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What happens if interest rates rise in 2016?

At present, 30-year mortgage interest rates remain close to their historical lows. Experts predict that rates will likely increase throughout 2016. According to Freddie Mac, 30-year mortgage interest rates are projected to finish 2016 at or near 4.6%. What does this mean for someone who is looking to purchase a home? Surprisingly, a relatively small percentage change in the interest rate results in a rather abrupt change in the monthly principal and interest payment.

For instance, if you are looking to purchase a home and want to keep the principal and interest payment at $1,000 per month, the initial principal balance that could be afforded at an interest rate of 3.875% is $212,659. If you wait, and the interest rate rises as predicted to 4.6%, the principal balance that you could afford (and keep your monthly payment at $1,000) is only $195,067. Simply stated, if the experts are correct, there will be a very real financial consequence for those who choose to wait to buy a home.

We understand there are many things one must consider when purchasing a home and financial considerations are but one factor. Should you be interested in exploring your home purchasing options, we welcome you to contact one of our associates for an initial consultation. MortgageRatePrediction.png

New Years Resolutions for your Home

Happy 2016! As you welcome in the new year, consider picking a resolution that improves your home and benefits the whole family.

Cut your energy usage LEDlights.jpg
  • Use compact LED bulbs
  • Turn the lights off when you leave a room and when you leave the house
  • Take advantage of natural light on sunny days
  • Hang your wet laundry on a line or rack instead of drying them
  • Turn off power strips and put the home computer on sleep mode when you can
  • If you have a garden, give composting a try
Reduce your water usage LowFlowShowerHead.png
  • Install a low-flow showerhead
  • Switch to a low-flow, high efficiency toilet
  • Don't run the dishwasher until it's completely full
  • Water your yard less by putting in drought-tolerant landscaping
Spruce up your least favorite room ReplaceKnobs.png
  • Repaint
  • Purchase new curtains or bedding
  • Buy a new accent piece or piece of artwork
  • Change out cabinet hardware
  • Paint cabinets
  • Install a backsplash
  • Change out showerhead and faucets
  • Add more lighting
  • Add a pop of color

Declutter Declutter.png
  • If you purchase something new, get rid of something old
  • Throw it out if you haven't used it for over a year and has no sentimental value
  • Donate unused items
  • Install more shelving
  • Purchase decorative storage containers
  • Put everything back in its place after using it
DIY home maintenance and repairs have healthy benefits Painting.png
  • Interior painting: 136 calories per hour
  • Caulking windows and doors: 280 calories per hour
  • Chopping firewood: 240 calories per hour
  • Installing ceramic tile: 238 calories per hour
  • Cleaning rain gutters: 272 calories per hour
Interested in learning more about New Year's resolutions for your home? Check out the Hunziker Realty Blog.

Decorating Tips to Beat Winter Blues

The holidays have passed and now the reality of winter is setting in. The days are shorter and cloudy days may outnumber sunny ones. Cold weather inspires time indoors, but that can feel isolating after a while. Don't let winter get you down this year, try these decorating tips to beat the winter blues!

Let There Be Light
Sunlight can boost your mood so use sheer shades or tie-back curtains to allow that natural light to come in. String lights can be comforting and make a room feel more cozy. Try placing them along a bookshelf in the main living area. Twinkle lights on the ceiling can incorporate a star-like shine in your bedroom.

Add Incense or Candles
Shake that winter chill by lighting a couple candles throughout your home. Not only will your house smell great, but looking at a lit candle can bring a sense of warmth and peace. Another way to relieve yourself of the winter blues is to light incense.

Color Your World
Bring bold colors inside to create a positive vibe in your home. Orange and yellow are upbeat and will remind you of warmer days to come. A vibrant shade of blue can be calming and peaceful. Remember to not go overboard so your house doesn't look like a crayon box. A pop of color here and there will add contrast and bring happy thoughts.

Breathe New Life Into Your Home
Indoor plants improve air quality, keep us connected with nature, reduce stress, and beautify our surroundings. The benefits are endless! Winter is a perfect time to add more greenery to your space.

Rearrange Furniture
New years are all about creating fresh starts and your house can also get a fresh start if you spend some time moving your furniture around. Rearranging a room you spend a lot of time in can make it feel like a whole new room. Do a little research on Feng Shui to get some tips on how to specifically arrange furniture to create proper energy flow and bring good fortune to a room.

Display What Makes You Happy
Place reminders of fond memories around your home. Frame your favorite pictures of loved ones and display them. When you're feeling down these photos can take you back to that time and place and bring a smile to your face. If pictures aren't your thing, try putting a quote or song lyric you like on display.

January Area Events

World's Toughest Rodeo
Jan. 8 & 9 at 7:30pm
Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines

Family Movies in the Gardens
Saturdays in January at 10am and 1pm
January 9 - Inside Out
January 16 - Toy Story
January 23 - Ratatouille
January 30 - Wizard of Oz
Reiman Gardens, Ames

Sunday Tunes at Summerset Winery
Sundays in January from 2pm-5pm
Summerset Winery, Indianola

Hibernation Celebration at the Iowa Arboretum
Jan. 10 from 12pm-3pm
Iowa Arboretum, Madrid

Crafty Cocktail Night
Jan. 14 from 6pm-7:30pm
Reiman Gardens, Ames

ISUMadrigal.jpg ISU's 51st Annual Madrigal Dinner
Jan. 15 and 16
Social Hour at 5:30pm
Dinner at 6:30pm
ISU Memorial Union Great Hall, Ames

Moscow Festival Ballet presents Sleeping Beauty
Jan. 22 at 7:30pm
Stephens Auditorium, ISU, Ames

WildTots: Winter Wonders
Jan. 16 from 10am-11:30am
McFarland Park, Ames

Jan. 22 at 6:30pm
Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines

Vocalosity.png Vocalosity
Jan. 24 at 7:30pm
Civic Center, Des Moines

Dancing with the Story County Stars
Jan. 30 from 6pm-8:30pm
ISU Memorial Union, Ames

Downtown Dollar Days
Jan. 30
Downtown, Ames

Father/Daughter Valentine's Dance
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Jan. 17 Jan. 30 from 6:30pm-8:30pm
Jan. 31 from 6:30pm-8:30pm
Feb. 6 from 6:30pm-8:30pm
Feb. 7 from 3pm-5pm
Feb. 7 from 6:30pm-8:30pm
Pinnacle Club at Otter Creek Golf Club, Ankeny

Animal Architects
Jan. 30 from 2pm-3:30pm
McFarland Park, Ames

Hike it Baby Winter Hiking
Jan. 31 at 10am
Brown Woods, West Des Moines

MoonOverBuffalo.png Actors: Moon Over Buffalo
Feb. 5-6, 11-13 at 7:30pm
Feb. 14 at 2pm
120 Abraham Dr., Ames


Interpreting the Numbers

If you are planning to sell this spring, now is a good time to list your home. The number of listings is down which means competition is low right now. This graph shows the number of active listing on January 1st for the last 7 years.

We have buyers that are looking - maybe your home is what they are looking for.