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Best of Story County 3 years in a row!

The Ames Tribune conducts a poll each year asking readers to vote for their favorite Ames businesses in a variety of categories. We are proud to be voted the Best Real Estate company in Story County again in 2017. Our REALTORS® and staff are committed to developing and maintaining positive relationships with individuals and families to meet their real estate needs.

Our sister companies, HCS Builders, Inc. and Hunziker Property Management, also received the Best of Story County honors as Best Builder/Contractor and Best Property Management Company. Whether you are buying, selling, building, or renting, the professionals at each of our companies believe in a personal approach to business that has stood the test of time.

Simple Design Ideas for Those Who Hate Yard Work

Less work in the yard means more time to relax. So why not design your landscape for minimal maintenance and upkeep. Try using rocks or stones to create walkways or group them together to form simple outcroppings. These are very similar to retaining walls but are smaller and use less materials. Do you have an area that retains water? An easy fix for this is a rain garden, it is comparable to a mini-wetland. It helps cut back on the storm water runoff.

Platform decks are another great way to reduce yard work. They have no steps or railings for easy access to the yard, plus they create much needed relaxation space. Tall grasses are next on the list, group them alongside a fence line, position them in geometric patterns for clean lines, or even go random for a more natural look. Best part is, you will not have to cut them until late fall. Lastly use objects to add a pop of color instead of the usual flowers. Choose a colored bench, large pot, bird bath, or Adirondack chairs!

Want to learn more? Visit HouseLogic for the full article.

The Most Annoying Things About Summer - And What to Do About Them

Summer should be the stuff dreams are made of: long, sunny days and warm nights filled with important questions like, "Ice cream on the porch, or another pint on the patio?"

Summer also comes with bugs, heat, humidity, and other annoyances around the house. So this year, eradicate some of the worst irritations before they crush your summer buzz. Here's how:



Clean your gutters. "That's often a main, and neglected, breeding site for mosquitoes," says Chris Enroth, a horticulture educator with the University of Illinois Extension office in Macomb.

Plug in a fan. "Mosquitoes don't like flying in high wind," Enroth says. Cheers for cool breezes sans bug bites!


AC That Causes You to Freeze in One Room and Sweat in Another

Check your ductwork. Look for unsealed joints or hire a pro to make sure your ducts are properly sized. Both can affect your system's ability to deliver conditioned air to each room.

Set your whole-house fan to "on". This continuous circulation will mix the air so no space is too hot or too cold.

Direct more cool air upstairs. Look for ductwork dampers in the basement to open during the summer months.


Ugly, Dried-Out Brown Grass

Sharpen or replace your mower blades. This could be all that's needed if just the tips of your grass are brown and jagged.

Set the blade height to 3 inches. When you take less off the top, it helps grass absorb water before it evaporates.

Water less frequently, for longer periods of time. This helps grass develop deeper, drought- and disease-resistant roots. Aim for 1 to 1.5 inches of water a week, and even a cool-season grass can keep its green during the summer.


Dust Mites

Dust mite populations peak in summer's heat and humidity, inflicting stuffy noses, sneezing, and coughing upon those who are allergic.
Make your home inhospitable. Clean more frequently and use your AC to keep indoor humidity to 50% or less.

Get a new pillow. If your pillow is older than three years and has not been washed (experts recommend it twice a year), toss it: It's likely loaded with dust mites.

Learn more remedies to summer's annoyances from HouseLogic


Des Moines Home Show Expo

The Home Show Expo, hosted annually by the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines , presents attendees with a unique opportunity to peer inside and appreciate the style, craftsmanship and amenities of new custom-built homes constructed by local builders in attractive Central Iowa neighborhoods. Explore current trends in homebuilding and construction over three long weekends each July, taking in views of a select communities while meeting with area builders and enjoying exclusive tours of newly constructed real estate fully furnished by local vendors in up-and-coming developments across the Des Moines metro.

The 2017 Home Show Expo will be at The Estates on the Ridge, Plat 2 Echo Valley in Norwalk, IA. Click here to purchase tickets.

July 2017 Area Events

Zoo Brew
at 5:30 pm every Wednesday
Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines

Jazz in July
Tuesday July 4 at 6:30 pm
July 6-13
July 13-20
July 20-27
July 27-29
Various Des Moines locations

FREE FLICKS: The LEGO Batman Movie
Thursday July 6 at 9:00 pm
Hoyt Sherman Place, Des Moines

Ankeny Summerfest
July 7-9
1010 Prairie Ridge Dr., Ankeny

80/35 Music Festival
July 7-8 12:00 pm
Western Gateway Park, Des Moines

Midnight Madness
Saturday July 8 at 7:30 pm
City Hall, Ames

The Color Run 5K Des Moines
Saturday July 8 at 9:00 am
State Capital Grounds, Des Moines

Roosevelt Summer Sunday Concerts
Sunday July 9 at 7:00 pm
Sunday July 16 at 7:00 pm
Sunday July 23 at 7:00 pm
Roosevelt Park, 9th St Ames

Garden Art Fair
Sunday July 9 at 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Reiman Gardens, Ames

Free Admission Day
Wednesday July 12 at 9:00 am-6:00 pm
Reiman Gardens, Ames

Summer Iowa Games
July 14-16
Various locations, Ames

Firefly Country Nights
Friday July 14 at 5:30 pm
Main Street Cultural District, Ames

The Music Man
Friday July 14 at 7:30 pm Wed-Sat, 2:00 pm Sunday
Sunday August 6 at 2 pm
Des Moines Community Playhouse

Rustique Flea & Vintage Marketplace
July 15-16 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Warren County Fairgrounds, Indianola

Clarksville Station
Tuesday July 18 at 11:00 am
Prairie Meadows, Altoona

Paul McCartney One on One Tour
Friday July 21 at 8:00 pm
Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, IA

Story County Fair
July 22-26
Story County Fairgrounds, Nevada

RAGBRI bike ride across Iowa
July 23-28
Orange City to Lansing Iowa

Gravel Gardening
Tuesday July 25 at 6:00-7:30 pm
Des Moines Botanical Garden, Des Moines

July 28-29 10:00 am
Western Gateway Park, Des Moines

Summer Rock Party
Friday July 28 at 8:00 pm
TK'S Event Center, Boone

National Balloon Classic
July 28-Aug. 5
Indianola, Iowa

Richie Lee and the Fabulous 50's
Saturday July 29 at 7:00 pm
Iowa Talent Factory, Nevada

Furman Aquatic Center Princess Pool Party
Saturday July 29 at 8:30-10:00 am
Furman Aquatic Center, Ames

Foodies and Brew
Friday August 4 at 6:30 pm
Main Street Cultural District, Ames

Treasures Tour
Tuesday August 8 at 5:30-7:00 pm
Salisbury House & Gardens, Des Moines