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3 Myths About Today's Real Estate Market

There are many conflicting headlines when it comes to describing today's real estate market. Some are making comparisons to the market we experienced 10 years ago and are starting to believe that we may be doomed to repeat ourselves. Others are just plain wrong when it comes to what it takes to qualify for a mortgage.

Our friends at Keeping Current Matters assembled 3 topics frequently in the news and the reality of the current real estate market.
  • Myth #1: We are Headed for Another Housing Bubble. Home prices have appreciated year-over-year for the last 76 straight months. This has many worried that we are headed towards another housing bubble. Reality: The biggest challenge facing today's real estate market is a lack of homes for sale! Demand is strong, as many renters have come off the fence and are searching for their dream homes. The US housing market hasn't had 6-months inventory since August 2012! The concept of supply and demand is what is driving home prices up!

  • Myth #2: The Rumored Recession Will Lead to Another Housing Market Crash. Economists and analysts know that the country has experienced economic growth for almost a decade. When this happens, they also know that a recession can't be too far off. Reality: Recession DOES NOT equal housing crisis. Many people associate these two terms with one another because the last time we had a recession it was caused by a housing crisis. According to the Federal Reserve, over the last 40 years there have been six recessions. In each of the previous five recessions, home values appreciated.

  • Myth #3: There is an Affordability Crisis. Rising home prices have many concerned that the average family will no longer be able to afford homeownership. The monthly cost of a home is determined by the home's price and the interest rate on the mortgage used to purchase it. According to Freddie Mac, interest rates have risen from 3.95% in January to 4.59% just last week. Reality: According to a recent study by Zillow, the percentage of median income necessary to buy a home in today's market (17.1%) is well below the mark reached in 1985 - 2000 (21%), as well as the mark reached in 2006 (25.4)! Interest rates would have to increase to 6% before buying a home would be less affordable than historical norms.

There is a lot of confusion in today's real estate market. If your future plans include buying or selling, make sure you have a trusted advisor and market expert by your side to help guide you to the best decision for you and your family.

For more information on today's real estate market visit Keeping Current Matters.
 
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Home Maintenance Tasks to Tackle in September

September signals the end of summer's dog days and a return to fuzzy sweaters, chilly evenings, and, of course, pumpkin spice everything! Before those first autumn leaves begin to fall, it's crucial to take a few steps to stave off any cold weather home breakdowns. These quick, relatively painless home maintenance tasks can potentially save you major repair costs down the road.
  • Tip 1. Check the walkways for cracks. Small cracks can be fixed with simple epoxy and shouldn't take more than a few hours. Fix walkway and entryway areas before slippery weather can cause a tripping or falling accident.

  • Tip 2. Clean and repair the siding. September is a great time to use a pressure washer to clean it up and inspect for more serious problems before winter comes. Check first for rotten or warped areas, and inspect your caulking, which can shrink and crack over time.

  • Tip 3. Check and repair leaky faucets. Just turn on the faucet, turn it off, and watch for any telltale dripping. Your fix might be as easy as replacing the washers on the faucet's knobs, or you might have a worn cam washer, valve seat, or spring. Follow this step-by-step guide to fixing a leaky faucet.

  • Tip 4. Make sure windows seal tight. All double-pane or triple-pane windows should have a tight seal around their perimeter that separates the individual panes of glass and traps inert gas between them, providing a break between the temps inside and outside your home. If you notice that your windows are frequently foggy, that's likely a sign of a failed seal.

  • Tip 5. Sweep the chimney. Before your first toasty blaze of the season, make sure your chimney has been cleaned. "Built-up soot in your chimney can increase your risk of a chimney fire, and a clogged chimney can also increase the presence of carbon monoxide in your home by not allowing it to escape when you have a fire burning in the fireplace," says Lindsey Pasieka of ConsumerSafety.org.

  • Tip 6. Change the air filters and tune up the furnace. Changing your air filter is a fairly straightforward task, just be sure to check the size of your existing filter before you hit the hardware store. Pros also recommend removing all vent covers and vacuuming pet dander, hair, and other debris that can accumulate and gunk up your HVAC system. Hire a pro to come and tune your furnace so you're ready for cooler nights.

  • Tip 7. Service the yard equipment. Change your oil and filter, replace air and gas filters, and install new blades if necessary. Then perform the lubrication and adjustment maintenance required by your equipment's manual. But you don't want to drain the gas tank completely, Turner says. Instead, use a premium gasoline without ethanol but with a gas preservative. Just before you store it, fill the tank with this mix.


For more home maintenance tips visit Realtor.com.
 
