Farmer’s Market or A Taste Of Iowa



Say Cheese , the best grilled cheese EVER!

The tastes and flavors of the neighborhood are on display and for sale every week at towns all across the USA.  Right here, in the Des Moines area, there are more possibilities than you can imagine. Of course, the Big Kahuna in Des Moines, is the Sat morning Downtown Farmers Market. It stretches for blocks and is like the Iowa State Fair every Sat of the summer months. But there are so many others to explore and shop.  Often, the smaller ones are more efficient for shopping versus entertainment. Here’s a partial list – Hope you Explore!

Beaverdale– Tuesdays from 4-7:30 PM- June 5- Sept 11– 4100-4200 Urbandale Ave. We visited this one last year for the first time and were pleasantly surprised. There’s a grassy area with tables and chairs, some kids activities, music, food trucks and a variety of vendors.

East Side Farmers Market – Tuesdays 3-6:00 PM 3200 Delaware (Collectamania parking lot) from May to September. 10-12 vendors each week, less of a party, more of produce market.

Des Moines Capitol Complex – Tuesdays from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM. June 12- to Sept 25. Located on E. 13th betweetn Walnut & E Grand. This is a great option for those working downtown or in the state buildings to shop on their lunch hour.

Johnston Farmers Market – Tuesdays, 3:30-6:30, May to October, Johnston city Hall parking lot. 6221 Merle Hay Rd. About 50 vendors with a variety of foods, produce and crafts.

Waukee Farmers Market – Wednesday’s 4-7:00 PM June 6-Sept 26. Located at the Triangle Park on 6th St and Ashworth.  Aprox 27 vendors each week.

Valley Junction Farmers Market – Thursday’s 4:00 – 8:00, May to Oct 1. 5th St. in Valley Junction. This one is definitely a party/festival with many of the stores being open and the street closed, music and a variety of food and art as well as produce.

Grimes  Farmers Market – Friday’s 4:30 – 7 PM, June 1 – Sept 28. Located on Main st.  Great for homegrown produce and homemade preserves, baked goods and crafts.

Ankeny Farmer’s Market – Saturday’s , 8AM-noon, May 19-Sept 29. 715 W. 1st St, Uptown Ankeny. About 35 vendors each week.

LSi’s Global Greens, Saturdays, 9AM-1 PM, June-October. Located 3200 University. This one is unique, if offers a place for former refugees to grow and sell produce that are native to their former homeland. Features about 25 vendors from countries like Burundi, Bhutan, Burma and Rwanda. Also cultural entertainment, music and demonstrations.

And of course the Big Daddy of them all – The Downtown Market . Saturday mornings from 7 AM – noon. May 5-Oct 27.  With approx. 25,000 visitors each week, it’s like the State Fair every week!

Although these are touted as the top – check the surrounding small communities.

Some in Eastern Polk County:

Pleasant Hill – Monday’s from 4-7 pm beginning June 4 in Berean Church parking lot.

Altoona – Wednesdays’ from 4:30-7 pm  beginning June 6 at 360 Center Place SW

Bondurant – 2nd & 4th Wednesday’s from 6-8 PM through October on Main St.

Prairie City – Thursdays 4:30-6:30, located in the square, thru September

Carlisle- Sat. mornings, 8:30-11:30 at Wyckoff parking lot, 95 Highway 5.


Assessed Value = Market Price…or does it???

What is the correlation between the county’s tax assessed price on a home and the price that house will sell for? Nothing.  It’s comparing apples to oranges. Here are some things to consider.

  • Assessed Value is the means to an end. Our local government needs to collect an appropriate amount of taxes to fund their budget.
  • The government will get what they need – they will either raise our assessments or raise the millage rate. But be assured, they will get the money.
  • Market Value is determined on what buyers are willing to pay at any given time. The main three criteria are price, location and condition. The seller can control their asking price and adjust the condition.
  • Tax assessments are assigned annually. It takes awhile for the assessed value to reflect fluctuations in the local market.
  • Market value is fluid, changing constantly.
  • Tax Assessors are human – they have good days and bad days, just like the rest of us!
  • Home buyers’ decisions are subjective – they will buy what appeals to them.
  • Tax Assessors, for the most part, do not go in your home.
  • Buyers tour your house and have an opinion about what they want, what they don’t want, the work they are willing to do and the tasks they are willing to overlook.

What does all this mean to you?  Are you a buyer? Are you a seller?  The tax assesor site is a great place to sleuth info about a neighborhood. But, whether you are a buyer or seller – don’t use the tax assessed value to justify your buying or selling price!

What’s Different in a Sellers Market??


