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In This Issue

Sort Through the Headlines

Home Buyers Tax Credit Extended and Expanded

Preparing for Winter

Perfect Time to Buy and Sell

Christmas Tree Farms

Helpful Links

Ames Market Numbers

Let Us Help You Sort Through The Headlines

The residential real estate market continues to grab daily headlines from a wide variety of media sources. Home values are of great importance to many, as homeowner equity is often one of the single greatest sources of personal wealth. Sorting through the news and the noise is difficult. Whose information is right? Whether the source for real estate news is the National Association of Realtors®, ABC News, New York Times, Trulia or Zillow, the information is oftentimes not relevant to Ames and Central Iowa.

Hunziker & Associates, Realtors® is dedicated to communicating and reporting the facts and trends of the local real estate market as it is, not as we wish it to be. We know the market like no one else, and we eagerly share our in-depth real estate knowledge knowing that individuals and families make educated and informed decisions about buying or selling a home when empowered by accurate and timely information.

Do you have questions about our local real estate market, a specific neighborhood, or a specific home? Please contact your Hunziker & Associates Realtor® to get the facts as they are. Hunziker & Associates Realtors®, "We Know the Market."
See for all your real estate needs.
Tax Credit Extended
Credit Calendar First Time Home Buyers who are defined by law as buyers who have not owned a principle residence during the three year period prior to purchase, may be eligible for a tax credit of 10% of the purchase price, up to a maximum of $8,000. Existing Home Owners who have been residing in their principle residence for five consecutive years out of the last eight and are purchasing a home to be their principle residence, may be eligible for a tax credit of 10% of the home purchase price, up to a maximum of $6,500.

There has never been a better time to purchase a home. The combination of good home prices, historically low interest rates, and the extension and expansion of the Federal Home Buyer Tax Credit has created a near perfect trifecta for would-be home buyers.

Don't wait! Contracts must be signed by April 30, 2010.

Click here for an FAQ about the Tax Credit.

Prepare for Winter
Winter House
When wintry weather blows, will your family be prepared?
Take time now to review your family's winter emergency plans and supplies. Below are tips for preparing your home and automobile for cold-weather hazards.

Out and About:
Will your home welcome winter visitors safely? Be prepared for snow, ice or rain on walks and driveways with:
  • Snow shovel
  • De-icing compound
  • Waterproof floor mats
On The Road: Winter transportation can mean ice, snow, and hazardous roads. Road conditions can change in an instant. Before traveling, give cars a winter preparedness exam:
  • Check antifreeze
  • Check and replace older batteries
  • Remember to keep the gas tank near full to avoid freezing water in the fuel line
  • Check tires and spare tire for proper inflation
Click here to read more about preparing for winter.


Perfect Opportunity to Sell and Buy

Wells Fargo Chief Economist, John Silvia, predicts higher interest rates this Spring as the Federal Reserve Bank removes itself from the credit markets. Thinking of making a move in the near future? The best time may be right now! Interest rates remain at or near historic lows. What will happen when the Fed removes itself from the credit market no one can say with certainty, but the potential impact of higher home mortgage interest rates is highlighted in the below pictorial.

Interest Rates
Interest rates remain near historic lows. Even small changes in interest rates can have a huge impact on the total monthly payments.

Click here to read an article in the Des Moines Register about interest rates.

Christmas Tree Farms

Christmas Tree Farms

Enchanted Valley Tree Farm
1323 Montana Rd.
Boone, IA

Strautman Tree Farm LLC
58976 290th St.
Cambridge, IA

The Christmas Tree Farm
33459 663rd Ave.
Maxwell, IA


Helpful Links

Safe Holiday Decorating
Follow these six tips to safely decorate your home for the holidays.

Alliant Energy LED lights rebate
Alliant Energy offers $5 rebates to customers who purchase qualifying LED lights.

Keep the kids in your family safe this holiday season
The American Academy of Pediatrics provides great tips to keep this exciting time of year safe for your children.

Fire Safety during the Holidays
Tips to care for your Christmas tree to prevent fires from the U.S. Fire Administration.

Safety with Space Heaters
Before the temperatures dip below zero check out these tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission about space heaters.


Ames Market Numbers*

  Ames 2009 Ames 2008 Story County 2009 Story County 2008
Active listings as of 12/2 214 255   172 NA
Homes SOLD YTD 525 543   264 239
Average Sale Price $187,102 $180,823   $133,718 $144,049
Average Days on the Market 95 91   108 131
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 95.1% 95.3%   92.4% 92.8%

Based on Sales information as reported to the Ames Multiple Listings Service thru 11/30.
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).