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Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS®

In This Issue

Winning the Beauty Pageant

Live Healthy Iowa

Clutter Cutting Ideas for the New Year

Has the Dust Settled?

Return to Normalcy

Market Numbers


Winning the Beauty Pageant

Many buyers today want move-in-ready homes and will quickly eliminate an otherwise great home by focusing on a few visible flaws. Unless your home shines, you may endure showing after showing and open house after open house and end up with a lower sales price. Before the first prospect walks through your door, consider some smart options for casting your home in its best light.

  1. Have a home inspection
  2. Get replacement estimates
  3. Make minor repairs
  4. Clear the clutter
  5. Do a thorough cleaning

Working to get your home ship-shape for showings will increase its value and shorten your sales time.

Live Healthy Iowa brings together friends, families, businesses and communities in team-based wellness challenges designed to promote positive lifestyle change.

Since 2002, Live Healthy Iowa has helped over 169,000 participants lose 696,972 pounds and log over 27 million miles of activity!

The 100 Day Wellness Challenge is a simple and affordable program encouraging Iowans to make healthy choices. Over the course of 100 days, teams (2-10 people) compete in friendly competition tracking activity minutes and/or weight loss through the Live Healthy Iowa website.

Visit Hy-Vee to Receive $5 off your registration

The 100 Day Wellness Challenge begins JANUARY 20, 2011 and lasts until APRIL 29, 2011.
For $20, participants receive:
  • Training T-shirt
  • 1-year magazine subscription
  • 100 days of access to TRAINING PEAKS
  • Weekly motivational email tips and recipes
  • Personal tracking page with daily journal
  • Unlimited access to recipes, workouts and health information
  • Chance to win prizes* - gift cards, bikes or a Caribbean Cruise for two!

  • *Winners selected from all participants who record progress each week of the program. Incentives are awarded each month, at the 50-day point and at program end.
Online registration opens December 15th!

For more information:
Nicole Bruce • (888)777.8881 ext. 118 • Traci Kepley • (888)777.8881 ext. 111 •

Clutter Cutting Ideas for the New Year

declutter Get One, Toss Two: short, sweet and painless way to declutter for the New Year.

As you put away holiday gifts, take time to make extra room throughout the house. For example, for every new Christmas DVD you add to the shelves, remove two older titles. Did Nana gift the children with new holiday pajamas? Find two outgrown sets to add to the donation bag. If craft supplies made it into your stocking, be sure to remove double their number from your stash before adding them to the craft closet.

Whether you recycle, donate or sell the tossers, each gift will reduce clutter in your organized home--and the excitement of new possessions helps cut the ties to old, outworn items.

Holiday Mailing Box Challenge

cardboard boxes Have mailing boxes piled up as holiday gifts arrived? Sure, you could recycle or reuse them, but for maximum end-of-year clutter-cutting, take the Holiday Mailing Box Challenge!

Your goal: to fill every seasonal mailing box with items suitable for donation to Goodwill or a similar recycler for used household items, and deliver them to charity.

Has the Dust Settled?

While rising rates might seem like a terrible thing for potential home sales, it might be a signal to would-be home-buyers that the dust has settled and now is the time to buy before rates rise any higher. This will likely be true of fence-sitters who have simply been waiting out the market, not wanting to buy before rates and prices stop their descent. And perhaps, that surge in sales will lead to a more general feeling of optimism about the housing market.

According to Fannie Mae Chief Economist, Doug Duncan, "Despite rising mortgage rates, our forecast for home sales is stronger than the previous forecast, given our brighter economic growth and labor market outlook." What's more, Fannie cites positive movement from the broader economy that will help to improve the housing market. Because of greater consumer confidence and spending, as well as falling unemployment claims this month, Fannie Mae's economists believe "that economic growth is poised to kick into higher gear, with an above-par performance lurking just around the corner-by the second quarter of 2011. For all of 2011, we expect growth of 3.4 percent, compared with a projected 2.9 percent in the previous forecast."

According to Frank Nothaft, chief economist with mortgage finance company Freddie Mac, "The three main ingredients that affect buyer affordability are mortgage rates, house prices, and income. With the first two at or near cyclic lows, buyer affordability is at the highest level in decades."

Mortgage Rate Chart Chart from HSH strives to provide reliable, useful information, but does not guarantee that the information above is accurate.
Pres. Harding

Return to Normalcy

As the U.S. was recovering from the effects of WWI, our 29th President, Warren Harding, ran on a campaign slogan "Return to Normalcy". This same slogan may be applicable for our local residential real estate market in 2011 as it returns to a market that is free of Federal Home Buyer Tax Credits.

Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors® chief economist, is hopeful for 2011. Yun believes that home buyers are responding to improved affordability conditions. "The relationship recently between mortgage interest rates, home prices and family income has been the most favorable on record for buying a home since we started measuring in 1970," he said. "Therefore, the market is recovering and we should trend up to a healthy, sustainable level in 2011."

At Hunziker & Associates Realtors®, we are continuously monitoring many different sources of national, regional and local real estate data which in turn allow us to keep an accurate pulse on the current market conditions. Whether the real estate market is going up, down or sidewise, Hunziker & Associates Realtors® know the market.

Ames Market Numbers*

  Ames 2011 Ames 2010 Story County 2011 Story County 2010
Active listings as of 1/3 218 184   142 NA
Homes SOLD Recent 12 mo. 468 554   235 285
Average Sale Price $180,418 $186,510   $137,213 $134,320
Average Days on the Market 85 97   134 107
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 95.2% 95.1%   92.1% 92.4%

*Based on Sales information as reported to the Central Iowa Multiple Listing Service as of 1/3
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.