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Hosting an at Home Tailgate

Whether you're a die-hard alum rooting for your college team or hometown hero supporting your local pro league, there is nothing more American than watching a football game. If you can't make it to the stadium, why not throw an unforgettable tailgate party at home? Here are some great ideas for making your setup feel like the real deal:
  • 1. Game Day Grub- Satisfy the crowd with classic tailgate foods that won't keep you in the kitchen all of the game! Finger foods like chicken wings, nachos, hotdogs and hamburgers have quick prep time and long-lasting appreciation from hungry fans.

  • 2. Boundless Beverages- It never hurts to survey the crowd when it comes to drinks. For effortless prepping, we recommend sending a BYOB invite or make a couple quick calls before heading to the store. Once you've got everything you need, place a couple coolers with ice around your home so your fridge isn't constantly being opened. Save on the stress and energy bill! If you're feeling really ambitious, provide themed koozies for the occasion as well.

  • 3. Festive Furnishings- Set the tone for your at-home tailgate with the proper furnishings and decor. First and foremost, make sure there is ample seating around the TV for all guests so everyone has the perfect angle. Then have some fun with the decorations! Incorporate team colors into plates, cups, banners, balloons and flags. The more spirit your home has, the more spirited your guests will feel!

  • 4. Athletic Activities- During commercial breaks and lengthy halftime announcements, provide entertainment with classic games. Whether indoors or out in the yard, there are a ton of options that will amp up the crowd. We recommend simple team or individual activities like cornhole, horseshoe, Frisbee and ring toss.

  • 5. Fun Favors- Kickoff the party before the game even starts with favors the whole group will love. Fan favorites include oversized foam fingers, mini team flags, team logo temporary face tattoos and goody bags for leftover treats. With giveaways like these, your guests are sure to get into the game and make your tailgate party a total success!

 

September 2018 Area Events

Garden Quilt Show
Friday September 7 at 9:00 am-6:00 pm
Saturday September 8 at 9:00 am- 6:00 pm
Sunday September 9 at 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Reiman Gardens, Ames

Magic & Comedy Tim Smallwood
Saturday September 8 at 7:00 pm
Talent Factory, Nevada

Flea Market
Saturday September 8 at 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Sunday September 9 at 9:00 am -4:00 pm
Bruce L. Rastetter 4-H Exhibits Building, Iowa State Fairgrounds

Yaro Dance Company Autumn Gala
Sunday September 9 at 5:30 pm
Hoyt Sherman Place, Des Moines

Great Ames Adventure Race
Sunday September 9 at 7:30 am- Noon
Ada Hayden Heritage Park, Ames

9-11-01 Remembrance Ceremony
Tuesday September 11 at 8:15-9:00 am
Fire Station #1 120 NW Ash Drive Ankeny

Reiman Gardens After Hours
Friday September 14 at 5:00-8:00 pm
Reiman Gardens, Ames

$5 Family Night
Friday September 14 at 5:00-8:00 pm
Science Center, Des Moines

Nitefall on the River: Mat Kearney
Friday September 14 at 7:00 pm
Brenton Skating Plaza, Des Moines

Central Iowa Junk Jaunt
Friday September 14 at 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Saturday September 15 at 9:00 am -5:00 pm
Sunday September 16 at 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Various locations in Central Iowa

Greater Iowa RV Show
September 14-15 9:00 am-6:00 pm
Sunday September 16 at 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Varied Industries Building, Iowa State Fairgrounds

Wild Women of the Woods 2018
September 14-15 All Day
McFarland Park, Ames

Kids Expo & Educational Fair
Saturday September 15 at 11:00 am-3:00 pm
Iowa State Historical Museum

Day out with Thomas: Big Adventures Tour
Saturday September 15 at 9:00 am- 5:00 pm
Sunday September 16 at 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Friday September 21 at 1:00-5:00 pm
Saturday September 22 at 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Sunday September 23 at 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad, Boone

Monarch Festival
Sunday September 16 at 12:00-4:00 PM
Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines

Rumors
September 20-22 7:30 pm
September 28-29 7:30 pm
Sunday September 30 at 2:00 pm
Actors, Ames Community Theater

Homeschool Day
Friday September 21 at 10:00 am- Noon
Des Moines Botanical Garden, Des Moines

Sleep Like a Brick: An Overnight Adventure
Friday September 21 at 6:00 pm-10:00 am
Science Center, Des Moines

Happy Hour Harvest
Saturday September 22 at 3:00-5:00 pm
DooLittle Prairie, Story City

GIMME S'MORE MUD RUN
Saturday September 22 at 8:00 am-1:00 pm
Camp Sacajawea in Boone, Iowa

