Phone: 319-899-4807 PO Box 11825 Cedar Rapids, IA 52410

Market Cycles

When is the best time to list my house for sale?

This is a question I get asked fairly often. As you might expect, the real estate market in the Cedar Rapids area is very cyclical. This is partly due to the weather, but also timed to the school break.

The following chart is a glimpse of the past two years of market data (Sept 2013-Sept 2015). The green line represents total new residential listings, the blue line represents total residential sales, and the red line represents total sales of condos and zero lot line homes.

The two months that generally see the most new listings are April and May. The two months that have the highest number of sales are June and July. Conversely, the two lowest month for sales are January and February (the coldest months). Roughly 3 times as many sales occur in the peak months as in the lowest months!

The trend says list in the spring, sell in the summer!

real estate cycles2

Special thanks to Cedar Rapids IEEE for hosting this investing seminar!

Be careful what you flush down the drain!

Energy Saving Tips For Those Cold Winter Days

Keep it consistent. A common misconception it that if you set the thermostat to a really high temperature the house will warm up faster. In most cases this is FALSE. Most forced air furnaces operate on a simple on/off principal. The thermostat measures the temperature where it is located, and tells the furnace to either turn on or off to bring the house to the desired temperature. For example if it is 50 degrees in the house and you want to make it 70, setting it to 90 will get the house to 70 just as fast as setting it to 70 from the get-go. All you get by setting it to 90 is a really hot house and a thermostat you will have to turn back down to 70 when you are sick of sweating.

Programmable thermostat. Alliant Energy offers a $25 rebate on clock programmable thermostats not exceeding 50% of the purchase price. A basic programmable thermostat will run you about $20 at Menards, Home Depot, or Lowes. They are very easy to install. Here’s the link:

Duct control.  You always have that room you rarely use or maybe use for storage.  Why heat it?  Just close the vent where the hot air comes in and the other rooms will receive more hot air from the furnace.  Keep in mind that the thermostat only knows the temperature of the location that it is in, so closing vents in rooms you don’t need heated can save you lots of green!

Avoid electric space heaters!  Upstairs or in basement you may be tempted to use an electric space heater to warm up the room.  These are actually quite expensive to operate.  A typical quartz space heater at Walmart might cost $50 to buy and consume 1500W of power.  8 hours a night for 30 days equals 360 kWh (kilowatt-hours) for the total month.  A realistic assumption for Alliant Energy electric rates might be 7.385¢ per kWh for a total additional monthly electric cost of $28.26!

School’s Out for Summer!

Cedar Rapids community schools are wrapping up their spring semester at the end of May. If you are thinking of making a move this summer it’s very important to consider the school districts that your children will be attending.

Schools are funded primarily by local property taxes which your landlord pays. In the Cedar Rapids metro area 40-50% of property tax revenues are funneled into the school system – a good investment! Here are the tax levy rates for the 2011-2012 school year for some districts of interest (as provide by Linn County):
Linn-Mar……………….18.54 levy rate (47% of total tax revenue)
Marion………………….16.96 levy rate (44% of total tax revenue)
College Community…..16.56 levy rate (43% of total tax revenue)
Cedar Rapids………….15.16 levy rate (40% of total tax revenue)

Just because a levy rate is low doesn’t necessarily mean that the schools are not as good.  Also keep in mind that if property taxes are higher, rent will be higher as well!

Cedar Rapids did move some of their school district boundaries to be effective the 2012-2013 school year. You can check any address at this website:

Enjoy your summer!

Benefits of Renting a House

You have many choices when selecting a place to call home. From apartments, townhomes, condos, or single family homes, the options for rentals abound. If you are used to the apartment lifestyle, renting a house can be a little more intensive, but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

Yard Space
Most houses have a yard for your enjoyment. Apartment complexes or row homes/townhouses generally are more limited in green area and privacy, not to mention more limited in pet policies.

Single family homes always give you increased privacy and more room to call your own. You share no walls with your neighbor!

Single family home renters are usually responsible for all utility bills and lawn care/snow removal. If this is not your cup of tea, apartment or condo living may be for you.

Single family homes that have garages are either attached to the house are just a few feet away. This is much more convenient than walking half way across the parking lot, especially in the winter!

Apartments are generally more cost effective compared to renting a house, however if you value privacy, space, and freedom, renting a house is definitely for you!


Hello and welcome to a new more interactive website for Realty Solutions, LLC. The site now features a blog function along with rental property listings. We hope you like the new look and are looking forward to providing you high quality rental property in the Cedar Rapids area!