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In This Issue

Thanksgiving Wishes

Smoke Alarms

Military First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Extension

Thanksgiving Tips

Local Events

Ames Market Numbers
Thanksgiving Left
Do you remember Thanksgiving in your first home? Maybe your entire family came and you prepared the entire meal, or maybe it was just a small gathering and everyone brought something.

As we reflect on this past year, we have seen many home buyers come through our doors who took advantage of the First Time Home Buyer's Tax Credit. For them, this will be the first major holiday in their new home. Whether you are celebrating your first or twenty-first Thanksgiving in your home, the REALTORS and Staff at Hunziker & Associates wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.

Smoke Alarm Safety
Every year in the United States, about 3,000 people lose their lives in residential fires. Most fire victims die from inhalation of smoke and toxic gases, not as a result of burns. Most deaths and injuries occur in fires that happen at night while the victims are asleep. You can prevent tragedies simply by testing and maintaining your smoke alarms and practicing a fire escape plan.

At the same time you replace your smoke alarm batteries, replace the batteries in your Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarm. CO is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced when any fuel is incompletely burned. About 150 people die each year from non-fire, carbon monoxide poisoning associated with home fuel-burning heating equipment.
See the Consumer Product Safety Commission for more information
CPSC recommends the following on smoke alarms:
  • Install a working smoke alarm on every level of the home, outside sleeping areas, and inside bedrooms.

  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month.

  • Replace smoke alarm batteries at least annually, such as when resetting clocks in the fall or spring.

First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit May Be Extended for Service Members

Amid mounting speculation over the future of the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit, Congress moved to give American service members another 12 months to claim the popular incentive. The House of Representatives voted 416 to 0 to pass the Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009, which pushes the credit's current November 30 deadline back an additional year for members of the military, Foreign Service, and intelligence corps who served at least three months of qualified overseas duty in 2009. "This bill makes sure that the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day get to enjoy the same benefits as every other American who benefits from their service," said Rep. Charles Rangel, the New York Democrat who introduced the bill. "By extending the first-time homebuyer tax credit for service members overseas, we give these families more time to utilize the benefit, while also helping our economy continue its recovery."

From here, the action now moves to the Senate, which must also pass the measure before it can be signed by the president. "I would expect it is going to receive wide bipartisan support," Kind says. "It's the least that our government can do for our service men and women."
Click here to read about the five things you need to know about the development.

BREAKING NEWS! Lawmakers voted 85-2 to move closer to a final vote on the bill, which would extend until April 30 the $8,000 homebuyer credit that otherwise would expire at the end of this month.

Click here to read more about this development.
Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving Tips

2-Week Countdown to Thanksgiving
A day-by-day guide to getting it all done, stress-free

The holiday season can be a busy time. We hope these links help you in the preparation of holiday meals and celebrations.

Start stocking up on items you will need to set your Thanksgiving table. Make sure you have a usable tablecloth and cloth napkins, all your serving utensils and platters, candles and decorative namecards. With these necessities in hand, you can set your table the night before.

A popular way to celebrate holidays or any party occasion is to invite friends and family to a buffet. However, this type of food service where foods are left out for long periods leave the door open for uninvited guests - bacteria that cause foodborne illness. Here are some tips from the USDA's Meat and Poultry Hotline to help you have a SAFE holiday party.

Many of your favorite holiday foods are stuffed with nutrition. If you practice a little portion control -- and in some instances, tweak preparation techniques -- you'll walk away from the bountiful table with heaps of health benefits.

Two experts gave fantastic advice on how to prevent your furry ones from consuming potentially hazardous "goodies" during the holidays.


Local Events-
Fun for the whole family

Ames Main Street Cultural District -
Experience the feeling of an old-fashioned hometown festival with our holiday open house. It will kick off with a tree lighting ceremony. Children and adults can ride with Santa in his magical hayride where he will take wishes from children.
November 20-22, 6:00-8:30pm

Octagon Center for the Arts, Ames -
The Festival of Trees is a great holiday event for families to enjoy together. The Octagon Center for the Arts will be hosting and organizing this special event in their Main Gallery.
Nov. 20 from 5-8pm, Nov. 21 & 22 from 1-5pm, Nov. 28 & 29 from 1-5pm

North Grand Mall, Ames -
Santa Arrives on a fire truck
Saturday, November 21 at 1:00pm

Reiman Gardens, Ames -
It's a blizzard of a different color this winter at Reiman Gardens in Ames. Take a warm, colorful break from the whites of winter to the colorful and warm, tropical Butterfly Wing.
November 27-January 3

Story City -
Tree Lighting, Snowball Drop and Santa Arrival
Friday, November 27 at 6:00pm

Nevada -
Breakfast with Santa in conjunction with Festival of Trees
Saturday, December 12 from 8:30-11:00am


Ames Market Numbers*

  Ames 2009 Ames 2008 Story County 2009 Story County 2008
Active listings as of 11/2 220 250   177 NA
Homes SOLD YTD 494 514   249 224
Average Sale Price $183,456 $180,945   $134,723 $144,643
Average Days on the Market 93 91   109 129
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 95.5% 95.4%   92.4% 93.3%

Based on Sales information as reported to the Ames Multiple Listings Service thru 10/31/09.
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).