Applefest
Saturday September 22 at 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Living History Farms, Urbandale

Octagon Art Festival
Sunday September 23 at 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Main Street Cultural District, Ames

Parent's Day at the Pool
Sunday September 23 at 1:00-3:00 pm
Municipal Pool 1925 Ames High Drive Ames

Steve Martin & Martin Short
Sunday September 23 at 7:30 pm
Stephens Auditorium, Ames

Ice Cream Social
Monday September 24 at 5:30-7:00 pm
Springwood Park 301 SE Springwood DR Ankeny

Homeschool Day: Art and Movement
Wednesday September 26 at 10:00 am- Noon
Reiman Gardens, Ames

Yoga at the Garden
Wednesday September 26 at 5:30-7:00 pm
Des Moines Botanical Garden, Des Moines

Zootoberfest
Thursday September 27 at 5:30-8:00 pm
Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines

Nitefall on the River: GREENSKY BLUEGRASS
Thursday September 27 at 6:00-11:00 pm
Brenton Skating Plaza, Des Moines

Callahan Promotions Inc., Arts and Crafts Show
Friday September 28 at 5:00-9:00 pm
Saturday September 29 at 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Sunday September 30 at 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Varied Industries Building, Iowa State Fairgrounds

A Night of Chicago Jazz featuring Ramsey Lewis & Ann Hampton Callaway
Friday September 28 at 7:30 pm
Hoyt Sherman Place, Des Moines

Last Saturday Stoll
Saturday September 29 at 10:00 pm
Des Moines Botanical Garden, Des Moines

Forest Bathing
Saturday September 29 at 1:00-4:00 pm
Robison Wildlife Acres, Nevada

Trilogy Tribute Fest ​Doors - Led Zeppelin - Pink Floyd
Saturday September 29 at 7:00 pm
Talent Factory, Nevada

This Is Not a Pipe Dream
Friday October 5 at 10:00-11:00 am
Fisher Theater, Ames

Billy Elliott the Musical
Friday October 5 at 7:30 thru October 28
Des Moines Community Playhouse

Paws in the Park
Saturday October 6 at 8:00-11:00 am
Iowa Arboretum, Madrid



 

Market Numbers

Ames 2018 2017
Sept. 4 Active listings 231 157
Homes SOLD YTD 495 466
Average Sale Price $255,254 $255,042
Average Days on Market 58 44
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 96.6% 97.0%
Story County 2018 2017
Sept. 4 Active listings 90 97
Homes SOLD YTD 214 252
Average Sale Price $190,815 $166,376
Average Days on Market 55 52
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 96.5% 96.3%
Based on Sales information as reported to the Central Iowa Multiple Listing Service as of 9/1/2018
Ames - Ames Residential and Rural Subdivisions
Story County - Residential, excluding Ames Residential and Ames Rural Subdivisions

Market Numbers

Ankeny Single Family 2018 2017
Sept. 4 Active listings 375 412
Homes SOLD YTD 936 940
Average Sale Price $288,808 $284,929
Average Days on Market 92 109
Ankeny Condo/TH 2018 2017
Sept. 4 Active listings 106 94
Condo/TH SOLD YTD 331 349
Average Sale Price $164,017 $154,009
Average Days on Market 87 79
Based on Sales information as reported to the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors as of 9/1/2018

Market Numbers

Boone 2018 2017
Sept. 4 Active listings 47 68
Homes SOLD YTD 181 179
Average Sale Price $131,120 $130,708
Average Days on Market 56 58
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 93.4% 94.7%
Boone County 2018 2017
Sept. 4 Active listings 72 102
Homes SOLD YTD 231 252
Average Sale Price $150,789 $141,603
Average Days on Market 56 58
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 93.9% 94.7%
Based on Sales information as reported to the Central Iowa Multiple Listing Service as of 9/1/2018
City of Boone
Boone County - Residential

Market Numbers

Nevada 2018 2017
Sept. 4 Active listings 44 47
Homes SOLD YTD 98 132
Average Sale Price $169,410 $152,283
Average Days on Market 57 53
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 95.4% 95.6%
Story County 2018 2017
Sept. 4 Active listings 90 97
Homes SOLD YTD 214 252
Average Sale Price $190,815 $166,376
Average Days on Market 55 52
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 96.5% 96.3%
Based on Sales information as reported to the Central Iowa Multiple Listing Service as of 9/1/2018
Nevada - includes communities of Nevada, Maxwell, Colo, Cambridge, Collins, McCallsburg and Zearing.
Story County - Residential, excluding Ames Residential and Ames Rural Subdivisions