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Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS®

In This Issue

Happy Holidays

7 Ways to Have an Eco-friendly Christmas

Why Sell Your Home During the Holidays

5 Ways to Prevent Holiday Crimes at Home

Hunziker Holiday Dessert Exchange

Market Numbers
December Area Events
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  2013 Santa Express
Dec. 10-14 at 6pm
Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad, Boone

Jingle in the Junction
Dec. 12 at 5pm
Valley Junction, West Des Moines

Downtown Winter Farmers’ Market
Dec. 13 at 11am - 2pm
Dec. 14 at 9am - 1pm
Capital Square & Kaleidosscope Mall, Des Moines

Jingle Bell Run/Walk
Dec. 14 at 9am
6001 Westown Pkwy, West Des Moines

Santa at the Zoo
Dec. 14 at 10am
Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines

The Nutcracker Ballet
Dec. 14 at 1:30pm & 7:30pm
Dec. 15 at 1:30pm
Stephens Auditorium ISU, Ames

Butterfly Blizzard
Dec. 21 at 8am
Reiman Gardens ISU, Ames

Breakfast at the North Pole
Dec. 14 at 9am & 11am
Reiman Gardens ISU, Ames

Iowa Arboretum Holiday Gala
Dec. 14 5pm-8pm, 6pm-8pm
Iowa Arboretum, Madrid

Midwest Rock and Soul Revue
Nov. 23 from 7pm-10pm
The Talent Factory, 1114 6th Street, Nevada

Dec. 13 & 14
Gates Memorial Hall, Nevada

Ice Fishing Fun
Dec. 30 at 9am
McFarland Park, Ames

Dec. 31
Hy-Vee Hall, Des Moines

Monster Jam
Jan. 3 at 7:30pm
Jan. 4 at 2pm & 7:30pm
Wells Fargo Arena, 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

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7 Ways to Have an Eco-Friendly Christmas

'Tis the season to consume and decorate, which can leave your bank statement and the planet a little beat up. Celebrate an eco-friendly Christmas and nip your seasonal costs in the bud:
  • 1. Light up with LEDs. LED lights use at least 75% less energy than conventional holiday decorations, according to Energy Star. That saves the average family about $50 on energy bills during the holiday.
  • 2. Make your own decorations. Save money and keep your kids busy by hand-crafting eco-friendly decor-strings of popcorn or pine cones-instead of buying mass-produced holiday flare.
  • 3. Wrap with stuff you already have. Get creative with reusable shopping bags, magazines, and newspapers instead of using wrapping paper. Even gift bags that recipients can pass on make for a more eco-friendly Christmas, says Brian Clark Howard of The Daily Green.
  • 4. Buy a real tree. Real Christmas trees, wreaths, and garlands are renewable and recyclable.
  • 5. Say "no" to glossy paper decorations and wrapping. Shininess and color come from chemicals not easily recycled. Alternative: Decorations or wrapping papers that use soy inks or natural dyes.
  • 6. Package it in cardboard. Plain, corrugated cardboard is good for packaging because it's easy to recycle. If plastic factors into your holiday plans, look for No. 1 and No. 2 plastics, the easiest to recycle, says Ben Champion, director of sustainability for Kansas State University.
  • 7. Create precious moments that don't leave a trail of debris. Buy fair-trade, organic, or locally made products, which are often one-of-a-kind and may not need as much packaging and shipping. Give a gift certificate or donation to an organization meaningful to the recipient in the receiver's name.
With a few conscious choices, your merry Christmas can also be an eco-friendly Christmas.

Read more:


Why sell your home during the Holidays.

Taking your home off the market during the holiday season is a mistake! The house sure isn't going to sell off the market! What is the advantage of that? So you're busy. Let your Realtor do the work. You can leave in the morning, go to work, go shopping, and let your Realtor take care of things. Before you take your home off the market, consider the following points:
  • The buyers who are actively looking during the holidays are that much more serious. The home market is no more affected at Christmas than during other "busy" periods.
  • Many buyers deliberately choose to shop for a home after the busy spring and summer rush. They know that it will be easier to look, and that negotiations will be less stressful.
  • Relocating families often don't have a choice in when they can leave for their new destination.
  • When is your home ever more beautiful and inviting? You have cleaned and decorated, and your home looks like a picture postcard. If the results are good enough for family and friends, they will surely be good enough to impress your buyers.
  • With reduced inventories and motivated buyers, you will have all the members of the MLS on your team. You may find you have more showings than you would if your marketed your home during a busier time of the year.
In summary, there are lots of good reasons to go ahead and list your home during the holidays. To make sure your home gets the best exposure possible, work with an experienced realtor that is familiar with your market area and has corporate relocation connections.

Read more:


5 Ways to Prevent Holiday Crimes

With Christmas just around the corner, home owners are neck-deep in decorations and last-minute shopping, excited to soon share their holiday cheer with loved ones. But thieves and vandals also have something to look forward to in the holiday season. Cars and homes filled with easy-to-grab boxed goodies and lawns decked out with opulent embellishments make tempting targets for predators. To help you make sure the naughties don't ruin it for the nice, HouseLogic presents a few tips for protecting your home.
  • 1. Keep your "check-ins" in check.The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and others have cautioned against posting information about where you are and what you do. If it falls into the wrong hands, the consequences could be dangerous.
  • 2. Remember to lock your door. Security company ADT says 40% of all burglaries are termed as "no force entries." That means the predators gain entry through unlocked doors and windows.
  • 3. Don't give vandals a chance to act. Install motion detector lights on all sides of your house, and if possible make sure they're visible from the road.
  • 4. Deny easy access to the garage. Always make sure your garage door is closed and locked, with the inside door secure.
  • 5. Display the tree, not the gifts. Don't put out your gifts until Christmas Eve. Dispose of product boxes at a recycling center, not your garbage cans.
All it takes is one thief's determination to potentially ruin your holiday. Remain vigilant this Christmas—we encourage you practice the above safety precautions and see more tips in our article Do-It-Yourself Home Security Check: 5 Essential Steps.

Read more: 5 ways to prevent holiday crimes

Cookie Exchange Recipes
DessertExchage1.jpg Tuxedo Cake

Apple Cranberry Crisp

Caramel-Fudge Turtle Cookies

Red Velvet Brownies

Snowball Cupcakes

Christmas Tree Cookies

Candy-Topped Graham Cracker Cookie Square

Eggnog Cake

Marshmallow Snowmen

Cranberry Trifle

Brownie Biscotti

Christmas Ice Cream Pie


Ames Market Numbers

  Ames 2013 Ames 2012 Story County 2013 Story County 2012
Active listings as of 12/3/2013 99 126   109 154
Homes SOLD Year to Date 591 581   339 244
Average Sale Price $199,422 $188,842   $141,515 $149,882
Average Days on the Market 52 87   94 121
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 96.3% 95.7%   94.9% 93.3%

Based on Sales information as reported to the Central Iowa Multiple Listing Service as of 12/1/2013
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.