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Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS®

In This Issue

Listings Needed

Live United Food Drive

5 Gardening Apps

Area Swimming Pools Open

Is An Outdoor Fire Pit For You?

Shred Day Recap

Market Numbers
May Coupon
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Free Business Energy Symposium
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  City of Ames Logo
The City of Ames Electric Services Department and City of Ames Sustainability Task Force Business Sector Committee invite members of the business community to attend a free Business Energy Symposium that focuses on no-cost and low-cost ways for increasing energy efficiency in day-to-day operations. The keynote speaker will be Assistant Director Bill Diesslin with Iowa State University's Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S).

The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tues., May 22 at Reiman Gardens. Lunch will be provided by The Cafe. Although admission is free, pre-registration required. Attendance will be limited to 100 guests. Contact Steve Wilson, "The Energy Guy", at (515) 239-5170 or email at

Click here to read the full press release.
Useful Websites
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  Ames Chamber Logo
The Ames Chamber of Commerce

City of Ames Logo
The City of Ames

Ames CVB
Ames Convention and Visiors Bureau

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

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Central Iowa, We Have a Problem

This may be an unusual forum to state a problem of our own creation, and we must confess we brought it on ourselves. Over the past few months we have sold so many of our residential listings, that we now find ourselves needing more.

How did this happen? The number of listings that we have sold, or are currently sale pending, are up dramatically this year. We haven't been able to replace those listings with new listings at the same rate. Simply put, we have out-sold ourselves. While this is certainly a good thing, as a great many of our seller clients are pleased that their homes are now sold, we are in need of additional homeowners who want to sell their homes. We have several dozen willing and able buyers who are simply waiting for the right home.

If you or someone you know is looking to sell their home this spring or summer season, please contact your Hunziker & Associates Realtor® who will be glad to help turn a listing into a successful sale.

United Way Wish List

4th Annual LIVE UNITED
Food Drive

United Way Logo Area businesses, including Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS®, are working with the United Way this month to help families in need put food on their table. You can be a part of it too! Simply bring your food or cash donation to any collection site May 14-24. Your donation will be distributed to the one of the 15 food pantries in the county. The United Way is hoping for a large food donation this year. The need for food is even greater during the summer months. One out of four students in Story County are on a free or reduced lunch program. These children will no longer have access to school-provided meals once summer break starts.

See the list at the right for some ideas for donations. Cash donation may be used to purchase perishable items or other items in bulk.

Questions about the LIVE UNITED Food Drive?
Marcy Nelson, 515-956-2424 ,

5 Great Gardening Apps

Food Gardening Guide for iPhone (Free)
Android (Free)
Mother Earth News has produced this delightful and comprehensive guide on how to grow your own food. Chapters are titled "All About Growing (whatever)," and they deliver info on planting, harvesting and storage, saving seeds, pest and disease prevention, growing, and kitchen prep. For instance, did you know you can harvest carrots, store them over the winter, and replant in spring to generate seeds? Now you do.

Landscaper's Companion ($5.99 iPhone, iPad)
($4.99 Android)
This is a planting reference for just about anything you can stick into soil. For each species, the app provides its growing zone, watering and sun needs, height, width, and bloom time -- plus a pretty picture. You can also scroll through images, pick a plant that sparks your interest, and then research it.

Garden ID (Free iPad, iPhone)
A personal gardening guru that customizes information for your particular slice of heaven. Allow the app to use your current location, and it suggests fruits, vegetables and herbs that can thrive in your edible garden anytime, and even varieties you can plant now. As a bonus, it also names plants that like to grow together, like corn that shades lettuce, giving it a longer growing season. You'll also learn which plants don't get along, like cauliflower and tomatoes.

Garden Tracker (99 cents for iPhone, $3.99 for iPad)
A digital gardening journal that helps you keep track of what you planted where, when you watered and fertilized each plant, and days until harvest. It also gives info on sunrise, moon phases, and USDA Hardiness Zones. It's a great planning tool for square or rectangular plots and beds, because it lays out plants in a grid.

Home Outside ($1.99 for iPhone, iPad)
Home Outside lets you dream up out-of-the-box landscaping not limited to rectangular plots. You can arrange trees, gardens, patios, hammocks, even driveways. Don't like the way it looks? Move, rotate, scale up and down until your landscape design looks just right.

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Opening Dates for Area Swimming Pools

FurmanAquaticCenter City of Ames Pools open May 26th
The city of Ames has a variety of options for aquatic activities including Furman Aquatic Center and Ames Municipal Pool.
AmesMunicipalPool 2012 Pool Fee Chart
2012 Pool Hours

CascadeFalls City of Ankeny Pools open May 26th
The City of Ankeny offers several amenities for swimmers and families who are looking for fun ways to beat the heat! PrairieRidge Cascade Falls Aquatic Center
Prairie Ridge Aquatic Center
Splash Park at Prairie Ridge

FawcettAquaticCenter Fawcett Family Aquatic Center in Nevada opens Memorial Day

BoonePool Boone Municipal Pool in McHose Park opens May 26th

Slater Municipal Pool opens May 26th

Story City Municipal Swimming Pool opens May 26th

Community Shred Day Recap

ShredDay2012.jpg Despite cool weather conditions we had a steady stream of people to shred their old documents on Saturday, April 28 during our Community Shred Day event. Thanks to Secure Shred Solutions for making the shredding easy with car side service. This year we produced 2,500 pounds of shredded paper! It was our pleasure to help many in the community protect their identity and rid their basements and closets of old documents with confidential information.

Outdoor fire pits and safety

FirePits According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, fire pits, or outdoor fireplaces, are the No. 1 requested design feature today. Why not? They add ambiance to a cool evening, and it's nice to just sit and stare at a burning fire. Plus, you can have one for a lot less than you might think.

The simplest fire pit of all is little more than a metal bowl. They're great for small patios and courtyards.

Chimineas arrived on the scene back in the 1980s, and they remain as popular as ever. They don't give off much heat, but the smell of burning wood adds a certain something to outdoor living.

Permanent fire pits can be very simple and inexpensive to install such as a ring made from mortared limestone. Fancier fire pits will cost you more, but do-it-yourselfers can easily handle the installation.

A Note About Fire Safety
When it comes time to actually start a fire, there are a few things to keep in mind, the most important of which is to keep your fire small. There's no need for a blazing bonfire, and the bigger the fire, the greater the potential for disaster.

First things first, your fire pit should be at least 10 feet away from any structure or combustible surface. Before lighting an outdoor fire, check the weather forecast. Avoid windy conditions that can blow embers. Also stay up to date on any burn bans or burn ordinances that might be in effect at different times during the year. Doing some house cleaning, like picking up leaves and other combustible materials, around the pit is important to ensure the fire doesn't accidentally spread. Always have a container of water nearby and a garden hose on standby before starting the fire.

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Ames Market Numbers

  Ames 2012 Ames 2011 Story County 2012 Story County 2011
Active listings as of 5/1/2012 239 313   175 181
Homes SOLD YTD 132 117   61 65
Average Sale Price $178,872 $166,997   $142,745 $110,765
Average Days on the Market 117 112   100 121
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 94.8% 93.7%   93.8% 89.3%

Based on Sales information as reported to the Central Iowa Multiple Listing Service as of 4/30/2012
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.