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Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS®

In This Issue

Thanksgiving Wishes

Help your Community, Food Banks in Need

Fall Back and Smoke Alarms

IFA First Home Plus $3,500 Credit

5 Holiday Hosting Disasters to Avoid

Market Numbers
Nov. Coupon
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Links to Holiday Events
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  30th Annual Santa's North Pole Village Craft Sale
Nov. 5th: 9am-4pm
Ankeny High School, Northview Middle School, and Parkview Middle School

American Business Women's Association (ABWA) Craft Fair
Nov. 12th: 9am-6pm and Nov. 13th: 9-5
Gates Hall/Nevada High School

Historic East Village Holiday Promenade
Nov. 18th: TBA

Ames Main Street Cultural District
Nov 19: Snow Magic Kickoff 4-7pm Tree lighting at 5:30, horse drawn carriage rides, Santa
Nov 26: Downtown Businesses Open Houses

Octagon Center for the Arts
Nov. 19: Tree festival
thru Dec. 4

Reiman Gardens
Nov. 12-13: Gift Shop Holiday Open House
Nov. 25-27: Kids Free This Holiday Weekend
Nov. 26-27: Holiday Photos by Ngaire

Festival of Trees and Lights,
Nov. 23rd - Nov. 27: Various times
Blank Children's Hospital

Boone Scenic Valley Railroad Santa Express
Nov. 26 and goes through Dec. 10
Tickets on sale Nov. 1st

Story City Tree Lighting
Nov. 25 from 5pm-6pm

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

spacer HappyThanksgiving

Thanksgiving Wishes

Thanksgiving- For some it is a day to be shared with friends and family. For others it is a day "stuck" sharing time with family. Whatever it means to you, the word thanksgiving literally means to give thanks. This means that we show our gratitude for the things that we are blessed with. A place to work, a place to call home, family. Thanksgiving is also a time when Americans share what they have with those who do not have much. Churches and other groups provide free meals for elderly people, the homeless, and the poor. Many Americans give turkeys or other food to these groups. Some spend part of the day helping to prepare and serve meals. Thanksgiving- a time to gather with our family, to share what we have, to give thanks for the good things in the past year.

The Realtors and Staff at Hunziker & Associates, Realtors wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.


Help Your Community
Food Banks are in Dire Need

Neighborhood food pantries and food banks are desperate for donations of food, funds, and folks; and the need is growing all the time. "Food assistance has gone from an emergency to a chronic need," says Shannon Traeger of Feeding America, an umbrella group for more than 200 food banks throughout the U.S. "People are chronically depending on food pantries to feed themselves and their family."

If you're a home owner, you're in a generous group: Home owners are more likely to donate to non-profits than renters according to an article published by Vincent DeVaney in the Journal of Consumer Education. If you're in the mood to donate, food banks could use your help. Here's how you can help your community feed the hungry:
  • Learn about the hunger problem in your county.
  • Call your local food pantry to see what it needs. Individual donations? Food drives? More volunteers? Then organize your block to meet those needs. Thanksgiving, which is coming quickly, is a good time to give to others.
  • De-clutter your own pantry, and donate items you're not going to eat. Check expiration dates.
  • Volunteer your time, too. Most food pantries run mainly on volunteer help. Gather your neighbors and pitch in!
Here's a list of Local Food Pantries.

Ames Help Center- 515-451-3994
Bethesda Lutheran Church-
Cambridge Food Pantry- 515-383-4392
Colo Community Food Pantry- 641-597-2831
Food at First-
Huxley Food Pantry- 515-597-2831
Loaves & Fishes, Inc- Story City/Gilbert/Roland- 515-733-4214
Maxwell-Collins Food Pantry- 515-387-8505
Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA)- 515-956-3333
Nevada Community Cupboard- 515-231-7175
Slater/Sheldahl Food Pantry- 515-685-2531
The Serving Center- 515-396-0356
Reprinted from HouseLogic with permission of the National Association of Realtors® Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

Change your Clocks and Smoke Alarm Batteries

ChangeClockChangeBattery.jpg Daylight savings time ends Nov.6. Don't forget to move your clock back 1 hour. This is also a good time to change the batteries in your smoke alarms. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. You can prevent tragedies simply by testing and maintaining your smoke alarms and practicing a fire escape plan. All smoke alarms in your house should be tested once a month, and their batteries replaced annually.

