Instructor Tips: Amy Schafer — Tips for Buying a New Home

ced_blog_AmySchaferLicensed since 2001, Amy Schafer is the vice president of sales for the Betsy Sarcone real estate team and a WDMCS Community Education LEARNwest instructor. She has an extensive history in not only selling homes but also exceeding expectations and providing stellar customer service. Amy joined the Sarcone team in 2015 to further her passion for helping buyers find their dream home. Amy is a native of southeast Iowa and holds a degree in interior design from Iowa State University.


Amy Schafer’s Five Home Buying Tips and Secrets

  1. Get pre-approved! Having your financing in order will save time, make you look like a rockstar buyer, and make the home buying process much more enjoyable.
  1. Set your criteria. Create a needs and wants list so you have direction on what you would like to purchase. The list can change, but it helps to start with a vision.
  1. Hire a professional realtor. An agent becomes the gatekeeper of your strategy, motivation, and finances. Pick one to guide you through the process.
  1. Don’t rely on the Internet. The assessor’s website and sites like Zillow and Trulia (just to name a few) can be filled with inaccurate information. Rely on your realtor to verify information and availability.
  1. Write an offer! When you find a house you like that also fits your needs, write an offer. Homes are selling fast and can be gone in moments. If you do choose to wait, make sure you are comfortable with possibly missing out on that home. The homes at the best price and in the best condition sell fast in any market.

Happy home hunting! To learn more of Amy Schafer’s home buying tips, register for her LEARNwest class, Top Home Buying Tips and Secrets.

Class Information and Registration

Monthly Motivation: Make a Friend Day

ced_blog_MakeaFriendFeb. 11 is National Make a Friend Day. Friends are such an important part of our lives. They support us and make us laugh and lend a helping hand when we need it. Celebrate National Make a Friend Day by sharing these quotes about friendship on social media using #NationalMakeaFriendDay, and of course, by making a new friend.



“The only way to have a friend is to be one.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” — William Shakespeare

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” — Helen Keller

“My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.” — Henry Ford

“A friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.” — Maya Angelou

CE Today: February 3 — Jacques-Yves Cousteau Publishes “The Silent World”


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French oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau published one of his most famous works, “The Silent World,” on Feb. 3, 1953. The book detailed his early underwater explorations, made possible through his own invention: the Aqua-Lung, or the first scuba.

Cousteau served in the French navy and wanted to develop a self-contained underwater breathing device, so divers did not have to be tethered to the surface. He designed the Aqua-Lung with help from engineer Emile Gagnan, then developed underwater cameras and photography. He used his new inventions to explore shipwrecks for the navy, and explored ancient wrecks and sea life as a hobby.

He published a memoir, “The Silent World,” in 1953, and began work on a film version with director Louis Malle. It was released to global acclaim three years later, winning Best Documentary at the Academy Awards and the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The film revealed the underwater world to the public for the first time.

Cousteau went on to earn many awards and accolades, develop several additions and improvements to scuba, and become a passionate environmentalist. He died June 25, 1997, at the age of 87, but his message has been preserved in his many books and films, and by the Cousteau Society and Equipe Cousteau.

Sources: “The Captain” “Cousteau publishes The Silent World”