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Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS®

In This Issue

Why Do People Actually Buy a Home?

Des Moines earns Top Ranking

Tax Free Weekend!

Citizen of the Year

State Fair Time!

Market Numbers

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Back to School!
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  Ames Community School District

Gilbert Community School District

Ankeny Community School District

Nevada Community School District

Boone Community School District

Roland-Story Community School District
August Events
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  5K Sunset Run, Ankeny
August 6 at 7pm
The route will take runners through two of Ankeny's most prominent parks, Hawkeye Park and Prairie Ridge Sports Complex. Awards will be handed out to the top male and female winners and specific age divisions. Ages 10 and up.

Licoln Highway Days, Nevada
August 26-28
There's something for Everyone including a Parade, Carnival, BBQ Contest, Rodeo, Dances

Prairie Fest, Huxley
August 26-28
Prairie Fest is back and is bigger than ever. LIVE performances from Standing Hampton and The Nadas!

Iowa State Fair, State Fair Grounds
August 11-21
Click Here for a List of the Free Entertainment happening at the State Fair.

Iowa Straw Poll, Iowa State Center (ISU Campus)
August 13
Iowans will have the opportunity to participate in the most prominent pre-Caucus event that is nationally recognized.
Useful Websites
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  Ames Chamber Logo
The Ames Chamber of Commerce

City of Ames Logo
The City of Ames

Ames Main Street Cultural District
Ames Main Street Cultural District

Interest Rate Info
Interest Rate Information

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Why Do People Actually Buy a Home?

It seems that every time we talk about real estate today the conversation immediately goes to the financial aspects of buying a home. Where are prices headed? Where are interest rates headed? Should I wait to try and get a 'better buy'? Should I wait until I can get a 'steal'?

The odd thing about all these questions is that survey after survey keeps telling us that price is not the reason families actually buy a home. When money is considered at all, it is in light of not paying rent to a landlord. Let's look at a recent survey for example:

National Housing Survey
The top five reasons given in the survey for buying a home, in order, are:
  • It means having a good place to raise children and provide them with a good education
  • You have a physical structure where you and your family feel safe
  • It allows you to have more space for your family
  • It gives you control of what you do with your living space (renovations and updates)
  • Paying rent is not a good investment
Bottom Line
Price dominates conversation when we talk about buying a home. However, when it comes down to it, we actually buy for the same reasons our parents and grandparents did - we want a better lifestyle for ourselves and our families.

Forbes Des Moines

Des Moines earns Top Ranking
America's Best Cities for Young Professionals

Forbes ranks Des Moines, Iowa No. 1 on their list of Best Cities for Young Professionals.

According to Forbes:
The Iowa state capital has a higher concentration of big businesses (1 for every 568 residents) than any other city we assessed, which equals more job opportunities. Financial services and insurance companies like Principal Financial Group and EMC Insurance Companies have long made their home in the corn-belt city, earning it the nickname "Hartford of the West."
With business costs 16% below the national average, Des Moines has been attracting startups and companies relocating from the coasts, and a number of established companies in the area are expanding, like DuPont's bioscience unit Pioneer Hi-Bred, which plans to hire an additional 500 employees over the next few years. As a result, Des Moines boasts a low 5.8% unemployment rate (sixth lowest of the 100 cities we studied) and healthy projected job growth rates of 0.97% in 2011 and 2.86% in 2012.
"We're encountering a lot of young individuals moving here from larger cities where it would take five or 10 years to ascend into positions, where here they are having opportunities given to them to move more quickly into their career paths." says Mary Bontrager, vice president of workforce for the Greater Des Moines Partnership, a regional economic development organization.

The 15 Best Cities for Young Professionals

Tax Free Weekend!
Aug. 5 & 6

Tax Free Weekend Time to start making the list for back to school or just any kind of shopping, because tax free weekend is almost here! Iowa's tax free weekend is August 5th and 6th where shoppers can save money on clothing and shoes under $100.

A few tips for shopping during tax free weekend:
  • Compare prices using the weekly ads or the internet
  • Plan ahead and make lists as to where you want to go and what you can get at each location for the best price
  • Check for "Early Bird" shopping hours and special deals or coupons that can add to your savings
Also, just because it's tax free weekend, be sure not to over spend. There may other great deals before or after the tax free weekend that may be actually saving you more.

Hunziker's own Dick Johnson named Citizen of the Year

Dick Johnson From the Ames Tribune:

"Friends, family say Dick Johnson works tirelessly to help make Ames a better place to live"
The soft light in Dick Johnson's sun room in north Ames graces the fine lines on his face, tracing his 70-year life story. It's a story his family, friends and colleagues frame with sturdy descriptors such as " 'tireless, integral, diligent, pragmatic and effective.' " But there are clues to a personality rich in nuances behind Johnson's reputation as one of Ames' most compelling leaders and community builders. The spark in his eye, his easy banter with his wife, the high-profile placement of family pictures on the walls of his meticulously decorated home, and even the bold move to turn part of his backyard into a wild prairie, hint that, beneath his unruffled exterior, there's a tender father, a bit of a jester and person who resists the status quo.

Read the rest of the article on the Ames Tribune website.

Iowa State Fair

It's State Fair Time!
Thursday, August 11th through Sunday, August 21st

August 11th kicks off the start of yet another Iowa State Fair, one of the best fairs in the nation. This year the Iowa State Fair will be celebrating the 100 years of the Butter Cow. There is also a bunch of entertainment on the Grandstand as well as some free entertainment every evening. The fair runs from Thursday, August 11th through Sunday, August 21st. Tickets are available now through August 10th at a discount when bought in advance. Ticket prices for tickets bought in advance are $7 for adults ages 12 and up, $3 for children ages 6-11, and FREE for kids under 5 years old. Tickets can be bought at participating Hy-Vee, Hy-Vee Drugstores, Dahls Foods, and Fareway Stores. There are also some fantastic deals if you and your family are planning on going to the fair every day!

To start the fair off right there is a parade in Downtown Des Moines on Wednesday August 10th at 6:15pm. For more details about the route or how to enter a float visit the Iowa State Fair website at

Iowa State University tries to help as much as they can at the Iowa State Fair and uses the students who volunteer their time to make the Iowa State Fair a great experience for all ages! One activity that Iowa State students put on is "I Milked A Cow". Kids get to milk a cow by hand and get all of their questions answered by Diary Science Club students from Iowa State. Iowa State also puts on "Wine Experience" where people of all ages can learn about wine and even take part in grape stomping! One area where Iowa State University helps the most is 4-H. Iowa State helps with every aspect of every event that the Iowa State Fair has for 4-H members.

The Iowa State Fair is a great time year after year so mark your calendars for August 11th through the 21st!


Ames Market Numbers*

  Ames 2011 Ames 2010 Story County 2011 Story County 2010
Active listings as of 8/1 325 304   204 209
Homes SOLD Recent YTD 333 333   137 141
Average Sale Price $180,232 $180,144   $128,844 $139,783
Average Days on the Market 101 84   108 125
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 94.7% 95.8%   92.0% 93.2%

*Based on Sales information as reported to the Central Iowa Multiple Listing Service as of 8/1
Ames - Ames Residential and Rural Subdivisions
Story County - Residential, excluding Ames and Ames Rural Subdivisions
Hunziker Logo

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.