need paint or simply touchup, whether carpets, tile and grout need cleaned, or whatever it is that will help you get that top dollar. If needed, we will give you our “tough love” assessment of condition and its impact on price. We believe that is why you have us there. 

We see our role as helping you in three primary ways.

  • First, we are your Consultant. We ask profound and insightful questions—those that the typical agent might not ever take the risk of asking you—the most important ones. And we listen to your answers vigilantly. We craft a very specific strategic process for you to make sure you get the best price for your home. We anticipate obstacles and identify solutions. We balance everyone’s needs. We help you realize your dream.
  • Second, we are your Negotiator. We are skilled, experienced and focused at negotiation. We critically examine assumptions being relied upon. We skillfully articulate our points. We anticipate others’ positions. We identify flaws in their arguments. We remain committed to a sound course of action for you.
  • Third, we Oversee all of the Transactional Details. We cross the “t”s and dot the lowercase "j"s. We integrate complexity—there’s a lot that goes into getting to the finish line. We handle it all for you. We are your pilot as we understand and navigate through any turbulence. We recognize all the details so you can relax. We help you reach your goal.


Contact us today to get your FREE home market valuation!

Home and Living Imagery

Page:  of 000  |