Fewer homes for sale– if you know how many houses sell per month and how many houses are currently for sale; then it’s Economics 101. The demand is greater than the supply. (if you have been wanting to sell – now is an Excellent time – call one of the 3 Realtors on the Eisenlauer Team)

List Price/Sale Price – houses are selling closer to list price , sometimes even over list price. Now is not the time to lowball the seller. February 2016 – sales are 95.9% of original list price.

Buyers must be pre-qualified – In the current market – you will not be taken seriously without a pre-qualification letter . “If you don’t provide a pre-approval letter from your lender when you make your offer, you won’t even be considered as a serious buyer. Getting a  pre-approval is free; it also helps you determine your budget and will give you an idea of what your monthly payments will be.” says Luke Landis at Movement Mortgage.

Days on the Market – homes are on the market for fewer days right now. If you are in the buying process – have your ‘ducks in a row’ and be ready to write an offer with your Realtor – sooner!  Right now, the Des Moines median is 78 days on the market.

Another consideration – in a buyers market, you may be competing against 2 or more other buyers. Consider ahead of time how you can be competitive.

  • Price is not the only consideration. Being able to be flexible in your closing date may give you an edge. Some sellers will want ASAP closing – others may need a little more time to move to their next home.  Flexibility may be a deciding factor.
  • Repairs – Maybe you have skills and time that the sellers don’t. You may be able to negotiate doing some required/requested repairs on the seller’s behalf.
  • Personality – Sometimes a seller will choose to sell to someone they like.  I am not suggesting that they would discriminate for or against someone because of nationality, religion etc. But consider writing a letter to be presented with your offer.  Let the buyer know the things that are especially appealing about the house they have loved. Give them some details about yourself . 95% of people buy (and sell) on emotion and justify logically.  Personify yourself!

Next post – will be suggestions if your house is on the market and NOT receiving showings or offers.



Climacophobia, Vertigo and Unflattering Angles

Do you remember watching Alfred Hitchcocks’s suspenseful movie Vertigo?  A complicated story surrounding a cop with a fear of heights and spiraling dizziness.  That’s how I feel when I see photos of staircases on the MLS. There’s even a name for fear of stairs. It is Climacophobia.  It is often traced back to an earlier trauma involving stairs.

Do you need to see photos of the stairs when house-hunting? I assume that if a house has a second story – there are stairs to get you there. If there’s a basement, there are certainly stairs. The problem lies in photographing the stairs. I’ve seen bad stair photos from both amateurs and professionals.  How do you make the stairs look appealing, without instilling the feeling of vertigo?  Do the photos of the stairs do anything to enhance the appeal of the house?

What’s your reaction when you look at these photos?  Should they be included or left off marketing material for the sale of a house?

The Eisenlauer Team would love to hear your feedback.


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20160129_131415People of Des Moines are in a unique position. We have more access to political candidates and national media celebrities than anywhere else in the country. The First in the Nation position has an amazing impact on our hometown. And we’re making a good impression!  Some things I’ve heard and read.

Whatever your political view – we’re in Iowa. All eyes are on us. Show up Monday night at your caucus location. If you’ve never been, don’t worry. Each location is full of Iowa nice people to help you through the process. A few basics:

  • You must be registered as a Republican or Democrat to participate.
  • If you prefer being independent, don’t worry. You can switch back after Monday.
  • They all start at 7:00 PM
  • Teens and interested students welcome to observe and guaranteed to learn.

This is an opportunity and a responsibility. I know we are all sick of the ads, the phone calls, and the press. But Monday, they will vanish in the night. Let’s not let our country down. It is the most grass-root process you’ll ever experience. Let the Caucus Raucous Begin!


Iowa Redneck Formula – Top Ten

RayGun had it right...

            RayGun had it right.

I’m sure there was a government grant to figure out a formula for whose home-town is more redneck than another. Who else would need to know or want to know?

First, the dictionary defines redneck as: A white person who lives in a small town or in the country especially in the southern U.S., who typically has a working-class job, and who is seen by others as being uneducated and having opinions and attitudes that are offensive.”

So if you are a person of color, I guess you can NOT be a redneck.  I’m pretty sure there’s plenty of outrage and offense for any and all subgroups in Iowa.

Now the components that make a town more or less Red Neck:

  • Number of bars per city
  • Number of mobile home parks per capita
  • Number of tobacco stores per city
  • Number of places to get fishing gear
  • Number of guns and ammo stores per city
  • Walmarts, Golden Corrals, Bass Pro Shops, and dollar stores nearby

So according to the ‘science’ of Jeff Foxworthy and Red Green geeks, you might be a redneck if you live in:

  1. Fort Dodge
  2. Spirit Lake
  3. Denison
  4. Bloomfield
  5. West Liberty
  6. Missouri Valley
  7. Fort Madison
  8. Red Oak
  9. Maquoketa
  10. Osceola

Coming soon – the Snobbiest Cities in Iowa

All data and info is from Road Snacks.