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Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS®

In This Issue

Holiday Wishes

5 Tips to Sell Your Home in the Winter

Save Energy and Money with LED Lights

Kids Crafts

Holiday Recipes

Market Numbers
Dec. Coupon
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Links to Holiday Events
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  Christmas Luncheon
Dec. 8 11am-1pm
Our Lady's Immacualte Heart Catholic Church in Ankeny

Breakfast with Santa
Dec. 10th 9am or 10:30am
Reiman Gardens, ISU, Ames

The Nutcraker Ballet at the Iowa State Center
Dec. 10 & 11
Iowa State Center at CY Stephens

Mannheim Steamroller
Dec. 20th
Iowa State Center at CY Stephens

Ankeny Community Theater-"A Nice Family Gathering"
Dec. 9-11 & 16-18

Santa Express in Boone
Dec. 8-10

Winterfestival in Nevada
Dec. 9-10
Gates Memorial Hall

Iowa Youth Chorus Candlelight Concert
Dec. 11 6:30pm
Temple of Performing Arts

Ames Chamber Artists Holiday Concert, in Boone and Ames
Dec. 11 - First Presbyterian Church, Boone
Dec. 17 - Ames First Evangelical Free Church, Ames

Santa and Companions (Bring your pets to see Santa!)
Dec. 15 & 20 7-9pm
North Grand Mall, Ames
Useful Websites
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  Ames Chamber Logo
The Ames Chamber of Commerce

City of Ames Logo
The City of Ames

Ankeny Chamber Logo
The Ankeny Chamber of Commerce

City of Ankeny Logo
The City of Ankeny

Booone Chamber Logo
The Boone Chamber of Commerce

Nevada Chamber Logo
The Nevada Chamber of Commerce

Ames Main Street Cultural District
Ames Main Street Cultural District

Interest Rate Info
Interest Rate Information

spacer There is no place like home for the holidays!  As you prepare to celebrate the season with traditions handed down through generations, or make a new holiday memory of your very own, we wish you and your family a joy filled home. Season's Greetings and Warmest Wishes for a wonderful holiday and New Year.


5 Tips for Selling Your Home in the Winter

Here are some tips to lessen the chances your home will languish on the market:
  1. Remember the basics Taking care of needed maintenance and repairs is obligatory in any season. A thorough cleaning and getting rid of clutter are equally essential. In a slow market, nothing counts more than pricing aggressively.
  2. Think warm and cozy Home staging- Staging may in fact be even more important in winter, according to Loren Keim, a real estate broker and professor of real estate at Lehigh University. But to convey a cozy impression in winter, it may behoove you to turn up the thermostat and have a fire in the fireplace for open houses. It will give you an edge over the many vacant homes on the market.
  3. Neatly shoveled paths make a difference It's important for reasons of safety, aesthetics and, once again, competition. In particular, a foreclosed house probably won't have walks and parking spaces shoveled out, and "people don't like to deal with that," says Holden Lewis, real estate expert for
  4. Good Lighting is Essential Your home may appear darker due to less daylight. Fight the gloom. Turn on all the lights possible for visitors - this is no time to worry about the electric bill. Open blinds, drapes and shutters to let natural light pour in. Make sure to clean any grime off the windows first.Encourage showings during high-daylight hours. Showing after work in the dark isn't a great idea. Make sure you have enough outside illumination for drive-by visitors in the evening, however.
  5. Tasteful holiday decorations can help The holidays give you an extra chance to make your home stand out. Keep decorations conservative and don't overdo it on outdoor lighting. A colorful winter wreath on the front door and colorful poinsettias and holly bushes in the yard will help retain a festive look for January and February, when more house-shoppers start to turn up.
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Save Energy and Money with LED Lights

When the glow goes from your holiday lights, don't chuck them in the trash can; look for a program that recycles them - or better yet, a program that pays you to recycle them. Then, you can use your cash to buy new LED holiday lights Recycle Christmas Lights, which can use 90% less energy than incandescent holiday lights.

