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Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS®

In This Issue

Check your Credit Report: 1 in 5 has errors

Energy Audits

Don't Miss Home Tax Breaks

Spring Break Projects that Add Home Value

Business Spotlight

Market Numbers
March Area Events
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  Des Moines Home & Remodeling Show
March 8-10
Varied Industries Building, Iowa State Fairgrounds

Cyclone Bouldering Bash
March 9, 12pm-3pm
The Cyclone Bouldering Bash is committed to provide a fun and exciting climbing experience to climbers of all abilities.
Lied Rec Center ISU, Ames

Iowa Flower, Lawn & Garden Show
March 15-17
Varied Industries Building, Iowa State Fairgrounds

The Leprechaun Chase 10K
March 16, 9am Start
The Leprechaun Chase 10k is a St. Paddy's Day run with a twist, where ladies get a head start and the guys chase them.
Downtown Des Moines

Shrine Circus
March 22, 7pm
March 23, 9:30am, 2:30pm, 7pm
March 24, 1pm, 5pm
Jacobson Exhibition Center, Iowa State Fairgrounds

Spring Egg Hunt
March 23, 9am-11am
Ames Jaycees will be hosting a Spring Egg Hunt and craft/activity stations plus a visit from the Spring Bunny!
Reiman Gardens ISU, Ames

Easter Bunny Express
March 23, 10:30am
Travel across the 156' high Bass Point Creek High Bridge as you ride to the bottom of the scenic Des Moines River Valley and meet the Easter Bunny on board.
Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad, Boone

Blue Man Group
March 25 & 26, 7:30pm
Stephens Auditorium ISU, Ames

ECO Fair (Ames)
March 30, 10am-2pm
Community Center Gym, Ames

Brunnier in Bloom 2013
March 29-31
Brunnier Art Museum, ISU

A T. Rex Named Sue
Thru May 12
Science Center of Iowa, Des Moines

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


Does Your Credit Report Have Errors?
1 in 5 reports have errors according to a government study

CreditReport.jpg The Federal Trade Commission released a study revealing that 5 percent of consumers had errors on one of their three major credit reports, potentially leading to higher costs for loans and insurance.

The report by the Federal Trade Commission, completed in December but just released in February, found that 21% of a representative group of American consumers discovered a "confirmed material error" in at least one of the credit reports issued by the Big Three credit reporting bureaus -- Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. A "confirmed material error" involves information that, when corrected, changed the consumer's credit report.

The FTC says the findings underline the importance of consumers checking their credit reports. Consumers are entitled to a free copy of their credit report each year from each of the three reporting agencies.

The new U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has the authority to write and enforce rules for the credit reporting industry. In September the agency began ongoing monitoring of the credit agencies' compliance. It's the first time they have faced such close federal oversight. The CFPB hasn't yet taken any public action against the agencies. However, it is accepting complaints from consumers who discover incorrect information on their reports or have trouble getting mistakes corrected. The agencies have 15 days to respond to the complaints with a plan for fixing the problem; consumers can dispute that response.

Read more at & at
Click Here to learn about getting your free credit reports.


Benefits of a Home Energy Audit

Many houses suffer from a number of problems that homeowners don't realize are actually energy related. Is your home too hot in summer or too cold in winter? Does it seem to be unusually drafty? An energy assessment (energy audit),can lead to significant energy savings by helping you discover where and how your home is using energy inefficiently, and what you can do to rectify the situation.

Benefits of a Home Energy Audit Include:

  • Lower energy bills and increased energy savings: a detailed report will prioritize cost effective measures that you can take to ensure your home runs more efficiently.

  • Improve home comfort: your home is your castle and you want to spend quality time in it with your family. What you don't want is to feel too hot or too cold, or generally unwell.

  • Protect the environment: did you know that 16% of greenhouse gases generated in the United States come from residential homes? By making your home energy efficient, you can feel good about the fact that you're doing your part to help make a better America for all of us.

  • Increase your home's resale value and marketability: for every $1 decrease in annual energy costs, the market value of a home increases by $20, according to a study published in the Appraisal Journal. By decreasing your energy costs by $300 per year, the value of your home increases by $6,000. The more energy savings that a home generates, the more attractive it is to potential buyers, who understand the value of lower energy costs and higher home comfort levels.

