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Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS®

In This Issue

Refinance or Upgrade

Stay Cool this Summer

Bring the Indoors Out

Farmer's Markets

July 4th Area Events

Market Numbers


Why Refinance When You Could Upgrade?

House and Dollar Sign If you have been considering refinancing your home, good job! You are thinking of ways to take advantage of the historically low interest rates, which could save you lots of money. If you love your current home and plan on staying there a while, this may be a great option for you.

However, if you are planning on upgrading in the next couple of years, now is the ideal time to make your move.

Why now? Due primarily to low interest rates, there is unique potential right now to purchase a more expensive home while retaining the same or smaller monthly payments. Of course, there are a great deal of variables involved, and this potential may not apply to every situation. But interest rates are low, and it is definitely a buyers' market, meaning great financial savings to any person looking to move or purchase a home.

To see what possibilities are available to you in your particular financial circumstances, talk to a REALTOR®: We would be honored to assist you in making the best decisions for your future.


Practical Ways to Stay Cool and Save Money

Air Conditioner
  • Fans: The average fan runs for just pennies a day and makes you feel 3 or 4 degrees cooler. Attic fans draw warm and stale air from your home.
  • Windows: Make sure windows are properly sealed. If you can feel any air along the panes, caulk or weatherstrip them to prevent cold air loss. Additionally, make sure to close blinds during the day, especially on south or west facing windows. White window coverings work best, as they reflect rather than absorb heat.
  • Thermostats: Installing a programmable thermostat allows you to only cool your home when you need it. Also, to avoid thermostat reading errors, keep heat-generating devices like lamps and televisions from thermostats.
  • Landscaping: Planting deciduous trees around a home greatly reduces the amount of heat absorbed by a home. In tree shaded neighborhoods, daytime air temperatures can be 3 degrees to 6 degrees cooler in the summer. Avoid lots of unshaded rock, cement, or asphalt on the south or west sides of homes, as they radiate heat and warm homes even at night. Shading your compressor- while making sure not to impede air flow- keeps it 10% cooler, which increases its efficiency.
  • Electronics: Unplug electronics when they are not in use, as they generate heat (and use electricity). Air dry dishes rather than using your dishwasher's drying cycle.
  • Hot Water: Take showers instead of baths, and wash only full loads of dishes or clothes. Both of these measures use less hot water, which keeps your home cooler.
  • Bigger projects: When painting or re-shingling your home, consider using lighter materials, which do not absorb as much heat.

Bringing the Indoors Out

Backyard Fireplace Many architects and designers talk about bringing the outdoors in with big windows and other nature-inspired decor elements. This is great, but we recommend the opposite as well: Bring the indoors out!

Outdoor living spaces provide a great way to entertain and enjoy friends and family with style, function, and comfort. With outdoor fireplaces, kitchens, fire pits, and fantastic covered areas, these living spaces virtually add another room to your home. In recent years, these features have gained immense popularity, and are now a great feature that can add value and appeal to your home.

Exactly how much value? It depends a lot on the market (location, price category of your home, region), but according to Renovations magazine, homeowners in Iowa should expect around an 80 percent return on deck projects. Among higher-end homes, not having an outdoor living space can actually be a liability, as outdoor spaces may be considered standard among buyers in these markets. And if you are deciding on how you want to renovate your backyard, consider this: Outdoor spaces typically fare better on the market than swimming pools because they require much less maintenance.

Some simple and relatively inexpensive solutions are installing a gas line to your grill, installing pavers to create a living area, ready-to- assemble gazebos, and do-it-yourself retaining walls.

25 Great Outdoor Rooms to inspire you.

Outdoor Living Spaces are a must have in today's homes.

Local Farmer's Markets

Capitol Hill Farmers Market
Tuesdays, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
800 E. 12th Street, Des Moines

Ames North Grand Farmer's Market
Wednesdays, 3–6 p.m. & Saturdays, 8 a.m.–Noon
North Grand Mall North Lot

Reiman Garden Farmers Market
Wednesdays, 4–7 p.m.
Reiman Gardens, Ames

Slater Farmer's Market
Wednesdays, 4 p.m.–7 p.m.
Corner of R–38 & Hwy 210

Ames Farmer's Market
May 2–October 31 (Closed July 4th)
Thursdays, 2 p.m.–7 p.m. & Saturdays 8 a.m.–3 p.m.
Main Street Station, 526 Main Street, Suite 103 & 104, Ames, IA 50010

Boone Farmer's Market Association
Thursdays, 3 p.m.–6 p.m.
Wal–Mart parking lot, S. Story St. & Hwy. 30

Valley Junction Farmer's Market and Music in the Junction
May 6–September 30
Thursdays, 4 p.m.–9 p.m.
Des Moines–Valley Junction, Fifth Street and Railroad Park

Des Moines Downtown Farmer's Market
May 2–October 31
Saturdays, 7 a.m.–Noon
Des Moines Court Avenue District

Uptown Ankeny Farmer's Market
May 16–September 26 (Closed July 11th)
Saturdays, 8 a.m.–Noon
Uptown Ankeny–Corner of SW 3rd & SW Maple Streets

West Glen Town Center Farmers Market
Saturdays, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
West Glen Town Center, West Des Moines


Local 4th of July Events

Fireworks Find the perfect July 4th activity for your family from this list of local events.

4th of July on Main Street
10am-12pm: Pancake breakfast at City Hall
11am: Bill Riley Talent Search at Bandshell Park
1pm: Parade (Main street, Douglas, and 5th street)
2-6pm: Festival at Bandshell Park
Fireworks by Ames Jaycees
July 4 at 10pm

4th Annual Eve of Destruction
7:30pm at the Boone Speedway
Fireworks by the City of Boone

Yankee Doodle Pops:
July 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Iowa State Capitol Grounds.

80/35 Music Festival: 3rd annual 80/35 is set for July 3 & 4, 2010, in Western Gateway Park in Des Moines, Iowa.

July 3
7:00-9:00am: Breakfast at the Fire Station
10:00am: Parade (Main Street from E Ave to American Legion)
4:00-7:00pm: Children's Games and Train, SCORE Pavilion Area
5:00-7:00pm: Supper at SCORE Pavilion (Burgers, Hot Dogs, Chips, Drink)
7:00pm: Magic Show "Magic by George" SCORE Pavilion
Dusk: Fireworks

July 2
6pm: Kids Parade with kids games to follow
6:30pm: Dog Show
8:30pm: Concert
July 3
10am: Parade
12pm: Opening Ceremonies
12:30pm - 10pm: Various Activities
8:30pm: Concert
10pm: Fireworks


Ames Market Numbers*

  Ames 2010 Ames 2009 Story County 2010 Story County 2009
Active listings as of 7/1 306 256   214 NA
Homes SOLD Recent 12 mo. 600 546   281 244
Average Sale Price $184,155 $185,381   $135,870 $133,167
Average Days on the Market 86 99   106 129
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 95.4% 94.8%   93.4% 91.9%

*Based on Sales information as reported to the Ames Multiple Listing Service as of 7/1
Ames - Ames Residential and Rural Subdivisions
Story County - Residential, excluding Ames and Ames Rural Subdivisions
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Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS® has been helping people buy and sell homes in Central, Iowa for over 50 years. With offices in Ames, Ankeny, Boone and Nevada, our real estate agents can help you find the "right" place to call home. Our agents have access to hundreds of homes for sale in the Ames, Ankeny, Boone and Nevada areas through the various Multiple Listing Services (MLS). Corporate office location 105 S. 16th St. Ames, Iowa 50010, phone number 515-233-4450. Agents and Brokers are licensed in the state of Iowa.