Should you chuck all your good old holiday light strings and buy new LED holiday lights? Here's how to decide.
  1. LED holiday lights save you money. LED lights use at least 90% less energy than traditional holiday lights, according to the U.S. government's Energy Star program. That results in a $50 energy savings for the average family during the holidays, says Avital Binshtock of the Sierra Club in San Francisco. Put it into perspective: The amount of electricity consumed by one 7-watt incandescent bulb could power 140 LEDs-enough to light two 24-foot strings, says Energy Star.
  2. But LED lights typically cost more than old-fashioned holiday lights.GE 100-bulb string of Energy Star-certified LED white lights: $18.97 at Lowe's GE 100-bulb string of conventional white lights: $8.97. But shop around because a growing number of retailers are offering sales on LED holiday lights and, if you can't find a sale before the holidays, you can certainly find one after. Plus, prices will surely go down as these lights gain traction.
  3. LED holiday lights last and last. LED bulbs can keep your season bright for as long as 100,000 hours, says Cathy Choi, president of Moonachie, N.J.-based Bulbrite, which manufactures LED and regular bulbs. That's substantially longer than the life of your old holiday light strings.
  4. You can string a BIG strand of LED lights. Safety wise, you shouldn't connect more than three traditional light strings, but you can connect up to 87 LED holiday light strings, totaling a whopping 1,500 feet, Choi says. So blow your neighbor's display away by cocooning your house in lights:
    You won't have to buy as many extension cords.
    You can take your holiday lighting display further away from the outlet.
  5. LED lights reduce the risk of fire. They stay cooler than incandescent bulbs, according to Energy Star.
  6. How about that hue? Some people stick with their old lights because they don't like the brighter hue that white LED holiday lights emit. But Choi says manufacturers now offer a "warm white" bulb that more closely mimics the glow of an incandescent light.DazzlingLights Be sure to read the label to choose a bright or warm white and to ensure what you're purchasing is Energy Star-certified. Colored and color-changing LED holiday lights are more vibrant than conventional lights, making your display easier to see from the street, Choi says.
Curious about those dazzling light shows? Follow this link to see 4 Holiday Light Displays and how much they cost.
4 Dazzling Light Displays

Kids Crafts

Kids Crafts Pictures Button Wreath- These ornaments make great gifts for teachers and friends, and allow your children to work on fine motor skills - and patience!

Santa Bread- Tender and golden, the Golden Santa Bread is also entirely edible. But it's so adorable, you'll want to display it a while first!

Growing Tree- This felt Christmas tree serves as a visual record of your family's growth from year to year. After measuring in, kids can print their heights on felt ornaments and add them to the tree.

Sweet & Salty Snowmen- Kids have a blast creating different looks for their chocolate-dipped pretzel snowmen with candy scarves, buttons and top hats.

Good Fortune Walnuts- This ornament is inspired by the Victorian tradition of hanging gilded walnuts on a tree, each holding a special fortune in its empty shell. When friends come calling, have them choose a walnut to crack apart, revealing your best wishes for the coming year.

Doorknob Bells- Deck the doorknobs with jolly kid-made bells. It's a great activity for days when it's too wet or chilly to play outside.

Holiday Recipes from Us to You

HolidayRecipePic Candy Cane Cocoa

Chocolate Mice

Bacon Cheddar Biscuit Snackers

Sweet and Spicy Pecans

Sweet-n-Sour Appetizer Meatballs

Cherry Tea Ring

Sour Cream Raisin Pie

Peanut Butter Balls (Buckeyes)

Caramel Salted Almond Sticks


Ames Market Numbers*

  Ames 2011 Ames 2010 Story County 2011 Story County 2010
Active listings as of 12/1 247 261   178 161
Homes SOLD Recent YTD 485 450   225 212
Average Sale Price $179,310 $181,100   $132,089 $137,759
Average Days on the Market 103 84   105 130
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 94.3% 95.2%   92.3% 92.0%

*Based on Sales information as reported to the Central Iowa Multiple Listing Service as of 12/1
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.