View Tips from the National Fire Protection Association

Increased Assistance to Home Buyers

IFA The Iowa Finance Authority's FirstHome Plus down payment assistance grant just increase from $2,500 to $3,500 until December 31, 2011, or until the funds are expended. The IFA's FirstHome program offers first-time home buyers state-sponsored, affordable, fixed rate mortgages and the convenience of working with a local lender. The IFA FirstHome Plus grant provides cash assistance to help eligible borrowers with closing costs, down payment or minor repairs. The grant must be used in conjunction with the FirstHome program and the same income limits apply.

Find out more about the program on the IFA website or contact your Hunziker & Associates, Realtor® to find a local lender who works with the program.


5 Holiday Hosting Disasters and How to Avoid Them

Imagine you're preparing to host your annual holiday party, and you're past the point of no return. The veggies and meats have been bought. Guests are already braving busy airports and crowded highways to get to your home-and then your oven won't turn on. Your home-cooked meal has quickly turned into a microwave dinner.

That's just one of many hosting nightmares that can end your holiday party before it even begins. Thankfully, some of the most damaging mishaps easily can be avoided. We collected five of the most prevalent issues and give you preventative tips to keep your holiday party on track.

Problem: The oven doesn't heat
For any holiday occasion, the oven is the most important appliance in your house. If it fails to work, the centerpiece of your meal could go from roasted beef, ham, duck, or Tofurky to Peking Duck from the local Chinese takeout joint.
How to avoid:
  • There are any number of reasons a stove can break, but one common cause of disaster is easy to prevent. Don't self-clean your oven until AFTER the holidays. You risk blowing a fuse or a thermostat, and tracking down an oven technician around the holidays can be tough.
Problem: The kitchen sink clogs
The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest of the year for plumbers. The prime cause of this clog-a-thon is the mistreatment of drains when cooking holiday feasts. We hope your Thanksgiving goes well, and that you avoid clog-a-thons for the rest of the holidays.
How to avoid:
  • Fats and cooking oils can solidify in your pipes, so never dispose of them in your kitchen sink.
  • If you have a garbage disposal, make sure it's running before anything goes in it, and never feed it any stringy, fibrous, or starchy foods like poultry skins or potato peels.
Problem: The heat goes out
As the party's host, you're supposed to hang guests' coats-not apologize to them for having to keep them on. A lack of heat can stop a holiday party dead in its tracks.
How to avoid:
  • The key to avoiding freezing your party to a standstill is regular maintenance of your HVAC. Every 90 days, a new one-inch pleated furnace filter should be installed. If you haven't done it in a while, now's a good time to replace it.
  • Also inspect insulation on refrigerant lines that are leading into your house. Replace them if they're missing or damaged.
Problem: The toilet stops up
Toilets have a way of clogging up at the worst times, such as during parties and when you have overnight guests. This is especially true if you have a low-flow toilet from the early 1990s.
How to avoid:
  • Don't flush anything other than sewage and toilet paper down the toilet. And there's nothing wrong with putting up a polite note to remind your guests to do the same.
Problem: The fridge doesn't cool
Without a properly functioning refrigerator, your meat could get contaminated, your dairy-based treats could go sour, and you may not be able to save your yummy leftovers. To avoid discovering a warm fridge after it's too late, take these simple precautions.
How to avoid:
  • Get a thermometer for your refrigerator to make sure each shelf stays below 40 degrees and you can be aware of any temperature changes.
  • Also make sure the condenser coils located on the back of the unit or beneath it are free to breathe. Coils blocked from circulating air by cereal boxes atop the fridge, or dirtied by dust or pet hair can prevent a fridge from keeping cool.
Reprinted from HouseLogic with permission of the National Association of Realtors® Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.


Ames Market Numbers*

  Ames 2011 Ames 2010 Story County 2011 Story County 2010
Active listings as of 11/1 260 282   178 185
Homes SOLD Recent YTD 449 423   207 189
Average Sale Price $177,728 $181,347   $128,702 $137,414
Average Days on the Market 102 83   105 125
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 94.3% 95.3%   92.4% 92.1%

*Based on Sales information as reported to the Central Iowa Multiple Listing Service as of 11/1
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.