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Zestimate Guesstimate

According to Zillow's own research, Zillow's median margin of error in Iowa is 5.8%. This doesn't sound like much until one thinks through this statistic. The median, by definition, is that one half of the homes will sell outside the 5.8% range. What does this look like in practice? The average sales price of a home in Ames is approximately $200,000. Lets assume for example that Zilow's Zestimate for a residential home is $200,000. According to Zillow, there is a 50% chance that the sales price will be between $188,400 and $211,600. The total range is $23,200. Conversely, Zillow acknowledges that their Zestimate has a 50% chance of being wrong by more than 5.8%. It is equally likely that the actual sales price might be outside their stated range. Therefore the actual sales price could easily be $185,000 as it might be $215,000? Who knows? We know!! What confidence can this Zestimate give a home seller or a home buyer? By Zillow's own admission, this is precisely why a Hunziker & Associates Realtor is required. We know the market.
 

Fall Maintenance Checklist

Beautiful, brisk fall is here which means winter is right around the corner. Autumn is the perfect time to get your home and yard prepped for the colder months ahead. Take advantage of the mild weather this season and use these maintenance tasks to ensure you and your household are ready before the snow falls.

Inspect and clean out gutters and downspouts- Clogged rain gutters can cause ice dams, which can lead to expensive repairs. After the leaves have fallen, clean your gutters to remove leaves, twigs, and gunk. Make sure gutters aren't sagging and trapping water; tighten gutter hangers and downspout brackets. Replace any worn or damaged gutters and downspouts.

Seal any gaps or cracks around doors or windows with caulking or weather stripping- Sealing up cracks between trim and siding, around window and door frames, and where pipes and wires enter your house. Preventing moisture from getting inside your walls is one of the least expensive and most important - of your fall maintenance jobs. You'll also seal air leaks that waste energy.

Drain all outdoor faucets and irrigation systems- Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up in the faucets and in the plumbing pipes just inside your exterior walls. If freezing temps hit, that water could freeze, expand, and crack the faucet or pipes. Make this an early fall priority so a sudden cold snap doesn't sneak up and cause damage. Time to drain your irrigation system. Even buried irrigation lines can freeze, leading to busted pipes and broken sprinkler heads.

Have a professional inspect your furnace- Schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling pro to get your heating system checked and tuned up for the coming heating season. An annual maintenance contract ensures you're at the top of the list for checks and shaves 20% off the cost of a single visit.

Check fireplaces for soot build-up and/or hire a chimney sweep to do an inspection- To make sure your fireplace is safe, grab a flashlight and look up inside your fireplace flue to make sure the damper opens and closes properly. Open the damper and look up into the flue to make sure it's free of birds' nests, branches and leaves, or other obstructions. You should see daylight at the top of the chimney. Have your fireplace flue cleaned by a professional to remove creosote buildup.

Click here for a full checklist you can printFall Maintenance Checklist.
For more fall maintenance suggestions follow these links for Houselogic and HomeAdvisor.
 

Guide to Fall Fun: Pumpkin patches, hayrides, haunted houses and more!

Take a short road trip to find the perfect pumpkin. Enjoy the smell of fresh-cut hay and the crispness of the air. Get lost in a corn maze and take a hayride. From pumpkin patches to scarecrows, petting zoos, and haunted houses Central Iowa has a host of fun fall activities.
  • Center Grove Orchard- Come be part of the lively atmosphere of our beautiful Central Iowa farm! Enjoy daily hayrides, corn maze, farm animals, pedal tractors, weekend festivals with live entertainment and so much more. Don't forget our corn pool, jumping pillow, rubber duck races and apple sling shot. Pick your own apples and find your perfect pumpkin. Come hungry to enjoy all the tastes of the season such as farm fresh meals & caramel apples!


  • The Berry Patch- Apples, asparagus, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, currants (red and black), gooseberries, pumpkins, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, pumpkin patch- already gathered from the field, prepicked produce, gift shop, snacks and refreshment stand, restrooms, picnic area, horse-drawn hay rides, tractor-pulled hay rides.


  • Black's Heritage Farms- See and feed animals. We have ponies, horses, pigs, goats, turkeys, chickens, cow & calf, and more. Take a trolley ride around the farm. Pick your own pumpkins.


  • Iowa Orchard- Pumpkins for sale in the shop or farmstand, pumpkin patch- already gathered from the field, we also have pie pumpkins, tractor-pulled hay rides, Cider mill (fresh apple cider made on the premises), concessions / refreshment stand, porta-potties, restrooms, picnic area, face painting, a family fun zone included with our hay rack rides. The zone has hay slides, corn box, bean box, tire obstacle course, badminton, and horseshoe toss. Bakery and kitchen produces pies, made from scratch caramel apples, fudge, cookies, turnovers, and other wonderful treats.


  • Geisler Farms- The Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch are open on the weekends during September and October. With the purchase of a corn maze admission, guests automatically receive access to the Fun Zone. The Fun Zone features more than a dozen family friendly outdoor activities for children and adults to enjoy. The activities include swings, a tractor tire swing, rubber duck races, patio maze, table maze, pedal karts, tricycles, hamster roll, hop-a-long ponies, corn bin, and corn hole toss game. We also feature two farmer built ADA-accessible hayracks.


  • Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad's Pumpkin Express- Picking out a pumpkin has never been so much fun! Enjoy a scenic ride from the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad depot to the pumpkin patch. Ride the train across two bridges into the Des Moines river valley and pick out your very own pumpkin!
  • Ames Haunted Forest- Ames Haunted Forest is all set for its best year yet! Prepare yourself for a full thirty minutes of fear-packed excitement and the scariest walk you'll take all year!


  • The Haunted Barn- The Haunted Barn has been scaring its guests for five years - and boasts a "saw room" that they claim is as scary and gruesome as it sounds.


  • Haunted Scream Park- Sleepy Hollow features five separate haunted houses, a 3-D gallery and fog maze, marshmallow roasts and food vendors. There are also two haunted walks.


  • The Slaughter House- Customers get wheeled into a dark hall on a pallet jack, (like a bunch of hogs on their way to slaughter) before a 20-minute terrifying experience that will make you ride, walk and crawl.


  • Halloween 2014: Beggars' night list- Here's the latest list of Halloween events and beggar's nights across Iowa.


  • Scare Us Hill: Trick or Treat @ Terrace Hill- Ghouls, goblins and guests from all over the state will emerge to trick-or-treat at the Governor's stately, yet spooky, manor. Scare Us Hill: Trick-or-Treat at Terrace Hill is a one-of-a-kind family event that features hundreds of carved pumpkins, costumed participants and a variety of spooky activities including a scavenger hunt through the mansion! This year's theme will be based on the wizarding world of Harry Potter.


  • Scare Us Hill: A Pumpkin Ball @ Terrace Hill- Terrace Hill will be transformed for the Scare Us Hill Pumpkin Ball. Gilded chandeliers give way to cobwebs and the occasional surprise. And as the lights get turned low the mansion's true inhabitants will come to life. The Night will Feature: Wickedly Good Appetizers & Desserts, Costume Contest with Prizes, Music for Dancing provided by Opus Taylor, A Unique Signature Cocktail, Mansion Decked Out in its Halloween Best. A LIVE AUCTION: Featuring Dinner for six with the Branstads, Summer porch party for ten at Terrace Hill, A remote start for your vehicle compliments of Willis Auto Campus. Costumes are optional but there will be prizes awarded to the most creative costumes in the following categories: Funniest costume, Best lady costume, Best guy costume, Best couple, Best overall costume.
 
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Hunziker & Associates is a Drop Off Site for The Ames Community Pass Along Party

Food at First Meal Program in Ames hosts an annual PASS ALONG PARTY in early December to help many families in need in our community. Children and adults at the dinner are given the opportunity to Christmas shop from the donations for free. This is a wonderful way to help make the holidays extra special for many families in our community that often struggle to put food on the table, let alone put presents under the tree. We are confident we can all find an item around home that we would never even miss. They PassAlongPics.jpg accept gently used items, such as toys, games, books, baby items, bikes, household items, home decor, dishes and more because keep in mind, the kids shop for their parents too. There is even a gift wrap station, so gift wrapping supplies are greatly appreciated as well. They do not accept clothing or furniture.

You may drop off your items at Hunziker and Associates, Realtors office:
Ames Office, 105 S. 16th Street
Monday - Friday, November 10-21 from 8am-5pm
Join the event page on Facebook, Pass Along Party 2014 for updates and photos. Thanks for helping us make this event an annual success!
 

October Area Events

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
October 10, 11, & 12
Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines

Tree & Branch Recycling Days for Ankeny Residents
October 11 from 9am-3pm
City Maintenance Facility, 211 SE Lorenz Dr., Ankeny

Fall Fun Day at Boy Scout Camp Mitigwa
October 11 from 9am-5pm
1820 Magnolia Dr., Woodward

$5 Family Night at the Science Center
October 10th from 5-8pm
Science Center of Iowa, Des Moines

Heels & Hope: A ladies night out to celebrate breast cancer awareness
October 16th from 5-8:30pm
ISU Alumni Center, Ames

Night Eyes at Blank Park Zoo
October 16-19 & 23-26
Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines

Family Halloween at Living History Farms
October 18, 19, 23-26, 30, 31 from 5:30-8:30pm
Living History Farms, Urbandale

Great Iowa Pet Expo
October 18 & 19
Varied Industries Building, Iowa State Fairgrounds

Hilton Madness
October 18th at 5:30pm
Hilton Coliseum, Ames

Bridal ExCytement Fall 2014
October 19th from 1-4pm
Scheman Building, Ames

Halloween in Uptown
October 23 from 5-7pm
Uptown, Ankeny

Spirits in the Gardens
October 25 & 26 from 4-7pm
Reiman Gardens, Ames

Trick or Treat Downtown Ames
October 30 from 10am-2pm
Main Street, Downtown Ames

Downtown Nevada Trick or Treat
October 30 from 5-6:30pm
6th Street, Nevada

Malloween
October 30 from 5-7pm
North Grand Mall, Ames

 

Market Numbers

Ames 2014 2013
10/2/2014 Active listings 131 135
Homes SOLD YTD 407 494
Average Sale Price $206,198 $200,069
Average Days on Market 46 53
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 96.9% 96.5%
Story County 2014 2013
10/2/2014 Active listings 127 113
Homes SOLD YTD 231 286
Average Sale Price $143,796 $142,476
Average Days on Market 72 99
Sale Price to List Price Ratio 93.9% 95.0%
Based on Sales information as reported to the Central Iowa Multiple Listing Service as of 10/2/2014
Ames - Ames Residential and Rural Subdivisions
Story County - Residential, excluding Ames Residential and Ames Rural Subdivisions