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The Green Issue

HCS Builders
Go Green, Eco-Friendly, Carbon Footprint, and Environmentally Conscious

Energy Star

At HCS Builders, it's not about cool, trendy words. The commitment to building homes with quality labor and materials, combined with a commitment to environmental stewardship and best energy efficient practices is deeply imbedded into the very core of the company. Master Builder, Alan Christy, and HCS Builders, made the commitment in 1995 to build energy efficient homes. Today all HCS homes are 5 or 5 Plus Energy Star rated homes. HCS Builders has continued in its passion to refine and perfect the implementation and use of even more energy efficient techniques, products, and materials. Matt Phillips (designer) and Alan Christy, have both earned the designation of Certified Green Professional by the National Home Builders Association University of Housing. Energy efficient homes are not only good for the environment but they save the homeowner money through lower utility costs.

Hunziker & Associates, Realtors® is extremely proud of its exclusive affiliation with HCS Builders. Should you wish to learn more about HCS Builders, available lots, spec or custom homes, building and environmental practices, please contact your Hunziker & Associates, Realtor. "We know the market, and we know HCS Builders."

HCS homes energy saving Green features:

  • Energy Star built and certified homes
  • R-50 atttic insulation
  • 2x6 exterior walls with R-19 insulation
  • R-10 foundation insulation - Covers entire exterior of foundation wall
  • Insulated exterior entry doors
  • Air-to-air exchanger - HRV unit for improved indoor air quality and humidity control
  • 92% or 95% efficient furnace
  • High efficient 13 or 14 SEER air conditioner
  • Vertex 90% thermal efficient water heater available
  • Energy Star rated dishwasher
  • Tyvek house wrap - Added protection from air infiltration and severe weather
  • Low-e coating and argon gas filled windows for superior performance
Green Home Green Updates for Your Home

This summer, save money and stay cool. Keep your energy bill and your pollution output low this summer by taking awhole-house approach to cooling.

Updates to improve your energy usage:

  • If your air conditioner is old, consider purchasing a new, energy-efficient model. You could save up to 50% on your utility bill for cooling. Look for the ENERGY STAR® and EnergyGuide labels. For air conditioners, look for a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The current minimum is 13 SEER for central air conditioners.
  • Whole-house fans help cool your home by pulling cool air through the house and exhausting warm air through the attic. They are effective when operated at night and when the outside air is cooler than the inside.
  • Keep in mind that insulation and sealing air leaks will help your energy performance in the summertime by keeping the cool air inside.
  • Plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning units but not to block the airflow.
  • Place your room air conditioner on the north side of the house. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10% less electricity than the same one operating in the sun. If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.
  • Turn off ceiling fans when you leave the room. Remember that fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.
  • In warm climates, where summertime heat gain is the main concern, look for windows with double glazing and spectrally selective coatings that reduce heat gain.
  • Don't place lamps or TV sets near your air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.

This information and more can be found at the U.S. Department of Energy website.


Ames Market Numbers*

  Ames 2009 Ames 2008   Story County 2009 Story County 2008
Active listings as of 7/1 256 289   186 NA
Homes SOLD YTD 244 281   117 125
Average Sale Price $184,995 $175,122   $131,783 $151,544
Average Days on the Market 11 99   130 134
Sale Price to List price Ratio 95.5% 95.9%   90.4% 93.7%

Based on Sales information as reported to the Ames Multiple Listings Service, 12 months ending June 30.

Ames - Ames Residential and Rural Subdivisions

Story County - Residential, excluding Ames and Ames Rural Subdivisions

Tax Credits Towards Green Products
Green Money Home Energy Efficiency Improvement Tax Credits Consumers who purchase and install specific products, such as energy-efficient windows, insulation, doors, roofs, and heating and cooling equipment in existing homes can receive a tax credit for 30% of the cost, up to $1,500, for improvements "placed in service" starting January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2010. See for a complete summary of energy efficiency tax credits available to consumers.

Every year, the average American home loses $150 worth of energy through inefficient appliances, lack of insulation or drafty windows and doors. Don't let that energy escape one more day. Help save energy and the environment by getting a free Home Energy Audit or taking part in My Home Comfort Check Up through Alliant Energy.

Request a free professional Home Energy Audit

Time is Running Out!
alarm clock First Time Home Buyers - Time is running out! The tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time home buyers will end on December 1, 2009. This is a tax credit (equal to 10 percent of the home's purchase price up to a maximum of $8,000) not a deduction. Who is eligible to claim the tax credit? First-time home buyers purchasing any kind of home - new or resale - are eligible for the tax credit. To qualify for the tax credit, a home purchase must occur on or after Jan. 1, 2009 and before Dec. 1, 2009. Please contact your Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS®, or go to

Iowa's Energy Campaign
Iowa Iowa has instituted one of the country's most aggressive energy efficiency and renewable energy campaigns. By 2010, state agencies must begin purchasing 10% of their electricity from renewable sources, and reduce overall energy consumption by 15%. Iowa is home to the Department of Energy's Ames National Laboratory which conducts fundamental research in the physical, chemical, and mathematical sciences associated with energy generation and storage.

As states around the country consider new investments in alternative energy projects, they might first consider the experience of Iowa, which launched a $100 million initiative two years ago to provide start-up capital for energy-related projects. With Iowa now just halfway through the program, its impact on the state economy has been impressive:
  • 2,300 new, private-sector jobs have been created in Iowa;
    $35 million in state investments have supported clean energy projects across the state;
  • $190.4 million in private investments have been generated through the project (more than a 4-to-1 return on taxpayer money); and
  • The percentage of Iowa electricity generated from wind power has tripled, establishing Iowa as a world leader in renewable energy.


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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).