  • Uncover hidden problems: there may be problems that you never even knew about such as improper ventilation that is encouraging the growth of mold or mildew. A home energy assessment will point these out, enabling you to take action before the problem gets out of hand.

  • Testimonial
    "Ames' deep commitment to greener living is among the many amenities of living in this great community. One of its programs that I have found most helpful has been the Residential Energy Audit - a service that is free to all homeowners in Ames. The effects of the improvements were noticeable immediately - the house was less drafty, it heated up more quickly when I turned up the thermostat in the morning, and I could turn the thermostat down earlier in the evening because the house stayed warmer longer.

    Thanks to the City's energy audit, in just two short months, it is significantly warmer and more energy efficient. Many of the changes were ones I could do myself, but a few projects really do need the pros. With the auditor's suggestions, I was able to make wiser decisions as to what projects to do and when to do them."

    -Virginia Shenk and daughter Linda, Ames Homeowners and Hunziker & Associates customers.
  • A wise investment: buying your home is one of the biggest investments you'll ever make. When you invest in measures that result in energy savings, you can expect a return of around 16% per year, after taking into account the money you spent on the improvements. As energy prices rise, so will your return on investment. In today's economy, that's a safer bet than on the stock market!

  • Don't Miss Home Tax Breaks

    Owning a home can pay off at tax time. For 2012, you might be able to take advantage of these home ownership-related tax deductions, credits, and strategies to lower your tax bill:

    Mortgage interest deduction

    Private Mortgage Insurance Deduction

    Prepaid Interest Deduction

    Energy Tax Credits

    Vacation or Second Home Tax Deductions

    Home Buyer Tax Credit Repayment

    Property Tax Deduction


    Projects for Spring Break that Add Value to your Home

    Replace Sinks & Faucets -You can replace a kitchen sink and faucet yourself in a matter of hours. Be sure to seek out low-flow faucet aerators that can reduce water usage by 30%. (Energy-efficient features, specifically, are a "must have" or are "really wanted" by 88% of home buyers these days.)

    Paint a Room -It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do to immediately transform any room in your house. Lighter shades generally make a room feel larger; neutral shades will appeal most to potential buyers.

    Get Organized -Improvements to a home's functional space can be just as valuable as ones that make a home look better. Focus your efforts on the garage, basement and closets, where you can declutter easily with clear storage bins or new shelving.

    Add a Backsplash -The easiest way to add pizazz to your kitchen is with a new backsplash. You can go from country to modern in a snap with a variety of options for finishes and colors. To save money, time and frustration, consider the peel-and-stick tile options now available.

    Install Vanity Cabinets & Toilets -Even relatively minor updates to your bathroom can produce a return on investment of 172%. Look for modern water-saving models that will both save on your water bills and appeal to energy-conscious buyers when it's time to sell.

    Replace the Front Door -As the first thing prospective buyers will see upon entering your home, a new front door will more than recoup your investment. Buy a qualifying energy-efficient door and reap a tax credit of 30% of your cost.

    BusinessSpotlight.jpg Kohl's and T.J. Maxx are open in Ames as of March 3, 2013. A Grand Opening Celebration is scheduled for Thursday, March 7 at 6:30pm with Fireworks, Mall-wide Sale, Enter to Win Shopping Spree, and more. KohlsTJMaxxLogos Kohl's is one of the nation's most recognized retailers for customer satisfaction and has earned the trust and loyalty of shoppers by combining well-known brands, value and convenience. T.J. Maxx offers an ever-fresh array of fashionable, brand-name family apparel, home fashions and other merchandise such as beauty products.

    Visit Kohl's and T.J. Maxx for online shopping and more information.


    Ames Market Numbers

      Ames 2013 Ames 2012 Story County 2013 Story County 2012
    Active listings as of 3/1/2013 132 228   131 148
    Homes SOLD Year to Date 32 39   26 19
    Average Sale Price $194,844 $176,846   $137,061 $122,531
    Average Days on the Market 75 139   146 74
    Sale Price to List Price Ratio 94.7% 93.9%   92.5% 94.8%

    Based on Sales information as reported to the Central Iowa Multiple Listing Service as of 2/28/2013
    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.