Defining "homeownership" could win you money - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Defining "homeownership" could win you money

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad's administration teamed up with the Iowa Finance Authority and the Iowa Association of Realtors for a contest Branstad hopes will stimulate the economy.

The group is asking Iowans how they define "homeownership" in a word or phrase and the best answer could win a $1,500 gift card.

Jodee Knox said her definition of homeownership is a labor of love.

"We've put a lot of time and effort into decorating it the way we like and we get a lot of rewards out of it making our own," Knox said.

The desire to be homeowner is a trait Knox instilled in her daughter.

"I am obsessed about houses. I think it's my mom's fault. I pretty much watch HGTV every night," Alexis Mollenhoff, Knox's daughter, said.

That passion is why Alexis said she wants to be realtor, and it's a passion she shares with the realtor that sold this family's current home, Kathy Albert.

"Homeownership means everything to me," Albert, Waterloo/Cedar Falls Board of Realtors president, said. "Being a realtor, it's just so wonderful to see young people get their first home and see how delighted they are."

Like many house sales, Knox's house sale did more than bring business to one realtor, it boosted the local economy in other ways, Branstad Spokesman Tim Albrecht said.

"Homeownership is a bedrock cornerstone for Iowa's economy," Albrecht said. "Iowa has one of the highest rates of homeownership in the country, but we always want to see that pushed higher because it's good for the economy."

According to the Iowa Finance Authority, each home sold puts another $60,000 into the local economy.

"We'll probably buy a few new pieces of furniture or old pieces off furniture and some new appliances," Knox said.

Albert plans on entering Knox into the contest, so if her home wins she'll have more money to "make her mark" in her new home.

"The winner receives a $1,500 award from Menards to get anything they want, and also realtors and lenders can also receive $2,500 for a community betterment prize if they submit something in," Albert said.

The contest starts in June.

For more information, talk to your realtor or check out the Iowa Finance Authority's website.

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